You Might Be On Time, But Are You In Time?

You Might Be On Time, But Are You In Time?

I have been thinking about time these past few days.  To give credit where credit is due, I have been thinking about time because I have a client who has been thinking about time.  Our discussions have reminded me of my own struggles with time.  I have struggled with time as if I am looking for a formula for how to spend it.  If I find that perfect formula, I won’t feel so rushed, so overwhelmed or so confused about priorities.  But it doesn’t work that way.  There is no formula. The way we spend our time is supposed to be an intuitive and present process.  But for those of us who struggle with the impacts of trauma, we have lost touch with both.  We can’t be truly intuitive because our trauma is in the way.  We don’t have access to our true purpose.  We don’t have access to the next step.  They are marred with self-doubt, self-hatred and anger-fueled anxiety. And we aren’t present either.  We can’t sit in this moment.  We can spend time.  We can be on time.  But we can’t spend time in the now.  We can’t be in time.  If we are in time, if we are present, the flashbacks, emotions and other intrusions come flooding back.  So we avoid the present moment.  But there is a nagging feeling that time is escaping us.  There is this whisper underneath the surface that says we are missing the point, making us feel worse. So we go through the days trying to prioritize our time with no real access to the information we need to do...
The Imaginary Foe

The Imaginary Foe

We often talk about triggers as if they are catastrophic events which leave us (and everyone in our vicinity) reeling from the retraumatization.  Many believe that a trigger has to be something so closely linked to our trauma there is no mistaking the pattern in place.  This can lead us to the false belief that trigger avoidance is a feasible strategy for life after trauma.  This also leads us to the false belief we will know when our past trauma is triggered. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some huge triggers in my life.  When my children’s father abandoned our family, the resulting emotional wreckage was clear and intensely painful.  While I didn’t have my memories back yet, I knew the impact on my life was significant.  I knew it was a reminder of something.  I just didn’t know what. But most of my triggers are not the proverbial “baseball bat from the universe”.  They are whispers.  And they leave me with a general sense that things aren’t right.  They leave me with the sense that I am trying to fix the unfixable, to live a life that wasn’t mine to live.  Most of my triggers seem to be saying, “You are fighting a losing battle.”  In reality, I am not fighting a battle at all.  But my inner parts don’t know that.  They believe this life is all about the fight.  They are fighting to stay alive.  They are fighting for resources.  They are fighting to get the love they want. And when a series of things goes wrong or doesn’t work the way I planned, the...
The Essential Drives

The Essential Drives

Love, Peace and Purpose This week, I achieved a huge milestone in my life.  I have wanted to be an author since I published my first poem in a kid’s magazine at 8 years old.  Monday, I released my first book.  When I started this journey, I thought the hard part would be writing enough words for a book.  I figured since I knew how to blog, I would just write more words.  Right?  That sounds logical.  I hate when I try to be logical. In reality, the past two years (yep, two years) have been an obstacle course of self-sabotage and defense mechanisms.  In fact, writing the words was the easy part.  Getting out of my way was a nightmare.  I heard constant phrases like: “Who do you think you are?” “You’re not good enough.” “Nobody’s going to like it.” And for a while, I believed it.  But I kept pushing anyway.  I changed direction a few times.  I wrote several outlines. More than once, I started writing concepts only to put them aside.  It wasn’t the right topic, not yet, not now.  But then, I had an epiphany.  I woke up to a new understanding that our inner parts are driven by something greater than trauma. It came to me as I wrote a blog post and I knew this had to be the basis for the book.  To back it up, a mentor emailed me after reading the post and said, “You should write that book now.”  But even from this point, there was plenty of self sabotage to overcome. A year later, I have completed...
I’m Better Than Them

I’m Better Than Them

I have learned one important thing about the recovery process.  It is never boring.  Just when I think I have pieced together my past, I will get a memory back leading me to question how I could possibly forget it.  Just when I think I am entering a calm emotional state, a new emotion will come floating to the top and take me out of the present moment for a day or four.  And just when I think there could not possibly be another inner part to explore, guess what happens. This has been my experience this week.  I have been in an integration period.  I could feel myself processing out some of the old pain from my Karma Kid.  I knew I was transitioning.  And being the optimist I am, I was hopeful there wasn’t anything behind it.  I’m just kidding.  That’s not optimistic.  That’s delusional.  But it is a delusion I like to embrace on a regular basis because it keeps me going. That delusion has ended as another part has revealed herself.  As is true with all my parts, I was already aware of the belief system this part holds.  As a matter of a fact, this was one of the very first beliefs I became aware of.  I remember exactly where I was.  It was eye-opening and disturbing at the same time.  It is a defense mechanism that has never let me down.  And it has never failed to produce the intended results.  I affectionately refer to this defense mechanism as the “superiority complex”. It is directly related to the inferiority complex.  It is a...