We Must Feel Bad to Feel Good

We Must Feel Bad to Feel Good

The holidays are hard for survivors of trauma. I know that’s not a shocking statement. Our circumstances are usually less than stellar. Either we spend it without the majority of our family or we spend it with them but wish we hadn’t. Our external situation can create so much angst. In the past several years, I have come to terms with my holiday situation. I have come to enjoy my small holiday gatherings, usually involving one or two friends and my children. I really do like it. It is so much less complicated. And there is room for the creation of my own traditions. All the fretting I did about my kids getting the bad end of the family deal has been for naught. My kids don’t know what they are missing. And believe me, that’s a good thing. That family sucks. But there’s another side to the holidays for survivors. It is the unpredictable inner world. You never know when it will rear its head. For me, I was introduced to a new part on Thanksgiving Day. He seemed like a pretty amiable part in the scheme of things. I was okay with this part. I was working through the memories and emotions without too much fanfare or resistance. It’s never pleasant, but I was doing okay with it. But two days before Christmas, it all took a turn for the worst. The expression from this part made a massive shift. It got nasty. I came to understand this part was repeating my father’s words, but I didn’t know that at first. I was inundated with the horrific...
It’s Not Fair

It’s Not Fair

5 Reasons Recovery is Not Fair & 3 Things You Can Do About It During the past ten years, I have been on a recovery journey full of miracles and pain which surpassed my greatest imagination.  And over the past three years, I have worked with many survivors of trauma who are taking their own trek to find a better way of living.  I have learned many lessons about life from my own journey and the journeys of others.  But there is one life lesson that rises to the top. It’s not fair! That may sound like the ranting of a two-year-old, but it’s also true.  There is nothing particularly fair about this life.  And when it comes to a childhood of trauma, it is the most unfair.  What do I mean?  I thought you would never ask.  I’ve been creating a list just to prove my point. We have to treat our inner parts like nobody ever treated us. You may have heard of the term “re-parenting” during your recovery journey.  It may have even triggered you.  How dare anyone suggest that you have to do the job your parents never did.  It isn’t fair that we have to be compassionate, accepting and loving to our inner parts when we never experienced it.  How are we supposed to do that?  How do we express love we never had?  Where do we start? There was nobody to save us in childhood and there is nobody to save us now. Despite our deep longing for a savior, human beings are not capable of saving another.  They may be able to do...
Recovery is Complicated

Recovery is Complicated

Recovery is complicated. I know I am not saying anything new. You already get this. You would not read my blog if you had not determined this for yourself. But I feel the need to say it today. Today is a tough day because I have to face my “humanness”. I have to face my shame. I am not talking about the unwarranted shame. That shame is different. I am good at talking with my inner parts about that. I can have the inner conversation about how the abusers handed us their shame. I can talk about handing it back to them. We can let that go now. This shame is harder. This shame is justified to a point. This shame is coming from my parts who have done bad things to good people in an attempt to stay safe. It might not have been blatant. It might have been very passive. But that doesn’t make it better. My inner parts have learned some interpersonal skills that are disturbing at best. They learned them because of a horrible past. They learned them from people who were supposed to care but never did. And it is important to understand that. But they used these skills at the wrong times with the wrong people. They used these skills in adulthood after safety had been established. And while my job is to understand and accept my inner parts as much as possible, I have moments where I have to cringe. I have to ask my inner parts the question, “Really guys?” “Maybe that was overkill. Maybe we could have found another way....
Getting Ahead

Getting Ahead

In the past year, life has been a little less predictable than I prefer.  I can sense my controller screaming under the surface of my daily life.  She is very unhappy about the direction I have taken my life.  From her perspective, she considers it to be a decline in circumstances.  I have gone from a well-paying corporate job with a 401K and quality health insurance to self-employment, no savings and intermittent health insurance.  I am living day by day, week by week, month by month.  And my controller hates it. She lectures me every day about where the income will be to cover the next bills or the next emergency.  She reminds me of how mean the universe has always been to me.  She tells me I am crazy to trust my intuition when I have no proof it will work.  She considers my higher self to be another untrustworthy partner.  She believes I am being tricked and manipulated once again.  She is furious with my naiveté and inability to ensure safety at all costs. Several years ago, when this conversation first started, I had no proof this plan would work.  The conversation was much different then.  All I could say was, “Let’s try it.  We can always choose to stop before it is too late.”  My controller thought that was stupid, but was willing to let me “waste away” my savings in the pursuit of stupidity.  But as the money diminished with very little proof of sustainability, she became more and more furious.  She considered it irresponsible and childish to “chase dreams” like this.  I was an...