Moving Past Stuck

Moving Past Stuck

Recovery work is definitely a journey.  And while the traumatic emotions and memory recovery feel awful sometimes, there is nothing worse than feeling stuck.  In this work, “stuck” is a technical term.  It means our defenses are winning the inner battle at the moment.  Why?  We have hit a new threshold in our recovery work.  It might take the form of a new emotion, memory or belief, but it feels too scary to process.  Of course, we don’t consciously know any of this.  If we did, we would take steps to change it.  So we spend far too much time in the phase of “stuck” before we develop awareness of what is going on. For those who have not embraced trauma recovery, they may spend their entire life in this phase.  But for those of us who have started this journey, feeling stuck can feel extremely uncomfortable.  And it is amazing how good our defenders are at explaining this discomfort away.  They are really, really good at it.  And so we sit in our uncomfortable “stuckness” for much too long. But we can build our ability to identify that stuck phase.  When our defenses are high and our inner battle is in overdrive, those blocks show up in three ways. The Body When we are stuck, our body is not in a good place.  There is no flow.  Not only do we lose the energetic flow, but anything that is supposed to flow can get stuck too.  Our blood gets marred with cholesterol.  Our digestion slows down and gets stuck.  Anything that is supposed to rid the body of...
Expendable

Expendable

Over the past few years, I have come to understand I have lived an expendable life.  Before you lecture me, I want to be clear that I don’t believe my life has been for nothing.  I mean I have lived a life that was expendable to others.  The people in my childhood saw me as a commodity.  I was something to be used up and thrown away.  This was a literal interpretation of my experiences.  I was sold to others for the purpose of making money.  I was completely expendable, even to the very people who were supposed to love me unconditionally. This explains why I have spent my adult life trying to prove to others I was worth something.  I have always wanted people to believe I mattered.  And I have done almost anything to convince them of it. In relationships, I have worked hard to matter to the other person.  I have done whatever it took to keep them around.  I have worked hard to provide everything they could possibly need.  And it always ended the same way.  I got angry and exhausted, while the other person grew tired of using me up.  In the end, I became expendable once again. In my parenting, I have hovered over my children.  I had to make it clear that they needed me to protect them and care for them in every way.  I wanted them to know how much I cared for them and I wasn’t sure how else to show it.  Deep emotional connection wasn’t available to me, so I would take care of all their needs.  Unfortunately,...
Recovery is a Lifestyle

Recovery is a Lifestyle

We live in a results-oriented society.  And since we have learned to adapt to our surroundings, we often develop a mask that seems to be results-oriented.  Just like society, we tend to become focused on living a life full of nice things and without noticeable pain.  We learn when we veer from these goals, we are rejected.  We hide the pain of our trauma deep within where nobody can see it.  And we strive for the next best external thing that will make everything okay. It is not surprising that the recovery world has followed suit.  There are quick fixes everywhere.  There are 6-week programs.  And if 6 weeks isn’t enough to fix all your problems, there are 12 week programs that will surely do it.  There is a pill for every possible symptom you could have.  And if you have more than one symptom, that’s easy.  Just take more than one pill.  It doesn’t matter if they have been tested.  As long as they work, that is what matters.  And if medication isn’t your thing, that’s okay.  You can find foods, supplements and special energy drinks that will fix you right up. Sound familiar.  I’m sure it does.  I don’t know about you, but I have chased so many quick fixes.  I have looked and looked for the panacea to end the pain, the thing that will finally make me feel good or normal.  But they don’t work because they can’t.  That isn’t how recovery works.  Trauma isn’t healed with a quick fix so we can move on with our beautiful life waiting on the other side.  Life...
There is Only Rejection

There is Only Rejection

As a survivor of childhood trauma, I have spent my life surrounded by “all or nothing” people.  And unfortunately, it made me an “all of nothing” person.  I have spent years undoing the belief systems that come from a childhood like mine, but sometimes it feels endless (or maybe that’s my “all or nothing thinking again).  I have had to unravel beliefs like: “Everything that can go wrong will go wrong.” “Nobody will ever love me.” “Everybody who is nice to me just wants something.” And believe me, I am far from finished with the rewiring process.  These beliefs still come up, but I am much more aware of them now.  I know where they come from.  I have seen the evidence.  And I know how to question them now.  I know they aren’t as true as I once thought. As I deal with my latest inner part, the rebel runner, I am facing another aspect of the damage done by the people in my life.  And this wasn’t the occasional experience by a random person.  This was a consistent message from countless people which permeated my entire childhood.  And that message was: “If I make one mistake, I will be rejected, ridiculed, bullied and abandoned (in that order).” These mistakes did not follow the traditional definition of mistakes (which would still make these situations problematic).  These mistakes were about failing to be the person they wanted me to be, failing to keep my trauma hidden and failing to be the image of perfection I thought I had to be.  The message I received was that being myself (in...
Life Isn’t About the Fight

Life Isn’t About the Fight

I am a fighter.  I have spent my life fighting.  I have heard the phrase “go with the flow” and I used to hate it.  It reminded me of a jelly fish, sitting in the water doing nothing but stinging people and eating.  It sounded lazy.  I never got the point of the flow.  Why do we exist if we are just flowing?  That said I knew there was a good chance I was wrong.  I had a deep sense I was looking at it wrong.  And over the past ten years, I have been learning what it means to go with the flow.  It doesn’t mean what I thought when I didn’t know how to do it.  Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t really know how to do it, but I am getting better. There is no better example of going with the flow than how I have built my life coach business (or maybe how the flow built it).  I have pushed hard.  There is no doubt about it.  I have had to push through countless obstacles, but to be fair, most of the obstacles were my own inner parts and their beliefs.  And to overcome those, there is a willfulness required.  But when it came to taking action, it wasn’t about fighting.  It was about going in the direction I was pointed.  And the flow was doing the pointing. You may be wondering what I am talking about.  Honestly, so many of us have not experienced the flow.  Until recent years, I hadn’t.  If I didn’t make it happen, it didn’t happen.  I saw myself...