I refer to the end of the calendar year as the Trifecta.  I don’t know why I call it a Trifecta because it isn’t.  There are actually four major events in October, November and December creating chaos in this single mother’s life.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and my twins’ birthday, which is today, create a perfect storm of far too much to get done.  In addition to all of the personal aspects of life as a single mother, my business is growing.  I want to be clear, I am NOT complaining about that.  I am also not complaining about my children having another birthday today.  I love those little buggers and am eternally grateful for them.  But I am thankful to be trained in project management right now, which is allowing me to hold things together just barely.

Needless to say, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment.  I’m making lists in the shower and scheduling my day down to the minute.  I can do that though.  I have been using excessive busyness as a defense mechanism for years.  I know how to be busy.  But these days, I am noticing something different.  I am sure it was always there, but it is just now coming to my awareness.  It is a current of terror that runs underneath the overwhelm.  It isn’t just the feeling that things are busy and I have to manage them closely.  It is the feeling that mismanagement will result in dire consequences.

I understand that when I was a child, my need to keep everything straight and maintain my perfection mask was coming from a place of life or death.  It wasn’t acceptable to mess up.  I understand that.  I have known that for years.  My controller inner part was developed to achieve this particular goal in life.  And my controller does her job well.  But this year, on Thanksgiving Day, I was introduced to my back-up plan.

This back-up plan came in the form of a new inner part.  And I have to admit, I was a little shocked to meet him.  He is the first male part I have met.  He even gave himself a name, which many of my parts don’t do.  Aside from my love seeker, they seem to like their labels of mean kid, karma kid, the controller, etc.  But his role was the most shocking.  My controller has been so good at her job over the years, I had no idea there would be a need for this part.  But apparently, he holds the emergency shutdown switch.  And when the system gets too overwhelmed, when things seem so hopeless that a breakdown or explosion is the only option left, he does what he needs to do.

What does that look like?  He takes me down physically.  How?  He can make me instantly exhausted.  He can make me fall asleep in almost any place.  But he also makes me sick.  When all else fails, he resorts to severe physical illness.  I have always been aware of my propensity for illness.  I even knew it was a defense in most cases.  But until now, I didn’t realize how calculated it was.

My other shock is the way he talks.  I NEVER talk like this (or so I thought).  He comes at life as if nothing matters.  He doesn’t subscribe to the powerlessness perspective.  I believe he holds a lot of power.  He comes at life from the belief that everything will just work itself out.  Of course, that doesn’t sound so bad at first.  It even sounds healthy.  But he isn’t talking about letting go.  He is talking about handing all responsibility over to others and just ignoring everything that needs to be done.  Wow!  I didn’t know I did that.

But he is sharing memories.  And I most certainly did do that.  Honestly, I sounded a bit my like my ex-husband.  So this shines a light on some of my triggers in that relationship.  Of course, my controller hates this part.  My controller wishes he would go away forever (like most of my parts).  But I have to admit, I am fascinated.  I know these memories won’t be pretty, but I also know what happens when each part is done sharing.

And I would like to find a way to feel less panicked about the overwhelm.  And while his approach is certainly lacking, the idea that not everything needs controlling all the time is something I want to fully embrace.  All of my parts have brought a grounded truth with them, and I do believe this is his.  So I may be in shock, but I am also intrigued.  I look forward to this part of my journey.  And I look forward to him helping me calm down when the list gets long.  Because something tells me, it is never going to be short.