The Trauma of Charlottesville

The Trauma of Charlottesville

Anxiety has been my lifelong companion.  While it has been debilitating at times, my recovery work has helped me so much.  I don’t have the same responses to life that I did in my younger years.  I don’t get paralyzed in the same way.  I can breathe through oncoming panic attacks.  I can write from the emotions under the surface.  I have come to a place in my recovery where I can stop anxiety before it overtakes me.  I am proud of that.  I love how anxiety is not always in charge anymore.  But I have to admit, the past two days, it has been in charge. I am paralyzed.  I have a mile-long “to-do” list and none of it is getting done.  I just keep scrolling through my Facebook feed reading articles and watching news streams.  But here’s the thing.  I know with all my being this is the wrong thing to do.  I know all the ways to break out of anxiety and this is not it.  But I do it anyway.  When I do break away from my computer, I feel like I am on the verge of grieving all the time.  That makes sense.  The anxiety is meant to keep the grief away.  Grief is about the uncontrollable and my controller wants this to be controllable.  My inner rebel feels trapped.  My inner children feel scared.  And my inner mean kid wants to punch someone.  So I scroll.  I look for answers to make everything okay.  But it isn’t okay.  It was never okay.  This is the world I live in.  My controller can’t pretend...
“You Are Too Intense.”

“You Are Too Intense.”

I have spent several months walking through my past with my inner rebel runner.  It hasn’t been easy.  We have felt so much futility, grief, shame and fear.  And countless memories have been shared.  All of these memories are different in their own way, but they have one very important message in common.  People suck.  Every memory has involved someone telling me how something is wrong with me, something is wrong with my plans and dreams, something is wrong with how I express myself and basically how I am just wrong.  My inner rebel runner believes that people are not worth my time because all they do is tell me what I need to change to meet their standards. On a cognitive level, I get what’s happening here.  I was attracting people with serious self-esteem issues.  They were projecting their need to perfect themselves on to me.  They wanted to change me the way they wanted to change themselves.  I know that I attract a different type of person in to my space now.  There are so many amazing people around me.  But my inner rebel is not convinced it is safe to connect on a deep level and I understand her hesitation.  I get it.  And we will change at her pace. But my most recent revelation was a particular phrase that hit me hard.  “You are too intense.”  It was something I heard mainly in intimate relationships, but sometimes in working relationships and friendships.  It was always men who said it.  I feel anger about it for a couple of reasons.  First, of course I was intense! ...
Five Forms of Rebellious Self-Sabotage

Five Forms of Rebellious Self-Sabotage

Our rebellious inner freedom fighters are absolutely critical to our success as human beings.  They exist despite horrific experiences that taught us to conform and seek approval no matter what the cost to our integrity.  They are the keepers of our true selves.  They hold our purpose under lock and key.  They refuse to let us be lost forever.  The inner rebels represent the true spirit of humanity.  Almost everyone in the world who has made a name for themselves or changed the world has been in touch with the spirit of their rebel. It is sad that I have only learned of my freedom fighters in the past year.  I always knew they were there and even spoke of them on occasion, but I did not have conversations with them until recently.  They were buried under years and years of traumatic experiences and their devastating emotions.  It took me years of working with my traumatized inner children and my fearful inner defenders to finally break through to my rebellious parts under all that trauma muck.  And while I now recognize their power to make me whole, I also see another side of them. They bring with them a self-sabotage of epic proportions.  In a way, it’s good.  If the controller could do their job without any trouble, we might not find it necessary to explore our inner world and heal our trauma.  It is also a good thing because the road our controller takes us down is one of survival.  And while survival is certainly important, it isn’t why we are here.  We are here for so much...
I’ve Got This

I’ve Got This

I’ve hit a creative wall.  This is not unusual.  I have times when my controller pushes through something with the mind because the mean kid or inner rebel has shut down my ability to do anything useful.  It hits me when I decide to create a new program or create something for a client or update my website.  But this is new tonight.  I usually don’t hit the creative wall with my blog.  I always seem to have something to say on the blog.  The topic comes to me and magically, the content pours onto the page from a place that is beyond my intellect.  It almost feels like cheating.  I hear from my fellow bloggers who struggle with creating enough content and I don’t want to tell them it isn’t a struggle for me. But it is a struggle tonight.  There is no topic tonight.  There is only the blank page.  So I did something I have never done.  I just started typing.  This isn’t something I do.  I have always been substantially enmeshed with my controller, which means everything has to have a plan.  Everything has to have a direction before I start.  “Go with the flow” is not something I say on the regular.  But tonight, out of desperation, I am giving it a try.  I am trusting in the universe to take me where I need to go.  That never lasts long, but we will see. It isn’t surprising that I am struggling at the moment.  It has been a tough week.  I have been processing my inner rebel and she is taking me down...
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...