I learned about fear. I was afraid of everything: to fail and to live. People deal with fear in different way. One way is to fight, another to flee and a third way by freezing. What I did was freezing and practiced being invisible. When my father would start yelling I would stop breathing and freeze. I would try to become the chair so that it wouldn’t be “my night”. I did the same at school. Some times teachers would yell. But most of the time I didn’t want to be called on. I may not know the answer and I didn’t what to be humiliated.
I learned to stick with my brothers and sisters. We stuck together, helped each other. We helped each other with homework, chores and how to get through dinners. Of course we had the usual sibling tiffs. Yet we stuck together and still do.
I developed a habit of living in a fantasy. The fantasy was related to whatever bad situation was playing out… either at school or home. In this world I was either being a hero or being rescued. I spend a lot of time in these worlds.
Another habit I developed was inability to keep focus… ADD trait. I have great difficulty staying on task. It is about not being grounded and in the body. (Why would I have wanted to do that?)
When there is trauma, there are many unvoiced feelings. Lots of anger and rage along with the shame, humiliation, guilt and of course ya gotta keep them all down with depression. I do have a funny story about the anger that I will share in another post.
Senior year in healing school we were assigned to do a senor project. I decided to work with middle aged women who had symptoms of ADD. I developed a 4 week class to help them stay on task and be more focused. Techniques I taught included meditation for grounding and getting into the body, ways to connect right and left sides of the brain and an energetic mind clearing healing.
When I was researching ADD I realized that I had all the symptoms. So much so, it was like I just disassociated. That is exactly what I did, disassociate. Try to do well in school or work when you use disassociation as a coping tool. 🙂
I went to counseling. Healing school the focus was on our own personal work as well as all the good classes. It was the personal work that was the most important for me.
Where do you go from here?
Well I want to live well, love deeply and make a difference. To do this I need to do a lot of letting go of the past. Forgiveness. I had to find a way to release the fear and climb out of depression and into joy. I am doing that every day with gratitude. Yes gratitude.
Make a gratitude list every day. Think about all the people places and things for which you are grateful. The important thing is to “feel” the gratitude not just list them. Notice what your heart feels like when it opens in gratitude.
Be gratitude. Open the door to joy.