Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)

  • 19 Replies
  • 2498 Views
*

Trees

  • Member
  • 197
    • View Profile
Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« on: December 18, 2014, 08:30:40 PM »
Hi folks, this site was recommended to me by someone whose judgment I trust.  I have read around the site a little bit, have read so much that I utterly identify with.  But I noticed I was getting too nervous about introducing myself to be able to concentrate on the words of others.  So I need to start writing to get past this internal barrier.

Though I always knew my childhood was difficult, it was not until my late 30s that the memories of early childhood sexual abuse began to surface in my brain.  I had never been stable - lots of depression, anxiety, social problems - but when the really ugly stuff resurfaced in my brain, I was pretty much wiped out.  A lot of the "memories" were just endless sensations of raw terror.  Soon I was unable to work.  That was 25 years ago, and I have never succeeded in returning to work.  Not too long afterwards I started remembering how my mother had always loathed the tiny child I was back then.  Perhaps she was not even conscious that she had turned the molested toddler into "the other woman", but she always treated me as "other" forever after.  Plus, as I was the oldest, I was always her designated helper servant.

I know now that my father was extremely cptsd, very angry.  My mother was extremely depressed and bitter.  My family moved constantly.  By the time I was 19, I had lived in 21 different places.  The family was usually extremely isolated because of my father's personality.  My mother, knowing no one in the vicinity, would take us to local libraries to feel less alone.  I learned to live completely inside of books.  To open a book and dissociate into it, that was where I found safety and companionship.   

These were the circumstances that shaped me.  I have spent all of my adult life trying to emerge from the fear, the brainwashing, the dissociation, the shame, the isolation.  There were 3 stays at psych wards, a long period of homelessness, many therapists and groups, but mostly clueless about ptsd.  Out among people, I am nervous, frightened, dysfunctional, so I am a hermit.  Finding Pete Walker's site and articles and books has really helped me feel less alone in the world.
So hello to everyone here. I hope to tag along with you folks.



*

flookadelic

  • Member
  • 148
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2014, 08:43:49 PM »
Hello Trees :) I'm pretty new here but am finding it a really good, understanding and supportive space. I'm amazed to meet someone who was shunted around as a kid as much as I was. Well, you "win" as I had 12 different addresses by the time I was 17. That's one thing I have noticed here. So much of my life experience is mirrored here. It seems we are not as alone or out on a limb as we - or at least I - thought. I was 48 years old before I lived in one place for over two years...so that nomadic thing really hung around. Anyways...wishing you every happiness and much healing here and everywhere...flooky.

*

Rain

  • Member
  • 459
  • Hiding your Light is a loss for everyone
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2014, 09:31:12 PM »
Welcome Trees, and you better do more than tag along ...we hope you truly join in, and find comfort, support and caring here.    As I can imagine you will do for others as well.

So, a big  :bighug:  or   a smaller   :hug: for you ...whatever is best.   :yes:

You are an impressive Tree ...you survived many, many storms.    Honored to have you here with us.

Any topic you are drawn to, just drop line or two in a post.    Join us in the Journey.   Tell us how you are feeling, what works for you or not in healing.   People are safe, caring and accepting here.   Be your Self.


I'm sorry what you've gone through.   It is not who you are.

I'm very glad you found your way here; a kind person sent you here.  :yes:

I look forward to your posts, Trees.

Grace and Healing in your Journey. 

Rain

*

Whobuddy

  • Member
  • 170
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2014, 01:24:00 AM »
Welcome. I'm pretty much new here, too. You will like it.

I only lived at 8 different addresses before I was 17. Very isolated, too. Didn't know any relatives. Friendships were discouraged. Books were always around. I can identify with that.

*

Trees

  • Member
  • 197
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2015, 12:38:54 AM »
Flookadelic and Whobuddy, thank you for welcoming me.  I am sorry you both were moved around so much in childhood.  Having one's surroundings change all the time adds so much stress to a child's life.  I don't know about you, but I don't have a sense of Home at all.  There is no location on the planet that feels like home to me, except now finally I have managed to settle and start creating the home I have always longed for.  The sensation that I belong somewhere, I am beginning to feel it a little.

Rain, thank you for your warm words and hugs.  What a glowing hearth of welcome you are !    You used to have a quote of Kahlil Gibran's that I really liked.  Could you write it out again?  This time I will copy it down.  Thanks!    Trees

*

flookadelic

  • Member
  • 148
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2015, 08:08:58 AM »
Yes....a succession of buildings but no home. It was such a relief to drop anchor for a few years! But I have never felt a sense of belonging...my family of origin...well, I have cptsd so am unlikely to feel massive sense of belonging there! Nor to any one geographical location. I have found a sense of home in my heart...I know it sounds cheesy but self acceptance of who I am rather than who I believe / believed myself to be has given me more a sense of having a right to walk the earth and belong than many other things. And speaking of belonging I am glad you feel so welcome here Trees :)

*

Rain

  • Member
  • 459
  • Hiding your Light is a loss for everyone
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2015, 02:05:08 PM »
You used to have a quote of Kahlil Gibran's that I really liked.  Could you write it out again?  This time I will copy it down. 

 :hug: to you, Trees!   Here is the quote, and I love it so.  "The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."

I will post the full section on Joy and Sorrow here, and it will not disappear on you then.   :yes:

On Joy and Sorrow chapter from The Prophet book by Khalil Gibran

Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.


« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 11:41:20 AM by Rain »

*

Trees

  • Member
  • 197
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2015, 12:59:15 AM »
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Thank you, Rain, for sending Gibran's entire chapter on Joy and Sorrow.  Somehow the way he writes helps my mind hone in on the true sorrow rather the just the debris it is embedded in.  He makes sorrow feel so much more approachable and survivable, and even desirable.  That is a big and welcome step for me to contemplate.

I am late in thanking you for this.  I think I was just in a spasm of hiding.  I want to be here on OOTS but I am also feeling painfully exposed.  So sometimes I feel the need to dart into my hidey-hole and regroup before emerging again.  Learning to actually feel safe can be such a slow process.

Rain, your Khalil Gibran passage reminds me a little of one by Rumi:

“Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.”

Trees


*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 7361
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2015, 01:43:33 AM »
When I feel too vulnerable or exposed Trees I "do the turtle" -- tuck in my head, arms and legs and just enjoy feeling safe in my little shell for a bit.   Take whatever time you need to feel comfortable :hug:

*

Rain

  • Member
  • 459
  • Hiding your Light is a loss for everyone
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2015, 09:27:09 PM »
“Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.”

I love the Rumi quote, Trees.  Thank you!  I would add we can "dance in our silence and in perfect stillness of movement" as well.   To be, and to celebrate it, is the Dance.

Even if you are feeling the need to to be tucked away, do that as your own dance.   Being seen, being heard can be a risk.   It is safe here; your words are welcomed, Trees.

And for me, nothing is more precious than hearing and seeing one that has opened, and taken that risk.   I know the courage in it.    Also, there are gifts that come out of stillness, and silence.

Feel the Joy, Feel the Sorrow.   Heart songs birth from these.

*

Whobuddy

  • Member
  • 170
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2015, 12:50:31 PM »
I think I was just in a spasm of hiding.  I want to be here on OOTS but I am also feeling painfully exposed.  So sometimes I feel the need to dart into my hidey-hole and regroup before emerging again.  Learning to actually feel safe can be such a slow process.
Trees

I think of this site, Out of the Storm, as Out of the Room. A lot of us had a room we hid in, or a chair, or even just our head. Now we peek out as our dear inner child and discover a place that is safe and filled with others just like us.

*

flookadelic

  • Member
  • 148
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2015, 06:03:48 PM »
Quote
do the turtle

Sounds like a disco dance...

Trees, I hide a lot of the time. My curtains are permanently drawn and I have to force myself to use the phone. Oddly writing is far easier for me than talking.

Learning to feel safe is a long process. My wife tells me I have swapped awareness of my surroundings for hyper vigilance. It's as if I can only be so aware of anything, that there is a limit to how aware anyone can be and most of mine is reserved for how people - including herself - are feeling and about to act at any given moment. I'm brilliant at it. Yet fail to notice a tree down the lane has fallen over.

But we are creating a new path through the woods. There is a path through the woods called "the path we always take". It is broad and well trodden. It leads first through a smelly bog where we get wet and stinky. Then it rises into sharp and jagged rocky slopes where we trip and get bruised. Then it goes through a meadow where we are chased by wasps and stung. We burst out of the woods where we are smelly, bruised and stung.

This path has been created for us by our abusers and perpetrators and society and everything else.

But one day we stop and think..."hold on. Today I am going to create a NEW path through these woods, one that doesn't end up with me getting smelly, bruised and stung." So we get a map (Pete Walkers work is an excellent one) a flask of tea and some sandwiches and set off. We avoid the bog and the rocks and the bees but we can't avoid the undergrowth of brambles and stinging nettles! We find we have to unpeel the brambles from our clothing and skin, and trample down clumps of nettles (and get stung a few times as we do so) and whoops, we tripped over that hidden log...And so we emerge from the wood sweaty and exhausted and stung. And when we look back, instead of seeing a new path we see a darker line through the undergrowth to tell us where we have been.

The next day however, we can see that darker line and use it to guide our way. The brambles are a bit less problematic, but we avoid the nettles, in fact we stop to stomp them down more. We forget about the hidden log though and go bottom over nipple. However we *know* next time we will remember where it is and avoid that pitfall.

So we come out of the wood, look back and see that the line of darker green is more defined, and that although we are scratched and a bit bruised it isn't as bad as first time out.

The next day we remember the hidden log and step over it! However we slip and get stung...but we got back up and marked where the slippery bit of our new path is for future reference.

When we come out of the wood we can clearly see where we have been and feel pleased for remembering where the hidden log was and also that we marked out the slippery bit. And that there is no nasty smell, no rock induced bruises and no wasp stings. Things are looking up.

So each day we re-create that new path, making it wider, getting to know where the easy bits are, shoring up the slippery bits and making it much easier for ourselves. It still takes effort but we know its effort well spent.

But what happens to the old path as we create the new on?

Because of our lack of use, it starts to become overgrown; one day it will be as overgrown as our new path once was. As overgrown and as difficult to access. Our new path however becomes broader and easier to use through our use of it.

And that is what it is to inculcate a new mental pathway. A new way of being. It is (I think) a lovely and hopeful analogy. I hope it is a helpful one as well, Trees.

*

Trees

  • Member
  • 197
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2015, 08:53:09 PM »
flookadelic, I really love your woodsy analogy!  I can think of few things more pleasant than walking through the woods.  It's wonderful how you describe the process in exquisite detail.  I have known I was working toward reprogramming my brain, but this analogy makes it instantly pleasant, because not even nettles can ruin a walk in the woods for me.  I hope I will be able to use your analogy to reframe my journey for myself.

Whobuddy, yes, OOTS seems like the perfect place to peek out as my "dear inner child".  Another beautiful image.

Kizzi, "doing the turtle" seems like a great way to silently dance as Rain discusses.  Sometimes, not often, I even do the turtle dance in a tight fetal position under the bedcovers with the dogs in the middle of a sunny day when I feel too exposed. 

Turtle-dancing haltingly through the woods, bushwhacking through all the feelings and also hiding in the shrubbery with my dear inner child… such pleasant thing to contemplate.   Thank you.     :hug:     :hug:     :hug:     :hug:

I've been finding sorrow less frightening, even rewarding (a lightening of the burden), since coming to OOTS.


*

flookadelic

  • Member
  • 148
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2015, 09:14:38 PM »
Quote
I've been finding sorrow less frightening, even rewarding (a lightening of the burden), since coming to OOTS.

It's what and you and all of us are here for, treefroot :-) having understanding people around makes such a difference.

*

Rain

  • Member
  • 459
  • Hiding your Light is a loss for everyone
    • View Profile
Re: Looking to come in from the cold . . .(perhaps triggering?)
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2015, 12:41:58 AM »
I am loving this thread.   Love.   Being.

Wonderful words, Trees ...you've integrated it all.   Gathered it to yourself, and felt the "hug" of it.   I feel joy with that.

Flook, the woods analogy is now officially added to my "healing toolbox."   Thank you, friend.

There is every reason to have hope.   To know we can do this.    That what we are experiencing is to be treasured as it simply is ...because it is our Journey.

Along the way, we find Ourselves.

The true path is Love.