Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sometimes You Need a Little Trauma–Versary to Remind You That You Really Are O.K.

I want to go ahead and wrap up my posts about my little trauma–versary .

Part I  Part II

I can be walking down the street all grown up with a family of my own and I can make a conscious connection that reminds me of a fun filled family vacation and another near death, sibling experience. I can smile, laugh, shake my head and say to myself, “good times.” Little did I know that behind my conscious memory of our family trip to Oklahoma, was a deeper painful semi-conscious remembrance that through the connection of the present day fireworks to my trip to Oklahoma was only pulled forward enough from the back of my mind, that just the emotions and the feelings of fear and loss were accessible. Yet, the memory of the cause of fear, pain and loss remained tucked away and elusive.

let me just to be clear leaving my sister in Oklahoma was not the most traumatic, or even the biggest loss I had / or have experienced…not even close. That was more or less one more loss/trauma in a sea of loss and trauma. It was yet one more occasion where I thought things were going to get back on track and that everything was going to start to get better only to be rudely reminded that crazy was still shoveling the coal, and that this train was plowing way off the tracks full speed ahead.

Had I had a similar situation happen when I was still a child or a tween, where something had triggered an emotional/ adrenal response – I would have had no idea at all that something was amiss. I would have completely and thoroughly bought into my emotional response, accepted it at face value and would have been off and running with it, argumentative, oppositional and reactionary. I would have been less than “fun to be around” for days if not weeks, once I started digging holes. As an older teen or young adult I might have gotten self-destructive. I could have gotten very depressed for a very long time or the minute that trigger touched off that fight/ flight reaction (like when I had a strong urge to GET AWAY), I may have grabbed a couple of things and hit the road…in a FLASH, with nary a thought about it. And I wouldn’t have returned until the adrenalin wore off or something triggered me to flee again.

I am much older now. My brain (developmentally speaking) has matured. I have developed ways over time to manage my triggers and my reactions. I have figured out that when my emotional reaction do not match my actual circumstances I need to check in with myself and try to make a deeper connections. And yet sometimes I still struggle for a little while from time to time. But I have learned to keep working at it, and trying new things, to ask for help and I get un-stuck.

The moment I realized: We left my sister in Oklahoma.

I was FINE.

It was as if a wave of calm came over me. I am O.K. today. It is hot, my sink isn’t draining BUT I am fine. We are fine. When I was a kid I left my sister in Oklahoma and it broke my heart, and we are fine today.

I woke up the next day. I called my sister. I cried. She cried a bit, she works very hard at not remembering. She assured me she IS fine. And we moved on, consciously aware of what we’ve lost, and that we are BOTH O.K. today.

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