that “stuck in the past ” language we get told over and over by “professionals” is abusive and is itself both blaming and traumatising.
It’s not that we “stuck in the past” its that we’re still living our experience right now, finding the present overwhelmingly painful.
To be traumatised is to be left unable to feel safe in the world – because our r experiences have led us to experience the world as a place in which it is difficult for us to feel safe. Including being told we’re “mentally ill” “lost contact with reality” or any other patronising, controlling, dehumanizing names we get called or categories “experts” confine us to- including “stuck in the past”.
Fuck that, eh?
If I’m stuck anywhere then I’m stuck in a loop listening to people who oughta know better feeding me their bullshit. That’s their shit not mine.
Van der Kolk’s book is great, his focus on the importance of “learning to feel safe in our first home – our body” is a good basis of learning our way out.
if we cant feel safe in our body we cant feel safe, anywhere. period/full stop.
Drugs [can] help us feel safe so long as they’re in our body but they don’t help us learn how to feel safe, don’t help us find all the other things we can do so we can feel safe. Being told “take all these drugs” actually encourages us to stop looking, learning, growing. The drugs don’t do that – people who push drugs as a fix do that.
Drugs work by suppressing- pushing down – the feelings so we don’t notice or we fell less overwhelmed, that can be a good thing , at least for a while.
Worse, what drugs can do is suppress our ability to respond – we notice and know exactly what’s going on but feel trapped in our body – they also “numb” our ability to act. I have painful, first-hand [my left hand actually] handy-dandy remainder of just how that works.
Everyone’s response to being drugged is different, wild, uniquely personal combination of things we might like and thing that make like harder.
So, with all that when we stop putting the drugs in our body and start allowing ourselves to feel again , guess what? we feel again, and unless the stuff that those feelings are about has miraculously disappeared then the difficult feelings come back too. Even if our environment is completely different then our body will keep telling us “hey this is like…” Doesn’t mean it IS like, does mean FEELS like and we need check it out and decide…
Eventually does it gets easier, the alarm goes off less often or we’re able to nip it in the bud earlier when it does, so we’re gradually less bothered, or discombobulated and we can be actually quite impressed with our ability to navigate tricky life situations and notice whats going on and maybe even “hey this is cool”.
– Kolk’s idea of amygdala as “smoke alarm”- is useful it doesn’t know anything. It just goes off, wakes us up, says “hey, check this out”. It might be annoying but one day might keep you alive.
That’s it’s job, all it does, all it can do – so we can check it out, and decide- that’s our job. takes practice to get good at it and do it with greater ease..
If that idea from Kolk appeals I’d suggest trying Peter Levine – his work is the basis of that thinking, and shows some ways we can unstuck ourselves and move – and if we cant find “professionals” who can help us he also shares some steps we can take by ourselves.
I shared this, with them..
I’ve learned this can be a useful way to interpret scary, overwhelming situations . Eventually it will starts to make sense, until then I’ve learned it’s useful to
interpret whatever happens, or whatever a person does [including me and what I do] as an expression of:
I NEED TO FEEL SAFE.
and the more I can let them choose what they need the safer we can both feel….
You must be logged in to post a comment.