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It is the wounded oyster that heals itself with the pearl. (No replies here please, this is just an accountability thread)


I want to use this as a personal accountability thread.

I'm asking for no replies here because I think I need to just get stuff out of my head without input from others. However, writing a private journal doesn't seem to work because it taps into the isolation aspect of my childhood too much.

I'm hoping this will be halfway between isolation and interaction.
I'm currently working through:

Healing the Shame That Binds You by John Bradshaw (audiobook)

and Dark Nights of the Soul by Thomas Moore (not an audiobook, but I'm using the read-aloud function on the Kindle)

So much that resonates in both of these. Particularly the first one is so jarringly relevant that it triggers me quite often while listening to it.

I particularly like the "handing back the hot potato" of shame... the shame that belongs to the abuser and that they tried to dump on you and that you've been carrying around BUT IT DOESN'T BELONG TO YOU... just give it back. Done. Simple. What a relief.

I realise I'm going to have to do it over and over until it's all handed back. But I'm relieved at how simple and effective it is.
I'm currently looking for a certain puzzle piece. I don't know what it is. I feel like I almost know what it is, but it's just beyond my reach. It's something similar to avoiding slipping into the fight repsonse. There's something similar I'm doing but I don't know what it is. Some kind of trauma response that's so ingrained it's become second nature and I don't even notice I'm doing it anymore. It's annoying. It's like having a word on the tip of my tongue, but I don't know what it is.
I think one difference is: with the pain and trauma I experienced in childhood, I always felt there was something I could "do" ... fight/ flee/ freeze/ fawn. I was able to respond to it somehow, even if those responses were maladaptive at times.

When pain and trauma got added to that in adulthood, which also re-triggered early-childhood trauma I'd pushed out of my awareness, it ended in depression because I felt like there was nothing I could "do" about it. There was no way of making it go away, of avoiding it, of changing it... All my coping strategies failed... I feel like I'm just numb and paralysed, the pain washes over me and I do... nothing... All my survival responses have stopped working...

I don't know how to process that kind of/ that level of pain... Dissociation seems to be the only coping strategy I have left.

As we work through this in therapy, I keep seeing: what matters in my case is not the intensity of the trauma, what matters is how close it happened to the core of my being... My childhood trauma was awful but to some degree, I managed to protect my core, my soul... The damage that was done, was done at the periphery of my being... With the adult trauma, it happened at the core of my being... in the very essence of me... So it tore my identity, my sense of being alive to shreds... That's the problem. That's what I have to repair.
how close it happened to the core of my being
Imagery that comes to mind: being shot in the extremities (painful but survivable) vs. a bullet to the heart/ lungs/ torso...

The causing agent (bullet) is the same, but depending on the location it hits, the damage done can be magnitudes larger...
Listening to an audiobook on anger management, one of the things they suggest is to stop focussing on yourself. Stop hoping/ asking/ praying for stuff for yourself. Stop it completely. Just hope/ ask/ pray for stuff for others, who you love and care about.

I think I need to try this. Trauma has made me (understandably) focus on "what happened to ME". It's understandable, but I'm starting to think it's no longer helpful for me at this stage of my journey.

My sense of wellbeing/ happiness/ satisfaction is linked to tightly to whatever is happening to me on any given day... Any small/medium/big successes and I'm happy and any small/medium/big setbacks or disappointments and I'm unhappy. It's like an emotional rollercoaster and it's not doing me any good.

So I think I need to step away from that and instead develop a mindset of "I will cope and deal with whatever happens to me" and instead shift my focus to those I care about.

So here's some hope-wish-asks-prayers for those I care about:

- I hope-wish-ask-pray that my dog, as he goes through old age, is spared pain and drawn-out illness.
- I hope-wish-ask-pray that that there is sufficient money available from whatever sources to provide all the vet treatment he may need.
- I hope-wish-ask-pray that my other animals will be well, healthy and peaceful and that their inevitable trials of life are soothed and mitigated.
- I hope-wish-ask-pray that the planet and nature and all plants and animals are nurtured, spared pain and are able to heal.
- I hope-wish-ask-pray that humanity can tap into healing, wisdom, benevolence.
- I hope-wish-ask-pray that the people in my life can draw upon healing and strength to be their best selves.
I wonder whether I've had good/ bad things happening to me tangled up with my "ego" ?

Was I taught as a kid that if I'm a good girl then good things will happen to me and if I'm a bad girl then bad things will happen to me?

So that good things happening feel like a reward and bad things happening feel like a punishment?

Good things happening = confirmation I am a good person, bad things happening = confirmation I am a bad person?

Was that the setup I was taught to buy into as a kid?

That there is this cause-effect relationship there?

The book "When bad things happen to good people" talks about it as the "Job" effect in terms of religion... Where Job (and others) believe that if they are good Christians, then God will reward them... And that they are deeply hurt and confused when they do their best and do all the right things and God (fate, the universe, whatever) responds with things like trauma, loss, war, illness, etc. That feeling like that tacit, unwritten contract has been violated... The feeling that you can't affect the outcome of your fate by being good/ doing good.

Stepping back from that... realising that both good and bad things will happen to me and will always continue to happen to me for as long as I live, regardless of what I do/ who I am...

Facing the powerlessness that I am fundamentally unable to stop bad things from happening to myself and to those I love and care about.

I can prevent some small bad things and mitigate some bigger bad things, but I fundamentally unable to prevent bad things from happening, no matter what I do and how hard I try.

The vulnerability of that. The rawness of it. Having to have faith. Having to trust. Having to relinquish control. Having to let go.