Okay, so I just made up that word. I know there’s a real word (unforgivable) that would almost fit, but it just didn’t describe exactly what I’m trying to convey.
Just like my daughter’s 2 year old daughter, currently screaming her head off in my presence because she doesn’t want to let go of her tantrum, I find myself acting in a similar fashion- just a little better disguised. (That’s actually her in the photo during her fit of ‘right-ness’)
I say (and mean it in the moment) that I forgive, but then I want to hold on to pieces of debris from the fallout. I might not hang on to the entire event, but dang if I don’t find myself grasping for something related to the event. I guess it gives me a sense of control when everything feels chaotic.
It’s about that foreboding premonition – the obnoxious voice of insecurity that starts my process of wanting to hold on to what I need to let pass. It will dive right into the consciousness without so much as a blip of a warning, suddenly you find the lump in your throat making it almost impossible to swallow, your lunch is about to make its way back up, and you’re losing any resemblance of cooth held within just thirty seconds prior.
It’s memory. Powerful tools those little boogers are.
They will grab what was sleeping peacefully in your unconsciousness and it’s awakened the monster, pushing like a bully to the forefront of the brain- the ‘rational’ part of the mind, and suddenly rational is not an option anymore, (at least momentarily).
That limbic system of the brain has made a phone call to that amygdala, and your heart’s racing, your body’s shaking and they’ve completely overrode the rational brain. Your mind has essentially been hijacked.
It can be a quick, unexpected jolt down memory lane, or a potential threat that you know is not real, but that little drama queen in your mind (she likes to cook up stories), has taken over your body before you had a chance to talk her down from the ledge. Cortisol and adrenaline has made rational thinking go out the window – at least for a good 20 minutes.
Sometimes it’s intense, sometimes just a push of a reminder. How many times I wished I could fast forward these moments – just skip them altogether. Who doesn’t?
Some moments have been so tough I would have given my left arm to not walk through them. Okay – maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but I’d shave my head, or give up a finger for a few of these uncomfortable moments instead of having to feel them.
They did eventually pass (with hair and fingers still intact), but eventually I realized that I am responsible for what I do and how I act during this process.
I am really good at off-loading my hurt – especially to my husband. I like to tell myself it’s justified, but how can another person be responsible for every random thought, or trigger that evokes an unwanted reminder?
That’s justifying that ‘unletgoable’, I feared if I let it go, it meant that the unacceptable behavior was acceptable – that’s really what it boils down to, I forgave – but I didn’t want it to be okay to do again.
Sometimes other people do things that can cause trauma to us, even if they never own up to them – we are still responsible for what we do with that energy.
It’s been an extremely tough few weeks in my marriage, and even tougher for me to realize that I am responsible for what I do with this now – I can’t allow my head try to trick me anymore.
I have to remind myself that what has happened in my marriage is not a representation of me, nor is any of the other trauma – inducing events of my childhood. I am not defined by the cons that have been played on me. They have given me fuel, fire, and most importantly – clarity.
Hanging on – refusing to let go of the story and fear of abandonment- is not going to make my husband stay a moment longer. Refusal to let go of this baggage will most likely cause the very thing I fear, pushing him away. How can someone get close to you if you’ve stockpiled enough garbage between you to fill a landfill?
I’m not going to cling to that flying debris or that garbage anymore. I’m getting out of my own head.
I’ve started trying to do something physical when my brain sends those false signals to my body – like grab my own hand and clinch it with the other if that is all I have available. The point is getting something to ground me to the present moment, instead of allowing that same old rerun to play in my head.
I’m not helpless to change my thoughts – no one is. I’m determined. I will stop seeing things worse than what they actually are. I will love others and myself – in spite of my fears.