Re-Birth, Re-Imagined

If you have been following my blog, you know I’ve been dealing with some childhood trauma that’s adversely affecting my present day life.

Thanks to some friends, an amazing life coach, and effective therapy, I believe I’m over the worst of it.

Yesterday’s sessions were eye-opening. I’m not the same person I was all those years ago. I have a different tool set than I had then. I can deal with the base fears that grew out of the trauma in a different way.

This realization changes the way I approach my life.

It’s like I’ve been given a second chance to get things right.

I don’t know how this is going to play out, but I know that I can overcome the fears that hold me back because I see now that I’m different than I used to be. I still have to walk through my fears one at a time, face them and tame them.

However, knowing that things are different means that I know I can do that. Before this week, I hadn’t realized I could even though I had the tools already.

How Is This a Re-birth?

A re-birth is a renewal. I’m renewed in that I no longer have to fear the things I used to fear: confrontation of any kind. There are specific names for the specific type of confrontation I’m talking about, but this is PG, and I don’t need to go into it.

Besides, some things should be left unsaid.

PTSD is a strange mental twist attached to certain issues. Sometimes it springs up and nobody can say why. The individual has to ferret out the causes and address them in order to heal.

I know my causes. I know what I did to cope for so many years. The coping mechanisms in turn, caused their own kind of damage that I now have to fix. Every time I tried to fix it, I reactivated the fears around the original trauma, even though that had been “fixed.”

I don’t know if this makes sense to you, but it does to me. I don’t want to get into too many specifics. This is a general share.

So, now that this new insight has been handed to me, I think I can stare down the fears from the original trauma, and “fix” the damage inflicted by the coping mechanisms.

Trauma is layers upon layers:

  • Original trauma
  • Secondary trauma
    • These combine to produce PTSD
  • Coping mechanism 1
  • Coping mechanism 2
  • (often) Coping mechanism 3
    • These work at first, but eventualy cause their own kind of damage

The healing process resembles this:

  • Damage from coping mechanism 1 is addressed
    • Efforts succeed in part
  • Damage from coping mechanism 2 is addressed
    • Efforts fail
    • Damage from primary trauma is uncovered
      • Primary trauma is addressed
        • Secondary trauma is unearthed,
          • Healing efforts deferred
    • Individual is released to  pursue life, a damaged but functioning human being

Healing is again addressed:

  • Coping mechanism 3 is addressed
    • Efforts succeed
  • Coping mechanism 2 is addressed
    • efforts fail
  • Secondary trauma is again unearthed
    • Healing is successful
  • Coping mechanism 2 is addressed a third time
    • Effort succeeds.

The last healing effort may be delayed indefinitely. It depends on the happiness of the individual and how dedicated they are to getting well.

I’m in the last segment, the second major healing phase. I’m at that place where my “coping mechanism 2” is addressed for the third time.

This journey is not for the faint at heart. I’ve said before that the teachers cannot be penalized for delivering the lessons I signed up for. I still believe that. In fact, I think that has contributed more to my ability to heal than anything else. Ultimate responsibility for my own actions and my responses to all the actions of others that affect me.

So, I re-imagine re-birth as a kind of coming out of the womb of mental illness, fear, pain and escapism.

And so, how was your week?

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