I have been reading Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease by Robin Karr-Morse and with Meredith S. Wiley. It is causing all sorts of emotions to rumble around in my mind and body making daily self regulation a challenge. I am grateful that I have routines for every minute of my day that help me self regulate. I really have to push myself to use them because otherwise I would get overwhelmed by the enormity of the feelings I am having.
First, I feel grief and murderous rage for really being scared sick my whole life. Actually, I still get scared sick when darkness comes each day, when I go to bed each night and when I need to take a shower because of flashbacks and memories even though I have never felt luckier to have such a safe and loving home in my life. I feel such intense bliss for knowing what it feels like to be fully safe and emotionally validated by my husband. I feel strong feelings at both ends of the spectrum.
Next, at 55, I still don’t feel safe in this world. I feel the pain and darkness that is in the world at a very deep level that is why I have difficulty leaving my home, although I do at times. Being in my home is the only place I feel safe and can begin to feel the bliss of not being scared sick anymore. I do not read newspapers or watch the news because of the negativity and pain often highlighted there.
In addition, as the authors said in their book, the physical illnesses of being scared sick may be irrevocable. Presently, I live with serious chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and several other neurological challenges. I have been trying to eradicate them for almost 20 years and have been unsuccessful. This book gave me a sense of peace and contentment. It is time for me to stop feeling like a failure because I have a complete physical and mental shutdown every day around 1 pm because of my chronic fatigue. For me, it is time to say these are permanent conditions. No more looking for a cure. No more looking for the next guru on trauma to cure me. When I went to the weekend at Kripalu, the expert on trauma admitted that childhood abuse is harder to cure. He had an 80% cure for adult trauma using EMDR but only a 30% cure with people with childhood trauma. It is time for me to let go of the anger I have towards myself for not feeling like I am strong enough to get over the past mentally, physically, and emotionally. It is much more complicated when you have been scared sick for most of your life.
So I tell myself that it is time for me to be proud of the life I have built for myself over the last 10 years. It is time for me to accept that I will never be able to hold a full time job. It is time to celebrate the new dreams and hopes I have established in my life for my contributing to the universal good. It is time for me to claim that I can be on disability and still be a productive member of society. It is time for me to celebrate the work I did in improving urban education for 25 years. It is time to celebrate that I have goals and dreams of being able to continue to work to improve urban education again by looking at how to create school cultures and climates that take into account that many of the children in these settings are being scared sick as well. Almost 40% of urban students have PTSD.
Finally, it is time for me to celebrate that every day I am birthing myself anew and that I am really learning to accept my life on life’s terms. It is time to celebrate that I am ready to embrace life as it really is. It is time to celebrate that each day I wake up ready for whatever the day brings. In the times that I am challenged by my PTSD throughout my day, I can choose to be the change I want to see in the world – to support people in finding their fullest potential and being emotionally validating to others. I hope I do this in my weekly blogs. I try to do this daily by looking at and commenting on other people’s blogs, often at the wee hours of the night/morning when my anxiety prevents me from sleeping.
It is time to celebrate I am living fully human, fully alive and embracing the bliss and pain of my life. It is time for me to finally see the gifts my PTSD has brought me in my life. It has brought me to a deeper relationship with life. It teaches me how lucky I am to have experienced what it feels like to be safe in a relationship for the first time in my life. It is time for me to release the tears of sadness and grief that well up deep inside for being scared sick my whole life. It is time for me to let the dense energy of trauma stored within my body to be released through the gift of tears. However, my anxiety and my being scared sick prevent me from enjoying the gift of tears. I feel them well up inside of me. They are tears of both bliss and terror but I am not able to physically release them yet.