The Past Stays in the Present

I have been up most of the night. I thought this would happen when I went to bed because I was so stricken by the fear and terror of the night’s darkness today. I could feel the fear and terror come over me as darkness approached. I felt so sad that no matter how much I changed my beliefs, attitudes and fear stories I tell myself, I cannot undo my past completely. Bessel van der Kolk says that the problem with PTSD is that the past stays in the present. This is true for me.

So many times I hear that you should not stay a victim.

But in reality I am still victimized by my trauma as a result of how my nervous system and brain developed and was wired together. I hold the sadness of this every day but I am so glad I am living authentically and owning that sometimes I cannot put the past behind me. All I can do is hold it with great compassion and gentleness. Today I celebrate that I can do this more easily now.


3 thoughts on “The Past Stays in the Present

  1. grace to survive

    The ‘Like’ button seems so lame at times. It should have a button saying I read this and relate. I was up too, and seem to be failing to handle such things with the magnanimity I once did or would like to. I guess I can only keep trying. I am sorry your challenges seem similar in some ways.

  2. janetcate Post author

    I am sorry you have similar challenges. Sometimes it is about just putting one foot in front of the other and to keep trying. I think I approach each day this way.


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