Sunday, December 13, 2009
Who's running this show, anyway?
Traumatic events lock a part of us away. That part forms a snapshot of our adaptation to the pressures we were facing at the time. They accumulate. We collect and organize them, mostly without thinking. Then boom! you're all grown up and that family album of snapshots has become a force so close to you it's nearly invisible. It's the you that figured out how to survive at five, or seven, or ten, when the world came up to your sense of innocence and took a big bite out of it.
Trauma's always aimed at the heart. We react instinctively to defend her. What's being defended, though: the heart or the family album? The adult or the ten-year-old?
Be a scientist. Examine where your feelings are coming from. Spell it out for yourself and see if it's as convincing on paper as it is in your head. You aren't a car doomed to be driven by the terrified one inside all that armor. You can choose to take the wheel yourself. You've got that right.