#WriteWithMe Reflection: Week 8

One of the things that the prompts this week asked me to do was to really look at what is happening right in front of me, and to allow myself to feel what is coming up. This is something I have made a practice of doing, but for some reason or other has not gotten less uncomfortable…? Uncomfortable isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in my experience it is a reflex, it is there for a reason. Discomfort is our bodies way of asking us to tune in, slow down, pay attention, and get curious. Often instead of getting curious though, we go straight from discomfort to fight, flight, freeze, and/or fawn.

I cant speak to why other people do that. I do that because my body still carries the residual impact of the multiple traumas I have experienced. I find there are times, especially when I am very tired or hungry, or there’s been a lot of emotional energy expensed throughout the day, things that don’t normally illicit any kind of noticeable reaction, will cause a very strong chain reaction. My body senses discomfort of some kind, and instead of going “interesting, I wonder what that’s about” my amygdala kidnaps the rest of my brain instinctively and automatically, and suddenly I am concerned with one thing, and one thing only: survival. Sometimes this happens even when I am well cared for and rested as well, but more often when my capacity to stay grounded and centered has been depleted. This doesn’t happen as often anymore as it used to, I have trained myself to walk into discomfort and to navigate through it. But make no mistake, this still happens to me. I disconnect, become dysregulated, and literally cannot access the reasoning part of my brain that would say “hold on, let’s investigate before we freak out.” Sometimes my disconnection within myself doesn’t show up outside my body, so most people wouldn’t even know it was happening to me. Us trauma survivors can be very good at masking…

I found myself wandering down another trail from here, and as I emerged from it and grounded myself to this present moment, I marveled. I marveled because there was a time not all that long ago when I wouldn’t have been able to do that. I wouldn’t have been able to regulate, reconnect, or center myself. Evidence of growth shows up, sometimes it even shows up when we are looking for it.