For the first time in a long long time I’m up writing. I love getting up early- when did it turn into such a chore? It makes me puzzle over why, when I do nice things for myself that I love, that I talk myself out of them. Who’s in charge up there anyway?

I had a one-on-one session with my therapist last week and she recommended a book to me. It’s called Changing Course: Healing from Loss, Abandonment, and Fear by Claudia Black. Reading it is helping me understand who really is in charge up there, and why I choose the things I do.

I’ve felt so many things the past few weeks: sad, hurt, angry, healed, calm, confident, reassured. Life seems an awful lot like a roller coaster until I remember that oh, yeah, right. That’s kind of what life is when you aren’t numb most of the time. It reminds me of the theme song from The Dukes of Hazzard- the part about straightnin’ the curves and flatnin’ the hills. I want my curves curvy, my hills hilly- but I’m not used to it and it feels like I need a harness, a net, and maybe a break now and again.

Reading Changing Course is helping me understand how I react to things and feel the way I do. My childhood wasn’t spent locked in a closet, but it wasn’t really all that great either. I made and continue to make choices that protect me from pain and these choices keep me stuck. I do and say so many things a day, but where does that come from? Who am I really? Why do I react the way I do? I sometimes feel quite stuck at about twelve- a girl on the brink of womanhood hurting and confused and hiding as best I can.

My personality got kind of buried under all that self protection. It’s been pretty cool and kind of odd to really think about my reactions instead of just blerbing through it like I normally do. In my therapy session we did something called somatic experiencing. It’s an interesting way to create a safe place for myself and it makes total sense. My therapist told me a story about how, after a gazelle has a narrow miss with a lion, it goes and rests. It recovers, then goes back to the herd. But it doesn’t go back all dramatic “Oh! Lord! Other gazelles! I just almost got killed!” After it calms down it rejoins the herd and life goes on. I tend to draw things out and make them last longer than they need to- giving loads of energy to the past and to mistakes instead of healing and living now.

Like this: In traffic if I make a mistake or someone else makes a mistake my whole drive can turn into a blame game. Blah blah turn signal, blah blah wrong lane, blah blah too slow, blah blah blahhhhhhhhh. I can spend half a day feeling embarrassed or high and mighty about something insignificant. I’ve been concentrating on letting that traffic stuff go. All that thought into a few second incident. Let it go.

That’s the way I tend to deal with my mistakes: big or small, I really let ’em have it.  And it makes me feel better since I either get to feel superior or beat myself up. Which is kind of how I spend a lot of my time, which may explain why I feel kind of mad-ish and negative a lot. Which sucks. There isn’t any middle ground- it’s either waaaaayyyy up or waaaaayyyy down. That’s the way I was raised.

After drinking for all those years to numb myself to all this personhood stuff little things like making conscious choices about my reactions seem so big! To be able to make a tiny traffic blunder and whoops it off. Something that small is changing my life. It’s making me feel like the forty three year old woman I am, and not that scared little girl. I’m creating a safe place for myself within myself. It’s a new normal for me to have some confidence in my place in the world.