I am just so happy that I had to write again.
The absolute nuttiest thing just happened. Okay, it happened over 3 hours ago, but it happened and it was nutty.
My ex texted me a fucking bomb. I knew it would come eventually, that it was inevitable, but man, this feels like too much too soon. He and his girlfriend and a couple of other ‘friends’ are moving in together.
My initial reaction was one of pure trauma. My brain went all reptile on me; I could feel the adrenaline start to travel its way through my system. But instead of jumping on that train to crazy town, I stayed calm. I immediately put all of my EMDR strategies into practice. I focused on my happy place (a solitary enormous tree in a meadow where I go to feel safe and calm and regain control and strength). I did my ‘butterfly taps’ – crossing my hands across my sternum and tapping my chest with my hands in an alternating rhythm.
And it was working until I started getting into it with the ex via text. TEXT! I cannot believe he had the audacity to text me something that big. Something he knew would likely send me over the edge. He is such a damn coward. And I’m sorry, but I have every right to be angry. He is making a decision that involves my children without any input from me, THEIR MOTHER. He expects my kids to live with his girlfriend and two COMPLETE strangers? Is he out of his damn mind? Is this Real World Denver? What in the utter hell?
So I breathed deeply and created a mantra on the spot:
I BELIEVE IN YOU.
I kept silently repeating this in my head while I did some EMDR on myself. I did the eye tracking with my own damn fingers – something any therapist will explicitly tell you not to do. I was desperate. And it paid off. I instantly felt calm and totally grounded in my body. I did not dissociate from myself or black out. I did not rage; I did not crumble to the ground and bawl my brains out. I kept up the bi-lateral eye movement and did a few brief sessions of it for about 20 minutes.
I should mention that when I have done this type of trauma work in the past, it brings up visions that are incredibly poignant and powerful. This time was no exception. As I was repeating my mantra and tracking my own hand movements, I saw my little 9-year-old self cowering under a table. I told her she was safe and that she had nothing to fear. There was no danger. I took her hand and I tried to give her a hug – she resisted.
It was all that I could do in that moment. I acknowledged that she was there and that she was scared. And I backed off when she showed me a reluctance to engage. I knew that I was about to touch on something I don’t have the training to handle. I am not a professional. I know that eventually, and with a lot of work, that little girl will be fully healed and integrated into my mind and into my past where she belongs. She won’t be able to call the shots anymore because my father’s death, and her trauma related to that, will be a distant memory that I can access instead of a trigger that hijacks my entire being.
This day marks the very first time I was faced with a huge and enormous perceived threat and I beat it. I did not lose control – I was in control. I have never been so proud in my life. I have never felt happier. I am officially a BADASS.
And someday soon, I will share the story of my dad with you guys. It’s almost time.