Monday, August 16, 2010
Trying Too Hard with a Little Side of the Reality of Injury
This is another check-in post to let you know a bit about where I am in this process of learning about and working with Complex PTSD. I think I may get back to regular blogging next week, and I appreciate all your patience and your helpful words of wisdom.
Recently, I've had a bit of an epiphany about how I go about Pushing Through Life.
When you are a small person living in precarious circumstances, you learn a few things about Trying.
You learn to try really hard to keep the peace.
You learn to try really hard to help other people feel good.
You learn to try really hard to be the person other people need you to be, according to whatever is happening in that moment.
You learn to try really hard to never reveal your fear.
You learn to try really hard to justify your very existence.
Living in an environment as I did (and as many of you did, I'm sure), you learn, one way or another, that you are not valued simply for being you.
You definitely get the message that you may very well be a waste of space, a waste of breath. So you learn that if you try hard enough, maybe, just maybe some day...some day, someone will say, "Okay, you earned it. You're allowed to be here. You can relax."
Of course, this never happens, and so we grow into adults who think we have to prove ourselves.
We grow into adults who assume, for instance, that people don't simply like us but that we must earn their tolerance, and one wrong move...
It's a little like being perpetually on audition, but, of course, it's much worse than that.
This habit of trying too hard is very tiring, indeed.
I am always, pretty much, exhausted. And I am always, always, always whining about this and wondering why. Wondering what food I could eat or what exercise I could do or what magic pill I could take to feel energized.
But it's not about what I put into my body; it's about the injuries that I have in my Being. I don't mean that I am intentionally holding onto those injuries (and please don't insult me by leaving a comment along the lines of "let it go...").
When your physical body is injured, there remains forever a shadow of that injury, whether it be a scar or that place on a bone where it has re-knit after a break which can be seen on thousand year mummies. You know...evidence.
But we, as a culture, don't allow for the fact that the same happens to our emotional bodies. We are not weak for having scars on our psyches that will forever be shadowy reminders, occasionally aching like a phantom piece of ourselves.
We would never say to someone, for example, who has lost a limb, "Why don't you just grow that back? I mean, if you would just get over it, I bet that would grow back all on its own..."
Okay, I am getting off track.
Trying too hard...
I do it every day and it's worn me out. So now I have to figure out how to stop. How to get to that place in Taoism of "no effort."
Have any of you succeeded with this? Are any of you struggling with the same?