Or are you kinda here – kinda there – kind of all over the place?
Kind of wondering what the hell I’m getting at?
Well, sink your butt into your seat for a sec, and I’ll explain. You might choose to stick around for a tick longer than your average YouTube video.
Oh, and don’t worry, this isn’t some alien-created web content that sucks you into signing up for the latest, greatest “Master Class” – content that you end up kicking yourself later for having wasted your time reading it.
Now that we’re past the preliminaries: You might find out that your mind is somewhere other than your butt, which could be causing much of your trouble. What I mean is…your butt is there, but are you there? Is your mind in the same place that your body is, right now, at this very moment? Or, are you in a state of, as they say, “lights on; no one’s home”?
It’s ok. It happens to all of us. Even if you may not realize it when it’s actually happening, but are aware that it does happen, this is a step in the right direction.
Chances are, you got some stuff from your Back Then blocking you from your Right Now and depending on how traumatic that stuff is, it can really screw things up. In its tame form, this mind-wandering causes you to put your mobile phone in the refrigerator or throw your keys in the trash. In its aggressive form, it makes focusing, even in life-or-death situations, extremely difficult and causes problems with regulating thoughts and emotions.
The occasional mental habit of physically being in one place and mentally in another isn’t ‘bad’, part of that is our ability to problem-solve, imagine, and create, but when it causes severe mental and emotional disturbances that affect your daily life, it may be linked to trauma.
It’s not new news that this tendency to roam on auto-pilot is common in people who have had severe trauma. These painful experiences vary in the amount of power that they over us and can be a source of frustration, desperation, even suicidal ideation, as it has been in my case.
For some reason, the childhood memory of your dad teaching you how to ride your bike for the first time isn’t as potent as the trauma reel of an experience that has similarities, but greater intensities of emotional charges:
[Your riding your bike for the first time after hacking the training wheels off yourself, and your dad isn’t there because, well, your dad left you, your brother, and your Mom a long time ago…]
This reel is also playing back the scene of your big brother flying passed you on his cool banana seat ride, so fast that you are convinced he is leaving too…leaving you…leaving you forever!
The emotional charge takes it from sitcom – to horror flick.
No, I’m not a neuro-psychiatrist, but that doesn’t matter. I know that the horror flick version created some wiring in my mind that caused that reel to flash all the way through every time I got on a bike, even when I was thirty-five. In that nano-second that it takes to balance your weight on a bike, I got to watch that whole clip over and over again. Watching it made me feel it; almost always to the point of tears. Feeling it made me avoid riding a bike. In that moment, my body was at thirty-five, but my mind was back at six and feeling every bit of it.
How the hell?
I’m using a very mild example. If you are a survivor or a veteran, I have some other horror clips that you’ll identify with, but they’re definitely not front page material. Not for a website anyway.
The mind is an incredible thing. It assimilates information and record experiences constantly. These records turn to imprints on our subconscious minds. These imprints have a way of keeping our pasts with us and bringing the past into the present. If the past happens to be really scary, this presents a problem. For many, maybe for you, like me, it gets in the way of being able to live a happy life.
I hope I didn’t lose you right there. Not everybody digs the subconscious mind stuff, I know. I once heard my mom, who is a nurse, say “Freud was a whacko; a pervert.” Personally, I think he made some valuable contributions when he spoke of the mind having three different parts with three distinct functions. I have studied numerous philosophies, world religions, and methods of psychology that are rooted in similar schools of thought, the former existing long before Freud’s theory. Nonetheless, Freud’s arguments are still pretty popular; sorry Mom.
I know that this is not made up stuff because I’ve experienced it. I know what it’s like to have trauma hijack my mind and not know that it’s happening until it subsides and I come out of a rage or a depression. I know what it’s like to watch it happening, while it’s happening, and not be able to do anything to stop it. I know what it’s like to feel so hopeless about having this that I want to die.
I also know that it’s possible to re-train that wiring and although I didn’t intend for it to happen, the horror movies flash, but with little to no emotional charge, or they have stopped altogether.
Certain religious folks have told me that this is a miracle, and I’m down with that, but I’ve had psychiatrists and counselors say the same thing. You know what I think? I think it can happen to anyone. I believe anyone can do it. I believe you can do it.
All better? Maybe, but not cured. Neural damage isn’t easy to improve. Given the right elements that make up a perfect storm, all bets are off, and that shit comes unhinged. It’s ugly, and it’s really tough to put all of that back into a peaceful place. But, that’s why I’m writing for you. So you can have an insider’s perspective to some measures that are taken when the weather gets bad, to keep Miss Hyde (or Mr. Hyde, or just “Hyde”) in the shadows so you can stay in the here in now.
If you want it to slow down, maybe even stop, I invite you to subscribe, follow, etc., etc., etc., and keep an open mind about trying some of the suggestions here. If you think you would benefit from the compassionate ear and hard-earned wisdom of someone who’s been-there; done-that, I’m here if you need me.
Wishing you a hijack-free future,
Xo – Mia