I started reading Invisible Heroes, the book on trauma survivors by Belleruth Naparstek, because it often helps me. But this morning I read a description of trauma that so accurately described how I feel when the baby is triggered, that my nerves began to vibrate in sympathy. “At the time of the actual event, it’s defining nature is an instantaneous and automatic takeover of intense feelings of helplessness, terror, and loss of control, and the perception of impending annihilation by overwhelming force.” p30
Right now, that’s exactly how I feel. I start breathing deeply and tell myself that it’s about what happened in the past, it isn’t true now. I put my arms around myself and say “there there. You are still lovable even though you are scared. This is not your fault, it got triggered. There there. You are really OK just as you are.” This helped calm me down quite a bit.
Then I went back and read about my recent insights, which can be found in posts from December 18 to 26. I wrote them down so I could remind myself. 1) Staying with depression really helped me get that what I’m up against is really BIG, and some better sense of my own strength and persistence. 2) A glimmer of the idea that the person Erica sees might be closer to the “real me” than the one I experience. 3) The image of the “light” and “good” pieces making a container for the “dark” pieces. I am big enough to hold the wounded one. 4) My depression is not my fault. It’s something that happened to me.
Reminding myself of these learnings helped a lot. I need to do it every day.