Comforting the Baby

(Written in February 2007)
Told Karen all about the confusions of last week and the terror of Saturday, and what Eleanor said about Brad’s leaving.  But really that’s all evaluation and analysis.  What’s in the moment is the terrified baby, freaked out, resisting, “THIS IS NOT OK!”  What does she need?  Someone to come and soothe her: “There there, no wonder you’re upset.  It was not OK that they left you all alone.” Calm, warm, accepting, reassuring.  “I’ll take you somewhere where you will be safe.”   But if I can’t manage that, I can at least remember to be present and to intend kindness.  If that’s the best I can do, then that’s the best I can do.

I’ve been able to say to the baby: “There, there, dear.  Of course you’re terrified.  It was not OK that they went away and left you.  I’m here now, and I’m not going to leave.” I had a momentary image of the baby turning toward me.  And there’s warmth in my heart that just comes and goes.  This is good!  It looks like just saying the words helps, even if I don’t feel/believe them.
I also notice that I did better yesterday after I had hurt myself and I was so disabled physically that there was no point in having any expectations of myself.  It’s much more comfortable.  But I don’t know if having no expectations of myself will let me get long term or big projects done.

Nancy Napier: “Each time you choose to deal with your feelings in healthy ways, to remove yourself from abusive situations, or to take some time to get in touch with the memories, feelings, thoughts, or body sensations associated with some past hurt, your inner strength increases.  You add to this foundation of strength every time you make the choice to reclaim your feelings, each time you acknowledge and own what happened to you and how it has affected your life.
“It’s also important to know that you can choose to have moments away from the healing process.  Healing goes on even if you’re having a good time doing something else, or a quiet time with a good book, or a blank time staring at the television set.  That deep place in your psyche, the part of you that always seeks to heal, carries on the process no matter what you’re doing.  It’s your decision to heal that matters.  Once that is made, the process carries itself along.”

Nancy Napier: Getting Through the Day

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