Archive for the learning to soothe yourself Category

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT!

Posted in learning to soothe yourself with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2013 by Karen unrue

I was a child/teenager

with a vivid imagination!

It’s impact

On “bed time” varied.

Some nights,

weary from the day’s activities,

I’d drop off

to sleep

when my head hit the pillow.

child-sleeping

 

 

 

 

Other nights

I would wrestle with

VERY REAL,

but imaginary,

THINGS

that arrived,

uninvited,

when the light was off.

These were usually

ANTS OR SPIDERS.

Sometimes other monsters.

nightmare

 

 

 

 

 

The only way to survive

their onslaught,

was to lie still

flat on my back

with my sheet and blankets

pulled over my head

and tucked up tight

under,

and around,

my body.

Eventually, exhausted

by their attempts

to penetrate my defences,

the ants or spiders

died in droves

and disappeared.

 

I must have looked

ridiculous.

egyptian-mummy

 

 

 

I was an ancient mummy,

or a murdered body,

ready to be placed

in the back of a car

for disposal.

 

I DIDN’T CARE.

It worked.

It was my

COPING MECHANISM.

 

In later life,

dealing with real

fears and anxieties,

in very real situations,

this cocoon method of coping,

YOU WILL NOT BE SURPRISED TO LEARN,

was of very little use.

It no longer SOOTHED me.

 

WHAT NOW?

question

 

 

 

 

 

What this example from my childhood/early teens shows is that the coping mechanisms we develop when we are young become “not fit for purpose” when we are adults.

It is the same with coping mechanisms we develop in the abnormal atmosphere of an abusive relationship. They do “not serve us” well once we are learning to live again in the fresh air of freedom.

We need to develop new ones that DO serve us well.

This takes time, testing out what works best, and, I would advise the input and assistance of someone who understands. This can be a good friend who has been on her own journey of recovery, or a professional experienced in the subject.

abuse2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For me a breakthrough was having it explained to me that my abuser had not been speaking the truth when he demeaned me, criticised me, verbally attacked me.

He had been voicing his opinion of me.

And his OPINION WAS DISTORTED.

(Remember the tilted room!)

His opinions were voiced out of his own damaged past,

or he was simply a bully who enjoyed

causing pain.

He was not speaking the truth about me.

 

I WAS NOT WHO OR WHAT HE SAID I WAS!

 

I could begin to emerge from under the covers.

Because the ants and spiders (the things he said)

Were not real,

NOT TRUE.

 

I could begin the journey

Of UNBELIEVING

his distorted words,

and start learning

how to love myself again.

How to SOOTHE myself.

 

I will talk more about this in my next blog.

I WOULD REALLY LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU !

What were some of your childhood/teenage coping mechanisms?

How have you learned to find ones that “serve you well now”?

What are they?

DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?

I’d be happy to have a go at answering them –

To begin a dialogue with you.

SOOTHE

Posted in learning to soothe yourself with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2013 by Karen unrue

A baby cries.
A mother wakes,
and takes the baby in her arms.
She coos,
she sings,
she sways.
And soon
the baby,
soothed,
sleeps again.

soothing mum 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A child falls.
A mother stoops,
and takes the child in her arms.
She talks.
She tickles,
She wipes tears.
And soon,
the child,
reassured,
plays again.

Mother Tickling Son Outdoors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A child that is soothed by a parent when growing up knows how to self-soothe as an adult.
A child whose experience has been indifference, neglect, or outright abuse; a child who has not been soothed, will not know how to self-soothe as an adult.

It is a “hole-within” that a child carries into adulthood.
And many, otherwise self-sufficient adults, will find that when troubles come it is a hole into which they fall.
In the darkness and the loneliness of it they find they lack the resources to light a candle and be reassured.
They lack the vocabulary to form words that soothe and encourage and lead them into daylight.

candle_in_the_dark_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And even those of us who were soothed as children can be robbed of the ability to self-soothe as adults.
A “hole within” can open up if we find ourselves in an abusive relationship.
This is because the abuse, be it emotional, mental, or physical, will, in time, erode our self-esteem and replace sound judgement with self-doubt.

Everyone of us is different.
Each one of us reacts differently to such a hole.
But in one thing we are all the same –
We will have to fill it with something.

Alcohol
Co-dependency
Over-work/ambition
Sex
Shopaholicism
drugs

The list is endless.

I found myself co-dependent.
My identity, sense of worth, became utterly subsumed.
Unless my husband was pleased with me –
I was nothing
and afraid.

After I had left him I remember clearly realising
that never again
would he tell me
“Its ok.”
That from now on I had to learn to
Feel it was “OK” for myself.
I had to learn again how to
Self-soothe.

It took me years.
It wasn’t easy.
But I did it.
Don’t despair.
You can too.

learning to soothe yourself

learning to soothe yourself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll talk about it some more in my next post.

Please remember you are not alone.
It is not your fault.
There are many of us.
You can be whole again.
DO NOT GIVE UP.

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