“Bessel van der Kolk: “Trauma is when we are not seen and known.” ― Gabor Maté, The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture.
i have been in a contraction for a few years now and didn’t see it. expand, contract, expand, contract. it can’t be all expansion all the time nor can it be all contraction.
i had to withdraw and go inward. I’m still exploring inward and that journey is nowhere near over … it’s just wild to me how i didn’t see any of it … i was blinded by my frenetic restless monkey mind and transitory whims and frivolities. things that seemed so important that now seem banal.
i couldn’t have seen any of this had i kept blindly hustling after some shallow goal or social ideal that wasn’t even my true desire to begin with. we are born into constructed identities that we don’t choose and we accept them or we fight them but either way, it’s a reaction we must let go of if we want liberation.
my whole life, i was looking to serve, assist, live through others so i didn’t have to deal with my own sense of disconnection. i never knew what the hell was happening with my alcoholic depressive father and emotionally withdrawn mother. i was always reading cues, reading tea leaves trying to figure out what the mood was, what would come next. i overachieved to “earn” attention and love.
then in my career, i served dominant authority figures – C level types always anticipating their thoughts and needs and catering to their desires and careers while subjugating my own needs and living with profound resentment and dissatisfaction.
when that too became intolerable, i entered into a relationship – a marriage. i was suddenly a wife, stepmom, and mom and had FOUR other people whose wellbeing i was responsible for … who i could bury myself in once again and ignore my own wants and needs for a decade or so until that denial, too, stopped working.
i have reached the point of life where i know that i always get what i want and therefore i want to be careful what i wish for. the beastie boys said: “so watcha want?” and to that i say, “good question.”
regardless of what i decide, i must let go of rigid expectations if i ever want to truly expand again.