I might pretend for a while that my mind is an organized place and just relate to you the things in it as though they are organized. They are not, but they do connect. They do make a kind of sense.

I have been thinking for the last several days about how C gives me a very deep feeling of peace and calm in my body. It happens automatically, without any effort on my part, and it happens even if there is nothing overtly soothing about how we interact. It lasts for a long time—like more than a few hours. This hit me one morning because of some kind of contact we had. It might have been a chat. Nothing significant.

It’s a deep calm that happens for me that I don’t really even come close to when I try everything I know to calm down, which I do pretty much continually. I mean, my life is pretty much spent trying to calm down, and even on a good day, I don’t come near that level of relaxation and well-being.

It hit me that normal people with normal relationships feel this on a regular basis, because they have regular contact with people who are important to them and whom they trust. I work my ass off to achieve a level of well-being and calm that occurs automatically and without effort when you have reliable relationships. It’s like I’ve been hobbling along on one leg or something, wondering why I can’t keep up with two-legged people. Physical proximity to supportive people is just a tool in a typical person’s toolbox that I haven’t had.

It mostly struck me that I didn’t have it as a child. That feeling of being safe and supported doesn’t come because people are well-intentioned or won’t hurt you. It comes because someone can take your perspective, and when you are struggling with trauma symptoms a lot of the time, when your life story veers off from the typical life-story of a child in your particular demographic, people can’t. They don’t know why you are scared or angry or sad. They haven’t lived or witnessed the things that you have lived and witnessed, and they don’t know what is going through your mind or what you need.

The other fact that struck me was that anyone who can even remotely take your perspective and respond to you in a fitting way of any kind is like heaven to you, and if you are in this situation, you are constantly fighting not to make inappropriate demands on that person. If your teacher seems even a little bit nice, you want to sit in her lap, if an aunt likes you, you want to live with her forever. You aren’t their child, and those forms of affection and comfort aren’t going to materialize, but you want them.

This feeling I have of calm and well-being when I have contact with C is something we, as human beings, need. It is very difficult to do without it, and when your parents are not safe people and you do not have that feeling around them, then you want it from other people. That craving is very deep and very intense, and your life is spent reining in that impulse to pursue it.

That’s one thought.

Advertisements