So for a while now there’s been this thing I’ve noticed. It’s the resistance – the fear – of healing. It’s like an internal battle I’ve got going on with myself. And I feel like the deeper I get, the further along the healing ladder I step, the greater the fight becomes. I love ‘parts work’ – the foundations of Gestalt Therapy – and it is something I do myself at home, through the use of cartoons, and dialogue between each part. This is a mega subject and project of mine that I could type on about for hours, and I will someday.
But for now I want to talk about this battle of wellbeing that’s happenin’ inside. The part of me that’s still living in the abuse, still stuck in the memory of the past, still believing it will all be the same now, is the one that is kicking up a right ol’ stink as the other parts begin to heal, and climb this healing ladder.
(This might not make ANY sense of you unfamiliar with Parts Work, but just for the record, I’m not crazy. We all have parts. All of us. And I am only now aware of them because I have begun to work with them, and ultimately integrate them…which is happening, the odd scrap just goes on in this process.)
So anyways. The more I continue to release and heal, the more terrified this part of me that DOESN’T WANT THIS, is. I know the ‘whole of me’ experienced the trauma in my life, but not all parts of me are traumatised…if that makes sense. No, it might not, but hey.
Trauma leaves you stuck. And if it’s prolonged and continued trauma, particularly over the developmental years, it leaves the unknown the most terrifying place. And somewhere you JUST DON’T WANT TO GO. I have always thought I loved the unknown. I realise now though, that the unknown I thought I love – in a spontaneous, travelling, adventure kind of unknown – was actually the ‘known’. I grew up that way, moving around, adventuring and travelling, and so this footloose existence was actually one I always knew. Instability, insecurity and lack of safety was where I felt most comfortable. So, this is what I created for myself for my adult years. Until now.
So actually, the unknown I’m talking about is the unknown of stuff like, a life of health and ease, emotional regularity, self love, self forgiveness, self compassion, is something that I have never ever known, all these years. So predictably, this scares the shit outta me. There are of course the parts of me that desperately want this health, wellness, freedom from this past of crap that’s lingering around to be healed. But the part of me that is kicking up a fight, is the part of me that is absolutely terrified of wellness…of ease…of me being happy, healthy and okay.
Holy crap that’s scary. Of course, it is something I am very much on my way towards, as I am literally swimming through this trauma healing and learning to self love business, but fuck is the internal conflict LOUD. Today in therapy I described it as a load of fat little gremlins clinging onto the crap inside, so stubborn and totally determined to hold on tight and never let go. These little gremlins get in the way of me relaxing, opening up, being vulnerable, letting someone in, doing the thing that will help me, dropping the inner critic, releasing these memories, softening my self loathing and replacing it with a wealth of self love…of course, all this happens anyway but on days like this one, or weeks like the one that has just been, it has felt like a bitch of a mission to not just give into these gremlins and give up trying to move forward. But, I’m a big believer in sometimes we need to just collapse and ‘give up’ for twenty minutes or an hour or an afternoon, because then we realise just how much we want it. whatever ‘it’ is. For me, ‘it’ is HEALTH.
No matter how hard these gremlins cling on, and the resistance is there, and the fear of the unknown – of the ease – is there too, I just hope that with time and with my continuing work, the gremlins will fuck the hell off and slowly I will begin to soften into the fact that actually life can be easier than it has been. Sure, shit gets messy, and life is by no means easy, but I mean the kind of easier when it is not ramshackled and jam packed with trauma and terror and abuse…from others or from myself.
This inner battle may sound baffling to others reading this, because why the hell would you not want to get better, you wally? Well, it is not quite as simple as that. In some ways it is – for some parts of me, the vitality and the love for life is simply booming, but then there are the wounded parts too and they need to be gently taken along this ladder towards health. They can’t just jump up the rungs, because they simply do not know how. My therapist said to me, it’s like when you take someone out of prison who has been there for 30 years, they are not going to simply leap out of the door, into the freedom, with a grin on their face. No. It takes time and it takes integration. Well, that is what has been and is happening for me. I haven’t been in prison, but consistent trauma from early years, is enough to keep some parts on shut down.
No matter how hard those terrified gremlins cling on, I just have to hold on tight to the trust that my spark and will and strength and pure desire to get the hell through this time and into a time of ease, will get me through regardless of what fears lie in the way. I know they will. They have so far!