Fear has dictated many of the decisions in my life.
Fear of change.
Fear of the emotions of others.
Fear of failing.
Fear of succeeding.
Fear of relationships.
Fear of loss of relationship.
Fear of loud voices.
Fear of low, menacing voices.
When you’re this afraid, there is only FREEZE in the trio of fight, flight, or freeze. The deer in the headlights, or worse–roadkill.
Fear tells us we have no options, that we are stuck. That wherever we are we will be forever–in that job we hate, in that ocean of panic. In that painful, painful marriage….
Fear lies. It steals. It cheats us out of life. It chooses to keep us frozen, unable to move, unable to explore the possibilities.
I’ve had so much fear, so many what-ifs in this search to find my own space. The house tours and the visualizing how I’d decorate–so much fun. But the reality, the actual, factual purchase that requires financial commitment and some degree of paying attention…SCARY.
My stomach clenches at the initial thought.
But guess what?
I’ve done The Work.
I’ve gotten a handle on my finances, better this year than ever, more intentional than ever.
I’ve done the homework–what can I afford without putting myself into a panic every month?
I’ve learned from therapy. From my realtors. From reading and researching.
I’ve learned I AM NOT A ROCK, AN ISLAND. I AM NOT ALONE.
Trauma taught me to withdraw, to hide, to find safety in isolation. If no one could touch me, no one could hurt me.
But no one could help me either.
Working to heal from trauma has taught me that I can reach out, I can ask for help, I can get input, and still be Safe. I can choose safe people. Choose safe places. I can choose for emotional and physical safety to the best of my ability.
Trauma taught me to fear the physical and emotional responses in my body. To deny them. To ignore the truths they were telling me. If I listened to those physical and emotional responses, what would they tell me about the truth of what I was dealing with?
Healing from trauma has taught me to honor those responses, to hear them. To recognize they are the wisdom of my body. That those responses and reactions won’t in and of themselves harm me, that they speak to the harm that was previously done. Healing has taught me to listen to them, to learn from them.
I’ve worked hard to make peace with those adrenaline surges of fight, flight or freeze. My nervous system is forever changed by the years of those surges. But I now know when the jolt comes that I can stop and listen to it, to recognize when it’s from the Old, rather than the New.
This scaredy-cat is buying a house! It closes next month.
It’s barely bigger than a she-shed, but it’s the answer to years of working to know myself, to accept myself, to attempt to take care of myself with the same care I would give any other human on the planet.
It’s the answer to learning to trust myself, my instincts–the same instincts I shut off for years in order to survive.
It’s me finally learning to face fear–to see it as my companion, to talk with it and learn what I need to know to move forward into an independent life. What’s a life where I’m constantly standing in a doorway in case there’s an earthquake?
Here’s to stepping out of the doorway of the Old way and into the little house of my future.
The Bring Your Own Beverage conversation: What is your biggest enemy when it comes to moving forward and taking steps into your own adventure?
Growing Up With Parental Narcissism explains so much!!
i love watching you thrive! congratulations on your wonderful milestones!
Thank you my friend!!
Congratulations on your new house! So exciting!
Your writing about getting to know your fear reminded me of this week’s lesson in the Power of Awareness class I’m taking. It was on healing trauma. The speaker, Tara Brach, spoke of learning to have a relationship with our fears and anxieties. Of seeing things through their eyes if we can. I’m not sure exactly how this works just yet, but I know it has to do with not pushing it away but instead asking it questions. “Why are you here? What do you need? What do you need to say?”
Interesting! I love Tara— I guess that’s the process my therapist has helped me through without my being aware of it! Cool.
So great! Love this. So happy for you. But more happy for all that it means in your healing journey.