Tonight there is an agitation that won’t let go. It takes away my resilience. It makes me unsure of every step I take.
The little things become big things. The email from someone who is critical makes me step a little harder. The change in my schedule at the last minute makes me raise my voice a little louder. The kids jumping a little too hard in the living room makes my heart beat a little too much. The muscles are just a bit too tense. The thoughts in my mind are following each other a little too closely.
It comes at a time that is busy, so there is much fodder for my mind to work with. There isn’t enough money in the account. There isn’t enough time to do all the things on the list. I am not doing well enough at this or well enough at that. My kids aren’t getting enough of my attention. My son is sick. My daughter is anxious. I am not a good enough mother. I can’t get it all done. There is too much to do. There is not enough time in the day. It sounds like a broken record running all day. It runs all day long.
So tonight I sit in the peace that comes with my children’s bedtime but with no peace in my mind and body. I sit with the tornadic activity and I try to breathe into my tight chest. What is the truth? Where is the truth? Is there truth in a life with complex trauma? Or do I just need to pick the reality that is right now? What is happening right now?
There is not enough money in the account, but there is enough for right now.
I can’t get through my list today, but I can take it one task at a time.
Some people don’t like what I have to say, but so many people do like it.
The kids are acting out, but they always do that when I am anxious. They will calm down when I do.
My son is sick, but he will be healthy in a day or two.
I am not a good enough mother, but maybe I am.
Maybe I can just question the chaos in my head for a minute. Maybe I can give myself a bit of space to know that I will get things done, that I will have the money, that I will be a good mother and that my son will heal. If I can hold the possibility, even for one minute, that my head is not aligning with my current reality, maybe there can be a shift in awareness. If I can write from my controller’s fear that everything will fall apart, maybe I can detach from it for even a minute. Maybe, just maybe, these are the fears of the past.
This is the controller here. Everything is going to fall apart. You aren’t keeping up with what you need to keep up with. This is going to be a disaster. I can’t believe you aren’t listening to me. You need to do things the way I have told you to do them. You need to stop engaging with the other stupid parts. You need to stay the course I have set. You will never manage the life you are creating. You are headed for total disaster and I won’t be strong enough to get you out of it this time. It is impossible for me to clean up the mess you have made. You should never have ignored my suggestions. You have truly made a mess of things. And I hate you for it.
But is this the truth? Is my life about to implode? Is my life about to end in total disaster because my path has differed from the controller’s ideals? No. There is no truth to that. Nothing is really wrong. As I sit here in this peace tonight, there is nothing I can point to and say, “Disaster is coming.” There are some worries. There are some tasks. There are even some projects. But honestly, they are also opportunities. The kids are healthy enough. As a mother, I have learned that viruses happen. The bank accounts have looked worse, believe me. And every once in a while, when my controller takes a break or I am able to detach, I can sense a bit of peace there. I can sense a place of calm. That is the knowing I need to hold on to. My real reality says everything will be okay.
Written By Elisabeth Corey, MSW