I noticed the number of page views was in the 90,000s not too long ago and, as of this morning, this blog, where I sometimes feel I share too much but know I need to, hit 100,110 views since its inception on January 17, 2010. It seems like something that should be celebrated, just knowing that something I’ve written was worth the time of others to read (and, even better, leave a comment).
As so many bloggers do, I’ve considered not writing here anymore. Even though I never set out for this to be any one kind of blog (infertility, adoption, being adopted, parenting, weight loss, family drama, etc), it is all those things and more. I don’t feel like I have a niche, so to speak, unless I think of my life as one big niche. And, while I don’t feel the urgency to write like I used to, I so appreciate knowing I have this space to come to and a handful of readers who might still be along for the ride. For that, I thank you. Your wisdom, insights, perceptions, and perspectives have helped me in ways great and small and I feel that, at 48, I am still learning and have so much to learn and know I learn best from others brave or interested enough to comment.
I have continued the EMDR therapy and believe it is helping in that I no longer feel as blocked or anxiety ridden in even contemplating getting on a flight as I once did. That, in itself, is HUGE for me. And, because it is therapeutic, I have had some break-throughs along the way, the biggest and most earth shattering of which came yesterday.
The crux of this therapy is in reprogramming a traumatic event so that it loses its power. The underlying tenet is that neurons that wire together, fire together. So, part of the work is to pair thoughts and feelings that bring me joy and happiness with thoughts of getting on a plane. Yesterday, the idea of feeling trapped on a plane, just prior to and during take-off came up as my first source of anxiety (this, by itself is huge, because it used to be that just thinking about booking a ticket or packing my bags or getting to the airport, etc, were when anxiety started). So, to ‘clear’ that, we went back to the first time I remember feeling trapped. And, it came up that that feeling was actually tied to my brother being trapped in the cab of the overturned truck during the accident. And, for my part, broken and injured as I was, I couldn’t get to him, so, in a sense, I felt trapped, too, helpless to do anything.
That led to the revelation: the accident and feeling trapped and helpless to do anything, set in motion the construct of my entire life, that as I made decisions for myself, I would never allow myself to be trapped, that I ALWAYS had a plan B and/or an escape plan. And, so it has always been. There are so many examples of how this has manifested itself (from the college I went to, to even going to grad school when I really didn’t want to, to not marrying the long term boyfriend I had prior to meeting my husband, to marrying my husband, to leaving my job the first time, to never getting off the ART train until we had the two children I knew I wanted to have, on and on).
Perhaps the best and easiest example to explain has to do with living in my prior home. That house was a family home, it was where I first came home as a newly adopted infant and lived for a couple of years before my mom bought a new house and we moved. She kept the home and it was a rental for 29 years until the opportunity for me to live in it presented itself. I won’t go into all the dynamics at play with that decision, but as things continued to deteriorate in my relationship with my mother, whenever we had it ‘out’ (which usually meant she arrived, unannounced and uninvited to my front door and would berate me for whatever injustice she thought I’d heaped upon her (I describe it to my therapist as her yelling at me on my front porch, her head spinning around on its axis, Exorcist style, as that’s always what it felt like to me), my very first thought, ALWAYS, was that I had to move out of that house immediately, and get out from underneath her. Now, for a variety of reasons, I couldn’t actually execute that plan, but it was always my first inclination, to get out, get away, presumably to safety.
I took a job in sales, a decision that was completely unsupported by my parents, because I knew, if I was successful, it would give me an out, financially. And, it did. And, when my career was railroaded by our then male chauvinistic COO, I quit under the guise that it was time to focus fully on having a family, but it was ultimately because I no longer saw a path for me at the company. I felt trapped (as a woman, in my role, on my career path).
Every major (and many minor) life decision I’ve made has been, on some level, in an effort to never feel trapped or hopeless. It has served me well, but its inception was that accident. So many things in my life are tied to that accident. And, I knew it, then. I knew my life would never be the same (and not just in the ways one life is forever changed by losing a loved one in a horrific accident). At eleven, I couldn’t fully conjure what that meant, but I knew it was big. And, now, at 48, I know just how big it was.