re: day 26 accountability (to one’s core self)
I will continue making a plea to stop invading, bullying and abandoning inner children (your own & others), if one can’t hold themselves accountable for this, there’s no healing. Any surprise stressor can regress you straight back to that core inner child wound.
Gonna quote from The Body Keeps the Score chapter 14:
If you’ve been hurt, you need to acknowledge and name what happened to you. I know that from personal experience: As long as I had no place where I could let myself know what it was like when my father locked me in the cellar of our house for various 3 year old offenses, I was chronically preoccupied with being exiled and abandoned. Only when I could talk about how that little boy felt, only when I could forgive him for having been as scared and submissive as he was, did I start to enjoy the pleasure of my own company.
Feeling listened to and understood changes our physiology; being able to articulate a complex feeling, and having our feelings recognized, lights up our limbic brain and creates an “aha moment.” In contrast, being met by silence and incomprehension kills the spirit.
Or, as John Bowlby so memorably put it: “What can not be spoken to the [m]other cannot be told to the self.”
If you hide from yourself the fact that an uncle molested you when you were young, you are vulnerable to react to triggers like an animal in a thunderstorm: with a full-body response to the hormones that signal “danger.” Without language and context, your awareness may be limited to: “I’m scared.”
Yet, determined to stay in control, you are likely to avoid anybody or anything that reminds you even vaguely of your trauma. You may also alternate between being inhibited and being uptight or reactive and explosive—all without knowing why.
As long as you keep secrets and suppress information, you are fundamentally at war with yourself.
Hiding your core feelings takes an enormous amount of energy …. stress hormones keep flooding your body, leading to headaches, muscle aches, problems with your bowels or sexual functions—and irrational behaviors that may embarrass you and hurt the people around you. Only after you identify the source of these responses can you start using your feelings as signals of problems that require your urgent attention.
Ignoring inner reality also eats away at your sense of self, identity, and purpose.
Symptoms of PTSD often include statements like “I feel dead inside,” “I will never be able to feel normal emotions again,” “I have permanently changed for the worse,” “I feel like an object, not like a person,” “I have no future,” and “I feel like I don’t know myself anymore.”
The critical issue is allowing yourself to know what you know.
That takes an enormous amount of courage.