Today, I will present the first part of this series, Traumatic Brain Injury — What Empowers Me to Go and Make it a Good Day — On the Road to Healing.
As part of this 10 part series I will include many details to illustrate my experience, NOT to a fix blame or point the finger in anyone’s direction.
I will focus on providing practical solutions that have empowered my process and given me hope.
May you find a new freedom and a new happiness as you read through this series.
Through my process I discovered that I desperately needed to address my shame, anger, negativity, criticism and judgmental attitudes.
Once I realized that I needed to address my shame, anger, negativity, criticism and judgemental attitudes I found myself back in a familiar anxiety. Upon further examination I found that my anxiety stemmed from my fear of physical and emotional abandonment. As I examined why I had the fear of emotional and physical abandonment, I discovered that — like Pavlov’s dogs — I had unknowingly been conditioned to believe that I was responsible for how people felt and whether they were OK with me.
Sadly, I was also conditioned to believe that if I did not measure up to their expectations then these individuals would go away — and I would be left with myself.
What amplified my fear was the belief that the ONLY way that I could be OK with me and have a sense of security was to measure up to the expectations that were set for me. What made matters worse was that the bar of these expectations seemed to constantly move — depending upon who I as interacting with at the time and what mood they were experiencing. Because I based my sense of emotional, spiritual and physical well-being on my ability to meet these ever-changing spectrum of expectations I experienced a pervasive sense of insecurity.
In the process I bought into the notion that I was also responsible for the emotional and spiritual well-being of individuals as they interacted with me. Consequently, not only did I feel responsible for the expectations that God and other people had for me, but I also bought into the notion that I was responsible for their emotional reaction (s) to me. In my insecurity, I spent much of my time saying I was sorry for making them feel…
What complicated matters for me was that because of the injury to my brain — which I did not know at the time — I had a difficult time adjusting to the unpredictable nature of unspecified expectations with the emotional fall out that ensued when I was unable to meet those demands. I then discovered that although the bar of expectations kept moving I was still led to believe that it was my responsibility to be able to anticipate and then accurately respond to the expectation — whether direct or implied.
Consequently, I remained in a state of hyper vigilance. In my hyper vigilance I remained in a state of pervasive anxiety as I attempted to control the uncontrollable. Through further examination I discovered that I was motivated by an ever present fear of emotional, spiritual and at times physical abandonment.
Through my ongoing awareness, I then discovered that the fear and anxiety that I experienced concerning abandonment confused all of my relationships. Instead of learning to cultivate my relationship — with God, myself and other people — I was on a crusade to make people OK with me — so that they would not leave me. I did so because I was convinced that if I made God and other people OK with me, then they would in turn make me OK with me.
In my awareness the obvious became apparent. I had no idea how to have a relationship with God, myself or other people.
To read Part 2 of this article, please click on the following link. Thank you. Part 2.
In the event that you would like to be in touch with me, please use my Contact Page. I look forward to hearing from you. All questions are good questions.
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