Roots of Security

Last week I eluded to my current quest of "feeling secure" (click here to read).  

Like any process of healthy development, it's a slow and tender path.  Like all things the Lord has taught me, it starts with a spark.  In this instance I felt the Lord nudging me to really examine why I don't feel secure, not insecurity (I think looks and self-image) mind you, but lack of feeling safe and secure (wanted, needed). 

Almost everything we feel and process has a reason, not much is left to chance.  If something deeply bothers or hurts us or plagues us, there's a very good chance we can track back though our lives to find the source of the wince BUT we have to intentionally look for it! 

For example...when Doug and I met we were both working at Target.  When we got married, he was working at Target, when we moved to a new city, bought a house and had a baby, he was working at Target. Doug has never been anything but completely dependable as a spouse.  I can and could 100% count on him as a husband to do what he said he would do and make good choices for our family.  

So when, after nearly eight or nine years of employment at Target he decided to look for a new job (look for one mind you, not desert his current one), it made no sense that I would be panicked by this.  It threw my anxiety through the roof.  I wallowed around in this mud for a bit until I remembered (duh!) to ask the Lord to show me why it was so unnerving for me. It made no sense why I should be bothered by my completely steadfast husband looking for a new job before leaving his current one. 

So I laid it at His feet and prayed about it.  Within a day or two it hit me: my father never kept a job for very long.  He would quit out of nowhere and be out of work for who knows how long.  It would cause even more issues at home and add chaos to an already disrupted home.  Drinking would increase, money would become even more scarce and fighting would soon be happening even more often.  In my sub-conscience, I worried that this would be the effect on my current, much more healthy and chaos free, household. My established brain path was "job change = chaos". 

Now that I knew the source of the lie, I could dismiss it and treat it.  Doug was not my father.  My present was not my past. Doug went on to land an amazing job and as a family we rewrote what my brain always thought it knew.     

Presently, I know there's a root to my deep seeded lack of being secure.  I sensed it like a shadow but could never quite put my finger on it. 

I can go from feeling like my cup over-floweth to the bottom falling out completely in a split second.  No amount of words or comforts seem to touch it for too long.  I know the truth, but my brain "knew" better. Slowly it is coming into focus for me. 

My childhood was nothing short of traumatic.  From my very earliest memories there is trauma.  And repeated trauma.  And one thing trauma does to a child's brain is change how it develops.  When needs go unmet, paths are made.  When people prove to be unsafe or not dependable, the brain develops in a certain way to ensure survival at it's most basic level. The longer the trauma, the more difficult it would prove to recover and get back to a "normal brain". 

I find it no coincidence that I have spent the last year walking though childhood trauma with friends as they find ways to help their own (adopted) children cope with it.  It's been an odd enough theme, coming up time and again with multiple friends.  I know now it was God pushing me to look a little harder. 

Now don't get me wrong, looking for the root is not the same as looking for an excuse.  Excuses make victims that stay stuck.  I'm not prepared to be either of those. But if you don't know the root, you can't possibly know how to fix it.  That's like patching a ceiling and not repairing the roof first.  It may be ok for a bit, but eventually, it's just going to flood again. 

I want to understand what I am fighting so I can use the right "weapons".  I'm at the beginning of this fight, having only had this ahh-ha moment a few weeks ago so I'm still looking for the appropriate tools to use. I need to find the leak in the roof, and then start the repairs in the right sequence. 

I think, like most problem solving, a good place to start is with gathering as much info as you can to fully understand the problem. 

The "weapons", I believe will make themselves known more clearly after that.  

1 comment:

Julie Angeli said...

I work in a profession where I help children with trauma filled lives and I know what to do when with them but have such a harder time really applying it to myself. I have been in therapy over my mother's death (when I was two) in the past but this time am doing it with a therapist who does EMDR. I feel like I am making so much better progress already. Might be something that would help you as well. Thanks so much for sharing.

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