Bumping into yourself.
Working in recovery is at times all about bumping up against your own stuff. It’s about what you do with it after you bump up against it that separates good counselors from bad in my view. Good self care and debriefing with peers when needed goes a long way, that and staying focused on your own recovery program.
In my own process in early therapy, looking back to my childhood, massive overcompensation and a huge need to be seen was my sense of normal, underneath was a small, frightened kid who didn’t know what to do in most situations. In the Bradshaw scheme of the family, I was the problem child, acting out and attention seeking.
I can sometimes slip back into hyper-vigilance mode, which as a child was the coping mechanism I used.
In thinking about this I looked at the definitions around the behaviors, “People suffering from hyper-vigilance may become preoccupied with studying their environment for possible threats, causing them to lose connections with their family and friends. They will ‘over-react’ to loud & unexpected noises; become agitated in highly crowded or noisy environments etc. They will often have a difficult time getting to sleep or staying asleep.” That was me to a “T” as a child.
Some of the other common behaviors associated with family dysfunction and addictions include: thinking only of themselves to make up the difference of their childhood, still learning the balance of self-love, distrust of others, have difficulty expressing emotions, have low self-esteem or have a poor self image, have difficulty forming healthy relationships with others, feel angry, anxious, depressed, isolated from others, or unlovable, perpetuate dysfunctional behaviors in their other relationships (especially their children), lack the ability to be playful, or childlike, and may “grow up too fast”
In my own therapy and recovery process I have done extensive work around being a “broken child” and have found that it takes time, commitment, and a willingness to do the work.
The past is the past, can’t be changed, but your view of it can! In giving the demons names it takes away their power. They are still there, no doubt about it, but your reaction is no longer the same.