How do you remember being 8 and being petrified and deal with that as a 44 year old. I did a little imagery today. I pictured that child on the bed afraid. I imagined what was needed to make her feel safe. Soldiers. I stood them shoulder to shoulder and surrounded her bed with them looking out, guarding. That wasn’t enough. I still felt afraid. So I filled the room with soldiers of protection. No one was getting to that 8 year old child. I became the soldier. I stood in defense and protection. I stood fierce and valiant. No one was getting to her. I rewrote a memory. I rewrote history. You think history is written in pen. It’s not. It’s in pencil, and you can write over it in pen. You may see some of the faint pencil marks underneath but the pen is brighter. I’m rewriting moments. The reason I am doing this is I feel a memory coming to the surface. when that memory comes I don’t want to face it with an 8 year old frightened child. I want to face it with a warrior soldier.
This was my therapy today. This is something that we worked on. This idea of imagery and being able to feel a scary moment and turn that moment into a feeling now of safety. I can see that it will be harder to do at home than I anticipated. It’s easy to feel like a soldier when you are in the safe office of a therapist who is being a soldier with you. It didn’t have to be a soldier. That was just the first thing that popped into my mind, for me. During this imagery that we did I felt a calm. I felt relaxed. I realized in that moment that I am never ever really relaxed. I am living in a constant state of fight of flight. Because there, during that exercise, I was able to relax. It is no wonder that my muscles are tired, and my brain feel fried with anxiety. It is always in wait for something bad to happen because that’s what it was programmed to be ready for. We are trying to reprogram it. As I lay here trying to evoke the strong, grounded, protective figure that I did earlier, which gave me calm, I can’t do it. Being a soldier for my little 8 year old self is going to be harder than I thought.