Goodbye, that life

Goodbye! You know you’re our best friend because we tell you that and you tell us that We appreciated your honesty this past week. We tried to be empathetic but often felt overwhelmed and wanted to fix it. We think you’ll get into a routine and find joy with your friends. Life won’t get easier, … Continue reading Goodbye, that life

Practicing skills when “calm”

Coping with big emotions is a challenge. For us, big emotions feel urgent and overwhelming. When we struggle to catch our breath, many of our traumas are triggered. Breath is so underrated. A deep inhale followed by a big sigh or prolonged exhale can feel so restorative. In fact, catching our breath is the goal … Continue reading Practicing skills when “calm”

Responsibility as a goal

If we do not attempt to meet our needs, who will? If we wait to be rescued, we are putting our agency on hold, staking our life’s fulfillment on others. If they are well-adjusted, they know they cannot be responsible for our existence or even our contentment. Thus, we will wait in anger. We can … Continue reading Responsibility as a goal

In Now we must trust

(We use plural pronouns) We are working with New T on sitting with powerful emotions. Feeling hopeless and despair is uncomfortable. We normally dissociate instead of ride it out. New T had us use bilateral stimulation to activate both sides of brain. Having T with us allowed us to just be in pain for a … Continue reading In Now we must trust

We want to slow it down

These are forecasted to be the final warm days of the year here. Autumn has often been a melancholy time for us. Suicidal ideation often spikes as the leaves fall. We think the trigger was the annual return to school as a child, which augured suffering because we could not sleep at night. Summer allowed … Continue reading We want to slow it down

Start (resume) where you are

We have lost much ground in: Being in our bodyMeditating Feeling any contentment Physical strength Therapeutic relationshipsHealing our traumas Cooperating internally Having friendships Expressing our gender We have gained ground in: Being compassionate to Younger ChildGetting off benzosAdjusting to new normals Things may not go back to the old normal. There is no knowing. Even … Continue reading Start (resume) where you are

Liberate us while we are young, or now

It’s getting close to our worst right now We tried to help Younger Child. We see the suffering. And Younger Child thinks that fulfillment lies outside us This is what society teaches Young People: Your value is assigned by teachers as grades, by the number of followers and likes Do what adults say to you, … Continue reading Liberate us while we are young, or now

Toileting and hygiene with trauma and OCD

This is not an easy post to write, because it feels embarrassing and triggering. And we feel isolated around these issues and wonder if other survivors and those with OCD might also share some of these struggles. If not, it was worth a try. Urinating is highly triggering for us because of sexual trauma. There … Continue reading Toileting and hygiene with trauma and OCD

Practices to calm frazzled nerves

Hypervigilance, as most experiences, has shades, gradations. Many people feel a heightened sense of fear in times of high stress. If you have experienced Trauma, that increase can push you out of your window of tolerance. We are finding our baseline is now out of the window of tolerance. Practices to get back into our … Continue reading Practices to calm frazzled nerves

The hardest changes to make

Many people reading and writing blogs, and many people living human lives in relation with other humans, want to change things about themselves and their lives. Can we agree that this is a normal behavior? For us personally, in order for changes to occur, big things must eventually shift. We want to treat people with … Continue reading The hardest changes to make

Empathy for those who piss us off

Everyone and everything and all experiences are teachers if and when we are receptive to the lessons. We spent much of our working career in a college, which means we spent most of our life at school. This was by choice because we like learning and teaching. Here is what Nonviolent Communication (NVC) teaches about … Continue reading Empathy for those who piss us off

Our original stories

Until we were a young adult, we could not solve the mystery of realistic paintings hanging in art museums. People would stand in front of a painting that depicted throngs of people frozen in time, and the observers would study the painting and talk about details in specific, knowing ways, as though they were watching … Continue reading Our original stories

Changing Established Patterns of Behavior

Older Child returned to college this week. This house is filled with people grieving. When our body and mind experience pain, Punisher--one of our protectors--begins a long-establishes process of self-harm. Punisher ranges from a newborn to age 3. Punisher often initiates chaos and then becomes an infant, with whom you cannot plead, bargain, reason. Punisher's … Continue reading Changing Established Patterns of Behavior

Small steps are most effective for making changes

It can be healthy to set goals for a new year. It can be unhealthy, too. To make it healthy, make small, sustainable changes. For example, if you want to start meditating, revive a meditation practice, or extend a meditation practice, try what feels achievable and realistic. Five minutes twice a day is a useful … Continue reading Small steps are most effective for making changes

If you’re stressed about outcomes

You’re not doing it wrong. It takes practice. When you find yourself in the same thoughts, circling the same carcass like a Turkey Vulture, look at the carcass—study it. What can you call that pile of roadkill? If you're worry is, "Will I succeed or fail?", that sounds like "attachment to outcomes.” Outcomes are what … Continue reading If you’re stressed about outcomes

Practice, patience, and repetition

3-day weekends are hard for us. Lots of time around other people. We and our children are much less effective at night: decision-making poorer, emotional brain overwhelms rational brain. Consequently, at night, little problems seem bigger. For us, that often leads to nightmares, and then we wake up disoriented. We finally have some alone time, … Continue reading Practice, patience, and repetition

The practice is to be human

We injured ourselves again via inattention. Walked home from mental health therapy without being grounded in our body. A child operating a heavy machine. Twist. Foot ligaments damaged again. This is our most common injury: twisting foot ligaments. Two years ago we injured the left foot at least 5 times. We strengthened both feet's ligaments … Continue reading The practice is to be human

Your hobby or your life?

[This blog may use we/us and I/me pronouns interchangeably] We used to write fiction for fun. We wrote a humorous novel. It took us, like, twelve years to finish it. Maybe longer. We worked diligently on it for the last five or six years. It was among our primary hobbies and consumed many a weekend. … Continue reading Your hobby or your life?

Go big or go home? Or make little changes?

Small changes can add up. For example, say you want to have more money (ideally to pay down debt, save for retirement, or go on a vacation). If you switched to a cash-back credit card, brought home lunch and beverage to work/school every day or every other day, and  made a few other tweaks, the … Continue reading Go big or go home? Or make little changes?

Practice coping skills when you’re calm

One of the primary difficulties with incorporating new coping skills is that when you need them, you are in crisis, which often means you don't know that you need them or can't remember them! This is why it is important to practice coping skills when you're not in crisis. The barrier to practicing when you're … Continue reading Practice coping skills when you’re calm

Not everything needs fixing

I am practicing the noticing and naming of (1) my body sensations (throbs, tingles, rumbles, hot/cold, etc.) and (2) my feelings (anxious, excited, masterful, etc.). I am practicing naming them because somehow I missed this body of information (pun intended) when I was growing up. Until recently, I could name mostly feelings of fear, dread, … Continue reading Not everything needs fixing

What are you doing? Why “Not pooping” is an insufficient response

When we were little and acted contrary to someone's expectations, we were usually chided with, "Don't ____." Don't hit. Don't swear. Don't drink grape juice in the living room. As adults, when we're trying to change a habit or practice, we often default to the same thinking: Don't judge. Don't yell. Don't eat that. We … Continue reading What are you doing? Why “Not pooping” is an insufficient response

Do This One Thing After a Vacation

We sometimes feel lazy when we are not being productive in some way. We self-critique that we could be doing more: more journaling, more cleaning, more problem-solving. We felt especially out of rhythm after a recent family getaway. We hadn't been journaling regularly or trying to solve any of our myriad problems. How could we … Continue reading Do This One Thing After a Vacation