He talked about the power of vulnerability, of being transparent with those we love intimately. He noted that we can weather any kind of weather, so long as we know what to dress for.
And I think Betrayal Trauma feels a lot like wearing a blizzard in a bikini. The scorch is real.
When my husband is open and honest -when he's transparent -I can dress for the weather.
The weather, the weather, the weather.
It's cold now, right? Is it cold where you are?
It's two-blanket weather up here in northern AZ. It's currently overcasty with winds teasing my windows and leaves scraping the walls of my rental. We're moving out because we are buying our first house.
It's a big friggin' deal. A big one for us.
I don't know if we've ever talked about this, but I'm 32 and my husband is that plus 5. The chaos of addiction has kept us from something as simple as our own home... that's one way addiction has manifested in our lives. We've spent so much time stuck in scarcity thinking.
Not enough money.
Not enough time.
Not enough worth.
Not enough, period.
I'm 7 years into actively seeking a better was of living, and it feels like some truths are starting to stick -like a really great snowstorm.
For 9 years, we've been driving an old Jeep Grand Cherokee. Not all of the doors worked, and driving down the highway felt like a life-risk. No matter now many times we aligned her, she still shook like a maraca on Cinco de Mayo. The upside being I couldn't hear the children fighting in the backseat, directly behind me.
Why? Why did we do that? Why did we stick with such an unsafe car for so long?
It's just the chaos thinking that comes with addiction -the sort of STUCK inability to care properly for myself and my surroundings.
We got a new car. We finally just did it. TWO DAYS LATER, the house across the street went up for sale. We put in an offer and handed it to God. He handed a house back.
Life feels abundant right now, and I feel the reality of what's happening.
Healing is happening.
It isn't clean and tidy like I thought it would be. It's hard conversations and saying no to people I love. It's saying no to food my body doesn't want but my mind does. It's showing up for the dental appointments. It's ordering new underwear and glasses when I need them and not two years later (seriously). It's sticking to a budget.
It's also abundant freedom from bondage... I'm able to show up and take care of myself in the midst of one of the worst bouts of anxiety I've had in 10 years.
I've had anxiety since I was tiny. I don't remember a life when I wasn't afraid of the future, afraid of destruction. As a little girl, I lost sleep over the possibility of the house burning down and every night -religiously -I left my shoes next to my bed so I could flee the home when it burst into flames.
I still harbor those same fears. Still keep my metaphorical shoes by my metaphorical bed for when the metaphorical flames hit the fan, or something.
In the midst of this anxiety, I am finding stillness and hope. With my anxiety as high as it is, I find myself triggered more and more easily.
I take deep breaths and repeat to myself, "I have everything I need. I have everything I need. There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."
In order for me to "dress for the weather" as Hugh Vail and Alfred Wainwright encourage, I need to care for myself carefully. Rest, shower, food, fresh air... I need to take time for my ME things outside of my responsibilities as a wife and mom.
This means choosing to write before I do the dishes sometimes.
Ultimately, what I'm trying to do here is create a life I don't have to perpetually escape from in order to deal with it.
I want to live pliably -to let my guard down and feel the sun in when it's there and bask in peace and safety.
AND to put my snowsuit on and feel the snow fall when it's there and bask in peace and safety.
Over the long weekend, I was in a situation I would have deemed "bad weather" in the past. But I went through it differently this time. I had my snowsuit, so to speak, and I learned something pretty gorgeous which is this:
I equate chaotic circumstances with trauma. When I sustained my deepest and truest trauma, I was in chaotic circumstances, and my body kept that score.
Heaven and Hell are earthly accessible states of mind, and my Hell is scarcity living.
Not enough money to fix broken things.
Not enough time to do it ourselves.
In a place where there is NOT ENOUGH OF ANYTHING, therein lies what I perceive to be impending and excruciating pain.
I feel so much fear in those circumstances, but with a snowsuit on, I was able to observe it... look it over, examine it, learn from it and then come home and REST while it sinks into my soul.
In the past, I'd come out of that kind of a chaotic situation and clean my house until my knuckles bled... just to PROVE to myself that I was SAFE. I don't need to do that today. I don't need to prove to anyone -including me-own self -that I'm safe.
I know I am.
Safe in God.
Safe with God.
Safe with tools that lead me to God within the confines of my sacred soul.
This is how I head into the holidays.
It's snowsuit time.