I am happy that I can be grateful for family.
Everyone I know is happy they can be grateful for family.
Everyone I don’t know all over the planet is happy they can be grateful for family.
For many years, family happiness has been denied to me.
There were so many emotional disruptions from the past that carried themselves into the present, that it became harder and harder for me to enjoy family get-togethers.
Finally, in an attempt to simply give myself peace, I decided to spend holidays in quiet settings where I could remember that I loved family members, but not get caught up in holiday chaos.
When I would try to get together with smaller groups, I would still find myself reacting and have to leave.
Even when I would bring knitting or other handwork to distract myself and to give myself a focus, I would be able to maintain it only for so long.
So, I resorted to very short visits, or to just corresponding with family members.
Finally, at a graduation get-together, I found myself erupting with stomach disorders.
As I tried and tried to maintain my poise, I finally realized there was something much bigger going on.
I had never been able to detect it in the past.
But this time, I gained some insight from all the studying and workshops I had attended.
My nervous system had become used to behaving in a disruptive way whenever I was given the opportunity to do something fun for me.
It was easy to trace this back to long term child trauma.
I had overcome many aspects of the trauma, but had never made this connection.
With that conscious realization and acknowledgment of the problem, I had my solution.
I was able to join my family for the next group meal, and although I did some handwork that I enjoy doing, I was also able to participate fully in the conversation for the entire duration of the celebration.
This is a landmark for me of great significance.
Through all I have learned, I was able to take the one next step which led to a conclusion which brought a long-buried disrupter to the forefront of my consciousness.
I cannot even describe how this has lightened my load.
A whole world is open to me which has been long-denied.
I am prepared to meet this disruptor again and again until its habitual antics are replaced my own conscious decisions.
I know I can build a new pattern for myself of my own choosing.
I am grateful for this one tiny step in a very longline of tiny steps which has given me this freedom.
© 2015 Kathryn Hardage