This will be a little cryptic as I’m still struggling to process the immediate implications and the long-term, big picture impact.
I’ve been communicating with an estranged family member for a few years now. Today, I took a gamble, tried to ask questions to figure out more.
My instinct said not to go there, that it was the proverbial can of worms. It definitely was. Self-imposed isolation. Pain. Much like a sister of mine.
I talked to my father after I decided to lock the door behind me and to get rid of the key, for now. He told me basically what I already knew, but in a little more detail. This is his older brother’s eldest daughter. I told him yes, she’s preparing to shut everyone out, including him.
What did I ask about? Those of you that know me very, very well should be able to put together some of the pieces. It’s another side of the coin to what triggers me. My pain. But more like a mirror image.
I tried to explain myself, but, I still shut the door- probably getting rid of all of my explanations. Intuition says she’s not ready to hear it. Unfortunate, but, I prepared for it, at least logically, if not emotionally.
It stings like hell. But I had another ace in the hole: the mammalian dive reflex, part of the T.I.P.P. strategy. Invoke the reflex with a cold pack between eyes and cheek bones, bending at the waist, holding my breath for 30 seconds- as if I was diving into icy cold water. I’d read about it before- it’s saved children from drowning in in the same. An evolutionary remnant, the reflex shuts down the body, and in a #DBT context, it forces the body to slow down immediately, overriding the fight/flight/fawn/freeze response. Maybe like a soft reboot- not a hard reboot, like I’ve had when the lights go out, but I stay at home in the back of my mind- if I understand Claire Cappetta just right.
It didn’t work immediately; I’m not sure if I did it perfectly right. But I feel calmer. And what felt like a loss at first- feels more like a victory. I’m one step closer.