I find that I am not as strong sometimes as I think I am or wish to be. In the book Codependent No More, Melody Beattie talks about learning not to be blown about by every wind. Some days I am better at this than others. There are those days when I feel very sensitive, when I can't withstand someone yelling at me, when I am deeply wounded by another. Emotions are contagious, and we must be careful how we spread them. We think we can't help how we feel, but feelings begin with thoughts, and thoughts we can learn to control. We can think better, and therefore feel better. I may not handle every situation in the best way, but I know that I have to pick myself back up and try again. When I fail, I can acknowledge it and not beat myself up. The best amends are in not repeating the same wrongdoing, even more important than saying, "I'm sorry."
If I fall apart and have a bad day, I can start over, at any moment of the day. And every day ends. There is always tomorrow. When I was younger I had very bad PMS. To others it sometimes seemed that I was overreacting to things, and maybe I was. But I noticed that the things that upset me weren't directly related to my hormones. They were often buried hurts and unhealed wounds or unresolved anger that I could not suppress at that time of the month. It was a blessing in disguise that those feelings were permitted to come to the surface, to tap on my shoulder or to scream in my ear that they needed my attention. Post traumatic stress lingers in the body, in our cells and marrow. It can't heal without being shaken loose and exposed to the light of day.
Sometimes we are reacting not only to what is happening in the present moment, but to what is being triggered from the past. That needs to be validated, by ourselves and by others. What helps me to separate the wheat from the chaff is my child. I focus on my own family, on our needs, first, seeking a calm in the center of the storm. I see my husband and myself sometimes taking personal frustrations out on our daughter and on each other, and I can't stand it. I see extended family members and other people do the same thing. There are better, more joyful, more authentic ways to live. I resolve to strive to be the change in the world that I wish to see.