We’ve all done it. It’s a pattern of connection we know well. Your friend sits before you sad and anxious. You want to help. You want for her to feel that she’s got your support. “I’m just so stressed out in our marriage! I feel so disconnected from him. I don’t know what to do.” And you offer connection- understanding. “Me, too. I’ve been there, too”
I like to imagine myself, weak on a bed (been mostly dead all day), sword in hand, suddenly standing and saying with powerful emphasis, “Anxiety, You warthog-faced buffoon. Sit in the chair. I shall tie you up.” *
Ever had that day when you’re running from one task to the next, never accomplishing anything because that cassette tape is running through your mind saying, “Holy frogs on toast. I have a 1st date tonight!”
I often tell my clients to think of the human brain like a filing cabinet. When the brain encounters trauma, whether it is the death of a loved one, the betrayal of a friend, a car accident, or a mentally ill parent, your brain responds to this trauma in a similar way. Trauma yanks the drawers of the filing cabinet out, dumps the files, and chucks the drawer aside.
I am an excellent house-sitter. I feed the pet and soak in the awesomeness of whatever home I’m “sitting” and get paid to do it. It’s usually an easy gig as long as the pet doesn’t get sick and security alarms don’t explode. Recently, I was in a lovely home built for comfort, hosting, and entertainment. The house was bedecked with sky lights and cushy clouds of furniture. There was a curvy pool out back and several luxurious movie rooms.