My Obsessive Thinking Has Protected Me.
One day in our life...
Whether we were a five year old girl watching our mother anxiously pace around the kitchen.
A scared seven year old boy watching our parents argue.
Whether we were sitting in the back of a car, being forgotten by our alcoholic, drug using parents.
Whether we got excluded from a group of friends because of the way we looked, or how we acted.
Whether we witnessed a difficult, grueling divorce of our parents happen in front of our eyes.
Whether we were a child, a teen, being sexually abused.
Whether we felt alone, lost, afraid, scared, sad, and terrified.
We did something...
We did something in that moment... in those moments... to protect ourselves from the feelings such as loneliness, fear, sadness and terror that at the time, were too unbearable.
The loneliness as child was too much, the trauma we witnessed was too much, the fear we felt was too much. Furthermore, if someone wasn't there to hold us through it, we found another way to replace that sadness, that fear, and we learned to compensate.
Although we didn't consciously think it, our brain reacted to help us survive.
"What can I do to avoid this pain and suffering that I feel?"
As children, we usually shut down the pain. We gulped it down. We learned to disassociate. We learned to numb out, we learned to escape and we learned how to "not feel". Moreover, if we experienced parents who shut down our emotions further with comments such as:
"Don't cry, don't show your emotions" or "Be a man, men don't cry."
This feeling of loneliness, sadness and fear was further brought about.
As adults, alongside the vibration of these techniques we used as children, the techniques started to manifest in other ways - whichever way our brain decided to choose to survive - whether through environmental recognized habit - like picking up our parents anxiety, genetics or just learnt coping mechanisms.
For some people, these learnt coping mechanisms were used as a way to feel in control.
For some people, these coping mechanisms of control were through: binge eating, addictions in alcohol and drug use, excessive shopping, addiction to sex and/or porn, depression, workaholic tendencies, bulimia, anorexia, self-harm, intense anger, excessive exercising ... and in this situation... obsessive compulsive thinking.
We didn't want to feel these uncomfortable feelings, and we wanted to feel in control.
There comes a point in our life, where these unhealthy coping mechanisms reach a point out breaking.
They don't work anymore, they hurt us, they hurt others and they hurt our relationship.
We come to this ground point where we can't hold it any longer.
These obsessive thoughts and compulsions give us false sense of control...but, they are really not helping us.
Now, it's not usually easy as ..
1, 2, 3, okay I have this awareness and the obsessions are done.
There comes a point where we become so sick of these coping mechanisms, that we have break-downs (which is why I don't perceive break-downs as something bad).
It's like we are breaking up with these obsessions, these compulsions, that had one day kept us protected and safe as children, as a teen, through trauma.
But, usually what happens it that that breaking up is painful because we are thrusted into a renewal... a new identity... and we are trying to find another way to cope... to survive... and to trust finally trust by using new coping mechanisms that are actually healthy.
The breaking apart, letting go, renewal, trusting, is a process, and it's not something that is done in a heart-beat.
But know, as you read this...
Something within you is starting to let go, starting to shed.
It's saying that the protective mechanisms you used or saw as a child, aren't working anymore.
And they are not meant to work anymore.
Something within you is starting to transform.
There's something within you that's asking for more, that's wanting for more.
And no, it's not that you need to leave your partner, or that you don't love your partner.
It's that there is a new identity...
a new renewal of yourself... that is better, more expansive, more loving...
It's a part of yourself that you wished you had when you were that child or that teen when you learned to cope and survive.