Friday, December 12, 2008

Healing is a Video Game

I have come to the realization that healing is like a video game. There are lots of levels. Sometimes you lose a man along the way. And if you are like me, you can never ever win the whole game.
I started out at level 1 which in it's barest form is just surviving. Avoiding anything abuse-related. Dodging the flashback bullets. Just meandering through the level (and life) aimlessly. Just living through level 1 is success.
Level 2 was much harder. You add in new memories, body memories, more flashbacks, panic attacks and depression. All while trying to maneuver around regular life. And survive. This is the beginning of dealing with the abuse.
Level 3 adds in family and friends and work. Not only must you do everything from level 1 and 2, but you must cope with everyday and ordinary life too. Don't let any of those balls you're juggling fall down.
Other levels add in the normal bumps of life - job changes, an illness, new baby, trouble with spouses, raising children, getting a dog, losing weight, etc, etc. All those normal things that normal people deal with. But you're not normal. You have to deal with abuse and life.
If you dare to think that you might be ready to advance to a new level, then you fall down and have to repeat a level. Over and over again. Rinse, lather, rinse, repeat.
Every time I think that I've finally conquered some abuse-after-effect, it rears it's head again. Right now it's two things - (1) the paralytic fear of making any life changes or life decisions; and (2) looking too much in the past or future without living in the present.
Each time I repeat a level, I feel like I'm more prepared and have learned things. At some point though, I'd like to beat this game.


Rindy Walton said...

the "lather, rinse, repeat" is exactly how I think of it!!

right now it's still "extremes"... how to handle all of the emotions, memories, people, etc. that you're finally allowing to deal with is all new and extreme. It's like bouncing all over the least that's how it was for me. It's like learning everything new--it will begin to "even out"...and yes, there will still be those "bounces", but not as often and not as extreme.

Hang in're moving through it and there IS the other side!!

Anonymous said...

I get anxious about decisions too -- sometimes about little things like making Amy's Christmas wish list, or deciding whether or not to divide her toys into weekly groups again, but especially like bigger things like jobs or moving or churches and such.

I hope some peace and wisdom and peace come to you soon.

Kahless said...

Love your analogy.

Anonymous said...

I think our lives are like seasons.

The challenge is that at times it seems like winter lasts so much longer than spring.

Just remember... some geek has to write those programs and you just may end up being one of the geeks!

Shannon said...

I can completely relate to that last paragraph, Enola. And I guess, now that I think about it, empathize with the whole post!

It's so difficult to live in the present.

For me, it's a matter of not getting too caught up in the anxieties that yesterdays's experiences wired into my body and brain, and/or constantly looking forward so as to prepare myself for what might come.

This making-sure-you-are-ready-for-whatever-happens comes from feeling like you have to take a defensive position in life, and it comes at such a great cost sometimes.

I'm trying to be "here", but I'll admit that I've yet to master how to live in the present. Your game metaphor really resonates... how do we beat it?

Great post! - I'm going to ponder this one a bit.

jumpinginpuddles said...

wow what an awesome analogy and we also would like to see you win the game and be happy always