visualise my life contained in a series of layers in time, like a Russian doll; each layer marking a point in my life where a particular feeling was very strong, such as an experience of family loss, betrayal or feeling alone. The layers go deeper, backwards in time until finally at the point of birth where are my first experiences of being with my parents; the most tiny and vulnerable Russian doll layer.
This is such a lovely way of coping, in the end we are still infatuated with having control over what is essentially ever changing (us and our environment) and simply not something we can truly control (emotions – learned automatic responses) – the dolls are a lovely concept but choosing to bury your emotions can lead to denial or even dissociation…. When the trauma emerges at times of stress it will be all the more overwhelming.
I agree, it is inevitable that our reactions and responses to some experiences or emotions simply have to be brushed aside in order for us to “maintain stability” – but it is important to return to them and truly accept and experience the emotions no matter how painful, and the thoughts no matter how outrageous. By doing this, you are to a certain extent controlling how these responses you cannot control will affect you. However this is all hypothetical as I was unfortunately so accustomed to the comfort of denial, I was not aware of how much was truly buried underneath – until all trauma erupted at the worse possible time.
I hope you will be vigilant and clever enough to avoid such a self-deprecating mistake.
Russian Doll inside: Holding the trauma of our past to live more fully in the present.