Just when I think I'm doing better, then comes a challenge and a realization that there is still a very long way to go. Learning is lifelong but does it have to be so painful?
A counselor has shed some light on the situation. The out of control feeling hits, it may be something fairly small but enough to tie a little knot in my stomach. Depending on whether I recognize it for what it is, it could just dissipate. But often times the Fight or Flight response hits. At that time, the rational me goes out the window and what I am left with is the little girl, sitting on the floor of the station wagon, parents in front and 5 siblings arranged in the back according to status, the oldest getting the windows. The trailer attached to the back of the wagon holds at least three motorcycles and 3 or 4 bicycles. My strong, handsome dad has spent the entire weekend riding and drinking. My mother is angry at him and he is speeding down the hill...turn after turn...the tires screeching. On the floor I cannot see a thing. I'm not sure if that is good or bad but I am waiting for the feeling of flight to hit. I am waiting for the car to fly off the cliff...I am utterly and completely out of control.
That's the past but it holds onto to me like a drowning person clings to a life preserver. It tells me that whatever the situation, I need CONTROL or something terrible is going to happen. It kicks in when my kids are hurting or when they are doing something I deem as dangerous, it happens when I go into a new situation where I am unsure and don't know what to expect, it happens around alcohol and drugs more than I care to admit. It really happened when we discovered that the Secret Keeper was medicating himself in horrific ways and when I realized that I could end up deeply in debt with no recourse....his behavior was my responsibility because of a piece of paper that I could do nothing about.
My goal is to let the fear go and allow life to happen. My goal if to let those around me be free to be themselves and acquire healthy boundaries that allow me to say I will or will not tolerate this situation but without anger. One of these days it will be conquered it but for now I celebrate little victories because all of us should pat ourselves on the back for something at least once a day. Telling myself "Well done" whenever I get the chance helps cement a change in behavior in the right direction. Meanwhile, I will keep asking my Higher Power for serenity, courage and wisdom. We can all use a little more of those.