sat posted: Sat 2018-11-24 11:02:25 tags: healing
For the first couple weeks at this job, I managed to be punctual, but after that my arrival time slipped slowly - 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, lately often as much as 20-25 minutes late without comment. I justify it in my mind by not taking paid breaks and/or taking shorter lunches. At the end of the week, technically we're even. But this is a deal I've struck unilaterally, not by consensus.

I consulted Dawn for help fixing this problem and she didn't have much more to offer than ACoA and "Inner Child" development work. Her interpretation, at simplest, was this concept from ACA's "Big Red Book" - that feelings are tied to neurochemistry, and our twisted overexposure in formative childhood years to intense raw emotions like fear and shame result in a sort of neurochemical addiction. Chaos and feelings of being trapped became our "normal" and therefore we continue to entangle with more chaos-makers, and engage in drama and self-defeat to stoke chaos ourselves, to keep recreating those pathological but familiar chemical states of fear/shame/guilt.

That's an interesting explanation, and it resonated at the time, but after 10 sessions we hadn't done much to specifically address or reverse the pattern, if indeed that was "the" explanation. And I always felt like it was a little too convenient/pat of an explanation, that there was something being overlooked or dismissed.

By 4th grade or so, I dreaded and hated going to school. I hated gym especially - if I tried to make a case for staying home from school, most likely it was a gym day. In junior high where gym was a daily class period, I would "forget" my gym suit and make up the class after school if I could, or go to the clinic and lie about not feeling well. Digging in my heels and refusing to get dressed for school was the one time I remember my mother hitting me - a token swat on the butt delivered with the disclaimer "your father told me to do this". (Maybe I was supposed to figure out that if I kept it up, he would beat me himself? but that didn't occur to me until just now.)

So there's another explanation. I came to hate, resent, and feel unsafe and trapped by school, the time divisions were my battleground, and as an adult it has been a big disappointment that I have not been able to finally escape the routine even though I long ago escaped the institutionalized milieu of fear and shame that was school itself. Maybe that's not the entire explanation either, but it feels more authentic than the Big Red Book's "addicted to stress" hypothesis. I'm still rebounding against an enemy that is long gone.