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Buzz buzz.

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that you can't change people. Ok, maybe two things. One is that you can't change people. Two is that people don't change unless they want to change. And wanting to change is scary. Because that means you are about to dig in to the dirty work. You are about to examine parts of you in the shadows. Find the behaviors that aren't favorable to a healthy life well-lived and to figure out how they came about and how to kick them to the curb. See? Isn't it so much easier to always play the victim and point the finger at someone else?

I want to change. I want to figure out how I ended up in the shadow of the smallest man who ever lived (Thanks, T Swift. My therapist played this song for me today.). Do you know how small you need to make yourself to fit in the dark shadow of a small man? Small. Really, really small. I won't do that again. But in order to do that, I need to find out how I got there and retrain my brain. I walk in, take the paddles, meet myself in my safe space and dig in. We retrain my brain using EMDR. Stepping back into the trauma and reliving it so that we can change my body's response and soften the pain, toxicity, power and vividness of those moments. Sitting in the anxiety and fear. Talking through my body's response, offering grace and thanks. Ugly crying and having to wipe tears and my runny nose on my sleeve because those buzzing paddles are a life line and I will be damned if I let go. I hold on because there is peace on the other side of pain. I hold on because for the first time ever, I am holding on to myself. Keeping all versions of my self safe and protected as I heal the past to protect the future.

We pick a different memory each week. Some from adulthood, others from my childhood. The moments that I can recall in a moment and can immerse myself in like it was happening right then. The mind is such a powerful thing. It can make you think there is danger even as you sit safely in an office. Buzz buzz. Describing the feelings. Fear, uncertainty, disbelief, pain, anger. Swirling around me and through me as I talk my way through the experience. Buzz buzz. Allowing all feelings to be as they are. No judgment, no question, no justification. Just recollection, retelling and grace. Buzz buzz. The paddles speed up as the memory wraps up and I move myself back into my safe space. The hammock in my childhood tree house. I can feel the sun on my foot as I push against the rocks to sway. The sound of leaves rustling and dog collars. The feeling of peace, happiness and contentment as I read my books simultaneously visible and hidden in the sway. Buzz buzz. I'm back in the room feeling lighter and I can sense the smile on my face. The event is more distant now. It's voracity dulled by the work I've done. The edges softened. The colors muted. Present but not potent.

I dug in because I read something somewhere and it stuck. You're not attracting toxic people, toxic people aren't picky. They go to everyone. You letting them stay is the issue that needs to be worked on. Sounds like Hell. Pass over the paddles. Buzz buzz.


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