Retraining your horrors
Because it’s a start of a new year I wanted to share with you how I overrode bad memories. Or re-booted my thought process. I’ll start with the first thing I re-wrote. Because, it effected my ability to sleep and then my capability to function during the day. I chose this one first. I always knew I was afraid of the dark. Why? Logically, I could not think of a single reason I should be afraid. “There was nothing to be afraid of.” Non-the-less, my heart would race, red alert instinct would kick in, and I could literally feel the blood pumping in my veins almost draining all rational behavior as the sun would set in the horizon. Why? I asked myself that same question about my own irrational response to the dark. It made me angry because something else beyond my control was manipulating my behavior. But I wanted control back! I just needed to discover how to take it back.
So I did the one thing I absolutely did not want to do. I sat in the dark until I figured it out. I started with small sessions. And it did not happen overnight so don’t get discouraged and quite if it doesn’t happen quickly for you. It will happen. I made sure I was in a safe place, with my husband close by, and the ability to turn on the lights if the darkness became too much for me to bear. But, I sat, curled in a little ball, comforting myself by rocking, visualizing our Saviors arms wrapped around me, and begging our Father in Heaven (It’s important for you to know there is a higher being, someone bigger than you and the adversity you are overcoming, helping you through this.) To help me understand this reaction I was having to the dark. When my heart started thumping, blood racing in fear, and the get up and run, flight or fight response came to me for no apparent reason… I sat, forced myself to sit a little longer. I sat and asked myself and our Father in heaven Why was I feeling that way. Slowly, the most terrifying memories would come out of the recesses of my mind and remind me all the reasons I was afraid of the dark.
Turned out there was a little girl inside of the adult me, that was terrified when the sun went down. When the sun started to set, she had to go to bed, bad people came out of the shadows, and did bad things. Those were very real, terrifying memories. But, once they came out and I looked straight at them,
(visualizing my saviors arms wrapped around me and my Father in Heaven watching over me, this gives you a knowledge of protection.) I could tell myself they were over. I needed to tell me, the little girl inside of me, that had never dealt with her fear that I was safe now. Re-train my mind into knowing that it was not the dark that hurt me it was the people I was forced to be around. Now I was grown, now I could promise that little girl that she would not be hurt by those bad people because I had surrounded her with good people. I actually said these words to myself, “That was then, this now. You are ok and I will be ok.” I would sit in the dark letting the memories come and then replacing them with happy memories I have had in the dark.
Some examples of my happy memories are playing night games with my kids, their giggles replaced sad cries. Bumping into unknown objects became an obstacle that enhanced our other senses like smell, touch, and hearing. We were amazed at what we could figure out in the dark.
What I discovered about the dark is… mentally we are only in the dark if we allow it. It takes training, but we have the ability to lighten our own minds. We have the ability to take back the control others and other’s choices have or had over us.
I love you all! Hope this helps!