Yesterday’s post touched a lot of people. I was honored to read so many emails from people sharing their stories. Thank you for those who reached out to me. I was blessed and touched that you trusted me with intimate and personal parts of your life.
Lt. Col. Grossman says this…
“Very often what they(in this case military people he interviewed) shared with me was something that they had never shared with anyone before…I have been taught, and I hold it to be a fundamental truth, that when someone withholds something traumatic it can cause great damage..there is therapeutic value in the catharsis that comes with lancing those emotional boils.”
I have found that to be true in my own healing as well as in the healing of those who share their lives with me.
The Colonel talks a lot about conditioning and how things we learn in our childhood most definitely affect how we view violence and determine whether we fight, flight or submit. I find his view on submitting endlessly fascinating and I am going to talk about that later, but the flight or flight model, at least in his research, is flawed. He argues that understand the culture(both personally as in our homes and in general, as in the greater society) in which we were raised aids greatly in understand and eventually overcoming our conditioning.
So, I am starting to do that. I am starting to look deeper and see more and more how my conditioning led me to fully submit, but also how it is keeping me from moving forward in some of my training and my mindset.
As I have said before, I didn’t know I had any issues with my childhood until last March. I was happy, calm, confident, good to go. I knew I didn’t talk or cry, but I never saw it as a problem. It was just how I dealt with tings that were hard and I viewed it as me being strong. I could cry for others. I cried on 9-11 and for weeks after. I cried when our friends were killed. I cried at the news or those stupid Kleenex commercials that come on at Christmas.
Crying for myself is a much tougher thing to do. I like to be in control. I have seen out of control and it almost always ended with me covered in welts. For me anger is bad and it is dangerous and I have never known how to handle it, so I learned not to be too anger or too sad and never out of control. It has worked very, very well for me.
I think a lot about training. A lot. I am sure it is annoying as all get out to read week after week about how I am going to punch and how I want to punch and then I don’t punch. I promise you, it more annoying for me.
Sometimes I stand in the mirror and I practice punching. I try to see what it looks like, what it will feel like. I try to imagine getting mad and angry and punching Arete. I am alone, no one is watching me and even then, hitting into the air, I just stand there with my fists curled up, until I drop them to my side in frustration.
I don’t know what will happen if I let go. I don’t know what will happen if I let myself feel and get angry about that day about any day. I have started a few times to get mad, if you have been following me for a while then you have seen those posts. I have come very close, but I always pull back. I don’t even know if it right to get angry and then hit someone? A bad guy, of course, but a trainer…can I do that? What if I do get anger and what if I fight someone who isn’t a bad guy, what does that make me? Oh my god, that’s it, that is the problem. I am afraid I will be like my parents. I am afraid of becoming violent. It’s not about the good/guy bad guy thing, it’s about being afraid that I will become them. Holy shit…I just this very second realized that. Huh.