Monday, January 25, 2016
I finished my assigned reading for my trauma counselor during this weekend's blizzard. The book was "Waking the Tiger", Peter Levine's book about healing trauma. Now I've cracked open a new book, "Healing Developmental Trauma" by L. Heller and A Lapierre.
From the first book I learn that we're reptiles until 6 months, mammals until 5 years and homo sapiens thereafter. O.K.... I lie. But biologically we have all three of these in our bodies. Maybe a little angel, too?
From the second book I pick up the term 'Environmental failure'. I love this term! Is it the no-fault term? 'Environmental failure' refers here, not to the polluted water in Flint, Michigan, but to anybody or anything which specifically fails children.
Both books share the same view of reptilian survival instincts, mammalian feelings, and homo sapiens cognition, all wrapped up in one delicious biped.
Now, with enough environmental failures, reptiles or mammals or homo sapiens would not grow up, but let's suppose they do grow up to nibble or hunt or write. All three species react the same way during an environmental failure. Fight, flight, or freeze. After the danger, differences are stark. Assuming one makes it through said crisis, reptiles and mammals will shake it off, then return to grazing or slithering or pouncing as if nothing had happened. Some lucky homo sapiens children are helped to 'shake it off', and they return to play as if nothing had happened. I think this works if the environmental failure is within an 'environmental of health'. I can't say for sure. Anyway, some homo sapiens children endure 'environmental failure' with no 'afterwards' until they reach adulthood. They have a LOT of shaking off to do.
In any case, being homo sapiens, we use our brains to attach explanations and meanings to environmental failures. Unless helped to do otherwise, homo sapiens children will turn environmental failure into their very OWN failure. Some grown up children are very very very good at covering this up. You'd never suspect.
Oh. You have no failure to cover up. This is why I'm in counseling and you are not.
Today in counseling, this reptilian, mammalian, and homo sapiens brain of mine realizes "Goodness. No human being tries to be obnoxious."
Don't stop loving this human being because they are obnoxious!
(O.K. I jumped off the diving board with that last comment.) What do you think?