You summed it up well: the irony of looking for the simple truth in situations and circumstances that at first present an overwhelming complexity. While I find confusion boring, I also find getting through it makes me truly happy and reminds me of who I am. I can do all kinds of things in a state of confusion, most of which I am not proud of. But then that is the nature of survival.

Yes, the area between verbal and non-verbal is good to explore. Many of the difficult experiences began during stages of development when we didn’t have words. When I do discover something, I like to find words that describe it. It feels important to do that because it helps me recognize when feelings are being “disavowed’, as the passage mentions. These days I want to know who’s feeling what around me. I want to know what I’m feeling and what another person is feeling. It helps me feel safe. Perhaps this is the legacy of the damage. Doing something about it calms me down and helps me get back to the present moment.

I think what caught my eye most of all about the passage was the lack of differentiation between “adult passion” and “childhood tenderness”. Especially now that I have children, I feel the need to make this difference clear but often lack the means. This probably reflects the fact that I was in the midst of adult passion as a child. When I actually think about it, I would say that like confusion, I find tenderness initially boring. It simply has not been on my emotional map. I feel kind of sick inside for saying that. In raising my kids I see the need to have that kind of connection with them and I treasure it whenever it occurs. What it could mean to me personally is still a painful thing to consider.

Thanks for your response. It helps me move some of this along. Please take care of yourself.

Jacob S

The book is called Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation by Daniel Shaw. It's slow-going but full of helpful insights.


The learning process ain’t fun. I feel like I lived outside of any experiences of subjectivity between myself and others for too long. I'm angry for having made myself numb and look forward to making better choices.

As you might gather from my moniker, bodywork has also been part of my process of opening up and letting go. Repressed memories felt in my body ache for recognition, but I have to take it a day at at time and remind myself that healing is possible when the pain and confusion set in.

Thanks for sharing your courage and your journey.


Edited by focusedbody (10/28/13 02:05 PM)
Edit Reason: unnecessary reference
Lose the drama; life is a poem.