Wednesday, August 23, 2017
I broke a bone in my ankle 45 years ago. Any relevance for today?
Physically, I have had issues with the hip and the knee on that side. Probably because back then, it was a case of plaster up to the knee for several weeks and no physio afterwards. Would this have affected how I walk, how I use that side of my body, where I put my weight in different positions?? Quite likely. And would these different patterns of walking and weight bearing have continued over the years meaning that some parts of the body are now being strained? Probably.
And, what about emotions and beliefs stored in the body? Well, I have faced some emotions stored in my hip and knee, and let these go.
Now it is time to revisit the memory.
This is what I remember. I had taken my flatmate to work on her motor scooter. I was returning when I went round a corner. I turned the accelerator handle bar the wrong way!! So I went faster, rather than slowing down. At that moment I froze, so I was unable to reverse the action. I sped round the corner and drove smack into a parked car on the other side of the road, which flipped me and the scooter onto our sides in the middle of the road. Since then I have mightily blamed myself for the huge mistake that I made. Any time I have remembered it, I have felt so stupid and so bad. I made a stupid mistake. A mistake that should not have happened. It was more than a mistake…. I had actually done the complete opposite to what one should do. So not a little mistake. In my mind it meant that I was worthless and totally stupid. Throughout my life this is how I have felt about any mistake. No matter how little.
Today I also realised that in the moment, I froze. So I was unable to correct. Which would have been simple to do. Doubly stupid. Why? Probably because as a child, I had developed this strategy. I made a mistake, I got told off, and then someone else fixed it. (because I was not clever enough to fix it) So I learned to freeze myself, to not feel, to not think, to just get through the next few moments. And then someone did it for me. This strategy had an effect on how I handled the scooter accident situation. And no one there to fix it for me. And really it need not have been like that, if I had had a different coping strategy in place.
Consider your own strategies. What do you do when you make a mistake? Do you wish you could wind the clock back and undo the mistake? Do you joke about it, in order to cover up your feelings? Consider your childhood and see what strategies you developed to cope with mistakes. Just know that whatever your way of dealing with mistakes, that these were strategies were put in place when you were young. You have more internal resources now, so take a look, and maybe change your strategies.