Oct 29, 2009

Tarot Shadow Work- Coping Skills

Continuing "Into the light..." we eventually come to coping skills. Now this is a subject not so near and dear to my heart because it seems like I've developed quite a few of them over the years and it's very difficult to examine just how they came about. At one time in my life I had thought that I come to a sense of peace with my childhood issues but those pesky coping skills rear their ugly heads sometimes and I must then admit that they exist and dig deep into my memories in order to understand just "why."

Basically all coping skills are,  a set of defense mechanisms we set up in order to protect ourselves from the harshness of our reality at a given moment. Most will begin in the psyche without even so much as a concious thought on our part and really never come to our attention until a situation reminds us of the traumas we endured. Take for example myself...as a child my father was a very loud, raging alcoholic and my mom and I never really knew what might send him into a tangent or even when this rage would happen.

I learned to make myself invisible and draw as little attention to myself as possible but on more than a few occasions in my twenties, when around someone who had been drinking and getting loud and obnoxious, I would suddenly find myself turning into that terrified, shy little girl who would do anything just to melt into the walls. I used to berate myself for that feeling but now, working through this book, I am able to see the past clearly and understand the root of my reactions.

Emotional pain is a strange creature and many of us in this world, count ourselves  very lucky to have had survived such childhoods... but on the same token, we must never let those traumas and resulting defense mechanisms that made us the survivors, define who we are today. That in itself seems to be a real challenge somedays but then I realize although  I AM a survivor... it doesn't control who I am as a person. 

Next week I will explain the first of several coping skills and how they became Shadows, effecting us in our rational, adult lives.


Lisa said...

So true!

Anonymous said...

I had a similar childhood - cannot wait to read about Shadows!

mxtodis123 said...

Thanks for sharing this. My dad was an alcoholic, too, and what I discovered when I became an adult was that I kept drawing the same type of men into my life. I took on the role of "victim". It took me many years to overcome. Looking forward to next week.