It snowed overnight and throughout this morning. Highly disappointing when it's supposed to be spring in Northwestern Ontario and when the winter snow was nicely melting and disappearing. I groaned along with everyone else when I saw it. By noon, when I went to my car, well over an inch of snow had accumulated. Ugh. I waited in my car with the heat cranked high for a friend to finish work so we could go for lunch and, with this blog in mind, I took some pictures of the miserable weather.
This photo of the side mirror particularly intrigued me, the idea that one view back can give different perspectives. Also, of course the idea that objects are closer than they appear. I took the photos, thinking about how something we think has passed can still haunt us and be in our line of sight, as in a rear view mirror. Like winter!
And that was to be my post today. Nice and light and kind of fun.
Then I went to work this evening and discovered that this can be true of anything in our lives.
An incident surfaced at work a couple of weeks ago which resulted in one of our clients losing his assistive services with us (at least temporarily) and with the police seizing his computer and conducting an investigation into his activities. I knew about the incident six weeks before i reported it to the person who would have to act on it. So I had to examine that. Why had it taken me so long to say something? Who was I trying to protect? And why?
Lots of self compassion and soul searching later, I realised that this incident had been a trigger for me, reminding me of similar past situations where i had to make difficult emotional decisions. And so I shoved the incident away for extreme self protection. Of course I was still aware of it happening, but so long as I kept quiet about it, I had 'control' of the situation, I didn't have to face my prior distress. This self protection was subconscious and I had no idea I had been holding onto it for so long until I had to recall dates for the police.
Tonight at work, I saw our ex-client in our security cameras. He had returned to the apartment building, his home, and was repeatedly coming down to the floor our office is on to put stuff into the garbage room. He had been away the last couple of weeks and I was startled to see him. I have nothing to fear from this man. My head told me that. But my body went into full flight mode. A chill ran up my spine. Dread coiled in my stomach. I became anxious, fidgety and sweaty. I felt like a child hiding from a gang of bullies. I ate an entire bag of cookies, craving them, trying to stuff down my feelings which seemed to balloon around me. I had to leave the office for routines and my head encouraged me to go but my body circled back for just one more cookie.
Finally time and the man staying in his apartment calmed me. Looking back I realise I could have used more effective coping methods such as grounding...focusing on five objects I could see, four things I could hear etc...but at the time I was totally unprepared both for the sudden sighting of him and for my extreme reaction. Obviously this situation and the past it had dragged up had been in my blind spot for a little while now and was much closer than it appeared.
But now I'm aware that I still need to tend to something more there. I'm not completely healed. I need to practice coping mechanisms so they become more instinctual.
Time to readjust my rear view mirror.
Welcome! I'm Sue Blott: a writer of all things, a poet at heart, mom, wife, daughter, step-mom, grandma, tea drinker, tai chi-er, mystic, artist, dreamer...and now a blogger! This is my world.