I’m Not Hopelessness. Oh, That Must be Someone Else
Learn what being hopelessness looks like sounds like, and how to take the walls down in 4 natural phases.
Written by: Tracy Mock
I placed a phone call this morning to my good friend. Before I can even get a word out, she said I was expecting bad news from your call, is everything okay? And I was actually preparing myself for something serious. Wondering why she thinks like that. So I asked why? “Simply so it didn’t feel like I was punched in the gut when bad news came my way”.
When you grow up in a chaotic home, much like my crazy home life, there’re many moments of uncertainty. You can see where you could easily partner with hopelessness unknowingly. Just so you won’t be let down. It’s much easier to give up or give in, and just roll with it. You tell yourself at a young age whatever they’re going to say is not going to penetrate me. This leaves you with no expectations at all. You put up a wall(s) to not get hurt over and over again. Does this sound familiar?
So what’s the correct response? As a Christian, you would say godly expectations would be to respond in faith, right? To believe it is going to change. Who’s going to help get you out of the situation? Who is going to defend you? The ones in charge called MOM AND DAD should know best. Only to find they have no clue what they are doing themselves. Putting this false hope in, they will help and teach me. They ignore all the signs and symptoms and cover up the crazy by putting the focus on everyone else, but their own family.
It’s always easier to pick out someone else’s problem and figure out a solution for them than to get vulnerable and have actual conversations with your own people, the ones I call family. Why is that? I can so easily pick apart a situation and go into fix mode, like a race car, in.03 seconds.
How is it that you can have partnered with hopelessness, your entire life even after becoming a believer. I discovered that this very thing was buried DEEP within and covered up so well.
Traumatic experiences can become a hardwired response to your thought patterns moving forward. It now has programmed in my response in my brain on what TO BELIEVE AND what to expect moving forward. My response has been a lifelong response. AHHHHH! To put it simply like this, my undeveloped mind when I was developing a coping mechanism. It was a learned response because I didn’t know how to confront the response properly. I had no soft skills, hard skills, or problem-solving skills. Let alone when a crazy event would take place how to de-escalate it properly.
This hidden hopeless response system shows up in everyday life. For example, when my husband comes home from work, and I’ve been busy doing all the things and all the stuff caring for the family, preparing dinner. The house is not tighty, so he might respond, this place is a mess. My response has been a level 25 in the past. Not after what he said, the house might have been a mess, but it threw me into a trigger, and I responded like I was a little girl to my angered and enraged father at the door. I even grabbed my children to say the house needs to be clean before your father gets home. You need to be on your best behavior, give him a few minutes.
a feeling or state of despair; lack of hope.
What can cause feelings of hopelessness?
- Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, Alcohol or drug problems
- A history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, including military sexual trauma (MST). Traumatic brain injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD).
LIFE AFTER TRAUMA
HEALING AND MOVING FORWARD
The emotional toll from a traumatic event can cause intense, confusing, and frightening emotions. And these emotions aren’t limited to the people who experienced the event. Repeated exposure can trigger traumatic stress and leave you feeling hopeless and helpless. Whether you’re directly involved in the traumatic event or exposed to it after the fact, there are steps you can take to recover your emotional equilibrium and regain control of your life.
Life can get better.
Avoidance – blocking upsetting thoughts, staying away from the people’s places or things that remind you of what happened, markedly changing your routines so you can avoid reminders that trigger negative feelings.
Hyperarousal – constantly on the edge, more easily irritable, jumpy, shaky body being in overdrive, shortness of breath.
Re-experiencing – upsetting intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and Nightmares.
Negative changes to mood– low mood, development of negative, self-defeating beliefs, lack of Interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities.
***These symptoms are only relevant if the person has been exposed to a traumatic stressor. If they haven’t, then these could be related to depression, or another mental illness.
How to Heal
Safety and Stabilization: learning how to recognize physical symptoms and to use simple techniques to calm your system, putting you in control. Some examples: reading, positive self-talk, grounding, visualization, mindfulness, meditation, muscle relaxation.
Remembrance: from the vantage point where you are now safe and no longer in danger, you can reflect on these events, reviewing them in detail and conditioning yourself to feel calm throughout your recollections. This phase is also used to examine the impact the events have had on your life. To explore and deconstruct negative or self-defeating beliefs that came out of the event. Personal failure, weakness, unsafe world, etc. Invite Jesus into it take all the pain and hear him speak the truth to you. Learn the importance of implementing: worship, journaling, and brainstorming future self, dreaming again. Start to understand your purpose and call from God in your life. What brings you joy and fulfillment.
Reconnection: Learn behavioral activation techniques to force you to get involved with the world again, fighting back against the tendency to isolate by making room for activities that bring you happiness, reinforcing positive social relationships, and getting you focused on the future. Growing/developing into your calling, faith, and superpower….love. Letting love in and cultivating your heart.
Connecting with yourself, develop friendships with others, and God. Growing, developing, and partnering in your calling. Letting love fully in.
Although it is valuable to train your children and how to prepare so you have a well-balanced, organized home, I’ve come to understand my own response, and grooming my children has continued this crazy cycle.
I have learned to be empathetic in my responses to situations. My response is only truth to me, that doesn’t mean it’s the truth. I found I gave it more power than it has ever intended to, because that’s my truth.
That doesn’t change the fact if there were factual pains in this life in messy situations and messy responses that are all part of life. But when we fall into the lie trap, believing that this is how a perfect response would be or how something should go is an inaccurate expectation.
That’s why it’s so important to know what the truth is. What do I believe…. The word lie is within belief. It’s like we have to detect if this is the truth or a lie.
In each situation, we need to understand whose garbage is this….is this the stuff I’m dealing with or is it somebody else’s junk attempting to project on me? We can take on issues that don’t belong to us. Is this truth or perceived truth? Or is this merely a trigger? Am I triggered? Or, is the other person triggered? Learning to work through it and understanding is key to change.
For example, the whole thing with my response to dinner on the table and having the house clean before my husband gets home. I would get this hyper response out of nowhere and respond big and over the top to my kids. Choose the situation, there would be a gigantic response.
It’s always interesting looking at how men are versus women. Typically, men are not talkers, and women want to talk up and down, left and right in the back around the circle again. But are men, not talkers, or have they simply been conditioned in our society and by the enemy to not sense and not be vulnerable?
In this process, I’ve come to discover my relationship with control. As I’ve assessed my history, we go way back, a lasting relationship with control. I imagined control served me, and it brought balance to me, and it helps every situation. Every time I handled things that got a little wiggly in any environment, I would go to entertaining, redirecting, dodging bullets for somebody else. I would do just about anything to keep the peace for the sake of myself and others. I got excellent at filling out others’ feelings. I can perceive how the situation would go, and I will be super sensitive to my environment. This was my coping mechanism.
I would tell myself it’s not okay to feel. Another way of saying it was it’s not okay to have an opinion. This freeze response has been there for a lifetime. My father would say boys run track, not girls. He would go on to say you’re taking grocery money away from the family driving to get the kids from track to our mother. No one ever spoke up and said that’s not accurate. No one stood up if something wasn’t true.
WHAT A SESSION MIGHT LOOK LIKE (BELOW)
What did I want as a young kid growing up? I wanted to be pushed, I wanted greatness to come out of me. Part of being a parent is to be unselfish. Taking my kids to and from all these sports and events, and being super busy, is one of the most selfless aspects of being a parent.
I remember the first time I realized I had to be selfless as a parent. Nursing every couple of hours felt like all my time. It’s never on my time, it’s never when it’s convenient? It’s significant self-sacrifice, to say the least. I’m sure you could look at this and say even being pregnant and with what you choose to eat while growing your baby are equally important. The sacrifices never end.
Who were the people that poured into you in the season?
Step Uncle- he encouraged me the only way he knew how. He was attempting to deposit hope in me, even though it was not his job.
My mothers brother – he always made me feel special about my birthday, and wedding. He gave me a well-thought-out present. It’s not so much the money, he just honestly made me feel loved. With no expectation in return.
What did you want to hear?
I wanted to hear…. what was your time? How did it track? What were you thinking when you did that? I was wondering why you were interested in doing that sport?
…….. The truth was no one was that interested in me.
What would you have told yourself?
- Keep it up!
- You did great!
It feels fake to hear what I wanted to hear. It actually makes my skin crawl when I hear those phrases. Because nobody said that to me.
Emotions attached to that memory?
Numb, lonely, and hopeless.
As we connected her to Jesus, we gave him all the pain of that situation. We wait until it is completely gone. Not a trace of pain from that moment left. He wanted to tell me there’s nothing that he didn’t experience himself. When he was on the cross, he fought alone then. He reminded me that we always have people around us in our moments. Jesus had his brother John and Mary all the way through. We always have people around us, we simply have to choose to notice them. Jesus was there, and that moment when I experienced those situations. I can see Jesus holding me.
So how does one even know how to transform this mindset? Old me would have said that operating out of the faith of any sort is key. What if you’re not rooted and grounded in love? In our circumstances we are facing, we need to know what love looks like. It looks different in every situation. We need to ask God what love looks like in the specific circumstances we were facing. Love for neighbor, love for herself, love for God all have to be part of his answer – otherwise, we operate out of a fleshly, unredeemed love that causes more problems than it solves.
Faith + Hope + Love =Answer
Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when a blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.
This Perfect Love
Love never stops loving. It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away. It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten. Our present knowledge and our prophecies are but partial, but when love’s perfection arrives, the partial will fade away. When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways.
For now, we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face. My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood. Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.
We heal day by day. Moment by moment. Trust the Lord in your journey of healing your HEART! Let the Love of Jeusus all the way in and it transforms you so you can be the best you! Remember this…..
NEVER have I seen the Godly forsaken!!! What happens to you? From others can affect you but it doesn’t have to for the rest of your life. It is a choice to heal and enjoy the benefits of the family of God.