Eleanor Cowan


Post Traumatic Living At It's Best

 I felt heavy as I awakened this morning. A toxic splash followed by a few dashes of self-recrimination that got tossed with sharp tuning forks.  It took two seconds: 

“No!” I told myself, and swung my legs out of bed and onto terra firma.

While I am NOT in charge of unbidden thoughts, I am responsible about the time I spend on them. And so, with a hot cuppa tea, my agenda book resting on a colorful pillow on my lap, I begin to plan today – not re-live yesterday ad nauseam.

Today, I’m mailing a special birthday card to a dear friend, and then I’ll prepare a tasty meal to share with a guest this evening. Carol loves my cooking, so I have an extra Tupperware dish set aside so she can enjoy a second helping at the office tomorrow.  There are a half dozen other objectives on my list, some for others, some for me, some that just need to get done.  

I may not feel distress as I obey my own orders, but so very, very often, a lovely little surprise occurs, a little unexpected event or a fresh idea that propels my energy forward to a better place. 

I recently learned that the word 'disciple' means: to follow your inner eye.

Once I told a psychiatrist that sometimes at night, just as I drift into sleep, I am rudely awaked by images of murder and mayhem - and sleep is chased away.  The doctor explained this phenomena to me:

“Your brain wants to protect you for the rest of your life. It's job is to make sure you're always secure.  Nodding off to sleep may leave you vulnerable...as you once were as a child. Maybe you could get hurt, just as happened in the past. And so your brain finds a clever way to wake you up so you can defend yourself if necessary.”  

The doctor said these distracting flashes of violence were meant to keep me awake - and vigilant. 

"They will never stop: A commitment on the part of the brain to protect you is life-long,” she added. 

“So what can I do? “ I asked

Without any hesitation, she spoke words I've treasured for years:

“Make sure that your creative life is passionate, that your day to day is well-lived.

Your violent images will still occur, but you’ll be so exhausted at the end of a well-lived day that they won’t last long – and your own happiness will soothe you as fall quickly to sleep. 

Now, images of murder and mayhem alert me that I'm slipping in my creative purposefulness. 

I remind myself : get busy on something that makes me happy. 

You Can Begin Now

I began my memoir at sixty years young! 

Often excruciating, it was worth every minute. 

Do you believe that an examined life is worth living? At sixty-six, my memoir complete, I understood so much more about where I'd been, what happened, and what I chose now.  

My life is so worth living!

This blog is dedicated to answering questions about my memoir, sharing insights about prevention, and examining positive pro-active measures against pedophilia. At the Calgary Sexual Health Center, and at most Sexual Health Centers around the world, remarkable supports are available for those who wish to deal with their own sexual abuse issues, those of their children or for their own disturbing inclinations towards children. Today, those finding themselves attracted to children are offered help too. Why not? Personally, I don’t blame or vilify anyone for their mental or emotional compulsions.

I do, however, hold everyone responsible to get the help needed before causing harm.

Many supports are an inside job, too. Your own mind and body will always support healing and betterment.

If, in your writing, you reveal one difficult truth and tackle it well, then your own mind will come to trust that you mean business. As a direct result, you’ll earn your next insight. Once you’ve challenged your dread and told the truth, your own mind will help you to delve to an even deeper level.  

If, on the other hand, you avoid truth, your mind will quietly close the door to further revelations. But you'll still suffer.

I found that one page at a time, deeper and deeper layers of my own history occurred to me. While I wept many times, I was never so overwhelmed that I couldn't continue. In fact, I couldn't stop. 

The major difference between truth-seeking and burying oneself in denial is that eventually, the person in denial succumbs to the toxic effects of their silencers.  Truth-seekers pay a high price too - but eventually, we experience a new kind of freedom, one that is truly triumphant and lasting. 




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