I believe in the neuro-plasticity of the brain. I believe that what was hardwired as a child can be rewired as an adult. I understand that one of the premises of Lifespan Integration (LI) is that many of us get stuck in certain behaviors and modes of thinking that served us well as children, but are no longer useful or healthy as adults in our relating to others. Therefore, LI can be used to show people who are open to this form of therapy that they are no longer stuck in their circumstances as a child, but in fact they have grown up and new ways of responding, being and doing are accessible and lead to life instead of a powerless existence. Well and good.
Sometimes belief in something does not necessarily turn into reality. For instance, I have been participating in LI with my therapist as my coach for nearly 4 years. At times I have felt this was very successful at alleviating the horror of some childhood memories. Today, however, I felt mired in my own fear and even my time-line, which is a vital part of the LI process, betrayed me. Every memory that was the timeline cue for the passage of time, became infused with fear and anger toward the person who had wronged me. I don’t recall ever having this person’s approval for anything I have ever done and yet I was so terrified of being abandoned that I made it my aim in life to continue to seek her approval. For some reason this felt like a double bind today instead of being released from the grip of fear that has made me feel that my one responsibility in my life is to make everyone around me happy (or at least happy with me). I have never tolerated not being liked, and when hurtful accusations are made against me, I just want to curl up into a ball of self-protection.
I believe in God. I believe that He will restore the human spirit and everything on this planet. He will recreate Eden in all its glory and humans will thrive in His light and life. Then, there will be no fear, no anger, no crying and no need for bearing the tremendous weight of responsibility that comes with seeking approval of all people and avoidance of unpleasant encounters with them. Even now, I have an understanding that I can trust God to turn my fear of man into a respectful fear of Him-one that empowers instead of belittles, one that gives life instead of death. But I am not there yet. I have not broken free from the chains that keep me locked away in a child’s mind. I don’t know if LI can help me this time. I only know that I am dying one breath at a time, ever since I had the wind knocked out of me as a kid.