When I Slept in the Back of a Car

Mar 11, 2017

I was 29 and clueless!

The sad part of the story is that I didn’t know how to get help. I didn’t know I should get help. I didn’t know there was help…for people like me.

I didn’t know my life could be different.

The thoughts that were swirling in my head were about survival, shelter, and food. There was no consciousness about the future, a home, a family, an education, or a life!

My brain had no room for planning, no special wanting, no Self…just survival.

All I could think of back in that car was “How can I sleep with one eye open, so I can see when ‘they’ come for me?”

“They” were always after me, grabbing at my neck. I could feel “them” right behind me, like a shadow hovering over me, ready to devour me and take me off this earth.

Somehow I had learned that I was bad, that I had done something bad, and I was going to pay, as soon as “they” got a hold of me. So, I kept on running, running away…from me.

I kept wondering whether I was really here. I didn’t feel my body. All I knew was that it had to be mine, because, wherever I went, there it was, with those same legs and arms.

I felt no sensations in my body, so, if I didn’t see my arm, I couldn’t sense where it was.

I can still remember the feelings of “floating around, detached, clueless and alone” like a buoy without an anchor, drifting with the current, and helplessly at the mercy of the waves and the weather.

I saw my fingers and couldn’t stop biting my nails. I saw my legs and couldn’t stop picking and scratching. I couldn’t see my face and constantly scratched and picked at it as if that were the appropriate way to know it was still here, that I was still here. My life became about hurting myself so that I would know that I was still here.

When I looked in the mirror, I felt a painful tension in my body followed by disdain, “Oh, my God, who’s that…me? That’s what I look like? That’s what I am? What is that?”

Why do we get this low? Why do we lose our Selves? Why do we lose our sense of value, our sense of deserving, our sense of belonging? Why do we lose our “knowing that we matter”?

Through all the recovery work I have done – talk therapy (aka “analysis paralysis”), cathartic breath work, you name it – I would fall back into the trauma again and again and again. It’s how I’ve come to understand that exploring the “why” has not been helpful for me. The “why” has kept me stuck for years!

To identify with an “I am” statement that amounts to a negative label does not move me forward. To own the fact that I have a few character traits I need to adjust has been much more helpful…to me!

Yes, my story, your story needs to be validated. All of us need validation!

And then, once our story is validated, we all need to let go of it and leave room for a new story.

Every day we are re-creating our story to tell. So I encourage you to make it a good one, something that helps you feel good about you, who you choose to be, and how you share your gifts.

If I look at my past experiences as the cause of me being damaged, disabled, and mentally unstable, (“alcoholic”, “autistic”, “bi-polar”…whatever label du jour fits my fancy at the moment), I will create a story that fits that description.

If I look at my past experiences as a series of character-building moments, and the cause for my integrity, strength, and empathy (owning my stuff, survival powers, and ability to resonate with others and hear their pain), I will create a story that fits that description. My choice!

Same for you…your choice, too!

What is it going to be?

Make it a story that fits who you want to become, who you are, in fact, becoming.

Your story matters greatly. You matter greatly.

If you want to know more about the BEAM LiFE process and how it can help you choose your story, visit

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