Fallen Eve

eveReading more of “Captivating” by John & Stasi Eldredge, and this particular part is regarding Adam and Eve. Now, I’m not particularly religious, but I can appreciate some of the stories, without believing in a particular God (but God isn’t a person. It’s a power…anyway, different post). The morals and concepts are still very valuable. Yes, I’m reading a book that is very, very Christian. So sue me. ANYWAY, this section talks about the story of Adam and Eve. We’ve all heard it. Adam was put on the Earth, and something was missing. Something wasn’t right. It was Eve. God gave Adam…Eve. They were told not to eat the forbidden fruit. The serpent told Eve she could and it would give them immortal, godly powers. God told them they would die if they ate it. Eve ate the fruit, and then offered it to Adam.

What I’m getting at is not how we pay for these sins, or that because of their ‘greediness’, we opened Pandora’s Box or any of that other shit. (Forgive me all my religious friends…) No, I’m asking different questions. Why did Eve eat the fruit? Why didn’t Adam stop her? Why did Eve question God’s word and listen to the serpent? Those are the million dollar questions, aren’t they?

Ok, Eve ate the fruit first. She suggested it, she was coerced into eating it from the serpent in the first place. Alright, why? Why did she lose faith? Because she was curious, she didn’t know another way, the serpent swayed her?

Ok, so Adam’s side.. maybe he was curious too, and he thought the serpent had a point. Maybe he was frozen and was scared of what Eve would do if he stopped her. Where was he when this was happening? Right there next to her. He didn’t do shit to stop her from taking/picking the fruit, eating it, nor giving it to him. He went silent. He froze. He avoided a confrontation. He avoided a fight. Now, in the story, things would have been all dandy if this didn’t happen. But it did. In allowing this to happen (on both sides, Eve and Adam), sin was ‘born’ and women were graced with loneliness, control and dominance, men were cursed with futility and failure.

Let’s talk on the woman’s side of things.. known as “Fallen Eve”. Fallen Eve protects herself against the hurt of the ‘sins’ by either being controlling and dominant….because the fear vulnerability. Or desolate and needy.. because they fear abandonment. Sometimes, she can be both. I tried to kill my heart’s longing for intimacy so that I would be in control. A symptom of this ‘Fallen Eve’ the book talks about.

It asks about what my biggest fear is. Spiders? Failing? Being alone? No. Betrayal. Abandonment. Desolation. Being unimportant. Coming to terms with this as my biggest fear makes me vulnerable. I’m ok being vulnerable… to a point. I can be vulnerable with myself. Not with another person anymore. That requires trust. Which I don’t know if I can trust like that ever again.

Now, reading a little more in the book “Healing from Trauma”, there were a few sentences that struck home that also tie in to this story in Captivity.

“Traumatic events are like thieves that take something precious from us.”

I had something stolen from me. But I’m not curling up in a ball and letting my life go on without me. No. I’ve acknowledged it, I’m moving forward, and I’m making the best decisions on what I see fit for myself. Sometimes this a convoluted decision to some. No one needs to understand but me. I’m determined to get back my something precious. Only I can do that, and I won’t be crippled. I don’t need to explain my decisions to anyone, and no one else lives my life but me. I’m in this. I make my own path now.

“You didn’t choose what happened, but you can choose your path now.”

Trauma

trauma

“Hearing about other people’s trauma is particularly difficult if you’ve experienced a lot of trauma yourself. Your nervous system isn’t starting from neutral, and you may not have the hardiness of those for whom hearing about such events slide right off their back.” – Jasmin Lee Cori in “Healing from Trauma: A survivor’s guide to understanding your symptoms and reclaiming your life”.

I just started reading through another self improvement book, and within the first few pages, I realized this is literary gold. I come across a few of these books from time to time where I learn so much within just a few sentences. This particular book is a good one for me specifically because the author doesn’t recount her memories, traumas, or tell stories about specific events. She teaches you some tools to use in your recovery, no matter what the trauma. The above quote is from the introduction section of this new book and hits close to home. I just recently learned how to ‘start from neutral’ when faced with a trigger conversation or event. The two tools the author teaches first are conversation and journaling. Which I do a lot of both when I’m healing. One of the tools I’m learning how to do know is take perspective. I mentally take steps backwards and observe the situation. I stop focusing on my story and listen. I breathe. I don’t recoil, freeze, or get upset. It’s not my story, I’m there to listen and help support others. I don’t pass judgment on anything anyone ever tells me. Again, it’s not my story, we all have our skeletons and mistakes. I just choose to be a clean slate and think about everything in it’s entirety.

“We take in our traumatic histories in layers, and the denial and dissociation that helps us originally may still be at work as we learn about trauma. This denial and dissociation try to protect us from painful truths by blocking them out or not staying present to take in what is happening.”

healingfromtraumaThis is so incredibly true. Some people distract themselves, others claim they are fine, and others avoid it entirely. Learning to handle the trauma is not something that can be learned though a step program. Seems like common sense, right? The human brain is a complicated place, and you can’t just rewire how things work overnight. But ‘how do I get over ___?’ or ‘how to become balanced’ google searches aren’t going to tell you. They say ‘time heals all wounds’… that’s not true. It’s knowledge that is gained over time. Maximize the knowledge by teaching yourself how to observe, learn, and act on the information you now possess.

Shit happens. No matter who you are talking to, everyone everywhere has suffered a trauma of some kind. These skills can help anyone with dealing with a trauma. I recommend giving this book a try to anyone who has ever felt pain from some shit that has happened to them in their life. This is a gold mine of information, and it’s incredibly powerful if you can absorb the information being given. Take the time to read and understand the message being taught in this one.