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  • Nick

Scared of the Sound of Silence - Why can't you just stop?


For the first time in ages, I went for a dog walk without any kind of podcast or music. It was 40 minutes of trying to keep two Labradors in some kind of order, but I wanted to be in my own head and experience the great outdoors without the ramblings about football which is my normal companion.


It might sound a bit weird but having my mind be still and experience the moment is incredibly calming and rewarding and afterwards it reminded me about a client who cannot be in her own head. She does everything possible to keep herself busy and goes to extreme lengths to not be still.


She works seven days a week – with five different employers, from morning to night she is running herself ragged. I asked what happens when she finally sits down and then out comes the phone and the scrolling begins. Next question was, if she got a few spare minutes, what does she do – the answer is she goes home and cleans the house, doesn’t feel able to sit there or go for a coffee or even have time to relax. Go, go, go.


I followed it up with questions about relaxing and just stopping and we got closure to the real issue. It got a bit complicated when we discussed her children and Christmas as strong driver was ‘gifted’ to her from her own mother and so the pressure of making her own children’s Xmas’ perfect was immense. Slowly, we peeled away why that is important and then we got to the real nub of the issue – abuse.


I started to realise how many people live their lives carrying abuse around with them, on the outside they are successful and loving and caring, but on the inside, they are still suffering, they are still protecting themselves from harm and will have 1,000 coping strategies that means they are on guard and can’t possible rest or relax. They may never have told anyone; it may have been swept under the carpet by the people around them and so they get through today and move on to the next.


Abuse comes in many different forms and doesn’t have to be sexual or physical violence, it can be controlling behaviour and neglect and the core to a lot of the issues is the survivor looks internally to see what they did wrong or what is wrong with them.


It obviously doesn’t mean if someone is busy that they have gone through significant issues but if the example I described sounds like or someone close to you then maybe starting to talk about it might help. Maybe talking about it can relieve some of the countless ways the person sacrifices themselves or people pleases to get through their day.


If someone close to you is like this, then very carefully suggest to them to speak to me.

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