Marva Lee Weigelt
What a revolutionary week this has been for me to integrate new understanding, launched by Gary Sharpe’s post about how trauma and chronic dysregulation affects other people’s perceptions of us in social situations. I had a giant aha that helped me understand and have compassion for my own mysterious social isolation as a child and well into adulthood.
Integrating that with my increased awareness after taking a class a year and a half ago and staying in touch through groups like this, I am able to understand that honing my interoception skills allows me to recognize virtually instantly when I am in the presence of a dysregulated person. I’m sure I’ve always done this, but without the comprehension of what’s happening.
I am using this raised awareness to great advantage in my peer support practice, and also observing how I am assisting others with cor-egulation.
Then, last night, in a community ukulele group I lead, I could understand why I was reacting as I was to a young woman who is a beginning player. It is quite clear that the rest of the group is having a similar reaction to her. In fact, one player stayed afterwards to talk to me privately about how the awkward young woman made her feel unaccountably “nervous.” I was so happy to have the language and concepts to help her understand what I thought was happening at the nervous system level. Then she said, “I used to be that way myself,” and I knew I had a new ally in building compassion instead of following the natural, but heartbreaking impulse to avoid and exclude this young person."