Home Containment

© 2000 Michele Toomey, PhD


May 15, 2000

You must be able to stop your mind from racing ahead and feeding on the "manic" energy that thinks "safety" is in solving every anticipated problem. How to do that is our challenge.

SAFETY: We can really only be in charge of psychological safety. That in turn will have the integrity to provide the physical safety that is within our power to provide. You have visited dire physical jeopardy, so you are in touch with that fear, but we cannot protect you from the inner workings of the body that may go awry. None of us have that protection. We must yield to that risk and put our attention on essence issues that can provide safety and intimacy within ourselves and our system. This is not only possible to live out of, it is another "dire" for you, a dire necessity. You no longer have the luxury of frantic energy propelling you from one to another activity. Your safety is in rhythm and rhythmic transitions from one activity to another, and within the present activity without anticipating the future.

Your relationship to time is critical. You CANNOT live in anticipated future. You MUST live in the present, informed by the past, and never anticipating the future except at allotted times, designated as planning meetings with yourself.

PLANNING: Looking forward to, and preparing for future events, must take place in a time period agreed upon as ANTICIPATION TIME. You must be seated, have a measured amount of time designated for it, then it must end at that designated time. You must then return to the PRESENT, focus on objects in the room, the current activity, and one at a time engage in that activity, with undivided attention.

FOCUSSING is difficult because of brain damage. We must support your injured brain. It's not your fault that it is chaotic, but it is our responsibility to give it the tools it needs.

Tools for Containment

  1. You must be seated when you anticipate the future, and plan for it. Go sit down the minute you realize you're in the future.
  2. You must limit the amount of time allocated to future planning or anticipating.
  3. When you begin to engage in anything, tell yourself, seqeuence and focus are hard for me now, so I must do the activity in very rhythmic sequence and only one piece at a time. NEVER more than one at a time and always with my mind focussed on the NOW and the activity.
  4. You must allow time to let your brain rest and not think or focus, just float quietly in space. It will give it a needed rest and regeneration of energy.
  5. When you sit quietly in your new chair, you need to allow your eyes to see the beauty outside, hear the music inside and just yield to the visual and auditory sights and sounds. You are anxious and easily tired, so until we reduce these factors, you must address them and make room for them. Accommodating them means giving them their legitimate place and recognizing they take energy and need care and attention. Pretending you're not anxious or tired is self-deception and oppresses your system. Acknowledging them, first to yourself and then to others, gives you the protection of integrity. Without integrity, you are "off" and in a kind of jeopardy. You can't afford it.
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