“Traumatic events, by definition, overwhelm our ability to cope. When the mind becomes flooded with emotion, a circuit breaker is thrown that allows us to survive the experience fairly intact, that is, without becoming psychotic or frying out one of the brain centers. The cost of this blown circuit is emotion frozen within the body. In other words, we often unconsciously stop feeling our trauma partway into it, like a movie that is still going after the sound has been turned off. We cannot heal until we move fully through that trauma, including all the feelings of the event.”
― Susan Pease Banitt, The Trauma Tool Kit: Healing PTSD from the Inside Out
The trauma stuff is difficult… very difficult.
Lately, I have been examining all areas of my life. God’s Law of Attraction has been powerfully indicating to me how very out of harmony with love and truth I have been living. My old habit and still only fading habit is to look at myself judgementally in this – but I am gradually encouraging myself in more compassion for myself. It is very gradual, but I want to alter the harshness and pointless judgement of everything I say and do: that old, old voice that whatever I do isn’t good enough. This voice goes way back to a very young age and runs very deep, but it does not mean it is the truth. It is only what I was led to believe and I constantly have to remind myself that God does not believe this of me, in fact she believes I am able to do so much and waits patiently while I re-educate myself in her truth that I am ” the most wondrous of her creations.” * Besides, self-judgement and self blame is actually a way to avoid how powerless we feel, it cons us into thinking it is just a matter of control, of getting it “right”, then we won’t feel so bad. I notice that if I don’t judge myself, blame or shame myself I am left with a gap of “What do I do now?”
I have a long way to go before I know this in my heart, God’s truth about myself, but I feel lately I resist this truth a bit less, letting it creep very slowly into my soul. I have made mistakes, I have completely misunderstood love and what is right or wrong. Lately, I find myself without a home, little money and a body that is suffering. When are bodies are sick, we have to know that we have been missing all the other signs that our lives, our souls are misaligned and lacking in love: love for ourselves and for others. We are disconnected from our real selves, living in darkness to a certain extent, denial of our own denial, suppressed, suffering, lacking in joy, identity and love. Maybe, this is too frank for some of you, but getting frank and honest with myself, I realise is the only way forward and some of it ain’t pretty and some of it is incredibly sad.
I feel I have nothing and yet I have everything. It is strange, surreal place to be and yet a place of some fear,but also wonder. When are arms are empty, they are ready to be filled. Yet to say my cup is empty is wrong, actually as lately, I have been blessed with incredible kindness from friends and strangers. I realised a few weeks ago that I keep everyone at a very long arm’s length. I walk around with a warning sign flashing “don’t come to too close, keep back, stop!” At the same time I get angry when other’s don’t seem to care, I project my frustrations out in a unspoken demand of ” make me feel better, come on, make me feel better – NOW!” This projected anger helps me avoid the fears and terror and grief that no-one, not one soul, not even God loves me: that I am totally alone, abandoned, hung out to dry, irredeemable and unloved. It helps me avoid that feeling of powerlessness again: I can’t control people or how they feel and I want to on some level so I feel safe. Over the years, I have done so many things to avoid feeling unloved and unsafe, created many physical and emotional addictions. I have been seething with anger, frozen with fear and all hidden ( or I would like to think so) behind my “nice girl” mask. This mask is about control, not letting rip, not expressing my anger – even when alone, not feeling my fear, not breaking into a the million pieces of grief that I sometimes feel rising in my throat.
So I have created a panic button which freezes me when I feel someone is getting too close. I don’t know how to receive love because my beliefs about love are that it is conditional and that if someone “loves” me they will want something from me, take from me, use or abuse me. But, not allowing myself to express my anger, means I just fire it out silently to those who get in the firing line: damaging myself and them. It’s yukky stuff. I have tried to rant or shout or scream when alone, but it doesn’t last long so I always gave up. Now I realise, I am just going to have to practice it, same with the other emotions, practice, desire, desire, desire. And don’t live in the fear! So I have been letting people in a little and received kindness and unexpected love. Instead of ducking out of that tea with a friend, I just go and try to deal with whatever comes up for me and have a desire to be more loving, less demanding.
With all this observing of myself and my habits, my constant freezing in certain situations and sometimes flight/fright reactions I realise what a state of stress and struggle I am constantly in: no wonder my body is sick right now. So now I have to admit, that I have a lot of trauma to release from myself and I need help. I pray to God, I talk to him, I try to talk more and more to him, but still have blocks. I am looking for a trauma therapist too and a dear friend has sent me a little online trauma course. I can feel my resistance. My intellect knows I need this, a bit of my heart is crying out for it, but my fear and resistance in going there still exists. Just writing about it causes my throat to constrict a little and some desire to run a million miles away.
However, I have been doing that for far too long. I am currently blessed to be staying with new friends in a cosy home, where I have a little room and shower room. I gave some of my furniture to a charity and the rest of my stuff is in storage. But I am in a new location, in a beautiful Devon town, surrounded by green hills, currently changing into the golds and reds of autumn. I can walk out my door and be in the countryside within minutes, I can buy wonderful organic food and enjoy this friendly town, which is softer and gentler than where I was living only 2 weeks ago. To me this is a sign of my desire to be softer and gentler, to find God in this “green and pleasant land.” For a while, I will nestle here and learn more about love: loving myself, loving others and loving God…trying to get to know the truth. I pray I can truly start to heal, to stop resisting, to stop being strong and trying to control everything.
I hope I can start to peel the layers of the onion to get to that trauma place. I can feel there are dark places I don’t want to go, memories I am afraid of, truth about my family that is difficult to bear, and truth about how in my own denial, my own survival techniques, I myself have been much more unloving that I have ever liked to admit. I may have been damaged as a child, but I have continued to damage myself dreadfully over the years in every area. I currently have a huge wake up call, God is knocking loudly on my door and for that I am grateful.
The root meaning of crisis is opportunity so for me my current crisis is an opportunity: a great act of love calling me to love more in every area. I can’t say I am aware of the purity/impurity of what I write: I just write, in the hope that we all stop denying what our lives are reflecting back at us. If we are in struggle, we are not facing the truth about something, we are not allowing our feelings to be present: it means we are resistant and fearful, not trusting what God is trying to show us.
How we get so afraid to feel? It is what makes us human, our ability to feel all range of emotions, to dance in the fire and swim in the waters of our feelings. We were meant to be a river and we became rocks. The rock may be long lasting, strong, tough, solid, but it can not create water. Whereas, water can shape and alter the rock in shape and form. A rock is static, rarely moving from one place, restricted. Yet water, can move over any place, it can permeate and move through tiny places, or gush through huge ravines. It connects everything and so much life exists in it. Indeed, the human body is 70-80 percent water. Water is free, ever-changing, sparkling. I love water, whether it’s a hot shower, a wild river or the vast ocean, so it seems mad that I have chosen to be a rock for so long! A stubborn, self reliant rock! I thought it was the only way to be, the only way to survive, but all I chose was an existence, not a life, not living. So can I join the gushing river? I hope so, though my fears make me step into a gentle brook first, dipping my toes in.
God knows I could dive in, I just have to believe it myself.
I do believe that being more compassionate with myself will help me soften to the emotions I need to feel, including those layers of trauma. One of the first things in the online course I am asked to do is to sit everyday for a short period and feel my body. That is become of aware of the feelings and sensations in my body. When we have had trauma we disassociate from ourselves so much. I have lived with various physical pains for years and just become used to it, almost numb. When I did the body exercise yesterday, I became aware of hip pain, knew pain, discomfort in my lower back, thoracic spine and an awful pain in my shoulders and neck: a feeling of someone pulling down my shoulders, but it being so rigid in my neck it was very uncomfortable and stiff, then from that pains in my head. Also, I realised I wasn’t breathing a lot of the time. So I am doing a lot of holding on and the pain in my body represents suppressed emotional pain. Reconnecting with my physical body and it’s pain may be the first step and I can see the logic in it so I shall persevere.
But what I realised too it is easy to be distracted by trying to solve things externally. Yes, I can eat healthily, I can go for walks, I can receive other treatments, but it is my willingness to “dive in” that will produce results. And in fact, I do want to do this with God, not on my own. My self reliance is like a cancer in my soul and it needs a lot of work: it needs humility, a whole ton of it. In biology, cancer cells are very good at tricking the bodies inflammatory responses so that the normal immune responses don’t attack the cancer cells. Well my self reliance is the same – it is very good at tricking me and telling me there is no other way, but to help yourself: it is arrogant and rigid and I need to remind myself that it is a very good trickest and I must desire to know the real damage that is being done and to want to change it, by becoming more God reliant and more self responsible. Self responsibility is not self reliance, by the way, it is more humble and willing to face truth. Self reliance will accept anything, including lies, in order to maintain being “right.”
When I was younger, this self reliance, this toughness, probably helped me survive, and so well that I have a belief that I can not do without it. At the moment, this feels like one of my biggest battles, my biggest belief system to break down, the biggest shell to crack. But if I do, then I feel I will allow myself to feel those terrors and traumas and stop putting on the “strong” facade. May the ice queen melt! May she find a space and scream and shout and shiver and cry! Self reliance is nothing more than a big, ugly rock that needs smashing into a thousand pieces!
I know I have jumped around a bit today – trauma to tantrums, rocks to water, self reliance to surrender. It kind of symbolises my own unravelling, and that’s ok.
The quote from above about being the “most wondrous of your creations” is from the prayer that Jesus wrote. It was changed into the biblical from of the Lord’s prayer, but this is the full, unedited version ( As on the divinetruth.com website). I love it. Some of the words challenged me when I first read it, but now I love it , even when my emotions struggle with it, it reveals much and it has the power to express everything I can’t always find the words for:
My Father, Who is in Heaven , I recognise that You are All Holy and Loving and Merciful, and that I am Your child, and not the subservient, sinful, and depraved creature that false teachers would have me believe.
I know that I am the greatest of Your creations, and the most wonderful of all Your Handiworks, and the object of Your Great Soul’s Love and Tenderest Care.
I know that Your Will is that I become at-one with You and partake of Your Great Love which You have bestowed upon me through Your Mercy and Desire that I become, in truth, Your child through Love, and not through the sacrifice and death of any of Your Creatures.
I pray that You will open up my soul to the inflowing of Your Love, and that then will come to me Your Holy Spirit to bring into my soul this, Your Divine Love, in great abundance, until my soul is transformed into the very essence of Yourself; and that there will come to me faith – such faith as will cause me to realize that I truly am your child and one with You in very substance, and not in image only.
Let me have such faith, as will cause me to know that You are my Father, and the bestower of every good and perfect gift, and that, only I myself, can prevent Your Love from changing me from the mortal to the immortal.
Let me never cease to realise that Your Love is waiting for each and all of us, and, that when I come to You, in faith and earnest aspiration, Your Love will never be withheld from me.
Keep me in the shadow of Your Love every hour and moment of my life, and help me to overcome all the temptations of the flesh, and the influence of the powers of the evil ones who so constantly surround me and endeavour to turn my thoughts away from You to the pleasures and allurements of this world.
I thank you for Your Love and the privilege of receiving it, and I believe that You are my Father – the Loving Father who smiles upon me in my weakness, and is always ready to help me and take me into Your Arms of Love.
I pray this with all the earnestness and sincere longings of my soul, and, trusting in Your Love, give You all the glory and honour and love that my finite soul can give.