Why Trauma is Such a B#$^&
Have you ever received a message that you knew was important but just couldn't understand? The brain is so powerful, and when aligned to the spirit, it can change everything. Sometimes, our understanding just has to catch up to it.
It was 2006 and we were parked in the funeral home parking lot... There was an awkward pause while the boy in the back seat finished his cigarette. I don't think any of us really wanted to get out and go in. There was a brief conversation about something totally unrelated that suddenly reminded me of all the things I was trying to forget, triggering all of the emotions I was trying so desperately not to feel... and I fell right in them...
All of our reactions and actions and thoughts and emotions are always based on memory, I thought in the background of my desperation and anxiety. And I felt like the world was going to stop. I felt like I was floating away. Space and time were absent. I lost all sense of physicality and I could not look away. I could not lift my hand to motion that I was okay. The face I was talking to morphed into every face I had encountered in my life. He was talking, but I was not hearing, and I wasn't sure I needed to. I wasn't sure it mattered anyway. Nothing was real and yet it was more real than anything I could experience. There was a feeling, a knowing, a recognition, and if I could just grasp the meaning behind it maybe all the pain would go away and I could finally just anchor and stay.
Everything that has ever happened is happening and will happen and it all is connected and life had led me to the passenger seat in which I sat for a reason, and if I could just grasp what was in front of me, maybe I could finally let it go. And I didn't want to deal with the reality I was facing. I didn't want to bury another friend. I didn't want to remember the last time. I didn't want to acknowledge the similarities between all the faces in all the conversations and all the experiences they brought into my life... the same cyclical pattern and draining conversation that had perpetuated through all of it. And I closed my eyes and I took a breath and I did that sensory technique that someone had taught me and I decided for once, not to let myself float away... and I understood.
It was the first time I really understood that my mind's need to dissociate was a mode of protection, and that maybe, if I learned to anchor in it, I could use it for good. Separating from the weight of the emotional and physical experience just enough to let my brain make some sort of objective sense of it. Allowing myself to grasp something that could be used for my own good.
"Our very existence," I said, amazed that I could even speak it, "is based on the memory of the very first moment of our existence." And it may have sounded crazy, but I didn't have better words for it. And yes, they looked at me like I was insane... maybe I was... but I had to record the thought, turn it into a concrete expression... use my voice to anchor in a way. I thought it was an answer, but in reality, it was a description of my own stuckness. Memory is cumulative I realized in that moment, though I didn't really have all the words to explain. All of our thoughts and actions are based on the memory of whatever happened in the moment before and however we interpreted it, so that our behavior in the second moment is based on the interpretation of the first and even if we don't think we remember our last moment in truth each new response is based on the memory of our very first moment where this process began. And it took me years to understand what this meant and apply it in my life, but let's be real, this is how trauma procreates.
Yes, trauma creates trauma. In the very first experience of distress, interpretations are made and neural pathways are formed. A reaction is programmed. And every negative event thereafter will trigger the same response. While the first event may have been extremely challenging due to the nature of the event itself or the maturity and preparation of the subject, later events may be less consequential yet carry just as significant of an impact due to the memories and emotions they trigger. Thus, trauma creates a traumatic response to lesser incidences moving forward by creating an emotional and mental pattern that becomes easier and easier to trigger over time. You can't just get over it. You can't just sweep it under the rug and forget. Trauma keeps creating new trauma. What a b@#$!
And maybe you don't care. Maybe you just know you don't want to feel the way you feel anymore. You're tired of struggling and feeling helpless and tired of being hit back. I hear you and I've been there. So, if this is a learned program all based on a memory, how do we unlearn that?
Let's take a cue from our bodies' natural coping mechanism. Dissociation is a break in how your mind handles information causing disconnection from your thoughts, feelings, surroundings and affecting your sense of identity and perception of space and time. In a way, it is terrifying and freeing at the same time. It is the brain's way of escaping an experience or triggered memory that it cannot handle and can actually offer some relief, but because it is unanchored, it can also cause delirium or additional stress. Dissociating, while it may provide momentary relief, actually slows recovery from the impact of trauma or PTSD. But this is when we don't know how to anchor and use it. In actuality, it is merely detachment to an extreme. And detachment can be very helpful in trauma recovery. Releasing all those outdated interpretations and emotional responses is in fact key to developing a new and healthy response.
Hypnosis, in actuality, is therapeautic dissociation, grounded and anchored. Your brain is not wrong to employ this technique!! It could just use some direction. Like dissociation, in hypnosis we break our perception of space and time, we release our need to identify with the emotions and thoughts and memories we are having, we lose a sense of surrounding, but we are able to do this peacefully without fear thanks to a calm and knowledgeable guide who can keep us anchored in our own intention of healing making space for new neural pathways, new updated ways of interpreting and responding to be embraced.
Fourteen years ago sitting in that car and struggling to hang on to any sense of who I was however painful it may have been at the time, my existence was based on memory. My existence was based on a million diminishing and unsupportive interpretations of the endless trauma experience my brain had created through subconscious programmed response that kept recreating the same emotional and psychological conflict again and again in my life... all based on that first time my expectation of security and love was tragically interrupted and how I had chosen to blame and victimize myself at the same time. Every time I reignited this response based on that memory I threw fire on the fuel of my own destruction. Today... no more.
By learning different anchored means of a mechanism my brain was already trying to naturally employ, my life has completely transformed. Meditation, Mindfulness, Reiki, Hypnosis, are all anchored means of dissociation that I have used to create new responses and bring myself the freedom of detachment while remaining calm and grounded enough to act through it in a beneficial way. A professional guide will offer you a safe environment in which to explore yourself, your memories, and develop new personalized methods of coping and self care. Hypnosis can be used to restructure the trauma and transform traumatic memories establishing new more supportive responses, reconnect with the self and spirit, and heal old emotions. Self-practice mindfulness and meditation techniques can be taught for grounded and effective in the moment coping.
My very existence is now based on my expression of Divine energy in this very moment. And I am free to know my worthiness as a vehicle of that light whatever may come.
If you know you are ready for a new life experience and are willing to develop new coping strategies that build on the ones your brain naturally seeks to employ, reach out to me.