It’s been a long time since I last wrote and I finally have courage to share what’s been going on with me. At the very least I can be honest about who I am at this moment and trust that I will grow into who I want to be.
The world around us is crazy right now. Anyone who’s awake is watching, researching, questioning, and feeling the effects internally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Not only that, but my inner world has ramped up to next-level intensity. I’m certain many of your inner worlds have been just as intense, too. So many of us are empaths and it’s important to remember that sometimes what we are feeling isn’t our stuff – we are sensing a combo of the inner and outer, as we process the data we are being bombarded with and that which just is.
Leading up to this “virus,” I had been facing several years of the “dark night of the soul,” which had progressively been getting worse and worse. My choice response, when facing times like these, is to isolate. I don’t need anyone to tell me to self-quarantine. I just introvert and do what works best for me, which is time alone and going within. (On a side note – despite how horrendous, disgusting and difficult all the challenges have been, I know also, internally, things have been improving greatly – but that’s for another time.)
So what’s been going on? Since 2017, I’ve been living with chronic pain, due to a repetitive strain injury that started near the end of that year. I’d also been facing bullying and harassment in the workplace by someone who was above my pay grade and, despite all the inner work I do to notice and integrate my shadow, I was left feeling like I had no where to turn. And then, (enter stage left) the return of well-managed “mind” issues.
In 2019, I finally humbled myself and began a medical leave to focus on healing the physical injury. I began feeling dizzy and overwhelmed, which I learned was a delayed stress reaction, and I ended up in counselling to clean up the aftermath of the effects of workplace harassment. This culminated in learning that what I was experiencing was actually PTSD.
I felt ashamed to have spoken up on my blog and in interviews, about how I healed my mental health, to find myself facing mental challenges again. Viewing PTSD as a mental injury, rather than a mental illness, helped me to reframe any feelings of shame. My body and mind responded quite rationally to the experiences I had faced.
During a meditation in November of 2019, I asked why I was so affected by interactions with the bully in the workplace. Due to years of inner work, and also partially due to an aspect of my personality that I’m working to change, I try to take accountability for everything I do, think and say, instead of pointing fingers at others. I’ve learned that often the answer to healing is within and shifting how one perceives things can change how one responds to similar circumstances. I have lots of practice spotting my triggers, healing and releasing them.
The answer I was met with during this meditative questioning, however, was not anything close to what I was expecting; although a part of me knew all along that something wasn’t quite right in my life. My intuition flashed several traumatic experiences that went beyond the abuse I’d experienced at age three (and have written about many times previously). Years and moments I had completely forgotten began to flood my current reality. And then, over the next seven months, I was bombarded with visual and emotional flashbacks, extreme emotions, spiritual warfare, physical purging, and trying to navigate the life I thought I had with the one I was being shown. It felt like an earthquake had ripped through my mind.
This has been the ultimate battle with the shadow and the ultimate reintegrating of who I really am.
You will not find me screaming at those who did this to me – not yet and maybe not ever – partially because the faces I did recognize (there are many I can’t even see) are dead or gone. And hate plus hate equals more hate.
Despite what I lived through, one thing has always remained intact and that is that I’m a heart-based being. And I resonate with Friedrich Nietzsche’s sentiment that whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.
They – those who abuse – want you to become them, they want you to be infected with their virus, they want your misery to be part of their company. And I simply won’t do that.
I started to write this today because I was inspired by a friend who’s offered great encouragement regarding the process I follow to heal intuitively. And ultimately, I hope I might be able to turn this nightmare that was intended to break me into something that may help others rebuild themselves, also. At the very least, I have an abundance of experience overcoming a variety of life challenges.
On Saturday night, just three days ago, I was blasted with intense thoughts of self harm, which almost resulted in a suicide attempt, as I was home alone. Not a stranger to these intrusive thoughts/images of me slashing my wrists, cutting my arms and other self-mutilation, I have, over the last ten years, battled them away like a skilled ninja, but this time was different and I was already weary from trying to keep afloat.
The push to kill myself and escape it all was becoming extreme, and the enticing pull back to an old, self-harming aspect of myself nearly won out. I screamed, “I HATE YOU!!!!” at my face in the mirror and the person looking back was so angry, her eyes bloodshot and bulging, and her skin crimson and hot with rage. Somehow, I found myself spontaneously and physically moving away from anything that could potentially be a weapon.
I grabbed a pen and wrote down all the awful things I was hearing in my mind about myself. In the moment, I didn’t realize how my pen was mightier than a sword. I pressed that damn pen into the paper so hard I engraved the other pages. I wrote every last thing down until the thoughts stopped. Here is just a small grouping of the thoughts that run havoc through the mind of someone who has lived through traumatic abuse:
I do nothing right.
I’m a worthless piece of sh!t.
I hate being in this f!@#ing body and facing these repressed memories.
I hate myself. I hate who I am. I should just die.
I don’t know how to be happy, normal or how to just get over things or let them go.
I don’t know how I’m going to fix this HUGE MESS.
I can’t be normal and that’s painful.
I wrote two and a half pages of these thoughts down. And then I fortunately tired myself out and went to sleep.
The next day, I woke up, still in a horrible mood. I usually jot down a few things I’m grateful for in the morning, but I couldn’t even muster that. What did work was having a beer later that day and being honest with my husband about what had happened the night before and, because I don’t drink often, I got a nice buzz and was able to start laughing, which switched the mood (Note: I’m not condoning substance abuse, but sometimes switching the program in your mind is as simple as one drink, a dessert you love, a cup of coffee, some weed, etc.).
The most helpful thing was the release I felt when talking to someone about it (my husband, my friends, my family members). As I told them what I wrote down, we called out the lies together, which is why I said the pen IS mightier than the sword; especially in regards to matters of the self. I do a lot right. I am worthy. Yes, I hate that I went through trauma that changed me. Yes, it’s super uncomfortable to be in my body right now. I am learning more about myself every day. I will figure this out one day at a time. I am not normal and I don’t know who is. I am growing into my own. I am hurting and that is ok. Things will get better. I still have love, compassion and glimpses of joy. I have opportunities to learn what works for me and what doesn’t. I have a bigger opportunity to work on self-hatred, which had been deeply hidden from my perception. I will remember all the thoughts I jotted down that night and will call out the lies when and if they come up again.
What happened on Saturday night was a callback to the old, which is over. Things are rapidly changing and sometimes I feel I have no idea what I’m doing. Still, I will push forward, try new things, and figure out the mystery of who I am.
Someone once told me “healing is a verb.” I cringed hearing that. I like the idea of having a magic fix, but having a magic fix is what’s wrong with the world, both inner and outer. Healing is a process. It’s like climbing a mountain and sometimes you lose your footing. One thing I need to watch is how hard I am on myself and I must take all setbacks in stride. The goal is to keep climbing and to accept where I am right now – even if it’s rough terrain, a storm’s blowing in, and I want to be a hero, but my cape is tangled in a bush and I dropped my grappling hook.
~NOSCE TE IPSUM~
This post is dedicated to the souls who battled against these dark forces and lost their physical lives in the process. May you rest in peace.