When do we cut ties with trauma, folks? So many of us, myself included, are so accustomed to trauma and those feel-good stints in recovery from trauma, that we have no idea how to face real healing when it knocks on our door. There is a sense of deep-rooted loss that occurs when we are asked to let go. It is so subtle, yet cunning, and can hold us back longer than the time that is needed for it to show us some truth. We were meant to face it, not lie in bed with it.
Gulp! No sooner did I write these words in an essay for a mental health magazine and website, did I have one of the most horrific nightmares I’ve had to date, pinpointing four key traumas I’ve faced over the years. Four key traumas I thought I had long since overcome. I woke up biting my own tongue.
The traumas in the dream were:
1. Fear of what others think – which will help with recent trauma that has to do with the consequences of manic and psychotic behaviors
2. Infidelity and Abandonment – trust issues which shaped my attitude toward relationships, both platonic and romantic
3. Physical Dog Attack – lack of control and pain, which deals with all aspects of life
4. Feeling Unworthy – self esteem issues and humiliation
The subconscious is a powerful thing.
In the dream I came face to face with my dog who showed me how painful it was to keep holding onto each event, replaying it over and over to the point of haulting any movement forward toward freedom and peace.
In the dream, he encountered dog after dog and began to fight with each one, which had happened in real life and was much more intense in my subconcious than I had ever known. I held onto his leash hard throughout, struggling to keep him calm. My hands hurt and a few times my finger snagged on raw, metal clips, bleeding. It was my worst nightmare to witness him hurting another or being hurt himself.
It wasn’t until I let go of him, reluctantly, that he came face to face with his last opponent. A formidable pair, the two wrangled one another into vice grips with snarling teeth, bone on bone, until gaping and bloody wounds appeared on either side of each dog, through their jaws and tongues.
After the two dogs surrendered simultaneously, they both went into their corners and calmed themselves down admitting that fighting had brought them nowhere. My dog finally surrendered his aggression and this idea that he must conquer all, once and for all.
In the dream, he told me to face it and let it go. And the dream gave me this feeling that it wasn’t going to be easy to face, but necessary to move on. How can I deal with the last decade if I’m still reliving the last 20 years of my life, if not, lifetime? Something has to give.
This all shook me pretty hard most of the day. I was kind of disappointed that I had had this nightmare. I was confused because I was eager to move on from all trauma faced up until that point so I could collet my thoughts and begin writing my book again. It was sobering to see that I still had work to do, but where and how?
As if on cue, the Universe responded and a lady in my refuge recovery group sent out a mass invite for an 8-week trauma-sensitive yoga and support group. The group is intimate, only 8 spots available.
The price is steep, but there is a sliding scale for those in need. And I figure, why not pay for 8 sessions of this which equal only two in therapy?
At first glance, I have a suitcase full of indivudal traumas to work with, but I do believe that given the nature of the dream and it’s specifics, if I get to root of those 4 key events, all else will be gently faced and hopefully healed in time.
Some may ask me why I seem to be so hard on myself when it comes to facing and conquering my demons. I put a lot of effort into this and it usually unravels when I fall into psychosis. I’m aware I am hard on myself and need to practice forgiveness and go at this in a gentler manner, but I just have this intuition that time is running out. I feel the longer it harbors space within, the longer it’ll take to be free from it. The deeper its talons will dig, the harder it will be to unravel.
My ultimate goal is freedom. Levity, even.
I also want to accomplish my goal of finishing my book in a year, which is 2 years past my deadline. I cannot move on that without facing the humiliating consequences of my manic and psychotic behavior and come to terms with the fact that others simply cannot understand. I have this idea In my head that I’ll be able to clarify this through writing. In the end, I need to care less about what others think of me, and more about how I see myself. I thought I had moved on from this all, but it resurfaces, brutally at times.
Real talk here, folks.