Posted in Awakening, Pain, Trauma

Letting trauma hit the air

Recently, my girlfriend decided that it was time to walk separate paths, paths individually, no longer walking side by side, sharing that same spot on the journey, paths apart from each other. We’ve never met in person and we came across each other on this very blog. I have talked about her many times and a brief history would tell you that she was so much more than an acquaintance, than a friend, or even a bestie. She was my soul sister and perhaps she’ll always be, whether we walk the path together or not. In energy and spirit we are always connected even it has meant walking away and walking alone.

Together we completed each other’s sentences and I couldn’t remember anyone ever seeing me in the light she did or “getting me” my true uninhibited self to the extend that she did. I never opened my heart so completely, never quite so wide open to anyone, letting them see me in my most vulnerable and most fragile, yet the most authentic self. On the brink to a new version of myself, I was hiding nothing. My feelings were an open book. I trusted with all my heart, (the only way for me), despite that there is always a chance we get hurt when we take that leap of faith. We can only hope that we are held with the highest regard and for quite some time I was. I took the risk and I was never worried. It was worth it to me and I enjoyed the connection between us and the friendship that kept developing and growing stronger throughout the years. Together we could be silly and play cheeky monkey, and together we shared a respect for each other that supported a healthy foundation to what I always considered an extraordinary friendship.

We met when we both faced some demons and utmost challenging times. Both of us had experienced too much over the course of our lifetime and it was time to face some of the skeletons in our own closet. To apply all that we had learned and all the wisdom that we had gathered. What we faced together was most supporting and most wonderful. It was great not having to do this alone, to be seen and understood. Different in ways and yet so relatable we faced our struggles. Eagerly we shared our experiences, our wisdom and insights, ultimately bringing healing to each other on a path to enlightenment and change for the better. In the beginning I felt like her apprentice as she showed me the in’s and out’s of Shamanic Journeying, and I was so eager to learn. It was around the same time when I got involved with energy healing and pursued my Reiki Master Diploma. Looking back I know that having a little student brought purpose into her life, a feeling of importance, a sense of being needed and more. I was in Germany at that time and Mom was in the nursing home against her will. We leaned on each other and we helped each other through these times. The thick and thin of it. In honesty, I don’t know what I would have done without her. Surely I would have made it through somehow and she wasn’t my only support system, but her relatability and her own experiences were so vital and so important for me. I’m not sure if the outcome would have been the same without her help. And the outcome was what will forever remain the most important thing to me. I will never forget and I will always be grateful.

Like in all relationships and friendships we too, faced some problems in our 3 year span of knowing each other. There is no need to go into details but our issues ranged from eventually walking slightly different paths, to awakening/evolving at different levels, to perhaps not always agreeing or even understanding the other, which the later two issues mentioned were mainly her concerns and not mine. We’ve even took a break once before, a break from each other that proved later that despite of challenges, a life shared in friendship would always be better than a life lived without. We, each on their own dealt with different issues within the friendship. For me it was always “live and let live,” don’t hold expectations, be grateful for everything there is, be ok even when things are not perfect and trust that they are how they are meant to be. I know there was more to it but in a nutshell I don’t think she could ever accept these things in that sense. She pocessed an analytical mind that often dissected every little detail, and that believed in her truths, right or wrong, as anyone would have. As a matter of fact, I think she couldn’t relate to me for a long time anymore, and I felt things changing along the way. With it came a certain lack of respect, a questioning – perhaps an effort trying to relate but unable to do so, followed by a certain degree of judgement against me. Despite feeling a great sense of trying to make it work, there was an even greater sense of frustration on her part. One that made me tip toe, not wanting to upset and not wanting to be seen and judged in the wrong light. It is an old wound, a trigger, an abandoned inner child I was dealing with at the time. Fact is, I have always known the truth and I have always felt her leaving. I always knew she would eventually walk away, it was only a matter of time.

There was a time where I was afraid of the pain of losing such a special person in my life. Of being the one being left behind, the one abandoned, the one discarded, much in alliance with a trauma situation we worked through during my time in Germany, but I am not anymore. I have found my own way. I too have changed and I have made peace with the thought of walking our path separately. In all reality there is a great section where we have to walk alone anyways, it might as well be now. That section when we are alone and nobody holds our hand, is the very section that brings us closer to our most authentic self. Here we meet ourselves and who we are. Here we don’t have to fear abandonment or judgement, we only have to fear ourselves and learn to be our greatest support. Here we wake up with all senses engaged. Here we learn and here we receive if we can open ourselves up to it.

I wasn’t even going to talk about it, but I realized that there was one piece that didn’t sit right with me when all this transpired. One piece that needed airing out. It wasn’t her severing all ties to leave me unable to defend myself, for she believes that if you engage in conversation afterwards you are not truly ready to leave. If your mind is made up and the energy doesn’t match anymore, hopefully all talking and efforts to resolve said situation have happened prior to that point. It wasn’t her believing that our shared purpose for meeting had concluded, that it was simply that and that it was time to move on. It wasn’t her unfriending me on all social media platforms or blocking me and it wasn’t her getting the last word in, speaking her peace and truth without leaving me a way to reply. But it was one thing she said during her last message to me. She said that even when it felt so amazing, our relationship was always one of trauma bonding. I couldn’t believe it and initially I was upset about these words. I refused to believe that trauma was all that ever brought us together and all that was ever shared between us. What about the laughter, the understanding, the seeing each other and so much more? What about writing each other each and every day for the longest time? It certainly wasn’t for me the case that we connected due to trauma only.

Now, a month later, I still think that this a pretty messed up thing to say to someone in whichever way it was meant. She’d probably tell me that I am misunderstanding it, but I see it as reducing and discrediting the other person and all that was. But I also see it’s validity now, for her anyways, who made the decision to leave. There was a lesson in it for me to learn and I believe that I did learn it. It brought me face to face with some childhood trauma and feeling like I was never enough, like something was wrong with with me, which never was the case. It also brought me to another wound, the one of feeling that I was too much. Mom always said that I had no brothers and sisters because one of ME was enough. I guess I never took that statement in the most positive of ways. Initially I felt that the more I opened myself and the more vulnerability I showed, the more of a burden I became. Deep ingrained wounds spanning over decades, we always look at ourselves in times like these, trying to find fault within us where often fault is not to be placed anywhere. And then I read a phrase that spoke to me and started to kick off an avalanche of other thoughts. It says…

“Sometimes you just need to talk about something, not to get sympathy or help, but to kill its power by allowing the truth of things to hit the air.”

And with it, I decided to air my truth and take away it’s power. But I am also pondering further in her words, looking back at my entire life and I see how her statement relates now in a different sense vs the one I initially perceived. I can’t deny that the majority of my life has been trauma bonded. It follows me like a dark cloud wherever I go. It starts with losing the father figure in my life, my hero, the one I was closest to, my beloved Dad. It continues to chasing a relationship with my Mom and to be acknowledged as her daughter for my entire life. To proving myself over and over trying to amount to something that would make one proud of me in their eyes and from their perspective. I was fighting a battle that I couldn’t win. It spans to a physically and emotionally abusive marriage to a narcissist, to two lost pregnancies, to another failed marriage, and actually becoming friends again with second husband, helping him weekly while he is very ill in what he calls his short remaining time left on this earth. I am bridging the gap of loneliness, I am easing his transition, I am carrying emotions that are not mine to carry, I am taking the fear, I am helping him with what must come. I am helping him to die. It’s heartbreaking and hard and it has led me further down the rabbit hole. I am getting further glimpses and understanding as to why things are the way they are. Perhaps I am learning about my mission in this life, why I am here and what I am to accomplish through all of this.

Tears and a heart full of pain are never too far off and a constant companion at my side. I have coped, I have adjusted and most of all I have prepared for it all of my life. I have learned to live with it. So perhaps trauma is a forever in my life, walking side by side, right next to me. Maybe I don’t even know how else to be and I am in constant battle mode, but I am not complaining. I am grateful for all there is in my life and I realize that I walk this path for a reason, even if I didn’t choose it myself. I don’t have regrets and I don’t waste my time wishing things could be different. I cry from time to time and sometimes I feel awfully alone, but I know that I am a fighter and that I will go on. I know that my purpose will carry me and I hope it is to spread light and love wherever I go. I hope it is to help others who struggle, and if you are one that is no stranger to trauma, I want to know you, I want to help you, and I want to walk by your side as long as you’ll need and have me.

“I think maybe I was born with this ache in my heart. Almost as if the stars are trying to burst out of my skin. I feel that itch for another world always aching inside my bones, flowing through my blood staining my flesh with stardust. Destined to feel too much is tattooed upon my soul.” N. Taylor

Posted in Fear, Shadow Self, Trauma

How to recognize your shadow self

It’s been awhile since we last talked about the shadow self. In previous posts we learned to find the courage to face and to embrace our dark side, to meet her/him/it with love and compassion and understand that the actions from our shadow self usually stem from unsealed trauma. According to the witch of the forest here are a few more signs of how we can recognize this unsealed trauma. We might see it through weakness and not upholding healthy boundaries. Perhaps we self sabotage ourselves. This could come in the form of setting ourselves up for failure, of not believing in ourselves and low self esteem. It ties into a lack of confidence. We might be afraid to speak up for ourselves and swallow our words. Perhaps we say “yes” when in reality we want to say “no.” We could have feelings of jealousy and anxiety, or being passive aggressive all together. Have you entertained a round of comparing yourself to others? Do you struggle with addictions? Do you usually put yourself last, putting everybody else in front of you? Do you struggle doing the things you know are good for you?

These and many more behavioral reactions could be a part and the voice of your shadow self. Pain crying out to be acknowledged and validated. To be worked through and no longer banished into the darkest corners of our being. I believe that soon or later we all face these shadows as they will reappear and reappear until we do, bringing new chances and opportunity to release the trauma. Or we experience the pain of these wounds anew, over and over, each time they are triggered.

Posted in Feelings, Life, Trauma

Triggers

Triggers…we all have them. Have you noticed them, can you identify them? Do you know what triggers you? Triggers include a wide variety of scenarios, some self inflicted and caused by the way we react to things, others caused by people, circumstances and life itself. I have learned that either case, it dates back to a situation, to something we experienced, something or someone that caused us pain. These wounds often date back to our childhood, teenagers or young adults. If not acknowledged, dealt with and healed, it becomes unresolved trauma and pain we carry within, often for many years, sometimes throughout our life. We don’t really realize it until we are faced with a situation or a scenario that repeats and touches on this old wound.

These triggers and wounds leave us feeling vulnerable, attacked, criticized, belittled, weak, even angry, sad, and hurt. I’m sure there are many more we could add to this list and it depends on the severity of the situation and how we felt as we acquired the trauma so many years ago. It sure isn’t fun. We might get quiet, close up, try to reinforce that wall of protection that we placed around the trauma deep inside of us. We hoped to tuck it away so far, so deep inside, into the darkest corner, never to see it again, but here it is, emerging anew, reminding us of the pain we’ve felt so long ago when we first acquired the wound. No matter how much care we placed in hiding it, soon or later something will happen and we become triggered. The pattern repeats, leaving us vulnerable, and not in charge or control of when the next occurrence arrives. Unless we do the work to heal those wounds.

Every trigger is an opportunity to do so. To dig deep and go back to the root of when and how the wound got created. It provides the opportunity to develop emotional intelligence and to set boundaries. Rather than fearing this dynamic energetic interaction, consider it an opportunity to practice and grow more proficient. You are much more capable than you think and all it takes is that first all deciding step.

Posted in Feelings, Trauma

Your trauma is valid

I’ve said it before and I say it again. Have you ever noticed how trauma and adversity is one of our biggest teachers. But how do we deal with it in the moment? When it stings and feels like our face gets a good sandpaper makeover? When our hearts are heavy and the skies are grey, when everything looks hopeless? Do we compare ourselves to others, only raising the bar and pressures for ourselves, only making things tougher? Do we feel unlucky and that life is simply out to get us? Do we encounter emotions of being left behind, lonely and confused, trying to make sense out of something that often can’t be explained and perhaps never will be? Do we blame ourselves, are we too hard on ourselves, to the point that we think something is wrong with ourselves?

Just recently I read a little something by Daniell Koepke called “Your trauma is valid.” It served as a reminder that our trauma is valid even if other people have experienced “worse.” It’s not a matter of who is off worse, of who is to judge, of who is to make that determination anyways. Every instance is different, and it’s becoming highly personal when it happens not to the next person but to us. It’s one thing to hear about it happening to someone, and it’s quite another when it knocks on our own door. It intensifies tenfolds, giving it a whole new experience.

Even if someone else went through the same experience that we did, and is not left feeling debilitated. Perhaps it appears that they have passed this challenge with flying colors. Perhaps the whole incident could have been avoided…a dear hindsight and the “what if” syndrome. Maybe it’s an incident long passed and we carry the scars of it that still beg to be healed. Perhaps we kept this secret to ourselves and nobody even knows the battles we fight most of the time, just trying to make it through each day.

You should remember that your trauma is real and valid, and you deserve a space to talk about it. It isn’t desperate or pathetic or attention seeking. It’s self care. It’s inconceivably brave. And regardless of the magnitude of your struggle, you’re allowed to take care of yourself by processing and unloading some of the pain you carry. Your pain matters. Your experience matters. Your trauma is valid, and your healing matters. Nothing and no one can take that away.

Posted in Family, Healing, Trauma

At the gates of ancestral trauma – The chamber of the wound

Despite my current hectic, life goes on and the journey continues. To get up to speed and have insight as to how we arrived here, you can easily catch up here.

To continue with my ancestral healing, I knew that I had to travel to the chamber of my wounds. Only there I would discover the story of my original wounding. How far it dated back and when it began. I was unsure of what I would find. Was it one wound or multiple? I wasn’t too concerned with the details as long as I made a start. Where and when they originated, and how they manifested within myself over all these years was most important and like a learning process. The time had come, and I was coming to terms, understanding and perhaps even reacting and handling things differently going forward once aware.

I knew that in this journey of discovery I would learn much about myself, perhaps even on a deeper level. I wanted to see things with a clearer vision, like looking in on myself from an observer level, which had started already. Could it be intensified? I prepared myself mentally to travel to this chamber of my wound, which held decades of hurt and despair. I knew it involved Mom and I would need to meet her in the energetic world. I believed it was there, that we, together would mend the past. And so it was, only a few days later, during a powerful shamanic journey, that old, stagnant energy, as well as wounds that held us both hostage were cleared and released.

It’s too early to tell if the clearing was permanent or whether it needs to be repeated, but I am grateful that I was able to do this important work. I do feel a difference. I will schedule a follow up post why you should consider looking into shadow work, inner child healing and ancestral healing. What the benefits are and what to consider. May it be helpful for you as it was for me.

🙏🏼💙

Posted in Family, Healing, Inner Child, Trauma

At the gates of ancestral trauma – The chosen one

Continued from here and here

I felt strongly about what was revealed to me during my shamanic journey with Dad. It felt relevant and I believed that it was up to me to release the bonds of family trauma, including my own. It was up to me to heal ancient wounds and according to Dad I was the chosen one to do it.

I even had a better understanding as to why I always felt so sad about Mom’s traumatic life. Fleeing the war with a few things on their backs, not knowing her father until he was released from being a POW when she was 11, the early and sudden death of her husband, my father, and the lack of joyous events in her life. I always felt burdened by the lack of balance and that the tears and heartaches dominated happiness and smiles.

There was a time I would have done anything to spare my parents the hardship they experienced. There was a time I would have switched with Mom, carrying these sorrows in exchange for her happiness. Even if meant to give my own life. It’s just how much I loved her. Here I was, a 10 year old who took on the enormous responsibility to bring joy to Mom, to make her happy, to fill a void and smooth the loss of her husband. It was a burden impossible for me to take on. A burden I couldn’t carry, yet I tried, and perhaps it was what my soul had agreed to for this lifetime.

Coming to terms with the events of my life and my childhood, I now stared into the depths of the impossible. An unimaginable task that wasn’t mine to carry. A task that I could never fulfill. And yet somehow I made a soul contract with myself, because there was nowhere else to turn to. There was no help available at that time, and people had to deal with their tragedies in their own way.

Nobody asked any of this from me, but knowing myself I’m sure I felt that I had to do something. I didn’t know at the time that by doing so I would leave myself wide open for many wounds to accumulate. And I’m not sure if that would have made a difference. For me it was nothing more than the love of a daughter for her Mom, trying to help her see better days again.

Now decades later of carrying this burden, years of working through the emotions and the heartache, I finally heard the voice telling me that it was up to me to heal our family’s ancestral trauma. It’s a moment I will never forget, a moment that feels very surreal and powerful. A moment so important in my life that it has become an actual game changer.

To be continued….

Posted in Enlightenment, Life, Trauma

Ultra Independence

There used to be a time I was filled with pride when it came to my ultra independence and not needing any help, anyone or anything. It was validation and proof that I could make it on my own if need be. This pride was probably around the same time this picture was taken. A picture full of life, like there wasn’t anything too big to tackle. A picture full of confidence with a big smile that ensured I could take on the world, no matter what. A picture on a high note, a good day, feeling empowered while standing on my own two feet, firmly on the ground. Unshakable.

I remember times when a girlfriend asked how I do it! To her it seemed like I had superpowers, being the strongest individual she’d known. For me it was simply a way of life, the only way I’d come to know in my existence. Years and years later, her statement finally makes sense, although I still can’t answer it. There are times now I feel like a worry wad and it’s aways strange territory. Armed with more knowledge and wisdom, a deeper understanding of all inner workings, at times I can’t help but wonder as I asked myself “what happened to her”, me, the one behind the confident and energetic smile. Too many times I feel tired now. Tired of battles I don’t care to fight. Tired of the battle of chronically hurting all the time. Maybe I just to handle it better and even as this picture was taken, I was well into my battle with the rheumatoid arthritis already. Maybe it just eats away a little more each year, each month, each day until the tiredness reflects in eyes that have lost their luster.

I used to think “Mama raised me well.” Like her I became a strong woman, dealing with things on my own, never asking for help, never being in a position dependent on another. No I never did find myself on that track and she led by example all her life, concealing her own struggles, holding it together, keeping her emotions carefully under check. I grew up much like her, strong, fending for myself, making a life for myself, never in a bind I couldn’t get myself out from. No…I was always prepared and I always made sure of it. The only thing different between us was that it was me who wore her emotions on my sleeve most of the time. For Mom it was a sign of weakness, her own past trauma which ultimately contributed to my trauma and the damage of how I viewed myself. This created an inner child that would hold on to that trauma, that event, storing it for all eternity, becoming a part of your self worth, our struggles and our demons. It is here where something like being independent, normally viewed as an attribute, can actually become a burden, something that weighs you down and develops hurt and pain within, based on your life experiences.

Somewhere I recently read that ultra independence is a trauma response and the title couldn’t have rang truer. It could mean a lot of different things, such as your perceptions, feelings, impressions, reactions, experiences and how we feel that leads to such trauma.

For example: Moms belief about my feelings created trauma within me. It left me feeling as I was weak, not strong enough, that I couldn’t do it, that I had to prove it to myself but mostly others, her, alone and without help to gain worthiness. This is just one example of what can happen and for each experience an inner child is created that lives within us, holding on to that trauma, waiting to be healed. When a woman dares to look and heal herself, she then heals the trauma not only of herself, but that of generations of her family. Her mother, grandmother, all the way down the line as this ancestral trauma is passed from generation to generation.

Ultra independence is created when we believe that we have to prove something and when we had a hurtful experience.

Maybe it is the status of how we are viewed by others that hurts. That way we don’t fit in and feel like an outsider.

Maybe it is from being misunderstood, of being lied to and taken advantage of.

Maybe it is due to neglect, abuse, betrayal or disappointment.

Maybe it is from abandonment. From not feeling trustworthy, capable of making sound decisions.

Ultra independence is always a result of broken trust issues. A soul contract you make with yourself to never again go down this road.

I have reached a point I am no longer proud of my ultra independence. Life has shifted and today I am more interested in understanding the causes that led me to feeling this pride the begin with. To understand the triggers and the wounds that were created a long time ago and to heal this trauma for myself and for Mom and everyone else down the line.

Posted in Life, Loss, Trauma

Trauma permanently changes us

This is the big, scary truth about trauma. Trauma permanently changes us and there is no such thing as “getting over it.”

The five stages of grief model marks universal stages in learning to accept loss, but the reality is in fact much bigger and not that easily put. There is no plan, no guideline, and not really a process one goes through. The best path is if you can allow yourself to feel it in all it’s grief and pain, no matter how hard it is. To let it go through you rather than suppressing and storing it for years to hold on to. Trauma is a major life disruption that leaves a new normal in it’s wake. There is no “back to the old me.” You are different now, full stop.

This is not a fully negative thing. Healing from trauma can also mean finding new strength and joy. The goal of healing is not a papering-over of changes in an effort to preserve or present things as normal. It is to acknowledge and wear your new life – warts – wisdom, and all – with courage.

We can do this. We can lean on each other. And we learn from each other. Giving support, love and light, one person at a time.