Today marks the 17,320th day that I have been alive and probably have struggled in some sense for all but about 3 or 4 000 of those days. It hasn’t been easy, I will admit, but some how I managed to make it this far, whether through stubbornness or sheer tenacity, I’m still here. I honestly don’t know how because I have lived through some horrific things, things that even unto themselves were horrific let alone a lifetime of things piled on top of one another.
I started my journey back home (to self) in my early 20’s after my children were born. I remember thinking that I don’t want my children to know abuse, to grow up in abuse or ever have to lay eyes on it, the cycle had to be broken, if not for me than for them. I went to therapy looking for answers, read every self-help book under the sun and turned my thinking into positive thinking. Still, none of this penetrated the real problem which was undiagnosed PTSD. Oh I knew it all inside and out intellectually, the problem was all of my traumas were still locked inside of me.
The brain has a funny way or protecting us from trauma, it blocks it out either partially or completely, resulting in an almost amnesia like state of those traumatic events. The problem is the body never forgets and all those traumas are locked in our bodies and recreate themselves in the form of anxiety, depression, insomnia and hypervigilance. Those stored traumas in the body are also what are known as “body memories”.
With this in mind we now have two areas we have to heal from trauma and PTSD, the mind and body and the third is the spirit (our inner being and essence of who we are). This is why just medication and just healing the mind wont work when it comes to PTSD. Our minds are wounded and traumatized, our bodies are wounded and traumatized and our spirits are and traumatized wounded also. Therefore all three need to be healed.
“The essential psychological effect of trauma is a shattering of innocence. Trauma creates a loss of faith that there is any safety, predictability, or meaning in the world, or any safe place in which to retreat. It involves utter disillusionment. Because traumatic events are often unable to be processed by the mind and body as other experiences are, due to their overwhelming and shocking nature, they are not integrated or digested. The trauma then takes on a life of its own and, through its continued effects, haunts the survivor and prevents normal life from continuing until the person gets help.”
“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition created by exposure to a psychologically distressing event outside the range of usual human experience, one which would be markedly distressing to almost anyone, and which causes intense fear, terror, and helplessness. The trauma is an assault to the person’s biology and psyche. The event may have happened recently or a long time ago. There are 3 categories of PTSD symptoms: 1) hyperarousal, 2) re-experiencing, and 3) avoidance/numbing.”
Our spirit is the core of our being and the essence of who we are as individuals. PTSD wounds our inner being and makes us question who we are, darkens our outlook on life and makes the light inside us either grow dim or go out completely due to shame, guilt and self-loathing. It detaches us from who we are and makes our mind, body and spirit battle each other rather than working together in harmony as they should be. The mind also has a way of detaching itself from the body and spirit and this is what results in dissociation.
“People with PTSD may also experience dissociation. Dissociation is an experience where a person may feel disconnected from himself and/or his surroundings. Similar to flashbacks, dissociation may range from temporarily losing touch with things that are going on around you (kind of like what happens when you daydream) to having no memories for a prolonged period of time and/or feeling as though you are outside of your body.”
It’s important to stay grounded to keep from dissociating and also to know when you start feeling like your floating or losing time that you need to do something to ground yourself. You can do this by having a snack or a full meal if you haven’t eaten yet, by drinking a glass of water and also by looking around and identifying where you are at the moment, even touching things if you need to in order to stay present in your body and in the moment.
Well that’s all for tonight. I would just like to let my readers know that I like discussions and I am open to any questions or discussions that you would like to have, so feel free to comment and we can a have a discussion about it.