One of the legacies of unresolved trauma in my life, and of not having formed a good connection to my natural instincts was that over years, I became disconnected from my body. The pain in my body or the joy that comes from feeling, at least to a significant degree, embodied is a great gift. Trauma and the resulting lack of embodiment in my own life, not only led me to addiction, but addiction, contributed to the numbing and loss of embodiment in my life, of my true soul. A kind of soul loss. Healing from addiction and putting down substances, meant coming alive to painful buried truths that lived in my body. It has made me aware that the often dismissed or neglected symptom in trying to get our attention, reminds us of our true story. As Alice Miller has written, while the mind may lie to us about what we have experienced, the body never does. We just need to develop the ability to listen to what it has to say.
This blog is prompted by the fact that I am back working with a cranio sacral therapist, who I linked up with in 2008. Sadly I have had two aborted therapies with so called “somatic” therapists who rarely ever laid a hand on me. While I appreciate the gift of being able to talk about what has happened to me, I feel there is a greater integrity and genuineness of letting the body speak to me of its truth. There is a reality there that is alive and burning with energy, longing to find a vessel or avenue for expression. It is amazing to me that when the energy of the therapist’s hands meshes with my body and spreads a warmth into it, the places that are contracted. hurting, or hold old painful imprints, become awake and have a story to tell that emerges into the mind spontaneously. Release occurs as energetic imprints shift and transform prompted by the warm, trust and holding of the therapist. This is work that reaches far beyond the mind.
In session, while lying there I am conscious that there is a pulsation to life which runs through this body and which in energetic intonations of tingling, or stabling or vibration speaks a language that, in the hands of empathetic mirroring and validation can help lead me home to embodied truth and wisdom.
I have shared before on this blog about my painful, middle of the night symptoms. I have become aware that in the depths of night the body unconscious is more awake and sending messages. They are energetic messages. Sometimes I will get a vision or a sense of the association back to some trauma in my past, but dealing with this alone has been very difficult. Dreams images are another way the unconscious speaks to me about these kind of truths through the body/psyche.
I shared in an earlier blog about a dream I had, at the end of my marriage about a little girl who was in a change room with a barbed wire coat hanger sewn through her shoulder, that I was trying to disentangle but was so deeply enmeshed I could not. It is interesting today that after moving from my legs to the sacrum, in feeling her way and dialoguing with me, my therapist and I were both led towards this shoulder and an area to the right side of the heart.
The right side of the body is associated to masculine energy. This side was also the site of the major trauma of my first accident, when my lung was punctured by a broken rib. It deflated as I was trapped in a crushed vehicle. It took over an hour to be cut out and in that time the paramedics came from behind me with an oxygen mask. Feeling as though I was drowning and being unable to breathe this was terrifying. This imprint (which I have worked with before) came up but what also emerged was my attachment to and longing for my father’s emotional presence. As I do sometimes when I think of him I hear in my head a call coming from a long way off “I’m in the garden.” My father died just a month before my 23rd birthday. He wasn’t an abusive man, but neither was he emotionally demonstrative or present and engaged. He took flight from Holland at age 18 at a painful and scary time, the outset of World War Two. He didn’t speak a lot. My memory of his presence was that he would come home from work and say hello, but then retire to the garden.
There was a deep sense within me of our similarities in nature, gentle, thoughtful, a little withdrawn, but also of an emotional disconnect or absence. My father lost his own father at age 7. This theme of disconnect or loss around the father is one that has dogged me and has led to many painful relationships with emotionally absent or shut down men It is also an ancestral pattern. My mother also lost her father at 7 years of age. Separation from or loss of a father was a theme that has gone back over three generations on my mother’s side of the family At present transiting Mars is on Neptune in the third in square to the Sun in the seventh house which signifies not only the outer but inner father. Developing a strong inner father has been a major theme of past years, for me, especially of the midlife transition. And I have had five major relationships which ended in some kind of loss. Today I was very conscious of the pain around my heart and emptiness that was present inside.
The beautiful thing today, though, was that once I could feel these feelings a warmth and tingling began to flood into the area that before had felt empty. My therapist felt it as well. Much came up to speak about. There were tears but also a calm recognition of some powerful inward truth.
It is now some day since I wrote the above. On the night of my treatment, the warmth and relaxation, the profound sense of homecoming led to a beautiful sleep. On the following morning I awoke, pottered around home, and listened to The Carpenters song. We’ve Only Just Begun. It was deeply resonant for me. This traumatic journey has been long but to feel the sense of opening to my body, of being held and supported through the cranio sacral work took me into a place of hope and peace. Like a flower unfolding my petals felt open and love was flowing through my heart and indeed I felt like at the age of 52 my life was indeed beginning on some level.