“PTSD is a whole-body tragedy,
an integral human event of enormous proportions
with massive repercussions.”
After posting my last post on the abandonment depression I started to question how much time we really need to be alone and reliving our trauma. Trauma is not an intellectual thing. It may affect our thinking but the truth is that trauma is something that happens to our physical body as well as our emotions which we experience bodily and the effects of the shock, fear, hostility, shame or other types of traumas stay lodged in the body, they register in the cells, they affect the balance of chemicals and tissue salts, they drive us towards addictions either to numb more or to find a way to cope with the pain. We most essentially MUST address our trauma and its consequences on a bodily level. And so much of trauma does not exist as words. Lodged in the unconscious it can take the form of image in our dreams and of deep spasms and shock that re-registers in our body.
I was thinking about this a lot this morning as I felt the interface between my mind and body and the trauma that was in my cells which I have felt to be unravelling very acutely over the past few months. It occurred to me that on the astrological level when we passed through the deep emotional territory of Scorpio in October to November we got deep insight into buried emotions (at least I did), I also felt all the pain of that deep longing to connect that got thwarted in my own trauma history. Then as we entered Sagittarius towards the end of last month it started to shift upwards in some way. Today as I was re-experiencing the profound shock trauma/nausea/fear/buzz trauma outpouring of the two accidents I was thinking of the image of the centaur who is half man half beast. It is the beastly part of him which suffers and often in Sagittarius there is a movement into the head and away from the body or a rejection or splitting off of the body on some level. This is what happens in trauma it gets too painful to feel and it also takes us into very intense instinctual animal territory where we cannot deny that as spirits trapped in bodies we will suffer from the sheer fact of just being human, living in a body and being born into an environment where so much happens to us when young which is outside of our control. The trauma of this can lead in time for some of us to a profound intellectual/body schism. But we can heal and knit the fabric of the two back together if when we heal through trauma we learn how to release it from our cells and recognise the profound impact it has had on our bodies and souls. Our mind helps us to make meaning of the trauma and this process but we cannot jump to the intellectual level too soon as we may then repress trauma with philosophy which is reactionary. One of the most problematic things of suffering from trauma is that others often take this reactionary view when they witness someone suffering in a way that they do not fully understand cannot be controlled and was the consequence of deep wounds..
Trauma imprints are difficult and painful, they include experiences and energies around us that we had no control over at the time which happened to us, perhaps in our homes when we were young or to our bodies and souls later in life as a reaction to our trying to live with the pain of the trauma. What a long time it takes to bring all this to awareness. But as we do it will be the body that leads us. It will be the body we need to address. It will be the body that we need to make friends with. It will be the body that we need to soothe. It will be the body that will speak to us as an entity or being that holds locked within it all the trauma imprints asking us to witness, contain and make sense of them.
As a culture I think we are now at a critical phase of our development. The long range impacts of trauma are all around us in the culture out playing with different degrees of consciousness and unconsciousness. As a species we have traumatised the earth as a result of our own traumas and a human development during the egoic age which has taken us further and further away from nature. What we do to the earth when we don’t love it and know it as a living breathing sentient being is a reflection of what we do to our bodies when our splits become too much and our trauma drives us and we don’t embrace and feel and release our trauma and pain in effective grounded ways.
Healing from trauma means we must turn towards a wounded body and listen to it. We can find ways to soothe it, to witness the trauma imprints unravelling in a contained and loving way. If we truly listen to and make friends with the body it will tell us what we need to heal. But first we need to understand its language, how fear gets lodged in our tissues and makes it very frightening to experience our bodies and what is trapped there and yet it is at this electric edge that we experience most profoundly the awesome spiritual life energy move. If don’t get a full handle on all the ways our fear drives us we will destroy ourselves and others and we will destroy the earth and we will continue to run from our trauma and re-traumatise either ourselves or others.
Love is what trauma requires of us. Love and courage. The love is there in allowing the open space in which we can experience the intensity of trauma zing holding ourselves on a knife edge where it can move out from the body. Our minds then will be freer than they ever were before. And so much compassion will come out of this process. This compassion being the most important antidote we can find to the fear, shock, grief, anger depression and shame that a traumatic past can leave us with.