A post I never got to post : on trauma, grief, emotional expression and healing

I wrote this post a few months back and it has sat in my drafts folder unposted, but as I read it I see how I was on the brink of a major transition in wanting to step out into the world with more of my past pain and defences surrendered, so I am posting it today to let it out.  I close off so much inside myself at times.  As recent posts reveal I struggle with inner voices that shame and attack. The best way to answer is just to expose and release what I am thinking and feeling at the time so it can see the light.

I  think I am finally done with personal posts about my trauma history.  I have shared extensively on here about it and what I am beginning to recognise is that there is a deep wound in my heart that will never fully go away, that often defies words and just needs to be tended with love.  My life due to trauma has been forced onto a deeply inward trajectory.  Try as I might to fit into a non trauma world, I am beginning to see it cannot be done.  Dark experiences which I will never be able to share with most people have taken me to a place where I went through things many others never will.  Because of this I will naturally relate more to other trauma survivors and may carry silent memories which at times complicate things and set me apart.  (Reading this back I see although it was how I obviously felt at the time, trauma does not mean I am totally set apart, only that I have been through different experiences to the mainstream!)

Lately I have become tired with trying to fit in and also with trying to express my distress by blogging.   I am exhausted by it.  I need to find a way to be at peace with my past and my trauma history, seeing it as perhaps necessary in some way to get me to here.  So I want to spend more of my time putting the focus on my heart and being and the breath than writing about things from a ‘head’ level from now on in and concentrating on past pain.  I want my blog from now on to focus on ways of calming and self soothing, for it to be a forum for living centred in being, wisdom and acceptance.  As I find more and more peace by being with myself, keeping a meditative focus and putting the emphasis on softness and love that is what I feel I now most need to share about and express.

Reading back a recent post to my therapist I saw how much self judgement there still was in it,  how much what I was writing implied that on some level I had to be someone or something better to be worthwhile.  I also saw that in trying to focus on pushing myself forward I was not resting my consciousness in the deeper understanding that progress naturally happens for me when I stop over intellectualising and open myself to healing.  When I follow the path of surrender healing occurs on its own trajectory.  If I front up and am willing to be open, vulnerable and honest I naturally win.

I had an example of this today.  I was not fully focused coming out of the car park at my local shops.  I accidently backed into someone. At first they were so upset but as I just said I was sorry, that I had made a mistake and lost focus the entire situation calmed.  “It’s my fault”, I said.  “I lost concentration.”  I gave the girl my number.  She was so kind.  This is what she said to me  “It wasn’t your fault it was an accident.”  By that stage I was quiet emotional as I had just met my sister for coffee and it had been a really loving meeting but had triggered some old pain.  I owned my part, anyway and told them my insurance will take care of it.

This gentle encounter showed me how little others really want to blame and how compassionate they can be when I am open and vulnerable.  Meeting with a very close friend this week she affirmed me so much.  She told me she sees me as a very old soul who has come here and gone through a lot of experiences and also as a teacher for others.  She said how much she values me and my sensitivity and goodness.   I was so touched spending time with her.  She told me how with her large family of grown children and now four grandchildren she still needs time apart to be in touch with herself.

I think one of the gifts of trauma or being separated from the crowd is that you do go to a deeply lonely spiritual place in your life, expecting others to understand when they have not walked that journey is not always realistic and yet still there are very kind people out there in the world.

At the deepest level I feel as trauma survivors we have to be witnesses for ourselves.  We have to be able to touch base with our own pain and love ourselves from this place.  We have to give up illusions that we could fix or control difficult things that went down.  We have to see that we are forced on a deep journey to reclaim our inner child for an evolutionary purpose and to ultimately be a voice for self love, for it is only out of self love that we can find our hearts open to love that may want to come to us from others.

As I look around I see wounded inner children everywhere running the world.  Where they cannot get love they go for power, they seek power over others and to find the control they never had when young, they then wreak destruction on others.   Those of us who have really experienced how painful it is to live in a state of deep inner schism in which the soulful, joyful, naturally gregarious, expressive, deeply sensitive and intelligent inner child essence of us with deep wisdom was not honoured or could not find a place, know what a hard journey it is to reclaim our natural soulful and spiritual connection that is so often denied in a materially centred culture.

When we speak up about trauma we are on a quest to educate a world which so sorely needs to see where a state of inner division from which place we do not honour the deeply feminine values of love for the earth and all people and its creatures and heart centred feeling values causes such strife.  Perhaps our struggles with so called ‘mental illness’ are not really that.  Maybe we are spiritually being called upon to transform and bring a greater awakening to the heart and to emotions collectively as well as deeper spiritual wounds that we are still carrying from generations past.

When I read an article this week in the Australian newspaper on Prince Harry  I was led to think about how grief is actually not an illness at all, and how when it is labelled as such we are shown how much mainstream diagnosis has strayed from soul and heart.  To have lost a parent at a young age is a trauma, it is a wound of separation, it is a descent into a loss that may have no avenue of expression out into the world, most especially the kind of world which the youngest royal inhabited in the mid 1990’s.  Unresolved and unexpressed grief actually leads to all kinds of ‘acting out’ behaviour.

The true illness or disorder comes about as the result of having no space or place to express that pain outwards in healthy ways.  Prince Harry said that he kept his own grief for the loss of his mother under wraps for about 20 years.  I was older than Harry when I lost my Dad but I also kept my grief over the loss of my Dad under wraps for at least 20 years and that particular loss came on the back of so many other losses that I could never express or even fully know or acknowledge the deeper impact of until fairly recently.  Doing so had required finding those who understand and allow my grief a place and haven’t shamed me when I may have acted out grief in anger or resistance.

When you think of what Princess Diana actually suffered over her lifetime in terms or her own emotional abandonment, how that then translated to emotional abandonment and betrayal in her marriage and of the pain that caused which indirectly led to her demise at such a young age, is it any wonder that Prince Harry and his brother would have carried deep pain?  The oldest child in such a situation may appear stronger or cope better, they may take on the ‘hero’ mantle while the younger becomes the scapegoat.  The scapegoat only remains the scapegoat until his true feelings are no longer demonised.  When he gets help from others and recognises his behaviour as an expression of a call to get something deeply hidden or disallowed by the collective out.  Also when he recognises how his own defences are preventing him from acknowledging the full onslaught or affect of an earlier wound or loss.  Harry has done that.

What is liberating now is to realise that finally people who have suffered like Prince Harry can start to speak about it. For it is those who have suffered loss, betrayal, abuse or abandonment who will be the ones to speak up about it.  They will be the ones who can shine a light into the darkness, they will be the ones that in opening up will help others who have suffered to open their hearts too and finally be brought in from the wilderness.

I know in my own life I lived in a wilderness for so many years.  My addiction was my wilderness and recovery also led me into a wilderness where everything had to be taken before I could surrender to my grief.  My hope is that others who suffer don’t have to live in that wilderness for too long, that they may get the message earlier to seek help, to know it is no shame or sign of being defective or damaged if you have suffered grief, abuse, betrayal, abandonment, emotional overwhelm or other traumas that lead to panic attacks or difficulty living and facing the day.

Its not your fault if you have struggled with your emotions in a world in which it is challenging to express them, have them understood or validated.  And more so it is a sign of strength to be able to open up and talk about your feelings and experiences, so that others who do not understand can be educated and an awakening can take place.  That seems to be happening more and more lately especially in the United Kingdom at present.  It would be so good to see the media in other countries also stop shaming and blaming those who in acting out old grief or pain are actually crying out for healing, empathy, understanding and recognition so that we can move through these natural feelings and expressison to embrace new life and growth, rather than lock it away in mental illness and defences.

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