When we have been traumatised pain is most of what we know. Pain steals the presence of and openness to energies of goodness and sets up patterns in the body of constriction and resistance. In trauma something comes into us, deep, deep into us that does not belong to us and is not of us and our boundaries are violated. In my case it was parts of the car engine and steel that pierced me but when I contemplate that experience on a level it was an externalisation of times in childhood when things went into me or were done to me that hurt and left me feeling of feelings ickiness, distress and powerlessness.
To be immobilised and attached to a hospital bed for over 3 months was painful and restrictive coming at a time of my life that equates to spring (and the accident started at the onset of spring here in Australia) : the spring of my burgeoning woman hood. I was 17 on the brink of so many things, my first love which awakened all the fears and insecurity and aloneness of my childhood as well as the emotional hunger I had to bury or hide from others and made me needy but feeling I had to hide those needs as well as my vulnerability.
It is important for me to write about this today as it was 38 years ago that I went to a friend’s place for the evening with the idea that we were doing something that never came to pass. The next day I was in a major vehicle trauma which tore things apart. I know 38 years ago may seem like such a long time ago to be still affected by. But it wasn’t only that but the years of trauma that followed that have been so hard to let go of, and first they had to be acknowledged after 14 years of active addiction in which unconsciously I tried to bury trauma. Really all my pain was buried deep inside until my late 30’s and early 40s.
I am aware today how long ago in the past this accident was. I can imagine readers saying “wow why is she still hanging onto that”. I wake up feeling like my head is about to explode and I have no body integrity, my body feels swollen or split into parts I have to put back together. Getting my focus on the NOW is such big work and sadly its only really in the past few months I have began to acknowledge that that is what I really need to do. My energy can get so pulled on by regressive dimensions and I really felt that today. It was an almost Herculean effort to get myself out the door by 1.30 but I managed it. Prior to this I was down on the floor crying and feeling like I would die.
I don’t really expect anyone to understand. I tried to express some of it in a poem the other day. But for the purposes of what I am trying to express for this blog is how much I want the power of the past to let me go. I see all the time how magnetising pain and suffering and trauma are. They cast a pall of darkness and rust over everything and our perception becomes skewed with distrust, resentment, suspicion and a deeply unconscious fear, from this point of view it becomes hard to taste, feel or trust goodness or the vital aliveness and new possibilities of the Now!
It has taken me so many years to see how fear masquerades for me under so many other sensations and emotions, especially anger. I was reading in Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly today that anger is actually a secondary emotion that covers over emotions of deeper vulnerability we struggle to deny and hide. I am not sure how true that is. I have had so much anger come up since my breast cancer surgery last year. I know feeling it helps with mobilisation when we have been disempowered by abuse or trauma but it can become corrosive of life and relationship and intimacy (and of the body and its inner organs) if we don’t find appropriate ways to express and transform it. I see this breaking the power of deep anger’s negative hold as a deeply Plutonian issue as a person who uses astrological archetypes to explain primal psychological energies that posses us both personally and collectively.
The full moon of a day or so ago activated my Pluto Saturn Moon Chiron and Mars. Liz Greene says of Pluto Saturn contacts that they indicate “deep suffering and purification through the ordeal by fire”. I was just reading a post by Patricia Grace in which she spoke of burning old journals from the years in which she was working through, expressing and venting her rage over family sexual abuse. I was also reading the comments from others who were also burning journals. I had one of those ah ha moments. How many of those people were born in the 60s and had their Pluto activated? I don’t know the answer I only know there is a time when we need to let go of the anger but maybe it is more a case of coming to a time when the anger lets go of us. We have raged enough and we are tired. We see the cost of holding onto it is too high. By that stage we have probably integrated it and allowed it to transform our reaction and responses to trauma or invalidation.
Maybe some people never get to there. There are some things that occur that are so difficult to let go of and forgive. We don’t have to deny the hurt but it does become counterproductive when the hurts recycles over and over and over and feeds back into us. No one can dictate when and how and if we will let go. But the amends we most need, it occurs to me lately, is the one in the present where we make the active choice on any day to nurture joy, peace, love and life, to move forward to a place of goodness. We may be pulled back into pain and deep anguish time and again. But my deepest hope is that there is a place beyond here where we can be awake and open to all the beauty that remains in the wake of the aftermath of trauma, loss or tragedy.