my path to healing trauma


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Trauma happens to all of us, it can be something tragic that occurs when we are children, or a series of micro-traumas throughout our life. We accumulate trauma in our body and it effects our mental, emotional and physical bodies in a harmful way unless we go about healing.  As an almost 30-year-old, I have had my share of life-altering events and micro-traumas. While I began to learn about self-development early in life, it took me well into my 20’s to become aware of all the underlying trauma that was living inside me. The desperation I felt in 2016 when I was diagnosed with PTSD, depression, anxiety and panic attacks was enough to make me not walk, but run towards healing.

Choosing to heal means taking full responsibility for ourselves and our lives. It means we will not be playing the victim or choosing to pity ourselves and stay miserable just because of our past experiences. It means that only we can make the choice to heal or be a victim. I feel that when we don’t heal ourselves, that we continue to attract situations, and people into our life that reflect our subconscious beliefs and fears. Below are some of the different things that proved successful for me and that I am still doing today.

Therapy is something that thankfully worked out for me with the first person I made an appointment with. My therapist was so full of compassion and just as passionate about self-development, spirituality and the power of our mind as I was. She was the one who was able to shake me into awakening with her words to the fact that I had been telling myself stories, and allowing them to subconsciously bring me down for 20 years. If it wasn’t for her, I’m not sure I would have ever told my parents about my childhood trauma- something that literally and uncontrollably flew out of my mouth the minute I left the building. She helped me to figure out that I was harboring so much guilt and shame towards myself and it was causing me to hold myself back in many ways. With each session, she was able to catapult me into the direction of healing and developing myself into a better woman. I will forever be grateful for her.

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to research the things that I am passionate about. While I was far from thrilled about my mental and emotional instability, I was still able to find within my darkness, the fire I needed to learn all I could about my depression and the symptoms and feelings that I felt. I quickly began reading through dozens of articles on holistic healing, watching videos about curing panic attacks and anxiety, put together my symptoms to be able to give a name to what I was feeling (co-dependency and de-personalization), listening to podcasts with self-development experts, doctors and spiritual teachers, and reading endless books. I was in such a dark place that I was out of work for over a month, and I was unable to be alone. Everything that was occurring was so overwhelming but the thought of not trying to heal, forever doomed, scared the shit out of me so that my number one priority was to get better.

Journaling has always been one of my stress relieving outlets since I was a child. As a teen I stopped writing and it was my depression that got me back into journaling and even what gave me the courage to start my blog. I know now that for a long time my throat chakra was blocked up. I was petrified of speaking in front of people and it was even part of the reason why I dropped out of University (the first time). When I would speak, everything that came out was filled with anger and fear, I was unable to talk without hurting those around me. Writing is what allowed me to express myself and learn to communicate in a healthy manner. When it comes to blogging, it is the tool I use to voice my truth so that I let it out of my body, and as a way to bring awareness to my readers.

Writing was also what helped me to create self-developmental “charts” for myself where I could work through all of my spiritual, emotional and mental blocks. I created tables for figuring out boundaries for myself, the fears I felt in my relationship and how to work through my emotions in a way that validated what I felt and helped me to look underneath to reveal the subconscious fears and needs that my body was trying to tell me. It was how I was able to learn to face my extremely uncomfortable emotions head-on so that I was able to feel them and find the root cause behind it. Each time I did this I felt the relief of the heaviness lift off me that had been weighing over me for so long that it felt normal.

I began meditation in 2013 when my mother was diagnosed with stage 3 &1/2 breast cancer and thyroid cancer. It was my brother who acted as a catalyst when he taught our family about the power of our thoughts. With this knowledge I went full-force into spirituality and self-development. Meditating is what I truly believe got me through those tough years at home and in a job that was unfulfilling. I meditated every chance I could, sometimes up to 4 times a day. These were also the last years of my partying phase. When I was younger, I used drinking and drugs as a coping mechanism to numb out my feelings. I can truly say I was just floating through life without a purpose or care for anything or anyone around me, including myself. Maybe it was the psychedelics or the hours dedicated to meditating and opening my chakras that has now led to my hyper-awareness. After the depression it was like a life-long curtain was lifted from my whole being- it made me think that I was possibly depressed my entire life and I was now able to see it. Regardless, it caused me to become so hyper aware of everything around me; the people I surrounded myself with, how I behaved, but most importantly, my emotions. What was so easy to numb before was the complete opposite now. It was like each fear, thought and emotion came with a big red sign, horns and flashing lights. At first this shook me to the core, it made me feel completely ungrounded and even crazy. But deep down I knew I was experiencing some type of shift inside and that as petrifying as it was to face my fears and emotions, I knew I had to do it if I wanted to survive and live a healthy and stable life. I knew that I could not live with myself if later in life I had a family and passed down all of my trauma and subconscious beliefs, knowing now that I have a choice to heal and I chose not to.

Each time I felt overwhelmed, anxious or hopeless I knew in my core that the way out was to go through it in meditation. It was extremely difficult and painful most times, but I knew It was my way to healing. Now meditation acts as a way for me to reflect on myself and is part of my grounding practice in my morning routine. Sometimes for days, even weeks, I stop meditating, but I always come back to it. I know when I do it, I am home.

Healing the inner child was something I had heard about vaguely in the numerous self-help books, podcasts and books I read. At first glance it sounded ridiculous but after the idea kept popping into my head at random times, I knew I needed to at least give it a chance. What I like to do is meditate and use visualization as a way to bring myself back to each traumatic event (yes, that means purposely reliving it again), and watching it like an outsider. Then I go to the younger version of myself in the visualization and I just hold them, love them and console them. It is what gives me the epiphany I need to connect the event with a subconscious belief or fear that I’ve been holding onto my whole life so that I can finally heal and let it go. I’ve done healing inner child meditations using guided videos the first time, but after that, I was able to do it on my own. I’ve been able to “go back in time” and heal fears around finances, relationships, family life and even my sexual trauma. As an adult we experience triggers and many times we have no clue why. Instead of running away from or avoiding the trigger, or even blaming others, what I believe is the most beneficial is to find the root of the trigger and heal it. I know I don’t want to be running for the rest of my life avoiding people or situations. While it can be very difficult to willingly revisit traumatic times, it has the most profound and life-altering effect and I highly recommend it.

Doing shadow work and healing from trauma is never an easy thing and it has no quick fix. But you will never regret having the courage to heal from the past. After I overcame my big depression, I was able to have so much gratitude for it. Now when I experience difficult times, I can recall on how strong I was to overcome my trauma so that I know in my heart that I can overcome anything.

Thank you all for reading this, please reach out if you have any questions or experiences you would like to share. I am not a medical professional so be sure to find help if you need it.

 

Love always,

Mabes

 

shadow work: healing my inner child

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I was sitting in the corner balled up, just watching. I can’t remember if I was frozen in my tracks or if I was an emotional wreck. I must’ve been about 5 years old and I just felt like my whole world was falling apart. I don’t know the specific reason for them fighting this time around, all I could focus on was that my dad was leaving and I was petrified.

“Everything is going to be ok. You are safe. I will never abandon you. I love you.” Fast forward to 23 years later- and it wasn’t until now that I realized the reason my immense fear of being alone had taunted me, like a ghost, for so long. I was in the middle of meditating when once again I was feeling uneasy, like something was wrong in my life. No matter how many times I tried to focus in on the feeling and asked my inner guidance for the answers I never was able to figure it out. I knew it wasn’t that I was with the wrong person, or that something else was going on in my career. I was sure of my path and the person I was becoming and whom I chose to have in my life, but no matter what I did or tried, I couldn’t shake the fear I felt in my chest or the way it seemed to grow, turning into an ache in my back. It made me question and even doubt many of my decisions.

On this particular day I just asked for the universe to send me the answers I needed, trusting and having faith that it would come. I allowed myself to observe my uneasy emotions without trying to make it go away, I honored them. The following day I awoke from a much-needed nap and the first thought I had, seeping through the grogginess of waking up and not knowing what happened, was that I needed to heal my inner child and something about me in the experience I described above. So, without much thought I searched on Youtube “healing inner child so I can heal my relationship.” The video that I was drawn to was one about healing the inner child’s fear of abandonment. Something clicked.

I watched the video and did as instructed. It took me to this specific memory of me as a child where I truly believed that I was unloved and was going to be abandoned. Then it had me come back as an adult and notice all the ways that I was abandoning myself now, and how I was putting the expectations and responsibility of loving myself and always being there for me in the hands of other people. The meditation proved to be powerful for me as well as extremely difficult, and it initially left me in my feelings and with a heaviness in my chest. It was like when I first took a Yin Yoga class and I went so deep in a pose that I felt a popping sensation in my chest and an immense need to burst into tears-which I somehow refrained from doing.

On my commute to work today I listened to more videos about healing and how our inner child’s wounds effect our current relationships. As I was in the classroom, I was putting a child to sleep and I imagined she was a younger me, and I just repeated in my head that I would never abandon her as I helped her fall asleep. I knew I had the epiphany I needed to help me heal the root of the problem and I am determined to do the work. I left that child overcome with compassion and sense of inner peace I had only felt in the past when I would heal something traumatic.

I know the work has just begun, but I am extremely grateful to have discovered this wound and I am ready to heal it. I’ve spent a lot of time always fearing being left, looking for holes in my relationship and trying to prove why someone didn’t love me. I didn’t know it then, but I was using these defense mechanisms to try to avoid the pain of being abandoned- if I left first or if I was prepared for a break up then perhaps it wouldn’t hurt as bad. Of course, this only proved to bring me more experiences and people who ended up leaving me, and it made sense. How could I expect someone to be committed if I wasn’t even devoted to loving myself?

I know that this shadow work is going to lead me to freedom, and the ability to finally treating myself and being treated by others from a place of unconditional love. I know that its ok to be happy, that I am safe with myself, and that I don’t need to spend my time trying to prove my relationships of being too good to be true. Life will always have its ups and downs but never again will I abandon myself.

 

Love always,

Mabes