Over the past two weeks, I’ve had occasion to sit with two friends who shared with me about trauma in their past, as well as reading an article by a sexual abuse survivor about the upswing of the Dylan Farrow case.
A little less than a year ago, after I completed chemo, I started reading a book about healing that kind of trauma. As you may remember/know, it’s my understanding that disease can be a function of underlying emotional or spiritual dis-ease, and after my bought with cancer, I was (and still am) determined to do all I can to root out causes and dis-ease that may underlie the causation of cancer. The book suggested that before you really begin, you collect your army of support because the work would be intense. So, I sought out a somatic therapist, as the book suggested, and saw her a few times. I wasn’t a good fit, and I soon stopped seeing her, and soon stopped reading the book, maybe a chapter or two in.
However, this morning, I was toodling around on my phone, compulsively checking my email for the rehearsal schedule for the play in which I’ve been cast(!), and I clicked on the “Notes” app I have on there, wondering if there wasn’t some old “to do” list that may have good ideas for me.
Instead, I found a series of quotations from that book. A series of words that struck me, applied to me, and offered me compassion, understanding, and hope.
I … don’t really want to do this. Read that, re-read that. Tell you here. But, my friends, it is all related. Don’t worry, I won’t get specific here—it’s not appropriate, and not necessary—except to say my abuse was not incest or young child abuse, but simply a series of events from a youngish age into my 20s when I didn’t understand what No was, how to stop things, how to not go along.
But, apparently, several things in my current life are pointing me back at looking in that direction. And, from my own understanding and cosmology, the “Universe” tends to bring things up when you’re ready to deal with them. … And, if you don’t, you’ll be given occasion to deal with them later, we promise.
One of the quotes in my app says something about moving out of isolation into relationships. Va voy, if that’s not what I’ve been trying to do. And here is a hiccup I didn’t see coming. A gentle nudge from the Universe saying, Hey, there are these unresolved things. I know they’re hard, but you’re not alone, and we’ve already pointed some support structures your way, if you want to work on this now.
I may say, Fuck you. I don’t wanna.
I may call on the language I read once that said, Stop Identifying With Your Trauma. Don’t use it as a shield and a sword to say, LOOK SEE THERE’RE THESE FUCKED UP THINGS THAT HAPPENED, SO YOU CAN’T GET CLOSE TO ME, AND I’M TOO SCARED TO GET CLOSE TO YOU—BACK! OFF!
I could call on that language and say, see, I need to not look at this, because then I’m just wallowing in my past, instead of moving out of it.
See…. but the thing is. I haven’t wallowed. I’ve avoided. Plague-like.
Partly because “it wasn’t that bad.” Partly because it’s so damned fucking common. Heartbreakingly.
Partly because there have been other fish to fry.
And mostly because it’s really really hard.
I have some Louise Hay “Affirmation Cards” over my kitchen sink, so I can look at them when I’m doing my despised dishes. The one that calls to me about this reads, “All these changes are easy to make.” These patterns are easy to heal and change. Maybe. Maybe this is easier than I fear. The big boogey man with a flashlight projecting himself on the wall much larger than he really is.
It’s happened before.
I know it’s a heavy thing to lay out to you here, but I also know some of you are there, were there, get it, and are curious, like me, on how to go through this stage of healing. As always, I write this for us.