Thursday, November 14, 2013

Finding healing in loss

I am sitting here, recovering.  Something I can't yet really explain just happened.  I just now went through an experience that has shifted me so violently that I have yet to stop from the momentum.  My spirit has been....it has been....touched.  Absolutely touched.  In such a painfully intimate way that I couldn't help but cry.  And so I did.  I cried like I've never cried before.  Ever. 

Earlier this week I had some things happen emotionally.  Had a falling out with a friend (kind of), having some roommate issues that are difficult and felt that familiar pang of loss when I think about how far away and how little I get to see my son.  As many of you know, I've been through some tough stuff emotionally!  As have most if not all of you reading this right now.  Life is rough.  Beautiful and such a gift, but tough. 

I'd like to share with you the sequence of events.  I think it's....interesting and comforting. 

Last week I was having a hard time both missing and going to see my son.  I know this is going to be a four day visit with eight hours of that time on the road to and from the airport.  Short visits are tough. There is so much emotion in such a short amount of time.  It used to be hard to go to Texas because the divorce between Kyle and I was fresh.  And I love my in-laws.  I really do, my ex mother-in-law is one of the most amazingly kind and good hearted women I know.  I am a better person because I was honored to have been close to her and learn from her.  But it was still difficult on some levels, in large part because I wasn't as close to everyone else as I was to my ex mother-in-law.  Some family members resented me (or so it seemed).  But to all I was "the ex wife."  And that used to be a lot tougher but now, now I am "Wes' mom."  And that feels better!  (Wes is Una's English name, I prefer to call him Una because of spiritual reasons.)

But, as excited as I am to see my son, there are some emotional things I am going to have to move through.  So I was a bit sad.  Had also been having issues with a roommate.  Just feeling like any interaction with him was kind of insulting.  Kind of jarring.  And when I'd try to bring it up I wouldn't feel like my words were heard and more jabs insued. 

I disappeared over the weekend up to NH/VT for a late Halloween Party on Friday and visiting friends Sat/Sun which was fun.  But by midday Saturday, I had this horrible pain through my chest and where my heart is.  It extended into my spine, as if there was a rod jammed in between my chest and my spine.  I also had this horrible knot in my throat/discomfort in the back of my throat/neck.  They all persisted until I finally fell asleep, exhausted from the pain, at like 11:30 pm right outside Burlington, VT at a friends.

What happened at that friends was like an emotional heartbreak, which is kind of what I was feeling right before I went to Burlington in my chest.  I knew, going to visit this friend that it probably wouldn't go well.  I had a sneaking suspicion.  Anyway, details aside, I ended up in a way, parting ways with this very good friend of mine because...it was the healthy thing to do.  For both of us. 

I woke up Sunday feeling the chest pain some but not nearly as intense and just grateful for the lessening of pain I rejoiced smiling.  I left my friend early, not feeling very comfortable anymore.  I met up with someone I'd met and connected with at the Halloween Party Friday who happened to live in Burlington.  By midday Sunday I found myself deeply involved in conversation with him looking in, through what felt like the hinting of our souls, in each others eyes.  He is a man who was truly rare in a wonderful way.  But then, I got into my car and drove back down to Boston, four hours South. 

Got back home and I start crying.  Just crying.  Little crying.  No sobbing.  Just letting sadness out. Loss.  But I felt that I could burst into tears at any moment.  I was crying over my friend, my son, even a little over how intense it felt to feel for someone like I did Sunday, again.  Monday passed with little activity involved.  It was mostly spent sleeping.  I was, without realizing it, prolonging the beginning of what was to come out by keeping myself unconscious.  What needed to come up. 

While teaching class on Tuesday morning I found myself feeling really nauseated.  Out of no where.  Had the same thing I have for breakfast 350+ days out of the year: yogurt and granola.  But I started throwing up and didn't stop.  Over and over again.  There was nothing to puke but I kept going.  I had to leave to go home and home I fell into a deep sleep for five hours.  When I woke up I felt groggy and slightly disoriented.  I couldn't stay awake.  I was exhausted and immobile or so it felt at the time. So I went back to sleep.

Wednesday seemed fine.  Back to normal-ish.  But I was weary, still alert.  Still cautious.  After work I come home and before my coat is even off and my bedroom door shut I just start balling.  I can't remember why.  I just remember tears start streaming.  I didn't like the silence so I put on music and begin what felt like hours and hours of intense and deep crying. 

It was like I was talking to myself.  All of a sudden the part of me that had been trying to surface.  Decided to put itself right in front of my face, my vision.  And something my subconscious knows well is that if you put something that needs attention and will hurt me if I don't give it attention in my eyesight...I can't push it away.   I have to deal with it. 

So up it comes.  And I find myself crying it all up.  Fear. Sadness. Loss. Feeling the bottom of empty.  Out of no where it seemed.  But I let it come up. And it came up in a way I can't really explain.  I wasn't entirely present.  By the end of the experience, I find myself flopped over my knees with my forehead to one side literally unable to flinch even feeling so immobolized.  My arms lay limp beside me. 

I think about my roommates coming in seeing me like this.  I try to move.  It takes litearlly, like 10 minutes to lift my head off the floor.  I feel dizzy.  I feel disorientated.  I feel light and fluffy.  I feel like I need a few really really deep breaths. 

I gingerly (or so I tried) get up off my knees and scootch over to my bed.  I dive under the covers as I find out that I am absolutely frigid.  Bone cold.  I turn on the space heater that I'm really not supposed to be turning on because it uses so much electricity but I need it right now. 

I sit lay there frozen inside and out and think...what just happened?  Is it over?  Am I done?  I began to feel fear.  Not toward a particular person or thing.  Just general fear.  I began to think about the things I was supposed to do - go to a therapy appointment.  I think about diving and think if I get behind a wheel right now.  Feeling this disconnected, lightheated and scared I will crash.  I start to feel really confined.  I start to feel really stuck.  I feel like I can't go but I can't stay.  I feel fear.  Lurking fear.  It's like the hairs on my neck are on guard, holding their ground searching for signs of commotion. 

After my therapy session I was going to have another kind of therapy session.  It's a kind of therapy that looks at how spiritual trauma is stored in the body.  And it's been really powerful for me.  I was supposed to have a session today.  But I was scared.  The idea of letting anyone into my space or near me seemed like a very dangerous idea.  I was triggered.  I knew it in my adult brain but it wasn't my adult body reacting. 

After talking with my practitioner and myself, I realized that it was important for me to take this step in my healing process now.  I realized that it was ok to be scared but part of the healing process is trusting in others.  I needed to trust that the man who I had come to know as my practitioner was a safe, good-hearted man that wanted nothing else but to help me.  To re-traumatized ptsd Aaluk this was not an easy message to get through.

After a bit of coaxing it was as if the healer in me held the hand of the terrified little girl and said, "It's ok sweetheart.  You are safe now.  I am here with you.  Trust me and know that I love you."  And so I allowed my practitioner to come into my space. 

And the work that followed was life changing.  Period.  No way around it.  I am still absorbing.

It all centered around loss.  During the session I had memories surface of the abuse I endured as a child.  And it was about loss.  Loss of voice in one instance (very important memory to uncover).  Loss of mobility in another.  And loss of trust.  I felt these traumas in my body.  Literally felt my throat choked up days before and now realizing that the admittance of that memory of being chocked back into my mind allowed the knot to dissipate.  I felt my legs held down in another.  It was through feeling for the trauma in my body that I was able to access the memory in my psyche.
The chest pain was interesting because it was right where the heart chakra is.  Which is known for many things I think but one of them loss.  I thought about why I might just start to puke out of no where (not sick, not pregnant, no food poisoning).  I began to realize that I was throwing up not because I was physically sick but because I just couldn't keep "it" down anymore. 


I felt like I was responding to messages from my body.  It knew better than I did. 

And when I listened my body rested, was able to let go.

I am still resting.  Still letting go.  Finding ways to rejuvenate.  Listen more gently and more compassionately to myself.

That's all I can write right now.  I wanted to share it because, well after it happened I felt so new, so much closer to whole that I just wanted to write about it.

I will remember this day though.  I took a really big step toward healing today.  And I am smiling a smile full of gratitude and hope.  Full of and surrounded by light.  I love light.   I need light.  We are light. 

*I wrote half of this yesterday, the day this actually happened and the other half today, November 14, 2013.  I was too exhausted yesterday to finish it!  But I wrote it first person to keep it simple.