How can enlightenment and a condition like PTSD coexist? One can be enlightened within a fractured body-mind that needs healing. Some of us will go through the awakening process even after profound trauma had occurred. Not all of us will come from healthy childhoods with nurturing and supportive parents. Not all of us will have been safe as children or even as adults.
I have been studying PTSD ever since my recent diagnosis. I have learned that wanting isolation, irritability, anxiety, avoiding intimacy, work obsession, and constant triggers are all typical of the PTSD condition. During stressors, it is natural to start seeing and living life through a lens of the past.
I have become very aware of my flashbacks in a short period of time. Flashbacks are like film loops that replay the traumatic experience and feel as if they are happening now. Flashbacks also replay the feelings of those past moments (panick, dissociation, pain, or humiliation) as if the trauma is happening now. I learned to untangle these feelings from what is currently going on, which was not easy – flashbacks feel completely blended with the body-mind experience of the present. I draw upon the light to see what It will do with these film loops.
Ever since more of my past memories flooded in several weeks ago, I’ve been bombarded with sights, smells, textures, and feeling of my trauma as if it is happening to me in the present. All of this information is stored in the bioprocess of my body-mind. I must separate from these memories and old energies, and then allow my body-mind to rebuild from scratch. It is clear that all of this is ready to be healed.
This week, I learned that I lost my job due to budget cuts – I was the newest and the first to go. Also, they eliminated the course I was teaching and there wasn’t anything else for me to teach because they have more senior physics teachers. This was another blow to my already-tenuous situation of going through a divorce and trying to finance my son’s college and dealing with PTSD. I realized I was going through a great deal of grieving for my life changes. Trying to unravel trauma and grieving is not easy.
This weekend, I allowed myself to shut down for two days. I entered my grief and trauma and was literally paralyzed by all of it. I felt only intense pain and almost no other brain activity.
By the end of the second day, I felt the light flood my brain and my body felt more alive. There was a feeling of happiness and compassion toward myself. I know that many trauma survivors have difficulty feeling love and compassion toward themselves, and – instead – feel ashamed and worthless. Although my past wrecked my life, so to speak, I understood that this is the hand I was dealt and I have to play it. Accepting my state is not a small thing – it is not easy to go from being successful and functioning to having to completely rebuild oneself from ashes.
How quickly will I heal? What does all of this mean for my ability to function in the world while I heal? I have a solid support system consisting of friends, doctors, therapists, and other people who have had trauma. I have my two boys who look up to me and call on me to be strong. I try to be. I am grateful.
So much of my life makes sense to me now. I can clearly see which triggers caused me to be defensive and offensive in the past – I was stuck in my film loops of imminent danger (even if there was none) and pain, and my anger was the only way to bypass deep depression. I was not always successful and often relived the terror of a small child which felt like I was dying. One of my biggest triggers was the pressure I felt to take care of others while reliving my trauma and feeling like I was going to completely fall apart. Of course, I didn’t really understand this at the time.
It is normal for PTSD people to lose relationships, isolate from people, be reactive, and become paralyzed by flashbacks. This is my body-mind at this time. I know that this is not who I really am, but it is my responsibility to do the work to heal and rebuild my vehicle for optimum expression. It is strange to be “in it” and also observing and studying it as if I am “outside of it.” I am both a participant and an observer.
Of course, I will be doing the work alone. All such deep healing work must ultimately be done without any safety nets to muddy the waters of personal responsibility. I didn’t come to Earth for comforts and props. I came here to embody the light. At this time, most people are interested in finding soulmates and building a sense of belonging or seeking status and belongings. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is not the only way to be alive. Some of us will grieve our lifetimes of relating to the Earth-plane as pleasure-seekers, and then choose the fires of purification and freedom. If you are such a being, please leave a comment and share your story. I’d love to hear from you.