Mental health

Feelin shook up

Life is full of ups and downs, ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys. Living with Complex PTSD and experiencing dissociative episodes these last eight years as a result of the severe trauma I have endured has presented many difficult challenges to my stability and daily functioning. Lately I have expierienced a shift that feels like the rug has been pulled out from under me. I’m stumbling and struggling while riding these waves of intense emotions. A place I haven’t been to in quite some time.

When I was with my family this past February, my son got to witness up close and personal how my empathetic abilities draw strangers to me for healing. These are the walking wounded, people who are looking to release their life’s burdens. He quietly observed as this woman approached me on the street to share with me her life story of heartache and pain. She needed to vent to someone who would listen with compassion and understanding. I’m humbled and blessed to be that outlet for others!

This past weekend I had my own unique experience with a fellow stranger who I later came to find out is an empath. She and I knew each other a very short time before she held my hand and confirmed to me some events in my life I haven’t admitted to myself or even uttered out loud. I have been walking around with this deep dark secret since a young child. This is the repressed memory and acknowledgement of being molested when I was five and six years old.

Four years ago I started the journey into healing my inner child. The main healing tool that has worked wonders for me is EMDR, the reprocessing of emotions pulling that “charge” of the trauma away lessening its severity from my mind, body and soul. Trauma is held in the body and can be reactivated and triggered long after the actual physical damage has occurred. Even though these events took place some thirty-five years ago, my cells have been “refired” and thoughts, feelings and flashbacks have come flooding back with a vengeance.

To add to this complex situation, I work in a fast paced, highly stressful work environment. Two days ago I had an emotional breakdown before work. In an instant I was struggling to breathe, heart racing, uncontrollable crying…..the whole thing. My current emotional mindset is NOT conducive to helping and serving others. I need to repack my trauma baggage, rediscover who I am while continuing to peel the layers back of my life’s onion.

I have been riding an intense wave of high emotions, enduring intrusive thoughts and nagging feelings of shame. Anybody who has gone through sexual abuse knows the debilitating feelings of shame. For me they have crippled my life for years at a time. My fear and panic gets triggered as I worry that I’m backsliding into the depths of overly intense emotions all over again. Something I thought I had neatly packed away and compartmentalized in my psyche.

The two questions that first stopped me in my tracks were, why me and why now? Everything was going great and I was feeling so confident. Now I feel angry, ashamed and sad. A kind of mourning is going on. I’m in the process of patiently accepting and observing these emotions without judging myself or wanting to harm myself. Que the intrusive thoughts and suicidal ideation. Here comes that heaviness in my heart and overall exhaustion telling me to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head. I’m grieving my childhood and loss of innocence all over again.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far. This is all part of the healing process. We must continually throughout our lives revisit the pain and trauma from our past in order to learn, grow and accept it ultimately freeing ourselves. I refuse to become “stuck” again. I know I must carry on and this too shall pass. I’m taking a break to be kind and gentle to myself. I’m not ok right now and that’s ok.

Consciousness, Mental health, Spirituality

A crack in the shell, an Empath’s journey to salvation

I can see a bit of light and it finally feels more than alright to break free. The weight of life’s worry, sadness, fear and judgement have cemented me into this shell. A suffocating feeling of being bombarded by ten foot tall waves of negativity slapping me upside my head. Gathering my strength I kick as hard as I can and am finally through! I stand up to see where I am and get my bearings. Time passes slowly so minutes feel like years. The pain I was feeling was growing unbearable and my only prayers were for mercy to be relieved from my torture.

Who is this enemy that locked me away? Well the answer is not quite so simple. My energy field had been corrupted by an emotional vampire. This particular parasite is someone who was supposed to love and protect me. Some children view their parents as heros. I will never know what that feels like.

Sound familiar anyone? If you have experience living with these types of people you can understand these thoughts and feelings all too well. The entire world slows to a crawl and my body gets heavy. Extreme fatigue and sleepiness latches on making it impossible to function properly. My thoughts are all hazy, confused and unfocused. Due to this, my emotions are wildly irrational and I can’t help from weeping. It’s like somebody turned all the lights out and I’m wandering around, stumbling to find my way. Everything seems too overwhelming and I have a case of the “I can’t(s)” and “I don’t care”.

Once I can see my way to reality, there is a stark contrast to that last statement. I care too much and I take the world upon my shoulders. My body physically hurts due to the anguish and sorrow. This is a burdensome feeling I have known since I was very young. An unexplained heaviness of heart. It wasn’t until my early twenties and after my first son was born that I was able to discern the root cause for these spells. Once I had left home for college and my own adult life it become very obvious exactly who was causing me to feel so out of body. While growing up, I never felt quite right. I was happy and everything was great and then I would enter my house and the darkness would creep in. As a teenager I started to feel like I was going crazy. Of course I never spoke about this to anyone, how would I have described it?

Finally, once already along on my journey to self discovery was I given the answers I so desperately desired. My therapist told me I am an intuitive and physical empath. That means I can feel others feelings and I can also feel the physical pain of others. When I get very close to someone I love, I know their thoughts before they speak them. Upon hearing this I immediately felt cursed not relieved. I started building a wall all around myself mentally. Digging my heels in and resisting everything I encountered.

Trying to live life against my nature which is open, friendly and positive was hurting me more than anything. I was living in a constant contradiction scrambling to keep others away from me. I was turning into someone I didn’t recognize and I became so miserable.

By God, my creator’s grace I woke up one day and made the decision to change my thinking . I went into full on study mode to teach myself how empaths protect themselves, maintainin our energy and use our gifts for healing. Incorporating boundaries has become essential to my daily mental health. I’m a big fan of using visualization techniques. I taught myself how to meditate and then I attended proper classes on different types of meditation. Sometimes I color mandalas for relaxation. I love my essential oils collection and how they can impactfully change my mood so quickly. I carry a small sack of crystals in my purse wherever I go. My nighttime routine before bed includes deep breathing and chanting. Yoga is my religion and when I miss doing my stretches my joints ache.

Here’s what I have learned so far about my empathic life. I have the ability to see colors and sights so vividly. My sense of hearing and smell is extra sensitive. I operate on a higher vibration than most. My soul is touched on an almost daily basis by those around me, especially by strangers. I fully embrace these as gifts today. I’m a good listener and strangers seek me out to tell me about their problems. A friend once told me I have an invisible flashing neon sign on my forehead that says I’M SAFE, YOU CAN TELL ME”. I have to agree and I feel humbly honored to serve.

Consciousness, Spirituality

A peek into my inner child

I have been involved in some type of therapy since age 7. This year I will turn 41 years old, needless to say, I’m well versed in all things psychology related. A few of my therapists have even admitted to me that they felt I was more qualified and knowledgeable than they were on certain topics. My major in college started out in psychology but I switched to humanities and later sociology. My main focus and curiosity in life has always been very analytical in regards to myself and the human condition in general. What makes us tick? What is the root cause for an emotion or behavior? I have been fascinated by others around me for as long as I can remember. Sometimes my curiosity and burning desire for the truth has led me down some unpleasant paths. Mostly I am in awe of the human brain, our psyche’ s and interaction with one another.

If you have been reading my two blogs thus far, you can probably draw conclusions has to why I am so preoccupied by humanity. For my new readers, I will tell you the two major influences are first and foremost my family of origin’s pathology, my dysfunctional and traumatic upbringing. Second is my own life as a physical and intuitive empath. These two aspects of who I am have been my ruling forces and have always guided my way. My journey into self awareness started very young because I was constantly being bombarded with thoughts and feelings I instinctively knew were not always my own. I devoured books on subjects including psychology, new age metaphysics, different world religions, different social sciences and even neuroplasticity. Discovering the answers and uncovering the truth were my goals. Three years ago I embarked upon a path on my journey that would lead me inside all of it and most importantly reconnect me to myself; inner child work.

Just another layer of the onion my therapist at the time reassured me. We had been having some very intense sessions of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) when he asked me if I had ever done inner child work. Damn, I whispered to myself, it’s THAT time. I have brushed off and avoided that topic for too long and now was the time to dive in head first. I understand that our society forces us to repress our inner child and “grow up”. The truth is while most adults physically “grow up” they never quite reach emotional or psychological adulthood. This leaves us in a state of childish fears, angers and traumas that fester away in the unconscious mind for decades. Inner child work is the process of contacting, understanding, embracing and healing that original self who we represented when we first entered this world. It is our capacity to experience wonder, joy, innocence, sensitivity and playfulness. At that time my 37 year old self was completely disconnected from that original girl locked away inside.

My therapist guided me in a few exercises to start. First I was to have a chat with my little girl. Now was my opportunity to protect her and care for her like I never felt I had been. Telling myself, I love you, I hear you, I’m sorry and thank you felt silly at first. In time and with the aid of visualizations it became second nature and felt really rewarding. Many of my most intense emotional break throughs have happened as a result of this one exercise, absolute healing. Then I was to search for picrures of myself as a child to remind myself of what I looked like then, not only my appearance but my expressions representing that presence of innocense. Luckily for me, my mother took tons of photographs and I had many albums to remind me of that little girl. I was truly enthralled by the sight of myself and the feelings these pictures evoked in me. My therapist advised me to recreate what I loved to do when I was younger as another way to reconnect. I remember I loved splashing in puddles. The next rainy day I set out and did just that for hours! I also rediscovered MadLibs, as a child I loved creative writing. To my surprise, I really enjoyed creating those silly stories again! Another component for healing my inner child was to go through different visualization and meditation sequences that really helped me focus in on and reflect on what I was feeling at age 7 and 8. That was the age we targeted because that was when a lot around me became too overwhelming to process properly.

Further along down the path of healing, I was asked to write a letter to myself in the perspective of myself at the age I feel emotionally inside (which for me is 17) from the adult (present time) me with my other hand. I’m a right handed person so this would be done using my left hand. I can not express how much this letter helped me. It sounds so simple yet this one exercise left quite a profound impact on me. In that moment I was again bonded with my teenage self and my adult self was my hero. I’m getting emotional thinking about it and writing this.

In the years since putting myself on this path of healing my inner child, I write poems. This poem is an ode to that little girl inside me and how she reckons herself with the world today.