Before I went to university, or was diagnosed with a life threatening disease I was abused. I believe all things are connected and the trauma I carried in my mind manifested in my body later down the line.
When I was younger I was a good girl. A naive sweet and innocent girl with good intentions and a good heart. The best term I can use to explain the start of my trauma is “The Shattering”. I felt like i’d been fractured into tiny pieces in my mind, body, and spirit… Some of which I hid in my subconscious and told myself never happened.
I went through narcissistic abuse age 17 and I can’t explain the mind numbing destructive and methodical methods of mental, sexual, and emotional torture that were inflicted on me during the course of it all. I can not begin to describe the shell I became or the person I lost in the process. All I know is that years later I still relived moments from my past like they were present. I still woke up shaking in the mornings and had trouble trusting people. I was angry all the time and I didn’t know why…
After I encountered a second narcissist a little later on down the line things changed again and in a way became worse… I became stone. Numb. Gone. I resided somewhere else. Above the torture and away from the pain. I could recall the wall behind his head more than anything else. I knew what it felt like to count the objects in the room all around me until the pain stopped. That clock on the wall… Mocking me as it continued to count the seconds. I knew that any man who so much as raised his voice at me could trigger a panic attack. I couldn’t watch certain movies and would excuse myself to go out and sit in the girls toilets and just shake and shake and cry until it passed and my numbness set in again.
There were times in the middle of the pain that I have often felt like I was falling through nothing through a vast emptiness and a deep absence of light. Not that it was darkness but worse the lack of any substance. A numbness threatening to engulf my very soul. Every piece of my being felt like it had been turned into marble. This alternated with uncontrollable panic attacks and rage which I suppressed and turned into sadness.
The only relief I felt was when I felt nothing at all during that part of my life.
I turned to alcohol for a period of time to get rid of the pain and to try and drown my feelings. I remember waking up hungover in my car one night and wondering how I had got to this point as this small little voice inside my head continued to whisper…
“This isn’t who you are. You are better than this. There’s more for you than this”
I felt like I had a knife in my back. There was a physical pain since the incidents and I wanted so badly to make it stop. One day I opened up to a friend of mine and told her what had happened to me. It had taken me a good four years to admit it not only to myself but to those around me.
She asked to pray for me and I said sure. I had tried everything and anything and I wanted help. She did. That moment I saw a flame around my heart in the Spirit and the pain went away like water seeping out of a leaking glass.
A week later I started to encounter God through visions and a still peaceful shalom that changed my life.
It was only the start of a very long path towards healing… But from that point the healing had truly started. I read up on so many aspects of healing the soul, I went to councillors, to prayer ministry, Chinese doctors, Reiki masters, practiced qui gong, and went to trauma therapy.
I remember sitting in the psych’s office and asking her what exactly was wrong with me and asking if she could fix me please.
She told me I was exhibiting signs of PTSD and Complex Trauma. I actually was RELIEVED. For so long I had felt it had all been in my head and that everything I had gone through I had somehow made into something bigger than it was… But I now had someone who was telling me face to face that I had been through serious abuse and this had caused me to disassociate and disconnect from my emotions to cope. I had a diagnosis and I could actually work to heal it.
I was determined. I remember starting EMDR which works on rapid eye movement and memory reprocessing to process stored trauma in the brain and body.
The first time she started I remember thinking- “well I’ll try… I doubt anything will happen though. I can’t feel anything.”
She moved her hands in front of my face and I felt numb as always.
Psych: What do you feel?
Me: I can’t feel anything. I can’t seem to go there.
Psych: You’re brain is very good at protecting you. Now focus on the memory let’s go back there.
To my surprise my body started to shake. My hands were shaking and I was crying like I can’t remember crying. Tears were welling up and I felt sick. She walked me through the memory over and over again until I could do it without the emotion and until I could tell it like a story. Memory by memory I forced myself to remember and face my pain.
Piece by piece she told me to take the girl who had been in that place and accept her back into my heart with compassion and forgiveness and love.
I cried more than I can ever remember crying. I recall one day a few weeks into therapy that I realized that something had changed…
I could feel emotion again. I could feel reactions again. I felt pain. But I could also feel joy. I was no longer a lifeless robot.
In that moment I knew I was healing and piece by piece making a mosaic of the shattering that had occurred before I was even 18 years old.