The Body Remembers

The body remembers.

What a revolutionary concept that was for me about seven years ago when I got off the PTSD meds and found all the post-trauma symptoms I had in my twenties hadn’t gone anywhere in thirty years. So loyal. The trauma energy I couldn’t safely release after the bad time was over went deep into my body. It’s been one hell of an adventure getting it out.

One of the books that helped me the most back then was The Body Remembers by Babette Rothschild. I’ve mentioned this in previous blogs and in my book PTSD: Frozen in Time. (Amazon: PTSD: Frozen in Time)

But tonight when I write “the body remembers”, it’s more in reference to the one-year anniversary of my husband’s death. I hadn’t been thinking about it at all, but my body began silently screaming a few weeks ago and there’s just no denying what’s going on now.

I can’t sleep more than 22 minutes at a time. I literally sleep 4 minutes, wake, sleep 12 minutes, wake, sleep 7 minutes, wake and so on all night long. My body is in total hypervigilant mode. I finally get up at some point and just get busy with other things until dawn when I try to sleep again.

And, of course, I’m crying like nobody’s business. I hope once the anniversary is past, my body settles down quickly. I’m so exhausted and don’t need the sleep deprivation hallucinations I had when I met Jack.

I also quit smoking a few weeks ago so I guess I’ve got a double whammy going. For sure I used cigarettes to tamp down anxiety, anger and so on through the years. I’ve never been more aware of the tension I sustain in my stomach throughout the day. Sometimes it feels like there’s an alien in there trying to launch.

I’m moving again, but haven’t found a place yet, which contributes to an unsettled feeling.

Some part of me definitely does not feel safe.

Speaking of parts, I fell asleep on my back for twenty minutes last night with my hands over my tummy and my right hand holding my left. I surfaced back into consciousness and for a couple seconds, my left hand felt the size of a little girl’s. It’s been years since I had that kind of felt-sense experience.

I asked that part of me, that little soul part, What can I do to make you feel safe? What will make you happy? I went to a shaman once for soul retrieval, which I wrote about in my book. I don’t know if I haven’t been taking care of one of the parts of me that returned or what, but I’ll do what I can to address this.

I’ve been waking with uncomfortable surges of energy in my forearms and hands in addition to the usual stomach pain. The Bentyl hasn’t been effective for me at all. I know stomach pain is often a part of the IBS experience, but it’s torture lately.

Thank goodness for great books which I always have on hand and keep me from despair in the night. Here’s a great memoir of an energy healer: Awakening to the Light: My Journey from Investigative Journalist to Energy Healer by Diane Goldner. She went to Barnard and wrote for newspapers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. She was a skeptic when she was given an assignment to profile a healer in upstate New York. Eventually, she saw that energy healing works and slowly went from non-believer to incredible healer. I found the memoir fascinating and inspiring, so much so, I read it twice and scheduled a healing with her next week!

I don’t expect to have my tummy pain removed forever after one session or necessarily removed at all. I know pain is always an opportunity to evolve and I may have a lot more evolving to go. A lot of great things have come about as the result of pain. Without it, I would never have gone with Jack twelve years ago and had the incredible life I had with him. I would never have researched alternative healing methods and gotten into meditation, yoga, shamans and so on. I would never have written a bunch of books, some under my name, some under an alias. I never would have moved to Arizona. I could go on and on.

That said, I’ve pretty much had it with this stomach pain. The other side can come up with something different for me to work with. In fact, I’d like to renegotiate the soul contract I entered into upon this incarnation. Jack promised he would get a union going when he got to the other side so we’d have greater representation, but I haven’t gotten any word yet as to that status. I told him whatever he did, not to drink the champagne, etc. they might give him the minute he crosses over or he’ll feel too groovy to take any action.

Anyhoo, I’ll report back on my healing session with Diane Goldner next week.

I hope you listen to some great music today. It always raises my frequency and makes me feel better.

XO

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PTSD, Eczema, IBS-C, and Thoughts of a Thursday in December

First off, a follow-up on the application of apple cider vinegar to the eczema on the bottom of my feet.

It didn’t help in any way.

Please don’t take my experience as universal. A lot of people on earthclinic.com said it worked for them. Maybe the nature of my eczema, which looks like a big red burn on the middle of each of my feet, isn’t conducive to that kind of remedy. The skin is extremely dry, peels and burns. There are no – sorry to gross you out – pustules. Maybe it would work better for that kind of condition.

I had this kind of dream of life planned after Jack and my uncle died. I’d get up early and hike in the mountains or do my walk/sprints nearby on pretty landscaped streets. I’d meet someone to hit balls with on a tennis court. I’d do yoga regularly at a place a few blocks away. I’d attend my support meetings and meet new friends. Maybe I’d volunteer at a stable and curry horses or volunteer at a hospital.

But the Universe has given me a big fat NO to these ideas.

Ever since my uncle’s memorial mid-November, my stomach has been killing me. It’s IBS-C and wakes me all night. Sometimes I can’t sleep at all. I might go four nights with little or no sleep, which is a total drag. I do not want to ever be so sleep deprived again that I hallucinate as I did years ago. (See my book PTSD: Frozen in Time or the short-read Startle: A True Story of PTSD and the Paranormal on Amazon.)

Interestingly, the inflamed area on my feet correlates to the stomach/GI area in the reflexology chart.

As far as the body-mind connection goes, if it’s anger trying to erupt, if it’s that simmering beneath my skin, I wish I could feel it, so I could release it.

Sadness, I release every day.

I wonder if it could be feelings of horror at what Jack and my uncle went through since I had a nightmare last night of a family having been horribly murdered in a camper outside my bedroom window. There was often no time to absorb, process and release trauma energy in the hospitals last year. Ditto with my uncle this summer.

Anyhoo, as a result of the pain and increasing exhaustion, I haven’t left the house much, but I do go to the post office almost every day of the week because I have a little business selling products on the internet.

Last week, I stood in line at USPS and started talking to the guy in front of me. He emanated such an incredible healing energy, he practically glowed.

When he told me he was 78 and a Viet Nam veteran, I said, “Forgive me for asking, but did you develop PTSD?”

His face clouded a moment. “Yes.”

I said, “You have such a healing energy around you, it’s tangible. Do you still have PTSD?”

He said, “No.”

I said, “How did you heal it?”

He smiled big and pointed towards the sky.

Our conversation soon ended as it was his turn next at the USPS counter.

I have no doubt he experienced a miracle.

Unfortunately, we don’t all get them. Although, when you think about it, if all of us did get miracles on demand for disabling conditions or difficult scenarios, what an absurd world it would be.

It’s my belief we choose to incarnate to evolve our souls (or contribute to the progress of mankind) through various challenges. We don’t necessarily see the details of how we might suffer or be challenged, but we know the issues we will work through as a result.

In Ram Dass’ Polishing the Mirror, he talks about being aware of our storyline in this incarnation, of being a witness to the soap opera or melodrama in order to get distance and perspective on it. I like that.

As for pain, he says, “Once you start to awaken spiritually, you reperceive your own suffering and start to work with it as a vehicle for further awakening.”

He admits when he had a stroke, he was overwhelmed for a while–I think for a few years–but eventually he saw it as a vehicle that pushed him into his soul.

He said “I am inside, and I live with the pain—not as the pain, but with the pain.”

Whatever we believe about this mystery of life we’re in the midst of, when we experience pain and suffering, we have a choice: to find a way to benefit from it or give up somehow, push it away, numb ourselves, get lost in blame and the details of the soap opera.

I certainly numbed myself for years, inadvertently with PTSD meds and, later, purposely with painkillers.

I’m not numb anymore, that’s for sure.

I wish I was as evolved as Ram Dass and felt my pain as grace, but I’m not that refined a soul at this point.

I do try to find a way to make periods like I’m going through work for me. I have plans ready for when the pain wakes me at night like working on my novel or writing to someone. Sometimes I’ll plug in my earbuds and listen to Binaural Beats while doing mindful mediation. I pray for others when I hurt, too.

When I do get quality sleep, oh happy day!! I’m appreciative of everything–the clear blue sky, the fresh air, the delightful palm trees, the comforting mountains surrounding the valley. Yesterday, I felt almost unreasonable joy dancing around my kitchen to The Isley Brothers’ “Harvest for the World”.

I went to the post office and started talking to the woman behind me. She was a 71-year old black lady named Fannie Mae. I was so grateful for her warmth, openness and kindness. The pain has isolated me. She told me a little about her life as we stood outside later and I told her a little about mine. She told me she sang. I asked her what kind of songs she sang. She said, “I’ll sing two.” And right there and then, outside the post office, she sang me two gospel songs. She had a beautiful voice. The first song made me cry–in a good way–and the second made me smile inside.

The Universe said YES.