Trapped

I was asked to think about things associated with the word trapped by my guide. Obviously trapped is a word that has awful connotations attached to it for me because every time he mentioned the word, I would physically cringe. We could be talking about things and he would sneak the word in and for me the world would stop and “trapped” would hang in the air. It would seem the basic premise of being tied down in some fashion, or corralled into a close environment was what was setting me off. The causing memory was elusive but there still was this reaction.
I have been in therapy before for dealing with a very difficult divorce. One of the causes of the marriage failing was the effects of memories from my youth which were transferred to my life as an adult. Also transferred to my adult life was more abuse. I had not escaped. Interesting choice of words, don’t you think?
The therapist and I had talked about many of the memories, but there was this lingering situation that I had only memories in the fringes of my mind. She had brought me to a place where some of the event had come back, but not enough for me to believe it was the truth. For those of you who have suffered an extreme trauma, the mind is a benevolent soul that wants to protect us by making us forget. And I did for many years. I can say I had no recollection of the traumatic event as a young girl. But slowly the memory started to appear in flashbacks as an adult. The flashbacks originally made no sense to me but in dealing with issues in therapy, the foggy memory started to become somewhat clear.
The truth is I never wanted to believe that the event had actually occurred. The parts of the memory were so unfocused and surreal that I always had doubts. I thought I had made it up. AND that was even worse. Because how twisted would someone have to be to make something up like that? The shame was pervasive. And I was afraid to admit my fear that I fabricated the event to anyone, so I entombed myself as a protection. This might be confusing, but think about something really awful about someone you are supposed to love and feel the anguish it causes.
So what was stuck was a half completed memory of a heinous trauma that no young girl should ever have to deal with. Unfortunately, this type of thing is very common as I have discovered. The details to you, dear reader, are not important. But to me, there were everything and I did not have them. They were confined, safely locked away as a form of protection. But the container leaked and unconnected pieces would appear as separate keys throughout my life. But I did not know the location of the lock. I did not even realize what the memories and clues were until I was much older and had collected a disconnect circle of jangling keys. They made a lot of noise in my head.
It would seem the word trapped was focused on the event. And first glance, I would have agreed. But the truth is it was about the prison I had put myself in by not accepting the truth of the event. I am not blaming myself, or calling myself a coward for not facing it head on. It was not there for me to face.
But the body is an amazing story teller. Mine had quite a story to tell me and I was not listening. Much like a child who is angry, my body physically was rebelling with chronic pain and ailments. The list was long and I had chalked it up to getting older. I knew in my heart it was much more. I cannot tell you why now I decided it was time. I think that it was not my decision, but I was placed on this path. Whether I followed it or not was still my choice. The thing that changed was I am listening.
This week, I decided to face to “T” words by writing about “trapped”. I sat at my computer and wrote out my thoughts on the subject and they were forced and unfocused. I got frustrated and angrier and the week was horrid. I defused and thwarted the reality by writing excuses and analogies, but not the reality. My guide offered words of understanding and it was his compassion that allowed me to release. I allowed the sensation of what happened to be felt. Once I bravely unlocked the vault, the trickle turned into a flood of emotions and pain. I was there again. The memory was complete.
Breathe. Now to the resolve. As I wrote that I thought: if I was reading this and I was currently a victim in the place where I was before, my head would be filled with “I am not doing that.” What can I say to convince you that this is a good thing that happened? Once I felt the anguish, and believe me there was tons of that, and I dealt with the reality of feeling the physical components of the memory in the present moment, the sense of relief and release washed over me. That was the gift: the release.
What was missing was the physical part of the memory. I could not remember what my body felt when it happened. I would not have been able to complete this void until now. Because of the Associative Awareness Techniques therapy that I am in, I am learning to feel actual tactile feelings. I had shut myself off to touch because I was so overtly sensitive to it. I am learning to feel, to touch and to be touched. Sounds simple, but there was another “T” word invovled: Trust. Because I was finally becoming aware, I was able to feel all of the memory and make it complete. Before, the memory had no real tactile sensations to it. It was like a movie. It was one dimension. I could dismiss it because it was not felt. But before AAT, my body felt nothing in the present moment, how could it feel something from my past? I had taught it not to feel, because the pain was so great. But the feeling of release is so much better. Think of it as taking off a heavy coat that offers no warmth only weight. Right now, the sense of relief from not carrying it is what I feel. I would be deluding you to say that I am not raw from the exposure. But I know by taking off the protection, I will be able to feel the world, good and bad, and not be numb to everything. I chose that option now.
My future holds great promise of being released from the self created trap. I have much more work to do. I have more “T” words to work on: “Truth and Trust”. The work has begun because I trust my truth, even though it is not a pleasant truth right now. I have many more lessons in trust because the truth is, I do not do trust easily. Most victims do not. But I am willing to learn.

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