Acclimating into secular society was difficult for me. I mimicked. I masked. I eventually fell into traumatic amnesia, living my life robotically. I became a mother. I was projecting my pain behaviors through poetry and writing.
In 2007, after my mother passed away, I felt my DNA shifting. Something was happening inside of me. I wasn’t sure what. Weighing in at a few numbers over three hundred pounds, I was weary of being in pain both physically and mentally. I began to practice small pieces of Gratitude. I began to write CULT CHILD, piecing together my trauma and the intense horror I had experienced as a child. I changed my eating, going clean, eating green and losing weight. My pain levels dropped. I began to feel better. The more I began to feel better, the more I WANTED to feel better.
The process of writing was indeed daunting. Many a night I spent thrashing from night terrors. Many a day I spent weeping, sometimes my head bent over the trashcan, vomiting out my trauma. Yet, it was coming up. I opened my heart to receive it and allow it to pass through me, a journey that while painful, left me with a completely differing perspective of life and myself.
I went on to publish two other books, DUSTED SHELVES, a collection of poetry, and BECOMING GRATITUDE, an interactive journal with simple tasks that help re-wire the brain for mindful gratitude.
There came a point in my life as a trauma survivor where the pain became too much. Often, this is a breaking point which, like a pendulum, can swing either way. When it swings in the direction of healing, amazing things happen as we survivors begin the metamorphosis of learning how to thrive.
Where once I froze or lashed out in reactionary self-defense, avoided connection and lacked trust, I now find myself able to view situations from a more critical thinking perspective. Trauma splits our minds into fragments. When we gather those fragments, learning which ones belong to our abusers, and which ones belong to us, we can then begin to organize them.
I believe we must be kind to ourselves. We must give ourselves time. We must not allow others to pressure our healing timeline. We must rest when we need to do so. We must learn to stand our boundaries out of empowerment instead of fear. We must be prepared for the loss which can come with exercising those boundaries. In doing so, we will discover our true support system. We will accept that it doesn’t look like what we think it should look like. Mindfulness becomes a natural part of each day, understanding that the key to thriving is focusing in on being thankful for life, being aware of others suffering in a way which creates a natural flow of awareness back toward us.