I never realized it until today. Christmas day, of all days.
I feel like I’ve been living with a stranger most my life and I never realized it until now. Like me and the stranger agreed on some unspoken level to let each other alone. I would be the functional one on the surface, and I would pretend she didn’t exist. And she would be the lunatic chained with rage and grief and enough PTSD for several soldiers, under the surface. Her scope and territory growing over time, as more that I couldn’t deal with, but she could, had to get handed off.
And we’d work together to create a wall around her, stone by stone, until it was solid enough to protect her from my world, and enough to protect my world and me from her, and then together we could speak the invisibility spell for it. And nobody could ever get through it, get to me, get to her, because that wall wasn’t there to be found. Hence, she wasn’t there to be found. And I had it all in hand. Because anybody could see I was fine. Move on, nothing else to see here.
Have you ever felt like all the sudden you had so much to say that ten books couldn’t cover it, but the more you said, the more wrong it would be anyway, the farther it would get from what matters most. Whatever that is. Something inside one might not recognize even if it showed up in blue jeans with a drawl at your door and a sign reading, “Hi. I’m the scariest thing you’ve ever seen in your life. And like a horrible splinter, you’re obsessively attracted to focus on me, to work me out of yourself. One slow, slicing, bleeding exit wound at a time.”
I should have known. I should have gotten a clue. Years of my inter-world guides telling me that “allowing myself vulnerability” was the important focus. A partial kundalini experience blocked at the heart chakra leaving me freezing to death from the inside, on my friend’s floor just before ‘Bewilderness’ kicked in. Of years of asking the Four, “Why did you die for me?” and not getting an answer. Of meeting IG5 and being told clearly that my sudden lack of sense of connection was because everything, everyone inside me had moved up so to speak, except me. I didn’t move on. I haven’t been able to feel them, to join them. Because after weeks now, “allowing myself love” continues to be the hardest meditation I ever tried to get through.
I see now. That’s where it happens. At the heart chakra. When you build a wall to contain rage, contain grief, contain fear, contain trauma, contain violence, contain the parts of you that have become an animal, a mercenary, that wall is not merely metaphorical. It is energetically real. And the territory is the heart chakra. The part that allows feeling; that allows love, and vulnerability.
The heart chakra is an identity but, like all energetic constructs, can be anything, in archetypal experience. Including a landscape, a territory. It’s easier for me to think of it that way. The territory where the war happened. Where the buildings crumbled, and the land mines went off. Where the children and the protectors both died. Where the rivers ran to blood and ran dry, and even the moon vanished, void of course, leaving a new kind of mutant survivors to take shape in the dark. And by the time dawn finally came, too little and too late, the monster had grown the skin of respectability over itself. Its true nature, the distortion of it, had settled into the comfort of a brilliant disguise. And all you see now is the shell of a city. If you don’t look closely, it seems real. If you don’t feel the emptiness. All you see is the shell of a person. If you don’t look closely, you don’t see anything but the resume.
I have a ‘mutant-creating in the dark’ scene in a novel I wrote. I never realized that on some level I was playing out something inside me. I suddenly wonder if everything I write as fiction is really just shining a pattern inside me to the outside of me. Like some light shining through paper cut-outs that are my tangled insides, looking like snowflakes and gargoyles on the cave wall of my reality. Like fiction is creating reality like anything else but with fewer limits.
Mark (IG5) is playing the therapist. He is making me talk to him. Making me be the one to come to him, and to come clean with how I feel. He is playing that role because without someone to play it, I can’t reach him, or the parts of me I need to. I don’t have a powerful psychologist and PTSD support group. I don’t have anybody who could understand anyway. Someone who did wouldn’t be compassionate, they’d just be afraid of me. They should be. I certainly am.
I don’t even remember most of my life. At times, like during the 91-94 period of MPD symptoms, I remember the white on black fragments of memory. Pieces of film, staccato in the dark. Most of reality before that like a dreamy web. A list of basics. Enough to sketch the outline of a life. Enough for my psychology to pretend that’s enough. Those dropped in long after the fact, big blocks of web at a time, following all the self-hypnosis integration work all that time ago. During the same period I was trying so hard to heal myself, I suspect some small experimental group was trying to fracture me in a new way. I traded one geological fault line for another and worse.
I thought I was better. I was healed. Look, no hands: I can do the ‘death drop’ like a pro and land on my feet and see, I’m fine.
My invading soldiers didn’t blow up the buildings and plant flags in my soil. They grew a wall of thorns around the castle so everything inside could sleep for a hundred years. They won the battle by helping me forget there was even a battle at all.
Ever since IG5 arrived my mind’s been stuck in topics I’ve kept myself from thinking of, mostly anyway, for much of my life. Things that seem like they can’t possibly matter. They’re past. Stuff I don’t want to talk about. It’s hard stuff. Like ‘the tower’ tarot meditation. So deep and dreadful that I’m afraid to even try to understand.
I deleted pages and pages of first-25-years-of-life trauma. Incest and violence and homelessness and violence and crime and rape and did I mention violence. Then I reminded myself that nobody gives a damn. Does anybody need to know that when I was 8 I carried a switchblade and helped carry electronics out of houses in the projects? Or — stop me before I bore even myself. Shit happens.
I came to understand something today. Well yesterday, because I just realized it’s nearly 4:30am, sigh. I have to work tomorrow. Which is today… and I forgot to eat anything besides some christmas chocolate. Dang it.
Different people deal with things differently. And there are healthy ways to be, and to absorb and bleed off the impact of traumatic experiences. And when people say “get over it” it forcibly assumes that they actually have a WAY To get over it. That they are “Just like everyone else who did NOT have that kind of childhood.” They aren’t.
There are some not very healthy ways to cope. And most people who have problems in childhood, the earlier the moreso, have dysfunctional ways of coping.
They are valid coping mechanisms as far as surviving for the moment goes. But instead of being part of making the person healthier, they mostly end up with the person even more damaged than they were before, with every following problem just “piling on” and further complicating and intensifying what’s going on inside them. Because for them it wasn’t actually about long term health. It was about immediate functionality.
People without the kid-jacked childhoods, they do suffer genuine trauma sometimes, but their neural wiring has not adapted already to ways of immediate-coping, where it’s not merely “recovering afterward” at issue like for most people, but “compensating to stay functional even while it’s happening” because survival may depend on it. Coping in the moment shortcuts the seeming need to ‘adjust’ later by coping for the long term. Because once it’s over they’ve already stuffed it down inside, and they have a variety of biochemical, neurochemical, psychological adaptations that are already kicked in.
And here’s the thing about the “get over it you whiner, you’re adult now so move on” theory that you hear everywhere. The only people who move on from trauma are those who are able to actually deal with it functionally. And most people with messed up childhoods have never been able to deal with it functionally. What they’ve learned how to do is keep it down so they can be functional on the surface “despite” its presence buried in their bodies and souls.
They still deal with it simmering under the surface. In chronic illness or patterns, chronic self-medication in various ways, other chronic issues. It’s not gone, it’s tossed in the pot and as long as the fire isn’t high, it doesn’t boil over. You only get the vapor and the occasional little leak of that stuff into your life. Until something turns up the heat and then all the sudden you can’t seem to stop thinking about some event that happened 35 years before, before you finally get the goddamn lid back on and sit on it and keep it from making a big bloody mess all over your life.
And if they never run into something that tries to force-clean their heart chakra, they might never have reason to realize that they have decades of traumatic bullshit squashed into a storage bin labeled “do not disturb and keep the fire low.”
Lately I’m surrounded by people (and cats, ha) being nice to me. As if to help me. As if the universe is saying here, let me help. And yet instead it feels like — well I’m sure some PTSD therapist would say it is helping me, and was just what I needed.
From this side, it feels like it’s breaking down some long-solidified, encrusted wall I’ve held in place all around my heart chakra. There’s probably some energetic truth to that. And all that crap is not gone, alas. It’s just got some incredibly deep chasm-like cracks through it now, and a long of thin lines of shatter near the top, and some actual small pieces chunked right out of it, where light and vulnerability shine both in and out.
I feel like some kind of earthquake has happened at some fundamental level in my psychology, but I’m so shut down I can barely even feel it.
Every other day or so, something hits me out of the blue, and I have these huge, body-shaking sobs — for a few seconds. And it’s gone. And I want to cry, I want to try and force feeling through and vent, but I can’t. A few hours later, another like 3 sobs — and gone. It’s the weirdest thing.
Now I understand why years of focus inside has been on “allowing yourself vulnerability.” Because I didn’t have that. Because I worked on building, stone by stone, the wall so invulnerable that it eventually became invisible. I didn’t have to worry about anybody breaking it down, not even me. Because nobody could find it. Not even me.
“Quit whining,” the back of my head is already saying. “Who gives a fuck. Everybody else had a worse life, or enough of them not to matter. Who cares what happened to you. Stomp it down, suck it up and move on already.”
One of my best friends, a slightly older man who is very much a brother/father figure as well as friend, has suggested to me several times that I get some kind of counseling. He’s intuitive enough and experienced enough that I know if he sees it, that it’s probably a genuine need.
But I have known so many psychologists that I haven’t had much respect for them to be honest. I think most people study that to figure themselves out and I’ve never actually met anybody in that field who I thought was tougher and smarter than me, which I suppose for whatever reason some part of me requires before I’d be willing to trust them to truly be a guide. It would have to be someone male and dominant I suspect, and most male psychologists are pussies, as my brother would have put it. I’ve known too many. (Not to mention I have a profound distrust of any form of medication which I’d never touch, so I tend to distrust people I think are likely to try and use that as a crutch for actually being competent at therapy.)
Today is the first day since adulthood that I seriously thought I might be willing to consider therapy for even an instant.
Let alone might actually be actively interested in it. Might have any room in my belief system that it could be helpful.
I promised myself I would record how I got from here to there: through the integration with inner guide number five. Maybe I should have known that all this “individuation” was self-therapy and that eventually I would run hard into the wall of a lot of crap I’ve never dealt with that affects me metaphysically as well as in every other way. Because you can ignore stuff physically, and you can ignore it psychologically, or sublimate it, but metaphysically, you can’t go around, you can only go through. So I was bound to run into it eventually.
And Mark (IG5) just watches. He’s always here. He won’t let me feel he is separate, which I appreciate, although he does it simply because he is not separate and the truth of him is inescapable. And I get that I can’t get through what I must for him, to really open up to that christ heart chakra energy cleanly, until I get through some of this. I talked to Sun briefly today in the shower. Sobbed powerfully for 3 seconds… and then it was gone. In a cycle several times.
I’m irked that it seems like the process is asking me to do something in my “non-metaphysical” life, when I feel like I should be able to just do appropriate meditation and work through it myself. And maybe I can, and maybe I will.
I also feel I need to bring music back into my life. It was my therapist until I was 24, and my totally shutting it off was nearly as traumatic as anything else in my life. No matter how pointless, I need to force myself back into songwriter mode.
I’m posting this before I delete the whole thing and mention it in passing in a sentence or two since that seems cooler. The number of phonetic spelling errors I’ve made while typing (plus my epithets) tells me I have a lot of emotion involved, which is probably why I feel like saying “This is no big deal at all and I’m just being a drama queen so forget it.”