Today was a good day, despite the colonoscopy. Funny how the literal things in my life often mirror the spirit place I’m working on. That whole bowel cleanse thing . . . . fits perfectly with the chakra balancing and aura clearing I had yesterday. It was a tag team affair, hands on with Amy Adkison Kinman of Be Well Studio, and remotely with the equally amazing Karen Ritsche of Starlite Crystals and Reiki.
A few years ago I would have p-shawed or eye-rolled any mention of balancing chakras and clearing auras. But that was before I discovered this thing called emotional flashbacks. While my human brain thinks it’s in the here and now, my emotional/sensory brain thinks it’s back in the bad old days of my childhood (#raisedbywolves) and interprets all input as terrifying, life-threatening, untrustworthy and to be avoided at all costs. This, I found out is normal for one raised by wolves. It helps us survive the trauma of our childhoods so we don’t shatter into a million pieces. The problem is, that our brains don’t realize that the scenery has changed and these interpretations are not only not helpful any more, they actually perpetuate the abuse, neglect and abandonment.
Based on Pete Walker’s excellent book, Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving, I fall into the Flight (busy, busy, workaholic) and Freeze (isolation, hiding) categories depending on the triggering event. Emotional flashbacks are tricky because there is no one particular memory or event that comes to mind, rather an overwhelming emotional state of helplessness, hopelessness, fear and toxic shame that floods through the subconscious, driving everything you do. Unraveling the pattern is painful work, but the results are well worth it. Today I was able to identify an emotional flashback and work my way through it in less than an hour. And it went like this:
Hubby and I spent the morning together at my colonoscopy, after which we treated ourselves to a buffet lunch. We had a wonderful time, singing all the way there, and chatting all the way home. It was wonderful, really. We both agreed a nap sounded like a good idea, and it was. When he left the house at about 3:30 pm, he said he was going to do some outside stuff and would be back in a while. In my mind he would be back around 6 or so. In the meanwhile, and unknown to me, our nephew messaged him to say he was coming by for a visit. So a little after 6 I stuck my head out the door and asked if he wanted me to fix supper. He said no, Jeremy was coming over and they were going to visit for a while. Immediately, I felt the rush of “something”. Mad, sad, hide and go shame . . . . just bad. He must have sensed it (gee I wonder how) because he came in and very sweetly knelt beside me and tried to address it.
At first, it went the pattern of most of our disagreements. I get angry and demand my rights, he gets defensive and attacks. But today, I had balanced chakras, a clear aura, and several chapters of Pete Walker’s book in my toolkit, and I shot back at the pattern instead of my husband. I realized that I was having an emotional flashback, and I called it that. Then I started talking about it. How his changing plans without telling me triggered my abandonment issues, deeply inlaid from decades of life with a narcissistic mother and an emotionally vacant father. I started hearing the chatter in my head about how he had spent Monday with me and now today, so of course he was sick of being with me and wanted to escape. How now I was trapped because if I said I wanted him to keep his original word he would only be doing it because he felt obligated, not because he really wanted to. And the yuck got deeper, and the tears started to flow. Which is really the hardest part, because being honest about it is being vulnerable which just increases the yuck . . . . and the cycle worsens. Well, usually.
And that’s when it happened. I realized it wasn’t the same. This is now. My husband loves me. My parents couldn’t love me in a healthy way, but I’m not a little kid any more. I’m married to a man who loves me and wants to be with me. Yeah, he probably should have let me know he changed plans, but it certainly wasn’t the kind of thing that warranted the emotional tidal wave I felt – a sure sign of an emotional flashback. Then I remembered to check my body. My stomach was in knots and my shoulders were tight. I put my hand over my solar plexus and took deep breaths, visualizing the release of the past and the damage, replacing it with love and light. I pictured the chakras flowing from root to crown like my little creek where I go to meditate. And guess what? It worked. Hubby is happily visiting and I am feeling peaceful and empowered and loved. Healing is possible.