I’ve decided to start writing about my healing journey and the tools I have been using to help me finally be mentally and physically free from lifelong trauma – in the hope that others will see it and know that there is always hope and that we are amazing and we can do anything!!!! CW: bereavement; PTSD triggers
My perception of the world 4 years after giving birth to my stillborn son Angel Benjammin Love at 38 weeks, the subsequent loss of 8 pints of blood and the dying for 3-5 seconds while the angels in the hospital scraped out my womb so I could stop bleeding to death, has changed quite a lot!
Some people might observe that I now have emotional depth. Some others might note that now I actually ask for help from others and accept that sometimes I have to be vulnerable and allow others to help and assist me.
I have been a reputed ‘Superhero Mum’ for the previous 16 years travelling the planet entertaining, loving and wellfairying on the frontline of freedom, standing tall as a warrior in the war against drugs and drug takers that marginalises and scapegoats the most damaged and vulnerable in our society. It’s been big, it’s been fun and I wouldn’t change a moment!
However, during that whole time I carried traumas in my body and mind which made my daily existence a terrifying place to be. A few close friends knew, but mostly I wouldn’t let anyone close to ‘my stuff’. I gained a rep for being the mad crazy woman who would send men mad and or the occasionally raging violent woman who needed to be removed from places.
Fast forward to now and the traumas of the past are beginning to have space to open out, release, be heard and be felt.
It took a dead baby, a dead me and 2 years later too many thoughts that I should be dead to get me to realise that I couldn’t do this on my own.
Enter MEET ! A group of Quakers, supplying energetic therapies to people on low wages, in Oxford. My awesome Angel at the Luther Street Surgery in Oxford put me in contact and even though it terrified me, I went to the preliminary interview.
I told my story to the kind lady , starting with the birth of Angel Benjammin, then tracking back through to my birth. When I’d finished she smiled warmly at me and said ”Well just one of these events would be traumatic, however, the three other events and the subsequent other situations that your traumatised self accepted, because of what you saw as normal, have compounded into a Complex version of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We will put you on the list for therapy straight away!”
My therapist, is a lovely Woman. She listens , doesn’t judge , and offers me tools to help move on the energetic charge of traumas that my body mind and soul still carry.
As we move into the winter I feel we all could do with some help moving our old stuff on and making some space to rest and create once again! So today I offer a very simple version of EFT Emotional Freedom Technique.
This is not intended to fix everything forever, but is offered as a first aid tactic when panicking is happening and also as a tool in your personal mindfulness kit to add to any mental practice you use.
MethodHold up hand and tap the small finger side of your hand or just tap the front of your chest between your collarbones.
Then, say out loud or in your head “Even though I…… ( here is where you add whatever you need to , eg am still experiencing panic, still too angry , am full of fear etc) I still truly and deeply Love, Honour, Cherish and Respect myself. All parts of myself. Including my totally relevant ( panic, fear, anger, confusion etc) and I ask for help in healing this and I give thanks that healing is happening!
Then breathe deeply and see how you feel now . If you still feel really raw , tap again and focus on breathing and tapping again and see how you feel.
For me this works to calm mini-panics, in the moment, but for big ones, I have to sit with someone else to help me focus.
I’ve found that it’s hard for me to access this healing when I’m a full panic because the nasty team in my head spend too much time telling me anything I know is useless and that I’m too stupid to be able to heal!
Panic attacks are exactly that! Panic on all levels, especially the brain!!!! My first new skill is to notice when one is happening and step back from whatever has triggered the panic and tap my chest and focus on breathing in and out until the panic subsides. If I’m not quick to notice I could be right in one and not able to do it for myself!
Always ask for help – you never know, you might just get it. That’s my new mantra!
I tell people where I’m at and I ask for help! I refuse to be embarrassed about the broken bits of my brain cos I never see someone being embarrassed about their broken arm or leg. I just see them resting and healing and asking for help when getting up the stairs!
So here it is, my first anarchistic (meaning, to take responsibility) mental health tool! I hope you like it and it brings you peace!!!!