The place where I am staying for the HeartSync training seminar (The Aqueduct in Chapel Hill, NC) is very beautiful, but I also get a very bad Internet connection so it’s extremely slow and I also can’t get the pictures I took to load. The property is in a heavily wooded area. As soon as I am able (probably when I get home on Friday) I’ll share the photos as everything I have learned–and it’s a lot. More than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams.
I have a LOT to say about this week and what we are doing, and the unbelievable things that are happening to me, and that I have witnessed happen to others. I understand a lot more now about why I became the way I am and what happened to me and why. This experience is probably the most intense emotional and spiritual adventure of my life, and it was sorely needed. It’s miraculous the way all the many obstacles were moved aside so I could have this opportunity (my being able to attend didn’t seem possible a few weeks ago), because this is where God wants me right now, and he can move mountains if need be.
It’s a lot of hard, hard emotional work. But the benefits are more than worth it.
I didn’t realize just how much more healing I had to do, and how very broken I still am. I am still so far away from where I want to be.
But my faith in God has strengthened tenfold if not more. I felt Jesus’ presence VERY strongly in the training room both today and yesterday. I became emotionally overwhelmed several times but I also knew this was a very good thing and I was releasing pain and trauma and feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit indwelling in me.
I have very powerful “guardians” (psychological “protectors” that keep the functional/conscious part of the mind separate from the emotional/unconscious part. With abuse and trauma, these guardians become numerous and powerful.) Guardians aren’t in themselves “bad.” These guardians are necessary and help us keep good boundaries, and for people who have suffered trauma and abuse, the guardians helped us to survive. But they can also do their job too well and shut you off from being able to connect with your emotions, with others, or even with God. They are the ones responsible for setting up protective defense mechanisms, whatever they are.
Today, one of my primary guardians apparently stepped aside long enough to allow me to drop all my normal defenses and release a motherload of trapped pain. That happened because God can get through to certain guardians.
That experience, which happened this morning, rocked me to my core. It started as a trigger during a process called the Immanuel Approach, in which you are instructed to remember a “five bar moment” when you felt connected to God. For some reason I misheard the facilitator and believed I heard her tell us to find a moment where we felt connected to God through a connection with another person. I tried to think of something and just couldn’t. All I could think of were my connections to God through nature, music, or art. I didn’t know how to connect with people. Hell, I didn’t even know how to talk to them. I was already feeling very emotional and triggered, and that started yesterday, but manifested at first as a lot of undifferentiated emotion, not necessarily bad or unpleasant.
But today was different. My perceived “failure” during the exercise made me feel like I was dying or going crazy. I realized only later that I wasn’t reacting to this small mishap (or perceived mishap); what happened instead is this “small thing” brought my abandonment trauma out in the open, and I was forced to deal with it. But I wasn’t really alone.
I felt completely abandoned and lost. I lost any semblance of composure because I realized I’d never really had a spiritual moment or real connection with another person–and therefore I believed I couldn’t do the exercise. I shot up out of my seat, ran out of the room and started sobbing as soon as I got out the door. I blindly ran around the back of the building, collapsed on the steps and started sobbing like I haven’t sobbed since I was a child. All those old feelings of being incompetent and unlovable came flooding back. Also painful feelings of abandonment, not fitting in, being rejected, always being the odd one out, feeling “different” than others, and also feeling like no one could be trusted. I felt like a loser and a fuckup. I was convinced no one really liked me and I didn’t fit in here or anywhere else and never would, and I should just leave. I also felt a wave of hateful envy toward the people there who had a stronger “functional” side than I did (more on this later). And then beat myself up mentally for having such ugly feelings even toward the person who had helped me get here. What was I doing here, anyway? I didn’t belong here. I didn’t belong anywhere. I never had.
But God wasn’t about to let me just leave–or leave me stranded crying into the void. I looked up into the trees and demanded to know why he’d bring me to this place only to abandon me and make me feel like an unlovable, incompetent fool. Was he playing some huge cosmic joke with me as the butt of his joke? I was angry and felt the void inside me threaten to swallow me whole. My whole body was shaking with sobs and I was hyperventilating. I felt so weak I couldn’t even stand. The sobs just came in uncontrollable waves. It scared me just how much I was crying. This wasn’t the soft crying and shedding a few quiet tears I’ve done in therapy or by myself on occasion. This was deep, raw pain coming from a very hidden place where I have never ventured to go. The abandonment trauma was unleashed and right in my face.
The shaking was an important part of purging trauma. All higher animals and humans do it. I remembered seeing a Youtube video about the way animals release trauma. If an animal has been attacked and survives the attack, they will initially freeze, and then as the trauma is released, they will begin to shake and tremble as if convulsing. I remembered and incident with my cat and a rabbit about a year ago. My cat had caught a bunny and I managed to get her mouth opened so she dropped the bunny. Fortunately, the rabbit was unharmed. I put the cat inside and came back outside to try to make the rabbit run away. But when I returned, the rabbit appeared to be having convulsions. I though it had been mortally injured, but then it suddenly stopped and ran off across the yard. I didn’t realize what had happened until a few months later when I saw the Youtube video explaining this phenomenon.
Finally, I asked the Holy Spirit to come and fill all the holes left in my soul by trauma and abuse. (It’s not necessary to have a cognitive memory of the original trauma–in fact it may not be possible if the trauma was very early, because before the age of 5 or 6, myelinization in the brain hasn’t been completed yet. But even though a cognitive memory may not be possible, you can still have an emotional/somatic memory. More about this later).
And suddenly I “heard” God say (in my heart) that he loved me and had me exactly where I was supposed to be — releasing pain and trauma. He told me all these things I believed about myself were lies that I’d been programmed to believe by my abusers and traumatic things that happened when I was very young. It also turned out the facilitator had never even said anything about having to remember a moment of connecting to another person; I heard the words wrong, so sure that I was required to “connect” with someone in order for this healing process to work.
That’s all I can say right now. I will write a lot more about this experience and how HeartSync itself works (and the theory behind it) when I get back on Friday. It will probably be a long post. I have so much more to say. Although this is in no way “fun,” I have a feeling it’s going to change me in profound ways that I can only imagine right now.
I’ll explain a lot more about how this process works when I return. Right now, I am drained emotionally and mentally but pleasantly sleepy too. My Internet connection sucks, so a more detailed article and photos will have to wait.