Part Two: My HeartSync experience, including The Dream.

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Watching the sunrise off the back porch of the main building.

Part One described how HeartSync works and the theories behind it, so I won’t get into that much in this post, which is more about my personal experience.

This post describes the intense cathartic experience I had on the second full day, so there’s no need to describe that again.  However, that experience–which was both excruciating and awesome–opened me up to some odd and wonderful new discoveries about myself to come in the following few days.

First of all, the place where the HeartSync seminar was being held, at the Aqueduct Conference Center in Chapel Hill, NC, reminded me of a classy sleep-away camp.     It was basically a compound tucked deep in the woods consisting of a large rustic main house  (with all the modern conveniences) where all meals were served and where the bookstore and offices and general recreation areas were located;  and two smaller “cottages” each with a large living room with a fireplace and a kitchenette.  Each cottage (which were quite large) could house up to 16 people.    Gravel walkways connected the buildings to each other and also to the parking lot down at the bottom for easy access.

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There were four full days of training, starting on Monday morning at 9 AM after breakfast and ending at about 5 PM.  Lunch was served at 12:30 and was for an hour.   The food was excellent, much better than camp food (in spite of the camp-like feel of the place).

I was nervous about meeting Kate, the woman I had never heard of until two weeks previously, who first told me about HeartSync and so kindly offered to pay for me to attend.

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Knowing she was more well off than I was made me afraid my feelings of envy or inferiority might be triggered or get the best of me again, but what happened was only some slight envy that nearly disappeared by the last day.  Kate and I got along great and she seemed to like me as much as I liked her, and even told me so.  (That gave me a little more confidence about associating with people who “I perceive” to have more than/be more “successful” socially or financially than I am.)

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Each day was divided into two parts:  Learning, in which we read over the materials, watched audiovisual presentations, and listened to Father Andrew Miller (who developed HeartSync) lecture.    He’s a riveting and lively speaker, who is very good at engaging everyone’s attention.

The material is emotionally intense and can be very triggering (as well as extremely spiritual and often you feel touched or moved by the presence of the Holy Spirit) that it’s easy to get emotional even during the “classroom lecturing.”   Even though I didn’t actually get “HeartSynch’d” (there are separate seminars for those and there are people trained in this who can work with you individually), it’s still extremely powerful stuff and you walk away a changed person with a whole new insight into yourself.

There are exercises you are taught (such as the Immanuel Approach) and other prayer methods that you can do on yourself that help you release trauma and re-synchronize some of your “core parts.”   I was shocked by how well these techniques work, but I think the spiritual aspect and connection with God has a lot to do with that.     You have to be careful though.   A complicated resynchronization or a full self-resynchronization should never be attempted without a trained practitioner present.

Each afternoon after lunch, we’d gather back in the meeting room to watch a live demonstration (for a total of four)– a “guinea pig” was picked out of the group to be given a 2 hour live Heart Sync session by Father Andrew.   They’d both sit up in front in comfortable armchairs, and Father Andrew would start asking them questions.   It was fascinating to watch these; they were just like watching therapy sessions, which of course they were–only Jesus was invited in to intercept between the “client” and the therapist.

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View of the back porch of the main building at sunrise, looking back toward the building.

Two men and two women got to be guinea pigs (I didn’t because I didn’t sign the list to volunteer — I’m nowhere near ready to be given therapy and possibly cry in front of 50 people!).  All four had emotional/cathartic breakdowns (intense crying), followed by a feeling of cleansing/healing/lightness, and even laughter.   Their faces changed from the beginning to the end, seeming to attain a sort of inner glow .  In two cases they appeared years younger.  Certain of their issues were resolved, and their faith in God was strengthened too.

Watching these was both fascinating and emotional.   I found myself becoming extremely empathetic, feeling the emotions of these four people as if they were my own, laughing and crying with them.    That’s never happened to me before.    But that all happened to me after my own emotional meltdown, which is described in the linked post in the second paragraph of this post.

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Sunrise on the last morning, just before leaving to return home.   It was like leaving summer camp.

The last night, which was Thursday, was not followed by dinner as usual, since so many people were going home that night (Kate and I stayed through until Friday morning since I cannot drive at night) but was followed by an outdoor liturgical service held on the large back porch of the main building, in which Communion was given.   Hymns and camp-like worship songs, and a few Christmas carols were sung,  and a lot of people hugged and tears were shed.   By then, I was pretty much out of tears and my eyes remained dry.   But the whole feel of the event reminded me of those poignant last nights of summer camp, when everyone is singing camp songs around a crackling fire, there’s a crisp undertone of fall in the evening air,  and there’s an unspoken knowledge that you may never see any of these people again once they load onto the buses or cars that will come for them first thing in the morning.

These kind of moments–where our paths cross briefly but intimately, like passengers at train stations or airports who confess their most cherished secrets to each other precisely because they are basically strangers who will soon be on opposite sides of the country or even the world and will never meet again — are always so lovely and bittersweet.

Afterwards, Kate, me, and three older attendees (who are all HeartSync practitioners in the Chapel Hill area) went out to a nearby Mexican restaurant in Carrboro.   I didn’t contribute much to the lively conversation; I was too exhausted, and when we returned, I conked out very soon after getting back to our room.

*****

The Dream

I woke up from a dream this morning which did not fade away upon awakening the way my dreams normally do.

It started with me finding myself at my own wedding.  I wasn’t sure who the groom was, and I remember feeling slightly apprehensive about this second marriage (having been married to an abuser in my first one).   I don’t remember if the groom had a face–I couldn’t even identify who he could be — but I was going through with this and was nervous and only slightly excited.

I looked down at my shoes under my white skirts and noticed they were black.  I took them off and put on a pair of white shoes.

Then I met my guests, including a sour-faced school-marmish looking woman who looked me up and down disapprovingly.   She looked like she’d been sucking on Atomic Fire Balls or lemon wedges without sugar.   I didn’t know who she was, but somehow I knew I knew her intimately and she was a very important guest.   Her cooperation meant everything.

I asked her why she looked so disapproving.  She just said she never liked me much or thought I liked her much, and was afraid that this time, we still wouldn’t get along because we hadn’t gotten along the first time.   (I’m not sure what “this time” or “that other time” referred to but I think it means “now” and “before I changed.”)

But she reluctantly agreed to try, and I remember shaking her hand and feeling its papery, cool, callousy skin.   She wasn’t the type you’d hug, but her agreement “to try” meant the world to me and meant I could get on with this wedding.

My Interpretation.

I think the emotional release I experienced on Tuesday prepared me for this dream, which I think involved one of my main Guardians (the disapproving school-marm) agreeing to change their role in my life from one of negative judgment to a more positive one, but who was not able to do this until after a lot of the corresponding childhood trauma behind that Guardian’s creation  (abandonment, feeling inferior, unworthy, and incompetent) was released.   I think this Guardian is the same one I previously called The Judge.

This Guardian’s role in my life had been to defend me against having to take risks that might lead to me feeling the pain of failure or rejection.  She did this by criticizing my competence or just throwing out all the negative reasons why such a thing shouldn’t or couldn’t be done. She was basically an internalization of my mother’s nagging, disapproving voice.  This Guardian was negative, judgmental, punishing, disapproving — an old lady with a pinched, mean face — generally not someone anyone would like much.

When I released all that emotion on Tuesday, it had been triggered by old feelings of worthlessness, incompetence, and the certainty that I would be eventually rejected by everyone, all coming to the surface at once.    The emotional release lessened the charge of the underlying trauma just enough to allow the presentation of this Guardian (in the dream), who had already kindly stepped aside long enough for the underlying trauma to be released.  Now she was finally showing herself to me, and agreed (although reluctantly) to try to cooperate with me in this “new marriage”, which I think represents a merging of one part of myself with another.  (I’m not sure which parts though).

The changing of the black shoes to white ones seems obvious enough – changing from a dark and negative way of thinking to one with more lightness and joy.   Also “being in the shoes of” a person about to merge with someone else for life.  But that other “person”–the one I was marrying– seemed mysterious and unknowable.  But the disapproving Guardian provided a clue:  by deciding to cooperate with me “this time,” this seemed to mean she would try to stop being so critical of me (remember, she had told me we never got along).  This seemed to indicate to me that this Guardian was about to “flip her role” from one of negative judgment to one of wise discernment; that in my new marriage (to myself) she would stop being so critical and making me afraid to take any risks, and instead allow me to proceed forward and take a few smart risks, heeding her wisdom instead of her fear (the wisdom of better choices being made possible by faith in God). So the “other me” that I was marrying is the more competent, functional, confident Me who isn’t afraid to take some calculated risks, which includes reaching out more to others without fearing judgment, derision, or rejection.

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Part One: “Heart-Sync”– a psycho-spiritual therapy for trauma and attachment disorders.

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*****

This article will be in two parts.

This part is a brief overview of HeartSync and how it works. The second part will be about my personal experience in Chapel Hill over the past four days.   I just returned today from a four day intensive spiritual/psychological retreat that addresses childhood trauma and helps you release that trauma to re-connect the various parts of your heart that were separated or dissociated due to trauma.   HeartSync attempts to re-synchronize the various parts of your “heart” (really different parts of the brain), to make you whole again, recognizing that God himself (Jesus) is the only one who can bring a person back together again and rebuild the neural pathways that were broken by a lack of early attachment to the mother.  The therapist is just a facilitator.

The goal is to release “trapped pain,” through emotional catharsis facilitated by “God as primary therapist.” Once the trapped pain is released, the person usually begins to see improvements. Sometimes this can be pretty dramatic (as I will describe later — we got to see four “live demonstrations”).

I can’t give you a exhaustive description of everything I learned, because there was so much information. In a nutshell, HeartSync is a type of trauma and attachment-therapy that merges psychoanalytic and traditional psychological modalities (including brain science) of healing with Christianity and spirituality.

It’s believed that anything can be healed with God/Jesus present in the therapy room guiding the session, but there are certain protocols that must be followed by the therapist, as with any other modality of psychotherapeutic healing.  The patient or client must also be willing and have at least some belief in God or Christianity for it to be effective.

An Overview of HeartSync

HeartSync was developed by Father Andrew Miller, an Anglican minister and licensed therapist (LCSW), using an intriguing combination of his knowledge of brain science, traditional psychology, psychoanalytic techniques, and Christ-centered spirituality used to heal trauma and “mend the brokenhearted.”

It is believed that there is no one with any disorder who cannot be healed–and not only that, healed much faster than using traditional, secular therapy–just by using HeartSync techniques.   Some people whose trauma doesn’t run too deep can be healed in a single session.   Others take longer, but it normally doesn’t take as long as traditional therapy, due to the presence of inviting God/Jesus into the sessions to direct the course of therapy.

Here is their website. 

Unfortunately, it’s under construction right now, so the information on the site right now is minimal and a bit hard to navigate.   I’ve been assured this is being worked on.

The human brain and its “core parts.”

All humans are made up of “core parts,” which make up the “heart” of a person.  These core parts correspond to various areas of the brain.   These “core parts” are:

Emotion (feelings, intuition, creativity, visual — overseen by Right Pre-frontal cortex).

Function (thinking, learning, language, beliefs, verbal — overseen by Left Pre-frontal cortex).

Original Self (The Identity Center; “who am I”? — this is overseen by the Orbital Prefrontal Cortex and regulates Dopamine (the “feel good” chemical.)     In a healthy person , the Original Self can move around freely and is not obscured or buried by Hidden Guardians, or renegade Function or Emotion parts that have overtaken the Original Self in reaction to traumatic events.   A person without access to or who is dissociated from their O.S. will feel an inner emptiness or a “void” they cannot fill.  This “emptiness”  is common in C-PTSD, BPD, NPD, and other personality disorders.  It is also present in DID.

Guardians (precortical — amygdala).  Guardians stand between Function and Emotion but under normal circumstances do not block the interface between them in pathological ways.  These guardians allow the person to have healthy boundaries, not only between themselves and others, but between their various “core parts.”   In a healthy person, there is free communication between all the core parts, but only as needed.     The Original Self (soul–prefrontal cortex), Emotion (right brain–cortical), and Function (left brain–cortical) work together beautifully when they are synchronized and allow God in to guide the person along in their life choices.

The “Attachment Center” is ruled by the thalamus and basal ganglia — these are the most primitive pre-cortical (primitive) brain structures.  Attachment is our most basic need.  If attachment and bonding was not sufficiently formed during infancy, the person will experience problems with all the higher brain function listed above.   A trauma occurring at a lower level/more primitive level of brain function will be much harder to heal than one occurring during later childhood or adolescence, when the cortex was fully formed and cognitive memory and language had kicked in.

But “remembering” an event is not necessary for healing.  Even if a trauma occurred during early infancy or even in the womb,  before myelinization occurred, thus making  cognitive memory possible,  a person can still release emotional or physical trauma, even if they can’t remember what the trauma actually was.

Every human possesses all these core parts.   They should all work together like a symphony.

Unfortunately, with trauma, the core parts get so separated they can no longer communicate with each other, and in severe cases, become so dissociated or blocked the entire personality splits up into alters (Dissociative Identity Disorder).

Severe trauma, especially Type A trauma, can lead to a physical altering of the actual brain itself, which cannot normally be healed without the intervention of God through prayer and the willingness of the individual who is to be treated to change.

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The lower the level of the brain structure (1 – 4 in the diagram ), the earlier the trauma occurred and the more difficult the treatment will be.

*****

Type A and Type B Trauma

There are two types of trauma:

Type A trauma:  not getting what you need from a caregiver (outside of physical needs like food, shelter, warmth, and fluids): the lack of love, acceptance, positive mirroring, acknowledgement, nurturing, communication.   The Still Face experiment,  which I’ve talked about in previous posts, shows very graphically the changes that come over an infant denied those important attachment signals from the mom, even if only for a few minutes in a controlled setting like a therapist’s office.     We are wired for attachment, and the lack of it has devastating effects on the personality.

Type B trauma:  any bad thing that happens to you, either in childhood or later on.   This could be physical or overt emotional abuse, sexual abuse, ritual abuse (many DID patients were ritually abused in satanic or other cults),  PTSD caused by trauma in war combat, natural disasters, serious illness, being battered by an abusive spouse, being abandoned, the death of a loved one, the sudden loss of a job, or even loss of a dream.

Type A trauma can be worse than Type B, because it tends to happen during infancy, is pre-verbal, and unlike later trauma (which is stored in Emotion or Function, which are both part of the cerebral cortex of the brain) is stored in the very primitive, subcortical, “reptilian” regions of the brain (the amygdala, basal ganglia, and thalamus).  The victim can’t name or describe the trauma because they have no language for it and it may have happened so early the brain wasn’t myelinized yet and so there is no corresponding cognitive memory of the trauma.

It’s harder for a patient to describe Type A trauma– a “lack” of attachment–or convince others that this is abuse, because most people are more likely to show sympathy when you can “name” the abuse or traumatic event and it was overt (Type B trauma).   People may not be sympathetic when you received all your physical requirements, were physically well cared for, and were not physically abused.  But if there was a failure of maternal/infant bonding, the person will never know learn how to connect meaningfully with others and build a healthy relational capacity until and if they can address the Type A trauma they endured.

Type A trauma is why children who were orphaned or abandoned as infants so often develop severe attachment disorders, which can and do lead to Complex PTSD and the personality disorders (the partial fracturing of the Original Self — in the case of NPD the person sets up an “alter”-like “personality” called the False Self) or even DID (the complete fracturing of a personality into separate “alters”) later in life.

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The roles of the Guardians.

We all have Guardians.   Guardians are universal core parts situated between Function and Emotion; they are responsible for all our defense mechanisms and decide what Emotions can be felt by the person at a given time and which ones can’t.  They help us maintain good boundaries. Everyone has at least one Guardian (the Primary Guardian).  A person with trauma-or attachment-based disorders such as Complex PTSD, DID or the personality disorders, probably has several or many Guardians (Hidden Guardians), which may appear to the person as different “people.”  Hidden Guardians are all split off from the Primary Guardian at the time of the trauma that created them, so some guardians are still very young children and their particular “job” (defense mechanism) is the only thing they ever knew how to do. There are at least 15 kinds of Hidden Guardians. Most of these are merely dysfunctional; a few are aggressive and hostile.

All Guardians (including Hidden Guardians) have one primary purpose: to protect the inner child (Original Self) from having to feel or experience further trauma or painful emotion by keeping it locked up in the Emotion part of the brain, not letting it through to Function (or only letting it through when it’s appropriate to do so, if the Guardian is healthy). Guardians are the mind’s Gatekeepers.

In a person with DID, the guardians (as well as the split Emotion/Function core parts) are so disconnected from each other that the person has amnesia for some or most of their alters and there is little to no communication between the various core parts, or hostility/animosity between the core parts, including the Guardians.

When healthy, Guardians enable the person to create healthy boundaries and allow just enough information as the person needs to filter from Emotion to Function, and back again.  When a person begins to heal, Guardians don’t disappear, but they may “flip their role” from a pathological defense mechanism to a healthy defense.

For example, a Guardian, when healed, does not go away. Instead, it can learn to switch from negative judgment of people and situations (that keeps a person trapped in unhealthy and self sabotaging life habits) to a role of wise discernment, or making the best choices (this is where God comes in, who helps the person make those healthier choices).

Levels of trauma.

Here is the continuum from normal brain functioning to the most pathological due to severe abandonment/abuse trauma:

  1. Daydreaming: partial, temporary “dissociation” when uncomfortable feelings (including “boredom”) begin to arise.   Everyone does this.   Type A or B trauma is not necessary at this stage.
  2. Painful Memory: No dissociation, but could comprise traumatic memory and possibly the use of defense mechanisms (this is part of what Guardians are for).    Painful Memory can be experienced by a mentally normal person who has experienced Type B trauma (a bad thing happened to them).  Most humans have experienced Type B trauma and the painful memory may be a trigger for them.
  3. Ego-States:  Includes partial dissociation.  “Ego-states” (more circumscribed than painful memories that may include some separation but not to the degree of DID “alters”)  include the Personality Disorders, Complex PTSD, severe PTSD, and possibly Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and other serious mental conditions outside the common “neurotic” anxiety states and mild depression that most people experience from time to time.   For people stuck in the ego-states, Type A (and possibly Type B) trauma were present.    As an aside, my own theory about NPD in regards to this theory is that it is probably the closest of the personality disorders to DID — due to the development of a distinctive “false self” (a sort of “alter”) that differs from and almost completely obscures the true self (Original Self), which the person may not be consciously aware of. In other PD’s the true/original self is not as well hidden. My feeling is NPD is a takeover by a strong, hostile Guardian or group of hostile Guardians who will not allow any vulnerable Emotion through to Function unless it serves their immediate purpose.
  4. DID and DID caused by Ritual Abuse:  Complete dissociation resulting in a fracturing into separate “alters” who may have amnesia for other alters or the core personality.   Usually both Type A and Type B trauma were present, especially in Ritual Abuse, an especially traumatic type of abuse that may involve the deliberate “programming” of a person to carry out certain actions, even suicide, if a certain “trigger” is activated.     The effects are even worse if this type of abuse has been going on since infancy or early childhood, and the prognosis more grim.

Because there is SO much more information and my goal here isn’t to be a HeartSync instructor (at least not now), I am going to stop this post here.  You can check their website above if you’d like to learn more.

My next post (Part Two) will be about my personal experience  over the past few days.  That will be up tonight. I need to get it here while it’s still fresh in my mind. In some ways, I feel like a completely different person and feel a lot “lighter” mentally and emotionally.

You can read about my first day in this post (that resulted in am intense release in a very large pocket of trapped pain).
https://luckyottershaven.com/2016/11/16/checking-in/

Checking in.

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.

 

So excited!

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In my last post I talked about an answer to my prayers, that came in the form of an email offering to pay my expenses for 4-day Christian healing program (HeartSync) that runs seminars and helps many people suffering from trauma and PTSD, many who were not helped by anything else, including traditional psychotherapy.   HeartSync is a spiritual therapy based on biblical principles.   I talked to the woman who is funding this (Kate Miller) at length on the phone last night, and we found out a little more about each other, but I’m not really a phone person and I get a terrible signal anyway (probably because of all the mountains here), so the conversation was a little disjointed.    I did get some of my questions answered though, and found out a bit more about how this program works.    I also Googled HeartSync to read some testimonies, but I was tired and didn’t do an in-depth search last night.   I didn’t see anything negative, though.  It appeared to be a legitimate Christian healing program.

Kate and one other person have also kindly donated the money I will need, and it looks like the request I put in at work will also be approved (even though I didn’t get to talk to the boss yet).  So it looked like God was moving a few obstacles for me and that this experience was really going to happen!   But it all seemed so fast!  It was too easy! What if it wasn’t God moving the obstacles? What if something else was doing it?   It all seemed too good to be true–and I don’t trust anything that seems “too good.”   I needed to have faith, but–how does one tell the difference between faith and foolishness?  

Kate had suggested that I put in a request for an entire week off from work rather than just four days.  I was told that the experience would  likely be so intense that I’d probably need a couple extra days (plus the weekend) to process everything.  Hearing that raised my shackles.  Uh-oh!  I felt a little afraid!  What on earth was I REALLY getting into?       Could I get out of it if I needed to?   I was already booked though!    I had to talk to Kate some more and also do some more digging on my own.

I found quite a bit of information, but this one, from a private blog called On A Mission in SF, blew my mind:

HeartSync and Wholeness

By Elise Albert

http://elisealbert.blogspot.com/2016/04/heart-sync-and-wholeness.html

We recently worked with a woman named Bri (who gave me permission to share this story:)),  who had been cut off from feeling emotions because of childhood wounding. From early on, she discovered that if she shut off emotion and prevented it from having a voice, it would keep pain from being experienced. When she felt an emotion coming up due to heartbreak, pain, etc, she would shove it back down and become numb to the presenting situation. When she began receiving Heart Sync prayer, the Lord revealed that this began when her parents had gotten divorced and brought to light a decision she had made as a child to not feel in order to protect herself from more pain(something she was unaware of until He revealed it consciously). The pain was beyond her capacity to bear at the time, so a part of her had come up with a solution to keep her safe, the only way she knew how— to completely shut off to all emotion forever. But by cutting this off, she was also prevented from experiencing joy and love. But now, God was offering her protection in Himself, healing for the part of her that was wounded in the divorce, and an invitation for her to be able to fully feel again under the protection and safety of the person of Jesus. Since then, Bri is able to fully access and use her emotion in a way that is healthy. She began to experience emotions again, and not just for herself but also for others. As a missionary, she has found her heart has become tender and compassionate toward those she serves, “I feel more pain, but it feels so worth it because I am able to enter into those places of pain with people and really sympathize, where as before, my heart felt calloused. This is compassion!” 

I remember the first day I sat in a training for the HeartSync approach- it felt like the Holy Spirit ran into my inner world and called every part of me to attention, even the parts I didn’t realize existed or had worked endlessly to shove down, and said,

“Hey. I see you. And I’m coming to heal and love every part of your heart that hurts. You were made to be whole and to know the love of God in the deepest parts of your heart.”I’ve come to believe that we are desperately in need of a Doctor for our hearts. Yes, even us Christians who love the Lord and have given our lives to Him. There are always new depths of intimacy and healing with the Lord–it is who He is! We have all experienced our fair share of pain and suffering, and have battle wounds and scars hidden deep within to prove it. We’ve come up with our own ways of self protection to guard against more pain. 

But the most glorious of news, because of the price Jesus paid for us on the cross, those wounds and scars do not have to stay buried deep within us. There is a Healer who wants nothing more than to heal and restore that which was lost! 

The HeartSync approach, the primary heart healing method we use at Linden Tree Outreach, was developed by a man named Father Andrew Miller and it focuses on synchronizing broken and divided hearts first to God and then to each other. With my counseling background, I have often wondered if there is a connection between psychology and Christ-centered inner healing, as I see the value and purpose in both. Wonderfully, there is a substantial amount of brain science correlations that not only support Father Miller’s findings but fuel it (more on this at a later point). 

So how this works: each of us have Core Parts.  Father Andrew has given names to them, to help identify and distinguish these parts. These consist of:

the Function Part helps us function daily (brush our teeth, write, drive, etc.) and believes that knowing certain information about one’s history is incompatible with survival and/or function
the Emotion Part is most closely connected to the pain, depression and trauma we have experienced
the Guardian Part that believes the Emotion and Function parts must be kept apart or the Function will be too overwhelmed to do daily functioning, so is devoted to keep them seperated. 

These Core Parts are universal and part of our creative design, but they were not designed to live in opposition, but instead work together as a team. And they were also created to all be in relationship with Jesus. But because of the fall, we have all experienced varying degrees of trauma and pain which have created desynchronization between our parts and the Lord (meaning they are no longer working in unity), and we are all in need of God to bring restoration to each area of our heart and restore them to their design and function. He does this healing places of hurt and trauma and correcting incorrect beliefs about God and ourselves. 

I don’t know about you, but I am desperately in need of this kind of healing. Our world is full of people who are living in disconnection from God and parts of themselves–just trying to get by–not realizing there is so much freedom and restoration available for them. 

*****

OMG!  THIS WAS EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR!  And now it was here, and all the obstacles that seemed so insurmountable were being moved.  After finishing reading this post,  I just sat there reeling in near-shock but also feeling this anticipation like I’d never felt before, anticipation so intense my eyes filled with tears. THIS…was the next step of my journey.

I immediately banged out an email to Kate.   Here is part of it:

 

All day my mind kept bringing up these potential horror-movie scenarios (maybe because it’s Halloween?)  — being hypnotized, being drugged, being brainwashed, being taken alone into a little room and feeling scared to death, completely OUT OF CONTROL!  Being re-traumatized in some unknown manner, or getting there and finding out that  HeartSync is something other than what it says it is.    It’s probably just my hypervigilance due to PTSD but it just all seemed too good to be true and that scared me. 

So I knew I needed to do some more digging.    I found quite a bit of information on Google and some testimonials.    Wow, it does sound like exactly what I’ve been searching for.  Sometimes during mass I get a bit teary eyed and definitely feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, but then it’s all over.  It doesn’t really last for any length of time.    For a year, I’ve been in therapy to reconnect with my emotions (many of which I had shut off because they were too painful or I was shamed out of feeling them — as I already described to you on the phone).   It’s helping but it’s a long slow process.   It can be frustrating and of course, it doesn’t address my relationship with God/Jesus, which is shaky at best.  

Although I’m closer to God than I ever was, I often feel disconnected or untrusting of Him too.   Why should I trust God when even my own family could not be trusted?   When He allowed me to spend 25 years with a cruel man who almost destroyed my soul?  Sometimes I feel like he doesn’t listen or doesn’t care.   I question my faith a lot.   Other times I feel God’s presence and love, but as if from a distance.  It’s as if my entire heart can’t handle it or is still partly closed off.    So when I read some of these testimonies — this seems like a somewhat charismatic healing process?–  I started to feel very excited!   A little scared, but scared in a good way and mostly excited.     I NEED to have that intense emotional spiritual experience!   I need to really feel myself being loved unconditionally by Jesus, held in his arms and allow His love to change me.     I think this is the answer I’ve been looking for.