What nobody says about Life After Trauma, after healing, after the credits stop rolling and you say “what a strong person”: the characters have to keep living. Healing doesn’t just “end”. Spiritual and emotional cleansing—a consistent returning to your inner world for a conversation—becomes absolutely imperative for survival. And I do mean “survival” in terms of life or death. The memories still appear from time to time, and we are left with the feelings those memories gave us. Daily tune-ups, small and sometimes large doses of heavy lifting, solitude, rest. Check ins with our teachers, our guides, our therapists, our friends.
A seriousness sometimes pervades my aura that I can’t shake off until I’ve bowed my head and wiped my tears and held my heart home. A deep and frozen sadness sometimes permeates throughout my bones and lingers for too long, so I drag myself into the fire again. Then sometimes because of my specific wound, of being told I had to stay quiet, then staying stunned and silent for as long as I did, I have a fury-like desire to write, to share, to sing, to use my voice in any way.
My most recent moons have been signals that something is needing to move, make it’s way out, be made into form, brought to light out of the shadows, transferred, be given a name. It is as if my veins need a larger pot, and new soil, or perhaps not even to be a potted plant at all, but to be scattered in the wind over valley and nest. All of the symptoms women experience are boxes I can check off, and for all of my life that has never been the case. The one that started for me just yesterday, on the eve of my 33rd birthday, is exercising it’s power, it’s right, to invoke a special kind of out-of-body madness, as if my body is a doll in the living room of a jester spirit, fed poison to spit up and eat again. Memories I’ve banished, reappeared–along with their helplessness and confusion, along with their fear. But there is no external entity to blame, because my abuser is dead and I am responsible for my healing, responsible for my protection, responsible for my choices in each moment–especially the ones made within the holy chambers of my mind.
Gabor Maté, in his lecture “Why You Are Haunted by The Past” explains, “The way we adapt to early stress helps us endure that difficult period in a life of the helpless child, but those same adaptations become sources of pathology (which) threaten your health, threaten the length (of) your longevity even, so what’s adaptive in one situation–what’s meant to be a temporary state–becomes a long-term trait” and this is most often The Case with these visiting tremors, these requests from within to acknowledge suffering, bring light to the contained–the Deep Sorrow makes an entrance, the self-pity wraps itself around your ribcage, suspicion and distrust, and The Refusal to Be Loved presents their pleading and empty cases, and we do not associate them with the memories they are attached to, because we don’t always see those first blows, those earliest conditions that weaved defense mechanisms and reactive impulses into our present-day default settings.
So we welcome them in–those old familiar faces, then we close the files right where they’re at, as if that is all there is to it, that is just how it is, how it has been, and that that is just who we are. But our moons remind us that there is more, that these visitors are nimble in posture, to-be-altered and alchemized–made to move, to bend. And we are infinite, we are capable of overcoming, of being made new, and allowed as much goodness, as much richness in the experience of being alive than we often let ourselves see. However, to come to know you are capable of moving is to accept the malaise of the transformations, the turbulence of the excavations, the gray of the dissolving comforts and the isolation swam through to reach a shore. If The Sun says “Medicine is made available to us when we ask for it”, then The Moon says “Medicine is made available to us, whether we ask for it or not”, and both of them are true.
If The Sun says “Medicine is made available to us when we ask for it”, then The Moon says “Medicine is made available to us, whether we ask for it or not”, and both of them are true.
I believe our moons have their way of communicating the invisible to us, sending us codes for the locks in our spirit bodies that have harbored water for too long—breaking the damns, setting loose, revealing, expanding. In our animal bodies truth is detected. Desire becomes exposed. Sadness is spotlighted. Where there is a jar of angry and biding ghosts, there will be an escapee. What has been hidden will find relief. What has been unspoken has it’s way of demanding deliverance. Our Moons, with their great magnetism in the cosmic sky that is our bodies, and their longing for the ocean floors of our unconscious’ to move, rely upon the tools we keep within our reach–our imaginations, our rituals, and then they trust that we will not pretend to know better when the time comes to take ourselves into the dark, remove ourselves from the familiar, leave our tools on the table, giving voice to the hidden and most unappetizing of truths. It teaches us that the personalities of the masks we wear, that they are fictional and malleable.
I recently read a tweet by Nate Postlethwait that says “Healing is complex. While we are making room for our truth to be known to find relief, we’re also becoming a target for those who benefit from us hiding. This is where your truth becomes sacred, & not always shared. Not because you’re denying it, but because you see it’s value.” I feel it to be true within me, but who would be benefitting from me hiding? Who would I be a target for by sharing my truth? It is like I can feel there are people or is a person who would be offended, or threatened by my voice and truth shared, but if you were to ask me to give names I couldn’t give you one. So I am still living as if my abuser is alive, like there is a need to stay silent, play small, feel pinned down, feel unworthy. The liberation is in realizing my voice is free to ring where it rings, and furthermore, even if there was someone who my voice would threaten, they’d probably deserve it anyway.