Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


The Lies We Tell Ourselves

⚠️ Content Warnings ⚠️
⚠️ Domestic Violence, Rape, Child Abuse ⚠️

Talking about my trauma therapy today, early childhood and conception. I’ll repeat the warning block right before it comes in to the post.

In December 2018 I went to Mexico, using money I’d raised through donations, and trained in offering Bedside Yoga for end of life care. The whole combination, succeeding at raising money and the training left me feeling unsettled.

As 2019 went on, I began feeling like I was increasingly off balance. My therapist suggested we move away from Art Therapy into SAFE to address the root traumas. We spent a couple of weeks identifying an underlying false belief I have about myself. Then we went back in time from present day to the earliest memories I have that connect to this false belief.

With all that in place, we start at the beginning, reprocessing each memory in turn until it loses the charge, then we “install” the memory into our history. It’s has slay been an illuminating process. We’re only on the third memory.

I say it’s a false personal belief, yet at the same time this belief feels so true. Despite the illogic of it, part of me is certain that I’m ultimately toxic. People shouldn’t ever get too close, if they do I’ll eventually harm them because I’m dangerous.

Right. That definitely makes it hard to connect with people.

The process of going back gives space for people who want to address birth trauma. For me I asked that we start by processing my conception story. I know it because my Mother weaponized the information against me when I was 16; a memory recorded to integrate later.

⚠️ Content Warnings ⚠️
⚠️ Domestic Violence, Rape, Child Abuse ⚠️

My conception is the result of a night of alcohol fueled domestic violence. In 1969 it wasn’t illegal for a husband to rape his wife.

My Mother has experienced multiple miscarriages, a stillborn son, and had a girl who was born with significant birth defects who died at 18 months of age. She told me endless stories about her singing & reading to me when I was in her womb.

She would call me her “miracle”. She wild often remind me that she made me, I was hers.

My therapist helps me understand that my Mother has a personality disorder. That her mental illness was the direct result of my Grandmother’s abusive parenting. Having experienced abuse from my Grandmother, I know she was terrible.

Knowing all this, combined with memories I already had of physical abuse, I feel like I shouldn’t be surprised at new memories of physical abuse showing up. And yet, memories of yet more abuse have upset me, I realize I was still trying to minimize.

I want to believe that I became a difficult child that caused the rages I do remember. Instead I must integrate that she was physically, energetically, and emotionally terrifying to me. By age 4 I knew that no one in my family would ever help me.

My childhood wasn’t that bad...

“Why?”, asks my therapist, “Because she never gave you a black eye?!”

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