I have no terribly traumatic event to share with you.
For me symptoms of post traumatic stress (PTSD) developed over years of small, ongoing abuse and trauma that chipped away at my willingness to trust in my own awareness. Eventually I was in constant reaction to everyone and everything; without any sense of who I am and what I would like to choose, or knowing what is really true for me. I hid much of what was really going on for me and put on a brave face.
Why am I talking about post traumatic stress and creating a website about it?
I have found that no matter what, if you would like to change how you are living your life, you can. There was once a time you did not have post traumatic stress. To me this means you have the ability to go forward and create you beyond the trauma you have been through. PTSD does not have to be forever. You do not have to live the rest of your life reliving the past or at the effect of what you have been through. There is a way through it, past it, beyond it. This path will be unique to you.
Below is a bit about my life growing up and the path that brought me here...
It was considered by many
to be the ideal scene...
It was a hippy paradise in what used to be the marijuana capital of the United States. Living close to nature, living off the land, living with like minded people, getting high any way we could. The background picture is the view from my elementary school yard. My childhood environment should have been the ideal scene. Carefree. Surrounded by the beauty of nature. Growing our own food, living in houses built by hand. No T.V. or phones. Off the grid with electricity from solar power or generators. Outhouses and compost. Friendly neighbors and potluck celebrations, everybody knows everybody...
How can I say I have been abused when I have no broken bones, scars or bruises to show?
One of the most challenging things of talking about my life is that from the outside it has looked so great. In most ways is has been pretty easy. It is the invisible wounds I suffered, that I often have no words to describe, and yet in the past were running my life completely... I had doubted these invisible wounds were valid and worth talking about. I thought that there was something wrong with me that all this stuff that didn't seem to really bother other people, bothered me.
What am I talking about?
Abuse of being always starts as a subtle thing. The insidious chipping away of confidence, trust in oneself, desire to speak up and know what is true for oneself can go almost unnoticed.
As a highly capable and brilliant kid, being constantly told I am wrong, stupid and I can't, eventually took a toll. I don't recall being told I was stupid out loud, it was implied with every invalidation of what I had to say, wished to do and would like to choose.
Eventually I started to hide what was true for me and become agreeable. To the point that I did not know who I was anymore.
I became hyper-sensitive to other people and their needs, wants, desires and requirements of me. I started to buy into the idea that because people usually like me, I should fit into their world in the ways they decided I should. Eventually I couldn't distinguish other people's need and desire of me as different than my own choice. Almost everything in my world was first referenced to other people's point of view, judgment, answers and conclusions.
As long as I was like the people around me, that was suppose to be the ultimate in life. My parents and the people around us loved the life they created. It was everything they desired to have and do. That was suppose to be enough. Except, what did that have to do with me? It didn't. What my parents and the people around me considered ideal, was not ideal for me. As a kid, I did not get how different I was.
The silent yet constant demand to divorce me in favor of other people's reality was like slow drip torture. Not physically painful, yet maddening with the slow erosion of being that was its result.
As a kid, I did not get how aware I was. The unspoken ugly things rang more loudly than what was presented on the surface as great. By the time I was a young teenager, around 13, I began to feel as though I had been sexually violated. It was so confusing. I knew I have never been molested or raped, yet I felt like I had been. Literally. All the physical sensations, thoughts, feelings, emotions, shame and more where so intense it felt like I had been raped. It was not until many years later that I learned how many people I had in my childhood who were being molested at the time and/or had been raped. At this point I know of approximately twenty people that I was spending time with on a daily or weekly basis who were being molested and/or raped. From children to adults, and both female and male.
I had no cognitive awareness of these events, no one spoke of such things. However I was swimming in the energetic awareness of it so intensely I could not easily tell the difference between what I was perceiving, and me as a being, and my body. I didn't have anyone in my life educating me about how perceiving works. Just because I perceive it and feel it in my body, does not mean it is me or mine. I did not have this information. I though I was really messed up.
The most difficult part that I know now, is you can't change what does not belong to you. The trauma and stuckness I felt as a kid, I could never figure out how to change, because I could not - it was not mine to change. Now when I acknowledge this, it creates a freedom and relief I can't describe and am so grateful for.
With dad, there was a lot of walking on eggshells. A lot of trying to avoid the anger that we never knew what would trigger it, yet knew eventually it would come in an explosion of rage and yelling. No physical violence. Yet, a level of intensity that was like being beaten up. Judging and calculating everything I said, everything I did, trying to predetermine and avoid what would upset dad. While also having no idea what created it. There was no escape. There was no solving it. He did not speak of what was going on for him, other than to yell obscenities to the hillsides, and yell at us kids to be quiet, and leave him alone.
As a marine in Vietnam and dealing with his own childhood trauma, dad could be really intense. The intensity grew to the point that my parents divoced when I was 11.
As my dad turned to more and more alcohol to escape his personal demons, my bothers and I felt less and less able to contribute anything worthwhile. It didn't seem to make a difference how much we loved him, how much we cared about him, or how we bent and folded ourselves to show him he could be happy. None of that changed his choices, how he felt about himself, or relieved his anger. It didn't take too many years of this before, again, I took it as an indication of what was wrong with me. What was wrong with me, that I couldn't show him or get him to choose the joy that was natural to me as a kid? I began to feel like a failure at a pretty young age. I began to truly believe that me being me was not enough.
At my mom's house, on the surface it would appear to be the opposite. We laughed a lot, it often had the vibe of a party house. We could pretty much do whatever we would like to, including having friends overnight or staying at other people's house. My mom would often tell us how much she would rather be our friend than our mom. Sounds good, right? Except how does that work as a kid?
The humor was often being silly and making jokes. It was not until my mid teenage years that I noticed what kind of humor it really was. Often the humor was how mean, judgmental, sexist and degrading we could be with one another. Who had the most witty and cutting judgment? Mom as a girlfriend was where the coolest girls is the meanest girl. Getting high on weed together, hanging out and checking out was considered a good time. The best in life.
By the time I was just about to turn 21, I had had severe asthma for seven years, with allergic reactions to all dairy and corn, or anything with these ingredients. I was a mess in many ways, physically, emotionally and more. By now, I really did not know myself or what was true for me. I had divorced myself so thoroughly.
I reached a point where I had enough.
Enough feeling like I did about myself and my body. Enough being allergic to food. Enough being uncomfortable in my own skin. Enough being at the effect of everyone else and having no idea what is true for me. I made a demand of myself. No matter what I was changing all of this. I had no idea how, and I didn't care. No matter what it took, no matter what I had to look at, go through, how long it took, or know about myself - I was changing!
I had a choice. I could blame my parents for all the things that tortured me, and made me miserable, about me and my life. I could make myself a victim to them and my childhood. Or, I could acknowledge that they did the best they could with the tools they had. They also have both created the life they always dreamed of and love. To them, their lives are awesome!
I had a choice. I could acknowledge that what is true and works for my parents, does not work for me. And, I can be at the effect of that, or I can acknowledge that I really do have choice in my own life and I can create the life I would love living. Even if that it totally different than what everyone else I know would choose.
I chose the later. I chose to not be a victim of the past. I chose to become pro-active in changing everything. I get to choose what I hold onto and let go of. I get to choose how I view myself and others. I can choose to let go of making myself wrong (or anyone else). I don't have to be right either. Both right and wrong are just as limiting.
What would be a different choice? I started to look at everything as just an interesting point of view. Even my own point of view became a less solid thing. I began to wonder what other point of view I could have about everything in my life? I began to wonder what other point of view I could have that would allow for something greater as my life?
What could make living more enjoyable?
I learned about energy and how everything in creation has an energetic aspect to it; including thoughts, feelings, emotions, my body, choices, points of view...everything can be accesses by the energy of it; and all energy is changeable. We as a being naturally have the ability to be aware of and change energy.
After only a year of working with the energy of my life, letting go of judgment and questioning everything, including my own point of view; I no longer had food allergies of any kind. I stopped getting asthma attacks, and I made huge strides in no longer being at the effect of other people. It was also at this time I made the choice to stop drinking alcohol. It would take a few more years before I stopped smoking weed, or doing drugs of any kind.
When I make the choice to stop making myself wrong, or right, good or bad for any choice I have ever made; a whole new world of possibility opens up. Without the framework of judgment I can look at "what is my choice creating?"
I did this with every area of my life, and continue to use this way to function in life; to create my life, my body and my future.
Today I no longer live at the effect of other people, I am not locked into alway reacting to what is going on around me; instead I am actively creating my life. I also have no asthma of any kind. I don't dwell on the past and I have tramendous gratitude for the life I have had, even the ugly and difficult parts. It all got me here.
What if it is your daily choices that have the power to end your post traumatic stress?
What if everything going on for you has an element of choice?
I was not going to live this way anymore.
From what I have experienced I found I can be present with anything, no matter how ugly or difficult; without having any judgment of it. I have no judgment of what you have been and done, or what you have been through. Having developed a deep sense of allowance for myself; I am in allowance of anything you have going on, and for any point of view you have about you, or what you have lived through.
If this would contribute to you, please contact me and lets see what we can change and create together.