You are in the midst of the flashbacks and memories, the nightmares and the night sweats. You are seeing your counsellor regularly and you have a psychiatrist on speed dial. You feel like you should be better – this crap happened a long time ago, so why can’t you get rid of it?
Everyone has different ways of healing, and the physiology of the brain differs from person to person. We have no idea how someone else may react to a violent situation in their lives. Sometimes, something that may seem very simple to one person is actually extremely traumatic for another. I like to look at the brain as a recording device. It not only functions to keep us alive and control our every move, but it also has the power to keep or erase any memories of experiences that we have in our lives. If you set your DVR to record a television show, you have the choice to either keep the show, erase part of it, or erase the whole thing. Sometimes our brains won’t let us erase those memories that may be having a negative impact on our lives. We have to learn tools that will help us remove those memories, or make them less traumatic.
We have an automatic response system that kicks in, and a lot of this comes from what you have learned over the course of a lifetime. If you have lived in an environment that teaches you to react in an angry or high stress way, that is how you will respond to trauma. If you have lived in a typically peaceful environment, you will be more likely to get through the trauma more quickly. However….this is NOT always the case. I personally grew up in a very loving and attentive family. They were supportive through the whole process from believing me when I told them that I had been sexually assaulted, right down to making sure I had all of the resources and coping tools that I needed. For the most part, I was as okay as I could be at the time, but had a breakdown 25 years later when constant exposure to the people and place triggered P.T.S.D.
It was at that time that I really began looking at alternative therapies to help me through. I had hit a wall that was so big that the fallout buried me deep for a long time. I found that I needed more than the doctor and counsellor could provide to me. I needed to look deep inside myself to find the healing that I needed. A large piece of me was broken and I was the only one that could repair it at this time. I had all the support in the world, but there was some tool that was missing.
I had already begun a journey of using meditation, and had already taken my level one Reiki before I broke down, but I was too blind and self absorbed at the time to actually use these things to my benefit. I was also having a spiritual crisis at the time which took away any belief that I might have had that it was possible to heal myself. I was also beginning to have memories of other abuse, and realized that in order to move forward, I had to find out the truth that was within me. I found a therapist about 2 and a half hours away from me that specialized in something called ‘Time Line Therapy’ and also used hypnotism in the session. This began my journey of self-healing. I learned from that session that we have all of the tools we need right within us to provide healing to ourselves and to others.
Learning how to meditate is a great tool for relieving the stress and anxiety of flashbacks, and it is also a great way to re-wire your brain. Meditation skills are also the base for most energy healing modalities. When you relax with meditation, you open yourself wider to allowing healing to happen. Meditation before bed can help you have a night free of nightmares. Learning about ‘safe places’ and ‘spiritual healing spaces’ that you create in your mind through meditation will give you a safe place to be mentally even if you are not in a safe place physically.
Meditation is easier than you may think. Many people think that they can’t meditate – or that you have to have a lot of discipline to meditate. There are many ways to meditate and EVERYONE can do it. If you are suffering from any kind of mental distress, find someone near you that teaches meditation. It isn’t an overnight fix, but it will definitely be a great start to a true journey of healing!