The devil you know and the one you don’t
In the beginning I was putting out low vibe energies. I had a lot of work to do on myself, particularly my belief system. I was resonating at a very low frequency. Low frequency is shame, grief, guilt, hatred, fear. At those very low frequencies, we are not aligned with higher spiritual energy, but lower spiritual energy.
I had to heal my nightmares and raise my vibration so that I no longer resonated at those frequencies. Thoughts can be demons, and those demons are the hardest ones to conquer. It took me years.
I looked at almost every man as a threat until he was proven trustworthy. In my mind most men were potential rapists, child molesters, and violence waiting to break out. I hated the way many of them looked at me, looked at my baby girl, as if we were possible bedmates or a set of physical attributes for them to rank. Being alone with a strange man often sent my adrenaline into overdrive, and I felt like my head had a wet sheet wrapped around it. I scanned those strange men constantly and minutely for the least little aggressive move while outwardly projecting a front of confidence.
During a set build day for the local musical, I was working on a planter’s bench in this large warehouse structure that a local family allowed us to do set work in. All alone, I was enjoying staining a bench. My back was to the open garage door, and I didn’t know that another man and wife lived on the property, too. In walked this total stranger. Scattered on various tables and benches in the warehouse were a large array of tools. With no thought I simply grabbed a flathead screwdriver, my body dropping into a half crouch as I confronted this strange man.
I had vowed never to be hurt again, ever – I would fight.
The man froze for a second and then held both hands up, palms out in that way people do, trying to show he was harmless. He picked up something and backed away. Walked out. Once my heart calmed down, I picked up the supplies I had been using, cleaned up at the outside hose and realized the man and his wife were in this RV just past the outside spigot where I cleaned my painting tools.
I climbed into my minivan and went home. The next day another member of the theater production team let me know that we would never do set builds alone again. I didn’t say anything because I buried things at that time, didn’t acknowledge them, and never opened up about my reactions – the why. I never even mentioned this incident to my husband because he already worried for my safety.
I didn’t feel embarrassed about my actions until years later, and it wasn’t until I began Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and working through old memories of being hurt, of deeply buried fear, anger, hatred, and powerlessness that I started to understand the bone-deep victimization cycle that I was in and that my thoughts, instincts, and feelings weren’t in the normal range. My therapist told me that seeing myself as not safe was a major issue and seeing all men as a threat wasn’t good either.
Damage can open you up to all kinds of things. Healing seals up all those openings, but it takes some time and some effort. It took four years for me to level up to the point that I no longer resonated with the lower vibe emotions and thoughts. Generalized Anxiety Disorder and C PTSD are in the unhealthy range.
Mentally, I believed that the world would end if I wasn’t perfect in every respect. Physically, I was constantly flooded with adrenaline, tense, tight, and ready to flee or fight, scanning for any danger and perceiving danger everywhere. Emotionally, I was always reacting – reacting to others, reacting to my reactions, reacting to my reaction to my reaction – you get the drift. The downward spiral inside, but cucumber cool on the outside. I think people seldom knew anything was wrong or that I was completely freaking out inside.
People call those thoughts that spin round and round hamster wheels. I usually visualize a hamster running on the wheel, especially after that Kia commercial. Those furry little hamsters yell mean things at me in a voice that sounds suspiciously like my own,
“Fat! You need to loose weight.”
“You never do anything right.”
I learned to chuck those hamster wheels and hamsters right out the window.
Before healing, people viewed me as more or less an unemotional person, self-contained, somewhat standoffish until they got through the outer layers of my onioness. To those inner circles where I felt comfortable being myself. Even with those in my innermost circle, I rarely shared my deepest pain.
Inside, I was a seething mass of deeply repressed feelings. The demons of my own inner hell would at times bore down full throttle, mucking about my brain with terrifying images of men harming me or empowering imaginings of me kicking male ass, like Wonder Woman, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Sydney Bristow (“Alias”), and Zhang Ziyi (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) all rolled into one.
Dorothy, we are most definitely NOT in Kansas anymore!
It’s strange how you can go years with nothing happening, then all of sudden, many things begin to happen as if your life is a DVD on the fast forward setting. Waking up, especially the first two years, many weird, wonderful, terrible, and shocking things happened.
“The Wizard of Oz” has many amazing archetypes, including the journey: the tornado that ripped Dorothy from the place she knew and with which she was comfortable (her home state of the ego), the heroine’s journey down the yellow brick road, monkey distractions, fears to be conquered, people who hurt her and who she metaphorically killed (relationship endings), people who helped her, lessons to be learned, waking up to a new reality, and the return from what seems to be just a dream to her home (herself), which is the same, but with an awareness that she was fundamentally different.
In my twenties and early thirties I worked with some psychiatrists and psychologists, which helped some, but didn’t touch the anxiety, fear, shame, and feelings of unworthiness. EMDR opened the door for deeper healing as I partially addressed some of the memories, but where real change occurred was through energy work in conjunction with therapy, reading & applying healing to my life and journeying into my own spirituality through meditation, therapy sessions, reading, and classes.
I inadvertently found a counselor, who specialized in trauma healing, using traditional western therapy but also energy work, or energy psychology. I joined a group of women, who had experienced trauma, too. Our group read books aimed at helping us to heal. We started with the Riso-Hudson Enneagram test and read the accompanying Enneagram book. It was so confusing that for a while I couldn’t connect with the learning. It took a lot of study and discussion – multiple rounds. However, discovering my Enneagram personality type was incredibly huge. The book didn’t sugar coat or just describe the positive aspects of the personality types. I had to own both the positive and the negative aspects of my type. The book took a while for me to unravel because not only do we have our primary personality type that we are trying to figure out, we also have pieces from each personality type, as for instance when I am scared or unsure, I go into super research mode of the type 5 investigator because if I know what is happening and can understand it, then I feel like I am in control. The greatest benefit from the reading was that it helped me identify my anxiety triggers and the downward spiral of thinking and emotions as well as how to get myself back into healthy thinking and feeling.
I read many other science and healing books in the beginning, sucking down knowledge like a lush knocks back vodka tonics. At times I wanted to knock back a vodka tonic myself when the emotional pain and invariable confusion became too great. Trying desperately to understand my own mystery of misery and why I felt this way all the time when intellectually I knew there was no reason for it was so incredibly frustrating.
Why couldn’t I be just like everyone else?
What I didn’t understand was that my body, specifically my body chemistry and neurology were major players in all of this mysterious misery: the yellow brick road has its share of poppies, and it’s hard to overcome the “sleep” state of our egos, the emotional toxins in our bodies, and the neurological grooves that keep us stuck in place. Nevertheless, once I began to educate myself on the physiological aspects, I was able to start distancing myself from self-blame, letting go of the onus of not being “strong” enough to simply change my thinking and feelings.
People use the phrase to pull yourself up by your bootstraps when it comes to economic hardship or mental/emotional hardships. It’s like they believe if you just yank hard enough on your laces, you’ll start earning those piles of cash or jerk the thoughts and feelings from yourself and be happy. Man up, as it were. Frankly, if you look at it logically, you’re simply going to knock yourself flat, probably with your feet over your head.
Forgetting the nonsense of society’s expectations and trying to let go of my own expectations was exceedingly hard. I fought those expectations of perfectionism, failing more often than not and triggering a downward spiral into the place of I’m not good enough.
Interestingly enough, it was when I became still and turned my listening inward that I received those flashes of insight that helped me get myself out of the weeds and back onto the yellow brick road to move to the next place, person, or thing that was meant to help me or teach me.
In addition to the reading, counseling sessions, and energy healing sessions, classes, and lessons, I was and had been researching and using every means available to me in Western medicine, but none of it was helping with my physical pain. I don’t do drugs, prescription or otherwise really, nor did I often drink much beyond a glass of wine. My body didn’t like the feelings. Frankly, I rather have the pain than to feel like I was floating and spinning round and round – it just makes me ill. I just took two or three ibuprofen, and then only when the pain was exceptionally bad. I felt most of the time that my body really and truly hated me.
I researched and examined alternative healing modalities, like GET (Gentle Energy Touch), Watsu, meditation, etc. Prior to beginning this journey, I knew nothing about energy medicine, and the most unorthodox treatments that I had tried were chiropractic and acupuncture. However, you get to a point when the pain is so great, unrelenting, and zapping that you’ll try anything even if it seems bogus or really weird.
During our trauma group women’s retreat I walked into this crystal shop with some of the ladies from the group for fun and was immediately drawn to some crystals. I knew nothing about crystals. I had zero idea of what I was doing, but it was like my body was moving without my conscious determination. My body moved, literally swayed forwards, backwards, or sideways towards certain displays. Once at the right display, my hand was invariably drawn to a particular crystal. All those horror movies, when some person is taken over by some entity, definitely popped into my brain more than once throughout my journey into awareness.
For some reason I didn’t panic at all in the store or even later. I felt calm and peaceful. A citrine, a raw ruby, an amethyst column, and an aqua aura found their way onto my tray. As I walked about this older lady, who was manning the shop watched me. The lady said, “You are powerful.” I remember smiling at her in acknowledgement, but my attention was split and my mind in a state of shocked calm. It was one of those dumbfounded moments when you can’t even summon up the words – what the fuck?!
That came much later and pretty frequently.
Once I had gathered up all the crystals, I walked to the cash register. From that lady standing at the counter, I felt this incredibly warm and loving energy. It was palpable. She said, “I have a message for you. Stop feeding off your friends.” I said, “I am trying.” I barely understood what she meant, but I had the edges of it and knew it was something that I wanted to do so much even though I didn’t understand what she meant. That, too, came much later.
Once we were done, I asked for a hug, inextricably drawn to that beautiful, warm loving energy that I felt from her. However, when she came around the counter and hugged me, it wasn’t there. I realized that the wonderful energy that I felt was an angel, her personal guardian angel, and the message I had received was from that angel. It’s one of those surreal moments.
The group returned to the house we had rented for the retreat. That night as I lay on the couch on my heating pad, chatting with a couple ladies as we wound down and prepared for bed, I strongly felt that I needed to place those crystals on my body. I had no idea what I was really doing or what was going on; however, my hands simply knew where to place them. The aqua aura went on my throat, the ruby on my left arm near my wrist, the citrine near the base of my rib cage, and the amethyst at my right hip. I experienced a profound change in my energy. I literally felt the energy moving through my body in a whoosh and then a pulling sensation from the crown of my head to my feet.
Both in my trauma group and on my own, I began to research more and more, trying to understand what made absolutely no logical sense to me.
That night of the retreat was the beginning of my journey into applying energy medicine to heal myself.