The Watermarks of Trauma.

From 2016

I’ve had trauma in the past. Lots of it. And I’ve worked through it and minimised the effects of Post Traumatic Stress. That was all quite a while ago, and I’m doing really well now. I’m a survivor. I’ve become what I needed to, in order to not only survive, but thrive. I’m OK now. And I don’t want to associate myself with that old pain anymore. But, here’s the thing. Every now and again I’m not OK. Not completely.

I don’t like not being OK. I’ve worked hard to BE OK. But the thing with trauma is, it leaves a stain. Neuroscientists talk about how experiencing trauma actually re-wires the brain. It causes us to behave differently. Even when we are totally on top of our shit, and kicking ass in our lives, there is that little vulnerability wired into our systems. All of that stuff that moves in with us, post-trauma – extra vigilance, jumping at loud noises, feeling panicky and anxious, that extra need for certainty in order to feel safe, second-guessing your decisions, constant worrying and preparing for every eventuality.. – that’s still always there, under the surface. And it doesn’t take a whole lot to reactivate it. Someone cancels an appointment on you at the last minute. Something you were counting on, doesn’t pan out. Something you try, fails. Someone says something undermining.. And suddenly, you feel like you’ve been sucker-punched and you are on the floor in tears, heart pounding, crippled by anxiety, and FURIOUS at yourself for being back here.

Weren’t you done with this yet? Hadn’t you worked hard to leave that stuff behind? You’ve done mindset work, spiritual work, you’ve done sexual work and worked on your physical fitness and health. You took action to create a whole new you. One who was not a victim.

True warriors get forged in battle. They fight because they have something to fight for, not just because they have something to prove. They fight because their only other option is to die, and they will. not. do. that. Warriors have incredible strength and integrity. I understand this journey.

The truth is that we will always have moments of contraction. It’s a part of growth. And when we start to realise that it’s just a part of the natural cycle, (growth, contraction, growth, contraction) we can stop beating ourselves over the head about it. We can realise that we have just grown beyond what we could reach before, and are encountering new parts of our pain that we weren’t strong enough to meet before. We can be grateful. Because there will always be gifts that came from whatever hardships we faced. Always. And now we know that we have what it takes to get through this. Because we’ve done it before. We know how to do this. And we know that it will be temporary.

So, yes. You may be here again. But it is not the same battle. For you are not the same person. You are stronger and wiser, and you have a new vibration to share with the collective. I fully believe that when we seasoned warriors drop back into the vibration of our fears and old traumas again, we connect to and we heal our old victim selves. And more than that, we connect to others with the same watermarks of pain, those further back along the path, and we lift them up to our vantage point. We can bring them through with us, as we remember who we are and how far we have come. We are setting a new blueprint. We are the leading edge. We are showing the way.

We are changing the dynamics of the battlefield. We are evolving the fight. We fight for more worthy causes now. Not just for ourselves. We are developing our voice. We speak for those who can’t yet. Times are uncertain and every trigger is being pushed. Trust. Trust that this is for good reason. To bring an end to these cycles. We are changing the world.

Don’t doubt that. And don’t doubt yourself, just because you are having a low moment. Don’t be fooled into thinking that nothing has changed. Everything has changed. Remember who you are. Remember how far you have come. You’re just going back to recover a small piece that you overlooked before, and now you are bringing it home. As you heal this new piece of yourself, you are becoming stronger than ever. Remember to reach out when you need to. There are people you can trust, who can support you when you need it, and lead you back to the path when you are ready. Nobody has to do it alone. In fact, we are stronger when we share our stories and our battles. Allow yourself to be seen. Even when you’re in pain. It’s a beautiful, courageous thing you do every day. Thank you.

*Photo by Masha Rayners from Pexels.