Of The Beast
My journey this year into my inner ocean has led me through some insane waters. I’ve sat in my fair share of stormy seas and this year was by far one of the most emotionally taxing and rewarding to date. This is going to be really raw and vulnerable. Why? Because I know I’m not the only one going through this and I’m not the last to go through this.
The beginning of the year 2017 I entered counseling for PTSD. I was on the borderline of just completely shutting down and giving up on myself. Not in a, “I want to take my life” way but in a, “I can’t function in modern society right now” way. It was draining to live through it and I can’t imagine what my friends and family went through watching it.
PTSD, or any mental illness, is different for everyone.
I found myself showing signs of depression and severe anxiety due to past traumatic events. I was unable to stop thinking about what had happened and some days it was hard for me to get through the stress of my retail job. It felt like I had the life sucked out of me. All my mind could do was focus on what had traumatized me.
It was devastating.
Add that to being highly empathic and sensitive to energy and you have a combo of not knowing what’s actually from you and what’s been collected from other people. Was this my emotion I was feeling, or that person from 10+ years ago?
The Trauma, if you’re curious, had to do with past men in my life. Yes, plural, men. Apparently I had a knack for finding myself in abusive situations that actually put me in quite a bit of danger physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s why I’ve chosen to remain single and NOT ready to mingle for quite some time.
Without getting into too much detail, what I found was that I was haunted by this beast of what masculinity had shown me it was. I associated men with harm. To some extent I still find myself insanely cautious around men. It’s nothing personal, it’s just the way my brain became rewired having gone through these experiences.
I originally entered counseling thinking it was one sole event that led me to this emotional mess I found myself in. Back when I was a fisheries biologist in Alaska, there was one fisherman who would harass me, even after I gave him fair warning to tone it down. That feeling of being stuck and trapped on the boat with someone who I viewed as dangerous was traumatic.
However, once I was in counseling other pieces of the picture began to come into view. That event was the straw that broke the camels back. I still had to deal with the destructive patterns of only being with partners who were either abusive or emotionally unavailable. There were very few instances where I was in healthy relationships.
I had to look at the beginning and learn that I’ve been likely living with this for much longer than I had originally realized.
Yet if I hadn’t gone through this transformation and gained a new understanding of myself, I wouldn’t have the courage to fully step into my spiritual role.
This is where the beast transformed into beauty. It took months of hard work and I still have a lot to heal, but I’m so thankful that I’ve taken the time to experience this. Do I want to experience it again? No, but I choose to heal the wounded parts of me which allow me to see the beauty in every situation while still honoring and protecting myself.
Without having gone through this, I would be unable to extend compassion to others who have also experienced these things. I wouldn’t be able to help people to my fullest capacity if I had not gone here myself. This is where I find such a deep beauty in life.
You are so much stronger than you realize. Once you set the beliefs of others aside, once you learn about the deepest parts of yourself, once you do the beautiful ‘dirty work’ of acknowledging and accepting, you can actually LOVE yourself. You survived! You came out on the other side, and even if you may not feel victorious right now, from my perspective you were always the victor and never the victim.
Stay Strong Soul Tribe.