Growing up in a straight jacket

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In a straight jacket, gagged and tied to a chair. This memory of how I felt came up several times in the last few days, in fact, many emotional memories are beginning to surface one after another in the hope of being integrated. I have to be careful not to get overwhelmed by it. My awareness became acutely sharp to any feeling coming up in my body when I easily and quickly and directly associate it with a particular emotion or attitude, which I had felt before or learnt to do before. This is equally scary and liberating at the same time, just hope I can handle it at this fast pace.

Straight jacket restricts my movements completely. Not able to speak, cry, scream produces an effect of hopelessness and a frozen state in the body. I am gagged. When you are tied up to something while already in a straight jacket you know you are not going anywhere and that’s where fear comes in because of feeling completely defenceless and not knowing what will be coming next. This feels about right in terms of how I felt throughout my childhood. Granted I would never have imagined it being so traumatic if I didn’t take a path towards integration and healing five or six years ago now. It has been a process of unfolding, but I feel so far it has been circling on the surface and only now I am realising the depth of my despair and effects of traumatic emotions, events and experiences.

Many people say they don’t remember their childhood. Many of my clients brought that ‘not remembering’ state into the therapy room. It is an empty energy like a screen wiped clean, yet it is still dirty somehow. When this vibration of not remembering comes into a room there is a sense of fear and suspension in the air, ungrounded, not solidified, unpleasant. It is not surprising that this happens due to past trauma and forgetting is one way of coping with difficult emotions and events that had occurred in early childhood. It doesn’t mean a person doesn’t remember, it means they chose to forget in order to survive, but they do remember, their body remembers. It doesn’t go away, just gets supressed deep in our unconscious. Hence, working with the body often unveils a trauma and it can be a way into connecting emotions with experiences and memories of the past.

What has been coming to me in the last day or so, due to an overwhelming number of memories flooding in, is to sit down and do a timeline. It is an therapeutic tool where an individual maps out any important events in their life beginning from birth up until present moment. This brings awareness to any ‘stuck’ or suppressed feelings and awakens associations with certain events,  building up links with the present moment. This work should be done with careful guidance and unconditional presence of a professional, as feelings that come up are often powerful and must be carefully held and contained, so a person feels safe and comfortable being around difficult material.

I am going to do this myself and see how it transpires. So far I have delved into memories to do with my father primarily, but my mother also came up a couple of times. Different feelings are associated with one or the other parent usually, e.g. supressed anger – my mother, abandonment and fear – my father, grief is an overall feeling that seems to taint all of my traumas throughout my life and today I discovered that my grief is of yellow colour, which would explain my attachment to yellow flowers and subsequently my attachment to pain and suffering. The process is unfolding fast and I felt it would be useful for me to write parts of it down on my blog in the hope it might help others as well as myself to be able to keep an order or a storyline to it in one way or another. Breaking it down into manageable chunks, i.e. small blog posts also clears it out of my head, so I can continue getting on with my daily life. Writing is a powerful tool I have always used in my life and I highly recommend it to all my clients and people I know.

Much love

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