Boy, 2019 sure was a year.
I had an inkling that I may have been traumatized in November 2018, so I started down that path of exploration. It turns out I was right.
I’ve suffered multiple traumas throughout the course of my life, the earliest happening when I was a toddler.
I’ve learned that trauma is not the event itself. Trauma is how your entire mind-body system is wired to handle it. When certain events happened to me, and they might have seemed innocuous to the average person, I became emotionally flooded. I went into freeze mode, and the traumatic energy has been frozen in my body ever since.
I am not a war veteran. I was not involved in an incredible car accident. I grew up in a loving home. I am not what you would typically think of as a trauma victim.
You’ve probably experienced traumas too. You’re just not aware of it because trauma is so widely misunderstood.
My discovery of being traumatized set the tone for what 2019 would turn out to be.
At the exact same time that I went down this discovery and learning path, I went on my first date with the most loving, kind, non-judgmental and emotionally available person I’ve ever met in my life named Kristin. Happy to say that we’re engaged to be married now!
I discovered that real healing happens in relationships. It happens when you’re brave enough to come out and be seen, heard, and validated in your most vulnerable state. It happens when you, through your sheer terror, start to take your mask off.
I continued to meet new people in my own running community. I’ve added to my community with Kristin’s family and friends. I have a solid base that lets me know I’m not alone.
I’ve gotten treatment for my trauma. It’s less about talk-therapy and more about connecting with my traumatic energy and letting my body and emotions do what they need to do to release that energy. I’m now working at the nervous system level to further connect myself with my body and environment and ground myself in the present.
This year, my healing has gone through the roof. The advantage is that I am becoming unblocked and feeling so much better in all aspects. The disadvantage is that all of the emotions that I have shoved down for the better part of almost 40 years, because it wasn’t safe to feel them at the time, have come roaring back.
This causes quite a bit of discomfort and physical symptoms of illness, including going into shock at random times as well as the production of kidney stones. I continue to release my traumatic energy slowly and safely, and I know that these symptoms won’t last forever.
All of my physical and mental ailments, including kidney stones, allergies and asthma, smoking, excessive drinking, anxiety, and depression came from being traumatized and not being able to release the stored energy.
I mention this because it’s incredibly important that we start understanding trauma better. Many of us are carrying it around not knowing that we are. Many of us go through life thinking that there’s something wrong with us. Many of us have symptoms that make life incredibly difficult for us, and we do not receive the help that we need.
Addiction? It’s a response to trauma and to try and regulate our nervous system. It is treated as a disease and illness. When people recover from addiction, we give them praise that they’re no longer doing bad things to themselves and others. But are we giving them the tools that they need to release their traumas and heal their nervous systems?
Generalized anxiety disorder? Obsessive compulsive disorder? Oppositional defiance disorder? These are all common groupings of symptoms that the field of psychiatry put into a manual to help make sense of things. They aren’t actual things. Nobody is disordered. They are dysregulated and unable to release emotions and stored energy, and this is how it expresses itself.
When we can finally start recognizing traumas in people, and start seeing and helping them to meet their emotional needs, we can finally stop pathologizing them and considering them as disordered and somehow not normal.
In the end, as much as people tried to help me, no one knew what the root causes of the problems were. I didn’t know either, and I was too ashamed and too frozen to be able to really yell for help.
I turned 39 this year, and I’m finally starting to really feel ok. I’m sure this trend will continue as I keep releasing more stored energy.
I have no idea what next year will bring. I’m in a land full of unknowns. I don’t know where I’ll be working past the end of January. I don’t know where Kristin and I will be living in March. I don’t know how much of what I’ve done and who I think I am is based on what I tried to do to feel better all these years.
I have no expectations. I have no huge desires of what I want the future to look like. I have no big goals. I have no feelings of “new year, new me.”
The only thing I can do is continue to let go and release that which does not serve me, and create my present right now.
I have a wonderful, loving partner to walk through this next phase of my life with.
I have my local community and lots of opportunities to connect with people over fun activities.
I have new DJ equipment which Kristin got me as an engagement present, and playing music again and sharing my mixes with the world fills me up just as much as it did 20 years ago. If I could figure out how to make a good living playing music, I would do it.
I have my contract job, which came in the nick of time after I got laid off, and it has made me a much better web developer. It has allowed me to work on a team where I can learn from others, contribute, and come out of isolation professionally. It has helped me gain incredible confidence.
I have my freelance website work, as well as an itch to start a business designing websites for health and wellness professionals.
I have money in the bank, a roof over my head, and food on the table.
I have the ability to generate the resources that I need to meet whatever situation comes my way. For someone who was traumatized and easily goes into freeze mode, that is a massive accomplishment.
I have all the tools I need for the next phase of life and absolutely no clue about how it will all play out. So, I will trust that life has what I need in store for me and I will roll with it.
I wish for 2020 to give you exactly what you need, as well as some of what you want as well!