When Trauma Rises To Be Seen

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

I am not writing this for advice or sympathy, rather I am writing it to put my humanity on display, to practice the vulnerability I promote and to let you know that if your past traumas are bubbling up right now you are not alone. There are parts of this that may sound harsh or shaming; please know that is not my intention. If you feel feelings you don’t like while reading my words I suggest you sit with that discomfort and ask yourself why.

I have had a recurrent urinary tract infection for the last month. It came on strong in the beginning and then petered out; I thought it had run its course and I was out of the woods but then it came back. I’ve been taking every remedy I know and have been sleeping a lot as my body tries to fight off this painful invader and yet it keeps hanging on.

When I was a kid I had a urinary tract infection more often than I didn’t. Forced potty training and sexual abuse made my bladder highly suceptible to irritation and infection. My current infection, during this pandemic, is giving rise to old triggers and traumas I thought I had healed. I’ve spent YEARS in trauma therapy unwinding the ties that bind me to my past experiences and I practice daily to maintain my sovereignty and peace of mind. It has been a while since I’ve had to meet these dark, hidden parts of myself; the parts that need love and attention, the parts that felt alone, scared and powerless. Urinary tract infections are not silent, they demand to be seen. With the pain comes flashbacks and feelings of needing to give my power away in order to keep myself safe.

I ask myself; “where is my body leading me right now? What is there for me to see in this present moment?”

Watching the government and “powers that be” gaslight our society during the current situation is adding on top another layer for me to deal with. The denial of the Truths so clearly in front of my own eyes and within my own heart brings forward frustration and grief. So many times as a child I was told “you don’t really feel like that”, “you’re manipulating the situation” or “stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about”. My experience and pain was dismissed so my parents did not have to deal with their own past traumas and feelings of inadequacy or shame.

Watching the privileged deny what is happening, refusing to see the poverty, inequality and uneven power dynamics that have played out for thousands of years while they complain about having to plan their meals five days in advance, not go to the playground or file for unemployment for the first time in their lives is beginning to wear me out. Listening to women of a certain age say that our only hope at defeating the misogynistic narcissist in the white house is by replacing him with the “lite” version instead of the man who is fighting for the working class makes my teeth grit and my stomach clench.

I want to yell, scream, cry and shake people into their awakening; to get them to see the pain that our Mother Earth is in, the anguish of Her creatures and Her people. I want people to see the rape that occurs daily, to the Earth, to our bodies, the psyche and the soul. I want people to see that this is the consequence when we strive for more and are fueled by greed. I want to yell from the mountaintops yet I know my screams and shouts would fall on mostly deaf ears, just as they did when I was a child.

Years of having my experiences and inner knowings brushed aside and labeled as false is being brought to the surface and along with it anger and rage at those in power who take from those with less while so many stand aside and watch while pretending not to see.

Rather than point a finger outward and chastise those for the experience they are having I’m choosing to look inside; what is this teaching me about me? What is asking to be acknowledged and loved back into existence? What do I have to learn and see?

I am learning that I don’t need permission or outer validation to make what I see and feel more real. I am learning that although there is a lot of ugly trauma held within my cells and my memories there is an equal amount of beauty and grace too. I am learning that I am a fighter and that I will never back down in the face of oppression or attempts at trying to silence that which begs to be spoken. I am learning that my heartbreak for what is happening in the world outside is a reflection of the heartbreak for what my inner child has gone through. The more I turn within the more I see and feel. There is a fire rising from deep within my belly and I know that I am not alone.

When enough of us turn inward to feel and heal the fragmented parts inside there will be nothing to stop the fire that will undoubtedly burn all that keeps us small and powerless to the ground.