It’s been a while (perhaps my book was the last time) since I’ve done any real personal sharing to the general public, of my own trauma history. I have asked myself, “Will this kind of disclosure be useful for others to read or can I convey the lessons learned in some other way?” This latest excursion into the depths of my psyche was already made so public that the answer to that question is a resounding yes. I’m taking a deep breath, I’ve done more tapping in the last month than I have in about 5 years, so here I go….
Have you ever had the experience of being shown your entire trauma history over the course of what was actually one hour but felt like seconds? That was me at 3 am a few weeks ago; connection after connection, event after event, ECHO after ECHO, resource after resource all showed simultaneously. I can only describe it as what looked like a cyclone in the Matrix. The spiral appeared both to be a funnel made up off all my significant childhood events as well as what Jung called a healing spiral. It reflected both the hell as well as the healing, and the resulting conscious and unconscious actions I’ve made as a result of those events.
Let me offer you one small example of what transpired before I get deeper into the core. The Washington D.C. metro area was a soup of raw nerves and tension after 9/11. People were making dramatic life choices, couples I knew were getting divorced, others were quitting prestigious jobs, and many were deciding that they’d had enough of the constant fear they had been living with. Such is the nature of the aftermath of a collective trauma, the likes of which has never been seen in the U.S. The year after the Twin Towers and the Pentagon strikes (I drove by that demolished side of the Pentagon nearly every day) those of us living in the area were trying to get on with normalcy in spite of frequent “code orange” terror alert days.
Then, almost a year later, we had to deal with even more terror and trauma.
What then occurred wasn’t the work of some mastermind terrorist cell from another country. This time it was a homegrown assault in the form of a veteran suffering from untreated PTSD. He was randomly shooting people while they pumped gas, were in out in public, or enjoying themselves at parks. My children were very young then. While they were sheltered as much as possible from what was happening, they knew that indoor recess wasn’t normal. We all felt unsafe.
Fast forward 10 years, my family had moved to a peaceful and safe area of the country and I was running my busy EFT practice. One person put me in touch with another and suddenly I found that I was running a program I named “EFT for Vets” on an online forum called VetSpace, which was like a MySpace (a precursor to Facebook) for veterans. I was asked to become a clinician for the Veterans Stress Project. My experience in this arena got the attention of many licensed mental health care professionals and I found that I was leading more and more specialized trainings. The energy that happened around this is fascinating to me, given the fact that I don’t belong to a military family, and despite having several military bases nearby I could not seem to get anything going with regards to offering that type of training in my area of the north Puget Sound. All those specialized trainings, all that growth, all those therapists I trained were mostly concentrated in one area, the south Puget Sound, in an around Ft. Lewis, a military base where the Washington DC Beltway sniper had come from before terrorizing the Washington on the other side of the country.
In my wild cyclone night two weeks ago, a fascinating connection was revealed to me. What I thought of as a purely professional pursuit (assisting mental health professionals working with traumatized combat veterans) had been my psyche wanting to prevent anyone from experiencing what I and my children had, at the hands of a veteran from Fort Lewis, south Puget Sound, Washington State. Yup, you can’t make this stuff up folks. If you don’t work on your traumas they’ll find a way to work on and through you.
More to come in the next installment which involves my first childhood trip to the Magic Kingdom that’s connected to one of the biggest traumas of my childhood. I can’t wait to share it with you.