Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Darkness leading directly to LIGHT

You know, the human body, and psyche, has an extraordinary capacity for healing. I mean *extraordinary*.

I'm only now beginning to realize something so profound, it's hard to digest.

I'm beginning to think that all the horrific illnesses I've had, over these past eleven years (actually 13 years if you count how I needed an emergency c-section to deliver Azriel), was my body trying to deal with the tremendous untreated trauma within it. Each illness took my emotional attention away from the difficult inner healing work that was never done. I honestly feel these days, now that I'm in treatment, that I've been keeping my head just right above quicksand for a long, long time.

At this point in my life, I can say I am not suffering from hard chronic pain (it's not gone, but it's not as hard as it used to be), and no illnesses are looming over me. Well, I have a lingering bronchitis from the flu almost a month ago, but I get that every winter. Maybe this winter will be the last, though...? My migraines are VASTLY reduced, it's shocking, actually. That could also be due to significantly changing my diet over these past six months-- no gluten, no dairy, low sugar, no nightshade vegetables. The migraines could have definitely been because I have Ciliac and it was undetected. But there's more to it, I believe.

This work I'm doing at the psych day clinic is intense. And HARD. And I'm tired every afternoon.
But I have a quiet level of almost relief feelings going on in me that are saying 'finally my childhood traumas are being addressed'. It's coming from a quiet voice deep inside me. I'm finally in a place to honor that voice, and heal the hurt. But it's sometimes quite overwhelming. But I'm in the right place. It's really a wonderful program they have there, I have to say. I am in a group of about 12 people, all with PTSD. The group sessions that start out every morning can be very intense. Yesterday, one of the guys who has PTSD from watching his friend get killed right in front of him (and he himself getting injured during the same military operation) while he was in the army, was so depressed yesterday, he said "pass" when it came to his turn. I see the grief and hardship in his eyes. Today he spoke, so that was good. I often bounce off what someone else said... there are so many angles to PTSD, and how we got here everyone has a different story (I don't know everyone's story), but there are similar threads of emotions and results between all of us. I haven't yet found my voice to actually open the group therapy circle with a subject, but I speak when it comes around to my time. It's like a salve when I hear other people who feel how I do. And the therapists coaching the sessions are very good- they catch on to nuances of words we are using, and help us dig a little without pushing.

The pushing is more in the private therapy sessions, of which we have two a week. Everyone has two therapists; a psychiatrist, and a psychotherapist, who is often a social worker, sometimes a psychologist. Those sessions are harder for me. I don't yet see a way out of the mud. There are so many instances in life where the trauma leaks out. In hindsight I can see how much of my decision making and situations I got stuck in were really because of my childhood stuff. It's just that now, as an adult, I don't want to use those tools, borne out of trauma, but it is so ingrained in me that I can't see a way out. I know I'm being vague, but believe me, this is the most revealing I have ever been publicly, and it's still pretty uncomfortable.

What is clear to me, though, is that Hashem orchestrated this whole thing... the trigger that happened that threw me back into flashbacks 24/7, loss of sleep for two months, accidental overdose of pills because I was desperate to sleep, checking myself into the psych hospital because I saw that things were not as much in my control as I thought they were (and my doctor strongly encouraged me to do so), spending a month as an in-patient to cool down a bit, change sleeping pills to something non-addictive, getting me off old meds that didn't work anymore, and step back from life and take stock. Then being transferred to the day program with the PTSD group... it's all actually amazingly perfect for me, I just couldn't have planned it this way if I tried.

Along side with these things, I am growing in leaps and bounds spiritually, also. I have been listening to the teachings and classes of Rav Doniel Katz, (you can learn about him and his programs here, here, and his You tube channel here). I find them very educational, inspirational, and uplifting in every way. I am also working out at the gym again (!), and believe it or not, instead of listening to my boppy song list I always listened to while I worked out, I am now listening to his classes! It's so enriching, I can't get enough. Once a week I work out in the state-of-the-art work out gym room in the psych hospital. Believe it or not, it exists! We are allotted one hour a week there, but if one has free time, and the gym manager is there, you can go work out anytime you want. It's great. But I still have my gym membership, which was in disuse for these three months, but I just started to go back, thank G-d.

Things fell apart in a huge way, and are starting to come together also in a huge way. Nothing in Sarah's life is mediocre, eh? That's just how I roll, I guess. But I know as strongly as I know my own soul, that I need to do this work, and it needs to be now. I think I can remain healthy physically if I get healthy emotionally. I never before really saw the correlation, although I read about it everywhere. Until you are ready to take in a lesson, really take it into your soul, it won't go in, no matter what. I even wonder if I would have gotten NF if I had worked through this childhood sexual abuse long ago. But, no sense in wondering. The path we go on is the one laid out by G-d. All I know is that I see so clearly now, clearer than I ever did before.

But there is still a lot of hard work to do. I still haven't told my psychiatrist or psychologist of the details of what happened. We are still working on a day-to-day basis, for me to gain trust, and to build a base for the trauma to come out and not break me again. It's gonna get real hard one of these days...weeks... who knows how long. But it will be finite. And I'll be a stronger me afterward. I dare to say, there will be no stopping me. With the help of G-d.


  1. Forward, always forward, eventually

  2. Sare, as your dear friend of 38 years (!!) I am so happy that you are where you are. Growing in leaps and bounds. It must be frustrating, as a baalas tsheuva, who made great changes in life as you strove forward, that you are now looking backwards to "slay the dragon" in your past, in order to be able to redefine and grow the person you want to become in the future. Clearly, Hashem created this bubble in time for you to do a 180 backwards, another 180 forwards... and then to infinity and beyond. What a wild ride. (I hope I am making sense.) Your connection of spiritual to physical is very "Sarno" -- a displacement of stress onto the body, when there is mental pain. You are digging very very deep. I'm with you, baby! Sending love and support. XXOOO Dev