Today, I celebrated 777 days without cutting. It was my therapist’s idea to celebrate this milestone. I think she was just trying to help me make it through the weekend without hurting myself; she’s sometimes amazing like that. Looking forward to celebrating today did help me get through a difficult weekend. She brought cupcakes to our session and, for the first few minutes, the entire world felt perfect.
Life is not always cupcakes though.
I knew that today’s session would need to be spent on the “tough stuff;” the stuff that I didn’t want to talk about but needed to. There are parts of my childhood that I don’t talk about. There are things that only my therapist knows. Terrible things. And it doesn’t matter how many times someone tells me it’s not my fault; it doesn’t matter how many times I tell myself it’s not my fault; deep down, there is a piece of me that doesn’t believe that. There is a part of me that wants to extend grace to my younger self. I want to embrace her with compassion and forgiveness. But tonight in therapy, I had a really difficult time accomplishing that. I hated my younger self. She deserved ever bit of pain that she suffered.
And then I went to yoga.
When I arrived at yoga, I was struggling to stay present, and overwhelmed by the noise, lights, and people the moment I stepped into the studio. I instantly regretted coming to class. I should’ve just gone home. I set up my mat and, as the room filled up and the noise became more than I could handle, I folded over into a child’s pose – cutting myself off from the chaos in the studio and in my head.
I rarely blog about yoga classes anymore, but the theme of this class beautifully tied into my therapy session and trauma work. The instructor, the same teacher who works with me in Thai Massage sessions, talked about how we sometimes stray from or forget who we are. If we go back to our core, though, we can find our true selves again.
Who are you? asked the caterpillar. I hardly know, replied Alice.
I want to stop letting the abuse define me. I am so much more than what I went through as a child. Last week, I had my very first reiki session. It actually brought up so much more than I had expected that I couldn’t blog about it; I couldn’t bring myself to write about the triggers. But, one thing stood out to me from that session: The reiki master said that at my core, I am love. Everything about me says Love.
In my trauma memories, there is not love. There is fear and hate and submission. There is anger and sadness and defeat. But there isn’t love. And today, I have a hard time loving the little girl that I used to be in those memories. Disgusting. Bad. Gross. When I have weeks where I am stuck in the world of trauma memories, weeks like this week, I forget who I am at my core. I forget Love. Tonight’s yoga class helped me remember that my trauma memories do not define me. It helped me remember that at my core, I am Love… and I am worthy of treating myself with love; I am worthy of living; I am worthy of kindness and compassion and all of the things that I didn’t get when I was little. I am hoping to take even a little bit of that with me into this week. I am hoping that maybe this week will be easier than last week. And maybe, just maybe, the memories will go away for a little while.