As a culture, we have only just begun getting comfortable with talking about Depression and Anxiety, which is a great start, but we still aren’t talking about what causes it. We are constantly bombarded with ways to treat the symptoms of common mental health woes, but it seems like everyone dances around the origin, not really wanting to look at it. The truth is, every person alive is impacted by some form of childhood trauma and those traumas are what causes everything from Depression to Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Like most things, trauma, and the subsequent symptoms of trauma, lie on a spectrum. If your first grade teacher bullied you, back when that was socially acceptable, you may have a lifetime of anxiety around your performance and worthiness. If you were molested by one of your parents, you may live your life in the mode of a victim, creating phobias and complex depressive disorders as well as layers of PTSD.
My theory about why trauma isn’t discussed is simple - it is scary as hell to look at that part of yourself and bring up the emotions and memories around a traumatic childhood event (I won't even go into how the pharmaceutical industry would take a huge hit if word got out that these things can be healed). For those out there ready to look at their trauma, however, that’s where Psilocybin Ceremony comes into play.
I have been working with Plant Medicines for years, in many capacities and now I help others on their journey with it. But today isn't about what I do, it's about sharing my own trauma with the you all.
About 3 months into my relationship with Psilocybin (which I will call Mushroom Medicine throughout from here), I had my first traumatic childhood memory surface. My childhood memories have always been sparse. I remember little bits and pieces, but not much before the age of 12 or 13. I remember silly things like my grandfather wearing socks with his sandals, good ole Ukrainian man that he was, and my pet fish when I was about 5, Ren & Stimpy. Other than that, there isn't much.
My first repressed memory to surface was of witnessing a family member being beaten by his father when I was about 4. This beating was so brutal and I witnessed it in my ceremony with the Medicine, almost thirty years later, as if I was there in real time. I witnessed how my childhood self internalized this brutality and carried a deep belief within me as a result - I deserved to be punished. This event was so real to me in this moment that I felt all the emotions I could not process as my 4 year old self at the time of the event, the horror and surprise. I bawled and shook for an hour, thankful to let my husband hold me as I completely fell apart.
A few months later, after processing and working through what I recalled in the first episode, I had my second memory surface through a Ceremony with Mushroom Medicine. The Ceremony was beautiful and productive to the very end. As I began to come back to my reality more fully, I was handed this new memory in a gentle but firm way. I could see my legs peeking out from in front of me (perhaps in a car seat or bouncer, perhaps laying down) and a man standing in front of me. I knew I was in my infancy, or less than a year old. I witnessed and felt being penetrated by his hand and the shock of violation that rocked my being. Although I struggled to accept the identity of this family member at first, ultimately I have determined that it doesn't matter who it was, merely that I was ready to see and accept that it had happened. After this memory came forward, it took my almost two years to fully understand how this violation had impacted me. My power was taken from me, my boundaries were violated, and there was an innate sense of shame and disgust associated with myself as a human. All of these realizations have unfolded in pieces, in their own perfect timing, as I continue to move forward in my life and accept who I am.
I have reached this point in my life path where I no longer need to physically take Mushroom Medicine in order to reach a state of psychedelic/spiritual collaboration. Through my natural abilities to reach these states, the Medicine finds me when I need to work through something - whether I like it or not. A few weeks ago, I recalled another memory that I believe to be the most significant one in my trauma tapestry. I will warn you now, the rest of this blog is not for those of prude mind or fragile heart....
So my husband and I were fooling around. We have this incredible physical chemistry that just keeps getting better as the years go on. Side note: I'm amazed that no one talks about how much better sex can get with time... instead of more dull! ANYWAY, for the last five or six months we have been on a steady routine of me breaking down in a sobbing pile every time I reach orgasm. I literally mean 99% of the time and god bless my husband for still approaching me regularly for sexcapades even after this continues to happen! Many times this crying releases memories, feelings, collective female trauma of the womb, or other things that need to be channelled through the contraction of my uterus. He holds me, I release, and we somehow both feel better when it's done. Well, this interaction last week was different. He was at a new angle, doing new things, and when I reached orgasm I had a flood of memories around a specific molestation incident that had been locked away in my body.
As the memory came on, I immediately knew who's house I was in, a place I went frequently as a child. I felt the energy of the home and the familiarity of the bed I was laying on. There was someone kneeling over me, approaching me from the same angle my husband had just been in, and was penetrating me. I was about 6. This person told me things like "see, you like it", evoking an immense sense of shame and guilt. Making me question why I thought this was wrong if I actually liked it - making me feel like I was the problem in all of this. There was just so much shame.
This memory flew through me like all the rest. I bawled and I ached and I released all I had been holding on to for these three decades. Once again I felt gratitude for the strength of my husband, who held me as I went through this process and held space for my unfolding.
It has taken me some time to feel OK about this recent realization and do anticipate it will actually take months to fully settle in, but I felt strongly that it was time that I share my story surrounding my own experience with childhood abuse and sexual trauma. It's important because many people, in their subconscious denial of being a victim of abuse, say things like "My parents were great, there's no way I was abused". I am here to say that my parents were wonderful people and they did all the right things, but sometimes the source of abuse is different than what we would expect. Sometimes it's less, sometimes it's more and sometimes it's not even our own.
I hope that everyone who struggles with childhood trauma and sexual abuse has the opportunity to work with Mushroom Medicine to help them work through the layers and release all that they are still holding on to. I could not recommend it more.