I have taken countless steps forward in the last few years. Everything I have done, everything I have taken part in has been in support of my healing. In fact I cannot think of a backwards slip at all. Difficult, yes. But always further.
With each revelation I had a sense of relief that I had found the reason for my haunted soul. Each time, without fail, I sensed that I was “done”, that I had taken the final turn and could lay claim to a personal level of health I never imagined would be mine.
But always, within weeks, the old feelings would return and I sensed that there was more to be seen, more to be remembered, more to be overcome. That haunted feeling was back, sending me to Madre and ayahuasca to engage once again with the spirit world. And with the return, more often than not, it became apparent that this was in fact needed. The lion’s den was not yet empty.
There was a “locomotive at my back” as I have stated before, driving me to take part in uncovering the demons. Ayahuasca, MDMA, and Iboga all helped me along the way. But what was this locomotive, what was driving me so hard? I had not ever been known for such a focused effort, and yet now I was relentless.
Over the past few weeks, I had been having some strong body sensations, especially in the area at the front of my neck, my jaw and face. They were similar to the ones I experienced when my solo MDMA ceremony took ahold of me (see blog post titled “Intention Is Everything). I assumed they were residue from that experience. A few days ago, as I drove from Calgary to the coast, they started to build in intensity, making it difficult to keep my mind on driving. I pulled over several times, wondering if I was having an anxiety attack.
Soon I began to recognize that I was having the onset of another flashback. The muscles in my arms and hands began to contort, to reach out and extend in a similar fashion. I found a place to pull off the highway, counselled myself to allow this to happen and to not panic. It was at this moment that I softened and complied with what my body wanted to do, It was calling out to me in a way, like a child might when it insists on being listened to.
I am quite grateful that nobody came alongside my vehicle. I can only assume they would have called 911, thinking I was having a heart attack. It was ridiculous, really, with the muscles of my arms, hands and neck fully distended, rock hard. And as before, the sounds coming out of my mouth carried the long-stored screams and groans of a young boy’s dismembered youth. At some point, I gathered a voice I have never heard before, one of incredible depth and force and commanded the demons to “leeeaave mee”. As I did, I knew I wanted this to go on and on and on, to the point of unconsciousness if needed, just to complete the annihilation of these nasty forces.
This “event” lasted less than 30 minutes, I think. As my body softened, so did my breathing and I lowered my arms. It was over. I moved into the back door of the van, sat in the sun to collect myself, and fell asleep sitting up. When I awoke, my head was drooped over my knees, my back curved in a semi-circular arch.
I am still coming to grips with the fact that some of my experiences as a child were so horrific. So much so that I abandoned the memories of these acts for decades. And now, my body is gathering it’s voice and for the first time in my life I am understanding that I have to get out of the way, to soften and let this happen. I have to bear witness in a way that I just could not do as a young boy.
My experiences with ayahuasca and MDMA and Iboga have helped to prepare me to reconcile the horrific with the magnificence. I now understand that the “locomotive” was, and is, my body. This body of mine is both a battlefield and a gift, and I am listening to it like never before.
I also know that I am not done. I just know. Now, however, I can take the long view in a way that I could not before. And while I know I am not done with the shamanic ways of healing, I also understand how to let my body speak without ingesting any substances. The shamans have taught me that, should I accept the responsibility, I too can listen.
A friend once told me “the body knows”, and I agreed with him. Now, that sentence means so much more to me.
Listen, Tom. Just listen.