I had occasion today to read about a man who, as an adult male, is in the process of dealing with childhood sexual abuse. His story is quite disturbing, but really they all are. And there are far too many of them, both told and untold. Sadness.
His writing really struck me, revealing him to be very lucid about the process that he is in the middle of. He understands his dilemma, he speaks openly about the the difficulties yet to come, facing up to the pain he has denied for so long. He uses the phrase “unbearable terror”.
As the hours passed after reading his letter, I realized just how little I really know about other people’s stories. There are over 50 such stories chronicled on the Bristlecone Project (link at the top of the page), and I have met three men in person who share similar experiences. Yet I have to acknowledge that the only experience of healing I know is my own. A sample size of one.
I returned to the internet to further my understanding on how the human body holds trauma at a cellular level, and how it can be released. There are many books, many theories and practices, some anecdotal and others scientific. This led me to some local bookstores this afternoon, and I spent a few hours scanning what I could find.
At some point, I was standing and holding three books that had some appeal to me. Gradually I became aware of my hands shaking lightly, and then a sudden and yet familiar pain strapped across my lower back. Immediate fatigue and heaviness. There was chair close by so I sat with these physical and emotional responses. I realized that my body was reacting to the materials I was about to read.
My body was defending itself, from me, from remembering, from pain.
Sitting there, I felt a deep awareness of the situation. I was moving into new territory, the territory of my body. And I became convinced that I need help to understand and release these forces.
I have been highly motivated to “get this shit out of me”. As a result of my efforts, I have grown stronger than ever before in my life. Guilt and grief no longer hold sway over me. I cannot think of a single poor choice in the last five years. Everything has meant something.
So it is true in the bookstore today. It means something. It is another loose thread that needs to be pulled on. I cannot deny that I had sensed that my “body work” was still ahead of me, and today was all I needed to verify that.
I set those books back on the shelf today. I decided to fully experience their weight before I carried them home. I will return and pick them up later this week.