Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Cave

I've spent the last few weeks in what I call the cave, because it feels like the Degobah cave.

Processing trauma takes a lot of energy.  Tara Brach wrote, "Even years after the actual danger is past, the trauma, undigested and locked in our body, randomly breaks through into consciousness."

I'll be strolling along through my life and suddenly come upon the cave again. Sometimes it's triggered, and that has happened several times, but sometimes it just appears on its own. When it does, I have to go in there like Luke into that cave.

Integration of trauma and abuse takes a lifetime, but it's not your whole life.  You can go years functioning at a pretty high level and then suddenly be pulled into the deep dark undertow of the injury and all the other injuries incurred because of the first injury: the shame, anxiety, sleep disorders, mood disorders, flashbacks, panic attacks, harmful coping strategies and the additional injuries from people who don't get it and worse, presume to judge, which adds insult to injury and often ignites rage and sorrow and feelings of isolation, depression, and then anxiety; and then the cycle is triggered and starts all over again.

But if you don't do it, if you settle for half-life, it's like being half ghost.  You have to plunge into the cave, fight the fight, accept what's unacceptable, and then emerge.

I'm emerging again now, and still dragging tangled vines and tracking mud, but stumbling into the open air.

And hopefully, getting back my word count.


  1. This heartful honesty is beautiful and appreciated. The un-triggered trauma that springs up out of nowhere are the moments that feel the most unfair to me, especially when I've convinced myself that I've healed. Thank you for speaking your truth and for being so eloquent about it. ;) If you ever need help emerging from the cave, or if you'd just like someone to talk to while you're in there, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. <3

  2. This blog is unadulterated truth. Major trauma stays with you for a lifetime and can smack you upside the head when you least expect it, even dozens of years later. It's taken me a *long* time, but I've learned, as you said, that the best way to deal with it is to face it head-on. Trauma likes to hide in the shadows of your memories; it can't stand the light. What has really helped me more than anything is to have found a partner who really gets it and to whom I can talk about these things and not worry about being judged. Awesome post. Thanks for your openness and honesty.