Loving a Survivor: How Prolonged Trauma Impacts Relationships

Women, generally speaking, are empathic creatures by nature. Some deem empathy a curse, others a powerful gift. Nevertheless, we feel every sentiment as deeply as we feel every chastising word…down to our very core. And with each blow endured, we slowly forged the piecemeal armor that now adorns our delicate skin. Yet a kind word and gentle touch from a kindred soul has the power throw all inhibition out the window. We are but living, breathing paradoxes, one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.

But sometimes, we guard ourselves so relentlessly that we block the greatest gift of all: LOVE. We build walls so high that even the most skilled climbers come crashing down before reaching the summit. Sometimes, we even become so bitter that we conclude an opinion about men in general, forming the very stereotypes that we, ourselves, oppose.

However, there are also those of us who are brave enough to give love another chance. The ones who never turn their backs on love because we know in our hearts that there are still good people in this world. Though we are not without flaws either. Because sometimes when we enter relationships while we are still trying to heal, we unconsciously project our pain and emotions onto our partners.

Many women can conceal emotions as if they have never known heartache at all.  But often things occur that trigger the pain we’ve buried within our bones. Those suppressed emotions then float up to the surface where we relive them all over again causing us to compare, to remember things we would rather forget, and to feel the very things we have avoided. We may then unconsciously hold the person we love accountable for someone else’s mistakes. This is extremely unjust and unfair, to us and those we hold dear to our hearts.  It is also why healing is vital to our growth!

I once made the mistake of committing myself to a relationship with a man at a time when I barely knew or even liked myself, much less loved myself. I was just beginning my healing process and having the veil ripped from eyes at the same time. I was miserable in almost every life situation and circumstance around me. My heart was full of anger, resentment, confusion and bitterness, but when he came in things seemed to get a little brighter in my world. Yet no matter how hard he tried, he still wasn’t able to stop the darkness from consuming me when it came to feast. No matter what he did to try to please me, it was never enough. I blamed him for my suffering and misery. I know that it wasn’t really his fault, nor was it his responsibility to save me from myself. But that wisdom didn’t come until now.

Here we are years later and I am finding myself full circle once again, spiraling back to the lessons I failed to learn then. The same pattern is emerging in my current relationship and I am finding myself conflicted by my own afflictions. Is this my own inner turmoil surfacing and I just fail to recognize it? Are these red flags I am seeing figments of my imagination designed by my own unhealed trauma and insecurities? Am I making things worse in my head than they actually are to subconsciously continue a pain cycle? Or am I really seeing and feeling these things as they are? These are the thoughts that plague my sanity. These are the parasites that feast on the soul of a warrior who has spent an entire lifetime mastering survival mode. These are my ugliest of truths, the demons I have come to know by name.

You see, no matter how happy I am when we are together, or how much joy he brings to my life, I must also be completely accepting of myself and content with my solitude. Otherwise, I am not whole on my own and healthy, which means I will seek wholeness from another. And if that is the case, then I am certainly not the proper vessel for the embodiment of my higher-self and I cannot truly live an authentic life aligned with my soul.  I know that now. I deeply want to be all of those things.

I am working hard at healing my scars to ensure that they no longer bleed on those I love. I want to be healthy, happy, full of life and vibrant energy, smiling, laughing, joking, light-hearted and free to genuinely be myself. But I have let my pain become my hindrance for so long that I forgot how to enjoy these things, and I feel myself longing desperately to remember.

I am learning. I am growing. I am healing. But this process is absolutely fucking brutal! It’s the destruction and reconstruction of my heart. It’s the dearmoring of false protection and delayering of programming from my body. It is painstaking and unnerving at times, leaving me wandering aimlessly through the catacombs of my mind on a search and rescue mission to find my inner child. And I have come to realize that the man who loves me likely feels this confusion and pain as well, especially when I cannot explain what I’m experiencing and I instead project my emotions onto him.

Women tend to forget sometimes that men too can be emotional and vulnerable. They carry pain and sorrow around like heavy baggage, much the same as we do, although they are often better at keeping their feelings hidden. We need to remind ourselves that they too have experienced heartbreak, betrayal and loss.

Learning who I am carries a great responsibility to take ownership of my life, my choices, my feelings, my faults, my needs, etc. It dawned on me today that I likely make the man I love feel the same way I have felt most of my life – like nothing he does is ever good enough for me – but that simply isn’t true. I have pointed out his “flaws” and the things he does wrong, and even things he doesn’t do to meet my often-impossible standards, yet I seldom take into account all that he does right. When I am on an emotional warpath, he becomes my target simply because he is the closest person to me. That is completely unfair and is actually borderline gaslighting. It is a narcissistic means of shifting blame to another instead of taking responsibility for myself. That learned behavior ends here. I know better, therefore I must do better.

Self-reflection has shown me some profound revelations. I know I am often an overly sensitive mess of emotions, but my heart is in the right place. I know I sometimes expect too much and give too little in return. I also know I am not always the person I should be, but I am trying to be the best ME that I can be. Although our lives have been extremely traumatic and tumultuous since childhood, we are both healing, learning and growing and I pray every day that we have the strength to survive these trying times together.

As a society, we must remember to show compassion to one another when words fail, and to have patience with each other when insecurities prevail. You see, we have all been devastated at some point. So it is imperative to heal and to love ourselves so that we may lead and teach others how to love us by example. Unchain your heart from the shackles of past trauma. Elevate one another and give your love a chance to bloom into something beautiful.

Love always,

D. Luna

👑🌛🌝🌜👑

Trauma – A Doorway to Divinity

Trauma has been like a close friend of mine since I entered this incarnation. I am no stranger to suffering at the grips of her merciless hands, or to feeling claustrophobic within the self-imposed mental prisons I lock myself behind to seek solace from her infliction. My mind often becomes the dark labyrinth that I must somehow learn to escape without a compass to lead me back to the light. I rely heavily on internal astral navigation to guide me. However, at times I find myself shipwrecked, lost on the shore of the tiny peninsula floating somewhere between the right and left hemispheres of my brain, struggling to make logical sense of my emotions. Mission impossible, if you will. I find myself there today.

Today makes 6 days since I was both physically and mentally battered, and held hostage in my own home by a man who claimed to care about me. You would think under these circumstances that my mental filmstrip would resemble scenes from a Lifetime movie, but all I can think about in this moment is how our entire universe supposedly was created in only 6 days. SIX DAYS! I think perhaps creation and destruction live out the same life span because for me the entire world stopped spinning 6 days ago.

My sun has grown dark and ominous, the sky cries every tear my eyes have yet to shed and it wails in agony, howling like the whipping winds that attempted to uproot me. My majestic moon has lost her glow and even the tides now cease to ebb and flow. I find myself trapped in a state of suspended animation where everything moves around me but my body feels like its hibernating through a frigid winter. And though all my sensory receptors are at their peak, I feel completely dead inside, numb, as if the weight of my own limbs is almost too heavy a load to bear. I have become completely cumbersome.

I find myself weighing my trauma on an unbalanced scale, as if one event is more or less impactful than another. I think of all the possible ways I could have handled this situation differently. I have listened to all the “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve” rants from those who would never even try on my shoes, much less walk in them. I have analyzed the scenario repeatedly from every perspective possible only to conclude that I need to just accept the fact that I handled things the best way I could have. I must also realize that hindsight is 20/20 and while people talk a good game, survival wears a different guise before innocent eyes. Through this experience I am learning that my reaction to external events is not typical, but that is okay. My atypical response to trauma is the very reason I am still here to speak of such an atrocity, and I did not become another statistic.

While my life certainly feels like it is in shambles right now, at least I am still here. I am still fighting to make a positive impact on this wretched world. I am still breathing, and I am still standing on my own two feet trying to pick up my broken pieces and put them back together. My descent is not my demise. I am merely resting, gathering my strength and spiritual arsenal to defeat the demons who dare to test my will. I am truly a Goddess (as I was reminded by my best friend); I don’t just call myself that. I have a divine purpose here. I was given this life to live because I am strong enough to withstand the storms that shower over my soul. So to you most high, beloved Pachamama, I say, let it rain! Come and cleanse me of this pain. Blessed be.
-Dena M. Daigle

Bittersweet Endings

It’s been over 3 weeks since my world was shaken and flipped upside-down. Speaking specifically about the ending of my relationship, I am finally able to open up about it without breaking down into tears which, oddly enough, brings me comfort knowing that a deep healing is taking place. Pain is merely the catalyst.

Make no mistake, there will be no mud-slinging in this post, no bitter blame game, no destruction of character by words, etc. No, this post is about growth. This is about gaining wisdom through personal experience. This is about approaching a deeper level of understanding when it comes to love, loss and the pain that comes along with it. This post is about me reclaiming my inner peace, surrendering to the divine flow and graciously letting go of what no longer nourishes my soul. This is my declaration that the war is over.

“When you’re willing to feel it, you can heal it,” is a quote that has never resonated with me quite as deeply as it does today. You see we are taught early on to run away from pain.  We mask it with makeup, dark shades and fake smiles; we drink until we can’t remember our own names, much less why we are suffering; or we find temporary comfort in the arms of another while closing our eyes and envisioning someone else. We will literally do anything in our power to avoid it and just hope that one day it will subside. What we fail to realize, is that by doing so we are merely burying a bomb beneath the soil of our hearts and waiting for someone new to step on the pressure plate.

Personally, I have found comfort in surrounding myself with the people that I love and in doing things to keep myself busy and my mind distracted. Seems innocent enough, but it is still an effort to avoid feeling pain; a coping mechanism if you will, much like those that I mentioned above. Yet, at the end of the day when all is quiet and still, chaos of thought consumes me and I am once again faced with the very agony I tried to ignore.

So it seems the only way through this is to allow myself to feel every single emotion and to stop running from them. I thought I learned that lesson already in other aspects of my healing journey, but as the spiral of life uncoils, here I am once again back to that particular curve to learn a deeper understanding of what I thought I knew. This is the beauty of inner reflection and keeping an open dialogue with your higher self. So here I am, open and raw, fresh wounds still bleeding, welcoming every ounce of pain, recalling every beautiful memory and every transgression that led me here, just trying to stitch my heart back together.

I often hear people say, “Love hurts.” But you know something? I have to disagree with that. Attachment hurts. Unrealistic expectations hurt. Rejection hurts. Conformity for the sake of “love” hurts and resistance to reality hurts, but true love in its purest form does everything except hurt.  Love heals. Love restores. Love replenishes. The real issue is that most of us are ignorant to what love really is, so we confuse it with attachment while having zero knowledge of the difference between the two.  This relationship taught me to distinguish those differences clearly.

You see, attachment is simply a strong bond, the string that connects us to something or someone we admire. When we are merely attached to someone, we are focused upon the ways in which that person can make us happy. In this type of relationship, we become heavily dependent upon our partner to meet our emotional needs. Instead of confronting our own demons, we expect our partners to battle them for us and fix our self-esteem issues.  We expect them to fill a void within. We hold them accountable for our happiness, which places impossible expectations upon them and sets the stage for failure when they cannot meet those expectations. Attachment is self-serving and cumbersome, the complete opposite of love.

While, attachment’s root is based on the fear of being alone, love is the freedom to explore, the freedom to grow. It is limitless and selfless, knowing no boundaries. Love is flexible and ever evolving in nature. It is a partnership that stimulates growth within one another so that each of you may become the best versions of yourself that you can be. It requires transparency and vulnerability. A mutual loving relationship allows us to be our authentic selves without the fear of exposing our weaknesses and having them used against us.

Love is the fertile soil upon which seeds may blossom into something beautiful when given the proper care. However, it requires the understanding that some blooms will flourish in the warmth of Spring only to wither in the chill of Winter, while others are evergreen; yet both require the same amount of sustenance. Love simply provides without expectation.

While I am certainly no relationship expert (my track record can attest to that), I have loved and lost enough to know now that it was never love that hurt me.  And while this relationship had a bittersweet ending, I am thankful for the experience and the lessons that it taught me.

We are creatures of habit and we crave consistency while fearing change. But sometimes that change is exactly what is needed for us to be happy.  So when things change and bring us pain, just remember that there can be no rainbow without a little rain.

Dena M. Daigle (C) 2018

43487548_10156776864238293_1282532218756923392_n.jpg

I Remember

Wide-eyes in amber hues brimming with salty tears
Four years old in red ruffles and day of the week panties
Mama’s precious baby girl
Trembling, frozen with fear, cold and confused
Silenced, but I remember

Truth or dare on the trampoline
Triple dog five second French kiss or eat worms
Mama’s little daredevil
and innocent boys following the footsteps of their forefathers
Busted, I remember

Open window and moonlit shadows dancing on the wall
Thirteen and rebellious; Mama’s little wild child
“Everyone else is doing it. Don’t you love me?”
Pressured, I remember

Head down, tears flowing, pushing past the picket line
Fifteen and pregnant, Mama’s dirty whore
Cold steel forced inside me, life ripped from my womb
“MURDERER!” I remember

Strobe lights and rap music, twerking teenage dreams
Sixteen with nothing to lose, Mama’s party girl
Beer run – two guys in a Chevy truck looking for some fun
“Drink up baby girl.”
Room spinning, losing consciousness. I remember

Bright lights, bloodshot eyes and grunting,
hip bones pounding into supple flesh
Incoherent but coming to, Mama’s naive fool.
Struggling to scream and unable to move
Tossed curbside next to the trashcan, battered and used.
Damaged, I remember

Butterflies taking flight, head floating in the clouds
Young and reckless, making plans for the future
They said we’d never make it so we set out to prove them wrong
Independent and headstrong, Mama’s girl on the run.
Head over heels, I remember

Dimly lit room, cold gel smeared across my belly
fluttering of a tiny heartbeat, fear and joy intertwined
Mama’s gift from the heavens, I shall protect you with my life
I often dreamed of the day I would cradle you in my arms
My existence had a purpose, I remember

Blood dripping down trembling legs,
Blurry lights passing by in a frenzied pace
pain unimaginable as the room fades to black.
Floating between dimensions, struggling to find my way back.
Wings gifted, Mama’s little angel
Inconsolable, I remember

Silence shattered like broken glass
“Ms. Daigle, I’m afraid you may never bear children…”
A woman’s worth destroyed in thirteen syllables
Fertile soil now barren – hopeful heart destroyed and abandoned
Mama said it was for the best, I remember

Consumed by heartache, weighted by grief and despair
I sought love in the form of flying fists and rage
Black eyes and body bruises, Mama taught me well
I deserved it, I remember

Surgical steel piercing my vein
Injecting poison to numb my pain
Mama’s little junkie
There was no escape, I remember.

Body gone limp, heartbeat slowing
Discarded by a coward, left there overdosing
Silent screams as tears rolled down my cheeks
Vomit staining sweat soaked sheets
I am fading and Mama can’t save me now
but I was born a warrior, I remembered

I begged God for mercy and fought my way back to the light
Never again will I be swallowed by the darkness of the night
I am immortal, and I remember everything.

-Dena M. Daigle, 2018

 

This piece was inspired by a beautiful piece written by Rachel Finch that moved me. Her words helped me find the strength to release those that have been locked inside of me. It is a testament to her strength and resilience which we can all appreciate. Rachel’s piece is featured below. 44710536_2209525525995879_526698698571251712_n.jpg

I Will Not Write Your Obituary

Heroin addiction is a destroyer of the human spirit, completely obliterating not only the heart of the addict, but the hearts of those who love them as well.  The harsh reality of this cyclic battle is that some souls simply cannot be saved no matter how hard you try to help them, or how much love you offer them. We can’t walk the path for anyone but ourselves, and there is no way to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. – Dena M. Daigle

This is a piece dedicated to my sister. I tried with everything in me to make this a spoken word piece, but I could barely get out 5 lines before I broke down in tears. Wherever you are sister, just know that you are loved and I hope you can find yourself one day.

 An Open Letter to My Sister 

I reached out to you with three simple words,
“How could you?”
And your response was “I need help”
But how many times are we supposed to save you when you won’t even save yourself.
You said “Fuck help. Fuck life. I give up”
Never giving another thought to the children who need you;
nor the mother and sister who would succeed you.
You told me that I would never see you again;
and I’m not even sure how I’m supposed to feel about that.
Is it a ploy for attention, or a cry for help?
I don’t know,
because most don’t give a warning before they kill themselves.
And you have lied so much to anyone who would listen.
They obliviously cater to your bullshit while you feed your addiction.
You leave devastation in your wake;
a winding trail of shattered hearts as long as the river Nile,
robbing piggy banks and leaving bones scattered on the shores of denial.
But you tell me “Just remember that I love you.”
As if those words could ever ease the pain of losing my sister;
my own flesh and blood
the girl I would give my own life to save.
Then you block my messages and calls and vanish without a trace.
How dare you lay down your sword at my feet as if I’m supposed to end this battle for you.
How dare you lay your burdens on my fragile heart as if I haven’t suffered too.
I will not clean up the endtrails you recklessly leave behind.
I will not hide your rotting corpse from the wolves that come to dine.
I will not place you gently into the river trying to save your soul.
And I will not write your fucking obituary before your body turns cold.
But if you reach out to me, I will answer your call.
I will sit with you in the gutter and we will write graffiti on the walls.
I will write you into poetry of painted skies and butterflies
and you will laugh at me.
You will think I have gone completely mad
unless the only hue on the palette I’ve chosen is black.
But I would do it anyway because I just want to see you crawl out of your cocoon.
I want to shed my light on your darkness and guide you to brighter days.
I want to see your babies smile and seek solace in your embrace.
I will stay at your bedside and watch over you as you sleep,
and I will help you slay your demons on the days you are too weak.
I will roll up my sleeves and grab a broom and we will clean this mess together;
but I will not let you sweep it under the rug again
nor let you decide which storms we have to weather.
I will not watch you destroy yourself any longer and tear our family apart;
and if that means you hate me,
I will just have to keep you safe in my heart.
But I will not write your obituary.
I will just love you from afar.
-Dena M. Daigle ©️ 2018

Surviving the Void – A Tribute to the Healing of the Womb

I love every aspect of my life and those I share it with, let’s get that straight, but there is still a gut-wrenching ache in the depths of my soul and it just won’t seem to loosen its grip on me. Although every other chamber of my heart is overflowing with love, there is still a chasmic black hole in my heart that all the stars in the universe could not fill. It should be infused with light through self-love, the love reciprocated by those I care for and inner-peace and happiness, yet for some reason I cannot seem to tame the envious beast lurking within. Perhaps because, like most childless women who yearn to cradle precious life within them, I come face to face on a daily basis with subtle reminders of the one ability I lack – in every family photo taken, every school bus stop, playground, grocery store, television screen, doctor’s office and inevitably, every other conversation that seems to flow around me. I am 35 years old, unwed (but engaged) and childless (of my own womb) living in a male dominant society that propagates marriage and children before the age of 40, while subliminally implying that infertile women are somehow inferior… but I digress.

It is every woman’s sacred birthright to bear the fruit of her womb, but sometimes in life things happen that prevent us from doing so. That does not make us any less of a woman, or any less knowledgeable about how to raise children. Allow me to reiterate this to those who say “You don’t have kids, so you don’t understand.” – That does not make us any less of a woman, or any less knowledgeable about how to raise children! (Seriously people, there is nothing comparable to telling an infertile woman those words that could ever make her feel more disconnected from womanhood than she already does. So, please don’t say that.) Motherly instincts come naturally to the human species just as they do in the wild (even though we may want to argue that point after witnessing certain behaviors of some women towards their children). Certainly some of us may choose not to have children, and I’m equally supportive of those women as well, but it is a decision that they have made nonetheless. Then there are those of us childless women who have been physically coerced to forego the idea of bearing children by our bodies who have decided that fate for us. We were stripped of the right and/or ability to choose for ourselves, forcing us to swallow the toxic tincture of emotions that followed, which we then had to learn to digest somehow.

I, like many women, have endured severe sexual trauma, both pre- and post-pubescence, and it has affected me immensely in every way – mind, body and spirit. While navigating the muddy waters of self-healing, I sought shelter in connections with other females who have experienced similar hardships. Despite their experiences or reasons for not having children, there is one common factor linking us together – the wisdom gained by enduring the pain of living without that which our hearts desire most. Because of these goddesses, I now see the intrinsic value of the womb, the captivating beauty of the divine feminine spirit and the essence of all life itself.

The womb is a not just a sexual organ residing within the reproductive system of the female body. It is the sacred seat of power that links all of humanity to The Great Mother. It is the source of infinite abundance embodying the life-force energy that gives birth to the entire universe.

“When we speak of the womb, we are referring to more than a physical organ within a female body – although this sacred site is brimming with creative magic. We refer also in a greater sense to an energetic, multidimensional portal, a bridge between worlds, that lives within us whether we have a physical womb or not.

For women who have had a hysterectomy, the energetic power and blueprint of the womb remains within; for those in menopause, your energetic wise blood still flows in harmony with the cycles of the moon. Women in their crone phase are the spiritual grandmothers of the tribe, the wise wombs. Men also have a spiritual or energetic womb, which we call the hara.”

Womb of Light, Mary Rogers and Anjali Devi.

In my quest for closure, I have learned the importance of healing, not only mentally, but physically and spiritually as well. That may sound somewhat strange because well, obviously, those old wounds have healed externally, but internally there is still a mess of unhealed damage that has gone untreated for many decades which requires my attention. You see, our wombs are where the majority of our pain, including the pain that we have inherited from our ancestors, resides. We entomb that toxicity within our bodies and it grows like a cancer attacking otherwise healthy organs and causing all kinds of issues. Additionally, when we harbor that pain within by suppressing our rage and tears, we actually inhibit our growth in all facets of life. Although the process of healing past trauma can be utterly painful, it is vital to our well-being to awaken that slumbering beast, accept the lessons it has taught us, and to then permanently evict and prohibit it from returning to cause any further damage. I know that now.

“Through awakening of the womb we are able to travel back into those places that have disconnected us from our power of gnosis and grounded living. The places that are frozen through trauma of painful experiences can now begin to thaw into rivers of ancient grief. Irrigating our lives with [the] birthright of pleasure, innocent wildness, juiciness, magic and a deeper self-love than any we have ever known.

Self-love is a fertile, pregnant doorway into manifesting true love on the physical realms through relationships. Through our womb imprints we inherit our mother line gifts as well as our pain. When we are cutoff from this power center we cannot access our gifts and instead can stay in loops and replay of generational trauma.”

– Anabel Vizcarra

This process is how we honor our hearts and the blossoming lotus that is the awakened womb. In learning of the power carried within the sacred space of the womb, my purpose has become abundantly clear. I now realize that, while I may not be able to bring forth life in physical form from my womb, I can bring forth life in other ways, equally as beautiful. I carry within me the spiritual strength and creative energy needed to share the life-changing tools I have discovered with my kindred sisters so that I may help them to restore the balance, vitality and essence of life within themselves. I inherited the sacred energy of The Great Mother, and I am a guardian of light protecting the innocence of the children that I love as if they were my own. So I will continue walking gracefully along the path of healing carrying within me the divine torch of light and love. – Dena M. Daigle, Phoenix Ascended

23519041_1613155675371815_447219922853292643_n.jpg

Sources:
Photo: Pinterest, Artist Unknown.
Mary Rogers – Lotus Gypsy Soul
Anjali Devi – Anjali Devi, Psychic Medium
Anabel Vizcarra

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑