Somatic Experiencing

(Written in September 2008)
Work with Caryn was fascinating.  I started by crying, and then shaking, and then talking about my fears about Bella.  She said it was too much, to stop piling it on and connect with resources, with the present moment, location etc.  So I did that and then my shoulders kept jumping/discharging while I was aware of my lower body containing and grounding me, and also being able to talk to Caryn about all kinds of things.  Nia, the drama workshop, Journey, the fall from the ladder, my pain about never really being part of theater.  The warrior reappeared (with 6-pack abs!) Kali reappeared, the articulate spokesperson for the journey women appeared.  Caryn suggested I find a story to reframe what happened at the Nia training — the fall and not being able to insist on what I needed — but I couldn’t quite do it — it feels like the pieces are still moving and not yet ready to integrate.  I’m being OK with the slight discomfort of that.

Another interesting piece from the work with Caryn — I was talking about how the drama project had been disappointing, how there is no way to show what it’s like to live with PTSD.  Then I said maybe a movie could do it, I’d be walking down the streets in Littleton and suddenly it becomes a battlefield: grey, dark, ruined buildings, burning cars, dead bodies…  She asked how did my body feel and I realized there was a sort of layer of greyness, like grey armor, down the whole front of my body — beyond it was the battlefield — but at the same time I was aware of my body in the corner of the room, pressed into the cushions, the floor, and the walls, held securely in present time.
I talked a bit about the scientist, my search for truth, my training in paradigm shift — Caryn said I was building bridges between the trauma vortex and the present.  Certainly I am much more present than I was the first time I saw her.  I’m also back in touch with many resources that I just couldn’t find when things were really bad.
At the end of the session I was tired & lay down.  There was a feeling of exhaustion, relief, and also satisfaction, as after completing a task that required a lot of effort.  What does satisfaction feel like in my body?  That plump feeling, being re hydrated.  Being full but also relaxed, weight sinking down.

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