It has been shown that persons who have experienced extreme trauma tend to be more likely to have a sense of purpose in life! (1)
Imagine being able to live harmoniously amongst others without fear. I cannot. Cannot imagine it even a little bit. What can be created for people in my camp? People who are sensitive and had so much trauma in childhood that life among others is highly stressful, scary and worrisome? I’m allowing myself sanctuary-time alone, quiet time, time to write… yet… will things ever be different? Will I ever find my niche in this world, where I feel safe and able, valued and worthwhile, loved, adored and comfortable? I have no idea. And what about all of the others like me in this regard? I know there are plenty of us and our numbers are growing. Getting older seems to make things harder; I feel less resilient (in some ways).
I know I am not alone in this feeling. I see it in many, this loneliness. I see it and know it in all kinds of escape mechanisms, I see it in our eyes, our stumblings, our yearnings and reachings out. I see it in that we are writing as there is so much to say that is hard for us to articulate vocally, aloud. Every one of us is vulnerable to this feeling as well. A partner can die at any moment, or a relationship can go sour, friends can move away; we ourselves can be called to move. It seems our best social safety net is a larger number of connections, yet any of us can feel lost in the sea of large groups, incoherent “communities,” friends who are quite different from ourselves.
From these differences and challenges comes growth, yet in order to truly grow, we must crack at the core, we must reform, we must let new light into our dark places, our soil, the seeds deep inside that were planted long ago. This process shakes us at our core if we are willing to go through it. It cracks us and can feel immensely scary, yet we have no choice whatsoever – it’s life or death, we need to let new air in.
There’s a part of me that is utterly indignant, that KNOWS I should never be told (even by myself) to open up and trust anyone after what I have gone through. There’s a part of me that hates people who had happy childhoods, or for whatever other reasons are able to trust others and live amongst them in a way that feels safe. There’s a part of me that knows those people look at me with judgment, at least some of the time, some of them do, and that part of me wants to SCREAM. And cry. Because it is that judgment that limits me more than anything — that oppression which I have now internalized that tells me I must conform. And since I know I can’t, I feel doomed to die a failure some days. I feel certain I will never succeed by their standards, yet their standards weren’t made for me.
There are many who feel this way, no doubt, and when I talk to them I know they are far from failures. Just like when I write, “I feel doomed to die a failure,” there’s a wise woman in me who bursts out belly laughing. My eyes tear and I’m also heaving and wailing at once since dying a failure isn’t an option for me. It makes me cry to know in my bones that I have already done a lot of what I came to this earth to do, and the whole “die a failure” concept needs to die. Yet I know I am not alone, I know it is alive in many of us.
I wish there were something I could do about all this. If I could move this mountain, I’d really die a success. I want to move it for each and every one of us who feels doomed to misery due to programming in our psyches that happened early on and feels insurmountable (sometimes). I want to take away every limit there is or seems to be in the way of each and every person being healthy, strong, free, and fully embodied and alive. I want to measure the distance between here and there so I’ll have a map, a time frame, a sense of something that will, of course be called senseless.
Extreme trauma turns our mind inside-out. It makes us senseless. This may get us labeled insane, but I stand behind the fact that senselessness has within it the best gifts we have to offer. The same trauma that turns our minds inside-out and makes us feel incapable of action, turns our minds around just enough to open us up to something larger. This something larger is vision, it’s prophesy, it’s being a knower and seer, it’s seeing beyond the veil of “reality” as it presents itself and seeing something others have not yet seen. This is true inspiration and if we find it in the tunnels, we have found our purpose in life, our destiny. We all have this within us, yet for some horrible reason, it can take trauma to bring it forth. The meaning in the madness, that could have never been found in the humdrum consensual reality. The consensual reality we sometimes feel we’d settle for because the alternative can be agonizing.
Let’s face it: consensual reality is straight up boring. If almost everyone experienced life the same way, we might all want to bolt. We’d be bored out of our minds (with their perfectly predictable chemical reactions and neurosynaptic responses keeping us ever stable all the time). It is only when consensus is abandoned that any individual can find something new and find true, lasting motivation.
Hence the mental health system is a paradox, and a dead end, asking people to conform AND be motivated and purposeful in that conformist state. I just want to say to everyone, including myself, REBEL!!!!! Be yourself, however unhappy you may feel! For it is only in your very own journey through your very own tunnel that you will find your very own purpose for being here. Prozac may help you find someone else’s life purpose (or rather, put money in someone else’s pocket), but that will never be a substitute for your own. True purpose leads to true motivation and the only place to find that is in the tunnels of your very own consciousness.
We are each unique and have something different to bring to the table, which is inherently non-consensual in its reality, and at its best senseless, being a little more important than “sanity.”