Musings on the Solar Eclipse and PTSD

6-year-old me

This Eclipse taking is taking us all to the very depths of our souls. What will surface will be different for everyone. It will be whatever needs to come up for healing and in my case it is PTSD due to childhood trauma.

I feel strongly guided on by our Blessed Mother for this portion of the journey, thanks to the messages and miraculous signs that have been coming through since last week. I also know that I’m not alone on the journey, though I can’t quite sense companionship yet because of my PTSD. I swam above it for so long but now it has caught up with me. People see me. I see them and I know that I’m not separate and I cry because I can’t yet feel it… Yet I have every faith that these are the tears of liberation.

There are no coincidences. In hindsight, writing about Tarot and Mental Health was part of what had to happen this week, as were the discussion that followed. Piscean/12th house issues all around and many are contributing greatly to the process of transformation and deeper surrender to the Divine… Or rather, we all contribute to each other’s process and progress.  This eclipse is and isn’t about the individual – it is about rising together and doing the healing work we each need individually in order to rise as one.

I have experienced a greater coming together in the past week than I believe I ever have before… For me this has highlighted my own tendency to isolate myself and make myself as independent as possible of others.

‘Comfortably numb’ where the words I had in my head when I woke up this morning. They were on a loop so I knew they were a message from Spirit. Awakening from being comfortably numb is incredibly painful for those of us who have ignored certain issues. I have cried every day this week. This is not normal for me… ‘Comfortably numb no more’ is a good thing. It is the beginning of deep healing – I just want you to know that if you happen to be in the same place right now.

It’s OK to cry…

It was during a discussion in the Tarot Agora, that the penny dropped about what was coming up for healing for me. Someone mentioned how sufferers of PTSD can’t take on board messages that are positive because they lack the ability to look forward to things. Part of their coping mechanism is to catastrophise. It makes them feel safe.

Yep.

That is my own personal hell and the real reason why I cancelled the big wedding we had planned in the summer of 2015. It was going to be the wedding of my dreams… but my dreams weren’t strong enough for such a joyous occasion. I wanted to blame it on circumstance and other people but it was my own old ghost that had come back to haunt me.

Here is the thing about PTSD. I never received a diagnosis. My first experience of mental health care lead to a diagnosis of depression, anxiety and panic attacks. I was put on meds and I was put in a talk therapy group. Years later, while pregnant with my youngest, I was once more diagnosed with clinical depression… but once again, nobody picked up on PTSD.

I was always told how good I was at coping – especially in my early 40’s, after I lost a baby at 15 weeks, was abandoned by the baby’s father and nearly killed myself. Once again, I was ‘clinically depressed‘ and put on meds. But I was oh so good at coping, so I got myself off the antidepressants as quickly as possible because they literally killed the one thing I did have going for me, my creativity.

There are three main groups of symptoms for PTSD:

  • Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares.
  • Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma.
  • Increased arousal such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated and angered.

In those three groups, I have experienced all of the symptoms – many for as far back as I can remember. I’m not attempting to self-diagnose here; I’m merely stating a fact… and I’m questioning why what is so obvious to me was never picked up by the people who were periodically in care of my mental health.

One of my earliest childhood memories is of my mother fighting back from the abuse of my father, chasing him with a knife she pulled out of the kitchen drawer. He managed to disarm her and lock her out of the flat. I was three and my mother was gone out of my life not long after that. This scene has been replayed in my mind countless times.

So has the night my father punched me in the solar plexus as I was lying in my bed. I was 12 years old and thought I was going to die as I struggled to breathe at all… For the remainder of my childhood, I was afraid of falling asleep because I thought my father might try to kill me in my sleep.

But I’m oh so good at coping.

I make sure I’m not dependent on anyone for anything. That is why I have plenty of friends online and none in real life. That is why compliments mean nothing to me. That is why I cannot look forward to wonderful events that my husband plans for us. That is why I haven’t been able to bond properly with my children. And if I have any regrets about not getting the help I needed, it is from the point of view of what my mental health has done for my ability to be there as a mother.

But I get out of bed every morning and I work hard. I’m clean. I don’t smell. I’m polite and helpful. So I must be coping, right?

My youngest daughter and I started talking about dating the other day. She has all of that look forward to, which is wonderful and I encourage her to stay positive about it. I just wish she hadn’t asked me about my own experiences because it was triggering as fuck. Dating was hell for me. I often went numb (almost to the point of feeling ‘locked in’ my body) in dating situations. This freaked my dates out and make them realise I probably wasn’t right in the head. Which I wasn’t but I had no way of getting help at that stage because my hell was normal to me and I wouldn’t have known where to turn when I was 15-16. These things simply weren’t talked about. They are now and that is a good thing. Kudos to the young royal family members and the work they do with the charity Mind.

My daughter had no way of knowing how this seemingly innocent discussion would trigger a chain of thoughts in my mind… Many of the memories that arose had been repressed for a very long time. It’s tough but I’m grateful it’s all coming up for healing.

Many memories are completely outside my ability to access though. Like the time when my dad nearly choked me to death. My sister remembers because she had to witness it and she has told me of that event and others I can’t remember.

My dad was never brought to justice for his abuse. Back in 1982, he nearly was. My mother took him to court when I was 12 but nobody believed her and our father had told us exactly what to tell the nice ladies from the social services when they came around to interview us.

My father was also very good at coping, you see. He had a degree in engineering and was successfully self-employed. We lived in a posh area of Stockholm City. He wasn’t on drugs. He didn’t smell, so he was doing great… in the eyes of the world.

My mother was a single, unemployed mother of four children with three different fathers. She didn’t have snowball’s chance in hell of winning that court case. So I’m winning the case for her here today. My father did this… all of it and more. And when I confronted him with it shortly after the birth of my son, he simply said I was insane and it never happened.

Growing up, I was afraid of both my parents. I lived in constant fear. Shortly after the knife incident, my mother left and took my youngest sister with her. I have no memories of the year I lived on my own with my father. Not a single memory. My mother returned my sister after a year because she wasn’t coping. For the next few years we were told she was a witch. In addition to suffering from night terrors for many years, I had nightmares almost every night about a witch chasing me, trying to kill me. Not even in my subconscious mind was I allowed to have safe memories of my mother.

As for avoidance of places that can trigger me, I’m avoiding Sweden, the country I was born in, as much as humanly possible. Even speaking Swedish can trigger me… and don’t get me started on trying to deal with Swedish authorities.

Many of the symptoms have been healed already and others I have learned to accept as part of how I’m wired, such as the inability to sleep or to truly look forward to anything.

How do I cope so well? This. Writing. Helping others heal. Finding clarity through working with archetypal patterns for greater self-knowledge. Faith in Mother-Father God. Exercise. Isolation from most of the world, most of the time.

But I wish I hadn’t coped as well as I did. I wish had received the help I needed before my children were born. And I wish for all of us that this Solar Eclipse will bring the psychological healing so many of us so desperately need. It’s not too late.

If you are reading this and you think you need help, reach out. There are many resources available today. Don’t look for quick fixes. Don’t be afraid to dive deep. Don’t do spiritual bypass.

Eclipse Blessings,

Lisa