Saturday, January 11, 2014

When Deeper Healing Begins

Saturday, January 11, 2014

It was shortly before Christmas when I began to notice a distinct difference in how I felt on a daily basis.  At first I was intrigued by the change.  I also felt elated, perplexed and excited.  I was noticing that I was feeling quite good.  Indeed, I was feeling so good that I could not recall ever feeling so well.  And I do mean throughout my entire life.  This feeling has persisted throughout the last four or five weeks now.

I feel myself to now be on the cusp of something rather unprecedented.  I feel myself to be moving headlong into a quality of being that is completely unfamiliar to me.  I have been sharing this revelation with some of my closest friends.  I have become a modern day version of the explorers of centuries ago who discovered lands they first described as the New World.  I have become an explorer and adventurer; I am now learning what it means to live a life without PTSD distorting my perception of the world around me.

Yesterday, as I sat in a bus in downtown Minneapolis, I noticed the grit coating the bus windows.  We have had a thaw here in the Midwest.  Between last Monday morning and yesterday the temperature has warmed about 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  That is no small feat.  The crusty snow has softened.  Residential streets were covered in slimy dark brown slush-snow last night when I took the dogs out for a walk.  It was a pleasant reminder that one day the sun's power will again thaw out the entire landscape.  One day the trees will burst forth and create the symphony of life we know as spring.  I suspect it will be a spring unlike any other I have ever experienced.  It might even rival the one I experienced in 1997 when I lived on the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota.  I can still vividly recall how I marveled at the return of the color green to the vast plains that were then the backdrop of my life.

I came to see that grit encrusted bus as a metaphor for the life I had been living for so long.  I was walking around in my body and looking through eyes that did not see clearly.  My vision was clouded (much like the dirt streaked windows) by a residue of trauma that had never been fully cleansed from my mind.  Past therapy, while helpful, had not been sufficiently effective to transform my life as what I have experienced most recently.  The metaphor of blindness has also been one for me to ponder.  And more than once I have thought of the line from the song Amazing Grace: 'was blind, but now I see.'

My work with my therapist is not over by any means.  But now I am able to plunge into that deepest core of the pain I have carried.  I am ready to dive headlong into the grief.  It's my opinion that grief is one of the most common things you will unearth once you move through anger.  Anger is something of a mask for unacknowledged and therefore unattended grief.

In the very near future I will begin sharing the amazing healing I have been experiencing with a few members of my father's family.  My intention in doing so is to let them know how I am doing.  But I also intend to fully express my feeling that I am no longer comfortable being an active member of the family without some greater attention being paid to my own father's dysfunctional behavior.  I am doubtful that anything significant will change even if I issue an ultimatum.  But I finally feel strong enough now that I can move forward with or without my family backing me up.

I have made the disquieting discovery that there seems to be a dearth of grief support groups targeted specifically to men here in the Twin Cities.  I have obtained several referrals and seem to have exhausted the most promising leads I had.  I think it correct to say that men in our modern world are still very much amateurs when it comes to exploring the terrain of grief.  As a culture I believe America fails its boys in their developmental process.  As but one example consider this: why are so many of the mass shooting incidents in this nation perpetrated by men or teenage boys?  Certainly women and girls have their own significant issues with the construction of what it means to be a woman in this culture.  But I do believe that in the world of gender relations and human development it is now the boys who are beginning to lag behind the girls.

I feel very fortunate to have reached the point I have in my own recovery process.  Life feels so magical and amazing now.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

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I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!