Have you ever looked at your self in the mirror -- looked deep into the blackness of the centre of your eye ball and just cried? I did that yesterday. My tears came from a place they had never come before – they come form a place of deep apology for abandoning my own heart for so many moons. My tears came from the deepest places in my soul; they were tears of mourning, tears of apology, and tears of gratitude that somehow I am here to tell my story.
I know my process in the soul swamp almost killed me -- that have no doubt; but yesterday I had an opportunity in my life to look with a healthy, whole heart at where I was 2 mere years ago … I knew it was bad, but it hurt and stung my heart and my brain to really, truly see just what a fine line I was walking.
My story of darkness is still so very recent -- and just like when the body faces deep physical trauma, it forgets the pain; so too does the soul forget the pain of the events in life that lead us to the soul swamps.
So, I ‘remember’ my process, but I also ‘forget’ it – that is simply the coping mechanism and nature of trauma. However, I have recently decided to consciously put my gum boots back on, and re-enter the swamps to look at that part of my life again. I am intentionally opening Pandora’s box. I do this because I want to let it all go, I want to see the light in the pain I still carry, I want to forgive those involved and I hope to share my story in the name of healing.
I have found so much divinity in the darkness already, and I can feel that there is more processing and more work to be done.
I have started the mad process of re-reading (and re-writing ) my journal from those days, and within 2 days of this process I receive an email in my inbox from an old friend who I have not seen in 2 years – she wrote a paragraph in her email that really stung my heart.
It stung it for reasons I had to process as my day went on…
She remembered a time that I showed up to an event 2 hours late; and she thought I was high. She remembers me rambling on that I thought I was possessed – who could blame her for thinking I was on something. The funny thing is that 2 days before I received this email, I was working through my old journal and I came across an entry describing that very night she emailed me about – and it startled me when I read it. I had recently caved in and started hanging out with the ex again; it was a funny thing in those days – he was all that made me feel better, but seeing him was like drinking some potent poison and I always wound up feeling drained, disconnected and energetically dead.
I talked in my journal about panic attacks I was having in the mornings after seeing him, the sheer anxiety I felt – I thought it was interesting, but I didn’t understand it. I didn’t feel like me; I felt numb and empty – like someone else was running my mind and body.
The week after the weekend of me showing up late, and talking about being ‘possessed’, I had a therapy session, and it was a session I remember as clear as day – I even remember what I was wearing. It was a 2 hour session. I showed up in that room, on that couch and I was but a mere shell of a human. I remember it; I was so dazed – as if I had been doing drugs all weekend, but I hadn’t. It was about 45 min into the session that suddenly, like a bolt of lightening, I appeared back in my body. I felt it. I was suddenly not a shell; suddenly I was kori sitting with my therapist. And for the next hour I felt myself weave in and out of this place. It was almost like an in and out of body experience.
I learned that this was called disassociation. This was a coping technique for myself. I had come far enough along in therapy that the deepest wisdom in my soul knew that this relationship was no longer serving me (or, never did). But I chose to go back again, and again and again. It was explained to me that in order to make this relationship work – in order to show up to something that I knew deep in my soul to be unhealthy, I would literally have to leave my body – that would explain the anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts…. And of course, me muttering about being possessed on that dreary night.
I was so disconnected from my soul; I was so busy doing the opposite of what I needed that I was literally getting swallowed up whole by the non-divine darkness. Almost no one could reach me.
I look back today, and I cry – a lot.
Not one person knew truly what I was going through. My friends had expressed to me that ‘of course they didn’t know, I didn’t let anyone in’ – and that’s the saddest part to me, is that I couldn’t let anyone in, I didn’t even have a clue how bad it was myself.
I spend most of my day in tears yesterday reflecting on how I didn’t let my own self in. I could barley save where I was at. I’m so blessed to be here. I don’t know what it was that kept me here.
That night – the one where I muttered the fear of me being ‘possessed’ has really hit a chord in my soul. I forgot about that, but between the email I received and my journal, I certainly remember now.
I was not possessed, I was not on drugs – but I certainly was not the Kori I am today. I was wreckless, volatile, destructive and angry. I was drowning. I was barely holding on. But there was a wisdom in me, a glimmer of light in my tangled darkness. That wisdom was calling for help, but it had to be smart in communication – it could not simply yell “help”, as I didn’t think I needed it. And so it communicated red flags to those around me with words like “I think I am possessed”. Something was deeply wrong, and the light in me was so strong that it was calling out, even though I didn’t think I needed it.
I look back at that voice in tears saying ‘I am so so so sorry I didn’t hear you’. I look back with fondness at having a therapist and a dog that knew every single thing my soul endured and they were there to speak my language and hold the space for me to start to see the light. The wisdom in us is so fiercely protective of our hearts that it will go to unbelievable measures to keep us safe – even if it means calling out to other humans in bizarre ways.
I have a lot of tears to shed. I lost a lot in this process. I lost friends and connections; some are irreparable. I was not who I am today… I was angry, I was broken and I was a projecting mess of a human. I was barley holding on. My journal is riddled with self-hate and suicidal thoughts.
My heart literally breaks for that Kori, and I am so so sorry that I was not there to hug her.
Most importantly I have learned this:
Self-Love will heal anything. There is no finish line to this life, no rush and no trophy. Slow, soft, intentional self care is the only way to go. I have learned to deeply honor my soul through rituals of self-care. I have learned to trust my gut – if it doesn’t feel right, I walk away. I have learned that it is OK to walk away from people and friendships when then no longer serve me, or when I get a bad feeling in my gut about them. I am learning to bite my tongue – a last word is not always powerful. I honor my emotions without the need to label them – I cry with no explanation or apology; I have learned to accept the human I am and I love myself unapologetically. My tribe – there are a few of them that saw me through this – and they will always hold the most magical place in my heart. They taught me what UNCONDITIONAL means.
Find your heart, and love that shit so hard.