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  • Writer's pictureDr T

The Trappings of Trauma

Releasing trauma so we don't keep ourselves trapped

Day 12 - July 20, 2021 – Triggers & Traps

I think I see it. Why I can't have Him. Why I can't be with him. Because it's not the path I'm supposed to walk.

“There are no wrong turnings. Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.” Guy Gavriel Kay
Photo & Digital Art by Michelle Thall; Quote - Guy Gavriel Kay


I can't stay with Him because my destiny is to do this thing I'm trying to do – integrate my vocation and avocation, connect my passion and purpose, unite my heart and mind. The path I am meant to walk seals my fate – I must relinquish Him.

I am at the fork in the road, I see Him on one path, and I know I cannot take that path because my destiny lies on the other. I am conflicted for a simple reason: I cannot imagine something as good or better than what I have with him. I can’t imagine it because it is literally inconceivable to me, meaning I have no “frame of reference” to imagine it.

I used to use the phrase “frame of reference” to describe when something happened that was outside my knowledge and experience - when I couldn't intellectually process a situation.

Now I'm using it to describe an inability to open myself wide enough to imagine a relationship with a man that surpasses anything I've ever experienced, something my heart has been unable to frame as something it wants to feel. The only way I've been able to frame it is through books and movies, gothic romances, and tales of love on the silver screen.

That’s not real, but it’s certainly what I’ve assimilated. My heart does not “know” the feeling that I seek. It knows it craves something but it's not quite comprehensible. It's a matter of falling out of love with Him and letting go of what I have without any conception of what’s to come.

It's a matter of opening wide to possibility and potential - the unknown - and being in faith, trusting that though I cannot conceive of something better, it does exist, and will bring me all that I want and need.

And doing that means allowing the feelings I've had for Him, past and present, to be less than the end all be all. Accepting there is something beyond what I’ve felt for Him is a little scary. I do see two winding roads, and I am about to choose the one that doesn't include Him.

Wow. This feels big.


I went to the studio and did my art. It was great and the walk was fun too. I used pebbles as a background on the tile, placed around a stream of beach glass, rock, and shell. It was almost like doing mosaic, which I’ve missed for years; I want to do more.

"Walkabout" - 7.20.21

Somehow the day did a 180-degree turn during my chiropractic appointment. When the doctor locked me into position on the traction machine it triggered a hot flash. I lay there trying to relax, practice Ujjayi breathing, meditate – anything to stop the fiery heat that spread over my body. I cooled after several minutes, but couldn’t shake the feeling I was trapped.

Afterward, I stopped at the grocery store, despite needing nothing. I felt off. I had thought to pick up something special for dinner, but nothing interested me. Yet I didn’t want to leave. I didn't want to go home; I wanted to play or dawdle. I don't know, something was bothering me.

When I got home, I wanted to smoke to take the edge off or have a drink, but I didn't. I remembered a phrase from Michael Meade’s book that keeps coming back to me, “the answer to the pain is in the pain.” (Meade is actually quoting Rumi’s "The cure for the pain is in the pain.")

If I alleviate the pain through mind-altering substances then I also negate the answers buried there. I cooked dinner instead; I felt better almost immediately. As I moved about the kitchen, something kept clawing at the back of my mind and suddenly I remembered I had bad dreams last night after watching a horror movie.

(SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Population 436, and don’t want to know what happens, don’t read the next paragraph)

The movie was all about being trapped. The protagonists were trapped, and they all died. They were trapped and then they were dead, and the worst thing was that the two best characters were killed by God and all the God-fearing people. In the end, all these false prophets lived, only to pray upon more unsuspecting people - it was truly horrible. I love a good horror movie, but this one was without any redeeming qualities.

That’s when I made the connection – everything today was about being trapped – from the dreams I woke up with, to my inability to let go of Him, to being trapped in the traction machine.

Yeah, I was off!

Yesterday I did Tapping to alleviate the trauma that remains from being a little girl trapped on a school bus with the driver. Exploring my childhood trauma and its effects on the course of my life and relationships is difficult. Coupled with a horrible movie and the nightmare it caused sparked revelations about what trapped me as a child, and what has kept me trapped most of my life.

I trapped myself with Him, maybe subconsciously, but it was my doing. I was more comfortable with the pain of unrequited love than the possibility of being trapped again.

Wow, I wrote that. Is it true?

What am I saying? That I can’t risk a new relationship, and possibly love, because there’s a risk that I could re-experience the pain of being trapped?

Does this mean that my struggle is not so much about giving him up, but about feeling that my fate demands that I MUST seek this inconceivable love? Do I believe my fate is to keep seeking and believing that real love is possible?

I need to explore this “trapped by myself” thing with a clear head. I'm too tired now. At least I didn't choose to numb out. I worked with and through my pain and discomfort. Everything is foggy right now, but it’s a micro-step forward.


Until tomorrow... For Your Consideration...

In what ways do we trap ourselves?


Do you want to create your own 30-Day Project? Is it time to LEAP?

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