Fragments: Putting the Pieces Back Together
written by Julie Am
Trauma is relative. It may seem as though someone whose father was unfaithful to his/her mother suffers a lesser degree of trauma than someone who witnessed a murder. Trauma takes many forms, from the loss of a loved one to loss of innocence to being forced to look evil in the eyes. It is something that is felt deep within each person that experiences it. Sometimes that trauma is experienced over a long period of time, while other times that trauma can be one major event. Regardless, these experiences are earth-shattering, and most people walk around with their own unique mark of this deep pain. Symptoms can be anything from reckless and/or self-destructive behavior, severe depression, anxiety, panic, constant fear, paranoia in relationships, the tendency to sabotage relationships, obsessive-compulsion, withdrawal from the world and retreating within, to the more severe, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
My trauma had it’s origins in sexual abuse, beginning at the age of five years old. Two different men in the church in which I grew up, one being the Pastor, sexually abused me a number of times, which was the beginning of my life of being the “victim.” I wore this badge as if it were my own scarlet letter, carrying with it guilt that my experiences were caused by me or were my fault in some way. This made me a target for more abuse in my teenage years and into my young adult life. As well as severe depression, I was plagued with severe anxiety along with panic attacks and lived in a constant state of fear. In my teenage years as well as my late twenties, I became reckless. I felt nothing and was driven to feel, even if (and sometimes, especially if) it was to feel pain. There was nothing worse than being numb. And yet, I did not care enough about myself to question that behavior. I didn’t care if I lived or died. In fact, I often dreamed about dying just to escape my misery. A short poem I wrote at the time summed up my feelings precisely, “I’m a china doll… hollow… delicate and beautiful… made for the delight of others… easily broken… easily forgotten.”
That was until one day, I decided to quit looking into my broken mirror and to pick up my pieces and put myself back together. My perception of myself was predicated on my trauma and life experiences, being so entrenched in the pain that I couldn’t see one without seeing the other. It was the pain that caused the mirror into which I gazed to break into a million pieces. And, it was the pain that kept me locked in that reflection. It also mirrored my own fragmentation. As an individual suffers pain at the hands of someone else, the “victim” breaks, and those pieces get stuck in those horrific moments. To heal, it is essential to put those pieces back together and to see oneself in the reflection of a perfect mirror, one only God/Spirit can provide.
There are a few powerful energetic principals that can be used to help with the healing process. This is a four-step program of sorts. The first tool is communication with one’s pieces. Four years ago, I was diagnosed with PTSD and was treated with a combination of psychotherapy and EMDR. Though the treatment was unsuccessful at the time, my therapist gave me a powerful tool, a power of which I don’t believe even he was aware, as this was only a very small part of my treatment. He had me call a “meeting” of all my pieces, characterized by my attributes. For example, I’m nurturing, scrappy, childish, etc. So, he had me do an exercise of pulling together the mother in me, the child, the tomboy, the scrapper, the sexual teenager, the scholar, and the teacher, and he had me ask what they were each seeking. In my work, I’ve taken this tool to another level. Once an individual has established the identity of each of his/her pieces, he/she can communicate with them at a deeper level than can anyone else, for no one knows them more intimately.
Does it seem strange to talk to oneself? It shouldn’t, as we do this subconsciously everyday. We do this when we attempt to determine if we like something or someone or when we layout our daily plans. This inner dialogue is a natural part of the thinking process. Communicating with each piece will help establish where its pain resides, how it feels and/or acts out in that pain, what it seeks, what relationships are affected by this pain, and how its perception in that pain is reflected in the individual. One can “counsel” each piece toward and through its healing, thereby healing oneself by putting those pieces back together.
Another powerful energetic tool is removing the attachments that reside within each fragment. Energetic attachments feed the trauma, keeping it alive. The best way to explain this is to use an example. As previously mentioned, I suffered from specific sexual trauma when I was five years old. I’d wanted to be baptized, and though my parents were reluctant (they thought I was too young to make that big of a decision), they allowed me to pursue this desire. The man who abused me had taken me from the baptism class, and was in fact the man who was supposed to give that class. I won’t go into the specifics, but the event happened several times. The “triggers” were as follows: the actual event, the name Mary Magdalene and men in authority. Establishing these triggers, or the specific things about the event that caused a guttural response, allowed me to find the attachments.
Energetic attachments are most often found in our energy centers or chakras. They work like an umbilical cord, exchanging energy between you, the trauma and person(s) who caused the trauma. There are often many attachments for each event/fragment. By tuning into your energy field, you can detect where they are hidden. My attachments with the events I referenced were in my root chakra (safety, security, protection), sacral chakra (sexual feelings, raw emotions), solar plexus (self-image), heart chakra (ability to love and be loved), and throat chakra (ability to communicate).
When these attachments are found, they can be removed with the help of one’s angels in this way: get into a comfortable position in a quiet place. Ask your angels to be present with you. Envision one of your angels with two gold clips for each attachment to be removed, similar to a clip for a baby’s umbilical cord after birth. One clip is clipped against your energy center, and the other is placed against the energy center of the perpetrator. Your angels cut this attachment away. It falls onto the ground and gets absorbed into it. Then, focusing on the root of attachment that extends from your energy center into your being, your angels gently remove it. It is often wrapped into and around certain organs, causing physical problems. Your angels know how to remove them safely, so trust them to do this work. As soon as it is removed, the archangel Raphael will put his hand on that energetic space, filling it with God’s gold light, healing the space that was taken up by the attachment from the inside out. It is healed through God’s grace so that there are no remnants of this attachment left behind whatsoever. Using this powerful tool will allow an individual a chance at healing.
The final energetic tool that I will offer is that of forgiveness. In the past, I was a staunch opponent to forgiveness, as I believed that by forgiving those who hurt me, I was making a statement that what they did to me was alright. But, that’s not what forgiveness is about. Forgiveness is about removing the energy from the hurt. It is a statement about an individual choosing not to be stuck in pain. It is a statement about an individual choosing not to allow this pain to define him/her. It is a statement about an individual not allowing the person(s) who hurt him/her to steal another moment. It is a statement that an individual has chosen to heal. There is power in the words, “I forgive you” and even more power in the words, “I forgive myself.” This is where the deepest potential of healing lies, as well as the greatest validation that the first two steps mentioned have been accomplished.
When you put the pieces back together, it is also necessary to change the mirror in which you look, from the broken one to a perfect one. This can only be done by connecting to God and asking to see yourself how God sees you. This takes persistence and desire and can be done in prayer and/or meditation. But, eventually, healing will take root, allowing an individual to live life the way it can be lived, with love, happiness and peace.