Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Somatic and the Spiritual

The Nightmare:
There are images of an elevator, my sister and a knowing  she is pregnant and then another image of my father. Things get fuzzy and clear off and on and then next thing I hear in my mind is "You were never going to take care of me anyway! You never have!" It was my sisters voice in response to my father kicking her out of the house.
Things get dark and a horrible feeling of doom overwhelms me. I can't see anything and I wake up abruptly.

The body memory:
I hear the low hum of the air conditioner at work in our room. Jimmy is laying next to me on his stomach tucked snug in the sheets.
I am wide awake and feel cramping in my abdomen. Then I feel moisture running down my legs.
This is unusual and confusing. I throw the sheets and blanket back and sit up in bed there is blood.
Now I'm more confused and freaked out. "It's not time yet.." I say to myself.
I get up and go the bathroom to clean up and feel humiliated and embarrassed.
I get back in bed and try to sleep but at this point I am too afraid to sleep.
The next day I am more confused about the previous nights nightmare and cramping with bleeding. I did not bleed anymore the rest of the day...or the next.

What I had is what is known as a somatic memory... or body memory.
It's when a memory is stored in your body instead of your mind. I know my father abused me far worse than just back handing me and throwing me across the room from time to time. I know there are deeper scars from more than his verbal abuse on my heart. I have memory gaps in my childhood and there is no doubt in me that these gaps are repressed memories from sick and degrading abuse inflicted upon me by my father. The memories have been suppressed unto my body...and come out in the form of cramping, bleeding, weird bruising, chronic back pain, and more. My body has a flashback instead of my mind.
I know that until I got my first period my childhood is VERY fuzzy.
I also know that when I did get my period my father loathed me. He wouldn't come near me except to hurt me and even told me not to touch him.
He was in no danger of me wanting to be near him anyway.
When something triggers me to get that feeling of doom like I had in the nightmare I get cramps and usually back pain. I have no memories though.

This body memory and the pain I feel is VERY real and this is a defense mechanism against the nightmares and suppressed memories. Or as some would have it...LACK thereof.
Mentally I could not handle the hell I was put though so my body took the memory on in physical form and holds it there.
I will need much therapy to learn how to cope with this and decide on proper treatment.

I HATE this!

I have a life time of recovery ahead of me and I struggle with everything from physical pain to emotional and mental anguish from my past abuse.
I feel as though the only thing my abusers are suffering is old age...something we are all damned too.
How unfair.

Paul was right, "to die is gain"... and some day's I struggle wishing I had died long ago. It would have been a mercy.
However, I must not leave this verse or partial verse out of context.
Because Paul also said "To live is Christ,"

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." 
                                                                                     Philippians 1:21

Paul spoke this while in chains... imprisoned in his own kind of hell.
He was not speaking from behind the comfort of a solid pulpit with "safe" religious people.
He was speaking covered in filth, and chained. He starts by speaking about how all this horror he was suffering and had suffered served only to advance The kingdom.
The verse prior to the above says:
"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death."
                                                                                        Philippians 1:20

To live is Christ... what is Christ?
Christ is a living sacrifice, a death to sin, both sin committed by and against the body.
The physical death was the body or somatic reaction to sin.
The wages of sin is DEATH.
Yet, in this death... Christ is glorified. 


  1. PJ, I love you for being so brave and vulnerable. So wise to listen to the guidance system of your body. I know what it is like to struggle with haunting memories. I think my body stored the energy as fat cells though. lol :( You are a spark of God. I love you

  2. Thank You so much for your encouragement. It is a daily struggle but, as I brave my writing and bare my soul I find healing. I hope that my journey will indeed help others even if only by inspiring a little empathy for those who are not survivors of abuse but, perhaps know someone who is.
    You are a beautiful soul to me! I am so glad you are in my life.