Deeper into the Trauma

The sudden descent. Terrifying. In Bermuda, at the Archetypal Dreamwork retreat, the dreams take me deeper into the horror of my trauma. It is shocking, unexpected. I want to back out. I can’t be strung with these dreams! I will have to reveal. It is too much vulnerability for me. Yet I watch others in their work. Marc and Christa are masterful. The dreams unfold in each person, all the stages of work represented. I see the amazing way in which the string work reveals the mystery of the dream for each dreamer. I witness newcomers, never exposed to archetypal dreamwork before, step into the strings. I see how brave they are. I see my own place here and I know the only way is through.

How can I explain what it is like to see my soul so tortured? How can I explain my hurt boy who carries the wound for my savaged girl?

From the dream:
I see some picker bush stems on [the boy’s] shoulder. I start to pick it off and he says ‘No!” and I think it is because he is scared it will hurt. He gets up and moves away from me. But I have already pulled a couple off. I show him and say “see, I pulled off a couple already.” He is not convinced. He turns away from me and I see he has them all over his back. It is a huge cluster of green thorny stems stuck to him. I tell him that he has a few more. He goes to a mirror and I follow him. He bends forward to see. Then he grabs his tee shirt and slowly rips it over his head. Most of the stems are on the shirt, but now I see that he has them embedded under his skin.

The boy shows me the wound he is carrying. The pathological part of me wants to stop the pain, wants to pull the pickers off, convince him it doesn’t hurt, but, he wants me to see. I follow him because I want to know, the desire is there, and so the very next dream shows me how very terrible this wound is. It is a dream of extreme violence. The girl is tortured and raped and possibly murdered.

How can I carry this wound? How can I carry this pain? But I have and I do, the only difference now is that I know it in a very real way. Haven’t I always known, though? Hasn’t there always been that feeling that something is terribly wrong. This thing has happened. I think something bad will happen because it already has. I have not wanted to know this because it is too scary. I see how this has tainted all my relationships and interactions in this life. This knowledge brings up deep pain. An encompassing pain that I feel in my body as intensely as the desire. How do we carry the terrible pain of how the feminine has been attacked, violated, tortured and murdered? Centuries of ruin perpetrated on the feminine, the girl. The attempted corruption and destruction of the brilliantly shining girl buried and left for dead. Sentinels guard her tomb lest she attempt escape. I see how I have conspired with the demons by believing I either invited it or deserved it or both, allowing the sentinel of shame to build the hard carapace that covers me. I feel a deep anger. I feel robbed; something has been stolen from me. I am terrified because I don’t know where I stand any longer. I feel the decent and I feel the absolute fear, crawling, visceral and sensual in my body. There is nothing to do but feel all this pain and grief and anger and fear and take it all to Him and wait for the next dream.

I believe God does not give us more than we can handle. The dreams will not take me where I am not ready to go. I couldn’t descend to these places without the support: The Animus calling my name. The minute I cry out, instantly He is transported to me. He is in the garden. I want to tell him I know Him and I have always loved Him. I am too shy so I lie across His back in the garden, water flowing freely from the spigot, and tell him He is the tallest man I have ever known. He says “I know” and He lifts the little girl me and swings me around. This is the girl who is underneath, on the other side of the trauma; the relational girl who knows the love. I have seen her. I know her. She longs for me to bring her back.

And so, the dream work moves me.

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