Sweaty palms, uncontrollable shaking, heart racing, self fragmenting. Restriction squeezing breath from lungs.
Leaving body, floating somewhere beyond the physical.
Not seeing through eyes, but rather, through panicked, crackling frequencies of flick-flick-flick-flickering light.
“Get control of yourself!” Brain screams from some place distant. “You’re losing control! Get control!”
“I can’t get control—make it stop! I don’t want others to see me like this! I have to be strong!”
Words tumble out of mouth in jumbling, quickening, non-rhythmical shuffle or stutter.
“I sound frustrated, but I am not!” I say from somewhere above my head. “I am not frustrated, I am scared. I am triggering. Oh dang—please, make it stop! I’m so weak, so weak!”
Light-headed stars are floating in front of physical eyes. Fear is dragging down, down, down away from light; away from consciousness. Consciousness is too much to—
“Daughter?” It is a loving voice. I know this voice well. It stops unconsciousness in its tracks.
Scrambling circuitry. Flooding mind distracts—disrupts the signal. Cannot stop the water. Cannot stop the waves now…
“Papa? Was that you? I cannot see, I cannot feel—“
“Daughter, I am here. Right here. Please, can you close your eyes.”
“I need to—“ I start.
“Please, little one. Close your eyes. Shhh… hush now…”
Eyes close. Mind races. Self is on the ceiling. Body is on the floor.
“Daughter, I am right here… just listen to my Voice. Can you hear my voice?”
“I am right here with you.”
“Can I take your hand?” He says.
“Can you feel my hand beneath yours?”
“Yes,” I say. My body can feel the warmth of His hand resting under the cold clammy ‘deadness’ of my own.
“Can you lean on me?” He says.
“Yes,” I say. And so I lean.
“Listen to my heart,” He says. “Can you hear it?”
The rhythm of His heart is like a soft drum being played somewhere off in the distance. I feel sunlight in the beat. I intuit words in the beat like ‘safe-ty’, ‘peace-ful’, ‘lov-ing’, ‘kind-ness’, and ‘stea-dy’. His heart is not rushed or driven, but intentional, protective, and thoughtful.
My lungs begin to relax and I inhale. Slowly. Enjoying my first full breath in maybe thirty minutes or so, my heart rate begins to calm and bit by bit my mind defrags as I understand at a gritty gut-level that I am safe.
His arms gather ‘me’ from the ceiling, and my body from the floor, and he gently reintegrates me according to the blueprint of my life—His original design.
These moments used to happen semi-frequently and were caused by sudden trauma triggers. One moment I’d be fine, and the next, I’d be numbed out and trying not to disassociate. This would happen with particular people, some sights and sounds, some situations—basically classic CPTSD and anxiety responses to possible glial scarring.
I never disassociated into other personalities—I simply just left my body to numb out for a while.
Perhaps you might relate to this too? Panic attacks and disassociation are fairly common.
A few months ago, I realised that I had been healing A LOT over these past years, but especially and majorly this year and last. Things have changed. I still occasionally deal with panic attacks, but I no longer disassociate or numb out. I no longer get scrambled thinking. Yes, I’m still dealing with an occasional overwhelm, but it’s super peaceful here in my body compared to what it used to be.
In the middle of my recent recognition of change, Papa gave me the language for what I had been dealing with for most of my life. He then said, “Daughter, look at how much you’ve overcome! Thank you for letting Me meet you in those moments—right there in the middle of heart soreness and triggers. You are strong, my Catherine. So strong. And you are brave. So brave.
Please remember that it doesn’t ever matter what others think of you—ever. They will never know where you’ve walked and what you’ve overcome and it is not up to them to tell you that you need to be better or do better. Fact is, You have never given up on the things that matter most in your world, and you have never given up on you. And even if you had’ve given up, that still would not have changed my love for you. Ever.”
(I am not a therapist but I a human being who is choosing to share her journey.)