trauma settles in our cells

Did you know that emotional trauma gets lodged in the cells of our bodies?

This is a powerful story of how emotional trauma can stay lodged in our bodies for decades, and resurface when we feel safe enough to process it.

Kimberley has been doing brave work to release her trauma, using somatic therapy modalities, like EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, and Brain Spotting. Through this work, she is able to have new insights to the messages that her body is sending her, and can work in cooperation with her body to release the trauma.

by Kimberley J.

I remember sitting on a hospital gurney, my leg itching under the new plaster cast that covered it from hip to ankle. I wanted to go home—but the hospital wouldn’t let us leave until they knew how we’d pay.

“Wait, don’t hang up!” my mother shouted into the pay phone. Then she sighed and dug around in her purse, looking for another dime so she could try again.

She and my father had been divorced for just a few months. She needed the insurance information from him—but he wasn’t speaking to her. He wasn’t giving her time to say we were in an emergency room and that I’d sprained my knee. His anger toward her outweighed his concern that this call might be about something important.

“Don’t hang up!” Mom said again, and this time—on her seventh or eighth try—she was lucky. My grandmother answered the phone and got the whole story, and then came back with the insurance card.

Dad didn’t offer to drive us home, and I couldn’t climb the bus stairs in my cast. We didn’t have money for a taxi. Mom and I ended up walking home. It took an hour.

Neuroscience research shows that the only way we can change the way we feel is by becoming aware of our inner experience and learning to befriend what is going inside ourselves. ~ Bessel van der Kolk

Fast-forward fifty years. I have agreed to drive my ex-husband to an important meeting at the Department of Motor Vehicles. I don’t mind. We have two children together, and we’ve remained friends. But the day before the appointment, my knee started to hurt.

That night, it got worse. I woke up unable to stand on that leg. Advil didn’t help at all, and I couldn’t take anything stronger because I’d be driving. I had to use a cane to walk to the car.

The meeting was successful, and a couple of hours later, on my way back home, and I realized the pain in my knee was gone. In fact, that knee had bothered me a little bit all my life, and now it didn’t ache at all. It was like a miracle.

And then I suddenly understood that my parents’ anger toward each other, which had hurt me so much when I was a child, had never really left me. My body had stored that pain in my knee. By being kind to my ex-husband and helping him with this ride, I healed it.  And it has never hurt again.

Do you have a story to share about learning to connect powerfully to your body?

I’d love to feature your story on our blog. Leave a comment below and I’ll connect with you. Let’s tell the stories of our brilliant healing bodies!!

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