DAILY VISUAL QUOTE
Unacknowledged childhood trauma
always takes a front seat
in adult relationships.
We did not come into the
My body is bad
I’m too needy
I’m not enough
I shouldn’t need to ask for help
I should be happy
I have to please others
I’m best off on my own
I need to be perfect
I must work hard
I have to be strong
… these are learnt.
If you have any of these beliefs,
know that you learnt them
somewhere along the way
but they aren't truths.
You can unlearn them.
In the ocean,
I slip from my skin
into the soul of the sea.
Spirituality means waking up.
Most people, even though they don’t
know it, are asleep. They’re born
asleep, they live asleep, they marry in
their sleep, they breed children in
their sleep, they die in their sleep
without ever waking up.
They never understand the loveliness
and the beauty of this thing that we
call human existence.
(Anthony de Mello)
Create. Grieve. Change. Heal.
Whatever it is, move into it.
It won’t look like you
expect it to.
It will be harder,
longer, and messier than
But the process will be
life-altering and the result
will be unimaginably beautiful.
IF YOU WERE INVISIBLE
If it was never safe to
express your true feelings
as a child, becoming an adult
and coming out of hiding
can feel terrifying.
The journey from being invisible
to visible is slow and gentle.
It’s okay if it comes out too loud
or shaky at first.
Becoming a little more visible and
noticing that you HAVE wings,
but just don’t quite know to use them.
It can feel terrifying to begin to be seen,
voice your opinion, disagree with your friend,
partner, supervisor etc.
And the road is kind of bumpy.
When I first started using my voice
it felt big and very activating.
My protective parts were screaming
“No! Don’t do it! Not safe! Stop! Danger!”
Another part knew I needed to speak.
It didn’t always come out exactly
as I wanted at first.
Too aggressive sounding, wrong words, too soft.
It was brand new. When you learn to ride a bike,
you fall off it at first.
So I began to speak up again and again and
showed my parts that I could do it and survive.
Take courage. Things can change as you slowly,
gently step towards healing.
There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
To give oneself over to the abandoned child and then to remain in the body instead of fleeing upward into the controlling guardians releases the trauma; this direct contact at the level of sensory perception, this fully conscious allowing of the physical micro-movements of trembling and shaking to come through, gathers up the abandoned child in the deepest physical dimension.
No intellectual work, no inner dialogue with the parts, no process of discovery, regardless of how enlightening it may be – and regardless of its importance in expanding and completing the integration – can replace this primeval physical-vegetative abreaction movement.
I maintain, therefore, that it makes sense to deliberately open the wound instead of living a life in which we continually avoid the wound.
The deliberate opening of the wound, however, only makes sense if we are fully orientated toward what is going on in our body at the sensory level.
If we temporarily lose this contact with the sensory level, if the drama-energy pops up and panic overcomes us, then we are able to return to the sensory level immediately through our felt sense, our sense of exactly how one feels in the body.
Staying in contact with sensory perception when things get tight, staying in the body when it seems intolerable and hopeless, when everything in us is crying to get away – this is what I call going through the eye of the needle.
We don’t have to pass through it; it is enough just to stay in it. Just? It is also the hardest thing of all. Because while we do that, to speak esoterically, our ego dies.
It is what is known as the death of the ego.
The Sufis call it the dark night of the soul that one has to pass through.
Meister Eckhart expressed it thus: “Truly it is in darkness that one finds the light. If you feel your ego at work, then let it go.”
These statements are highly dangerous if we only comprehend them intellectually and then claim that we would acknowledge them.
At the same time, we retreat upward instead of entering the needle’s eye. And yet these statements are true, but only for those who do the work in their body.
For everyone else, it is spiritual bypassing: a skillful evasion when confronted by the constrictions of the needle’s eye.
"Opening the Wound: My Life with Trauma and My Therapy of Radical Allowing"
German No. 1 Bestseller, by therapist Mike Hellwig.
Very special, authentic, and truthful! ❤️
And I say to you this morning, that if you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren't fit to live.
You may be 38 years old as I happen to be, and one day some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause - and you refuse to do it because you are afraid; you refuse to do it because you want to live longer; you're afraid that you will lose your job, or you're afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity or you're afraid that somebody will stab you or shoot at you or bomb your house, and so you refuse to take the stand.
Well you may go on and live until you are 90, but you're just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90!
And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.
You died when you refused to stand up for right, you died when you refused to stand up for truth, you died when you refused to stand up for justice.
(Martin Luther King Jr.)
Whatever lifts the corners of your mouth,
You were young and everything
was made out of sun, and everyone
was a rose in your garden.
And you got older and roses became bombs,
and sunshine became fire,
and everyone handed you a paint brush
and told you the world is what you make it.
But, you didn’t know how to paint it.
And now you are sad.
You have painted bombs into roses
and got yourself burned,
so you painted yourself a sword
and cut down all the good flowers.
And yes, yes it’s hard.
Nobody told you how much it hurts
to break another’s heart.
Nobody explained what having
a purpose looks like,
so how are you supposed to make it?
So you just keep painting what you think
they all want. And it’s scary scary scary,
when you can’t find things made of sun.
And I know what it is to make
a monster out of everyone.
I know what it is to paint shadows.
But there’s a garden out there for you, baby.
There’s a rose that’s made of sun.
There’s a whole new paintbrush,
and a whole new canvas.
You do not have to run.
You may have died a thousand times.
But you have only just begun.
(Erin Van Vuren)
I think I fall in love a little bit
with anyone who shows me their soul.
This world is so guarded and fearful.
I appreciate rawness so much.
This is a text about my husband Alex's trauma:
At the age of ten, he was ritually abused.
It is a text about his healing journey, and there will be no details about the ritual abuse, but please only read it when you feel strong enough to confront yourself with this theme.
I am sick of being quiet.
I have been silent long enough.
In this society, there seems to be no space for truth like this, although it happens probably every day in so many different places on this beautiful planet:
Yes, it exists. And it's for sure the most horrible thing that one human being can do to another.
I know this because my husband Alex was ritually abused when he was ten years old, and the last 8 years of our 21 years together have been dedicated to remembering and realizing this, freezing the dissociated feelings that were stored in his body and healing from this heart-wrenching, disgusting, and unbelievably terrible experience.
It has been such a lonely and isolating process.
Nobody wants to be confronted with something like this, let alone hear details about it.
Even for therapists, it's hard to endure because if you haven't really healed and integrated most of your own stuff, you will definitely be overwhelmed by it and try to find reasons to run away.
We humans don't want to realize that evil exists.
Unfortunately, this is especially the case in the spiritual community with its typical "love and light only" mantra.
But evil is not "Satan" or any other kind of dark projection; it's something that we humans ourselves create when we, again and again, choose fear instead of love.
I think we all start innocent and as a divine reflection of pure unconditional love, and every incarnation is a new chance to remember and live our true self.
But because of free will, we can choose to forget this.
The more unconscious we become, the more we feel the need to harm others as the "easiest" way of dealing with our own pain and trauma.
In my opinion, the worst and most malicious expression of this is ritual abuse.
Yes, many terrible and cruel things happen on Earth, but if I were to tell you the details of Alex's or any survivor's story, you would surely agree.
I will not share them here because this would be too personal and triggering for Alex and for you.
I just want to share his story in general because it can be helpful and interesting for everyone dealing with any kind of trauma and everyone who was or still is silent about it, for whatever reason.
Only by sharing our stories can we show others some of the paths that we had to carve on our own so that their journeys maybe become a tiny bit lightened.
That's what our website, the daily quote, and everything that we share is all about.
The world has to know more about trauma and how dissociation works.
Trauma is everywhere.
We are all traumatized in some ways.
There is no life without trauma, and the global pandemic has added a lot to this fact.
I think we - the survivors and the relatives - finally have to start telling our stories.
Sharing our stories can help others who just started on this lonely and challenging healing journey from ritual abuse and other forms of (sexual) abuse or trauma.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
And you can heal.
Till Alex's 40th birthday, when a major part of the truth suddenly came up because of a massive trigger, Alex "only" knew that he was sexually abused by his stepfather from the age of ten for several years.
When he first told me this a few weeks after we became a couple about 21 years ago, I was utterly shocked and touched.
However, I sensed by the dissociated and trivialized way he spoke about the sexual abuse that it was just a survival mechanism that didn't even come close to the devastating truth of how it has changed his life.
At that time, I was studying pedagogics and psychology and started reading a lot of books about sexual abuse to deepen my understanding.
The fact that this year-long sexual abuse had an infinitely more horrible prologue, namely, ritual abuse, would never have come to mind back then.
It took about 13 years until the dissociation and the repression of this frozen material started to melt, and Pandora's Box slowly opened.
During these 13 years, Alex already had different therapists and did a lot of inner work, but the main trauma material was still suppressed.
As noted above, it all began on Alex's 40th birthday.
Since we were a couple, he always told me a creepy story of a mysterious "black hand" that he had once seen as a child on a doorknob upstairs on a day when he was home alone with his stepfather.
He told me that this strange black hand opened the door from the inside and then very slowly closed it again - no more, no less.
He always begged me to believe that this black hand was REAL and not a product of his imagination, even if he had no explanation for it.
There was absolutely no emotion when he spoke about it.
I always sensed something spooky and meaningful around this story, but he couldn't give me any more information.
When he turned 40, this scene became the entrance point for the opening of Pandora's Box. He suddenly felt the connection that it was his stepfather's hand, dressed in a disgusting black latex costume as people wear it in sadomasochism. It was his perverted way of creating a creepy and scary scene as the beginning of his cruel deed.
It was in the middle of the night, Alex couldn't stop looking at the doorknob of our bedroom, and when he spoke about it, we both had highly intense shivers from head to toe.
Suddenly he was so flooded by panic and truth that he jumped out of bed, nearly breaking his leg, completely lost in the fight or flight mode of his traumatized body.
The black hand was the only thing that Alex remembered from the horrible night that changed his life forever.
Everything else from the hours before and after was deleted from his brain.
Just this black hand.
Like an isolated image without any emotion.
That's how trauma works.
Now, the first puzzle pieces had been put together in his brain.
This was the moment that he realized that the year-long sexual abuse apparently had a terrible prologue which until this day was 100% dissociated and repressed.
The energies in our room were indescribably intense and mysterious, as if the whole world stopped spinning for a little while.
It felt as if a higher power was watching us, as if all of our spirit guides and guardian angels gathered to support him during this challenging revelation.
I will never forget this moment.
On the energetic level, it was the most impressive moment of my life; the veil between the two worlds was super thin.
Even if our love is very powerful and intense, it took thirteen years till Alex felt safe enough to open Pandora's Box a tiny, tiny bit.
Now, eight more years later, the box is almost entirely open: the whole picture of the puzzle makes sense 100 %, he has revealed clear evidence on several levels, and it's still sometimes hard for him to believe that it is true - that this happened to him.
That is entirely normal after experiencing such a terrible form of dissociation.
It's like a computer: What happened was deleted from the hard disk, your primary personality, because it was simply impossible to process it without receiving any help.
However, a part of your personality and, with it, your body has stored a backup and tells the story by showing different very challenging inexplicable symptoms and, first of all, tons of pain.
For so many years, this was completely hidden from Alex's primary personality.
It smoldered in the background and had an outsized impact on his life from there for sure, but he had no clue that he was a survivor of ritual abuse.
When I met him, he seemed to live in a very ungrounded and transcended world, somewhere above the clouds, far away from the Earth; no wonder that he studied philosophy.
His life was excessive on every level and he just started taking stronger drugs to repress his emotions.
After an overdose of ecstasy, he started to have panic attacks.
That was the time when I came into his life.
Fortunately, he immediately stopped taking any drugs and decided on opening up for love, a healthier life, and slowly, slowly learning to trust again: me and his feelings.
Most people think that trauma survivors look like pitiful broken creatures that have difficulty being successful and having meaningful relationships, but that's not true.
You cannot always see or sense if someone bears a severe trauma.
Three different aspects are important to understand in this regard:
- The dissociation of the trauma allows survivors to function very well in society until the frozen material begins to thaw.
On a certain level, it seems as if nothing ever happened. But it's just repressed, and often they are even workaholics to keep the material suppressed as long as possible.
Mostly, you would never believe that someone like this is a trauma survivor, so always try to look deeper.
- Trauma survivors are often highly resilient, skillful, and smart.
They have managed to survive hell, so they will manage to survive anything.
Do you understand what I mean?
- Like everyone else, a trauma survivor is not only a human being but also an immortal soul with unique life purposes and reasons for this incarnation.
I would have to write a separate text about this theme, but let me say it in one sentence:
Nothing happens without reason, and on the level of the soul, no one is a victim.
Most trauma survivors are very powerful and old souls.
Their healing means transforming darkness into light and dirt into gold; it is true alchemy.
Remembering your soul and its intentions and life lessons is an essential part of the healing journey. It is as important as allowing your true feelings, especially your inner child's feelings, on the human level.
Back to Alex's story:
During the last eight years, one puzzle piece after the other was revealed to Alex through not only body sensations (chronic pain, muscle tightness, and numbness), intense emotional reactions to different triggers, and the assignment of previously incomprehensible scraps of memory, but also through his dreams, in which his subconscious expressed and processed the immense amount of brutality that he suffered as a child.
That is precisely the goal of ritual abusers: to torture a child so brutally and create mind control with splatter scenes that so persuade the victim of fault and shame that the truth will be forever hidden behind a fortress deep inside the heart, watched over by different types of inner guardians.
These guardians have the "good" mission to help you survive (not really live, but survive), and the "bad" mission to make sure that you don't remember, and if you do, you will keep silent forever because you feel so excruciatingly guilty and ashamed.
These are internalized parts of the perpetrator.
To deal with these parts, understand and integrate them into your primary personality is the most difficult aspect of healing from ritual abuse.
If you want to know details about what ritual abuse means, what the disgusting and horrible methods are, what they force children to do with their torture so that they feel guilty themselves and keep silent, then please Google it or read a book about it, because I don't want to share it here for the reasons above mentioned.
Mostly, Ritual Abuse happens in organized groups, but of course, it can also occur outside of this frame with individuals in toxic, unstable families.
The particular problem in Alex's case is that his mother, who found him tortured and nearly killed after she came back home on this evening, didn't help him and didn't leave the perpetrator, let alone call the police.
She didn't call a doctor or go to the hospital with Alex.
It would be too complex and confusing to describe the details of this situation and her reaction, but here are a few hints:
She told Alex that he just had bad dreams and that this was a creature "from another world."
In the months after this event, she stomped with him in the bedroom in the middle of the night so that such creatures couldn't come back to him again.
Yes, this sounds completely crazy, but for Alex, it was normal, and in his dissociated childhood memory, he didn't even ask himself why she behaved like this.
As an adult, he always knew that his mother was a manipulative narcissist who treated him like a possession or a part of herself without his own needs, wants, and boundaries.
He was never allowed to be a child. She treated him like an adult; he had to be her friend, partner, and therapist.
But because of the dissociation of the trauma, Alex didn't remember that she was such a lost and insane person that she didn't help him because she was afraid to lose the image of a perfect mother and the financial security that her new partner gave her after just having been divorced from Alex's dad.
Unbelievable, but true.
Later in his life, he realized because of the things she said to him that she always knew about everything: the abuse AND the ritual abuse.
She even tried to guilt him for these things.
She said things like, "It takes two."
Can you imagine how cruel this feels?
But it's more widespread than you would think - mothers who become accomplices.
Mothers like Alex's mother exist.
Evil mothers. Insane mothers. Narcissistic mothers.
This sounds harsh, but it’s true: The fact that you had sex and then became pregnant and a mother doesn't automatically make you a good person.
That's why we always emphasize how damaging the typical societal glorification of parents and particularly mothers, is.
It makes the healing journey for daugthers and sons of toxic parents so damn harder than it already is.
I think I write this text now because it feels as if Alex is right now at the point of REALLY accepting the truth. It has REALLY arrived and been integrated into his consciousness.
The backup has been pulled on the hard disk again.
The last layer of the truth has been uncovered.
His mother died on January 15 th this year, and it felt as if the last veil of generational trauma, curse, and repression was lifted.
The months since her death have been filled with a lot of emotional shifts and cathartic releases.
In his youth, she always said to him, "You will not be free before I die."
He never understood why she said this, but now he does.
And he feels freer and safer indeed now that she has gone from this Earth.
This text is one further step into freedom and acceptance for him.
It's still a long road to process and integrate all the "data," but this revealing and remembering was the most challenging and crucial part of the healing journey.
We sat countless hours in front of each other during the last years, so that Alex could sense into the frightening body sensations in a safe space.
In this way, he has learned to allow his true feelings behind them, which was the key to his healing.
You cannot heal from something that you don't remember anymore.
That's why all of these widespread spiritual and psychological bypassing messages that we don't have to and shouldn't go back to the darkest places inside of us are not helpful and healing at all.
The only way out is in.
Inner work is dirty work.
It is not easy, not at all, but it is the only way.
And it's worth it.
You are worth it.
Share your story.
Allow your truth and speak about it.
We both are here and try to support you with this safe virtual space by sharing everything we have learned and still have to learn on our healing journey.
Remember who you are.