Last week I wrote a blog about automatic writing and how you can use it to write a few letters to yourself. I hope that you gave it a try and found it transformative. I know I did. In fact, automatic writing changed my life in ways that I didn’t think was possible.
We all know the feeling when our brain goes at a million miles an hour. There are so many thoughts that we wonder how they are all kept in this tiny brain of ours. Writing thoughts can help us organise thoughts but it can also allow us to “see” them outside of our head and may help make sense of what we are thinking and feeling.
I have always been a fan of journaling. I feel that by writing, I can untangle some of the knotted mess that normally resides inside my brain. Automatic writing is slightly different, in that you write with your non-dominant hand.
What this does is gives your conscious brain “something to do” and you can have full access to your unconscious and subconscious brain. This means that the feelings that are buried deep inside our brain like pain, hurt, anger and sadness can find a way to release themselves.
This may sound scary but don’t worry,
YOUR BODY AND MIND WILL NOT ALLOW FEELINGS THAT YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO COPE WITH.
How do I know this?
I know this because I am alive and even though the experience was hard, I was able to sit through it. I was able to breathe and feel my feelings and was able to let them go.
Know that YOU CAN STOP ANYTIME!
The other major benefit of doing this that your brain can start to re-integrate the trauma and make it a coherent experience. This is huge because the Lego pieces are no longer strewn around the house; you can actually see a house that looks like a house and is treated like any other experiences of your life (In one of my previous blogs, I have used the analogy of Lego pieces to explain how trauma is handled by our brain. Read it here)
It is extremely critical though that you keep your Resources List handy before you attempt this. Just in case, you need to call upon a friend or do something else. I wrote a blog about creating a resources list a few weeks ago; you can read it here
By the way, I forgot to mention that when you do write letters with your non-dominant hand, it will look as if an insect has dipped its legs in the ink and then danced on the paper. Don’t worry, that’s exactly how its meant to be.
Here are the instruction for you to setup your environment and prepare yourself:
Now, I am going to describe the letters that I wrote to my abusers and the experiences that I went through during the writing process.
Letter to the Abuser
This took a few attempts. First few times, it didn’t work because my body and mind weren’t ready to go through the experience. I think it was my third attempt that finally worked. I was able to fully access my subconscious. Soon after I started writing, the words took over. The feelings became me and I disappeared. I wrote about how angry I was with him/them; I wrote about how angry I was with myself; I wrote about how painful it was to live with the experience and to accept that it happened to me. I wrote about all the things he/they did to me; I wrote about how sad I was; how much shame I carried within me and how much pain my body felt over the years.
I was half-lying in my bed when I wrote this. I remember that my pelvic muscles and my glutes felt frozen. My head felt heavy and at some point in time, my body was no longer able to move. I remember looking at my hands and my bent fingers and not being able to open them up. It felt strange and surreal and painful all at the same time. But I knew that I had to go through this. so I stayed in this frozen and contracted position, lying contorted in my bed and not being able to move.
Strangely, this wasn’t scary because I knew that my body was just processing and re-processing the trauma. It was finally integrating itself. The experience was like preparing for a triathlon – hard training! When you know that you are running out of breath that you can still do it.
So I did it and I sat with my feelings and slowly my body started to move; the contortion of my body seemed to relax, and my throbbing headache started to ease. I took a few deep breaths. Everything felt new. I didn’t know what had happened but I knew that I had let go of a major part of trauma that was holding me back.
Stay tuned for my future blogs where I will share with you the process of re-finding myself once I had let go of this major identity.
I wrote many letters. I wrote letters to my parents. I wrote letters to my ex-husband. I wrote letters to all men of the world. I wrote letters to other members of the family. And by writing all of these letters I was able to process the feelings that were buried inside of me and I was able to free myself of the deep hold of these feelings.
I invite you to try this. I invite you to try this in a responsible and self-caring manner. Know where you are at and seek help if you need to. You can discuss this technique with your therapist before trying so you know what will work for you and what won’t work for you.
My love goes out to you. It’s not an easy path but I know that you are strong otherwise, it wouldn’t have happened to you. In invite you to embrace this strength and use it to free yourself
Blessings and Prayers
A word of caution: I am not a therapist. I am sharing my experiences and things that have worked for me in my healing journey so that you can gain insights into these techniques. Please try this sensibly and responsibly and stop if you feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed with feelings. Contact your local medical centre in case of any emergencies.
** Image courtesy: ww.myinspirationaljournals.com