When people release trauma from their bodies, there is a certain rhythm that can occur between feeling the discomfort of the memory, or contraction, and the release of that memory, or expansion.
Dr. Peter Levine calls this pendulation and suggests that any traumatic experience that someone faces will often result in contraction.
One of the things I used to do was hold my breath. Of course, yoga started my healing journey, but hindsight tells me that I had spent the majority of my life in a contracted state, as I was always ready for the next onslaught of trauma to hit me. My body carried the memory of my early childhood experiences and it stands to reason that I felt very much like I wore a suit of armor and wanted to be as disconnected from my body as possible—but that is a story for another time.
I have heard so much about trauma bonds over the years, and I usually always see how they can be demonized, but for me, it was one of my greatest teachers and one of the best ways to truly free myself from the confines of my buried memories.
I believe that trauma bonds can assist us through the process of pendulation.
Now, before you start getting all worked up here, let me preface this by saying in no way am I suggesting to run out and find yourself a trauma bond or stay in any dynamic that’s unhealthy—though I am saying that if you have not been able to break free yet, there might be more to learn.
My trauma bond was the center stage for my awakening and healing process. For the sake of this article, I am going to steal a page out of Feminine Energy Coach Adrienne Everhart’s book and simply refer to him as The Artist.
I felt unexplainably drawn to The Artist. I know we share a soul bond for sure, and I experienced a kundalini awakening, which ultimately led me down my path of healing. He was self-centered, unreliable, a commitment-phobe, and completely untrustworthy, and I adored the hell out of him. Maybe this sounds familiar to you, too? He was unlike any other man I had been attracted to in the past, and I can honestly say probably one of the first men I truly ever wanted to love in his entirety.
Trust me, this article only speaks to the levels in which I needed to heal. Yes, he reminded me of my childhood. The problem was that because I had buried all those yucky childhood memories into the back recesses of my mind, never to be seen again by my consciousness, my body still remembered. My nervous system remembered what it felt like to be ignored, emotionally neglected, abandoned, and rejected.
It seemed that no matter how tightly I had sealed up those boxes and shoved them into the darkest closet of my subconscious, The Artist was there with the metaphorical flashlight uncovering all my skeletons.
He didn’t know he was doing this, and I certainly didn’t know what was happening.
I felt like a crazy person. I felt drunk in love with this man, and every time I would feel triggered, I would retreat—go through whatever box was hiding in the darkness and taking up residence in my cellular memory, burn or release what no longer belonged to me, and then I would go back for more.
Believe me when I tell you that these cycles were no picnic, but I found that over time, the more I would expand and contract or pendulate, the more my body would open up, and the less I would feel drawn to this connection.
Over time, I started to see that my nervous system no longer felt as activated as it once did when he would tell me goodbye. Suddenly, I had more confidence in myself than I ever had before. I trusted my body more, I loved my body more, I respected my body more, and I got rid of piles and piles of old memories from both the subconscious and muscle memory.
I learned how to value myself and how to love myself in ways I had never known how to do before.
I strengthened my connection to God/source/spirit, and I learned that all the ways in which he was showing up that I didn’t like merely existed within me somewhere. The trauma bond with The Artist allowed me the time and space I needed for pendulation and brought deep healing to me in ways that traditional therapy could not touch. Not that I feel anything is wrong with traditional therapy, but just that I needed to experience something more intense in order to make my suit of armor crumble.
I feel that trauma bonds can serve us if we open up to what they are there to teach us about ourselves.
There is no use in suggesting they are some lower frequency connection, but rather, still a messenger of God dressed and designed in the most appropriate way in order to help us on our path. I feel that God wants all of us to be free of our garbage. We can point the finger and blame the other person all we want, or we can choose to see all the ways the connection with said person was designed to help us heal.
The choice is always ours, but because of that experience, I got to go through the process of contraction and expansion and unwind my nervous system in the process. I got to learn how to breathe properly and take up space. That connection brought me the highest level of expansion in mind, body, and soul, and for that, I am forever grateful.