All Things Trauma™
“But a sort of rupture-in-anguish-leaves us at the limit of tears: in such a case we lose ourselves; we forget ourselves and communicate with an elusive beyond.” – George Bataille
Rupture: To break, crack, tear, fissure, rip, or split. These are some meanings of rupture. When we experience rupture, it is as if we are being torn apart at the seams. Ripped from our comfort zones. Split in half. Cracked. We begin to recognize the fissures in our broken lives. When a person who has historical trauma, including developmental trauma, realizes that nothing is working anymore, that she has lost her way, that everything she thought was in-tact is now in tatters, she begins to enter a portal of vulnerability through the embodied, lived experience of rupture. Another way of conceptualizing this rupture is to think of it as a crisis.
Crisis in the Chinese has two meanings: danger and the “incipient point” (when moment; crucial meaning something begins or changes). When we experience a rupture, we are faced with a crisis. We are faced with making a choice about how to respond to the perceived danger and how to embrace change. We either stand still, remain stuck, and eventually atrophy from the inside out. Or, we step into the unknown with uncomfortable uncertainty, risking all, exposing ourselves to ourselves and others, perhaps for the first time in our lives. Up until now, we have been able to fool everyone, performing as if nothing is wrong. Absolutely nothing. In fact, we may be overachievers on the outside. Perfectionists. On the inside, however, we are a mess!
All is in chaos. We don’t know who we are. We don’t know how to move forward. Our minds are foggy, our emotions run high and reactive; we are hyper-vigilant, distrusting, anxiety-ridden. We may become chronically ill with “mysterious” illnesses, isolated, alone and lonely. We may drink too much. Self-medicate with other substances. We can’t sleep. We feel hopeless. We have flashbacks, nightmares, and relational and interpersonal challenges. We view ourselves negatively, critically, punitively. We hide from everyone, including ourselves. Yet, to move forward means walking through that portal of vulnerability, as our bell jars crack, leaving us to face our own inescapable emptiness.
To face our own emptiness is terrifying. To realize that we have a hole inside of us that aches for filling and yet no matter what we fill this hole with — money, busy-ness, people, material things — cars, homes, vacation homes, money, jobs, pornography, power, prestige, or position, nothing quite remedies this inner ache deep inside of us. This is because the hole inside is a spiritual one and necessarily needs to be filled with spiritual sources – connecting to ourselves at the deepest levels, where our truest, most authentic selves live. It’s also about connection with others and connection with something altogether beyond us.
Call it what you may: God, Source, Spirit, The Holy One, The Companion, The Friend, Higher Intelligence, Energy, Higher Power, Christ, Quantum Physics, Buddha, Beloved, Nothingness, or Mystery. The nomenclature matters little. What truly matters is that we recognize we are not the center of the universe. That there is something else. There is something else that we can tap into especially by coming to know ourselves intimately and discovering who we are most authentically. We will fill our empty hole once we plumb the depths of our interior landscape, traversing the subtle yet complex geography of our hearts.