Today my intention was to go back to my first two months of life, between November 8, 1965 and January 19, 1966 – the day my adopted parents brought me home.
I’ve been reading The Primal Wound. The author’s theory that resonates with me is when we are born, we need our mother. After having bonded for nine months inside her body, she is the one person who can intuitively provide for our needs immediately after we are born.
Babies who don’t receive that bonding from their mother can suffer, as they struggle to make sense of their new surroundings. They wonder, “Where is my mother?”
So, while cognitively I’ve been practicing working on my rejection and perfection issues, I would like to integrate my self-knowledge by trying to access my earliest memories.
I know the memories are there, in my brain and body. I know they are there, acting as triggers for feelings or behavior I don’t understand.
Let me share an example:
In January 2017, I’d been dating this woman for a few months. Things were good – I was attracted to her, we connected spiritually, we both are truth seekers. We had fun.
One morning, I woke up and felt distant. I felt like I didn’t even know her. It was as if a switch had been flipped and I felt like I wanted to pull away from her. I had no idea why I felt this way.
I recalled having this same unexplained distant feeling with other women. “She didn’t magically change overnight,” I thought.
So, what happened to trigger this feeling? I looked for logical explanations.
We had just spent two weeks together, so I thought, “Maybe I just need some alone time.”
Another reason I came up with was, “Maybe I’m not as attracted to her as I thought I was.”
What? Stuff like this doesn’t just happen overnight.
Even though I knew this was a feeling I had experienced before, it was too powerful for me to fake my way through it. I reacted and withdrew from her.
The woman knew it, too. She could feel me being distant and was wondering, “What the heck happened?!”
A couple months later, the relationship was over and I went to see a psychotherapist.
I told her the story above and asked her, “What is that distant feeling? Where did it come from? Is there a label for this? I’d like to know what it is so I can work on it. I have no explanation for it.”
She told me, “Maybe you had a dream you didn’t remember, but the dream’s content triggered your feeling. Or maybe some other unconscious memory was triggered.”
I think she was right: Something I was unaware of triggered that feeling of, “I need to pull away.”
That notion, combined with what I’ve been learning in The Primal Wound are what led me to my hypnotherapist today.
I asked her, “Can you help me try to remember something from the first two months of my life? Or even the first few days after being born?”
I feel the first few days are important for me to consciously remember because my birth mother did not see me during this time.
So, here I am today, relaxed in a chair at my hypnotherapists office.
She begins regressing me one decade at a time. I’m asked to remember May 2007 and I do. During that time I was mourning the loss of another girlfriend, plus my adopted Mom had died. I’d just moved and been laid off from my job. It was a difficult time.
Then we went back to 1997. I’m 31 years old. I remember working for the Baysox and dating a woman.
1987. Now, I’m 21, playing softball. I’ve got my first full-time job. I’m partying and drinking a lot. My daughter’s been born, but I’m ignoring her.
In 1977, I’m a kid – 11 years old. Christine (my hypnotherapist) suggests I feel my body, being smaller, at 11. I do. I’m playing wiffle ball. It’s sunny. I’m in Elementary school. The Orioles are good. I remember what I look like from class pictures taken during that time.
Then she says, “1967. You’re around 18 months old. This is a time where we’re stumbling around. We’re trying things out.”
She said, “You might not even have words for this time in your life, only feelings. But see how little you are. Maybe you weigh 24 pounds and you trip easily as you walk through the grass.”
Then back further and somewhere in here I started to lose her.
That’s because I began feeling something I’ve felt before and never knew what it was.
“You might not even have words for this … only feeling.”
It feels like my torso, arms and face are framed, like those parts of my body are wooden. It’s light at first, but I can feel it.
It feels like there is a slab of wood in my chest and there are posts inside my arms and shoulders. My face and head feel wooden.
I’ve felt this exact feeling many, many times in my life and I’ve never given it much thought other than, “That feels pretty weird and pretty cool.”
I usually like to stay with it because it’s so unique. It does feel ‘cool’ to me.
Christine is still talking, but now her voice is background music. I am staying with this feeling. I know this is an important experience.
“You might not even have words for this … only feeling.”
It’s growing. It’s becoming more intense. I’m wondering if this is the thing I wanted to “get off me” when I drank San Pedro in Peru.
I feel it pushing outward, but I don’t know how to allow it to go further. I begin to feel like I might have an anxiety attack.
I stay with it as long as I can. The feeling is palpable. It keeps getting stronger.
At other times in my life when I felt this, I’d just enjoy it and wonder what it was. Now, I am diving into it. I know it is something.
My mind is drawing connections to other times it’s happened, rapidly asking questions, getting insight: What provoked it other times? I’ve had this feeling at night a lot. Javier, my shaman, said I’ve been carrying armor, it no longer suits me.
All the while, I’m breathing, trying to relax. The wooden frames inside me feel heavier and thicker than ever before. It’s getting to be too much. Something might burst; I don’t know how to be right now. I’m scared.
I open my eyes.
“It’s too much,” I say.
I explain to Christine what happened. She moves closer and asks if she can touch my shoulder. I am comforted.
This morning, while I was in it, I didn’t know if I was going to puke. I didn’t feel emotional, like crying. This was my first time making the connection between this weird feeling and perhaps some wall of “armor” I built up early in life.
A friend told me recently, “Maybe the wound of your birth mother giving you up is even bigger and more profound than you’ve imagined.”
Maybe she’s right.
I go back to see my hypnotherapist in two weeks – 10am, June 9th.