My Psychedelic Journey
…. in early September 2019…..
I was sitting on the couch reading, when Annette came home from her appointment with her therapist.
She announced that she had something important to share, so I listened.
She said that during her session she had connect with memories and images of being raped by her father.
I sat with this for a little while and then I said I need to go outside for some air. She felt hurt, but I said I needed to do this and that I would be back, to stay where she is.
I was outside for a short period, @ 2 minutes and came back in and sat with her, being present with her sharing and what was happening for her.
It was several months after that sharing, when I began to connect with what was happening for me and why I needed to step outside.
I began to realise that this or similar, was what my mother went through as a child with her father.
Annette’s sharing was confusing for me, but also clearing, in that past happenings and memories began to come together, to make some semblance of sense.
My first big awareness was not at that time, but several months earlier at my mothers funeral, I was standing on my own at the foot of her grave, looking down at her coffin. My father was buried 6 weeks earlier, underneath.
I had just endured one of my most uncomfortable experiences, listening to the eulogy given at her funeral, by my ex wife, obviously the woman that she knew was totally different to my experience.
My emotions were intense, but not of sadness, but a real gut full bodied hatred and all I could think of saying was “Fuck you bitch…”
Obviously, I kept this to myself, but often wonder what would have happened if all those present could understand what I was feeling…. I know I didn’t understand at that time.
Annette’s sharing and her journey of discovery since that time, has helped me with a context to begin to understand what I grew up with, and that my body held nightmares had a beginning.
For the next year, Annette focused on her journey with the aid of psychedelic therapy and made real progress in healing.
During this time, we stepped back from our business and I focused on attaining regular work driving earth moving machinery.
We have spent a small fortune on therapy….
My working gave us a medium of financial security and space to focus on healing.
My journey stagnated during this time, possibly not knowing what was next for me, as Annette’s work was progressing well, but I was struggling. Something was triggered in me, but I had no memories or context, just some vague recollections initially in my beginning to understand my stuff.
My next stage began in January 2021, when I attended a psychedelic medicine session with Annette. She had already had several and spoke very highly of her process.
These are sessions where I use a psychedelic substance to penetrate my walls and access emotionally what I have been holding in, and in this case, was a micro dose of MDMA.
I have never experienced anything remotely like this experience before. The psychedelic medicine penetrated my solid wall I had built around my child hood trauma, and allowed me to begin to release my trauma in a safe way. This was challenging in the beginning, as I wouldn’t trust the process, myself or anything else at that time. The psychedelic medicine did penetrate my blocks, but I still had to do the hard yards and walk through that opening.
I made going to these sessions into a ritual, where I could begin to trust, to feel safe and begin to release my deeply held trauma. Sometimes, I would take a “prop”, something from my past that triggered a strong memory.
In this process, my trauma was released or “bled off” by lying down and simply tremoring. Psychedelic Medicine session lasts for about 6 hours, and obviously the medicine is important, but by far the most important aspect was my intention that I had set for myself for my session.
After 3 sessions, I began to trust this process and more importantly, began to accept what had happened to me. I had developed an understanding and trust of this process. The trauma being released usually didn’t have a memory and I trusted it was not important to know, but just to release. Sometimes, memories would come several days later and was always confronting. The psychedelic process was very safe in opening up to my body held memory, without re traumatising. My trauma happened as a small child, only months old so I have no cognitive memory. All my traumatic experiences remain as body held memories, which psychedelics help release without re traumatising.
My 5th session was both MDMA and psilocybin (magic mushrooms) which, I soon discovered, complimented MDMA very well. During this session, I connected with how my nightmares began.
For about 55 years, I had the same recurring nightmare, or versions of it. I would be drowning, looking up through a treacle like substance and seeing bubbles going up to the surface.
During this session, I connected with the image of my mother holding me by the throat under the water.
The bubbles were my bubbles as she tried to drown me.
This was the energy I felt standing at the foot of my mother’s grave.
Since I have begun this part of my journey, I have connected with so many horrible things happened in the first months of my life. I could have quite easily dropped into overwhelm as I slowly removed this heavy lid. I soon discovered that if I went to far too quickly, I dropped into a place of pure terror that challenged every aspect of my understanding and my ability to hold myself. I was able to experience in small doses, what was my infant self’s early normal. As an adult, I have struggled to come to terms with the terror that my infant self lived through, that every waking moment was lived in pure terror for my life.
The psychedelic medicine certainly helped my process, but I still had to do the heavy lifting cold turkey, as I found psychedelics opened the door, but I my desire to go there and release was crucial and is what makes the difference.
My whole adult life has been spent in denial, denial of my trauma, the terror and anxiety that has been my normal.
My ability in the past, being able to totally deny this was how I survived, but it was simply buried, covered over and controlled every single aspect of my life from then on.
On the surface, my life appeared normal, but underneath was pure hell, and I was holding it in.
My mother tried 7 times to drown me, to stop me from crying. The last big event happened when I was @ 4 months old when she tried to shut me up by suffocating me with a pillow. My body held memory of that happening has been released with a mixture of MDMA and Psilocybin, which I have grown to trust. It would be easy to say that I have endured a drug activated dream, and maybe that is how this works, but my sense of release and profound relief afterwards is what counts. I am in full remission from the physical aspects of that terrifying time. Also, my depression was able to be released once I had dealt with my body held trauma. My experience with Psilocybin is that it is very different to MDMA, as psilocybin was more of a dream initiator/questioner, which worked for me in releasing and moving my depressed self. Again, I have moved and released that depressing heaviness that was my normal.
I had first experienced this suffocation in Dec 2005 at a workshop where the exercise was to be wrapped up in a sheet, like a mummy. As soon as the facilitator announced this, I flipped out, panicked and said I can’t do this…
The group split up into groups of 4 and the facilitator came over and sat with me as I panicked. I had a go at this, I had a safe word and was all set to run like hell out the door….
All I was wearing was my jocks and within seconds, the sheet was sopping wet with my cold sweat.
The facilitator was brilliant, she sat with me and coached me through this. I screamed, probably released a long-held scream that my infant self couldn’t release…
After what seemed like a lifetime, (@10 seconds, apparently…) I came back down and could sit and be more present. I asked for a pillow to be placed over my face. At this point, the facilitator had an idea what had happened and suggested a bean bag instead. I agreed and she placed it over me and gradually applied more pressure. I screamed and screamed and eventually found elation from this release. After what seemed like a bloody long time, I relaxed down and was comfortable in my sheet. Afterwards, I thought I had been there for a long time, that I had used more than my share of time. Apparently, from start to finish, my whole piece was only minutes, when I felt like I had been there for hours…
It was 15 years later that I began to fill out some of the gaps between my body held memory and some sort of cognitive picture.
During my psychedelic journey, learning to trust my process slowly gathered momentum where I felt safe enough to open into my body held memory and release the massive amount of trauma and terror that I held in and carried my whole life, the mind numbing terror of being totally vulnerable and invisible at the hands of my mother. My father blamed me for what I had done to her. 62 years later, I was left totally out of their wills, not that I was surprised, but see that as a final validation of what I believed. It felt good to walk away with no confusion to muddy the waters from my early life.
Each medicine session would start the moment I booked, sometimes weeks before. I had nowhere to hide and finally had found something that could and did penetrate the walls I had constructed to survive my mother. This was also terrifying.
I soon began to realise that I have experienced many trauma events during the first few months of my life , and that sometimes would take days to tremor out.
During some sessions, I tremored for the whole 6 hours, continued tremoring when I arrived home and often for several hours the next day. I would be sitting watching a movie, and my feet or legs would just tremor.
I had learned what trauma release feels like and learned to trust this and work with it.
The only thing my mother has said about herself, was after my birth, she had “severe and undiagnosed Post Natal Depression…”
When I was growing up, I knew something, but wasn’t quite sure of what to say or ask.
I remember my 12 to 14 years, just after my youngest brother was born, asking mum why he was treated differently to me. Boy, did that provoke her wrath…
When I did try to ask or enquire, I was always met with. “don’t be stupid’ , or ” there is something wrong with you..”
This denial, I feel is what did the most damage. Healing my trauma was relatively easy, once I had opened the door.
I am in 100% remission from a childhood were my mother tried to kill me on numerous occasions. I didn’t even realise that I had lived with complex PTSD and depression my whole life. I never knew any difference.
I felt my thoughts, fears and anxiety was normal and that everyone had this.
Another challenging aspect of carrying so much trauma and living in constant terror, was my constant anxiety of living with an un exploded bomb, that my normal crying was a potential death sentence. Living with anxiety has been my normal and again the psychedelic medicine (CBD oil) has had a major impact in my releasing.
From my traumatic beginning, I had developed an unconscious and covert deep hatred for woman. I hated this part of me, but the only way I knew how was to shut down.
During one session, I connected with my own misogyny, and I hated that this was in me.
I believe this came from my grandfather, my mother’s father, who I believe abused her.
My misogyny was buried deep, it was something in me that I felt is abhorrent.
During the session, I vomited this out, it was so deep and entrenched, that the therapist asked me if there was blood in there.
I said probably, it was so tightly held.
I believe that after I was born, my mothers repressed rage came out and was projected onto me. I was everything she hated about her father and men in general. My normal crying triggered her rage and she acted out on me.
I choose to believe with my current understanding before and after being part of Annette’s healing journey, that this is what my mother endured, totally alone. After mum’s funeral, I asked her brother what was their father like, and he said he was “ very tough, but fair, that they had a good child hood..”
The only thing my mother ever said about her father was “he was a drunk and no hoper…” and it wasn’t so much the words, but the venom in her voice when she said it.
After her funeral, especially hearing the “glowing “ eulogy (given by my ex wife) I fled the town with a clear feeling of relief watching the town’s welcome sign gradually disappear in the rear view mirror.
This disparity between my body held trauma and what I was told was my crazy.
It made no difference what I did, or how hard I tried, I could not bridge that gap.
I had something in me that wouldn’t let go or show itself.
When I tried to stand up, I would inevitably collapse, I felt like I was standing on my coat tails while forcing myself to stand up.
Intimacy was terrifying and I developed a persona that was outside of myself where I could function but not live in terror. It was such a fine line with my inevitable self sabotage winning the day each time.
After my 3 children were born, a whole new level of confusion and terror emerged, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, just that it was terrifying and I was scared out of my mind that I would inflict this on my own children.
I distanced myself emotionally and became a shell. Eventually, this became so intense that I felt I had to leave the region, which I did in January 2011.
Now I have grandchildren, but each time, I am now able to see and understand my triggers, emotions and reactions.
Being there when my grandson was having a bath and not shaking with terror is a major achievement for me.
My trauma is gone, I still have some “pockets” left with an ongoing battle with anxiety, which so far I am winning.
I still have a lot of work to do, particularly with anxiety from my crazy making, but also with Annette.
We are both healing deep woundings that happened in our childhood homes.
(her father was a paedophile and my mother tried to kill me)
I have found CBD (cannabis) oil compliments my MDMA therapy. I suspect cannabis oil is a great supporter for MDMA, as I am making significant inroads into my anxiety with CBD.
I haven’t needed a session with MDMA since, and is unlikely I will again. I believe I have achieved 100% remission from the horrors of my trauma and terror.