Spring and summer have come and gone and now we are diving into fall. I haven’t written here since March. Not because I haven’t had words to say, thoughts to express, but well, if I dig down and am honest with myself, I just wasn’t in a place of sharing.
There’s been a lot going on. I went on the GAPS diet to try and heal my leaky gut. I’ve been to a acupuncturist to try and heal my uterus so we can have another child. We’ve bounced back and forth between deciding to adopt and giving it one more go to have another biological child and during all this my body was getting sicker and sicker. I was frustrated, trying so hard to heal myself, going to doctors and trying to have them help me. Having a sense that our fertility and my digestive issues were some how linked. And then for three months in a row, right before my period I would get SICK. Curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor, pouring out sweat and projectile vomiting sick.
I didn’t make the connection that this was happening around my period. I thought, each time, I was having a severe food reaction. Because, well it made sense. But I did have this sense that my digestive issues and our lack of a second biological child were linked. And then my husband, the third month this happened says to me “You know, this seems to be happening right around your period each time”. Huh. So I go to my primary care doctor and within a month I was in surgery, having massive amounts of endometriosis removed, on the path to starting Lupron Depot treatments to get what the surgeon couldn’t, as well as trying to shrink my adenomyosis (basically endometriosis that is within the uterine wall) and going to see a rheumatologist in November because of some bloodwork that has come back positive for an autoimmune disease.
My sense was right: the “digestive issues” and the infertility are/were linked. I just didn’t have words to explain why I felt it. Finally, finally, the surgeon my primary care doctor referred me to confirmed it and explained it all. And is putting me on a path to healing, medically at least.
So, yes, my body is sick. Thinking about it, looking for causes, questioning the whys of it all, it came to me. My surgeon said to me, when my bloodwork came back positive for an autoimmune disease “We need to figure out why your body is turning on itself.” Suddenly I was hit over the head with a sledgehammer. My body is sick because my soul and psyche are sick too. Because even though I have been through counseling and working on healing various pieces of the trauma I’ve experienced in my life, I still have lots of healing to do. I’m sick with The Unsayable.
Annie Rogers, PhD is the author of a book titled The Unsayable: The Hidden Language of Trauma. It’s one of those books that you just don’t want to put down – it’s part autobiography, part stories of her clients and part lessons in Jacques Marie Emile Lacan’s theory of language and trauma propagation. Rogers isn’t the first or only psychotherapist who uses the term the Unsayable to describe trauma; Peter Levine, Babette Rothschild and others do also. The idea being that experiences of trauma goes beyond words, beyond our logic brain, beyond our ability to express it with words. Trauma experiences, go deep into our being. A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine in 2009 titled Cumulative Childhood Stress and Autoimmune Disease in Adults concluded that childhood trauma, particularly multiple trauma events, can lead to autoimmune disease later in life.
And so here I am. I have a lot of healing to do still. Healing that is beyond words. Healing that goes deeper than the cellular level. And so a lot of the healing work I do will be without words. I will be creating more art with paint and leaves and dirt and sticks and jewels and whatever I can find that inspires and speaks to me. I’ll get back to yoga and meditation. I will find connections with my daughter and husband and friends. I’m doing Hannah Marcotti’s Spirits of Joy this month to awaken and explore that spiritual side of me. And I will cry a million tears as I let my body release all that has been holding onto – some of it for decades, some of it for weeks.
And while most of my healing of the Unsayable will happen beyond words, I will write. Because writing is another form of release for me. And some of what I write I will share with you, because part of this path of healing is finding ways to be vulnerable again. Allowing myself to be vulnerable. Opening myself up, letting out what needs to be released. It’s time. I’m ready.