March 19th, 2005

Re: Trauma bonding

Yes, the training was `trauma bonding' because it focused on not being well (until level 45?) and focused on a shared us/them victim hood. The difference between sharing information to heal and `trauma bonding' is victim hood. It was only after I worked with T. Harv Eker and Miguel Ruiz' apprentice (such unconditional love energy) did I see how damaging this was. Then I dropped everything to do with metaphysics or `healing'.

In the weeks after I left the training, there were so many associations of everyday life that led right back to the training; people, healing techniques, words, metaphysical tools, etc. I realized how much I was conditioned, and even the word `love' brought up pain. This was depressing but my research on group abuse showed that it is a predictable and natural feeling to want to distance yourself from the memories, from the pain of these associations.

Later I got a bit of perspective back, but I was also able to see that metaphysics can be spiritual hubris if it is all-consuming and doesn't lead to deepening ourselves and our personal and community relationships. It is not useful if it separates us in language and action, if it leads to an us/them mentality as it so often is the case with `new age' thought. The most amazing people are out there designing new programs, implementing and supporting real action in the world and many of them have never been into metaphysics!

Once I recognized I had been so conditioned, talking was critical in my healing process because I felt so alone with the trauma; it seemed so huge. With the right people to talk to, I brought feelings into conscious awareness in order make sense out of and gain perspective on my experience. My daughter is getting two degrees this year in Neuroscience and Psychology (then going on to get her Ph.D. in Neuroscience!) and she recently told me that indeed they are finding that`cognitive' therapy is the best way to heal and reach behavioural change. In other words you don't endlessly focus on digging in the past but you must understand what is going on in order to heal and make changes. Our intellect is critical to understanding our neuro-programming, critical to being able to make different choices. I had to understand what the training had done in order to release it.

As I kept refocusing on life, MY life, new activities and interests began to fill up and replace the all consuming training. I realized how much we had to learn and memorize and pay attention to in order act the part, to be seen as `in power'; I saw how much I did not develop my own path; how much I was conditioned to live my life externalized and devoted to this `construct'. Students learn and promote someone else's operating system, not their own.

Intimacy. People were so instilled with fear about free, open discussion and sharing honest feelings. It got worse in upper levels. Intimacy is built through authentic interactions, and although I found myself sharing openly about any healing process I was focused on, I was not intimate with my own life, my own path or direction. My energy was fragmented by a hundred focuses and always directed toward the training. How could I be intimate when I was scripted from another's rulebook of power? Nevertheless it felt like camaraderie and intimacy at the time. It was only after I left, when I was alone with myself, that I truly realized just how much I had been trying to live a constructed life not of my making.

It takes time and trust to release and replace this very real conditioning, and it takes friends. I am back to loving my collection of rocks (such positive earth energy), reading inspirational spiritual literature, plants, reconnecting to friends and family, and life is sparkling with authentic connections and possibilities (most of the time!). Next email will contain some resources that helped in my healing process.