“You've been walking around with an invisible disability" is what she said after mapping my brain. I knew this but worked hard at not letting anyone else know. Trauma can cause this. Feeling isolated and alone, feeling that no one understands the level of despair that can suddenly take over.
When I was 15 I was in a very bad car accident. The night of my Jr Prom, girls ask guys to dance. I was in the 10th grade and had an older boyfriend. He was beautiful and talented, a rebel and eccentric. He also had a drinking problem. Of course I didn’t notice when I got in the car because this was the environment of my own home. Domestic abuse, mental illness and codependency was a common theme. Dad said the chaos was cultural, from my mother’s side of being Italian. That was the sarcastic kind of joke that normalized the insanity but clearly Dad was not without his own trauma.
I don’t remember the exact date, just that it was fall. Around my birthday. The car spun out of control and we collided with the guard rail on the side of the freeway overlooking the Los Angeles dam. No seat belts on, this was the 80’s and not a law yet.
I stumbled out of the car. Broken arm, broken neck, a bad head injury and concussion. I wandered the busy freeway at midnight disoriented and confused. A beautiful amber angel saved my life, put us in her car and brought us to the hospital emergency entrance. I never saw her again.
Why look back all the time has been a common conversation. Stuck in the past is the symptom of PTSD or as it’s been identified as CPTSD, (the C is a new add on to this diagnosis and stands for Complex). A constant nagging neck-ache and headache, a heaviness or severe lightheadedness, run ins with depression, anxiety and the hyper-vigilance to always be fixing myself. More than 40 years later and a desire to reconcile this trauma has left me in a state of acceptance as well as compassion for self and others who are dealing with the same invisible disability. Another layer of the onion to be peeled back and at 57 hiding is not an option for me.
It started with menopause then it turned into autoimmune symptoms until it turned into chronic pain in my neck and headaches as well as a decline in my innate enthusiasm for life. Fortunately I have been involved in health and healing for over 25 years. My network of healers and personal development work has been a saving grace. What needed to come forward in myself was the end of shame and embarrassment for not being perfect, for not being strong and stoic, and for feeling like a half-baked human being.
When the delusion that I had it all together ended what was left was to surrender to what was taking place with my well-being. Faith took over and to my good fortune I met with some incredible technologies, functional medicine Doctors and Energy workers. “It’s not all your fault” were the words said to me that allowed my heart to soften and appreciate just how far I’ve come.
You see, trauma for me started way before that terrible night. In fact the existing trauma is probably what gave me the reckless behavior to even get in the car with someone who did not have my best interest in mind.
It is said that your mess becomes your message. Every human being carves out their own niche. Working on the trauma that affected my brain and my way of being in the world enables me to work with others. That is my niche.
Today I share my story about trauma and how if gone unchecked leads to risky behavior, mood swings, isolation and heartache. A poor relationship with fear is part of the brain function that gets turned inside out with trauma.
If my story resonates with you please reach out to me. I’m a highly sensitive person (HSP), with strong psychic, clairvoyant and clairaudient skills. I’m trained in Neurolinguistic Programming as well as the language of patterns and symbols. All of these phenomena are composed of energy, each with a unique signature. Reading these energies is an opportunity for healing. With so many people silently suffering from undiagnosed brain injuries, I’m writing this for you. There is no need to suffer alone. There are ways to cope, heal and even live happily ever after. Pharmaceutically free.
Karen Barbarick-Collins is a Certified Ayurvedic Technician and Wellness Coach, an Accredited Neuro Linguistic Programming Coach and a Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher. She is the founder of Bending Blade Healing Arts.