As one who tends trauma healing as a vocation, the last thing I expected was to step into the collective trauma vortex of metoo when I woke up Monday morning. My experience is that trauma is most effectively healed by rooting in positive resource, by tending specific wellness - in body, in bloodlines. By telling story only in slow motion or at metabolizable pace. With depth of witness and holding. With attention to meeting any possibility of overwhelm with nourishing care. None of this is readily available on social media. None of this is a thing I've seen or experienced online in recent days.
I'd like to say I stepped into the trauma vortex of metoo with awareness, and that is partially true. I didn't write my post the first or second or even twentieth time I saw someone post their own metoo. I posted like I usually do, in a burst of energy that arises when I can't sleep - I express as a way to move energy through. Posting is for me an interpretative dance and a social experiment which has ripples that occasionally require tending for days.
Some of y'all found my metoo post brave or inspiring - because of my boldness to write names, or the nuance of my share touched something in your experience. Others of you found it triggering, in part because speaking with specificity activates particular points to resist against.
Navigating my response to people's response to me, I watched my nervous system's resilience flicker and flare and nosedive and return.
For many years, I have not shared names - two in particular - for fear of what would happen, the barrage of negative attention that could come my way. I still don't desire it. Part of my capacity to write my post the way I did is because I no longer rage or fear or shake at the thought of these people. I am able to stay in present time and in my body for the most part when remembering what happened in those moments where dissociation was necessary to remain intact enough during and after trauma.
I've seen concern from some in my feed about the cascade of claiming victimhood that has been happening in metoo's. While I don't prefer to orient toward victim identity, speaking truth is often a precise medicine needed to heal.
Facebook is fast. Fast breeds trauma. Sympathetic nervous system activation is hardwired into this newsfeed - yours and mine.
While I might have stepped in because the trauma vortex was that magnetic, my sense is I stepped in more because I felt in my own system enough positive resource to navigate this particular tide with relative grace. I chose to offer parts of my story because I could without significant repercussion, in a way I hoped might be an anchor for those who felt the metoo sea too strong or sweeping away.
Somewhere along the way I got pulled by too strong tide myself. It happened when the current crashed out of the past and too close to my contemporary shore for comfort. I swirled and posted again, as if that could soothe my overextended nervous system, as if more screen time could be the antidote for what was already too much.
I found support in comments that oriented me toward my center, like Jen's "I think Taya is capable of choosing appropriate fora for her engagement," in response to a comment that was well-intentioned and came across as mansplainy. Mostly, I saw that some were receiving the particular medicine I'd intended to offer, and that was enough to not press delete.
My nervous system has been supported in these days by turning, by soaking, by touch, by prayer, by teaching, and by sitting with people as they sit with their ancestors. posts I've found solace in - Rachel Love's, Dare's - have rooted the metoo conversation in the wider deeper body of the earth. Amidst the metoo storm, mostly I have been focused on my breath. Not because of the overwhelm of social media - which is real - or the potential activation of reflecting on past trauma, which wasn't particularly distressing for me. My attention has been on well-maintaining boundaries and focus in real time, and on figuring out how put myself in clear air. I write this in the wee hours, from the basement of my home, because the air is still too smoky upstairs for me to function, and it is well-past too smoky outdoors. The particulate matter in the air is now again too strong here in the basement, which is is why I am awake. I am writing to distract from my pounding head, shortness of breath, nausea, and struggle to get out of bed. I am gathering strength to pack so I can leave again today or soon.
I want to feel safe in my home. I want to feel safe and well in my body.
For me, this is what the metoo meme is ultimately about. I wonder what the air would taste like with no particulate matter of sexual violence. I wonder how delicious and nourishing the oxygen dancing in and out of my lungs and through my bloodstream would be if earths' body had only ever been loved in reverence.
I don't know how to reverse the tide. I do know that with this life, loving Her body, my own, and the ones of the beings I share shaping life with is enough. Cultivating exquisite presence and tending with reverence, which sometimes means saying a fierce or tender no and other times means making love through god so slow. Planting myself clearly in positive resource, that what wants or needs to resonate to that healing frequency finds it's way here and is well met.
My voice - which is not separate from my sacrum, my dreams or the soil beneath my feet - sometimes sounds an alarm, ringing in unison or cacaphony with many other soundings. More often, tho, she gathers into a chant from the deep, a siren song, an echolocation calling the way home.