Putting the pieces together.
May love be with you.
I grew up in a small village in the eastern countryside of Germany. Around the age of 5 my father started to sexually abuse me. My mother, struggling with borderline syndrome, was neither able to protect nor rescue me.
Even though my mom knew about the sexual abuse, she would call me a liar, penalize and threaten me. To my mom I was the ugly, bad and unwanted child, while my sister became her second man in command to support my banishment.
These circumstances created a situation where my father was the only person I could in some way rely on as a child. He became the only person that would give me in some way the feeling of love and acceptance. At the same time, this created a symbiosis between us where he crossed all borders and abused me sexually until the age of 12. I was never allowed to show any feelings and always under the pressure to function as perfect as possible. There was not much love, just judgment, anxiety and punishment.
I divided and concurred myself, created a robot-version of myself and lived an awake dream, purely to survive – deeply believing I have a perfect family and grew up in the best circumstances and have the best parents. Not remembering a day of my childhood before I turned 12.
Many years later, I escaped of a very abusive and consumptive relationship, finding myself in the middle of a deep manic-depression with a desire to just die. I was only sleeping a couple of hours per night, working 15 or more hours per day, drinking lots and lots of alcohol, experiencing panic attacks a few times per day and severely depressed. I was very close to committing suicide but still had a tiny small inner belief that there must be help somewhere.
The next two years I sought help through behavior oriented therapy until much later I found out that I was suffering from a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The behavior therapy was an extremely important first step back into life and helped me to survive and get myself organized on a healthy schedule. Even so, I was still suffering from all my PTSD symptoms: panic, anxiety, eating disorders, unstable relationships, depressions, dissociations, all kinds of physical pain, nightmares, paranoia, a life outside of my body. To cut it short, it felt like a wild roller-coaster ride through hell that would never stop.
One year later I felt ready, to dig deeper into my past and joined a trauma therapy program, mostly working with EMDR, hypnotherapy and IADC. All of this work helped me a lot of work, understand what a trauma is and what my trauma in particular is about, why I am having panic attacks, what is triggering me, why I struggle so much with healthy relationships, how I can access my feelings and how to cry and to trust.
All of this was extremely important groundwork, guiding me to that day, where I read “Miss America by day” from Marilyn Van Derbur. This shifted my mindset and for the first time I could see how all my different battles I was fighting tie into a bigger in a bigger picture. I could “feel,” in the bigger scheme of things, why I was reacting the way I did and why I was so all over the place. I was so splintered, like a broken mirror. Still, it was not possible for me to feel myself. I started to understand and to remember but I could not access any feelings or my body.
In the meantime, I met the most wonderful, strongest and loving human being on earth, who became my partner and my best friend. He not only showed me what unconditional love is about, but also helped me on every step on my journey to heal. He also introduced me to the fascinating world of therapeutic psychedelic treatment.
After doing lots of research and not getting further in my therapy, I found psilocybin as a possible next step to open my inner door. I felt that all my feelings were stashed, deep down under a blanket of cement and I would need an atomic bomb to open this door. I started with a first test trip on magic mushrooms. Light dose, more to explore myself, the effect and also my reaction to it. The mushroom treated me well. I got shaken a bit and felt this might be a good door opener.
The second journey I took on 5grams of magic mushrooms at home, in bed, with closed eyes and headphones. I wanted to travel deep inside of myself. So far, so good, but there was one thing I hadn’t reckoned with. I am a perfect runner and hider. My inner SWAT team is trained to do whatever needs to be done to not allow me to connect with my feelings. What happened is that, I more or less passed out or dissociated. I “woke up” after three hours not remembering much and being truly convinced the trip was over. I learned that in the future I need a trip-sitter, who sits with me and is holding me back from escaping.
The next trip I planned was out in the nature together with my trip-sitter. It started in a little hut and ended with a walk at night, in nature. Heading out at night, in the dark back then was one of the scariest things I could imagine doing.
I took magic mushrooms (psilocybin), sat down and started to meditate. Every time I was on my way to escape, he would carefully hold me back. It was amazing! I transformed into sound and explored my body the first time without pain and discovered my feet.
I was able to connect to my inner child at the age of five. It brought me back to all of the wonderful feelings of my true-self and helped to realize who I am. The luggage that resulted was from my trauma. It gave me so much energy to continue my journey back to my true self and it also gave me the hope that I am so much more than just a broken mirror. It opened a door that I would have never been able to open without this magic treatment.
I continued my psychotherapy for another year and learned that working with trauma needs a lot of different strokes; meditation, a good therapist, safe home, art therapy, somatic body experience and love only to name a few.
Over time it became more and more clear that I was suffering the most from anxiety. Many, many years later after the incidents of my childhood, I was still not able to fully touch the ground because my anxiety was so deeply planted in me that I just couldn’t get through it. By the time, I discovered the wonderful work of psychotherapist Friedericke Meckel, learning that MDMA can be used to let go of anxiety.
I started my first journey with MDMA on 100 micrograms at home after a very adventurous day, with guitar music and a cozy blanket. I did not explore a trip in that sense, but all my anxiety was blown away and the first time in my life I could relieve my feelings. I could just cry it all out, for hours, without panic or anything else. Really just let it go. For me, knowing only a life in deep anxiety and the constant fear of punishment and dying, this was mind-blowing relief. A state whereI could never have imagined to getting to.
After this deep and healing experience, I went on two a second MDMA journey, but this time with a higher dose of 150 micrograms. I went out to the nature and found myself in high fascination for the world and deep inner peace. This experience really helped my body and my inner control team, to understand that it s ok, to let go and that I can survive without anxiety. A few days after this trip, I experienced a deep inner healing. It was as if all the pieces of the puzzle could now connect back together. I was finally able to reconnect to my old feelings. Feeling how it was to be abused for me as a child, not be loved, not be protected and never to be safe. And, it was ok – no panic. For people like me, with a heavy panic disorder, this opens a whole new world! I was able to feel myself and also my old feelings.
My third trip on MDMA (all with some weeks in between) was in a club. I had the intention to feel it out in public and have a good time. But, it surprised me again in a very different way than before. It struck me from the back and I felt for the first time that I missed my Mom. With all the hate, anger, disappointment and pain there was never room for the little girl just poorly missing her mommy.
Now I could feel deeply, how much I missed her and how sad I am that I in a way never had a mom. Also that as an adult women I needed to figure out everything myself without having someone (carrying the wisdom of womanhood) to be with me. I had never been able to cut the cord because the little girl in me was missing her so so much and still hoping that one day she would accept me as her daughter, just the way I am. It was there, for the first time that I could accept this as being part of me.
One year after my last magic mushroom trip, I went on to my annual winter-forest-hut-vacation. I had experimented in the last months with micro-dosing and explored some interesting outcomes. Mushroom micro-dosing helped me in daily life to stay in my body, made me braver but also more humble in the bigger scheme of the universe. Even so, I was not sure if I was ready for another full journey. There is this funny thing with mushrooms, the less you want them the more important it is that you take them. So I went on a 6 gram mushroom journey, in the valley of love, somewhere in a Polish nature reservation park. It blew me away.
The preparation with MDMA and helping me to understand my anxiety but also to not run away anymore made it an incredible experience. When I was at the peak, I looked into the deepest, darkest, dirtiest shit I was carrying with me. The stuff I usually avoid, I cannot. I must except it as part of myself even though it scares me so much that I start to run. I sat, in the eye of a thunderstorm, without body, just pure feelings and saw all the darkness.
I survived it. It is in me and that’s ok too. It felt as if the universe sucked me, chewed on me, puked me out into another universe and beamed me to a frozen hell. It feels like I was born anew in that night, finally landing on planet earth as one whole person. Thank God for my trip-sitter. I was later also able to explore the other side of yin-yang. I recalled happy memories, deep feelings from and for my mom. The feeling of her warm skin on my baby skin, her smell, her body and me being close to her. The feeling of her rubbing down my back after a bath. I came back to the point where I still had a mom. Not for long and not steady, but I had had a mom. I’ve experienced this unique love. And I am so thankful that I had the chance to feel it again and bring it with me to the present.
A mushroom journey is never an easy one – there is always darkness that comes with the light, there is always a yin to the yang. But, it helps so much to not only see the world in black and white.
I’ve always been split in many pieces and could barely accept my own story or my own past. It has always been one of the biggest battles to keep the good separated from the bad. The mushrooms (and MDMA) helped me to see myself fully as one person and also to allow myself to be this person and forgive myself. Traumatized people have the tendency to only see good or bad and nothing in between. On the journey of healing it is important to put both pieces together. Finally, I “felt” as though I am no longer alone, the stars will always be with me.