Every year my family embarked to the Kansas State Fair. We spent the day surrounded by hot dogs, funnel cakes, carnival rides, giant stuffed animals, butter sculptures and blue ribbon bunnies. One year stands out as I came across some edgy signs boasting rare freak sights at one end of the grounds...See the woman with the body of a snake..boasted the words surrounded in brightly colored bizarre images.
My interest piqued, I asked my step-dad, who had once been employed at the State Fair carnival,
“How do they do it?” The grin on his face confirmed he had an idea of what was behind the curtains.
“It’s a woman with the body of a snake,” he told me matter of factly, unrelenting, his allegiance to the carnival.
Knowing what I had to do, I nervously paid a few dollars for a ticket and then awkwardly waited in a short line, my curiosity stronger than my anxiety. A costumed ring-leader mysteriously directed me into an enclosed livestock stall. He pointed down to the straw covered ground at a rectangle wooden box. The top of the box was painted with two blue shoe prints. I stepped up, carefully planted myself on the designated spots and then slowly craned my neck over the cattle railing. Amidst shadows and light, sitting strangely on the hay was a person looking at me. She had a woman’s head and yep! a python’s body. I studied what I saw and immediately understood that I was looking into a mirror. The reflection of the snake’s body was angled so the woman could sit behind the mirror with her head sticking out.
Or something like that.
After a moment our eyes met. I felt embarrassed and hurt when the half-snake-half-woman broke into a mocking smile. She acted as if my discovery of the mirrors was her entertainment. I shook my head, jumped down from the step stool and with my cheeks burning in shame I hurried back to my family.
“Well? How was it?” they all wanted to know. I found myself rolling my eyes and mimicking my step-father’s matter of fact response, “It’s a half-snake-half-woman!” Unwilling to say more lest they realize I felt anxious and ashamed. I pushed under my true experience of awareness and knowledge of the brazen illusion and instead acted like I was having fun.
It seemed to me that the truth was off limits. That the truth was a secret and secrets were to be kept.
But me pushing down my genuine self was the real illusion and I was becoming a master at that.
And that is the point I'm getting at. We are all capable of hiding who we really are. We make under the table agreements to keep the peace, play our part and perform a perfect role. We march forward in denial about our truest experiences for the sake of appearances.
Do you live in your own illusion? Were you forced into living that way when you were small?
Pushing things below the surface is something that happens to a lot of people, especially my clients.
Maybe you denied truths, avoided realities or dodged your own intuition.
Maybe you wriggled beneath shame that never belonged to you.
When your caregivers made mistakes, struggled with their humanness, were caught lying or pretending, did it seem they angled the mirror of reality against you, leaving you feeling at fault?
Did their emotional slight of hand keep you second guessing?
These kinds of experiences are examples of something called “Chronic Covert Trauma”.
In other words, small, hidden, daily mind games that kept us disillusioned and slightly off center.
Chronic Covert Trauma happens frequently in controlling, secretive and co-dependant environments where a parent’s brainwash and control how their children see them and the world.
Adult survivors of Chronic Covert Trauma often notice common specific struggles and patterns such as difficulty with life transitions, feeling stuck, getting easily triggered, being in abusive relationships and family blow-outs as well as diagnoses like PTSD, depression, anxiety and even physical symptoms like autoimmune disorders.
And here's the thing: it doesn't have to stay that way. You can reclaim what's been submerged and The Well Sessions can help.
It doesn't have to stay that way. You can reclaim what's been submerged. Your curiosity, your innocence, your power, wholeness and intuition are all still intact.