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don Miguel Ruiz



Musings of an Awakening Spirit

Stories, poetry & general musings of Rebecca Haywood, a modern-day Shaman with a penchant for bringing the divine into the human experience.

Resistance of the Trauma Self: Part 4: The Fight

The fight response presents in the mind. The energy is guarded, controlled, and sharp with pride. The trauma self stands her ground. No longer frozen or running from fear, she raises her sword at the ready to take on the battle. She seems triumphant—a warrior to be lauded—but the only one sliced by her blade now is herself. For the real battle is done—the enemy slain, arraigned or waned—and yet she keeps fighting, unconvinced by the white flag awaiting her claim.

For her, this battle cannot be won but only erased, eradicated from her being as if it never happened, as if she were never there—a victimless crime made so by consent of another sort. This is the denial mentality that ensues in the aftermath of trauma and why our trauma self continues to resist her own healing, why she resists You the guardian and your essential embrace of “I believe you.”

Though many of us survivors commend our fight and revere this response as the most empowered of the three, when it comes to the aftermath, we are blind to the truth of what we are defending. We proudly stand atop a victim who hasn’t yet healed, who has been trampled into the mud by the trauma self’s army of warriors—warriors who aren’t defending her; they are fighting her down.

The emotional masks that she created in the “fleeing of her own existence” have solidified into strategic walls, placed in defense of her chosen reality and guarded by her warriors—personas that prove her strength or defuse the need for it all together. These personas become the subtle inflections of our character that we use to navigate a world in which we do not feel safe. For some, they are a complete escape from the trauma self, resulting in the memory loss that so many of us experience, and can even lead to personality disorders such as DID.

In my “walking in two worlds”, I uncovered many familiar shields of my trauma self—the tough girl, the tomboy, the jaded bitch—but her defenses ran deeper than the obvious flexing of muscles. Beyond the fighting selves were the ones who didn’t want to have to fight at all, who quickly calculated risk and repositioned themselves outside of the target zone: the little girl who stayed safe by staying small, the slut who diverted their desire by feigning her own, the nun who cloaked herself in God. They all prostituted and prostrated themselves in exchange for peace. Even the tomboy played this game as she camouflaged the bullseye of her femininity.

These personas are so strategic that not only do they rise as protectors of the trauma self, they also recruit new external warriors and preserve the ones she has already enlisted. The little girl clearly inspired her heroes, the slut managed her suitors while the nun demanded reverence, but there are two that can be slippery to catch: the love-her and the wounded healer.

The love-her perfected the art of being lovable, becoming the “yes” girl—flexible, easy-going, a master of conflict avoidance. And what battles the love-her couldn’t thwart, the wounded healer would gladly take on, actually take in. For she sacrifices herself in the name of service, in the name of all but her. Much like the high priestesses of old, she takes the battle out of them and into her so that they can have their peace. But there is no peace for her and no piece that this wounded healer claims for herself—whether it is the abundance of love, health or wealth—she gives it all away.

Regardless of how your trauma self turns her blade inward, the medicine is awareness coupled with loving redirects from You, the guardian. By walking in the world with my trauma self and allowing her to mature within me, I watched her defenses form and her strategies execute. And that’s all I did and could do at first—watch, learn, and honor her prowess. For she fought me as she will You, the guardian. To relinquish her control would be to surrender her sword and all the strategies that have seemingly quelled the battle. And to strip her of those without offering Your protection in exchange would merely send her back into the big freeze or the existential flight.

“I believe you and I defend you.” This is what she needed so long ago and what you can now give her and each one of her ‘warriors’. This is what will complete the healing of “the space between you and her”. I did not deny my fighting self her battle nor try to subdue her fire or her need for strategies. I simply offered her fight a different sword—the sword of my loving words and the shield of my loyal presence—her shining knight returned.

Only then did she surrender defense into acceptance. Only then did she soften completely into Me as her guardian. Only then did she finally put down her sword and raise the white flag... triumphantly.

And I, as her guardian, always leave space for her journey to continue and grace for her unwinding to find more height, more light, and more true strength within.


Resistance of the Trauma Self: Part 3: The Flight
The Trauma Self’s Strive to Thrive

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