As I sat down and began to contemplate what I was going to write for this week’s blog, my mind kept wondering off…..thinking about butterflies!
I sat with that thought and started to piece together what butterflies mean to me. I found myself remembering the beginning of my healing journey at Heal for Life.
Before I arrived at Heal for Life I was like a caterpillar, cocooned by my abuse and trauma in a world of secrecy and silence which was painfully wordless and static.
One of the most important things I learnt during one of the many workshops at Heal for Life was the way our brains deal with traumatic memory. Traumatic memories are static and incomplete; it could be a single still image, a feeling, or a combination of cues from any of our senses. Traumatic memories are stored differently to regular memories and it’s not until they are processed that the memory can be moved over to the other side of the brain and stored as a complete memory.
Recently (in therapy), I have been reading “Trauma and Recovery” By J. Herman (1992). I found this book complementary to what I learnt during my healing weeks.
During my time at Heal for Life, I was supported in finding my voice. For the first time in my life I was heard and validated, I didn’t feel alone with my experience. Because of my experiences and time at Heal for Life I was given the opportunity to evolve from a cocooned caterpillar into a butterfly!
The Cocooning Caterpillar and the Beautiful Butterfly
The caterpillar searches and searches until she finds the underside of a leaf for protection from the elements. She needs to belong. She needs a safe place to grow and reach her full potential of becoming a beautiful butterfly.
The cocooning caterpillar is nestled tightly, bound with thin threads of twine and silk. Woven so meticulously as to not let the outside in; safe from the harshness of the outside elements; safe from harm….
A venomous, evil and conniving spider eats away at the outside layer of her cocoon; protection and safety gone; she is at the mercy of the spider. The small caterpillar is frozen with fear, consumed and overwhelmed by all her senses. She feels nothing. Her tightly woven cocoon, once used to protect her from the outside world is now used to veil her in silence and secrecy.
The spider violates her mind, body and soul as his venom infiltrates her innocent body, changing who she is.
As the spider leaves her cocoon, his crude and vile actions are covered with threads from his own loins. He spins a web of deceit filled with lies and untruths. The caterpillar, cocooned in silence and secrecy is now surrounded by wordlessness. Powerless to stop what is now her reality. Her spirit cannot be broken; she finds a way to get through the darkness to the next day; she believes and hopes in her heart the situation is only temporary; not forever; just for now…..
As time passes, the evil venomous and conniving spider moves on, too where? The caterpillar doesn’t know….
Her time in the cocoon comes to an end; as her wings grow and develop she finds herself confined and constricted by the walls of silence and secrecy maintained by the spider. She evolves into a butterfly, breaking through the woven, intertwined walls to freedom.
The world she knew is long gone…..a new world waits.
She emerges from the cocoon; her newly formed wings are dense and heavy with moisture. The butterfly is unsure and anxious; her wings are drenched in darkness; she takes time to sit in the warm afternoon sun, as her wings dry they gain strength; as they gain strength their brilliant colour is revealed. Butterfly begins to gently and carefully move her wings backwards and forwards, gaining strength and momentum with each new movement.
Suddenly, a slight breeze cupped underneath her delicate wings, supported she took flight.
The Butterfly continued to fly, she discovered the more she flew, the stronger she grew.
Her existence was no longer static; her wordlessness was replaced with a strong pair of wings.
She was a beautiful butterfly!
Until next week,
Big love and hugs…T…..xox