Compassionate breath is pure consciousness, which empowers the individual. It is stabilizing, grounding the individual in this now moment outside of the PTSD traumatic event. It is the vehicle to move memory, and the personality (aspect), into the individual’s wholeness (Soul). Without this pivotal piece, the trauma remains stuck energetically. This is what we call Soul Integration. Integration means into the greatness of me.
All of us have had traumatic events in our life. That piece of energy is locked in our physical bodies, in space and time, which can keep us emotionally crippled. Through the breath, we transmute the event with the energy of compassion.
Compassion is truth without feeling sorry for the individual. It is seeing the brilliance of another person no matter how they are presenting themselves. Trauma can integrate through breath combined with compassion. That is the miracle of this type of compassionate breath. It overcomes anxiety, depression, self-mutilation, PTSD, grief, rage, and a myriad of emotional coping skills by grounding the individual in this reality, bringing all of their energy back into their body, and strengthening their choice to live. It brings the individual into the present moment from a place of higher consciousness.
* The compassionate breath needs to be taught from an experienced individual who uses this breath themselves.
Treatment should begin with teaching the client the compassionate breath. When dealing with a severely traumatized human being, their daily routine is controlled by their need to survive. Even if they have been out of the trauma for years, they might not realize it due to PTSD.
Norma began by teaching me how to breathe. I breathed backward, which means that my belly went in when I inhaled, and when I exhaled, my stomach went out. I was in a constant state of hysteria and anxiety, and she invited me to practice this new way of breathing throughout the day.
I had tremendous anxiety all the time, and I used this specialized breath to help me cope. I would watch my hand go up and down with the movement of my stomach until the anxiety would lessen. Sometimes it took over a half hour before I began to feel better.
Physical and eye movement exercises to reroute the neural pathways in my brain, which were directed by my Soul.
I would be traumatized by memory, and Norma would invite me to look around the room while asking me if it was happening now. I was gripped in memory so completely, I believed it was happening now. She would have me rub the couch, feeling the upholstery’s fabric underneath my fingertips. She would speak to me, telling me to look around the room; asking me what I saw. Still feeing panicked, I would speak out loud, describing the room in detail, which helped me to come back into this reality. She helped me grasp that it was memory and not happening now. This was crucial for my recovery.
I came off all medication because it was not helping me. I stopped using Klonopin, Prozac, and Ambien because it clouded my ability to feel.
Norma never saw me as broken; instead, she saw the brilliance of my Soul that kept me alive and sane in unimaginable circumstances. She never had a plan to help me; she allowed her inner wisdom to guide her.
We disassembled my belief system. My parents, she said, could not love me because they could not love, period; neither of them knew what love was. That one lesson took many times of us speaking about it before I fully understood. I had hundreds of beliefs.
“I want you to play with me; take out your notebook and draw a line down the middle of the page. On the right side of the page, write what your mind is saying, and on the left side write what your Soul is saying.”
Retrieving my notebook, I draw a line down the middle of a page.
“Alright. What is your mind saying right now?” Mom prompts.
Writing quickly because the words are coming fast, I relay, “My mind hates you, and says that this is a bunch of lies!”
“Yes. Notice how threatened your mind is by what we are talking about. That is aspect memory, trained to keep you stuck. Now, listen to your Soul and write her words.”
Unlike mind, my Soul’s words are calm and unhurried. “I’m proud of you. You’re doing wonderfully. It takes courage to keep facing the truth. The words of your mind are intended to shut out fear, but it does the opposite by making fear grow. Can you trust me to lead you?”
Noticing that I feel good as I write these words, I read them aloud.
“Can you feel the difference in your Soul’s words? Which ones do you want to listen to?”
“I like the words of my Soul,” I genuinely answer.
“Good. Then will you practice writing down the words from both your mind and your Soul, so you can become more conscious?”
“Yes, I can do this!”
“Remember, Serena, we are the Oreo cookie. Nothing has changed. I’m proud of you. If you didn’t continue to grow, I would have stopped working with you long ago.”
Feeling inspired, I exclaim, “Thank you for this! I’ll write down the words from both my Soul and my mind, so that I can be more aware. I know this will help me!”
“It can, if you will let it,” Mom calmly states. “Then you will be able to make conscious choices that can help you.”
Smiling at me, Mom quickly adds, “I’ve been meaning to ask you if you know what Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is?”
“Doctor Barnes told me I had it, but he called it PTSD. He said that’s why I switched all the time. I used to hysterically scream when someone would come into a room, even though I knew they were coming. He said that my PTSD was the reason why I got triggered so easily.”
“Yes,” Mom replies. “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is what happens when people have extended periods of trauma. They’re in a cycle of memory, stuck in a loop, where the slightest provocation causes them to be triggered. The work that we’ve done has allowed you to truly integrate, which is why Soul and I could trust that you could begin driving today. Your PTSD has truly been healed.” Raising her voice in sincerity, she asks, “Do you get what a miracle you are?”
Realizing how much I’ve changed, I reply, “Yes, Mom. I feel it. It’s not just words for me anymore.”
“Breathe, Serena! I’m right here. I want you to ask Godmother what you just asked me, and let yourself hear the truth.”
I’m feeling overwhelmed. My mind is racing with screams that it’s a lie, but over the din, I hear Godmother say, “We had to let you know the truth gently. Your parents used different names when talking to Jennifer, for the sole purpose of creating multiple personalities. You wanted to believe it was only Jack, but that’s not the truth. Breathe, and let yourself feel the truth. It’s how you will help the children who are listening.”
I’m stunned. “This can’t be true!”
“Serena, do you want to help you or hurt you? You get to decide,” Norma says. Raising her voice, she continues. “You don’t like the truth, and that keeps you in pretend. Will you breathe with me? It’s the only way we can help these children.”
After a few minutes of focused breathing, I sadly say, “It’s true, isn’t it?”
“Yes. It takes courage to stay and look at how your life was. I’m in awe of how brave you are.” Taking my hand, she squeezes it gently. “Now, let’s see where Godmother wants to go with this.”
“See what Jennifer does as Lois asks if she is her Lucy Belle. Watch how creative she was in staying alive,” Godmother suggests. “Remember, she’s hungry and cold. She’s been sitting in wet diapers with her bottom burning for hours. On top of that, being neglected has traumatized her deeply.”
Closing my eyes, I watch Jennifer nod yes to Lois’s question, and instantly another child is born. Lucy Belle looks up into Lois’s smiling face, holds up her arms, and says, “Mama.” Gone are the feelings of hunger, pain, and despair, and instead, a new child is born, waiting to be imprinted. As the truth of this realization hits me, I shudder, consumed by a sadness that is inexplicable.
“Breathe, Serena. Help these children come home. You cannot afford to keep this pain. Bring it home.”
“I am, but it hurts!”
“I know. I’m not minimizing that, but breathe so it can keep moving. I’m here.”
Breathing and crying, I wrap my arms around my waist, hoping this will give me some comfort. The level of brutality Jennifer lived through is unfathomable. As I continue breathing, the tears finally begin to subside.
I am meeting with Norma Delaney for the first time. Opening the door, she smiles and invites me in. Scanning her appearance, I examine everything, from the color of her pants and blouse, to the jewelry that adorns her neck, wrists, ears, and fingers. I am a human computer, memorizing everything for future reference. But there is something beyond the physical that intrigues me. Her eyes emanate a life of their own. They invite me to trust, just by looking into them. Her whole being radiates an energy that I find comforting.
Following her into the living room, I stop and turn around me in amazement. Tall fichus trees stand on either side of the room, with twinkling white lights interwoven between their branches. Plants in various stages of bloom are growing everywhere. The sound of a bubbling water fountain and the tinkling of a wind chime, add the final touches to a room that is purely magical.
Smiling warmly at me, Norma pats the couch, inviting me to take a seat next to her. Shaking my head no, I sit down on the floor with my back against the wall. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help to control my anxiety. Internally, many voices are speaking.
Will she like me?
Is she safe?
She’s so beautiful!
Don’t say anything. See what she does first.
My hands fidget nervously; my breathing is fast and shallow.
Norma speaks quietly; she asks me what I would like to accomplish.
With a switch and a rush of words, someone cries, “I need to get my sons back! I have been in and out of the hospital since 1993. It was supposed to be a twenty-eight day program …” Abruptly, the body transforms, as Roberta defiantly states, “I know they think I’m a multiple personality, but they’re wrong! I need to get stable, so I can get my boys back …”
Without as much as a hiccup, the head straightens, and an angry, high-pitched voice demands, “What are your credentials? Have you ever worked with a multiple before? My name is Charlotte. I don’t want to work with anyone, unless they know what they’re doing.”
Before Norma can reply, Roberta is back, and without a pause, she implores, “I have to get my sons back, can you help me?”
Before Norma utters a word, Roberta is gone again.
There are many that come. Most are unaware of the one that precedes them. Each one leaves before any kind of cohesive conversation is established. Finally, Daniel appears and speaks in a deep voice. “I am a protector. I am thirty-three years old, and I stand at 6’2” tall with blond hair and blue eyes. I know that I’m part of a system that lives in a female body, but it’s important that you see me for who I am. I’m here to help you with the children. They do not trust anyone, not even Doctor Barnes. I will do what I can to help. All you need to do is call my name, and I will come.” Without further ado, he leaves.
The body sits motionless. Moments pass in silence before I come forward. “I am Sebrina, the one who made the appointment with you. I’m sorry if the switching scared you, but I knew they were anxious to meet you, so I let them be first.”
“I wasn’t afraid,” Norma acknowledges. “I was just listening.”
“Do you think you can help us?”
“I have seen movies about multiples,” Norma says, “but I’ve not studied or read any books on the subject.”
“I understand that,” I interject. “That’s not what I want. I have worked with professionals for years, and we are no closer to being integrated. I need someone who works with the psychic and spiritual realm. We have so many parts of our memory dealing with unusual things that I don’t know what to believe anymore. Do you think you can help us?”
Norma’s face is aglow with love as she responds. “I work with compassionate energy that seems to know how to do things beyond what the human part of me knows. I call it Spirit, or the psychic realm. I have been working in that medium for many years. I truly believe there is no illness that Spirit can’t assist a person in healing.”