After trying talk therapy a few times, I was more than disappointed. The first therapist I met with had me go through my excruciating story in grave detail, she went on to ask, "how do you expect to be able to pay me for my services?" After I got over the initial shock of her ignorant question (she had no idea of my financial position) I replied, "You have no idea about our finances, but if your "services" actually helped me, than I would go without groceries if I had too!" Having already decided this "therapist" wasn't for me, she then said, as our session was ending, "here is my card, you can call me anytime, just try to do it before 9pm." I thought to myself, "sure, if I decide to jump off the Gloucester bridge, I'll be sure to do it early enough so I don't bother you with a late phone call!".
The next therapist wasn't much better. I once again went through my entire ordeal again. Once the bawling subsided and I pulled myself together, she suggested I go to the bookstore and buy the book, When Bad Things Happen To Good People. I thought this lady is a fool. Does she not realize that I can barely leave my house? Then I asked her if she had any experience dealing with someone whose child had passed? Before she answered, I heard her next client arrive, pulling into her gravel driveway, and she asked, "Ok, what time next week?".
I never went back to a talk therapist. I'm sure there are competent ones out there. I just had a horrific experience and didn't have the luxury of taking the time to find someone helpful. I needed help and I needed it fast.
Below are some of the therapies that helped me. I won't say any of them were easy, but I will say the hard work was definitely worth it, because in the end, I have learned 'to be' with the horrific loss of my daughter. My body isn't ripped apart by the traumatic pain. When people ask about Claudia I can often tell they are in more of a painful place than I, either because it's too difficult for them to talk about a child's death, or perhaps to even imagine the nightmare we have endured. We all have to deal with death/trauma/loss at some point. And, if we can learn to work through it and release the agony, the trauma and the fear, then we will find the space and ability to live a more fulfilling life.
POLARITY AND YOUR CHAKRAS
My friend Shankari, who is also a therapist, offered to work with me. I had no idea what type of therapy she did and I didn't care. If she thought she could help, I was all for it. She knew she could help but was cautious of our friend relationship and wasn't sure if I would be able to open up as much as would be needed. I assured her I had no problem working with her and we quickly started on a deep healing process that proved to be some of the most powerful work I have ever experienced. Shankari is an energy healer and she combined polarity with other modalities to open the flow of energy through my chakra system to help release the pain and trauma in my body. It also helped me to develop a clearer understanding of many things. When we have emotions/trauma/stress - and we all do on some level - it's important to remove it from the body otherwise it could end up harming our body. It's not always necessary to mask pain and stress with drugs- this work helped to remove the pain, rather than covering it up.
Shankari also connected me to another therapist, Garbis, who works with EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). From the moment I met Garbis, I knew he would be able to help me too. I was anxious to get going, though the sessions proved to be difficult, emotional and exhausting.
A brief scientific definition of how EMDR works is as follows: the patient recalls a traumatic event while simultaneously undergoing bilateral stimulation to resolve the trauma caused by traumatizing life events. The goal of EMDR therapy is to process these distressing memories, reducing their lingering influence and allowing clients to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms.
So needless to say, I had to continually recall minute by minute of the traumatizing momemts when I found Claudia, who had already passed over, in her crib. Weekly, I drove to these sessions, bawling all the way, knowing full well what I would have to go through. But, I would leave, elated. As if I had taken drugs! It was hard to explain the feeling- but I knew, once we worked that 'moment' out of my system, the trauma of it was gone and it has remained that way ever since, I can not recommend EMDR enough - it was so incrediblyhelpful for me. It's important to know you don't need to be burdened with trauma and suffering. You can release it from the nervous system. It's not easy, but it's SO WORTH IT!
This isn't technically a therapy, but it worked like one for me. Again, another connection through Shankari (I am so thankful to her for so much!) was a vedic astrologer, Juliana. Vedic Astrology is an ancient Indian science which explains planetary motions and positions with respect to time and their effect on humans and other entities on earth. Vedic astrology can be traced thousands of years back. It is a complicated science that is able to provide a great deal of information based on your time of birth.
I had a chart done for myself and one or Claudia and the information was enlightening and empowering. It was clear from the time of Claudia's birth that she would only be here on this side for a brief time. There was so much information about Claudia that was exactly correct. My chart covered many aspects, including the likliehood of suffering the loss of a child. My chart also covered details about my likes, skills, childhood, family, children, and spouse that were remarkably accurate. Having our charts done ended up confirming, on so many levels, that this was part of both of our paths and nothing I could have done would have changed the outcome. That information was incredibly powerful for me.
Shankari is also a yoga teacher. She has studied with yogis and some of the most skilled instructors worldwide. She also uses her ability to connect spiritually and intuitively, to help her students go deeper and open up to the poses. She urged me to start taking a yoga class. So I did. It also was powerful. For weeks I couldn't get through a class without crying. It was becoming frustrating, but Shankari assured me, if I worked through it, it would soon be better. And it was. Yoga also helped move the physical pain and heartache out of my body. It helped to open up my joints, ease my back, soften my heart, and open my eyes to a truly deeper place. Yoga is a powerful practice and so helpful.