Slowly Releasing My TraumaBY IRIS FREEMAN
When I was seven, I decided to leave this world. My father had died, leaving me with my abusive, mentally ill mother. She was terrifying, unstable – and I’d never felt safe with her, not even when I was tiny. My daddy was my protection, and then he was gone. So, I took all the pills I could find. I don’t even remember where I got the idea that would kill you. I just did it.
I survived, but for a long time, I wish I hadn’t. My mother’s abuse got worse after I tried to kill myself. I was the scapegoat child, and when she wasn’t locked up in a straitjacket in a mental hospital, she was taking it all out on me. Somehow, I stayed with her until I was 11, and then I hit the streets. I was a sixth-grade dropout, and eventually, a child prostitute.
Bad things happened, just like you might expect. I did get raped, more than once. Compared to what I’d come from at home, though, it wasn’t that bad. Someone had passed on to me the expression about letting troubles flow off of me, like water off a duck’s back. That image stuck, even at 11 – on the street, no matter how tough it got, I could keep that water flowing. I kept that water flowing even as I became a mom at 14. My family wasn’t any help; I had to do all of this on my own.
I learned how to do data entry, the old key punch way we did it in the 1970s. I landed myself in a good job working at the Bank of Tokyo in New York. I saved up some money and when I was 18 years old I moved to California. I got on a Greyhound bus with my two-and-a-half-year-old child in the winter of 1978. I moved because number one, I was so damn tired of the cold weather; and number two, everybody I grew up with was dying of violence or drugs or some kind of communicable disease. I was like, “Oh girl, we're gonna have to find a way out of here.” I don't know why I knew there was something better out there but I did. So I got on this bus with my son and two suitcases, and I prayed I could find a way in California. We landed in Novato and set our lives up there. I always did what it took to survive.
I had two more kids while living in California, three sons total and each of them seven years apart. In 1990, my youngest son passed away. I was in a whirlwind of hurt, I used to pray for God to take me too. I turned to drugs, anything to stop the pain. Addiction got a hold of me deep and fierce for about 15 years.
I kept it together the best I could until both of my sons were grown and out of the house. Then, I let myself have a nervous breakdown in my late forties. I wound up committing myself into a hospital. It was more than just a drug rehab, I also wanted mental health help because I could feel that decades of unexamined trauma was killing me. I couldn’t outrun it anymore.
I wasn’t looking to do more than just pull my life together at this point. I was clean and sober but still incredibly depressed, and not sure if there was anything to really live for anymore. I went back to California to spend time with my sister, Teresa, and it was her who turned me on to OM. It had been 10 years since I did anything physically intimate, and I wasn’t interested in going back there, not after everything I’ve been through. But then Teresa said listen, “Remember what I used to be like? OM is changing everything.” She was practicing regularly and I had to admit, I’d seen her become a whole lot more centered, confident, and loving since she’d started. But I was still skeptical.
I went to a few social gatherings with Teresa where there were other OM practitioners too. It wasn’t until I met a woman named Debra that I was ready to try OM for myself. She had a similar energy to me, as an empath I could feel all of her pain and intense emotions. She was depressed and had been through a lot. Debra was just starting her OM practice and over the next month of running into her at social gatherings, I watched her blossom, becoming lighter and brighter. Her entire energy shifted, and it seemed to be a direct result of Orgasmic Meditation.
I wanted what she had.
I took a class and then I had my first OM. I got into the nest and spent the entire OM in my head, thinking about how I’m an old lady and it’s too late for me. I was so far removed from my body, I couldn’t even feel one stroke during the entire 15 minutes. On my way home I started feeling this rage. I didn’t know where it was coming from, but I felt so much rage coming up from the bottom of my gut, I could taste chemicals in my mouth. I did not realize that having my clitoris stroked was going to wake up these feelings in me.
I woke up the next day to a pain in my genitals, it felt like that part of my body was thawing out after 10 years of being frozen and atrophied. The day after that, I was cleaning my house and I realized I was singing. And the day after that, I could smell flowers and the scent of them uplifted my spirits. I know these things may not sound significant but for someone who was on the brink of suicide not long ago, singing and feeling an effortless sense of joy felt pretty miraculous. Then I realized, these were the kind of incremental changes I saw in Debra.
That first OM stirred up the sediment from my years of trauma and then it slowly helped me release it. I didn’t find any semblance of healing until I found OM at age 53. This was enough of a reason for me to keep practicing.
I don’t want to make it sound like this all happened quickly. OM isn’t magic. It’s a process and it takes what it takes. I could barely feel my body during OM sessions for the first year. I was stuck in my head and over time, I was able to descend down into my body to feel the sensations happening there. After doing four OMs a day for a year, I could finally feel my clitoris while it was being stroked.
As OM helped me work through my trauma, it also heightened all of my senses. I could smell the roses from across the street. Food tastes better, sounds are clearer. I can walk around the house without glasses, and I’m someone who usually can't find my glasses without my glasses. I can feel that those heightened senses come directly from OM because it’s been opening up my body for the first time since I was seven.
I’m learning to appreciate all of the struggle I’ve gone through in my life. It made me more resilient, and OM helped me soften the hardened edges that come from a traumatic life. I am not a “tough” woman, I’m actually a big softie who just wants to offer love because that’s what we all need. OM helped me uncover that this is my true essence.
For me to have made it here, a place where I know for certain I am love, is nothing short of a miracle. That may sound crazy, but I’ve been in mental hospitals and around crazy people. I know crazy, and let me tell you, OM is the sanest thing I’ve ever done.