About Remedy Woman
My healing journey is decades long. The process has been challenging, due to being mixed up with a desire to achieve. Achievement is important, yet can, if done wrong, create trauma from flogging oneself. Through experience, I learned to disentangle healthy from unhealthy efforts, and I can now help other people with this.
My trauma came from several early bereavements in my family, mixed with my father’s struggles as a WW2 veteran. I always knew about these, but it took years to understand their impact on me, especially because concepts like intergenerational trauma have been recognized only recently. For example, I did not realize that my constant pain and fatigue were inherited problems to address, thinking it was a normal part of pushing myself.
High Achievement programming might also perpetuate trauma
My family script was to live up to British public school, ministers and teachers on my dad’s side, and proud pioneer settlers (some American 17thC puritans and pilgrims) on my maternal side. I wanted this, and finished my MA in American Religious History (are people improvable through their own efforts and education, or only the grace of God externally granted?… Let’s just say that this question is still HOTLY contested as we know from current U.S. politics!!) and did a second Art History MA.
Yet which was the true me? My own desires were to be a national team rower, and then chuck it all away to live in the wilderness… but also attend Art School. And sample the bright lights of London England to have the kind of glamorous fun I also yearned for. I even did all this for 12 years! But in the end where I found most satisfaction was in healing my inner pain through psychotherapy and Reiki. Armed with my new self-understanding, I returned home to Canada.
At 40, I started a family and moved to the Yukon. Truly fulfilling, yet as I turned 50, my chronic exhaustion worsened. It took several years until my Naturopath tested my hormone levels, and found that my cortisol was flatlining. She said this was due to prolonged stress, from being habituated to over-riding all that childhood grieving and PTSD, despite all the healing I had done.
So what next? I learned to tackle trauma physiologically, through self-regulation. I am now finding a safe sense of self and learning stability of attachment not modelled by early caregivers. A person builds stability through creating healthy, rather than obsessive, connections. I am decolonizing myself from being drawn to unhealthy excitement, whether sports, a romanticized version of history, family lineage, or art.
As a descendent of white colonizers I feel intergenerationally implicated in their attitudes and the way they treated themselves and their children by for example sending them to British Boarding Schools so they were damaged by the same system they forced on others, while thinking this made them superior. It is strange for me to live in the Yukon right now, as we learn of the genocidal legacy of residential schools. This darkest side of the boarding school experience, tried to force First Nations children to assimilate, to stamp out their culture through British style education. Yet an entire literature in England also describes the toxic effects of boarding school on the boys who were the children of privilege and educated to lead: just look at how the British governing class is skewering itself right now (even if that system also gave the world Narnia and Harry Potter).
I see how I too, an heir of this same distorting tradition, struggled in a state of chronic dissociation, trying to cover all the bases, to be a good performer and almost not figuring out how to find “me” in there. Thank goodness I had enough health, even at my most dissociated and romanticized, to value good stuff ~ but nowadays I continually work to shift my obsessive ways of attaching. I now believe even more strongly in symbolism and miracle, from experiencing synchronicities often, than when I used to believe in magic such as Narnia as a child. My Yukon Oracle Cards are my link, drawing a line between exploring Art History while living in London – one of the biggest cities in the world – and my current Yukon life.
I am increasingly aware of how society encourages us to be dissociated: revved up, paralyzed and looking outside of ourselves. This prevents us from healing by orienting to our physiology and our own sources of resilience, personal symbolism and miracle. Yet we live in connection to others, so we have to figure out how to share, and do that without abandoning ourselves too.
Today, I help others who are wounded in similar ways that I have been. If you know your stories and sources of your trauma but in a dissociated way so you are still stuck and in pain, I can help you retrieve your sense of wholeness and clarity. Through considering your past, your relation to the land, your physiological state and your imaginal realm via the Yukon Oracle cards, I can help you intuit your way forward!!