All posts for the month April, 2018

Nine Of Swords: When Trauma Won’t Sleep

Published April 3, 2018 by michelleembree
FullSizeRender (19)

Nine of Swords // Hermetic Tarot // Godfrey Dowson

Cruelty and Despair is the title of this card. Deep aniexty will wake us and refuse to let us sleep. There are single nights that can carry themselves like a century of terror and pain. These nights can expand to weeks and months and years.

What do we do as a person who suffers in this way?

Western Medicine may offer us sleep aids in the form of medication and also the benefits of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. These are perfectly reasonable avenues and if they are available to you and work please take the relief and get your sleep.

There are other questions we may need to ask ourselves that are more difficult. If we suffer from the lingering effects of date/stranger rape/physical harm it is likely that our partners, parents, and friends expect us to ‘free’ ourselves, to ‘get help and free ourselves’. We are expected to achieve our well-being on our own. Sure, people offer to ‘help’ or ‘support’ but when it comes to the long haul the expectation falls back on the one who was harmed.

In the end it is true as Alice Sebold wrote: You Save Yourself or You Remain Unsaved.

This often means asking questions you don’t want to confront or making changes that are fundamentally unfair. Whether you are dealing with a crime or with emotional woundings from limited or cruel caretakers ask yourself if you are making too many compromises in order to maintain relationships:

Are you pretending in order to make your partner comfortable?

Are you fufilling family obligations that have no other reward aside from avoiding punishment?

Is your therapist prepared to move you beyond sleep aids and anti-depressants or is this the solution despite your desire for natural sleep and serotonin production?

Do your friends listen to you? Your partner?

If you see metaphysical practitioners do they focus you on forgiveness when you are not ready or willing?

Are your practitioners and friends punitive or rejecting of your anger?


Sam-E is an over the counter medicine that really does help regulate mood and sleep cycles.

Get up at the same time everyday no matter how much sleep you lost.

Keep wi-fi devices out of your bed.

Get the TV out of your bedroom.

Avoid excessive caffeine and sugars.

Get out of bed rather than toss and turn.

Recognize how many things your mind is throwing at you. Often you are in pain because of a big trauma but your mind throws everything at you from what Sally said in the third grade to the person who cheated on you ten years ago. Recognize this.

Breathe and focus on getting a good nights sleep before falling asleep.

Once you hit the bed, your mind should be focussed on sleep rather than problems.

Let go of people who dismiss you, bully you, don’t listen, or otherwise confuse and gas light you if this is possible.

Sleep alone if it is best for you.

Use lavender on your skin or in a difusser

The only time to use a wi-fi device in your bedroom is when you are listening to whale songs or other healing frequencies.


Passion Flower

Kava Kava



None of these will solve your problems, but every effort we make to help ourselves will lead to greater efforts to help ourselves and to find practitioners, friends, partners, and actions that hold and affirm our humanity and value.

You are loved. Period.


If you are dealing with those traumatized by crime or the deep wounds made by limited or cruel caregivers it is imperative to recognize the cyclical nature of the traumatized mind and emotional systems. The above may be helpful to your clients in taking care of themselves, so please share.

There will be periods of time when your clients are operating at optimal levels of ‘productivity’ and enjoy a sense of ‘well being’ and then there will be times when this is not the case and their worst ‘symptoms’ are on high.


Remind clients/patients that they do not always feel so bad.

Remind them that the perpetrators are to blame, that ‘being there’ is not a crime or a reason to harm.

Remind them it is not their fault.

Remind them again.

And again.

If your client has ‘triggered out’ in your care it IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to know what to do and to return clients to the present moment. It IS YOUR JOB to ensure their safety before they leave your care.

If you are dealing with ‘borderline’ individuals make sure you are qualified to take such clients and/or that you desire to do so. Not all therapists/metaphysicians accept ‘borderline’ clients. If you choose to do so, make sure you have the tools.

If a client triggers:

Allow them to use their own words to describe their state of mind.

Remind them they are safe and are heard.

Breathe with them.

Offer water and take time out from talking.

If they need to yell, let them.

Offer a pillow for punching.

When the wave of physical distress has passed ask them to name five red things in the room. Then five yellow. Then five blue. (or whatever colors are prevalent in your office)

Breathe with them some more.

Ask them about the temperature of their body. (A ‘trauma hole’ can cause the body to register temperature in odd ways, asking will help both of you to assess where the client is within the re-experience).

Once the body has relaxed ask these five questions, five times over in rapid succession:

What color is your shirt?

Who is the president?

What year is it?

What is my name?

What month is it?

These questions reorient the client/patient to the present moment.

As a practitioner you have every right to decide the kinds of clients you are willing to accept. If you do not feel comfortable working with PTSD, C-PTSD, or Borderline clients then do not do so. It may be a question you ask off the top when you are approached by those seeking help.

Have a list of practitioners willing and educated in doing this work to refer to those who are seeking help you do not have to offer.

If I may be of assistance to you as either a client or a practitioner seeking consultation on upgrading to Trauma Informed Approach you may text or e-mail your request.

THANK YOU to ALL of you who take the time to care for yourselves and others and who are always looking to exceed limits and grow as individuals and practitioners.

Text: 270 331 9229









Diary of a Dog Fiend.

this blog may contain offensive, nonsensical and mind altering material. Reader's discretion advised.

Notes from the Uncanny Valley

"You’d have to be crazy to think going to Mars won’t drive you crazy."

coffee & a card

daily tarot

benebell wen

author + reader


Herbalism. Deep Ecology. Reconnection Medicine.

celestial tree

tarot, oracles, and other signs along the journey

The Writer in the World


Sullivan Mindful Living

Hypnotherapy, Reiki, Pranic Healing, Essential Oils, Access Consciousness


A Site of Beautiful Resistance

Good work ongoing

A Piece of Work


Short books about albums. Published by Bloomsbury.


I'm John Weir. This is my blog: fiction, non-fiction, some rants. All stuff I wrote. The picture above is a slice from Cy Twombly's *Cold Stream*, 1966.


Magickal Arts & Curios

The Opiate

Autonomous Damage Control


the marrow of the story

Philosophical Readings of Tarot

Daughters of Chaos

Deleuze Studies International Conference Stockholm 2015