Bloom: Learning to Thrive in Light of Our Stories
I sit as part of a circle of seven women and watch as one of them begins to cry. I begin to rock my body from side to side without thinking. I’ve had four babies. Rocking is my superpower. My group leader asks me, “I see you rocking, what are you feeling?” “This isn’t the right thing to say but I just want to pick her up and rock her,” I express sheepishly.
Our intelligent leader looks at me with eyes of soft steel and asks me, “Why do you think that is?”
I’m sort of dumbfounded. Isn’t it obvious?
Then it dawns on me that she is looking at my story at this moment, not my group member’s. I can’t really find words for an answer but what I do know is that I am caught with a new revelation about my story.
I do want to rock this sweet woman. And I need to be rocked.
This scenario has played out countless times in work with The Allender Center. By engaging a
story other than my own, my tricksy defense structures are disarmed, and I am caught in young,
As terrifying as it is to be caught, it is more painful to not be seen.
The Spirit has also brought clarity as I engage in training. I have been flattened by knowledge my body is certain of, though I may not be able to give concrete memories of the information. Trauma stories are inherently confusing because we are dysregulated as we encode the information. To know aspects of my story that were previously shrouded in confusion brings me relief and grief.
Relief settles me and grief makes way for hope.
One thing I will never be is NOT sexually abused. I carry it in my heart, mind, soul, and cells.
The Allender Theory has helped me become someone who thrives in the face of this
truth like a bright red flower that cannot help but bloom. As I am continually caught in young
places, I am simultaneously asked to grow up. I am learning to allow others to walk with me and
help me in the places where I am frightened. Adult me is getting to sit with the younger me and
gently mother her where she has not been loved. I am becoming a woman that is both braver
and more fragile all at once.
It is not comfortable, but it is good.
Goodness is what propels me to continue to champion and submit to work that pulls the rug out
from under me so I feel the gritty earth beneath my feet. My roots burrow deep to nourish the