Updated: Dec 2
Corporations profit from our trauma. In 1980, the DSM III acknowledged it was so imprecise it should never be used for insurance purposes. Yet clinicians now use it to diagnose and “treat” mental health disorders resulting from colonial abuse. This leads to complex trauma which is often the root of symptoms such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, borderline, and many other disorders. Yet in 1994, trauma-based diagnoses such as C-PTSD were proposed to and rejected by the DSM committee because this would have put the insurance and drug companies out of business.
I have been navigating two very different realities. One in which I am insane for emotionally empathizing with nature, feeling viscerally disgusted by the smoggy orange sky, and sensing the pain of those invisibilized via fentanyl overdoses in a city known for its “technology.” The other in which I am trying my best to be sane within the colonizer’s paradise, “pulling myself up by the bootstraps” to heal from wounds inflicted on my ancestral lineage, and diligently engaging in self-care while really needing community-care.
Too many people are offering “healing” without first engaging in decolonization; it’s not healing when your "help" is predicated on the continued exploitation of the rest of the Earth. Healing is not individual, it is collective, it is grief, it is responsibility, it is reparation, it is relationality, it is recalibration with the full truth of the present.
Healing is deep work, because if done properly, it extends into the Earth. She loved me even when humans could not because our healing became synchronized. What a strange feeling waiting to be reborn, for the conditions to be safe for your true manifestation, armoring against the raw unknown that is separation from sacred relationality. My ancestral spirit has crossed the Pacific and rooted itself here to engage in healing with those who have been disconnected in different ways that somehow hurt the same.
“Acknowledging the reality of early deprivation, abuse, and neglect inevitably would lead to an invitation to change the social system.” -Bessel Van Der Kolk