Citation: messypearl. "Ego Struggle and New Perspective on Trauma: An Experience with SSRI, LSD, DMT & Cannabis (exp113859)". Erowid.org. Jan 16, 2020. erowid.org/exp/113859
The context for this experience was sort of ritualistic. It wasn't my first trip, and in the past I've had some hard experiences, so we wanted to do things right. If possible, I wanted to keep the experience light and easy, maybe take the opportunity to write, doodle, and discuss ideas. Since I started taking SSRIs, LSD has become less overwhelming, so I wasn't seeking nor expecting anything in particular. I used to get lots of visuals on LSD, and now they are almost completely gone.
I used to get lots of visuals on LSD, and now they are almost completely gone.
The bodily sensations remain, although they're not as intense, and I can feel that my thought patters change, but that's the greatest effect.
We started quiet. I meditated for a bit, and started doodle-writing while sitting on the floor. My legs got numb several times but it didn't bother me. We talked, and eventually went out for a walk in the woods. It had snowed, and we didn't need artificial light sources to see in the dark. I laid on the snow and gazed at the stars for a while.
After the walk, we ate something and since the peak had already passed, we decide it was time to get ready for the DMT part of the day. I went first and it was slightly disappointing. When they asked me if I wanted to try again, I said it felt pointless and blamed the SSRIs. The experience felt muddy, the visuals were dark and out of balance. I had felt like a pressure on the left side of my head, and the same pressure made the patters lean. Something seemed to be telling me that I wasn't going anywhere, that I wasn't ready and it wasn't the time. I tried to change position and sit upright, to make the experience more "balanced" or "symmetrical", but something was still off. Still, at the last moment, I decided to give it one more chance, just to be sure. I sat on the floor this time, in front of a candle.
Something happened. The first thing I saw was a beautiful, symmetrical fractal pattern, opening up. As if it were saying: "alright, there you go: symmetry. Since you seem to believe it's so important. Are you happy now?" Then, a beam of light appeared at the top centre of my field of vision, and a slit, some sort of gate, started opening in front of me. I realized being sitting inside of some sphere, surrounded by eyes. The slit was getting broader, and light came from it. I felt the light running through my spine, and all I could think was that I didn't know what that was or what it meant, but I trusted it. I apologized for having been disrespectful earlier, and I asked it "show me. Do whatever you need. I'm nothing." I stopped feeling my body for a second. I opened my eyes.
We didn't know what to make of the experience. At least, we pointed out, laughing, now I knew that DMT still worked in spite of the SSRIs. It felt like it was something to examine further when sober. From the little I knew, it seemed like something close to an ego-death experience. As I was about to find out, it was naïve to believe so.
Later, after midnight, we went out and smoked some cannabis in the woods. Everything so far had been pleasant and easy, including the more interesting DMT moment. But when returning home, things started to feel strange. Normally, cannabis relaxes me or makes me giddy, but this time I got scared. My vision was all wrong, and so was my sense of touch. It was as if my skin had started to malfunction. I could not tell where my edges were. Touching my skin for a moment would help for a second, but then my body would start to bloat and contract as if looking at it through a glass. I did not understand what was happening, and I started panicking.
It was the scariest experience of my life. I was lucid all the time, but I was certain I had lost my mind and gone insane. "That's it" I thought "I fucked up my brain. My psychiatrist was right. It was in the cards for me, because I'm mentally unstable (Note: I have PTSD), and regardless of that I played with fire and now there's no turning back. Have I triggered a latent schizophrenia? Will they have to lock me up in an asylum?" My brain was racing and it's hard to remember everything I saw, felt and thought. It's getting increasingly harder to remember the order or the reasoning behind, if one can call it "reasoning". At some point, I wondered if I was still sitting in front of the candle and it was all a DMT nightmare. Intuitively, it felt like what was happening was a continuation of that experience. Like something was tearing me apart, destroying my mind and driving me insane. I saw my memories and my thoughts and they felt alien. Not even like someone else's life, but several steps beyond. I didn't have context to understand anything. I forgot what humans were and how they operate. I still reasoned that those images were part of me, because they were inside my mind and that was what was retrieving them, but other than that, they were impossible to decipher. Some of the trains of thought during those moments were as absurd as "when was this? What is happening? Do I know these people? Why am I with them? Do humans hang out with each other? Why? Why do we go to places? Have I been there? How did I get there?" In hindsight, I should have given up and let go, but I was absolutely terrified. I knew that if I didn't try to make sense of what was happening, if I didn't try to regain my sanity and put my body and mind in synch again, I would be gone and never come back. It felt like I was dying. My mind was weakening and fading into madness.
I was so cold they gave me up to three blankets. I shaked, cried, thought that I would much rather have a broken bone, a bleeding open wound, anything rather than what was happening. My teeth chattered, and my muscles got so tense they hurt. Apparently, this lasted for two or three hours, during which my SO trip-sitted me and tried to get me to breathe slowly, like we've done before during other panic attacks. He tried to make me understand that I wasn't going mad, that I was just having an episode and things were scary but it would pass, but it didn't compute. I couldn't stop crying.
At the core, all that was left of me was a primal survival instinct. I was losing myself and all I could think of was that I didn't want to die.
I had flashbacks of my teenage years. Of the events that led to my trauma. It felt like I was forced to look at that and go through all of it again. But it was as seeing it all for the first time, and trying to make sense of it and understand it for the first time. "Why am I crying so much? Is this normal? Do humans cry? Have I ever seen another human cry? Why do they all look so worried? What's wrong with me? How many times have I cried like this before? Why? Why does it hurt so much? Who made me cry like this? Why did I let them?"
There's something that I may have to point out: For over ten years, I thought that what happened when I was a teenager had been my fault. To summarize, I was sexually abused by two older guys, who pretended to love me. It happened during the span of my 13 and 15 years. They were 18 and 24, respectively. My parents found out. They took me to a hospital to get blood analysis because I hadn't used protection. They grounded me and when I tried to reach out to my friends because I was terrified of having a STD they pointed out that I deserved it, because those guys were clearly garbage and they had warned me. My parents never asked me about those experiences. They were just disappointed in me and angry, because I had lied to them and done something so unspeakably stupid. I did not get therapy. I did not talk about it with anyone else. In the end, my blood tests were clean. But the message had come through: I was so disgusting and stupid that I deserved to be used and abused and die of a STD.
I cried through all the times I cried and felt so much anger and sadness words don't reach. For the first time in my life I looked at it all without blaming myself. I just thought "Why? Why would anyone do such a thing? Isn't it completely horrible to hurt someone else's body, to use another being's body for your own pleasure like that? To hurt someone on purpose? Why do we do that? Isn't the fact that we're alive and some day we'll have to die tragic enough, that we have to make others miserable? Why would anyone hurt or even kill someone else? We are just made out of time. That's it. Humans are made out of time." That echoed in my mind for a while. "And ending our time prematurely… that's the worst possible thing that can happen. And I thought I deserved that. And my parents! My tribe! My friends! Everything that should have made me safe, they just… How can you put someone else in the world and then treat it like that? I don't understand. I don't understand anything." I continued crying, I felt like I was folding over myself again and again and becoming smaller and smaller. The emotions were consuming me.
But I couldn't let go. I would always end up thinking "I don't want to die. Please. I don't want to die. I'm not ready. I don't want to die."
At the end of those two-three hours, the shaking and crying diminished. We ate. We slept. We talked and tried to process what had happened.
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