The Only Way Out is In: Using Ayahuasca to Heal Old Wounds and Address PTSD

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I’ve done ayahuasca 8 times for the purpose of healing my PTSD and anxiety, and to ultimately be the best version of myself I can be. I want to be very clear on this topic. Ayahuasca is an extremely potent psychedelic substance from the Amazon. It should only be administered by a trusted shaman. There are sooo many people right now in the world calling themselves shamans and playing with people’s lives in these ceremonies. Unfortunately, I ended up in one of these bogus shamans’ events the last time I sat for ceremony. It was a horrific and dangerous experience. If you want to try plant medicines for the purpose of healing and/or spiritual growth, please please please do your research. There are specific medication and food restrictions. Even some of the shamans in Peru are not authentic. This is critical for your well-being and safety.


A little background information before we go into these experiences: Gigi is my dog. I had her throughout my journey with depression and anxiety. I had given her to a friend to take care of because I just didn’t feel I was capable of giving her the life she deserved while battling depression the way I was. She died in that person’s care. I dealt with a tremendous amount of guilt before and after her death. If you’ve read any of my other articles, you will learn that my mother was a narcissist with BPD and my biological father was also mentally ill and extremely abusive. I was suffering from PTSD, anxiety, and severe insomnia at the time I explored ayahuasca as a means of healing myself. I had connected and formed a bond with the shaman’s assistant, Kat, before attending the ceremony. She was the shaman’s trainee and also a reiki practitioner. Below are my journal entries, which I was writing before and after the ceremonies.


It should be noted that I am a visual learner and empath and, during my experiences, I was often shown through seeing and feeling. You will be able to read and observe the plant intelligence, my higher self, and my ego all come in to influence my experience. It is important to mention that everyone’s experience on ayahuasca is extremely personal and unique to their journey. Some people have immediate clarity about the experience while others require days/weeks to absorb and process the information.


This is what aya did for me… 🙂



Journey Entry 8/24/13


(before ceremony)

The way I got here was no coincidence. I had been studying theta brain wave activity and how it is present in the brain during astral projection. A friend randomly sent me a link about this powerful healing ceremony and the first thing that came to mind was that this potent brew must release/activate theta waves in the brain. Shortly after, I found a study which concluded my hypothesis. I knew this was something I was meant to do to heal.


Ayahuasca has been known for thousands of years in the Amazon rainforest as the sacred healer. I have prepared for the ceremony by special diet and other restrictions. I am ready to walk through and be freed from the pain of my past in order to heal. I am ready to love myself and feel deserving of love – ready to find and walk the path in order to do so. I’m tired of mediocrity and stagnancy. I want to be whole so that I can share my wholeness with my friends, students, and potential husband and children one day. I want to connect with and love my family without feeling pain and guilt. I went through trauma as a child and there are things I don’t remember – this is something I want to face. I don’t remember big pieces of my childhood, and the things I do remember were extremely traumatic. I miss Gigi. There are things I wish I could tell her.


The house is something I’ve never seen before. Yoga mats, pillows and blankets line the perimeter of the room. Kat put me very close to her and the shaman because we are new. Each person’s station has a vomit bucket. There is a girl here who had “dreamed” for the past two nights and is going home. She said Ayahuasca is the best healer. There are people here from last night who are still feeling the effects of the Aya. They are having this deep philosophical talk. This is so crazy, but in a good way. 🙂


Before the ceremony, I spoke with Kat privately about my intentions. I have so many questions (what else is new). She said that if I am in distress during the ceremony, just crawl to her and she will help me. The shaman is also very close and his wife will be there to translate for him if needed (he’s Peruvian and speaks Spanish).


In the meeting with Kat, she told me that when she had dark stuff to clear, she saw herself being decapitated and all of this poison was taken out of her body. The entire time she watched from above, grinning. She said to not have expectations because mother Aya has a way of not giving what you want, but instead, giving you what you need. She said to simply put my intentions out there and trust mother Aya. Surrender. Allow.


Next to me is Jennifer in the ceremony room. She is a reiki master as well. She recommends to bring the breath in through the head. “I am love, I am here, and I surrender. Cosmic and local, I am aware.” She said there is a binder in the back of my head that connects to the Akashic records. Jennifer taught me to try to be quiet through the ceremony because everyone’s senses are heightened and noise can be distracting for others.


We are about to begin the ceremony. I keep repeating to myself, “reveal, heal, remember, aware.” This is my mantra, if nothing else. The lights will go off soon and we will be in the dark. I can’t listen to anyone talk about this anymore. I’m ready. I’m antsy. I feel like I’ve been waiting to heal for years and these minutes seem like hours.


(after ceremony)

Holy fuck. The ceremony started when the sun went down. The lights went completely off and it was nearly pitch black. I could vaguely see shadows around me. The shaman poured the Aya in a small cup and each of us came and knelt in front of him, prayed, drank it and thanked him. Shortly after, the shaman came to the foot of us three newbies in the room and sang a welcoming song (to welcome mother Aya). After he visited us, the shaman proceeded to sing to the whole group. Time went by – about an hour – and I still felt nothing. On top of that, I felt extremely agitated because I wanted the experience so bad. I went up to Kat and told her I felt nothing. She asked me if I wanted more. “Yes,” I responded. Katherine said it would start effecting me in 15 minutes. I went to the bathroom and did some squats to get my blood flowing. I came back and laid down on my back.


First I felt it in my hands. Then it hit me hard. It felt like ecstacy in that my senses were heightened – but to a much more intense degree. Now I see why the room has to be dark, because any light would hurt our eyes. The body high was intense. I remembered that I was supposed to minimize any sound I made for the sensitivity of other people in the room. That was fine with me, I could barely move. I could only flop around, and even that took exerting every morsel of energy I had in me. I managed to rip off my bra because wearing that definitely wasn’t happening.


I started to feel anxiety. A lot of it. The visuals start to come in and they were evil. They were my ego in the form of fear, self-hatred and judgement. The visuals started off like little dancing confetti but then the confetti pieces started to have claws. The visuals started off as a border to my vision but then began closing in. It was evil energy and I started to panic. How am I supposed to surrender to THIS? Within a few moments, I was taught apply love to the demons. It was like a stamp in my face. LOVE. When I stamped love on the demons, the visuals went from these gnarly creatures with claws cornering me to melting into flatter, harmonious creatures – almost like flowers.


I call the next part “judgement day” because I had to watch how, in my current life situation, I wasn’t applying love. I was brought through my friendships and relationships with others. It was painful to watch how I hadn’t treated my friends and other human beings with love. I began to feel incredibly ashamed of my behavior but, almost immediately, I was taught to not wallow in guilt or self-loathing, or torture or punish myself for my behavior. I was observing things I was ashamed of and my mind wanted to find ways to compensate for that, but I was cut off from wallowing in guilt. The message, again, was to simply do better. To change the behavior when I had the opportunity.


I was shown how I could heal others too. My message to my mother was that she is currently unable to celebrate my late stepfather’s life or their friendship because of resentment she harbors towards him and the only reason she has this resentment is because it’s easier for her to be angry than to be sad. My mind went through all of their pictures together like a rolodex. I could see how happy they were together and how disgusting I was to ever judge them and how sad it is that she’s not celebrating the love they shared.


Mother Aya let me apply how I would do better in my interpersonal relationships with others. For every situation in which she showed me I had not applied love, she allowed me to practice applying love in these situations. She showed me that I’m capable of unconditional love. She let me experience, like actually experience, what it would be like to unconditionally love my child, a daughter even. I was shown that I’m not like my mother and that I can and will be a good mother one day.


I dealt with my weight issues. Mother Aya let me practice a balanced way of life to get me back on track. I struggled how I could live with my fat self during the transition. I was taught to embrace my body and to go buy some clothes that fit. I looked at my body and watched it morph into a blubbering, disgusting, demonic growing pile of filth. It was so evil. I tried to apply love to it but I kept teetering between love and disgust for my body. This is when I connected to my mother.


I remembered when I was young, how she’d ask me if she was as fat as other women. I would answer her “no” every time because it was the truth. She wasn’t nearly as heavy as they were. I remembered her taking me shopping for plus size clothes and how she was able to just own it. I wanted to be beautiful and classy like her. But just like me, she didn’t feel pretty. She had body issues too.


I was brought back into our relationship together, but this time I experienced it through her perspective. This humanized her and I was able to look at her from a place of compassion and empathy. This lead me to forgiveness.


I had the judgement day experience with Gigi. I saw all the things I did to neglect her and they were all because of my own fear, control and anger. This was very painful. I began to cry quietly, still maintaining as much silence as possible in the room. As I began to gain lucidity, I asked myself – “can I forgive myself for this?” I saw a huge steel door in front of me with bolts. I guess not tonight.


After experiencing what a profound healing ayahuasca facilitated in me, I decided to sit for ceremony for four nights in a row. As I’ve mentioned previously, I did not remember huge chunks of my childhood. It is on nights 2 and 3 that I go back into it. I will describe those two nights here:


2nd night

(after ceremony)

Last night experience was the exactly opposite of what I wanted. Last time I was shown how I wasn’t applying love and I was ashamed, but the moment I went down the road of guilt and shame, I was taught not to do that and to just improve my behavior. This time I was brought through my life but this time I observed how judgemental I am and how I use that judgement, particularly judgment of myself, to constantly put myself down for not being perfect enough” or good enough. I saw how my judgement of myself holds me back from being fully present in my relationships.


On three separate occasions, I had a connection with other peoples’ spirits in the room. They were “walking” through pain. I simply walked with them. This was the first time I truly understand what it means to “hold space” for someone.


I puked. A lot.


I watched my higher self speak to my earthly self. With foreheads touching, looking into each other’s eyes, they were exact mirror images. High self connected with earth self and gently told her, “stop judging yourself”, over and over and over.


Two times they brought me into a golden room. It kind of like an incubator. I don’t know who they is but it wasn’t mother Aya. The brightness of the room hurt my eyes. It felt like I was lying down on some sort of operating table.


I went back into my childhood a little. I was in my body as a small child and I felt her pain. It was so dark and lonely. I realize now that it was the loneliness I couldn’t bare, not the abuse. That’s why I remember the abuse and not the rest. It made sense now.


I saw myself as a child crying through the abuse itself. I comforted her and hugged her and held her.


Last time, I asked if I could forgive myself, specifically with Gigi, and there was a steel door with bolts. This time I learned that I don’t have to feel guilty anymore. I went back in and relived my experience with Gigi. This time, I celebrated her life.


I saw African slavery and felt the pain of many lineages. There was a specific emphasis on the ripping apart of families. The pain was so incredibly strong and deep through the generations.


I revisited conversations I had and sermons I sat through in the Christian church I sometimes went to. I saw how all the information from these conversations and church tied in to my life and how it was relevant NOW.


A thought came into my mind. “Your womb is empty.” I was invited to examine this damaging thought. I don’t judge my friends, or anyone for that matter, for being single or divorced or without kids, and no one judges me for it. So why am I judging myself? I let go of the attachment of having a baby. Having a baby doesn’t make me relevant and neither does having a man.


I went into my relationships with women and how much I appreciate the women who are in my life. The message was that I need to allow them to love me. I have a lot to be grateful for and I am a boss – at work and in life.


The shaman called me up to him. I could barely keep my head up. He sang to me. I could see his lineage. I couldn’t get past the nausea. I puked again.


I saw a brown bear.


After I came out of the aya journey I asked Jennifer about the golden room. She told me that the arcturians have a room filled with golden yellow light that beings can go to in order to absorb the light. This made sense to me because I knew “they” (plural) brought there, not mother Aya or my higher self. Maybe I should explore my starseed lineage?


3rd night

(after ceremony)


Before ceremony, I was laying down with snowflake obsidian on my 3rd eye chakra. The shaman gave me a heaping full dose, larger than previously. The ceremony began. I started to feel panic. I tried to stay in the golden light room and that calmed me down a bit, but then the anxiety started again and I begged Mother Aya to have mercy on me. She backed off and brought me to a place where I felt safe. The music intensified and I started to feel like I was going to have a meltdown. I crawled to Kat and told her I was going to snap. She immediately took me to another room.


I began to sob. I couldn’t stop. The emotional pain was intensifying. I asked Kat what was happening to me. She told me that I was going to go into my childhood tonight. I started to have visuals of my self-destructive thoughts. They were inside bubbles that were rising and morphing into evil creatures, and then dissolving into a black space.


The emotional pain was so dark and lonely. I was going through all the destructive thoughts and how awful they were. “You don’t deserve to have good people in your life.” “No one will ever love you.” “You’re too fucked up to ever be a normal person.” The crying turned to begging. I needed it to stop. I couldn’t deal with the pain. I began to sweat and vomit (and other types of purging). It took all the effort in the world to even pick my head up from the floor to vomit.

I saw Mother Aya. She was a wall of purple liquid with a face in the middle. So regal and powerful. Her face was that of an Egyptian goddess. I begged her to have mercy on me again. She just looked down at me with firm love.

Kat was trying to give me reiki and love, but the love hurt. I begged her to stop and get away from me. The energy coming from her hands was electric and pink. I told her I hate being hugged and I don’t want the love. It was because I felt like I didn’t deserve it. She kept saying that I will never have to go through this again. She kept telling me to surrender.


All the pain from my childhood was pouring out of me in every way. An emotional, psychological and physical purge. I was remembering and experiencing the childhood that I had blocked out for the first time. At one point, Kat, the shaman’s wife and the shaman all left the 20+ people in the ceremony room to be with me. Kat took out the mopacha to protect me from the energies that were coming out of me. I begged her to stop and got even more hysterical. After the hours passed I began to calm down a bit. The shaman stayed with me for a long time until I was calm. Kat finally came in and told me it was over.


When I was able to speak again, I asked her what happened. She told me that she was communicating with my soul while I was fighting the love, and my soul was on board and ready to let go of the pain. The pain was so intense – not just the pain from my childhood but the layered pain. I witnessed how I recreate the pain from my childhood in my adulthood. I remember when I started to have the initial meltdown on the floor of that room I could see my heart in a glass case. There were layers and layers of black cinderblocks on top of the case. I got through those cinderblocks last night. I finally surrendered and allowed the love and reiki that Kat was offering me into my heart.


I asked Kat what the shaman was doing to me when I was on the floor. She explained to me that, when a child goes through trauma, the soul splits and breaks into fragments. She said the shaman was performing soul retrieval on me – going in and pulling back together the pieces of my fragmented soul.


Later that morning, I was laying down and had a memory from my childhood I had never remembered before. I am in my great Aunt Millie’s backyard. It is springtime. The sun is out and the flowers are blooming. I’m a little girl and I’m catching butterflies. I went into the other room where everyone was and told them. I was crying in happiness and the other’s joined me in this joy. What a beautiful moment.


I feel like I’m part of a tribe of people who understand me and saw me through the worst pain I have ever felt. Everyone was so understanding and amazing. I could have never gotten through that night without Kat. She is truly an intuitive healer and on her way to becoming a great shaman.

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