Ayahuasca & Healing Through Forgiveness
The story of Brain Young’s experience of healing his worst childhood trauma, supported in writing by Ivana Mijatov
My Worst Childhood Trauma
There’s no easy way to start this conversation, so I’ll just jump to it. My teacher molested me as an 8-year-old in 3rd grade. It wasn’t in the way you’re maybe thinking. It was more a violation of my safety and innocence, but traumatic nonetheless.
I was a sweet kid who loved animals and treated everyone the same. I had many friends, and all the neighbors were like aunts/uncles and grandparents. I never got into picking on others or bullying and became friends with everyone I witnessed being picked on.
My dad was a cop for the city, and we lived in a middle-of-the-road neighborhood when it came to crime. Everybody knew I was the son of the neighborhood cop.
My parents made me aware that I could be a target because of who my dad was, but I always felt safe and never experienced any targeted behavior.
In 3rd grade, my teacher had an issue with me. Perhaps, I triggered something in him.
He always singled me out, made me stand in corners during class, and made me sit at a desk directly in front of his desk. He would also usually send notes home saying I was disruptive in class, which I don’t remember being true.
One night, he wanted a parent-teacher conference, so my mom took me to the school. I remember him saying that day he thought it was important for my dad to be there and suggested my mom come with him and not bring me next time.
So their next meeting, I was left at home, and my parents went to the school.
I got the typical safety talk about not answering the door or going outside while they were gone and what numbers to call if I got scared. This was all long before cell phones.
I never felt scared at home when I was left alone, so when the phone rang, I picked up, and the male voice on the other end sounded evil.
He stated he knew my parents weren’t home. He said he was looking at me & described the shirt I wore. And he said if I hung up or tried to call for help, he would break into the home and kill me.
I’ve never been so afraid in a single moment to this day. It was just the combination of this guy’s evil-sounding voice and the deep conditioning that I could be a target because my dad was a cop.
Then, he instructed me to take my clothes off and do things to myself.
The call lasted about 10 minutes, and I ended up hanging up and running into my parent’s room, hiding under the bed. I was terrified.
I feared this person would break into the house and kill me for hanging up on him.
That didn’t happen.
When my parents returned, I was in shock. Partly because when they came inside the house, I thought it was this evil person I hung up on.
I told them what had happened, and they believed me. But the reaction wasn’t what I needed. Both parents became infuriated, threatening the Universe, and I don’t remember even getting a hug. Maybe I did, but I don’t remember.
I never saw a counselor, and we never talked about it again after that night. The only thing I ever heard was that they traced the call back to the school and, more specifically, to the phone in my teacher’s room. I don’t know what happened, but the teacher wasn’t there the following year.
Ayahuasca & Forgiveness
I suppressed this event for many years, and it resurfaced during integration after an Ayahuasca ceremony five years ago. I never shared my trauma with anybody until now.
I became aware of how that single event from 30+ years ago affected me from 3rd grade well into adulthood.
I avoided confrontations because intense masculine energy intimidated me, whether from a male or female. I always felt timid, scared & anxious. I struggled to look people in the eyes. And I wasn’t comfortable with my sexuality & was even confused at times.
I always sought out women with the same traits: they were very authoritative and controlling, which comforted me and made me feel safe. They would be the initiator when it came to intimacy, and they all had sexual trauma in childhood.
As I matured and developed spiritually, the women I brought into my life and my behaviors started to cause me suffering.
It took me some time to understand that my 8-year-old version of myself was trapped inside, and I had been holding on to suppressed feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and insecurities. I was bringing people, events, and circumstances into my life that reinforced these feelings and showed me what I needed to heal.
I studied many different spiritual techniques and practices. One of them was writing down the names of all the people who hurt me, the trauma I experienced & how it made me feel, and then burning it.
I used forgiving affirmations and also had reiki attunement, so I could send people who hurt me healing energy & use it towards myself.
I began praying for those that hurt me.
Then, one day on my drive home from work, the Spirit came to me in a calm, wise voice, and I felt my heart open up and said, “hurt people, hurt people.”
After that, I understood that forgiveness isn’t just about releasing the energy connected with our trauma. It’s also about releasing others from the prison of our minds so we both can heal.
While I knew all the details about how I felt and how this person affected my life, I didn’t know what happened to him during his life that created the behavior that caused him to hurt me.
I don’t know how he was hurt. I don’t know how he felt before, during, or after the event. I don’t know if he’s still fighting the same fight within himself today.
My heart opened even more towards this person who caused the worst trauma of my life and led to years of suffering. I forgave him instantly.
In my mind, I told him it was ok. I apologized to him for holding him hostage in my mind for so long.
I wept, but these tears weren’t for what I experienced; they were for him. I prayed that he could heal and forgive those who hurt him in the way I did for him. I wished him peace and unconditional love.
And finally, I forgave myself for holding onto this pain for so long and for hurting other people because of that pain.
And after this profound experience, I knew this is what real forgiveness feels like.
I understand that forgiving some people doesn’t seem right. It took me over 30 years to forgive this person. But it doesn’t have to take that long.
If we hold compassion and unconditional love in our hearts for all of life and learn to separate behavior from being, we can free ourselves and others so we can all start to heal and expand our love.
From the heart,
Brain Young & Ivana Mijatov