Underwater Transformation About Face Underwater Transformation About Face

Manu – Domestic violence and child abuse survivor

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Manu - Neuropsychology Researcher

Domestic violence & child abuse survivor

My name is Manu, I am 30 years old, I was born in Punjab & grew up in east bay. I’m a research associate in a neuropsychology lab. I am also a community organizer who dreams of an anti-racist, anti-casteist equal society that gives safety & life to oppressed communities.

I am a survivor of domestic violence from my childhood & abuse in an adult relationship. I have a lot of developmental trauma from not being safe in my childhood & feeling I had to protect & fight for my mother’s safety & my siblings’ safety. I am also a survivor of a suicide attempt that almost took my life. I am still healing my wounds through somatic therapy & talk therapy.

I accepted my queerness at the age of 19 & came into my nonbinary identity at the age of 23. I realized I did not feel like a cisgender woman & felt very on the spectrum with my gender performance. I feel the most authentically myself when people refer to me using my they/them pronouns.

I read about releasing trauma and pain through underwater submersion & found an article that highlighted Erena’s healing work so I wanted to also experience some of this water healing & create something meaningful with my pain.¬†Initially I felt uneasy around water especially because I cannot swim. But as we did breathing exercises together & practiced being with the water, I felt more comfortable and safe. As I began to feel safe in the water and with Erena, I felt secure in my creative process & used the water to aid in releasing my pain & trauma.

Erena guided me to safety by teaching me underwater breath work, helping me stay in my body, being gentle & very patient. She was encouraging me & felt like a trustworthy guide through this process. I felt safe & secure during and even after. Water represents cleansing, releasing, surrendering, and being in the present.

I slept great that night I want to be with the water more as I heal.

I think underwater therapy can be very healing for survivors & I would recommend using this as an adjunct to therapy work. I think a lot of trauma can be released with this intentional practice & I definitely plan to get in the water again with Erena. Thank you for playing a part in my healing.

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