I had a powerful moment with my inner child this morning. I was feeling a lot of deep, deep sadness today about the struggle I have felt not only to express myself, but also to build something from within me in the outside that is a reflection of who I truly am. A huge part of my history is a pattern of ruptures, endings and losses, the termination of possibilities that were beginning to build.
A large part of my need to tear things apart comes from the fact of having had a very serious accident very close to the ending of my schooling and being taken out of school and never returning, never attending my graduation ceremony, never fully completing that particular right of passage in the so called ‘normal’ way.
Then being confronted with the need to choose a path into the world after a time of significant trauma which obliterated certain choices (due to not being well enough to travel to the nearest town to study my chosen career), choosing then a career as a teacher which got interrupted again when my older sister had a cerebral haemorraghe and I tried to move away to escape the confusion only to end up feeling the need to return as I had decided that in fact teaching was a better option for me only to be told by my father this was no longer a possibility due to the fact that I had moved around too much and was now obliged to go to business college and become a secretary… (wow long sentence with no full stops which communicates the run away train wreck that became my life!)
Anyway I landed up in this college, hating every day, being forced to study shorthand in the mornings and type in the afternoons page after page in triplicate (for those of you born after the 60’s this involved three pages of paper sandwiched with two pieces of carbon in between), more than 2 mistakes a page (we typed on hand propelled typewriters – no word processors back then) the page to be discarded and you had to start again.
I date my serious drinking and drug taking beginning during these years, a way of rebelling against the straight jacket life I was being forced into.
This was strangely triggered for me today. I had a garden guy come around to look at my garden and he outlined the plants he felt had to go that I had planted (admittedly some of them in the wrong places). After he left I collapsed to the floor in tears. I felt a strange kind of dissociated discombobulation as if the life I was living was not really my life, my real life having been stolen from me so many years ago, like having watched the tide go out taking everything that meant anything only to leave me alone on the shore with nothing.
It is clear to me now that there was a big trigger for me in him suggesting changes to the garden I had planted, something far bigger was being evoked and I was having a response to it, a response of grief, sadness and pain.
A friend called shortly afterward and I couldn’t really articulate much, I just cried a lot. He is a good friend and he was loving to me, just a bit confused as to what it was all about. I was also struggling for words then and words couldn’t really touch the place of pain I was in, which seems to have passed now that I have made sense of things in my blog today.
As I was sitting here I had an image of my inner child as she was, literally glowing with long blond hair, a huge smile on her face, dancing, dancing, dancing down in some place deeper than I could find for years. I lost touch with her and became a sad and deeply angry girl who hid her anger and complied the whole way along, carrying on her silent rebellion in her party lifestyle where the wild one within was freed by booze to dance and rebel, but only for a few hours before having to return to the grey life chosen for her by someone else years ago. And yet I was not even partially conscious of the loss at least until the grip of addiction loosened its hold on me and I began to awaken.
The loss of self I suffered has imprisoned me for years. It has made it hard for me to allow myself to know what I want, to even risk asking for it or speaking about it. It has made me a magnet for others sadness and pain which I have absorbed not fully knowing why until very recently. It also turned me into someone sad and lost who was wandering everywhere looking for a way to find her soul back and meeting other accidents and ruptures and never really fully able to open to a happy life and grasp the opportunities for good times and connection.
And yet I cant help realising today that somewhere deep within me there has always been a golden little fighter, that resilient, happy younger self who has the ability to be touched by truth, who has the capacity to open her heart even in the midst of sadness and pain and allow it to move through her, a little one who can feel angry when something hurts and make that anger known.
Yesterday as I allowed my ankles to and wrists to be strapped down so that I could be passed into the Siemens machine that would perform a bone density scan for me that lasted over half an hour, I didn’t have to resist or fight, I just submitted and when I opened my eyes to find the radiation pad only a few inches from my face I didn’t panic. I reminded myself I wasn’t trapped, it was 2o16 not 1979, I was not trapped in a car anymore and I was safe. Nick knows where you are I told my self and he wont let you get hurt. (Nick was the lovely young radiographer who was undertaking the test). I can tell you this way of responding just would not have been possible for me a year or so ago, I would have been hyperventilating and in a panic. I also think I might made up all kinds of rationalisations and excuses for why I could not undergo the tests hiding from my fear instead of facing up to it and making the decision to move through it.
When I think of all I have undergone throughout my life, of the way I harshly judge myself for things that were never my fault, I do feel proud, I know that in me is a fighter but there is also a part of me that at times must surrender too. I must surrender to feel my feelings even when they seem overwhelming for they are truly not a flood that will drown me but a loving tide that will carry me a long to a truer place, than I have known before. Although at times they may show me harsh truths, I will find the strength to face what they have to tell me and grow through this experience. There will be things that I will be forced to face that I cannot change, things that hurt me so deeply and stole so much from me, but in feeling them I know I will be facing the truth and will recognise the necessity now of making choices which support me in the ways I need to grow and to change.