Tuesday, May 17, 2011
How can I express the contrast of the before and after a certain moment? How can I put my life, and what has driven me, either in an attempt to run away or toward, from the time the moment occurred to now into one blog? How can I tell you that money, career, all the things the world is obsessed with having, and define themselves by, hasn't been what's important to me? Oh, at one time they were, but I knew there was something getting in the way. There was something definitely wrong. For many years I pointed outside myself as to the reason I felt the way I did. I took no responsibility at all for what was within my cup. Then 20 years ago the tables were tipped inside me, and my gaze began to go inward...along with my footsteps. I began traveling backward in time...into places I didn't want to go. Yet the farther I went the more I awakened to just what was driving me, what was wrong with the picture, what I felt I was missing.
It led to a child so wounded I'd tried cutting her and her experiences out of my life by disassociation. I left myself behind the way I felt I'd been left behind by others. I was abandoned, and what happened after that was horrific, and even though I was eventually brought back home I can't say I ever went back home again. In one moment, home was no more. And for the rest of my life until this past weekend I can honestly say that I have never experienced a sense of feeling at home anywhere...ever. This isn't a "oh have sympathy for me" piece, nor do I desire understanding. Although it may not appear as such, it is a celebratory post.
I am not unaware of how others think I go too deep into shit, and how they mistakenly think I'm trying to change them, or whatever else they come up with. I've heard it all, "Let it go...why can't you...do this...be this way"...etc. But all that doesn't mean squat to me if I can't feel it. If it ain't felt, it ain't authentic. For a long time the opinions of others confused me, and I didn't understand their reactions to me, because honestly nothing I do is about them...its about this journey of healing I've been on for the past 20 years. It's been about me finding my way home again. Unfortunately, I had to dig deep to find it...I had to journey deep within the core of my being to find the moment, one moment, to get to the root of one thought inserted by a wounded child that turned into a belief, and would impact the rest of my life.
Months after I sat on the floor with those ancient pictures I wrote a blog. I won't share all of it with you, but a few paragraphs:
I have a couple of pictures of when I was a little girl. One is when I was 4 years old, the other is when I was closer to 6. In the image of the one when I was 4 is a beautiful, very happy child. There is a light that shines from my eyes, from my very being. In the other photo, and subsequently all other photos that follow, is evidence that something changed. Reflected in my huge eyes are shadows, and the openness that was in evidence before no longer exists. The eyes look at the world accusingly, and with distrust. No smile, no light, exists in the eyes of that child while she holds her Drowsy doll loosely in her arms.
Someone looking at the photos may assume that it was just a case of a child having a bad day. Yet if you continue looking at the images of this child growing up over the years the light and joy that was there in the child at 4 never quite returns. There is a great deal of suffering instead, a haunted look, and anger.
Not long ago I finally found that child left standing on the side of the road watching her mother leave in silence, and I stood there with her watching the same scene, but this time from an adult perspective. In me compassion rose up like a tender promise for this girl whose heart and mind were shattered. I watched my mother and let her make her choice, and I looked down at this beautiful child who would grow to think that no one wanted her, but I knew that I did. I reached out my hand to her, and for a moment she looked at me with that haunting distrust filled with shadows. I just waited. Then she tentatively took my hand and I said to her, "Come on Cindy, it's time I take you home." I cannot change what was done, but I can turn the tide to good somehow.
I know its nothing to anyone who hasn't experienced what I have...and I have to say truthfully, I'm glad they haven't. I wouldn't wish for the things that have happened in my life on my worst enemy. I don't expect anyone to understand who hasn't been there, done that. How can they? I also know there have been times in my life when I didn't think any of it was fair that other people seemed to have what I didn't...something as simple as feeling a true sense of home. I desired it so desperately. All I can say is I knew, somewhere in me, that once I experienced, truly felt, a sense of home within me, it meant the child within me was truly healed, and maybe she could play again. The past three years have been no walk in the park in integrating this part of me, this wounded child, back into the fold. I allowed every emotion, I listened, I loved that part of me as if it were my own child. Much of the grief I have talked about here was in part having to do with all of this coming to the fore.
What were the events over the weekend? I found out my best friend's step mother died...a woman I knew. At the same time, I found out a woman who lives across the street is dying, who has been cared for by her daughter, who is the only one in the neighborhood that came by and brought food for us, and checked on us for months to make sure we were all okay after my mother had a stroke. They were as poor as we were, yet she cooked for us, gave what she had, helped where she could. Finally, a gentle friend I made shortly after I got here in December had a major crisis, and was left homeless and uncertain. The next day or so revealed why these things had taken place and it broke my heart to find out she had been living and feeling homeless anyway...now it was manifested. I am the one she asked to drive her to a corner and drop her off with nothing but the clothes on her back, and a few bucks. I cannot even express to you what that did to the inside of me. I begged her to reconsider. She refused to listen...and stepped out of my truck and I watched her walk away. I even went back to see if she'd changed her mind, but she was gone.
I came back here and just sat, letting all of it sift through me. How it all came together to bring me a sense of home I'm not real clear on, I just know it did. One moment I was feeling as disjointed as my friend's father must be feeling over the loss of his wife. He's not only lost his wife, but will have to move out of his home, sell his horses, everything. I felt as lost as I know the daughter across the street must be feeling at the thought of losing her mother. Her world will be turned upside down too. And I felt what my new friend must be feeling, out there, not knowing what will come next, not feeling any sense of home...and the safety it represents. She was exposed...naked out there in the world.
The last piece of the puzzle slipped almost imperceptibly into place...and I felt a sense of home warm me.
I have said our relationship with others is our relationship with self, because I have found through experience that this is true. Perhaps what I felt for these people finally broke through to my own consciousness, I honestly don't know. All I know is I now feel a solid sense of home I've never felt before. Before, I felt a disconnection to the reality of home...and after, I felt connected in a very real way. With that sense bloomed ideas, and creative thought in how to go about expressing this new found sense. Making a home.
Judy, at Zebra Sounds, gave us all another assignment to practice this week if we choose to do so:
Monday: Indulge in at least one guilty pleasure.
Tuesday: Express yourself. (Have fun with this one.)
Wednesday: Reward yourself.
Thursday: Take 15 minutes (or more) and wander (mentally or physically)
Friday: Sip something delicious.
Sunday: Love someone - fearlessly, consciously, as only you can.
Today, I began expressing my new found sense of home, puttering around touching everything, connecting. Yesterday, I began installing the SIMS 2 game, which is my guilty pleasure, where I can build a home and a family, in a sense painting what I want in real life :). It is said that without vision people perish. I am thankful I am being filled with vision again, and grateful beyond words that I can actually step into it. Wherever I stand, I am home, because now I have it solid inside me.