Where do I begin? In my last post I admitted
- That November & December were difficult months emotionally
- That I was seeking guidance to move past a stuck spot … an immature place within me weighing me down
- That I was on the lookout for receiving wisdom and guidance from the Divine in other ways than through writing, my usual and preferred way.
- That I had made an appointment to consult with Andrea, a trusted wisdom teacher
- That on Saturday, January 11, while in the shower, an awesome awareness of the source of the difficulty weighing me down popped into my consciousness.
Sometime the week of January 6, I listened to Krista Tippett’s podcast, “On Being.” She interviewed a trauma psychiatrist, Bessel van der Kolk.
… traumas that occur at the hands of people who are supposed to take care of you, if you’re not allowed to feel what you feel, know what you know, your mind cannot integrate what goes on, and you can get stuck on the situation. ~Bessel van der Kolk
I don’t think my listening to that podcast was an accident. I see now that it prepared me to have the source of my stuck place pop into my head while I was showering. I think it planted a seed that stimulated the connection I made between my end of year funk and my core childhood wound. But I only came to that awareness while writing this post. 🙂
The effect of my mother’s preference for my brother is recorded in pages 13-15 of my memoir, A Long Awakening to Grace. I ended that section with, “I needed to find a way to fly free of my childhood baggage.”
I think listening to that podcast prepared me to unload another piece of baggage. I felt grateful to have this head start for my appointment with Andrea.
Later that day after I my revelation in the shower, I met with one of my spiritually-oriented support groups. We had a most interesting discussion related to a book by Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind. For our next book, Curt recommended It Didn’t Start With You by Mark Wolynn. He emphasized that the message in this book is very important to him.
Little did I know at the time how this book would dovetail with the revelations that came in my meeting with Andrea.
Magnificent Guidance with Andrea
Andrea is much more than a wisdom teacher … she is a gifted healer. In 2016, I saw her for several enlightening sessions. I trusted that Andrea’s gift of bringing awareness to this 72-year-old wound would do the trick. And, oh WOW, was I right.
It is difficult to explain how I was helped to see my family members through new eyes. I emerged from the session with new understandings of the effects on all of us of generational trauma:
- The death of my grandfather’s mother at age 3
- Abandonment by his father
- His grandparents who raised him died while he was in his late teens
- Coping with grief and abandonment through alcohol, sex, and rage
- My grandmother being battered in the presence of her children
- My mother and her siblings being abused and unprotected
- My grandparent’s divorce while my mother was pregnant with me
- My mother projecting onto me what she found uncomfortable in herself
- How fear, rage, depression, powerlessness, and a sense of being deserted, alone, and unloved was imprinted and passed from generation to generation
- How I hold the memory of all this lack of coming together/of disconnection/of severed relationships … all these painful feelings imprinted within me as sadness
- How I have been chosen as a representative of
- to heal the trauma for all of us … my, grandparents, parents, and brother …
- and to reconcile our false realities around love and togetherness.
A Privileged New Role in the Family
Some may consider it a burden to have been so chosen. I experience it a privilege … to be a channel through which we may all experience the Oneness at the root of our being … with each other and the Divine. That is a reality meant to be embraced.
Strange as it seems, I feel closer and more connected to my family of origin than ever … even though all are deceased. I understand so much more now.
I experience myself as having been born with a mandate to grow and awaken. As a result of my faithfulness, I have developed the capacity to embody understanding, not just intellectually, but emotionally, spiritually, and psychically … and the heart to extend compassion and empathy.
I understand my core wound and my role in our family in an entirely new way. Through my healing, we can all heal and I can be conscious about being a force for healing in the world.
Later in the day, after my appointment with Andrea, Mark Wolynn’s book arrived on my doorstep. The full title is It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle. I don’t think it was an accident that Curt suggested this book.
I have read Part I and am making even more connections. I see how my brother and I, in uncanny ways, have mirrored aspects of our grandparent’s lives. Tragically, it led to my brother’s death at his own hand at age of 52. I am grateful for the opportunity to be in the process of healing.
I am reading Part II. It is slow going because of the exercises designed to help increase awareness and end the cycle.