As a child (and into adulthood), I experienced abuse: sexual, physical, verbal, and emotional. Both my parents were narcissists, one more severe than the other: my mother was an alcoholic, and my father had a sex addiction. As a result, I was highly insecure and had low self-esteem and shame.
I felt alienated, betrayed by those I trusted the most, and came to doubt every feeling of my own. Later on, my three wasbands replicated the unsavory parts of one or both of my parents in life. That resulted in similar emotions, bringing me back to my unhappy childhood (no wonder they say repeating the same thing and expecting different results is “insane”).
Even until my late 60s, I thought my nuclear family and inherited in-laws were the sole sources of my sorrow, pain, and disappointments. Through hard-earned life lessons, therapies – and boy, there were so many I got dizzy – I learned the hard way that we are players in the dramas and traumas of our life.
We are, willingly or not, participants in, whether passive or active, unconscious or aware, every situation in our lives. We are the other half of the cauldron of despair.
Why is it so hard to admit that we cannot blame anyone else for what we allowed? Think about the limited TV series, Inventing Anna. She made no bones about being arrested. She knew what her part in the actuality was. Do you know what your part is in a painful relationship?
Taking full responsibility is no mean feat. It requires deep archeological research. Throughout the years, I tried, sometimes successfully, to see my part in what I formerly considered failed relationships.
From the neighborhood kids to my dysfunctional nuclear family, I was a natural ringleader who fought back as best (with fists and later through words) I could, yet continuously felt under pressure. At four years old, I swallowed an entire bottle of aspirin to rid myself of the crime committed upon my little body; from that point forward, I catered to my mother’s needs while forgetting mine.
I was a teenager when my parents announced their divorce on Valentine’s Day. My lungs failed, and I experienced asthma, which required a ventilator and hospitalization, causing one of two nervous breakdowns.
I came to think of the hospital as a safe space. I looked closely at the relationship between physical pain and my emotional state. The writings of Louise Hay taught me how the prowling dog of negative thought corners one into physical suffering, a result of inner conflicts untended.
Lifelong lower back pain and sharp pains in my hip subsided and eventually dissipated as I implemented techniques to cure the emotional trauma inside my cells. Little by little physical pain declined whereby mirroring a progressively healthier emotional state.
I channeled my rage and shame into music and writing through arduous suffering masked by humor, denial, and a tenacious will to achieve external success in all my creative endeavors. How did my intuition guide me? Although I was a firebomb, I wrote articles, reviewed concerts, and submitted my stories to magazines.
This intuitive guidance system told me, “Don’t give up.” At 18, Circus Magazine published an article of mine. At 19, I toured with KISS to Japan as one of 10 journalists on a press junket and made a name for myself in the music industry.
But when someone pissed me off (and that seemed to happen with regularity as a teenager and young adult), I would fly off the handle without any filter. My uncontrolled rage usually ended in fights; I acted without remorse since I wasn’t following my gut.
Looking back at the continued traumas that I normalized and even expected from my family of origin and those I inherited from my 20s well into my 50s, I can recount a blitzkrieg of other things such as suicide attempts, divorces, treachery, drug-addicted brother, a con-man of a father, hysterical mother and her twin, my stepmother… Need I say more?
At 64, I found a new lease on life. The unsettling toxicity of my past shaped me but didn’t knock me out of the ring because I found a way to remove the scars and heal the wounds, not just through therapy! Having a bluntly honest son who calls attention to my infirmities and hypocrisy helped me face my demons.
Can you imagine what it’s like to be suppressed emotionally while being given free rein to manage your own life from 14? Given might be too generous a compliment to my mother. Although she demanded rigid perfectionism – how to behave, react and speak in public – she allowed me to express myself artistically, for which I am forever grateful.
Likewise, the life or death risks I took were due to her having no boundaries. Crazy as it was, I am deeply appreciative of this “freedom” I had to explore the world, pursuing whatever I wanted. I had three businesses in various countries: a music talent and booking agency in Japan, a cross-cultural marketing agency in New York City, and a digital publishing company in Switzerland and Holland. I took risks that sometimes I was woefully unprepared for, yet managed and succeeded.
At 44, I became a mother and raised my son independently. I wanted a husband who would be my emotional support and a family man, yet instead found he was an emotional vampire. I tried to communicate deeply with the man who would be the father of my child. Yet my wasband was emotionally aloof and away from the family 40% of the time.
What did I truly want? Why did I settle? It goes back to what I wrote earlier: when you know your part in your life’s drama and follow your intuition, you won’t get involved with people who do not serve your higher purpose.
Alienation from one’s soul is the cause of loneliness, no matter how active or busy you are.
Fill the emptiness by listening quietly to your GPS: your intuition.
My willingness to face the darkest parts of myself required finding the strength to admit my role in the horror show of my life. It was an excruciating process, where I found myself lonely and alone for long periods. Yet I chose that. I took it on.
I had to do deep work to face the world again. I didn’t understand that the shadow side was a friend, a helper. As I practiced sitting quietly with my demonic emotions, I found that self-remorse healed my heart. I peeled the layers away from the mental mind that prevented me from hearing my intuition. Now I can say that I’ve come out unscathed and you can too.
What trauma have you experienced in your life? Have you conquered it? Do you think that trauma has been dictating your life ever since or have you come out unscathed?
Tags Finding Happiness