Saying or thinking the word “children” typically evokes a basic sense of innocence, joy, love and hope. This seems to be an auto-response to the idea of children. Our mind’s eye may even see images of children learning, running, playing and laughing – as it should be.
My active and healthy 85 year old Aunt has passed from a brain aneurism while visiting the United States from Holland. As shocking as it was to lose her so quickly, it was relatively pain free, swift and peaceful for her. If there is any way to go that would be the way. R.I.P Aunt Nel, October 9, 2011
While visiting my late Aunt Nel in the funeral parlor for the second time, I sat quietly in a corner in this big wingback chair. Like a whisper a warm, deep sensation filled the pit of my stomach and rolled into my chest. Tears emerged, my throat swelling, gut anxious, mind racing. A sense of powerlessness swarmed over me and
I sat frozen for a few moments. Literally.
This unexpected sensation would have been overwhelming in recent past; so much so that I would have felt like running and screaming for the hills, arms flailing and all. The associated memory came from an incident at 4 years of age and was not welcome! It was frightening in fact. I had to make a split second decision… do I sit here quietly and pretend this is about my Aunt’s passing or do I gracefully excuse myself to sort this out in private.
I took a brave stance (albeit unannounced) and chose the latter. Making my way outside to the parking lot behind the funeral home, honestly feeling I could remain “invisible” – blending into the long white building with a large semi-private parking lot with only 3 parked cars. I stood against the building leaning on a black painted rail in the shadows. Crying; sobbing, weeping… Funny part is that I’ve not been “invisible” a day in my life because I’ve always been tall for my age, have red hair and freckles… oh, and the funny name that is hard to pronounce and not easily remembered. Anyway, back to the I’m
crying, sobbing, weeping part…
I realized countless thoughts and emotions swirling about. Raw pain, neglect, heartbreak, unanswered
questions, hurt, disgust, sadness, loneliness, shame, powerlessness, anxiety, all the way up to a sense of freedom and then this mellow feeling of joy. It was very awkward – experiencing all of it at what seemed to be the same time rather than within these millisecond “ movie frames” that flurried by. Similar to a never-ending roller coaster ride with plenty of twists taking me so low then so high I’m sure to puke. I didn’t puke.
Earlier I found coffee in their sitting room; poured a cup and grabbed a burgundy napkin. While standing outside “invisible” against this huge white building, in the shadows, crying, sobbing, weeping… I brought the napkin up to my face to wipe my tears. I regained some composure and looked up at the trees, noticed the breeze, heard the birds chirping and then finally took a really long, deep breath. Exhausting I tell you!
Moments later my eyes landed upon this forgotten burgundy cocktail napkin that held my tears. Instantly it hit me, they were the tears of a child. My inner-child. My 4 year old self had burst outward and is now
visible revealing her long lost pain. I guess it never really went away – it was just buried.
I ran my fingers over two distinct tear drops on this napkin, peacefully acknowledging my 4 year old self’s long lost pain, releasing it into the breeze and out of the shadows that she and I had been standing in for 42 years. I forced a smile that actually came naturally once I allowed it. The breeze was refreshing, the birds sang louder, the streets were busier and the sky was bluer. It was amazing.
As hard as this experience was for me I believe it was necessary in order to carry on; as my friend would say “to live life, not survive it”. I have been working very hard over my lifetime to release these imposed, damaging belief systems; to release their related anxieties. They are not dirty little secrets. They are “life”.
As an adult I believe it is my – our – moral responsibility to break the cycle of abuse – all abuse. We must protect and nurture our children at home and in our schools; everywhere! Speak up for them. We must teach them, in a language that they can understand, about how to protect themselves; how to have confidence in trusting their instincts. Sometimes that means we “fix” ourselves first or at the very least along the way so they can receive the correct messages as we interact with and around them.
A woman once said to me “How would you know, you don’t have any children!” True, I don’t have kids, but I used to be one once. 🙂
Ready for your own breakthrough or seeking professional guidance? I’d like to offer you referrals to those who can help. Send me your contact information via “Contact” at www.pebbleplanet.com.
If you are an abuser or know someone who is, please seek professional help. You and those you love deserve peace, hope and respect.
You can start here: http://helpguide.org/mental/child_abuse_physical_emotional_sexual_neglect.htm
Don’t survive life… LIVE life!