The following excerpts from my autobiography are taken from the chapter entitled, Spiritual Awakening.
The synchronous events which transpired a few months before I turned twenty-three brought home the realization that I was always looked after by an unseen, powerful and loving force beyond anything I could possibly imagine. It began when I met a woman through a story in the local paper who was requesting assistance from others to start a self-help group for survivors of sexual assault. We decided to start working together after our initial meeting. Even though we had the support of many local government agencies we could not get our project off the ground because we were not psychologically ready to do so. During this experience, more memories and emotions were stirred up. The woman I worked with gave me a phone number which led me to the therapist who helped me the most at that point and several years later when I would need her again.
As all of this was transpiring, I had my final year at university to contend with. I had completed the required credits in order to qualify for an Arts degree but the law faculty decided that I needed three more in order to receive the major in law (this was because I did not begin my degree in this field). Even my first year criminal law professor went in to bat for me with those responsible for this decision but he too, could not sway them. Then I tried to complete my degree in one semester but found that two of the subjects I wanted to do were offered only in second semester. So, I undertook a single credit at the beginning of the year which turned out to be a life-saver since I was experiencing severe PTSD at the time.
These events occurred without any conscious control on my part, no planning whatsoever but it was the best laid plan imaginable as it was exactly what I needed. This was the Creator at work, the Source of all that is good and holy. This support was there throughout my life but it would be several years before I realized that I always had it. The following scenarios are great examples of the Creator’s support: leaving the house where most of the abuse happened; moving to a new home that was safe and surrounded by nature; surviving the abortion; a positive experience with my very first therapist; abusers being removed from my life without any effort on my part…the list is endless because the Creator was there from the Beginning of Time and will continue to be for the rest of my life and beyond it.
These were some of my first visceral experiences of Faith which had absolutely nothing to do with the religion that I was exposed to in my childhood, or the New Age movement later on. Every day, my existence is full of miraculous events that bring me joy and allow me to heal. This gives my life great meaning as it demonstrates that I am not on this planet only to suffer. I am here to love, be happy, create, teach and heal. Life – the Source of All Life – is the most powerful Healer of all.
Life As The Great Healer
In addition to the events that I describe above, the most healing period of my life arrived when I moved back in with my parents as an adult. At first I saw it as a step backwards, that I was going to become their ‘dependent’ again, but this was not the way it transpired. As a grown-up with life experience I was in a position to help my family in a manner that I could not do if I lacked maturity (I do not think I ever really lacked maturity but moving out certainly did strengthen it). In turn, I healed so much that could not be dealt with as effectively in a professional therapeutic setting.
To begin with, I moved back into the home that I felt extremely safe in during my childhood (i.e. the one that was surrounded by paddocks). This was important at that stage as more dark emotions were being unearthed – it was the best place to be in order to come to terms with the worst of the abuse.
My parents were now retired so they were home most of the time – this was not the case in my youth when they were always busy whether it was in, or out of the house. Since my brother was raising his own family in their home, I was the only one living with my parents which mirrored that very early part of my infancy before my brother was born. At this juncture in their lives, however, they were not preoccupied with anything/one else so they paid far more attention to me than they did back then. Moreover, there were not any sexual predators for me to contend with and even if there were, I was in a position to deal with them accordingly.
As abuse issues continued to surface, I continued to heal. This time however, I would tell my parents about it (within limits of course). My father often felt guilty and would project this onto my mother claiming that it was her responsibility to protect me. He did however confess to me that it was painful for him as a father to know this had happened and that he did nothing to stop it. My mother often made excuses for her behavior. She once blamed me for not speaking up as a kid. It took a number of confrontations with my mother before she actually admitted that she failed as a parent (they both failed BIG-TIME!).
By telling them the truth about the abuse they became vigilant grandparents to my brother’s children. Granted that they had more time and energy at this stage of their lives to pay more attention to everything, they now knew not to leave them alone with anyone but members of our immediate family. Observing them interact with their grandchildren in this way was healing for me because it created the (vicarious) experience of what they should have done with me.
The arrival of my niece and nephew was also very therapeutic. They were born four years apart but they came into this world exactly when I needed them – two of the greatest gifts that life could ever give me. My niece was born when I was just beginning to remember what happened to me in greater detail. She was often left at my parent’s home because of the irregular hours that her parents worked. My mother was her primary caregiver but I was also very much involved with looking after her. I often felt dizzy and emotional in her presence which was an indication that I was recalling on some level, what my existence was like at her age. On a few occasions, her cries would remind me of my wails as a child – this would cause a tightening of my chest which made it difficult to breathe. The fact that we share a strong physical resemblance made her a flesh-and-blood mirror of me as an infant which further intensified my healing experiences. What was most therapeutic, however, was my ability to create a caring, loving and safe environment for her to be raised in – that is, by giving her what I never had, I healed my loveless childhood.
My nephew’s arrival allowed me to heal the loss of my unborn son – he came into this world about eighteen months after I recalled the abortion. He looked way more like me than my niece in the first few years of his life. He most certainly looked like my biological child. It was difficult to hold him for extended periods of time as I would begin to feel nauseous and faint. I then needed to swiftly hand him over to someone else. The fact that his mother chose to stay home in order to take care of him for the first year of his life, meant that I was not one of his regular babysitters. In spite of this, seeing him occasionally allowed me to heal the sorrow of losing my own child.
After those first twelve months it was much easier to be around him. We have developed a bond now which is almost like mother and child as is my relationship with his sister. (He often inadvertently calls me ‘mum’ and my niece used to tell me that she wished I was her mother. I also happen to be their Godmother which only serves to strengthen the motherly role I play in their lives.) Even though their arrival into my life was way beyond my control, I was wise enough to appreciate having these Healing Earth Angels in my orbit during that time.