First of all, here’s a link to one of my all-time favorite songs –
June Carter – Keep on the Sunny Side of Life
Now, in essence, if I could perpetually practice the message of this song in every way possible my journey through life – in spite of my severe and traumatic beginnings – would be in line with what I would best wish for myself.
I am working on turning myself to the sunny side – always on the sunny side – of life.
For severe early abuse and severe trauma survivors there is nothing easy about this process. More and more I think this is so not only because of how our body-brain was changed in its development in reaction to trauma, but is also true because of all the positive experiences of being a little person moving into a great big life entirely missed out on.
I have never been content to take NO on my own life for an answer. Always I work to grow in a positive direction like a sunflower turning toward the strongest light of day.
I have a friend who has been faced with one of the most difficult ‘accidents of life’ that a mother can be faced with. As I ‘accompany’ her in friendship in her journey to keep on the sunny side NO MATTER WHAT I am learning a great, great deal.
Another mutual friend who has what appears to me to be the strongest working faith in God I have ever encountered offers her support in many ways – including in words as she gives understandings in WORDS that help the pathway toward the GOOD become more visible, wider, smoother and more possible to travel upon.
I again have a multitude of thoughts fanned out around me as I begin this new day. One set of thoughts is at the center: CHOICE!
What choices I can see to make in my present life are strongly influenced by the terrible traumas of abuse of so many kinds that I experienced during the first 18 years of my life. Yet because I have worked so hard toward healing I know a great deal both about the traumas I went through and about how they have affected me – IN MY BODY.
I also am working to become clearer and clearer about the fact that I am a dual nature being. God has made human beings in this world to be both material in our body – and spiritual in our soul. As I have traveled backward over every single memory I have of myself in the world all the way back toward my beginnings I have over and over and over again found myself in the center of my memories of trauma – being myself – a perfect child being a perfect child.
I have found that within every memory, if I strip away every part of the abuse and trauma – in spite of the obvious terrible physical pain many beatings caused my body to experience, in spite of the deep sorrow that I inevitably experienced as a result of what my insanely abusive mother did to me – I find that once my BODY could heal itself from one attack – and before the next attack happened – I carried NO negative feelings of my own forward in time.
I am continuing to clarify for myself, in fact, WHY I think I never felt self-pity, angry, resentment, bitterness, jealousy or envy for the good treatment my siblings continuously received, or even vengeful during the entire 18 years I suffered abuse and trauma.
In my conversation with my faith-filled friend yesterday a new set of thoughts was given to me: My soul made a choice, perhaps before I was even born in my body out of my mother, to believe in God and in the PLAN that I had agreed to participate in as I entered this lifetime to be my mother’s chosen child for abuse.
My friend believes that some people make this choice to believe in the spiritual side of life and some don’t. The people who do NOT make any choice at all can go on doing this sometimes throughout their entire lifetime and as a consequence become victims of the chances and changes life brings.
My friend believes that once a soul makes the choice to believe in God they are then removed from EVER BEING A VICTIM as long as the stick with this choice. As long as this choice remains unmade, a person will be a victim because they will be tossed around through all the difficulties that life can bring like a leaf in the wind, like a raft in a raging storm at sea, like a tiny bird unable to spread its wings who has fallen too early from its nest.
My friend suggests that what I see when I now look back at myself in the midst of the hell of horrors that most of my childhood was I see my pure little soul-self standing/living in the center of my memories as a NOT VICTIM no matter what was happening to me because I had already made my soul-choice on the side of the spiritual and knew I was God’s – no matter what.
BOTH my mother and father – as far as I can see – were thrown around by the circumstances of their malevolent early lives. Eventually my mother was broken, and perhaps my father was, too. From the outside, looking at my parents, I can’t see that they ever made a choice directly to take the side of THE TRUTH.
My friend also suggests that the spiritual choice I made was an agreement with God to participate in His plan – that I could have made a different choice so that I would NOT have experienced the hell that I did.
I am quite certain as I look back that if my mother did not have me to focus her abuse upon the story of our family’s life would probably have been a very different one.
I can say this now because of the work I have done on ‘the book’ of my childhood – that has included a very specific sorting-out between where my mother’s story lies apart from my own. Of course they overlap for those first 18 years of my life – but I can see NOW what was happening in my mother’s mental illness. To me it all appears this simple. In fact I see-envision it thusly —
If I drew a circle about 2” in diameter and then drew a much larger circle outside of this one – and then placed a simple green button in the center of the smaller circle that had been painted black – there was my mother.
I choose green as the essence of mother because her eyes were emerald green.
Now, here comes Linda into the world with her brilliant sky blue eyes = me as a blue button.
ZAP! Mother’s madness places blue-button me in the center of the circle to replace herself. That circle is SO DARK IT CAN HARDLY BE IMAGINED.
Mother had to keep ME in her central hell so that she could escape to live her outer-Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) life in the outer circle – where everything else Mother did took place – ONLY because she had me in her hell in place of herself.
There little blue-button me was. There was Mother forever within nearly inches of me to keep me in her hell (in place of herself) so she could ‘function elsewhere’. Everything Mother thought, felt and did to me was influenced by this pattern. Yet no matter how hard she worked to keep me suffering inside her inner hell in place of herself, no matter how much horrible inky sorrow-filled blackness she tried to dump onto me – she did not influence who I am one tiny bit.
I never bought the blackness. It never touched ME where it matters most. I did not become lost and I did not become broken. Although it can rightly be said that I was victimized, I have never been a victim!
Meanwhile, Mother lived her life in her outer BPD circle. Most importantly she was able to raise 5 other children who have brought into the world a combined total of 16 of Mildred and Bill’s grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren with another one on the way. So far there is no sign of mental illness anywhere else in the family although the terrible stress of what trauma did exist in my family of origin has created body-based stress-response changes in several of us.
It is not hard for me to look back at the Mother-Linda story and imagine how close Mother was to the edge of such a dark abyss that in other circumstances she could have been a child-butchering mother.
None of this really matters to me today on any kind of an emotional level. In fact, it is exactly on the emotional level that what I know helps me. I know that ALL ‘negative’ emotions stem from involvements in life concerning a person in the material world. All positive emotions come from the spiritual side of human beings’ reality.
So, no negative emotions and lots of positive ones = success in not letting life’s challenges, tests, difficulties, obstacles, etc. to ground our souls in the muck and mire of being a half-material-half-spiritual being in this lifetime.
True. Nothing particularly easy about monitoring myself to make the right choice toward positive good every time I can. But having the conversation with my friend yesterday about the essential choice my soul seems to have made way back at my beginnings makes good sense to me.
I have had many, many commenters to this blog who have gone through HELL in their early lives – and have come out on the clear side of GOOD. Those people, using my friend’s logic, were NEVER victims no matter what they went through.
That leaves those that are buffeted around and all but broken as being people who have not made a clear choice on the side of GOOD – and continue to be weighed down in the negative. Anyone can make a different choice at any time.
Though I see that my mother’s mental illness was so severe that I can’t imagine that she COULD have made any different choice in her life – I just don’t know. It isn’t mine to know, not mine to be concerned with.
There are great mysteries in this life. I see that as a given. That does not mean I can’t work up to my potential to understand what I CAN understand if I try. All that matters to me is that I am willing to make progress toward being a happier being. That progress does require of me that I include spiritual searching in my healing, growing pathway.
As far as I am concerned any time I see light, goodness and truth I am seeing a ray of the sun of God’s reality.
Any time I see darkness, harmful actions and lies I am seeing the absence of God’s light of reality.
I pray that I will always – through God’s grace — make progress in my growth on the side of the LIGHT in any way I can.
Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »