This will likely be the most emotional and revealing blog I’ve ever written in terms of self disclosure about my life and the truth about the emotional business I still carry with me, but my hope is that if it helps just one person, it’s worth writing.
Babies are by their very nature parasitic, and when they’re born, they’re selfish and unreasonable. That’s not a bad thing – this is how babies survive. There are very few exceptions to this rule. In my house, Mali and Enzo fit that description, but Lola is different. I call Lola an old soul. Some babies, a very, very small percentage of them, come into this world with a different cry, a different way of responding and behaving. They are born unselfish and reasonable. They are born in a state of pure love.
It’s hard to explain Lola, but people who know our family always tell us “we hate to pick favorites, but Lola is our favorite.” She has a light that beams within her. She loves with wild abandon. She’s the most empathetic, caring, sweet, loving soul I have ever met. When I look into her eyes, I see pure love. It’s like the golden light from the sun is within her, and it beams from her like rainbows from a prism. When she’s around, you can’t help but feel happy, and when you’re sad and crying, she comes and cries with you, and she’ll hold you and caress your face, and tell you it’s going to be ok. I’m telling you, she’s nothing short of angelic.
Lola, my old soul, can heal anyone’s brokenness. That’s her gift. That’s my sweet Lola.
I suspect that I also was born as a selfless and reasonable child. My memories don’t start when I was 5 or 10 years old, but when I was delivered in the hospital and taken from my mom. I remember being terrified as they wrapped me up and wheeled me down the hall of the hospital to the nursery where I could make out the faint shapes of apothecary containers filled with cotton swabs and balls. My memories of my childhood are very vivid, and the strongest memories are the ones associated with trauma, which I have a lot of. As a few people know, I was raised by pretty interesting parents. My dad was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia, and my mom likely has an undiagnosed personality disorder. All are pretty serious psychiatric conditions. There was a lot of fighting that happened because my dad was insanely tired from his anti-psychotic medications, and my mom thought she could motivate him through verbal and emotional abuse and shame.
I remember watching both of them square off about the most ridiculous subjects. I would observe and just try to understand why they needed to fight. If my dad was so sick and tired, why couldn’t he just sleep? If the medications he needed to take to prevent psychosis (which didn’t always work) made him tired, he should sleep, right? And why couldn’t my mom go to work every day instead of my dad? She wasn’t on medication. Why couldn’t they get a babysitter like my grandparents to help so my parents could get on their feet and stop fighting about money? I saw people putting money in the church collection plate every week, so why couldn’t we go ask the church for help?
Years went by and it didn’t get any better. My mom modeled how to torment my dad to the point he’d go non-linear and try to attack us or scream to the point of making me freeze in terror (thinking back, I was likely going into shock). I remember being terrified and hiding in the locked bathroom while he tried to beat down the door to get us. We would pull on his toe hairs to wake him up because we wanted to play, and my mom told us that we should just keep jumping on the bed and him to wake him up. We didn’t know what we were doing. It was very, very bad and traumatic.
During those years, I was learning to be a man hater, and to this day I possess this skill. If I ever feel threatened by a man, I know how to emasculate him down to his core, but I know better than to do this. It’s a burden to possess this skill, and I have to be hyper vigilant of my filter to prevent becoming the trained attack dog I learned to be as a child.
My dad had a couple major psychotic episodes and he landed himself permanently out of the house, and then my mom had to do the single-mom-on-welfare thing (although we were pretty much on welfare in one way or another our whole life). We had to lie about who we were, and my mom often sent my sisters and I to the grocery store to go shopping because she didn’t want to be seen using food stamps. Deep shame was put on me because we were poor. We were instructed never to tell anyone of our situation because of the fear of judgement.
During those years, I was having problems in school with an abusive principal who was so terrifying that I would get my friend Christina to lock me in my locker for hours so she couldn’t find me. I remember asking my mom for help, but it never came. All the while I loved these people so much, and desperately tried to understand them in my efforts to give them the benefit of the doubt, while I was deeply hurt by how horribly I was treated.
During my childhood one thing was crystal clear – my needs never mattered. I had needs for affection, love, and safety, but I got a lot of “I’m busy,” “you’re just fine,” or no response at all. I had piano lessons, flute lessons, guitar lessons, ballet lessons, I sang in 2-3 choirs, and I also volunteered at the church and nursing home. I didn’t have time for needs because it was more important to pretend I was fine, then actually be fine. During these years, I always wondered why the people I loved so much – loved with all my heart – wouldn’t show me they loved me back. I spent pretty much my whole childhood crying myself to sleep and wishing that someone would just love me like I loved them. For two years straight, I slept in a mildew infested basement with a prayer card which included a pin of two baby feet in hopes that I could do something positive – pray to save babies from abortion. Even when no one cared about me, I wanted to love and serve.
Things got worse as an adolescent. Two 18 year old guys moved into our house, and that’s when I started being physically abused. I remember a time when I was sitting in the front seat of my mom’s van, and the two of them ran outside calling “shot gun.” One of the guys literally pulled me out of the front seat (I was 15 years old, 5 feet tall and 100 pounds), and threw me into a tree so he could sit there. My head was ringing and the force of my body against the tree knocked the wind out of me. I was so sad – not angry – as I looked up at the two of them still fighting. How could he pull me out of the seat and throw me into this tree? Is the seat really worth that much? My mom didn’t say a word. She didn’t help me up either. I got up, limped back in the car weeping, and we all drove back home. I was never protected, and once again, I just wanted to be loved, but no one could think about anyone but themselves.
When I was 17, I finally rebelled. I had the social network of friends necessary to give me strength so I could speak out against the treatment I was receiving. I spent most of my final year of high school in Canada with my new boyfriend experimenting with alcohol and drinking my pain away. I had a lot of fun that last year. I was surrounded by people who were just happy and having fun, and who respected me. For the first time ever, I got away from the toxicity and abuse of my household and family and found what I had been looking for my whole life – safety and love.
Through my early adult years I met a lot of interesting people, and I started recognizing patterns of behavior similar to what I had seen growing up. I also saw this pattern expressing itself more and more with one of my sisters. It was abusive and toxic. Every time I was around these people, I left feeling more than slighted – I was being trashed. People were judging me based on the way I looked. I was “little miss perfect.” I was “a stuck up snob.” One night I got a phone call at midnight from an intoxicated sister shortly after giving birth to my 3rd child, and she told me she’s hated me for the last 10 years, I’m not as good as her because I live in a shitty and small house, I look anorexic and disgusting, my husband is a “looooooser” and isn’t as good as hers because he’s not handy (and other things), etc. She started speculating what she thought my life was like, she spun wild stories that were far from the truth, and she did everything to trash and discredit me – unprovoked. While I was able to separate myself from the pain of my childhood, she clearly wasn’t, and to this day I’m her favorite victim.
This was a person that I loved. This was a person that I regularly spent time with and thought loved me back. I asked myself, “why?”
This is when I learned the hardest lesson of all: My whole life, I had been seeing people as I was rather than who they were. I spent my whole life thinking that everyone had the same capacity and desire to love and serve others as I did to love and serve them. At first I labeled them as selfish, greedy, etc., thinking that people had the capacity to love like I loved, but then I realized that all these people were just fine living in the quadrant of darkness and chaos. I didn’t exist where they did. I was existing on the opposite side of the spectrum – orderliness and light.
Then I thought about my own children – two that were born very selfish and unreasonable and one that was born the opposite way. All these people that have been hurting me my whole life were born like almost every other baby, but no one loved them enough to bring them into the light. (Note to parents: LOVE your kids and PAY ATTENTION to and VALIDATE their needs.) People brought them to church, but spent more time shaming them for making simple mistakes instead of praising them for admitting those mistakes and taking an active part in making amends. Right now, in our society, the years of neglect in lieu of love has created huge burdens of stress on people. They don’t realize they’re being selfish, they’re just desperately trying to grasp onto something that makes up for what they didn’t get as kids. They’re clawing their way into darkness with selfishness because they can’t understand that the only way to rid themselves of that stress is to let go of their past and serve – without expectation of even a thank you or a returned favor. That’s what they need to do. That’s what we all need to do.
My whole life I felt like I was always the nice girl that finished last, because I was constantly trampled on by selfish people who used me for their own gains, but at the end of the day, I realize I’m not finishing last, I’m finishing best. My love and desire to get help for those who hurt me the most is unending and unconditional. Like my little angel Lola, I’ll continue to love with an open, bleeding heart until it stops beating – even if the cause of my death is due to a broken heart caused by someone’s selfish stabs.
If you do anything after reading this post, I want you to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself where you exist on the compass where west is orderliness, east is chaos, north is light and south is darkness. If you feel pain and sorrow, you’re living in the darkness, and you need to shine light on those wounds so they can be healed. If you spend your time pointing fingers at others for your problems, point the finger back on yourself and ask yourself, “how can I change to find light?” If you live among toxic people, you deserve self love, so separate yourself from them physically, emotionally, and spiritually until you are so anchored, they cannot ever knock you off balance.
And always remember to meditate.
With all my love,
The Guru Girl
P.S. Meditation is also great for kids to help them de-stress, protect them from the effects of trauma, introduce them to their higher self for spiritual development, and help them make decisions guided by love. ❤