I have not been actively participating in the group of late because I too have been going through emotional challenges related to my experience with Alienation over the past 20 years.
My Story…Well, no, my journey…
This is my journey, please try not to latch onto it as if this is what will happen with you. It is just to create a space of healing for others through my journey.
Everyone’s situation is different and with all the changes going on in this area of Alienation, this can turn out a lot different for you, if you so choose. I am here to share my journey so that you can potentially make alternate choices in surviving and thriving than I did early on.
I start with what I have learned since being interviewed in the film Erasing Family, in January, I have been on an intense learning and healing path.
The healing work I have been doing over past 10 months has brought me back to an understanding of myself and my own behaviors. Not something I wanted to admit, that I was actually creating and attracting the situations that were happening in my life. No one wants to, instead, as I did, I saw myself crawl into a protective shell to hide.
Even at this point in my journey, with the sometimes unbearable pain of loss that has come up, that I have continued to go through even when I thought I was over it, life has a way of bringing things to the surface for us to look at. What I learned were that these things were opportunities to change, heal and do things differently.
The thing that caused so much pain for me was the resistance to grieve the loss of my children which caused the resistance to move on in my life with the feeling that I had been left behind. In fact, it was so overwhelming, I watched everyone else moving forward as I stayed stuck in the past.
Those things mesmerized me into a place of isolation and fear. Nothing seemed to matter to me. I came to the solid conclusion that I had nothing.
The feelings of anger, grief and sadness were so overwhelming and paralyzing for me, my life just stopped. And I let it because I didn’t know what else to do, until I did.
This, I came to realize, was actually a good thing. An emptying of my vessel to make room for my life.
What I Did
I don’t need to tell you my story because you are living it. Sadly, I have read it over and over again. What my intention is here is to let you know that in order to find the peace in my life I have been searching for so long, I had a lot of self-discovery work I had to do and as painful as it all was, it was good.
I searched outside myself through religion, healers, self-help books, whatever, it was a lot of avenues. Some worked, some meshed, many didn’t. I tried anything and everything I could put my hands on that would help me get out of this hell hole I had managed to find myself in.
I had placed a protective barrier around myself so strong, no one and nothing was going to penetrate it. I completely stayed away from anyone I thought would hurt me.
I got hurt anyway.
Law of Attraction
I’m pretty sure a lot of you have at least heard of the Law of Attraction.
Well, I am here to tell you that it works. What is of most interest to me is that is works both ways, I create/attract the negative into my life just as easily as the positive. The issue with this was that the more negative I created/attracted, the more and more negative kept coming.
This had been the direction in my life and as I got older, it got worse. Nothing was working, and I continued to lose myself. I couldn’t understand why.
I logically knew that I could and wanted to attract positive things into my life, by things just kept getting worse. Then something happened.
I asked my ex-boyfriend to leave. I learned later why I held on too long.
My Ex and The Aftermath
I was in a deep funk in March after asking him to move out. It was something that had been over for a long time, but my fear of loss kept him there with me. I had lost so much over the years, I couldn’t bear to lose him even when I knew that the relationship wasn’t right for me.
The funk/isolation I was in put me into a high-functioning depression. I still did what I had to do but kept myself away from everyone. I decided after going through a period of poor-me time, that I needed to get moving and get my shit together. This wasn’t easy at first.
I changed my food intake and started taking 40-minute walks through nature every day. I listened to anything and everything I could find that was motivating, I didn’t care who it was. It worked.
It got me to the point of wanting to listen to Abraham and Esther Hicks again (I had listened prior to this time but really didn’t understand it) and when I did that, things started to click.
My internal world began to shift, though I wasn’t seeing results in the outer world. I found that it takes time. Ok, this wasn’t going to work, I can’t remember the last time I was good with patience. Then things started to get even worse. Really?
The Next Part of My Journey
It seems, I came to discover, that the phrase “Be careful, you might just get what you ask for,” is total truth. When I ask to be healed, what happens is the exact opposite of what I expected.
I had read that when you pray for certain things like patience, compassion, etc., you will get opportunities that will show you where you need to let go of things that no longer serve you, so you can practice these things on yourself and others by doing things differently. I didn’t believe it until I got to do it.
This is where the path is simple but it’s not easy.
Reeling and healing from the release of my ex and the subsequent months of meditating, praying and doing yoga, I kept thinking, “Ok, now, things are going to start happening and my life will change right before my eyes.” Nothing.
Emotions and old stuff started coming to the surface for me to look at in how I am in relationship, with work and with others. Especially with being brave and just stepping out and doing the work I came to this planet to do.
We all have our gifts and skills and when we don’t use them the Universe tends to remind us of this. In order to use the gifts, you must first focus on you and heal yourself. Continuing on in my process.
What Keeps Holding Me Back?
Our breakup was in no way all his fault, nor was it mine. For me, throughout my life, what I had believed, were that the losses in my life were my fault when people left me.
It all came up from complete and utter feelings of guilt and shame opening a space of believing that the subconscious belief I had was that the only thing I deserved in my life was punishment. I came to find that it stemmed from the poor choices I had made based on what I knew at the time.
I tend to be a very logical and analytical person and know in that respect that this belief is far from the truth. However, I kept finding that something was holding me back from moving forward and I couldn’t figure it out.
Why We Do What We Do
This is important for everyone going through Hostile Divorce and Alienation (and anything else in life) to come to an understanding. Any trauma that has happened to us in our lives as children and adults will result in the effects of the things I mentioned above.
Cause and effect. Below the band-aid; not the quick fix.
Whether it was a belief of not being good enough because of something that sounds so simple like when we are six years old and our mother drops us off at daycare, so she can go to work, can become a place where a child gets stuck in fear, abandonment and not good enough. That “simple” act of dropping the child off at daycare and telling them how much you love them, hug them and tell them you will be back after work to get them, can turn into hell for that child.
This situation happened to me and my son. I thought I was doing the right thing in taking care of my little family. To him, being left, with me walking away, was huge; I had unknowingly “abandoned” my son. This is where perception comes into the mix; as both our perceptions were completely different.
Then there is the other side of the coin where someone has been verbally, emotionally or physically hurt in some way. In either case, it causes deep pain.
The odd thing about all of this is it can cause the exact same feeling energy inside of us which is part of the fight/flight/freeze stress response. We get stuck in this very human stress response.
I am saying this not just to make you aware of what happens to us as children but also to think about the fact that your kids are going through this as well. This is where the generational trauma comes in and the only way out of this is to work on and heal our own pain.
There is no other way.
When our children see us whole and happy, they can then feel safe to come to us.
Fast Forward to Now
Interestingly, that child inside me who felt not good enough and fearful began to run my life. The hardest part of all of this is that it got worse before it got better.
Everything began to fall apart for me, even my body. The stuck energies not only disrupted my life, but I ended up with this crazy rash on my neck and head and it started to swell, and I ended up in the emergency room.
Come to find out, surprise, surprise, there was nothing wrong with me. I had tests after test done and nothing. Oh wait, I was a little low on potassium. What? Are you kidding me? That doesn’t cause something like this. I continued to question what was happening and the only obvious choice for me was emotional and energetic.
This time what came to me was that I need to focus on my own healing work and not try to help others when I couldn’t even do it for myself. So, within the past month, I began seeing a trauma therapist.
I had come to discover that I had been extremely traumatized as a child with what I went through, not only with my parents’ divorce, but this thing called Preverbal Attachment Trauma. What that means is when we don’t have a good nurturing relationship with our mothers, it sets us up for all kinds of issues later in life.
This was not shocking to me and everything was beginning to make sense.
I really had set myself up for failures and mistakes that I needed to learn from. I kept beating myself up because I was taught that it was not okay to make mistakes. Not truth. I was deep into self-sabotage and didn’t even know why; until now.
With my part-time job, there was no insurance. The possibility of becoming homeless also loomed on my horizon. I had nothing left to do but start work immediately on me. Enough with worrying about how everyone else felt and if they were ok. I was not ok, and I had things to work on and change immediately.
I started to work with the therapist and to make a long story short, discovered that part of the reason I have been holding myself back was because of the guilt and shame I felt over the children in my life; especially myself. At least that is where is began.
Things began to shift, and I could literally feel the thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations that were moving and releasing. Stuck energy. I had done this type of work in the past and did not experience these things, that I can remember, but at that time I was heavy into the alienation issue and don’t remember much else, other than being beaten down.
How Can This Help You?
Why am I sharing all of this with you? For starters, there is much more to what is happening than meets the eye. Huge lesson for me. I was around 34 when all of this started for me and I am 54 at this point in my life, as I write this. Twenty years’ worth of stress is a lot to put on a person; it was multiplied exponentially because I also put it on myself.
My body began to show it because I didn’t know what to do. I tried everything, and nothing worked anymore, or it did for a minute and then I moved onto the next thing. I guess that would be part of the instant gratification our society has so engrained in us.
Nothing happens when we want it to. If you have a belief in a Higher Power, you will know this and be able, for the most part to work through it. I have struggled throughout my life with any connection to that Higher Power (and what it looked like for me).
I was dead inside and it showed in my life. I didn’t feel like I had accomplished anything, and I lost everything.
(As I speak about a Higher Power, I stay in a neutral zone, realizing that we all have different beliefs. I will never generalize or try to change people’s minds or attitudes or belief systems. I only talk about what I have worked through and appreciate the same respect from others.)
My discovery is that the only way to make it through this is by putting myself first and breaking free from anything and everything that holds me back.
My process is in releasing these stuck energies and taking care of myself (no matter what anyone says) and not taking in anything anyone says about me but shaking it off. Not an easy task for me. If I had known all of this early on, it wouldn’t have taken 20 years (actually my whole life – it’s a long story) to work through this.
What I can tell you is that there are ways to heal yourself, so you can be there for your children sooner rather than later.
The Lesson of Accepting and Allowing
I am finally admitting here, even though I have kept a positive outlook for the relationship with my daughter, that we may not be reunified. There is so much more to reunification that I didn’t realize. For me, it’s all about my daughter in this respect. She needs to heal in her time and her decision. I can’t do it for her.
Working on preparing my Self is important should that happen.
I realized that in order to sustain a relationship with my children, I needed to heal, and I need stability. My emotions and lack of a stable living environment of my own very obviously has kept them away. They get that stability from their father and stepmother, which I cannot give them right now. That was very difficult to hear but made complete sense.
This Is My Why. This Is What Acceptance Is For.
What I have found in other areas of my life is when I accept and allow things to flow instead of trying to control outcomes, better things come to me. In this case, possibly, nothing would be better than a relationship with my daughter and so this is a great place to practice this. Stay tuned.
I don’t know that for sure because anything is possible. But now, after the work I have done, I have decided to once again let that go so I can heal and be of service to others who are going through this.
Why Suffering and Despair?
We don’t deserve to suffer but as I discovered myself, we create the suffering with the unseen energies that get stuck in our psyches and our bodies. It is no one’s fault; it just is how our mind and physiology work.
It is important to know here that while we go through this, we cannot see this as a possibility. That is why we must be willing to see things differently in order to do things differently. The way I had been doing things until this point was definitely not working for me.
As children who have gone through trauma and pain, we have no control of clearing it out or changing things; as adults we do. If you want your life to change, you must begin inside yourself.
Blaming Anyone Including Yourself Is Not the Answer
When we blame, we just add to the stuck energies and they can’t clear out and heal. I could finally feel things moving and shifting. It was all new for me again because I had been numb for so long.
The Truth is Inside Us
It doesn’t happen quickly, it doesn’t happen all at once. I started my healing journey when I was 27. Once I started it, things began to come to the surface for me to look at and heal. At that time, I did not understand that is what was happening and got scared and thought there was something wrong with me. There wasn’t.
Every opportunity in our lives whether it feels good or bad to us, gives us the opportunity to release that stuck energy and do things differently.
Have you ever asked the question, “Why is this happening to me again?”
Remember earlier I mentioned the Law of Attraction?
We attract and create these opportunities to heal, that is why. If we don’t do it the first time when it comes at us in a whisper, we then have to do it when we don’t listen to the whisper and it comes at us as a 2×4 to the side of the head. Use the opportunity instead of fighting and resisting it like I did.
There is so much more involved in this healing process than I could ever put into this writing. So many people out there have so many different ways of healing and some will work for you and some won’t.
I have personally found that I use some version of healing from someone outside of me now until I feel strong enough to take over from there; adding to and using my own tool box of healing treasures.
Usually something big comes up at some point that I haven’t learned the resources and tools for yet that would go into my toolbox and so I seek the outside help. I am grateful to all those outside of me, the helpers and teachers that got me to the next breakthrough.
Know that some of the teachers were the situations and people that came into my life. You don’t always need a paid professional. When you learn to become aware that this is happening, these things can be your best teachers.
Be the Change You Want To See In the World
My belief is those of us who are experiencing this on the planet today are strong and powerful people that just need to heal ourselves in order to be advocates for change in our world. It all starts inside us.
We cannot be the change we wish to see in the world if we are angry and in a dark hole. We must heal ourselves and so we can be the light for others.
This is not an easy path to be on, I will tell you that and not everyone is ready or willing to be on this path.
If you feel a calling based on these words I have written, I want to put out to you that I am putting together a plan for a compilation of a book about this. It revolves around the healing aspect of it and not just the story.
If you are in a place where you have done a lot of healing work and you are ready to take the next step, let me know. This book needs to get written, so others don’t feel so alone and so they know that there is a way to heal through it.
I see myself and others in this book as the proof for those still suffering, in despair and feeling alone in this and to provide the love, support and Glimmers of Hope that is necessary at this time in their lives.
I am grateful for this opportunity. This way we can begin to open a space of healing for others. According to the Erasing Family Documentary, there are 22 million parents in the US alone that are going through this. I’d like to reach as many of those people as possible. Who’s in?
Just make the decision, we are that powerful.