I hold my heart, beating hard enough to think attack - that's if I didn't know exactly what this dread is about, and didn't know that I can take it. I can do it. I can hold it. For her.
I loved my mother. All children love their parents, but the love for my mother gave purpose to my existence. I was her only friend and advocate.
In connecting with the young part inside of me that is still attached to this mother yesterday, my adult self tried to come to the rescue of the little girl I once was, stepping into a scene of an onslaught of sadistic cruelty. For my mother, selling her little girl into a murderous pedophile network was not enough. In bouts of unconscious revenge, she needed for her girl to experience the ultimate dread - the disintegrating fear of imminent annihilation.
And yet, this little girl did not want to be rescued. She cried for her mother. She cried that I had to let her stay with her mother. Because her mother needed her.
That little girl had been her mother's most avid supporter, quietly being the one person in the universe who loved her mother more than anyone ever would. Between the episodes of horror, the girl's hope would gradually build up to a point where she believed her mother started to understand that she was loved - by her own child - and that her mother could finally receive her intense, innocent love. Then, right when that girl started to feel safe, she would once again get crushed. Her mother could barely contain her laughter, springing the surprise onto her deer-in-headlights child, dropping the bomb - that she was going to "take her back there again" - "there" being the pedophile network. While the girl's blood would swoosh through her narrowed veins at the speed of a million waterfalls, she would only hear her heartbeat, and feel each thud as a sickening hammer blow come to knock her down. In shock and disbelief, the girl would observe her mother's best moment, as the latter finally held her head up high, and a deep glow of proud satisfaction softened her features. The woman was high on power, experiencing the freeing revenge as her fear, pain and anger were channeled outwards in the role of the abuser.
In her regular life, this mother didn't often get to feel powerful. Her sexual power was relegated to flirtatiously pleasing men, but instead of getting the adoration and loyalty she craved from those men, these stories ended by her getting humiliated instead. Her little girl noticed, hated those men for disrespecting her mom, and freely gave respect, adoration and loyalty every day. Unfortunately, her mother didn't care to receive these gifts from her child. She only wanted them from men. This mother's own little-girl-self was stuck in endless loops of her own past, disconnected from her core self, without self-esteem, replaying her tragic, unresolved trauma by deriving self-esteem exclusively based on men's sexual attention (all men are father figures) while all other women were seen as competitors (all women are mother figures). This means such a girl-woman's every relationship is a constant trigger to her past - all men and all women are substitute parental figures, as is often the case inside a classic incest triangle: a girl abused by her father has a powerful fear-based love for her dad, and makes him all good. The only way she feels appreciated is through the sexual attention he gives her. She buys into the implicit suggestion that she is her father's preferred wife, and all the negative feelings which she can't bring to the abusive father, are turned on the mother - her rival - who fails to protect her.
This incestuous triangle played out so commonly between men and women is the deepest foundational structure of the current patriarchy.
My mother only got her high as she abused me, her only victim, while to the rest of the world she successfully played the perfect, docile, caring mother. And the girl that I was bore her mother's burden, and knew she could survive the dread, and absorb the abuse, because she was strong, and her mother was weak.
A few days ago, I was copied on an anonymous message from someone using the pseudonym "Nio Actions" to a former colleague of mine, with two pieces of information: one - that I was spreading gossip about this colleague that he was a sexual harasser, and two - that when he and I had parted ways, I did something that would have been appropriate to let him know, but I didn't. While the first piece of information was huge and completely false, the second was damning but small, and correct, extremely specific, and only one person knew about it. The message also contained the threat that more specific harmful actions of mine were to be revealed. On the same day, a message appeared on all of my personal and professional social media, on various photos, in our non-profit's comments section (along with the lowest rating of one star) by the same troll. "Anneke Lucas has enacted non-righteous speech and actions. In attempts over the years to communicate, Anneke has continued to ignore, accuse and spread lies. That is not righteous speech and actions. Nio protects Dhamma and its values. From now on, until Anneke is able to be in dialogue with the being(s) she has harmed, there will be notifications. Soon also with shared evidence of harmful speech and actions. All Nio asks for is dialogue and communication." And so forth. The message ends with: "Only Love and true Forgiveness. Thank you!"
When I first became aware of the content of the email, I experienced the dread, and panicked. While I understand actions might need to be taken, I first had to sort through some guilt over not having acted completely appropriately towards my colleague several years ago. I reached out for support.
I've trained myself, in that whenever I experience a strong emotional reaction, I don't focus at all on the person who appears to be at the cause ("Nio Actions" in this case), but rather I bring my attention again and again on the experience of the feelings, and try to connect with the girl inside. It is in these triggered moments that younger parts usually covered by shame are finding expression, and it was in this fashion I arrived at the scene in the living room of the house in which I grew up in Belgium, with the little girl, right after her mother had slam-dunked her heart.
The feeling mind is beyond time and space, and returning to traumatic moments from childhood as a safe adult for the child that was, does change the emotional reality of what was. Such returns unlock feelings in that child, frozen in time and space in the moment of deadly fear, and through the rightful release of those feelings, emotional development and mental integration occurs.
This particular little girl inside me had a response was not at all what I might have expected. Sometimes I find the younger parts are angry with me, or they may be very distrustful, but this girl was just not interested in me - she only wanted her mom.
Yesterday and today, I was between returning to check on the girl, and dealing with the present situation. At one point I checked in and got the loud and clear question:
"But who will take care of my mom if I leave?"
The instantaneous answer that arose was that God would take care of her mom, and that the Divine Mother was at any rate better equipped to take care of her.
"Can I love the Divine Mother like I love my mom?"
This thought caused a ripple of joy to pass through my body, like the promise of the solution that was undreamt of in its perfection.
In addressing the present-day issue of the troll, I connected with all involved - except Nio of course - I found my balance. I realized through the loving support from my therapist and friends that this troll, while they might have specific information about me, has no power to destroy my reputation or my organization. Their actions are libel and only their false identity prevents us from making them accountable. They may be tragically disconnected from their own trauma, and like my mother stuck in the structure of their past story, doomed to unconsciously repeat the drama in the role of the victim or of the perpetrator. They clearly know me, and it would not be the first time I am projected upon. I may have opened myself up in a way to allow this little girl in me to surface, so that she could find healing.
Sitting in meditation today, I invited this little girl to meditate with me. And I got this instant, clear image of her turning away from her mother, and putting her cheek against my chest. The girl was ready to walk out. The mother looked perplexed.
I felt the energy between Nio and myself seal up, leaving Nio perplexed too, without an outside receptacle for her unresolved feelings of anger and pain.
The little girl nodded, and I took her out of that living room in Belgium, and brought her to her safe home within my calm heart.