Sometimes change comes upon you, and all you can do is remind yourself that you're inside a process, and that this too shall pass. On my journey, I've been in grief many times. As the attachment to abusive parental figures loosens, I grow, breaking through layers of denial and delusion, reaching through my pain, to rise and stand tall - a little wiser, a little more serene. I've often found the time before the grief the hardest, inside the process without knowing what exactly it is about, because it hasn't hit me yet. I'll be in an emotional repetition that has yet to reveal its symbolism, to relate it back to the past. Being in the state of un-knowing is uncomfortable. Clarity brings relief.
Since 2004, when I realized I had to go much deeper if I wanted to be a real mother to my daughter, I've had the sense that an elongated repetition has been taking place, of being taken through my childhood again (I'd already been in therapy for decades). This process would necessarily end at the beginning of my abuse - with my mother.
Denial and its illusions of comfort have the very specific purpose of keeping reality, along with the pain, at bay. In dropping one false belief from what the authority figures of my childhood were like, false beliefs about the world are also dropped, to reveal a reality as difficult to come by as personal liberation.
Some weeks back, slivers of minimization and denial about my mother began to give way for the fullness of her betrayal. She found release which she called happiness only in seeing me suffer. Her denial was so strong that everyone had to believe she was the best mother ever. It took me half a century to go from the belief of having the best mother, to the reality.
Three years ago I met a woman in a professional context. I was aware that I had some mother issues with her, because she presented very strongly as a mother figure, being older, and nurturing. However, in our first attempt at working together, she tried to undermine me. In trying to speak to her after the first incident, she found fault with me, and suggested I was selfish. This really put me into mother territory - my mother would often mention how selfish I was. Because this woman was not able to look at her shadow, and I was too willing to look at mine, the relationship deteriorated from there. She would find blame, and when I crumbled under her accusations, she would grandly "forgive" me. If you'd wanted to find out what she was doing to me, all you would need to do was listen to what she blamed me for - that would be your answer. After a day or so, once I'd found my center, I'd realize I had been taking on her stuff, and that I never did anything to harm her in the first place.
Through her behavior, I started to get a look into her unresolved trauma story, and also got the distinct sense that she would never be able to face it. This made me sad, especially since such a person unconsciously gets themselves victimized, repeatedly, without the ability to see what they do to create their situation. I distanced myself from this woman when her hypocrisy became untenable - when her former support had turned into sure and unrelenting criticism - yet she still called me her friend, and she was sincerely convinced that her intentions were pure, and her comments for my benefit. With that mindset, my distancing would be perceived as me hurting her, put her back in the victim-state, which has kept me from reconnecting.
Just a few weeks ago, a piece of extremely specific information that only this woman had known and addressed with me popped up in the context of a damaging email to a former colleague of mine. The pseudonym used by the person who had sent the email (to a former colleague of mine) also appeared on all my social media, threatening that specific information proving my harmful actions, was going to be revealed - unless I "communicated with the being(s) I had harmed."
Because the information was so specific, and she had been the only person to know and to comment, I assumed that this woman was behind the online attacks. I had not guessed that she was that crazy. I felt deeply betrayed. I learned a lot about IP addresses. At first I believed I'd found a match, only to realize that all IP addresses on gmail are the same.
I got in touch with tremendous anger, at this woman, and then my mother. The anger reversed the responsibility for the entire trip my mother put on me, that turned me into every shade of evil.
And after all that was done, instead of the relief and renewed energy I usually feel, I started to feel this enormous weight. There have been tears, sometimes just streaming down without a prefacing thought. But mostly there were no tears, just a dull headache, and emptiness. While the state resembled depression, I had no negative thoughts, and no trouble reminding myself of the certainty that this too would pass, and that the freedom and transformation on the other side would match the severity of the pain.
As a little girl, I was hurt more by women and girls then by men. That may be hard to grasp, but it's true. My mother sold me and got her "revenge" through shock horror surprises. She dragged me by the hair and stuffed a half bottle of valium down my throat to put me to sleep when a certain man was on his way to our house, one I hoped might rescue me. One of the girls who was abused in the network caused horrendous harm when in her competitiveness she told my most dangerous perpetrator about a boy I knew on the outside, resulting in that boy getting killed, and me beaten and stabbed.
The relief from the present heaviness came in the most unexpected way. In meditation, I received a prompt to look at an email that had arrived some weeks earlier from a man who had briefly taught for our organization three years ago. In reading the message, I was stunned. While the message was kind and inviting, he mentioned that he felt that I had not handled the situation well when we had parted. He felt that I had been unfair. What stunned me was not the content, but his use of the same obscure words to describe certain spiritual concepts as used in the online smear campaign, which had been launched the very day after I had received his email - when he didn't receive a reply. I felt relieved because I had known that this man was not well, that he might be capable of vengeful emails and posts. There wasn't the same shock and betrayal as with the woman. How he found out this specific piece of information may remain a mystery.
I noticed that my fear had been greater when I believed a woman to be behind the libel and threats. I was happy I had been wrong about her. My mother was truly scary, and the destructive power she wielded over me was absolute. The men she threw at me were definitely insane. But I felt a little bit more in control with the men than with my mother. I observed my unhealthy attachment to some of the men of my past as I felt the fear of their revenge meted out on me through their abuse, the fire of their insanity stoked by my mother or the other girl. To overcome the fear, I had to go father and deeper in the spiritual work than I had in a long time, placing this man I had worked with in an ethereal light and send forgiveness, again and again.
Finally, the dark cloud was lifted from my consciousness. I returned to a lot of fear from being around insane people who had no boundaries in their destructiveness through this process before the present could shift, and I could find the clarity that brings lightness and freedom.