When Mother’s Day Is Complicated

Mother is supposed to hold the womb that gives life. Mother is supposed to be the fountain of unconditional love and support. And our safe place to fall. But what is she’s not? What if our mother isn’t a safe place to fall? What if our mother has such enormous struggles that she takes it out on us? And what if we’re not from our mother’s womb?

Mother’s Day brings up all sorts of complicated emotions for me. Yes, I was born from my mother’s womb, but she wasn’t always a safe place to fall. And my first child wasn’t mine to raise. She has another mother.

As much as I now know my mother did the best she could, her best left me with scars and damage. Spiritually, I understand that our souls made an agreement to share this life together to give us both opportunities to grow. And I’ve discovered that one of the biggest movers in life – one of the things that propels people into action to make change – is discomfort. Just the right amount of discomfort or pain will push people. Too much pain and we shut down or exit life.

Apparently, in this lifetime, mom and I seemed to get the mix just right because the amount of change I’ve been able to create, in part thanks to our relationship, has been staggering. And I’m not talking just about what my life looks like on the outside, but how much I’ve changed internally.

My childhood memories became lost to me in my adult years. I haven’t had many memories younger than about eleven or twelve, and it never bothered me.

In my thirties, when I began to have a lot of trouble keeping my weight down, I turned to hypnosis to help me discover what was going on, and to help reprogram my subconscious. After sifting and sorting through a few different hypnotherapists, I stumbled across the field of energy healing and then a hypnotherapist with a spiritual twist, who was just the right fit for me.

What I learned, with the help of intuitives and hypnotherapy, was the damage caused by my relationship with my mother. When I looked at why I was an emotional eater, what came up was how painful it was as a child to have my mother verbally attack me. Food cravings were an attempt to deal with unconscious trauma. And the older I got, the closer to the surface the trauma was pushed.

The beauty of uncovering such pain during healing sessions, was it was immediately dealt with. I wasn’t left with raw, bleeding emotions. The parts of my inner child that had been in pain were immediately healed. The pain was released. In healing circles, a lot of what I did is known as soul retrieval.

Growing up with a mother who was mentally ill (and not medicated until I was almost out of high school) was formative for me. First off, I didn’t know she was ill until her first hospitalization when I was in tenth grade. Her wonky behavior was my “normal”.

I was always very sensitive and a quick learner. Because I was the target of my mother’s venom (when she became manic), I learned to duck and hide. I also learned to be compliant. One of the gifts my mother helped hone was my gift to hear a person’s emotional state in the tone of their voice. I got good at recognizing when my mother was manic by how she spoke and by how she acted. Before she died, I could peg her emotional state (whether she was depressed or manic, and how much) within a minute or two of talking on the phone.

To this day, just by listening to someone when they’re talking, I can tell if they’re being authentic or deceptive by the tone of their voice.

My own journey to becoming a mother was not by choice. Being molested by my older brother for about two years, it only stopped because I became pregnant and the whole thing came out. I lived in fear. Fear of being molested and fear of getting in trouble for it. (This is how a victim’s mind works). I was dominated by my brother.

When it was found out I was pregnant, it was kept secret. The shame and embarrassment of the molestation and pregnancy was cemented by secrecy. By good fortune (and amazing spiritual planning), I was able to hide my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter from friends and family. They believed the deceit and lies we created, and six weeks after my daughter was born, she was given up for adoption. To this day, most of my childhood friends and half of my family are still unaware.

I never allowed myself to think of my daughter as mine, knowing that I could never in a million years keep her. Yet, one night in about 2006, after a class I was taking in writing hypnotherapy scripts to help lose weight, something deep inside bubbled up from the meditation we’d done in class, as I walked to my car. About half way across the parking lot, the phrase, “she was mine” hit me like a ton of bricks. Sitting in my car bawling from the depths of my heart, I was finally able to take ownership of my daughter. I was able to let her fully come into my heart, with the knowledge that she absolutely was mine.

Back when the molestation was found out, the decision to keep this whole thing a secret was done to protect our family from harsh judgment and scrutiny. As much as it saved us from possible harm and embarrassment, it took years to fully understand and heal the damage it created. Secrets are always double-edged swords.

By the end of high school, getting away from my mother was pretty high on the agenda. I picked a college that was far enough away from home that I didn’t have to see my mother very often (just during our breaks), and was able to begin to spread my wings.

After having to give my daughter up for adoption, the desire to have a child I could keep and raise became very important to me. Being married and having a family was  always high on my priority list. With a few twists and turns of life, I finally reached this goal in my late thirties.

It was in my early to mid-thirties when my childhood started to catch up with me (as it does for many). In my case, medicating my emotions with food became a problem. And finally becoming a mother to a child I could publicly call mine, came with a host of unexpected challenges, including years of undiagnosed depression and a child with special needs.

It’s been through the process of finding things to help deal with my emotional eating, and things to help my son that my life has changed in miraculous ways. Being set up in life with many painful experiences, created the soup of discomfort that pushed me to look for relief. Stepping my way into discovering healing work, to looking for what worked and paying attention to what resonated with me, has led me down an incredible path filled with heartache and joy, mystical experiences and spiritual awakenings, and more healing than I ever believed was possible.

Today, when I think about my mother, her struggles with mental illness and the damage she inflicted upon me, there is peace. No more hurt or rage. I feel such compassion for her and her situation in life. Fortunately, by the time she ended her life, by her own hand, I was far enough along with my own healing that her suicide didn’t hit me nearly as hard as it did the rest of my family. I am at peace with her decision and send her love for her continued healing on the other side.

When I think about the brother who molested me, the rage about the past is gone. My desire for a relationship with a loving older brother has been healed. I no longer want what I never had and will never have. I am at peace. He has his own deep issues, and until and unless he works on them, he’ll remain the disconnected, disempowered person he’s always been. I honestly don’t see it happening.

My daughter is now 38, and from what I’ve been told by trusted intuitives, has a family of her own. I would love to meet her some day, and to meet her family. I’d love to meet the woman who raised her, her mother, to thank her for loving the baby I couldn’t keep and for taking that little one into her own heart.

My own journey of motherhood is still challenging, with new issues having popped up over the past few years that I’m still working on. But I wouldn’t change a thing. The chemistry between my son and I has been just right. He’s a sensitive, heart-centered teen with a small handful of invisible disabilities. And it was because of my love for him that I stepped my way into a spiritual awakening and discovered healing modalities that have not only helped him, but jet-propelled my healing into the stratosphere.

As fraught with difficulty as Mother’s Day has been for me, more and more it’s becoming a reminder for me of how far I’ve come and how much I have to be grateful for.

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Strength

Strength isn’t just physical.

Strength is inner fortitude.

It’s that connection deep within ourselves.

It’s persistence.

Strength is conviction; knowing that no matter what, things will work out.

Strength is a mama bear.

It’s staying the course.

It’s knowing when to change course.

Strength is holding onto faith, even in the face of adversity.

The most powerful strength in our lives is our intuitive connection;

Our inner connection to love and wisdom.

inspirational quote about strength

Out of Focus

One of the more unexpected and often unpleasant effects of my Kundalini awakening process, is having my consciousness rewired, or reconfigured. In order to change the way I perceive the world so drastically in such a relatively short period of time, my brain, or my mind (not sure about the delineation between the physical brain and the energetics of my conscious mind) goes through periods of flux. Time when I’m not normal.

I started this piece a week ago, and put it to bed. Today, when I want to write, my head is a mishmash of uncomfortable thoughts, dizzy imbalance at times, and acting like a rabid squirrel with little ability to focus. After a decent day yesterday, taking in a local spring street fair for a short while, today I’m a basket case of exhaustion.

I woke up and had to take a hard 2 hour nap in my favorite recliner, just to be able to function for a few hours. I feel like a newborn, needing to sleep, wake just long enough to eat and look around for a few hours before needing more sleep.

It’s a beautiful spring day, the sort of day that would normally have me out in the yard, taking in the fresh air, sunshine, and birdsong. I have a list a hundred miles long of things I want to get done, both in the yard, and in my home, and I have absolutely no energy for any of it.

I want me back.

I want to feel normal. And my normal is positive and upbeat most of the time. It’s been too gone for too long.

I want this trip through hell to be done. The endless cycles of my body shifting and changing, and my mind shifting and changing. Change is hard enough when it’s once in a while, but holy crap! This has been going on for over a year now.

The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that this awakening, this crazy train of ascension is a process, and the chronic discomfort won’t be forever. The waves at some point will smooth out and eventually dissipate into something that will become normal.

In the meanwhile, even though on many days I want to bury myself in a hole and not come out until Kundalini energy quiets down in my body (or at least a year), I know that the more I can interact with life and roll with the punches, the more quickly the process will pass.

Trying to hold onto the faith that this too shall pass, remembering that yesterday was more good than not, and knowing that at some point, no matter what the rest of this life looks like or feels like, it will all one day come to an end. And I’ll get to go home.

For many who experience Kundalini awakening, as their consciousness changes, they end up changing things in their exterior life to bring alignment. Suddenly, their life doesn’t fit, and brings excruciating pain until they make changes: they are forced to take action around things like their health, relationships, or work.

My awakening has been a process of creating internal alignment within myself. Thoughts and feelings that bring up internal discomfort are being brought to full consciousness and are being instantly healed. Let go.

One day, I’ll feel good again for more than a few hours. I’ll feel like myself, and will have energy to actually get things done again.

When Family Isn’t A Safe Place To Fall

My healing journey has been one of shifting my lens of perception. Again and again, and again. We all grow up, and whatever that looks like, with regards to our family or whoever is taking care of us, is our normal. We wake up and go through day after day, doing our thing, surviving. Kids mimic behavior they see, and respond and react much like those around them. So whatever that is, is normal.

A stereotypical family is the photo with everyone happy and smiling, where everyone gets along. Our family are supposed to be the people who know us best and the ones we can turn to in times of need.

Part of my lens of perception when I was growing up was developed by having a mother who sometimes attacked me verbally (when she was in a manic phase). And other times, she rejected me and was absent (when she was in a depressive phase). Because I was a child and nobody told me my mother was mentally ill, I developed a host of mis- beliefs that became internalized and mitigated pain.

Walking around with unconscious mis-beliefs of being defective and unlovable, any time from childhood on, if someone treated me as my own mother did, there was a part of me who believed I deserved the treatment – even though as an adult, I rationally knew I didn’t. That’s a real mind fuck bender. (Swearing doesn’t feel quite right today).

So, until I was able to spend enough time with another mother who was different from my own, my bipolar mother was my normal. Luckily for me (I don’t think it was luck at all, I believe it was divinely orchestrated), my best friend, who lived down the street, was close enough for me to ride my bike over almost every day. And her mother was not only not mentally ill, but was an exceptionally lovely and loving mother. In her, I saw a mother who was present for her children (and me), and when she became angry was able to verbalize her anger without attacking her child.

In my best friend’s mother, I was able to see a different definition of “mother”.

I grew up with two brothers, one older and one younger. Typically, an older sibling is the leader of the pack, with the younger ones looking for attention and validation, and mimicking the behavior of those older than them. Often times, the oldest child holds a feeling of responsibility for the younger ones, and is protective of them. Not so with my older brother.

My older brother was not protective or supportive of me and my younger brother. In fact, our relationship is best summed up as dominator/victim. As a girl, I wanted to play with my older brother, and would seek approval through his eyes. What I got was mostly out-and-out rejection, or he’d delight in making me do things in order to win his approval. Only if I did his bidding would he play with me. And he’d have me do things that made me feel uncomfortable, which he knew, because making me do something I didn’t want to do gave him a sense of power. And the one thing he lacked more than anything else, was and still is, a sense of internal power.

When you’re rejected by your own mother, and if the only way your brother will make you feel validated is by doing their bidding, you grow up with great training to become a doormat.

When people grow up in a family that wasn’t always a safe place to fall, they develop coping skills and mechanisms. The number one thing that I turned to in order to feel better has always been food. Eating, and especially eating certain foods, has been the soothing balm of life for me.

The thing about growing up in a family that wasn’t always safe, is even when I moved thousands of miles away from them and didn’t have to see them, the effects of my childhood stayed with me, buried deep down inside, until I was able to deal with it.

Truthfully, I really had no clue how my childhood was affecting me as an adult because I blocked most of it out. It wasn’t until I wanted to know why I couldn’t lose weight and keep it off, that I began to learn about the mechanisms behind my emotional eating, and discover how truly dysfunctional my childhood was.

As an adult, I’ve grown up to create my own family, who are my safe place to fall. And discovering healing work, I’ve found amazingly effective ways to shift and change many unconscious mis-beliefs that fenced me in in life.

Mirrors In Our Lives

We’re all mirrors for each other. When we see something in another, it’s because we hold it in ourselves first. Our love for another springs from the love we’re able to access through our heart. If our heart is closed off, walled off for protection, we’re actually hurting ourselves. But finding a special someone who resonates with us creates a space of safety, where we connect and open our heart, letting out the love.

Sometimes we’re in situations when we’re relaxed and our heart is open, that we have experiences and our own inner pain will flash up. Before we know what’s happening, deep dark emotions of hurt and pain lash out in a torrent of tears or rage of anger. And it’s all about what we carry in ourselves.

Think about it. Think about someone you hold near and dear in your heart – and it might be a beloved pet. Even if they’re miles away, you can still access the feeling. The love. Are they in the room causing you to feel the way you do? No. Think about someone who’s hurt you years ago. Feel the pain. Are they in the room making you feel that way? Did they just hurt you? No. The feelings emanate from within you. We generate feelings and emotions from within our bodies.

We think that others make us feel certain emotions, when in fact, they’re just a mirror for us. When we think another person is sad, it causes our own sadness to rise up, and likewise with other emotions. We mirror other people’s emotions back to them.

Part of my healing journey has been trying to let go of a lifetime of rage and fear. I’ve had healing sessions that allowed me to see the creation of unconscious beliefs held by my inner child. During the sessions, I tuned into reactive feelings of anger and frustration that were being triggered by various people in my life. Following those feelings, down into the depths of my consciousness, I met parts of myself that were in pain. I saw that little girl who had just been decimated by her mother, and young one who was victimized by her big brother. It was she who would become activated from time to time.

Because she felt inadequate, seeing people I perceived as inadequate could trigger my inner child, and it would come out of me as anger or tears. Seeing myself in another, even at an unconscious level, was triggering.

I discovered that my own mother carried many of her own demons, and I was her number one trigger; especially when she was manic. Her inner child would become triggered, showing up in intense pain that felt like a demon riding her back, and the only way she’d feel relief was to attack me: her mirror.

When Mom was manic, I was not allowed to disagree with her, differ from her, or act independently, or it would be taken as a threat that had to be demolished. There was a part of my mother that wanted to demolish her own demons. And in fact, my mother inherited the dynamic from her own unstable mother. I saw during a meditation one day that this was passed down for several generations in my family, from mother to daughter.

The parent – child relationship is one that’s ripe for bringing out our inner pain.

Since discovering this mirroring dynamic that we all have, I now understand why when I’d see people who were overweight, my own weight issues would become activated. I’d be repulsed by people who I perceived of as fat because I was repulsed by my own feelings that I was fat. And because I was fat, there was something very wrong with me.

We see people who are lazy, ugly, fat, old, weak, and mean because we hold those judgmental feelings within ourselves. We play judge, jury, and executioner, vehemently denying and pushing against the parts of ourselves that we feel are lazy, ugly, fat, old, weak, and mean. Because we hold these feelings with us, they can become triggered by others, activating our unhappy inner child.

With some very effective healing work, I now hold myself with great compassion most of the time. Yes I weigh more than any doctor would like, and I’m now on the other side of fifty, with natural hair that has streaks of brown, gray, silver, and white, and my skin shows my age. There have been times when I misunderstood my husband and he became upset with me. Going through an intense Kundalini Awakening I’ve been physically exhausted and needed a lot of extra sleep for months now, which is not my normal. I could be viewed as fat, old, mean, lazy, and out of shape, but in fact, I feel quite differently. I no longer see myself through eyes of harsh judgment.

More than strength of muscle, today I value my ability to persist through adversity, my inner strength, my strength of mind and strength of compassion that’s been growing especially over the past few years.

Holding myself with much more compassion, I’m able to see others in the same light.

As we heal our inner child, our outer world fills with peace. World peace is an inside job.

Reality and Quantum Possibilities

Floating through seas of quantum possibilities.

Haven’t landed yet, two feet firmly planted on the ground

Of this reality we call life.

Sometimes I barely feel human,

So detached from myself.

Feeling floaty, unable to focus,

Fragmented and disconnected.

Some days electronics aren’t my friend,

And some days my brain isn’t my friend.

Waiting for reconnection.

Waiting to come in for a landing,

Not just a touch down and bounce back up,

But a full stop.

Resonating with one version of reality at a time.

Hard Wired

I was watching a video this morning about a man who lives with anxiety. He lives with a constant state of heightened awareness and from time to time his brain tells him he’s about to be killed. While talking about it, he mentioned some tools he’s learned from his psychologist, and talked about people with anxiety being helped by medication as well. One thing he said that stuck out at me was his mentioning that he was hard-wired this way. There’s nothing he can do about it. And then he went on to talk about the beautiful gifts he has because of being this way: having an amazing capacity for empathy and such.

As much as I understand the idea that we are hard-wired for certain things, discovering the field of Energy Healing, I know there’s wiggle room in there to create change, because I’ve done it.

We’re taught that we are who we are and that’s that. There’s no changing it. And that’s because of a lot of reasons, many put forth by our current medical establishment. I don’t want to bash the medical establishment, because it tries hard and does do some things extremely well. But when it comes to our mind and our consciousness, they’re barking up the wrong tree.

We live in an age of reason. And we’ve gone so far down that road that people love to discount all sorts of things as unreasonable. If it can’t be seen with the naked eye or our instruments, and can’t be measured by any of our measuring systems, it isn’t real and should be discounted.

Well, our emotions and feelings are very real, yet they can’t be measured or seen. We can see changes in a body and changes to a person’s demeanor, but that’s as close as we get. Does that mean they’re not real?

Having learned about Energy Healing and used a variety of different modalities, my hard wiring has changed. The person I was in my thirties isn’t even close to the person I’m becoming. Am I still much the same? Yes. But without a lot of things that held me back in life.

So, to those who believe people can’t change, I know better. The beauty about Energy Healing is it helps a person become more of their true self. More connected to their own heart.

Shame

Shame is the feeling that something we did is horrible. It’s the feeling of having done something wrong and often unforgivable. It speaks to our actions.

Shame keeps us held prisoner and holds us back in life. Shame is seeing condemnation in the eyes of another, and believing it. Shame is used as a weapon and a tool to control people’s behavior.

Shame contributes to our becoming separated from ourselves and others. And it makes us sick, creating burdens we struggle to shoulder, until one day we can’t hold them anymore and choose to put them down. 

Until the day we no longer see through the eyes of another and let the shame go.

Beginning To Bear Fruit

The fruits of my labor, the labor of being rebirthed by Kundalini energy, are beginning to show up. In the world of healing, one of the ways we know healing is happening, is by how we feel. More specifically, by a change in how we feel.

Two relationships in my life have been the most challenging, and they are with family members: my bipolar mother, and my very disconnected older brother. After my mother died, about five years ago, I dove into the pond of my personal crap, and came up learning about how damaging our relationship had been. I learned about it because I was trying to figure out why I had so much internal discomfort that I kept trying to eat away. And as I followed thread after thread of uncomfortable feelings, they kept ending up back in my childhood, with arrows pointing directly at my relationship with my mother.

The beauty of the modality I used was not only uncovering the root of an issue, but healing it within the same session. It was like a one-two punch to freedom. Bring the unconscious up to conscious awareness, and let the discomfort go.

Our minds do amazing things to protect us, tucking experiences and memories away in our subconscious mind until we’re ready to deal with them, if we so desire. Most of my childhood has been blank for my adult life. So when I realized that my mother’s attacking behavior when she became manic didn’t just begin when I was a teenager, but happened all throughout my life, it came as a shock to me.

Going through the healing sessions I’ve done since my mother’s death not only allowed me to take back personal power and establish boundaries I wasn’t allowed to have as a child, but moving even further down the healing continuum allowed me to reach a place of incredible healing in my heart for every time my mother hurt me.

Last spring, with the help of Kundalini energy, during meditation, I had a moment of profound understanding of my mother, and experienced complete healing of our relationship. And because she’s gone and I don’t have to relate to her on the physical plane, that relationship feels very complete and finished for me now.

I can think of my mother without becoming angry for how she treated me, which allows me to remember the good times. I can remember how proud she was when she saw me in action as a mother. I can remember the times we played music together when I was still young and at home. I can remember going on vacation with her when I was in my early twenties, having great fun together.

The bitter is pretty much gone, leaving the sweet.

The other challenging family relationship, one with my brother, has also healed to the point that I’m astonished.

Several years ago, the shame that came from my being molested was healed with some amazing and divine intervention – an angel came in during a healing session.

All the shame is gone. In fact, I can’t remember feeling shame about anything since that session.

And with a combination of talk therapy and a variety of energy healing sessions, bit by bit I found new perspectives that have helped me let go of decades of anger and bitter resentment. I also worked on healing my body image – which gets really messed up when you’ve been sexually abused.

Last summer, with the help of Kundalini action in my body, when my brother became very upset while I was trying to get in touch with him to sort out family business, my clairvoyance kicked in and I was able to read between the lines of his pain. I suddenly realized he’d had a fight with his wife, and instead of getting angry at his childish reaction, or being happy that he felt hurt, my internal reaction was one of empathy and compassion. I could suddenly see through his eyes, connecting with the confused and hurt little boy in him. The little boy who just didn’t get it. Who was trying to please people around him, but couldn’t seem to do anything right.

Something deep inside me shifted and healed, allowing me to feel compassion for him. It surprised the shit out of me.

When I think about the past, anger doesn’t instantly rise up. Instead of becoming triggered into anger because my body was ruined by becoming pregnant at 14, I’m proud of my body for the amazing thing it is and for the amazing things it does for me. Instead of feeling like used goods, I know I’m a sparkly, amazing bit of divine energy, walking and talking as a female human being, living out my soul’s wishes.

Having healed our shared past, it’s brought a feeling of closure for me. It doesn’t make what happened right or ok. But I can finally let the pain go. I feel like our soul agreement is done, and I’m able to move on.

I have never had a happy/healthy relationship with this brother that was the least bit authentic and I have no desire for one. I know that he has done zero work on himself, has no higher awareness about himself than we had when we were children, and has no desire to change. As much as I’d love for him to create healing for himself, I know it’s not likely to happen in this lifetime.

I have an understanding of him that he doesn’t even have. I see how incredibly disconnected from his heart and his own sense of self and inner knowing he is and always had been. I believe that his relationship with our mentally ill mother, when he was very young, contributed to the disconnection. As her relationship with me contributed to my own disconnection.

The most incredible epiphany for me this past fall was when I realized I no longer felt the need for a big brother. Such a sense of freedom! This person has filled the position in name only. Growing up, he never looked out for me, acted in a protective way, or showed me any love in a healthy way. He was jealous and domineering. As adults, we have had to connect because of family business, but it always feels like talking to a robot. I’m finally very ok with him not being in my life.

It might sound harsh, but if he were killed tomorrow, I would probably cry for his children and wife’s pain. But then I’d be over it. Because I’m over him.

Healing from the relationship means there is finally no longing ache in my heart for what never was.

inspirational graphic

Why Victims of Sexual Assault Don’t Tell

I’ve been thinking about why people who’ve been sexually assaulted don’t tell. With the media hot on stories of sexual assault, there’s been a lot of discussion, and a lot of frankly ignorant comments, like people wondering why if someone is assaulted, they don’t tell.  Or they tell after a very long time – such a long time the statute of limitations for prosecution under the law in many states has run out.

To help educate those out there who don’t get it, here’s why I didn’t tell. As much as its my story and specific to my own situation, much of it applies to many others as well.

When I was sexually violated, I was young and I knew my attacker. I’d been groomed for years to have no power over this person. He groomed me by how he treated me, dominating me. Society groomed me by teaching me I was supposed to look up to people older than me.

People talk about a perpetrator grooming their victim, but I haven’t heard too much about the shock factor. When you trust someone and they suddenly sexually violate you, it is shocking. Every part of your being tries to deny it’s even happening. In fact, it can be so shocking that a person freezes and either can’t fight back, or can only do so minimally.

I tried to get him to stop, but there’s only so much a person can do when their violator is someone they trusted and someone they’re supposed to love because they’re your older sibling. It’s an extremely shocking thing to have trust violated in this way.

Growing up with my brother, he would do things and tell me not to tell or we’d get in trouble. This is pretty normal between many siblings. He knew we were doing things that would get us in trouble. I was good at not telling because I wanted my big brother to like me, and I didn’t want to get in trouble. And over the years, when his behavior made me feel very uncomfortable, I would still not tell. I was programmed to keep silent or I’d get in trouble. I could keep a secret like no one else.

Looking back at some of the things he did, he could be very twisted. Of course, back when I grew up, there was no national conversation about appropriate touch like there is now. But at the time, I had no reference other than my gut. And I’d learned at a very young age to not trust my gut. I had a lot of stomach trouble.

When his behavior escalated to molesting me, I was intimidated, told to stay quiet. He was physically much stronger than me by that point, and made sure I knew it. But the invisible chains of fear kept me bound much stronger than anything else. Fear of getting in trouble. Fear of not being liked and accepted. And it wasn’t just one incidence. Once he got away with it one time, he did it a second time. And when he got away with that, he knew he’d be able to keep getting away with it. In fact, I don’t even know how many times he actually molested me. But it was many, continuing on for a couple of years.

The truth of my being molested came out because I eventually matured enough to get my period, and became pregnant. I was so scared that I denied what I knew to be the truth for months. I was terrified of what would happen to me when the truth came out. Fear kept me quiet. At this point, my unmedicated bipolar mother’s behavior of verbally attacking me when she was manic was a contributing factor to my growing up having no voice. I was not allowed to speak up for myself. And it was years before I could bring it up.

Even after it was found out that I had been molested, because the perpetrator was my brother, our father swore us all to secrecy because of his own fears. I was conditioned to keep it all a big fat secret. A big fat, poisonous secret.

The first time I decided I could tell someone about having been molested and having borne a child out-of-wedlock that was given up for adoption, was years after it happened. I was about twenty years old. I told a friend who I loved and trusted. And even then, when I could finally get the words out, I was shaking and crying, wracked with shame.

After that, I didn’t talk about it, except briefly to my husband when we were dating, until I was in my late thirties, when I decided to do some therapy. I was tired of being angry. I had no idea how much being molested affected me. And how much keeping it a secret was affecting me, until I began to work on healing it all.

As I’ve healed so much of the shame, fear and anger around this secret, I’ve been able to share my past with a few trusted friends, when it felt appropriate to share. I can now speak about it without any feelings of shame or guilt. And in fact, much of the anger has been healed as well. Although I doubt the anger will ever be completely gone.

The tricky thing about sharing my past with someone, is it’s very disturbing to hear about. When I tell someone, a host of their own emotional baggage becomes stirred up. It causes them pain, and they see me in a new light. That is, if they even believe me.

Yup. I had a family member, whose first reaction to the news was one of denial. He wondered if I was mentally ill like my mother. His reaction wasn’t one of sympathy or empathy, but wondering if I was mentally ill and was making the whole thing up.

And the public wonders why victims won’t speak out or speak up. If your own family questions you, why would a complete stranger believe you? How fucked up is that? It’s the shock factor. When family finds out something horrible has been going on and they had no clue, it’s shocking. Their image of their family is suddenly rocked. Their own trust in who they thought their family was is rocked. And many people just can’t handle it.

Fortunately for me, the family member who at first thought I was mentally ill, knows I’m not. He knows what happened and as painful as it is, believes me.

When someone reads an article about a person coming forth about having been sexually violated, and their first thought is wondering why the victim didn’t come forward for twenty, thirty, or forty years, this is why.

When young people are sexually assaulted, they are usually groomed, are intimidated and/or threatened to keep quiet. And the threats and intimidation can even come from within their own family. The secrecy becomes a prison of shame and fear. It often takes a lot of therapy for a person to be able to speak about it, never mind confront their attacker. And for many who eventually speak out, they aren’t believed.

For those who are believed, they are then seen as a victim, and most people don’t want to be seen as a victim: weak.

My own story is far from over, but with therapy and some amazing energy healing, my inner wounds have been healed and are still being healed to the point that I no longer carry any shame around having been molested, around having been a pregnant teenager, around having a child out-of-wedlock, and around giving up my daughter for adoption. And a great deal of the anger I carried for years has been let go. Anger about the entire situation: being molested, becoming pregnant against my will, having my young body ruined, and having to keep it all a secret.

I still get angry at times when having to deal with that brother, but it’s not because of the past, but because of a few ongoing things that have nothing to do with my having been molested. And in time, much of those will be sorted out as well.

Even if the statute of limitations hadn’t run out for me and my situation, taking my brother to court wouldn’t undo damage that happened so very many years ago. Even if he could be found guilty of a crime and sent to jail, it wouldn’t heal my heart in the way that therapy and energy healing has done. And after spending decades nowhere near my brother, yet still carrying buckets of anger and shame, I realize that much better than trying to exact any sort of revenge or seeking retribution, is finding ways to let the hurt go.