INTERVIEW: Child Abuse, And A Compassionate Mind
CHILD NEGLECT AND ABUSE
When we began this interview, she suggested we should talk about a certain topic she had in mind, something she thought would help more people than the one we ended up discussing. I felt her deep desire to help others – she is a wonderful person that way – but as she began talking, I just felt something from her… that her intended topic wasn’t quite right… that there was something else more appropriate… something she was dodging.
Remember that I have three criteria for an interview, and I doggedly adhere to them for a reason. The three are: it has to be about you, it has to be done for the purpose of helping others, and it has to be about the most important thing you’d talk about. The ‘helping’ criterion was met, but we were a little fuzzy with it being about the most important thing, and being about her. I went with my feeling, told her what I felt, and we both agreed we’d start with the new topic and see where it took us.
After the interview, outside under the blue sky as she was leaving, she said, ‘You know… you were right. This was the right thing to talk about.’ I loved the look on her face – whatever it was – as she said that. She’s tried many directions, many ways of healing, but I could see that we had just gone somewhere a little new.
Female – “I was sexually abused as a baby, and didn’t know it. (Didn’t make sense of it until she was much older)
I don’t have a memory of the abuse because I was a baby. It’s before you know what’s happening; you’re trusting your whole world.”
RE-LIVING SOME EARLIEST MEMORY
“When I went to some counseling years ago for healing, what came out was about when I was a baby. There was this… pressure in my throat… I actually relived this as an adult… laying there on the floor. My second husband was there with me at the time. It was… just how I felt, how violated I felt. Even as a baby. Like your person… like you have no value.
It was (her uncle’s) face. That’s who I saw during the experience… his face. I’m laying, as a baby would lay, like this. I saw this coming down into my face. (Later in life) I finally asked my Mom, ‘Did you leave me alone with (her uncle)?’ Mom said she remembered going away, she had left me with him.
But I don’t even know that’s what happened. It’s just what I felt. This (at the counseling session) only happened about seven years ago, where I actually knew it was him.”
To clarify: there’s the chance that nothing like this happened, that there was some other explanation for her unusual feelings since babyhood. She allows this chance because she’s not sure herself, these were such hazy happenings… but where did her feelings and visions come from, then? Most of the rest of us don’t have these feelings and visions in our lives, nor the things you’ll read about later; what caused hers?
“It’s all very unclear, yes. But… the more we talk about it, the more clear it seems to be… it seems to make sense.” (That things happened as she felt they did)
“It was someone my Mother trusted, she had left me with him on several occasions. It wasn’t my Dad, he was in the war, was in Australia. When my Mother would go, do grocery shopping, she’d leave me with my uncle.
His situation was this: his wife had just died a year before, she died having her son – I’m one year younger than her son. Also, the uncle was an extreme alcoholic, very, very abusive to himself and his children. He had always been an alcoholic, it just really evolved after his wife died.
My Mom knew that. (But still ‘trusted’ him to not hurt her daughter?) When I was older, from about six to ten years old, he would ask me to sit on his knee.”
CURIOUS QUESTIONS, CURIOUS FEARS, A FRIGHTENED LITTLE GIRL, AND FRIENDLY GLOWING PIGS
“I didn’t know that that’s why I felt like I was choking through my early childhood; I didn’t know all that hair came from that thing (other person’s face) I saw close to my face. I kept asking my Mom, ‘Who has the moustache? Who put the pillow on my face? Who kept trying to suffocate me? Somebody tried to suffocate me as a baby, I can’t breathe’.
I would try to go to bed at night… I couldn’t fall asleep. It wasn’t easy at night, trying to fall asleep and thinking someone’s going to stop me from breathing. I had horrible fear of not being able to breathe. Every single night, it was trauma. I kept saying, ‘You know, God, honestly, please just take me away.’ I was about three, four.
There were these little fluorescent pigs (hanging pictures) that shone in the night… I would concentrate, put my focus on them shining in the night, then I’d get to sleep.
I always felt like I was suffocating. I think it was just a continuation of… not knowing what happened.”
A COSMICALLY-AWARE INFANT?
“I can remember things from when I was one year old. I don’t know if it’s that I saw pictures… even my Mom said I had very clear memories. And I had very difficult questions for her… she used to just look at me like I was pie-eyed or something.
When I was about three or four I started asking, ‘Who am I, why am I here, what is this all about, why isn’t this somebody else… why aren’t they in my body, why am I in it?’ Very deep universal questions, rather than (like other kids), what is sex, what is this thing or that. I wasn’t interested. It had to do with cosmic (existential) things.
When I was in grade one I had tremendous fear of people. Not just men… fear of all people. I remember being (or just feeling?) ostracized in class. The teacher… it seemed to me she had difficulty looking at my eyes. (That the teacher felt uncomfortable about something she sensed/saw in her)
Sometimes I was sent out of the class for talking, or for chewing gum that I picked up off the sidewalk; imagine eating old gum – I knew the blackest ones had the most sugar left! I would be put in the cloakroom (a punishment used in those days)… I invented my own world. I had a ball, I was quite happy to be by myself, not be in the classroom. I enjoyed looking at everybody’s dirty laundry, I picked apart their lunches, put them back so they’d never know I touched them. I lived in another world, then. I’d block this world right out… I would live in… what I called the superior world to what I see here.
I think I was a very innocent person… and a person who saw many things other people don’t see. That’s always made huge differences to me, to how the world reacts to me. I see beyond the ‘veil’ of what most people see here. It’s made me a complicated person in some ways, but… I find it very uncomplicated because it’s so… arresting. It gives me so much peace… to know… certain things.
Since I was a child, I’m not wondering… where I’m going, when I die. Now, I’m not afraid to die.”
UNPLEASANTNESS: SOME REAL ENOUGH, SOME SURREAL
“I was hung twice, by accident. The worst time, I somehow fell through the banister rungs on the stairs when I was about six – eight months old. I was hanging, and when my Mom found me I was blue and not breathing. Of course, in those days there was no 911, she just slapped me (laughs), and apparently I started to come back to consciousness.”
My shameless interviewer’s joke: “That must have been the ‘poor person’s 911’ in those days: ‘Just slap ’em!’” Laughter, then:
“The second time, I was about a year old, still the only child at this time. I was put in a high-chair, I can still see the room. I didn’t want to be left there while my parents and aunt went outside – I think they were hanging laundry to dry. I was trying to see what they were doing outside the window, I leaned over, somehow slid through the high-chair bars, and hung myself again.
Fortunately I think I just had a choking attack, I don’t think I blacked out. I think I got beaten, actually, for doing that. I was hit a lot as a child. Because of the asthma, I couldn’t run. Even later when I had a sister, my sister could run off, but I’d get caught and beaten. My Mother would take one of those old-fashioned razor strops (a long leather strap-like item used to sharpen shaving razors in those days) with the buckle on the end, I was hit with the buckle end.
I actually saved it recently – the buckle. I was going through some things, couldn’t throw it out. I thought, ‘Why would you want that thing?’ But I had to still see that buckle. I don’t know why. There’s part of my pain in that buckle.
My mouth was repeatedly washed out with soap until I never talked hardly at all. I stopped talking when I was about four, and only answered questions. I became so shy and unsure of how to talk and how it was perceived due to being told repeatedly that I was a liar, and a few other choice names. This was an old punishment… soap in your mouth.
I mentioned the soap incident to show how I became such an insecure person then… afraid that what I said would be judged. So often things came out all mixed up and I would have to start over talking so that people would understand me. I would jump from A to Z and leave out all the unnecessary things, like my life. I actually had some people who just loved that I talked this way – they were perceptive and filled in the blanks.
I was sixteen before I was able to talk properly again, and by then I doubted everything I had to say. I was not socialized (not good with being around people socially), I kept well-guarded.
And then this thing with wanting to kill myself: as a child, I used to stand there with a knife… which is silly, I thought it was really bizarre (laughs). I would stand there, with a knife, thinking… to try to put it through my heart. I have a scar from once, when I actually made it, a little.
I was really wanting to do this, I so wanted to not be here, that it should all go away and I wouldn’t have to deal with this. That’s how cruel life felt at that time.”
“We were left alone in a car, while they were drinking. We were left for hours and hours. The car was the babysitter. We were locked in the car, left there for hours. With nothing to do. For years and years. They would bring us out a box of chips, or a drink every once in a blue moon. They may be gone for hours; of course to them it’s a minute… to us, it’s like forever. They told us we can’t leave (the car).
We did, one time; we were with a cousin, she’s like, ‘Come on, let’s get out, this is ridiculous’. She was a bit older. While we’re getting back in the car, I got my thumb caught in the door. I wouldn’t scream – it was getting pulverized, but I couldn’t let them know (that she had opened the car door). Tears were running down my face, but I wouldn’t scream. My sister couldn’t stand it and got back out and opened the door.
Not able to release, emote… I had to suffer silently, always. That’s how afraid we were of our parents. They were extremely strict. A lot of control issues. I have some control issues in my life, and that’s where it comes from. We used to sit on our hands, like this, at the dinner table, and we were not allowed to talk at the table, we were just supposed to listen. I still do that with my hands… sit on them. I do that a lot. A nervousness thing.
So my father was gone a lot of the time, and when he was home they played a lot of card games, lived in their own world, had their own thing going on. When they were together it was socializing, drinking, going out to the beer parlor.
They spent a tremendous amount of time at a particular one in Vancouver. They would go to what they called ‘Skid Row’ (a seedy, rough area of bars), and those are the times I remember most – locked, sitting in the car on Skid Row – we were petrified. Sitting there in a parking lot, two young blonde girls, sitting in a car, feeling very scared because of what went on in the area. I mean, we saw nudity, all kinds of stuff, vomiting, people from the bars, the bar scene.
We played all kinds of weird games… just anything to do. And when you’re with a sister for that long, you tend to become rivals, right? You can’t be alone for that long without having something (nerves, animosities) come up. We’d be at each other’s throats for awhile.”
A TINY CLEAN ROSE AMONG THE MUCK. I’LL SAY IT: THANK YOU
“We did love this babysitter, who was only a few years older than us. She came a few times. She was so… she gave me hope, like there was someone with a real heart.”
CHILDHOOD: PARENTS ARE GODS, AND NEIGHBORS’ LIVES ARE AS SECRET AS YOUR OWN
“The experience was difficult, living with alcoholic parents, and living with them not knowing that they’re abusive. When you’re a child, I think you think of your parents as being… you know, the God of your house and your world. You give them a lot more power (you feel they’re all-powerful beings), because you don’t really know anything different. You’re just living that moment, you don’t see way ahead of you, you don’t see behind you, you’re always in the now.
You’re living that horrible experience at that moment, and you don’t know how to get away from it… and you don’t know that it’s different than the neighbor. You don’t realize that you’re living something that they don’t have to live.”
ONLY ONE ADULT IN THE FAMILY
“I’m the oldest sister. I was responsible for everyone… from a very early age I was told that I was to look after them. I’ve always had that role, for them.
And I never felt I was being abusive to them at all. I loved them, but you know… kids who are your own siblings… any time you tell them to do something… if you don’t (be tough and make them do things) – then I’m going to get into trouble from my parents. That’s what I’m thinking, but of course I couldn’t say that to my siblings.
I was the authority figure for them all. Because my parents weren’t there. My Dad was about twenty-three after the war, he worked on the railways, so he’s gone for two weeks at a time, sometimes longer.”
‘NOTHING’ HAPPENED: ANOTHER CONFUSING BLANK THAT CHANGES HER LIFE?
“An experience happened to me, but I don’t know what happened. My sister and I were left at the P.N.E. (the Pacific National Exhibition, a decades-old family fun park in Vancouver, B.C.). I was ten, she was eight.
We were walking the grounds, and two boys that were working one of the games – where you throw the balls to win prizes – they grabbed me and pulled me in behind the building. They only grabbed me, not her. She just stood there, frozen.
I didn’t scream or anything, too afraid to yell, or… I don’t know what I was. (Sister) just stood there, froze. Whether I was in shock… I don’t know. They grabbed me off this paved walkway (for the public)… nobody seemed to see it… and put me in behind, on the ground.
I know I was laying out, on the ground. I thought, ‘Oh, God… what do I do?’ All I can remember was thinking that. I don’t remember any of the experience whatsoever.”
DID IT OR DIDN’T IT?…SOME EVIDENCE IS THERE, SOME ISN’T
“I don’t recall any of it. It’s like I blanked it out. To this day, I don’t know if I was abused. I think they might have wanted to do something… but if they did – I was still intact when I got married, still a virgin. They didn’t penetrate my body, I think; they might have done something else…”
To readers who don’t know: an intact vaginal hymen isn’t necessarily an indicator of virginity. Some are very open to begin with, some are very elastic, stretchable, some can be torn a little but not enough to show a noticeable scar later.
“They could have put it (their genitals) down my throat, something like that… but then, I had asthma, I’d suffered a lot of asthma for years, so I would have gone into a choking fit pretty fast.
A feeling of total powerlessness. Because they were big guys. Both, as I remember, what I used to call the ‘zoot-suiters’ – dark clothes, they wore those funny pants, had the big chains, hard kind of guys.
I was just walking along, you know? I did not see it happen at all. (It was very sudden, surreal; she’s walking with her sister, then she’s grabbed up and whisked away, no time for things to be registered clearly in her head) I think something happened. I’m just not sure what. I don’t know. I was too young. And I haven’t really tried to remember, to get into that one.”
SISTERS SHARE REMEMBRANCE
“I didn’t tell anybody, never told anyone, period. She didn’t either. It wasn’t until – God – two years ago, around the time of my Mom’s funeral. (Sister) actually brought it up, reminded me, said something about it. I had forgotten most things about it, I didn’t even know it was something, never thought about it. I guess your mind has a way of (protecting itself by blanking things out)… so you don’t freak, right?
I just said that I remember being frightened, knowing there was an incident. I knew they pulled me to the ground and dragged me, I can still feel myself being dragged. And I remember this feeling of… I think pressure, I remember pressure on me. I don’t remember the circumstance.
She said, ‘Do you realize you were gone for a very long time? I stood there, and waited for you to come back’. She said she thought it was over half an hour. She said, ‘I just stood there. Just waiting’. I said, ‘Well… couldn’t you have called my name or something?’ She said, ‘You know… I was so shocked by it… it was just one of those things… you didn’t come back’. Of course, she’s eight and I’m ten.
She said that when I came back I looked like a ghost, I was totally white, I looked frozen. I don’t remember walking back to her, back home. I was just scared right out of my… whatever. Whatever it was that just happened – was a pretty profound feeling.”
Do you want to remember what happened?
Do you think it would be healing, somehow, to remember that… just for closure, for clarity, to make sense of some things, and to answer a big blank space in your life, your mind?
“I suppose. I don’t know. I still don’t know for sure that anything happened.”
We can guess and theorize all we want, but instead, look to the evidence: They were two tough boys, she was a young pretty blonde girl; they grabbed her and dragged her into hiding; she was gone for an estimated half hour; she blanked out everything that happened.
Does anyone reading this think that nothing bad happened? For further evidence, look to the upcoming heading (…NUN…), showing even more consequence of some abuse.
AND HER SISTER…
“I think that day really affected my sister… (led to) the Multiple Sclerosis. Just standing there, frozen… I don’t know how to say this…”
It’s commonly accepted medically that many of our body’s ailments can be caused by things that originally affected us only emotionally: you think and think and worry about something, and that leads to your physical body breaking down in a related way.
In this case, my suggestion is that her sister thought and thought about just standing there helpless – and years later came down with M.S., a disease that hardens tissue in the brain and spinal cord, causing partial or complete paralysis in the body.
…Just like, perhaps the interviewee’s asthma was caused, at a young age, by the fear brought on by the vague memory of having someone on top of her or smothering her as a baby? To read more of what may have contributed to her sister’s M.S., perhaps even be the primary cause, see the upcoming heading (OTHER CONSEQUENCES).
“My sister said, ‘I want you to know… I’m so sorry I didn’t scream for you, didn’t do something to help you.’”
NO PARENTS TO PREPARE THEM FOR THE BIG BAD WORLD
“But both of us had been so abused by neglect, we didn’t know what was happening, didn’t have any guidance. This is how prepared we were as girls. At that time there were three of us sisters (the fourth wasn’t born yet), and we were not really given any guidance by our parents. Nobody ever said what to do, how to respond, as a child, to emergencies, strange events.
I just remember my Mom saying, ‘You have to set the (lady-like) standards for all your sisters… you can’t get pregnant or anything.’”
A PINT-SIZED NUN? AND SERIOUS
“The very next thing I remember in my life is: I decided I wanted to become a nun. Nun, to me, meant I was going to be a celibate person. No sex, nuns don’t have sex. That’s all I was thinking.
I’m not even brought up Catholic, religious; that was just my first thought, afterwards. I told my Mom, ‘I want to study and become a nun’. So I had that big thing going on for the next two years, until I was twelve. I really was serious. This (event in the park) had really affected who I… it affected a moral standard I think I had for myself.”
How did it affect dating, your thoughts of boys, marriage?
“I was probably a bit strange with all that. My friends in school, that’s all they ever talked about. At fourteen, fifteen, they’re all planning their marriages. I said, ‘How can you be interested in that? What is that all about? Like, I want to sing, and I want to be a teacher!’ I was very focused on my music. I found other young girls to be very frivolous, like not really thinking about the bigger picture here. To get pregnant and have babies… that was not my goal in life.
I didn’t have a high opinion of men. The experience in the park could have been part of what made me feel like that, just solidified it, but I think I was always like that; I had much more universal thinking… I just found it (what other girls wanted) kind of childish.”
AFTER-EFFECTS CAN CONTINUE FOREVER: THE BLANKS?
“I’ve been nervous, considering doing this interview. Definitely. Thinking about coming here today … I have a blank of about four hours. I woke up at 2:00am to use the washroom – that almost never happens – and then the time was 6:00am. I’m like, ‘Where did that go?’ I know that I wasn’t sleeping. I seem to ‘go’ somewhere, and I don’t know what that experience is.
But it’s very fulfilling; I don’t feel tired.”
Maybe it’s the same place you ‘went’ to during the event in the park?
“It could be. Could be.”
Maybe it had been happening even before that event… something used by her mind as a ‘coping tool’ during stressful events? And maybe it’s an evolution of her ‘going’ to a different place like she did while sent to the cloakroom in school? And maybe it’s a wonderful place that’s calming, serene, healing, and was absolutely necessary given her stressful circumstances – any port in a storm?
And maybe she’ll want to go there all her life, and keep trying to go there, because there’s no harm in it – maybe it’s a much better place than where we usually are? Before anyone can judge that ‘place’, or try to figure it out, realize: maybe it saved her life, her mind?
“I have had blank periods, a few of them. It’s more than what most people experience, where time really flies for them. I’m like, ‘Where did that period go? – I was just sitting here…’
I’d say probably in my teenage years I had quite a bit of it, where there’d be just… blanks. Before that park incident… I don’t know. If so, that would be… very vague. If there were other total blanks before that.”
LOOKING FOR LOVE IN MUSIC; EVEN IN GRUB
“I sang, I studied opera, wanted to be a singer. Opera is a very feeling, emotional level of commitment to music, and I think that was very good (her choice to practice a skill that would nurture her repressed emotions). It filled me so much, I’m so grateful to music. But I just couldn’t do it professionally. I’d get on a stage, then I’d freeze.”
The seeds of childhood neglect sprout later, in adult endeavors – into feelings of unimportance, powerlessness, emptiness, a lack of being able to feel like a solid person, worthy of standing and showing: this is me; this is what I can do.
“The food thing is my only addiction. Food is the hardest. It’s a comfort. I definitely think my being overweight is directly attributed to what happened in my youth; you choose food as a nurturing thing… because you didn’t get the love.
I didn’t feel any love. Any of us, even my sisters – we went through a lot of counselors. It was devastation… even after three or four years of counseling, because we felt so unloved.”
THE SEX THING: UMM… HOW MANY LAYERS DID HE HAVE TO FIGHT THROUGH?
“In my first marriage… on my honeymoon night, getting pregnant was not my decision. I used to wear four panty girdles… so no one could get in. Like, I really meant this thing about… not being interested in sex. All these panties… like if you can get all that off, you’re doing pretty good! (Ha) I wore a lot of ‘protection’.”
“My parents smoked and drank. It was in the family: my Grandfather died from alcoholism. There wasn’t really aid or help for it, people didn’t even recognize it as ‘alcoholism’ – people just ‘drank’, right?”
That is, alcoholism didn’t have that stigma back then, wasn’t isolated and identified as a ‘dysfunction’ or ‘sickness’ or ‘disease’, didn’t have common treatment programs or therapy. People drank, or people ‘drank’, and that was the distinction.
“The sad thing is, there’s health issues in every one of my sisters – there are four of us. We all have… quite severe health issues. I’m diabetic. I think that’s very common with people who are children of alcoholics. Somehow when you’re born your pancreas is not that strong. And then that weak pancreas doesn’t help your weight issues… a lot of little things.
I’ve had open heart surgery, I’d had a massive hole in my heart since birth. My lungs worked all backwards, had learned to adapt to a different direction. I was a survivor right from birth, from the beginning.
And my sister with severe Multiple Sclerosis, has leg braces… she’s had maybe ten surgeries. She’s had other hardships: I pleaded with her, tried to warn her not to marry her husband, told her he’s not the marrying kind. Later I finally had to tell her that he came in through my bedroom window and had tried to rape me, and had also tried to rape our youngest sister.
My sister is so beautiful, but she thought I was jealous. (That is, thought she was lying and so didn’t believe her) She was married to him for four years, and when she found out for sure (about her husband’s ‘escapades’) from yet another girl, shortly after that she got the MS.
I sat with her in the kitchen once, we poked an orange with a syringe trying to learn to give her the shots – she took shots every day, B vitamins, pain killers and others. She’s actually done very well in life, despite.”
AND STILL OTHERS…
“I had gone on a holiday, to a glacier-fed lake. The doctor had said to not get cold, not go in the lake, just to be safe – I was pregnant then. It was so hot on the beach though, that I just put my feet in. I ended up with a temperature of 105, you could have wrung out the whole bed, every bit of water had come (sweated) out of me. I was like this for four days.
I was extremely ill, and that’s what brought the premature birth on. (Son) was born three months and three weeks premature. He had a real hard time to get here (to life). There was no water in me, in him, ’cause I was so sick. Almost died, my kidneys went into… but it was very easy to have him, no problem in the actual birth.
After my son was born, I had what they called ‘postpartum’ (depression and other emotional effects in the weeks after giving birth) back then. They thought I was a paranoid schizophrenic, gave me medication for it. They gave me Stelazine (a drug used to treat schizophrenia and for anxiety that does not seem to respond to ordinary tranquilizers), a psychedelic drug that was new at that time. It was supposed to be for my depression. For me, it did the opposite. I’d had that massive hole in my heart all this time that we didn’t know about, and this (the heart defect reacting with the drug) slowed everything down. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t control my mouth, was slathering (drooling) everywhere, couldn’t stand up… just like a piece of Jell-o.
I went into the Crease Clinic, that’s a place where they put you when you’re looney-tunes. I was like a vegetable when I went in. I went through maybe fourteen shock therapies. They induce you to forget, to ‘snap out’ of wherever you’re at, when where you’re at is not okay – if you’re depressed, suicidal, a combination…who knows?
But the drugs… I can’t have any mind-altering anything, my mind has to be crystal clear all the time. Any amount of even alcohol for me is not good.”
THE HARD LESSONS WERE ALSO NEEDED AS PREPARATION FOR:
“(Son) was in a car accident when he was one and a half years old. I was in the hospital giving birth to my daughter, so someone was looking after him, and their car crashed. It was another circumstantial thing; I cried for two years over that. I was like, nineteen, and I thought, ‘What do I know? What do I know that will help this kid?’ I never thought about what it would do to me, I only thought… I have no power to help him. I don’t know anything.
It’s been such a huge impact on me. I went through a divorce… it’s so difficult for (ex-husband) to accept all these things – you don’t have a son that’s going to play ball…. but his father has grown over the years. He ended up with epilepsy, and having that has changed his thinking patterns, his understanding of his son‘s incapacities. I think they’re closer today than they’ve ever been.
All that happened earlier in my life affected me very deeply. It really drove me to learn more about how creation works… the whole aspect of mind-body-soul and their connection. And emotionally, it’s made me… sort of more mothering than I needed to be. (Son) is so disconnected… for him, what he has, is. He knows nothing else than being in a wheelchair. I have a child who was never able to have sex, who will not have that experience. I will not live through that, that’s his experience. I’m the observer. A pretty tough one, as the mother.
Our society has so programmed each person to think that’s the experience you’re here for – way too much emphasis on that whole sexual thing. Everything is connected to it, there’s nothing they don’t sell through sex or something related to it… to that little, tiny bit of… climax. That’s how they get you, condition you. And I’m sorry… I’m not buying it!”
Her childhood experience prepared her to not ‘buy into’ all the commercialization and importance of sex… and subsequently qualified her to deal with, help a son who would not have the choice to buy into it.
I hope her son understands how much her childhood prepared her to help him, to nurture him deeply, rather than neglect or reject him due to his injury.
LIFE LESSONS BLOSSOM INTO BITTERSWEET FLOWERS
“But as much as you work on everything, you’re never one hundred percent (healed). Even though you love people, cherish what they’re good at, see them… I still have a critical mind. But I try. I have a good rule-of-thumb: if it’s not important in a hundred years, then it’s not important. You know? A little important, but not that important.
I think all that has just been conditioning me for where I needed to go later in life, what I needed to see, do. I think I’m grateful for everything that transpired… it’s made me very… almost like ‘pointed’ in direction. Everything has a reason, so there is a purpose to what happened, what’s happening. Knowing that, is what makes me able to deal with most of it – knowing that it has purpose, has a reason. If it’s good (for other people) to hear about what happened to me, then that’s fine with me. I would not want to live it again.
Even at that age when I was sent to the cloakroom early in school, I couldn’t fathom man’s inhumanity to man. I had to separate myself from what was happening around me, become something else. Even to this day I have horrible, sad moments when I think what people do to each other, how they… almost sit down and even plan how to destroy other people.
I think love really is so much more important, than to try and destroy in any way.
I think that would be my life mission – if I could help make a better pathway for anyone. I don’t think you can stop anyone from having their pain, I think that’s part of the growing experience. But if you read about someone else (like you, the reader, are reading her interview here)… it might help you to hear how they were, how they survived it.
I very much want to be an inspirational person to help people to be inspired… by yourself. Not by me, but by what you can do about things. If I could give you a tool, I’d say just write, paint, sing, do whatever is creative, because it all helps the process. To be creative, you have to go ‘outside the box’ so you’re a little on the edge of… how do you make new breakthroughs, how do you see more?
I don’t want drugs, I don’t need alcohol, cigarettes, any of it. I’ve always thought you can do all of this… sitting with a cup of water. Or just with a friend, talking as we are.”
THE ‘PLACE’ SHE WENT TO IS STILL HERE… AND LEADING TO HELPING OTHERS
“As a child I felt very crystal, very clear, very serene, and loving. (In a way, amidst what was happening to her) I was very understanding of certain things, and I saw beyond what everyone calls ‘here’ – the things you see. I saw all kinds of other things… lights, color, I heard music that nobody else hears. I had – what I consider now – the greatest gift possible.
I pushed that all away at times during youth and middle years, and I think I’ve recouped it, to a stage where it can now be useful. Now, I’m allowing it, it’s just a flowing, and I feel it’s so sacred. I feel that I have something that… I want everyone to know… that this can be in you.
That you don’t have to go anywhere, there’s no Holy Grail to search for; it’s you. You are all there is, all that’s ever going to be. That you are so perfected that, when you understand yourself… you are the key. You are the key to your greatest fears and illusions… you’re so divine.
I think there’s a love level in people that we don’t honor enough.”
“You don’t have to suffer, you really are just as beautiful as you could possibly imagine…
You are the love of yourself.”
Even after this interview, she and I couldn’t think of what the title would be, how to describe the ‘topic’. I felt ‘abuse’ was too limited for what the interview encompassed.
Finally after my many hours of transcribing and typing, a whole long title popped into my head, complete, a few seconds before I printed off my first proofreading copy. The title was ‘HAPPENINGS THAT LED TO AN UNUSUALLY COMPASSIONATE LIFE’. I used that title for years, for this interview.
Now, years later I am rereading this; she was such a gentle and kind speaker in person, the very softness with which she treated harsh happenings caused even me to find something more ‘flowery’ in her story. Yes, her life’s early events led her to becoming a wonderfully compassionate, giving, and gentle person;
However I’m not going to let the early part of her story be honeyed over in any way by her later success as a person (and she did succeed, with a rich social life and as the creator and owner of a huge company that sells product worldwide). Make no mistake, this interview is about child neglect and abuse, and a life changed because of them.