Comforting Words: Wilderness Journal: Day 2

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Wilderness Journal: Day 2

The Beginning: At the Center

Welcome to Day 2 of the Wilderness Journal. If this is your first time or you need to get caught up, click this link to read the Introduction to this journey and then read Day 1.

At the Center, the place of the Eternal Fire, I sit in silence and ask the Fire, represented by lit candle(s) to burn away the falsehood that has to be released in order to proceed on the healing journey for the day. This ritual is the start of each day’s journey in this Wilderness of Healing.

From the center, I move northerly, represented by the colour blue according to Native Spirituality and is symbolic of winter but more importantly for me, it is the place of defeat and trouble. However, there was a slight change in the wind and I am taking a westerly turn, to death, represented by black.

The west is the place of death and for me this means dying to the things, thoughts, ways of being and even people who would hold me back from fulfilling what I feel I am called to do in this life. Going to the west will not be an easy journey, as one has grown attached and dependent on the familiar and the known.

However, I have come to learn that things are not always what they seem and people tell lies and put up great pretenses to either mask their own wounds and fears. Or, they attack and project on others their issues in their desperate attempt to not look in the mirror – their own, their offsprings and, more so, their relations lives.

And so, off I go on Day 2, heading North-West. Acknowledging in what ways I feel defeated on Day 1 and slowly coming to realize that a necessary death is beckoning, I use the words sent to me by one of the many friends who has been holding my hands, via the Internet, as my guide me for this Day 2.

Today’s Text:

“You are at my side, dear friends, and God is everywhere. Yet ultimately we are alone, making our way home by the candle of the heart. The light is steady and sure but extends only far enough to see the next step. That there are steps beyond is a matter of faith. That we have the faith to endure and walk our own journey - even when we think that we are lost - is a gift of grace and of friendship. Many times our light seems to go out. But another light, one held by a stranger or a friend, a book or a song, a blackbird or a wildflower, comes close enough so that we can see our path by its light. And in time we realize that the light we have borrowed was always also our own.” - A Woman's Journey to God by Joan Borysenko.

The next step in this process is that of acknowledgement. I firmly believe that what we do not acknowledge we cannot heal.

Acknowledgement of Vulnerability: The Trouble Spots

Setting out on this intentional journey of self-examination, reflection and healing, my deepest despair and the moments when I feel most defeated are:



The memories – good and bad memories call out to me throughout what was our home.

Nights – sleep continues to elude me with me only being able to get four (4) hours of restless sleep the previous night.

Diet/Nutrition – My loss of appetite is still a bit fashionable as I am sure to lose some weight but my psychologist is not as pleased about this. My eating continues to be minimal. On this day, my meals were:

Breakfast – One banana
Mid-morning Snack – One slice raisin bread (toasted and with butter)
Lunch – One small cup of potato and garlic soup and a slice of homemade bread
Dinner – Chinese take-out: four tablespoons special fried rice.



Psychological Health – The panic attacks continue and have increased, numbering six (6). All the attacks today were brought on when I try to imagine life without my ex-partner, when I think of her with someone else, when she called me this morning to discuss business matters, when I got a copy of a malicious email sent to members of the future Board of Comfort Foundation – my dream child - and when I realized the extent of my ex-partner's need to lie or tell half-truths through a conversation with my daughter.

Session with Psychologist – not necessarily a trouble spot, more like identifying the source of the pain and working through it, my first session with the psychologist went ‘well’. I shared with her as much of my history as succinctly as possible as we only had an hour.

Giving her an overview of my childhood, my early relationships and my first marriage she immediately caught on to one of the sources of my pain in this current situation. As I shared with her something that I only recognized myself a couple weeks ago and explained to my ex-partner, that they reason I am was so triggered by the obvious flirtations that happened in our home came directly from a past experience.

In short, I have had a previous experience of a marital partner (husband) being unfaithful in our marital home. When I came home and found him and the woman, who was dressed in my nightgown and had worn my underclothes, I was beaten by him and literally kicked out of the apartment. The physical abuse did its damage but only two weeks ago I realized that I had buried the emotional scar of having the woman laugh at me as I was severely battered.

This pain has stayed with me for 18 years, never revealing itself completely until I saw our friend blatantly making advances towards my now ex-partner, who did nothing to stop it. I was instead accused of being paranoid and jealous. The shame of being beaten and having a Caucasian woman stand by not only watching but laughing as she wore my clothes left its mark on me as it did my great grandmothers and grandmothers who were beaten and raped by slave-owners.

This shame, triggered by the betrayal of my friendship and desecration of my home by another Caucasian woman and the deep feeling of being abandoned yet again by someone who claims to love me, was too much to bear and I disconnected from my true self and took those 120+ pills.

That is where my full therapy will begin next week Monday – helping me to continue to claim a wholeness that I never had but have been working hard to own for over six years now. I did not lose my sense of self, as many have suggested when my partner left and my identity is not wrapped up in her's. I know who and whose I am, a child of God. I simply forgot that when the memory of an 18 year old pain surfaced for the first time and the person who I had hoped to help me grow through it turned her back.

Mindfulness

On Day 2, these are what came into my experience:

Self- Awareness: Locating Oneself

I found it helpful to upfront answer the question: “Where are you today?”

Using imagery as done on Day 1, I would say although there has been some movement in other aspects, that at the start of Day 2, I was still at the bottom of a very deep, dark and dry well. However, the fright is slowly leaving me and I began to respond to the cajoling of my friends. As my eyes open to some of the realities that I chose to ignore and as I wake up from my aspirin-induced sleep of last week, things are becoming much clearer to me. However, I am in shock at some of the revelations and realizations, as the one discussed in the session with the psychologist, that are occurring and at times I fall back down.

God Messages & Angels

Throughout the experience, I have been blessed with a constant flow of angels bringing messages from God to support and guide me. On Day 2, I was extremely triggered by the intrusion and invasion of my space by this woman and the angels and messengers came through:

  1. M in Ontario, who I called after receiving a copy of a malicious email, sent by the very person who, thankfully, triggered my memory. M calmed me down as I was in shock to realize the evil that resides in this woman’s heart that she not only did what she did in my home and life but she turns around and tries to ruin my ministry. M reminded me that “in the presence of Light, darkness cannot prevail, it must fade. Whatever you do will come back to you, it’s a boomerang…don’t worry my friend, you are blessed and protected.”

  2. Still shell-shocked by the email, I called my minister and she ‘held my hand’ for a while until I was ready to let it go.

  3. Dr. P called a bit earlier tonight and I was glad as I wanted to share with her this email. In her usual no-nonsense way she too reminded me that when you are on purpose with your life no one or nothing can demean you.

  4. Not to diminish the help of the other three persons but my greatest movement today came very late in the night through a call from the ‘original’ angel, my daughter A. She called to check up on me and as we spoke and the conversation turned to what really happened with me and ex-partner; she gave me the message of the day. Not all God messages are uplifting and inspiring – directly – you have to get to the bottom of the words. As she revealed that what she was told by my ex-partner about the break-up, another major attack washed over me. I could not believe the extent and depth of my ex’s need to deceive! My daughter was given the impression that all this drama started with me packing her bags and delivering them to her new and exclusive friend’s house. She was told that I had ‘put her out’ and changed the locks on the door but nothing about her revelation on Thanksgiving Day, nothing about the week of hell she created, nothing about her coming to my bedside in the Emergency Room to declare that she is done and nothing about the no-contact order she gave to me. I told my daughter the truth as I know it, the whole truth, and then apologized again to her and offered to get her any help she might need to understand what is going on. Then I hung up the phone and retched. Then I called my ex-partner and left a voice message asking her how could she do that to the child that grew up with her since 2+ years – was that relationship a lie too?

Soul Food

My soul food came today quite unexpectedly and in a different way. I received a note addressed to me which reads:
“This is a gift from the estate of H.J. for the benefit of the Comfort Foundation. It is to be used solely for the personal psychological therapy of Claudette with the specific intent that as you find your wholeness many others will benefit from what you do.

It is given with blessings and gratitude and in the memory of a wounded wounder. May your life as a wounded healer make some good come from her legacy.”

With tears streaming down my cheeks I read the last line: “P.S. 7 is a holy sacred number.”

It was a cheque for $700. As I cried my gratitude to the donor, I asked that the cheque be re-written and made payable to the psychologist, which was done.

In that moment, I knew that my life is on purpose and that no small-minded, mean-spirited or pitiful people will take me off track. There is too much pain and suffering in this world – I know because I have felt it – for me to not continue doing what I do. Furthermore, there is a $700 pressure on me now to do just that – heal and get back to the business of carrying and journeying with others through their pain.


Life-Sustaining Busyness

My greatest feeling on this Day 2 is a sense of gradual acceptance of my new status of single woman. As such, slowly trying to start putting the pieces of my life back together in an intentional way I:

  • Allowed my creative juices to flow and expressed them through writing several pieces

  • Walked the dog three times! That is major for me folks!

Radar Moments

On Day 2 these are my Radar Moments:

  1. My brightest red light today came from my telephone conversation with my daughter as discussed above.

Divine Inspirations

Inspiration, steps to take or guidance usually comes to me as I walk in silence or in the shower as the water washes over me. It is like a divine action plan and Day 2 was no different and these are what came not in order of priority.

  1. My Osho Tarot Card for today was “Patience” – and these words remained with me throughout today: “Even the trees know when it is time to bring the flowers and when it is time to let go of all leave and stand naked against the sky…with great trust that the old has gone and the new will soon be coming.”

Reality Check, Paradigm Shift & Movements

Finally, before going to bed (after being up since 4:00 a.m.) I did a reality check – what comes up in your heart as absolute truths that cannot be denied, a paradigm shift and see whether you are emotionally, spiritually and mentally ready towards a different direction on the medicine wheel.

As I did this last exercise, my findings were:

Reality Check - Dr. P was right – this break-up was the best thing that could have ever happened to me! Yes, the abruptness of it hurts like hell and every unmasking of the lies, deception and evil drives a nail through my heart. But…all is well and all shall be well.
Paradigm Shift - In the middle of writing this, I stopped and wrote this special message to my ex-partner in capital letters in my Wilderness Journal – Go to Hell! Too many lies, too many half-truths and too many secrets - that is not the life I want to live. Nothing has changed about my deep and eternal love for her as I know that that is not who she is – that is who she has become and who she is currently being supported and encouraged to be. Hip hip hooray – they have found their matches and I am free to let God live through me!
Movement - It is approaching midnight and I am ready to go to bed! I am in the West people – death – I am no longer afraid to die – to an inauthentic life! Bring it on.

Major Gift of the Day & Thought for Bedtime:

Major Gifts

What are you most grateful for as this day ends? What thought would you like to hold you throughout the night?

I am most grateful to the donor who has afforded me the opportunity to get at least my first five counseling sessions without having to do without food. Thank you, thank you and thank you. If when you read this and you wish to have your name published, I will be happy to publicly recognize you.

I am even more grateful to my daughter. Years ago just before coming to Canada, a ‘reader’ told us that she was the older spirit and would help me across. A – thank you – in your own soft and gentle way you helped me cross the waters of defeat and trouble and I am sure you will be there as I stand naked against the sky, awaiting patiently as the old goes completely and the new comes. Thanks my princess.

Thought for Bedtime

I go to bed tonight with Henri Nouwen, author of the book The Wounded Healer, on my mind. He wrote:
“But human withdrawal is a very painful and lonely process, because it forces us to face directly our own condition in all its beauty as well as misery. When we are not afraid to enter into our own center and to concentrate on the stirrings of our own soul, we come to know that being alive means being loved…When we have found the anchor places for our lives in our own center, we can be free to let others enter into the space created for them and allow them to dance their own dance, sing their own song and speak their own language without fear.”

So, I will enter Day 2 ready to face death, going through this painful and lonely process knowing that the Center is the destination.

Blessings,

Claudette

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