Throat Chakra Story: Voice

Voice

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

When the little voice learned that nobody would come running to give her hands when she fell, she stopped asking help. She stopped even crying. When she cried, they came running not to help. So she locked herself in a dark small cave and waited silently until they forgot about the little voice and left. In the cave her hurt turned into anger and the anger pulsed and grew into fury. The angry voice was big and strong. The little voice couldn’t speak up for herself, but the angry voice could scream and yell to protect others. When the angry voice spit a fire, it was always for the little voice in other unheard people.

In my original family I had never learned to make a conversation because nobody heard anybody and they just talked at each other. “Conversation” was like throwing rocks at each other. Uttering one word could start a full-blown war. I’ve learned to make a Molotov cocktail. The louder and the more violent your voice are, better chance of survival.

My brother took up a different strategy, learning from how I fought. He was a talkative child, but he stopped talking to his parents at all. When I was in 30s I confronted my father and told him what he did and what he said damaged me. It was not a conversation. I threw one Molotov cocktail after another at him. The next day, he didn’t come out of bed. My mom forced me to apologize for yelling at him.

“Did I say those things to her?” My mother said to me that he asked her. He didn’t remember. He didn’t remember his words, which denied me of having a normal teenage girl’s life. In his mind, he was a loving father. I learned unless I engaged the person in a conversation, throwing a Molotov cocktail at them wouldn’t work.

About 15 years ago I was on a subway train at night. A young black guy came into the car with a cart-full of stuff. A burly white guy started to harass him, calling him welfare thief and such. The young guy remained quiet and sat still. The white guy kept on harassing him. I felt a red hot anger bubbling up inside of me and burning my throat. I knew yelling at the burly guy would not help the situation. I could feel the young guys anger in my guts. I thought of standing up and sitting between them, but if I provoked the burly guy, it could have the young guy involved. That was not good. My station was coming next. I stood up and walked to the young guy and stood in front of him. “Sir, may I shake your hand?’ I said to him. He looked up at me with a puzzled expression and then he extended his hand. I shook his hand and he smiled. My station came and I got off. That was the most powerful voice I ever have had.

Heart Chakra Story

What does love mean?  What does love feel like?

When I was a little girl, I loved my aunt, who was the only source of goodies in my life.  She took me out for shopping and bought me cute outfits. She took me everywhere to show off her adorable little princess and told everybody how cute I was.  I loved when she took me to a milk bar on weekends and we had pancakes and milkshakes like a mother and a daughter.  They were fluffy and sweet with syrup. 

I followed her everywhere like a duckling.  I waited for her to come home and cried for her when she was late.  When I ran to hug her, I smelled alcohol in her breath.  She showered me with beautiful things.  She gave me money to buy beautiful things.  She even wanted to adopt me one time even though my parents had no reason to give me up.

She spoon-fed me sweets and snacks, regardless I wanted or not.  She dangled pieces of snacks in front of my face.  I automatically opened my mouth and ate whatever she fed me like a baby bird.  She was amused and she still tells me how cute I was.  She still tries to spoon-feed me.  She is 94 and I am 60.

She licked my face because she loved me so much.  It was yucky and I didn’t like it.  When I said no, she proposed to trade licking with goodie.  If I let her lick my face, she would give me a candy. 

Quid pro quo.

That was love I knew.  Love meant stomaching boundary violation from people who gave me something because they “loved” me.  And I had to accept it regardless I want or not because if I didn’t I could lose love.

As you might guess, I had eating problems.  When I felt unlovable, I filled the empty “stomach” with food, binge eating junks.  I always felt an insatiable hunger no food could fill and once physical stomach was full, I felt more unlovable and nauseous, and I forced my self to throw up.  (She could have fed me veges at least.  I wonder why nobody binges on veges…)  I still have difficulty to tell if I’m hungry physically or emotionally and feel anxious on the perceived prospect of going hungry.  The Covid-19 grocery situation was nerve wrecking. 

I always loved plants.  I asked my aunt to buy me a rose bush.  It was a red rose.  I loved her (the rose).  I was a disturbed and rebellious teenager and didn’t talk to my parents, but I went to talk to her every morning.  She was the only one who heard me.   My aunt was building her house in the property next to our house and one morning I found my rose plant was crashed under construction materials.  I hated her for that and cried and screamed that I would burn her house down.  It was the moment I learned that what I loved and cared for could be destroyed or taken away at a whim.  I learned that nobody cared how I felt.  Witnessing me in a murderous rage, my aunt replanted the rose bush somewhere safer.  I didn’t care about the rose after that.  My heart was crashed.  My heart stopped talking to the rose.  The rose bush was me.

My aunt sill “loves” me in her way.  She doesn’t see me or hear me.  She still sees a little princess.  Every time I visit Japan I spend some time with her as a physical form on which she could project her little girl.  It has been my role and I still play it because she is 94 and it is just several days a year.

After my father passed, I’ve learned that my aunt had an affair with a married man (in 1950s in Japan!) and had a daughter, and that the man and his infertile wife adopted the baby girl.  I realized that I had been a stand-in for her daughter.  Entire town knew about the scandal and still she showed me around as if I were her own daughter, in a matching outfit with her.  I remember people asked her if I was her daughter.  I am sure they knew I was not and still they asked, alluding to her illegitimate daughter.

I don’t feel love toward her.  I feel I owe her quasi-daughterly care.  Nobody loves her.  She is highly narcissistic and very caustic woman and I am the only one she “loves.”

BTW I just noticed I still react the same way when I am threatened to lose something I love.  I have this urge to destroy or walk away from the very thing I cared about so much, shutting down.  I don’t do that anymore, but I am aware that it’s still in me.

Yesterday I found somebody cut and stole a sunflower from the park garden I took care of.  It happens often.  Some people are assholes.  I felt the old rage bubbling up from my stomach and wanted to pull all the sunflowers from the garden, so that nobody would take my love away from me. 

Writing Your Own Birth Story

Most of us do not have much memory of the first several years of our life. What I remember is the stories my parents, my aunt, and my grandmother told me. It is not my memory. I doesn’t make sense that I have kept somebody else’s story as mine for my entire life. The story of my first years set a narrative of my life and colored every story I told myself.

“You were a scrawny little baby. You looked like a little monkey. You didn’t want to suck formula from the bottle. We had to squeeze formula into your mouth and when it was full you were forced to swallow. Your grandmother thought you wouldn’t survive.” It was the story I was told again and again by my aunt.

In that narrative I was a runt, who didn’t have a strong will to live and the story of my life was colored by it. I didn’t have strong attachment to life, or so I thought.

And it was not my story.

I took a workshop, “Write Your Way to Deeper Consciousness: A Guided Journey Through the Chakra” by my dear friend, Rev. Freddie Kluth. In the First Chakra class, I was told to write my birth story. So I called my mum. This is her story of my birth.

According to my mother, I was born around 10:00 ~11:00 pm on the day before the winter solstice. She started getting mild contractions. She left home to go to the dormitory for nurses by herself. The dormitory was close to the hospital she worked, and I guess she lived there before she married. She arrived there around 6:00 pm and rested in the dormitory until she was in labor. Nobody from the family was there. Only the matron of the dormitory accompanied her and stayed with her during the labor. It was a normal, rather easy birth, almost on the due date.

“Was there anything unordinary?” I asked. “No. You were normal. Your brother was small,” she said.

That’s all. Do you think it’s normal? I was the first baby she and her husband had. And there were two other women in the family with childbirth experiences. Why did she go to the hospital by herself? I understand that the hospital was like home for her. She spent most of her life working there. All the friends she has worked there as nurses. And it was in 1950s. We were poor and they didn’t have a telephone. There was no way to call a taxi. But my father had a bicycle. He could have biked.

My family is weird…

Freddie asked me to re-write the story to celebrate the birth of myself. This is my birth story I rewrote:

A young woman walked toward the woods. When the day started to wane, she heard the call of woods in her belly. In a hut she shared with a man and his kin, she dropped a bamboo sieve she was using to sort beans from husks. Some beans were spilt on the dirt floor, whispering cold dry words of …shame…shame… W omen folks working in silence looked up and gave a wry face. The fireplace held no fire to save firewood.

“I gotta go,” the woman said to herself and she rooted herself up from the silent cold hearth. The women folks went back to their chore. The woman put her straw boots on and picked up her straw coat.

The day was waning. “I gotta go,” she said and walked out of the hut her man’s kin lived. The night was reaching out for her. There was no daylight left to cast a shadow. The woman walked slowly but steadily toward the woods. “I know where to go,” the woman thought. The woods in her belly were calling.

When she saw a light in the woods, it was already dark. She knew who lived there and knocked at the door. An older woman greeted her. Warm air embraced her. The young woman rooted herself down and rested on a cot by the warmth of fire. The moon slid across the winter sky. It was the longest night of the year, when all the night’s spirits would come out and celebrate. Dead leaves danced with the wind, following the steps of the night spirits, whispering…she is coming, she is coming.

In the cabin on the cot by the hearth the woman moved. The call of woods were getting louder and stronger. The older woman came to her and said, “It’s time to go into the woods.” The young woman rooted herself deeper into the earth under the cot. Her roots ran beyond the boundary of the cabin and spread deeper and wider into the wood. Underground mycelium started to send signals all over the woods, to every tree, to every creature, and to every night spirits. The longest night was alive with full of spirits cerebrating the awakening. Before the midnight, the night spirits heard a baby cry. “I am … I am… I am…”

The next morning, a man came to the medicine woman’s cabin looking for his woman. There was no sign of the young woman. Instead he found a tree where the cabin used to stand. At the foot of the tree, a baby girl was sleeping wrapped in a straw coat. After the longest night of the year, the sun shined on the ground white with frost, warming everything it touched. He picked the baby up and walked out of the woods. The spirits of the woods whispered, “she’s ours… she’s ours… she’s ours.”

The man didn’t know the baby was marked by the spirits of the night woods. The baby is connected with the woods through luminous mycelium. She will be able to hear stories untold and to see spirits unseen. She will carry the luminous mycelium far away, spreading the whisper of the woods, spreading the life of the night sprits on everything she will touch.

She will be back.

We don’t have to accept the story we were told. We can rewrite and change the narrative. After all it’s your story. Not theirs.

Baby Talk

I don’t baby talk to my dog. All my friends do. When they see my dog, their demeanor and tone of voice change. I look at them as if I didn’t know them. I love my dogs and I take great care of them. I just don’t talk to them.

I don’t remember anybody baby talked me when I was a baby.

I’m not motherless. I grew up with three mothers. All of my mothers lived under the same roof. My mother and my father’s bedroom was upstairs. My spinster aunt and my grandmother share a bedroom on the ground floor. And I don’t remember sleeping upstairs with my parents. I slept downstairs with my aunt, my father’s older sister. Since my mother worked as a nurse, she was not home during the day. She also had night shifts.

During the day my grandmother took care of me. She was not a talker. As a widow, who brought up her four kids mostly by herself, tending the family paddle field, growing rice, she was a hard working superstitious matriarch. I remember her always working, silently. Most of food we had was what she grew. She made everything from scratch. I spent most of the day with her. She might have talked to herself, but I don’t remember we ever talked.

I spent the night and weekend with my aunt, when she was home. She sometime came home late drunk. She took me into her bed and cuddled me till I fell asleep. I loved being with her. I was a little princess to her. (I still is a little princess to her. She is 96.) But she didn’t baby talk to me.

I don’t remember my mother’s touch. I don’t even remember her presence even though she was never absent. To me she was a nurse, who took care of me when I was sick. And I got sick often. She didn’t baby talk to me.

I think I didn’t learn to speak “parentese”. And I think none of my three mothers knew how to speak baby talk. It doesn’t come naturally to none of us.

Love is like baby talk. If you didn’t learn how to express love from your original family, it won’t come naturally. You have to learn how to express love.

I think each of my three mothers loved me in her own way. They had their own limitation. I shouldn’t judge their capacity for love. I have to accept that was their maximum capacity for love.

Sometime I feel like the Terminator/machine in T2, who had to learn to be human taking, baby steps.

Just a Thought about BLM

When I was married, my then-husband used to say, “Why didn’t you tell me if you wanted something.” I did. I told him what I wanted. He didn’t hear it.

“I didn’t hear you. You should have said more clearly,” he said. I said again and again. He didn’t hear me. Eventually I screamed and yelled.

“Why do you have to scream at me? You crazy woman!” he said. “What do you want to me to do? “ he said. I told him to help me to do something. He said, “I don’t want to do that.”

And I was the short tempered always angry bitch. If you are not heard, again and again and again, even a mostly peaceful auntie like me could be violently angry.

Weight Belt of Gold

A woman and her husband were on a boat. She saw her friend struggling in the water to be afloat. Her nose was barely above the water. She reached out and tried to grab her friend’s hand. Her hand was slippery and she was too heavy.

Her husband noticed the drowning woman wearing a weight belt. The belt was loaded with gold. It was clear that the weight of the belt was pulling her underwater. “She needs to ditch the belt!” The husband said. The drowning woman would not let go of the belt of gold.

The boat was small and had no room for another person. “I have to rescue her,” the wife said. “She needs to ditch the weight first,” the husband said.

This was not the first time they saw the woman struggling in the water. This was not the first time the wife reached out to rescue her friend. The drowning woman had never let the weight belt go.

She probably could swim, only if she didn’t have the weight belt of gold pulling her down.

“If she let the weight belt go, there are many ways to help her to swim to the shore,” the husband said.

When I was married to a passive-aggressive narcissistic husband, I moved out of our marriage three times. Every time I moved out, my ex found a way to get back and I let him back. On the third time, I finally ditched my weight belt of gold. Looking back, the weight was not made of gold. It was my fear of unknown, insecurity about living on my own, and fear of walking my life by myself. Once I ditched the weight belt, I found I could swim first tentatively and then very well.

We can't rescue somebody who wants to hold onto the weight belt of what they think is gold, knowing that it is the cause of their distress.   

It is very difficult to find ourselves helpless in the face of suffering of our friends. We tend to try to rescue them. It might be more helpful to sit with our own sense of helplessness. When we befriend with our own helplessness and learn to tolerate it, then we might be able to be compassionate in the face of other’s suffering without rushing to rescue them.

The Flayed Hare

“What should I do?” my friend, Mia, said. Her younger sister is not answering calls from her family nor responding to text messages nor emails. “Does she still see her psychiatrist?” I asked. “Yes. And she seems to manage to go to her office everyday,” Mia said. Mia’s sister has been suffering depression on and off for a while and occasionally locks herself in.

“She can go to work. That’s a good news. What is the issue?” I said. “She doesn’t respond to anybody. My big sister has also been trying to contact her. Our niece will be visiting her from Australia with her baby. I’m going there to see them and we want to have family get together. Our parents are getting older, you know,” she said. “Why she doesn’t want to see her family. Isn’t it selfish of her?”

It hits me. She doesn’t understand. Mia has never been clinically depressed.

So I explained. I am Mia’s “How to deal with your family member’s depression” coach.

“Family gathering is one of the worst things when you are depressed,” I said. “Doesn’t she feel guilty not to come out to spend time with her aging parents? I would. That’s why I’m going. I would love to see my niece’s babies, too. They are coming all the way from Australia,” she said. She is flying westward across the Pacific Ocean to Japan to see them, while her niece is flying eastward across. She seems to be half concerned and half annoyed by the depressive sister.

“Do you know the story of a flayed hare?”  I asked.  It is a folk tale everybody knows.  A trickster hare befooled sharks and was stripped of its fur.  In pain he asked a group of passerby for help.  They told the hare to bathe in saltwater and dry in wind.  The hare did as told and ended up in excruciating pain.  Then a kind man found the hare in agony and told him to bathe in freshwater and then roll in the pollen of cottontail.  Eventually the hare’s fur grew back again.   

“Your sister is a flayed hare now.  When you don’t have skin, everything hurts.  Being with your family is the worst.  It’s just like bathing in salt water.  Phone calls are like wind blowing on the flayed hare.  It gives her excruciating pain,”  I explained.  “Then, what should we do?” Mia asked.  “Wait until her fur grows back.  Don’t call.  Just check in.  Texting and e-mailing are gentler.  Don’t expect her responding.  Just make sure she is alive and o.k.  Let her know you care, and let her heal in her soft bed of cottontail pollen.”

I’m not sure if Mia understand what I mean.  If you have never be a flayed hare, you don’t understand how it feels.

The hare in the story was actually a god and the kind man was rewarded.  

Everybody wants to have a Jedi Power

In the last Star Wars film, I saw the heroine lay her hand on a wounded creature and healed it. It was an a-ha moment. “That’s what everybody wants to. They wants to have a Jedi power,” I said to my friend.

I often spend time with those who are in hands-on “healing professions.” I am also a licensed massage therapist, because I had this urge to lay hands on people who were suffering. When somebody is hurting, I wanted to stop it, heal them, and make them feel better. I felt my hands aching, desperately craving to touch the hurt, eager to give “healing energy.”

Then I got a chronic “incurable” illness. For about a year, I suffered from debilitating symptoms. Fortunately, currently I am in a remission. And I stopped offering an unsolicited healing works to people who suffer from other chronic “incurable” condition.

If you have a cluster headache, I know I can’t help you. I’m happy to give you a foot massage if it will help you to relax. But I can’t heal a cluster headache.

And “healers” would still offer to lay their hands on you, as if they couldn’t accept their own powerlessness. It is difficult to be present in the face of pain and suffering without being able to do anything.

During the period I suffered from severe symptoms of Meniere’s disease, many people laid hands on me, trying to heal. None of them stopped or eased my suffering. I just had to endure and wait for the Meniere’s attacks subside. People who had never treated Meniere’s disease offered one kind or another treatments. People gave me pieces of unsolicited advice as if I didn’t know how to google. When people offered energetic healing of one kind of another, I felt obligated to tell them it made a difference. I didn’t feel better. Meniere’s is a bitch from the hell. Only the sufferer knows how bad it could be.

I believe they had good intentions. However, I am not sure if it is for the sufferer or for my own being a Jedi fantasy when I offer a “healing” touch.

So I stop and think if I really know how to help the person feel better, even by my mere presence to witness the suffering, before offering to lay hands.

I don’t have a Jedi power and I don’t have to have a Jedi power to be compassionate.

It was not Love but not to Feel Guilty

I was having dinner with Sookie, my high school BFF, now a psychiatrist, in a local restaurant.  Her phone constantly buzzed.   We reconnected a couple years ago after three decades of being out of touch, mostly on my accord.  I moved across the Pacific and I didn’t want to be found by anybody from my hometown.

“It’s my mother,” she said.  “Sorry, but I have to go.”

Sookie was taking care of her mother, who was on a wheelchair, at home.  Although her kids were all grown up, she had a full time job, as a professor and clinician.

“You are lucky.  You left home early,” she said to me.

At that time, I visited my elderly parents once a year.   I spent more time with them than my younger brother who lived in the same country.   I usually got badly depressed before and after the trip.  My original home was toxic to my soul.  I called it a tour of duty.  It’s my duty as a daughter to show my parents I cared, or at least to pretend.

Later, Sookie told me what was going on.  She prepared breakfast and lunch for her mother before she left for work, then she cooked dinner after she came home.  I asked, “Why?”  “My mother only eats what I cook,” she said.  “Once I ordered food delivery service because I was too busy.  I came home and found the food in a garbage bin.  She said it tasted awful.  She didn’t like aids I hired.   She refuses to go to a day care service because she doesn’t want to mingle with “those people.” ”

So Sookie took care of her… as her mother, a perfect housewife, took care of her husband and her children.  Now Sookie’s mother demands the same from her daughter.

Sookie has a younger sister.  She left home and live in another city with her own family.  Sookie’s sister calls her mother once in a blue moon.  They chat and her mother loves her.  Her sister won’t even visit her.  “Don’t you feel it’s not fair?” I asked.  “I do, but that who she is.  I don’t dislike her,” she said.  I didn’t understand.

“Why?”  I asked again.  “Why you have to take care of your mother by yourself?  Why you  accommodate her unreasonable needs?  You have a career and your own family to take care of.”

She pondered for a moment and said, “Not to feel guilty.”   It made a sense.  She was honest.  She didn’t say because she loved her.

I traveled 24 hrs door to door once a year spending thousands of dollars that could have been used for a vacation not to feel guilty.    Sookie cooked for her mother every day juggling her career and family life not to feel guilty.   We were doing the same.

Both my parents and hers did their best to take care of us and at the same time planted the sense of obligation.   It was not love.

I decided to do what I could do for my parents, as long as it wouldn’t destroy my life.  My mother constantly tells me to come home to take care of her.  (She also tells me to come home so that she could take care of me.  I don’t know why she thinks I need to be taken care of.)

No.  I set a firm boundary.  That’s the line for me.  Once a year visit has become three times a year visits since my mother needed my help after my father passed away.  It has wrecked havoc on my financial, physical, and emotional health but hasn’t destroyed me yet and it spared me feeling guilty.

As for Sookie, her mother passed away in a hospital from in-hospital infection and she was feeling super guilty for a long while as if she killed her mother.  (She chose the hospital when she fell ill.)

This is what happens when parents treat kids as their territory.  Colonization doesn't foster love.

If you love your parents, you are the lucky one who experienced unconditional love from them.

We did not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family as a Bootcamp

“It sounds like you were brought up by a pack of wolves,” the teacher said.  “I guess I was,” I said.  I took a semi-private class to explore family dynamics.  We were doing show and tell of old family photos.  I don’t remember which story or photo led to that remark but it made a sense.

Nobody taught me how to be human, how to communicate, how to deal with feelings, how to foster relationships, how to love, etc.  My father taught me how to survive in a hostile world.

It was the world of his construct.

My father didn’t say, “Don’t show your vulnerability.”  He just pounced on me when I was vulnerable.  He was the kind of person who instinctively knew where it would hurt most and push the spot hard.

My father didn’t say, “The best defense is offense”.  I just learned to attack back harder, verbally and energetically– if I were a big man, I would have fought back physically but I was a petite girl — and retreat fast so that my father wouldn’t catch me.  I ran back to my room and block the door with furniture, since the door didn’t have a lock.  He yelled from the other side of the door.   “You have your father’s temper,” my mother said.  I was just defending myself because I didn’t want to be eaten by the wolf.

He never hit me but his verbal attack was violent enough.  “I’m gonna beat the shit out of you!” he yelled from the other side of the door.

“I’ve learned watching you and Dad,” later my younger brother said.  “I just stayed in my room and didn’t talk to Dad.  We didn’t have any interaction.”  I guess he was smarter than me or just adopted a different strategy for survival.

When I got hurt or felt weak, I didn’t cry.  Crying would attract wolves and they wouldn’t come to comfort you.  I learned to lock myself in a cave and wait until I regained strength.  I felt like an injured dangerous animal, licking the wound in a dark cold place, with body tightened, claws out, growling.

My father made sure that I understood the world was out there to get me.  He made sure that I knew I was ugly, unlovable and worthless, so anybody who might offer a hand to me must be trying to get something out of me.   When I was proud of something about myself, he spat at me, “Got a bighead, haven’t you.  Who do you think you are?”

I had beautiful hair when I was a teenager.  It felt like expensive silk threads.  That’s the only part of my body I was sure I could be proud of, because I got compliments all the time.   So I kept it long.  “Your stinking loose long hair is everywhere,” he complained.   I had my hair cut very short.  “What a stupid haircut. You look so ugly,” he said.

Home was not a safe nurturing place for us kids but a bootcamp.  It was as if he was preparing me for being ridiculed and shamed by the world outside of my family.  If he could harden me and toughen me enough, I wouldn’t be beaten down by anybody else.

If you are a wild beast to be afraid of, nobody would come to you to take advantage of you.  Being asked of a favor is in itself the sign of weakness on your part.  Don’t be off guard.  Let them know you are somebody not to be messed with.

My father told me again and again never to be a guarantor of anybody.  Actually it makes a sense since many people he knew lost everything because they trusted somebody and co-signed their debt.

He did a good job.  I grew up a woman who saw everybody a potential aggriever.  When somebody wanted to be friends with me, I thought, “What do you want?”   I didn’t understand that somebody could want to be friends with me just because who I was.

My high school BFF called me a barbed wire.  Somebody I worked for called me a naked blade.  I thought it suited me and that I was satisfied.   The message was loud and clear.  Don’t you dare to come close to me.

My father passed at the ripe age of 86, after suffering several years from Alzheimer’s.  At a nursing home he was slightly paranoid delusional but most of time pleasant old man.   However, once in a while he suddenly yelled, “I’m gonna hit the shit out of you.”   The staff thought it was Alzheimer’s disease that made him say such a violent thing.   “No, it is how he always is,” I said in my mind.

And I grew up to be an angry she-wolf.  At one point I really believed showing my kids having power over the others was the best defense.  I called it a baseball bat strategy.  I imagined myself threatening them with a baseball bat, to make them follow a line.  It was because I loved them.  I had to teach them how to survive.  The threatening energy of my father’s yelling was registered in my psyche as a destruction of a baseball bat blows.

It was fortunate that I just had imaginary kids.

This is how a family trauma is inherited through generations.  I was locked up in the world his negative paradigm shaped.   My father painted over his daughter’s vibrant world with his gloomy palette.  I don’t know what made his world so grim because we didn’t tell stories about ourselves.  But I’m sure he thought his life sucked.

It took me 20+ years of therapy to attain paradigm shift.  The world is not dangerous.  (Fortunately I don’t live in a war zone.)  People just want to be friends with me because they are interested in who I am.

I had to peel the old paint chip by chip to reveal the original vibrant pallet of mine.  I had to demolish the wall that confined me a brick at a time.   Next to me there always was a ghost of my father putting back the brick that I took out.

I had to learn giving up anger wouldn’t make me a victim.  I had to learn I could be open to the world if I knew how to set a firm boundary.  I had to learn acknowledging my vulnerability would make me more strong.  The skillset I learned in the bootcamp would be with me no matter.  And I could be a tough cookie and an emotionally vulnerable person at the same time.

Don't paint your kid's world with your pallet, just teach them skills and let them paint theirs.