The Quest Begins
Skeletons In Our Closet…
Finally in the fall of 1990 John and I decided to leave California and return home to Canada to face some of the skeletons in our closet from whence we had initially run. Feeling a bit stronger than when we had first met we figured coming home would be relatively easy. Wrong… Sometimes assumptions can be a shortcut to death….
We were about to learn more lessons in short order…Although I had made some emotional progress in those few years in California I didn’t realize I still had a long way to go before I was to clear the emotional damage of my past. Coming home to Vancouver and my family was to prove to me that I had been living in total denial of the truth of my past and I had spent all that time running away from it rather than facing it.
Having little communication with my family over most of this time we decided to drive up and surprise my parents who were now living in Summerland. Being a small town we soon found them having coffee in the local café. I will never forget my mother`s face when she saw me walk in to greet them. If looks could kill then I wouldn`t be writing these words today… With a look of scorn and shock that only the grim reaper would receive I felt like a cold dagger had just been thrust into my heart… Time sometimes does not heal and sometimes things you wish for just don`t happen…
Immediately the flood of old emotions came rushing in and I felt like the small little girl that hid in her room from her Dad`s tantrums and her mothers` detached demeanour. Alone once again in my make believe world of stuffed animals who had taken on life like qualities to comfort me. The brain is such an amazingly complex organ because it just clicked in on automatic pilot saving my shattered soul inside while trying to regain my emotional equilibrium feigning normal conversation with them and saving face in front of large crowd in the café.
That was a very hard lesson… Wishing and hoping something will just magically change is pure fantasy or just plain denial… Being emotionally wounded as we all inevitably are, individually we choose to deal with it very differently, But the main player for me personally in my emotional bag of tricks was denial. Through my own experience I now know that this is useful only as a temporary mental recess A grace period to get you through an immediate crisis but not a permanent state of mind. Thinking this way kept me from my own healing.
Holding on to past disappointments and emotional wounds take a long time to even recognize and bring into conscious focus. Until I did this and dealt with the facts without creating some fictitious reality there was no hope for change let alone for the healing process to begin.
I have also since learned that confronting the truth of our lives can be a very painful and drawn out process but nevertheless a vital component in the healing mechanism. I found that persistence and trust in this process will eventually lift the layers which need shedding and just like old skin it allows room for the new cells to regenerate and grow afresh. The lesson implied is that we need to get out of our own way before we can begin to heal… Trust in it as you trust in your body to regenerate itself also. There can be no growth from old wounds only scars…
Having been shaken to the core by the reality of my family reunion I still fell into the same old traps of my past nevertheless. I guess old habits and beliefs really do die hard or maybe just resurrected every time we think the same thoughts… Sometimes it`s really hard to comprehend the depth and complexities of our emotional tapes which spin round and round in our heads even though our intellectual brains and levels of intelligence seem quite normal. This is the enigma and holy grail of psychology.
What is it that defines us? What makes us cross the line from seemingly normal to falling off of it? And who chooses where to place this line anyway? There is no blueprint to life. We must all make our own indelible marks on the canvass of our lives and paint them with as much colour and joy as we can.
The mistake is often we allow others to not only choose the brush but the paint also… Life is yours to create so be imaginative, be unique and most importantly be yourself… But I am getting ahead of myself so as I was saying that I quickly fell back into the old patterns of thinking being once again surrounded by the familiar.
Hoping once again that I would be accepted and welcomed into the systems and people who once rejected me and burned me. How stupid could one be? To be quite honest over the next couple of years John and I struggled with our personal demons still making only incremental improvements to our emotional healing. We moved several times back and forth between Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto. John had some success in his business but always we were up and down financially like a roller coaster but never hitting any real highs… just surviving as always but keeping our sense of humour.