The Quest Begins
Planning Our Escape…
Growing weary once again we longed for another real adventure… Life to us had become tedious and stale so we decided to apply for an American Green card through a worldwide lottery which was almost a zero to none chance to win it. I`ll never forget it was in the dead of winter we were in Kelowna BC and we received a phone call from John`s ex-wife Shirley, as we had all become good friends by then. She explained to us our Immigration lawyer in Toronto was trying to reach us with good news. John had been picked as one of the Green Card winners and must apply as soon as possible for an American Visa!
It couldn`t have come at a better time as I was really having a hard struggle emotionally. Over the last several months John had set up a therapist to try to salvage my relationship with my parents whom had come in on a couple of sessions. The whole thing turned out to be a complete disaster and only dredged up deep old wounds.
They refused to take any responsibility on their part and remained in total denial expressing no degree of empathy or compassion for neither me nor this pathetic situation whatsoever. As a matter of fact the counsellor called my mother venomous towards me and the whole exercise only made me feel worse.
Adding to my misery at the time l my eating disorder in the form of anorexia flared up once again. I think it ran in the family because my sister, Glennis had suffered it as a teenager refusing to eat. Eating disorders where unheard of back in the early to mid-1960’s no one had a clue what it was or for that matter even existed as a medical condition.
They forced her to drink milkshakes because she was so thin and wouldn’t eat a proper meal. It was painful to watch her even as I picture it today… That should have been my first clue that something was emotionally awry with my family dynamics but then again I had long withdrawn into my fantasy world pretending my family was something out of Walt Disney movie and I was Miss Pollyanna trying to appease everyone.
My eating or should I say lack of it started immediately after my daughter Shannon was born. Wanting to lose the extra pounds quickly I went on a very strict diet. That really sent my system into a tailspin. I got completely carried away with it that it became an emotional habit that was beginning to become a chronic problem. I had to grapple with its control over me for the next several decades.
Sometimes the disorder lay dormant but would always find a vulnerable moment in my emotional armour and would once again rear its ugly head and send me into another battle with it. I have come to understand that the seed of my disorder was feeling a lack of self-worth and control in the circumstances of my life.
Through the distorted lens of the pathology of an eating disorder I assumed that by controlling food I could reclaim my own power. However in reality by denying myself nourishment which subconsciously symbolized nurturing I was in essence cutting off the life flow and any hope for healing both physically and emotionally. I also know that by identifying the root cause of an emotional wound which quite often manifests itself in a physical form gives one a very powerful antidote with a very good chance of a long term cure.
However in the midst of my emotional entanglement with my parents back then I was having a hard struggle both physically and mentally. Obviously I still was unable to let go of the psychological l stranglehold my parents and that of my past had over me. The bonds held much too deep and too strong for me to break them even after all that time had passed. This was real low ebb for me. I felt like there was no hope for me to break away from my past and release myself from its unyielding grip.
Therefore the wonderful news of John’s Green Card win was a welcome bandaid for me too! We packed up our car from Kelowna and with a little U Haul trailer behind us headed once again for Toronto to finalize the paperwork and prepare to find a new home in the US. The first major hurdle to overcome in accompanying John with my own Green Card was a legal marriage certificate.
Having both been married previously with little success we never gave it much consideration. We were together because we chose to not because we were obligated by a piece of paper… However because all the strict adherences to detail deemed non-negotiable we hastily made arrangements for a civil ceremony.
Choosing the picturesque town of Woodstock Vermont John and I were married on the steps of their small town hall by the ex-mayor turned justice of the peace. My maid of honour was the owner of the local B & B and our witness in matrimony was her golden retriever Bailey. It took several months to complete the paperwork and although we didn’t have much to bring with us materially we made up for in enthusiasm and relief to once again leave our troubled baggage behind us.
I fatefully made the decision to call my parents hoping to depart on better terms and clear my conscience just before heading across the border. However well-intentioned the call was from my side they both used it as an opportunity to twist my brain in half just one last time. Setting their well-oiled psychological mind trap on me which had ensnared me in its ugly claws so many times in the past.In that instant I realized that it took two to play their game and I had made a major contribution in continuing it. Upon our final departure I vowed to myself that I would never more participate in their psychological insanity.
Little did they realize then that it would be many, many years before they would ever hear from me again.