innerlight


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atonement

I had a constellation done this weekend around the school. The experience was disappointing at first, and felt somehow incomplete, as if I had wrecked it by shutting down my feelings. I wanted to have it done, but I could not show up with all my feelings to be healed.

What it ended up being was an illustration of how all the individuals and entities involved could offer nothing to me in terms of the reconciliation I seek and have sought so deeply for so many years. There were representatives for the school, the teacher, my inner child, the police, and my parents, and all hands were tied. “Sorry, we can’t do anything; go deal with it by yourself, and have a nice life. Only you can love yourself.”

And so this was the constellation that happened for me as I withheld — no, I shut down — my feelings. I went into shut down (in retrospect) because I’m ashamed of my feelings, ashamed of even my desire for reconciliation. I still doubt whether or not my feelings are justified enough to exist because everyone in the story’s “hands are tied”, so no action was taken. No action was taken, telling me that neither my perceptions nor my feelings can be trusted. I — my feelings and my perceptions — am all wrong, and not worthy of love or support or action on anyone’s part.

So it is circumstance that abandoned me, more than any one heart. So who is there to atone for this loss and injustice, this exclusion, secret, banishment, dismissal.

Such a feeling of abandonment and the need for protection. Aloneness. World-unfriendly-ness. No support. No validation. Chronically needy, wanting to be seen, causes me to act like a child, doing childish things for attention.

The other internal pattern that came out of this for me is one of doubting myself, dismissing myself, wondering eternally if my feelings are real or justified.

This confusion, this neediness, keep me in my cage. The cycle of shame that goes on and on and on, around and around and around.

So I withheld both the story and my feelings for fear that they are not real, made up, coming from an impure place; and in so doing, I wasted the moment of healing.

When I block my feelings, I block their healing.

I do this uncontrollably, over and over again. I betray and abandon myself — and others — uncontrollably, by shutting down and failing to be present to the moment.

I also feel ashamed of my feelings because I’ve done so much therapeutic work and sharing on this issue that I’m embarrassed I haven’t healed it yet. That I need to share it again, spend more time and energy on it, take more from others on it.

So then I shut down again, so then I waste the moment, and everyone’s time again. So then I feel ashamed again.

The guilt, shame, despair and hoplessness get worse every time this happens.

The agony of being trapped inside myself.


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pieces

I’m digesting some news that has been a little bit shocking for me.

It turns out that the woman I just worked with on a local fundraiser for mental health (I’ll call her S) was the woman who basically got the teacher who abused me (I’ll call him P) fired, at my old private school here. That’s not the news; it’s just where I can figure out to start …

The teacher had been treating her son with cruelty, by the sounds of it, kicking him in the shins and singling him out in front of the class. At one point, P apparently had her son stand up, and everyone else share why he didn’t fit in. S had written a ton of letters, which no one was really taking seriously; but her then husband came home one day and reassured her that she likely would not have to worry. He said that there was something much bigger pending against P as a teacher: A letter that had been written by a former student, accusing P of sexual abuse.

What is shocking is that this letter was written anonymously in 2008; while my letter was signed, complete with address, in 2005. There were two letters written.

The Board of the school had pitted against P, with my preschool teacher, R, standing vehimently by his side. The first time I saw R once I was back in the Valley a couple of years ago, I told her in a local theatre that there must be hundreds of children here who will love her forever.

Then I saw her at a school event, and she put her arm around me in front of a new teacher, whom I had also known in my previous city of residence, explaining that I had been part of the very first graduating class at the school.

I unknowingly facilitated and perpetuated her dysfunction, the lie, the keeping of the secret that has eaten my insides for the last 22 years.

I have felt nauseous for 3 days and vomited last night. This is the first time my body is responding, even before i am aware of all the emotions.