Monday, May 15, 2017

The Day My Buddha Burned - part three

Part Two 

‘Wounded, abandoned, orphaned
How many of you value the ability to think independently? … to feel like you’ve taken the lead…
Archetypically '…   gods say to you.. pursue a` reality… that is independent…’ Jesus’s contract… by getting you strong enough to see, you need to be born into a family that doesn’t want you.’
- Caroline Myss

‘Sometimes it feels painful, but I promise you,
the effort of feeling and
allowing feeling,
is like discovering gold.’
- Tiffany Jones

Of course I cried. I cried bitterly. I was angry and confused. I felt abandoned and set adrift. I was left where I was not wanted and I felt defiant to the last.  ‘Let everyone suffer.’  I couldn’t go beyond that.

It was my 14th summer.  Some weeks earlier I had been dropped off at my grandmother’s house with the promise that my father and step-mother would come pick me up in a week.
It is a phone call I remember etched with detail; the beige telephone in my left hand, looking into the brightness of the old fashioned kitchen, my right fingers entangled in the spiralling telephone cord, the cold bench I leaned upon, the noise from the small TV behind me, the greasy scalp of my grandfather near my elbow. I was conscious of his withdrawal and active internal world and knew he wasn’t listening to my responses.

My step mother told me, over the telephone, that she and my father hadn’t had enough alone time. They had been together for seven years and they had been surrounded by children; children from their previous relationships.  They had decided I was to live with my grandparents, and they weren’t coming back.

My father, for the first and last time said ‘I love you’, over the telephone.

All I could feel was a rush of fury towards my step-mother, coldness quickly followed and then raging disbelief. I remember saying ‘OK’. I remember being obedient. I remember hanging up the phone and living through those hours in front my grandparents as if everything was alright. When I went to the fold out bed set up in the ‘best’ lounge room where nobody ever sat, I turned my face to the pillow and screamed with rage and frustration and hate. And I cried bitterly.  And I promised myself not to be hurt again. And to do that, I needed to hate. And that’s what I did.

On the Subject of Loss

On that day, over 25 years ago, I lost my father. I lost everything he meant to me. I lost trust, faith and protection. I lost my idealisation. I lost one of the foundation stones of my belief system.  I lost a story.

I had been a daddy’s girl. He had special rules. He was a thief and a conman. He stole for a living and he was paranoid and difficult to live with. He was also charming, personable and he was the only rule in my life.  There were rules for the inside of the house. There was another set of  rules for outside of the house. There were things we didn’t mention. There were things we didn’t talk about. Intuition was important and valued. Reading people was important.

Life drained out of me. Everything that had sustained me thus far in my life, my belief in my father, was taken away from me. I felt as though I didn’t have anything left. It was certainly death for me.

Between 14 and 18 I had the most stable environment I had experienced in my life. I slept in the same bed for four years. I ate at regular hours. I had a grandmother who cared for me and asked me how school was.  I had a grandfather who drove me places.  I made friends.  And I was festering with self-loathing, bitterness, rage and despair. By 17 I was suffering severe migraines and was on daily medication to cope with the pain.

At 20, for no apparent reason, I suffered sciatica so severely I was sometimes unable to walk. Doctors couldn’t find a reason. Massage and osteopaths didn’t help.

I had cut off my relationships with my high school friends. I felt like my life was a huge lie. I had never spoken about my father’s lifestyle to anyone.

Once outside of the structure of high school and the assumption of University for a bright girl like myself, I was lost. I didn’t know what to do. I was continually suffering rage, hatred, fear and confusion.

I decided to move to the country. And I did. I needed to get away from the maddening crowd. I needed to find answers. 

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