First I would like to set up the scene. It is a Monday and I have to reach very deep for the motivation to get out of bed today as I am going through a major transformational time in my life. For those of you, that understand what it means to live with anxiety will know this feeling. My hands are sweaty and my heart racing, it feels like I ate a ton of concrete followed by a black hole. This heavy feeling, yet empty and falling in on itself. Understanding the meaning of - be careful what you wish for, has never made more sense till now. Instead of giving in to my anxiety I will use this enormous power to share my story. My story of how it lead me to my unstoried self (my higher self). I share this story not for anyone to feel sorry for me or to get any attention at all. I share this so I can start showing up. So I can accept the shame I once felt. So I can accept and share not only the highlights but also the low lights. I also realize that the reality of everything that happened for me is told in the way I perceived it. To someone else experiencing the exact same things, the same story would be told differently.
I have had this urge inside to share the awareness of the search for more questions for a long time but I have been making up excuses which, to me seemed valid at the time. Whereas now I feel heavy not letting it flow into words.
I have no idea where to start or how to tell the story other than a chronological and in parts because to be very honest, what I remember of my childhood years is not very positive. I have spent years working on finding the silver lining or trying to remember the good times I had, the times I smiled (luckily i have the photo as reminder) and the times I had fun. I feel later in life I was very similar to a moth, always looking for the light, always being drawn towards the light side of things. Wanting to feel happy was something I tried to cultivate so much that I forgot that it is okay to sometimes experience other emotions too. I also judged myself for only remembering the “bad” parts of my past.
I will add and share more thing along the way, how things link into this and how it shaped my view of things and how later I changed my perception and reprogrammed my belief systems. There are still some things stuck in my subconscious mind that I am sure I am not even aware of or too stubborn to admit. But for now, I can say with all honesty that I am trying my best and might I add I am proud to be where I am today. A yoga teacher in Amsterdam, living her dream and trying to find the balance.
I will start with one of the most significant things I remember as a child…
It was my 4th or 5th birthday and I was so excited because dad rented a jumping castle for my birthday and I got to invite friends and family. This is the first time I recall the experience of duality. I got what felt like a fountain of endless presents, love, and attention. If I concentrate hard enough I can still embody that feeling of joy and bliss on that day. My cousins gave me a bracelet that was way too big for me. I wanted to wear it anyway. I almost got hurt and my dad tried to protect me from getting hurt so he said we will put it on the fridge so no one else can take it and so only we know where it is. The day passed and I probably ate too much birthday cake and sweets but the sugar rush was worth it I am sure. By the end of the day (if it was the same day as it might have been the next but this is how I remember it) I saw a woman walking through the gate after everyone else already left, with a plate of cake and sweet things on. I did not recognize her but at the same time i knew her presence. It was my mother coming by to wish me a happy birthday. I don’t remember that part. All I remember is the words that are still echoing in my ears sometimes…”I am here because I am coming to get my kids back.” Not because I would say I truly understood what it meant but I could pick up the devastation in my dad’s posture and the passion, power, and determination in my mom’s voice. To me, it felt like my entire world just crumbled and I didn’t even understand why. That night I thought my dad was busy dying. He was sitting on the couch crying and this is something parents don’t do in front of their children. I remember going to sit on his lap and wiping the tears off of his face asking if things are going to be okay. He told me my mom wants us (me and my older sister) to go and live with her.
I don’t know how long it took for us to go live with my mom. And I also don’t remember if she was already involved with the same man (Jurie) that would haunt my dreams for a very long time or if things were actually nice at first.
The next few years of my life I remember being tired all the time, running constantly, worrying and panicking. There are a few times I remember that I was playing but not really enjoying myself because my mind was always busy and worried about my mom and this guy she was dating. In the beginning, my mom seemed to be okay with the fact that he hit her. That he was constantly drunk. Spending her money to buy the alcohol. She would always protect us but it never felt like she was standing up for herself against his bullshit. I remember that I would get these outbursts and shout as loud as I can that he should leave us alone or not even say anything and just shout as loud as I could. And I can remember envisioning the earth to swallow him whole. There are 4 major events that stood out for me during this time.
Number one – My mom and Jurie were fighting and he punched my mom and pushed her towards me. She fell on top of me and my dollhouse. My dollhouse broke in pieces. My dollhouse that broke was more dramatic than the pain of my mom falling on me of course. I was scared for my life which made me stay in fight or flight mode for a very long period of my life.
Number two – The fight got out of hand again. It started with him sitting and drinking at the dinner table while looking at bills that they should pay. My sister and I were playing in the room when we heard shouting and we would always run to go and watch and then my mom would chase us away. Jurie then told us that we should go and fetch the Barbie dolls he bought for us earlier that week because we don’t deserve them and they need to pay the bills instead of buying dolls. I was so upset that I threw the doll on the table and the hair of the doll touched his arm and he went completely mental. It was like he turned into a beast that nobody could control. Mom locked us behind the hallway door and called the cops. When the cops came he acted calm and cheeky to the cops. He put his hands out and asked the cops to please arrest him so he doesn’t have to be in the presence of these crazy women. I can't remember if they took him away or not… but the next day my dad came to the house and I remember looking out of the window sneakily and my dad was very upset. Jurie swinged at my dad and I just remember my dad yelling: “I told you not in front of the kids!” We went to stay at my dad for the weekend until things calmed down.
Number three – We started secretly running away from Jurie multiple times. My mom would book us out of school and we would pack our bags and be on the road walking for kilometers, hitchhiking for someone to pick us up. The one time a truck driver picked us up after walking for more than 4 hours. But that is another memory. This one was when Jurie sent my mom to draw money to buy him mix for his drinks as he finished the last cola. My mom took us along because he was already drunk and I think she was trying to not go back. While my mom was drawing money I was crying frantically and my mom shouted that I should stop. At that age I didn't know what it meant or looked like if someone is drunk. My mom enjoyed her drinks too which I never knew back then so the possibility that she was drunk is there. I remember me telling my mom he will come for us again and hurt you. That look in her eyes scared me and there was this fire in her heart that was about to explode. She had a handgun and she grabbed me and my sister's hand and she said: “Do you want to see how I kill a man today? Because today is the day I fucking kill him. Enough was enough!” We went back and her fierceness got overruled by fear or he was also just much stronger than she was. They tried to lock us in the room with our big dog. But we somehow got out and I found him strangling my mom with the rope of the blinds. Her nose was bleeding and her eyes blue like most other times when he hit her. I thought I would see my mom die in front of me that day. I imagined myself growing stronger than hulk and attacking him but all I could do was shout and scream. I was paralyzed by fear and aggression. I also thought to myself, what can a 6 or 7-year-old do to this big man, if my mom can’t even do anything with a gun?
Number four – I remember that I woke up and as I walked to my mom’s room I saw there were all these coins lying on his bedside table. Having the mind of a child, I thought he wouldn’t even notice if I take a few coins to buy me something nice from the tuck shop at school. I remember thinking he never does anything nice for us so I will take this R2 coin and I will do something nice for myself. He did realize that it was gone and got very upset. They asked us both (me and my sister) where the R2 coin went and I denied now being scared for my life. He started shouting uncontrollably and told us to empty out pockets. I had I tissue in my pocket to cover the R2 but my hands were so small that I couldn’t cover it up. This was the only time I think he hit me through the face. I was terrified and I remember that my mom was driving and I was looking back to see if he was following and wishing and envisioning as hard as I could that the road would open up and he would drive into the gap in the earth and we never have to see him again.
This period of my life lasted around 4 years and it is interesting that I don’t remember a birthday, I don’t remember a Christmas and with great difficulty, I had to go dig deep for times that I remember where I had a smile on my face. When I was 9 years old we moved more than 2 hours away from all the places we lived before. We use moved every 6 months or so but in close range so we could go to the same school. My mom met a new man and we were going to live with him. This was terrifying in so many ways. We went to see a psychologist to start the healing process and Rudi, this new man was an angel in our lives. Looking back now I never realized how much he taught me and how much love we had for one another. There are more memories of laughter and enjoyment from this point forward. I tried to notice things that made me feel good and only cling on to them. I tried to ignore the things that made me feel bad because I was scared to let that hurt back in, the fear was embedded i believed. That overwhelming storm of rage and not feeling safe and supported would be too much for me to handle at that stage.
I was however scared of men and all people actually and I trusted no one. I believed that if I didn’t listen or tried to speak up horrible things will happen. Even though there was a small part of myself that rebelled trying to remind me to feel or I will end up a zombie, it was innocent and safe things like not cleaning my room and staying up late. For 2 years things were well on the surface but the storm brewing inside me was not yet settled. I was molested for those next 2 years (on and off by 2 people) and I choose to not share stories to hide the identities of these people because I do believe that they are good people that they were simply lost and disconnected themselves. In sharing this story I can finally say I forgive them fully. I have said this to myself and to people close to me that knows this about me but until now I can’t say that I truly believed that. I can now say that these events no longer influence the way I do things and it no longer influences my sexuality so I feel I have forgiven and I have learned what I had to and made peace with it. In a way, I am even grateful that it happened because it taught me great lessons and made my sexual life sacred in ways I don’t have to explain right now.
This is the abusive and used side of my inner voice. I share this with you because there are much more to my story than this. This is what shaped my impression of relationships, not only with men but also with other people and especially with myself. I will share more parts to my story how it linked into this, how it stemmed from this or how this has made me change my view and forced me to do the opposite of what my instinct told me to do. How I discovered the difference between my instinct and my intuition and also how I am still reprogramming my mind towards my authentic self instead of my storied self.
Until next time...