In case you missed it, this past month the Brave Healer blog has been full of guest posts by the AMAZING women from my Intuitive Writing for Healers course. OMG, y’all – what beautiful, talented, compassionate, wise and badass women! If you’d like to read the introductory post, you’ll find that HERE. The series will wrap up this Sunday, 11/11. I’ll probably post that one at 11:11 a.m. too – cuz, why not, right?
Now I’d like to introduce this amazing, brave story by Georgia London:
I am free. But, not always was I.
For me, the deepest, darkness pain is betrayal. As a child, I was so betrayed by my mother, that like a slave, I had a ball and chain tied around my neck for half my life.
A child is held captive until age 18 or until some action is taken legally by another. Children are not free.
I was not free in the locked, dark closet in which I was routinely placed. The devil told her to put me there. The devil told her to stick me with pins and put a knife at my throat. Sometimes, I wished she would just end it all. I was 5 years old.
A mother can be a child herself, an alcoholic, mentally ill, a drug addict or just cruel. No matter the cause of the abuse, rejection or abandonment, a child will grow up wounded. Feeling fear, self-doubt and gobs of shame.
I felt empty and alone. My mother’s mental illness gave her paranoia and delusions. Hallucinations that were acted upon me in the real world. When she would strip herself naked and chase the other kids in the neighborhood during an episode, I would die of embarrassment, helplessness, and pain.
I was a lost child. Knowing I had a mother…but I didn’t…
I never knew when it would strike. She would be depressed most of the time and then manic. The mania would create a monster that would not let me move for hours (forget eating, peeing and sleeping). And, the 2nd-grade teacher would chastise me for falling asleep in class. I was safe, and I could sleep.
Children are survivors. The way I survived was being the good girl, the responsible one. I would parent my parents. I did the cooking, cleaning and was caretaker for my mother (making sure she got her meds). My father was always on the road working. “Be a good girl and watch after your mother” he would say.
In unhealthy family dynamics, the children take on a specific role. My role as the responsible one, the model child, would lead me to high achievement in school and in the sport of gymnastics. It was my escape. At 14, I began to travel for Sokol and USA gymnastics competitions. We had tutors who traveled with us. It was heaven and I felt freedom for the first time.
My mother’s mother came to stay and began to take over some of my mother’s care to allow me this freedom. My father changed jobs, so he didn’t leave for weeks on end.
I was still a frightened little girl inside a teenager’s body.
As time passed, I left for college and learned more about freedom. I started my journey to freedom at a college counseling center. A friend had suggested I would benefit from some counseling around these issues of abandonment and betrayal. She thought I had trust issues.
After many years of therapy, 12 Step programs, and loving friends, I began to trust. I no longer needed to be perfect, all of the time. I began to feel. Letting go of loss, numbness, grief, and sadness was sometimes a full-time job. Letting go of being co-dependent with my parents and others even harder.
I made a choice. I chose wellness and becoming whole over victimhood. This is freedom, to me. The power of choice. When I moved from being broken to feeling real joy in my heart, I became free.
I see my childhood pain now, as a gift. Without those feelings of emptiness and despair, I would not be the empathetic person I am. I learned resiliency and perseverance. I wouldn’t have had the desire to change my life. To own my life. To be conscious of my life. To be able to release fear, anxiety, and depression. And, to be able to engage with people in a true, real and loving way.
I cry as I write this. I never cry, NEVER. It’s leftover trauma. I cry for the freedom to be who I am, to not apologize for it. To be open, to listen and to speak. To change and not to change. To say “Fuck” whenever I want to. And, I want too.
It took a long time for me to speak my truth and back it up with actions.
I am free.
Choosing life is freedom. I choose me.
“A pearl is a beautiful thing…produced by an injured life.”
If you have felt betrayal, rejection or abandonment by a mother, you may enjoy the book by Holli Kenly, “Daughters Betrayed By their Mothers”
Georgia Lee London helps women who need a loving tap to get over their “I’m not good enough” story, recover from procrastination and perfectionism so they can create the passionate, purposeful and profitable business their soul is calling out for them to do.
She is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a certified Life Coach and a certified Holistic Health Counselor. Georgia believes that ZENgevity and Yoga were major healing contributions in her journey from Cancer illness to full Body wellness. She is a dynamic speaker. She infuses her teaching with compassion, humor, understanding, and the wisdom of personal experience.
Georgia Lee London
MA, LMFT, RYT, CHC, D.CE.