FATHERLESS

Fatherless

 

I would like to recommend a book today, by my friend, Phil Barber. I have only known Phil a few months, but we have been sharing quite a journey together on our weekly sessions of something called ‘Solo Autobiographical Theatre.’ You can‘t call it a drama class alone, as it is much more than that as you may guess from the autobiographical bit in the title. I wanted to do something that would get me out of my comfort zone and this was it and it has proven to be more than I could realise and in it, I am pretty fearless with the hope and desire this will spread into other areas of my life.

Together with 2 or 3 others we get together and pull strands from our own lives and find a way to express the story, face the sadness and some of the sweeter memories, but also tune into the wider story and break down some of those false beliefs and emotions that keep us stuck in the story. It really is an incredible gift and I am embracing it all and finding out things about myself I didn’t know I could do and becoming aware of emotions and experiences I didn’t know about. I find I can improvise a piece so quickly because with my spiritual journey in mind, I decide to focus on the emotion of a memory rather than the detail of that memory and from the feeling something grows. I also get to experience and watch others courageously opening themselves, unveiling their raw and vulnerable spots, as well as innate creativity.

But the other gift is that the four people I do it with sit without judgement and allow and encourage me to find the rawness of the emotion I feel and I so I feel uninhibited ( mostly), even with anger – an emotion I have found difficult to show publically or in the past admit I even had. There feels a supportive love present. In our different ways, we are seeking something and facing fears and challenging each other to be truthful and adventurous. Sometimes it is incredibly intense and yet very beautiful to see each other’s vulnerabilities and unlike therapy it feels less staged.

I know that sounds weird and there have been times when I have had therapy and it has helped me, but there have been many times when I felt a therapist was trying to control what I was feeling – so as “not to re-traumatise” me. If you have read some of my other blogs you will know that I understand and experience that it is the suppression of our emotions that has damaged us/me and to me that kind of therapy, just falls into society’s fear of emotional overwhelm and logically, if we look around at the problems in the world it is our denial of our true emotions that allows us to live so much of life in facade and untruths.

This autobiographical theatre is allowing me to experience myself in a new way and it has stirred up memories that are painful, but need to be felt, as well as moments of childhood that are sensory, that are good. So, in a short time, we all may have got to know more about each other, than we may have with other friends we have known for years. I guess when you are not sitting there over coffee having a chat over mundane or everyday things, you skip some facade and that is refreshing.

During the process, there have been some emotions in Phil that I related to a lot and so when he said he had written a memoir of his childhood, which was a journey of his life in and out of various children’s home and foster care I wanted to read more. From my experience, I have read more bad autobiographies/memoirs than good ones. Phil’s memoir is a very, very good one. He said it took him five hard years to write and I can see why as much of it is heart-breaking and sad and a poor reflection on how children are treated by their own family, but also by the systems in place which are meant to keep them safe from harm. It must have been a very emotional journey to write -and there is the gift.

In his introduction, Phil says he wrote it because “in fathoming more deeply my own journey it would help my children fathom theirs… and to speak to the orphan in us all.” The book is a gift of love to himself, which when you read the story, will see why that is so important; a gift of love to his children and to any of us that connect in with the feelings his childhood created and which so many of us relate to.

It is very well-written, but mostly frank, honest, deeply touching, but very self-effacing, making it all the more easy to read and connect with. I want to say a very personal thank you. I could not put this book down and by the end of it was in tears as I connected with many of the emotions of not feeling good enough, loneliness, shame and grief of my own childhood. So yes, it touched the “orphan” in me.

This orphan feeling I feel, runs deep in all of us. It initially may be a feeling we experience as coming from our own poor parenting, but I also feel it from our disconnection with our true parent – the one I am now trying to discover – and to discover that true parent, I know I have to grieve all the bad stuff that happened. I get angry at God, at times, because I don’t want to feel all of that, and I just want Him to hug it all away, but I have to bow to a greater wisdom that knows that my soul will expand once I have off loaded all the crappy stuff – to make room for the good. Makes sense hey? You can’t fill a jug with clean, fresh water if it is full of mucky old brown sludge.

But I digress! Please read this wonderful memoir. It will help you emotionally, if that is what you want, or it will just be a beautiful read. As the title of my blog, Phil’s book is called “Fatherless,” and I have put a link below. I can’t recommend it enough and I feel blessed to have such a friend.

And Phil – you truly have come a long, remarkable way. Well done and thank you so much.

With love,

Maxine

SURVIVING AIN’T LIVING

fight-or-flight-uncertainty

I had a realisation in early November that I had spent a lot of my life in survival mode. In fact it has become a recognisable bed I was lying in, but not a very safe one. The last 3-4 years have been particularly bad and my external life had reflected that financially, in my home situation, physically via the cancer and emotionally just feeling numb and being okay about having so little.

Living in survival mode means you are always living in fear: fear of death, fear of destruction, fear that the few things you have in life will crumble away and you will fall into the abyss.  That is how I have felt for as long as I can remember. This terrible fear led to becoming a control freak – trying to manage aspects of my life – money, relationships, day to day living, and my son – so as to feel “safe.”  Living in the fear, but pretending to yourself you are not; “its okay you’ve got it all under control Maxine.”

But the fact is in all those aspects of my life, I may have controlled them or felt I did, but they weren’t natural or loving and none were being done very well. Control does not allow for love to flow and controlling addictively to avoid fear is unloving. Avoiding fear, living in fear is unloving, restrictive and self-denying as well as unloving to others as to avoid feeling vulnerable you try to control those around you, sometimes heavily disguised as “taking care” of them, but still controlling them.

Being in survival mode is really bad for your health too. When we are in flight or fright mode we produce adrenalin by the pint and all this adrenalin constantly pumping around our system isn’t good. In the end it creates a toxic environment and it is exhausting. Now that I have started to pay attention to my fear, I have become aware that daily I do so many things to avoid feeling unsafe physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I have become an expert in batting back, ducking, avoiding, distracting myself from feeling fear. In the process I have created a facade that is dull and hard and uncreative. I have lost more and more of myself.

However, compassionately, there are some deep causal events and emotions that started this whole survival mode. John Bradshaw, in his book Homecoming, says “a witness to violence is a victim to violence.” I had a father who was violent, a step father who was even more so both, physically and mentally to my mother. I sat on the stairs or behind my bedroom door many times listening to the shouting and violence going on near me. I even have a memory of standing in my cot and feeling this big dark red cloud coming into the room. It was rage – I think it was my father’s rage, at my mother, I don’t have the details, but I feel panicky and scared…and there is still much I haven’t remembered yet.

Then there is the other violence, of being shouted at, clipped round the ear, blamed and shamed in one way or another as my parents, unable to cope with their own emotions, sent them my way. The terror that comes when you think your mother has killed herself – again and again and again: all these things and so many more.  I wish my experience was unusual, but it isn’t or am I minimizing it? As a small child, all these things shake you to the core and it has left me with the constant feeling that my world will end at any moment, that there is no solid foundation to exist from and at times no real love to be found.

When I hit the wall in November, my body aching from doing a job that was too demanding and pushing myself to the limits with it, and only months after major surgery and cancer and then coming home to live in a place I really don’t like, reduced down to living pretty much in one room with no space to get the things I love out – my art materials and writing materials and no money to buy new clothes when I need to or enjoy things I love, counting every penny and struggling to pay off some debts.

So I started to feel some emotions about it – yes mostly effect emotions – sadness, and some frustration, but mostly sadness, at the situation I was in, and created by my unhealed emotions, my choice to keep suppressing them. A painful realisation, but to be frank to feel something was a good thing and it created some small shifts in me, about what God wants for me and it not this – this small life.

In relation to this, for the last 2-3 of years I have also become aware that I have attracted a large group of spirits who do not want what is best for me, but only want to control my life, zap my energy and keep me small and at times completely destroy me. They have been with me for a good while I feel. By not feeling my emotions I allow that attraction to continue. It has been tough dealing with this. I feel them sitting on my shoulders, at times suffocating and crowded. It has kept me awake at night the last few months and I have felt I have no privacy whatsoever. Every time I try to take a step forward I feel they come for me. It has felt like a real battle for my soul. So I am in the process of feeling more truth about this, bit by bit.

I am letting myself feel that facade, I am returning to long-ignored passions that connect with my real self and I am doing a few things to come outside of my “comfort” zone/prison. They are a few small steps, but I am feeling a shift in some areas. I still have much to learn and feel and discover, but letting that control addiction go is tricky, but I really am beginning to dislike it. It doesn’t feel like me, just like a strange creature that has taken over. Plan A: to turn from rock to river!

I wanted to share this, to help those of you who may be doing the same as I have been. It is so important to be honest with ourselves, to look at our lives and see what it is showing us about our unhealed emotions, our self worth and our denial. We do have the power to change all this and we have much greater power to change all this if we include God in the process.  Step one, for me, is working through blocks to receiving God’s love. (which would so help me soften to emotions).

The blocks I think I have identified about God are (constantly up for review!):

  • Anger that God has made this so difficult (I feel it is very difficult).
  • Fear I will never receive God’s love/lack of faith
  • False beliefs about God judging me and deciding I don’t deserve Love ( parental stuff)
  • An addictive demand that God should give me love despite my lack of desire/fears about receiving or when I am being unloving.
  • Lack of faith that God is good and that her Love will make me happy.
  • I have more faith in my addictions
  • Lack of self worth prevents the openness to receiving.
  • A fear of emotional overwhelm/losing control if I receive God’s love; what will happen?

 

These realisations have created some changes. A week after my meltdown a new job came up and I got it and I am working in a more loving environment – though still having to watch my own self care in it, and with that my finances have improved and I am looking for somewhere new to live, and I am writing more and have joined something called solo autobiographical theatre which is triggering memories and emotions and pulling me out of a comfort zone and challenging me to do it despite fears that come up.

The Divine truth teachings are never far from my mind and heart. The God blocks are still there, but by listening to the videos by Jesus and Mary, I learn about God’s truth and re-educate myself about Love and Truth and error and as always nature is one of my greatest teachers about God and her Love. Also, books like the Robert James Lee trilogy (see the extras page) give such hope and wonder and curiosity to keep searching and investigating the truth about God, and Love and life. I am blessed to have this knowledge and experience at my fingertips and I do not want to walk away from it until I start to really walk it and keep walking it, with no turning back and no fear.

This year is about my moving out of survival mode, of really finding out what being me is about, what loving myself is really about: to move from the pretend love that feeding my addictions gives me and finding out what God’s love really feels like.  To create a blunt analogy I feel I have been clinging to a pile of hard crap that I have convinced myself was a soft cushion: comfortable, but sticky and not allowing me to move much. Clinging because I felt there was this deep bottomless pit below, a drop into the unknown, to a point of meaninglessness and death, very related to childhood fears and flight/fright mode.  Now it is time to let go of clinging to this crap, falling into the abyss…whatever it may. My feeling is instead of nothingness or danger , I will find God’s hands there ready to catch me and lift me up to greater heights, even with wings to fly – just has he planned. I can see even see that knowing smile…… Yes my child, here YOU are… here you truly are…

Oh goodness, now won’t that be wonderful…

Maxine

Sisters, Sisters, Sisters….. there were never such devoted Sisters….

haynes-sisters

Sisters, Sisters, Sisters,

There were never such devoted sisters

Never had to have a chaperone “No, sir,”

I’m there to keep my eye on her

Caring, Sharing,

Every little thing that we are wearing…..

This is the song from White Christmas and a while back it kept popping into my head so I took that as a hint from my guides about some emotions that were coming up for me around friendships, particularly women so writing this helped me explore it a bit more.

If we believe we are all children of God, all men are our brothers and all women are our sisters. So when I refer to sisters here I talk just not of biological sisters we may have had, but also about our friendships: an area that has been a challenge for me all of my life.

All relationships have been a challenge for me, but those with women I have found difficult in ways I can not describe fully yet, as I am still investigating, still feeling through painful emotions and I have a way to go yet.

I find it hard to believe I am accepted and loved. I feel rejection in all sorts of scenario’s: an anxiety and fear that does not actually relay the truth of the situation – it is often just my fear and I live in it still and in the last few years it has got worse. Of course it has: I have not felt the causal emotion – the reason it all started.

The words to this song, from the movie White Christmas, intrigued me years ago: I had never had a friendship like that. I had had what I thought were close friends, but they didn’t seem to last. When I was a kid, we moved around a lot, so I made friends and then I would be off. One year I left a school, then plans changed and I was back there in September, but off again within a few months. I remember my discomfort at having to return after having said goodbye to everyone. I felt like everyone thought I had lied about leaving. When I was 12 we moved to Devon and I did stay in the same place for 6 years but by that time I was already uncertain and unsure of myself. I still made friends, still giggled together with others on the bus home from school, still compared notes on boys, but never felt that closeness with one particular friend and even if it started to feel like that, it seemed to change. I often felt like a strange creature with a secret world that no one understood or knew about: I often felt like an observer of my own life. I would relate to a certain point, but mostly I felt so utterly alone, in my thoughts and behaviour and with my feelings. My only true friend became the ocean, where I went to talk, cry, sing and write poetry: its strength, beauty and far out horizon gave me space to feel and express myself.

I moved away from the ocean when I was 18 and my tentative relationships with women continued. I would seem to make good friends but they only lasted a few years and then they were gone. We would lose contact or something would happen and we no longer had anything more to say to each other. One friend ended our relationship because I was “too thoughtful.” At the time it made no sense to me and I learned to trust or like myself even less: not knowing when I was giving too much, which sometimes led me to feel worn out and resentful if it felt like others were just taking and not giving: not understanding what I had done “wrong.” If problems arose in friendships I would often bury my head in the sand: not answer calls, pretend not to be in, panic if I bumped into them, or pretend everything was fine, but retain feelings of anger, confusion, fear,sadness and even devastation within.

I was too scared to speak up in case I was not liked anymore: I averted disaster to avoid the pain of rejection or judgement or punishment. The truth is I had become ashamed of myself, unsure, and certain I was not truly liked, that people would find out in the end how awful I was – that the real me was a bad, unlovable person.

Naturally, it was not just that I moved house a lot: in fact the constant moving, the never asking how we children felt about it was just a clue to the fact our feelings or the effects of the changes on us were never considered. I still have huge blanks in my memory, but my feelings tell me that everything was about the adults, especially about my mother. She was needy and narcissistic. Her own childhood, her own family history created a parent who really struggled to be a parent at all. How can you love your children when you do not know about love? When you do not know how to love yourself? All you do is believe that the world is against you and you fight in whatever way you need to to get attention, to get “love”. For my mother, the need was so great, the pain so deep, that she used her children to meet her emotional needs, which is very damaging.

The most painful emotional event for me was how my mother would pull me closer, tell me I was her favourite (which didn’t make me feel comfortable), get what she wanted from me, which could be any form of caring for her – either emotionally or physically. Then I would not do something as she expected in some way, if I didn’t make her feel better, if I didn’t stop her pain, didn’t do enough chores, didn’t listen to her enough, she would push me away – tell me I didn’t know what she was going through, that she “had sacrificed everything for her kids” and that we were ungrateful and I was a terrible daughter.  I would stand confused. I tried to please her more and more. I would get her breakfast in bed, I became an entertainer to make her smile. I feared her wrath. I feared the uncertainty of her moods and the events it created. I feared rejection and abandonment.

I became a carer, a people-pleaser. I had been taught my emotions didn’t matter and in fact to express them was “selfish.” I learnt that love meant I had to earn it, I had to be perfect: in this way the love I dreamed of became unattainable.

My fears became so great I suppressed them hugely and many times my own law of attraction brought me events where I was rejected by friends. Of course this is God’s law working with love to help us feel and release the painful emotions – but that is something I have only understood in the last couple of years. Most of my life I have continued to suffer and hide my pain, my aloneness..

Rather than face others judgement I judged myself first and have self punished myself in many, many ways all my life: through food, through poor self-care, through relationships, living in fear and not following my dreams and desires. I gave myself the slap before others did – it seemed the easier option. It is a route many of us take. One that imprisons us in fear and suppression. A prison cell that only we have the key to.

Of course I never did reach the perfection I felt  my parents wanted, no matter how hard I tried, particularly with my mother. So I mostly felt unloved and unaccepted.  The rest of the craziness of my childhood led me to feel invisible and insignificant.  Most of my life I have felt that no matter what I did or who I was, I could not be loved.

So why would I believe that a friend could really love me? Every other minute I wait to be “unloved”, rejected and alone. How can I trust my sisters, when the one big sister ( my mother) who was meant to guide me and teach me about love and trust, manipulated and hurt me. It may not have been consciously, but it happened. My hurt happened, as it has for so many of us on this planet: living and in spirit.

This is a fear, covering up a huge amount of grief and what is particularly painful for me right now is that it blocks me from receiving God’s love. I find it nearly impossible to connect to the feminine aspect of God. I often call my Father, but I can not say Mother to God without that sick feeling in my belly: an indication of my fear, blocks and pain. I have found the most incredible teachings of God’s truth and yet I can not fully embrace them whilst I block the most powerful love in the universe through my false beliefs and emotional injuries.

I recently wrote to Mary and Jesus and Mary said my unwillingness to feel my fear was blocking my progress. I totally agree and so I have been praying and letting myself start to feel some fear – it is a tiny trickle at the moment and sometimes I still revert to anger to avoid my fear, but I will keep going as what I do feel now is the pain of my suppression. I feel like an immovable rock and it hurts: it feels heavy and yukky. My body talks through pains in my shoulders and back: it tells me that my suppression is a burden, a heavy sack of “not love.”

I am also taking steps to not live in my fear: I called a friend I haven’t seen for a long time. I suggested to someone at work we go out to a cafe one day for a drink. I felt my fear when confronted with a woman at work who scared me. It’s amazing when you do feel your fear: everything changes. She is now more respectful of me and friendly. God’s laws working perfectly. The power of emotions to change our soul, even if it is just a little bit, which then in turn change our life. So if I start to feel more, my life will change more. These little steps out of my fear may seem silly, but for the last 3 years I have been a bit of hermit – avoiding situations where I might feel unaccepted, judged, or have to face angry women: avoiding friendships. Even when I write to Mary I feel my neediness – “love me, love me” as I seek approval. It’s sad and it’s also an unloving demand to Mary or anyone else I project it too. If I just feel the emotion that will stop. I have been in huge denial, and I at least hope that is changing.

Mary wrote some great stuff on fear and how to “jump from the plane” on her blog and she herself is a great inspiration as to watch her change throughout the videos on the Divine Truth website over the years and it has increased my faith in the process God has provided to heal our soul. To see her and Jesus, increase in love, increase in joy and passion touches my soul and provides hope and an example for us all: they really, really walk their walk.

At the moment I am still standing near the door of my plane (metaphorically) and starting to feel what the worse thing that could happen is if I feel my fear. I could die, I could go mad in the terror of my fall, but then I remember there is no death: then I remember that God loves me and wishes me no harm and I have daily evidence of that. Yes the fear I need to feel may be a castle of terror, but it is holding me back, locking me up and these days my desire to be free is starting to overtake my desire to be “safe.”

So watch out sisters, I may be coming out of the woodwork. I may even start to feel you like me: I may even start to like me myself. It doesn’t matter: all I know is it’s time for a change and it’s time to discover more about myself. Praying to be braver, more humble, more loving and more truthful: one step or one leap at a time.

Maxine

An Aside:

  •  I will put a link to Mary’s blog in the Extras section of the website.
  • Please note my previous posts are all below this one. You have to scroll down. Until I get the finances to upgrade it is a little fiddly, but I hope you find it worth it. 🙂
  • I am going to start adding books that have helped me too.

BEING A SLAVE BY ROBBY

Today I am going to share a poem Robby wrote a few weeks ago. It is beautifully written and sincere. Like me he has written from a feeling and then let it evolve.  When I saw it I was moved by it and the look on his face. Both of have issues of self worth from our childhoods that have spilled out into our adult lives and our subsequent actions from that wounded space: we weren’t really made to feel we had any passions or desires, like alot of us….very sad.

But, I also had another emotion come up… “Oh no this is a good poem, but I am the writer…. I am not good at much, but writing I am ok at. It took me 30 years to even admit to anyone I had this passion and now my soulmate is writing well. I am disappearing again….agh I am not good enough”   Panic! A huge fear came up, I felt threatened. What an unloving thing to feel about your soul mate. One minute I was moved and proud of him, the next I was caught up in my own fears which have led me to conveniently forget to post this until now. Yukky stuff, yes? Often we can admit how unloving we are to ourselves in our injuries, but less easily how we can be unloving to others.  My fear of being nothing, my belief I will never be good enough made me unloving to the other half of me! 😦 Robby and I have experienced this so many times, when our addictions and fears hurt the other. To be truthful about is painful and shameful. So much of the narrow path yet to walk… but a blessed path it is too.

So tonight, I finally had some humility and thought “Deal with your insecurities Maxine! Just feel it and don’t project it out or avoid it and POST the poem!”  In fact I know that God’s law of attraction will gift me the opportunity to feel even more if I do and for Robby to a chance to receive and share.

Sorry hun it has taken me so long….. Here is your wonderful poem, the rawness of your heart:

 

slavery

 

BEING A SLAVE

BY

ROBBY JACOBS

I don’t deserve the way I feel

Being, wondering, searching in the mists: it feels so surreal.

Everything around me feels and looks the same,

Pounding and beating myself, I have no-one to blame.

Why does it hurt when I feel ashamed.

Ashamed about the darkness running through my veins.

Bitterness, revenge, hatred, all being so cruel,

I just need to feel these feelings, like there are no rules.

Please, please, please hear me if you are there,

Please notice that I am in real despair.

All I see is darkness, I need a way out,

I don’t even know who is listening, while I scream and shout.

I scream, I shout, til I can no more,

Holding onto anger, falling, crying on the floor.

Howling, crying, releasing those tears.

I don’t know what is happening, not feeling any fears.

This my child, is where I exist.

You will find me there, when you stop resist.

I am here for you in all my glory,

I am here for you to tell you my story.

Feel, play, dance and know it’s safe,

Free your emotions, don’t be a slave.

Free yourself from all your restrictions,

Observe yourself when you are acting out addictions.

Take the time to admit the truth,

Your fears are stopping you, from experiencing my truth.

I tell you, my child, it is ok to feel,

Experiencing my love, notice I am real.

Now go on my child and experience life.

Go on my child and remember it’s safe

To free yourself, from being a slave.

I never heard a voice so sweet.

Caring, loving, not stamping his feet.

I never felt a love so pure,

Knowing that love, being my cure.

I wiped my tears, feeling loved and seen.

I wiped my tears, feeling blessed and serene.

Standing straight, facing myself

No more despair, accepting myself.

For the wounded child I became,

Feeling and knowing I don’t have to live in shame.

Step by step, day by day.

I ask God to guide me on my way.

Trusting God will always be there,

When I feel moments of total despair.