Chapter One – Born Christed
A personal life story.
It was a beautiful early June day just three days after my first husband had died at the end of a 28 year decline with Multiple Sclerosis. I stepped out onto my patio to enjoy the sun and totally by surprise felt as though I had been struck by lightning. The light energy coursed through my body burning my lips and labia. My lips, all skin burned off, soon began to ooze sticky serous material mixed with blood. If I closed my lips they would stick together and trying to get them apart was excruciating. Likewise, eating and drinking were nearly impossible. The pain became so great that I turned myself over to my current husband to see to my care.
He took me to an emergency care facility. The doctor entered the room and seeing my lips asked if I played an instrument. I said, “I play flute. I’m grieving, my husband just died.” He said, “You are allergic to your flute.” I said, “I’ve been playing the same flute for 33 years.” Then he asked if I had been gardening. I said, “Yes.” He rudely said that I was allergic to some plant in my yard. I told him that I had had the same plants in my yard for years and that my husband just died and I was grieving. He angrily threw a prescription for some salve on the table and stormed out of the room.
My husband took me home. As soon as we entered the house he put his arms around me, embraced me warmly, and apologized for the way I was treated feeling helpless in his attempt to see to my care. From deep inside of me, and from my ancient past, I heard the statement, “I’d rather die than try to get you to hear my grief.”
I was born of a Jewish mother who had been orphaned when her mother died giving birth to a second child. She was raised in an orphanage. She completely lacked mothering skills beyond the physical level. I was also the second daughter of this mother who believed that only birthing a son would bring her value as a woman. I grew up being called another mouth to feed. My soul was never touched or ignited by my mother. Instead, I was the sensitive child in the family who took in the wounds of her heart. She was not one to soften and receive in any way that she might heal. Her demands for acceptance and approval due to her fears of rejection and abandonment were so all-consuming that they overwhelmed all our interactions.
I heard from my aunt who lived next door that in the early years of my life my mother frequently put me in bed at 6 pm or earlier and let me scream myself to exhaustion unattended. At age two, before the days of penicillin, I had pneumonia with a temperature of 107 for four days. If I had not completely despaired of my voice bringing me what I needed by then, I certainly did before this incident was over. Having convulsed and then gone into a coma, the doctor told my parents that I would die that night and said that I would need to have a private duty nurse with me. As years go by, I believe ever more firmly that I did die that night. The story goes that the nurse threw me in ice water, my fever broke, and I was discharged from the hospital soon afterward.
I returned home to a mother even further distanced. Years later I remembered telling her that my bed was on fire during the time of my high fever. It was the best I could do to report the heat in my body to her at age two. I remembered her laughing at the time. When I asked her about it as an adult, she read her diary to me, reading my comment as I had remembered, and once again laughed.
My mother lived to be 96 and I never had one conversation that went through with her. One sentence from me and she would shut me off. Never was she able to receive me. She birthed her desired son shortly before my pneumonia incident. Always favored, I was forced to help him in all kinds of ways, whether it was to deliver some of his paper route, help sell vegetables at the stand my father set up for him in front of our home, or to tend any of the variety of animals he had in our back yard including pigeons, rabbits, and a raccoon. No matter what game we played, I was to let him win and never fuss.
My brother got a new bike. I got a reconditioned one from a junk yard. My brother got a new watch. I got a reconditioned one from a jeweler. While my older sister kept having her bedtime made later as she grew, mine stayed the same as my younger brother so he wouldn’t be scared to go to bed alone. I was given the job of taking the eyes off the potatoes in our potato bin in the basement where my father put snakes to keep the mice away. No care was given to my terror related to this. I was never allowed to say the words, “I want.” My mother’s reaction was dramatic and I was called selfish.
At the age of 15, I bought myself a $465 solid silver flute with 25 cent an hour babysitting money. At age 16, I was fussing at my mother about unfair treatment with my brother and in a rage she picked up my beloved flute and nearly crashed it over the kitchen counter before catching herself. It was the last blow to my voice. I went silent. I used my breath and mouth to play my flute. There were times when I would open my mouth to speak and nothing would come out. With my breath I heard my flute tones. Over the years my jaw locked. My face remained frozen and expressionless.
I was good, so very good. In my silenced state, I did everything expected of me no matter where I was. I was called mature, so very mature. It wasn’t for many years later that I realized that I was completely immature for I never allowed myself an independent thought or action. As a very trusted teenager, I worked diligently mostly as a babysitter, and saved enough to pay for most of my three year diploma program in nursing.
My mother’s plan for my life was to become a nurse, live in the dorm provided for nurses at the hospital across the street from where we lived, and to take care of her in her old age. I fulfilled the first part of that to become a nurse. Patients loved me, of course, and I was consistently told by staff that I had an authority problem. No doubt!e
A couple incidents stand out from my nursing school days. In one evaluation I was being made wrong for not letting off steam like the other students after working on the wards. I was told that when I got back to the dorm I was supposed to be saying things like “Oh shit” and laughing about what I had done that day. No way would I accept that idea, so I remained standing in “wrong.”
Every six weeks in nursing school we received an evaluation. I received criticism after criticism for which I felt completely defenseless. The one that hurt the most was under “grooming.” I had no money for anything beyond tuition. We were not allowed to work to earn money until the second year. My well-shined shoes had dried, cracked, and had holes in them. I received no praise for paying my way to nursing school, only criticism for shortcomings. I am grateful to this day for my courage to ask to speak with a counselor. I was sent to the head of psychiatry at the hospital. He told me there was nothing wrong with me and sent me on my way. I didn’t realize until I received my next evaluation that the whole evaluation process for our school had been changed. Now we received a paper with two columns and the column for praise had to be as long as the column for criticism.
I married a week before graduating from nursing school, certainly to assure that I would not live across the street from my mother and accept her plan for my life as caretaker for her in her old age. She reluctantly handed me $200 for my wedding, and crying, asked me to give her the change.
Shortly after marrying, an insurance man came to sell insurance to my husband. He was refused insurance and the man would not tell us why. He told my husband to ask the health service at his college. My husband was unwilling to do that, so I hounded the neurologist at the hospital where I was working until he told me that the blurred vision that my husband had had during finals in his junior year was a pre-sign of Multiple Sclerosis.
I obediently served my husband in his declining health for 18 years as well as birthing and tending two beautiful children. Among other things, I enjoyed teaching Sunday school. One summer our church sent our whole family to a week long program at a college. I lovingly tended my husband in his wheelchair as well as my two children. I believed this, anyway. I was walking down a hall one day and a minister said, “You are pissed!” Shocked, I responded with “No I’m not!”
The next day I was walking down the same hallway and was about to pass the same minister at the same spot when I started to cry. He took me aside and held me. My tears only lasted seconds. That was long enough for me to realize that I could start crying and also stop. I had believed that if I ever started crying I would never be able to stop. It was this incident that set in motion a series of personal growth experiences that have continued until today.
So, let’s go back to the experience of light burning my lips. Our church was having a presentation on colors of the rainbow and I really wanted to go to it. I wondered how I could appear with oozing and bleeding lips. I decided that if I just snuck in and held a cloth in my hand by my face that I could remain invisible. So I went. The woman who was presenting had not talked very long until she said she was going to take a break, sort of surprising everyone. As a further surprise, she headed straight for me and said, “You have done a beautiful job of living your life.” She said that she would be giving readings the next day and was booked all day but would be willing to come at 7 am to meet with me. I said I’d come.
I sat with her for two hours as she reviewed my whole life with me backward and forward based on the colors of my aura. She was so accurate about my past, and sounded so right about my future, that it literally blew my mind. I was stunned for several days afterward that anyone could know so much about me. This was especially so given that I had lived a life of silence and told no one about myself. And, actually, I did not even tell myself the truth about me.
Somewhere in the reading she said, “You were born Christed.” I burst into tears and said, “I’ve always known that.” No one had ever given me such feedback to my goodness. As a child, my family was always arguing with neighbors and relatives in ways that were separating. I visited with all of them. I functioned on the energy of inclusion. I saw no one as an enemy. I knew I was different from everyone around me. I had no way of putting that into words. No one had put it into words for me. I lived in a world that mostly felt hostile to me.
One incident stood out in my childhood as so different from all the rest that it brought hope to me of some kind. I was four and tripped happily up the street a few houses and picked a handful (actually all) of the poppies growing in front of “Aunt Ruth’s” house. She was my mother’s best friend. I joyfully took them home and gave them to my mother who proceeded to spank me, sure that she had just lost her best friend.
Meanwhile, Aunt Ruth, hearing about my mother’s reaction, called me over. She planted a garden just for me, a sweet pea bed. She told me the more I picked, the more the flowers would grow. Every year into my nursing school years, she’d call me when the flowers started to bloom and invite me to come to my garden. Perhaps this was the first touching of my soul. I remember it vividly to this day. She forgave me my act of picking the poppies that she waited a year to see bloom. She gifted my soul and received my joy for years to come.
So, I was “born Christed,” had silenced my Christ Self, numbed my Christ Self, and made my Christ Self invisible. I had a lot of healing and growing to do.
The same minister who told me I was pissed also suggested Transactional Analysis as a mode of counseling, actually for my husband, which worked fine for me since I was still into rescuing him to try to save myself. I was shocked and angered when the counseling couple put all their focus on me. After feeling and expressing some of the rage that the minister referred to, I too began to focus on myself. When presented with the concept of Parent, Adult, and Child, I had a way to reclaim my voice. I began to speak. I began to speak about my past.
After a few sessions, I went into training to become a Transactional Analyst. In our training group we practiced on each other. Several times the leader had asked me to go back to the scene where I was unconscious with pneumonia. We had tried before and I always blanked out. I could not face it. Totally frustrated, he suggested that when alone, I imagine myself sitting beside the bed of the child I was then.
For six weeks I imagined this scene daily. At first, I sat by her bed and talked to the two year old me while she was in a coma. As she woke over time, I played with her on my lap. Later I took her to an outdoor place where she was under a tree and told her I would meet her there from now on and never to return to the hospital scene. One day, the last day of finals where I was upgrading my diploma to a Bachelor of Nursing degree, I was sitting under a tree and realized that this was the tree where I had placed my little one in my imagination. It was a place where I often sat on a bench to eat lunch. Thrilled at the realization, she became part of me that day and came home to live within me from then on. In this act, my higher self and my inner child became one. Not aware of it at the time, I had made the connection that allowed me to reclaim my Christ nature. I was born Christed and once again connected with my Christ nature. I was to go on living in this world and not of it. Living this double life continues to set up a scream within me. I long to be totally free to express and be received as a Christed One.