Sometimes it's just a little weird to me that i can have so much trouble remembering something only 4 days ago. I wanted to get this written down the day it happened. Oh well, it will come as I write.
7 days since we cut last. I know my iron levels are low. I get winded going up and down the stairs, my skin is scaly on my hands, and my vision is blurred a bit. It is not enough to affect my driving or anything, but enough to be a pain in the ass. It will take a couple of months at least to get it back to where it should be. I need to remember this when I get mad about having no energy. It’s not as if I don't know why.
On to Monday... need to go slow with this because things will get missed. I was counting on quiet time but John is up and watching ‘Jimmy Neutron’ for the umpteenth time.
We sat on the couch with Lyn on the day bed to my left. She already had the chair she would sit in placed about three feet in front of me, I think so that we could get used to the distance. Even though the whole aversion to being touched is almost entirely gone, she knows when stuff gets stirred up, it's almost impossible for me to even stand someone trying to comfort me. Even holding my hand can be too much.
Lyn asked about everyone inside. How were they? They were tense, the littles were scared, and I could sense someone about 4 years old who was afraid of the belt. As Lyn asked if we could assure the littles they were safe, I could see Levia already gathering them in the nursery with Nancy. Levia closed the door of the nursery so that no one would have to be aware of the process we were about to begin.
We talked about where to start with the session. We had decided to start with the most vivid memory of the hospital bills on the hall table. I spoke about it in some detail. I think. It gets fuzzy from here out. Lyn asked what the negative messages that the scene created/reinforced were. Things like "You're a burden." came rushing to me. Worthless, undeserving. I remember wondering why they even adopted me. Why didn't they just send me back? Was keeping me repentance for their mistake? I screw everything up. Everything is my fault. I can't do anything right.
Lyn asked me to rate the intensity of those messages on a scale of 1-10. I’m pretty sure we said 10, which is the worst. She asked me to do a body scan, which is just being aware of your body. Where is the tension, knots in the stomach, that kind of thing? My shoulders, my upper chest, front and back were rock hard tense. My stomach was hurting almost to the point of nausea. Pain was creeping up the back of my neck and head.
Lyn asked what positive messages we could use to counter the negative. It's not my fault? I'm not a liar? There were a few others but I don't remember. They were not very creative perhaps but nothing else was coming to mind. When asked to rate the truth of those statements on a scale of 1-7, with seven being very true, I said that I knew the truth in my head, but it was a very different matter emotionally. I said it had a rating of two, at best.
We began our first set of eye movements, going back to that time and place. I had just gotten off the bus and come inside through the sewing room. Only strangers used the front door. After coming through the kitchen, I was going to my room. Mum was sitting at the dining room table and pretending not to watch me. I noticed there was something on the table outside my bedroom door. That was where mum put my mail. With some excitement, because mail was rare, I looked closer. It wasn't in an envelope. I saw my name on it and realized it was a bill for my nearly 3-month stay at Dominion. The total at the bottom was more than $10,000.
Instantly my mind was reeling. Why? It was clearly there for me to see. Why? What could I do about it? Was this just another 'rubbing my nose in my mess' incident? I felt an overwhelming mixture of shock and disbelief that mum would do that and at the same time, the intended slam hit its mark full force. I felt crushed.
We stopped the set and Lyn checked in with the emotions and negative messages that were coming. I was just feeling like complete worthless shit. I felt like nothing and worth nothing. Somewhere in all this I told about the nights when I slept on the floor because I didn't feel worth the bed.
I’m sure we'd done more than one set when Lyn asked if there was anyone who could be in this scene to help counter what I was hearing and feeling. To my great surprise, Jesus came to mind. It has been a very long time since I’ve even been able to picture Him, much less see Him with me. Lyn asked where He was. He was behind my right shoulder watching as I tried to comprehend the situation with the medical bill.
We began another set of eye movements and the dam burst.
”I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I don't mean to be so bad. I want to be what you want. Why am I not enough? Why don't you love me? I just want to be what YOU want.”
Lyn asked me to tell this to Jesus. Okay, hokey sounding I know, but hey. If it works, go for it. I could see myself standing there in my faded blue jeans and badass attire, with my face buried in His robe and crying my heart out.
End another set, talk a bit, do another body scan, (my left leg was restless and it was hard not to start bouncing it.) start again. Lyn asked me to listen and see if Jesus said anything. I could hear him say it was not my fault. I was not bad. It was my parent's job to care for me, regardless of the expense. They were not doing their job as they should and tried to deal with their guilt by giving it to me. The only crystal clear memory of Monday is the phrase, “It's not your debt to pay.”
I cannot begin to describe how far reaching that phrase was. Like roots growing from a bulb, little shoots of this phrase began to grow in all directions, touching everyone inside and countless memories. It’s not my debt to pay. IT'S NOT MY DEBT TO PAY! Jesus took the bill and folded it back up so that the print would not be visible, then placed it back on the table. I think we began to smile as we stopped that set and talked.
Stephanie had something to say. I braced myself as we started another set, preparing for the enraged part of me railing against the injustice of it all. I don't give Stephanie enough credit. Very calmly she said that what Mum had done was wrong. It was cruel and unjustified. She couldn't accept that we needed what was never available to her. If she didn't have help and support and love in her childhood, she could not allow us to receive it. She spoke of how damaged Mum's thinking and actions were. She looked at Mum in the dining room doing her letter writing. Picking up the bill, I walked with Stephanie as she went to the dining room and without saying a word, placed the bill next to Mum and walked away.
It’s not my debt to pay. Stephanie took that thing, that piece of paper that has caused us such pain all these years, and gave it back to the one to whom it belonged. There were several other times when bills were found outside the room, but it is as if we are now immune to the effect of that intentional cruelty. It just slides off, in this issue and others as well.
When we visited Mum and Dad four years ago, Dad insisted on paying $600 to pay for my van repairs after it broke down on I95. They even drove to Richmond to rescue us. It was bad enough having to rely on them to get us up to Manassas, but to have Dad pay such a large bill was crushing. When would I ever be free of feeling indebted to them?
The trip to North Carolina this month was the same. It was so hard to accept with grace Dad and Michelle paying our way. When we went to the chalet in Tennessee nine years ago, I remember Ben wanting to know why we had not paid our share of the week's rental. No one else mentioned it. Everyone knew we were recovering from Charlie being out of work for 6 months. They knew he had been working out of state and that we were living in a shit hole of a trailer. They knew we had lost everything to a fire only a year before. We asked Michelle what we owed and she said it was on her. We countered that everyone else had paid his or her share. We should too. For the rest of the trip, rather than being grateful for her generosity, and her willingness to ensure we could join the family on this vacation, I felt small and worthless for the rest of the trip. Charlie too, felt pitied and small. He grew up in poverty and anything resembling 'charity' was hard as hell to accept.
Now, however, all of that has just slid off our back. There is no guilt, feelings of smallness or of worthlessness. It’s not my debt to pay. Michelle knows the hardships Mum and Dad went through to raise 9 kids on an Air Force Captain's salary. They weren't bad people. They just had bad moments, but they tried hard. Michelle and her husband are very well off, and Michelle has promised herself (this was something she told me when I confronted her years ago for treating us like poor relations.) that their 'surplus' would go toward providing as many blessings for her parents and her family as she could. She counted it a blessing to be able to share it with us.
All that guilt and indebtedness has lifted. Yes, there are still things connected with money that will need addressing. I had expected the session to go in a whole other direction than it did.
I can't explain why something so seemingly simple could work so well. Something in the guided eye movement triggers the brain's natural ability to process things. Whatever it is, it does work and I won't question it. I look forward now to working through these other things and laying them to rest as well.