Have you ever felt lost and abandoned by what you trust, what you know, who you know and what keeps you feeling comfortable in your own skin?
As a young child I soared with happiness. I lived authentically and in a big way with big energy. I trusted me and the world. I felt connected like an umbilical cord to everything. And then my world changed.
Thinking back to it, it didn’t seem traumatic. When I was 8 we moved. Moved away from friends and family, schools, neighborhood, everything I knew and had known most of my life. We landed in a place where we knew no one. They spoke differently. My sister and I were the only Jewish kids in our elementary school. I have an unusual name, Marni, which stuck out. My hair was white blond (and stuck out). I have a loud laugh too. Not long after we moved, I began developing so I stuck out physically too, as this was early.
Couple me sticking out to even more changes: our new house was broken into and robbed 2 months after we moved in; my Dad was traveling ALOT and no longer home each night; there was a killer in the new county we lived in that was abducting white blonde headed kids, raping and killing them. That last one panicked my parents. So instead of enjoying the freedom I had grown up with leaving my house with friends and riding my bike all day. I was able to go about a block away. If I went further there had to be a destination and a phone call home when I arrived.
And finally, my new school was a big change from an open room school where I had been working at my own pace and soaring academically to one classroom learning at the same pace as my peers.
Lots of change, right? Feeling free changed. Feeling safe changed. Feeling accepted changed. Feeling loved changed. And then the bullying began. I don’t recall all the particulars. One day it was my hair. One day it was my new larger breasts or that I wore a bra. Two boys threatened to beat me up on the playground because I was Jewish. Girls who had been my “friends” no longer played with me at recess and either ignored me or joined in with the bullies.
I told my parents and felt shame that I wasn’t having the happy experience I felt they expected. My parents are loving people and care about me. They are not perfect. They told me if I ignored it, the bullying would stop. It didn’t. They were getting more and more brutal. I went to the principal of the school. He listened to me, told me to develop a thicker skin and try to ignore it. I began feeling unimportant and invisible. I no longer felt connected.
I began to change. I withdrew. I escaped into books, writing and tennis. The outgoing fun loving social child became quiet and introverted. The message in my energy was PLEASE DON”T SEE ME. If you don’t see me, you won’t be mean to me. I was filled with negative self-talk about my own lack of worth.
Yet, I was angry. I felt abandoned by everyone in my life that helped me feel secure and safe to be my true happy self including and especially God.
How could God allow this to happen to me? I wondered: If we are all parts of God, how can this be happening? My self worth was crushed. I felt invisible to those that could help me and targeted by the kids. I prayed every way I knew for this punishing experience to end. Remember I was 8, 9 years old, just a year older than my son is today. Over time with all that was so out of control in my life and pushing my feelings to numb, I became bulimic and developed amnesia of sorts.
As I grew up, I healed pieces of me over time. I sought treatment for my bulimia and that was the first big step in releasing the anger I felt and living more like true Marni. Learning meditation at treatment uncorked a big chunk of my amnesia and I began remembering who I had been before we moved. As I healed each of these pieces, I thought this is the BIG ONE. The one that would bring real Marni back to life completely.
Don’t get me wrong. I changed a lot after treatment. The outgoing free and happy Marni began returning. I began talking to God again. I lived happier and happier. I met an amazing man that became my best friend and husband. Yet as much as I understood his love for me, I still questioned it and didn’t fully trust it. My lack of trust showed up many times an issue escalated between us, I believed he would leave me. He didn’t say this, yet I went there.
By the time I became aware and owned this was a pattern in me, I stepped into my life as a healer and believed strongly in my connection to the Universe and God and even divine reasons for life experiences. And I couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel completely authentic. Something wasn’t getting through.
BOOM. Hit over the head. That is how I felt this past summer when my hubs and I had a big misunderstanding. I discovered he kept something from me financially. I went right to my distrust place and assumed he did it with the intent of leaving me. Fortunately, I searched within me for other possibilities before I went overboard. I learned what he had done was to support me fulfilling my life purpose in the best way he knew how because he believed in me and my ability to help others. OY.
Why did I go there? It goes back to my 8/9 year old experiences. I NEVER grieved for feeling abandoned in my life. I shut down. Not abandoned by people only, I never grieved for feeling abandoned by God. The anger I carried around was unconscious anger towards God for the pain and suffering of my childhood and not understanding why I “deserved” it. Becoming aware of these feelings and their depth rocked my world. How could I help others and believe all I believe and feel this way? And yet I did.
My new awareness forged a deeper spiritual connection in me. I almost always trusted easily on the surface. Now my trust is much deeper. I believe everything happens for a reason or as my Grams always said “Out of Shit, You get Flowers”. And as I look back on my life, God never abandoned me, I abandoned me when my world flipped upside down. I let go of my faith.
This past summer rocked my world within every aspect of my life. Nothing went untouched. Again my faith was tested. I questioned if I truly believed what I believe and if I did, how could I question it? I went back to basics of what I know about energy, chakras, faith, love and growth. I learned: Questioning what you believe is okay. It doesn’t mean you no longer believe them. It actually strengthens your belief and your faith. I know when life feels really tough and super yucky, look out, the pain is growth. No different than a kid’s leg or arm growing. Is it what I would choose? No. Would you?
Yet believing in my connection to God, that everything happens for a reason and somehow I’m always taken care of…. have gotten me through the most challenging 9 months of my life. I know when I ask for help it is heard and I give up control as to how and when that help shows up for me. I do not feel isolated and alone. I feel connected.