Here is Carla, brave Carla as she finally sees the figure of her mother appear:
Suddenly I could see an image of my mother. It was a picture of her that I remember. Whenever I tried to imagine her face, I could never grasp her image. It would always flicker. This time I was able to see the image clearly. She was sitting on the floor, leaning back on our old couch. She was wearing a dark gray Mickie Mouse t-shirt and pinkish-red pants. The image of her was clear, and I began to feel overwhelmed with emotions, but I was not scared of them this time. They were just there and it was ok.
The image did not last long. Soon it returned to the flickering image I can never grasp. Little Me was now behind the big white sparkly ripple, trapped in a gray vacuum, staring at the flickering image of her mother. Soon, images of words and comments that she has heard her whole life started floating into the room. “You should find her”, “Don’t you miss your mother?”, “She’s out there”, “You need to find her”. Words that she has heard over and over and words that she has said herself. They continued to float in until they were all crowded and jumbled, congesting the area.
Little me felt overwhelmed and immediately started to curl into a little ball, as the weight of everything crushed her. When I told Cynthia, she encouraged me to give Little Me a choice. She could stay curled up in a ball, or not. I told Little Me she was strong and didn’t have to hide anymore. Light began to flow into her curled up areas and she tried to stand. As she stood, she felt the weight of all those words and comments and expectations pushing down on her, but it didn’t matter. She was strong and brave and she knew that it didn’t matter what the expectations were.
I told her that Little Me wanted to throw the words on the ground and stomp them out, crushing them into little pieces. So she started grabbing handfuls of the words and throwing them on the ground and jumping all over them, stomping them out.
As she did this, I described the sounds she was making to Cynthia. They were extremely satisfying guttural yells, screams and grunts. She was releasing all her frustration from years and years of this. She started grabbing bigger and bigger armfuls of the words and stomping them out. What she realized is that as she threw the words down, she actually cleaned the area. No new words floated back in.
Soon she had cleared an area about as long as a school bus. She was elated. When she turned around, she saw a long winding road that disappeared into the distance. The entire road was covered with these comments, words and expectations. She was overwhelmed with the amount of work ahead of her, so she decided to try something. She wanted to yell at the words, but she didn’t know what to say.
Soon the word “NO!” came to her and then, “NO MORE!”. She decided to yell the latter, so she walked up to the beginning of the trail of words, grabbed an arm full, pulled down on it and yelled from the pit of her stomach, “NO MORE!!!!!!!!”.
A large portion of the trail of words dropped to the ground. She walked over it to the next portions and realized that just walking over the words made them crumble. She didn’t even have to work hard to break them up. She did this two more times and the rest of the road fell to the ground. She walked over the debris and soon began to run.
Then she turned around and started running out of there. She wanted to yell at the plank and make it disappear. She felt brave and she ran as fast as she could. Somehow she was able to leave the gray vacuum and was back out in the grassy scene with the trees. It was still twilight and the air was crisp, so she ran with a smile on her face.
Once she arrived at a place where she thought the lock might be, she sat on the grass, cross-legged and just breathed. She suddenly felt doubt. She didn’t know how she was going to do it this time, so she just sat and breathed and remembered what she had just accomplished. Maybe this was enough for one day…”
Incredible journey Carla. Thank you for your courageous work in confronting the mother who left you and in facing the feelings in yourself that you have so long-buried. You have been living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for your whole life. The inner work you are doing is freeing you to live fully and with joy. We applaud you.