I was born in 1960 in Ottawa, Canada to a good upper middle class Canadian Lebanese family. There were no alcohol, drug, or physical abuse issues in my home. To the outside world, the five of us were the “model” family. The family that everyone wanted to be like. Our external needs, (food, shelter, clothing) were all looked after however, the one thing we didn’t do in our home was TALK about our feelings. Unless we were talking about “the weather”, it wasn’t even an option, not because we weren’t allowed to but because we were all emotionally unconscious and unaware that this was even an option. My parents were ill-equipped to give us the guidance, support, direction, knowledge and love to get through life. Since they didn’t get it from their parents how could they know how to give it to us? They were children parenting children. As a result, when we did have a need or a feeling as a child, we were mostly judged, dismissed, neglected or ignored. Without a loving connection to them, I stayed attached to my childhood wounds, paralyzed, scared, angry, ashamed and terrified. I couldn’t cope with life and was incapable of being happy. Don’t get me wrong we had good times too however it was external, emotionally we were all lost.
If that wasn’t enough, my parents divorced in 1973. No-one talked about Divorce back then let alone go through it. I thought my parents were happy because they never fought. Now looking back I realize they were both unhappy in themselves and together. I was 13 and it changed my world. It was a shock and so unexpected. Not only had I been emotionally disconnected from my feelings pre-divorce but the divorce made it worse. I felt like an outcast and ashamed of what happened. My parents did the best they could with the tools they had to keep us from falling apart however now I see that had we only talked about our feelings about the divorce it would have made things so much easier. Instead I kept my fear, anger, shame, suppressed and went on with life living in denial and alone, never talking to anyone about that traumatic event. (one of many I might add)
As I got older and started having intimate relationships, they all failed. I was having affairs, I was confused about my sexuality, I had major trust issues and I protected myself from anyone who wanted to get close to me in fear that I would be abandoned and betrayed again. I knew something was wrong but didn’t know what it was. I knew I needed professional help as it was too big a road for me to go down alone.
At 36 I had what was a nervous breakdown. I had no idea what that even was but now I realize it was a blessing in disguise. I was so screwed up that I knew I needed professional help. I started Psychoanalysis. It saved my life. In my opinion society has given therapy a bum rap. People roll their eyes when you say the word “therapy” and then tell them you have been going 20+ years twice a week?!! I was fortunate to have a brilliant, evolved therapist that taught me and guided me through the process of getting to the root of my emotional childhood pain. We would talk about my childhood experiences and how they made me feel, no emotion was off the table and over time I was able to get through my traumatic feelings and understand why I was stuck, attached to the past and unloved. It was hard and very painful to have to go back to the past but it was the only way to move forward to the present. I have NEVER taken any medication during my journey (not to say that is for everyone) and I’m glad I didn’t because it forced me to face my horrid feelings and not numb or deny them and boy did I cry, years and years of tears what a relief!
During this process, I realized I had been attracting relationships and situations that were reminiscent of my parents and the way I was brought up. These experiences would provoke deep intense old awful feelings that I wasn’t able to process as a child but now as an adult could take responsibility for, process and move forward. I soon came to realize that every trigger was a blessing and an opportunity to heal emotionally. This has become a spiritual practice that I now use as a daily tool to help me process my childhood issues every time I’m triggered. It’s scary to go back to your past experience but you don’t stay there, you can use your past to help you get through the feeling to get to the present. By taking responsibility for the feeling, you gain power and start becoming more aware of who you are and how you feel. Trust me, you will start to feel better the minute you decide to face your fears.
Honestly, I can’t believe in this day and age we aren’t talking about this subject matter more. All of us are suffering on some level and looking for help to get through life. This is what brings me here and why I wanted to create this platform. It’s time to start talking about our emotional wellbeing. I am not a doctor nor do I profess to be one but I am someone who has experienced this process and am passionate about healing and helping people become aware of how they feel the same way I did. I hope this spiritual practice can help you find meaning and happiness in your life.