I am beginning to make sense out of the past several years of my life. My frame – work is Imago and Abraham. They are compatible and resonate with me. I am finding vibrational harmony, as Abraham would say.
Moving from Michigan 22 years ago was huge and challenged me personally and professionally. I was vulnerable and still recovering, 12 to 15 years later, from a screwed up marriage. My kids were grown and had gone on with their own lives. The hospital (my job) was crumbling; I didn’t know how to make a living when that ended. I was ready for an adventure, a change, and a new life.
So. I moved country: From a town of 80,000 to one of 3 million, from a job with safety nets to private practice, from a lousy relationship to a new one. I moved from the house I raised my four children in, to an apartment. I left family and friends. I re-invented myself, with joy, pleasure, excitement, wisdom, energy, and help. AND it took me a far longer time then I realized to find my newly created self. To find balance and feel empowered again. To be able to call my new country, home. To make new friends, find the gas station, pharmacy and grocery stores, discover the best ice cream and restaurants; trust someone to cut my hair, connect with a dentist and health care physician, and to search out the library and closest bookstores.
I committed happily and joyfully to a relationship with a strong woman who was/is extremely gifted, talented, smart, wise and loving. She was vulnerable as well. Her vulnerability manifested itself into chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia and a myriad of other ailments throughout the years. Her strength and creativity went into redesigning our almost 100 year old home. She created a lovely, peaceful, welcoming space for us to live in, our relationship to safely grow in, our families to visit and feel loved in, eat great food that she prepared and drink good wine. As she created our home, I created a private practice where clients are willing to risk opening up and give me the honour of guiding and facilitating their healing and deepening their intimacy.
I became a career accommodator. My partner is from Quebec and she was raised with several siblings and an angry father with very low self- esteem and an overwhelmed mother who was under challenged. She is multi-gifted as an artist: a cabinet- maker, soap maker, weaver, gardener, cook, knitter and home designer and excellent homemaker. I let her take over. I learned as a child to be invisible and not make waves. I played with the elves and fairies and got lost in my books. My ideas were not all that great anyway, probably, so why fuss?
Mostly that worked. We didn’t fight and we lived in a very lovely and loving home. However, after some years it began to feel like I was living in someone else’s dream. It took me a very long time to find the words to put to the feelings. I had given away my own dreams and entered a world I called mine, until it no longer felt like mine. I went way inside, hid me away, and became sad and resentful. I thought my heart was broken, and I feared for my life.
I fought intentionally and successfully to live. I love life. I have found my dreamer self again. I dream my own dreams with love, gentleness and respect. As my dreams become more clear and vivid, I find I have more energy and joy. I am quite capable of making my dreams come true. I know how to do that. I have done it frequently in the past. I can feel myself smack in the middle of doing it again and I find that very exciting.
I know I am talking about individuation. My partner and I became very symbiotic. I was her twin who died when they were four and she was my mother who emotionally and spiritually left me when I was three. It worked. We loved each other into adulthood. We took care of each other. She took care of the house while I largely took care of the finances.
I don’t remember when that became not enough for me. I wanted to co-create our home and I wanted us to equally share the financial responsibility. It should have worked the way we were doing it for all those years. We were each doing what we loved and what the other needed. But it stopped working for me. I became very sick and I was totally physically dependent upon her while aware that we continued to be financially dependent upon me.
While I was sick the cancer began to grow inside her. But we didn’t know that.
Why didn’t we know that? Why didn’t we know cancer was eating her alive? Why couldn’t I see it or she feel it? Why didn’t we know? We are both smart, aware, loving women. We understood healthy living and healthy life style. We thought that was how we were living.
I should have known and maybe I did. She often was sick and usually with something greater than the last time. She shared that she didn’t feel seen. She wondered if she had cancer if anyone would notice. I chose to believe her when she assured me that she would not be getting cancer. I chose to turn a blind eye. She had terrible headaches and awful stomach aches. She often had something aching. I heard her but I didn’t DO anything. I take pride in being a be-er and not a do-er. Pride comes before a fall, I was taught. Maybe so.
Cancer has helped her feel seen and loved. Dear God! Did it take all of this for us to find ourselves and for us to cut the symbiotic knot and individuate? I wish we had known a different way.
We all create our own pain. We create our own lives. My partner and I co-created our life as it is now. I see that. I suspect it is more complex than I can understand yet, but I believe I am the author of my own story. And I am still writing. I find that exciting and fascinating. I feel empowered that I get to decide. I am deciding it will be wonderful. Filled with joy, hope, love, music, art, beauty, family, friends, travel, home, pleasure, health, passion, laughter, reality. My deepest hope of all, is that it will be filled with my partner Clo. Not just her memory, her real physical presence.
I share my thinking in the hope it will touch someone else. Imago teaches we MUST talk/communicate, even the hard stuff, with our beloved. It is my belief that my story illustrates the wisdom and power of that truth. If I had accommodated less and we had deeply shared our hurt, pain and truth, more, I wonder if we would be in a differently healthy place right now.
It is not just about navigating daily rocky waters. It is about going way back and healing the early wounds. The importance of risking all that cannot be underestimated. It may very well be the difference between life and death.