Monday, 8 June 2009

Retelling the Story

I know I have told my story on my blog before but I have an urge to tell it again. I think I left out most of the most important parts. I don't think I will feel that I have told it properly until I have. I think this part of my story is central to understanding me as a person. It is not who I am but these events shaped me and caused my direction to change and their ripples have traveled throughout my life. I am not looking for pity. I am not a victim. This is an old me that I honour. I am somewhere else now.

I went to a highly Christian school. Many of the staff had been missionaries and religion and ethics was central to everything they taught. Apparently all the children there were Christian. I am not convinced by this. I think some were sent there because their parents wanted them to have an English education somewhere where the girls would be almost cloistered away. I had a very protected childhood. The world was Christian and had ethics and Christians never did anything bad, did they?

I didn't fit. At some point I remember thinking that emotions and acting emotionally was too painful and difficult. I decided that the only way to make decisions was to follow the path of least hurt. Everything I did was based on a emotional assessment of how to proceed while hurting the least number of people in the smallest way. This led me to stand up to bullies for others but not necessarily myself. You see my own hurts somehow took a back seat. I stopped letting myself feel. I don't know how old I was, maybe 12, maybe 14, who knows?

My soul started to die and at 14 I became ill with Glandular Fever, for the first time. I was a robot. I think this was when the sadness that a doctor called depression first entered my life. It was the first time I was prescribed anti-depressants. They never have worked for me. My sadness is a thing of intellect and emotion rather than chemistry.

I started to come out of myself as my life moved on and took me away from that cotoon wool school. Life there hadn't really prepared me for life outside though. There is no logic to people being nasty or bad so it just didn't fit in my head.

I left home and started work. Still dreadfully naive and young but I probably didn't give the appearance of this. An older man at work decided he wanted to go out with me and pursued me. I eventually agreed because I didn't really have a reason to keep saying no. He was 14 years older than me and proceeded to reorganise my life. Before I knew it I was living in his house, paying him rent that included bills, but nervous of using the phone and running up the phone bill. He was pretty well off and you might think I would have benefitted but I can't actually remember him buying me a single thing or ever offering to do anything other than go halves when we were out.

Eventually things started to deteriorate and I dumped him but I had to spend a few more days living there. During this time I had to go away on a jolly. It was hot and we had a free bar and were expected to stay up late and take advantage of this. The next day we travelled back and by the time I got there I was so tired and dehydrated that you could have pushed me over with a pin.

My Ex took advantage of this situation and raped me. I may not have stood up for myself. Some people would probably dispute the use of the term rape. But inside my head, I did not want it, I never agreed to it and it destroyed my carefully built naive little world. The me that was ended that night.

I moved on and things appeared normal. I had moved to start my studies but rather than being friends with lots of men, I made few male friends. My attitude towards men changed. I let myself be taken advantage of and went out with unsuitable men. I drank to much. It wasn't very long before the glandular fever reared it's ugly head again. Eventually I had to drop out of Uni. my ability to hold myself together slowly decreased. I started taking drugs. I became more ill and left Uni.

One day I finally fell apart. I called my parents and told them some stuff, I can't remember what. They came and picked me up and took me home. They took me to the Doctor's and I was referred to a Psychiatrist. I had counselling and a nice little prescription of Temazepam (which I never took) just in case the mental pain got to much. My 21st birthday ranks as being one of the worst of my life.

I was a blank slate waiting to be re-written. My old moralistic, ethical, Christian world view had failed. It couldn't survive in the face of reality. I am a Libra. I am a logical, analytical scientist. I have to have a mental framework for things to fit in and mine had been destroyed. I had to rebuild mine from scratch.

I started reading. So many different books. A bit of this, a bit of that. I returned to the city where my best friend was a Wiccan who lived with her Wiccan sister and her Wiccan Mother. They fed me books. My counsellors recommended books. Everyone seemed to be feeding me books. I read and took the bits which felt right and connected with me. I built a new framework for my soul. This one isn't rigid, it can bend with life and it is always growing.

Those first months it grew faster than at any other time....

Living Magically and Stepping into the Magic
The Man who Planted Trees
Feel the Fear
The Road Less Travelled
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Flat Rock Journal: A Day in the Ozarks
Walking to Mercury and The Fifth Sacred Thing (Fantasy by Starhawk!)
The books of Sheri S Tepper
The books of Carlos Castenada
The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet

and so many others... (of course some more than others - not sure what I took from Carlos Casteneda exactly *laugh*)

Now there was also the books of Paulo Coelho, at this time just The Alchemist, The Pilgrimmage and The Valkyries. Like all the books above they were early participants in my quest to put myself back together and as I such I have an overwhelming fondness for all of these. And there authors of course. I do however feel that books do begin to take on a life separate from the writer....

I am not that naive girl who would go out with anyone who pursued her.
I am not that girl who hid in alcohol and drugs.
I am not that girl who had an interesting attitude to men.
I am not the girl whose mind tortures her.
I am not a victim.
I am not a sickly person.

But all of these people live on inside me, somewhere, as do all the books I have ever read.


  1. hugs for the girl back then & more hugs for now...
    Its like the dark night of the soul or a the shamanic symbolic death before rebirth... and you become more than the sum of your parts... the beauty of your soul shines through xx

  2. Oh my Dear...I weep for that girl long ago but celebrate the woman you are now...what a journey you've had. ((hugs))

    I, too, have read my way to healing more than's an excuse to feed my book addiction and cheaper than therapy :). In my childhood it was all about escapism...about living in some Other World where it didn't matter who you were or what you had.

    Thank you for sharing this....I hope it lightens your load...:)


  3. I love who you are and i know who you were and i will always be here for you no matter what happens in our lives together!!

    Love Always,



  4. ((hugs to you)) - my life was not yours, but mine was, let's say similar...
    you & I are both strong, wise women!!
    I am 51.. I am thinking a little older than you?