My Personal Journey from Living in Fear to Living in Love
I used to have a recurring nightmare. In the nightmare, I was trapped in a concrete maze on top of a building. I ran frantically through the maze, gasping for breath, looking for a way out. Every time I thought I was almost out of the maze, I turned a corner, only to run into a man much larger than me, dressed in black and wearing a white mask. I never knew who he was. This nightmare was related to me being sexually abused before I was three years old. I was not aware of this fact until I was much older. I had this nightmare almost every night for years, from two years old until about the age of 27. For you to understand why I tell you about the nightmare, I need to tell you my story.
Here goes, here’s my story. I think the best way to share my story with you is to tell it chronologically. When I was 19 years old, I was in college and in a lot of pain. I couldn’t sit still in my classes, I couldn’t walk straight, and I didn’t sleep well. The constant pain was ruthless. I silently convinced myself that I must have some kind of terminal illness. I felt like I was dying. Finally, I went to see a chiropractor, who used kinesiology and gentle adjusting. He took x-rays and told me that I had the back of a 50 year old woman. I replied with conviction, “Try 100 years old!” He went on to tell me that if I were to have children, I would have to have C-sections, because my hips and pelvic area were so twisted. Now I knew how messed up I was. Lucky me, I thought to myself. After a lot of work between 19 and 21, and a regular routine of therapy, the doc did help me and I finally started to feel better. When I was 21, I moved to Arizona, seeking a chiropractor who used kinesiology, and I found someone who used a technique called B.E.S.T. (Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique). Using the B.E.S.T. technique, I felt better and better. Now, at 21, I began working out five or six days a week, something that I was not able to do when I was 19.
I fell in love, got married, and at 24, I became pregnant with my first child, and gave birth to Samantha at 25, without a C-section. Two years later, I became sick with chronic sinus problems, which often turned into infections. I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired and revisited my B.E.S.T. doctor, whom I saw whenever I felt the need.
On this particular sunny Arizona day, I felt as if I had surrendered. I entered the doctor’s office waving my imaginary white flag. I was ready to be well once and for all. The doc spoke two frightening words and a time frame. I was blown away! I had never shared my trauma with him. The words were sexual abuse. The time frame was my childhood between the ages of one and five. “Holy Motley, Batman!” How did he do that? I was sexually abused just two months shy of my third birthday by a 16 year old neighbor. I now understood why the man in my nightmare was dressed in dark clothes and was so much taller than me. The teenager who abused me was much darker in skin color than me. I was just a skinny little girl, with short blonde hair, wearing my yellow dress, not even three. I was oblivious to any kind of danger, because I was playing three houses down (as I often did) with my friends in the front yard. The predator chose a concrete hall way entrance to his basement to abuse me. I was so small, so helpless. The concrete walls towered over me, without possibility of escape—just like the concrete maze! The back of the house was shaded by a large tree. On that late April afternoon, the sun was in front of the house. The basement hallway was dark, damp and musty. The maze in my nightmare finally made sense.
The effects of the abuse were to resurface again, however, in a very unsettling manner. I have always loved and enjoyed watching my daughter. At the time she was two years old, however, watching her, so close to the age I was when I was abused, caused my body to remember and reconnect with my own experience at her age. I understood all my pain, which started at such a young age. Finally! Wow! What a concept. My daughter was two and the memories of the abuse I experienced were showing up in my body as illness. A quick look back at my childhood shed a little light on my physical state. I remember always being uncomfortable! Starting at about the age of 10, I used to walk my friends off the sidewalk. I simply couldn’t walk straight. Now, at 27, I found myself working together with the doc on that miraculous day, in his modestly decorated office. When the abuse came up, I was moved to a private room. The smell of vinyl and fresh paper as it crinkled under my face filled my senses. We cleared out the emotional interference. One interesting note about my recurring sinus infections and recurring dreams: Before the year my daughter was two, I had never had a sinus infection. During the year my daughter was two, I had one sinus infection after another. Since that day 23 years ago, after clearing the emotional interference with the doc, I have never had another sinus infection. Another amazing thing: Since that day, my recurring nightmare has never occurred again. What a relief! My life has never been the same, and we are talking in a good way!
Following the emotional and physical healing, I moved forward very quickly into the middle of the maze, well on my way to love. Let’s fast forward a bit, so I can share my life with you as I live it today. I am now 49. I feel better than I did at 19. I have four children. Contrary to the original prognosis instructing me to have C-sections, I was able to bring three of my children into this world with natural childbirth. (I opted for a C-section with one of my children because the baby’s breech position posed a serious risk.) I work out six days a week. I now hold a master’s degree (by the age of 28, I was able to sit still and return to college). When I walk down the street with my friends, I actually walk in the direction I intend, and no one ends up off the sidewalk.
It is so good to be in charge of my life. Sometimes life can be a little scary because I don’t always like what I create, but being in charge is so empowering! I have the power to recreate. I am in the driver’s seat, I am empowered and life is great!