I have just had my mind THOROUGHLY blown. The kind of blown that rearranges the space-time continuum. Normally I wouldn’t write about something this profound quite so soon after it happened (I usually take a little time to digest before sharing) but writing about anything else right now seems kind of pointless.
If you’re a regular reader, you have probably gathered that I had a crazy love/hate relationship with my father. He was bigger than life and the kind of guy whose presence enlivens any room he steps into. Many, many people thought of him as a hero (and weren’t afraid to tell me so) – someone who could swoop in and save them, someone who could make their lives better with a well-placed phone call. I saw him being that man to other people, which made it all the more confusing when he turned into an abusive and emotionally violent man with me and my mom.
Living in my father’s world was living in insanity. He had some very loving moments, but that made the whole situation even more debilitating – why couldn’t be like that all the time? How do I know when he’s going to be okay and when he’s going to be bat-shit crazy?
My response was to freeze. I shut down. I learned to be quiet, to lay low, to do everything as perfectly as possible to avoid making waves.
At some level – sometimes conscious, sometimes unconscious – I’ve been angry at myself for a long time for just laying down and letting him run rampant over my life.
Here’s the mind-melting part: Today I realized that I actually did myself a huge favor by freezing. Living in that kind of insanity meant that I had two options: freeze or fight back. A mentor said to me today, “It was so crazy, it’s a wonder you didn’t take a frying pan to his head.” In that instant I realized – fighting back would have meant meeting violence with violence.
And it would have been impossible to meet that level of emotional abuse and violence with anything but an equal or greater show of abuse and violence. Which means that, in that alternate universe, I would have developed into someone that my current self wouldn’t even recognize as me.
When faced with two options for dealing with insanity, I chose a route that allowed me to safeguard the essence of my soul. The alternative very likely would have pushed me into my own insanity.
Choosing to freeze means I still have some more clean-up to do, but it’s clean-up that’s doable.
I’m so grateful to that younger version of myself for choosing the option that allows me to be an adult that I can be proud of.
I’ll be appearing on Karen McCrocklin’s Hay House Radio show “Out From the Inside” tomorrow (Wednesday) at noon EST. The topic is “Absolutely Positive” and we’ll be talking about The Miracle Journal. [To listen to the show, click here.]
Karen previews the show (and says some really lovely things about me ) in her most recent blog entry: http://www.karenmccrocklin.com/radio-show-ep/absolutely-positive-leah-and-the-miracle-of-fluidity/