Liberation from the Toxic Emotions of the Past
As I sat at my window and watched the row of tress apricate, the leaves dancing to the whistling breeza, I felt the warmth of the slim rays of sunshine flow through the scars of my inner being. I went back in time to the first wound I recall. I was young, I was innocent, I was happy, I was fine till that moment, when he believed being older than me he had the right to violate my being.
I was a 10-year-old and he was 13-year-old. I was in the sixth standard, and he in the eighth. I tied him Rakhi – the thread of protection. The brother promises to protect his sister. Did he protect me? Well, he did while we walked to school, he protected me while in school. But, late every evening after the sunset, dinner eaten, and everyone in their respective rooms, he would troop to wherever I would be sitting, behind a book, absorbing words and praying that I wouldn’t be taken by him on the pretext of helping me with my studies.
Oh, that sneaky monster knew what would get anybody to unsuspiciously, and yet gratefully get me to him. Academic excellence became his excuse. After all in comparison I was fading in my studies and he was shining even more. So my Rakhi, brother, excelling in studies, and on the sports field was spotless. A role model I should learn from.
My family felt I needed to spend more time in my academic books, in his company. With every passing day, my dwindling academic performance validated his need to solve my problems in all my weak subjects. Did he do that? No, instead we role-played strict teacher and meek student. He commanded I obeyed, and slept with scars and layers of my innocence peeled away.
My grades were falling, my family was even more angry. But nobody cared to wonder why a shy, creative, enthusiastic, obedient, smiling young girl was withering away. The result everyone could see, the reason nobody thought of addressing. “Study harder, read less!” “Gosh, look at her sulking!” “Every day the poor boy removes time to help her with her studies and instead she makes faces.”
I wanted to shout out for help. Scream my truth. I was silenced by my fears. I was in a vicious chakravyuh – a spiral of destruction. While we know there was a chakravyuh on the battlefield of Kurukshetra – the one that Abhimanyu entered and got trapped in. To me that is a symbol of my victimhood of being sexually abused. I was led to the chakravyuh of emotions, self-destruction. And I settled there till I found the inner courage to liberate myself. It took its own time, but I did eventually give myself the permission to free myself from the shackles of imprisonment.
I had imprisoned my inner beautiful creatively inspired innocent child. I confined her on the of protecting her. Did I protect her, or destroy myself? Truth-be-told I destroyed myself, because every layer of anger, hurt, pain, worry, stress, misery, jealousy, envy, bitterness took away the freedom of being. It brought me a sense of dis-ease. I wanted to destroy myself, and my choices kept me on the self-sabotaging path. My inner world attracted my outer world.
The chakrvyuh of life is the matrix of complex negative emotions, the entanglements of questions interlinked, where every answer would bring momentary solace that would spread for a few day, but yet, I would yo-yo back to the darkness within. I grew into a magnet of bad relationships and self-destructive behaviors. I was riding the high seas professionally, workaholism was my escape route to a paradise that took me away from my reality, my health, my body. Yet, emotionally I was impoverished. Desperate for love, attention and approval.
I entered every relationship whispering to myself, mindlessly:
“Mary had a little lamb its fleece was white as snow. Everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go. It followed her to school one day, which was against the rules. It made children laugh and play, to see the lamb at school. And so the teacher turned it out, but still it lingered near; and waited patiently, till Mary did appear. Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow.”
It did not occur to me that this nursery rhyme became a personal anthem, till one day while journaling, I wrote the lyrics, doodled lambs and the vomited onto the sheet what truly this nursery rhyme meant to me.
It was all about my inner-child, my lamb, ever so pure, always with me, waiting for me patiently till I would learn my lessons and return to her. Every relationship was the school with new friends of his becoming a part of playtime on my playground. They would see flashes of my little lamb, when her giggles would emerge, when my negative emotions would bask in the expressions of love. They loved that inner girl, my innocent lamb. But, then I would keep her out for most times, locked up, so that she is protected from the toxicity of the relationship coming to an end.
To heal away the pain of a broken relationships, I would return to my little lamb till the next relationship knocked on the door. She was allowed to greet the man, and meet his friends. But for most times, she belonged the prison within.
On that day, when I became aware of the true essence of this nursery rhymes, I asked for forgiveness my beautiful innocent inner-child – the light of my life. Rather than proclaiming forgiveness to those who inflicted wounds on my inner-self, I thanked them, for every scar has made me whole and completed.
True forgiveness is accepting your past and celebrating your scars, as a warrior on the battlefield does. My anger towards those who did not protect me in my childhood, and each day threw me into the jaws of the lust-seeking-hormonal-rakhi brother was meaningless. What they did not know, they did not know. My fears, and the shame of all that he was doing to became the bars of imprisonment. My cross. Do I blame anyone today? No. Do I blame myself? No.
And, yet I am liberated from the chakravyuh of emotions that created its formation of self-destruction, by peeling away and releasing each one of the layers. The pain brought me purpose. Through the scars my light shines bright.
Yet, I say to every person, recognize the pain, and go into the cause – be it your child, friend, or anybody. They may not be able to reveal what inflicts them, as they bury their inner-child in shame, and suffer the pain of victimhood. You can liberate them with awareness. For a child losing their innocence and going into a dark space is because they are victims of some monster in some form. Give them the permission to reveal their secrets. Open your arms of comfort. Let them keep their little lamb with them always.
It took me 20 years to unlock my little lamb, my innocent inner-child. In that time I endured heart-ache, dis-ease, and all else I inflicted on myself. Now, my inner-child and I together romance into each day, in gratitude for every yesterday. Most of those who broke my heart are friends, even today. It was not their badness that made them hurt me, but my inner darkness with layers of toxic emotions that invited them to treat me the way they did.
I am liberated from the imprisonment of my childhood.
PS.: My rakhi brother flew away to another continent a long time ago and discovered his homosexuality. I find it funny, rather than painful that I was his victim. Karma that had to be completed.