So long as I was a sweet little girl: pretty, smaller, trusting, compliant - all was well.
The minute my woman energy began downloading, it was a different story.
Nothing I did was ever good enough.
Nothing I said was taken seriously.
Nothing I wanted was given to me.
He told me my bum was fat. My hair a mess. And openly ogled other women. To be honest, I felt him appraising me too.
He taught me I was just an object, who fell short of all the standards a man desired.
My views were derided and shut down: verbally and physically.
My independent thought evoked violence in him.
My gifts went unnoticed. My desires ignored. My needs unmet.
He was emotionally distant. Controlling. A tyrant in our household of women, who brow-beat my mother into breakdown.
I hated him for that. And yet I craved his love and attention.
I longed for a physical home to rest into. A safe space. Big strong arms to hold me. A strong chest to lean into. Acceptance. Unconditional love. Non-sexual embrace To be seen, heard, celebrated, encouraged and supported. To know that someone had my back. And always would. Especially when going through the maelstrom of puberty !
Even then, a sincere, romantic teen, I imagined I could change him: evoke his love with persuasive talk, reference to books, heartfelt pleas or the long list of achievements I chalked up as an exceptional student and athlete.
But no. None of that did the trick either.
The only time I got his attention was when I colluded with him: listening to him complain about my mother.
Who, at some point later in the day, would be crying her own woes out to me.
What an incestuous double-bind! I became a great listener and rescuer. But who was there for me?
I showed up for myself as best I could. But my strength and independence masked an inner ache.
Asking for help was weak. And there was no-one equipped to help me anyway. I was the Queen of self-sufficiency, swallowing my pain.
Naturally, this wound informed every aspect of my life: giving up stellar job offers to placate my partners, bristling at every slight, choosing avoidant/abusive lovers, being a single Mum, who does it all and never feeling worthy of help, love or money.
Pain. Lack. Resentment. Exhaustion. Shrinking my shine.
This wound has been an unavoidable thorn in my side, that I've cursed and blamed as it festered.
And yet, at a certain point, I woke up to its gift.
I am who I am because of it. I do what I do because of it. It etched a soul song into my being that says "may all women be free!"
I see this wound - different, yet fundamentally the same - in so many of my sisters. Stifling. Limiting. Repressing. All from the conditioning within.
That denies our inherent power, worth and beauty.
And sucks the very pleasure and joy out of life.
Which is, ultimately, the legacy of patriarchy.
A corrupt, immature expression of masculine energy that poisons the holy chalice we are.
It's everywhere apparent and is written large right now in our political crisis, which emerges from the self-same disrespect for and disconnect from the Feminine.
So - how to heal? How to shift? How to finally be at peace?
Through my own experience, I discovered that running from, hating on or blaming him/Him solves nothing.
There is no way up and out other than the inner journey of healing and elevating that relationship within.
Having spent many years on that quest - and still continuing - I love sharing the tools that have helped me with other women, who long for love, peace and freedom as I do.