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A calamity threatens the walkabout


I spend a lot of time worrying about things that never happen, so when a real calamity strikes; it is unexpected and feels like a surprise attack.

My walkabout threatening calamity struck just before Christmas (and a day before the predicted end of the world.)

First I came down with the flu. Following that, I received a call about my pension. In a bullying way I was informed that the company had made an “administrative error”  10 years ago and I really wasn’t entitled to what I had been receiving — and I, in fact, owed them thousands of dollars. This was news to me!

Someone reminded me that compared to drastic health news; this was nothing — which is true.

But this pension was funding my dream!

I also panicked as I saw security in my old age slipping away.

And it was at this point that I hoped the world really would end the next day.

I hate it when someone suggests that I re-frame terrible things as “opportunities” or calls me “courageous” in these situations.  I started to tell myself these things too . . . and then I shut myself up pretty quick.

When calamities happen to me, I just want them to go away. This is childish I know, but I would really rather be the lucky girl who doesn’t get the chance to BE “courageous”, or the one who doesn’t GET “opportunities” over and over again.

Heaven help me … I want to be Paris Hilton!

Calamities like this knock me off my high horse and bring me down to earth pretty fast where I have to face all the dirty, grimy, frightening . . .  and real things in life.

I am sharing this because I want to be a real person in this blog, including all the good, bad and ugly parts of the journey. There are many beautiful spiritual aspects to taking a walkabout  . . .  until there aren’t. And if I am staying in integrity, I need to incorporate the calamities into my story.

After the phone call, I spent two sleepless nights and two full days in my pajamas — sick, panicky, sniveling and mourning the loss of my dream. Visions of sugar plums turned into visions of bag ladies in my head. Some dissociated part of me watched as I cycled through shock, grief, fear, anger and then back around again.

In a lucid moment I also contacted a good lawyer.

On day three I took a shower, got dressed and went for a walk. I felt clear-eyed, grounded, and determined. I decided that, at all costs, I had to hang on to my dream. So I will.


I doubt I will ever validate this thing as an “opportunity”, but I will admit to arriving at a new plateau in awareness of the inner demons that were pouring out of me. This thing was a surprise attack, re-traumatizing me in my most vulnerable spot.

As a pre-schooler I experienced my first life changing surprise attack. I was molested and terrorized by a relative when my mother was out of the house. This was not a good start to life. I compare it to the sound of a gong. There is the strike of mallet to metal (the abuse) and then the impact radiating out like sound waves for the rest of one’s life. There is no turning back the clock to innocence or safety. Hopefully you heal, but meanwhile there is this subterranean force of trauma impacting your relationships, your health, and your happiness.

With this recent calamity that’s where I went – the place where terrible things can happen to me — where I will be hurt, abandoned, left alone, not heard, not seen; I will die. These are the places from my childhood of loss and abuse.

I let this wound “speak” for awhile and now I have to put distance between it and I. I am ready to move on and tackle this most injustice pension matter as an adult.

I am only one person (and her lawyer) against a large multinational corporation with retirement fund coffers in the billions.

As I have done my whole life, I will do what I can to bring about justice in an unjust world – both for the outer world and for the inner world of my wounded child.

“There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion”
― C.G. Jung


18 Comments Post a comment
  1. Betsy, I just tuned into this event in your life through Karen Jeffery’s FB comment to you. Of course all difficulties are opportunities and dealing with them that way sure takes an uplifted attitude, which is hard to come by sometimes. I am rooting for you! Gosh, another legal battle…Good for you getting a good attorney. May you prevail! May your dream move forward in a delightful way (even with the lawsuit).

    January 1, 2013
    • Thanks Gaea! I am feeling very much more upbeat since this posting. I have managed a way to stay at my Portland apartment for the remainder of my seven months. I am looking forward to getting this resolved very soon, so I can get on with my plans! Thanks for your good wishes. Betsy

      January 1, 2013
  2. I had a similar disillusionment with losing expected income a few years back. It is tougher to have courage and keep on moving in the face of very real set-backs. Give yourself a break, reach out for support (you are good at this), and realizing what childhood beliefs are being triggered. Questioning them does help you calm down-the Byron Katie techniques are great for this sort of inquiry. I also question if I am worthy of abundance when circumstances feel rough and unfair. Realize we do have unseen helpers too, and you’ve taken the pragmatic step of working with a good lawyer. Blessings to you, and keep us updated!

    December 31, 2012
    • Hi Carol – working on all these things. Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your experience! Betsy

      December 31, 2012
  3. A very powerful post. I have always been the type of person who accepts and moves on, accepting fate and even embracing death, when that was what I was faced with, but I understand that most are not like this. I appreciate you sharing your fears and their cause. No child should have to deal with such things and then live with it all of their days. Best of luck, Betsy.

    December 28, 2012
    • Hi Fred, Thanks for your comment and good wishes. I certainly moved to a new level of healing with this post. Betsy

      December 29, 2012
  4. I experience shock as you do, Betsy, and moments of happiness come crashing down with such “realities.” We do what we can and then surrender, again and again. Loving ourselves with compassion and harnessing our strength each time.

    December 28, 2012
    • Hi Alaya – what a beautiful statement of the process!

      December 29, 2012
  5. Trish #

    Oh Betsy! How horrible! You are dealing with this in such an amazing way. You really inspire me. I hope your attorney does well by you. I wonder if others experienced this ‘error’. Could be your destiny is as a class action suit recruiter?! The artwork with this post is great. What does the Latin say?

    December 28, 2012
    • Hi Patricia – Thanks for your support! I am finding that this is happening to many people through out the country – from different companies. My sister told me that some states are considering creating laws against this. Sometimes it happens to people who are of a very advanced age.

      December 28, 2012
  6. I’ll bet being Paris isn’t all that great. And, as you’ve already discovered, all you can do is move forward. You will prove your strength again.

    December 28, 2012
    • Thanks Robin! I think you are probably right about Paris!

      December 28, 2012
  7. Joanna #

    Betsy, what a horrible thing to happen!! They say when it rains it pours, and you do live in Oregon where there’s lots of rain!! The good part is that the rains wash out the bad and bring in the new!! Happy New Year!! Call if you need to talk, my friend!!

    December 28, 2012
  8. nancy bardos #

    whew, BL… go!!!

    December 28, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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