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