I used to believe, with every single ounce of my being, that I was born in the wrong time period. True story.
This was long before I ever read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and my Scottish heritage became TV pop-culture (nothing but love Diana). Never mind that I probably would have been raped and murdered by Viking hordes or burned at the stake for witchcraft – God fucked up with me. Really! It was quite the oversight. I was born in the wrong century.
When I first learned about reincarnation, somewhere in my pre-teens, I had the quintessential “aha!” moment. Obviously, I have been tapping into energies from my previous lives. When I started learning about physics, not much later in my adolescence, I had a similar moment of enlightenment. My little brain went round in circles – Energy turns into matter, matter turns into energy, special relativity, we are all universally connected… You see where I am going with this.
Part of being an introverted intuitive, the INFJ, is collecting mental puzzle pieces. The more we learn and experience, the more subjective connections we formulate. Eventually the whole puzzle is visible inside our minds, a light clicks on and BOOM! epiphany. Then one day we find that the edge of the puzzle is jagged and, well, that’s another conversation. I have spent my entire life bouncing between the parallel human hamster wheels of spirituality and science.
I succumbed to the human condition before my age was double digits. I don’t know if this corresponded to my brotherly encounters. As I have mentioned, my memory is far from linear.
Similarly, my daughter started showing clear signs of early onset anxiety when she was about five, she’s eight today. For her it is a natural condition, a gift she hasn’t fully unpacked yet. About six months ago she suffered a massive panic attack. If you have ever suffered a panic attack, I am sorry. If you have a child that suffers from anxiety, I am doubly sorry. If you are an empath, a highly-sensitive person, the infamous HSP, like me… Well, there’s not much more to say than buckle the fuck up because the pain you will experience while watching your child suffer will take you on the emotional ride of your life.
It started when I told her she was no longer allowed to sleep in my bed. It started with tears and pleading. As it became more clear to her that I was serious it devolved into screaming self-harming threats and spewing self-hatred. I am so stupid. Why I am even alive? I wish I was dead!
There was a moment… a horrid, life shattering moment… when I closed my bedroom door (she was on the other side you see). She started kicking and throwing her tiny, forty pound body against the door. I sat, THUD, with my back against the door, THUD, as she screamed, THUD, that “You don’t love me!“
Before you, dear reader, start judging my parenting abilities… Ask yourself why you picked this blog and decided to start reading it. Life is a messy collage of beauty and horror. We read each other’s stories because we don’t want to feel alone. You, like everyone else, has had ugly moments (especially we parents who weep ourselves to sleep wondering if we are doing it right or failing miserably).
Between the harsh words, the tears and the door shattering body slams, this is what I learned… A little boy at school (2nd Grade mind you) told my daughter, very descriptively, that she was going to burn in eternal hellfire if she didn’t believe in God.
What the literal FUCK!
My child, who already has a disposition to anxiety, is being indoctrinated by her classmates whose parents neglected to set boundaries with the family religion. (We’ll save my point of view on religion for another day cause that’s a lot to unpack.)
Once again, I see myself in my child. I imagine my daughter laying in her bed. Her thin framed body under a baby-pink duvet, her fingers sugary from eating the sweets hidden under her mattress. She is alone in her room, staring at the ceiling. The darkness overlays objects half illuminated by a unicorn nightlight. The ceiling begins to look like the monochromatic fuzz of a TV screen, her tongue feels too big in her mouth, prickles form on the top of her head, heat flushes the back of her neck… She can’t breathe, her heart is beating too hard… I am dying.
She army crawls into her parents bedroom and lays on the floor beside their bed so as not to wake them. Even though she must be dying, she fears the wrath of a sleeping adult. Cold from the bare floor seeps into her bones but she welcomes the physical distraction from the vibrations in her brain. A few hours of a wakeful panic pass slowly, time distorted and elongated. Eventually she crawls back to her bedroom and falls asleep in her own bed. The sleeping parents will never know.
Fast forward to today – My daughter still sleeps with me. We are taking baby steps to help her overcome her anxiety but, until she is ready, she will not suffer alone.
Sometimes I wonder if she ever feels like she was born in the wrong century. Does she gaze out of the car window and imagine that modern technology is not yet invented? Does she picture herself crossing through the mists of Glastonbury to the Isle of Avalon? Does she feel cold biting her skin and imagine that she is pulling a deer skin closer to her frame as she gazes across an American prairie? Does she smell solar heat burning the air, feel warm dirt beneath her toes as she plays with her friends in an African village?
No… I think not. That was my coping mechanism. Maybe it was yours too. One day she will reveal her’s to me but she is still collecting pieces for her own puzzle.
– Intuitive Ginger