Fear, fear, fear and more fear. That’s been the story of my life as long as I remember. It goes back to childhood. I was born in what was known then as a battered wives home, both my parents were alcoholics, and my dad was violent when tanked up. He beat my mother up while I was in her womb. I remember the first years of my life growing up in a house with no sense of safety and no carpets on the floors. My old man would turn up every Saturday night and open the front door with his size 9 boot and then lay into my mum and our long haired Labrador dog. I’d hear the dog yelp, I’d be upstairs terrified, crying like I’m crying now as I type this. Sometimes the police would come and lift him, other times they wouldn’t. Sometimes we’d get out of the back door before he got in, my mum running up the road to her sisters house with me on her shoulders. I don’t remember a time when my parents lived together, I mostly just remember the violence and the constant feeling of uneasiness around the house. Growing up on a council estate had it’s quirks, as money was tight we had a meter for the electric that required 50 pence pieces to get the electric working, our house was broken into many times, the meter emptied by the thief who usually made his way in through the side window of the house or srewdrivering the lock off the front door. I remember a few times waking my mum up and telling her we’d been robbed again…..
My mums drinking stemmed from her upbringing, same story as mine times ten, her father was ten times the bastard mine was. She had a alcohol related nervous breakdown when I was 5 years old, she was too sick to look after me and I went into social care for a month or two. Already terrified by the violence at home I was taken away into a foster family. I’d like to say the foster family were nice, but I hated it and I hated them, they weren’t my mum. Social services told my mother that if her drinking didn’t stop she’d most likely never see me again. God only knows what went through her mind when she heard those words. Whatever went through her mind was enough for her to draw a line and quit alcohol for the rest of her life. I remember her telling me when I was a teenager that when she quit the drink she dropped to her knees and surrendered to God, from that day to her dying day in 1998 she never touched a drop of alcohol. She reached a point in life where she was done, couldn’t take anymore, nothing left to do but surrender. She had a heart the size of sun, a sun who’s light was too good for this world, I really mean that, she had compassion in abundance and without effort. She used to counsel the neighbours from our street, she’d pick up broken glass from the road to stop dogs cutting themselves. I remember her once helping a homeless man in town to put his shoes on, his shoes were covered in his own faeces. That’s how she was, her love left no one out. After her act of surrender she worked as a cleaner and a healer until she died of cancer in 1998. I sometimes wonder if her breakdown triggered a kundalini/energetic awakening that opened her up to work as a healer, one of the many people that she healed was a relative who was told he would never walk again due to a pretty horrific road traffic accident.
All the violence I witnessed at home coupled with the abandonment left me feeling insecure and very anxious as an adult, I’ve always been a people pleaser, perfectionist and a seeker of approval from others, all classic traits of someone exposed to childhood trauma. All interpersonal relationships be they with friends, family, work colleagues or intimate have been difficult for me. The barriers have been up as long as I remember, I’ve never felt relaxed in any home I’ve lived in, I find it hard to trust people, I’ve always preferred my own company as opposed to being with others. I’d always drink to excess at social events and nights out to hide this terrified child that’s inside me. I don’t want to completely write off my upbringing and paint it as some kind of living hell, amongst the traumatic events were some wonderful childhood moments, some mystical. In adulthood too I’ve done some pretty cool stuff, I’ve been lucky enough too live in some beautiful places overseas, I’ve seen some great European cities, a little of Asia, met some amazing people and busked around Europe a couple of times in a battered old Veedub van. But no matter where I’ve been, no matter who I’ve met there’s been an undercurrent of fear, like a column of anxious energy from my gut to my throat, a permanent constriction in my chest that shuts me off from life. I know beyond doubt that an alternative exists, I felt Divine Spirit in Greece, there was no fear, no anxiety, no me.