Door to the Beyond

Breaking the Blame and Shame Game

This month, I take you through the Door into my past – and, gods willing, your present and future.

I happen to be one of those people who tells anyone who seems interested about who I am and how I got here.  You probably know that already from reading this article.

At some point in my childhood, my mother revealed herself to my father as being crazy.  He took her to the doctor (after patching the walls where the pots and pans struck them after missing him), and the doctor’s reasoned suggestion was, “throw her in the State Hospital and lose the key.”  (My mother told me about this just a few years ago, the first time she had ever admitted this imperfection.)  My father refused to do so, and so I grew up with my mother – diagnosed, but untreated.  She refuses psychiatric medications to this day – and perhaps that is where I got my stubbornness on this issue.

But while I was growing up, my mother’s “condition” caused her to pass a wide variety of mixed messages to me and my brother.  To be blunt, I never knew what was “good” and what was “bad”, and from about the age of 5 I was spanked for being “bad” when my father got home.

There are few things more disempowering to a young child than being beaten without knowing what you did wrong.  I tried and tried and tried to be “good”, only to get spanked again.  After a while, perversity set in.  It was much easier to determine what was “bad” than what was “good” (or “not bad”).  I was going to get a spanking anyhow, so I might as well do something so that I “deserved it”.

I got just as many spankings.  But I thought I didn’t feel so bad about it, because I deserved it now.

Later, as I got older, kids started picking on me.  My parents discouraged physical violence (unless they did it to me), so I was told not to fight back.  Most of the abuse was verbal.  So I did what I was trained to do – I started picking on myself.  I told myself, “It won’t hurt so much if I know what they’re going to say and say it first.”

You know what?  It took me a lot of years but, as you’ve read in my articles, I finally figured out that all I was doing was training myself to curse myself.  The hardest thing to do that started my recovery was the easiest – stop putting myself down.  No matter where the abuse comes from, it hurts.  In fact, coming from myself, the abuse had a direct channel to my Younger Self, or subconscious mind, so it likely hurt me more than if it came from someone else.

All of this came back to me the other night as I was reading one of the Great Books of Our Time, Rob Brezsny’s Pronoia (How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings).  On page 253, he gave me the codification of my Next Step in Recovery.

Say these words with me, or by yourself.

I will never again cast a curse on myself.

Being Pagan, most of us know that true Words of Power must be said three times, with intent.

I will never again cast a curse on myself.

I will never again cast a curse on myself.

There.  Feeling better now?  I sure am.

Rob included a poem shortly after this magickal statement.  I suggest you read it aloud, dedicating it to yourself:

I love my strange beauty and amazing pain

I love my hungry soul and entertaining games

I love my flaws, my gaps, my fears

I love my mysterious, dazzling frontiers

I will never forsake, betray, or deceive myself

I will always adore, forgive, and believe in myself

I will never refuse, abandon, or scorn myself

I will always amuse, delight, and redeem myself

Beauty and truth and love will always find me

Chaos and wilderness will always sustain me

I’m the fire and water and earth and air that are forever fresh from eternity

I’m a perfect creation and everything alive is naturally in love with me

So mote it be.

Until we come to this Door again next month,