10 years ago, I had a very strange experience that I can only describe as a kind of enlightenment. Until now, I’ve never put it into words and since that time, I have been searching for a way back to the place I had a small glimpse at. I haven’t really told many people about it, because, well, it’s always sounded a bit unbelievable, and, seeing as I’ve never met anyone else who has had the same thing happen to them, I suppose it’s hard for others to relate or understand what I try to describe.
Just the past few days the experience has come more to the front of my mind and I thought it was about time I got it down as a story, something to reflect on and see where I could go with it regarding PDA and self help. Why not put it out there I said to myself, so here goes.
10 years ago, my family came to stay with us here in my adopted country, New Zealand, Christchurch to be precise. They were considering a move here too and spent 6 months checking out jobs and lifestyle to see if they were compatible with being immigrants and starting a fresh life as I had just a few years before. Unfortunately, the close living did not end well and eventuated in a horrible ending and many years of non communication and heartbreak. I was devastated and very confused about what went wrong in our dynamic. I had always been the sibling who felt responsible for any wrong doing, I believed that it was my role to be the peacemaker and forgiveness always came easily to me. I was good at self reflection and saying sorry, but this time, something had shifted and I needed deeper answers. At this time, I had no experience or knowledge what so ever about mental health conditions, and certainly not autism. Just none. It was never talked about and it didn’t fall into my life or radar in any way shape or form. I was completely and utterly oblivious to the fact that others could have different ways of thinking or interpreting the world and the people around them. I actually thought that everyone thought the same and that those with mental illness, were the same, just ill. I honestly had no clue that people thought in different ways. I was 36 years old.
I was always very understanding of others, and could easily see things from their point of view, or have deep empathy for them and their troubles. I was always very drawn to others who had unfortunate upbringings or sadness in their lives. As a young child, I always had friends who had deep troubles, I was drawn to them and them to me. I always knew I could help them to feel better. But I just did not realize that people could have brains that were neurologically wired differently. Just didn’t know it.
One day, around the time that I was grieving for the loss of the very important relationship, my attention was called to a murder case that was in the news at that time. It was the first time I had heard the words narcissistic personality disorder and I remember being blown away at the profile of this man and shocking bells began to ring around the fact that this man could show no empathy. I now know I was wrong, but at the time, the realization that people could feel no empathy hit me like a ton of bricks and I put two and tow together and came up with, well, a lot of information that suddenly catapulted me from pretty sheltered, to very interested in the mind and all that comes with it.
I read, and googled and googled and read. I wrote pages and pages of notes and comparisons and soon I was caught up in an amazing learning spiral about why people did what they did. My main mission of course, was to somehow make sense of the pain I was in from losing the one person I loved the most in the world.
During this learning frenzy, I barley slept. I would wake in the night with massive ideas and mind blowing realizations. I would just have to write it all down. Questions, answers, ideas, letters. Something huge was at work and I didn’t know how to slow down. Then one day, as I was driving along in my car, not far from my house, I had, what I can only describe as an epiphany. It was kind of like a light switched on and a veil went up. Everything actually looked brighter. Everything looked clearer. Like an acid trip.
The thing I realized was this.
Everyone is living in response to someone else. Every reaction or response between two or more people, is a combined, joined expression. That we have the ability to change an outcome by seeing the person at their core as a joined core, as apposed to a separate entity who you either like or don’t like. That we have the ability to like who we think we don’t like, if we see deeper into them and through our own reactions, which are really just layers that we need to get through. That life, is about loving the other person no matter what the circumstances and that it is totally possible to do this.
It was as if the universe said to me YES! You got it! I will reward you with a glimpse of how things can be on this higher ground. Over the coming weeks, I felt like I was floating. Everything remained bright. But not only that, I could remember strings of numbers, where before I would be just awful at maths. I no longer needed to write things down to remember them, I was able to hold so much more in my memory. I felt different. The world was different. Everyone I looked at seemed to be my friend. I talked to people I would have previously walked by. It was such a surreal and wondrous time.
When I tried to explain it to my husband, he was very supportive, he knew that I was different. Others told me it was an age thing, but I knew it was more than that. I wanted to keep this feeling forever.
But as time went by, the curtain began to come back down. The lights started to dim and the cloud drifted back over. I kept trying to recall the feeling of enlightenment, of the joyous place I had been gifted and shown. But it never came back.
Looking back, 10 years on, I can see how I have lived differently since that time. I always carry the knowledge that I have the power to choose how I move forward with any difficult interaction. I think in the years that followed, and the 5 years or so of difficulties we have had with my girls PDA and OCD combo, that I have been able to improve and move through hardships and confrontations in a more spiritual way. I truly believe that our PDA children push us to see the heart of their beings, and our own as we have to move through the layers of life and human interaction on the journey’s that PDA take us.
It was indeed some sad stories of late that I have read from parents, about not being heard, believed or supported that prompted me to think about my funny time 10 years ago and the things I have learnt along the way. It can be one of the most hurtful and painful things ever, to stand in front of strangers and ask for help, only to be put down, turned away, or worse blamed for the troubles you seek answers and support for. I really do understand what it feels like to be there. In an ideal world, these situations should never ever come up, no one should be a stranger. But they do because humans are not seeing the core, the soul, the person, the connection, the vulnerability, the truth. They are protecting their own core, not realizing that their core, is your core and that there is a brighter place to rise to. By practicing the art of seeing each other, we should, in theory be able to free ourselves from these reoccurring places where we all feel hurt, unheard, unseen, frightened, scared, angry, gutted. We can do this by starting with ourselves and seeing more clearly, whats really going on and what’s really possible. My reaction, is my reaction. I have the choice to take my reaction wherever I want it to go, until it meets the person I am reacting to and a unity is met and understood.
I hope I have captured what I wanted to say in this post. It’s so very hard to put fully into words. But I can promise, there is a better place. I was privileged to have a small glimpse and I will forever be seeking to get back there, by doing and being the very best of myself that I can. By learning the lessons I need to and sharing them on into the wide world web to those who are meant to hear me. xx
Bit of a personal one today. Thanks for reading . LOVE PDA. xx