As a young child, I recall being told of an old woman who was staying in the small bedroom upstairs. I didn't know who she was, or at least don't remember being told her name or her relationship to me. I couldn't understand why she stayed in the room and why I was never allowed in. At some point she died and I vaguely sensed the grief and sadness that followed, and how my mother cried. From that day to just recently I had lived with the assumption that she was my #grandmother (mum's mum). It turns out she wasn't. She was my #great #grandmother! It makes it even more poignant to realise that I never knew either of these women. Not even their names. What I do now know is that my great grandmother was consigned to a small bedroom and no one was allowed to talk about it. Meanwhile my grandmother had apparently been admitted to an asylum hospital sometime prior to this due to symptoms relating to 'the change' (menopause) and never came out. I had an uncle who was also admitted to the same asylum hospital due to alleged schizophrenia. Yet still such subjects were taboo in my family. We just didn't speak about the idea of family being considered mad, lunatic, simple or any of the other labels that were more commonly used during the 60's and 70's. To admit that a member of the family had been sectioned for things like that was off limits.
We were never a close knit family and I never felt I fitted in. #Emotions were never encouraged to be expressed, other than the loud bellowing from my father toward my mother or the sound of a sibling being smacked. I know there were some good moments too, but not enough. Nowhere near enough. I remember being around 12 or 13 years old and looking out of the same small bedroom window feeling like I needed to be somewhere else. By the time I was 14 I had found religion. Honest to god, praise the lord, hallelujah glad-hands, pentecostal born-again religion. At the time it felt like a breath of fresh air - finally somebody loved me for who I was. It really helped me through my early teenage years but at 17 I finally packed my bags and left home for good, leaving a brief note to my parents. Today there'd be a country-wide search for a missing teenager. Back then it wasn't particularly a big deal. Fast forward a couple of decades and I was disillusioned with my personal life. Aside from my children, my marriage was on the rocks and I was finding religion to be like a choke-hold with its patriarchal judgements. I then found the love of my life and we embarked on an affair. The church formally sacked me from the community, citing an affair as a sin that cannot be forgiven. So much for religious tolerance! So I finally turned my back on religious dogma once and for all and began my exploration of my true #spiritual nature.
Forward again to the first decade of the 21st century and my mother died from dementia/alzheimers. One of her sisters had parkinson's disease. My father has since visited through a medium to say he didn't understand me as a child as I was not what he expected from a girl - no shit sherlock!! To say that my #maternal #ancestory is littered with sadness, untold #secrets and god knows what else would be understating the case. But this #story needs to be told. It needs to be aired, brought out of the cupboard of #history and given the time to be acknowledged and healed. For it is true that souls carry things through the family line, bearing the torch for certain things, and that this continues until the cycle is finally broken and #healed. My maternal timeline actually bears witness to the deep burden carried throughout time by women. Women being silenced. Women being sectioned for having the menopause - for being women! Women being told to shut up. Women being subjugated by male doctrine. Women not being understood. Women having #spiritual #awareness that is so profound as to be considered a mental issue. Even my uncle carried the torch for a while it seems.
So now I'm no longer shamed into silence about my maternal timeline. I feel thankful, honoured and humbled by the burden they carried. In my work I am being told by spirit to 'find my voice', and this is a very personal way I can do that. Thankyou to all my maternal #ancestors. The #Divine #Feminine is finally finding her true voice and being heard. Blessings to you all.