I believe that we are energy. I believe energy is our source (which we entitled God and mistakenly believed was outside ourselves.) I believe We are God. You are. I am. Everybody is. I believe that you can learn about how our energy works and improve the quality of the lessons we are faced with in life. Through reading Anodea Judith, I learned that personal growth can come either “top down” or intellectually through a crown chakra that was encouraged to be open during childhood or “bottom up” or through energy or physical methods through a root chakra that is nurtured and encouraged to be open. The minute I heard about these possibilities, I knew I was a “top down.” According to Judith’s theory, my root chakra took a hit being born prematurely and living in an incubator before I even met my parents, but my crown chakra, which is about spirituality and religion, was given only one real rule and boundary.
God is love.
My parents belonged to the Christian Science church, but they never attended. I only attended Sunday School there for one year. Other than that, my Sunday church was usually spent outside in the sun. I realized when my mother took to her death bed, my parents really hadn’t done any due diligence on their choice of religion because it seemed they didn’t know very much about it. My mother had received weekly teachings by mail but routinely failed the Albert Einstein test of being able to explain it to someone else when I would ask anything about it.
In 2008 my mother had a stroke. Her style of Christian Science didn’t look too much different from denial. I was out of town when it happened and returned home to that answering machine message. The one where someone in your family has had something that has forever changed them and you are hearing about it days later. I had been on vacation in Vegas. I had a cell phone with me. My father never called it. The word “stroke” was cautiously whispered while I was informed the my mother believed she only fell. She no longer could straighten her left arm fully, but it was only a fall. My cousin, who lived about 1 block away from my parents, did receive a call and was present when the paramedics arrived. According to my cousin, my mother said the one thing, whatever that is, that ties a paramedics hands and requires them to leave you, untreated, where they found you.
The first thing I did when I got back from Vegas was buy a new bed for my mother. Then my father and my significant other/aka fellow I worked with at the time, moved my mother downstairs into my old bedroom. The only time she left it was two years later when she died. She never received any treatment other than a Christian Science Practitioner who would come to the house every week or so. When she was coherent, which seemed a little less than half the time, she would tell the Practitioner how people were telling her she had had a stroke. Said in tones of course, suggesting that the people telling her she had had a stroke WERE the root of all of her problems.
I grew up familiar with the concept that our reality was not necessarily real even if I wasn’t quite onboard with my mother’s waved hand while she said “None of this is real. It’s all just an illusion.” Things felt pretty solid for not being real. It certainly didn’t feel like we were causing or had ordered up a stroke. We simply witnessed the outcome and labeled it.
After my mother died, my father studied Christian Science in huge hand and mouthfuls. He took a class with the practitioner, almost continuing on to become a practitioner. He filled his iPad with Spinoza and other philosophers I had never heard of before and talked about almost nothing else. The next thing I knew he had a stroke.
I felt like a sleeper cell who had been called into action.
Most of the things I had been terrified about while picturing that day did not come to fruition. Unlike my mother, my father didn’t fight the paramedics and I watched him arrive by ambulance to the hospital. I didn’t have to explain a murder/suicide. No one asked me “to put them out of their misery” or kill them. I didn’t have to beg my dad to be treated. None of those fears happened, while things I hadn’t thought about did.
My father’s body was not frozen from the stroke, but his brain took a hit. His memory was all over the place and sometimes he couldn’t think of what word he wanted to say. Sometimes he simply said “Sine-aid” instead. I’d lived a life where I didn’t feel like I had very many rights on my parents front and now got treated to a lecture from the staff at the Rehab Center he went to about how HE had rights. That happened because I wanted to meet with them privately to discuss his future. I wanted to meet privately because I was terrified what he might do or say at that meeting. Instead he was wheeled in, looking almost triumphant and grinning. I was gutted, but tried to sit calmly and not look like as if life had handed me a turd.
I don’t think the meeting really came out any differently than it would have anyway.
We brought him back home outside of Calistoga where he lived with his yellow lab Archie. I arranged for caregivers to come in for about four hours every week day. I tried to visit him every weekend.
It wasn’t easy.
I hated being there most of the time. After he died, I learned the notion that I had been self perpetuating his attitude on my own end. Or, when someone shows you how bad they can be, you can end up only being able to see them in those terms. I only realized I had done a bit of that in hindsight, but I also had quite a bit of head wind.
His doctor, as a Christian Scientist he had never had one of those before, diagnosed him as having dementia due to the stroke. The diagnosis caused an immediate revocation of his driver’s license. I was glad for the letter informing him that was the case because until I showed him that, I was always the bad guy who wouldn’t let him drive.
HIs memory was so scattered I was afraid he would wake up one morning and drive to his old place of employment, Mare Island, which was a 40 minute drive that had changed significantly since the last time he had driven it more than 20 years prior. As usual, my fears were unfounded, but at the same time he did drive by himself several times, or so he claimed. While he was still at the Rehab Center, I had tried to confiscate all of his guns. (Growing up there was at least one in every room in the house and I was always supposed to assume they were loaded.) I never could prove whether he drove the car or not, but he shot a heron with a gun he had successfully hidden from me.. He didn’t just claim to shoot the bird, a caregiver, one of his best incidentally, was standing next to him on the porch when he did it and ended up quitting for the same reason. Friends and romantic partners thought my father was hysterical. I thought he was a nightmare and wondered why everything just had to be so hard.
He started getting constipation problems from his various medications. I brought him some sort of medicine for it on the weekend and by Monday, he wanted me to get him some more. I read the instructions on the medicine he already had and told him he hadn’t given it time to work yet. I said if it didn’t work then I would get him some more, but give it a chance to work.
He said, “So it’s like that then?”
Eerily, I heard the sentence underneath which was something like “you’re leaving me to die then?”
Nothing different than good old co-dependent guilt dished up and served.
“Yes. it’s like that then.”
The next weekend at some point he delivered a line that he was dying, but it was said very non emotionally. Quietly. Matter of factly. The truth is I don’t think it was a month later that a caregiver called and said he wasn’t doing very well and she was going to call for an ambulance. I never really even understood what was wrong with him during that last trip to the hospital. I think the medications had caused a bleeding ulcer, but truthfully the way he ate aspirin all of his life, I’d be surprised if he hadn’t already had an undiagnosed one. I visited him at the hospital, an Adventist hospital in Angwin. At one point I stood outside on a large veranda and marveled at the view. I’d lived in the Napa Valley since I was three years old, but it took my father’s death to see one of the most extraordinarily beautiful views. While I looked at it, I mostly thought about how lucky my father was to be at a hospital where he could witness THAT view from his window rather than look at a city street or a brick wall.
The last time I saw my father was at the convalescent hospital they sent him to afterwards. He has written his roommates name and address down on a piece of paper and wants to keep in touch when they get release. He looks small, like a little boy watching tv, when I leave the room. Somewhere in the middle of the night, around 4 am, an attendant called. She was so shy about what she was saying I had to ask her point blank if she meant my father had died.
I always got hurt by my parents because I had long ago learned that they were hurtful and I just couldn’t see them any other way. I couldn’t even imagine there was another way to see them. My energy, whether it was in response originally to their energy, now called their energy to respond. I see that now.
My mother used to throw out cereal a little too early for my father’s tastes. She was afraid of bugs. He said, “It’s like you’re LOOKING for bugs.”
What you look for, you tend to see.
A couple of years back I attended a Mardi Gras BBQ up in Calistoga. One high school friend had invited me and I ran into several others. I don’t want mention names because there literally is no point in doing so. One of the people was the brother of a high school friend who had died. As I talked with he and one of his sisters who was also at the event, I suddenly realized a couple of things.
First, the sister received me fondly. She was friendly and sweet and clearly enjoying the nostalgia. Second, the brother might as well have hated me. It was clear that, despite the fact I hadn’t seen my friend for more than ten years prior to her death, her brother thought I should have done something more than I had. (Essentially I had done nothing as I had heard about everything after the fact and hadn’t seen the family in even longer than it had been for the friend.) I was friends with the brother on Facebook and I had never sensed anything, but in person, it was clear he thought I was a pretty bad and selfish person. I chose to keep my distance.
About a year after that, the brother posted a “We Fund” campaign on Facebook for his daughter. She wanted to travel to Europe or some place as part of a school choir or sporting event. I like contributing to that sort of fund and I hurried over there. I’m sure I thought I could make up for the slight by helping my friend’s niece.
The campaign wouldn’t take my money.
Remember I said I liked to give to that sort of fund. I’ve contributed before, but that campaign wouldn’t take my money. I think I even found another campaign, a similar one benefitting a complete stranger, and donated just to prove it could work. I’m pretty sure I did. After I had tried about three times, I shyly contacted the brother and told him that something wasn’t working in the link. I told him it wouldn’t let me donate.
“It took MY money.” He said.
I tried one more time after that in case it had been broken and his donation had signaled it was working again. Energy is a really amazing thing. I don’t think he specified, don’t take money from this woman and named me or anything, but I think his energy blocked that money. I almost wish I had sent a friend who didn’t know anything about the family to the link and had them donate. I’m betting it still wouldn’t have worked. I think his energy blocked that money because he didn’t want anything to do with me, even if it could benefit his daughter.
My path has become a two fold one. First, to learn to never block any beneficial things heading my way with my own negative energy. Second, to not see that others have done just that.
To see it, to recognize its existence, is to perpetuate its existence.
What you look for, you tend to see.