How Dr. Gabor Maté F&*ked Me Up. How I Wanted To Die. How Parts Of Me Did & How I Am Forever Grateful.

I want to begin this blog by quoting a passage from Neile Donald Walsch’s, A Conversation with God.

The Beginning of God. The end is action. Action is God creating or God Experienced. We make real that to which we pay attention. The Master knows this. The Master places himself at choice with regards to that which she chooses to make real. There is no coincidence, and nothing happens “by accident.” Each event and adventure is called to your “self” by your “self” in order that you might create and experience who you really are. All that is required is to know this. For you are the creator of your own reality, and life can show up in no other way in which you think it will.”

This quote really rang true after I was in a car accident on November, 11th, 2015. Remembrance Day. The last day I wrote a new blog (until now). I believe that the only way I will move past this writers block is if I try to express what occurred in my life so I can move on and write with ease.

Many people have observed my life experiences and commented on the continuous synchronicity that presents itself on my journey. One thing I believe more than anything is that there is no such thing as coincidence and that nothing would prepare me for the shift in consciousness that occurred after that day. I walked away from the accident physically unharmed, but I am confident in saying that a part of me died that day, and it was necessary.

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As I was entering the intersection on a green light a woman entered on my left and had no intentions of stopping. Seeing her from the corner of my eye I hit the breaks and she took out the front of my car. I was in shock, especially when I thought she was driving away. She started leaving the scene and foolish me started following her (something you should never do). Pulling over to the side of the road she got out of her car and the first thing I asked her was, “Do you make a habit of running red lights?” Then the fear in her eyes melted my anger and I followed with, “Are you okay?” and hugged her.

After the police arrived and took all our information my car was towed and I went home and informed my family of the accident. I thought I was okay, but I wasn’t. The strangest thing happened to me that ended up sinking me into the one of the deepest depressions I have ever faced (that is saying really saying something).

As if the car had jolted me out of my body, I no longer felt like I was connected to it. The experience was as if I was floating above my body observing everything, everyone, and I was really confused.

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Like I suggested in the first half of this blog, I don’t believe in coincidence and the things that occurred over the next few weeks I felt on a level unprecedented to any previous experience in my life.

I took some time off work to recover both physically and mentally from the accident and although I was feeling depressed, I didn’t tell anyone. One day I got an email from my birth dad, who was the volunteer editor of my blogs and someone who is a huge part of my life (as you might have read in my adoption story blog) except this email came out of nowhere and totally took me off guard. It ignited anger in me that I didn’t even know I had.

As I share this story please let me state upfront that this personal experience is not to hurt anyone’s feelings, it is about my experience from my own heart and life perspective, and I think it is really important for other adoptees out there to know they are not crazy if they relate to the feelings I am about to share, and, that they are not alone.

Everyone in life does the best they can with what they are given, but what occurred in my life next unravelled a very intense pattern that was controlling so much of how I moved about the world.

My whole life has been a gift (a miracle actually) but it was only after this experience that I allowed myself time to feel the deep, deep, sadness that lived in my body. I had never allowed this before because I convinced myself that if I did, I was ungrateful.

When I moved here in August of 2014, it was birth sister that brought me to Northern Alberta. I had never lived in the same place as my sister and everything about it was super cool. She got me a job at her work and lent me the money to start my life over in a new city on the other side of Canada. I will forever be grateful.

As we hung out and had a blast together, loving the same food, clothes and music (genetics is cool), I shared my life with her. The problem was, we had never learned how to be “sisters” and when I spoke to her I spoke to her like a “friend” but in the end she is my sister. Why is that important? With friends we rant about the things in our lives that are bothering us, like our boyfriends. Mine at the time was struggling and I was struggling to help him. So I did what I usually did with my girlfriends and I complained, but instead of doing what my friends would do, which is let me vent and know that I have the answers within, she did exactly what any caring concerned sister would do, she shared all my experiences with my birth parents.

I don’t blame her for this, she was only worried about me but I had no idea it was happening. 

Since my sister had been getting to know me she noticed a particular personality trait, I rarely expressed anger. In situations that I “should” have been angry, “I wasn’t.” She continually questioned me about it and I just responded that, “It was very rare to witness me angry and if you did, you would to unsee it, it’s freaky!”

The truth was, I didn’t really know how to get angry, and when I did, it scared the shit out of me and anyone who bare witness to it.

One evening I had an argument with my birth family. I was furious, staring at the email that triggered the fight, on the phone with my birth mom and sister expressing my frustration, but I for some reason couldn’t bring myself to talk to my dad. I hated feeling angry and I had no idea what to do with myself or how to filter the emotions that were pulsing through my veins.201503-omag-anger-1-949x534

My friend Michelle text me in that moment and asked, “Are you coming to see Dr. Gabour Mate speak this evening?”

I knew I needed to get away from the anger and the situation so I agreed, but I had no idea who this guy was that everyone was making such a big fuss over. Little did I know what I was in for.

Arriving at the presentation I made my way over to the table of books for sale. As I glanced over the titles my eyes became locked on a book I knew very well, “When the Body Says No!” I picked it up, “Oh my God,” I said to my friend, “I have been recommending this book for years ,since I first read it in 2009, but I had no idea who wrote it.”

The book was the first book that backed up with science what I knew my soul, that our thoughts and experiences manifested in our bodies creating illness and imbalance. Knowing that Dr. Gabour Mate wrote this book I realized it was no coincidence I was there. I knew I needed to pay attention.

Sitting front row centre Dr. Mate began his presentation. This soft spoken, relaxed individual (no power point) with his insight and extensive knowledge, stood in front of me and rocked my soul to the core.

The presentation covered many different areas but the main point was, Attachment parenting and inter-generational trauma.

“Women who are stressed in their pregnancy they have high levels of cortisone in their placenta. Any woman that has to give up their baby for adoption is a very stressed woman. For nine months that environment affects the baby.

We have this crazy idea that children don’t remember. The heck they don’t. They don’t recall it, but they remember it.

There are two kinds of memory. There is explicit memory, which is recall memory. The structure in the brain that recalls does not development until you are 18 months of age. The other kind of memory is implicit memory which is there from birth. Implicit memory is the emotional impact of early experiences for which there is no recall but if something similar in the present happens the emotions come back and you think you are reacting to the present but you are actually reacting to the past.”

  • Dr. Gabor Mate, Attachment & Brain Development Presentation

 

Every word that Dr. Mate spoke made my stomach churn. It wasn’t just the email I was angry about, it was something much more. The truth he spoke I understood yet it was the first time anyone ever put it into context and then validated these feelings with science.

I got up from the presentation and drove home in a daze. Upon returning home I lay in bed and felt something so intense I almost didn’t survive it. The Primal Wound.

I began crying and I continue crying for four days. I almost didn’t let myself “go there” because I felt ridiculous on an ego level. I would hear my mind say,  “I’m 38 years old and I’m crying over being adopted, now?” I resisted the resistance and knew it was necessary, so I let myself cry. I saw the pattern in everything. My relationships, my choices, my lack of feeling anger (or allowing myself to feel it), the constant identity struggle of never feeling like I belonged; the list went on and on.

I called my adoptive mother in tears (embarrassed for the tears). From her nursing home bed she admitted to me that she knew this day would come. “Honey, the bomb was eventually going to go off. I could see it building up over the years but you refused to admit it bothered you. You acted like the perfect adopted child, never wanting to hurt anyone.”

Amongst all this grief I told my birth mother I didn’t want her to come to my home in Grande Prairie anymore, as she was set to fly here to help me with my son while I went on a trip. I cancelled the business trip and went deeper into my grief. I pushed her away so I wouldn’t feel abandoned (something I had repeated in my life for years) but my birth mother did something so amazing, so beautiful, so meaningful and something I needed more than ever. She didn’t listen to me and flew across the country anyway and faced her angry, sad and confused daughter. I can’t even imagine what that was like for her, seeing me in that kind of condition and knowing I was having strong feelings about being adopted in my 38th year of life. She came to me in my hour of need, something she couldn’t do when I was a baby. She continued to love me despite the rage, and for that I will be forever grateful because the truth was, the feelings were so intense that I wanted to die and needed to be put on an anti-psychotic drug just to bring me back to reality (whatever reality truly is).

I don’t blame my parents, I really don’t. Like I said, they did the best they could with the circumstances they were dealt with and the more I got to understand generational trauma the more I could see that this pattern had been going on in our family for a really long time.

My birth dad was abandoned by his father who left  his mother at the altar while she was pregnant with him. She then had to leave him and go into a nursing home due to her schizophrenia and he was raised by a neighbour. My grandmother, who carried and raised my birth mother, was also adopted and was told her entire life, by her emotionally abusive adoptive mother, that if she was not good and behaved properly she would be sent back to the orphanage. I can’t even imagine the affect that had on a child let alone the primal wound she felt from the loss of her biological mother. Then my mother who had me at age 22 was shamed into giving me up for adoption. I then grew up and attracted a man who I have a child with who then abandoned his child left me alone to raise him. I was beginning to see that all of this was no coincidence and that maybe I was the first one to begin the generational healing of this trauma.

I began researching and I learned a tremendous amount about I was experiencing. Some highlights include Vicki M. Rumming’s essay,  Adoption: Trauma that Last a Lifetime, where she highlights:

The adoptee will always carry this issue of abandonment with her wherever she goes. It is no different from when a husband leaves a wife. She may remarry to a wonderful man, but will always wonder if her new husband is also going to leave her. She must work through the abandonment issue to regain trust. The abandonment issue has to be acknowledged, before it can be resolved.” (Vicki M. Rummig 1996) 

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Then I read the book The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier, a book I think all people involved in an adoption should read, Nancy states:

“Many doctors and psychologists now understand that bonding doesn’t begin at birth, but is a continuum of physiological, psychological, and spiritual events which begin in utero and continue throughout the postnatal bonding period. When this natural evolution is interrupted by a postnatal separation from the biological mother, the resultant experience of abandonment and loss is indelibly imprinted upon the unconscious minds of these children, causing that which I call the “primal wound.” (Verrier, 1993, p. 1)

Then further into Vicki M. Rumming’s essay she captured the feelings I had throughout my entire life when I went to Sunday dinners with my adoptive family. I loved everyone, and they loved me, but I was always very aware of how different I was from the family. They had such similar genetic traits and their personalities were so similar. Then when I met my birth family, they welcomed me with open arms and it was wonderful but as I watched their family that grew up without me I was again in a situation where I felt as if I were on the outside looking in. Vicki really highlights this experience in this paragraph:

“As the adoptee begins to become aware of her adoptee status she will notice the differences she has from her peers and other family members. I noticed in my family that I did not have the nose or ears of any of my adoptive family. This is normal for an adoptee and can make her feel left out or misplaced in her family. A particularly tough time for the adoptee is when first learning about genetics in school. The first lesson in heredity and genetics usually is regarding eye color. If the adoptees’ own eyes do not fall into the proper genetic pattern she is left with a distinct feeling of not belonging. There are many instances in growing up when she is again faced with the knowledge that she is different; when asked about family history by a doctor, when asked if she has a sister because the inquirer knows someone who looks just like her, when asked about ethnic background, in regular day to day conversations.

Physical differences are not the only ones that are noticed. A difference in personality or talents may further misplace the adoptee from her family. In talking with other adoptees, I have described this feeling as “feeling like my adoptive family is in a big circle but I am on the outside looking in.” (Vicki M. Rummig 1996)

Thankfully, I eventually got through the depression but the transformation of consciousness was so immense that I was at a loss for words and have not written a new blog in ten months. I think I needed time to heal, to love myself and to know that it’s okay to feel pain, that it doesn’t mean I am ungrateful. Now I am in a better place not only for myself but for my son, and for his children. I truly do feel like a different person and it feels amazing.

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I will close this story by telling you that I don’t think I ended up at Dr. Gabor Mate’s presentation by mistake. A side story is that after I allowed myself to cry for four days I returned to work. Standing in my office I looked at the itinerary to the conference I had to attend in Edmonton and laughed out loud when I saw that the keynote presenter was none other than Dr. Mate. I thought the Universe was playing some sick joke on me.

When I arrived at the conference I told my friend that I wish I could have the opportunity to tell Dr. Mate that he needs to have a disclaimer before his presentations and that we are all in danger of opening the Primal Wound and becoming really “F*@ked Up!”

I am not kidding you, ten minutes later we were standing in front of a restaurant about to make a reservation and there were no people around. I felt someone standing beside me when my friend elbowed me in the side and gestured with her eyes. I turned around and there he was, Dr. Mate in all his glory.

“Dr. Mate,” I spoke excitedly, “I have been really wanting to speak with you. I was at your presentation last week in Grande Prairie. I need to tell you that your presentation needs a disclaimer. I was really grieving afterwards.” I laughed because I was so happy to see him.

He smiled and asked, “Did you let yourself grieve?”

“I did,” I responded, “and I am still. I feel as if  you changed my life and I will be forever grateful.”

 

2 thoughts on “How Dr. Gabor Maté F&*ked Me Up. How I Wanted To Die. How Parts Of Me Did & How I Am Forever Grateful.

  1. Wow Cara,
    Just found out about your blog & podcasts today, so here I am. I wish I had really known you when we were younger, but alas I wasn’t then who I am now either. Stopping by today is no accident I’m sure, I now know I needed to find out about ‘when the body says No!’. Thank you for sharing your darkness and light Cara.
    Colleen (MacKenzie) Colville

    1. Thank you so much Colleen, you are going to love the book! Dr. Mate is incredible:) Like I said before in my blogs, there is no such things as an accident:) Glad you stopped by and I hope you will stay:) Much love and light to you my friend!

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