*’HEIDI’ WAS MY BIBLE – THE MOUNTAIN RAISED MY SOUL

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Link to post:

+IN THE EPIC OF MY ABUSIVE CHILDHOOD THE MOUNTAIN RAISED MY SOUL

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I have been doing a lot of pondering about my writing over these past few days.  It seems that it’s the same $250 to apply for ISBN numbers if for one or ten book titles.  I believe I can publish the first title simply on Amazon.com’s Kindle and hopefully generate some capital to publish in print.

I know of two people in town whose cancer is back.  If doing this writing, and publishing it is connected to my life’s mission, I am becoming less and less comfortable with putting this off.

So, that’s about it for the moment.  I am preparing to spend my Mother’s Day outside working some more on my yard projects.  That means I will also be continuing to think about all of this.  What I wanted to mention here today is that I am thinking about a title for a collection of essays at some point that will be directly about the ‘rupture and repair’ aspects of attachment.

That thinking brought me face-to-face with a thought I’ve never considered in this light before.  While I’ve suspected for a long time is that my attachment to Alaska and to our mountain homestead kept alive and exercised my body-brain’s attachment-related circuitry (so that I could later form at least a skeleton of attachment with people in my life).

What struck me this morning is that our pattern of moving up and down the mountain, on and off of the homestead, was probably VERY helpful to me.  While our family was off of the mountain homestead, I grieved for it.  I had such a powerful emotional connection with that place that I thought I would die if I could not go back to it.

As soon as I could read it, this book became my personal bible because it contained what I saw as the story of my childhood:  Heidi by Johanna Spyri, Scott McKowen.

Even though I never had the thoughts, feelings or words to consider anything about the abuse I endured, I DID understand love for the land and for the place that was home to my soul.

But this morning it came to me that because of the coming and going I was able to expand the operation of my body-brain-mind-self’s attachment related circuitry specifically BECAUSE of these continual patterns of ‘rupture and repair’ that our family’s moves created.

These patterns of rupture and repair – of being there, of leaving there, of my sadness of grief in my absence from the mountain, of my hopes in returning, of my deepest fears that we might not, and my joyful bliss when we did return,  all led to exercising my attachment circuitry so that it could grow into a part of me.  Certainly no HUMAN relationship offered me that opportunity!

As I think about these processes and about my new discovery, I am understanding that it isn’t JUST having safe and secure attachment to people that matters.  In the absence of any safe and secure attachment to humans, children can substitute attachment to pets and to place.  If I were to find the simplest words to describe my relationship with our family’s homestead and the place of that mountain valley, I would say:

“I was at home there in the soul of the world.”

Leaving that place and returning to it allowed me to grow myself as I grew into attachment to something outside of myself.  The whole process became a part of me so that when I finally had to leave that place for good, I took with me the good of that place and my relationship with it.

Had we simply found the land and stayed there without interruption, the rupture and repair patterns that form the bedrock of safe and secure attachment would not have built themselves into me.  Otherwise, as is the reality of unsafe and insecure attachment patterns, I would have been left with nothing but rupture without repair in my life because I would have taken for granted my relationship with that mountain place.

And I experienced the experience of ‘feeling felt’ in seeing my own heart reflected back to me in the story of Heidi.  Of course, this fictional character had human relationships of love.  But as the story makes very clear, it was not a permanent absence from these people she was attached to that mattered most.  It was clear in the story that it was THE MOUNTAIN that was her life.  Being taken away from the mountain (rupture) and not being able to return (for repair) made her sick.  She was dying so the adults brought her back home – and she thrived.

I’m not sure that there has ever been a child alive who could have known the essential truth within that book the way that I did.  My parallel story of rupture and return to that mountain DID save my life.  I am sure of it.  And through that ‘salvation’ I received I was able to raise my children with as much love as I can muster and without abuse.

Being able to experience the kind of love I had for the homestead AND being able to experience the kind of longing I felt in my absence from it AND being able to experience reunion like a securely attached one-year-old infant will feel when it returns to the safety of its loving mother’s lap is a major part of how I am who I am today.  In the epic of my childhood with my mother, whatever took her to that most sacred place enabled me to survive her abuse with a dignity, magnanimity and goodness that I don’t think I would have otherwise known.

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