Archive for the ‘Addiction’ Category

Bronte’s Inferno (Part II)

Monday, August 9th, 2010

(Continued from Bronte’s Inferno – Part I)

Accidental Medium PostFast Forward One Month.
Bronte is still integrating the knowledge that past life karma continues to play itself out in this life between her and the loved ones in her world.  I invite her and Tom over for dinner to see how it’s going. Little did I know that unfinished business from this life will present itself tonight.

“Uncle Tom” is roughhousing with the girls, doing their favorite most shriek-filled game. We have footprints above our heads thanks to Tom taking turns with the girls, walking them upside down on the ceiling.

Over the din, I hear that Bronte is embroiled in another family drama.  Sister stuff this time.  Bronte’s feeling as though she’s expected to step up and take care of things when she’s in no frame of mind, or position to do so.  I remind Bronte that families are there to teach us, and this is a test.

“Boundaries, baby, boundaries,” I tell her.  I know all too well that Pisces have boundary issues.  (But it’s also probably why I am such a clear channel – I easily cross the boundary between this and the other side).

Bronte goes into the details of her sister issue.
I see Bronte’s Mom come in behind her as she explains her immediate predicament with Sis.  Suddenly Bronte rockets out on another trajectory. She’s now talking about her family situation long ago, the sister issue suddenly left in the dust.

Bronte recalls caring for her second baby, her first child just out of diapers. As many Mom’s do, especially in the 80’s, Bronte went straight back to work. Marital problems were burbling in the background. The family bank account seemed to have a mysterious leak in it. They’d moved into her in-laws home to stem the flow and get the daily support of extended family. She knew her marriage was fraying at the seams but Bronte doggedly kept moving forward. Exhaustion, work and babies made it easier to ignore the signs.

“The last and only time I had one-on-one time with my Mum happened when she came to visit me when Trisha was a baby. It was about a year before Mum died. With all the kids in our family, I never got to be with Mum alone, in my whole life it seems, so this was really special. Having Mum all to myself. But I was so busy, so much going on. And it wasn’t long before Mum started asking for my brother who lived in the same city”.

Bronte continues, “At first, I kind of ignored it, telling Mum, her son was being the usual self-centered male, blissfully sowing his oats with total disregard for the rest of us.  But then Mum started getting really persistent and wanted to know when he was coming to see her.  I was getting really pissed off at my brother. Where the heck was he? Selfish son-of-a. Why didn’t he bother to return my calls? Show up?  Urrrgggghhhh.”

It’s at about this point, Bronte’s Mom starts shaking her head.
I’m not sure what that’s all about. I don’t say anything to Bronte – that her Mom is standing by her chair. I know any small interruption will shut Bronte down and we won’t get to the bottom of this.

Now Bronte is really getting agitated, thinking about the whole (past) situation. “I finally tracked down my brother and told him to get his behind over here and take over with Mum. She was so obviously bored here and wanted to be with him more than me. When my brother showed up at the door, my Mum was all ready to go.  As she’s leaving she says to my brother “TAKE ME OUT OF HERE, PLEASE!”

Bronte’s Mom is now shaking her head frantically. From her reaction to her daughter’s words, it’s apparent that this is not what happened at all.

Bronte is shaking her own head. “And that’s when I knew. That I really didn’t have any value.  My husband… and now even my Mum…And that’s when I started drinking. Seriously.’  Her words break into a deep, painful, breathless sob.

In all our times together, all the secrets and hurts she and I have shared, I have never seen Bronte cry. Not once. This is cathartic.

Bronte’s Mom looks at me pleadingly, “DO SOMETHING!!!”
So I leap out my chair, slip around the end of the dinner table and hold a sobbing Bronte in my arms. She’s a dead weight. A drippy dead weight.  The pain is pouring out of her and all over me, both energetically and hydrologic-ally. I look at Bronte’s Mom over her shoulder. She’s telling me telepathically what to do – To fill in for what she did when Bronte was a little girl in distress. I rub Bronte’s back in a big circle. I hold her tight, rock her gently, and soothe her with words. “It’s okay…”

Finally I whisper through my own tears, “That’s NOT what happened, Bronte.” Your Mom is here. She’s telling me that’s not what happened. It’s in your head. She was there because she knew it was bad. She wanted to help, but you cut her out. You didn’t want to talk, or confide in her. You were so busy. No time for her. And she was there for you – to lessen your load. She was so concerned about you. She KNEW your marriage was falling apart. She’s your Mother! She loved you! She loves you now!”

Bronte is gasping between sobs. Bronte’s Mom is now telling Bronte “I LOVE you Bronte. I would never ever do anything to hurt you. I LOVE your feistiness. I should have been more feisty. I am so glad you’re hearing the truth. You know it’s the truth.  It will help you with your writing. It will give you LEEEVerage with your writing.”

Bronte’s Mom repeats, “It will give you great LEEEVerage.”

Bronte starts laughing as she’s crying.

Her Mom doesn’t say ‘leverage’. She says ‘LEEEVERAGE’. Bronte now knows it’s her. “That’s exactly what Mum would say! She was Scottish:  She always mispronounced words like that!”

Bronte’s Mom is now doing this funny little dance – stamping her feet, pumping her little fists up and down. She’s so excited Bronte knows that it’s really her.  “Bronte, your Mom is doing this crazy little dance. I wish you could see it. It’s quite distinctive!”

Now Bronte is bawling. She really knows it’s her Mom.

“Mum had this silly little girl dance, with her fists clenched and stomping her feet. It was so funny!”

I’m laughing, “It IS funny!”

Bronte’s Mom says joyously, “She’s the first (family member) I’ve been able to get through to!”

Bronte gradually pulls herself together. The shift is palpable. Tom is silent, giving Bronte emotional room.  Frankly, I don’t think he knows what to do. Best to keep quiet.

Later that night I give Bronte a huge hug as she and Tom head out the door. “This was a biggie, Hon! You did it! It was a lie – in there, messing with your head all these years. And you cracked it open. Good Job!”

Bronte smiles weakly. She’s spent. Her footing a little unsure, Bronte holds on to Tom’s arm as they walk slowly towards his truck.

After our “session” I go to bed and pick up a book.
I’m exhausted but have the need to read anyway. I’m into the latest book by Colette Baron-Reid.  A highly skilled intuitive, Colette writes about getting a reading from her gifted medium friend John Holland.  Just so happens, at this juncture in the book John Holland channels Colette’s Mom – and the same thing happens. A belief Colette clung to for most of her life about her Mom turned out to be untrue. After that reading, Colette was basically off the radar for days, crying and trying to integrate what she’d learned. I have first-hand knowledge of this kind of shake down process, but it’s nice to hear it shared by another reputable source.

I email Bronte in the morning, asking her outright “So, how goes the shift?”

I continue, “I’ve been reading, and a passage reminded me to pass on this important detail.  There is a process, after a tightly held belief has been shattered, and it is a shake down process. (I relate Colette’s experience to Bronte).  It’s a reminder that you have to take the time to rewire and integrate what you have learned. It’s painful. But if you don’t, it will be much more painful.”

Bronte emails back later with her status thus far. “I’ve been shaken, baby! Cried a lot. But you know, it’s really hard to resist sticking the whole thing into a box I can understand. One thing prevents me from doing that–the word “leeeverage” That’s exactly how Mum would say that word and I realize there’s no way you could have known that.  And that crazy little girl dance…

“I feel ashamed of myself for doubting her.  She was too loving to hurt me but I kept that pain in me for years. I didn’t look at that moment because it was too horrible and then when I finally did, it was too late. She was gone. I thought ‘I can’t fix it now – so…’ Thank you for this.”

I’m always amazed how Spirit does its best to make amends.
Spirit tries to set the record straight with loved ones: Time and space don’t matter.  We usually need help to hear the message.  Something has to shift. We need to be in the right frame of mind to accept something very foreign to our ingrained way of thinking. And be open to change. I guess that’s what I do. Help people to hear these messages when they are ready.

I also see how we must be patient with ourselves. Our mortal integration process of messages from Spirit takes more than a couple of days, to not only know the truth but feel the truth in our core.

Almost two months go by.
Bronte and I are at a gathering. Talking about her struggle with alcohol, Bronte says, “You know, I’ve been following the 12-Step Program, reading the books, trying to walk the talk. But there was something missing that kept derailing me. But when I heard my Mum’s message, when I knew it was her – the things you couldn’t possibly have known…

“I saw what it was: I had this wrong belief, this pain stuck deep inside me. I didn’t even know it was there. But I now realize its significance: How was I going to stop drinking when I had this huge pain to cover up about my Mum? But I found out it was pain based on an illusion. I don’t need the alcohol to cover up a pain that doesn’t exist anymore. I feel the truth in there now. I think it’s getting easier.”

— With thanks to Spirit for infinite return.
(c) 2010, 2011, 2012 The Accidental Medium. UltraMarine Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Bronte’s Inferno (Part I)

Monday, August 9th, 2010


I have a dear friend named Bronte.
She’s an excellent writer whose talent lies in the romance / mystery genre.   Her first published booked became a top 5 finalist for a national book award, her second book is already at an Agent’s, and the third book is in creation.

If you’re an astrology aficionado, Bronte was born on the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces; a celestial division line that can seemingly split Bronte’s personality into distinctly opposing character traits – more so than your standard Pisces.

Bronte is hilarious, caustic, insightful, unaware, reflective, judgmental, open, selfish, giving, demanding, clear, confused, attractive, feisty, warm, prickly, practical and an incurable romantic all rolled into one.  In other words: Bronte is human – and a reflection of the dualities found in each one of us. At her best, Bronte is endearing, grounded and wise, at her worst she’s a roiling open wound, an angry inferno with a particular, almost irrational rage towards men.

Addiction is an issue in Bronte’s family.
Bronte’s father was an alcoholic, and her mother ended up having to care for seven kids mostly on her own. Bronte doesn’t talk about her parents much. They died long ago. Bronte is the middle child, lost somewhere between the “haves” of the more stable beginning of her parent’s marriage, and the “have not” children that appeared as the marriage wound itself down.  Each child carries their own unique scars and protective mechanisms shaped by their pecking order in a rocky home.

Like each of us, Bronte is on her own unique spiritual journey. And like most of us, she’s getting her butt kicked something fierce this past year.  Bronte has courageously come to the realization she’s addicted to alcohol. She’s joined AA, has a sponsor and is slowly discovering there are fists of pain that have been stuffed deep inside her heart since her rebellious teen years, but probably longer.

Bronte is divorced and living with her ‘non-wordsmith’ partner of ten years.
Tom’s what we call a “Wood Guy”.  He interacts with wood in many ways: as a tree cutter, a carpenter, a handyman, and an extraordinary rustic furniture maker.  Tom often disappears from a paying job to go off on a “mission” deep into the woods, along winding logging roads in search of the elusive burl for one of his exceptional furniture pieces.

Tom’s needs are simple – but he’s by no means simple minded.  His cutting wit brings things down to their bare essence. Tom’s character and perspective ground Bronte when she’s in emotional chaos mode.

Bronte can be a ranting feminist at times, and during these moments Tom can be difficult to pin down.  He disappears – and rightfully so – I don’t call this post “Bronte’s Inferno” for nothing.

I find it fascinating, the dichotomies in Bronte.
A caring, creative Mom of two grown children, she’s always avoided the kitchen; like it’s some kind of Gulag.  I often wonder how her kids ever got fed.  Bronte can have railing feminist views on the one hand, yet didn’t learn to drive a car until she was 40.

Bronte and Tom live in a lovingly built home – Tom’s design and construction – that is kept cozy warm in our cold winters by radiant heat, fired by a specially-designed wood-burning furnace located about 50 feet outside their house. That means if Bronte is alone, and is out of heat, she doesn’t fire up the electric base boards or call the propane guy – she has to have chopped wood at the ready for her to feed an outside furnace in -20 degree weather, and sometimes at night.

For these practical and other loving reasons, Bronte is rarely without Tom somewhere in the vicinity. I often wonder about this dependence / independence theme that runs through her life.  It’s glaring.

On one of those cold winter days, I bring the girls over to hang out with Uncle Tom while Auntie Bronte and I drink tea and chat.  My husband calls these shared moments our “fix”.

Bronte talks about how she tackles her addiction one day at a time. Lots of past issues around family are coming up – and speaking of family issues, she’s planning her 50th birthday party, and inviting all her city-dwelling siblings here to the woods for a long weekend. None of her siblings have ever attempted a reunion before. It’s too much to orchestrate and they are calling her “brave”.

I ask Bronte: “Who’s going to cook?”

Bronte sinks into the couch and sighs, “I must be insane…”

As we talk, I see an older woman appear behind Bronte.
Grey hair, tender smile, fairly short in stature.  The way she’s emanating love I know this must be Bronte’s Mom. I have known Bronte for more than 10 years. I have never seen anyone around her. And this underscores an interesting aspect about Spirit. When we are closed down, Spirit has difficulty getting through to us. But as we work on our “stuff” and start clearing away the heavy energetic debris that surrounds us, Spirit finds the space to make itself known.

I ask Bronte – “So, what did your Mom look like? Do you have a photo?”

I know it’s Bronte’s Mom but the photo can validate my sight and capture some of her Mom’s essence, her energy.  Even in an old photo with a cloche hat pulled down around her ears, I see the resemblance of the older woman standing here and the younger version in the photo.

I tell Bronte that her Mom is standing behind her. Bronte is startled then quickly tries on nonchalant, but it’s obvious she’s rattled. I’m thinking, why is she so rattled with her Mom here?  You’d think she’d be happy? I’ve never seen her Mom before. hmmm.

Post-family reunion, Bronte is in desperate need to debrief.
I come over for a quick cup of tea before picking up the girls from school.

“Well”, says Bronte matter-of-factly. “I managed, within the first hour of our reunion to revert to a petulant teen, smart-assing my older sisters and condescending to my younger siblings. Wow. It’s mind-boggling. I acted like an insane woman!  I got triggered again and again. I really tried to stay centered, but there were times… oh Lord.  My poor Mum. She had to put up with this?!

Bronte’s Mom has been standing by the kitchen sink since Bronte started pouring the tea at the counter.   I feel her motherly love – she’s so proud of her daughter. Bronte’s growing awareness of the problem, and the recognition that this is a problem she needs to work on.  That’s why she’s come in. Bronte used to be very comfortable sitting in judgment of her siblings – but still feeling left out and not understood. Now she’s starting to see why.

I tell Bronte, “Your Mom’s here. She’s very proud of you.” Bronte nods. Is that faint appreciation for her Mom’s presence? No. More than anything, I think it’s an unsettling thought for Bronte. Hmmmm.

Silently, I’m glad to hear Bronte’s summation of her recent behavior. I’m very proud of her too; she wouldn’t have noticed this about herself a year ago.  The fog is clearing and Bronte’s getting a much clearer picture of her shadow side, and how she has undermined her own ability to be heard.

A couple of months later Bronte sends me an email…
“I had a dream in the early morning hours yesterday that featured a big red stone building, Victorian, and across the street (such as it looked in the dream) was a gray stone building. Both with a center tower and a stone arch. This was clearer on the gray building than on the red building…

She fills in more details. “The red building was blackened with pollution or soot. But the heavy red stones were identifiable. I heard the name or was told the name in the dream: “Broadmoor” – but I didn’t know to which building the name applied, one or both. And a date 1850-1860 although I had the sense this was for the red building.

Bronte continues, “I felt pretty good about the red building. In fact when I woke up I felt reassured. I was thinking about it again this morning. I was just riffling through one of my old Agatha Christie’s to see how Agatha handles revelations at the end of her book – to help in writing my book – and one of the characters mentions Broadmoor-a British prison. I must have had Broadmoor very deep in my subconscious because I don’t recall hearing it before the dream.

“So I Googled Broadmoor and there it is – a Victorian red brick building with an arch that opened in 1863 as an asylum for the criminally insane. The building in my dream was stone, a big square red lumpy thing and Broadmoor is brick but quite lumpy looking in the photo.”

Bronte’s puzzled: “What I don’t understand is how a building for the criminally insane could give me a feeling of reassurance? The gray building is similar but not as real, present or striking as the red one. I don’t know the identity of the gray brick one. Maybe what I felt was the reassurance that I wasn’t inside?? Love B.”

I read Bronte’s email again. It is fascinating.
She hasn’t noticed this kind of synchronicity before – where dreams and reality collide at several levels. I’m sure many people have reached for a book or magazine and it falls open at ‘the’ passage that needs to read – it’s an answer to a question we’ve been carrying around in the back of our heads. And I’ve used Google to get to the bottom of some of my intuitive readings, helping to verify places and people’s faces – Google comes in really handy.

I email Bronte: “Ok so here’s what’s interesting…

“One of your favorite expressions is “Are you insane?” or a permutation like, “Are they insane?” ,,,”Is SHE insane?”… “Is HE insane?” … “Am I insane?” Followed by another favorite – “That’s Insanity”. hmmmmmmm….

I tell Bronte I’ll get back to her about her dream.

Later that night I prepare myself to receive clear messages.
With Kate’s room calm and protected, I do my own chakra clearing as Kate falls off to sleep. Then on to sleeping Matilda’s room, a powerful channeling space where I do a meditation that taps me into my guides. When I’m done and with the girls asleep, I hastily type out the results on my keyboard and email them to Bronte before I fall into bed:

“Someone you loved -someone close to you and someone in a position of power (and male) like a father, but I think it’s a husband, treated you VERY Badly. Crazzzy bad. And you kept thinking it was your fault. You were doing something wrong. And then it got so bad, that somehow it got to court (my guides say that’s the gray building) and the judge deemed your male maniac to be indeed insane. You were SO relieved. It WASN’T you, it was actually him. So knowing that this person was safely stowed away in an insane asylum and that you were indeed not the problem after all, it gave you a great sense of peace. Don’t know what happened after that, except that the maniac person never got out. I keep seeing you walking outside that building – you’re wearing a long dark dress, long dark overcoat and hat.  And you probably did do just that – walk by that red building regularly, because it did give you a great sense of peace. Hugs, E.”

Later that night I’m awakened for no apparent reason but with a dream still top of mind.  I stumble down to the kitchen to send another email to Bronte from my laptop:

“YOU didn’t take him to court – he did something to a male in a position of power and that guy took him to court, and got him thrown in the asylum… That’s why the gray building isn’t clear to you – I don’t think you were even involved or actually in the gray building, just outside it… Interesting that one male abused you horribly. And another male saved your life. Hugs, E”

“Wow. That is …wow.”
Bronte’s reaction to my three emails included a revelation and a shift. Bronte writes,

“The feeling I had about that red building was hard to explain except that it was good, in a very reassuring way–and I wrote very well that day. But it wasn’t ‘joy’ or ‘happy’–it was validation. Comforted. Reassured. I did feel safe thinking about that building. And the feeling stayed with me all day and yesterday. So the reason I would feel this way about a criminal asylum makes sense in your read. I was quite bothered that it turned out to be a negative place where some seriously disturbed men now live.”

Bronte signs off, “And yes! That is my favorite expression: “Are you insane??”

Bronte sees the bigger issue looming in front of her: The overblown responses she has to what she sees as “male domination” that go far beyond the actual situation.  In her email she realized this:

“The issue surrounding a man who was close to me hurting me so very badly is almost too painful to explore. All I know is that all my life I’ve had an overpowering reaction to male mastery. Life and death reactions when clearly the threat isn’t that high. I figured I was just a loon. Thanks so much. I’ll treasure this.”

There is no doubt that this man in Bronte’s past life was violent.
I clearly saw how he was a socio-path, who thought he could manipulate anyone through charm and/or intimidation. And when he couldn’t, he attacked the other man in the scene, whom I believe was his employer.

Bronte had not been in a position of power – she was dependent without the law on her side, unlike the greater legal protections in place for abused women today.  Back then Bronte had no support, no way to complain without repercussion, no way to escape. There’s no wonder Bronte has a life and death reaction to male domination. It was life vs. death at the time. It was lucky that her husband violently attacked his employer before he attempted to do the same to Bronte.

Now Bronte has an inkling of how a past life can impact the present. I tell her “Knowledge is power – so remember this when you start feeling that fight or flight response…”

And I’m adding in my head “when Tom leaves his dishes in the sink…”

To Be Continued…. Brontes Inferno (Part II)

— With thanks to Spirit for infinite return.
(c) 2010, 2011, 2012 The Accidental Medium. UltraMarine Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.