This next story is about one woman’s courage to remember a painful tragedy, so she could free her wounded inner child and love herself again.
Cheryl’s call initially seemed like nothing out of the ordinary. She was going through a divorce. She was dealing with tremendous guilt and allowing her husband to take everything, including the kitchen sink. Not only was she giving him the house, the car, she was also giving into his demand that she pay him alimony even though he was financially stable and able to take care of himself.
Cheryl believed she had been a horrible wife as her husband had depicted and proclaimed over the ten years they were married. She believed she should be punished and be forced to pay the piper even if the piper had his own income. To say I found her doormat mentality troubling is an understatement.
“Why do you feel you owe him everything?”
Her response was simple, “I don’t know.” Her husband’s constant berating behavior towards her had taken her beyond condemnation. She was ready to be executed in any way he chose.
As I listened to her tell me her husband’s litany of reasons why she was the worst woman on earth, I psychically saw a young girl, about eleven with soft blonde hair in a yellow dress staring at me.
“What happened to you when you were eleven?” I asked. The phone went silent. She suddenly released a gasp, and said, Oh my God! When I was eleven my friend, Debbie, drowned and her mother blamed me. You see I was late meeting Debbie and she went to the town pool without me. She drowned before I could get there.” Her sobs rattle the phone. “At Debbie’s funeral, her mother swore at me and screamed at me, and blamed me for Debbie’s drowning.”
“So all this time you carried the burden of a horrible tragedy that wasn’t your fault. All this time, you punished yourself for something you did not cause. You did not tell Debbie to leave without you. That was her choice. You did not hold her head under water. More importantly, her mother let her go to the town pool without you.”
Without a tear in her voice, she proclaimed, “Her mother projected her guilt onto me. She blamed me when she let her go without me.” The clarity and peace in Cheryl’s voice was unwavering. “I had no idea I was carrying that guilt…I had forgotten how her mother screamed at me. And what was worst, my mother did nothing to protect me or to defend me. I felt I must have done it because even my own mother agreed.”
“Now you know Debbie’s mother was projecting her own guilt onto you. The husband you attracted was replicating that moment, every chance he got. Your pending divorce is another way to sentence yourself to more guilt and punishment.”
“Not anymore. I’m getting myself a lawyer. I don’t owe my husband anything. I bought this house before I met him, and I’m keeping it.” Before she hung up, Cheryl and I looked at the bigger picture. If her husband hadn’t been so demanding and abusive, she wouldn’t have been forced to finally protect herself and release the truth to me, so I could relay it to her. We decided that although he was not the best husband material, his existence in her life did provide her with a forgotten truth. For that, it would be important for her to release him in gratitude. She also had to forgive herself and others for burdening her with a guilt that was never hers to carry. Ultimately, her desire to love and protect herself was a gift she gained from the excavation of her truth.
This is a simplified and condensed version of what really transpired between Cheryl and me. However, the pain and abuse she suffered and endured for over 35 years is not that simple.
Guilt can be like an invisible vapor. It can be sprayed at us in words, physically hammered into us with slaps and punches, and stamped in our minds by painful life altering moments that have us believing the worst about ourselves. As an intuitive, I have learned to just listen and wait for the real truth to emerge.
For Cheryl, the truth was delivered by an eleven year old girl. You see the young girl I saw was not Cheryl at age eleven but Debbie. The yellow dress I described to Cheryl was the yellow dress that Debbie wore as she lay in her casket. I had no idea of who I was seeing only Cheryl could identify her truth.
It seems like Debbie did wait for Cheryl after all. Debbie waited over 35 years for her childhood friend to find the courage to remember the truth. She emerged to free her childhood friend from further pain and suffering. Cheryl and Debbie are truly best friends forever.