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My Childhood Trauma  My Family's Trauma  In Conclusion

                  My family before leaving Hungary

My Childhood Trauma and how it affected me throughout life.       

Our stories are important; they inform who we become. Here is the story of how I was traumatized at a very early age and the story of my personal journey through healing the trauma and finding peace.

(The first part of this story took place before I had memory recall. I wrote it down the way it was told to me by various family members, as they remembered it.)

I was born in Budapest, Hungary on November 18th 1954. Hungary was under Russian occupation at the time. The Russians were in Hungary because during World War 2, Germany invaded Hungary and the Russians came in to "save us" from the Germans. But then the Russians never left; they became the new occupiers.

Nobody wanted them there and in October 1956, Hungarian university students staged a revolution and drove the Russians out. There was lots of celebrating until Russia retaliated by sending hoards of tanks and a large army into Budapest. They went on a rampage, killing wantonly. Many horrors occurred during that war that my father later told me about. My parents decided to get out of Hungary right away and move to America, because my father, a Mechanical Engineer, was in danger of being deported to Moscow for his knowledge and inventions in the field of powder metallurgy. When Russian dignitaries first became aware of the work he was doing, they politely suggested that he and his family be relocated to Moscow, but after the revolution, all politeness went out the window. My parents were pretty sure that my father would be taken without his wife and four children.

So after learning about how people were immigrating, they made a plan.

My father's mother lived close to the Austrian border. So we; my parents, my brothers, 9 and 8 years old, my sister, 5 years old and I, who turned 2 four days before we left, took a train to my grandmother's house. From there, an uncle took us to the place where the refugees were meeting with a guide who was going to get us into Austria safely.

It was November 22. After night fall, we set off on foot for the nine mile journey. I was given a sleeping pill and was carried by my father; everyone else walked. They walked through corn fields and on railroad tracks, until we got close to the border, where we had to cross a bridge over a stream to get into Austria. Shortly before we got there, it started sleeting.

Then, right as we got very close to the border, I woke up. The sleeve of my coat had crept up exposing my arm to the elements, which was probably what woke me up.
I woke from my drugged delirium to find that I was not in my warm bed, but outside in the night with freezing rain falling on me and my bare arm and I started wailing!

To everyone's horror, there were two Russian tanks stationed by the bridge to intercept anyone trying to leave the country. I was inconsolable and couldn't stop my frantic bawling. According to my mother, I was crying so hard that there was no way that the Russian soldiers, in their tanks, didn't hear me. She thought that they felt sorry for us and let us go. But I think that it's probably more likely that the sound of the ice pellets falling on the metal tanks made such a racket that the soldiers couldn't hear anything else.

Everyone in our group panicked, certain that the baby was going to get them all killed. My sister remembers that there were two young men who were in possession of a hand gun and they wanted to hit me over the head with it so I'd pass out. The guide intervened and instructed the group to keep moving while we were to stay behind until I settled down. He told us that once we got across the border, we were to keep walking until we got to the first village and saw a light in the church steeple. At the church, they were taking in refugees and we'd be taken care of. My mother sent my brothers along with the rest of the refugees while she, my father, my sister and I stayed behind.

I finally settled down and we made it across the border to safety. Once we were on Austrian soil, my mother sat down on the railroad tracks and started sobbing uncontrollably. She refused to go any further. My father took my sister and me to the church where we were reunited with my brothers and my father went back for my mother.

It wasn't until I was 32 years old and at a self-help retreat that I finally understood what happened to me that night. Here is what I now know. When I started wailing and everyone panicked, their terror was projected right onto and into me. I didn't know what was happening, but I felt it. All those people were fearing for their lives and their fear was directed toward me. The energy of their terror was so powerful that it penetrating my whole being. I felt MY life being threatened. I was traumatized.

We stayed at the church until my mother arranged for us to get a flight to Iceland and from there to the United States. When we arrived in the U.S. we were taken to Camp Kilmer, an Army base in New Jersey, where we stayed until we were sponsored by a church in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The church people found us a nice three bedroom house and fully furnished it with everything we needed. There was even a playroom with a checkerboard linoleum floor full of toys, Little Golden Books and a rocking horse.

We were safe now, out of harm's way; but all of us were emotionally damaged. My older brother bit his nails down to nubs. My other brother continuously acted out. My sister was getting bullied in school. My mother had regular nervous breakdowns and my father went into rages often. He had been the one I could count on to protect me, but with time, I grew afraid of him.

I liked our new house. There was an attic where my father set up his painting studio. There was a stained glass window up there that created a colorful pattern on the floor when the sun hit it. To me, it was magical. The backyard had flowers in the summer that were as tall as I was. These were the little things that brought me great joy.

But then, I would be playing peacefully and suddenly, out of nowhere, I'd start yelling in Hungarian that the Russians were coming! I'd have to hide, under the bed, in the fireplace, in the closet, whatever hiding place was closest to me and I'd stay there until I felt safe again. I didn't talk to anyone outside of my family; I bit my fingernails, pulled out my hair and worst of all, I had nightmares, night after night, unending.

I was afraid to go to sleep, because when I did, the "bad man" would always come to get me. The "bad man" took several forms. Once he was a green monster crawling out from under my bed. In that dream, I got ahead of him and ran out of my room to get help from my mother. I was in a hallway with many doors. My mother disappeared through one of them, but I couldn't find her. In another dream, he was a man in a trench coat and fedora coming after me, but I couldn't get away from him because my legs couldn't move. Most often though, it was the devil hopping toward me in a chimney. If I lied down and pretended to be asleep, he'd leave me alone.

Meanwhile, after two years in Pennsylvania, we moved to New Jersey because that's where my father had gotten a good job. It was there that, after living with constant nightmares, a miracle occurred. I found out about guardian angels. I was told, by I don't remember who, that all of us have angels whose job it is to help us when we ask for help and I needed help badly. When I went to bed at the end of the day that I learned about these magical beings, I visualized my guardian angels flying around the ceiling of my room and I asked them to make the nightmares stop.

I did have a nightmare that night, but I was determined, and the next night I asked the angels for help again, and again visualized them flying around the ceiling of my room. This time, it worked. I slept through the night without disturbing dreams. It was the end of the constant nightmares and I am forever grateful for the help I received from the angelic realm.

I liked picking violets for the old lady who lived across the street. She was always dressed impeccably, wore her bleached blond hair pinned up on top of her head in curls, wore red lipstick and had pale blue watery eyes. Once she came over for tea. My mom had one of her favorite operas playing on the stereo and I put on my petticoat, which looked like it tutu to me and I danced for the neighbor lady while my mom was in the kitchen making tea. She told me that I danced beautifully and that I could be a ballerina when I grew up. She brought me tiny sample bottles of lilac and lily of the valley perfume from Avon. I liked her very much. She was one of the very few people who I felt at ease with.

But then there was the general public to deal with. Being a sensitive child, I had a hard time relating to most people. I didn't understand what motivated people who were unkind. I felt like an outsider, like I didn't belong here on Earth. When I was around 6 years old, I went into water over my head once, kind of hoping to drown, or perhaps more accurately, not minding if I did.

One of my brothers and the boy next door bullied me relentlessly. My brother, for no reason, sometimes hit me so hard I would land on the floor. The neighbor boy would run up behind me as I walked home from school and push me so hard I would hit the sidewalk on my knees, ruining my tights and skinning my knees. He thought it was funny; I thought my knees would be permanently scarred.

Four years later, when I was eight, we moved to Maine to get away from the extreme heat that made my dad break out in hives. My dad bought us a house that had a forest and a river in the backyard. I could hardly believe my good fortune. I fell in love with the place immediately. I found great joy in the simple things that our place had to offer, like listening to the river rushing over the rocks and birds singing. I was happiest when I was alone by the river.

My mom loved musicals and after seeing any musical, and I saw a lot of them, I'd have many of the melodies and lyrics memorized. I'd go down to the river in my backyard and sing the newly learned songs at the top of my lungs. That was freedom.

Probably my greatest passion was for dogs. I loved, and still love, all animals, but dogs were my absolute favorite. They weren't at all like people. They knew I loved them and easily accepted my love and loved me back. When I was 11, the dog across the street from us had a litter of 11 puppies. I begged my parents to let me have one. I kept bugging them until they finally said "yes"". It was a dream come true. We all loved him. He was very smart and funny. After a year, some teenaged boys saw him at the side of the road and deliberately ran over him, for fun. I'd never seen my dad cry before. But this incident wrecked him. He couldn't stop crying. He dug a grave, buried Ficko, engraved a brass plate with the his name on it, drilled it into rock and placed it at the head of Fisko's grave, all the while sobbing.

When I was 13 years old, my family moved to New Hampshire and a whole new chapter of my life started. At 14, I got a boyfriend, who was 18 and there was a lot of drama. I was always over reacting to whatever I perceived as a threat to our relationship. When he broke up with me a year later because he had gotten a 16 year old girl pregnant and was going to marry her, the emotional pain of it was unbearable to me. It was a winter day and after school I walked to the town park where there was a river and I walked out onto the thin ice. Someone saw me and came running and yelling for me to get out of there. He quite possibly saved my life.

This was the beginning of a pattern I developed through the following years. Over and over again, I found myself in relationships with abusive men. It was like I was incapable of having a healthy relationship. I remember looking at couples who had nice, normal relationships and wondering how they did it. Why was I always immersed in so much drama? It was a total mystery to me.

I now see that on a psychic level, I had come to believe that all men, starting with the Russian soldiers, were abusive, so I kept getting drawn to men who fit my belief pattern.

After high school, I got into Boston University's School of Fine Arts. I was singing in a successful band on weekends, having a blast living the sex, drugs and rock-n-roll lifestyle. But after 3 years, egos got in the way and the band broke up. I was 22 and decided to head to California to "make it" in the music industry.

Soon after I got there, my backpack and all my possessions were stolen and my wallet fell into the ocean while I was prancing in the waves on a beach outside of Santa Cruz. I had nothing left but $17, one change of clothing and my hairbrush. I walked up a hill, sat down on a rock and started crying. I asked, "God, why is this happening to me?" and I heard a voice inside my head say, "So that you'll have compassion." I knew right then, beyond any doubt, that someday I was going to help people heal. It was just a moment in time, a knowing that felt very real.

California turned out to be a wild ride. I ended up in San Francisco connecting with a group of beautiful gay men that I had so much fun partying with. I related to them because we had something very personal in common. We all felt like outsiders when we were growing up. Meanwhile, my career goals went right out the window. Also, I missed being in nature terribly. I felt like I had to get out of the city because I had a deep feeling that all the partying was going to kill me if I stayed. And sure enough, the AIDS epidemic hit soon after I left. So on Halloween day 1978, I packed up my car with all my worldly possessions and moved to Colorado.

I was so happy to be in nature again. I loved being high up in the Rocky Mountains where the air was so clean, the water ran as clear as glass, the snow was deep in the winter and the wild flowers were as plentiful as blades of grass in the summer. I was still partying a lot, but it wasn't fun anymore and I just wanted to settle down.

I got involved in a production of the opera Carman and met a really handsome guy with turquoise eyes who was a percussionist in the orchestra. He was wholesome and loved the great outdoors as much as I did. One evening when I ran into him at a local bar, he confessed to me that he wanted to get married and have kids someday. I thought, "He's the one". We did get married and had two beautiful children together. But I wasn't happy. Aside from our mutual love of the wilderness, we pretty much had nothing in common.

My husband had grown up in a very mainstream middle-class Protestant family, in a neighborhood where all the houses looked the same and he didn't understand me at all. I was exploring ancient religions, learning about healing with crystals and going to self-help workshops that he resented paying for. When I talked to him about what I was learning, he had zero interest in hearing it. And there were too many cultural differences between us. There were no meaningful or stimulating conversations and not much laughter. After 9 years of marriage, I left him.

Being a single mother was really challenging. I had no marketable skills and had no idea how I was going to support myself and my two children. So I waitressed, cleaned an office building and worked for a photographer, barely scraping by. Somehow, my ex managed to get away with only paying $187 a month for child support. I would get so stressed out wondering how I was going to pay the rent, or buy food, but somehow, I always managed. I felt like my guardian angels were still very much looking out for me.

During those years, I was in and out of relationships with men who I had more in common with, but they were as lost as I was. We attract people into our lives who are on the same level of emotional maturity as ourselves and there was always a lot of drama. I'd end up crying uncontrollably for hours over whatever craziness was taking place. I was in deep emotional pain.

Four years after my divorce, in 1996 when I was 41, I spent a month in New Hampshire working for my dad and earned enough money to go to massage school in California. Massage School was wonderful! My teacher was the Mother Teresa of massage, a woman who was all heart and soul. It was so healing for me to be there. Classes were 5 days a week from 8 to 5 and when school got out, we piled into cars and drove down to the Yuba River where we'd skinny dip in deep pools amid giant boulders and enormous blue dragonflies. Afterwards, we all ate dinner together at the house where I was staying. There was so much love and I was learning so much about healing.

Six years went by of me building my massage practice and working on myself while the relationship madness continued. I took more classes, gaining a deeper understanding of the human body and healing.

Then, in October of 2002, my brother called to tell me that my mother had terminal cancer. I went back to New Hampshire in January to help my mom and my dad and two weeks after I got there, my mother died.

My dad and I had been taking care of my mom 24/7 and it brought us very close together. After the funeral, I was heart broken to leave my dad there, all alone and we both cried when I left to come home to Colorado. As I was leaving, I told my dad that I would get my affairs in order and come back to live with him. By then I had had so many bad relationships that I didn't care anymore if I ever had a romantic relationship again. I just wanted to be of service and at that time, my dad needed me more than my massage clients did.

By now, my children were both in college and I was free to move to New Hampshire to be with my dad. I arrived in New Hampshire two days before Thanksgiving in 2004. Living with my father, I fell into a state of grace. It was clear to me that I was there to support my dad in whatever way I could and to continue to offer healing to others through my massage practice. I knew my path and I stayed on course. And then, another miracle occurred.

I needed more credits to get licensed as a massage therapist in New Hampshire, so I signed up for the massage program at a local technical college to meet the requirements. On my first day of anatomy class, a woman came up to me after class and said, "I know you." We had gone to high school together and had the same boyfriend, but at different times. She invited me to get together with her and when I did, I met her ex-husband. He was tall, handsome and seemed nice.

My new friend from anatomy class loved to throw parties and invited me to them. Her ex was also always there, so we slowly got to know each other. He was very sweet and we had a lot in common.

I felt safe with him, which was hugely important to me. This man had all the qualities I had hoped for in a partner, the most important of which is kindness. He was also responsible, stable and felt like home. A year after we met, he asked me to marry him and three months after that we had a fairy-themed wedding. Everyone said it was the most beautiful wedding they had ever been to.

I believe that the reason I was drawn to an appropriate partner was because I had finally matured emotionally. It was a huge endeavor for me to leave my life in Colorado behind. I was doing quite well there. I had lots of friends, lots of massage clients, including Joe Cocker and his lovely wife and I had a great place to live with an incredible view of the mountains. But I sacrificed all of it to go take care of my dad and that act of selflessness changed me and changed my life.

Soon after I arrived in New Hampshire, it became apparent to me that something was very wrong with my dad. I took him to doctors and he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. After I got married, he managed on his own until he had a bad fall and couldn't live alone anymore. My sister took care of him for a year and after that, my husband Erick and I took care of him in our home until he died 6 1/2 years later. Caring for my dad was an enormous sacrifice, but I'm so grateful that my wonderful husband was willing to give so much of his own time to help my dad with all the things I couldn't do, like bathroom duty. My dad would get out of bed, up to five times during a night, to go to the bathroom and Erick jumped out of bed every time to help him.

Meanwhile, I took more classes~ Kundalini yoga, ballet, Reiki, astrology, gardening and metal jewelry making. I studied with some extraordinary, world-class, teachers.

My dad was almost 94 when he passed away. During the 11 years that I was in New Hampshire, there were 5 deaths in our family~ my nephew, my brother-in-law, my father-in-law, my brother and finally my father. It was a lot to deal with, but I grew strong and in retrospect it feels like I was paying off some karmic debts to my family. While I lived in New Hampshire, I hosted all the family celebrations, including putting up family members who had traveled from afar. But my greatest gift to my family was keeping my dad out of a nursing home. He got to die at home and his estate was divided up among his heirs instead of getting sucked up by a nursing home. So we all benefited from my husband and me lovingly caring for him.

After my dad left this earth plane, I moved back to Colorado with my beloved.
I grew a tremendous amount during my 11 years in New Hampshire. I'm able to stand up to men now and let them know if they have crossed a boundary. My sense is that very early in life, starting with my deep fear of the Russian soldiers, I formed a belief that men want to hurt me and I held onto that belief until I finally chose self-empowerment. Then I was able to recognize a good choice in a partner when I met him. I don't know if we can ever fully heal our traumas. But I know that a tremendous amount of healing is possible, if we set an intension to heal and keep choosing love and strength over fear and weakness.

Erick and I have been married for 15 years now. He has supported me in purchasing and learning to play my healing instruments and taking courses in Sound Healing.

The healing modalities I work with are gentle, calming and transformative and I am happy to offer them. At this point, I am very clear on what my work is here on Earth. I am here to support others in their healing, with my musical instruments, my voice, my hands, my crystals, my knowledge, my intuition, my intention and most of all with the support of the guardian spirits, who I always call upon before I start a healing session.

I have a lovely home with my kind and incredibly talented artist husband, our two good dogs, my 64 house plants and my sanctuary backyard with flowers, fruits, vegetables, goldfish pond, gazebo and awesome hot tub. Sometimes I stop and look around, smile and say to myself, "I manifested this. Good job Girlfriend!"

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