As promised earlier, I would dedicate a post to insights from Nancy Verrier’s second book “Coming Home To Self”.
Time is right to share my insights from this book but also to complete them with personal experiences from the past months.
The book “Coming Home To Self” is the successor of the “Primal Wound”. The “Primal Wound” describes the creation and subsequent impact of the wound when a child is relinquished by his/her birth mother. One of the main consequences of this primal wound is that the child develops coping mechanisms and behaviours which buries the child’s authentic self deep down below. In her book “Coming Home To Self”, Nancy Verriers further deepens the understanding of the primal wound and provides direction on how to find one’s authentic self.
I have to admit that this book is quite hard to digest as it contains a lot of information and is written with a lot of scientific and psychological terminology. I understood that some chapters also have been written for therapists which explains the scientific tone of voice.
Nevertheless, this book provided key insights on how to start discovering my authentic self:
- True personality is mostly genetic,
- It’s difficult for adoption parents to know the true personality of the child. What they see instead is the child’s coping behavior, the way to deal with loss and the potential for future loss,
- Trauma (like separation loss prior to adoption) transforms one from who one truly is to someone else,
- A victim of a traumatic experience(e.g. Like rape, abuse, violence…) might still remember the trauma. An adoptee in most cases can’t. The adoptee does not have a reference point for authenticity (assuming adoption at a very young age),
- Those of you who think you are being authentic because you have come to terms with your coping mechanisms and “like myself as I am” are in for shock. It isn’t who you are…,
- There are people in your lives who know more about your true personalities than you do yourselves. They are the people who love you and know that you aren’t your coping mechanisms. Sometime you try to prove them wrong by testing them and see if they will stick around,
- There is a compulsion to repeat over and over again the abandonment scene (repetition compulsion),
- We have to stop being victims, we can take our responsibility,
- Some have remained victims and some have become survivors. But anyone who still has strong fears about intimacy, trust or control is not fully participating,
- The important thing to remember is that you are neither your experience, nor your coping mechanisms. There is a basic, genuine person down there, someone who is aching to get out,
- But where should I begin to become again my authentic self,
- Begin with the little things that define you, begin with very concrete decisions, carefully choosing colors, spices, oils, places to walk, countries to visit, etc…,
- You have to be true to yourself and discover what you like or what your opinions are,
- When in doubt ask yourself the question: does it support or disturb my soul (aka the gut feeling)?,
- As you discover your Self, it is important to allow others to discover You. Start with people you may not know well, because it is not such a risk. Take baby steps in order not to scare yourself too much,
- You have to begin taking responsibility for the impact you have on yourself – stop sabotaging,
- Healing begins with acknowledging what happened to you and knowing that you can’t change that,
- As you grow in becoming more yourself, you will want to have a relationship that fits the new you,
- Double set of standards: you feel you can do things to others, but you cannot tolerate others doing similar things to you – because you project your issues to others which you don’t want to see in yourself…,
- The only person you need to have power over is yourself. I you have true inner power, you won’t feel the need to control or intimidate others,
- In order to safeguard your own children as well as to make your own lifes more meaningful and peaceful, it is up to you to heal your wounds,
- Allow yourself to be loved…
So, where am I on my path to uncovering my authentic self?
In the past weeks, months even, I discovered my affinity with spiritualism, writing (often poetic) texts on my emotional states, discovering beautiful spots in nature and sharing pictures that reflect it all.
This inner side that is slowly revealing, still feels as if it’s locked up behind windows (just like the beautiful sunset in the image). People can see it while I may not always realize that. I get a lot of positive and encouraging responses. The past weeks I get spontaneous invites to connect via social media, I get surprising messages in which women express their appreciation for that inner beauty growing and showing in me – often they like my spiritual nature, sometimes it’s the way how I phrase or perceive emotions and life challenges. Very encouraging for me and especially holding a mirror telling me how I progress, how I transform.
In parallel with this evolution, I also connect more with my adoption story. A story I have been ignoring for up to 40 years… I suddenly find myself in a network of (Indian) adoptees sharing their life events and experiences. A lot of similar life tracks, bumps in the road, life challenges but especially the same eagerness to accept that primal wound and it’s impact on their life.
I meanwhile also found several other adoptees that have lived with me in the orphanage in Mumbai before being adopted into Belgian families. What a small world after all. The bonding with people going through similar life phases and personal challenges is so critical and helpful in my healing process (and I hope it’s reciprocal).
Finally, I want to express that I’m probably not transforming although I keep on referring to my “transformation”. I realize more than ever that I’m not changing, but I’m revealing personality traits that always have been part of me. They finally found their way through the thick mud of coping behaviours and compliant thinking…
A promising future awaits me – that’s what I hear from a lot of people in my surrounding, but honestly, these changes scare me… Will I like this new version of me? Mohan 2.0? Will people like my new version? Will significant others still recognize me? Will it help me to get my summer love back?
Or will it tell me again that it was not meant to be and better times are awaiting me?