Dear Sisters of the Fey and dear readers, is it really one month since I wrote the first post for this incredible blog? I can’t believe we are already in October but I’m excited because it is my birthday, our wedding anniversary, and Halloween.
October is the perfect month to start a series about “Finding My Path.” The idea is to look at different parts of my life and reassess what certain events mean to me. I hope you will join me on a journey that led me from the South of Germany to the East of England.
I will tell you a little about the circumstances and the setting I grew up in. How spirituality was viewed in my family, and what I believe all this means to me and my path in life.
My Childhood ~ The Setting
I was born in October 1970 in a village built inside a meteor crater. Nearby Noerdlingen is more famous, as its Meteor crater is bigger. Both the Apollo 14 and 17 astronauts trained there.
When I was young, we often went to Noerdlingen, which is a town that still had a town wall. Storks lived on the roofs of several houses. Those were great family outings. I never fully appreciated the fact that I was literally born in a meteor crater.
My mother believed in home birth, and in those days there were still many midwives who worked locally. The story goes, that I was a week late, so my mum played cards with my father and neighbours all night long waiting until I appeared at half four in the morning.
Only five months earlier, my parents married. I cannot imagine what it must have meant for my mother to be pregnant out of wedlock, because her parents were very religious. However, my grandfather had already passed away, and my grandmother passed away from cancer three or four months after my birth.
Again, I cannot imagine how it must have been for her: a young mother having lost both her parents and a sister earlier. Luckily, her surviving brother and my god-mother often supported both of my parents.
In fact, so did the grandparents on my father’s side. I spent most of my weekends with my granny who lived about 30km away while my parents were out partying or spending time with friends. My grandmother once said that she was glad she looked after me in those days because she assumed my mother might have sensed that she would not live long.
When I was six, my brother was born. A year later my mother was diagnosed with cancer. From then onwards, more responsibilities shaped my life. I helped with household chores and often took care of my younger brother.
There was no official acknowledgment for the burden of being a “young carer” which didn’t exist then, as there is today (at least in the UK). My parents still made sure that I had plenty of time with my friends. I also went on holidays either to my uncle’s house or away to church camps.
I was twelve when my mother passed away. I carried a huge burden of guilt on top of the burdens I’d felt before her passing. It was my strong belief that her passing was my fault. I’d fallen victim to an adult abuser early on who told me that something bad would happen to my mother if I told anyone. I never told, but something bad happened to my mother, anyway.
To be honest, I’m not sure where my parents stood on spirituality. We thanked God for our hot meal every day, and my brother and I attended Sunday School. Also, my mother said a goodnight prayer with us each evening. But my parents only attended church at Christmas and Easter, and for family events like weddings, christenings, and funerals.
We were never encouraged into a specifically Christian life-style. My parents believed that it was important for us to know Christianity “from the inside out” as we lived in a Christian country. However, after confirmation, they decided that we could choose whichever way we wanted to go with our spiritual life.
For me though, Christianity was an important anchor in all the chaotic life events I had to deal with. Many people in the area I grew up in followed a Lutheran tradition called “Pietism”.
Wikipedia states: Pietism (/ˈpaɪɪtɪzəm/) is a movement within Lutheranism that combines its emphasis on biblical doctrine with the Reformed emphasis on individual piety and living a vigorous Christian life. ”Pietism: Wikipedia.com
Pietism shaped the Christian community in the village I grew up in. When I attended the youth group at our local church, the youth worker leaned towards a “Born Again” Christian movement theology.
You can imagine how I grabbed onto this way of believing because it gave me a feeling of security. In one of their events, I decided to let my old “sinful” life go. I gave my life to God. This action put even more pressure on my later belief that my mother’s death was my fault.
There was also a Catholic church in the village, and we had several Muslim immigrants living there too. Yet, it never occurred to me that there were other possibilities for my spiritual path. I learned that later in life.
It is fair to say, that my start in this world wasn’t an easy one. Some say that our spiritual selves choose the path we take in this world and they are happy and willing to learn what needs learning. I have my doubts about that, though.
Once I dreamed about the end of an earlier state of my being and the transition into this life. I wasn’t keen at all to come back here to learn more things.Bee Halton
The older I get, the more the feeling grows that I was “forced” back here, either by soul mates who needed me or by events like the atom bomb which might have muddled the universe, time, and altered our reality.
On the day of my mother’s funeral, I was ready to leave everything behind and make an end of it. But I didn’t. There was a force that kept me here and told me that my time wasn’t up yet.
My younger self listened to that voice but there was a price to pay. I lost most of the memories of my life before my mother’s death. What I’ve just shared with you feels like someone else sharing my experiences. It’s like I wasn’t even there.
I’ve also concluded several unhealthy things about myself. I’m not able to achieve anything I set my mind to, and therefore I mustn’t want anything in life. I also feel like I’m not safe anywhere.
However, today I don’t believe my childhood was an unhappy one. I grew up in a village where we children could roam freely and meet their friends without an adult to “chaperone” us.
We also had family close by, which helped us out a lot. We spent many fun-filled evenings playing games and enjoying BBQs together. Plus, we travelled to visit family in other countries.
In fact, I grew up with people who loved to read and cook. I found myself surrounded by people who deeply cared for me, even though I didn’t know it in those days. I wouldn’t have survived if things had been different.
My life has been deeply shaped by these traumatic events. Especially, the fight for my life on the day of my mother’s funeral. I feel like I’m still looking for a part of myself that I lost on that day.
You know, I’m also searching for whatever it is I’m supposed to do on this planet. And it feels like I’m not at home here. I know there are other dimensions I belong to. I just haven’t been able to open the gates to find them.
For most of my life, I’ve disregarded these feelings as not being realistic. I suppressed everything to become whatever society thought I should be—not that I ever figured out what that was, or how to fit in.
Last year, something changed. Something snapped inside, and I think now, I can figure it all out. That is what these posts are all about… finding Bee.
Thanks for reading. I’ll see you next month.