Question for Bernie
I don’t know where to start. Just until yesterday I thought I was absolutely fine with no issues. And that my allergies, asthma, and constant fight with skin conditions were just caused by my poor diet. That was actually the reason I went to IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) where I heard your lecture. Oh my God, how wrong I was.
My dad was an abusive alcoholic who I loved dearly. I was a born into love and grew up at that stage until about the age of five. That I think gave me initial strength to handle the rest. Then he started drinking and physically and mentally abusing my mother who stayed with him for 13 years. It started slowly but gradually grew into a huge snowball. We shared a two-bedroom apartment with a family—we only had one room. So whatever happened, I was there. Then my mother decided, as she says, to give me a sibling, even though my dad was drinking heavily by then, so I would not feel that alone.
My sister was born and things got totally worse to the point that we would run out of our home while my father was sleeping and hide at our neighbors and friends, or go to my grandmother’s home in the village. I was 11 when my sister was born and the only income we had was from my mom. So I was babysitting, taking my sister to daycare and picking her up, and cooking. Yes, I started cooking at 11. I loved it. My mom finally got a divorce and managed to make my father leave. He went back to his parents to the suburbs. He stopped bothering us but continued his terror and drinking at his parents with the same physical and mental abuse pattern.
He never saw my sister after the divorce. I would go see him occasionally hoping he would not be drunk. When I was 20, I came to the U.S., met a wonderful person and got married. The guilt of leaving my little sister, who I had rocked to sleep through tears while my mom screamed in the next room, was killing me. I wanted to go back but my mom, being a wise person, made me stay and build my life in the U.S. the way I wanted. I did, and I love my life. I am 32 now.
I have tears rolling down as I am writing this. I really thought I was OK, but I now understand what is behind my health problems. I always thought of what we had to go through as a family was there for a reason and only made me stronger. I always viewed it as a good thing. But at the same time, I was always trying to find out why? Why did my dad go from being a gorgeous, smart 6 foot tall, never drinking athlete to a miserable, sick and dying person from alcohol abuse.
He did die two years ago, on my sister’s birthday. I did not get a chance to tell him he had a grandson. I did not get a chance to find out why. I asked him once, “Why are you drinking?” He cried. And I was stupid enough to get frustrated and walk away. All these years I would write him letters but he would never reply. When I asked him why he never answered my letters he said he had nothing to write me—that I already knew that he loved me.
I am writing all this actually to say THANK YOU Bernie. If you had a phone number I would call, I would love to give you a hug…as I actually need one myself right now. I think I understand now what happened to my father. All he needed was love. He was empty. Even being married and having a child. Maybe that created too much of a contrast with his own unloved childhood. He was always compared to his sister—she was good and he was bad.
I have no strength to continue thinking about this right now as too many revelations are coming to me. I am thinking that if only I could have been loving, even overly loving, with him, would that have cured him? Would I have been able to replenish his damaged soul? How can I deal with this in order to continue being healthy and not carry what I might have done to help him around with me through the rest of my life? I want to put it at rest. Please help.
And I am sorry for such a long story. I have to stop crying now as my co-workers are by now probably thinking something horrible happened. I would love to talk to you if that is possible in any way. THANK YOU again Bernie. I cannot say that enough. I think this is the beginning of the healing that I did not know I needed.
Yes, the healing is beginning for you. As you stop storing your life’s wounds in your body, you start to heal both your life and your body.
Yes, you can become what I call a love warrior and heal through giving love to all those who you can see need it because they are not now, nor probably did they as a child, get the love they need. It can be a tribute to your father as you share how you came to understand him by loving others, and loving yourself. Always stay open to receiving the love coming your way, too.
Your father does know what you are consciously sharing about how much you loved him, and about your discovery that his behavior was a result of being unloved as a child. His body died but not his consciousness. You may even find a message from him, or your sister, through having a symbolic sign appear in your life that reminds you of them.
Forgive yourself and move forward through the labor pains of life and give birth to your authentic self. You are a remarkable young woman to have come through the fire and still be able to love. Bless you.
Now you have a new dad in me—your CD, or Chosen Dad. Let me hear from you often and be there for you.
Question for Bernie
What if what makes me happy doesn’t make others happy? How do I channel all the energy I have? When I talk to people they get chills all the time from what I say. Is this a positive reaction?
If you choose life enhancing behavior everyone benefits. Don’t think only of yourself all the time, but also not only of others. Before you can help others in any way, you have to know yourself and love yourself.
If you bring out good feelings in people, it is a good sign of what they see in you. Follow your heart and do what makes you happy with your energy and life. Take time to find your authentic self by meditating or through guided imagery. You can also try seeing someone who does energy therapy. Resolve to find the real you deep within, and then live as that “true you.”