Getting High in the Merchant Marine Part 2
An Unusual Catharsis
The next week, a lot of highly toxic material surfaced from his childhood. Frank didn’t cry or scream. He didn’t break wide open like most other people did. His deep reserve and shame wouldn’t permit it. In place of a complete catharsis, the internal pressure formed by the mobilized energy rumbling around inside him forced a kind of confession from his lips. He shared his secrets grudgingly. Brutal, stark memories from his childhood surfaced. His mother had been an alcoholic. She was mean when she wasn’t drinking and cruel when she was. She resented being married and having children and never let Frank and his siblings forget it.
Destructive Childhood Imprinting
When he was a child, he often went without food. Sometimes all he had to eat in a day was a small bowl of puffed wheat in the morning before he went to school. Around the age of ten, he remembered his mother screaming at him in a drunken fury that he was so ugly no woman would ever want him. That remark scarred him deeply. Several times during his childhood, she abandoned the family, leaving them at home in the islands while she went to live on the mainland by herself. His father wasn’t much better. He was distant, uncommunicative, and verbally abusive.
Frank grew up with little physical security and even less love. The arc of his emotional life as a child was narrow and limited, framed by uncertainty and insecurity at one extremity and by shame and abuse at the other. When he reached the age of eighteen, he left home and went to sea, hoping to start a new life and put his nightmare behind him. At the time he was a depressed kid with a big inferiority complex, too scared to talk to people he didn’t know. He had escaped from his mother but not from her toxic influence. She was to cast a long, heavy shadow over his life, no matter where he went or whom he was with.
When I met him some forty years later, he was still a depressed man with a big inferiority complex and still scared to talk to people he didn’t know. His relations with women had been a disaster. Nearly every woman he had gotten involved with had hurt and abandoned him. One of his wives had even told him before she left him that he was too ugly to be with. These women were all different in appearance and personality from one another, but they had one vital trait in common. Each of them, without exception, did to him what his mother had done to him. They mocked and belittled him. They shamed him, and they left him.
His mother was dead, decaying bones in a wooden box under six feet of heavy earth on an island a few thousand miles away, but she still owned him. Her face was their face. Their words were her words. Her feelings toward him were their feelings for him. Wherever he went, he drew women to him who were her reflection.
It was a good thing that Frank’s conscious intention to succeed in this work was very strong. As a category three, his subconscious toxicity was concrete and not at all ready to give up its controlling interest in his life. Thankfully, after several months, my work with him was finally accelerating. He was now vibrating after each consultation. He learned quickly that he had an hour after each session before the vibrating would start. Then he would feel very tired and need to sleep. During that down time his system processed the toxic energy that had been mobilized earlier. He would have strange dreams. Sometimes his body would feel like it was burning up. At other times it would feel ice cold. The next day there would be more memories for him to talk about.
I never forced it with Frank or tried to make him open up more completely than he could at the time. I knew he was giving it everything he had. I couldn’t ask for more.
As our sessions advanced and Frank’s toxicity continued to clear, his life began to change in very dramatic ways. He was promoted from second mate to first mate. A short time later he was made captain. He hadn’t sought these promotions. They just came to him. After a few tours of duty as a captain, he was recognized as the best master in the fleet and during the Desert Storm campaign of 1991, he was assigned to take classified military cargo to Europe for the U.S. forces massing in the Arabian Gulf.
Every time Frank accepted an opportunity for advancement, he broke the mold in which he had been cast in as a child. By accepting these promotions, he was standing up to his childhood conditioning that said he would always be a failure and stepping into a new sense of himself.
Part 3 coming tomorrow
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