I’ve had my files in my possession for about two years. I say files. It’s ‘a’ blue folder that represents four years of being in care between 1983 and 1987. I never yearned to own it or longed for it, fearing that it would just be a collection of the perceptions of the adults around me during that time. Indeed that is pretty much what it was.
Requesting this file from Social Services was part of some unfinished business in the research element of my book Steering The Mothership that culminated in me finding Eunice (the only social worker whose name I could remember first mentioned in The Brightness of Stars), the requesting of my files and the joining up of dots that had never been connected before.
I’ve only read it through once. I found out some new information which was incredibly helpful, I spent two weeks dealing with how it had left me emotionally and then I put it away in a cloth bag where I couldn’t see it in the back of the wardrobe. A few weeks ago I was moving things around and having a really good clear out and I took the bag and placed it in my office. I decided to flick through it again and afterwards, I felt as though I had swallowed a dark, heavy cloud. This file felt toxic.
In that moment I realised that I did not want this pile of
papers in my house any more. This collection of words was made up of incidents, issues, problems, rejections, perceptions, disappointments, behaviours. None of us should have a life reduced to that. There were no she’s beautiful, she shows great leadership qualities, she is kind, she is strong, she likes to dance, when she feels upset she needs a squeeze.
Those words of incidences and rejections had sat in my body, unspoken yet known on such a deep level that they had informed so much about the complexities
of my life. Yet they are not mine. They do not belong to me. Those words are not my story; they are the story of each one of the professionals who I came into contact with. There was some of my mothers story in there too. But not mine. My writing featured 3 times on scrappy bits of paper and one complaint to the Operations Manager, all of it hurt, all of it angry. I would have told my story so very very differently. I would have given clues to what I needed, what I felt, who I was behind the incidences, the behaviours, the issues. In that realisation, I knew I needed to lay to rest those words.
Being a lover of moon cycles, the strength of that feminine energy and needing a ritual that could alter my relationship with the file, I decided I would wait for the eve of the New Moon and ensure that the papers were burnt to a cinder by the end of the Moon cycle in time for the arrival of the New Moon at 12.06am today. I wanted to be by the sea so the ashes would blow away and be scattered into tiny pieces and ultimately drowned, silenced by the water.
I took my very special and dear friend with me who was very much a part of the story of my time in care. I couldn’t have gone alone. We drove to Weston Super Mare and searched for some stone steps that hit some rocks and the sea making sure that we were hidden from the rest of the world.
Watching the papers burn was mesmerising, enjoying the ashes blow away in every direction after the smallest bit of wind kept the fire burning and cleaned up after us all at once.
I wondered how many of the people who had written in that document were writing for the adult that I would inevitably become. I wondered how many of them would even remember me. I remembered that they did not even really know my story because the truth is, it had not been told.
As the ashes whirled and twirled around the dark starry sky I embraced out loud who I am with affirmations of love and care and acceptance. I am a beautiful woman. I am safe. I am taken care of. I rejoice in my life experiences knowing that all is exactly as it should be right now in this moment. I honour the gift of life. I am strong. I am vulnerable. I am awake and conscious and choose love. I release all that does not serve me in my quest to be the best that I can be. I release and I let go.
*This is a personal journey and as such in no way judges the journey or decisions of another. I share this with you purely as an opportunity to share an experience that may be meaningful to another and to offer alternative perspectives to be reflected upon if so desired.
**Lisa trains and speaks on this subject among many others. Please contact email@example.com if you would like to discuss your requirements