• Lauren Potts

    February 23, 2022 at 2:57 pm

    Yesterday I intended to post my Prima Materia but did not feel ready to expand on the backstory in that moment. Since posting I am noting that I’ve had a fair amount of contraction show up, both in waking time and dreams. Noticing my thoughts: Did I get it right? Did I share enough? Do those words really convey what is happening for me? Are they even true? I notice the relationship of this contraction with the Prima Materia itself – there’s a part of me waiting for some external authority to come in and poke holes in my story, make me doubt myself (which I’m clearly already doing), tell me what’s really happening that I have missed. There’s also a loud and clear part of me that is standing in the truth of what I have determined to be my Prima Materia and simply noticing how all these doubts point to the truth of it. I want to share the backstory now because it’s healing for me to do so and I want to allow myself to be known.

    There are plenty of examples from my history that I can point to that have damaged my ability to trust myself. I was conceived through a relationship where trust was not present. My Dad was never faithful to my Mom. He left when I was 2 to be with another woman (still my stepmom). After my Dad left my Uncle John, one of my Dad’s 7 siblings, recently divorced himself, became a support for my Mom and that grew into romance. So when I was 4 my Mom married my Dad’s brother and his 6 kids, my cousins (5 boys, 1 girl, all teens and tweens) became my step-siblings. My ability to trust my experience and ascertain what is true was damaged by this. I heard the message again and again from the parental figures that everyone was fine with this. We were given the evidence that my Dad and his brother were cool with it and I feel like we were encouraged to tell this version of the story to the rest of the very large, very Catholic extended family, who I would imagine were all pretty shocked by the situation. But eight kids ranging from age 17 to me, the youngest at age 4, were not ok with this new arrangement. The emotional reality of all of this divorce and remarriage was never addressed with any of the kids in any way. My step-siblings were VERY not ok and most of them believed their Dad to have cheated on their mom with my Mom, who had just married their uncle about 5 years earlier. There were layers of secrets, lies, rage, confusion and hurt that I know I could feel energetically but I was basically told to ignore all of my own feelings and perceptions and move on like everything was great in this big new family.

    This whole thing was very hard for the oldest stepbrother, Steve, who had a black and white sense of right and wrong and appointed himself to be the head of the family when his Dad left his mom. He took his cues for leadership from a toxic masculinity and authoritarian textbook. He was abusive to the “weaker” and “softer” of his brothers, had very Madonna or the whore versions of what was appropriate and not appropriate for his only sister, and was verbally abusive to my 2 year older biological sister, particularly because she was “overweight” and opinionated. I learned not to be a problem. I brought lightness. I was funny and cute. I got good grades. I did not make demands or call attention to myself like my older sister, who became a target for everyone. I was a peacekeeper, absorbing the energies and smoothing the way for those around me. I was not emotional (says the Cancer Sun, Scorpio Moonchild) and didn’t ask anyone else to be. Steve’s abusive nature was never addressed by our parents in any way.

    This part gets really intense. I almost never share it. When I was thirteen Steve discovered that his wife was pregnant by another man, one of his closest friends. He murdered him. It was shockingly violent, gruesome and vengeful. I will spare you the details. It happened in Germany on an army base where he was stationed but the story was a huge deal on local news. My sense of self trust and ability to see what is true was further damaged here when the entire extended family rallied around Steve and endeavored to present him as some angel of a person who had a bout of temporary insanity, triggered by the discovery of infidelity which he had been wounded by because of my Mom. His life was at stake – it was nearly prosecuted as a capital offense. Of course I knew that the Steve I was raised with was no angel. But there was no space for that truth in the presence of this fresh trauma. A traumatic experience which, again, was never addressed in any way with any of the kids in terms of how it affected us personally.

    Within a year I was drinking and smoking weed every day. By age fifteen I was game for literally anything that would alter my consciousness and continued on in that way until my early 20s. Dissociating and avoiding the inner realm with a mantra of “it’s all good.” Luckily I met a phenomenal healer and mentor around age 20 who had a hand in waking me up. She told me I did not have asthma (with which I had always struggled) but that I was being suffocated by my family and friends, and that I was a healer. I began to grow in my spirituality and healing practice but much of this early wounding still remained untouched. I did not recognize this event as traumatic in my own life until 2016, just a few months before Steve was released from prison after 25 years.

    So that’s the backstory. At least some of it, and some of the parts that bring me to this moment. My Dad was mostly uninvolved in my life as he raised a new family with my stepmom – uninterested in anything beyond my grades and my brain. He’s a big part of the “don’t matter” piece. The paternal side of my family is very male-dominant and I received acknowledgment solely for my academic accomplishments, never really being known for the deeper parts of who I am and what moves me. Through Inner Sensing I have been uncovering my desire to be seen, to see myself, to illuminate the sea and depth of emotion within me. I have A LOT of feelings and they are a huge aspect of my true essence, what moves me, how I gain insight and wisdom and access the gifts I have to share. And I have a sense that being in the world with more access to my own inner world and the willingness to allow my truth to radiate, inclusive of the more difficult emotions, insights and truths that may not be met with approval, is part of the key to more fully expressing my power.