I had a revelation about my childhood last night when I asked for help from The Goddess in a moment of need. First, let me back up and tell you how this all came about.
I don’t really want to rehash all of the gruesome details of the horror of my last week, so I will try to sum up. I took a fun trip to NYC with my sister to go visit our friend who lives in Brooklyn. We had a lovely and glorious time, as you can see below.
As all of this happiness was being had by me and my loved ones, at some point during that weekend of smiles and fun, the toilet in my studio apartment in the suburbs of Philadelphia spontaneously overflowed, releasing gallons and gallons of poop-laced sewage water.
I don’t know when the unprovoked eruption took place, but my sister and I discovered the horror when we entered my apartment after a 2-hour drive, both with bladders full and needing only to pee. Just to note, the water had saturated the bathroom floor and seeped out onto the carpet of both my hallway and living room, as well as into my closet. I had to throw out several of my own paintings that were leaning up against the wall, a beloved Ikea wooden-framed mirror, at least five pairs of expensive boots (one of them my all-time favorite leather ankle boots), and an area rug from my HOBBIT NOOK. It was baaaaaaad.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I get triggered by all things related to safety and security, especially when it comes to my home. More about that later, but needless to say, I was pretty emotionally debilitated and hysterical. My home was uninhabitable. However, I was lucky enough to have a place to stay (with the beau) as I was displaced for four days while my apartment complex took care of things, not always in the most proactive and professional way—which sucked.
Finally, after almost a week of clean-up efforts, which included an entire re-carpeting of my unit, as well as a toilet replacement, I finally felt like I could return home and perhaps find some peace again in my own sacred space. I did have a slight bit of angst bubbling beneath the surface of my emotions, wondering about the potential for another unsolicited emission from the monster that is my toilet. But, I tried to just let that go and trust that all was well again.
However, the plumbers never did actually inspect the cause of this freak accident, and just said it was a clog. Sorry, but when was the last time your toilet randomly exploded with sewage water? Last time I checked, many people live entire lifetimes without this ever happening. Still, I enjoyed two peaceful nights of restful sleep and cooked a few nice meals for myself, pushing all the images of poop-saturated carpet out of my mind, and basically tried to forget that anything had ever happened.
The Toilet Monster returns…
I was enjoying a nice evening at home, chatting with my friend on the phone about spirituality and goddess stuff, my art career, and his future goals, when I heard a strange and disturbing sound coming from my bathroom.
“Oh no, not again!”
I quickly ran to the bathroom and witnessed my Toilet Monster, not exactly exploding with sewage water, but he was definitely belching. Maybe a little indigestion? The water in the bowl was just kind of bubbling and gurgling, again completely unprovoked. It stopped for a second, then started again. And then my shower started gurgling. Whaaaa??? I took a quick vid of the episode for posterity to send to my landlord, and the gurgling stopped after a few more seconds. I then proceeded to check in with all of my loved ones via text and phone as I began an emotional spiral downwards.
Parts of me are still suffering from PTSD, post-sewage debacle. And I do believe that there are parts of me, deep within Little Goddess, that are still suffering from PTSD because of childhood circumstances. No details necessary, but it’s important to note that my childhood home life was fraught with lots of unpredictability and instability, at times my safety was threatened, and many times my emotional and physical needs were neglected. This way of life went on for at least 10+ years and my childhood existence was essentially a minute-to-minute survival situation, even during moments of calm.
HEALING MY CHILDHOOD THROUGH ART
I have done lots of internal work on the trauma of my childhood, and have found my artistic expression to be an invaluable tool to aid in the processing of my pain and fears, and to ultimately lead me to the miracle of forgiveness.
My painted series of Urbanscapes and my works on paper series of Mom Collages, represents significant pieces of this sacred process. It’s amazing, we can do so much work on ourselves and our healing, but the pain and trauma may never be eliminated. We just have to kind of work with it. We can get further and further into our healing and the pain can lessen and lessen. But life has a way of making us revisit our past in order to find an even deeper level of healing. In this case, I think Toilet Monster was the vehicle for this call to healing.
Mom 7, mixed media on paper, 2002 © Libby Saylor
Urbanscape V, mixed media on canvas, 24″ x 36″ 2009 ©Libby Saylor
I finally got off the phone with all of my nearest and dearest who know my situation and who are sensitive to and understanding of my triggers, and then had only myself to deal with. Ultimately, I had to hunker down and survive the night like a grown-up. Now it was just me and my emotions, and Toilet Monster, eerily silent in the bathroom, just feet from my bed. I am turning 40 on September 19, 2019, but in this moment, I felt like my little 5-year-old self. As I lay in bed, curled up on my side, I began to cry, trembling. I have been through enough of these emotionally dark moments to know that during these times, the best thing to do is pray.
WHEN IN DOUBT, PRAY TO THE GODDESS
I prayed to The Goddess and felt her presence instantly, as I normally do. One thing about The Goddess, she feels much more accessible to me than any other entity or God I have ever prayed to—except for the angels. They are always close by as well. And my guides.
The Goddess began talking to me very gently and indicated in her subtle but firm way that I am no longer that little girl in a scary house. There is no Toilet Monster, even though it feels like there is in this moment. This is an adult problem and I am completely capable of handling this unfortunate situation like an adult. It can be dealt with and handled, and it sucks, but I’m not unsafe. My security is not threatened and I am truly fine. She told me very clearly that “It’s time to stop letting my childhood self run my life.”
A calm set over me instantly and I had a bit of an emotional back and forth with her as her brilliant insight set in rather smoothly. At one point, I even imagined a repeat scenario of Toilet Monster activity, and could actually feel the possibility of finding humor in the situation. Imagine that. Me, taking the relaxed and humorous approach to a household crisis. Never in my life have I been capable of that. But that is because my childhood self has been behind the wheel of the car that is my life.
YOUR CHILDHOOD SELF CAN’T DRIVE
Imagine if you were strapped into the passenger seat of a car, and your childhood self was behind the wheel, driving the car at 80mph down a highway. You would most likely feel terrified and out of control, like free-falling without a parachute or net. This is how I feel when I let my childhood self take over. And this is how I feel when things go wrong in my apartment. This is how I felt when Toilet Monster taunted me and misbehaved. And yes, my toilet should literally do nothing except sit there and keep quiet when not in use. And it’s totally messed up that it’s not doing that. But it’s not exactly cause for petrifying-induced hysteria. But that is what happens when I let my Little drive the car.
With the help of The Goddess, we went through a little visualization to solidify this newfound insight. The visualization took about one minute.
I imagined being in the passenger seat of a car, driving down a highway in the middle of the desert. My childhood self was driving and I felt scared. I suddenly realized I’m WAY bigger than that little girl. And it occurred to me that I could pull the parking break and stop this madness. When the car stopped, I got out and came over to the driver’s side. I opened the door and gently and lovingly picked up my little self and held her as I walked back over to the passenger side. I sat her down and buckled her in and gave her our favorite stuffed animal to hold. She was happy. Then I walked back over the to the driver’s side and calmly and confidently took the wheel.
Post-visualization, my calm emotions remained intact for the rest of the evening and I slept a full and peaceful eight hours with no further Toilet Monster incidents. And for the first time, maybe ever, I feel un-hysterical about my current, moderately unstable home situation.
THANK YOU TO THE GODDESS
Just an amazing little note about The Goddess and how much I love working with her. Earlier that day, I pulled a card from Colette Baron-Reid’s The Goddess Power Oracle Deck. I’m obsessed with this deck, feel so connected to it, and want it for birthday or Christmas! Anyway, one of the beautiful cards I pulled for myself was MORRIGHAN: Death and Magic. Read the empowerment message below and see how beautifully things connect to everything else. I’m so cared for in this life. As are we all.
Empowerment Message: Consider your life a magical gift and your experience of it a beautiful opportunity to leave the world a better place. You give that gift back when death comes and ends your time on this plane. Experiences, relationships, projects, and even long-cherished dreams are all subject to the natural laws of death and the magic of the Celtic goddess Morrighan.
Now is the time for you to let certain parts of your life die and recognize this process as something to celebrate as well as to mourn. Let go with love and gratitude. Leave your fears behind. For in death, there is great magic as nothing can ever be truly destroyed. From the ashes of the old, a new life and new dreams will come to be. Face this time of dying and death with love and courage. Be willing to be empty. Soon the goddess Morrighan will fill you up with magic, and a new world will be born for you. This is her gift for you when you surrender your resistance and allow things to be as they are.