Moving in my past has always been something that I had to reckon with. As a young child, we moved so much I think I developed an aversion to moving.
This prospect of having to move again, initially hit me with an overwhelming sense of dread. I could hear myself saying over and over again, “I hate Moving.!” Yet, I am aware at this point in my life that I am faced with this because I do “hate” it so much that the energy I put into hating it has come to haunt me. It is true that the thing you hate does haunt you. It lurks in the background of your mind and at your weakest point it reels its ugly head.
Knowing this about myself, I began to think very deeply about what it was about moving that caused me such consternation and dread. The idea was deep in my psyche that there must be something extremely traumatizing about moving that I need to uncover in order to deal with this next move. I began to go back into my history and check into those dimensional realities where moving was a part of the program for my existence at that time.
As a young child I had little to no control of the circumstances, or even outcomes of what the “move” would entail. I remember horrible experiences, I remember moving in the middle of the night, or even moving across the street. I remember hearing my mother discuss moving with her friends over the phone but never really told us much. We would just start packing and that would be it.
We hardly ever had the proverbial “moving truck” park in front of our house. We would move ourselves in shopping carts, wagons and bags. I am sure this experience was very embarrassing for me as a young child, especially when we would move around the corner, or across the street, and the neighbors would see us. I remember as a young child admiring my friends who lived in the same house for years and years, even to this day, I find that amazing.
After having my own family, I did not want to have the same plight of having to move from one location to another, year after year after year. But the one thing that would put me in that situation was the choices I made, from the beginning and the consequences of them.
Did I make those choices because I knew I would face having to move again? Did I have an inner sense that these new locations would not last forever, but would eventually have me facing having to move again.
One thing that I have come to realize is that sense of powerlessness. Especially when you are being evicted or when someone has so much control over your life they can determine where you live! How is it that we live on a planet, where someone can control where you live, how you live or even if you live??
I came to realize that my mother faced eviction, constantly. I began to see that she would have difficulties with her finances and would have to move, again and again. In fact, she actually became accustomed to it and its challenges. At age 54, she numbered having moved 55 times! That was mind boggling to me. How could anyone enjoy moving that often? To her it was another challenge, another opportunity to do something different, another means to an end. To me, it is total disruption of my “comfortable” way of life. Maybe it was a way that I had just gotten used to and didn’t want it to change. Maybe I have come to resist change so much when it comes to moving that I literally get physically ill. It’s true, I remember the dust, and how it would be so much that I would get sick. As a child I had asthmatic bronchitis, so that dust wasn’t cool at all. To this day, I don’t even dust. In later years I realized that those feelings around dust for me were shrouded in the dread of that old feeling of getting sick every time we moved.
Moving is such an uprooting of an old paradigm on so many levels. Causing changes on so many levels, from addresses, to schools, to bill payments, to friends and family, to losses and disputes… to a big over the top dramatic change in your existence.
No, you may not be completely happy where you are, but to have to uproot yourself and settle down somewhere else is not easy, especially in this culture where so many things have to be decided by forces outside of your jurisdictions.
So I walked back to my childhood and took a look at what I must have felt as a small child. And a very abused small child at that. It always seemed to me from my perspective that my mother really didn’t care about how we felt. I didn’t get the feeling that she cared about how we would adjust to the different schools, neighborhoods and surroundings. Maybe she did in her own way, and quite possibly by the time I was 15, we had at least been in the same neighborhood, and didn’t have to change schools. Maybe some where, someone mentioned to her that it would be good to keep us in the same schools. Maybe not. I know I needed that. Maybe for me, it meant a sense of stability. I was always being teased and the prospect of going to another school and being teased by another bunch of strangers didn’t seem too happy for me. Maybe I was so much in my head and so busy trying to survive and also holding it down for my younger siblings that I just kept going.
It hit me here recently, that that feeling of powerlessness is all pervasive. You are powerless when someone threatens to evict you. Your life and your destiny almost seems to shift gears and now your life is in the hands of someone else. I think that was key for me during this time of self exploration. I walked back past the times in my own adult life, when I had to move. That first edict came from my mother’s husband. He said, “You are upsetting your mother too much with your decision to join the Nation of Islam. She is having a really hard time adjusting to this and really does not want you in the same house with her while you go through this. So, I am asking you to leave as soon as possible.”
I am at this point in my life 19 years old, about to enter my third year of college. I was being transformed by the teachings I was receiving at Muhammad’s Mosque #12C and by an old friend (whom my mother despised) who had just returned from prison. It is now the end of the summer and I am on my way back to school, and I am being told that I cannot return there. Didn’t seem to concern them that I had no where else to go, as a college student in Scranton, PA, I was living on campus.. But it was said, do what you gotta do, just keep it moving.. I went back there and told him, I forgive you, and then I told my mom, I forgive you too.
We do crazy stuff in our lives, I mean really crazy stuff. Both of them are deceased now. He died of melanoma cancer, and she, recently of heart failure. I can look at that again now, and just give that up, forgive them cause hating to move is a big part of that, and I need to be free.
So, after that semester at school, I return home and am living in the home of my fiancé’s mother. She too was and still is an interesting character. At this age, I am not cognizant, I am simply making choices. Living with her came with a whole other set of dramatic interludes that eventually ended up in another eviction. We were not exactly living the lifestyle she approved of either. I was staying in his tiny bedroom, we were Muslims living in sin!! The mosque forced us to get married under the threat of being kicked out, so his proposal was, “Let’s get married then.” Woow, I forgive you too Eric, what did we know then at 20 and 23 years of age?? Heck, we knew everything. So we moved out, into a tiny apartment, and I was thrust into the role of homemaker. WTH? As I look back, I can see the welling anxiety. Moving, again, and now because someone else said you had to. I am now pregnant, didn’t know it, got married, and moved into a tiny apartment.
The marriage was tumultuous, to say the least. My first son is born. When he was merely 6 weeks old, I am running down the street in my pajamas, from my husband who had just threatened to kill me and kill himself. Really!! I go to the phone both and call the Mosque who’s question to me was, “what did you do??” As I am explaining the situation, I look up and there is my husband running down the street looking for me with my newborn in his arms. I quickly forget all about my own safety as any mother would and run towards my husband to get my baby. We return to our new apartment and I begin to plot my escape.
Since my Mother never liked him, she was more than willing to help. Under the cover of darkness, we grab as much as we can, stuff it into her van and drive off. She allows me to set up residence in her new husbands property, which she had been running a day care center out of. Glad to have me on board, but soon found it was unbearable, she could not adjust to me following the dictates of the NOI, instead of being her daughter, the daughter she controlled so easily before. Where did I get the notion that I could live my own life the way I wanted to? Day after day she would harass me about my lifestyle, my diet, my style of dress and various other confrontational and unbearable discourses. So, again, I quietly planned my escape. It seems, that when you are planning it, you feel more powerful, than when someone says, “Git the Hell Out of my house.” But in essence, it is really the same, if someone it making so difficult for you to live in their house, aren’t they telling you to get the hell out? I mean, seriously.
So I got out, after 4 months, I was packed up and out. I did not tell my Mother where I was or even why I left, I just left. We did not speak again for a long time. My husband’s Mother, had become totally terrified of her own son, who had commenced to threatening her and me. She was paralysed to do anything, and felt so guilty about it all, but she was there for me to talk to about my journey and she was very concerned about her first grandson.
Living with a Sister friend was great at first. In due time, even she became a bit agitated with me. She seemed to have some issues, mostly mental and some fears around my friendship with another Sister friend. Again another stealth removal of myself from another residence. Confrontations are not good for me. High anxiety and strong verbal congress is a bummer. I would rather write you a letter :)
My other Sister friend, found me an apartment. My husband is now roaming the streets with tales of his success in his business and what he had acquired as a result of it and how he was gonna get his family back, yadayadayada. It worked too, cause he got me back and he got me pregnant again. Within 7 months of the birth of my first, I am engaging with this father of my child and planning a renewal of our life together.
Maybe that is why my first Sister friend got so upset with me. Why would I do such a thing, go back to a man who had literally threatened to kill me, someone who care not about my safety or his, at least he acted that way. If you go through the whole process of reporting this abuse to the police, why are you back in his arms?? Good question, back in his arms because I needed security, and at that point I was not, I was alone with a child, a small child, no job and no place to live and living off public assistance. Who wouldn’t make such a stupid decision as that? Sheeesh!!
I must admit, that it was a dumb thing to do, but it was all I had to do it with, little security and little hope and no support from the Mosque, I uprooted my life for. It was time anyway to get away from my controlling domineering paranoid fearful and overly anxious mother. But now the circumstances???
We lived in that second floor apartment for 2 months. That’s right, 2 months, and off to jail he went, for murder! We never fought during that time, in fact, he was doing all he could to show me how wonderful he could be. Too funny, the many times men can re-invent themselves is phenomenal. Women should try it. Yep, back in jail and saying the entire time, he was innocent. Now, I am alone again, with a small child and a pregnancy. True story, you can’t make this stuff up.
So now I am in the apartment, alone with my small son and another on the way. Too much of a familiar story. My Sister friend who is also a member of the NOI knows someone, a man, who is also a member, maybe we should meet, maybe we should get married, because Muslim women should get married and have a husband to protect them. Ha, ain’t that nothing. Any man, just take any man, why, because he said he was Muslim, and therefore, that means he is a good man, doesn’t it? That means he can do all them Muslim things like take care of his family, pay the bills, put the trash out and live a righteous life, right?? Who knew, it takes more than a religion to make a man. But we got married, we moved again, and one more time. The last time was into our own home, our very own purchased off the block home. Haaa! When you are young and inexperienced, the vipers see you coming, they play on your ignorance and have you for dinner and then spit you out.
The house was a wreck. Oh it look wonderful from the outside. Who knew?? We didn’t. One thing after another began to break down. We are now two adults and three children and counting. In how long, oh about 2 years or so. We are not having happy wedded bliss by a long shot, and I want a divorce at 8 moths pregnant. I am superwoman and I can do this by myself. He left, he came back, we tried it again, it didn’t work, he left again. I am 4 children later, but no more counting, this is it. NO MORE CHILDREN!!
It was overwhelming, after a while, with no sizeable help, I was facing eviction again. I had to move again. I forgive my second husband too. He didn’t know any better either, tricked by the same society that tricked me, and dealing with the issue of being a broken man as I was a broken woman. We came out of severely dysfunctional households, we were trying to be good people, strong people, righteous people, but we just didn’t know how. And how do you translate to being a parent???
It’s December, 1985, my mother works for the Sherriff’s office, she got him to give me a reprieve on the eviction to January, 1986. She had her own rental property, but alas, she would not offer that to me.
It was bitter cold, I don’t think that has been a colder winter day in Philadelphia since. We stepped out into the street after watching our belongings get packed into a big truck and sent off to the Storage Center. The children were very, very sad about all their toys, and while I was able to save 7 days of clothes for them, their books and a few other things in the house of a friend, they wanted their toys!!! Toys are so important to youngsters. You are thinking of survival while they are thinking about the next time they will be able to play.
We stayed in a shelter, overnight, one night, that’s all, I could not bare it there. So I called my friend, a male friend, an intimate male friend, let me add, who did not offer to let me stay there, because, again, my lifestyle was not of his liking. I have since stopped practising orthodox Islam and am now knee deep in African Traditional Spirituality. He is Buddhist, and while he was curious, he felt superior to me and my children and would not tolerate me or my children to live in his home with our false gods. Hmm, my false gods didn’t dissuade him from partaking of my deliciousness but that’s another long story. True though.
We stayed with him for 6 months and then we are off again, under the cover of darkness, avoiding confrontation, we leave and move into another harrowing situation that appeared on the surface to be legit, and ended up being a bit unsavory. Choices, we work them out, we come to decisions and then we do stuff.. We do stuff based on what??? Our inner sense of what we should do or desperation? I forgive that dude too. What the heck did he know about being a really good friend, a really good support person, a decent guy? He was just a Buddhist, and religion does not make you any of these things.
Ironically, after the initial distortions of living in this new home, with my family, another crisis arrived. This time the owner of the property, full of his own right to do so, put my four children out and put a pad lock on the door!! Why, because he had been found by the Housing Authority in response to my inquiry. I had not paid him any rent for 2 years, why? I couldn’t find him. So out of concern that this may be another eviction situation, I investigated and found that they were looking for him too. He was in violation, he was not supposed to be renting the home according to the agreement he signed. The police undid the padlock and let us back in and intimated that my relationship with him must have been more than Landlord-Tenant. Why? Why would that even be a consideration I asked? Because of his anger??
We lived here another 4 years, and by the way, Mike, you are forgiven. We lived here rent free… why, cause Mike disappeared and couldn’t be found. The woman working on the case went out on maternity leave, two times, get that, two times, meaning that she let that case fall through the cracks.
Eventually, the house began to deteriorate and fall apart. While I did not legally own the home, repairs that need to be made were my responsibility. On welfare, with a part-time job and 4 young children, those repairs barely got taken care of. Eventually, we were confronted with plumbing problems and it became clear, we had to move, again!!! We lived out of boxes for 6 months till I was able to find another home for my family.
One day, we get a notice, our electricity had been illegally connected. “Do you wish to pay the back bill or do you wish we turn it off and begin it again in your name? You will still be responsible for all the Electricity you have received, even though you did not know it was illegally connected. You have 2 weeks to vacate the premises.” This time was a little different, nevertheless, the moving drama persists.
I am working now, creating a niche for myself in a community counselling program. I am saving money and I am in the position to get another home for my family. The real estate lady, who felt really bad about her negligence in another situation, strongly pushed for the home I came to live in for 13 years. The longest stretch I have stayed anywhere. It seemed it would work out perfectly, but within two years of moving in, I am being evicted from the community program I headed up. The entire company is under investigation by the FBI and we have to get out of the building, they are gonna shut it down!!
The move from this facility had me comatose. I sat in the midst of it all as the movers packed and stored all the materials. I had a great friend at the time, who seemed to understand my inability to function, he took over the move out of the facility and the move of the materials, furniture, etc. into my home. A home I had only been in for about 18 months and am again facing the very real possibility that I may have to vacate, again.
I was able to pay the rent for several months after that, and then it became a little more challenging.
Wow! I remained in an animated “now what” stage for several months, approximately two years. Then I got it together, I am gonna start my own business. I got enough skills.
I met a Psychologist, who was willing to work with me, and we began to rise up out of the ashes. Dr. McNeil.. I forgive you too, man.. You were older and I am sure you had your sites on higher ground just getting your feet wet here in this area, but it would have been nice to know that you were moving on.
Abandonment. How many of us are faced with that prospect? We are abandoned and then we turn around and abandon others. What is that all about? Is it really karmic or the resolution of drama in a dramatic play of unresolved issues and extenuating circumstances.
Business got slower and slower, folks left, some volunteered, others went for another paying job, and the business held on by a tiny sliver. Within a few years, I am facing the situation of inconsistency with paying the rent. My landlord of that era was really, really ready to through me out, but he saw how I transformed his house into a business and having experienced his own ups and downs in business he was a little more tolerant. Tolerant only to the point of having me there, but he made no repairs. In essence we came to the mutual agreement, that I would need to vacate the premises. I started my search, contemplated communal living, decided to move out of Philly proper and found the home I am living in now. I forgive you too, Mr. Williams. He held on to me because his father and I had a wonderful rapport. Whenever I would go over and drop off the rent, we would sit for hours talking. His father got really ill after a unfortunate fall, and never recovered. He eventually passed on, and was shortly followed by his wife.
Everything changed around us, the neighborhood changed with the promise of it becoming a Mecca of development housing for any city developer, all preceding the housing bubble bust. Mr. Williams was feeling optimistic that he could sell the property. Maybe at some point, it’s been 6.5 years and still no buyers.
I was hobbling around with a cane, after having an acute case of rheumatoid arthritis. I had to move again, I believe my subconscious mind, collapsed under the pressure and pushed that collapse to my knees. I could barely walk, and certainly could not move, hold, pick up or pack anything heavy. I had to call on the resources of friends and family to help me move this time.
I guess he liked my style when he agreed to let me live here. I am an older woman, no children and only a couple of cats. Surely I would not be a risk. And initially, I was not. Now my payment record looks a little shady, we have had two actual court meetings and now he is threatening another. Coincidentally, his name is Mike, and this is the same time of year as my eviction from the home I bought with my second husband.
I know there is a lesson, a story, a drama, that I must face and work out as it relates to my housing situation and my ability to maintain myself financially in such a way that I can secure my housing. How do I do this, how do I begin?
Well, I forgive, all them folks who hurt me, or cause my housing situation to be insecure. Whether they realize it or not, they too were acting out of fear. The fear of being able to maintain and sustain themselves and their situation.
I know that my present landlord is overcome with fear about the fact that this source of income will not be consistent. He needs it to take care of his responsibilities and he has every right to expect me to take care of mine. That I totally understand, what I am uncovering is the housing drama and the many nuances that come with that. What is the lesson for me, and why does this happen over and over again. I am writing this down to see if I can find the common thread. I have thought of it much and much more.
I have come to understand that forgiving others is very important, but forgiving yourself is even more important. So I am forgiving myself for my “choices” and the circumstances that followed that lead to other choices that may not have been exactly what I would have liked. On this path of self discovery and owning of the Divinity within, it is coming clear, that this “Moving Drama” is a part of this journey as well.
It seems that we are stuck in a relationship frequency around home and shelter security. It is set up on land that was stolen from the First peoples who were here, and it has been carved up and divided among the masses who are presently here for profit, pleasure and desecration of mother Earth.
While we may not directly participate in this we indirectly participate in that we are beneficiaries of this in some way. Each of us, having our personal drama, saddled with our community drama and our Nation’s drama around real estate, buying up and dividing up Mother Earth as if she has not given the Earth to all, freely.
We also make more profits building upon her and selling our building projects to others for profit. Of course if you are not a great land developer but merely a person attempting to secure your family in this drama, you may become a landlord yourself, while being a lessee as well. The damage, hatred, fear and consternation is passed down to all the underlings who we all are in essence but whom we seem to feel more superior to or better than. That was the essence of the letter I wrote to Mike and his wife. We do not live in a world, where communities are designed by mutual aid and assistance to help other members of the community. We are all here, doing for our own immediate self and family and barely pay attention to the plight of another human being.
We walk over the homeless. In order to do that we have to desensitize our selves so as not to feel the pain of another’s misfortune. So I forgive you as Mike. I know you are doing what you are forced to do. Surely you would do it differently, but you too are overwhelmed with your need to be secure in your own home. So the Ferris wheel goes around, we each take a turn getting on and getting off, but we are not free of it, until we decided to not get on.
Today, I am identifying my own “housing drama.” I have never faced it, resolved it or released it. It’s an exercise in self empowerment and self determination. While I must admit that I do live on a planet that has been used to dominate others, I am getting closer to how that dominion effects me from various sources and how this oppression has played itself out in my own housing drama.
I choose to claim myself and my dignity. That there is no situation that can reduce me to less than that unless I allow it. If I give myself over to fear, anxiety and defeat, then the housing drama, or any drama, will overtake me and render me defenceless. Knowing that I have made every positive effort within my given station of awareness to do my “fair share” within this housing drama, I am resolved of any guilt or ill feelings or misrepresentations. It is impossible to misrepresent a Divine Being experiencing itself in this corporal world.
My beingness is realized in all that I express. My Soul, in Divine Character is the Motivator and Sustainer of my Physical Body. Without it, this physical body would cease to exist. But while she is in the driver’s seat of this Expression of the Divine, I am Faithfilled & Fearfree, I am Protected. There is a Divine Partnership going on Between My Soul & My Physical Body. As we travel these many life stories, these many life dramas, we come to know more and more about Divinity and how it Expresses itself in all manner of circumstances, in all manner of Being.
So, after several long talks with myself, I asked Soul to give me a sign. Let me know what my next step should be. Is it really time for me to move on? Am I in a better state of mind to do this? I asked that something wonderful happen, that day, each day. I commanded that something wonderful happen, before I rose from my bed. And it did!! I wondered what it would be, all the way to 3 O’clock in the morning. Then, while watching a YouTube video, a man talking in a monotone said, “Living in My Van.” That hit me like a ton of bricks. I was just about to turn him off right before he said that. In those few seconds of listening more to him, the words came, loud and clear!!
My heart raced, my mind raced, I went to bed to see if there was a dream to back this up. I could not sleep. I kept having visions of this place being empty of my things. While I attempted to see if I would be staying here, the flashes came, one after another, I was not. I was packing, things were gone from here and all I could think of was how that would happen and it occurred to me again, “Living In My Van.” I could move to a trailer. Absolutely!!! I kept imagining how that could take place, I could see it, feel it, smell it, sense it. And of course the doubts would come in too. So I asked for a dream, a dream that would help me to see if this was my next move. And they did come, two nights in a row. I asked for signs throughout the day. I wanted to see a trailer home or RV while I was out. Haven’t seen that yet, but did have two dreams that seem to be pointing me in that direction.
Somehow, I feel I have my power back! I feel excited about getting out of here. I feel vindicated. Did I learn my lesson, or have I just taken the ball out of his court and placed it in mine? Am I excited because I no longer feel victimized by this situation, or I feel more powerful than Mike, cause I am making my own choices? I wish him and his family well, and thank him for allowing me to stay here, under these circumstances, it has been difficult for us both. But this time, I will leave, with love and light in my heart, not pain and uncertainty. My many travels have brought me to this juncture. I embrace my life and my housing drama. I have learned from you. I look forward to being that turtle again, whose house was right on his back.
Living on this planet, particularly in the industrialized world, we as, humans are faced with the issue of survival. It is challenged, given and taken by Overlords and Masters who feel they can determine how we survive. They can persuade us in any number of ways to give up our individual sovereignty and dangle fallacious opportunities to us, under the guise of showing us a “better way of life.” In the position to easily take from us, they can create all manner of needs and fears. This insures they will never be without, or so it may seem.
Pressing us into manifesting through our lower chakras we grapple with survival and wanting to be one of the “haves.” We subject our children to their food, mentally, educationally, emotionally and spiritually; and replicate the illusion of one person’s dominion over another. We become completely divorced from our soul center and waddle around looking for some one to save us. We become even more easily controlled as we hand our children over, day after day, to this system, this program, this survival drama. We have become powerless victims.
If we were so powerless, there would be no battle for our power, our energy. When we regain our personal power, our personal sovereignty, we no longer need to fear them. They have become powerless to control us anymore. It is a journey, an uphill climb, but we must do it. Mother Earth and the Universe is watching and expecting us “Home” for dinner.