Note from Jen Pastiloff, founder of The Manifest-Station. This is part of our Young Voices Series for Girl Power: You Are Enough. We are always looking for more writing from YOU! Make sure you follow us on instagram at @GirlPowerYouAreEnough and on Facebook here.
By Anna Schoener
My hands were frozen in what can only be described as claws, my face contorted in an expression I didn’t know possible, and my body, from the hips down, had gone completely numb.
I knew two things: I didn’t want to keep going, to keep breathing. And I knew that the only way to survive, was to continue doing so.
When I was five years old, my mom was attacked and killed by a mountain lion. She was out on the running trails and never came home.
As a five-year-old, this was my first experience of death. My parents hadn’t needed to explain death to me before that point, so I knew virtually nothing about it. When we received the news, I cried and then I wanted to play a game. I went, almost immediately, back to my five-year-old self. It wasn’t until a couple years later, lying in bed one night; I realized for the first time that I would never see my mom again.
It took another twelve years or so before I found it in me to grieve for her. It started during a Reiki session, where for the briefest of moments, I found myself in the forest where her ashes were spread, completely at peace. It was the first time my soul felt that kind of solace since I was a small child, and as I left the Reiki session that day, I knew my life was about to change, I knew I was about to change.
I dove in. I did everything you’re supposed to do when grieving; I meditated, practiced yoga, wrote, cried, felt. But it wasn’t enough. The wounds I held had been left untreated for so long, it was like they’d been infected. Infected with sorrow, hopelessness, and self-hatred.
So I left. I left behind my hometown, my friends, and family and I went to New Zealand. For no reason at all, except that it was very far away. Continue Reading…