Beyond Appearances – By Guest Author – Marilyn Redmond
I met my husband in college at a college dance, the first day of school. We were both in the college band and the hop was to introduce us to the other band members. The fellow with whom I was dancing needed to leave early that at evening. He turned to my husband to be and said, “Here you dance with her. I have to head back to Seattle for work”.
Over time of being in classes with my new dance partner, we became friendly. I enjoyed pleasant conversations in the music rooms after practice time. He even asked my advice about a couple of his concerns. I was flattered that he wanted to know my opinions. This was new to me and I was pleased to find someone that seemed interested in what I had to say.
We married in our senior year of college. In moving to a small town where we taught music, I thought I had left my family background of madness. It was not until he tried to kill me several times and I was trying suicide that I had to find the real answers to mental illness and its various labels. Today, I understand the underlying dynamics of fear and a lack of honesty with yourself. I was looking for love in all the wrong places.
I was used to being treated poorly from my home. Because “Like attracts like“, I had subconsciously found a person as sick as I was. I did not see that we were two peas in the pod. With thirty years of thinking I could change him to like me more or be better to me, was a waste. The only answer was a divorce to find a healthy lifestyle.
I was a needy person looking for someone to take care of me. My co-dependency held me in the marriage. I realized later that I was emotionally stunted because I had not grown up from my emotional trauma at the age of three. His abuse started from a young age, too. He was as needy and abused as I was. We were the Bobbsey Twins.
Being in the middle of my circumstances, I could not see the trees for the forest. Sadly, my psychiatrist said, it was not likely he could face his childhood fears and move beyond. This meant he could not likely be honest with himself and outgrow his abuse.
Our culture has misinformed us as to various illnesses including those labeled borderline, narcissism, Bipolar Disorder, or/and mental illness. We were both narcissistic in unfathomable survival. I was told I could be borderline by my psychiatrist when I was early in recovery for addiction to prescriptions and alcohol.
My husband was seeing this doctor for his recovery, too. During a discussion with the doctor one day, he told me he did not like to label people; however, my spouse had “psychopathic behavior“. This has shown me a huge lesson that to label people keeps them sick. Putting a person in a box with a label actually adds fuel to the fire and stokes it well for them to live with that label. Medications kept me inside that box, without a way out.
When a person is seen beyond the label, they can grow beyond the behaviors, and find reality, if they want to. The person inside the façade is a child of the universe that has been wounded. In looking for love, we fearfully search the material world for people and situations to love us.
Learning that I could not change anyone but myself, set me on a path of spirituality. This brought the information that when the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. The other answer to the solution was that those who suffer grave emotional and mental disorders can recover if they have the capacity to be honest. The decisive factor was to hear what Edgar Cayce, The Father of Holistic Health said, “There are in truth no incurable conditions“. I now knew I could grow up.
During meditation, one day, the silent voice asked me, “Was I ready to leave my prison of Bipolar Disorder as my mother who was paranoid schizophrenia could not?” I thought for a minute and said, “Yes”. Opportunities appeared in my life to support my emotional growth and healthy behaviors into a new life style. I could not have a conscious contact with my higher power while being drugged. The real changes occurred when I stopped all prescriptions for rational thinking.
My inner voice told me “I would attract another person like me, when I changed. I had to become what I wanted.“ I wanted to be a mature person and be in a relationship with another healthy person. I made a list of the traits I wanted in a partner. Spiritual, honest, integrity, sincere, and loyal were on my list. After counseling, the 12 steps, and meditation for quite a few years, I did attract a man with those traits.
Labels are the levels of fear and lack of self-honesty. I found more behaviors in myself that could be labeled, too. Without clinging to those, I took the steps to replace them with loving solutions. In recovery, I found the answer to grow up and not allow the labels to stop me from leaving my mental prisons. I write and speak about these solutions today.
Everyone is right where he or she need to be. To allow the other person to find their way and not do it my way, has been the difference. We all have behaviors from karma or this life that we need to heal. Seeing other people through the eyes of love and not focusing on their faults has made a big difference. There is a little bit of good and bad in all of us.
I now love others until they can love themselves. To label a person who needs to grow beyond their fears and woundedness is insanity. It is my job to support each “child of the universe“ on their own path into maturity. It does not matter the label; love never fails.
My man friend has grown as I have become more emotionally available. I am in a relationship of supporting each other, sharing, being ourselves, and caring. Next month will be 16 years in a relationship of unconditional love. We allow each other to “Live and let live”. Instead of a fear-based life, I now enjoy the love-based life that I always wanted.
Rev. Marilyn L. Redmond, BA, CHT, IBRT is an international speaker, international award winning writer, international author, international consultant, international columnist, international board certified regression therapist, artist, and ordained minister for spiritual counseling. Enjoy her latest books, “Road to Success” and “Paradigm Busters, Reveal the Real You”, and other books that are available on Amazon.com. They are inspirational and helpful.