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  • Patricia Ann Phillips

Blog 1 : So here I am

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

So here I am on my first blog….hello 👋🏼. I hope this helps anyone who reads it.. xxx

A brief overview of my timeline includes the fact that I was stealing from school at the age of 6. By the age of 15 I was anorexic and facing expulsion from my school because of the negative impact my lack of eating was having on pupils. I subsequently developed bulimia to mask the anorexia in order to avoid being expelled. As a child I didn’t receive any professional intervention from anywhere, which isn’t unusual, and bulimia plagued me for the next 16 years. As an adult I’ve also identified with codependency; love addiction; under earning (that’s a ‘thing’ and a 12 step program); covert narcissism; ADHD; and also had a foray into borderline personality disorder in my late teens and early 20’s.

Since I can remember, I’ve existed with a crippling sense of shame that ‘I AM bad’ and damaged, and thus unloveable. There has been a vacuum in me where self-esteem and ‘self-power’ needed to reside. This lack of self-power caused a pervading sense of fear and foreboding in relation to being with other people, because I would be aware that I simply could not ‘show up’ for myself, or say ‘no’ when I meant ‘no’, no matter how much I wanted to. This victim stance would elicit a negative reaction in others, and I would feel threatened by virtually anybody. I became hyper-vigilant, over-analytical and innately defensive from an early age. This kind of background is very painful and necessarily leads to addiction in order to help manage and regulate (numb and suppress) the unmanageable feelings.

In order to survive my day to day life I would engage in adapted responses such as ‘shape shifting’; people pleasing, ‘fight/flight/freeze’ and disassociation. My ‘MO’ would be to exist ‘outside’ of my body looking in at myself in order to scrutinise my behaviour and try to ensure I didn’t do/say anything that might upset anyone. Each censoring or punitive message that I would tell myself would wound and disempower me further. I would also energetically ‘shrink’ myself when engaging with others in an attempt to avoid seeming like any kind of threat to them, in the hopes this would keep me safe from harm. (These are all controlling activities). Over time these adapted behaviours would translate into an unconscious abandoning of my physical core musculature, until I developed thoracic outlet syndrome in 2016 due to the rounding of my shoulders, and a blood clot in my arm that brought me to a&e aged 41. No medic could figure out the true cause, and I was offered surgery to remove a rib.

I’ve always believed that a singing voice existed inside me, hostage somewhere; perhaps a good singing voice exists in everyone. I have been trying to learn to sing since I was a teen. But since it’s also felt unsafe to be seen or heard, singing was an impossibility. The cognitive dissonance of those inner conflicts would cause my vocal musculature to involuntarily and unconsciously mobilise to block any sound from being produced. I would have nightmares of being trapped in an urgent situation with only a certain amount of time to speak before my throat would close. During singing lessons over the years I would ‘be’ outside of my body observing myself singing, so would inevitably sing ‘behind the beat’, which has elicited amusement. My singing voice started to make itself known quite recently, after 25 + years of a search to ‘find’ it.

Although I can say I am one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, and its genuine, the toxic core beliefs I’ve carried did give rise to an increasing self-centredness and self absorption over time. Such responses are coping strategies enlisted by a person’s ego to help its host (the body) ‘survive’ in a world of its own making ironically, and they manifest themselves narcissistically. By the age of 24, after sustaining considerable physical and emotional abuses at the hands of various men, I was on a trajectory more akin to someone like Aileen Wornos, than her antithesis, which I am today.

Due to my eating disorders, anorexia then bulimia, by the age of 29 I had the bone marrow of a 70 year old and had needed a 5 pint blood transfusion for haemoglobin levels low enough to cause organ failure and death. None of the one-to-one therapy I’d received had made the slightest bit of difference to me because nothing could come close to reaching beyond my shame and fear, to the tangled, unconscious and disconnected experience that was my inner world. For one thing, I would lie to therapists in order to avoid disappointing them in case they’d feel hurt they were not succeeding with me. That’s hopeless right?

As a dancer, even though I inhabited a different persona, I wouldn’t ask to be paid, in case that would make anyone feel they were being used. I would end up owing the dancing establishments I worked in money instead since dancers would have to pay to be allowed to work. Unfortunately in rehab I felt too unsafe to engage with the processes, since I felt I was more disgusting and damaged than anyone else there, and found the people too threatening. There are many more circumstances I could describe as I worsened, ‘ping ponging’ from one extreme and dangerous situation to another, with no earthly chance of a mental or physical recovery. However, at the age of 41, facing a love addiction ‘rock bottom’ that would have caused me to end my life, things finally began to change for me instead.

Love addiction withdrawal is described as a potentially urgent psychiatric condition, worse than heroin withdrawal. Well that’s where I was, and in excruciating fear, curled up in a foetal position gasping for breath. The fear is not a fear of dying, it’s a fear that somehow feels worse than that, like the eternal and incomprehensible darkness of purgatory. However, for the first time in my life, I actually ‘let go’ and trusted something ‘outside’ of me to guide me. I accepted the terror, for 2-3 seconds, before re-attaching myself again to my partner. I was able to do so facilitated by an inner voice and guide that I had learned to become aware of, that I call Self, a higher version of myself. The act of faith in those few seconds became my ‘ground zero’, and I’ve grown my recovery from there.

Today 6 years later, I’ve experienced a metaphorical ‘flowering’ as I establish a previously severed ability for self expression. In the context of the creative offering on this website, this signals to me that ‘life imitates art’ and vice versa. I have a workable self-esteem, and this website is my first foray into being seen and heard. I have loving relationships in my life and I am not the scared individual described above. I was able to heal my thoracic outlet syndrome without needing surgery, and I don’t have any eating disorders at all now.

Underlying our ego, there is an inner ‘knowing’ that mankind is a functional being, born into a functional ecosystem. Mankind can decide to heed the call to evolve spiritually, and develop self mastery if it wants, into becoming it’s true Self and the magnificent species that it is.

I have a long way to go in order to befriend and ‘master’ myself, but of course I now have every faith in the discoveries I’ve made over the last few years, because they have been the only catalysts to engender real transformations in me, which have been shocking.

Today I am viscerally unable to watch depictions of darkness as entertainment, whereas once upon a time I would feel ‘at home’ in these depictions. I feel compassion and love for myself and others, where once there was only mainly a blank numbness.

The guilt; loss; lack and suffering which I experienced day to day, and believed to be par for the course, were avoidable. I suggest that hope and unlimited possibilities for success exist for anyone in a terrible situation. I will describe more in my blogs.

More to come.

Sending Love


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