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Moment Of Clarity

The Day I Died

Many of us go through life either looking for death or trying to avoid meeting it for as long as possible. Some of us find him sooner than others and on more than one occasion. In general, people fear death because they don’t understand it and think it’s only physical.

In my 25 years of working with patients, I can confidently say that many of them were dead long before they walked into my office. They usually present a number of “symptoms” and have worked really hard to make their symptoms go away.

Truth be told, the only reason many are in my office is because their symptoms interfere with obtaining or maintaining something important to them like money, sex, marriage or some other desire they hold dear. By the time they come to me, they are tired, angry, and want to alleviate their pain or inconvenience.

Patients ask me how I was able to help them when so many previous attempts fell short. I believe everything we do helps us move closer to healing; nothing is wasted or failed. As for me, I don’t sit behind a blank screen or believe the number of letters after my name is an indicator of how effective I am. I’m human just like you with all of my flaws, imperfections, and lessons. I can only go as high as I am able to go low with myself.

I have worked on my “issues” from a clinical perspective for quite some time and have moved onto healing my soul. It is when I began healing my soul through spriritual psychotherapy that my work with patients looked, to them, like miracles. While I believe in clinical work, I have found that the real and enduring work occurs when the soul heals.

A Slow Death

Where do I begin, the ex-husband, children, siblings, parents? While they were excellent co-stars in my movie, blaming is too easy and leaves me with the feeling that I am cheating myself out of an opportunity to save another part of me.

I’m 42-years old now and my first death happened when I was four. I was cute with pigtails and a smile that lit up a room. We lived in an apartment in Hyde Park and my parents were married though I don’t recall my father being around much.

Mom went to a lot of Tupperware parties upstairs with Miss T. Miss T has a son, Willie and Willie had a friend whose name I’m unable to recall. Mom would allow Willie and his friend to babysit.

And so it began.

It went on for about a year, but it felt like forever. It was always in the bed, either my parents or mine. Even if it was light outside, it was always dark when “they” were there. There was always a dark shadow either in front of me or in the doorway before they climbed on top of me.

While “it” was happening, I would “go away” and although I could hear “it” occurring, the sounds were in the distance, far, far away.

Then, one day, the other neighbor boy took me to his apartment. I heard my mother knocking, no … banging on the door screaming to open it up but I didn’t. I just sat there looking at his bedroom door. Then he took my hand and led me to his room. Afterwards, he gave me a handful of pennies…

While I was confused and felt dirty knowing something very wrong had been happening, that wasn’t what killed me.

I walked down the back porch to my apartment. My mother was in the kitchen terrified and angry with a lot of people standing around. Apparently, they had been looking for me but seemed to have known where I was.

My mother grabbed me and yelled, “Where were you?! What did you do?!” Terrified, I shook my head and told her that I didn’t do anything and nothing happened. She was so angry with me. I knew then that I couldn’t tell her. Something in my soul told me that she already knew but didn’t want to know. I felt that those other girls told her something that frightened her.

That was when I died.

Healing My Soul 

At four years old, I thought I had to take care of and protect my mother and me and did the best I could. The part of me that could feel had gone away and hid only showing up as a “show poodle” looking to be rescued by someone. But no one ever showed up.

Then one day, I showed up. My therapist, Judy, helped me look for and find that part of myself. I brought her back into my heart where she belonged and oh my soul, did I ever cry! I held her and loved her for what felt like an eternity. I know this may sound weird to some of you, but that’s OK.

After I found her, I forgave my parents. Forgiving them was harder than forgiving the perpetrators because of how they responded after they discovered what happened. But by developing love and compassion for myself I was able to forgive them and take back my power.

The Catalyst for Healing

Before I saw Judy, I told both of my parents what happened to me when I was four years old. I was crying and yelling. Unbeknownst to me during the telephone conversation, my mother put the phone down and walked away within the first 30-seconds. My father picked up the phone, went outside and told me after I had “finished.”

I wanted my parents to say something like, “I’m sorry that happened to you.” Instead, I ended up apologizing to my mother on that call for not being a grateful daughter; and she “graciously” accepted my apology. As I look back on that conversation, I know that four-year-old was right, her mother didn’t want to know what she already knew.

My father told me he would call back but never did. I heard from him months later when he needed a place to stay; I hope he found one. My mother called six months later and started a conversation as if nothing ever happened. I sent her love and light then blocked her number.

As much as I love and am forever grateful to my parents, I have to allow them to carry their own bags on their journey…just like everyone else.

Death. It can bring forth new life. Each time a part of us dies, we have a chance to live again this time becoming stronger, wiser, and more whole. I have a lot more of me to find out there in the depths of my soul and I am excited to see which parts show up.

While I will always be a huge fan of psychotherapy and continue to offer it in my practice, if you’re looking to heal your soul the best therapies are RoHun, Yhandi, and heart-centered hypnotherapy. My patients who use one of these therapies with me tend to experience rapid healing and wholeness. Healing your soul will be the hardest work you’ll ever do, but you’ll choose to do it again because you’ll discover that you are worth it!

I hope this post helps someone find the courage to heal his or her soul. With love and light, I wish you pleasant journeys.

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW

Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at digitalpitches@ebony.com. We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. 

Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, and RoHun.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter here or join her on Facebook and Twitter!