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Mini Life Book for Gerald, Norman and Geraldine
My fraternal Twin sister and I were born on August 12 1944. I was named Gerald Norman and my sister was named Geraldine Normande.There is no mention of a father’s name on the certificate of registration of our births.
We were conceived, very much an unplanned pregnancy. In fact my mother made four separate attempts at aborting this pregnancy. I also know these various abortion attempts, were performed by her at home and no medical interventions were involved. My Identical Twin brother Norman died through these abortion attempts and was miscarried. She felt she had succeeded. However discovering she was still pregnant she tried hot mustard plasters, a darning needle and very hot and very cold baths.
Mother was 36 and her Lover - my biological father- was 56 when we were born. I know he did not want this pregnancy and this was a huge factor in her decision to abort this multiple pregnancy. With that said, a record of the $300 maternity hospital bill shows his name on it, however he then left her. She returned to her original marriage and backdated our date of birth on the certificates of baptisms by three months to pass us off as her husband's children.
Being deeply wounded is very much part of my history and I understand it very well. I have body memories of the hot mustard plasters, trying to "boil me" out of the womb. For years I was not able to stand any warm physical body contact or clothing when in bed. I slept naked and without blankets. At age 36, when I literally relived that reality during a regressive release, my body temperature rose so high that my sweat glands opened up and the mat I was lying on was totally soaking wet. After that experience however my body temperature stabilized to very near normal levels ever since.
Through Birth Psychology, Primal Therapy and Holotropic Breathwork
In a Holotropic Breathwork set and setting...I actually re-lived and experienced those four abortion attempts simultaneously with much transformative healing involved: I could feel the pain of a sharp pointed object that was trying to penetrate the right side of my body. I protected myself by raising by body to the roof of the womb and remaining very still. Unfortunately I actually re-experienced an awareness that my twin sister was also trying to kill me mitigated by her own attempts at Survival through these repeated attempted abortions perpetrated upon the both of us.
Despite her abortion attempts, we survived and Mother chose to carry us to full term. Our hospital records show we were born healthy and I was born first and 5 minutes apart weighing 14 ounces heavier than my twin sister. I learned later that Mother had given birth to 8 prior children, whom she had left behind before this Love Affair took place. I recall my half-sisters related Mother’s newborns as that "she would pop them out real easy."
She gave May 27, 1944 as the date of our birth in the hope that he would think he was our father. He was not our father - as I was to discover, many years later and he did little or nothing to support us. Furthermore at fourteen she summoned me to her home for an important meeting and went for a short walk to be introduced to a man she claimed was my Godfather. It was a very non-event meeting until he turned and walked away out of view She grabbed me by the shoulders and began shaking me like leaves off a tree and said in very emphatic voice. " Don’t you ever forget this man" and said this is your Godfather, and he is a rich man and only has one daughter and suddenly released me. I turned and ran away.
I suppressed that event until age 27 when we had our authentic birth certificates in hand and realized she had actually introduced me to my biological father back then. On her deathbed a family member relayed to me that Mother wanted me to attend; for she had something very important to tell me and I refused to attend nor be at her Funeral. A year or so later I was told her remarried status husband at the time that he had important papers to give to me. When I showed up he denied such papers existed…My sense is that he would not give me those papers and the secret would go to her grave without my ever finding out about the origins of my Paternity.
In February 1945 our mother left us both at the Timmins Children’s Aid Society shelter, as she had no money to adequately care for us. We were shuffled back and forth from shelter to mother many times while at the same time placed out for adoption and my twin sister removed from me numerous times though these various potential adoption placements.
While I was in care, I acted out all the trauma of my pre-birth and post birth experiences, to the point of being very confrontive and unmanageable. According to the report made by the society some years later, I "had a bad temper, at times became violent, had difficulty getting along with people" as I "bullied" the children in the C.A.S. Shelter (while placed there as a 14 years old). According to them, I saw my sister Geraldine as "a threat" as if she may "steal’ my foster home.
What was going on inside was a rather different story. Life was chaotic. For starters, everyone spoke a different language in the place where we were placed from where we were born. I could not stop myself from yearning for my birth parents. My futile attempts at overcoming the hurt of the past included my re-enacting the hurts over and over again in the present, expecting a different result. As a child, I reacted with survival behaviors. Later I developed many addictions most prevalent was alcohol.
My inner reality involved four attempted abortions while in utero, illegitimacy, abandonment, neglect and relinquishment at six months of age; twelve different homes before the age of seven. Prior repeated separations from my twin sister through numerous unsuccessful adoption attempts. And throughout, the burden of fault was placed directly upon me.
In one family there was an older foster child who was mean to little kids because they were weak and small. He punched me a lot in secret and pulled hard on my penis in the middle of the night.
It was clear that my foster parents couldn't hold me tightly in their hearts at all. I wanted them to be ready to hold me, and then hold me some more, when all the time I was acting like I didn’t want them at all. I wasn’t going to let them imagine, even for a minute, that I liked them, or that I needed them desperately. I wasn't going to let anybody like me… including myself.
If I got a little bit comfortable with my latest "parents" I started head rocking back and forth or banging my head, or I would go back to stiffening my body, screaming at night, and doing everything I could to tell them that I didn’t want them to love me.
I tried to make them love me, till I hated myself instead, and couldn't see a way out, and wished that they were dead to me. When I ran into conflicts I would fight to the bitter end. I thought that winning meant I would not be hurt again. Then losing, I abandoned myself to become a chameleon by what I believed they wanted me to be, and in doing so I lost parts of myself in the process.
I wondered if they were willing to feel as powerless as I did. So I challenged them to see if they were ready to really stay with me, and they wounded me in all kinds of ways instead.
For some reason, I started to self-loathing myself. It didn’t make much sense for me to join in with all the other people who had hurt me, by hurting myself, but I did it anyway. I pulled out my eyebrows. I bit on my hand, or dug at my face, or made bad sores on the top of my head from scratching myself and at times pulled out clumps of my hair.
I grew to hate smallness, and weakness and defenselessness in my own self, which I attacked, particularly when I was feeling small or scared, and I needed to beat myself into more toughness.
In search of some comfort, I masturbated a lot. I even let a dog lick me down there. I would run away into the arms of strangers, like I had known them forever, and like I didn't actually care anymore who I am of who I should be safe with or not.
Food was forbidden by matriarchal foster mother figures, except when given to with no choice, other than to go without. Adults had complete power over every aspect of my life. I was not even allowed to own my own feelings. Dare I anger the foster caregivers, they having the right to damn me, to humiliate me, to degrade me, beat me and sexually abuse me. Little by little parts of my spirit began to die.
As I grew, having no way to escape those hellish horrible experiences of powerlessness, I could only take with me what I was given by internalizing the threats, fears, angers, seething rage, and volatile emotions all conditioned through the use and abuse of parental power. The result was addictive and compulsive behaviors.
I was made Crown Ward of the society in January 15th 1947. Many unsuccessful adoption placements were made on my behalf. By 1959 my unofficial status as adoptee had reverted to being a permanent ward of the Children’s Aid Society, at fifteen, due to extreme mitigating circumstances. I recall a devastating sense of total personal failure in ever hoping to belong to a family of origin, to a fostering family, to an adoptive family, to a community, to society or to humanity as a whole.
After many false starts I was permanently placed with my oldest half brother Lawrence November 1959 at age 15 and was reintroduced into my Family of Origins. No member of family would receive my fraternal twin sister Geraldine and she stayed at the shelter, which brought me horrendous inner pain and guilt seeing her excluded. For I was the one who made the original decision for both of us to leave our unofficial seven year permanent adoption possibility.
At 17 I wrote a poem for my biological Mother, signed "from your forsaken son." In essence she would never see the day I wed for her to be. I delivered it personally and after reading it she turned into a rage and crumbled it. That was the last time I ever saw her. She did not show up at my twin sister's wedding, -which was my double intent in protecting my twin Geraldine.
When I got married 3 years later, Mother was going around telling the rest of the family I couldn't stop her from attending my wedding. I told all my half brothers and sisters - all eight of them - that if she showed up at my wedding reception I would physicall and personally throw her out. She got the message and did not show up. My half siblings all came to me after my wedding reception and congratulated me, for none of them were ever able to stop her...breaking into all their weddings uninvited. That's how much hate ran through my family of origin.
To this day I am aware of my strong "shadow’ side, which grabs me by "the scrotum" when I least expect it and creates havoc in my daily life, leaving me terribly humiliated at times. This is how it was, before reclaiming the roots of my childhood abuse, sadly I passed on cycles of generational abuse onto my own children. The wounds of the father are also passed on to our daughters too. As a result my family has dissolved as a family unit.
In 1979, in search of inner healing, I felt called to explore the Shamanic Traditions, and have been on this path of The Wounded Healer ever since. I began spontaneously painting from the realm of the unconscious and other art media in that year. Prior to that I could only draw stickman figures. Since then I have been exploring, through my art, themes of twinship, the sperm journey, conception, pre and peri natal life, attempted abortions, and more. I began Primal Therapy in 1980 and this has helped me tremendously.
As part of this healing journey I managed to reclaim my original identity in 2001. My adopted younger brother Serge initiated a Search and Reunion, in validating the coveted identity of my biological father suspected many years ago.. His surname is Tremblay. I experimented with Gerald N Tremblay as my surname - and it felt authentic and very grounded in recovering my paternal roots.
I took early retirement at age 51 from General Motors feeling very wounded by the industrial treatment of people in general, and I am still very sensitive about many things in my past and present life.
The healing continues: I have found the courage to feel and reclaim the fragmented aspects of myself caused by my biological and biographical history. My friends are mostly women. I have heart friends, who include both men and women, but my past negative experiences with men and their over Inflated Egos turn me right off.
The final piece of this mosaic fell into place March 24/08, when I connected that I am a fraternal twin as well as an identical twin to Norman who was lost to a darning needle abortion attempt thus I am a WombTwin Survivor. Now many things in my life are progressively making integrated sense by reclaiming My Lost Identical Twin below...
March 24/08 -- In a Holotropic Breathwork set and setting.
I approached an Alabaster Sculpture I spontaneously created twenty-four years ago that sits on my fireplace mantel that I hold very dear to my heart and named it Eskimo Bond.
While approaching it, my left hand gradually began to reach out to the part of the sculpture that my eyes were focused on and a voice inside me whispered. There you are Norman I finally recognize you we are finally together within this present moment.
My gentle forefingers began stroking it’s tiny head and arms pressed against my body in greeting a new born babe from a timeless moment from eternity, a clarity occurred as my eyes began welling up in releasing tears of joy in the lost love returned in our re-unification.
I then adsorbed within me his tiny full body wrapped around mine. His arms grasping my neck, just prior to his final moment of life. In his Death my body turns into cold isolation frozen in time barren of feelings or expression. I then felt part of his spirit entering my whole being.
My right arm slowly folded around the whole sculpture in receiving him totally within every cell of my body. I began rocking with him gently back and forth and from side to side in a total body embrace together. I thanked him for his precious contribution through his presence while in womb together and within his short life, which has brought me to where I am in this very day March 27 2008. I am humbled and grateful by these unfolding experiences.
I sat down for about two hours absorbing the changes I could sense, and feel taking place deep within me. Wholeness never before felt in my present life was taking form before my very eyes and as I stood up and approached my art piece titled Dove Union.
A warm glowing smile formed on my face and the words spontaneously came. Norman, welcome back into my Heart and thank you for this precious Lesson in Love. And from a deep consciousness within arose the recognition that part of his soul essence became fused with mine when he was so suddenly taken away.
I then consciously released his partial spirit imbued within me thus freeing both of us to journey on our respective evolving journeys. I then whispered "Bon Voyage Mon Cher Frére" (my French roots). Good Journey My Dear Brother… as huge tears began rolling down my cheeks.
And yes they will flow for a while as the sorrow of this new discovery of my identical wombtwin survivor loss clears my body and soul in honoring my Twin Brother Norman lost to abortion and I Gerald the Identical WombTwin Survivor.
Just for this day I feel much Peace, Energy, Confidence, Aliveness, Creativity, Acceptance, Forgiveness. Receptivity and Love on my continuing Quest for Wholeness with a sense of Oneness within rather than the Duality which persisted throughout my Life. I honor the gift of courage within and the willingness to surrender in reclaiming my journey back from the loss of my Identical Twin Norman.
© Gerald N Tremblay nay Burnett