Category Archives: Tending Your Inner Garden

Letter to Grandpa

Letter to Grandpa

Dear Grandpa,
It has been 3 years since the first memory emerged of you violating me in my tender years, revealing
that my persistent nightmares of rape were rooted in truth. These memories have been fragile shadows
always present in my life, waiting to be unearthed with care and respect.

In the earliest memories I did not know you, the perpetrator. The face on this male energy was a
black cloud of pain, rage, and self-loathing that pulled compassion from me. As unbelievable as it seems,
my compassion for you was spontaneously more palpable than for my Self; your pain was wildly vivid
and accessible to me. My core Being felt the enormity of your angst, your struggle.

I think of this witnessing as a gift.

The impact of your self-loathing during my remembering brought me to my knees inside because I,
too, have loathed myself so completely that I was left gasping for breath and fighting with life. I finally
understood the errant seed that had taken root so long ago.

After a few weeks, your face, your smell, your voice emerged from that black cloud. I had two
grandpa’s then, one that was in the photos of my recorded milestones and the other that was this monster
and master of violence.

Soon, I found anger for you and your choices. I yelled until I lacked voice once again and punched
the boxing bag wishing it was you, except then you wouldn’t be dead. You did make things easier by
exiting before you harmed another generation. I think it was the only way you knew how to stop. My son,
your first great grandchild, was due any day so you exercised a rare bit of courage, and you died.

It seems a strange package, but anger for you delivered me to compassion for my Self. Finally
my unexpressed childhood was exposed. Grief and sorrow were first in line for all the years of black
depression, migraines, anxieties, and unfounded fears that left me feeling gutted of the ability to
experience basic pleasure in the micro or the macro of living.

It seems ridiculously backwards: compassion for you before my Self. However, I have accepted that
healing unfolds in mysterious and miraculous ways. Grandpa, I know you hated who you were. I don’t
believe in hell as an afterlife. I believe in healing. And healing in hell would be next to impossible.

I keep searching for healing, Grandpa, seeking more freedom. What if you had chosen to feel the
world through my heart? What if you had stepped into my skin, felt the vast cavern of fear and silence
that held no markings for the path to healing and voice? Perhaps you would have found the strength to put
a stop to this cycle of violence. Maybe you would have found compassion for your wounded Self in that
space of Me.

Because compassion was my deliverer, I see a Circle of Compassion that holds every living being. I
believe if we intentionally move through the circle, we will be richer and deeper as individuals, naturally
stronger and more connected as a community. It means we find our place on this circle and diligently
move forward until we experience the weak, the sick, the young, the old, the strong, the healthy, the rich,
the poor, the neglected, the abusers, the victims, the rapists, the advocates, the care givers, the judges and the animals, the Earth —leaving no living being untouched.

What if by visiting the depths of all that we have in common with each other we heal our deeply held

Living with compassion does not mean a life free of pain, but rather a life where communication,
reconciliation, restoration, and healing are honorable, sought after experiences.

What if we begin to imagine a world that does not understand the words violence, abuse, rape, neglect, and discrimination?

Somehow I know you are listening, Grandpa.

—Angie, The Feisty One


Angela’s Voice / January 28, 2011 / Journal Entry

Angela’s Voice / January 28, 2011 / Journal Entry

I vomited up disappointment tonight.

I realized my HUGE fear of disappointing people.
This fear has driven me to overcommit, over-deliver, and please, please, please at the expense of my health, my self-care, my well-being.
It was an energetic vomiting of being told not to be a disappointment by my grandpa. The mental tape, literally in his voice, was “Don’t disappoint me Angie.”

I remembered all the ways I feel disappointed by others and all the ways I feel I disappoint others. And I saw all the situations I put myself into that are impossible for me to come out on top, so I disappoint everyone involved.

God it hurt. I cried out. I sobbed. I yelled. I rocked back and forth holding my gut – the home of this fear for so many years.

During this experience, I had the thought that I should reach out to a friend because it was one of those dark moments that good friends want to help you through. One of those moments that a friend wishes she would have been called on when she hears about it later. As I started scrolling through my telephone contacts, I asked myself, “What do I want from someone right now?” The answer was to be held and rocked; to be assured that I will get better. I wanted my mom. Since calling my mom was not an option, I kept scrolling – looking for the friend that would support me best in this moment.

I didn’t get very far before I realized that the no one could be my mom in that moment more than my mom. Asking someone to try to fill her shoes would be unfair. And, I knew, with Divine clarity, that my perfect mom friend resided within me. I didn’t need my mother; I could reach out and hold and rock that child within that needed loved and reassured better than anyone else. I literally held and rocked myself, whispering the nurturing, loving words that I longed to hear in that moment. I invited God to also wrap arms of love and protection around me. I cried and keened with that hurting child as a mother and as a friend. And it was perfect. There was no disappointment, just love and comfort.

In the end, the message was (and is) “Angie, you are enough. In every moment, you are enough.” There is not much room for disappointment when we are enough.

This is an invitation to search for all that you are looking for within yourself, be your own witness. Invite God into the experience and know that you hold all the keys to your own healing. Love yourself the way that no one else can love you – deeply and profoundly – this is where you find God and where you find yourself.

-Angela Rae Clark, 2006 TYIG Seedling still finding her way in the Inner Garden world. Angela is sharing part of her 2011 experience of healing from emerging memories of rape, torture and trauma involving the grandfather that is mentioned in this article. She is immensely grateful for the TYIG tools and experiences to draw upon. Deb, Diane and the TYIG friends are a constant inspiration and source of love and support. Angela offers others support and healing through her healing arts practice, The Ki Inside.



Journal Entry / May 6, 2011

What if we all allowed ourselves to have a fear friend? Someone that will work to fully understand our fear and to assure us we are capable of working through it. God, I think I could use a fear friend. (Maybe two?)

There are days I am afraid of these repressed memories. Afraid they will swallow me up, that I won’t find my way back.

I am terrified that I will be labeled crazy for the rest of my life.

Afraid I won’t find someone to love me for who I am today – a woman with an ugly past.

I am afraid that I won’t ever have another date or the thrill of falling in love.

I am afraid that I will have a trigger or reaction that hurts someone else.

I am afraid that I’ll take so long to find my way that it won’t matter anymore.

I am afraid that I will lose friends because I am not the same person I used to be.

I am afraid that I won’t find peace because I won’t find all my memories, leaving me unable to heal completely.

I am afraid that my capacity for joy – sacred holy joy of life and living will never be mine. That the glimpses I have had are all I get.

**End of journal entry. Additional reflections:

A few years back, I realized a pattern: I had a limited amount of intimacy in my life. I had done an excellent job at creating plenty of relationships where I was needed by others more than I allowed myself to be needed by another. I sat with the awareness and watched it play out time and time again. I managed to catch myself in moments of intimacy with friends here and there but mostly, I kept myself too busy for intimate moments to reach me on a regular basis. I longed for intimacy but was terrified of the prospect of needing someone, depending on someone, which was my definition of intimacy. I longed for a spiritual partner, but didn’t put myself into the dating world.

When old childhood memories began to emerge, I didn’t have any choice but to become deeply intimate with myself on all levels. Finding that space within my Self, where my fears are born, was the first step to knowing intimacy. Next I asked God to be my first witness, my trusted friend.

Intimacy is about sharing and supporting more than needing to be needed. Intimacy is about honoring each other with unconditional love and grace. Do I still have bouts of fear? Almost daily butterflies ripple in my gut when I choose to share more of who I am; open up to receive love rather than just give, which is my old pattern.

Intimacy means reaching out especially when fetal position in my bed is all that seems safe. When it seems I know something about intimacy, it asks more of me. And I laugh with God (and cry) in the knowledge that I know nothing, absolutely nothing, about intimacy. Somehow, I manage to keep showing up for practice. Gratefully, a few forgiving friends show up too.

Spring is about lifting your face unabashedly into the reflection of a friend, stretching and lifting your whole heart in an effort to grow and blossom – allowing the rain to soften us and the sun to warm us.

-Angela Rae Clark, 2006 Tending Your Inner Garden Seedling still finding ways to blossom in the world. Angela is sharing part of her recent experience of healing from emerging memories of childhood rape, torture and trauma. She is immensely grateful to have the TYIG tools and experiences to draw upon during this journey. Deb, Diane and the TYIG friends are a constant inspiration and source of love and support. Angela supports others through her healing arts practice, The Ki Inside.

Angela’s Voice / The Missing Puzzle Piece

Angela’s Voice / The Missing Puzzle Piece

Journal Entry / May 20, 1996

My dream last night was of me as a little girl in the car and angry about where we were going. I couldn’t tell anyone why, but I was terrified of visiting this place.

The scene changes in my dream: the little girl took my hand and led me to a wall where there was a puzzle hanging. It was a puzzle representing my life. All the events and people I had experienced were in this picture. There was a general sense of chaos visible and palpable when I looked at this puzzle. I noted there was one piece missing in the lower right hand quadrant.

Then she motioned for me to lean over and examine something in her hand as she strained to lift it higher: It was a puzzle piece. Without saying a word she expressed the importance of what was on that puzzle piece. She was right, it was important. I looked in her eyes and nodded, acknowledging her wisdom and my understanding. Then she carefully placed it in the puzzle on the wall. In an instant the chaotic energy that had been overlaying the puzzle vanished. There was a thread from that piece to every person and event portrayed in the puzzle. Instantly, everything made perfect sense. My entire being resonated with relief and freedom with this new information.

The dream is crystal clear this morning except what was on the single puzzle piece.

Journal Entry / December 25, 2010

Fourteen years of this dream and I finally know what is on the puzzle piece. The chaos in my life is gone, seemingly evaporated overnight. I am still, very still. There is an understanding of myself that I have been longing for my whole adult life. I now have memories that my brain chose to bury at the age of 3. I don’t know where these memories will take me, but my physical body is in a state of relief. I am acutely aware that my body has been spending enormous amounts of energy holding these memories inside. The freedom and liberation is immense.

Journal Entry / April 10, 2012

As each memory emerges, I experience a state of shock. I consciously navigate acceptance and integration of this new information into my story. Reliving the trauma is difficult. But I recognize that I cannot heal from that which I do not remember. How can I heal the wounds of rape if I can’t acknowledge that it happened? Awareness and acceptance have been critical to navigating the storms of the past as I pick up and hold the broken debris. These relics lead me to a deeper understanding of myself. Healing and the ability to choose differently emerge from the brokenness.

I am continually amazed that everything I did before seeking professional help was exactly what the experts are guiding me through now, 17 months after the first memory emerged. I am grateful that I had such a connection to my innate wisdom. I have been guided efficiently through this journey. God has provided the people, resources and support that I needed at exactly the right moment – all I had to do was ask.

I believe that as we each commit to healing our wounds, whatever they are, that we create a healing ripple of energy into our immediate family and friends that spreads out over the Earth. I visualize that healing energy rippling out across the world frequently – some days it is what keeps me going. However, most days the ability to move forward and continue to heal, come from the inner freedom and healing that I have already experienced. The healed part of my soul reaches out to the wounded places and beckons me inside.