Tearing down the Walls
Trust, Wonder Woman and perfection.
Up until recently, telling my story felt futile.
I have had so many walls up and have now come to the realisation that there is more to lose by not telling my story. For the longest time, I believed that my story had no value. You see, my life feels ordinary. Whilst I have been through some hardships, grief and loss, I’ve never stopped to consider that these events have shaped me, or that my story might be one that others resonate with.
What I want to share with you are some of the key events in my life that have shaped me. Over the last few years, I have been deeply enquiring what it means to be a woman. My womanhood has been something that I have held pain, love and sadness around.
The personal healing journey I have been on, particularly with my own mother, will be shared in this space. My mother is aware of everything that I share with you which is a testament to the work and a sign that I am on my soul path.
The stories I want to share with you come from a place of integration, compassion and understanding that my life and experience as a woman isn’t ordinary, in fact it is anything but ordinary.
Before you read any further, I want to say thank you.
For being here, and for receiving my truth.
So, here goes...
My name is Adrianna, and for as long as I can remember, I did not trust women.
My mother, a father’s daughter, a daughter of the patriarchy, was the embodiment of perfection.
She needed no one, and in my eyes, was Wonder Woman.
She could work a full time job, plus a side hustle, maintain a spotless house, have incredibly nourishing food on the table every single day, and still have energy to be a DIY queen and landscape gardener.
And on top of that, her beauty was blinding. Everywhere we went, she would turn heads, her beauty stopping most in their tracks.
But the thing was, you could never tell her so.
She couldn’t accept a compliment, nor could she ask for help.
And as I grew up I was repelled and simultaneously compelled to be a perfect woman just like my mother.
You see, my mother in all her perfection, was a lone wolf.
Growing up, I never saw her hanging out with other women, other than her colleagues at the hair salon. As a kid I’d spend some of my school holidays at the salon, helping out where I could, so I could be near her.
During my visits there all I heard were complaints passed from one woman to the other, and yet my mother was somehow immune, with a bubble-like protective sheath around her, completely focused on being the best hairdresser she could be, her professionalism was unparalleled.
Outside of the drama, I admired her, but also wondered why she didn’t engage in gossip with other women in the way society deemed natural and normal.
Even within her family structure, she was somehow on the outside. Eldest of three sisters, considerable age gaps aside, she wasn’t close with them. Yes they spent time together, but not in the way I’ve come to know closeness amongst women as an adult.
It was only as I aged that I began to see things from other perspectives, that I began to recognise the pattern in myself.
Why didn’t she have female friends?
Why didn’t I have close female friends?
It all comes back to trust.
My mother’s perfection worked two fold.
Yes, she was capable of doing everything to the standard she wanted (and expected) in all areas of her life, but this also meant she was protected in her perfection.
I say protected because this is where it stems, at least that has been my experience.
We all know that perfection acts like a trap, keeping anyone unfortunate to fall prey it’s victim, that no matter how far down into its clutch perfection will keep you there unable to ask for help; however masquerading as unwilling to ask as it keeps you in the belief that with hard work, you can (and should) be able to do it all by yourself.
But the concept of perfection as protection, now this is something that one wouldn’t notice at first glance.
After years of observing my mother, and my own live experience of perfection, I have come to understand that there is a comfort and safety to it.
It kept me safe from rejection.
If I could do it all, perfectly, without any help, I would not have to let anyone in, and thus avoid possible pain, rejection or abandonment.
And it kept my mother safe from rejection too.
If you had a mother like my grandmother, you’d see that being a “good girl” kept you out of harm’s way. It meant avoiding sly remarks, judgment and ridicule; and all while nobody else was watching. Without her father as a witness to this inflicted matriarchal pain, she (my mother) was without protection.
If we take a moment to consider the harmonious partnership between the divine masculine and divine feminine energy, we would see that the role of the divine masculine is to protect Her (capital H is for the divine her) He is the container that stands His ground, and should any harm come Her way, He rises to protect her and therefore allow Her to continue to flow in her current truth, whatever form or expression that may take at any given moment.
And so, my mother, making sense of her reality as a young girl and then as a young woman, did the only thing that she knew to do, protect herself in the false armor of perfection. To be a good girl at all costs. For this was the way a young girl could find protection.
Any armour unconsciously worn too long becomes heavy, and thus becomes a burden. Walking around your entire life with a belief, a perception of needing protection comes with a price. In this case it developed into a distrust of women.
You may have heard before, our relationship with our mother forms our relationship with all women. From our conception to when we arrive earth side, we are constantly absorbing this information (verbal and non verbal) from our mother. We are learning how to be in the world.
I no longer blame or carry resentment towards my mother for what was passed down to me. As I have grown and dismantled my cultural and parental conditioning, I have come to have deep compassion for her. You see, my mother is my greatest teacher, and all that I do in the world now is a reflection of all that she has taught me, consciously and as this piece suggests, subconsciously.
Her teachings led me to first live out my belief that it was not safe to trust women, and no matter how hard I tried, I have lived this out in my own way and come to a place where what has been my greatest sadness and wound, now informs why I do what I do.
Scorned by my female friends from the age of 8, I made sense of this rejection by armoring up with perfection. In sports, in school, in aligning with the masculine and rejecting my feminine. I thought that if I could be perfect and shut off my feminine feeling at the root, I would avoid all the pain I saw my mother go through. Now I know that feeling this pain would be what opened my heart up to the life I am here to live.
Over the years, this played out in a myriad of ways, these are stories I will expand upon in the future, because whilst the message may be similar their expression is needed in the world. But what I wish to ask anyone reading this, despite the current status of the relationship with your mother, or with the feminine at large, can you adopt a new viewpoint?
Can you see her with compassion?
Can you see yourself with compassion?
These two questions are one in the same.
My work with feminine archetypal rites of passage has opened and simultaneously deepened my relationship to self-mothering.
You may have heard about “self love” or “self care” but what I often find is that it feels topical, superficial even, and does not penetrate to the core where the inner child, wounded archetypal maiden resides. Oftentimes this is the part of us holding onto our pain, our sadness.
The only thing that I have come to practice and experience that can move someone to such depths and therefore, true change, is to embody the love of archetypal mother.
In this frequency of archetypal Mother, one can viscerally experience that there is no other. That we are all connected.
My beloved friend, teacher and brilliant wordsmith, Sarah Durnham Wilson, says that mother is a marsupial word, as the “m” embraces the word “other.” This is just one of the ways that we can begin to understand what it is to exist within the energy of the mature feminine.
When I began my journey, and tended to the unloved, neglected and rejected parts within, I was able to look at the relationship with my mother, with all women through a lens that was rooted in the woman I knew I always could be, the woman I always wanted to be – the woman I am here to be.
This work has changed my life, it truly was the missing link in my healing and evolution.
I believe that everything I have lived, and the woman my soul chose to be my mother, was not in vain. I believe that I am here to help you see who you are, and reconnect to the woman you were here to become.
She is waiting for you.
She is waiting for all of us.
The world needs us all.
If this piece spoke to you and awakened something in you and you are ready to do this work, please get in touch with me.
I'm a spiritual midwife, offering guidance and soul support for women as they navigate the forgotten rites of passage. I believe that your own experience acts as your greatest authority, and that all the answers are already inside of you.