Archive for February, 2012

Masterpiece

February 12, 2012

Two weeks ago, I was called late at night by someone I would call a friend because I’m a generous guy, but who, in reality, was no more than a mere acquaintance; someone known to me by proxy of social circles past, and a brief flirtation with her sister who subsequently moved to Israel – although I am assured the two things are not related.

 

This friend/acquaintance is, very unfortunately, a drug addict and an alcoholic, and lives alone in a designer flat in a designer area, rattling around her empty home while the vacancy of disassociation and unresolved emotive baggage gently creeps up on her until relapse.

 

Apparently, this night was just such a night, and she needed an understanding ear to calm her down, and so I got in my car and spent the best part of five hours talking her off the metaphorical ledge. (My advice, for the record, was to tell those closest to her what was happening and not be afraid to reach out).

 

On the drive home, I began once again thinking about the Process I have exhaustively described in this blog, and how fortunate I have been to experience it.

 

See, my friend – still plagued with emptiness and as I write this currently going through a 5th period of rehab – and I are the very lucky ones. For my part, (while it was largely ineffective and the less preferable option to a hug and gentle encouragement) I was sent to a never-ending roster of private psychologists and psychoanalysts before going off to an exclusive 8 day retreat. For those lucky enough to attend it, rehab ain’t cheap.

 

For a while, I’d been thinking about those people who don’t have the means to ‘deal’ with whatever issues plague them; who (and I’m quoting my parent’s favourite phrase/my most hated) just had to “get on with it”.

 

My father was such a person. He, the youngest of 9 brothers, lived with a violent father, a disassociated mother, and knew nothing more than absenteeism and unreturned love. It should come as a surprise to no-one that his life to a turn to crime, and, later, when life gave him a wife (my mother) and a child (me) his instinct was to run.

 

Run he did, leaving behind an emotional trail that led, ultimately, to this blog.

 

For it was his leaving that was at the epicentre of my need to attend something like The Hoffman Process, and although the process completely re-tuned me, it remains the underpinning on which my entire self exists.

 

Coming out of the process, I was afforded the opportunity to forgive myself, my mother and my step-father, but because I didn’t know who or where he was, I was not given the same opportunity with my father.

 

And then, just when the lessons of the process were beginning to fade to memory and take a sidetrack to life, I was to be given the greatest of gifts.

 

I won’t bore you with the details, but the (very) abridged version is this: my father’s wife friend requested me on Facebook. An apologetic (long) email from my father followed, saying it was done without his knowledge, and that his wife had actually found me some months earlier, but he had pleaded with her to “leave it”, not wanting to cause me any trouble or upset. It’s a twisted logic, but not without its respective merit. He wrote apologising for the past, pleading with me to understand that he was doing what he thought was best for my mother and I, that he couldn’t handle the responsibility of a family, and finally sounding rather pleased that I looked like I was doing ok, presumably because my Facebook picture was me wearing a penguin hat.

 

The following, verbatim, is my response:

 

“Thank you for your heartfelt message; I know it couldn’t have been easy for you to write.

More than anything, I want you to know that I have no anger or feelings or resentment towards you. From the sound of your email, you have carried around a lot of guilt for what happened all those years ago, and I want you to know that I forgive you without reservation. I would want for you to live a happy, full life and I hope knowing this will allow you to alleviate yourself of whatever you have been carrying around with you. I have been fortunate enough to have wonderful, loving parents who have supported me endlessly and without whom I do not know where or who I would be.

The reality is that I will probably never truly have closure over that time in my life; however, I have reached a stage of acceptance and understanding which has allowed me to move on to a point where I no longer need for you to explain anything to me.

I wish you nothing but happiness in your future and I hope you have experienced love and happiness in your life.

David”

 

And that was that.

 

And that’s why the story ends here. There is nothing else to explain.

 

You can be sceptical about the process, people’s issues, and the incredibly underserviced and inexplicably taboo subject of mental health in 2012, but one thing is for sure: I could not have written that email, and meant it, without the experience of the Hoffman Process which inspired me to write this blog. Take from that what you will.

 

EPILOGUE

 

What is written in this blog is very much reflective of my own personal experiences and circumstances and not intended to sway someone’s interest in the process one way or the other. Many have come to The Hoffman Process because of recommendations from friends, family or therapists, and there are many professional texts (Oliver James’ ‘Affluenza’ being of particular note) you may also wish to seek out before diving head-first into what I have written here, and it goes without saying that Hoffman UK founder Tim Laurence’s book “You Can Change Your Life: A Future Different from Your Past with the Hoffman Process” (available through Amazon UK here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/You-Can-Change-Your-Life/dp/0340825235/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329001373&sr=8-1) would be a good starting point.

 

In my experiences since I have completed the process, the only people I have ever come across who have negative things to say about it are those that have not done it. (Including my doctor, who called it a ‘cult’) In this period, I have met what must number in the hundreds of people for whom the process has been, at the very worst, (and I’m quoting) “a great help”. The vast majority have experienced overwhelming, lasting change.

 

As I have said to anyone who cared enough to listen, I have no doubt that the Hoffman Process saved my life. I would not be where I am today, nor would I be the person I am today, without it.

 

I fully intend for this to be my last entry (although I will remain vigilant to any comments or emails I receive) so I hope you will allow me to thank you all for your interaction and feedback in the near three-and-a-half years this blog has been running. It’s really been the hugest of compliments that it’s even been of interest to anyone other than my own egotistical self, let alone the incredible number of readers I have received.

 

If you’re a first-time visitor to the blog looking for information about the Process, I recommend the official Hoffman Process website – http://www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk/ – and/or attending one of the many Open Evenings if you wish to know more about the process, or if it’s suitable for you.

 

This final (fairly lengthy) entry really marks what I feel is my closure with the Hoffman Process. It will, I have no doubt, always have a place in my heart and mind, but now marks the time for my next adventure.

 

Life.

 

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