The silence to this statement broke the majority of my loyalty with the facilitators. I thanked Peter Sandhill for his apology. And with no more illusions about being remotely safe or cared for, what emerged was a new level of protection, in the form of hatred, envy, rage and bitterness. It was this new persona - new terrain for me in my relationships - that stated that I would sue HAI and each of the facilitators and not stop until best practices were in place.
Question: What could be more abusive than demonstrating the complete disregard for human dignity, safety and care at a time of trauma than silence from ones leadership, therapists and teachers about love that their impact did not matter, and that I did not matter? How would you, if you wanted to make someone feel as small as possible, go about doing it after securing the trust to be paid, recommended, learned from and believed? If one wanted to destroy innocence and good will is there a better way than to completely ignore an e-mail like this?
Concern: One of the deepest wounds Peter Sandhill and HAI have inflicted is a protocol that re-enforced my parental wound. The protocol is this: Your sensitivity, your innocence, your trust, your loyalty and your profound need has no tender with us. It means nothing. Your love and your care means nothing. You must become someone and something we fear before we give you the basic needs you deserve to survive. Only then will we listen; not because we value you or our own hypocritically proclaimed values, but because we are afraid of you and how you could hurt our agendas. If you figure out how to hurt our agendas we will give you only so much as we absolutely have to. Otherwise, we want nothing to do with you, since you don't make us look good and we don't want to look at our shame.
What does it mean that the teachers I chose to show me how to love and gave my innocence, vulnerability, money and trust to evoked a side of myself that I'm still trying to make sense of. When my parents would torment my five siblings into sub-human states, one systematic step at a time, they were very quick to point out that "See... this is who you are." Rather than see the cruelty that would do this to a child, my parents asked us to see how ugly we were - how much it was our nature to be less than them. I notice a similar pattern in HAI: Behave outrageously, induce unbalanced behavior, blame the client and then pretend to be offering love, when every healthy request that would be loving is fought tooth and nail.
In response to the reality that I could easily access hundreds of thousands of dollars with a lawsuit, there was a flurry of apologies by a few of the facilitators. Not for any of their mistakes. Not for their impact. Not for hurting me 1000 times more than I thought they understood (they never did a single intake form so this school of "into-me-you-see" never in fifteen years learned the most basic patterns of abuse in my family so there is no reason they could be sensitive to repeating the wound even if they wanted to, which they did not seem to.). It was another legal script where they all said the same bizarre thing: "We are sorry you had such a difficult childhood." I was too, but my parents had not taken $175. to fuck me over and have their buddies cover it up. My parents had not promised commitment to a world in which I won and then told me to get lost in shame. My parents had not troubled to ask me to sign a legal document saying I would never tell anyone or sue HAI, while pretending this was not a HAI issue.
The impact was that rather than this request for an apology being the beginning of a climb out of the bizarre torture cell I found myself locked in, it began my realization that however I was going to get out, it was not going to be by the free support, good will or honor of these people. So while I had nowhere to turn to, I would need to find my own way. I promptly collapsed still further and could not work for sixty days. And in one more experience I have never had, I lost access to speech in an area of my psyche it had always been available until then. I could not speak from that place. I wrote and told Jason Weston, who had at this point acknowledged "Maybe we are going about this all wrong," that I could not speak to him because I had gone silent. Something had blown and I did not know what or how to get it back. I just knew that I was not safe.