Until I was 25 years old, my life made no sense at all. I felt wrong, I felt I was different, I didn’t belong. I felt cut off from the rest of humanity, sometimes I wasn’t even sure if I was human at all.
At 25 I started remembering bits and pieces and a story of child abuse started to emerge.
Things made more sense then, but I was still afflicted in so many ways, of course.
My life was dominated by a deep emotional wound. It hurt so much I had to lock the pain away in order to survive. Nevertheless it was always there, I always knew it was there, just below the surface. My life was constant avoidance of everything that could have resurfaced that pain. In effect, I did not live at all. I was dead woman walking.
I felt disconnected to humanity, to my peers and to myself. I was empty inside, a void, a blank. I felt unwanted, unloved, a burden.
I had no friends, no partner, no family. I didn’t know how to connect to other people. They seemed to talk about things that were totally removed from my own experience. Love, quarrels, sex, children, family drama, make up, beauty, fashion … I felt left outside alone all of the time.
For years there were only two things I really wanted. I wanted for the pain to go away, and I wanted to fill the emptiness inside me.
Feeling so empty – and therefore utterly worthless – was agony in itself, almost unbearable.
So I filled my life with activity.
My biography reads like a random collection of odd jobs, the career of a drifter. And so I felt until recently. Because thinking back now, the pieces slowly start to come together. Yes, I was hampered by pain and fear and emptiness. But some things were always present, some things were so valuable to me, I couldn’t be hampered enough.
There was music.
I was involved in making music one way or another all of my life. I learned three instruments, I worked as a sound engineer during and after my time at university. I sang and played with clients, with children and teens. 12 years ago I started my own business running a recording studio.
And there was my thing with people. Despite, or maybe because of the emptiness inside and the feeling of worthlessness that went along with it, I was always convinced of our intrinsic value as human beings.
I know every human being has an immeasurable value to bring into the world. Our outlook on life, our talents, our experiences are unique. I was always searching for this unique value in me, and also in every person I encountered. I was an asker of questions and a good listener, I was encouraging and created spaces for people to be their best self.
For a long time I was active with the girl guides (a very liberal group in my hometown), and felt so in tune with my core values within that movement. I encouraged young people to take responsibility for their own lives, to think outside the box, critically question role models, traditions, values, rules and authorities.
I also worked with handicapped adults for 10 years, a group of people our society has no use for. And here too I was always trying to mirror them, show them their value, and help them bring it into the world, in the face of all of their handicaps.
When I started the recording studio, I was at a really low point in my life. Ten years of therapy had left me worse than before. Re-traumatized, humiliated, farther away from myself than ever before.
I lost my vision, I forgot my mission. Struggling to survive building up the business, it seemed I would never be able to overcome my difficulties. I stopped believing in myself, I stopped looking for value or meaning.
I grew doubtful of my abilities, and gradually retreated from sound engineering almost completely. I hid behind my computer, I did the admin stuff, the cleaning, I kept the beer in stock.
And so I became more and more invisible as a human being.
I also became increasingly dissatisfied.
What I did did not fill me with pride, nor joy, nor was there ever a sense of achievement or success. Life had become a series of drab chores. For years I never went on holiday, I never event went out, I was locked up in a cage of my own choice and making.
What finally jerked me out of this was pain again. My body had been the container for my unresolved emotional pain, now it started breaking under the strain.
I had been suffering from headaches for years, and now by back, my knees and my feet were in pain too. I couldn’t even walk for five minutes without my lower back going into severe cramps.
I had long since resigned myself to a life of boredom, loneliness and emptiness. But I was not willing to resign myself to a life of immobility or physical helplessness.
I started another therapy. And this time my newly found willingness and ability to commit myself to a life change were met by the best possible therapist. She helped me open up …
and at this point, I encountered Natascha and Marion and the concept of Brilliant Voices.
When Natascha first came to our recording studio, she worked with my partner, as all recording clients did. We recorded brass that day, and Natascha was in the studio as the producer. Well, halfway through the session my partner asked me to carry on in his place.
I took over, suffering from impostor syndrome as I had no real routine behind the mixing console. I didn’t trust my ears or my judgment. But Nat backed my judgment, and what’s more we had fun! When the session was done we talked a bit about herself and her ongoing projects, her work as a singer, breath coach and music producer.
When she was gone, I immediately googled her name to find out more about her, and found Brilliant Voices. All the things Nat had written there about her own life, her struggle, her goals, her inspirations suddenly opened up a vista of a life filled with purpose and meaning and value and music. I was overwhelmed. It was as if a door had opened up wide – and in that instant I felt a deep longing inside my stomach – to pursue my own mission again.
And I was like, gosh, how I’d love to be a part of this Brilliant Voices company!
Natascha’s voice re-awakened me. She resurrected my deepest desire to BE and DO and make an impact on the world. Natascha made me want to touch souls and to empower other people as well, in this same spirit.
She empowered me, still does. She supported me, nudged me along on my journey of personal growth. She inspired me, challenged me, gave me permission to make mistakes. She has that unique gift of seeing people as they were meant to be, that’s what makes it so empowering to work with her.