‘Highway 16 ~ Highway of Tears or Highway of Fear?”

Yesterday’s 6 o’clock brought news that linked DNA in the death of a B.C. girl,    to an American prisoner’s DNA and that he was also suspected in other cases of missing girls from the 70′s found murdered.   Listening to the details stirs  the memories of having parents fulfill their dream of moving out of the city onto some land along the highway of tears.  Fifteen miles from town on 32 acres they parked a trailer a stones through from the highway.  Known as “the property,”  it was at the top of a long steep hill that many vehicles did not survive the climb up.

A day did not pass without strangers in trouble stopping for help.  The question was, “how many?” Both parents lived in Saskatchewan as kids during  a time that transients received any help that could be spared.  After moving to the property it became common to wake up in the a.m. and find out father had sat up through the night as a stranger or strangers slept in the living room, or out in the driveway.  Helping yet still cautious.  Living in the city these same parents kept to themselves and seemed to need their privacy.

Then came a  day Police Officers arrived to talk to father about a truck he had sold to someone in the area.  They wanted to ask him what he knew about the  missing seats in that same truck which somehow was still being driven. Off the record they mentioned they may be investigating the   missing girls on the Highway of Tears.

Tonight after this announcement on the news, I notice inside my posture changes as my rib cage and pelvis shift from a subtle relaxation of tension in my muscles as they relax.  As a Practitioner who is integrating a system of Nonviolent Communication together with understanding from a Feldenkrais perspective of cognitive function and experience,  I am noticing a deeper connection to recognizing and valuing my needs for safety that my parents couldn’t acknowledge or meet physically, emotionally and mentally.

Parents who were  fulfilling their dreams without the skills to hear and address the concerns of a teen who had no control over the  lifestyle changes taking place.  Parents that spoke in a way that could only  get their own needs met and for justification of the changes and decisions they were making in any way they could.  After all, they as children grew up  to be seen and not heard and this was their verbal reminder to their own child.

The news last night was a reminder of memories from the 70′s and having heard girls had gone  missing and knowing there was an unknown danger in the very area that you lived, the highway of tears.  This name was given to this highway after I moved away.  (As soon as I could!)  For me it was the Highway of Fear.

Hearing yesterday that they had confirmed one person for one murder and suspected that there could be up to three others in separate incidents of missing girls, I experienced an inner “yes.”  I did have reason for concern and a need to feel safe that my parents could not hear or support.  They could only hear it being about them and their decisions to change their lifestyle.

I shared my mother’s strategy for getting my social needs met with my daughter who is now the same age.  I was a girl who lived in the city and was never home except to eat and sleep.  I found myself  in a  prison pacing the floor of the  living room that was a size of a cell.  To me I felt it was out  in the middle of nowhere, beside one of the busiest highways in the region.  A highway  that girls of the same age had gone missing from since we had moved to Prince George two years earlier.  Mother would say, “Go down to the highway and hitch hike into town.  Stop one of the trucks. You can trust truck drivers.”   At the time hearing this was shocking and I recognize now how it has been held onto subtly.  Inside physically and as a perspective of how I view the world with regards to trust.

A Feldenkrais Trainer once mentioned to me that on the evening of his father’s funeral he noticed how his walking posture changed.  I am having one of those moments!

Having these moments reminds me of how I value being with clients and students to support them in waking up to their conditioning and stories in a way that initiates change, improves their life and those of future generations.  It is a process of learning through personal development of  a new language and/or new movements.  It’s for those that are ready to change their life, relationships, habitual reactions to pain and find  choices to support going beyond the usual choices  of; ignoring, being fixed, told what to do, prescribed, labelled  or  it’s  a condition outside of themselves.  Renee Lindstrom 

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