I had a spiritual awakening on October 5th, 2002. It was right before my 27th birthday. I didn't know then what an awakening was, I didn't know what was happening to me. I had been depressed and I was having seizures. I went to a Buddhist meditation class for three days, I had never meditated or thought about it, I partied and worked. I wanted to try something different because I wanted to get better and I didn't want to take medication.
When I had the awakening everything changed. My perceptions changed and how I experienced things. It was such an intense bolt of energy through my body, it made me very sick, and very sensitive. The stress of the incident forced me to stop working for a year, and so in that time I lost my home and went into debt, but I knew things that I had never known before. I knew that I could feel energy and that it was this energy that all things were made of, that it was all connected. I committed myself to the meditations although I was doing them alone then because a lot of days I couldn't walk to make it to the class and they kicked me out for poor attendance.
After one year I slowly integrated myself back into the workforce and tried to get my life back together. I felt more purposeful and wanted to get out of the city. I was living in Vancouver at the time. I wanted to get back into horses. It was the only thing that I knew I wanted.
I moved to the Sunshine Coast as I felt drawn to the community there and felt that my heart was somehow rooted there, perhaps from another place in time. One month after I moved there I was sexually assaulted by a man I had just met who offered to give me a ride home from a party. Although by this time I had managed to do enough meditation and psychological work to stop the seizures, the shock of the awakening was something that continued to give me physical challenges, along with neurological damage already happened from 18 years of epilepsy, and the assault on top of it, it's a miracle I didn't give up. When I was faced with the moment of being physically restrained with a knife in my face, I checked out in a way, my mind split, and I disassociated. I spent many days sobbing and shaking on the floor not even knowing why. I directed a lot of anger towards the community, because although I didn't realize at the time what I thought, I blamed them.
There were times when I would observe myself as a mess on the floor, and I would say to myself; "something's not right here, Janette, you should do something about that", and would convince myself to get up to write. Every time I picked myself up off the floor, it was only to write a poem, and then to write music to play along, and it turned into songs, which after a year I thought I should perform them, I quite liked them. When I put them all together, I realized that they wrote a story, the story of what had happened to me, and it demonstrated how somewhere in my subconscious, the things that I had learned from having had an awakening, were speaking to me, and helping me to get through everything.
I decided to put the songs and poems together as one story, as my story. I called it; "I Survived the Deletion", because social networking had just become popular, and so many people deleted me, because I was angry and I raged at them. I hope those people can know on some level that it wasn't really them that I was angry at, it was the situation, it was how I coped with a lot of things that I was dealing with which at the time nobody knew about.
Over the years "I Survived the Deletion" evolved, I became more gentle and creative, and really integrated the piece as a cathartic process.
After a year and a bit of being on the Sunshine Coast, I realized that I had been disassociated in my own mind, I recognized that it was the assault, I reported it and came out to the community about it, and I fled to the Okanagan, taking with me one very special prize, my horse, Padre, whom I had been working with in Robert's Creek. He lives with me now on my friend's beautiful ranch in Oliver, British Columbia, where I have done amazing rehabilitation and training work with horses.
Tickets for the performance of "I Survived the Deletion" on May 14th in Vancouver have started to sell. All proceeds will go to the Old River Ranch Horse Sanctuary improvement project. Much appreciation to those who are able to support and attend.