I Was Wrong

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Della was conceived at the height of the Great Depression. There were already two children in the family and her father was out of work. Fear and financial pressure led her mother to do everything possible to abort her. She rode the Cyclone at Coney Island over and over again. She threw herself down the stairs twice, and experimented with various “home remedies,” all to no avail. . . .

Della had grown up suffering from painful anxieties about being physically observed, criticized, or judged by anyone–a set of anxieties that led her to spend as much time as possible alone at home. In hypnosis she recalled her condition at birth.

Della: When I was born I had a twisted arm and some red birthmarks, a big one on my left leg. . . . I could see myself in the hospital, in the delivery room, on a table. I was cold. They are just talking quietly, the doctor and my mother. . . . I’m cold and I wish they would cover me up. . . . It was a struggle to get out. . . . The doctor said, “Look at her!” (in great disgust). I just want to be wrapped up. There was something wrong with me. He doesn’t like me. I did something wrong. I just felt wrong. I was wrong.

By David Chamberlain, PhD (Windows to the Womb, p. 154, used with permission)