It was at six years old that Spirit first appeared to Christi. Fear gripped her life from a young age, and Spirit wasn’t the only thing scaring her. She knew that not everyone saw Spirit the way she did, and without direction and support, she refused Spirit’s call until she was twenty-three years old. The only answer was to embrace her true calling as a psychic visionary, medium, and healer.
With life taking her to various locations, it was often difficult to make new friends and start over. The one constant has always been for her to discover insightful ways to help people. Nothing would prepare her for her toughest work in the criminal justice field as a probation and parole officer.
Riddled with anxiety, depression, and a lack of boundaries as an empath, she knew she could no longer ignore her divine purpose and continue in the criminal justice field.
After years of providing inspiration, instruction, and advice to others, it has culminated in Breaking Free: From Probation Officer to Psychic Medium. Christi’s message is to help us understand that by listening to our own divine guidance and understanding our fear and anxiety, we can all live the amazing lives our soul knows from birth.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.13(d)|
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I was standing in my kitchen, making lunch as I do most afternoons. Working from home allowed such comforts as homemade meals, which was a blessing and a curse for this food lover. It had been a little more than a year since I'd quit my fulltime job as a probation and parole officer to pursue my calling. I'm a psychic visionary, medium, healer, and intuitive coach — that is my purpose — but I didn't always know. I had avoided it my whole life, but it was just starting to feel right. I could say it aloud now: "I'm no longer afraid."
Honestly, though, no matter my gifts, the kitchen was the most unfortunate and unlikely of places to have a breakthrough memory — the kind of memory that nightmares are made of: racing heart, sweating, and the sudden and undeniable desire to run far away as hard and as fast as I could, but I was stuck, feet firmly cemented to the floor. My breath was ragged and slightly labored. I had suffered as a teenager from anxiety and depression, but this felt different. It gives me chills just thinking about it now. I was experiencing the first of many breakthrough memories of a terrible childhood trauma. These memories, usually associated with a traumatic event from years earlier in life, make you feel as though you're experiencing the memory in real time and often leave you feeling frozen in your tracks.
As an empath, psychic, and medium, I was always reminded that the answers to life's questions are available if we choose to listen. I had ignored spirit for years at a time, finding it much easier to help friends and coworkers with their troubles. Through the years, I sought work teaching and helping others in skills that I had acquired. However, at forty-two years old, having just experienced a memory of terror, spirit and my mind conspired to move my consciousness to another level.
Holy crap! I wasn't ready. I was terrified of what else might come flooding back. For now, I stood stunned looking down at my lunch, which I suddenly had no appetite to eat, and attempted to make sense of what I'd just remembered. Was that real? It sure felt real. I knew I needed to talk to someone in the counseling field. Up to that point I'd only had small tidbits of memory from that time period in my life, and they weren't good. I feared it would all come flooding back and I would be rendered useless, an emotional mess, traumatized all over again. I made the very difficult phone call to see a therapist.
Fear in many shapes and sizes entered my life before I was even one year old. This early fear stemmed from a different attack that happened to my mom. I didn't find out about the attack until I was a young adult, but I learned early lessons of fear from witnessing her behavior after the incident and throughout my growing years. I've now learned from my work in probation and parole that secondary trauma is a more technical term to describe what I experienced. I don't blame her for the fear I experienced through her; I just recognize I adopted her fears as my own in the process.
In the middle of the night, a man swept my mom out of the shower at knifepoint and raped her. All the while she was hoping and praying that I, just a baby at the time, was still safe in the other room. I'm certain her fear was compounded by the fact that I was lucky to even be alive. I was her miracle baby. I had been born three months premature, weighing less than a pound. Some say I was touched by angels. Even before this attack, she had suffered as a young mother praying her infant daughter would survive birth and life. And then this happened.
She told me there had been brief counseling and few angry and hurt words between her and my dad. Neither amounted to much healing for my mom. I remember reading an article some time ago that speculated fear and trauma can be passed down through our DNA. I'm no scientist, but I can tell you that in my life, environment and habits changed how I was raised and how I operated in family and school — in all my relationships, for that matter. It would only be speculation that any trauma my mom suffered before I was born also contributed to those factors.
Looking from the outside in, it's quite easy to say, "Stop being so afraid," "There's nothing to be afraid of," "You're being silly," or "That's ridiculous." However, we all know that when we're gripped by fear, it's next to impossible to see a way out or away from it. Even in a case like my mom's, fear shows up as a manifestation of habits created to deal with the trauma that happened years earlier.
Thankfully, I was far too young at that time to remember her attack. Most of my young childhood — at least the years I remember — were good. Selective memory is an effect of trauma and the brain's way of defending itself — blocking out the not-so-great and sometimes ugly parts. More specifically, I remembered one of the ugly parts as I stood in my kitchen that day. More memories would work their way into my mind as I progressed through therapy.
My parents met in high school, and my mom had me when she was just eighteen. Young and in love, my parents were living in a small town, Fallbrook, California, doing their best to make ends meet and raise me. My dad decided he was going to become a long-haul truck driver, and we moved to Idaho. Fear at that point in my life consisted of spiders and not much else. My mom worked as an apartment manager, and she raised me. Even at that young age, not yet in school, I liked to do my own thing. I dressed myself and rode my tricycle to visit my favorite neighbors in the apartment complex.
Later, more fear came. First it was the creepy space under the house, the one that happened to be just the right size, that only I fit in. My mom made me crawl under the house and light the pilot light. It was Idaho. It was the foothills, and it was windy. I had to go under there far too often for my liking. I usually crawled from the area near the front steps. The ground was covered in fine dirt that felt soft to my hands. With each reach, as I crawled down on my belly, I never knew what my hands would grab in that fine dirt — small sticks, bugs, spiders, anything my little mind could dream up. Critters took shelter from the wind. Their glowing eyes looked back at me from the other side of the space.
It was in this house that I began to sense and see spirit. I would often have bad dreams — at least they seemed like dreams; I could see and feel spirits around my bed. They looked like you and me; I saw them as full bodies. It's not that dead people are scary, but I didn't know what or who they were. I just knew, at the tender age of six, that there should not be other people in my room with me other than my parents. Like most little kids, I ran to my parents' room and begged to sleep in their bed. I don't remember that going over very well.
We never talked about it. By we I mean Mom and me. I didn't think Dad was that interested in the boogeyman at the end of my bed. He just wanted to catch up on his sleep before his next haul. Mom would brush it off as just another bad dream and usher me back to my room. We didn't discuss it; I was young. How do you discuss something like that? I didn't know any way to verbalize it. I had no idea they were the spirits of deceased humans. Later, I knew Mom knew, but she'd decided to keep that knowledge all to herself — out of fear, I guess. I'm not sure if it was of fear for me or for herself. Either way, talking about spirit makes Mom very uncomfortable. We didn't discuss the men at the foot of my bed until a few years later.
It wasn't until we moved back to California that I again saw the men standing at the end of my bed. I was in the second grade. We lived in an apartment above the garage of a house that my parents were taking care of. This time it was only one spirit appearing in male form. I was able to see him as a full body, not misty or see-through but whole and appearing very human. I really didn't know what to do with the information — how to talk about it or process it. The idea of talking to them never crossed my mind. I just accepted their appearance as fact and then promptly tried to ignore them. I didn't know any other way to handle it.
I was just a girl in elementary school growing up in Fallbrook, California, the avocado capital of the world. I grew up riding my bike with my friend and neighbor David, who lived down the street. We chewed on licorice weed, sour grass, and the sweetness of honeysuckle blooms. I remember not being afraid to climb the avocado trees. They weren't that tall and had branches that were easy to wrap my arms around. Feeling the security and concealment of their leaves made all the difference in my life. I loved to play in the groves!
At that time everyone still had beautiful avocado groves and other fruit trees. This was before the widespread root rot issues that plagued Fallbrook or the drought that much of California suffered from for many years.
One man, a grove worker/landscaper who did work for several of the neighbors, paid far too much attention to me. I just thought he was being friendly. I was a child; what did I know? I would ride in the work trucks or golf carts, touring the landscape and having an awesome time. I loved riding in trucks, especially since my dad would often let me sit in his lap and pretend to drive.
This man took advantage of my innocent and playful nature, molesting me on several occasions. None of the memories, or processing of the trauma, happened for many years but were shoved to the back of my consciousness like an old tattered pair of socks buried at the bottom of a drawer.
While still scared and unsure about the men at the foot of my bed, in order to stuff the memories down into my subconscious, I would throw the covers over my head at night. During the day I went on about my life as best as I could.
After the house sold, it was time to move, thankfully far enough from my molester to never have him attack me again, but we stayed in Fallbrook. That part was nice, being able to keep my friends from school. But I missed David and his family and walking through the fields to and from the bus stop. My visions of spirit, my relationship with them, and my own memories would get distorted and taken from me. I know it was a means of protection and safeguarding myself from further trauma, but that didn't make it any easier. All memories come back at some point, like during that afternoon in my kitchen.
I continued to be frightened by spirits in the new house on Almond Street. Seeing them at the end of my bed continued in earnest, always varying between the three men and one. My mom would play it off like it was my dad coming to say good night and that I was actually seeing him. However, I continued to plead with her to make the nightmares stop or make sense of what was happening. It wasn't every night, but it was often enough that my mind needed a distraction.
I wasn't sure how to process everything that had gone on while we lived in that apartment on Sleeping Indian or what was going on now in the house on Almond Street with spirit or with my dad. It was a lot for my young mind to handle.
My dad wasn't around much when I got home from school. He worked afternoons and evenings at a local country club as a bellhop. What was more impactful was that my dad was an addict. My mom later told me that he would use illegal drugs in the house while I was in my room, and she was appalled that he would do such a thing.
Not to excuse him, but what I learned from being a probation officer is that addicts are going to do what addicts do — until they don't, until they finally recognize their own dependency, get help, and understand that they are not their trauma and deserve something different. Or die because of their addiction.
At this point, Dad was just using, period. His drugs of choice were alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine. Then it progressed to whatever he could get his hands on. Remembering that time in our lives, there was no sign of self-discovery, recovery, or stopping for him. Not yet.
That's when I started to daydream as a means of escape, creating a world that was safe, a world where anything wonderful was possible and where a good and happy life happened.
Distraction and Empathic Feelings
In about the third or fourth grade, I had to do things that made sense, things that built upon the daydreaming, things that had a beginning, a middle, and an end. I started making model airplanes. I became obsessed with them, reading books and watching movies about planes of any kind.
I was fascinated with jets! Fast, loaded with firepower jets! Then I was introduced to the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels. I was drawn to their precision, strength, and discipline. It was my way of making order out of what felt like chaos in my life, and they were a wonderful distraction. My love became a thirst to find any excuse to be around planes.
I didn't know what to call it then, but I believe that my desire to fly came well before the model airplanes, even before the desire for discipline, strength, and speed. I had dreams, several times a month for years, where I was flying. I recognize it now as astral projection.
I didn't know what to call it then. I just knew there was no fear. I knew I would be safe and able to do amazing things while thousands of feet in the air in my sleep.
My parents didn't announce their divorce until after my ninth birthday. As an only child, and a child of an alcoholic and drug addict, my life went to hell. Of all the distorted thoughts you can have as a nine-year-old, I had them times ten! It was my fault they were divorcing. I wasn't a good enough kid. I didn't do what I was supposed to, say the right things, or behave in a certain way.
I know now this is nonsense. But having suffered trauma already some three years before, I felt as though my brain and emotions didn't know which way to go.
My relationships from that moment forward and well into my adult life would be affected by an unconscious need to be the person with something wrong with her. I chose people in my life who would only perpetuate the idea that I was, and should continue to be, broken in order to exist in this world.
I didn't really have boyfriends until junior high school, at least no one I would consider serious. I had a few select girlfriends too, always using the logic that only a certain number of people would understand me.
I was so wrong. It wasn't that they wouldn't get me, it's that I was constantly comparing my life and upbringing to theirs. Let's be honest; mine couldn't compare. I grew up helping Mom count the food stamp books at the grocery store. I never went hungry or was dirty or didn't have clothes, but I wasn't the daughter of a doctor, orthodontist, or world traveler. I was the daughter of a lower-middle class, drug-addicted, alcoholic father and a hardworking, traumatized waitress mother. Relationships weren't easy, but I treasured the amazing friends I had, those who were willing to let me be me. We could often be broken together. Our lives made sense to each other.
Junior high school was rough. My connection to spirit had all but disappeared at this point and had been replaced by the raging hormones of a preteen girl. My intuition was drowned out by the rock groups Black Flag, Mötley Crüe, and The Cure; horror movies; and ballet classes. I was desperate for someone to tell me I was doing something right.
That didn't come easily from the lips of my ballet instructor either. She was German and old school in her teaching. There was some yelling, lots of hand clapping to keep us in time to the music, and she was sparse with the compliments. Unless you had the physique to go somewhere in the ballet world as a dancer or a teacher — those were the girls who got solos and compliments. That wasn't me. I just wanted to dance because I could feel the music, because I enjoyed it, and because I wanted that joy to translate into me doing something right.
I continued to struggle to find my place in the world. I felt pushed. I felt like I had to find my direction, my purpose in life, so that I didn't end up like my parents, working jobs because they had to, not because they loved to get up and go to work every day, their main purpose being they had a child to raise and provide for.
I had a long string of bad-boy relationships or infatuations during my teenage years. Not only did they all have the same first names, they were men — or rather, boys — that I was attracted to who had the typical bad-boy personas, strong personalities that were met by my own heartbreaking desire to somehow fix them.
Excerpted from "Breaking Free"
Copyright © 2017 Christi Ahl.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Clairvoyance, 1,
Chapter 2: Distraction and Empathic Feelings, 8,
Chapter 3: Gut Feelings and Signs from Spirit, 16,
Chapter 4: Building Confidence and Receiving Validation, 19,
Chapter 5: Integrating Intuition and Career, 24,
Chapter 6: From Officer Ahl to Citizen Ahl: One Big Leap after Another, 29,
Chapter 7: Therapy and Spirit, 36,
Exercises for Intuitive Growth, 41,