Tina Turner an Aching Icon
by Lisa A. Romano
Last night, Anthony and I sat down to watch the documentary Tina, which chronicled the life of the icon Tina Turner. Although I had always absolutely adored her energy, songs, and the fact that she was a woman who survived an abusive relationship and went on to reinvent herself in her fifties, I did not know anything about her early childhood.
As it turns out Tina Turner was raised by what I would refer to as a highly narcissistic mother who rejected and abandoned her emotionally. In the documentary, Tina says that she was 'not wanted' by her mother. And it appears, she had no healthy father figure in her life as well.
It was not difficult to spot the blank stare in her mother's eye when a journalist interviewed her mother. As someone who was raised by a mother with no love in her eyes for me, it was a familiar gaze, and the way in which her mother stumbled to offer her daughter validation was also eerily familiar.
Tina was only 17 when she met Ike, a malignant narcissist who in my opinion, should have been jailed for the abuse he inflicted upon his wife and who knows how many other women.
Watching her story unfold, my heart ached for this woman who was beaten and sexually abused, controlled by the fear of her husband, and who was suffering the deep wounds of being raised by a narcissistic mother, who wore a mask despite it all.
Learning about the unhealed abandonment wounds suffered during her childhood, helped to make sense of the wounds that arrested her for so long. Feeling discarded, and unwanted reduces someone's instinct to self advocate.
How can someone love a self, or advocate for a self, their own mother has taught them is unworthy of love?
After Tina left Ike, and she told her story to People Magazine, she presumed the story would go away. In my opinion, this was evidence of Tina's childlike understanding of the world.
Many adult children think magically.
In this case, because it made sense to Tina, that if she told her story to People Magazine, journalists would leave her alone, that would be the outcome. It is no different than thinking, "If I do a great job on stage tonight, Ike won't abuse me."
It is what is known as a control fallacy, and it is a remnant of childhood and adulthood trauma that must be addressed from the level of the conscious mind, otherwise, this way of thinking becomes a way of life, thereby limiting emotional growth.
Tina was shocked when the public and journalists wanted to hear more about her story. During interviews, you can see the CPTSD response flash over her face and take over her body. Although no one mentioned the term CPTSD, anyone who understands the scars left behind caused by the narcissistic abuse of a mother and eventually a malignantly abusive husband, can recognize the symptoms.
Although Tina eventually found love and married a wonderful man, from my perspective, healing may not have ever occurred, despite her leaving her toxic relationship and beginning again. Healing happens when the wounds of the past have been properly integrated from a higher level of consciousness where the light of higher consciousness envelopes the energy wounds of the past.
Healing is a merging of the dark and the light, rather than a tucking away, or refusing to discuss painful memories. Tina, like all abuse survivors, was dealing with implicit as well as explicit memories, which haunted her, especially when triggered by journalists, prodding to entice her into dramatic conversations of her past.
She was so triggered by her own past, she refused to watch Angela Basset's portrayal of her and her life. And while I totally understand why Tina Turner would not want to watch the abuse on screen again, as visual triggers can be difficult to manage, my heart wished this fiery dancing, singing, powerhouse of God-given talent, healed so deeply that the past no longer controlled her, and she was able to discuss her past, without being overwhelmed by strong emotions.
Detaching from our emotions is healthy, however, spiritually bypassing, and stuffing strong emotions from the past in some closet within a room in the house of our lower consciousness, is not healing. Healing is a decision to process and release the energies of the past, much like allowing smoke from a small campfire to rise up and dissipate into the light of the day.
Tina is an example of the human spirit's will to succeed despite having everything, and I mean everything ripped away. When she left Ike, she fought for nothing and she kept walking.
She focused on working and she took small gigs as well as larger gigs to support herself and her children, and it was not until she took a chance and hired a manager, believing in herself as well as claiming her dream, that her life moved in a powerful direction.
Tina Turner transitioned on May 24th, 2023, and after watching her life story, I am even more grateful for her spirit, and the love she offered the world, fans, music, children, husband, and even her mother, the one person in her life that should have taught her that she was worthy of love in return.
In the end, Tina was a woman full of grace who just wanted the past to go away. It is my hope, that wherever she is, this darling Dear One, is free.
May you know that healing and breaking free of the chains of the past is possible. The higher self in you is greater than any fear conditioned into your subconscious mind. The key is believing this is true.