So often we want to eradicate the darkness.. maybe its a result of the airbrushed culture we live in, that images and ideals rule more than the honest to goodness raw reality of living… that contains mess, uncertainty, confusion and the upside down ins and outs of complexity and paradox that really is part of all creation..
We all create splits and divides and polarities.. we live in a world of dualities : dark and and light, day and night, wrong and right but there are shades of grey or movements of light that accompany the entire spectrum which is circular, not flat out and linear with no bumpy, lumpy bits.
I watched one of my favorite movies The Devil Wears Prada yesterday and as soon as I just wrote the word ‘lumpy’ I thought of the scene where the character Miranda tears apart Andrea’s blue ‘lumpy’ sweater in the scene where she waxes on about the history of color spectrum choices influenced by the design ‘greats’ all with aim of pointing out Andrea’s ‘ignorance’. In that movie what is considered acceptable and chic is soon revealed to be full of dark underbelly of ruthlessness and emptiness… It is a narcissistic world where power and accomplishment and ‘taste’ are seen as inherently more superior.. A world in which you can be cut to shreds or killed off by a look. Inn the end the lead character, Andie decides she does not want to live in that world which is devoid of feeling all for the purpose of pursuing a certain ‘agenda’ geared around ‘success, overcoming and disempowering ‘opponents’ and out playing the players…
In my own life it is a victory for me to be both chaotic and messy at times. I feel good being able to wear my ‘daggy’ clothes and think less of what other’s think about what I am wearing, saying, feeling, doing or not doing.. I am glad I can have my darker or more messy emotions at times without shame.. I even see why I was rejected one time too many for being ‘too real’. Reading that poem by trauma survivor Nikita Gill during the week on Silence and speaking up helped me to see that I have courage to enter places others fear. So what if I get ‘rejected’ I can only go home to myself in the end….
I also know that not everyone in the world will judge or reject me and that the love I always longed for really always rested within my own heart. That said finding a therapist who could act as a positive mirror to me has been invaluable in my healing journey.. without Kat I would not now be moving into a more humble grounded sense of power that I sometimes feel lately where I have the capacity to say ‘Yes’ to what is arising and allow my own True Self to live and be less killed off by fear and introjected, inaccurate ‘judgments’..
These days I can differentiate between emotional ‘warmth’ and ‘coldness’ I always burned with a fire, my ascendant is a fire sign, Leo and Uranus my planet of awakening is in the first house in Leo.. I know now where both Sun and the Moon live for me, and how much our family suffered from the haunted ghost of the lost wounded masculine… all along the ancestral line.. That archetypal theme played out for Mum and my two sisters and I throughout our lives in different ways.. In time maybe it will turn around.. all I know is that when I reach out to father and husband not only myself but others and my family too, then I am working on healing a deep wound that always called out to me..
It was in my darkness that I found my light, it was through my helplessness that I found my power, it was through my weakness I found my strength.it was through feeling not only by feelings but the buried feelings of my ancestors that I found my own way to an inner truth that resonates collectively. Had I rejected all of these things I would only be half the person I am today.
At times my dysregulation is painful, I am more aware of each choice I make lately, towards or away from something.. I let myself give some more help to someone who needed it within the limits of what I can afford.. I just feel that if I can help someone in need I will and I know it conflicts with what I wrote yesterday.. I searched my heart and my conscience and that answer was to give a small amount of help and it was gratefully received… I am interested when I share with others about this stuff of those who have the ‘answers’ about what I ‘should’ and ‘should not’ do… In the end, as it says in the 12 steps we ‘made (make) a decision’ and that relates to the opening up and/or cutting off of one other path of action or non action. As it says in the Bhagavad Gita … we have control over our actions but not the long term fruit of our actions.. life is complex!
I got stressed when the person in question tried to talk to me on the phone, I needed to walk today and get my food and veggie shopping, even though its cold and wet, I forced myself to endure that in order to get my body moving I had a trauma cascade before that, its all related to my breath and digestion, both of which I labor with at times.. maybe when its so ‘freezing’ here temperature wise it reminds me of all the times i was ‘frozen’ in place. I will often be drawn back in memory to that vision of my sister’s bloated body after the suicide attempt in 2013, as well as seeing her nearly catatonic after ECT. I am no longer sure of the chain of events but I am sure the first followed the second though she was hospitalised so many times from 2012 – 2019 its hard to remember.. in the midst of it I had three roots canals, had to have two teeth extracted and then come to terms with wearing a denture, support my Mum through a near death embolism following botched knee replacement surgery and then support her after a major fall, taking her to casualty off and on in the final years of her life when she struggled with ongoing pain. In the middle of this my now dead sister’s older son who no longer talks with me due to the ‘Scott’ issue came to stay two times with his wife and two times alone when my older sister and then mother died.. He moved further away after Mum’s death while his brother drew closer and I found out so much of the terrible psychosis my older sister was in after her own stroke.
Just writing this all out helps me to see how admirable it is that I am still alive and relatively sane and able to help others if I can… the brother of this boy I am helping was shot last week and he needed money for the hospital bills. Scott told me to cut him off and not help which is ironical. They lost their mother a few years ago and now Emmanuel wants to call me ‘Mum’ which makes me a bit anxious to be honest….
Having gone through trauma I will help those with trauma… its just a fact.. I am not close to a lot of people and most of the ones I am close to either have known me from a child or have trauma themselves.. .its just the way has gone.
I struggle with my feelings at times but at least I am alive, raw and feeling them, so what if i react out of feelings at times… I think of the endless inner judgements I used to (and still have to) battle most days as a child of emotional neglect, turning against my self so often and think its admirable I can let that voice yammer on now and not pay it as much attention. it all comes out of fear and perfectionism anyway and as we say in the fellowship all the time. We strive in recovery for progress rather than perfection… Today I have eaten walked, shopped and cared for myself while helping someone else.. to me that is a good day… I drove past Mum’s place on the way home from the markets and cried less than I did even a year ago… slowly I am integrating my life.. and showing up… and I AM SO VERY VERY PROUD OF MYSELF AND WHO I AM.. I HONESTLY AM.
I just read an interesting post from The Written Addiction.
It spoke to me because lately I am seeing that decisions prompted by emotional responses are often not helpful, that said I have often been driven by my emotions and fears to do things that were, in the long run, downright damaging for me, that said I had to do those things and have those reactions to learn..
Movement seems especially important to me lately, too as I am beginning to see how stuck in paralysis I became for years, my fears for self and family literally stopped me moving forward at all to FULLY LIVE and embrace life… So sad to see it now, but there you go.. and I probably had to walk down that path in order to see it all and I have been seeing it all in much starker clarity since the eclipse on Saturday.. I notice lately that when I push myself to be in my body I put myself in the present but its hard each morning with the PTSD trauma that cascades the fear and environmental scanning reflex every morning..
There is a not a lot more to say on this matter but to say I am working hard lately to see when I am prompted to act by an unhelpful emotion, or thought.. I am also trying to work on my vulnerability to hard luck stories. I had someone on Facebook put the hard word on me for money again yesterday and they claimed it was for hospital treatment.. I have just detached today. The minute someone is in need I feel I should help living in a financially secure position, but I am even questioning that now.. Selfish as it seems lately I just want to give to me and take the steps to make my own life more positive… I am just a little sick of giving and being asked to solve other’s problems.. After all each day I have to work hard to solve my own and meet my own needs.
Much as its great to be connected to our inner child, having an ‘outer child’ control your life is problematic.. I am not sure if abandonment therapist Susan Anderson is the first person to coin the term but having a look at the Outer Child checklist is enlightening for many of us who are still in the process of emotional arrest and trying to ‘grow ourselves back up’ to use a term coined by therapist and recovering addict, John Lee.
I am still working on my abandonment wounds and fears in close personal relationships, my boundaries still need work and I its taking some time to find mature responses to global emotions that festered and remained unmirrored from childhood.. I found the following item 65 on her 200 point check list interesting. and it resonated for my last relationship :
Outer child has a favourite feeling : anger. In fact, all of the other feelings like sadness, hurt, loneliness, well they all make outer angry. Anger is the outer child’s excuse to act out.
I was thinking that disappointment must be added to that list as well, as when disappointments hit anger can be an avoidance reaction to having to take said disappointment square on the chin and work through associated feelings with out rolling over, collapsing, criticising, shaming or blaming self or others.
Today I was thinking of the expression “to fight fire with fire” for sure sometimes we have to throw off the attacker but sometimes a dose of fire on fire only leads to a massive flare up which only ends with everything getting burnt to ash.. in the end adult containment is what is needed, along with the capacity to hold, non react and process, while looking for a more workable solution… This process is coming for me at age 58 going on 5 or 6 is slow.. but I am grateful for that check list of Anderson’s to get more of a handle when the younger more dysfunctional me has taken control of a painful or difficult situation.
In therapy sometimes lately there are no words, its just a deep soul recognition of what I have endured and not said no to out of lack of self love and at times I cry with all of this. This must be a good sign, to have a witness self that can truly feel it all instead of making up stories or justifications to deny the sorrow and pain and darkness I have so often felt. To find the courage to embrace it.
Alex left a wonderful comment today on one of my earlier blogs about unhealed wounds about how essential it is to embrace our ‘dark’. Indeed our feelings and experiences only made more dark or hidden when silenced by the heroic egoic society we now live in and it pays all of us recovering from trauma and trying to find a voice for what we endured as well as to find ways of remembering and expressing all our feelings and experiences of trauma so we don’t get depressed..
There will be people who lack the courage to hear it and may shut us down again or try to, and there is an excellent poem by Nikita Gill called Silence which says if we share about how we were victimised others will see us as a victim or even less than even though the courage demanded to find a voice for trauma in this air brushed culture is enormous.. We who have lived through the storm or shock and awe of trauma and abuse often need to cry out loud about it, even roar like a Lion… and it pays to bear in mind that my parents society (those born in the 1920s) had Neptune in Leo and their inner child was so often brutalised or left unmothered or unfathered due to the first World War and depression. A lot of the suffering of their inner children is carried by us the following generations.
Can any of us image the damage to the men that survived the horror of World War One and had to come home and stay silent about it? I am reading a novel at the moment that draws on this called The Biographer’s Lover... in it the author asks us to image how it was for the generation to grow up with wounded fathers especially…and then to endure the horror of depression and war..
These kinds of traumas are acknowledged more now.. Each of us who has trauma need to find a way to give vent to it and not let ourselves be silenced. If we need to cry we must cry but we must not let our sense of outrage or anger be turned only into tears because we must empower our self to move through it even as we carry memories and scars or wounds that will never leave us.
I am encouraged by the writing of Glennon Doyle who asks us not to shy away from our darkness, sorrow, pain or sense of outrage but use it to motivate us to take action to help others who suffer and to be a voice..for anyone who continues to be victimised.. not to deny we were a victim but recognise that we don’t have to stay disempowered once we can use the repressed charge for forward movement, rather than even further self abnegation….I was glad I could cry this afternoon but I didn’t stay in the tears. I pressed myself out for a second bush walk today…..I am beginning to be able to move through the freeze state better some days… and I thank God for that. I am not as fully ‘collapsed’ as I used to be.