When I first got sober it was hard to know where all the scarring and isolation had come from. I seemed to have parents who provided materially, but deep inside there was a very black and empty space which formed in the absence of true caring and support.
I am sure my parents may have tried harder if they recognised how it felt but neither of them had been nurtured much and may even have considered all this soul searching a sign of indulgence.
The following quote comes from Tian Dayton, on today’s meditation page from In the Rooms and it spoke to me deeply.
Being neglected was a powerful form of abuse. It left no obvious marks, but I bled on the inside. At least other forms of abuse are obvious, something to point to, something to feel like an actual victim over. At least I would have known I was there. But withheld love is a worse pain. It left me floating in space, wondering if I was there, shouting out into thin air but making no sound. Today I know that the love that was withheld from me was not personal. It was nothing I did or could have undone. It was part of a family that was dying on the inside.
I personalized the lack of attention, imagining that something I had done or was doing was driving people and the attention I longed for away from me. I tried to correct myself, give more, work harder, be nicer but nothing worked. In fact, the squeaky wheels seemed to get more attention than I did.
Its deeply sad today to realise the amount of years it took me to understand what had led me down a destructive path and into difficult relationships. And to understand that I too, in lacking certain understandings, did not have a full cup to give from and may have made a lot of demands on current relationships due to an emptiness that I am now learning how to fill, by learning to recognise exactly what my needs are and how to take steps to fill them in more positive ways. Most days are good days now, because I fill my days with what nurtures rather than depletes me.
I’m no one special and am certainly not alone in this, because many of us have suffered in this way. The gift of breaking our silence means we can share and reach out in a community of sisters and brothers where our experiences are validated.
These days I no longer need to neglect myself, living out an unconscious life that I did not choose but was caught up within. I’ll never be entirely free of my Saturn Moon legacy because it will always be a deep part of who I am and how I was formed within the family crucible, shaped as it was by collective experiences reaching a long way back.
Gratefully, aloneness no longer needs to feel lonely when I can reach out and take the steps to give myself what I need when I need it, no longer screaming out into thin air while making no noise, as Tian says. These days I am more able to rest contentedly with the silence and when it gets too lonely, I can pick myself up and reach out for something nurturing, or express what is in my heart with other recovering people or in this blog.
At times I feel I am talking to thin air as not many people are following my blog but that really need not concern me, for as it says in the Bahagavad Gita, you have power over your actions but not over the fruit of your actions. Certain things are outside of my hands. So even though, at times, it feels like I am talking to thin air, I will continue to speak and pour the water forth, knowing the process is not in vain and on some level it is healing me.