I just spent some hours writing the following blog. As I read it back it struck me I am just really struggling with loss and feelings. The inner censor is making some comments. But after a few corrections to typos I putting it out there anyway. 🙂
Last week was really painful and tough. I wish I knew the reason why, then I could make the change to make it better and to feel more of the strength and positivity in the good feelings which are there on many days. But sometimes, there is a tide that is pulling me back into the darkness and pain especially surrounding the burden of my family history. With one sister recently passed away and the other struggling with depression, I too, struggle in maintaining a sense of separation from other people’s pain and feelings. Most especially I struggle to maintain a sense of happiness and hope for a better future in the face of that darkness. And I do know that on any day there are a number of choices I can make in placing my energy and time in nurturing, rather than depleting directions.
I have been very aware of being there to support my mother in the face of the difficulties surrounding both siblings. In the wake of my sister’s death there are the tasks that follow the ending of a life, administrative things to do with death certificates that need to be witnessed and the issue of the collection and handling of my sister’s ashes. In this task there is only my mother and me present None of my sister’s children live close. Separated from her by the circumstance of her own trauma and their father’s struggle to survive and cope all fours sons live quiet far away. It was great to have them with us in the time leading up to and just following her death, but now with these other issues to deal with, it is quiet a lonely task. I am grateful in one way to be able to front up ad be there but at other times I am conscious of a deep emptiness that stretches back in our family, so much separation and emotional absence, over many generations which I am trying in some small way to redress.
At times the entire task seems too big and I feel like I am drowning or, at least, struggling to live and breathe and maintain a sense of self and boundaries within it.. I am trying to remember to breathe, move, not to clamp down, not to struggle so much and yet there is so much banked up feeling.
My body suffers a lot on some days. Its a struggle to get moving and I have body spasms and twists, especially at night. There is a suck in, push and pull out out dynamic that happens. Over the past three years there have been at least seven different hospitalisations of three family members and I have been the one in the middle going backwards and forwards, trying to be supporting, living on my nerves, trying at the same time to support my own life and care of my home and dog, is it any wonder, at the moment that I am feeling so exhausted and longing for some one to care for me. Oh the joy of Saturn transits!!! Transiting Saturn is moving back towards natal Neptune and will be squaring Sun, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter and the South and North Nodes over the next four months.
I continue to put my hand up for tasks that are often not my responsibility due to the fact others cant, or wont front up. It my first instinctive response, one that comes naturally to me. Only after I have volunteered do I realise that I have overcommitted myself and energy not allowing enough time for my own tasks that need attention and yet, if I don’t give love in this situation the emptiness will go on with no light in the darkness at all.
Today I am still in my pyjamas at 2 pm. We are moving into winter and had a lovely fall of rain last night and throughout the morning it could have been a peaceful morning but marring the day I had a major cuffufle with my mother this morning. I wasn’t really aware that the lingering resentment around her own emotional absence over earlier years which lies dormant (and I thought I had dealt with) was about to rear its ugly head today. We ended up having one of our painful tussles and I said somethings which hurt her and were probably best left unsaid. The conversation left us both in tears and with my insides feeling like they had been scoured out with a huge wad of steel wool.
“Maybe its best if we don’t have as much to do with each other for a while” she said. This is her default setting for not dealing with conflict and issues which cut a bit too close to the bone. I know she is struggling with a lot of painful feelings herself and most of the time I try to go gently on her. But today I guess I was just feeling angry, sore and raw and a trifle put upon having spent the day yesterday nurturing my sister, driving her back and forward from hospital on a weekend where she is totally institutionalised and sees no one much. My mother’s comment really hurt. In the process of grieving my sister’s loss I have very few places to go to share the sadness, as usual it was all about my Mum’s wounded ego. Earlier she had tried pulling out the guilt card. “I don’t have much longer left on this earth”. I called her on it. This is another one of her tactics for trying to making me feel bad for addressing painful feelings which she would really rather deny. “For God’s sake isn’t it time you put it to rest?”. Most of the time I do and I wish I remembered this one fact : its not possible to deal with these feelings with my Mum and deep down I am angry at having tried to deal with a challenging situation which has endured over so many bloody years.
We two and do at times get into some terrible tangles. They say oil and water don’t mix but sometimes air and water have a lot of trouble too. Sometimes it really sucks having a parent whose Sun Mercury Saturn hits all of your personal planets, especially the Moon and Venus, planets of closeness and relationship. These interconnections can be cutting at times and its not always easy to get a deeper connection and understanding. And maybe its not even her job Maybe that responsibility is mine now. It was her responsibility at one point and she failed pretty miserably at it and that has left a painful legacy for all three of her daughters, something I am not even going to try and point out. She couldn’t give what she never got from her own mother in the first place and she has tried, over the past years to make some kind of amends. After our terminated call I was left questioning myself a lot. Did I place too much of a burden of expectation upon a parent who is now struggling herself? Not an easy feeling.
I was lucky enough following my upsetting phone call with my mum to call a very kind and gentle friend. ! Maybe these feelings you are having towards your Mum you can put in a letter”, she said. “And if you would like to read it to me I would be happy to listen”. This friend has the same name as my sister Judy. I could always go to Jude with Mum issues and she would understand. Now I no longer have that older sister to go to who understands but maybe my Higher Power did provide someone else. I was very grateful for her attempt try to understand where I was coming from and show empathy.
I must say its a huge relief just to be on my own today. To be in the quiet and peace of home without any obligations or responsibilities pulling on me. Jasper is sleeping quietly and doesn’t seem to perturbed by having missed his usual morning play in the park. In a moment I think I will light the fire and read a book.
I’m praying this week will be a little easier than last. I wonder if its the pain body that has been giving me trouble last week. This is a term Eckhardt Tolle uses to describe the entity that can live inside of us and rear up from time to time. My own pain body is pretty large. I have had three major physical traumas, the last two following the painful separation that attended the ending of my marriage. Its taken me some time to be able to feel deeply into the pain body and the traumatic footprint left by physical and emotional trauma that is more active at night….To find ways to be with it while breathing in the pain instead of reacting to it. Its taken some years but bearing with this process I have found is beginning to bear fruit. When I can be with the pain without magnifying the pain the pain does lessen and dissolve and usually if I just concentrate on the breath or a lovely song in my head, I manage to fall asleep.
No one will ever know how hard some day are for me with my Post Traumatic Stress. Its not something you can see and its not always there. At times pain that is submerged, emerges as tides of consciousness recede as I attempt to let go and slip away into sleep. On some days my body contorts a lot in a way that I have seen in images of shell shock victims following war. I read somewhere in book on Buddhism that traumas cause a twisted “tsa” or energy. At times I feel that twisting is trying to find a way to unravel. It is not ever present, it comes and goes.
I’m making an effort to try and find words for my experience because at times its lonely. In the end its my responsibility to deal with it. There really isn’t anyone else. I have tried a lot of therapy and was once told by the astrologer Melanie Reinhardt that my kind of trauma is often not helped my most therapists. Instead I try to find ways of dealing with it alone having gone through repeated let downs and frustrations with therapists. Maybe this is my Saturn Moon Mars legacy. In the end it is what I must carry because I can’t check out with any kind of pain relief due to my sobriety. In any case this kind of legacy is beyond pain relief of the pharmaceutical kind.
Instead I look to life I look to the breathe. I cuddle little Jasper and feel the healing of his soft tummy lying close to my sore tummy And I continue to commit to seeking the light and to remembering that although the darkness does exist there are still tools available to build a fire, to bring light, warmth, energy and healing to the dark places.
Better to Light a Candle, than to Curse the Darkness