The Splinter Within


Sometimes its good to stay with things.  To feel deeply into the heart of what is going on, but when that “what is going on” is a hell of a lot of pain, and to boot, pain from the past,  I think there is something to be said for shaking it off.   I notice that its something my dog Jasper does a lot.   I was reading the observations of Peter Levine, who has researched trauma and animals and explores how and why animals don’t often end up as traumatised as humans.  He mentioned how, in response to an interaction with someone and particularly when it is stressful, dogs will do a big shake, its their little way of throwing off stress.

Sometimes I think it would have gone a lot better for me if I was able to just shake off some of the unkind words people said as well as other forms of nastiness and stress they tried to pass on to me.  Wouldn’t it also be great if all the other traumas could be thrown off so easily?

We just had a major event for my Mum’s 90th and when our family come together, so does a lot of pain and trauma.  I had a sister who had a cerebral bleed  in 1980 at the age of 34.  As a result of the trauma she entered a coma and was then brain injured.   Psychotic episodes followed and her sons were badly traumatised, most especially the second youngest.  Only lately has the heart wrenching  truth of these events been made clear to m by my nephew, who shared about his struggle with me in the time spent staying here over my mother’s birthday.  I felt the pain inside and when he left I was rather distressed.

Neither of his parents are now alive.  He doesn’t really have a lot of places to go to talk about these things and when we connect due to the fact I am open about my own trauma, he opens up his heart to me.  I feel for the young boy whose mother accused him of being the devil, who was almost rejected at birth for not  being a girl, who was a beautiful sunny, loving child and is now so sensitive, bright and loving.  But on this trip I felt the damage.  I also felt him reaching for answers as to how to resolve the unresolvable, the wound that entered into him at that time.

The past we suffer cannot be changed.  The recognition of what we suffered can be difficult to take on board, and to heal we have to acknowledge at times some very painful truths we would rather did not exist. On that evening  I was trying to find images to explain about my own healing process, and its a long process with many aspects that goes on over years. It not that I feel I have answers for anyone else, but I do know the process.   Sometimes the splinter lodged deep within us takes its time to reach the surface and we can burn and grieve and rage and that is all part of the process of coming to terms with the hurt.

Maybe some other people don’t experience those kind of deep Plutonian feelings  They do not have my Pluto moon.  But others can and do relate.  One thing I do know, dark traumas that happen to us, open those of us who suffer them up to a shadow side of life, love and relationship that others don’t experience due to the fact they live more on the light side.   The wound we carry can drive these people away from us, for the invisible fissure can and does open up when retriggered by circumstances, in this case it is in the experience of my nephew’s experience of his own child reaching critical phases in his own inner child’s journey.

I felt after my nephew left pulled back to memories of my sister’s attempted suicide after her husband sent her home with a one way ticket, a battered brown case and one blue tracksuit, disappearing in New Zealand with the four boys. I remembered the long years in which they were lost to us, those boys more like siblings to me, so closer in age than my own siblings   And I must say I wept for days.

And in addition there was the deeper wound of nasty ignorant words my sister said to my nephew about me after a few drinks on the night of my mother’s birthday which he shared with me and she then tried to deny.  I long to be like little Jasper just give my body a huge shake and shake it all off.  Sometimes its just too much of a burden to bear.  On Thursday I was running on the spot, in my mind’s eyes I see Bradley Cooper in the movie Silver Linings Playbook running in the rain attempting to contain the warring energies within him.  Then I went over on my ankle and heard a huge crack, the  splinter trying to make its way to the surface manifested in some shard of bone that broke off..  I’m now suspended not able to walk much and having a rest outside of it all.  The trauma which rose up again like a wave has now been spent and I am released through the backwash.  There is time to rest and contemplate, perhaps to heal.

This morning I started another blog about the wounded healer, Chiron that I will post soon.  It was about the unhealed wound inside of us all that needs to be let be.  I am very conscious of this as Mars makes a meeting with the planet Pluto in the sign of Capricorn.  There have been issues of separation and loss, but also reconnections in my family and yet this unhealed, and often unspoken of wound remains.

I think for me it is time to let it go or maybe its not that, maybe its time for it to let me go, once the healing of my ankle happens.  True, all of these experiences are in the past but what was it William Faulkner said.  “The past isn’t even past?”   Surely it informs the present but the damage is now ended and there is a chance to live a new day.   My wounded ankle will heal in time.  I’m accepting it as just another phase in the journey, fitting as Neptune makes it third pass over my natal Chiron in Pisces in the seventh house of relationships.  I’m not totally crippled by it, but the painful wound in my history has made separating from the family very difficult.  I never fully managed it, but somehow I need to find a life outside  of it, to emerge from the dark, at least for a time into a light that is not void of dark but holds an element of its hue deep within in memories which rise and fall and in the play of living which carries them away, once the healing is done.

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