On overwhelm and traumatic anniversaries

I just spoke to my sister and on the weekend she was involved in a minor accident with turned into a huge bleed, my mother tore her skin on an open cupboard, because she is on certain blood thinning drugs she bled and bled.  My sister convinced her she needed to go to hospital, due to a huge accident occurring at the same time with people being flown in from the country to our town they had to wait all night in casualty.  My sister had no sleep which is always triggering for her due to her own psychological issues, I was also aware that this time of year is the time of year our sister had her cerebral bleed and last year, on this anniversary my sister who was on medication for bi polar had two falls, and cut her head open, she ended up in hospital and then my mother had another fall in trying to carry a suitcase with her clothes down a long flight of stairs alone. Not asking for help.

What made matters worse was that just prior to this last year we had had a huge disagreement.  I had confronted my Mum on some of her boundary violations and my mother had got extremely upset, accused me of judging her and my sister had sided with my mother.  Both decided they would not talk to me for a while and then the “accidents” happened,  all on the anniversary of my dead sister’s stroke.

I received a call from my Mum yesterday telling me of their traumatic experience in emergency.  She was asking me to go to the market to get her a piece of fruit she wanted.  I had to say no.  I was struggling myself and feeling very tired.  I offered to buy her anything she needed from the shop where I was at the time of the call, but that wasn’t good enough, so I had to stand firm on my boundary.

After the call I experienced a lot of anxiety and guilt.  I knew I had acted to take care of myself for once.  Mum understood, she wasn’t upset with me, but still I felt bad.  Aware of the anxiety I went into a spin for some hours.

Last night I was thinking of a comment my therapist had made recently.  “It is important to take care of yourself on the anniversary of traumas”, she said  “you can be particularly vulnerable to accidents this time.”  I have certainly experienced this in my own life.  On the first two anniversaries of my husband telling me he had decided to leave our marriage I had two accidents, one a major bike crash where I split my head open and in the second a fall where I hit my back really badly on a piece of metal.   I was contemplating all of this last night as I became aware of the resonances of emergency visits all around the anniversary of my eldest sister’s trauma.

When I spoke to my sister this morning she said to me “I am feeling so overwhelmed, it feels like everything is coming in on me”.  I am aware that lack of sleep, lack of food and extreme loneliness can all be triggers which awaken the traumatic imprints buried deep in the subconscious.  At these times it is so important that we take steps of self care and look after ourselves.

I also wonder about our interconnectedness to those people with whom we share emotional history and DNA connections.  On the day my mother fell down the stairs last year (early March when the sun was activating my transit her Mars in Pisces) I had a major meltdown at the park.  I just started to experience extreme psychological distress.  It was so bad I walked off and left my dog in the small dog enclosure that the park, when I came back a young man was taking care of Jasper. “Are you okay?”, he asked at which point I burst into floods of tears.  I could not quiet express what was wrong as I didn’t know but much later that evening a family friend arrived on the doorstep to tell me my Mum had fallen and was in casualty.

Can you imagine the guilt?  I had had a disagreement with her a few weeks before.  We had spoken since.  I know her fall wasn’t in any way my fault (rather the outcome of her own actions) but I still felt some guilt for bringing up painful wounds from the past and expressing anger (admittedly in an assertive rather than aggressive way) that may have triggered anxiety for her.

I am very aware that in my family I act as a container and a conductor of energy.  I had a very strange sleep on Saturday night when all of this was happening.  It was as though I didn’t sleep and was on hyper-alert even though I know I did sleep.

Prior to logging on to write this blog I was experiencing much anxiety.  What helped was calling my sister, checking in and then getting online to write about what was happening.  This morning I felt all churned up and very spun around.  I also felt tired.  It was only when I spoke to a good friend that I could achieve some kind of clarity around the weekend’s events.

I am facing my own surgery in just over a week.  The timing of the finding of my breast cancer is not lost on me.  I went for the mammogram just before the anniversary of my father’s death and now I will have the surgery very close to my sister’s stroke.  Maybe there is no interconnection.  Perhaps all of these connections are a vast convoluted tapestry I have woven with my own mind.  Or is there a chance that my own wound relates to earlier traumas never fully mourned or resolved asking now to be noted and honoured?

I do not know the answer.  I can only use my intuition.  I can watch the astrological connections and see how the wheel of the year and the zodiac carry me across familial ground with themes that repeat and replay over time.  Most especially I can work to be aware of both my personal and familial triggers in order to live more consciously and to become more aware of how I am interconnected and how living in touch with a deeper level of things brings me a sense of wholeness and leads me away from overwhelm and anxiety.

 

 

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