I find at the moment as my body is healing I am going into a very dark and deep place at times. There is a lot of thwarted anger in this place. There is a rage at my mother for ways she has invalidated not only me, but my sisters too. I have been feeling really murderous rage towards my Mum for how she disempowered my sister who was disabled for so many years and came unstuck from trying to express herself in the world. I think of the times she was denied money or accused of “being on a high” when she was trying to buy things in order to bring some comfort and beauty into her life.
I feel anger towards my Mum too for my other sister who when she was really trying to express her anger had it devalued and depotentiated, not only by my mother but by my mother and brother in unison. It was around that time that my sister was committed to a psychiatric institution, there were many phone calls going on between my nephew (her son) and my mother at that time and I was back at home and trying to maintain my separate space and looking for a place to live away from there while still longing for the love and support from my mother, who just chose to go away again at a time I really needed her.
Last night a friend offered to pick me up and visit my mother today. My mother has injured her leg and cannot walk. I know this friend of my idealises my Mum who is certainly not all bad and does have lovely qualities, she just is not very aware of my Mum’s dark side which comes out in certain comments and devaluations designed to protect herself from a deeper knowledge of how she wounded all three of us. I was just trying to get to sleep when her text came through and suddenly my bodymind was so disturbed that it took me ages to get to sleep. My physical wound in the left breast is really stinging at the moment as it heals and its no wonder the pain of my own lack of nurture has manifested in cancer in the ducts of my breast. When I have needed the love and nutrition of mother’s milk on an emotional level it has not been there and there has been unconscious anger and I know I have not always done a good job of taking care of myself and nurturing myself.
Now I know this is my task. I have to face what I did not get from my mother and grieve for the loss, then I have to learn how to take good care of and nourish myself in a way my mother could not. This is about tending a deep wound to the feminine that is not only in me but in much of our collective culture these days.
There is not only anger I feel towards my mother though. There is so much love and sadness too. I am aware of how harsh her early life was, how much she was used and abused and how little love her own mother showed her, sending her into domestic work against which my Mum rebelled. I feel at times the deepest of deep compassion for her, the only problem at times is that this compassion has stopped me in my tracks and made me want to make sacrifices. I think of opportunities I denied thinking I should take care of my Mum, she did not demand it, she puts her own needs aside sometimes, but I felt responsible to give the care in the absence of anyone to do so. The stinging thing now that I am sick, though is that not one family member is physically there for me. One is sick, the other has gone overseas for a wedding and the rest of our family here have little to do with us.
I go through such conflict around this battle between anger and compassion at times that it is almost impossible to know which way to turn. And maybe my journey is about facing that my feelings are complex, they will rise and fall. And perhaps my work is just to accept and hold all of these feelings in a way in which I am not too wounded myself, for I find that when I am with the wound at times, turning things over and over, my own body becomes punished, sore and very tormented.
I probably need to put the hurting down, realise I am powerless over what was done to me and make the extra important commitment now towards self love and self compassion.
When I am feeling better I can move and this helps the energy of that anger to be moved out. Finding another focus really helps, something that is nourishing and fun. At the moment I am using blogging and writing a lot in order to work through and contain the feelings, since my movement is limited.
It is very clear to me that under the anger is a lot of grief and pain which is the place I ended up in this morning after feeling all the painful feelings of rage, this grief connect me not only to my mother’s grief and pain but also to the ancestral pain that I know was deep on my mother’s side there was a history of loss, divorce, mental illness and separation on that side going three generations back.
I have felt for some time with my strong Neptune that it is one of my tasks to carry and feel this ancestral wound of disconnection, but it is one I cannot really heal as conditions were as they were and far beyond my ability to affect, control or change. In the words of Al Anon, I didn’t cause it and I cannot control or cure this wound. I can only bring understanding to the pain and move out from this place towards some happiness with a greater awareness of how past patterns and unconscious conflicts and needs have kept me trapped.
Sadly my sister I loved so much is dead. The father who could at least feel me from within went years ago. And the Godfather who really valued and acknowledged my True Self also died ten years ago. I am very grateful in the past two years to have re-established loving relationships with my sister’s son from whom I was estranged for over 30 years following all the painful events that transpired following her stroke, so there are some blessings. I know I must try to keep a focus on what can be good now, rather than be consumed by past losses, but the truth is there have been so many.
I want to have forgiveness in my heart for my Mum and sometimes I do, but every attempt I have made to draw attention to pain she has caused has ended in her attempt to deflect any responsibility, or apologies which are not really apologies at all such as “I’m sorry that you feel I haven’t been the mother you wanted or needed” or “aren’t you over that by now?”. “why haven’t you put that behind you?”. A sincere apology would have enabled me to let go well before now, acknowledgement of my pain would have helped me to move through it much earlier than this. The truth is that a true heartfelt apology has never come and so now, even though I feel for my Mum I feel I want limited contact with her.
I’ve excused her from the fact she cant be there for me at present. I have been really hurt that phone calls to see how I am have been infrequent or very late in the day especially in the critical period following surgery. My sister gives me the excuse that my mother is not well. You can always pick up the phone though. Its only a wounded foot. The deeper reason is that my Mum doesn’t really want to face the true reality of the pain. She would rather gloss over it or deny it. She could have explored truly the pain of her own past at any time. She could have chosen to be involved in my therapy. She has helped my sister following her op but not me. I know its too much for her, so I have to excuse her. I still try to caretake her feelings at times.
Was it her task to love me better? To spend more time with me? To help me express grief over my father’s death instead of focusing only on her own? I feel it was. Others deny this. It is very confusing. But the truth is I am very angry over what I did not get and this anger I feel has been deeply repressed until now. I have made a lot of excuses. I know my Mum isn’t capable. I know I need to accept that. But the truth hurts.
So this is where I am today following the New Pisces Moon. All that collective pain is so deep. I know I will rest in the dark place for a time, I know that is part of my healing. I also know I will move out from it on another day to embrace love. I am just finding it really difficult to do that today.