Having a very strange morning this morning. I was aware this morning of Jasper my dog looking at me with some kind of expectation of me. I was in the midst of getting my breakfast together (a challenge these days as ever since the cancer surgery and radiotherapy my body seems to be trying to slough off so much inner gunk, I am needing to choose natural foods that won’t clog me up too much, therefore not too much wheat or dairy). I started to feel irritated and bit annoyed with him. Go away and play I said, and he looked at me with a perplexed expression and part of me thought ‘how cruel’, I think he just wants to be close to you. So I called him in and gave him a pat and a little talk about how I would like to just be able to get on with things and not have to worry about him for a time. Sending him off again. Eventually I got breakfast together and as I was eating it he came in and sat down quietly beside me.
Onwards a little while and I came into the living room to see him lying on the lounge with blossoms caught up in his ears. Part of me was annoyed with him that he wasn’t outside and playing, I started up the vacuum cleaner (which he hates) then all this stuff was just running through my mind inner voices saying things like “you are such a malingerer, really you deny the fact that you want to get up and out and make some kind of life, part of you just checks out, it isn’t always very honest either, you know what you are a people pleaser, sometimes you want to be liked so you don’t tell the truth. Why don’t you get your shit together, kiddo and stop pretending!”
Usually when Jasper was resting like that I wouldn’t want to start up the vacuum, I would be worried about disturbing his peace and there is something much, much deeper going on here because a lot of this is taking me back to my childhood as my mother would sometimes lock me outside when she was cleaning the house, she didn’t want me in the way. One of the times we were very close when I was young was when she would wash my long hair, but when I was about 5 or 6 she had all my long blond hair cut off and kept really short. I felt like a shorn sheep, there was a kind of my identity that had been erased with my hair. At about this time I stopped going to dancing and later it got so lonely when we moved from that house and I had to leave behind my two friends from next door. We moved to a huge house that was under construction (the builder had gone bust and Dad took over the building). I was home alone after school with no play mates. I got bored and often got up to mischief. My parents never took the time to really connect with me. I started to turn towards things like smoking, and food to find some kind of comfort. Later when all the trauma in our family started to occur and after my car accident I began to turn increasingly to alcohol.
I’m not really sure where this is going but after the incident with the vacuum I was aware of such a schism in me, a kind of split between two parts of myself. There is the part that want to be active, to have courage and strength to be fully myself, even if that in some way fractures someone else’s peace. What I do think this is about is that often so as not to hurt or upset others I tend to sacrifice what I truly think, feel and need. I know a lot of this goes back to my mother’s pattern but also it is down to the kind of conditioning I was subjected to in a Catholic School where we were told to keep a lot of our personality under wraps. As a young child when I would try to take initiative at school I would get in trouble. At one time Sister Rita, my third class teacher screamed at me “you are bold as brass, Miss Willemsen, bold as brass!” It was obvious from the twisted expression on her face that that WAS NOT a good thing to be.
It is interesting to me that these kinds of voices can become so internalised to the extent that a part of us turns against another part of ourselves and locks that part of us away in the basement somewhere. But the true impulses never die and they cause us a lot of problems. And I do feel that in later life and relationships they do call towards us others who express the inner qualities of our shadow or rejected inner self that we deny.
Carl Jung said that we should really pay attention to the things in others that annoy as, as often they are an indicator of where our rejected self or shadow my lie. I know a lot of mine has to do with a healthy narcissism, having the courage to put the finger up to what really doesn’t suit me, rather than sacrifice my true feelings and self to belong or in my mother’s words “be nice!”
Writing this has helped me come to a kind of clarity around what was occurring for me this morning. I am both the rejecting mother who wants to get on with what she needs to do and I am also the settled into my body and being cosy dog just who love to lie around doing what he likes, it is just that today I am acting out one side of this self that has most ascendency. Yesterday was very different, I didn’t feel active at all but sat around blogging for most of the morning and didn’t eat breakfast until very late. Today I have done the opposite, got myself up, washed my hair, had a shower, made breakfast and done the cleaning and now I am writing my blog.
Is there really a schism in me, or today am I feeling the rumblings of retrograde Mercury starting to slow to station forward urging me to get myself out into the world more after a 3 week period in which my energy has felt increasingly inverted? Doesn’t Mercury perhaps reveal that there is a twoness in all of us (if not a multiplicity of selves, rhythms and states of being?)
As I look back there have been a lot of insights emerging for me over these past 3 weeks. Yesterday was a really painful day in that I was really missing my therapist who still has two weeks more holiday to go. I was feeling all my feelings building up in my body as a result of not having that loving containing space to go to. I think this was part of the reason I felt so much sadness when I went to the yoga class on Sunday that was far too active and fast for the space I really needed to be in on that day. Not only that, on Saturday afternoon I had spent some time with my family who are so emotionally disconnected that it hurts. I can spend a little time with them but something deep seems to always be triggered with my Mum’s emotional disconnection and self absorption that really hurts and makes me aware of painful patterns of disconnection that have just repeated all along the maternal line. I was sad after Saturday due to some things we had discussed with touched on old deep wounds and traumas which we subtly pushed away and I felt there was no one really to share deeply about it with on Sunday.
I am sad at the moment but not in a painful way. Its a healing sadness that comes from seeing painful emotional truths. I seem to not have many very deep relationships here in the real world at the moment. Blogging is the one space where I feel the most real and can connect with others who are on a similar wavelength. I can’t tell my followers and all those who comment how much it means to me to have that connection. I feel literally it is the only thing bringing me hope and a sense of meaning and connection on the hard days.
I will try to stay positive, though. I know I am okay despite these wounds. I am glad I can travel deep into myself. I am glad to see the ways in which I am sometimes not honest and self abandon in order to gain attention and love. If I can see this shadow part of myself, then I can grow. I can make changes in time. Sometimes seeing these things hurts but in time when I integrate the pain this is the fuel that will drive the transition to a way of being that more fully expresses and reflects the true me and along that path I can remember that I am only human and things are never just black and white, we all have many sides of ourselves and deep impulses which are complex and interesting too.