I tend to get lost without realising I have become lost. I might not make any sense to some. It can take a while for me to see that I am slowly loosing a boundary, beginning to empathise deeply with others but then moving deeply and projecting myself into their world, perhaps seeking attention, recognition or affection. I am noticing lately that a part of me rushes forward energetically with a desire to get connected to that person very quickly. This is when problems can start for me as I tend to invest them with a lot of power and put myself behind the eight ball. It is a very subtle dynamic and it must be a sign of my emotional growth and recovery that I am beginning to notice that this is what I do.
I am beginning to realise it all stems back to my primary relationship with Mum and Dad and my early bonding experiences which were unstable and subject to lots of changes and chaos. I also have an experience of being very small and alone and looking around for someone and finding no one. Accidents would then happen, or I would get bored and get up to mischief. I would also get very confused.
One other deeply primal imprint I think concerns my older sister’s romance and marriage which took her away overseas when I was only 3, she was the one person who spent consistent time with me, and later, as as teenager, when she returned she took me for holidays. Mum and Dad always worked and never took any time off apart from 2 weeks at Christmas, but even then everyone was older and I was left in the car alone for hours while they went into the golf club for drinks.
When Judy returned we had lovely holidays together but only for a week or so and as she lived in another town I had to go home then, I remember being so sad and wishing something would happen so I could stay with her and her family. Later she drank a lot and was encouraging me to drink too, from my early teens onward, it wasn’t a very healthy dynamic.
Anyway I am now becoming more and more aware on a bodily level of a deep void and hunger within me from these times and from the fact my way of coping was to look to addictions as a substitute. I see I carried that hunger most especially into my last relationship and my pain over parental disconnecting and emotional abandonment was played out within it.
A lot of grief is around and within me over the current period. I am becoming aware of father hunger, which has been raised by making a tentative connection with someone at a group meeting on the weekend. I had asked for the person’s number and he had given it to me. I wanted to call but I was very aware of not connecting from a place of hunger and emptiness, especially at a painful time of year connected with my Dad’s illness and sudden death, as well as with my sobriety birthday.
Yesterday I found myself on You Tube listening to old songs from the 70s, the time of my adolescence when Dad and I did connect sometimes and crying and crying and crying. And I cried a lot today after receiving a text from my new friend telling me of meetings he is going to over the next few days. I felt so raw. I felt so scared to connect. What if I cry? What if I break down? In my mind are all the memories of being abused by my narcissistic ex when I broke down then, it hurts so much to think of how mean he could be.
Funny how the Higher Power works though. Yesterday just after listening to 7 or 8 of my favourite 70s songs, my sister’s youngest son rang me. We had the most honest and connected conversation. I was able to tell him what I was going through about Dad and even cried about my ex’s treatment of me. I told him how much I have been beating myself up lately too. He just listened and understood. It was so healing to talk to him.
I feel sure all of this grief is perfectly natural. In a way it is a big blessing to be able to feel it. Last night I watched a documentary made by UK rapper Professor Green on his father’s suicide. Prof G. was looking for reasons his father, who was an inconsistent presence in his life, may have taken his life. What he found was so sad and moving. What came out of this doco for me though was, that in the end he just needed to cry, all the seeking for answers and reasons of course was necessary but not the essential work of healing. The need to feel his feelings around it was more important. He finally managed to tap into them with a therapist toward the end of the programme.
When I feel into my own grief, I feel my soul entering me more fully, or me entering more fully my soul. I guess I know I wont lose myself any more if I can just stay present and recognise what the prospect of getting close to someone can trigger for me. I hope I wont get lost again, but that for as long as I need to I can get lost in grief, at least for as long as it takes to heal.