Its been a huge few days and last night I slept quiet deeply but it took a long time to get to sleep. It was a very busy day yesterday, I was up early to see a therapist who is incredibly supportive to work through issues with my other therapist and then had a lot of running around to do to help my mother who was coming out of hospital.
It may sound strange to say I needed a therapist to help with my therapy and could be a sign of my deeper trust issues. However, our therapists often have supervisors and I really feel we need others to help us work through the confusing minefield of the relationship we meet in therapy most especially when we have a lot of relationship or interpersonal abandonment trauma. However I guess these outer connections should never take the place of connecting inwardly to ourselves, which can be hard to do because often due to emotional neglect or dysregulation we either don’t trust our feelings or have a hard time recognising them.
Anyway it was interesting as I feel I have a fairly helpful inner guidance system and today it told me to read three separate pages in a book on healing from past trauma which really helped me come to clarity about why being let down is such a huge trigger for my past stuff. I see that on Friday I had a very huge reaction that I really need to take seriously and I am not sure if it is really my therapists job to hold me through this pain. She did try to call me several times on Friday and we kept missing each other. When we connected I was in so much distress she had to let the call go which I accepted at the time but really spun me into a rage later on. I know this too was a trigger for how its felt to be all alone on the other side of the world after my marriage broke down with no support and having my head split open after a bike crash. Its my pain completely and it seems in the true darkness of it no one can be there. It really, really, really hurt me on Friday and Saturday.
My poor inner child has not ever really got much of what she needed. She did on Saturday, I was able to sit with a friend and cry it out while she held my hand. I felt that I was very regressed though and my friend also lost her mother a few years after my own Dad died and so I felt a bit guilty, though I know I have had far more trauma than her, losing your Mum in your 20’s is really, really hard.
This is the closest I have ever really got to anyone with my grief. At times my deep grief is covered by anger and I should not feel ashamed of that anger as the neglect I went through was really painful. Sometimes when I look at my Mum I just cry because due to her own wounds and neglect issues she did the same to me. Now she tries to love and support but she is failing in her body and I feel her pain from the loss of Dad and my sister and her own Mum so deeply. I know at a deeper level that the practice of radial acceptance is the only thing that will help me through the pain and anger to the grief that lies beneath and in grieving deeply there is both pain and acceptance, also a kind of deeper surrender and realisation that this is how it had to be.
One of the reasons why my friend not turning up on Friday hit so hard is that she was the one I reached out to in my grief about Mum and she wouldn’t talk due to having to take her dog for a walk. She said she would call back that night and it took her five days to get back to me. Then when we made the agreement to meet she cancelled after she told me she was on the way in order to drive some people somewhere else. These are the things I need to remember.
Much and all as I need to be there for me, I am human and I also need others a times. I know due to their own issues others are very busy so my need may not be best placed there and in this case often I try to withdraw it and take care of my own inner child. Maybe this is the big lesson for me. Being an adult often may mean that there is no one there for us at critical times, there is a certain deep aloneness that accompanies loss and grief, but at the same time a hug can do wonders when in this space, or even a loving touch. But no one can take our abandonment pain away. The best thing we can do is look for ways to self soothe when we are in the midst of it.
Today my inner guidance in leading me to those readings made me realise that I need to keep a sense of reality and perspective around my deep abandonment issues. But at the same time I can’t minimise the depth of the wounds I have suffered. And due to the nature of my wound whenever I have too much time alone my body reacts in really difficult ways. I am realising that my heart, being and body are primed for connection to others, but as a friend sobriety said to me on Saturday night, when we are recovering and deepening our connections need to be meaningful connections. Nature too is the place I can feel connected and soothed. Quiet time with my dog also helps me a lot.
Today I am also questioning deeply something Alice Miller a powerful writer on the inner child and narcissistic trauma has said about therapists and that is that often many of them are wounded in their own ways. The therapist I saw yesterday said that my usual therapist was obviously triggered by me, she was also probably really annoyed that I lashed out when she tries really hard to be there for me. We are all human. I wont know until I see her this afternoon. But I do know this last event will create a change in our relationship and I am not really looking forward to going today. She did her best, she met a limit beyond which she could not help me with the deep wound and I couldn’t let that go at the time. It was a repeat of so many other times I have been left alone, and found myself (in the words of the AA Big Book) beyond human aid.
What is the upshot of all this for me? I guess I am realising the deeper paradox or twoness of living with abandonment trauma. There are times I am deep in the wound, times when it becomes all consuming and powerful. This isn’t always bad for often if I can tap into this place there is a creative energy there, some of my best poems have come out of this place. And then there is the field of the real world of living and being in the present moment that leads us beyond trauma, to a place where our wound drives us on to connect again to our fellow man in a new way, place where through having experienced abandonment trauma we into a deeper and more meaningful relationship with ourselves and with others.