I just returned from my morning visit to the park and my local café where I read and the wrote a poem. This followed a morning in which earlier I was just so far down in shame/all black/pain that all meaning was bleached from my life for some time. I sent a text to my therapist as we have arranged that over our break of 10 days if I need to talk I am to text and she will get back to me.
In the meantime I spoke to my Mum as last night we had a very rare dinner with my older brother and it brought up a lot for me. Mum is only out of hospital for two days and her legs were swollen large and all bandaged up. My other sister and I sat facing my brother and mother and I learned a lot more last night as they shared memories of their work history. My brother was born when my Mum was not quite 20 and he has a very different relationship with her to me. By the time I came along there wasn’t much time to spend with any young child, business dominated everything. Mum and my brother were in a restaurant together and also my brother helped my Dad in his grocery store.
My sister and I sat on the other side of the table not saying much. Mum talked of how my brother was her mothers’ favourite. My older sister who died two years ago didn’t get the love from my Nana that my brother did. She shared with me once that she overheard Nana saying how much more she loved my brother than her. My sister ended up as a kind of scapegoat, she never really managed to break away from the family script and it took her under. We lost her two years ago.
Mum was talking about my father and crying saying what a good man he was. Yes he was a good man but he was very strict and tough with me and spent no time with me at all after school. He would just go into the garden. I had to get the key off the latch every day after school and wait until just after 5 when he came home. I comforted myself with food and television. I just read in a book on abandonment and wounding yesterday this question. What does television mean to a latch key child? In the absence of anyone to interact with we immerse ourselves in a world of television and f0r me music albums also played a huge part. It was a form of dissociation and escape from a deep pit of loneliness an emptiness and what came up in the midst of this shame attack this morning for me was these kinds of things “look at you, you are a failure, all you do is read and watch DVD’s and go the dog park and therapy. You have very few close personal relationships. You don’t earn your own living even, no wonder Gary’s family don’t want to have much to do with you. You are doomed. You are a waste of space.”
Then I called my Mum very concerned about how she was feeling after seeing her son leave yesterday and talk about how he had spent over 200 dollars on a Christmas present for his daughter-in-laws step father and didn’t even give his own mother a present. I know this probably isn’t very important really but it keys into a central issue. I don’t really want to fall into the trap at the moment of personalising anything about what my brother does. He keeps his family separate. He lives his own life. That is what I should be doing instead of getting into any kind of upset about what does or does not come from him and at the same time I was grateful to spend time with my brother but still that meeting triggered some thing very deep for me last night. Its good to write about it.
I was able to share all of this with my therapist and even cry about how I no longer see my brother as all bad, there is a deep wound there, what I long for from my brother doesn’t come from him, but there is a way of beginning to build a relationship with him, if he is willing to make the effort back which he seems to do but its always all about him and because my life is emotional recovery and therapy that just doesn’t enter into any discussion.
What I took away from this today after I got into a bit of a rage with the leaves outside just before setting off for the park today was that I need to let go and start to build my own life now. I see how much I have been trapped in unresolved inner child longing and how that pain can be replayed or transferred onto other relationships which trigger or echo some similar theme. Holding my wounded self is MY work, my therapist with help me and contain me, together we can work it through. But I still have some grieving to do before I can fully move on. My inner child has to come first though, I needed to start some kind of dialogue within to learn what she really needs from adult me.
Today I also saw how I can oscillate or pendulate between two sets of responses and states of mind in my recovery on any day. I need to be aware of what my inner critic says to me and what my loving inner parent says, that later part of me is less defined by outer mores and standards that don’t help me very much nor see any deeper than the superficial. Its inner boundary work I need to be engaged in now in which I stay vigilant to the contents of my inner talk and inner voice. Knowing I do have some form of power and control over something does help me to feel less all at sea. Knowing there are a lot of things outside of my control is also essential and helps me to have an attitude of acceptance rather than remain trapped in blame, angst or rage that only ends up hurting me in the long run.