Soothing pain : some reflections on being with unhealed wounds.


I have shared about the wounded healer on my blog before.  I resonate with this energy, not so much because I see myself as a healer but more because as I go further along or deep into my path I am aware of the wounds that I have carried and yesterday when I finally connected with my Mum I was aware of her wound as well and how painful she finds it to acknowledge that her wounds wounded me.    There was a point there where I got the “I wish you could just forget it and put it all behind you speech”, at this point there was no anger in me I truly felt powerless over everything and I must say at this point when it got very intense in our chat I was just praying to get my own will out of the way.   And when I understand things more deeply I try to take as much responsibility as I can for my part in things because I see the way that I have reacted out of my wounds in the past, when I was not fully conscious has caused me and other people pain.  So in a way I am no different to my Mum, we have both struggled and I have struggled so much to separate.

I felt such enormous compassion for my Mum yesterday.  We were also talking about my Dad’s background and the deep poverty he came out of.  His mother was left alone with 5 children between the ages of 12 and 4 when my grandfather died.  Dad’s mother had to go and scrub the church floor and she had no childminder so the kids had to go with her.  I know part of the reason my Dad left Holland at 18 was to escape the poverty and hardship, as the eldest he had a lot of pressure on him, and Mum has told me in later years he hated Holland as he found it restrictive and confining.   My own brother seeks emotional distance in a similar way to my Dad and his eldest son also lives 5 minutes from us but chooses to have little contact as he is all business, business, business.  It breaks my Mum’s heart and I wish my nephew could extend himself beyond his own blinkered world to reach out to my Mum at times.  But all of this is my mother’s wound and in many ways is also related to my father’s wound which has dogged us all in many ways.

Mum isn’t a bitter person and yesterday she told me how she just accepts this is the way it is (regarding her grandson).   We are also lucky as my older sister’s children do reach out to us both a lot and have more of an emotional connection.  However in the case of my brother’s children is painful to see that these emotional distance patterns keep repeating.  Its the wound that doesn’t really ever go away and the most any of us can do is try to live with peace in the midst of it and not focus on it too much.

And this is pretty much what came out of my talk with Mum yesterday.  We both broke down and Mum told me she feels she did the best she could struggling with all that she did after my father died.  I know this but I also have my own wounds and I am seeing more and more I need to keep remembering to seek acknowledgement elsewhere as well as deep within, at the same time as finding ways to live in peace with the deep, deep sadness I carry in my heart at times.

Today I just felt so weary.  I started the day as positively as I could by going for a lovely long walk.  Jasper and I are exploring a gorgeous neighbourhood area that has lots of lovely pathways that lead here and there through grassed areas and autumn colour, the scenery was lovely but we were alone.  We then went to the park and sat for a while. I then got a text from a girl who I accidentally backed into on Saturday afternoon.  I was quiet emotional after leaving my sister and didn’t look properly as I was leaving the carpark and I did a little damage to her car.  She was annoyed at first but when I apologised she treated me so kindly, I really was grateful but when her text came this morning while we were at the park I just broke down about it.   Things around me so often fall apart and I feel so shell shocked some days that I almost feel I am bit autistic.  Its probably not that at all, I think part of it is I find it difficult at times to relax because often when I do trauma symptoms can ark up.

Anyway the insurers will handle everything and there is no reason to stress.  To be honest I am trying not to stress about anything today.  All my autumn leaves are nearly down and unlike in past years I am not rushing to clear them up.  I do a little each day and the gardener will come later in the week to clear the others.  This for me is a huge step and its being kinder to myself.

And I think what came out of yesterdays talk with Mum was that we both really do love each other and wish for our final years together to be peaceful.   I see how hard Mum has tried to compensate in financial ways because she doesn’t really know how to support well emotionally due to her own background of emotional neglect.   I often see her as a little girl who had to cope with so much and be so stoic and strong.  I see the same qualities in my sister and am filled with more compassion for her these days.  Its tough to have a childhood in which you didn’t learn how to deal with emotions.  And we have the alcoholism background in our history and reading adult child literature about the affects is helping me to understand how adult children and adult grandchildren struggle with empathy, emotional understanding and expression in relationship deepens my understanding.  It helps me to realise that defects or deficiencies are not really anyone’s fault, they all came out of unhealed wounds passed down, but that we can and do have a choice to take responsibility for educating ourselves and finding better ways to express, accept and empathise with ourselves and others.  If we cannot get that understanding and empathy in our family of origins (and we will not, so often) we really need to look elsewhere.

Finding ways to soothe myself when I encounter the desolate places inside is so important these days.  I saw after talking to Mum how much my own tendency to isolate has made her life and mine all the more difficult.  Not being responded to with empathy makes one withdraw even more and then the wounds go deep inside.  Then wounds just repeat and become a closed feedback loop that leads nowhere with hurt and pain just causing more hurt and pain.   To be honest I am sick to death of it.  I want something different.

The wounds are there but I don’t have to keep stirring them up, in some way I need to find ways to let the muddy water settle and the pain fall to the bottom of the glass or jar of my soul like sediment so that I can see my way more clearly to peace.  And peace for me only comes when I have attitude of calm, acceptance and love towards my wounds and the wounds of others.

Today when I was really sad at the park I just sat with myself while I cried and said these words over and over “It’s going to be okay,  I am with you, I will never leave you, its okay to feel, its okay to let go of your grief”.  Self soothing, self witnessing, self compassion, these attitudes are the one’s I most need to express in order to soothe the hurting place inside that can so often ark up.  When this is done and I feel release then my soul is free to look for things that feed me rather than starve me.

And I also know that inner pain is not the whole of me.  I am just facing the true trauma history of my past at present.  There are so many things that happened to me over years that I could not change.  I also never learned to really put up strong protective defences against painful unhealthy things.  There were times in the past when I could have chosen for my own life, but I did not really know how to do that without reaching outside of me.

Now I am seeing that in order to grow I have to grow up.  I have to bear what has happened with as much strength and tenderness as I can, and there are times I have to be alone in order to feel the truth of and validate my authentic heart, letting go of what wounds or hurts to embrace a less painful future.

2 thoughts on “Soothing pain : some reflections on being with unhealed wounds.

  1. Wow, you and I wrote about very similar things at the same exact time. I’m glad you are softening towards your mom. I am, too.

    I’ve been using the phrase “wounded healer” A lot lately. I got certified for Reiki last weekend and do believe the only reason I will be successful at it is because I was so damaged. I think that having walked the walk and healed, I can now help others…I hope…

  2. Surely that is the purpose of what we go through Jami..i must catch up on your post..ive never cried so much with my Mum before..its like we both opened our souls…I see my Mum more as a sister now ❤ its time to end the anguish and torment.

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