I kind of love the word ambivalence. I break it down into its two roots ambi and valence. I know valence is a kind of frequency or charge, I guess we could call it an energy or pull, this by-way pulling of contradictory inner charges of though and feeling is something I go through a lot in my relationship with the outer world and my family most especially.
I seem to be torn at times between forgiving my Mum and family for past neglect and feeling great disappointment, resentment and anger about them. I long to connect and then feeling thwarted and hurt want to get as far away as I can. The resentment has changed for me in recent months with the realisation that it can, if buried and the true feelings not dealt with cause disease on many levels. I do feel this together with the many experiences of wounding and emotional abandonment I experienced together with difficulty forming healthy nurturing relationships contributed to my breast cancer last year.
I know acceptance on some level provides relief. I can accept something occurred or is occurring although I may not like it, I just realise I am powerless over other people and realise expecting change is doomed. Only the adult part of me is capable of that since my wounded enmeshed child wants to hold on and not accept the truth at any cost. When I don`t accept or choose to see the reality I can make excuses for bad behaviour or just keep hoping ‘this time it will be different’ and just stay stuck in anger as a defence against grieving, mourning, accepting and moving on in a rational way.
I just watched a second video from Courage Coaching on how narcissistic parents can infantalise a child and it sent some shivers through me. I have struggled with feeling a sense of competence and independence in my life due to being over involved and enmeshed with my Mum for some years and this difficult situation was made harder by my father’s death when I was 23. I feel shame and guilt at times when I see how I acted my own fear and pain and feelings of being not worthy enough or inadequate in relationships sometimes through anger and think gosh I really was strongly on the narcissistic spectrum. But I also know that true narcissists try to avoid any possible introspection and that is not me. I am overly introspective at times and often make things my fault that are not. As I now understand it, the home I was raised in and influences around me were out of my control then, I was for a time powerless over the unconscious effects. Pain and difficult emotions such as anger and resentment come as teachers to guide me to a healthier pathway and in recovery I need to contain and work through them so I make healthier choices that don’t lead to more of the same.
I never had my painful feelings mediated or learned how to deal with them growing up. I saw my own family using alcohol a lot and that is what I learned to do, silencing and drowning the complex mixed up feelings of my child within. I had, even for years into my sobriety, trapped childhood feelings all mixed up inside. Therapy is helping as is understanding how a regressed brain and wounded inner child forms in such an environment. This child needs help to understand his or her feelings and grow up. It`s a long and difficult process for many of us. That painful relationship we got involved in was just a trigger for us to do our own healing and that now is OUR responsibility no matter what wounds we carry. If we stay stuck in blame and angry with the abuser or abandoner as a defence against a deeper acceptance we are in trouble. Anger over what was done to us is an essential stage we must pass through to engage and moblise our push to heal and change and form better boundaries. We cannot by pass it on the road to healing but staying stuck in it recycling over and over is just not healthy. We deserve a happy life free of that kind of angst and pain after all we have been through. When we form better boundaries and learn to self soothe and self care we are less likely to be as angry in my experience. Our inner child needs our inner adults tenderness, discipline and strength.