As an empath and someone who suffered a lot of trauma I know what the darkest places of despair and depression are like. Having an accident at age 17 which nearly kills you and removes you from a normal developmental transition is deeply painful, and I love the expression that I read in Jeanette Winterson’s autobiography a few weeks ago “a dark gift.” Surely so many would not see such an accident as a gift but I remember the wonderful astrology Melanie Reinhardt telling me when I was lucky enough to have a reading with her in London after my follow up accident 26 years later when transiting Chiron (planet ruling unhealed wounds which launch us on a spiritual quest) hit my natal Mars Saturn Moon conjunction in Aquarius, that nearly losing your life does open you up to a deeper spirituality and forever removes you from the normal mainstream. Anyone with PTSD or Complex PTSD knows how it feels to be not ‘a part of’ but ‘apart from’ love, connection, protection, empathy, deep inner soul seeking and care.
At the moment seeing my only living sister deep in her own personal underworld is so painful. I have tried to support in practical and emotional ways but I do also remember the four “C’s” from my Al Anon recovery … I did not cause her wound nor can I control or cure it. The only thing I can do is give love without being pulled back into that dark place she is currently in and I know oh so well only really having emerged over the past year or so.
Jasper and I had a beautiful brisk autumnal walk to the dog park today and apart from the others we had moments of lovely connection in the warm sun sitting on the bench feeling one with everything, I was so happy to no longer feel so apart from others although no one noticed or connected with us. I then went for my coffee and the expression ‘happy, joyous and free’ came to me which is what the Big Book of AA promises after we have not closed the door on our past but examined it in depth. I truely feel I have emerged now from my dark night and maybe my mission now is to be able to provide what light and joy and promise I can for those who still live there.
I am reading a novel based on the psychiatric interment of Zelda Fitzgerald and of her relationship with the psychiatric nurse who befriends her during her stay in the hospital. The book is told from the point of view of the nurse who has herself survived terrible losses. She has a brother who is an ordained priest and in the chapter I just read he was talking to her about Padre Pio. I dont know if readers know of this man who was known to battle demons and had the stigmata, wounds of Christ that bled. In the novel her brother says this to her.
“And you believe its real?” I asked, unable to hide the scepticism in my voice.
“Yes, Anna.” he said.
“You dont beleive the wounds are self inflicted?”
“No.” he said. “It’s not something I can explain. … he suffers greatly.. Not everything can be explained by science.”
“I won’t roll my eyes.,” I said. “I promise.”
“He’s been in two places at once. He has an aura of flowers about him that seems most potent when the wounds actively bleed. He is tormented by demons at night…. I dont really want to go on,” said Peter “Just know that he taught me two things. The first is taht confession is the clearest way to unburden ourselves and grow in our spiritual and overall health.”
“And the second?” I saked.
“We can take on the suffering of others, not only for their own redemption, but also for our own.”
After I read this I thought of my Neptune squares and of the soft open deep expansiveness of my natal Neptune in Scorpio which sits smack bang on my sisters’s Saturn there. I thought of how she always hides her true self behind such a front and of how her true self is now struggling to be seen and felt in the wake of my Mum’s death. And Mum had the Sun Mercury and Saturn all in Scorpio trine to Pluto in Cancer. It suddenly became clear to me that part of my destiny is to be there for her, not to fully take on her suffering as I cannot but just to be a calm loving consistent presence, the one I so longed for in my own life but never found due to carried ancestral trauma. At the same time I no longer want to feel guilt for having now the opportunity to actually embrace life, take responsibility for my self and continue to work on my own healing. I can not cure my sister, it would be grandiosity to even try and I have to work to keep boundaries but I still can give love, while working as hard as I can to leave the outcome in her hands.