The longing and need to be held and seen

What happens when we have to adopt a false self to hide the real self in childhood? What happens when natural human need and longing for support, understanding, help to grow as our selves and true is absent and what happens when its all about the parent’s projection or need to hide their own past stuff or shame or vulnerability? I am coming to believe we end up with a profound cult of narcissism in our culture when this happens.

Alexander Lowen is a therapist who works primarily with the body and armouring and has written a brilliant book on narcissism, called Narcissim, The Denial of the True Self. I think I have shared some posts on this before and when I can find them back I will link to anything related toward the end of this post.. But the point he makes is that when we have to deny our need for tenderness or comfort and when we have to hide our anger at not being able to blossom into and express our truely alive vibrant spirit full of passion, hunger, desire and need for real life then those things have a very very detrimental effect on us in later life.

Today I was thinking about the many therapeutic failures I underwent in seeking my own useful therapy to deal with these issues.. My own fear of abandonment was huge enough at the start of this and I actually saw my first therapist one year before I got sober in 1993.. I hit a rock bottom at a friend’s 30th that year and a friend recommended her therapist.. Sadly the therapy got broken after only a few months when he had to go into hospital for surgery, this triggered the fear of abandonment and being hurt by another man as I had been by my father, but none of this was conscious at the time. I just ran, blocked and avoided.

In time Brian and I reconnected after I finally got sober and aborted my second attempt at therapy in Cambridge.. That was not due at all to the failure of my therapist Wendy Bratherton who I saw from June 1990 to September 2001, in fact I made great progress with Wendy and my grief over everything really began to emerge around December 2000 which was the 7th anniversary of my AA sobriety. That therapy ended when Jonathan and I decided to come back to Australia from the UK and be there for my Mum and sister… Wendy and I stayed in touch and she kept encouraging me and in 2002 I went back to do 6 more months of therapy before pressure was put on me to come home again.. It took until 2005 to see her again and sadly that is when I had the head injury cycling home from an intense body work session that brought up all of my accident trauma of 1979 which lay dormant.

I saw an astrologer with a specialisation in trauma after that head injury and she said that sometimes working with such a profound trauma that takes us close to death will often active another and sometimes that kind of ‘stirring up’ therapy is not the best for it.. She explained to me how trauma opens us in a liminal way to the spiritual world and there is a kind of severing that then happens for the personality/ego/soul. This was true for me as after that crash I went into the Underworld for some time.. I went to Glastonbury after the family I was lodging with asked me to leave as my sadness was hurting them. In Glastonbury I had a lot of visions around Christ and the two Mary’s I have cards I wrote to my sister from there that I read back on some times.. But I really needed a good therapist still.

It took me until 2016 to find Kat my current therapist and its taken time for all of my trauma to emerge in that therapy.. I still felt shame for the way I crashed and a feeling of deep helplessness over my wounded family who I tried my best to be there for after returning back to my home town in 2011. Many of you who have followed my blog for a time know all of this. Only lately I am seeing it wasnt a failure to return and Wendy once said as much to me. She said I was strong for coming back and trying to maintain a connection while finding a way to unearth my true self and let it birth even if it was not validated or recognised in the family. For I now see so much went underground for both of my parents and left wounds that had to be navigated as I feel must be navigated for many of us carrying a difficult multi-generational legacy of emotional neglect, separation, trauma, abuse or attachment trauma.

I now feel that I carried for the whole family a very significant part of the inner child and shadow of the collective unconscious.. In fact earlier I broke down on my knees before going out for our walk as if things work out Scott could be free from the military soon and in some way this feels like saving my great great grandfather or re-establishing the broken linkages with that carried separation grief of his passed down in our family and manifest in so many different cut offs, endings and separations..

Apparently we are not able to heal the past but I do think if there is something that the ancestors lost the connection to we may be tasked with finding it back or restoring those lost linkages… None of my female siblings or I have had relationships that lasted. In fact when my sister who is now hospitalised was on the brink of making a new connection in June is when she fell back again, she shared with me at the time she was terrified if he knew she suffered with anxiety and depression Leo would leave her.. Also she made me swear not to tell her two children about him as they tried to destroy or were suspicious of other relationships she tried to form after their father abandoned her.. But even that abandonment I now see was about the wounds in my brother in law in terms of his seeking a healing connection to his own lost tender feminine as the partner he ended up with was younger and a softer Vietnamese woman… My brother in law also had so much family trauma as well that had echoes of our own.

That said the longing of the inner child to be connected is most important to experience as a deep connection within ourselves from a higher or broader aspect of us, call it our higher self, observer self or witness self. Eckhart Tolle talks a lot about this part of us in connection with the pain body in his book The Power of Now but he does not make the connection with the inner child. I think in many ways the pain body carries the wounds of the inner child that never heal until we give them our attention.. We cannot just treat them as white noise, they are real hurts that speak to us of soul need but hurt can turn toxic if it isn’t handled welll and lovingly held with help from an experienced professional if the wounds run very very deep.

Something is also coming to mind as I write this post. I don’t know if you have seen the television adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel that is currently being aired here in Australia. It is called The Child in Time and I cannot help but see it as a profound metaphor for what happens to a society that collectively looses touch with the inner child.. In the novel the lead character and his wife lose their daughter, she wanders off one day when the father is in the supermarket The anguish and grief over this loss and how it happened splits the couple though in the course of the story they attempt to find ways to maintain a loving relationship while trying to deal with the loss, even while living separately.. There is also a character in the novel, a politician and good publisher friend of the lead character (played by Bernard Cumberbatch) who decides to give up work and political life go to the woods.. There he reverts to childhood playing games, but also appearing very disturbed emotionally. In the episode I just watched he tells the lead character when he visits how he is looking for the child he lost the way to there.. The lead character is harsh and dismissive with his friend (and probably annoyed and triggered seeing the loss he is dealing with) In the end his friend takes his own life, after the lead character realises his mistake.. I could not help but see so much in this particular story of what happens in terms of a sense of profound meaninglessness, and despair when the way to that part of us that is most true alive and full of vibrant spirit in childhood is crushed in a split off society.

I thought too, today on my visit to the lake park after our earlier walk of how the heart and the soul is really the deepest part of us, sadly we often lose the way to this and get blocked or centered in a hyper-rational mind that over-rides it.. I know acting and reacting on old emotion is not healthy if those reactions are fueled by buried pain or deep feelings of shame over past traumas, but I also know such feelings speak of a reality that must be seen, contained, held, recognised and valued if we are to come alive again in a deeper more authentic way.

In a culture where we put on a mask, then we become unreal. We are then in trouble when any truth breaks out from behind the mask. But really we should see such ‘breaks’ as openings into something deeply meaningful. As Indian mystic Krishnamurti has said “it is no measure of health to adapted to an profoundly sick society.” To me a sick society is an insane society one that denies the true sanity trying to push forward and labelling it sickness or ‘madness’ but the truth is it is not.. sometimes we have to breakdown to a host of so many unresolved needs and feelings that we can no longer run and hide any more, or fit into those false roles we were forced to play when we lost touch with what was most real true and vital for us.

The pain body needs to be listened to but we must also never forget that deep within us lives a far more eternal, unconditionally loving and Self containing part of us that can seek assistance too within the eternal and transpersonal dimensions. It is large enough to contain that pain and yet not totally identify with it to extend of obliterating the positive life energy that seeks its freedom from so much that confines us or denies the truth of what we feel and truly need for wholeness.

Published by: emergingfromthedarknight

"The religious naturalist is provisioned with tales of natural emergence that are, to my mind, far more magical than traditional miracles. Emergence is inherent in everything that is alive, allowing our yearning for supernatural miracles to be subsumed by our joy in the countless miracles that surround us." Ursula Goodenough How to describe oneself? People are a mystery and there is so much more to us than just our particular experiences or occupations. I could write down a list of attributes and they still might not paint a complete picture pf Deborah Louise and in any case it would not be the full truth of me. I would say that my purpose here on Wordpress is to express some of my random experiences, thoughts and feelings, to share about my particular journey and explore some subjects dear to my heart, such as emotional recovery, healing and astrology while posting up some of the prose/poems which are an outgrowth of my labours with life, love and relationships. If anything I write touches you I would be so pleased to hear for the purpose of reaching out and expressung ourselves is hopefully to connect with each other and find where our souls meet.

Categories Uncategorized11 Comments

11 thoughts on “The longing and need to be held and seen”

  1. In a culture where we put on a mask, then we become unreal. We are then in trouble when any truth breaks out from behind the mask. But really we should see such ‘breaks’ as openings into something deeply meaningful. As Indian mystic Krishnamurti has said “it is no measure of health to adapted to an profoundly sick society.” To me a sick society is an insane society one that denies the true sanity trying to push forward and labelling it sickness or ‘madness’ but the truth is it is not.. sometimes we have to breakdown to a host of so many unresolved needs and feelings that we can no longer run and hide any more, or fit into those false roles we were forced to play when we lost touch with what was most real true and vital for us”

    So pivotal , I love this… so much work over the years and always congratulations on sobriety beautiful. This paragraph is so pivotal in our healing and so true how we wear and cover what we think no one can handle seeing or feeling, (our truest self) so we hide and in that we keep making more work for ourselves and others and pretty soon it’s a society of issues that never ends the healing but continues the deep journey to our truest selves.

    1. So truly expressed the cracks have been appearing for some time. It takes bravery to defeat these powerful prohibitions after all thay are deeply unspoken. This comment of yours means a great deal to me.

      Hope you are having a beautiful evening there in Canada Kerri Elizabeth. Much love 💞

      1. Yes EXACTLY I see so many deadening forces in our society.. I was horrified to read today that over 2 million youngsters in Australia are now on medication for anxiety as a result of Covid.. it blew my mind..

      2. Oh my gosh I’m sure it’s just as high if not higher here.. I think it’s becoming a world order right before our eyes, there is less spaces and places to be yourself anymore, people are drugged to levels they can’t even go deep enough to feel there truth and reality.. pain is numbed to suppress society, feeling pain has been given a bandage that creates a wall where the deepest healing can no longer occur. Most don’t even want to and those of us who do struggle to find compassion and empathy but instead offered a bandage to cover it. Build up is inevitable , healing must happen or mental illness becomes and has become a normal now. Health is no longer truth it’s suppression. It’s horrifying and lonely at times if you do not have the deepest desire to stay in your truth against all odds.

  2. Yes thats why I believe we must be light and truth warriors. Numbing only keeps us all only partly alive (almost like robots) and sucking up societies illness…. an ethos of push push push, deny emotions leadingto over consumption gone out of control and then the dumping of waste onto the body, vulnerable others, or the planet. We must fight on so many levels right now. Only numb people hurt others and the earth.

  3. This is a fantastic post. It is such difficult work to connect to our wounded inner child. But the profound healing that can come from building these connections is what drives me forward.
    There are so many parts of this that really spoke to me. I particularly liked this one…
    “I know acting and reacting on old emotion is not healthy if those reactions are fueled by buried pain or deep feelings of shame over past traumas, but I also know such feelings speak of a reality that must be seen, contained, held, recognised and valued if we are to come alive again in a deeper more authentic way.” Thank you for sharing. 💕

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