I wasn’t allowed to need

I was very moved by a post written by a trauma survivor today about waving goodbye to her son over and over as he looked back to see her after dropping him at school..You can read the post here..


It triggered me as I remember crying at the school fence or gates for my Mum and longing so often for my older sister who left home and Australia when I was 3 and was like a surrogate Mum.. It occurred to me after I cried reading this back and thinking of the image of her lovingly waving goodbye over and over… how I had to put my need aside and even after Jonathan, my ex husband left me in 2004 I denied my need to be with my Mum, taking myself overseas and having the head injury. But then in a family pattern my Mum pushed me too at at that time away from her and did not seem to be able to validate my needs and feelings even after I came home 8 months later..

As I look back, with the benefit of hindsight, I chose to keep myself remote even after coming back in 2006 and used the anxious attachment patterns of criticism, and negation of inner need to deny closeness and keep up distance (natal Uranus in the first house).. Also, it actually at around this time of year I got involved in the last relationship I had in which we both had such bad trauma we ended up pushing each other away.. by denying vulnerability. My ex had a very strong Uranian and Chiron theme of emotional wounding to his mother bond in his chart with both planets aspecting a very soft Piscean Moon.

It occurs to me, that if Scott is real then that need for someone to need and come home to love is being denied again, my brother seems incapable of responding to either of his sisters from a place of engaged emotion.. Yesterday in the conversation we had he was putting down the car I drive and badgering me to upgrade it, when really a car is the least of my needs right now really.. He could be trying to be kind.. he kept telling me the same thing my husband used to say… “there is no need for you to keep living like a church mouse” and he told me that, despite the fact he is a very wealthy guy he struggles to spend any money on himself.. and he said to me “You and I am Mum we area all a lot like that.. we find it hard to spend money on ourselves, and it is true, Mum used to struggle when she bought herself anything because as a child she had nothing and the government never even gave my Nana a war pension after my granddad died of war injuries when Mum was only 7 years old.. She also continued to withhold stuff from my two sisters and most particularly my older sisters’ children.. but then Mum was a young child growing up during the depression.

I remember too with sadness how my ex husband tried to tell me he needed me when I ran off on him to pursue more therapy in 2002 and I blew it all off. I well remember reading back my email reply I wrote to him a few years ago and I actually wrote him an email after that to apologize about the tone of it that year… Whoever Scott was he needed me.. and may even be a symptom of my shadow … I know these days I am an adult and I can be there for myself but there was a time I really needed others and their comfort and it was so so absent..

Being alone and a loner is almost a habit for me.. A deeply ingrained one..but I do also love people and company.. I had a lovely chat with the Supermarket check out operator the other day about her favorite couple she serves. The couple are elderly and were in front of me in the queue…and she started telling me all about them. I shared with her how sad I often feel seeing elderly couples and told her how Mum survived and outlived Dad for a further 32 years, never fully getting over the loss… and that they met when Mum was only 17, to which she smiled at me and said.. “I was only 17 when I met my husband and we are married 30 years now.”

I think now of how much of a product of that loss my brother was.. how distant is his own relationship with the wife who continues to look down on all of us siblings and always ensured such a distance was kept between my older sister who died in the home and her children.. I cannot talk to my brother about a lot other than money things these days.. I do try but maybe i have not tried hard enough I just do not know but it seems sad my other sister does not reach out to him either as, as much as he says to me.. “we all know you are lonely” I often say to Kat my therapist that I do believe, he too, is often so deeply lonely in his own soul… he just overworks to hide from it. and then when I confront him with a need I get rejected or shamed over it… I just don’t know but I do need to write about this today.. as my brother and my own emotional unmet needs are very much on my mind today..

Slowly, oh so slowly I am recognising all of this with the help of others who so lovingly write about their own struggles with a history of emotional neglect they work just so damn hard not to project back onto their own children..

I just spoke to him. i have to keep begging and pleading for what i need and when i talk to him there is a tight tight band around my heart that keeps on getting tighter and tighter.. If Mum and Dad worked so hard what is it all for if we cannot be generous and help others.. I just don’t get it! This family curse seems to have no end really..

8 thoughts on “I wasn’t allowed to need

  1. The way you relate to this ache and need for connection both hurts my heart and provides comfort. It never ceases to amaze me how no matter the differences in specifics, childhood trauma leaves a common thread of lasting impact. I am honored to have inspired this post and to be a witness to your journey. šŸ’—

  2. Emotional neglect is so very painful indeed. I too know I am an adult and can give myself compassion and support, but I have to admit it gets very lonely. I believe humans are wired for social connections though of course as survivors, it can be so terrifying to reach out.

    1. It really can Lately I’ve been really deeply feeling how painful that sense of separation can be. Just to find one person you truly connect honestly and deeply with is such a gift. Not having it can make life feel very empty at times.

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