Okay so my therapist tells me we are all somewhere on the spectrum of narcissism.. But for me its been life and body damaging to be around this narcissistic emotional neglect shut down in others..
In fact the other day when I got home from the garden center and rushed to plant my plants due to an unnecessary urgency I feel about ‘perfecting’ things the plane of glass on a beloved framed photo shattered into shards after it fell face down, later as implicit memories of trauma started to bleed through I associated that shattering to the laundry window shattering on me and cutting my wrist all the way across thankfully NOT SEVERING THE TENDON when I was about 12 years old.. At the time i was trying to force a window because as a latch key child I had to remember to put the key back on the hook in Dad’s shed in the garage to let myself in to an empty house each day and this day I forgot.. I had to run down to the neighbors in a terrible panic all cut and bleeding and mercifully the older son, Glenn was home and he took me into casualty.. This was about the fifth of several major bodily invasive, threatening and terrorizing traumas..I shared earlier last week about the 3rd degree burns I sustained due to one of Mum’s OCD binges..
Thinking about how distressing this is today and thinking that I did not really matter enough to my parents is hurtful, maybe it is also why I often feel I need to apologize merely for existing and needing anything at all and why I always tend to look at my part in things.. Who was there for me? Who really seemed to care and notice that this kind of treatment was wrong. So I began to turn to substances to dull the pain to feel less alone and when I asked for a dog or a horse it was too much trouble.. I kept on badgering which my therapist says is a good thing and they did get me Sasha but she had an accident and we had to give her away.. more grief, more feelings of guilt for me.
I am really struggling today with the forgiveness aspect of it all.. I think of how little support and nurture my parents got, lately in talks with my sister I have been exploring how hard they worked, really I find it so hard just to relax myself and I have heard it said so many times in AA that those of us coming out of addiction only have two basic modes of being : full go and and dead stop. and that seems to correlate to the two less positive aspects of vagal stress.. hyper-arousal and complete shut down.. I have seen this older sister oscillate between both states but to see her so shut down now and lacking a sense of autonomy and agency at times all seems too much.
I just had a long debrief about all of this with a family friend.. I got out the trauma of how I was treated at the coast.. I could only be happy if I forgot the pain of the damage, if I tried to give it a voice it was through body symptoms and often Mum would say in later years after I got home it was loneliness but it was neglect trauma and abuse and my sister made her choose between us? SO BAD SO WRONG SO PAINFUL.
She remembers none of it now.. my nephew is in charge of finances because she wont step up, I get so scared..what can I do but it was never mine to fix.. still I carry all of the memories my sister cannot.. its such a concern to me.. I also see how I too, struggled with my own autonomy that at times I collapsed into weakness instead of fronting up and that I also, at times carry a lot of anger and fear.
On one level I tried to forgive and be there, I tried to stay connected as maybe what my parents did was unconscious, due to their own shut down they shut down on me.. but what is the truth about forgiveness? At times I get so confused, but then the angels remind me this is an evolutionary collective issue and that to err is human and only to forgive is divine.
Still I am human, I falter at times, I make mistakes, I second guess myself. But I am seeing lately that forgiving too soon before doing the long and complex psychological separation work may be counter productive.