I have been thinking a great deal about Ross Rosenberg’e concept of pathological loneliness that he explains stems from the core wounding of emotional neglect, abuse and abandonment and of how not having our drives, needs and emotions contained, reflected and mirrored leaves so many of us vulnerable to disasters in relationships with the lack of access to forming and implementing healthy boundaries of self love and self care that do not block us off from openness to outer relationships, too.
Thinking over my involvement with Scott I am both shocked and saddened to see what I put myself through with him, how vulnerable the childlike part of me was to promises of connection and I cannot demonize either of us because after Mum died in 2017 it was a painfully lonely time. The death of a parent and a grandparent who also carried neglect trauma and passed it down can open up a can of worms… In the case of my Mum the situation was also made complex by the fact she gave little to the sons of my older sister who died and made it my responsbility to take care of them.. As it is the inheritance became complicated by me loaning money to someone who just kept asking for more promising each time to repay it. .. Money is not really the issue for me any way it was that someone was ‘there’, even if only briefly when my parents and family could not be.. And its only lately I see how young I really was inside and how many healthy boundaries I lacked..
In addition the lastest issue of me having that outburst over email due to the stress of seeing my sister shocked into an even more damaged state and how it rebounded has really made me take a good cold hard look at what I do and how I react as well as how much my own poor boundaries and magical thinking leave me susceptible to a ‘madness’ that I could not help another person with when I was flat out trying to contain my own form of it.
I turn to my Al Anon readers a lot lately for wisdom as well as they seem to offer a lot of sane wisdom for dealing with the complex issues present in co addicted families and families of long term emotional neglect.. I came to grief at meetings when my own anger burst out and it was not well handled in that particular group. It is one of the reasons I really needed a lot of one on one therapy since I now understand neither of my parents were contained or knew how to contain emotionally. Dad shut down, Mum over reacted and the reading I just read in Hope For Today concerned a person who grew up in a home where there was a lot of anger flying around and they were often the target.. They then saw the ridiculousness of trying to deal with that issue in their family of origin amidst those still not dealing with the feelings or trapped in addictive or medicated pathways. There is a lot I see of this in my own family.. everyone trying to deal with someone deep in alexithymia and struggle to accept or contain or express and process any emotions at all and someone pretty much addicted to pharmaceutical aids they were wanting possibly to get off but not having another alternative.
Today I know I have to deal with my own emotions and reactions instead of trying to displace them.. It may be necessary though for me to act them out first and get that negative consequence only to learn more effective ways to deal with emotions and expression as well as more complex issues of inter personal boundaries. So much went down in our family that never got spoken about.. and seems almost impossible to address right now.. And as far as Scott is concerned I just have to keep pulling back.. I cannot help another human being with the problems it is their responsibility to deal with.. When they refuse to see this and respect my boundaries, it really makes me so angry and I then know I have to set an even firmer boundary despite ‘pleading’ and various other forms of emotional manipulation could not see before.
I also have to go easy on myself for making so many ‘mistakes’ over this issue.. people did try to stop and warn me but I wanted my own authority over my life.. Anyway we live and learn and it will do me not one amount of good to blame myself for things that were not possible for the earlier me to see and know before enduring more painful consequences… Serenity and sanity are big issues in 12 step recovery and I only get them when I find the power to go gently on myself for past mistakes while not sidestepping necessary pain that will lead to growth and learning.. that is where the sanity part comes in.. and to me lately these two are becoming honestly just as important as fresh air and nourishing healthy ‘food’.