Mark Wolynn believes we carry our parents and ancestors feelings and experiences as did Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. I experience this to be true. Watching ancestral trauma symptoms reply in my family over 30 years it is now clear to me that we do not fully understand this as a society and so the medical and psychiatric community resorts to diagnoses, but each diagnosis is about physical, chemical, natural and emotional energies and how these move and flow and get stilted or blocked or super intense in outplaying for us both personally and collectively.
In AA as my recovery progressed through active involvement in Al Anon adult child meetings I began to see many carried another diagnosis like bi polar, narcissisitc or borderline personality disorder. But these all speak of attachment and emotional regulation issues which depend on how well our young bodies and brains were loved or help, supported, nurtured and contained or driven into mix up and the painful overdrive of emotional dysregulation and confusion due to parenting issues. And we cannot really blame our parents especially the generations coming out of depression, ecomonic deprivation and war as well as other traumas. Oncologist Gabor Mate has spoken at length in many of his talks of how the babies in Eastern Europe picked up on the trauma of war and these issues of empathy and vulnerability are explored in depth by both Dr Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz in their important book Born For Love : Why Empathy is Essential and Endangered. This is why I believe medication only helps a little. Without the ability to feel into our carried experience and make meaning of it across a wider collective spectrum behaviors end up making no sense, then people end up drug fucked or like my poor living sister shocked out of her wits and dysregulated and destroyed even more emotionally..
I was so angry yesterday listening to a program on diagnosis of early stage breast cancer two hours before therapy (luckily). It’s now known they do unnecessary treatments in the early stages merely out of fear or prevention and pay fuck all attention to emotional and inter personal history and pain. I remember when I went for my pre radiation interview back in April 2016 following the surgery a few weeks earlier, how coldly and distantly they treated me when I cried. When they asked what all the ’emotional lability’ was all about (yes the put those fucking words on my file!) I said “how do I explain to you an ocean in a tear-drop?: That shut the doctor up.
I have breathing difficulties now as a result of that 5 week course of toxic shit. I refused chemo thank God as a dear blogger friend was destroyed by that to the point she can no longer walk or see. Did they ever ask her about the cruelty she suffered at the hands of a mother and other siblings who showed her ongoing contempt and even more as she got sicker? No bloody way! I don’t want to hate the doctors I just hate what they do, I also despair that we suck it up and take it as ‘truth’.
Anita Moorjani addresses this handing over of bodily power issue to the professionals in the medical field in her book What If This Is Heaven? Those who do not know her story may not know she died of terminal luymphoma some years ago at which time she had a choice to come back to life. For those moments while gone she felt only the divine power of unconditional love, she was also shown she got sick due to self negation as a young Indian woman devalued by society.. She now teaches as an empath about why our society is so toxic and how we hand over our power to those who know less that we do.
Do not even get me started on how my mother’s health got stuffed up by a botched knee surgery in 2012. Sadly she kept giving the doctors her power and had a number of falls trying to be there for my second sister who due to over medication for supposed anxiety and bi polar had that all start after doctors took her womb in 2003. I see it all now and how it played out and the truth is very clear to me.. My sister started to fall too when the over medicated her. She is now in permanent psychiatric care. The ricochet effects of both of their dysregulations and distance from emotions affected me too.
As the one who sees things I have an obligation to speak about it. I saw both sister’s destroyed by lack of nurture and proper care.. I tried to be there for both until it go too much sometimes. I had to pull back. But I still send my sister love and try to text when I can. The angels clearly told me to keep my hands and my will off of her life after she sadly revealed to me last year they had started yet a third round of disabling ECT on her.
My ancestors come through very clearly these days. I listen. I think too it makes sense of the dream I had in my first year of sobriety when I dreamed that a group of aboriginal woman accepted me into their circle as together we danced on the red earth what I learned about the rejected dark feminine from then on really made sense to me of our fucked up our systems became after the black plague and ascendance of a sky God removed us from loving and trusting in the divine and healing spirit and spirits immanent in nature that indigenous peoples so strongly believe in
I try my best to ground myself these days. I know where my root chakra is located and I knelt on the ground yesterday in therapy shedding tears for the pain of my young mother’s life.. No help for her and Nana, thank god Robert Lester came into their lives and was a loving step dad.. But that meant Nana decided to put Mum into domestic service but Mum got out and got herself an apprenticeship as a tailor’s assistant and that makes sense as my maternal G G Grandmother was a seamstress to the New Zealand politician Mr Seddon.
Mum fought a valiant fight as did my Dad but both carried wounds. I give thanks every day for all I have now due to how hard they worked and my brother and sisters too. So what if my brother avoids us emotionally? It is understandable.. born in the 1940s he had to be tough as Dad, a sensitive boy himself, was toughened up by his own loss and deprivation and being born at a precarious time in the 1920s.
In many ways I also became hardened and defensive just like my mother while carrying that soft inward nature of my Dad and possibly my Mum too had she not been as brutalized by her own history.. Facing how like my Mum I am takes work and having compassion for that side of me also takes work, to deflect my own shame at times I struggle so hard, at times i sometimes drown in it, but is it even mine? At the same time I will no longer denigrate my emotions and sensitivity and will not allow others to do it. I know who I am these days.
Thank God for self knowledge. Thank God for feelings. Reacting out of them might not always end well and may lead us on some confusing and painful pathways but then we also can learn from what we suffer with and struggle through as we bring the healing light of intelligence to those feelings As long as we can continue to practice the H.O.W. of recovery : Honesty, Open minded and heartedness and Willingness how can we ultimately fail? Each day we make progress if we allow the dives in and down into the pool of emotions to transform and free us even more full to live in light, wisdom, grace, and love.
Facing the ways we react to pain and suffering and how other humans do too makes us more hopefully wiser, more loving and compassionate in the end, less of a door mat willing to be dumped on. Becoming less defended and open to accept the challenging and bittersweet dualities of human emotional life means we grow and change. We may even come to celebrate in the end just how much we have survived.
And after this I thought of the concept of Wise Mind formulated by people like Marsha Lineham for those of us so often inundated by a torrent of big emotions, when these just drive us we may lose our footing in ‘reality’ but hopefully we learn something after we metaphorically get washed up on the shore of present time ‘reality’. However the deep sea of our ancestral soup may call ever so powerfully upon many of us seeking in this way to bring old emotional issues into awareness and resolution.
Sadly though just so often we may lack the necessary skills and grounding and balanced wisdom to achieve these insights and act in productive ways upon them.