Well I have finally got to that watershed moment in therapy where I have realised the emotional truth of my childhood and adolescence : left alone, unrelated to at an emotional level, not ever seen and the other thing that Kat my therapist pointed out today was no one ever sat down and bothered to ask who I was, what interested me and what I needed, let alone spend much time with me. (Started shedding a lot of tears at that point with the deeper recognition of it all.)
It was a deep aloneness wound that I did not even begin to fully recognise the roots of until last year when I finally purchased and read Jonice Webb’s book on Childhood Emotional Neglect Running on Empty. I really recommend the book even to those who struggle with suicidal thoughts and believe they came from an okay family where some needs were provided for. In the book Webb gives a lot of detailed case histories from her own clients and practice into the effects of what can seem like a fairly benign form of abuse including feelings of suicidality.
I won’t go into depth about it here. I will try to find links back to older posts and put them in this one for new followers further down the track. Suffice to say that I now understand how and why I became addicted to alcohol and other drugs for the years 14 to 31 when I finally put them down. I think anyone who has to deny the emotional truth of what happened to them has to search for some kind of pain relief as well as a way to shut up the critical judgemental shaming thoughts such a legacy leaves inside of us in a fairly constant and corrosive form.
Abstinence is just the start of a far, far deeper journey of self discovery and uncovery, piecing together through exploring our earliest feelings inside the safe container of therapy, having someone who will help us to make sense of them and not lead us even further astray is all essential for our healing. I struggled through several ineffective therapies over 10 years before finding this one, thank God!
When we come out of a history of invalidation of emotions or denial of their existance or are forced to swallow them back down inside its such hard work to be able to form a relationship with our insides as we need to, which we need most certainly in order to be self protective, self aware, self affirming and self caring..inwardly connected. My experience is that those feelings never go away and we must not be led astray either by spiritual disciplines that would have us ‘rise above them’ or put them behind us until we have done the work to know why and how they exist. This is a form of ‘spiritual bypass’.
We can work in a spiritual way with the negative thought forms instilled inside us by a less than caring or emotionally supportive family history, though, recognising such thoughts do not speak the truth. We are not worthless, hopeless, helpless or broken in some essential part of ourselves, that said what may have become broken is our connection to the true self deep and emotions deep within, that core of us that is authentically us, our spiritual essence and full of soul and feeling. When the connection to that is broken we do suffer deeply. We are lost and we wander and we hunger and we thirst and we can become magnets for abusive relationships.
Our recovery demands we explore all the ways that connection got broken or failed to develop the first place for without it we feel so lost and empty and our life lacks engagement and meaning. Its a terrible place to exist within. Acknowledging the true pain of our childhood is not self pity. It is a necessary grieving that needs to take place, there is no way to get back what we did not get over those years, hard as it is for modern people to accept not everything can be fixed but through self awareness we can grow in consciousness and end the beat up on ourselves we were forced to swallow wholesale when we bought into the illusion we were in some way fatally flawed.
Image links to following poem by Kim Valzania http://eatpraypost.com/the-call-of-the-child-by-kim-valzania/