Its such a tough journey to finally get to the point where we have to let our families go in order to birth the true life and connections that exist outside of its circumscribed limits. Therapy and emotional healing is a process of both coming to terms with and integrating all of the formative experiences of our past, as well as the deeper hurts and injuries that happened to us in our family of origin. Many of us battle for a long time against accepting harsh realties most especially if we were wounded or suffered developmental arrests and lost access to our True Self within over many years. Abandonment gives us no way of accessing the truth of the lost self except through pain which is challenging to feel and integrate, especially in a society where pain is seen as a pathology or illness to be medicated instead of mined for wisdom, growth, connection and meaning.
In my own case a developmental arrest occurred at 17 when I should have been on the brink of opening up and launching. I was cut down by an accident and then in the 6 years that followed the following traumas occurred : the cerebral bleed, coma and eventual psychosis of my older sister, her eventual abandonment and suicide attempt, two terminations of pregnancy and then my father’s death from cancer. After my boyfriend broke the relationship off with me just a few weeks after my father died and cancelled our plans to meet abroad, something I had been working and saving towards for over 18 months my mother then decided it was best to push me overseas all alone.
How I was meant to cope with everything I had suffered to that point God only knows. And the truth is its deeper suffering was not even begun to be felt by me for about 14 more years. I call those the years of unconscious descent, as 7 of them involved active addiction and the next 7 were just spent in AA meetings where it was really not possible to address the extent of my damage. In 1999 I made my first attempt at therapy and here it is 18 years later and I only feel that I have now done the majority of my conscious descent, which had involved a lot of therapy and broken therapies in order to find the right help.
I only now feel that I am beginning to separate from my family emotionally. The paradox is that doesn’t mean I don’t feel the suffering fully, in fact I feel it means I feel it at the deepest level as I have chosen not to self medicate as much as possible. At times I have been very close to suicide, most especially in the past 6 years spent back here in my home town. I beat myself up all the time about how I didn’t have the courage to move away and deal with it from a distance. Maybe it was partly the illusion of the inner child pulling me back making me believe that in some way I would get what I wanted emotionally or at least be able to address the pain with family. That illusion has caused me a lot of emotional suffering and has cost me years and the pain over all that lost life honestly on some days nearly drives me to want to take my life. It is taking a long time for adult me to emerge and front up, and face the death of those old longings which I see now are not realistic and never were really. There is a lot of grieving to be done in the shedding and the letting go and fear I am becoming aware does accompany the conscious descent that is asked of us. In fact I read many years ago that poet Robert Bly spoke of how depression is a refusal on some level often to surrender to deeper grief work. Only through it do we reunite with the lost child in side who holds so much of our power and inner gold, although often when we find him or her, he or she is most often covered in soot and ashes, this unparented one who is often also a part of our parents’ unconscious.
Anyway I am certainly not alone in facing this kind of pain in midlife. My journey is made more complex due to two near death traumas which pulled me back when I was on the brink of what should have been a blossoming and emerging or burgeoning time. My studies suffered in the years following my first accident as I also struggled with the terrible impact of witnessing what my older sister went through. I was forced by my father at that point into a career I hated and it wasn’t until just before I got sober that I tried to break out of that but addiction wouldn’t let me move too far forward and at that time even more traumas and losses had piled on top of the original ones.
I eventually did manage to do some training in wholistic therapies and managed to secure myself a few jobs in an industry that was more to my liking but I hadn’t yet done my inner work, instead I chose to escape into marriage. In those years I got sober and started then to really explore my interest in astrology and in 2001 managed to achieve a dream to study at the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London which I aborted when my older sister who was now in a care home hit the wall. I also started serious therapy in 1999 in the UK but mid way through I had a powerful dream that an dark African woman had given birth to a baby who died just after its first birthday. About a year and a half into therapy I aborted to come back home. In the dream the deep sad eyes of the woman shone as she told me it was a necessary death.
And so it has been. Death and more death followed. The ending of marriage, another accident and then another, another relationship and the failing of that and my eventual return to the roots of my home and then a new start in therapy, the suicide attempt of my other sister, five hospitalisations for her for depression which I tried to give emotional support through and then the death of my older sister in 2014 and reconnection with my nephews her sons who were like my long lost brothers.
Wiser energy comes now on a spring afternoon where shadows begin to fall telling me it was all a part of the journey. Why beat myself up? Will I ever fully leave my family behind? They were the womb I was born out of but not the place that I am meant to end up but individuation is a journey and its not an easy birth to go through it all and in so many ways my own life is both a continuation of my ancestors life as well as a working out of issues and burdens and tasks they perhaps never got to complete fully which call to me from deep within intercellular tissue, at least that is how it feels for me. Even the ones I never met call to me and I feel their pain and deeper longing to be known and recognised, no longer so lost, exiled or forgotten, fallen deep down into the collective unconscious ocean like stones. Possibly all configured by my natal Neptune in the third trine to Chiron in Pisces in the seventh more than I could ever fully express in words here.
So much to navigate and not all of it artificial imagining I am sure. So I continue on some days weighed down so deep by a burden I never chose, but then on other days rising again with a new energy and power that has come from facing and surrendering myself body and soul to the deepest darkness. So much is a mystery that is all I know. So many unseen forces play out for us and we can never fully hope to solve the puzzle with our minds but if we still enough at times we hear the inner voice or call telling us things. Our personal and ancestral soul trying so hard to make its authentic individual voice and inner purpose known.