My wound that you cannot heal

I had such a strong need to speak to my sister this morning.  I knew she had not been feeling physically well with headaches and nausea.   My mind wondered if it was emotional or due to her liver but of course it is not my job to know and yet there there was that longing for a familial connection that runs so deep and doesnt have a lot of places to go now that my Mum is dead and my older sister too.   I found myself remembering painful times in our past and seeing also how I was not seen in the way I needed to be at a critical time.   I could not ever seem to find a soft place of comfort and support when I needed it, despite the fact my sister did reach out to me after my marriage ended and wanted me to spend the first Christmas with her.   I could not do it so I had the Christmas with my Mum and my older sister who was not in a very kind or empathic place.  We ended up having conflict which then upset my Mum and it was all around my own emotional wound which I really started to feel when sharing this morning with my sister about times of emotional neglect in the past especially around my family’s overconsumption of alcohol.

I was triggered by watching a comedy last night in which a drunk person threw up.  It was a show about other people watching the comedy on television being filmed themselves, some of the laughed a lot and one person said “that is just not funny, its awful” which was my feeling as I know how horrible it feels to be throwing up from drinking too much and it’s something that happened following this sister’s 21st when I was only 13 which was held at a fancy hotel when the waiters kept giving me alcohol and no one was watching.  Of course my family felt it was a great joke and I know there is a funny side, but for me it was not funny at the time and now just strikes me as sad.

Anyway, my sister does listen and doesn’t dismiss things now.  “You have such a good memory,” she said to me, “mine is awful”.  Well if you have had shock treatment and suicide attempt after copious prescriptions of a cocktail of over 10 different medications on the back of a hysterectomy and abandonment by your husband that kind of thing is going to affect you, but it means when it comes to emotions there is not a lot of insight and ability to share from that level from her side which means I do a lot of the work and its a long conversation with many gaps I am always feeling my way through.

I am glad we had the chat, and found myself crying at times in some of the longer silences, and as I listened deep within to the pain of my wound I realised how it came out of a longing for her to see me and for my father and mother to see me, to see how alone I felt when young, how I struggled and how it hurt not to have the things I loved recognised.  That was when I became aware of what I was longing for from my sister which she cannot give to me and that is sad and its also sad how I keep on trying and trying?  She has her own wounds too and I am very very aware of that.

This is our first Easter without my Mum.  My sister doesn’t seem to be keen to ever meet up, the exception was my birthday so I feel that the distance between us is really meant to be.  I do need to accept it.  After getting off the phone I hoped I had not talked too much about everything as we spoke for over an hour about different subjects.   But the lovely thing was that during the call my sister did acknowledge things in me.   And I was able to acknowledge in her some good things she often does not see due to her tendency as another trauma survivor to blame herself or be confused at times.

I am looking for the gifts inside my wound and pain today.  My Chiron in Pisces lies in the seventh house a few degrees off my sister’s Sun and Venus there which is squared by a fiery Mars at 5 degrees Sagittarius which she shared with my Dad.  At times I have been wounded by her blunt approach in her less sensitive and aware days, just as Dad could be blunt even though he had a soft side.     I don’t always want to keep a distance from my sister but such contact is often bittersweet.  My older sister Judith alway expressed her love for me and used to look on me so lovingingly.  Today I remembered being called to her bedside several times when she was highly dissociated in her later illness and over medication.  I would sit and hold her hand and she would come back to me.  I may move around her little room in the care home for people with acquired brain injury she shared with four others tidying and often we would listen to music or sing along to songs we loved on the radio.  I know reading this back it was my inner child who was bonding with hers then and I remember the times she was emotionally dismissive and very cutting and hard on me too, as our mother could be in younger years.

It’s an easier life, to be honest now that my older sister has gone.  It was always painful visiting her but also lovely in another way when we just sat and held hands and connected.   The love I have for my living sister is different.   She was my boss for a while between the ages of 13 and 17 and was often trying to pull me into line from being too casual with other workers or customers at the clothing boutiques she owned along with my mother and brother in law.  When I asked to be included in the family business in my later 20s I was told “NO”.    I eventually went away to Sydney after my father died and from time to time she would visit with her husband and ask me out for a meal but this was during the later days when my addiction was worsening and one day after I had been out to dinner with her I got a call from her telling me how ashamed she was of me.  I had gone out to a pub afterwards and was sitting on the side of the road  with a group of people in the early hours of Saturday morning and she had driven past and seen me.  “What the hell are you doing down there,” she screamed at me.  “living some kind of double life?”  I felt so ashamed and alone that I just hung up the phone and later when things got worse with my addicition I did not feel I could turn to her.

Anyway sobriety came for me a few years later and I met my husband and we married and there were some happy years.  My relationship with my sister was always distant and when it broke apart (my marriage that is) I did not feel I could turn to her.   Now it is just us two family members here in our home town apart from my brother’s son and his family who are very formal and never keep in touch.  I am aware this wound is here and I treat it tenderly and possibly my sister has also felt wounded by me.   Eight years difference is not an easy one, as I shared in an earlier post as children she said she found me a ‘pest’ and its how I felt.  I was ‘the tissue queen’ because I was sensitive and cried when she got married and left home, I needed to ‘pull myself together’ when I got emotional at my God father’s funeral and hugged his grandkids ‘inappropriately’  I was a show off when I danced to a favourite song at mutual friend’s New Year Eve party.

These things stay with me and make me feel anxious (and probably unconsciously angry although on an ironical level it’s kind of funny).  I wish I had a sister who just didn’t think I was too much but then I think I need to be an adult and just accept its okay to be me regardless of these kind of things.  I can write about it here so I externalise rather than internalise all of this and I can acknowledge that this wound hurts but is not the whole of me, it just tends to ache around those times I am reminded of other losses and defeats.

Mars Chiron : awakening old wounds for healing and care

Chiron

Apologies to those who get sidelined by astrological symbolism, but when I read the monthly astrology on Lua Astrology’s website last night where astrologer Lea Whitehorse spoke of the Mars Chiron square to become exact on June 2, suddenly the deep pain I was in over the weekend made sense.  Prior to this we have  also  been experiencing Mars opposite Saturn which is not the easiest of transits.  Mars represents our self assertion or self expression, the soul desire for forward movement and action from heartfelt or imperative need and when it meets Saturn we experience deep frustrations, blocks or no go areas, alternatively we may have to slow down, mature and look for different options and so adjust our desires and need for movement or expression.  Its painful.

I have the aspect in my birth chart and I can tell you that since I have been young trying to express and go after what my soul and heart desires has been problematic to the degree that in childhood I began to subvert my true needs and desires.   I also have Moon with Mars and Saturn and we were raised in a very duty bound house when I was growing up.  Life was intensely serious, my mother was either elsewise engaged and trying to keep everything running perfectly or overworking and was then exhausted to the point any fun or mess or natural chaos caused an angry reaction or was a drain.  My parents fun times involved a lot of older adults and drinking or going out on the boat which I abhorred.  I was happiest on the beach with my surfboard growing up.

This authoritarian, dogged, do the right thing side of me often squashes the fun part.  My ‘fun’ later in life involved alcohol and drugs and these are not enriching pass times, they drain life and energy and leave one with a hangover and even more disconnected, or at least they did in my case.  So it is interesting that this aspect coincided with getting together with old drinking buddies from that time of my life and being faced with a huge brick wall of deep pain and hurt from the past.  I opened up my wound with them late on Friday night shortly before we were due to go home when they were already on about their 6th glass of champagne.

I know I am so lucky to be sober.  I was in deep pain over the weekend but I did my best to sit with it and feel it and affirm myself for feeling it.   The Chiron wounding part though is that it brought back to me the ways I have felt imprisoned or caged by a dark past I am trying my best to break free of.  In her commentary on this aspect currently Lea Whitehorse, UK based astrologer made the point that being opened to wounds at this time would draw our attention to the need for better self protective boundaries.  This rang true for me and dovetailed with what I wrote yesterday in one of my posts.

Chiron was a centaur in mythology who got wounded in the Achilles heel with by a poisoned arrow left lying around in the Hydra’s den after one of the Hydra’s battles, probably with the Gorgon.  The poison on the arrow going into Chiron in a vulnerable place (and heels or ankles ground our feet and contain tendons that help us to move forward or get away from damaging situations) relates on a psychological level to wounds we encounter by accident or just in the course of life that may leave a poison inside us or paralyse forward movement and faith in life and goodness.  We do not necessarily bring them on ourselves (though we often make them worse by the way we react).  In the myth Chiron’s wound is incurable and acts as a wisdom or insight builder into internal wounds, difficulties, challenges and psychology.  Chiron spends a lot of time helping others and birthing creative visions from the wounds but he never heals and if he did, come to think of it his purpose would be done.

So reflecting on it Chiron Mars times bring those times when we face deep wounds or watch them re-enacted and have to learn strategies to be with them in ways that don’t make the poison or pain inside worse.  Then yesterday when I wrote a little post about the pleasure of finding myself in a lovely present moment free of body and soul pain which I did not post but will today, I was thinking about Echardt Tolle’s concept  of the pain body and how that related to how I was feeling over the weekend.  The wound inside me from the past and due to 5 broken relationships could possibly be healed or eased in a new one, but the pain of aloneness on some of the dark days is hard when I don’t sit with my wounds and be my own best friend, finding ways to self soothe and come to think of it I really experience a paralysed ankle on those days when getting out can in fact be a necessary distraction that helps ease the pain for a time.

Today as yesterday the sun is streaming through windows on a very cold winter morning while my icy numb fingers type.  I find the Sun so healing and warming, it opens up and expands my being and my PTSD is very much about shock, removal, disconnection, dissociation and contract.  The warming power of the Sun counteracts this and lets me open myself more, it counters my Mars Saturn tendency to bite down hard on difficulties and pain.  Earlier today I found myself re-experiencing the anger towards this particular ‘friend’ who many years ago when I was really struggling kicked me out of her party as she had an issue with the guy I was dating at the time.  At that particular point I was in such grief over the loss of my father and was a long, long way from home.   I was very reticent about going to the dinner last week and my inner child was giving me curry over it this morning.

Talking about self protection and Chiron wounds also brings to mind the need we who are traumatised must learn to exercise around discriminating those who are and are not healthy to share our wounds with, when exactly do we open up?  How do we cope with some of the wounding things others who don’t have a clue about trauma and its deep impact say  to us?  How do we deal with the pain body when it becomes very active and preys upon us with its negative thoughts or chains of wounded logic?  How can we release and express our wounds in ways that are not retraumatising for ourselves or others, in way which makes them sources of creative insight?

This morning an idea came to me ‘the juice of the wound’.  In the myth the wounded arrow contains poison and that in itself is a kind of ‘juice’ with certain affects upon us.  That poison or ‘juice’ can and does lodge deep in our emotional bodies, it can immobilise or paralyse it.  Finding a way to ‘let’ it or dispel it seems essential as we don’t want to just stew in it always in a deeply painful way, and yet some kind of ‘stewing’ gives birth to art and poetry.  Juice and stewing images bring to mind the idea of alchemy or cooking our instinctual energies that run amuck or go awry.  It was something Carl Jung devoted a lot of time towards exploring with alchemical images such as those of Lion’s with their paws cut off being roasted in vessels over a fire which a kind of therapeutical or alchemical image for deep wounded healing processes.

Speaking of roasting Lions, last night I watched some of Madonna’s Rebel Heart concert on television.  I am not a huge Madonna fan but I was taken with the anger she was expressing and the hurt that formed the basis of two of her more recent songs Heartbreak City and Living in Love, as a Sun Sign Leo she expressed her angst and hurt in a very dramatic way.  The second song is full of positive lines about how as hurt as she has been she will not allow the hurt to poison her, it was an interesting case of synchronicity after just reading about the Chiron Mars Saturn transits of late.  We all go through pain, we all suffer and some of us do good work with the wounds.  We have our days when they consume us entirely.  The poison runs around our systems and we can feel paralysed or wired, on fire with anger and outrage or flooded and drowned in grief, these are all very human responses to what it is to be a soul that can suffer in the instinctual emotional part of us but we are then left with the outflow or outfall to deal with.  What we do with it I guess in the end speaks a lot about who we are and the attitude we take, after the flood or fire has passed or we have passed through it.  Many of us try to use our wounds to help others. By sharing our pain and suffering we connect to each other and are helped in some small way to feel less alone, in pouring out our experience or by sharing another’s we find the spot where we connect and through expressing and witnessing vulnerability become empowered.

Healer

 

Soothing pain : some reflections on being with unhealed wounds.

Quality

I have shared about the wounded healer on my blog before.  I resonate with this energy, not so much because I see myself as a healer but more because as I go further along or deep into my path I am aware of the wounds that I have carried and yesterday when I finally connected with my Mum I was aware of her wound as well and how painful she finds it to acknowledge that her wounds wounded me.    There was a point there where I got the “I wish you could just forget it and put it all behind you speech”, at this point there was no anger in me I truly felt powerless over everything and I must say at this point when it got very intense in our chat I was just praying to get my own will out of the way.   And when I understand things more deeply I try to take as much responsibility as I can for my part in things because I see the way that I have reacted out of my wounds in the past, when I was not fully conscious has caused me and other people pain.  So in a way I am no different to my Mum, we have both struggled and I have struggled so much to separate.

I felt such enormous compassion for my Mum yesterday.  We were also talking about my Dad’s background and the deep poverty he came out of.  His mother was left alone with 5 children between the ages of 12 and 4 when my grandfather died.  Dad’s mother had to go and scrub the church floor and she had no childminder so the kids had to go with her.  I know part of the reason my Dad left Holland at 18 was to escape the poverty and hardship, as the eldest he had a lot of pressure on him, and Mum has told me in later years he hated Holland as he found it restrictive and confining.   My own brother seeks emotional distance in a similar way to my Dad and his eldest son also lives 5 minutes from us but chooses to have little contact as he is all business, business, business.  It breaks my Mum’s heart and I wish my nephew could extend himself beyond his own blinkered world to reach out to my Mum at times.  But all of this is my mother’s wound and in many ways is also related to my father’s wound which has dogged us all in many ways.

Mum isn’t a bitter person and yesterday she told me how she just accepts this is the way it is (regarding her grandson).   We are also lucky as my older sister’s children do reach out to us both a lot and have more of an emotional connection.  However in the case of my brother’s children is painful to see that these emotional distance patterns keep repeating.  Its the wound that doesn’t really ever go away and the most any of us can do is try to live with peace in the midst of it and not focus on it too much.

And this is pretty much what came out of my talk with Mum yesterday.  We both broke down and Mum told me she feels she did the best she could struggling with all that she did after my father died.  I know this but I also have my own wounds and I am seeing more and more I need to keep remembering to seek acknowledgement elsewhere as well as deep within, at the same time as finding ways to live in peace with the deep, deep sadness I carry in my heart at times.

Today I just felt so weary.  I started the day as positively as I could by going for a lovely long walk.  Jasper and I are exploring a gorgeous neighbourhood area that has lots of lovely pathways that lead here and there through grassed areas and autumn colour, the scenery was lovely but we were alone.  We then went to the park and sat for a while. I then got a text from a girl who I accidentally backed into on Saturday afternoon.  I was quiet emotional after leaving my sister and didn’t look properly as I was leaving the carpark and I did a little damage to her car.  She was annoyed at first but when I apologised she treated me so kindly, I really was grateful but when her text came this morning while we were at the park I just broke down about it.   Things around me so often fall apart and I feel so shell shocked some days that I almost feel I am bit autistic.  Its probably not that at all, I think part of it is I find it difficult at times to relax because often when I do trauma symptoms can ark up.

Anyway the insurers will handle everything and there is no reason to stress.  To be honest I am trying not to stress about anything today.  All my autumn leaves are nearly down and unlike in past years I am not rushing to clear them up.  I do a little each day and the gardener will come later in the week to clear the others.  This for me is a huge step and its being kinder to myself.

And I think what came out of yesterdays talk with Mum was that we both really do love each other and wish for our final years together to be peaceful.   I see how hard Mum has tried to compensate in financial ways because she doesn’t really know how to support well emotionally due to her own background of emotional neglect.   I often see her as a little girl who had to cope with so much and be so stoic and strong.  I see the same qualities in my sister and am filled with more compassion for her these days.  Its tough to have a childhood in which you didn’t learn how to deal with emotions.  And we have the alcoholism background in our history and reading adult child literature about the affects is helping me to understand how adult children and adult grandchildren struggle with empathy, emotional understanding and expression in relationship deepens my understanding.  It helps me to realise that defects or deficiencies are not really anyone’s fault, they all came out of unhealed wounds passed down, but that we can and do have a choice to take responsibility for educating ourselves and finding better ways to express, accept and empathise with ourselves and others.  If we cannot get that understanding and empathy in our family of origins (and we will not, so often) we really need to look elsewhere.

Finding ways to soothe myself when I encounter the desolate places inside is so important these days.  I saw after talking to Mum how much my own tendency to isolate has made her life and mine all the more difficult.  Not being responded to with empathy makes one withdraw even more and then the wounds go deep inside.  Then wounds just repeat and become a closed feedback loop that leads nowhere with hurt and pain just causing more hurt and pain.   To be honest I am sick to death of it.  I want something different.

The wounds are there but I don’t have to keep stirring them up, in some way I need to find ways to let the muddy water settle and the pain fall to the bottom of the glass or jar of my soul like sediment so that I can see my way more clearly to peace.  And peace for me only comes when I have attitude of calm, acceptance and love towards my wounds and the wounds of others.

Today when I was really sad at the park I just sat with myself while I cried and said these words over and over “It’s going to be okay,  I am with you, I will never leave you, its okay to feel, its okay to let go of your grief”.  Self soothing, self witnessing, self compassion, these attitudes are the one’s I most need to express in order to soothe the hurting place inside that can so often ark up.  When this is done and I feel release then my soul is free to look for things that feed me rather than starve me.

And I also know that inner pain is not the whole of me.  I am just facing the true trauma history of my past at present.  There are so many things that happened to me over years that I could not change.  I also never learned to really put up strong protective defences against painful unhealthy things.  There were times in the past when I could have chosen for my own life, but I did not really know how to do that without reaching outside of me.

Now I am seeing that in order to grow I have to grow up.  I have to bear what has happened with as much strength and tenderness as I can, and there are times I have to be alone in order to feel the truth of and validate my authentic heart, letting go of what wounds or hurts to embrace a less painful future.

Ancestral heartache and longing : something SO deep!

Ancestors

I just came away from a conversation with my Mum with a heart that was breaking apart with longing.  After 6 days of no contact Mum finally called yesterday.   No matter how much our connection has failed in the past, I still long to hear from my Mum.  The week before I was calling every day knowing it was the anniversary of my older sister’s death, wanting to be there for Mum in her grief, in fact it was probably too much straining that I was doing out of my ‘redeemer’ script, which is becoming more and more obvious to me lately but it was also about longing to share the pain of our loss with each other too so as not to have to carry it alone and have the pain and my sister disappear totally into emptiness.

Last Saturday we had a difficult conversation in which Mum wouldn’t open up and told me I was being ‘ridiculous’ about something that was not at all ridiculous.  I suffered through a painful week this past week with no contact, I had such longing and loneliness in my heart for a  lot of the week but I held myself in it, I dialogued a lot with my inner child and the lost self that so often has been alone, and I felt again the deep ancestral imprints of longing, separation and aloneness that have been a part of our family history on my Mum’s side, passing from the men to the women.  Absence of men wounded by war (a deeper collective wound), absence of men due to alcoholism from unresolved grief over migration separation and the loss of a mother reaching further back to our ancestral lands, loss of my own father when I was 23, loss of a father in childhood due to Dad’s own emotional distance and unavailability emotionally and empathically at times.  Its a huge amount of loss and longing to contain if I really think about it.

Yesterday Mum and I had a peaceful loving conversation.   I felt how tired and sad she was.  I struggled today to think of somewhere to go or take her on a sunny autumn day to ease the pain and bring some togetherness but after liasing with my sister it all became too hard to do.  We agreed that today we would each stay in our separate space and be alone.   When the conversation disconnected I felt the depths of sadness, love and longing and a separation that was perhaps too infinite for words.  I felt it may blow my heart open, but that is just how I experience deep feelings.  And at the time of this, just a few minutes ago now, I had the thought of how these feelings were both ancestral and personal too.  I thought of my Mum’s longing for siblings that never arrived and I thought of the large gaps and difficulties I have had at times connecting with older siblings.    I thought of the wound I carry from my Mum of Chiron in Pisces as wounded healer and how strong that archetype is for me and I thought too of how Chiron occupied Pisces at the time of the Great War that saw so many young men taken from lives, fallen on the battle field in trenches, fallen in their thousands like the leaves that fell this week all over my back deck.  I then thought of how there is always so much more to what is going down than we often realise.

Some kind of deep letting go seems to be happening for me at present.  I have the sense that there is a letting go that needs to happen with my family so I can embrace my adult life, I have a sense of how long I have lived with longings of a baby and a child inside my breast to connect and be connected to others and painful reminders of how fraught with difficulty that has been and of how so many connections over my life time have gone to the wall as a result of them.   And today there have been deeply compassionate thoughts for my ex partner who struggled too with deep issues of mother and father loss and brought those into our relationship.

Earlier I had a conversation with my best friend who is also struggling with his own longing and loss.  I heard how much of it gets transferred onto today, but how much of it is deeply related to his emotionally distant relationship with his now dead mother.  I thought of how the mother wound and longing can dog us all so far into adulthood trailing behind us like a hungry ghost and how at a deeper level it also relates to our longing for connection with the deeper feminine that became so split apart in our heroic cultural and collective development over the past 1,000 years or more.

We each have our portion of that wound to carry.  It lives in the shadows and so lately I have come to feel that so many of us who struggle in this way are really struggling with something far deeper than we realise and are really shadow carriers and shadow witnesses for the lost feminine.  I was trying to write a post about this yesterday in reference to Prince Harry recently coming out about his own deeply buried grief over his lost mother and of how Princess Diana also suffered with her deep emotional abandonment wound in a family that projected symbolic images of power and control that also hide deeper wounds inside.

For today I am grateful to have been let go by my family from a day of commitments to ‘get together’, even though at first I felt so sad.  Perhaps I will never be totally free of that longing but it is not always present, at times it recedes like the tide.     I am grateful for a day in which I can live within the deeper circumference of my own life.  I am feeling how important it is for me to let go of my personal will for connection and instead pray through a higher power to be connected to the deeper spiritual life, the vast plane of interconnected consciousness on which we are all one and can truly never be separated.  It is in that place I find peace, it is in that place I find wholeness, it is in that place that I feel finally at one not only with my own soul, but with the deeper group soul of humanity.  I am not sure how much sense this blog will make to anyone but it has just rolled off my fingers and out from my heart stream today.  Peace and love, love and peace, calm and love and peace these are the conditions, places and spaces where I wish to reside today and they seem to me to be restored to me, when I let go of making the longing concretise into connection by my own will.

And perhaps when I let go, connections will come.  For a long time I may be left in a deep empty space which feels so much like drowning but the more I am able to strengthen in that place and wait in trust, the more I am restored to a deeper sanity that stops me trying to control and heal a wound far larger than I could ever fully explain with words.

The hardest time of day

I am becoming more aware lately of how this time of day, 5pm to 7pm is often the hardest time of day for me.  I was born at 7:10 pm and I am not entirely sure how that is related only to say I can get a tightness in my chest and start to feel deep, deep loneliness and sadness at this time of day.  Leading up to this over the past four or so months I became aware that at this time of day I tend to stuff my face with some kind of snack.  Lately I have been trying to make it a healthy snack but eating in a compulsive way, even if what you are eating is good for you is not the best idea.  Today after a tough day where I finally got out to the park around 3 pm and didn’t eat much more than an apple to clear my system out I went to the fruit and veg markets.  I needed some Brazil Nuts and I slowly and very mindfully at 3 of them remembering to breathe.  I then got home and swept up some of the autumn leaves but a lot was going on inwardly within, memories of how the trees shed in this way in the days leading up to my sister’s funeral in 2014.  Deeper memories are there of how my life also began to fall apart in 1990 towards the tail end of my days of active addiction when I woke with stomach pains in the middle of the night and being unable to rouse my them partner drove myself to emergency,  I had an ectopic pregnancy which had to be aborted and the trauma tore my relationship apart.  Within a few weeks I was out of the group house I shared and back with my godparents and then later in a new unit and my relationship briefly resumed only to hit the wall and then I gave up my job and the darkest years of my addiction followed.

I am very aware that I am not there now.  But I will always have a life that has been marked by trauma.  I had at that time already been through three terminations of pregnancy.  In the early years of recovery and sobriety when I undertook my first therapy I wrote a letter to each child that never got to live and named them.  I asked their forgiveness for not being able to bring them into the world and explained why.  I grieved them over years and have acceptance now over my choices. But as autumn draws in darker memories are near and this afternoon I am making the conscious choice to keep my ‘eating’ to a minimum and wait for an early dinner.  I am also choosing to blog about it more for myself, for I am sure it will be boring to some readers or they may even judge, nevertheless I make the intention in this blog to be as honest as I really can about what I am going through.

I am in the cosy living room now.  Jasper has just had a bone and its time to get us both dinner.  I haven’t had a panic attack yet and I usually get them religiously between 5 and 7.  Today I also chose to politely end the conversation with my Mum when she told me I was being ‘ridiculous’ for being traumatised by the events of the past my brother brought up yesterday, she also would not give me further information about something that would have helped me put more pieces in place and I am learning that everyone in the family has their own take on things and Mum is invested in not really owning up to all of her shortcomings.  That is her business, not mine.  I just need to detach otherwise it really hurts too much.

I have written a fair few posts today.  I have needed to.  Mars planet of action moved into Gemini planet of siblings and communication a day or so ago.  Its hitting my Chiron and it explains how what my brother bought up yesterday triggered essential placements of Mars planets in my Mum and sister and dead father’s charts.  I don’t know how astrology works only that when something get triggers I see it in the charts and Mars being in Gemini would suggest its good to communicate about it and get it out in the open which is not something my Mum or sister really want to do.  That much I realised last night when I got no support from my sister to understand things and anyway I was defending Mum at the time which was not right.

I have to keep reminding myself it is okay to reach for understanding of my family, the past and family dynamics.  I was very young when so much went down and had not a lot of way to make sense of it.  I can shame and judge myself for my struggle to make sense and there are some things I will never know.  But in expressing I get to contain my feelings to a degree and make sense of them, which helps me be not as unconsciously overwhelmed as I can be at times. I feel less sad now simply for writing this post at this time of day.  If I can bring my patterns to better consciousness and not over eat at this time my panic attacks may just stop, so this process is, in the end, essentially for me.

The wound of separation

Love peace joy

I am on about wounds a lot today. I got to thinking after reading my last post again and reading a comment from a valued follower that there is a deep wound of separation that I did hear spoke of a lot both in and out of recovery circles.

In the years just prior to getting sober in AA at age 31 I was very interested in spiritual matters, astrology, emotional and psychic sensitivity, the wound to the earth and of the World Wars and all wars really, the wound to the deep feminine.  It was after I got sober that the reality of all of this wounding really struck me so deeply and I understood more why it all resonated so much within me.  I felt our collective suffering deeply and so often in AA meetings where I would sit and weep at many of the stories of addicts in recovery.

I was also dreaming a lot and recording my dreams.  Just before and after getting sober I had two very psychically strong and powerful dreams about my father who had died about 8 years before. In the first one he called me out of this den of iniquity and helped me hide behind a bush as I watched the house I had been in burn to the ground.  That was so metaphorically true of how my old being would be transformed in the following years.  In the second I literally felt his spirit connect to my heart and fill it with love. I woke to feel him with me so powerfully in a way I had never done before his death. That dream occurred in the first month of my sobriety..

There have been other dreams in ensuing years but none as powerful as those two.  And over the past years I have felt that deep wound of separation in my soul so often and read about it in many books especially those with a focus on A Course In Miracles by writers such as Paul Ferrini and Marianne Williamson.

When I read the comment from my dear follower about how he can be sometimes repulsed by a part of himself that is wounded,  I thought of this wound of separation.  Why, I wondered, is it so hard for us to love the wounded other and even our own wounded self at times?  Although I am no fan of narcissists something in me cringes when their victims come over all nasty and mean about the narcissist.  Another part of me thinks “Good on them!!”  But I do find it hard to despise totally the suffering self in others that leads them to darkness or lovelessness, part of me just feels this infinite compassion for the broken or separated part of them

The original wound of separation occurs for us at birth.  We are forced from our mother’s womb by the urge to life and who knows if our soul chose it.  We come into form in the world where so much is outside of our control and we encounter so much pain and so much loss.  At times it is real feat to walk on earth and to keep walking through all the suffering unless we can open our hearts and keeping our hearts open IT IS JUST SO FUCKING PAINFUL at times, it takes really courage and real gumption to keep moving forward!  And its also okay if we are not up to the task either on some days or for a whole life as we are only human.

My ex partner used to say to me all the time “For God’s sake you aren’t fucking Jesus!”  but another part of me would think, well why not?  He is not such a bad person to aspire to be.  In darkest times I have felt how it must have been to be Jesus suffering as he did with his own infinite wisdom and open heart, being misunderstood all over the place.  At other times I think to aspire to be that way is a sign of some form of perverse masochism if taken too far.

In the long run though we have to come out on the side of something.  To understand how separation hurts us, how we intensify it with our reactions and thoughts or negative ego (as opposed to the positive ego we all need to move through life’s challenges) is big work.  Seeing where we have to let go of valued and seemingly valuable ego ideals is important, seeing where compromising them costs us too much is also important.  And then sometimes we just find ourselves down on lacerated knees in a pile of glass shards screaming in pain from the separations others have forced on us, or we have forced on ourselves or others due to ego ideals gone bad.

Can we keep loving anyway?  Can we give up thoughts of attack, blame, guilt and separation? Can we answer all of these with love? And can we, as my lovely follower wrote, just wrap our arms around that wounded self in the darkest of times?  If so perhaps we can find ways to ease the pain of separation that we undergo in the course of living every day.  Could this be, at the present time, the most powerful meaning we could strive for, knowing and accepting that so often we and others will fail and that we so offer err and meet so much suffering in the world?

The wounds in my heart

Wounded heart

I perhaps write about the wound in my heart in indirect ways, but yesterday I really encountered it in therapy in a deep and painful way.  We were exploring my difficulty with attaching and bonding to my Mum as a child, how I had to revolve myself around my parents in order to be seen, how I felt invisible a lot of the time and  how that original wound has dogged me.  I am beginning to realise it wont every fully go away, it makes up a large part of my experience and soul.  There are wounds that added to that wound and deepened it over years.

I still long to connect with my Mum and at times it is just impossible.  I tried to write a poem about it last night but I couldn’t post it.  Mum gets fixated on what is happening inside her own head.  She makes up what is best to do without really asking and forms all kinds of ideas that are just not related to the other person at all.  Trying to connect from this point of view becomes so impossible and leaves me so alone and if I try to point something out I am told I mustn’t speak and influence her train of thought or else she wont be able to hold onto her own mind and thoughts.   As my therapist pointed out it them becomes almost impossible for me to hold onto my own reality, to have my own thoughts or find a place to go when I am struggling with issues or dilemmas.  All I can say is thank God for therapy and blogging!  Here I try my best to pour things out but even here at times the critic endlessly critiques them!

I was crying with Katina over how strong my separation anxiety is and how it would manifest in my past relationship.  I actually googled it last night and there is a disorder called Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder.  Katina told me that separation anxiety is stronger if you never really got to fully bond or connect in the first place.   Then she said this to me “it is a tragedy”. (By this she meant the unrequited longing and needs not ever being fully met.) Wow!!! That really hit home.  I was able to actually grieve not only for the young me who went through so much other trauma due to my wounds but also for the fact of how judgemental I have been of myself and of how often I attracted that judgement from others with no possibility of help to get through it.

I said to Katina “presently it seems as though there is another part of me that witnesses all of this, and that feels like progress.  I am not judging myself as much and when the critic judges me I answer it back with compassion”.  I also asked her “do people get through or heal this”.  “You are doing that,” she said.  “You are working so hard!”

Today I am fully aware of how for so many years I have felt like an exile in the wilderness of life.  Cast out on my own with only a few belongings, carrying this unresolved pit of hunger and need.  I have also noticed that at 5 pm I start to get ravenously hungry.  I just eat and eat and eat and then I have a panic attack after dinner.  This time of day was the most lonely and painful for me growing up and particularly all through my teens when I was the only one at home after my sister left but even when she was home it was lonely.

I would come home to an empty house and try to fill in the emptiness with television and snacks.  Dad would come home and barely talk to me, just go immediately to his room, change and go out into the garden.  I would wait and wait for Mum to come home just before 6 pm and then I would revolve my evening around trying to help her so to get some of her attention but most of it was focused on Dad and the two scotches they had every night before meals.

It is interesting to me that after my marriage broke apart and I tried to go back overseas it was at this time of day I had my major head trauma after a body therapy session trying to deal with the trauma of my divorce and earlier accident at 17.  I came off my bike and split my head open and woke up sick and stunned in an ambulance all the way on the other side of the world with not one real friend or family member.   Apparently when my family heard about it they didn’t think the problem was serious enough for them to come and help.  The family I was lodging with saw it all as an inconvenience.  Why was I over the other side of the world after my marriage had ended?  Why wasn’t I with family?  If they only knew.  My family was NEVER emotionally supportive.

Within all of this emotional emptiness it was not easy for me to be the best partner, either.  To be an adult walking around with so much soreness is not easy as so many of us know.  Its a real journey to learn how to love yourself through the entire experience and not fall into the trap of blaming yourself when that is what often happens anyway if you are a child who comes out of a narcissistic or emotionally neglectful background.  You carry then deep inside you along with feelings that in some way you are the cause of it all, if only you had tried harder, not been so needy, got away sooner, seen the writing on the wall…. on and on and on goes the inner critic that forms inside the deep void space.  And then add to this the judgements that rain down on you from the outside world.

This morning when I woke with my usual anxiety I was reminding myself just to keep meeting my anxiety with tenderness and compassion.  I was reminding myself that the field of compassion which we can find within and with a good therapist is the one open loving containing space that enables us to feel all of the pain in such a way that we also shower it with tenderness and mercy, without making the wound worse.

Then there is the work to do with reaching out to others for relationships and to express ourselves which also becomes the path we just don’t want to have to walk down due to the wounds we have known in the past,  we see phantoms all around and its hard when our insecurity or fear is not met with tenderness and compassion by others.

I mentioned the astrologer Melanie Reinhardt in a recent post.  I went to see her in London a few months after my accident.  She was speaking about the painful spiritual journey of being wounded and almost killed.  She was explaining to me how a near death experience such as I had at 17 opens someone up to a spiritual aspect of life where we are removed from the ordinary, veils get stripped away and we enter a place where things are never secure or solid or certain again.  Come to think of it its a lot like what certain Buddhist teachers such as Pema Chodron talk of : the groundless space where we experience the falling way of solid ground and our ego falls through space.  When I think about it this kind of void experience is something that many of us who have known emotional abandonment, betrayal or neglect encounter and so I guess such experiences do, in some way open us up to harsher realities and we feel the need to find sources of spiritual support.

At that meeting Melanie said to me that many therapists are not fully able to help with this kind of injury.  She made two recommendations.  Nurture your inner life and find a spiritual practice.   She also recommended the work of trauma specialist Peter Levine to me that I have shared about in other posts.  Today I am aware that this wound in my heart that I carry needs to be tended lovingly.  I need to realise that so many others suffer from it to.  Its not just me all. alone in an alien universe although this is how it often feels for us as children when we had no enlightened witness or support.  The wounds I went through are real but they can be the doorway that leads me into a deeper life and experience.  Much of my blog has come out of this wound space too and for that I am so grateful.  Today I know that opening up about my wounds connects me.  I don’t have to live in them every day, but they are very real and can not just be cured with platitudes or quick fixes.  I need to remember that and keep speaking about those deeper truths.

Last night I watched a programme on sex addiction and there were so many arguments on it from different points of view, but sadly early attachment trauma was not even touched on.  I left a comment on the programmes comments page.  It saddens me at times we don’t look deeper in our society into the soul of things.  That is also a form of heartbreak.  For me I can only find my own answers to the wound, others may have their own answers.  But it was also encouraging to see others opening up about their wounds on this programme.  I do believe that is where we find our healing, through that kind of openness and vulnerability.

 

An Ocean of Sadness

ocean

Whenever I speak to my Mum lately I feel such deep sadness.   I feel that having me as a daughter has been difficult for her from the start.  I seemed to be too full of energy as a young one and she didn’t have the time for that.  I don’t even want to be resentful any more it doesn’t get me anywhere.   I long to be close to her but that kind of longing isn’t always for the best.  And then when we speak because I feel connected to her through that Neptune contact on her Sun Mercury Saturn and with my strong Pluto Moon at times it feels almost like a psychic connection, as though I can feel in my body when things are ‘off’ with her and I am not feeling well either and then calmer when I know she has been in a calm space.  I strongly feel that I am energetically connected to my Mum and I have a close friend who went through something so similar with his mother, when she died a lot of his painful physical symptoms ended.

My Mum carries a lot of grief.  When I speak to her I find myself crying silently.  I get off the phone and at the moment my heart feels like its pumping inside a brace or a straight jacket.  I feel the blood flow through which is the love I have always longed to give to someone but has never really been able to flow that way.   I think back to the last relationship when my ex would be gone for hours and hours surfing and of the helplessness, emptiness, grief and then rage that would come up.  I am sure it was an old imprint for me for by that time I had experienced four significant relationships go to the wall and had known so much other trauma of being so alone at critical times of needing emotional support.

This week I have been reading a lovely little Buddhist book on heartbreak.  I started to write a blog about it yesterday that I have not posted yet.  The author himself has known over a dozen different forms of heartbreak and speaks of the Buddhist concepts of impermanence and the suffering of change that every human goes through, just some of us more times than others.  He speaks of the need to keep an open heart, even towards those who have hurt us, a belief in the intrinsic goodness or Buddha nature that Buddhists believe exists somewhere deep down in even the hardest of characters.  He also speaks of Boddhisatva nature which concerns the aforementioned ability to keep our heart open wide in the midst of our own suffering.  But where does that leave us with healthy boundaries?  Its a big conundrum.

I went to a lecture by astrologer Melanie Reinhardt in London many years ago on Venus retrograde which is where we find ourselves now.  When Venus moves back towards the Sun it is retrograde, when it meets the Sun that is called the inferior conjunction and lays a seed.  I was interested to note this particular conjunction between 4-5 degrees of Aries a few days ago  in the dark of the moon was very close to my dead father’s Chiron which squared his natal Pluto in Cancer (mother wound) and opposed his Venus (values, self esteem and the feminine nature inside us all male and female).  In the lecture Melanie spoke of the pain that Venus retrograde can stir up from times in the past we were not loved or valued, the pain that came when we longed for connections that were illusive and ended in betrayal or tears.  She spoke of the concept of ‘keeping our heart open in hell’.  What I am going through at the moment with seeing the stress the auction of the property I went to nearly three weeks ago just as Venus stationed to move backwards the week before has made me think of this.  We go to see my Mum’s solicitor on Thursday to discuss what will happen as my Mum has offered to buy the property and lease it out, but now I am having second and third thoughts due to the stress that has been created, all around a search for hone which really needs to be found inside.

After the call with my Mum I felt myself straining to connect, longing to be noticed.  She spoke of how she had a lovely chat with my brother on Sunday,  while my brother is overseas for nearly 5 months every year I never hear from him.   I have to let even that go as we are not close, we don’t really connect at all at a heart level.  It hurts as I don’t have a Dad but who knows if Dad and I would have connected either had he lived, I was always closer to my godfather who really saw ‘me’ deep inside.

In the end I have to just keep breathing through this ocean of sadness.  When there is an ocean of tears as is the case often later in life when we have lived so and lost so much and known a lot of disappointment we really need to learn how to swim in those deep waters.    That is what I am doing now and it is strange as we now have quite a few planets in fire, but soon Venus will be back in the watery depths of Pisces for most of April, old pain I think is going to be revisited to be released.  I am going to meditate my way through it as much as possible.   For good or ill I have made the decision to stay in my old place where there is a lot of work to do and some expense rather than move to the new one.  I am scared that this means I am not letting go on some level.  Who knows?  I know I don’t or maybe I do and just don’t want to admit it.  Time will tell I guess if for now I can just learn to keep my heart open and keep swimming and not drown in this ocean.  I DO know that I won’t drown.  The only drowning could be that my breast cancer comes back and that is a constant fear.

Most of the book on heartbreak concern skills we can develop to be with our hearts in the midst of heartbreak.  It focuses on what we can do to practice self care.  That will be a topic for another post. For now taking care of me means a healthy lunch and then a visit to my therapist who I know I can trust with my heart.

 

 

 

Introspection on my inner world and the Leo Lunar Eclipse

Life constantly brings change, yet eclipses always demarcate a period of accelerated change with synchronous endings and beginnings.  New relationships, attractions, experiences, and work opportunities appear seemingly out of nowhere with full force of manifestation, surprising us with their dramatic entrance into our surface reality.  Eclipses are also mysterious portals that hold profound shifts in the enfoldment of our destiny, as many of the changes signified by an eclipse are happening under the surface and not immediately observable in the surrounding period of the lunation.  We stand at the crossroads during eclipses bidding farewell to aspects of identity that can require grieving, while simultaneously welcoming exciting new experiences and relationships that need to be integrated into one’s life.

Any kind of interpersonal conflict tends to make me introspective.  I have become more aware lately of how my amygdala or emotional brain so quickly kicks into gear at certain events and I am highly reactive, most often in an intensely emotional way.  I was reading today how we can carry a balloon of traumatic life events which tends to blow out at times making rude noises and getting out of control.   The writer was saying how therapy helps us to let some air out of the balloon gently and slowly.  This really struck me.   I seem to get triggered in a big way and then I see later once the dust has settled I may have not seen the other person clearly, nor understood the emotional nuances.  This is where a 11th step inventory or introspection can help which works as well as or in tandem with therapy or feedback from objective sources outside the conflict.  Still it is left to me to try to dig deeply and examine my own as well as the other’s part in the conflict.

At the same time when people say negative things about me its hard to brush it off.  They tend to lodge deep in my heart,  I have no filters at all.  I turn into a crying mess.  Apparently according to someone that makes me pathetic.  Maybe.  Not according to my therapist today who has tried to remind me that not every female relationship ends in tears or badly, that in fact lately over past months many of my female friendships have become more deeply empathetic and supportive.  I need to hold on to that today as I began to feel so low down on myself after yesterday’s events and explosive comments.

I am a believer in the transformative energies around eclipses and lunar eclipses apparently raise up shadow issues to clear the way for a new beginning at the following New Moon two weeks later and this one will fall smack bang on my natal planet of wounding and healing in relationships, Chiron so this makes so much sense of how emotional I have been feeling lately.

In some way yesterday anger got sparked as I felt I had been invaded by someone actually trying to be kind.  I was not comfortable with it.  It reminds me of other times people trying to offer me help has ended badly.  Communications got confused and everything ended up pear shaped.  Originally I just expressed discomfort and when the other person was obviously distressed I had been uncomfortable and not said anything she felt angry when that got me upset and I posted a blog and it all snowballed!

Anyway today, in the cool of the local library I am contemplating the part I play in things, how I can be more aware, of what the person pointed out that I did not address and accused me therefore of passive aggression for.  I see where she was coming from but she didn’t live the week I lived last week where time to take anything deep on board was severely compromised.  I then got an email saying how I was missed from her blog when I would have loved to have visited had I more time on my hands.

One of the problems of the blogging and internet world is we don’t get to see the other person’s life and what they truly live outside writing.  Lets all show compassion please.

Today I feel that some things about myself I didn’t clearly see before have come to my awareness. I see where the other person, feeling unjustly treated and misunderstood got upset and used unkind words.  I don’t believe I am a jealous person as accused but only I can know that and if others think it or deduce it, I guess they are entitled to their opinion.

Today from a calm introspective place I am reminding myself to answer attack with love. I am reminded that in the heat of the moment when emotions rule I don’t always see things clearly and dispassionately but that too is understandable.   Its something to become more aware of and work on.

These words from Gray Crawford speak clearly to me today.

The Leo Lunar Eclipse and the Pisces Solar Eclipse coming on February 26 are the final two eclipses to occur with the South Node of the Moon in Pisces.  As a result there will be an immense bursting of collective illusions forcing humanity to become wide awake to the discrepancy between fantasy and bare boned reality. ……

The North Node of the Moon in Virgo continues to call us to embrace the moment with full awareness of everything occurring, whether we feel attraction or repulsion, and to discern choices that will bring greater fulfillment through service to the greater good.

Mars rules the third face of Leo, and Mars is extremely strong at the eclipse in its own sign of Aries…..the overused adage of fighting fire with fire brings the question of how much conflict and destruction are worth inflicting over the issues we feel enlivened to defend and battle over.  While the power of our animated heart can lead us to resiliently contend and combat threatening forces beyond the point of exhaustion, it will also be worthwhile to discern our bodily limits and when rest and caregiving of our incarnated form is necessary.  The many fiery collective conflicts that will arise in 2017 are heralded by this first Lunar Eclipse in Leo, so gaining clarity over what is worth fighting for as well as how to best nourish and sustain our inner fire and fleshy form will be essential.

I am so grateful to Gray for sharing this wisdom and I have lessons to learn about how I use my own Mars/assertive energy and how others use theirs.

Loving old memories as a balm to my soul

What a turn around today.  I am loving some old memories in the pre-trauma days of the mid 70s.  I am listening to some of my favourite songs from then after watching the movie Dirty Dancing last night.  Two of my favourite ‘soft’ ballads are Make it With You by Bread  and Sailing by Christopher Cross. 

Particularly when I listen to the last one I get transported into a soft dream like open space where my heart opens and lets out what is deeply contained within it.  The song softens me, it makes me think of my father for a strange reason and of all that he could not live of what he loved a lot, to be by the water fishing. Sadly he died of cancer before he could take time to kick back and just let go of commitments and relax fully.  I think its one of the reasons he used alcohol, never to excess though, in later life but always two scotches and some wine on every day to wind down.

I must balance these softer feelings with the harshness that I felt as a child being dragged on boating outings to fish beyond the headlands which made me sick and made me long for the beach where I could ride my Zippy board in the waves to my heart’s content until I had tummy rash from the salt and sand on my board.

On these begrudged boating excursions 0ften my sisters would jump ship.  They’d convince Dad to take them back just far enough in for them to swim to shore.  As I remember it I got trapped on the boat, just as I was trapped in the car being left alone in it when they went to the Catalina Country Club for drinks in the lounge where in the later 6os and early 70s children were not allowed. I think my hatred of waiting comes from this time and it echoes with being trapped for a long time in the crushed, crumpled up car in September 1979 with engine pieces all through my legs.

Gosh where did that come from? When I consider the longing tied up in some of the lyrics by Bread it makes sense to me that many of their songs would resonate with me deeply.

I was talking to a friend in the park today.  She was telling me about two random acts of violence by people, one of whom went into the supermarket with an axe and randomly started slicing into people’s faces and hitting them on head. I thought about what frustration and pain these perpetrators must have been feeling.  I then spoke to her about missing the softness of the 70s music in a time when perhaps not as much violence was around.   But what else was simmering away inside us?

I will keep listening to these mellow songs which are a kind of balm for me at present after a week in which inner frustration, pain, grief and anger has been tearing on me and kicking away deeply inside.  I want to remain soft but not deny the pain of what I went through. I feel I need to connect to the hidden longing that at times has been covered over with rage, hurt, frustration, angst and pain and treat myself and others from this softer place.  That is the only thing that will nurture and soothe me presently.  My hurt wounded kid needs to take a bit of a back seat for a while because at times when I am deeply in that space I end up getting retraumatised and paint everything a bit too black.  These are the realisations I came to today.