Push, push, push

Masterchef Australia is currently on tele here in Oz and the refrain push, push, push is heard nearly every night but its a reminder to me that sometimes I just need to rest, rest, rest because I can push and push and push to have to get things done and sometimes its coming out of anxiety or critical energy.

Earlier I wrote a post that touched on positive self will, I guess this is action which is line with Self that tries work in a balanced way to both project us into the world, but at the same time tell us when to rest, go easy, or take it slow. In childhood I never got to experience relaxed happy times with my parents.  It was a very duty bound home full of responsibilities and in some ways this can be good but not when it interferes with my ability to relax, let go and have some fun!

After getting into a rage last week about being stuffed around by the dentist and that arking up all my head trauma, I then got reminded of how it felt to be around family energy.  Just this morning my brother called from America.  He is go, go in the garden nearly put his back out by digging in the front yard.  “Just be sure to take care of yourself”, I said.  Then when I had to share about my dental trauma there was absolutely zilch emotional reaction or connection just a dull heavy emptiness and as so often happens after I got of the phone to him I found myself in tears.  My family are JUST SO SHUT DOWN.

Later my sister called to say that in training this morning her personal trainers dog jumped on her and soiled her nice clean leggings,  I just wanted to say ‘get lost’ she said.  I considered this with a calm irony.  I just said “Wow I can almost sense Mum’s flared nostrils from here!”    I remember how my dead sister would never let my mother remove old flowers from her room and how she loved the story where Mum visited a family friend’s farm and got upset due to ending up with chicken shit on her shoe…this delighted my sister.

I have empathy for my Mum though, to be left that alone when you are young and then to feel the only way you can find value or worth is by taking control, keeping everything perfect and looking good is very sad on some level when it costs a heavy price in being able to just let loose, laugh at chaos and have some fun.  I get anxious just thinking about the chicken shit, to be honest but I think that is a conditioned reaction.

I allow my own dog to jump up when he wants too.  People at the dog park don’t mind, I know some would consider it not a good sign, a sign of ‘bad manners’ or inadequate training. I see it as a sign of how affectionate he is and how much he loves people, and having him has re-connected me with that part of myself which so long ago went into hiding in a home where we were conditioned to think more about how we looked on the outside, than about how we felt on the inside and must keep genuine needs and interest locked behind a wall of fear or shyness.

Today, once again I am not going to push, push, push.  I just had a moment where I realised I was pushing and then felt really, really sad and an inner voice just said to me “how bad could it be if you just relaxed for a while?”  So for the first time in over 2 years I sitting in my faded floral chair in my small dining room and writing this.   It feels GREAT!

I know I can overcome my childhood conditioning.  Day by day I am learning more about it.  A constant theme in therapy is about how the inner critic pushes and savages me and I am learning to let go.  I had a positive dream last night in which I was being expected to make a meal at an event where there was already a lot of food, I decided in the end not to make anything even though I felt guilty.  I see that as a good sign.  The other positive dream image was that I had met a lovely man and he got undressed to get into bed, I was about take off my jeans and then I felt I wasn’t ready.  I got into bed next to him and said.  “I’d like to take my time to get to know you before we sleep together.”  He was fine with it.  I am nearly crying as I write that because sadly due to low self esteem and lots of emotional intimacy hunger in my teenage and younger and even older adult life I have jumped into bed with partners far too soon, and in the last relationship warning signs were there at the start that he had narcissistic issues and I overrode my own instincts when he asked me to have sex as I was so lonely.  This dream seems to auger really well for boundary issues.  Maybe my ‘no’  and self esteem muscles will get stronger in time.  Maybe I no longer have that same hunger due to my inner work and can now be a lover to myself, first, maybe I am learning to practice self care.  The dream sure seems to be saying just that.  Thank you God.

The importance of containment and soothing

After three exceedingly tough days where all of my trauma symptoms went over the top and I got stuck back in a deep pit of anguish and I gained some deeper insight into my struggles with love and connection, today started with a very loving, connected chat with my best friend in Sydney which immediately set my day off on a good note.

I am so grateful that I have one friend I can bear my entire soul with over the phone.  We can’t meet up as we live so far away from each other, but we are on such a similar wavelength that talking to him soothes me in a way helping me to feel wrapped in a cosy blanket.    I know he feels the same as we each show empathy and validate each other, most especially on the tough days, but on some tough days I don’t manage to reach out.  I get stuck back in that deep alone, disconnected from any human warmth place that I have known so many times in my past.

This friend just happened to be a very good friend of my ex partner and when our relationship hit the wall my friendship with him survived.  He knew all the ins and outs of things that happened and of my ex partner’s foibles and wounds and it was so good to speak to him as yesterday I was feeling so sad for the fact of how our love could not win through our mutual defences and heartaches.  I recognised today how strong these feelings are for me at this time of year.  We got together in April and had some months of very cosy love and connections before early wounds and cracks started to appear in our relationship.

Yesterday I had a day of seeing more deeply and with greater clarity than I could before what went wrong.   I then saw how I tried to make one of us wrong for it not working out, but the truth was (and this heals my heart to even say it) I do know now, six years out, that we both did the very best we could with what we both knew at the time.  We both had so much abandonment trauma in our pasts.

Reading back on our emails I understand more of deep hurt from his own childhood that my ex was carrying and how it tended to get projected in blame when he didn’t get the support he needed.  I was limited in my own ability to support emotionally as I had not ever been supported emotionally in my life either.  I guess we tried our best to support but in the end it didn’t work out.  Over the years he said some very nasty things to me out of his own pain.  Often I would just withdraw and not lash back, often escaping to the bathroom to put my hands over my ears.  At times I could sooth him but at other times when my own abandonment wounds were triggered and he didn’t understand I flew into rages and really hit the wall, which triggered all of his scary past of a father with major addiction.

In the end we couldn’t give each other what was needed and that triggered all the intense pain of a past in which I never got what I needed but had to revolve around others to get some scraps.  The final blow from him was a very nasty email calling me horrible things all coming out of hurt.  At that point I hit back with all guns blazing and now I see if I could have acknowledged his own projected hurt under the words, soothing may have helped us come through, yet as I edit this and as my friend said to me today, Deb it wasn’t your fault.

This morning I was crying about all of this with my friend and saying how I fucked everything up, how lately I feel I am not moving forward.  My wise, loving, patient, kind friend said to me that he didn’t agree.  “You just have to keep moving through and being as strong as you can be to build a life of comfort for you,” he said, that is what he is doing as his marriage is also far from ideal and little empathy is ever shown to him.

Our conversation has made me reflect a great deal on how containment, comfort and understanding are the healing soothing balm or salve that we most sorely need applied to our sore, scarred, traumatised or wounded places.  When we are understood in a loving way, when people can see deeper into our soul and not react or get drawn into wounded reactions or help us to shine a light on them we do better.

The traumatised body/soul is often one that has known little in the way of positive, soothing love and containment as well as empathy.  Wounding and trauma ark up our fear, fight, flight responses.  A harsh insensitive environment is one in which we feel the need to be constantly on alert, we then become ultra attuned to scoping out threats and its difficult to relax.  Negative scenarios run through our head and get triggered by new ones. If we were left alone in difficult or stressful situations we internalise all the drama inside with no place to pour it into.  We lack loving soothing self talk and other soothing, calming strategies that would allow our systems to rest and be relaxed back into a zone of calm.

I have begun to associate this kind of background with one that is likely to generate panic attacks within us, as well as a tendency to look for things to self soothe that often don’t soothe us at all or may lead to health complications, such as addictions.

This morning I was able to share with my friend how lately I have noticed how I use food to self soothe but sometimes not the right kind of food.  Lately my body is fairly quick to alert me to when it is not in a state of calm or is reacting to my feeding my face when really I need to just take care of and nurture myself in other ways.  All of this as I have shared before, tends to happen when I am at a critical time of day that most reminds me of times of feeling and being alone… the few hours of homecoming and the period in which I preparing food for myself and my dog.

Lately at these times I am trying to become more mindful of what is going on inside me.  I am aware how I can ark my own nervous system up with anxious thoughts.  This was the time of day in my past that I most lacked loving containment as a child.  I was left alone a lot and I used to eat to fill the emptiness.  I do not struggle with a weight issue but I still struggle with food.  Food is one of the ways I use to soothe myself and thinking about it today I saw how few other self soothing strategies I really have and how this is an area it is so important for me and others with Complex PTSD to work on.

If we come out of trauma we need to develop loving inner parents, we need to find places and spaces of calm.  We need to honour our body and soul’s need to move more and rest at the right time, times of expansion and times of contraction.  We need to watch what we take in, in terms of food and other soul nourishment and how what we take in or expose ourselves to affects our trauma body.    We need to watch our thoughts and notice when we may be triggered into a downward negative spiral.

For myself  I also need to understand how meeting a hostile defence from others when I attempt to open up some area of concern affects me and how I react in the wake of it.

Really positive self soothing in all its dimensions is so essential for the traumatised body and soul, loving compassion and containment is essential for those of us who have suffered trauma, abuse or neglect.  The later leaves us with a lot of emptiness and difficulties with knowing the right ways to care for ourselves, how to reach out, how to identify and reach our for what we really need, how also to create comfort from within, in terms of good boundaries.  In the absence of good sources of containment and nurture we learned to survive alone in the best way we knew how but often look to the wrong thing.  So much of our recovery demands that we learn the best places, spaces and sources of soothing for our soul.

Allowing ourselves to know truths we could not know as children.

Confused

At times I feel that I don’t really allow myself to know the truth of how I feel so deeply inside.  I can be dismissive of myself and my own deeper feelings at times, I can deny that things hurt or that I feel lonely.  I feel the solitary nature of my childhood in which emotionally I was not connected to much left me with a legacy of loneliness and shyness that didn’t make it that easy to connect and living in the Australian culture I feel a bit lonelier too as people can sometimes be loud and brash and a trifle insensitive. glossing over deeper realities in an effort to appear ‘laid back’.

And I am beginning to recognise that if I cannot recognise how I am truly feeling how can I really be that connected to my True Self?  Instead aren’t I living in a state of emotional disconnection or dissociation a fair amount of the time?.  I discussed it with my therapist, Katina the other day and she gets excited when I start to recognise these kinds of things   With her I never feel invalidated or dismissed which I now recognise was huge part of my childhood and adolescence.

And I have shared before how these feelings become very strong for me around home from school time in the afternoons between 4 and 7, that was a really lonely time in my past where I had to let myself into an empty house and find ways to entertain myself.  And come to think of it my mother used to go through exactly the same thing and when we talk at times I sense that loneliness of hers deep down inside too.

Yesterday I just sat quietly with my dog Jasper as I felt those old feelings for a time and there were quite a lot of tears as I remembered how it REALLY felt.   I talked to my inner child about how it was and she told me a lot of things.  I see now that there is a pattern which I can perpetrate keeping myself away from company full of fear of what may happen if I do try to connect.  I have a deep down fear of being dismissed or negated.   This fear is very real, I carry the sense of having that done to me.  Come to think of it I have a deep pool of unmet need around emotional connection which I so easily bring to new situations and my pain and longing from the past has made me hypersensitive, old grief can be triggered by newer experiences which contain resonate memories and then I am feeling the entire force of these.  I am aware lately that these feelings are not as intense as they used to be in the past as I am becoming more and more aware of what I have carried in the unconscious.

As I read this post to my therapist this afternoon she was reminding me how children aren’t actually able to know how they feel when they are going through neglect and abandonment at the time.  They don’t have a concept that something is wrong on an intellectual level but the experience is  fully ‘known’ at a bodily and sensate level.  I think that is why depression is often such a mystery to those of us who suffer.  We are so often triggered while not knowing we are being triggered to feel really deep old pain and feelings of hunger, longing, hurt, shame, disappointment, anger or frustration from the past.  It takes a lot of work to bring awareness and understanding to this level of our experience.  Its a big job and may take some years of therapy or inner work.  If we try to share the process with others they often wont understand or may dismiss us too.

I think its such a good awareness to have that we need to take our own feelings seriously and see how they connect to the past, learning to connect present feelings with older associations.  Awareness is the first step before we can accept the past pain as a natural outcome of lacks and deficiencies in the past especially of adequate holding and nurture While we are undergoing this process its also very tiring, we need a lot of quiet time and rest and socialising is problematic, something others who don’t understand the process may not accept or validate.  My personal understanding is that the body registers everything and if we don’t bring it to consciousness it will manifest in some way, often in some kind of chronic pain or illness.

We are so often so hard on ourselves just for being human and having needs and natural feelings and there are so few places that really help us to make sense of our past in my experience. Being dismissed is such a natural part of our society but I hope that it is changing as more people realise and speak about the pain they suffered as a result of emotional insensitivity, invalidation, abuse or neglect.  We need to learn ways to  encourage and love ourselves through these kind of difficulties with grace.  When we take our own heart seriously we are being kind to ourselves and when we recognise our self judgements as responses that came out of lack of empathy shown we are a long way along the road to healing.    When we let go of self blame we feel happier and more positive because we are really listening to instead of dismissing ourselves and then we can turn a listening ear inside to our inner self instead of blotting out its voice all of the time with distractions or philosophies or other kinds of negating beat ups.  To me that seems to be the best kind of self parenting and we can never get too much of it while we undergo the process of coming to know all we could not know as children.

 

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Not as triggered : some small steps forward

I wrote this post on Tuesday.  I didn’t post it.  Same old, same old beat up by the inner critic, even though my therapist thought it showed a sign of growth.

Being ignored is usually a huge trigger for me.  I guess it reminds me of being young and being left alone a lot and finding myself on the outside and not in the popular pool of happy gregarious youngsters who all got on and felt free to express and be themselves without feeling locked up in a prison of thoughts and projected inner judgement.  Its hard to go through life feeling scared and not safe enough in your own being and skin.

So today at the dog park when two people deliberately ignored and excluded me from their conversation I felt good when it didn’t hit me as hard as it usually would have in years past.   One of the people in question is someone I know and we don’t have a lot in common.  In fact I think when she asked me about my Christmas a few months ago I honestly told her how hard it was emotionally and that is a trigger for some people.  They just don’t want to hear about anything that isn’t light and breezy and since then she doesn’t make any effort to connect at all.

I have to remember at such times that there are other people I connect with.  At the moment I feel a bit isolated and lonely as I haven’t managed to connect with my usual friends at the park much and often our contact is fairly superficial.  I spend a lot of my time alone.  And at the park today when they made no effort to talk even though my dog Jasper was playing with the other woman’s dog  I just thought “fair enough” and I took myself off and read my book under a tree.  There was none of the harsh inward cricitism I would have heard inside my head before.

It seems at the moment I just have to nurture myself in solitude.  I am not going to lie and say it isn’t really lonely at times.  Since I have moved back to my home town I find it hard to find others of like mind to connect with and I spend a lot of time with my dog.  I am so grateful  that I do have connections through blogging as without that I would feel quiet disconnected and lost.  I want to concentrate on the connections that I do have such as the one with my therapist and my very very good male friend who lives away from me.  We talk on the phone a couple of times a week and I know I can call him any time.

I just wrote a blog on unmet needs prompted by one Athina posted on Courage Coaching.  Thinking about it the need for friendship and emotional connection is such a huge one that relates to and has such important consequences for our emotional and mental health.  Lack of connections and isolation such as I have lived in past years must led to mental health problems and  disease and Deepak Chopra makes that connection in his book The Book of Secrets speaking of how our body cells naturally connect in a state of health and in ill health this connective ability runs awry with the cells often turning against themselves.

I don’t find it easy to find others to connect with.  How I cope is by connecting with myself and then spending that time on my blog.  Connections cannot be forced, they have to occur naturally.  I don’t need to beat myself up if I don’t connect or others ignore me.  I don’t have to make that the cause of negative self talk.

The empty space we are left with : the pain of unmet needs.

I just read a very well expressed post on the legacy of trauma of being left with an empty space of unmet need from childhood posted by Courage Coaching.

https://couragecoaching.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/the-loss-of-what-should-have-been/

It occurred to me how deeply and painfully this empty space affects so many of us well into adulthood.  And it is so hard to recognise what needs you did not get met  until the true ache and emptiness of this begins to make itself felt and for so many of us that does not occur until we are a long way down the road of addiction and possible addiction recovery or deep depression, mental illness or psychosis.

Getting into recovery and being told you have ‘defects of character’ does not help with the self blame that also so often accompanies being a child who suffered emotional neglect or from narcissist parents who were so busy living out of their own wounds they had no time to care about yours.  The defects are really deficiencies of nurturance that we suffer which draw us towards unhealthy behaviours and relationships and we may go a long way down the road in those before we come to truly understand the deep legacy of the empty space we carry around so deep down inside.

For me reading about childhood emotional neglect in the book Running on Empty by Jonice Webb last year was a turning point.  In that book she clearly outlines both the consequences of unmet needs as well as the degree of self blame as a sufferer of this we end up carrying deep within.  In short if we suffered from unmet needs we tend to feel there is something wrong with us and this something is our own fault, when really it relates back to our own emotional trauma history. In addition if our parents didn’t do their own healing work we carry similar wounds but as they pass along the generations they become more severe.  That has most definitely been the case in my own family.

In the course of our recovery we need help in identifying exactly what our unmet needs were.  I know in my own case I learned to dismiss my own unmet needs, telling myself I did not have them and they were not a problem most particularly my need for attention.  I see how my own mother coped with a childhood in which not one person was emotionally present.  She coped by denying her own feelings and needs a lot while at the same time feeling she had to meet them alone.  In a way she was lucky when she met my father as together they got to meet some of their unmet needs but they also passed a lot of unmet ones down, most particularly to their youngest child: me.

Even now I find one thing I really struggle with is allowing myself to have my needs and feel that I deserve to have them met.  I was just reading a post on dissociation before reading Athina’s post mentioned above and in that Annie addressed the problem of how one huge legacy of childhood trauma is dissociating or disconnecting from our deep feelings and needs and of how we can then have a delayed reaction when a trigger occurs that mirrors what we suffered in childhood.  Instead of affirming and validating ourselves for how we felt we tend not to do this.  Instead we may judge ourselves critically for having the impulses or feelings that we do.

Just before going out today I was going to post the following quote as a post of its own.  In it the author addresses how hurtful and unproductive judging ourselves for our negative feelings is.

Judging creates emotion.  In addition, any emotion you feel in response to an external event will be  intensified if you judge yourself for that event.  For example, if you’re getting divorced and you judge yourself as unlovable or as someone who always messes up the pain of divorce will become worse.  If you then judge yourself for being upset, that will add more pain.  Increasing your awareness of your self judgements and better understanding the way you learn to judge yourself in a particular way can help you reduce this behaviour.

If our valid childhood need to have our true emotions and feelings valued and validated is not met we do tend to lack this ability.  We suffer a lot of shaming and inwardly critical self talk that does not lead us to truth or understanding.  Learning what our true needs and feelings are and seeking those who will validate them (such as a therapist or recovery friend) and learning to value and validate them from within is deeply important work.

As Athina points out grieving our unmet needs and losses from childhood is also important, even if deeply painful inner work and if we bypass or skip it by reaching for philosophical or so called ‘spiritual’ platitudes or insights instead we do tend to by pass a most critical stage of our emotional healing.  Recognising and dealing with emotional invalidation is so important.  It is critical to our recovery.  Knowing accurately our needs and feelings enable us to set boundaries and is essential for both emotional and mental health.  There may be much grief work to do for many of us before we begin to be able to do that and recognise how important it is.

 

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.