Anger with my therapist leads to deeper reflection

I found myself feeling a lot of anger towards my therapist, Kat yesterday.  The intensity of what my body goes through on any day and any night as a result of having recently had this tooth removed on the back of a traumatic head injury at occurred after a time I so needed family support and was once again denied it at the end of my marriage bites me hugely.  I feel like I have giant incisor like wounds from that bite lodged in my psychic flesh and over the past few nights of the eclipse I have been bang awake between 3 and 5 with all these powerful sensations coursing through my body as my mind has struggled to make sense of the tangled up jigsaw pieces of the past 17 years of struggle to find and make sense of my true feelings and find a centre of self in the messy conglomerate of energies within and without which like wild currents and eddies swirl this way and that, at times setting up huge surge like storms of ‘meness’ and then at other taking me down with the powerful centrifugal undertow of black inky sludge drowning me completely and making it hard to draw a free breath!!!

I am angry that Kat didn’t seem to even remember the piece of writing I actually read to her last Thursday, I had to read it all over again and I was feeling so tired,  she is my fucking therapist why can’t she remember, why doesn’t she take the time to read my blog before I go to a session so she can help me a bit, for fucks sake its only one hour and reading three or four blogs to catch up is exhausting because often when I write the feelings are there simmering away under the surface and only emerge when I read them in session which now that I write it just goes to show if she did read it then that wouldn’t happen so why am I getting so mad?  I still am because I have to work so fucking hard at times and there is so much to get through in session.

I do know why I am angry though.  This is old anger.  I have had fuck all help in my life in the way that really mattered.  I didn’t need money thrown at me, I needed a parent who got me, and was there emotionally not one who consistently abandoned me and then told me I was a late developer when I shared I got into sobriety.  Yeah Mum it was all my fault that I drank in a situation in which so many painful feelings were going down that I didn’t know how to deal with in the absence of support, after a major traumatic injury at 17 that I never got any help to deal with later only to be followed six months later by even less care available due to my sister’s aneurysm occuring with all the complications that followed all at a time I was trying to develop and mature.  Fuck That!!!

Yet even as I write this and consider my last post about the poor fit between a mother and child that leaves the child, lost, confused, split off from her body and feelings and lacking self containment and integrity of being I realise that I must accept my mother went through the same with her mother and so just passed down the wound. The anger is understandable that I feel but it wont help me unless I use it to drive a deeper understanding and also to set boundaries so that I don’t open up and share intimate emotional stuff she is likely to dismiss, deny or be confused about herself.

So its probably not really even my therapist I am really angry with but with the entire sad history of a child who came to not be able to understand, express, or even tolerate her own feelings and then became an addict, only to get sober and be told it was the result of ‘character defects’ which just reinforces the scapegoats idea fixee of being the ‘bad’, ‘wrong’ or damaged one, inherently flawed in some way.

I don’t actually remember in the rooms of AA being given any help to understand my own feelings.  I do remember sitting there in meetings and crying my eyes out as other’s shared from such a damaged split off place, full of self blame and self denigration.  It broke my heart in two.  And then in Al Anon meetings I got the askance looks from those trying to whip alcoholic loved ones into shape with their own self righteousness not getting for a moment the suffering or deeper dilemma the person concerned was going through.   I remember not being hugged after a meeting or reached out to after I shared from a deep well of pain.

I know it probably wasn’t their job but I do feel that once our buried feelings begin to open up in sobriety we need some form of encouragement and affirmation from others to assist us and yet even that hope or demand has hidden deep in the centre of it a hope or demand that is loaded with the sadness and longing of deep needs of long ago for the parent’s unconditional love, understanding, mirroring and acceptance of feelings; needs we never got to fully understand or contain.

In the end, as I was discussing with Kat yesterday, perhaps no one now can give us enough to make up for what we lost or never received in the first place.  Such an empty void or space in the place where we most needed to be met, filled up, affirmed, received  must be acknowledged, deeply understood and grieved.  And then we must meet the challenge of finding ways to fill our lives with the good energy of connection and love, learning how to understand, feel and tolerate all our feelings.   Being or becoming the good loving mother and father to ourselves so that ultimately we don’t end up re-enacting our emptiness, wound or anger on others or keep ourselves lost and trapped inside the deep dark desolate place of that emptiness.

I do wonder now, though, if we end up alone with no life partner and disconnected from so many friends due to the wounds we have carried driving so many away from us in misunderstanding how sweet can life be?  Can we really fill ourselves up from the life font or spring of spirit that was meant to flow within and through us and can that be enough?

Its obvious to me now that the hyper sensitivity that so many of us feel who were not met or received in the needed ways, grew larger in the absence of such love and care.  The burden of our so called ‘over sensitivity’  needs to be understood and we need to make sure that we don’t blame ourselves while at the same time learning to take responsibility for the wound we carry in terms of taking care of ourselves, learning to be open, vulnerable and honest to ask for what we need rather than demand it or get shitty when it doesn’t just come automatically.

We also need an awareness of the real failures of others which came from the limits of their own capacity to be fully embodied themselves, a wound that seems to plague so many in a technologically driven modern society that has grown increasingly removed from the natural and soulful elements in vibrant earthly life.   To begin to feel that love means that we open ourselves body and soul to the soft caress of the sun on skin, to the luxuriant feeling of sea water on flesh, to the sheer love that shines in our dog’s eyes as he runs to great us, to the joy of feeling our free spirit express its bounty through dance, movement and song.

It surely means we open up again to try to find the love and containment we missed from a loving mother’s arms in places and spaces where it does exist.  And it also means that we as ones who have been damaged and know the cause and consequences of such disconnection and damage make a stand in a world where sensitivity and depth is so often not championed.  For the pain our souls have suffered has perhaps highlighted for us how essential such an earthly connection to life, feeling and nature is and to the deeper realisation that the wound to the mother that leads to severing from body and deep feeling is one we end up enacting on the earth and ourselves over and over again if we don’t fully face, feel and speak for the painful and agonising consequences of its loss or absence.

Decisions, boundaries and self care

It was a tough therapy appointment yesterday.  I am really regretting having my tooth out.  I don’t seem to feel any better at the moment and not being able to chew food well is really affecting me.  I am aware that I need to be patient as what I am going through is as huge adjustment but I just wish I had stuck with the crack in the tooth as I am not really sure it was giving me an infection, as my body is still full of phlegm and gunk.  I also felt very disappointed in my therapist and wanted to throw the whole therapy over yesterday but at the same time I was aware of the state of mind I am at and it was poisoning my right view of the value of what Katina does give to me.  So I just went to it and fully expressed all my feeling to her.

She was amazing, she sat there and empathised and then apologised for influencing me because she had said to me several times “if you do have an infection it is probably poisoning your entire body”.  I am not sure that is really what has been happening, the poison is the anger I sometimes feel that I don’t use effectively to assert boundaries at times.   Anyway we discussed it all and I left the session feeling a whole lot calmer basically because of the empathy Kat showed to me.  And I am adult enough to know no one has the answers always for me.  They may be able to understand or empathise but they may not know how things will turn out for me if I make a decision and they can advise but they don’t have to live with the consequences which is something my niece and I were discussing the other day.

Have you ever decided you wanted to do something that may be good for you, but when you mention it to others, they try to dissuade you or pour cold water over your decision?  I think it happens a lot and its something we were also discussing in therapy yesterday, how do we know who to truly trust with our decisions?  After all no one else has to live our lives.

I have been on the end of discouragement when I have asked for advice on doing what would have ultimately been good things for me.  I look back to those times and see I didn’t stay strong and own my own power.  And afterwards I felt resentment but also had to accept I was responsible for the decisions and choices I make.  As a people pleaser it is sometimes hard for me to say I wont do something that I think may bring joy to another person or to take care of me when you are hurting or in need.  As I shared the other day, when I have the energy to give to others, I will give it, naturally it is what I want to do as an empathic person.  But there are times I just need to take care of me.  And I guess that is where discrimination comes in as well as a good sense of connection to my inner energy levels, feelings and needs.   What I am talking about here are boundaries and on some level we can say that on the spiritual plane boundaries don’t fully exist as we all come from the source, that grander sphere where we are connected to each other beyond words and other human constructs and as our egos form we learn what is ours and what is not ours if we are lucky enough to have good help to build healthy egos but if not we can be in trouble.

And that is why empaths and highly sensitive people can struggle a lot.  We instinctively feel the feelings of others and want to reach out and to do so is natural and good most of the time.  When others have defences against us though we suffer.   I heard a saying a long while back and its a major lesson that I learned in my last intimate relationship that a person can never reject you, just a part of themselves they see in you that they have not befriended in themselves.   This is the defensive ego that may want to reject you if you are feeling sick or vulnerable.  This is the protective ego that doesn’t want to see that you may have hurt and a deep longing for love hidden beneath anger. For if you think about it if we get rejected for anger the person is not seeing that on some level we felt hurt and are trying to get that hurt addressed.  Then the hurt has no where to go,  and we are left holding it and then as someone asked me the other day “where do I put this anger?”.  I responded by suggesting prayer.  It seems to me the only thing I can do when my anger gets too much, I pray to my higher power for help with it.  And if someone won’t address it with me and I see that my anger is justified I have to beware of how I relate with that person in future.  I may need to forgive so I don’t keep holding onto the pain and hurt myself more, but I may be better off not having that much to do with them if they express no concern for how their actions affect me.

It can take a long time for some of us (like me) to see we have the right to set this kind of boundary if people have blown us off before for expressing how we feel.  And we also don’t have to take every hurt we feel to someone else, for in the end its really up to us to care for ourselves and protect ourselves and we all have the right to do this .

If we were sensitive and hurt a lot in childhood.  If we were teased, humiliated, made to feel small, gaslighted or invalidated developing the wisdom and power to develop and set boundaries may be a process fraught with peril.  If we were led to believe that emotional abuse was not emotional abuse we may be very confused as to our boundaries.  That is why we absolutely need an empathic person to go to, to express our truth with and get a reality check.  And we need power and strength to know we have the right to take care of ourselves and that we are not bad or wrong or selfish for doing so.   And some of us can keep chosing to love even when on the end of shitty behaviour from others once we have learned to practice self care, we can learn to positively detach not with hatred and anger but with love, a true honest love that comes out of respect, maturity and a deeper empathy for suffering.

Yes – we have an epidemic of depression

Yes, we have an epidemic of depression in our society today.  But truthfully, how could anyone today on some level not be sad?  The gap between how beautiful life can be and the way it too often is is heartbreaking. Anyone who is not on some level grieving the state of the world today is perhaps not looking very deeply.

We are depressed today because life is off. We’re depressed because too often we have no sense of our place in the universe, our relationship to the source of existence, a deeper sense of purpose in our relationships with other human beings, or any sense of reverence toward any aspect of life.  Our entire civilisation is ruled more by fear than by love.

Marianne Williamson

From Tears to Truimph

I am sharing this quote because so often in our society being depressed can be looked on as a moral failing or weakness but the deeper truth that I experience is that so often those who are depressed are those who can have a vision that is more closely in touch with the depths of a soul that suffered.  Pathologising people for depression is such a serious issue and we need to change it.

Undergoing abuse or despair or loss or abandonment leaves real scars on the soul and these are trying to make their expression heard in depression, so we need to listen with empathy to people’s real heartbreak and support them with feeling and expressing it.

I know I go on about this issue a lot on my blog but I feel very strongly about it and today I was triggered again to write this as a family member shared with me a horrific abuse she went through which she shared with her parents only not to be believed years ago.  I cannot share what it was on my blog as it is a private issue for her but I was so outraged when I heard what she had suffered and she has had a number of hospitalisations as a result.  If she had been supported, believed and empathised with at the time and her trauma dealt with she would never have had to be diagnosed with a  so called ‘mental illness’.

Turns out now certain teachers at her school are now trying to imply her son should be diagnosed with a speech impediment or with Asperger’s, she has also been told that he is ‘too caring’.  What the fucking hell is happening in our society?  Anyone who does not meet the mainstream, anyone who is sensitive or carrying certain different ways of being or processing information is then wacked with a diagnosis?  It is just pure craziness and makes me feel ill, it really truly does.

I felt so angry with my brother yesterday after finding out what he put my niece through all of those years ago.  I felt so ashamed that he is my brother but it now makes a lot of sense of how numbed out he is and apparently he has not one memory of his childhood.  It makes clear to me that we can only have empathy if we are connected to our own emotional reality and have a connection to our heart, feelings, pain, joy and happiness.   Of course we all live in separate skins and our experiences vary so often we cannot see things from another perspective, but to imply then that someone is lying or making something up, due to the fact it may rock our own view on things without making the effort to reach out and extend our minds and hearts in openness to me seems wrong.

This morning I have been thinking about what it comes to mean and how it affects us if we are not truly seen in childhood.  I opened my Hope for Today reader and read this reading a few moments ago :

Before Al Anon I had a false sense of self.  Because of their diseases my alcoholic father and mother who grew up in an alcoholic home couldn’t see themselves clearly.  They weren’t able to help me either.  As I grew up I sensed that my parents couldn’t see me at all.  I felt invisible and voiceless  I had no idea of my likes and dislikes, let alone what I would or would not accept in a relationship.  I felt empty inside.  When there did seem to be something inside me it felt like someone else’s experience.

The reading goes onto explain how slowly the person began to recover a sense of themselves by working through the steps of and learning about who they truly were inside.  About how doing so enabled them to throw off the criticism of their father and the feeling they were given by their mother that they were nothing but a burden.  By seeing themselves no longer through someone else’s eyes but through their own they slowly began to reclaim a sense of self.

It seems to me that the most important work of recovery lies in the inward journey of becoming more conscious of who we are and what we really feel independent of outside influence of what parents, education or society tries to tell us we are or should be.    Keeping our focus on our own heart is so important, as is recognising the value and meaning of our instinctive reactions to things, lest we be hoodwinked or bamboozled by others who in being damaged themselves try to force us away from certain responses or reactions.  The integrity of our soul when compromised in this way causes us so much confusion and unrest.

Luckily for my niece she understands her parents damage, not having essential needs met though has caused deep loneliness and suffering for her.  Through out it all, over years she has learned to rely on herself, but that self reliance at times has left her so alone.  Our lives have similar themes.   Her own suffering has made her wise.   Wise enough now not to take on the advice of psychologists recommending she have her son tested so to be diagnosed and labelled.  In this increasingly insane society it seems to me we need to keep our wits about us lest we fall for much of the clap trap that is being espoused.  We have to be strong and rely on the guidance of our deepest souls so as not to be bamboozled or led astray and if we were not seen and validated in childhood we need to address and heal that wound so that we no longer surrender ourselves to false outside definitions which keep us in locked in prison.

How unbearable it felt as a baby : insights into the power of abandonment depression.

I just read part of a reblogged post on someone struggling with deep sadness and fear of being excluded from her therapists life.  There was a sense that the person fell into the darkest hole with recognition and realisation of how powerful her unresolved longing was to be the one total focus of her therapist’s life and the agony of feeling cast out into the wilderness when it was revealed all so painfully that she was not.

Such powerful feelings make little sense in the light of an adult frame of reference, but can we allow ourselves to feel how it was a tiny baby or young child needing the attention and mirroring and holding of our parent and not getting it when we were struggling with huge feelings and being left wanting?  Can we allow ourselves to imagine how painful that might feel?  And can we be compassionate enough to know that as extra sensitive little ones the intensity of our feeling may have been totally overpowering?

Therapy for the borderline person needs to be one that offers a consistent and intensely available therapist who is able to mediate for the client those huge emotions as well as the powerful defences and fears that go along with this kind of ego structure.  I was made clear about this after my first therapy undertaken in 1999 blew apart just over 2 years later when my therapist went on a month long break and left me with no back up.  I eventually aborted the therapy which took place overseas and when I managed to reconnect with a therapist here in Australia and told him about what happened he said to me “Deborah that kind of broken connection is not adequate for someone with your level of wounding.”   I am very grateful that this particular therapist had so much experience working as a psychotherapist,  He was able to validate how hard the break had been for me and how necessary it was when I next chose a therapist that they have empathy to be emotionally available in a more consistent way.  The most challenging thing for those of us who have borderline traits is that at the time certain damage or lack of holdings occurred for us we did not have a sufficiently formed ego structure to make sense of them. So as adults we are left with all kinds of deeply embedded and powerful feelings that we cannot fully access on the mental realm but may be felt only on a bodily level leading us at times to feel we are going insane or will explode when old abandonment pain is re triggered.  It takes a lot of time in therapy to develop an embodied awareness of how our souls suffered when we were left all alone without support or were subjected to overwhelming events in baby or childhood that over took us and left us feeling abandoned, alone and over exposed.

The truth is when we struggle with lack of consistent mediation, affirmation and mirroring in our early years we are left with gaps or holes.  We suffer for things that are beyond words and it can take years in therapy to get a handle on them as so often we develop powerful defences against this kind of knowing which may open for us old tender raw wounds.

My heart so went out to this blogger, when I read her post.  So many others commented on the post and it was obvious it touched a raw nerve for so many.

What I also thought when reading it was something my own therapist reminded me of when I shared about how I felt I would literally die whenever I was exiled from family or friends in the past after an emotional outburst.  She explained that as humans we can carry primal imprints of how it was to be exposed or left alone years and years ago when our survival depended on being protected by the tribe.   Without that protection we may have been born apart by wild animals.  What we may not know now is that in such a situation where we cannot have empathy for how we truly suffer our own feelings can become exiled and turn against us and threaten to tear us to pieces like wild animals too.  If we cannot have empathy for how and why we truly suffer in this way we can be lost.  We may abort a therapy or opportunity for connection due to the triggering of old abandonment depression and fear we are not fully conscious of.  Such awareness of how life threatening the abandonment depression can feel is pointed out by Pete Walker in his book on Complex PTSD.   It is very painful to suffer and we need recognition of its power if we are to grow in compassion and heal.  We also need to make sure we are working with a therapist who understands this need for consistent holding so we can heal the lack of trust issue that is triggered and in time learn to unpack the dread and demands which have powerful and very deep roots in our past unconscious emotional history.

No spiritual bypass : let’s embrace our humanity

Like it or not on the path of healing and emotional recovery there is no way we can bypass our deep emotional wounds and work.  I was so grateful a few years into my addiction recovery/early sobriety to come across the writing of psychologist John Welwood in which he spoke of the thorny matter of the ‘spiritual bypass’.  What he meant by this was the idea that by some kind of lofty spiritual work we could by pass the legitimate suffering we undergo as human beings who are both emotional and spiritual on the path of recovery we begin to travel as we become fully awake to the complexity of our human experience on earth.

You may know the sort of thing.  If you are in recovery and have been taught for most of your life that there is something deeply wrong with you for having certain feelings which fall into our collective shadow (by this I mean emotions that are so often labelled as negative such as fear, hostility, anger or sadness) its easy to fall for the so called spiritual idea that somehow you aren’t as highly evolved if you can’t let it go and rise above it or the idea that somehow it was a karmic issue that you bought upon or caused yourself for your spiritual evolution.

Although I believe we can gain great wisdom and growth through addressing our wounds that does not mean that we bought them on ourselves and this is just the kind of lie or spiritual bypass the certain people or institutions wish we would believe in order to let them off the hook for their own wounding actions and unconsciousness.

A further confusion is to come to believe the lie that we are so called ‘mentally ill’ when really what we are expressing is extreme stress or distress over emotional or other abuse that we suffered, most especially if we are of high sensitivity.   To my mind whether or not we are mentally ill corresponds in some way to how much of these diagnoses we take on and then turn around to beat ourselves up with instead of finding compassion and a deeper recognition of the truth of what we really suffered at the hands of others, conscious or unconscious that led to such ‘dignoses’.

From my own experience I see how I literally spent years thinking there was something wrong with me for having been a sufferer of trauma.  Admittedly in the face of zilch support coming out of such trauma I adopted or turned towards behaviour such as addiction which may seem counterproductive but which actually developed into survival or coping strategies that where what I needed to survive until I hit rock bottom.  Only then could a turning point be reached and would I become willing to turn it around. But this was literally years after being pummelled by the criticism and judgement of others who had not one clue of what I had suffered in my life.

These days I am still angry about that kind of treatment but I am able to let the anger go because I finally realise how wrong it was. What it also did was hamper my own recovery for without the necessary validation from those who were psychologically blind it was impossible to not reconfirm the view that my past had taught me that I was defective or damaged in some way.

I went back to an Al Anon meeting yesterday  I felt the need to connect with people after some time away.  What was being discussed at that meeting was the Sixth Step “became entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character”.  Now this is where warning bells start to sound for me and after sharing about honestly many others agreed, was I actually defective due to suffering wounds as the result of being raised in a home where powerful after affects of the multi generational legacy of addiction and emotional abandonment were in place?   As the so called ‘identified patient’ wasn’t it truer that as the youngest I was carrying deep seated wounds onwards, wounds within which a healing blessing could in fact be located after I ceased to beat myself up about having learned certain survival strategies in the absence of other support or resources?

As recovering alcoholics or addicts we are already too familiar with the twin legacy of guilt and shame.  We absorb it in families and in our culture and we are more than willing to play the scapegoat until we start to wake up to the fact that in carrying repressed shadow energies for a collective we are really the designated wounded healers, perhaps sent to earth for the very purpose not only of our own awakening but that of others too?  I hope this doesn’t sound egoic or conceited in any way.   But I do believe it to be true.  The people I came to respect most when I first got sober were those who had the courage to be open about their darkness and self forgiving too.  For me they mirrored the essential truth that in order to heal I have to open up my shame and guilt to others.  I need to unmask the so called dark places and spaces where my feelings, criticisms and judgements hide and know I can reveal them and be loved anyway.  When I open my darkness to light it transforms for me in some way and I also get to connect with others from an equal playing field.

I don’t get to be an evolved person by trying to perform a spiritual bypass.  Denying that I have a shadow and that I suffer, leading you to believe that all is rosy and I have overcome all dread, to my mind the way I evolve is by embracing fully my own humanness and sharing it, unmasking it with others.   If I don’t do this my own darkness has a mysterious way of following me about like a shadow.  It may reappear in someone I met, I may project it onto others.  I may due to fear see no longer who really stands before me but instead some figment of my imagination which comes from a dark side or experience that I have yet to own or embrace.

Dark and light are two sides of one coin.  We cannot know happiness if we don’t know sadness, we cannot know suffering if we don’t know joy.   We cannot know true freedom if for years we have not at times known great times of bondage.   We are not humans having a spiritual experience but spirits in matter having a very human experience with all the attendant trials, tribulations and sufferings such an experience involves.  So let us stop labelling others, let us stop casting our judgements upon them for when we point a finger at others we soon find we have tree fingers pointing back at us.  None of us has yet ‘arrived’ on this journey.  We are all works of art in progress.

 

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

 

Return after a deep day of darkness.

I went back into a very dark place on the weekend.  On Saturday it was as if the pain of my past alcoholic days and all that awful things that went on came to live back inside of me and every nerve of my body felt like it was on fire.  This was all triggered by a dinner with friends who were part of that stage of my life.  I was in so much pain on Saturday and feeling deeply suicidal again.  I think some of it too was prompted by my ‘friend’ asking “So what do you DO all day”  and “And does that work?”. That can tap into all the shame a guilt I feel as someone with chronic PTS I wont add the D as I don’t see it as a disorder, but as part of what living and being raised in a trauma inducing world brings to us who are gifted and sensitive, who no longer works or has much outside involvement or engagement in the working world which I decided to check out of over 16 years ago when I saw how dysfunctional it can be.   At the same time I also know I was facing very deep sadness over how profound my disconnected or separation from connection has been and how it is a part of being sensitive and having gone through so much trauma that others have not.  That became clearer to me after all we shared on Friday night.

There are days and days my socially injected inner critic takes me to task about that and I forget all the time about the necessary inner work my soul has been engaged in over the past 16 years in trying to make sense of and shed the pain of my past or at least learn essential lessons from it.  And how realistic would it have been for me to be working and how would I have then dealt with being there for a mother who was sick a sister suicidal and another sister in care?   I chose to be there out of love and empathy even though I got so little back.  That one is on me to wear.  Slowly I am trying to establish a stronger connection with my inner child and be there for her, but it is slow….and does it really matter how much I do in one day or is it in fact more important to maintain a high level of emotional connection within in order to practice self care?

Then I have days like today when I log onto find I have connected with an amazing soul sister from the UK who is also on a healing pathway and who really gets me and I her.  I understand that I am actually in a process of waking up and trying to throw off so many shackles.  I am also doing the deep work of being real and raw and open in a society in which there is at times so much ignorance, suffering, unconsciousness and pain around and that is when I get faced with the what I do all day questions.

Truth is I would love to be more connected but I need REAL connections these days…..they are slowly coming to me much as my Inner Critic tries to convince me otherwise, I am making progress.  The best thing I have in my life is really my blog and blogging community here as here is where I find others who are on a path of conscious work on emotional levels, however its sad that we cannot meet face to face.

In interesting aside on Friday night at the dinner I was sharing with my old friends about the power of the Inner Critic.  It isn’t a subject they would ever talk about but on Friday they both admitted to being besieged by criticism as well.  Wee then questioned my friends young adult children who said they have not a clue about what an  Inner Critic is.  “If anything goes wrong I immediately blame someone else”, they both said.  “I wouldn’t take it on board if others were always trying to point out my flaws!”  We 60s generation were amazed and a bit confounded by this.  Not to live with an inner critic or endlessly working over time conscience, how could this be? The next day one of my friends had a bitch about it their lack of care, obviously a raw nerve had been touched!

Anyway I seem to have got a bit off track or not, as the case may be.  I felt the comment from my friend perhaps as criticism when it was not, maybe it was just a question of interest.  Is there a way taking care of ourselves could become a full time job?  Isn’t that important work?  At the same time I am not dimissing my inner need for a way to find work or a sense of outer engagement that could give something back and help others.  I am just not at that stage yet.  My blog is my work, caring for myself and my home and my dog is my work and it gets lonely and hard on the tough days.

On other days I wake up to remind myself that the past is gone now and that I do have a present that isn’t fraught with all that past pain and its draining to have it retriggered  I am not longer numbing myself with addictions as I was then, so the rawness is intense. I literally felt every nerve in my body to be on fire on Saturday.

I am now aware after Saturday of the need I have to  keep a strong sense of protection around myself, retriggered trauma makes me drained and I need to increase self care regimes after these kind of dark days.   If I don’t take care of myself and get into too many situations where I am pulled back into the past the consequence is that I get hollowed out and my life is not nurtured from within.  As an empath and sensitive person quiet time is essential to my soul.   Without it I suffer and I can get overloaded.

I also need to remember that each day I am moving towards growth or trying too.   The tough days still come and they can knock me sideways,  but I am always relieved when after those tough days the sun shines again on me in a place where I have understood more and perhaps cleansed more that was formerly unconscious in me from my system. Today I need to celebrate my own life with self nurturing after those days of darkness.