So many tears

I did not think I could contain all the tears that burst out of me today in therapy, its been such a rocky few days, the body pain has been searing since Tuesday and I did not think I could stay on earth with it.. it was truly horrendous. This pain comes up when doubt eclipses love as more longing and togetherness is thwarted, and it contains all the losses I had to keep at bay..

Today in therapy I was back in the hospital ward after the crash in September 1979 and remembering all the nights Mum and Dad came up with meals for me and a small bottle of wine… they didn’t know any other way but to give me that ‘medicine’ for the pain, and I cried over that. Today I felt the love they struggled to show .. but MY GOD thr pain I was in… it had no words at all and today as the dam inside of me burst with all the pain of the pent up smash and emotions I felt I was exploding as I felt the pressure all around my chest crushing me.

Earlier I had been sharing with Kat my therapist about my post on the astrology of the Queen and in particular about her Saturn in Scorpio that became both the Sun and the Moon in her two son’s charts and Kat shared how in the second season of The Crown you see her becoming more and more boxed in with the repression of the formalism of her role and the pressures of ‘duty’ as well as the pressing down of emotion.

I remembered today too, how my sister came to wash my hair after a few weeks as prior to that time, my head was too smashed around. In fact, at our school reunion last year, someone said the moment they saw me in hospital they had to leave the room and throw up. After the crash I wasn’t given a mirror for some weeks.. my sister had to come behind the back of the bed and use a bucket of water to wash my hair.. these acts of kindness I remember now and they break my heart open.

Not sure why all this is emerging right now but it may have to do with twelfth house transits of Sun and Mercury, the sun is due to shift from water to fire soon and that always feels intense for me as that initial 15 degrees of Leo fire are ‘trapped’ in the 12th house. Until these two energies move over the ascendant I can feel like I am being crushed or pressed down, especially as they oppose my Mars Saturn Moon, and lots of images of past things have been flooding through me over the past day or so…

In therapy the grief was also over watching the movie Nights in Rodanthe again yesterday, the scenes in which the lead character waits for her loved one to come home to her from South America only to find he has died broke me apart, and then the scene in which his son hands her a box full of letters and other personal effects of his Dad summoned up memories.. Also at the end of the movie in the midst of her grief on the beach she looks up to see about 5 wild horses running towards her and it was then i remembered that at about this time 14 years ago how my husband handed me a little blue metal box at the airport as he was leaving me with 200 dollars and said to me ‘this is for a horse ride on the beach.’ I know with that simple gesture how much he wanted me to be free but all of my unresolved unfelt grief lay before me then at I hit 10 years of active sobriety.. such a journey of heartbreak into the dark I had to begin from 2004 onwards so dark it almost crushes my heart entirely. It may seem to some strange to say I can still be grieving his loss all this time later, but today again, as that anniversary draws near I feel the both the love and the longing I had for him to say he would stay by my side, n abandon me, and hold my hand while I went through it, but then he had his own grief he had not yet dealt with, so I must forgive, I do forgive.

It is right that I grieve. It is right that I still feel sadness not only for my lost opportunity to live a life in freedom with him overseas but in recognition for the ancestral loss of the father I carried for four subsequent generations… this work I am doing is not only personal, it is collective too. I heard a lovely thing about crying in the movie Little Italy this week in which the grandmother says to her grand daughter Nikki that tears wash the soul clean.. I would never want to deny anyone tears. I also know there is a time to be happy but how would we know happiness without tears and sorrow (the loss of which they speak?) How would we know joy without knowing such agonising depths of pain? So why deny others their legitimate feelings and grief, maybe because so many in our culture fear it.

Tonight I still feel raw, I have a splitting head but its the result of carrying all the pent up emotions that I had to release in therapy today. Just when i think the deep dive is over I hit another wave of remembrance which seems fitting with Mercury passing over the degrees of my Mum’s Pluto in Cancer. Mine has been a life wracked with illness, accidents, addiction, repression, loss and suffering and I am still shedding all of this… I do not dictate this process, God does…. I just have to submit to the cleansing as it happens, allowing the healing waves of emotions to wash over me and bathe me, summoning up all the buried flotsam and jetsum, until they are done with me.

So far

Blue boy stars.jpg

It seemed you lived such a long way from me

So far

That now I have no choice

But to look for you

In the moon and the stars

Who knows what silent sorrow

Your heart privately kept

As you worked away in the garden

I only remember how lonely it was

To be longing to be beheld

But then I realise

A parent can only repeat their past

And as a young man you took yourself

So far from a home

Under threat

Nursing dreams of success (?)

Was it any wonder then

That your death

Led me to do the same

Years later she said to me

Get as far away as you can from ‘that one’

Pointing to my mother

‘Do what you father did’.

Was it that I was then just meant

To unconsciously repeat a tragic lonely past?

And so I ran and crashed

Until the Gods spoke to me in Glastonbury

And said go home

And here

I fell

Into the abyss for five more years

While all around me tidal swells

Threatened the fragile boat

I was trying to build

Shipwreck came

Torn and lacerated on

The jagged  sharp edges of his pain

A tragic refrain

Repeated over and over

Enacted on my tender flesh

Until hardly anything was left of me

But bleeding

So now

Isn’t it a gift

To finally feel myself to be

In full possession of my soul

I can shed tears now

About deep pain and regret

And write poetry about how

Far from me you seemed

Bearing testament to my true reality

Far away from me

So very far

That the only place I could look for you

Was in the moon

In the sun

And in the stars

Where has your spirit gone?

Aether Ashley Lebedev.jpg

For me Dad You will always be alive In my imagination We never really got to know each other There was a chasm we could not cross I felt you so far away In another land Though close to me Is it any wonder I struggled so much To be close to men in my life

But now I imagine where your spirit has gone Into the ether Or fishing off a celestial beach Living the life you never got to live on earth

1985

Songs of innocence take me back To that world Something changed irreversibly When you were taken so suddenly And its so hard to fathom now Where I went And all the ghostly paths of exile I travelled Always silently crying out your name Fearing to get close to anyone again They could never know the ghosts that haunted me

Its taken me years too To now feel you silently breathing In the air that surrounds me Never really far away Yet never truely found A mystery I will never fathom A ghost that will walk with me for the rest of my days

And yet there is too, a curious love I do not fully understand And the acceptance of a destiny never chosen that I must embrace

 

(Image : Aether by Ashley Lebedev)

Under the cover of silence

I wrote this post about four weeks ago.  I have found that the grief under the cover of silence I was sensing has reared its head.  Illness came ten days after I wrote this, it was partly due to unresolved grief on my lungs and affected my gut where tender feelings were buried.  I am sharing this today to liberate it from exile in drafts

Under the cover of silence This grief that we cannot speak lives Curled and coiled like a serpent waiting to rise Feeling the pressure of passing years Like a dead weight upon it formed of dread Unreconciled losses broken dreams Lying here

When we met today the talk turned to golden coins My father bought to help the children years ago comes into your mind I feel my eyes brimming with tears for the silent father I never knew Who was full of all kinds of hopes dreams feelings and kindnesses I will now never know And I am aware of the deeper loss you carry in your heart for a man I feel I never truly knew

Pain like a brace around my heart Contracting contracting Which feelings do I trust?Only this grief?  All the questioning so many questions laying scattered around me unspoken questions upon questions with no answers

Later I am drawn back to lonely childhood afternoons Waiting for you to come home We never spoke But oh I needed you Echoes of longing stretching so far along a corridor of years to childhood’s past Where you wandered the streets alone With pennies for sweets The only touch you knew The kind touch of the pharmacist who cleaned wax from your ears

Today when we meet Tears rise up from your aching soul And you tell me how tired you are Yes Mum the suffering and grief you have known also has no home Oh how I long to be that for you, for is that not love? It hurts to know the pain you carry in silence alone

And so the serpent rears its head only hoping to be known Not meaning at all to cast upon any soul a feel of terrible dread After all it only consists of skins that long to be shed

Late afternoon sun casts shadows back here in my home Panic attacks come and its hard to breathe Is this just past pain imprints or intimations of feelings longing to be known?

No one will ever know the desperation at times living besieged by body symptoms I never will fully understand knowing them perhaps only to be the cry of a body unheld longing to be

And so in the absence of company I write It is the only relief Sometimes it seems to me a force was always there holding my head under water Not allowing me to be free A terrible undertow I fought with all my might But which in calling me makes me long instead for a deeper surrender or slumber Glorious extinction But What must happen for there to be peace is no longer avoidance or escape but rather the full facing of what needs to be grieved and shed

Where life is frozen

Where life is frozen Fear will take up residence And the emptiness born of a pain that lay underneath it all So unrecognised Will call but with a phantom voice

You can no longer recognise Whose heart is that that you seek Is it the one stolen The one whose words were never heard Because life took it all too soon

In the absence that formed Which you filled with fire Everything burned to ash As your body cried out Father I need you

Remember that late summer afternoon When we came so close to death for the first time My high flying bird playing on the eight track as the car spun out so close to the edge of the mountain ending up crashed against the embankment?  That night I crawled into bed and you held me close How was I to know that in the last month we would embrace once again in the same way not knowing it would all be far too late.

Dad you are the phantom that haunts all of our days and casts a shadow over life that can never be fully erased Your loss the loss we don’t ever speak of That hovers here and lays everything to waste Hope, longing truth trust honesty connection All these things a soul thrives on That we can not know

I have known your passing not only then but repeating across more than 20 years with 5 separate leavings of men I loved Each time my soul ached with a pain I thought would break me in two and alcohol was there until the last and then the crash came and took me down with all the grief I was running from I see it now

Dad I miss you and I dare not say or believe that you truly loved me for then the hurt would be entirely too much for this soul to bear but now I know the truth beyond a doubt and there is an end to my running

I must grieve and stop all the anger and fear which is really resistance to a deeper truth that must finally be fully felt nakedly completely in this oh so poignant moment I must close the door and turn to face myself and all that I buried over years and in so doing finally unfreeze my fear and resistance so that they can turn to tears

Father ; farther

Dad I never got to say goodbye

 I am sorry our last words were an argument

Father you were always farther away from me

And I struggled to understand

Could you really see, feel and hear the real me

So many times when I tried to tell you what I needed

You said no

So Dad now its so hard sometimes to trust

And to let myself have what I need

If you had lived today you would be 97

Now you are a ghostly presence

Who I will never truly say I can know

Lost to me I long for your holding and love

In all kinds of ways

So how can I resolve the need to be known and loved by a man?

Oh Dad how much I wish things were different

Somewhere deep inside I think I felt

All the things you hid

Under a cover of silence

But how will I ever know?

An instrument of awakening

I have some powerful moments of realisation at times.  You know the feeling where a new vista opens up on past issues and you suddenly see things from a new and different perspective?  Often it occurs after a long, long period of suffering and questioning.  You descend to the depths in order to see things at a more profound level, so that in some mysterious way the deeper you go the higher your view.

Today I had the thought about my brother in law, the one who caused so much pain and fracturing for our family, or rather was the instigator of a lot of it, what if he was just an instrument of awakening and what also if he carried some of the family shadow?   My Dad for most of his later life was preoccupied with financial success.  Deep down he was a soft man, but born to harsh conditions in 1920 in Holland.  He was also born in a patriarchal world.

I had a counsellor for a while, who was herself Dutch about 4 years ago and when I explained how my father treated his daughters and displayed little affection physically, she told me that was usual for Dutch fathers of his age.  He also did not believe that women should pursue further education to advance a career.  In my case I was forced to go to secretarial college, which I hated and my older sister who had the stroke became a nurse when she would rather have gone to Uni.

Anyway to cut a long story short, my father was responsible and strove and did well, but my brother in law ended up falling short, getting into debt, absconding with the family then sending some of the boys back when things got too hard after he abandoned my sister.  I don’t know the full story, in the end he hurt my sister deeply but she always forgave because that is the kind of heart that she had.  Perhaps she understood more of how hard she pushed to try and move them forward in a way to which he may not have been suited.

The entire result was devastating in every way.  It has marred so many lives including my own.  But today when I rose a little while ago to see the Sun shining I felt a kind of awakening.  What if all of these trials were for a larger purpose of awakening?  What about if our family had to go through all of this separation and disconnection so that in the end it could come back together in a healthier or different way?  What if we could make gold out of this blackness and see how old patterns were actually trying to be arrested?  And what if love was the answer?  Loving something even though it contained such pain?

I also awoke today thinking a lot about alchemy and containment.  For the purposes of maturing we need to contain our impulses and emotions in a healthy way.  We should not repress what we feel but we do need to make a relationship with feelings, most importantly with our reactions to difficult events.  Things not going our own way is challenging for sure.  Having to face frustration of our needs and impulses is so challenging, deeply painful but also essential and important. In order to be emotionally and physically healthy in our world we need the drive and ability and power to express our spirit in some way, rather than have it blocked.  At the same time it seems to me that containing and working through our frustrations, losses and thwartings and handling the associated feelings involves a kind of alchemy.  We have to digest our experiences often over a long period.

This is where the sign of Virgo comes in that we in now.  Mercury is retrograde in Virgo at the moment. It has been for some weeks.  For me it hit the deepest part of my chart when it stationed backward a few weeks ago.  It hit my Pluto.  We had the lunar and solar eclipses during this time.  Personally I have felt so much going on in my physical and emotional digestive system.  The sign of Virgo is ruled by Mercury and I was thinking today that we actually have two brains in our system.  There is the brain in our head as well as the brain in our gut.  I read in a book by trauma specialist, Peter Levine a few years ago that for every nerve fibre travelling from the brain to the gut we have 10 more travelling in the other direction.

Our deepest emotions live in our gut. This too, is where the inner child lives (in esoteric astrology the sign of Virgo is ruled not only by Mercury but by the Moon which relates to emotions and our inner child).  The gut is where we digest things and experiences and process them to then make sense of them in our brains. What is processed here is also passed onto other organs such as the kidneys and liver.  Add to this that we have a heart too that is ruled by the Sun and fiery Leo where we feel the will to both love and expression.

When that fire goes out our vital spirit feels almost dead. It is hard to eat and even to breathe as our heart connects so closely to the lungs (ruled by Gemini and Mercury too).  We have to process things.  We have to contain them.  We have to chew the raw food of experience over and over in order to gain the right understanding and nutrition, wisdom, intelligence and insight.

And I guess that during this current Mercury retrograde period that is what has been happening for me.  I have began to make sense of the fact that perhaps every thing that happened to my sister via my brother in law was really the working out of something deeper, some thing that had lessons for all of us.

It seems to me that often when we blame circumstances in some way we miss the deeper understandings that can come.  You see it all the time when tragedy strikes, people quickly rush to blame or seek the person or person’s responsible and punish them.  And most certainly people should be held to account.  But what if when tragedy strikes really there is deeper work than this to be done?   If we don’t stop and grieve and allow our pain to go deeper and teach us important things or birth deeper realisations it seems to me that we can often miss the deeper truth or meaning or purpose of the experience.

In my own case I am seeing now how much fear I have carried in my own life.  I was scared of my brother in law in many ways.  I linked that fear to fear of being close to my nephews in some way in therapy yesterday.  I both longed for connection and feared it.  Would they be safe? Would they end up hurting or abandoning me in the way their father did my sister?  Is it any wonder I felt so much fear?  That in the years following my sister’s abandonment and suicide attempt that I had 6 terminations of pregnancy and untold difficulties in getting close to any man in a deeply intimate way?   That I myself, came to fear life and love and risk as well as full embodiment?

The answer is NO its obvious that is how it would have affected most of us!  In the end I would rather this experience never had to befall any of us in my family, but the truth is that it did.  And now our task or my task is to live in the best way with the result and after examining the forces and impact make new choices for happiness or at least gain deeper insight into my fears.

I spoke in an earlier post about the wave I felt pass over me last week and weekend with my nephew’s visit.  I thought a lot yesterday about how much I can actually fear my own feelings and fear having them in relationship.  I intellectualise a lot because I was left alone for most of my life trying to make sense of deeply painful and confusing experiences in the adult world that befell both me and others.   I learned often to take myself off alone.  I learned to knee jerk react and act without containing often as a reaction to over whelming stress and then I hit walls with accidents which pulled me up short, but maybe for a reason, so that I could internalise to then be able to make a more conscious step forward, one that was not so dictated by trauma but informed by it, if that makes sense.

Today that is the realisation and reckoning I am arriving at.  Mercury moves back into the final degrees of Leo in a few days where it slows to station forward.  As it does it hits the degree of the Solar Eclipse of 21-22 August.  That is right on natal Uranus in the first house which is all about individuation, shock, disconnection, severing, enlightenment and awakening.  Oh and freedom!  But its also about turning away at times from the instinctual world of feeling to a realm of intellectual understanding which at times can be a divorced or disconnected from earthly containment and emotional realities.  In the best sense enlightenment brings light to those deeper darker Plutonian experiences and emotions we all go through.  Hopefully in the end deeper understanding when digested helps us and will help me embody more and no longer split.  Maybe it will help me to ground, turn back, embody and make peace with the earthly shackles of a far from perfect or ideal life and experiences which were so often so far beyond my own control.

The grief that never leaves you

I just got extremely triggered reading a post about the prospect of someone loosing their husband.  It opened up a well of grief that is always inside me, just covered over at times.  I had a vision too, as I contemplated how alone I have been for the past 5 years with no special man in my life, of a photograph taken at my brother’s wedding where I was flower girl with my hand in my father’s hand, I look so uncomfortable, out of place, scared and lost.  I showed it to my therapist a year or so ago and she often mentions it.  Although my father was a distant presence and not that emotionally available, there was some kind of connection and reading that post just made me cry.  I don’t know if I will ever be loved again like that by any man and I feel such a lot of sadness that connection with my nephews is often so rare.  The last time I called the nephew I feel closest to he didn’t even bother to return my call.  I could brush it off, but it hurt never the less.

Whenever I mention it to my Mum she tells me not to have hard feelings, that he is busy and struggles.  I don’t dislike him for not calling back, I just feel sad about it.  All kinds of things run through my mind as to why he may not want to have contact.  Add to all  of this that his older brother is visiting in two days with his three boys and wife, this is the nephew who has more to do with my mother and my sister than with me.  The last time we spoke he told me he had been listening to a programme on childhood trauma and he said “I don’t have any memories of when I was young, and that is apparently a sign of trauma”, he was about 10 when his Mum had the cerebral bleed and then got very damaged not only by that but by her husband’s eventual abandonment. I sent him some photos and he never acknowledged them.   This nephew was the one who stayed close to his Dad and was quite angry and aggressive to my sister at times.  I can never really know what went on in those dark days before my sister was sent back with a one way ticket by his father, but I ache over it for her, for our family and for her sons.

I wondered yesterday if some of my anxiety this week is about this visit.  Part of me doesn’t want to have to see my nephew and his family and have old wounds retriggered.  He is the most defensive, at my sister’s funeral I hugged him as the hearse pulled away from the church and a single tear fell from his eye to the pavement below.  I watched it fall, but his body was armoured, it reminded me of how my ex partner would also cry but in a very held back, armoured way.  I know the pain both went through, (no, Deb that is not right, I can only imagine) but its hard to connect from a place of vulnerability for him.

At the same time I have a longing to see his family, but I said to Kat in therapy yesterday I have to be aware I wont get what I hope for.  When my sister died his wife told me I shouldn’t grieve or be sad as my sister would not want me to be.  It was another slap or door shut in my face on the back of other griefs.  I stood up for my pain but I didn’t get comfort, come to think of it most of the tears I have shed I shed alone with no one to hold me.  Reading this back I am aware that how they treat me is just a reflection of how they treat their own vulnerability and feelings, by dismissing them!

Anyway I just let the tears fall again this morning.  It was a comfort to acknowledge the well of grief that I know will never leave me, not so much for what I lost, but more for what I never could have.  It reminds me of the painful emotional reality that so often many of us in our family left behind by partners have had to live in the absence of connection and care.  Its acknowledging a deep reality and feeling it,, knowing its a karma or circumstance I cannot change (or at least not before now).  I share about it here because here I know others will understand.  Its all I have at present this computer page and my therapy.  That and the brief times that sadness opens up with Mum before it is shut down again with things she says to push the pain and grief to the sidelines.

And as I write this I am aware how much harder  it is to let go or get over something we cannot or are not allowed to fully feel or acknowledge the emotional truth of.  There is not one single platitude that can full the vacancy left by honest empathy, acknowledgement and presence.

You didn’t protect me

I just had a watershed moment after briefly connecting with my sister at the markets and touching on the recent death of her daughter in law’s father about how alone I was following the death of my Dad and how prior to that Dad never protected me from Mum’s angry whirlwind energy and perfectionist project which was part of an onslaught on me from a very young age.

Byron Brown’s book which shows how we engage with the introjected critic from a young age in three ways, counterattack, rationalisation or by absorbing and collapsing in reaction to its energy has mirrored insights I came to following reading Pete Walker’s book on Complex PTSD a year or so ago but Brown expresses this information in a more useable way showing how each matter of relating means we respond from one of three bodily levels, gut, head or heart.

You will need to read the book to find the outline of the information he presents in it but his basic explanation is that early on we learn to take in the criticism that is not fair on us and identify with it even when we are defending against it, rationalising it away or using it to fall into a depression or psychic paralysis we are wedded to the critical energy and it exerts profound power over us.  When we respond to inner or outer criticism with any of these three methods we are in fact ‘hooked’ by the idea that in some way the critic is right or that we deserve such criticism on some level.  From this position we self reject and so disempower the helpful response which would be to let the critic’s criticism fly past us without reacting, instead staying connected to love and compassion for self from our inner centre.   Which is a powerful position of letting go.

I found myself crying on the way to the market after reading the chapter Engaging the Judge for I remembered how often as a child I was on the end of ‘attacks’ from my Mum.  I would defend against these attacks, sometimes by flying into rages or even pulling knife on my Mum at one stage after it had gone on for years and Dad would just sit on the sidelines and do nothing to help except say to my Mum behind my back “her mouth is her defence”.

I internalised my Mum’s own shame as I see it now and this is why my father’s death had such an affect on me, regardless of the fact I had no one nearby to comfort or protect me after he died, I was also without the inner protection I needed from internalised criticism due to my upbringing and I think this realisation is what really brought me undone this afternoon. I also identified how often when others criticise or hurt me I rationalise the pain away rather than feel it and I have also allowed it to enter me and overtake me so badly that at the end of my marriage I had completely absorbed it and collapsed under its weight.

Add to that this afternoon we were speaking about how much support my niece in law has around her following her Dad’s death and that triggers the deep pain that following my own father’s death I was completely unsupported which is why I left the meeting with my sister with a bursting chest and tears fell when I was soon out of the carpark.

In a way this blog isn’t really for my readers although I do hope some others gain some insight into how their own inner critic may not belong to them, it is my attempt to put in black and white what I have gone through.  I am recognising how emotionally abandoned I have been not only after my Dad’s death but by so called boyfriends and friends who didn’t recognise the full brunt of what I was going through in those painful years age 23 – 31 and even into recovery both with my ex husband and last partner.

On the way home from the markets I listened to Massive Attack’s song Protection full bore as I recognised how the loving arms I needed around me were never there.

I was never protected and even worse my own deep pain was never validated nor understood anywhere apart from with one or two therapists …oh and yes, on here with those who have gone through the same devastating soul crunching emotional abandonment in their own lives.  I watch other’s struggle with the critic’s attacks of their own process when they are opening to deep and valid emotional pain, so long buried in their own souls.  I recognise what they go through when that inner critical voice tries to shame them for feeling or starting to depend on someone who finally WILL protect them when the fear of being hurt again is so huge.

All I can say is that such recovery takes so much courage and so much work for the worst ever thing would be for the critic to jump in at the most critical stage of healing and cause us one again to sabotage the process.  This is exactly what happened to me in two therapies, the first I started in July 1992 and the second attempt in 2001 and I am reliving that pain as the anniversary of the head smash up accident of 2005 draws close.  It was after this I met with astrologer Melanie Reinhardt and she gave me the gift of Byron Brown’s book a gift I could not open for 12 years.  Ouch and double ouch and triple ouch, but thank God now I can start to get a handle on so much in my own life and psyche that has been for me a permanent stumbling block.

Brown’s book is helping me so much because he brings recognition to a process whereby we can help ourselves by becoming more mindful and recognising too that our soul really is the part of us we most need to connect to in order to heal.  On one level our soul or essence or pure being can never be open to criticism, what flows out of it when our own energy is lovingly received (which happens for so few of us in) should be natural experiences of flow and discharge of essential energies inside of the soul and our inner being.

When all we meet in the outer world from day one is forms of resistance to the flow of our innate energy, hungers and needs which issue from the soul we naturally begin to dam ourselves up with alarming consequences, However later in life we can become more conscious once we learn to tap into who we really are deep inside, that instinctive innate part of which knows how to be and what to do freed of a hundred and one defences of the inner critic we internalised over years, inner voices and judgements which keep us locked up in defensive responses and reactions that keep us trapped and locked up inside.

Finding the Love of a Good Mother and Father Inside

Mother’s day has now passed.  Today I was browsing in our local Chinese dollar shop and there was a radio programme in which the presenters wanted to acknowledge all those Mum’s ignored or blindsided on Mother’s Day by family.  “Lets have a programme where we acknowledge mad mother’s day” the announcer said with typical Aussie tongue in cheek humour.

I just read a post on how difficult Mother’s day can be for those of us who were not fully nurtured in childhood.  Having to feat a mother who was never really there or hurt us with abuse or neglect is like a double wound for anyone who was not mothered.  I know that for all of my life I have tried to compensate for my mother’s emotional absence by trying all that more to connect and give her what I never got.   I am a bit older and wiser now and I recognise the pattern to a degree.

As the youngest in my family I had less of both parents time and attention and understanding.   I really did not allow myself to know this until very recently, I was happy to take the blame as a recovering alcoholic for so called ‘defects of character’ which included difficulties with trust and intimacy left over from having been raised by emotionally distant parents who recently my therapist has pointed out were more like grandparents.  My older sister was the closest person to a mother I knew but she left when I was 3 to get married and then came back and went again and then had a cerebral bleed and psychotic break.  It wasn’t until I was about 6 years sober that my feelings of pain around all of this began to break through in therapy.  By this time I was thousands of miles from home in England which in some way was the repeat and a trigger for the trauma I suffered after my father died and I was encouraged to go overseas alone.

Around that time I was working in job with 6 women in a small office in the University.  When news came from home that further trauma was happening with my now severely disabled sister I was able to share with these women who showed me such empathy and understanding.  I remember one of them saying “it is no surprise that you have struggled as you have with your mixed up mother background”.  Sadly though a conflict occurred in the office a short while later where my job share colleague who was a lot like a lovely older sister got sidelined and then decided to resign.  One of the other women (who incidently was a lot like my second sister) was instrumental in the conflict.  At that time I decided to resign my job too.  There was a lot going down in my therapy and at home.   I was feeling the pull of traumatic attachment tearing me home.  I have shared about it in my blog before.

Lately when I have cried in therapy over what I lost in coming home due to unconscious influences I have felt as though my being and heart will shatter in two.   I have felt over past days the most intense dissociation from the life I have since tried to rebuild in my home town, especially in the first part of the morning.    There was just so much lost promise around that time.  I made two attempts to go back and then had a really serious accident.  I came back home and went into almost complete hibernation.  I really feel as I look back now that in 2005 I went into the wilderness for at least the next 11 years.  Everything dissolved.  Neptune transited over all of these planets in order Mars, Saturn, Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and the South Node and anyone out there who understands a bit of astrology knows how that watery, confusing influence can erode things.

In so many ways I am only now coming out of that dissolution.  Neptune later passed over Chiron in my seventh house.  I have had to explore how the pain of earlier wounds in relationships has dogged me and how the lack of mothering theme has been a huge repeat across the multi-generational line on my mother’s side.

My older sister died on 20 April 2014 when I was still grieving the end of the last relationship which only started four years after the ending of my marriage before so much of my earlier traumatic past was processed.  And all through the demise my ex blamed me and then I think also on one level partly he knew it wasn’t the right time for me to really be involved in any new relationship, since I seemed to need all my energy for healing  and he often told me “I just cant be bothered with what you need, when I need so much!”

I look back and see how impoverished my own inner mother and father energies really were then.  I was struggling so hard to prove to this person that I was capable of love, turning myself inside out, allowing him to slam me hard for PTSD symptoms I had no control over.  When he told me he would stop seeing me if I didn’t stop being sad I tried to not be sad.  It was so awful to abandon myself in that way.  I was in horrendous pain when the relationship finally in ended in 2011.  That ending brought up all the other masculine abandonments starting at age 23 in the year my father died but reaching further back when I understand how little my own father ever supported me emotionally as a youngster and how later in life he forced me on a path that I did not want to follow.   From that time on addiction became my unconscious rebel yell, but the pain and anger and frustration was all turned in.

I shared in a recent post that I was beginning to recognise all the work I needed to do with healing the inner father inside, but I am also aware that I still have work with the inner mother too.   At times I am not kind to my body.  I push myself too hard.  I extend myself to help others when I need that help myself.   I guess for me deeper recognitions have been a long time coming.   Therapy has given me a place to find empathy and support to overcome the ‘not good enough’ voices inside which have been mirrored in criticisms from those intent on hiding their own defects and culpability.   I see how much my need to care from others comes from low self esteem at times, but on another side it has to do with feeling so protective to those who are hurting or have been neglected or abused and then blame themselves, since I know how hard it is to struggle in this way myself.

Anyway today was a good day, after a painful start.  I cleaned through the house and got rid of some things that were bringing me bad feelings.  Jasper and I went briefly to the park and then I took myself off for lunch and to the library where I found a brilliant novel about PTSD called All Is Not Forgotten  which I am going to share some excerpts from in a blog soon.  I then did my groceries and nurtured my inner child by buying two little fairy figures I had been looking at in a shop window for the past few weeks.

I need very much to let my happy inner kid have some free reign at the moment.  I was talking to Mum this morning and saying how I remember being a very happy child before my sister left home, and she agreed, problem being I think that happy energy and vitality was a bit too much for a far older mother who was trying to start her own business and find her own way in the world after a life in which her own inner child was repressed.

Its a strange thing but both my Mum and me have the North Node at 18 degrees Leo.  At times I see us less as mother and daughter on spiritual level and more as two little kids skipping along a pathway.  The healing I have had to do has so much of my Mum’s own pain in it.  It may also have a great deal of ancestral pain in it too, for all I know.  Lately I have been taking a lung tonic before going to bed at night.  It has been helping me to breathe easier and I felt my entire body relax after I took it last night.  I hope in time the grief that I have carried can be dispelled.  I will always miss my older sister but often I feel her so near to me on the spiritual level.  I also talk to my father all the time and he answers.  He has apologised to me from spirit level many times for what he failed to give and mistakes he made.  Last night I cried a lot at 5 am when I opened my heart to him and asked for his protection and guidance.

And it appears to me that as one blogger shared today, that in the end it is love that will heal us, it is love that will allow us to keep our hearts and minds open to healing, to forgiveness, to wisdom, to understanding, it is love that will give us the courage and tenacity to move forward on each new day to embrace the inner and outer good and to build the loving inner mother and father inside who can fully sustain, nurture and guide us on the journey home to our true selves.