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.

Finding the lost father inside

DAD

When I wrote my last post I actually had in mind to write a post on fathering as one aspect of self parenting.  This absent or overly patriarchial father experience in our childhood leaves us with huge deficits.  Dad is the one who should ideally help us to separate from Mum at the right time in our development.  We need him both to see and admire us but also to set us healthy boundaries for self assertion and expression in the world.  In modern times I am sure mothers can also do this for us but its the father who will give us the guidance to go out into the world and slay the dragons we might need to that block our way or hold us back and often he is the one that should help us in our separation from Mum, but what happens when he just isn’t there?

The overbearing or patriarchial father is one who may try to impose his will on us, and set too firm boundaries, blocking the expression of our true self in the world or forcing us to pursue a false agenda, if this happens its hard to find happiness, we may feel thwarted or cave under due to pressure from stronger wills, thinking we don’t have the right to say ‘no’ to what isn’t right for us, and squashing our ability to stay strong to deep soul impulses and find ways to honour them.

In my background I got a lot of the later at times, having other’s will imposed on me.  My Dad may have seen me foundering after my accident and my sister’s trauma.  I was.  I had just graduated in the year I had my accident from school, but the final months were aborted due to being holed up in hospital, then I went into teaching as I wasn’t strong enough to travel and live in Sydney to do the social work degree I wanted to do.  The following year I left to go North to Uni due to difficulties with all the trauma going down following my older sister’s cerebral bleed but I got overwhelmed without structure and support and then got involved with an addict and my own alcohol consumption was affecting my ability to study.  Deep inside I was terrified of what was occurring, I wanted to go home to Mum and Dad and go back to my teaching but when I got back I was told there would be no argument, I would go into secretarial studies.  Deep down I was SO ANGRY but that would not have been permitted.  So I just went to the course and on weekends started to binge drink and use drugs.

The next 13 years played out with me stuck in secretarial or personal assistant jobs that I did well at but addiction was there in the wings as my soul was restless and deep down on an unconscious level I was not living the life I would have chosen to create for me.

When I suffered further trauma in 1990 with an ectopic pregnancy and a major relationship broke, I finally found the courage to quit my secretarial job and move in another direction but my addiction was firmly in place and I could not develop the good internal fatherly boundaries to develop the career in alternative health I was studying towards.

Eventually I got sober, I married, I found a good job in a bookshop but when my ex husband and I decided to move back to England I went back into secretarial. I had outside interests developing in sobriety into psychology and astrology but I was not sure of how to make a career of them.  I started the psychological astrology course in 2001 and completed only 6 months when I felt the pull back to Australia.  My older sister with all the trauma was being moved to a home and my Mum fell over and was in a lot of distress.  I felt that if I stayed in the UK I would be abandoning them, so my husband and I came back but I was immediately depressed.  I still could not break from the need I felt to fix my Mum and sister, so my marriage ended.  I tried briefly to return to England and my course but had an accident again and so I came home and then I got stuck in another relationship in which I really did not develop my own interests outside.

All along as I review everything with the benefit of hindsight, I see how I have not had a very positive loving father inside to steer or guide me.  I sought out therapy I am sure for this reason and Katina, my therapist and I were discussing yesterday how now therapy will not be so much about containing and holding my pain and grief, and mothering my lost child, but more about working to find healthy ways to develop and express and find meaningful purpose outside what has been a deeply enmeshed family situation over the past years.  It is now up to me to be both loving mother and father to myself with the help from those who can be of assistance, its time to leave the past pain in the past to the degree that I don’t let it keep me stuck or mar either my present or future.

Its curious because today I fell into a big heap after a slow start and I began to get very strong images of my maternal great, great grandfather as he struggled with his own addiction after leaving his home of Cornwall in 1874.  I thought of his pain and of how he in the end was of no help to his family.  His wife left him with 16 children after they moved to New Zealand and those children all had to struggle to find their way in the world.  Some remained in NZ but several migrated to Australia and my maternal great grandmother and my grandmother went to Victoria.

My grandmother met her husband in Victoria and he had at that stage served on the frontlines in various offensives in the First World War, including Lone Pine.  He was only 16 when he joined up in 1916 and from what I know he developed his own addiction as a result and also was gassed so suffered in that way too.  He died when my mother was only 7.

The theme of the absent father occurs like a repeat along my mother’s side of the family.  On my father’s side it may have been similar in that my father’s dad died in 1932 when my father was only 12 and he may also have been a victim of war.  I do believe these imprint themes of the lost, traumatised or emotionally wounded or absent father play down and show up in my chart in the Sun (ruling father) being squared by Neptune (planet of grief, loss, disappearance, vacancy or deep confusion and longing – the longing aspect stronger with Neptune in the sign that so much needs deep passion and attachment : Scorpio).

Having this kind of understanding for me highlights why I struggled so with my masculine, assertive and fatherly side.  That part of me is not very strongly developed within, I have struggled with boundaries for most of my life and addiction as well both of which are Neptunian issues.  I get a bit upset when I lose things, or think I have misplaced things, or when there is a mess or confusion around.  I had a dream about this the other night where my ex had come into a house where I had left piles of mess lying around and tidied up and beautified the place.  But mess at times can be creative too, its in the ability to bring some order to the chaos and confusion that so much art is born.

Fathering myself at the moment seems to be an emerging theme.  I need to spend some time thinking about the skills I do have and how I can put them to good use.  My astrology is important to me and I have always longed to teach it, its just at times I lack the trust in my own capacity to express.  Fathering is the thing that will get me out of emotional overwhelm and unrequited longing at those times when such feelings are counter productive for me.  It is the part that will get me to engage and go for what I want, rather than retreat or just throw up my hands and say it is all too hard.

The past years I have spent focused on my mother wound have born some good fruit, but endlessly focusing on what has been missing is not going to help me today.  Today I have to work to put in and create from what seem like empty spaces.  I need to sit with emptiness for as long as it takes for something to emerge and when it does I need to help it in its quest for life.  To move forward, to grow, to attempt, to try, to express whatever goodness I can in my life.   I feel so sad that I have not been able to sustain this kind of goodness at times but I do hope that this goodness will emerge if I can only keep a positive focus and find that lost father deep inside.

Disconnection, perfectionism, reconnection

The feeling and imprints of being disconnected, of being in the words of AA “so far from human aid” are so deep and such repetitive themes for me I am realising lately , and that felt sense or inner experience gets triggered at certain times of the day and the two times accompany the times of my accidents : early morning and dusk/early evening which have deeper ancestral echoes of past times of loneliness and disconnection for my Mum.

In these space of disconnection/trauma my energy starts to spin around itself and this is like the trauma vortex Peter Levine shows in one of his books on trauma which cycles inwards and down with repetitive thoughts accompanying of all the ways in which I have fucked up.  What stops it is being able to connect to something or someone true for me outside of myself who hears me and I hear them.

This morning it was a very important post from one of my most valued fellow bloggers, Rayne, on facing her own feelings of suicide and death thoughts   In that post Rayne shared how her connection with her therapist bought her through to the other side.  Before reading this post I felt like I was literally drowning in my own phlegm and at the same time a huge rain shower came with a torrential down pour, I really was in a dark place and it did feel as if I was literally drowning.

I then had a lovely connection from someone new to me who is on a very similar path and reading her blog warmed my soul.

I am aware that this trauma imprint of separation/disconnection/drowning is something my own mother carried,  my dusk/dinner time trigger points were also times she was alone.  And I am learning Mum never helped me know how to nurture myself.  I put all my focus out on trying to engage with a mother who was revolving her energy around her and my father, not me.  Dad didn’t engage with me at this time of day, both engaged with Scotch Whiskey and I am coming to realise more and more how alone I felt and how I could not know how to attach and so in time I started to use alcohol and drugs too.

I am 23 years out of active addiction but I am only just getting a stronger hold on some of my other patterns now.  That is many years of recovery.   I also think my natural difficulty with attaching and engaging with healthy others has at time stymied my recovery.  But reaching out and really connecting is for me a healing balm, for my heart lives to be connected to others and that connection is stronger and healthier when I am connected to myself.

Yesterday I had a far better day due to the fact I connected with three positive people.  I met my cousin for a coffee and our friendship has grown over the past year.  Sadly a legacy of our familial disconnection is that my Dad was so distant with her Dad, my Dad’s younger brother.  We are healing that now and I can talk to her with great honesty about my past and she shares with me her own struggle to be a good parent and get help for her son who has needed assistance to work through some psychological issues.  My cousin is comfortable talking about death, grief and emotions in a way other members of my family are not and that helps me as I naturally express how I feel, it is so essential to me that I can be with others who can also express how they feel and not shy away from emotional matters in the way my family do.

I think one of the reasons I really struggled last week was that on the third anniversary of her death my oldest sister’s name was not mentioned once by any of my family.  I knew they were probably thinking of her, but in our family the deeper, painful issues are shied away from, all hidden under the surface.  We eat and drink over them.

In a way for me now it is okay on one level to recognise this, there is so much pain and trauma in my family that can never be healed.  I am also learning that its not my responsibility to heal it for anyone else.  I think one of the big delusions I carried in my sobriety was that I could and would in some way heal the legacy of mutigenerational alcoholism, trauma and emotional neglect legacy for my family.  I now see that is hubris, the most I can do is work to understand.

The truth is everyone in my family has been affected and few have wanted to acknowledge the roots of it.  I think my brother trying to bring attention to the way Mum treated Dad the other day was all part of him trying to make sense of things and wanting to open up a dialogue but Mum could only leap to a defensive position.  There are much deeper layers to the way my mother developed as a person and most especially developed striving defences of perfectionism and control as a result of the painful empty legacy of her past.  This has reverberated on all of our lives along the generational line, but most especially in the lives of her daughters.  I think my Dad just wanted to relax more, he never could as someone was always pushing him on, his defence was to go AWOL, he didn’t abuse alcohol but used it to take the edge off.

Much as I have had compassion for my Mum, what I do not have compassion for is her not being able at times to say a genuine, ‘sorry’! The amount of times she has allowed us to take the wrap for her bad behaviour and control mechanisms is huge.  My brother the other day was trying to lift the lid on something and Mum wasn’t going to go there.  Maybe she might at a later date.

For myself at the moment though I just need to keep remembering to focus on all of my recovery tools.  I need to start doing more to nurture and nourish the good connections I do have,  they are there, just at times I check the impulse to reach out due to fear.     I also need to stop reaching out to my Mum all the times in hopes of getting the empathy and attention that is so absent.  My Mum is a vey self centred person.  I think a lot of it has to do with having no siblings and zilch emotional attention and nurture.

Thinking about it today I realised fear was actually the underlying emotion that drove my mother.  Fear of not being able to survive materially, fear of not being good enough, this later fear fostered in climate where no one championed or fathered her.  In the absence of that she learned to ‘pull herself together’ and put on a shiny perfect face that hid far deeper insecurities inside.  She pushed and pushed and pushed in an effort to try and perfect us and the home environment but to a point where there was no place of being or rest.  I feel it finally killed my father to be honest.

And sadly my brother as the oldest also learned to push himself and my Dad too, later when they got into business.  My older sister was separate for a time but then tried to come back and push and compete and well and then had her cerebral bleed.  And in the face of all of this, as the youngest I was the observer and my other sister just became the lost child and learned to try and assist the oiling of the family machine.  Is it any wonder she broke down later in life when all of that familial conditioning was trying to dismantle itself?

I can see all of this now and know why my suffering was so strong.  I see why and how I became a substance abuser in my teens and I feel grateful that I could arrest that at age 31 and get sober.  But the real work of recovery began 6 years in and there was so much to feel, heal and work through.

There is so much grief in realising that what we needed and wanted as a child to grow and be nurtured was missing. Its difficult and painful to live with residues of trauma which were a result of emotional neglect that then drove us on to yet more trauma and abuse and neglect.  It is so much to take on board.  But what is most important is that on some level we can express and vocalise our pain, panic or distress, that we can reach for compassion and a deeper understanding, that we can turn around and embrace our wounded self and the wounded selves of others in love.  For if there is a Jesus figure or a Christ or God force in the Universe well isn’t that just about love?  Isn’t that force about understanding our wounds?  Isn’t it about the capacity to bear with suffering and trials in order to gain wisdom and to grow in love? And isn’t it also about learning that when we reach beyond and share our own and other’s truth and pain, connection and healing is born out of endless disconnection, suffering and fear?

And at the end of a lonely road when we find the missing father to be absent, just as Christ did, don’t we then have to grow that father inside?  Isn’t it now our responsibility to be the father we always needed? To find the strong boundaries for self care?  To find the strong voice to cry out or speak up for what is real and true? And to find the power to leave our victim self behind, knowing that past suffering was real but does not have to mean a totally disempowered, disconnected present?

 

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Bittersweet paradoxes and mysteries

When I spend time with my Mum I see her inner child so close to the surface in these later years of her life.  I recognise what I carry of hers and perhaps sensed as a sensitive child growing up…all the things unsaid by her.

After going to the nursery and pottering around to find plants we decided to go to our little café in the place close to where Mum grew up and wandered the streets as a youngster.  We were talking about the tragic stabbing of a garage attendant, fifteen minutes before the end of his shift he was set upon by two angry teenagers armed with a knife.  “I just don’t understand it”, my Mum said.  “He was an Indian boy working hard to survive, I wonder where his parents are?”   We talked of how hard Mum and Dad worked, how little time they had to share with friends just goofing off.   Sadly the hard work never ended and Dad died before he got to enjoy the fruits of it.  There will always be a sadness there for what we never got to share, dying when he did in my life before I could truly know him as an adult.

It was a long and slow work (walk!) to the café.  Mum will never travel again.  She is in constant pain from a fractured pelvis which occurred when she fell down stairs trying to take a suitcase down them to take to my sister on one of her last hospitalisations for depression a few years ago.  I cried walking to the café as I realised we are coming to the end of a tine where we can ever go away again.  I didn’t see it coming.

Later I helped her in the lift with the two cyclamens, one for her friend, one for herself.  I left her to go home to my house and my own life, a separation of sorts.  What will happen when she gets even older I don’t know but I really want to be there for her.  I felt scared though on the way to the café.  My body was hurting and my left breast where I had the cancer has been sore.  Its probably nothing but I have thoughts of dying, don’t get me wrong in some ways I have never felt more peace and happiness and contentment (I am not feeling suicidal, I have never wanted to live more), it is just that our family has known so much trauma and stress and I feel such a desire to live and give and love lately.  As I read this back it occurs to me that as a resonate being when I am with her at times I think my own body picks up her pain and some of our maternal inherited ancestral pain, all that pain is gone from my body now.

I spoke to my sister too today.  Turns out she isn’t as freaked out about going to Melbourne as Mum had said.  I had to call my therapist to try and work out that one and an avalanche of tears fell after our phone call as I realised how pulled around I feel when others speak about a difficult time someone else is going through.  In a way I would rather not know about it but on another level I was relieved.  Anyway the tears were some kind of deep release and compassion for the little child and young girl who struggled so much in stormy seas that swelled in her later adolescence and for the young woman who in sobriety has worked as hard as she could to find self knowledge.

Lately I am seeing ways that I can be self centred when my inner child of the past has her abandonment issues triggered.  She gets upset when no one calls or reaches out and forgets they are going through stuff, and the distance isn’t personal.   I need to be with her at these times and give her love and help her to realise it isn’t personal.  It can be hard to keep giving love when you feel you wish it would come back but just sometimes after a day in which I HAVE been able to give my heart swells with such a powerful ocean of love it nearly blows my body apart.  I am made aware at these times of how love is the bedrock that really underlies everything and it makes its presence felt at times when we least expect the tide to come in.   Life is full of bittersweet paradoxes and mysteries sometimes and they are difficult to express at times, but feeling them makes all the pain we have gone through on the journey of suffering and working towards understanding worthwhile, even if only for moments.

Scar tissue

Alone

You wandered those streets alone

On the days you could not bear to go to school

How your lonely heart must have been aching

After your father died

And mother was left so alone with no support

You fell through a void

With no one to catch you

The nuns only abused you more

And used you for their purposes

She’s a great little ‘doer’ lets get her to clean for us

And so you did

But nothing can take the pain and anger that went deeper

Mum no wonder now you bull doze through

And judge the value of what money bought

As the primary thing

When you and Dad finally found security

Which came at such a price

Behind the mill your daughters play

But since they have fallen out of mind

When the devil comes to say

I want what is behind the mill

You agreed

When you were not valued truly due to emotional absence

You placed value in things that were not real

Only substitutes for love

How you must have suffered

When you saw them wheel your ravaged daughter past you

In the corridors of emergency

Her face and body torn apart

After the smash

You were not the one gone every weekend

You retreated to the garden

With your silent pain

While your daughter sat inside

Swallowing down the atmosphere

A black hole of emptiness you had left behind

I see it now

How captured I was

As I could not see it for years

And I would be the one

Fate asked to make sense of it

Now that I am free

In knowing why and how

There are only these tears of the collective

My sadness for what we lost

For the space of togetherness

That could never exist in that place of busy emptiness

Tears

For my beautiful sister that died

For my own inability to let go

Of something I had not yet digested

And so could not free

I see it all now

And my heart aches

You did your best

But it wasn’t enough

So even though you hurt me now Mum

I understand the how and why

The sadness you carry that you shut the door on

Saying “No, it isn’t like that”

To the one who truly understands

And I realise now that this sadness will always be

A large part of my soul

But that in feeling it there is space made

For the tangled mystery of wounding fate

That in scarring so deeply

Leaves an opening in the wounded places

Where beautiful flowers of understanding

Can grow

And yes even love

In the midst of all of that tragedy

Loss and pain

A prayer : Binding up our wounded hearts

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I ask to accept my Self today, not turning away from it because it is not perfect.

It is a great revelation that perfection is not asked of us.

I know that I need to be cognizant of what needs to be changed in my persona, but this does not mean that I am unlovable.

These changes will come naturally as I let go of fear and judgment, attack and anger.

Yet even anger can be accepted as long as my expression of that anger undergoes a transformation.

It is in the expression of Love that even anger is not derided.

Source : https://celiaelaine.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/accept-love-that-is-our-birthright/

I have already re-blogged the original post that this excerpt which is a prayer came from. I am reposting it here as it is a prayer I want to incorporate into my consciousness and awareness on a daily basis now.

Lately I am sensing a lot of the old hurts falling away from me.  I am interested that anger is spoken of here and acknowledged as necessary on the path of transformation to love. We  don’t gain anything emotionally or spiritually by denying anger when we feel trespassed against by someone.  Underneath anger is often fear or sadness.  Fear for something that we may lose or may be denied or taken from us.  Deep sadness for all the things we really needed from a full heart and could not gain or was denied us.

I had a powerful moment this afternoon with my Mum when she cried due to the fact I was in a lot of bodily pain today.  I owned the part I played in it and I also saw that it was a pain my mother passed down to me unwittingly due to the impoverished aspects of her own lonely childhood.  I really felt so deeply my Mum’s sadness and as she made a move to give me a hug I moved towards her as her fractured pelvis is slowly healing.  I became aware of the great burden my Mum carried since my father died.  Tomorrow she is going to the funeral of a man who she was very close to.  Friends of hers from her apartment are taking her.  “I feel scared”, she said to me.  “Are you scared of being emotional and breaking down?” I asked.  She nodded with her eyes and head lowered.

I want to be there for my Mum tomorrow, but I wont be.  My heart will be with her.  Her pain over my Dad is her pain for a different man.  My pain is different and contains other elements, anger which has been for things I did not get, that he did not see and that were denied me and had a real impact, sadness for the loss of the soft heart of a man that could not fully express tenderness except through his love of his garden.  These are the wounds I will always carry that have left very real scars and the transformation they have wrought which comes out of enduring the fires of anger and oceans of sadness are hard ones.  I know the longing for love and to love the underlies them and I can recognise that on one level there was love but not expressed in the way I needed it.

Today I can have compassion for my Dad.  But I also need to have compassion for myself.  I need to accept the long and painful road that has been my life, one on which I struggled due to an abandonment theme with men that replayed and replayed, driving me deeper into the wound.  I see the ways I wounded out of the wound too when frustrated and the earlier injuries were replayed. But I do feel that all of this occurred so a greater healing or whole making could take place.  Now I have to be my own loving father and in the soft silence of my own garden I talk to my father and I hear his voice and his explanations which fall down like rain on my soul from his soul.

Our parents are not perfect, they fall short.  Some cause terrible damage and it is for us to bind up our wounded hearts and to strive not to be hard on ourselves or to blame ourselves for things that were so far out of our control.   My greatest belief is that love can come out of the harshest pain of bitterness, betrayal, abandonment, loss and disappointment.  These things remind us to be tender with ourselves, to embrace our own heartache and not to close our minds or hearts to the life that still wants to live and be embraced through us.  We do not want to shut down or block the love that lives within us, a love that asks of us perhaps more than of the person who has not suffered in this way.  So our prayer is one of healing, one of love, one of opening and one of acceptance.

Things we were powerless over

I just re-blogged a post that expressed a lot of anger towards my Dad for placing me in a job with a sexually abusive boss.  I am aware today on review that my father knew nothing of this and if he did, if I had told him he would have been concerned.  I don’t want to paint my father as a totally uncaring man.  And it occurred to me this week that my father saw how much I was suffering in my late adolescence.  It was my mother who chose not to be there emotionally.  It was my father who could not really provide adequate back up due to his own issues

Today just after getting out of bed with the anniversary of Dad’s death looming I am thinking of our last encounter which was an argument over me blowing my car up due to not checking the oil on a trip home from driving my then partner to Sydney to catch his flight to India.  We never got to make it up as he was taken soon after and as I have been thinking about it over the past few days my Dad was opposed to this relationship in which I was emotionally abandoned several times.  Left on the side of the road with no bag or money while pregnant and forced to contact my parents to send me the money to get the train home from a thousand miles away that was just one incident and this partner dropped me quickly just after my father’s death and pulled the plug on me coming to meet him a trip I had been working towards through doing two jobs over a couple of years.

I am thinking today how parents who don’t do emotional healing work are subject to all kinds of forces over which they are powerless and these can repeat in their child’s life and then they suffer in seeing their children suffer.  The cancer that ate away at my Dad’s stomach came from two sources, I believe.  Seeing two of his daughters suffer at the hands of emotionally absent men, not setting adequate boundaries with his son who over extended him financially both these together with eating the wrong food and drinking too much mine on an acid stomach.  That is actually 3 causes!

Anyway Dad is gone now.  I missed out on later fathering years.  I am sure he  did his best.  Since he passed and at critical times of recovery I have had powerful dreams of Dad calling me towards emotional recovery and I do feel that he is one of my angels now.   I just needed to process the resentments I have over the things we were both powerless over and lay them to rest because otherwise if they remain buried in the unconscious they become poisons that can eat away at my own flesh and this year I had breast cancer and am not out of the woods by any means.

The cure for the resentment for me lies in accepting what was lost, what got thwarted and that has been fucking tough and painful work and in grieving and feeling the anger in such a way that I contain it and learn from it rather than scatter gun act it out on other sources or triggers.  A lot of the anger came out in my past relationship with a man who I resented for putting work and surfing ahead of me.  I did not have the words to express my anger and so I would act it out sometimes in tantrums, most often in another room or in passive aggressive ways I did not understand and that angered him.

I was talking through with my therapist yesterday some of the ways in which I would like to apologise to my last partner,  and I was reminded it was not all of the problems and bad behaviour lay with me and that my therapist saw it as healthy that I could see that my ex was not totally bad.  She said to me “you both did your best but you didn’t do a great job of it” and then we both laughed, not in a dismissive way but in the way that it was no longer such a HUGE DEAL as it has been for me in the past because the charge of the loss of so many other relationships was piggy backed onto the pain of this one.  Five years on out of it I am in a much better space of peace and wisdom and understanding.

Yesterday I read that currently Chiron the planet of wounding and healing is in a challenging aspect to Saturn the planet of restriction, karmic burdens, limitations and boundaries.  This kind of augers well on some level for healing but means the pain of past wounds may have felt extreme over Christmas for many of us.  Mars meets up with this aspect soon, so is activating a lot of awareness.  After being reluctant to get back to therapy yesterday I am today so grateful I have this avenue of healing to explore my wounds and triggers.  We had a huge clash just before Christmas and saw it through.  That was a watershed for me.  It shows I was able to contain the anger I felt and not destroy a valuable relationship that failed me for a few days.  I am so very grateful for these small signs of progress along the way in my recovery.  I seem to be getting the benefits of some of Saturn’s wisdom as it guess Saturn shows the positive father or the negative father within.  What wisdom can we show to our wounds?  What boundaries can we form around them, the necessary containment that we need to grow wisdom and heal?  All Chiron/Saturn themes close to my heart.

 

A butterfly trapped in the rain

I am reblogging this post as it speaks some deep truths that emerged for me as I faced breast cancer surgery earlier in the year.

Emerging From The Dark Night

The sun is shining outside, the wind is buffeting the leaves on the trees and I have been inside all day twisting around feeling like a caterpillar caught in the chrysalis that cannot get out no matter how hard it tries to form its wings, the wings are damaged or in the process  something happened which did not allow the wings to form properly and so the part caterpillar, part butterfly flaps around on the ground, turning this way and that, unable to take flight.

Last week a friend I went to see Diana Krall perform and she sang a beautiful ballad about a butterfly trapped in the rain. The image was a potent one for me.

This week in therapy I have been exploring the killing energy of my Dad on my soul.  It may seem like a little thing, but it was a huge thing, it was SUCH…

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It’s always summer somewhere

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I had a strong realisation as I was working away in the garden this afternoon.  It occurred to me that summer was the time my father died and that summer then became eclipsed by winter, winter in my soul since I never got to say goodbye and his death was sudden, winter in England where I went a short time after to a dismal room in a barren hostel where day after day I wandered the streets knowing no one, watching movies, shopping and going to galleries.  I can barely bare to feel how empty that time was for the young me on the brink of adulthood with all the tragedy and drama and loss that had gone on for 5 years before with no one to turn to, no familiar faces, no hand to hold, no place to express the confusion and deep grief and emptiness.

Well that time has passed now and here we are in the midst of summer around the same time of year but the memories are there.  They came to me in the garden which was the place my Dad always found peace at the end of the day.  My heart is not in winter every day anymore.  Today I enjoyed some simple pleasures, walking with Jasper in the park, having my morning coffee, going for a lovely swim and feeling the healing power of the water calm my body.  Feeling these simple pleasures gave me gratitude that I have survived so many winters literally and metaphorically and as my grief rose up like a wave and then passed the following words came to me :

Its always summer somewhere

Even when you are in the depths of despair

The summer is still living

In the shadows

Of that pain that loss

And it will come again

Although all seems barren

Don’t stay forever in the hurting place

Reach for what warms you and heals you

And remember

It is always summer somewhere

And in the midst

Of even the darkest winter and despair

Believe

That in time

If you have the courage

To embrace your feelings

And accept the painful truths

In time

Summer will come again.