Some thing special

Something so special happened today.  Mum and I got a visit from my only niece and her son who we see so rarely.   I had had a very close relationship with my niece many years ago but our relationship fell apart due to certain issues which were a cause of such sadness and I was still holding onto some pain and fear.  But today we found out how she has been struggling with her parents and her father, my brother is emotionally unavailable in the extreme and his wife is a very narcissistic person who has caused a lot of pain in our family.   Luckily today my niece was able to unburden some of her pain with Mum before I arrived and to offer her care and love following the lost of her best friend as well.  I wanted to give them as much time alone as I could as I knew how important a relationship between a grandchild and her grandma is.  I was never close to my own grandmother on Mum’s side and only met my other grandmother once when she visited from Holland in 1964 when I was 2 years old.

Arriving to see my niece today I saw all of her beautiful qualities, she is a very gentle, kind, warm and deeply sensitive person and so is her son.   But sadly the pattern of emotional abandonment of our family has meant her son is now abandoned by his own father who wants nothing to do with his son, that is why having a relationship with him is so important now.

It is so sad to me how these patterns tend to carry on in families.  My niece has been struggling for some years and its hard now as she lives a long way from our home town.  I think Mum and I are secretly praying she would come back.    But just to have some time with her today on good Friday was so special.   After leaving her Jasper and I went to have some lunch then went to the park were we caught up with some very lovely friends, the sun was streaming down and there was a gentle breeze and as we sat there I felt so grateful that I had come through a few very tough days last week.   My godmother died just before Easter and my sister’s death anniversary is on the way, but I don’t feel that terrible emptiness and sadness as much this year as I have in last years.  One of the worst was the first years after Jude died, Mum was in hospital and my other sister had major depression.  I remember how suicidal I felt at the time, how some days it was so hard to get out of the house, and I had almost constant panic attacks.

I still had a panic attack this afternoon.  I seem to always get them at the same time of day.  I was remembering some painful things from the past that had occurred.  I am more aware these days when the darkness descends and tries to lay claim to my soul.  My niece was speaking about her own tendency to isolate and I am coming to believe that there is something in our family, a depression that has been carried by the female side.  And its strange this morning at about the time my niece must have been sharing with my Mum I was at home and started to feel very strange then I had a compulsion to clean my house at the same time as feeling the need to get out.  I fell to my knees and I was crying and these words came out of me ‘I want my Mum, I want my Dad”.  I didn’t think about it until just after I left Mum’s place, and she told me of the pain my niece had been sharing.   Had I picked up something psychically?

I hope that my relationship with my niece can start to grow again.  I have missed her very much in my life. I wanted to share about it in my blog as so often I share the painful things but what happened today was such a special Easter gift and I really treasured it.  I actually ended up having a really lovely Good Friday.  I really hope that others out there have had a special Easter too.

Beautiful afternoon

Rest

Beautiful afternoon

You shimmer your golden sunlight radiance

All around me

Colours of green, gold and red

Filling up my consciousness with peace

Soft breeze outside my window

Makes leaves dance

Tinged with early signs of death

As autumn tries to make its presence felt

Arguing with a summer which doesn’t seem to want to end

Here I sit drinking in the bounty

Of life’s creative fire

Stunned

By the beauty and abundance of gifts that surround me

Here within the sacred silence of my heart

I feel the awesome blessing that living is

Raining down its fruits gently

So glad that I have time to notice

And feel gratitude for being alive

So glad that my way of living

Does not rob time

But grants me blessings

Of great abundance

Beauty

And

Love

All ripe for appreciation

Some reflections on gratitude and love

Reblogging a post from Love’s Illusion a moment ago made me aware of how an attitude of gratitude opens my heart to deeper acceptance.  Finding that deeper connection to our sense of gratitude is something we can only do from our own soul.  If we are told to be grateful it often feels like a form of emotional abuse as we are not always in that mindset of acceptance and gratitude.  To me finding my own gratitude is about a revelation that comes after a lot of deeper, harder work at the end of a process where I may have had to suffer through. At the outcome I see things far differently.  Whereas before a sense of love and acceptance was obscured behind a gritty film of resentment or anger or struggle.

Ideally an attitude of gratitude enables us to open up our lungs and breath to fresh air, where as before we may have been holding on tightly as so much had not yet been aerated or processed.   Gratitude only opens once we see a wider vista before us and realise how seeing things from that perspective required an alteration of mindset contingent on other things occurring that we outside of our conscious control.  And often gratitude can be blocked by resistance towards something occurring that is requiring of us a letting go that we may never be fully prepared for. There are always a number of different perspectives we can see from, but to me the real wisdom of altered perspective rests upon me seeing things and understanding things I could not understand before rather than being forced or coerced by someone else to see them in a certain way which is why being told platitudes or fed philosophies from others isn’t really all that helpful and may even make things worse.

At any time we have the choice as to where we place our vision but we also carry deeper truths and knowing in our souls which we can tap into via a spontaneous arising of “ah ha” moments which often come unbidden opening up wells of feeling previously buried that clear the landscape.

For myself today I have been shedding a lot of tears.  I took Jasper out to the park after working most of the morning in the garden.  On our way home we passed past a property being auctioned.  There were a mass of cars and people everywhere.  I stood for a little while listening to the bids before moving on.  By the time I got to the car I was feeling so emotional.  I had a flashback to being about 7 years of age and standing on the lawn in front of our Endeavour Street house while my sister’s piano and other items were being auctioned.  It was a sad event as my mother sold my sister piano without her permission.  When the man came to take the piano, apparently I confronted him and told him it wasn’t his to take.  “That’s my sister’s piano!” I said.  This image and the associated feelings all came to me after I had driven past the auction and it made sense to me of how just two weeks earlier I had been shaking all over as I fronted into the auction for the town house a few suburbs away.

I then came home and put a call into my Mum which was so emotional as well.  Yesterday my sister had taken her to get a mobility walker and she hadn’t been shown much care by the person working at the place, at first they ignored her and then they didn’t give her the required help.  While she was relaying this to me I just had tears streaming down my face.  She then asked me where the contract was for the town house.  “I gave it to your solicitor last week, Mum” I said.  This made me even sadder.  “These patches the doctor has me on make me so confused”, she said.  I am aware that my mother is aging but I was also well aware of my Mum’s young history of emotional neglect too while the entire conversation was going on.  My heart went out to my mother in compassion at the same time as my heart was hurting from feeling deeply and so much certain themes that have carried through.  I was aware of a huge void opening up inside me and of the dark overcast day making my house feel just for an instant lonely and cold.  I was overcome with feelings that if I could just go forward into the new house I could leave the painful history behind me in some way and reach for more connection as I feel my Mum is going to need me more and more as she ages more.

I know these are all just feelings.  And I am not sure how a post that first started on gratitude is related to what I have just written, but on some level I am grateful to be able to open my heart to it all and feel, hard as that is at times.  The soul in me is alive and living and I see that more and more as life goes on.  There is always a lot more going on under the surface than is apparent at times, there are hidden depths to things and in some way with my strong Scorpio Neptune I feel this most particularly around my Mum’s Sun Mercury Saturn Scorpio energy.  I see how I am her evolution living on in time still revisiting so many issues that are both personal and ancestral.  I am grateful that my vision is wide enough to encompass this understanding.   At the base of it all is love and in some way love and gratitude seem to be so closely linked.  Its hard to feel grateful when we are not being loving and loved it is hard to be loving when we don’t feel grateful.  For today I am seeing how deeply these two are so deeply and intrinsically interconnected and how wonderful it feels to be in that open space where real connection is possible.

Gratitude

Ocean

Gratitude

You are a vast expanse opening within me

Where in everything is allowed and flows

A space in which I see so clearly

Where invisible barricades and illusions lived before

Gratitude

You show me that everything happened for a reason

My heart broke apart and ached for a season

A vast dark seemingly endless winter of time

But in time light returned to the places darkness lived

Sucking up all energy in the past

Love you were there under the wreckage

Only asking me to be present to everything

Asking me to open my heart wide enough to see

All the ways in which love was offered

In a way I didn’t understand

The love was always there

But for me it was behind barricades

Once I began to love my pain

I found love in those barren places

A love soft and tender

That healed the aching spots

Within

Gratitude you show me now

Everything happened for a reason

A passing season that in time

Led to spring

Canopy of Green

canopy

Canopy of green

We move underneath you

Feeling ourselves to be

Embraced by an arbour of love

That nature threw over us

Such splendour

That fills the soul

So sorely needed

For barren places

Breed within us a deeper emptiness

And so much of modern life

Burns the green away

Leaving only a pile of smoking ash

War

Wanting

Terror

Conflict

The antidote for this is nature

Peace

Love

Bestowed upon us by a beneficient force

That knows nothing of the terror

Only man makes for himself and his kind

Canopy of green

You soothe Jasper and I

You are a gift from God

One our open hearts celebrate

And give thanks for

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.

 

Breaking free of abandonment and neglect

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I just came back from a walk around the neighbourhood with my dog Jasper, its all so whisper quiet here, not much activity during the day or any sign of other people much at all.  I had returned from town as I felt bad Jasper and I today did not make it to the dog park.  Today I had to put my own needs first.

I have been making a real effort to get up and out before lunch time these days.  I don’t know if its running away or whether it just is that I am trying to make an effort to answer the part of me that needs to be no longer in solitary confinement. Today after a very very hot day we awoke to rain and 13 degrees C.  That is a remarkable drop from 33 which is the temperature that was reached on Tuesday.  As I went quietly about my business in town I was aware of the flurry of activity leading up to Christmas.  I passed a group of about 50 children singing carols and that gave me a little Christmas buzz.  It was a deep joy that I could be out there as part of the human race although nothing about me is into competition or racing about, it was just nice to feel a part of it.

I went to the library and then sat down to eat my takeaway lunch.  I went through my wordpress emails and began to think of those who at this time of year are really struggling and may have their hearts in a deep dark place.  I was overcome with tears and compassion.  I was also grateful to notice that this year, I am no longer in that deep dark lonely wilderness of abandonment depression as I have been on so many other Christmases past.  This year I actually don’t have that deep dark empty disconnection pain deep inside.  I was thinking about this as I returned from my walk because as usual as I was walking about in the neighbourhood I was comparing the state of disrepair of certain parts of my house compared to the lived in loved in places that around here that mostly seem to be taken care of.  I started to judge myself and in that place I started to lose touch with my joy and feeling that I am actually doing so much better these days.

I need to remember the houses that look so good have families living inside them. They have men or a father around about and I don’t have either.  My therapist and I were discussing this absence of the masculine theme around not only me but my entire family on Tuesday as I had a dream where I went looking for the husband of a good friend of mine who is building a house very close to here in the dream and when Jasper and I arrived there was no one there but a maid.  Last week a male friend I thought I had started to develop a relationship with and had promised to be there for me just ignored my texts.  I don’t know what I have done but it really hurt at the time.  And last week it really took me into a dark place but for some reason today it did not.

I have to be on the look out for when I start to project abandonment and neglect onto things outside of me.  I need to remember that there is a very real and painful theme of masculine absence throughout our entire genetic history.  Last weekend I met with my cousin, the daughter of my Dad’s brother and she said that she believes through another cousin that it may have been possible that my father’s father didn’t just die but actually committed suicide.  There have been suicide attempts throughout three generations since then that I know of on Dad’s side, including two in my own family.

I have the Sun Neptune square in my chart, and this also speaks to loss and masculine absence and how that can manifest for me is that I didn’t have that masculine guidance and support in my life much.  Now I need to be on the lookout for when this absence/neglect/abandonment theme starts to replay.  I need to take steps to keep reaching out and being a loving inner father not only to myself but to Jasper as well.  Last week all this sadness about dad’s absence came up with my brother.  He wasn’t capable of responding.  I now see that is because he doesn’t understand how it was to lose his father at 23 and never will.  I lived that and I lived through being left by men 5 more times throughout 30 years since Dad died.  It was such a lot of abandonment and suffering and I do believe I have grieved all of those abandonments over the past 5 years deeply since my last partner decided he didn’t want to be with me any more as I made the decision to support my Mum when she wasn’t well rather than be there with him on his travels.

I think I am finally beginning to come to terms with the fact that although I am on my own I can also choose when not to be.  Taking care of myself means getting up and out when I need to.  It means taking the risk to connect.  It means being able to comfort myself or reach for comfort from those who can be there when I am hurting.  And I now see that the true ongoing abandonment really occurs when we abandon ourselves by not getting to know our own pain and deal with it.  For all of these realisations I am so enormously grateful.  I now know I need never suffer alone.

Containment : The need for emotional containers

The concept and experience of containment is becoming a very important one for me lately.  I am aware that WordPress became for me such a necessary container for feelings , reactions and thoughts I was trying so hard to come to terms just under 3 years ago.  In the six months before I had gone through a painful break with a body therapist only to connect with another therapist who was not (I realise now) able to really offer me the necessary containment for very big feelings that had been locked up inside me for many years.  I underwent a painful sinus operation on the 19th of December and as a result was forced to spend the entire Christmas period alone.  Not one family member was willing to be there for me, they all had other things on their agenda.  It was one of the most painful Christmases of my life.

At that time I stumbled across a very powerful blog site called An Upturned Soul.  I found it by googling Mars transiting the eight house which relates to me for the issue of repressed anger and self assertion.  I came across Ursula’s blog and it just happened to be contain a  lot of writing on the issue being raised by narcissistic parents, or coming out of narcissistic relationships.  To cut a longer story short, Ursula ended up publishing a poem of mine an suggesting that blogging may be a platform or container that I could use to express some of what I was dealing with.  I published my first blog on 28 December 2013.

I was so lucky to have that avenue of expression because in the following year my oldest sister died.  WordPress became the place I could pour out my sadness and pain over the loss of Jude and the confusion over a web of complex and entangled relationships that had been my experience resulting in that painful sinus operation.

Fast forward three years and WordPress has seen me through the ending of one therapy, the starting of another, several attempts at body work and finally the move to a new therapist last year who has been able to finally be the solid workable container for me for just under one year now.  However I feel that without the containment of WordPress and without all the fantastic blogs I have been lucky enough to read and share on, support and receive support from I really do not know how I would have made it through the many times of suicidal depression, loneliness and pain that has formed a core of what I went through in the 3 years since.

Today I feel so very grateful to all of those people who have so kindly followed me and also opened their hearts by sharing comments on some of my postings.  I feel so grateful to those who in the depths of their own pain and agony have found the courage to open up and express how it really is and was for them.   The truth is we need each other.  The deepest wounds that happen to us happen to us in relationship, therefore it is really only through finding loving, empathetic relationships that the possibility for deep healing opens up for us.  Sure enough the deep work we do to feel our feelings and own our emotional truth often takes place alone and in silence, however on WordPress many of us find a platform through which to express that pain, a container into which we can pour it all out so that the pain and poison no longer stays trapped in our bodies and souls.

We so badly need these kind of containers, especially at a time of year when deep pain over wounds due to lack of connection can and does open up.  I don’t think it is unrealistic to say that an antidote for that void can be found here.   So everyone lets keep supporting and loving each other through the so called “silly season”, let us also honour how far we hae travelled in the past year to arrive here.

Grateful for this awareness

A swirling wind whipped around Jasper and I today as I braved the elements to sit outside after our park visit to have morning coffee.  There was a flash of fear as the umbrella above us moved on its axis and threatened to topple.  Earlier there had been a conversation at the park about how the fear of loss may stop us doing or going after something that may gladden our heart.  My thought was, as painful as loss is, its better to live and embrace life accepting the unpredictability of endings and see them as portals to the new, dark passages that we all have to travel through at different times of our lives.  But saying that I am not at all sure that that is how I have confronted and faced my own buried grief and fear in the past.

I think its true that fear can dog us and we may not even recognise it is what is motivating us.  I opened up a book on recovering from Borderline Personality Disorder the other day when cleaning the bookshelf at my place which is an actual memoir.  In in the author was being challenged by her therapist to see the part fear had been playing in her struggles with life. What came out of it was that the fear she had was related to deep fears of loss of control.  The control issues she had were all to do with her fear of fully living and embracing not only the crazy unpredictability of life at times but also the deeper fear of fully opening her heart to joy.  I must say reading it stopped me in my tracks.  I recognised myself.

I had a moment today reading someone else’s blog of seeing where I have at times hovered on the threshold this person crossed a few months back.  The benefits she is gaining are tremendous.  I then proceeded to beat myself up, which is never a very effective way of growing or changing.  Before we can take any action to change we have to become aware and that awareness may be blocked in some way.  And it doesn’t really help to compare ourselves with someone else.  My therapist reminds me all the time about how hard I can be on myself.  I am still aware though when I hover on the brink of change and feel fear and allow this fear to hold me back.

Today I am grateful that I can see it.  I am also grateful for something that was pointed out in the book on recovery from narcissistic family backgrounds I have been reading this weekend. It concerned the issues of choice and decision making.  One of the problems of being raised in a family where your reality was not validated is that you find it hard to make decisions.  You can also (unconsciously) adopt a false self, if the real self or you was shamed or invalidated.  This kind of upbringing distances you from your own feeling wants and needs and may lead you to make choices where you fail or for things that don’t suit you, but the failure or mistaken choice was most probably an outgrowth of the fact you hadn’t chose what was true for your soul.  You may then beat yourself up about it.

I could really relate to this and it filled me with a sense of hope, for I could see that even though its taken years I am far more aware of what brings me joy, I am far more aware of the inner voice that beats me up when I choose to go for what I want and I am far more prepared to risk looking foolish through remaining authentic.  I know there will be times I go back into fear and step back from thresholds I need to pass through.  But I also know that now there is no one to blame most especially myself, but the buck stops here and I need to take responsibility for the outcome of how I do choose if I am in full conscious awareness of my choices.  This feels liberating and healing for me.

Part of everything

1-1

I seem to be tapping into a very deep level of connection and connectedness lately.  Deep feelings seem to just be rising up and flooding the landscape of my being but not in a way that is overwhelming, rather in a way that is washing away barricades in my heart.  It just occurred to me as I put finger to keyboard that Venus has passed into Scorpio recently and will soon cross over my natal Neptune in the third house.  Scorpio shows where we desire to connect deeply, Neptune is the energy through which we experience a loosening of boundaries between ourselves  and the universe.

My sister who passed way just over 2 years ago has felt very, very close to me recently and I am making attempts too to connect to my living sister with whom I have had a difficult relationship at times.  This all feels like deep Scorpio territory, I am feeling the longing to connect that at times I have erected powerful defences against due to past hurts and misunderstandings.

Today I met my sister in town for lunch and then on coming home I took Jasper to the park.  We  have been having torrential rain here over the past 36 hours and everything has been washed clean, the rich colours of the earth, pine needles and grass were shining so intensely. I had a sense of the present moment being SO present and to me, I was in touch with it.  Those who do not suffer with PTSD will not understand how rare these kind of moments can be.

It is interesting to me that at that exact moment deep fear came up, as my sister and I had been talking about breast cancer and the group of survivors she is involved with had several people they know diagnosed recently with secondary cancers.  Apparently when the secondaries come and the cancer spreads to other organs or places in the body then the cancer is always terminal.  I had a deep fear that this could happen to me.

At the exact same moment I heard an inner voice saying to me, ‘Don’t worry, part of you will never die, you will just change form  and you will become then a part of everything.”  I had an even deeper realisation that this is, in fact, true.  I would still be so sad to leave this earth though and that is a big thing to say for someone who has had a lot of suicidal depression over the years.

It is hard to put into words the realisations that are opening up in me, the sense of connectedness I am feeling to all of my feelings, and the forgiveness I have been feeling in my heart lately as well as the gratitude for even the painful times.  I am also so grateful for the fact that these days I can grieve deeply and then when those feelings have passed I actually feel a joy and peace that I have never really known before.

I am so grateful for the slow dusky evenings that are extending out as spring slowly arrives, for the beautiful songs I am listening to, for time spent sitting stroking my dog and for the gift of his unfailing presence in my life, for the ability to make a dinner of beautiful ingredients provided by the earth, and for the gift of blogs and books to read which connect me to the lives of others and their experiences, thoughts, struggles, fears, successes, insights and learning.  These things help me to understand how much we share and how no experience we go through is wrong or foreign or meaningless.  Each experience and every experience and emotion has an important place or part to play in this vast, complex and rich tapestry of human life.  And I feel grateful most of all that I can feel this deep gratitude, that the feelings of anger and resentment I carried for so long are now being washed clean, or burned in the fire that I feel in my body when grieving is doing its work.

This current transformation seems a kind of miracle to me and makes me believe that acceptance is finally deepening for me.  I feel that my body has opened to enough pain and released enough defences now to enable the true soul within me to shine through and fully inhabit my body once more.  My soul is no longer in exile and somewhere deep within me I know without a doubt that I am connected, that I am loved and that I belong.