The heart that welcomes you

Heart

The heart that welcomes you here

Should have been your mother’s heart

A heart open to love

Without a locked door

With all feeling sealed shut inside it

With a door bared by rage

That now becomes massive compulsive cleaning

Never giving you a place to rest

Driven out of your body and your mind

Your innocent body begins to hurt

And so you seek succour in substances

Substances become the warm heart of the mother

Absent for years that welcomes you home

But over years that heart grows cold

And you find no rest

Within this icy kingdom

That draws you in with false promises

It will be a journey over a wasteland of ice

That finally leads you to the place

Where you can light an inner fire

To thaw the traumas

And terrible heartbreaks

That froze your soul

Don’t go towards the coldness now, love

Stay here by the simple fire

You are lighting within

Tend your own flame and hearth

Until it becomes a raging bonfire

Of love

And you can find a heart

Within your heart

That welcomes you home

The cold shut down thing that narcissism is was never your fault

I get a bit triggered by recovery rage in terms of narcissistic abuse/recovery.  I still have a spot of compassion for the narcissist somewhere and when I think about it why should this be?  They act hurtfully without any care for our feelings putting their own needs first at every turn and then can act shaming and disparagingly towards us at the end when they dump and discard and blame us the victim who fell for it over and over and over again nurturing the seed they planted that some where, some how there was some fatal flaw with us.

Really it would be right to be raging mad and show no forgiveness.  But maybe the one we most need to show forgiveness for in this situation is ourselves.  If we continue to feel sorry for and or make excuses for the narcissist it will end up badly and we can and do feel ashamed for not having seen or for sacrificing our own tenderness and hurt on the alter of their devaluation or abuse.

The freedom for us only comes when we have the courage to walk away with our wounded heart.  We need to find those who will nourish our heart and help us to deal with the fallout.  I look sadly back on where I ended up around this time of year six years ago when the narcissist dumped me.  I had moved in with him, reluctantly and then accompanied him away on trip that I didn’t enjoy, sacrificing my own needs for his the whole way along.  I was not a victim as I chose to go because I had the empty hungry heart that was full of unresolved need from childhood and so many other ‘dumpings’.  Come to think of I it now I never had one partner who really every connected to me emotionally and I am sure that at the time of those other partnerships I was so scared of being hurt due to my past that I had massive defences in place against being hurt again and so at the first whiff of abandonment I would act out.   I now see in those earlier relationships before I got into recovery I too was emotionally unavailable.

Anyway this time six years ago I ran back to Sydney driving all night in my car ending up with a narcissistic relative who then kicked me out. I had a disastrous attempt at online dating, well not totally disastrous as I actually met a couple of good guys who treated me well, but at that point the wounds the narcissist had planted in me where growing into plants of pain that twisted their tendrils around all of my internal organs and made it impossible to sustain a new, loving connection.  And then sadly the realisation began to dawn that this was a deep wound that needed to be tended and healed from within, not outside.

I am so grateful that I eventually found myself a good therapist and for blogging and online information and support which really pulled me through.  But I also now know that a therapist only takes us so far in this healing, in the end it is our deepest self that needs to step in to love us and make us know that we were never worthy of the kind of abuse we had to put up with in the narcissistic relationship.  We didn’t fall for it because we were stupid, we fell for it because we longed for love but it seems to me we were naïve when we fell for the bait in that we had no reference for what a narcissist could do to us our of their injured self.  Because we have pure hearts that want to give and love that kind of thing is not on our radar and when it hits us out of left field we are punch drunk.

Come to think of that analogy when I first spent the night with my ex narc I got really dizzy.  It was the most bizzare energetic thing. I had been sober for 14 years at that point and I actually felt drunk.  I was so spun out by his energy that I got out of bed and then fell down and hit my head on the bedside table, that was the first of three ‘falls’ or going unconscious that I had in that relationship.  I wont go into all the ins and outs of the others on here but its clear to me many years later that something intense was going on energetically.

My ex narc had deep wounds.  He was deeply defended against grief.  Expressions of grief or compassion could send him ballistic.  For me to be with someone like that was impossible due to the grief I was carrying from all the hurt of my past.  I look back on those dark lonely painful years that led me into that relationship, of the accident I had had only 2 years before as a result of pain over the ending of my marriage when it proved to be deeply emotionally unsupportive and see how much my deeper self was trying to tell me something was wrong. For years coming out of the later relationship I blamed myself, if only I had done something different it would not have ended that way and the narc reinforced this view in email after email.  I now know that is DEFINATELY NOT TRUE.

I was only ever an innocent child longing for love, but that child also had to mature to understand that the world is full of pain and those who have been irrefutably deadened and damaged by it. There is no magic cure for narcissism.  For the narcissist to heal they would have to face depths in themselves which they rarely can.  So if you escaped and survived, please do not do what I did for over 4 years, do not blame yourself.  Do get informed on narcissism and learn about their damage, know it wasn’t anything you did or didn’t do or could or couldn’t change.  For in the end it was a learning experience; a  bitter, painful and excrutiating one for sure but one that led to a deeper darker education of your soul. The only one you have any power over is you and you need all of your power to heal and recover the wounds left by the narcissistic relationship.

Let down your hair, together

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Let down your hair

So it becomes the river

Along which you travel

Full of a thousand dreams

A vast midnight deep sky

Filled with stars of light

Night now has left this place

And there is no need for you to dwell now

In darkness

In loneliness

In sorrow

Can you hear

The calling beneath the words

All the things he could not say

Could you feel his burning

Your burning was the same

You both carried that similar pain

Of loss of leaving

It never fully leaves you

But that is the past

And now

Together you can travel

Along a river of light

Leaving behind night and the dark wood

Of ancestral sorrow

Driven deep

And find a new home

And family

Together

(for my beautiful nephew, G)

Some things can’t always be forgiven

Some injuries and abuse are so bad, I believe it is both cruel and unrealistic to even suggest they be forgiven and forgotten totally.  Some pain caused us by evil unconscious people is so deep, it can take years to come terms with.  We live in a quick fix superficial society that espouses the idea that we always move onwards and upwards, but what if healing actually requires we move backwards and downwards, later to rise or emerge with more of our soul in tact for having embraced the depths, gaining resilience from our attempts to fully own, embrace and embody our legitimate anger, fear and pain without denying or minimising it in the face of someone’s invalidation and platitudes?

I moved away from A A meetings many years ago after being told anger was one of the seven deadly sins.  This just didn’t sit well with me, for anger is really a cry from deep within that something unjust, cruel or diminishing has been done to us.  A hallmark of a dysfunctional childhood is not being allowed our true feeling instinctual responses, nor our legitimate protest, and being shamed for them.  The result is the development of what John Bradshaw and others have called ‘shame bound feelings’.  Shame bound feeling become difficult to embrace or accept and we often turn them within creating real problems later in life.  Without legitimate anger we cannot know our boundaries nor self protect when needed.  We lose power, become sad or depressed and disempowered, we may legitimise or minimise abuse.

To be told we can only fully move on or heal when we forgive is just not true.  In some cases we have to firmly and resolutely shut the door on damage.  We will never come to a time or place where the hurt is fully gone but in time with work and courage to face our true responses I do believe many hurts lessen and we become strong in the formerly broken places.  Our hurt contains a message for us we just must listen to.

There are times in healing we find ourselves back in hell.  Times when we feel so heavy we do not know if we can face another day, days when ending it all seems the only solution to ease the pain, but my firm experience is if we just stay with these dark days and fully bear the weight and truth in time we can and do emerge again with more of our soul available.  We can and do emerge from the fire of felt anger burned clean.  We do emerge from feelings of sadness cleansed.  We can emerge from the painful yet liberating dark night experience of this process with more of our light and spirit available to us.

We may then and only then be ready to let go of certain things, if that is what our soul requires for further healing and growth.

A super full moon in Taurus

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It is just shy of midnight here in Oz.  I got at settled for sleep but there was energy moving and spiraling around me.  Usually I get to bed at 10ish but I have noticed the past few nights how active my mind and heart has been.  Poetry has been flowing thick and fast (far more than I have posted here) and the depths of sadness seem to have been scoured which is very much Scorpio, Pluto territory which collectively we inhabit and journey into at this time of year.

When the full moon shines it is reflecting the solar light or energy from that domain, we have old ghosts close to us, apparently this includes the ancestors or ancestral imprints we may carry.   Old issues in the collective that we may be working through or working out.  And with Moon in the sign of the body, self value and deep instictual nature its a great time to draw towards nature in quiet contemplation to hear what deeper truths and messages are whispering to us from within, stirring in deep in our souls.

For myself I feel poised on a threshold of change, lately.  Over the past few years so many deep emotions have been processed.  I’ve got a good look into self doubt patterns as well as my tendency to self criticise at times and judge myself too harshly, now the Moon is saying go easy, value yourself, value your growth, appreciate all the gifts that are being revealed from the hard work of seeds planted over the past year of therapy with the person who can most deeply reflect and hold up a true mirror to my real self.  Stay in touch with the reality that lives deep within your body and soul.  Be true to that body and self and instincts and being, to the deepest essence of you.  Stay in touch with your true nature.

A year ago I made a tough decision to leave a therapist who didn’t suit me, we had a major conflict around this time.  I am in a far stronger place now having made that decision.  This is where trust and self value comes from (Venus/Taurus issues), coming to trust and know our own instincts and needs, seeing the terrible price of sacrificing them, all this leads us on to self empowerment.  And I am seeing that empowerment in the posts of many bloggers, those seeking to bring attention to the way others and they suffer in a world that does not show empathy or deeper insight into their struggles, ways in which they are finding strength through navigating their vulnerable places.

I feel this full moon bodes well. The moon is appearing larger on our horizons, is this a metaphor for the power of our feelings gaining strenght for good and ill?   In the end Scorpio’s ruler Pluto shows we need to take an underworld journey to heal. We are challenged to enter the depths and do the inner cleansing of old hurts and injuries and programming that hold us back and dull our spirits, but we are also challenged to let go of old pain and see where resentment can keep us stuck.  Venus rules the Moon at this lunation which shows that when we shine the light of self value and self acceptance on ourselves facing this territory can be less painful and we have the choice to either amplify the negative and fester in disempowerment or see and acknowledge the courage and strength it took for us to be vulnerable and face the truth, painful as it is.  We cannot fool Pluto.    Our hard lessons were in some way either the making or undoing of us.

Phew feeling tired now the full moon is nearly exact, here.  Full moon blessings to everyone, may Venus the sacred feminine energy within and around you surround you with love and fill your hearts and souls with a strong sense of value, nurture and comfort.

 

The hurt you placed in me

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The hurt you placed in me

Was never mine

It was yours

You made me bleed from deep cuts

And then tried to imply it was I

Who sharpened the razor

This is the double cut

Liar

But as long as I hold onto this

I will keep bleeding

And now I want that flow to stop

So here is the bandage

I place around my hurting places

Love

Tenderness

Unconditional friendliness

Compassion

Care

Self soothing

And the undoing of the lie you told

That I bought it upon myself

I kept telling myself that

Over and over

It wasn’t true

And as long as I hang onto that lie

I am never free

And the lie becomes my truth

I don’t want or need that any more

So now I must stop lying to myself

Take back my power

Set myself free

And let this hurting heart

Heal

Be different – the problem I meet when trying to express myself

Loneliness

A big lot of sadness happened to me today talking to my Mum.   I was open to her own lonely girl from the past, but also to the love she has for me.  Its been hard to feel this love, for in many ways Mum doesn’t want me to be where I am.  She doesn’t want me to be sad and in pain, but I am and she doesn’t want these things because she loves me and wishes it were different.  But when she wishes this, she cannot really  be with me truly where I am today.  But you know what?  This doesn’t make me angry today, and I can feel my Mum’s love.  There is a silence and space on the phone and I know I am giving voice and expression to all the pain she doesn’t want to face or feel, or even say is real.

This sadness is over so many things and I would be lying if I say it is all about what others have done to me over my life, when the truth is some of it is also about what I have done to myself and others through being disconnected at times and being forced into disconnection and dissociation at times due to trauma.

Trauma made me feel that the only safe space to be was within my cocoon.  And certainly when we have been physically or emotionally overwhelmed or traumatised we need space to heal and rest.  But we also need connection and comfort.  These things are as essential to our healing as air.

Sometimes the worst place to stay is folding up inside of ourselves and disconnected, but how can we trust if we reach out that we wont meet the same trauma, the same invalidation, the same abuse?  The truth is, we do not know what we will meet on any day, out there in the world but still I know that I need to keep reaching at times for connection, and that I can also know that as long as the deeper connection with myself is not broken I will be able to maintain my self, soul and emotional integrity.  Do others have the power to hurt me when I am in this place?  Maybe so but I will have the inner tools to deal with it.  And if I don’t remain permanently folded in and disabled I will have the strength to assert a boundary when necessary and grow stronger.

When I stay permanently disabled and immobilised by trauma I don’t develop the muscles to push against what is wrong and assert for what I need.  Trauma on some level involves a disabling of the will and power we have as beings of integrity.   When I stay permanently immobilised I cannot reach for what is healthy, healing and good, that which fills up my spirit rather than depletes it. And I cannot free the expression of deeper truths and feelings that must flow out if I am to heal my disconnection and loneliness.

Today with my Mum I tapped into deep pain.  I could not have it validated but that was okay.  I was glad to be able to shed the tears I needed to shed, the tears that when held back keep me barricaded in a fortress of safety that can begin to feel like a prison within which the beating pulsing flow of my heart and soul remains dammed up and constricted, blocking love, blocking spirit, blocking light.  I don’t want that anymore.  I cannot live like that any more.

Unhooking from the Narcissist : Our journey in the Wilderness

I am not as preoccupied with narcissists and narcissism recently as I was for all of those confusing, painful years when I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on with my last romantic partner and my families responses to my own grief and emotional pain over years.

Learning about my own emotional neglect from childhood which I have shared about in other posts helped me to see how I was set up for this kind of relationship by an unmet and unfulfilled pit of emotional hunger and need.  Finally finding myself a completely emotionally available therapist who is capable of 100 percent empathy has helped me enormously and without this I may still have been left alone starving in a lonely cold wilderness of confusion, repressed anger, thwarted longing and self blame, which is where a lot of us carrying these kinds of wounds end up.

In the past  I have thought of this situation as being like a hungry dog starving for scraps and yesterday I read just such a description of the same thing on another blog.  Reading about other people’s struggles to unhook, the utter pain and desolation of finally recognising that we are powerless to effect any change or get much in the way of recognition from those whose love, attention and respect we longed for I am filled with compassion, but a part of me also is anxious for them to unhook, knowing the back lash that comes when we try repeatedly to engage and point out what is happening to them.  In the long run frustration and the bitter pain of repeated disappointment and outrage is the bitter medicine we must swallow in order to learn how essential it is for our emotional health and sanity to unhook.

In this quest it helps enormously to have somewhere we can go to vent the pain.  The narcissists in our life won’t hear us, and in fact we will be blamed or made to feel ashamed for trying to point out how their lack of empathy is wounding us.  This does not mean that we should not express how we feel to them.  Their response to our attempts to do this may make some change, in some cases. In other cases we will be hurt again and our quest to be heard will fall on deaf ears.  Painful as this is it will show us who and what we are really dealing with and help us in the boundary creating process which is our first line of defence against investing in further painful relationships where old patterns are repeated.

In her book on emotional neglect  Running on Empty, therapist Jonice Webb helps us to learn to develop the skills of  connecting with and learning to express our emotions.  Tapping into our feelings is the most important tool we have to deal with the painful consequences of being raised in families and by people where true emotional expression of all the feelings of our true self were not permitted or blocked in some way.

Jonice recommends that when we have any painful emotional encounter we need to speak about it with someone and unpack the feelings.  This is where I do believe sites and blogs which give us air time are so important, most especially if we are struggling in the wilderness alone and without close friends or a good therapist.  We need someone as we cannot heal totally in isolation and there is a saying in recovery circles “we are only as sick as our secrets”.

I was helped in my own recovery online at a very critical time of pain when I found an wonderful blog by an adult child of narcissistic parents late in 2013 who was a long way along in her own healing process.  She kindly published a poem I had written about the past most recent painful relationship with a narcissist on her own site and then recommended I start blogging myself.

I was deeply unsure how my writing would be received but I made a tentative beginning and when my oldest sister died I was so grateful to have a place I could pour out all of the grief.  At that stage I was struggling to find a good consistent therapist.  I was carrying a huge bag of unresolved trauma and rage, much of it turned in upon myself for feeling I had failed in not recognising how stuck I had been in unhealthy relationships and how poor my own inter personal boundaries were.  I had a lot of work to do to learn to love and forgive myself for wounds that were compounded and were never my own fault in the beginning.

I feel so blessed now to know I am a long way along the road of healing.  I can now recognise red flags.  I am able to set boundaries.  I have made several attempts to express and process my pain with family members.  The first reactions were typical of narcissists but in the end when I held my boundaries my experience has been that there have been some changes.  My only remaining sister actually apologised to me a year or so ago.  Other attempts to address pain have not gone so well and I have been blamed, but by holding firm and refusing to engage in their ‘change back’ tactics I have been able to unhook.  I can now even laugh at things that would have sent me into a rage just over a year ago. In short I feel I have reclaimed my life and my energy through the tough process of mourning, raging, being confused, spun about then reconnected at a deep level with my own emotional truth.

I am very proud of the fact that I have managed just over a month’s break now from my therapist.  She has been sending me a little email every week, which is what I asked for when she left.  I am getting very excited as we will be meeting tomorrow afternoon and there is so much to share with her.

I think this break has been important as I have had so much loss, there have been so many times others have walked away from me and there has been no way to process that pain or resolve things.  Katina’s return after this break will be a reminder to my soul that leavings don’t always necessarily result in endings.  Thought I know in time my therapy will end, I will always have the good Katina inside me, that fully loving consistent presence that my mother could not be due to her own wounds and history.  I cannot fully express how this relationship has helped me.  It is easier to unhook from what is unhealthy when we have a healthy place to go, that is what I have learned.

Family scapegoats who carry the rejected feelings get sent out into the wilderness, or we have to escape there to find some kind of safety and connection, even if it is only with ourselves and the terrible pain of our w0unded and torn about insides.  In that wilderness a lot of healing can happen for us if we seek it in the right places (and we may have to go to a lot of wrong places on that journey too).

In that wilderness many of us come home to the starving child or ravenous hungry dog inside of us that needs so much succour, nurturing, feeding, empathy, self soothing and healing.  And hopefully in that wilderness we find other scapegoats too, those who understand and mirror our wounds, those who help the wounded scapegoat to recognise they we not ugly ducklings but a beautiful swans still seeking that true family and place of belonging which is the true home of our soul and can only be found deep within and in fecund rather than desolate places.

Learning to fly : remembering to shine

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Part of me feels the fear of the fledgling bird that has still not tested its wings, to know or trust their strength. And part of me knows that until the fledgling tries to fly for the first time and continues trying it will not develop that skill or strength.

I just spoke to my Mum and when I came off the phone and read back my post the Ocean and the Drop I was aware that my soul is preparing to let go.  There is so much I have gone through, so much to have worked through.  There are so many ways I have held on.  So many times I was beckoned by my soul away to another journey but something deeply unresolved or unsolved in me drew me back to this place of family.  Now I am aware that my Mum is trying to prepare us for the fact that soon she wont be here any more and though I go through frustrations with my Mum and at times she becomes the all bad, rejecting mother, that is not really the sum total of who my Mum is, it’s just who she becomes in the painful moments when I am not mirrored.  We are separate beings..

I don’t think any one person of us is just one person.  I do think within us there are many different parts of self, rhythms, moods, desires and impulses.  I most certainly experience this in my mother.  Her mother part is just one part of her.  There are other parts of her, maybe many other parts she wishes she could have lived, just as there are these parts in me and all of us.

There is my mother’s child self which I think with age in some way draws closer to the surface of her being. For me this child self is the part of my Mum I feel I can see most clearly at times.  I relate to it and at times carry its wounds and deficits  : the shyness, insecurity  and reticence, some feelings of inadequacy as well as its strengths, the courage, the compassion, the part that loves to give to others, the part that loves her family, loves beauty and art, music and dancing, the part that is creative and warm, the part that is quite intelligent but never had its intelligence fully recognised or fostered.  So many different parts.

As I reflect on this today I am aware of just how I am living the journey onward not only of my mother’s unlived life, but of my father’s too.  There is a part of each of them in me, but there is also a part of my soul that is uniquely mine, a part that has its own dreams and ideas, a part that didn’t really find a good home in this particular family with these particular parents, but had essential soul lessons to learn even from that.  There is a part of me that is courageous and bold, that knows it can fly but there is also a part that fears it won’t stay airborne in flight but drop to the ground.  And maybe I must not rush this process, slowly, invisibly, incrementally I am growing, transforming, shedding and embodying.

I feel quite emotional at the moment.  I feel quite a profound mixture of sadness and joy.  I feel a sense of promise.  I am beginning to feel that the pain of the past is just one part of me and it isn’t the largest part, but it is a large part of me that I am being called to express and shed.  I know I will always carry the sadness of my losses but I do feel I am integrating them and they are making me strong.

I remember reading something an astrologer lecturing at the Centre for Psychological Astrology talked about in one of her seminars.  She said that each of us has a wounded part of us but we also have a place deep within that is not at all touched by any of these wounds or wounding experiences.  This is the part of us that can watch everything burn to the ground and remain unphased.  It is the part of us that just make the decision to leave the wounded part behind for a time to go off on adventures and find freedom from bondage or burdens.

Perhaps some of us only get access to this deeper part of our souls when we have done the necessary work with the wounded part to break free and wash clear and clean the wounds that have prevented the deeper spirit or soul from us in shining.  We have to break free from this conditioning that tries to limit us, to keep us in cages, that stops us from flying and burning bright.

It seems to me there are deep killing, hostile, wounding energies in our culture, forces that don’t want us to shine and yet it seems it is up to each of us to break free from or ignore these if we truly want to live free, happy, serene lives.  In some way we internalise these fears which can hold us back and which others can project on us.

Living free may not mean being pain free but maybe it may mean not turning our pain into unnecessary suffering.  For if we buy into collective myths which tell us we are not good enough or that our gold lies outside of ourselves we get lost and lose touch with our essence that essential part of our soul that must shine if it is to be true to itself and live with joy in this life.

I have only just started the first chapter on Thursday I bought the book What If This is Heaven by Anita Moorjani.  It is about what Anita learned both from her near death experience as well as the events that followed as she began to write and teach about it and her miraculous cure from lymphoma the cancer that was killing her prior to her NDE.

She expresses the thoughts that much of what we learn or are taught actually keeps us from happiness and truth.  It blinds us to our inner light.  The truth is that our essence is love, it comes from love and its true purpose is love.  This love is not conditional on us being or doing anything else than purely expressing the unique soul that we are.  Many of us were not taught this.  We were not loved unconditionally.  We were raised by or impacted upon by unconscious others who had their own wounds, biases and conditioning.

Many of us believe or have been taught that this real, true self is not enough. Anita herself was bullied severely at school, she had parents who didn’t affirm her.  As an Indian woman she was taught she was inferior.  She came to believe who she was was inherently flawed by all of this.  What was revealed to her during her NDE was that it was these beliefs which led her to develop cancer.  On the other side she met a force of love that was beyond anything she had ever felt or known on earth.

Her cancer was terminal, but when she died and passed over to the spirit side she had the opportunity to come back and she had an immediate and spontaneous remission.  I wont go into any more of her journey here as you can read about it yourself, but I do believe she has a powerful message.  I will close this blog with the poem she wrote which heads up her book, it says things to me I often feel as well as things I believe so many of us need to hear in this life.  Her message is often rejected but she lives its truth.  She lives in a way in which she never allows outer voices to block her to listening to her inner guidance system with helps her to find the truth within, that voice that got blocked by all of her conditioning.

When I was born into this world

The only things I knew were to love, laugh, and shine my light brightly.

Then as I grew, people told me to stop laughing

“Take life seriously,” they said,

“If you want to get ahead in this world.”

So I stopped laughing

People told me, “Be careful who you love

if you don’t want your heart broken.”

So I stopped loving.

They said “don’t shine your light so bright

As it draws too much attention to you.”

So I stopped shining

And became small

And withered

And died

Only to learn upon death

That all that matter in life

Is to love, laugh and shine our light brightly!