Some times it just doesn’t work out

Its so hard when a relationship ends.  If you didn’t choose it and the one leaving sited all kinds of reasons why it couldn’t work and they name your part in it, just remember that is just one side of the story.  Relationships ask a lot of us.  I believe the difficult ones can often be about dark or wounded places in us that may not have had a chance to see the light of day.  Some relationships are ones in which we attract someone who carries some of our shadow, that hidden dark side of ourselves that we may have learned to be ashamed of or have a difficult time living.  I have been in several relationships where I carried the wounded feminine or shadow of the guy I was dating.  Of course when it ended they ended up blaming me, even though I did my best.  There were parts of themselves they did not want to face and like it or not people go into relationships with all kinds of agendas that can be hidden underneath the so call desire for love.  Just because you contributed some issues that were problematic doesn’t mean the entire relationship ending was all your fault or that it was all the other person’s fault.

When we have a relationship with a narcissist, someone who doesn’t want to own vulnerability or face parts of themselves its likely at the ending we will be blamed in some way.  We may even side with the person blaming us at the end and end up feeling entirely worthless.

I am not meaning here to imply that I or you did not contribute faults or flaws in relationship, but in a healthy relationship where both partners want to do the work of being emotionally available and open to each other it should be possible to work things through.   Being able to say you are sorry when you made a mistake, not coming over all bullet proof and defensive when wounds or early injuries are triggered, these are some of the things that can challenge and be challenging but that you work through and try to work with in a healthy relationships.  There needs to be a willingness from both sides to see the other person’s side and things from their point of view.

Then there times that we meed the right person at the wrong time or the relationship in which we find out that sadly, in the end we wanted different things.  Or then there is the relationship where someone for some reason falls out of love, projections are withdraw and placed onto someone else.

When this happens naturally we grieve.  If we have a lot of earlier losses they may be triggered and we may need help with our grief work.  Relationships fail for all kinds of reasons but just remember it isn’t always your fault, even when there are lessons to learn.  Maturity helps us to let go with grace and just say, sorry this time it just didn’t work out and I let you go with love.  If you are being blamed, attacked or shamed or dumped with all the responsibility, just remember that may say more about the other person’s lack of maturity and self awareness.

 

The hurts inside that won’t let go

AB.png

Sometimes the hurts inside that won’t let go Suck on our insides Like a parasite We turn our pain over and over And that shard of glass That cut us so painfully to ribbons Pierces us again We rail at a universe that doesn’t seem to want to know or understand And perhaps we even feel ashamed That it all happened That we suffer as we do

What can we do When all those we turn to will only deny the truth?  Do we turn against our true inner self and inner knowing in forgetting Or shut it down and tell ourselves lies to ease the pain? Or can we dig so deep for that loving containing presence that is so much larger than us That earth mother who can hold us While we cry or rage?

Do we give our pain over to her Or hold on even tighter Cutting ourselves to ribbons? Or can we lay down That terrible burden All those thing which over time we were so powerless over?

Our hurting hurt so much and often memories or visions of it come again. Can we let the memories or vision in and say : hello visitor from the past I know your restless aching contours so deeply and profoundly But now I say rest here with me a while Hurting me more now is neither helpful nor kind

In my mind you say so many things to protect me : Hold back Don’t trust How do you know you won’t be hurt again? But these are the old stories that keep defences in place Pray dear hurt lay your burden down So that my fearful anxious heart, my body my being and mind can be free to live and love again

A day to myself

Today’s posts aren’t in any kind of order.  I write a lot more than I post and this one was from yesterday.  The critic often reminds me a lot of what I write is just for me and at times its verbal diatribe, its the working out of inner processes and then the critic doesn’t want it posted to bore other’s senseless or remind them how self obsessed I am.  But followers that’s the critic for you and the way he is  (yes, my critic is male and I call him Mr A!)  Anyway I am going to post this anyway.  Not to say the critic is all wrong by the way!

What a day.  I have moved through so many feelings and states today.  Dusk will be soon with us and Jasper is looking longingly out of the lounge room window as he does on the rainy days when we don’t get out.  Today for the first day in ages I stayed in my PJ’s until about 3 pm.  I didn’t eat until later and I watched part of a movie in between writing and crying and thinking and dreaming and doing a bit of house work.

I am aware of all the back forward, in out, wrong right swings my mind is doing at present.  At one moment I am aware of the pain in my heart over losses that I feel has immobilised me locked me away from others and sometimes shut them out.  At another I am aware that my pain needed a witness and on this score I was let down.  I then got to reading one of my old diaries from the before my husband and I separated and I see how I was struggling with a lot of dis-satisfaction and thoughts of leaving him.  I was also writing all the time, withdrawing deeply into my inner world, exchanging deep emails with a good friend who was very interested in similar things to me such as dreams, astrology symbology, writing and evolutionary history as well as the battle between love and hate love and fear that was raging at that time around the outset of America’s decision to invade Iraq and look for weapons of mass destruction.

I wrote in my journal that I had been crying over a news story in which it told of how the spine of a young child was shattered by enemy fire.  I had then had a dream of a crustacean with a shattered spine and I was starting to explore how the illness of my sister had had such a powerful effect but I was trying to do all of this in isolation in a place where I should not at that time have been living.

Anyway then I got a bit of a fit of the blues about how my ‘life is going nowhere’.   Fact is I had an interior day and when negative brooding thoughts like this come to visit its better to not engage too much.  I just made a cup of tea.  I am feeling a little guilty about not walking the dog but today I don’t feel like going out at all.  It was a huge few days after my nephew’s visit with his family, which really brings up the past.  I was so aware of how powerfully I get pulled on by this traumatic past and how little of my energy is actually in present time.  I have not heard back from his brother after two attempts to call and I cried about that : tears of actual acceptance, which felt good.   Sometimes the best thing to do is let go and move on.  Sadly its not what I have done for most of the past 10 years and at the moment I am seeing the cost of that.  I am seeing how it is frustrating for others.  But the truth is I have had a lot of grief and loss.  It is not something to ‘move on’ from easily.

As my therapist often points out the work I am doing in therapy is about a mid life process of reckoning with the past that takes time.  Its just that next year I am anxious to find a way to externalise in my life more.  I want to be out and interacting with other people, just not sure in what avenue and then even as I write that I am aware that as an introvert I will always be primed to turn within.   Self acceptance is so important, as we can so often judge ourselves and hear inner voices telling us we are not good enough which limits us and limits our life.  I am sick of limitations at present.

Well Sun, you are now peeping your head out from around the corner.  It is time to relax for now.   Mercury retrograde really pulled me deep inside today.  I am glad I was able to answer the call.  All in all its been lovely to have a day to just stay home with me after those intense days where I was so heavily pulled upon by the outer world and be by myself at home.

A day of letting

AB.jpg

If you could

Dear heart

Grant me this one thing today

Allow me a day of letting

Letting Go

Letting Out

Letting Be

All that has been

And gone before

Running it over and over in my brain

Gives me no peace

With every way I turn the question

 I end up finding a different answer

I cannot make any more sense

Of so many things taken

Is there a reason

Or was it just the season of a story

With so many different endings

In any case I cannot change it

And I grow so weary at times

Bone weary

Soul weary

Of looking for answers and wondering why

So just for today I beg of you

Allow me this

Allow me a day of letting

Grow.jpg

We see what we project

I was moved to write a poem yesterday on darkness gathering which I didn’t post then.   It was prompted by reading the post of someone who was struggling with seeing how much hatred, violence and suffering there seems to be in the world. If we are a sensitive person and most especially if we have been abused or neglected seeing so many painful things going on hurts and is a reminder of how challenging human nature can be.  I still think it is important though for us to maintain a sense of hope and a remembering that there is a lot of goodness and heart out there in the world.  When very painful experiences and things happen to us they can absorb all our energy and pin us in the most difficult place where it is difficult to see more than darkness.  Those experiences obscure the light of love and joy and simplicity, all the beauty there is in the world which we no longer see if our focus is always on darkness.

I am midway through the biography of Eva Schloss, the step sister of Anne Frank this week, After Auschwitz.  As a Vienesse Jew, Eva and her mother had to leave their home in Austria when war broke out and the Nazi’s began their campaign of hatred over the Jewish people.  They escaped to Holland and were hidden there by two families but the second family betrayed them to the Nazis and on her 15th birthday Eva and her mother were taken to Auschwitz.

In a remarkable story of survival they managed to live, due to a set of coincidences which saw them both very close to death on several occasions.  Only part of the book concentrates on their time in Auschwitz but most of it is devoted to the issue of how one survives seeing such unspeakable suffering and hatred and lives in the traumatic aftermath without being totally defeated by anger, hatred and resentment.  In the end it is only by actively choosing to embrace the attitude of a survivor rather than a victim that Eva rises above the pain that in the end killed countless others.   It really is a great read for those of us who suffer with resentment and issues of forgiveness.

I tried to write a post yesterday about Nazism as a symbol of the narcissistic negative killing ego gone horribly wrong.  The entire story of Hitler and his attitude to the Jews is related to issues deeply imbedded in humanity in relation to the scapegoating of others and shadow projection.   Jews were resented at a time where many were poor and suffering following the end of the First World War when Germany and the German people were highly penalised for their involvement in that war by the Treat of Versailles.  The hatred shown towards them meant that people could download their own painful feelings onto a scapegoat people and send them to extermination and exile.  Its a repeating theme in history with archetypal and mythical themes : the way darkness is projected and how pain and suffering then end up breading more pain and suffering in an endless feedback loop that then recycles over and over without end.  And it seems that the only way out in the end is through forgiveness, empathy and understanding.

I titled this post ‘we see what we project’ to address this issue but I guess in a way a better title may have been we see what we have experienced and we act out of that experience and often unconsciously react out of those experience at least until we become more conscious of the seeds we learned to sow as a result of what we went through.  There comes a time when we get to see what the cost of our projections and colouring of the world is and what plants grow out of those seeds.  Then we get to see that there comes a time when there may be another way or looking or projecting.  We then get to see that in the end we do have a choice in how we choose to react and respond out of our suffering.  We never fully escape suffering and some of us have a huge dose of it, but those of us who do often birth deep wisdom out of such suffering.

Along with the Buddha I do not believe there will ever come a time when painful things no longer happen.  Hatred, violence and destruction will always be a part of our human experience, but the degree of our suffering does in some way depend on where and how strongly we place our focus on destruction or creation, on love or fear.  That is not to imply that we ever get beyond pain but we can learn to embrace that pain and those who cause it tenderly and gently, without unnecessary harsh defences which only end up causing us more pain.

In the end much also depends on where we place our focus, on fear or on love, on hatred and holding on or on letting go and surrender of hate in time.  The choice is up to us.  We may never be able to turn blind eye to our own or another’s suffering and we should do all in our power to change it if we can, but if not let us place our focus on what love we can give to ourselves, to others and to a hurting world that so badly needs our wisdom, sensitivity and care.

A Lion’s Roar

We are human but we are instinctual animals.  We feel wounds in a heart that suffers and when injustice strikes us we can roar and rage and burn.   Mars planet of assertion and action has moved into Leo ruled by the element of fire over the past few days and today I have been really feeling it.  I have been feeling the impact of all the assaults on my animal body from a very young age and the deeper fury of now having no front teeth.  Eating with my denture is painful and the roof of my mouth is sore.  So today I have been raging at home and then at the oval Jasper and I made a new friend we were able to share about our challenges and difficulties. I told her how angry I was today and how Jasper looked a bit scared at first when I was screaming and roaring around at home but when I told him the anger had nothing to do with him and gave him pat he was fine and soon calmed down.  She then felt safe enough to open up about their own issues.  It was another of those special moments of grace.

My rage seems to have abated now.  I did visit Mum today at the hospital and she held my hand in hers while I cried about the pain of the denture.  She opened up to me about how she never felt her mother gave her a sense of being worthwhile.  In fact she never told Mum that she loved her once in her life.  She was crying as she said this.  I felt so sad for her and for my family that has suffered deep wounds of lack of nurture.  We spoke about the impact of the First World War that took her father from her and then we shared some sadness over the emotional distance in our family.  It was painful and sad but I also felt a deep sense of peace because we were really sharing openly from our hearts.

“All of my life I have tried to do the right thing by others.” she said.  “Now I am so tired I really don’t want to be here any more!”  Oh Mum, my heart ached and I saw how I also have been a compassionate caretaker at times in the absence of really knowing any other way to be.  It was half an hour of raw honesty between us, during which I fully accepted the painful karmic consequences of my maternal ancestral history.

Today I have no answers to the sadness of what we have lived in our family.  But perhaps accepting the truth will provide a kind of liberation.  Getting into a rage over what is passed will not help me for very long, in some way I need to find ways to live outside all of that lovelessness, disconnection and unhappiness to find happiness and connection again.  It is going to take me some time to get used to my new denture.

I am also glad I no longer feel the need to keep distance between me and my Mum, sadly she passed down very real wounds to me and over those I am powerless.  The only real power I have now is over the choices in my life and whether they are based in peace and serenity or anger and disturbance.  The later doesn’t really lead me to any place of calm and self soothing. I need to let go of what can cause hurt or pain so that I no longer live in a place of hurt and pain recycling over and over again.  Taking some time out on Sunday made me able to be there yesterday in a way which didn’t deplete me, but rather filled me up with peace.   And today I felt was a day of real healing.

Reflections on empathy, forgiveness and narcissism

I am prompted to write this after some comments on a post a wrote about forgiveness for our mothers.  I am aware that forgiving someone who doesn’t want to acknowledge hurtful things they do and has no interest in changing is the most unhealthy option for our own physical, emotional and spiritual health at certain points in our healing and recovery journey.  I think that when those who hurt us show no remorse or deliberately choose to remain unconscious its in our own health not to keep going back to have the rug pulled out from underneath us again and forgiving such behaviour is damaging for us.

When I attended AA and studied the Big Book which outlines a course of healing others have found and worked through via the 12 steps the way in which we were advised to handle this kind of thing was to be aware that the person concerned was spiritually and emotionally unwell themselves. We were advised to hand over our hurt so that it didn’t rebound on us and to pray for the person.  We were encouraged to recognise that we need not take on the hurt they were unconsciously enacting upon us.  That said it is not always an easy thing to do, brushing off hurt most particularly when that person may have been a parent, the very one that as a youngster we most needed to rely upon for empathy, guidance, validation and support.

Just think about that word validation for a moment.  It concerns the implicit idea that who we are and what we feel has value and meaning for us.  If we are repeatedly told that what we feel, say, think or do has no value, if we are acting purely out of our own sense of self that is authentic, that is a deep spiritual wound and it is damaging.  It can leave us with lasting scars that may or may not be conscious or unconscious.

But if you think about it more deeply, how people react to, treat and respond to us often has little to do with us but more do to with their own relationship to their inner world.  If a person was taught that feelings have no value, how are they going to honour yours?  If they haven an investment in you being, doing or acting in a different way, a way that doesn’t evoke their own wounds, black spots or scars how will they value what you do and who you really are when you are just trying to express yourself from an authentic place?

Can we forgive when we realise the other person is just a wounded, disconnected person who perhaps never had the benefit of inner sight or consciousness.  To my mind when we do this it shows we are showing empathy for them.   We are recognising that not everyone has access to all parts of themselves and not everyone is interested in self inquiry or self questioning.

As someone who never really got to develop a totally secure sense of self, it is also apparent to me that many of us, wounded in childhood go the other way.  Lacking a secure sense of self which involves being connected to feelings, needs and emotions in a healthy way we lack necessary spiritual muscles and an inner voice of self affirmation and so we tend to question, second guess or criticise ourselves all the time.

If someone acts badly towards us, instead of getting upset we may question if we did something to cause that hurt and if we look back to childhood we may have been accused of hurting others when really what we did had no malicious intent and was necessary for self care or self protection.

It is a common fact that people who suffer from an unhealthy narcissism never tend to look too deeply inside to question if what they did impacted on others in a hurtful way.  The narcissistically wounded would prefer to blame outside events, rather than look to any contributing cause that lies within themselves.  They may get easily offended if others question or criticise them in any way.  They find it hard to keep an open mind and also lack necessary empathic skills that would help them to know that other’s reality at times differs from their own.  They lack the capacity to put themselves in the other person’s shoes.

So often my own therapist reminds me when I go to her in a fit of remorse over some way I may have acted that lacked insight, saying “Oh God, I am just sure I am a narcissist”, she will remind me that we are all somewhere on that spectrum and that my own need to question my behaviour shows I don’t really have NPD.

Knowing that what we feel and need has value is important to our ongoing health as individuals.  Being able to stand up for these thing in a way that doesn’t ride roughshod over others is a huge part of becoming a mature adult who is able to live and relate in a world where opinions, feelings and needs of everyone vary widely.  Being able to hold onto our own reality when other’s reality varies is at times important.  Being able to open up to and encompass new points of view which take us beyond previously limited ones is important too.

At the outset of writing this particular post I actually titled it “If I had been allowed to feel and know and need what I really felt, knew and needed”, because having had my tooth out today has brought up so many previous experiences of feeling I was acted on by powerful others whose domination eclipsed my own view.  Perhaps due to the fact that the last time I the former dental bridge reconstruct I was emotionally abused by my ex for expressing the pain and so disturbing his sleep.  I had taken myself off into the toilet so as not to wake him up and had woke him up and so I got a ‘serve’.   I was not conscious that this memory was about but over the past few days abusive incidents I suffered at his hands are coming to consciousness.

In my life trying to play small so as to avoid abuse has not served me well.  Learning to swallow down or override what I truly feel, need and want has caused me so much pain.  Not being able to be with safe others who let me express my feelings has caused me so much damage and it made me SO ANGRY for a time, but then I was in trouble for being offensive for expressing that.  NO WONDER I WAS PISSED OFF.  Now I know that how I felt was real.  For a lot of my life I suffered invalidation abuse.  I was not allowed to feel and know what I felt and knew.  But the pain of that was what led me to here.  It formed the genesis of this blog in many ways.

Today I took a Panadol for the pain I am in.  I decided not to suffer more. Choosing to remove ourselves from harsh, unloving environments is similar.   Recovery means we recognise the damage that was done and call it damage.  But recovery also means we put a stop to further damage through self care, validating who we are, what we know and how we feel and showing wisdom as to who will and wont do the same.  Forgiveness for the abusers may not be necessary, but holding onto the pain can hurt.  Perhaps what I should be talking about in my blog is letting go, rather than forgiveness, letting go of the pain so that we can embrace peace, healing and recovery for ourselves.