On love and anger : some thoughts

It seems love and anger can not only coexist but have a big effect on each other, for if we loved and longed for love we may feel hurt and angry when it is not returned, at least not in the way that made sense for us.

I have not read the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman but I know for some of us time is one of the important ones.. My parents didn’t have a lot of time for me, often their focus was elsewhere and maybe I should be ‘over’ it by now but my heart can only leap for joy when a family member or anyone else calls or wants to spend time with me as sometimes that wound of being alone does smart, or maybe it only began to make its true presents felt to my conscious mind through the work I have been doing in therapy over past years.

This morning for some reason after reading all of those chapters on anger in John Lees book (as he addresses how few therapists can actually help us work on this issue due to not having done their own anger work) I woke thinking of the six therapists I went through after returning to my home town and before connecting with Katina in January 2016,… I was sent to Kat as my then therapist Rae went on a break and it was long break, when Kat and I connected I just felt her to be more engaged and warm, so after Rae got back from holiday I told her I wanted to make a change.. Kat has never kept me waiting, was always there to open the door and then walk me out to the top of the stairs and smile and wave at me as went back down them to my car. To someone like me with that level of attachment wounding this did mean a lot and one of my first therapists Brian Hunt once told me “Deb when you look for a therapist it needs to be someone who is freely available most of the time” I thank God for that advice.. Attachment wounds can only really begin to heal or become less painful if we are connected to and shown enough understanding and empathy so that we can then internalize that and then begin to show it to ourselves as adults.

Thinking of my other therapist, Anna Karamuel was a lovely Dutch therapist i managed to connect to shortly after returning to Canberra in 2011 a good friend of my sister recommended her as she went to see Anna after her own difficult relationship ended, but Anna was not available for twice weekly sessions. In time I tried several other therapists. One, a somatic therapist and I came to loggerheads when she tried to come too close to me in a body work session I just got triggered and lashed out.. She gave me a very cold hard look and said to me “you can leave if you want” all I could do was cry in shock as I retreated back to the couch I would sit on during other sessions we did not do on the floor body work.. Things fell apart rapidly after that.

I then went to see a lady called Christine Wild, that went okay but when my sister Judy died she was so strict, she would not allow me time to go with my Mum to clean out my sister’s room in the care home where she had been resident since 2003 and this sadly ended our relationship.. When ever my Mum was ill or take into emergency hospital care, Kat would always understand my need to be there for her was, at that time, more important than my own therapy, at least for a short while.

I was listening to a radio program today on conflict and discord in relationships and also on the issue of repair, it involved two aboriginal actresses playing a part in a new drama on racial issues, one of them intelligently said that she felt sometimes important relationships need to fracture so they can come back together in a new and more deeply intimate way.. That made sense to me. It is understood in Al Anon that those of us affected by alcoholism so often will cut off from people when hurt, that is fair enough, as we may need to self protect for a time but there is also the issue that we are all different, that we all come to relationships with different styles and energies and pasts and that sometimes these may clash and that a good relationship allows us a place to have conflict and so learn more from and about each other.

When I think of my relationship with Scott lately I think of how we have had to negotiate a number of difficult issues of trust, dependency, suspicion, anger and also longing.. Somehow the friendship we have developed between us over past years has survived even as I have now had to set limits on over giving to him.

Hopefully anger can find a place in our relationships if we can find a healthy way to express it.. Taking the risk of expressing my anger over certain issues to family members earlier in the month does seem to have made things much better between us.. Much as my sister keeps her own anger under wraps she has really shown compassion to me in mine, lately.. For that I am grateful.

Gary Chapman has actually also written another book on anger.. In it he speaks about giving others the opportunity to express angry feeling with and to us and from us to them.. How well we are responded to will make or break the relationship. For me, with huge fears about anger, I have always been scared the expression of it would lead to an ultimate rupture.. but this is not always the case and come to think of it if anger and grief are deeply linked then so are anger and love, when what we long for is withheld me may rage and as John Lee pointed out in that writing I shared yesterday under that rage may be old feelings of emotional abandonment surrounding our younger longing to be loved..

The depth of the hole we feel (often spoken of in recovery circles as ‘the hole in the soul’) will be a massive indicator of where our longings and wounds lay.. And it will be hurt in this situation not to be responded to with empathy even at the same time as we come over time to know that (as an emotionally mature adult) we can not always expect this from another separate human being,

for my part

I am sorry for my part in things

Its hard to see when you are on the wing

the underground fears

that may be driving you

sad to feel too

that you did not love me

in the way my heart needed

when really you were trying your very best

why was it that it all felt at times

like such a massive attack

but then as I consider it

from within this more adult perspective

you did not live my life

and you also had

more protection surrounding you

I do not fully know

why sometimes it was so hard to

let love in

maybe you expressed it in another form

but today as we spoke and you allowed yourself

to be buffeted about by the wind

all I wanted to do

was to break down in tears

and tell you how deeply sorry I feel

how grateful I am

that you are alive

and how much

I really do

love you

Soul star

my soul traveled from afar

a distant star

where love sustains the being

of those who voyaage

to here

beacons of light

way showers

sent to illuminate

the dark night

how often we

are

so crucified

or demonized

cast out

given lessons of deep pain

what a waste to turn away

to lose the eternal reason

turning our backs upon

the internal shifting seasons

and so

if at times

I sense myself a stranger here

let me travel deep

it hurt when you could not see me

but was it ever my destiny?

lately it seems for far too long

I turned my back upon

the inner Sun

haunted as I was by losing

the way

to those sustaining memories

of starlight

(We are all star stuff. 

When we create,

we connect to the divine spark within.)

Leah Whitehorse.

Love is waiting

Love is waiting for us

Just on the other side of despair

Love reminds us when we feel

The breath of cool air

Flowing through our hair

Of a million sunrises

That speak of hope

An opening to limitless joy

In places were before we could only sense

The deepest lingering of sadness

For all of the pain

All the things gone by we cannot ever change

Trust your heart

In the midst of this new unfolding

There is more wisdom to be revealed

And invisible presences of love drawing

Near

They need your loving presence too

Please believe

Freedom lies on the other side

Of all that is passing away

Now

So open to everything

As you surrender

Letting yourself go

Into this

New becoming

The intrinsic connection between grief and love

It seems to me our deepest impulse in terms of the need to be loved underlies so much of our grief.. not only over loving and losing but over never finding that love in the form we needed it when young… We all long to be seen and known, when this doesn’t happen there is a grief that sits under the surface of consciousness and may not be ‘known’ by us for some time.. This ‘hole in the soul’ runs deep and since we first seek that in our family of origin its here where the wounds happen and they need to be addressed in later life if we want to eventually come fully to life in order to live and love as our true selves.

I was thinking a moment ago of the four solutions we resort to that Mark Wolynn talks of when we seek to connect with a parent or source of love in childhood.. one is that we find that source in them and do connect, the second is the parent fails to provide and so we cut off that longing and flow and subvert it.. in another we seek it from a sibling.. this is what I did with my Mum and Dad being unavailable.. it was my older sister who saw me, but she left and then got sick and so that was a double grief for me. Over time I learned to turn within or to substances and in time I lost access to my true feelings over it, it has been these feelings I have had to work with in active sobriety.

I just went and sat down by the lake and finished off a wonderful novel I have been reading but at the end of it my thoughts turned to my sister.. Earlier I read Oscar Cainers daily horoscope for Aquarius that said in an uncertain world its hard to know what to believe or where to turn but that there are five qualities that can sustain us.. : Kindness, Friendship, Generosity, Compassion and Love.. I thought of the nasty inaccurate things my living sister said to me in the year after Jonathan left and how her brutality coming out of emotional ignorance drove me over to the UK where the unprocessed anger and hurt over it lead to a massive head injury.. maybe something about this time that is now erased for her due to all the meds and shock treatment is perculating down inside.. She tried to erase me from the coast house earlier in the year by packing up all of my books and boxes and storing them in the shed.. To her it was probably done out of a desire to help me as I said it was hard to go down there alone to the place I ended up forsaken and abandoned after my husband left. I was so hurt by that back in February but I sucked it up on our trip there.. I just called the removalists and they came to pack it all up. I didn’t have an angry outburst I just cried and cried and cried. I seem to do a lot of crying around my sister when I don’t have anxiety spin outs around her.

Despite all of this I feel for my sister.. lying in bed with the blankets pulled up all around her unable to communicate with visitors… I don’t know what it is going to take to bring her back from the dark side this time.. and despite this I do feel love… but its a confused kind of love.

In the movie 28 Days Sandra Bullock makes friends with her sister who appears to be the more high functioning sibling in the traumatised family.. she recognises that her sister was once a child too in the family system and sought her own role which involved looking down on the ’embarrasing’ active addict who is expressing so much of the family pain…In a similar way my mother always forgave her mother for hitting her as she knew that as an abandoned war widow with no government assistance left to support a young daughter all alone so far from family that her Mum was frustrated.. it was something her best friend’s daughter and I discussed the other day… that generation had to suck it up… and they had to bury so much… trauma and stress just get carried or passed on as epigenetic research by Bruce Lipton and Dr Yehuda demonstrates..

I am a bit off the track writing this right now. It is a processing post… I just thought on the way home of how much, as a young child I longed for my sister’s love but how our family was so geared around externals it was hard to find that… in the end it is something I have had to find for myself as an adult with the help of therapy and my higher power. That said I still grieve for those who left me and could not love me where I was at and this included my ex husband.. He gave me a great gift when he emailed me back in May when he said “I really understand your need for therapy now.” He actively tried to block it along with my Mum but in the end I trusted my path into the dark…

Through it along the way I found the love for myself and even for my wounded family.. how could they give me something they never had, or a sense that I am perfect as I am even with all of my idiosyncrasies? I now see I can only gain that in any authentic way from within and even after years of being almost crippled by a virulent inner critic who was almost demonic at times.. Slowly over time and through much agony I am coming to a deeper understanding of the inner forces that drove me towards addiction and self hatred…I also understand more deeply and have more compassion for the forces that drove that poor inner child of my Mum who had to struggle so hard to be seen and find her own path..

At 14 years of age Mum actively defied a mother who wanted her only to be a domestic servant and found a profession.. She fought to be seen in the fashion industry by top designers.. she was bloody trojan, she just had to be.. I am glad in so many ways for the gifts of strength she bequeathed me as well as the deep deep insecurity… in the end it was for me to make sense of it all and carve my own self out of that inheritance.. today I feel myself becoming stronger while at times more profoundly aware of inner vulnerabilities, fears, weak spots and insecurities…

I am also learning how intimately and intricately longing, grief and love are interconnected along with rage… in the end each of us must work to understand the emotions that drive us as we grapple to find which emotions to express and which are in need of alchemy, each of us has to find ways to contain our wounds and find the healing solution in bearing witness to them for long enough that self love and insight as well as self compassion can arise. Armed with these tools we are less likely to judge others and we become more able to define boundaries as well as see where the impulses to merge or belong create complex challenges for us.

When love breaks through

When love breaks through

Something so deep inside my soul just opens

The defences in me that held me safe

Give way as I fall into the most profound ocean

Of understanding and peace

There is a part of us that is the heart

And that part is the deepest source of us

It shows our soul the way to truth

And provides all the proof that our mind can

Sometimes deny

Sometimes belie

With thinking

When you are kind enough

To extend your love to me

That is how I am freed

From suffering

And when you withhold your love from me

I can never be

Completely at peace

Until I dig so deep

To find the longing for love

That underlies the pain

And answer that with kindness

Again

Opening to

The deepest source of healing and love

Again

And again

And again

Love’s undertow

Floating downstream you found yourself

Once again lost in the tidal wave that pulls you under

Intimations of love draw you towards the soul of another

Whose magnet self calls

Please my dear

Recognise me

Echoing your own need

We wait and wait so patiently

For the day we our two flows can meld together

Distance no longer keeping

Our two rivers and hearts

Separate

For love in flesh made manifest

But when the reality comes

And tide finally carries us towards

Our imagined yet uncertain destination

Who knows how much reality will resemble reverie

There is the dream and then the actuality

As on the borderlands we wait

For the right time

To catch the flow of the tide

And surrender ourselves

Body and soul

To the magnetic pull

Of love’s powerful undertow

I miss you

I miss you

Really my dear

They are true

These words I most long and fear

Saying to you

Risking unlocking a doorway

Into past loss

I locked so tightly shut

Burying the pain of all those chaps

Who stole my heart

Leaving me empty

When shadows rose

From out of the black

How desperately I hold on

To these bizzare incapacities

Thinking unconsciously

That possibly

If I do not say these words

I miss you

I wont feel the longing in my heart

So often thwarted

To just surrender to the safety

Of loving arms

Abandoning myself to those seductive charms

Of connection

I can no longer pretend it doesn’t exist

This buried hunger of longing

And that the pain of having had no one close

Didn’t affect me so deeply

But when we spoke about all of my injuries

I finally found that jigsaw’s missing peace

It made sense of why I hurt so much

And of where the hole in my soul came from

And then even when love came

So often all I could do was seek a way

To get as far away

Fearing love would entirely

Swallow me

I know this missing of you

Will come and go

And no one knows at times

The rhyme and reason of it

And yet in this season of learning to hear my heart

I will just for now

Give this longing and missing of you a voice

Instead of just pretending

I am always strong enough

To cope alone

A voice of love

Love 4

Let us be

A voice of love

What good will it do

To add to the number of angry unhappy voices

Crying in the wilderness

Bemoaning the fate of a past we could never control

What will it profit us

To hold on too long

To the feelings of hatred or upset or anger

That may just be natural responses to pain and suffering

But sooner or later become if sustained

Only tools of rationalisation and defence

Surely if we dare to look deeper

There is something far more expansive going on

Than a contractive view could ever guess

Causing the knots of pain

Only to twist

Tighter inside our bodies

Seeking release from shame

Truly I believe that when we answer with love

When we contain with love

When we bear all injuries with love

Our souls participate within

The awakening of a healing

That arises from deep within pain

Revealing a purpose of forward evolution we should never distain

Opening for us

A doorway into freedom

Please believe in the power of love

Fear of love.jpg

Don’t believe me

When I say I don’t need you

When I say it is safer to live here

Within my perfectly circumscribed orbit

Behind barriers of fear

That I disguise with illusions

Of how I am just too sensitive to pain

And feel everything

Maybe at times

Its nothing more

Than a kind of dark narcissism

For is it really true

That malevolent forces out there

Are out to destroy me

Or is it all about the degree of love we have

To bring to any situation

Most surely we don’t have to be naïve

For there are those

Who may still chose to hurt us so

But if we can only find the will

And self belief

So necessary

To not taking it personally

We will find so much more relief

From all of those demons in our head

That tell us it is not safe to shed

Our protective overcoat

For the force of love we feel from within

Is surely strong enough to over come

Most of everything

If we only have the strength to believe

In a present that is brighter

Than all of our darkest

Most fearful yesterdays