Anger with my therapist leads to deeper reflection

I found myself feeling a lot of anger towards my therapist, Kat yesterday.  The intensity of what my body goes through on any day and any night as a result of having recently had this tooth removed on the back of a traumatic head injury at occurred after a time I so needed family support and was once again denied it at the end of my marriage bites me hugely.  I feel like I have giant incisor like wounds from that bite lodged in my psychic flesh and over the past few nights of the eclipse I have been bang awake between 3 and 5 with all these powerful sensations coursing through my body as my mind has struggled to make sense of the tangled up jigsaw pieces of the past 17 years of struggle to find and make sense of my true feelings and find a centre of self in the messy conglomerate of energies within and without which like wild currents and eddies swirl this way and that, at times setting up huge surge like storms of ‘meness’ and then at other taking me down with the powerful centrifugal undertow of black inky sludge drowning me completely and making it hard to draw a free breath!!!

I am angry that Kat didn’t seem to even remember the piece of writing I actually read to her last Thursday, I had to read it all over again and I was feeling so tired,  she is my fucking therapist why can’t she remember, why doesn’t she take the time to read my blog before I go to a session so she can help me a bit, for fucks sake its only one hour and reading three or four blogs to catch up is exhausting because often when I write the feelings are there simmering away under the surface and only emerge when I read them in session which now that I write it just goes to show if she did read it then that wouldn’t happen so why am I getting so mad?  I still am because I have to work so fucking hard at times and there is so much to get through in session.

I do know why I am angry though.  This is old anger.  I have had fuck all help in my life in the way that really mattered.  I didn’t need money thrown at me, I needed a parent who got me, and was there emotionally not one who consistently abandoned me and then told me I was a late developer when I shared I got into sobriety.  Yeah Mum it was all my fault that I drank in a situation in which so many painful feelings were going down that I didn’t know how to deal with in the absence of support, after a major traumatic injury at 17 that I never got any help to deal with later only to be followed six months later by even less care available due to my sister’s aneurysm occuring with all the complications that followed all at a time I was trying to develop and mature.  Fuck That!!!

Yet even as I write this and consider my last post about the poor fit between a mother and child that leaves the child, lost, confused, split off from her body and feelings and lacking self containment and integrity of being I realise that I must accept my mother went through the same with her mother and so just passed down the wound. The anger is understandable that I feel but it wont help me unless I use it to drive a deeper understanding and also to set boundaries so that I don’t open up and share intimate emotional stuff she is likely to dismiss, deny or be confused about herself.

So its probably not really even my therapist I am really angry with but with the entire sad history of a child who came to not be able to understand, express, or even tolerate her own feelings and then became an addict, only to get sober and be told it was the result of ‘character defects’ which just reinforces the scapegoats idea fixee of being the ‘bad’, ‘wrong’ or damaged one, inherently flawed in some way.

I don’t actually remember in the rooms of AA being given any help to understand my own feelings.  I do remember sitting there in meetings and crying my eyes out as other’s shared from such a damaged split off place, full of self blame and self denigration.  It broke my heart in two.  And then in Al Anon meetings I got the askance looks from those trying to whip alcoholic loved ones into shape with their own self righteousness not getting for a moment the suffering or deeper dilemma the person concerned was going through.   I remember not being hugged after a meeting or reached out to after I shared from a deep well of pain.

I know it probably wasn’t their job but I do feel that once our buried feelings begin to open up in sobriety we need some form of encouragement and affirmation from others to assist us and yet even that hope or demand has hidden deep in the centre of it a hope or demand that is loaded with the sadness and longing of deep needs of long ago for the parent’s unconditional love, understanding, mirroring and acceptance of feelings; needs we never got to fully understand or contain.

In the end, as I was discussing with Kat yesterday, perhaps no one now can give us enough to make up for what we lost or never received in the first place.  Such an empty void or space in the place where we most needed to be met, filled up, affirmed, received  must be acknowledged, deeply understood and grieved.  And then we must meet the challenge of finding ways to fill our lives with the good energy of connection and love, learning how to understand, feel and tolerate all our feelings.   Being or becoming the good loving mother and father to ourselves so that ultimately we don’t end up re-enacting our emptiness, wound or anger on others or keep ourselves lost and trapped inside the deep dark desolate place of that emptiness.

I do wonder now, though, if we end up alone with no life partner and disconnected from so many friends due to the wounds we have carried driving so many away from us in misunderstanding how sweet can life be?  Can we really fill ourselves up from the life font or spring of spirit that was meant to flow within and through us and can that be enough?

Its obvious to me now that the hyper sensitivity that so many of us feel who were not met or received in the needed ways, grew larger in the absence of such love and care.  The burden of our so called ‘over sensitivity’  needs to be understood and we need to make sure that we don’t blame ourselves while at the same time learning to take responsibility for the wound we carry in terms of taking care of ourselves, learning to be open, vulnerable and honest to ask for what we need rather than demand it or get shitty when it doesn’t just come automatically.

We also need an awareness of the real failures of others which came from the limits of their own capacity to be fully embodied themselves, a wound that seems to plague so many in a technologically driven modern society that has grown increasingly removed from the natural and soulful elements in vibrant earthly life.   To begin to feel that love means that we open ourselves body and soul to the soft caress of the sun on skin, to the luxuriant feeling of sea water on flesh, to the sheer love that shines in our dog’s eyes as he runs to great us, to the joy of feeling our free spirit express its bounty through dance, movement and song.

It surely means we open up again to try to find the love and containment we missed from a loving mother’s arms in places and spaces where it does exist.  And it also means that we as ones who have been damaged and know the cause and consequences of such disconnection and damage make a stand in a world where sensitivity and depth is so often not championed.  For the pain our souls have suffered has perhaps highlighted for us how essential such an earthly connection to life, feeling and nature is and to the deeper realisation that the wound to the mother that leads to severing from body and deep feeling is one we end up enacting on the earth and ourselves over and over again if we don’t fully face, feel and speak for the painful and agonising consequences of its loss or absence.

Why and how we disconnect from feelings and the body

I came across the following quotes from Sylvia Bretton Perrera’s book The Scapegoat Complex, which I wrote down a while ago today.  They really struck home :

The capacity to endure discomfort seems to be related to the early experience of touch, being held intimately, and with respect, both in attentive regard and in protecting and containing arms…. (this holding) gives a child a sense of a whole (versus a ‘split’ off) body… (it gives) self integrity and identity….provides a safe vessel.

Disruption in a sense of continuous identity (strong sense of self)… leads to….deep uncertainty and is the result of :

  1. An incapable parent who cannot mediate overpowering emotion and frustration.
  2. A poor psychological ‘fit’ (between mother and child)….

this leads to a sense of exile…. problems with bonding and feeling securely held.  Then, as a result, psychological pain can be associated with (undeserved) guilt, feeling wholely bad which leads to splitting, denial of self and feelings, distortions of body image, loss of feeling in one’s body (dissociation), difficulties assimilating food or eating… body armouring and rigidity.

The (person suffering from the scapegoat complex) has built a wall to ward off the pains of toxic shadow material (note : it is only ‘toxic’ because it has not been allowed integration) so therefore keeps a distance between inner feelings and the self, between the self and others, keeping up a shield (or defence) to protect the self and othe’s from the ‘bad’ self.

The ego (conscious awareness of the personality) become inflated with the affects and feelings it has learned to avoid.  This leads to profound suffering.

All hurts are felt with an exquisite sensitivity because they touch old, raw wounds…. (leading to) … victim identification… surrogate suffering (taking on the pain others don’t want to feel or own)… The result is… a need to get rid of feelings and an inability to tolerate painful ones… raw affect brings helpless panic and leads to addiction in an attempt to avoid the suffering.

Only when sufferers can begin to sacrifice the demand for perfect mirroring from the therapist and her family, as (they) begin to sacrifice demands for restitution of a lost paradise state, and to accept the true burden that was (their) life can (they) truly begin to break free and recover.

The realisation then slowly dawns that those who could not mirror her or understand her feelings also suffered in a different way.

Developing the ability to suffer and survive our true feelings enables the scapegoated individual to see there was nothing wrong with her or the feelings at all, the problem came from their rejection and from the exile from our own body and feelings that occurred so many years ago.

Please note that the above is not a verbatim quote from that book but has been modified in order to present it in what I hope is a coherent form here.

The Undertow : reflections on the Inner Critic and the Inner Child

Many thanks to a fellow blogger for inspiring the title of this post.  I just reblogged the post in which Laina Eartharcher addressed two powerful forces of our inner world : the inner child and the inner critic.   I could also rename those two ‘The Joy Maker’ and ‘The Doom Merchant’.

As in inner force and compatriot of the force of the Undertow the Inner Critic’s game is to get us swirling into a negative downward spiral.  In some books on spirituality and emotional recovery the Inner Critic is referred to as the negative ego.  It works against acceptance, mercy, gratitude and enlightenment as well as against connection.  The negative critic only sees what is bad or hard, it keeps its focus on what you or others did wrong, how bone crushing that was, how unforgiveable and horrific. That’s not to say what happened to you wasn’t absolutely awful and negative but the truth is are you going to live with the negative power of it going over and over and over in your mind day after day after day convincing you that life will never be safe or joyous again.

On the other side of our mind scape is the joyous, innocent, soul infused Inner Child.  Full of radiance and life this inner child sees hope, she sees the mystery, he feels the pain and suffering and looks upon them with eyes of innocence.  He or she naturally or instinctively reaches out a hand to hold yours when you are in pain. He or she does not recoil in fear.  He or she is the quiet still inward voice that can dissolve the critic’s ceaseless shaming and admonishments.  Loving soulful inner child just says “I am so sorry you are in pain.  I am here.  You are not alone. What you went through really hurt.  Lets just be calm and still for a time and open our heart to what needs to be heard or felt.”  She then says “Don’t you think it would help to touch base with beauty, mystery and awe somewhere say music, nature, poetry, a hot bowl of chicken soul, a frolic in a meadow with your dog.”  He or she restores us to naked simplicity.

Often all of this is what the wounded hurting inner child in us most needs to hear, see or do never moreso than when he or she has just been besieged, attacked or assailed by the pain mongering of the Inner Critic pulling her down deep inside the soul sucking vortex of the painful undertow.

The undertow is not always to be resisted though.  Smetimes we need to be taken down.   There can be a healing power in an undertow that is calling us to descend to the bedrock or bottom of oceanic consciousness that as yet contains unfelt pain or need or longing or grief which is waiting patiently and silently there for us to recognise it and ride its upward surge as it carries us on a powerful wave of soulful love towards a distant shore or recognition, embodiment of suffering, soul awakening and peace.

Insights that hurt us may be contained here, but never the less their healing power and intention may be love.   It may be the necessity of our recognition of ways in which we stumbled, failed, fell short or missed he mark (the real meaning of the word mistake), ways in which our own unacknowledged pain, hurt, shame, anger, need for retribution or fear kept is locked up and imprisoned, barricaded from love and its winged accomplice miracle consciousness.

We may need to be pulled down into and by that undertow for a time.  But I do not believe we should allow ourselves to be held hostage too long by that other negative force the Doom laden Inner Critic who in showing no mercy or deeper insight into the tangled byways of living and journeying towards consciousness keeps our level of awareness frozen, pinned, fixed or sucked downwards in a yawning, empty, hungry soul emptying place.

Such a critic is actually a cadaveur of the soul’s birthing genesis, laying to waste our blossoming as soul conscious individuals and savaging our emerging inner child who may as yet have no legs to stand on, but must crawl or be rocked and cradled for a long time before he or she begins to walk and sing and dance again.

Along this pathway of becoming and emerging we must instead learn how to shrink or shut the door on that voice of doom and unrequited pain and shame and turn instead towards the open radiant loving face of our inner child, pregnant and rich with as yet untapped possibility.  We must not allow the critic to savage his or her innocence but recognise instead through her instinctual reactions to what maimed or hurt us powerful ways of resisting and saying ‘No!  This is me and I am innocent.  I am not wrong or bad but good and strong and most of all I deserve to live! And I will. I will find my voice.”  Our Inner Child must never be killed off or buried by the Critic because he or she is the deepest, profoundest, wisest, realest, most connected and uncorrupted force in our soul.

A survivor of war

I awoke this morning in such a shell shocked state but with a kind of quiet calm around me, on a clear, bright, crisp morning of sunshine.   I had a fitful night again.  Since my dental surgery I have not slept well.  The violent mid night sleep awakenings have returned again fraught with explosive feelings inside my body and memories of painful events flowing down like a river of burning coals.  And then the thoughts of my mother and all she has endured over the years of various mental disturbance and anguish in my family commencing with my older sister cerebral bleed and going on from there were running over my mind.

Seeing her in the state she was in yesterday filled me with anguish and the deepest most profound sadness.  I wanted to pick her up and take her to a place where there would be human angels to care for her and shower her with love.   Its all I want for her really.  But one central recent event particularly was haunting me.  A few years ago after my remaining sister’s third or fourth hospitalisation for catatonic depression following her sad abuse at the hands of her family where she was forceably committed to a psychiatric institution in another city while on what was a so called ‘manic’ spree my Mum had a fall down some stairs.

At the time she was trying to carry a packed suitcase of things down four flights of stairs in my sister’s apartment block to take to the hospital.  My sister had come out of the last psychiatric stay and fallen two times due to the medication she was given lowering her blood pressure.  She just collapsed and hit her head open and had to be taken to hospital again.   My mother phoned me that morning and I think she needed my help, but I didn’t want to give it.  At that point I was exhausted by the hospitalisations of my sister and her attempted suicide in 2013 and the outfall of that.  The only way I really felt ‘safe’ was by keeping my distance.   And I did not know my Mum would attempt to do such a silly thing, as she never mentioned the need to pack a suitcase.  Never the less I still feel shame and guilt which I know rationally on some level is not deserved and I need to share what goes on inside my mind as at night it has such a dark power over me.

That day around the time my Mum must have fallen or been preparing the case I was at the park with Jasper and my entire body and brain was flooded with pressure.  It was so bad I left Jasper in the confined part of the dog park and raced off into an open field a little way away.   I was only gone about 20 minutes and when I came back an angelic young man with long hair was with Jasper.  As he came towards me I put my head in my hands and just cried with the pain and overwhelm.  He was so kind and just sat with me and we talked about my struggle and my family.  It must have been around that time that my Mum fell and was lying at the bottom of the staircase 20 minutes away.  She ended up fracturing her pelvis and that injury amongst others had dogged her for 3 years.  From memory it happened in 2014 though so much has happened that I cant fully remember now.

When I bought the autobiography of Eva Schloss a few weeks ago, the woman who survived Auschwitz with her mother I shared some of it on line here.  I thought about my own connection to the survivor story and of my own hidden Jewish heritage.  (My great great grandmother renounced her Jewish ancestry and faith when she married by great great grandfather in the 1860s) and wondered why that story had such resonance and power for me.  Eva never spoke about her time in Auschwitz until the 1980s when she was asked to open a memorial to her dead step sister Anne Frank.  She remained silent for over 40 years and only then did the tears begin to fall.  I always think when we read something or are drawn to it there is a reason.  We are seeking understanding or a resonance with another’s experience or haunting.   Was I also a survivor of war.  Can we equate Nazisim with narcissism, the two are similar.

There is perhaps no way to say what I have been through is as extreme as Auschwitz but the degree of trauma in my family over the past 30 years and the painful aftermath of emotional distancing and dissociation in my family to survive has deep so deeply painful for me as the youngest.  John Bradshaw in drawing attention to birth order theory says that in the dysfunctional or traumatised family the fourth or youngest child carries the thwarted unification needs of the family.  They want to bring healing to the suffering and attention to the wounds and emotional togetherness.  They are also often an outsider or witness.  The second child is often the scapegoat and acts out the unconscious suffering of the family and is then shunned or considered a failure.  In my older sister’s case it wasn’t that she was shunned, just excluded by a chain of events that saw her marry early and leave the family before it was fully forming its place in the world, when she came back and tried to find a place in it, that was when she came badly unstuck.  By the time I came along there was precious little attention left for a young girl who was so very much younger in age than any of her siblings in a family subsumed by survival and an upwardly mobile materialist improvement project.

My own trauma of a major near death experience at the age of 17 and the loss of my teeth has all been retriggered with the latest dental work and I need to be mindful of that.   In two days time it is the 13th anniversary of the day my husband finally packed his bags and left me all alone at the coast unable to take any steps forward to get emotional help but mired by then in over 30 years of pain. So its no wonder suicidal feelings were around strongly on Sunday and have been dogging me a lot over the past week.

At this point its early morning here as I said.  I was brought to tears by the love shown by valued followers on my last post Rocking you may never truly know how much it means just to read some kind words or to see a little heart symbol in the comments section of my post on awakening at this point in time.   I was full of such sadness and ghosting feelings of guilt over my Mum’s fall.  But I also know that what happened with my family was in so many ways far bigger than any young child in a family could fully deal with or heal.

Sad consequences of things in my family have affected me deeply.  As the youngest swept up in such wild, swirling and traumatic seas over many years I have done well to survive the war with my sanity and mental state as in tact as it is.  There has been an ocean of tears, longing and pain to navigate, an ocean of love.  Throughout it all I have managed to keep my heart as open as I possibly could.  So many times I opened it to those who were invested in me shutting it back down, those who told me to ‘put it all behind me’ or ‘get the hell as far away from it as you can’, but I know if I ran I would only take the trauma with me.  Staying here or fronting up to the past has been much harder in so many ways but I do believe it has been necessary.

I do see myself not as the saviour in all of it, which would be a kind of hubris really but more as the teller of the tale who sitting a bit far off on the sidelines is able in some strange way to give a voice to all of it.  I also know that as much as my family and its trauma and suffering has shaped me it does not need to define me as long as I bring consciousness to it, as well as to the mixed up tangled ball of thread of painful feelings which when unravelled and not shown necessary empathy and mercy could destroy me, if I let them.  In time once the telling of the tale is done I will be able to take distance but as the sober one I will always carry the ache.  I just need more emotionally than my empty well or vortex of family can truly provide.

In the end I am a survivor and hope in time to be a thriver.  I am also a witness and perhaps in some way a war reporter too, but not one who maintains only objective distance, rather one who in sinking to and at times almost being drowned in the depths of unconscious feelings that are not personal but deeply collective emerges in time with a dark pearl within which are contained all the composites of feelings and traumas gone before.  I will not be told that pearl is a stone that needs to be discarded, painful and traumatic as it has been.  This life is the one that life has given me, not chosen and I am still in the painful process of disentangling myself and finding a way to live outside of multiple traumas that could so easily have buried me.  But I am also seeing I deserve so much more, and have so much more to give.  Its just at 55 I still have not found my path.  My blog is really my only pathway to the outside at this point.  And at this point maybe I just need to accept that and be open to the possibility of change, scary as that is.

Love, wilderness and the Hurting Time

Love, its really at the base of everything isn’t it?  It was something I tried to express in a prose poem the other day, how love often hides its face in what seems to be the deepest of despair and longing, it is so powerfully wanted but also so mysteriously absent when those of us with our acute sensitivity, predisposed to experience existential anguish of the most bone crunching despair and emptiness find ourselves in that deep, dark void space.

As I wrote this my fingers typed voice instead of void.  And that makes sense cause in that space it may feel like we are all alone only with crippling, punishing voices of doom, fed by the anguish of past mistakes….all the times we reached for love and could not find it and all the times we longed to express love but could not due to fear or anger.  And maybe so often at midlife we also find ourselves deep within the deep, dark night wilderness experience so powerfully expressed in Annie Lennox’s song The Hurting Time : 

So many times I have wept when I have listened to this song because it is so full of anguish and yet there is also a poignant beauty to it.  It speaks to me so much of where we find ourselves when the emptiness is actually leading us to the abyss in which we will eventually find love, realising at some point that the love we so need, so dearly needs to be found from within.

Self punishment and self blame are for some of us the most painful passages that in leading us to the brink of suicidal despair,  can also lead us to understand more of what we need to change to show ourselves more love, empathy and compassion and then extend the same to others.  For I do believe that all of our pain in some way can be used for growth if we are willing to feel it and release it rather than remain captured inside it, for isn’t the cry of feeling the absence of love a wake up call to us to find the missing love inside us?  For this we need love warriors to guide us, to show us that it can be done, that darkness in being faced can be transformed into light.

Lately I have been reading a lot of Marianne Williamsons’ writing.  I am half of the way through both Everyday Grace : Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness and Making Miracles as well as her latest book From Tears to Triumph.  I probably relate a lot to her as a lot of her work comes from soul wisdom that she actually found inside her own heart from and through suffering her own trials and addiction.  She is an advocate for not numbing pain and makes the case powerfully in the second book of how our pain is actually the critical doorway that can lead each of us towards transformation.

In many ways the pharmaceutical industry has been set up in such a way as to make us believe that our pain makes no sense and that we cannot bear it.  In many ways this kind of belief system seems to have been forged by souls who in their own childhood were led astray at some critical level.  They may think that healing involves the numbing out of pain rather than seeing the transformative aspect of it.  I am not here making an case for masochism.  There is time we reach for pain relief, but I think we need to be cognisant that it is not the final answer.

In my experience it is really only love that heals us.  Only love can help us to bear with our own or another person’s suffering.  I think it was Virginian Wolf who said “to look life in the face, to know it for what it is”, how can we look something in the face we are numbing?  How can we find our truth if we are fed the lie that our pain makes no sense and is a sign of ‘mental illness’?  It is extremely disturbing to me that I heard recently that the psychiatric community is making a push for grief to be called a mental illness, that information just horrified me.

The issue of grief and healing is complex as there are all kinds of different griefs and much depends upon how we are actually encouraged to feel and express it.  It was the trauma specialist Peter Levine who through his study and research showed that animals and people who are allowed to discharge and express their trauma and pain as close as possible to the event are less likely to develop long term post traumatic stress as a so called disorder.  Those who cannot often end up trapped inside trauma, debilitated by it, losing access to the pure life energy of spirit that could empower them through necessary discharge.   We help a wild animal not by capturing it in chains and traps but by letting it run free out into the world of nature, discharge its energy and find its intuitive healing response, rather than block it.

In my own life complicated and compounded grief has been the terrible consequence of getting no help following critical traumatic incidents and instead self medicating with booze and drugs.  My struggle to feel and express has also, I firmly believe been the real cause behind three traumatic injuries, two of which brought me very close to death.  So its no wonder I feel very strongly about this issue.

For we need to express our grief in relationship.  There is a lot of healing we have to do deep down in our own soul and there is are a lot of challenges if our grief is related to some form of abuse because then tangled up with it in an at times seemingly impossible to unravel Gordian knot of pain are powerful mixed feelings of powerlessness, shame, sadness, fear and anger too.     Some of us don’t express grief instead we get angry.  Some of us don’t allow ourselves to grieve or feel sad or cry as we are terrified to do so.  Firstly of how will we be received, will people think we are crazy, secondly due to the fact that we fear that if we really gave vent to or allowed our feelings we would destroy or be destroyed.

How horribly, terribly sad and yet there is some truth in this to a point for at times when our feelings which are meant to flow and have been blocked do become like a raging torrent or burning fire.   And yet mysteriously when they get to flow what I feel we actually do come to feel is love, release, letting go, emptying.  And when we become empty of our pain for a time then love can rush into the empty space to fill it.

It can be so hard to open our hearts in love towards everything.  But really it is our only healing.  This open heartedness is beautifully expressed in some writing of Paul Ferrini which I came across this morning.

Each one of us holds the key to our own salvation.  And we can offer it to each other with a gesture of support, a gentle word of encouragement.  We can offer it to each other by seeing every attack as a call for love.

The heart opens when we accept ourselves with all our contradictions, all our liabilities, all our struggles.  The heart opens when we accept another person, with all their trials and tribulations.  The heart opens when we offer love simply, as we would to a hurt child.  And it opens when the hurt child reaches out for the love that is offered to them.

There is nothing mysterious about what opens the heart.  Acceptance does.

There is nothing mysterious about what closes the heart, judgement does.

The heart is a spiritual muscle.  It opens and closes.  The more it works the stronger it gets.

Don’t judge yourself if you feel your heart tighten.  It does so merely to open again.  All you need to do is allow it.

Let the pain come and go.  Let everything pass through you.  Breathe deeply.  Let the air come in and out.  Be a channel for life. Don’t resist on the inhale or hold onto the exhale. Just let the breath come and go. Just let life come and go. Don’t be afraid of either. Don’t be attached to either.

No matter how hard you try, you are not going to change the ebb and flow of life.  It continues regardless… To open your heart you must be willing to move with the ebb and flow, the contraction and the release.  Don’t expect to ride the peaks without descending into the troughs.  ..Just be present.   Be with yourself.  Be with others. Be with God.  That is enough.

Contraction / expansion, inbreath / outbreath, love / fear, anger / joy these perhaps are all part of the oh so mysterious dance of life, a dance we so often can refuse to enter and flow with due to holdings and blockages on our life energy.  Surely love is the attitude that most opens us to encompass and embrace them all by riding the out going and in flowing tide of that energy to awakening, consciousness, connection and enlivened presence.

Everything goes black

I had to call my therapist this morning.  I had one of those terribly, terribly painful mornings where everything went black.  All the terrible things from the past, all the times I was hurt, all the times I could not find protection and love, all the memories of being drunk, drugged or cast out alone, all the betrayals were back running over and over and over and over in my mind and then the terrible morning spiral panic PTSD memory was capturing me.  A friend called and I didn’t take the call but just remembered horrible things he said in the past, I was deep, deep down in my wound in my blackness, in my feeling that everything around me is false and unreal.   And it was only the call to my therapist that helped me to link into my goodness, as I ran all the thoughts and pain past her she reminded me that this self is not the whole of me.   She reminded me of the goodness of my inner self and my inner child and she also reminded me to reach for what reminds me of that goodness today.  Some days it is so hard to find.

Yesterday I had a difficult day, I lost my watch while playing with Jasper at the oval, I looked everywhere but could not find it back.  I then logged on the computer to find a comment from someone who I had a very difficult experience with earlier in the year, at the end of it she publically shamed me by telling me that my life was pathetic,  it was a very very hard experience and it all came shortly after my birthday.  When I woke up at 2 in the morning I felt that who I really am is so black and dark and pathetic, while she is full of light, after all she was trying to help to promote my blog and when I mentioned in a later blog that it made me uncomfortable she took the post down, there was nothing wrong in that, as she was trying to do the right thing but it all escalated when I posted a post to say I am uncomfortable with promotion but had not told her directly.   Things rapidly spiralled downhill from there and seeing her comment yesterday really made me very very sad as I realised a chance to be close to someone had got lost again which reminded me of all the other times my insecurities and sensitivity have pushed others away.  But then there are those who would not be pushed away or if they were may show empathy and not be as cruel to say I was pathetic.   Never the less I try to be transparent so I am sharing about it here as that old pain obviously really triggered deep pain and feelings of worthlessness today.

After I spoke to Katina, Jasper wandered in for a cuddle.  In fact he only stays inside when I am not online and as I held on to him and felt his soft puppy fur I was reminded of all that is best and most pure and special to me in my life.  Jasper connects me to my inner child who has so often been buried and hidden and is so often terrified of being exposed.  She is the part of me though that exists beyond the hurt and pain of later years in which misunderstanding or insensitivity of others has hurt me.  Some times she shows to me the face of wounded child, a situation in which she is covered in scars and wounds that she bore from a painful, lonely and abandoning past.  But at other times she shows herself as the vibrant soulful child who is full of joy and innocence.

I think the saddest thing that happened with my blogger ex friend is that she open heartedly tried to embrace and champion my blog, but it felt too exposing for me at that time and maybe a deeper part of me felt I may not be worth it.   It was a difficult experience that can still hurt me but it also has some kind of lessons, but when these painful things rear their heads again the old darkness can descend.  I am reminded of the many years I lived in an emotional wilderness so far from connection both with my inner child’s pain and joy.

Mars has just entered the twelfth house of my chart this week and I am reminded too that at this time all our old wounds, mistakes and failures come back to haunt us, we are also opened up to shadowy depths of old things slumbering in the deep unconscious that we need to make our peace with.  During this transit we can be so hard on ourselves and I must admit that again today I had very powerful suicidal feelings but maybe this is just another dark passage way I have to go through, by far not a foreign experience for I lived in this haunted and haunting place alone for years.  Fear of depending, being vulnerable and mother/attachment wounds are all associated with the issue we face with Mars in Cancer as it has been for well over a month now.  The Mars energy indicates where our healing energy needs to be focused and often we only heal through opening up the wounds and cleaning them out, or by wrapping them softly in a bandage.  That is how I feel today, the wound in me is throbbing and so I need most especially to go gently and be very aware of not letting the blackness and pain and negativity eclipse what is also good and positive in me completely.

Another tough day with the inner critic

Hole

I am getting much more aware of my inner critic’s tendency to put the focus on the negative.  The little negative thing can easily become a huge negative thing if I allow the inner critic to have his way, today it was moth holes in my jumper.  I live in an older property and ever since I moved in I have a moth problem.  Moths tend to like to take a chunk out of my favourite sweaters and they never munch on the back but on the front most obvious piece of my jumper.  Today I despaired when I found a jumper I washed last week and believed was all in one piece with four holes in it.  Following this discovery the litany of the inner critic became remorseless.  “Isn’t that just like you, everything you touch decays, you knew there was a moth problem a while back, why haven’t you been more proactive, everything around you usually falls to pieces.”

Today I let the critic yammer on and just took a needle and thread to my jumper and fixed it, Jasper and I had to delay our visit to the park by 20 minutes and then at the park I just thought of the Leonard Cohen lyric “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in!”  I thought, your jumper is just letting in the light and no moths died.  The thought kind of comforted me for a short while and I had a little smile to myself.  Jasper and I went about our day, we walked by the lake, threw the Frisbee and went to the park,  I then dropped him home, had a sandwich at the bakery went to the market did my food shopping and came home to make chicken soup.   Was the day a disaster due to a few holes in my sweater, I think not?   But the negative talk didn’t stop there.

While having my toasted sandwich I read a very good reblog of a post on blog of Twinkle Toes : Therapy Diaries and here is the link : https://unpackingthesuitcaseblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/the-curse-of-the-invisible-wound-narc-abuse/

Reading the following paragraphs

Like I’ve often joked, my wounds were so invisible, I couldn’t even see them. Many of our narcissistic wounds were not cleaned out at seven,  twelve,  sixteen, or even twenty-three due to the fact that they were invisible. That’s a long time to leave a wound festering, but it’s pretty darn hard to clean out a wound you can’t even see. This is why so many people need support–both to find their wounds and to clean them. There is no instant cure and no one-size- vaccination for all.

Personality also has a part to play in whether we brush these wounds off or tenderly care for them. As a seven on the Enneagram, for decades I did my best to remain fun loving and optimistic and push all that yucky stuff out of my mind—except it doesn’t actually work that way. Narcissistic Abuse is like lead poisoning, once it’s in your body, you’ve been contaminated for life. You can try to push it out of your mind, but the body will still remembers what the mind forgets.

made me think of the post I wrote the other day on Chiron and wounding and the poison that goes into our system from these narcissistic wounds. I made the connection but then the critic had a field day.  “How can you be sure you aren’t a narcissist, you are always going on and on about all the ways you were wounded, how can you be sure you aren’t just stuck in festering wound replaying it over and over and over and over again, alternately boring and alienating followers in the process?”   I started to get a bit of heart pain after this and my mood went down hill for a while before I got myself in gear to go to the markets and put some positive action into my day.

I am sharing about this internal process this evening to externalise some of it and get it out there in black and white.  I know that a lot of what the critic says is based on inhuman perfectionistic standards he imposes on me.  That is not to say that sometimes the things I do could be improved or I could take more care of things, but at the same time I need to remember that I struggle with a PTSD condition and do so much work to keep my life healthy.   I just don’t think I really deserve all this ongoing criticism.

Last weekend I was deep in my wound, really feeling the poison and pain burning me up, I could only post some of what I wrote last weekend today and I chose to do it in order to externalise and put the finger up to the critic.   This week I shared with my therapist Katina that I told the critic to fuck off for the very first time.  But I am also aware that the fact that the critic can trigger me shows that deep down inside somewhere I don’t feel good enough, otherwise criticism would just fall off my back.  I am not sure what the solution is beyond sharing about it here.   I wish I could find the loving soothing voice today but its been a bit buried and who know I may need to make some changes for I have noticed that often I am feeling overextended lately.  I am doing too much and taking on board a lot when I really need to pare things down, but at the same time I am aware of the saboteur within me that wants to pounce on me when I am doing well and lay it all to waste.  I don’t know where this energy comes from.  I only know a lot of recovering alcoholics and addicts suffer from it.  Today I have been praying for help from my higher power as I deserve to feel happy, good enough and at peace after so long and so much work in recovery.  I really, really do.  I wish the ‘f’ing critic would take a hike!