I woke to streaming sunlight this morning. I was aware of what a huge wave had been building to carry me through another ancestral swell over the past week. Before the visit of my nephew and my family I was waking up around 4.30 or 5.30 and unable to get back to sleep. While they were here I was conscious of how many different levels my being and body was operating on. Any visit by one of my four nephews who were disconnected both from my sister and I after her abandonment is a huge thing for me. After all these four boys were close to age to me than my own siblings. We laughed and played together and is funny as I just thought I re-experienced that on the weekend when I played with my nephew’s two youngest boys. The older son is around the age my older nephew was when his mother had the cerebral bleed that tore us all apart.
I struggled so much on Saturday with the abandonment feelings not only of my own but through reflection on how they have played out over 5 generations. In my own case my sobriety and work on my own addiction and recovery has given me deeper insight into dynamics and I also have the added burden or awareness of knowing the ancestral history. I struggle to be known to this particular nephew as he keeps in touch more with my mother and what she says to him about me I am not sure. I struggled on the weekend to know how much connection to have and I felt the conflict of that as on the Saturday I held my self back as I had offered to take my nephew to the cemetery and I knew that was going to be a big deal for both of us so I felt I needed my time out with my dog. But deeper inside I was so aware of the inner child in me who longed for so much love and connection of a deeper kind. We came close to that at the cemetery when we both had an arm around each other as we stood and wept. Its hard though because I am the emotional one and I didn’t want my pain to eclipse the pain of others,
Anyway we did connect a little and I managed to share with my nephew’s wife a little about my recovery from addiction as the subject of booze and drugs came up as we were discussing the painful impact. For those of you who don’t know my sister abused alcohol but this came more out of survival drive and a degree of emotional neglect, my parents were very poor when they returned to live in Australia after the end of the Second World War and had to work very hard, too hard in the end, ambition destroyed both my sister and my father (well more the painful aftermath that hit my sister in my Dad’s case when she had the cerebral bleed and was weeks in a coma he was the one sitting by the bedside holding her hand and talking to her even though the doctors told him she could not hear – not true!) She did come back but what happened to her at the hands of my brother in law almost destroyed her life and in the end it broke her emotionally.
As I write that though I am not daring to blame my brother in law. He did the best he could but he was a runner, he didn’t face up or talk about what help he needed he just took them all off to the land of our ancestors and in the end the boys had to leave home and fend for themselves. There is a karmic repeat theme in even this though. And he may have even been having an affair around the time my sister had the stroke. He had the woman shacked up to fly over too and he knew that when he took my sister from her home and away from us in 1981. We will never know as he never spoke about those years even to his sons. As he lay dying a few years ago he would only say, “I didn’t do very well by your mother.”
I have to be aware of the terrible burden all of those boys carry in different ways. At times I get so caught up in the feelings around my sister and her life that I forget about them. But even as I write this I am aware too of how much I need to bring the focus back on my own life. So much of it has been dominated by this family trauma to the extent that two major relationships went to the wall. I had the option to live my life in the UK 13 years back but I could not, at that point leave my Mum and sister alone.
I was reading back on some journals too, last night about the time things were breaking apart with my husband. I put him in a difficult situation by asking that we come back to Oz then changing my mind and not being able to be close to my Mum in terms of living in the same town. It is very hard to have emotions around my mother who puts them aside all of the time with practicalities. It all ended up with me alone in a collapse nearly buried under the weight of it all. I am only now really beginning to get any insight into what occurred in 2004 with the break up and the aftermath in which I had two major accidents. It might sound strange or out there to some readers but I feel on some level the ancestors were always calling me back here to Australia and even called me over to the UK before in order that I could honour their hidden emotional history. Why did my sister end up marrying a New Zealander when that was where our ancestors migrated to in 1874? Why was she taken back there and away from us when she first married in 1965 when I was only 3? Why was that the place she ended up in an asylum put there by her husband to get her out of the way when my Great Great Grandfather also ended up in some kind of institution in New Zealand? Many years ago a lady who did spiritual ancestral healing work told me “your sister isn’t bi polar she is living out a generational wound/split”. I firmly believe that to be true.
Anyway family history is such a gigantic Gordian knot of a thing. The fates in mythology weave it onwards and we in later years may be the one’s bequeathed the task of the unravelling or at least the ones of us in the family with a strong Saturnian (or ancestral) link. And yet even as I write that part of me asks “are you really meant to unravel this mystery or are you meant to put the knotted ball of fate/karma down?”
Big wave washed over us in the last week following the eclipse on the 22nd. It was about my Uranus in the first house and Uranus is the force that both severs and enlightens. It may be the force that asks us to see where the splits of leaving in terms of pursuing freedom may even have led to a deeper unconscious bondage and those words just came to me so I will have to reflect on them.
I was listening to part of a scientific programme on the nature of time yesterday and what the scientist was saying is that past and present are both realities. We are told all the time that we need to let the past go or leave it alone but the truth is the past is here with us at every moment. Our challenging task, as I see it now, is to be able to live in the present with full awareness of the impact of the past but not drowned by it. Losses challenge us because they take from us in the present something we love and then seem to relegate that loved one or object to the past but really what has happened is just that the nature of the relationship has changed form. In my own case I speak to my ancestors who have passed on all the time. Often I feel them around me in meditation or I call on their help and remember their emotional lines when I am going through my own challenges. Often in deep despair I feel the imprints of their own deeper suffering bleeding through into my own. I know this as a fact I am made of DNA that came from their DNA encoded by their own sufferings, trials, loves, losses, adventures and experiences. Knowing the past helps me to understand and grow in awareness, so how does “putting it all behind me” help? To be honest I think what I have needed is to make my peace with it. Even this morning as I lay in bed crying over things from the past I centred in my heart and held myself tenderly in the midst of the pain and comforted myself with these words “you did the best you could at the time, you struggled with such enormous things, know this darling its all okay, you are safe, you are loved and you are growing even if your inner critic doesn’t want you to know it” and golly how well my body responded to those words and that is when I realised that how we speak to ourselves and what we say affects every single cell in our body, so why not give love, why not find peace, why not just be the witness to it all as it unfurls before us, this mysterious tangle of experiences and suffering that we call life?