Holding to our boundary?

I guess every victim of emotional neglect or abuse has a struggle knowing what’s what, who is really harmful and better not to be around.  Feeling anxious when we receive a call from one of our ‘triggers’ can be a trigger, but due to our past holes in development we don’t alway feel we have the right not to take the call.  I just read a post on unconditional love and part of me thought, yeah, I am not sure that I believe in that any more.  Giving people the benefit of the doubt or trying to be stronger or a bigger person is what a Good Guy with the feeling we dont have a right to legitimate needs or boundaries is taught to do by conditioning.

When love is absent and real care and empathy, where do we go?  What we experience is a terrible numbness, emptiness or void, a soul pain that often is not understood intellectually but since our body is really the home of our soul, somewhere inside our bodies know and yet for a child in this situation what can we do.  When we cannot leave physically, we choose a form of dissociation, its something I have been thinking a lot about while reading writer Jeanette Winterson’s autobiography.   Many of us escape into books or tv or we start to write from a young age.  Like me Jeanette never had her boundaries respected, her adoptive mother violated them and read her diaries, she threw out and burned all of her books.  Jeanette wrote in the quote I posted yesterday that she learned early on that anything could be taken, and the only thing that could not was her what was inside, her capacity to express and to create.  For some of us, however, if our insides are invalidated and we are told we are bad or selfish it can be hard to hold onto the internal reality, too.

The abuser who wants control over us wants to destroy our reality as well as our understanding of them as a perpetrator so they turn it around on us, we are the ones who are selfish or too vulnerable or too sensitive for just feeling normal feelings that any caring emotionally connected person would.  I had a commenter on one of my blogs yesterday tell me that feelings will get us in trouble, yes if we dont know how to use them as internal messaging systems and I dont think the person really got the jist of the post.   This does not apply to feeling ‘bad’ which is a feeling that may be grown by thoughts that we are incompetent in some way when really that is just a form of depression or an introjected voice talking to us inside our heads.

Dissociation for many of us was a way to survive trauma.  It was a way of preserving the inner self, the problem comes when we turn self protection and externalised fear into global concepts where we feel the entire world is bad and not to be trusted.  As survivors we will always be wary and we need good boundaries.  We need to know what hurt us was valid and not just all in our imagination as we will often be told by gaslighters.  We need to trust our feelings not fear them and then put them to good use.   We may also not ever need to forgive certain abuse and this need to forgive may be something that is forced on us by moralistic people.   Abuse is not okay, its not okay to trammel a sensitive person and lead them to believe their reality is skewed when they are trying to be who they are and express their true and real selves.   I had to leave one Al Anon group when two members told me I was not allowed to express anger over my Mum’s abandonment of me as a child.  While I know my Mum went through something similar she never allowed herself to be angry at her own mother and as a result she never had good emotional awareness or strong boundaries later in life.  The pain meds she was on in the end ruined the last years of her life.

I have watched two siblings struggle with anger and self assertion.  I have seen them cut down when they were trying to break free but also I have seen them become manic with the unresolved fear and anxiety we all absorbed in our family home was not contained or made sense of in therapy only treated medically with a cocktail of drugs.  I’ll be damned if I will shut up about it.  I makes me angry and so, so sad.  My living sister is not able to be emotionally and assertively present in any way these days and she is collapsed as a person.  In the end she could not break out of her feeling wounded prison.   It makes me cry,  especially leading up the anniversary of my older sister’s death which occured on Easter Sunday in 2014.

Knowing who we are.  Holding to our boundary.  Knowing what we feel makes perfect sense these things can only come out of the long hard painstaking work of emotional recovery and these things are not given to us we have to earn our right to boundaries over and over again and we struggle so remorsefully with self doubt as our ego strength was never encouraged.  As children we were not helped to develop a heathy ego or good boundaries, in fact we were conversely actively stymied in our emotional education and so we have work extra hard now.  And we cannot afford to open once again to emotional invalidation from those who would try to convince us our boundaries are wrong or there is something wrong with us for protesting neglect, abuse or betrayal, that it is wrong to have an ego and that we should come to love everyone unconditionally.  Yes hurt people hurt people and we can have compassion but if that means we lose our own passion for rigourous emotional health and self care that kind of over compassion can be dangerous.

Understanding the wounds underlying borderline reactions

I often struggle when I read that people with so called BPD are struggling with being able to understand that what seem to others to look like ‘over-reactions’ are actually grounded in past experiences of not being met, responded to with empathy or sensitivity or being given what we truly need.  As a result we tend to carry a lot of inward frustration and what I would called ‘historical suffering’ which can get triggered in the present by either perceived abandonment or invalidation which we then project and can tend to respond to in ineffective ways.   Our reactions may seem out of order and beyond context but we do need to understand that they do make sense once our true history is understood.

Core wounds and old pain act in many ways like black holes of suffering that can be triggered in the moment and then suck us down.   Dialectical Behavioural Therapy was developed by Marsha Linehan a sufferer of BPD who found she needed help with thinking about her thinking and responses to current events when old pain was triggered.  From what I understand DBT involves finding ways to reframe our reactions to triggers and soothe distressing painful inner self talk which then promotes us to over react to current situations in which some old wound, pain or sensitivity is then triggered.

I am often wary about the diagnosis Borderline Personality.  Most so called ‘borderline’ individuals started life as highly sensitive beings who were supremely in touch and high wired in terms of respondability to external stimuli.  As babies they required a high level of attunement, mirroring, empathy and sensitivity to their cues, hungers and needs from caregivers and often they find themselves born into environments ill equipped to deal with and respond affectively and effectively to them.  As a result they often are not soothed adequately and also do not manage to internalise the messages of adequate self soothing and self care which would enable them to mother themselves effectively.

When such a conditioning occurs it leaves a deep wound or hunger in the soul.  The borderline or highly  sensitive person is highly attuned and intelligent.  They notice things that others don’t.  They may try to point out things others don’t see or do not understand and they can then be abused or invalidated for such perceptions, seeing or understanding as adults and also when young.  They can then internalise this kind of abuse or misunderstanding coming to believe ‘there is something inherently wrong with me’.

They may then try to adapt to what is expected of or projected onto them, rejecting themselves in the process.  They may also lack the capacity to understand the very real limits and different ways of reacting of the non highly sensitive individuals around them, getting angry or flying off the handle when empathy is not shown to them.   The realistic truth if understood by the borderline/sensitive would show that the less sensitive were only reacting to the highly sensitive individual out of not understanding a depth of feeling, particular perception or way of being which varies greatly with their own, rather than this being a sign of something ‘wrong’ with either person.

Such an understanding for the so called borderline or highly sensitive individual requires a high level of inner work as well as a detailed unpacking of ways in which the nurturing environment failed to respond in empathic ways, leaving key wounds or perceptual distortions kicking around inside the borderline or HSP.  Arming ourselves with such deeper emotional understanding involves work with an empathic person who can help us with this process.  Then and only then can we begin to work effectively with extreme feelings or so called ‘over reactions’ to outside events which are really just triggers.

I have only ever read books on DBT and my understanding of it may be limited but this is my understanding of how it works.   It works by helping us to correct our thinking and as a way of helping us to self sooth and not attack ourselves more with painful thoughts and feelings which in belonging to old events may be re-experienced in the present moment and projected leading to confusion and distress for those around us who do not understand our trauma/disconnection history.  In the end we must understand in a way others who do not suffer could never possibly understand unless they lack that empathic framework.

When I read the blogs of borderlines I see how much self judgement they have.  We self judge because we know how extreme our behaviour can be at times and we can often feel shame.   Unlike narcissists who in many ways are full of a shame they buried long ago and often will not face, Borderlines feel our shame over and over and over and can almost drown in it.  We are often scapegoated and we so often need to break that identification and projection because the original shame was never ours to own,  our responses came out of finding ourselves in consistently disabling or unempathic environments in which we struggled, pure and simple.  Certainly we do not have the right to enact our rage at a lifetime of frustrations, misunderstanding and invalidation on others, we need to understand where these feelings comes from and feel them and transform them rather than act them out.  This I guess is where DBT can help us teaching us ways to talk to ourselves compassionately and with empathy to pour balm on burning wounds that so often can flare up in the present.

Birthing through struggle

ARI

Baby

Our struggle is, in many ways what births us.  I think this is the deeper reason behind why we can feel pissed or ripped off when people tell us platitudes like “it was all for a reason” which is something that formed a large chunk of a post I posted earlier with a quote from Debbie Ford on the shadow.  Even as I was posted it I thought how being told that suffering was all part of the divine plan may anger or be intensely triggering for some reason as the last thing we really all want is to suffer and coming to see the wisdom in awful pain and suffering or abuse is something we have to arrive at in our own time and through our own process.

A central tenant of Buddhist wisdom, though is the fact that suffering is intrinsic to life and we only have power over how we choose to respond.  Do we curse it or bless it?  Do we put our focus on the lack or the gain?  And as I write this it occurs to me that struggle  even attends our first moments on earth depending on how easy or difficult our birth was.

Birthing as a physical being is also not the same as birthing ourselves on a psychological or spiritual level.  For that birth is something that can be stymied or thwarted depending on the environment we were born into and how well it matched out intrinsic soul need.  And then we have the thorny aspect of family karma.  If we come from a family where in past generations traumas, loss and separation from love manifesting in alcoholism or addiction were strong themes.  Add to this the fact of the collective traumas that our families of the past were subject to, to greater or lesser degrees and that is a lot of historic struggle to unravel and unpack.

Understanding my own family karma and patterns has made it a little easier for me to reach for forgiveness lately.   I see how much my own two families, of mother and father were impinged upon by collective events of war and depression.  I see how a battle to survive meant my family was full of struggle and so the issue of nurture was a difficult one.  At times I have felt a bit selfish to be honestly lately when I realise how my own mother struggled in the absence of a dead father and mother who was constantly absent due to providing for her daughter.  At the age of 13 my grandmother also wanted my Mum to go live with a family and become a domestic servant.  I think by then she had a new man on the horizon or maybe she just thought this would give her daughter a better chance at survival.  My Mum rebelled and found herself a job as a tailor’s apprentice.

At age 13 I went into the family business, a clothing store, part time and on weekends.  It was on one of the weekends 4 years later that I had my major motor vehicle smash which aborted my entire last semester of school.  I never formally graduated.  Times of transition or cyclic new birth times are therefore difficult and full of fear for me.  I fear at these kind of times I will literally die.  I had the whole thing retriggered when my marriage ended taking myself far away and smashing up.  I see that this is what I chose to do even though a large part of my soul hungered to stay close to my own Mum at that time.   Separation, transitions and new steps forward are especially fraught for me and that isn’t my fault.  I undergo a lot of separation anxiety.  The best I can do lately is work to become more conscious of the pattern and love myself through it.

Yesterday the beat up voice was back telling me how little I have amounted to my life, casting its distainful gaze on my home and telling me I should end my life.  I was lucky enough to cry from the inner child and then the loving adult showed up and told the critic to back off.  I know the critic is trying to protect me from something but the cost of his criticism on my tender soul is too brutal.  Would the world really be better off if I were dead, as the critic said yesterday?  I don’t think so.  Am I really such a fuck up? And is my life over yet?  NO!

I know in my life I have struggled in all sorts of ways.  I don’t carry deep within me an implicit feeling of trust, security and safety in this life.  I tend to see the negative side and anticipate disaster.  I know more now and that it is a protective mechanism but it isn’t one that always serves me well.  I struggle with believing all the harsh things that happened to me were all part of a plan but in another way I do believe it.  And I was so blessed to get sober at 31.

I may have struggled in later years but my sober life is a big achievement and all the emotional work I have done since.  I don’t check out for the most part,  I front up and try to live and engage to the best of my ability.  And my struggle on many levels is both what births me as well as keeping me realistic and grounded.  Much of my own shadow is not full of darkness but full of repressed light and love.  Its only lately  I am feeling that it is finally putting in an appearance after years and years and years of living in the closet. As someone who almost drowned in her own shadow I am so grateful now that I don’t have to identify myself as permanent scapegoat or victim.  At one time I was powerless over all kinds of things and they did victimise me.  But I also now choose to say, that these things were things I survived and chose to face, not that there is any sin in not doing so, for some darkness weighs too heavy upon more gentle souls and can drown them, especially if there is no one there help with the grand archetypal battle with the inner critic/shame based/shadow.

That is a profound truth that I most implicitly understand.   Yesterday when my inner battle was going on a voice inside my head asked me this.  “Deborah, which voice are you going to give power to, the voice of love or the voice of fear and hate?”  Yesterday I chose love and as I consider the entire thing this afternoon for the rest of my life I want love to be the final word, most of all love for myself, love for the struggle and love for my fellow humans.

Glass shards

Glass

This pain you hold on to

Too long

Becomes

Glass shards in your hands

Bleeding you deep with cuts

That came

Not only

From the original wound

But from how you dealt with it

Holding onto it too tight

Until it cut you to ribbons

Why keep on bleeding

Let your hands open

Let go

Of the monsters in your head

Of the cutting pain

That hurts too much

Leave the mirror

That cracked from side to side

Behind you

Surrender the curse

Open your hands

Surrender the pain

Go free

 

 

Staying with myself : feeling my pain

BBB

I did not realise I was so sad and in emotional pain this morning.  Instead for two hours I was tussling with my body.  I got to bed far after the usual time and my eating schedule was thrown out by going to friends for dinner and eating too much too late for my body to fully digest it but really it was only when I broke down in tears this morning that i realised that what has happened was that old pain of my past was retriggered of those painful black years that were filled with so much emptiness and sadness, wandering and trauma that I did not know or could not fully feel at the time.  Last night the evening got later and later and the conversation going on about politics wasn’t really that interesting but moreso I think what I really struggled with was what came up was about all that had gone on for me before those friends got to know me overseas in the 1980s.  Once they found out last night all I had been through in the four years previous they understood why my behaviour was the way it was.

When I finally got home at quarter to midnight I just sat and cuddled Jasper and cried.  Then I had a very disrupted sleep while so much arose in my mind and the darkness fell around me in slumber after I got into my cosy warm bed.  What occurred to me is that in these past years I have been trying hard to process and digest a past full of trauma that often sticks in my gut or my throat.  There were no tears last night as my friends still drink a fair bit and there were questions being fired at me such as “what do you do with yourself all day” and when I told them “and is that working for you?”  Its a fair enough question but what can I say I am where I am at and sometimes I wish it was different and my life had been different but I cannot ever have that and so now I must sit with the reality and the pain of what young me went through over those very dark dark years.

The gift today in just being able to be with myself and allow the tears was that there was no punishing inner voice telling me I should be feeling differently.  Instead I felt that wises inner loving mother comforting me and telling me I needed to stay with it, allow the grief and let it move through me.  The inner voice told me how much I suffered and how lonely my childhood was as when I told my friends last night that each day after school I came home to an empty house they could not believe it.  One friend told me how her mother made her snacks and always asked about her day and encouraged her to do her homework, the other had four siblings and wished she could have more space!  It felt so sad to know how I didn’t have that and it did have a profound affect.  I think sometimes my attacks at that time of day are about body memory of being so alone in childhood and as a teenager and then the bike accident happened at that time of day when I took myself so far way overseas repeating the old pattern.

I have known profound loneliness.  There are times when my inner loneliness has been so painful I have contemplated taking my life.  These are the facts of my life.  I cannot pretty them up or deny them, I cannot put a ‘positive’ slant on them, they were part of my painful reality.  And I repeated that lonely pattern as it was all I really knew and I formed complex defences to tell me I needed to stay alone so as never to be hurt or misunderstood again.

At least last night I could speak about the reality.   At least last night I could be heard.  It was hard to be asked what I did all day as I felt in a way I may have been being judged.  But maybe I wasn’t, who knows.  And at times its better to be alone and feel free to feel your real feelings than have to be with those who wouldn’t let you be yourself.

The greater realisation for me today is that all of this suffering and aloneness somehow got buried in me at a bodily level.  At times my body pain is about my body and soul and inner child saying to me she needs not to be left as alone as she was in the past.  I no longer need to stay alone, but I can also accept and nurture my solitude when it is necessary,  And I am realising too that as a highly sensitive person alone time feeds my soul. loving boundaries and self care support me and go alone with the recognition towards my self and consciousness of the true nature of my deeper self as well as wounds of the past that I have carried which have scarred me into the present.  But that I also need connection with loving others at times, never to fill the hole within that must be met with my own loving presence as well as my spiritual connection, but as a way of remembering that as a humans being I do need connection for loving connection with others from a real place of truth is what most binds souls of humans and makes moments precious.

My past is my past.  It cannot be changed.  It will always be with me.  I am still exploring its affect and that is a lot of work.  I may move on from the past one day to a new life and new expression, I just don’t know, but before I can what has been needs to be fully honoured and recognised, the losses have to be grieved. And this is an act of self love, allowing myself to be with it is showing the love for the deeper part of me that was so often shamed and dismissed, first by others but later and more sadly and destructively by my self.  For I am now seeing more and more true healing and self acceptance must most surely come from within.

Deep, deep day

I woke to rainy skies today.  I woke in a peaceful place before PTSD flashback started to work its way through my body psyche trying to keep me pinned. It took 2 hours to get up and shower and sort myself… all those hours to finally touch base with present time, then wow what a wall of sadness came up for me.  But its a kind of bittersweet sadness this morning as I am realising so many, many things I did not see before at a far, far deeper level than I could fully express and there is such a deep, deep gratitude in my soul that I can finally feel my heart beating and its life blood flowing from behind all the defences and protections I have amassed around it for years and years.

I shared yesterday how sad I was to walk along slowly by the church where Mum and Dad were married holding Mum’ s hand as she wobbled to keep her balance and to talk of the fact she will never be well enough or feel safe enough to visit my nephews and their families as we planned to last year.  In two weeks time its the third anniversary of my oldest sister’s death and she died on Easter Sunday so Easter Sunday and the entire easter period will be a big trigger as she was hospitalised on Good Friday in 2014 and all the family had to be called to her bedside as we made the difficult decision to take her off life support after a life of struggle in which in her final years she was finally bedridden in a care home for acquired brain injury.

I can write all of this now without crying bucket loads, which shows to me I have grieved this death in the way I could not grieve the death of my father which occurred exactly 29 years before.  My addiction and lack of emotional support did not enable that grief to begin to surface until I was 6 years sober and that was 14 years after my father died in 1983.  And I see in many ways my recovery journey over the 18 years since then (1999) has been about finding a place where the grief could be recognised and not dismissed containing as it did so many other deep griefs over disconnection with the masculine and struggle to connect spanning years and years and years.  In the process of running I ended up smashing my head open on an iron foundry, taking myself so far away from anyone who knew me and loved me and may have tried to be there.  I have always resented the fact my family did not make the effort to travel overseas to be with me after that accident which in so many ways was the trigger to bring up all my trauma from the original accident I had in 1979 at the age of 17 when I nearly lost my life.

I was discussing the second accident with my therapist on Thursday and I was saying how sad it was that day that I felt the need to have more body therapy to bring up the pain which ended up in my smashing up again, as obviously the unconscious had be retriggered and the body work therapist failed to ground me sufficiently following it.  But also I put it down to lack of protection around me.  Quite simply without recognising it, I had over extended myself due to unresolved grief.   Later the astrologer Melanie Reinhardt who has suffered similar traumas explained how seeking healing for these kind of deep injuries or wounds can sometimes be problematic and retrigger all the earlier trauma, but by then of course it was all too late.  I had very bad PTSD in which I feel my mind and body split severely and I had massive dissociation.

I remember those following months after the accident as wilderness months.  I had a dispute with the family I was living with as they were worried about my PTSD but also didn’t want a person who was suffering living with them as in recent years their daughter had lost a good friend to addiction (which is ironical as at that point I was 11 years sober and would have been a good one to grieve with and talk it all through with) but anyway such is life.  I took myself off to a retreat in Glastonbury which was not a protective retreat at all.  I wont go into it but the good thing that came out of it, here I met others I could cry and share my pain with, most especially the pain that came when my ex husband visited to tell me he was in love with someone else less than one year after we separated because he was lonely.   To me that sucked but then I think he knew how to get what he felt he needed for his own comfort and soon after he had a daughter, I knew my own path lay in healing my past not seeking refuge in another relationships but a few years later I would get into a relationship in which none of my pain could be expressed.

Anyway this post seems to have morphed into a back track over so much of my past journey in the wilderness and brings me to present time in that today I feel I have made so much progress.  I can spend time with my family now and acknowledged the good.  I can also acknowledge that I did not get any of what I really needed there emotionally growing up.  Understanding this helps me most, to no longer self blame.  And having been able to feel the depth of my angry, sadness, frustration, disappointment and grief over the past 5 years and associate these feelings as very natural responses to the suffering I went through rather than the sign of any ‘illness’ as such has been so important.  I see how much we blame and label others welding to them a diagnosis that says everything about symptom and manifestation but little about cause and source and soul reason.  I am so, so lucky with the conscious decision I made in recovery never to take any psychiatric drug at all and find a therapist who isn’t into diagnosing but works in a deeply psychodynamic way.

Its natural for me to feel sad today, but there is also such beauty in being able to let myself rest in that sadness and let it flow our from my heart without any barricades of self admonishment or anger from the past turning the sadness into something else.  Its so healing to know that I am blessed to be a sensitive person who can and does feel deeply and to finally know that isn’t a sign of anything wrong.     I am lucky in that I find full validation with my therapist.  I no longer need to burden other relationships with that demand or need and I can make a conscious choice to have relationships with others who may not be as deeply aware of or accepting of their feelings but sorely benefit when that kind of awareness and acceptance is shown towards them.  And its a such a precious, sweet gift when I do find others who relate from that level and get it and get me and I get them.  Then my heart really does sing and hum with joy.

Happy in the sadness, sadness in the happiness but also a space outside happy sad that is full of life and joy and brimming with sweet possibility.  If I can just keep showing love and get a deeper handle on the way my fears of the past play out and keep me trapped I am well on the way to having the kind of life in which I can always find ways to connect, self nourish and pour that same nourishment out to a world that is so deeply hungry for it.     For as I consider it, it seems to be that all of this pain need to be put to a good purpose.  In the words of Al Anon  when anyone anywhere needs my help or can benefit from my story I hope I will always be there to show them the ways in which suffering fully felt and redeemed can lead to a deeper life of soulful connection and contentment where nothing needs to be erased but can be accepted and contained in a circle of deep compassion and love.

Born through struggle : Insights on resentment

Each morning on our walk Jasper and I seem to come across something that delights or informs our soul.  Today it was not as it appeared, as we passed the nature strip on our way to buy a bottle of water I saw what I thought was a single magpie struggling to get up.  I went towards it thinking that perhaps I could give it some help, but lo and behold, what looked like one bird struggling was actually two birds locked in what seemed to be like a death embrace.  As I moved towards them the situation became clearer as they began to wrestle with each other and then suddenly they both broke free and flew away separately.

So many things came into my mind at that point.  I was thinking about how the force of thwarted desire can hold us down and keep us locked in in a negative way in a struggle with something that we can’t quite let go of.  As we are held down and tangled up there is no way we can fly free until the force holding us down breaks open or apart in some way.  I then began to think about how we are actually birthed in some way if we stay with a struggle long enough to see things through to resolution.

I then went to have my morning coffee and came upon the following two readings by a case of synchronicity.

(1)

Struggle

In order to grow we must struggle.  Children struggle as they move through developmental stages, sorting and resorting what they learn and adapting it to new challenges. Our brain grows with use, new information creates brain growth and alters cell assemblies or particular constellations of memories.  Part of struggling is working through previous stages in new ones, changing thoughts and behaviour patterns, continually shaping and reshaping the self.  When I am able to struggle, I can change, and I can allow others to change in my presence.  I can move through stages of life without getting marooned in one because I can’t face the anguish of the struggle towards a new one.

I am willing to struggle

The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with

composure one heavy mischance after another, not because

he does not feel them, but because a man is of high

and heroic temper.

Aristotle

(2)

Grace Versus Justice

I recognise today that when I carry resentment within me. I am held down and back by the strength of my own feeling.  The tree does not know that it elicits in me a feeling of serenity.  A sunset may not know that it gives me a feeling of safety and warmth – just as the person I resent does not know the extent of the hidden anger I carry daily in my heart.  I am not free when resentment drags on my soul force, dissipating its energy…

I cannot break free alone.  All the wisdom in the world cannot put back in my heart the love yearned for but never received, or had but lost.  Whatever the wound, it may take more than I have to heal it.  I need to ask for and pray for grace to enter my life and help me do what seems impossible.  I will pray for grace to move me toward freedom and away from my wish to destroy, knowing that I cannot destroy another without wounding myself.

I pray for grace

To forgive is the best revenge

The Bible

What kind of synchronicity led me towards those two birds today I will never know.  But I felt some important message that the soul of the world present in nature was trying to say to me today.  How many times I have remained locked in a death like struggle with resentment, not even knowing at the time that is what was really going on?   How much better off may I have been if I have prayed for grace before reacting and making things much worse?    And perhaps even this is asking too much of myself, asking me to have known something deeper that I could only learn by struggling and hurting and restuggling again and again.

This I do believe though : healing is always available to me.  In order to attain it I need the grace and strength to bear with and through my current challenges in order to birth the wisdom that waits for me on the other side of struggle.