I have been sharing a little about the craniosacral treatment I have been undergoing lately to help me unwind from a life time of trauma. My body began to bear the impact from a young age of being in a family where feelings and needs were not noticed, mirrored, affirmed and attended to.
As the youngest child in a much older family that was geared towards achievement and success there was no time to spend with anyone much. My creative solution was to turn inward, towards books and imaginary friends. There was a fairly happy period between the ages of three and seven when our family moved next door to a family with two children around the same age as I. I nearly lived at their place and finally had the siblings I longed for. Sadly this was taken away soon.
At the age of seven we moved into a shell of a house in one of the more affluent streets of my home town that was being constructed and away from the cosier comfort of our little suburban home. Mum and Dad were working hard and wanted to upgrade to a better environment. Energetically it was empty, dead and cold a symptom of my family’s empty focus on things rather than relationships. I see that home as the place where we all went finally into the dark. Dad never came out of that home alive. It was an 88 house, the number of death, destruction and regeneration.
Throughout my childhood my parents were preoccupied and involved, they showed a dismissive, jokey attitude to my needs, as if my needs made so sense.
This was highlighted this year when following my eldest sisters death some letters my mother wrote came to light. My eldest sister Jude took me out of that environment from time to time. I don’t remember being cuddled or hugged. I remember longing for my Mum to stay home from work just one day when I was sick. She would instead leave me with a plate of jatz crackers and cheese and the recorded version of the story of Peter and the Wolf.
I have never looked into the deeper psychological dynamics of that tale, but suffice to say it was a fairly scary and traumatising tale to leave a little girl alone with. I remember one times having so longed for my mum’s attention I developed a stomach ache and a doctor was called in and I was given an enema. I felt sick inside and although I did not have words for the feeling then – violated. I now know that to have been a form of emotional abuse. That realisation has taken some years. My mother lacked the empathy to see into her daughters heart.
Just sharing this brings up inner voices of admonishment and castigation. “You think you had it tough?” Today it is important that I know how alone I felt. What the true inner reality of it was. When I started to heal the real work began. To have my emotional reality validated was a huge ask. And often I went to the wrong people.
Learning who I could and could not ask for validation and empathy is, of course, one of the hardest issues to confront when we have been abused and are healing from narcissistic abuse. We are used to not being understood or validated and as a result we question our own reality. Also when the truths we have to tell and share in order to find freedom are confronting for others, especially the narcissistic abuser who sees nothing wrong with their actions or justifies them, its doubly hard,
Luckily the craniosacral approach for me allows the living felt, embedded experiences of my life to arise naturally to awareness in order to be connected to and understood. Under the warmth of the therapists touch I am accessing the hurting places especially deep in my abdomen where abandonment traumas, imprints and memories are stored. Tissues of our inner body, the fascia, tighten in response to trauma. We don’t always feel this tightening but in my case, over many years of repression and struggle to express with the wrong people, it has led to a twisted condition that never allows me a full nights sleep and pulls at me in the day, affecting digestion and assimilation. On some days the tearing has completely immobilised me.
Today in writing this blog I lost a portion of it, The was a painstaking period of typing whilst Worpress went into extreme slow mo. I had been sharing about how under the touch of my therapists hands I was swept back with the cranial rhythm by 30 years (an entire Saturn cycle for the astrologically minded) to the first anniversary of my fathers death. January 1986, I am in Switzerland staying with a woman my friends and I met while travelling and partying in Greece. We had gone to her place in Switzerland after being invited there, my friends hoping to find work, me following the thread of connections I had made at that time. My friends eventually left me there to go back to Belgium. I found a job working for a UK company based there Early that year I fell pregnant following a one night stand. I decided to terminate the pregnancy. I felt ashamed and alone. In Switzerland such a procedure was performed under general anaesthesia.
My friend had promised to collect me from the hospital. After a hour of waiting for her she did not show. I called to find her drunk at her local tavern. “I’m not your fucking mother.” she screamed at me. “Find your own way home.”. Outside it was minus 5. I made my way to the bus stop in the snow. At home I crawled into my little bed, a single mattress on the floor, folded up inside myself. Inside my womb the cold dark emptiness of hollowed out need mirrored by the cold outside. It was just another or many secrets carried for years. I am not sure if I was capable then even of tears. Those tears came many years later.
I have just recalled that just over 10 years ago as part of my healing I wrote the baby who I called Freya a letter. It speaks of somethings I did not recall today.
The blackest pain, the darkest night. I had travelled to the UK a short time following Dad’s death and my partner Jim telling me he didn’t want to see me any more as Dad’s death was too hard. I connected with him for a time overseas and he betrayed me a year before I fell pregnant with you, Freya. Everything was unresolved – I was a fierce creative, suffering wounds I didn’t know consciously. Onto a mad binge of drinking and sex. After my time on the Greek Island Ios I tried to break away from that excessive party world and crowd and travelled alone through Spain, Italy and France – returning to Lausanne only intending to pass through.
Blind, unconscious I got caught up with Heidi. Sue and Carmel left me in Switzerland just before Christmas and in January you were conceived in a night of passion but I was shamed for the encounter was with a friend of Heidi’s who was involved with another woman and this I did not know. The termination took place in a Swiss hospital. I have deep images of a white room, of coming around alone. Heidi did not show. There was snow on the ground. I waited in a bus stop on the top of the hill. I was very scared.
Heidi cursed me when I got home. “I’m not your fucking mother.” She hated her own mother. Her mother hatred fuelled her addiction. I was drawn into her web by resonances between us. She must have been an echo of my mother abandonment wound, the deep wound that fuelled my own addictive hunger, Freya, I don’t want to imply I was a victim, but I was alone, unconscious of the roots of my own deep abandoment.
I slept on small single mattress, A few days following the procedure Jean Pierre, your father, brought around a single rose. I was not home. Writing these memories now it seems impossible that I could have borne the isolation of carrying this secret for so long. I shared it only with Sue in a letter I wrote. She to some degree expressed the loneliness and anguish that I split off. I treated myself and allowed myself to be treated as a discarded thing that was not worthy of attention. In the process you were conceived and then your life was sacrificed, Freya.
I have remembered the pain and anguish of loosing you Freya. I am reminded every month when my blood flows At this time I remember it all. That was 17 years ago this January. I accept it now, I allow this grief a place. The grief got buried deep, but over these past few years it has begun to be grieved. Like all of the griefs we suffer, a portion remains and becomes the seeding of who we become. You are always with me, the memory of you living inside me, if only briefly. I won’t forget you or that part of my past, hard as it was. Today I can even see some light in it. If you had come to term, today you would be 17. I could not care for you, darling, sweetheart. I did not yet know how to love and care for myself.
I have just retrieved that letter from my underwear draw where I keep it in a white mesh underwear bag, It feels good to give it air. To release it, to understand more the part of me that suffered such guilt over these things. To realise it was all part of a far larger pattern than I could even see then, when I wrote it in 2003. I can see today that having Freya could have been part of my healing, too. But it was not the decision I could endure at that time.
One year after writing this letter, my marriage went into the fire. I could not give my husband the child he longed for, had terminated another pregnancy which occurred less than a year after I got sober. In unthawing I was suffering depression at times. The depression followed a termination of therapy in the UK that could bring me healing and understanding of the core of the narcissistic damage I suffered in my family. But my journey was to lead me back to Australia to the cocoon that was the genesis of the wound, so that over 10 long years I could wrestle here with my demons and my angel could be birthed through the process that seeds new awareness.
My husband told me in 2003, not long after I wrote this letter, along with five others to the other aborted children “I want back the happy girl I married, not this person I see in front of me now.” It was a slap in the face but he spoke for his own need to erase a deeper truth about painful choices that wounded my capacity to connect deeply.
Within a year or two he left me and shortly found a less damaged partner who could eventually give him a child. The ultimate hurt, he shared this with my mother many month before he told me. Was he protecting me? It must have been hard for him. He could not hold me in my pain. Over long years I have been no stranger to invalidated pain.
Maybe my need to heal, to feel my pain not only over this but over the loss of my father was too much of a mirror. He had lost his own Dad to cancer at the same age as I. He was suffering a similar depression (from unresolved feelings) when we moved back to his home town in Cambridge. I now understand why. It was all part of our journey. I was to spend 10 more long years in the dark, bringing this all to consciousness.
This morning I awoke following a craniosacral session yesterday. Miraculously my body after a week of severe twisting and contorting, settled. The Sun crossed over my natal Pluto in the first house on Tuesday, awakening the imprints of Chiron Pluto, Saturn, Mars, Moon pattern laid down over 52 solar cycles.
The 35th anniversary of my car crash is very close at hand. I have had a wracking cough and my body has been throwing up a lot of gunk this week, purging me of the impacted secret and embedded substance that has choked and clogged me over these cocoon years.
I am aware of how much love it takes to heal. And of how far I have travelled and of the gifts of sobriety which allows me to feel the truth of what I had to repress and struggled so painfully to truthfully feel and heal.
This morning I am grateful for the sunshine, for my little dog Jasper who has waited so patiently and is longing for the company of the dog park. I am grateful that today I am not stuck in Post Traumatic freeze, that I can venture out and embrace the light, warmth, company and sunshine and connect with the present, not sucked down by the past. Mostly I am grateful for the love that allows me to feel and to heal what has been buried.