Hurt : Strengthen Me, Help Me Feel My Boundary

Maybe I need to learn the lesson over and over and get hurt enough times to let the hurting go and realise that it doesn’t have anything to do with me, and I can stand it.

My skin got toughened up by you not getting it, by giving me the message it was wrong or there was something wrong with me for just being me.  I got to see that you weren’t right, but it took others to show me, to rid me of this confusion.

I began to doubt and question myself a long time ago.  I had to go through all of this doubt and self questioning in order to realise that its all okay anyway.  I had to get really, really angry a number of times, enough times to find my way back to the self that felt angry and was told finally by someone else that such anger, rather than unnatural was a natural reaction to what just passed and was placed on me by someone who had erected barricades against authentic feeling.

I got this lesson over and over for about 8 years, is it any mistakes it was a lesson I was learning as Uranus passed through the eighth house and the sign ruled naturally by Mars, Aries?  No mistake, timing right on cue.  Thank you Uranus for driving this message home.   Holding this anger in and not being aware that I was holding this anger in meant for a long time suffering from mysterious symptoms where by my anger was hidden and masked.  No permission to feel it, only the tightening in the stomach the breathlessness that came from holding onto my breath without even being aware that I was holding onto my breath, stopping the flow of life, my authentic real life.

Even when I wanted to be born you held me inside until you finished a task you wanted to do with had nothing to do with me.  I had to wait until it got so urgent and so now when I feel the impulse to move, to choose, to reach, to want I question over and over and run the wheels through all the scenarios, look sideways for affirmation or confirmation and then the moment is lost.  I want to reach but I fear reaching and so I stay bound up inside.

Uranus moving backwards driving its message home.   Bubbling away inside making its message felt.  The joy I wanted to feel but was told was wrong, the desire I felt but had to deny, the longing I felt but learned to hold in so as not to appear too needy because I learned to fear and be ashamed of need or came to expect that needs would never be fulfilled.

Anger, today I felt you with someone who gave me permission.  It felt so strange for it to be okay.  Not to be told, “No”, to have my wrist held by other hands like shackles that stopped me reaching, expressing.  To be told mixed up things like “anger is just an expression of fear”.  WTF?  On some level I knew this was not right and so it made me even angrier and then because I could not have the anger so sad.  How liberating now to be told.  It is okay to shout it out, it is okay to speak out, it is okay to run away, it is okay to stand up and say “No more”.  Thank you for allowing my genuine protest. For without this how can I know where my boundary lies?  How can I own my own life?

Psychological invasion

I had a very disturbing dream last night.  Its a dream that I have had in different forms from time to time, in this dream a man was pushing down on my breast and figuring my nipple in a way which was icky and invasive. I was very distressed as no matter what I did I could not get him to stop, and when I tried to tell other people they ignored me.

When I considered it this morning, I saw that yesterday I had my boundaries invaded.  I was in a deal of distress after the events of Thursday and I had been feeling very vulnerable.  I opened the door to my Mum which is always precarious.  I was also struggling with not feeling up to an appointment which I needed to cancel.  In this case I took action to do what was best for me.

Part of the invasion with my Mum yesterday came out of concern for my emotional state.  When we had spoken on the phone earlier in the day I had been having a bad anxiety attack, her instant response was to panic and to rush into fix it mode, at least that is how I see it.  There is no ability for her to stand a little detached but an immediate rush to want to move in and take the pain away by doing something, or suggesting something, which is really not what is needed.  My experience is that at these kind of times someone’s loving unconditional presence can help, the point was yesterday though that I was very, very tired.  I asked my Mum not to rush over and when I knew the appointment was cancelled I did a very unusual thing, I got back into bed and rested for two hours.

Often when I do this during the day, my body cannot relax.  I end up feeling pushed and pulled in different directions, but yesterday this didn’t happen, I was able to calm down and I actually slept for a time.  But after a few hours there was an agitated rapping at the door and my Mum’s voice calling out anxiously to me.  It had been pouring with rain and she stood at the door with her umbrella.

We sat then and I had the sense of us both in boat on very stormy seas.  There has been so much going on for me this week inwardly that is hard to articulate.  Of course I had the breast cancer scare and then I had the purchase of a new car that my Mother ended up talking me into over several years, which I woke up to see in the garage with a kind of start, feeling as though I had awakened from a dream.  Then yesterday there was the tangled kind of communication in which she tried to make sense of me, and gave me yet more advice about where she thinks it would be better for me to live.

The truth is I am living in a house which she egged me into buying at auction a few years ago, pushing me well above what I really wanted to spend (from money she gave to me as a gift, an early inheritance).  As you can imagine this has not sat very well with me.  Although it is a beautiful soulful house at times I struggle with guilt and with the strange feeling of living in something that I did not entirely choose.

I shared a little about this in a blog yesterday, about how I don’t really feel I have full ownership over my own life, and awareness of how open I am still to the influence of my mother over my thoughts and desires.  I actually cried about it this morning.  I thought of the times I stood on the brink trying to choose for me and was met with misunderstanding.  I think of my sister in law telling me all of those years ago that I needed to get as far away from my mother as I could.  I think of how my own boundaries are not secure and how open I can be to psychological invasion.

Yesterday as my mother was sitting next to me telling me things I have heard many times a voice inside my head was screaming.  “I wish you would leave, I wish you would get the fuck away from me”, while we were sitting I became conscious of the dust on the floor, under the television and of the things laying casually around as they never do in my mother’s home.  I felt an impulse to clean which I clocked with interest, would I have been seeing all these things if my Mum wasn’t with me.  I ended up doing a lot of housework after she left.

It wasn’t an entirely difficult visit though, at times I just sobbed my heart out.  I had so much inside me I could not articulate in words.  And when I felt my Mum hug me a had a powerful vision of all my maternal ancestors in their struggles with life and love.   Considering the visit later it helped me to make sense of the push pull struggle I go through so often with intimacy in my own life.

Today I feel quite a deal of shame when I see that at the age of 53 I have still not separated psychologically from my mother. I know I have made steps.  I know my father’s death complicated our relationship for all those years ago when I tried to make the permanent move overseas, my mother fell and my love and concern for her brought me back, since on his death bed, Dad asked me to take care of her.  When I tried to leave a year later I had a dream in which she was crying and holding onto me and I said these words “You are not my lover”.  I didn’t fully understand the implication of the dream then.  Considering all of this now, I guess there is pain in these kind of realisations, but as Kahil Gibran writes “your pain is the kernel which encloses your understanding.”

This morning when I tried to raise with Mum the subject of our enmeshment, she cried me down.  “I think its a normal thing to be this close to each other”, she said. I thought of my Mum’s lonely childhood, of her longing for siblings and how that longing gets transferred at times onto me and my sister. I thought, “yes, but is there a way to be close and not be invaded, to loose oneself.”  All of this makes sense to me of the struggle we can feel between twin fears of emotional abandonment and emotional engulfment and twin desires for closeness and separation.

With all my Aquarian planets and my Uranus in Leo squaring her Scorpio one’s its par for the course that I seek separation from this engulfment at times.  Often when I am with her I feel tired, if she is tired, and I feel sad if she is sad.  I know as her youngest child I can be a conduit for her emotions.  At times I can also even feel them from a distance.  And sometimes my empathy for my mother and over concern can hold me back from living my own life.

I do know that with the inherent sensitivities I have  I need the time to be with me alone, so I can get in touch with how I really feel and feel the spacious calmness of nothing invading my energy field.

I do love my Mum and sometimes I long for us to be close.  Sometimes we really are.  But I am also beginning to increasingly see how often my Mum doesn’t really see or understand the depth of me, and how often she fills my head with ideas or advice that doesn’t serve me.  I see how she hides from her small, insecure, powerless self in advice giving and philosophising.  If she can be the strong one, the one who we rely on for money or attention, it makes her feel better and most certainly mothers should be there to support.

But they should also not invade their children’s territory, they should be able to stand off and also empower their children to be strong and self sufficient in the right areas and imbue them with a sense of their own agency and ability.  They should also honour their “No” and their right to protest.  When these kind of respects for another’s separateness are not shown it disempowers the child.  And for our own psychological health we most certainly need a realistic sense of our own intrinsic power and the awareness of our own and others boundaries.

Looking for solid land through fog and mist

Many days lately a mist comes down.  It is not clear to me where I am going and maybe it only needs to be clear to me that I am being, that I am breathing, that I am inhabiting this body.  Perhaps for someone like me who has spent a lot of her life hoping to escape from painful conditions in some way this is a big sign of growth that I don’t have to hold my breath and go out into trauma but can feel instead the flesh and tissue inside me as it reverberates with these trapped imprints and feelings I am trying to release.

Over these years of working to understand the impact of numerous traumas in my life I have learned that trauma puts a tear in the fabric of your being.  The present moment and even your bodily wholeness and integrity is impinged upon by an event which cuts into you, that shreds you and breaks up the continuum of what you knew, what you felt you could trust in, rest in, depend upon.  It brings displacement, disorientation, dislocation all of those “dis” words  (is it any accident or a sign of deep synchronicity that my name starts with the initial “D”?)  And most of all a deep sense of distrust.

Need it be like this?The healing comes in knowing that the world and other people will not always traumatise you but maybe its a lesson in a deep truth that things don’t always stay the same, that pain and accidents, illness, death, loss, change all happen.  But this doesn’t really take into account the full throttle impact on your body and central nervous system that takes place in trauma, that fires it up in such a way that when it is trying to let go, there comes always a jolt that disrupts the rest, flinging you this way and that.

Every morning that I awaken this is what I encounter, for the waking itself is also fraught with the deep cellular memory of coming to consciousness after the impact of at least two major traumas that nearly caused death and that whipped and flung my body about and so I twist and turn never sure that I can put my foot down on the ground and trust that it will hold me in the morning, that I will, on this day, be able to move into the day and not be held back by trauma.  Some days I really have to fight to move out into life.

I have tried so many different kinds of body therapies over the past years and this year the closest I have come to any deeper understanding has been through my Body Harmony treatments, but lately I have had major breaks in the continuity of these treatments, its been hard to trust and surrender and over Christmas and New Year I am having to hold it together (or try to) through the most painful time of year for me without much support.  I’ve noticed particularly over the past few days I have been feeling really lost and full of grief and loneliness.

All around seem to be examples of people who are connected to love ones.  This year at Christmas I lived the truth of how fragmented our family is, of the lack of true connection.  This isn’t the truth with all family members.  I have noticed over the past year my sister and mother making attempts to understand me at a deeper level.  This has occurred only as I have had the strength to confront what seemed abusive or lacking in empathy.

Mum has her own deeply buried pain but like many of her 1920’s generation they had to “just get on with it”.  “Just put it all behind you”, she said to me today when I was telling her of some recent disappointments with friends.  I don’t argue with that kind of advice today.  Its what she has tried to do.  It is not like I want to wallow in it 24/7 but I do feel that in healing recognition only comes when we allow people to be where they are and validate that.

Lately I am experiencing deep feelings of pain and sadness over the lack of really deep, affirming connections in my life, but I must also keep positive and say that I now have two or three, its just most of the time I feel like I am surviving on crumbs or scraps of caring and its not nearly enough to sustain me.

To be honest I get more affirmation and support through my blog and from others who live this journey online that out there in daily life which at times I find very isolating.

I have received a lot of messages that aren’t helpful, telling me to try and move out from it, or run away from it, go here, do that, buy this or that, have a holiday etc etc.  But the truth for me is that my pain only transforms when I face it head on and admit the reality of it to myself, no matter how painful.  It means staying with myself and my body and my breath when things get so painful I am tempted to split off.  It means holding myself like a little baby that needs good care on the tough days and saying loving things to myself.  It means not comparing my traumatised self with that of others who have not endured that level of trauma and finding myself wanting.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t take steps to take care of me and give myself good things too, its just these days I am finding trying to run or escape from me just doesn’t work or heal me.

Some days its hard to orient myself and I need to rest. Living alone there is a lot to do to sustain my life and at times I wish I could be taken care of, that I did not have to do it all alone, or that someone would just call to ask “How are you?”.  This morning this prayer was answered, my sister called as she was thinking of me and we had a lovely chat where I really could say what I was feeling, that was such a gift to me, for a time it made the fog disappear.

When I was at the park with Jasper earlier this afternoon I had this thought.  Often after people suicide the people around them say “I wish I knew what he or she was going through” or “they should have reached out”.  This doesn’t take into account whether those around the person had enough empathy to even care or reach deeper or whether they just filled up all the available air time with their self centred life and ignored that person who spent a life time burying their painful feelings.  This isn’t to imply blame but only to say, at times when I tried to talk of my pain others would not listen, or only thought about the impact on them.

That is why it is so important to really listen and to care.  Until we can give this to ourselves however, though, I guess we can’t give it to anyone else and sometimes the suicidal person’s pain is so deep they cannot reach out or speak of it.  For me it is always a healing breakthrough when I can say this is how it is for me no matter how dark the thoughts and feelings and  be heard.  For often trauma takes our voice and without it the fog comes down, disorients us and sweeps us away.

It is true to that on each day I also have to look through the mist and fog for the sunshine things in life, places, activities, food, music and other things that dispel the gloom.  On the dark days it can be hard for these to even reach us but on the greyer days they might just make all of the difference.  In the end its a fine line between honouring how we feel and not being trapped there, feeling so lost and alone.  And maybe just maybe there are some of us who live closer to this lost, alone place.  Having endured what we have we have lived things others never will and we have been changed by that experience.  We cannot erase those memories or the pain, we can only find a way to bear them with dignity and grace, working hard not to dispel a sense of hope and gratitude for this present moment, attendant with the realisation that our present does not need to be a repeat of the past, that in acknowledging our trauma and speaking of it we can find freedom, peace and understanding.

 

 

I won’t fear love

What happens to someone when they are not allowed to feel what they feel, when they are having an intense reaction to something and that reaction is then judged as ‘mad’ and steps are taken to shut them down and invalidate the person’s reality?   Really the person was deeply outraged and angry about something that was legitimately hurtful and abusive (perhaps having triggered a complex web of other feelings, issues complexes reaching deep down and far back), but their reaction is judged (often by the abuser, but often also others the abuser has co-opted in to validate their own rejected and repressed betrayal, for example).   Those people bring in a psychiatrist and a diagnosis of bi-polar disorder is made, it is recommended the person is placed on something “to calm them down”.

This type of scenario is unwinding in a novel I am reading at present. The themes explored in the novel are cutting to the heart of similar issues in my own family. The central character in this book is called Grace. When the book opens she has been in a relationship with a narcissist where she walked on eggshells for many years always fearing when the next outburst or angry tirade will be expressed.

As her history is explored in the first half of the book it is revealed that she was raised by a mother who was not only emotionally unavailable to Grace for long periods but prone herself to rash outbursts of anger and strange behaviour that were frightening for her daughter. It is not made clear in the novel what happened to the mother that caused her behaviour but eventually she is diagnosed with “bi-polar” disorder.

The shadow imprints of this painful relationship rears its head when Grace hits midlife. Its nature shows why Grace would have been attracted to a narcissist. Her own emotional needs were never met. She learns to bury her needs and soothe or avoid her husband. Eventually the stress of trying to appease her husband’s endless needs leads Grace to hire an assistant who subtly begins to undermine Grace.

Grace’s behaviour starts to change in response to the mixed messages in the environment, (the not at this stage overt deception going on).  She becomes prone to sleeplessness and then bursts of energy which are nothing more than reactions to stress and buried feelings she has not really been able to articulate over years. Her husband starts to question her behaviour and label it erratic (a huge irony here in that his own behaviour has been even more outlandish). He convinces Grace to see a psychiatrist who diagnoses her with a mild form of bi polar disorder. The diagnosis sits badly with Grace, and yet she questions herself. This guy has a degree from a famous university, he has written chapters in the DSM her own mother was bi polar, has she inherited the bi polar curse? Who is she to question anyway?

Grace reluctantly takes the drugs prescribed which make her hungry, lethargic, sleep 12 hours or more a day and even more depressed. She gains weight and her self esteem plummets. When her closest friend find out what has happened she is outraged. She sees no evidence for the diagnosis. Grace struggles on, being undermined at times by both husband and his new assistant.

Then one day she finds them together having sex, as any normal person would do she flies into a rage attacking the woman who in partnership with her husband then arrange to have her taken to a psychiatric facility. At this part in the story I was hyperventilating. It was so similar to my oldest sister’s story, of which the full details have never been clear, only that her own husband had an affair with a women they were both involved with in and through the business my sister started, either before or after my sister had a cerebral haemorraghe in 1980.

A year later her husband took them and their four children away to New Zealand  (the mistress had gone forward a short while before). I believe on Jude’s arrival in New Zealand she may then have had to witness her husband and his mistress together. She had a series of so called “psychotic” breaks and was admitted to an asylum. She was then sent home home to us with a one way ticket. with one suitcase of clothes, she then tried to take her life.

In the novel Grace is luckier than my sister. She has manages to escape from the influence of the psychiatrist who was loading her with a number of different medications which basically numbed her so that she was only a zombie, less than even a shadow of her former self. My sister was never that lucky. When she came home and tried to cry her eyes out she was stopped from going there. Dumbed down with more meds, as with Grace with the numbing came a loss of all her creative ability, her joy, her zest, her sadness all palled under the greyness of a lifeless “blah” induced by the medications she was fed.

Her authentic liveliness and joy was squashed and little help was given, until later years to help her work through the painful mix of feelings. In the end there were only screaming rages with long crying spells, many of which I sat through in the course of her last years, holding her hand.

I am still in the middle of processing all the feelings that have been coming up for me in reading Grace’s story. I am reminded of the difficult journey we have on earth in coming to terms with our feelings, with their impact on others, with the impact of other’s feelings on us and even of our own feelings impact on us, of the long search to find a place where our feelings can be expressed in a way in which it is helpful and we can move forward rather than be paralysed or trapped by them.

I guess in the end it all has a lot to do with fear. There is a wonderful book out there on this subject it is called When Love Meets Fear and is written by David Richo   I read a quote recently from it which I can now not find but said something like this :  many people will be frightened by expression of your lively energy especially if it rocks their boat or confronts them with a part of themselves they would rather not see, your life task is to be and express this lively energy even in the face of others fear of all the tactics and machinations they use to try and undermine your true authentic expression.

I had a big “ah ha” moment when I read that paragraph. How often as a child was I shamed by the Nuns or even my parents when I expressed something they did not want me to express. This also happened to my older sister mentioned above who it said in later life “was just a little too big for her boots”, a bit too open, too lively, too “over the top”, a “naughty” girl. Witness the jaw drop as she speaks an outlandish truth to someone confronting them with something they are ashamed about or trying to hide. It’s just “not nice”! More outraged expressions and pursed lips.

I am not implying that we should have no restraint, no empathy for or sensitivity towards others feelings but we do need to have the courage to express what is true for us even if at times it makes us seem like an inconvenience for others who would rather we shut it up or dumbed it down a bit.

Interesting that just last month the Sun in Libra faced off with/opposed Uranus in Aries. Uranus has been passing through my eighth house of shadow energies over the past few years. My own Mars is conjunct Saturn which lends a fair bit of repression, duty boundness and doing the right thing to Mars lively assertive joy in self expression and movement. I have struggled with bound up/caged Mars energy for most of my life late childhood onwards.   Luckily I haven’t been medicated through any of the lows which were often descents in which feelings had to be negotiated, painful as they were and interspersed with periods of debilitating depression.

Lately  I am getting lots of hints about where repression due to displaced and projected fears occurs for myself and others and I am grateful for a therapist who allows me to express my own genuine feelings without being scared by them or having any controlling reaction. Being able to get my intense feelings out in a place where I can makes sense of them is what has helped me most.  Being able to own the fact I feel scared and acknowledge while holding my own hand and figuring out ways to act despite the fear has also helped.

There is a powerful line in a song I have been listening to lately by Sarah McLaughlin :

 “ If I feel a rage I won’t deny it, I won’t fear love.”

There are people who are going to tell us that our rage makes us madwoman but it doesn’t.  My rage shows me where love and respect for me isn’t being shown and life and love for myself and others asks me to see and own that rage and takes steps to empower a self that in being repressed or denied for too long is now rattling the cage from which I must liberate myself in order to express and fight for what I most need to live, to love, to express, to breathe, to survive and to thrive in my deepest authenticity.

Those who love me will validate my feelings, they will see the sense in them, they will not make me bad or wrong for having them. And it is the adult in me who must help me to hold those feelings, to process them, to make sense of them and then express them in ways which help me to become empowered and strong. When I feel a rage I won’t deny it. I won’t fear love.  For in feeling the rage, in allowing it to move me to authentic assertive (rather than aggressive) action  I demonstrate love, power and authenticity for myself, for you, for my sister and for the journey which in, at times, leading us to the darkest depths and deepest night eventually brings light and the dawning of a new day filled with understanding, compassion and hope.

The importance of validation

Do you have a really good friend who sets your world back to rights when you get a little mixed up, uncertain, filled with confusion?

I am blessed to say that I do. This friend is a lot like me, he never judges me, he shows me understanding, when I am confused and stuck in self judgement as a result of my invalidating past, he sets me straight in the nicest way by valuing, validating and putting out a sane and balanced point of view.

This happened to me today. I was feeling like there was something wrong with me. In a body work session some deeply buried anger and grief at not being supported or loved when I was grieving by a few rigidly defended members in my support group 7 or so years ago came up. I had an outburst about it in the therapy as I was tapping into the feelings in my body work session.

At the time, all those years ago I had stuffed the distress and upset in my body. When I came home I put on loud music and danced around the room in a frenzy and as a result I ended up falling backwards and hitting my shoulder very painfully against a lounge chair arm with a steel casing. This is quite funny as I read it back and it not sound like a very traumatic injury but it really hurt me and it came one year following a major head trauma I suffered overseas, on the first anniversary of my husband making the decision to end my marriage.

I now see how stuck I was at the time, still very bonded to a family with lots of unresolved trauma in both my family and myself. When the second injury occurred I was isolated and living alone in a coastal town without any support or daily contact with anyone but my support group on one day a week. I didn’t have a therapist which I now know is essential to healing and I could not move forward to make a new start. I was too traumatised. The bridge of trust to the outside world and others was broken due to past invalidation and lack of emotional support.

My family suffered from a difficulty in showing empathy, unconditional love and I now see it was a mistake to look to them. I needed to build a sense of support within myself from knowing who I truly was, what I had suffered and the extent to which my grief over past difficulties including the loss of my father had impacted on me. I only realise all of this now though, with the gift of hindsight.

It is only lately that I am able to feel the true pain of the things I carried and struggled with, without self judgement. I didn’t really have a place to go to fully express my aching soul.

I am so grateful to have come across a wonderful blog online here : The Invisible Scar through following a post, reblogged on yet another site by Robert Goldstein yesterday. This blog is related to informing people about the impact of emotional abuse in childhood, abuse which is not as obvious as overt physical abuse but never the less leaves deep scars on the psyche and soul which are invisible.

This invisible wound or scar aches, throbs and burns. In my own case I have felt this wound to self like a piece of schrapnel which is lodged deep within me, which moves around, is sometimes soothed and receeds into the back ground from a time, and then comes to consciousness in pain especially at night when the unconscious makes itself more conscious on a somatic level. I am working with a body work therapist now to understand and help with the total immobilisation I suffer on some days.

I am not sure if in today’s bodywork session my anger was fully validated by the therapist. She looked a little taken a back. My anger wasn’t directed at her it was at the old situation. She said to me “you know it is okay to be angry”. Part of me doesn’t truly believe this to be so. She questioned me as to whether I was in the present or past when I was feeling it. I have always been able to keep a check on my anger in that I won’t lash out at others and am very much aware it is of the past. At times I have projected and transferred it but it doesn’t take me long to get a handle on it. It first began to emerge over seven years ago after Chiron passed over my natal Mars Saturn Moon, I would allow myself to scream and shout or hit something after removing myself to a safe space.  I would also express it in my journal often tearing up the page through about seven layers with the pen after laying down an angry scrawl. Then after many years the grief under the anger began to make itself felt.

I know at times I have scared others and even when I have not hurt them they have tried to make me feel my anger has hurt them and I am bad or wrong for feeling it.  Today I know that feelings just are, emotional invalidation is to judge someone’s feeling as wrong if it challenges you and the to try and manipulate them to change.  I have suffered this at the hands of my family many times.

This kind of invalidation has had to happen several times for me to see it wasn’t my problem, but theirs especially if they tried to demonise me for it.   At the time these reaction made me feel that it was NOT okay to be angry. But I beginning to trust that when I feel angry some kind of boundary has been violated or I have been abused subtly. I now have a good therapist who can help me in this.  As my  awareness has grown, I don’t have to vocalise as much and can take steps to deal with it. When I do I can ask myself how I have been triggered.

My catholic education led me to believe anger was wrong and yet justified anger is what is needed most to protect our spirits from violation. In the temple Jesus showed real anger with the sanctity of the space was violated by the money lenders.

My being, soul and body is my own temple. It’s a temple that has often been invaded, in childhood by having procedures forced on me like painful orthodontic treatment to improve my bucked teeth, a haircut of long hair off I didn’t want or need, through to injuries from parental neglect or lack of care and attention. Once I  got third degree burns to my foot after my Mum placed a boiling hot bucket of water on a step near to where I was drawing which I stepped into. My arm was pulled out of socket by her pulling me back. Once I cut open my wrist and nearly severed the tendons after being locked outside the house. The key to the house had not been put back on the hook and when I came home I was locked out and ended up breaking a window which cut my wrist open. I ran down to the neighbours and they took me to hospital but when the cut happened I felt so scared and alone.

In addition as a child I learned to orient myself around my mother’s needs, it was the only way to get her attention which was focused almost solely on her business and keeping the house and us perfectly clean, tidy and controlled. She was never there after school to care, cherish, nourish and support. I found myself in tears yesterday after seeing the support being offered to someone who was being mentored for singing.

Reading about similar issues on the blog of The Invisible Scar has made me realise where the emptiness, loneliness and sadness of my late childhood and early adolescence came from. I sought relief from it through addictions from my late teens on and caused myself even more damage through picking people who could not support or validate me.

I feel a certain anxiety even writing all of this, a fear of judgement, inner voices telling me I am being narcissistic and self obsessed. Whose voices are these?. That is part of not feeling very strong in my own sense of self.

Those of us recovering from this kind of history know how long it takes, how painful the road and how necessary it is to have those who can validate us along the way. My friend that I mentioned earlier does that for me. There was a period a few years ago when I had to let go of some friends who seemed determined to blame me and shame me. It was a painful lesson but in the end I was better off alone, hard as that was. They had no idea of how trauma had trapped me, how jangled my nervous systems was.

Now I am lucky enough to have my best friend as well as others online and a very good therapist who support the part of me that is truly me and trying to emerge, that unconsciously carries all the body memory of violation and is working hard to integrate these into awareness.

Without them I don’t know if I could have made sense of my twisted world or of the body symptoms I have suffered from repressed feelings. I am beginning to attain clarity into my past by listening to what has been buried in my body. In releasing it, in acknowledging it, I heal.

For this to happen I need first external validation and help in understanding how I can be confused when those threatened or unaware or unconsciously triggered in their own defences seek to invalidate me.

Blogging gives me a voice, a place to share, and reading others blogs helps me to recognise we are all in this together and have much to teach and learn from each other along the journey of healing. Through hearing your story I can heal and I hope by hearing mine you can too. xo

Trying to figure out, what is right for me.

I wrote this over a month ago when I made a connection with a body work therapist.  I am seeing that around this time of year which coincides with a major trauma in my late teens the issue of looking for help with bearing the burden and legacy left emerges.  So for what its worth, I am taking it out of drafts, dusting it off, turning it this way and that to extract some meaning for me now.

Filled with doubts. Lots of questions. How can I know? I went to see a new body work therapist today at the advice of someone who has been urging me down this pathway for some time. I go to these therapists wary and with my BS detector sticking up. Relationship is a mine field for me anyway. Was for some time, especially therapeutic relationships, several of which have come to grief when things done or said just did not gel with me, or I felt someone trying to project things on me that felt wrong. Or with those who could not contain the rage that is part of the Post Traumatic State and only emerges when invalidation occurs or when I have been overloaded by a repeat trauma that has triggered earlier ones.

I was reading today in James Masterton’s book The Search For the Real Self, how not having a good relationship with our true self and feelings sets us up to be very vulnerable to the opinions of others. We look to them as a child to an adult when our relationship to our own sense of self and purpose is not strong. With all my Neptune squares to personal planets I can say I identify.

There is a long period when we are growing and developing what psychologists would call the ego (a mediating construct which helps sort between aspects of our inner self as differentiated from the inner selves of others), when our capacity for emotional intelligence is supposedly very limited.

Children can be sensitive to the energy of emotions, but at a certain point in their development they don’t really have names for them. Children need help with their emotions from caregivers in order to develop a relationship to them, regulate them, name them and express them effectively. Of course the later depends too upon how open to hearing us others really are.

The problem of lack of attunement and our parents own defences can leave us with a mixed up relationship to some of our feelings and emotions. Something I have noticed with several of the body workers I have dealt with has been an attempt to shut down emotions that may have been being expressed, which at times made me feel constricted and boxed in.

Supposedly too by questioning you about why you are angry or crying they can get to the bottom of it and figure it out. It is good to ask these kinds of questions but there will be those who just get it and you come away feeling validated and heard, that your expression flowed and your body felt expanded not contracted.

One of the legacies of undergoing traumatic experiences especially on the body is that the entire system, including our musculature and tendons constrict and contract.   We get scrambled, our central nervous system goes into overdrive, pumping out  cortisol when it needs to relax.  At present I am taking tissue salts to help with this, as during trauma our cells become depleted of certain minerals as cortisol levels spike.

Another question I had today was this.  What happens when a therapist lays the line on you that this is just a storyline, one you need to let go? It’s good to recognise when a pure emotion becomes amped up by our reaction to it.  Instead of letting it flow we chomp down on it like a dog with a bone and won’t let go, it intensifies or converts to another emotion (say anger when we are feeling grief, or grief when we are feeling anger),  then it blows out of proportion and become very reactive, but maybe even this reaction has lesson for us and is not the final world.

Truth is, I guess, we can have an emotion, but then we can have a reaction to that emotion or others have a reaction to our emotion which then interferes with the need of the emotion just to get out and be released so we can move on. Why the problem with questioning it? Validation says I see you are having such and such an emotion. Not that it is right or wrong. Once the person is validated for how they are feeling rather than the other person’s reaction to it there is often peace and an open channel of communication. I would call this non defensive communication.

The other thing I have been questioning what happens when we try to express something which a therapist misinterprets or just doesn’t get. Example. Today, once again I had to go in to my history and most especially my accident history as at night and during the day my body is still expressing this trauma in all kinds of strange symptoms. I was speaking of the experience of being trapped in the car and not being able to move, struggling for breath, being in pain and the ambulance men coming in behind to put an oxygen mask on me that I was trying to fend off. I needed that mask on, so fighting was dangerous. But then the tears came and most especially when I remembered the upset of the impact for my father who died a few years later.

The person I was seeing made the assumption that I in some way blamed myself on some level for that and was stuck in a story line. The truth is that I did not, it was out of my control, but I could feel the sadness and pain my father suffered over it, how the accident had impacted on him (he died several years later after further traumas involving my oldest sister’s illness, abandonment and breakdown).  It was after reliving this in an earlier body work session that I had a second major accident which mirrored the earlier one and left me with further Post Traumatic Stress which I am still working to resolve.

Its best not to assume or project, but I guess we can all do it. The important thing for me  To understand my own reaction and reality.  These days I find it is pointless to try and enter into any argument over my tears or the working of my own emotional inner world.  I am lucky enough after many years of failures in having found a therapist who empathises and really gets it, who does not reach for answers or try to project.

As far as other’s are concerned, I ask this. Why should other people get it that at times I feel really sad when they have not suffered in the same way or spend time denying emotions? Is it that I am too enmeshed in my suffering? (This is how they often make me feel.) That can hardly be true because I have lots of good and happy days, but there are days when sorrow can and does inundate me.

Today we worked with the sensations in my body, the traumatic imprints lodged in the tissues and I began to feel the unwinding and shifting of sensations as blockages dissolved and more sensation came in. At times I was pulled away by thought and I get that thinking came sometimes follow a story line and carry us away from the reality of just being present today. I have written a blog about that before.  When this happens and I am in flight from the sensations I remind myself to return to the breath and just notice body sensation.

I still came away from this first session questioning and running a doubting story line. Truth is I am not going to know how this particular treatment pans out until I front up for it and see if it has any beneficial effect on my symptoms. Until then the jury is out.

Deep down I wish the therapist would just keep the story line comments to herself and let me have my feelings. It’s true I might be caught up in a pattern. I am aware there are times I am holding my breath due to old traumatic imprints arising. At the time I am not always aware, but I am catching myself doing this more. It is one of the things I guess we tend to do when we are hit with something very overwhelming. Never the less it is important to learn to let go with the breath and encourage the new breath a space, because breath = movement = life.

We also need to let our emotions breathe in order to release them. They are like waves that arise and fall if we don’t clamp down on them. E Motion. Energy in motion.   I think many of my problems have come from holding in emotions and not having them validated. A saying of yes would allow the release and not cause further frustration.

This is what happens to emotionally sensitive children when they are not validated and it leads to all kinds of long term problems. There is nothing to be gained from denying sensitivity. It has a purpose and the sensitive child who feels things intensely needs help to validate and understand so they can self soothe and don’t have to reach for numbing substances or behaviours due to having been traumatised by parents who hurt them due to their own ignorance and fear.

I know it irritates a lot of people this sensitivity. The truth is that often I will keep what I feel inside, I won’t express or explode as I am considering your feelings, but it that last few years I have let myself explode in order to separate out validators from invalidators. Sometimes exploding is really essential so I can know how distressed I am and come to make sense of if something has angered me, because often when that happens (but not always) there has been an assault or violation of a kind. It wont be received well by the abuser or invalidator and their response has lessons for me.

The last thing I need now when I am making such progress with my psychotherapist is for this is for this body work therapist now to make me doubt myself when another therapist has said how important it was for me not to stuff this anger any more, so that eventually I can find ways to assert my needs more without the need to explode.

The most important thing for me now, I believe, is to trust my gut, to not have anyone on a pedestal and not to accept that which I find a bit hard to swallow. Well meaning as a person can be they have their own limitations. I am learning that if I have a doubt there is probably something not quite right. My true insights are often dismissed by my family something I have blogged about recently and so I naturally doubt myself when really I should just trust my gut. When I don’t, I get into problems.

What is important on this journey of healing is that I can validate myself and trust myself, something it has not always been easy to do. Something I want to explore more in my blogs. A lot of sorting out and separating is going on for me at present. It feels good.

I am looking forward to Saturn moving forward soon as I will be getting the waning sextile transit to Mars Saturn Moon when it does. This bodes well for me. I will be much more aware of my own Mars Saturn Moon than I was when I underwent the squares.

The major astrological lesson I have learned is that with a weak or damaged Mars I am emotionally Fucked. Mars serves the Sun. We need a healthy sense of self assertion to help us navigate through life with power and authority, not a power and authority over others but a power and authority that comes from knowing our self and our boundaries. What is and is not acceptable to us. This can be argued with by others but nevertheless as emotional adults we have authority over our own life and inner world.

There are some lovely world from a song from Dido which express this well:

This land is mine, I’ll let you in, I’ll let you navigate and demand, just as long as you know this land is mine.

What I ask for, I also have to give. That sometimes you won’t get it or understand and that you may even misunderstand me too, the most important thing being, that I no longer misunderstand myself.

As a post script I continued to see the body work therapist over the next eight weeks and I had a major blow up with her.  We managed to work through the anger and fear at the heart of it.  I shared with her about how I had been invalidated by two other body work therapists over four years and she said to me “I really get how scary and difficult it must have been for you to trust me.”  Immediately I could relax and feel that she really got what living inside the traumatised reality is like, when you reach out and trust only to be misunderstood and violated again.  I still struggle with my symptoms but they are lessening.  Mars in now in my first house and more available to me than it was when buried deep in the twelfth bringing up all my unresolved issues, but even all that questioning and indecision, the self questioning and self doubt was part of the process in trying to figure out what was going on and what was right for me.

The painful effects of emotional invalidation

Over time, a child who is told their feelings are “wrong” will become confused and learn to not trust their emotions. This is called chronic emotional invalidation, which is often one of the markers of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

The study found that a history of emotion invalidation (i.e., a history of childhood psychological abuse and parental punishment, minimization, and distress in response to negative emotion) was significantly associated with emotion inhibition (i.e., ambivalence over emotional expression, thought suppression, and avoidant stress responses).

Further studies showed that emotion inhibition is a significant predictor of depression and anxiety symptoms.

Source :  http://www.borderlinepersonalitytreatment.com/borderline-personality-disorder-chronic-invalidation.html

Understanding the impact of a lack of emotional validation has been essential for me in healing from the terrible symptoms of internalised self invalidation which led to addiction. These symptoms were not even conscious for me until about 10 years ago after over 10 years of active abstinence from alcohol and all other mood altering drugs.   Its been a big learning curve.  This blog is an attempt to express some of what I have learned.

When as children our true feelings and needs are not validated we learn to internalise that invalidation.  We constantly question ourselves, doubt ourselves, dismiss or minimise our true feelings, hear punishing or inwardly threatening or accusing voices including suicidal ones.  Some of us take our own lives.

In his book The Inner World of Trauma the psychotherapist, Donald Kalsched explains how children traumatised in this way come to be possessed by an inner accusing figure that turns themselves against their self or acts to protect them from further upset and abuse by blocking out relationship and sometimes telling the person to end their life.   Even when the promise of a healthy relationship free of abuse is offered the person will doubt it and hear inner voices telling them to kill it off for fear of being traumatised again.  Its a very painful state of affairs and we have no way of healing from it until we come to understand the countless ways in which emotional invalidation operates to block our true feelings, self and needs.

Lack of emotional validation sets us up for a disconnected relationship with who we really are.  It also sets us up for further invalidating relationships, until we suffer enough pain to say “Enough”, and realise what is happening.

Some of the symptoms of emotional invalidation on our psyche are:

Feeling that you will never be good enough.

Feeling that you are a failure.

Feeling like an alien on earth.

Looking to addictions to ease the pain that we begin to feel when disconnected from who we really are.

Putting on a false self in order to please others.  Approval seeking.  Hoovering (to be explained in another blog.)

Hiding true feelings and needs out of fear of being abandoned.

Fearing getting too close to others with the belief that if anyone came too close they would not like you.

Punishing the self in some way.

Self neglect.  Self sabotage.

Feeling overwhelmed by decision making or just overwhelmed in your ability to function in daily life.

Self hatred.

Relentless inward self criticism.

Acceptance and internalisation of criticism whether or not it is valid.

Being unable to have a realistic sense of one’s strengths and weaknesses.

Not allowing very real human mistakes or feeling deep shame for making mistakes.

Feeling you are a mistake.

Shame bound feelings.  If you feel anger you feel ashamed.  If you feel sad you feel ashamed.  As a result of being told you are a cry baby, too emotional, just too sensitive, too deep.

Suppression of emotions until they explode out in fits of screaming, crying or yelling.  Difficulty regulating emotions.

Suppression of emotions to the extent that one somatises them.  That is : experiences them only as pulling, pain, tearing, burning, squeezing.  Difficulty breathing.  Panic attacks.

Chronic fear and terror.

Hypervigilance.

Pathological loneliness.  Feeling as though no one could possibly ever understand you

(This list is adapted with my own additions from the following source :

http://www.practiceofmadness.com/2014/02/effects-emotional-invalidation/)

What an agonisingly painful way to live. But there is hope.  We can begin to learn about the effects of emotional invalidation.  Most importantly we need to limit our involvement with relationships which are invalidating (until our recovery is fully centred) and often we need therapeutic or online support from those who reflect back to us our true self and validate our feelings.

Such validation is enormously powerful.  One of the most painful effects in my own life of chronic invalidation has been a host of physical symptoms which made no sense, addiction, depression, anxiety, feeling suicidal and being attracted to dysfunctional relationships where old patterns of invalidation and abuse took place.

Two days ago I had a very powerful attack which was exacerbated when speaking to those who in invalidating made my physical symptoms even more acute.  All the symptoms disappeared when I spoke to a therapist who was able to validate and reflect back to where I was, who I was and how I was feeling.

One of the reasons borderline personality has that name is that those of us who suffer from it live on the border of psychosis, we live very close to the unconscious, most especially the body unconscious, our triggers of past difficulties, frustrations and traumas are never very far from the surface and often they can bleed through or tear apart our usual mundane conscious space.  Getting a handle on when we are triggered by emotional invalidation goes a huge way to easing our pain.  It gives us power over our inner world and helps us to make wiser choices informed by our true emotional reality.

Understanding the effects of chronic emotional invalidation and internalised self invalidation is essential to our healing, helping us to shed the false self with all its deeply unconscious fears and insecurities.  It frees us from the shame others would dump on us for suffering from the consequences of something we did not choose and most certainly do not deserve.  It gives us the power of understanding that enables maturing and self responsibility.  It helps us to dislodge the hurtful schrapnel buried deep inside us.

Lessons from Saturn : Along the Road to Empowerment

I am seeking some healing, I am seeking self empowerment I am also seeking self definition. At the same time I am seeking liberation from wounding experiences  of the past that have held me in locked in pain which repeats. I am seeking a way to embrace and understand what I went through as at one time being out of my own power at the time due to my level of awareness at that time.  Pain has been the teacher that has taught me the lessons about all this and raised my level of awareness.

A few weeks ago I was reading a blog which I won’t identify out of respect in which the author has a rant :  “you are not a victim”, urging people to take control of their lives and power.  The problem I had with it is, that we cannot recover from the victim mythology until we understand that at one time we were a victim of others who had an investment in hurting us or keeping us small.

Just prior to reading this I had followed a link to a piece of writing from the Energetic Institute in Western Australia in which the author speaks about the  “New Age” tendency to deny that we are actually victims of other people who hurt us. Implied in a lot of New Age philosophy is the idea that you chose it or brought it on yourself. This idea is debunked in the article I read.  I quote :

Another key form of manipulation is the New Age perversion of the concept of there being no evil and no such thing as a victim. In this contrived reality there is nothing outside you that can be blamed for your circumstance, for that makes you a victim, and victims are powerless. The New Age theme is to take back your power by putting the cause of the problem back inside you in every instance and every case.

This logic to me needs a boundary between the truth of unconscious dynamics that we recreate in our lives which may keep us powerless and victims, and the true evil of outside premeditated intent and action against oneself by another.

Scott Peck and Elsa Ronningstam both warn of this fallacy of removing a perpetrator or abuser from their accountability, and instead taking on the issue as one’s karma or self generated issue. They note this being a limited truth not applicable to all dynamics or situations.They note that Narcissists and “people of the lie” are adept at creating justifications and psychologies that allow the leader to abuse the follower, then to doubly abuse them by telling them to stop being victims and see the deeper dynamic which is of their own darkness, lower self or some other origin.

The truth is we are at times victims of people who have an investment in denying and covering up what they have done. They are not capable of the level of introspection and honesty which would enable them to see into their own dark side. We all have a dark side and some of us are willing to face it. Abusers, especially emotional abusers, just are not.

Once we wise up to the truth that we suffered abuse (and emotional abuse can be very subtle to the degree it is denied by the abuser who then manipulates us in many subtle and underhand ways) only then do we have the possibility of making a choice to say “No” categorically and walk away.

This can take courage and strength especially if you have been bonded so tightly to an abuser due to isolation and suffer from trauma bonding.   Trauma bonding leads to us being isolated from other sources of support that would validate us and emotional abusers will invalidate those forms of support which we turn to in order to gain freedom.

This was certainly my experience. When I began to really hit into deep issues in my first therapy my therapy was actively disparaged by both my husband and my mother, both of whom had an investment in not looking into their own souls. I wish at the time this was occurring I had the courage to be stronger, but part of my questioned how people who purported to be loving could be subtly hurting me by denying support and questioning my interpretation of events, leading me to become very confused and to ask the question. “Have I got it wrong?”

I am now aware, as I was not then that there were big issues in our family around lack of honest confrontation and boundaries.  Boundaries could be invaded at any time and if you protested you were ridiculed.  Hurtful behaviour was never challenged. I was not protected and learned to believe that I was powerless.

One parent who was acting abusively was not held accountable by the other parent whose survival strategy was just check out and laugh it off. I was also subjected to abuse by a sister due the fact that my mother was absent at critical times. We came home to an empty house each afternoon and had to fend for ourselves.   It was confusing and lonely childhood. At times certain needs were met, but the message I got was that I just was not worth my parent’s time and attention.

A therapist has recently given this term to what I suffered: “benign neglect.” In the absence of care, support, understanding and comfort I learned to turn to substances. I also learned due to my mother and sister’s behaviour that attachment and connection was unpredictable and at times down right scary. My way of coping was to turn myself inside out, to anticipate that which would please and not anger them and to stuff the anger and the hurt deep inside. If and when I let it out I was led to believe I was a “bad” child and sideline, ostracised or sent to my room.

As recently as 10 years ago my sister said to me when I confronted her on her aggressive behaviour which sparked me to push her and call her a fairly strong name “you were such a selfish,  naughty child, always throwing tantrums.”…. Mmm. Tantrums are often a cry for attention but most especially speak to me of needs for care and boundaries in the process of growing up and negotiating relationships.

At the start of this blog I wrote about seeking self definition. As a writer with a strong interest in astrology I was thinking very strongly today of the planet Saturn. I have Saturn on my Moon and that placement speaks of conditions around me which led me to develop a sense of emotional resilience out of necessity, but it also speaks of defences and prohibitions against feeling the fully conscious, true response to deprivation of emotional needs.  It also speaks of outside forces of repression or limitation being imposed which locked feelings deep inside.

There is this theme of emotional repression and escape into an aggressive stance as a defence, running along my mothers ancestral side which spans critical events of abuse going back four generations.  So on some level it speaks of family karma, not in the sense of something New Age and etheric but as a result of sins of omission going back across generations as a result of the interface of individual and collective forces (Saturn).

Over the next week Saturn in Sagittarius beginning to slow at 4 degrees of Sagittarius prior to turning retrograde on 14 March. This transit sextiles my Mars Saturn Moon and square my Chiron in Pisces in the seventh house opposite Pluto in the first.

For me issues of anger, self definition, assertion, psychological defences and boundaries have been highlighted. I have been unearthing in counselling repressed anger which I could neither express effectively or resolve before.

Over the past 14 years of struggling after aborting an intensive therapy and seeking to separate from maternal, family and ancestral issues by travelling to the UK and starting therapy there (at that time transiting Saturn was in the opposition zone to where it is now) I have suffered from symptoms of spinning and feeling as though I am in the midst of birth process that at times gets stuck. I have felt myself pushing to be born fully against great forces of resistance.

Over the past year or so I have been unearthing intense feelings inside and complex issues have been triggered for female relatives which echo themes of enmeshment, separation and individuation.

Astrologer Erin Sullivan equates the transit of Saturn over the cusp of the fourth house with an atonement with our unique family fate, a growth in awareness of its impact on us personally and a process of separation from the fate. That certainly feels true for me. Last month I was able to make a connection with descendants from my mother’s side and learn more about the family history.

At times I have felt that the Saturn Moon Mars placement is a heavy cross to bear.  And yet lately I am feeling that even all the really painful and lonely experiences of neglectful or abortive mothering have been some kind of wake up call.  In many ways the females in my family have all be trapped in patterns and themes that played out unconsciously.  Saturn is now demanding consciousness. Astrology gives me the signposts for deep soul processes that have much more do with me than just purely personal issues. What I am working on is in some way linked to deep ancestral issues.

Over the past two weeks conditions of intense pain, illness, accident and suffering in my female relatives (which are occurring as Saturn makes powerful conjunctions and squares to Mars, Sun and Venus in their charts) are challenging me to step back and centre within.  My Neptune squares can unconsciously lead me to play saviour for something that is way beyond my power to control.  In the end I can only save myself.

For now its feeling quite comforting to recognise the necessity to stand alone for a time in order to gain deeper insight into what I can and cannot change. It is an important step for me to allow myself to honour my anger, whilst not acting it out, using it instead to demarcate healthy boundaries around what I can and cannot let in.  The more in touch I am with my anger the greater my capacity to love, once the anger is processed (outside of the family) and released.

Recently there was an incident when I had to confront my Mum lovingly and not back down when subtle tactics were used to try and get me to feel once again like the “naughty, bad one” for speaking up. I had to wear again the sting of rejection from the “circle of trust” and bear that pain whilst going through all the old guilt inducing messages.

Melodie Beatty who has written several books on recovery from codependence calls this “after burn” : a necessary stage in the process of regaining self esteem and healthy boundaries within deeply enmeshed relationships.

It is interesting to bear in mind the current transit of Mars in Aries as it moves toward Uranus the planet of individualisation and emotional freedom whilst squaring and challenging transiting Pluto in Capricorn, the entrenched and deeply ingrained legacy of painful secrets, toxic feelings, hurt, and buried emotions that are intense and difficult : anger, grief, guilt, fear, resistance and resentment.

It seems to me lately (in line with the transit of both Uranus and Mars in my eighth house ruled by Aries) that the entire history of my own hurt and frustration in critical relationships over the past 50 years has been triggered.

Last week the Sun in Pisces transited over Chiron there. I read the following and most certainly experienced it last week :

Sun conjunct Chiron in Pisces –

Sun conjunct Chiron in Pisces – On a sleepy Sunday, turn your attention to yourself. Tend to your wounds, your pain, those old hurts that bubble up sometimes. Love yourself back to life. Forgive yourself for reacting, for rejecting, for telling yourself that you should be better than this. You don’t need to be fixed. You aren’t broken – even if you feel you are. Let go of mistakes. You are fallible. It happens. Let It Go!

Source Lua Astrology Facebook Page.

For me the letting go comes once I have absorbed the lesson fully.

Carl Jung once said, “There is no coming to consciousness without pain;” one of these being the potential pain of letting go of attachments to people, places and things that no longer resonate with us. Once we’ve seen the Light, there is no turning back to our former life in the same way. We are now entering into Spring (Fall) Eclipse season. Another good axiom comes to mind, “Let go or be dragged.”

Namaste Starshines

In the midst of undergoing my own painful melt down last week I came across an excellent article on Owning Your Own Power.  I read the following:

Many co-dependents have never learned to be assertive or how to problem-solve. They’re unable to know and assert their wants and needs or make decisions, often even for themselves. They relinquish control over themselves and often defer to others or don’t act at all. Assertiveness is empowering, but requires a foundation of autonomy and self-esteem, both difficult for co-dependents. However, assertiveness can be learned, and doing so builds self-esteem.

As I reflect these words relate to both a strong Saturn and Mars force within transformed in their power to protect, empower and helps us express our True Self. Saturn transits to personal planets and transpersonal drive certain critical lessons home. Self definition, self assertion – it’s a difficult journey for some of us. Its a matter of trust.

In my own case I lost trust in myself as I was not validated.  It has been a long road to understand how neglect and lack of validation kept me in prison for many years, literally tied in knots.  For me, freedom has only come through being able to own and honour the anger I have felt, difficult as it has been for people around me.  Anger is a response to hurt and invalidation, when that hurt is deliberate and when others have an investment in not honouring us or in passing on or projecting old unconscious hurt within themselves.

Anger gives me the energy to set boundaries, to confront, rather than deny what hurt.  Clean anger resolves itself.  It lets go once the lesson is absorbed and helps me to be protected from and recognise invalidation when it occurs.   I now know that my ability to have the power to be strong and achieve a happy life rests on my ability to trust in my feelings and use them to gain wisdom of what is needed by me to do at that time.  This for me these are some of  the critical lessons of a healthy Saturn and Mars.