A Healing with my Sister

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I received an apology from my sister today. It was truly from the heart. It broke through the wall of all my anger which was really a cry for love, for respect, for understanding. It is not always easy being the younger sister. It probably wasn’t easy for my sister to have a younger sister, particularly when she hit puberty and I was just an annoyance. Never the less I would have loved to have a sister who was kinder.

My oldest sister who died was always more loving to me, taking me on holidays and away from the emotional vacancy of my growing up years with a Mum who didn’t really want to spend any time, but was working two jobs and tired all of the time. I was just a handful, a burden that was a bit too much to bear. So it hit all the harder when my older sister was the one who went under in the most painful way with a brain haemorrhage.

It was a very formative time in my life, no one’s fault but it made that adolescent time, already made difficult by my near fatal car crash and three months suspended in skeletal traction at the age of 17, harder. It was two major traumas in a six month period and the trauma with my older sister extended over many years.

I can’t expect anyone who has not been through that to understand, some show empathy. At times I feel a bit anxious sharing on here about it all the time. Is that a narcissistic pursuit? For me telling my story over and over is a way of healing and it is necessary for trauma sufferers but we need some validation with this.

Anyway back to my other sister’s apology. I have watched her struggle through several breakdowns now, five separate hospitalisations including one that involved extensive shock treatment, which was horrific to me, but others swear it helps them. I would have liked her to be treated in a more loving way, but the truth is when she would be in a manic flight, she was really difficult to be around, taking over control of everything, being very invasive at times and very brash and harsh in her speech. Nine years on she has no memory of much of the nasty things she said. I wish I did not take it to heart, was tougher and able to shrug it off, but that isn’t me.

I guess what was affecting my sister was the illness, not her true self underneath that was struggling for expression after coming out of a less than satisfying marriage. She went through a lot of loss and change and was trying to support several people she love through death. In the end it all took its toll.   But sometimes it was hard to feel for the vulnerable, soft person underneath who seemed to be hiding. Sometimes (most times) I just could not access that part of her.

It’s not like that now but the memory of those past nastinesses have haunted me and some of her words have remained lodged in my body psyche like pieces of schrapnel. All I really wanted was acknowledgement of this, a genuine sorry and that is what happened today. That sorry helped to break down and express the longing I have to be close. I don’t know how close we can be as we are very different people but I have the desire in my heart to love and be loved by my sister.

Last Friday we finally laid my oldest sister’s ashes to rest. This had to wait over 14 months due to both my mother and my other sister being hospitalised, twice since then, the first time on the day of the funeral. This week I am conscious that something very deep and dark stirred within me. My body has carried and buried a lot, this time it rose up which is par for the course when we have had so many planets in the watery sign of Cancer.   My body felt water logged.

Yesterday there was huge confrontation. This time of year the shift from water to fire is always tumultuous as the Sun opposes my Mars Saturn Moon in the sixth.   Sixth house Mars energy tends to get buried and there is a real need to express but we tend to internalise. The anger I felt came out in a huge blast, I probably could have handled it better if I was more aware but I could only do what I could do.

Once it blows Moon Mars energy is usually spent very quickly and I’ll move on, Saturn thrown into the mix though tends to indicate I’ll meet external Saturn defences which I’ve internalised and give me a lot of fear around emotional expression.  Strong Neptune and a lot of seventh house planets make me fear conflict.

I’m glad for myself I was able to bring this out of the shadows yesterdy. While Mum found it hard to validate the way I really feel, going through this made me realise how a lack of validation and other intense frustrations have shaped me and this helps me to be more aware and learn others of bringing it to light.

I was able to feel more real love for my sister whose apology was so genuine and underneath I felt the love and compassion that was eclipsed when the harder side of her comes out. Mercury opp Moon doesn’t always have an alignment between heart and head, my sister’s Virgo moon probably feels deeply but is reserved, Mercury Pisces plumbs the emotional depths but they are hard to articulate.   And our mutual Chiron Mars aspects end up causing us both problems at times.

I’m feeling so much more peace tonight. I’ve learned a lot over the past 36 hours. I have love in my heart where before there was pain. Loosing Judith my older sister was both hard and also a relief as she suffered so much and was on too many drugs at the end of her life.  Its been hard to fear my sister going down a similar pathway.   I see the way she is trying to front up and deal with things.  I know that can be tough.  I no longer feel such a gulf between us.  I am so grateful for the precious gift of that apology.

Let your mind descend into your heart

Tulips

But though life can teach us that although the events of our day are out of our hands they should never be out of our hearts, that instead of becoming bitter our lives can yield to the wisdom that only from the heart a creative response can come forth.  When the answer to our world remains hanging between our minds and our hands, it remains weak and superficial.  When our protests against war, segregation and social injustice do not reach beyond the level of a reaction, then our indignation becomes self righteous, our hope for a better world degenerates into a desire for quick results, and our generosity is soon exhausted  by disappointments.  Only when our mind has descended into our heart can we expect a lasting response to well up from our inner most self.

Henry Nouwen.

Today let our hearts be awake.   I think when we have resolved our own personal history then we don’t react in quite the same way to injustices we see, because the sting has been extracted once we have let it work its way through our psychic system.

We may recognise a trigger and have insight into what it is, we feel sadness and pain maybe anger and rage which we integrate and absorb.  When we have worked it through we make our peace with it.  This is showing compassion for ourselves.

When we have made peace with our hurts we use the pain as a fuel to protection and deeper understanding. We become a force for good in this world.

It hurts to be hurt.  Hurt people hurt people. But we can learn to see with the heart and use it to inform our minds.  So we longer inflict hurt on ourselves or others, and no longer allow ourselves to accept relationships with people who hurt without putting up protective boundaries.