As a highly sensitive person were you attuned to pick up on one of your parent’s pain? It is something I have been thinking about a lot more after a dinner out last night with my Mum, older brother and sister. We very rarely get together and what I noticed is how shut down both my siblings are to my mother on an emotional inner child level.
I have a deep feeling that my 8 year older sister has a lot of unresolved anger to my Mum. It used to come out in harsh criticism and I am sure there a lot of things she has to be angry about. My Mum often tends to compete with her and they are so alike that often when they go out they turn up dressed the same without knowing before what the other one was going to wear. When my sister was struggling with so called ‘bi polar disorder’ I witnessed several arguments in which my Mum tried to undermine my sister. Last week I had one of the most honest conversations I have ever had with my sister. “Mum never made it easy for us to separate from her emotionally”, she said. Wow!
I watched the whole thing play out. How my sister was forceably hospitalised by her sons, how my Mum struggled to accept her part in the way she had shaped my sister in terms of taking responsibility and then how she called my brother in to put out the fire. Being in recovery I sat on the sidelines and tried my best not to get too swept up in it all, I was struggling at the time following my own divorce.
Anyway I got a bit off track there. I am aware that as the ‘baby’ of the family I have absorbed and replayed a lot of my Mum’s inner child abandonment issues. When I first got sober back in 1993 Mum made a very interesting comment to me. She said “Each of my children has absorbed something from me.” “What have I absorbed”, I asked. “You have absorbed all my insecurity.” Wow thanks for that Mum, I got to be left alone a lot and then tried to become a satellite in order to be seen but was so rarely seen.
Such a pattern has often attracted strong older sister or mother types into my life who seem to hold a lot of power but also exist behind solid defences. I am presently learning to hold onto my own sense of self in such relationships and remain the adult rather than repay an old adult/child pattern. As a perceptive person I pick up a lot, most especially of others suffering and I have in sobriety spent so many times listening to my Mum’s history, learning things none of my siblings even know since I guess they are not on any kind of emotional recovery journey. My older sister died and my other sister has chosen medication and sport as a way to deal with her own challenges. I don’t put myself above her as I often feel I should exercise more and it is one way of throwing off other people’s stuff but as someone in recovery I am also aware of how exercise can be used as an emotional escape if the inner work on feelings is not being done.
Anyway last night I was very conscious of sitting with my Mum and listening to the pain of her past, and of the sadness she held inside when she spoke of how no one seemed interested in the family to ask her anything about her childhood or even very key critical events in the history of her early life with my father. I don’t take it on as a burden for understanding my Mum and Dad’s history, especially their inner child history and bonding history has been important to understand my own attachment issues. But I do have to be aware that my Mum’s pain is not mine to fix or heal in any way.
As an empath I can bear witness and sometimes I wish I could be as hard and defended as my brother and sister seem to be towards my Mum’s sadness. Maybe as the older ones they see things I don’t see. And I am not really close enough to them to ask certain questions, as I don’t know how much I could trust their answers. I am also aware of the astrological synastry which involves interconnection between parent and child and shows which traits we pick up and which we defend against. In my own case my Neptune in Scorpio that is attuned to deep watery realms of feeling and inner sense on the deeper personal and collective unconscious level is smack bang on three Scorpio planets of my Mum. While my sister has Saturn in Scorpio which related to fear of feeling deep emotions and subsequently erecting powerful defences. I feel lucky to have that kind of knowledge which helps me make sense of why I pick up and attune to so much.