The Dark Side of Soul Mates

I was just editing some of my recent posts when another blogger’s post about Soul Mates caught my eye.  Not an hour ago I was re reading over my old journals which were fraught with attempts to make sense of an extremely painful relationship in which I was involved for over four years.  In this relationship there were constant battles with emotional expression. I would say my ex was a narcissist.  Certain emotions were taboo, especially grief.  Just expressing my vulnerability may trigger an attack, and so my feelings would bank up and I began to experience a lot of symptoms of repressed anger.

It seems easy to write this now that it has become clear after a few years of therapy, but at the time it was hell on earth.  At that time I was not in therapy, though my ex was telling me all the time that I needed to be since I was the one with a lot of problems.  I was ordering every book on Anger and googling Narcissistic Personality Disorder and buying books on that too to try to make sense of it.  At one point my ex told me “Don’t you dare put any of those psychology books in the room where my son, sleeps,”  Suffice to say it was painful to watch that relationship from the sidelines.

This theme of repression of emotional expression has been one of the ongoing themes of my life.  Those of you who are astrologically aware will know what I am saying when I mention I have the Mars Saturn Moon aspect, which is associated with difficulty expressing feelings.  Also people who have it tend to be placed in a position where their wills are thwarted by stronger wills.  In one dream I was shown an image of what happens in this situation.  There was a gun pointed at my own head, held by me.  The dream showed me how to turn it around.  This was the beginning of my repressed anger becoming known.

We often think romantically and idealistically about soul mates.  But as people such as Thomas Moore have noted maybe there is a darker side to this phenomena.  A soul mate may be someone who comes into your life to teach you a lesson that you need to integrate certain qualities that are in your shadow, difficult to express, hidden or disallowed by parental and social conditioning.

In my journal of that time I wrote:

I know that this time I must honour and guide and protect my precious child.  She has been given away too much, suffered alone and swallowed down so many painful feelings for so long.  There has been very little willingness on Mum’s part to look at any of her patterns and there are strong narcissistic and manipulative patterns there under all the lovely Mum qualities.  At present I am doing battle with and separating from those.

I know I need to strengthen, feel more fully into the pain and disappointment and  grief over Mum’s refusal to validate my feelings and be there for me.  But I do have compassion.  How could she tolerate it when her own was so stifled?  “Nice girls” don’t do that.  And a lot of it was the conditioning of the time.

Perhaps there is a chance I can move out of child to X’s strong adult and be an available adult for myself by honouring my inner feelings. The pain of his neglected child is deep but he is not ready to acknowledge it.

And then a I had inserted a quote from a book I was reading by Alice Miller titled, The Truth Will Set You Free.

She gives an example of how our bodies carry the burden.   The high price we pay in health to be barred from knowledge of what we suffered, citing the experience of man from the Communist Party who “attempted to engage in an exchange with his colleagues about the view that violence and the desire for power are learned in childhood, and that the subject of education by the use of force should be integrated into Marxist thinking.  He endured virulent animosity..  did not sacrifice his views.  Developed arthritis in his feet, decided to leave, notified them in writing and in so doing evoked

“massive anxieties bound up with the abandonment he suffered as a child of a religious family with strict Protestant rules of discipline, a child who never had the right to his own opinions without the threat of punishment and emotional abandonment.  To his surprise and joy three hours after giving his notice, the pain in his feet disappeared.  He saw this as proof that he had succeeded in refusing to perpetuate the situation he had been in as a child and in breaking out of a state of dependency that, although affording him the illusion of security in the past had started to stifle him.  The man was astounded at the speed of the bodily response to his action. He knew, though, that this was not a case of “miracle healing” in the usual sense of the term but the logical consequence of his decision to walk out of the prison in which he had been incarcerated.”.

Synchronisitically I had just experienced an inflamed elbow at the visit of my mother and sister and a very strong transiting Mars aspect was taking place with my natal Mars Saturn Moon.  And also in the relationship with my partner I had been experiencing ongoing symptoms.  The body doesn’t lie.

My journal then continued:

Today the Moon is waxing onto Saturn so all of X’s defences are being triggered.  I feel it in his hard, defended hug, in the tyrannical way he bats away emotions.  Funny but T laughingly calls him the tyrant. My heart aches and I long for someone softer and more understanding.  But then part of me thinks “Didn’t I get just the partner I needed in order to grow and learn?”  Isn’t this just a challenge to my soul to become stronger?

It took me a long time to learn to stop looking to someone who could never give me what I needed.  Eventually he ended the relationship and the pain was intense as it triggered all the other abandonments of my life. In the end the only was to stop trying to contact him, get a good therapist and let go. That process took about a year. I had to go cold turkey to save my sanity since I was continuing to repeat and persist in futile attempts that were a replay and bound to end in frustration. It took a lot of work and I now feel free and have clarity.

Certainly the synastry aspects between both our charts were very strong and indicated this would be a very Plutonian relationship, powerfully transformative in either a positive or negative way.

I read somewhere once that the definition of a soul mate is not the one you mesh with but the one you have conflict with that challenges you to grow in your soul and in every other way too.

So though it ended in tears about 6 months later I did find my soul mate in X.

That’s why I think a Soul Mate may have a dark side and if we can accept it, and grow through it and integrate the lesson we can move forward into the light.