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?

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

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.

Entering the wound – Liberating the body’s truth

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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.