Work and Germany Part II: Abandonment Recovery

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by Scent of Cedar *, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Good Morning, Everybody


    I think what has happened to us is that, already traumatized through past abandonment issues (which are more painful, less definable things than that word abandonment communicates), we have been traumatically re-traumatized by our children's pain.

    Traumatically re-traumatized. That is why to us, it feels like excoriation, like Frankenstein awakening, like shocked dead.

    There is abandonment ~ again, something uglier than the word itself can describe ~ echoing through the depths of us. Shame protects us from going there, or even from knowing about that place where the hurt of abandoned has been frozen ~ most often without words and without light and with no clue that so much of the life of us is trapped there. Through self-recrimination, we take some form of control: to address the abandonment and take responsibility for the shame of it and to protect ourselves from it ever happening to us again. The other side of self-recrimination is a kind of wonderment, I think. I think that is what Pema Chodron is discussing when she writes: There is nowhere to stand. (Not a direct quote. Pema implied that until we got that part, we were suffering to follow a path that led nowhere so don't follow that one.)

    Surprising ourselves with the limitless feel of the generosity in it, we fell in love with our children. That is Copa's Sleeping Beauty kiss. Not that they loved us, but that we allowed ourselves to love them in ways it was never safe to love our parents or sibs.

    And BOOM one day they were gone.

    Victimized either by the same genetic heritages that warped our parents and extended families, or by some version of it, maybe. I don't know about that part. I think it is less important here than we have given credence to. I do know Going North's post to us about addiction from the inside was a correct way to see this. Much of the guilt and self-recrimination we beat ourselves so savagely with has nothing to do with the situation at hand. It is not helpful to our kids or to ourselves to continue figuring out why these things are our fault when they are not.

    If we want to be strong and whole, if we want to change things for our children and our extended families and ourselves, we need to get clarity around these issues.

    I need to let go of anything like guilt where my family of origin is concerned.

    Like Pema writes, I need to acknowledge there IS nowhere to stand.

    There was nothing I could do to change anything then (though I did sincerely try, like any normal person would) and there is nothing I can change about them, now.

    Shunning is just what they do. They have always done it. The truth here is that I need to disengage altogether from my own emotions surrounding these issues. Detachment from the emotions surrounding family of origin issues. All we know to do now is retrace our steps to know where we went wrong and address it. The more we don't find it and the harder we look, the more responsibility we take for things we have no control over and the farther we get from where we need to be. Again, this is where Going North's information on addiction from the inside matters very much to us.

    What I have learned about abandonment issues this morning is that our children will carry gentler versions of these wounds or their opposites. (Helicopter Mom, whose children feel afraid and inept or larger than life and believe nothing bad will happen to them.) And, they will carry their own: Guilt at having abandoned us; rage at our pain and confusion and inability to help them; fear, intense fear, at having been abandoned by us as, whether enabling to beat the band or in full detachment mode, we misunderstand what the issues are.

    This link is a sort of general information on abandonment:


    This link traces abandonment issues and names stages of healing similar to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' stages of grief.

    The stages are: Shattering, Withdrawal, Internalizing, Rage, Lifting

    I am not sure what to think about rage. As often as I post not minding about how mind-blowingly, headache-inspiringly angry I am now? I do mind it, actually. I see no value in having traded numb for blindingly, flashpoint angry. According to these materials, this is a desirable phase, indicative of healing. Rage indicates we have not accused ourselves. (For once). We are instead acknowledging the immovability of the issue. Confronted with walls in the past, we have turned on ourselves.

    Again, Going North's post on addiction from the inside helps us, here.

    It isn't that we are so stuck on ourselves we cannot believe our children's problems have nothing to do with us. It is that when confronted with something immovable, we turn on ourselves.


    The following information has to do with love relationships. I read it as the nature of the narcissistic wounding (Narcissism occurs on a continuum, like everything. Until we pass the center line, narcissism is called self-esteem.) occurring within the dysfunctional family system. To understand the difference between other families and our own, we would need to remember that there are people, in fact, most people maybe, who have never felt these terrible feelings.

    And then, gone to school. Or to work, or out with friends. Or cooked a holiday dinner.

    Abandonment issues.

    That is what the hurt is.

    That is the other side of this, for those of us whose families of origin were deeply dysfunctional.

    "The severing of our love-relationship creates a heart-wound. Your body reacts as if your very life were being threatened, as if you had been actually stabbed in the heart. The threat of losing your primary attachment propels you into a state of neuro-biological emergency. Your heart pounds. Your stomach turns. You lose your appetite one minute and become ravenous the next. You oversleep or can’t sleep. You’re on edge, hyper-vigilant, and plagued with obsessive thoughts (about your lost love) and can’t concentrate on anything else. You feel mortally wounded, that your life is over, that you’ll never love again. These catastrophic thoughts, along with your urgent feelings of morbidity and doom, are evidence of surges of stress hormones coursing through your body and brain. You are in a state of constant of vulnerability.

    As helpless and defeated as you may feel right now, this does not mean that your situation is hopeless, that you are weak or dependent, or that you will never love again. Feelings of hopelessness, panic, and desperation are normal to the first stage of the abandonment cycle. The five stages – Shattering, Withdrawal, Internalizing, Rage, and Lifting spell S.W.I.R.L. As you SWIRL through the overlapping stages, the intense feelings prove to be temporary, in fact NECESSARY to your personal growth and recovery."

    The above paragraphs are direct quotes.

    So, these woundings are in the past and cannot be undone. What we are tracing through to recognize in our pasts and to prevent from decreeing our futures has to do with the way we were taught to think about ourselves when we were abandoned in any of the ten thousand ways those repeated abandonments could have happened.

    The imagery I am holding has to do with incorporating something I cannot see, but can only sense. It is pain. It is formless and dark. It is what I tiptoe past, whistling in the dark. It is what I beat myself for and get lost in. But this wordless, eyeless part is me, too.

    So I am sure we can accomplish this. In a way, the interminable rage may be a kind of testing ourselves to see whether we really are strong and committed enough to ourselves to hold through it with compassion or not.

    What do you think?

  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    So, in the lexicon of blessing, of Beauty for Ashes, that these events have occurred could be seen as bringing the initial abandonment into consciousness to be healed, to be cleared.

    This is what it felt like to be us. When we were little kids too, the dynamic of abandonment was exactly the same.

    BOOM one day Mother was gone, or (for me, in my particular case only perhaps) whatever it was that we needed and depended on was gone, over and over and over again because that is the nature of the game, for my mother, to this day. To break the spirit; to create the sycophant. "Just don't think; don't you dare; who do you think you are." No one should even be asking those questions or making those statements. I cannot think of a single instance in which those comments would be considered appropriate, let alone intelligent.

    Isn't that something, the way everything that felt so virulently real falls apart when you finally get to the heart of the thing and it's nothing.

    Those are huge wounds our families are trying to get over. No wonder everything is so messed up.

    Only back then, we did not even have words to limit or define or even, to recognize ourselves as separate from the emotion: abandoned.

    That is what I meant by the possibility of a sort of blessing to be found in the conscious reliving of abandonment issues through what is happening with our children. The illnesses or addictions of those we love does turn them impersonal. That is what I read in Going North's posts and to me, that is the nature of the initial wounding for us. (For me, for sure).

    The impersonal nature of what happens.

    That is why I post about there being no one there in my mother's eyes, or about there being that thickened, chuckling grandiosity feeling to it.

    Pretty scary stuff.

  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Yes. Where did I read that shame is a signal emotion? The important thing is what it points to and shields.
    I am thinking here about the Holocaust. Imagine those people who might have been us. Certainly me. I would have qualified. And there I am facing that kind of evil. So beyond my ability to comprehend.

    And what do I start thinking: "It's my fault. I did something to cause this. What did I do? Where is my defect? How can I fix it? All in a response to a feeling state, fear, I have created this narrative that makes no sense what so ever.

    There is no place here for me to stand. It is not me. Me is in my head. I am not responsible for this event (which is a Holocaust but because of where I am, my perspective, I cannot know at the time.)

    If I start weaving stories about the feeling state....they make no sense. I am trying to understand something that is beyond my perspective. I cannot see the scope of it or causal chain. But I try, based upon my psychology, I try to weave a story about how I am responsible. This points me down a path where there is no return and no redemption. No learning, most importantly.

    That is what we do when we weave together stories about shame...and our own culpability.

    It is as ludicrous as it would be to weave a story about my own responsibility for why I have been put into a concentration camp. There is nowhere to stand here for me. Another way to put is I have no standing. Like that legal terminology that means I cannot make a claim or have a voice because I am not a party to the dispute.

    I cannot belong. I cannot be a party to it. It is as if we keep trying to insert ourselves into issues that are not our terms of responsibility for their creation or their fixing. And yet we seem compelled to seek it.

    We can say, but I do have a standing...I was an injured party. And my damages continue.

    I want recompense.

    But as long as we stay in that place we stay rooted in the past in a narrative that we never had a voice and were never seen or considered.


    No place to stand. No place or no one for you. Or I.

    So the only way to deal with it is to create a new place. Our own. Ourselves.
    Exactly so. We dig deeper and deeper. Trying to crawl through a deep cave to someplace that will only lead us perhaps to China. But who do we know in China? Me? Nobody.
    This reminds me of I think it is called "counter-phobic" people...thrill seekers like Evil Knievel. This is one way to deal with a pervasive fearfulness. Fearlessness.

    Like why I went to race car driver school. I wonder if Evil Knievel's mother was afraid to drive freeways, merging, bridges and riding escalators? Even tall stairs?

    It is very hard to read these words. Cedar.
    A few weeks ago, in a jokey kind of way I said to M's sister: "My hair is like this because I won't look at myself in the mirror.

    She replied: Oh. I love to look in the mirror as much as I can to see how beautiful I am. And she laughed. And so did I at the glee of it. The absolutely un-self-consciousness wonderment that she could feel this way and talk about it.

    In five million years I would never have said that. Even though I have done it. But not for years. And I wish I could again.

    With us, if we were to thrill at our loveliness or any other thing it would be to set ourselves up for having our blocks knocked off. Even if we felt safe, there would be a signal emotion of anxiety or dread that would prohibit us from going there...the signal we learned to protect ourselves long ago.

    I am thinking here of my buying. Lately I have been buying vintage jewelry. At first, what showed up was junk. Now, almost everything that comes is lovely. I love it.

    One of best memories is sitting on the floor taking out my mother's jewelry and playing with it. Touching it. Arranging it. And now I have jewelry too. My own. To touch. To sort. To put back and take out again.

    I should have been the type of beautiful woman who adorns herself. Who celebrates her body. With style and a sense of gratification from being styled. As was my mother.

    In stead in me, most of this was suppressed. I can say there was not enough money. Or I had other priorities. But it is not true. There was a signal emotion warning me not to go there. Or be punished. Or shamed. Or abandoned.
    When my grandfather left my grandmother she was 82. She had never been alone in her life. When I went to her she died of a massive heart attack. Within an hour she was dead.
    From which we try to recover but sometimes fail.

    Our mothers have their own heart wounds. But they were unfixable. They got trapped in their own defense of their wounds. And could never progress from there.

    Thank you Cedar. I am glad I did not miss this thread.

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    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    This is good work, Cedar, thank you.

    I think too, we abandon ourselves in many ways.
    Due to how we emerged from our FOO.
    This examination I have done, was not to blame seek,
    I want to understand the root of the matter.
    Why did I develop such low self esteem?
    I have had a wonderful productive, amazing life,
    but underneath it all, was low self esteem.

    I did not matter enough. Negative self talk.
    Nothing was ever perfect enough.
    Even my art work,
    harsh inner critic be damned.
    I abandoned myself.
    It is a destructive cycle.
    I constantly abandoned myself, not only with a devastatingly critical inner voice,
    but in over doing, for others.
    Then, came my d cs, and their own self destructive behavior.
    We tried desperately to help.
    It didn't work.
    Did we abandon ourselves enabling, trying to figure out how to fix this?
    I lost myself in this, too.
    Then, did they abandon our efforts, abandon us through their addiction?

    Have we been abandoned by our children?
    They were meant to grow wings and fly.

    Have they abandoned themselves?
    The craving for the high, the resulting destructive tendencies.
    Replaced an integral part of themselves, with drugs,
    or outlandish theories, whatever the case,
    they are not living the lives we had envisioned for them.

    They abandoned our hopes and dreams for them.
    They abandoned themselves.

    It is very complex, yet sort of simple.
    I see a cyclical ailment.
    In ourselves and in our d cs.
    So, how did I produce offspring who are doing okay?

    Then it comes back to self.
    They are doing okay,
    because they are okay within themselves.

    I think Copa got it right, when she focused on love as key.

    Love is the key.

    Loving ourselves, the way God intended us to.
    Not a selfish, self serving love.

    It is the love that keeps us striving and searching for our spark, our meaning and joy,
    in spite of external incidences, even with our own children.

    It is love that has to be the driving force behind everything.

    Love inhaled and exhaled.


    Love wins.

    You ladies are beautiful.

    Thank you very much Cedar.


  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have written before that I entered psychoanalysis as a young woman. I wanted to change. It did not have the result I had hoped for. I admire myself so much for my audacity. Raised in a working class family, I had barely the concept of what it was. But I paid the fortune of money. To change. To what or why I did not know.

    Within the first year the process got quite painful. I went 4 days a week, which is the process. By developing a dependency upon the analyst, called a transference, the idea is that you play out your inner conflicts by means of what is projected upon the analyst.

    It did not quite work out that way. I was in agony. The process was an agony for me. And yet I could not leave.

    The more agony I felt the more damaged I felt. The more I felt it was my fault. That something in me was so broken, it was precluding my changing, my growing, my recovery by means of the treatment.

    The analyst would ask: What is it about "wanting" that is hard for you?

    It was as if he was speaking to be in Taiwanese or Swahili or Assyrian, when he asked this question of me.

    How in the world could I know? Ask me a question I can answer, not one I could never, ever know, and still do not.

    In another thread I was grappling with my feelings of dependency upon my own son. How I felt stuck in a dance of love and anger with him because I felt as if my heart was captive to follow him where ever he went.

    The answer of course is to free my own heart and to gain control over what nourishes it, and where I allow it to go. I listened to the counsel I was given.

    What arose though was the same panic that came up when the analyst would ask me about "wanting."

    How to do that when the starting point is so disadvantaged. When I begin from the place of abject and desperate.

    How to feel or phrase a question. When one starts from a place of "no place to stand?" When there are no words. Nothing. Just desperate feeling. Of being without. Of lack.

    The only thing one wants is to live. To live freely. To choose. To have.

    I used to tell the analyst that I felt like a trapped animal and the only way to escape was to eat off my own limb.

    The desperate place and thing I felt. Felt like that.

    Was it autonomy or control or decisiveness that were the killing things, to me? Was I so fearful of what I would do with whatever capacity I felt so terrible that I had to gnaw up my flesh if I threatened to feel that power or capacity?

    What is it when you are not your own? Fully your own. And that is your starting place. When you are infiltrated at such a deep place with ambivalence about who and what you are...that there cannot or will not be intent...that is pure and safe? At the heart of you.

    What is the consequence that could scare me so much that I would rather destroy myself then feel and enact my own capacity?

    I do not know or am refusing to see. For now. I gain confidence and strength doing this with you all. You hold my hand and whisper to me that I am stronger than I feel and not alone.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    FOUR DAYS A WEEK???? (swoon)

    Hey, I started therapy at 23. I did not feel transference for any of my therapists at all and do not believe in that theory. I'm a CBT, DBT type of patient...that works best for me. And if I'd had to live out my woes four days a week for a year or more, I'd probably be worse. That's focusing on the bad stuff,in my opinion, too much.I've also had many therapists through the years. I usually chose females and if I didn't click with one I quit and found one who worked well with me plus I grew a lot through self-help groups and my own reading and learning. I didn't want to depend on a therapist. I realize that theories in psychology (an inexact science) change with time.

    That would not have worked well for me either, Copa. I understand why it turned you off to therapy. It probably would have done the same to me.

    I'm glad you are here, and sane, and found what is best for you! Four days a week!!!! I don't think so ;)
  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh my goodness Copa, that "therapy" sounds absolutely exhausting.
    Copa, dear sister, when you are ready to see it, you will.

    In the meantime, take deep breaths and take time for yourself.

    You have held my hand, too, and I so cherish your wisdom and kindness.
    You are strong, and wonderful.

    You are so not alone.

    I will sign off, we have to move my chicken pen, with all of the rain,
    mixed with their :poop:, the ground is really yucky.

    Kind of like my relationship with my two right now

    I don't need this :poop:.

    What I want, Copa, I cannot have.

    I want my daughters to be whole again.
    They have to want that.

    So, for now I will work on my wholeness, or lack thereof, and moving my chicken coop,
    because darn it, those fresh eggs are yummy.

    TTL sisters
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Yes I think this is true.

    A signal emotion, close and seamless as a second skin.

    And the words I heard as I read your words: "Don't you dare. Just don't think. Who do you think you are." Maybe, that is why "That'll do, pig.", struck me as funny, and as safer than what I had been telling myself or what I might learn to tell myself, if I continued to heal.

    A stellar observation, Copa.

    While I have not felt or seen my mother's valence clearly enough to recognize or counteract it, I have been feeling stupidly unattractive or ridiculous since the most recent excursion into that wordless place we believe to be abandonment. I am aware now that this will happen as we heal, and that it will last for a number of days, and that, if I am attentive and brave, this material will have been reclaimed or redefined is maybe a better term. It is still very awful to go through it.

    I am sure this signal has been tripped; this place where we dare not claim either our strength or our sexuality.

    I love the story about M's sister looking in the mirror and finding her beauty. I was reading about the concept "joy luck" today. It is an Oriental concept. Chinese. Maybe, Leafy will know. It has to do with belief in joy and lucky things without guilt, in the way M's sister can celebrate her beauty all by herself like that.

    joy luck

    Amy Tan wrote about the concept in a piece on tradition.

    The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, was about tradition, and breaking tradition, and misunderstanding.


    Both these books have to do with healing abandonment issues.
    I haven't read them, yet. They looked very interesting on Amazon.

    Journey from Abandonment to Healing Anderson
    Black Swan Anderson


    I am happy about the jewelry, Copa.

    That seems to signify something very important. That you can love what you've chosen, now, even once it is yours.

    I love that for you; love that it happened, for you.

  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I did not put this in in the earlier post because I thought it was catty: M's sister can have a certain beauty to her sometimes. But she was never a beauty. She is dumpy. And frumpy. Her stomach is big.

    The thing is this: It has nothing at all to do with how you look. We were wrong, always, Cedar. Looking for that one tiny defect that would destroy us, destroy the reflection upon which we gazed. It was all of the other stuff. The inability to reflect upon ourselves objectively, or G-d forbid admiringly or with kindness and love, for what it would mean.

    That children's book: The places we could go. We would go. If we reflected upon ourselves with permission and with consent. That we only be ourselves. I do not even know what the words are.

    We preferred to tunnel to China with our stories about what was missing, what needed to be fixed or better...that to give ourselves permission to be OK.

    Once I did not go to the first day of a job, because my hair was bad. Imagine that: I needed a job. I did not go. Because of a bad hair day. It was in the times of the Watergate hearings. A bartender had called to tel me about a waitress job in a very good house, where he worked. I stood them up.

  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    M said something very astute today.

    Many times I have approached him with questions that I cannot resolve. Important ones.

    For example, we spend more than comes in each month. Because of my buying. There would be enough if I did not buy stuff. There is enough stuff. Believe me. I do not need anything else

    So the two questions were these: Do I apply for social security now? Or do I wait, and get bigger benefits.

    My mother always believed it was unwise to wait. That to receive a higher benefit, you forfeited a great deal of money. And in the long run it did not pay to wait, past 65 or whatever the full age is for a given individual. Me, I was always dazzled by the bigger number.

    Until I read an article, by Social Security, that set out the numbers. The reality is that there is virtually no difference. Social Security is not giving anything for free.

    Yet even reading this I could not decide. So together M and I decided I would wait until my next birthday.

    The other question was paying off the mortgage, which is very low. If I lived fairly frugally, I would not have to pay it off. The reason to pay it off was to have the security of doing so, but my mind tells me that at a low interest rate, it is not necessary. That the money invested is the most proactive thing to do.

    So I told M: If I got control of my spending, I do not have to pay off the mortgage. Not only will there be more money. I will feel more secure because I will feel more control. I will see myself taking care of myself rather than undermining myself.

    He said: There is something I do not understand. (I always clench my teeth waiting what will come next.)

    You have done so many things, achieved so much, when the circumstances were not fully in your control. You wanted them. You achieved them. Without help. You needed help. You needed consent. You needed opportunities that you did not have. But you achieved anyway. You did it anyway. Big, big things.

    And here you are, in full and complete control over deciding to stop buying or limit buying, and you feel you are out of control, that you are not responsible.

    I do not understand that. Do you?

    Well, the answer is no. Not fully. But I know this is part of it: I have always been great when I am losing. When I am the down and out who is fighting to survive. When the odds are against me. When I am a lost cause.

    I am not so good when I am the favorite. Am I trying to claw my way to China...where I know nobody and have nothing? To escape a life of good fortune. Right here.

    Can I tolerate being in the winner's circle? Accepting that I have enough. I am enough. I did enough. Just be. Good enough.

    That is the question.

  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Love is the key.... Yes, this is true I agree wholeheartedly, Leafy. I don't know exactly how this looks to me. It looks like where we are conscious, where we are present or where we already are healed and have reclaimed that territory of the heart, there is love. Love, for ourselves, love for those we love and those we don't and love in the eyes of everyone. Like a certain quality of light and music that is not exactly seen or heard and yet, we dance for the joy of it. And every animal and even, in the energy fields put out by every thing that is alive, everything moving, swirling around beautifully like joy luck. But then, for us, for me...there are places that send back no reflection. So, rather than natural access, it's like we choose our best response, our best, kindest selves, because we know ~ well, this is going to sound foolish, but because we know wrong from right and we refuse to be our abusers, or to become like them. To me, it seems that as we go deeper, as the trauma becomes wordless and from a time beyond our capacities to have made sense of what was happening to us other than abandoned...huh. I don't know. I am still following it down myself. It's pretty scary. But I am not afraid of it.

    I liked Copa's analogy of a signal.

    A warning so automatic we don't know we've switched tracks, but we are no longer on the path to presence and the power attending it. Which is probably love, and I am accidentally confusing love and power because they are the same thing, maybe.

    That's where we are going, though.


    Love vs you suppose we would find the how to do this then, in the eyes of the Mary? In the cameo of the Mother and Child, maybe? I have been reading about tradition this afternoon. Here is something very beautiful, about mothers:

    When I left her today, she put her arms around my shoulder blades to see if my wings were strong, she said. "The birds that would soar above the level plains of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to earth."

    Kate Chopin
    The Awakening
  12. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Except love gone wrong can become an evil and destructive force. It can freeze into a disabling self-love or a vengeful and hurtful thing. Against the self, or others. All of this happened in my own family. Where I believe there was much love. Almost all of it gone awry.
    Yuck is right. I admire you for your commitment, in all of its guises.

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  14. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Back from the coop moving, thwarted by the rain.....
  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    What would our dance be without anger. What emotion would be there instead. Fear, black and cold. But what other emotion would there be, partnering us.

    That is an interesting way to see, Copa. A dance of love and anger.... Anger covering fear. Fear covering shame covering abandonment?

    I am seeing everything through Going's filter, today.

    I think we cannot accomplish this.

    Those we love are simply those we love. (So says Anne Rice, and I believe her with all my heart.)


    To me, I will always love my children that way, Copa. And my grands and my rotten to the core family of origin, too. These are our people. The problem is not the loving or the manner of it or the depth or color. It's that those we love are not okay in some way, Copa. It's like what Going North posted about addiction. We cannot find the answers we need because we are looking in the wrong places, somehow mistaking our blood sacrifice as a necessary prerequisite to the precursor to an answer that will change our loved ones' situations.

    That is how we grew up, Copa.

    Bargaining with our pain; standing up to the impossible in the face of our fear. Walking alone because it was safer that way.

    That is what I took from Going's take on addiction: We don't get it. We think our suffering will be enough, and the bad things will stop.

    We were raised to believe that.

    And we even think the abuser will pretend it never happened, and that is why we think our kids will just snap out of it one day and everything will be fine. It's all a piece of that same, abusive messed upness in our thinking. I was reading somewhere today that abusive people always pretend there is nothing wrong. Like they never did what they did. Like you were oversensitive or they will get mad or the punishment will begin again or something, whatever it took to keep the abuser in what for him or her is steady state grandiosity feed.

    So we cannot see that we will never bargain our kids' ways out of this. We can not see that, though we keep sacrificing, there is no sacrifice required because there is no sacrifice that will work because we are misunderstanding the essence of our situations.

    No one is punishing us.

    This is real.

    This makes sense to me. I would never want my mother to know what I wanted, or what mattered to me. It was a challenge to her. Think of the things I have posted about my finding work, or deciding to go back to school, or of the things she has said and done while I have been vulnerable because I was broken in the face of what was happening to all of us.

    "What do you want, what is your heart's desire...tell me everything." Those words are raising my hackles Copa right now. When whatever happened with that first therapist happened, it was only the things he did not know that kept me sane and alive. Which might be an exaggeration but...maybe it is not. We don't trust. Copa, we do not find it possible to trust. He was asking the impossible of you. Good for you for not selling out.

    I am sorry. I get it that everyone is going to be horrified with me for saying so. I get it, Copa. Good on you. That therapist does not matter and he never did unless he could help you the way he said he could.

    And even I know you never let the abuser, or the therapeutic stand in, know your heart's desire.

    I am shocked he demanded that of you. It's like, let's play vulnerable where you are the only one vulnerable and I am the superior professional, the guy in the suit, and you get to be...well, you get to be the sick one.

    Someone has to do it now tell me the core of self.

    You must have felt so vulnerable and awful, Copa. I am so sorry that happened, to you. I think they are conducting therapy very differently, now.

    Oh roar I am experiencing an anger meltdown relative to my own therapist.

    Watch this, you guys. I am totally cool with my anger meltdowns, now:



    This is old Cedar. "Oh oh. I am like, insanely angry. How shaming for me."


    This is New Cedar. "Angry doesn't matter welcome home."

  16. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Comment ça?

    plural noun: guises
    1. an external form, appearance, or manner of presentation, typically concealing the true nature of something.
      "he visited in the guise of an inspector"
      synonyms: likeness, outward appearance, appearance, semblance, form, shape,image; More

  17. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I felt the same way, reading this from Copa's post. My God, four days a week. How draining.

    I am sorry, too Copa. It is not right. Being taken advantage of. Sign on the dotted line and the therapist is guaranteed a patient, and money. UGH.
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    What arose was the same panic that came up when the analyst would ask me about "wanting." I felt like it was something I could not do. Was beyond me. When I read Going North's words I felt unable to get control over my own heart. I felt the same desperation and longing...and absolute damage of self I did so many years ago with the analyst.

    To heal...I had to go somewhere I would not or could not go. What a relief to read, that you think we cannot do it at all. It is not just me.
    Cedar, I swear. I never understood this until you explained it to me.
    It is not us. It is them.

    We took all of the responsibility so many years ago...and it a twisted way. At least we lived. We were not thrown out. We are trying again to see if it will work, if we take all responsibility, again. It is some kind of magical thinking. It always was.

    We take the problem into ourselves, to try to shield our children. But more than that, ourselves, from seeing the reality of it. It is a habitual and destructive response. But it feels preferable than to face the peril of our children and feel powerless.

    Not just to help them. But in ourselves. To feel powerless as we once were. To feel our own powerlessness.

    Beautifully and elegantly written, Cedar.

    We keep trying blood sacrifice. Over and over again. If we flail and flail ourselves against the cage, maybe it will work next time. It is repetitive self-destruction. No wonder I feel panicked at the thought of it.

    I hear: You have to take control of your own feelings. And I hear it as: you have to cut off your limb.
    Yes. We did. Cutting off limbs in traps and throwing ourselves against cages. Canaries in goldmines.

    Cedar, it is true: giving up limbs will have no effect what so ever in healing our children. Why did I not realize it? I can be a dead canary and my son will still be talking about the cabal.
    Well, when you put it like that, it makes a lot of sense.

    But what do we do instead? What do people do instead? Besides buy drawer fulls of vintage jewelry?

    I mean, I know they make lives. They go cross country. They dance and take courses. They have friends and fun.

    But what do they do? Do they pray? Write? Post? Walk?
    So we are trying to make it go away. By the same magic we used when we were 5 years old. If I take the hit, everything will be better. For a while.

    And the essence of our situations is: It is not my fault. I did not cause it. I cannot control it. Or cure it.
    I wish you were not right, Cedar. But I know that you are. How will we live with this grief and fear? I mean, how can we live in a better way, if this is real and bad things have happened and more bad things can? I am serious here.
    Thank you. I have shame, but it really was not my fault. I was very young when I started. I could not believe that it was happening to me. Like, how did I deserve this, too? After so much, already.

    But the thing is I do not still know what is my heart's desire or was.

    I am beginning to think that there is not one thing or any thing. It is how I define it. I can chose. I am not driven, unless I am deceiving myself or have deceived myself in the past, and do not realize it.

    I think I can decide that my heart's desire is what I have right now. Except go East. Learn all kinds of arts and crafts and spend my days on them. Dance again. Eat in lots of restaurants. Become fit again. Have friends. Work, in a meaningful way. Travel, some. Play cards. My heart's desire is what I can have and do have. Mainly love and work.

  19. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Love gone wrong, yes destructive.
    We do not get to choose our family. They are our people.
    But, if we were hurt by our people, who were supposed to love us,
    does that mean love is wrong?
    Does love gone wrong, mean love is wrong?
    Are we not all imperfect humans, striving to do our best?
    We all make mistakes.
    Yet, we love

    So,what is love?

    What is self love?

    okay this one sells stuff

    the video of Rupert Spira is interesting

    what do you sisters think?

  20. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hey it's the swirly-whirly.
    Yes Cedar, we do this. But I think there is always that inner child within us, that keeps saying,
    "Ok so what about me?"
    We have discovered why we feel,or act the way we do, examining our FOO, and perhaps uncovering some pretty raw events that send us into the swirl.
    There is still that wounded part of ourselves that we haven't paid attention to. I think we are going down similar paths in learning that we need to embrace that part of ourselves.
    Like when you asked if we could be our own best mothers.

    Yes, I do believe we could work with that, in the eyes of Mary.




    Thank you Cedar