A Sea Change in Attachments

I think that having someone in your life is such a huge part of the impetus for healing in my life, well to me it is “the” thing. I think when you’ve never been filled by the love of someone else or ever been confident of any attachments it is amazingly hard to cope. I remember from a child knowing that there was a giant black hole inside of me and how long that was a part of my life. I remember in the mid-twenties when I started healing and how several years into healing when the black hole just disappeared. I never thought that would happen. I never knew that would happen. For once in my life I thought that I could finally be filled up.

It took many years of trial and error to find a space of feeling filled up inside.

When I would be triggered and upset it took time for me, talking to someone, sometimes a friend, sometimes someone online, sometimes someone on a hotline, to get that filled up feeling, to be heard and validated, to feel calm again. When it started happening and I found that I could indeed calm down again I was shocked too. I never thought that would happen. No one ever told me that would happen and I never read about it in books either. Other survivors did not tell me about it.

Clarity has always been something that I have had problems keeping when interacting with others, especially those who are being hurtful or abusive to me. But what was new and what was important to me to see was that I kept clarity about who I was. Others have always made me lose who I was while I was being abused, especially when being emotionally and verbally abused. My mother did that a lot and I find that when others have done it I often lose myself in the middle of the disagreement.

Learning new coping skills, new self-care skills, and new self-esteem helped get me further along that healing road as well. Working on connectedness and calm and assertive energy were other components in attachment. All of this stuff seems like huge steps in healing for me. But they are nothing to the healing work that I seem to be working on right now.

The huge thing for me has been to finally work on my hardest lessons; to attach to me, to ourselves, to our spiritual guides, to nature, to the universe, to other areas of connectedness, and for these attachments to be my primary attachments. Other people have always been my focus, even when I was able to work on that, other parts in our system have still put other people first in importance. I have tried a lot to get them to understand, but under the surface I was still putting other people, in a body, in a position of more importance than our system and that was the example that they had. Even when I did a pretty good job of healing in this area, I was not having much of a positive effect for change for the system.

What has been surprising recently is that I have been working on this issue for some time, without my even realizing it.

I’ve always been able to value myself some of the time and eventually with lots of healing work and time I’ve expanded the amount of time I can do so more and more. Now I am finally learning how to value myself all the time, not just when someone else is being loving and good and kind to me. And when they can’t be I know who to blame, I blame them for being wrong. I’m totally willing to have the normal give and take of a relationship, but I am not willing to tolerate extended abusive interactions.

The most obvious proof came when I was willing to let go of my friend of eight years when she was being abusive to me. I remember the feelings and thoughts I was having the whole time when we were having interactions. I remember I was willing to discuss, negotiate, apologize, reconcile. I remember that I had clarity on what was happening, on who I am, and how much I value myself. I recall it’s been a very long time since someone treated me so badly. I remember she kept crossing a line and how I had a definite boundary on how much I was willing to tolerate when it came to abusiveness. I remember how willing and able I was at taking care of myself.

Being connected to myself, ourselves, and other areas of connectedness has helped shift the universe for me. It is taking time, but it is obvious a sea change has started. Loving and valuing myself is becoming my meals, my nourishment, my nurturing, the way that I feed myself/ourselves. Being involved with others is becoming my dessert, and we all know how much I love chocolate. 🙂

Sharing vs. Complaining

My brother said to me today that women love to talk to one another. They love to complain. He was referencing a time I spent yesterday with another woman. He went on to say that he doesn’t understand why, but that they do.

I told him that women do talk to one another. That women gain a lot in the sharing of their life, their stories, their current situation. That women find the presence and attention of other women as comforting, helpful, healing.  And that it is not complaining.

No matter what I said I couldn’t get him to agree with me that sharing is not in fact complaining. I tried to get him to understand that women, and men as well, can be sharing without it being complaining. He totally disagreed with me. 

I have tried at other times to explain to him how helpful sharing can be. Especially when the other person cares and validates what the other person is going through.

He said, I tried to tell you many times already, no one cares to hear you, no one cares to listen, no one cares. I told him; women care. He said, no not every woman cares about you, even in your own family, your sister doesn’t care about you.

 I told him I said women, not all women. No, not all women care about me. No, not  all women care about other women, specific women, specific groups of women, etc. He said yeah, but you said ‘women.” I said, I said women, I didn’t say all women, I didn’t say all women care about me, I said women care about other women.

Yes this how our interactions devolve. Yes this is how he chooses to interact with me, insult me, and remind me that even my sister doesn’t care about me. Yes he feels some need to devalue and demean me by reminding me that others in my family of origin devalue and demean me.

It didn’t hurt. I think he meant it to hurt, because my sister is no longer a part of my life. However I choose that. I gave her years to change and stop verbally abusing me, rejecting me, and scapegoating me. I made a healthy, healing choice to find a new family instead of continuing to go to family gatherings. But my brother is always trying to remind me that I am still a scapegoat. I don’t accept that. I don’t accept that title. I am me. I am something more than what my family did to me, how they treated and abused me, and what they thought and think of me. I am me.

I have women friends who love and care about me and perhaps I can’t tell you how much that means to me, how much it means to me that they listen to me and validate me, and don’t accuse me of ‘complaining’ when I am needing love and support, advice and caring. And I need that and get that from my friends.

I never used to be able to admit the big gaping hole inside of me where others were supposed to fit in and stay inside my heart. I can only admit it now, because I am loved, because my friends dwell in that secret place in my heart, and that it fills me with so much joy where before there used to be only emptiness in that space in my heart where blood pumps out of my heart and to all places in my body, nourishing me in every way.

Later I realized that I should have included my male survivor friends into my conversation with my brother. But he was only talking about women and so we ended up talking only about what he wanted to talk about.

It has been quite a revelation to find men who are healing, who are good at giving support, who accept others as they are. I had been very wounded by men and was very cautious and worried that trying to have men survivor friends just would not work and that it would never be healing. I was never sure if that would happen. I was never expecting that and it has been such a wonderful surprise on my healing path to find this.

My brother isn’t usually right about much. But he was right about one thing; he doesn’t understand why women or people in general want to talk with others and what they get from that.