I started writing this just after I completed my therapy on Wednesday but was quite depressed so stopped, so here we go again.
I have started getting to the horrible heart of stuff, physiologically re-experiencing some of the abuse I had as a child, principally from my mother.
Re-experiencing this physically and emotionally has been tough. It also shatters some of the distorted internal working models I have about me in relation to my mother.
For decades I have been constantly “defending” her against my sisters, who are older than me and see our mother as quite scary, abusive, manipulative, seemingly uncaring, divisive etc.
I have guarded emotionally against these ideas although intellectually I know they are correct and she was these things and much more.
I could not afford until now not to feel and confront some of deceptions and denials I have had about in relation to my mother. To be honest I was unaware I harboured so many of them.
My childhood internal working model of the world could not have dealt with the crushing emotional reality that my mother could sometimes act in a violent, apparently “monstrous” way. To me in particular.
I chose instead, in order to survive childhood, an internal working model, continually developed throughout my life, that mother was a victim of circumstances, she was tragic, had mental health issues, addiction issues, that it wasn’t really her fault!?
But this is denial. I have had this model shattered in the last few days. My mother did act in violent, monstrous ways to me for a number of years, especially in very early childhood and this was in addition to all the other emotional heart ache of living with a mother who was rarely there for me as a son needing maternal affection.
These things happened. I have to stop denying this. I have built a view of the world built on this denial. Instead of addressing the hurt I have experienced, the sense of injustice, the rallying against the world, all the things I felt about my mother deep down inside I have instead projected these feelings onto the world while “protecting” a false view of my relationship with my mother. Even to the extent I have been hostile to my sisters on occasion for stating things about our past that were true and I did not want to hear.
My internal working model is a fabrication and needs updating.
The fights I have with the world are really with my mother, the injustice I feel sometimes is really against my mother’s behaviour. It has been a lot to take in but it is what I have to accept this.
Internal Working Models colour how we perceive the world and how we think and act in the world. The matrix that is the world, the world we perceive via our senses is also perceived or coloured via our emotions and feelings. We perceive the world not as an objective reality but, subjectively in relation to how we feel about ourselves.
Much of what we feel about our selves is the consequence of our upbringing and also often the unresolved feelings we have about that upbringing. In other words, negative emotions and feelings about ourselves and our significant loved ones can distort how we perceive reality.
My mother is no longer alive and cannot go into recovery like me and make amends – hence therapy is being accountable, not responsible for the hurt of the younger me.
It is the extracting of emotional thorns which I have not stuck into me but which I have increasingly pushed in over the years. Slowly but surely they are being forced to the surface and a new skin will heal over the painful hurt of the past. I feel it is this organic in many ways. Our human organism is set up to heal.
There are sins of commission and omission. Now I am dealing with what was done to me, omission. I dealt with my sins of commission in my steps 4-9.
My sisters were not subjected to the same scale of physical, emotional and mental abuse as me. Paradoxically, this seems to have allowed them an emotional distance to see my mother more as she really was at times. I have never been able to. I was deep in the hurt and abuse and had to make sense of it more than they had to although it has left lasting emotional scars for them too. My eldest sister seems in a trenchant denial about all of it, as if it never happened which seems the most intractable condition of all.
For years I would return home to visit my family and often there would be a falling out or even physical fights between my sisters and my mother. It used to kill me and I could never figure it out, why my return would provoke such extreme emotional behaviour, such an eruption.
They were unconsciously fighting over our past, and I was like an emotional bomb ready to go off. I now have an inkling why they argued and fought. They were powerless just like me. They reacted differently, hating my mother on many occasions for what she had subjected us to as children and adolescents. Two sisters dismayed at me for “defending” and protecting mum after all she had done.
They didn’t realise I had to emotionally, it would be too much of an upheaval to suddenly realise what they were aware of and the extent of my maternally-based abuse.
I am getting there, but I will never end up at the same emotional destination of hating my mother. I love her. I understand her predicament. I am just trying to get well. I forgive her completely. I am just attempting to straighten out this emotional reaction to the world, that was seeded in early childhood and which has reaped a terrible consequence in the succeeding years.
I choose to love rather than hate and always have done and always will do.
The problem with C-PTSD as opposed to PTSD in the insecure attachment and emotion regulation issues that have to be dealt with.
After my first bilateral stimulation session we did not do this process again in my last therapy session. We didn’t need to in fact as the emotions of early childhood came flooding back.
Turns out the thing I have most run from in my life is the truth.
The truth of my mother’s frequent psychical abuse, the night violence.
All my life I have defended my mother, mainly against what she had done to others.
Getting to the start of realising some pain around this stuff made me realise that this was only the tip of the iceberg.
It was too much for me to become aware of , my mum as a violent night time monster so I did not, I constructed another view of her as victim and me as being the reason why she acted the way she did. I constructed a lie to protect me, although it appeared to simply be protecting her. This is what my sisters and me also have not realised before.
The truth is sometimes unbearable.
I had to re-experience the violence and finally express the feelings of being subjected to it.
Throughout my adolescence I was I was also an enabler to my mother, serving her her Valium, her solpadeine, be codeine prescription, her cocktail of legal, medically prescribed “buzzes” .
Her drugs, I helped service, unwittingly serve her the drugs she had become addicted to, I anticipated that our chemical bonding would raise her spirits, overcome her depression, soothe her anxiety, our forthcoming chats and chemically heightened affection and warmth.
I loved it, this medically prescribed attachment, it was a whole lot better than nothing at all.
It was here that I learnt the mechanics of being an addict. I would use this working model in later life with my pseudo family of drug abusing friends, the same rituals of chemically induced attachment to other human beings.
It was all I knew , it was how I reared, how I grew up.
Her drug use was like one of those intimation fires around which we congregated to feel the second hand glow of enhanced human warmth. Via her drug use.
It was a lot better than nothing.
The artificial fire of drug using and belonging.
The second hand love.
My heart would even soar as I saw and heard those nose tingling bubbles of solpadeine fizz and gently hiss in the bubbly water as I brought my mother her next fix.
My mum took drugs increasing as she become more addicted and more divorced from the self than beat her son.
This is where I learnt my drug taking behviour.
The truth had been become a foreign country for my mother and then increasingly for me.
I am still trying to get back home. To me.