In my counselling session today we addressed that very real unmet need within me to be taken care of. As with other survivors of abuse and neglect, I was never really taken care of properly. And this has left an ache and a hole, a desperation to get affection and ‘love’ in whatever shape or form it shows up as; dysfunctional or not. It will lead me to make excuses for what I am not getting just to have that ache and hole soothed and filled even temporarily. This is why I have given my ex so many chances and this is why I have had countless unrequited crushes and have and continue to accept less than I deserve and feel scared to speak up and assert my needs and wants.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in her audiobook, ‘Warming the Stone Child’ explains this desperation within what she calls ‘The Unmothered Child’ to get love at any cost; even if it means accepting crumbs! Today I am feeling that ‘unmet need’ sitting with it. As I walked the streets of London today after my session, I felt it acutely. I passed families and couples and my loneliness was amplified and intensified.
The ache and hole has a flipside too, because there is an emptiness and a rage. I fly off into a rage at the smallest things. My son messes a little food on the carpet and I react disproportionately. I behave as if he has set the flat on fire. After cleaning up the mess, I am filled with remorse and ‘badness’. The anger is for my father and in my session she asked me to try and express some of it. I swore him and kicked him in the chest and told him to ‘LEAVE ME ALONE’ and “GET OFF ME!’ Finally I can direct the anger towards the right place and leave the ‘badness’ where it belongs, with him.
Anger is ok, it cleanses and heals. I used to direct the anger inward and sit with it deep within me and i have even self-harmed by yanking clumps of my hair as hard as I can and scratching my arms in deep anguish. How great it would be to direct it outward at the right person. I left the session with a vivid image of my kicking him in the chest hard and pushing him away. Something of course I wasn’t able to do when I was five years old of course.
I left the session feeling stronger but now the sadness has set in and the isolation. This process is hard and its hard being a single mum with very little support and a narcissistic ex but I am doing brilliantly. I keep going! My hope is that you too can sit with your ache and hole in whatever shape it is and acknowledge it deeply and take care of it gently, ever so gently. You deserve a break, you are working hard! This healing stuff is no easy ride!!!