Friday, November 05, 2010

Little Girl Lost - Sorting Out Mother

As I continue my journaling, thoughts arise in my conscious mind. These are different from my every day thoughts. My dream states are also changing. The other night I dreamt of my mother. She was in a nursing home. Outside the home I had placed several valentine or "I love you" messages. She also appeared in several other dreams, either in person or in the dream theme. What's interesting is that my mother didn't speak in any of the dreams. She was simply a part of the storyline. I'm smiling as I write this. "Why would she speak in my dreams when she spoke so little when she was alive?"

My mother's game was to keep me guessing about what she was thinking or planned to do. When I was a child this caused me great anxiety. I became a policeman of sorts, always studying her facial expressions and other body language. I lived on "high alert." I'm sure this was a part of my anxiety symptoms, most of which were physical. I also learned not to speak out, especially if I had an opinion about something. "Who doesn't have an opinion?" My mouth and tongue were cemented shut.

As I matured, my fears were realized. There was no disagreeing with my mother. Life remained pleasant, almost long as there were no deep discussions, especially with a differing opinion. The rules of the game were clear. In my adult years my anger grew during visits home. It's odd for me to observe my memories. Each visit followed the same pattern. First, I couldn't wait to see her. ( my child? ) I could feel the trembling of excitement. The first day of the visit would go without a hitch, but then things would deteriorate on Day 2. My anxiety would kick in, along with my anger. As I repressed all of this, Day 3 had me jumping out of my pants. I would start counting the hours until we left for the airport.

I became free of my mother, or so I thought, two years before her death. I actively disagreed with her and all hell broke loose, not only with her, but with all of my repression. I remember it feeling like a floodgate had opened and someone else was in charge of the faucet. That person did not want to turn it off. It was not a good moment....or was it?

As I view my early children, the ones in the cemetery, it's obvious that problems still exist in their relationship with my mother. I thought these were tempered when the floodgates opened. These still seem to be buried deeply in my subconscious mind. I'm not even sure if I remember all of them, for each day in the lives of each child there was both physical and psychological pain. Clues are most likely in their memory boxes. There are certainly things I remember consciously, but for some reason even those still hinder the cemetery children.

My journal master steps forward. "Just remembering something doesn't heal it."

"Well then, what's to be done about these things? How can I heal the chronic depression IF the exposure or freeing of the memories doesn't help?"

I'm told that the children must come face to face with the mother and speak out. They will not go alone, but with me. They will be safe. After that, they will need to forgive her.

"Each child?" I'm not even sure how many of them there are.

"I suggest you invite a child from each five year period to represent that group. If more than one want to come forward, then that is fine. Sometimes there are children who have experienced things that were very toxic and they need a special hearing. You might have noticed that there were not many teens at the cemetery. Did you question why that was?"

Yes, I did notice that. When I thought about those years I came to the conclusion that during my teen years I was busy with other things. Perhaps I repressed memories or desire to know my father deeper down.

"Perhaps you need to meet with your teen-selves.  Remember, these were the years when they were developing relationships with boys. Did you consider that they had no role-model?"
"Yes, but I'll leave that for another day. There is much to do here and I'm feeling over-whelmed."

"Are you sure that you are not just looking to escape?"

Ohhhh....that hit home!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Little Girl Lost

I never thought I could be friends with my depression...

I'm learning not to back away from it, for I now understand that there is nothing to fear. Just the opposite. There is much to gain. I now know my depressive experiences hold major keys to both my mental and physical health. I'm showing the willingness to go below the surface. There are so many opportunities, each one separate from the other. That's a problem with labeling. We tend to believe it is one thing, when it really is more like a plate of spaghetti, each strand unto itself.

Yesterday I met up with my very young Self, taking her back into my heart. It was painful to see such a young child already detached and cowling. As we walk further along this path, the children present themselves. The ones younger than three, tend to be rather pensive. Some are sitting in a small rocking chair, but not responding to their surroundings, as if they're in a daydream. These children are congratulated for their silence, for this is what those in charge want. "My aunt told me that I'm able to sit and rock for hours without interrupting anyone. It's bad to bother others."

Elizabeth is busy learning how to be a good girl. She likes being "congratulated"...she interprets this as love. Of course, it is not.

The child learns that interrupting brings it's punishments and so this must be avoided at all costs. She's taken up nail biting and picking as a stress-releaser. It's easier to remain still when biting and picking. No one seems to care that she is engaged in a self-destructive act. Of course, this is just the beginning of her self-destruction. I know that. However, this is the first time I've connected these dots to my chronic depression.

I'm wondering, "Should I stop the child from doing this? If so, what would be the best way. I don't want to inflict further pain."

Journal Master..."This is how the child releases, and so it will be of greater value if she has less need to release. Let's go into this particular area and help the child to be free of whatever is bothering her. Perhaps she will tell you."

I must admit that I'm a bit nervous about approaching this part of me. Yes, she is quite young, but I feel her unhappy energy and it is very strong. Getting closer to her. How did she become so unhappy? I don't remember any abuse...

I'm told to introduce myself. Of course, how would she know who I am. As I approach her, she comes towards me, so I'm thinking that this is a good thing. She's not shy, just very sad. Noticing tear stains on her face. Her nails are well bitten. The ends of her fingers deformed from the constant picking. I take her little hands in mine, stroking them gently. Delivering love and concern. Despite being little, she seems to understand that I'm not here to criticize or punish her in any way. I find myself tracing the outlines of her little fingers, one after the other. I tell her that her fingers have names... I don't know where that idea came from, but it certainly has her attention.

"What are their names?"

10-9-8-7-6 on this hand. 5-4-3-2-1 on this hand.

"The names are silly. Do I have to call them by their names?"

No, but I'm sure you would like to take care of them, just as you take care of your dolls. I noticed that she has many dolls. I was going to say, "you would like to take care of them, just as your Mommy takes care of you", but those words didn't seem appropriate.

Why is that?

Of course. The Mother is a big issue for the little girl. She loves her, but the mother is distant and troubled with depression. Something rises inside of me. I recognize it as pure rage. Rage at the Mother for abandoning this very young child. The child is lost, and no one comes to find her. She is told to sit in the chair, rock and bother no one. The child is abandoned and lost, even though the adults are present. They know nothing of what is inside this little girl, things that can't get out and so the little girl must keep them hidden.

I hear my adult voice speaking to the child. "I want you to come and sit by me whenever you would like to do that. I'm always here for you. I'll help you to take care of your fingers, and then they won't hurt.

"They don't hurt."

Oh my. I look at the fingers again, swollen and infected. The child is so disassociated from them that she doesn't recognize the pain. To do so, would limit her only way to care for herself, for that is what the biting and picking is all about. She is caring for her pain.

I thank my depressed self for bringing me here. I know that this is where my eating issues begin and so, this is where they will begin to end.