Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Suppressed Emotions

In the past year my brother and I began to share observations and memories about our childhood. He'd remembered more than me, but I had done more research than him, and together we began to piece together what had happened.

In the end, we realized that we had been searching for what had happened, when in fact we needed to look at what did not happen. What didn't happen is that we were able to be our authentic selves with opinions and feelings. We had both quickly realized at an early age that having feelings, unless they were to say how wonderful things were for us, was not going to be well received, and was going to cause our parents great angst. We obliged by keeping our internal world very well masked.

I told him something last night for the first time and he told me something that he had never told a living soul, which is amazing because he is joined at the hip with his wife. I can't share here but suffice to say that we both had beliefs that make clear that we felt completely alienated from our parents.

So, that's where we are. Now, where to go?

For my brother's part, he has reinvented his life. The music that he loved but went completely unappreciated by our parents is a big part of his life now; so too is fitness, health, and well being. He plans to live every last day.

For my part, I have to get into all those suppressed emotions. This is vital for longevity. Suppressed emotions are known to lead to illness, so this isn't some fancy notion of mine but more about survival, as well as contentment.

I am a capable person in many ways. I have proven that. But, I know I haven't met my potential. I can feel disappointed with myself and I can feel like I am on the inside looking in. You would not likely pick it up to meet me but I can struggle with self-discipline, with assertiveness, with my feeling states. This is all very common for someone who has experienced emotional neglect as a child. None of these feelings are remotely new. I have lived with them all my life.

Since taking up the Meditation Teachers' Certification course I have been meditating in a new way, with full appreciation for my emotions, and I journal about that, as required. I love leading meditation groups where I introduce this idea to them. Even if you have cancer and are scared, getting in touch with that fear in a meditative state isn't as scary as it sounds. When you face your fears and bring up other suppressed emotions, the body appreciates that. It is part of healing and courage building.

I think I have an ongoing emotion of being lonely, sad. I know that it is best not to rely on another person for my happiness but I do miss my husband and the bond we had. His trading keeps him up at night nearly every night now so we aren't often in bed and awake at the same time, and in any case, he is profoundly asleep when he finally comes to bed, very overtired. So, I feel sad about this state of affairs and conscious that there is not much I can do outside of holiday times, best taken thousands of miles from home and his screens. The difference between home time and holiday time is like night and day.

I feel abandoned. I'm told that's silly, but I do feel abandoned. That's the truth. Yes, maybe it's true, probably is true, that some cancer type therapies, as in supplements, affect his libido, but in all my years on the planet I have been a sexual creature. I miss that state so much.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my grandson and my daughter and we ran into old friends; showed the lad off. It was an afternoon filled with so much joy. I felt abundant joy. I absolutely adore him. It's a love I didn't truly expect to feel. Sure, I would love all my grandchildren, that's always been a given. But I simply love every moment of being with the little thing. He fills my cup, that's for sure.

It's harder than I ever knew it would be to come out of denial. All those years I held to the story we'd had a happy childhood until it all came flooding back in a whoosh. I barely knew my father. He loved me, absolutely, but he only really wanted the company of my mother. It's just the facts of the matter. He never expected to be a father, was a relatively old father, and had no parenting skills. I loved him and he loved me but we were worlds apart and never bridged the gap. That's the way it was.

So now I go about getting in touch with my true nature, as they say. No more painting a pretty picture of the past for myself. We keep the pretty picture for my mother, of course, because that's the picture she has always seen. But, my brother and I know what we know now. Thank the Lord we've been each other's witness. It's all about moving forward now, finding a place inside ourselves where we may be comfortable, at last.