By Shelly Shelley, LMP
The article I wrote for the September Tummy Temple Times, “Transitions and the Nervous System” touched a nerve.
The event I wrote about happened when I was two weeks old. My mother and I addressed it a decade ago. I have benefited greatly from our conversation and September has become more manageable year by year. The publishing of the story all these years later, however, had a surprising effect on my mom.
A dear family friend of ours, Cindy, read “Transitions and the Nervous System” and responded:
“So, after reading your story about your mom leaving you for two weeks (what was she thinking!!), I was thinking about my mom leaving me….although I don’t know when it was, but I’m working on finding out. I’m curious to see if my SAD, or allergies or something gets worse during that time.
But, Mike and I talked about his past before, and he was sort of abandoned by his mother after his sister’s birth. She was a sickly child with convulsions and seizures, and his mom suffered from postpartum depression with her. Mike said he was THE ONE AND ONLY for 3 years….the only child in the family on many sides, and then his sister came along and he felt like he lost his mom. She even told people that Mike was so easy he practically raised himself. After reading your story, I thought about how every year he goes through this bout of horrible chapped lips. It’s like the outside of his lips gets so red and irritated it looks like he has lip liner on. He hates it. Well, this morning I asked him when he gets that and he said December….he always thought it was because tax season was about to begin….but we haven’t had a tax season in 8 years and he still gets it. His sister’s birthday is in December.
Now that we know, I’m curious to see about this year….
Very interesting stuff. I love you.
I was pleased that the story provided an opportunity for healing for my friend and her husband. I shared her response with my mom, Doris, and this is where the nerve was touched.
Thanks for sharing Cindy’s response. And yes it is wonderful when sharing leads to healing. In my experience it nearly always does.
Let me share with you my reaction to her comments. At first my thought when I read “What was she thinking!!!” was “What the hell business is it of yours?!” Gut reaction you understand. Then my second thought was “WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?????”
I took that thought to my meditation. I immediately forgave Cindy for saying it and took it to prayer. Here is what I wrote in my journal and I don’t think the processing is over yet.
What was I thinking as I left my three children with Audrey and took off for California? I hemorrhaged nearly the whole way. It was two weeks after giving birth to a third child and we had nine puppies to nurse that had a sick mother. I was exhausted and not healed from the birth. It was on the heels of a big Christening party where I had to confront my drunken Father in Law who was trying to pick up my sleeping infant, you. I went to bed during the party and caught hell from your dad later for it.
What was I thinking? ESCAPE…. but from what? Myself, responsibility, the beautiful, quiet serenity of the farm? My family, my only friends? Escape from the insanity my life had become into the greater insanity it would become in California? That elusive and wonderful geographical cure they talk about in AL Anon that it’ll be better over there?
I imagine it was some of all of these things but this is going to take a lot of digging to better understand my actions. I am grateful to Cindy for the fodder of my meditation and journaling for days to come. What was I thinking? HELP!
(This picture represents the most healing aspect of the mother and daughter bond.)
So there you have it, more healing from sharing. This is going to be very interesting as I go from defending myself, to acknowledging my own insanity and helplessness at the time, to digging into what was I thinking, what was I feeling, what my agenda was. I have the glib answers I have told all my life and those are right on the tip of my tongue and the top of my head. However since it has come up perhaps it is time for digging and healing. I will continue to share with you as new and interesting things continue to arise.”
Wow! It’s true, isn’t it? We have our canned, glib answers that we form to protect our psyche and carry on. The bodywork I do, and my writing, seek to provide an opportunity for getting under the surface to the soft underbelly of the traumas of our lives. As we unwind thes
e protective physical and emotional compensatory patterns, we reveal the wound beneath and have the opportunity to attend to it, dress it and truly heal.