Friday, September 18, 2015

Interrupted Bonds Part II

“I would never die for my beliefs because they might be wrong.”
                                                                                        -Bertrand Russell

In last week’s blog, I spoke about interrupted bonds; what are they and how an interruption in the bond between parent and child affect us. This week I am writing about how this early break looks through the effects on a couple of patients. By helping them to see some of the dynamics in this breach of a bond, it can help them to begin the healing process. As they listen to their words and watch their movements and how the process of using footsteps in the use of the tool of Family Constellations looks and feels, light and awareness can be shed for them to understand what they are experiencing.

I am working with someone who has been having a difficult time for quite awhile, and is in the active process of consciously learning herself and desires a good and happy life in connection with her family and with her partner. Presently she is experiencing a rare type of cancer and is conscious of the fact that a part of her is welcoming this illness. When we used footsteps to get a glimpse of the work of her unconscious on her and her illness, we saw that her illness had a large job to do in service of her. This illness allowed her to have the strength to tell her mother to give her some space and to step away some so she can find her own way. The footsteps revealed what she feels; that she emotionally is in the place of her parents, especially her mother, and that she is too concerned with her mother’s feelings and, in fact, takes care of her feelings. Her mom was in front of her and partially on top of her own footsteps. As she was able to speak words to her mother telling her that she needs some space and also needs the help of her father, the footsteps that represented her illness were able to back off of her a little and also give her some space. These footsteps helped her to see how much she wants to be in the place to be taken care of, and that she needs to just be the child in her relationship with her mother.

How does this relate to an interrupted bond? When she was very little, mom and dad separated, mom went to school, she and mom moved to their own place away from dad and from grandparents they had been living with, and then mom had a series of relationships which took her emotionally away from her daughter many times before she was even 8 years old. So mom would be emotionally unavailable to her, and then available, and unavailable, and then available. This child then was without mom and then was made to do too much for mom and felt responsible for mom’s emotional health so she herself could be helped. In life now she alternates between anger and closeness, a legacy of the interrupted bond, in a repetition of what she experienced. Then she gets a chronic illness which allows her to have the strength and the care she needed from her mother when she was small.

Another example of how this exhibits in our lives is seen with a woman who is a therapist and caretaker of others. She has a patient who alternates between being furious with her and then wanting to get very close to her and to be her child. This patient’s mother wasn’t available to her. As the patient rages at her, this therapist becomes terrified and feels her own unresolved feelings towards her mom where she too rages at her mom and also yearns for her. When she was little, her mother had many close relatives die, including her mother and father, and didn’t feel able to adequately mother her child; the therapist. This therapist knew this intuitively, felt the distance from her mother and her mother’s feelings of inadequacies, now experiences the same feelings which are stirred up in her through her patient, and can’t break this cycle of being terrified, being pulled to her patient, and then feeling inadequate. Again, these feelings and patterns are all a legacy from the interrupted bond.

The movements to see this place inside of us after recognition of where this push and pull phenomenon comes from is to heal our relationship with our mom, or dad, or caretaker. This healing doesn’t mean suddenly having a wonderful relationship with them. They aren’t changing….we are. The biggest piece for our health is finding a way to accept them as they are; exactly as they are with their flaws, weaknesses, abuses sometimes, etc. When we can do that, we can see places inside of us that before we were defended against, and we can see parts of them, our parents, that we actually like. Maybe they are funny, or smart, or sensitive, or creative, or loyal, or successful in business, etc. 
When we can see them as separate beings from us and see their positive qualities, we can allow us to take in their positive qualities and allow us to be creative, smart, funny, etc., like them, and in our own unique way.


Recommended Resources:

A recommended resource is to check out Family Constellations on my website, www.bodypresencing.com. In addition, there is a Body Presencing hologram on my site on the What’s New page, and also by clicking on Body Presencing, that takes you through a process with meditations and visualizations to help you along the way with an issue or troubling relationship or experience. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

An exercise you can do for yourself is to stand in the back of a room and imagine your mother or father in front of you. Feel out how far you need to be from them to feel good and safe in your body. Keep moving back, or have them move back until you reach a place where you can look at them and feel good and safe. When you find that place, just look at them in your mind’s eye, and breathe deeply. Imagine what you would like to say to them and feel the effect in your body. You don’t have to do anything else; just that. Find your distance where you can see them and have them somehow in your life where you feel safe.


Again, try it and see if it is helpful for you.