Thursday, September 10, 2015

When Our Bonds Get Interrupted

“It is our own small voice within that is our oppressor; it says we are not worthy and not powerful enough. Our limited beliefs are the real foes we need to fight and conquer.”
                                                                                   -Yehuda Berg


I was reading something the other day which spoke to me about the way that darkness, our inner darkness, is necessary to be an active part in our growing our strength and our lightness of being. The concept here is that not only do we need to go into our own dark places; but that the dark places their selves have an active role in bringing them to the light to be seen. We see our dark places through our issues we carry, through our physical symptoms, through the words we use to describe us and our issues, through the movies we love, the books we love, etc. We even get a window through our illnesses, including something like a simple cold. One powerful way that we get wounded, thus creating a dark place inside of us, is through an interrupted bond with a primary caretaker in our lives. 

I have written before about how my father had an interrupted bond with both his father and his mother. My mother also had an interrupted bond with her mother. When we carry a wound such as that we often unconsciously replay it with our children. How does this happen? It can happen by one or both of our parents being physically gone as through an extended vacation or through being ill themselves, or through going to take care of a loved one; really anything which takes them away from the child for over a week before the child is 7 or 8 years of age. It can also occur when a caretaker is physically present but really unavailable. Maybe mom was depressed, or an important family member had just died creating a situational sadness or depression, or dad was never home and mom had many children to care for and was overwhelmed, and so on. In case of adoption, everyone adopted out has an interrupted bond with both parents. What happens to the child is that they miss their parent, then they get angry that they aren’t there, then they get very sad, and then something inside of them tunes the pain out which also includes developing a rift in their bond with their parent/caretaker. 

How does this look as we are older? It looks like someone who can’t be easily close or intimate with another. This can have many different hats. The important thing here is that this person, through the early wound that was never seen or even recognized and has a dark place inside of them. We all have many. This is one example of our unconscious dark places we develop. When the bond gets interrupted, there can easily develop feelings of not feeling good enough, feeling like we are not enough, feelings of sadness and even depression and not really knowing why, feeling afraid to get close to another, and so on. These feelings become active windows to get to understand this early place inside. With my father, even though he really loved my mother, he would easily get angry with her and he treated her in a verbally abusive way. He would tease her, but it wasn’t really funny. He would make fun of her, and this could even be in public. When she died, he felt such immense guilt about how he treated her and realized how much she meant to him and how much he really loved her. He expressed how he was afraid she didn’t know this. That was sad, and yet, he really couldn’t treat her differently because of his unhealed wounds he experienced in his early life with his parents. 

In fact, I would say that a huge percentage of patients I work with have interrupted bonds in their lives affecting their relationships, their professional lives, and even their health. What is important is to know that this interrupted bond can become more resolved or even healed. The first step is through recognizing the problem they are experiencing which could be seeing that they have a difficult relationship in which they can’t allow themselves to get really close to their partner, or through realizing that they choose people who aren’t available or are who are so different from them, or seeing their own depression or even their unconscious need to be cared for and so get sick so they have to be cared for. In other words, recognizing that there is something unconscious in them that is creating chaos in their lives. 

When we recognize there is a problem, we, often with help, go inside and invite the early wounds to speak to us. This can be through paying attention to what our bodies are saying and listening to them, or it could be through recognizing that our feelings of sadness or depression doesn’t have to be there and so invite those feelings to surface so we can understand them, or even through noticing our triggers and using what we get triggered or reactive by as a way to understand what is coming up for us. These dark places are then invited to come out and play with us and help us out so we can see them more clearly. This is hard work, but it can also be fun because we recognize that we are understanding us better and we start to feel better. This is a process and does involve taking small and even baby steps.  I will talk more about this and the process in my next blog. The important thing here is to begin to look inside and invite the memories and feelings to come out and to know that this too can heal. And as we heal, we can live more whole, healthy and vital lives.


Recommended Resources:


A resource that can be helpful to us in this process is working with Family Constellations as well as trying the integrative approach I coined, Body Presencing. Both of these processes and discussed in my website, www.bodypresencing.com. Just go to my website and click on Family Constellations and also on Body Presencing to learn more and how this work can help you. If you feel like it, roam around a bit and there are some case studies and even some interviews that you might find interesting.