Forgiveness. I’ve written about it before, both in terms of forgiving myself and others. For ages it was a very nice concept but like the top shelf in your wardrobe, out of reach. Seems that understanding how to forgive is about as elusive as unicorn sightings.
I’ve worked out why though. It’s because forgiveness isn’t so much about getting over stuff that’s happened. Instead it’s about seeing things as they really are. Like, really. Down to the bones, with no elaborations.
Like a lot of the work I’m doing lately, it’s all been going down on the kinesiology table. That’s where I was when I saw for myself how it’s always been and why.
A few weeks ago, I lay there on the treatment table staring wide-eyed and open-mouthed at my kinesiologist. Joining the dots and dropping pennies in slots.
Fuck! So THAT’S why I’ve never been able to forgive my parents for anything, my whole life!
Clarity provides space and understanding and suddenly forgiveness isn’t even an issue any more.
So what happened, I hear you ask? Something came up in that session around the idea of “feeling overlooked and betrayed”. Immediately I knew this was OLD. Sure enough, back we went (back… back… back) and further again, to four year old me.
What do I recall about being four? Not much really. I was in kindergarten, I guess. I remember painting, the sandpit, story time, and the room with the hooks for our wee bags. The odd flash of kindergarten kid faces. My sister was two, my brother was six. This represents the sum total of my conscious four year old knowledge and memories.
But the conscious mind knows jack-shit sometimes, yeah?
Without a doubt, I’m what they call a highly sensitive person.
Highly sensitive people are born with fewer filters between themselves and the world than “regular” people-types. We feel everything more intensely. Our highs and lows are more extreme because that’s the way we’re built. There’s nothing wrong with us. It’s just a slightly different way of being.
For example, today the fact that I live in a place where there’s too much concrete was causing me a great deal of pain. Yeah, I know. It sounds stupid, right? But a lot of creative types are like this, and I suspect most people with mental health problems are, too.
My parents are NOT highly sensitive. A thousand and one times while growing up, I was labelled “too sensitive/emotional” and made to feel as though my reactions and experiences weren’t acceptable.
What I learned in my kinesiology session is that four year old me was both enraged and deeply saddened at being overlooked like this. At having her feelings belittled and constantly being told she was “too much”.
That rage? I’m pretty sure it’s fuelled all the anger I’ve ever felt in this lifetime.
The way my parents dealt with me must’ve been similar to what they told me about how they deal with my eldest niece. She’s like me – extra-sensitive – and to my horror, they calmly explained how they tell her “don’t be so silly”, or to “shake it off” when she’s “in a mood”. I saw major red flags right there, both for myself and my niece (I’ve had words with my sister since then)!
Of course, I was born to a mother who began grieving for my stolen half-brother way before I was born and a father who is so emotionally shut down that he remains a mystery to me, even today.
Knowing all of this, and working on my shit with kinesiology allowed thirty-nine year old me and four year old me to put all the pieces together. We finally got it!
Four-year-old me never felt acceptable just as she was and this set the stage for feeling like an alien pretty much my whole damn life.
My parents, despite their own emotionally crippled natures, did the best they could (I know – such a cliché right?). They never meant to wound me the way that they did. They didn’t know any better. However, that four year old girl has been seething in anger ever since.
I was telling my neighbour about this and she asked – so how do you let something like that go? It’s like this: seeing things clearly and getting kinesiology work done just clears it the heck out.
This has allowed me to transform my relationship with my parents. No, we’re not best buddies all the sudden but I find I’m just not triggered by their actions the way I used to be. Even my sister has noticed the difference.
My folks don’t really do “I love you”. They also don’t do love and caring the way I do. They’re not so much into affection or the cooking of meals or the offering of lifts – the sort of practical things that would’ve been so beneficial to me when I was very sick earlier this year, not to mention all of the years I lived in PTSD-landia.
Instead, they’ll do stuff like give me a flat screen TV.
Yep. You heard that right. I might not see or hear from them for weeks or months, but I’m the first person they thought of when they wanted to off-load their old (but not actually that old) one; they’ve bought a monster-sized replacement (looking at their new TV makes my brain dizzy).
It should be said that spending money on a TV is possibly one of the lowest priorities in my life. But the gift was welcome enough, if only because I now watch DVDs on a better screen.
If this was a different time in my life I’d be cynical and bitter about inappropriate gift giving instead of more useful and supportive actions.
Now, I just see it for what it is: its love.
A few weeks back they also gave me their old digital video camera and I couldn’t really turn it down because I get that it’s their way of showing me they care in lieu of hugs or conversations.
And I’m good with that.
As my thyroid heals, so do many other things. After all, our minds, immune system, physical body, our sense of well-being – none of it is separate.