Something kind of unnerving has been happening in my sessions. I’m remembering things that I wasn’t consciously aware of before… though I had a shadow of a memory of it all. It’s like knowing something again. It’s hard to explain. A few sessions ago I remembered my mother used to say to me, ‘we choose who our parents are going to be, before we’re born,’ and I remember feeling such a twisted confusion around this. She’d say, ‘you chose me,’ in a tone that sounded almost like delightful gratitude to other people, but it felt threatening to me. ‘You chose this life and you chose me to be your mother…’ I chose this? Why would I choose her? It was my fault before I was even born!?
She didn’t feed me for the first 48 hours of my life, didn’t hold me either. Requested that I be fed only distilled water. For two days and two nights. Mark has been helping me process agonising body memories and what feels like life threatening needs as they gnaw at me from the inside. Birth trauma. Infantile annihilation fears. Complete terror. Dissociation. Grief. Longing. Core shame.
And there’s a new layer that’s peeled back. That maybe she knew what she was doing. That maybe it was deliberate. Mark said, ‘it’s hard to imagine she couldn’t see the pain she was causing, that she didn’t know how wrong it was… I think maybe she did.’ I sobbed lying in the fetal position, head covered in pillows. ‘I’m still here, holding you in this,’ he’d gently whisper.
I’m feeling so in touch with this heavy grief. I remember writing about this before, that grief is grief is grief. The heavy grief I’ve felt over lost relatives is the same as the grief over losing Anna and it’s the same as this grief… what is this grief? Am I grieving the loss of the hope for a happy childhood? Grieving the mother I never had? Am I grieving the realisation that despite all the love I poured into her, she never loved me back? That I still love her… and I loathe her… and I loathe the part of me that loves her… it’s all I can hear in my tear filled head, ‘but I love her so much!’ Am I grieving the part of me that died in childhood to keep her afloat…?
This grief is heavy and keeps blindsiding me.