The ability to heal and be whole is lived and learned through empathy. I see now that the root of my work is to develop an empathic inner voice. The dialogue has to change, the relationship has to change, but in order for this to have happened, my understanding of empathy had to become more full in order to integrate it into self and not just others.
I guess the best place to start would actually be in my blog, since it’s all self-dialogue in the end based on personal interpretation. I could always construct an empathic dialogue with myself self by taking 1 blog once a month and decnstructuing that experience with open-ended questions and statements I would tell my son to build him up…
*sigh* I wish I’d known the inner voice I was creating within my son. Seeing himself punish himself for making a mistake is my fault, because I would punishing him for making mistakes, like my parents before me… Especially my dad. He was a dictator on that level. I strongly suspect a huge part of my inner dialogue actually stems from him, and my insecurities that I try to cover with perfection stem from not understanding his depression, as well as being made to take on very adult responsibilities as a child. I’ve never thought to assess my dads clinical depression and the impact it had on me… I mean the more general impact he had on me, yes, but where he has a diagnosis of Depression and always had it would help to understand what depression for him looked like as a child, and how that shaped my internal voice and adulthood.
“Anger is offen related to long-standing feelings of humiliation.” This is by far one of the truest answers I’ve needed in order to dig deep. It’s not that imnafraidnto ask these questions, it’s just that they never leave my mouth because it’s “my job to do the work” and the assumption is that if I ask “what is the root of deeply seated anger”, it takes away the work from figuring it out yourself. For me it seems to be the opposite – answer the question, and I know where to dig. The empathy book says people “return to the scene of the crime” in their healing journeys; for me it’s an excavation site where I need to dig and see the memories.
That was another one of my dads infamous signature statements – “figure it out.” “Figure it out for yourself.” “You figure it out.” If I had a question that needed answering, I’d always be told to figure it out. This was discouraging, angering, and upsetting to me as an 8 year old girl, and where my father could have shined the most actually had he taken the time to carefully listen and answer. I understand what the intent behind it was, to think for myself and grow in that regard… But where I had a chronic resentment against him for taking my mom away from me, this “figure it out” shit took away something else too… The ability to develop a relationship with me. It was redirective rather than explorative. It was a blockade, not a gateway.
I love my dad, and I know it’s not his fault. I know he always did the best he could, and I probably knew more than I should have at a young age what he was struggling through because he dumped too much on me as a child that should have been discussed with an adult… But maybe I felt as if that healing his wounds would increase my self-worth, despite the confusion I felt for synonymously hating him because it was his fault I no longer had a mother.
Too much… I’m going to cry here at the library… I’ve dug too much for today, but I’m sure I’ll start digging deeper still.
Damn you full moon in Cancer.