My brain gets me up with streams of thoughts running in all directions about these books I intend to publish. I have spent the better part of the past 72 hours in conversation with friends and with family about the parameters of this project.
This morning my ‘first thoughts’ centered on this: When people say so blithely, “The greatest journeys always begin with the first step,” – well – in my world of thought this statement is NOT telling me the most critically important point.
I can’t begin until I first determine exactly where I am and exactly where I want to go!!
In my world, that’s a HUGE step all by itself!!
My daughter used two words last evening in our conversation about ‘the project’ that have great significance to me. She explained that it is her hope that whatever words of my own that I end up placing within the books dedicated to allowing my very sick, abusive mother to speak in HER own words — come from a place in my being that completely describes to my great grandchildren what this entire epic is about.
The epic includes all I know of my great grandmother, my grandmother, my mother (and my father), myself — and THEN there are my three children, my two grandsons — AND THEN there’s the Seventh Generation, the children that these precious little boys might choose to have of their own.
My daughter included these two words: FAMILY LEGACY.
OK. Right here I began to detect a very subtle shift beginning as I turn, turn, turn, turn in my heart, my mind, around in the direction that begins to more closely let me know where I am beginning this project, the direction I intend to go, and what I intend/hope to accomplish in this work.
Who wants to tell of a family legacy that includes mental illness and extreme abuse?
Any kind of abuse?
What if I forget — simply erase entirely from my own mind as if I never heard this thought to begin with — that there is any possible stigma attached to mental illness? What about trauma of neglect and abuse in families?
That allows me, then, to unfold a saga that is a slice of stories of being alive as humans that has been – and is — played out in my family. These patterns are played out in MOST families if we are all honest – and with the stresses of modern life in our nation (and in consequence to the national choices we are making) — the patterns of continued stress to mothers, fathers, infants and children is increasing by the day.
The legacy. I did not abuse my own children, but neither were they exempt from suffering ‘the spill over’ of the horrors that happened to me. All of this belongs in the family story – and will not be detailed here.
The point my daughter is making is that it is in the lives of HER SONS that the great difficulties in the lives of those from whom she is descended have been lessened to the degree that they barely exist at all. By the time HER grandchildren are born, my great grandchildren, the hope is that the intergenerational transmission of unresolved trauma will NOT EXIST AT ALL.
There is then one more extremely important step to make in my thinking – and my daughter and her husband understand this: Anyone who is raised from conception forward with safe and secure attachment in their lives will NOT suffer from the kinds of devastating lifelong difficulties that those who do not have safe and secure early attachment are nearly guaranteed to have.
In order to create generations of truly safe and secure attachment humans we MUST each be committed to the well-being of everyone else. There is no US AND THEM. There are no stigmas. There is no condemnation heaved by the ‘lucky ones’ upon those who have not been ‘so lucky’.
In the healthy generations there will be built into them from conception the fullest knowledge that humanity is in this business of being alive ALL TOGETHER. Each and every person is obliged to care about everyone else and to be committed to doing the job of making sure avoidable PAIN caused by humans hurting one another STOPS.
(This process will always include an open, honest, fair, truthful look at all we can find in ourselves and in our family legacy of all that went right along with all that went wrong.)
Which brings me to the turning-around thinking about pain I have been doing in recent hours.
I found myself saying to someone in conversation, “The point of my healing is that I be able to remove the pain I experienced within any abuse experience from the experience itself.”
Well. What on earth did I mean by this?
Pain. The experience of pain (Google search “stop the storm Substance P”) belongs to LIFE itself. It is not exclusive to humans, it is not exclusive to individuals.
The massive ‘pool of pain’ in which I would say over 90% of my reality resides within is unavailable to me because I consider it unwise and unsafe for me to ‘go in there’ after certain pieces of information I know.
I found myself saying, “I cannot do this work alone.”
OK. How about doing the work NOT ALONE?
Not alone must mean to me that I take what I know of my own pain — and then of the pain of my mother — and then of the pain of anyone else I can think of — and then realize that ALL THAT PAIN belongs to ALL OF US as humans.
My next series of thoughts I recognize very quickly as I turn, turn, turn to find my place of beginning for this book publishing journey crystallized in this statement I make to myself: “I WANT THE PAIN TO STOP!”
NOT just my pain, not just the pain of my mother….. Of course we cannot go backwards in time and change the beginning of life for those who have already suffered from their conception forward — suffered unnecessarily from hurt that could have been prevented and avoided.
No. I want ALL PAIN TO STOP for everyone — and most importantly I want it to stop NOW!! Is there anything I can contribute in any small way toward making this happen?
Stop all human caused pain to everyone on the planet NOW??
Well, I admit I list to the naive side. I DO believe that humanity can do ANYTHING WE WANT TO!! ANY TIME WE WANT TO!
So if we do not protect all infants and children from the start of their life to guarantee that their needs be met in safe and secure attachment relationship to the world they are born into — it’s because we don’t want to.
Here I begin to glimpse the far edges of the threshold I intend to stand on one side of – and then cross – as I most seriously and effectively begin my book writing work.
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