Hey Kitty, thanks for your kind words, you are a joy to have in group too you know!
I've upped my anti-depressants. I'm doing the present moment stuff - the breeze on my skin, the afternoon sun on the trees, the rustle of the trees, the sound of the highway, the occassional dog bark. the birds tweeting - not as in Twitter. (Birds are clever in Australia, but not that clever). I brought in my washing in and folded it. I went to my friend's wedding ceremony earlier - it was beautiful (even though I felt blue). I put away my washing up and cleaned out my freezer. I have my second DBT group. That always helps me pull me out of myself and look at what other skills I could apply to my pain. I made some nice healthy dinner and uploaded the photos from my friends wedding, so the people who didn't go, could experience some of it.
The maternal abandonment/rejection is hitting hard atm.... and the lifelong fall out from it. They say Helen Keller healed her maternal abandonment issues, but I suppose she didn't have treatment resistant bipolar as well! ? I've got to be realistic about how well I can get, so my efforts go to activities that can have rewarding returned. Nevertheless these are some suggestions by Linda Joy Myers, Ph. D., for healing the pain of maternal abandonment.
1. Remind yourself of these things:
a. It was not your fault.
b. You were not a bad child.
c. Your mother may not have realized how deeply this affected you.
d. You deserve love.
2. Create joy and beauty in your life now.
a. Gather supportive friends and loved ones around you.
b. Feed yourself good food, and treat your body well.
c. Give yourself birthday parties and moments of celebration.
d. Create your own family, whether it is your own children or friends whom you adopt as your new family.
e. Appreciate each day as it unfolds.
3. Find the help you need to heal your wounds.
a. Find a therapist who believes that the past affects the present and can help you work through it.
b. Write your story-from your point of view all the way through.
c. Illustrate your story with family photos.
d. After you write your story, write the story of your mother's life. Research her life as best you can. Illustrate it with photos.
4. Use visualization, meditation, and prayer to get in touch with the life you want to live, and the blessings of your life
a. Meditate in quiet surroundings each day for at least 10 minutes.
b. Read books that inspire you to love and accept yourself.
c. Share with others your healing story.
I do most of that in various ways, but they are kind of things to chip away at and only do when safe. I think I might do more 20mins of writing each day about my childhood traumas (and even adult trauma) just to try to bring them to surface. Hopefully once I acknowledge them and work through the pain they may subside a bit as the memories are reframed into more powerful and self-affirming thoughts(as above).
I know I am intellectualising - and I need to learn to tolerate higher levels of pain than suppressing memories and pain. It seems like it is one of those processes that one has to move directly through - with all the psychological skill we learn and develop.
40 years of rejection is an exquisitely painful accumulation of experience. Only by accepting myself and doing the above will I short circuit my mothers abandonment of me - and prevent not so much rejection of me as an adult. Yes comorbid mental illness does not help but I do my best.
Thanks for listening xxx