Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The heart of the matter

A painful hour with my therapist today. We're circling closer and closer to the heart of the matter, to childhood memories, to experiences that I turned into truths that I apply to me and everyone else. I cried a lot and now I feel exhausted. I came home, had lunch, then kept on eating. I don't feel any better, just too full.

My friend Cynthia, who is a psychology professor, was telling me about the idea of empathic breach. As a small child, we expect our parents to know what we need all the time. When those needs are fairly basic, they do pretty well. When the needs get more complicated, parents often fail, hence, a breach in empathy or empathic breach. If the parent rectifies this with the child, the child's woundedness heals over and when this breach and its healing occur repeatedly, the child learns that the parent and others won't be there all the time but will be there most of the time. However, if the breaches are too frequent and the rectification comes rarely or not at all, the child learns not to trust others and loses faith.

I am one of these. One of those with little faith in the constancy of others, those who took on that something in us was so flawed that the parent couldn't figure us out. In reality, my parents' circumstances and own problems were such that it wasn't going to happen. But as a child, I didn't know that and I took it on as me, as my fault. That I was too complicated, wanted too much.

Later experiences in childhood with God taught me the same lesson. Don't count on God. He won't show up when you need him.

This is causing a lot of pain for me now as I give up the anesthetic of sugar. Without that to keep me from feeling, all the unfulfilled longing is eating away at me. And it's not fun.

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