This summer my husband turned 75. It has been a great and wonder filled 27 years together. He is a messenger and wakes me up daily. Thinking back to when I first had symptoms of autoimmunity four years ago, we were camping in Maine with our truck camper and motorcycle, a Goldwing trike. Great fun, releasing the child inside of us as we adventured along the coast of Maine. But any of you who have lived in a small space with a loved one for more than a day knows how the bad becomes magnified. Painful feelings of anger and resentment filled me, old feelings that had me wondering why he never changed.
I was walking the path to the campground shower when the pain over whelmed me. I teared up and whispered, “Please God. I can’t live like this anymore. Something has to change. A week later my eyes began to droop with the first signs of Myasthenia Gravis. With that plea, I had killed my old life and was soon to begin a new one. If I could take it back, would I? Never. I’ve since learned that everything happens so I can have what I want. The surprise is not that I got my “change,” but that I was to do the changing.
My husband continues as my messenger and has been key to my change. Not so much by what he says, but by what I hear myself saying and doing with him. This week I found myself speaking to him with a very old need for him to hear me. He has only 20% of his hearing, but that was not the difficulty.
The conversation began when he explained a problem with people at work. I was all into it and wanted to make suggestions. But that was not what he heard. Defending himself he said, ” I’ve already told them all that.” He repeated what he’d told them and I waited to hear what I’d recommended. But it never came. “You misunderstand me,” I said, spurred on to make him hear me. But from there we sank into a quagmire of anger and mutual disrespect.
How can two aging adults act like such children? It took me a while to recognize my part instead of blaming him. I recalled a memory, as the youngest during my first six years of life, of not being heard; of being shushed and ignored. I was that five year old again, who could not get respect. Under that was my illogical need to make people listen to me. And under that was my belief that there was something wrong with me when people refused to listen.
What does that little girl have to do with autoimmunity? She and her old beliefs and wounds are keeping me from healing my autoimmunity. Until I become aware of those old beliefs (they live deep in my subconscious mind) and release them, I will stay in an existing loop of my autoimmune experience.
Just as that demanding child is alive in me, each of us has a wounded inner child running us. Unless you are acquainted with your child and are spending time daily comforting her and allowing her to heal, you will need help. Autoimmunity is begging to be cleared up, but can’t unless we clear old wounds that stop us from healing.
John Bradshaw wrote a wonderful and psychologically sound (best practices) book on the subject: The Homecoming is a must read for anyone who is ready to heal autoimmunity.
Carol Tuttle has helped people heal their inner child with her book, The Childwhisperer. While she’s marketed it to parents who want to parent their children more respectfully, don’t be deceived. She has written this book for all adults who suffer from the unconscious wounds and violations of the first seven years of life. If you have an autoimmune disease, even if you remember your childhood as supportive and loving, you will have old and unacknowledged pain ready to be known and released. Now is the perfect time to heal your mind/body connection, and your autoimmune condition. Read her book. (Or listen to an audio version.)
Frank and I came together later in the day, and I thanked him for helping me see something new in myself. He said he’d just wanted to tell his story, not my opinion. I said I always had an opinion. But in the future, I would ask him if he wants to hear it.
The rest of my healing will be up to me. I am feeling my feelings as I go along, observing myself feeling less than enough and disrespected. And, as the Buddhists’ say, I am becoming curious when feelings arise. (Instead of resisting and pushing them down.)
How to honor and clear old patterns of thinking –core beliefs¬ that create painful feelings is found in the two books I’ve suggested, as well as Louise Hay’s book You can Heal your Life. Also, my previous two entries, April 3 and 29, 2015 discuss this process.
Let me know what you think. And next time I will focus on the body’s healing. We are learning so much about autoimmunity in the traditional medical community and in the functional and integrated health fields. My commitment is to you readers who are seeking support and more and more resources for healing autoimmunity.