Family Problems Spread
To start this off, I should say that I love my family very much and am very appreciative of them.
The second half of 2012 marked the beginning of some majorly unfortunate events for me— and my family (mother, father, sister) was truly my rock. Because of these “unfortunate events”, I found myself without a home, job, or the ability to really do anything at all on my own. My parents took me back in.
It’s hard, moving back home after living a semi-adult life for awhile. I moved out when I was 19 and lived mostly without their support for seven years. In the last year or so before the events, I had fallen out of touch with them. Why? I’ll be honest, I wanted them to make the effort and they never really did. They wouldn’t call me, so I wouldn’t call them. It was a stupid, selfish cycle to get into and I would advise anyone reading this to never let this kind of thing happen with the ones you love. You never know what could happen that might dramatically change everything. Maintain the relationships that are important to you now.
Anyway, I’ve been here for 15 months now. I really don’t want to be, but the process of getting to the point of being ready to even go anywhere else is ssssssslllloooowwww and tedious. For now, I must accept that this is where I am and where I’ll be for a while— maybe a short while, maybe longer.
My mother… she grates on my nerves. It’s awful to say, I know, but I’m being honest. I go out of my way to avoid her. I do a great deal of hiding from her, just so that we won’t cross paths. I mostly avoid her because she has this… problem… that seems to be getting rapidly worse. She talks compulsively. Sometimes, it’s funny. But in daily life interactions, it’s maddening. If I’m trying to quietly dart through the kitchen to use the bathroom and am in the middle of a project downstairs, she’ll stop me and trap me into a very slow, drawn out and one-sided conversation. She talks, and will not stop talking. I can leave the room, and she’s still talking. Rambling. Babbling.
Listening, however, is something that she seems unable to do. Since I am forced to rely on my parents for everything— including transportation to doctor appointments and grocery store trips, I have to keep them informed of what my needs will be ahead of time. Honestly, this fact makes me want to never even leave the house. I have agoraphobic and reclusive tendencies that have gotten very bad. The concept of having to rely on my parents this way is so… discouraging. It’s so hard for me to keep strength and determination and a positive outlook on changing my situation when I am faced with constant reminders of how… fucking pitiful this existence is? How much work there still is to be done just to bring myself up from ground zero in my level of functionality, just to reap the rewards that other people take for granted every day. But alas— those thoughts are a spiralling trap into the abyss of hopelessness and negativity. I try my hardest not to look at things through that lense.
Recently, we had a huge communication problem happen that really screwed me over. I feel like she has a larger problem that needs addressed, this inability to take in information and the compulsion to spew it OUT. I got brave, went out on a limb, and decided to make social plans with a dear friend I haven’t seen since the events happened. I of course humbly approached my mother, told her about what I was trying to coordinate, and what I would need out of her for it to work (which was nothing but to borrow her vehicle to pick said friend up from the bus station, then deliver her back the following afternoon). As I was explaining this to my mother, I had the sense that she really wasn’t absorbing what I was saying. She was very optimistic about it! She seemed quite pleased that I was making an effort to reach out and do something with a friend. The vehicle would be available for both times I needed it, she promised me. I confirmed and re-confirmed this with her.
And, then it’s time to take said friend back to the bus stop after our lovely sleepover.
The car is in the driveway. The folks are at church and will be for the majority of the day. But where are the keys?
My friend had just finalized and purchased her non-refundable bus ticket, and we were supposed to be leaving for the station in half an hour.
My blood was BOILING.
Everything ended up working out okay— but I am left still with an unshakable feeling of total social failure (nothing new there). There are so many blocks which keep me from being able to do anything in the social realm, including many I’ve laid before myself. Fear of something going wrong is a big one, and here it was, happening in the worst way. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I still feel like I don’t even want to bother attempting any kind of social interactions and would rather return to my reclusive life in the basement. (The basement is highly symbolic in my life. It signifies my darkest times, and it is where I often retreat for days/weeks when I experience a setback I can’t seem to get over.)
The issue is, of course, multifaceted as hell.
I’m angry and resentful at the people who directly DID this to me and made me have to live this way. I know that sounds like learned helplessness, but trust me, my story is FUCKED. It’s undeniably true that there are specific people to blame for what happened to me, and I hope and pray every day that I will have the opportunity when the time is right to make them pay for what they’ve done using legal action.
I’m worried about my mom. She seems to be either mentally deteriorating, or she has become this way as a coping mechanism in response to the fear and pain that she’s had to go through as a mother, watching her daughter go through such an inconceivable nightmare that just never ends. My sister has since gotten into a clearly abusive relationship and is also a constant concern— is she ok? When will the next crisis call arrive, and how bad will it be this time?
It is my gut feeling that my mother is not simply “getting old”. She does very well at her full-time post office job and functions highly there. I am sensing that her strange new behaviors are her way of staying disconnected from harsh realities. My boyfriend just commented earlier today on how she’s “in a fog, constantly. Whether she’s quiet, or rambling to herself or whoever will listen, she’s in a constant fog.” I thought this a good observation from someone who doesn’t know her too well but is simply reporting what he’s witnessed. Outside perspective.
So, as usual, writing things out offers me yet another perspective — one that has been inside me the entire time, but I haven’t been able to bring to light until now.
My problem with my mother is actually my problem with resenting my life circumstances + my mother’s sort of eery way of coping with the events that have transpired in our family. I’m mad at life. I’m mad at those who did this to me. And to her. And to my father, who has grown so depressed this year… and, I say this with a tear forming in my eye, my sister.
I’ve lost my sister. She also seems to have succumbed to madness. Her abusive relationship, I fear, has gotten to this level because she also felt the need to get the FUCK out of this house.
Even though what happened to me was no fault of my own, it must be hell having to live with me. Especially for my family, who loves me more than anyone. To see me at my scariest, wanting to kill myself, going in and out of hysterical states brought about by the symptoms of acute PTSD… I understand the desire to just run away.
I guess I also understand the formation of a coping mechanism that serves to keep one’s self pleasantly detached from reality. My mom’s “fog”. She’s the type who would never even dream of picking up a cigarette or having a sip of alcohol, let alone developing a drug problem… but in a way, her “fog” is an example of escapism. And that makes me so… fucking… sad.
I feel guilt.
So it’s no wonder I feel so angry with my mother.
I feel guilty because I feel that I’ve done this to her.
I wish so badly that there were a way to remove the burden of myself from their shoulders. Not by killing myself or anything— I’m way past that level of thinking. Just… to be able to be self-reliant, would be the greatest gift I could give them all right now. I think about that and I must fight the call of dark thoughts… just run away. Disappear. I’ve lived homeless before…
But no, homelessness represents giving up on myself. It’s also a big FUCK YOU to everyone who’s helped me get through this past 15 months. It is simply not an option.
When it really comes down to it, I just want to get along, and for things to be okay between us. So, I tried out this little spread on myself:
1) Cause of conflict/problem
2) The querent
3) Other family member
4) Advice for querent
5) Advice for family member
My query: What is really going on between me and my mom? (What do I need to be aware of that I’m not? How can I do my part to resolve things?)
(Oh, I’m currently using my new Aleister Crowley Thoth deck.)
1. Cause of the conflict
Card: Seven of Swords
Looking at this card in this particular deck, you can see that there is one central sword with six off-shooting swords. I really researched different perspectives on this card’s interpretations, and though there are slight differences in opinion, I think I’ve figured out what it’s saying to ME in this spread.
The central sword is the central issue, and the six off-shoots are elements of sabotage. Ways that we are perhaps both sabotaging the situation and making it worse. The keywords associated with this card, after all, are things like futility, running away, “hidden dishonor”, betrayal, deception, stealth. To quote from BiddyTarot’s blog,
“The Seven of Swords indicates that you may be tempted to sneak away from a particular situation that is not working for you any more, rather than dealing with it head on. As you do not feel ready to deal with the issues, you are aiming for a solution where you can just escape and not have to worry about it all. Are you trying to run away from commitment, responsibility, hard work or love? You may be procrastinating, letting problems slip and become worse because you do not want to deal with them. Sometimes you just have to face what has to be faced. So, the question is, “Is this realistic?” Will this ‘escape’ really accomplish what you want to and need to accomplish? Will it address the fundamental issues at hand here? The likely answer is no, and it may simply be an easy way out for now.”
“Sometimes, the Seven of Swords indicates a desire to go it alone. You want to discover, investigate and solve every problem using only your own wits and resources. You may believe that you have a better chance at success if you act on your own accord, ignoring the advice or inputs of others. This approach is useful when you need to bypass an ineffectual group or assert your independence but it can also have its limitations. You may end up feeling isolated and excluded, missing that great feeling of collaboration and synergy gained when you work with others. If you feel inclined to act alone, be sure this isolation will really work for you.”
Well. That makes perfect sense. I don’t think I even need to add commentary there. These interpretations directly relate to what both my mother and I am doing, in our own separate ways.
2. The Querent
The card: Seven of Wands
My first reaction to this was “woah, this card looks so much like the seven of swords”. Again, there is a center wand with six off-shooting wands. Marveena over on youtube mentioned that authenticity and integrity are key to dealing with current conflicts (http://youtu.be/98dmtQsG4to). Keywords for the Seven of Wands card include aggression, defiance, conviction, resisting authority, combating criticism (http://www.learntarot.com/w7.htm), challenge, competition, perseverance, and taking a stand. And, to quote Biddy again:
“Seven of Wands indicates a struggle after initial satisfaction and fulfillment. This time, however, the struggle is about maintaining your position at the top while others compete and fight to achieve the same success and status that you have already achieved. Thus, competition is rife and you must continually prove yourself with the Seven of Wands.”
On September 11th of this year, I found out that the false allegations that were made against me in July, 2012 have finally been dropped. The truth finally came out, and that particular battle is over. This was the best news I have ever received in my life. I felt a sense from my mom right away, though, that my happiness and joy was something she needed to overshadow. She took away a lot of my ecstatic joy by yanking the spotlight away from me and my celebration, onto herself and her compulsive babbling. Again, I resonate fully with Biddy’s interpretation. Being that this card represents ME in this conflict, I must remember that it isn’t simply making itself present to validate my grievances with my mother about this issue. What I believe it is telling me is— hey, you need to work on being able to maintain your happiness and satisfaction and even your sense of self-worth REGARDLESS of those who will not react how you want them to. Yes, the way she’s been acting is fucked up. But this is no excuse for you to just adopt a “fuck it” attitude and stop working on forward movement. Blame is a convenient game which allows us to ignore our own responsibility and settle into stagnancy… because it’s THEIR fault.
I somehow need to stop allowing my mother’s reactions to my successes (and failures) to impact me so deeply.
3. Other family member:
Card: Six of Coins
This one confused me. As I understand it, this card symbolizes harmony, balance, well-being, feeling successful, charity, prosperity, generosity. Learntarot.com offers an interesting keyword list— “having/not having: resources, knowledge, power”. The final thing on the list under “having/not having power” is: “doing all the talking/listening” (http://www.learntarot.com/p6.htm).
I am not sure overall how this card represents my mother’s mindset. Unless the message is supposed to confuse the hell out of me, because that’s what her mindset is: confusing. I feel though like this card should possibly have been in my position, because of this quote from Biddy:
“If you are the beggars in the Six of Pentacles, then you may be the recipient of someone else’s charitable activities. This will help you to get back on your feet and to eventually repay the charitable organisation or individual, either with your time or your restored wealth. You will also need to identify ways in which you can become more self-sufficient in the long run. The risk of accepting charity is that you become dependent on it and cannot look after yourself. Be mindful that you are not becoming submissive or noticeably ‘desperate’ as a result of the charity that someone else is providing you.”
4. Advice for Querent:
Card: Two of Cups
Ahh, the Two of Cups. I draw this frequently, especially when I am experiencing particularly rocky roads with my family. Unity, partnership, relationships, making a connection, calling a truce, making up, forgiving. Marveena’s video on this card also mentioned two phrases that stuck out to me: “two forces trying to come to an agreement” and “you may need to make the first step, because it is unlikey the other person will”.
Aren’t really crystal clear messages from the tarot just great?
5. Advice for family member:
Card: Prince of Wands
By this point in the reading, I was admittedly getting really tired and was losing focus. But this one, just like the earlier card in the position of the other family member, confused me.
I heard the phrase “in her groove” again, which I also read when looking into #3. In my journal, I scribbled a lot of question marks, followed by the line “Mom is in her damn groove”.
Here I will quote a few sources to see if I can make better sense of this.
“The person represented by the Prince of Wands will be an active, energetic person, with a warm and generous heart, and a good sense of humour. He will have a natural and infectious optimism about him, tackling every aspect of his life with enthusiasm and vigour.
He will be friendly, gregarious and open in his attitudes, possessed with a very healthy sense of his own value, but also supportive and encouraging to others. You’ll often come across him in working areas where healing, encouragement and development are involved.
The apparently easy-going happy-go lucky exterior conceals a deeply rooted moral sense. At his best he typifies the ‘shining white knight’ principle – always ready to stand up for what is right, and good; willing to fight to protect those who are more vulnerable than himself.
If the card comes up to indicate an inner response, rather than an actual person, it will signify rising confidence levels, and a positive attitude to life. This card is often the result of overcoming fears and surmounting obstacles which have previously hindered us, or held us back.” http://www.angelpaths.com/wands/wandspr.html
“On the positive side, the Knight of Wands is full of energy and life. He’s never afraid to try something new and will reach for all the gusto he can. Others may shake their heads at his crazy stunts, but they still admire his courage and passion. He’s sexy and irresistible…always the charmer. On the negative side, this Knight is a little too sure of himself and his abilities. He tends to be shallow and thoughtless. Don’t expect a deep commitment from him. He’s also reckless and irresponsible. He acts without thinking and constantly gets in trouble because of his temper.” http://www.learntarot.com/wkn.htm
I feel like maybe “advice for the other family member” might have been a query that didn’t work for me, at my very advanced level of understanding the Tarot. Some aspects of the Knight/Prince of Wands do certainly sound like my mother, but I can’t seem to piece together any “advice”. Do you have any thoughts on this?