[Continued from Healing of our Family Tree]
My core issues are rooted in the rejection that I experienced from my biological mother since my birth.
Chiron symbolizes the Wounded Healer. The house and sign placement of Chiron in our natal chart represents where our core wounds are.
In my natal chart, Chiron is in the fourth house — the house associated with our roots and origins, home base, family in general, childhood upbringing and the environment we were raised in, father or mother image [there is no consistent teaching on this; some claim father, some say mother], and relationship with the real father or mother.
Our wounding and healing journey is aimed at uncovering the gift that lies in the wound, as well as our core values and soul blueprint. The focus of Chiron Return is wrapping up the issues related to our core wound, and determining how healing from the wound can help others.
I had uncovered my childhood wounds and issues when I attended the Reparenting the Child Within workshop in 1999.
My mother — as well as my father — rejected me for my gender, the color of my skin, and how I looked.
They — my very own parents — could not accept that their child turned out to be a girl — after having two girls already.
They could not accept that this third child has a very dark skin tone — in contrast to their two fair-skinned older daughters [and later, a son and youngest daughter].
I was often teased and shamed — by my parents, siblings, and other relatives eventually.
Racism and colonial mentality run deep in the Filipino psyche, quite sadly. I would grow up hearing these words of ridicule directed at me constantly,
“Negrita of the mountain” [black girl of the mountain]!
“Igorota!” [a female member of the mountain tribal people from the Cordilleras region in northern Philippines known for their dark skin tone.]
I resented the teasing and shaming. I was hurting deeply. But I kept my sentiments to myself.
When I got reconnected with my cousin early this year because of my mother’s passing, I shared with her this narrative for the first time.
“Ah, nagtampo ka pala nun… Ang sensitive mo pala…[Oh, so, you sulked over that….You’re sensitive apparently…]
No child deserves to be teased and shamed — whether for their appearance, weakness or whatever else.
No mature adult does that. No psychologically-sound parent does that to their child, especially a supposed loving mother to her daughter, her own flesh and blood.
My healing and recovery process made me realize the impact that the rejection had on my psyche.
At the onset of my incarnation in this lifetime, I was already “wrong.”
That was the message that welcomed me.
Wrong color of skin. Wrong gender. Wrong physical appearance.
I would grow up coming up with the conclusion that, not only was there something wrong with me, everything about me is wrong!
And that is why and how I — my rejected little Nadine — arrived at the conclusion that I am unlovable.
Maybe if my skin tone is as fair as that of my siblings….
Maybe if I turned out to be a boy…..
Maybe then my mother would love me.
The way she does my siblings.
Unlike my two older sisters, I didn’t have any baby pictures; no solo baby pictures.
No photo of my mother carrying me as a baby.
Isn’t that quite telling?
No, it wasn’t just saddening; it is heart-breaking for a child! Deeply painful and severely wounding!
The earliest photo I have since birth is the one with my two older sisters, when I was already a toddler.
I wasn’t baptized until my younger brother, the one who came after me, was born and had his baptism. I was already three years old!
I didn’t receive the sacrament of confirmation until our youngest sister was born. She and I received the sacrament at the same time — when I was already 22! My sister was 12, the right age for confirmation.
For a family raised in the Catholic faith, receiving the sacraments at the appropriate age of the child is a foundational requirement in the child’s spiritual development. It is one of the basic and major responsibilities and obligations of a parent towards their children.
“Isiningit lang ako sa mga kapatid ko [I was just squeezed in with my siblings.] Had my brother and youngest sister not been born, would I even have received those sacraments?,” I asked my cousin.
Stunned silence was the only response she could give.
Talagang echa pwera ang kwento ko! [Being dismissed has really been the story of my life!]
It is a theme that played out in my early childhood, all throughout my adolescence, and even in later adult life.
The rejection that I experienced at birth, the constant dismissal from my mother and the entire family, the emotional neglect from my mother — these resulted in my lifelong self-doubt, searching for acceptance and approval from others.
My overachieving ways were aimed at proving myself worthy.
I looked for my father’s love in the men that I had been romantically involved with, and my mother’s love in my female friends.
Perfectionism, workaholism, and excessive drinking were some of my unhealthy ways of coping, escaping, and compensating. Of numbing my senses and the pain. All at the subconscious level.
Rescuing tendency is also one of the unhealthy ways that the wound manifested. It was one way through which I had thought I would get my mother’s love, appreciation, and approval.
Sobrang tiyaga ko nga [I was so persistent] to do whatever I could to merit my mother’s love and attention — to no avail! I reiterated that to my cousin.
The wounds and wounding are also part of the reason I had chosen not to be attached to any life partner or have any children. I will expound on that in future posts.
I receive a diagnosis of a disease that is most dreaded by every woman — breast cancer.
Immediately, I know that the emotional root cause is my mother wound. Another layer is being peeled.
The Universe is gifting me with another opportunity for the deeper healing and clearing of blocked energies in connection with my mother wound.
For two decades, I have dedicated my life to integrating the fragmented selves that comprise my personhood by embracing my shadow, flaws, and faults. This, as I uncover the gifts and blessings beneath the wounds and the pain.
I am giving to myself what I wasn’t able to receive from the family, just as I am not treating myself and others the way I have been inappropriately treated, albeit unintentionally.
I am constantly re-parenting, re-mothering my hurting, severely wounded little Nadine — an exercise that I have long embraced to be a lifelong endeavor.
Without my awareness, acceptance, and realizations, I would have just easily passed on my unhealed wounds to my children and spouse — just as our parents have done to us, children, and to each other — and the unhealthy pattern then would have continued.
And I wouldn’t have been able even to begin the process of true healing and recovery had I continued to stay in the very environment that has inflicted the wounds, albeit unintentionally.
Hence, the decision to stay away and keep no contact — with my siblings in 2006, and with my mother in 2010.
So, when the medicine woman revealed that I hold the key in breaking the family and generational curse, the idea resonated with me.
At some level, I knew what she meant by me being the key holder — given the choices that I have already made and have been making.
At the same time, I was extra cautious and mindful that I do not allow myself to be unduly influenced by her own choices, especially considering there are similarities in our wounds and wounding — as I shared on an earlier post.
One question still remained.
What do I make of my mother’s harmful spell on me, as revealed by the medicine woman?
To be continued – Holding the Key. Breaking the Curse. Breaking the Cycle.