A Woman’s Journey to Herself
Continuing the 4th of 12 Archetypal Voyages in discovering the depth of your soul
The Woman Who Gave Birth to Her Mother
Continuation of “How Might Your Life Have Been Different If…”
If a caregiver archetype resides in the shadow of our heart-strings through an insecure love attachment, we are vulnerable for the manipulation of the shadow of other’s unmet needs.
You may have noticed we stayed in port longer since our last disembarkation. This allowed opportunity to experience what was developing more intimately through our archetypal insights and real-life experiences.
Our voyage resumes today as we finalize the first third of the archetypes; the journey of the ego. The journey of the ego consists of four archetypes: the Innocent, the Orphan, the Warrior, and the Caregiver.
The ego journey is a necessary part of our developmental process. “It was Carl Jung who first popularized the phrase ‘the two halves of life’ to describe two major tangents and tasks of any human life. The first half of life is spent building our sense of identity, importance, and security—what I would call the false self and Freud might call the ego self.
Jung emphasizes the importance and value of a healthy ego structure. But inevitably you discover, often through failure or a significant loss, that your conscious self is not all of you, but only the acceptable you. You will find your real purpose and identity at a much deeper level than the positive image you present to the world.”(1)
Now that we are back on open seas, hopefully you will feel the wind in our sails as we continue on our journey.
I’ve Looked at Love from Both Sides Now
Having been shaped through early developmental stages through the extracting love of a Shadow Caretaker, I also absorbed moments of the intentionality of her beautiful heart, which is the lovely gift of caregiving my mother offered when she was not in the anguish and emotional torture as my Caretaker.
This divine heart was experienced along with awful, horrible, extracting, and excruciating accusations that were projected upon me throughout her life, the last offspring of six.
Each of us as humans, possesses shadow and gifts, to greater or lesser degrees than the examples provided throughout this journey on the all of the archetypes attributes. The Caregiver is the perfect archetype to introduce attachment theory and I provide links to great resources for further exploration. (Please look for the hyperlinks throughout all of the blogs.)
From the Daughter’s Perspective
My mother’s disorganized attachment style is what triggered her emotional and soul torture which was unleashed on me. My mother, an empty woman whose life was filled with sorrow never found her secure base of love until she birthed me. An implicit assignment was bestowed upon me to become her Caregiver, although that was her role to fulfill as mother.
My siblings and I, all created in the same fruitful womb, but different fathers, inherited the chamber of her barren heart. She married each of our fathers, six to be exact, creating a sense of certainty that none of us would be bastard children in the literal sense. She held to her own brand of integrity, even if it did not match the standards of anyone else. Each marriage ended in divorce, except the marriage to my father.
Her journey was arduous and, she exemplified the shadow Caregiver which created a combination of anxious and avoidant attachment style. These two styles combined, create what is known as Disorganized/Disoriented attachment; while my dad, provided the secure base I needed as the steady loving Caregiver and provider.
From the Perspective of an Unrequited Desire to become a Mother
Failed in vitro, and too old to adopt the normal protocol, I had to face a new way of being. Attempts at pregnancy had been delayed for several reasons. The most underlying unconscious reason arrived much later in my awareness; I was fearful that I would not be a loving mother to my own child; I was afraid of becoming like my mother as a mother, and I had been groomed to be my mother’s mother.
There would never be time to continue to nurture my mother in her need to extract from me and a newborn, who would definitely need her mother’s devotion and energy. Until I experienced my divorce I had not fully realized that I did not have the energy to take care of two adult women any longer. I really was the living the story of the book title, “The Woman Who Gave Birth to her Mother.”
Something awakened within and I found “my truth and my voice,” in the most gentle but firm way possible; “Mom you will have to start taking care of yourself, I do not have the energy to continue to take care of both of us. I need my energy to face an unknown quest to support myself.”
This was the bifurcating moment that inaugurated the initiation into my Second Half of Life. The divorce had been the “change that changed everything,” and now I was in a position where I was aware that my energies were limited and by circumstances was forced to use them resourcefully.
My emotions caught me by surprise in the grocery aisle where I was working as a sales representative for a food broker; there sat a two-year infant in the little seat in the front of a grocery cart crying at the top of her lungs. She was a heart-tugging little mess with tears, slobber, and mucus running down her little rosy cheeks and nose. Her mom was calmly tending to grocery shopping, looking at the shelf, making inner decisions on what to buy, and did not appear to be disturbed by her little girls protest. Powerfully at that moment, the grief came from that loss; “I may never have the privilege of having a child of my own and be the mom with the baby in the grocery store. That will never be my life.”
This ushered in the awareness of unrequited desire that I did not know I possessed.
“I would never have my own child.”
“I would never have my own child.”
“Would I ever be privileged to be the Caregiver to anyone other than my mother?”
Motherhood is the primary image many of us hold for the Caregiver role. Those who have not been graced to have birthed their own child might understand the pain of desired motherhood unfulfilled.
Can we, who have been initiated, not by choice, into this painfully exclusive group of exiled kinswomen pursue new meaning; can we, who have never known the experience of giving birth to a living soul, connect with this archetypal instinct otherwise?
I believe so.
Parenting in all forms, foster, adoption, surrogacy, birth parent, and mentoring.
The gift the Caregivers bring is empowerment to others with altruistic selflessness and generosity of heart; the attributes most appreciated is how they can be counted on to be trustworthy, loyal, and dependable. Caregivers are fueled by the purpose of making a difference in others’ lives, especially those who are in need.
Remember, if the Caregiver does not keep a balance in life, it becomes easy to be taken for granted as he or she makes giving look easy, and does not demand anything in return for the loving work of service.
It gives others a false illusion that it doesn’t cost anything in energy or time. This can result in imbalance, enabling others’ neediness, addictions, irresponsibility, and ungratefulness. The Caregiver can end up becoming a suffering martyr which inadvertently is created by not taking care of her needs simultaneously.
This happens when one cannot say no in the appropriate situations when she needs to, all because her heart wants to do more than she is equipped to do at that moment in time. The Caregiver’s task then is to learn her limits and learn how to find her balance so she can give freely without hurting herself and/or others by over committing and over serving.
As in life, everything is complex, relationships are complex; archetypes are complex.
Remember coming home to ourselves is offering a new birth, first to ourselves, then, and only then, will our hearts be able to serve others in a gracious and expansive spirit. And perhaps… if destiny can be created from what once was, ill-fated trauma, the healing power of love allowed a Caregiving Daughter to Give Birth to her own Mother.
To Learn More About Attachment Styles ~ Check out the links below:
Find your ATTACHMENT Style: https://quiz.attachmentproject.com/ Videos from Attachment Therapy for Disorganized and Anxious Preoccupied Styles Video understanding children’s attachment: Videos on attachment from The School of Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRaaqN2Atxw&list=PLflWWD8RNP7SR7dhyscEfEzaRjkuprO2v&index=5&t=121s
The reticulated feminine imagination of Firefly Horizons and aesthetic architect of its contextual nature. Crystal establishes artful metaphor and metonymy in interpretative language to convey abstract questions to easy answers. Through sovereign reflection, she initiates imaginative beginnings. Read more about Crystal • Articles by Crystal