At the beginning of the Summer my dad (Eoin) visited me in my own home for the first time in years. Two months later my dad returned to Ireland, to Wexford along with my two half- brothers Tommy and Luca. Eoin had rented a house in Wexford, something he has done each year. He invited me to stay for a few days so I wondered if the gains we’d made in June would survive the time gap and circumstances.
I used to visit my dad in Wexford but this invariably ended in a falling out of some sorts. So, after crisscrossing the country from Kerry to Wexford I arrived at a house deeply hidden in the countryside near the sea and some bellowing cows. Eoin had my dinner ready which I now recognise is how he shows his love and concern. It’s what his mother did before him. My brothers and I caught up with our respective news and my cousin Laura and her dad and partner also came to visit.
In the past, I would have felt a gaping wound from what wasn’t said or expressed. This time I felt more whole in myself as I realised that I no longer looked from my dad what I already had discovered in myself. This left me freer to enjoy what was offered without wishing for more. The peace I felt inside took me to a place of greater understanding, allowing me to garner insights into my dad’s family dynamics.
My dad came from a fractured family, a marriage frowned upon from the beginning between a Catholic and a Protestant- difficult to understand from today’s more liberal generation but in those days, it was almost impossible to cross that divide. The disapproval of both sides would’ve wounded both of my grandparents who were cast adrift from the guidance of their parents. Such disapproval is hard to carry, along with the challenges that come from raising a family.
The failures of my grandfather to sufficiently provide for his wife had imprinted on Eoin. He sided with his mother absorbing her frustration and intractable sadness. Her untimely death in her fifties never gave him the chance to make up for what his father didn’t provide. It was difficult to create joy in later life when his childhood had been chiselled by sadness and financial restrictions.
My sense of my grandfather and my father’s relationship was they were remote from one another. Daros, my grandfather, a man of few words, was emotionally unavailable. Although I never knew my grandmother as she died the year before I was born, my grandfather was equally unknown. He skirted along the edges of my childhood, sometimes physically present but emotionally distant. His emotional absence damaged his own children and especially my father.
In death, my grandfather left my father and brother with nothing other than a rickety boat, a few tapes and books. His daughter was given everything as she was the one with whom he had the better relationship. This single act of denying my dad any real inheritance spoke volumes and this final rejection sent him into an emotional tailspin of anger and anguish. It has resulted in him not talking to his sister or her children for well over a decade now. This has denied his own sons the two male cousins who live in the same country as them. Families divide and subdivide with other allies pitched against perceived wrongs created on both sides.
I see my dad enmeshed in his past, prompting him to revisit the places of his childhood year in year out, expecting something, craving some sort of closure. He visits older fishermen who fished with his dad, seeking recognition of his lineage. Through them he sees his dad as a fine chap, a man whose love of Irish music was legendary, a man who loved the sea and charmed fish onto his rod. The tendrils of past neglect momentarily recoil as Eoin basks in their recollection of his father and tries to see in them the father he so needed while growing up.
We visit neighbours, anyone who serves as a mirror for the parents long deceased – my grandmother for 31 years and my grandfather for 12 years. We visit relatives who pick out family traits from our faces and who placate my dad with anecdotes that echo through time. My dad’s rummaging through the past doesn’t provide the solace he seeks. The torment of his inner child is etched on the downturn of his mouth, the furrows of his brow and his response to life’s stressors.
We remain as prisoners to the past from memories that keep it in place. In my dad’s family, the pain is palpable. Instead of releasing this pain they use the hurt against one another to fuel the rifts they’ve created, scrambling for energy. The impotence of the inner child and unacknowledged pain has led to varying addictions- food, alcohol, excess and exercise to protect against the tsunami of suppressed emotions.
We inherit the blueprint of our ancestry which is why it’s important to clear that blueprint from the meridians that hold the memories and emotions in place. Using the tools of Fragrance Alchemy enabled me to disentangle from emotions that would affect my relationships and my future children. I had the choice of continuing to suppress or to transform my life. Choosing the latter birthed me into a reality free from the distortions of my family line.
I never thought I would reach this place but now I feel compassion for my dad brought up by parents whose own loneliness had permeated his psyche. It stunted his ability to cope with stress as an adult when his unattended inner child couldn’t handle the pressures of family life.
I cannot take away his pain. He would have to undergo his own journey to do this. I wish this for him as without it, he will never know trust, peace, or joy, the emotions that come on line when we release the shadows of our past we have long outgrown.
Fragrance alchemy oils clear the emotional imprints that block the flow of energy through the meridian pathways. It helps dissolve the emotional triggers that bind us to our limiting stories.
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