During the appointment before last, a theme that came up was that I seem to have had a feeling when I was growing up--going back perhaps to infancy and early childhood, times when I spent most of my time with my mother--that I had better attentive to the emotional state of the people (person, in this case) in my environment, otherwise there might be "hell to pay." I'm not quite sure why that expression came up, but it seems to have established a survival-oriented habit that has carried over into my work and home life. It is as if I feel that I have to go through a (sometimes long) checklist of things that have to be taken care of first, before I can even begin to think about what my "needs" might be in a given situation.
During the most recent appointment, the idea of "pushing through" to get things done came up. I had been up late the night before, grading final exams. The night before that I had been up late grading placement exams because I had had to go to campus on Saturday in order to administer them on the first of four audition days. In addition to the placement tests, I had been grading quizzes that I gave on the last day of classes. Sunday is also laundry day, on top of preparing three meals and cleaning up afterward.
I feel like a professional failure because I don't have a steady stream of publications, "important" performances, and grant support. Last night I was talking to my brother about this, and he said that, in comparison to some of his colleagues, who seem to be more adept at cultivating networks of colleagues who might be willing to publish their work, he characterizes himself as having a sense of "blue-collar pride," in which he prefers to submit his work blindly, hoping that it will be noticed on the basis of its merits and not so much on the basis of whatever professional networks he may have formed: on "what he knows" rather than on "whom he knows."
Back to the Rosen appointment, the impression that came about was that I may have been called on to be emotionally self-sufficient prematurely, and I may have had to negotiate a complex world of adult emotions (laden with dark secrets about deaths, and possibly also histories of abuse within the family history). It makes sense that my taste in music, literature, and film would run toward the complex, and that my emotionally charged friendships and affairs would so often involve people who were dealing with the effects of abuse and dark family secrets in their lives.
All of this led me to consider that the wrenching experiences of separation and rejection that I experienced while in the Amma org may not have been the result so much of personal failures on my part in the recent past, but rather they may have been reflections of my initial and primary relationship to my mother, during the time that she was experiencing her final illness. It also makes sense that no "real," "healthy" relationship (such as that with my partner, for all of its faults) could compete with the unresolved issues from my relationship to my mother. On the other hand, emotionally charged, "unbalanced," "unhealthy," relationships that were imbued with a sense of lack of realism--even of mythical, magical thinking--might be able to trigger hopes of resolving my longstanding issues interpersonally, rather than trying to heal them gradually as an individual, hoping to integrate my experiences in a "healthy" way, perhaps under the guidance of healing professionals (as I am doing now, without the distractions of complicated, "unhealthy" friendships and cult involvement).