Sedna’s Daughters: Healing from Family Estrangement

Families in patriarchal cultures often mete out similar types of domination and oppression on their daughters that women experience in the larger world. For many daughters (and sons/trans/genderqueer folks), this includes scapegoating and rejection. Sedna’s Daughters provides a safe space for discussion on earth-based, spiritual approaches to healing from the confusing experience of family estrangement and recognizes all people's inherent belonging to Mother Earth, the human family, and the cosmos.

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Rising With Springtime

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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With the Vernal Equinox just behind us ushering in the time of blossoming and warm breezes in the northern hemisphere, daughters who have been shunned by their biologicals, or who are estranged from them for their own survival and peace of mind, can let out a sweet sigh of relief. The deep work of winter's inner reflection and grieving can be released as our heads look up at brightening skies and our hearts open like the first golden crocus piercing the last bitter-cold snows. This is the reward for honoring the deepest places within ourselves where the trauma of shunning resides: our burdens are lessened, our sense of being a shunned daughter diminishes. In their place, a renewed sense of our selves takes root and begins showing us other parts of who we are: women who are resilient, capable, and true to ourselves. We recognize we are human beings on this beautiful planet who were born with the right to live with love and respect from the people in our lives--no exceptions!

Springtime holidays, like Passover and Easter, may bring up reminders of celebrations you formerly had with the kin that have now betrayed you. This can touch on those deep wounds, no matter how long ago the estrangement occurred. If you are a mother whose children were  turned against her by her "family", holidays can be especially painful. The loss of one's kids is devastating, with a pain that cannot be put into words. Missing young nieces, nephews, and cousins who have been turned against us with unrelenting slander by our parents & siblings is also difficult to emotionally manage.

Some ways that women in the Sedna's Daughters community cope with these profound wounds include:

1. Set up an altar with the photographs of your beloveds you have been separated from that may include some flowers, a beautiful picture, a statue of a deity, and maybe some personal item from these missed individuals (like a toy, a picture they drew, a gift they gave you, etc). Light a candle. Burn some incense. Send whatever prayers you say, or meditation you chant, to these dear ones. Your aggressive kin separated you from them, but YOUR LOVE can never be stopped from reaching them!! Love is the work of the divine and no human being can interfere with its transmission. YOUR LOVE cannot be stopped or controlled;

2. Plan a special meal on the holiday with the loving people in your life today--your TRUE family. Stay focused on the day and their love. Be in the moment. Even if you are dining alone, set a beautiful table and relish the blessing of having enough to eat and perhaps set a photograph of a grandparent on the table to join you in spirit for your meal. Feel their love deep in your heart. Invite your animal companions to be with you also (unless they are goats and horses, you may have to snack in the barn!). The more love you receive and feel, the more you nourish the larger world and can sense the greater belonging you indelibly have to the whole of Life;

3. Spend time on Mother Earth and tell her what's going on in the deepest places of your heart. Cry your tears with arms around a tree. Visit a body of water and let your fingers touch her cool wet body. She knows. She understands. You belong to Her;

4. Remember you are not the only daughter who has been shunned, slandered, and attacked by her biological kin or had to retreat to save your own life: thousands of us have been. When you are feeling alone, think of our community of women and let the power of that bond seep into your heart. We believe in you!

Finally, I urge you to consider this: because aggressive families fail themselves and act out their worst identities on scapegoated daughters, they carry a wound far deeper than ours because they must daily live with what they have done. No one is unscathed in the trauma of Family Aggression: not even the cruelest perpetrators. At the holidays, aggressive families who have run-off their daughters must work very hard to psychologically push down the reality that we are not present, why we are not present, and what they have done. I always remind daughters to resist thinking in black/white terms of "they are happy/I am rejected and sad". That simply is not reality and a great over-simplification of the dynamic.

Family Aggression is a wound the whole family carries.

If you are at a place in your journey to have compassion for your aggressive family, feeling that compassion can really help YOU heal. If you are not at that place, don't even consider it! Honor where you are; take gentle care of yourself. Pushing and Judging yourself to feel differently do not aid the healing process.

Dear Daughters, no matter the condition of your heart, spring has come and beckons all of life on this planet to push forward. You are part of that life, that push to grow and bloom, even when you don't feel like you have any "bloom" left inside you. Trust us...though the flower buds in your heart may be held tightly within themselves, they remain untouched by the trauma from your biologicals and, when conditions are right, will lift themselves and open their radiance to the wide open sky of your life once again. We know because we've been there already and done it.

Until next time, the Sedna's Daughters community will hold you in our hearts while your heart heals.

Love, Always, Sedna XO

Visit us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SednasD/

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I have a Ph.D., am a victim's advocate, college-level educator, and was shunned by my maternal biological kin and their family friends over a decade ago. I have built an international community of daughters (and sons) committed to supporting one another and thriving despite the aggression of our relatives. “Sedna” is the EuroAmerican name of a revered Inuit Creatrix who was violently rejected by her parents and cast into the sea to die, but instead survived to create otters, seals, and whales.  Sedna is also the name of a star just appearing in the farthest reaches of our solar system and discovered by astronomers on November 14, 2003. Nick Anthony Fiorenza writes that "Sedna's message here is that humanity must recognize the truth about the suppression, persecution, abduction and exploitation of the feminine force in the world; and this mentality perpetuating such must be addressed and changed." Healing women is my life's work. See my Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/SednasD/

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