A Family Constellation experience Dec 2015
I see him face me, small, innocent, in a man’s body.
He is asking for nothing and yet needing everything;
afraid to stand before the father he never knew
and yet drawn like a moth to a flame,
to clear so many blocks in his unfulfilled life.
And I, ‘the biological father’, feel that flame inside me now
as I sense the enormity of my role for him.
Waves of sorrow and compassion surge through me,
tears weeping out at every gasp of my heaving breath.
I try to look at him; those pleading eyes that cannot dare to trust
bore into my guilt, with their plea for acceptance.
My eyes look down to the safety of the floor
as my body crumples with my sorrow and my shame.
But still he is there, moving closer,
each tentative step holding both his longing and his hatred
of me, the father who abandoned him – till now.
I am He who, with his mother, gave him up;
and this recognition brings me to the full pain
of what I did, to this little boy in a man’s body,
forcing me to cut through all those years
of avoidance and denial of my responsibility
for a moment of passion in my dim and distant past.
So now we come to the truth, for him and for me;
with a fresh surge of compassion in my heart
I try to offer my arms in welcome – his welcome home.
But shame seeps back, my limbs go limp, my body shakes.
Tears blur my vision, groans and sobs issue from my throat
as if I am now possessed by someone quite unknown to me;
I am forced to open to what was buried and forgotten.
What seemed conveniently rationalized away
stands inches from me, more real and personal
than I could possible have imagined.
So our eyes become locked in teary wonder;
our need for connection overcoming everything.
I just want to hold him now and allow to flow
into him the healing love I feel pouring out of me.
Waves of golden relief as blame and shame dissolve.
Then my hands, his shoulders, his hand, my face;
he touches me tenderly as if to prove to himself
that he has found his ‘blood’ father at last.
I stroke his hair, his head drops into my neck,
then cheek to stubbly cheek we share this intimacy.
Softening, opening, surrendering a little, father and son
gently allowing those lost years of depression,
knowing the mending process will now go on
through the physicality of the energy flowing through us.
Tender music adds its sweet poignancy as we stand together
witnessed by a circle of forty men and women,
all held in the emotive homecoming of their own pain and loss.
We hold hands, I reach into him deeply with my eyes
and see the flicker of his first smile shining
through the fear and sadness that had marked his face.
I feel parental power flaring up inside my chest,
we breathe together, his hand on my heart.
I put my hand on his heart and offer him benediction:
“I bless your heart, I bless your blood, my son.”
He puts his arms around me and, using my new strength
I hold him in a firm embrace as the music plays and time stands still……
Then we join with his mother and adopted parents in a four-way hug.
Cryptic words of gratitude and love are exchanged among us.
I thank our boy’s adopted Dad for all he has done and tell Francesco,
(whose name I barely know): “I am your Father, but he is your Papa”.
In the hours and days that follow, I am drawing
on the power of this Family Constellation experience
to feel so much love and compassion for my own lost boy.
As a sad and lonely child, I also longed for my father
to be there for me with love, to keep me safe,
to be a shoulder to cry on and a rock to hold onto.
I had a real dad, as did Francesco,
whose stepfather was there for him.
But mine was distant and out of reach
because I was sent away from home.
I became truly the lost little boy waiting for my inner parent
to do for him what his parents couldn’t do.
My lost boy has been waiting for me to step up
with my adult love for him, my fierce protection and my strength.
It has been a long and lonely wait,
but I feel several steps closer now.
Ardhan Swatridge – December 2015