Yesterday I went on a walk in nature with P and we talked a lot about their relationship with M. As usual I was revolted by the presence of sexist norms and unethical treatment of each other, M taking advantage of P when they can and P doing it because M did it first. At least it's not as violent as it once was? But it's certainly not a positive relationship.
Anika picked me up from my biofamily's house in early evening. I really expected my biofamily to put up a fuss but there wasn't even a slight protest. Usually when I visit them, they are super greedy of my attention and do little else than spend time with me. This time, the first two nights after about 6-7 pm they all checked out, watching about 3 hours of the TV show they're currently on (without even trying to engage me) and then going to bed. It was really weird to me and I'm not sure how to take it. I like that they're being less controlling but it's like they're all addicted to escape. To be fair, M & P were sick and S did spend an evening talking with me very meaningfully. So maybe I just caught them at an off week. Anyway, I waited to tell them because I didn't want them to have much chance to manipulate me out of it (turns out it didn't matter).
So, I went with Anika and Suzu to their house and saw the dog again, met the rabbits, got sat on by the cats, watched the fish, and held the snake *grins* Menagerie is aptly named. Anika and I spent the evening talking, driniking, and eating ice cream. I got to see their altar and learn about the items that are a part of it.
They grimaced with pain at one point and I offered to rub their back, they accepted, and I did my best (probably not that great). I asked if I could energy them and they said yes, so I did some clearing out and then poured energy into their center, and tried to smooth/reconnect some shredded areas. Later I asked what they felt and they said they had been focusing all of their pain into one spot, which made me laugh because I have never had someone work to help while I was doing this, instead of just accepting. I think that was why it felt weird to me and I couldn't get much of a read on where the pain was (because they were moving it). I said that I want to try again sometime when Anika is not working simultaneously but is instead just receiving, and they said ruefully that they weren't very good at receiving but would give it a shot.
I felt really super happy to see Anika when they picked me up, happy in a glowy way. I'm sure some of it was the contrast between their lovely presence (and Suzu's) and my biofamily's sadness and exhausted hostility (between the parents), but I also think I felt more open and sensitive to their presence. I usually get discouraged when I can't easily (energetically) feel someone's affection for me, and get pulled out of the moment worrying that they don't really care or something, but that didn't happen this time. I didn't get distracted or fretful. Partly because they had just gone way out of their way for me and that makes me feel very loved and very sure of it. And partly, I think, because I felt a kind of subconscious understanding that only became conscious the next morning. As it did, I expressed that next time we have a few days together I would like to deliberately work on dropping the walls between us. I feel that there are some protections Anika has built after trauma that make it difficult for me to feel their spirit or connect fully. I sort of said these things while realizing them, speaking straight from intuition without editing. They said they feel that is true and they like the idea of trying that next time though it makes them nervous. I feel happy and relieved after sensing/realizing this because I had been perplexed that I couldn't feel what I felt years ago and worried that I had sensed wrong then or remembered wrong or that something had changed to make it impossible. Now I feel like I can be confident that it did and does exist and is reachable and I also feel like I have felt a piece of that again.
I also had a little talk with my parents about their habit of hostility and suggested that they try an experiment of not saying anything negative to or about each other for a week (and if they must express it for some reason, they have to write it not speak it). Including 'jokes' because M likes to say things to irritate P as entertainment for themselves. I suggested that if one of them slips up the other can kindly- not snarkily- say the code word "flower" to remind the other that they are trying to do this thing. They said they wanted to do it and were going to start right away. I'm taking that with a grain of salt, but if they really both earnestly try I think it would help so much (especially since they are going on a trip together tomorrow).
Also, I got them to finally hang artwork that they'd had sitting against the wall for probably at least a year, and after I asked if they had consecrated the house, P told me about the dog having seen spirits and a little later M decided to go ahead and do it. It wasn't the ritual I would have done by a long shot, but it seemed to be soothing for them and to help them to feel more settled and connected. It was immediately before I left so I didn't really have a chance to feel it out and see if I could feel a difference. I definitely felt the art made a difference (even though the quote one certainly wasn't what I would have chosen). I think P gets a lot of their sense of self-worth from their dedication to Christianity and that was how my parents connected initially so P takes M doing something Christian (like praying) as a sign of love or hope. Since they won't leave each other I hope they can manage to learn to be good to each other.