Compassion or Rage?

Time and again attacked. Coming up for air as if almost drowned, gasping for breath, even if figuratively, that was my childhood. Interspersed were moments of great joy, galloping my horse down the meadow path, long hair flying back, sweat glistening on my brow, and the horse’s skin… life became black or white, joyful or terror filled.

Where is the love others freely feel and give? Hidden away to preserve what is left. Yet compassion? Rage sometimes directed my behavior. Tempering that rage took great resolve. But something else. It took compassion. Not for myself, it was for others.

The attacking siblings did not rip that well of compassion from me. My essence is made of compassion. Compassion kept me whole inside my brokenness. When it matters, warmth overrides aloofness dissolving my chilly armor. 

 

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Be In Every Moment

photo by Patricia

The cold comes to New York, sweeping across the state like white tundra hurling mountains of frosted snow. Looking out at the swaying trees briskly bending in the wind, I shiver unconsciously. Though braving the below zero temps to dig off over a foot of snow from the sidewalk the day before, this day is too bitter.

Not exercising brings restlessness, but time in the studio quiets me, working and dreaming of spring when these latest mosaics will be planted in gardens not already adorned with glittery pieces dancing with light beams in the sunshine.

There is a feeling of well-being in springtime and summer that cannot be fathomed during wintery days in the usual way, just basking in sunlight. But other past-times can be explored. Looking for the light in other ways includes coffee laced with cocoa, puzzles while watching a favorite movie, coming to the present moment while the slinky cat stretches her long body down my legs until they go numb and I must move her… and on the list goes; simple pleasures, sweet pleasures.

Upon waking the reminder of the work that must continually be done goes home to my center. Don’t run from feelings, go deeper into them, and into my body. Do not let fear keep you from what is real, and what is you. Unprocessed traumas from so long ago manifested itself into every moment making each one feel like a crisis constantly looms.

One of my jobs is to quell the ever present anxiety erupting from childhood where terror festered inside becoming a constant beast to bear embedded into my wiring. Breathe, let the shoulders soften, allow relaxation into the body down through the calves to your toes.  

You’re OK. You always have been, you just don’t know it.

 

Tiny Miracle

photo by Patricia

Though the drudgery of winter is wearing, walking continues to bring a modicum of relief. By lap three the joints are loosened, muscles are warmed, and a boost to the spirit occurs. Additional rewards include resting creek-side. The silence in winter is deafening.

Where are my feathered friends, leaving me, wanting to follow? As my heartbeat calms, the dullness of bare trees does not improve mood. Then, there on my coat cuff, one lone, perfectly shaped snowflake.

Lifting my arm closer, pondering its miracle, as if an angel has spoken, “This is for you. Be aware of the beauty hidden among ugliness. This is hope.”

Peace and Panic

photo by Patricia

Are these the templates I’m built from? Is there no release from it other than dreaming of being someone else?

Like layers of phyllo dough compressed within my personality, they are there for life. You must accept it, deal with it, and have some compassion.

Some changes have softened the edges, but the core is solid unwilling to be undone. Those hands on me when so young, those eyes of others when trying to tell what was done, being so alone since age 8 with an aloneness indescribable, cements into a life constantly challenging.

1:30 AM, up, no sleep. During the following day, what is that at the periphery of my consciousness? A sliver of panic. But why? Another night, awake at 3 AM. Unsure of the why of this, day three sleep returns to normal.

Maybe I have to describe myself as having a disease. Is PTSD a disease? I think of it as an after-effect of trauma, not a disease. Whatever it’s called, I have it. And panic can find me even at home in the safety of my nest. Even if the trauma is over 50 years past. Even if no longer having to be a part of the work force where daily stress ground me down because others felt so dangerous to be around. Even when I cannot figure out why.

Panic and sleeplessness come. A few days of peace, a few days of panic. 

 

Little Girl Grieves

photo by Patricia

Feeding the empty heart with food causes havoc and pounds, making loving oneself even harder, impossible really. Eating quells panic. It always has, but a different pain takes its place, not a sufficient pay-off.

Thoughts trick me into believing it is OK to ingest food when if really connected to my body there would be more reserve. Yet the hungry girl looking for love still grieves.

Once again coming to reality, it is time to count what goes in. When beginning a new exercise regime at the community center, food intake goes awry. When food intact is closely monitored, exercise isn’t. One or the other, but what about both?

It is as if an instinct clicks in that this won’t do. You are fatty Patty. You don’t deserve better, a message since childhood with the cruel name crooned my way heaping more pain upon pain.

That is who I became, fatty Patty. The cookies at Grandma’s sneaked from the plastic Tupperware soothed what happened in the night, even at Grandma’s where I should feel safe. Chet made sure to stay when I stayed.

Feed your soul with love not food… a seemingly impossible task, but glimmers of hope sparkle. The spirit of resolve hovers. Keep reaching, working, and trying.

North Star

The North Star- mosaic by Patricia

A guiding light, arms to hold me. A need for warmth where there is none. My insides feel so cold unable to feel self-love. Someone love me so that I can be alright. But a warning. If you do, be prepared to be cast out.

A memory of mother’s love, so unpredictable yet always there, is desperately sought, dug up from the past. Have I never felt love other than those moments, or with my animals? 

Animals are safe; my horses, cats, dogs, chickens, white mice, even a goat. Love freely flows with animals. But friends? Un-abusive siblings? No love flows. Only mistrust. So many relationships wrecked by mistrust, coupled with the inability of voicing any preference or need, or displeasing the other.

Destroyer of relationships. The negatives of my life swamp my efforts of positivity during these long winter months, a macabre shadow my shroud. Regrets eat me up, waking with puffs of remorse wafting up from the far depths of my being, knowing what has been lost along the way due to mistrust pitted in my soul from the first wrong touch of a loved one.

This is my life. I must live with choices made, even if made from a little girl’s wounds that have been carried within un-healed all these years. The rage, the mistrust, the deep bleeding gouges that have lost so many moments of love, warmth, and caring from others. So much lost living in the cold keeping ‘safe.’

And can they ever be healed?

Only with compassion for what she suffered. Only by holding her in my arms, rocking her warm with love. Can I do that? I can try. And keep trying. Because what I need, I need to provide. If I can give it to others, because I have, then I can give it to that wounded child within me, and feel whole. I have to hope I can. 

by Patricia

Would You Be Me?

Exhaustion runs deep, into my core, my blood, bones, every atom of my being. I am tired. Even with enough sleep, I am tired. Winter’s weariness? Failures of self?

“It hard being me,” I lament to a friend, and whisper out-loud to the gods. It is hard being me, and I’m tired of it.

My thoughts tend to believe the worst every time, and that tendency consumes me in winter. Bleakness of soul matches the frigid temps. The havoc of this engulfs me in ways that wreck relationships. Others there willing to love, offering warmth and real caring, are shoved away brusquely. My best feature is turning away from you coldly.

Is that all there is left from childhood? Taking my trust, only coldness remains. I need you to keep away from me. Aloof, yet needy. It is so tiring being me. Dreaming of being someone else consumes me once again.

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