THE PRESENT

So easily a soul becomes lost though nothing seemed to have changed externally to cause it. The mind can be a terrible place, full of things to sway one back to the past, not a good place for my mind to be or stay.

And the critic? The critic is so used to being the boss, she also hogs the stage beating at me until nothing is left of the person created who is liked and feels full with self-esteem.

Coming back to center takes a bit of work, but mostly time. Grass by the creek moves gently with the breeze relaxing me with birdsongs pacifying my spirit while remembrances of all the times Mother Nature held me when my real mother didn’t have the time or willingness.

Thinking of her, my real mother, gone now for 12 years. And why now? Perhaps it is that a friend from childhood has died, one of two friends who loved me so thoroughly that my own mother’s love paled in comparison.

To know a dear loved one is gone from this world leaves a hole. To look at origin family members to fill it is like drinking poison. Only because they are no longer on pedestals, but are real humans with as many foibles as me or more.

At least so many years of therapy helped with my sanity. Thinking that duty calls for me to help if possible, it is much more feasible that each of them seek their own therapy. It is not my responsibility, nor is it healthy. Keeping my own sanity when falling into the pit of depression is enough of a job.

And it does call, and too often. A movie, a dream, anything brings back the past and sometimes with a boom, whacking me down, a machete of memories that takes much will to pull out of. A thicket of the past too easily tangling me to become mired in.

Mucking out of that quicksand to the present, to the moment, to the beauty around me that yesterday looked so bleak. All in one’s mind, a tricky place that takes will to direct and adjust the direction as to how I want to live— in the present with gratitude, peace, and love.

Find ‘her’, the person you’ve worked so hard to build, give ‘her’ all the love, care, and gentleness you never were able to give ‘her’ before. It is OK to love you. Only then can you truly love others.

C-PTSD

Maybe it’s nothing, but that’s doubtful. After a few weeks coming back from camping with a brother who is impossible to relate to due to his brain turning to mush over the years of alcohol abuse, sleep returned consistently till last night.

Out of nowhere? No way. It could be the sudden feeling of fright because the realization struck that my odd practitioner once again foiled the activation of a renewal of my marijuana card because it had not yet come.

Why oh why do these dilemmas come in the dark of night? But there had to be another reason because the wise came spoke saying , ‘it will worked out.’

Something else had set off alarm bells beyond my control. I can feel when it happens though try to ignore it. This time ignoring it for two hours before taking something. AND THAT DIDN’T HELP!

Rarely two doses are needed, but by 1AM it was necessary. Hating to admit it had to do with an unusual movie watched on NETFLIX— that must be the root of my hyper-arousal. It was unique in that it bluntly talked about childhood sexual abuse. In her dissociation, as her husband made love to her, she saw her father above her instead.

Um, duh, of course. My issues are many and most exposed by writing except Danny’s attack so brutal it is repressed to this day. So as much as it would my preference not to have this disease it crops up without permission. IT IS NOT MY FAULT.

A mantra I have to keep telling myself… as the tears fall.

A Very Berry Breakfast

Photos by Patricia

Samuel’s berries are ready, though the eating is much more fun than picking. And other summer surprises visit, the splendor of nature overwhelmingly beautiful.

So many bird nests filled with hatched babies all around the property, one on the front porch, another atop the wisteria, one on the eaves, and so many more. Daddy robin keeps guard on the tripod when he isn’t feeding the mother sitting on the nest. The tiny bird on the porch sounds like a raptor when going out there, so my visits are limited to watering the hanging baskets quickly.  

All varieties converged one night staring up into the hedgerow from the garden arch into the trees where there was so much racket!

“Samuel, come out, something’s wrong with birds!” I exclaimed, the noise bringing me outdoors.

He clapped his hands then a hawk flies away, hopefully without his meal. So many duties before me, picking bouquets from Samuel’s roses that have gone off the charts with blossoms this year. Everything that blooms seems to have increased in volume ten-fold.

The joys of summer continue to explode…

JUST BE

We wake each day anew. Not what was yesterday, or this time last year, sometimes wondering where she is, only remembering the very best days when peace filled me. Because not every day is like that.

You must go with what is now. Though growth occurs that does not mean it comes easily or without pain. It does mean without backsliding. Yet once hurdles are successfully mounted, the ropes of growth pull me back to the hilltop more quickly.

There is an insistence to go my core, yet barriers stop me. Unseen curtains shielding the way. It takes work to go slow enough to enter the sacred space of internal wisdom and clarity.

That is where solace is found, wanting to go there again, working toward that goal. The barriers are resistance to my truths, not wanting to face my humanness, foibles, character flaws, or maybe hardest, my talents, achievements, generosity, sweetness, or anything else on plus side.

Pull back the curtains and see what’s there. Accept all there is, work on what’s needed, try not to judge, and just be.

PHOTO BY PATRICIA

PAIN with PLEASURE

MAGICAL FAIRY POOL, where rose petals give you mystical powers…

Too much stimulation, even happy times, inhibits my ability to sleep. Lying there hour after hour, by hour three after Samuel came to bed and began lightly snoring, a pill was taken while waiting for the ‘wise voice’ to interject her thoughts.

And it came later the next day, still groggy from the night-time medication. Why- oh why- can’t my body keep up with others? Simple things like a day with the grand-children, happy in the little pool, with imaginations that take off, laughter abounding. The rest of the family joining us later for dinner. Knowing the answer should be no to an overnight request by Cindy my excited answer was YES!

How can that be turned down after a year of solitary confinement? But of course it was too much for a body worn out after daily adrenaline rushes coursing through my veins due to early repressed traumas. Tiny occurrences my body took as deadly danger released chemicals into the bloodstream that should have been reserved for real danger. My body can only go about a half day before quiet, alone time, and stillness is required.

Determined NOT to have a sluggish day after a night-time medication was used, I walked laps through the grogginess anyway. Not even 90 plus heat swayed me from my path making me feel good about me. Round and round, the sweat proof of work being done offering a sense of achievement.

Choosing to live well through it all, forging through, doing what brings satisfaction and success. And maybe hardest to swallow, acceptance of what is, my body, mind, and soul need attention and care because all facets have taken great hits. There is joy amidst struggles.

Bury the Living

Though hard, it is good to get back to the work of inhabiting my body as one. The more time that passes after being with the chaos and drama of origin family members, the better I feel and the less my mind goes in loops over it.

Moving on to the usual, facing a day with its fears, and challenges with the diligence needed to be present. That is enough without the quagmire of the past, pulled back into old grooves where no growth occurs. It has. No going back, my core will not allow stagnation once tasting the fruits of expansion.

The time spent as a robot to please while with them, dimming as each days goes by. The wonders of each sunrise begins to settle in while worries, and mental games that sicken fade. Because the mind can make me sick if around others that are stuck in loops of their own.

My internal wisdom won’t let me stay in swamps of death-like goo, memories of what was that still are in that group. Who cloyingly begin drowning me with repeated attempts at collaboration in dysfunction. No, free me, let me loose. Tentacles of what seems like family luring me down into the tar that sucks a soul dead.

My issues are many without adding to them, all spelled out in the psychiatric textbooks of diagnoses. Though terms are not my thing, it is helpful to acknowledge my own reality so that gentleness towards self can grow; DISORDERS- Depressive, Anxiety, Trauma and Stressor related disorder, Dissociative Disorder…

It takes great care to manage my life without adding more stress to it. Perhaps these doors that have been left ajar with hopes of meaningful contact need to be closed, maybe locked. To come back to the basics each day, contemplation of my own mortality which spurs my desire to enjoy the simples pleasures amidst the pain.

Ah, to be free of it. As each day passes, more freedom lightens my being. Joy replaces depression. Tears dry, without knowing why they are there, wiping them away almost daily. Maybe it is a mourning all over again. Each failed attempt at connection comes with the price of mourning.

Bury the dead while they are alive? In a sense, yes. Or more succinctly, Live and let live

Stuck in a Loop

Ten days later my footing is still shaky wondering what happened to the person growing into love for herself. Attempting to be part of the origin family group took me back hundreds of paces… or so it seems.

I don’t want to hear about the third person not there, my younger brother Stevie who lives upstate. If he wanted to tell me these things about himself he would have. Don’t you two tell me how worried you are about him. You’re worried about him? What about the cocktails you consume every night Seth? Your alcoholism is raging.

What about your need to have a group of people together Don, working at it diligently- a group of people who can’t help each other grow? And where you discuss another who is not even there? Being around those stuck in loops, pretending they are not, impedes growth exponentially.  

I don’t want to worry, especially about those where any relationship is not grounded in safety, loyalty, or true care. I still feel like a puppet attached to their strings easily manipulated by fear, rejection, or guilt. Guilt at blocking all from emails, but if I were to look in that folder, my bet is that nothing is there anyway.

For my own safety and well-being that distance is needed, but guilt consumes me. Who I used to be becomes me now. Where is the Patricia who likes herself? Who allows freedoms, happiness, and growth? Who looks beneath the surface and knows wisdom?

My mind goes in circles, round and round, thinking about each of them, and I don’t want to. I want to be here now, with the land, with people I love and trust; Samuel, sons, grand-kids, and most especially my cat. A cat won’t hurt you. A cat is loyal.

Where is the wise voice that answers softly with the truths you need? It will come, it will come. You’re OK, you’re OK.

Backyard-Meadow Walk

Moving here 17 years ago, the backyard was barren, hardly even grass. But now, due to our labors of love, it thrives…

In the Wisteria over our patio where we enjoy morning coffee. Mama robin doesn’t look too happy about the photo session.

Crazy Snowball Bush!

Creek side, a favorite place of respite…

HEAVEN

It has taken an entire week to come back to a place where peace had cupped me in her arms. A week to come back down from severe PTSD affecting all systems dramatically causing real illness.

Without understanding why, the sad truth is that origin family members are like drinking poison. Go ahead drink it, but the sickness comes after…. every time. It was OK for a while when meeting with one at a time, but becoming so immersed with all three, as Seth’s wife was indisposed, became overwhelming.

They talk about another not there. If you have something to say to someone, say it to them. It does no good to discuss it with others. More importantly it’s disrespectful along with cowardly.

There is still a part of me wanting to do what others seem to do so easily. Attend a brunch, go on a spur of the moment camping trip, whatever. But again, no, my body will not comply splintering in a million pieces.

Coming home it took days to unwind. Finally peace seeps in fully. The sweet scent of blossoms are noticed, my breath is felt, and the songbirds fill me. By the creek the gift of a graceful heron fans her enormous wings as she glides past over the water looking for another fishing spot.

Heaven is again discovered as the sun shines down warming like an embrace, right here in my back-yard.

Mysterious Exciting World

A week of confusion and turmoil finally calming me back to my soul with input from friends, my son, and a friend far away, never meeting her in person but closer to me than anyone I know. And… Mother Nature, restorative, curative, and finally after several days of resting my tired mind, the energy arises to go out and be with her.

The walks bringing me back to myself. How easily the split occurs. With the origin people, that group one is born to with ties like tentacles, the gag order reduces me to robot like living. Home again among friends who accept me as I am with no hidden past, there are also no hidden agendas to shut me up.

Nature cradles me in beauty, the meadow filled with buttercups, daisies soon to join them. Carp in the creek as big as sharks nibble on the banks of the water, their gigantic sleek bodies twisting above. The breeze blows the leaves with a soft rustle above me. Slowly I move back into my body, soul, mind, spirit, and emotions, claiming them, feeling them, becoming one once again.

The day opens not depressingly as it did all week, but with wonder, mystery, and excitement. What pleasures await? What other goals can be achieved, realized for the first time in years? Because as freedom inside myself grows, freedom from the chains of childhood and the forced silence, talents, abilities, special qualities, and magic to achieve goals and become who I really am increases tenfold, blossoming like the flowers around me.

What else lies inside waiting to be discovered, nurtured, and developed? Like stoking the tiny spark into constant flame, that little kernel of self-love is still there. Sometimes I must hack down the brush and heavy foliage to find it, that harsh critic blocking me all the way. Persistence pays off, patience helps too.

But there it is, a spark to coddle into flame warming my entire being with friendship to self. To feel all that is there without judgement or denial. To investigate the wounds still needing care and release. To allow the wise voice to take precedence and try not to allow the willful child to run things again.

That part yearns for the loving family she never had. Another part riles things up when success is prevalent. My job in that group of people that some call family was to fail. Be bad, do bad, carry their burdens. And no wonder my life was spent not wanting to live.

That is no more. Success reigns. Peace sustains. All that I need, I have.