Freedom’s a funny word. This has been the winter of my content, not discontent. Which is odd because I famously fall in August and don’t come up from under till spring. That includes April. Such a glorious month but this year, as well as others, very hard. One blogger stated, “April, the cruelest month of all.”
I have found Freedom, tasted it, experienced it. Freedom from my excessive thoughts, bound and wrapped into them so much, I am prisoner to them. Yet I began to unleash the chains of my childhood which are wrapped up in my thoughts about life, living, being and who I am. The moments of peace so extraordinary because I hadn’t had any before. Freedom. To breath, to be in the moment…safe. To allow myself the freedom to belong just as everyone else does, though many take that for granted.
My childhood buried me in cement. My shame became me. I had no right to be here. I was not a real person, undeserving of breath, freedom or life. The special traits I’m often told I have, I don’t feel, relate to or connect to, it’s in my head only, lost in the path to my heart, body and soul. But I’ve had moments. The crackle of below 0 temperatures with my snowshoes crossed against each other, sitting by the frozen creek in the Adirondack chair while my nose hairs iced. The snap of the ice or a twig in the breeze, so cold it cracks. And no one but me is holding me hostage now, but those boys called brothers, they made me feel bad and to blame. It follows me. It became me. And being harsh with myself now over the impossibility of changing my atom structure is only adding flame to the fire of self-hatred.
Of course I’m going to struggle with issues of self-esteem. My formative years taught me I was unworthy of even life itself. Yet I am learning what my mind already intellectually knew, that I’m not to blame and am worthy. All just words in my head, it is my soul that is hungry for fullness, it’s my soul that lacked filling in its young growth. It’s my soul that was filled with dirt, and scum and blackness.
Yet I have found moments of fullness which turn into days, then weeks, then months. I have a bad day, or two, but this last week? That dental half hour toppled my world and it has taken a full week to begin to feel grateful for this life, this cup of coffee, the sunrise. That’s a lot of days gone missing. Yet the trauma is repeated as if I were 8 years old and the torment swims in and around me. It’s hard to get a grasp on body and mind, to calm it down, to settle, and find equilibrium in order to function healthfully. This requires sleep, proper nutrition, and exercise. All I could do while so excessively tired, was fall back on 8 year old survival tactics, becoming a devouring machine to escape pain, then curl up on the couch and be very still; watch stupid useless movies to drone out the thoughts and adrenaline rushes which were highly erupted to the point of a nuclear meltdown.
And that all takes work.
Saying to myself “You’re OK,” was not cutting it. I wasn’t OK. Something evil inside that is so terrific in its horror is awakened from its sleep when I’m at the dentist. “It” attempts to climb out; the memory of Danny’s sidling up to my bedside in the dark whispering oh so softly, “We’re going to play a game. You’re the Mommy, I’m the Daddy.” I sometimes wish I could remember and be done with it. Would that help? Make things easier? Maybe not. Maybe that is a fruitless wish.
So I do the work and go on, and feel better today. I once again have hope, feel gratitude, wholeness and a grip on my daily activities with the power to guide them— what I need, what I love, and what brings me pleasure. It took a while, and it takes work.