I wish it wasn’t so. My body tells me different. Everybody else seems to get along with Harry, the boasting bigger camper guy. Why can’t I? Because I cannot be forced. Well, I can be, but everything in me fights it. Lying there, taking it, I can’t.
Like a lightening shot to the system, when the man next door leaned over his balcony towering above me, it bolted inside causing a fissure. Like attacks in childhood, breaking the soul like a bone is broken, cracks in some places, others all the way through. Anything similar throughout my life, even if much less major, feels as deadly. Despite much challenge from my brain trying to talk myself out of the damage these two men have caused, my body tells the story.
I can’t sleep. My muscles are so taut my back, arthritic from a waterpark injury years ago, goes out of whack causing sitting to be a thing of torture. By the end of the day I’m in tears, giving up to them, and giving in to medication for a few days, or longer depending.
I’ve lost my way. But slow laps in the meadow on a quiet Monday, weekdays when everyone else is at work, give respite. I can finally center, find that place within where reflection is true, and instincts are honest, not reactive.
I wake, finally having a full night’s sleep, realizing how I’m affected by others who force an issue for their own needs. I repel Harry’s, exhausting me, yet at the same time making me hyper, my entire system on edge readied for attack.
I cave to the neighbor with a good will offering of a bouquet from my garden, akin to the kind Miss America receives. It was beautiful, now leave me alone. I work in my studio with a window facing the Lake House, and realize how unsafe I feel. Yet I need to open my curtains while working to feel less trapped and to let the light in, but also notice that I feel very much on edge, that at any moment one of them will peak in my window or knock on the door to say ‘Hi,’ or demand other things.
That sounds almost silly, yet for me feels like I’m constantly ready for an attack, unsafe, and that I no longer own my own home; that’s it’s not mine, but his, much like the body that wasn’t mine as a child–exactly like that.
My startle response ramps up to hyper-vigilant. I wish, even still, to be like others so calm, but that doesn’t help me, the wishing. What does help is respecting my needs, my injuries and my pain, even if Samuel or others don’t, or cannot.
Traveling the short distance to my monthly massage appointment will cause pain, so I cancel. And I reluctantly begin the medications that will help my body relax, and will relieve pain and inflammation. I mediate, and walk, because I can stand upright.
And during the walks in the meadow, when nobody is around, I unfold, even my insides wind down, which is most important, crucial. All the little, simple, everyday occurrences I miss when so wired, sink in and come back inside to my deepest recesses restoring calm; the quiet, the coos of the doves, the locusts tweaking a constant scratchy hum, the train echoing in the distance, the birds flocking together as they practice flight patterns for the trip back south… these mend my swirling insides which includes muscles, emotions, the nervous system, all systems… finding my way back home…