CHRISTMAS TREE

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Tree day. After the kids left home, scouring the fields for the perfect tree lost it’s charm and I succumbed to an artificial tree. And though no kids jump around helping me decorate, Molly is as curious plopping down beneath it before the process even begins. 

As I string lights she lays down luxuriously stretching herself full length close to my heels, and I must step over her each time I circle the tree. And again all through each phase, the lights, garland and tinsel. After all is in place she nestles back under amidst the packages and I always insure there is space between them for her. Queen of the tree and little kid of sorts. Oh Molly!

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RE-CONNECT

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What a master at disconnect, without trying, an unfortunate outcome from childhood and numerous, countless sexual attacks from those I loved, trusted and looked up to. I totally disconnect from my body until it cannot be ignored any longer. Also an escape. Be it exercise, drugs, drink, shopping, food, you name it, too much of something may be an escape.

My drug of choice since the age of 8…food. I ate to numb. I ate so much I threw up in the night. Mom kept feeding me. It was all she could do, or would do. Chapter 2:EIGHT

The one thing comforting me has the potential to kill. The recent hospital stay gave me the scare I know I needed. Otherwise, I’d keep up with my life-long habit of pacifying my ache for love with food. Fill the hole up fast then everything is alright.

Except it isn’t. My war torn body has had enough of my tyranny. The fragile lining of my digestive tract bled out. I almost received two units of blood but my meek protests allowed time for blood counts to rise slowly so doctors knew the bleed had stopped. The diagnosis, internal bleed due to Meloxicam use.

With a serious demeanor, looking steadily into my eyes, the attending physician stated “No NSAIDS ever again. ” My GP confirmed this at the follow-up visit after discharge.

In order to heal the area bleeding, other precautions are needed in terms of diet and drink, the same ones as if treating GERD. Though the Meloxicam prescribed for my impinged shoulder caused the bleed, the surgery 30 years ago, and my need to over-fill, made me vulnerable to the medicine. That is my diagnosis.  BUTCHERED

There’s no running off. Time to be here, present, in my body…my poor body. What I’ve done to it over the years, especially these last few when the tissues are wearing out and cannot take my abuse any longer. It is time to care deeply, go deeper, and truly connect within to my insides, a place I’ve been running from.

HOLIDAYS

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Ever since little, Christmas held a magic that carried me throughout the year. That hasn’t changed. Others cannot believe I have done all my shopping before Thanksgiving arrives. And sometimes it’s even wrapped or at least started. The tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving.

A person needs something that excites them. I have fun all year picking up goodies at deep discounts and throwing them in the ‘Christmas closet.’  A big Christmas can be done without a lot of money. I have always stuck to a very meager budget but you wouldn’t think so if were to see the presents swimming out from under the tree.

This past week my studio has turned into Santa’s workshop. I needed small tasks to do so that provided some sense of productivity without tiring me excessively, and more importantly, some pleasure in-between the pain. While wrapping, gentle Christmas music played in the background.

It has taken many days to calm down from the hospital memories. As the sun warmed my shoulder through the southern window, I lovingly took my time making each package just right. And with each present I felt close to the receiver… a son, grandson, or daughter-in-law, giving me the gift of warmth in the process. 

As I laid out my wrappings, Molly hopped onto the bed where the excess lay. Why is it cats like paper? She immediately made herself at home in it. 

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POOR ME

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Thought I ought to give you an update. Spent four days in the hospital with an internal bleed. They think it was the anti-inflammatory I was on for my shoulder. I’m home and each day feel a bit better so hopefully no more bleeding.

Have not had the energy to keep up so if you haven’t heard from me that is why. It feels good to be home and slowly able to think and type!

CAMPING IN NOVEMBER

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A stretch of uncommonly warm days brings us outside for the mornings, 40’s over -night, mid 70’s during the day. I’ll take it!

This doesn’t look like much, but our simple chalk drawings gave us prolonged periods of fantasy play. It’s her family’s camper, pink of course, with a path to our camper. We are cooking marshmallows over campfires, watching the sun go down, then sleeping in our campers till the sun comes up again.

Our drawings take us into the woods to a world that feels real for both of us. 

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CANDY WRAPPERS

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I often leave comments and afterwards notice that what I’ve said, I also need to hear. I munch on it throughout the day. That is the case thanks to Jessica at the Counter Stool. I pulled up a chair at her counter on a prettily colored woven stool and had a chat. And wouldn’t it be lovely if she lived right around the corner along with other friends I have met on-line.

Peeling layers off an onion, shedding skin like a snake, or other ways of digging deep, then letting go….? Onion layers cause tears and it often felt like that. My new outlook? Unwrapping extra candy wrappers to reach the goodness inside. Until I cradle all that I endured, I am not accepting myself and all that I have suffered and gone through.

Those are the places to honor, cherish, exult and rock with a gentleness from the core love of all mothers, now and through the ages. This child who suffered, struggled and survived, and fought through against horrendous traumas rocking her world then, and for years to come.

Yet she grew. I am here now. I have a right to admire all the qualities that kept me here. And there are many that went underground with the truth of what was survived. It is time to get to know those qualities, to shine a light in the dark and uncover the gems, gold, crystals, silver, diamonds, rubies, emeralds…so much more to uncover that hasn’t been mined. Because it had to be hidden with all the rest to protect ‘family.’

It wasn’t until I owned all that happened to me that I truly came into myself, not taking on the crimes of others, but that I did indeed suffer them. I had been running. There are many ways to run and who hasn’t chosen one at times. I don’t need to name them, too much or too little of just about anything could be running. Balance was just a word. Living a full, NORMAL life, where I counted and was as important as the next person, was a wish that never would come true.

And why would I want to remember and feel all that happened. I didn’t. It caught up with me, I couldn’t run fast enough. All the years in therapy were not about my childhood, but rather making my life work at the time; career, kids, marriage, friends, all the day to day stuff. I needed it to manage and survive…yes survive. Being critically injured, and repeatedly, carrying all that black blood inside, only rotted, never healing. Healing was also just a word.

Healing is a journey not a finished product.  

A very large cavern existed inside, unexplored, unwelcome, empty. The soul of me. I existed as an empty shell, doing, acting as if, pasting a smile on in all the right places or trying to. Not until I went there, to all the scary places and felt what I felt wholly, completely, not until then did a smile become a real one.

I carried a sadness for a long time after that for I had lost much and had much to grieve. And that was OK, because I felt authentic for the very first time. The dirt and grime I waded through was not mine, was not me.

As I felt what had been packed away, each betrayal, each body memory of revulsion, every moment that had branded on my memory but had never spoken and instead swallowed, was finally expressed, then shared with another human being. As the chapters came up along with the tears, I began to feel lighter. I began to appreciate all that I had suffered, and a new appreciation grew of a woman whose strength was there right on the pages along with her tears.

I am not what happened to me. Yet I am. By disregarding huge portions of myself, those parts that survived what was not survivable, I reject the very best in me that fought to survive and won.

I went deep a layer at a time, layer upon layer of defenses, ways to run, each layer a candy wrapper of ingenuity, a wrapper brilliant at survival to take pride in for its protection when it was needed. I unwrapped as I could when the time was right, instinctively, not forced, as if time had unfolded the contents, not me.

I am liking what I find at the center.