In the Moment

I feel such peace and stillness. There has not been a time when I’ve felt such calm nor connectedness within my being. I cherish this reprieve, this period of quiet happiness.

The unusual heat was swept away with the wind as leaves swirled. The walk near the creek crunches heavily as the thick carpet of newly fallen leaves crackles under the weight of my feet. Capris are replaced by sweat pants as the temperature dips from 90 to 60 and the change brings relief even though the clouds hide the sun.

The air is full of sweet earthy composting as the fruits of summer decay, the scent going straight to my core. Snapping back to Now, my eyes feast on the rusts, golds, and yellows as the lush greens wither and die. Soon the trees will be bare but there are other delights to be enjoyed as each season brings its unique smorgasbord of treats if one is aware enough to take it in.

Often during the day my tendency to be ahead of where I am causes me to internally speak, slow down. Be with what you are doing in this moment. Because I’m always rushing ahead of where I am to the destination, but then there is another. Now is the destination. What you are doing at this moment is where you need to be.

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SERENITY

photos by Patricia

Sleep comes night after night and the days feel so much more satisfying and happy. This tranquil period is cherished. Walking early before the unusual 90 degree heat descends, the stillness feels like a dream world. The only sounds are locusts and crickets, the chorus heightening as each day becomes hotter.

The fullness of being with such peace is cherished. The only intrusions are my negative thoughts but that is looked on as a lesson in self-discipline. Some are dissuaded but others just run through and out.

Each morning a thick pink fog burns off as the cool night warms with the morning sun. After the red ball rises and warmth trickles in, all windows are shut tight to the hot day. At suppertime they are opened and box fans suck in the chilly night air. By morning the thick quilt has been pulled up to our noses.

The once yellowy meadow dried and purple erupted in clumps. By the creek vast stillness sinks in deep as a long breath escapes while leaning back in the chair. Two enormous carp vie for the sweet grass where the water has overflowed due the beaver’s business at readying for winter by reinforcing the dam.

This sweet reprise can’t last, but while here is wholly appreciated.

 

ONLY CHILD

The fantasy of being an only child sometimes arises. Four remaining siblings cling together in the pretense of family including the last of the abusers. My assertion that each not speak to me about him, along with hearing that I wrote a memoir seemed to cast me out and draw them tighter.

This is a great gift allowing for spaciousness, freedom and vast personal growth. This period in my life has offered peace, stillness and happiness never known before. Feelings of wholeness filled within after speaking my truth and asserting my needs. Live and let live. Live and let die. You have a right to live your life as I do mine. 

FEAR

Operating on fear is inauthentic. Responding with a fear based reaction to achieve a need does the opposite. It cycles more fear. A need for calm responsiveness presents itself as the person inside develops, or rather makes herself known.

Reacting rather than responding thoughtfully causes further drifting from self, a place newly found that is hard to stay in. Negative thoughts, especially those around abandonment and self-worth make me run. Running takes its form in many ways; pleasing, eating, even despondence about not fitting in. 

Fit in with self. Do what is healthy and good for you even when the urge is to do the opposite. At day’s end the satisfaction of doing what is needed for the body, mind and soul encourages peace within. And also does much to ensure a good night of sleep which is greatly restorative promoting health on all levels. 

Do what you need to do for you…if it means by mid-day you are tired and need rest, do so in spite of the voices clamoring inside saying you are lazy. You count, you matter, and you’re worth it.  

The Family Pull

photos by Patricia

A sister-in-law I have never been close sent a link about their travels cross-country in a camper. She touts how they all gather at Tom’s. His real name is John. Since reading it I cannot wash him off lying awake thinking of the life-time of his psychological abuse. Feelings of being left out is a wound never quite healed and needs tending again.

After making it known to three siblings that I wrote a book nothing was said. One completely cut off ties. I need more and it isn’t there. The failure to offer compassion, alliance or acknowledgment erects a barrier.

Any interaction is like pouring water over rock. The lack of profundity for the truth makes interaction intolerable. Not one stands up and says THIS WAS WRONG. Instead they cling to each other and the abuser.

What happens in families of origin when a sexual abuse survivor comes forward seems a common theme. Don’t talk or speak of it or you’re out. It has nothing to do with the survivor yet has everything to do with her. The ‘family’ cleaves to the natural order of clan instinctively banning together no matter what.

It looks like family but is powered by weak character and lack of strength. Each has their own agenda. I am outcast to have spoken. Yet I must speak and need to belong.

Cherish the family I have built. The more space I have the better I feel. But my shoulders slump walking the meadow. Beauty in the day has dimmed. Lift them up and feel who you are, not what they say you are, or what you think they say to make themselves feel better. 

RIGHTEOUSNESS IN NUMBERS

foggy sunrise-photo by Patricia

Being a child sexually abused by a family member is a special kind of hell. Family will turn against her clinging to each other if she speaks of it. And that is for life. They gather round the abuser exalting him. At least it seems that way to the child now woman.

Some may find support from family, but many must fend for themselves and make their own family. She returns time and again hoping. She is alone and in her aloneness finds freedom. Eventually the reality holds memories without pain.

The Hole

Help from others in the past brought solace. Leaning on others when the empty hole yawned like an endless cavern threatening to devour my sanity eased me through difficulty. It did not sustain adequately as the empty hole to run from remained. Others were asked for input on how I felt and what I thought because connection internally had not occurred. I was perpetually lost.

How to find that place when trauma kept me from it, when resting in the nectar of the soul is impossible because it is on fire not freshly swelling with honey? The lessons learned in childhood were that I was unlovable, unworthy and not capable. I yearned to belong and fit in. Help from the origin family came with conditions. Eventually those conditions were not possible. 

The pull to the clan is a basic instinct. To be rejected from the tribe means sure death. Once connections began within myself the origin family became poison. They are poisonous still. 

Everything that I knew as a child was stripped away, shattered and stolen. When sexually attacked by those I loved and trusted much was taken, much was lost— trust, innocence, the ownership of my own body, the feeling of belonging, the feeling I even had a right to be here, a sense of self, my sexuality…the list goes on. Challenges intensified as years passed and life’s responsibilities increased.     

The child that was disappeared. Who she became changed. Sadness permeated my being once the running stopped and acceptance came for what was done. The craving for acceptance into the fold kept me returning repeatedly with hope. There comes a time to stop looking for what will never come.

There are many paths to that place within that is home. Fleeing from it throughout life was the norm. With spirit, determination, and a dogged persistence it becomes possible to stay with what is. Instead of a dark scary place the hole became a bright lively room with doors to more rooms. Eventually the rooms open to each other. With excitement the exploration goes on.  

At times panic sets in but a voice, perhaps god speaks. She says, “You have everything that you need.” 

The panic abates. Peace soothes as answers come. It is imperative to connect to ones being. Yet it is only late in life that this miracle has opened up such possibilities. Expansion occurs each new day. The gaping painful hole became home.