What Do You Need?

photo by Patricia

You could have said, “I’m sorry.”

It could have come in letter form, or email. Nothing came or will come.

It was always about how hard it must be to be an abuser. That if I had my choice, I’d take being me not the attacker. Poor them, to have to live with what they did.

And that is how my life is run, around what others need.

It is a new path, to relax into the moment without having to meet another’s need, with no one to implode the peace and safety, and to be able to explore the depth of each millisecond in time fully.

As my body loosens the unfolding unlocks great explorations, an appreciation for the gifts within always there but disconnected from. 


The Rush

photo by Patricia

The sun shone warm, the air invigorating, my spirit soared and too many chores were tackled leaving me drained and out of sorts. Too easily rushing, forgetting limitations, wanting to achieve so much with the roaring good weather accompanied by the lift in mood led me to overdo.

Beautiful flat rocks from the hedgerow for use in the studio were brought up in the wheelbarrow. A few trips uphill with the extra weight made my heart pump too hard and too fast. Did the floors really have to be mopped after that?

The afternoon was spent recovering and not feeling well.

Go at a pace you can handle, a good thing to remember as the days grow longer, and Spring hurdles me into the stratosphere…  You needn’t try to keep pace with others, but only your own. Respect that, it is enough. 


photo by Patricia

With the cat nestled in my lap by the fire while sipping freshly ground perked coffee, the thought arises that things couldn’t be much better; not always easy, but good. Our sons have achieved what any parent would want them to, college, finding a life partner, having kids… There’s no way to know what other challenges or heartbreak they might face, but they will do so with a wholeness I never had and a full arsenal of talents and abilities.

Holding Samuel’s hand as we sat by the creek in the Adirondack chairs I said, “We’ve done good, you and me. The things that needed doing we did. We worked hard and it shows. Not just the financial part but other things.”

He nods, not much of a talker. We sit a long while in the stillness listening to the songbirds and the rush of water over the falls farther down just watching the current flow.

As Spring makes her appearance in little things, like tiny green budding on the Honeysuckle bushes, and Snowdrops sprouting in patches, so does my happier self, emerging from Winter’s darkness.

Satisfaction comes with small achievements which are miracles to me, a full night of sleep, being in more moments fully rather that spiraling ahead to the next, working contentedly in the studio, and allowing this simple life to be enough without grinding myself down by requiring more.

The very top of the list of satisfying jobs well done is two healthy sons with lives of their own who want me in their lives and spend time with us almost daily by phone or skype.



photo by Patricia

And then there were three. When facing the demons of my past brothers were no longer called brothers. Those siblings lost that right. But the three who didn’t sexually attack me, those could be loved, couldn’t they?

But why? Why Seth, when as a child the words came out, “Danny fucked me,” you did nothing, said nothing, only looked at me with a face of horror. As a child my mind perceived that horror to be me.

Why Donny, did you come to the bath when my teary screams shrilled out as the water touched my vagina with a searing hot burning pain? You turned away, left, did nothing, said nothing. Why?

Why did you both do nothing? You dated, joined football, went to parties, lived your teenage lives, most it elsewhere besides in that house, and left me to the wolves. Why?

My 65th birthday comes in a month and the question is finally asked, not in person, but rhetorically, because those two are loved from afar and I do love them. But no intimate closeness exists and rare interaction of any kind. 

All this time, all these decades, the question loomed unasked telling myself they were just teenagers and the blame is not theirs. Yes it is. Mother, and them, and the aunt down the road. As the school nurse she also did nothing when she knew except criticize my weight during yearly physicals after my skinny kid body blew up like a balloon.

Why to the people who stand by and do nothing. Your cowardly inaction is as grievous as the assaults. The little girl lived alone in a house of monsters. We couldn’t call them that, we were a family. The monsters in my dreams were once called brothers.

A New Day


photo by Patricia

Cracking the door before Samuel wakes, fresh air drifts in with the trill of the red-winged black birds. A feeling of settledness stems from the core outward as other birds who’d left for warmer places add to the twittering chorus. After a still winter, silent as a tomb, the songs longed for fill my ears once again.

Animals do things that we term as bad, but they don’t dwell on their shortcomings or mistakes thinking themselves bad for what they’ve done. Maybe they tore apart the garbage to lick to scrapes. Then lick themselves clean with great satisfaction and a full belly.

You can be like an animal, free of nagging constant self-recriminations. No matter what you have done, you didn’t murder someone, you didn’t do a ‘bad’ thing. You acted in a way to meet your needs. Understand why, and reach out to her, don’t reject her with scathing repulsion. Maybe the action interfered with other needs. Today’s a new day. Don’t let yesterday cloud it.

When the Soul Speaks

photo by Patricia- our favorite Adirondack lake at sunset

Red-winged black birds are back, their trilling can heard down by the creek. Now the hunt is on for the first robin because they must also have returned. Unusual heat continued through morning so we pulled chairs onto the pool deck and sipped coffee with our bare arms exposed to the sun.

Soon the breezy wind caused the temperature to plummet twenty degrees and the windows were shut tight to the cold.  The studio beckoned me. A piece arose easily as if it were meant to be and I was just a conduit for its birth.

The PTSD beast sleeps. The lull in the usual upheavals sustains, the balance and repose nourishes. When the soul speaks it is not always about pain but what might take flight out of you if unburdened by it. 


The Soldier

photo by Patricia

Who was the girl who marched by day yet was terrorized by night. Why didn’t she break? What is she made of, this girl? Grit, and stamina, love and light. But how can that be? As she matured the night-time terrors awoke in the day bringing her down, wishing no life.

And as the years passed it became harder, not easier. She reaches out, grasps life-lines and accomplishes astounding miracles, but it takes it’s toll. Being out in the world where demons multiply wearied her soul; every live being if human could be deadly.

As she moves into the years when she knows she’s next in line to leave this world, the demons have submitted to her courage at confronting them…peace comes. Peace comes because she demands it, and the spirit she was born with stands defiant. 

She has learned to be soft and when to be hard. It is OK for both and essential. Instinct wells up, she listens and responds. She has herself back after a life away from her core.