Day Trip

And so the day opens dark, cool, and crisp with thoughts of the winter to come and how to handle it. The winds and rains have ended, calm remains.

Looking out at the steady rain all through the day yesterday, is it possible to still walk? But winds kept me in, restless and bored. There is curative power in fresh air and Mother Nature, the natural healer.

The sun is supposed to peek out so it is a good day for a trip to the falls which ought to be engorged. And though warm nights have kept the trees from turning to colors, now they are beginning and it’s time for a day trip and exploring.

Trail Cam Photos

Wild pears, YUM!

IT’S OK

A mantra throughout the day, you’re OK, you’re OK, you’re OK. Someone once said, ‘maybe someday you won’t have to do that,’ me taking it as another bad thing needing to be changed. But what’s wrong with supportive self-talk, especially when my being is so supercharged with anxiety?

Those are needed words to calm myself. That is one of the problems with people, often giving more credence to a complete stranger than to myself.

Getting to know myself is a full-time job. It is a good thing to finally have the time to do so. Waking when Samuel came to bed in the quiet of a dark night, he was soon lightly snoring while my senses came sharply alert, every sound magnified.

No way is getting up an option, it is happening too much, so not this time. Thoughts of growing up flashed through my mind of years after the horror of abuse; dumpy houses with dangerous heating systems barely containing all the people living there.

Yet more dangerous than even that fire hazard was living with abusers but not being able to voice the terror or even recognize it. Sexual abuse within families is often forced back down the throat of victims and she lives with it contained…. akin to keeping lethal snakes in a box squirming inside her.

So an imaginary person was believed to be living in the attic. I was in tenth grade, yet couldn’t understand the real terrors were brothers living in that little box house half underground, the house as buried as my feelings and memories.

Life has always been hard, and these memories are not going away needing airing. So lying there they ran through my mind, but then came happy times during the terror; my motorcycle, bright red and new, bought with savings from the restaurant working as a salad girl. After school firing it up ripping through the meadow across the road. And the two fluffy chickens kept as pets in the shed. Somehow through it all sanity remained amidst the horrific anxiety.

Not sure why these memories run through my mind in the stillness of night, but gratefulness fills me that Samuel lies by my side. Taming anxiety in the daytime through breathe and paying attention to each moment helps me stay in bed until calmness and sleep returns.

It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK…

BEE GRATEFUL

Waking after another rough night up too late, having to take something, my first thought? Why not be grateful? Instead of sitting a good part of the day in grogginess, snapping at Samuel so much he stays far away from me, why not turn it around?

Out walking early helped to metabolize the drug, also adding the benefit of uplift once the happy chemicals kick in. Instead of it being penance for eating off anxiety in the night walking rigidly just to get it done, the walk was paced slowly enough to suck in the heavenly scent of wet earth and decaying leaves.

Round and round noticing the aroma which goes straight to my core, a squirrel surprised jumping to the next tree, the crunch of nuts under my feet. And Samuel? We sat, laughed, and chatted over morning coffee, a miracle, because usually after a bad night which of late is too often, no company is wanted…just leave me alone.

But be grateful, the mantra while walking. Why not? There is an ability to waver one’s attitude to a more upbeat tilt. It includes acceptance that my body will do this no matter how many healthy habits are incorporated into my day.

A life of daily terror to my body because fear was around every corner took its toll. Not fighting it or blaming myself for not controlling it is a start. Gentleness swept in.

While walking on a crisp damp day the thought of rewards for this effort included a lavender Epson salt soak in the tub and a pot of ginger vanilla chamomile tea. The day went much better, from a blob on the couch to living it fully.

PIE PARTY

And so right down to my core comes breath… clear, free, and pure. Hashed over all summer and before? The origin family, or what’s left of them, and being a part of it. It is (finally) OK.

But first things needed to be said, or written, as that is how my words come, through written form. Don took it well and with a loving response. Seth, quite the opposite. It came to a standstill almost ending altogether. But he came back with a response that lent credence and my armor was put down.

We had a grape pie party from our own grapes on what might have been the last sunny day in the 70’s. Seth, Don, and his wife, along with both dogs, loving the meadow running free. Huge cups of dark rich coffee sipped happily creek side with laughter and ease, coming up to a decadent pie lunch topped with large scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Hours passed on this sunny day, my soul set free, with a heart safe to open.

NATURE

Last night’s moon

Often after a dreary, cool, damp day, the sun comes out to kiss us goodnight causing the hill over the meadow to light up as if burning. Then the moon as darkness envelopes the earth, lighting up the surroundings more eerily.  Getting out of my head into nature is the best cure for whatever is causing my negative loops which increase in the cold months. And exercise.

Suddenly my reverie breaks looking over the meadow as my footfalls come to a stop. Even in late fall there is beauty and action because birds and other critters are always busy. They don’t ‘think’, they move, sing, eat and just live. Getting ready for bed the thought arose, what’s the point? Each day awaking to what, what’s my purpose? But maybe, like the animals, it is to just live.

Live as fully as possible in each moment and cherish it.

Sunset in the West aglow on hill over the meadow in the East…taken on our back deck. (moon too)

HUMPTY DUMPTY

Sometimes you have to fall apart to come together. For much of my life it has been the falling apart, but now when peace can be sustained for more than two moments at a time… still, there is a monster on my back.

It is sleeplessness. The why? Round and round laps count up to 20 trying to make up for a night of senseless eating- AGAIN. The only trigger that might be attributed to this inability to sleep after 6 nights of improved sleep probably due to drastically decreasing the pot oil, yet on night 6 lying there 2 ½ hours before giving in to a sleep aid, and an hour in front of the TV at midnight- then FOOD, because food has been used to quell anxiety since the age of 8— the only reason that might make sense was a 3 pound weight loss noted that morning.

That ought to be good, right? Celebrated, congratulated, especially after a summer of being stuck? Yet it triggered anxiety. Unless something on the news or a movie set me off, what else could it be?

Weight loss scaring me. Therapists suggest overweight women who have survived childhood sexual abuse become overweight to feel safe. That is an improvement over many who look at an overweight person and think lazy, glutinous, and disgusting.

The thinner my body becomes, the closer to an unwanted memory. What is remembered is horrific enough, but the one repressed memory must have been really bad. Danny said in his twenties when asked what he did to me, “It’s better you don’t know.”

But I do know a rape occurred, there just is no memory of it except before and after. As the weight comes off there is movement toward what was unconsciously repressed.

Lap after lap, talking to myself… I will not be deterred. I will do this, I will do this, I will. And if the memory comes I will be alright. It already happened. I already lived through it. And there are hospitals to stay in if needed. The self talk doesn’t seem to help alleviate the anxious terror.

FOOD or FEELINGS?

So eerily quiet this morning even the birds aren’t talking and a queasy feeling surfs my stomach. Crickets hardly peep, not a sound, barely a movement of leaves at first until a soft breeze moves in. Perhaps the animals instinctively feel what the news last night warned of, the possibility of tornadoes.

At least the day was not faced with dread. The full spectrum lights, a return to a diligent mediation practice, the push off the couch to walk, and a drastic reduction in marijuana oil for sleep issues are all helping.

In order to treat myself with respect, which mean not gagging down feelings with food, my doctors have gotten a mouthful out of me after not speaking a peep for years. My primary responded by finally paying attention to me and my needs.

We discussed my use of pot oil and for the first time heard from her that just a few drops are needed. My dose kept going up and up thinking that helped, but it backfired causing more sleep issues, and an exorbitant increase in anxiety rather than decreasing it.

The cardio Doc has yet to respond to my personal letter to him after his nurse wouldn’t answer a simple medical question because my choice was to cancel an appointment due to the pandemic. ‘You haven’t been here, make an appointment,’ her note coldly read in the on-line chart after my question was posed.

Really? I have to come in and spend 50 bucks to know whether to continue taking a baby aspirin each day? Reports are saying there’s a bleeding risk as we age.

After going there for many years you can’t answer a benign generic question? The only reason for several decades of cardio appointments was not due to need or directed by my primary care doctor. It was out of fear that I’d fall dead just like my father who lay there at my feet at age 8.

Oh, the years of unneeded EKG’s, STRESS TESTS, EHCHO’s and yearly visits out of terror I might succumb to what my father fell victim to. And doctors, even the best ones, will gladly do it to keep their revenue going. This one too because he did say in my father’s case it had more to do with his smoking.

Yet he continued to oblige my need to ease my mind each year. That could be looked at as a positive then, but no longer, the pandemic making me reassess just how many appointments are needed each year. Unless a heart event actually occurs, NOT HIM! To hold back medical advice is cause to go elsewhere if a heart event ever occurs. Unconscionable. I’m sure they have their own spin on it, but so do I.

In me lies the need to finally advocate for my needs though with many stops and pitfalls along the way because my training was to stay disturbingly quiet about my needs. Traumas, too many to count, were forced to stay within me causing my skinny kid frame to burgeon dramatically into an obese one shortly after the first sexual attack by a loved one, also at age 8.

To keep family secrets throughout my life took a LOT of food. I want a healthy life. That means NO MORE SECRETS. That means speaking up for my needs even if different from your expectations or beliefs, and doing so even when terrified of the outcome. Who is this new me? Or maybe it’s discovering the me always there waiting for one special person to be on my side… me.

GO DEEP

When depression hits you like a sledgehammer, and tears fall for no apparent reason though memories erupt plaguing my internal peace, and all looks dismal…just be with it. Go deeper.

Remembering the readings of the meditators that say look at your flaws and shortcomings without judgement, just be curious, but accepting of all you see.

With my tendency of feeling badness, what else might be uncovered? But what if it is goodness so sweet it is like miles of chocolates oozing with caramel? That what lays hidden from me are qualities of great depth, wisdom, clarity, beauty, and vast oceans of compassion?