SHE RISES

Sometimes the most fear filled confusing periods are right before great change. But hanging onto to the boat in tumultuous waves without a life jacket feels so scary. Lost at sea.

Then homecoming, when the scent of the candle is noticed. Before it was in the warmer all day without the ability to absorb its aroma. Being apart from my body happens often. Being away from my center, a place that I’m only beginning to know and get comfortable with, feels more and more unbearable.

But home. Home where there is a place for me in all my seeming weirdness, where every person is unique, special and needed, every single one.

All my traits others don’t like are accepted because that is how I survive. And all my survival tools are admired, not scorned and hated. But I can cast off those that helped but now hurt. That is the battle raging, and the gap is closing. So close. So close.

From great despair, torn down to ash, she rises, over and over again…

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Family Complicated

What must I do? What have I done? Whatever it is, it is wrong. That habitual way of viewing myself is not something to be eradicated but managed.

One summer not too many years ago, I managed to erupt myself into such a flurry that I spent a night in the hospital when brother Seth criticized my writing the book SHATTERED.

It was about this time of year, in June. I thought I was having a heart attack, but it was an attack on my heart by one I thought cared for me, but rather cared more about his reputation not wanting it known out in the world that our family is dysfunctional.

Family. That is something built after leaving it, not anything having to do with the people I was born unto.  

I send him emails from time to time. Not sure why. I guess in the hopes to retain something rather than nothing. But he moved here from California last summer and has not made his way from the city to my house only a half-hour away. Family?

Nor has the other brother, Don, but they often get together with each other. With the recent loss of the up-coming grand-child still in the womb at 6 months, it was only my younger brother Stevie who asked for Cory’s address to send a note of sympathy.

No one wants to get close to me, but rather act like I don’t exist unless it suits them. Don’s Christmas party. Then nothing. Samuel says keep trying for that one on one. Really? What for?

I think my energies need to go toward something that feels right.

BREATHE

Waking. Sit with it. Breathe. Just sit, as the little fountain gurgles, and the hummingbird’s wings make a flutter close-by at the feeder. Birds in the trees sing melodies while the damp earth emits fragrant scents of life.

Just sit. Let the shoulders relax, and breathe allowing consciousness and relaxation at the same time. Coming that far after a lifetime of anxiety is progress, a miracle really. So give room for it. Luxuriate in it. 

Losses

Rains gently falling begins to pour, and mild contentment after upheaval settles in. The hardest beast to tame has retreated into her cave waiting to emerge with the least little provocation. On a good day, the head (with fangs) is always poking out ready to strike.

It is an unusual summer, not summer really, but a very long spring. Losses pile up as if the winter dregs never left. The usual burst of joy diminished without knowing why. Perhaps it is trying to interact with brothers who I always thought I could relate to because they were the only ones who never touched me evilly.  

But in trying, rooms opened yawing with need never met, not for them, and definitely not for me. My guess is that they able to make a family with three of them, and their wives, because they know how to live on the crust of the bread without consuming the soft interior. I cannot do that anymore. I cannot be invisible, nor a doormat to use then wipe your feet on.

Part of life is always loss, living with both the joy of breath, and the sorrow of loss. My prayer to my son and dear wife who suffer the sorrow of losing their son before ever being born. To have to birth a baby already passed at 6 months is a grief to bear, but how to?

Through tears, I bend over the strawberry patch in the warm sun. It is hard to be sad while picking strawberries. The strain of bending causes sweat to drip into my eyes,  each swipe of the wetness  satisfying. Numbness thaws into grief. Stating to Samuel how much I hate weeding, I find myself down on the grass at the gardens edge digging dirt with a feeling of connection that had been missing. Working out grief in the earth is pastime known well, and it is good to get back to it. 

But today is quiet with rainfall and reflection. 

 

The Punisher

Life became an all-out war against myself. I made it that way when turning each day into a pass or fail day depending on the scale, just as my family had done. Lose weight, you are normal. The punisher took over, always ready to take on the job with glee; chastising, criticizing, stealing the joy out of life.

Take back the moment, which means dwelling on now, not the size of my body, and what a failure I am. Days became dark. The usual depression combated by working at positive self-talk deepened without knowing why.

Eating patterns developed in childhood to survive came on stronger manifesting into all that mattered. Life is so much more than about that.

None of the usual summertime pleasures were enjoyable, but robotically completed instead. All of my psyche turned on me, like it had much of my life. The only way these past few years that life became joyful was remembering that it is not the size of my body that matters, but the being inside it.

Yes, the body matters, but so does treating myself lovingly, which includes understanding why my food habits are such, not hating myself for them. Softness simply destroyed, gone, lost, and out the window.

I want the life back that says I am good inside my soul, no matter the outside trappings. To feel good about who I am, what I do, and what I say. Confront the beast that tells me otherwise, because that loud echoing from my past— the family I came from who taught me to be silent, meant eating to stuff it.  

How quickly I became lost. Interactions lately with each of them has poked the ‘beast.’ She arrived frothing with self-hatred stealing my joy.

I don’t know the answers, only that it is my life to love and I will.

 

E-Mail Reply

Patricia,

I am so sorry for the burdens you bear and I hope your struggles find you some measure of peace and serenity as time moves on. With my love, that is my wish for you. Don

My response: Thank you for that. I am more at peace than ever before, which equates to happy. Patricia  : )

Relief arose with a few tears. My needs were spoken and heard. No offers of coming, but it was clear what I’d like even if not provided. It was hard, and not my way to spell out burdens. My life teachings from the origin family is silence. What comes out of my mouth is not what is in my soul. That has become untenable. If it can’t be spoken, it can be written… and was.  

Only here where no restraints are felt is a place of freedom. Every time he’d offer a welcome to come visit feelings of guilt came, that the scarce relationship was all my doing. It felt up to me to do something about it. It weighed on me heavily, not wanting to feel a deep, cumbersome, cloying regret if he were to die first. 

I have a friend like that, calling when she’d like a warm body to visit decorating her home with her needs being met, but coming here is not on her agenda though if pressed she will. 

Laying in bed at the usual wake-up in the middle of the night after using the bathroom, negativity began overtaking me. Rolling over determined not to get up to watch news, eventually sleep came. Perhaps it is the cold, dark days which should be summery, but are as stormy as my thoughts,. Go back to the basics. 

Live each moment as a gift no matter how it is wrapped. Often the wrapping is anxiety, so unfold the buzzing crunchy folds by doing things you love. Puzzles calm. Walks open mysteries lost if not out there doing it. Simple daily chores are satisfying when in my body and core. Do not be afraid, be grateful for this gift called life. 

 

E-mail to Non-Abusive Brother

photo by Patricia

The fact that I have to describe a sibling as abusive or non-abusive is what causes perpetual sadness and low grade depression in my life as a continual way of being. This brother, Don, was once like a father, as ours died when at age 8. We have become estranged since my mother’s passing ten years ago, but I have done my best to overcome the distance without much success.

Those in the family origin do not talk about important issues, so this email will be a shocker. Yet for me, it is imperative to be real.  

Dear Don,

As much as it would be nice to visit for coffee, the drive is difficult. So often you welcome me, yet you are the one who drove around the country for fun, and drives as a part-time job. Driving doesn’t affect you like it does me especially when it includes city traffic. I often wonder why you don’t make the drive here just to have a cup of coffee, or walk to the water to sit awhile. Though you came once with the boys, and another to take me to lunch in Williamsburg, and a few picnics including Samuel’s retirement party, just stopping by to chat is not a time I ever remember happening.

I have lost count of the times I’ve been up your way just for that reason. I have missed some picnics where Tom was also included. I reached a point where that became untenable. I also prefer getting together with others one to one rather than groups, but it isn’t reciprocated.

The road goes two ways. I’m sorry you can’t find your way here. I would love that but it seems it just won’t be. Shane has been too busy to have us for lunch which would be close to you, so I thought I’d just come anyway. Yet it is a challenge, and not easy for me though I can do it if necessary. I just wonder why you can’t or won’t.

I think of you often. I took the fall basket that I didn’t get around to delivering, and repackaged it into a birthday gift which probably won’t find its way to you house either. Day to day life is a challenge. Sleep is a challenge. Adding other challenges is hard. Even appointments are hard upsetting the routine of day to day, and the comfort and safety of home.

The traumas in childhood left lasting damage. I know you don’t want me to talk about it. A long while back you were upset with me relaying how much Penny went through, so why don’t I just get over it. So I won’t say more. And I won’t complain for that very reason either. I don’t need you to solve my problems like I once did.

I stopped after you  said that just once you’d like me to call without it being a problem. I get it. You have your own stuff, and going to you was inappropriate. I just wish you would have said so, not dismissed my challenges by comparing them to Penny’s and how well she does despite them. What is worse than repressed memories of rape?  I remember everything else done by three other siblings which is bad enough, including your buddy Tom. But what Danny did still remains repressed, though I know it was violent, and was rape. That is what causes so much terror in my life even now.

The other daily challenge is the intense feelings of badness that grew in me from age 8 becoming part of my personality. I work on self-esteem issues daily because I grew up feeling bad, that I don’t have a right to even be here or have a life.

This was meant to simply be a note to let you know I’d love to visit with you, but come here on occasion too?

Patricia