Rock the Baby

The temperature is to hit 90 today, very unusual for September and it could break a record. Waking a little earlier than most mornings, intrusive thoughts are met with a loud, “NO!” No, you cannot disturb my peace.

A quote is remembered about taking the baby of our pain and rocking it. My baby is an old haunt of feeling left out. That feeling rises often causing many problems, complicating relationships by needlessly coloring them with jealousies and unattractive behaviors.

That child within crying for attention needs it now. Go deeper to scoop her up rather than running from her, and the old pain. It is there you massage the aches, provide comfort, then with time and patience make peace with the past… and yourself.



photo by Patricia

When life turns a corner in later years the body is less able to keep up with the mind which stays young. The reason why, what’s the point crops up. Let’s just speed the process and be done with it.

Challenges loom larger, and life takes work. That is true for all stages. Retirement does not bring eternal bliss. The stress of raising children, then getting them through college and beyond, along with the need for money to pay for it, is replaced by other challenges.

Failings in health, thus worries over what might happen, often intrude. Others my age have already died from one thing or another. Curbing thoughts over these real concerns takes effort. Just get on with it or such thoughts will drown you in fear.

My brain races ahead while sipping morning coffee. When a child suffers trauma that goes inside her, rather than being processed, it can cause life-long damage to the brain and nervous system.

Just be done with it so that each day courage does not have to be mustered to live it. Fall doubles the challenges already faced; fitful sleeping, and repetitive negative thoughts that bark in my head relentlessly about weaknesses and failures. If the voices lie, or are not rational, it makes no difference.

The clanging of self-negativity grew from the age of eight with the first sexual attack by a loved brother, amplified by the reactions from others afterwards, and the lack of intervention. I was terrorized, traumatized, ripped apart, and it didn’t matter. I was ignored. As a child of 8, the lack of help in any way crippled my vulnerable growing years, shaping my personality to forever attack itself.

The negative conclusions about myself ripened and solidified as the years passed. My injured brain needs so much care, attention and love. Love is the hardest emotion to muster and let flourish. It is dangerous to love. The tiny spark deep down that allows for warmth and softness must be sheltered, protected and thickly covered as if in a cave. If injured further it could be extinguished completely.

There are days when autopilot runs things. The robot me does what needs to be done. Then there are days when asking what’s the point brings me to the present moment. In that moment warmth flows with living fuller… the shape of my hand as the skin stretches over bones delicately, the prisms of light dancing on the carpet, and most especially the love of my sons whose lives have grown in ways mine never did.


Be Blessed

My Secret Garden

First thoughts upon waking, another day? My isolation runs deep, yet it’s my own doing. It takes energy to go into the world and work on developing relationships. The outlet where most were found was chorale, but after joining several times I dropped out due to tiredness and physical problems. I had been a part of it for 15 years. Over time my knees stopped trembling during concerts, and many friendships were made and kept. 

Each fall the temptation is to try again. Dropping out occurred because of medical problems which interfered with sleep making anything in the evenings just too hard to handle and enjoy. My medical issues have stabilized,  but when evening comes it is time to wind down so that my easily excited nervous system relaxes instead of going into overdrive.

Maybe it’s my thoughts that need a vacation. Because they attack the moment I wake if not already tormenting me through the night. You are, and the blanks are filled in with a great many negative words be it you have no friends—- not true because I do have them. I’m not as close to them as Sue who passed away, or Nancy who moved away.

You messed up relationships with your brothers—- not true, the road goes both ways. None of the three seem to want to be close, instead quite the opposite. And the list of my failings goes on during vulnerable periods when my consciousness is between sleep and awake..

What about gratitude; gratitude for the special friendships I had, and still have, my beautiful home, husband, sons and grand-children, the land which gives so much pleasure, and so much more?

Enjoy what you have, you are blessed, be happy!



photo by Patricia

As the black canvas of early morning breaks with crimson strips of wispy clouds, the words that used to flow feel stunted. Yet much gurgles below needing attention. Negative thoughts are confronted with my best efforts at gentleness which takes much energy. 

What if you are OK just as you are? With all your handicaps which others don’t see? And there are many, most of which have been hidden and denied, especially by myself. I just wanted to be ‘normal’ like everybody else.

It is not normal to grow up with such snakes buried below, and what that does to an emerging soul, her personality deeply hindered along with all other aspects locked down without nurturing. And still a child grows.

“Look at your accomplishments, and the positives,” Samuel says through my tears while voicing this new wave of low self-worth, “Make a list of the good things you do.”

“That is very good advice,” I reply.

And he’s right. It’s as simple as that.

Broken Brain

photo by Patricia

It is an achievement confronting the most negative thoughts in the middle of the night when waking to use the bathroom. The best times are when it is easy, but with the challenges of shorter days, and what that does to my brain, negative thoughts bash at me like tropical waves.

In the dark of night demons come. You are not to blame for whatever present repetitive thoughts plague you . Your broken brain needs to keep you like a gerbil in a wheel, but shift the focus. You can be free of it for this moment. And my thoughts move on to more generic images.

Sleep comes, but it even takes work to sleep….

This post describes the dilemma so succinctly. 

Trauma Isn’t Lazy

Patricia Jane Johnson

photo by Patricia

My real name is Patricia Jane Johnson. I live in upstate New York. I was abused sexually in childhood by 4 out of seven brothers. The three remaining brothers who did not abuse me. steer clear of me in fear of my wanting to talk about the past. Or to cling with each other to make some sort of family, a family I wake every morning in the dark and want to be part of.

Doug (Don in the book) was once father-like to me, taking me into his home when I was in my twenties and helping me get on my feet and proceed in life. Steve, (Seth) who only recently moved here from California, and little brother Ted (Stevie) who we once called Speedy due to Mom being rushed to the hospital during labor when he was born.  

Only one brother of the abusers is still alive. His name is John. (Tom) He is the eldest and the one I felt the most hatred for, not for slithering up in the night when my little brother and I were allowed to fall asleep on the couch together watching the Christmas tree lights then  committing oral sex on his little sister, but rage at his treatment towards me all the years after—not of contrition but ostracizing me, and making me look bad whenever he could.

This is the real me. There is no reason to protect the ‘family’ as for me there isn’t one. There never was. No one appreciates that it was kept inside of me for their benefit, not mine. No one benefits from that. I’m not ashamed. I was a child. As a woman the shame is not mine. It is on those that abuse, and others who protect the abuser still living, and the supposed ‘family name.’


photo by Patricia

My thought was to choose not to fall into a winter depression which often begins as early as August. That is not to be. Up at 4 am, my stomach gurgling with what was put in it earlier, stuff that shouldn’t have been eaten, sleep would not return. Only worries, one after the other, always darker and more worrisome in the middle of night, toppling over each like pebbles down-sliding into rocks then boulders.

You cannot escape yourself. As much as the want is to be a happier person, more upbeat, and easier with life, that is not how things are for me. My broken brain needs care and attention.

On the full spectrum lights go in the morning, something that has been put off in my denial of how things are and have always been throughout adulthood. My crazy eating patterns won’t magically stop either, but need work and constant monitoring. Overeating like last night is similar to getting good and drunk, same thing. Too much of something to avoid something else.

My crazy rat brain likes to spin in her wheel. Lying there trying to meditate, moderating the breath, the thoughts spin through. Moments of OK-ness come with hope and a resurgence of strength, only to disappear one moment later. And that is not unusual, the yin and yang, mine so disparate it can be hard to bridge the chasm.