CHERISH THE MOMENT

Reminders of a past repressed fade as time passes. Though submerged, it awaits remembering like a lingering nightmare. Rather than running my life, we coexist, accepting my past yet flourishing.

Sweet soft rain on a balmy morning, coat coming off, strolling round and round the meadow filled with buttercups. Each day wonders occur as if nothing was noticed yesterday… but it was.

Honeysuckle bushes along the hedgerow are gloriously blooming, the scent filling me with ethereal pleasure. The enormous snowball bushes given to me as tiny plants from a friend are towering over me, cutting some for a bountiful bouquet.

After such a difficult, restless night due to the nightmare, the next morning was spent on the patio. Stripping down to as much bare skin that can be exposed without being naked, the warmth soothed my ragged spirit along with great mugs of strong coffee.

Pleasure with pain. Rather than sinking into sadness over my past, accepting both then and now, but focusing on present wonders makes me smile.

With all the difficulties there is still joy. With all the horrific events in the world so unimaginable, moments must be treasured. While still honoring and caring for my own struggles, I am reminded to be grateful for every moment.

REPRESSED MEMORY

An email from Seth set off alarming dreams because of his association with Tom, which pokes at other memories with Chet, Danny, and one other sibling never named. 4 siblings chose to attack me. The nightmare that came with the recurring ache for a home lingers causing nights of chaos unable to sleep.

“Do you have a tape measure?” the two guys asked.

Wanting to continue with my tasks, exasperated, I lied, “No.”

Hating to be anything but honest, (just like real life), I said, “Yes,” moving to get it.

They were both aroused, one coming close enough to feel it. I lashed out shouting.  

The next morning I asked Samuel, “Did I cry out in the night or move suddenly?”

“No,” he said.

But I think I did just like the first attack by Chet as a child when he pinned me down causing a feeling of suffocation threatening my life. Lying still pretending sleep was the only way to survive. But it also allowed him to do just about anything he wanted.   

Naomi Judd shot herself dead. Perhaps her repressed memories drove her to it. As the weight comes off, I feel closer to the repressed trauma of Danny violently raping me. I know it happened, but my mind still won’t allow it up, even at age 69.

Some might say I already lived through it, so I’ll be alright. I might once have said that too, but it’s not true. My child’s brain went somewhere, not knowing, not remembering. To remember would be to live it. How to bear it if it does?

Hi Chippy

The urge yesterday was resisted in sending a quick hello to a sibling who spent his life buddying up with an abuser, yet I love him- Seth.

The abuser, the only living one left, Tom, moved out west, while Seth moved to the city here. He emailed me a hello.  

Then I dreamt a recurring dream that comes with a feeling of having no place to call home albeit having a physical home.

Makes sense. Growing up, that wasn’t a home, it was a place of terror.

Now I tend my gardens, talk to chipmunks, and make a place inside myself to call home.  

Faults & Flaws

My walk this morning!

Even if restless after waking, uncomfortable in my own body, or mind, it’s important to sit still starting the day feeling what is there. Sounds easy but takes focus and a willingness to just be.

Stay unstirring while sipping dark, strong coffee even when wanting to escape. Face the day by facing myself.

Being with myself this morning is a struggle due to the fact of having faults, my mind dwelling on a common theme over the years that probably won’t change much, mistrust. Accepting it is there may bring needed gentleness and a capacity for wholeness.

These faults grew out of the early sexual abuse committed by various siblings. Mistrust compounded with an inability to protect myself from others makes for an extraordinarily painful combination. Taking just so much then barking out something without grace has happened burdening the existing sadness.

My critic says it’s a fault, a terrible unforgiveable fault, especially when the other person holds it over me and becomes vindictive. That leaves me with a great sense of failure. Why couldn’t I have handled that situation better? These thoughts invade the start of today, wanting to flee my own body, mind, and spirit… but stay. Use some discipline and stay.

How do you love yourself if there are things about yourself you don’t like? Mistrust is embedded, cemented into my personality. When understanding how and why, gentleness allows for compassion towards myself.

Keeping others away with doubt, mistrust, and judgement helps me feel safe, yet yields for a solitary life. That won’t change. By accepting the damage done, I’m learning it’s OK to live in a way that keeps me feeling safe and peaceful

To like myself is to accept that the barriers I have are not only necessary but need reinforcement. Others have basic internal shields to keep them safe from others ‘shit.’ When you come out of childhood intact, you have that.

Everyone has feelings, thoughts, problems, and interests. If I’m not capable of protecting myself from it I’m sunk. And it hurts, other people’s shit all over me most of life because I had no way to keep it out has caused so much pain- daily, hourly, minute by excruciating minute.

To have my own life, my own feelings, thoughts, and needs, then honor and try to meet them? All new. My ‘shit shield’ needed pounding out to reflect others bullshit, to have it bounce off, not sink in as it has most of my life.

Whatever you say must be truer than anything I might because of feeling worthless since childhood traumas occurred… growing as I grew. The concave shape of punctured self-esteem leaves an enormous gap for other people’s shit to penetrate.

My shield is becoming convex with other’s ‘stuff’ reflecting off. Understanding I’m not alone in pain, others struggle too. But I don’t have to absorb the pain of others, just try to be more gentle with it. And that begins with gentleness to self.

FULLY BEING

Awake, even the birds are still sleeping. Yet it’s been a restful night, so padding out to the kitchen, hitting the coffee grinder switch, the twinkle lights turn on just in time. After the loud pulse of fresh beans being ground, errant bird chirpings are heard.

Must be the newborns that wake earlier than their parents. A frog deeply croaks in the distance signaling time for them to finally come out of the mud from winter’s hibernation. The moon, though waning, brightly lights up the back porch, and outdoor fairy garden solar lighting is still aglow.

The cat stretches out beside me, her head popping up occasionally when she hears a rustle nearby. Restless just sitting still, it takes focus to breathe and just be present and in my body.

Much of my days are like that, slowing down to be present in the moment and in my body. Fractured pieces pull me away or try to. Living, now that the kids are raised, the jobs are done, and there’s nowhere to go because my body can’t take it anyway, is living in the moment and being OK with just that.

MAY

PHOTO BY PATRICIA

Laying there after having fallen from snipping overgrown bushes, my head was only inches from the sharp corner of the cement steps. Could have lain there dead all day without Samuel knowing. Someone must have been looking out for me.

The cool air after a string of hot days wasn’t as inviting especially since the sun hadn’t peeked out from the clouds yet. But once it did, the spring day brightened, and planting chores were completed.

Marigold seeds in-between the peonies, which ought to make such a vibrant yellowy orange display mid-summer. And quince babies rooted from the mother, cut, then plopped in a bouquet of water hoping to see roots sprout before planting in dirt.

The sweat of chores felt satisfying along with feelings of accomplishment even with the close scare of a cracked head. This morning another spring day is about to burgeon with warmer temperatures until tomorrow when summery heat bursts forth. One day pants, hat and coat, the next a sleeveless cotton dress. Such is May!

The Journey

Feeling bones, my body thinner, scared, a few pounds easily were put back on. Feeling safer, it is easier to control my eating. Becoming smaller comes with threats of success and a great urge to numb out with food.

Of course there is a link, but I haven’t figured it out yet, or all the way through. The urge to eat when not hungry, a typical day for me since age 8, fades when a softer, kinder voice is heard and felt.

Though happening for periods of time creating success with weight loss as a secondary plus, sustaining kind thoughts of myself takes primary focus. That is the goal, food and weight are symptoms of the self-hate developing in childhood falling in-line only when kindness to self steps in.

The voice whispers positive things about myself that are allowed into me. That is challenging to sustain after living most of my life otherwise. Much of that grew as I grew pleasing the origin family, living by implied rules if wanting to remain a part of it… toxic as it was and still is- what’s left of it.

What grew with the ugliness of repeated sexual attacks by supposed loving brothers with nowhere to talk about it, and no one to help or stop it, was a life of unprocessed trauma, chronic, embedded, PTSD, with a critic inside me louder than anything else—a life of punishing myself for having been abused.

Hate myself, blame myself, eat, eat, eat, both to numb out the hate and to comfort myself from the internal nasty word beatings, that voice in my head that came from ‘family’, but became mine. No, it was not spoken aloud, but the messages were imprinted into my soul because no one talked of the tragedies that befell me, nor stopped it. The imposed silence, and the implications of blame I felt entombed me.

A miracle occurs when a more honest view of myself is heard, one that can look at mistakes and flaws kindlier, but much harder, and more importantly, looks at the positive qualities, feels them, believes them, and taking them in as my own.

When that miracle happens, the overpowering urge to eat when not hungry dissipates because my soul is being filled, finally filled.

FEARS

Samuel’s photo of last night’s lunar eclipse

Fear walks with me, even in a life insulated from too much stimulation protecting my worn-out system after a life of debilitating anxiety depleting my adrenal glands. Fear is with me at all times, though the gauge wanders from extreme to lower levels, it rides with me always, my periscope scanning the perimeter unless zoning out. (my term for dissociation)

Constantly on the ready during nature walks for disaster- though my blood curdling screams over snakes has diminished, if startled by one a yelp erupts as well as a flutter of my heart, probably not good for a heart to jolt with too many of those.

Then there are tick checks after finding one on my back one day. Out in the early morn, the fog as thick as the dew, using the spreader, a great amount of insect repellant granules are dispersed all along the 2-acre path. That ought to keep them off, along with tick spray on my socks and pants.

Now, keep the mockingbirds away from my walking area and patio, as one summer they continually attacked once their babies broke free from the eggs… torpedoing my head ready to peck out my eyes. That was terrorizing lasting too many weeks into precious summer time.

Too often forgetting how my system is on auto-ready for terror, and how much a drain that is, it is kinder and more compassionate to accept how it is, and why, then be gentle with myself acknowledging the reality of my existence.

There is damage left behind by those professing to love me. Comparing myself to others who breeze through life is not helpful either. PTSD unprocessed does damage that for me is lifelong. Learning as a child that home is not safe, what, where, and who is?

Joy outweighs it all …

SOLITARY LIFE

Walking the meadow each day on my own, as well on my own the rest of the day, though Samuel is always around since retiring, my solitary life doesn’t mean being disconnected from the world or others cared about. My core, my soul, connects intuitively with all.

That includes origin family members, though after repeated attempts at connecting in person, it is best for me not to as doing so leaves lasting feelings of hurt, confusion, and sadness behind.

Though many families enjoy their extended family’s, as it should be, not so for me, and probably many more like me who were sexually abused as a child by a family member(s).

A piranha, which is how it feels. Shut up, shut down, be what we want, not who you are.

No thanks. My best buddies continue to be what mother nature offers, bringing smiles, peace, and fulfillment; birds, flowers, chipmunks, squirrels, and so much more. But mostly it is getting to know myself.

Though sometimes helpful, it isn’t from others that answers come, it comes from within, that well springing eternal even after death. Because we each make an imprint with our lives. Given the gift of life… live it. Because it is a gift, there is only one of you.