There is no understanding of my sleep issues, whether my doing or just decades of C-PTSD taking its toll on my old, tired body. Tears fall, then fall again during a week of sleeplessness. 

If only my ability to sleep was permanent. When deep sleep comes my life feels fairy-tale like. When not, it is hellish, and my thoughts go bitterly to abusive siblings who terrorized me. Thanks.

Even a slight thought before turning over to sleep, a refund from a store forgotten about sending a scare bolt through me having to turn on the TV again for twenty minutes to calm down. It’s OK, it isn’t the end of the world.

That’s how it is and has been. Little frights, my husband behind me without hearing him coming. SCARE. A thought about a friend who doesn’t want to be included in our monthly meetings anymore sure that it is about me and my honesty about my sleep issues and why. (even though she is someone unable to be close with anyway, so her loss is a good thing)

Any little thought or happening can set off alarm bells unnecessarily and when that happens, which is all too regularly- no sleep. Self-talk each day is so crucial, yet even success with that will not escape the grips of long-term trauma inflicted damage.

My life, no matter how much it is buffered and protected from setting off my fight or flight response, goes into survival mode without my permission, as if a life of its own. The only thing to do is what we all do, deal with the stressors of life. These are mine amidst the joy and beauty.

So, on these days when feeling tired, don’t push yourself out to walk lap after lap even if
it is a brilliant day- rest, stroll down once or twice, sit in the sunshine, or do nothing at all instead of push, push, push. Self-care, self-love, all new, but keep at it.   



Change and/or growth inflict so much discomfort going backwards to what was is used as a resting place. Breaking barriers bound on to me by the ‘origin’ family even though no longer interacting much with who is left have kept me imprisoned.

To feel moments of self-love and compassion is all new and with that the need for others knowing me to look again with fresh perspective. Yet they do not.

Others want the status quo and I oblige. Going backwards feels safe. It is not. Risking the unknown, full self-love and sustaining a connection with my interior is necessary.

Once feeling it there is no going back. This new territory is scary, uncomfortable, until it isn’t, until it is my way of life.

Calling forth that deep access in times of struggle and finding solace within. That’s the place it must come, not from others no matter how many times they remind me of my self-worth.

I need to believe it. Others can lend a hand when tripping and falling, but it is from within that sustains and it is me who will never leave.


The magical rainbow from last night

Free-floating anxiety like a vulture with over-sized talons swoops in picking at my bones. Craving to be with Cory and the kids in the neighboring state adds to it.

The past three springs we have done it, but 6 hours on the road causes my body much angst along with being anywhere but home. It makes me worry about being a BAD grand-mother especially after those video visits when my beautiful grand-daughter asks me to come.

Journeys are not all on the road, by plane, or train. The deepest journeys go within. Do I dare go there?

 Last night- my secret garden…


Feeling sorry for myself due to tiredness from an erratic sleep pattern, food was purchased that is so far from healthy it is disturbing.


When tired it is not possible to successfully battle that voice in my head which blames me for things, everything, you name it. It eats me alive, while I eat to numb it.

Life goes on. My little world is but a miniscule speck in the universe, dust in the wind, yet a star shimmering in its own light.

Another day to start afresh, behold, be in the moment, go back to basics learning to love myself no matter what, and be alive.



And so, the day of turning 70 begins. A mix of depression with joy while birds awake and crickets chirp, the door to the porch open due to warmth, kitty going out to ‘hunt,’ though the screen keeps her from really doing so.

A close loved other crept in via an innocent phone call two days ago, BAM, peace gone. After a week of long hibernating sleep, his seeming attack couched in care made waking at 2AM to pee a permanent wakefulness.

We talked and made amends yesterday yet bruising is still there wondering how to protect myself from further ambushes. Last night copious sleep came again. Today a fresh start.

It is hard to live with this burden of C-PTSD, the waking’s, a feeling of impending or sudden danger invading my cells, and no amount of self-talk will bring my systems down for sleep to return. It is my way of life. There are harder lives to live so acceptance of it helps somewhat.

Sometimes medication is taken which means grogginess and self-pity the next day, or it is toughed out staying up then still dealing with tiredness sinking into that same pool of self-pity.

Then a lull with good sleep, peace flowing in with an ability to be in the moment and in my body soaking in simple pleasures; that tiny flower opening to the sun, and now so many of them it is hard to count, the fat bunny hopping away surprising us both, buds on the honeysuckle getting plumper and greener along with the grasses, and so many wonders to see and explore.

It is a quiet life, not for everybody, and not of my choosing, but of my body’s and it’s needs, respecting and accepting them. Out with my boots on the muddy path splattering my pants as they suck away from each step, inspecting flower growth and spring’s burgeoning each day, my job and joy.


Only by going to the fear, accepting it’s there, can it be met with kindness, patience and understanding. Awareness of how scared I’ve been came to mind when discussing Samuel’s upcoming hip replacement on the phone with my son. Fright filled tears swelled trailing down my cheeks like hot ice.

And Samuel, usually my rock, is nervous too, feeding my own fears exponentially. Seems an oxymoron to stay connected with one’s interior no matter what’s there, but then also keep my hands busy so that fears don’t overwhelm and consume.

Samuel, not a man to discuss his feelings, admitted a feeling last night which surprised me.  But only after he got up from the couch barely able to stand up or move to the kitchen.

“I don’t know how you work with Mike all day when you can barely walk,” I said.

“It’s the same as you doing all that baking to keep your hands busy, it occupies my mind- measuring, cutting- then I’m not thinking about it,” he said.

It is not easy to admit fear. Aren’t we supposed to be brave? Bury feelings of fragility, fear, and vulnerability, which often are looked on as weaknesses. It is strong to say, ‘I’m afraid,’ but do it anyway.


When a soul is upset, scattered, unloving, it isn’t a happy or peaceful life. Waking to a new day, the first thought; another day of work and self-discipline, that even though retired, there is a job to do.

Clearing a head full of self-negatives is no easy task as the clamoring can be constant and habitual. Rising from the ashes again and again, only to be burned by my own inner enemy, happening day to day every day.

With determination and perseverance peace is found, fleeting, yet here for more than a string of moments, for days tied together like sweet grapes on a vine.

An email to Seth that he didn’t answer. Get worried or upset? You have a choice. To change a habit, you replace it. The replacement for worrying about doing something wrong is to see myself with gentleness, love, and acceptance.

Despair curdled my efforts so many times, but giving up? No, just keep at it, pull myself up as many times as needed, and keep trying.


The fifty-degree morning felt balmy and unusual for December, patches of icy areas, the rest soggy grass. So quiet, not barely a sound making it eerie yet satisfying.

While resting creek side, an owl, with an odd bird response each time it hooted. The new addition of solar fairy lights put up yesterday in the happy sunshine twinkled a welcome on the walk down away from the house’s floodlights.

Much thought is put on new growth and discoveries. Others in my life have been put on pedestals. You are normal, not shattered unable to trust, love, feel warmth, or let others in.

You are better in all ways. Close to 70 years old it is a new revelation that we all are just people with flaws, faults, and oddities added with mistake making, all of us.

The best plan is learning to forgive, others yes, but also myself, for all the blunders or other more serious errors. Take it all in and love it anyway.

This is my path to peace.  


A walk in the meadow-1/19/2011

The things once done, are no more, deal with that. My body won’t tolerate it. Yet in its place there is so much wisdom, peace, safety, and calm.

Every precious moment matters, the feel of my hand with the long slender bones beneath, the stretch of toes waking up tendons and muscles all the way up my calves, the scent of balsam filling the house using candle warmers in every room, and taking time to be with the cat as she turns herself into a contented warm pretzel by the fire.

No, after a life of draining cortisol rushing through my bloodstream daily, often several times daily, my body is depleted and can take no more. Yet my tendency is to push, push, push, fearing that even my best friend Samuel will see me sludging on the couch as if a lazy good for nothing human, but really it is the ever-present critic within that bites and sucks the life out of me.

Rest, rest, and more rest. It takes a great deal of time to connect to my body and care for it; eyes that dry easily especially after the cataract surgeries needing the humidifier filled daily. And drops in them a few times each day especially when the heat is running. Exercises on the chair with the rope and pulley to unlock a shoulder that once was badly impinged. Taking medicines, supplements, and vitamins morning and night, and oh so much to keep an aging body going.

All good things as once our lives didn’t last this long. But for one who left their little body at the age of eight, staying in it long enough to feel what it needs takes focus, calm, and a great gentleness for self.

That does not sound so hard, but a devasting critic took over at a young age when brothers sexually abused my little body and no one came to help, but much worse it could not be talked about and the blame, shame, and crimes were taken in as mine. Growing to love myself does not come easily.

It is a life-time work. Can I go with Shane and his family tomorrow night at the little Christmas festival around the block at the park where trees are decorated from area businesses outdoors to vote on, and Santa comes with candy canes, hot cocoa, and cookies?

Well, yes, if I don’t care about my sleep habits, so no, because it takes all evening to keep my whirlwind psyche calm. To get excited, even happily, means looking at 2AM in the morning wondering if sleep will ever come.

It is difficult accepting my limitation especially when comparing them to others. How do you explain to anyone who hasn’t gone through it or lives it how even happy gatherings cause angst, tiredness, and PTSD rockets to go off? When it occurs, and it does with even tiny things, a great need for rest and quiet comes with it, and sometimes recovery takes days. Solitude is my refuge. When once being alone felt like a knife was cutting from the inside out, it now offers a healing balm.

When able to care for myself as deserved and needed, and feeling strong enough to challenge that critic which will not happen when overwhelmed or tired, so many gifts slowly return- gratefulness, love, warmth, appreciation, well-being, and cherishing every little moment. Quiet and rest is the magic that brings me back to life…

1/11/2009 by Patricia