Afraid to write? Fear of feeling the truth of what is there? Yet it is as necessary as breathing, the quest to go down below all the garbage and see what’s there. A place kept hidden even from myself.
Fear. Anxiety. Worry. That needs to be felt before moving deeper. Tick off the problems one by one, a wise voice assigning either a solution or acceptance. Yet the stomach curdles with doubt and confusion because for much there are no answers.
Living with the flow and combination of complexities is not my forte. Is it anybody’s? The release and containment of tension, pain, pleasures, and peaceful moments exist at once. How do you make room for it all?
Wouldn’t it be luxurious to be like cat, arching her back against the chair, stretching her full length with delight and abandon? Must we be humans with all this in our heads? Or maybe it is just my head stuffed with too much.
There is so much I’m powerless to do anything about. And there it sits unfixed. So do what you can for you. Part of that today was printing up an affirmation suggested by this author’s post.
When my rat brain starts up at 3 AM about unresolved problems, this affirmation was tried. Maybe eventually it will help.
I am beautiful, smart, and kind. I am worthy of love.
The 2 AM dance in my head occurs. If only the use of the bathroom wasn’t needed, because returning to sleep afterwards is often hard work. No, you will not get up. Stay. And a long time later sleep did come, but not till my brain calmed down and went over every painful experience it ever had.
I don’t think of this shit in the daytime, why does it feast on my brain at night? Hushing the harsh voice that blames me for not disciplining my mind, the knowledge that parts of my brain are broken from the unprocessed repeated traumas of my youth, brings some balm to at least that aspect of my nightly troubles, but the thoughts continue to swirl.
That included thinking about abusive siblings who feel as close now as they ever did. In the thick of darkness these thoughts invade, even though for a good portion of my adult life another ‘family’ was built from ground up that had nothing to do with blood.
To love those that hurt me so much? To hate those that hurt me so much? But the hate is gone. The rage is gone. In its place is sadness. Sadness that each of them lived with what they did, and grew in a family that drove them to it.
The love and closeness of blood family does not dissipate like a poof of air at the end of a wand. Family is family. This was mine… sadly. And yet while these rabid thoughts played out, a hint of something else flickered… the awareness of the light of my own soul. In the dark, while trying to sleep, a spark of truth.
My tired brain, awake like an hot wire frantically whipping wildly in the road during a storm, won’t stop and move onto other mundane matters until it had its ride. Eventually fitful sleep comes. But this new awakening of what lies beneath holds promise of growth, light, and ever-lasting life.
photo by Patricia
What is the difference between forgiveness and forgetting?
What is the difference between kindness and being a doormat?
Hell if I know the answer to either of those, but they both have been weighing on my mind. If I would be able to speak up and spell out my feelings in an assertive graceful way, forgiving would come because I spoke how I feel. But I can’t.
I was trained to take all that you want to dump on me. Trained to even accept abuse, especially abuse, maltreatment in any and every form, both serious and not so serious. Take it, and take it silently. Until I can’t take more. Then? Then you are either blasted or treated coldly.
There is no in-between, and never will be. My voice was stolen. It only comes out on paper, but at least it comes.
And to those who trample on me and I don’t say anything out of peace in the family? Am I a doormat or am I being a bigger person? Doormat. Because I’m worth more than that but take it anyway.
Words won’t come. They never will. I clamp up as if a vice constricts my vocal chords chomping down feeling like a balloon blown up about to explode.
This is how it is for me. I would need many more lives to work through the damage done to me as a child… many, many more.
Waking in the night the immediate PTSD strikes. Get up, save the world, or least your tiny corner of it. Every lost relationship comes to mind, with a regret of being a person unable to keep one due to trust issues…not having any.
Boundaries are disrespected because growing up meant even my own body was not mine. Assertiveness for my own needs are too often disturbingly unvoiced. The craving for closeness continues, yet I live with with a severe lack of it due to it feeling savagely dangerous. These constants in my life roar at 2 AM.
The virus all week has begun to abate. The liquid clogging my head which made breathing labored especially in the night, isn’t pouring out as much. The issues left to contend with are the usual, the ever occurring PTSD striking most hazardously in the middle of the night. Just that. The stark nakedness of my being is lite full force, the aloneness, fear of it, even terror.
Then the voice of reason and wisdom. You cannot find what need from others.What you need most is in you. It is you who walks the earth as a single being right to the end… and beyond. The spiraling lusting for acceptance from other relationships faded as this truth and realization surfaced. It is you who needs to accept you, and be with you. Others already have.
So on-wards with the work of bringing the softer, kinder voice to the forefront. The one that allows closeness, caring and love. The one that encourages rather than rips down. The one that needs constant attention, and reality checks. No fake news. You are OK, and you are a ‘good’ person.
Sometimes during sleep at night it takes more work to calm anxiety than in daytime. Waking occurs often, and each time a new negative thought assaults me. Some unimportant, others more so.
The more important problems are those that not much can be done about anyway except work on acceptance. These thoughts attack like demons, pecking at my brain, making me feel as if getting out of bed were the only solution.
Not much can be solved watching TV in the middle of night. Each waking is fronted with a calming voice dug up from a deep interior. It’s OK, you’re OK. The reward of this work is drifting back to sleep, time after time, just during one night.
Perhaps it’s been the cold and wind which has kept me from exercising outside. So tiredness isn’t complete enough to sleep all night. But even after a very busy day this can happen. It is living with chronic post-traumatic stress. Tired or not, the challenges of living with PTSD always loom.
Why beat yourself up for what is none of your doing? Take the approach of appreciating, even admiring all you do to quell these issues.
The tendency is to blame myself. Trust issues interfere with closeness. Blame myself. Is that fair? Or kind? The ability to trust was severed at the age of 8, and anything left salvageable was completely destroyed when no one came to help. The traumas continued, even worsening. So you blame yourself?
The sadness of this continued loss is prophetic. It is not going away, and it is not your fault. How can you offer your own soul love and support?
What can nourish you today? Hot packs on a sore shoulder. Walking in the mall in place of trouncing through the snow in the meadow which caused so much aching afterwards yesterday. Eating nutritiously yet enjoyably. Meditate as it grounds, and brings back the feeling of being ‘home.’
These are the tasks today. Take care of you. Though aloneness can sometimes be painful, mostly it is a joy to have each day be mine. A grand-daughter spends the night over the week-end. She is such a sweet pleasure to be with. We play with dolls, combing their hair, changing outfits. The little girl me smiles.
We make Valentine hearts, and cards, adding sparkle. It’s popcorn night with a princess movie. For breakfast we make donut pancakes with blue frosting and butterfly sprinkles. She is involved in the entire process. At only six, her pancake flipping.skills exceed her age.
When it’s time for her to go some loss is felt, but also relief that the daily care of children is done. My life is now my own, and I like it.
photo by Patricia
The cold comes to New York, sweeping across the state like white tundra hurling mountains of frosted snow. Looking out at the swaying trees briskly bending in the wind, I shiver unconsciously. Though braving the below zero temps to dig off over a foot of snow from the sidewalk the day before, this day is too bitter.
Not exercising brings restlessness, but time in the studio quiets me, working and dreaming of spring when these latest mosaics will be planted in gardens not already adorned with glittery pieces dancing with light beams in the sunshine.
There is a feeling of well-being in springtime and summer that cannot be fathomed during wintery days in the usual way, just basking in sunlight. But other past-times can be explored. Looking for the light in other ways includes coffee laced with cocoa, puzzles while watching a favorite movie, coming to the present moment while the slinky cat stretches her long body down my legs until they go numb and I must move her… and on the list goes; simple pleasures, sweet pleasures.
Upon waking the reminder of the work that must continually be done goes home to my center. Don’t run from feelings, go deeper into them, and into my body. Do not let fear keep you from what is real, and what is you. Unprocessed traumas from so long ago manifested itself into every moment making each one feel like a crisis constantly looms.
One of my jobs is to quell the ever present anxiety erupting from childhood where terror festered inside becoming a constant beast to bear embedded into my wiring. Breathe, let the shoulders soften, allow relaxation into the body down through the calves to your toes.
You’re OK. You always have been, you just don’t know it.