HOME

And so we are home from the 5 hour journey to Cory’s in the neighboring state. My eyes mist wishing to live closer, but Cory always had his own path and it seemed to take him away from home starting with his college years. He really never came back.

But oh, how satisfying to see him fathering his two little ones. (With one more to come in December) Oh how my two sons make such devoted fathers! They are better parents than me, also better people.

But it’s good to be home, home where kitty nestles in my lap, the wild look in her eyes from being alone slowly dissolving as the afternoon wore on. Though someone comes daily to feed and play with her, she really misses us, and I miss her too.

There is something so satisfying to have a cat curl up happy with my touch and closeness. At least one live being is allowed closeness with me. But also, the touch on my son’s shoulder, the warm embrace upon arriving, and again while leaving which made me weep… it will be months before that happens again.

We live a strange life in this go, go, go world. Where once families spread out on the same road for their entire lives, it is rare for children to stay in their growing up town once reaching adulthood. Jobs, college, etc.- these things make moving necessary.

Now home with warm memories and a congratulatory pat on my own back for taking on the challenge of traveling. And at Cory’s it feels like home away from home, so I’m able to sleep and advocate for my needs.

And my needs are particular. If sleep came through the night, than in the mornings my energy is at its best. By the afternoon I tend to retreat to our apartment for silence and rest. I wish it didn’t have to be so, but I’m learning to respect what a lifetime of adrenaline bursts daily and repeatedly have done to my body, so tired out from the feelings of crisis at any moment.

He knows me better than anybody, and is loyal, loving, and kind. No Mom could ask for more. Though he’d like a more energetic Mom to help with the kids, and would prefer I didn’t have such struggles, he is glad Samuel is there to tag along holding the one-year old while he does tasks he cannot do with that duty. And Samuel likes it too!

REPRESSION

No matter how much is put in having body, mind and spirit mesh, the brokenness occurring at age eight might be permanent. That is impossible to accept.

Would work on repression help to mend this divide? The divide between body and mind go on as if no work was done. One positive that can be said, hard work is taken on daily.

With a working mother, my job was clean the kitchen and get dinner ready. No mother awaited us coming home from school no matter how much longing there was for it. That began at age eight when dad died, right there on the floor in front of us. Trauma enough, but every detail is burned into memory- no repression there..

There is at least one severe and traumatic attack that is repressed. Dan’s attack. Would that coming up help at all? Would it help these nights when nothing is much different but my body is on high. Seeing 2 AM while all others sleep SUCKS.

These males, not brothers- once you touch that way you are no brother, or family. I had 7 seven of them. the other three stood by, did nothing once hearing the truth, said nothing, but most injurious are buddies with the remaining attacker, but also were friendly with the ones now gone. It is not OK.

Night after night of uninterrupted zzz’s, then a night when after almost two hours of trying to sleep everything looms as a grave disaster causing a double dose of medication to sleep. What is the cure?

Walks in the meadow lately bring fear; bees, snakes, someone popping out of the forest to scare me, just as the attackers disguised as brothers would do each finding it funny. They must have hated me. Would reading about the repression of Danny’s attack help? Would finding out what repression does to the body help? Would remembering the violence of his rape help?

It must take enormous energy to repress diverting limited resources needed elsewhere. That repressing a memory every minute of every day must depletes precious energy even if it is unconscious.

The search for answers, truth, authenticity, and knowing my real self continues… along with the need to speak up to the origin family about my true anger with each of them. There is certainly a bucket of it, but the cork stuffing it is slow to open.

SNAIL’S PACE

There are changes. The drop in mood, the drop of reddish leaves along with hickory nuts in the path walking by, the earlier darkness, a cooler feeling to the day despite it reaching high temps, and moister air in the mornings causing the train whistle to sound closer.

Hermie, the young buck in the back woods and meadow I’ve come to know, is growing antlers as they curl forward with more prominence day by day. Always changes. It is hard to keep up with change, my being usually feeling behind trying to catch up. Being able to be in my body will do as nature takes me for wild rides.

The meadow, like a color-changing magical flag, has flown several colors, from yellow buttercups to white daisies, now white again with Queen Ann’s Lace dotted with lovely purply flowered plants… what a sight. And soon it will all turn over to deep yellow as mustard blooms.

Butterflies flit in groups among the butterfly bushes as my float swirls round and round in the pool late in the day. Their antics are more inviting than a drive-in movie. Bees love the sweet blossoms too. Staring at the puff clouds a turtle appears like a mirage in the white fluffs slowly morphing into a dog or goat drifting by overhead.

The floating relaxes as if still in the womb, cooling me off for the evening, hair still wet by morning. It is a quiet life, but suits me. Longing sometimes to have the ability to travel more easily, the quest is to come to terms with my real life and stop chasing what wasn’t meant to be, not for me.

There is still so much beauty. Just still myself to let it in, and let the newly found respect for my real needs satisfy my soul.  

LOVE THE MESS

Sorting out the mess inside me, a soft quiet voice is heard.  This time the ability to listen and heed its wisdom is realized. What if the goal of becoming whole, or connecting to my core, isn’t about becoming something different? Something better? Becoming anything else at all?

The insecurities, the negative critic, all the haphazard ways of doing things due to anxiety and the brokenness that comes with repressed trauma over decades… what if that is loved?

What if love is turned inward to the mess which includes beauty too even amidst the mess? That the messiness is beauty because it is the real me? What if I loved myself anyway?

LIMITATIONS due to a Fractured Brain

Delete all the posts about Stevie which are so negative? Never, in spite of all that writing getting to the real issue. These thoughts invade while trying to sleep. Is this going to be another bad night? And that worry or fear makes it happen, my mind leaping off into drowning waters.

As the weight disappears anxiety consumes me. Sarah, a women on the View, a television show where the women are compassionate, bright, and very up on the latest events, says anxiety sneaks up on you. Oddly, athletes competing in the Olympics have boldly announced the very same thing.

Anxiety. Yes, of course. It has bitten me hard, feeling like a failure in every way. Wanting to be wise, grounded, just a font of peace and wisdom… I am not. Feeling so lost yet again. All the past revisiting in waves, slapping me in the face; the losses, fears, shortcomings, mistakes, oh so many mistakes.

Nothing about achievements, remember those? Remember the work of loving yourself? All those reasons of not visiting Stevie, of how he is manipulating me, asking for work out of my husband when he surely has plenty of money to hire it out. Yet it has nothing to do with that. Saying ‘no’ to him out of my own needs of safety, for traveling is such a challenge, and I’ve had my short fill of it this summer already, has brought on a tremendous amount of guilt.

Laying there long after Samuel’s regular breathing began, the hours ticked by and by 1 or 2 sleep came without a sleep aid. No way can dependence on that occur. And this morning in slippers and bathrobe with a long raincoat over it, padding out to mailbox, a note to Stevie was put in the box.

Please forgive my shortcomings, all the cancellations, and inability to visit you at both your homes. I love you more than might know and feel I failed you. Anxiety is a daily visitor and though I want to be there for you, I can hardly be there for myself.

The truth finally revealed, not just to him, but mostly to myself. I am not going because I can’t. I want to but can’t. I cannot even settle myself here in my own home where I feel the safest.

These limitations are mostly accepted except when others need me and I cannot be there for them. That is when it hurts the most.

SLEEP!

“Maybe you are taking too much,” Samuel said while we sit on the patio with morning coffee.

The night before, for no apparent reason, sleep evaded me. Instead, every situation not working out how I’d like going back to almost birth invaded my consciousness. My head swam with negativity about everything I did being WRONG!

After such a fine day, Samuel’s answer makes sense.

“Maybe it’s the weight loss,” I said, adding, “I’ve lost quite a bit so maybe I need much less.”

“Yeah, maybe, take half, or take it earlier,” Samuel responded.

A quiet man, it was surprising during the silence interrupted only by birdsongs while sipping coffee that he piped up with his thoughts.

“So which?” I asked, “Earlier, or less?”

“I don’t know,” he said, and of course, how could he know what I should do?

But like much of my life, scattered insides makes me look for answers elsewhere, in people who seemed to have a wholeness that was not shattered. That has become less of a need, but lately has cropped up while hounding Samuel for decisions for every simple thing. God, Samuel?

He rides the fence on all things, maybe his favorite answer. Getting an opinion from him is like milking blood from a stone. So, what is going on? The dosage, or maybe I’m at a crossroads where a leap to growth awaits, or both.

Permission to reach a healthy weight is in question. As if I haven’t a right to feel good, but must carry the burdens of an unhappy family. To let go means chucking all that was learned about myself, that perhaps I really am a worthwhile person? The critic says otherwise.

The critic is overbearingly powerful, a conglomeration of all those in the origin group I was born into. And others who knew of the abuse and did nothing, like my Aunt down the road who was also the school nurse.

Back then there wasn’t a law requiring that those who care for children report abuse. But I sometimes wonder if it would have helped or made things worse. Would I have been removed from the home, or would the offenders have gone to a detention center? But either way, a different message would have been relayed, that I mattered. Or perhaps the family would then blame me for it all. I feel like that anyway.

I’ll try half the dose and stick with it till my body adjusts, which might mean more late nights and the dreaded sleep aid which leaves me groggy the next day. Perhaps the need to question that critic who loudly bangs in my head needs more aggressive work.

When you’re hit by a Mack truck and no one comes to help, no medical attention given, and no therapy to address the symptoms of so much trauma as a child, it makes PTSD and all its challenges a permanent fixture in my life. The message learned— I don’t matter.

That’s how a child perceives it which never changed through the years, because the message of keeping silent stayed. The most horrible, tragic, splintering, shattering traumas sustained as a child… forbidden to be let out of me. It does take a lot of food to lock it down.

Anyone in that group of people I had the misfortune to be born unto would tell you different. You’d be told of their kindnesses, their care, but it came with the price of silence. With the death sentence of pretending I wasn’t who I was, but a mere puppet or shell of a human being…. not me.

TRIGGERED

On the patio sipping coffee with Samuel, our usual morning pleasure as the sun rises over the meadow and flowers abounding in our gardens, my head bends over as a sob erupted.

“It brings up my entire life, the feelings of shame and blame. Thinking that Cindy or Bennett MUST have said something about mean Nana. Because he clung to her and didn’t want to be here,” I cried to Samuel, adding, “he won’t want to come here anymore.”

“So what,” Samuel said, adding, “but he will come, of course he will. But so what if he doesn’t?”

These feelings kept me awake that night after the kids left, making it necessary after a two week hiatus of not needing night meds to sleep necessary. I was pulled right back to the life lead; one filled with feelings of shame, blame, and badness. Something Tom’s treatment instilled in me after his attack. His innuendo’s about my unworthiness, being less than others, a dullard, anything but what I really was so that what he did didn’t look like any big deal.

It worked.

Samuel said, “I don’t know why you let it bother you. You know you are right in correcting Bennett.”

Incensed, I howl, “You don’t know? You know me. You know my self-esteem is in the toilet, and why. I will have to work on it till the day I die. You know how Tom treated me after he attacked me, and continued with his nasty remarks and putdowns all through life!”

The sobs came then just as abruptly left. So used to taking all the crap handed to me. In every relationship when there is any kind of friction, problems, or negativity, (which there is in every one of them) I take the hit. The booming critic insures it.

This new life, only just beginning, has created a space inside me where a softer place welcomes. But it dissipated like a mirage up in smoke when something goes on behind the scenes. When the feeling that there’s things going on behind my back that I must make conjectures about. And my conclusions always cast me in a very bad light.

After another day passes with time from the bruising of a grand-child not wanting to see me, the more truthful reality sets in. It is not me, it is Bennett. It is his parents that need to feel a bit a shame at how they are raising him. That if asked if he can come again, some ground rules need to be set. That what needs to be said is not how BAD I am, but how bad Bennett’s behavior is, and what he needs to be told before coming.

That we are the bosses of this house… not him. And when we tell him he cannot do something, he is not to put up his fists at us, or make horrible faces. He is to mind us. And when he doesn’t, he will be sitting in the hallway until he can act respectful.

That has been a theme of my entire life, feeling BAD for the bad behavior of others. And it will happen again, this triggering of my past causing sleepless nights, bringing me right back to it all; feelings of badness, unworthiness, shame, desiring death over life because of it.

The work continues, and perhaps over time it will happen less and less as my own truth is revealed internally….

And Give Me Peace…

Once again the ease of life presents her gifts before me, as she always does, but often my ability to be present, calm, and centered is so off I cannot let them penetrate. The lavender’s scent in baskets can be noted, though it’s been there all along the past week. The scented candle in the warmer seems especially fragrant. And a slight feeling of boredom sets in.

That’s when I know I am there at my center feeling peace. Because after a life of cortisol bursting days where my jumpiness is at the ready along with screams of terror at any little surprise, peace can sometimes be confused with boredom. It’s not boredom, the calm gives me with peace equating to happiness, even bliss.

Days home after camping, walks daily in the meadow with ‘mother’ nurturing me with her bounty of caresses… Hermie the young buck in the field lifting his head wondering what I’m doing in his territory, the graceful heron floating by over the water, the natural bouquet of blossoming milkweeds emitting a luscious scent amidst a spray of look-a-like wild baby breath, all these gifts are finally able to reach my center after a week of quiet, beauty, and plenty of sleep unaided by drugs.

C-PTSD

Maybe it’s nothing, but that’s doubtful. After a few weeks coming back from camping with a brother who is impossible to relate to due to his brain turning to mush over the years of alcohol abuse, sleep returned consistently till last night.

Out of nowhere? No way. It could be the sudden feeling of fright because the realization struck that my odd practitioner once again foiled the activation of a renewal of my marijuana card because it had not yet come.

Why oh why do these dilemmas come in the dark of night? But there had to be another reason because the wise came spoke saying , ‘it will worked out.’

Something else had set off alarm bells beyond my control. I can feel when it happens though try to ignore it. This time ignoring it for two hours before taking something. AND THAT DIDN’T HELP!

Rarely two doses are needed, but by 1AM it was necessary. Hating to admit it had to do with an unusual movie watched on NETFLIX— that must be the root of my hyper-arousal. It was unique in that it bluntly talked about childhood sexual abuse. In her dissociation, as her husband made love to her, she saw her father above her instead.

Um, duh, of course. My issues are many and most exposed by writing except Danny’s attack so brutal it is repressed to this day. So as much as it would my preference not to have this disease it crops up without permission. IT IS NOT MY FAULT.

A mantra I have to keep telling myself… as the tears fall.

HEAVEN

It has taken an entire week to come back to a place where peace had cupped me in her arms. A week to come back down from severe PTSD affecting all systems dramatically causing real illness.

Without understanding why, the sad truth is that origin family members are like drinking poison. Go ahead drink it, but the sickness comes after…. every time. It was OK for a while when meeting with one at a time, but becoming so immersed with all three, as Seth’s wife was indisposed, became overwhelming.

They talk about another not there. If you have something to say to someone, say it to them. It does no good to discuss it with others. More importantly it’s disrespectful along with cowardly.

There is still a part of me wanting to do what others seem to do so easily. Attend a brunch, go on a spur of the moment camping trip, whatever. But again, no, my body will not comply splintering in a million pieces.

Coming home it took days to unwind. Finally peace seeps in fully. The sweet scent of blossoms are noticed, my breath is felt, and the songbirds fill me. By the creek the gift of a graceful heron fans her enormous wings as she glides past over the water looking for another fishing spot.

Heaven is again discovered as the sun shines down warming like an embrace, right here in my back-yard.