KINDNESS TO SELF

Resisting the urge to invite Seth on our one-night camping trip has been hard. That primal need for clan, but more so guilt in not asking due to his circumstances and how much he would enjoy a trip out.

His wife’s curvature of the spine makes it such that they don’t do trips. She can barely walk. And he took such great pains buying and revamping a van into an overnight hotel complete with queen bed, fridge, and electrical abilities too many to mention.

Yet last spring when he came, my anxiety combined with dire sleep issues, made the visit to our favorite glen a horror not a pleasure- trying to please him, trying to ensure he had a good time not attending to my own needs. It became a blur of tiredness, not the relaxation usually offered by the falling sound of water in the glen and streams.

The pull to invite continues. If he had wanted to spend time with me he would take me up on the offer to bring his cute doggie down for a run in the meadow. He hasn’t, and only came with Don as if two together is what, safer?

Our outing is moved ahead to next week because after a dry summer it has started to rain. Homing in on my own needs over others is a new experience. The training to do otherwise breaks the mold in every way.

Dig deep, what is best for my being? I have days to contemplate and hopefully resist the urge to do something impulsive rather than mindfully healthful.

You can decide it’s fine and make it so, only finding out after how wrong you are, knowing all along that is so anyway. Or take stock in my well-being and honor it.

BE ME

It is a foreign concept to care for myself and my own needs over the guilt my mother instilled. The urge for clan is primal, and after several weeks of calm, the pull erupts again, so much there are dreams about interactions.

My mind plays out scenarios of our ‘family’ being loving, caring, and connected. But each attempt made fails, bringing me backwards to the sister they knew who was malleable and molded into an invisible ghost.

It is like tearing my spirit away, yet in doing so, my spirit freely becomes who I was meant to be, thinking, or believing all along I’d lost her to the unwanted hands upon me as a child.

She is still there. In saying no to others who have pressured me throughout life to do and be who they want, and instead choose more healthy ways of being, this admirable person emerges- me.  

CHALLENGES

Go, go, go. Do, do, do. The more done the better person you are? Then? Tiredness.

There is a great underestimation of the wreckage completed before my life really began so early in childhood.

The expectations now often ignore the facts because for decades the imposed silence about something as tragic and horrific as being hit by a Mack truck wasn’t treated as such.

How does a child grow with a monster, or many monsters in her belly? When around every corner in her own home, her own bedroom, there is terror disguised as ‘family’ that she once loved?

So, go easy dear one. Don’t push. Don’t allow that critic to start yammering- or ignore her as she is a compilation of those voices that silenced you all these years out of their own need for safety from the truth.

It is such in families where sexual abuse occurs. Silence the victim, victimizing her further. And victim is just a word. When the devastation is silenced, that is what destroys.

A child is resilient and can take waves of change, even pain. But in this silence, she is entombed. Who she was dissolves away like a puff of smoke. The only leftovers are anguish and a loneliness that gnaws like a piercing dagger.

A shell on autopilot. Who you expect me to be, I become. A pleaser. What you want, I am or give, ignoring my own needs, forgetting them, going from obscure invisibility, to nothingness.

But I am.

This time of peace after a period of healthy sleep. The critic starts up with shoulds. You should be more of this, and that, like a better friend, sister… If you don’t, you will be all alone. But energies are instead focused on the most important relationships, wife and mother/grandmother.

After attending to my own psychological, spiritual, and physical needs, paying attention to Samuel comes next. For the first time I’m really getting to know him and be the best partner I can be, enjoying this rare and valuable time together.

We have come to a place of peace together. After 45 years of kids, jobs, and stress, it is cherished. The little voice trying to worm in with buts about not deserving peaceful times? That is the voice to silence by countering it with self-care and kindness.

DEEP PEACE

Could it be that our natural state is happy peacefulness? That no matter what is on the outside, our insides can hold quiet equilibrium? Because days stretch together where my internal being has found such bliss. Quiet equanimity. Void of chaos or quarreling inside my head, or my spirit, the fights of before more easily confronted in their falseness.

The critic quieted with greater ease, not booming louder than the soft wise voice, causing destruction to my peace, health, and happiness. That there is a joy in living, but one must find it. There are daily struggles, yes, but the ones within throughout my life (which were not mine) have been ferreted out, looked at, and let go- hard, hard, work, and it’s not over. Lulls of joy, then? The old critic taking over.

Starting each morning when sitting in silence is often perturbed by restlessness. But no, sit still, go deep, don’t be afraid, or be afraid but do it anyway.

Why so hard to go to center? The thoughts, memories, not really of the traumas, but of origin family, and the impossibility of being close with any one of them. My fault?

That thought/belief, plagues me, yet in going deep the answer is found. Health, peace, which translates to happiness, are found within my own being, unattached to those who cling together on a lie, that what happened didn’t.

My life is free, honesty the tool to dissolve the bars of my cage. Honesty with self. So go deep and stay, it is OK.

SUNDAY

Photos by Patricia- 6AM this morn…

My church,

My pew,

My home.

She opens her flowing robes welcoming me, this morning goddess. The chilly creek being hit by warmth creating her once again. The air so cold the thought of a winter coat, but my thick jacket, hat and scarf will do. July and so cold? Later in the day, a sundress, and a swim.

The magic formed by cool meeting warms enthralls me every time.

STAR

Take the day

Like a star

On the tip

Of a moon

And enjoy.

Maybe instead of take, which implies force, it’s more so soak it in. Let it in with all parts of my being. This thought descends along with feelings usually run from. The golden orb peeks her face above the creek casting beams along my path while mist rises, the sun’s warmth meeting cool waters. Absorb the day, absorb myself by accepting the sorrows, and the joys.

Let it be, let me be.

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.

MOMENTS

There is the realm of thinking. Then emotions. Physical abilities which often don’t work right because thinking is on fast forward… Then there is the rich loam of the soul, the core gathering all the parts into one.

How many of us are able to collect the fruits into one basket? Often it feels like everyone but me. Yet another whisper floats up, you have the power to live in the now, right this moment.

There are only so many strung together to make a life. And right this moment, be there.

HOME

And so, the bone-tired weariness begins to wane, so too the anxious lonely missing of Cory because leaving sooner than he’d hoped caused a feeling of great failure as a mother.

But home. Sleep comes. No drugs. Kitty and I patter out to porch coffee in hand, lighting a rose scented candle as a golden quarter orb rises over the horizon. First thinking it was a house light at the edge of the forest on the hill, a crescent moon shone her happy orange-yellow glow.

The male daddy bird chirped from the birdhouse in the dark, much earlier than the other birds, announcing his ownership of the castle with his wife inside on her nest. The peepers in harmony in the distance entering my core soothing like a purring cat upon a lap.

My core, remember that? Touching base with it only momentarily for way too long, anxiety’s roiling keeping me away from it.

Now I know I needed to be home, even if all the other people around me didn’t. Even if it means being a bad mother. Even if letting others down.

It is so extremely uncomfortable advocating for my own needs. My husband and son did not debate my needs. I did. I did for two days after coming home.

But now I know that home is where I need to be. Dreams continue as if still there, working through the unfinished business. Others that met me wondering about my differentness, not knowing of my shattered past.

So naïve to trauma and life’s harsh cruelty, and what it does to someone, making blithe comments that I take home to heal over until realizing they just don’t know.

And hopefully never will. It is not wished upon them. But I know. It is only my own internal self that needs to know and love me though their ignorance. But so hard when in their environment, not mine where mother is nature loving me.

But home. The unusual warm two days, yesterday by the creek in reverie bringing me back into my internal home. Slowly strength and health return.

A WALK

Photo by Patricia

After a taste of warm weather it is hard to go out when the blowy snow returns. But this morning, though still frigid, the breeze has died down to nothing and the cold is braved.

Reds line the skies over the hill hitting the water lighting it on fire as birds sing a steady chorus entertaining me. The ground is solid and crunchy, much better than the sucking mud, but oh how warm sunshine is craved.

The geese squawk in from wherever they stay overnight, landing near the area where nesting will occur— looking at me walking by unperturbed.

The clouds come in at the end of my meanderings stealing the light into grey, but I’ve had my walk and am fulfilled.