Dream Yearnings

Waking from dreams where time is spent with brothers who I don’t spend time with, causes questions while sipping morning coffee. Will I go to my grave with regrets of not reconciling, not forgiving, for having boundaries? Regrets that gnaw at tender flesh from inwards outwards? The kind of regrets that eat away one’s very soul?

A quiet counter voice tries to soothe, that voice arising many times each day to challenge the harsh voice; you came from such dysfunction, cruelty, and havoc. You cannot expect deep relationships with anyone, even those that didn’t attack. Because even the ‘innocents’ who stood by, are part of the group that pretends. Do not blame you.

Yet I do. If I did this, or that, or all the times the eldest followed me around in hospitals during adulthood when our mother was sick; the only times he tried to get close, like a creeping shadow, just like when he crept in the night to attack me.

Why can’t abusers sit down, write a letter, and mean it? Why does it have to be their way? To do it, if at all, in a cowardly way. To do it in a way that I don’t want because bodily closeness feels terribly threatening to me.

How do I forgive someone who never voiced true remorse? Only excuses and reasons. How do I forgive someone who continued a pattern of exclusion due to their wanting to be let off the hook without doing the work? 

Exclusion accompanied by sneering put-downs slickly delivered, and the others quiet tolerance of it set up a life pattern that damaged more that the attacks. That slow, ever present malevolence eroded my self-image more than all the rest of which there was much.

Maybe I will go to my death wishing for what never was after that first wrong touch, a loving, trustworthy family. My work is to die with peace that I gave it all I could.

I must learn to know that even after, I continued to try to love. But others must meet at least half-way. In spite of my rage, you must tell me you are sorry. No one ever did. Not one of 7. Not the abusers. Not the ones who stood by continuing brotherly friendships with the abusers.

You have made a family of friends, sons, and grandchildren. It is enough. It has to be, in spite of the yearnings in my dreams…

Mosaics in Progress for the Gardens

 

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Little Girl Grieves

photo by Patricia

Feeding the empty heart with food causes havoc and pounds, making loving oneself even harder, impossible really. Eating quells panic. It always has, but a different pain takes its place, not a sufficient pay-off.

Thoughts trick me into believing it is OK to ingest food when if really connected to my body there would be more reserve. Yet the hungry girl looking for love still grieves.

Once again coming to reality, it is time to count what goes in. When beginning a new exercise regime at the community center, food intake goes awry. When food intact is closely monitored, exercise isn’t. One or the other, but what about both?

It is as if an instinct clicks in that this won’t do. You are fatty Patty. You don’t deserve better, a message since childhood with the cruel name crooned my way heaping more pain upon pain.

That is who I became, fatty Patty. The cookies at Grandma’s sneaked from the plastic Tupperware soothed what happened in the night, even at Grandma’s where I should feel safe. Chet made sure to stay when I stayed.

Feed your soul with love not food… a seemingly impossible task, but glimmers of hope sparkle. The spirit of resolve hovers. Keep reaching, working, and trying.

Coming Home

swimming area in the Glen

The tenseness of being elsewhere besides home invades without consciousness. Returning from our one night camping trip brought a great sigh of relief as we pulled into our driveway. 

Samuel spent weeks repairing the little camper after leaking occurred. He was anxious to try our favorite camping spot for a night. But a few nights of early morning waking due to obtrusive thoughts made me weary.

“Maybe we should go another day,” I uttered.

He scampered about packing up everything and even left the truck running after hooking the camper up.

“All ready,” he said.

So off we go. Some excitement began to build as we entered the park. But wooziness struck and my body needed rest. Later we were off for a hike, then a jump into the natural pool by the waterfall. Though the water was in the sixties, it refreshed and renewed. That is my definition of joy. 

Making the most of the one night, we had a campfire making dessert pies over the coals after dinner. Nostalgia crept in as children ran, hooted and played into the night. That part of my life is over. Then sudden quietness as all went to bed. The campground became eerily quiet.

Sleep came eventually, but my wish was to be at home. Camping has lost its luster. My body can’t take it, others too close around me, the noise, activity and feelings of invasiveness becomes overly stimulating. 

Home. Though an adventurous soul, my delight and excitement comes from feeling connected within…moments that expand, moment upon moment. To lose it is a deep loss keenly grieved. 

My adventures are vast. Each sweaty lap in the meadow focuses on coming to the present moment; the butterfly swooping close, am I a flower to sip nectar from? Pleasures wait at the raspberry bushes as a new batch darkens to almost black overnight waiting to be plucked. Or kitty nestling in my lap, kneading her claws into my thigh while a  rattling purr erupts with vibrations that soothe. 

These are the things that sustain, a home inside and out. That is all I need, and it is more than enough. My cup overflows…

STAY

The tendency to run every morning from feelings has been much of what my life was like. Staying, going deeper, like catching someone running by and grabbing their T-shirt, stay put.

Don’t be afraid. Yet life is scary, not knowing day to day what will be, more so, facing the quagmire of thoughts within.

Yet in that tangle lies relief. It isn’t found in business, it is found in the quiet moments between the spaces.  

GENTLENESS

photo by Patricia

The feeling of differentness so acute as a child suffering sexual attacks by my siblings arises sharply at times. Many feelings from then still linger, stabbing into my present life. Unprocessed traumas and all the feelings with them didn’t dissipate but grew with me.

Yet no gentleness exists. It is a habit to beat myself up when today’s issues erupt emotion from childhood wounds. There is no conscious link to them. That is changing. There are reasons sleep is interrupted. Wounds untended in childhood along with a stolen voice caused an inseparable rift within; deep wounds and no way to them. I am mute to the world and mute to my soul.

Wounds fester and when touched with present hurts the pain expands exponentially. It is like placing an already burnt arm on a hot stove. The present slides away as the psyche escapes elsewhere. If a person is talking, what is said is not heard.

Self-loathing because the feeling of differentness is so acute is not what the wounded child needs. And she exists within me and will always be there. She needs what you did not receive then. Since there was only one urgent unspoken rule to not speak of it, there is no one to emulate a pattern of how to be gentle with myself.

It is a new road with little to go on except the times my mother extended gentleness in adulthood. There were moments when she tried, maybe to make up for the past. 

 

FORGIVE, FORGIVE, FORGIVE

photo by Patricia

Some relationships spin the same old way no matter how much effort is put into change. Haunts from the past infect today. Little hurts inflame old unprocessed trauma. Sleep will not come, or upon waking in the night will not return.

A small infraction causing hurt by a loved one sets off the alarms yet it is ringing unaware until nighttime when tiredness setting in meets adrenaline.

You loser, you weirdo, you bad mother, wife, friend, and the bashing goes on. Feelings have overridden behaving in a way to feel proud of. Or shadows of them because the behavior has improved but no credit is given for the strides made. The mind goes off far down the painful road of self-loathing, and I feel lost. Help me, in the night the prayer is murmured.

This has been a usual occurrence for years but the last months a healthy sleep pattern has developed. My belief is that has much to do maturing hence feeling more at peace with myself. To lose it and not know why upsets all routines and body systems, but also most painful, must somehow be my fault. Is it? Or is it unprocessed trauma which goes beyond my conscious choice or control?  

Wake and start again. May your first thought be, “Forgive. Be gentle. How gentle, loving and accepting can you be toward yourself today after the sins you think you committed yesterday?”  And are they such sins? Or is your humanness still not allowed in your own mind.

WHOLENESS

photo by Patricia

The path to the core becomes tangled, blocked by memories, though the soul goes there to hide. So one resides in a place that can’t be found. No way in, no way out.

She peeks out at times. Maybe there is someone to trust, who takes her hand and guides her. Even so, the world is tough and into hiding she goes.

It may never be safe to come fully out. Maybe only in solitude does she find her soul, a safe haven to breathe, connect and become who she was meant to be.

It is these roots that save her. The very place she runs from, the memories which are a part of her history locked deep below. The same place where she hides.

Coming out she looks below and runs. Yet that is where the strength comes from and has kept her here all along. It is in what she suffered that makes her strong and who she is. It is her history that makes her beautiful.