REPRESSED MEMORY

An email from Seth set off alarming dreams because of his association with Tom, which pokes at other memories with Chet, Danny, and one other sibling never named. 4 siblings chose to attack me. The nightmare that came with the recurring ache for a home lingers causing nights of chaos unable to sleep.

“Do you have a tape measure?” the two guys asked.

Wanting to continue with my tasks, exasperated, I lied, “No.”

Hating to be anything but honest, (just like real life), I said, “Yes,” moving to get it.

They were both aroused, one coming close enough to feel it. I lashed out shouting.  

The next morning I asked Samuel, “Did I cry out in the night or move suddenly?”

“No,” he said.

But I think I did just like the first attack by Chet as a child when he pinned me down causing a feeling of suffocation threatening my life. Lying still pretending sleep was the only way to survive. But it also allowed him to do just about anything he wanted.   

Naomi Judd shot herself dead. Perhaps her repressed memories drove her to it. As the weight comes off, I feel closer to the repressed trauma of Danny violently raping me. I know it happened, but my mind still won’t allow it up, even at age 69.

Some might say I already lived through it, so I’ll be alright. I might once have said that too, but it’s not true. My child’s brain went somewhere, not knowing, not remembering. To remember would be to live it. How to bear it if it does?

The Journey

Feeling bones, my body thinner, scared, a few pounds easily were put back on. Feeling safer, it is easier to control my eating. Becoming smaller comes with threats of success and a great urge to numb out with food.

Of course there is a link, but I haven’t figured it out yet, or all the way through. The urge to eat when not hungry, a typical day for me since age 8, fades when a softer, kinder voice is heard and felt.

Though happening for periods of time creating success with weight loss as a secondary plus, sustaining kind thoughts of myself takes primary focus. That is the goal, food and weight are symptoms of the self-hate developing in childhood falling in-line only when kindness to self steps in.

The voice whispers positive things about myself that are allowed into me. That is challenging to sustain after living most of my life otherwise. Much of that grew as I grew pleasing the origin family, living by implied rules if wanting to remain a part of it… toxic as it was and still is- what’s left of it.

What grew with the ugliness of repeated sexual attacks by supposed loving brothers with nowhere to talk about it, and no one to help or stop it, was a life of unprocessed trauma, chronic, embedded, PTSD, with a critic inside me louder than anything else—a life of punishing myself for having been abused.

Hate myself, blame myself, eat, eat, eat, both to numb out the hate and to comfort myself from the internal nasty word beatings, that voice in my head that came from ‘family’, but became mine. No, it was not spoken aloud, but the messages were imprinted into my soul because no one talked of the tragedies that befell me, nor stopped it. The imposed silence, and the implications of blame I felt entombed me.

A miracle occurs when a more honest view of myself is heard, one that can look at mistakes and flaws kindlier, but much harder, and more importantly, looks at the positive qualities, feels them, believes them, and taking them in as my own.

When that miracle happens, the overpowering urge to eat when not hungry dissipates because my soul is being filled, finally filled.

FEARS

Samuel’s photo of last night’s lunar eclipse

Fear walks with me, even in a life insulated from too much stimulation protecting my worn-out system after a life of debilitating anxiety depleting my adrenal glands. Fear is with me at all times, though the gauge wanders from extreme to lower levels, it rides with me always, my periscope scanning the perimeter unless zoning out. (my term for dissociation)

Constantly on the ready during nature walks for disaster- though my blood curdling screams over snakes has diminished, if startled by one a yelp erupts as well as a flutter of my heart, probably not good for a heart to jolt with too many of those.

Then there are tick checks after finding one on my back one day. Out in the early morn, the fog as thick as the dew, using the spreader, a great amount of insect repellant granules are dispersed all along the 2-acre path. That ought to keep them off, along with tick spray on my socks and pants.

Now, keep the mockingbirds away from my walking area and patio, as one summer they continually attacked once their babies broke free from the eggs… torpedoing my head ready to peck out my eyes. That was terrorizing lasting too many weeks into precious summer time.

Too often forgetting how my system is on auto-ready for terror, and how much a drain that is, it is kinder and more compassionate to accept how it is, and why, then be gentle with myself acknowledging the reality of my existence.

There is damage left behind by those professing to love me. Comparing myself to others who breeze through life is not helpful either. PTSD unprocessed does damage that for me is lifelong. Learning as a child that home is not safe, what, where, and who is?

Joy outweighs it all …

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.

MIRACLES

Many times a post is written in the early morning well intended then later in the day the intentions fall and goals washed away with the buzzing in my body coming from years of separation from it.

But yesterday the intent stayed, and so too did my mind, body, psyche, emotions, and spirit. It took repeated focus, remember, go slow, breathe, stay.

Push, push, push, and by some afternoons a sickness in my aging body that cannot cope with too much. My evil brain attacks telling other systems to do more, otherwise you are not worthwhile.

Yet the truth is that slowing down, letting all aspects of my being have the time to come along meshing as one, is of worth, is caring, loving, and respectful.

Since sexual attacks to my being in childhood, the shattering meant that parts were locked in cells separately, other than in my body. Being in my body was too dangerous, so too being in the present moment.

It has taken years to be present. First for relished moments while meditating, then longer as years go by. Then, even more challenging, being in my body, a work in progress, but wondrous when succeeding and feeling safe at the same time.

A miracle still exploring. Is it safe?

Thank you mother earth for this morning’s miracle, a morning walk before the sun rises yielding thick wisps of fog off the creek creating a curtain with shadows of trees behind the mysterious shimmering wall decorated with sunbeams….

Naomi Judd

Thoughts dwell on Naomi Judd. We lost one of us, one of the little girls sexually abused. Though she came forward in an interview with Robin Roberts, did people still shun her as they seem to do because hearing about such things is repugnant to them?

I could sense her anxiety watching the interview, the wringing of hands that shook though she tried to hide them, the maddening back and forth of the smile we are forced to portray then the real wrenching pain of unhealed parts ripped to shreds as a child… and no one comes.

Back and forth, the smile, the paralyzing agony depressing her being so much she took her own life. That could be me.

My body does not cope with the decades of hypervigilance- daily adrenalin rushes with cortisol bursts over a tiny insignificant sound, or someone coming up behind me, even my child or husband. That happens even now.

We lost one of our own, and the sorrow cannot be wiped away. Someone needs to talk about it. People need to listen. This is happening to our little girls. Boys too, but little girls far more, we just hear about boys more.

Do a TED talk? Do a youtube? People don’t want to listen, but they must. Isn’t it time to protect our children? Who protected Naomi? She seemed so happy through the years with that smile.

Performing. There is so much performing, as families insist on keeping it quiet, and the child performs. But a body can’t hold out forever and the agony must be released be it too much eating, shopping, drinking, drugging, marrying someone to beat you, or dying.

It is hard road, and I am saddened that this woman has died because her sadness caused it to be so.  

PTSD

It must be accepted that there will be bad days, and more often than wanted, sometimes a string of them. No matter how many healthy habits are put in place, an occurrence happens sending my body into orbit inhibiting sleep and spinning the negativity wheel.

To come down medication does help, and that too needs to be accepted, because using it, though much more sparingly, is extending a kindness towards myself.

Samuel believes my own self talk can stop the bad thoughts at night. Maybe, but considering the herculean effort put into it staying still with swirling thoughts for 3 hours or so, no way.

My body will take off without my permission, and this time it had to do with my son’s new van being hit, bringing back the awful memory of their other van being hit on the exact same road 9 years ago when the my grand-daughter was only three months old, and my grand-son 2, both in the car.

The baby’s femur was broken, and my grand-son’s body was burned by car seat straps because the collision was so brutal. He came often after that crash and his PTSD was very evident to me.

We had a used battery powered jeep for him to play with at the time. And all on his own while he played in the garage and driveway, he was the fireman at the crash helping the crying mother and children.

He took his own PTSD and processed it over and over while I watched in awe, knowing this would help him. Something I didn’t have as child but should have.

He talked of all the red lights swirling and the blaring sirens, but no longer the tiny victim child because he became the powerful rescuer, the saver.

God, no wonder I couldn’t sleep!

COME IN!

If rejecting myself, there’s no safe place inside. There was work to do to make it a home, where self-battering is not allowed, only acceptance, understanding, compassion, and yes, love.

My life has been lived as a castaway, bobbing in oceans of turmoil, the constant chaos sinking me- hardly able to breathe. Just breathe.

Take a moment, many moments to breathe, as the soft April breeze wafts in through the open door to the porch where the cat sits ready to pounce if she could morph through the screen. Tense on her haunches hunting.

The morning dove coos with a soothing tone, as other birds twirl their daybreak hello’s even before enough light comes to fly. My shoulders relax easing the tension that comes upon waking to a day and its challenges.

The challenges are internal. It is there you must find peace, open the doors, and come in.

The DRAGON BEAST

When sleep won’t come, my soul is upset because my life is not being lived in accordance with it. To go deeper, the rooms must be cleaned. The dragon of unrest rises fuming fire larger than the largest dinosaur. Of course, sleep won’t come. But what is wrong? The wrong goes on for years, the wrong of my childhood where learning my being was not worth advocating for.

My mother gave me a book in college, “How to Be Your Own Best Friend.”

Mom, really? You require me as a child to be silent about tragedies to my body, mind, psyche, and all aspects of my internal being, then ask that I be my own best friend? Learning that my worth didn’t matter caused that to be about impossible because 60 years later the beast of self-hate still scrapes and claws from within eating me while alive.

Looking at grand-babies, I wonder, why have them if their lives will be so hard? Because my life has been that treacherous, and terrifying.

This past month has been brutal, and probably not coincidental that the extreme sleeplessness is happening at same time I advocate for what is right and in alignment with my soul- seeing my grand-daughter. Which also means fighting with my son Shane over it.

Because of mistakes with him while growing up, doing anything that might add stress to his life now has been out of the question. Which then translates to feeling cut from his family because they are so busy. Some day when we are gone, and that day moves closer and closer as we age, he might regret not taking the time, or seeing to it at least that we have time with his children.

Advocating for what is right, speaking up, has caused the rift inside of me to begin coming back as a whole. Advocating for myself causes an explosion internally poking the massive dragon breathing fire, keeping me awake to watch the flames feeling them burn. From the ashes may I rise.

THE PEARL

As winter drudges on, some excitement please! Yet each moment offers that just by breathing, coming into my body fully, and enjoying the sensation instead of the flying off onto a perch somewhere. Traumas early on make this especially hard. Some don’t make it, dying by their own hand intentionally, or by doing harmful things to oneself to escape. My escape since age 8 has been food. Take that away and the anxiety beast grows eating me alive.

Exercise, meditation, full-spectrum lights… aren’t enough to tame the anxiety beast, the beast that dwarfs all special character traits with shame, feelings of badness to the core, and hiding. To eat when hungry comes with much soul searching, learning about respect for, wait for it, here it come, me. And that is excruciatingly challenging because to respect myself is causal.

Approaching such a miracle 60 years after the first attack when the core of my being became buried, coming out to the sunshine, also demands others to do the same. That part of it feels unnatural, yet it is what most others do without much thought or effort. For me it takes herculean effort.

That means loved ones are no longer allowed to tramp on me burying me further, which has been the status quo. Even those that profess love and loyalty will take if allowed. And when feeling so less than, please take to make up for my badness. But in the process of becoming comes much pain, shedding the ugly finding beauty.

The pearl lies within.