A Simple Life

photo by Patricia

The fog hidden in that most call dissociation, surrounds with comfort. Tucked away from the world, my own life opens. Yet the outer workings of the world invade because tuning in to its happenings is ongoing, and crucial to feeling a part of it.

Peace can be easily interrupted, which makes the times when having it so gratifying. The tendency to invert inside myself like a turtle is what makes keeping relationships difficult. People like to interact.

That takes a significant amount of energy, energy that is stored for those who mean the most, a special few. And energy for things that need doing, or are high on the list of wanting to do.

Repressing trauma from decades ago takes energy. A life living with unprocessed trauma sapped adrenals, and the stores of it are depleted. Protecting what is left means a quiet life where tasks are paced.

Simple things bring pleasure; the colors in the leaf that gently dances down from the branch- wafting side to side on its way, the otter by the creek bank chewing on grass unperturbed by my presence, the gentle rain falling as thunder claps in the distance.

It’s OK to choose the life you lead, even a quiet one with simple pleasures.

 

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KAVANAUGH

The theme that no one seems to care what happens to women when they are teens or children is a theme in my life erupting as if yesterday. Night after night lying there awake.

His hand over her mouth, his hand over her mouth, his hand over her mouth.

The Senate’s republicans still wanted to vote.

She could have died.

The Senate republicans still wanted to vote.

One man stood up and said, “No.”

INJUSTICE

3 AM, no sleep, no wonder. The present hearings in the senate have extinguished all hope, but more so brought up events from over fifty years ago. Smothered by Chet’s weight. That poor girl that was me. And Chet’s attacks were after Danny’s rape in the black of night. A rape repressed, but in there lurking.

It is in the dark of early morning, when daytime events have stirred up trauma burned into my psyche from childhood, that sleep won’t return after waking. It is not my fault. There is nothing that can be done differently to avoid the activation which sets off alarms that my world is unsafe.

How can it feel safe when politicians push ahead ignoring such monstrous acts, then reward the one who committed them? Only one did the right thing, Flake, who did so because he didn’t look forward to any more intrusions like the one at the elevator before the vote. Two heroic women confronted him with their own stories of being sexually attacked while he stood speechless with his head down.  

When my alarm system is activated there is not much to do except take something that calms my entire nervous system. TV was too blaring, so returning to bed was comforting, snuggling under the covers till the medication took effect, lulling me to sleep until long after the sun rose.

Talking to David about how the present brought up the past caused tears to spill out over morning coffee. Oh, how I wish it  weren’t so. Tears come hard and are exhausting, adding tired upon tired. These reactions out of my control are unwanted. My wish is to be like Samuel … oblivious to the treachery and scourge of others. 

Every time seeing Cosby’s face reminds me of the other liar I’ve lived in a hostage-like bondage with all my life, Tom. Mr. Kavanaugh’s face mimicked both.  I could not look at him while he pontificated during his testimony, nor listen to him. When a person lives a lie it shows in their face, the expressions and nuances. I would rather not be privy to such depth of knowing.

There is no reason to have been born into the mayhem that was my family of origin. There is no shining light about what was.

Shit happens. Injustice is lived with in quiet resignation. The goal it is to get on with the things that bring light and happiness, and in my world that means internal peace— very hard to hold onto when PTSD symptoms intrude. Yet it is accepted as a part of my life since the age of 8, along with a myriad of other challenges stemming from childhood sexual abuse. 

No one said I’m sorry. No one asked Tom, “Why did you do that to my sister?”

No one said “I’m sorry I didn’t stay around to protect you, and make sure nothing else happened.”

They pretend to care, just like now. My brothers put on a show of nice, then are more loyal to abuser(s). The senators put on a show of nice, then push the vote through anyway.  

POWER

So much excess carbs ingested without regard to the body’s fullness. A single-minded purpose of blotting out the pain, only to live with the existing pain ten-fold while watching her tell the story of such trauma long ago. .

As Dr. Ford detailed her account of the traumatic attack- tears fell, especially when describing the drunken teen’s hand over her mouth. He could have killed her in his stupor and strength. Tears fell for her because I know how that feels, to have that weight upon one’s body unable to move and stifled for air… death imminent from suffocation.

That is when I stopped fighting and lay still. He could have killed her in his drunken lust and need to overpower a weaker person. Because it is more about control than sex. Now he will rule on the highest court in the land, a power hungry charlatan, and hater of women.

Chet did kill something in me.

The wheels of power go on as predicted. One more lascivious pig will be put on the highest court in the land, to hold hands with Clarence, and snicker at what they got away with.

Would you be so quick to vote if it had been your daughter, your wife? Maybe so. Maybe nothing matters except staying in power.

Dr. Ford is a hero, with courage unparalleled. 

 

Thunderclap

 

Sleep comes at the usual time, then Samuel comes into bed shutting windows.

“Don’t close them,” I murmur from sleep.

“A storm’s coming,” he responds.

“Oh, I forgot,” I said.

The thunder woke me further . Returning to sleep would be hard. A strike erupted outside our window causing a boisterous scream to erupt from my lips, and my body to hurl onto Samuel’s in fright as he grasped my hand.

My heart pounded. All the bells and whistles went off signifying danger. Laying there for over an hour sleep would not come. Samuel’s gentle snoring made me envious. Finally giving up at 1 AM it was time for a sleep aid, and TV. 

At least one good thing about sleeplessness this time. Usually blame is put on myself immediately and unconsciously for not corralling in negative repetitive thoughts, or finding some other way to hang sleeplessness around my neck.

This time it was clearly Mother Nature at fault. A great load lifts when not haranguing myself with blame. That built-in tendency to burden myself with blame tends to add a heaviness along with a lack of energy the next day. Without that boulder on my shoulders this day feels brighter despite the darkness and rain.

web photo

FREEDOM

 

It is no coincidence that a feeling of freedom came with the bird in flight, a project that began as summer blossomed. ‘She’ sat for on the studio bench untouched all summer while I chose to float in the pool or enjoy other past times.

The quandary of what to do next as winter broke into spring was met with the delightful idea of a bird in flight. The process began not knowing my soul’s deeper purpose. A feeling of joy erupted as she appeared in glittering detail. A deeper part of me has taken charge guiding me on a path to a more authentic life.

The rock was exceedingly heavy, but I managed to carry it inside onto the work table. Then the choice of colors… but finally the decision was made to stick with my first choice, white. There it sat over summer. Each time the door of the studio was passed I thought of finishing it, but my gut’s desire didn’t match the thought. .

There was a process occurring that wasn’t merely coincidence. What appeared on that rock paralleled my ‘coming out.’ The joyful freedom being birthed mirrored the unbinding of the shackles of silence. It wasn’t until my real name and photograph was applied to my blog that the project was completed.

HOME

photo by Patricia

The home lived in has been made so beautiful due to my efforts. Fall décor adorns the bay window, and pumpkins were plunked down on the front porch in a happy group. The harder achievement is making a ‘home’ inside myself.

The tendency is to do what early learning taught me to do due to Tom’s treatment of me. That comes more readily than acceptance and self-love. The decades’ long habit developed in childhood after the sexual attacks, occurs like a knee-jerk reaction. It takes work each day, each moment, to counteract the lies which betray my own self. 

STAY, instead of leaving my own soul, body and spirit. Do not continue the very attitude once directed towards me, which also infected how others treated me even to this day.  

His coldness, smirks, and underhanded derision steadily directed my way taunted. The rest of the family, Mom and the other brothers, adulated his successes. My beliefs were shaped around his being special, I was not, instead, lesser than him and anybody else.  

When a child is sexually abused by her loved ones, and others stand by interacting with her attackers as if it were nothing, the child grows believing it is so.

Coming forward as an adult causes the isolation to deepen. I dream about family as if having one.