With rest my sanity returns, and with it my mundane life as it sadly turns that way when daylight lessons. Then the challenges of finding fun and magic increase, though it’s the little things that are magical.
Even a moment of being in it, after a life of zooming around it, my mind twirling above my body as escaping from it since the age of 8 has been necessary to survive.
When things feel boring, that is when all is well. Because chaos has been the norm. Boring is peace. So look into every moment. It will not pass this way again.
The gaiety of my son’s visit from a neighboring state with his wife and 3 little ones sent my PTSD rockets off to the stratosphere. My head went spinning, more so my nervous system because even happy events set them off.
Time spent the first night with my granddaughter reading her a bedtime story then singing a lullaby was my usual time to wind down for the night, but how could that precious time be resisted?
By 1AM after two attempts to sleep the stronger sleep aid was needed. It gave me 5 uninterrupted hours of sleep causing a need to refrain from the birthday party the next evening at my other son’s when a rare occurrence of us all being together happened around a campfire. (all except me)
The tears wash down hating to feel sorry for myself due to the blessings of having such wonderful sons yet needing to recuse myself from the partying. Time alone in quiet brought me back into my body and brought sleep. I am cursed with C-PTSD due to the early traumas that went unprocessed at the time, yet blessed in so many other ways, especially family.
A day of joy, the sun warming body and soul, then off the rails. Sleeping like a bear for over 9 hours, then the next night- is it time to get up as it seemed a bit light out. But sorrowfully no, it is 3 AM. The rocket of PTSD had launched, and worries crowded my brain.
By 4 the forced stay in bed was given up. Sitting in the dark on the porch at the time is lonesome. And the day with less sleep pulled me down more.
Fall’s sweeping drop in mood fell like a crashing elevator. Usual challenges increased tenfold; negativity, worries, repetitive thinking- not about happy things, even those turned sour.
When craving my mother’s love- as was yesterday, then my own love of self, or the work towards such a miracle, goes by the wayside. What about love of self?
The self-talk began anew. You can do this. I can take this day and make it my own. You know that the 3AM waking is PTSD flaring up, so roll over and go back to sleep Worries are cornered back into slumber.
A new day, didn’t the Queen say that?
“Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God.” – Christmas broadcast, 2002.
Talk of ‘healing’ makes my stomach turn. There is no healing, only managing the damage done. Well, there is, and isn’t.
The horrific feeling of being abnormal has mostly healed, though left with struggles of self-esteem permanently. But my internal ‘home’ offers more welcome and understanding as to why that exists accepting it with a more loving embrace.
And yes, admittingly there is healing in many areas, yet much damage was done by silencing me as a child causing irreparable damage than cannot be healed, changed, or reversed in any way, only coped with daily.
These are the truths of my life. To silence me at age 8 after a violent rape. To not administer medical attention. To leave me all alone with it stuffed inside for decades, because you and your cohorts (your sons) couldn’t bear that truth be told- that caused irreversible damage. Not what they did but silencing me and forcing me to be alone with it.
An 8-year-old child? Pummeled again and again by your other sons as they satisfied teenage lust on my little body? All alone. Suffering. Holding it in then- and for my life to come, until you died. (in my fifties)
By then it was too late. Though it all came out in my writings, every egregious ghastly detail, and with it the joys that were stuffed too, the damage was done. Repression represses joy too, creating a walking robot without feelings.
After you died I started to live, learning wholeness and love for self. It was my choice to remain gagged so that the little crumbs of love you gave could sustain me because I had not yet learned to love myself. How could I when who I was had been locked away?
The chronic severe C-PTSD is here to stay. There is no denying it, or if so, as with much of my life trying to keep up with others, unhealthy ramifications occur. There isn’t fear to jump in and try, but rather an outcome of disease. In trying to do things my body cannot cope with the severity increases exponentially.
Like camping. As the camper left yesterday swirling panic almost descends watching Samuel get it ready for the buyers to take it. Neither of us want to let go of over 40 years of camping in the woodsy mountains- campfires, biking among the pines down to the pristine lake, canoeing, our paddles softly licking the water’s surface as the loons near-by take a dive, sunsets of salmon, rose, and magenta, so many pleasures let go of.
But good-bye it was, along with all the gear, because my body cannot cope with being anywhere but home. When not home, finding my own home internally is about impossible.
So many years of pretending because that was required to be part of a ‘family.’ That caused the damage. Traumas kept inside caused physical ailments that worsen with age. The spirit, mind, and body are connected, and so much has been injured due to forced censoring that no amount of therapy of any kind will relieve or fix.
Only loving care to manage it. All the many things that need attending to are only attended to in the safety of my own home. And it does not have to make me weep, it can be decided on instead to bring me joy- joy in living, joy in finally feeling I have a right to be here too, joy in the little things which sweep me away with their beauty. Joy in that I finally honor the reality of where I am and why, learning who I am and liking what I find.
The day yawns before me, wondering how to fill it. Shoulders tense as usual, along with all other body parts including internal ones. This discovery is new. Becoming acquainted with my body is an experience ongoing, and only beginning recently when staying in it longer than two seconds occurs.
Strange? Not strange. Leaving my body, residing in the safe neverland of another dimension has been my usual. When growing up in a house where monsters live, and may creep into my bedroom at any moment, suffocating me with their bodies, the tenseness of facing life each day hyper-stimulates, and stiffens all body parts. My life was in danger every day, and has felt that way ever since. Knowing no different it is a revelation to feel what has been there all along.
Each day met with tenseness reaching into every sinew, organ, and system. The warmth of the patio unwinds things, as the hummingbirds zip past my head almost shaving my hair while they zoom by to the feeder. A tiny baby bunny comes out from behind the woodpile under the little deck where it’s nest must be. Then bunny number two, so cute as they begin their day hopping onto the grass chasing each other.
Chipmunks run past my feet, looking up at me, staring till I say, ‘hi,’ then scurrying away, only to run past again, and again. Bees sip at nectar too, while birds splash in the freshly filled bath nearby.
The pool waters relax my body unusually so. My poor constricted colon, ‘tortuous’ the gastroenterologist described it as even relaxes requiring a trip to the bathroom. Wow. My poor body.
Trying to keep up with others left my true challenges a secret to me. Poor health occurs from that. With more care towards myself, and time each morning to pay attention without running, the day can be greeted with more hope even if not with great vigor.
Taking what energy is there and moving with caution reserves it for what is important. The toll taken early on has been greatly underestimated and not given the proper attention, love, and care… until now.
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.
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.
The birds take longer to wake as the sun takes longer to rise. Already fall approaches with the shorter days darkening my interior. Yet there is hope, that the new being born out of old skin is a happier one, translating to more peaceful and self-loving.
After so many months, even years of late, working daily at self-esteem, questioning that awful critic arising from the gag order ‘family’ imposed; imposed to keep their secrets of what their own had done.
What does that do to a child traumatized? She takes it into herself as her doing, her BADNESS, her being not having the rights to even be born.
The traumas, then more heaped upon already broken shoulders. Yet these years have become the very best. Respecting my limits, my brokenness, my tragedies with grace- as the continual walking in nature brings a curative effect.
Not giving up, but pushing forward, yet also leaning to do so more slowly, carefully, with patience that is not yet forthcoming with ease, but coming. The well springs open with love, peace, and wonder at every moment of life and well-being.
Some mornings it is hard to sit still by myself, with myself, the cat nearby on the screen porch, the little candle aflame flickering softly, the birds not yet up. A compulsion to do something is quelled knowing that going to my core only happens in stillness.
Why is so repulsive to be there? There is where solace lay, in my own being, with my own words, feelings and thoughts. Yet throughout life… running. Detached from it, and no wonder. Coming from a place of terror, chaos, and fear, fearing the very people I lived with- family.
So now the fears are from monsters dead. Chet, still around the corner ready to pounce, though now long gone. And others.
The peace of the land stills my fright with its wonder. Summer slips by fast, resolving to savor each moment more thoroughly as the days dissolve, sometimes with regrets for not wringing more out of them.
The flowers are abundant, tended and watered with care, along with the birdbath scoured out and refilled daily- bathers coming right after the fresh water is put in, splashing their feathers, lining up, who’s next?
As the sun sets the bedroom fills with golden light, my retreat, the yellow walls bouncing sunshine with a splash reflecting on walls, mirrors, and hanging sparkly gems twirling in an arc above. Yet another cherished time of day, that hour before dusk as the gold turns to red, orange, and all hues of yellow.