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…

Advertisements

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.  

Feeling Safe

a walk in the meadow

There may always be a child inside bending over in sobs when that one small thing topples her over. And no doubt because trauma upon trauma was heaped onto her little shoulders with no one coming to save her, help her, or to process the tragedies endured. That finally she has a place to process her wounds safely is OK. Take as long as you need dear one. It may take a while. The longer it was held in, the longer it may take.

All alone she was to conquer the world. All alone.

At the start of each morning while sipping coffee on the back porch sanctuary with birds trilling, moments are spent coming into my body, senses and being. Authentic feelings emerge, the tiredness of facing another day along with the realization that each one takes effort mustered from a soul worn out.

Deep gratefulness also arises that a safe place has been found externally and internally. Acceptance can happen internally, but it takes work even still. Through the crack of coldness the light of love and hope emerges.

It took almost two complete weeks to come back fully home into my mind, body, psyche, and senses. How could being with family cause such a rift…not the origin family, but the now family of sons and their families? That is three summers in a row hoping each one will be easier.  

Wanting to be like friends who gather their families at a lake in the summer hearing what a terrific time was had by all, made me want it too. But it leaves me weary each time, and grieving. Why can’t that happen for me?

The over stimulation causes pieces to fly. To be present each moment throughout the day makes my body tense and my nervous system to go awry.

It makes me sad, but do not dwell. Work at coming home. The last piece occurred over my puzzle. Escaping from that internal place, running from it because the voices were crashing down with cruelty and blame, was not working. Staying and confronting them did.

Acceptance for ‘self’ came in all its messiness. And with that came peace. Not the peace of perfection, but the peace of humanness which includes imperfections. Squabbles take two not one. Rather than always focusing on others and believing that their reactions are reality, the focus turns inward to what really is for me. What are my true feelings, thoughts and actions, not those put on me by others?

For so long the robotic life jostled by the reactions of others and becoming however they decided things were, made life hell. Coming ‘home’ to what really is for me, in all its jumble, is coming to a place that is not that bad. Inside dwells just a person. A person with flaws yes, but a person who has so much more.

 

FORGIVING

The knowledge that my actions hurt another finds its way into my thoughts and gut in the dark of night. That’s a clue to pay attention to. The same haunts return with no apparent growth.  

The aching for this ability to deal with one certain person, and seemingly failing miserably, brings despair. Not again? Oh yes again, the same old stump, tripping, falling and staying stuck.

The need to talk to someone is desperate, but there is no one. My pandering to this person after feeling my actions caused hurt brings no relief. It will smooth over when she’s good and ready. There will no discussion, no way to know for sure.

It is something to swallow and do better at. I know of no other way. The discomfort follows me like sledge-hammer with thoughts of who could help to relieve this pain. My need to be let off the hook for an imagined discretion, or perhaps a real one, goes unmet. Discord curdles within.

Stay with the pain. Stay with it and work it out. An email and phone call was sent. No reply. While bending over a puzzle, often a way to settle anxiety, an opening arose with the message, “Forgive yourself.”

If you have behaved badly, and done your best to make amends, you have done enough. And what you need most is your own forgiveness. This recurrent pain teaches. Don’t dwell on the shortcomings of others or make judgements. Let things go.

It is not my goal to be a doormat. But if there’s a choice whether to be reserved over another’s actions that seem less than noble, or show kindness, show kindness. Still needing to punish brothers for what they have done because no else did, darkens my life even now. Others need to pay for what they do.

But it doesn’t have to be me. It is still a lesson to keep learning.

 

Long Term Effects of CSA

photo by Patricia

It is probably true that my life is lived managing a chronic low grade depression stemming from the early trauma of childhood sexual abuse. Anti-depressants have their place,  and their efficacy is proven. But the three times a practitioner pressed them upon  me during more debilitating depressions made me feel as if something else was controlling me. Having a young life where that was the norm, it cannot be tolerated in adult life.

If things get that bad, talk therapy with a a trusted person will hopefully bring me out it as it has in the past. Challenges from those early years remain. It is not easy to accept, yet accepting it helps me to see me as I am with more patience and understanding. And that enables me to allow for some empathy and respect for myself…all things that have eluded me for decades.

Maybe those things aren’t forthcoming from others, even those who know. And maybe that’s a good indication that that person is not one who can be a good friend. If you’ve not been a good friend to yourself, you don’t know how to pick one for yourself. Or you gravitate towards others who treat you as badly as you treat yourself.

It is no wonder the tendency is to surround myself with nature, coming home to myself where safety is found among mother’s beauty. The walk in the meadow brings a sheen of sweat on my body. My reverie is interrupted by a swirling butterfly swooping up and around me, my lips lifting in a smile. Samuel’s unique lily planted in the wild creek garden has opened its first bud.

Coming to now, the muggy summer day soaks in along with the sweat. After the walk, my bathing suit was quickly donned for a splash in the pool. The cooling felt extravagant. Now to tackle some inside chores after the joys of summer are appreciated once again… all there, free for the taking. You just have to wake up and notice.

REALITY

Though my circle of close people to relate to has narrowed since giving up work long ago, there are still pinpricks of hurt by some. Immaturity, lack of depth, jealousies, and the inability to see their own shortcomings may never rise to a place where I’m able to be close or comfortable with them. Yet their presence is permanent, and I have to accept that and be pleasant anyway.

It takes fortitude and a focus honed toward those that are worthy. Training my mind not to dwell on the lacking relationships is a challenge. Some behaviors seem intentional. The addition of vindictiveness, whether the person is conscious of it or not, adds a dimension of pain compounded, scratching so deep and exquisitely familiar, swirling down into depths of memory which evoke wounds unhealed.

And that may be the real culprit, wounds unhealed that block my ability to see the light now; to let go of the shortcomings of others that are not what my brothers had done, but are just that, shortcomings. To be light and gay in the face of what feels like what happened long ago is unfamiliar to me and may never come.

Great effort, determination and continued work goes into diverting my thoughts towards those that matter, those that possess depth, and who reciprocate the love I feel for them.  Other relationships may always be up and down no matter how hard I try to improve or deepen them. Maybe the best that can be done is to make a show of pleasantness, though true feelings seep through a veil of courtesy and cannot be disguised. 

Open Up

 

photo by Patricia

Gratefulness seeps in with my senses coming back. Aromas not detected all week now permeate my being; the lilac scented candle on the warmer, the freshness of pouring rain so sorely needed, and strawberries boiling in the pot loaded with sugar for the jam. Gentleness with ‘self’ returns too, along with work necessary to sustain it. 

It has taken the entire week to come down from the agitated place of being around others who are my family. How could that be? Samuel is unencumbered by such ongoing disruptions. My brain, injured by early childhood sexual abuse that went unprocessed, poses great challenges.

An articulate, expert writer commented on my post Fears, “Being sexually abused as a child is like being a bird whose wings have been cut short and can never fly. Seeing normal birds whose strong wings take them high in the air over trees, almost seeming to touch the clouds is a painful reminder of what we have lost, what was taken from us. We grieve for who we might have been.”

She is so right. Drowning in sadness over what is will not be my way. Gratefulness for finally coming home to my senses is uppermost. The achievement came with help, a friend, along with blog friends.

To not own your being and its workings is a devastating loss, especially after decades living that way, then coming home internally. To lose that is to lose wholeness in all its diversity, the good, bad and ugly. I want it all. What can’t be survived is being apart from my being once finding it.

The early dissociative survival modes take over despite all my hard work and efforts. It hurts. It is hard to accept or acknowledge. There is much resistance to the truth of my existence. Yet running will not help me it. I must stay until the parts return absorbed with gentle open arms and time.