Are You Who They Say?

Perceiving how others see me, doesn’t mean that’s who resides within. It is my own understanding of myself that matters- that is true and authentic. If others can’t bother to take the time to really know me, it is their loss. And not many do.

But the ones that do? Are close for life no matter how far away in the physical realm, they remain close in soul. Time on the land and with myself has offered a view into how others see me.

The problem that arises from that is taking that perception as the truth. Looking deeper within, the slights they perceive don’t exist. The being internally is far better than that. But the habit for decades is to see the truth how others see it who are not out for my best interests, though say they are.

So easy to believe the worst of myself. Much harder to see the beauty, grace, and honesty. There are true friends who have tried to tell me that, choosing instead not to see it, longing for acceptance in places where it never comes. But the only place that matters is within.

Don’t you see? Look, and you shall see the truth, the beauty, grace, and honesty. A lifetime of living like a dinghy on rough waters, rocking to and fro, seeing myself as others do, others that are looking out for their own needs, not mine.

It is a new adventure to look at the truth like a flower in my hand and inspect the uniqueness in all its flawed splendor.

GO HOME LITTLE ONE

There inside lay mysteries, so much unknown about myself, so much running even while being still. Jitteriness, is that mania? Even here on this quiet land, feelings come that are run from. There is no escaping where you came from, or who you are.

Not wanting to be me, with my history, coming from people others usually call family. Why can’t you just stick to being here now? My wholeness is all of me.

The dire sleep issues erupting once again after a nice lull mostly away from them, but why? The digestive issues kicking up a storm must be related to the emotional issues. Depression filling me with holes of sadness compounded with an aloneness that ought to be familiar enough by now, and accepted, but? This one has sharp edges begging for understanding, and compassion.

Depression? In summer? After the joy of spring, depression? It is over lack of sleep, yet why not sleeping? July 1st, our 44th anniversary, but two days later Dan’s death almost 50 years ago.

In the group of people most call ‘family’ the thoughts, especially those voiced by Seth not that long ago in response to  my rushed angered emails; the pain is about those who abused me, so he says.

Feelings about myself stem from that. The pain they carried after abusing me. My choice would be the victim not the abuser. Mistakes of any kind cause months, even years of self-chastising. The pain of being unable to forgive myself drowns. So any pain felt has been centered around them.

But… there is another scenario. What about me, the little girl left alone.

What about compassion for me? At almost 70 a soft place to fall internally is not there, a home that welcomes with love, acceptance, and friendly support. Going to others to fill me, make me whole, heal me. That is temporary.

Running, always running from whence I came.

Go home little one, you will find someone to love you there. Like Dorothy in Oz, all that is needed is right here, and now.

IT’S PERSONAL

You are on the court for one sole purpose, to force your beliefs on others. Feeling forced, like a bird beating it’s wings raw against a cage, is not something tolerated anymore after a life of it.

That you force women to live by your beliefs, taking away our right to our bodies, makes me hate you more than shit. And your cohorts, the Thomas with his dick swelled beneath his robe, swinging it on women with his sexual word attacks against Anita Hill, then rewarded by being confirmed onto what was once the highest court in the land. But with his appointment went to hell.

Then Kavanaugh, attempted rapist and murderer, now her. Two ruling by hatred towards women for coming forward with the truth, the third by her belief that abortion is wrong via her bible. Not everyone is Christian, nor do all Christians believe it to be wrong.

Supposedly it also says that same sex love, partnership, and marriage is wrong too. So what’s coming for those who are different than her is as horrible as no longer being able to get an abortion.

Women are being forced to do her bidding, along with the others on what once was a real court of justice. Those who you’d think had brains and compassion to get where they are, but lack it, choosing instead to overpower others. Not providing equality and fairness, handing out death instead. Forcing others to have babies? How about you take the babies and raise them?

Now it is more death; death due to suicides both by overwhelmed mothers, but also children like me growing up wanting to die because childhood was so traumatic… you are causing more foster care, addiction, abuse, neglect, back alley abortions causing even more death or hospitalizations due to the ensuing infections because those doing them do them wrong or with dirty instruments— this list of horrors goes on…

She shakes her finger while using the judicial system’s power to force others to live by her prejudices. Clarence and Brett do the same with their hate and low self-esteem, all three lacking character or the ability to hold this job as they hide behind robes of power to cover their weaknesses, bigotry, and shallowness.

What’s really behind those robes is the knowledge that they did do what Anita and Christine said they did, but won’t ask for forgiveness, the path to repentance, honesty, and authenticity. An authentic life comes to those who make amends.

It’s not justice at all. I don’t want to be forced, do you?

HEALTH

When my body changes and unwellness sets in, fear come with it. Even a slight change causes concern making me fearful. So that voice of comfort was needed. It’s ok, it’s ok. Probably just one day of side effects, a feeling of a 24-hour bug after the fourth Covid shot; slight headache through the night and the next day body aches, even a loss of appetite, not a common occurrence for someone who eats their feelings.

Why not after the first three vaccines? It could be that in facing all that lies inside with equanimity and compassion, my parts, spirit, mind, emotions, and psyche, have come together as one. There’s more awareness of bodily workings. In touch, like most others around me whose connections come naturally not having trauma tear them away from it.

The rip came at age 8. The repeated smashing shatterings making it about impossible to ever reclaim what is mine. The incessant craving haranguing ever since to come back inside me, yet the flurry of me remained suspended above and about spinning, always spinning.

A relief this morning waking to the feeling that my body is back to status quo. Good health is the number one of riches. But when health faulters, the other comparable wealth is the voice of reason, comfort, and compassion.

NIGHTTIME FRIGHTS

PHOTO BY PATRICIA

People have their own ways of dancing. Mine might not look like a tango, but if inside there is calm, that’s my dance. If inside the critic isn’t smashing me down, that’s a waltz, tango, and tap dance all in one. Waking in the night on the fifth night, not using any medication because the weaning off occurred the first four nights, trouble started.

After a week of the best sleep in months, last night the critic escaped. Not having any medication in my system gave me something to worry about. It has be lack of controlling thoughts, not being off it.

Up to use the bathroom, then bam, the mind ruminating scaring myself with memories, and present things that in daytime don’t pose a problem, but in the night make my heart lurch.

Stay. No more medication or going out to watch TV. No. It was hard, harder, and hardest of all, but then birds were heard so some sleep must have finally come.

In the morning when Samuel got up, I hung my head in my hands and through tears spilled out the nighttime woes and worries, especially the parts that refuse forgiveness of shortcomings, faults, and mistakes, the beating of self so frightful in the dark.

Samuel is much kinder to me than I am, his words helping me start the day.  I hear stories of ‘love yourself,’ then love yourself more. But in the dark they feel like just words, while trying to find comfort from sounds out the open window, peepers finally peeping, and Samuel’s regular breathing beside me. There is much to be grateful for, and so much that can be soothing, yet my insides feel so cold.

Question in the night: how does one connect and comfort one’s soul after feeling disconnected from it for so long? The soul, that vaporous place deep within encompassing the internal core so ethereal…

MOTHERHOOD

Pieces of me fluttering all over the place, trying to tack down the escapees without success as each darts away as if in the wind. The winter exhumed me, emptied me, left me bottomless and cold. Once, not so long ago, I felt grounded, but over winter have been left hanging like a tattered flag.

In finding my internal strength and using it to reach goals of health, stuffing feelings, or glossing over them for another is not possible. Yet that comes with great cost for a mother who would do anything for her children except hurt them.

Yet a mother has needs too. I have needs. If I give, and the return is feeling stomped on emotionally, something else inside of me gives too and that is love… love giving in to bitterness, resentment, and anger. Those are like drinking poison hoping the other person pays the price, yet it is me who suffers.

Inside myself there is room only for love. The other stuff must be worked out, talked out, cried out, then just let go. Because all relationships are rocky at times, it is the nature of closeness, and intimacy. You climb the rocks, slip down, become bloodied and bruised, then climb up again to see the sun feeling warm breeze atop the mount.

PTSD

Finally making it to one of our women friends monthly gathering after missing a few due to sickness and the brutal sleep issues cropping up again this winter, and trying to make light of my sleep problems, I said, “There are worse things.”

One of them said, “Yes, like Ukraine.”

Going along with the flow of conversation didn’t mean agreement with her. My thoughts after coming home, do you, or have you ever had problems with sleep? I’ve asked her before and she sleeps as well as Samuel, so in her reply there was little compassion. And really, it is inside my own self where the compassion must lie.

It would be comforting to believe that this new monster raising its head, this taking off with worries in the middle of the night, meant something soul shifting to a better plane of existence, but it probably is just that in taking away food to quell the anxiety beast, sleep becomes disrupted by the excess anxiety always ready to sting.

My belief it that my childhood has caused a fractured core no amount of anything will cure. Samuel sleeps. I am awake. My friend’s husband is dealing with a bout of cancer. Well, yes, that is worse. He looks pale and has been through so much. So, there are worse things.

GRACE

Though feelings of failure filled with bleakness consume me, what might be occurring is growth, a dive deeper into authenticity which comes with fighting for what is right even if with loved ones.

That is a new fertile jungle, the thickets of guilt over consequentially hurting a loved one so that my needs are heard, respected, and met. Mother of this earth, please guide me, not with machetes, or scythes to clear the way, but to find my way forward with grace.

DEPRESSION- PEACE

What happened to just wanting peace? Seems to be converted into just wanting not to feel depressed. These months have been dark, the lack of sleep making them darker. A very hard winter, but there’s light, true light. Longer into evenings, earlier in mornings, and the robins? They are back as depicted on last night’s news, I just NEED to see one.

Peace.

That is the one thing being searched for and found after working so hard towards it, and felt miraculously in many moments. Yet this dark thing holding a grip on my emotions, thoughts, and spirit has been deadening.

Talking to Samuel about the ‘whys’ of living, especially now that all purpose seems over. No more rush or stress over kids, jobs, or paying bill. Our life of frugality has made us comfortable without having to worry about money. After a life of that constant nagging concern, shouldn’t I be happy?

He said, “The alternative is going home to Jesus.”

That quieted me, what do you say to that? Although, you go to Jesus, I go to Mother Earth in ash form.

Walking down past my friendly pines on a day the snow began to melt in the meadow, a song from long ago played through my mind, ‘Jesus Loves Me.” The memory of my early divide from male dominated religion took hold as a child at the same time siblings were attacking me. We children sang it at summer camp, but I couldn’t and instead said, “Not me. Jesus doesn’t love me.”

Horrified, adults ushered me into a little room all by myself for a talk. Sitting there alone, waiting, feeling so scared. Do-gooders doing bad, harming me even more which would be almost impossible considering what was already happening. But shame on shame buried me further. At the picnic with all the children running, laughing, and having fun on a sunny day, the path to the rest of my life began… dark, so very dark, and shamed.

So many times people knew and could have stepped in to help, but didn’t.

I let the song run through my mind on this bright blue day letting the words sink in and feel love, because my belief is, whether you call it Jesus, Muhammed, Allah, or Moses, we are all one in same, and loved by the same source, an internal one. Though mine has abandoned me of late feeling hollow as a empty shell.

All that work these past few years with success, yet while coming up the other side of the meadow my shadow was scorned. My life of self-hate still there- still needing work by continuing to turn over the dark parts and love those too.

OWNING MY LIFE

Like most issues, to speak up about my own beliefs, opinions, or feelings is gruelingly difficult. Taught to keep mum about atrocities against me, even little issues tend to stay inside me.

A friend who is religious, Christian like the other four in our women’s group, is overly so. The Lord this, the Lord that. I respect her beliefs and do not scorn them, in fact am sometimes a bit envious of the strength it seems to provide her and others.

It doesn’t for me. At a very young age that collapsed and as with most things shame about that eroded me even more. Now in my sixties the right to claim my own spirituality slowly rises. If it were to have a face it would be feminine.

Yet it is more a belief that we are all connected throughout the planet no matter what we believe. In writing back to her as she once again speaks of god as HE, my response gently outlines my views.

In this life what is there if we cannot be who we are? If it is sometimes a ball of worries and anxiety, then that is me at that time. If my beliefs encompass something different that yours, can you respect them as I do you yours?

In this life, before it’s over, the craving and wholeness comes from owning who I am. It feels risky, scary, and often impossible, but is worth the exploration and effort.