Ravages of Thoughts

The need to write each morning sometimes brings forth a post without depth, without full truth. Not because there’s fear of honesty, there’s fear of self. The thoughts going through led me to overeat in old ways so that later my head hung over the toilet.

How could a frilly little post be written in the morning, and later in the day food was consumed in a way that was sword-like? Cut off the thoughts, don’t feel anything but this pain, not those other pains.

Writing about being in my body, then not being in it. How else would one consume such junk? Others don’t do this. Others have flat stomachs. At times they use discipline, but aren’t white knuckling it. They don’t use eating to blot out thoughts and feelings.

A cascade of bad feelings rain down. A walk with a friend at the mall brought two days of achy legs. It was more than usual, the standing around while she shopped. She’s fine, and would have walked the mall again.

My abilities are much more limited. I so want to re-join chorale on Tuesday nights, and a friend offered to pick me up. But coming home at almost 9:30 pm would rev up the usual wind down period upsetting the delicate routine. Others there don’t suffer this. Why me, why me, why me?

Thoughts of brothers dying and how young the offenders were, one at 28 by intentional overdose, one at 52, the other 67. My fault in my own special way of thinking. If I hadn’t been there they wouldn’t have abused me, and then have to life with it for the rest of their lives.

A fucked up family. It makes me sad that they didn’t have a chance. Each one could have felt better about themselves, and done better. But the care a child needs, which goes far past the basics of food and shelter, were never provided. 

The other one, now 76, is still living. Far away. Why now do these thoughts come? Is it the rinsing of winter? All the bad thoughts come crashing down. Looking at my puffy body, there’s not trust of my tuning in to its real caloric needs while the psychological needs pull so searingly. Escape. 

Since the age of 8, eating became a way to escape. There is a way. Bending over a toilet due to ravages by my own hand is no escape. It is not about eating. It is about thoughts, memories, and feelings. Being in a being who I don’t want to be.

 

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SUCCOR

The creek in spring…

The person I was meant to be, doesn’t get a shot at living. That is mourned, and ever shall be. That was taken, ‘she’ was taken at the first touch from a dearly loved and trusted brother that was wrong touch wreaking of manipulation, guile, and evilness.

But this isn’t about them. It is about what they took. A life. This life created from the destruction of that child that I was meant to be, from the women I would have been, is who I became. But what lay just beneath is who I am.

And will you ever know her as I do? She is strong, confident, and sings for the masses, justice for all. She doesn’t bow down to criticism nor does she criticize herself for being herself.

And in my little oasis I can do that. Without others to doubt or bring me down, I can be at peace. Except when I can’t, which happens too much of time due to old voices taking hold destroying self-worth and peace.

Coming back to center, feeling the insides of my body, all the cracks, tiny spaces, and hollows, owning it, sleep comes, peace comes, self-liking rises. After so much work there is a presence underlying the critic, a she who loves me, that’s me. Warm succor waits right here at home, in my body of a home.

TRANSITION

photo by Patricia

As the criticizer comes crashing down, coming to a head as the joy of spring meets the depression of winter, I choose gratitude and to look upon my life as one of success; not the critic’s choice… a stain of regret and failure. What a see-saw time of emotion, which is indicative of much of my life; two opposing events, emotions, or ways of looking at things.

Love and hate. Joy and sorrow. How to make room for both in one being, and feeling them, one then the other, or both at once. I loved my mother, and hated her. Sometimes moments of appreciation occur for a life lived with persistence and hard work, but then a bat towards myself about failed relationships, regrets and what if’s.

My heart feels as if physically wrapped in barbs ready to break free or be punctured. A prayer to the universe, Please let go of the wires , Release the strictures, let my heart pump freely.  

Joy and hope burst forth when sprouts rise from the brown earth, joy that suppressed itself all through the difficult winter keeping my flagging spirit up enough to face each day. With more light comes an appetite for pleasures, wanting to do more, see more, be with others more.

The critic needs knocking down, and the soft voice of acceptance reminding me of successes wants voice, and must be given room to speak with an amplifier to hear the whispers of truth.

Yes mistakes were made, be prepared to make more, but look at all you have, and all you have done. As daylight lengthens, so does my ability to see things more beautiful. Food tastes better, scents are noticed more deeply, and stunted feelings open up to possibilities.

 

The Butchering of a Soul

a memoir by Patricia  Grace 

My stomach is still sore from what I did to it. The old ways come back and won’t go away. It is a daily issue to temper them, the eating till sick ways. To punish myself I eat. I knew eating what I did would cause problems, so ate more.

Then spent the rest of the afternoon until bedtime in pain wondering if it would stay down. It was the kind of pain that occurred after the stomach stapling in ’85 when more than a few tablespoons of food would put me down on the cold tiles of the bathroom floor in agony waiting to throw it up. I spent a lot time there because butchering my stomach did not take away the real need to eat like I ate. 

Hating myself. My mind twisted into the past where the only feeling was self-hate and punishment. All the work in decades gone by dissolved, and back there I went, where eating and throwing up were the only ways out of terror.

How can one go so easily backwards? Yet self-hate for causing my son pain of any kind comes easily. Which is why there are also too many times when things don’t get said that need to be said. I don’t know how. I don’t see that changing. Opposites. Where is the middle, that place of rest where such extremes co-exist?

A person permanently present in my life does things I’d never even think of doing to another person. She targets me with a precision that destroys. Sabotage. The confusion of why continues. Perhaps it is my need for space, or that I see her as she is.

I accept her as she is, just be honest and upfront.  How do you confront someone so wily? You don’t, which is why such exhaustive underhanded efforts are plotted then carried out. The slipperiness of her self-esteem is as desperate as mine.

How we choose to recover our sense of worth is the chasm that won’t be bridged, and most likely won’t be brought to the light. That kind of slyness through the years by Tom is what had the power to kill. Not the sexual attacks, but the invalidation afterwards eroding my self worth to less than nothing. I had no right to be here. 

It is not self-loving to put into your body something you KNOW will cause pain. Blocked into a box, no way out. So suffer, then figure it out. Time to say no. You are punished, now move on. Is this a cycle to suffer till death?

Fuck me. Fuck life. Why is it so hard for some, yet others go on their tra la la ways without these mixed up dark thoughts in their heads of who does what and why, and I am always the target? Targeted because I lack a voice, able to speak up for others, but not for myself. . 

Maybe this is the craziness of spring that causes slight madness as the depression of winter mixes with the warm sun, twirling my emotions at will. Something that makes so much sense one day, mortifying me the next, wishing so fervently to take it back but can’t.

So I ask forgiveness, and go on. But it is me who needs to forgive me the most.

 

Cherish the Moment

photo by Patricia

We are all struggling. Looking at another one might think they have it all. I wish, if only, comparing one’s life to another. Then you find out that person suffers problems so severe you take your wish back of being like them.

Limping along trying to make sense of this thing called life is often hard, and wondering what the purpose is can be just as difficult with the question going unanswered. No one can tell you what that purpose is, you have to find it yourself.

And maybe there is none other than to survive. In this age survival isn’t about killing the beast to make it through the winter, or keeping the fires burning so one won’t freeze. It has become an age of technical devices, wires humming with communication, also bringing heat, refrigeration, and entertainment. No more stories around the campfire that entertained our ancestors of primitive times while firelight flickered on the cave walls.

Imagine one of them looking down to check their messages on their phone. No, we whirl in the pace of modern living. Who looks within to see what’s there, and to discover what you are really made of?

Enough is needed to keep our ‘campfires’ burning, the furnace of modern times. And enough is needed to buy the food rather than kill it. But how much fame and fortune is needed to feed our egos? How many vacations to compare on-line, how many friends, parties, or hobbies?

What if one friend is enough. What if a walk in the back meadow sustains as well as a trip to Italy, Iceland or the Caribbean? Because for me it has to. Leaving home for too long brings upset moving to panic. Being home is hard enough.

And that’s OK. Trips into my own interior can be magical, miraculous, and deeply satifying. What is really there? What needs tweaking, what is worth keeping, what won’t go away no matter how much work is done?

It is too easy, and usually necessary, to become wrapped up into the daily grind; driving to work, the stress of work, coming home to kids who need more work. Where is the time to contemplate the whys of life, or the vastness within?

I am lucky to have this time, and it is important to remember and to cherish every moment… tension and release, pain and joy. Take it all in, this thing called ‘life.’

 

GROWTH & RESPECT

All three grand-kids were supposed to come Wednesday, but because my return email to Shane was still sending a message of pain, he stayed home till his wife returned then went to work. And that was OK with me. Samuel seemed mad at me, but Samuel has been part of the problem.

A man that would skirt confrontation at any cost, transgressions by Shane’s wife against me were supported by him rather than challenged. Which gave her more license to take advantage, and mistreat me. She had power and control, I had none, even about being treated with respect. Treat me however you want, I have no say, and no one to back me.

Instead of asking Samuel what was wrong Wednesday, I went about my day unperturbed. Showing respect for myself asks that others respect me too. His use of rejecting me as a passive way to get me on board with continuing to sell myself for peace at any cost won’t sway me this time. I have had enough.

But it was hard. It is still hard because wanting to contact Shane continues. I think he needs to respond. It is his turn.

Change is hard, growing pains hurt. Shifts in behavior are more tiring than over-doing it physically. The glands on both sides of my neck pop out under stress, and there they are. Do the things that restore, a hot bath, the elliptical trainer, meditation, and my favorite movies. Signs of well-being slowly return. Maybe when sleep returns to adequate amounts I’ll be able to work in my studio, but not yet. 

I have felt stifled since the day ten years ago when Shane brought his new wife into my home to read a letter listing all my faults and infractions. The length was such she never did get to the end of it,

It was the same day my mother went into the hospital for the last time before dying. I was already an anxious wreak, not sleeping, up most nights stuffing slabs of thickly buttered white bread into my mouth. White bread is a no no any other time.  

Yes, she was a new wife. Yes, I’m a hard nut to crack, because you hurt me I clam up. And she had hurt me. And she does not handle things outright, instead concocting medical issues that express her pain, and her need for attention, and control.

Most of what was said that day is forgotten. But one thing bore into me, ‘Seeing grand-children is a privilege, not a right.’

Samuel thanked her for coming.

That has been the dysfunction ever since. I don’t see it clearing up anytime soon, or ever on her part. But I don’t need to be disrespected out of guilt from being a bad parent.

Until recently, if you asked, I could tell you every bad, awful mistake I ever made with Shane. Lately I have begun thinking of the sacrifices, hard work, and love. Whatever my foibles, I deserve respect, rather than being used like a puppet by a girl who can’t find her way, shredding me like tattered paper in the process with her willfulness.  

The hold on me these past ten years has mirrored Tom’s hold on me in years prior, from childhood to middle age.

To finally break free from the grip of put-downs by another, leading me to believe the put-downs, is a giant leap of growth to be celebrated, cherished, and proud of. It will take work and mindfulness not to get sucked under, and to remain upright.

It is interesting that no matter how isolated or protected you make your life, there is nowhere to run. 

 

My Passion

It is exhausting erecting boundaries where there has been none. My body feels limp, tired,, and as if run over by a train. The back and forth with my son, knowing that one of his responses was written at three in the morning, has also kept me up in the middle of each night with worry about him.

Worry about him, juggled with the need to take a stand for myself and say, NO! No I will not be talked into taking all the blame so that everybody else can feel good. I need to live and be able to care for myself too.

And somewhere along the line, he needs to find the voice to speak up to his own wife who takes, and takes, and takes. I am tired of her laziness trampling all over me. She is a very spoiled girl in her thirties. 

Exhausting. Until the day of my death, speaking up will come hard. It feels foreign and wrong. When a voice is stolen, it does not come back, not without a superhuman amount of effort coupled with exhaustion, and many, many tears.

Like a muscle unused it remains limp and weak. All the years of my life, I’ve watched others express anger in the moment. The longing for that consumed me with jealousy. Others hear anger from another naturally, as if unfazed and expected. When you’re hurt you say ouch. When I’m hurt, I stuff it.

To do otherwise will continue to be hard. To know when enough is enough, and take a stand is hard. Especially with those I love so much, but with anyone. It has always been that way since the day I was silenced at eight years old.

Telling Seth Danny fucked me as a little girl of eight? No one came to help. No one came to stop it. No one helped me heal Talking about it even now 60 years later with brothers who didn’t abuse me is not allowed. I have no family other than my sons, grand-children, and Samuel.

Writing my feelings is my air. Writing is how I keep alive as a whole human being.