Hello Soul

Each morning after rising a few hours before Samuel, the time is so precious, yet the tendency is to run. Falling asleep when the birds do, and if all goes well, waking with them, mornings are rich with wonder. On a glorious morning when this occurs there is still a tendency to run.

Instead of sipping the dark, rick, brew, savoring the entire cup as the rosy glow of dawn begins to appear, the urge is to go open the computer, do something, anything. 

Stay. It’s OK to be in my body and feel what is there, often a scary experience. Ignorance is bliss really doesn’t work when it comes to getting to know oneself.

Stay, feel, go to the core. Each sip brings me closer to opening like the new day, my insides relaxing feeling calm. Noises feel comforting, bird melodies as each one arises, the train whistle in the distance, then the first hummingbird at the feeder with wings buzzing like an overgrown bee.

Rock the broken places gently like a baby, my brain one of them. In the night my poor brain fixates on negatives, and all things in the night become catastrophes. That makes the morning a time to heal from the nightly disasters.

Trust is felt for maybe the very time, not for others, but for self. But it is necessary to go into my body/ to my core/ to connect with my soul. There the answers are found, and you can trust them. The soul will be my guide if I have the courage to go there.

 

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A New Day

photos by Patricia

Too easily this haven is taken for granted. One day upon returning from another’s home restless feelings waken. While yesterday’s morning was overflowing with gratitude to feel safe, this morning a reminder was needed.

Remember? It can all be gone in an instant. Soak it up. Luxuriate in it. Be still, breathe. Even the dreaded mockingbirds have become friends, though building a nest nearby is not going to happen if there’s a way to avoid it.

The windows are flung open from the air being on all night. Coolness seeps in. Pink hues rise over the eastern horizon as fog lifts from the meadow. What wonders await on this new day…?

SHE RISES

And then stillness. The waves subside and calm prevails. But for how long? Is it my mind observing how peaceful things have been stirring it up causing havoc just for variety? Or is it years of suppressing trauma, unprocessed at the time of the events due to the type of trauma; childhood sexual abuse.

Because no family will , (rarely) take that child and hold her in their arms lovingly. Or give her the medical and psychological intervention necessary to heal and have a life. Want a life.

How many times has the wish come for it all to be over? How many more times will I wish it? 

A child sexually abused is cast out. Not out in the middle of the road, naked, alone and cold. But inside, naked alone and cold…still with the monsters, and now the collusive family who wants her kept quiet.

There she shivers, from cold. From terror. From aloneness.

From there she must grow. Her body does even if she wishes not to. She must traverse all the steps of life that others climb, but her journey is always naked, alone and cold. No one to help, because she was trained not to ask, not to talk.

She is mute. Alone. Naked but no one sees. Reactive to every stimulus, because PTSD does that, makes every nerve on edge for what’s to come.

There are too many challenges making one wish not to be here. For it all to be over.

But she is a warrior. Each one a warrior, the ones that don’t make it too. No one knows this, not even her. But someday she does. One day she rises yet again, knocked down over and over, she rises, tries again, and begins to see, feel, and know that inside her resides courage, beauty, and strength.

She blooms into a powerful woman, a beautiful soul that shines from within radiating outward onto a aged face that sparkles with peace, knowledge, and depth.  

 

DEEP PEACE

Since middle school, or even before, it was others who I longed to be. Looking at another girl my age, how calm she seemed, how centered, or earning an award over my efforts, made me yearn to be her. The peace inside, the naturalness, acceptance.

Now, as I look around at others, (when my state is peaceful) I don’t want to be them, there is peace and comfort inside me. That may change in the next 5 minutes.

But there has been a lull. Sleeping comes in adequate amounts. Days are summery, productive, and when not, the harsh critic can be mostly silenced with, “It’s OK for down time, time enjoyed is not time wasted.”

Doing what is healthy for mind, body and soul are daily goals, not all met on every day, but the attempt is made. And taking out the critic who lashes at what wasn’t done is part of the job.

Acting in ways to others that is in alignment with my beliefs and principles, despite how they may have acted towards me, is satisfying also providing peace. All is right with the world, even when so much is not. Because inside commitments have been made and stuck to.

I have done my part. Yes, you do deserve good things. You do deserve peace in your soul, heart, body and mind.

ONE DROP

You are but a drop of water in the ocean of humanity, the thought came while walking the meadow still sultry from the morning dew. Even out in the beauty of the fields my mind wanders getting stuck on a person or a thought, rolling over it again and again. Wake up!

Snapping back to now, what’s around me comes alive, but my thoughts pull me back time and again. It’s OK. Go to where you need to, even that safe place where the world slips away and nobody can touch you.

Yet the struggle continues, to be present, or be consumed by how this person has hurt me, and what to do. Settling down for a breather after laps are done, ice still in the water bottle, I take a long drink. Plopping it down a drop falls into it. It stopped me. My trivial concerns are a  mere speck in the universe, hardly even that.

You are but a drop in the ocean of humanity. Let it go, all the stuff, and reap in the rewards of NOW. Having all that we have, even though we scrimped and saved every penny along the way, which makes it a comfort knowing we can manage with both of us retired, should make me happy and appreciative. Appreciative, yes, happy?

Too often thoughts ravage my mind. The beauty around me is lost. Come back to now. See the splendor, dissolve into it. Still the body, the thoughts, the ever too busy mind. And then it happens. Stillness. And peace. Sitting a long while on the patio, Samuel joins me.

We notice new flowers blooming as others fade. A hummingbird visits back and forth to the feeder only a few feet away. Birds sip on the birdbath nearby. We don’t have to go anywhere for excitement, it’s right here in our backyard, wherever you are in the present moment. Be alive. Be where you are.

COMING HOME

It is easy to become lost, out of my body wandering away from feelings, or being in the present moment connected to whatever it is that is being run from. Then ‘home’ again, starting a new day after the wanderings only led to being more lost, and coming home to all the quandary of emotions, facing what is there, welcoming it; fear, the aloneness, more fear, the abject refusal to be me. But I am me, there is no running from it.

The need is to keep working at it, like chiseling a granite statue, finding the beauty underneath, sifting through memories like hard chunks of rock to the magnificence below. Warming once again in the center of me, the magnificence above and around becomes heightened and cherished, where both pain and pleasure find a place to be both at once.  

It is not about how much one has, but how much one is accepting of oneself, opening to what is. And every day there is running, having to come back home over and over, to the place inside always running from. Come back home and accept what is. The more I get to know what is there, the more comfortable a place it is, and the more it is trusted.

Running is abandonment. Coming home is warm, safe, and whole, opening up the inner and outer worlds, expansion. The red hue of morning burns brighter, the bird songs  sweeter, the body carrying the inside being craves better treatment, not as a means of escape. Feelings are OK, all of them in wholeness when coming ‘home.’

 

Captive of the Negative Brain

It’s the PTSD. Remember that? The thing that you spent most of your life not acknowledging because nobody else ever did. (which would have made it real, and more importantly would have brought intervention with the possibility of recovery) Laying my head down the thought comes, will I get to sleep tonight? Never a good sign. It is as if I’ve already made up my ever restless mind. 

PTSD made living so unbearable, wearing my body down over the years as I tried to keep up with others, so much that the effects became life-long. It literally broke something in the brain, and all the pathways to it. Negative thoughts  take hold choking me. There is science behind it, but don’t ask me to explain, or do a research paper. (I have enough to worry about) The neural pathways are funky, even the slightest disturbance fires them up.

That’s what happens when trauma goes unprocessed. My family, and most family’s, sure as hell won’t give credence to sexual abuse occurring within their midst. Intervention is crucial at the time of the trauma(s). Will it ever be? Will sexual abuse to a child by a family member, or friend of the family, or even the camp counselor ever be talked about openly? So that the child can process the trauma?

I know I would have needed to talk about it, all of it, over and over again. Just like my grand-son after the terrific car crash where his baby sister and mother were beside him as the  lights swirled, and the ambulance paramedics  loaded them all onto stretchers. 

He spent many visits with me in the garage and on the driveway putting up bright orange emergency cones, and turning on the red flashing lights Samuel had installed on his battery operated jeep. The story started with Mommy holding up her hurt arm, and his sister crying. But over time he became the paramedic saving everyone. The hero mastering the situation that threatened his psych now healed. He went on to other things, the crash no longer holding his mind, memory or nervous system hostage to the terror. . 

That is the intervention needed but never comes, a safe accepting environment where the trauma, like any other trauma, can be worked through with care, love and patience.  

That must change for our little girls (boys) to survive. The dirty details others are uncomfortable listening to need to be spoken. Only in hearing the evil things done to little ones will change occur. It is happening in your family, behind the closed door bedroom where the children are ‘exploring’ but it goes too far because one of them already knows more that they should, or in the tent out in the backyard, the tree-house at the neighbor’s, at Auntie Peg’s when Uncle George is home, at Scouts, camp, or anyplace when you are not watching, noticing, and intervening.

It could be as simple as saying, ‘OK you two, find another game to play,’ with a smile, not a look of horror on your face. Or keep the door open,  don’t allow long periods of time out in the cute little playhouse where nobody’s watching. Watch. Kids explore. And too often older kids, even young children, have learned too early what feels good ‘down there’ and act out for more on other children who don’t yet know.

Having sexual feelings awakened at too young an age causes it to expand to other children quickly. It isn’t always an adult, adolescent, or teen. It can be a child of the same age as your own child who had it done to them, and now knows about the powerful feelings that feel so good more is naturally wanted. 

Waking in the night, or unable to fall asleep without a sleep aid isn’t always about something wrong, something that needs changing, or something that needs paying attention to. Often everything is in its place, and my life is being lived in alignment with my beliefs and principles.

Nothing is wrong; everything is wrong. It is unprocessed trauma that damaged my systems permanently. It is PTSD, my little beast that won’t be tamed. My mind turns on the negatives which become louder in the darkness, rolling through like thunder, activating the system that has been on the edge since age 8.

The courage for family’s to intervene when Uncle Joe, Daddy, or even sometimes Mommy   sexually abuses a child at the time it occurs, saves her, and offers a road to complete healing. That is yet to come for most families who allow their shame to cause destruction to their daughters(sons). It just doesn’t happen, not yet. Not until we are brave enough to stand up and say this happens, and at a rate you don’t want to know about, which is why it happens. 

Recently I woke up dreaming of Tom. We were close by each other and seemingly alright, but I clearly remember thinking, He doesn’t know how badly he hurt me. He never asked, nor ever asked to be forgiven. No one did. The other three are dead. I don’t know about Chet’s two friends who also attacked me, having such fun while I suffered silently. 

I am 66. I still need to speak of what was done. I never had a chance to. And I may not live long enough to process it all and be done with it because the damage still causes suffering. I will do what I need to do until it is done. I want it to be done now, but wanting is not reality,  and denying what is doesn’t work. The damage is irreversible. Due to diligence, courage, strength and miracles, periods of graceful joy occur, then inevitably tumble into times that are not.