Monsters Don’t Die

Monsters don’t die, they live in my neurons ready to attack. A sudden sound, even Samuel entering a room without hearing the approaching footsteps makes my adrenaline shoot clanging the warning sirens. In the quiet alone, the vast stillness in the house waiting…

Monsters don’t die, they live on. Chet’s kidnapping of my freedom, a toy, a thing, a little captive now grown still trying to untangle the chains of childhood. Shame kept me silent, and he knew it. Though living in a house with seven brothers and a mother, his attacks were as if thousands miles away trapped in a hut with only his disgusting manipulating force.

I want to kill him, though he is already dead. No one to save me, no one would help me. Hostages grow close to their captors. His death did not undo that. They are never gone, the ones who attacked me. They lie waiting to destroy, even as worms eat their rotted flesh in the dirt they are buried in.These are the feelings denied all my life because my mother insisted on niceness— sugar without spice. 

They are never gone. The most violent attack by Dan remains repressed, inside deeply subconscious, yet there in all its horror. Raymond once said, “So what if you don’t remember?”

So what? What is that if it came up all the symptoms of PTSD would magically disappear. And of course that isn’t true. The cure comes in kindness towards self, so hard for a personality shaped by believing my needs don’t matter or even exist. A fake life forced with the silence, the authentic one still rising. 

When a child is sexually attacked by loved ones, the ones that know, and the ones who committed the crimes do not want the child to talk. No one provides attention or care, not even medical care. The shame that one of their own has done this means sacrifice the child, controlled by more manipulations and implied threats of abandonment through shunning. The life meant to be gone.  

I learned what happened didn’t, like painting white over black. Life was dazed by trauma and terror, and still I lived with the monsters who attacked in the night. I was to love them. Love was never to safely come again, not for adults. Rare moments occur with children who have not yet learned deceitfulness, and all pets. Pretending became my reality. 

Progress is made in recognizing my needs with compassion, though numbing also continues  without knowing why. 

 

Black and White Meet Grey

What if you beat the beast by not beating, but loving with soothing counterpunches in the form of words that shower care? A fight or a soft cloud. As it often is in the world of Patricia, finding a balance can be difficult as my world has been black or white. As years pass more grey lifts up offering a sultry fog mixing both. The ups and downs begin to meet in the middle as if standing on the center of a see-saw.

And that’s OK, it’s called balance, and I like it. No great highs to come down from, nor lows to rip myself up from, though there seems to be more of those than the highs. A general evenness has evolved.

Be aware of the successes savoring them, not dwelling on what’s lacking but relishing all that is; the sparkle from the twirling items sending prisms along the wall and carpet causing the kitty’s head to spin one way then the other.

Enjoying her antics, then her need to curl up on my lap offering her belly for pets until my legs ache and need to move. Love flows freely between human and cat. She responds to it, and I surely do if I pay attention to the moments.

So many pleasures at hand, right here at home. A trip to return a few items starts out enjoyable making me wonder if I ought to get out more. Faces smile back at my smile bringing a feeling of joy. By the second hour, and an argument at the check-out, not heated, but ongoing, the manager is called who allows the return.

Weariness takes over with a wish to be home, the tiredness hitting like a stone wall. The external world can be exhausting, reminding me why my life remains reclusive. Each person is parroting their needs, like the cashier who doesn’t understand the benefits of satisfying a customer, repeating the store’s policy as if it’s a edict from the King.   

Home. Home Sweet Home. 

TRUE NATURE

Planning Christmas kept my sanity in the darkest month, now the wait for spring as each day becomes longer.

“Look,” Samuel says, “It is 5 and still light out!”

Looking outside I reply excitedly, “Wow, you’re right!”

My drudge through the dark months is proceeding with better management and brighter outcomes, though it takes work; disciplined habits including full spectrum lights, meditation, better diet, and daily exercise.

The uplift from exercise is curative, even moderate exercise such as walking or gentle movements on the elliptical. But it takes a push to go do it.

The food thing is harder as food is used to medicate PTSD issues that resulted from childhood sexual attacks by loved ones. Alone, stuck with it, and no one to burst the bubble of excruciating pain, it grew as I grew.

That beast stayed. The beast of self-hate, but compassion is slowly moving in as part of me steps back and notices that my use of food is not born out of laziness, lack of character, or that I don’t love, care, or respect myself.

It is self-care that turned to me food at age eight, bent over the toilet in the middle of the night vomiting up the food my mother pushed towards me in place of what I really needed.

Food was her love. My little body couldn’t take it, but it was all there was to numb the horror of what my brothers did and kept doing… the ones I loved so much and trusted.

Food is still used to medicate. To eat out of hunger is not usual. To eat to numb is. Hating myself for failing to be thin is a societal rule. Yet it also is a survival tool that sustains my life in the only way I know how. 

Turning to food saved me. It saves me now. It squelches PTSD symptoms by focusing my attention to how full it feels to the point of pain. Liking the pain because I’m so used to it. The other hurts too much to feel. 

The hurt of a family turning their backs, going on as if nothing happened. What about that pain? It is easier to go along with them. Sure I love you too. You did so much for me.

Donny did allow me to move in with his family because my mother’s drinking had adverse effects. I got a job, joined the Army, met Samuel. My life began. Don saved me at a time when I really needed saving. 

But what about when I was 8? You came into the bathroom at the sound of my screams while I was in the tub.

I said, “It hurts down there.”

What did you do then? Nothing. No one did anything. Not Seth either who I said to directly at the time, “Danny fucked me.” Just looks of horror in his eyes which to an eight year old meant I was the horror.

I want to ask these questions, but never will, though some was in an email to Seth causing more separation than closeness.  

Each day starts out, listen to my body. It will tell you what you need. By the end of the day the impulse to eat when not hungry for food, but ravenous for love, wins out. It blots out all other needs, and helps me hate myself.

A quiet voice whispers, perhaps it is self-caring, what you have done since the age of 8. A rumbling vibrates deep down in a space that is not bone, blood or tissue… a place that is ethereal, one where my true nature resides. The work is connecting, and staying connected.   

Come On Spring!

It is hard to describe, this vaporous hole inside searching for a mooring, finding none, so it whirls ungrounded craving connection without landing.

It spins in the night, waking me.

Thoughts keep the comet sparking sending me to the cabinet for antacids, then TV, then bed again till 5 AM rolls around. How to hold all that goes on outside of myself inside, and still remain balanced.

In winter it is struggle. So when the blues of Cory’s leaving passes, there is still the depression less daylight brings. As days grow longer by seconds, then minutes, the wait for spring begins.

Forgive, Forgive, Forgive

 

Yesterday was quiet but enjoyable, the warm weather pulling me outside to walk the meadow then meeting Samuel creek-side for a gentle canoe ride, even sighting the beaver a few times. Oh, a sigh of relief while Mother soothed me with her loving arms, the warm sun and centering stillness. 

Our Christmas is yet to come. We gather together Saturday, a once in a year tradition when both sons and families are with us. Cory, wife, and little daughter arrive tonight from a near-by state.

“Promise not to get over-excited,” Cory says on a phone call, and my gut knows the directive is coming from his spouse.

“I promise,” my response comes with a bitter feeling towards her.  

My young daughters-in-law are without the blemish of childhood trauma, so how could they understand? It’s true, my anxiety makes it hard to be around, though sons are very used to me. Anxiety overwhelms even when erupting from pleasurable activities like family gatherings.

Any heightened experience makes my nervous system go haywire. But my intention is keep my promise, and not let resentments towards young women who have never been splintered by trauma to tarnish a special event.

Forgive, forgive, forgive, let love up.

In Touch

For much of my life, answers were looked for from others because other people seemed to have it together. Being split from my soul meant being lost in the forest, drowning in doubt, spinning misplaced like a wild dervish.

But others don’t have my answers. The solutions come from within, a place unexplored, untouched, unknown. That place had to be protected to survive, but it meant even my own parts couldn’t reach it.

It is only in these past few years that moments of clarity arise from a place where all things flow, the soul. The answers sought are inside me.

Sometimes information lies elsewhere, but the important stuff is there waiting. needing only to be tapped, touched, and connected to. Those moments occur most dramatically while meditating, or out in nature.

The SCHISM

There is a fear of being in my body and staying there. Others seem to check in with their body unconsciously knowing when there is hunger, fullness, cold, pain, and the list goes. Often I’ve checked out.

My fear is internal, also unconscious, yet the terror is there laying wait. Perhaps the rape, repressed, causes this schism between body and mind. Perhaps it is the next couple of years after that when the others took what they wanted.

Coming ‘home’ and staying is fleeting. Zoning in a place other than the here and now still is comforting at times. It takes energy to breath, notice my hand as it washes the dishes, and be among the living.

After time, it becomes easier to be present, yet that far off place still calls, still offers comfort, and still owns me some of the time. And the disconnect, the fissure from the body that others don’t have to deal with yet take for granted, it still a force to be reckoned with.

Wholeness is fleeting, but necessary to take good care of body, mind, spirit, and soul. I may be different, alone in many ways, but still shine. We all offer a specialness no one else can; the tree in the forest set apart from others but still beautiful.