A Soul’s Yearnings

photos by Patricia

Upon waking the first feeling is not to feel. A more rational voice intervened, “Welcome the feelings.”

Turning over trying to sleep more, an hour goes by before Samuel’s alarm rings. He has been asked to work a few days. At 65 he still likes to go in when needed. It offsets our medical insurance bills and he seems to enjoy the productivity and comradery.

We sit by the fire sipping coffee with new kitty Christy at our feet. My jaw tends to clench when greeting a new day. With intention the muscles relax and the body follows.. Relax is just a word and not something that comes naturally. 

Meditation offsets this, and conscious intention helps too but that only succeeds when not bombarded by external stimuli from the environment. It doesn’t take much to overload a system that copes with chronic permanent issues of PTSD.

These challenges need daily attention. The harsh voices alive inside at the ready to beat me down are more familiar than warm, loving ones. Confronting them takes work. Respecting a soul’s yearning comes naturally to some. For others who created ways to survive trauma in childhood, being centered in the soul is unfamiliar.

Breaking from it to survive occurred. And still now it takes work to come ‘home’ to my center, be still, and hear the callings of soul. Those yearnings are what living is all about. Without connection to the soul, curling up escaping elsewhere becomes the normal way of being.

Being present became too dangerous. With no intervention to help finding one’s way out of the collapse caused by childhood sexual abuse, staying safe by dissociating becomes a way of life.

During meditation, one moment at a time, I learned I could be present and be safe. But escaping when overwhelmed elsewhere into that mysterious safe place only known by others who also survived trauma still occurs. 

Coming to now, being here now is not worth it unless connecting with the soul, hearing her speak and satisfying those yearnings.

A kitty lying in my lap purring satisfies mine, a place to pour my love, a conduit for it that has brought me from age 8 to now. When humans became too dangerous to love, there were kitties. That hasn’t changed much. Loving from afar, emails, on-line, OK. Loving in the flesh? There are barriers. There has to be.

Too much was taken to risk losing more. There are other yearnings not yet discovered. And perhaps that is part of the daily work. Listen to the soul’s yearnings, the whispers that go unheard. Find places, make time and places where quietness allows the soft strumming to be heard…the vibrations of the soul.

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Soft Voice

Wear a coat of harshness or a one of furry warmth?

The daily goal as this body ages is to care for it in all spheres; arm exercises, walking, meditating, core exercises, and eating healthfully. Attention to the mind and spirit takes me to the studio for creative pursuits along with daily writing.

The reward for meadow laps is sitting in the Adirondack chair listening to the cold wind blow, the twitter of what few birds stay for the winter, and the water as it falls over the beaver dam; pleasures, but also a balm for weariness, a replenishment for the soul and a necessity for health. 

Too often one of these isn’t accomplished, or another isn’t done right falling short, and the harsh voice begins to bang unless it’s met with a softer more realistic one. Listen to the soft voice, coax it out, let it grow strong.

Garden path stones, one of four to embed into the little garden path next spring.

ANXIETY

When you live with things a certain way you don’t know it’s different from the majority of others. You gauge how you should be on how they are. That leaves one feeling less than. Others move through life with an ease and fluidity unknown to me.

Since the code rule is No Talking about childhood sexual abuse it is as if nothing happened. But my body reaps the pain in the form of low grade anxiety at all times sometimes more on edge than at others.

Samuel simply walks into the room and my body jumps as my adrenaline rushes. This happens time after time once while outside on the way to the meadow. Though knowing he was coming, when he appeared by the bush the sudden scare drove me back to the patio head in hands crying.

My anger at him not forewarning me exploded along with choice words that ought not to be spoken. It took a while to calm down. With ears flooded with fluid from the flu I could not hear him coming nor hear him speak beforehand.

With trust issues always at the forefront, my belief is no one cares or will ever understand. So he wouldn’t have bothered to forewarn me no matter how many times I’ve asked. Later I found out that he did but I couldn’t hear him.

Even a simple illness caused a heightened anxiety because the core is threatened. But it goes unnoticed except for the constant scares. Beating myself up is also constant without the energy to combat it. Finally it occurs to me that the heightened anxiety is a symptom of PTSD triggered by illness and my body feeling out of my control causing a great and constant scare.

The need to offer compassion to myself was non-existent adding to the overall disease. The challenges of unprocessed trauma are life-long. 

The Studio Beckons…

As the days shorten and the wind blows the studio beckons. After months away it feels good to be back with new ideas. This base is a ceramic flower pot found at a garage sale for three bucks. Samuel made a wooden top from treated lumber. Cory, my son in Boston, enlarged a simple design that I traced on top. It makes a very nice table for a cup of coffee on the little deck… 

FALL

Fall is affecting me as it usually does though the hope sprung that this time it wouldn’t. The sun with its warmth has soothed my soul while sitting mornings on the patio, sometimes for long luxurious periods before rising to do other morning tasks. It will hard to give that up along with walks in the meadow where the stillness and warm sun brought centeredness and peace.

 

Fall comes and with it I fall.

 

The solution is to be in the body. Be there with the negative thoughts which come fast and hard. Confront them. It takes work and more work than usual. Be aware of the body and be in it. You cannot escape yourself.  

The Cruelest Abuse

Families are more interested in their reputation than the child sexually attacked. Be quiet and love your attacker.

To expect a child to swallow all that terrifying trauma and go on instead of intervening and assisting the child to process it causes life-long injury. At 64, my highly reactive startle reflex has not improved along with many other things. Some challenges increase as years pass. One does not ‘get over it,’ heal, or move on because no one came to help. All that trauma went inside causing more damage. The bleeding never stops.

Sexual attacks to a child are as horrific as being hit by a locomotive. In that case all come to help. She is allowed to talk about it as long as she needs to with incoming sympathy, compassion and condolences. Processing trauma helps heal the brain and all other systems. Without that processing the brain is injured and she is affected on all levels, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

But a child is hushed up because of the fear of how their reputations will be affected. The pretense of caring is put forth but no real care is given. People hurdle together to protect themselves.

Will one person stand up, bear witness, possess character and say this is wrong, and put a protective arm around her shoulder? The attacker needs to repent and beg forgiveness with true sorrow. That is what the family needs to focus on, not hushing her up.

Going along with the pretense of family in order to have one kept me from myself where home has been found, and truth resides with authenticity. 

 

CONNECT

photos by Patricia

Dig deep below the chatter, deeper, settle into your being to whatever is there. Because what is there sustains with strength unyielding…through despair, depression, anxiety, and life’s ever changing moments.

There is where you find the steady light within the storm. There is where you find her. Love her, cherish her, and hold her till she warms you whole.