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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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 Things We Learn

And so it goes, recovery. Shane forgives, why can’t I? We spent time together watching his son play in his basketball tournament winning by a landslide. But more sweetly was time with Shane after my regretful expression of long standing anger which had built up over time. 

Shane’s voice sounded dry and some ground needs making up. The call this morning started with the same coolness, but ended with ‘love you,’ something he had left out of the last few calls. We will resume our monthly lunch dates, though his office is on the other side of the city.

There hasn’t been lunch dates the last few years because after three hospital stays in one year, fear had grown in my belly. Even shopping at the grocery store brought uneasiness, anxiety, and ungroundedness.

As health restored, and internal bleeding became better controlled by the daily high potent antacid, my bravery at doing more increases. That long ago stomach stapling caused severe complications due to the newness of the procedure putting my life at risk over the loss of so much blood.

Though one ER doctor pressed for blood transfusions, another suggested recovery was possible without it, Over the 4 day stay a few years back, I managed to improve without the transfusions. But at home full recovery took many months to heal the internal opening made by the surgeon in ’85.

Eating often caused debilitating pain for hours afterwards. Now that things are more stable, lunch dates might be a very good way to again spend some time with my busy son. He sounded happy to hear of resuming our lunches. So mending occurs on all levels. 

So often my own sufferings are kept to a minimum when it comes to relaying them to my sons. Why burden them? Yet being factual is also necessary, which means being upfront about challenges. 

Things we learn along the way…

Life is Messy

Awake too early, the flight of panic needs calming. Breathe deep, long and slow. This is an awake that won’t be lulled back to sleep. Thinking about the recent troubles, trying to take the unruly toddler who had been kept from me for two years, and how hard it was. After a few visits here attempting to calm and play with him, I told my son we just couldn’t do it.

Running after and playing with a toddler is exhausting enough, but a child never left with anyone else screaming Mommy repeatedly in my ear was just too much. Yet the feeling of letting down my son in his time of need caused my waking to be one where the critic was lashing at me with leather strips holding barbs at the end of each one of them.

STOP! Though sleep wouldn’t return at 4 AM, the lashing stopped. I am beautiful, smart and kind, my mantra of late stolen from another blog. Will this break us further apart? Is there a way to let by-gone’s be by-gone’s, and move on?

Relationships are messy, life is messy. You know that. My need is one where I can feel at ease and be myself, without stepping lightly afraid to upset the one who so long ago threatened me with not seeing grand-children before she even had any.

My inability to be as close with my daughter-in-law as she likes has caused this. I need space. She is open, loving and trusting. We are like oil and water. Yet the bowl of water runs deep.

Hope. Hope for a better relationship that blossoms out of honesty. Yet what more likely lays ahead is a schism never crossed with a divide growing wider.

 

Sweet Daughter-in-Law?

A daughter-in-law should not feel like an arch-enemy. Yet the campaign undertaken, even if unconsciously vindictive, or a story concocted and believed, shook my world and undermined my confidence severely. It has always been this way. Her lagging self-esteem built up by trampling mine. To stand on another to feel righteous. 

For the peace of family, to not make waves, to not add to my son’s pain, hardship, or haranguing by her, for all reasons other than my integrity and right to a place in this world, my voice continues in silence. Until it can hold no more.  

It feels just like Tom’s silencing of me. Her attacks come with smiles, hugs and false syrup, just like his. Maliciousness on any level cuts ones legs off. Divide and conquer. Make a case to others while killing the one hated. But do so invisibly. Look at a person and her defenses, attack from there.

No family other than Cory, Shane, and Samuel. And none of them go against her, why should they? She hadn’t crept in expertly shaking their credibility, digging their roots. And no one wants to confront a nicely wrapped package with such repressed anger lurking within. Her ways may seem innocent, but not to me. I used to be that way… with rage locked in. 

Someone acting so nice, but isn’t. Someone who hasn’t learned how to speak up, so strikes down subtly so no one sees. Taking advantage of me who has had my own voice stolen so viciously. Her ways have come out of a pampered existence, one I never had.

How do two paths co-exist when such malevolence from one drums so expertly in the background ready to grab its prey by the neck and yank back and forth? It’s never going to stop until I say enough. . 

 

TRADITIONS

photo by Patricia

Temps dip to 10 degrees but I’m not discouraged. Time springs forward this weekend, and sleep already is balancing out with enough hours together to get those REM’s in. Health feels restored, even working in the studio has resumed with happy hours whittling by as sun pours in upon my shoulder.

Improved sleep might have to do with more light and longer days, or enough time passing so that my son once again began calling on his way to work. The break was needed as so much kept pouring out me we both needed a break. The excess was written, not sent, now it can be deleted.

Sometimes the lava flows. It would be much better to see him regularly if he manages to fit us in with his busy workload, social engagements, kids here there and everywhere. My fear is that someday he will look back and wish he did.

Calls on the way to work keep me posted on all the little details in his life, but it isn’t the same as being together in a relaxed environment where these things can be discussed as they come up, and in a gentle, more loving way.

Hopefully he will take me up on the offer of Sunday’s here, bringing the kids with him. Memories of Sundays at Grandma’s are so sustaining. My older brother, more like a father at the time, brought donuts and the Sunday paper. Never will the look of complete joy on my Grandmother’s face be forgotten.

 

SPRING, Yes, Spring

photo by Patricia

The angst over dumping email after email upon my son with my hurt regarding his wife keeping me from the baby these past two years, has caused me great guilt. Nothing he might say could kick my ass as much I am.

The sleep disturbances have been severe. As time passes without communication, healing slowly takes place. The ‘why’ couldn’t you just move on as he suggested, and instead dig into him like that repeatedly, have slowly come down from monstrous size to a size more rational. 

Forgiving myself takes time. Others would certainly have handled it better. Can’t think of anyone except an old shrew who would have done what I did. And I have to live with me, still beating myself up.

Get out of the house into nature, something lacking this winter. Usually even sub-zero temperature brings me out to photograph ice, sparkling snow, and anything else of interest. Looking out to the drab chill, only sunshine pulls me out. But this day, without sun, and without the other son, even the drabness called me.

Opening the door, creatures are heard, coming back as the earth slowly thaws, knowing before most of us know, that spring has begun to claim her right. The path feels crunchy where my last footprints fell. Lap after lap, and the only thoughts are about this latest friction caused by my big mouth, and refusal to stay quiet. My refusal to ‘move on.’ My choice not to forgive but slam the one hurting me.

After the fifth lap, for the first time in a long time, time spent by the creek in the Adirondack chair felt luxurious. A few geese squawked at my intrusion as they gathered round their chosen nesting place, even though atop the snow. Other birds chirped, a welcome sound after a too quiet winter where not one sound erupted.

After a much needed and lengthy repose, why not do five more laps? Around and around, and while coming up the side of the hedgerow a feeling forgotten, a feeling of wholeness and well-being, a feeling of it OK being alive. Lightness. This is what I’ve been searching for, so unconnected with myself all this winter.

The feel of the outdoors awakens a primal spark that felt almost extinguished. The earth softens beneath the snow. The animals know it coming back from warmer places. There is aliveness readying for metamorphosis hidden by the frozen white. Change is occurring before we notice, but it can be felt, even smelt, and seen if you look close enough.