Control the beast. The beast takes many forms; doubt, fear, insecurity, ungroundedness, an inability to trust or love, and the roots of self-criticism grown in childhood tangled so deeply it cannot be cut out only confronted daily.
Is it that simple, that all this time the adult just needed to take the reins not allowing the troubled willful child to have her will? But no, each path has many signs leading to the wrong places, maybe because fully feeling how wrong something is one learns what is right.
I won’t live long enough to get it all right. But the biggest secret hidden from myself all this time is that when others have said through the years, ‘you’re too hard on yourself,’ that it is a truth unrevealed to me. My head heard it, thought about it, but the critic kept on banging.
But when taking hold of the beasts causing worry, disruption, and chaos- choking them not by asphyxiation but with love, gentleness, kindness, and warmth… a soft place inside, an oasis opens inviting me in. The gnarly roots of self-criticism disintegrate making room for new growth of another kind.
When my body changes and unwellness sets in, fear come with it. Even a slight change causes concern making me fearful. So that voice of comfort was needed. It’s ok, it’s ok. Probably just one day of side effects, a feeling of a 24-hour bug after the fourth Covid shot; slight headache through the night and the next day body aches, even a loss of appetite, not a common occurrence for someone who eats their feelings.
Why not after the first three vaccines? It could be that in facing all that lies inside with equanimity and compassion, my parts, spirit, mind, emotions, and psyche, have come together as one. There’s more awareness of bodily workings. In touch, like most others around me whose connections come naturally not having trauma tear them away from it.
The rip came at age 8. The repeated smashing shatterings making it about impossible to ever reclaim what is mine. The incessant craving haranguing ever since to come back inside me, yet the flurry of me remained suspended above and about spinning, always spinning.
A relief this morning waking to the feeling that my body is back to status quo. Good health is the number one of riches. But when health faulters, the other comparable wealth is the voice of reason, comfort, and compassion.
Getting off the night-time medication has helped greatly, last night making 5 nights in a row, though that one was harder. And probably due to the Covid Booster we had earlier in the day doing things to my body, like a slight headache, a very minor uptick in body temperature along with all over unwellness.
Changes in my body scare me. The soft gentle voice was needed to soothe me. You can do it, it’s OK. Over and over till sleep came, a bit fit full, but it came.
Samuel wanted to go the store after for a few things but one outing was enough for me. After having my own time to myself, this block of time elsewhere caused a need to come home and rest.
Away, those criticisms about laziness or not accomplishing. Yes, more could have been done, like going out walking or meditating. How energy sucking is that? Instead, my choice was to just vegetate, bring in the scattered parts and try to be in the moment.
It was hard not to zone out yesterday. Just that outing, with a shot in the arm and questions of how safe this fourth one will be, was an overload for my tired-out system. Resting was the best choice. Give yourself some credit, even a pat on the back.
It is interesting, though tragic, how much the insidious comments from the eldest abuser brother throughout my life has made me into this older woman who still believes such rotten things about myself.
That every choice and decision made must be selfish, stingy, unkind, and base. When really what lies inside my being is great generosity of spirit and sensitivity to others. So much so that living who I am became quite impossible because the pleasing instilled made me plastic.
It is only in tearing away the façade of what my family built in me that the true person shines through. But in that reality there are choices. Go to where the real feelings are even though they might cause others pain, or keep pretending?
Giving myself away so that a loved one won’t be hurt, means continuing with a robotic life. Eyes looking back in the mirror look strained, unreal, cold and soulless.
But in digging deep internally and letting old wounds open, flow, and heal, even hurting another in the process because these wounds bleed on others, also brings the joy of knowing who I really am and getting out of prison. The prison holding me captive for so many years.
Feeling the vastness within once again opens me to possibilities not there when lack of sleep steals it. The work to become the best version of myself stalls, everything stops. Living takes energy, and energy comes from good sleep.
Suddenly feelings of happiness, hope, and the profound satisfaction of bringing a smile to someone else returns. Digging into the day, making the most of it, enjoying it- even the work of it, all comes trailing back as another night of improved sleep occurs.
The looming threat of the virus, like a monster chomping down closer and closer, terrorized me. Powerless to do anything more than what we are doing compounded PTSD, and that beast tore at me shredding my life like cheap paper. Removing myself from it by banning all news is working like magic.
Samuel turns the news on at 5PM. “No, not till 6,” I demanded.
He clicks his tongue like a moody teenager, then flicks it to a crime show. We have talked about this already, so he knows the plan. I am to leave the living room to go to our bedroom to watch a movie at 6PM. The news and anything else is then all his. Movies in the comfort of our bed are happy, romantic, or funny, just the thing to go to sleep on. It is working!
Home, home inside of me settled as before, which though not perfect, is livable without wanting escape. I write Christmas cards, call a friend, something done less and less the more fear crept in, and even worked in my studio for a time. Happy pleasurable activities are experienced once again. Sometimes ignorance IS bliss.
Things go along really well, so well it feels miraculous, then they don’t. Once believing that something happened in the daytime to make sleep impossible, it seems not. The reason relates solely to chronic PTSD issues that have compounded the usual sleep issues aging women often have.
Taking the gifts life offers means accepting the harder stuff too. The darker days and time change have taken a glorious summer with good sleep patterns and shortened them, disrupting everything else.
Striving for that steady feeling of being in my body no matter what feeling passes through is a new and novel experience, one that poor sleep and tiredness steals. To be back in it and whole is so relished. Decisions come more naturally, steadiness guides my day, and much gets accomplished without rush or leaving my body.
Sleep and wholeness, gifts of the season to work towards…
Each day dread as the news relays dire warnings about the corona virus. We go out, returning to the car wiping our hands down with disinfectant. Others act nonchalant while visions of hospitals and respirators dance in my head. After being in the hospital several times a few years back, returning to one is a nightmarish thought.
Helplessness, powerlessness, those feelings are prevalent as we wait for the virus to hit with little else to do to prevent it except directives to wash hands and not touch our face. How absurd. Not touch my face, as my hand just left it without realizing it?
So we wait, watching the news with piqued interest for every development as the virus marches on, fearful tension marching on too because there is nothing to stop it.
He has so many chances to rise above his pettiness and be a man of character, yet fails. Even in this time of crisis while we await the arrival of the pandemic, our children at risk, grand-children, and ourselves. Even now he says it is the Democrats using the situation to make him look bad.
This isn’t a leader who instills comfort or confidence, a severely lacking person at the helm who has cut the programs which monitor illnesses that put our citizens at risk. A person with so little self-esteem it is always about himself and how he looks, a withering soulless, ghost of a man.
And no one is safe from him, the pain and destruction he is causing by his shallow heartlessness and lack of courage. A person at the helm making things so much worse, helping to cause death to citizens because he is more interested in himself.
Prayers for safety to people for what’s to come. We are not prepared, nor do we have people in leadership positions who can handle it, or know what to do. There is fear in the pit of my stomach. Prayers and hand-sanitizers feels like no defense, or protection at all, yet I pray… for him, for all of us.