NEW WAYS- SOUL WAYS

It isn’t earth shattering, what I do. Waking after a restful sleep with deep gratitude for that simple bodily need fulfilled, there it is. What do I do?

A puzzle, a craft readying for the kids to visit over the weekend, or what? Movies play almost non-stop, as if that is my safe way to interact with people. While listening to the voices known by heart because they play so much, household chores are accomplished, or the next meal is prepared- which means a lot of time over the sink.

That is such a pleasure when the morning sun splashes on my face warming my upper body. So, it isn’t earth shattering, what I do.

Yet being in my body, and in my life, following that inner voice that often is ignored or detached from, can cause a reversal of negativity in my closest relationships opening them to growth and better lives for all.

Not just in my life but also in those I touch. Since childhood that voice was ignored. How could it not be when divided from it at age eight? That voice calls in the night preventing sleep till listened to. That or the PTSD devil, haven’t decided which.

It is an upheaval of deep angst and unhealth, but when re-connecting and following through…that IS earth shattering! Asking for what I need takes an extraordinary amount of energy and is exhausting. Others have become accustomed to my placidity and apologetic tendencies. When persevering for what feels right repeatedly and doggedly until the desired outcome, well, that must be surprising and difficult to ignore.

It is the little things that shatter the old ways creating new and wonderous ones…

FRIENDS

One night of almost agony, forcing myself to stay in bed, rolling from one side to the other. Hours go by, and some sleep came though it didn’t feel like much and yesterday was low key due to tiredness.

But not that awful grogginess that happens when the sleep aid is used. Calling a friend, asking for sleep pointers after a terrible winter of sleep issues, she has great ideas that I’d heard before but didn’t think would work for me.

One, she never gets out of bed. That sounds like good behavior because a pattern was set up that made things harder. Another tip, when not getting back to sleep she turns on the radio to the news station and puts it on a timer. (so one was ordered coming soon)

She thoroughly knew what I talking about when waking to use the bathroom then thoughts invading about every little thing that has gone wrong, and whatever else a woken up busy mind might do.

A news channel might help to get my mind off things that can’t be changed onto things other than me! It is so good to hear her voice, as calling any friend has been abandoned for much of these past few years when needed the most.

And now that masks are off, plans are made to have lunch with another friend. Oh, how these things have been missed!

HOPE

 Waiting for spring when this funk dissipates, and the wonders of the season renew, refresh, and rejuvenate. February- looking for robins begins as they return much earlier than most notice. Even with bitter cold, fresh air and movement invigorate. Though taking a herculean effort to go out there, it is well worth it for healthy body, mind, and spirit.

Making an effort to connect with friends whose busy lives takes them out daily in the social arena assures me they are there and care much more than those who say they are ‘family.’ There in ways brothers never will be, trusted, safe, and REAL.

Now that winter has turned a corner, days become longer, sun shining down her happy glow upon my face. Hope springs up like sprays of beams from my core.

SEVERE DAMAGE from Childhood Sexual CRIMES

When friends let you down, and there’s no origin family safe to interact with, and of course as a mother burdening my sons isn’t an option, there is only Samuel. The feelings arising from this stark realization brings tears, over and over, every day.

When my own internal being is still so very lost, the loneliness of the truth of my existence opens a hole to the floor of my soul. Though recovery brings more strength, this new knowledge of how much damage done to me in childhood hurts as if the wound bleeds fresh again.

But that is how it is… stages. Stages of grief, of what’s stolen when brothers use a little sister as a sex doll, what’s lost when other so-called members of ‘family’ look by and do nothing. Worse, are life-long friends with the criminals who attacked me. Maybe as teen-age boys they weren’t criminals, yet the attacks upon me were.

My lost interior scrapes for connection with others finding none. How could it? The two closest women even known in my life besides a sister-in-law on Samuel’s side have died, and one living friend closer than the women I’m able to be with in person? I’ve never met her, we are pen pals.

I want more. I want tea with her, and outings with fun, laughter, and hugs. The stricken rift at age 8 when a beloved brother raped me, (still repressed due to the violence of it), then the next one, and the next one, and the next… ravaged all hope of fully loving and trusting another. But there are a rare few, gone now, except one.

GIFTS

Inside the vault there shines a light spilling out like a stripe of white when daring to allow love, or when love finds a way in. It doesn’t happen most of the time. Any little doubt or grievance causes the door to shut tight.

Preservation. The vault is securely clamped down to survive, not a choice, an instinct rising from childhood’s ravages. Brothers taking what they wanted, a little girl with no place to go but deep inside herself.

And I have trouble finding my own self. Bit by bit the light peeps out, more and more the truth worth of being is discovered, marveled over. Could this really be? These gifts are mine?  

CHRISTMAS PARTY

The winds howled and trying to sleep was of no use without a sleep aid, though later the next day when asked, my friends all replied that, yes, they slept great as if the wind sounds comforted them.

No, not me. That feeling of being so different sunk in deep once again along with the knowledge that the challenges faced daily are colossally more than they can ever understand. Yes, a solid group of friends, but the one who became the closest passed away several years ago. The privilege of knowing her, the best friend of my life, lasted only 5 years.

But it gave me a gift of knowing that the rift felt between myself and most others isn’t me, it is the unusual experiences of my childhood which were extraordinarily traumatic. Sue was also raped as a child, pulled off the street by a stranger.

And she willingly shared her experience when first meeting her, something I had not yet been able to do though eventually she would learn a brief outline of the overall facts. My attacker wasn’t a stranger, it was family. The taboo of talking about what happens in a family is still not something acknowledged or talked about. It has been that way for centuries.

But her family unfortunately handled it the very same. NO TALKING ABOUT IT, as if it never happened. These are missionary’s, you know, the ones who go about saving the world. What about saving your child?

By not allowing her to express such a trauma over and over until processed, and not providing help in the form of therapy too, Sue was cursed to live the same sort of life as me.

Going about pasting a smile on, and acting as if nothing is wrong, when anxiety internally threatens to break you in half or splinter you into a thousand shattered pieces. The cortisol bursts are exhausting. Your world spinning out of control in situations where there’s people, which is just about every situation unless you are at home.

So, Sue knew me to my core, without my ever supplying details of any kind, and without us talking about it. We just knew, and love flowed between us freely like warm swirling air enveloping our souls as one.

Waking after the storm, it was as black as the night before when having to light candles. No coffee? Starting the patio grill, upon it was placed a large kettle with water and coffee grounds. Walking the meadow in the early morning light, checking it after each round, finally the brew looked ready.

After 5 laps the kettle came in to be poured through the coffee filter and, Voila! Cowboy coffee! Samuel was surprised. It almost seemed that the planned gathering of friends might have to be cancelled, because how can glue guns be heated up with no electricity? But it came back on, and our party was a great success.

I do miss my friend Sue. That very special bond we shared, and that closeness found nowhere else.

CHRISTMAS FUN

After glittering my own grapevine wreath, it seemed only fair to offer the same prep work to my women friends coming Sunday. Oh, what a project, with glittery floors tramped around leaving sparkles all over the house!

Wiping a few off my eyelids, it is with satisfactory pleasure because crafting of any kind brings peace and warmth. And each wreath is glittered with loving thoughts about the friend it is for and how much delight she will have decorating it.

And hopefully she will know just how much she means to me, the making of the wreath after collecting the vines, twirling the vines in the light rain because moisture is needed to manipulate them. Then, more pleasure than work, walking among the pines we planted to collect pinecones, the branches softly brushing my arm as if to say, ‘hello friend.’

And the extensive time and mess! Glue dripping all over the table in globs after painting it on thick so the glitter will stick, then a clear overcoat so that they won’t have glitter all over their own houses. The area around the stove where they dried still sparkling from glitter remnants.

Such fun readying for Christmas, maybe more fun than the event itself.

Friends Are Family

Preparations for an upcoming gathering of women friends includes the offering of grapevine wreaths to decorate that were made earlier when cutting down the vines so that they are trimmed for next year’s growth. Pinecones from trees we planted were gathered, dried, then sparkled as if snowy.

Unable to stop myself, mine is decorated which frees me up to help others if needed. This gathering of women friends over the years has sustained me in so many ways.

Without the taboo of talking about my real life, and without the stigma that seals my lips and makes me phony so that you will be comfortable, I can be myself. I can also accept real love and caring from those whose own self-worth isn’t caught up with the secrets of the past.

I can be who I am, and who I could ever be with their loving encouragement, daring to test my wings then fly.

They know what happened to me and don’t keep me silent about it. Which means no push to want to. It’s only when you silence me that I want and need to speak. It’s only when you deny my truth that truth needs to be told.

Family are friends, friends became family.

Choose Your Path

Just because someone wants to get close, befriend me, or keep in touch, doesn’t force me to do so in return. For a long time, decades, anyone wanting those things could easily have them. It felt like luck anyone would.

But as my being grew, deepened, and reverberated with the effects of associating with those that didn’t have my best interests, only their own, my choices began to at least make it into the questioning arena.

Is this person trustworthy? Too many times that answer was no, yet once in a relationship, my way of ending it was often harsh and abrupt.

Social amenities are not my forte. Secluding myself from a scary world left me lacking social tact. People don’t talk truth or are forefront with their chatter. You must read between the lines, not my specialty.

Get to the point, because my brain is already too busy, and tell the truth, something hardly ever done.

How are you? Just great, when really you feel like shit. What’s the point of asking? Even closer relationships can be like that, which isn’t close. The deeper connections, if one is lucky to have them, are rare, precious, and linger in one’s heart a lifetime even after they are gone from this world.

I cherish them and hold them dear.

THE PRESENT

So easily a soul becomes lost though nothing seemed to have changed externally to cause it. The mind can be a terrible place, full of things to sway one back to the past, not a good place for my mind to be or stay.

And the critic? The critic is so used to being the boss, she also hogs the stage beating at me until nothing is left of the person created who is liked and feels full with self-esteem.

Coming back to center takes a bit of work, but mostly time. Grass by the creek moves gently with the breeze relaxing me with birdsongs pacifying my spirit while remembrances of all the times Mother Nature held me when my real mother didn’t have the time or willingness.

Thinking of her, my real mother, gone now for 12 years. And why now? Perhaps it is that a friend from childhood has died, one of two friends who loved me so thoroughly that my own mother’s love paled in comparison.

To know a dear loved one is gone from this world leaves a hole. To look at origin family members to fill it is like drinking poison. Only because they are no longer on pedestals, but are real humans with as many foibles as me or more.

At least so many years of therapy helped with my sanity. Thinking that duty calls for me to help if possible, it is much more feasible that each of them seek their own therapy. It is not my responsibility, nor is it healthy. Keeping my own sanity when falling into the pit of depression is enough of a job.

And it does call, and too often. A movie, a dream, anything brings back the past and sometimes with a boom, whacking me down, a machete of memories that takes much will to pull out of. A thicket of the past too easily tangling me to become mired in.

Mucking out of that quicksand to the present, to the moment, to the beauty around me that yesterday looked so bleak. All in one’s mind, a tricky place that takes will to direct and adjust the direction as to how I want to live— in the present with gratitude, peace, and love.

Find ‘her’, the person you’ve worked so hard to build, give ‘her’ all the love, care, and gentleness you never were able to give ‘her’ before. It is OK to love you. Only then can you truly love others.