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.

Stuck in a Loop

Ten days later my footing is still shaky wondering what happened to the person growing into love for herself. Attempting to be part of the origin family group took me back hundreds of paces… or so it seems.

I don’t want to hear about the third person not there, my younger brother Stevie who lives upstate. If he wanted to tell me these things about himself he would have. Don’t you two tell me how worried you are about him. You’re worried about him? What about the cocktails you consume every night Seth? Your alcoholism is raging.

What about your need to have a group of people together Don, working at it diligently- a group of people who can’t help each other grow? And where you discuss another who is not even there? Being around those stuck in loops, pretending they are not, impedes growth exponentially.  

I don’t want to worry, especially about those where any relationship is not grounded in safety, loyalty, or true care. I still feel like a puppet attached to their strings easily manipulated by fear, rejection, or guilt. Guilt at blocking all from emails, but if I were to look in that folder, my bet is that nothing is there anyway.

For my own safety and well-being that distance is needed, but guilt consumes me. Who I used to be becomes me now. Where is the Patricia who likes herself? Who allows freedoms, happiness, and growth? Who looks beneath the surface and knows wisdom?

My mind goes in circles, round and round, thinking about each of them, and I don’t want to. I want to be here now, with the land, with people I love and trust; Samuel, sons, grand-kids, and most especially my cat. A cat won’t hurt you. A cat is loyal.

Where is the wise voice that answers softly with the truths you need? It will come, it will come. You’re OK, you’re OK.

Mysterious Exciting World

A week of confusion and turmoil finally calming me back to my soul with input from friends, my son, and a friend far away, never meeting her in person but closer to me than anyone I know. And… Mother Nature, restorative, curative, and finally after several days of resting my tired mind, the energy arises to go out and be with her.

The walks bringing me back to myself. How easily the split occurs. With the origin people, that group one is born to with ties like tentacles, the gag order reduces me to robot like living. Home again among friends who accept me as I am with no hidden past, there are also no hidden agendas to shut me up.

Nature cradles me in beauty, the meadow filled with buttercups, daisies soon to join them. Carp in the creek as big as sharks nibble on the banks of the water, their gigantic sleek bodies twisting above. The breeze blows the leaves with a soft rustle above me. Slowly I move back into my body, soul, mind, spirit, and emotions, claiming them, feeling them, becoming one once again.

The day opens not depressingly as it did all week, but with wonder, mystery, and excitement. What pleasures await? What other goals can be achieved, realized for the first time in years? Because as freedom inside myself grows, freedom from the chains of childhood and the forced silence, talents, abilities, special qualities, and magic to achieve goals and become who I really am increases tenfold, blossoming like the flowers around me.

What else lies inside waiting to be discovered, nurtured, and developed? Like stoking the tiny spark into constant flame, that little kernel of self-love is still there. Sometimes I must hack down the brush and heavy foliage to find it, that harsh critic blocking me all the way. Persistence pays off, patience helps too.

But there it is, a spark to coddle into flame warming my entire being with friendship to self. To feel all that is there without judgement or denial. To investigate the wounds still needing care and release. To allow the wise voice to take precedence and try not to allow the willful child to run things again.

That part yearns for the loving family she never had. Another part riles things up when success is prevalent. My job in that group of people that some call family was to fail. Be bad, do bad, carry their burdens. And no wonder my life was spent not wanting to live.

That is no more. Success reigns. Peace sustains. All that I need, I have.

Friends Are Family

My beautiful grand-daughter Cindy….

Hearing the ding of emails coming in, taking a breath, a sigh of relief calms me knowing that any emails coming from the culprits of those in the so called origin family will be diverted to junk mail.

I’ll never see them or know emails are there unless I look. And mostly there won’t be any. No one interacts much unless wanting something, which is rare. But it’s a necessary step right now to feel safe, find my freedom again, and be at peace.

The emails come from friends, those few that are real family, trusted and supportive in a honest way, not in ways that serve only them. And in they come, reliable, loving, and filling the ragged holes that the origin family ravaged with their fake interest and hollow words.

Friends, the family made after years of work, commenting on the video and photos of my 8 year old grand-daughter in a huge dance competition where she recently took first place among all the area dance studio’s participants.

Oh to see her whole, loving, and complete, the age when I was first attacked. An age where the longing for ballet classes was not to be because food used to survive the traumas put too many pounds on to my little kid frame.

She’s a winner to us regardless of any wins, her grace and beauty overflowing. Tears fill my eyes while watching, and joy sent sparklers of shivers down my legs to my toes….

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SAY NO!

On my mind all week after speaking up to a ‘friend.’ Friend in quotes because we’ve not been able to really make a friendship although she’s in our little group that meets monthly.

“Is it OK if you pick me up at 10 of?” she emails after asking if she’d like a ride to our first get together in 14 months. We have done monthly gatherings on-line but this is the first in person gathering for me.

She has gone down to the coffee shop every morning for a long while, so quite the social animal. But has no problem making me late so that she can stay after church to chat with her friends. 10 minutes earlier and I wouldn’t be late to Chris’s, and her seemingly innocent question really aggravated me. Then the critic steps in, it is only ten minutes, she’s a widow, blah, blah, blah, my head battered and weary from the critic.

No way could my response be yes. For the first time, not only do my needs matter, but I must and do advocate for them. And it finally registered that in all the past years she has made me late every time so that she could stay longer with her other group of friends. She has been very wily about keeping that to herself, but Samuel goes down for coffee and has seen her there every time.

Saying no is so hard. What will the others think? What will I say when they ask where Rosalie is? But, but, but, what about me? What about wanting to see my friends, hug them, spend a lovely afternoon chatting, playing cards, and wiling away the time pleasurably? Plus the simple fact that I hate being late anywhere and avoid it whenever possible.

That is how hard it is to say no. But in doing it, more self-respect grows. In saying no to the inappropriateness of others I begin to become visible. That is a first. Being invisible is my motes operando.

Hiding because the real me is so detestable. No more.

BIRTHDAY

Birthday gift from friend…

A friend dropped by, masked up, on my birthday with a gift surprising me. Though she lives down the road, I’ve not seen her except virtually for over a year. It is so heartening to be with a friend finally even if half of her face was hidden from me. Soon, by next month, all five or our little group will be fully immune and we plan to re-start our monthly tea gathering complete with chatter, cards, snacks, laugher and dessert.

Another friend calls and sends a digital birthday card. My son’s both send lovely birthday gifts, outdoor garden solar lighting which delights me once the sun sets and the gardens light up. One went so far to have flowers delivered to my door, a gigantic bouquet that needed two vases. My husband, short on words, but deeper on feelings, expresses them in cards and didn’t fall short this year either, finding one on the table upon waking.

Those that matter love me. Often birthdays bring a recognition of not being cared for. But that perception is much more about the emptiness inside than reality. Letting the love of others in has not been possible. I can think I’m loved, but never feel it. (too dangerous)

It is also not possible to allow love in and settle in with warm feelings if inside myself lies a desert, a dry wasteland where love is thought of not felt. But that is evolving as the internal depths open like a garden sprouting beginning to flower. Where inside there are welcoming arms to enfold me and love offers warmth, compassion, and gentle waters to rock in.

A birthday becomes a reaffirmation of self, knowing ones worth, or learning to. All else is icing on the cake, and what gooey, yummy, deliciously satisfying a way to top the beginnings of self-love and appreciation.

A Kind Word

It’s hard to find the joy in life when you’re too tired to find it, causing great frustration, and more so great vulnerability. Fragile is a good work. My being becomes fragile, though my treatment towards myself drops back into old grooves of self-hate, blaming myself for things out of my control.

Having good stretches of proper sleep then not is so hard to accept, acceptance and patience not my forte. Gentle comments from others on-line and a note from a friend make me teary, the gentleness a sorely needed warm hug.

We don’t know what others are going through. Sometimes one gentle word is all it takes to turn things around.

Thank you on-line friends…

SPRINGTIME MANIA

That feeling of being different digs in oppressing my ability to enjoy the coming of spring. Spring itself is causing this upheaval, interfering with sleep as a manic brain swirls when hitting the pillow causing leaps of ecstasy but landing hard going under without resurfacing well.

Working daily to keep my hat on, bringing it down a notch, doesn’t always work towards good sleep. Thoughts still sometimes race making me wonder what kind of mental ailment might yet overtake me in this life-time.

The physical deterioration of my body due to age is enough to handle, but PTSD always lived with since age 8 worsened as years went by. An older body cannot take the hits of adrenaline and cortisol that daily occurrences cause- simple surprises like Samuel appearing in the hallway or a leaf blowing by while walking. My body reacts as if in danger though none is there.

It is hard, that feeling of ‘differentness.’ During the pandemic, though scared until the Governor talked daily about what he’d do, then doing it, bringing a new sense of security, the days became the best ever. Now the rest of the world knows what my life has always been like; solitary, lonely, and alone.

Yes, I have a partner, but it doesn’t matter. You can be with people and still be lonely. Because others don’t know unless they have been through something similar.

Waking after a bad night where yet again a sleep aid was needed, my head drops down while explaining to Samuel, or trying to, “You don’t know how hard it is.”

Tears fall. “If something happened to you, I couldn’t stay in this house one night,” I said.

The night before it occurred to me that I could not, nor didn’t have to do what Samuel always said was the wise choice if one of us were to die first. Stay in the house at least a year before deciding what to do with it.

When parents die, in this case both of our mother’s years ago, (our fathers have been out of the picture- mine through death when I was a child- his out of divorce and ambivalence), then you begin to think about dying because you are next in line.

But I’m not Samuel. He does not deal with PTSD, nor does he understand its challenges. Of course he could easily live here alone because he’s not scared. What he said made sense, don’t make any rash decisions. So I believed that’s what I had to do in the case of his dying first. But in the middle of the night when awake every little noise scares me even with him right there next to me. No way could staying here occur without him. Tears fall yet again when explaining this to him.

“I couldn’t stay. The thought of staying terrifies me. And that doesn’t make me weak. Comparing myself to my friends makes me feel weak because several have no problem being alone. But I am not weak. In many ways I’m stronger,” I said.

Bringing these real fears out made me cry, made my feelings real and valid. Making the decision to honor who I really am, what I really deal with, and do what is the safest and most loving for myself is a huge leap of growth quite miraculous. And it helps in those dark scary moments to remember that somewhere deep inside myself is a rock, a strong secure rock to hold on to and guide me.

No Bitterness

After asking those in the origin family not to include me in emails when Tom is also included, they forget… just as easily forgotten as what never was spoken about, attacks against me. As it if never happened. There it is in black and white in my mailbox, his name, and all the memories rather not thought about.

Wrecking my life in ways that never should have happened, and in many respects cannot be reversed. And you can’t respect that simple request? Bitterness erupts like unwelcome unpleasant scents wafting up, seeing the email where three brothers and Tom keep up contact, Tom the one farthest away, losing the label ‘brother’ the moment he touched me that way.

They interact with him, not me. The craving? To be able to feel like I have brothers, yet don’t really have them. Not if the attacker is one of your little group therefore ignoring my pain.

But it has come to a place where the knowledge that my life is better without those that profess love without really loving. That love that is true matters, for myself, my partner, my sons, grand-children, and friends.

My life is full. I shall not let bitterness overtake me. I will stay, or try to stay away from what harms me. And being any part of a group where the mentality is silencing, controlling, or berating is not for me. That is not family, that is not love. Although it is possible to love others without liking them or wanting to spend time with them.

FINDING ME

Mixing the pot oil after one vial was emptied may have changed the dosage. Or perhaps the sleep issues have erupted due to extraneous occurrences such as a friend contracting Covid, or allowing more closeness with origin family members.

Is that safe for me? Feeling such vulnerability over it, and exposing myself to more harm? Or perhaps letting love in is what scares me? It isn’t easy to know the difference for a person using all her energy to get away from the center where all feelings flow.

Go there, get away? Going there means fully feeling things unwanted which include sadness, despair, and futility. Others want positivity so positivity is displayed despite the other feelings swimming around.

My intent is not to burden others, yet it is also a time in my life, perhaps the first time, for an authentic presentation of self. For what’s real to come forward, to bubble up as real. Not for you to like, dislike, or to please you. But to live in this life as I wish, as I am, once I find her.