Come On Spring!

It is hard to describe, this vaporous hole inside searching for a mooring, finding none, so it whirls ungrounded craving connection without landing.

It spins in the night, waking me.

Thoughts keep the comet sparking sending me to the cabinet for antacids, then TV, then bed again till 5 AM rolls around. How to hold all that goes on outside of myself inside, and still remain balanced.

In winter it is struggle. So when the blues of Cory’s leaving passes, there is still the depression less daylight brings. As days grow longer by seconds, then minutes, the wait for spring begins.

GIFTS

How do you learn to live with others, love them, even like them, when hurts are sure to come, along with disappointments, failure to meet expectations, foibles of character, misunderstandings, just human flaws in general?

Ripped apart in childhood, this task is almost insurmountable, but with enough work, attachments can be made that see one through life, albeit at times just barely.

Trust does not swim back in along with warm feelings full of love, security, and affection for others. No, just about never. The cat is where my love flows. Without the cat there would be none. I ‘think’ others love me, but it is too risky to feel it. 

But some interactions are needed, even if acting is needed to simulate what it should be like. Get by with the act to survive. Maybe the real thing will come, feeling love. What is left of all that was stolen lies buried where it is kept safe. This is not intentional, it happened automatically to survive. 

Complete annihilation of embers left burning that are able to love would remove any reason to live, because love is life. Learning to forgive others for their thoughtless slights and insensitivity happens more readily as the ability to forgive my own shortcomings blossoms.

Give the gift of gentleness to self. Wrap it in kindness.  

 

Christmas Crafts

As the wind blows at sub-zero temps, it is cozy inside. The collection of gifts all wrapped. The food fairly figured out for ten people, including breakfast, snacks and dinner, and my hands need to be occupied until the day of that special party when both sons and their families are all together (a once a year occurrence)

Our monthly women’s gathering was spent doing a craft along with card playing. But one friend was kind enough to prepare cloth strips for each of us to make an ornament. Once home my hands ached to keep making them but the material store is a bit of a drive.

An alternative? Gold wrapping paper. So a Scandinavian Star was made of paper and attached to a poinsettia for the very same friend who taught me to make it. She called to visit tomorrow and will be surprised.

The grand-kids are also enjoying crafts with me. They spent time in my studio last weekend working on projects I had prepared for them, even the little one who is just about three years old. So I am creating more projects for them, one a popsicle snowflake they can paint, glitter, or fill with sequins. I couldn’t resist trying one.  

The cold in my body is almost done with me, and the cold outside is about to  rise. Soon walks in the meadow will resume relieving aches both physical and emotional. Mother nature has a way of doing that… 

The Crack

The flu-like cold making me miserable with thoughts of having no right to misery. The newscast aired stories of those with no arms making a living with their art showing how they paint with the brush in their mouth. I have no right for complaint.

So I close up like a clam with no feelings because the feelings there shouldn’t be. Yet there they are. Depression, anxiety, stress. Stress? How could you be stressed? You’re not working.

So don’t feel what’s there, and that adds more stress. And no tears. I’m a crier. If I’m not crying in a somewhat regular fashion, something’s not right.

Going to our monthly get-together’s with four other friends, one takes me to her shoulder and the tears come. The very same friend whose husband is handling a cancer scare right now. How dare I? Yet she is comforting me.

“Don’t cry,” she says gently.

Once the tears come, so does the laughter and smiles, real smiles, not the fake ones I’ve been plastering my face with knowing something should be making me smile but not feeling it.

You cannot suppress one feeling without suppressing the other. Chipping away at my heart to keep opening it makes me whole, also opening me up to what matters, what’s real, and what is most important— how you are with yourself and others.

 

Little Things

Waking to anxiety and fear is the norm. Go back to sleep. Everything is alright, you are alright, and the calming process needed daily begins. This is especially true during the darker months which have dug in quite deeply, with a 6 pound weight gain to prove it. Where did that come from?

Doing things like eating unconsciously to provide comfort began at age 8 to cope with upheaval when Danny took safety away forever. But that scares me even more, to eat unwisely not providing my body with kindness.

So like roping runaway wild horses, the reining in begins again. Show yourself kindness and respect. When those thoughts sink in, the compulsion to eat away uncomfortable feelings disappears. My soul still starves for the nourishment of self-love.

My mother’s hand upon my fevered forehead. The special times when her love was felt because most of the time my hatred, rage and inability to trust walled it away. It is true with Samuel, my kids, and friends. Love is there, but it is not trusted.

And it is not there for myself, except for glimmers now and then. As the depth of love for myself opens so does love for others, both coming in and flowing out.

Love has always been there for me, around me like soft warm winds but could not enter for fear of betrayal and abandonment. A cat could only open me. And though that remains true, even a cat gets cold rejection when rejection of self occurs during periods of stress and detachment.

Come back to each moment because this is living, not some big event later on. Now is living in this moment. Nothing earthshaking, but life-changing in its quietness.

The cat purring on my lap because I’m aware of her, loving her, the vibrating from her purring matching my own, and she knows it. Taking a garage sale find and making a treasure out of it, day by day, in my own time, and with my own style. It’s OK to enjoy the little things. That is life, all the little things.

SAFE LOVE

Two friends of late, on separate occasions, said, “I love you.”

Stymied, the best I could offer was, “I have a hard time expressing my feelings, but I’m feeling it!”

I am loved. Why can’t I feel it? I can feel it with my animals, the present one, my cat. I can feel it with my grand-children, and my sons when they were children.

Grown? I know the love is there, very deep love, but. well, they are adults with lives of their own, boundaries, and the ability to deal with me on a different level, one I must find threatening at times.

So that love though there, doesn’t flow as freely as with grand-children. Even there things change as the child grows, and that must also feel more threatening.

It is only with my cat where love flows freely— always. (except when her meowing starts up without end)

A therapist once implied I was incapable of love. He wasn’t such an oaf that he came out and said it, just rearranged a saying replacing the word love with compassion.

Or maybe it was my negative over-thinking mind which decided he meant that. I should have asked him. I’ve been trying to prove him wrong ever since, but whether he implied it or not, I don’t believe love flows easily for me. .

I can love my cat. I can love on-line. I can love from afar. But even on a phone call when a friend says she loves me, I freeze and am caught off guard.

It is understandable considering a past where family members took almost all I had except one tiny kernel of hope kept alive by the army of guards around it. Adding to it is that the girl attacked, attacked herself, and grew into a woman who is still learning to love herself. That lonely ‘bad’ little girl inside needs so much love yet is abandoned over and over again. 

It is in coming ‘home’ to my core, really going deeply, accepting what is there. Not running away, but running to. It is wrapping my arms around what is there, like my child running to me enfolding her with love. It is there that love blooms and grows. 

Captive of the Negative Brain

It’s the PTSD. Remember that? The thing that you spent most of your life not acknowledging because nobody else ever did. (which would have made it real, and more importantly would have brought intervention with the possibility of recovery) Laying my head down the thought comes, will I get to sleep tonight? Never a good sign. It is as if I’ve already made up my ever restless mind. 

PTSD made living so unbearable, wearing my body down over the years as I tried to keep up with others, so much that the effects became life-long. It literally broke something in the brain, and all the pathways to it. Negative thoughts  take hold choking me. There is science behind it, but don’t ask me to explain, or do a research paper. (I have enough to worry about) The neural pathways are funky, even the slightest disturbance fires them up.

That’s what happens when trauma goes unprocessed. My family, and most family’s, sure as hell won’t give credence to sexual abuse occurring within their midst. Intervention is crucial at the time of the trauma(s). Will it ever be? Will sexual abuse to a child by a family member, or friend of the family, or even the camp counselor ever be talked about openly? So that the child can process the trauma?

I know I would have needed to talk about it, all of it, over and over again. Just like my grand-son after the terrific car crash where his baby sister and mother were beside him as the  lights swirled, and the ambulance paramedics  loaded them all onto stretchers. 

He spent many visits with me in the garage and on the driveway putting up bright orange emergency cones, and turning on the red flashing lights Samuel had installed on his battery operated jeep. The story started with Mommy holding up her hurt arm, and his sister crying. But over time he became the paramedic saving everyone. The hero mastering the situation that threatened his psych now healed. He went on to other things, the crash no longer holding his mind, memory or nervous system hostage to the terror. . 

That is the intervention needed but never comes, a safe accepting environment where the trauma, like any other trauma, can be worked through with care, love and patience.  

That must change for our little girls (boys) to survive. The dirty details others are uncomfortable listening to need to be spoken. Only in hearing the evil things done to little ones will change occur. It is happening in your family, behind the closed door bedroom where the children are ‘exploring’ but it goes too far because one of them already knows more that they should, or in the tent out in the backyard, the tree-house at the neighbor’s, at Auntie Peg’s when Uncle George is home, at Scouts, camp, or anyplace when you are not watching, noticing, and intervening.

It could be as simple as saying, ‘OK you two, find another game to play,’ with a smile, not a look of horror on your face. Or keep the door open,  don’t allow long periods of time out in the cute little playhouse where nobody’s watching. Watch. Kids explore. And too often older kids, even young children, have learned too early what feels good ‘down there’ and act out for more on other children who don’t yet know.

Having sexual feelings awakened at too young an age causes it to expand to other children quickly. It isn’t always an adult, adolescent, or teen. It can be a child of the same age as your own child who had it done to them, and now knows about the powerful feelings that feel so good more is naturally wanted. 

Waking in the night, or unable to fall asleep without a sleep aid isn’t always about something wrong, something that needs changing, or something that needs paying attention to. Often everything is in its place, and my life is being lived in alignment with my beliefs and principles.

Nothing is wrong; everything is wrong. It is unprocessed trauma that damaged my systems permanently. It is PTSD, my little beast that won’t be tamed. My mind turns on the negatives which become louder in the darkness, rolling through like thunder, activating the system that has been on the edge since age 8.

The courage for family’s to intervene when Uncle Joe, Daddy, or even sometimes Mommy   sexually abuses a child at the time it occurs, saves her, and offers a road to complete healing. That is yet to come for most families who allow their shame to cause destruction to their daughters(sons). It just doesn’t happen, not yet. Not until we are brave enough to stand up and say this happens, and at a rate you don’t want to know about, which is why it happens. 

Recently I woke up dreaming of Tom. We were close by each other and seemingly alright, but I clearly remember thinking, He doesn’t know how badly he hurt me. He never asked, nor ever asked to be forgiven. No one did. The other three are dead. I don’t know about Chet’s two friends who also attacked me, having such fun while I suffered silently. 

I am 66. I still need to speak of what was done. I never had a chance to. And I may not live long enough to process it all and be done with it because the damage still causes suffering. I will do what I need to do until it is done. I want it to be done now, but wanting is not reality,  and denying what is doesn’t work. The damage is irreversible. Due to diligence, courage, strength and miracles, periods of graceful joy occur, then inevitably tumble into times that are not.