RAIN/BLIZZARD?

A rare night of sleeping through, what wonders, then the usual rolling around back and forth. You’d think me a rowboat on waves.

The rain before Christmas is odd, with a drop from the 40’s to one-digit numbers by nightfall with a coming blizzard.

Warm and cozy by the fire I’ll be with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head.

To Mom

Getting some cash out of my little antique treasure box willed to me by my aunt, there was a folded piece of paper that had once been stored in my jewelry box:

1/29/13

Mom. It’s a gift you’ve given me, to have overcome the hooks that trauma has left in psyche, to have raised two sons in a loving environment in spite of everything you had experienced. You had never known a loving, protective, environment, so how did you manage to provide one? The answer is, I know, is: with great effort. Constant discipline. With tears, and with therapy, and with Samuel’s patient spirit supporting you.

You’ve come so far. To be able to write about trauma, and put your real name to it. What a brave and honest act, a defiant stand against the silence you endured so long.

Raising children- creating people from scratch- is a daunting task for anyone, even the healthiest, happiest people in the best of circumstances. You did not have the advantage of carefree happiness, the stability that comes with a healthy childhood. You did not start with that most fundamental of human capacities- the understanding that you are loved, that you are worthy of love. You were betrayed, your ability to trust shattered. Yet you knew how to accept the implicit trust of two growing children who depended on you for everything, and to never let them down. So that we would never struggle with trusting good, honest people. We were shown from the very beginning that we could count on you and Dad, all day every day. That is the basis for the confidence and tranquility I have in navigating the world. I wish everyone could be so lucky.

I recognize the monumental accomplishment it was for you to be a successful mother, fostering a positive, healthy environment while battling the darkness inside. What a task you set for yourself, quieting your rage while building two human beings from scratch, careful not to pass on these emotions, these struggles, to growing minds. And with what courage and determination you took to it. In spite of everything, mountains of obstacles hiding in the darkness within you, you prevailed. We do not fight the battles that you fight; we do not share your reservations about connecting with human beings. We love an we trust and we are quick to laugh, all because you stood above the darkness. You broke the cycle.

And here I am, and that’s why I am. That’s why I bring empathy to other people. That’s the gift you gave me- a knack for reading the hearts of troubled people.

It’s amazing, how people will pour their hearts out if they can find a single willing receptacle, one outlet, one listener. People are dying to get things off their chests, and I can read it in their expressions, in their habits. No one asks them what’s really going on inside. But I ask. When I offer people a non-judgmental ear, the floodgates open. Finally, says the pained expression on their faces. Finally someone will listen to me about all this shit I’m carrying around day after day after day.

So thank you, for this deep sense of empathy and connection that binds me to other people.

I love you,

Cory

Going to bed with negative thoughts blasting me as they sometime do, awaking with a dull ache because of it, this forgotten letter brought a quiet joy- weeping while reading it, weeping again while typing it.

THANKGIVING

Very often a comment of support from a stranger means more to me than anyone I know. Closeness can occur without meeting someone face to face. It occurs on-line where the world opens, and connections are made that help lift me and help me do more than just survive day to day.

Thank you Q, and to all the women on-line who have supported me through my blogging years.

THANK YOU

When gifted with rest the day breaks with the energy to enjoy it to the fullest. Rounding the meadow she appears, the morning goddess, opening her sunbeam arms to welcome me in all her glory, making me smile as the beauty unfolds.

The difficult days after a hard night offer greater appreciation of days like these, the unusual July with cooler nights than the norm, when the sun’s warmth meets the dewy earth yielding mysterious fogginess vaporously dancing across the creek. The world is mine filling me gratitude and peace.

COMING HOME

A mourning dove coos,

The rooster crows,

Sharp edges soften,

As I come home.

While the pale of dawn softens the night sky, and kitty scouts the porch from one screen to another following a bird, the candle all lemony wafting upward with the flickering light, my shoulders drop relaxed, and they haven’t been that way for too long of a time in this glorious burst of summer splendor.

Some things taking me away from myself to the land of worry, upset, and removal from my home- internal and external. Sleep deprived, sad, displaced, worried about all that cannot be controlled, and making up more as the rat brain gets moving faster in my head.

Then answers come, the answer is that there is none. Just live. Live with love, gentleness, and grace. Mostly with yourself, all else flows from there. Live as the person you were meant to be. Feel her inside, the power, beauty, and soft flowing energy. Live now, because each moment comes then is gone. Live.

GRATITUDE

Peach pie, Samuel’s roses, and peonies-
what more could a woman want? (ice cream?)

Something as innocuous as jumping into the pool for the first time this summer can upset my rather delicate nervous system so that sleep would not come that night.  It was 5:30 in the evening, and something inside me warned me.

Even a joyful physical activity at that time of day sets off the PTSD rockets. After 3PM it is time to settle down as it’s to my benefit to go to bed with birds and wake with them. (sometimes before them) My body seems to work best this way.

And sleep wouldn’t come the next night either. There is an ability now to accept these upsets because a day like today brings me back home where equilibrium reigns.

The birds sing to me, the chipmunks play, the quiet at the creek absorbs me totally in joyful peace, though my eyes water a bit at the damage done in childhood that could still bring these challenges.

And not only for me, but every little girl growing with these secrets into adulthood. There is a very deep wish to bring it to light, to open the tombs of silence. To stop the plague of men touching children in ways they should only be touching their adult partners.

But also the silence. We are not to talk of it because you find it too hard to hear. That causes life-long damage. Hear us. Believe. Care.

But the best I can do is live as best I can. And I am so thankful for this time where joy comes with the land, my sons, and my dear spouse, but especially the miracle of being connected to my own soul.

MOTHER’S DAY

Mother’s Day is a good time to thank my sons for being the extraordinary human beings that they are and continue to work at becoming.

How lucky a mother am I!

Their traits, though differing in likes, tastes, past-times, and interests, are so similar in the ways that matter; deeply compassionate, a strong sense of self, hard-working, perseverant, morals of high character, loving, generous, broad minded, tolerant, and possessing great depth.

I could go on as they exemplify all that a mother could want in a son. Thank you, dear sons, for being the men that you are…

Worried, Weary, & Grateful

Son’s new, NEW, van, hit by a deer. Would sleep return after using the bathroom? No. Worries, then more worries as everything looks bleak and disastrous in the black of night.

But getting up or using a sleep aid is not an option, self-discipline is. And that is being honed more than ever. So, stay. Stay till some traffic begins to go by, and is that a bird or wishful thinking?

Because worries cause restlessness, and this time, despite a few hours of committing myself to stay still, sleep doesn’t return.

And yes, that is a bird. A lovely start to a day with the chorus of birds through the open door even though a bit weary. There are still many grateful gifts to celebrate.

MOMENTS

Winter’s oppression bears her weight down drooling with icy fangs into the flesh of my spirit. It seems impossible to pick myself up, yet each morning- a fresh start, a new day- what are you going to make of it?

Not much. With a retired life, the buzz of work, kids, and getting anywhere at a required time do not demand my energies. So? Breathe, sit and breathe, and remember the mantra of ‘you’re OK’ from one moment to the next.

Because a fear filled life due to PTSD unresolved since such a young age causes a fright reaction to every little noise startling my being into an adrenaline overload. Decades of that tires and burns out all bodily systems.

So…? Who is criticizing you if you ease your spirit (and anxiety) by completing a puzzle in day? Only me. Resting, and/or sending compassionate messages to self while moving slowly to stay present and in the moment are worthy of doing.

Anxiety ruling much of my life caused me to buzz past the present moment, rushing to be done. But now, with reminders to self, peeling apples for the overnight crockpot of steel cut oats becomes restful not rushed. The sound of the knife splicing through, the cool fresh apple in my hand with its light aroma from the juice…

Each task slows so that my being stays in my body. All that occurs in that moment is better absorbed when attention is paid to it. And when that occurs, one can’t mourn the past or worry about the future, and that is living fully with grace and gratitude.

GRATITUDE

One night sleep, the next awake at 3AM. Giving an hour for a return to slumber, that torture was abandoned for an early rise, a VERY early rise.

My mind wouldn’t slow down about all the things to improve, all the failures or missteps, or misunderstandings. Because many upset relationships, or the failure to move closer for more sustenance are because people do not talk about their feelings. They are played out theatrically by those shallow enough to act that way.

So up, let the cat out of her room, and begin my day. My body isn’t healing fast, but each day there are noticeable improvements. The feelings after lying there in my pillow are, ‘get your shit together.’

Winter is dooming me, drowning me, making me go back to the days when everything about myself is questioned and scorned- with confidence below zero like the weather. Get a grip!

Warm summer days, grassy meadows, and sunlight… dream on…