photo by Patricia
The days remain warm heating my shoulders as walking rounds in the meadow accumulate, feet crunching on hickory nuts in the path along the hedgerow. Soon the squirrels will have them all buried. The studio beckons as sun rays splash a golden yellow swath on the work table inviting me to return to the newest project sitting unfinished for months.
The deep peace felt is not that the world outside is calm and reposed, it is forthcoming because it comes from within. When one lives a life in line with their values, beliefs and morals, peace comes even if whirlwinds blow outside. The search for it since childhood has escaped me. And that is because the parts flew unconnected. How could they not?
Telling my story was the beginning of wholeness. Then telling those one thought would care but do not, caused a rift filled grief that catapulted me into acceptance once the painful tornado worked through. Then peace came. The work is done, come what may.
photos by Patricia
Dig deep below the chatter, deeper, settle into your being to whatever is there. Because what is there sustains with strength unyielding…through despair, depression, anxiety, and life’s ever changing moments.
There is where you find the steady light within the storm. There is where you find her. Love her, cherish her, and hold her till she warms you whole.
I feel such peace and stillness. There has not been a time when I’ve felt such calm nor connectedness within my being. I cherish this reprieve, this period of quiet happiness.
The unusual heat was swept away with the wind as leaves swirled. The walk near the creek crunches heavily as the thick carpet of newly fallen leaves crackles under the weight of my feet. Capris are replaced by sweat pants as the temperature dips from 90 to 60 and the change brings relief even though the clouds hide the sun.
The air is full of sweet earthy composting as the fruits of summer decay, the scent going straight to my core. Snapping back to Now, my eyes feast on the rusts, golds, and yellows as the lush greens wither and die. Soon the trees will be bare but there are other delights to be enjoyed as each season brings its unique smorgasbord of treats if one is aware enough to take it in.
Often during the day my tendency to be ahead of where I am causes me to internally speak, slow down. Be with what you are doing in this moment. Because I’m always rushing ahead of where I am to the destination, but then there is another. Now is the destination. What you are doing at this moment is where you need to be.
The fantasy of being an only child sometimes arises. Four remaining siblings cling together in the pretense of family including the last of the abusers. My assertion that each not speak to me about him, along with hearing that I wrote a memoir seemed to cast me out and draw them tighter.
This is a great gift allowing for spaciousness, freedom and vast personal growth. This period in my life has offered peace, stillness and happiness never known before. Feelings of wholeness filled within after speaking my truth and asserting my needs. Live and let live. Live and let die. You have a right to live your life as I do mine.
Operating on fear is inauthentic. Responding with a fear based reaction to achieve a need does the opposite. It cycles more fear. A need for calm responsiveness presents itself as the person inside develops, or rather makes herself known.
Reacting rather than responding thoughtfully causes further drifting from self, a place newly found that is hard to stay in. Negative thoughts, especially those around abandonment and self-worth make me run. Running takes its form in many ways; pleasing, eating, even despondence about not fitting in.
Fit in with self. Do what is healthy and good for you even when the urge is to do the opposite. At day’s end the satisfaction of doing what is needed for the body, mind and soul encourages peace within. And also does much to ensure a good night of sleep which is greatly restorative promoting health on all levels.
Do what you need to do for you…if it means by mid-day you are tired and need rest, do so in spite of the voices clamoring inside saying you are lazy. You count, you matter, and you’re worth it.
photos by Patricia
A sister-in-law I have never been close sent a link about their travels cross-country in a camper. She touts how they all gather at Tom’s. His real name is John. Since reading it I cannot wash him off lying awake thinking of the life-time of his psychological abuse. Feelings of being left out is a wound never quite healed and needs tending again.
After making it known to three siblings that I wrote a book nothing was said. One completely cut off ties. I need more and it isn’t there. The failure to offer compassion, alliance or acknowledgment erects a barrier.
Any interaction is like pouring water over rock. The lack of profundity for the truth makes interaction intolerable. Not one stands up and says THIS WAS WRONG. Instead they cling to each other and the abuser.
What happens in families of origin when a sexual abuse survivor comes forward seems a common theme. Don’t talk or speak of it or you’re out. It has nothing to do with the survivor yet has everything to do with her. The ‘family’ cleaves to the natural order of clan instinctively banning together no matter what.
It looks like family but is powered by weak character and lack of strength. Each has their own agenda. I am outcast to have spoken. Yet I must speak and need to belong.
Cherish the family I have built. The more space I have the better I feel. But my shoulders slump walking the meadow. Beauty in the day has dimmed. Lift them up and feel who you are, not what they say you are, or what you think they say to make themselves feel better.
foggy sunrise-photo by Patricia
Being a child sexually abused by a family member is a special kind of hell. Family will turn against her clinging to each other if she speaks of it. And that is for life. They gather round the abuser exalting him. At least it seems that way to the child now woman.
Some may find support from family, but many must fend for themselves and make their own family. She returns time and again hoping. She is alone and in her aloneness finds freedom. Eventually the reality holds memories without pain.