Que Sera, Sera

As the start of spring unfolds, so too the impending virus, marching across the country like a plague. My mind says, go ahead eat. Because eating numbs anxiety replacing it with an anxiety accustomed to— self-hate. And that doesn’t feel good either.

Face the terror. Yes, death might come to either myself or Samuel. My mind takes off; sick, out of respirators, death, alone, unloved, cold. Or vice versa, Samuel hospitalized without the ability to sit with him due to his quarantine, and death, leaving me alone.

And there is the more real probability of neither of those. Yet the low thrumming terror has been blotted by eating leaving me deadened to fullness or satiety eating things in a way that began at age 8. Eat to numb the pain, terror, and abandonment.

Stop. Face it. Feel it. If the worse happened is living paralyzed until it might come any way to live? Stuck in a chair eating because I’m too scared to move? Or walking the meadow taking in every moment with openness loving what is there.

The sun broke out in the late afternoon calling me. Grabbing hiking shoes that are waterproof to the muddy path, donning coat and hat, the walk, despite so much dull drab browns and greys, was stunning in its earthy splendor. Birds singing, sunshine burst through the puffy clouds.

Movement of my body brought sweat. Off went the coat, lap after lap. My body loved it. Work begins on facing the crisis internally where numbness was achieved by old patterns of eating that make me feel sick not well.

Face the anxiety, sit with it, feel it. Seriousness has been a state of being since age 8. Because survival is a serious business. But other feelings have emerged over time, especially a connection with my central core, or soul, no matter what is happening externally.

That is lost when any form of numbing is initiated. Connection to self. Numbing is rejection of self, even if for decades it saved me. My path now craves wholeness, connection, and peace.

Freedom to Become

Sitting in the living room rather than by the fire, looking out to the snow-capped land because the dining room is in disarray due to Samuel’s painting of the walls and ceiling, leaves me a little discombobulated.  

The winds blew in the cold last night, but the sun will come out turning tomorrow back into spring with temperatures in the 50’s.

That is much how it’s been in upstate New York all winter. The changeable nature accelerates shifting daily. Perhaps that is what caused the tossing and turning when the night before I slept like a zombie. But upon waking memories of the dream stayed with me throughout the day.

The sadness of the dream and what has been lived with ruminated within. That Tom got close trying to cuddle and kiss. Brothers don’t do that, though mine did. No wonder closeness even with my husband never came.

I wonder about reincarnation. Returning to life to live it better until you get it right. No thank you. Pretending to have a family that wasn’t one. The harshness of surviving. Consuming blackness that didn’t begin to be exhumed until writing about what my mother never wanted told.

Freedom unraveled internally as each one died, Tom the last to go. A feeling of safety. Learning about authenticity of self, a process growing and evolving each day, each moment. These years have brought joy, peace, and a wholeness not experienced before. Gratitude fill me.  

 

The Loneliness of Shame

Temperatures dip into the teens and still dropping as snow swirls in mini-tornados off the roof. The fire emits a burst of heat after the fan is tuned on. Even the house temperature dropped overnight.

After the cat ‘hunt’s on the screen porch during my first sips of hot black brew, she comes in to curl up next to me on Samuel’s stuffed rocker complacently watching me write.

The comfort of home cannot be overstated. Home where my depleted nervous system can be pampered, protected, and cared for. Home where creativity can blossom, and working on freeing myself from the internal too harsh critic can be accomplished over time and with much dedication.

There is no freedom being locked in with critical voices of the past yammering in my head ever since age 8 and the first violent attack. When no one comes to help, a child feels to blame. The family unconsciously understands how well this silenced me, and willingly added to it along the way.

Their shame of doing such deeds, or standing by doing nothing, caused an even bigger shame, the shame of silence, dumped on tiny shoulders willing to take it on. Taking the blame was far better than feeling powerless, not a conscious decision, but self-preservation. I’ll take the blame because otherwise the people I depend on are not dependable, then where would I be?

Guilt and blame are easier boulders to carry than powerlessness. So the family’s shame became my shame. I didn’t just do bad, I am bad. 

It took a life to unburden, rock by rock, right down to the empty wheelbarrow where loneliness clawed like finger-nails on a chalk-board, scraping my insides scratching outwards on tender, raw flesh. Only in going there could I be saved, facing the self-hate, staying, exploring, challenging the voices…

Go to my center, be there, hold me, love me, settle in for the ride, because all others will come and go. I am the only one who will stay. My mother once said, “Be your own best friend,” giving me a book with that title. It has taken a life-time to begin that process. Thank you mother, but it would have been better had you kept them off me. 

 

Younger Brother

One week later, a call to my brother as promised, but this time earlier in the day. Surprisingly he pulled over while driving in order to talk to me. In the past calls became unheard of, chatting non-existent, time on the phone or on-line? Nix. 

Exposing myself to his pain is so difficult. Falling asleep took two hours longer even though our conversation was way before bedtime. Coincidence? Not wanting a sleep aid, nor wanting to get up to watch the TV, my inner voice commanded gently, stay.

And sleep did come after my rat brain took a twirl into the past, merging with the present; thoughts painful, memories sad. His son, my nephew, put himself into the psych hospital for a 72 hour commitment.

That is the most he will do for himself. My sister-in-law flew out to release him sooner, give him another credit card because he lost the one they gave him, and will fly back after he is walking the streets where he lives again… until the next episode. The streets are his home, all news to me after my brother shared it just last week .

My brother did not talk about his daughter either, not knowing about her serious drug problem until the day she died 7 years ago. Too late to do anything, to listen at least, to do something to have possibly saved her not that I could have. She was thirty years old, he is 35.

My head whirls into the past when Danny was so spaced out near the end when his last attempt at suicide succeeded. If the person afflicted will take no help is there hope?

Medication, counseling, and a case manager to oversee his mental state week to week once stabilized is crucial. All these necessary interventions won’t occur if he won’t cooperate.

And he won’t, or just enough to keep himself barely going. They bought him a new phone after losing one, and track what he’s doing by the credit card. What else can they do?

Sleep took two hours to come . Checking in with my younger brother is a choice I cannot abandon even if painful and worrisome. 

DISSOCIATION

Such a master of dissociation, there’s little awareness of it when occurring. Milk found in a cupboard days later. A card sent that never arrived so probably mailed without stamp or return address. Though much of my time is now is in the present, the comfort of being elsewhere still happens with a realization of it only afterwards… if at all. Who is in my body at that time?

How can a body move, take action, do anything without a being in it? There are many ways to flee. Fear of feeling what is there causes a run unless deliberate focus to stay evolves. Don’t be afraid, stay.

Starting the day with that mantra, sipping coffee, numbing, feeling the split, but counteracting the impulse with courage- stay. Fear of what’s there, because a deep and devastating sadness seems to be at my core, and fear itself. Who would want to feel that?

But putting on my big girl pants, curiosity to check out feelings really residing in my core called to me. That is the way to start every day, the patience to stay, to work on authenticity even in the face of differentness. To find who I am at that particular moment…to own it, to own me.

That is living, and living in wholeness. Relax the muscles, unbind constraints from the critical boss haunting and inhibiting my true nature. Find her, be her, live her…. You don’t have a moment to lose, as each one is like a snowflake, unique, beautiful, but impermanent.   

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.

Finding the Light

What do you really feel, rather than should feel, be, or act? So much of the time the effort is overcoming what really is. That is not freedom. To feel what is there despite anyone else’s objection means my time, thoughts, and bodily workings are my own, as it should be.

Since childhood my lips were muzzled, even as others took from my body what they wanted. And I was expected to love them. The split does not come back together. Acting vs real. I am an actor.

Even later in my sixties this is so. Once gagged while crimes against me were committed, the silence, the pleasing, remains. There are times with great grit where that is overcome momentarily, but more times not.

These dark thoughts during the dark days of winter, pull me under. Add a drippy, sneezy, coughing head that interrupts sleep and a zombie is born. What of the days where scattered pieces scampered back unto me in the mornings on the porch and sunny patio?

When the sound of critters grounded me in centeredness? A wholeness was felt. The warmth inviting me out to fields of buttercups and daisies. How does one find inner light in winter when really the wish is to sleep it away?