With rest my sanity returns, and with it my mundane life as it sadly turns that way when daylight lessons. Then the challenges of finding fun and magic increase, though it’s the little things that are magical.
Even a moment of being in it, after a life of zooming around it, my mind twirling above my body as escaping from it since the age of 8 has been necessary to survive.
When things feel boring, that is when all is well. Because chaos has been the norm. Boring is peace. So look into every moment. It will not pass this way again.
The morning starts slow, later than usual due a restless night. A soft voice came, that soul voice going unheeded too much of the time, it’s OK, this happens. And eventually sleep surprisingly came without aids or getting up in the middle of the night.
Maybe it is because too much of the day prior was spend outside myself, an occurrence that so easily happens, riding on the current of buzzing from an anxious spirit. Though seemingly calm, my insides often are in turmoil, and if the pot is stirred even oh, so delicately, the turmoil spins into a tornado of negative thoughts.
But this was on the edge of it, the soft voice talking me down, that soft voice of compassion laced with reason, the new part, compassion and self-kindness. Cultivating those is heaven here on earth.
The answers are in the very place you are running from, inside yourself. But who wants to be inside a place where a haranguing voice is beating you up so constantly that when it doesn’t it feels uncomfortable? Because I am a child of incest, a survivor. And it’s called that for a reason.
So many times thoughts of death to take me away from myself. A child run over by a truck laying there bleeding, your family walks by hardly noticing or looking at you. What kind of message do you receive placing cloth over the bleeding wounds all on your own?
This morning my eyes mist thinking about just how this has affected me, not in words, because so many times throughout life others have said to me, ‘you’re too hard on yourself,’ but more so in feeling it for what might be the very first time.
Think of the child I was. All alone. Devastated. Tortured by the constant comings in the night. No one to help. No one to make it stop. Just blame.
And the compassion? No. A bleak, loveless life, where love is pretended enough for children to grow, perhaps feeling real love for the very time since touched wrong at age eight. Love for my little human sons, because animals always were safe to love. My sons knew love, but no others were safe to love. No, not even Samuel.
So at almost age 70, barriers are being smashed, taboo’s shattered just as I was, talking about what happened, and after years of doing that openly on my blog, another glass ceiling annihilated, learning to love myself.
Exhaustion makes me weary. Sometimes growth can do that. Especially with a body worn out by years of hyper-alertness from repressed trauma causing startle responses daily with the accompanying adrenaline shooting cortisol through my veins draining my body from energy permanently.
And growth is challenging. Kicking the critic out comes with kick-back from her, rising up to torture more aggressively beating me ragged. Could it be that fearing the worst causes it?
After a night with no sleep at all, a fear if going without medication, when Samuel awoke all thoughts of keeping my misery to myself dissolved.
“I didn’t sleep at all,” adding, “I was awake after you came to bed, and stayed in bed till 2. I couldn’t lay there anymore!”
He was quiet, though a sigh escaped noticed by a slump in his shoulders on exhale. And a soft whisper from my soul which went unheeded and did not penetrate, if this happened to my him, much compassion would flow from me. But for myself I felt quite the opposite.
The tears squeezed out, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I so different, so weird?”
And that theme went on, the tiredness embalming me further. Feeling sick, I retreated to the bedroom pulling the shades and curtains, the kitty looked at me wondering what I was up to.
Yanking the blankets down from the neatly made bed, knowing sleep would never comes in the day, but also knowing that rest was required, I dragged myself under the covers turning on the TV.
Louise Hay? My interest was piqued. I’ve used her quotes several times without ever knowing anything else about her. Sometimes the universe, mother god, takes time to intervene… just for me.
“Look in the mirror and tell yourself, I love you. I really love you,” she said.
After the short segment about her work, the self-hate and self-criticizing thoughts which blamed me for sleep issues were completely transformed.
Going back out on the patio, the warm sun kissed and hugged me all over, my bathrobe absorbing it all along with other sweet sensations that weren’t penetrating when in self-hate mode.
The quiet day after the reversal of thoughts about self sent me meandering down to the creek, gathering a basket of rose petals on the way. Then out front to cut peonies to refill the vase with fresh flowers. And again, out to Samuel’s climbing roses for another sweet display. My hands scoop the petals in the basket, moving them so that would dry without molding, but also for the aroma to swell.
Something in me is fighting back, kicking me black and blue, not allowing for this new freedom and growth. But when a process begins, there’s no turning back. A soul knows where to go if you let it.
Awake, even the birds are still sleeping. Yet it’s been a restful night, so padding out to the kitchen, hitting the coffee grinder switch, the twinkle lights turn on just in time. After the loud pulse of fresh beans being ground, errant bird chirpings are heard.
Must be the newborns that wake earlier than their parents. A frog deeply croaks in the distance signaling time for them to finally come out of the mud from winter’s hibernation. The moon, though waning, brightly lights up the back porch, and outdoor fairy garden solar lighting is still aglow.
The cat stretches out beside me, her head popping up occasionally when she hears a rustle nearby. Restless just sitting still, it takes focus to breathe and just be present and in my body.
Much of my days are like that, slowing down to be present in the moment and in my body. Fractured pieces pull me away or try to. Living, now that the kids are raised, the jobs are done, and there’s nowhere to go because my body can’t take it anyway, is living in the moment and being OK with just that.
Control the beast. The beast takes many forms; doubt, fear, insecurity, ungroundedness, an inability to trust or love, and the roots of self-criticism grown in childhood tangled so deeply it cannot be cut out only confronted daily.
Is it that simple, that all this time the adult just needed to take the reins not allowing the troubled willful child to have her will? But no, each path has many signs leading to the wrong places, maybe because fully feeling how wrong something is one learns what is right.
I won’t live long enough to get it all right. But the biggest secret hidden from myself all this time is that when others have said through the years, ‘you’re too hard on yourself,’ that it is a truth unrevealed to me. My head heard it, thought about it, but the critic kept on banging.
But when taking hold of the beasts causing worry, disruption, and chaos- choking them not by asphyxiation but with love, gentleness, kindness, and warmth… a soft place inside, an oasis opens inviting me in. The gnarly roots of self-criticism disintegrate making room for new growth of another kind.
It isn’t earth shattering, what I do. Waking after a restful sleep with deep gratitude for that simple bodily need fulfilled, there it is. What do I do?
A puzzle, a craft readying for the kids to visit over the weekend, or what? Movies play almost non-stop, as if that is my safe way to interact with people. While listening to the voices known by heart because they play so much, household chores are accomplished, or the next meal is prepared- which means a lot of time over the sink.
That is such a pleasure when the morning sun splashes on my face warming my upper body. So, it isn’t earth shattering, what I do.
Yet being in my body, and in my life, following that inner voice that often is ignored or detached from, can cause a reversal of negativity in my closest relationships opening them to growth and better lives for all.
Not just in my life but also in those I touch. Since childhood that voice was ignored. How could it not be when divided from it at age eight? That voice calls in the night preventing sleep till listened to. That or the PTSD devil, haven’t decided which.
It is an upheaval of deep angst and unhealth, but when re-connecting and following through…that IS earth shattering! Asking for what I need takes an extraordinary amount of energy and is exhausting. Others have become accustomed to my placidity and apologetic tendencies. When persevering for what feels right repeatedly and doggedly until the desired outcome, well, that must be surprising and difficult to ignore.
It is the little things that shatter the old ways creating new and wonderous ones…
During an illness nothing seems right, not my relationships nor my ability to interact with people with grace and tolerance. An old shrew, or so it seems.
Under that is a broken person unable to trust. How that has interfered with a warm, loving life is inconceivable. Yet there it is.
While so ill, wondering if the severe pain might lead to death because it was that serious, the negatives plagued me unable to retain any good thought.
On my death bed (sorry to sound morbid), I don’t want to lie there thinking of all the bad that I could have done better at. So, things that get in the way of the life preferred, and more importantly of the person I’d be proud to be, need work now.
Though I’ve worked daily, is it enough? Can I do more? Can I take the leap of trusting a bit more, and garnering a little more faith in people? To let the petty stuff slide off, and accept people where are- looking underneath their seeming hurtfulness to understand what may be hurting them?
In dreams they are there, this family that isn’t safe and who have insisted on my presence with my caving to it. As each day passes from inviting others to dinner without a response, safety is felt deeply allowing sleep, deep peaceful sleep.
It feels like sticking to a healthy eating program which during times of equilibrium, or even shakily so, happens with grace, persistence, and determination. But when PTSD strikes stealing my sleep, all bets are off. Eating away anxiety crops up like a volcano erupting. So too the never-ending craving for family and love.
Eating trauma since age 8 is my anchor, the time of the first attack still repressed due to it’s horrific violence. Going to my core, staying there despite whatever scary feelings are there is a new, magical adventure, feeling wholeness for the first time.
Parts cannot be cut off even though wanting to, the whole shebang needs acceptance as that’s my history, my life, my reality… like it or not. It isn’t easy digging in, inspecting these feelings of jealousy, resentment, and the whys of viscerally not liking somebody.
Taught that is wrong, the badness needs shoving away to really look at it. Pay attention to the feeling of unsafety with certain individuals. It is a warning bell to listen to. My empath abilities need respect, rise from the core, and are there to preserve and protect me.
Feelings of being left out crop up since before my dad died at age eight. With 8 kids and two parents who liked to party hard, there was not love and attention for everyone. Food and shelter, and those types of essentials, but a child needs so much more, and not one of 8 received it.
Be tender with what you find inside. Now is the time to provide what wasn’t provided, not scorn it. Bring it into your arms, love it, rock it with warmth, acceptance and attention, petting the hurt places tenderly. Let soft grasses make your bed, blue skies brighten your day, and rainbows make you smile. That is what to glue the broken places with…
It is interesting, though tragic, how much the insidious comments from the eldest abuser brother throughout my life has made me into this older woman who still believes such rotten things about myself.
That every choice and decision made must be selfish, stingy, unkind, and base. When really what lies inside my being is great generosity of spirit and sensitivity to others. So much so that living who I am became quite impossible because the pleasing instilled made me plastic.
It is only in tearing away the façade of what my family built in me that the true person shines through. But in that reality there are choices. Go to where the real feelings are even though they might cause others pain, or keep pretending?
Giving myself away so that a loved one won’t be hurt, means continuing with a robotic life. Eyes looking back in the mirror look strained, unreal, cold and soulless.
But in digging deep internally and letting old wounds open, flow, and heal, even hurting another in the process because these wounds bleed on others, also brings the joy of knowing who I really am and getting out of prison. The prison holding me captive for so many years.