SLEEP!

“Maybe you are taking too much,” Samuel said while we sit on the patio with morning coffee.

The night before, for no apparent reason, sleep evaded me. Instead, every situation not working out how I’d like going back to almost birth invaded my consciousness. My head swam with negativity about everything I did being WRONG!

After such a fine day, Samuel’s answer makes sense.

“Maybe it’s the weight loss,” I said, adding, “I’ve lost quite a bit so maybe I need much less.”

“Yeah, maybe, take half, or take it earlier,” Samuel responded.

A quiet man, it was surprising during the silence interrupted only by birdsongs while sipping coffee that he piped up with his thoughts.

“So which?” I asked, “Earlier, or less?”

“I don’t know,” he said, and of course, how could he know what I should do?

But like much of my life, scattered insides makes me look for answers elsewhere, in people who seemed to have a wholeness that was not shattered. That has become less of a need, but lately has cropped up while hounding Samuel for decisions for every simple thing. God, Samuel?

He rides the fence on all things, maybe his favorite answer. Getting an opinion from him is like milking blood from a stone. So, what is going on? The dosage, or maybe I’m at a crossroads where a leap to growth awaits, or both.

Permission to reach a healthy weight is in question. As if I haven’t a right to feel good, but must carry the burdens of an unhappy family. To let go means chucking all that was learned about myself, that perhaps I really am a worthwhile person? The critic says otherwise.

The critic is overbearingly powerful, a conglomeration of all those in the origin group I was born into. And others who knew of the abuse and did nothing, like my Aunt down the road who was also the school nurse.

Back then there wasn’t a law requiring that those who care for children report abuse. But I sometimes wonder if it would have helped or made things worse. Would I have been removed from the home, or would the offenders have gone to a detention center? But either way, a different message would have been relayed, that I mattered. Or perhaps the family would then blame me for it all. I feel like that anyway.

I’ll try half the dose and stick with it till my body adjusts, which might mean more late nights and the dreaded sleep aid which leaves me groggy the next day. Perhaps the need to question that critic who loudly bangs in my head needs more aggressive work.

When you’re hit by a Mack truck and no one comes to help, no medical attention given, and no therapy to address the symptoms of so much trauma as a child, it makes PTSD and all its challenges a permanent fixture in my life. The message learned— I don’t matter.

That’s how a child perceives it which never changed through the years, because the message of keeping silent stayed. The most horrible, tragic, splintering, shattering traumas sustained as a child… forbidden to be let out of me. It does take a lot of food to lock it down.

Anyone in that group of people I had the misfortune to be born unto would tell you different. You’d be told of their kindnesses, their care, but it came with the price of silence. With the death sentence of pretending I wasn’t who I was, but a mere puppet or shell of a human being…. not me.

JUST BE

We wake each day anew. Not what was yesterday, or this time last year, sometimes wondering where she is, only remembering the very best days when peace filled me. Because not every day is like that.

You must go with what is now. Though growth occurs that does not mean it comes easily or without pain. It does mean without backsliding. Yet once hurdles are successfully mounted, the ropes of growth pull me back to the hilltop more quickly.

There is an insistence to go my core, yet barriers stop me. Unseen curtains shielding the way. It takes work to go slow enough to enter the sacred space of internal wisdom and clarity.

That is where solace is found, wanting to go there again, working toward that goal. The barriers are resistance to my truths, not wanting to face my humanness, foibles, character flaws, or maybe hardest, my talents, achievements, generosity, sweetness, or anything else on plus side.

Pull back the curtains and see what’s there. Accept all there is, work on what’s needed, try not to judge, and just be.

PHOTO BY PATRICIA

Stuck in a Loop

Ten days later my footing is still shaky wondering what happened to the person growing into love for herself. Attempting to be part of the origin family group took me back hundreds of paces… or so it seems.

I don’t want to hear about the third person not there, my younger brother Stevie who lives upstate. If he wanted to tell me these things about himself he would have. Don’t you two tell me how worried you are about him. You’re worried about him? What about the cocktails you consume every night Seth? Your alcoholism is raging.

What about your need to have a group of people together Don, working at it diligently- a group of people who can’t help each other grow? And where you discuss another who is not even there? Being around those stuck in loops, pretending they are not, impedes growth exponentially.  

I don’t want to worry, especially about those where any relationship is not grounded in safety, loyalty, or true care. I still feel like a puppet attached to their strings easily manipulated by fear, rejection, or guilt. Guilt at blocking all from emails, but if I were to look in that folder, my bet is that nothing is there anyway.

For my own safety and well-being that distance is needed, but guilt consumes me. Who I used to be becomes me now. Where is the Patricia who likes herself? Who allows freedoms, happiness, and growth? Who looks beneath the surface and knows wisdom?

My mind goes in circles, round and round, thinking about each of them, and I don’t want to. I want to be here now, with the land, with people I love and trust; Samuel, sons, grand-kids, and most especially my cat. A cat won’t hurt you. A cat is loyal.

Where is the wise voice that answers softly with the truths you need? It will come, it will come. You’re OK, you’re OK.

Friends Are Family

My beautiful grand-daughter Cindy….

Hearing the ding of emails coming in, taking a breath, a sigh of relief calms me knowing that any emails coming from the culprits of those in the so called origin family will be diverted to junk mail.

I’ll never see them or know emails are there unless I look. And mostly there won’t be any. No one interacts much unless wanting something, which is rare. But it’s a necessary step right now to feel safe, find my freedom again, and be at peace.

The emails come from friends, those few that are real family, trusted and supportive in a honest way, not in ways that serve only them. And in they come, reliable, loving, and filling the ragged holes that the origin family ravaged with their fake interest and hollow words.

Friends, the family made after years of work, commenting on the video and photos of my 8 year old grand-daughter in a huge dance competition where she recently took first place among all the area dance studio’s participants.

Oh to see her whole, loving, and complete, the age when I was first attacked. An age where the longing for ballet classes was not to be because food used to survive the traumas put too many pounds on to my little kid frame.

She’s a winner to us regardless of any wins, her grace and beauty overflowing. Tears fill my eyes while watching, and joy sent sparklers of shivers down my legs to my toes….

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is acb6eb2981eaf87e984ac302416d7628.gif

MOTHER’S DAY

From Cory- delivered to my door the day of…

Why has it taken so long to love life, being alive, and to feel freedom possibly for the first time in 68 years? Wounds that don’t air fester. They develop pus, gangrene, and worsen, sometimes a body part needs hacking off, or death occurs.

Pretend you care, but you insist, ‘don’t tell.’ One cannot heal from trauma when the trauma is vaulted in tightly. When air, light and the hope of healing is withheld. Wound after wound, does it matter after a while, or does each wound compound upon the other?

And that’s what families do, pretend… victimizing the victim. So much healing yet to do. To go deep to find the black rot still there, evident in the way others still are allowed to take advantage of me. Because feeling poorly about one self does that.

And though some light of self-love is beginning to grow in my core, there are more doors to open and windows to rise. Corners well-hidden where parts still hide, cowering in fear of what others would think if they knew… more importantly what my thoughts are of myself.

The forgiving of self for past perceived crimes, even if only a child, still fester. Because what’s done in childhood came along like a fungus affecting all relationships negatively, like pus oozing out.

The only thing that would bring me back to the hell my life was, would be to become a better mother. To have my sons forgive my mistakes which were many and sorrowful. When asking forgiveness for my transgressions they say they have none to forgive.

They do even if they don’t know it. And isn’t that true of most childhoods, that we must heal some of the damage well meaning parents inflict? But most importantly it is powerful and relevant to be better now, and for me to forgive me. Bring light to the dark pockets still existing. Dig deep, see the truth with acceptance, tolerance, kindness and love. Let the newly found love for self grow.

From Shane– along with a happy dinner of chicken pot pies…

INWARD by Yung Pueblo

It is the things

 you say no to

 that really show

 your commitment

 to your growth~ yung pueblo

Meditative moments in the early morning include readings from a new book given to me by Cory while visiting at his home. My younger son is very aware of my internal workings as he helped with all the computer related details of book publishing and erecting this blog site.

His thoughtfulness warms me. Though easily readable in one sitting, it is being savored a little bit at a time.

So many words hit ‘home.’

as her love grew, her ability to feel the

unseen and listen to the wisdom ofthe

internal strengthened. the walk on the path

to freedom had changed her; though she

still experienced times of difficult release,

the feeling of unity remained ever present

in her body. now that she lived her life in

the grassy fields between mortality and the

infinite, she could feel that the space in

heart was the same as the heart of

the earth and the heart of the universe.

yung pueblo

TRUE NATURE

Pondering the use of the word hate yesterday while walking, it occurred to me that the hate was for the situation. That families gather together against the victim to keep her quiet using any psychological tool available; criticism, rejection, whatever it takes to silence the voice of truth.

That’s the hate. Mother’s admonitions early on taught me to NEVER say hate, never speak up, never advocate for my own needs, especially quelling my nature to speak up about wrongs.

That’s my nature, but forever damaged due to her teachings so that her little daughter would never tell anyone what her sons were doing and what they had done. Because even after telling me to tell her if it ever happened again, it kept happening.

Of course. How could I stop what was never wanted to begin with? Although I’d spend most of my life blaming myself for just that.

Even on her death bed she directed me to take out a pen and write it down, a verse from a poem she once read. Still the dutiful daughter in my fifties, I did as she asked.

“Talk faith. The world is better off without
Your uttered ignorance and morbid doubt.
If you have faith in God, or man, or self,
Say so. If not, push back upon the shelf
Of silence all your thoughts, till faith shall come;
No one will grieve because your lips are dumb.”  Ella Wheeler

I still have that scrap that of paper. It seared into me the words of silence I was never to break. At first perplexing, then it dawned on me that even after her death she would manage me and try to keep me silent about her sons. A mother loves all her children.

To cause such damage to a child’s personality and nature so early on makes it very hard to reclaim. And of course I cannot to the extent I’d like. There are precious losses unrecoverable. But dwelling on what’s lost is a choice after it has been fully grieved, and that took years.

Now the key to happiness is mine. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, it always has been but I didn’t know it.

 

Glacial Shifts

The week looks bright with full sunny days. As the crispy earth gave way to my footsteps, the crunch satisfying against my boots, the sun burst forth over the hill splashing on my face. Round and round, breathing in the cool air while busy birds sang as they worked.

A feeling long yearned for over recent weeks settled in, a feeling of groundedness frosted with calm. Upon entering the house I announced to Samuel, “I feel better. I can feel a difference.”

“That’s good,” Samuel responded, not much of a talker.

It is different, a pulling in of pieces that had scattered like a whirlwind matching the March breezes whipping at the trees. It has been the hardest spring. Past springs were not as hard, this one upsetting sleep drastically over a longer period. But change is like that sometimes.

There are internal changes, shifts in perspective about myself that work towards wholeness. Renewal, growth, hope, and change? Yes, one thing to count on is change, and humans don’t usually like that. I don’t. But fighting it is like trying to catch water as it seeps through your hands.

DEPTH

PHOTO BY PATRICIA

It’s not too late to grow and change. It is late in life where most of mine occurred, and most pivotal after my mother died. It was then the truth was spoken with no one to tie me down. Her love was all there was, though it came with stipulations, not to talk my truth.

How does one begin to live whole, free, and alive if trauma bubbles within bleeding like an unhealed wound? It made me a puppet to other’s needs, pleasures, and wants, adding to that my fear of rejection.

My being has been a ball of anxiety still roiling up at times, but not always boiling as it once was. From a highly static, sparking robot to a more peaceful creature. Good to live long enough to feel this joy of just being, taking in my surroundings with appreciation without the buzz.

Only when I can see me, can I be me. And only when the talents, traits and soul voice are felt and honored can the opinion of who really matters float to the forefront— mine.

Beneath the anxiety, fear, self-doubt, terrible pain of buried horrors, and hate for self, is a person loveable, capable, and worthy. As worthy of life, peace, and happiness as anyone else. It has taken a very long time to get to this place inside that welcomes with warmth, acceptance and care.

A new year, a new me, anything is possible. Not out changing the world, but internally recognizing the possibilities and feeling the newness of what was always there waiting for me…me.  

FEELINGS

Waiting for Spring-photo by Patricia

The itchy digging of loneliness revisited, though it took till the next morning after our virtual celebration to hit. Our on-line party was much like the real thing, having both sons together, and the usual teasing back and forth. It could have been chaotic, but was joyful, and paced nicely by both sons.

But that feeling each year that scrapes at my insides when Cory comes home for Christmas then leaves, visited without invitation. Keeping busy helped, but in the moments in-between busyness that dull ache gnawed at my insides. I’d pay good cash not to feel that feeling.

At first when Shane left, now twenty years ago, the feelings risked sinking me in despair and loss. But he left to live his life, a good thing. No amount of reason took away the feelings, only time to adjust to the new life without him. Nonsensical because the entire goal in raising of child is to foster independence.

When it was Cory’s turn it was no less painful. As years passed, tears came with each good-bye threatening to drown me in anguish. There must be more to this than sons leaving the nest. My belief is that it unlocks decades of wretched loneliness living with the traumas of my past that never could be spoken.

Attachments to other beings became almost impossible unless you were an animal or a child. And my love moved freely to them. What little there was to love left. No wonder the pain. Yes, there’s Samuel. And my world would fall apart without him.

That did not diminish the suffering that came when sons left. After years of Cory being married, then the first baby, Cory’s leaving after the yearly Christmas visit didn’t bring as much raw emptiness. The satisfaction of his newly begun family filled the void.

But yesterday, and this morning when a few tears finally fell, sadness over not seeing him, like the ghost of Christmas past, whirled in me. My sweet son knew of my restlessness calling at day’s end after his own festivities. The sweetness of his thoughtfulness calmed the chaotic mix-up inside me.

Leaving, loss, grief, and loneliness go into the pot- mixing, swirling, and becoming unbearable. So look to the new year, transform with the times, and go back to what you know to work on each day, learning to grow.

My sons are sweet. My cup runneth over. But no amount of telling myself not to feel what I feel worked. That I shouldn’t feel this way because others have it so much worse. That I shouldn’t feel this way because I have so much. And all that is true, but one thing I know…. running from feelings, my life’s art, is not the solution, feeling them is.