FRIENDS

Tinted, like looking at the world with dark glasses. When the growth of a personality is embedded with feelings of ‘badness,’ feeling abnormal, even dirty, it separates a being from others in so many ways… emotionally, spiritually, and intimately. Closeness is feared.

Anxiety arises. Any interaction with another human makes it pop like hot mercury. Though much of that has lessened, anxiety and the customary feeling of wrongness, or badness, are still issues dealt with daily. 

Living in a bubble is not my desire, but my needs require an environment that includes a great deal of solitude that is steadily familiar. Upsets in equilibrium interfere with my health setting off a reaction that is out of my control. But outings are still pleasurable.

A friendly gathering offered a place to really talk. Later at home the harsh voice began banging, “You monopolized the conversation. Can’t you see what they have been going through?”

Then a softer voice quietly budged in, “Give yourself a break. It’s OK to share. It doesn’t mean you aren’t aware of their struggles or pain, or that you don’t care. Let yourself off the hook. Think of the supportive things that were said, like, you are a good friend. Remember that?”

Remember that.

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SLEEP

photo by Patricia

A wind burst blew, a splatter of rain, thoughts of closing the windows, then quiet. But not my thoughts which begin to race over worries that don’t intrude so much in daytime.

When complaining about my nocturnal waking’s, Samuel says, “Wipe the slate clean.”

Tears come because it is as if he blames me too. As if I have control over a rat brain that rolls through in the night-time at will crushing any power over it at all.

“You don’t understand,” I lament at the check-out in the store, wondering if the cashier can see the tears leak out and roll down my cheeks even with my head down.

“In the middle of the night, I don’t have control. Worries take over and some nights it’s no use. I have to get up,” I said.

“Well, that’s how I do it. Maybe it’s different for you,” he said hardly convinced.

Another bat to beat myself with? I don’t believe it. I believe damage was done. That holding in trauma for decades has done a great deal of damage to all systems of my body. Samuel cannot understand, nor can another who does not deal with PTSD. Gentleness, understanding, and acceptance is needed, and can only come from within. Forgiveness too.

Because in the middle of the night, all my ‘crimes’ come back haunting me. No one but me can give what I need which is a forgiving nature. When applied to myself it then can bloom outward.

Laying there awake and rising, the clock said 3 AM. Oh, that is too early and back into the warm bed covering up sleep is waited for. But it takes an hour and half for my squirrel brain to calm down before sleep comes.

Awaking to a brilliant day without the sleepy hang-over from a sleep medication, nor over-eating in the middle the night because of feeling sorry for myself for having this problem, the day yawns ahead with its usual challenges… challenging enough without being over-tired.

Worries feel more manageable with energy for a reasonable inner discussion about which ones to try to work on, and which ones are out of my control. This is not something doable in the night. This is a condition to accept with more love and understanding than Samuel seems able to give. He takes his ability to sleep for granted.

GROWTH

photo by Patricia

My head knows what my heart does not. When a child is sexually abused by loved ones, her world turns and does not recover. My head knows the blame is not mine, but the soul, my core, became damaged in ways that won’t be undone.

People my age die. It is not uncommon. The growth so far may have to be. That is the way for everyone. We keep growing until we die. And mine is enough. I cannot have what I would have, but I can have now with hope.

 

SPOILED

“My mother used loved to say, “My only daughter of eight kids!”

The usual response from her friends, acquaintances, and other strangers looking at me, “You must be so spoiled.” 

My usual training was to force a smile, but my head lowered as my interior felt spoiled in a dirty, dark and piercing lonely unloved way. 

There is at the core a rotten place, a place where that’s what I believe I am. No matter the frills on the outside, the house made beautiful by my decorating, the gardens, mosaics, even the purple tint of color in my hair for fun that inspires cashiers and other strangers to often comment while out shopping how much they love my hair… at my core there is disease. . .

There lay the belief of badness, rottenness, and total unworthiness. It smolders moldy, and sour like lettuce gone bad at its core. 

The days go by uneventful. Sleep comes. My restless repetitive negative thinking is seemingly kept to a minimum. But bubbling below a stinking brew recoils. It keeps me up at night to remind me of the intense work and overhaul still needing to be done. 

Chet’s hold on me strangles me even now after he is dead and gone. Poor Chet, was how I felt about him. Poor Chet? He held me down. He then masterminded my mind, like a hostage still chained even now. My hating myself came from him. He hated himself too. But not enough. Not enough to come to me in person, or by mail to say the simple words “I’m sorry.”

And that’s my fault too. Because I’m hard, cold, bitter, and angry. How could anyone try? That is bull. No matter how the other person is, you must try. Yet my core doesn’t know that, only that the disease of him still takes hold and keeps me up nights. The disease of each of them rots my core.  

Last night it was the memory of being called bitch while still in the hospital after the stomach stapling. A procedure done so I could be whole, normal, and slim like others. Done because of them. Because after the first attack by Danny, I ate and ate till throwing up in the middle of the night. I still do that.

Chet calls while I lay there weak in pain. He said, “You bitch.”

I believed him. A part of me still does, the part that rots, won’t heal, and keeps me up nights.  

 

SOULWORK

Sinking down into myself, into the core, into my soul… really deep. Going past all the shattered pieces to where it all began, life. A soul born complete. You are there if you dare to find it. And it scares me.

Walking out to the shed with a raincoat over my bathrobe to shut the door left open overnight for some unknown reason, I look around at the beauty created. Walking back to the house every nook in the landscaping has a piece of mosaic made by my hands from that place inside of me.

I have taken blackness and made beauty. I walk the earth in a shroud of heavy seriousness keeping fears at bay, creating a counter punch with my work along with great conscientiousness to keep afloat.

There is more than saving myself from drowning. Touching home in my soul where connections are made with my body, not fearing it. Where unfavorable behaviors begin to be understood, forgiven, and treated gently. Where goodness is acknowledged in its authenticity, not blackened by the past and those who want to keep me there.  

There is a place I’ve hardly been, feared to go, and want to be.

Learning Love

It’s been a long time, almost 60 years of treating myself like my brothers treated me. Hating me like they did. Suppressing all that is me for the rest of the family’s comfort, and in doing so mistreating myself every day of my life since the age of eight.

Always running from what is, and the truth, whether it is overeating, shopping, keeping overly busy to make up for being born ‘bad,’ all the many war tools to keep the truth in even from myself, has done so much damage to my mind, body and soul.

And much cannot be undone. Part of me moved forward like a warrior. Other parts bled, couldn’t keep up, won’t heal and need managing with care, love and a great deal of attention. It is time to start treating myself with all the love possible, not how ‘they’ treated me.

You are never too old to make dreams come true, have a goal, reach it, and to make the magic of finding your true nature. At the end of the day when darkness implodes with negatives catapulting into me, it is time to employ defensive measures to counteract the part of me who learned to survive by making me the ‘bad’ one.  Stay connected, feel my body, be in it, don’t escape, it is OK. Learn to be loving, not hateful.

Dig Deep My Love

So much talk about being in my body, making friends with both my body and psyche… Really, I am very disconnected. It isn’t something to add to the list of what to bang myself over the head with, though the ‘critic’ is ready, always ready, always LOUD, and always upon me to crush the life out of me.

It is another loss to grieve, and to be oh so gentle with. Of course I don’t want to be in my body. This body betrayed me by responding to some of the evilness done to me by a brother whose attacks went on for more than a year, more like two.

Though violence occurred only the first time, all the attacks after were still violent because I did not want them, or want any part of them finding it all vile and disgusting. But there was no one to tell who would listen. My mother put it back on me, my other brother went about his life as if I never told him.

Yet my body did respond to some of it. Bodies are made that way. But it left me hating myself and my body for life. Another life sentence for the child sexually abused.

This needs healing, forgiving, love and understanding. It won’t be showering down from above, but has to come from me, a place most of the time dry, cold and abandoned. How does love grow in the frosty dark? How does love grow in soil that was never nourished?

These are not easy quests, one has to dig deep in the soil until finding warmth and a place to grow. At age 66 I am still digging.