I’M SORRY

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Who, in the group of people I was born unto,

Has said, “I’m sorry.”

No one.

So a wound that would heal with “I love you, and I’m sorry,”

Festers, and like gangrene grows.

If only someone, anyone, had said,

“I’m sorry.”

But no one came. I was left alone, and couldn’t, didn’t heal.

Until time wore on. Rage spun its course.

I found a way to peace

All on my own…

SHE

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Listen to Her. Deep, still, quiet. She knows.

Not the should’s and shouldn’ts,

Do’s and Don’ts,

But what you need to do.

Yes, movement is good,

Except when it’s not.

Years of doing, pushing, overdoing,

On an already comprised system

Caused damage.

Don’t do the shoulds, what others have mapped,

Do what you need, and know,

If you listen,

to Her, that is me, down there,

in the heart of my soul, my spirit.

She needs rest?

Provide rest.

SECRET GARDEN

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A fellow blogger used the words “Hold on. I’m holding on.” And it struck a cord. This song helped me as I powered through ‘stuff’ with my cell-phone therapist, Matt. And to give him his due, he did help me. Our chorale sang several songs from the musical “Secret Garden.” I was deeply touched by it and bought the movie version which I still love. 

I thank Lynne for reminding me of the beauty and strength of this song which brought tears all over again as I searched the web trying to find it for her. This version touched me more than the theatrical versions. Her voice is pure though she has taped it in her home alone with her kitty. I include the lyrics, as important. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgziO0ghAA0

HOLD ON

What you’ve got to do is finish
What you have begun!
I don’t know just how
But it’s not over till you’ve won.

When you see the storm is coming
See the lightning part the skies
It’s too late to run
There’s terror in your eyes
What you do then is remember
This old thing you heard me say
“It’s the storm, not you
That’s bound to blow away”

Hold on
Hold on to someone standing by
Hold on
Don’t even ask how long or why?
Child, hold on to what you know is true
Hold on till you get through
Child, oh child
Hold on

When you feel your heart is poundin’
Fear a devil’s at your door
There’s no place to hide
You’re frozen to the floor
What you do then is you force yourself
To wake up, and just say
“It’s this dream, not me
That’s bound to go away”

Hold on
Hold on, the night will soon be by
Hold on
Until there’s nothing left to try
Child, hold on, there’s angels on their way
Hold on and hear them say
“Child, oh child!”

And it doesn’t even matter
If the danger and the doom
Come from up above or down below
Or just come flying at you from across the room

When you see a man who’s raging
And he’s jealous and he fears
That you’ve walked through walls
He’s hid behind for years
What you do then
Is you tell yourself to wait it out
And say “It’s this day, not me
That’s bound to go away”

Child, oh hold on
It’s this day, not you
That’s bound to go away

MONARCH

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I’m not fond of black. Yet the monarch’s deep orange comes alive inside its borders. As I grout the dark black over the rubies and bright diamonds of the new butterfly, I again feel my work aligning with life; the light and the dark, broken, shattered, yet the shards put together stronger than the original, and just as beautiful,  bumpy in spots but adding character and depth.

And the black, tarry thick grout, or filth of abuse, covering the brilliance, does not make the jewels dirty or bad or wrong, or have no right to be here. It only covers it. What’s underneath still radiates. The tar wipes off. I may have to dig, and scrape, and wipe and shine…pick, and poke, and not give up… but underneath lies beauty, shimmering beauty.

While applying the black grout, the sun splashes on my shoulder, kitty sprawls on the floor in the pool of light, and music softy plays in the background. My body relaxes into the project. I can no longer see the diamonds, rubies and glittery jewels, but I know they are there beneath the grime. Dirt wipes off of glass and shiny objects. It cannot adhere.

In the studio I feel whole, at ease, peaceful. I can feel my entire body and like being in it, and being, and being me.

FIGHTER

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I feel wrong, or bad, for speaking up. I don’t always do it right, often messy and overblown, but I do it. And that’s OK. Sometimes I regret it. I wish I hadn’t and probably should not have. Then it takes a few years to recover. Yes, years. And those times happen because I held something in too long, so I pop like a boiling kettle. Oh horrors. What did I do? Nothing all that horrible. Yet it feels so.

I have felt wrong and bad since age 8 and the first attack. All I think about is how wrong I am at every interaction, every look at me from my husband or anyone else, just wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s a feeling, or belief I combat constantly. And I think always of the other person, not me, their feelings, and what they think of me, (not good). So I keep asking Samuel, “You OK?” Wondering what he’s thinking, or feeling, and what he thinks of me.

What about what I think of me?

I don’t say … “good job Patricia. You finally spoke up.” That’s not my go to thought or feeling. My first reflex, is to blame myself. For whatever. I don’t understand why those who attack and abuse get to be honored, like that pastor, and like Tom. Other brothers interact with him more than with me. I have always felt left out. Even if I chose to leave myself out. They chose their loyalties long ago, and it wasn’t to me.

And I think that’s a part of keeping the girl down so she won’t tell. Even the little girl turned woman. Act like you care and love her, but only enough so it looks like it, but not enough so she’s strong enough to give away secrets.

With how confusing everything can get, one thing I know, I need moments of deep comfort and compassion for myself. I accept, or resign myself to the knowledge, that I also need to work and fight for it, even now, even still, and probably forever more, until my last breath.

It was stolen from me, my ability to self-love. Worse, it became ingrained into the bed-rock of my soul that I was bad. It will not go away. I have to work each day, sometimes moment to moment, to show myself love, compassion and tenderness. 

I’m worth the fight. I’m a fighter. I’m tired of fighting, but there is some left. It is in a quieter, gentler form. But I’m in here!

ANXIETY

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How do you take a spinning top and slow it down enough to see each side? Somehow, during those years of raising children, because of them, I did. I stopped the top, turned it over, around, looked up both sides and down. But it kept spinning for a very long time. The ‘emergency’ brain does that, keeps spinning, no matter what. Always on edge, always awaiting the other shoe to drop, smack dab on my head. Make a loud sudden noise around me. You’ll see. I still jump and scream out as if death awaits.

Meditation has been the key. (Chapter 23: BUDDHA) I could not be around others without so much anxiety I couldn’t be still or calm inside. Anxiety buzzing all the time is no way to live, but it is how I lived for much of my life until I began meditating. The gifts given by devoting that half hour each day are tremendous, miraculous.

Happiness for me is being at peace, often elusive, yet there waiting for my return…

GO TO A DRY WELL, SINK HOLE OR QUICKSAND?

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Do you go to the waters, rushing nearby, clean, sparkling and Healthy?

Or to the place with no remorse.

The people who will hurt you.

I go to the empty well, over and over. I never seem to learn,

The people with no character, depth, or true love.

I have springs of fresh, clear love so close.

I choose to go where none forth comes.

Why do I search for what I can’t have

In places where I need it-

In 9th grade, we moved to a new city.  CHAPTER 5   I made friends who accepted me as I am.  Instead, I tried hanging out with the popular crowd, never fitting in. How could I? Their worth wasn’t about friendship, kindness or truth, but about who, what, or where. Of course I didn’t fit in. And had I been old enough to see, I’d have known I wouldn’t want to.

My son always knew his group of friends were not the popular kids, and their crowd rejoiced in that fact, reveled in it, made sly jokes about it, proud of it. It gave me pause and made me smile.

In the chorale I belonged to for over 15 years, I had made friends with our pianist, yet felt something ‘off’ all along. The way he sought out my son to care for his cats, and going out of his way to insure my son sat on the piano bench next to him turning pages during our concerts. His discussion of teaching at a boy’s school made me wonder why he had left. Red flags were flying. 

He wore flowing pastoral robes when he married my eldest son and his bride.

The congregation where he led the choir, housed him for free in the house next door to the church, including free internet. That is, until he was arrested for crack and a computer filled with young male pornography, so young that an investigation had to be done as to their ages. Children. Not my child who was a teenager at the time and never had alone time with him.

I looked up to this charlatan, because he was a minister, on the library board, directed his church choir, and was our talented, gifted pianist of the county chorale. He had important connections, social status, and many other things I didn’t possess. But that was all on the outside. What lay inside was a liar. A man too afraid to come out of the closet with his gayness, so turned instead to crack, and porn and young boys.

He could have had a relationship with a man his own age. But he was too afraid of losing all the free goodies given to him if he owned his gayness; the free house, the free internet, the high standing in the community that looked up to him. So I was not the only one fooled.

His perversions spoiled chorale for me. He protracted cancer not long after his disgrace. And died. Our chorale sang at his service but not his church. That church wouldn’t have him. Our church, the one where we practiced. I couldn’t follow through after that, starting practices, then quitting. That they honored a true pedophile, one who lacked the courage to be who he really was, and instead lusted after children, soiled the group for me.

I seem to deal with two opposites within. Maybe it’s like losing one of the five senses, another becomes heightened. My ability to trust was shattered. And the result, or one of them is that I’m highly suspicious of others real intentions. I am more aware of what others are really up to. I am glad for this. It keeps me safe. And not.

In opposition, I turn to those that harm, because I’m familiar with outer shells, evil, lies, deceit, and the pretense of kindness… Like a moth to flame, the brightness, the lure of finally receiving what I longed for from my birthright, from a family, looking for it throughout my life in all the wrong places. 

I want to say SHE, but it is me who tends to seek out that which I am familiar with- That which harms and cannot, or will not give back.

Go to the springs of healthy life.

To my massage therapist who says she loves me, hanging my mosaic proudly in her office, genuinely happy for the gift, no strings attached.

Go to my friend who is Always there if I need her- but I will not ask for help. ASK.

Go to my husband, and learn to be open. Discover the gifts that I was too stressed to enjoy during the busier years of our marriage. Keep coming together in ways we never were able to before. Share this beautiful, peaceful life-

Go to the Earth, the Trees, the Flowers, and Critters… Go to where you will be filled…

What other wells have I dare not tapped that are rich, and healthy and full?

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS

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Do you put all the ramifications of someone else’s actions squarely on your shoulders? How much are you really able to control how a human body reacts to post traumatic stress; especially trauma that goes underground, not addressed in a child because no one wants it acknowledged because of their own shame in the matter and how it makes them look.

A child is critically wounded and no one comes. No one helps. No intervention with the way a brain deals with the sudden impact of life and death situations. Without intervention the child lives a lifetime of struggles and challenges. She wouldn’t had someone intervened, talked to her, let her express her traumas, over and over again, until fully processed, until the brain no longer had to protect her with all the ways it uses, because she now knows it won’t happen again. She’s safe, and protected.

That doesn’t happen. She lives with the feeling of death around every corner, even when she is supposed to be safe in her own home. Her brain becomes hard-wired to emergency because emergency is all it knows.

You can find relief, peace, and calm. It will take time. Be gentle. It’s not your fault. Try not to blame yourself for not making everything work right. I know you will because I’m quick to be hard on myself too. You can be soothed, and learn to self-soothe. Life, jobs, kids, etc. requires so much and adds stress, so it’s hard. But it will come…

(sometimes a comment comes from within worth sharing. Thank you MaggieI have seen this exquisite drawing on another site though I don’t remember the name but thank you…)