Care and Love

photo by Patricia

So easily the ‘self’ is lost in the fray. Going robotic happens quickly. Then the letdown, the loss of sleep, anxiety consuming like a hungry bear.

Moment to moment, be there. Slow down. Slow way down, catching the inner workings as they happens, not going on as if all is wonderful, but as it is. Not so wonderful. Not when the world suffers, and fear gurgles in the quiet moments.

Only in being there can it be soothed. And it is OK, more so, necessary to be there deep inside where my being hides and resides, even from myself.

Playing old roles when interacting with the origin group, the pull of the role that makes others comfortable. Losing all growth in an instant, becoming clay molded unrecognizable.

Come back home inside, moment to moment. Take care of the precious soul finally found; spiritually, physically, emotionally, and wholly.

Feel It, Own It

photos by Patricia

To say my feelings of sadness are irreverent, or shouldn’t be felt as was written in yesterday’s post, is not how the hard won freedom of authenticity is honored. The sadness is real, not just the barriers between touching my grand-children and now only being able to see them through a screen, but so much more.

To say my rights don’t include accepting my feeling, all of them, is denying my true self, a life-time pattern. Sadness, fear, and the ever lagging self-esteem that plagues my psyche since age 8, are issues that need work daily.

Disregarding any feelings as if not there is the same type treatment from the origin family to this day. Be invisible, don’t be REAL. The other difficult concept escaping my ability more than not is self-love, comfort from within, and a soft place to be inside myself that welcomes with warmth.

Be a hero, rise above, be something you are not, says the harsh voice ever present. I feel scared, alone, lonely, did I say scared? I will say it again, SCARED. Scared that the killer among us is here to stay.

Yes, others will go to work eventually, out and about because they have been ill, lived through it, and have some immunity. But the fear is always there. Can you get it again? And when is my time, or Samuel’s, or friends, or even family from the origin group that I’ve reached out to.

Because during this pandemic, holding back when that group was pulling me in seemed senseless. Yet putting myself in there has caused its own problems. My critic bashes my doing so. You dummy. Why do you do that? Telling them you love them, do you really?

None is to be trusted. Accepting a role in whatever they have managed to erect has caused sleepless nights again. Yet I seem incapable of stopping, pulling me back to the vulnerable, play-dohish easily manipulated victim.

So the day starts bright with sunshine as well as the quandary swirling within.

 

What Path?

Time will come soon when it is warm enough to sip coffee on the patio. Samuel filled the finch feeder after empty all winter. The birds will begin to turn bright yellow and we’ll be able to observe the change while the sun warms us.

For now we still rock by fire. Knowing what’s at stake, we are doing all that we can to keep ourselves safe. The only time going out in public is to pick up groceries that are put in my trunk. Holding up a sign to the worker through the window also keeps me safe.

Once all avenues are explored, and action taken, feelings calm somewhat. Yet tears fall while meditating thinking of others, and the way they are dying… alone, gasping for breath, or hooked up to a ventilator almost in a coma. 

There are many ways to deal with the terror. Some don’t listen to news much. I am not one of them, each time gravitating toward it like a lifeline. But what comes with it is a connection to others even while sequestered away.

But that has been how I live, isolating myself from becoming overwhelmed due to a life of cortisol dumps on a daily basis leaving my adrenals depleted, and vulnerable. But I’m not isolated as my spirit world connects me to all others, and all living things.

It is not living alone, but on my own, finding true strength within that hadn’t been sourced. And in that choice to listen to what is really happening comes deep compassion and empathy. I hurt when you hurt. I hear the cries. It hurts to know of such suffering, helpless to stop the increasing tsunami of death, panic, and sickness.

Each have their ways of coping. All ways, if it works, are the right way. My path leads to the forest, within myself, and into the universe holding us all together. It has always been there, but only in the last several years was connection possible as the scattered pieces were welcomed home. 

Each Day

“Today felt better than all the other ones,” I said to Samuel, then remembered starting the day with an extra dose of CBD oil. It seemed a good idea due to the anxiety bubbling in my belly that is in addition to the usual daily challenges with it.

Normally a full dropper is taken at night before laying down in bed, under the tongue for five minutes before swallowing. It is a helpful habit to keep until safer days arrive. It may also help with sudden wakings due to an increase of nightmares. We gut laughed during a TV show. It has been weeks since laughing like that. 

Interestingly, food cravings stabilized almost immediately with the additional dose, meals becoming healthier frosted with a greater capacity to connect with my body. 

The current of anxiety thrumming deep down has vibrated constantly since the crisis began, rising as it crept closer and closer finally arriving within the community. Waves of apprehension heighten during news reports. That gratefully lessens while outdoors. Bird songs, fresh air breathed in fully, and the current of the creek meandering by comfort the ragged edges.

A beaver appeared, then a weasel slipped in and out by the bank where it made holes in the mud looking for roots to eat. A fox appeared only yards away. The wild gardens are full up with snow-drops with many bulbs popping up growing taller each day. Yellowy jonquils are almost ready to open, my term for them ‘miniature daffodils.’ The majesty of solitude, peace, and quiet smooths away unease offering respite. 

Meditation helps to settle my core, concern rising again during news reports, feeling the buzz as it erupts internally. The draw for the most current news has reduced feeling assured we are doing all that can be done to protect ourselves and others by self-isolating. 

The jerk of a president refutes the numbers of ventilators desperately required en mass, choosing instead to let the older population die. He bizarrely talks of filling up churches by Easter relaxing social distancing before the pandemic has hardly even approached it’s peak.

It is more of the same lunacy. Networks don’t broadcast his long-winded reports anymore which are full of lies interspersed with self congratulatory propaganda.

 

 

DOOFUS

The doofus in power using it to control, lie, manipulate, and corrupt, even fooled the evening news anchor into saying he was using his power to order factories to produce ventilators. He hasn’t (and won’t until it is too late.)

The facts are hard to find out of a mouth of a liar, but my experience with liars goes deeper than Lester Holt’s. My upbringing was in a group of liars all making sure that the truth of my deepest traumas remain locked inside of my little girl body even as it grew into womanhood… even now.

Lie to keep others comfortable even if it means being untrue to myself, never knowing myself which would allow for self-compassion and self-love.

It has taken decades to begin that miracle, one that would usually thrive from a nurturing childhood. The two eldest siblings expect as much, abhorred when or if the truth is ever spoken.

My interaction with both, though they live in the city nearby, is nil. Comfort is not found in liars. And when Trumpy opens his mouth he is lying. Like a teenager, as Dr. Phil said.

“Do you know when a teenager is lying?” he asks, adding, “When they open their mouths.

He is so good at it even Lester got it wrong.

Cuomo says that we are in a war and that ventilators are our missiles. Yet the doofus Trumpy lacks the character to do what needs to be done. We need them in masses with a direct order to produce them,  and then using that power to direct where they go. Yet he doesn’t bother, choosing instead to let companies do it voluntarily.

Lies, lies, lies. He gives the impression that tens of thousands are on their way. They are not. He washes his hands of anything that might interfere with his businesses once he is no longer president. His needs, his money, his everything. 

The Donald scathingly rips up the best reporters when they ask a question he does not like. This is America. Did anyone tell him that?

Please god get rid of this dangerous doofus.

TRUMPIE the LIAR

Social distancing is not hard for me as it is already the case to protect my internal workings from being overwhelmed with stimuli. What’s hard is the fear added to the everyday anxiety faced, but that too is manageable.

My biggest concern is our health care workers, and the shortage of protective gear, along with ventilators which there is grievous shortage of. That combined with a double talker of a president who pontificates about it one way, tricking me with hope, but not doing what he eludes to.

He and his cronies can be counted on for one thing, lying with an equal ability to  manipulate. Yesterday’s noon news conference turned into poor me as Trumpie went on about fake news that made him look bad. He manages to turn everything into something about himself. Bobble head Pence nods behind him in agreement as always. Once a narcissist always a narcissist.

He surrounds himself with lapdogs with no experience, or knowledge. What they offer is allegiance, not to the country, but to their owner, drooling for acceptance, selling themselves as pets as they pat him on the back over and over.

Trumpie’s own hand pats himself so much I lost count of how many times he said everything’s great, and he is great. He is the world leader at overcoming the corona virus, didn’t you know? If you didn’t, he will tell you. I fell for it needing reassurance so much I believed his lies. I ought to know better.  

He has not begun the process of converting factories into producers of ventilators. Hospitals are not receiving help to expand their resources. Rather he bails out his rich friends in the airlines, airlines that can shut down, lay off workers, and take out loans just like the small businesses are expected to do.

He talks the talks as if the most urgent needs are being met, acknowledging the need for ventilators, but then says, we’ll wait and see. That is what stresses my heart like a fist squeezing it in a vise. Breathe, breathe.

“I don’t think about what I can’t control,” Samuel says after some thought.

We sit together by the creek on the first day of spring. The day is warm and balmy with birds that migrated home tweeting happy songs. A few yellow flowers dappled the otherwise drab meadow, evidence that soon an explosion of life will occur. 

“You’re lucky,” I respond, a tear squeezing out thinking of all the people needing care but possibly shuffled out into halls or parking lots on stretchers in the near future. 

There is some truth to Samuel’s way of coping. He is right. Taking measures to protect the two of us is quite overwhelming. I had started leaving packages outside for a day or two. Also spraying mail with disinfectant leaving it on the bench a few hours before touching it,  feeling a little silly doing it.

Then the news explains that it necessary to leave packages outside for a day before opening. Then throw away the package, wash hands, and spray where it sat with disinfectant.

Food being delivered should be dropped at the door avoiding face to face contact. Remove from packages, put in your own bowls, and microwave it. Throw out all packaging, and wash hands. If you think you’re doing too much, you are probably not doing enough. 

I wonder how many are not able to do these things as they are still required to report to work, or just haven’t digested the seriousness of this. That would be understandable as we have not encountered such levels of isolation and protective measures in our lifetime.

 

 

PRAYERS

The living room in disarray while Samuel continues painting doesn’t help calm the disquiet revolving inside. Even the cat raced around throughout the day like a mini-Road Runner from the cartoon, her antics matching my feelings.

After emailing friends about bowing out of our gatherings the next two months, a feeling of abandonment coupled with loneliness lay bare like a dry field; even though it was my choice, and being at home is where most of my time is spent anyway.

The thought of imposed isolation felt suffocating as if jailed. Then prayers, thoughts of others, feelings for those world-wide also experiencing fear and uncertainty. Families in our area scramble for day-care because all schools were closed over the weekend until further notice. These same families must work which means continued risk of exposure out in public.

My friends, and many others, continue socializing including church services today. That is foolhardy. Services can be conducted safely on-line. Why wait for someone to test positive in our direct area to shut down? By then it is too late.

Prayers. Prayers to the health care workers, keep them safe. Prayers for our officials making decisions… may they be guided with wisdom. Prayers to those with compromised immune systems, and the elderly (which includes me), but especially those with other health problems. Prayers for those hospitalized because loved ones cannot visit. May they find comfort. Prayers for us all world-wide.

EACH MOMENT

It couldn’t be true that fear lay in my belly. Cocooned in our little home, my belief is I’m above becoming terrified of an arriving virus. Yet why suddenly had eating without hunger become all consuming? There is usually a reason, especially after all was going so well.

The robotic state of constant numbness from overeating returns instantly when fear seeps in. You’re making excuses, the harsh voice whips. Am I? Could it be terror? Yes, terror. Never far away especially when feelings of victim-hood, helplessness, or powerlessness visit.

Eating it away doesn’t make it go away, only boxes it in wrapped with self-hate. I can do without the hate. Only with compassion can the terror be unearthed, real terror that feels shameful as if it is something to hide.

But on the news the influx of others seeking therapeutic assistance has increased greatly, even if virtually on-line for safety reasons. Those with anxiety or depression issues are hit especially hard. Duh.

It is with compassion that acceptance of real feelings and my whole self occurs. That’s missing when the eating machine emerges. Food was, and is, the bank vault locking in terror tightly so that daytime life can go on. Not good sustenance at all, just a habit since age 8, a survival tool that hinders my health and well-being.

As a child that was what mother insisted. Go on as if nothing happened Love your brothers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, monsters who look human. Nighttime terror locked in daily with food, the one thing she gave freely.

Identifying the terror is the first step. Then do all that you can to protect yourself, especially while out in public which is very little except picking up groceries and other items. Even that is being curbed as much as possible. My friends continue church services, and attendance in chorale and other groups. Which is why I am not going to attend our upcoming monthly gathering, or the next month’s.

As one not involved in group things, seeing them exposes me to their perspective groups of people. Each of their families, kids, and grand-kids, and all the separate churches because each belongs to a different church. So our little gathering of 5 exposes me to a much greater population.

At the risk of anyone saying I’m overdoing it, feeling safe needs focus and respect. I’m worthy of listening to my own rationale as an intelligent person, not going along with others because they know best, or because getting together doesn’t worry them.

It worries me. They don’t know what’s best for me, only I do. The hammerings of  negatives in my head are not coming from others, only me. Just say no, and know you are doing the right thing. 

Do what can be done to protect myself. Accept that terror is there which helps lessen it. Come back into myself, into each moment, feeling the new thick carpet under my bare feet in the bedroom. The sparkle from hanging gems sending prisms dancing on the wall as the sun sets, an orange orb that dazzles my eyes with brilliance

Come back to this precious moment. Each one comes never to come again. Be here now.  

Taking Precautions

As the older grand-son excitedly tells me about the basketball championship he has won, spittle hit my cheek like a dart. The tournament included all surrounding counties exposing him to a wide swatch of the population. Wiping it off, the younger one puts his head into my lap cuddling after he had just taken his finger out of his nose.

What’s a grand-mother to do as the coronavirus moves upstate each day from New York City with a vengeance? Though the love for family is great, dying for them isn’t attractive. The virus can be in a community weeks before someone tests positive.

Test kits are scarce so how to know? It is serious and real. We are both in our late sixties. Samuel’s lungs are compromised due to previous infections. We are the ones the virus attacks more fiercely.

My gut was screaming STOP seeing the grand-kids last week. But when my son asks, my mouth moves saying YES excitedly.

But now it the time to stop. That includes saying no to the joy of the younger one who looks at everything new with wonder. It is so hard, yet the spread each day as the news relays the closings of so many schools, events, and other gatherings, calls for reason hoping my decision has not come too late.  

FRAGILITY

Afraid to be awake, unable to fall asleep, a combination that haunts what had been mostly peaceful days. Feeling like soaring into the sky like a bird with freedom one day when temperatures are in the fifties and the suns full out, then the boom of racing thoughts with great heaviness, my body moving through quicksand as the cold pierces and the wind howls with swirling snow.

This is the stuff of spring, shedding off winter but getting stuck in the coat sleeves. One day euphoric, the next, my head on the pillow with every thought a worry or concern. My concoction of CBD oil infused with whole plant oil is dwindling. Access to whole plant oil in New York is not yet legal, and the second bottle is all that is left.

It seems to help with the racing thoughts when trying to sleep, and cutting back on it using only CBD oil meant the last several nights were upset with insomnia. Is this just in my thoughts, or real? Taking a half dropper as was my usual along with half a dropper of CBD oil last night, instead of cutting back, brought sleep back again.

Something else to worry about as the transition into spring makes me crazy. It seems to smooth everything out, taking my frazzled nerves burnt out from PTSD since age eight, and oiling them up with soothing bliss— not the usual horrendous negative worrying that keeps my head spinning. It is a tonic that will soon run out. Though stores of CBD oil are in my closet, it seem to work best fortified with the real stuff. (which is double the price)

Fact or fiction. Does it work because I believe in it, or does it really? I’m thinking it really works. Why else do so many people want it and buy it? Rolling out of bed to greet the day, it is met with a grumpy fearful attitude. Sometimes the fright is more prominent depending on what is happening in my aging body.

“I’m seeing flashes of light in my eye,” I say to Samuel worriedly.

“That happened to me,” Samuel says.

“Should I see the eye doctor?” I ask.

“No, you’ll be alright by morning,” he said.

“Or I’ll be blind,” I mutter walking to the bedroom.

And it went away, coming back again that night but less vividly. And in its place new ‘floaters,’ little black things swimming in the eye that started many years ago. This new one is front and center, and very noticeable because it’s new. Floaters are common as eyes age, but flashes of light were frightening. One more weird thing in my body to deal with. It would hard without Samuel to talk to.

The fragility of life makes me want to capture time even on these cold, cold, days. Take each moment in my hand, head, and heart memorializing its preciousness by making imprints throughout.