FEAR and LOVE

Anxiety ruled. Fear curdled in my belly. 

Work at your day, you must. 

Easily my mind tricks me. Easily I follow the wrong path, one leading to problems, and yes, doom. I can cause my own health issues or I can solve them. 

No wonder you feel a great fear. It is a fear of myself and a lack of trust. Who is at the helm, an emotional child or a trusted adult? 

Walking the meadow sweat glistens on my back as the grasses sway in the sunny breeze. Plotting the day’s goals the list includes many self care activities interspersed with the things I love, lavender one of them. 

Spring rains have brought out abundant flowers. Each proudly stands in her glory then fades, but another takes her place. Lavender is at the forefront now and the bees know it. 

Scooping up handfuls, shaking away the bees, I chop off hunks and the basket fills, basket after basket. This year’s growth surpasses my needs and many gifts will be made. 

Glue gun on, sparkly adornments near-by along with various ribbon, my creativity is given free reign. One basket for a sister-in-law when we stay at the lake next week. Another basket for my massage therapist who will pleased to have last year’s gift replenished. And an assortment of smaller bouquets for friends when we meet later in the month. 

The house takes on the heady, intoxicating aroma of lavender, known for its soothing qualities. Amidst the day’s chores, exercises, and other needed work is the joy of nature and her gifts… 

FATHER’S DAY

photos by patricia

The thick heavy warm night causes restlessness. Sticking to the sheets from the oppressive heat rather than pulling up the quilt to snuggle beneath it from a cooler night wakes me. The dark and quiet is unnerving. Even the errant baby mocking bird has learned to keep its night-time chirps silent.

I roll this way then that way finding no comfort. Still that mind, do it. Stop thinking of each thing you’ve ever done wrong or seems wrong. It’s OK to have made mistakes. Who loves you? Do you? The answer comes back, “No.”

You will find your solace in loving yourself with all your mistakes and past misdeeds. You are the one who needs to do this, and you can. That is where solace lies, within. Go there and love her. Why in the night do these things loom so large?

Waking early in my gown I take my snippers and camera to the meadow. The sun is still red as it climbs over the hedgerow, the day’s heat at bay for only a half-hour more. I lie in the dewy grasses to take just the right shot of the daisy smiling at me, “Good morning. How are you?”

A bird flies from the birdhouse startled at my presence. A few circles of meadow grasses have been trampled in a neat circle suggesting deer have spent the night. Clipping wildflowers for a bouquet then heading back to the house, the sun heats the land quickly. House windows need to be shut at once to keep the heat out.

Shaking the blue-checkered tablecloth onto the table I ready for the day’s festivities. It is Father’s Day and we host my son and family for a swim and picnic. The bouquet is a perfect centerpiece. Strawberries from the garden are added to the rhubarb from a friend. It has already made seven jars of jam but enough is left for hand-held pies, the star of today’s cook-out.

The rhubarb mixture is never ending. I keep rolling out pie crusts and crimping edges getting weary. After three batches going into the oven separately they are finally done, perfectly browned at the edges, oozing a trail of juice at the slits, and glistening with sparkly sugar.

The day is complete with swimming in-between thunderstorms, cooking out, then opening some Father’s Day gifts for both Samuel and son Shane. And though I love our time together feeling that our hosting was a success, I also love time alone with nature needing it like sun and air. This morning a gentle rainy day lay before me, the quiet a peaceful respite after yesterday’s activities…

SHATTERED

“Are you sure you want the title to be SHATTERED?” my younger son Cory asks before he begins the design for the cover of my memoir

Without hesitation I answer, “YES!” No doubts there.

“And the cover. Do you really want drops of blood?” he asks with great skepticism, even sounding critical. 

Immediately my answer spills forth, “Yes!” I say with surety, for once without timidness, feeling wrong, or any doubts. Thinking it through a moment my firmness remained.

Although he took every step along the way with me, the first one strong enough to do so, when my feelings were firm about something I stuck to it; a freeing feeling.

Yes, blood drops. What was extracted from me was virgin blood and also a child’s virginity in every way- spiritual, emotional, physical, my innocence and a change in who I was and who I would become. Those drops depict what was taken.

Though Shattered, I am not broken. I may feel broken at times, but the pieces keep coming back into place. They may not make a whole that would have been, but one that is richer. The bumpy surface indicates character and depth, a more beautiful whole in every way.  

 

Family of Origin

It was this time last year when a brother, Seth, reacted very negatively to my writing a memoir. He ignored my emails for months after sending a link to the Amazon site selling it. I confronted his withdrawal and was met head-on with his rage at my writing it. 

That sent me by ambulance for a one night stay in the hospital due to a fast heart-beat.

Since then I have accepted the pretense of being ‘Sis,’ the little sister he pretends I am, not the woman who struggles still with the early childhood traumas of sexual attacks by his brothers.

He writes the other day, “I love you too, sis. I’m reading Paul Theroux’s new book “Mother Land” and don’t know where it’s going, but it does have many parallels, seven kids with the oldest an attorney and the mom … I’m not sure yet, so I can’t recommend it. Might be a good read for you, but, like I said, I don’t know where it’s going.”

That stymied me and it went with no reply until today. 

Where once he was on a pedestal, I see now I am stronger, wiser and a better person in every way. I pity him and his relationship with Tom who he is closest to. I do not care to bicker again but did write back .

Depending on his reply I will keep the surface emails we have about critters on our property and other light things. I need that much. But I do not look to him anymore for much else though am grateful for what came before when I was so in need. Sometimes people just move on.

My reply to Seth:

Been there, done that. I wrote one, remember, the one you won’t read.

That we both kept ‘love’ in the equation is a good thing. It may a love of the time when we were young and has nothing to do with who we really are now. And the love then? You did not know me then either as the traumas were kept tight inside just as mom expected and trained me to keep them.

Did you know that last spring when you reacted so incensed at my sharing a link to my book at Amazon that I went by ambulance and stayed a night at the hospital due to a fast heart beat? A heart can be broken by others and your reaction affected me and body greatly.

By the way, though my book does detail all the trauma I suffered…finally, it also contains great joy. True healing began when the traumas were processed as each chapter came up.

No child should have to keep trauma within herself. Trauma needs to be processed to pass through, and repeatedly until it is completely processed. Since mine was not, I live with chronic issues because of the silence I was expected to keep. The same silence you require of me.

For every chapter of terror and pain, there is a chapter of great joy. Because when a child, or any person, has to suppress trauma, joys are suppressed too. When it comes up, it all comes up.

You go ahead and read stories about those you don’t know, but I’m not interested.

And I want to add, I have always respected your connection with Tom. Respect mine. He is not safe for me.

Love,

Patricia

PEACE

photo by patricia

Peace is restored. Daily tasks sublime in their normalcy bring me into the present moment. The morning sun warms my face through the window as the hot soapy water glides off the silver kettle and makes bubbles on my hands. 

Typical ‘the Donald’ morning news stories  playing on the TV in the background unnerve my repose. My stomach curdles fearing the future of our planet and the very air we breathe. The newly elected president seeks to destroy anything of worth or value, even the future of his own grand-children for the sake of pleasing his supporters who voted him in. My spirit sinks as world leaders castrate his pulling out of the Paris Environment Agreement feeling sickened and ashamed of what he has done. 

Thankfully my massage therapist had a cancellation. The scent of luscious oils permeate my being the moment I walk through the door. I know in a few moments lavender oil with be lavished on me. She was drawn more to the impinged shoulder than the stiff neck. 

“I can see that it’s swollen and feel that it is warm,” she says working the area carefully while I wince. “Ice it twice a day,” she adds. We schedule several more visits every two weeks. One more self care task added to the ever growing list. I leave feeling refreshed. Her touch soothes and heals. 

The hummingbird zooms in behind my head to the feeder while sitting having coffee on the patio the next morning. The sun peeks out warming me thoroughly. Dew glistens like diamonds on the hostas. Papa dove swoops into the nest on the porch next to Mama as if to ask, “Do you need a break?” 

The morning is spent doing nothing except being. Yet that accomplishes a great deal that is healthy for the body as it unwinds and relaxes inside and out. 

photo by Cory