Little Girl Me

Dusty corners remain that no one knew, or wanted to know, what little girl me went through… not even me. If everyone else chastises her, so will I.

Tears leak out, trailing down my cheek, like squeezing a sponge dry during a period when nothing is stressful or bothering me, yet something is. A memory is provoked, perhaps by the quiet, empty house with a feeling that a sudden scare is impending.

Like Chet bursting out from behind the shower curtain with an evil joy at terrorizing me. He’s been dead three years. I check behind it some nights while brushing my teeth, lately more often than others. What, am I ten years old?

Much of my life is like that, something ready to happen to crack the peaceful silence keeping me always on edge. The exception is when I’m outside, unless Samuel approaches without offering a clue, then I jump with a yelp of fear erupting. Usually he remembers to signal his coming near when I’m resting by the creek after a walk in the meadow. That took years of reminders before he took heed.

This unaccounted for stress is of course due to early trauma(s). So nothing could be bogging my life down. Gifts of good sleep, good health, and all loved ones doing well… still tears come with a good dose of sadness.

When to know gentleness and acceptance of what’s there, and when to exert the discipline of pulling myself up attending to things with a brightness that is not really there. The debate loses out to the tenacity of a feeling of sadness that stays. Patience with what I’m feeling instead of brushing it aside. 

The sadness of what was done, how deep it goes, and how much destruction was caused. To be tender towards myself and the little girl I was. No one bothered to know her, not then certainly, and now? Now it needs to be me. Those parts are speaking, and I’m listening. 

While meditating the thought comes, he held me down. He held me down. And there is one tear, two, then done. Enough to appreciate the feelings and why. To know what has been driving me to eat in ways abhorred, that hurt. Hating myself just like my little girl felt hated by all those around her.

Those that did it, those who did nothing- everyone, even the school nurse who was my aunt, and she knew. The silence to me as a little girl sent the message that I was nothing, hate-worthy, not loved. The only way though this is with love, a sword that cuts.

Love is not welcome, love is tainted by force and evil. What love is left shelters deep inside, only flickering with warmth on occasions of safety which is rare. Because monsters are everywhere, even alone in the silence of my own home.

I have known since age eight what people are capable of. And since loved ones are capable of such evil, everyone is.

The only way through is with love for little girl me.

In Touch

For much of my life, answers were looked for from others because other people seemed to have it together. Being split from my soul meant being lost in the forest, drowning in doubt, spinning misplaced like a wild dervish.

But others don’t have my answers. The solutions come from within, a place unexplored, untouched, unknown. That place had to be protected to survive, but it meant even my own parts couldn’t reach it.

It is only in these past few years that moments of clarity arise from a place where all things flow, the soul. The answers sought are inside me.

Sometimes information lies elsewhere, but the important stuff is there waiting. needing only to be tapped, touched, and connected to. Those moments occur most dramatically while meditating, or out in nature.

TERROR TEARS

The first two friends arrive, “How are you?” asks Rosalie.

“Odd,” I said, she looks at me as tears of terror make hot paths down my cheeks, adding, “My eyes, I have a date for my eyes.”

Both immediately expressed words of encouragement hugging me, squeezing out more terror tears much better out than in. My trepidation at asking for help melting with their care. One of them, Mary’s husband, starts radiation this week for a malignant tumor in his head, a spreading of testicular cancer.

“What right have I to say anything?” I say, yet adding, “Whatever we face, it’s a guarantee that someone has it harder. But I still need support.”

“Of course,” Mary said, her eyes sparkly, cheeks rosy with life. Mary has been there for me in so many ways. Even now with her husband facing a life-threatening illness.

The afternoon flows by like all the other monthly gatherings, with laughter, and soothing comradery, but I am tired. Usually the prep before hosting is fun but this time lacked the usual excitement; getting out snacks, making a pie, readying the table.

Relief seeped in when they left. Now my time is my own, my terror confronted each day with no added stress. Even long time dear friends bring stress along with their comfort.

Sorting out personalities when already using energy to stay in the moment without dissociating, saps my emotional stamina. Friends are needed, loved and appreciated. Equally needed is privacy, space, and the freedom of my own time.

Being in my body right now is so hard. Having anyone close to my body for medical reasons makes flight from it occur. It brings back childhood, the repressed memory close. Perhaps a twice a day meditation may help me find my way back ‘home’ and feel safe there once again.

 

GHOSTS

photos by Patricia

Ghosts tamed, the usual onslaught of shorter day’s remains. Low mood, a critical attitude, eating behaviors from childhood when brothers attacked and no one was there to help. Holding it all in took a lot of food.

Feeding the depression is more depressing. Yet the life-time habit of moving out of feelings to food has beckoned its relief from those very feelings run from. Numbness. Blessed numbness. Habits. Disdain towards myself for my humanness.

It is only in self-acceptance that food becomes less an issue. Where kindness feeds my soul, not engorgement. Feeling too full fills me. Feeling too full means not hurting over other things; the lack of friends, especially an intimate woman friend like Sue, lost over 6 years ago… longer than I knew her.

Feeling too full means not hurting over the brothers left who keep aloof because closeness would mean reality, the reality of what the so called family really is. It means not falling into despair due to what was, and what could have been.

Will that mourning ever end? Determined not to tumble into a winter depression that consumes, choices are made not to. Saying I should be happy, doesn’t make it so, adding to the self-contempt. But it does remind me that all around me is worth living for, striving for, and hoping for.

Find that fullness in other ways… Ghosts faced by airing what happened and who did it brought light into darkness. Shame lifted. Continued meditation helps to move from ego to soul. Caring for self means preparing healthy meals, exercising, and all the other time consuming activities that keep an aging body going.

But tackling the tendency to overeat for the soothing numbness is still a challenge, especially during the months where light lessons and mood plummets. It can be done.

DEEP PEACE

Since middle school, or even before, it was others who I longed to be. Looking at another girl my age, how calm she seemed, how centered, or earning an award over my efforts, made me yearn to be her. The peace inside, the naturalness, acceptance.

Now, as I look around at others, (when my state is peaceful) I don’t want to be them, there is peace and comfort inside me. That may change in the next 5 minutes.

But there has been a lull. Sleeping comes in adequate amounts. Days are summery, productive, and when not, the harsh critic can be mostly silenced with, “It’s OK for down time, time enjoyed is not time wasted.”

Doing what is healthy for mind, body and soul are daily goals, not all met on every day, but the attempt is made. And taking out the critic who lashes at what wasn’t done is part of the job.

Acting in ways to others that is in alignment with my beliefs and principles, despite how they may have acted towards me, is satisfying also providing peace. All is right with the world, even when so much is not. Because inside commitments have been made and stuck to.

I have done my part. Yes, you do deserve good things. You do deserve peace in your soul, heart, body and mind.

WORTH

Thoughts swirling about this and that, all about others and how they feel, what they might think. The old ways grab at me pecking away. Then the voice of reason which abandoned me all those years of suffering over others that came with feelings of wrongness and badness in every encounter and situation.

You have a right to feel your feelings, but first you must find them. After a childhood where my body was not mine, and certainly not my feelings or anything else, at this late stage of my life the search goes on. Centering into my core by meditation is not just helpful, it is necessity. Otherwise I go blithering off the stratosphere, thinking I’m grounded but being anything but.

You have a right to feel your own unique feelings and own them. Be brave and live your life. It is easy to sink into another’s perceptions because I had none— no center, no core, no me. There is a me, and there is beauty there. Go there, find her, be her.

You’r OK

This last bit of transition from winter to spring is purgatory; joyful warmth seeping in, feeling bliss one day, then three days of cold rain and winter blues. Feeling almost more depressed than over winter because a day or two of feeling better has occurred leaving me wanting more. Yet the blues have me.

Pushing myself out the door, my feet plod slowly, my spirits dipping low. By lap three the usual lightening of mood quickens my step and make me stand stronger looking around as if for the first time. Green everywhere, budding on trees, the grass emerald and bright,  birds happy and busy. Why can’t I be a bird?

Impatience for winter doldrums to be done makes still having them untenable. Acceptance of what is does not come easily, fighting all the way. Remember the basics. Be with what is no matter how scary it feels. Fears often makes things worse than they really are.

You’re OK, you’re OK, you’re OK, a constant mantra helping me through each day which was left behind when the thought arrived that it was no longer needed. It is needed. Even in the best of times, that reinforcement and encouragement is very needed.