Yin and Yang

photos by Patricia

When trust is lost as a child in a harsh traumatic way, no amount of therapy brings it back. Years and years of therapy didn’t make my teeth stop grinding at night when the monsters came. Monsters at night, people by day. Daytime people are just as scary.

Teeth guards for grinding. Toe dividers for bunions. Powders for areas on the body that are dark and moist. Vitamins for this, that, and the other thing. Drops for dry eyes, white noise for ear ringing, and on it goes as a body ages and needs more care.

And those things are tended to, but what about the psyche that craves things not found in a bottle or bought in a store? Things in my psyche broke early on and there’s no fixing them.

As spring waves in green overtaking the falling snow, my brain chemicals go awry and this is yearly, some years more frantic with upheaval than others. Tears roll down my cheeks as the harsh childhood voices break me in two, feelings of badness embedded into my personality booming as the ghosts of what my child suffered become real once again.

Bad, bad, bad. Looking around at others during that time when traumatic attacks were suffered by brothers loved and trusted, I felt ashamed wanting to hide. It wasn’t them, it was all me. Trash, rotten trash. And spring brings the feelings crashing in like a steam-roller.

Waking in the night with these thoughts of every thing done wrong in my life, returning to slumber was impossible. That made the day impossible with teary episodes throughout it. Yet magic still occurs when both sons call and their love is palpable.

When one son says after seeing tears that couldn’t be hidden, ‘Go out and get some vitamin D. Love you,’ with eyes intense looking straight into mine. (through the tablet)

And the walk was glorious on a crisp spring morning. Yin and Yang.

 

Soft Voices

Photos by Patricia

Walking the meadow relief was felt that my birthday was over. No worries about who remembered or cared. Those feelings still haunt despite my age and eons of growth. The formative years surely shape a person, and mine was warped by rejection, abandonment and trauma.

And that is why my psyche is not hammering down about my lack of faith, or inability to trust. There are softer voices in play that hold compassion and understanding about why some feelings are strong. And feelings are natural. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t have them.

Rising above feelings doesn’t mean not having them. It is feeling them curious as to why they are unwanted. Look for the source, understanding often follows. The day is balmy, full of life springing everywhere.

Samuel arrives creek side. “Want to take a paddle?” he asks.

“Sure,” I said.

And off we go, surprised at how fast the grass grows from one day to the next, the water calm as there is no wind, the current gentle. On the way back to the house after a meditative rest by the creek— the first dandelion…

CONNECT

Some day’s anxiety rolls deep like thunder strumming beneath the current of my everyday life. A walk with meditative time by creek dispels it temporarily, soothing mother holding me in her loving arms. Some days pulling up the blanket of depression is so temping but the lure is resisted— move, do something healing; cook a nice meal, bake a bunny cake, exercise, cuddle with my purring kitty, or pick a spring bouquet.

Each day new feelings, a different feeling. It’s OK, telling myself that whatever is there, feel it. It may be scary, but there’s other things. A connection with all the parts is living wholly. Separating, my tendency, means ratcheting up anxiety, or deepening into depression, or worse. Many things develop when disconnected from my body.

Yes, I am scared. Sometimes more than others. I am fearful, and at times it overwhelms. If this, if that, on and on. Before trotting off to insanity, remember… courage. It is the time for courage. I have what it takes to stay connected within myself. And I need not be afraid to go there.

These are the talks by the creek that I have with myself, and it helps. It helps greatly.

photo (and cake) by Patricia

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.

The Abyss

Settling in for a cup of freshly brewed coffee, my internal world relaxes. Upon waking my body is revved on guard as if living in a hut with vicious animals that want to devour me. My teeth are still clenched from the nightly demons who visit, and every sinew is taught.

But the heat from the fire begins its magic. Muscles unfurl, like the silly cat next to me who also melts like a wax blob, one half twisted out, the other half curled over the other, looking like a braided pretzel stick.

The onslaught for volumes of food after a week or more of scrupulously counting calories tells a story begun at age 8- I am unlovable, incapable. Love came at the end of a spoon, a form of escape fed by denial.

The sweetness of life drips like honey when staying in my body mastering emotions by being there when they ebb and flow. Because they do flow out eventually. Running into an escape, whether shopping, alcohol, drugs, or my rabbit hole- food, means leaving my body and its cues of physical hunger and satiation.

The craving for emotional satiation is only temporarily satisfied by external things. What can be counted on is emotional maturity fortified with emotional discipline. STAY. Sit, stay, and be there. I’m OK.

 

FULLNESS

Ups and downs, but overall an underlying contentment unfounded in my life-time. The years since moving from our other home where our two boys grew up has been a time of great growth and movement towards a peaceful interior.

Rocky, chaotic, and injected with withering anxiety at times, peace comes coupled with joyous gratitude. The cat cries for her food while grinding coffee beans. Placing the plate down she nibbles gratified.

Settling down by the fire with a cup of the dark brew, a feeling of well-being permeates while gently rocking. So much to be joyful about, a home, a partner, two sons bringing a special worth to those around them, and my cat now curled up next to me playing with the string tied to the arm of the chair. 

This is life. There is no waiting for more, or the next thing. This is it, and is savored, each moment, every day as if birthed anew. The snow gently falls through the rising sun and I am complete.

 

CONTENTMENT

A post this morning mentioned the word ‘contentment.’ That is good word for my feelings lately. I feel my body and am able to stay there in ways not experienced before. Though things swirl around me, or out in the world, my inner world is content. 

A brother who’s second adult child is in danger after already losing the first one. I call with no words to say hearing raw pain in his voice going to my core.

A president who changes the sentencing of a friend using his power for personal gain again and again- corrupt and evil bringing out the worst of everyone in the country, a little Hitler in the making. His sickness like a pesticide, toxic, poisonous, and spread by his cowardly, bullying tweets. Why does half the country vote for him?

Inner contentment remains, a peace precious to remember during chaos because it will come as all things are impermanent.

A Spring-Like Day

A spring-like day erupts again after the snowy, icy cold drawing me out with a bounce in my step. Still the snow was deep causing extra exertion with each lap, my heart pounding and sweat making the inner layers stick.

Oh, what excitement in the air almost feeling the earth below the crusty white beginning to wake after the long freezing slumber. The pines have shed their heavy branches of white icing, dropping clumps in piles below.

Various footfalls left tracks, bunnies, squirrels, a wild dog, a deer? Burrowing noses into the thick white carpet looking for something to eat. The creek was still except when the breeze caused rippling, but no critters swimming by.

There I rested a long time. Sounds of silence. Days like this after a long night’s sleep leave me energized willing to move, then move some more. And sleep came readily after a busy day with grandchildren. 

“Why do you have Easter decorations out Nana” my grand-daughter asked, a tone of criticism in her voice. “Valentine’s Day hasn’t even come yet,” she added.

“Because I love it. I am ready for spring,” I answered, “Two months of fall decorations, two for Christmas, a short break in January, then two months of spring.”

How did a child so young become so astute in her assessments, which is a kinder word than critical or judgmental? But that is the essence of doing what makes me happy in spite of what others might think or say. No one else has to like it, just me.