HEALING? Yes & No

The Morning Goddess: enthralling throughout summer due to the unusually cool nights.

Talk of ‘healing’ makes my stomach turn. There is no healing, only managing the damage done. Well, there is, and isn’t.

The horrific feeling of being abnormal has mostly healed, though left with struggles of self-esteem permanently. But my internal ‘home’ offers more welcome and understanding as to why that exists accepting it with a more loving embrace.

And yes, admittingly there is healing in many areas, yet much damage was done by silencing me as a child causing irreparable damage than cannot be healed, changed, or reversed in any way, only coped with daily.

These are the truths of my life. To silence me at age 8 after a violent rape. To not administer medical attention. To leave me all alone with it stuffed inside for decades, because you and your cohorts (your sons) couldn’t bear that truth be told- that caused irreversible damage. Not what they did but silencing me and forcing me to be alone with it.

An 8-year-old child? Pummeled again and again by your other sons as they satisfied teenage lust on my little body? All alone. Suffering. Holding it in then- and for my life to come, until you died. (in my fifties)

By then it was too late. Though it all came out in my writings, every egregious ghastly detail, and with it the joys that were stuffed too, the damage was done. Repression represses joy too, creating a walking robot without feelings.

After you died I started to live, learning wholeness and love for self. It was my choice to remain gagged so that the little crumbs of love you gave could sustain me because I had not yet learned to love myself. How could I when who I was had been locked away?

The chronic severe C-PTSD is here to stay. There is no denying it, or if so, as with much of my life trying to keep up with others, unhealthy ramifications occur. There isn’t fear to jump in and try, but rather an outcome of disease. In trying to do things my body cannot cope with the severity increases exponentially.

Like camping. As the camper left yesterday swirling panic almost descends watching Samuel get it ready for the buyers to take it. Neither of us want to let go of over 40 years of camping in the woodsy mountains- campfires, biking among the pines down to the pristine lake, canoeing, our paddles softly licking the water’s surface as the loons near-by take a dive, sunsets of salmon, rose, and magenta, so many pleasures let go of.

But good-bye it was, along with all the gear, because my body cannot cope with being anywhere but home. When not home, finding my own home internally is about impossible.

So many years of pretending because that was required to be part of a ‘family.’ That caused the damage. Traumas kept inside caused physical ailments that worsen with age. The spirit, mind, and body are connected, and so much has been injured due to forced censoring that no amount of therapy of any kind will relieve or fix.

Only loving care to manage it. All the many things that need attending to are only attended to in the safety of my own home. And it does not have to make me weep, it can be decided on instead to bring me joy- joy in living, joy in finally feeling I have a right to be here too, joy in the little things which sweep me away with their beauty. Joy in that I finally honor the reality of where I am and why, learning who I am and liking what I find.

PEACE

Underneath the noise there is calm. Beneath the chatter in my brain, peace, deep peace. Losing it too often to the negativity dwelling from past voices. The gnarled way back on to the path takes presence, and a belief that it can be found, a belief in myself.

The warmth of the morning sun while resting on the patio. Hummingbirds helicopter by, whizzing past my head to the abundant flowers all around and the feeders, so close even a finger movement scares them away. But only for a moment, they come back.

The chipmunk thinks its hidden beneath the Hosta leaves chewing away at a nut swiped from the hedgerow, yet it full view from my comfortable chair. Little bunny comes out from behind the woodpile unsure of what to do next, then finally hops off onto the grass.

This peace evaded me while fretting over an impulse to ask Seth either to come for a visit or go with us camping. Getting to the core of this fervent wish there is the gnawing yearning for the family of origin that could have been, not the existing one.

Why disturb the peace? Why not choose to keep it, which means respecting my own needs, not trying to help or heal others? It is in dealing with my own pain, confusion, and lack of centeredness, that wholeness, self-awareness, growth, healing, wisdom, and peace, oh great peace, finally comes.

KINDNESS TO SELF

Resisting the urge to invite Seth on our one-night camping trip has been hard. That primal need for clan, but more so guilt in not asking due to his circumstances and how much he would enjoy a trip out.

His wife’s curvature of the spine makes it such that they don’t do trips. She can barely walk. And he took such great pains buying and revamping a van into an overnight hotel complete with queen bed, fridge, and electrical abilities too many to mention.

Yet last spring when he came, my anxiety combined with dire sleep issues, made the visit to our favorite glen a horror not a pleasure- trying to please him, trying to ensure he had a good time not attending to my own needs. It became a blur of tiredness, not the relaxation usually offered by the falling sound of water in the glen and streams.

The pull to invite continues. If he had wanted to spend time with me he would take me up on the offer to bring his cute doggie down for a run in the meadow. He hasn’t, and only came with Don as if two together is what, safer?

Our outing is moved ahead to next week because after a dry summer it has started to rain. Homing in on my own needs over others is a new experience. The training to do otherwise breaks the mold in every way.

Dig deep, what is best for my being? I have days to contemplate and hopefully resist the urge to do something impulsive rather than mindfully healthful.

You can decide it’s fine and make it so, only finding out after how wrong you are, knowing all along that is so anyway. Or take stock in my well-being and honor it.

TERROR & TRUST

Photo by Patricia

Losing my way, the forest thickens, darkness creeps in. It’s no wonder being scared happens so easily; a toad suddenly hopping before me makes my heart leap, then chastising myself for it.

My world caves in when hearing from Seth in the city, the pull to try to make more of those ‘family’ feelings, to have a family or origin. Swirling ‘ifs,’ all conclusive to one thought of the critic’s choice, you’re fault.

It’s because of me that no closeness exists between Seth, Stevie, or Don. But is it? Isn’t it more so than any interaction with them, and the standard treatment tossed my way, brings me back into the darkness of my soul, a place where most of my life existed?

That terror was the closest thing to me, living with monsters who attack is terrorizing, and those that lived with it and did nothing, even to this day do nothing, certainly do not stand by me in loyalty and testament to what was done- all are reason to be wary of.

Of course trust is an issue. So, take all my love and give it to those who are trustworthy, the family built on my own.

BE ME

It is a foreign concept to care for myself and my own needs over the guilt my mother instilled. The urge for clan is primal, and after several weeks of calm, the pull erupts again, so much there are dreams about interactions.

My mind plays out scenarios of our ‘family’ being loving, caring, and connected. But each attempt made fails, bringing me backwards to the sister they knew who was malleable and molded into an invisible ghost.

It is like tearing my spirit away, yet in doing so, my spirit freely becomes who I was meant to be, thinking, or believing all along I’d lost her to the unwanted hands upon me as a child.

She is still there. In saying no to others who have pressured me throughout life to do and be who they want, and instead choose more healthy ways of being, this admirable person emerges- me.  

LIVE

Patricia’s photo

It is such a new extraordinary experience to take my own needs into consideration, after first allowing myself to recognize all that really made me who I am.

Not running away, but running to my core. The pull to connect with the three remaining brothers is strong, even coming up in last night’s dream. Upon waking, sipping coffee, the thought- call and make a plan to get together.

But no. My own needs are real and every time this occurs my entire system goes awry. The sister they see isn’t me, the grown woman, aging, wiser, more in control of the impulsiveness that leads to self-destruction. And the anxiety erupting when playing the part they require is destructive… every time.

My mother, now gone 13 years, instilled such a guilt in me; that’s not nice, you should be ashamed of yourself, and on it goes if ever advocating for myself. The guilt in not keeping connected continues strong due to her life-long manipulative, persuasive, intrusive, pressures to keep the ‘so called’ family intact, niggling at my insides like Medusa’s head. But this time my choice is for equanimity, the centeredness coming from attending to my needs of body, mind, and spirit.

Her expectations demanded that I love the very monsters who attacked me, their wives, and the ones who didn’t but colluded in the lie that nothing happened because it was, and still is, more comfortable to do so.

And that is the rub. My love needs to be from afar, because there is love when feeling safe from treachery of lies and pretense. They don’t visit on their own, but together, when the force of more can get away with treating me as was done in the past, like dust in the wind. They each know they are welcome to visit, but don’t. Or only together. Too scary on your own? Then you must deal with the me that is real?

She couldn’t let her daughter tell the truth, she had to silence me. And she did until after her death. That is when I began to live.  Each moment is precious. ‘We shall never pass this again.’

TRIBE

The rosy dawn breaks as the golden light dips onto the treetops like molten gold erupting in a spray of color. The cat chases the hummingbird off the feeder dashing over as if to catch it, her only form of hunting through the screen on the back porch, through her fantasies.

But at least she gets to try. They say indoor cats have a longer life. Hopefully ‘they’ are right. My fantasy of a tribe to claim as my own continues, yet the reality learned once again is that the ‘family’ or origin is not a safe place, nor ever was.

Yet my attempts at reaching out don’t stop, causing pain from acknowledging that being wanted comes with the stamp of dutiful sister hushed by critical inuendoes and other manipulations, disturbing my peace, then dwelling on them for days after foiled tries blaming the uncomfortable interactions on my own failure to connect.

Like (or unlike) Ayla in CLAN OF THE CAVE BEARS, as a child she was torn from her tribe in a quake ending up with a tribe not of her own and was treated as such. They thought her ugly.

Though born into my real tribe, it wasn’t long before becoming one that wasn’t really a family at all, not in the real sense where love, safety, acceptance, and authenticity abound.  

Finding a real tribe has taken time, but is found; my husband, sons, grandchildren and friends, and most importantly a start at feeling at home within.

Or like Dorothy in Oz, “and it’s that if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”

ESCAPE

A feeling descends deep inside and a desire to escape it takes over. Restless, up then down, then up again, there it is following me. A hollow loneliness dogging me since childhood is my guess. When ‘family’ no longer was family yet it’s all I had. I lived with them, those I loved but became afraid of.

Since connecting with my internal being, this sharp loneliness has not visited until yesterday. Repeatedly going out to the garage in the hopes that Samuel’s company or words might relieve it, not wanting help, but seeking it anyway. The feeling remained until finally realizing I cannot escape it. I must feel it.

Sitting on the front porch longer than two seconds, the wiser softer voice said, stay. Stay, feel, and breathe. When this loneliness comes, with it comes bad feelings imploding into the hollowness; bad grandmother, bad mother, bad everything.

It is an avalanche difficult to stop, like a tsunami it comes in waves, gentler than before, but there it is. Needing companionship yet it is my own being that needs to be with me. Another being cannot relieve this emptiness.

Only being in me can.

LEARNING TO LOVE MYSELF

The answers are in the very place you are running from, inside yourself. But who wants to be inside a place where a haranguing voice is beating you up so constantly that when it doesn’t it feels uncomfortable? Because I am a child of incest, a survivor. And it’s called that for a reason.

So many times thoughts of death to take me away from myself. A child run over by a truck laying there bleeding, your family walks by hardly noticing or looking at you. What kind of message do you receive placing cloth over the bleeding wounds all on your own?

This morning my eyes mist thinking about just how this has affected me, not in words, because so many times throughout life others have said to me, ‘you’re too hard on yourself,’ but more so in feeling it for what might be the very first time.

Think of the child I was. All alone. Devastated. Tortured by the constant comings in the night. No one to help. No one to make it stop. Just blame.

And the compassion? No. A bleak, loveless life, where love is pretended enough for children to grow, perhaps feeling real love for the very time since touched wrong at age eight. Love for my little human sons, because animals always were safe to love. My sons knew love, but no others were safe to love. No, not even Samuel.

So at almost age 70, barriers are being smashed, taboo’s shattered just as I was, talking about what happened, and after years of doing that openly on my blog, another glass ceiling annihilated, learning to love myself.

Daddy would soon drop dead by my feet, and his sons would begin their attacks.

How Dare I?

And so, as my custom, Louise Hay is put on this pedestal, a place unreachable yet if she found such love and joy, wanting to be like her is my next best person to copy. NO.

This cannot be. Yes, she seemed so beautiful, it radiated from her 90-year-old eyes. And yes, though passed on, her words helped on a hard day.

But a lot of what was said has been discovered on my own path these past many years. I’m not her, I’m me. And imagining myself to be like her, trying to emulate what that might be like, would be just that, imagination.

She wasn’t dwelling on her dark times, which sounded like many. She only talked of the great joy.

So, plod along discovering what is needed in my own life, because it isn’t her life with the same needs.  

Samuel is not a man of many words, but he said some things that made sense, that it’s possible with weight loss hormones and other chemicals might go awry causing difficulty with sleep issues which seem to be  worsening again. A lot.

Also, it might be a huge kick in the ass from what was taught in the origin group of people, all requiring silence for horrific traumas. That message to a child translates to; YOU’RE UNWORTHY, UNLOVEABLE, SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN BORN, NOT WORTH HELPING, NOT CAPABLE….

That list could go endlessly, but a reversal is happening. All rules are being shattered as I am put myself back together.

No wonder sleep won’t come. How dare I?