The Origin Group

Had two brothers from the city down for potato waffles. No coincidence that come nightfall I ate too much right before bed and had a rougher night than usual. I should not, and usually don’t, eat right before bed as my tummy can’t digest well lying down.

And if I felt I needed to, a smaller snack would have been fine. But no, two big fat peanut butter sandwiches and a whole glass of milk! OMG I never eat that much even in daytime. Seemed perfectly reasonable at the time. Oh, how old habits rise up to sink me!

It is perplexing to feel love for them yet find it very tough to be around them. They did not touch me in bad ways. But in families the victim is supposed to act like nothing happened and I was a great actress for my entire life.

So, it’s hard to be around them because all along they’ve been friendly with the last one still living who did abuse me- then spent his life trying to cut me down because of it.  Little snide cut-downs hardly noticed by others but still making a vision of me in them that makes for treatment that says, ‘I’m not worthy.’

There are those that commit crimes, then those that stand by and do nothing. Which is worse? Both feel equally cruel to me.

I hope the dichotomous feelings that always seem to occur when interacting with origin members wears off quickly and I don’t do it again for a long, long while. I seem much happier without doing so.

There is one more factor- this time it felt more right than wrong. That offensives committed when my mother was failing were forgiven. I was able to feel love for a few moments during an embrace. Love and warmth.

Most of the visit I had to remind myself to breathe, relax, and let go, because trust is not felt fully. And considering our ages, they are in their 70’s, if trust is lacking that makes spending much time together uncomfortable.

And how do you trust others who choose a relationship with an abuser? That is not something I know how to do, or want to do. It makes for waves of discomfort after they leave, confusion, and a sense of sadness at the loss of ‘family’ all over again. But now? Acceptance takes out the sting and softens the sadness.

DEPRESSION and JOY

PHOTO BY PATRICIA

 Depressed and obsessed, the day started halfway through the night. Working to take it in stride did not remove the depression of the on-going sleep issues. My mind becomes trapped on the latest gaffe, or what seems like one with of course my internal being basher bashing me.

The sister-in-law spreading my awfulness of a human being for not making her the preferred flavor pie hurt me making me re-think the possibility of becoming a part of this group called family. For a few years I felt left out, then pressure came to become a part of it. Though Tom is out west, Virginia is very willing to take his place undermining me to others all over a grape pie rather than an apple. Gaslighting/Scapegoating.

I’m being gaslighted. My mind tends to take a situation in the nighttime after waking and run it through the gerbil wheel over and over. This happened with another situation where getting closer to a family member was endlessly impossible.

Working at putting up a big STOP in my mind when that happened did resolve it over time with repeated effort. People do NOT get along with everyone, and there’s nothing wrong with either person for that. Time to accept it, give up the impossible, and prioritize making peace within.

That is my work now. My gut instinct that was against being drawn into this group was the right one. Feeling left out is far better than feeling like a failure over a pie. It feels like so much gained before all this was lost. It has taken two years of attempting connection with them to reach this conclusion, pressured to do it their way instead of what felt safe for me. It is time to STOP.

Starting a day at 2:30 AM depressed me. Control your thoughts! When thoughts repeatedly invade it sometimes signals the need for a tough decision. Be with those who feel safe and aren’t afraid to love me as I really am. Grow again with the pure water of love.  

The logy depression lifted within a few minutes of a video call from my dear granddaughter (5) and grandson (1), then JOY! That spurred me out to the great outdoors for the first time in 2 ½ weeks. My long illness prevented such an excursion.

But what a day! The brilliant glittering sparkling snow, SUNSHINE, fresh cold air, and birds chirping a melodic hello in chorus. Respite after each lap creek-side all frozen and snowy brought unfounded satisfying familiarity.

My heart pumped happily, the fresh air so invigorating!

The wonder of nature… answers come, a smile erupts, and peace flows warming me from the core.    

PHOTO BY PATRICIA

FRACTURES

Waking at 2-ish, staying there with thoughts about failed relationships with brothers who have reached out, my mind flickers from one sad event to another. STOP. And calm comes but not sleep.

Up by 3AM sipping coffee as if it is later with kitty beside me… what is time anyway? Don’t pay attention to it. Pay attention to my body, and no way was it going back to sleep.

Since my habit is to go to sleep early perhaps this tendency to wake extra early is just how it is, especially in winter when my thoughts are as grey as the weather.

In normal mode, instead of woe is me mode, the coffee is enjoyed, then out to the kitchen for clean-up, and a loaf of banana bread for the oven with the aroma of sweet bread wafting through the air.

I don’t know why I can’t be close to these other three brothers, but there it is. I wish I’d stop thinking, even obsessing about it. The family fractures run deep. I have a hard time being close to anybody as doubt blurs all vision, trust, or faith. The fractures in me won’t be mended. I must live with them.

SEVERE DAMAGE from Childhood Sexual CRIMES

When friends let you down, and there’s no origin family safe to interact with, and of course as a mother burdening my sons isn’t an option, there is only Samuel. The feelings arising from this stark realization brings tears, over and over, every day.

When my own internal being is still so very lost, the loneliness of the truth of my existence opens a hole to the floor of my soul. Though recovery brings more strength, this new knowledge of how much damage done to me in childhood hurts as if the wound bleeds fresh again.

But that is how it is… stages. Stages of grief, of what’s stolen when brothers use a little sister as a sex doll, what’s lost when other so-called members of ‘family’ look by and do nothing. Worse, are life-long friends with the criminals who attacked me. Maybe as teen-age boys they weren’t criminals, yet the attacks upon me were.

My lost interior scrapes for connection with others finding none. How could it? The two closest women even known in my life besides a sister-in-law on Samuel’s side have died, and one living friend closer than the women I’m able to be with in person? I’ve never met her, we are pen pals.

I want more. I want tea with her, and outings with fun, laughter, and hugs. The stricken rift at age 8 when a beloved brother raped me, (still repressed due to the violence of it), then the next one, and the next one, and the next… ravaged all hope of fully loving and trusting another. But there are a rare few, gone now, except one.

Love It All

Photos by Patricia (over the meadow)

In dreams they are there, this family that isn’t safe and who have insisted on my presence with my caving to it. As each day passes from inviting others to dinner without a response, safety is felt deeply allowing sleep, deep peaceful sleep.

It feels like sticking to a healthy eating program which during times of equilibrium, or even shakily so, happens with grace, persistence, and determination. But when PTSD strikes stealing my sleep, all bets are off. Eating away anxiety crops up like a volcano erupting. So too the never-ending craving for family and love.

Eating trauma since age 8 is my anchor, the time of the first attack still repressed due to it’s horrific violence. Going to my core, staying there despite whatever scary feelings are there is a new, magical adventure, feeling wholeness for the first time.

Parts cannot be cut off even though wanting to, the whole shebang needs acceptance as that’s my history, my life, my reality… like it or not. It isn’t easy digging in, inspecting these feelings of jealousy, resentment, and the whys of viscerally not liking somebody.

Taught that is wrong, the badness needs shoving away to really look at it. Pay attention to the feeling of unsafety with certain individuals. It is a warning bell to listen to. My empath abilities need respect, rise from the core, and are there to preserve and protect me.

Feelings of being left out crop up since before my dad died at age eight. With 8 kids and two parents who liked to party hard, there was not love and attention for everyone. Food and shelter, and those types of essentials, but a child needs so much more, and not one of 8 received it.

Be tender with what you find inside. Now is the time to provide what wasn’t provided, not scorn it. Bring it into your arms, love it, rock it with warmth, acceptance and attention, petting the hurt places tenderly. Let soft grasses make your bed, blue skies brighten your day, and rainbows make you smile. That is what to glue the broken places with…

My Best Friend is Me

Like a monkey swinging tree to tree, so are my emotions when sleep evades me, and this past week has been so very tough. Do I do things purposely to upset myself, unable to allow peace and happiness? That sounds absurd, yet why then invite Don and his wife for New Years Day dinner after all those pie reminders… having the gall to serve grape instead of apple.

And then adding to my email to Don that I’d make the promised apple pie if he let me know soon enough. Well, no answer from either of them despite two email invites. Nothing.

The reasoning in my head isn’t about them, it’s about my being a jerk, and not enough of a person for someone to bother to answer me. That is what has been keeping me up unable to sleep.

Is it wintertime causing this upheaval in reasoning and lack of control over keeping to healthy relationships, and healthy people? Is it my continuing hope to relate to the origin group because it is my doing or undoing that makes it a success or failure, and at my death bed I’d have regrets for not joining in? (yes)

But I know the answers. I know it is unhealthy. And it is also unhealthy to beat myself up over it. Start fresh. Start again. Find long periods of peaceful living without this part of me upsetting all that is gratifying. Be assertive. SAY NO, that thought a wonderous revelation. Can I really?

Again, and again like a moth to flame…

The Origin Group of Toxicity

Once again it is time to let go of origin family, that group of people I was unfortunate to be born into. The pressure on me over the last few years to interact with them has worked, because I am pliable if you keep at me.

Don had his wife work on me the most. Don wants to have his chief role of family leader once again but does it through her. And she is a prickly kind of animal, not one I’ve ever been able to be close to, and felt guilty about as if that’s my fault. (as usual)

And that has been what has occurred. I’m at fault. She has talked about me to the two other brothers because I didn’t serve the promised apple pie. Samuel and I ate the apple pie, but when they came with sidekick Seth, I presented a perfect grape pie from our own grapes. Making a grape pie takes much more work. Not enough for her.

Over the next months I heard about not making the promised apple pie at least three times. She’d email about it, say it at the next get-together, and yet again another time. More of a shock, while setting down the gorgeous perfectly made pie with Don, Seth, her, and Samuel at my table, Seth smirks saying, ‘not apple!’

Stunned at the rudeness, my reply was, ‘how many people have you told?’

Rolling over letting myself be kicked, the official doormat. The thing I do is is what you need, not what I need. Where once feeling left out as they made this new little group, but then relenting, I became a plastic replica of who I used to be… a robotic pleaser. I need to stay OUT. They keep digging at my insides making them bleed all over again.

Seth would only have said that because she must have complained to him about not saving the promised apple pie. And she must have extolled my failure of a human being to my younger brother up north too. Both Seth and Stevie have made her apple tortes and pies. To make up for my shortcomings? This is true sickness, making me oh so sick too. If what lies below a certain flavor dessert is a hurt over broken promises, talk to ME, not everybody else. But that’s what they all do.

Each time the absurd complaint was aired I rolled over as my face was smashed in her shit, once even by email several weeks ago. After that latest complaint I email back, ‘I do owe you an apple pie.’ Really? Why would I continue with this idiocy, even cruelty?

Virginia, why not just say ‘thank you?’ How the fuck did this become a thing about me to yet again blow out what little self-esteem I’ve begun to muster? My work on all healthy things has slowed greatly ever since caving to the pressure to be part of their little dysfunctional sick, sick, group.

But this is how it goes in the origin mess. Even though the worst member, Tom, who sexually attacked me when home on Christmas break from college when I just a little child, now lives out west, Virginia, Don’s wife, the apple pie demander, has taken up where Tom left off chipping away at me, talking to others about me, bringing me down. Some people don’t like to see others fly. All about an apple pie? This is why I’m bad?

And I let her, rolling over each time being kicked. No wonder my weight loss has stalled ever since relenting to Don needing me to become part of their little group. Being bad and being fat go together. Self-punishment for being wrong- but not knowing why, just that my existence is wrong.  

My standings in this so called family are as shitty as always. They gang up having all the control. I am the lowest of scum you can kick whenever you want. That’s the awful message souring my soul that has only just begun to learn brightness, lightness, and freedom. Freedom has gone. The bonds hold me tight. Their demands are everywhere.

It is time to start fresh. Live my life with those who truly care for me. Not like Mom whose love came only when I kept quiet and pretended to love her sons who cruelly attacked me but never said sorry.

Sorry? I’m sorry I can’t be strong enough to stay away. But today is a new day.

BOUNDARIES

As days accumulate without contact with any origin family, the more space and safety that is felt. There is also a burgeoning of self-esteem without the nagging feeling of being ganged up on and kept silenced when trying to fit in to this newly formed dysfunctional clan. Keep me down so that you can pretend there is a family to be had. Include me so that you feel good but disregard me.

But for me it is much safer to be apart feeling freer, authentic, and autonomous. Giving in to the pressure when others finally wanted to include me made me vulnerable. Because there is love, but it is not possible to both love and interact.

Feelings of love and hate eat internally because each still interact with the last surviving attacker who did the most destruction to me with his continuous cruelty. And never, not once, an apology or remorse.

To love from afar and not be drowned in memories, or the feeling of being held under without being able to breathe or feel free. It is harmful, deadly, and a very bad choice.

I was pushed into something unwanted, too easily done because doing what you want if you bug me enough works. Expensive gifts given by me, treating others to lunch on an outing, invites, visits. I tried. But again, and again it takes away all growth in a snap. Suddenly I am that child all alone in agony. Regret sets in, feeling weak with the wanting of family that just won’t be.

Give me my space to grow, love the ones safe to love, and be me. Give? I must take what is needed by setting boundaries. The wish that there’s a supportive family is not happening in my lifetime. It didn’t then, it won’t now.

My family is one I made, nurtured, and grew.

PIE PARTY

And so right down to my core comes breath… clear, free, and pure. Hashed over all summer and before? The origin family, or what’s left of them, and being a part of it. It is (finally) OK.

But first things needed to be said, or written, as that is how my words come, through written form. Don took it well and with a loving response. Seth, quite the opposite. It came to a standstill almost ending altogether. But he came back with a response that lent credence and my armor was put down.

We had a grape pie party from our own grapes on what might have been the last sunny day in the 70’s. Seth, Don, and his wife, along with both dogs, loving the meadow running free. Huge cups of dark rich coffee sipped happily creek side with laughter and ease, coming up to a decadent pie lunch topped with large scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Hours passed on this sunny day, my soul set free, with a heart safe to open.

Hole in the Floor

Negative thoughts about myself cave in devouring me as much as I devour whatever foods I can find in the middle of night. The next day a tear falls in pity for the ever present ghosts from the past interfering with a peaceful sleep filled life.

The ravages of chronic PTSD are here to stay no matter how hard the effort is to sway them from their path, rooted within without a cure.  That could have been cured had shame not made the family embarrassed to seek help for me, the victim injured so critically had it been a physical injury someone would have had to sop up the torrents of blood. Someone would have HAD to help!

Once the tsunami of sleeplessness passes, it is back to basics; persuade my negative tendencies about blaming myself for just about every little thing that doesn’t seem right, and when in that mode, every little thing seems wrong, and work on countering those beliefs.

Really? Are you as bad as that devil on your shoulder says you are? This badness, kicked to the curb over and over, comes seeping back in because it became part of my being at age 8. And it is fall after all, the time when mood plummets no matter how hard you don’t want it to. So acceptance is also a work in progress.

No one came to tell me otherwise, I was left alone except the attacks. My childhood beliefs about being bad cemented into my self-view as an adult. It is daily work, constant work sometimes. Back to happier moments of being OK to be me…