C-PTSD

The chronic PTSD, like a hidden lurking scary intruder melded into my wiring, takes off without permission. When my new computer, only 8 months old, went capooey once again only after a few weeks since the last time, my stress level rose. and the C-PTSD invader took over. The thought of talking to that fast talking guy in India again with the thick accent, so thick no one could understand him, my body went places beyond my control.

Not a good thing later in the day when winding down is so critical to a good night’s sleep. It dosen’t take much to set off the alarm bells, despite my mind saying this is NOT a disaster. There are far worse things. Knowing this to be true did not stop the rockets from setting off. They already went off.

Up after midnight, the best help is being off Xanax. The experts do have some knowledge. Leave the bed if not sleeping. (instead of laying there 3 hours, then getting up) So after a second try back in bed, sleep came. Not as lengthy as usual, but enough.

Then a Buddha post (THE BUDDHA MIND) about taking pain with pleasure the following morning. Sometimes one receives just what is needed. Like a horse and carriage, you can’t have one without the other. Without the grogginess left behind from Xanax, an uplift in spirits took hold.

First, a son who had gotten back on my computer remotely after trying to help me earlier despite three children under 5 running around getting ready for the night-time routine. He did have to leave to attend to them, yet after the children were put to bed, and after I did too, he got back into my computer as the connection was still open.

What a son. The next morning my surprise filled me with gratitude. No more sobbing on the phone with the guy from India. Last time that’s exactly what happened; the stress of a new device not working, then the dreaded voice of someone in another country that cannot be understood talking fast caused my body to sense DANGER, then the automatic take off.

Thank you Cory, dear son.

The new regime of not using a narcotic, but instead a tiny amount of pot oil mixed with pure CBD oil, along with Melatonin (the Doc says 10mg is safe) – is working! Not perfectly, but a great improvement. As the Buddha post reminded me; good with the not so good, pleasure with pain.

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.

LIVING

It’s OK, you’re OK, the message needed often and daily. During the pandemic when all were essentially shut down from socializing, my feelings of oddness went away and good feelings replaced them. Others were forced into solitude… like me.

Forced solitude out of the knowledge that others cause harm. That was learned during childhood. It does not change. Also, there is a need for seclusion because too much stimulation sets me off into the stratosphere.

Now others have taken up their social activities, singing in choir, doing band performances in parades such as the couple we know, church gatherings and dinners, get-togethers… and the list goes on.

But it is just as OK now for me to live the life chosen for me even if it differs from the majority of others. A life with quietness, peace (hopefully), and with ease. With retirement there is a drifting of purpose.

Raising sons gave me purpose. Then my nursing degree when the kids were older. Then the job, haranguing as it was to my psyche and emotions. Ugh. Now what?

We saved like little squirrels, so now we know we can pay our bills even though no longer working. So, now what? What is the purpose? No answers here except life. Live it. Live it the best that you can by being in each moment, squeezing the goodness out of each one, even the pain that comes with them. Yes, even that.

Live, grow, oh, try to grow. Work at growing and becoming a better person, and there is much room to grow. And enjoy the simple bounty around you.

There is Herman, the young buck in the field, coming each day, even as I walk by. His head lifts up from the tall grass and we have a moment staring at each other.

“Hi Hermie,” I say greeting him, his big ears atop the brown body unmoving, then he decides to hop away, the white fluff of tail bobbing behind him.

Just enjoy all you have, temper the willful brain that likes to take detours into unhappiness, steer it back to the moment. Not all moments are happy, often there is sadness without knowing why. Feel them, release them by feeling, and let them go.

There is happiness amidst pain. Let it all come and flow through. That is living.

STRANGER to MYSELF

Lost, all week lost. Pain does that, making a break between body and mind. Survival called for that early on. It isn’t as helpful now. Only when connected can things be figured out, or at least be able to come up with a reasonable answer for the gut pain.

My thoughts scared me thinking of every disaster possible, and every sickness cropping up in the world along with dread about what the news broadcasted each night, but the issue wasn’t outside of me, it was inside of me.

Strawberries. The beautiful, bountiful crop, filling our freezer with jams, sauces, and whole berries…. Eating a huge bowl each day joyfully. Well, isn’t that always life’s way? The good with the bad. My old gut cannot handle that many seeds.  

At least the pain has eased when connecting to my body, using thoughtful gentleness to tend to it. Not something done in past years. But people can grow. It may take decades, but it can happen. Life’s difficulties are better handled when one is connected to their spirit, body, and mind.

Kindness like a warm soothing balm felt loving. Remember that? And how much work it takes each day? That is my work.

On Your Way Dear Son

photo by Patricia

Time to get your big girl pants on. Maybe you don’t need to be victim to your feelings. Maybe, to a degree, you can decide how to feel, or at least manage to concentrate on which feeling takes priority.

Cory, my youngest of two sons, left with his family back to Boston yesterday morning. In the past, Cory’s leaving caused a hole so wide it devastated me, making me want to run. The pain was too great lasting a few days.

It lessons as each year passes, and my interior world opens up with a feeling of home inside myself. I feel lucky and blessed to have such a son and his beautiful family— yet the blue feeling so familiar persisted when he left home once again.

Working at not feeling a feeling doesn’t help much. Methods used to move past the pain were many; calling a friend, emailing another friend, calling Cory on his journey home, talking to Samuel about my feelings, along with keeping very busy taking down Christmas decorations, doing dishes, laundry, vacuuming…nothing helped.

When sitting still the feeling became sharp, scraping uncomfortably on the inside of my belly and chest like little claws dragging their nails inside me. So I became a whirlwind of domesticity, but still no relief.

Feel your feelings, they will pass. You ought to be happy, Stop it, you’re being silly. None of these helped or gave the immediate relief demanded. Later in the afternoon a soft voice arose, only you can comfort yourself, no one else. There it was, the answer all along, and with it the soothing yearned for.  A hot shower streaming down washed residual pain away.

It is a good thing to reach out and talk about feelings, yet the answer lies within as it always has. You are the world possessing the ultimate ability to help yourself. You just don’t know it until you do.