photo by Patricia

What is the fear erupting each day crackling just below the surface- ruminating, festering, and growing instead of abating? Talk yourself out of it. Calm the anxiety even if it can’t be named.

Carrying it with me, because there is no ridding myself of it, the sharp buzz lessons with familiarity. The fear sometimes rises, sometimes diminishes, but is always there.  

If only it could be named. When standing at the cusp of change, a shift in growth can cause unease. Dare to put one foot forward. But what if I fall? Perhaps, just perhaps, let deep whispers flow, and quiet the mind. The directives rising from the source defy logic authenticating my being.  Listen. Pay attention. And trust it.


The Great Outdoors


‘Practice what you preach,’ words chastising in my head while dragging my body to the door pulling on snow pants, a brightly colored coat so the hunters won’t shoot me, then a hat, scarf and gloves. It is like walking through water getting to the door, my mood making me sluggish but also with the knowledge that this is the time when exercise is most needed and helpful.

Once opening the door to the frosty air my mood refreshed instantly with uplift. Though my body took the laps slowly, my heart happily pumped as aches eased with the movement. It is essential, even in winter, to keep moving. Mother brings such pleasure, peace and ease, her tranquility a healing balm every time.

The last lap earns a rest in the Adirondack chair. The latest melt has caused the creek to rise. In the distance my ears discern the rushing of water over the beaver dam not far away. Various prints in the light snow paint trails of rabbit, squirrel and deer activity crisscrossing like delicate embroidery.

Feeling full, satisfied and plied with more vigor, I tramp back puffing uphill to the house. The cat awaits my return, curled up high on the closet shelf in the mitten box where she can keep an eye on me lap after lap. Winter weariness needs to be attacked every day, but is so worth the work… Sometimes the relief is immediate, other times it takes a while.


Tears Wash Wounds

Tears won’t stop flowing, at times erupting into sobs, but only when Samuel leaves the house. Today the three brothers gather yet again without me, three brothers out of seven who didn’t sexually abuse my child’s body. They have become closer these past years after letting them know of the book I wrote. A few times regret for even mentioning it rose.

But the things I decide to do occur for a reason and a soul-part of me needed them to know no matter the repercussions. And those have caused wounding, again and again.

My belief is that now I’m included because they’ve grown closer, and there’s power in gangs. No one wants to reciprocate my attempts of deepening a relationship one on one. But in a group they can cling close, act as if they aren’t, but hold all power.

Groups where I’ve not cultivated a solid relationship with the other cause deep anxiety. And finally saying no to going has caused an opening inside that travels the caves to my core, the place of birth, the place where a baby grows with people around her called family. The only people she knows until leaving home.

They are a part of my core til my dying breath. There is no escaping that place once called ‘home.’ To be abandoned from it rattles my lungs while sobs escape my lips. I know the release is necessary, imminent, and that I will be alright after. Tears wash the wounds like a salve. Like the saline applied to our physical wounds, tears wash our internal ones too.

My tears have been held in too long. Now they escape. No pulling myself up by the bootstraps. Allow what is and gently go.


Goals of growth and change seem lofty and unattainable. Has the wisdom once thought gained just a trick of mind? Being human gets in the way. My very humanness interferes making what is simple, complicated, and sticky.

When declining the sister-in-law’s invite, I also e-mailed my son a terse decline of his invite Saturday to enjoy a meal and watch them decorate their tree. My son Shane calls as usual on his way to work attacking the upset at once with his usual kindness and patience, but also exasperation at my tendencies to withdraw when hurt.

We worked it out, and we will be going. When declining one invite, I declined both not knowing what was keeping me up nights. I’m still up at 3 AM, but it must be due to the time change, and not much else. Serenity so cherished seems to have slipped through my hands.

Winter does this to me, makes me into a stranger from myself where no softness and soothing can be found. But it is there. I have nurtured it, grown it, and need to connect with it again.

My Life, My Body, My Soul

The days grow shorter, darkness consumes me, fears hover over every moment needing constant diligence to sweep away; fears of dying, doing wrong, being wrong. The kernel of warmth that began to soothe my being with self-acceptance all too quickly disappears, and only coldness is left behind. The same coldness I’ve lived with since age 8 when I left my body.

Go back to the body. Breathe. This moment matters. You’re alright. An area in my jaw where gum surgery took place ached again. It was probably unneeded surgery that could have killed me because I kept popping Xanax on the way there. She had to administer oxygen during the procedure.

The culprit for the pain might be from jaw clenching while sleeping when under stress. The stress of agreeing to come to a holiday gathering of the three siblings and their wives caused an extreme duress in the core of my being… but I didn’t know it.

I was not taught to be aware of my feelings, body and or spirit. I was taught to be in opposition of everything that is mine. I was taught to be a robot. Say please, be pleasing. Don’t be.

To come to myself, to my body, spirit and soul…. To say no? It unclenched that jaw and the pain is gone. I feel peace. I still wonder what I’m doing wrong that I can’t get along with them, or many others, yet what I’m doing must be right for me. My body tells me so.


It’s not so much events that trip me but how people handle them. If you’re direct, even if it means hurting my feelings, I’m OK. If you proceed with something knowing it isn’t considerate of me, and without being upfront about it, the hurt doesn’t just go deep… it invades my soul with a stab that upsets all systems. It sets off alarms that keep me up in the night for several nights.

I cannot stand charade, accompanied by manipulation. Acting cheerful while fully knowing you are doing something that will hurt me brings me right back to my childhood, reinforcing the belief that no one is to be trusted, and everyone will hurt you and take something from you. It is that kind of manipulation which re-opens wounds keeping them festering and the blood flowing.

My entire childhood was manipulated, by my mother, and the molesters. I don’t feel I have a clear thought in my head, nor know what my real heart wants. I am more like a top in the water bouncing around at your prerogative.

The swaying is dizzying. The surviving need is to remove weeds of doubt and cruel hands whose impression on me has remained, to remove them pricker by pricker like burdock stuck on a coat— as long as it takes. Someday the real me will surface, or felt deep below truly discovered, nurtured, and lovingly cared for.  Each day yields another attempt at discovery and the deepening of self-love.