Freedom from restraints others impose comes often, even if the restraints grow from my own beliefs of what is expected rebelling against it.
Round and round the critic bites, once my mom’s voice, or any from the origin family imposing a gag on me in case secrets making them look bad were revealed. It has molded an old woman (is 70 old?) who is still unable to set boundaries or speak up.
That is permanent. What can be challenged is self-hate for the brokenness causing loss of speech. It is not my fault or doing.
How could my voice ring out loud when molded and forced as a child to endure quietly. The damage is done.
Wrong doings by others, insensitivities, crossing boundaries, (the list goes on) curdles within till coming here writing words to make sense of the utter jumble inside of me, here, a safe place where authenticity rises once the chaos is sorted out. Growth occurs. The stranger within becoming known.
When the flashlight peers inside, goodness, not the badness consuming me since age 8.
Goodness glows when daring to look honestly, with gentleness, compassion, empathy and self-acceptance.
Laying there at night either trying to fall asleep, or middle of the night waking’s, a new voice of kindness washed through the harshness of self-blame for this predicament bathing me with warm compassion instead of cold rejection.
Relief that the surgery is over, and he has made it through the dire consequences we were told about unscathed (though shuffling that walker around grimacing continues), compounded with this gentler person born in me though still in her infancy- has made for adequate sleep for almost an entire week.
Is my voice so powerful? Sometimes, yes, other times not a thing can be done as C-PTSD is just that; chronic, and striking without warning or invitation. But there are times that caring for my deepest places by bringing truth to my internal dialogue, goodness prevails over that shrieking critic.
The rat brain kicked in at sleep time- over and over a painful incident and sleep was not forthcoming. But instead of a restlessness forcing me out of bed, the story was challenged of blaming myself for it.
The stories we tell ourselves, my stories, need so much rewriting and editing, and often need to thrown right into the garbage. Yet it is not so easy when hitching my wagon to them all these years.
My fault my brain has been injured? My fault that very often it starts up with worries, fears, and the feeling bad about being me beliefs? It is not my fault. Thoughts move through constantly without my permission. It is not my fault.
Removing self-blame from the equation helped sleep to come, fitful, with dreams remembered each time because waking occurred so often, but sleep did come. And for that I am grateful.
Only by going to the fear, accepting it’s there, can it be met with kindness, patience and understanding. Awareness of how scared I’ve been came to mind when discussing Samuel’s upcoming hip replacement on the phone with my son. Fright filled tears swelled trailing down my cheeks like hot ice.
And Samuel, usually my rock, is nervous too, feeding my own fears exponentially. Seems an oxymoron to stay connected with one’s interior no matter what’s there, but then also keep my hands busy so that fears don’t overwhelm and consume.
Samuel, not a man to discuss his feelings, admitted a feeling last night which surprised me. But only after he got up from the couch barely able to stand up or move to the kitchen.
“I don’t know how you work with Mike all day when you can barely walk,” I said.
“It’s the same as you doing all that baking to keep your hands busy, it occupies my mind- measuring, cutting- then I’m not thinking about it,” he said.
It is not easy to admit fear. Aren’t we supposed to be brave? Bury feelings of fragility, fear, and vulnerability, which often are looked on as weaknesses. It is strong to say, ‘I’m afraid,’ but do it anyway.
Strictures within the confines of healthy needs for my body make me feel trapped, rebellious, craving freedom with no restraints.
Ignoring thirst and drinking less due to problems of low blood sodium no one knows why occurred causes a revolt downing an extra can of sparkling water.
That causes an extra trip to the bathroom at night, bam! Negative thoughts cave in along with PTSD- no more sleep past 1 or 2AM. My suspicion is that my nightly struggles are at least partly my fault, and this latest battle might just be that simple, an increase in fluid.
Another daily struggle, as food has always been used to numb out since age 8, is staying under the caloric limit set by myself to maintain weight, or more hopefully lose, the latter not something occurring since Thanksgiving when three pounds were packed on as if making a snowman.
To act disciplined? That is what fuels self-esteem but tell it to the part that kicks back at authority, wails against hearing ‘no’, and pushes against the prison bars or doing what needs to be done to be healthy.
If you look beyond the willfulness there lies a lonely, desperate child needing love. It goes way back to then, this hole, this need, this craving, the rebellion.
Will some one fill it? Can I? The brutal winter has torn me down like a pool of mop water dirtied and murky.
No answers come from within, only questions with unfulfilled needs. I feel like a seedling hit with frost, a growing interior thwarted by the icy cold.
Latest trail cam photo by the creek where I walk and rest…
Looking at my own flaws, mistakes, and faults is overwhelming igniting PTSD rockets when trying to sleep in the night. Much of my life has been about how others hurt me, which is every day due to an inability to trust or have faith.
And that is my flaw, though not my fault. Who would trust after a childhood like mine? But no free passes because life is among those who do trust, love freely, and tolerate closeness from others, even welcoming it daily while my own being shies away from it.
That mistrust compounded by a self that beats herself up? Like a prickly porcupine, cute when the quills aren’t out, deadly when they are.
That is my curse. Discovering it nearly drowns me in the night when the black thoughts hit. Looking at my armor reflects a face of aloneness. And if you don’t drill some holes in it you will be all alone.
Winter can kick me down the stairs of negative and repetitive thinking. It is so hard to stay afloat wondering how those around me tolerate it, like Samuel for starters, but my sons too.
They do. Love is like that. And with learning to love, staying open, a fullness towards myself offers the same for others.
The process of learning to love myself, that I am worthy of love, is life-long, as my insides clammed up tightly at 8 years old. There was no one to love or trust except my cat or other non-human animals.
Time alone in nature offers the safety needed to feel love. Even around those loved it is difficult, either in person, via email, or by video. But alone, out in the meadow, without other’s inconsistencies or my raging self-doubt over interactions I blame myself for, love abounds filling me up satisfyingly.
This insulated life is not of my choosing. Shattered at age 8 and continually broken from then on, caused fractures so deep they remain life-long. Quiet and solitude heal. Acceptance means picking up the pieces and making a life of my own choosing, even if seemingly different or odd to others.
It is my life, and can be made magical by working to stop the negative yammering constantly in my head. (and hanging up more fairy lights to welcome me on dark morning walks) Easy, no, possible? Yes. Each time that voice starts berating me, blaming me, think of it as a challenge. With persistence, gentleness, and patience, healing and growth occur.