Injured Being

mosaic by Patricia

My path includes remembering that self-esteem and anxiety are issues that need working on, and are here to stay.  When experiencing some success at either, the thought is that the work is done. The work continues, some days more than others. Who I was at age eight is a shadow arising time to time with a memory of what was, who ‘she’ was, and could be.

All that changed with the first attack, and severed almost completely as each brother came and went, my true self going further and further away until she hardly exists. She because I could never become her, she because she is there, a misty ghost of who I could have been. And I mourn her.

Who I am now is not her, though wisps remain. What I have instead is anxiety in every day because of the trauma’s, but more so, because family and society insists not to hear. These traumas still going on at a deadly rate need airing. And it seems to be coming to the light, though more sensational ones; coaches, priests, teachers… but what about the brother, father, uncle?

The anxiety is here to stay. It must be faced every day. The damage internally broke my being. It takes my life to put back the pieces, shards that sometimes cut, smoothing them together anyway to make a whole— bumpy, solid and beautiful.

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PEACE

Snow frosted trees, big flakes falling. Later in the day warm March sun melted it all except patches of white in the shade of the pines. My boots sucked into the mud on the path, ducks flying off at my approach. An otter swam busily to the creek side lighting upon the log then slipping back into the cold black water. The current runs strong with the overflow from the melt.

It is a period of grace, without my squirrel brain a ’worrying, and sleep coming night after night. A time of rest, with enough energy to enjoy various outings, gatherings, and get-together’s.

My son and grand-kids came for brunch. The monthly women group of friends met Sunday for hours of cards, laughter and fun. A shopping trip to the mall and lunch with a friend satisfied a need for exercise and socialization. .

Sleep brings energy to do these things.Gratitude blossoms as this lull in anxiety yields to quiet peaceful joy. 

 

SUCCOR

The creek in spring…

The person I was meant to be, doesn’t get a shot at living. That is mourned, and ever shall be. That was taken, ‘she’ was taken at the first touch from a dearly loved and trusted brother that was wrong touch wreaking of manipulation, guile, and evilness.

But this isn’t about them. It is about what they took. A life. This life created from the destruction of that child that I was meant to be, from the women I would have been, is who I became. But what lay just beneath is who I am.

And will you ever know her as I do? She is strong, confident, and sings for the masses, justice for all. She doesn’t bow down to criticism nor does she criticize herself for being herself.

And in my little oasis I can do that. Without others to doubt or bring me down, I can be at peace. Except when I can’t, which happens too much of time due to old voices taking hold destroying self-worth and peace.

Coming back to center, feeling the insides of my body, all the cracks, tiny spaces, and hollows, owning it, sleep comes, peace comes, self-liking rises. After so much work there is a presence underlying the critic, a she who loves me, that’s me. Warm succor waits right here at home, in my body of a home.

Labile/Anxiety

“Here is an article about sleep,” Samuel said, moving the AARP magazine closer.

A few days passed before picking it up. Most of the suggestions, like not drinking coffee later in the day, and keeping a regular bed-time, are things already in motion, but one suggestion caught my eye; CBT-I Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Sleep disturbances over the last month have become severe. So is the search for confidence, well-being, fullness, or any other feeling offering succor. The coldness outside froze my insides. Regret frosted growth spiraling me backwards. Coming off the ‘path,’ I became lost in the forest of doubt, anxiety, and depression.

I’m doing my homework. Many sites seemed like scams, wanting money for completing this therapy on-line, which can be done without a therapist if the depression is mild. But one has offered guidance, already easing my mind and body during the night so that sleep came even after two separate trips to the bathroom.

You know the work. Someone wrote on my blog that maybe you won’t have to constantly keep telling yourself you are OK throughout the day. And my squirrel mind felt criticized, though the remark was a caring and compassionate one. I do need to tell myself that day and night. Living is fearful for me.

Danger lurks around every corner, and in every relationship. My job is to allay unfounded fears, challenge them, offer other plausible scenarios, and so much more pinpointed clearly in these articles. Looking at things less rigidly offers more solutions. Maybe there aren’t aren’t any, so stop worrying over what you can’t change or influence positively.

I took notes. It was so helpful, and the notes will be kept handy as this transition from winter to spring takes place. Even if not read again, they are my security blanket; you’re not alone, and there is a way. 

Labile emotions, joyful to the moon one day, the next a waterfall of tears. The tears come like this each spring, a washing off of winter depression, cleaning out the dull, brain chemicals opening windows for happy endorphins that bring balance. I will get there, and do the work.

http://cogbtherapy.com/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-exercises/

Sweet Daughter-in-Law?

A daughter-in-law should not feel like an arch-enemy. Yet the campaign undertaken, even if unconsciously vindictive, or a story concocted and believed, shook my world and undermined my confidence severely. It has always been this way. Her lagging self-esteem built up by trampling mine. To stand on another to feel righteous. 

For the peace of family, to not make waves, to not add to my son’s pain, hardship, or haranguing by her, for all reasons other than my integrity and right to a place in this world, my voice continues in silence. Until it can hold no more.  

It feels just like Tom’s silencing of me. Her attacks come with smiles, hugs and false syrup, just like his. Maliciousness on any level cuts ones legs off. Divide and conquer. Make a case to others while killing the one hated. But do so invisibly. Look at a person and her defenses, attack from there.

No family other than Cory, Shane, and Samuel. And none of them go against her, why should they? She hadn’t crept in expertly shaking their credibility, digging their roots. And no one wants to confront a nicely wrapped package with such repressed anger lurking within. Her ways may seem innocent, but not to me. I used to be that way… with rage locked in. 

Someone acting so nice, but isn’t. Someone who hasn’t learned how to speak up, so strikes down subtly so no one sees. Taking advantage of me who has had my own voice stolen so viciously. Her ways have come out of a pampered existence, one I never had.

How do two paths co-exist when such malevolence from one drums so expertly in the background ready to grab its prey by the neck and yank back and forth? It’s never going to stop until I say enough. . 

 

Cherish the Moment

photo by Patricia

We are all struggling. Looking at another one might think they have it all. I wish, if only, comparing one’s life to another. Then you find out that person suffers problems so severe you take your wish back of being like them.

Limping along trying to make sense of this thing called life is often hard, and wondering what the purpose is can be just as difficult with the question going unanswered. No one can tell you what that purpose is, you have to find it yourself.

And maybe there is none other than to survive. In this age survival isn’t about killing the beast to make it through the winter, or keeping the fires burning so one won’t freeze. It has become an age of technical devices, wires humming with communication, also bringing heat, refrigeration, and entertainment. No more stories around the campfire that entertained our ancestors of primitive times while firelight flickered on the cave walls.

Imagine one of them looking down to check their messages on their phone. No, we whirl in the pace of modern living. Who looks within to see what’s there, and to discover what you are really made of?

Enough is needed to keep our ‘campfires’ burning, the furnace of modern times. And enough is needed to buy the food rather than kill it. But how much fame and fortune is needed to feed our egos? How many vacations to compare on-line, how many friends, parties, or hobbies?

What if one friend is enough. What if a walk in the back meadow sustains as well as a trip to Italy, Iceland or the Caribbean? Because for me it has to. Leaving home for too long brings upset moving to panic. Being home is hard enough.

And that’s OK. Trips into my own interior can be magical, miraculous, and deeply satifying. What is really there? What needs tweaking, what is worth keeping, what won’t go away no matter how much work is done?

It is too easy, and usually necessary, to become wrapped up into the daily grind; driving to work, the stress of work, coming home to kids who need more work. Where is the time to contemplate the whys of life, or the vastness within?

I am lucky to have this time, and it is important to remember and to cherish every moment… tension and release, pain and joy. Take it all in, this thing called ‘life.’

 

PRISON

The patterns of abuse run through me like lines in my palm, my arteries, my veins. These won’t change. I have fought, struggled, and tried to escape the bindings of the abuse, but there is no escape. The locked prison is my soul. I flounder around bumping my head, and when realizing there is no way out, I sit in peace and acceptance. I am so tired of fighting.

Tom’s ways became the ways of my daughter-in-law. Demean, pick away at, take down, but always do so in a way that others won’t notice, only me, and what’s left of my tattered soul. I stuff it by eating, saying nothing, or lamenting constantly to Samuel who will not hear, and never acts. I am alone.