Faults & Flaws

My walk this morning!

Even if restless after waking, uncomfortable in my own body, or mind, it’s important to sit still starting the day feeling what is there. Sounds easy but takes focus and a willingness to just be.

Stay unstirring while sipping dark, strong coffee even when wanting to escape. Face the day by facing myself.

Being with myself this morning is a struggle due to the fact of having faults, my mind dwelling on a common theme over the years that probably won’t change much, mistrust. Accepting it is there may bring needed gentleness and a capacity for wholeness.

These faults grew out of the early sexual abuse committed by various siblings. Mistrust compounded with an inability to protect myself from others makes for an extraordinarily painful combination. Taking just so much then barking out something without grace has happened burdening the existing sadness.

My critic says it’s a fault, a terrible unforgiveable fault, especially when the other person holds it over me and becomes vindictive. That leaves me with a great sense of failure. Why couldn’t I have handled that situation better? These thoughts invade the start of today, wanting to flee my own body, mind, and spirit… but stay. Use some discipline and stay.

How do you love yourself if there are things about yourself you don’t like? Mistrust is embedded, cemented into my personality. When understanding how and why, gentleness allows for compassion towards myself.

Keeping others away with doubt, mistrust, and judgement helps me feel safe, yet yields for a solitary life. That won’t change. By accepting the damage done, I’m learning it’s OK to live in a way that keeps me feeling safe and peaceful

To like myself is to accept that the barriers I have are not only necessary but need reinforcement. Others have basic internal shields to keep them safe from others ‘shit.’ When you come out of childhood intact, you have that.

Everyone has feelings, thoughts, problems, and interests. If I’m not capable of protecting myself from it I’m sunk. And it hurts, other people’s shit all over me most of life because I had no way to keep it out has caused so much pain- daily, hourly, minute by excruciating minute.

To have my own life, my own feelings, thoughts, and needs, then honor and try to meet them? All new. My ‘shit shield’ needed pounding out to reflect others bullshit, to have it bounce off, not sink in as it has most of my life.

Whatever you say must be truer than anything I might because of feeling worthless since childhood traumas occurred… growing as I grew. The concave shape of punctured self-esteem leaves an enormous gap for other people’s shit to penetrate.

My shield is becoming convex with other’s ‘stuff’ reflecting off. Understanding I’m not alone in pain, others struggle too. But I don’t have to absorb the pain of others, just try to be more gentle with it. And that begins with gentleness to self.

The Journey

Feeling bones, my body thinner, scared, a few pounds easily were put back on. Feeling safer, it is easier to control my eating. Becoming smaller comes with threats of success and a great urge to numb out with food.

Of course there is a link, but I haven’t figured it out yet, or all the way through. The urge to eat when not hungry, a typical day for me since age 8, fades when a softer, kinder voice is heard and felt.

Though happening for periods of time creating success with weight loss as a secondary plus, sustaining kind thoughts of myself takes primary focus. That is the goal, food and weight are symptoms of the self-hate developing in childhood falling in-line only when kindness to self steps in.

The voice whispers positive things about myself that are allowed into me. That is challenging to sustain after living most of my life otherwise. Much of that grew as I grew pleasing the origin family, living by implied rules if wanting to remain a part of it… toxic as it was and still is- what’s left of it.

What grew with the ugliness of repeated sexual attacks by supposed loving brothers with nowhere to talk about it, and no one to help or stop it, was a life of unprocessed trauma, chronic, embedded, PTSD, with a critic inside me louder than anything else—a life of punishing myself for having been abused.

Hate myself, blame myself, eat, eat, eat, both to numb out the hate and to comfort myself from the internal nasty word beatings, that voice in my head that came from ‘family’, but became mine. No, it was not spoken aloud, but the messages were imprinted into my soul because no one talked of the tragedies that befell me, nor stopped it. The imposed silence, and the implications of blame I felt entombed me.

A miracle occurs when a more honest view of myself is heard, one that can look at mistakes and flaws kindlier, but much harder, and more importantly, looks at the positive qualities, feels them, believes them, and taking them in as my own.

When that miracle happens, the overpowering urge to eat when not hungry dissipates because my soul is being filled, finally filled.

FEARS

Samuel’s photo of last night’s lunar eclipse

Fear walks with me, even in a life insulated from too much stimulation protecting my worn-out system after a life of debilitating anxiety depleting my adrenal glands. Fear is with me at all times, though the gauge wanders from extreme to lower levels, it rides with me always, my periscope scanning the perimeter unless zoning out. (my term for dissociation)

Constantly on the ready during nature walks for disaster- though my blood curdling screams over snakes has diminished, if startled by one a yelp erupts as well as a flutter of my heart, probably not good for a heart to jolt with too many of those.

Then there are tick checks after finding one on my back one day. Out in the early morn, the fog as thick as the dew, using the spreader, a great amount of insect repellant granules are dispersed all along the 2-acre path. That ought to keep them off, along with tick spray on my socks and pants.

Now, keep the mockingbirds away from my walking area and patio, as one summer they continually attacked once their babies broke free from the eggs… torpedoing my head ready to peck out my eyes. That was terrorizing lasting too many weeks into precious summer time.

Too often forgetting how my system is on auto-ready for terror, and how much a drain that is, it is kinder and more compassionate to accept how it is, and why, then be gentle with myself acknowledging the reality of my existence.

There is damage left behind by those professing to love me. Comparing myself to others who breeze through life is not helpful either. PTSD unprocessed does damage that for me is lifelong. Learning as a child that home is not safe, what, where, and who is?

Joy outweighs it all …

Harder Days

Everything about me is a secret, unless you are one of the rare few who know me well, or unless you are a blogger where the freedom to be real is relished. Going to my center uncensored has given the gift of growth, acceptance, and the beginning kernels of self-love.

All the gunk interwoven in my belly, so much of it knotted in rejection of self, going against my own at every turn. Thoughts beating me down.

A common thread woven in childhood when those so close and trusted attacked. A thread of self-blame turning into a noose, a rope becoming so thick can it ever be unraveled?

Some days it is hard to get out of bed to greet the day, pushing myself up with that hardened serious feeling that took hold at age 8 in order to survive. Burdens of self-brutality too much to face.

Needing love, yet not finding any within, looking for it from mother long dead now, though she loved her other 7 sons too and that fact made her love for me tainted, poisonous, and twisted with deadly consequences.  

It is within where love needs planting, where needed the most. As the earth softens for growth, so too does my internal world. When making mistakes, which humans tend to do, let that old hatred for self go when raising its monstrous head.

Add the rich loamy soil of love, warmth, and tenderness instead and see what sprouts. It is hard, sometimes laborious work, just like meeting the day when not wanting to. But it will be OK, and so are you.

HOME

And so, the bone-tired weariness begins to wane, so too the anxious lonely missing of Cory because leaving sooner than he’d hoped caused a feeling of great failure as a mother.

But home. Sleep comes. No drugs. Kitty and I patter out to porch coffee in hand, lighting a rose scented candle as a golden quarter orb rises over the horizon. First thinking it was a house light at the edge of the forest on the hill, a crescent moon shone her happy orange-yellow glow.

The male daddy bird chirped from the birdhouse in the dark, much earlier than the other birds, announcing his ownership of the castle with his wife inside on her nest. The peepers in harmony in the distance entering my core soothing like a purring cat upon a lap.

My core, remember that? Touching base with it only momentarily for way too long, anxiety’s roiling keeping me away from it.

Now I know I needed to be home, even if all the other people around me didn’t. Even if it means being a bad mother. Even if letting others down.

It is so extremely uncomfortable advocating for my own needs. My husband and son did not debate my needs. I did. I did for two days after coming home.

But now I know that home is where I need to be. Dreams continue as if still there, working through the unfinished business. Others that met me wondering about my differentness, not knowing of my shattered past.

So naïve to trauma and life’s harsh cruelty, and what it does to someone, making blithe comments that I take home to heal over until realizing they just don’t know.

And hopefully never will. It is not wished upon them. But I know. It is only my own internal self that needs to know and love me though their ignorance. But so hard when in their environment, not mine where mother is nature loving me.

But home. The unusual warm two days, yesterday by the creek in reverie bringing me back into my internal home. Slowly strength and health return.

CONFIDENCE VS ANXIETY

Learning to love myself with all my spots and beauty also means moving away from another loved and close to in order to protect my being. Interactions that felt loving are feeling more harmful than helpful or loving.

It may be no fault to either parties, but just is.

It is imperative to protect my internal peace and when there is upset due to certain interactions that are necessary but can be limited if by choice, then I must choose limiting the interactions.

This step forward advocating for my own needs feels like foreign territory, unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Me? Take care of me? Even if it means closing down some interactions that till now occurred daily?

Is that really the right choice, or is it one more irrational choice that seems right but is oh so wrong? The lack of confidence in running my own life causes anxiety to erupt. Will you run it for me?

PTSD

It must be accepted that there will be bad days, and more often than wanted, sometimes a string of them. No matter how many healthy habits are put in place, an occurrence happens sending my body into orbit inhibiting sleep and spinning the negativity wheel.

To come down medication does help, and that too needs to be accepted, because using it, though much more sparingly, is extending a kindness towards myself.

Samuel believes my own self talk can stop the bad thoughts at night. Maybe, but considering the herculean effort put into it staying still with swirling thoughts for 3 hours or so, no way.

My body will take off without my permission, and this time it had to do with my son’s new van being hit, bringing back the awful memory of their other van being hit on the exact same road 9 years ago when the my grand-daughter was only three months old, and my grand-son 2, both in the car.

The baby’s femur was broken, and my grand-son’s body was burned by car seat straps because the collision was so brutal. He came often after that crash and his PTSD was very evident to me.

We had a used battery powered jeep for him to play with at the time. And all on his own while he played in the garage and driveway, he was the fireman at the crash helping the crying mother and children.

He took his own PTSD and processed it over and over while I watched in awe, knowing this would help him. Something I didn’t have as child but should have.

He talked of all the red lights swirling and the blaring sirens, but no longer the tiny victim child because he became the powerful rescuer, the saver.

God, no wonder I couldn’t sleep!

TAKE HOLD

Control the beast. The beast takes many forms; doubt, fear, insecurity, ungroundedness, an inability to trust or love, and the roots of self-criticism grown in childhood tangled so deeply it cannot be cut out only confronted daily.

Is it that simple, that all this time the adult just needed to take the reins not allowing the troubled willful child to have her will? But no, each path has many signs leading to the wrong places, maybe because fully feeling how wrong something is one learns what is right.

I won’t live long enough to get it all right. But the biggest secret hidden from myself all this time is that when others have said through the years, ‘you’re too hard on yourself,’ that it is a truth unrevealed to me. My head heard it, thought about it, but the critic kept on banging.

But when taking hold of the beasts causing worry, disruption, and chaos- choking them not by asphyxiation but with love, gentleness, kindness, and warmth… a soft place inside, an oasis opens inviting me in. The gnarly roots of self-criticism disintegrate making room for new growth of another kind.

NEW WAYS- SOUL WAYS

It isn’t earth shattering, what I do. Waking after a restful sleep with deep gratitude for that simple bodily need fulfilled, there it is. What do I do?

A puzzle, a craft readying for the kids to visit over the weekend, or what? Movies play almost non-stop, as if that is my safe way to interact with people. While listening to the voices known by heart because they play so much, household chores are accomplished, or the next meal is prepared- which means a lot of time over the sink.

That is such a pleasure when the morning sun splashes on my face warming my upper body. So, it isn’t earth shattering, what I do.

Yet being in my body, and in my life, following that inner voice that often is ignored or detached from, can cause a reversal of negativity in my closest relationships opening them to growth and better lives for all.

Not just in my life but also in those I touch. Since childhood that voice was ignored. How could it not be when divided from it at age eight? That voice calls in the night preventing sleep till listened to. That or the PTSD devil, haven’t decided which.

It is an upheaval of deep angst and unhealth, but when re-connecting and following through…that IS earth shattering! Asking for what I need takes an extraordinary amount of energy and is exhausting. Others have become accustomed to my placidity and apologetic tendencies. When persevering for what feels right repeatedly and doggedly until the desired outcome, well, that must be surprising and difficult to ignore.

It is the little things that shatter the old ways creating new and wonderous ones…

NIGHTTIME FRIGHTS

PHOTO BY PATRICIA

People have their own ways of dancing. Mine might not look like a tango, but if inside there is calm, that’s my dance. If inside the critic isn’t smashing me down, that’s a waltz, tango, and tap dance all in one. Waking in the night on the fifth night, not using any medication because the weaning off occurred the first four nights, trouble started.

After a week of the best sleep in months, last night the critic escaped. Not having any medication in my system gave me something to worry about. It has be lack of controlling thoughts, not being off it.

Up to use the bathroom, then bam, the mind ruminating scaring myself with memories, and present things that in daytime don’t pose a problem, but in the night make my heart lurch.

Stay. No more medication or going out to watch TV. No. It was hard, harder, and hardest of all, but then birds were heard so some sleep must have finally come.

In the morning when Samuel got up, I hung my head in my hands and through tears spilled out the nighttime woes and worries, especially the parts that refuse forgiveness of shortcomings, faults, and mistakes, the beating of self so frightful in the dark.

Samuel is much kinder to me than I am, his words helping me start the day.  I hear stories of ‘love yourself,’ then love yourself more. But in the dark they feel like just words, while trying to find comfort from sounds out the open window, peepers finally peeping, and Samuel’s regular breathing beside me. There is much to be grateful for, and so much that can be soothing, yet my insides feel so cold.

Question in the night: how does one connect and comfort one’s soul after feeling disconnected from it for so long? The soul, that vaporous place deep within encompassing the internal core so ethereal…