Disconnection with ‘self’ causes a hollowness internally so expansive that falling into it is an endless dive through an empty crevasse. The pain in the freefall is sharp, severe, and ever there.

Losing my way brings back that rift, emptiness wrapped in loneliness the only hug.

As days grow longer and sunshine seeps into my bones, hope, energy, and aliveness help counter the tendency since childhood to self hate.

The hate makes for loneliness, because no matter how caring others might try to be towards me, if not caring for my own self, no way is warmth allowed in.

You dare show compassion? No. Yet in these softer days when home internally is sought and found, compassion comes in then flows outward.

It is not all luck that brought me here and kept me alive. Hard work, persistence, grueling persistence, and dedication with a great will to live, survive, and thrive has brought me thus far.

And appreciating these facts is OK and deserved. The decades of doggedly sticking to the right thing, learning to do what needed to be done, especially for my boys. That both graduated from a prestigious college due to their hard work in high-school earning them scholarships. And chosen to work as resident assistants during their years of studies which paid for room and board. How awesome is that?

Instead of the constant harangue of badness, look at the good. For a self-hater that is a struggle even during summer. It is OK to rest on my laurels even if for a little bit, enough to at least appreciate them. And as the sunny days accumulate that becomes more possible, warmth flowing in with the sunshine. Sunshine brightens brain chemicals chasing the critic down the path in front of me. The ability to feel good makes mee manic with joy.

Years of struggle, saving every penny while hanging cloth diapers around the wood stove, and shopping for necessities at garage sales; clothes, toys, household items, just about anything and everything to pay bills each week.

That struggle and being so frugal has been what brought us to this place of peace where we can retire but still handle our expenses, a miracle still shiny to me after all those years of barely making ends meet.

It feels so good to feel good after despairing winter months…

The Devil Within

Pain: pain that is everyday living, then there is pain from within. Most of my pain comes from within, an implant at age 8, maybe Martians? When my mind turned against me, blaming me for the attacks of my brothers because no one came to help or tell me it wasn’t my fault.

There is this thing writhing within that eats from the inside out leaving despair in its wake. There’s no escape, only solace and comfort from learning to confront this devil with all it’s tricks.

Falling into the hellhole of criticism, its head whipping me side to side, tearing, chewing, shredding me bloody. It happens suddenly, quickly, all to easily. Coming up and out of it takes new learnings still incomplete; self-love, compassion, and kindness. Emerge from this quicksand into the light.

Love of Life

Photo by Patricia

One of Samuel’s friends has been keeping track of him. And Shane calls daily, along with our other son Cory. Other than that, it is quiet around and feeling sorry for myself crept in thinking of how others would be receiving cards, visits, and phone calls.

Our visits are with the nurse, physical therapist, and an occupational therapist. We are both too tired for anyone else even if it was offered. Yet there is and always has been a nagging feeling of ‘not enough,’ not enough of whatever, no matter what it is.

That feeling carries back to before my dad died at age 8 remembering a continual craving for attention. With 8 kids there wasn’t enough of that to go around. Yet…. my life now is more than enough. What matters is what I feel inside, that all the rooms are opened and dusted, receiving myself wholly with love.

Finally I called the florist and had a lovely bouquet delivered for my husband with a card that read, ‘Happy Healing- You did it! I love you, Patricia.’ He seemed pleasantly surprised. Fresh flowers brightened my day too.

He is working hard on walking around frequently and doing his exercises moaning through the pain. The front approach of replacing a hip is far less painful than cutting through butt muscles. We did our homework and chose a surgeon qualified at the less painful approach.

My truth- as much as a more social type life looks appealing or more normal, as ‘the grass is greener on the other side,’ it isn’t a life fitting for someone who deals daily with great anxiety around other people, or too much stimulation other than that which I make for myself.

Acceptance of what is necessary for a peaceful life released the ‘not good enough’ tension right down to my sinew and bones. This is the life we chose and desire, it is our best life. We don’t do group things like church or other activities. We like/love our life. This experience causes gratitude to fill me up like a warm bath.

But Samuel’s recovery also causes my insides to twist, having to use a walker, groans at every effort, and that slow dragging sound echoing in the hallway as he pushes it around along with his debilitated self. The glimpse of old age makes me cringe. It is hard to watch, but knowing healing comes more each day gives me lift, hope, and security in the knowledge that soon we will be doing the things we love once more.

The life we were living before surgery, will return once he regains full strength, and has is my best life. The capability of being fully present isn’t something I was capable of for most of my life because surviving meant dissociating.

I am able to be present in my body, and in my breath.


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.

Love of Life

Photo by Cory (my younger son)

Each day there is a job to do, work on self-esteem. Though possible to improve on that front, the core of my being already formed is staying that way.

You cannot cut into the layers of a tree and remove its inner ring without killing the tree.

I am who I am, who was formed during childhood, with beliefs about myself that became embedded into my personality.

So, each day takes focus, work, and effort to counteract the life-threatening critical voice which thrives so dramatically inside me. To tell it, I do deserve life, equality, pleasure, and happiness, even amid all the other struggles and pain that life brings to each of us.  

The Cosmos Within

This ‘becoming’ of a new person, or the real woman within unknown to me till recently, takes time, a lifetime, and then some.

When responses, sensitivities, and guidance come from the soul, out of the head, and arising from that ethereal part of me without bones, sinews, or blood, the floaty misty presence that’s invisible is more powerful and wise than thought, and magical, miraculous, mystical moments occur.

Moments stretched into a way of living. Once the dust settles after torn in savage pieces due to C-PTSD (which visits regularly), a solidness internally can be leaned on, used, and best guided by. A mythical place that is real and has always been there, but parts were too shattered to connect.

People speak of the soul, what is that? Something floating around after we die? Or can it be a place that isn’t a place but an oasis of changing clouds that swirls within offering the heavens one dreams of a child?

Go there, be blessed with the uniqueness of you. Because like a snowflake, we are all different, unfathomable, and infinitely precious as every countless star.

Do not put your face in the pillow at night and have dark thoughts consume you, you are better than that- so much more.


A walk in the meadow-1/19/2011

The things once done, are no more, deal with that. My body won’t tolerate it. Yet in its place there is so much wisdom, peace, safety, and calm.

Every precious moment matters, the feel of my hand with the long slender bones beneath, the stretch of toes waking up tendons and muscles all the way up my calves, the scent of balsam filling the house using candle warmers in every room, and taking time to be with the cat as she turns herself into a contented warm pretzel by the fire.

No, after a life of draining cortisol rushing through my bloodstream daily, often several times daily, my body is depleted and can take no more. Yet my tendency is to push, push, push, fearing that even my best friend Samuel will see me sludging on the couch as if a lazy good for nothing human, but really it is the ever-present critic within that bites and sucks the life out of me.

Rest, rest, and more rest. It takes a great deal of time to connect to my body and care for it; eyes that dry easily especially after the cataract surgeries needing the humidifier filled daily. And drops in them a few times each day especially when the heat is running. Exercises on the chair with the rope and pulley to unlock a shoulder that once was badly impinged. Taking medicines, supplements, and vitamins morning and night, and oh so much to keep an aging body going.

All good things as once our lives didn’t last this long. But for one who left their little body at the age of eight, staying in it long enough to feel what it needs takes focus, calm, and a great gentleness for self.

That does not sound so hard, but a devasting critic took over at a young age when brothers sexually abused my little body and no one came to help, but much worse it could not be talked about and the blame, shame, and crimes were taken in as mine. Growing to love myself does not come easily.

It is a life-time work. Can I go with Shane and his family tomorrow night at the little Christmas festival around the block at the park where trees are decorated from area businesses outdoors to vote on, and Santa comes with candy canes, hot cocoa, and cookies?

Well, yes, if I don’t care about my sleep habits, so no, because it takes all evening to keep my whirlwind psyche calm. To get excited, even happily, means looking at 2AM in the morning wondering if sleep will ever come.

It is difficult accepting my limitation especially when comparing them to others. How do you explain to anyone who hasn’t gone through it or lives it how even happy gatherings cause angst, tiredness, and PTSD rockets to go off? When it occurs, and it does with even tiny things, a great need for rest and quiet comes with it, and sometimes recovery takes days. Solitude is my refuge. When once being alone felt like a knife was cutting from the inside out, it now offers a healing balm.

When able to care for myself as deserved and needed, and feeling strong enough to challenge that critic which will not happen when overwhelmed or tired, so many gifts slowly return- gratefulness, love, warmth, appreciation, well-being, and cherishing every little moment. Quiet and rest is the magic that brings me back to life…

1/11/2009 by Patricia


Minute by minute, moment by moment, time passes. But each one is precious, sensing the depth in every one, or drowning it out with worry? Much time is wasted on the later, then remembering.

There isn’t much time left. Finally, after decades of chaos and self-hating, there is a shift of major occurrence. Instead of the critic flying free treating myself like some kind of fluke needing beatings, bad treatment, chastising, or bullying, there is an opening to how it feels when coming out of childhood with self-love.

Becoming gentle, kind, and patient to myself takes focus after a life doing the opposite, living off the voices in my head from the traumas in childhood being discounted, denied, and ignored completely. A child takes that and blames herself making life unlivable.

Go slow, take care of the hurts, whether physical or of the soul, and spend the time needed to do so. It is OK to love life, and myself.


‘Just do it.’ (thank you Nike) Choosing to say no to someone and yes to my own needs was difficult. Already packed after agreeing to a visit to my younger brother’s new lake house, one where I’ve never been and am unlikely to visit due to PTSD issues, my email went out this morning:


Spirit is willing, body is not. Not sleeping last two nights, and chest is tight with real concerns over the many challenges of taking a trip. Can’t be anywhere but home, and near familiar medical services too. My body can become very ill overnight. Last time over a red pepper flake. Sick for two weeks needing an antibiotic. Also, long car rides are hard and scare me.

But more so, my being is not home inside myself unless home. I become disconnected easily.

I want to so much, my bags are already packed, pills for morning and night and other stuff to keep it running right.

Did this to Shane too. Booked a week in the woods and had to bow out.

I must accept my limitations with a little grace. Just can’t do what comes so easily for others. A life of cortisol bursts, and adrenaline rushes over simply someone coming up behind me causes a blood curdling scream to escape my lips taking a long while for my body to calm down. That drains a body over time, and mine is such.

I am content, and happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. So I am OK. But I cannot take this on no matter how much I want to. It is just too much. It’s only been about three weeks now where there’s been better sleep. Upsetting the new miracle of good sleep on most nights is too risky.

Samuel wants to come despite knowing how hard it is for me. It is hard for others to understand. But I need to take care of my body.

Love you,


My body unwound, shoulders relaxed, and the vice on my chest let go. So hard to meet my own needs over his. His deep pain is so raw and evident drawing me to meet them. His loneliness as vast as mine once was. His interest in me is having warm bodies around to admire him.

Can’t. Really can’t. Just do it, care for my own needs over another’s.

The Soul of Compassion

The morning starts slow, later than usual due a restless night. A soft voice came, that soul voice going unheeded too much of the time, it’s OK, this happens. And eventually sleep surprisingly came without aids or getting up in the middle of the night.

Maybe it is because too much of the day prior was spend outside myself, an occurrence that so easily happens, riding on the current of buzzing from an anxious spirit. Though seemingly calm, my insides often are in turmoil, and if the pot is stirred even oh, so delicately, the turmoil spins into a tornado of negative thoughts.

But this was on the edge of it, the soft voice talking me down, that soft voice of compassion laced with reason, the new part, compassion and self-kindness. Cultivating those is heaven here on earth.