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.
The birds take longer to wake as the sun takes longer to rise. Already fall approaches with the shorter days darkening my interior. Yet there is hope, that the new being born out of old skin is a happier one, translating to more peaceful and self-loving.
After so many months, even years of late, working daily at self-esteem, questioning that awful critic arising from the gag order ‘family’ imposed; imposed to keep their secrets of what their own had done.
What does that do to a child traumatized? She takes it into herself as her doing, her BADNESS, her being not having the rights to even be born.
The traumas, then more heaped upon already broken shoulders. Yet these years have become the very best. Respecting my limits, my brokenness, my tragedies with grace- as the continual walking in nature brings a curative effect.
Not giving up, but pushing forward, yet also leaning to do so more slowly, carefully, with patience that is not yet forthcoming with ease, but coming. The well springs open with love, peace, and wonder at every moment of life and well-being.
‘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.
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.
It is a different life, a different view, a different ability to follow through with my goals of rising above the negative thinking plaguing me since childhood when adequate sleep prevails. What a miracle.
The lagging self-esteem, believing since the traumatic abuse that it was my fault, and that my very being was ‘bad’, is a daily challenge to confront, that nagging critic banging loudly over the whispers from my soul saying something different.
That all beings born are great and special, plants, animals, and people… that includes me, unique, glorious, and divine, as infinite as the universe.
Perceiving how others see me, doesn’t mean that’s who resides within. It is my own understanding of myself that matters- that is true and authentic. If others can’t bother to take the time to really know me, it is their loss. And not many do.
But the ones that do? Are close for life no matter how far away in the physical realm, they remain close in soul. Time on the land and with myself has offered a view into how others see me.
The problem that arises from that is taking that perception as the truth. Looking deeper within, the slights they perceive don’t exist. The being internally is far better than that. But the habit for decades is to see the truth how others see it who are not out for my best interests, though say they are.
So easy to believe the worst of myself. Much harder to see the beauty, grace, and honesty. There are true friends who have tried to tell me that, choosing instead not to see it, longing for acceptance in places where it never comes. But the only place that matters is within.
Don’t you see? Look, and you shall see the truth, the beauty, grace, and honesty. A lifetime of living like a dinghy on rough waters, rocking to and fro, seeing myself as others do, others that are looking out for their own needs, not mine.
It is a new adventure to look at the truth like a flower in my hand and inspect the uniqueness in all its flawed splendor.
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.
As winter drudges on, some excitement please! Yet each moment offers that just by breathing, coming into my body fully, and enjoying the sensation instead of the flying off onto a perch somewhere. Traumas early on make this especially hard. Some don’t make it, dying by their own hand intentionally, or by doing harmful things to oneself to escape. My escape since age 8 has been food. Take that away and the anxiety beast grows eating me alive.
Exercise, meditation, full-spectrum lights… aren’t enough to tame the anxiety beast, the beast that dwarfs all special character traits with shame, feelings of badness to the core, and hiding. To eat when hungry comes with much soul searching, learning about respect for, wait for it, here it come, me. And that is excruciatingly challenging because to respect myself is causal.
Approaching such a miracle 60 years after the first attack when the core of my being became buried, coming out to the sunshine, also demands others to do the same. That part of it feels unnatural, yet it is what most others do without much thought or effort. For me it takes herculean effort.
That means loved ones are no longer allowed to tramp on me burying me further, which has been the status quo. Even those that profess love and loyalty will take if allowed. And when feeling so less than, please take to make up for my badness. But in the process of becoming comes much pain, shedding the ugly finding beauty.
Like most issues, to speak up about my own beliefs, opinions, or feelings is gruelingly difficult. Taught to keep mum about atrocities against me, even little issues tend to stay inside me.
A friend who is religious, Christian like the other four in our women’s group, is overly so. The Lord this, the Lord that. I respect her beliefs and do not scorn them, in fact am sometimes a bit envious of the strength it seems to provide her and others.
It doesn’t for me. At a very young age that collapsed and as with most things shame about that eroded me even more. Now in my sixties the right to claim my own spirituality slowly rises. If it were to have a face it would be feminine.
Yet it is more a belief that we are all connected throughout the planet no matter what we believe. In writing back to her as she once again speaks of god as HE, my response gently outlines my views.
In this life what is there if we cannot be who we are? If it is sometimes a ball of worries and anxiety, then that is me at that time. If my beliefs encompass something different that yours, can you respect them as I do you yours?
In this life, before it’s over, the craving and wholeness comes from owning who I am. It feels risky, scary, and often impossible, but is worth the exploration and effort.
Like a monkey swinging tree to tree, so are my emotions when sleep evades me, and this past week has been so very tough. Do I do things purposely to upset myself, unable to allow peace and happiness? That sounds absurd, yet why then invite Don and his wife for New Years Day dinner after all those pie reminders… having the gall to serve grape instead of apple.
And then adding to my email to Don that I’d make the promised apple pie if he let me know soon enough. Well, no answer from either of them despite two email invites. Nothing.
The reasoning in my head isn’t about them, it’s about my being a jerk, and not enough of a person for someone to bother to answer me. That is what has been keeping me up unable to sleep.
Is it wintertime causing this upheaval in reasoning and lack of control over keeping to healthy relationships, and healthy people? Is it my continuing hope to relate to the origin group because it is my doing or undoing that makes it a success or failure, and at my death bed I’d have regrets for not joining in? (yes)
But I know the answers. I know it is unhealthy. And it is also unhealthy to beat myself up over it. Start fresh. Start again. Find long periods of peaceful living without this part of me upsetting all that is gratifying. Be assertive. SAY NO, that thought a wonderous revelation. Can I really?
Practically begging others to help guide me or make decisions for much of my life because my insides were so broken, has evolved in to relying on myself.
How would anyone know what is right for me but me? But me, where or where was she? Broken, shattered right down to my core, all the pieces biting and tearing at each other.
Hate for self was all there was. It did take shoring up by therapists to succeed at just about anything. Once believing in even a scrap of self-worth, great achievements occurred.
Finishing that last course so long ago to receive an Associates degree. Completing a Chemistry course in adulthood that was failed miserably in high school. Then moving on to nursing school, and with nurse’s cap and gown handed a diploma as a Registered nurse.
Jobs offered and stuck with. But then a therapist would leave the state, or become completely caught up in their own life problems- there, left on my own when my insides were still so cold to myself, failure occurred.
Without a therapist to boost me up, job interviews were as iffy as my ragged self-esteem. Finally after too many let-downs, I stopped interviewing accepting that so much damage was done that I’d need more therapy if I wanted to work.
I didn’t want either. My being still reacted as if on hot coals needing this or that to take me from myself. But over time, with patience, meditation, and traveling deep within my core, (only the intrepid might try) growth occurred, that of knowing myself, accepting myself, and accepting real feelings and letting them travel through and out.
Daring to dive deep comes with rewards, it isn’t all painful… peace, safety and self-reliance softly soothed the bloodied corners of my soul.
Settling into my being each morning. Just stay and see what’s there. It’s OK.