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.

THE PEARL

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.

The pearl lies within.

OWNING MY LIFE

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.

My Best Friend is Me

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?

Again, and again like a moth to flame…

STAY

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.

TRIGGERED

When feeling taken advantage or treated dishonestly something in me is set off spiraling into the netherworld. Praying to god when waking, please take these worries from me… to no avail.

Getting up but avoiding the dastardly pill which works but makes me groggy all the next day, which then adds tears of self-pity along with it, the British Baking Show is again stared at.

2 AM is not a good time to be up and stay up. Trying to go back to bed awhile so that rising is more normalized with what most others do didn’t last too long.

Thoughts devoured me laying there trying to ease the badness felt about just everything, saying the wrong thing to someone, buying something unneeded, on and on, but? A quietness soothed me, not enough to bring sleep, but enough to feel some comfort, that part of me which has carried me through many storms of doubt.

Really, how does Kohl’s get away with theft? A costly item that didn’t work out was returned, but Kohl’s kept 25% of my money with the explanation that now I have a coupon and can go buy more of their junk.

How’s that? Being mistreated, stolen from, makes me feel bad about me. And there wasn’t anything to be done. IT’S THEIR POLICY, both managers side by side agreeing.

The failure of settling my thoughts, of allowing Kohl’s to disrupt my sleep brought me down, or more exactly caused a buzz of worries like gnats in my brain. More rational thoughts come while drinking my dark morning brew, like my friend’s husband who recently fell and broke his pelvis.

He has two screws in his hip and won’t be home till tomorrow. Now that’s something to worry about. But he’s not worrying. She says he’s up with a walker moving about. (already attacking the problem not worrying about it)

So, life goes on, along with this up and down sleep, worry, and pull yourself again pattern. There are harder things.

SELF-NURTURING

The madness of winter sets in digging her talons deep, scraping flesh from the inside out. The tendencies handled easier in the summer months hit with force knocking me down; hardness towards self, self-criticisms, soul bashing, being a being who hadn’t ought to be, all those killer thoughts worsen with shorter days and less light.

Sleep disruptions compound the problem, but more so this new connection with the origin family directed by Don, the master mind behind it. When all that is wanted is to be left alone.

Yet here it is, part of a dysfunction which cleaves together and some of what they do is talk about others who aren’t present instead of in person where it might do good.

It is a lot to handle. Feeling the failures of handling it in a way that is true to my soul causes dismay interfering with joy to be found in each day.

The wise being stepped in when waking last night as recriminations began to bloody my interior world- remember, this is what you do in the middle of the night. What about all the kind, generous things you do? Think of one.

Though unable to think of even one in the dark of night, being on my side, nurturing the chasm of pain still menacing from deep within, and stopping the freefall into the endless black hole of self flogging was enough to ease my ragged soul back to sleep.

Journey To The Core

The journey to my core is arduous, sometimes lighting upon it for moments, most other times unable to reach that place of strength and wholeness.

In those moments a worthy, valuable being is found. But so many traps along the way, gnarly vast chasms with a continuous freefall scaring every atom in me. Abandonment? A freefall without end.

How to persuade that little girl so terrified that she/me is worthwhile? She shivers in anticipation of aloneness, an aloneness that demonized her all her life because no came to save her.

And no one will except one, the adult me. But the path is treacherous without tools to find my way. Hatchets, machetes, axes? Or love…

TREASURED MOMENTS

Sweat a cold, starve a fever? Not sure how it goes, but walking brings on a good sweat, more than usual especially on this cooler day…but it feels good. We all caught the little one’s cold, Samuel, Cory, and me. Minor, yet not.

Each day brings me closer to full health, along with feelings of peaceful joy. Meeting the challenges of traveling paid off greatly. Being with my son and family instills warm, loving memories that fill me up.

The summer was spent with too much focus on food and exercise— getting NO WHERE. At one point feeling so encouraged and proud of myself, but then at that exact point it all just stopped. My weight stayed the same, forgetting all about the part where weight is not to be the focus. My body could be super slim yet feelings of self-hate could easily take precedence.

This is about learning to love and offer kindness to myself, not easy for me. When the focus is off food, and instead put on working towards self-kindness, miracles happen. Staying in my body, also not easy for me, helps with awareness of fullness and physical hunger… much like it’s supposed to be.

The normal feelings hunger and fullness, along with my skinny kid body frame, changed at the age of eight. Eating, or over-eating, kept me alive and going along like others, numbing the horror of what lay beneath. It takes a good deal of food to stuff down excruciating trauma buried beneath. No one helped or offered loving support. Food became support, and love from the end of mother’s spoon who loved to cook and pushed food like a drug dealer. Food numbed it all, but also continued the cycle of self-hate that child sexual abuse brings into a child’s psyche. A child feels to blame.

This journey is on-going, the path taking me to places of wonder, joy, and contentment amidst all other painful aspects of living which are many and most suffer day to day. It is easier digested if there’s also joy. And joy has returned with warm memories of our visit opening my heart. The knowledge of grand-children growing up even if we are not here to see it helps me accept the cycle of my own life. Life goes on… and each moment counts.