WHOLENESS?

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photo by patricia

I wonder at the tattered cloth, can it ever be whole? Feelings of wholeness seep in then despair. A depth of dark and cold with no succor. The yearning for something unnamed. Resolve to have it. Then tears.

And more tears. An awakening. The present so infected by the past. Go back? Must I go back? Others say, “Be happy.” My happy is back there to that little lost girl I abandoned. I hurt, she hurts.

“Why?” she asks. “When you had college age women to explore your sexuality with. Others who were willing and your age. Why a little sister? Only a child. A little girl who looked up to you, adored you, trusted you?” And she cries as she asks.

Like a tattered cloth that needs mending, the needles pierce with every stitch. To make it whole again the wounds must be lanced and it hurts. To come to the present I must visit the past and I don’t want to. Yet the visit brings me back to the present more fully.

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The Deck

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While Samuel’s hard at work, first the deck, now the landing and retaining wall, I have no project and feel a bit lost. For such a small project it certainly is a lot of work and the trips to the local lumber yard are adding up surprisingly in cost. I was even invited to go to pick out the stone path. That was a hot date on a rainy morning, bumping into another couple even older than us also picking out stone for a small garden project. 

“What is our purpose?” I ask Samuel, “Do we just get up and do it again day after day?”

“Yes, maybe that is our purpose,” he answers, barely looking up from his magazine. 

I press on, “You have a purpose. I don’t. The studio bores me,” I stated. 

“Well, maybe you need to do something different,” he responded.

He is right. I need to do something different. But with all the supplies gathered over the years, kiln, clay, glaze, and all the corresponding tools, it had better have something to do with all that. New horizons await. In the meantime, maybe my purpose is caring for this body I’ve spent a life-time escaping.

Being in it scares me, every little nuance making me wonder what is going wrong next. Yet being in it is what can also bring great joy if I work at it and try. Like caring for the burn that turned crimson and scaly. Taking the time to open a vitamin E oil capsule and gently applying it helped, rather than just ignoring it like I might of done.

That’s what others do naturally, care for themselves. And when they do they do great things like become exercise fanatics, yoga experts, lean bicyclists or runners, something physical to complete the whole. 

So my purpose is learning about my body, being in it as fully as possible, which takes work, time, and overcoming the fear. I tend to flee it residing in my head or hovering anywhere else but in it. What wonders await if I allow myself to go deeply into my given gifts?

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TERROR

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Echoes of the past,

Reverberating from childhood,

Haunt me still…

The group of people I was born in was not a family but a place of terror. Terror and anxiety are my companions. Each day is a search for a place of peace and safety…

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The Lake

Our little creek has swollen with the rains…

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Decaf works best for me, yet spiking it with caffeine seems to make it taste better. Yesterday the spiking was too heavy and the day got away from me. No way to find the wholeness continually searched for. What could have been a peaceful day was fraught with separateness unable to enter the dwelling of my body and stay there. My mind buzzed…all from a small amount of added caffeine. 

Doing what I do best, beating myself up, I bow my head over my burning hand on the counter and wept. I wept for the stupidity of pulling the crock pot over to the sink still plugged in. The hot bean liquid splashed all over my hand. And finally wept for the bag of chips I ate the day before and wanted to confess about but couldn’t till then, “All 6 ounces Samuel. I ate the whole bag!” 

He cleans up the mess and says, “So what.” 

Holding my hand under cold water, I watch as he eats out of his bag of chips. “I love this salsa,” he says, grabbing more chips.

We had shopped together, an unusual occurrence due to my extreme impatience. I knew better than buying myself chips, albeit baked, but thought skeptically that I could eat just small amounts at a time. He grabbed his bag of tortilla chips.

“No!” I said, when he pointed to the peanut butter stuffed pretzels. I cannot have junk around. I eat it!

Going over to the table I pick up his bag and look at the ounces. 12. He had eaten half a bag, same as me, but he wasn’t smashing his face in the cement like I had been doing. 

All the talk of self-love, self-compassion, self-forgiveness…where does it go? Every time I make a mistake, or mistakes, it comes smashing down, and it stays. 

“There’s always tomorrow,” he says. 

“And I’ll make more mistakes tomorrow!” I retort. 

Yet this morning I feel calm as the sun rises warming my face through the window. This part of me that is so hard on myself is staying. I need others who help me come out from the mire when I’m stuck, and luckily I have them…

my birthday surprise from Samuel

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THE JOURNEY

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One can take a journey without ever leaving home. You may need the rare qualities of an explorer, the courage of a lion, and mighty, tenacious endurance to keep facing truths one does not want to see. What is there? Why do I do what I do? And I might not like the answers, they are all too human.

Jealousies, small-mindedness, failings… what may be harder to look at, notice, accept, and feel fully, are the positives. Those gems dwell deep, shine up, and drive the ship daily but are not revered. Revere them. Hold them up as high as the negatives that pound you down.

Accepting it all as a whole, going into the body, psyche and spirit and trying to dwell there wholly is not easy. Notice the hand starting to show age spots, just like my mother. That hand is yours, do you feel it as you look at it wiping the counter and rinsing the dishes? Be in your body, I tell myself moment to moment throughout the day. It’s OK.

Yet it is scary. The body is what I run from. I didn’t know I’ve done this since age 8 and still do. Be in it, it’s OK. You’re OK as a whole human being, no better or worse than others. Explore. Accept. You’re OK.

The journey is exciting, scary at times, fruitful, and not shared by others. It is yours alone, like mining gold— if you dare.

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PEACE

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Waking, remembering the work of easing anxiety, my breathing slows evenly and deeper. It is almost 5 am, time to rise. My work is calming anxiety that comes each spring. The wiry brain which had plummeted to a lower mood over winter, now sprints into more daylight and an awakening. Anxiety is also an issue dealt with throughout the year as my equilibrium is easily upset.

Spring tends to bring noise in the brain and eccentric behavior, inviting situations that greatly increase the anxiety beast, not tame it. This year the journey is different because I’m feeling more aware of the dilemma, and more aware that this body and mind is not like those around me. I need special care, care I do not know how to provide or feel worthy of.

That feeling is more that a feeling. It is part of my personality that’s staying, formed deep in my core during childhood due to my brothers’ ongoing abuses, other brothers looking away, and my mother’s collusion in the conspiracy of silence; we are a happy, normal family, you will love your brothers, as they continued to creep in my room and attack me.

I don’t like the fact that at my core is a feeling that I am bad, and unworthy, or that whatever is happening is my fault. I run from this fact of what I believe, embedded permanently like a crack in rock. In accepting this flaw, and accepting where it came from, compassion, self-love and a more lenient judge takes the helm. 

I try so hard to function at the fast speed others seem to function at so easily. Then fail, compounding issues of poor self-esteem. My tired body and mind can’t do it. This whirlwind called life has always moved too fast for me. 

There is no one else to provide proper care for myself but myself, as it is for each of us. We can lean on others, help others, but we are each responsible for handling the inner workings of ourselves. And for those like me with chronic, pervasive, and permanent Complex PTSD, it is a daily endeavor that often leads to despair.

What comes as second nature to others and is taken for granted, is elusive for those who have suffered traumas that extended over time. I have to work at it, sometimes every minute of every day, and even then without success. Hence the despair.  

Breathe deep. Keep breathing. The tight chest, is it medical or emotional? Later as the conscious deeper breathing continues, the tightness abates. Anxiety can harm all facets of the body, mind and spirit. And it can cause one to seek out more without being conscious of the urge, adding to the internal chaos.

Be quiet, be still. Bored? That’s not boring, that is called peace…
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Complex Trauma

This is very much worth listening to, all 51 minutes. Thank you Broken Blue Sky and GettingRealwithPTSD for sharing this. Although reblogged this morning, I updated it twice making it hard to access. So I’m posting it again to ensure its availability to readers. 

There are portions where her faith is referred to but all spiritual beliefs could be put in place of her beliefs for the short duration she speaks of it. For instance in referring to he for god, I interject she, and envision my mother earth angel who feels much safer and trustworthy.

Diane Langberg is amazingly compassionate and knowledgeable. It is the first time I’ve heard Complex PTSD explained so succinctly. 

The second part of the lecture is available at the you tube site where this takes you.