IT’S PERSONAL

You are on the court for one sole purpose, to force your beliefs on others. Feeling forced, like a bird beating it’s wings raw against a cage, is not something tolerated anymore after a life of it.

That you force women to live by your beliefs, taking away our right to our bodies, makes me hate you more than shit. And your cohorts, the Thomas with his dick swelled beneath his robe, swinging it on women with his sexual word attacks against Anita Hill, then rewarded by being confirmed onto what was once the highest court in the land. But with his appointment went to hell.

Then Kavanaugh, attempted rapist and murderer, now her. Two ruling by hatred towards women for coming forward with the truth, the third by her belief that abortion is wrong via her bible. Not everyone is Christian, nor do all Christians believe it to be wrong.

Supposedly it also says that same sex love, partnership, and marriage is wrong too. So what’s coming for those who are different than her is as horrible as no longer being able to get an abortion.

Women are being forced to do her bidding, along with the others on what once was a real court of justice. Those who you’d think had brains and compassion to get where they are, but lack it, choosing instead to overpower others. Not providing equality and fairness, handing out death instead. Forcing others to have babies? How about you take the babies and raise them?

Now it is more death; death due to suicides both by overwhelmed mothers, but also children like me growing up wanting to die because childhood was so traumatic… you are causing more foster care, addiction, abuse, neglect, back alley abortions causing even more death or hospitalizations due to the ensuing infections because those doing them do them wrong or with dirty instruments— this list of horrors goes on…

She shakes her finger while using the judicial system’s power to force others to live by her prejudices. Clarence and Brett do the same with their hate and low self-esteem, all three lacking character or the ability to hold this job as they hide behind robes of power to cover their weaknesses, bigotry, and shallowness.

What’s really behind those robes is the knowledge that they did do what Anita and Christine said they did, but won’t ask for forgiveness, the path to repentance, honesty, and authenticity. An authentic life comes to those who make amends.

It’s not justice at all. I don’t want to be forced, do you?

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.

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?

Lock Ness

Right before it was time to sleep a hunger was noticed. Really? You’re going to eat then brush your teeth again? Letting the feelings sit, it felt like real hunger, not the other variety that numbs uncomfortable feelings.

But choosing to eat a couple of peanut butter sandwiches with a full glass of milk. more calories than consumed at any meal in the daytime? What were you thinking, that thought erupting later in the night when my tummy gurgled in complaint making for a restless night and my heart pounding faster and louder in its efforts to digest it?

My mind wanted to whip me senseless, but the new me took hold- no, no beatings. There are parts yet unhealed. The old habit of being apart from my body allowing consumption of such an amount raised its head like Loch Ness and down the food went as if it was OK. It wasn’t.

Rustling up that newly found compassionate voice of reason when the tossing and turning occurred, along with four trips to the bathroom, some soothing occurred, and sleep. Chaos had returned in a moment, and this was brought on by me! Taking in that much food before bed, a big no no due to the the inability to digest food lying down… but… do without a dose of whiplashing added on to the unrest and discomfort.

The beginnings of weight loss didn’t occur until several months of working on a softer tone to self, with another rule, no chastising self when using food. If you eat when not physically hunger the deal is that no self battering gets served with it. THAT took time, but over time came success. Gentleness towards myself has not come easily, but with time and effort. So too does forgiveness.

COME IN!

If rejecting myself, there’s no safe place inside. There was work to do to make it a home, where self-battering is not allowed, only acceptance, understanding, compassion, and yes, love.

My life has been lived as a castaway, bobbing in oceans of turmoil, the constant chaos sinking me- hardly able to breathe. Just breathe.

Take a moment, many moments to breathe, as the soft April breeze wafts in through the open door to the porch where the cat sits ready to pounce if she could morph through the screen. Tense on her haunches hunting.

The morning dove coos with a soothing tone, as other birds twirl their daybreak hello’s even before enough light comes to fly. My shoulders relax easing the tension that comes upon waking to a day and its challenges.

The challenges are internal. It is there you must find peace, open the doors, and come in.

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…

AMAZING GRACE

Looking at my hand, it’s not my mother’s it reminds me of, but my grandmother Pearl’s. She instilled about the only feelings of safety to be had as a child. Being home, meant being preyed upon, never knowing when the next attack would occur.

Unfortunately, Chet followed me to grandma’s house for overnight’s and attacked me there too. But mostly it was my younger brother and me who stayed the night, so most memories are of her loving presence, and a stable routine that was not found in the chaos at home right down the same road;

the quarter she gave each week for school to put into the banking account, watching it grow as the years passed.

checking homework every night and helping me to understand my mistakes.

the warm air blowing under the table from the wall heater as we ate our breakfast after choosing which little box of cereal to eat. The fond memories are endless…

My gold wedding band, just like hers that she wore on thin gnarled hands clasped across each other on her lap telling me stories of the olden days out west when traveling on horseback was the norm. Even today at her homestead there still are iron rings drilled into the tall pines where carriages were hooked up, though she traveled from this world long ago.

I cannot help wondering what my life would have been without her, one place where love, safety, and security flowed. My grandmother had a hard life, losing her husband during the flu pandemic when her two children were just toddlers. But she had peace inside her despite the hardships and struggles, because, well, because she didn’t stray from true values and lived by her core rules. My mother? My mother died never finding her peace, or maybe, hopefully, in the moments just before death?

She popped out babies one after another too drunk for either one of them to go that dresser drawer and put on the rubbers I once found, filling them up with water thinking they were balloons. But then the babies grew, dad died so young, and she was left with 8 of us. Her mantra, all 8 kids, as if such an albatross around her neck. She had said many times how she couldn’t wait for them all to leave. No wonder we are so fucked up.

There was a book I read years earlier, ‘Cheaper by the Dozen.’ That family lost their father too. But they didn’t disintegrate after his death. They came closer together in love and support. I so longed for that while reading, wondering why our family couldn’t do that too.

My mother could not find her peace. She couldn’t forgive herself? There was too much to forgive? That she didn’t completely grow from bitterness to acceptance? I don’t know which, or perhaps all. Isn’t there grace for everyone?  “Amazing grace! how sweet the sound, That saved a wretchlike me!”

I want to find my peace and pray to find my way.

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…