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.
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.
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.
Mental illness? Who wants that? No one. It still has a bad rap, yet mine needs tending to. Not with chains, cells, straight- jackets, or hypodermics, but with care, love, and attention.
Anxiety, depression, and PTSD are in the medical textbook of psychiatric diagnoses. Sounds shitty. It is shitty. Worse though is feeling ashamed of being different, one more nail in the coffin from childhood after sexually abused, but feeling to blame because no one intervened to tell me otherwise.
The feelings that grew and solidified out of that are a challenge every day. My head may know all the words; not to blame, be your own best friend, blah, blah, blah. Feelings of badness, dirtiness, abnormality, (that list is extensive) grew cementing in my core as each year passed.
Reversing core beliefs, silencing the haranguing critic, learning to show myself kindness or beginning to even like myself? Challenging. Being burdened even more by feeling ashamed for what wasn’t my doing which has created needs different from many around me calls for special care and attention… not self scorn or denial of the facts. Or even glossing over them for another’s comfort. Learning how to love myself transforms each day into a more joyful one, but only with will, empathy, patience, acceptance, and perseverance.
I’ll get there, I’m getting there, trying to hear that softer voice that says it’s OK to take medication that helps. It’s not only OK, but imperative to slow down earlier in the day than most need to because (like last night) cleaning the house at 8PM activates an exhausted adrenal network tired from decades of overstimulation due to reacting as if every tiny thing was life threatening. So? Wide awake at the usual bedtime.
It’s OK you had to cancel out of camping with my son and family this upcoming week due to sleep issues worsening each year, yet longing to be there instead of their friends who kindly took our site when I had to face the fact of being unable to handle it. My younger brother dearly wants us to visit his new house on the lake and stay as long as we like. The prospect of following through, though we keep saying we will, are non-existent. We won’t, I can’t.
Or maybe needing medication once again last night was over some other tiny thing, something as simple as fretting over a comment on a fellow blogger’s site fearing I upset them– or horrors— make them not like me. Struggling with liking myself, it is about unbearable when others don’t, at least those I care about. I am learning not to be hurt by those I don’t. That’s a huge accomplishment.
It doesn’t take much to set off a system tripped onto high power since the age of eight after the first attack. My body is so drained any little thing sets it off.
Kindness, love, and acceptance. I’ll work on that…
Exhaustion makes me weary. Sometimes growth can do that. Especially with a body worn out by years of hyper-alertness from repressed trauma causing startle responses daily with the accompanying adrenaline shooting cortisol through my veins draining my body from energy permanently.
And growth is challenging. Kicking the critic out comes with kick-back from her, rising up to torture more aggressively beating me ragged. Could it be that fearing the worst causes it?
After a night with no sleep at all, a fear if going without medication, when Samuel awoke all thoughts of keeping my misery to myself dissolved.
“I didn’t sleep at all,” adding, “I was awake after you came to bed, and stayed in bed till 2. I couldn’t lay there anymore!”
He was quiet, though a sigh escaped noticed by a slump in his shoulders on exhale. And a soft whisper from my soul which went unheeded and did not penetrate, if this happened to my him, much compassion would flow from me. But for myself I felt quite the opposite.
The tears squeezed out, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I so different, so weird?”
And that theme went on, the tiredness embalming me further. Feeling sick, I retreated to the bedroom pulling the shades and curtains, the kitty looked at me wondering what I was up to.
Yanking the blankets down from the neatly made bed, knowing sleep would never comes in the day, but also knowing that rest was required, I dragged myself under the covers turning on the TV.
Louise Hay? My interest was piqued. I’ve used her quotes several times without ever knowing anything else about her. Sometimes the universe, mother god, takes time to intervene… just for me.
“Look in the mirror and tell yourself, I love you. I really love you,” she said.
After the short segment about her work, the self-hate and self-criticizing thoughts which blamed me for sleep issues were completely transformed.
Going back out on the patio, the warm sun kissed and hugged me all over, my bathrobe absorbing it all along with other sweet sensations that weren’t penetrating when in self-hate mode.
The quiet day after the reversal of thoughts about self sent me meandering down to the creek, gathering a basket of rose petals on the way. Then out front to cut peonies to refill the vase with fresh flowers. And again, out to Samuel’s climbing roses for another sweet display. My hands scoop the petals in the basket, moving them so that would dry without molding, but also for the aroma to swell.
Something in me is fighting back, kicking me black and blue, not allowing for this new freedom and growth. But when a process begins, there’s no turning back. A soul knows where to go if you let it.
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.
Fear walks with me, even in a life insulated from too much stimulation protecting my worn-out system after a life of debilitating anxiety depleting my adrenal glands. Fear is with me at all times, though the gauge wanders from extreme to lower levels, it rides with me always, my periscope scanning the perimeter unless zoning out. (my term for dissociation)
Constantly on the ready during nature walks for disaster- though my blood curdling screams over snakes has diminished, if startled by one a yelp erupts as well as a flutter of my heart, probably not good for a heart to jolt with too many of those.
Then there are tick checks after finding one on my back one day. Out in the early morn, the fog as thick as the dew, using the spreader, a great amount of insect repellant granules are dispersed all along the 2-acre path. That ought to keep them off, along with tick spray on my socks and pants.
Now, keep the mockingbirds away from my walking area and patio, as one summer they continually attacked once their babies broke free from the eggs… torpedoing my head ready to peck out my eyes. That was terrorizing lasting too many weeks into precious summer time.
Too often forgetting how my system is on auto-ready for terror, and how much a drain that is, it is kinder and more compassionate to accept how it is, and why, then be gentle with myself acknowledging the reality of my existence.
There is damage left behind by those professing to love me. Comparing myself to others who breeze through life is not helpful either. PTSD unprocessed does damage that for me is lifelong. Learning as a child that home is not safe, what, where, and who is?