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.
Like a tattered flay blowing every which way, some pieces up, some down, some sideways, but nothing altogether as one. And still my parts desperately scrape towards coming together as that feeling of bursting into tidbits, tiny fragments of dust into the stratosphere,— hits like a bomb.
Then a soft wise voice says, you can do this. You have the ability to make choices, keep them, and care for yourself.
A security entered like warm water rushing in soothing my ragged interior, and sleep came.
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.
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?
Control the beast. The beast takes many forms; doubt, fear, insecurity, ungroundedness, an inability to trust or love, and the roots of self-criticism grown in childhood tangled so deeply it cannot be cut out only confronted daily.
Is it that simple, that all this time the adult just needed to take the reins not allowing the troubled willful child to have her will? But no, each path has many signs leading to the wrong places, maybe because fully feeling how wrong something is one learns what is right.
I won’t live long enough to get it all right. But the biggest secret hidden from myself all this time is that when others have said through the years, ‘you’re too hard on yourself,’ that it is a truth unrevealed to me. My head heard it, thought about it, but the critic kept on banging.
But when taking hold of the beasts causing worry, disruption, and chaos- choking them not by asphyxiation but with love, gentleness, kindness, and warmth… a soft place inside, an oasis opens inviting me in. The gnarly roots of self-criticism disintegrate making room for new growth of another kind.