photo by Patricia
Old voices wrestled me down and took over. The kernel of gentleness towards self that had begun to flicker was snuffed out by their harping, blowing their too loud harshness all over me. It felt cold inside my prickly interior.
Even a simple dinner with my son Shane and family put my body on edge. Then a lovely skype session later from my son in Boston added to the over-tired edginess. Staying present drains energy like a marathon run. Blessed sleep would not come.
To be off kilter after a simple family gathering was so upsetting. The pressure of wanting everything to be so right kept sleep at bay. Back to the couch. But my thoughts banged with negatives; you oddball, you’re different, you’re weird, why can’t you keep yourself more loose less serious, and so much went on in my head because I couldn’t sleep.
Using a sleep aid ruined the entire next day. The after-affects keep me drowsy and disinterested. I fight it, not wanting to accept being me and the fucked up way my body behaves.
Thinking back, a long way back, when first approaching the reality of my past and why living was so bleak and hard, I read a book by a former Miss America. Her body became knotted up so badly because of past childhood sexual abuse. Her body tensed up each time trying to force her father out of her. It affected much of her life.
It has affected my body in every way, more than I realize or want to accept. Only now do I dare give it the tender attention it should always have had. But when your family is ashamed of this happening in their circle, you are forced to keep it in to protect them; not physical force but other ways more discreet.
No help came. I suffered alone and my body suffered. But I went on as if I hadn’t and as if my body wasn’t even part of me. At 65 it is only now that I am learning to be in it and to be kind to my body in a way that should have occurred at age 8.
Sometimes it feels like a losing battle. Living as if it all didn’t happen makes the reality of the damage done hard to accept. The war within continues. Then a moment of softness opens where it feels warm settling inside. Start again, shelter the flicker of kindness and compassion.