The Skin Horse

The cataract in one eye is becoming hazy causing a slight dizziness while walking. My ears ring as hearing dims. Joints ache, and age spots appear on my hands, just like my mother’s.

You are old, but you are loved. The thought rose while my boots crunched the frosty ground while an emptiness so wild in my stomach made me stop, bend, look up and finally cry.  Cory’s leaving left me displaced from my life, the dimming of it hard to accept. Depending on children so much to fill one up can’t be the healthiest way to go about one’s life.

What is wrong with me? Where is that settled, steady voice guiding me through my days? Where is that sweet groove experienced before his visit? Three days past his leaving the void begins to dissipate, and the familiarity once felt for the presence of my own being begins to own my internal space once again.

All my decisions to make the pain leave really didn’t magically work like a wand on my head saying there, all better. It took time. Time and attending to self and my needs. The voids in my life are many. Like a sealed bottle with a tight cork, not many people are allowed in.

Those I’d like to have in are held at bay without the ability to trust, like the three siblings who didn’t touch me sexually as a child. Though I blame myself for not allowing closeness, niggling beneath the usual self-blame is a rational voice declaring, ‘Maybe they don’t want to be to close to you fearing what each might hear. Maybe each of the brothers have their own ways of controlling the relationship and keeping you at bay.’ That feels more accurate and less harsh, yet the void remains.

And there have been many friends along the way lost due to my inability to speak up, have boundaries, and accept warmth. The turmoil inside swirling would ignite and blow them away— along with the friendship. I have learned to keep some these past few decades late in life, and maybe these are the ones worth keeping. But the very closest has been lost due to her death. I’m not out and about among others enough to find another one like that so close where we’d talk, email, and visit regularly. That void is great. How to remedy that?

My spirit felt bleak while walking under steely grey skies. Sunshine in this area rarely peeks out during winter. Negative thoughts need once again to be strictly challenged, like that harsh voice saying, ‘Your life is boring.’

Is it? No, I love my life, it suits me. The outdoors helped revive me. Then an outing in the car. By day’s end that void, still lingering, caused more food in than a body needs, but the old emotional needs are met. Feel stuffed, and no other feeling can be felt.

Adequate sleep in the night makes me wake this morning to try again to stay in my body, which includes waiting for real physical hunger. Emotional hunger will never be filled that way.

You are older now, but you are loved.

 

 

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No Politics

My inclination is not political, but it is for what is safe. Voting another abuser of women onto the judicial bench makes me wonder how these senators view their daughters and grand-daughters. And how must Dr. Ford feel?

That the world is against her? That she doesn’t matter?

 

Broken Brain

photo by Patricia

It is an achievement confronting the most negative thoughts in the middle of the night when waking to use the bathroom. The best times are when it is easy, but with the challenges of shorter days, and what that does to my brain, negative thoughts bash at me like tropical waves.

In the dark of night demons come. You are not to blame for whatever present repetitive thoughts plague you . Your broken brain needs to keep you like a gerbil in a wheel, but shift the focus. You can be free of it for this moment. And my thoughts move on to more generic images.

Sleep comes, but it even takes work to sleep….

This post describes the dilemma so succinctly. 

Trauma Isn’t Lazy

KINDNESS

Feeling blissfully happy one day and miserable the next is curious, and painful; painful in the discovery that my eating began to soar. Eating like that numbs all else. It also takes me out of my body which in it’s numbness does not know fullness, a feeling which escaped my grasp so many years ago when this method was employed to survive.

Even after the abuse stopped eating blocked out the feelings and was useful. Something had to. It helped me hate myself which was the message family gave, and gives even now. Don’t speak about it translates to you’re bad, wrong and unworthy. Shameful really.

It takes such work to break free from the messages, so engrained in my psyche, soul and mind. And slipping into numbness without my consciousness happens frequently. Pulling back from food, feeling like a failure all over again, is hard.

Sitting quietly, doing nothing much of anything helps ground me. Working over the puzzle the messages of how lazy you must be for doing puzzles makes me begin to rise. Then a sweeter voice interjects, “Stay. It’s OK. You need this.”

Lighting the little fall scented candle makes it a sacred time. Sitting throughout the morning while the disarray began to make sense helped anxiety calm. The movies playing in the background, also soothed. 

It is OK to do what you love, the message lost when escaping into food. You can do the things that society warns you not to, like all day movies, and playing games on the tablet for hours if wanted. Movies are like old friends, and I love them, never tiring of hearing them over and over again. 

The things warned against are the things that soothe my broken brain. Rather than be imprisoned in a loop of negative thinking, games on the tablet give me something to do other than that. And my brain likes to be busy without too much effort so that it is both busy and relaxed.

There are other things that take precedence as a means to come back into the body;  meditation, which for the first time helped me to be in my body and feel safe. A slow walk in nature almost always helps center in every weather except rain. 

It is OK to live the life you want, and this message needs repeating often.  That permission must come from me. Voices from the past that arose from innuendos and neglect rather than words, became my voice.

Reminders are needed; you are a good person, possessing depth, compassion, and sensitivity. What you need to do for yourself might look different than what others do, and that’s more than OK, it is necessary to my peace, sanity and balance. 

You are worthy of respect…especially your own.

FALL

photo by Patricia

My thought was to choose not to fall into a winter depression which often begins as early as August. That is not to be. Up at 4 am, my stomach gurgling with what was put in it earlier, stuff that shouldn’t have been eaten, sleep would not return. Only worries, one after the other, always darker and more worrisome in the middle of night, toppling over each like pebbles down-sliding into rocks then boulders.

You cannot escape yourself. As much as the want is to be a happier person, more upbeat, and easier with life, that is not how things are for me. My broken brain needs care and attention.

On the full spectrum lights go in the morning, something that has been put off in my denial of how things are and have always been throughout adulthood. My crazy eating patterns won’t magically stop either, but need work and constant monitoring. Overeating like last night is similar to getting good and drunk, same thing. Too much of something to avoid something else.

My crazy rat brain likes to spin in her wheel. Lying there trying to meditate, moderating the breath, the thoughts spin through. Moments of OK-ness come with hope and a resurgence of strength, only to disappear one moment later. And that is not unusual, the yin and yang, mine so disparate it can be hard to bridge the chasm.  

 

POWER

Fall usually comes with a drop in mood that deepens as winter does. When the feelings began to descend, I said “No!” Is it possible to decide not to feel sad or have sad thoughts?

Yes. When ready the power to do so is there. I plod along the path observing piles of broken nut shells where the squirrels have fed, and also soaking in the colors of the beginnings of fall; browns, tans, and lots of yellow as the mustard grows wild in the meadow. 

The peace of soul is profound. Thinking back on the constant chaos and how I ever made it, and made it so successfully, still surprises me. Bending over the herbs with my basket to collect another batch, the garden around me developed with my own hands delights me. 

To come together as a whole appreciating all the parts has finally come. My mother once said during periods of great pain when the kids were growing, “This is the best time of your life.”

No, it was the hardest. Facing each day with the anxiety of held in agony made life unbearable, yet I trudged on. The best time of my life is now. This is so precious, to have this peace… to be able to go inside myself, see what’s there, shake hands with it, and like what I find, even admire many facets. This is the best time, a time of peace that I’ve never known. 

Discover the Joy

photo by Patricia

Run. Don’t run. Run into food to relieve the pain. Run into repetitive thoughts to keep pain at bay. Run by staying still, frozen in time and memory. What if you stay still to go inward?

What if you are the good person you are searching for from everyone but yourself? Stay still but don’t run. Nourish the thoughts and feelings that unwrap your true self, beautiful, bold, and whole, full of abandon, freedom, and joy.