SLEEP

Grossly sleep deprived, my body couldn’t stay awake past 8PM. Waking at 2AM, there wasn’t a possibility of more sleep, and who is to say what is normal for any given individual, so up for coffee.

6 hours of sleep is an improvement over 4 from the previous night. My sleep becomes erratic easily, but it is going in the right direction.

Sometimes disciplining myself to stay in bed is rewarded with a few more hours of sleep. REM time is important, and another round would be healthful, but it isn’t happening today. My mind was not going to shut down. Who gets up at 2 in the morning if they don’t have to?

But here we are, the cat and me, cozy around the fire, and that will have to be OK for now.

Bad Days Come

The hard-fought challenge each day is finding a way to my center making connection because too many days are left hanging, like pieces of me blowing side by side on a clothesline. No center, no hope, no peace.

Lack of sleep does it. Overwhelmed senses too, and that happens ever so easily even with happy interactions especially if it involves more than just one person.

No job, no nothing to do except whatever pleases me. Yet days occur where my being is disjointed like paint splattered on the wall, dots of me so far apart there is no cohesion.

The shattering in childhood means special care now, a need making me rebellious, desiring instead to go along at a pace others go at. Samuel’s out in the meadow daily, mowing for the once-a-year removal of any trees or bushes growing which inhibit our view of the creek, or hand buzzing them. Then sleeps like a bear.

No overstimulation or over-tiredness to stop him from sleeping, nor the worry machine that often kidnaps my brain into a realm of negativity. And others, friends, sons, their wives… all sleep, and even have a positive view of the world DAILY.

I must remind myself that in this season where depression doggedly comes uninvited, each day is challenging enough. Add lack of sleep and the pits of bleak darkness pull me down into blackness where no amount of self-talk helps.

Blessedly sleep came after a fitful day of tears. Peace once again with connection to my core.

GROWTH?

 So, another day, another after a day of feeling sorry for myself for sleep issues cropping up again over seemingly innocuous events after a nice lull from them. Having fun with friends?

Our monthly gathering has been going on for years so how could that be? It may be deeper than that, as one friend is causing some doubts after years of feeling secure in her friendship.

She no longer resides on the pedestal I put her on, but is surely as human as me. Though she outlines her life as a do-gooder, it isn’t always good that she does. And at times of late has taken a piece of me with her sharp words of warning.

Is that because she feels that my adoration of her has lessened? That is enough to keep me awake. Feeling more secure in myself improves my ability to see people as they are, not the saints they may once have been thought to be.

Friendship changes over time. We have moved apart, and maybe there’s no chance of recovery other than meeting monthly as a group. We haven’t done anything together in a very long time, other than stopping in at her house a few times. But she has not come here. The pandemic is partly to blame, but there’s more to it than that. She’s just busier, and unless I ask for more, more isn’t coming. So ask.

It’s hard to accept that her time is used elsewhere. That we’ve drifted apart. It feels that way with one brother too. Indebtedness for their kindnesses in the past can’t make for connections now. Could it be that more effort needs to be put in the asking, because both have been invited to visit but don’t. More encouragement, a phone call?

Change, growth, leaps from one chasm to another if dared. But who will catch me if I fall? And who will give the answers about what to do?

ONGOING HEALING

Just a relaxing afternoon with friends can send off C-PTSD rockets. Yawning with pleasure throughout the afternoon filled with warmth, laughter, and comradery while we played cards, snacked on goodies, then topped off our monthly gathering with a homemade dessert was nurturing and enjoyable.

And paying attention without zoning out (my term for dissociation) is as tiring as physical exercise. But the C-PTSD rockets didn’t care because at the usual sleep time, no sleep came. By midnight the dreaded Xanax was necessary or else I’d be up all night.

Grogginess this morning comes with a dose of self-pity. No one known in person suffers this brokenness.

 On-line is where my meager relationships open to the world. Others traumatized in childhood with no help to process it live with lifelong challenges too.

It has been three weeks without a controlled medication. My hope was not to use it for sleep again, but that is not to be. The use of it has lessened drastically which is progress-SO CRITIC BE QUIET.

The pain this evokes reminds me of the healing still needed.

SLEEP!

If you add not sleeping to the list of challenges, the dive off the cliff is complete, my basket case status secure. Thoughts ran dizzily like a non-stop train down a mountain.

Taking the dreaded Xanax one night when 2AM said ‘hello’, meant going off the dear little marijuana plant’s tiny bit of oil for three nights till the Xanax cleared. Mixing both lead to over a year of hell till the doctor mentioned that mixing the two wasn’t a good idea.

That dreaded Xanax. Telling myself that it’s a disease, and no blame is put on a person for their disease, the next several nights were fitful lacking the full sleep needed. What that does to thoughts is dreadful, especially when less daylight has already turned them sour.

Thinking maybe a week should go by without using the magical oil, after three nights and lack of sleep, it was used last night. 8 ½ hours of sleep followed. Sleep, lovely, miraculous SLEEP!

All is well with the world once again.  

Cursed Blessings

The gaiety of my son’s visit from a neighboring state with his wife and 3 little ones sent my PTSD rockets off to the stratosphere. My head went spinning, more so my nervous system because even happy events set them off.

Time spent the first night with my granddaughter reading her a bedtime story then singing a lullaby was my usual time to wind down for the night, but how could that precious time be resisted?

By 1AM after two attempts to sleep the stronger sleep aid was needed. It gave me 5 uninterrupted hours of sleep causing a need to refrain from the birthday party the next evening at my other son’s when a rare occurrence of us all being together happened around a campfire. (all except me)

The tears wash down hating to feel sorry for myself due to the blessings of having such wonderful sons yet needing to recuse myself from the partying. Time alone in quiet brought me back into my body and brought sleep. I am cursed with C-PTSD due to the early traumas that went unprocessed at the time, yet blessed in so many other ways, especially family.

PTSD BEAST Meet SAD (Seasonal Depression)

The PTSD beast strikes again, out of nowhere, for no reason fathomable or easily identified. It just does. And after a few weeks of deep, happy, (miraculous) sleep, the interference is felt deeply especially the next day. Though tossing and turning in bed isn’t much fun either.

Like other times, it will calm down and sleep will come again. It’s not helpful for sadness bordering on despair that settles in when daylight lessons with autumns approach. Take blah and pick it apart like a daisy, love me, love me not?

Where has that haven so recently discovered within that welcomes with light, softness and love gone? Because glimmers of self-love had begun. Autumn did a good job of stripping the oasis of its cushioning warmth.

With work it will come again. For a serious human being, because since age 8 surviving took away childhood and entrenched a serious outlook of life in my core, these added stressors aren’t easy to cope with.

HEALING? Yes & No

The Morning Goddess: enthralling throughout summer due to the unusually cool nights.

Talk of ‘healing’ makes my stomach turn. There is no healing, only managing the damage done. Well, there is, and isn’t.

The horrific feeling of being abnormal has mostly healed, though left with struggles of self-esteem permanently. But my internal ‘home’ offers more welcome and understanding as to why that exists accepting it with a more loving embrace.

And yes, admittingly there is healing in many areas, yet much damage was done by silencing me as a child causing irreparable damage than cannot be healed, changed, or reversed in any way, only coped with daily.

These are the truths of my life. To silence me at age 8 after a violent rape. To not administer medical attention. To leave me all alone with it stuffed inside for decades, because you and your cohorts (your sons) couldn’t bear that truth be told- that caused irreversible damage. Not what they did but silencing me and forcing me to be alone with it.

An 8-year-old child? Pummeled again and again by your other sons as they satisfied teenage lust on my little body? All alone. Suffering. Holding it in then- and for my life to come, until you died. (in my fifties)

By then it was too late. Though it all came out in my writings, every egregious ghastly detail, and with it the joys that were stuffed too, the damage was done. Repression represses joy too, creating a walking robot without feelings.

After you died I started to live, learning wholeness and love for self. It was my choice to remain gagged so that the little crumbs of love you gave could sustain me because I had not yet learned to love myself. How could I when who I was had been locked away?

The chronic severe C-PTSD is here to stay. There is no denying it, or if so, as with much of my life trying to keep up with others, unhealthy ramifications occur. There isn’t fear to jump in and try, but rather an outcome of disease. In trying to do things my body cannot cope with the severity increases exponentially.

Like camping. As the camper left yesterday swirling panic almost descends watching Samuel get it ready for the buyers to take it. Neither of us want to let go of over 40 years of camping in the woodsy mountains- campfires, biking among the pines down to the pristine lake, canoeing, our paddles softly licking the water’s surface as the loons near-by take a dive, sunsets of salmon, rose, and magenta, so many pleasures let go of.

But good-bye it was, along with all the gear, because my body cannot cope with being anywhere but home. When not home, finding my own home internally is about impossible.

So many years of pretending because that was required to be part of a ‘family.’ That caused the damage. Traumas kept inside caused physical ailments that worsen with age. The spirit, mind, and body are connected, and so much has been injured due to forced censoring that no amount of therapy of any kind will relieve or fix.

Only loving care to manage it. All the many things that need attending to are only attended to in the safety of my own home. And it does not have to make me weep, it can be decided on instead to bring me joy- joy in living, joy in finally feeling I have a right to be here too, joy in the little things which sweep me away with their beauty. Joy in that I finally honor the reality of where I am and why, learning who I am and liking what I find.

ACCEPTANCE, ABUNDANCE & JOY

Tears fell driving home from a simple one-night camping trip to the glen where we’ve camped for over 40 years, especially fun and exiting when the boys were growing up. Now it’s for sure, we sell the camper.

Thinking the possibility of the miracle from the last month’s delicious ability to sleep at home might also occur in the camper, well, no way. A double dose of the dreaded narcotic was needed, and that was completely given up many weeks ago.

The depressive lethargy from the after-effects still linger along with sadness accepting my limitations which means no more over-night stays anywhere. And that’s OK.

The joys, pleasures, and overwhelming beauty on this little plot of paradise when sleep has finally come without using that drug has brought the peace craved. Like Dorothy in Oz, “… If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard…”

JUST DO IT!

‘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:

Stevie,

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.

Love you,

Patricia

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.