GRATITUDE

One night sleep, the next awake at 3AM. Giving an hour for a return to slumber, that torture was abandoned for an early rise, a VERY early rise.

My mind wouldn’t slow down about all the things to improve, all the failures or missteps, or misunderstandings. Because many upset relationships, or the failure to move closer for more sustenance are because people do not talk about their feelings. They are played out theatrically by those shallow enough to act that way.

So up, let the cat out of her room, and begin my day. My body isn’t healing fast, but each day there are noticeable improvements. The feelings after lying there in my pillow are, ‘get your shit together.’

Winter is dooming me, drowning me, making me go back to the days when everything about myself is questioned and scorned- with confidence below zero like the weather. Get a grip!

Warm summer days, grassy meadows, and sunlight… dream on…

TRIGGERED

When feeling taken advantage or treated dishonestly something in me is set off spiraling into the netherworld. Praying to god when waking, please take these worries from me… to no avail.

Getting up but avoiding the dastardly pill which works but makes me groggy all the next day, which then adds tears of self-pity along with it, the British Baking Show is again stared at.

2 AM is not a good time to be up and stay up. Trying to go back to bed awhile so that rising is more normalized with what most others do didn’t last too long.

Thoughts devoured me laying there trying to ease the badness felt about just everything, saying the wrong thing to someone, buying something unneeded, on and on, but? A quietness soothed me, not enough to bring sleep, but enough to feel some comfort, that part of me which has carried me through many storms of doubt.

Really, how does Kohl’s get away with theft? A costly item that didn’t work out was returned, but Kohl’s kept 25% of my money with the explanation that now I have a coupon and can go buy more of their junk.

How’s that? Being mistreated, stolen from, makes me feel bad about me. And there wasn’t anything to be done. IT’S THEIR POLICY, both managers side by side agreeing.

The failure of settling my thoughts, of allowing Kohl’s to disrupt my sleep brought me down, or more exactly caused a buzz of worries like gnats in my brain. More rational thoughts come while drinking my dark morning brew, like my friend’s husband who recently fell and broke his pelvis.

He has two screws in his hip and won’t be home till tomorrow. Now that’s something to worry about. But he’s not worrying. She says he’s up with a walker moving about. (already attacking the problem not worrying about it)

So, life goes on, along with this up and down sleep, worry, and pull yourself again pattern. There are harder things.

SELF-NURTURING

The madness of winter sets in digging her talons deep, scraping flesh from the inside out. The tendencies handled easier in the summer months hit with force knocking me down; hardness towards self, self-criticisms, soul bashing, being a being who hadn’t ought to be, all those killer thoughts worsen with shorter days and less light.

Sleep disruptions compound the problem, but more so this new connection with the origin family directed by Don, the master mind behind it. When all that is wanted is to be left alone.

Yet here it is, part of a dysfunction which cleaves together and some of what they do is talk about others who aren’t present instead of in person where it might do good.

It is a lot to handle. Feeling the failures of handling it in a way that is true to my soul causes dismay interfering with joy to be found in each day.

The wise being stepped in when waking last night as recriminations began to bloody my interior world- remember, this is what you do in the middle of the night. What about all the kind, generous things you do? Think of one.

Though unable to think of even one in the dark of night, being on my side, nurturing the chasm of pain still menacing from deep within, and stopping the freefall into the endless black hole of self flogging was enough to ease my ragged soul back to sleep.

GATHERING

As families gather on this special day, my being does too, all  parts making a whole. That doesn’t occur all day everyday as little things cause chaos, or too much stimulation. But today?

Gratitude. As laps are completed hoping to metabolize the medication needed at 2AM due to sleep issues, the air so still though grey and damp, the talk to myself is out loud with no neighbors to hear this strange woman ruminating to herself.

The stillness is so loved, as wind does not invite internal gathering. Prayers in the night to mother nature/the universe are answered, maybe not in expected ways, but if one is looking, they come.

Mine came after lap ten when the sun peeked out momentarily, and the extremely shy heron unaware of my presence. I was miraculously able to obverse the hunting process nearby as she waded ever so slowly in the shallower part of the water and snatched up her dinner.

There is great joy and peace in the land and her beauty. Gratitude flows as families around the nation come together, and I am able to gather myself like a newly grown bouquet even after a tough night.

SLEEP PLEASE!

Try to rest, and be gentle with yourself. The pace required of myself, and the push to see the good things in my life over all the challenges… well, it is hard to do with inadequate sleep.

The time change threw me off balance. Go to bed earlier? Later? Nothing seems to work. Awake and alert at 3-3:30 am morning after morning has finally forced me look at the reality of that. Time to adjust the goals of the day ratcheting them way down.  

Where or where are those long sleep filled nights? Lack of sleep gets in the way of things I want to get done making me feel sickish because the urge is to just keep going anyway. But that’s not possible. Hitting a wall I have to just stop.

Be realistic. Until a more healthy sleep pattern returns, it is important for ongoing self-talk about rest. Rest is OK, more so, urgently necessary for health. Allowing for rest over productivity is a statement on love of self.   

The Miracle of Being In My Body

The time change is a bitch with no one liking it any better than me. Why put people through this chaos with their body systems twice a year? More accidents happen because of it, and more illnesses.

Last year my idea was not to change, and it helped tremendously. I went to bed an hour earlier, earlier than my grand-kids! That worked better than forcing my body to change its natural rhythm which caused sleeplessness making me a terrible grump to be around languishing in self-pity. Hours of sleep were lost for years until connecting with my needs, respecting them, and having the option to do because work was no longer an issue.

Yet this year the thought of turning in so early, then getting up earlier didn’t thrill me, so forcing my body to stay up was attempted but without success. My body has its own natural rhythm, and now more into my body, connected to its needs, and honoring them, better health is enjoyed in all realms; emotional, spiritual, and physical.

BEE GRATEFUL

Waking after another rough night up too late, having to take something, my first thought? Why not be grateful? Instead of sitting a good part of the day in grogginess, snapping at Samuel so much he stays far away from me, why not turn it around?

Out walking early helped to metabolize the drug, also adding the benefit of uplift once the happy chemicals kick in. Instead of it being penance for eating off anxiety in the night walking rigidly just to get it done, the walk was paced slowly enough to suck in the heavenly scent of wet earth and decaying leaves.

Round and round noticing the aroma which goes straight to my core, a squirrel surprised jumping to the next tree, the crunch of nuts under my feet. And Samuel? We sat, laughed, and chatted over morning coffee, a miracle, because usually after a bad night which of late is too often, no company is wanted…just leave me alone.

But be grateful, the mantra while walking. Why not? There is an ability to waver one’s attitude to a more upbeat tilt. It includes acceptance that my body will do this no matter how many healthy habits are incorporated into my day.

A life of daily terror to my body because fear was around every corner took its toll. Not fighting it or blaming myself for not controlling it is a start. Gentleness swept in.

While walking on a crisp damp day the thought of rewards for this effort included a lavender Epson salt soak in the tub and a pot of ginger vanilla chamomile tea. The day went much better, from a blob on the couch to living it fully.

HUMPTY DUMPTY

Sometimes you have to fall apart to come together. For much of my life it has been the falling apart, but now when peace can be sustained for more than two moments at a time… still, there is a monster on my back.

It is sleeplessness. The why? Round and round laps count up to 20 trying to make up for a night of senseless eating- AGAIN. The only trigger that might be attributed to this inability to sleep after 6 nights of improved sleep probably due to drastically decreasing the pot oil, yet on night 6 lying there 2 ½ hours before giving in to a sleep aid, and an hour in front of the TV at midnight- then FOOD, because food has been used to quell anxiety since the age of 8— the only reason that might make sense was a 3 pound weight loss noted that morning.

That ought to be good, right? Celebrated, congratulated, especially after a summer of being stuck? Yet it triggered anxiety. Unless something on the news or a movie set me off, what else could it be?

Weight loss scaring me. Therapists suggest overweight women who have survived childhood sexual abuse become overweight to feel safe. That is an improvement over many who look at an overweight person and think lazy, glutinous, and disgusting.

The thinner my body becomes, the closer to an unwanted memory. What is remembered is horrific enough, but the one repressed memory must have been really bad. Danny said in his twenties when asked what he did to me, “It’s better you don’t know.”

But I do know a rape occurred, there just is no memory of it except before and after. As the weight comes off there is movement toward what was unconsciously repressed.

Lap after lap, talking to myself… I will not be deterred. I will do this, I will do this, I will. And if the memory comes I will be alright. It already happened. I already lived through it. And there are hospitals to stay in if needed. The self talk doesn’t seem to help alleviate the anxious terror.

FOOD or FEELINGS?

So eerily quiet this morning even the birds aren’t talking and a queasy feeling surfs my stomach. Crickets hardly peep, not a sound, barely a movement of leaves at first until a soft breeze moves in. Perhaps the animals instinctively feel what the news last night warned of, the possibility of tornadoes.

At least the day was not faced with dread. The full spectrum lights, a return to a diligent mediation practice, the push off the couch to walk, and a drastic reduction in marijuana oil for sleep issues are all helping.

In order to treat myself with respect, which mean not gagging down feelings with food, my doctors have gotten a mouthful out of me after not speaking a peep for years. My primary responded by finally paying attention to me and my needs.

We discussed my use of pot oil and for the first time heard from her that just a few drops are needed. My dose kept going up and up thinking that helped, but it backfired causing more sleep issues, and an exorbitant increase in anxiety rather than decreasing it.

The cardio Doc has yet to respond to my personal letter to him after his nurse wouldn’t answer a simple medical question because my choice was to cancel an appointment due to the pandemic. ‘You haven’t been here, make an appointment,’ her note coldly read in the on-line chart after my question was posed.

Really? I have to come in and spend 50 bucks to know whether to continue taking a baby aspirin each day? Reports are saying there’s a bleeding risk as we age.

After going there for many years you can’t answer a benign generic question? The only reason for several decades of cardio appointments was not due to need or directed by my primary care doctor. It was out of fear that I’d fall dead just like my father who lay there at my feet at age 8.

Oh, the years of unneeded EKG’s, STRESS TESTS, EHCHO’s and yearly visits out of terror I might succumb to what my father fell victim to. And doctors, even the best ones, will gladly do it to keep their revenue going. This one too because he did say in my father’s case it had more to do with his smoking.

Yet he continued to oblige my need to ease my mind each year. That could be looked at as a positive then, but no longer, the pandemic making me reassess just how many appointments are needed each year. Unless a heart event actually occurs, NOT HIM! To hold back medical advice is cause to go elsewhere if a heart event ever occurs. Unconscionable. I’m sure they have their own spin on it, but so do I.

In me lies the need to finally advocate for my needs though with many stops and pitfalls along the way because my training was to stay disturbingly quiet about my needs. Traumas, too many to count, were forced to stay within me causing my skinny kid frame to burgeon dramatically into an obese one shortly after the first sexual attack by a loved one, also at age 8.

To keep family secrets throughout my life took a LOT of food. I want a healthy life. That means NO MORE SECRETS. That means speaking up for my needs even if different from your expectations or beliefs, and doing so even when terrified of the outcome. Who is this new me? Or maybe it’s discovering the me always there waiting for one special person to be on my side… me.

REPRESSION

No matter how much is put in having body, mind and spirit mesh, the brokenness occurring at age eight might be permanent. That is impossible to accept.

Would work on repression help to mend this divide? The divide between body and mind go on as if no work was done. One positive that can be said, hard work is taken on daily.

With a working mother, my job was clean the kitchen and get dinner ready. No mother awaited us coming home from school no matter how much longing there was for it. That began at age eight when dad died, right there on the floor in front of us. Trauma enough, but every detail is burned into memory- no repression there..

There is at least one severe and traumatic attack that is repressed. Dan’s attack. Would that coming up help at all? Would it help these nights when nothing is much different but my body is on high. Seeing 2 AM while all others sleep SUCKS.

These males, not brothers- once you touch that way you are no brother, or family. I had 7 seven of them. the other three stood by, did nothing once hearing the truth, said nothing, but most injurious are buddies with the remaining attacker, but also were friendly with the ones now gone. It is not OK.

Night after night of uninterrupted zzz’s, then a night when after almost two hours of trying to sleep everything looms as a grave disaster causing a double dose of medication to sleep. What is the cure?

Walks in the meadow lately bring fear; bees, snakes, someone popping out of the forest to scare me, just as the attackers disguised as brothers would do each finding it funny. They must have hated me. Would reading about the repression of Danny’s attack help? Would finding out what repression does to the body help? Would remembering the violence of his rape help?

It must take enormous energy to repress diverting limited resources needed elsewhere. That repressing a memory every minute of every day must depletes precious energy even if it is unconscious.

The search for answers, truth, authenticity, and knowing my real self continues… along with the need to speak up to the origin family about my true anger with each of them. There is certainly a bucket of it, but the cork stuffing it is slow to open.