Injured Being

mosaic by Patricia

My path includes remembering that self-esteem and anxiety are issues that need working on, and are here to stay.  When experiencing some success at either, the thought is that the work is done. The work continues, some days more than others. Who I was at age eight is a shadow arising time to time with a memory of what was, who ‘she’ was, and could be.

All that changed with the first attack, and severed almost completely as each brother came and went, my true self going further and further away until she hardly exists. She because I could never become her, she because she is there, a misty ghost of who I could have been. And I mourn her.

Who I am now is not her, though wisps remain. What I have instead is anxiety in every day because of the trauma’s, but more so, because family and society insists not to hear. These traumas still going on at a deadly rate need airing. And it seems to be coming to the light, though more sensational ones; coaches, priests, teachers… but what about the brother, father, uncle?

The anxiety is here to stay. It must be faced every day. The damage internally broke my being. It takes my life to put back the pieces, shards that sometimes cut, smoothing them together anyway to make a whole— bumpy, solid and beautiful.

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Ravages of Thoughts

The need to write each morning sometimes brings forth a post without depth, without full truth. Not because there’s fear of honesty, there’s fear of self. The thoughts going through led me to overeat in old ways so that later my head hung over the toilet.

How could a frilly little post be written in the morning, and later in the day food was consumed in a way that was sword-like? Cut off the thoughts, don’t feel anything but this pain, not those other pains.

Writing about being in my body, then not being in it. How else would one consume such junk? Others don’t do this. Others have flat stomachs. At times they use discipline, but aren’t white knuckling it. They don’t use eating to blot out thoughts and feelings.

A cascade of bad feelings rain down. A walk with a friend at the mall brought two days of achy legs. It was more than usual, the standing around while she shopped. She’s fine, and would have walked the mall again.

My abilities are much more limited. I so want to re-join chorale on Tuesday nights, and a friend offered to pick me up. But coming home at almost 9:30 pm would rev up the usual wind down period upsetting the delicate routine. Others there don’t suffer this. Why me, why me, why me?

Thoughts of brothers dying and how young the offenders were, one at 28 by intentional overdose, one at 52, the other 67. My fault in my own special way of thinking. If I hadn’t been there they wouldn’t have abused me, and then have to life with it for the rest of their lives.

A fucked up family. It makes me sad that they didn’t have a chance. Each one could have felt better about themselves, and done better. But the care a child needs, which goes far past the basics of food and shelter, were never provided. 

The other one, now 76, is still living. Far away. Why now do these thoughts come? Is it the rinsing of winter? All the bad thoughts come crashing down. Looking at my puffy body, there’s not trust of my tuning in to its real caloric needs while the psychological needs pull so searingly. Escape. 

Since the age of 8, eating became a way to escape. There is a way. Bending over a toilet due to ravages by my own hand is no escape. It is not about eating. It is about thoughts, memories, and feelings. Being in a being who I don’t want to be.

 

SUCCOR

The creek in spring…

The person I was meant to be, doesn’t get a shot at living. That is mourned, and ever shall be. That was taken, ‘she’ was taken at the first touch from a dearly loved and trusted brother that was wrong touch wreaking of manipulation, guile, and evilness.

But this isn’t about them. It is about what they took. A life. This life created from the destruction of that child that I was meant to be, from the women I would have been, is who I became. But what lay just beneath is who I am.

And will you ever know her as I do? She is strong, confident, and sings for the masses, justice for all. She doesn’t bow down to criticism nor does she criticize herself for being herself.

And in my little oasis I can do that. Without others to doubt or bring me down, I can be at peace. Except when I can’t, which happens too much of time due to old voices taking hold destroying self-worth and peace.

Coming back to center, feeling the insides of my body, all the cracks, tiny spaces, and hollows, owning it, sleep comes, peace comes, self-liking rises. After so much work there is a presence underlying the critic, a she who loves me, that’s me. Warm succor waits right here at home, in my body of a home.

No Fake News

Waking in the night the immediate PTSD strikes. Get up, save the world, or least your tiny corner of it. Every lost relationship comes to mind, with a regret of being a person unable to keep one due to trust issues…not having any.

Boundaries are disrespected because growing up meant even my own body was not mine. Assertiveness for my own needs are too often disturbingly unvoiced. The craving for closeness continues, yet I live with with a severe lack of it due to it feeling savagely dangerous. These constants in my life roar at 2 AM. 

The virus all week has begun to abate. The liquid clogging my head which made breathing labored especially in the night, isn’t pouring out as much. The issues left to contend with are the usual, the ever occurring PTSD striking most hazardously in the middle of the night. Just that. The stark nakedness of my being is lite full force, the aloneness, fear of it, even terror.

Then the voice of reason and wisdom. You cannot find what need from others.What you need most is in you. It is you who walks the earth as a single being right to the end… and beyond. The spiraling lusting for acceptance from other relationships faded as this truth and realization surfaced. It is you who needs to accept you, and be with you. Others already have.

So on-wards with the work of bringing the softer, kinder voice to the forefront. The one that allows closeness, caring and love. The one that encourages rather than rips down. The one that needs constant attention, and reality checks. No fake news. You are OK, and you are a ‘good’ person.

 

The Losses Are Profound

Sometimes during sleep at night it takes more work to calm anxiety than in daytime. Waking occurs often, and each time a new negative thought assaults me. Some unimportant, others more so.

The more important problems are those that not much can be done about anyway except work on acceptance. These thoughts attack like demons, pecking at my brain, making me feel as if getting out of bed were the only solution.

Not much can be solved watching TV in the middle of night. Each waking is fronted with a calming voice dug up from a deep interior. It’s OK, you’re OK. The reward of this work is drifting back to sleep, time after time, just during one night.

Perhaps it’s been the cold and wind which has kept me from exercising outside. So tiredness isn’t complete enough to sleep all night. But even after a very busy day this can happen. It is living with chronic post-traumatic stress. Tired or not, the challenges of living with PTSD always loom.

Why beat yourself up for what is none of your doing? Take the approach of appreciating, even admiring all you do to quell these issues.

The tendency is to blame myself. Trust issues interfere with closeness. Blame myself. Is that fair? Or kind? The ability to trust was severed at the age of 8, and anything left salvageable was completely destroyed when no one came to help. The traumas continued, even worsening. So you blame yourself?

The sadness of this continued loss is prophetic. It is not going away, and it is not your fault. How can you offer your own soul love and support?

DANGER

 

It was a mistake. To attend that group called ‘family.’ It wasn’t coincidence that after gathering in December my body grew heavier by many pounds in only a few weeks. I beat myself up for the gain. Perhaps the opposite was needed. Perhaps my soul craved safety, and in that group there is none.

Though none of the three ever touched me sexually, they befriended the ones who did. So did I. It was the charade played along with to have a family, no matter how fucked up the ‘family’ was.

And this is how it has always been. Even now that 3 abusers are dead, and the other one left town, there is still no place for me in that group of three. It is a sad loss, one I cannot fully accept. And one I still might attempt to be part of. But if I do it only causes illness that corrupts my body and soul.

As much as I crave those connections, they kill anything in me that says, NO. NO I am not the person you thought you knew, that you can mold into whatever you want by using criticism, ostracizing, or abandonment. No, I am not a puppet.

The years of abuse made a hostage of me in many ways I don’t understand, and cannot fight. I am tired of fighting. I want my quiet life that makes me happy, and it seems happiest without you.

When no one stands in solidarity, they are not safe, and no one ever did. Until you do, stay away. And it is too late anyway…

Compassion or Rage?

Time and again attacked. Coming up for air as if almost drowned, gasping for breath, even if figuratively, that was my childhood. Interspersed were moments of great joy, galloping my horse down the meadow path, long hair flying back, sweat glistening on my brow, and the horse’s skin… life became black or white, joyful or terror filled.

Where is the love others freely feel and give? Hidden away to preserve what is left. Yet compassion? Rage sometimes directed my behavior. Tempering that rage took great resolve. But something else. It took compassion. Not for myself, it was for others.

The attacking siblings did not rip that well of compassion from me. My essence is made of compassion. Compassion kept me whole inside my brokenness. When it matters, warmth overrides aloofness dissolving my chilly armor.