GROWING (into who I already am)

It is very hard for others, even, or most especially those close to me, to respond to the person I’m becoming; or the person at my core who I’ve always been. My true spirit has been covered with anger, self-doubt, mistrust (of self), and all the vast smears left by childhood trauma.

Not a social animal, not involved with much in the community, or with others, there are connections— a few friends, sons, and Samuel. Samuel seems the most confounded by the changes. Unconscious efforts erupt to pull me back to what was because that is familiar.

Familiar can feel satisfying, the ruts of pain status quo. For two people wanting depth in their lives, growing pains must continue even as skin ages, wrinkles, and sags. Boxing in behaviors to keep things the same is not freedom, it is jail.

Refusing to allow another to take my worth, and doing so with grace not rage, puts the mirror in front of him. The possibility for growth is seeded for us both. The pay-off of growing older is growing wiser. One person must take the leap so the other dares come too.  

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Chaos VS Peace

And so the mundane once again, which is a rather interesting way of describing peace. Perhaps chaos feels more more familiar since that has been the state of my being for much of my life.

Peace. The preferred way of being. With that comes sleep, and last night brought that miracle. No sun to rise, just fog over the creek and a light rain with balmy temperatures. The house is quiet, my spirit is quiet, and the critters outdoors are hiding out from the clouds not making any noise either.

 

ADVENTURE

And so it is on again. After a weekend where my chest radiated a thin veil of remorse after the decision not to travel to Massachusetts to see my son, Monday morning when he called I heard my lips speak.

“Can we still come?” I asked feebly.

And so it is arranged.

Hurdles to tackle, this morning’s eye exam at an office farther into the city, and tomorrow’s 6 hour drive. Once calming after meeting the surgeon, with feelings of success for advocating for my needs, the peace of routine settled back into my bones.

Perhaps another challenge can be taken on. Like walking on rocks, rests in-between are needed, but the excitement of adventure pulls at me once again.

I’d like to thank How Far for help in tackling this. One of her posts told the story of taking on a challenge, also including busy highways. With humor she outlines the terrors and successes experienced.

That feeling of success at conquering a fear (terror) is worth the effort if it can be done without causing damage to the body. Therein lies the rub. Forcing won’t work. Taking on what can be managed, that is the way.

 

COMING HOME

It is easy to become lost, out of my body wandering away from feelings, or being in the present moment connected to whatever it is that is being run from. Then ‘home’ again, starting a new day after the wanderings only led to being more lost, and coming home to all the quandary of emotions, facing what is there, welcoming it; fear, the aloneness, more fear, the abject refusal to be me. But I am me, there is no running from it.

The need is to keep working at it, like chiseling a granite statue, finding the beauty underneath, sifting through memories like hard chunks of rock to the magnificence below. Warming once again in the center of me, the magnificence above and around becomes heightened and cherished, where both pain and pleasure find a place to be both at once.  

It is not about how much one has, but how much one is accepting of oneself, opening to what is. And every day there is running, having to come back home over and over, to the place inside always running from. Come back home and accept what is. The more I get to know what is there, the more comfortable a place it is, and the more it is trusted.

Running is abandonment. Coming home is warm, safe, and whole, opening up the inner and outer worlds, expansion. The red hue of morning burns brighter, the bird songs  sweeter, the body carrying the inside being craves better treatment, not as a means of escape. Feelings are OK, all of them in wholeness when coming ‘home.’

 

Captive of the Negative Brain

It’s the PTSD. Remember that? The thing that you spent most of your life not acknowledging because nobody else ever did. (which would have made it real, and more importantly would have brought intervention with the possibility of recovery) Laying my head down the thought comes, will I get to sleep tonight? Never a good sign. It is as if I’ve already made up my ever restless mind. 

PTSD made living so unbearable, wearing my body down over the years as I tried to keep up with others, so much that the effects became life-long. It literally broke something in the brain, and all the pathways to it. Negative thoughts  take hold choking me. There is science behind it, but don’t ask me to explain, or do a research paper. (I have enough to worry about) The neural pathways are funky, even the slightest disturbance fires them up.

That’s what happens when trauma goes unprocessed. My family, and most family’s, sure as hell won’t give credence to sexual abuse occurring within their midst. Intervention is crucial at the time of the trauma(s). Will it ever be? Will sexual abuse to a child by a family member, or friend of the family, or even the camp counselor ever be talked about openly? So that the child can process the trauma?

I know I would have needed to talk about it, all of it, over and over again. Just like my grand-son after the terrific car crash where his baby sister and mother were beside him as the  lights swirled, and the ambulance paramedics  loaded them all onto stretchers. 

He spent many visits with me in the garage and on the driveway putting up bright orange emergency cones, and turning on the red flashing lights Samuel had installed on his battery operated jeep. The story started with Mommy holding up her hurt arm, and his sister crying. But over time he became the paramedic saving everyone. The hero mastering the situation that threatened his psych now healed. He went on to other things, the crash no longer holding his mind, memory or nervous system hostage to the terror. . 

That is the intervention needed but never comes, a safe accepting environment where the trauma, like any other trauma, can be worked through with care, love and patience.  

That must change for our little girls (boys) to survive. The dirty details others are uncomfortable listening to need to be spoken. Only in hearing the evil things done to little ones will change occur. It is happening in your family, behind the closed door bedroom where the children are ‘exploring’ but it goes too far because one of them already knows more that they should, or in the tent out in the backyard, the tree-house at the neighbor’s, at Auntie Peg’s when Uncle George is home, at Scouts, camp, or anyplace when you are not watching, noticing, and intervening.

It could be as simple as saying, ‘OK you two, find another game to play,’ with a smile, not a look of horror on your face. Or keep the door open,  don’t allow long periods of time out in the cute little playhouse where nobody’s watching. Watch. Kids explore. And too often older kids, even young children, have learned too early what feels good ‘down there’ and act out for more on other children who don’t yet know.

Having sexual feelings awakened at too young an age causes it to expand to other children quickly. It isn’t always an adult, adolescent, or teen. It can be a child of the same age as your own child who had it done to them, and now knows about the powerful feelings that feel so good more is naturally wanted. 

Waking in the night, or unable to fall asleep without a sleep aid isn’t always about something wrong, something that needs changing, or something that needs paying attention to. Often everything is in its place, and my life is being lived in alignment with my beliefs and principles.

Nothing is wrong; everything is wrong. It is unprocessed trauma that damaged my systems permanently. It is PTSD, my little beast that won’t be tamed. My mind turns on the negatives which become louder in the darkness, rolling through like thunder, activating the system that has been on the edge since age 8.

The courage for family’s to intervene when Uncle Joe, Daddy, or even sometimes Mommy   sexually abuses a child at the time it occurs, saves her, and offers a road to complete healing. That is yet to come for most families who allow their shame to cause destruction to their daughters(sons). It just doesn’t happen, not yet. Not until we are brave enough to stand up and say this happens, and at a rate you don’t want to know about, which is why it happens. 

Recently I woke up dreaming of Tom. We were close by each other and seemingly alright, but I clearly remember thinking, He doesn’t know how badly he hurt me. He never asked, nor ever asked to be forgiven. No one did. The other three are dead. I don’t know about Chet’s two friends who also attacked me, having such fun while I suffered silently. 

I am 66. I still need to speak of what was done. I never had a chance to. And I may not live long enough to process it all and be done with it because the damage still causes suffering. I will do what I need to do until it is done. I want it to be done now, but wanting is not reality,  and denying what is doesn’t work. The damage is irreversible. Due to diligence, courage, strength and miracles, periods of graceful joy occur, then inevitably tumble into times that are not. 

FAMILY

Tenderly, like rocking a child, cuddle the little girl left alone terrorized by those she loved. You forgot how it was, how it is now, because others groomed you to. Be like it never happened because the shame of those that did those things to you, and the others doing nothing to stop it, or help in any way, is too uncomfortable for so called family— then, and now.

So alone I am. But do not abandon myself. The loneliness comes because no one stands witness to what happened. The story goes that others have so many other hurts, so how can I just think of myself? More honestly, they want family, even if those remaining are holey, not holy, but full of holes like a tattered old shirt blowing in the wind.

My gut pulls for family too. It always will. But just get on with life which is one I created of great beauty. I do so much better being apart from it, yet like a moth to flame still try.

TERROR

A queasiness comes and goes. Covering one eye with my hand, like a pirate with a patch, my vision improves. The left cataract has progressed a great deal this year, making the idea of going through with the removal procedure more imminent.

The self- advocacy and extra considerations needed exhaust me. The level of sedation my body requires in order not to fight off anyone getting near me, is a deeper sedation than what most need, and deeper than what my eye doctor uses at his clinic where the surgeries are performed.

I would need to be at a hospital, which means meeting another doctor who does them there. My doctor has agreed to this, but it still means going to the city several times, first to meet with the new doctor, then the anesthesiologist, and on and on.

But to see clearly afterwards might make this worthwhile. It is the same reflexive reaction as with killer bird. While Samuel drifts around the yard unaware, or unperturbed about an animal droning down on him, my body goes into fight or flight. All sensors take off before my mind fully grasps the concept of what is happening.

And so it is with medical interventions. My body prepares for a fight for its life. And this will not go away as long as the memory of what Danny did stays repressed, which it probably will. If it hasn’t become safe for it to surface at age 66, then it won’t.  Every time anyone comes close, the shadow of the memory also does, and with it terror.

It takes a great amount of courage to seek care, dental or medical. If taken step by step carefully, by treating myself as gentle and compassionately as if it were another going through this, then I can do this…