Disconnection with ‘self’ causes a hollowness internally so expansive that falling into it is an endless dive through an empty crevasse. The pain in the freefall is sharp, severe, and ever there.

Losing my way brings back that rift, emptiness wrapped in loneliness the only hug.

As days grow longer and sunshine seeps into my bones, hope, energy, and aliveness help counter the tendency since childhood to self hate.

The hate makes for loneliness, because no matter how caring others might try to be towards me, if not caring for my own self, no way is warmth allowed in.

You dare show compassion? No. Yet in these softer days when home internally is sought and found, compassion comes in then flows outward.

It is not all luck that brought me here and kept me alive. Hard work, persistence, grueling persistence, and dedication with a great will to live, survive, and thrive has brought me thus far.

And appreciating these facts is OK and deserved. The decades of doggedly sticking to the right thing, learning to do what needed to be done, especially for my boys. That both graduated from a prestigious college due to their hard work in high-school earning them scholarships. And chosen to work as resident assistants during their years of studies which paid for room and board. How awesome is that?

Instead of the constant harangue of badness, look at the good. For a self-hater that is a struggle even during summer. It is OK to rest on my laurels even if for a little bit, enough to at least appreciate them. And as the sunny days accumulate that becomes more possible, warmth flowing in with the sunshine. Sunshine brightens brain chemicals chasing the critic down the path in front of me. The ability to feel good makes mee manic with joy.

Years of struggle, saving every penny while hanging cloth diapers around the wood stove, and shopping for necessities at garage sales; clothes, toys, household items, just about anything and everything to pay bills each week.

That struggle and being so frugal has been what brought us to this place of peace where we can retire but still handle our expenses, a miracle still shiny to me after all those years of barely making ends meet.

It feels so good to feel good after despairing winter months…


Waking in the night, fear imploded like a bomb, ‘you are not good enough,’ not a good enough parent, grand-parent, mother-in-law, sister, wife, or human being, the fear spreading like prickly poison threatening to steal my sleep.

That feeling of not being good enough to even be born, sticking internally, feeding off itself since the age of 8. Maybe before that, as memories of doing what was possible for a child to do to get her parent’s attention drifts back in memory.

Coughing repeatedly as if sick, hoping for attention that way, and 50 million other ways. Eight, the problematic number, 8 kids with not enough attention to go around because my parents were partiers. 8, the age of the first sexual crime against me not long after dad died, splayed on the floor in front of me from a heart attack.

Yet my empty place inside is like many others without such a dreadful past. Our days of needing likes or thumbs up on social media makes us slaves to others. It isn’t others we need to please, it is accepting ourselves that brings happiness.

This tidbit of knowledge quieted me back to sleep last night. A monk on a Netflix documentary, half-clad, bare shouldered, and constantly smiling, gave me peace in the middle of the night when the fang dripping spirit eaters descended with the mantra of not being good enough.

How do they do that? Smiling, always smiling. (From Stress to Happiness- Argentina with Spanish speaking but with English too)

What needs cultivation is my interior, and oh, how lacking that is. Too often the well is dry without solace, comfort, or warmth.

Enough. Enough just as is? Enough just as is.  


There is a place other than my head where living is deeper, wider, fuller, and whole. It is hard to get out of that ‘head’ space and into this foreign land called soul.

As the sun shines brighter and longer, March moving into April, my brain chemicals are mixed up like a hurricane of ups and downs, the downs very low.

Pulling out of winter has its dangers, spring fever making decisions rash not bold. Take care to be in every moment even if the moments are hard to be in.

Go slow, pace myself, keep working at what is beneath the brain’s tendency to put myself down.

Mistakenly, too much of winter has been spent battling others. The real battle is within countering that critical voice which almost completely has taken over.

Time to take my life back.

First winter windflower of the season in my secret garden:

Spring’s A ‘Coming’

Photos by Patricia

Snowdrops poke up from the ground as if to say, ‘hang in there, spring’s a ‘coming.’

Resting creek side brings wonders; a beaver steadily swimming by, a goose swooping down in the water gliding past then surveying its usual nesting spot for his mate, and a long black mink hopping along the creek usually playful in and out of the water even during winter but looking warily at the bonfire of the year’s fallen branches aglow.

Bleak, drab, brown and grey, but slowly coming to life. That describes me too.

American Mink photos by Google

Pain & Pleasure

When thoughts cause pain there are many ways to numb out. But in the numbing, so too are the joys.

Simple joys such as the feel of water splashing off my hands as suds rinse off, or the feeling of fullness because mind, body, and spirit are whole.

Every second precious, wasted if numb. Yet numbness serves a purpose both in helping to get through, but also in realizing the futility of choosing a path that misses all the wonders of living every moment, pain, and pleasure.

Caring for My Soul

Laying there at night either trying to fall asleep, or middle of the night waking’s, a new voice of kindness washed through the harshness of self-blame for this predicament bathing me with warm compassion instead of cold rejection.

Relief that the surgery is over, and he has made it through the dire consequences we were told about unscathed (though shuffling that walker around grimacing continues), compounded with this gentler person born in me though still in her infancy- has made for adequate sleep for almost an entire week.

Is my voice so powerful? Sometimes, yes, other times not a thing can be done as C-PTSD is just that; chronic, and striking without warning or invitation. But there are times that caring for my deepest places by bringing truth to my internal dialogue, goodness prevails over that shrieking critic.

Love of Life

Photo by Patricia

One of Samuel’s friends has been keeping track of him. And Shane calls daily, along with our other son Cory. Other than that, it is quiet around and feeling sorry for myself crept in thinking of how others would be receiving cards, visits, and phone calls.

Our visits are with the nurse, physical therapist, and an occupational therapist. We are both too tired for anyone else even if it was offered. Yet there is and always has been a nagging feeling of ‘not enough,’ not enough of whatever, no matter what it is.

That feeling carries back to before my dad died at age 8 remembering a continual craving for attention. With 8 kids there wasn’t enough of that to go around. Yet…. my life now is more than enough. What matters is what I feel inside, that all the rooms are opened and dusted, receiving myself wholly with love.

Finally I called the florist and had a lovely bouquet delivered for my husband with a card that read, ‘Happy Healing- You did it! I love you, Patricia.’ He seemed pleasantly surprised. Fresh flowers brightened my day too.

He is working hard on walking around frequently and doing his exercises moaning through the pain. The front approach of replacing a hip is far less painful than cutting through butt muscles. We did our homework and chose a surgeon qualified at the less painful approach.

My truth- as much as a more social type life looks appealing or more normal, as ‘the grass is greener on the other side,’ it isn’t a life fitting for someone who deals daily with great anxiety around other people, or too much stimulation other than that which I make for myself.

Acceptance of what is necessary for a peaceful life released the ‘not good enough’ tension right down to my sinew and bones. This is the life we chose and desire, it is our best life. We don’t do group things like church or other activities. We like/love our life. This experience causes gratitude to fill me up like a warm bath.

But Samuel’s recovery also causes my insides to twist, having to use a walker, groans at every effort, and that slow dragging sound echoing in the hallway as he pushes it around along with his debilitated self. The glimpse of old age makes me cringe. It is hard to watch, but knowing healing comes more each day gives me lift, hope, and security in the knowledge that soon we will be doing the things we love once more.

The life we were living before surgery, will return once he regains full strength, and has is my best life. The capability of being fully present isn’t something I was capable of for most of my life because surviving meant dissociating.

I am able to be present in my body, and in my breath.


Winter can kick me down the stairs of negative and repetitive thinking. It is so hard to stay afloat wondering how those around me tolerate it, like Samuel for starters, but my sons too.

They do. Love is like that. And with learning to love, staying open, a fullness towards myself offers the same for others.

The process of learning to love myself, that I am worthy of love, is life-long, as my insides clammed up tightly at 8 years old. There was no one to love or trust except my cat or other non-human animals.

Time alone in nature offers the safety needed to feel love. Even around those loved it is difficult, either in person, via email, or by video. But alone, out in the meadow, without other’s inconsistencies or my raging self-doubt over interactions I blame myself for, love abounds filling me up satisfyingly.

This insulated life is not of my choosing. Shattered at age 8 and continually broken from then on, caused fractures so deep they remain life-long. Quiet and solitude heal. Acceptance means picking up the pieces and making a life of my own choosing, even if seemingly different or odd to others.

It is my life, and can be made magical by working to stop the negative yammering constantly in my head. (and hanging up more fairy lights to welcome me on dark morning walks) Easy, no, possible? Yes. Each time that voice starts berating me, blaming me, think of it as a challenge. With persistence, gentleness, and patience, healing and growth occur.