PTSD,”Breakthroughs”, and random musings (journal entry)

It’s difficult to know sometimes where we are on our healing journeys. I can only assume that it is still fairly early in mine. (“We’re just getting started” were the words my counselor recently used.) These are random musings and journal entries, so this may or may not be interesting. I don’t know how easy to relate to it is.

The details of abuse and misfortunes from my earliest years are (fortunately) not the content of this post. Therapy has been the first real experience that I have known of feeling on the receiving end of validation. I have no way to know what the future holds with my current partner, but he is definitely one of the blessings to count in this life. Feeling validated has allowed a softening of the edges around the isolation from misfortune. It’s becoming easier to see struggles, injustices, and plights as human universals.

There is a fine line between wanting to leave the past behind (make some kind of peace) in a healthy way and the alternatives to this. One alternative is to be cruel to ourselves when we “fail” to “just let it go”. Another way is the wounded mentality that we can use (consciously or unconsciously) as a means to control others . Using our wounds in this way is what Carolyn Myss calls “social currency”. Yet another alternative is complete resistance and thus complete denial. The healing process seems like a delicate art and a science. How do we move on in the healthiest way possible? I still don’t have this answer.

Sometimes I wonder if other survivors of hideous things are unfairly perceived as “negative”. The truth is that many survivors must have an unbelievable, unique optimism that hides behind the traumas.  One aspires towards positive thinking. Some of us just can’t seem to accomplish that as well as others. We then feel judged. We judge ourselves. Now, positive thinking has backfired as another “failure” that we didn’t do right. It is important to have self-compassion and to aspire towards positive thinking with a gentle attitude.

It is a strange feeling to feel hopeless for months or years on end. Fear, depression, shame (about mistakes made), fury (about injustices), anxiety, exhaustion, and feeling shattered become intimate companions. Sometimes one feels defective or worthless.

It is strange to start experiencing glimmers of hope after such a long, dark night of the soul. There is a cycle that a person can get entrapped in. It has to do with holding on to our wounds. It is the proverbial catch 22. “I wouldn’t keep looking at the painful things in the past if things were working out now or if the future looked hopeful.” Fear becomes paralysis. The constant remembrance of the painful past (which has created a painful present and a scary future) keeps one stuck. I have known this cycle for too long and sometimes it feels like one definition of insanity.

Things have started to shift. They are nowhere near perfect. A new hopeful feeling is quite a breath of fresh air. (This hopefulness is just a small dose but a little hope is better than no hope.)

Feeling validated is a foreign feeling. It is a foreign and refreshing feeling to have a true partner. It’s strange being with someone who is unconditionally loving and someone who isn’t just another “taker”.

So, there is a glimmer of hope for this life. It’s even possible that someday hope will grow bigger. Maybe I will get to see some amazing places in this world or have a dream or two come true sometime in this life. It’s becoming easier to focus on the present and future with hope and faith.  It’s starting to feel believable that I have the power to improve and heal so many things. I can be better in my relationships. I can feel less anxiety about the future. Maybe I could even complain less and count more blessings.

It is so strange to hold on to wounds and not know how to let them go. I start to think about the importance of self-compassion and self-love. It occurs to me that it is scary to let go of the inner critic. If I don’t catch all of the ways that I am horrible first, I will somehow become a worse person and be blindsided. I don’t really know what self love is. I don’t believe that it is completely absent. There just isn’t very much at all. I start to ponder love. I wonder if loving oneself unconditionally is like the decision we commit to when we choose to love another unconditionally. I start to wonder if we are supposed to figure out our own love language and then speak that language to ourselves by showing ourselves love. It only gets in on one track. I google “how to love yourself”. I wonder if it is even possible when you are almost 40 years old.

It occurs to me that this is one of the demons that might never be slayed. I realize that I can heal to a point. I can improve so many things. I can make a better life. So, there are things to be thankful for. There is hope. The reality is still that some things may be a lifelong battle. Some of these demons may be lifelong companions; they will stay until my last day. There is long-lost or newfound hope, but today there is no escaping being quite weepy..

 

 

(Child Abuse) To the evil, scary monster: I love you too

The scary, evil demon speaks,

“I love you” He says.

She knows and fears what will

happen

The memories.

“Everyone loves their parents.”

She must be a monster then.

Humiliated. Made Wrong. Put to shame.

Memories.

First memories ever in this life.

Being terrified. Physically unsafe. Hurt.

Belittled. Injured. Needing Compassion

and Safety.

Finding terror.

He hits her. Screams at her.

Gives her more reasons to cry.

Stories.

Even before earliest memories.

Told that he did things to her. These things which made  her cry for hours.

Such things happen every day in this world. To children. Toddlers, babies, infants.

“Parent”, “Protector” is the tyrant, the demon, the content of young nightmares.

Now. Early childhood.

Counts the days.

Counts the hours until the

evil scary monster goes on his next business trip.

She wonders,

How cold is she?

She can’t remember loving him.

Never.

The scary, evil demon speaks,

“I love you” He says.

She knows and fears what will

happen if she doesn’t lie.

She isn’t allowed to lie.

She isn’t allowed to speak the truth.

There is no safe place.

Frozen in petrified fear. There is nowhere to run or hide.

There is no escape.

She turns to the evil, scary monster.

“I love you too.”

Sorrow’s Birdsong (concise version 2)

by Winston and by Autumn
Can one fly far from the pain and the past?
Is sorrow too faithful and one thing that lasts?

by Winston and by Autumn

Sorrow’s Birdsong (Concise version 2)

Can one fly far from the pain and the past?

Is sorrow too faithful and one thing that lasts?

Only a sharp knife meant to cut deep

Is this the one promise that life does keep?

A broken wing; A shattered heart.

Beyond or within this life….

Where is the new start?

Summoning Sweet Death

by Autumn

Oh sweetest angel,

I’m ready for a last breath

How do I summon you,

Sweet Angel of Death

This life is not enough

And yet just too much

How do I find this angel?

I just need one kiss or one touch

I want to be far from this place

A bleeding out existence called life

Called life but its really death

Shattering, burning

Just one last breath

May I please leave this place?

What must I do to see an angel’s face?

Sweet Angel, with your mercy and grace

Angel of Death, please show your face

I am ready to breathe

Only one last breath

All I need is a kiss or one touch,

Sweetest Angel of Death

Sorrow’s Birdsong (concise version 1)

Can one fly from the pain and the past?
Is sorrow too faithful and one thing that lasts?

by Winston

Sorrow’s Birdsong (concise)

Can one fly from the pain and the past?
Is sorrow too faithful and one thing that lasts?
Only a sharp knife meant to cut deep
Is this the one promise that life does keep?

Sorrow’s Birdsong

Can one fly from the pain and the past?
Is sorrow too faithful and one thing that lasts?
Only a sharp knife meant to cut deep
Is this the one promise that life does keep?

Sorrow’s Birdsong  (unabridged)

by Winston and by Autumn

 

SORROW’S BIRDSONG

Trying to fly with a broken wing
Yeats called love a crooked thing
One could also say about life
So much wonder, so much love
But no escape from a deep cutting knife

The knife cuts so deep
Survival and the thirst
Are hard things to keep

How do you fly with a broken wing?
Do birds ever cry when they sing?
Love and life…..such crooked things
Will it be more sorrow?
Or some joy, respite, and peace?
Now what will this life bring?

With a broken wing, can one still fly?
Or just stay outside looking in
A bystander just existing
And watching life go by?
Partly wanting to sing a sweet song
Partly wanting to cry

Can a sorrowful bird find a way to sing?
How much hope for a mended wing?
Pondering and wondering on such silly things
Should one try to fly with a broken wing?

How does one get to feel free?
How does one rise above
To a place where less sorrow
A brighter day, a better tomorrow?
How does one rise above
Life’s mysteries of sorrow
To a higher place, where there’s more freedom and love?

Life….this deep cutting knife
Trying to fly with a broken wing
Should one fight for this life?
Will there be a new song to sing?

A broken wing; A shattered heart
Beyond or within this life….
Where is the new start?
Feeling so heavy. Needing to feel light
Is sorrow’s song the darkness before light?
Off in the distance, is there an ending in sight?

Can one fly from the pain and the past?
Is sorrow too faithful and one thing that lasts?
Only a sharp knife meant to cut deep
Is this the one promise that life does keep?

Was it only in dreams
That we were here to expand
The Book of Love?
To see beauty and wonder
To explore things high above
To see just a glimpse of the infinite expressions
of love

To practice it, to further define it
Unknowable in its vastness
Expressed in words like those from Shakespeare or Yeats
Love in all forms, to feel and relate

Love and life are wondrous, beautiful, crooked things
With broken wing and broken heart,
Is there only a song of sorrow to sing?
Will life show a new start?

Outside looking in at life
And watching it pass by
For this life should one even try?
Can there still be a thirst for life?
Or from this dark life should one flee
To a place where a broken wing
Is no obstacle to feel peaceful and free

In these shadowy netherlands, one is not meant to stay
Learn what it takes to fly with a broken wing,
And with hunger and thirst, plus a sweet song to sing?
Yes, here is not a place meant to stay
Decide.
From this life just fly away?

Or completely in life stay?
Even though
It will never feel like one does belong
No respite. No peace
Just sorrow’s birdsong

Should one try anyway?
Love every breath? Every song?
Sweetly sing every song one can sing
No matter what songs life does bring
To sweetly sing even sorrow’s birdsong?
And to fly with a broken wing?
Be fully in this life, for now to stay
Or from this life fly away?