Step into the place of peace

There is a place where you know yourself

There is a place where you are free

Believe in this

There is a place where you trust the flow of things

As all your secrets no longer live

Locked up inside

There is a place where you are free to breathe the air

Where you can surrender care

If only for a while

There is a place of healing

So step into the place

Of self validation

And non division

For you have the god given right to be free

And to enjoy this life

Even as the hurting of others ways

Still lives on causing pain

Just for now

Let your soul take rest

Draw close to peace

More tears but good ones, too.

I cried tears of exasperation in the bank meeting yesterday over the establishment of my trust fund.. There are so many checks and balances and forces out there to block and slow things.. I was so grateful that the accountant my brother chose is such a soft individual. At one point the tears just fell as I tried to explain the impact of this all on my sister in the hospital right now. She doesn’t have her own voice at the moment which is probably as it needs to be.. I think I am too vocal at times because I am reacting out of old hurt and pain. That said they took me seriously and I got to know the accountant a little more and trust him just that little bit more.

I also had a breakthrough with Scott yesterday. I see how much fear and vulnerability drives me at times in my life.. I hid it under a front and lots of scattergun defences when I get an outburst but part of this is healthy. its a protest I was not often allowed as a child.. He has been on the receiving end of all of this and of things outside of his control too, so I had to give an apology as well. That said the frustrations over what has happened to us since June 2018 is real and the fact no one believes he is real but only trying to hut me (which is understandable considering the situation) has not helped and I bought into those fears. Those who have followed my blog for some time know at around this time last year someone came forward trying to claim he was not genuine but turns out she was not privy to all of the information and fear made me side with her.. And that only made matters worse. Life is a mystery and sometime the devil in disguise does try in all kinds of surreptitious ways to block the path of connection and love.

I lay in bed and cried a lot this morning but they were tears of shedding, tears of releasing, tears of hope and tears of healing.. I felt Mum and Dad and my sister Judith so close to me giving me comfort and assuring me things will all work out in the end.. Scott loves me, I love him. His deployment must end some time.. as I said to Scott today I can die today knowing deep in my heart I have been loved, its just at times I have erected massive defences against allowing that love into my heart out of deep fears of being over powered tricked, let down, betrayed or hurt.

I had a similar cry fest with Jasper after our walk today too.. Sometimes that darling being that God gifted into my life looks at me with the most profound look of love.. and oh the joy I got to see him literally bounding through long grass with his ears flying.. and a huge grin on his face.. I get the sense of pure unbridled energy and life force from him that got shut off in me by all kinds of forces but most notably rigid Catholicism and stoicism and this makes me cry but also be so happy that I have him in my life and through having him I have found out so more about the violence in my own childhood.

I am lucky to have a guy in my life who loves me unconditionally. I am still learning about what love is.. I am a stranger to love because in some way when Dad blocked my career and then died I got filled up with confusion, hurt, sorrow, frustration and pain. Sometimes I direct that out on my brother who is doing his best as a human being.. with biases towards a life style that differs from mine, but that does not make him bad or wrong.. I guess I have had a long way to go in my life with psychological ‘splitting’ suffering the woundings I did from an earlier age. I learned to freeze and hide a lot in childhood. I think my Mum also drove on with much fear from her own child abuse and neglect that we picked up as something else and perfectionism and fear got deeply embedded in all of us siblings.. I see it as : fear of mess, fear of chaos, fear of emotions and a problem with alexithymia which is one of the principle symptoms of long term CEN (childhood emotional neglect) as outlined by Jonice Webb in her book Running on Empty. Part of the reason I cried a lot today with Jazzie in the car today was in sorrrow at the violent way I reacted to him rolling in pooh…. I go on and on about those who don’t allow messy emotions, but on some level I am the perpetrator too… and its good to see that I carry all of that shadow stuff too.. It makes me more humble, more humane, more willing to embrace the truth that often so much is outside of our control.

Today is a freer day.. I was able to settle and rest after Scott and I chatted earlier.. I can trust in this love now, I don’t want to sabotage it.. vulnerable as it makes me feel. I don’t necessarily need a ‘protector’ but its nice to know someone cares so much that I feel safe…. I have never really known how to depend on anyone.. and that is a family pattern.. At times I pulled away and intellectualised but often for a good reason there was not a safe place to be real.

Today I can look on all the struggle of self and others with a greater degree of tolerance and thank my lucky stars that (to date) I made it through all of this complex trauma alive and (at least relatively) sane as a person.. I am heading towards my 27th sobriety birthday in 5 weeks so this time of year is loaded with triggers, memories, meaning and gratitude.. Thank you Higher Power for keeping me sober One Day At A Time for all of those years. Thank you for the courage too to embrace my grief and all of my emotions much as I ran.. Thank you for slowly also making the promises of healing and hope I first heard of in the fellowship come true in my life and the lives of others in sobriety. Without you I would have no recovery.

Understanding Your Own Trauma

Amen to this.. It needs to be said over and over and over.. We cannot compare or minimise anyone’s trauma.

The Written Addiction

Just so everyone is clear, the comparison between our lives is really no comparison at all. My life is my life and your life is yours. We all have our own history. We come from different ends of the universe or maybe we live on the same side, but still, the one thing we can never see is what life looks like from behind another person’s eyes.

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On naming and recognising emotions.. and on love

The following excerpt from the wonderful book by Dr Sue Johnson. Love Sense : The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships.is chock full of wisdom.. How often do we find it hard to name the emotions we struggle with, inside ourselves or watching others in, say sadness or depression, struggle to articulate the fear or anxiety we may battle in the face of them? I hope this reading resonates for readers.

Just knowing that there are basic emotion we all feel and recognize can make a huge difference in our everyday lives. Psychologist Matthew Lieberman of the University of California…has demonstrated that the simple act of naming an emotion calms the emotional center of the brain. In an fMRI study, Lieberman showed people images of faces with negative expressions – for example, grimacing in anger. When subjects were asked to identify the sex of the person in the image, the emotional area remained highly activated. But when they were asked to label the feeling their brains calmed down. Naming an emotion begins the process of regulating and reflecting on it.

I see this happening in therapy. As Bernice tells me, “Well, I guess if I pay attention instead of going off my head, I can see that my husband is sad right now. Usually I just freak out – get all confused and dithery. It’s silly but it feels better to recognize that he is sad. Its kind of like pinning everything down; the cues he is sending and my inner responses make sense then. Everything seems clearer, more manageable. Last time, I didn’t just clam up. I was able to tell him. ‘When you get so sad, I don’t know what to do, and that scares me. I think you are getting depressed again.'” What we name, we can tame, when we give meaning to something, we can tolerate it and even change its impact.

So what about love – why isn’t it on the basic list? (of emotions.) A few of my colleagues say it should be, but I don’t. Love doesn’t have a distinct facial expression. Its not a single emotion, a lone note. Its a mix of feelings, a medley. In point of fact, it’s a state of being that encompasses all the basic emotions. When we love, we can be joyful, sad, angry, afraid, surprised, or ashamed – often at the same time. Writer Jeffrey Eugenides puts it beautifully: “Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered in a single words. I don’t believe in ‘sadness’, ‘joy,’ or ‘regret’…..It oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal, complicated hybrid emotions. Germanic traincar constructions like, say, ‘the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: ‘the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.’

Sue Johnson. Love Sense : The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships. pp 71 -72

Wilderness years

When I was a child

I was fully alive

Inside my heart was

An ocean of love and unbridled life force flowing

But when I met your dam

There was a fury you judged

Was it too hard for you to contain

The whole of me

Splintered in pieces my wounded spirit flies

Across the vast wilderness of the echoing sky

As I fall into darkness

Crumpled up like a paper daisy

I am there thirsting

Seeking the way back to

Lost rivers

And the healing moisture of love

There are decades of dryness

Vast deserts our soul has to cross

On this our unfolding destiny

So do not despair

For the wilderness years

Are not the end

Only a stage

A passing phase

in the unfolding

of our soul becoming

Arrest

Physical arrest

when you stop your breath

Body has frozen

with all the things that happened to you

unchosen

now in the night you run

from the hands that want to hurt you

the only way to escape

is to take flight in dreams

while the feelings you dammed

flow out of you in the night

waking in shame

you are full of fear

trying to hide

the sodden sheets

alone in a land of giants

you pray for rescue

by an invisible angel

but no one is coming

and so you learn to keep

hiding by

holding your breath

until all that is left

of flowing life

is a frozen dam

an arrested breath

Promises : the future does not exist

You made me promises that were so hard to believe

There was never a time I asked for you to talk

Of any future time

All I really needed was your calming presence

A moment to connect

Because deep inside my heart I know I can

Sustain my own life

So please stop getting my heart wrong

Stop setting the bar so high

It is impossible for me to jump over it

All I ever wanted was just

Some simple moments of connection

An instant in time that is now

Where our two souls touched heaven

If only for this heartbeat

For my darling

The future

Is a figment only

Of ideal and projection

In reality

It does not

Exist