A journal of healing

Posts tagged ‘anger’

Suffering and compassion

reaaching

I have been reading some posts that stuck with me for the past few days so it is time to write my thoughts. The Good Doc wrote one that took my breath. It was about suffering. It was about hopelessness. See the post here. https://doctorly.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/fly-fly-away/

No one knows truly what another is suffering with. The word suffer conjures up images of intense poverty and starvation for most. But everyone suffers with something. I am at loss for why. Many religious fanatics would say it is the will of God. But does that make sense when in the same breath they preach goodness and benevolence coming from this same entity. Why would a higher power want its “subjects” to suffer? I never have nor will I ever understand this.

Do we all have some form of suffering that challenges us? And who are we to judge the level and which is more wretched? Why is it we accept the level of suffering in some and not others?  I could list the things in this world that outrage me and yet, that is about the extent of what I do about it, much like most folks.

And that is because I have to deal with my suffering and getting through life. And truly, that is about what it sums up to be. Getting through it all and making it to the next day. Believe me, my suffering is nothing in comparison to others, but that’s not the point. We all have a level of strife and frustration that is our suffering to deal with.

What makes suffering so miserable is that even though we all have it, none of us feel or deal with it the same. And you cannot truly understand or appreciate what another person is dealing with because being human comes with multiple variables. What you may be able to deal with, I cannot and vice versa.

When I read the post about the girl dying from Lupus, I felt a connection of suffering with her. I too know what it feels like to live with pain.  I too know the frustration of losing the control of the body to something that will kill me eventually. However, my death is not imminent like hers.

I am not wheelchair ridden and I do respond to medication. However, the pharmacy still has not shipped it. Friday I was on the phone for two hours. I was put on hold and just left the phone on speaker. I must have out waited her because when she came back on she said they were shipping my drug and went through the whole procedure to set up the delivery. It was all a lie. She was just getting rid of me. This is my form of suffering because I spent a weekend of not being able to sleep more than a couple hours at a time because of the pain. Is it the same as the girl in the chair? Hell no, but it is my level of suffering.

So what is the point of this post? Although I do not understand suffering and I certainly do not tolerate people who lie to me, I have to live with both. And although it really rankles me, I have to move on.

When I read the post replies to the Doc’s story, I saw different levels of compassion. The Doctor herself has an extraordinary amount of compassion and empathy which is truly amazing. Other posts were not so empathetic. I think unless you have felt the constant and profound pain similar to what this woman in the chair feels, it is hard to imagine wanting to be released from it even if it means death.

So the answer to suffering is compassion. But not only compassion to others, but also to ourselves. I know many of my friends who silently suffer because that is what we do, especially women. We wear our suffering like a badge. “OH, I have so much to do, I am so fat, I have to take care of this person or that child” and so on. They are all valid levels of suffering.

What would happen if business were built on integrity and compassion? What would this world be like if we taught kids from the get-go what compassion is and why it is necessary? What if bullying was not a trend but treated like a plague. What if the government was really concerned about its population it serves and not about self-serving? The list is endless. And none of it is in our total control.

But self-compassion is. So for today, take care of yourself. I think if we did this more, that the compassion would naturally extend out to others. And if you know someone who is suffering, take a moment to just be present for them. That’s all it takes sometimes. Just be there. Listen, care and be compassionate.

 

Not giving up

This blog post took me several times to start it. There has been a lot going on in my head. I have not shared all of it, but I think it is time. I am scared shitless of dying. Every day I wake up and wonder if this is the day. This started about two years ago when I was beginning to face turning 59. My Mom died at that age. She got sick when she was 58 and within six months, she was gone. She had lung cancer. So as I approached that age, it started nagging at me. Then I turned 59 and woke up still alive. Then I was facing 60. And that was horrible. I do not know why, but this has been an awful time for me.

I stopped a lot of the introspective work I was doing because it was actually making things worse. Ever twinge, every muscle cramp signaled to me that my body was failing. I have NEVER been connected to my body. And the result is why I am so overweight. I never felt fat until recently. And the realization of my body mass coupled with my progress towards old age has plummeted me into an abyss. I admit it. I have been more depressed than ever…. And truthfully, I hate being depressed.

So what is feeding this? Well, on top of my Mom’s early demise, my father died at 71. That is only 10 years more for me. I also have a weird habit. On Sundays, I look at the obits. I think it is my duty to read the last thing people have said about them. It may only be their only tribute too. You never read “John Smith was an a-hole who beat his wife.” I started the habit in my 20’s. When I got divorced, it upset me so much that I would die and not be the loving wife of someone. Sad, I know…but I am confessing here. Now I read the obits and often I am older than the deceased.

I get very upset when we visit Joe’s parents. They do nothing but watch TV and fight. He is 94 and she is 90 and has dementia. It is terrible to see such vibrant souls trapped in their own hell. This is what the future is? I see all the geriatric patients housed in our affiliate nursing facilities and think: What -ho….what a grand life….NOT! I have taken Hospice training and although I think Hospice is wonderful, it has added to my unnerving.

I decided that maybe taking a look at losing weight might add to my longevity. I struggle so much with this because I LOVE food. I love to cook and love baking even more. I also confess that this last year I ate like crap and I gained weight. I knew better. But nothing is going to change unless I take the reins. So what did I do? I met up with that jerk of a counselor who wanted me to get bariatric surgery without even talking to me. She added to my angst so much. I wrote about it but I do not think I went into the level of how much she really upset me. This weekend, I pursued another avenue. I signed up for the program called NYFatLoss.com. The website again sounded fabulous. They balance your hormones, your body makeup and balance your intake and so forth. Sounded perfect, but the website was extremely vague with any details such as cost. My BBF sent me a link to a user’s blog and what an eye opener. The cost was over a thousand dollars to several thousands. It is a 500 calorie diet for forty days. And when that is up, you ante up again. The promise is 35 pounds in 40 days. Of course, if you are eating 500 calories, you are on the Auschwitz diet and you WILL lose. I told my husband you get a choice of two veggies, two fruits and two servings of meat. He thought it was for one meal. That’s it for the day and only certain fruits and meat. You will lose, but when you go back to eating normal you will be right back again and probably worse off because your set point will be so screwed up. You have to pound several vitamins and their supplements which include products that raise your blood pressure and will thin your blood. Not a good combination for someone on Coumadin for a hereditary complication. Again, I hit the wall.

Today in my class I teach, I had two students who both have had bariatric surgery. One was heavy and the other one was thin. They both were eating fast food. They shared that they both have gained weight back. One of them confessed she gained all her weight back and then some. Both said they had complications including being very sick. The thinner girl said she still gets sick. As I walked past her and eyeballed her mayonnaise covered sub with the bag of nachos and sweet tea. I said, “I would get sick too.” I served her a heaping helping of shame with her lunch. I felt terrible and I did not get a chance to apologize. I spoke the truth. I do not eat fast food hardly ever because it does make me sick. Some things that are prepared commercially really get me. McDonald is death and I have not eaten it since 1986. I do not eat red meat either since 1986….well the list is quite long of what I do not eat.

I am so sick of all this. The depression, the frustration, the anger and mostly the additional self-loathing I seem to be heaping on myself. I secretly started planning this weekend to make some changes. I spent much of my time cooking. And I am cooking things for my health. If I have the right things in the house, I will eat them. I eat “bad” things when I am bored. After my disappointment with NYFATLOSS, (what a hose job) I had a choice. I could give up and just continue being this way, or do something. If you know me, option one is not a choice.

So I joined Weight Watchers. All I am going to say about it for now. I am doing this for me because no one else’s opinion matters. If I am successful and take off some weight, wonderful. I am determined. If I don’t, I will start again. I had to get up a walk away from my computer after I typed this. This has been an dreadful or dread-filled time for me and I am worn down to a nub of humiliation covered in fear.

I am stopping for tonight. I have a lot more to share on this topic. Not about swapping recipes for losing weight, but on the humiliation, shame and condemnation people cast on others. I know I have mounted a beaten old nag of a white horse. But I think this is important because body image issues are not about just weight at all. But for now, I am tired.

Despondent

rain clouds'

My word for this morning is despondent. I was not going to go there and write about it and then I thought, well holy crap….this is what this blog is for. Then, I realized I was dancing again to try to please people instead of being real and in MY present moment. It is a life-long habit that creates a cyclical situation. I feel something, I stuff it down because I am not supposed to feel anything that displeases others, it begins to build up from being stuffed down and then at the wrong time, I erupt or break down, and then the remorse begins or the self-loathing plays in…. Repeat cycle.

I was going to write about how I got this way but decided not to. Who cares? It is what it is. The major reason is that I take on everyone else’s issues as if what people think and say is the Holy Gospel. I have been like this my whole life. It sets me up as the perfect fool for predators. Because I am a terrible judge of people and I trust too easily. I want to trust people. I have never figured out the pleasure people get in swindling and lying.

I wrote a whole bunch more about people who suffer and tried to explain self-medication and addictions, but then….. People do not care about that… they just see the failure in others because it elevates them.

There is also a part of me that wants to persuade people to see my point of view. What arrogance is that? An example of this is my campaign for body acceptance. That will be a battle I will never win, but I won’t give up on it either. It does set me up to become frustrated and despondent. So it the short order of it, I do this to myself.

The problem is I FEEL so much. Period.

Righteous indignation

I have been reading some new blogs. I am impressed with all the people who participate in writing as a form of expression of themselves. I actually started writing as part of my therapy. It has helped a lot. But I am disheartened by the content of so many blogs that I read. They are so many hurt people in this world. My vulnerability is showing and I do not care what people think of that. I have in my soul a place that feels deeply for so many. Maybe it is the Christmas music playing. Maybe it is because it is Charitable Tuesday. Something is weighing on me. This time of year brings out the good and wondrous, but also misery seems to increase. Maybe it is because we want the good at this time of year, the bad seems more heinous.

I like Christmas but I do not like all the commercialism. We have an event here called Roc the Day. It is when there is an all-out campaign to hit people up for money in the county. It is competitive by organization and it is very popular. Our organization had three entrees on the website for donations. I gave to one, but I also give at other times. The thing that bothered me was I overheard our foundation person talking to someone about how successful this is because of Christmas. People are more generous now and so they created this huge marketing plan in an attempt to get more donations. It works. But I do not like the idea of playing people.

And this led me down my path of righteous indignation tonight, especially after reading some blogs. What makes adults play on children, or should I say prey on them. What in the world creates lechery? Why would someone intentionally kill the spirit of a child for their own pleasure? I think part of why I struggle with this is because of my own experience. I will never understand why things occurred in my life; at least not while I am still in this plane of existence. I think it will be clear someday. I hold on to that as a concession. But tonight, it is overwhelming.

We accept that soldiers of war suffer from PTSD. But talking about childhood trauma and sexual abuse is still taboo. PTSD is not talked about or widely known as a medical condition for non-combat women. I think, and this is my personal theory, that it is because it is taken upon by the victim as a badge of shame. That they (we) feel they deserve what happened, or there is something so wrong or broken with them,(us), that they,(me), have a hard time sharing it or even talking about it. I know I do not speak of my childhood experiences with just anyone. And for the most part, I cannot articulate my experiences unless I write. I cannot speak about it. That is why I have such a feeling of companionship from the blogs.

Tonight I read about some pretty sad situations. This is not judgment, it is their story and to say it is anything but that it was sad would be not real. Even though the people have made a success out of their lives, at what cost? I think what potential was lost. I think of that often for myself. What could I have done with my life if I had not escaped by marrying the wrong person at such a young age? What could have become of my children if I had become a mother by marrying someone else? What-if? So many what-ifs? And the answer is “live for today.” Well, in reality, there is no other choice.

But back to my righteous indignation. Why is sexual abuse and child abuse not going way? I do not get this at all. I see parents walking kids to school for fear of them being abducted, yet they have no idea Uncle Ernie is playing “Hide the weenie” with their daughter. They turn a blind eye when their spouse crosses the line or a sibling playing house takes it too far. And why do we punish the victim and not the perpetrator? I know there are answers but why is this still an issue? It needs to stop.

But the thing that is sticking in my craw more tonight is why can’t we fix the adult that has had things happen to them? Why is there no big campaign to raise funds to help women (and men) who suffer from PTSD from childhood abuse? Why is this so difficult to heal from? I read how the past inflictions have made a living hell for so many. They suffer from chronic illnesses, fear and many are unable to work or function in the world as it is. They had the where-for-all to create a little pill to make a man get a stiffy. Really? We can’t fix the thousands of zombie-like adults who traverse this world? We cannot find some way to heal them to live their full potential, with our fear and shame?

I do not find this acceptable. I am angry and want to do something beneficial to change this situation, to help people heal, and become whole. I am so full of regret tonight that I am sitting here crying. I want to have another chance at this. I want to be twenty and able to go to college and train as a psychologist or therapist of some kind. But I am forty years past that and so I must find another way. I really feel I am wasting my existence more now than when I was younger.

My husband and I were talking about Christmas presents tonight. He is upset because I truly have nothing I want as a gift. But there is something I want and that is to find the purpose to my life. I am not sure how this post tonight got to this point, but I let my fingers do the talking. So what started out to be a post to bolster acceptance and power has left me feeling useless and in tears. So I am stopping writing for tonight. That is the first step. I do not need to beat myself up anymore.

Call it day

It was such a bad day that I have to laugh at it. It did not start out funny at all. Matter of fact is was terrible.

I am very tired. I am between medications and so I have no relief for my PsA. It is completely taking advantage of the situation. Seem you can build an anti-body to the drug, in my case Enbrel, and render it useless. And for almost $400.00 a pop, that’s pretty wasteful if it does not work. I had been on Enbrel for eight years. For a long while I could go a month or more between shots. But it quit working. I am waiting to try Simponi and it should arrive tomorrow. I am scared of starting something new. It costs $1800.00 a pop but you shoot only once a month. Actually, I wish it all would go away.

I was very upset to begin with from the day before. I had been to my in-laws. I will not go into the details but I ended up waiting on everyone. I was on my feet way too much. I spent the morning cooking at my house and then we took the food over. And when it came to eat, they forgot me…. FORGOT ME…. and I ended up with sitting on a corner of the table with no food but a piece of turkey. It triggered all sorts of memories. But I stifled it or I should say stuffed it. We got home and I went to bed. When I got up this morning, I was still very outraged and pissed.

I did not want to go to work either. The day was supposed to be sunny and warm and it was. But I was going in. I was sitting with my cat, who likes to visit in the am, while I was looking at my morning email. I was scritching her under her chin and I felt something and thought…no way….fleas? She does not go out. We went down to her room and I put her up on the bed in there and combed her. Not an easy thing and as she bites. But sure enough, on the comb was a flea and eggs. I flipped out.

I mean I flipped out. All the pent up anger from the last couple of days and the fear of fleas pushed me completely over. I had one of the worse meltdowns I have had in a while. I am not proud of this and I am not making excuses either. But you have to understand two things.

One: I hate this disease. I hate the slow and insidious progression of it. It will win eventually. I am a fighter but this wipes me out. It takes all my strength to act normal. I do not want people doing for me. I want to be able to move and take care of things. Not only does the pain get me, but it zaps my energy. I am trying to hold on to how good I felt in remission for eight years and I believe I can get back there. But it does piss me off when people just expect me to take care of everything. I guess I could blame myself because I rarely ask for help.

Two: I hate fleas. I meant HATE. They make me itch just thinking of it. I had a neighbor whose house was infested. I went to feed her cat and came out of the basement with my legs covered in fleas. It was completely gross. Since then, I have a real thing about them. This summer we came home to our doggies having them. I went nuts with laundry and cleaning and bought $75.00 flea collars. I got it fast enough and they remained clean. I just took off their $75.00 collars (I had to cut them off so there are ruined) after we had a week of freeze and snow.

I was so freaked out that my stomach let loose and I got sick. I decided to stay home as I knew it was not going to get better. I was going to clean and do laundry. I decided to go to the pet store and get a collar and flea spray for the house. About half way there, I got sick again. I went back home.

I was sitting at my dressing table and my eye glasses just broke. They broke right in half at the nose piece. There is no saving them. They were very expensive and not supposed to break. They are titanium. I just sat looking at myself in the mirror with these two lenses dangling on my face.

I finally felt strong enough to go to the store. In my rush to go and get back, I left the door to our bedroom opened. I got back after spending over $100.00 on flea stuff. I went to change and found the door open. I knew what to expect. The little boy dog peed on the bed.

While making meat loaf for dinner, I realized that the can to the bread crumbs had never been opened. I asked my husband to help since my hands were covered in ground chicken. He dumped half the can in. I just looked at him.

Now all of this produced a very unpleasant day. I had several bouts of crying. I think I just need to release all the fear and anger I have about feeling crappy. I hate feeling crappy. And I hate feeling scared that someday I am not going to be able to walk. Unless you have really experienced something like this, you will not understand. There is no cure for PsA. It will win unless they find a cure in my lifetime. But it is not going to get me easily.

But in reflection, I am going to laugh because it was so unbelievable. I am laughing at my bewildered face in the mirror with the lenses dangling on my checks with only the ear pieces to hold them. I had an old pair and found them. They actually were clearer to see out of. I guess I needed new glasses anyways. The flea situation seems to be under control. I did seven loads of laundry, but it is done and I do not have to worry so much. Everything the cat sleeps on is washed and sprayed. Most of it spent drying in the sun so it will be safe. The doggie’s beds were clean, but I sprayed the beds and set them outside to dry in the sun too. I was washing the bedding on our bed anyways, so the little pisser got it before and not after. That was good too. The meatloaf came out ok. But it will be better tomorrow when I put it chunked up in sauce.

I did get a chance to sit out in the sun for a while today. While I sat there, I made a promise to myself to not put myself in the situation like I did with his family ever again. This is not the first time by any means they have taken advantage of my kindness. His parents are still alive and so for them, it is ok. But when they leave this world, the rest of them can kiss my ass. And yes I hurt a lot as I did too much today. But I got a lot done, so I am ok with it.

Someday the uglies get you. I want to move past all this and get back to feeling like my old self. I usually am very energetic and so to lose my gusto makes me very angry and frustrated. It does not really help to not move, but that is the result. So I am grateful for the options I still have. I am grateful I had a sunny day to do wash and clean out the kitty’s room. I know she hates the collar but she likes the attention. She is in quarantine for a while. I am grateful the dogs remain bug free so far. And I am very grateful for bedding freshly washed and dried in the sun. I am so grateful I am going to go join them. Here’s hoping tomorrow will be better. Night all.

Disconnection of the body

Buffalo

Tonight I am inspired by a friend’s blog. Please check it out at MY BODY…. She speaks for so many of us. It is funny because sometimes blog ideas come to me in the weirdest ways. I was going to write about something else but this is very relevant and so I am going there. “There” is what it is like being large and what it feels like to be disconnected to our body and what that means. For many survivors of sexual abuse, the only way we can deal with ourselves is to not associate with our bodies, because then we are connected to the trauma. In other words, if I do not feel the trauma, it may not be real.

I know many people who have survived sexual trauma go through a stage of did it really happen? That is what happened to me. The memory was not in place; only fragments which came to me in jagged flashbacks. One was on my first wedding night. I had no sense of the past situation in reality. I did not remember the physical confrontation. Matter of fact, much was not clear enough for me to even know if it was real. And truth be told, I am still not sure. And if you were to survey many of us, you would find that doubt is quite common. But then who would make up this shit? But too much makes sense. As I went through therapy two years ago, I started to put pieces together. And then one night I remembered the physical feeling. I remembered too much. I could smell things. Blurry images became clear. I am not sure now if it was such a good thing to relive as I was alone when it came back and I am positive I retraumatized myself. I had not learned any coping mechanisms, yet.

I do not want to focus on that. What I do want to talk about is disconnection and the impact of not loving our bodies. It is not a simple cognitive function. One who has had physical trauma, especially one based in shame like abuse, does not go “Snap, I am past this.” It can be and often is a life sentence. And why?

These are my theories: I am in firm belief that we ALL hold some form of shame when dealing with fat. It is that basic. Our society likens carrying fat as being the ultimate disgrace. Parents, teachers and other forms of early authority in our lives make sure the larger child knows that they have failed just by being fat. Nothing surpasses that. And I think that it all comes back around to the same thing; they are ashamed for us and of us. They are ashamed of our fatness. So no matter what happens we never can or will ever measure up. I think that we wear our weight as a scarlet letter because we think we deserve to be fat. I am not convinced it has totally to do with what is consumed. I think it has to do with release or not being able to release the trauma. So the weight stays and we take the punishment for what we all think we did to cause our trauma. And if you dig deep enough, you will discover that often the victim feels they caused their situation. Why me….why was I the one, what did I do to deserve this? It is a tape running in our heads that few can ignore.

This is where it becomes interesting, and it is my theory. But I think my studies will hold up to a lot of what I am going to say. We as children do a couple things to survive. We over achieve because we have to prove that being fat is not who we are. And then, we disassociate with the cause of all our pain. We disconnect from our body.

So over achieving…. This is me. I always danced too hard. I would dance around people doing my “what can I do to please you because if I please you, you may like me and I do need to be accepted.” Dance. I danced it for years and I still do. But now I get pissed sooner. I danced it for my family, my mother and father and then for my ex. Silly thing is that all it did was make me vulnerable and more of a victim. But in my defense, I have four degrees, all Summa Cum Laude. I have three professional certifications, two teaching licenses and a plethora of awards and accolades. And I still feel insignificant. Very much so, especially where I work. The need to be the best and most was always so important to me. And this was my original topic for tonight. When do we stop caring so much what other people think about us? Do we ever stop? Does it matter? Really?

The answer is a big fat no. (((smile))) But I have not convinced myself of this, physically and only slightly mentally. The only thing that this type of stress will do for you is make you sick. If you want to do something, do it for yourself…..ah…..here comes the second part.

So doing something for yourself means you have to feel ….oh no….feel…not feel….anything but needing to feel. That is the issue. When you relate to trauma by disassociating, you cannot feel. And now it where it comes to the heart of the matter. Again, my theory, but the more I read the more I think that this is being substantiated.

Nonetheless, the medical model persists. It (arguably) functions fairly effectively with diseases like diabetes and cancer, where the doctor holds all of the knowledge and dictates the necessary interventions for a sick patient. This is not, however, a useful paradigm for trauma healing. Rather than being a disease in the classical sense, trauma is instead a profound experience of “dis-ease” or “dis-order.”

Levine PhD, Peter A. (2012-10-30). In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness (p. 34). North Atlantic Books. Kindle Edition.

You can talk your way through trauma with all sorts of processes and mind games. But it is a big waste of time. Thinking is not going to help. Feeling is. If you feel what? I have written before about feeling safe. This is what is needed to heal. You must be in a safe environment. There can be no predators; you must have comfort and no fear. If you do not feel safe, it is impossible to heal. Then, look at what society does to the large person. It is impossible to feel safe when people give you horrid judgmental looks for just existing. And why do they do that? Because you are fat. You don’t want to be fat, so you disassociate from your body. And if you disassociate, you do not feel. And if you do not feel, how can you know if you are safe. Round and a round.

Here is another explanation. I have always been big. Shapely, but most standards, larger than my peers…except my one dear girlfriend who was 6 feet tall by 6th grade. Funny, she could have modeled as she was gorgeous and well developed. But instead, her life dissolved into depression and self-loathing and at 41 she killed herself. (I am so angry about this, btw) I never thought about my body stopping me from sports and so I did them. It never stopped me from anything actually because there was nothing wrong with me. I wanted to dance, so I took dance classes in college and got straight A’s. What I saw in the mirror was not, I guess, what other’s saw. I saw nothing. And the reason was I had disassociated from my body many years before, possibly as an infant but definitely as a young child. The pain and shame about my body came from my family, especially from my mother who was totally disgusted by me. She never held back. I think back and truly I feel so sorry for her angst and shame about me, because she missed such a great opportunity to love me. She made only one comment about her remorse when she was actually on her deathbed and that is why I feel sorry for her. But when I was with friends it was not important. Many of my friends when they make a harsh comment about someone being fat and I corrected them, they would say, “oh we do not think of you as being fat.”

I did not feel. Without going into depth, I did not feel much of anything and had lived that way for so long that when I did feel something, I had to either get drunk or high. Now, there is no denying that drinking massive amounts of alcohol led me to put on significant weight. But I never felt it.

Then, because of the therapy, I began to feel. I equate it to this story. There is a Lakota Chief sitting on hill with a white man. The white man asks the Chief what he is gawking at and the Chief replies, a buffalo. The white man sees nothing in the field except grass everywhere. There is no buffalo. But they continue to sit in quiet for a long time. Finally the white man cannot contain himself and asks the chief again. He turns to look at the chief who smiles and points again to the field. As the white man gazes back at the field, he suddenly is aware of the buffalo that must have been there the whole time. The white man is amazed. The Chief does not turn towards the white man, but just says in a calm manner, “The buffalo allowed you to see him.”

(paraphrased from Neither Wolf Nor Dog by Kent Nerburn)

When we disassociate with our bodies, we do not see what others do. And then when they make comments, it is hurtful. There is no way anyone can make a comment about weight to a large person without judgment and not inflict shame. I do not care what the intent. You would never go up to someone who has lost their hair and tell them they should buy a wig. At least I hope you wouldn’t. But few hold back about giving advice on how to lose weight. It is like saying, you are not acceptable as you are and this is what you should do. So if we disassociate with our body, it is not hiding, it is survival. If you are perfect, you would not understand how painful this is. AND…it perpetuates the feeling of not being good enough and then without meaning to be, you become a victim all over again. If you do sooth by eating, no one should point a finger. We all have some form of self soothing like TV, Booze, cigarettes and sex. Guess what, running and excessive exercise can also be a form of self soothing. But we would never say to someone who is addicted to running, geeze, you really need to withhold doing that. We never say to someone who is so gaunt from dieting how emaciated they look, how pale, and boney. We say, “oh, have you lost weight, you clever thing?”

This is getting quite long. I am in the process of reading… I am always reading….more about the physical connection to trauma and healing. I am on a quest, a seeker of sorts, for finding different methodologies of healing. I am totally convinced that it has to be somatic healing. Body and mind and spirit. For my fellow bloggers who have connected, I hope that you will share and keep sharing your thoughts on this.

But for tonight, for Pat especially, give yourself a break. And then give yourself a big hug. We need to get back in touch (no pun intended) to the physical self and not loath it. I know that is very hard as I have my own super big issue (no pun again) about accepting my body, especially now with the horrible Psoriatic Arthritis flaring. But I am also convinced that those two things are connected. I just need to relax and get back to healing exercises. (and not exercises in puff n grunt manner) I need to focus and work on my healing modalities that have worked in the past.

And in offering of hope, I think that this is the key to weight loss. The release…. All in the release. I am still too strung up about things in my life. I am bull rider when it comes to stress. I hop on and allow it to toss me freely inflicting havoc on everything. But I will explain more in future blogs.

bull rider

Trying to understand safety

maslow

My head is whirling as I spent some time with my cup of coffee and read a few new blogs. The content was disturbing in one, sad in another, hopeless, anger and pain is pervasive in many. Last night as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep, this thought kept running through my head and it is still here this morning. Why? Basically, Why? Why is life so difficult? Why do people do what they do to others? Why do so many people grow up with such terrible baggage? Is this what being human means and if it is; what is the point?

In the quiet of the morning, snow falling in tiny diamond chips, my purring black cat beside me, I struggle to answer these questions. But it is not my place to answer this for others. But I do need to answer it for myself. I am not feeling depressed, it is more just my curiosity and lack of understanding of life. I am very naive, to the point of ridiculousness sometimes. I am also an easy mark because of that. People “get me” all the time. My ex-husband made it into an art. He once told me a joke when we first dated that I did not get was a joke. Instead I spent years thinking he was some sort of saint, and there was nothing further from the truth. He has told me the joke about dating a girl who had no legs, and then one night after trying to initiate sex he did not leave her hanging….. it is an old joke and I hung on to every word when he told me it when we were first dating. It still bothers me that that was his idea of a joke. I never got it until another one of his friends told the same joke. But by then, the joke was about me believing it. There were several of those through the years that I know of. How many things I believed that were actually lies disguised as a joke I will never know.

This type of behavior of “poking fun at me” was common in my family. Part of it was my rank as I was the youngest of five. It was also because I had this way of looking at the world as if it was all magickal. I still do, but I keep it more to myself. But the point was their idea of fun was to make a ridicule of my innocence. It was taking away the wonder and bringing me “in-line.” And this is something I see in so many of the blogs I read. The writers were disillusioned to the point of despair and in one blog, to extreme violence. What causes some people to snap? What gives people the right to inflict suffering on others? How do some people go through life totally unscathed, or do we all end up with some tormentor? What is the point of this?

I read one blog where the writer was incarcerated for such extreme senseless violence it was sickening. He has written a book about being incarcerated and posted the first chapter. At such an early age, he drifted off the path into one of drugs and alcohol, which he said “fueled his fire” and aided his rage to the point he took a shotgun and fired at people who just stood there. He chose this and now he says he has remorse. I am having a difficult time not judging him. Extremely hard time. There are no “backsies” for the people he shot. There is no rewind. He is incarcerated, writing books and “suffering”. There is a part of me that says why would someone do that? What pushed him at an age when he should have been playing baseball to go get high? What could possibly have made him so angry?

What makes people do what they do? Why do people inflict the pain and suffering on each other. Someone will shake their head at this and call me a silly girl. I do not believe that people are born into this world angry. It is learned. But I also think we bring a genetic coding that also gets triggered by the frustrations of life. But what makes this unbearable for some to the point of such violence? What makes someone inflict sexual abuse or physical abuse on an innocent child? What makes a child inflict this on another child? How is this possible when their brain is not even fully developed?

I certainly do not have the answer for all this. I can only speak for myself and what I know. Safety is the most important thing in the world we can give a young child. And as we grow, being kept safe is what makes youngsters able to succeed in the world. Time spent trying to survive takes away the time that is needed to thrive. That should be a poster! I am not talking about making every child “a winner” like the school system perpetuates now. There is something gracious learned when you lose. We need to teach that as well as winning.

I am talking about teaching them to know what it means to be safe. You can be poor as a church mouse and still be safe. There are many stories of young people who grew up and out of poverty to become successful adults. I also believe that infants come into this world and with their first breath have a spiritual knowing of safety that is either strengthen or dissolved based on the treatment they receive. I think this is why so many are driven to be seekers of spirituality, because they know it’s part of their soul and they want it back.

Abraham Maslow put the hierarchy of success into a triangle years ago. In 1954, he wrote a book that is still taught to teachers as a basis for understanding children’s growth. After food, water and shelter, safety is paramount to survival. He even put safety before love and belonging. So is this where the path splits for so many children? If a child does not feel safe, can they feel love? Or is the betrayal of trust, that fracture of safety the point where the rest of the life of the being will be forever challenged. Do we really know the complete impact on what trauma at an early point in life can do?

Many, many questions and I certainly do not pretend to have answers. I do know that safety for me is a huge part of my healing. I have to work at feeling safe. It is so easily pulled away like a cheap carpet. The other day I was working on the household budget and for some unknown reason, I felt panic sneaking up my back like a spider. I stopped what I was doing and concentrated on the feeling. My breath shortened, my nerves tinkled and my head gets this fizzy feeling at the top. I really leaned into the feeling and thought, this is a memory. I used to hate to work on the bills because we were so strapped for money, especially when we were in school. We were living in a negative state of finances all the time as our student loans accrued. I had to really feel myself into the present moment because the situation now is completely different. As I sat there, I was totally aware of the physical sensations running through me and the welling sense of loss of safety I felt back then. It was so easy to return to the past. It took a conscious effort to release the fear, calm the nervous system and get it back to the now and not then.

During this short duration of panic, my husband asked me a question. Not intentionally, I sniped back at him. I was flooded with my angst from my past and angry because he had no idea what I went through back then. I was not actually upset with him in the now, he just stepped in at the wrong time to ask his question. I am not saying this as an excuse for bad behavior, but is this a correlation to what maybe brings on anger in others against innocent people? Is this why the world is so angry? Anger begets anger? I do not know. I certainly do not condone it, I am just trying to understand it.

As for the person in jail; I doubt he will ever really feel safe in the outside world. And because of that I do not think he should be allowed to return to the general populace. Recidivism is the process of repeating an undesirable behavior that lands people back in jail. There is safety in jail because there is no need to be accountable for your daily needs. They are provided. See Maslow’s triangle of hierarchy and you will see the first two layers are met in jail. I think in general, the judicial system along with the penal system is total garbage. I cannot image the total horror or trauma he inflicted during his rant where he randomly took a shotgun, trapped people in a basement and blasted holes in people. I am not sure I have the capacity to understand this. But I do not want him to do it again. But deep inside of me is this little piece that says, but…what if we give up on people, what does that say?