I haven’t done a blog post in a long time. My life has been overwhelming, I am beginning to realize that I am going through an unbelievably HUGE transition. Not just from “regular life” to “a place for old people,” but from a life lived in the distorted space caused by PTSD to a life lived where I have enough support to begin to be approaching the kind of life that we were designed to live. This is still very disorienting, and even my response to still not having found “kindred spirits” is different from the past. Instead of thinking “I’ll never find anyone like me,” I’m thinking “There are people here that I will feel comfortable with, it’s just going to take a while to find them.”
I think that I still have layers of ancient exhaustion coming up to be processed. This is from having pushed myself my whole life “to prove that I deserve to live.” The cost of trauma is this: when someone goes through a complete flight or fight scenario — e.g. running away from a tiger and escaping — they have to rest for days to recover. I’ve been told that a man who had retired from a job he loved took two years before he felt rested. So it makes sense.
About three weeks ago I sprained my ankle. It meant that I had to miss the conference that was going on at Neskaya, but it also meant that I had to rest. I was immobilized. I had the impression that there was another whole layer of exhaustion that I wasn’t aware of.
This is what I wrote this morning:
Very, very tired. And a little dazed. I can see that I’ve been pushing myself. In fact I could feel it this morning, sorting mail I brought from Franconia. Pressure to deal with address change. The postmistress was very firm (with an edge) that I had to get a new mailbox within 30 days. So I’ll go online and change my address. Another task. I wrote another long list of tasks. It takes up more lines than there are on the big white pad.
Yesterday I forgot about things like ordering from Vitacost. I’m out of GABA. I did do a laundry but had to leave things in the dryer because I forgot that I had Erica at noon. I did go to meditation, but spent the rest of the day reading Jacqueline Winspear — In This Grave Hour. I just got locked right in. It made me late to dinner, and I ate and came back and finished it. Being a little horrified at myself, I looked at my behavior and realized that I got sucked into reading because I was too tired to do anything else.
“In your heart, in your soul, did you find peace there.”
Second cup of tea. I still feel a little dazed. I look at the beautiful fragile pale azalea flowers that have bloomed in spite of being cut off from their roots. Instead of admiring their spunk, I’m in pain that their lives have been so blighted. I was re-reading Brené Brown’s chapter on Hope and Spirituality and was saddened to see — thinking of a piece I once wrote describing myself as a tree clinging to a cliff — “and it is still trying to flower” — the extent to which I don’t believe in myself, how easily I get hijacked into saying “I can’t do it.” I realize there’s an element of blame — “It’s my fault, I’m not persistent enough…” — instead of seeing that my ability to persist was crushed very early — “Why did you even try?” — and then I see that despite many setbacks I never gave up. Now I’m here, and I’m still trying/working to find the nourishment I need. I think of Mother, felled by the stroke, and never really trying again. Content to spend her days in a hospital bed, food brought to her, watching TV.
There’s a bird on my feeder pole. On my list is “vacuum out the cobwebs in the feeder, fill with seed, hang outside — move pole?”
Jacqueline Winspear is a writer of murder mysteries and thrillers about Maisie Dobbs who was a nurse in the First World War. In This Grave Hour is about the beginning of WWII.
Reading is my “drug of choice,” and I am aware of it as a “mindless practice.” Usually I use it consciously as a break from my day, usually I read something I’ve read before, and it’s easy to stop at a natural break. So I rarely get caught by it as completely as I did here.
The book by Brené Brown is called The Gifts of Imperfection. The chapter I’m referring to is called “Cultivating a Resilient Spirit.”
“In your heart, in your soul…” is a line from Loreena McKennitt’s song Full Circle. When I find a song in my mind, I pay attention, looking for the message. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes not.
“Why did you even try?” was something my father said to me when I asked for help. He said “If you didn’t know how to do it, why did you even try?” I remember thinking to myself “Whatever happened to ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’?” and thinking his words hadn’t affected me. But a father’s voice is very powerful when you are a child.
The reason there are several items on the To Do List entry is that almost everything I had to do involved several steps, and I wanted to be able to check off when I had only done one.