I’m back. For a time, who knows how long. My creative energies have been wandering around and exploring Instagram for the past few months. But I feel the need to be back here now. Writing more. Less shiny, more gritty. Instagram will still be a regular hangout. I just want WordPress to be another regular hangout. Like the old days. Much has changed in my life. Much is being processed, still. Much is yet to solidify. And that is life, a journey. I’m feeling good about dropping by here again.
I miss my dad.
Through all the turmoil; all the moments of anger, hurt, uncomfortableness. Even through all his own pain, discomfort, the disruption of Parkinson’s disease degrading his human form and bodily organs failing.
I didn’t feel him at the end of this year.
The anniversary of his death on Christmas Eve, then a week later remembering his birthday on New Year’s Eve. A busy time of the year when it is easy to not notice many things. So I paused, left space for his memory, thinking about the present more than the past. I remembered him with a toast of his favourite drink – Cooper’s Stout “Happy Birthday Dad”. For a change, there were no tears, no heartache, no grief.
He wasn’t close to me this year. He was somewhere else, being himself, knowing I was okay at this time.
And now, a week later, with clear thoughts, I remember and miss the spirit that sparkled in a way like no other. The love that he gave for so many people, selflessly. He cared in his own way, and I thank him for expressing that as best he could.
So there are no more visits, no more chats. No more awkwardness and no more love. All I have are the memories – the feelings and moments, emotions imprinted on my heart.
Feeling responsible for others
and how my actions have influenced them
Telling myself that it is beyond my control
That I am not responsible for their life (any more)
Leaving behind, what I had to move away from
Will I forever be entangled with a past
that was so much of me?
Here, now, is who I am
This is where I decide who I will be
Where I cut emotional ties
and release myself from all that was.
I’ve been here before
Familiar feelings, familiar side effects.
I guess last time I didn’t learn the lesson
So what is it I’m trying to understand?
Uncover and reform the energy of before
Disassemble and redistribute emotions
Wanting to get this right
Wanting to grow and become a better person
And yet –
Here, now, in this very moment, is all that really matters
Within the timeless being of mindfulness is enough
Perhaps not perfection as can be judged
Just, perfection in being present –
In committing my energy to honour and love
For myself, then, for others
The first seems the hardest,
While the second comes naturally.
Looking for answers to ease my mind
Guidance to direct my thoughts,
So that action may follow
And it seems that there are other energies at play
Both supporting and molesting my growth.
Before, when my eyes were opened,
My heart flared with inner power
And now I’ve been lost again in the darkness
Searching blindly for direction,
For anything solid to carry me forwards.
It’s difficult to lead oneself out of the dark
Only guessing on direction,
Unaware of the circular path worn in the landscape
Missing trees, missing the green and the sunshine
I forget so easily what was, and
Get lost so easily in the yesternow.
Sometimes stepping forwards is terrifying
While staying in one place is certain death.
Through the fabric of my world bleeds everyone’s fears
Sensitivities expose this heart to those emotions
Yet, while crumbling in pain
I would shine out as lighthouse in the storm.
Support rallies around me
Let me be conscious to embrace the care
Let there be light on my face and in my heart.
I am L’s voice.
When she talks about pain, it is a level of pain that leaves most people in tears. Having dealt with constant physical pain every day of her life, she has a high pain threshold. So when she talks about being bothered by pain, listen carefully and do not dismiss a single word.
When she says the pain is preventing her from sleeping, realise that “being tired” is her way of saying she is experiencing severe sleep deprivation from nightly lack of sleep. Realise that fragmented hours of sleep are nowhere near as beneficial as a solid block of deep sleep. Realise that this has been her experience for months. Realise how difficult it is to still function under these conditions, and that running on autopilot is not a healthy situation.
The pain takes so many forms. It is frequently the sharp stabbing pain of knives. It is hot and cold throbbing, sweats and swelling. It is spasms of nerve pain that make her whole body jump, that occur all times of the day, and are particularly disruptive when asleep. There is currently no relief from the pain, only variations of extremity. Even the most pleasurable of intimate times offers no alleviation to the distressing discomfort.
When the pain brings her to tears, realise that there is nothing left, that she has reached the limit of her endurance, being pounded daily by the various attacks on her physical senses. Realise that the pain has been so severe as to frequently leave her feeling nauseous. Realise that vomiting from the pain is her body’s last resort to expel what currently cannot be removed.
When she says that she has trouble thinking, realise that the pain is so strong that her working memory is functioning at a fraction of normal, and the constant assault on her senses is an underestimated stress. Realise that what she manages to communicate is critical information. Do try to find out more with further questions, for her ability to volunteer information is somewhat limited.
Realise that her emotional struggle is as real as the physical. Realise that many of her normal coping strategies have been taken away, and that her normal physical-mental interplay has been disrupted.
When she speaks honestly about how she feels, it is a big effort, requiring much strength and focus, which is a very tiring process for her. Realise that she has experienced over 20 years of being emotionally smothered. Realise for that time she was conditioned into compliance, criticised, belittled and abused for expressing herself or having a different opinion. Realise that speaking up about herself and for herself is a huge task. Realise how tiring is it to every day push herself beyond the protective shelter of silence that she had created in order to survive most of her adult life.
When she talks about understanding the psychological effects of pain, of reduced function, of limited activity and changed behaviour, realise this is a master instructor with nearly 30 years experience. Realise this is a teacher at the top of her game, with a professional interest in the psychology of behaviours. Realise this is an educator of the most difficult children in this city, who daily has a positive influence on the future of some of the most disadvantaged children here. When you talk about the psychosomatic influences during this time of dramatic changes in her own life, realise this person intimately understands the territory and must respond daily to assist children and adults experiencing such effects.
Realise that this woman is incredibly strong, having saved herself from an abusive relationship. Realise that this woman had the strength to prevent herself from becoming another statistic of domestic violence. Realise that right now she is coming to you for help, because she needs help. She is relying on you for the best care possible.
Looking for answers to My health issues. Trying to find anything that might resolve or improve this situation I find my body and mind struggling with.
Then my mental negativity kicked in and made some connections to my father.
I’ve turned 50 this year. I’ve been really struggling with my health for 3 to 4 months before that and again now afterwards (interrupted only by a 3 week holiday from my Wintery home to the tropics).
And I wondered what my Dad’s life was like at this age. He turned 50 a year after I left home, a year and a bit after Mum left with my siblings. So he would have felt his life was a complete mess, he would have been very angry and hurtful/hateful. I know that’s how he was in the little contact I had with him over the next few years. I know he had a new partner to help him out at home (he needed physical assistance with his own damaged body).
So he was nearly 49 when his family left him. They left because he drove them away. His brain damage and physical injuries from a motorbike accident just over 5 years prior left him in a terrible physical and mental state for which he received little support. But he became even more negatively reacting to his family, even more critical and eventually resorted to threatening and actuating physical violence against Mum who was only trying to look after 5 children.
48 (a few months short of 49) when his life crashed apart.
I finally left my marriage aged 48-and-a-bit. I walked away from another relationship aged 49-and-a-bit. I’ve turned 50 and one of the single most significant parts of my life, my job and livelihood, feels like it’s been a mess for more than the past year.
Is that coincidence, is that linked? Maybe it’s nothing and yet maybe it’s something I need to work out – somehow.
Working through this is a big hurt of realisation. It’s an exhausting trawl through dark murky emotions and scary possibilities. I want to find some brightness somewhere, I need to find some hope in all this. I need to know that somehow this will all work out for the better. I’m living off vapours and reserves now that won’t last much longer. I want to move forwards. I want to sort out work life and be excited for possibilities, instead of dreading the entanglements that I’m struggling to sort out.
I don’t know where to start or what to do. Tonight I am scared. But tomorrow I step forwards.
There are times I can see clearly
Specifically what I need to do
Have the motivation to act
The forwards plan in mind
Often these are the quiet times
When my nearby world is asleep
And all expectation has fallen away
Clarity, focus, simplicity
Then comes the morning
With its health complications
Confusions of position and ability
Managing myself prioritizes over the externalities
And life seems too confusing to manage.
(5 August 2018)
This lost feeling
I have no idea who I am anymore
Normal function seems impossible
And it has been impacting me for a year.
There have been stresses
Big, life-changing, emotional, relationship shifts
Thinking I was over the marriage break-up
But that grief and confusion seem to be stronger now more than ever.
And that other relationship
That was good and then not so good
Had to walk away from that one also
Now trying to process all the interpersonal confusion, all the self-blame, and damage that is caused by people who are hurting.
I’m the hurting one now
But I won’t let that effect my relationships
Feeling how much energy it takes to process all this
Left exhausted after physical health clashes with mental health.
I’m sure I used to have some idea
Of what I wanted, and particularly of who I was
All that is up in question
The old ways didn’t work, the new way isn’t new enough.
New ways of living are too much like the old ways
So discomfort creeps in
A wariness, a don’t-let-this-happen-again
Tries to break apart what is new and good for me.
Though the rest of my life feels in turmoil
I have a close relationship that is healthy
More sound than anything before in my entire life
The wonder of two spirits in synchronicity, joining together after crossing paths 29 years ago.
There are many things we do not understand
Why people cause pain
Some intentionally, some unknowingly
Why we choose to be brave at a particular time, and not before.
Unsettled life, unresolved personal conflict
Whether physical or mental, still the same results
We struggle not to completely fall apart
We struggle to survive, to be good, to create happiness
There is no better focus for the energy we have
If we could just thrive a little more than survive
If we could just have the energy, the health,
The freedom from pain to live a relatively normal life.
Is that too much to ask?
feels like nothing
Where is worthiness?
My own significance is invisible to me.
Other tells me what they see,
what they feel about me
And mostly it is meaningless
This dis-ease is a disease
The nothingness slowly eats away
at whatever was there before
I feel nothing now
except a hollow emptiness
That I attempt to describe
to exorcise it from my being
But the process is incomplete
It is an unearthing
I know its not right
Yet I don’t know how to deny
[ 18 June 2018 ]
Relationship grief is tricky
Mourning the loss of what was
Mourning the loss of what might have been
Grieving the pain that became
Coming to terms with your choices,
the decisions that put you there,
for better or for worse.
Responsibility is always shared
Outcomes are the result of reasons
Sometimes beyond our control.
Forgetting is not an option
You are today, because of yesterday
No matter what has been
you always have a choice of what comes next.
Hopefully, we integrate and grow
Our desire to be better,
no matter what was.
And when I can no longer manage
the hurt that still pulls me apart
I hold onto the one solid piece of me
The love that I still give, that still burns brightly.
Some days there is no trusting myself
Questioning the reasoning behind my behaviouring
Doubting the truth of my feelings of love
Thinking my relationship needs are met
Only after carefully crafted expression
Because someone in my past accused me of that
Even if that claimant was reacting to their own fears
And knowing that is not my intent
That I strive for truth and honesty
In all that I seek or do.
Yet I understand there is possibility
That my little cracked heart
Still has some healing to fully restore feeling
To a level of understanding and completeness
That not everyone manages to achieve
So I wonder if
Despite my best efforts
I do love as transparently as I hope
Do I reciprocate as honestly as I believe?
And the awareness of that questioning
The self digging and uncovering undertaken
Reassures me that I am doing the best I can
Within these moments certainty answers back
“You are doing well”.