Disrupted & Recovered.

Sometimes the sadness comes and I feel overwhelmed. Wanting to focus on positives, wanting to feel the desire to work in the office. Nothing but a rushing undercurrent of sadness that sweeps support out from under me, and I’m left floundering amidst the turbulence.

Perchance I come across a four minute Tibetan bowl meditation, which leads to a Tibetan Healing soundtrack that begins to clear the negative energy around me. Tired from the experience, I want to jump into work lest I fall asleep in recovery. But energy levels aren’t high enough yet, motivation hasn’t raised yet. Feels like emotional purgatory. Suspended between what was and what could be. Transition space.

Focussing in to myself, I listening for what is raising up behind the internal commotion. It is difficult to hear what I do not understand. Searching for an inner truth.

So I pause within this moment. Writing words to tease out meaning. Hoping for the unknown to reveal itself within the placement of letters and spaces projected from my brain.

Sometimes the inner space communicates this way. Sometimes I am left wondering what is happening at these times. Is my brain simply responding to an unusual combination of body chemicals, hormones, nervous system signals, and perceived stimulus? Is there a greater spiritual understanding? Are there soul energies interacting beyond our general perception?

In the end, the music carries me further forwards than my cognitive or emotional understandings can. The gentle flow of chord progressions moves my mind, my awareness, to a new place. A safe place of positivity. A place of hope.

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Seeking Comfort.

Feeling uncomfortable. The heat making it difficult for me to settle down to sleep. Anxiety rises. Feeling uncomfortable. Break the cycle, change the temperature. Close up the house and turn on the air conditioner. Feel guilty for needing to do that tonight for a matter of two degrees Celsius. But it’s my comfort threshold. Over 27°C air temperature and my body gets very uncomfortable. There’s that word again. Fan air movement is not enough to compensate for the heat trapped by my body against the bed mattress. I really don’t like feeling uncomfortable.

I remember feeling uncomfortable so often as a child. Unsure of school classrooms, being a quieter child, not speaking up, finding difficulty to make friends, feeling different – feeling uncomfortable. Feeling uncomfortable being teased for being smarter and less socially enabled. Feeling uncomfortable in the classroom with year-round allergies, runny nose, sore eyes, sensitive skin, twitchy muscles. Feeling uncomfortable go to an specialist and being conscious while they scrape an ulcer off my eye. Feeling uncomfortable with a sensitive eye and needing to wear sunglasses in primary school. Feeling uncomfortable with bullies and peers behaving in ways I didn’t understand.

I remember feeling uncomfortable and being self-conscious around most other people. Later, feeling uncomfortable about my mental state, anxiety and depression, unable to calm racing thoughts. Feeling uncomfortable about asking for assistance. Feeling uncomfortable about doing my self-improvement work. Feeling uncomfortable about taking medication. Feeling uncomfortable about the physical side effects.

Feeling uncomfortable in a relationship that wasn’t as supportive as I needed. Feeling uncomfortable talking to a partner who wouldn’t enter emotional territory. Feeling uncomfortable persisting with a relationship that was growing apart. Feeling uncomfortable about ending the relationship. Persisting. Feeling uncomfortable. Finally realising the uncomfortableness of staying was worse than the possible uncomfortableness of leaving.

I’ve always sought comfort. To feel safe, and loved. To distract me from the physical and mental unpleasantness that was being alive. Never receiving the guidance to navigate difficult conditions. Never having someone understand me enough to offer the support I needed. Rarely feeling comfortable in myself.

Until I took control of my life. Went out and made happen what I desired. Found the people I wanted, who turned out to be the friends I needed.

And still at times, I default to seeking comfort. When I’m unsure, worried, not thinking clearly. Do I seek comfort for peace? Is my discomfort a result of self-care lacking? Sometimes you move way past your normal comfort requirements and make new discoveries. Sometimes other needs surpass the desire for comfort.

Is comfort more a state of mind? Is it achievable more often and far more simply than I realise?

There is comfort in writing – in creating something with meaning out of struggle. There is comfort in processing and determining self thoughts.

Tonight as my body cools, as I finish writing and my brain becomes tired from the process, and as music has eased me through this task, I feel the approach of comfort. Feel the quiet, calm, cool rest that is my sleep into comfortable.

A Tragic Toll.

All around me people I know are affected by the bushfires
Some can’t leave their home without choking on the smoke
Others are evacuated in the middle of the night with a single bag
Our unique wildlife is decimated
More of our country destroyed than in the Amazon and USA fires combined
My own home cycles between a heatwave and smoke-filled rooms
The country burns and the government does very little
Our own Prime Minister went on holiday with a global media mogul
Instead of staying to support his Nation
Priorities.
Denies the relevancy of all the fire warnings sent to him 6 months ago
He apologises, and then belittles the victims
Outright lies, and says the opposite of what he previously claimed
Claims whatever he says now is the truth
and whatever you think he said before is misrepresentation
Every day truthful news and reporters are Trumped
Am I living in the USA or Australia?
Family homes, local businesses, and lives are lost
Feeling for the victims, is overshadowed by anger
At a government that chooses not to act in ways that could help
That shows no strength and leadership when we need it.
Hope comes from those at their lowest
Those left with little who give it to others with even less
Others who give real support, selflessly, anonymously
Every member of the public who tries to do the right thing
To help their neighbours near and far
And having little to offer in practical terms, I do what I can, where I can
My heart goes out to everyone affected
And my anger at the government grows
They will not shame or scare me into compliance
For they are the instigators of these dramas
They are climate science deniers and selfish egotists
Perpetuating a social imbalance of power and wealth for their own benefit
They won’t get away with this
We will make noise until changes for the better, for all the people, are enacted.

Here and Now; from Before.

I remember mid high-school. My bassoon teacher being upset and teary. I later found out it was because she separated from her husband. But at the time I didn’t understand such things. I thought she was upset because I had done something wrong. I didn’t know what I could do for her to feel better.

When I think back to that time, I’m not sure whether I blamed myself for how she was feeling, or whether I was just so connected to her upset that I felt all her emotions too. Or something in between, or something else. I don’t think I had much understanding of relationships at that time. Home was unhappy with Dad being so unreasonable for a number of years. Maybe I could only react to everything around me; not being equipped to manage my own emotions, never being taught, rarely having any good examples. I watched others, and I picked up some cues from my brother; but it was more of an aspiring to be like that, than developing an understanding. And I think about some of my peers then; those who were working part time to support themselves, those who were out having multiple relationships, while I was still trying to get a hang of feeling and trying to understand my own sexual awareness alongside my shyness and lack of confidence.

Where am I now? I’m proud of how I’ve grown; of how I’ve gained significant understanding of myself during my adult years. Within my current relationship, I’ve gained a great understanding of how my own energy interacts with others, particularly with females. I’m learning more how to control the gifting of my energy to the world around me; when to hold back and when to let it out. I feel that I made some poor relationship choices in the few years before this current stable and supportive one. And yet I know during that time I was doing what I thought I needed to, to experience life in a new way, to experience relationships in a new way.

Where am I now? I am actively working to greater understanding of myself; developing greater compassion for myself; and growing in a positive direction (as I always have).

Where am I now? I am in a positive, supportive relationship with my soul-mate. I made my way here through positive choices. Through the brave choices of leaving (two) relationships that weren’t right for me. I was courageous and intelligent enough to decide what was best for me. I was fearful then, and yet I acted in love for my own well-being. I’ve always cared for myself, and that is why I am where I am today. That is why I am writing these thoughts out in this moment – self care; love for who I am, for who I was, and for who I will be. Doing the best I know how, endeavouring to help myself in the best way possible.

I know logically that I deserve this self-support. And yet I am aware that there is a component of fear driving me. Fear of feeling lost, fear of feeling abandoned and unloved. Some negative core beliefs persist; and these are my current challenge.

Am I worthy? Right now I can feel worthy of love, worthy of brilliant supportive friendships. And I also know that often I don’t feel that way. The dark hole of depression and self-loathing. A brain that functions differently in small ways, that leaves me hiding away from the world, self-isolating. It’s not healthy, and perhaps I can learn how to better deal with those times, how to manage them and ask for the help I need when I really need it.

I’m proud of my choice of friends. I’m proud of my choice of relationships, of my choice of life partner. I still remember that time years ago I decided to grow my friend circle, for my benefit. And now I see fruition of that decision. I now have around me the type of friends that I envisaged. I made this happen, for myself, for my benefit. To live a full and enjoyable life. To be a positive contributor to the world, and to feel the love of similar minds with similar energies all around me.

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[ 23 Nov 2019 11:05am ]

Happy New Year, Dad.

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.

Her Voice.

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.

Too Much Like My Dad.

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.

Perhaps us.

Perhaps my higher self chose you.

Perhaps part of me saw a need that I could fulfill and for reasons chose to be there for you.

Perhaps I’ve been doing this with many relationships in my life so far.

Perhaps this is who I am.

Perhaps I will continue this behaviour, if it is who I genuinely am.

Perhaps I will change.

Perhaps my current energy aligned with yours and bonded together.

Perhaps you are able to fully reciprocate my energy, my needs.

Perhaps you are here, now, to help me heal – just as I am for you.

Perhaps this is one way that people connect.

Perhaps this is one way people have a mutually healthy relationship.

Perhaps this is why this US feels so comfortable, so easy.

Perhaps focusing on the positives we have for each other is a great way forwards.

Perhaps right now, I believe all this to be true.

On Pets Past, and Grief.

I saw the spot this morning, where Mr.Poppy’s litter tray always sat, where he would frequently be seen sitting, or cleaning. It’s now a place for a shopping basket and garden shoes.

I felt the pain of loss immediately, just as I feel it again writing this. The pain of loss and grief.

And thinking about Nigella’s future, about palliative care for her, exacerbates the experience.

Grief will pass.
Memories are important to keep alive.

I spent a lot of time with and around Nigella this morning. More thorough cleaning up than normal. I wanted to be around her space, wanted to connect with her as I’m not often around the house any more.

Connection heightens the thoughts of mortality and endings.

And while the pain hurts, it is a good thing to remember.

Pets as family.

The time you spend with them each day, loving, caring, and connecting. Particularly when the pet is a mammal, is an intelligent personality who seeks you out at times. It’s a very human thing, to care for animals, to seek solace in their company, and in their simple child-like understanding.

And so they are remembered, as they were our children. They were who we had together. They are reminders of happy times, of life together. They are meaning and love, as we were.

All things pass, in time.

Are the most precious memories, of those we cared for, of those we held as their life slipped away? For we carried them through their life, held them at the end, and cried together. We will soon cry together again, for one more time. Only once more.

Bittersweet memories.

May we always hold onto the joy that there was, the adventure, the fun and connection. This is all that makes us human.

This Idea of Journey.

The thing is, most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing.

There’s certainly no devious plotting.
There’s no following the path in front of me, because I have no idea where I am and no idea where I’m going.

Mostly I just try to get through the day with as little damage as possible.

Yes I take any opportunity to brighten someone else’s day, because I care about other people.
I know what it’s like to feel alone, unloved, and to feel like you are not worth any effort from yourself or from others.

There is a deep dark loathing black hole down there, and most days I just want to keep myself as far from its reach as possible.

Plenty of days I fail to manage that.

Eventually, I take one little step forwards each day, to build up momentum and keep moving forwards.

How much do I care about you? That depends on the day, but generally quite a lot. The love you share with me is absorbed, added to and reflected back. My creation of original love is scarce, because of the energy it requires, and because of the emotional process required.