Okay, so I am not yet the poster child for mental health. But I and my therapist have slayed a few of my inner dragons during my oh-so-many years of therapy. I used to feel dirty to put it mildly. Being around my therapist made me feel ashamed because I felt so disgusting. I didn’t understand how he could be in the same room as me. He seemed so clean and lovely while I was something hideous. I would cringe from my shame. But now, I feel clean too. That was a huge dragon.
I used to feel that the abuse was somehow my fault. The guilt was toxic. Now that’s no longer an issue. They did wrong, I was just a child. And not just a child — but a lovely, beautiful good child. Another dragon slain.
I need to remember these battles fought and won as I grow weary from my latest battles. I am in a difficult place right now. I am surrounded by fears. Fears of leaving the house, fears of the future, and fear that I will get no better and never be released from depression and anxiety. But these are just new dragons. Dragons do not go down in battle easily or even in one battle.
And so, I will take up the sword of hope. I will remember won battles. And dragons lying in smoldering heaps.
Source: Things that make us happy…
I thought this an important post for sufferers of PTSD since bad memories often plague us. To challenge ourselves to have a cache of good memories and sweet moments too would be healing and helpful. One memory that comes to my mind is a few hours spent at a quiet beach with my adult son sitting on the warm sand just soaking up the bright sun, listening to the waves pulsing, and collecting small shells. I am going through tough times right now and feel that my life is just awful. But my life is not just about now, or the parts of the past that were terrible. It has included good times too. Even great times. That time at the beach was less than a year ago. I am going to find a pretty tin or handsome box and then write about wonderful times on slips of paper and put them inside. My story is about more than abuse, more than trauma. I just need some help remembering that. I hope you have many sweet times to put in your memory box should you decide to keep one too.
Please click on the above site for more ideas to uplift your life.
Image from Bing
Momma was a Witch
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Wicked Witch.”
I’ve been blogging on lighter notes lately rather than darker ones. I’d like to keep it that way. But today’s prompt moved me and it is difficult to write lightly about evil. I have come face to face with evil in my life and have written about it in older posts (see Parts 1 – 9, Archives: July).
My mother, with each passing year, looked more and more like a witch. In her youth, she was a beauty with porcelain skin, luminous eyes, rose colored lips and thick brunette hair. In black and white photos she looked like an angel. Unlike Dorian Gray (in Oscar Wilde’s book) her sick nature transformed her face from beautiful to ugly during her lifetime. By the time she reached sixty she looked exactly like the the comic drawings of Maxine but more witch-like. She was bug-eyed and her skin craggy with a twisted mouth.
I do her no disservice here. She aspired to be a witch. She didn’t drive and would offer to take you places on her broom. She cackled rather than laughed. She liked to be considered scary — especially to children. She reveled in bitter and ugly words and talk. She spoke hatefully of nearly everyone. Our home was her cauldron where she brewed wicked concoctions of all types of abuse. And she was able to cast spells. Her most magnificent one was to make our family look normal to the neighbors. We were made to look like the poster-family of middle class America. Our yard was beautifully manicured and lush with flowers. We would be seen going to church every Sunday. My sister and I had the nicest manners. My parents were seen as friendly and down to earth, sincere people. My mother appeared as a good mother. It was a glamour she cast well. I even believed it at times — when we were outside and she was being charming to the neighbors. I wanted to live in that reality and did while I was playing at my neighborhood friend’s house. But eventually the street lights came on and it was time to go home.
Her powers diminished as she grew older. My sister and I left home. She grew miserable having no one to torture. And she eventually died in a nursing home. I always wonder which momma did the nurses see — the good momma or the momma that was a witch?
I am my harshest critic. I have compassion for other people but have to work at having compassion for myself. One thing I do that seems to help is to imagine that I am a character in a book. I view my life page by page and begin to see someone that deserves empathy and shouldn’t be judged too harshly. Perhaps you too are hard on yourself. Try this exercise and imagine you are a fictional character. We all could use a little less judgement and a little more self-compassion.