I looked at the therapist from the deep woods where I remained hidden. Friend or foe? Only time would show. I was wild since I had learned from experience to distrust man. He remained silent as I considered my next move. Should I show myself or continue to watch him from the shadows? He looked very relaxed as he sat in his chair. His long legs were crossed at the ankles and he looked like we had all the time in the world. He was looking at the carpet while he waited. I studied him and decided that I liked his face, his demeanor too. He looked wise and patient. And, not one given to sudden movements. I slowly came out from behind a tree and stood before him. He raised his eyes slowly till they met mine and he smiled a small gentle smile. I stopped breathing for several moments and then had to look away. I felt too revealed when our eyes met. A bit dizzy, I sat down upon the ground. I tried, but I couldn’t bring myself to make eye contact again so I just looked at his shoed feet. I felt something stir inside me. A feeling, a new feeling. It had no name. Or none that came readily to my mind. I studied the feeling. I decided that it felt good. And then, a word entered my mind. “Safe”. Yes, that was it. I felt safe. I reached out to touch the ground but instead felt carpet.
Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looksoutsidedreams. Who looks inside, awakens. -Carl Jung
You look inside upon the vastness of the soul and realize how much you don’t know; you are a witness to your own inhibitions and ignorance. The canyon walls are inflected with beauty and ugliness, which in itself draws you
It is hard to find people in this world who will try to understand just what PTSD is, let alone how it impacts your life. Even people who love you are apt to know more about the president’s dog than PTSD. Even if they read up on it, they may not understand it in an empathetic way since it is not something they experience. There are days that I feel more understood by the cat than a dear friend. (Of course, this is anthropomorphism — but heh, whatever gets me through the day… 😉 ) But, here at WordPress, I can find others who walk my path — who “get it” — because they are walking it too. It may not be PTSD, but instead depression, anxiety, OCD, DID, bi-polar disorder, or any number of mental and emotional health challenges. But, we can understand each other because we have shared experiences. Some days, we write a post and feel heard when we see a “like” on it. We press “like” when we find a post we can relate to. Sometimes we even comment on each others blogs and share a thought or two. We see others on the path sharing our journey. The loneliness abates. Other people’s ignorance is easier to bear. There are others who understand and whom we understand and this is a very good thing.
I am going through a time where my spirit resembles that of the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. I fear the future and I fear the present. I fear that there is no god. But I will pray this prayer nevertheless and hope.
I found this quote in a post by Fortafy on Facebook:
“Humanity should be our race; Love should be our religion.”
It was the caption below a photo of two children of different races and religions. The simplicity of the thought struck me. This was a faith I could embrace. The past year has seen my faith in the religion I was raised dwindle to the point of fearing that there is no god. I say fearing because the god I believed in was compassionate, loving, just and caring. I saw him as the good father I never had. Losing my faith has meant losing my loving father figure. Losing someone who loved me and who could help me. I haven’t made any final decisions yet. Who am I to decide whether there is a god or not? But if there is, I believe he is capable of accepting my doubt without punishment. But, all this has left a void in my soul. What did I believe? What would give my life meaning? How should I live out my remaining days? And so, this quote spoke to me. It says simply to love. And to love each human. I don’t have the audacity to think that I can do this perfectly; but, it could be my aim, my goal. Its a sort of religion, but one without infidels or a hell for unbelievers. At any rate, it is a path. A path I can follow as I venture into this new year.
I have fallen deeply in love with Onyx, the ebony cat. His soft fur shines and he lights up my world. My friend, Rose, (who I am staying with while I get my life together) adopted him two months ago and we have become fast friends. He is three years old and seems wise beyond his years. We play together, cuddle together; he purrs, I say inane things to him. (I keep my most silly talk to private times when we are alone.) I call him friend because what else would you call someone who calms, comforts and cares for you? Okay, perhaps I am guilty of some level of anthropomorphism. But, I tell you, it is uncanny how he appears at my side when I am starting to slide into the blues. He’ll hop onto the bed as I sit journaling and start to purr at me and it stops my descent into the pits.
In the morning, as I sip my coffee and read blogs and devotions and try to enter the day with something resembling hope, he hops onto the arm of the chair, reaches for my shoulder, and places his front paws on it. Then, he bites my head! I feel so honored and loved and suddenly glad to be alive. And I giggle when they turn into multiple love bites.
Sometimes I bury my nose into his warm fur and just breathe in and out. It is truly a Zen moment. I love this beautiful cat and he is safe to love. How often do we love where we shouldn’t and end up hurt or disappointed?
Perhaps I need to get a life! But, until I do, I am going to hang out with a cat named Onyx.
My imaginary friend refused to grow up. She is still five years old. She is still trying to have the childhood she never had. Severely abused, but safe now, she wants a life of bright colors and laughter. Tears of relief are okay too. Her name is simply Little One. She plays with her own dolls that are no longer taken from her. They have tea parties with sugared tea and many smiles. Watercolors, her own watercolors, are taped upon every wall. These pictures that she has painted of her dolls, stuffed animals and her new Mom adorn the room. I am her Mom and I love Little One with all my heart. I do my best to try to make up for her years of sadness and hurt. She is sad less and less and even dances sometimes. Can you see her spinning about with her dress twirling as she laughs?
Her imaginary room has a bay window with long, soft curtains that move in the breeze from the open window. Sitting there, Little One basks in the feeling of being safe. Safe to be. Safe to be little.
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.