|This is how I express myself these
days....I've only begun to "hear my own voice" like this in the past 3
years or so. My Muse literally INSISTS that I write my feelings down about
everything, besides pushing me to do my artwork! But the thing with my
poetry that is so surprising to me, is that I generally do not even know
how a poem will end! I just start writing and it sort of just "appears"
from within! I wrote this when thinking of starting a blog, and trying to
explain my process!
My heart was broken so badly,
Cracked wide open so very wide,
So while a part of me lives sadly,
My soul now expresses a new side.
Poetry just flows straight out of me,
Inspired both, by laughter and tears,
From the beauty of sights I see,
As well as all my joys and fears.
I did not know what was deep inside,
Now my innermost feelings shine,
From every corner that they reside,
Where they had aged like a fine wine.
These parts of me insist on being heard,
Often teaching me things I need to know,
Of a deeper knowledge, bringing the word,
Helping me to evolve, and really grow.
It seems from a deep sleep, I'm in recovery,
So now I live a life of self discovery,
And every day, I wait to see what I will say,
As on this changing road of life I make my way.
The Impact of Early Childhood
I wrote this in an e mail to a friend, when she was talking about a group
she's working with, to help prevent a particular kind of negative
experiences in children's lives... (won't go into it, that's private)....
but I responded with a recent "sort of PTSD like" reaction in MY life that
has enlightened me about why I have certain issues in my life...which as
you will read, another friend listened and added to my understanding
through his relating to my story!- isn't it neat how people sharing can
help one another!? Soooo this is why I decided to make my story public -
here on my HOME community where I feel safe!
I was watching the first season of Agent Carter on DVD....and I was
suddenly swept away in what I realized can only describe as true PTSD!
Because I was 4 years old in that "early '50's era", the incredible
reality of that TV show and some particular scenes in it, made me FEEL 4
years old and terrified beyond reason...
The winter I was 4 was a very wet winter for southern California, and so
with all the rain and especially the SOUND of rain on the typical big
black umbrella's with the look of the wet cement side walks in many scenes
of a particular episode (can feel it even as I describe it!!) and the LOOK
of it all, the gray dreary colors, oh and the big heavy cars of the
time... all took me right back!!
I was AWARE of what was happening, but in trying to understand myself and
my current emotional difficulties, I kept watching and sort of observed my
feelings... I know PTSD is the loss of current reality - replaced by the
reality of those times/events... and while I was aware of my surroundings,
I could also "see" the school, see the interior of my Father's huge old
Packard, and SEE the cold wet sidewalks/corridors or covered sidewalks of
the private school I was forced to go to for 8 hours a day (since my
Father worked there).... and EVERY horrifying, terrifying event came back
to me with incredible clarity. I can't list ALL the things that happened
in that year, but a couple were: repeatedly DROWNED daily in swimming
class, and vomited on the classroom floor from a bad flu, being instantly
punished and forced to clean it up myself....and the list goes on... (Keep
in mind this was an EIGHT hour day for a 4 years old! Forced to be away
from "Mommy" - who was busy with a new baby brother - the apple of her
eye.... I felt "thrown away by my Mother" AND taken away by a Father who
never spoke a word to me (children should be seen and not heard) on the
long drive to and from that school.
Luckily my parents moved after that one year, and with my Father's job
change, I was enrolled in the local public elementary school... of which I
was TERRIFIED to go to.... I wonder why?! The damage was done.
Anyway, I was so shook up about my reaction to that TV show, I sent the
DVD to a friend to keep, and I won't watch that particular show ever
again... and of course I will talk to my therapist about it... But in the
meantime I talked to another friend about it and he said something really
helpful ... he said he had some things happen to HIM at THAT AGE...and
those things STILL affect him now....He said that things that happen at
that age BECOME INTRINSIC PART OF US and never go away.... and this helped
me stop judging myself for those feelings... helped me "be gentle,
understanding" of myself..... to accept that I may never be able to change
or even manage my reactions to certain elements in life, because of the
fact that those ARE an "INTRINSIC" part of ME! In a way I felt more
relaxed if that makes any sense... I guess just knowing this truth: IT'S
OK TO FEEL THIS WAY, and to be unable to "cure it" (that was demanded of
me by my Mother, husbands, etc.)
Further, everything I was learning in class at that school - learning how
to write, how to do my numbers, etc. is also part of the memories and
feelings... for example, if I see certain colors, flowers, that I saw in
lessons the FEELINGS are there and come automatically... It's very hard to
describe and only with this event, do I now truly understand my "odd"
emotional reactions to things, like seeing a certain color/type of flower!
I had a lot of school lessons that were visual- "pick the one that is
different" kind of thing, as well as laboring over making perfect letters
and numbers... and I do mean PERFECT... that school was very harsh and
strict in every way.
AND THE BIG THING: NO ONE KNEW! No one knew how I was feeling, especially
not my parents! I was too young to communicate the wrongs done to me, the
harshness of it all... here was a school with a swimming pool and
horses...and I was drowned daily (until I found a way to save my own life,
literally, by feigning illness to go to the nurse's daily during swim
class!!) and PUNISHED for wanting to see the horses, because I ran my hand
up a splintery wood post trying to step up on the fence to see the horses
better... and on it goes..! It's a wonder that I love water, and don't
fear it... My friend remarked "I bet you were one of those who sinks
instead of floats, and I said YES as a matter of fact... I don't have the
body strength to swim, I prefer being UNDER water with a mask.... oddly I
did not develop a fear of water - which is good, but I did develop a fear
and distrust of ADULTS!!
I have been working ALL my life to understand myself, and others, the
world and my place in it... I've always had to figure things out on my
own, to "pull myself up by my own bootstraps" as they say.... coming from
the type of parents, and then husbands, I've had in this life...(people do
tend to repeat patterns/types of people they were raised with - had to get
off that merry-go-round too!) I had to find the right books, then the
right therapists, and all the while good friends who have all helped me on
my way.... I always strive to "give back" by being open with my life
experiences through my art and my words.... so just maybe I can help
someone somewhere in some small way, by doing so.
The incredible impact of things that parents do, or don't do, when a child
is very young ARE lasting.... Remember to love and understand yourself
first, so you can love those in your life.