Beltane Blues

I took care of Beltane by trying my best to forget it. That’s why I didn’t mention it last month! Didn’t make it go away, however. Rats.

Here’s some e-mail correspondence on that subject between me and GhostWolf, an old friend.

So I wrote:

F U C K

Once again, I thought Beltane was a month away. But that is Memorial Day. I was wondering why I was spacey and all over the place. Why can’t I get that right, after all these years????

Jean

And he answered:

Heya Jean;

Well, maybe it’s because your life is so full of other things and that the triggering events are so far in the past now that they don’t come up every. damned. day. like they did when they were recent?

That’s true for me; I too get spacey around some of the significant dates and realize why afterwards with 20/20 hindsight.  Heck, it’s gotten to where I’m so involved in just living and the day to day stuff that I’ve forgotten my own birthday more than once. 🙂

I actually like that; because at least for me, it tells me my consciousness and day to day life are no longer influenced by those events – that’s encouraging to me.  The subconscious and body, though, remember, and that drives the spaciness as best as I can tell and from what I’ve observed over the years experientially and with what others have shared.

When it does happen, i don’t have a care in the world other than wondering why I’m such a klutz, and considering what could happen (and has happened in the past), that’s actually pretty doggoned good.  Occasonally, I have to clamp down on myself for denigrating myself for the klutziness; it IS the outward expression of real horrors that occurred.  PTSD anyone?

“Getting it right” though.  Ummmm, no – sorry, Jean.  We were injured, severely, and that leaves wounds.  Yeah, wounds heal, and the common approach is, “Yeah, it’s over, it’s done, get on with life.”

I call bullshit on that.

Why?

My burn scars are an example.  That happened a little over 60 years ago.  I don’t even think about it most of the time.  I get reminded though when something happens to irritate the scars, or someone sees them and asks about them.  I could get the scars dermal-abraded so that they were not so obvious; but they’d still be there.  NOTHING can take away the fact of the original damage, and no miracle of modern medicine can remove the traces of that. Period.

Same thing with the mental and emotional side of injuries – even if those are “just” mental injuries.  Nothing can remove the injury; nothing can remove the traces of the injury.  Those traces remain with us all of our lives.

To this day, some of those traces suddenly get in my face.

Out of control fire, films (Hollywood or otherwise) of people burning, news of the same) – yeah.  I shake and get sick to my stomach.  News of any kind of abuse, I get physically ill.

Another example? Things suddenly put in front of me by well-intentioned people who want me to see a pic on their phone or read something in a magazine.  Instant Draw Back on my part accompanied by intense defensive/aggressive posture.   It hurts people deeply because it appears that I am intensely angry for something about which they had no idea, AND it appears to them – because of my body stance and facial expressions – that I am about to strike them, which is NOT something I would ever do.  They have no way of knowing that, based on their experiences with others.

“Get it right?”  Resolve the issue?  No. That trigger is still there, but being aware of it, I can and do clamp down on it.  NO ONE can ever “get it right” – that would take absolute perfection, absolute 24/7 control – and no one is capable of that.  So why do we hold ourselves to a very unrealistic goal that only results in our feeling like a failure, with consequential pain, guilt, self-denigration, and lowering of self-esteem?

Because we are “supposed to.” That’s what all cultures teach; we are “supposed to” overcome our failings, our weaknesses; the goal is all-important, and failure is not an option if we want to be an accepted member of society.

Bullshit.

Who died and made society gawd, anyways?

The real goal, in my not so humble opinion, is simply to recognize the trigger when it occurs, figure out (and that can take a while and THAT IS OK) what causes it, and figure out how to handle it when it fires off again.

The goal – PERFECTION – is unattainable, period.  Getting damned close to that goal IS attainable, and you know what?  That’s pretty doggoned good 🙂

We survivors need to accept each other, warts, imperfections and all (unlike mainstream society.) We help each other by sharing experiences, sharing perspectives, sharing insights.  No one of us can realize and see ALL experiences, perspectives, insights, and that in part is why we share.

Simply said, friendships last for years because we do not hold each other to that unrealistic standard of perfection.  Far from it; we hold each other to be ourselves, warts and all, and give each other the room to grow.

Wolf

Phobias and Counter-Phobias

There is an entry on the Winter Solstice, Yule, and Christmas on December 15, 2012.

I’m really looking forward to running away over Christmas. A friend from Arizona has invited me, and she does not do anything at all for Christmas. There will be no tree, no Christmas lights on the cactus, no presents, no traditional meal with traditional left-overs. We probably won’t even know which day Christmas falls on.

Instead, there will be drives through the desert, bird watching (hope I see a road runner!), real Mexican food, and lots of talking and catching up. I’ve been there before and know you can see rabbits from her kitchen window and quail and their babies from her living room window. I also know that the thrift store and discount stores are great and I can find real pretty clothes for next to nothing. Perhaps best of all, there will be a three-day powwow with lots of drumming and dancing.

When I stay home, I also avoid celebrating Christmas, but it’s an effort. I get invited for dinner and feelings are hurt if I decline. I am given presents even though I insist I don’t want them and a few Christmas cards float in. Some years, though, I have gotten brave and bought a table top tree and made miniature decorations.

I know that I cannot avoid every situation that brings up bad feelings and horrible memories from the past. It just isn’t possible, because almost every single thing has a bad connotation. As it is, my life is constricted by my fear of having the past stirred up. I don’t watch TV or see movies, for example, because even the most innocuous movies have violent scenes. By the age of five I had seen enough violence to last many, many lifetimes.

There are many things I am afraid of that I absolutely cannot avoid. Banks, telephones, mail boxes, weekends, new places, etc. etc. etc. So it feels great to pick something big, like Christmas, and avoid it completely. And it is empowering, because now I am in control enough that I *can* run away, whereas when I was a kid I was held prisoner and could not move.

I’m not peculiar, given my history. It’s a natural reaction to try to avoid situations and objects that were used to hurt you in childhood. Makes sense.

There’s another trauma-based reaction, though, and that is to rush head first into scary situations. Scared of drowning? Learn to surf. Scared of guns? Collect them and go to the shooting range every weekend. Sacred of sex? Become promiscuous. You get the idea.

This time you can recreate the situation and make sure it doesn’t end in the death or torture of you or anybody else. This time it’s going to turn out okay. Or if it doesn’t, at least it will end badly in a totally different way than it did in the cult.

I was going to say that I can’t write much more about being counter-phobic because that’s just not me. Then I realized that is nonsense. Like most people, I am phobic sometimes, counter-phobic other times. For decades I was petrified of anybody finding out about the ritual abuse (including myself) and here I am writing about it on the Internet. Again and again and again. Certainly this is a bigger deal than making a phone call or decorating a Christmas tree. And yet it seems easier.

Go figure.