Sometimes your body is wrong (but listen anyway).

Recently I was confounded by what I clearly recognized as signs of deep depression. What? Me? I’m the happiest person I know! It was more like being an observer of the physical manifestations of a feeling of dread. It was in the middle of my body at the core radiating outward. And it was really strong. That is the best way for me to describe in words, that awful sick feeling. Feelings like this had not surfaced since way before my divorce. Why were they coming back now?

My abusive relationship lasted just over 18 years. There was a pattern during that relationship I had already learned about. A pattern I could recognize and would never have to get suckered into again. After all I’m nine years into a happy single life. Surely I was not in another relationship like this? No I was not, but there was something of value in this body awareness I could not ignore. I wanted to investigate further.

The pattern is: abuse, silence, and several days later a gift given or a favor done to make up for it. Smoothing things over as if nothing ever happened. In this pattern you end up feeling negated in every way, feeling unimportant, and invisible. You feel punished, worthless, and you never seem to know why.  Ugh, I hate that. 

The pattern was tugging at my inner psyche and my very core. My body was trying to get my attention as if to say, “Hey remember this stuff? This was not good for you, and I’m making sure you notice, and recognize what’s going on. That way I can protect you.” Yup, that voice.

A good friend made the smallest infraction, and hurt my feelings. After this incident, he silently did a favor for me to make up for his small transgression. The relationship was important enough for him to make amends. I appreciated it very much and told him so, because the relationship was important to me as well.

The pattern itself triggered my dread, not the incident. That’s Important Thing number one to note. My body saw this pattern that looked a lot like the old abuse and went into hiding mode. That’s Important Thing number two to note. When I realized this feeling of dread was my body recognizing this old pattern and was only protecting me, the dam burst wide open. In a good way. Now things were making sense and I experienced a huge sense of relief. My body had been on high alert. At this point in my life I can easily say my body was over reacting.

In retrospect I realize this pattern had not really surfaced since before the divorce, and my body was in total denial about being in that same nightmarish life. It was back peddling so fast as if to say ‘Oh no you don’t!’ I have to thank my body for knowing to tip me off to the old pattern.

The body will hold onto trauma way longer than the mind will. Out of a sheer sense of survival. It’s doing it’s job.

In my mind, my friend’s infraction was small. But my body recognized the pattern BIG TIME and it was trying to protect me. It was getting me to hunker down in order to survive. My body was really sending me a huge signal that it felt something was wrong. Now that I’ve had this experience, I realize my body is still on guard. I can recognize this feeling, look to the pattern first, analyze the situation, have compassion for where I’m at, and tell my body all is well.

After this realization I can say with honesty when I look around, I see the beautiful and fruitful, totally happy life I have built for myself. I am living the dream! ❤ At the same time I realize some side effects of abuse take longer to dump than others. Some never go away totally. Trust your body if it is giving you signals, but be shrewd about why you are getting signals to see the origins. If necessary set your sails for a new direction. Thank your body for the message. Take notes and move forward.

The reason I write and share blog entries like this is in the hopes that other people might find some relief at knowing they are not alone in how they experience the world, how they handle trauma from old wounds, and how they pick up the pieces and move on. 🙂

Live long and prosper!

The End of Black & White Thinking

Well, I hope it is the end of black and white thinking! I had a great experience that will forever remind me to think outside of the Capricorn stick-in-the-mud black and white thinking mindset. Don’t get me wrong, us Capricorns are great for getting things done. We have great organizational and fiduciary skills, plus are very grounding for a lot of folks. We strive to accomplish, by simply and quietly putting one hoof, er foot, in front of the other, while keeping the end goal in sight. Ah but we can be stubborn creatures as well. Yes that word stubborn. That “thing” I have been working on as of late. Case in point follows.

I understand the Universe brings many things we don’t like or expect, and usually I can weather the storm. My Achilles heel is when things that are out of my control, regarding my home, crop up. I have put a lot of back breaking work into it, and let’s say it really gets my goat when there is a new problem I have no way of fixing myself. I have spent years updating an old living quarters into what looks fairly new and downright cozy. I owe no one a mortgage and my land is paid for. True to Capricorn style!

Electrical problems in particular are super frustrating and can be expensive. I love to get out my tools and fix things, but I’m not an electrician or plumber. Pluming is safer and in many cases easier to fix, almost fun. Not so with electricity, which can kill you or burn down your house. I have recently spent $1700 to replace outlets in three rooms and fix a few other minor wiring problems. This did not include new switches or any new fixtures. Since the wiring was old, and in one room tongue-and-groove paneling made the job harder, it took longer. I paid the going rate for a wonderful, honest, and hard working local electrician. Since he came out on the weekend and did not charge extra I will use him again. He was very educational, telling me everything he was doing and why. Plus he and his wife are local, each from a different reservation near my home. I like to support local people. But after the $1700 bill right near Christmas, a propane fill, and paying property taxes, I’d had enough of spending money on stuff I really couldn’t see.

Last weekend I was going to get some baking done. I went to turn on the kitchen light and it was dead. Here’s my thinking and actions: “Okay change the bulb. There. Oh, no light? What? Shit. Ugh.” Earlier that year I had one switch and outlet in the living room that the electrician could not get to go live. It was one me and my partner in crime, Bud installed long ago. We know it was working when I moved in. I assumed it was something-with-teeth in the ceiling chewing on wires for the casings. “Dang. Really do I have to hire the electrician AGAIN? He’s been out twice. That sucks!” I also felt a fury of rage inside me. Well it wasn’t rage exactly, but I was rootin’ tootin’ frustrated and mad. When I face something out of my control that I can’t fix, I jump to conclusions that it will cost an arm and a leg to repair. Grrrr and harrumph!

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My partner in crime was using my car to go to town to get parts to fix his truck. When he returned the car I told him about the problem. He said he’d look at it when he got a minute free. Thank God for good people! He came by and we took a look at it. He first suggested it could be the fixture. The fixture? (Well slap me on the forehead and call me silly.) Could it be that simple? The fixture was relatively new, only four years old, but I guess that’s the first thing to troubleshoot other than check to see the bulb is working and the breaker is on. Why didn’t I think of that? We looked at it, checked the wiring with my voltage tester, and it was not getting any power. Dang. We fiddled with the wires to reconnect them to make sure they were on correctly. Still nothing. Dang!

After the “Is it the fixture” comment, I realized how silly I was to not have thought of any of the things it could be in between ‘is the bulb burnt out’ to ‘hire an electrician’. My mind had immediately jumped to my greatest fear, spending more big cash on what was out of my control. I decided to change my thinking to manifest something more positive. This is not the first time I’ve been caught off guard by my own silly thinking. I didn’t think in those gray areas that life is made out of. When will I learn this? How many times would I have to go through this? Silly me. As we fiddled with the fixture and the wiring and testing the bulbs, Bud had another idea. He said, “Hey what about the wall switch for this light?” Brilliant idea! So we replaced it with a spare switch I had out in my garage. As we were about to test the light to see if that was it, we knew if that didn’t work, I would have to call the electrician back to my home. I changed my vibe to one of gratitude and positivity, and voila, the light went on with the flip of the new wall switch.

Boy did I feel silly. Have I mentioned that word yet? Yep. I have, because I was so, so silly. Now I have the visual, a light switch, and a positive memory of me changing my thinking. It was a memorable reminder of not having my head, or my vibe, or my trust in the right place, and the idea of how easily it was all fixed. Can you say Yay? I know you can. 🙂

The happy end to the story other than a changed noggin, and a fixed light, was the making of a large loaf of banana bread. It was naturally freely shared with my partner (who said it was the best he’d ever had), in thanks for helping me see the light. (Enough puns?) ❤

A lesson in trust

After work in summer I take my dogs for a cool walk down my little river. During irrigation, the river is about one inch deep and mostly stagnant. The river boasts crayfish, gigantic arroyo frogs, dragonflies, butterflies, dark fishing spiders, tons of minnows and other wildlife. Because I recently had to deal with a rattlesnake I said out loud, “Hey is there anything up the river I need to be aware of?” The answer was both felt and heard. “Yes.” Me: “Oh, good. Wait! Is it deadly?” “No.” I could feel this in the core of my entire body, head to toe, as an unmistakable feeling of confirmation. Probably the strongest physical confirmation I have ever received. Consider me warned. I would be on the lookout for…whatever, and it was not going to kill me. Well now doesn’t that sound promising.

As we walked upriver I was observant and cautious. Would I see a deer, or a raccoon hunting for crayfish? A heron fishing for minnows? I did not know if it would be something dangerous, or something delightful. This feeling of confirmation was with me the whole time. The pond was more shallow than usual, and the large minnows were there by the gazillion! What fun! Gypsy had a blast swimming in it, while my other dog Goat Cheese was nearby.

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I walked into the edge of the 5 foot deep pool where the water was about 2 inches deep and took video of Gypsy swimming around. As I finished taking the video I turned around to go back to dry land taking one step with my left foot. The sand gave way and I sunk into the sand up to mid hip. Quicksand! Oh $hit. It felt like there was nothing supporting me and I dared not move one muscle. My right leg was bent at the knee and out sideways on what I hoped was firm ground. With quicksand it is hard to tell. I had no idea how much further down I would go if I tried putting my hands out in front of me to support myself. Sinking in another 2 and a half feet would be fatal. I desperately called to my dogs.

“Get over her NOW! Mama is in trouble and needs your help!”

Both dogs came over, oblivious to my plight. I grabbed them each by the collar and relied on their distributed weight to pull me out. They started tugging backwards, which is exactly what I needed. I was able to test that ground ahead of me and gingerly crawl out. I could hardly believe what had happened. Here on my little river there is quicksand and I managed to blunder into it. But I came out safe and sound. On my walk back home, I grabbed a large stick and held it sideways just to be on the safe side.

Homeward bound, I reflected on what happened. Well for one thing, I was alive! Yay! At the beginning of my walk, Spirit let me know where was something ahead for me. Sure enough, there was. But it was an event, not an animal. I got a very clear, very strong message from the Universe that there was something up ahead for me, and it was not fatal. I was to trust in that. Bottom line is, trust in the messages you get, especially if you ask for them! That was a big lesson in trust and I won’t soon forget it.

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