I am awake before dawn, on a morning I had hoped to ‘sleep in’. The rain is pounding insistently on the skylight, lest I overlook that it is raining. I enjoy rain, and the sound of it is slowly soothing my raw nerves. I woke face to face with my PTSD, in the form of profound anxiety, fear, a pounding heart, and a distinct awareness that ‘something’s wrong’.
It was quickly clear what woke me, when a firm click of a door elsewhere communicated what it could; frustration, hurt, anger, a limit reached, a moment passed… doors do not communicate with specificity, and it isn’t really possible to ask a door a clarifying question. I dislike communication via door, whether it is a slammed door, or a firmly shut door, or simply a closed door that blocks communication in a non-verbal-message-sending way. Doors lack precision for communication. So do drawers, windows, dishwashers, refrigerators, and all manner of household tasks and processes. These are not the tools of clear explicit compassionate communication, any more than yelling is. We each have so much potential to communicate more clearly than via door – but I too have slammed a door, more than once. 😦
I am working on taking the approach that there is something to be learned here, or progress to be made – for me. Maybe a chance to learn not to let doors talk to me in the first place? A door clicks closed; I hear the hurt feelings and rejection. Another click, firm and solid and no-nonsense; I may hear resolve and anger. Another click, a different room, a different hand perhaps; I could hear the sorrow, regret, and stress. The doors click closed. They open. Occasional voices, and I put some space between my consciousness and the words; privacy matters, and it is a matter of respect and consideration. We all have rough moments, bad times, things to work through. How do I take care of me when private matters between others impinge on my consciousness and drive my symptoms? Well, this morning, I meditated, then got up – sleep clearly wasn’t going to be possible at this level of wariness and anxiety – a latte just the way I like it [vanilla syrup, 4 shots of espresso, whole milk], and some quiet moments contemplating the falling rain.
This morning is an improvement over similar past mornings; I am calm. I have a pretty serious aversion to angry confrontations, just in general. Right now I am pleased to find that I am able to have my own experience, without becoming mired in unpleasantness borrowed from someone else’s experience. A clear (and highly valued) improvement, for me, although I have to admit I don’t necessarily ‘understand’ this change on a level that would allow me to break it down by steps to see what exactly I am doing for this result.
I am able to have my own experience… this morning that has includes some moments of anger at being awakened on one of the rare days I could sleep in. My experience includes feeling a bit uncomfortable about being able to overhear moments of private conversation, and regret that valued privacy isn’t ‘a given’ (pretty easy to hear through these walls). My experience also includes feeling cheated out of a lovely morning with my loves, and some irritation about that, and recognition that the morning is far from over. Even sympathy, compassion, and sadness make an appearance this morning. My feelings don’t seem unreasonable – and this morning they have not dominated my experience, or overwhelmed me. I felt them. I heard myself, and understand what my feelings say about my needs, and my now. Making room in my heart for my own feelings didn’t seem much of a challenge this morning… another improvement.
A rainy autumn sky.
It’s later now. It’s been about 2 hours since I woke to the sound of a door clicking closed. I’ve almost finished my latte. Daybreak has come, and the gray pre-dawn sky has shifted just a bit toward blue, still sullen, gray, and stormy. The trees beyond the window do a slow hula in the wind. The house is snug and warm, and quiet. I didn’t get to sleep in, but these quiet hours are precious to me, and this morning they will not be interrupted by the realization that it is already time to go to work. That may be worth the unpleasant wake-up call. The trees outside are whipped back and forth for a moment, as if nodding in agreement. A difficult start to the morning, but it is no predictor of the day to come, and my ‘now’ is actually quite pleasant and serene.
There are only so many days, hours, minutes, ahead of us… and so much to yearn for, to learn, to do… today is Saturday, so for me it will be about mostly practical matters at home: laundry, gardening, a water change for the aquarium, getting ready for a new week and having a quick tidy ’round, in general. These quite hours before the more organized hustle of task completion, and checking things off a ‘to do’ list, are precious, indeed. I enjoy taking some time for me. 🙂