Archives for category: Post Traumatic Stress

Today is off to a rough start. I’m writing early, with tears on my face. This morning begins with a challenge. I’m not always ready to measure my words, to smile accommodatingly at the world, or to be prepared for things to skid sideways unexpectedly over some random thing and handle it with grace and diplomacy. I’m not that skilled or resilient, yet. I’m taking my coffee in the studio, this morning, as far from other human beings as this house permits. Fuck humans. This morning I have already had enough of people.

…That didn’t take long…

An innocent seeming remark, taken personally, wrecks what had some small shot at being a good morning. It sucks. Weekday morning. I’ve got work in a little while. I’m wreckage. God damn it this sucks all kinds of completely.  We’ve got a house guest too, on top of just sucking generally, so on top of the general sucking – we’re having an argument at 5 o’clock in the morning while a guest tries to sleep through our bullshit. Fucking hell. Not okay. On top of the stress of this, generally, I’m also deeply embarrassed by our basic rudeness.

Fuck people. Fuck relationships. Fuck having to deal with any of it, ever, at all. I am feeling bitter, and I am feeling blue. I am angry that a small well-intentioned observation that was emotionally neutral at the moment it was spoken, turned into this shitstorm of emotional sewage so early in the morning. I feel robbed of a pleasant morning. He does too, enough to make a point of expressing unhappiness that I would choose to be in my studio, writing, instead of hanging out with him, even as things are right now. (I admit, I don’t get that – I don’t even want to be around me right now.)

…I slept like shit…

…I woke up feeling cross and headache-y…

…I was already “not in a good place”…

…I’m in pain…

Realistically, I can’t put this morning on my partner. My emotions? Mine to deal with. I apologized to him. He didn’t hear me. He apologized to me. I didn’t hear him. We repeat the cycle. Eventually apologies are audible. We hear each other. We acknowledge those words. He wants to talk. To engage. To restore emotional intimacy. I want to withdraw to the safety of solitude. He feels hurt by my rejection. I feel hurt by his lack of understanding that I want to provide myself with some basic self-care right now. We repeat the cycles we’re most familiar with. Doing differently is serious work.

…I haven’t even had my first cup of coffee…

Making predictions about the day may tend to “lock in” the assumptions I’d have to make to do so. It’s a poor choice. I breathe. Exhale. Let it go. I keep at it. Breathing. Exhaling. Focusing on my breath. Letting my shoulders relax. Pulling my posture upright. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. I hear my typing cadence begin to become even. Regular. A steady beat. Less chaotic and tempestuous. There are choices here. Verbs. Effort. Will. The journey is not always an easy one. The road ahead is not always smooth under my feet when I walk it. There is no growth or forward momentum in what is easiest, only joy and contentment. My results vary. I need more practice.

…I’ve gotta admit, I do like the joy and contentment, though…

I sip my coffee. Contentment can be built. More verbs. A lot of practice. We become what we practice. What am I practicing? (I can’t do a fucking thing about anyone else’s practices, only my own, that’s just real.) Am I, as I sit here, the woman I most want to be? (I could do better.) Still human. So human.

It’s a fairly shitty morning so far. I could definitely do better. I guess I have to begin again.

…Time to get on with that…

I am sitting with my thoughts, taking a moment for myself out of a busy day. I’m contemplating life, love, art – you know, the important things. 🙂 I smile when I recall the new book I’ve only just started reading, which promises to satisfy other creative impulses than those fulfilled by paint and canvas.

It brings back long-forgotten memories, too.

I contemplate a tiny art project I am undertaking.

The studio is not yet ready for larger work… I think I can make room for something very small.

I take time for brilliantly blue autumn skies.

…And passing clouds.

I let moments overtake me. Breathing. Relaxing. Letting my mind wander a bit. Soon enough, it is time to begin again. 🙂

Rain is falling today. It feels soft on my skin. I stand in it to feel that sensation. The air tastes fresh. I breathe deeply. I inhale. I exhale. I feel the rain drops spatter my skin. I am present. I hear birdsong. I feel a slow soft breeze. The breeze carries a scent of forest and flowers, and autumn. I hold this moment with such care and attention, yielding to it completely, saving it for later.

Here. Now.

Rain fell today. It felt soft on my skin. I stood in it to feel that sensation. The air tasted fresh. I breathed deeply. Inhaling, exhaling, feeling the rain drops spatter my skin. Minutes ticked by. I heard birdsong. I felt a slow soft breeze. The breeze carried a scent of forest and flowers, and autumn.

I take a moment to contemplate one lovely moment at leisure, smiling quietly. Sometimes this is enough. 🙂

 

The work day winds down. I switch over my workstation from my work laptop to my desktop pc. An afternoon sunbeam streams into the room, filling the space with light. It’s so lovely to see blue sky again, after the dark and smoky days of recent wildfires. I breathe, exhale, relax, and let go of the small shit nagging at my consciousness. I hear my Traveling Partner and his visiting son in playful conversation, but I can’t hear what they are saying. The tone is light and joyful and satisfied. Small things in life can fill me with such immense satisfaction and delight.

… Then there’s the chaos… I mean, seriously? I’ve still got this hollowed out closet lacking in drywall or flooring that needs repaired – including the hole straight through the wall to the room on the other side. The recent failure – and replacement – of my aquarium is so recent that it still sits in my “not quite still now” buffer, needing to be processed, but omg there is so much else to do, “right now”… Yeah, so… some of the chaos? I’m clearly doing that to myself.

Another breath. Another exhalation. Another moment to relax and let that shit go. Another moment to enjoy this bit of sunshine pouring into my window. My mind wanders pleasantly… didn’t I have some errand to run this afternoon? I shrug that off, too. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t.

I take this minute, here, now, for me – between the end of the workday, and the return to family life. Me, in my studio, with the sunshine filling the space around me. It’s enough.

Yesterday was very productive. I got an exceptional night of rest, and looked forward to a day fully at leisure. I guess I’ve had that…sort of… an errand that I counted on to be sort of short turned into half the day, and I overlooked that I’d committed to going to the store, too. I end up here, in early evening, at long last taking some time purely for me. It feels good – enough so that I’ve already looked past how brief it turns out to be. I’m too tired to waste precious time on bullshit. 🙂

I drink some water. Listen to the soft whooshing in the background of the air conditioning. A bit more distant, faint and in the background, I hear a power tool of some kind… a saw? A grinder? I don’t know – I just feel a certain comfort in it. It is the sound of my Traveling Partner and his son, happily productive in the shop together.

I smile. Life is not complicated at the moment. I mean… mine. Right now. Not complicated. Slow and easy. I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

Blue skies after days without.

…I hear the neighborhood dogs begin to bark and carry on dreadfully…

…Already time to begin again, is it?