My mental health is not great right now, the joys of PTSD and hyper vigilance! I’ve been taking each day as it comes and doing what I can to be gentle with myself. Sometimes it feels like I’m doing great, other days I feel like I can’t manage to hold the demons at bay.
I’m leaning into the divine feminine, the whispers of the goddess, letting the female ways bathe me in their gentle wisdom. I’m not going to lie, some days I feel so hurt inside I’m not sure how I’ve got through. The wounds are so deep and raw, masculine energies stinging already festering wounds of shame, guilt, heartbreak, fear, pain so deep it now feels like part of who I am……
There’s a void inside of me that I haven’t managed to fill, to nurture back to wholenesses. I don’t know how to. The pain and shame come and go, the void remains. There’s a hole inside of me where all of the bad shit falls into and makes its way to the broken parts of me.
There are days I look at my life and think, how have I managed to live for 34 years beyond the apocalypse? Then there are days that bring me so much joy, they light up my life and remind me why I didn’t give in.
I’m going through a process right now. I’m unlearning all of the bad stuff people have said to me that convinced me I wasn’t worthy, I wasn’t enough.
I’ll get there, I know I will. Those bad days will end. The feelings that try to destroy me will fade. I’ll find comfort and joy and peace again, I know I will.
I’ve had a flood of memories come back to me recently, probably courtesy of the intensive therapy I had earlier in the year.
This year has been a rollercoaster for me emotionally, and so many emotional blocks have been removed from me; the jury is still out on whether or not that’s a good thing.
The amount of emotional stuff I’ve repressed for so many years is jaw dropping, I have no idea how I’ve kept it all inside of me.
On the flip side of the emotional mess that has been literally leaking out of me (tears) I’ve found solace in music and I’m happy to report so many happy memories have come flooding back to me.
This particular song that I wanted to share is one of many that remind me of a time when all was well in my world and my family was intact. Childhood memories and songs that remind us of simpler, happier times are always best shared.
While the world still basks in the romantic glow of love that the Royal Wedding evoked a couple of days ago, I’m reminded of my own wedding and how I often wish things had been different. My eldest daughter is also getting married soon and she has planned everything with her fiance, a far cry from what her own parents did.
When I got married I didn’t have the emotional strength to partake in the planning. I was still very much recovering from the brutal attack on me and I just had no energy to put into wedding planning. I let my own mother plan just about everything. I knew I wanted my dress made, not bought. I actually wanted to get a black dress and just be done with it, but as we had opted for a church wedding I really don’t think it would have been appropriate.
I often wonder what I would have chosen had I not been so broken. Looking back I think I would still have opted for the church, this was twenty-eight years ago – twenty-nine when it was being planned – the registry office was in a dilapidated state and I still think I wouldn’t have wanted to have my wedding there.
If I was planning a wedding now I would be looking at somewhere out in nature. In fact, I would actually get handfasted – I’d probably have a legal ceremony first, but the actual wedding would be a handfasting – a pagan style commitment ceremony.
Having said all of that, I can still remember my wedding day and it was a wonderful day; filled with love, laughter, and happiness.
I’ve never worked with my ancestors, ritually speaking. I had a problem recently that needed everything I could throw at it and someone suggested working my ancestors. But I didn’t really know how, everything just felt wrong, all of the methods I’d researched just didn’t feel right for me. I ended up throwing my arms in the air and just asking out loud for them to help. I had no way of knowing if they were listening, if they’d heard me, and so I went about life and forgot all about my petition to them.
Today I was talking to a friend about synchronicity and that was when the penny dropped. Recently I’ve had a certain song play repeatedly in my head, I’d also felt the need to listen to it quite a lot. But I’ve only just made the connection as to why today; the song is The Sound Of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel, and it always, always reminds me of my Dad.
I’ve been talking about songs that rip me open and evoke powerful, disturbing and unwanted memories. I’ve often talked on this blog about a Tears For Fears song whose lyrics felt very personal to me in the days and months after I was attacked. I mentioned yesterday that there are songs that remind me of that time, but I rarely listen to them now.
Naturally one of those songs would just happen to play on the radio later on that day, taunting me.
This particular song is something I listened to a lot in the dark times of my life, finding comfort in the lyrics and feeling they were just for me. It reminds me of my substance abuse and reliance on alcohol to cope with the horror of what had happened to me. It helped me make sense of the addictions I had post- attack. It reminds me of how dead I was inside and how much of myself got taken away from me in the early hours of that Sunday morning. It reminded me of who I was before I was attacked and how much of myself I lost in the days,weeks, months and even years afterwards.It reminded me of who I used to be and listening to it yesterday reminded me that I’m a million miles away from that broken little girl who was brutally attacked at knifepoint. I felt everything as I listened to this song, but I also realised that whilst I will never get over that attack, I have found peace inside of myself and that bastard can never take that away from me. He may have taken my innocence, shattered my hopes and dreams, he may have broken me back then, but I fixed me and my Mr. Wonderful helped and between us I am stronger than I ever was.
Again, I rarely listen to that sort of music anymore – the sort that stirs up the pain that ripped my life apart post August 23rd 1987. Those songs helped me grieve and allowed me to cope, but now they just remind me of how fucked up I was and I can’t listen to them without instantly feeling like I’ve been transported back to that time, even if I am a stronger person now, I just don’t want to listen to certain songs anymore.
I often talk about songs that stir memories up for me, some of them good, some of them bad. Some songs remind me of people and situations, even though they are not really connected. My happy song – Land Down Under by Men At Work – evokes such happy feelings for me and never fails to cheer me up. Other songs from a similar era remind me of my Dad who died in April 2011. Certain songs that are full of angst and pain remind me of the 16 year old me who was brutally attacked and I rarely listen to them now.
That’s the beauty of music, no matter what genre it is, or from what era, it can evoke memories and feelings within us all.
This song was playing on the radio yesterday and immediately reminded me of a different time in my life; a happy time when life was easy and I didn’t have a care in the world. A time when my family was complete and I was protected from pain and suffering. Unlike Land Down Under that makes me instantly happy and is from roughly the same time period, this song makes me feel sad and I cannot listen to it without thinking about those family members who have died – my Grandmother, my Aunty, my brother and my Dad. The song reminds me that the loss of these people ripped a hole in my family dynamic, a hole that has never been fixed and never will be.
The song tugs at my emotions and rips open the wounds that are never fully healed, the wounds that the loss of a loved one causes. The gamut of emotions that get instantly stirred up inside of me whenever I hear this song flood my senses, making me feel vulnerable and very emotional.
Music is important to all of us, in some way or another. Whether we listen to pop music, rock music, classical, hip-hop, reggae, indie, electronic, dance, whatever, music is important to us whatever our taste.
My own taste is very eclectic; one day I will listen to nothing other than U2, whereas the next I am singing along to the Spice Girls. I used to share songs on a former blog – I can’t recall why I closed that blog down- I found it was an excellent way to explore the music I really love listening to and to share what a particular song actually means to me. I aim to re-introduce that to my blog, so be ready to be inundated with cheesy songs.
Starting this journey off is a song that I have shared on this blog before. The song is from 1982 – I was 11 – and it is by the Australian band Men At Work. The reason I love this song so much is because it cheers me up. It reminds me of a simpler time in my life, I was still in primary school, life was good and I was protected from the harsh realities of life by my parents and Aunty, whom I was always with. It’s such a fun song and my song of choice whenever I feel down, it never fails to cheer me up.
For day 17 we have got to one of my favourite topics, books. As a child, I was an avid reader. When I was a child it was the 1970’s and 1980’s, so not an awful lot to do if you were nerdy, like me. But there was reading and read I did, always.
My favorite author was Enid Blyton, I loved the Famous Five books. I also loved Roald Dahl, especially Danny The Champion Of The World. I must also include Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield. I know the challenge asked for favourite book, so one book, but these books were what I remember and love most from my childhood. I cannot just pick one. I loved Ballet Shoes that much that I still read it again and again, even now.