It's after 2 am and still no sleep. It always seems that after a good sleep the insomnia is worse. Tonight the arm and shoulder, front and back, down deep behind the scapula and into the muscles of the arm and shooting down the wrist. Tonight there is no escape and nausea twists my gut. Nights like these I take all the meds I can tolerate. I space them out waiting to see if something will ease it. This endless sea of suffering. This is when I have those battles in the mind.
My mind travels back into childhood memories of pain. My Daddy took me to a baseball game, it was our little outing. He went to get something to eat. In those days you could leave a child for a few minutes without worry. It seemed like a long time. I saw some other children higher up in the bleachers. I began to crawl up to them smiling, wanting to make friends.....but they did not want me. They pushed me and I fell. Falling from high up and into the gravel. Feeling my face full of grit and blood. Trying to inhale and cannot. Under the bleachers alone in the dark, hurt and scared. I tasted blood, the wind knocked out of me; but my heart and my young mind reeled at this cruel rejection. Why did they push me? I see people waving, screaming at my Dad through the bleacher seats. I see him drop his drink and food and run..... and then I don't remember anything. We went to the hospital. My bottom teeth went through my lip. My face had swelled so that it was all flat. Everything extra large, I can still remember how it felt to be 5 years old and traumatized. We went home and mother screamed. She screamed and raged at Daddy. It made me cry and get upset. I had calmed down in my Daddy's arms. I wanted Mama's arms and her sweetness. Instead they had a fight and there was no comfort. The other pain, the one of not being wanted rose it's ugly head again. Rejection. it was not my mamas intent to make me feel sick inside. She was shocked and that was her way. When upset scream your head off. Ten more years of Mama's yelling and Daddy would leave. He didn't just move out, he moved away to Chicago.
How do those feelings get processed? Where do we put them when we are young? Do they set the stage for future insecurities? I have always felt like I don't quite measure up. We really don't share things like that either. At least we aren't supposed to. It makes people uncomfortable to take our masks off.
We like to go about our lives enjoying ourselves. Discussing plans, laughing easily, shopping for new trinkets. When someone takes their mask off others don't know what to say. It's that elephant in the room.
Constant unrelenting pain strips me of all that. I cannot partake of the casual world.
I read that people with RSD lose their friends.
Again, I have fallen through the bleachers and the grit is in my teeth.
but this time...
The blood is flowing from the invisible wounds.
The invisible flames.
The invisible ripping of the arm from the socket and the shooting shocks through the bones.
My neck aches, my ears roar and dizziness threatens.
Where do I find my Mama's comfort? She is not here.
She died very young. I was young, 26 and with a little girl.
How do I fight* hard* for *joy?
Wrestling at 3 am in the morning.
My baby girl has crawled into bed with me. They are always our babies. My grown woman child with children of her own. But when she comes to bed with her mama she is my girl. She is sound asleep. I softly say, "I love you my baby." and in her sleep she says, "ah ha". How sweet. My baby hears me love her in her dreams. I love them. I love them all. I have been missing Heather a lot. I miss her goofy grin and silly humor. I miss her little tiny body snuggling in close wanting her love tank filled up with my arms.
Ever since she was little we would say when we were loving each other that we had the "poppin feelin." When your tank was full, it would pop with overflowing joy.
That is a good memory in the middle of the night.
Where is Kayla tonight? Homeless or sheltered? Dead or alive? The one who never knew danger and still doesn't. Mercy of God cover her.
Memories of love and little girls. Memories of little girls picking my roses and trying to put them back on. Little girls.
I never had a son.
How did I only get to have one child? I wanted to be a farmer's wife but I never lived near farmers. Your kind of out of luck to have a country life in the city. As a young girl I wrote long lists of names. Writing and practicing the sounds of them. I wanted lots and lots of children., maybe 6 of each, boys and girls.
I remember some of my choices, Benjamin, Samuel, Rebecka, Susannah, and Claire. They had long names both the first and the middle. I kept a pile of dolls going. Dressing them, washing their hair and combing it out neatly. I'd cut it too. I loved my dolls. I'd empty out bookshelves and make triple decker dolly bunk beds. I'm going to make doll clothes for something to do....
I didn't think much about husbands while young, just children. Men were big and somewhat scary. My imagination went for a traditional big white house with a picket fence and flowers in the yard. My mother taught me very young to care for babies and help her in the house. When my brothers were born it was the day when bottles were boiled and formula was home made. Diapers were washed and folded. I folded lots of diapers. I learned to sharpen pins by rubbing them on my scalp (or was it oiling them?). I knew how to change, feed and burp, make a baby coo, smile and laugh. I thought that in this world there was no greater joy than to love and hold a baby.
I still love babies. I don't know why God only gave me one. I never tried to prevent them. The funny thing was when I actually had her, we couldn't chose a name! Mama suggested it and her Dad agreed. So it was done. My daughter was named after a coffee cake. Jenny Lynn.
I wanted to accept all the children God would give.
Was it the coffee cake that held Him back? Nah.
My life has not been anything like I dreamed but it has been a good life. Even now it is a good life. How can I complain with my baby girl in her mama's bed. My big pony of a puppy snuggled at my feet, and a place to sit and write at 3:30 am when sleep won't come.
Gifts. Soft warm puppy instead of slippers. A pooda.
A warm house, a home, a hearth. Tomorrow morning the kids will tumble sleepily out of bed and down the stairs to catch the early bus. They'll haul their heavy backpacks and go to school to learn. Life goes on, like a rhythm of changing seasons or tides. We all do what we are expected to do.
I have been taking pleasure in washing dishes. It is an improvement to be able to hold pots. To enjoy the warm water and aromatherapy of soap suds. The smell of Mrs Myers geranium soup is lovely. Wiping the counters as much as I can with the right hand, it exercises me, stretches the tightness that wants to stay confined, wants to snap back like a tight rubber band. How I would love to stretch my arm above my head. It will not. But the kitchen work is a pleasant chore and I feel like part of the rhythm as I wash things clean. I miss mopping. I love the back and forth, the wringing out of the mop the dance of cleaning the floors. I love the way they feel after they are dry under my bare feet, all slick and smooth and smelling fresh. Sheets on the line. Windows open with fresh air blowing in. All these simple pleasures that make my house my home. These are gifts, things I treasure in my heart.
Somehow on this sleepless night when old pains surfaced, with my gut in a knot and nausea threatened. These thoughts of simple tasks, and the knowledge that I can do some of them, comforted.
My retreat away from those who would push me from the heights, from the rejection of not being wanted.
My home is soothing enough. My little cottage in the circle with the huge yard and it's ten years of perenial beds, this place is solace enough.
I found the gift.