When Kavanaugh was confirmed yesterday, my husband held me and let me sob the pain out of experiences from long ago. His care, his love is so pure, I think of it as sacred. It brings me to God and gratitude. I am profoundly grateful to, and for, him. These are very dark times and it is hard to see God in the current state of the country. But love surpasseth all. It is my husband’s birthday tomorrow and I will strive to give back to him, in my own imperfect way, all he has given and whatever I can add of my own.
Meantime, apologies. I am sorry my gut spoke out. And to those of you who wrote in despite that, a most profound thank you.
Yes, I am Bipolar. But as well I was sexually abused as a child from age 3 to age 6 or 7, and, at that time as well, emotionally abused. The sexual abuse was incest with my “upstanding and outstanding” grandfather. I adored him. I idolized him. Everyone in my family did. No one knew my secret. Along with everyone else I worshipped him all my life. I listened to Grandma say, after Grandpa died, how he had always been faithful to her. I bit my tongue because he had been unfaithful to her with me. Grandpa wanted me to tell his story. Not THIS story. A story about all the good things he did in his life. He worked as a lawyer for a VA hospital and helped many veterans. I have no doubt that he did. He carved the Lincoln Gettysburg address at the Lincoln Memorial when he first came over from Sicily. He was written about in a psychology textbook as an example of motivation.
Grandpa didn’t rape me but he did sexual things with me. Things I knew were wrong. Things that damaged me for life. I tried to tell my grandmother but she didn’t understand what a child was talking about, asking her if she was jealous. She laughed. I realized to tell her would hurt her. I never told anyone until later, when a woman in a gay bar told me she was abused. Then I realized I had blocked it out of my memory for years. All my life I lived as a doormat, letting everyone hurt me and walk all over me and I said nothing. Just like with Grandpa.
With Dr. Christine Blasey Ford coming forward I am struggling, like many women abused in all sorts of ways, with an anger coming out that I never felt I had. I loved Grandpa very much. I thought that love could forgive what he did. That is until now. Until I heard Christine Blasey Ford speak. Now I am furious. Fortunately I have a very understanding husband who worked as a therapist. with mentally ill medicaid clients. He totally supports me. I should be happy with that. I am. But I am struggling with people who do not understand. And the profound injustice of Ford’s case.
As things progress, anger is morphing into despair and the deepest disappointment with our country. My doctor, a male psychiatrist, was caring, went overtime with our recent session and said my anger was justifiable. But he tried to make excuses for my grandfather. This was, and is, devastating to me. As are glib, dismissive statements, like “we have all been abused.” I am sick at heart and in my gut. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I would venture to say that these two weeks have been traumatic for all sexual crime survivors, and, as I learned from a younger friend, for survivors of emotional abuse as well. It has taught me a lot. It has taught me to treasure my husband even more. I always did, but now it is profoundly visceral and flows through every vein in my body. My husband is the only one who “gets” the whole story.
I hope Christine Blasey Ford’s husband can help her. I feel SO badly for her. She was a hero and look at what it got her. A sham investigation. A probable Kavanaugh confirmation. A Trump parody of her answers, perhaps his most perverse remarks ever. That same friend of mine, who suffered emotional abuse, tells me there is a silver lining to this. That women will use their power and mobilize. That young people will see the horror of mistreatment of an innocent victim of a sexual predator, a sexual predator like our president. Not being the most optimistic of people, I only hope she is right.
And THANK YOU Christine Blasey Ford! Take pride in your moving bravery. You have helped countless women. You are a hero for all of us. My heart goes out to you.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
Bible verse from the King James version of the Bible, 1 Corinthians Chap 13 verse 12
And the guru who is my eyes right now is Kamlesh Patel, known as “Daaji,” and his disciple, Joshua Pollock in their book “The Heartfulness Way.” See below. I have read it twice and will reread it again. It is the No. 1 Bestseller in India right now and it is chock full of insights and directions to follow the path of “Heartfulness.” It is the path of love and the heart. The path of Raja Yoga. How could I resist? Daaji does not charge for his teaching. He has a network of trainers available on the Internet. The key to Raja Yoga is the transmission you receive from the guru, from the trainers. The path of Heartfulness is leading me to peace. And as I am in the midst of withdrawing from a major tranquilizer STILL (a long process that will continue for months), peace is MAJOR. I am not there yet but I see light at the end of the tunnel of Maya. “I see now through a glass darkly…”
I awaken to moonlight– it is at that particular slant that lights up the front yard at 3 AM. What really has awakened me is my husband’s breathing. It is labored like he has just run up a flight of stairs. At times I awaken because I do not hear his breath and some alarm goes off in my head to check him. And if I can not hear him breathing I put my hand lightly on his chest so as not to wake him to see if I can feel the his heart beating. Feeling it pulsing in my hand I am reassured once more. I am not alone in this. My sister-in-law confides in me that she wakes up at night to listen to my brother to see if he is still breathing. My first-grade friend says much the same. She does a breathing check on her husband. Our husbands are relatively well. They have diabetes, heavy smoking and drinking, a delicate frame among them, but they are not on death’s door so far as we know. And yet we are plagued by morbid fears.
In the wee hours of morning fears loom large. My husband’s heartbeat, a mere flutter, seems so delicate. I am reassured that it is beating just as I am reassured that he is breathing. But the breath itself is so fragile. It scares me awe-fully– the fragility of the breath, the fine line between breathing and cessation of breath.
I prowl the house. Through the skylight the stars beam brightly along with a shining half moon. A clear day tomorrow. But it is already tomorrow. It is so still my ears hum. My husband, who knows so many interesting things, tells me the humming I hear is the sound of the nervous system. Our bodies hold such mystery.
I look out the window, now hearing my neighbor’s dogs barking quietly. I look for coyote thinking that is what they are barking at, but see nothing. The moonlit grass on the lawn is whitish silver, looking almost as if it had snowed, and the water in the marsh sparkles in the moonlight. The deep woods behind are pitch dark, the home of many a creature. Nothing stirs. It is too early for the birds. The house across the way is always dark; it is up for sale. And in the other direction, at this hour, no lights shine in the driveway of the house down the road.
I am reminded of a line from a poem by Tagore “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” I am at my most faithless at 3 AM.
Along with the supreme beauty of Tagore’s thoughts, a frivolous line from an old song runs through my head: “There ought to be a moonlight savings time…” and the line continues so there would be more time for loving. But moonlight in the middle of the night also brings with it intense dreads.
Now chilled I finally go back to bed. An owl hoots in the distance– a reassuring sound. My husband is breathing freely now. His body is warm in the bed and I am filled with love for him as he lays in a heap, so trustingly in the arms of sleep. Our marriage a wonder. Unexpected. An endless source of ever increasing love brimming not only with joy but also the dread of loss. Perhaps all wives check their husbands for breathing. Perhaps there is an army of women out there prowling the wee hours of the night, at times by moonlight, checking on their husbands, their children, their animals to see that they all have that breath of life flowing.
“There is one way of breathing that is shameful and constricted. Then, there’s another way: a breath of love that takes you all the way to infinity.” Rumi said that. And it is breath of love that I must master.
December is my favorite time of year. In this month of darkness, in this the darkest month, the light of the human spirit shines forth in a fullness shown by so many, in so many ways. As the days grow shorter, houses and trees are decorated, and snow falls. In the hushed silence of the nights, lights shine in windows, and the beauty is shared by all. For this season of giving brings the festivals of lights: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza. Each tradition incorporates light in its ceremonies and decorations.
In December’s darkness we light lights. For we are beings of light. A light glows within each one of us. And, at the most basic level, we are beings of light because we are made from stardust. Perhaps that is why the stars hold such majesty for us– we are made from star material.
Einstein said: “A human being is part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe”– a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest– a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” We are all cut from the same cloth and our inner light unites us.
And in this holiday season we behold the night sky as shepherds did two thousand years ago on the birth of the holy infant, in a stable like the one down the road where my donkey friend lives. That night a star lit the whole sky to guide the shepherds, and on these deep, long, silent nights as we light our houses, our candles, our trees, let us look inside ourselves and find the glow that may guide us to The Light
A holy Hanukkah, a magical Christmas and the ecstasy of Sadhguru to all for the New Year! May we awaken from Maya and realize the wonders we are… for inside each of us burns the Sacred Light of the Universe.
Another invisible illness silently
sapping quality of life
vertigo and acute nausea
and, with Aspergers, I am
more of a recluse than ever
But my beloved stands by me
A few weeks ago
I wanted to die
Bipolar, too, you see
too sick to sleep
too long a wait
to see a doctor
My beloved, my savior
keeps me going.
But I must fight on my own
and have enlisted Sadhguru
an Indian mystic and Yogi and guru
who promises bliss.
Meditating and chanting every day
with my beautiful husband
pulls me through
My husband the healer
with the poorest of the poor
the dejected and rejected
My husband who married me
despite my mental illness.
Sadhguru says my mind
can poison my body
Sadhguru, my last best hope
I meditate and chant Aum
with him daily
living the life of a hermit
in a 3 room box in New York City
rather than in a cave in the Himalayas
the spirituality of years ago
before antipsychotic medication
gave me a spiritual lobotomy
A trade off
it offered me
some sort of stability
to have a quasi normal life
with my devoted husband
of 28 years.
Why can’t you have
that allows you to love
I am going to try…
on a flower petal bed
The perfume of love
in a plethora of hues
of the present
past in a blink
of the eye
or the flutter
of a butterfly wing.
Taking a break from blogging for awhile. Following a class with the famous yogi, Sadhguru, on Inner Engineering which is quite wonderful and I plan on spending lots of time on. A sample of his way of thinking is below.