Monday, December 17, 2007


I am reading a book by Thich Nhat Hanh called Anger. On page 90, Hanh starts the following:

"In a time of anger or despair, our love is still there also. Our capacity to communicate, to forgive, to be compassionate is still there. You have to believe this. We are more than our anger, we are more than our suffering. We must recognize that we do have within us the capacity to love, to understand, to be compassionate."

I don't feel very loving or very compassionate right now. Those are the feelings that I need right now to feel for myself. I cried again yesterday.

I watched the movie "The Notebook." It isn't the first time that I have seen the movie. It hit me harder than the first time that I watched it. My sympathy and compassion go out to all family members who have to live through a loved one losing all their memories of their life and their loved ones. The entire story is about an older couple in a nursing home sitting and reading a story of young love. You aren't told until near the end that it is their story of love. The woman has dementia according to the doctor. Today it might be called Alheimer's. Her memory comes back for very brief periods of time where she knows who she is and who her husband is, sometimes just for five minutes and then she slips back into forgetfulness.

I would hate to forget my husband, children, family and friends. I would love to forget the incest. If I could forget, maybe I wouldn't hurt any more. Would my body still remember? Would some part of my subconscious still carry the memories of the physical and emotional pain of the worst betrayal of my life.

My eating has been out of control at night for the past three weeks. I don't eat much during the day. During the day, I eat when I am hungry. From supper (That is my Southern upbringing coming out.) on until I go to bed, I eat. It doesn't have to be sweet, but it helps if it is chocolate. Why am I overeating?

I am scared. Feelings still scare me. I am better than I have ever been before in my life about feeling and I still get frightened by them when they come up.

My mother-in-law scared me when I thought she might die. She is the only mother that I have left. I have a friend in the hospital right now who just had two major surgeries in a matter of days so there is the fear that she could still die. (I know that she could also live but that isn't my fear.) Fear isn't always rational. Most of my fears are not rational.

My anger isn't rational either. I am angry that I am still having to deal with my incest issues after all this time. I am angry at my friend who died two years ago. I am angry that I don't like my brother. I am angry that he reminds me of the uncle that sexually abused me when I was eleven years old. I am angry that I am not feeling any of that anger right now even though I know it is there still buried under the sadness that I have been feeling this month. The anger sneaks out and strikes and then goes back into hiding. I am probably the only one that it is hiding from.

I could go eat a horse right now but it wouldn't help. I know I am on the right track because tears are close to the surface again.

I hate that I am dreaming about snakes again. I know that snakes have to do with sexual energy and spiritual healing. I had a dream in which my husband Daniel bought a house and moved us into it and it was full of snakes. We had three children in the dream. My daughter's three oldest children were the children in my dream. Daniel and I were in bed in our bedroom but I couldn't go to sleep because I was afraid of the snakes in the house. I never saw any but Daniel had told me that he did. As I am busy being afraid to go to sleep, Daniel tells me that the snake that he saw in the bedroom was actually on our bed. I get more upset and tell him I will definitely not go to sleep now. I woke myself up from the dream. I got up and went to the bathroom. Then I went back to bed and went back to sleep and back into the very same dream about the snakes. Did I say that I hate dreams about snakes. I was upset when I went back to sleep and went back into the same dream after telling myself that I wouldn't.

Last night I dreamed that I was in a school as a student. I was the oldest in the class. I was at least teen-aged. All the other students were much younger. Someone broke my chair and the teacher sent me across the campus to find the repair shop to have someone come and fix my chair. Two little girls went with me. One of them went off ahead of us and we didn't see her again. The second little girl somehow hurt her foot or leg and I had to carry her on my back. She went to sleep as I got us lost. People kept giving directions but I couldn't find the repair shop. It was beginning to get dark when I decided to try to find my way back to the classroom. I woke up. I have been dreaming about getting lost a lot lately too.

If this article feels scattered and all over the place, it reflects on where I am right now. I haven't kept my writing schedule of posting on Wednesdays and Sundays because of my scattered thougths and feelings. It is difficult to write when you can't stay focused on one thing for very long. I also don't want to write unless I am being honest with myself and with you, my readers. This blog is about my spiritual journey, its ups and its downs. Right now, that is mostly down. I don't want to chase away my readers by wallowing in self-pity. I do want to be honest about what I am feeling and where I am.

That brings me to this poem that a friend gave me many years ago when I was first beginning to work on my incest issues. I don't know who wrote it. My copy is on a small card with a pray on the back of it. I will share the poem and the prayer. Here they are.

The Girl In The Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you queen for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself,
And see what THAT girl has to say.

For it isn't your father or mother or husband
Whose judgment upon you must pass;
The person whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

Some people may think you a straight-shootin' chum
And call you a wonderful girl,
But the girl in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look her straight in the eye.

She's the person to please, never mind all the rest
For she's with you clear up to the end.
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test,
If the girl in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears,
If you've cheated the girl in the glass.

Dear God,
I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself. . . and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe this: I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. I hope I have that desire in everything I do. I hope I never persist in anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it at the time. Therefore I will trust you always, for though I may seem to be lost --- and in the shadow of death --- I will not be afraid, because I know you will never leave me to face my troubles all alone.

With that poem and prayer, I will close.


jumpinginpuddles said...

the notebook reminded us that when you find soemone dont waste time becasue they missed so much time together.
the blog is refelctive of all you are goign through making sense to us or not, wallowing in slef pity is soemtiems ok also and its ok to also accept cyber hugs from people who want to know if you arent ok
God never leaves us alone although in wonderment we soemtimes wonder where he might be in the midst of pain and sufering but hes around

River of said...

Bravo Patricia,
Well done on a piece that really conveys how you feel right now. You don;t have to apologise for anything because you're right on one - Spirituality is an unfoldment of sorts. Unfold in your own time.

Keep up the good job Patricia. And may you find the peace you're looking for.

Have a good one.


Patricia Singleton said...

River of Karma, thanks. It is what it is.

Patricia Singleton said...

Jumpinginpuddles, I love your name. It sounds like so much fun. I used to think God had turned his back on me. I now know that wasn't true. He has always been here in my heart.

Patricia Singleton said...

Jumpinginpuddles, I accept hugs in any form, cyper or otherwise. Thanks.

Damian said...


I'm feeling for you as you go through this difficult time - sending healing thoughts and love your way.

Thank you for sharing the Poem and Prayer - I've been anxious and lacking direction and have been asking 'upstairs' for guidance and clarity. The poem and prayer acted as a moment of recognition for me.

A quick 'post-it' note to tell me to give the Universe a little more time to move everything into place for me ;-)

Much Love,


Patricia Singleton said...

Damian, glad to be of aid to a fellow traveler. I am actually better than I was. I am just going with the flow of emotions wherever they take me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Patricia,

So much emotion and feeling - good stuff!

I know you've started with The Work and one of the things I find with that is to open as much as possible to how I am feeling and then work through what I find - not to try and get rid of it, simply to meet it with understanding, like meeting an angry thought just like a small (or large) angry child running into the room.

And I find that this is easier said than done - I often find myself trying to use it to get rid of how I am feeling :-)

Sending you much love,


Patricia Singleton said...

Jon, I started writing with The Work last week. I got down my initial list and stopped. I haven't gone back to the list as of today. The past few weeks, fear has been building in me. I have tried unsuccessfully, until today, to sit with that fear. Today, I heard a voice say that I was afraid of who I would be without the fear, sadness and anger that has been a part of me for so many years. Now, I know that those feelings are a part of me but they are not who I am.

I just had a wonderful healing session with Paula Kawal who does what she calls Journey Inward Coaching. I am going to give myself a little time to process what went on in the session and then I will write an article about it. In the session, we addressed my fears, anger, and sadness.

Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul said...

Hi Patricia,

Hugs to you, and thank you as always for your candid writing.

Just remember that you are not your anger, you are not your fear, you are not your feelings. Feelings are not good, not bad, they are information. But it's easy to think that this information is who we are. It's easy to think that fear or anger means there is something wrong with us. Not true.

Glad you're working with Paula, too!


Patricia Singleton said...

Andrea, thanks for the comment and the hug. I had a great session with Paula and I am much better than I was before.

Marj aka Thriver said...

I have that Thich Nhat Hanh book. But I needed to read that quote again. Thanks.

It is painful, but feeling the feelings is a key to healing. I'm proud of you that you're getting in touch with yours. At the same time, I'm sorry for your pain. Peace and safe hugs to you. (((Patricia)))

Patricia Singleton said...

Marj, thanks, the hugs and your words mean a lot to me.

Deb said...

Hello Patrica,

Holding you in prayer...

xo xo

Patricia Singleton said...

Deb, thanks,feeling-wise, I am doing better.

Karma said...

I could really relate to this post. First of all, I am losing my Mom to Alzheimer's so "The Notebook" always has a big effect on me. I also have the night time eating issue. I get angry and afraid and anxious and just eat and then wake up the next day having not slept well and with a stomach upset. You're not a lone.

Patricia Singleton said...

Karma, thank you for reaching out to me with your comment. You and your mother are in my prayers.