Sunday, December 9, 2007

Cry When You Need To

I watched a movie earlier and I cried. What I watched isn't important. The fact that I cried is. Why did I cry?

Because it is Christmas. Because my friend Carol died 2 years ago on December 1 and isn't here when I need her. Because of the sad childhood memories that come up for me at Christmas. Because it was Pearl Harbor Day a few days ago. Because I got mad at my husband earlier tonight. Because my daughter and grandchildren live thousands of miles away in Idaho. Because my mom died Nov. 21, 1999. Because my friend Kathy was murdered the day after Christmas in 1992.

I have been reading other blogs lately who say that happiness is a decision and that suffering is optional. The wounded, hurting parts of me say _ _ _ _ _ _ _. Well, you really don't want to know what they say about happiness being a decision. I was told as a child that ladies don't talk like that.

I wanted to write some kind of article for Sunday but really didn't know what I wanted to say. I have been so tied up in emotions for the past week, emotions that I have not wanted to feel. These are emotions that come up for me every year around Christmas. Only in the past few years have I allowed myself to cry when the need grows strong in me.

What am I crying for? Christmas is a time for family. It is the time of year that I miss mine the most. Even when you grow up in an abusive home, you miss family. Often you miss what you never had---a happy home. I miss the healthy relationships that should have been between my father, mother, sister brother and me. I miss the happy Christmases that didn't happen because of the incest and the alcohol. My dad and grandfather were verbally violent alcoholics. The threat of physical violence was also there. Holidays always seemed worse.

I can hear voices saying for me to just let go of it. This happened 30-50 years ago. No matter how much forgiveness that I have done, the feelings still come up at Christmas. I don't know how to make them stop other than to feel them. That is the difficult part. Will they ever stop coming up? I hope so. I don't know if it will ever happen. It isn't as simple as telling myself that I am going to be happy this Christmas. Some Christmases are better than others.

Some of my tears have been for my friend Carol not being here. She was one of my best friends. We had known each other for about ten years. She died of a heart attack just after midnight on the morning of December 1 two years ago. They say that anniversary's of someone's death is when you miss them most. She was in my thoughts last week but the actual day passed without me recognising that it was December 1. Carol was a good listener and counselor and could help me work through my feelings to find the source of the tears, fears or anger. I am having to do that by myself this year. Earlier tonight when I was crying, I wanted to run to someone to have a shoulder to cry on when I got angry at my husband. I realized that there was no one that I could run to. In the past, I would call Carol and she would point out that Daniel wasn't being insensitive on purpose. She would point out that he probably wasn't even the person that I was angry with and most of the time she was right. I don't like having to figure out all of that by myself. As you can tell, I am not being my usual rational self.

Guess what? Feelings aren't rational. Someone earlier in the week mentioned that I might be feeling Christmas blues. I know that more suicides happen this time of year than any other time. I even thought about naming the article Christmas Blues. Suicide has never been an option for me. Some part of me says, "I won't let the bastards win." By bastards she means the ones who abused her/me. There is a defiant person inside of me who gives me the strength to never give up.

The cheerful, optimistic part of me who often wishes people a glorious day isn't in residence right now. I know she will be again, just not right now.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Patricia - a great posting.

I like Rumi's 'Guest House" for reminding me that all feelings are valid - even if I don't always believe that :-)

With love,


Patricia Singleton said...

You are welcome, Jon. I wrote this post not knowing how it would be perceived but needed to write it for me.

Debra A. Estep said...

Dear Patricia,

You know that those who have
passed on are always with you
in a way...
You have the wisdom of their past sharings and times with you.
Even how you dealt with the
frustration of the situation with
Daniel brought Carol's words
right to you.
Embrace the peace in that thought.

I know how painful it is to be without certain people in our lives.
I have a dear friend who's husband of 25 years passed in Nov of 2006,
my friend said to me....

"I just wanted one more day".

It never really goes away, that wishing for one more day.
But you can't live there, and
your passed over friends would not
want you to live in pain over missing them.

There is a saying...
"God gave us our memories so we might have roses in December".

I also wanted to share something with you that I am nearly certain you are aware of, but it's just
getting past your thinking at this time....
That is being the silent witness
to your life.
I think Wayne Dyer describes it as a silenet observer.

You pull back from your earthly body and just watch.

Another thing that Dyer speaks about is that your past is just like the wake of a boat.
As a boat moves through the water, it leaves behind a wake.
The wake does not control the boat, it just is.
What controls the boat is the intent of the person driving
the boat.

I located this article
Awaken Higher Awareness Through Self-Observation
by Guy Finley
To better help explain the
silent witness

What you are reflecting back to
the world Patricia, even though it feels like hurt, is more like the
pangs of birth.


Patricia Singleton said...

Deb, thanks for your caring and words of wisdom. A friend at church just reminded me that emotional turmoil is usually just before a new birth.

I love Wayne Dyer. One of my favorite books of his, I have read twice, is called Your Sacred Self. It made such an impact upon my spiritual journey.

I know all of what you have said is true. I have told myself the same thing. My friend Carol is much better off where she is than here with all of the suffering that she was experiencing in her obese body. I am also aware that she visits me occasionally and even talks to me when she does.

All of this knowledge doesn't stop the emotional disturbances that come around at Christmas. I think the reason that they keep coming around is because I haven't allowed myself the luxury of feeling. I have stuffed, ignored, denied and run away from what I was feeling long enough. This year, I am feeling every bit of it and since it is part of my spiritual journey, I am writing about it. Hopefully, it will give others permission to do the same in their lives. I know it is rediculous to think that we need permission to feel but for some of us who were told as children not to feel, that inner child is still waiting for permission to feel, to cry, to scream. Deb, thanks for being a friend.

Anonymous said...

Hey Patricia

I'm with your friend on this one, emotional turmoil is often just before new birth, out of chaos come order.

You have done some great work this year and how you feel is how you feel, it's not good or bad it just is. When it happens to me nowadays I am aware that it's just stuff coming to the surface on it's way out, in "the old days" it was wallowing and feeling sorry for myself. From reading your blog over the last few months you have openly and courageously dealt with hard stuff so remember how far you've come too.

Have you read Brandon Bays "The Journey", a great tool for dealing with the discomfort of growth. And seeing how we have chosen this path there's more of it to come, tools are great as over time you will not need to consciously access it and be able to take it in your stride a bit more.

For now observe and watch, there are gifts in how you are feeling right now. Keep up the good work.

In love, light and abundance x x x

Patricia Singleton said...

Lola, thank you. I have learned to look for the gift out of the turmoil. Each gift is well worth the journey through the chaos. I know that all of this is coming up to be healed. That is the only reason for writing about it. Writing helps me to claim it as my own so that I can release it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Patricia,

While there's books being recommended, one of my favourites is "Joy No Matter What" by Carolyn Hobbs - one of half-a-dozen personal development / self-help books that I have kept.

I randomly opened this evening to "Making friends with depression and hopelessness" - perfect for my day today!

With love,


Patricia Singleton said...

Deb, I printed out the Guy Finley article to read. I have one of his books on prayer that is fantastic.

Jon and Lola, I will put both of your books on my reading list as books to buy in the future. With my birthday and Christmas coming up, I just bought enough books to keep me reading for at least the next 6 months.

Anonymous said...

God bless you Patricia - all the best for your journey, once again.

Albert | UrbanMonk.Net
Modern personal development, entwined with ancient spirituality.

Patricia Singleton said...

Albert, thanks. This is part of my journey. The birthing pains aren't pleasant but the end result will be worth it.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes you just need to cry and let it all come out but at the same time Love that person (yourself) who feels so deep and cries so hard...
and the Sun will be back.....

Patricia Singleton said...

Karen, thanks for the analogy of the sun coming back. Each of the past few days, I do feel more light coming back into my day.

Anonymous said...

I came back to your blog today looking for that wonderful posting on forgiveness. I have sensed my dead father coming around lately looking for forgiveness, and I'm not ready. I look forward to reading your thoughts about this again.

Re: your sadness, I wonder if this post would be any help, or these poems about grieving:

One way to resist limiting beliefs is to go ahead and honor your emotional state, whatever it is. Instead of "I learned not to feel" (me, too), let's try for "I have the right to be a fully alive human being with free-flowing feelings."

Thank you for your blog.

Patricia Singleton said...

Cari, thanks for the links to the articles that you listed. I will check them out. I am doing better. I cried off and on for about 2 weeks. The grief and sadness is lifting and getting lighter.

I actually have 4 articles about forgiveness. Here are the links for them:

As one of my articles says, don't push yourself to forgive. Don't think you will never do it, either. When you are ready, it will happy. Hope reading my articles helps.

Anonymous said...

Hi Patricia,

Here's a quote from Byron Katie about forgiveness, one that I'm scratching the surface of:

"Forgiveness is realizing that what you thought happened didn't."

For me it's become about realizing that if I believe I or someone else should or shouldn't have done something different then I suffer.

Another one I've been reflecting on recently is something she says in facilitation sessions every now and again:

"If this was your only path to God, would you take it?"

With love,

Jon x

Patricia Singleton said...

Jon, when I am not in the middle of the emotions, I can see what Katie is saying and even agree with it to a degree. When I am in the middle of the emotional turmoil, I don't want to hear any of it.

For me, the most important thing right now is to just feel whatever comes up. As long as I suppress, deny, or resist, I stay stuck. I want to heal all of this so that I don't have to deal with it again. I am in a better place.

If this path were my only way to God, would I repeat it? Yes. I believe that I have all of the wonderful traits that I have because of my childhood.

Thanks to all of those who have left comments. You have helped me to move in a better direction than I was in when I wrote this article.
Compassion does help us to heal. Each of you has reached out with compassion. I thank you for that.

Patricia Singleton said...

I just finished reading each of the articles that Cari Nightingale left links for in her comments. If you haven't checked them out for yourself, you should. They are very powerfully written poetry that tells Cari's story and my own. I know the feelings and the memories that she writes about. They could be mine as much as they are hers. Thank you Cari for having the courage to share them with others.

Kahless said...

Patricia, you dont have to forgive, that isnt the end point of healing.

And ignore those that believe happiness is a choice.

Patricia Singleton said...

Kahless, thanks for your comment. I know that I don't have to forgive but I am the one suffering if I don't. I am the one having migraine headaches right now, not my abusers. Forgiveness is not the end of healing. It is the beginning of a new level of healing. I wish for you a glorious day.

jumpinginpuddles said...

we are having christmas alone this year well alone as in five kids and a partner but til lwe are finding that painful.. After so many years of not having christmas like a normal family then finding that christmas is fun then back to nothign again is hard and i know people say well five kids etc etc is nothing but we liked the surrpounding of people on xmas day.
thankyou for the recent visit to our blog and your comments just so you know our decsion over the birth parents is up

Patricia Singleton said...

Jumpinginpuddles, sometimes being alone for a holiday is the safest thing that you can do to protect yourselves. Thanks for visiting my blog.

VICKI IN AZ said...

I just love reading what you have to say.
"just isn't in residence right now"
That is brilliant. If I didn't quote it right sorry, it is so perfectly said.

I watch "The Family Stone" every year at Christmas. Not because I had such a healthy "Crazy" family. Because I cry like a baby every year, it helps me get in touch with the pain and grief of the loss of the Mother that I never really had. My loss is nothing like the family in the movie, it doesn't matter... The loss is still real.

Patricia Singleton said...

Vicki, I watched The Family Stone for the first time this year and then I watched it again. I cried both times. Thanks for your comments. I reread my article to understand your comment. Today, that cheerful, optimistic part of me is in residence and wishes you a glorious day.

Tracie Nall said...

This year I felt that loss of family more than I have in the last few years. Christmas was celebratory (when you have a small child in the home, you have to put their needs above your feelings) but at night when everyone else was asleep, it was a mourning. I just couldn't get out of that funk, and even now that the holiday has passed, I'm still working my way out of the funk.

I'm sorry for your loss of your friend Carol. I hope that this year you found more peace.

Thank you for sharing this with the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse.

Patricia Singleton said...

Tracie, thank you for your comment and your compassion and understanding. My children are grown now and my daughter has 4 children of her own. I remember well putting on a happy face for my children when they were little and excited about Christmas.

It has now been 5 years since my friend Carol died. I can keep up with how many years it has been because my youngest grandson was born about 2 weeks before Carol died and he just turned 5 just days before Thanksgiving. The hurt has greatly lessened. Now I mostly remember the good things and the laughs and the important things that Carol taught me through the years of our friendship.

For my other readers, this post was shared with the December Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse found at the following link to the blog From Tracie:

Sharon Rose said...

Hi Patricia,
Thank you for sharing this post. I found you from Traci's website.

Thank you for speaking out about the childhood incest and alcoholism.

You touched the core of my soul on this.

I find myself looking for that shoulder to cry on from time to time. It is sooo good to have a healing cry.

Patricia Singleton said...

Pastor Sharon, thank you for stopping by. You are very welcome. Speaking out about incest, breaking the silence that held me captive for so many years is how I make sense of all of the hurt. If I can make a difference to someone else, then that is the gift of the suffering through my childhood. Having something good come out of the bad is important to me.

celesteka said...

Dear Patricia,

Your story speaks deeply to me because it is also my story. My father, my abuser was also a raging alcoholic and made every holiday a nightmare. Christmas is a time when I cry for my losses too, including my first husband that I couldn't love because I hated myself so much.

My heart is with you, dear sister. We really are one.

I am comforted to know that I am not alone in my quiet suffering.

I am also here for you anytime you want to talk.

We are together on this journey, including the joyful AND the sorrowful times.

My loving thoughts are with you supporting you right where you are.



Patricia Singleton said...

Celeste, thank you for your loving thoughts and support. I am glad that we found each other on Twitter. I am having a great Christmas this year. I wrote this post back in December of 2007 when things were not so good or so easy to get through. Some years are joyful and some are not. Some are just too full of reminders of the past Christmases of my childhood.

When I have a good Christmas is when I can focus on my present day family and the love that I feel from them. I can feel their love because I have come to love myself. The many years that I hated myself, I couldn't see beyond the bad in my life. Self-forgiveness is what has helped me to love myself.

Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for your friendship and support.