Monday, April 11, 2011

Your Heart Is Tired---An Effect Of Incest And Grief

"Your heart is tired." he said with some surprise sounding in his voice.  This is the second time over the past year that my intuitive healer friend has told me that my heart is tired.

Both times, I agreed with him.  The past few weeks, I haven't been sleeping well.  My stomach and hiatal hernia have been acting up.  Spring time means my allergies are acting up.  I get earaches and sinus drainage with sore throats and headaches.  My energy levels have been very low.

My husband tells me if I would exercise I would feel better.  I tell him you have to have energy to exercise.  I just don't have the energy right now, haven't had it for several weeks.

My intuitive healer friend says nothing is wrong with my heart.  My heart is just tired.  I nod my head in agreement.  I feel the overpowering tiredness in my body.  His words make me want to cry.  I have known tiredness as a part of my life for so long a time.  Since I started my healing from incest, sometimes the tiredness lifts for short periods of time.  Then it comes back.

The rest of this post is a conversation with my heart:

Heart - Yes, I am tired.  What do you expect?  I have felt so much hurt, so much betrayal and disappointment throughout our lifetime.  Tiredness is one of the effects of the incest.  Tiredness and Sadness walk hand in hand in my world.  I have carried so much grief in this lifetime.  It is a wonder that I haven't stopped beating all together.  I have carried such a heavy load for most of our life.  Others have given up.  We haven't.  Guess we are both just too stubborn.

Heart - I could cry, cry, cry and there would be little difference in the size of the grief that I hold inside.  Grieving is the key to healing from the incest.  Yes, you have done anger work and you have done heavy grieving in the past.  The time for you to grieve has returned.  In that grieving, you will peel away another layer of abuse issues.

Patricia - Heart, how can I grieve without knowing what the issues are?  I don't know what happened to me before age three and again at age seven.

Heart - You don't have to know.  Just let the feelings flow.  Feel the grief.  Feel it.  Go through it and then let it go.  The important thing is to feel.  Don't use food to medicate and stuff the feelings.  Let go of any denial and fears.  I know that you want to throw up as we are writing this.  That feeling is okay too.  As your heart, I feel it right along with you.  Having this conversation between you and me is very helpful.  You aren't running away.  You are listening to what I am saying.  You know in your heart (me) that all I am saying is true.  Yes, you have a headache starting.  The headache comes from the part of you that would rather intellectualize things instead of feeling the pain and the grief.  I won't die and neither will you if you feel the grief.  I might die if you continue to ignore me and the grief.  Stress can do that to a person and a heart.  Denial causes stress.  If you need help, watch movies or read books or listen to stories that make you cry.  Crying gives you access to the grief.  Crying can release the grief from your heart and any other parts of your body that you might be holding it.  Many people carry grief in their belly too.

Patricia - Is that why I cried over a Facebook comment, a YouTube video and a comment on Twitter over the weekend?  Heart, you don't have to answer that question.  I know the answer is yes.  I know that is why three different people brought silent screams of child abuse to mind for me this past week.

Patricia - A Twitter friend - BraveKidsVoices - asked me to write about incest being the most common form of child abuse.  She sent me an article to read on the subject of incest.  I read part of the article about 3 days ago and haven't been able to read more.  The post adds to my sadness.  I had no idea of the prominence of incest across the world today and back into the pages of history.  It makes me sad that so many other children have felt the same feelings that I have for most of my life. (I will write the post that BraveKidsVoices asked me to write, just not right now.)

Heart - The actual incest experience itself that took place when you were a child took its toll on both of us.  Hiding the incest from the world and from yourself started the sadness and grief.  Then as a young adult, adding denial of the incest happening created so much more stress in our life.  I know that you have memories as a child of feeling that heavy clock of sadness and feeling completely surrounded by the sadness.  Young children shouldn't have to feel that much sadness.  You were made to feel responsible for your own abuse.  You feel sad because of that too.  All of that sadness over the years has grown and placed an awful toll on me.  Is it any wonder that I am so tired?  I have memories of you as a happy toddler before the sadness settled heavy onto both of us.  The weight has grown over the years.

Patricia - Heart, thank you for sharing all of this knowledge with me.  I have several friends that I can share this with that can help me to release the burden from both of us.  Now that I am aware of where the tiredness comes from, I can address it.  No, I can feel it.  In feeling the grief, I can release it and let joy come back into our lives.  It feels odd signing this Patricia like I have all the rest of my posts.


Barbara Graver said...

I know that sadness and admire you for being able to write about it. Sending light, heart to heart.

Patricia Singleton said...

Barbara, I thank you for the light, heart to heart. I feel sad that you know that sadness. I ask for healing for both of us.

Just Be Real said...

Safe hugs Patricia.

dbrannem said...


What a great post. I especially relate to the passage:

I won't die and neither will you if you feel the grief. I might die if you continue to ignore me and the grief. Stress can do that to a person and a heart. Denial causes stress.

That is a good lesson to teach. So many feel that by getting in touch with the grief their hearts will explode, but it's the exact opposite. The pent up anxiety & stress caused by the grief is more dangerous. If it doesn't impact us internally and manifest through our health, it will impact those around us through lashing out or other means.

As a society we are taught to "buck up", "grin and bear it" or "get over it". We have to give ourselves permission to ignore this chatter and get in touch with what we really need - to grieve.

Patricia Singleton said...

DBrannem, yes so very true. As a child, I was taught that tears, even for girls, were a sign of weakness and brought on even more verbal abuse. "If you are gonna cry, I'll give you somethin' to cry about." "Quit that crying right now." Thanks for adding your wisdom to my post.

Anonymous said...

Patricia -
What a powerful piece of writing and healing exercise! I'm totally blown away by the way you connected with your heart. I have a recovery friend who started dealing with childhood issues, and kept saying "my heart hurts." You have expressed this magnificently. Wow! This is breathtaking!

Patricia Singleton said...

Dan, thank you. I hope that you will share this post with your friend. Having these kind of conversations with different body parts over the years has been one very effective way for me to reconnect with my body and my feelings. Yes, sometimes my heart does hurt like your friend says. One of the effects of child abuse is that it can create physical symptoms in our bodies when we are adults.

Patricia Singleton said...

Just Be Real, thank you so much. Those hugs feel real good right now. Sending hugs back to you.

Susan Komisar Hausman said...

So beautifully stated, Patricia. Thank you for sharing.

Patricia Singleton said...

Susan, thank you for your comment. You are very welcome. I am glad that you found my post helpful.

Mystic_Mom said...

Patricia, my heart aches for your heart and I have a tremendous empathy for you. I also am honoured by your words and blessed by their honesty. Hugs and love for you...this week has been hard as I've discovered some things that rocked my world but in a way also started to make the mysteries make sense. My heart is tired too.

Patricia Singleton said...

Mystic_Mom, thank you for your compassion. I am sorry that you a troubling week. I know how that feels. The blessing is that you have some mysteries answered so you are no longer left guessing. I am honored to watch you grow into your power.

Margie McKinnon said...

Dear Patricia, I've been where you are and it's as if you were writing what I used to think and feel, especially while I was going through recovery. So much pain, it drags at your heart. Please go to my website at and you might find some help. You can email me at if I can help in any way. You're not alone. Hugs, Margie

Puzzled Hat said...

This is such a raw yet insightful post. I'm sorry you carry so much grief in your heart and that you have done for so long. I think those of us who are survivors can really relate. I think you're courageous to stop and listen to your heart and face the reality you find there. I hope that you'll feel some relief soon. It is awfully exhausting to carry such a weight for so long.

PH x

Patricia Singleton said...

Puzzled Hat, thank you so much. I don't know how soon I will be able to go through the grief but it is part of the process of healing. I have done it again so I know that I will survive.

Patricia Singleton said...

Margie, thank you. I will check out your website. I am not new to this process. I have done it before and I will go through it again. I appreciate your and everyone else's support.

Michelle Mayur said...

Thank you for sharing the wisdom of your heart, which is the voice of your soul and knows the truth.

Patricia Singleton said...

Michelle, you are very welcome. Thanks for your visit and comment.

Colleen said...

Sometimes my heart is tired too.

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen, thanks. Hugs back to you.

Wendi said...


I can relate to this and my heart aches for you and for me and for all survivors of incest...and most especially for those poor babies that are still victims :( It breaks my heart...but I know my heart breaking will not change anything. When my heart is tired, it needs rest so I can come back and be ready for what comes my way...opportunities will be knocking :) thanks for this blog!

Wendi said...

I would also like to add that this is the perhaps the most accurate written description of how my heart actually is painfully beautiful.

Patricia Singleton said...

Wendi, thank you for your compassion and your comment. You are very welcome from my heart to yours. I write my blog for myself for my healing and for the healing of other incest survivors as well. This blog is my way of making a difference.

Patricia Singleton said...

Wendi, thank you. I can't express what you last comment means to me. I am sad that you have experienced this tiredness and level of hurt that this post describes.

Journey of a Genie in a Bottle said...

Patricia, this is such an accurate description of what CSA/CA survivors feel, what they carry all their lives. I can relate so well to this. I have noticed that when I find some release through allowing grieving to happen, I get a burst of energy, I feel lighter. But then the tiredness comes again, it pulls from the deepest part (heart). I sometimes wonder if there is enough time in one's life to grieve it all? I am going to go forward as if there is, I want to have an energized heart that lasts more than a week or two at a time!

Hugs to you Patricia!
Carla Logan

Patricia Singleton said...

Carla, thank you for the hugs and for your words. I agree. I would like to have an energized heart too for more than a few days or weeks. That would be wonderful.

I am 59 years old. Looking back through my memories, the only time that I can see my heart light and free of this grief was before the age of 3. I have had many times when I lied to myself and denied what I was feeling but my heart has known this grief and sadness for most of this lifetime.

For some reason, the darkness and grief gets much, much worse around Easter every year. Once I get through Easter, the grief lightens up some. I don't have any memories of abuse around Easter to explain the deep sadness that I feel then. Easter could be tied in with those memories of the 3 year old or 7 year old that I don't have. More mystery.

Unknown said...

Patricia; your posts have allowed me to name the things that went on in my own little world as a child then teenager. And your words validate the process of embracing the grief to finally let it go from my body.

I also have times of the year that are harder than others; some anniversary dates of things I remember, others more subtle like holidays and season changes. It feels like a fear because I lived in such a chronic state of it for so long. Family events of any kind were horrible; I wasn't always physically violated but the invalidating and psychological abuse and emotional abandonment perhaps is what I'm on guard for.

Thank you for sharing your journey and process. Its so helpful to know that even though we are miles and sometimes oceans apart that healing is often so similar for many of us.

Your courage is inspiring:)

Patricia Singleton said...

Susan, thank you for your words of wisdom and compassion. Your words of encouragement are so important to me. You, as an advocate for those in the mental health system and as a survivor, inspire me. You are so strong and have a passion for what you do. We all help each other in our journeys.

Until I wrote this post, I had forgotten that Easter was coming up. I don't know why Easter is such a trigger for me for grief. Some years are easier than others. The only memories that I have around Easter are good ones - Easter dresses and Easter Egg Hunting and visits to my maternal grandmother's house. After I was 7years old, we only visited her on major holidays. I don't have any bad memories or memories of abuse around Easter. Maybe Easter and the lost memories of the 3-year-old or 7-year-old are connected. All I can do each Easter is feel the grief and hope it doesn't come back the next Easter. After Easter, the grief lifts.

Faith said...

Dear Patricia,
What beautiful writing! Thank you for sharing. The effects of the Easter holiday have me a bit down as well. To survive and thrive, I am directing my energy into helping others, as you are doing by sharing. Although our stories are a bit different, the devastation left for incest survivors to deal with is, nonetheless, quite painful and leads to a lifelong process of healing.
If you would like to interact further, you can leave me a comment or contact me at

Best wishes on your journey and happy Easter.

Patricia Singleton said...

Faith, thank you. I will check out your website. Easter will probably be a quiet time for my husband and I here at home. I am still processing feelings from my blog post. Now I am off to check out your blog. Hope you have a glorious Friday.

Jeffery said...

Hi ya Pat.
Just goes to show huh? The healing ... something never done? Almost quite done? And then we fall back - and have to do it again? But having done it - we know we can do it again? LOL, a path broken becomes a trail well-worn. After a time it becomes familiar. Then we find ourselves treading it all the time - quicker and faster each time? (I'm hoping so.) Joy and happiness at one end. Pain, sadness, grief, shame and guilt at the other - propelling us on down that path again and again towards 'the light'. Good thing I know. But sometimes those thorns in the path kinda stick ya, ya know? I know you know. Can see it there in your postings.
Just wanted you to know: someone's visiting, LOL's, if that's a comfort to you. Good thing us survivors are 'hanging together' (seeing a kind of 'virtual noose' in my head; we're all hanging from some kinda gallows). But it's a good thing. At least we can take hands and hold hands when we're 'dying' - and have someone come along and help us up when we're done.
Glad to hear from you BTW and anyway and will drop back in from time to time and time again most certainly.
(PS: we're kinda excited but really kinda weirded out today. Our 'book' is going to be published; even if only by ourselves, LOL. Go figure: just like anything 'survivor' - ya gotta go and learn to do it yourself. Kinda like we've done).
Bless ya on the part of my own selves. Keep up the good work and hope you go on healing. And I'm suspecting: this thing is never done - but us survivors know more about life and things I think than regular people are ever gonna know.

There's an advantage in that, I'm thinking. I'm just not sure what it is.
Sincerely, your friends over at the crazy house.
Jeffery & Friends

Patricia Singleton said...

Jeffery & Friends, I don't see you as crazy at all. I see you as a survivor who is still in pain but working your way out. Instead of a hangman's noose, I prefer to see it like the kitten hanging from the tree limb, just holding on by its tiny craws afraid of letting go because it doesn't know how big the fall is but hoping someone will come along and join us on our healing journey.

I also don't see us dying but just leaving this body behind and moving on to a higher level of understanding and maybe choosing to come back into another lifetime with a different set of lessons to learn the next time, hopefully less painful lessons than this time but maybe not, if I haven't learned everything there is to learn this time. I can't begin to share all of the lessons that I have learned this time. There are so many of them. I believe in reincarnation. You don't have to share my beliefs. You can believe whatever you want to believe. I am okay with that and I hope that you are okay with my beliefs. I know many are not and that is okay too. Just allow me my beliefs and I will allow you yours, to anyone who wants to argue about that, I won't.

I see healing as being done in layers. Yes, I am right back to grieving but on a different layer, a deeper layer than before. Just like an onion, some of those layers are stinky. I do believe that one day, I will reach the core and then there will be no more pain because I will have gone through all of it.

Thank you Jeffery & Friends for visiting. You are welcome any time. I will also be visiting your blog from time to time. Yes, having friends who are also survivors, like you, makes this journey easier because other survivors understand the pain that we go through and they understand the moments of joy that we experience in between the pain. One day there will be only joy left.

Jeffery said...

Hi ya Patricia.
Oddly enough, we are much better in the past 4 months than the past 30 years - and the past 4 weeks better than the past 4 months when, encouraged by a new emerging alter, we 'embraced the madness' instead of trying to fight it all the time. I guess for a MPD/DID person like me, that's the row to hoe. At least it's working for us now - so much better than those druggies and shrinks did (who wish to only subdue us inner beings).
Religion: that came too, on (appropriately enough) April Fools Day. I guess you can say I kinda met God on the deck, between the grill and garbage can. Just goes to show: God's got a wonderful sense of humor in him, LOL. Life's been beautiful since then.

Raised by a witch and a "Born Again" Dad; forced to study under his tutulage every religion under the sun (in order for him to 'prove' he was right - including beating me all the way into church) - I put them all into a blender, skimmed the cream off the top, and made my own. And in mine yours fits - they all fit - and even fit my scientific side (I was once an engineer and researcher, so you know how important that must be to me: must match science facts and current theory.) 'nuff said there: I believe in reincarnation, too - (again, that conversation by the trash can) - and exactly for the reasons you've been told: to live and to learn - and to do it again and again until you finally get it 'right on' - and then from the recycle bin to the big training grounds in the sky (so to speak).

I still have my work cut out for me: there is the small matter of resolving problems between my souls (for I am one, and one is many - another thing I found out) - but I no longer fear so many things, my grief is less (I see lessons where others see pain) - and I am hoping I am well on the way to becoming something other than just 'another human being'.

Until later . . . (lol'ing a bit here; perhaps you'll understand) - from my personal bit of godhead to yours. (and some call it 'the core')

Patricia Singleton said...

Jeffery, it sounds like much of our spiritual beliefs would be close to the same. My few of spirituality also includes everyone else's beliefs as being good. That causes some people to want to argue with me that their way is the only one. I don't believe that about any religion. I believe they all take us to God.

It sounds like you are in a good place and still getting better. That is great. I, too, believe that life is about the lessons. I tend to follow that idea with all of the challenges that come my way. Neither of my parents were big on religion. I had one grandmother who was Baptist and one who was Assembly of God. Talk about confusing for a child, they were. Have a glorious day.

rapesurvivor317 said...

Wonderful post, I know the feeling. Short on words after reading it but so glad I did. Thank you. Lizzie x

Patricia Singleton said...

LIzzie, Thank you. I appreciate your words. I am glad to know that my words have helped you. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Anonymous said...

Dear Patricia,

I am very touched by your blog and I would love to send you a private email. Is there anyway how I can send that to you?

Thank you,

With love

Patricia Singleton said...

Anonymous, thank you. Leave me another comment here with your email address in it. The comments come to me for approval before I publish them here on my blog. I will get the comment with your email so I can then send you an email. I will put Patricia Singleton in the subject line so that you will know the email is from me. I won't publish your comment with your email address here on the blog so that your privacy isn't invaded.

Anonymous said...

Hi Patricia!
Seems like blogger is working again, so Hooray for that. I want to thank you for your honesty. It feels good that you open yourself up and share your experiences.
I am a lightworker too and unfortunately experienced incest too. I am having trouble being open about it, but I know its also a part of my path to do so. I believe we all have to walk our talk so I am learning to be open. Your blogs help me in that. Your blog about your heart made me cry big time. Thank you there are no words to express my gratitude, love elleke
ps: I love to stay anonymous for now, I will share my story with the world when the time is right :-)

Patricia Singleton said...

Elleke, when the time is right is an important key to healing for you and for everyone else. I believe in Divine timing. When the time is right, energy flows easily without obstacles and without struggle.

I am glad that my posts are helping you. Many of us as Lightworkers give light to the path for others simply through walking our own path.

Keep reading and commenting and you will grow and your light will become brighter for those who follow. Sending blessings your way. I am glad that you have joined me on this path to healing. Have a glorious weekend.