Monday, January 13, 2020

Life's work

If it is true that we are all working on something, our 'journey' through this life, then my thing is 'speaking my truth'. This is true on a psychological, emotional and spiritual level.

My daughter and her little family have been staying with me, just me, for the others are on an adventure. She pointed out to me that I sometimes give off a feeling of holding onto something. She noted this as a sense of discomfort in the air and urged me to speak my truth.

I explained to her that I had no experience with this as a child and that my experience with it as an adult provided me with further proof that it isn't a good policy. I explained that I fear the reaction to my truth.

She felt that I had to try nonetheless, to practice. So, I explained that having her dogs here was not easy for a number of reasons, which I outlined. She acknowledged this information without saying very much about it.  I felt a wee bit better, but I continue to feel (which I didn't say) that one dog in particular needs to see a dog behaviorist, because I feel another 10 years of not allowing it off the lead in parks seemed a far too limited life and unreasonably stressful for the adults walking it.

Today, I messaged a friend to see if she wanted to meet for lunch in her neighborhood  and being someone au fait with past lives she shared with me for the first time what she felt were my past lives. I had been chatting about this huge difficulty of mine to express my truth and that's when she said that I had had that difficulty for a number of lives.

'Feeling that sense of choking in my throat?' I asked. She nodded.

I didn't ask for details. I don't want to know, but I am open to letting something, if anything, evolve in a meditative way over time.

As well today, I shared that I had been remembering my dreams over the past week or more and that this was most unusual for me. I had been remembering them in some detail and it seemed to have a common theme, that I was interested in 'charm', trying to charm people that  I didn't like, or to take an alternative view, trying to like someone I didn't like; to start the relationship over. It's about two men - the only two men I truly dislike, and co-incidentally both once lived on my street.

She said it was to do with the universe's movements, or something or other. I was happy to listen but I don't understand that cosmic sort of belief system.

Anyways, for the first time ever I found myself looking up, 'how to access past lives' and listened to a couple of fairly quick explanations which relate to getting very still in mind and body and seeing what comes up, more or less.

I am comfortable in saying that I only ever have had one experience of sort of slightly touching on a past life. I was in New Zealand a few years ago and in the process of a mostly silent retreat.  After lunch, my choice with part of my free time was to climb the mountain of the retreat on my own. I know I loved this time. I distinctly remember stopping at a little bridge in the thick of  the enclosed landscape of palms and trees, a little water gurgling along below the short wooden bridge, and thinking, 'Remember this', which is something I do when I feel a complete sense of peace.

I had reached the Sanctuary, sat for a while on a bench, and was making my way back when two things happened. First of all, I felt I was walking along with my husband. His presence was profoundly with me; not in body but in spirit.

(And, co-incidentally, during a meditation hour at my yoga studio last night my mind returned to this experience in such a grounded way that I made a loose fist with my left hand, much as I would if I was holding his hand.)

A little further down towards the retreat centre it occurred to me quite spontaneously...perhaps in a past life I had been a slave, or, a member of royalty. I tried to feel into both states but a slave seemed more authentic. It was no more than that, a momentary glimpse.

If it could possibly be so, and I have held my tongue, swallowed my words for goodness knows how many lives, this has some resonance for me. Above all things, this seems to be my work in this life, in any case.

I somehow think that I have been attracted to people who cannot accept my words, thereby making this work as difficult as it could possibly be. Here we are, me who fears so deeply the upset that comes from speaking my truth and the other who struggles so to hear any words that might suggest they have a flaw, or that I am criticizing them.

Ram Dass or Eckhart Tolle or the Budda or the Dalai Lama would say of this that this is what makes them so important in my life; they are helping me overcome this struggle, once and for all.

If all of this has an ounce of truth about it, then to live my best life I need to learn this lesson - to speak my truth without the fear, the overwhelming fear of being rejected, annihilated, abandoned, rebuked.

A more 'feet on the ground' proposal, one that my psychologist, who I currently don't see, would propose is quite simply that my childhood experiences ensured that this was always going to be difficult for me.

In the end PP didn't see a point in seeing me any more but rather seeing my husband. This is bearing some fruit, it must surely be so, since we have been talking away in a very heart-centred way; him listening to me quietly as I reveal things that I have held onto.

Just before he left for Europe, maybe two days before that, I found myself telling him of the time I returned home from, I think, a school trip to discover that my mother had either sold or given away my books. This came as a terrible shock but what I missed deeply, then and now, was a book given to me by my ballet master. Before he dismissed us after class on that particular day, he had asked us to take a seat on the wooden floor. Sitting there in our pink leotards and tights he said that he wanted to give a reward to the girl who had made great improvement over the term and he called out my name.

This was a beautiful moment for me. The book was in black and white, of the Bolshoi Ballet with a note from him on the inside cover. It meant a great deal to me. In my absence, my mother had whisked it away from me, out of my life, my hands.

I said to my husband when I spoke about this a few weeks ago, 'why did she do that?' and of course he didn't have a definite answer. I have had two theories over time. Perhaps most likely is that she simply didn't know me; had no idea how much the book meant to me; the books, my alternative life. It's hard to handle the second theory; that the books were too beloved by me, had to go; that my attention needed to be directed more on her.

The point is I absorbed the emotional pain of it. I didn't criticize my mother, had learned earlier that my psyche wouldn't survive doing that. I stayed silent.

Last night, I did a double yoga class, yin and then yoga nidra/meditation and the teacher asked us, 'what is it that you are holding onto?' 'what is it that you are not sharing?'

My answer is that I desperately needed time to myself, which was cut short by my daughter and her little family needing to be with me for 10 days, leaving me with precious few days on my own before the guys get back.

If I review my choices, I chose, when not alone, the yoga studio, and a spiritual friend or two. I visited my mother for a few days out of duty, nothing more. I avoided friends; happily chatted briefly to strangers in the market and such, and listened for hours to Jack Kornfield on the Internet. My treat was 'Mad Men', gobbles of it.

If I am holding back anything at this point it's my creativity. A quiet mind seems right. I adore listening to stories on the radio or podcasts, far more than I want to create a story or to work with my story on the page in story form. I think that might be because just when I think I have 'solved' my story, got the right spin on it, the story changes; another peeling of the onion makes the last edition redundant.

For years now I have been working on this thought, seeking the answer. Is a bad family better than no family? We all need to come from somewhere, and it's a universal need to belong. Yet, what if we limit ourselves with this thought and open ourselves up to the thought that we belong to creation, the universal family. If there are past lives, how can the point be this family, but rather this soul.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Co-existing awareness

Before I turn off my computer for several days, and even though I am in a hurry to get on the road, I felt the desire to make a note of my thoughts.

What comes to say is that in my city it is a superb  afternoon, which comes after a little rain last night, a great relief, and prior to that, a very dangerously hot day.

As I tend to my garden, Confidoring the aphids off the new plantings, aware of the peace and quiet in my garden, a few hours away are horrendous fires, forcing thousands of stranded and isolated people onto a pier and perhaps later into the water. The fires in this state are out of control. Already people have lost their lives and many homes have burned.

In fact, our holiday home may well burn too. Most of my family are currently overseas, but even if they were here, the roads are closed and it would be suicide to attempt to get to the property. It is in the lap of the Gods.

My younger self would have found this deeply disturbing and worrying. Today, I am philosophical. Bad things happen to good people every day and I have no story around the fact that it shouldn't happen. It is happening and there is no reason it shouldn't happen to me in the same way that it may happen to anyone. It is eerie. The calm before the the storm perhaps, but I am at peace with this.

Lately, I have become less optimistic about the state of the planet. It's possible we won't be here as long as we think. Certainly, we can't take for granted what we once did, but maybe that's the wake up call; to stop being complacent and to start being more mindful about everything.

I have become far more comfortable with the idea that I am not in control. Oh sure, I can't stop loving things in their place and feeling good when I am on top of the details of life. But, I recognize I can't make every post a winner, and nor should every post be a winner.

I've been more or less alone now for a few days. I can feel the magic of alone time, and silence, weave its magic on me, like it did for me earlier in the year when I was fortunate enough to be on retreat in India.

Silence quite naturally restores us back to our natural selves; not bogged down in anxiety and thinking, but free to let the mind wander in a 'no thinking' sort of way. My goodness, how I love that!

I get in the car now and go down to visit my mother. Will she trigger me; will I feel an intense tightness in my chest, a number of times during the visit? I think this is inevitable.

Perhaps the answer lies in not having a story around that either. It's not an easy time for me with her, although I will do my best to make it as pleasant as possible, for both of us.

It's not the relationship I'd like it to be, that's for sure, but I can't do anything about that either. I can make it as good as it can be, but 63 years later I recognize that there are reasons why it became problematic for me (thought not at all for her). And, that's just the way it is.

What's really important to note here, I believe, is that life is this weird experience of good and bad happening at the one very moment. Yes, my holiday house is in peril and at the very least the surrounding land is burning, and yet, in this moment I feel an abiding peace with the fact that today on this planet there is both good and bad happening; that no matter how bad it is gets, there is good. You might say this mindset is a co-exising awareness. Like people, the situation is never all bad.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Recuperation


A dozen years younger, I could never have predicted that my sexuality would change with me; that I would feel as I do today. In another dozen years, should I live so long, I feel certain that the situation will be vastly different than what it is today. We are in constant change in fact, flowing along, sometimes moving so automatically and steadily that we are unaware of the change, until it boldly demands our attention.

As a young girl, I had certain fantasies that dominated my mind as I drifted off to sleep, and when I woke. To some extent, they have endured. I see them for what they are now, with the benefit of hindsight, and talking in the past few months with a very good older psychologist.

They were bound in fear. I will probably never know why I was so fearful as a child. It probably related to growing up in a hotel where there wasn’t much security for me. As well, and most importantly, I think it related to a sense that I needed to be ‘good’. To be in trouble seemed as bad as it could get. 

The fantasies related to people, both men and women, who were stern, punishing and quite uncaring and unloving. I do still have those fantasies today but only around orgasm. It’s a quick route from one to the other and sometimes I succumb to them, even though I wish the fantasies were different. I wish I could completely outgrow them, but so far, no luck.

Of course, any reader of old here knows that I dabbled in power exchange and BDSM. This lasted for some years with much passion and pleasure afforded.

It wasn’t always as I had hoped. It’s remarkably tricky to align sexuality with another person when the sexuality is on the margins. If you read relationship advice it’s generally for those in the middle of the curve and the rest of us have to more or less make it up as we go, or adjust, and experiment, and yes, change for the other.

I’m unquestionably a quiet living person. Without doubt, I was attracted to the opposite of me. As a quiet living person and a non-competitor, I was attracted to the more aggressive and competitive man.

As someone who instinctively wanted to be succumbed, I was attracted to the type of man who enjoyed succumbing me.

It became not just a passion but an obsession and all the entries of the past here attest to that obsession.

I think it is a fair call to say that through psych sessions it has been well established that my childhood created a situation in adulthood where I could easily become enmeshed with a man. It’s an attachment problem. I was not securely attached with either parent. That can lead to attachment issues in relationships as adults as well, unfortunately. It’s like getting doubly punished.

When there is an attachment issue, conflict in the relationship can seem overwhelming. It’s an ideal set up for a sadist because without this secure attachment in childhood as one’s psychological backbone, the partner will do almost anything in order to gain approval.

I have, without doubt, got off on being dominated, but I don’t consider myself a masochist. I could be wrong. I suppose it depends on the definition. 

I don’t want to be hurt. Some pain, or discomfort, or some psychological dominance, like taking me places I may not at first want to go, can be very appealing ultimately – quite delicious. In my mind, that’s different to being hurt; like sad; distressed; a feeling of being unloved; a sense of distance.

I wonder if sometimes the wires get crossed about that. A sexually dominant person who is consistent – as in right across his (or her) life – may not understand the need for expressions of love and affection. It’s possible his (or her) brain works in a different way since love and affection are expressed so differently sexually.

If there are different modes of expression of sexuality is it not possible that there are different modes of expressing love and affection in words and actions? Perhaps there is even an inability to offer comfort in a way that is so natural to those whose sexual expression is more mainstream. In the same way as it is hard to get sexuality to align on the fringes perhaps it is just as hard to get the need for expression of feelings and emotions to align as well.

All relationships can go through tough patches but those on the fringe are particularly tricky through the years, I think, for these reasons and others.

Feelings and emotions evolve as we age and particularly so for people like me who may not have had the full component of feelings and emotions available to them as children. If you feel the need to be ‘good’ over your lifetime that’s going to cause issues and it’s going to have you susceptible to shame any time that people aren’t happy with you. It’s going to demand that other people have their way, and your needs are quite secondary to theirs. This is the way it has been. Don’t rock the boat.

Over this year, as I completed a course where I had to read books about emotions, I came to see that I had suppressed emotions. Emotions tumbled out after that. Anger, sadness, frustration – they came at me quite violently at first.

Masochism, particularly on the psychological domain, became as much of a ‘turn off’ as it had been a turn on. I complained bitterly to the psych about being spoken to harshly or out of turn at home. I could no longer tolerate rudeness. I wanted very much to be treated like an equal, with kindness, care and consideration. I wanted to be able to talk without people talking over me or raising their voice; with consideration.

I have struggled to feel at peace with my mother. With her zero awareness of the damage caused to me in childhood and the misery this has caused in adulthood, especially over the past year,  a conversation is and will always be impossible. The silver lining there is that my brother and I, each other’s witness, have become close. We have talked often this year and been able to make sense of our lives and the damage caused through these discussions.

My husband, aware of my trials, but perhaps not all the repercussions of the angst, tends to think that along with respect, patience and kindness, I need a little sexual dominance. Perhaps. I am not so sure. I can feel myself moving towards him, but it feels delicate. I am delicate.I want it to be organic. I don't ever want to be hurt again.

 I don’t want a dark place. I want very much to move towards light. I want to experience happiness as my default. To be honest, joy is only fleeting, but a part of my life. I adore to guide people in meditation. I love to be with my family. My grandson fills up my cup.

Mostly, I love to be alone. I come home in the afternoon with ingredients to make a meal from scratch, turn on some meditative music, and feel perfectly happy with my own company.

I don’t expect it to stay this way for all that long. At some stage, the healing process will be complete. I feel sure that instinctively I will know how to get back into life in a more complete way.

Right now, everything, my body and mind, tells me to take my time; walk, write, read, listen to music, garden, take yoga classes, sleep and meditate; teach others to meditate.

Years ago, people would recuperate from being unwell in sanitariums; laze about in the sun and drink cups of tea until their energy rose quite naturally. I am taking a leaf out of that book, as much as I can. 

I am happy to be writing again here. I waited until it felt right, and it does.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Time to say goodbye

This blog has been going for a long time. I still enjoy having a writing outlet but I think a blog with a particular theme might work better for me these days.

My interests in meditation, yoga and going deeper into the self are stronger than ever. It therefore makes sense to me to have a blog devoted to those topics, when I can get to it. It will be a fresh start. We all need to have fresh starts from time to time.

To anyone out there still reading the workings of my mind, thank you very much for your anonymous kinship.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Betrayal

It has been by way of my attraction to power exchange relationships that I came to eventually see that I am a 'Giver' who was therefore naturally inclined to a 'Taker'. But, it goes well beyond that scope.

I can see the dynamic present in my family of origin, where I allowed the situation to endure well beyond being a child whereby I gave of myself, making sure they were fine at every turn. The emphasis in my mind was my responsibility to them and not the other way round.

I only have one sibling and this applies to him also, perhaps particularly to him. In my 62 years on this Earth I only asked, for the first time a couple of weeks ago, for some consideration to be given to me on a very important matter. This put the cat amongst the pigeons in ways I could never have imagined.

They wanted to know if something had happened. They didn't use these words, but the subtext was, "You've never asked let alone demanded anything ever before. You've always given in for the greater good, done our bidding; never asked for equality. What's changed? What could you be thinking? You know that's not how this game is played."

It got, from my point of view, quite ugly; insufferably so. I had a point and I wasn't so inclined to let go of such an important point after one most unpleasant meeting, so I asked to speak to my brother alone a week later. By now, I was armed for his dirty tricks but mind blown nonetheless to see how easily he moved from one argument to the other according to my responses. Was he prepared to lie? Endlessly. Countless lies and underhand manoeuvres and manipulations; anything to have his way.

If you are a meditator you might know that the mind tends to open up after a while; that instinct becomes quite precise and tuned. I wondered, is there any chance I was adopted? Had I seen a photo of myself as a baby? Not one photo. There is a photo of me at around 1 year old but I had never seen a photo earlier than that? Is it possible that in the mid-1950s cameras were still not readily owned? My mind considered all sorts of scenarios because there had to be some other explanation than that I had been such a perfect Caretaker that I didn't consciously compute the dynamic for six decades.

In the exterior world, outside family, people can be hell bent to have their way, but you expect that. We have few expectations of relationships that are loose and distant. We don't expect the lawyer of an adversary to play fair, or I don't. There's no loyalty there, no respect; no fondness. So, we are ready for foul play; for ugliness; for greed and hostility.

Not that I play in that arena for a second longer than I have to. I hang out with sweet minded people as often as possible. I am not the least suited to hostility and conflict.

Even so, after all the writing on this blog and elsewhere, all this consideration of my nature and the pitfalls of that nature, and how to protect myself and so on, I never expected so called 'loved ones' to turn, bite and scratch.

I have had some time to digest it all; to consider my position. There isn't a chance, and I mean not the slightest possibility that I can see them as I once did. I chose to ignore all the disappointments of the relationships to that point because what are you going to do? You don't get to choose family and I certainly didn't choose them; didn't get much succor from the relationships but just flowed along without rocking the boat as steadily as I could. But, any feelings of fondness are no longer there. This is just the way it is inside me and there is nothing I can do about it.

In fact, there's a sort of little group text set up between the traitors and myself only in terms of my mother's care. My statements there are all factual, and only made when I think they might be helpful to her. That's the extent of it and so it will always be unless and until I have to make a factual statement relating to finances, which someday I shall. If they really misbehave I shall have to make statements via a lawyer, but let's see how it goes.

For a while there, I was shattered. Now, I am okay with it, so long as I don't have to lay eyes on them. It's all so difficult because I can't be guaranteed that I won't see them when I visit my mother and if I were to do so I'd be physically ill. I am trying to figure out how to sort this because I'd happily have my mother believe that all is well. Her mental faculties are failing her and the best outcome is for her to prattle on about them and for me to say, 'Yes, yes' as I do, her thinking all is well.

The good news is that I have been studying dharma wisdom for some time now and one of my favorite pieces of advice is to accept 'what is'. What happened is not what I would have wanted but it is what happened. I have no argument with the fact it happened this way. Would it have been wonderful to have a family of origin that was close and caring? It goes without saying that would have been lovely, but I no longer concern myself with the fact that this wasn't my lot any more than that it's somebody else's lot to lose something that means a great deal to them: a career, a spouse, a home.

There's no 'why me?' in this story. There is no pre-written plan for any of us. It just is as it is. It's about learning to let go; let go of all that is not serving you; to recognize when the time comes to say 'I did my best.' It is time to move on now without looking back.

Monday, June 17, 2019

The benefits of a meditation practice

Often, perhaps once a month, my husband will say to me how different I am now, and he attributes that to my regular meditation practice. I agree. Meditation has provided me with tools that I had not accessed any other way.

It's a bit of a farce really, all that money spent on medical costs and mental health costs, probably often legitimate therapies, but when you consider meditation is virtually free, save a small cost for a group meditation sit or a few classes to get you going, it has been most underrated as a self-help therapy.

Most people who are asked why they have come to a meditation class will say that their minds are full of thoughts. They don't want that. Or, they want to be less anxious.

Meditation is quite simple really. First, you settle the body. Once you begin to pay attention to your breath, the body gets that cue and begins to understand what you want. A body scan works nicely, perhaps starting at the scalp and letting go one bit at a time, all the way down to your toes. Insight Timer gives you a range of guided meditations to try.

Feeling grounded is good, noting where you feet rest on the floor. If you are experiencing anxiety, breathe into the belly.

Once your body is feeling relaxed, noting any painful sections and breathing into those also, letting go, letting go, you can move onto calming your mind, which in fact you have already begun to do, due to the mind body connection.

Become aware of the sensory world. What does it feel like to touch one hand with the other? Is it smooth or rough? What sounds do you hear, faraway or close by, inside the room or out? Perhaps you hear nothing. Enjoy the sound of silence. Can you detect a scent? Explore that. Be curious about the sensory world. Radiate in it. Notice bird song. Notice a plane flying across you. Bring your focus to the world that is often closed off from your awareness and enjoy that.

By now, you will have noticed thoughts going by, perhaps as fast as city traffic, or just floating by like a cloud. Take one mind step back and be the quiet, silent observer. What is actually going on? Did you notice every thought has a beginning and an end? Your own mind is fascinating if you pay attention for a minute of two.

Perhaps, this isn't a good time for you. You are sitting calming and blow me down some really most unwanted emotions are taking up your mind space. All emotions, in all their nuances, are normal. What is this emotion about? It has arrived with a message. What is it trying to tell you? Don't judge or belittle the emotion or thought. Don't drive it away. Give it the attention it seeks and it will go exactly when it is ready to go.

Allow your mind to float from one thought or emotion or sense. If things are too troubling in there, move back to the breath, or your feet on the floor or your shoulders moving further away from your ears as you relax. The sit is yours. You do what you need to do. Rest in your whole body sitting on the chair or lying on the floor or on your cushion.

Perhaps today you want to feel love and that feeling isn't available to you in the 'real world'. Take yourself to a place you love, the mountains, the sea, whatever pleases you, and remember how that felt.

Or, see in your mind's eye, the little girl or boy you once were, who simply craved some parental attention and care. Pour into yourself the love you want. Remind yourself that you are a good person doing your best. Guilty about something in the past? Remind yourself that at that time you did the best you could based on what you knew then.

There is no much richness in a meditation sit. Each one is unique and that is proven if you keep a meditation journal, although you may well find that certain themes keep coming up. Well, that's rich material for you right there.

If you need a therapist, and so many of us do at some stage to iron out some struggle, meditation goes hand in hand with therapy. It will enrich therapy. It will get you to revelations faster.

Above all, meditation will help you to see that there is a co-existing awareness available to us. We all go through really troubling situations but sitting behind that challenging state of mind is a still mind. It's always there and always available to us. There is more to life than what you see.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Going to quiet (or underground?)

There have been some decisions made in my family of origin that they didn't think twice about, in terms of the effect on me, or how I might feel about those matters. When I think about it sitting here at my lap top, why would they? It is completely normal for them, my mother and my brother, to go about making decisions without in any way consulting me, even when the actions they are taking might well have an impact on me.

It's so normal for them to do this, to treat me in a particular way, that even I was flummoxed when a panic attack, or some sort of extreme bodily reaction on the way home in the car occurred, returning home from visiting my mother. To put myself back there, it felt like every cell in my body was in overdrive. It was extreme agitation, brought on perhaps by the other fact about my relationship with my mother and my brother, that I have never spoken my mind. Whatever they do, whatever they say, I just agree. In fact, I think there has been a lifetime of even thinking I agreed.

It seems so late in the day for denial to lift, to be angry about the relationships, and yet the simple fact is that I am angry, and disappointed.  Sad. There's even a 'why me?' aspect to my feelings. Why couldn't I have a normal family?

I say this a bit tongue in cheek since there are so few of us in this category. But, there's also a serious component. It would be so lovely to arrive at my mother's house having not seen her for over a month, having been overseas, for her to smile and come towards me with open arms and ready to hug. 'Hello, darling, how lovely to see you.' It doesn't go this way. It never goes this way. Perhaps she will accept a peck on the cheek, but if you don't do that, and she doesn't really want it, there's nothing physical about the greeting, and I think that's odd.

Of course, this is the 'isness' of the situation. My complaining won't fix it. Nothing will fix it, but in the past few weeks this 'triggering', this reaction both physical and emotional, has me trying to understand my own reactions. Was I living in denial, or making the best of a bad lot, or have I been mothered by someone quite miserly in her affections and I just didn't want to face that fact?

It's a funny thing because my mother encouraged me to go to university after school, but she didn't come to my graduation, and a few years ago when she did come to the graduation of my Masters it was all about her; how long the ceremony went for and how tired she was. In fact, a photo my son took at the lunch right after the ceremony shows she looked very well that day, but there was no 'congratulations, darling' from her, and even though she is loaded I paid for the celebratory lunch with her and whatever children could make it.

I cannot ignore my filial responsibilities to my mother, and I do have to hold my brother to account for the financial situation that has accrued owing to his further demands on my mother, but my instincts are to honor myself at this time, and to go to quiet, in an effort to provide myself self care.

I want to believe that I can recapture some warm feelings towards my family of origin and yet I doubt that's actually going to happen. When the flood gates finally opened, they came off their hinges and may not be able to be repaired.

I was without boundaries. I was tossed and turned and I never insisted that they stop. Finally, I spoke up for myself with my brother but he's used to getting what he wants. I should fight for my rights but I so want to walk to away and be done with it. Honestly, I wish I could have stayed in denial.