Overdid it?

English: Glen Campbell flies around a corner o...

English: Glen Campbell flies around a corner on the sport 30 kilometer course during the 2009 Xtreme Mountain Bike Race II Saturday, Oct. 2. Campbell finished in third place. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Been cycling very much this week… There is this competition that I like to join in two weeks. Almost 100 km terrain, and much fun! I’m not here to win anything at all, just to finish…

And usually I would have gone to the gym three-five times a week, besides quite a lot of cycling, throught the whole year… Now I have not worked out properly since October. Started the week before this, and must have put in about 350 km on the bike.

Yesterday I woke up, feeling really dizzy, after cycling home I had to lye down for a bit. Slept all night and most of the day, and still no change… I had a fall last year, resulting in a neck injury and a onesided headache that’s off and on. So that’s the reason for not keeping up with the same training as last year… Guess my body isn’t playing along with me on this one…

Hope to be better soon!

Like music in my ear

A facsimile sheet of music from the Dies Irae ...

A facsimile sheet of music from the Dies Irae movement of the “Requiem Mass in D Minor” (K. 626) in Mozart’s own handwriting. It is located at the Mozarthaus in Vienna. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I always liked music. My mother played the piano. Slim fingers doing simple tunes on the keyboard. We had a piano. I think I remember when we got it. Petrof, in teak. Besides, there were a shelf with booklets. Chopin, Mozarts menuets, Christmas carols. My brother took classes, with an old woman he described as a witch. He never liked it, at least not until he got music sheets for Beatles. “Lady Madonna” was a hit.

I practised when no one saw me, I could go on for hours. If I had the house to myself, it would be the thing to do.

Later I started playing the flute. I got a very good teacher, he was old, and had had his career in the local symphonic orchestra. I only saw him every other week, but then we practised for one hour, maybe one and a half. His wife brought us tea and cookies, he talked about life. Told stories, forgot about the time. He only had one student each day.

I was fascinated with the music, the patterns of the sound, the way things fitted together. I fell in love with Mozart. And Bach. And some of the crazy neo-classical stuff. I went to the library, and took home both the music on tape, and the music score. From the easy flute-related stuff to operas and Mozarts’ Requiems. All the symphonies, and then I went on to Beethoven. Wagner. Verdi’s Requiem. And Rilke and Goethe and Nietzsche. Went on to philosophy and developed a genuine interest in our strange Europe, the whys and hows. Descartes, Kant and Wittgenstein. I read essays, librettos and lyrics. I studied the music scores at a total nerd level 🙂

I felt rich.

I stopped playing at 17. My teacher wanted to find someone better for me, and he found one. He taught at the music conservatory. But it was never the same. I still read music scores, and after reading, I listen, to see if I was right 🙂

The smell of summer

English: Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Common Blu...

English: Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Common Bluebell). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We used to have our vacations at the house where my family originated from. My granddad moved to «town». Before that, before WW2 the family lived in a little house in a little place, in a bay, surrounded by high mountains. We had the north winds coming in every afternoon. It could be a bit cold. I remember the smell of all the flowers and the grass in the field. The smell of summer. I picked bluebells. That little house used to give me a break from the terror at home.

We went fishing in the river nearby, for large salmon and trout. My granddad told stories of a bear hunt, from way back. I never believed it was true, imagined it was something he made up just to make a good story. Some years back, I found that it was actually true. There had been a real big bear in the area, and it got shot, not by my granddad, but by someone nearby that he knew. (Probably relatives, it is a VERY little place). It was a good story!

I loved swimming in the river. I put on a diving mask and fins, and snorkel for hours in that ice cold water, snow melting water. I swam up the river, some hundred metres, and drifted down again. Sometimes I saw salmons more than half my size. I wouldn’t move at all, and we were just eyeing each other out, before she would hurry upstream, and I had no chance of following, drifting downstream. My body not shaped for that purpose at all.

We used to have boiled eggs for breakfast.

We went fishing in the sea too. My brother and I went out with the dinghy, it wasn’t that small, we had an outboard on it.  Once we found ourselves in the middle of the boiling sea, I had never seen anything like it. Pollock swim together in large flocks, and then sometimes, something scares them from down under, and they surface. There were thousands. Like the area of a soccer field, boiling with jumping fish. Imagine sitting there on a sunny day, with a lazy fishing rod outside the boat, and suddenly everything was total chaos. We caught about 60 of them, before they went under again.

I remember my mother coming to the house by the seaside. I sensed she was on edge; I couldn’t have been more than five. She wanted me to wear a life vest all the time. Once, she took us out in the boat, not far, and we lowered a little anchor to have the boat stay at one place when fishing. When she started the outboard again, she’d forgotten about it, and the propellers cut the rope.

She started to cry. I imagine she was afraid he would get angry. I cried to, because she was afraid.

When I got older, must have been 12, we had a new and larger boat. My brother and I had an argument on the boat, I have no idea what it was about. But it ended with him saying he was going to kill me.

I didn’t go out fishing with him for a long time after that. Once he asked me why. I told him, and he said he never meant anything by it. He had probably forgotten about it.

I went swimming instead. No one saw me cry.

Some inspiration :)

Lotus flower

Lotus flower (Photo credit: wasoxygen)

Do not pursue the past.
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is.
The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is.
In the very here and now, the practitioner dwells in stability and freedom.
We must be diligent today.
To wait until tomorrow is too late.
Death comes unexpectedly.
How can we bargain with it?
The sage calls a person who knows how to dwell in mindfulness night and day,
‘one who knows the better way to live alone.’

Bhaddekaratta Sutta

They all went away

I felt nothing.

We were a big family. My mother and him, my sister and brother. His six siblings and parents, My mothers’ sister, my three cousins, my mothers’ parents.

By the time I was ten, so many people had died. My mother. My grandfather died just a year later, his wife died just some months after that. And then my other grandfather died, he was the missionary. My mothers’ parents and the rest of her family moved away.

He wouldn’t have anything to do at all with either of the families. So from being part of family celebrations with 20-something people, we were four. And four important people in my family died in three years, when I was between seven and ten.

Hardly a family left. My brother was always out with his buddies, my sister got a boyfriend so that she could stay away as well. I never stayed at home if I could find something else to do.

We never did family-stuff, we faked Christmases, we passed by each other in a strange way, as if we had masks and costumes on and it was an absurd Italian comedy.

Everybody would put on a smiling face if we had visitors.

We had a live-in housekeeper.  She blended in.

I felt nothing.

Mindfullness and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Writing all this terrible stuff makes me feel a bit sick. It’s like I get into a mood where the thoughts get to play on the keyboard, and I  close my eyes and just let it happen. It is certainly easier then talking! And when I am done, that’s it. I just feel tired and a sometimes a bit sad too.

Be Happy

Be Happy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But that’s ok! I can put that into my day, as long as it doesn’t stay there the whole day! (Or night!)

I managed to meditate both yesterday and this morning. For the first time since my last terrible flashback-experience I set the timer on 45 minutes and it felt good. It is really a special experience to do mindful meditation. To see what happens when you choose concentrate on breathing, letting thoughts and stuff that enters the mind just pass again. To be able to decide what I am thinking (or rather not-thinking). To feel that the shoulders are dropping, the mind settles and the body is relaxed.

I am thinking a lot about how Mindfulness can help heal Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. I think I’ve got some triggers that can help me find the flashbacks, or some flashbacks, at least. However I am not quite sure what the triggers are. And my flashbacks are so scary that I’m not sure it is a very good idea to explore it. So I haven’t been able to act upon my flashbacks in a mindful way. Quite curious about it though. It would be so good, to keep the calmness of the body and mind, and stay in the flashback until it passes away. Seeing it in an un-judgmental way and being aware of what is happening. Making it less dangerous and also putting more verbal content into it, being able to write it down. I believe it’s possible.

My flashbacks mostly happens during the night. It’s been panic attacks, dissociative behaviour, doing things I don’t remember afterwards. Getting out of my bed, bedroom, some years ago I had to get out of the house, and I couldn’t remember doing it. So I still have a way to go! 🙂

For now; I am very happy that I know how to meditate, that I know how to find that good and relaxed state, and to know that this helps me coping better, every day.

If you never heard of Mindfulness, this must sound a bit weird. Look it up, (for instance “Full Cathastrophe Living”) and tell me what you think!

How are things at home?

I really liked that teacher. He started at my school when I started fourth grade. He would ask me when I didn’t turn up for school. When I got into fights with the sixth grade boys, that’s something you don’t have to do very often. He would ask me when I fell asleep during class.

That feeling, when you have to stay behind after all the others go for a break and some fresh air. It doesn’t take more than that to feel different. I already knew that I was very different, and usually thought that I didn’t care. But it hurt when the others in my class wondered about what was going on. I didn’t want to be that different.

He’d never yell at me or anything, he would start by saying: “You know it’s not ok to beat up anybody, I wish you wouldn’t do that.” And then he would use about three minutes convincing me that I should tell this boy that I was sorry. Which of course I never did.

I need to say that this boy, was kind of like the cutest one in school. And he was a bully, going after everyone smaller, weaker, with glasses… He had this fan gang gathering around him all the time.

At one time, it just happened. As everybody was in the hallway, he passed me, I put my foot out, and he fell. They were laughing, most of them thinking he got what was coming to him, some thinking of what on earth I was getting at. As he tried to get up, I kicked him real hard in the stomach.

I have no idea why I did it. I was a short girl at ten, he was two years older and quite big for his age. Maybe I was angry about something, or maybe I saw an opportunity to give him a few scratches when everybody would look. Maybe I needed to let everybody else know not to touch me?

The day after, he and two others were waiting for me as I walked home from school. My lessons in pain must have scared them. I didn’t cry, I didn’t scream, it hurt like hell, I asked them if they were done yet. I got a black eye.

My teacher wanted to see me the day after. He asked me what happened to my eye. I said “Nothing”. He would be daft not to get the picture, but he didn’t ask anymore. Instead he told me that he understood that something was going on.
“How are things at home?”
I couldn’t answer.
“How come you fall asleep in class?”
“I’m tired”
“Don’t you get to sleep at night?”
No answer.
“Do you feel safe at home?”
Definitely no answer!

He talked about bad things sometimes happening in families, and that it must be hard not to have my mother around. He said that he was worried that I spent so much time away from school, but very happy that I did so well with all the subjects. He asked me what he could do to help.

He asked me if he should talk to him.

That must have been the closest I ever got to getting help. I walked out of the classroom, out of the school and once more to my favourite place by the sea. It rained slightly. I cried, I cried myself into a terrible headache, and then I fell asleep.
He tried again and again, that teacher. For years. It must have been the first time someone saw me, and it didn’t feel like a threat.