Here it is the second week of November, and I can honestly say I am excited for the end of this challenging year. Not that I am disillusioning myself to think that 2021 will be any less challenging, but I am definitely ready to turn another page and take on a new year. The past week since the full moon has been quite the rocky ride for me. I can't speak for anyone else, but that moon definitely had an impact on me that I wasn't prepared for. For those who don't know, I have PTSD. It is something that I have lived with since early childhood and it has not made my life easy. I have spent many years in therapy and taken on other practices such as meditation and yoga to help me with my symptoms. The work with my animals is by far the most beneficial practice I bring to my life, keeping me grounded, focused and balanced. For the most part, I have rarely suffered any symptoms stemming from my childhood PTSD - at least not for many years. My secondary diagnosis of PTSD when Geordon died, and the symptoms from THAT diagnosis was what I had become accustomed to. Something happened to me during the last moon shift however, that brought back way more of my past than I ever could have prepared myself for. For anyone who doesn't live with PTSD, it is really hard to understand just how difficult it can be at times. I will do my best to describe what a combination of days last week was like for me. Literally starting the night of the full moon, I was awakened multiple times with nightmares of past abuses. It was like reliving every agonizing moment of those times. Smells, sounds, even the music playing in the background would come flooding back like I was there once again. I would wake up soaked with sweat and felt like I was literally fighting for my life again. Waking from a dream like that when you have PTSD means that sometimes when you wake, you still feel like you are there. To the innocent people who share their life with someone with PTSD, it is never easy. The one who suffers the symptoms AND everyone who loves them suffer. I am not afraid to admit that I become very volatile and will work hard to push people as far away from me as possible. This is a defense mechanism that is so ingrained into me, that it is a cycle I have been fighting to break for most of my life. This also stems from an old constant fear of abandonment I'd carried since very young. My internal dialogue for most of my life was always: "Don't get close to people. If you love them they will leave or hurt you. Push them away before it's too late. DON'T FALL IN LOVE!" This was never the right choice for myself and it absolutely did more harm than good. It took me a really long time to recognize I was very good at intentionally sabotaging my relationships. I know some of you reading this may be a victim of just this type of behaviour of mine. If you are, I am truly sorry for any pain I caused you. I hope wherever you are in life now, you have found happiness. Very fortunately for me, I really only suffered for about 4 days even though I am still fragile quite fragile. My son gave me some great advice as well as a reminder about this being a karmic moon. It helped me to realize that I wasn't in fact suffering from a resurgence of flash back symptoms, but was living through what could be considered an "echo" from that time. I am strong and still hold all of my power, thank you Daniel for the reminder ❤ No one gets through this life unscathed. We all receive scars through life, and each and everyone of us has also been responsible for giving scars to others. We all eventually have to deal with our own karma. I am no saint, but I do know that I am a good person, and intend no harm to anyone. The echoes of pain I felt that terrorized me for a few days last week, were coming from my tyrants dealing with their own karma. The knowledge of this has allowed to once again accept the reality of my past and look forward with a strong heart into my future.
November is normally a very exciting month for me as my favourite time of the year is the Royal Winter Fair. Due to CV19, like every other agricultural competition, the Royal was cancelled this year and instead they are having a virtual experience. The Royal has been a favourite of mine since I was a little girl, and as an adult it became my favourite place to meet and spend 4 days with all of my goat breeder friends. This year we will not see each other and it has brought back so many great memories. I have smiled and laughed often over the past couple days as I thought about what we'd all be doing if we were there now. All the reminiscing got me into looking at old photos. I came across a photo taken of me in 2013 at The Royal. We had just finished our competitions and my herd did the best they ever did that year. Looking at this photo taken of me 7 years ago I realized just how far I've come in many aspects of my life, but most of all where my health was concerned. When the below photo was taken I was 8 months post gastric bypass surgery and was feeling amazing and on top of my game. At this point though, I still wasn't REALLY dealing with my issues and was still pretending to myself. Fast forward to today and I am in the best shape of my life. The surgery helped me start the journey but the real work came from learning about myself. Through self exploration I learned what the root of my issues were that contributed to my struggles with weight. Learning to let go was the biggest step. I had to let go of old patterns and belief systems that were taught and not serving me. Once I recognized that, they really hard part was actually letting go. Old relationships that no longer served me had to naturally evolve and I had to accept that evolution. So fast forward 7 years and I don't look the same that's for sure. I've lost more weight than I am currently and have a substantial amount of tattoos. Below is that photo I mentioned, compared to one I took a few days ago. I don't know how heavy I was in the first picture, but I am currently sitting at 155 pounds and am very proud of how hard I've worked to get here. I no longer suffer from emotional eating and the happiness I feel now is genuine, and not forced or fake. The biggest change I love between these photos is the addition of so many wrinkles around my eyes and mouth, as I know they are from always smiling. I'd rather the wrinkles of happiness to the scars of trauma any day.
As always, the farm and the rhythm of the routines keep me sane and grounded. No matter what, no matter how hard it is to get out of bed some days, the chores MUST get done. I will always be eternally grateful for the life I live that allows me to sync so perfectly with what happens to be my perfect medicine for PTSD. My herd, ever loving and supportive and always there for me any time of the day or night. I haven't slept with the herd in sometime, but it is something I will do if I feel the need. It is my perfect space. My safe haven. This week I have also been happy to have some of the NOT everyday variety of chores. Fred and I learned how to fix a driveway which was actually a fun project. I did feel nervous that we may have botched the job, but my neighbour who shares our driveway popped by this morning to say we did a great job! Whew! My passion for community makes me equally passionate about being a good neighbour. I share a driveway with a few lakeside homes and they are often having to wait while I get the herd off the driveway. Come to think of it, the chickens are often in the way and even the cows once. Let it be said I have very lovely neighbours who have so much patience! It has been fun getting to know them better.
Another project we tackled this past weekend was to bushog the brush along the outside pen. This thick brush has been the perfect cover for nuisance foxes and recently a cat, so it had to go! Now there is a completely unobstructed view of the pen which will make security a lot easier. Fortunately we have not lost anymore chickens, although our volunteer Bridget had a scare on Saturday when she saw the fox and was missing a hen at head count. Fortunately we still retain all members of our lovely flock of hens. Now if only they would lay some eggs! The literature I read states that both breeds I chose: Bielefelders and Black Copper Marans, both coming from Happy Hens Heritage Farms, are late bloomers and won't start laying until they are 9 to 10 months old. That means I have a little time to wait yet as they are only 4-6 months old now. It is an exciting wait though! I'm looking forward to ANY eggs, but I am especially excited to see the colour of the Black Copper Maran eggs. They lay a very dark brown egg that looks like chocolate! I look forward to announcing when the hens start laying and can't wait to supply my neighbours with farm fresh eggs as they pass on by.
I put my Fargo to bed for the winter and sent pictures to my Pappy to prove it. She's snuggled in with the rest of the equipment in an old barn on the property. I can't wait to get her running again over the winter to when spring comes she is up and shining again! I love this truck probably WAY too much, but if guys can love their vehicles, why can't a girl? When I first saw this truck it was love at first sight and I was very fortunate that my Dad bought it and years later passed it on to me. This truck and I plan to spend the rest of our years together, so anyone thinking they can convince me to sell it - save your breathe. I've been on this earth long enough to have learned that the secret to happiness in life is to make choices that will lead you in that direction. Find your tribe - the ones that just "click" in your life and never let them go. Those connections are part of why we seek out companionship or socialize at all. Pay attention to those people and the moments you'll share, as within them lies real love, true beauty and happiness beyond your wildest dreams. Don't ever stop fighting for what makes your heart sing, and don't let people stand in your way. If you need to let people go, try to remember to do so lovingly if possible, and if not, then send them love anyways as it is better karma for you. We don't have to walk the footsteps of others expectations, but can instead choose to walk our own path. I have learned that true freedom comes from following your heart and enjoying every moment of the precious life we are given.
Until next week my friends ~ Angee ❤