I’m starting to feel more relaxed. The summer is dying and all my troubles seem to fade with its death. My health is improving but I’ve lost a lot of hair, perhaps because of all the medicine and the penicillin, but most likely from all the emotional stress. I have to accept that I am highly sensitive to stress. In fact, all the recent health issues have pushed me forward in the process of self-acceptance. For the first time in my life I am forced to deal with my physical vulnerability while I am connected to mind, body and soul. I am out of the dissociative behavioral pattern, I am slowly beginning to explore my physical self without separating it from my mind or consciousness. It is a strange thing to be this connected to oneself – because I am suddenly aware of every part of me like they are newly added to my body. It is an odd combination with my hypochondria and at times I feel worried I would lose all my teeth, more hair or get really sick. I think this physical awakening is a phase of self-protection and self-compassion – I have allowed situations where my body has been abused in so many ways (by others but also by myself) and this new awareness is the first step to a new acceptance, forgiveness and forming a new sense of self-worth and self-respect.
Perhaps that’s what my recurring dream about the forgotten cat is about; for years I’ve had this nightmare where I hear a soft whimpering noise coming from behind a sofa, I pull out the sofa and see a very thin and dying cat and that’s when I remember that I have a pet that I haven’t seen or fed in months. The cat is covered in dust and it’s starving. I feel so guilty. The fur is coming off and is covered with eyes, all blinking and looking at me. The cat wants me to pet it but I feel disgusted and creeped out. I slowly approach it with my hand and pet the fur and I can feel the glossy eye balls against the palm of my hand.
The cat is obviously me – or a representation of my body (I would use cat or lioness to describe my inner animal and I have lots of dreams where they appear) and I have failed to give it attention and love.
I’ve made some artworks based on this recurring nightmare, perhaps I’ll make more. It stills haunts me.
I won’t ever abandon myself again. It is the biggest crime you can commit to yourself while being alive on this Earth. Self-abandonment leads to so much suffering and the lack of self-compassion is the first step to any destructive thought or action. This season of health problems has taught me so much about just that.