I see you. I see how you had to pretend. Pretend to be thriving, happy, excited, loving, forgiving and alive.
I see you. I see how you had to be invisible, well behaved and all accepting. Without rest. Without safety or love or comfort. Without comfort for your deep sadness, your betrayal or terror. Without a place to hide to get some rest, to be anonymous.
I know how hard it was for you to live in survival mode. On auto-pilot. I see how lonely you were, blank, rageful.
You stuffed it all down. Storing/carrying it all away for another day. You had the wisdom to know if you unpacked it all you would not survive. You would not be able to keep it together and lead a normal life outside of an institution/hospital. The only option you knew was to keep playing, keep going. I thank you for this.
Years, empty years stacked together like 5 mins, like a long nap. A nap of safety, skimming insanity. Shocked but no signs outwardly. Terrified, but with a smile. Rivers, oceans of sadness underground.
Now we’re tapping in, once again, we’re here, together, my inner lovely. Both alive, feeling, hurting – lifetimes of hurt. It just comes. Day after day. Without obvious invitation. But the soul knows the timing is perfect.
We will rise, with more depth, available heart. Widening the range between despair and joy. To feel and experience everything in between. Fully. This time, you are not alone, I see you and support you like a good mother would, like she should. My promise to you.
I never lost the child within. She’s right here next to me. Gathering trinkets on walks. Stones that peak interest, pine needles that prickle on my cheek, pods yet opened, full of possibility and promise of another season.
Feathers of hawk, abandoned hornets nests, berries artistically encased in ice – saved in the freezer, crimson leaf pressed in the pages of the Mother Earth catalogue, brown, striped seeds of mystery.
Recuerdos, mementos for recalling yesterdays, telling the earth’s story one tchotchke at a time. Don’t lose the child within. He/she is counting on you.
I think it’s common to feel overwhelmed these days. Most of the pressure to DO, to HAVE, to BE, is created within ourselves. Do more, be perfect, have it all, win. At our own expense. The target always moving. Higher. Unattainable.
We are MORe. Already. We are perfect. Perfectly imperfect. All that we are looking for. When life appears to be stacking up against us. Remember, the pile consists of great potential. Great strength. Warmth. Energy/fuel to persevere. Raw material from which to create. Build anew. Wood you dare to believe in your own potential?
Wake up with that catastrophic feeling. The exhale feels too deep, too dangerous to surrender to. I may not be able to take anything in if I let go and give everything away on a breath. Inhalation shallow as to not take anything in -too deeply- or permanently.
This one feeling as I wake – Can’t believe I have to keep doing this.. -doing what? (I question the feeling) Keep living? So elusive and slippery…Where TF does this feeling come from? And before I totally freak and want to run far away from this feeling, I remember, it’s JUST a feeling.
An ancient feeling. Like something I’ve been battling against for lifetimes. Past lives. The impending doom, someone coming to the village to burn it down, to capture me and throw me in a dark cell with rodents, feed me to the wild beasts, tie me to 2 horses who run in opposite directions, publicly hang me because of my wisdom, medicine, practices and beliefs. Feels so real and connected to pure DREAD.
It hits most often when I’m riding high, in a particularly good place, feeling assured that I “got” this life thing and it doesn’t GOT me. When I have the upper hand on living. Feeling bulletproof. Dread wants me to know otherwise, steal my joy and aliveness.
The darkness that comes with this early morning dread… first seeping in when I rest in the semi-conscious state before becoming fully awake. So slippery, this feeling. Creeping in when my defenses are still groggy, at peace. Something triggers deep inside to attempt to rob me of this morning promise and serenity. Fucking joy stealer 😩
There is recognition. I am positive I deeply know this place well. Like the bottom of a dark sticky pocketbook 🤢 The empty, cold, sharp walls of a hopeless existence. Dread thrusts me onto the edge, teetering over the vast cauldron of self hate and disgust for living well and being SEEN living well. It attempts to talk me into despising everything including myself.
The dread is borne from wanting to extinguish my own life. Bourne of overwhelm at the thought of continuing to carry a burden and secret much too heavy for my petite frame – just a whisp of a human, exactly what they wanted for me- to wipe myself out. Ending my own life….yes, the icing on the cake, the bow on the package.
Another life ruined, how smug their expressions. Fuckers. Hoping and praying I would trip n fall and impale myself on the cross I carry. This dread, as an abuse survivor, is etched into my fabric. Bathed in dread every day – I was an adorable, absorbent little sponge. Maturing, I could be loyal to their dark foundation they so carefully poured into my frame OR I could boldly refuse to be the load bearing wall of their house of horrors.
As I choose to no longer carry the weight of all that has transpired, I have something for ya- a big Fuck You with your name on it. I’m stepping out from under the weight, I’m done. I didn’t perish, I wasn’t silenced, I don’t hate myself like you did, I didn’t repeat what you did to me, I didn’t act my rage out on others. No, I didn’t. I chose a much different path. The path of revenge.
Sweet, delicious revenge. By telling the truth, by being fabulous anyways, by cutting the cords, hooks, chains – of your essence – away and off of me. To shred the dread you branded me with and vomit it back all over you. Free. Free to be who I came here to be. Without interference. Without permission. Zero Apologies.
Resurfacing of dread, 42 years later has a way of reminding me of all the ways I am glad to be free of you and your sad lives. Freedom is sweet. The independence amazing. The ease of life, gorgeous. Knowing I turned – and continue to turn dread into celebration? Amaze balls outstanding.
You are not your dread. It was given to you. You came by it honestly. It is not the truth of who you are. It may try to rent space in your life. Dread is full of lies to keep you playing small in a promising life. Someone may have thought your light, your powerful energy, needed to be snuffed out. You may have been a threat to someone’s power, as your light was blinding them. Take back your light, your magnificence, your power. Don’t just exist. This is what thriving looks like. This.
So, the Holidays, hmmmmm. I’m guessing that some of my readers may be very excited for Holidays. I am also knowing that there’s a whole other section of the general pop who are digging themselves a large hole, preparing to jump in to escape all things “family celebration”. I’m a proud member of the second, gasp less acknowledged group. Actually I’m a charter member, with 10 years of sanity under my belt 😂 (and all over my body, actually LOL).
Tis the season for hushed-toned conversations, multiplying in frequency, “Oh, she doesn’t come around” and “He doesn’t bother with us” even “I think she’s crazy, she doesn’t talk to any of her family”. “Who could walk out on their family?” Well, there’s ALWAYS a pretty good fucking reason why someone would cut the ties with their tribe. Always. Period. It’s usually one badass warrior mother fucker who can pull this off in search of a wonderfully joy-filled life. Someone like um… like um… ME. Turning out to have found peace…away from their tragic family of origin. This, my friends, is the elephant in the room.
I write about this in support of those badassreaders I have. The people who don’t feel entirely settled when the Holidays arrive. Those who are depressed, anxious, angry, revengeful or indifferent when it comes to “family”. For those of you who are new to my blog, I use quotation marks when I write “family” because the word is LOADED – ya’ll know what I’m talkin bout. It’s in no way a normal word for me and can be very heavy. You’re feelin me.
Chances are, your “family” wants you to just forget everything that’s happened in the past and smile, be pretty and pretend like everything is normal. Hell, deep down, you WANT to believe you have the best family ever (who tf doesn’t?) – So you, against your better judgement, attend the family Holiday party —- thinking it will be fine this time. You got this. Fuck them. I’m not going to let them get to me this time. Let’s do this. Put your party clothes on and grab a bag…big enough to carry home all those triggers that are waiting for you. Happy Holidays😳
It can be very very diff to go through the motions and attend Holiday gatherings just for the sake of keeping the peace. As if. As if you want to be there. As if. As if. Usually, there’s a price… predictably sacrificing your own needs and boundaries for the sake of others’ needs and happiness. That shit never feels good and the next day we make ourselves pay for it in whatever way feels familiar to us.
Me? well, the day after, I’m curled up in a ball, feeling punched in the gut, filled with regrets, swearing to God I’ll never say yes again. So much crazy shit swirling in your head- hate for them, hate for yourself and guilt. Guilty for hating everyone and everything. Enter mind-fuck…maybe it IS me. Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing…they all seem happy 😳. Ewe, WAIT! NO.
So how does one survive this scenario? this gathering of triggers, this no-thankyou portion of family, this nothing-is-as-it-appears celebration? I am so glad you asked
put yourself first, listen to your heart and do what feels correct for you. It is your decision. No-one knows what it’s like to be inside of your body. Eyes wide open, ask yourself what you need, what would make YOU happy (for a change). What makes you feel good.
know that you are making the best decision for you – only you, because you’re the only one who knows and lives your truth.
create a holiday tradition that touches your heart. Something specific to honoring what is important to you around the Holidays. Whatever brings you joy, keeps you centered, grounded and calm. Giving your time/talents to others or creating something for yourself with no outside influences.
write about how things will be different if you do spend time with family over the Holidays. (write it out, read it to someone or keep for next year – so you can chronical your growth. If you’re into ceremony and ritual maybe you meditate on your written ideas and set fire to it when it feels complete. Re-writing your new and improved version of the Holiday – sending your intention out to the Universe for manifestation.
surround yourself with people (outside of your family) who support your feelings. Do not expect your family of origin to understand what you are going through. They don’t. They can’t. Period. Find those outside of your “family”. They won’t be triggered by YOUR “family” shit – they most likely have different baggage and can support you in an unbiased way. Their baggage is different.
stay away from alcohol if you can possibly help it. Your guard will be down and you may end up saying and doing things you prob wouldn’t have. Seriously, resist the urge with all you have. It can be so tempting to numb yourself out but save the drinking for when you are with more supportive, less triggery folks. You’re welcome.
give yourself an energy bath – wipe that nasty energy off with a washcloth and down the drain it goes. Replacing the nasties with clean white or golden light. Filling in the holes that were punctured intentionally and unintentionally during your “family” time.
If you must go into the battle zone aka “family” gathering, I suggest you envision a shield protecting you prior to entering the sketchy soirée. Shield your heart, solar plexus (core) and sacral chakras. In no way are you a bad person for protecting yourself from negative energy. It’s brilliant and gives you a slight giggle as you try on, “You can’t have me” or “You can’t get me” or “I’ll decide what you get from me”! delicious, absolutely delicious. Better than a plate of cookies! Self empowerment, strength and self advocacy sure looks sexy on you. You’re so hot! Only you can do this for you.
be gentle with yourself!!! it’s exhausting work to challenge your family’s structure. The emotions of guilt, anger, betrayal, sadness, frustration are all a normal part of creating boundaries with people who do not respect our “NO”.
make a plan. escape route, get away line, time limit, certain people to avoid. Identify what is off limits for you and what you’ll spend less time around – these suggestions all go a long way to create a sense of control over the situation. No-one has to be IN on this plan. Use when triggered and repeat if necessary. Creating and sticking to boundaries will feel MEAN initially, mostly because we were raised to not have/expect boundaries. But if practiced enuff, you’ll get over it, trust.
make alternate plans for the Holiday – out of state, out of the country, Mars? And divulge these plans early so people have time to get used to the idea! There, now you can breathe deeply. Can’t see the dysfunction from there can ya?
fake an illness – who wants to be with someone who is ill… strep, chicken pox, cock-sakie (good Lord), or the dreaded flu? “He/she was sick” has a better ring to it than “he/she didn’t want to come” You might actually be the recipient of some sympathy and people will be glad you didn’t show up. And BONUS… your needs are met! Just don’t use Covid as an excuse – cause it’ll backfire and they’ll be more up your ass than ever.
even if you do not attend, and you’re anything like me, you might… feel like shit because you’re not with your family, feel like shit because you don’t want to be with them, feel like shit because you are feeling relieved and happy because you didn’t blindly agree to attend, feel like shit because you can’t imagine it will EVER be any different, feel like shit because you feel so alone and unloved and cast aside, betrayed, crazy. That’s a whole lot of shit to shovel. This can be very, very difficult to push through. I speak from experience. been through this for several holidays in a row. It’s so very important to create your own Holiday rituals and traditions.
Happy Holidays!!! 😘😘😘 Do YOU and let me know how it goes 💪 👑
Here we are, Christmas quickly approaching. So of course I have no plans to spend time with my family on Christmas Eve. If you’ve been reading any of my earlier bloglets you have a really good idea as to why I choose to remain separate.
Yes, it’s really difficult to stand your ground and distance yourself from those you bonded to. Excruciating at times. But as a child, when your Spirit is slaughtered over and over and over, some of us learn to stand tall in our adult years and fight the fight. Reclaiming our lives from the grips of traumatic memories/physical horrors.
So you can prob imagine the shock in my system when my husband texts me, “Do you think today you can get your mother a card, from me, for Christmas?” I thought to myself – self, well, that’s kind of weird but ok, whatever…just as long as I don’t have to SEE her royal craziness.
So off I go to the store to the cheerful love your Mother Christmas card section. Rolling my eyes, I saunter up to the section of colorful, Christmasee cards, all ooozing and gushing with all-things-Mom-ness. Here it is, the “ I wish my Mom was like this” aisle.
On my left there’s a bright yellow sign which says…“ Hokey Pokey turn your life around card section” COMING SOON. Shucks! Guess I’ll have to come back later for that selection. I start opening and reading. Opening and reading.
“Your love, Mom, reminds us of the love in our hearts this Holiday season…..”
“You are the glue that keeps this family together”
“A special Holiday wish for a special Mother…”
“Mom, all the joyful Holiday memories we share…”
“When we feel the Christmas spirit we remember the love you gave to us…”
Wow, um, nope, not a chance. This is harder than I thought.
I need the AF cards that are a little more honest. Maybe a blank card to write his own message… he’ll kill me lol. I know it’s Christmas and all but I don’t really have a taste for sugar, she ruined that for me…
If I could design a card…
“I hope you have the Christmas you deserve” or “I’m sure you think you did a great job but I am entitled to my truth and my opinion” and “I gave you the first 1/2 of my life, the rest is mine” or “Your energy is toxic so it’s just perfect if you celebrate Christmas at your house and I celebrate it at mine” and “No worries, I’m not angry, in fact, I don’t even think of you anymore, Merry Christmas”.
These MIGHT not exist in card form but I’d be willing to guess that I’m def onto something here. There might be a market for the card that never gets sent. Right?
So, I ended up settling on this generic card, “It’s Christmas, Hope you spend this magical season any merry way you like”. See?, everyone’s happy. Done. Got the card, husband will deliver it tomorrow. The card, consonants and vowels scattered about in a meaningful array of sequence. Recognizable as a gesture of nice from a nameless party and her caring spouse. I’d say we more than covered the bases. Check.
Poor thing, he’s kinda stuck in the middle and sees her rarely but he continues the facade of caring. She’ll hand him a gift for me – which always triggers me… throw it out, unopened? give it away? burn it? bury it in ceremony? So sad that she wants to own me.
So sad that she keeps trying. Refusing to let me have my truth. She holds out hope that I’ll forget that she resembles the witch in Hansel & Gretel. Caging the children so she can devour them. She read that story to us often, not surprising.
Now it’s time for me to read her a story. I hope she likes her card, I hope she hates her card, I hope she notices how much of a non-card it really is, I hope she notices how I did not sign it, I hope she feels how much self-love I have now, without her presence.
Despite all of this chatter, NONE of this really matters. I just simply bought a card. A Christmas card. Nothing more than paper, glitter, a stocking, teddy bear and cursive font… no promises, no agenda, no should haves, no attachments. A card. Merry Christmas Baba Yaga.
I just want everything to be normal. As it used to be. I would rise up in the morn after a restful nights sleep. Mind open and free. Free to wonder and allow and dream. Thinking about the day ahead with possibility and satisfaction for my life, my aliveness, my able body. All is right in the world.
But this is lost. NOW. A much different picture. Restless nights, waking soaked and agitated. Dark and irritated. Unfocused, lacking the capacity to absorb even pleasurable things. Overstimulated and exhausted. Tears that won’t stop.
Rather then a blessing, life feels like a chore, a trick. Unable to see past my funk, time moves on. This is what depression must feel like. A dimming of the light. The numb taking front n center in a once vibrant life. Eyes fixed and tears streaming. A vast nothingness.
Overwhelm and indifference fighting for the front seat. Moving from everything is too much to -who cares? Frozen despondency. Cozy and terrifying at once. A cocoon on fire, with an audience. Humiliation and validation fighting for the back seat. Driving Miss Crazy.
The isolation looms. I must keep connecting. But my deepest desire is to be invisible. If just for a day, a week. Disappearing. Unable to be found, uncovered, discovered. For who I am is not permissible. Not presentable. What I am, who I am, is not allowed. Not right now.
I hide behind my disposable mask. Inhaling stale thoughts, countless lies about myself. Right now I can barely see the light. Right now, I’m feeling the deepest humiliation and shame. Right now my brain and stores of serotonin have gone on holiday. Leaving me, a rusty iron gate in the wind, mostly closed and whining. Disconnected and invisible.
Until now, my experience with deep humiliation was basically an unmet, unfamiliar stranger. Humiliation meeting pressure, perfection, anxiety and fear, my old sketchy roommates. Most of the time unwelcome house guests. Familiar shadowy strays. With name plates at the dinner table, never changing out of their pajamas.
Today, I rely on a fortress of autopilot tolerance and patience. I muster these for myself. I must cling to the patterns, the same patterns that saved my ass, my sanity, allowed me to look normal and sane as a child. Having patience for the parts of me that still act on impulse and keep me playing victim.
Patience and love for the parts of me that listen to the little stupid voice. You know that voice. Saying I deserve all things horrible because I bring it on myself, I don’t care enough, I don’t know anything, I have nothing to offer… bla bla bla. Should have, could have , would have.
On the surface I fight back but at the core there are holes in the fabric where the slime of self loathing eeks through. All dark and slippery, like a serpent hungry for my soul. I muster the compassion for myself naming and evicting those voices. Zing them out the front door. Crafty bitches slither back in, finding the smallest cracks. No vacancy, no room in the inn. But oh yes, there always is. They laugh at my meaningless protests.
They bring me candy and gifts and charm my pants off. Seduction of sameness, familiarity. All for a comfy seat in my life. They’re so sure they won’t be evicted – they know, before I do- smug bastards. Their voices are ancient. But I give them life. Breathe life into them, their crusty old bones erected and lubed. Upright. My doing.
I supply their juices, fodder, connective tissues and strength. I am the life giver. I birth them, give them a voice -when I listen, when I play small. When I accept the bait, and devour their shards of glass garbage thoughts. They are nothing without me – I breathe life into them.
I bleed. I cut. I cut myself. I cut myself out. I cut myself off. From the light, my gifts, my heart. Severed. Aliveness -hidden. Ready or not. I will stay in the dark but only long enough to find the light. No-one can find this for me. This is an inside job. This is the work.
To blaze the path not yet fully cleared. Grab my sickle, hedge clippers, bushwhacker, axe, pick and chain saw. Disregarding the old, dark, comforting lies my shadow NEEDS me to believe. Otherwise it won’t survive.
I can’t wait to be fearless, content and grounded once again. It will happen. It always does. Meanwhile, buckle-up buttercup. The journey continues…driving Miss CRAZY.