Joy

This Right Here

Some days I wake up and I feel so joyful. Like I’m grateful for everything. I find amazement and wonder in the smallest things. The smells. The sounds. The feels. Everything fresh and alive and inviting. It’s a privilege to be alive. It’s an honor to be here.
Weird. How can I feel so satisfied, and grateful when so many are suffering? I “should” be all twisted up. So I share this with my hubs. Surmising that, “maybe this is it, maybe I’m leaving this earth soon 🤷🏻‍♀️.” I mean, why else would I feel this way? Of course he doesn’t know what to say 😆 who would 😵‍💫
But then I realize that THIS is it. This was it all along. THIS is the nectar of life. Enjoying the right now. The today. The stuck in traffic, standing in line, the feel of a sunburn, a headache. Even the things we try and get away from. This is rich. Our lives are living and breathing, drenched with experience and chance meetups with humans and nature and everything in between.
I wish I woke every day feeling settled into existence, breathing into the entirety of life. What a gift.
Thank you.

Garden Love is the best
human condition

In Love #27

I’m in love with hugs from strangers.

A welcoming, outstretched arms of inclusion. The rare and radical leave a tingling of newness, spreading across the shoulders, chest and back. No expectation. Taking in the offering. Not strange at all. Just a moment of reception. Receiving joy and compassion feels light and joyful. Not strange at all.

They’re a special breed, these folks. A chance meeting. A surprise invitation to meet an underdeveloped part of ourselves. The parts that open and take. Acceptance of warmth. Of soul recognition. It unfolds just as it should. Authentic and organic, giddy and gorgeous.

Sometimes we are the stranger. The giver of free love and compassion. Responding to the pain, relief or undeniable connection with another human. Hearts moved to meet. The power to heal. The power within us all.

I’m in love with hugs from strangers.

authentic

Stop honoring dog shit

This or better

When we stop honoring a family system that’s broken and full of lies..

When we stop showing up when they want us to just to make it look good.

When we stop doing things that make our blood boil just for the sake of looking like a good family.

When we stop doing more to please people that are impossible to please.

When we stop doing anything for people who don’t care about us truly.

When we stop honoring those who took away our dignity our self worth our peace.

When we stop living our lives the way other people want us to live them and be who they thought we should be.

Do you know how powerful you are?

When we stop pretending that’s when things start to change.

When we know better. We NO better.

goodbye

Hold You In My Heart

Ocean peace filling her soul

I want to hold you like a small helpless child. I want to wrap you and keep you safe. I want to stroke your cheek and tell you everything’s going to be ok. Mother you the way we should have been mothered. Love you for just your existence. Tell you it’s ok, you’re ok. I want to let you relax in a safe space, let you be needed, tolerated, loved, honored and heard. I don’t think anyone heard you, no one loved you and let you know that you were ok. That it was ok to make mistakes.

I want you to walk on the beach one more time. To pick wild flowers. To trap a snake with a forked stick. I want you to see outside to fill yourself with fragrance and sound and the sun on your skin. I want that for you. But your immobile. Physically unable. I can only want those sensory pleasures for you. That is just my dream. My painful dream.

You’re so lost and helpless, it makes me so sad for you. Tragic. 84 years worth of tragic. You never realized your potential. Never realized your personal power. You were so sick I wanted nothing to do with you. Insane. I needed to love myself instead. I needed to save myself.

A new kind of compassion is birthing today. A new kind of wisdom making everything ok. I can’t fill you, I can’t live for you. You’re so lost now, more than ever. Trapped in a body that has no way to live and express all that is your story – never to get resolve. Never to been seen and heard. The saddest thing ever. Ever. You’re going to die with that information held close. Those secrets about those who stole everything from you.

You are left with a haunting, lingering, fleeting remembrance of horrors only you know. They’re locked inside, the evil – your private hell. You wanted to tell me, I know that. And you’re right, I will find out someday. I will. I’ll get all that info when you pass away. When you’re more whole than you’ve ever been. On the other side of this.

You were afraid of me, the loose cannon, the lost sheep. I had the power all along. I wasn’t afraid to speak it to tell others. You wanted that for yourself secretly, but could never have it. Something you didn’t know how to harness. You only knew to silence me. To control me. And that you did well.

Now I see you degrade yourself. Over and over is surely heartbreaking. You’ve NEVER thought you were doing, saying, being the right thing. Your confidence stripped. I hurt deeply for you, because you can’t hurt. You can’t lean into the support and melt. Your brain is being taken from you – little by little. You never wanted to remember, so here it is. As you wish.

Dependent. Again. On those you don’t trust. Those who are strange. Strangers who get to decide what to do with your body. Others make decisions for you. Tossed about from place to place. More of the same tragedy for you. It’s heartbreaking. The one who controls ends up with no control. Terrifying I’m sure. I will hold you in my heart. That’s all either of us has now. Goodbye Mother.

work

Legs Don’t Lie

My legs. They know. They No. They ache, whine, and protest for days after heavy exercise – biking, kickboxing, hours of garden. I awaken the beast with stimulation. Reaching into the container of stifled protest, the well hidden events of a traumatic past. Weighed down by old held trauma. Wanting to run away. To fight off unwanted advances. Secretly wishing my legs would have defied my abusers and be unmovable, thwarting someone’s plan. All that protest energy still taking up residence. A protest that wasn’t allowed. A fuck-you condensed by sad-mess. Yes, old grief, that hopeless bastard. Bringing me to my aching knees. Festering, swirling – wishing relief. 

The pain is constant. I don’t know where to put my legs so they won’t ache, won’t wake me. Muscular pain that is tired of waiting for the green light to release. Tired of holding. Aching at 2,3,4 a.m. Restless toss and burn. Heavy burdened walking sticks. Demanding attention for what was ignored before. This body does not forget. Tissues pregnant with issues. A high-risk pregnancy that must be watched, monitored. Until the delivery of release. 

The threat of physical harm a long-ago-reality. All of my unconscious, protective holding is no longer needed – but my legs never got the memo. A loving gesture of exercise to keep my body fit and healthy has some underlying “gifts”. This physical pain I feel delivers me to the doorway of my emotional pain. Pain rents space, usually safe, undisturbed – until I call it out. Then pain has a voice. When my legs speak, they sound desperate. With ex-hurt-sion they plead with me. Their quiet whispers they tell me they’re exhausted. To please do the work. We’re sad, broken and depressed, needing deep-rest. 

My relationship with my body is tight. Tight as the terror still residing in my legs, hips and pelvis. I talk with her. Sending love to my tender, lovely, strung-out legs. They need love. I purposefully bring the darkness forward, into consciousness. Visualizing the eviction of fear, disgust, shame, etc.. calling in Spirit Animals or Angels or Spirit Guides. Sitting with strong emotions. Standing with the reality of it all outside the cage of existence I used to know. 

As my legs begin to thaw from their frozen “normal”, it hurts. I’ve disturbed a whole latta dark. The darkness wants out and that’s always painful. Painful going in, painful coming out. The trapped is wrapped in an old worn out container. My container is falling apart. As it should. As I relax, letting my guard down physically, the expression of what WAS is free to flow. These muscles and bones have known no safe place. No downtime. 

I have a choice. We all do. I can do nothing. And invite in fibro-your-algia…cause NO, it will never be MINE. Never. I can wallow in vic-dumb-hood or I can stand on my own two legs and fight for my best life. I choose to evict the darkness. The thick, strangled webs of dysfunctional energy. They ooze sadness. A sadness so great I am compelled to ask them what they need. To actually have a conversation with my legs. The held trauma, wishing to take away my mobility, my health, my drive and flexibility. No thank-you.

I don’t blame my legs for the pain. Instead, I treat them like old friends. Dry brushing them to direct the fluid and energy to my lymphnodes for proper drainage. I Reiki them. I give them baths with Epsom salts for detox and relaxation of the strained muscles. I wrap them in warmth and allow emotion to flow unabstructed. I cry for the return of painless. 

In a miraculous body way, a brilliant way, it handled it. By shutting down. By tensing up in protection. By stuffing all the ugly into my tissues and muscles because it was too much for a little girl to handle. The body never forgets.

body

The Secrets Our Bodies Keep

Trauma has a way of slipping around, unnoticed in the body. Seems like forever ago it was born. We carry it silently, in a frozen suitcase until it starts to thaw. The hinges rust, material unravelling. Chunks fall out. My chunks come in the form of physical pain.

I begin to feel the ready to release as muscles and joints politely ask for attention. For discovery. For expression of that which can be held no more. Like an over due library book, I must pay the fine. Fine mess this is. The mess of unbecoming me. The mess of discovering who I was all along if not for these frozen parts. This bulky luggage I drag around.

The least I could do is to lend an ear to what my body has to say. It’s not just simply an achy shoulder, knee or tail bone. Absolutely not. When the body hurts for no reason, I mean, for no obvious injury or because of acute illness – well then, there’s always a deeper story.

IF. If we are brave. IF we are curious enough to stand still for the message. Mostly, we just want the pain/weirdness to go away. Sadly enough there’s no shortage of friends/family/practitioners who will suggest a quick remedy. Same folks who have no tolerance for our struggles, can’t sit with us in our suffering and just want it gone for us.

But there are some of us who live just left of center, on the edge of typical and hesitate very little when it comes to the journey of self discovery. The journey into the center of ourselves. The two seatbelt journey into the land of stored trauma. The buried treasure of sorts, the gold realized years later.

Trauma releases, bit by bit only when the conditions are right. Right? Mostly. Our higher self waits patiently until we are settled, until we are in a decent situation before presenting a sneak peek into our darkness. Sucks, right? What’s right about feeling/reliving trauma? What went in must come out. This. This is the work. Walking the walk. Walking the trauma to the outskirts of our body limits.

Which, is not technically true because NOT everyone chooses to excise their shadow. There is a great amount of support out there if one desires NOT to work with/tease out the negative/dark within. The supports may be in the form of alcohol, drugs, shopping, bingeing/purging, cutting, gambling, self harm, risk taking…. bla bla bla. I call these SUPPORTS because these choices actually take us out of our bodies and distract us from the pain that is surfacing.

Now THAT’S a support. So we don’t have to feel. So we don’t have to see. So we don’t have to hear. The emotions, the faces, the words lurking in our body pain. So the trauma waits, and sits and waits some more. While we hurt and go about the business of living. Holding our physical selves in sad or angry or fearful postures because this is all we knew. This is what feels natural. Until it doesn’t.

appreciation

In Love #26

With such a gorgeous display of feathers, turkey babies are sure to follow… who could resist this Tom? May 2022

I’m in love with wild Turkey fuzzy babies. Curious and bouncing. Sticking close by Mom as she meanders through the yard. Bobbing and weaving through clover and plantain, their heads barely visible.

Giggle, gaggle growing by the day, by the light, by sounds of dusk calling them home. Safe in the trees Momma takes all. Recharging for the next days worth of meals. Meandering across wide open spaces. Choosing only the finest of insects to fill their belly pouches.

Straying just far enough away from Momma. Testing the waters as Mom remains on guard. Predators are plenty. The perfect little appetizer these little cuties would make. In weeks they’ll shed their fuzz. Their soft. For a serious coat of dress.

Creating their own path. Their own families. Their own parties of 8. Or 9. Or 13. The stand tall and taller. Puffed out makes looking for a chance to continue their lineage. Females dutifully accepting the offer. The cycle continues one more season. Here they come. Bumbling. Bouncing. Beautiful.

I love wild Turkey fuzzy babies.

action

Sweet Generational Impact

Don’t worry, we got this ♥️

We can only blame others for what has “happened to us” for so long. I do believe it a necessary process tho. Absolutely. It keeps us separate. It puts the blame where it belongs. Cause come on, no child asks for pain, insanity, sexual abuse, abandonment, humiliation, neglect…As children we come by this honestly. Circumstantial.

But…I think we run with that bs and grow to treat ourselves the same. It’s learned. It’s what they wanted us to learn. The hate, the inability to accept help, the way we please others first, the way we deny our own needs…all learned. So many of us get stuck in- “they made me like this” and close that chapter. End of story.

But…for some amazingly brave souls, I for one, we came into this life knowing that we will eventually reclaim all that was lost, all that was surrendered, all that was taken. MOST people I have met on my healing path settle with giving their abuser(s) the free pass. MOST people. And that rips my heart to shreds.

A complete disaster -from where I’m sitting. I am watching the generations below mine imploding with dysfunction in worse ways than the original shit. It’s here now. The trauma is visible, palpable, begging to be transformed. It laughs, taunts.

When we forever get comfortable sitting in – they did this to me – and we do not tease apart the “this”, we never need to change or do things differently. We can even dismiss them and fake their non-existence. The hate and rage inside us continues to simmer. They are forever the villain and we get to stay forever the victim. Sounds cozy.

Don’t have any children please. Just don’t.

The action script unfolds something like this…

Repeat after me: I have a part in this problem play. I’m not the main character but I’ve been really good as a supporting actor. I have learned my lines, they are automatic. This is what they want for me, so I don’t upset the trauma cart.

But wait, I no longer need to be in this drama. Being actively involved in this show keeps me in a negative, regretful, low vibrational place. I will take the steps necessary to eventually exit stage left. I want aliveness. I want revenge. Getting better for yourself, yes, this is the ultimate revenge.

Put some tall boots on and trudge through the mud in your life. Sometimes you’ll be stuck, unable to move. Other times you’ll move swiftly like it’s your job. Well you really are self employed. It’s your business and your the only one with YOU skills. That’s either really good news or very bad news. But actually, you will completely OWN your own success. The pride and sense of complete accomplishment are yours. Forever. Now take that deep dive into who you most deeply are.

Your personal success will ripple outward to impact all around you and especially the generations to come. Show us your BRAVE.

Mother

Mothering

This pic reminds me that everyday we are brand new like a fresh Spring morning.

Every year, I’m a stranger. An imposter in my own life. Who am I to not love my Mother? How dare I? On a day devoted to the devoted. The selfless and emotional pillar of the family unit. Who tf am I to not be honoring and swimming in the love and gratitude so many feel?

Or do they? Media would lead you to believe that everyone has/had a fairytale Mom. The loving, doting and encouraging Mom. The – I got you – Mom. The way these Mother’s Day cards are written… selling the story of perfection, sweet caring and unwavering love.

My guess is that a little truth and authenticity sprinkled amongst these card stock fancies is in order. I mean, come on! Just close your eyes, hold your breath and add your John Hancock. When your childhood experiences were not in the love basket at all, these well meaning cards can be triggering and upsetting. Card after 8$ card. Sparkles, music, hearts and swirling fonts.

Wouldn’t a little REAL give permission for aliveness and much needed deep breaths? I’d like to design cards with reality in mind. Illuminating the humanness in relationships. The struggles, the lessons, the growth, the separateness – all crafting something beautiful. An imperfect end product. A beautiful mess.

“ Mom, I know you did the best you could and I honor your Spirit for that” “Mom, even though it’s been tough, know that I have learned so much from our relationship” Mom, thank you for bringing me into this world for the opportunity to do great things”.

Even when (especially when) we don’t have a relationship with our Mom – and or it is tumultuous – we gaining valuable insights. We become seekers of truth and who we came here to be. Because. Because we kind of have to. Because the pain is huge. The scars of not being seen, heard, validated, honored and cherished as a child are ever reaching. This is fertile healing ground for a Wisdom harvest.

This is the gift. To ourselves. The quest for wholeness. Without support from the most obvious source, our Mother. For whatever reason that source may have dried up or was never available. Or love was a trick or a performance in front of others. Whatever the situation. I don’t think I am alone by any means this Mother’s Day (or any other day)

We can live and honor and nurture each other. Anyways. There are so many of you in this same seat. I feel you. I see you. I support your mixed feelings on this day and everyday you feel like you’re missing something you think every other person has. They do not. I think many people have a high tolerance for trauma/abuse. Keeping them loyal to that which insults the rest of us. My tolerance is low which is why I chose to live and remain separate. And sane.

Every Mother’s Day I write a letter to myself. Expressing my gratitude to my higher self for never giving up on me. I talk about the partnership and unconditional love I have for my body, my mistakes, my humanness. I’ve got my own back. This is where I MOTHER myself. Turns out I’m very good at it. I suspect you all are too. Happy Mother’s Day to the amazing Mother in you.

Human Spirit

Owners manual

This girl. Right here. Should have come with instructions. She was born to rip shit up – perceptions, control, guilt – I shattered all of it – leaving the abusive family patterns in rubble. Why? Well why the fuck not? I was not made to keep quiet, guard the family secrets, keep the elders happy, drink the sweet tea to further rot my soul. They didn’t read the manual.

Hell to the NO. I was created to shake shit up and not to look back. Blazed trails to connect with the divine without the devil’s influence. And alone mind you – nobody followed, no one was willing to take the chance that this was the way out, to believe that my way was what worked. I traveled alone, leaving mounds of baggage behind. Claimed and abandoned.

After a while it was clear that they couldn’t stop me. They tried so hard for me to shut my fucking mouth. Whenever it opened truth spilled out. It worked. Made them look at their own dysfunction. That’s why I was hated, I knew there had to be a totally different way to live and I pushed hard for it.

Not just survive bathed in lies. But to live and thrive and love. I had to be brave enough to do battle with those who counted on me being silent. They’ll hate you for healing. No pain No gain is reality because it is excruciating for a long time, as life reconfigures around you.

They’ll hate you for exposing them. Try as you might, no one’s coming with. They’ll hate you for talking bad about the LOVELY family. I’m such a villain. That’s the branding. I AM forever branded. But fortunately I’ve turned that branding ass-end up and pointed it towards you all. If I was never “the villain” I would have never gotten well.

Truth be told, I am your worst nightmare when it comes to exposing shit. Illuminating the stuff others don’t want revealed? I’m your gal. My intuition honed – I see into people, their actions, their intentions. You can’t hide your trauma from me. I’m like a trained dog and how they wished I was house trained and would stfu.

Although I don’t expose other situations or call it out, I always respond in a trauma sensitive way which wins strangers over. The “how does she know” looks are frequent. But those who might try n shame me, turning what I “know” on those who still operate in that awry mode is rather enjoyable. When you’re no longer dependent upon those who wish to NOT SEE YOU RECOVERED, it’s rather enjoyable. When other’s hate and desire to silence you – has no power whatsoever, it’s enjoyable.

Regardless…It’s fun to be the sleeper, the underdog, the lost sheep, the black sheep, the weird one, the loner, the shy one. You taught me to be wild, to fight for my sanity, to get away. Up, up and away!!! Like underdog used to say. It’s really a shame I didn’t come with an operating manual – would have saved a whole lot of folks the trouble of sparring with me and LOSING.

Peace

Thrive · warrior · Whole

How I know I’m a Warrior

How do I know? How can I not know? Miles from what I thought was me. She’s gone now. My old self. Gone is the pleaser, the “it must’ve been me” girl, the girl who stayed quiet. The one who allowed others to overrule her thoughts. The girl who believed that she didn’t have needs. How could she ever get needs met? Having needs somehow took away from others and was self centered. Mean. That’s what they told me. That’s what I believed. She’s gone now.

The girl who just wanted to be happy- no matter the cost. The young lady who kept secrets so vile – so others wouldn’t deny her truth or be moved to action, or, worse yet…think SHE was the problem. Swallowing shards of pain for too many moons, too many seasons. The young miss who starved herself in an attempt to kill the beast within. She who flirted with ending her own life as a second grader. Yes, my warrior was hidden deep.

She who finishes last hurts most. The suffering stuffed inside her little body, tucked in every crevice, tissue, every body system. The mini me opening and reaching for support. Then retreating when the flames scorched her opening heart. She was likened to an invasive weed, her desire to live fully anyways. Gathering my scattered pieces, discards, the parts of me that could not stay. Then. Now held in the safety of truth, she’s crawled back, taking back.

Adding to my healing resume, I was. My ground. My worth. This felt right, felt write. Healing through the pen. Words reflecting misery and agony of emotions held. Yet, these words were the very voice I so greatly needed to mend the soul of me. A healing prescription, wrapping the ugly in gorgeous gift boxes. Gifting earned resilience, grace and perseverance – to myself. This is me, the warrior. Yes, please.

I didn’t know this was correct. Following what felt right, I was my own healing mentor. I didn’t know I had the power to change my own life. Excising those who disrespected my essence. Eradicating those who used me for their own pleasure. Ejecting those who snuff my fire. Evicting those who will never be allowed in again. Gates closed. Admission revoked. This is how I know. I am warrior.

Old trauma meeting Wisdom. War. War within myself. Me doing battle with the invisible. The parts of me that knew better – speaking at last. Hard work keeping my inner wisdom silent. The knowing, the wisdom, became the boss of me, eventually. This is how I live my warrior.

Animals

In Love #25

I’m in love with muddy deer prints. Tails of trails. Fresh or frequent. Five minutes or forever long ago. They play and stray. Misses or misters making their mark. No worries. Creatures of grace and wonder, long lashes and lean bodies.

Feeling honored that they share my space. Or is it that I share their space? Soggy wetlands and paths yet to be forged. Their presence welcomed and apparent. My arrival, in the woods, as stealth as I can muster and still they notice me. Before I spy them. Stillness if only for their nostrils’ mist, their hooves sinking, snapping branches, crunching brown leaves.

Prints more frequent in the Spring thaw. New growth, juicy buds, spruce tips, cedar tips, arborvitae fronds. The fragrance of enticing treats pulling them closer for a nibble. Through the cyclic mushy, then frozen earth, their signature on the land preserved

acceptance

In Love #24

Im in love with 5 am stillness. The nothingness hour. Seasons of 5 offering their unique delight. Birds singing their good morning song. I sing along. creatures rustling in leaves, scurrying to find random seeds and pods long forgotten. Twilight mist thick on the patio furniture. Absorbing this in the space between my thoughts. I sit. Observe.

The sleepy hour of 5am is one of wisdom.

Snow blanketing, filling in the cracks. Silencing the silence. All is fell. The the only movement -added to the scene.

The early morning

connection

Marilyn Doesn’t Know She’s A Teacher

Onions can make you cry but so can a heart opening. So many layers so many lessons.

It would have annoyed most people. I should have been annoyed. I wasn’t. My anger would have hijacked the most profound moment. Her anger could have ruined everything. But instead, a life changing moment, a nudge from Spirit. I met a teacher, an angel…Marilyn.

While attempting to park my car I was met with a snow plow clearing the lot. I pulled to the side to let him clear where I wanted to park. Nosed in and put it in park. When he cleared the area, I put it in reverse and started to back up. I heard a beep and realized that someone was right behind me. I quickly pulled back to where I was and put it in park.

I did feel the annoyance rising in me. But then again, by beeping this person, this lovely woman, saved me from smashing her car. Upon entering the store there she stood. Sizing her up, I prepared to be yelled at, I deserved it obviously. “I’m sorry I beeped at you” she blurted out. Wow

Holy shit! SHE’S sorry? shocking. For what, for being alive? I told her I was GLAD she beeped and stopped me – I was totally going to wreck both our cars. “Always beep and don’t be sorry!” She thought that was a funny thing for me to say. We began to talk about things. Families, jobs, why we were at this store…the normal bla bla bla. Until

Until she disclosed her daughter’s situation. Somehow, by the grace of God, I found myself in a very private and profound conversation with a complete stranger. I was deeply moved by her sharing. I didn’t deserve to be privy to any of this. I was the jackass who made a dumb move in the parking lot! Still, she shared with me. Still. I was deeply moved by her daughters will to live. I was deeply moved that she died repeatedly only to be revived again and again.

All because she made the choice to have compassion for me instead of anger for me so close to wrecking her car. She not only forgot about HOW she met me, she trusted that it was ok to tell me about her life’s recent tragic events, in detail. Every detail. I’m still in shock but strangely honored.

Again. I was blown away that her daughter coded several times during her C-section. Several times. Was clinically dead seven times. That hits hard. Even when it’s a stranger. I didn’t want to cry but it was already there. I was crying inside. Profound. It was a miracle mom and baby survived.

Marilyn’s daughter has some complications because of these events and continues to recover.

I was ready to be scolded, degraded, sneered at for being dumb and assuming no one was behind me. Instead, I was met with compassion and understanding. That’s what Marilyn had waiting for me. Understanding and Compassion. How sweet. What an incredible woman that Marilyn. What an awesome day with the chance meeting with my latest teacher. Teaching love, trust, compassion and understanding even for strangers. Even for someone who nearly caused you more angst and worries.

Can’t we all try to BE the compassion and understanding. You never know who you’ll impact and how far the ripples will go. It may be life saving, life changing. We all struggle. We need to trust and see each other. I think it was Rumi who said, We’re all just humans, walking each other home.

I’ll be talking the long way. Past some lovely strangers.

beach · salt

In Love #23

Allow the salt to be thy protection – pic by afishnamedkaren

I’m in love with ocean salty skin. Fresh off the bake. Tight and terrific. In the most dusty way. The ride home from the beach we carried pounds of it, no efforting, to its final resting place. As a child I’d lick my hands, settling my nose into my fleshy forearm. Breathing in breathing out. Smell of the ocean held captive.

Recalling the frivolity of the day. No plans. No worries. Chasing the sun across the sky. Sand castles, like giants, the salt of the earth. Taking the day with many grains. Buckets filled with water and salty somethings. Spilling out across the hours. Pinching the fun, tossing it over our shoulder. Just in case.

Like salt in the beach wound, we hear the call. Time to clean up. Salty faces at the news of our eminent departure. On a salt and a prayer. Praying for our quick return to the home of the salty dog. The doggie salt. The awesome shoreline. To spread more love on our soul skin and absorb its earthy goodness. I’m in love with salty skin.

Mental Illness

You Were Missed

This pic reminded me of my tiny child self trying to carefully bond with the insanity.

“You were missed” and seventy thousand other things you said to keep me in check. Like a beautiful bouquet of flowers infused with shattered glass. You made it clear, I was your possession. Made to serve you and feel less. To remind me of my lower rank. My uncaring heart. Anyone else might feel warm and loved hearing “you were missed” – imagine that…I was missed! people really missed my presence. They were even genuinely saddened that I couldn’t make it. How beautiful a sentiment. If only.

If only it was credible. If only it wasn’t delivered by you, my maternal influence. If only you didn’t poison everything with your degradation. If only.

A big family gathers for many diff functions – birthdays, funerals, showers, going away parties, weddings, retirements, etc.. and we were expected to attend all things. Expected. Not welcomed. Not because we wanted to. Not because it was fun. Not because it was the right thing to do. But because NOT attending was promised hell. There was no room for NO. Weren’t allowed to have a NO. About anything. Ever. Trusting my own judgement was sketchy. Discouraged.

Conflicting plans? Something you had to do, somewhere you had to go? Kick and scream, especially as teens…silence from her. Silent annihilation. Because I was such a hard-headed prick of a gal i’d eventually end up attending MY event or obligation. Sports, clubs, events with friends…but no fun was had because I could never land gracefully in the contentment and satisfaction only my choosing could bring. Like a biodegradable trophy. Erosion and disappearance of all that was joyfully earned.

The torture I brought down on myself was meaner that anything she could dish. I learnt well. I learnt how to keep myself in a place of suspension. Spanning between confidence and slaughter for feeling confident. Whatever I wouldn’t let her unravel I tore down myself. Eventually. I so wanted power over her. But I was just a child.

Not attending family events felt just as gut wrenching as HAVING to go to them. Well, making my captor proud by succumbing to her control OR having a life, separate from hers then being shamed for it …hmmmm tough choice. Either way the guilt, hate and gag order were all consuming. Constant battle waged between my heart and head over her silent, contemptuous feels for my existence.

After said missed family event the wrath was thick, oh the wrath. I had to sit and listen to what a wonderful time ______was and how I “was missed”. Well, by now I knew exactly what that meant. It simply meant that I had deeply embarrassed the beast. You don’t ever deeply embarrass her. You just don’t.

Loosely interpreted, by not agreeing to be used for her gain I had held her feet to her self absorbed, convoluted fire. She was put in the uncomfortable position of explaining MY absence. She had no container for feeling a lack of control such as this. Oh my! Friends and family might think her mothering was substandard. How terrible! Lmao

After all, Godly mothers have children who are selfless. Children who obey. Children who don’t ask why. Little girls who respect and cherish their moms. Or else. Children are not equipped for such psychological warfare and will give up on themselves just to have their mothers love and approval.

Wrong family. Wrong fairytale. Wrong daughter. “You were missed” was code for – you fucking asshole! How dare you make me look bad in front of everyone? How dare you have needs? Who told you you could have a life outside of what I present to you? How dare you, mean girl! You’re nothing but an embarrassment. You cannot be counted on. I don’t care about you unless you’re doing, thinking and feeling in ways that directly benefit me and serve me.

“You were missed’ turns out to be pretty profound. Pretty on the mark now. I have missed every event over the past 10 years. I’ve been busy. Simplifying the distorted, complex web you wove, the tangled innervation of insanity. I am missed for sure. Haha. You miss me as the kick dog. The lost sheep as you so affectionately call me. As the golden child, the prize, your namesake, the most difficult one to break.

How proud and accomplished you must have felt when you stripped me of my individuality. But I’m here to tell you… I’m proud too. Proud that I’m missed for the right reasons. Removed from the insane mind fuck. You must miss my heart. You miss my beauty, inside and out. You miss the tiny bond I severed. I would love to say “you are missed” to you but I can’t miss what I never really had.

Joy

Who am I?

Meet Gerlind -named after my PenFriend
(1978, Germany)

I drive down the road in the seat of luxury and wonder… who am I really? Who am I to be seated in this power, warmth and fancy? AUDI fancy. Steering wheel solid and cool. Decisive and direct. Too cool for my meager roots. The feels. The power. Brilliance. Kinda like me… All of what I’ve had to keep hidden. All of what I’ve never let myself fully have. Until now.

I was forever seated in lack and want. In the back. Seat. Disgusting. Making do with less, getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Hand-me-downs, free lunches, government cheese and discount milk from the gentle eyed milkman. 8 tiny children wild n hungry. We were lucky to barely have the essentials. Free Summer camp, programs for underprivileged youth and bags of clothing from the church. Too many mouths to feed with not enough dollars to make a difference.

Depending upon others for some joy, something memorable. Living and accepting less being less felt like home. Fabulousness squelched by my inner joy stealer. Habitually feeling flawed and unworthy – blocking honor and reverence. It was a comfortable cruxifixction of my magnificence. Poverty of the pocketbook and my young soul.

But now, in the literal drivers seat. Leather seat. Wait, what? I’m suddenly queen of the highway. The power and potential colliding under my bottom. Seat warmer welcoming me with open arms. Allowing the melt of my “sale rack” exterior. I deserve this. I work hard for this right here. Right now. No apologies. None.

I feel like the smaller parts of me disappear in this auto. Automatic re-configuration. Auto correct. Auto-manic smoothing out the highs and lows of my achy, frozen past. I am reborn, repurposed, recycled into comfort and acceptance and reality. The reality of joy for just being. Joy for how I’ve not only survived but thrived. From hand outs to hand ups.

I wasn’t supposed to make it to this. They didn’t want me to succeed. I have so much gratitude for the government assistance, kindness of church people, school programs, psychologists, extended family members and complete strangers who took the time to notice a struggling family, needy children, gems that needed a good polish. I thank you all! Now excuse me

I’m Audi- here.

survival

The Best and The Worst

My Brookers watching me as I live out loud

This has got to be the best and the worst time of my life. I am realizing the fruits of my hard, excruciating labor. Everyone’s imploding around me – I stand tall n steady. Dead nuts steady as an island in a tormented sea. Waves, winds crashing from all sides – yet I breathe. Because I know. That it’s all just. Temporary. And I’m fine. Finally.

I’m an observer. A family of origin- tornado observer. As life fucks the unhealed. Numerous family members who’ve passed up every opportunity to dive deep. Their Spirits, their Higher Selves wanting them to finally swim in the healing waters…they claimed they didn’t know how to swim, the water was too cold, too deep…Excuses. Now they’re drowning, slowly. Publicly.

I should be that – but if not for for the grace of God – I would be that. I should be crushed by the weight of the dark history. But yet I wear survival gear and cling to a life vest. As a result, I am unscathed by the shredding winds. I am whole. As I have already seen many-a-horrendous storms and been sucked up in the torrent – 20+ years fighting for my right to be here, to be seen, be victorious.

The worst part, watching as the trauma screams for acknowledgment, validation, to be seen and heard. The wall being built higher, more reinforcement needed to close it out, shut it up. Fortify the fortress of Denial Palace. My family of origin lives here. It’s occupants smile, gladly welcoming amnesia, loss of sight and hearing as insurance/loyalty to the fairytale. The once upon a slime childhood.

Guests are welcome in the Palace – butlers offer tall glasses of shut the fuck up with a side of “smile even when you’re dying inside” crackers and “let everyone know how loving your mother is” cheese. Secrets guarded as my siblings and maternal influence, inside, are imploding. Keeping the beast quiet and alive and salivating. The old evil licking it’s lips, eyes locked on the newest generation. Ready to feed off the misery, hiding from daylight.

The best and worst playing simultaneously. On the same reel. Sadness and elation. Devastation and joy. No longer experiencing but observing. I cannot go to the Palace. MY acceptance of fake and shallow and control has expired. I don’t fit. Maybe I never did. I can see. I can see the ugly beyond it’s fancy decor. My heart breaks for all of them yet rejoices for ME…

Can I hold both at once?

snow

In Love #22

Photo by afishnamedkaren

I’m in love with snowy silence. White wrapped muffled fuzzies or is it fuffled muzzies? Either will do on such an occasion as this. Blankets of frozen warming me with fond memories. Memories of younger days. Much younger days after the storm. The sky purging all its discards. Heavy, thick, frozen air pausing life. Muting color. Halting movement. Muffling audio. Witnessing the world losing its voice.

Ready. Standing outside. My puffy fluffer snowsuit, 2 sizes too large, insulating me from the harshness. Rosy cheeks, hand-me-down winter boots and 10 cent knitted church bazaar hat. Ready for all of it. The silence deafening. I breathe in the crisp, freshness. I barely notice my chest making small movements under the layers.

My little person body filling, cleansing and clearing. But I know it always does. Without efforting or worry or pressure. It just happens. The freshness streaming to my lungs. Filling them with silence. The stillness then warmed and released to find its way out unobstructed. Completely.

Motionless on the deserted and speechless sidewalk. I wait. And listen. For nothing and everything. Sounds of silence disturbing and delighting me. The emptiness got me full. A snowblower in the distance. Scrape of a metal shovel. All is lost. All is found. All is well. I stand, frozen, listening for nothing. I hear it. The silence. The snowy silence.

heart

My tender heart

Leaf with Insect munched heart -afishnamedkaren

My heart. Wasn’t always tender. It couldn’t be. It had to hide out of sight. Huddled up next to my breath and closed eyes. Corner cozy. Middle of the room too exposed, heavy with anticipation of slaughter. When I was sure no-one was looking, I’d let it out, on a short leash. But never to fully let go. Never to fully catch my breath or settle into deep ones. Never to allow my eyes to be seen actually seeing anything.

So today, the tenderest of hearts is bleeding. And I won’t stop it. That would be more of the same. Instead, I encourage it to hurt, to grieve. It’s safe now. I craft the sweetest, loving alter. For it. Holding it with all my love pouring forth to strengthen its fabric. To nourish its lack. To wish its wholeness into existence. It’s on me. It’s in me.

But it just wants to bleed. So I let it leak and gush. Whenever it gets touched. Mostly in grief these days. Tragedy is so abundant around me. Right now. Still. My family of origin struggling, finally. The long term effects of unhealed, ancient sexual abuse. They’re drowning, not fighting to survive. Not stirring to action. Wallowing in tragedy disguised by addiction, co-dependency and self hate and so much more. My heart physically hurts for them. So I turn to self healing. Only for me. My 20+ yrs of intensive deep dive finally coming to fruition. A stocked toolkit I have gathered. Dipping into my spiritual 401K.

As peoples lives implode around me, I am standing in my center. Compassionate yet separate. My heart whispers, yes, this is it. This. My heart has so much to say. And I listen. And I listen. She’s kept it all in and now she can’t stop expressing. When I sit and check in, she oozes with sadness. Decades of betrayal, shame, loneliness, no right to exist, gaslighting, control – absorbed and stored in my body. The thaw is now.

I put my hand gently to my heart space. Letting her know that I will never leave her. That I will always protect us. And make time for her to express and ease the heaviness. My tender heart. For this awareness I am forever grateful. I am gifted a greater awareness and appreciation of why I’m here. Alive. A greater knowing of what life is about and how I can be there for others without losing myself in the process. Like a tree that is flexible in the storm. An observer, not a victim.