cat · love · Uncategorized

In Love #12

I’m in love with loud purring. Body shaking and telling of fondness for life. A soft, rhythmic blanket of furry love. Unscheduled pleasure. Rising and falling, sleeping and waking. Our eyes closed tightly, savoring the tune. Your whispers of fuzzy somethings at the foot of the bed.

The 3am motor, my favorite engine sound. Sheets ripple, erupt with fluttering plaid flannel. Sleepy pats offered. Met with nudges, of the predictable kind, to carry-on. Purring the kind of purr that becomes more audible with a rub.

This is where sensory joy lives. Comfortably. Amidst the pitter-patter of sounds from this warm furry throat. No troubles in this moment. Or this one. Or this one. I lay my heavy head on your fat, warm belly. Your kitty pillow accepts my forehead. Riding with the gift.

My ear bathed, absorbing the peaceful concert. Feeding my needy inner child soul with fizzy sound waves. Soothing even the most silent of frazzles. Within.

resilient

May We

May we walk unfazed through life’s invisible fence. You know the fence. The fence of – you should know better. The fence of – playing small. The get it right the first time – fence. And lest we forget, the fence of… I don’t belong. The cage that minds our business. The trap that has us playing small, dimming our own light, asking for approval and chasing validation under someone’s spell.

Head up, passing through. Anyway. Follow me if you wish but I cannot hear you. My ears dammed and scarred from absorbing your lies. Your fence reaching beyond our visual fields. Innervating even at the corners of my psyche. Interference, blocking everything grand, conceptualized or spoken. You penned it, dammed it. Kept it contained. All my free, wild and imaginative snuffed before coming to fruition.

Only now can I freely roam, untethered, cord severed. Free to discover in my own head space. None of my freedom sacrificed to your cause. My original medicine, realized. My -who I came here to be, paying no mind to your disgust, contempt, salivation or wanting to devour me. My body expanding, unfurling. Without you.

Never serving you again. This is what revenge looks like. I have exsized you from my loins. My energy system. My property. No longer free to take from me. No more toying with my power or grooming me to serve you. Where there was ownership there is disconnect. I unplugged you from my energy. You can no longer charge your system by draining my life force battery.

I am a true warrior, I sincerely thank you for this. My Spirit drove me to be more, separate from you, don’t look back and put myself first. Everything you never wanted for me. Well, you’ve got 7 others. You won’t miss me much as you continue to decimate their lives with your disgusting, hungry energy.

Continue to search for me if you wish. I’m not hiding. I’m boldly dismantling fences.

human condition · resilient

Your Crazy’s Showing (part 1)

ALL Psychologists are NOT equipped to handle clients with childhood trauma. Period. It takes a wise, awakened individual with the cultivated ability to 1) bear witness to a client’s inner world and 2) gracefully navigate back out, leaving the client with more than they went in with. Skill, deep INNER excavation. But more importantly, the awareness of being in WAY over your head (beyond your supports) as a therapist/counselor. 

A variety of scenarios keep psychologists, counselors, social workers from doing the best they are able, for this vulnerable population. As a client, myself, I remember the early days of my healing. I was just happy to have someone listen. A human witness to my sadness and anger. All psychologists are created equal, right? LOL.

Are there specific sexual abuse training modules for professionals in the counseling gig? Even continuing education classes for veteran professionals? I’d like to teach…“How to build a self” “Making sense of body memories”, “Dealing with frozen”, “How  my darkness impacts my clients” – hey, just for starters – Anything I can do to assist them in wreckognizing their own process. 

No cleaning and your home will be really dirty for your guests. How bout a food/drink container? Would you serve them from a dirty vessel? No, you’d make sure it was washed and scrubbed, the lighting in the room was adequate, not too cool or hot and that they felt supported and safe on the furniture. When in the helping world, overlooking your own energetic invitation to healing is the issue. I don’t think any provider woke up this morning thinking – who can I fuck up today? Who’s trauma can I add too? Who can I re-victimize this afternoon? 

Sound harsh? I am VERY hard on this profession. Having had some shocking experiences as client, I hope for better for humanity. I know the desperate search for relief. Anxiety, terror, depression, eating disorder, strange body symptoms, etc.. just to be met with blame, bizarre ideas, dismissal, odd reactions, endless scripts of ridiculous meds, feeling minimized as you bear your soul… The healing road is not without its potholes, sunday drivers, construction sites and engine failure. For sure.

My first therapist was a sweet middle-aged woman. I was bursting at the seams with my new realization of my abuse and I know a bit unusual, but I wanted everyone to know. First meeting. She seemed like a good enough listener. My expectations were low as I was just looking for some validation. After the 4th session, she thought it might be a good idea to inform me about her speciality…counselor to the abusers, the rapists, torturers, sexual deviants. Nice. Wait, what? But my starved – for someone to listen – self rationalized that SHE was the professional, after all, I’m a basket case, why would my opinion count here?

She continued, adding that they didn’t mean it and were usually good people. AYFKM? Floored, I felt powerless to question or protest or talk about how offended I was by her lack of judgement. Defending the behavior that has ruined my childhood… What’s next? Maybe I should just pity my abusers because they probably didn’t MEAN IT? Ewe WTF   So the young me just smiled and felt lucky to have such a professional therapist. Next session  we met in her new office. Much nicer. Maybe a new start. We could start over and I could pretend. Pretend she was a good therapist. 

Seated next to the window next to hanging and tallish plants, the sun streamed through the window onto her. We began. I felt an incredible emotional pressure coming forth. A torrent mix of anger and sadness surfacing. Years of tears, streaming. She was nodding and smiling, which I barely noticed, given how distraught I was. With a lap full of tissues, I looked up to see her reaction to what I was sharing and she was asleep. Head sagged down towards her chest and all. Shot through the heart and you’re to blame, you give therapists a bad name.Purging deepest secrets, finding my voice, in front of a witness and the fucker is asleep. Bored, disinterested, great. Never returned. Even my vulnerable, unassuming, naive, young self knew that she was a couple of sandwiches shy of a picnic. Purposefully unconschushed? Checked out? No words. Good thing I wasn’t suicidal. 

This is serious business. Again, If. You. Do. Not. Know. What. You. Are. Doing – Please, please do not gear your services towards the childhood trauma crowd. This hurts, deeply. At this rate, I might as well pay my neighbor, or my son’s busdriver or the nice lady at the deli counter – to be my therapist. .

I wish this were the extent of my pho-therapist encounters…not so much. My second therapist was a male, young guy, very professional. Little bowtie. Precious. Came with great recommendation. Yes! Finally, he’ll help. Can’t wait. First session, nice office, spacious. PROMISING. We began discussing why I was there. I told him what my childhood was like. 15 minutes in, he interrupts me, “Why aren’t you crying?” “What you’re telling me is very sad, yet you do not cry” We talked a little more and then he asked again. This went on 2 more times.

Today I might say – Listen, PAL…if I was in touch with my f-ing emotions, I probably would not need to be sitting with your critical ass!  But like a good little soldier, again, I say nothing, he’s the professional. So bought and paid for – I am so abnormal and wrong, I can’t even cry when I’m supposed to. Hmmmmm, yes, where DID I put all that sadness anyway?…Great, add that to the list of my dysfunction. Also, how much of what I said was heard as he was super focused on my dry eyes.

Second session (cause I’m young, impressionable, an idiot, desperate, feel like I’m REALLY A LOSER cause I can’t even cry like everyone else can, nice). Here, on the plaid couch. Cold words swirly twirling, “Why don’t you cry” in my head, they are fighting. I reached down and pinched the shit out of my inner thigh, so very hard that it made me cry. A little bloody, bruised, Ahhhhh, success – now he will be satisfied and we can move on from that -less than- bullshit. No joke, I was crying and when I went in. He was pleased. Impressed. Good-night. Never returned. 

So, getting paid to make people feel bad/wrong, less than, insane. My pinch myself move was my FU. My I’ll show you – even if it means I have to show my crazy. Skills. Get some. And throw in some compassion too. For the human condition. My walking-mess self, why on earth would someone, a professional yet, highlight just my resistance to deep emotional expression, frozen-ness and disassociation without telling me that these ARE COMPLETELY NORMAL SIDE EFFECTS OF BEING TRAUMATIZED??? Skills sir, knowledge, the self-awareness, the scare-with-all to feel the terror rise in you (as therapist) rendering you useless and even retraumatizing your client. This was not a safe place for me. Sweet Jesus, if I cried too much would that have been a prob too? 

A mystery as to why I kept going, kept looking for a terrorist, I mean therapist. It didn’t seem as though anyone could actually help me. But I didn’t give up. I couldn’t give up on myself. I felt so hyper-aware, so fragile, emotional, angry, anxious and in dissociation most of the time. Try some medicine, I heard. My well meaning gyno, set me up with a Dr. Ruth Westheimer type of little Austrian Psychiatrist. Barely visible over her enormous desk and feet on a milk crate underneath. She sounded like a female Arnold Schwarzenegger. LOL  She proceeded to tell me I had a mood disorder. Be Careerful. Docs love to pin crazy diagnoses on the many faces of trauma. Like 24 years of pent up trauma aint gunna look cray cray when the cage is cracked open? Jesus, I think one would fit into at least 7 different psychological disorders. Better off pulling that shit out of a hat. Don’t believe the garbage, find someone who tells you how WELL you are – despite how they tried to ruin you. MMMMMMMM, feel better already. 

She added that I should take this drug – name escapes me, maybe topomax? … is used with epileptic patients to decrease the activity between the brain hemispheres – insert gasp – like a young, compliant, obedient woman, I took the shit.Enter – “Well, they’re the professionals” This vile substance stole my processing. No sustained attention, comprehension – shot. She switched me to something that kept me up for 4 nights straight (Celexa?) If i didn’t feel like dying before, well now that’s a consideration. I told her I wouldn’t be coming back to her again. Like she was my grandmother and I just told her that her cookies sucked. She retaliated with some mumbled comment about how hellish Menopause was going to be for me (completely unprompted since I was 32 at the time) and I might have a breakdown! God’s honest truth. 

Ok, so now I’m 53, no breakdown (I think haha) and no menopause yet… she’s prob not alive today, so damn I can’t go visit her and have a chat. LOL  Education people, education. Skills. Compassion. Self awareness. Self work. 

I had every reason to shut up and stop searching for validation, a better life and normalcy. I surely was not going to let my abusers “win” My spirit would not allow that to happen. A full life was waiting for me, I HAD to put in the work. Surprisingly, I still had hope, faith in humanity that kept me asking around for therapists and physicians who claimed to be “good with trauma survivors”… Little did I know, I was about to meet a brand new breed of CRAZies. The ill and triggered trying to therapize the ill and triggered – not a good scenario. To be continued…

resilient

The Invitation

Rain gifts us an invitation to heal through our senses. Our shoulders, held high with unresolved fears, may drop a little lower as we imagine the raindrops as a shower of peace and tranquility enveloping our physicality. The smell of rain conjures up feelings of a warm summer day. Time stands still as we soak in the sun’s presents. On our thirsty skin, rain tastes like fresh ideas. Rich with aliveness and hope. Breathing in, taking in all life has to provide, we are brand new.

We hear rain as a familiar tune, beckoning us to listen to its intoxicating message “all is well”. We may see the rain but do we really SEE the rain? Observing the watery veil that forms at our feet, may we accept or decline the invitation to be present. In the space between our thoughts. If only…..when it rains.

compassion

Thoughts On Compassion

Portrait by A Fish Named Karen 2012

Compassion is having the capacity to hold, and the wisdom to allow, deep love to flow from your mature heart space as an energetic offering, to a recipient/situation.

Compassion is not subject to permission, boundaries or reception.
It’s a private, organic offering/agreement between your higher self and ancient, wise mother heart.

I see compassion as two chambers of the same heart. One holding and honoring what WAS and the other holding and honoring what IS. Right and wrong, good and bad don’t exist, there is space and acceptance for all of it.

Compassion is having room for the entirety of an experience and seeing the inherent beauty, anyways.

Compassion is when you realize that caring deeply about others does not mean you have to surrender or negate some part of yourself.

Compassion is our loving acceptance of shades of gray in the human condition.

Compassion is a process by which you gaze, with eyes of softness, on those who could use holding, through their pain and struggle, especially when they can’t/won’t help themselves – regardless of their “deserving it”.

Compassion is standing onshore, looking into the eyes of pain in another, and remaining separate (without jumping in after them/merging with them in their pain) and loving them from dry land.

Compassion is realized, offered and received when the path to heart wisdom has been significantly cleared of the debris of trauma.

resilient

Two sides of the same coin

Just where tf do you think you’re going?

I can go wherever I want, I answer to no one, I’m grown now.

Who are you kidding? you need a God Damn chaperone, you’re never on time and so incredibly wishy-washy.

I am a grown woman, capable of anything I put my mind to. I’m working on my organization and everyday I make strides.

Smh, mutters under breath, probably don’t even know where the keys are….

What was that? squints eyes…. I heard you, but I’m not listening, your opinion doesn’t matter anymore. There was a time when I listened to you, you kept me out of harm’s way by suggesting I play small. For that, I am thankful but your services will no longer be required.

Oh? Oh? Who thinks she’s the baddest ass around? Aren’t you so special, special little Karen, entitled to everything life has to offer. Needs NO help, isn’t she incredibly special. eye roll.

Well, I am very special, I was born with so much to say and do. I have great wisdom. Every day I retrieve more of what had to be surrendered, what was lost. I have made it out of the depths of hell despite your constant chatter and sharpened teeth at my heels.

Me? Meeeee? I’m not the evil one, my sweetie, you are evil – the way you dismiss people from your life? like flushing the toilet! Good people too, people in your own family who love you so much.

What? now you have completely gone off the tracks! Let me tell you about those “good” people. They do not deserve any piece of me. They wish nothing but to silence me, disown my authentic parts and smile while shoving the knife of betrayal into my aliveness. They fantasize about silencing me and erasing all that has occurred.

I think you are not thinking clearly, they seem nice to me, they have lots of friends and make good money and they are very attractive. Maybe you’ve got it all wrong, they seem pretty normal and like they’re living life freely – seems like they’ve moved on and you’re still wallowing in what was.

Well, let me tell you, it is not my duty to make them “see” like I do. For a long time I was hell bent on getting some well deserved validation for the hurt, invasion, violence, crazy, and damaging ways I was treated. Validation no longer interests me – I know the truth and that is enough. They don’t have to believe me or be sad with me or be angry with me for the injustice and trampling of rights, personal freedom or dignity. They “look” as though they’ve got amazing lives because we all perfected the art of “AS IF”. As if we had a perfect family, as if we were loved, as if we were safe.

Well, that sounds like psycho-babble, who tf gives you the right to interpret how their lives have or have not turned out? You’re not a professional, a therapist, a doctor…you are not them.

Listen here buttercup, I grew up with these birds. I know what each one of my siblings is made up of, the denial, the blame, the betrayal – I don’t have to have a degree in psychology to tell you how crazy it was in that stupid, fucked up house. The old patterns are still alive and well in each of them. The eating disorders, alcohol and drugs, self loathing, gambling, cheating, non-existent boundaries, lack of emotion, loyalty to a narcissistic, crazy Mother…. My eyes are wide open to the old ways of existing. Just existing. I am well schooled in energy healing and have availed myself to wisdom filled Spirit Guides who lavish me with support and encourage me stepping into my aliveness.

But wait one minute, Princess, you had a good childhood, lots of day trips, hand me down toys, clothes, food from the church, a bike to share amongst yourselves, a dog, a cat, one house that you never moved from. Wtf are you complaining for? your childhood was just like everyone else’s. What about all those pictures you’re smiling in? Huh? What about that? Enstein!

Children will do whatever it takes to get love, attention and to have safety. Whatever it takes. If I had to smile, I smiled. If I needed to act appreciative, I did. The last thing I needed was to be abandoned or disowned or starved or ignored. I needed to stay alive. I made the best decisions I could as a small child with a child brain. The same reason I stopped telling about the abuse.

Oh, THAT again, ugh. You’re so dramatic. Nobody hurt you. You were always friends afterward. It was just part of being in the family. When you say “abuse” that’s kind of harsh, I didn’t see anything like that happening. It looked like curiosity and play.

I don’t need your approval or understanding. I know in my body and mind what happened. It was my experience, my history.

Well, you just look crazy. I wouldn’t tell anyone. No-one will ever back you up or support you. You’ll look like a fool, AGAIN.

I have an army of Spirit Guides and Angels who are always with me for support and guidance. They communicate with me in a variety of ways. This team of mine lavishes me with support and encourages me to live into my aliveness.

abuse · resilient

Some Deaths Have a Life of Their Own

“Shut the door”, “Don’t let her leave” Scurrying. Frantic. Sisters. Tall, dark, blond, petite, squatty, thin, round. All shapes and attitudes. These were my 5 besties. My clothes borrowing, fist fighting, room sharing, pinky swear – sisters. Through bad and worse still, we had a bond. A loose one with frayed strings and dry rotted fabric, but we had one. A bond of secrecy you form when your leader is a bat-shit crazy devouring control freak. In a humid August minute, the fabric unravelled just the way no-one could have predicted. In both a horrifying and glorious purge fest – our fragile lives would never be the same. I purposefully held all the cards, balls and dice. I walked into that house 5ft 3in and needed to watch my head on the way out. Literally, there was soon to be a bounty on it, specifically my mouth.

The power of truth colliding with audible gasps and frantic bickering. mmmmmm. The glorious sounds of human reaction. Just looking for a little validation, that’s all. Crickets. Crickets prob get more validation from their families of origin. Truth didn’t exist. Truth meant that someone might have notice reality. And reality, fully realized, would have you retreating into the safe corner of your psyche and summoning an alter persona to return to the front lines in your place. Our Mother had the corner on ‘Truth” we weren’t allowed to consider our own, or think for ourselves. Bathed in, Clothed in and Fed HER version of truth Fucking our little minds. Pretending to be content and satisfied, hiding our shaking bones. Smiling was always allowed. Perfect smiles, perfect little girl heads, what a great Momma we must have! Beautiful religious family. Beauty queens – couple of pageant winners. UGH

Truth could be held in the corners of a smile. My truth always took a considerable amount of tension to keep it contained in the corners. Today there was no smiling. In Miriam’s living room…I was pregnant with Truth. Water breaking all over, suddenly releasing long held accounts of trauma, in waves of relief. Our brothers sexually abused me. With this “news” (eye roll) each sister fired their own brand of pebbles, stones and boulders. Public stoning style. Yelling in disbelief, anger and terror. Mostly hurtful shit, meant to shut me down. Most protecting our brothers. “You can’t tell anyone”, “They’ll kill themselves”, “They’ll get a divorce”, “You can’t leave”. “Don’t tell Mom”. “You never were into family anyway”… Not one pinch of validation or comfort, support or empathy. Not even a hint of human compassion or solace. Why was I surprised? I felt compelled to add, “but you, and you, and you were abused also” was met with rage and shock. The FACT that each of them was involved was so highly guarded, classified and ultimately denied. (and still is) I probably wouldn’t have gone THERE had there been a speck of connection or a flash of warmth for my road-rash heart, on that August afternoon. I know what I saw, who went with whom. I witnessed and was made to be part of “things”. I’ve been successfully talked out of many things, but this? death seemed more likely.

It was a slow death. A death of a family unit. Scrounging, scraping and slipping their way around what I kept exposing. They wanted me to shut the fuck up. Why was I so angry? Why did I have to keep going? Why did I have to ruin everything? Why do I still have to think about it? If I was such a great healer then why have I not healed them? How long would I stay away from family? How did I know that I was handling my healing correctly and knew what I was doing? Why was I choosing to make such a big deal out of nothing if everyone else is moving on? Too many loaded questions to keep track of. Cheap shots, well placed digs, casting me as unfeeling, cold hearted bitch. Who would walk away from their loving, sweet family, who? Boinging back and forth between shock, self doubt, anguish, depression, grieving over what I don’t and never did have. Grieving. Hard core grieving. Over the years, softening just enough and trusting in some of them. Elated I was, maybe they finally get it. They understand. Yay! validation… just to be tricked and exposed, made a mockery of. All dead.

I’ve been the catalyst, the reaper. Beheading lies and crazy. My shield dented and dinged by assaults wrapped in decorative, unassuming boxes with pretty polka-dot ribbons. My years of battle/defense slaying the army of loyal soldiers, my siblings. Loyal to cover-ups, story telling, eyes closed, stoicism, blankness, bonded together in denial and defense. A solid Bond of Spiritual death. They’ve had to let me go because they couldn’t silence me. My presence, a reminder of a past they refuse to acknowledge. One they’d rather have dead and buried. Pretty disheartening when you fully get – that it’s easier for people to turn their back on you, for exposing the family secret – than it is to have love and compassion for everyone involved and move towards wellness and sanity together. They find me dangerous and unpredictable. They don’t know exactly what to make of me. Truth is, neither do I. One out of 9 fighting to be seen. Horrible odds.

Truth is, over the last 23 years I’ve lost my tribe in order to find myself. Turns out some deaths have a life of their own.

anyways · appreciation · healthy · human condition · old patterns · resilient · Transformation · triggers · worthy

What’s Right With Me

Everywhere we go, what we see on social media, TV, magazines, pod casts, seminars, etc – is like a billboard showcasing how we are flawed. They are talking to us, right? Or just me? Ugh. At least this is how it feels…How we are doing it all wrong. What we should be doing. What could we be doing better, faster, cheaper, more efficiently, with less effort…How we are not doing enough. How we don’t know enough. That we’re not buying the right products. Not doing, trying, learning, relaxing, or efforting enough to make our lives “right”.

No shortage of messages. They might as well add, “ What the fuck are you doing with your life? You dumb ass. You are ___ years old and look at you, you’re doing it all wrong. You haven’t figured anything out. Where have you fucking been? Here, listen to me and I will FIX you.” Well, at least that’s what I hear.

So what do we do? We buy the supplements, the gadgets, the memberships, the subscriptions – just to terrorize ourselves more. To drive home how idiotic we feel. Perpetuating how ignorant, oblivious, unaware, unconscious, unenlightened, uninformed, unwitting and in-the-dark our existence is. Thanks a bunch. Thanks a fucking bunch. Love you, thank you for helping me to move further away from my true self, into an external, more aesthetically pleasing version of my existence.

Ever stop and think about the billions of dollars we flush down the “I suck at life” toilet? This nonsense has to stop. Such a brilliant business tho. Aren’t we all programmed to get on the self improvement bus? From a very young age 99% of us are told we do not measure up. We’re not someone else’s idea of perfection. Hearing this message loud and clear…Projected onto us by very unhappy adults, older siblings, well meaning aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors, coaches, teachers and even religious groups.

All this buy-in to self doubt was never ours to begin with. It was never part of our early fabric. I’ve never met a toddler who said, I’m not going to wear this cause it makes my arms look too fat or dance this way cause it’s weird or draw this picture cause it won’t come out perfectly and someone might laugh at me. Nope.

Before we got the message that we are flawed beyond fucking repair – we were happy-go-lucky beings, living by trial and error, as the wind blows, trying life out, discovering what makes us happy and healthy. We Experimented, made mistakes and got feedback that we JUST MIGHT fit in in our tribes. All without the crushing self judgement, without the feeling of “lack” or self blame if we got ill or came upon some troubles.

Do we really need repair? Or do we just need to fall in love with all our imperfections? All our FU’s? All the ways in which we give up, phone it in? Leave too soon? Stay too long? Take too much? Don’t take any? Don’t try? Try too much? Start many things? Finish nothing? We are the managers of our own programs.

There is nothing wrong with you. Never was. Tell those naysayer head voices to go F themselves. Their time in your life has expired. Feel good about recognizing their lies. All day long. Call them out. You are a beautiful mess. Allow yourself to know this.

Uncategorized

Human. Being.

As unfortunate things happen to us – and they will – it’s easy to forget all the good in our lives and sit in self pity. Trust that there is often a plan, people you wouldn’t have met, places you wouldn’t have gone inside yourself, feelings you might not have expressed – if the “unfortunate” thing never happened. Shitty things will happen and many times, we will close down from the weight of it all. Pain and tragedy are catalysts for growth too. We can do this! The human condition.