resilient · Uncategorized

Maybe

Hello my darling Anxiety
What is it you want to tell me?
I promise I won’t curse you or
chase you away
The fact that you’re here now
is a good indication
that I’m ready
and prepared to hear
your message
You’re here anyway,
so I might, as well
lend you an ear
I’ll keep checking in with you
Maybe I can get to know you better Maybe we can be friends
Maybe

awareness · exploration

One Sideways Glance

I close this day today giving a voice to those nasty little flea bitten thoughts, buzzing around crazily, irritatingly, making me want to hide under cover. “You don’t know anything” they chant. Sometimes so loud I wonder if others hear them.

Kept at bay only when feeling content, successful or helpful. But one sideways glance delivered by a perfect stranger – holds more weight than it should – wrecking ball heavy. Tearing down all the goodness —- “I have great ideas”, “things are always working out for me”, “I have the right to my feelings and ideas”, “I am not responsible for how someone feels about my truth”, “I am a quick learner” and “I feel my opinion is valued”—— I have accumulated all morning.

My basket of good feelings loosely wound, unraveling, allowing all the good shit to tumble out the self doubt gate…..all I’m left with is, “Why did I think that was a good idea?”, “Maybe he/she is right”, “By voicing my truth, someone else will feel bad/uncomfortable”, “How dare I?”, “I’m so selfish” “I am so mean”… All the voices I was obedient to as a little person. Oh, it was so important to be obedient to my Mother’s idea of what I should feel and who I should be. Meant to keep me compliant, controlled and away from myself. My truth.

Again, I relinquish my grip on confidence. Yielding to a fear-filled joy stealer. That in your face joy stealer – external now but so eloquently and stealthily triggers my OWN inner thief. The place I know so well. Swooping in all crow-ish, to steal my eggs of wisdom in their infancy. More like, I surrender, serve them wisdom bits up on a platter. You’re welcome. I’m left with the cracked, runt eggs and my prize is run off with. Anything I could be proud of, swiped. Empty nest again.

LI give my excitement up to those who cast their panic shadows on my truth, my clarity and boundaries. How do I allow this to happen? How do I surrender my good feelings without a fight? In a split second I concede. In a split second. Because it’s an old, well worn path. That’s how.

A path someone else created FOR me and I perfected it. Surrendering my joy, on some level, is without thought or struggle. I could not stay in it for long, maybe a minute or two. And down came the curtain, the cloak of darkness. I did not exist, especially my joy, I was not the owner of it. I rented it for a couple of minutes, privately. Before someone took it and left me flat, deflated, resentful, questioning my original motives and goal. Questioning if I had the right to my own life.

Only now can I reframe this, “This is my truth, I will not allow his/her fear to steal my excitement, confidence, giddiness, aliveness, my center or drive”. It takes a conscious effort to shine some light on the possibility that my joy might be surrendered and prepare. Sit with it quietly, in celebration, without any outside interference. Fortress-like this little inside party of aliveness. And when it is time to express (that which I used to be killed for) I am choosing a supportive listener. Someone who is not threatened by my joy, wisdom, balls, or clarity.

Just try and steal my joy. No longer taking that hell and running with it.

anyways · appreciation · resilient · Uncategorized

Effortless

Today

I am letting go

of who I thought

I was

Who I thought

I should be

Who they told

me

to be

Landing in a softer

more supportive

place

of self acceptance

Landing in a softer

more supportive

place

of allowing

Landing in a softer

more supportive place

of wonder

By pausing

the seeds of overcoming

are sewn

The transformation

set into action

Effortless

Today

I am letting go

resilient

I Actually Did You A Favor

You fought, you pleaded with me to shut up. Oh I wouldn’t shut it. Not for a hot second. You created this mess. All of you. Perpetuated it by keeping the lid on, simmering, bubbling. Me poised to explode. Abuse years, haunting memories, flashbacks and dirty tricks making their way to the surface. Into the now. My mouth too small of a space for this hot garbage baggage to escape. It came through my pores, my guts, out of my eyes. Violently it breached the walls I had erected to keep the silence with you. For you. About you.

I wanted to save you. All 5 of my sisters. I would physically carry you if I could. Come with, I begged. I tried to wake you, slap that cool-aide pitcher out of your hand. Jesus Christ. You were abused too, I saw them, I saw you. How dare you deny this? It wasn’t your fault. It was just the way it was. Generational. My best efforts to save others were received like “attacks, attempts to ruin the family or make problems”.

Even in my dreams, I was unsuccessful. You were frozen. I would escape, door left open, and no-one followed. You stayed. I pleaded. I escaped. You dug in harder. How I wanted to remove the dark cloth from your eyes. Rip and tear and claw until you saw. Scream like the wounded animal that I was…until you connected – with something. With reality.

Torturous to want something sooo out of my control. Yet, I kept on. Pain and anguish were frequent dinner guests. A plate and seat were saved. I wanted someone to board the reality bus. Empty bus then, empty now. Oh, how delicious it would have been to have someone stand beside me. To honor OUR truth, OUR breaking up with dysfunction, OUR naming the insidious virus. Divorcing the dead from our life.

As children, our leader wanted us distracted. Our perfect saccharine sweet smiles. Pretty pin curls and dresses. Manners and obedience and black paten leather. Exceptional family. Got us so much outside attention. Stroked her gross ego. Believable. The world believed the picture. We were not allowed to question. blindly pleasing, serving. Resistance just a dream. Beautiful little liars, all of us.

Remembering all of this. Remembering all of the ways we had to leave ourselves. All of what we were forced to give up in order to belong, to have somewhere to live, food and some semblance of safety….

I walked away. Cutting the frayed cords, split ends. I was tired of hemorrhaging on those who drank my blood out of both sides of their mouth. I decided my life was worth saving, worth better. Donned with the ole oxygen mask, I stepped new steps out into the world. Lonely, edgy steps. Only taking small sips of life at first, barely looking back at the owned, the victims, perpetrators, the voiceless.

I actually did you a favor. Free from the reminders that my face brings. Free from the sting of my authenticity. Free to believe the beautifully creative fairytale you tell of your past. The fabricated loveliness of the overcrowded vacant house we were raised in.

I am no longer the one who ruined this amazing family unit. I am no longer the lost sheep. I am no longer cause of chaos and making poor, defenseless mother sad. Gag. I am no longer trying to pry you from your completely functional, well adjusted existence. I have no desire to wake you. You are completely correct, my energy, my desire to transform and re-parent, and evolve, and open my heart, and see and hear and feel – that is all for ME. I won’t waste any of that on you. My bad.

As a courtesy, I will leave you alone. You all function way better in a slumber. No matter how delicious, I will not remind you of the atrocities. We can leave them where you’ve buried them. How dare I devote any portion of my life and love to those who think I’m trying to ruin theirs? I will even tuck you in with soft, fuzzy blankets. Sleep well. Sleep well.

affirmation · resilient · Uncategorized

Thursday I Am New

Today I will be open to all possibilities.

Today I will start fresh.

Today I will know that I am worthy of greatness.

Today I will accept my body and thank it for all I am able to do with it.

Today I will take baby steps and say NO to one thing that no longer serves the new me.

Today I will say YES to something nourishing I want in my life.

Today I will stop and notice my breath as it enters, then leaves my body.

Today I will imagine a shield between myself and whatever it is that offends, scares or repulses me.

Today I will imagine a place of safety for myself and my inner child should things get rough.

Today I will know in my heart that protecting myself from what feels bad, is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now.

Today I will know that even without asking for it, I am being supported Spiritually, in ways that I have only dreamt possible.

Today I will know that I can take in that support and know that someone has my back, always.

Today I will know that I am loved a thousand loves.

Today, Thursday, I am new.

trust

Trust This

What is trust I ask. Show me trust.

I trust that I will see beauty.

I trust that I will reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Then trust must be hope but with a little force applied. A self-assuredness. A smugness. A belief? I think _____, therefore, It probably, most likely, sure-thing, will happen?! Maybe trust, with a sprinkle of tentativeness, or doubt? 

Trust  – a surrender of sorts, laying down arms with a goal in mind. Even a soft goal, a cushy, mushy wanting, served with a side of lazer beam attainment. This. This must be trust.

Or we can think of how we trust in other humans. Well, which humans? The ones I knew, certainly trust-me-nots. Then there’s trust in known humans vs. strangers? Is there a difference? I trust not.  

I wanted to trust. To believe in the words as they dripped out of your mouth. Tumbling like meaningless wilted petals, landing just short of reality. They were so pretty though, those words. I was a machine, trying to digest them. An initial smoothness followed by poison. I was a hopeful little blossom, full of wish and happy. Like a dog at the junkyard, nameless, I waded in garbage looking for scraps to nourish my wanting soul. Only your version of truth. Crafty fabrications that slipped past my ineffective, weakened little girl defences. 

With crooked, bony, witch fingers your stories poked, prodded and pried your way into my fabric. Shredding, tearing any semblance of sanity from my life bubble. Quietly, relentlessly grooming me to trust your insanity. I clearly remember the conflict and internal frustration. Homeless frustration. She cared about me, she loved me, she believed me, she protected me, right? Right?  What I knew and felt, my truth had to be forfeited, stuffed deeply inside or (the worst) denied by me. Truth choked out then molded and transformed into something “a little more pleasant” or “that looked more appropriate” or “wasn’t so angry”…..aka a foreign substance. Just for being truth. Then she served it up as a “suitable” side dish on a pretty, delicate lunch plate with edible borage and nasturtiums. Here, dear, this non-reality entree is more digestible now.  


Like it was my job, I turned my back on myself, to honor you dear Mother. To honor that which held me down. I stopped trying to correct the denial of truth. I stopped trusting my gut as my thinking was flawed and only brought misery (vomit).  I joined forces with the sleeping, the walking dead. The carbon copy siblings. The smiling, performing idiots. She seemed to be pleased with them. Fuck it. Congagulations to me! You won Mother. I swallowed the glass and hid all the bloody evidence. Just to honor you. Just to have a Mother. I played the fucking game. Of survival. You crafted me into a beautifully obedient servant. Hand delivered to my abusers. Circle of thrust. Excellent job. I no longer tried to be understood, I no longer shared my opinion, I no longer challenged or tried, or fought, or lived.

At 12 years old, the years had steamrolled me to a 70 lb flat stanley frame. Starved for truth, integrity. I was. Everything that was real, stuffed, crammed. Every thought, body sensation, feeling… I stuffed it, crammed it down sideways. Crushed, jammed, damned. Fuck my intuition. It was pure trickery, you were right. I had no rights to my own wisdom, it was flawed, extreme, exaggerated, outrageous, too this or that. And it’s got to be true, my Mother told me so. I was living as if I was alive. I had learned how to pretend and was pretty fucking good at it. I wasn’t worthy of my own wisdom. My own life. The beast within was growing tired, restless. Fantasies arriving. Hope. Something I could hold onto that was real. Maybe I could be someone. Someone outside of your knowing. Someone free with no surrendering or merging to your drum beat. Maybe I wouldn’t have to give myself up so I could have a Mother. Maybe I could hold onto my own diamond wisdom and not have it replaced by a cubic zirconia, then told it was still a diamond.

Trust was about to be redefined. The beginning of the end. Trusting my inner wisdom…

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.