Today I am so thankful to lead a normal life. Making mistakes and laughing to others about it. Knowing it’s ok to be an unmade bed in a sea of “seemingly” perfect beds. It’s ok. Not perfect. I have gratitude for my awareness of…Shit’s def gunna happen, sometimes all in one day. Sometimes all in 30 minutes. I’ll be fine. I’ll fix it, or maybe it doesn’t need fixing. Maybe I’ll have gratitude for Spirit orchestrating things just the way life SHOULD unfold…
I feel gratitude for the folks on my path. Teaching me more about myself and how to BE in the world. I know most people I meet are caring and supportive and generous souls. I feel thankful that I can be real and messy and quirky and forgetful and have that be ok.
If these are the only issues today – it was a damn fine day. I feel thankful that I can dig deep and muster GRATITUDE even when life feels like a dirty trick. Even when it feels like someone might be filming me with a hidden camera. Even when everything I touch turns to shit. Even when. Gratitude lives here. Everyday.
When you weren’t looking I was having fun. When you weren’t looking I made friends. When you weren’t looking I got all A’s and B’s. When you weren’t looking I got trophies and ribbons. Praise and encouragement from teachers and strangers. When you weren’t looking I followed all the rules.
When you weren’t looking I was unraveling. When you weren’t looking I was starving myself. When you weren’t looking I kept our family secrets. When you weren’t looking I hated you. When you weren’t looking I was planning to die. When you weren’t looking I felt isolated and weird. When you weren’t looking I wished it was you who died. When you weren’t looking I could feel crazy.
When you were looking I told you I loved you. I keep our family secrets. When you were looking I followed your fucked up rules. When you were looking I believed all your fabrications about people and the way life worked. When you were looking I believed the beautiful, sweet story of our tragic, broken family. When you were looking I was the perfect daughter. When you were looking I silenced the truth I felt so I wouldn’t upset you. I silenced who I was because I always felt defeated. When you were looking I made it seem like I had a sane Mom.
Your looking, an uncomfortable look of ownership, dangerous caged rage. Those eyes tho, burned a hole in my soul. A hole so deep, my lifetimes fell in, waiting to be rescued. But you were still looking so they’d have to wait. Because when you were looking, it wasn’t safe for me to own anything. It would be taken. Any semblance of aliveness was forfeited. No choice at all, the need for food, shelter and love was ever present. When you looked, I surrendered it all, smiling. Set on fine China, dainty flowered setting that hid the tears. Because when you were looking, appearance was Queen.
When I was looking, the color turned to death. I could flirt with pink and green and orange and red but only for a minute and it surely would be detected and devoured. This fed the hungry beast inside you. When no-one was looking. It slithered, smiling, through the caverns of our existence. Spreading it’s brown paralyzing slime onto our child lives. Twisting n turning so we never could sense direction. When no one was looking. Your inner beast ran through our home salivating, relentlessly stalking. This was not a safe existence for children, when no one was looking.
Intolerable and exhausting. Swimming upstream from birth. We surrendered, we yielded to crazy, to the killing of our innocence, our right to be free, to live unburdened. There really was no choice. We handed it over because we’re just children. We craved belonging, safety, love, softness, easy breath, dreams. Sacrificing our well being over and over. The darkness victorious, stamping out our light, our dreams, our drive. When no-one was looking.
Mission accomplished. Torched souls, we assist you in drawing the shades of life, a smiling mask donned in public, living “as if” so as not to raise any suspicions about our fucked little lives. All this darkness placed inside, the saccharine sweet lies conflicting with and twisting our fight for sanity, lucidity, transparency, space.
All this “looking” but no seeing. Your eyes glued shut Mom. You didn’t really have to “see”your food to be able to eat it, now did you? You could smell the life force, the need to be stripped of our aliveness, our need to be silenced and gutted. Sensed like an animal in the night. Just to feed your emptiness. She fed from and possessed our every emotion, when no one was looking. She took everything. Our joy, our anger, pain and peace. And handed us back blankness, autopilot, apprehension, lack of self trust, hate and suspicion of others. Insanity. We learned so many things about darkness and dancing with crazy.
I’ve transformed, Mother. And what a trick this MOTHER word! I’ve stripped your ugly from my existence. No longer a subscriber. I was the one who escaped, by some small miracle, I made it. My Spirit rose up to assist me. I was made for greater things. Without your sad influence. Without you looking, I’ve dug and scraped and washed and scoured you from my loins. 30 years is a long time to live, surrendering one’s essence, in service to another. “Out of service” an outstanding book title I foresee in my future. Although, “when you weren’t looking” could work, too. My mind is free. Free to roam without restriction, censor or proper.
Thank you Mom for leading me to the edge and shoving me off. Body sinking to guaranteed demise, my Higher Self was there to catch my fall. The Human Spirit is a powerful force that can lift you up and beyond what you thought was possible. Listen to the call, take the difficult challenge of putting yourself first, staying the course and rising from the asses.
I’m in love with forehead kisses. Planted on prime real estate of the third eye space. Physically between the eyes. Spiritually, when this energy center is unblocked, we are capable of enhanced “vision”. To me this area is very sacred and allows me to connect spiritually with others for the collective good.
Forehead kisses, a gentle, confirming reminder of my significance. Of my “being seen”. A private honoring and offer of reverence for my existence. The spontaneous act usually coming to me without warning, without introduction, without permission.
My eyes close to savor the gesture. Allowing the feeling in and around, landing wherever needed. Warmth and connection spreading across my eyes, midbrain and encircling my head. Nothing to do about it, but allow. No destination, no motive, nothing more needs to happen. Seated deeply in a spiritual exchange of respect.
A profound understanding. Clarity around divine connection and mutual respect. The most tender of human expressions. Received. Received without words. Given. Given without expectation of return. The sweetest of gifts. The ultimate compliment. To me.
A 2$ word. Transcend. Love these Ads, “rise above”, “get rid of negative thoughts” “get over trauma”. We can just fly over this shit, landing in greener pastures. More like a Billboard for Heroin or Crack. Problem being, upon arrival, YOU’RE still there. Feeling bad should be inSINerated. I’m transcending transcendence – now that’s real. Inviting humiliation, guilt, jealousy, hate, doubt for tea. Nothing to rise/soar above. How do we rise above our true authentic selves? Would we want to?
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.
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.
I heard the call. The call to run. But first I must stand still. Still enough to know just how far and fast I’d have to run. My boys, 5 and 2. So sweet, so innocent, so loyal. Hanging onto my legs, my every word. Looking deeply into my presence to feel the safety only their momma could muster. They love me, they need me. All of this. Triggering the vision of an engulfing, suffocating beast. Stealing all but a sip of untainted oxygen for itself. From the depths of middle earth this beast, slithering, watching, waiting. Safety was away from my family of origin. My inner child was bathed in muck and lies and deception. Hypervigilance, dissociation was living… this felt safe, ground. I was thawing from THIS freeze. Coming alive, breaking the surface, just the way they wouldn’t want me to. All of my abusers.
My true self attempting to surface, the bubbling wouldn’t stop. The dirty water no longer able to hold my buoyancy down. In dreamland, I was orchestrating this violence, killing for revenge. Long held rage and helplessness thawing from my frozen petite veins. Graphic scenes of stabbing, blood soaked, lifeless bodies, ripping knives through flesh. Ripping, like orgasmic, primal release. Always protecting myself from being wiped out – like I NEVER could. I could fuck you over just like you did to me. Kill or be killed. The delicious, giddy power of a knife, gutting as I was gutted, tearing at my power center. My aliveness gushing out like a shaken soda bottle. And you drank every drop. I felt justified, powerful, alive. You like me now? Does this feel good? just like you’d ask me.
Saving my sanity overnight, everynight. Revenge on those who want to hurt me for their own pleasure. I’ll show you what it’s like to have your guts ripped out. I can show you what it’s like to feel like an object, an option, a toy. Killing people without killing people. The dead I felt inside brought to life one REM cycle after the next.
Years and years titled The Rebirth of Me, Me Taking My Power Back, Who I Came Here To Be, Anyways. No Fucking Apologies. Me speaking my truth to anyone who would 1/2 listen. Me opening up to my experience, reaching, for the first time, for validation. My body thawing from habitual anxiety, chronic muscular tension, sinus infections, sore throats, sciatic, neck pain, gall bladder attacks, anorexia… the list goes on, long. I must be dying. I know I have a tumor. This is what they wanted. Every medical test known to man, negative. My body was trying to express and keep us healthy. Now it was time to listen. Only I could do this for myself. For my first 30 years I ran. I kept busy, I shoved it down. The souls of my children, showing me how it should have been, showing me the pure innocence, trust and love of a child. Just BEing. How it should have been. 23 years now. Standing up. Standing Tall. Standing with. Standing in. In my pain, my anxiety, my reflux, my vertigo -asking the ________ what it’s here for. What’s the message…cause there is ALWAYS a message.
Who the hell is A Fish Named Karen you ask? Well, I’m not a fish 🙄 (duh) and I’m not Karen. Actually, the name Karen has always made me chuckle. A peculiar name for a Fish. Random, plain-Jane, Fish-next-door-type of title. Yep, that’s me. Flopping around life, silent, completely random, imperfect, colorful, delicious, breathing under water, deceitful, interesting, slippery, elusive – yup, THAT kind of Karen. THAT kind of Fish 👀
Actually A Fish Named Karen got its name about 20 years ago to be exact. My son was excited about the idea of owning a pet. He wanted a Fish and would bring it up often at the dinner table. I was so curious, “So, what would you name your fish?” His reply, of course, “Karen, Mom, A Fish Named Karen.” Can’t make this shit up. So, when I considered starting a blog, it came to me right away. What a brilliant title, born from childhood innocence, to help introduce and express the not so innocent tragedies of my childhood. What a perfect name, in a perfect WordPress fishbowl. Swimming with many, many fish in the waters of the human condition.
My anonymity purposeful. As truth and vulnerability have a way of finding like-minded fish in a sea of untruths and fake smiles.
I will reveal that, although Karen is not my name – this is the ONLY piece of fabrication you will come upon in my writing.