Christmas · human condition · resilient

The Unlikely Christmas Card

Here we are, Christmas quickly approaching. So of course I have no plans to spend time with my family on Christmas Eve. If you’ve been reading any of my earlier bloglets you have a really good idea as to why I choose to remain separate.

Yes, it’s really difficult to stand your ground and distance yourself from those you bonded to. Excruciating at times. But as a child, when your Spirit is slaughtered over and over and over, some of us learn to stand tall in our adult years and fight the fight. Reclaiming our lives from the grips of traumatic memories/physical horrors.

So you can prob imagine the shock in my system when my husband texts me, “Do you think today you can get your mother a card, from me, for Christmas?” I thought to myself – self, well, that’s kind of weird but ok, whatever…just as long as I don’t have to SEE her royal craziness.

So off I go to the store to the cheerful love your Mother Christmas card section. Rolling my eyes, I saunter up to the section of colorful, Christmasee cards, all ooozing and gushing with all-things-Mom-ness. Here it is, the “ I wish my Mom was like this” aisle.

On my left there’s a bright yellow sign which says…“ Hokey Pokey turn your life around card section” COMING SOON. Shucks! Guess I’ll have to come back later for that selection. I start opening and reading. Opening and reading.

“Your love, Mom, reminds us of the love in our hearts this Holiday season…..”

“You are the glue that keeps this family together”

“A special Holiday wish for a special Mother…”

“Mom, all the joyful Holiday memories we share…”

“When we feel the Christmas spirit we remember the love you gave to us…”

Wow, um, nope, not a chance. This is harder than I thought.

I need the AF cards that are a little more honest. Maybe a blank card to write his own message… he’ll kill me lol. I know it’s Christmas and all but I don’t really have a taste for sugar, she ruined that for me…

If I could design a card…

“I hope you have the Christmas you deserve” or “I’m sure you think you did a great job but I am entitled to my truth and my opinion” and “I gave you the first 1/2 of my life, the rest is mine” or “Your energy is toxic so it’s just perfect if you celebrate Christmas at your house and I celebrate it at mine” and “No worries, I’m not angry, in fact, I don’t even think of you anymore, Merry Christmas”.

These MIGHT not exist in card form but I’d be willing to guess that I’m def onto something here. There might be a market for the card that never gets sent. Right?

IMG_3736

So, I ended up settling on this generic card, “It’s Christmas, Hope you spend this magical season any merry way you like”. See?, everyone’s happy. Done. Got the card, husband will deliver it tomorrow. The card, consonants and vowels scattered about in a meaningful array of sequence. Recognizable as a gesture of nice from a nameless party and her caring spouse. I’d say we more than covered the bases. Check.

Poor thing, he’s kinda stuck in the middle and sees her rarely but he continues the facade of caring. She’ll hand him a gift for me – which always triggers me… throw it out, unopened? give it away? burn it? bury it in ceremony? So sad that she wants to own me.

So sad that she keeps trying. Refusing to let me have my truth. She holds out hope that I’ll forget that she resembles the witch in Hansel & Gretel. Caging the children so she can devour them. She read that story to us often, not surprising.

Now it’s time for me to read her a story. I hope she likes her card, I hope she hates her card, I hope she notices how much of a non-card it really is, I hope she notices how I did not sign it, I hope she feels how much self-love I have now, without her presence.

Despite all of this chatter, NONE of this really matters. I just simply bought a card. A Christmas card. Nothing more than paper, glitter, a stocking, teddy bear and cursive font… no promises, no agenda, no should haves, no attachments. A card. Merry Christmas Baba Yaga.

October · rain

In Love #17

I’m in love with the smell of October rain. Arriving upon a cool, warm, wet, chilly breeze. Coating crunchy leaves and crispy flowers. Gathering dusty, dried earth for a communal autumn hug. The rain slowly arrives, moving in on the quiet. Settling into its resting place, lukewarm and lovely.

Making up for Summer drought, it falls. And falls. Smelling like forest floor. Like rich brown soil. Like the underpinnings of fabulousness with a side of mushroom spores and pine bedding undertones. Resurfacing the foundation of new life. Possibilities. Rich mineral magnificence.

The fragrance of possibility. Of spent corn stalks, cold harvest moon mist and pumpkin spice. In the air, previews of icy rains and solid precipitation. The falling away of what is no longer needed. That which weighs us down. Rain showering off the unwanteds, the old, the haggard, tired. The dead crunchies in our lives.

Washed into tomorrow on an endless cycle. Each rain flushing our discarded patterns. The old, worn out becoming new again. Replaced, reset, realigned by fresh new growth. Breathing in a little slower today to fill my empty spaces with the smell of rain in October.

resilient · shadow

Don’t I Know You?

I feel a little piece of myself in everyone I know, everyone I meet. We are all a mixture of light n dark. A fine recipe of delicious complexity.
I am joyful and depressed, I’m hateful, I am optimistic, I’m a killer, I’m jealous, I’m content and curious, wild, responsible, disengaged, entitled, invisible, enraged, tired, discouraged, complacent, magnificent. Big breath in….. real, lost, embarrassed, hopeful, dreamy, open, humiliated, passive, judgmental, honest weird, eccentric, lonely, pissed, accepting, blank, spiteful, alive, proud, blessed, dismissive and aggressive.

If we’re honest, several of these are living within us. Sure the positive traits/experiences are easy to embrace and recognize. The darker, shameful, maybe even shocking tendencies we def try to conceal, deny, excise. They need love and compassion too. They’re looking for recognition and expression. To be lovingly surrounded with safety, protection and containment.

Can we privately bring LOVE

and understanding

to the parts of ourselves

that we hate?

If just for this

moment

If just for today

resilient

How To Stay Alive

Getting well, I held all of you OUT

To spite you

To let you feel and see

That you could have NONE of me

So you could feel unworthy/unwanted

Dirty and discarded

To show you I was in control of YOU

That you held no power over me

That I was always never totally yours

Never totally under your control

There was always a piece of me you (3) could not devour

My magnificent SPIRIT

That which kept me alive

It had to leave my body

I had to leave my body

A body being ravaged by your violence

By your sexual agenda

Your mind fuck

Tricking me into being loyal

Surviving on autopilot

Aliveness and light snuffed

Slaughtered by your fake love

How I wished you all would stop

How I wished I could stop living

But your abuse allowed my gifts to surface

Oh integrity, perseverance, grit, tenderness, pin-point intuition

Just little ole me

Detecting entitlement, control and lies

All delivered with a smile

A big FU arises

But how wrong of you to choose me

Very dumb choice

My Spirit fueled my mission

I was never totally out sold to you

My healing journey

An agonizing one

The deep hate and rage simmering

Building on itself

Spirit returning little by little

Empowering, driving me

I gutted you with truth

My duty, a healthy revenge

Shoved your nose in shit

Publicly mmmmm deliciousness

I‘ll forever hold YOU out

Leave you with your own open wounds

Because my self love is solid

Because my sanity is important

Because my allegiance to your cause has expired

Because life is joy

And an uncluttered mind

A calm body

Tender lovemaking

Truth

Sensual pleasures

Freedom and expansion

It’s always been the same destination

But instead of fighting against

I’m fighting FOR

A different highway

Less traffic

Better air quality

Pleasant, sunny, freedom

Arriving HOME to myself

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

Stillness

Movement In Stillness


My happy little mung bean sprouts strive to go higher. To be more. Transcend the limits. Problems. Reach toward the light. But wait… how about we just stay in this moment, in this jar.

Not caring about what’s next, what’s due, who’s waiting…stay right in this space. This moment. And this one. And this one. Without expectation. Without movement.

Sprout your stillness. Name it. Breathe.

Uncategorized

In Love #15

I’m in love with deep breaths. The boundless kind refilling my sails. Conscious sips of love welcomed into my chest scape. Dismantling an anxious foundation fortified with last weeks sludge. Thought by thought, I see them to the door. Some reluctant, but soon completely evicted from this wisdom pipeline of the soul.

Conscious or unconscious. I breathe. Resetting the tick, time, tock. Slicing up deadlines and have-to’s. Making manageable the most tangled armor. This luscious, quenching air filling the deep crevices between uptight and spacious. Grounding the body right here, right new

The holy rolling of chest. Breath enters and exits on two lane highway traveling South. Drawing in fuel, to our receptive muscles. Once again, saying yes to life. Then the exit North. The release of rib cage tension allowing drainage of all that is not serving us. All that has expired within us. Each cycle bringing us closer to ourselves.

In an endless cycle of fresh. An endless cycle of Peace. An endless cycle of Presence. I’m in love with deep breaths.

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.

awareness · challenge · resilient

Your Crazy’s Showing (part 2)

The search continued. It had to. Can’t ALL be so unaware, so aloof, disinterested, re-victimizing…could they? Even if you suck at what you do you STILL have experience. They said they had experience with childhood trauma. Hmmm. With limited awareness and clarity with your own process, how can we expect you to properly assist another person on their healing path? Having been exposed to these well meaners compounded my lack of faith in humanatee. A big fat sea-cow in an ocean of disdain. 

Confirming my, “I am irreparable” notion, all due to people not doing their “work”. My expression of graphic truth touching their darkness resulting in their shut down, perilalysis, or disASSociation. Say, for instance you’re in a restaurant. The person next to you clutches their chest in pain, maybe a heart attack. You want to help but as you rise from your chair YOUR chest also begins to hurt, you go into a full-blown panic attack, rendering you useless to the other person. -A simplistic depiction of countertransference. Trauma triggering trauma. Emotional entanglement/meshing/merging/fusing with the client, which negatively impacts a therapist’s ability to lead. 

Enter Paul, my next psychoterrorist. A charming Victorian third floor office. Beautifully decorated. He came highly recommended with much experience in the area of abuse and women’s issues. Finally! This would be IT.  Fingers and toes crossed. Paul, a bald, middle-aged and deeply baritone voiced gentleman, welcomed me, with open harms, to his practice. We began. Small talk. About where I’d been. And his experience with clients of my gripe. Lol. Nice enough.

Writing feverishly…enter the million dollar question.What brings you here… I got into it, hard. Haven’t I wasted enough time with the other do-gooders? He began smiling, like I was telling him a joke and he was anticipating the punchline. He added some “yes, go on” and “oh, really?” scripts every client expected from a paid listener. “Tell me more” and “Tell me again” with what sma-hack-ed of enjoyment and entertainment on his creased face. Like I had just delivered some juicy gossip. “That is fascinating” and “Are you sure this happened”? Actually escaped from his jagged smile. Any minute now, I expectorated him to pop up and put a bag of popcorn in the microwave. His affect clearly needed a tune up. 

Shifting in his comfy seat, I got a peak of his legal pad – he had drawn a CAT!! Silly me, I thought I was saying something worthy of recording. Thought he might be taking notes. I felt completely deflated, invisible and devalued. If THAT wasn’t rea-dick-a-less enough …nearing the end of the session, I offered some disgustingly graphic trauma piece as a last bitch effort to get some authentic reaction. (Which I am incredibly good at – thanks Mom). For what seemed like a minute, his mouth dropped down and gaped open, eyes wide. His body, except for his neck, froze. He slowly turned his mannequin head to the right and stared out the window for a very uncomfortable miNUT. So, remember the THIRD FLOOR thing? Nothing out there except sky, lots of sky guy. I actually got up and looked too, his stare was that intense. Dude, there’s nothing out the window, nothing. He sat, lifeless, no blinking, no swallowing. Nothing. And just like that, he returned from his long strange flip. T-why-light groan. Holy weirdness. Another disaster. 

So this tiny little blurb about a Sexual Abuse Support Group caught my I. Beyond excited. All women in the group. Perfect. Group of 5. Harold introduced me to the group and all of the women shared a blurb. Very lovely women. I was the youngest member. All very charmed by Harold, giggling when he spoke. A dandy guy. Harold offered his  background. He expressed his special brand of wisdumb, “After all, men are idiots. We should cut off all their penises and ship them to a deserted island”. God’s honest truth! His exact words. Later that night, Harold offered more creep… “Yeah, you know, I touched my sister and it wasn’t a big deal, so there’s nothing wrong with that” AYFKM? He looked around nervously to see how he was being received. Eyes bouncing from one participant to the hexed. Harold, poised on the edge of nervous laughter and arrested exhale. He excused himself, apparent worry broke out amongst the group mates. Come to think of it, Harold excused himself at least 5 times during the 2 hour group – just adding to an already bizarre situation. 

In his absence, I questioned the other women, asking how long they’d been a member. The responses were between 2 years and 7 years. What?  After that night, I never returned. But Harold wasn’t done tryin to work me into his gig, his magic act. He wouldn’t let go. He sent me a letter, “You need this group, this will help you. You really need to return for support”. THIS is straight up cray-cray. Of course, no response from me. Another month went by and he sent me another postcard, reminding me of the group ”you should be here” Now I was pissed. I wrote him back. “How dare you try and take advantage of the most tender, most vulnerable population by insinuating that I could not make it without you” “You call yourself a therapist? You are basically pushing your agenda onto me and scolding me for not complying” “That’s abusive” “I put a boundary and you are not honoring that”. I should have reported him but I would have been cast as just another crazy patient. 

The final crazy encounter, with a physician, occurred when I was seen for a panic attack visit in 2000. I was new to the panic world and, just like everyone else, was convinced that it was something else. Anxiety couldn’t possibly make me feel like I was gunna die…. So this well-meaning, lovely Indian Physician listened to me as I talked about my long history of anxiety stemming from a dark childhood. When I told her about my abusers, her “helpful advice” was the following. “Why didn’t you punch them? or tell them that you didn’t want that to happen to you? You have to tell them” 

Ok Dr., like it’s as easy as telling them to hold the onions on your burger at McDonald’s. Excuse me, yeah, no onions please, ok, thank-you. I so desperately wanted to live in her world where all you have to do is tell someone to stop and they do. Wow, whammo, why didn’t I think of that. Holy mind fuck. Blame the abused. Thanks a bunch. LOL

Kinda hard when your abuse began when you were pre-verbal. Maybe you were older and when you said no, it was the same as yes. I don’t really think a 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, 10-year-old girl is any strength match to male teens and adults, hmmm, you? What a bizarre suggestion (punch them). Most likely our first abusers are family members or friends of the family or someone entrusted with our care. We rely on them for safety, a roof, food in our bellies and love. When you are reared to believe your privates/body belongs to others – where does the protest fit in there? The trickery, convincing and games fuck a child’s mind. 

Is it the responsibility of a child to keep her/him self safe? That’s an awful lot of burden to shoulder. A tiny little girl. A Dr. offering “help” sprinkled with the nasty energy of blame– I  should have done something, I should have stopped it, I should have protected myself and ultimately, I could have done something but I didn’t ………………. Today I would tell her that she’s got a lot of clean up to do on herself. Her nasty is showing. And that my little girl knows I’ll protect her. 

Let’s do our inner work DO THE INNER WORK. So we all can be there for each other. Without our fear or anger or frustration or judgement coming at the person and overshadowing our HELP we intend to give. So we may hold each other/clients/patients in the way they truly deserve – in love, compassion and understanding. If nothing else, at the very least, validate how hard it must have been for that person to grow up in that atmosphere. So very powerful. Validate, listen. 

Maybe some of this…”Wow, I’m so sorry. That must have been really hard for you. You must be so sad. What can I do to help you? You are so strong. You are doing amazing seeing all you’ve been through. Do you have someone to talk to/confide in? Would you like me to refer you to someone who knows more about this? You must have been so scared. Do you feel safe now?”

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.