Human Spirit

All The Things You Never Said

As a Lotus, I rise from the muddy waters. Anyway. Pic belongs to afishnamedkaren

The things I needed to hear. To feel real, validated and seen. Human. When I was not wanting to live, I could have used some reality. But let’s be honest. Seriously, you’ve buried everything. What you’ve done mummified, locked away. Of course, in the likeness of what was done to you. Someone ruined your lives so you then turned that on me. The damage you three have done. Shattering any chance of normalcy. For me. History repeated, when no one was looking. Default, complacency, asleep.

But still, there are all the things you never said. All the things I was starving to hear. All the things that might have changed my sad life, allowing me to feel instead of just surviving. To thaw my frozenness…

Imagine hearing – I’m sorry you hate your body, we did that. I’m sorry you need hyper vigilance just to feel safe, we did that, we never let you rest. I’m sorry you feel transparent, like everyone knows what you’re thinking, we needed to keep you feeling exposed. We apologize for pressuring you, never letting you rest- for if you rested you might have gathered courage and strength to outsmart us or tell others what we were doing. We’re sorry you fear assault will come any moment. Keeping you fearful kept you compliant. We’re sorry you cringe when you hear whispers in the night, we didn’t want to wake anyone. We’re sorry we ruined everything for you and aren’t sorry about it. We’re sorry we treated you like you were nothing, insignificant and insane when you confronted us. We couldn’t let others see our crazy. We still can’t see it ourselves.

All these things you’ve never said, running through my head, running through my head, running through my head. But it’s all ok. I say them. I tell that precious little girl inside me, who is growing up now because I’m in charge. I apologize to her for you, despite you, in defiance of you and for the love of me. All the ways I love myself. All of the love that I am, that I have to give. Anyways.

You never destroyed me. Never took it all. All along, I had the golden goose. My army was just waiting…My Spirit watched from afar as I soaked up all your bullshit wrapped in a pretty package of care and family. While I lived as a shadow, on the periphery of even my own life. While I tried to not exist at the age of 7. While I would hardly speak and just watched others most of my younger years. While I would never bring anyone over to my house because it was evil but everyone was smiling – you(s) and I could never have known the slow burning fuse had been lit.

I was meant for greater than I could ever have imagined. I am this. A private joke that keeps delivering. A smile so deep into my core it’s engraved into my soul. The smug smile of knowingness. I am that. Of overcoming. Of pity for you tinged with a hint of compassion – yes I said compassion- for your (still) inner turmoil and lack of awareness.

I have walked. Far. Never to return to you. For you are invisible. Because you could never say that you’ve tried to destroy me. That you wanted to destroy me. Because you were destroyed by your abusers. You’ve never been honest. You all can’t be. I understand. I understand everything now. Thats why I’m so powerful. So powerful.

Oh! All the things I CAN say now. And I do.

resilient · responsibility

Like An Eagle

I sensed the secret you carry. Blaming my physical unrest on food, the two drinks, my sunburn. Your frantic energy, palpable. The fox that showed up, running by making himself seen. Then the snake. Spirit commanding my attention by sending in the wild beasts. Illuminating that which lurks under beautiful smiles. I see it all. Like an Eagle.

The building tension you carry – feeling it in my own neck. Overwhelming. I can take on your energy, at will – as a way of knowing. Then, right before me slowly coming clearer, unfolding with certainty. With sadness. With accuracy. Suddenly I’m doing it. Putting together the clues of your broken childhood. Betrayal by betrayal. All of it.

I can sniff it out. This info comes with a high price – a sudden physical overwhelm, unease. As I realize the reason for your blankness, your habitual guarding, the distance you keep, your refusal to take part in activities, meals, refusal to leave the house, engage. It suddenly makes perfect sense. This protest. This fuck you.

When I witness your many refusals. Reluctance to greet your brother. Opting out of family “time”. The way your mother has to force you to acknowledge your brother. She physically assists you in hugging him. The nervous laughter. I knew. I knew. I could see all that is hidden. Under plastic smiles.

It hit me hard. So blatant. So powerful. This explains so much. I know things. I know shit people would never want me to know. Why do I know? What is the purpose dear God. Please tell me. Don’t be stupid, it’s obvious why I know. I was was this girl, I am this.

Can I actually help? Can I help? How can I? It’s actually torturous to be privy to such delicate, guarded info. I want to help. I want to give her the gift of validation. I want to blow this the fuck up. I want to slay the evil in the room. I want to save her sanity. Hide her in a warm safe place. Where her safety is paramount. But. My heart hurts so much right now.

But. I need to keep MY inner child safe. I need to protect HER. Put her first, reparent HER as this trigger swirls. I can do for her what was not done for me when I was young. I can keep myself centered and grounded and not swirl, also with the insanity of sexual abuse. I will never abandon my inner child to save someone else. THIS is the work. My work. Never jump in to save someone. Make every attempt from ground. From the shore. Have a plan. Process. Otherwise we are all lost in the deep darkness.

Do I say anything? Do I to hint that I know? I cannot expect that she will be receptive. She might deny. That’s not the point tho. She needs to know that whatever she says I will listen. Just open the door and get my healing foot in, or even a toe. Hell, a toenail.

God help me to use fox energy in my heart. Be stealthy, clever. Meet evil with light. It saddens me that she suffers in silence everyday. Everyone is dead around her. Everyone. I visualize ancient, petrified, headless bodies around me. No one to connect with, no one to feel, no one to love. Reach all you want. They’re unavailable. Dead. Tragically familiar. Having to partially die myself just to survive.

Guide me. Use me for her support -either physically or energetically. Please let me be there, as a comfort. As a confidante. The sounding board and voice of reason that I did not have. The safe one. The receptive heart. If she’ll let me in to her closely guarded, sensitive heart. If

My tears and grief are real, solid and visionary. Don’t mess with my fucking intuition. I see through. I see the real. I see your dark, that which you wish to hide. I see your shame. I see your self loathing. Your having to act out to have everyone leave you alone. Throw an emotional fit just to get someone to pay attention.

I know this. Some part of her wants me to see. Is willing. Needs this. Will I be met with that part or an imposter? No way to tell. How much will be receptive? How much will fight, run or collapse and be transparent? It’s frightening to be seen, really seen. Exposed. I got you.

No one knows I can see. No one. I am often met with denial. It’s natural/habitual. I know and sense too much. I have an enormous responsibility with this gift (jury still out on the “gift” term). Heavy burden in my hands being privy to such weighty information. I’d ask Spirit WHY, but the answer is ridiculously obvious. Enormous.

The sadness of the abused children. All shutting down differently. Deadening themselves. you can see the disconnect. The terror in the eyes. Can feel the crazy, swirling, frozen, ungrounded energy surrounding the family. Many kids, many families. Way too many.

We survivors can help. We can be what WE needed. And never could secure. It’s never too late to get what we came for. To give what we couldn’t get. It’s never too late to offer our wisdom, our hearts, our safety. Our love and understanding. It’s never too late. To go out on that branch, trusting it will hold you. Eagle medicine abounds.

human condition

Love Note To My Inner Child

Photo credit – Back to Nature

I see you. I see how you had to pretend. Pretend to be thriving, happy, excited, loving, forgiving and alive.

I see you. I see how you had to be invisible, well behaved and all accepting. Without rest. Without safety or love or comfort. Without comfort for your deep sadness, your betrayal or terror. Without a place to hide to get some rest, to be anonymous.

I know how hard it was for you to live in survival mode. On auto-pilot. I see how lonely you were, blank, rageful.

You stuffed it all down. Storing/carrying it all away for another day. You had the wisdom to know if you unpacked it all you would not survive. You would not be able to keep it together and lead a normal life outside of an institution/hospital. The only option you knew was to keep playing, keep going. I thank you for this.

Years, empty years stacked together like 5 mins, like a long nap. A nap of safety, skimming insanity. Shocked but no signs outwardly. Terrified, but with a smile. Rivers, oceans of sadness underground.

Now we’re tapping in, once again, we’re here, together, my inner lovely. Both alive, feeling, hurting – lifetimes of hurt. It just comes. Day after day. Without obvious invitation. But the soul knows the timing is perfect.

We will rise, with more depth, available heart. Widening the range between despair and joy. To feel and experience everything in between. Fully. This time, you are not alone, I see you and support you like a good mother would, like she should. My promise to you.

Remember

Oh that child

I never lost the child within. She’s right here next to me. Gathering trinkets on walks. Stones that peak interest, pine needles that prickle on my cheek, pods yet opened, full of possibility and promise of another season.

Feathers of hawk, abandoned hornets nests, berries artistically encased in ice – saved in the freezer, crimson leaf pressed in the pages of the Mother Earth catalogue, brown, striped seeds of mystery.

Recuerdos, mementos for recalling yesterdays, telling the earth’s story one tchotchke at a time. Don’t lose the child within. He/she is counting on you.

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.

cycles

Driving Miss Crazy

I just want everything to be normal. As it used to be. I would rise up in the morn after a restful nights sleep. Mind open and free. Free to wonder and allow and dream. Thinking about the day ahead with possibility and satisfaction for my life, my aliveness, my able body. All is right in the world.

But this is lost. NOW. A much different picture. Restless nights, waking soaked and agitated. Dark and irritated. Unfocused, lacking the capacity to absorb even pleasurable things. Overstimulated and exhausted. Tears that won’t stop.

Rather then a blessing, life feels like a chore, a trick. Unable to see past my funk, time moves on. This is what depression must feel like. A dimming of the light. The numb taking front n center in a once vibrant life. Eyes fixed and tears streaming. A vast nothingness.

Overwhelm and indifference fighting for the front seat. Moving from everything is too much to -who cares? Frozen despondency. Cozy and terrifying at once. A cocoon on fire, with an audience. Humiliation and validation fighting for the back seat. Driving Miss Crazy.

The isolation looms. I must keep connecting. But my deepest desire is to be invisible. If just for a day, a week. Disappearing. Unable to be found, uncovered, discovered. For who I am is not permissible. Not presentable. What I am, who I am, is not allowed. Not right now.

I hide behind my disposable mask. Inhaling stale thoughts, countless lies about myself. Right now I can barely see the light. Right now, I’m feeling the deepest humiliation and shame. Right now my brain and stores of serotonin have gone on holiday. Leaving me, a rusty iron gate in the wind, mostly closed and whining. Disconnected and invisible.

Until now, my experience with deep humiliation was basically an unmet, unfamiliar stranger. Humiliation meeting pressure, perfection, anxiety and fear, my old sketchy roommates. Most of the time unwelcome house guests. Familiar shadowy strays. With name plates at the dinner table, never changing out of their pajamas.

Today, I rely on a fortress of autopilot tolerance and patience. I muster these for myself. I must cling to the patterns, the same patterns that saved my ass, my sanity, allowed me to look normal and sane as a child. Having patience for the parts of me that still act on impulse and keep me playing victim.

Patience and love for the parts of me that listen to the little stupid voice. You know that voice. Saying I deserve all things horrible because I bring it on myself, I don’t care enough, I don’t know anything, I have nothing to offer… bla bla bla. Should have, could have , would have.

On the surface I fight back but at the core there are holes in the fabric where the slime of self loathing eeks through. All dark and slippery, like a serpent hungry for my soul. I muster the compassion for myself naming and evicting those voices. Zing them out the front door. Crafty bitches slither back in, finding the smallest cracks. No vacancy, no room in the inn. But oh yes, there always is. They laugh at my meaningless protests.

They bring me candy and gifts and charm my pants off. Seduction of sameness, familiarity. All for a comfy seat in my life. They’re so sure they won’t be evicted – they know, before I do- smug bastards. Their voices are ancient. But I give them life. Breathe life into them, their crusty old bones erected and lubed. Upright. My doing.

I supply their juices, fodder, connective tissues and strength. I am the life giver. I birth them, give them a voice -when I listen, when I play small. When I accept the bait, and devour their shards of glass garbage thoughts. They are nothing without me – I breathe life into them.

I bleed. I cut. I cut myself. I cut myself out. I cut myself off. From the light, my gifts, my heart. Severed. Aliveness -hidden. Ready or not. I will stay in the dark but only long enough to find the light. No-one can find this for me. This is an inside job. This is the work.

To blaze the path not yet fully cleared. Grab my sickle, hedge clippers, bushwhacker, axe, pick and chain saw. Disregarding the old, dark, comforting lies my shadow NEEDS me to believe. Otherwise it won’t survive.

I can’t wait to be fearless, content and grounded once again. It will happen. It always does. Meanwhile, buckle-up buttercup. The journey continues…driving Miss CRAZY.

resilient

Rising From The Asses

Actual pic of “Mother”

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.

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.

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.

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?”