abuse · trauma · triggers

Just A Shell

Born into a family of dysfunction, I navigated my world the best I could, hoping to be loved, cherished, valued, held and heard. Instead I was met with disregard for my life, repeated, long-term invasion of my body, my innocence, violence disguised as love, safety/security masquerading as control. All at the hands of my parents and male siblings. I was doomed. A shell of a human. Existing in the dizzying cycle of being tossed around in the surf of life – only occasionally able to take a full breath, surface. Pieces of my personality chipped off, the tide taking them far off, away.  Never feeling the ground beneath my feet. Becoming dead inside, broken. Accepting the abnormal as normal. As violence, invasion came over me again and again I became familiar with rage. The rage that was growing inside of me. Rage that would never be recognized. Undercover. A secret rage, thoughts of revenge that would bring a sweet, savory smile to my perfect little-girl face. Continue reading “Just A Shell”

Joy

This Right Here

Some days I wake up and I feel so joyful. Like I’m grateful for everything. I find amazement and wonder in the smallest things. The smells. The sounds. The feels. Everything fresh and alive and inviting. It’s a privilege to be alive. It’s an honor to be here.
Weird. How can I feel so satisfied, and grateful when so many are suffering? I “should” be all twisted up. So I share this with my hubs. Surmising that, “maybe this is it, maybe I’m leaving this earth soon 🤷🏻‍♀️.” I mean, why else would I feel this way? Of course he doesn’t know what to say 😆 who would 😵‍💫
But then I realize that THIS is it. This was it all along. THIS is the nectar of life. Enjoying the right now. The today. The stuck in traffic, standing in line, the feel of a sunburn, a headache. Even the things we try and get away from. This is rich. Our lives are living and breathing, drenched with experience and chance meetups with humans and nature and everything in between.
I wish I woke every day feeling settled into existence, breathing into the entirety of life. What a gift.
Thank you.

Garden Love is the best
body

The Secrets Our Bodies Keep

Trauma has a way of slipping around, unnoticed in the body. Seems like forever ago it was born. We carry it silently, in a frozen suitcase until it starts to thaw. The hinges rust, material unravelling. Chunks fall out. My chunks come in the form of physical pain.

I begin to feel the ready to release as muscles and joints politely ask for attention. For discovery. For expression of that which can be held no more. Like an over due library book, I must pay the fine. Fine mess this is. The mess of unbecoming me. The mess of discovering who I was all along if not for these frozen parts. This bulky luggage I drag around.

The least I could do is to lend an ear to what my body has to say. It’s not just simply an achy shoulder, knee or tail bone. Absolutely not. When the body hurts for no reason, I mean, for no obvious injury or because of acute illness – well then, there’s always a deeper story.

IF. If we are brave. IF we are curious enough to stand still for the message. Mostly, we just want the pain/weirdness to go away. Sadly enough there’s no shortage of friends/family/practitioners who will suggest a quick remedy. Same folks who have no tolerance for our struggles, can’t sit with us in our suffering and just want it gone for us.

But there are some of us who live just left of center, on the edge of typical and hesitate very little when it comes to the journey of self discovery. The journey into the center of ourselves. The two seatbelt journey into the land of stored trauma. The buried treasure of sorts, the gold realized years later.

Trauma releases, bit by bit only when the conditions are right. Right? Mostly. Our higher self waits patiently until we are settled, until we are in a decent situation before presenting a sneak peek into our darkness. Sucks, right? What’s right about feeling/reliving trauma? What went in must come out. This. This is the work. Walking the walk. Walking the trauma to the outskirts of our body limits.

Which, is not technically true because NOT everyone chooses to excise their shadow. There is a great amount of support out there if one desires NOT to work with/tease out the negative/dark within. The supports may be in the form of alcohol, drugs, shopping, bingeing/purging, cutting, gambling, self harm, risk taking…. bla bla bla. I call these SUPPORTS because these choices actually take us out of our bodies and distract us from the pain that is surfacing.

Now THAT’S a support. So we don’t have to feel. So we don’t have to see. So we don’t have to hear. The emotions, the faces, the words lurking in our body pain. So the trauma waits, and sits and waits some more. While we hurt and go about the business of living. Holding our physical selves in sad or angry or fearful postures because this is all we knew. This is what feels natural. Until it doesn’t.

action

Sweet Generational Impact

Don’t worry, we got this ♥️

We can only blame others for what has “happened to us” for so long. I do believe it a necessary process tho. Absolutely. It keeps us separate. It puts the blame where it belongs. Cause come on, no child asks for pain, insanity, sexual abuse, abandonment, humiliation, neglect…As children we come by this honestly. Circumstantial.

But…I think we run with that bs and grow to treat ourselves the same. It’s learned. It’s what they wanted us to learn. The hate, the inability to accept help, the way we please others first, the way we deny our own needs…all learned. So many of us get stuck in- “they made me like this” and close that chapter. End of story.

But…for some amazingly brave souls, I for one, we came into this life knowing that we will eventually reclaim all that was lost, all that was surrendered, all that was taken. MOST people I have met on my healing path settle with giving their abuser(s) the free pass. MOST people. And that rips my heart to shreds.

A complete disaster -from where I’m sitting. I am watching the generations below mine imploding with dysfunction in worse ways than the original shit. It’s here now. The trauma is visible, palpable, begging to be transformed. It laughs, taunts.

When we forever get comfortable sitting in – they did this to me – and we do not tease apart the “this”, we never need to change or do things differently. We can even dismiss them and fake their non-existence. The hate and rage inside us continues to simmer. They are forever the villain and we get to stay forever the victim. Sounds cozy.

Don’t have any children please. Just don’t.

The action script unfolds something like this…

Repeat after me: I have a part in this problem play. I’m not the main character but I’ve been really good as a supporting actor. I have learned my lines, they are automatic. This is what they want for me, so I don’t upset the trauma cart.

But wait, I no longer need to be in this drama. Being actively involved in this show keeps me in a negative, regretful, low vibrational place. I will take the steps necessary to eventually exit stage left. I want aliveness. I want revenge. Getting better for yourself, yes, this is the ultimate revenge.

Put some tall boots on and trudge through the mud in your life. Sometimes you’ll be stuck, unable to move. Other times you’ll move swiftly like it’s your job. Well you really are self employed. It’s your business and your the only one with YOU skills. That’s either really good news or very bad news. But actually, you will completely OWN your own success. The pride and sense of complete accomplishment are yours. Forever. Now take that deep dive into who you most deeply are.

Your personal success will ripple outward to impact all around you and especially the generations to come. Show us your BRAVE.

Mother

Mothering

This pic reminds me that everyday we are brand new like a fresh Spring morning.

Every year, I’m a stranger. An imposter in my own life. Who am I to not love my Mother? How dare I? On a day devoted to the devoted. The selfless and emotional pillar of the family unit. Who tf am I to not be honoring and swimming in the love and gratitude so many feel?

Or do they? Media would lead you to believe that everyone has/had a fairytale Mom. The loving, doting and encouraging Mom. The – I got you – Mom. The way these Mother’s Day cards are written… selling the story of perfection, sweet caring and unwavering love.

My guess is that a little truth and authenticity sprinkled amongst these card stock fancies is in order. I mean, come on! Just close your eyes, hold your breath and add your John Hancock. When your childhood experiences were not in the love basket at all, these well meaning cards can be triggering and upsetting. Card after 8$ card. Sparkles, music, hearts and swirling fonts.

Wouldn’t a little REAL give permission for aliveness and much needed deep breaths? I’d like to design cards with reality in mind. Illuminating the humanness in relationships. The struggles, the lessons, the growth, the separateness – all crafting something beautiful. An imperfect end product. A beautiful mess.

“ Mom, I know you did the best you could and I honor your Spirit for that” “Mom, even though it’s been tough, know that I have learned so much from our relationship” Mom, thank you for bringing me into this world for the opportunity to do great things”.

Even when (especially when) we don’t have a relationship with our Mom – and or it is tumultuous – we gaining valuable insights. We become seekers of truth and who we came here to be. Because. Because we kind of have to. Because the pain is huge. The scars of not being seen, heard, validated, honored and cherished as a child are ever reaching. This is fertile healing ground for a Wisdom harvest.

This is the gift. To ourselves. The quest for wholeness. Without support from the most obvious source, our Mother. For whatever reason that source may have dried up or was never available. Or love was a trick or a performance in front of others. Whatever the situation. I don’t think I am alone by any means this Mother’s Day (or any other day)

We can live and honor and nurture each other. Anyways. There are so many of you in this same seat. I feel you. I see you. I support your mixed feelings on this day and everyday you feel like you’re missing something you think every other person has. They do not. I think many people have a high tolerance for trauma/abuse. Keeping them loyal to that which insults the rest of us. My tolerance is low which is why I chose to live and remain separate. And sane.

Every Mother’s Day I write a letter to myself. Expressing my gratitude to my higher self for never giving up on me. I talk about the partnership and unconditional love I have for my body, my mistakes, my humanness. I’ve got my own back. This is where I MOTHER myself. Turns out I’m very good at it. I suspect you all are too. Happy Mother’s Day to the amazing Mother in you.

Human Spirit

Owners manual

This girl. Right here. Should have come with instructions. She was born to rip shit up – perceptions, control, guilt – I shattered all of it – leaving the abusive family patterns in rubble. Why? Well why the fuck not? I was not made to keep quiet, guard the family secrets, keep the elders happy, drink the sweet tea to further rot my soul. They didn’t read the manual.

Hell to the NO. I was created to shake shit up and not to look back. Blazed trails to connect with the divine without the devil’s influence. And alone mind you – nobody followed, no one was willing to take the chance that this was the way out, to believe that my way was what worked. I traveled alone, leaving mounds of baggage behind. Claimed and abandoned.

After a while it was clear that they couldn’t stop me. They tried so hard for me to shut my fucking mouth. Whenever it opened truth spilled out. It worked. Made them look at their own dysfunction. That’s why I was hated, I knew there had to be a totally different way to live and I pushed hard for it.

Not just survive bathed in lies. But to live and thrive and love. I had to be brave enough to do battle with those who counted on me being silent. They’ll hate you for healing. No pain No gain is reality because it is excruciating for a long time, as life reconfigures around you.

They’ll hate you for exposing them. Try as you might, no one’s coming with. They’ll hate you for talking bad about the LOVELY family. I’m such a villain. That’s the branding. I AM forever branded. But fortunately I’ve turned that branding ass-end up and pointed it towards you all. If I was never “the villain” I would have never gotten well.

Truth be told, I am your worst nightmare when it comes to exposing shit. Illuminating the stuff others don’t want revealed? I’m your gal. My intuition honed – I see into people, their actions, their intentions. You can’t hide your trauma from me. I’m like a trained dog and how they wished I was house trained and would stfu.

Although I don’t expose other situations or call it out, I always respond in a trauma sensitive way which wins strangers over. The “how does she know” looks are frequent. But those who might try n shame me, turning what I “know” on those who still operate in that awry mode is rather enjoyable. When you’re no longer dependent upon those who wish to NOT SEE YOU RECOVERED, it’s rather enjoyable. When other’s hate and desire to silence you – has no power whatsoever, it’s enjoyable.

Regardless…It’s fun to be the sleeper, the underdog, the lost sheep, the black sheep, the weird one, the loner, the shy one. You taught me to be wild, to fight for my sanity, to get away. Up, up and away!!! Like underdog used to say. It’s really a shame I didn’t come with an operating manual – would have saved a whole lot of folks the trouble of sparring with me and LOSING.

Peace

heart

My tender heart

Leaf with Insect munched heart -afishnamedkaren

My heart. Wasn’t always tender. It couldn’t be. It had to hide out of sight. Huddled up next to my breath and closed eyes. Corner cozy. Middle of the room too exposed, heavy with anticipation of slaughter. When I was sure no-one was looking, I’d let it out, on a short leash. But never to fully let go. Never to fully catch my breath or settle into deep ones. Never to allow my eyes to be seen actually seeing anything.

So today, the tenderest of hearts is bleeding. And I won’t stop it. That would be more of the same. Instead, I encourage it to hurt, to grieve. It’s safe now. I craft the sweetest, loving alter. For it. Holding it with all my love pouring forth to strengthen its fabric. To nourish its lack. To wish its wholeness into existence. It’s on me. It’s in me.

But it just wants to bleed. So I let it leak and gush. Whenever it gets touched. Mostly in grief these days. Tragedy is so abundant around me. Right now. Still. My family of origin struggling, finally. The long term effects of unhealed, ancient sexual abuse. They’re drowning, not fighting to survive. Not stirring to action. Wallowing in tragedy disguised by addiction, co-dependency and self hate and so much more. My heart physically hurts for them. So I turn to self healing. Only for me. My 20+ yrs of intensive deep dive finally coming to fruition. A stocked toolkit I have gathered. Dipping into my spiritual 401K.

As peoples lives implode around me, I am standing in my center. Compassionate yet separate. My heart whispers, yes, this is it. This. My heart has so much to say. And I listen. And I listen. She’s kept it all in and now she can’t stop expressing. When I sit and check in, she oozes with sadness. Decades of betrayal, shame, loneliness, no right to exist, gaslighting, control – absorbed and stored in my body. The thaw is now.

I put my hand gently to my heart space. Letting her know that I will never leave her. That I will always protect us. And make time for her to express and ease the heaviness. My tender heart. For this awareness I am forever grateful. I am gifted a greater awareness and appreciation of why I’m here. Alive. A greater knowing of what life is about and how I can be there for others without losing myself in the process. Like a tree that is flexible in the storm. An observer, not a victim.

acceptance

Card AF

Here we are, Christmas quickly approaching. So of course I have no plans to spend time with my family on Christmas Eve. Flirting with attending vs. not attending family gatherings for 15 years, I have stayed away completely for about 5 years now. If you’ve been reading any of my earlier bloglets you have a really good idea as to why I choose to remain separate. It’s really difficult to stand your ground and distance yourself from those you were bonded to. When your Spirit is killed over and over and over as a child, some of us fight back as adults and reclaim our lives from the grips of traumatic memories/hauntings.

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.  So off I go to the store to the cheerful love your Mother Christmas card sectionRolling my eyes, I saunter up to the section of colorful, Christmasee cards, all ooozing with all things Mom-ness.

“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…”, and “When we feel the Christmas spirit we remember the love you gave to us…”.    Wow, um, nope, not a chance.  I must be in the wrong section.

I need the cards that are honest af. I know it’s Christmas and all but NO sugar-coating here… “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 2nd half 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 there is prob a market for them. LOL

IMG_3736

 So, I ended up settling on a 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, I didn’t extend myself into anything further that I would not heartfully agree with and she will never know I had anything to do with it. My poor husband will be absorbing some crazy when he visits her tomorrow. I’ll be sure to surround him with love and light, shielding his solar plexus from her battering ram creepy, devouring energy.

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 me to be owned by her again, to forget the toxic, abusive, sexually charged family we grew up in. To forget that she didn’t do her job and still denies it to this day, fucking my sanity. Thank-you, next.

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 influence—–

Despite all of this chatter in my head, NONE of this matters because I just simply bought a card, a Christmas card, nothing more than paper, glitter, a Stocking, teddy bear and words in cursive… with no promises, no agenda, no should haves, no attachments. Just a card.

Merry Christmas

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.

Holiday

13 Holiday Cluster Hacks

So, the Holidays, hmmmmm. I’m guessing that some of my readers may be very excited for Holidays. I am also knowing that there’s another, less visible, section of the general pop who are digging themselves a large hole, preparing to jump in to escape all things “family celebration”. I’m a proud member of the second, gasp less acknowledged group. Actually I’m a charter member, with 10 years of sanity under my belt 😂 (and all over my body, actually LOL).

Tis the season for hushed-toned conversations, multiplying in frequency, “Oh, she doesn’t come around” and “He doesn’t bother with us” even “I think she’s crazy, she doesn’t talk to any of her family”. “Who could walk out on their family?” Well, there’s ALWAYS a pretty good fucking reason why someone would cut the ties with their tribe. Always. Period. It’s usually one badass warrior mother f’er who can pull this off on the road to a wonderfully joy-filled life. Someone like um… like um… ME. Turning out to have found peace…away from their tragic family of origin. This, my friends, is the elephant in the room.

I write about this in support of those badassreaders I have. The people who don’t feel entirely settled when the Holidays arrive. Those who are depressed, anxious, angry, revengeful or indifferent when it comes to “family”. For those of you who are new to my blog, I use quotation marks when I write “family” because the word is LOADED – ya’ll know what I’m talkin bout. This is, in NO way, a normal word for me and can be very heavy. You’re feelin me.

Chances are, your “family” wants you to just forget everything that’s happened in the past and smile. They have. Just be pretty and pretend like everything is normal. Hell, deep down, you WANT to believe you have the best family ever (who tf doesn’t?) – So you, against your better judgement, attend the family Holiday party —- thinking it will be fine this time. You got this. Fuck them. I’m not going to let them get to me this time. Let’s do this. Put on your party clothes and grab a bag…big enough to carry home all those triggers. They weigh a ton you know. Happy Holidays 😳

It can be very very diff to go through the motions and attend Holiday gatherings just for the sake of keeping the peace. As if. As if you want to be there. As if. As if. Usually, there’s a price… predictably sacrificing your own needs and boundaries for the sake of others’ needs and happiness. Familiar tune. That shit never feels good and the next day we make ourselves pay for it in whatever way feels familiar to us.

Me? well, the day after, I’m curled up in a ball, feeling punched in the gut, filled with regrets, swearing to God I’ll never say yes again. So much crazy shit swirling in your head- hate for them, hate for yourself and guilt. Guilty for hating everyone and everything. Enter mind-fuck…maybe it IS me. Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing…they all seem happy 😳. Ewe, WAIT! NO.

So how does one survive this holiday scenario from the abyss? this gathering on the bloodline battlefield, this no-thankyou portion of family tree, this nothing-is-as-it-appears commemoration? I am so glad you asked

  1. put yourself first, listen to your heart and do what feels correct for you. It is your decision. No-one knows what it’s like to be inside of your body. Eyes wide open, ask yourself what you need, what would make YOU happy (for a change). What makes you feel good.
  2. know that you are making the best decision for you – only you, because you’re the only one who knows and lives your truth. 
  3. create a holiday tradition that touches your heart. Something specific to honoring what is important to you around the Holidays. Whatever brings you joy, keeps you centered, grounded and calm. Giving your time/talents to others or creating something for yourself with no outside influences.
  4. write about how things will be different if you do spend time with family over the Holidays. (write it out, read it to someone or keep for next year – so you can chronical your growth. If you’re into ceremony and ritual maybe you meditate on your written ideas and set fire to it when it feels complete. Re-writing your new and improved version of the Holiday – sending your intention out to the Universe for manifestation. 
  5. surround yourself with people (outside of your family) who support your feelings. Do not expect your family of origin to understand what you are going through. They don’t. They can’t. Period. Find those outside of your “family”. They won’t be triggered by YOUR “family” shit – they most likely have different baggage and can support you in an unbiased way. Their baggage is different. 
  6. stay away from alcohol if you can possibly help it. Your guard will be down and you may end up saying and doing things you prob wouldn’t have. Seriously, resist the urge with all you have. It can be so tempting to numb yourself out but save the drinking for when you are with more supportive, less triggery folks. You’re welcome.
  7. give yourself an energy bath – wipe that nasty energy off with a washcloth and down the drain it goes. Replacing the nasties with clean white or golden light. Filling in the holes that were punctured intentionally and unintentionally during your “family” time.
  8. If you must go into the battle zone aka “family” gathering, I suggest you envision a shield protecting you prior to entering the sketchy soirée. Shield your heart, solar plexus (core) and sacral chakras. In no way are you a bad person for protecting yourself from negative energy. It’s brilliant and gives you a slight giggle as you try on, “You can’t have me” or “You can’t get me” or “I’ll decide what you get from me”! delicious, absolutely delicious. Better than a plate of cookies! Self empowerment, strength and self advocacy sure looks sexy on you. You’re so hot! Only you can do this for you. 
  9. be gentle with yourself!!! it’s exhausting work to challenge your family’s structure. The emotions of guilt, anger, betrayal, sadness, frustration are all a normal part of creating boundaries with people who do not respect our “NO”.
  10. make a plan. escape route, get away line, time limit, certain people to avoid. Identify what is off limits for you and what you’ll spend less time around – these suggestions all go a long way to create a sense of control over the situation. No-one has to be IN on this plan. Use when triggered and repeat if necessary. Creating and sticking to boundaries will feel MEAN initially, mostly because we were raised to not have/expect boundaries. But if practiced enuff, you’ll get over it, trust.
  11. make alternate plans for the Holiday – out of state, out of the country, Mars? And divulge these plans early so people have time to get used to the idea! There, now you can breathe deeply. Can’t see the dysfunction from there can ya?
  12. fake an illness – who wants to be with someone who is ill… strep, chicken pox, cock-sakie (good Lord), or the dreaded flu? “He/she was sick” has a better ring to it than “he/she didn’t want to come” You might actually be the recipient of some sympathy and people will be glad you didn’t show up. And BONUS… your needs are met! Just don’t use Covid as an excuse – cause it’ll backfire and they’ll be more up your ass than ever. 
  13. even if you do not attend, and you’re anything like me, you might… feel like shit because you’re not with your family, feel like shit because you don’t want to be with them, feel like shit because you are feeling relieved and happy because you didn’t blindly agree to attend, feel like shit because you can’t imagine it will EVER be any different, feel like shit because you feel so alone and unloved and cast aside, betrayed, crazy. That’s a whole lot of shit to shovel. This can be very, very difficult to push through. I speak from experience. been through this for several holidays in a row. It’s so very important to create your own Holiday rituals and traditions.

Happy Holidays!!! 😘😘😘 Do YOU and let me know how it goes 💪 👑

authentic

Authenticity: No Known Address

Authenticity is not a place

I know how to run. For years. On empty. I’m so very familiar. Wishing, planning to move, transform into some other profession. Maybe when I’m a healer. I can be who I really am. Maybe when I’m an author life will be simple. Seamless. Less of a struggle. I will be fabulous.

Then the voices…This is not what I’m supposed to be doing. If only I could disappear, mold , morph into my surroundings so as not to stand out. Just live out my days until I can retire. My interests are different than my co-workers. I don’t fit in. Here. Idgaf about deadlines, schedules.

Relentless voices from within…this present career. I can’t show heart here. Too sensitive, too opinionated, and intuitive. I don’t fit in with these academics. Tough shell, (as my broken Mother would say) you need to toughen up so you don’t get eaten alive here. Head down, carry on.

I was a great AS IF actress as a kid. Pretend that you’re invested. You know how (the voices are encouraging me) Fake it till you make it. Like they all seem to be. Just go through the motions. Act like you care. Show no emotions, no heart. Play small WTF is wrong with you? Shut up and just act like everyone else.

Tragic truth tho…. Not trying, still I’m excellent in what I do, truly good at it. Imagine if I tried? Autopilot looks great on me. So the Lies. Lies I’ve told myself so I could play small. Survive feeling different. All lies for a long time. Years. Fooled even me.

I’ve spent years running from my present career. Running while standing still. Turmoil and angst kept just under the surface. Functioning just enough to get by. In it but not fully in it. Sweating even the small stuff. Because it all felt too big. Survival. I’m so great at Surviving. Fucking warrior. Beast.

Hmmmmm. Now that sounds amazingly familiar. The fuck it does! CHILDHOOD rears it’s brilliantly tragic head again. Always feeling like I was meant for greater things. Angry. So pissed that I wasn’t over THERE. Wherever “there” was. The distance I created from myself, excelling at not being present, going through the mundane motions of not giving all of myself…just existing.

After all I’d be exiting soon – so I told myself. Right? I need to GET AWAY from this meaninglessness. I was meant for greater things – my inner dialogue carried on. Years, years of contempt. Functioning day after day after year pushing away. Having a large fuck you for any chance to grow and learn and expand my expertise. Shadow fanning the self-sabotage fire.

But slowly, over the past 6 months. Slowly, as I age in this career and in years, things are shifting. The fog lifting.

In a profound way I am living more from center. I am sitting back, settling into my worthy. The gold is RIGHT here, and there and even there. As a human being, I realize my depth. And I don’t have to dumb myself down in anger. No killing what is emerging. No withholding my potential or heart or intelligence or intuition.

I realize that within the running is the lesson. I don’t have to BE or HAVE or DO ______ to realize the wisdom of me. There’s nowhere to be that is more fabulous or evolved than right here. Now. I can be who I came here to be REGARDLESS of where I find myself physically. This is true authenticity. Without the struggle, guarding or fearing aliveness.

Nothing is changing yet EVERYTHING has changed. There it is again, that movement yet standing still. Suddenly I am aware that there IS nowhere to get to. No final destination (physically anyway). The destination is satisfaction with who you are in any given moment. That private joke pleasantness that spreads over your existence like warm Winter pajamas.

The where’s why’s how’s when’s – become irrelevant. Once we are completely accepting and embrace our present situation – NO MATTER what that is… you realize that it’s not the actual career, environment, $, fame, or recognition that matters. What really REALLY matters is that you are undeniably YOU wherever you may find yourself.

I once heard a Spiritual Teacher say – we can’t expect to get “there” if we’re not comfortable with where we are. I thought, well that’s a bunch of hot bull shit. I’ll be happier once I rid myself of the misery “here”. What I could never take in was that the misery is INSIDE of me. Not created by outside circumstances.

Me: Unpacking my bags.

My mantra: Good news today – Authenticity has no known address.

inner work

Dimming My Own Light

Recently digging through an old box of school memories. So many surprises. Surprises? Well yes I lived my elementary and middle and high school days but was shocked to see some things stored in the plastic bin. Perfect attendance middle school – what? Why? I can’t make it a month now without taking a day off. I guess going to school was way better than spending the day at home with my crazy mother. Even a Math test looked good.

Then there’s all the awards. First place in this and that. I mean Jesus Christ even a gold medal finish in the 880 race. No memory of winning. At all. Looking at the blue ribbon, no memories, no feel good, no pride. Back then, and I’m guessing, the win prob felt good for like 5 mins then I quickly buried it under all the heaviness of the time. Winning or being perfect was like oh well, check it off the list. It was empty, dead, devoid of feeling or celebration. Too much light/aliveness was always extinguished.

My parents sorta expected that we were fabulous but there was no recognition for it. We quickly had to snuff out and semblance of joy and feelings of pride. It’s like having everyone cheering for you and you look down and everyone’s gone and your stuck feeling stupid and ridiculous with a smile on your face for absolutely nothing.

So do your best, I was told. Excel and win everything so you make us look like good parents – was the idea. But don’t you dare actually OWN or HOLD the joy or excitement or light for too long because then you’d be full of yourself. And full of light. And we can’t let you have that either because that pushes on our wounds of inadequacy. And we can’t have you running around all fabulous, bragging and knowing your worth and actually feeling special. Lord knows you won’t belong in this family.

All the while, everyday you told me I was a special girl and so loved. Praise, encouragement- All lies, all empty. All the time. No safety. No validation or recognition. No where to land. That’s all I knew. I learned so well. Was handed the self hate/dumbed-down baton and ran with it. I ran hard and fast. I was the best. Of course I was, I had no choice. Your presence no longer required for the massacre of good in me. Bloody massacre. I gotchu. I got this. I’m a good, obedient child. Fuck

Now estranged from the original executioner, I’ve noticed ancient strands still in my fabric. Threads of fear. Fear of being seen succeeding, not belonging and pressure to be, have and do the best. All self imposed. My material unraveling now. Dry rotting. As I starve those parts, silence the outdated voices -by noticing how I dim my own glorious light.

healing

May Break My Bones

Oh the bone pain, the freak out of incapacity. Having to rely on those with fake compassion. Bedside medical procedures without warning or explanation. I was frozen. Frightened. Wise and alone. Surrounded with smiling haters. Reliant on the living dead.

I was 19. With an undeniable thirst for victory. Mixed with a contempt for my own existence. Which would rise to the top, only time would tell. Armed with a deafening fuck you, a hardened shell ready to battle for my life. Stupid familiar territory. To show you that despite your impenetrable cold, I am victorious.

You broke me, now I’m am physically broken. This too, again, also, will break me down, this too, will devastate me. Defeat me. Because it has to. Because that’s what I’m here for. I signed the contract. To get me to do the inner work. This is the way it works. Bring it.

But. It will not. Own me. Extinguish my breath. Keep me down. Physical limitation fucking irrelevant to the drive inside. Just another mountain, jagged, inhumane, punishing, here to slay any signs of life. A life that is present but absent, just like yours.

But I don’t, won’t, can’t see it. Just like you. My life force stronger than the weight of tragedy then or now. Stronger than the weight of you. Inevitable. Predictable. But something needed to crack me open. Something.

So pregnant with dysfunction. It was time. On the brink of oozing the generational secrets. From a higher place, the universe spoke. A tragic accident, the undeniable catalyst for awakening. Spiritual awakening like a tsunami. Like someone left the truth dam open. Higher forces prodding the reluctant, like me, to visit with the emotional trauma beast within. Behind the dimples and unassuming sweet teenage smile…

Wild beasts of recovery and revenge running amuck. Their stories unearthed, audible. However difficult, we digest or reject. Each painful. Each useful. Over time we choke out the dark, discarding the lies and betrayal and other nasty reminders of remnants on evictions doorstep.

Thankfully the flight of graceful, here. The angelic realm poised to embrace my broken, trembling body, providing a safe haven in a sea of lost. Where it’s free to NOT be ok. Freedom to feel even the darkest of feels. Freedom to express the rage and terror, shame and shock. Openly.

Physical recovery parallels emotional. The unlikely victor I’ve met in me. Snatching back what was mine. Taking back strength, power and unearthing buried resiliency. Bones and emotional strength unbreakable, unstoppable, opaque, dense, unyielding. Like a bone that mends with fortification – now protected, safe and dependable – like no other bone. Unable to return to its previous condition. Maybe even stronger.

I’ve forever severed my dependency on the unstable and instead focused my reliance on my own inner wisdom. My own fortress of sanity, house of rock, walls of protection. Brokenness calls for attention to our unfinished places. So we may live our best versions of ourselves. Our most authentic lives. Without apology. We survive. And thrive.

inner work

Deep-Rest

The deep sadness that comes in. I let it in because I know it needs to be met. Seen. Heard. Somehow it feels familiar like a stranger that I keep meeting up with. I don’t want to know this part of me. I’d rather believe everything was fun and alive and innocent. Back then.

But no. This is real. Real deep. Real helpless. The horrible despair. Grasping to live. To feel. To be someone else. Have someone else’s childhood. Where are my memories? Did I have fun here? I think as I sit in my car overlooking a fav ice skating place. Did I enjoy it? Was I numb? An empty smile, laugh. What did I like?What was I like? Just an empty vessel filled with others thoughts and wishes?

Did I express my confusion? Did I cry myself to sleep? Why so few memories? Feels like 18 years condensed into 2-3. Was I even conscious? What’s in there? Who’s in there? The code was one of silence. I never expressed anxiety, terror, depression, frustration, rage – did I even know I felt those? Could I even feel? now I do, now I feel – overwhelmingly so.

The mind fuck, staggering. Did they purposefully place the dead inside me? To make sure I was so hollow? Not quite sure…maybe they were dead too. Definitely. I was absolutely raised by the dead. Nobody’s gotten out intact. No-one. But rather than be ok with that or find comfort with company – there’s none. They have their own BS meters. Mine is ultra sensitive. My soul wants better for me. I won’t continue to be bathed in untruths and stories of how wonderful childhood was.

Every once in a while I hit bottom. The lowest of raw emotion. Like all of my childhood experiences run up to me at once, begging to be rescued, clutching and clawing to be seen and heard. The least I can do for my inner girl now is to be present and let the unsettling memories and emotions have me now.

It was that bad. It was hopeless. Instead of wiping myself out I wiped out any expression of what as going on. I had no tools or support to process what was happening at the hands of those who were supposed to keep me safe. Victim? Absolutely. Staying that way? Absolutely not. I’m raising MYSELF from the dead.

I’ve turned the tables. My life now unrecognizable from what it was. But still, the past has a way of bringing us the next piece, when we’re ready to deal. I must be ready for the deep despair, the gut wrenching loneliness, the what’s the use of going on – type of heavy thoughts that fuel my desire to take the day off and brace for the all of emotion.

So I take the day to rest. Deep-rest or depressed, however I say it, I am surrendering my armor. Surrendering. My fake smile. My escape hatch and eject button. I stand up, stand tall and withstand the unwanted-est emotion, the triggered memories, the bullshit life in poverty and love lack. I just rest.

appreciation

In Love #20

I’m in love with sleepy smiles. Gently spreading east and west. Following a long night’s rest. Transforming the expressionless. An open invitation to hang out deep as shoulders sag. Head tilt welcoming each moment without expectation.

The glistening morning sun sweeping across my tired face, caressing my smile with golden warmth. I lie still basking, breathing, planning. Nothing. Existing fully in my expression. Of pleasantry, of nothingness, in the space between thoughts.

The gentle childlike energy swirling amidst my unassuming grin. Keeping me whole. Wanting me present. Between my lips, gracefully ushering in the newest, sweetest oxygen. To be ushered out in turn, discarded purposefully. Taking with it, everything challenging the grandest of facial postures.

I love sleepy smiles.

resilient

Flip Side of Healing

I would have denied it had someone told me this 20 years ago. But with eyes wide open now I clearly see how healing your traumatic past, without a doubt, fucks your life. The tragedy of healing is the cascade of eventual loss. It takes years to materialize…The falling away of everything as you knew it. The crumbling of excepting things at face value. The dismantling of living an “as if” life. The loss of what was once tolerable.

Truth has a way of rendering you lonely. Busts up your friendships. The people we’ve surrounded ourselves with are our friends/family for a reason. They’ve allowed us to play small, safe. Supported the same ole same ole you. But we were never meant to be stagnant, unchanged smallish beings. Unfurling from our childhood wounds, we stretch and grow in ways we couldn’t see coming.

This makes our closest people, well, squirm. Like underwear that slips up your asscrack every once in a while – you keep it around because it’s familiar, the material is soft and you’re too lazy to go out and replace it. You make peace with the constant irritation. Same with your friends/family, they may be the underwear or they may be like you, wearing the irritating version of YOU.

In my experience, people are generally adverse to excepting anything different than the present version of you – what they already know you as. If they went along with the newer parts of YOU that would mean they’d have to change THEIR ways also and that’s prob going to be met with kicking/screaming. So once you grow, there some of them go.

Enter deep healing…As we unravel our structure, a stranger is born, outgrowing the familiar. Our voice heavy with truth may be seen as righteous and self serving, bold and threatening. Finding and using our “voice” no longer renders us selfless and complacent. This is the price.

This is the the fucked aspect of healing…at least initially. It’s ok that not everyone shares in our revelry. Not everyone will be overjoyed that you are healing and growing, especially those inner circle folks. As we’re walking through the fire they’re hurting and groaning – and you’re to blame for their discomfort. Your presence awakens the creatures, usually dormant, in the caverns of their unconsciousness. 100% not going to travel deep with you.

So as you’re trying on all these new tools of self awareness, having needs, opening your heart, exercising personal boundaries, on your journey to greater sanity- it will feel mean. Super mean. Self reliance, honoring self, intuition and listening to the drive from your higher self to UNFUCK your life are NOT what we were taught.

Your “closest” people will resist and act like you’re killing THEM, doing something TO them. Getting healthy, doing the right things for your own mental health ripples out to everyone. Your people may get angry with YOU as they’re going to feel the waves of your higher vibration which will make it tougher for them to hold against their own darkness. Facts.

This is the lifelong challenge of healing childhood trauma. Navigating our path while creating a support system around us that doesn’t irritate our soul or dampen our Spirit. THIS is how we unfuck ourselves. Healing does have a difficult twist in the early stages. One of tremendous loss. Of great sadness. Of isolation. Of self doubt. As we lose who we thought we should be. All part of the process. All necessary on our self healing journey.

healthy · heart

Check Engine

If you have a car you are familiar with the CHECK ENGINE light. If you have a body you might also be familiar with the same kind of warning. The warning might come in the form of swollen joints, fever, chest pains or any other sign there is a security breach of wellness – inside your castle.

The early warning beacon, letting you know that you need to go in for service. Probably skipped that last service appt as things were going well. Why fix what’s not broke? 2 weeks ago my CHECK ENGINE siren went off in my chest.

I awoke with chest discomfort. A cramp of sorts that I just could not ignore. It had been less severe during the week but this was different.

Of course, I fast forward to my funeral. Have I made a difference? Will anyone miss me? When will my heart stop? Will it hurt? Then, the pain disappears just as quickly. Relief. But will it return? Will this be it?

As I wait for my appointment, I live my best life, wondering if each hour could be the last. Waffling between panic and satisfaction, I carry on. For the next 3 days I reflect on my life, how I’ve been able to bust up my FOO (family of origin) and continue to stand tall atop the rubble.

I am flooded with pride, my love for myself spilling from my pores, a purple mist entering my heart space. A healing mist, mist of comfort and knowing and grace. Angel’s exhaled grace holding my heart in tender appreciation.

I’ll be fine. My heart is fine. Scarred? Yes. A thorough exam and stress test reveal normal function. A beautiful, typical pitter-patter. Nothing wrong they say. My heart whispers, “there was never anything wrong with you.”

My check engine light is off for now. I resume normal function. Listening to my body, everyday. Slowing down to take notice of my needs. My self heal modalities cued up. My toolkit brimming. Self-talk extremely important. Ready for this to happen never again.

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.