gratitude

My Darling Gratitude

Today I am so thankful to lead a normal life. Making mistakes and laughing to others about it. Knowing it’s ok to be an unmade bed in a sea of “seemingly” perfect beds. It’s ok. Not perfect. I have gratitude for my awareness of…Shit’s def gunna happen, sometimes all in one day. Sometimes all in 30 minutes. I’ll be fine. I’ll fix it, or maybe it doesn’t need fixing. Maybe I’ll have gratitude for Spirit orchestrating things just the way life SHOULD unfold…

I feel gratitude for the folks on my path. Teaching me more about myself and how to BE in the world. I know most people I meet are caring and supportive and generous souls. I feel thankful that I can be real and messy and quirky and forgetful and have that be ok.

If these are the only issues today – it was a damn fine day. I feel thankful that I can dig deep and muster GRATITUDE even when life feels like a dirty trick. Even when it feels like someone might be filming me with a hidden camera. Even when everything I touch turns to shit. Even when. Gratitude lives here. Everyday.

What are you Thankful for?

resilient

I Heal

As a tree, I heal
Tapping into earth’s energy
My roots
Grounded in partnership
My branches reaching
To heights of heavenly support
Believing
My highest self a witness to Spirit
Receiving, sending love and compassion
Roots underground
We communicate
And heal our neighbors
We are a home
For feathered friends
Tiny critters
We stand centered and solid
In the wisdom of optimism
Be-ing healthy and alive
Tree medicine
bark, sap, pulp, buds
Then
Releasing, purging
Dropping what no longer serves
Extra weight and dis-ease
Uprooting as a final gesture of love
Making room
For the promise
Of new life, new connections
Earth and sky
New healing medicine
As a tree, I heal

awareness · exploration

One Sideways Glance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

anyways · appreciation · resilient · Uncategorized

Effortless

Today

I am letting go

of who I thought

I was

Who I thought

I should be

Who they told

me

to be

Landing in a softer

more supportive

place

of self acceptance

Landing in a softer

more supportive

place

of allowing

Landing in a softer

more supportive place

of wonder

By pausing

the seeds of overcoming

are sewn

The transformation

set into action

Effortless

Today

I am letting go

affirmation · resilient · Uncategorized

Thursday I Am New

Today I will be open to all possibilities.

Today I will start fresh.

Today I will know that I am worthy of greatness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today, Thursday, I am new.

awareness · challenge · resilient

Your Crazy’s Showing (part 2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uncategorized

Welcoming Committee

Suicide – present situation

Guess what? That shit started 50 something years ago. Not HIS job, not HIS ex wife, not HIS daughter who decides to be a man now, not HIS crazy neighbor who throws garbage over the fence, no no no nope. Of course all that shit does not help but when someone decides to take his/her self out of this realm – it’s very tragic, gut wrenching. Of course! And leaves the living wondering what the fuck we could have done to help.

The answer ? Who the fuck knows. What I do know though, is that it is truly not our responsibility, ultimately, to keep someone alive. I know, that sounds bad. Really bad. There’s a boatload of guilt waiting for us if we feel we can save someone and it turns out badly. News flash… sadly, anything we’ve done or haven’t done is not going to keep someone else here.

Having a particular, recent person in mind ———–Someone taught HIM to hate himself. Someone taught HIM to feel like he had no right to be born, exist or thrive. SOMEONE got into HIS head, into his body, into his essence and implanted that self-hate agenda REAL SUPER early in HIS life. Crazy-ass fucked up treatment for a child. As children, we cannot make sense of this. Most children just internalize the trauma coming their way and believe they deserve it – after all, we need love, even if that love hurts, it’s still better than nothing. So then, most times, we spend the rest of our lives mistreating ourselves because deep inside, on some level, we think we are garbage.

All the other unfortunate circumstances HE drew to himself (along the way, over the years) were for the purpose of healing. IMO. The Universe’s attempt to crack HIM wide open. Some of us cannot/will not/do not EVER muster the willingness to unpack that shit. Unpack the black box of death. The box labeled with the skull and crossbones – and heal the trauma that hides in the shadows and rips us apart each and every minute of our lives.

HE missed his life raft opportunity – by choice. HE ignored the life-raft attempts, HE was tired of the struggle and just couldn’t see the big picture …there wasn’t enough alcohol or drugs in the world to keep the darkness from bubbling up into conscious thought. The nagging feelings of worthlessness and doom mounting until the burden of forging onward was too excruciating.

I attempted to end my life when I was 7. How fucking tragic would that have been? All because of the unspeakable trauma I was experiencing at the time, most nights of the week. The weight of physical/emotional/spiritual trauma, compounded year, after year, after year, is suffocating – all while pretending that everything is fine. Trying to forget, burying the pain and hate and rage and crushing anxiety. You convince yourself that no-one else would understand or, for that matter, believe you anyways. There is shame and guilt and self hate and secrecy.

Some of us seem to find our way. We are able, with lots of help, to eventually breathe life into the parts of us that died.  We are able to separate from the tragic family unit we were born into. We are able to dig deep, form a new self and find a reason to live, to fight – and know that no matter what, we have to survive because otherwise, we won’t “win” – THEY will. And that would not be acceptable.

No matter how fast and long we run – our terror, shame and rage are on the welcoming committee upon our arrival.  Wherever we run, they’re there when we pull in. Our shadow is always waiting patiently for us to notice it and drag up a chair at a table set for two. Maybe share a cozy meal as we chat over the brutal details we’ve been running from all of our lives. Taking small portions or maybe just an appetizer today.

Or not. Maybe we don’t unpack that shit and take a look. Maybe we can’t. This is a set-up for possible eventual suicide. Trust. Please start unpacking your shit. You are lovable, you are seen and you have the right to be here. And to stay here, loved.

Holiday · Uncategorized

How To Survive (the family) Holidays -13 joyful hacks- you’re welcome

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 a whole other 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 fucker who can pull this off in search of 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. It’s 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, 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 your party clothes on and grab a bag…to carry all those triggers that are waiting for you. 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. 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 scenario? this gathering of triggers, this no-thankyou portion of family, this nothing-is-as-it-appears celebration?  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 is 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 only you can.
  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 and 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. 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. 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.
  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. envision a shield protecting you prior to entering a sketchy situation. Especially 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. Self empowerment, strength and self advocacy sure looks sexy on you. Only you can do this for yourself.
  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 has strep, chicken pox, cock-sakie (good Lord), or the dreaded flu?  Not only will you get sympathy but people will be GLAD you didn’t show up. And BONUS… you will get lots of sympathy.
  13. even if you do not attend, and you’re anything like me, you feel like shit because you’re not with your family. You feel like shit because you don’t want to be with them. You feel like shit because you are feeling relieved and happy because you  didn’t blindly agree to attend. You feel like shit because you can’t imagine it will EVER be any different. You 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 went through this on several holidays. It’s so important to create your own Holiday rituals and traditions.

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