Dread

Eviction of Dread

Wake up with that catastrophic feeling. The exhale feels too deep, too dangerous to surrender to. I may not be able to take anything in if I let go and give everything away on a breath. Inhalation shallow as to not take anything in -too deeply- or permanently.

This one feeling as I wake – Can’t believe I have to keep doing this.. -doing what? (I question the feeling) Keep living? So elusive and slippery…Where TF does this feeling come from? And before I totally freak and want to run far away from this feeling, I remember, it’s JUST a feeling.

An ancient feeling. Like something I’ve been battling against for lifetimes. Past lives. The impending doom, someone coming to the village to burn it down, to capture me and throw me in a dark cell with rodents, feed me to the wild beasts, tie me to 2 horses who run in opposite directions, publicly hang me because of my wisdom, medicine, practices and beliefs. Feels so real and connected to pure DREAD.

It hits most often when I’m riding high, in a particularly good place, feeling assured that I “got” this life thing and it doesn’t GOT me. When I have the upper hand on living. Feeling bulletproof. Dread wants me to know otherwise, steal my joy and aliveness.

The darkness that comes with this early morning dread… first seeping in when I rest in the semi-conscious state before becoming fully awake. So slippery, this feeling. Creeping in when my defenses are still groggy, at peace. Something triggers deep inside to attempt to rob me of this morning promise and serenity. Fucking joy stealer 😩

There is recognition. I am positive I deeply know this place well. Like the bottom of a dark sticky pocketbook 🤢 The empty, cold, sharp walls of a hopeless existence. Dread thrusts me onto the edge, teetering over the vast cauldron of self hate and disgust for living well and being SEEN living well. It attempts to talk me into despising everything including myself.

The dread is borne from wanting to extinguish my own life. Bourne of overwhelm at the thought of continuing to carry a burden and secret much too heavy for my petite frame – just a whisp of a human, exactly what they wanted for me- to wipe myself out. Ending my own life….yes, the icing on the cake, the bow on the package.

Another life ruined, how smug their expressions. Fuckers. Hoping and praying I would trip n fall and impale myself on the cross I carry. This dread, as an abuse survivor, is etched into my fabric. Bathed in dread every day – I was an adorable, absorbent little sponge. Maturing, I could be loyal to their dark foundation they so carefully poured into my frame OR I could boldly refuse to be the load bearing wall of their house of horrors.

As I choose to no longer carry the weight of all that has transpired, I have something for ya- a big Fuck You with your name on it. I’m stepping out from under the weight, I’m done. I didn’t perish, I wasn’t silenced, I don’t hate myself like you did, I didn’t repeat what you did to me, I didn’t act my rage out on others. No, I didn’t. I chose a much different path. The path of revenge.

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Sweet, delicious revenge. By telling the truth, by being fabulous anyways, by cutting the cords, hooks, chains – of your essence – away and off of me. To shred the dread you branded me with and vomit it back all over you. Free. Free to be who I came here to be. Without interference. Without permission. Zero Apologies.

Resurfacing of dread, 42 years later has a way of reminding me of all the ways I am glad to be free of you and your sad lives. Freedom is sweet. The independence amazing. The ease of life, gorgeous. Knowing I turned – and continue to turn dread into celebration? Amaze balls outstanding.

You are not your dread. It was given to you. You came by it honestly. It is not the truth of who you are. It may try to rent space in your life. Dread is full of lies to keep you playing small in a promising life. Someone may have thought your light, your powerful energy, needed to be snuffed out. You may have been a threat to someone’s power, as your light was blinding them. Take back your light, your magnificence, your power. Don’t just exist. This is what thriving looks like. This.

How are you evicting dread from your life?

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.

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?”