I see you. I see how you had to pretend. Pretend to be thriving, happy, excited, loving, forgiving and alive.
I see you. I see how you had to be invisible, well behaved and all accepting. Without rest. Without safety or love or comfort. Without comfort for your deep sadness, your betrayal or terror. Without a place to hide to get some rest, to be anonymous.
I know how hard it was for you to live in survival mode. On auto-pilot. I see how lonely you were, blank, rageful.
You stuffed it all down. Storing/carrying it all away for another day. You had the wisdom to know if you unpacked it all you would not survive. You would not be able to keep it together and lead a normal life outside of an institution/hospital. The only option you knew was to keep playing, keep going. I thank you for this.
Years, empty years stacked together like 5 mins, like a long nap. A nap of safety, skimming insanity. Shocked but no signs outwardly. Terrified, but with a smile. Rivers, oceans of sadness underground.
Now we’re tapping in, once again, we’re here, together, my inner lovely. Both alive, feeling, hurting – lifetimes of hurt. It just comes. Day after day. Without obvious invitation. But the soul knows the timing is perfect.
We will rise, with more depth, available heart. Widening the range between despair and joy. To feel and experience everything in between. Fully. This time, you are not alone, I see you and support you like a good mother would, like she should. My promise to you.
I never lost the child within. She’s right here next to me. Gathering trinkets on walks. Stones that peak interest, pine needles that prickle on my cheek, pods yet opened, full of possibility and promise of another season.
Feathers of hawk, abandoned hornets nests, berries artistically encased in ice – saved in the freezer, crimson leaf pressed in the pages of the Mother Earth catalogue, brown, striped seeds of mystery.
Recuerdos, mementos for recalling yesterdays, telling the earth’s story one tchotchke at a time. Don’t lose the child within. He/she is counting on you.
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.
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.
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.
When you weren’t looking I was having fun. When you weren’t looking I made friends. When you weren’t looking I got all A’s and B’s. When you weren’t looking I got trophies and ribbons. Praise and encouragement from teachers and strangers. When you weren’t looking I followed all the rules.
When you weren’t looking I was unraveling. When you weren’t looking I was starving myself. When you weren’t looking I kept our family secrets. When you weren’t looking I hated you. When you weren’t looking I was planning to die. When you weren’t looking I felt isolated and weird. When you weren’t looking I wished it was you who died. When you weren’t looking I could feel crazy.
When you were looking I told you I loved you. I keep our family secrets. When you were looking I followed your fucked up rules. When you were looking I believed all your fabrications about people and the way life worked. When you were looking I believed the beautiful, sweet story of our tragic, broken family. When you were looking I was the perfect daughter. When you were looking I silenced the truth I felt so I wouldn’t upset you. I silenced who I was because I always felt defeated. When you were looking I made it seem like I had a sane Mom.
Your looking, an uncomfortable look of ownership, dangerous caged rage. Those eyes tho, burned a hole in my soul. A hole so deep, my lifetimes fell in, waiting to be rescued. But you were still looking so they’d have to wait. Because when you were looking, it wasn’t safe for me to own anything. It would be taken. Any semblance of aliveness was forfeited. No choice at all, the need for food, shelter and love was ever present. When you looked, I surrendered it all, smiling. Set on fine China, dainty flowered setting that hid the tears. Because when you were looking, appearance was Queen.
When I was looking, the color turned to death. I could flirt with pink and green and orange and red but only for a minute and it surely would be detected and devoured. This fed the hungry beast inside you. When no-one was looking. It slithered, smiling, through the caverns of our existence. Spreading it’s brown paralyzing slime onto our child lives. Twisting n turning so we never could sense direction. When no one was looking. Your inner beast ran through our home salivating, relentlessly stalking. This was not a safe existence for children, when no one was looking.
Intolerable and exhausting. Swimming upstream from birth. We surrendered, we yielded to crazy, to the killing of our innocence, our right to be free, to live unburdened. There really was no choice. We handed it over because we’re just children. We craved belonging, safety, love, softness, easy breath, dreams. Sacrificing our well being over and over. The darkness victorious, stamping out our light, our dreams, our drive. When no-one was looking.
Mission accomplished. Torched souls, we assist you in drawing the shades of life, a smiling mask donned in public, living “as if” so as not to raise any suspicions about our fucked little lives. All this darkness placed inside, the saccharine sweet lies conflicting with and twisting our fight for sanity, lucidity, transparency, space.
All this “looking” but no seeing. Your eyes glued shut Mom. You didn’t really have to “see”your food to be able to eat it, now did you? You could smell the life force, the need to be stripped of our aliveness, our need to be silenced and gutted. Sensed like an animal in the night. Just to feed your emptiness. She fed from and possessed our every emotion, when no one was looking. She took everything. Our joy, our anger, pain and peace. And handed us back blankness, autopilot, apprehension, lack of self trust, hate and suspicion of others. Insanity. We learned so many things about darkness and dancing with crazy.
I’ve transformed, Mother. And what a trick this MOTHER word! I’ve stripped your ugly from my existence. No longer a subscriber. I was the one who escaped, by some small miracle, I made it. My Spirit rose up to assist me. I was made for greater things. Without your sad influence. Without you looking, I’ve dug and scraped and washed and scoured you from my loins. 30 years is a long time to live, surrendering one’s essence, in service to another. “Out of service” an outstanding book title I foresee in my future. Although, “when you weren’t looking” could work, too. My mind is free. Free to roam without restriction, censor or proper.
Thank you Mom for leading me to the edge and shoving me off. Body sinking to guaranteed demise, my Higher Self was there to catch my fall. The Human Spirit is a powerful force that can lift you up and beyond what you thought was possible. Listen to the call, take the difficult challenge of putting yourself first, staying the course and rising from the asses.
This week I met a child. No ordinary child, you see, she was extraordinary. What made her extraordinary you wonder? Well, really nothing and everything. She, unknowingly, touched some of my unhealed shadow. She was able to stir up some of my long held, restricted, outdated beliefs…her presence so magical, playful and open hearted.
So rooted in the moment, she held my hand and started to dance, spinning around, motioning for me to dance with her. In a public place. We danced and twirled. I complimented her “purse” as I referred to it. She quickly, confidently corrected me, “My satchel”. “Oh!” I said, amused, “Of course, how silly of me”. She added, “Do you like my dress?” I replied, “Yes, it’s amazing, the flowers are so pretty.” She is usually adorned with the most fun, colorful, feminine, alive dresses and proudly displays them where ever life takes her.
Everyday for this child seems exciting, like it’s her first and last day on this earth – all rolled into one. Excited as hell to be here, experiencing, tasting, feeling, making the most out of each social encounter, showing up as is, beautiful. Simple, no complications. A gift to everyone around her.
Where has OUR sense of honor – for our own existence – gone? Did we grow out of it? Was it shamed out of us a long time ago? Hers is alive and well, on display for all to see. No apologies, no minimizing, she is fabulous and it’s palpable. Why do we save our “ “special items/clothes/shoes/perfume/jewelry/colorful accessories” – for an event that seems worthy? WE are worthy – WE ARE THE EVENT. We ARE what we’ve been waiting for.
Even in the most mundane days/tasks the raw material for fun, joy and connection is waiting for us to notice. I share the experience here, with this extraordinary child because she truly is “special”. In a society where the highest academic achievement is still king – I find it to be a bit shameful that infectious joy, compassion, aliveness, presence, spontaneity and heart are not as prized as report card marks. I became the student this week. She, just living in the light, is a natural teacher.
I’m in love with deep breaths. The boundless kind refilling my sails. Conscious sips of love welcomed into my chest scape. Dismantling an anxious foundation fortified with last weeks sludge. Thought by thought, I see them to the door. Some reluctant, but soon completely evicted from this wisdom pipeline of the soul.
Conscious or unconscious. I breathe. Resetting the tick, time, tock. Slicing up deadlines and have-to’s. Making manageable the most tangled armor. This luscious, quenching air filling the deep crevices between uptight and spacious. Grounding the body right here, right new
The holy rolling of chest. Breath enters and exits on two lane highway traveling South. Drawing in fuel, to our receptive muscles. Once again, saying yes to life. Then the exit North. The release of rib cage tension allowing drainage of all that is not serving us. All that has expired within us. Each cycle bringing us closer to ourselves.
In an endless cycle of fresh. An endless cycle of Peace. An endless cycle of Presence. I’m in love with deep breaths.