resilient

Simple Life Cake

The recipe of Life. Complex as it goes. I usually shy away from a lengthy list of ingredients. Too complex for my rebel soul. I, like most, prefer an easy path without too many items clogging up the works. More often though, there’s a maze of small and large tragedies jockeying for validation. Sprinkled with the connection of warm souls, add in condiments of personal accomplishment and a side dish of resilience. No shortage of ingredients in our lives. But all ingredients add to the final recipe, not just the sweet ones. Right?


Sometimes we take a no-thank-you-portion of negative/concerning experiences simmering and rising up into consciousness, for healing. Sometimes we lick the bowl containing all the positive/feel good lessons. This morning I am aware of this swirly-twirly mixture. Feeling amazed by my accomplishments, master chef, in the kitchen of life. Then, sensing the sadness and weight of how I stir it up once again. Pressuring myself to add more, be more, do more. Complicating the recipe. The recipe of life. Taking responsibility for our own healing comes with rewards we can taste.

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?”

compassion

Thoughts On Compassion

Portrait by A Fish Named Karen 2012

Compassion is having the capacity to hold, and the wisdom to allow, deep love to flow from your mature heart space as an energetic offering, to a recipient/situation.

Compassion is not subject to permission, boundaries or reception.
It’s a private, organic offering/agreement between your higher self and ancient, wise mother heart.

I see compassion as two chambers of the same heart. One holding and honoring what WAS and the other holding and honoring what IS. Right and wrong, good and bad don’t exist, there is space and acceptance for all of it.

Compassion is having room for the entirety of an experience and seeing the inherent beauty, anyways.

Compassion is when you realize that caring deeply about others does not mean you have to surrender or negate some part of yourself.

Compassion is our loving acceptance of shades of gray in the human condition.

Compassion is a process by which you gaze, with eyes of softness, on those who could use holding, through their pain and struggle, especially when they can’t/won’t help themselves – regardless of their “deserving it”.

Compassion is standing onshore, looking into the eyes of pain in another, and remaining separate (without jumping in after them/merging with them in their pain) and loving them from dry land.

Compassion is realized, offered and received when the path to heart wisdom has been significantly cleared of the debris of trauma.

acceptance · anyways · awareness · Change · exploration · healing · healthy · heart · human condition · Human Spirit · inner work · light in the darkness · Moving On · old patterns · Reframe · Satisfied · See · self love · self talk · shadow · soul · trust · Uncategorized · Universe · validation

Power Up

When you start to speak the truth

When you find your voice

People will want to silence you, shut your shit down. Continue reading “Power Up”

acceptance · anyways · awareness · Celebrate · Change · Comfort · gratitude · healing · healthy · heart · human condition · Human Spirit · inner work · Joy · listen · Manifest · Moving On · old patterns · persevere · presence · Reframe · Satisfied · See · self love · self talk · soul · Thrive · trust · Uncategorized · Universe · validation

Retiring My Emotional Armor

Yesterday was an emotional day for me. The purging hurt so good. The death of an antiquated pattern, shedding my dumb-suit. My beauty radiating blissfully from under the decaying camouflage. Reflecting on how different I am today. It hit me hard. Like my heart was cracking open to love – love for myself. Continue reading “Retiring My Emotional Armor”

abuse · anyways · awareness · Change · connection · gratitude · healing · healthy · human condition · Human Spirit · inner work · light in the darkness · listen · Moving On · old patterns · persevere · presence · Reveal · Thrive · trauma · trust

Shhhhhh

“It’s unbelievable how many ppl carry this around with them and then all of the sudden come out with – I was sexually abused as a kid. They go their whole life, carrying it around and never say anything”. Continue reading “Shhhhhh”

acceptance · anyways · awareness · Change · childhood · Comfort · gratitude · healing · healthy · human condition · Human Spirit · inner work · light in the darkness · Manifest · old patterns · persevere · Reframe · Sadness · See · self love · soul · Survive · trauma · triggers · Universe · validation

Write her a letter, he said.

 

“I need to talk to her, I love her and miss her, please give this message to her”. This is what my Maternal Influence – as I call her – texts my husband. Continue reading “Write her a letter, he said.”

anyways · awareness · Celebrate · connection · exploration · gratitude · Human Spirit · inner work · Joy · light in the darkness · Manifest · Moving On · persevere · Play · presence · Reveal · self love · self talk · Survive

Welcome, My 200th Follower

Welcome!!!  Well, actually, just practicing cause I am 3 away from that honor. But I can feel it in my bones, IT’S HAPPENING. Did I tell you that I honor my milestone followers with a special gift? Beyond excited for this opportunity… my 100th follower declined receiving anything from me so instead, I celebrated my son’s girlfriend’s influence on my getting started on this adventure. She helped me to create a forum for my voice, stronger than ever as I crawl, walk, jog and finally sprint back from an insane upbringing.

I was happy to have one reader stop by – what a crazy good validation of my truth … perfect strangers responding with “yup” and “uh-huh” when I threw it all out there, sobbing privately between the lines. Somebody understood God damn it, lots of somebody’s cheering for me and some offering a glimpse into their long held hell with spontaneous comments.

A true treasure I’ve unearthed in this blogging business. Every time I am struck with an idea, a memory, a bitch😂 or celebration, I am free to let the words flow like somebody left the gate open. Without hesitation, censoring, dumbing it down or guilt – I just say it anyway. How beautifully organic. I am beyond blessed to be seen and heard in my truth. How blessed am I to have an audience to connect with… no doubt, this is sacred work.

Naming my Gratitude WordPress! 😊