Thursday, December 27, 2007
For anyone experiencing Holiday Fallout, I wanted to encourage you (and myself )to tend the wound left by the sword if it hurts. My wound was infected for a long time, self abuse through drugs, smoking 2 packs a day, acting out, you name it. When it hurt then I ran to one of those standby behaviors. I just did not know what else to do and my early environment laid that track down for me. Everyone around me acted out sexually, used drugs, had awful self esteem, and the plague of denial which is still in effect to this day. So now, when the wound hurts, even though I am on the healing path, I have to accept that it will hurt from time to time. Which it does. Even my PHYSICAL cesarean scars still twinge and hurt if I push on them a certain way, like doing the rocking horse in yoga, BUT.....
I think mine feels better today because I refuse to pour salt in it by not resting, by yelling at myself in my head about my family of origin (Why can't they change, Why do I not inspire in them the change I want, Why this, why that..), or by being generally critical toward myself. Today I woke up and took the bambinos for a walk. I do not feel like running today. I am going to allow myself to not run.
My intention today was for them to get some fresh air and let them get their ya-yas out, and for me to inhale some of mother nature. Mama Earth is my elixir for all things. I just feel naturally pulled outside when upset, unbalanced, sick, whatever the case may be. I feel so much better after going out with my little ones in the woods. I had dreams about my horses all night, riding them and one was very upset(symbolic), and my Uncle and Aunt made an appearance as well. This is my father's brother and his wife and children. I loved and adored those babies when I was a teenager-the oldest was born when I was 15. In cutting ties, I lost those girls. And my horses. In my dreams I am fighting with Aunt Denial and Uncle Minimizer. I see the oldest girl under some kind of saran wrap. I think I was trying to remove her. My dreams are always taking place on that damn farm. Parts of me feel like they are still there. In the form of my equine counterparts. I woke up feeling like the dream was actually happening, on some level it is, but anyhow, I had to really rein myself in this morning. (That shit is like a vortex sometimes.) Deep breaths, easy on the coffee, good veggies, long walk with beautiful children, lay down and read while the boys play a new game, and allow the feelings to float around while I rearrange my head and plant myself firmly in NOW. When I was a little girl I took such comfort in the woods and in animals. No matter where you live, try to have animals and nature in your life.
Today I am saying more affirmations than usual, drinking Yogi Detox tea with the intention of cleansing my emotional field(my emotional field is full of lavender blossoming, by the way) and when I get that heady feeling or anxiety feeling, I stop what I am doing, lie down, and breathe. Right now my kids are getting ready for their lavender oil sea salt bath. So to decompress from the holidays, do your affirmations, detox with tea and salt baths, set your intention to "heal", and get a healthy dose of nature! This is tending the wound.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
First picture is of me with my youngest son. The second is of me with my first born son, who opened me up in so many ways. Fritz pictured above. My horse. I am unaware of how he is doing these days as I do not speak to the incest family. In the here and now, joy is doing a dance.
Oh boy, here come the holidays...In years past the PTSD would be stirred up like a sandstorm. It gets easier as the years go by, thankfully mainly due to the healing effect of my family, my kids and husband. We have a clean slate with which to begin our nouveau familial style. I love my boys and husband so much. I feel that they inspire me and bless me...not just in the usual ways, but when I feel lost in the past, they bring me to center and keep me going just by being themselves. This is one of the ways motherhood and partnership heals me.
When one of them has a need, or a want, as they do a zillion times a day, I am snapped back into here and now. The here and now, this has been my focus. I tend to criticize myself and tend toward perfectionism in myself that I would never expect of anyone else. I am working very hard on healing this quadrant of the wound!! Perfectionism is a synonym for masochism, and self sadism. I feel so grateful for my family, and for surviving the trauma of my mother abandoning me, and my father raping me all those years, not just sexually but emotionally and spiritually. When I met my husband, I was in an unhealthy place, still tied to the blood family on my father's side. I was self destructive. The sight of him was like a reflection, and the image was of safety, goodness, love, and family. As the horses once did, Troy reflected my innate goodness back to me and I him. Wow. What a gift.
It was a momentous milestone for me to break away, ignoring the drone of bad advice and misguided emotional "support", telling me to come home and live there and be close. Be close. The incest web. I said no thanks to that and stayed with the man I would marry and become a mother with. It was very hard as the family, as most dysfunctional families do, knew how to manipulate me. I really left home in 99, I just kept going forward, years passing, rising like a phoenix. Very daring for me. The one thing they really had to wield were the horses. I began riding when I was 3. My horses gave me a sanctuary, they loved me unconditionally. They were magical. As I grew my grandmother, my father's mother, was "grooming" (interesting choice of words, huh?)me as she put it, to take over the family business. I elected a very different path and the shit hit the fan. Both my grandmother and grandfather tried making me feel so guilty if I ever desired anything outside of the horses. This was sacrelige! Of course I did desire other things, especially my own interests as most teenagers do, but their guilt worked.
I miss those horses. In 2004 I had to walk away from them, and one special one in particular. I chose my baby, my husband, their lives and mine over the horses. Over the family, over the pull of the incest web. In 2004 I even cut ties with my grandparents for good, filed a rape report against my father, received flowers from Eve Ensler, and began examining my relationship with my mother. The year of emancipation. My breaking away from them and thus the genesis of my breaking the cycles really began years earlier, in my mind. I was digging out of prison, misguided at first, in that I tried escaping through drugs and unhealthy relationships. I guided myself into the realm of true escape after I grew tired of hurting myself for things someone else did to me. I put myself first. My own mother never put me first, she left me with my father. My heart felt like it was being mutilated when I thought of my child ever feeling that. Over the years I have stayed in touch with that pain, and the pain of my father's abuse. It has kept me more empathic. Somehow she, my mother, lacked that fierce maternal bond. I was attached to both of my parents deeply, as children are. I am also incredibly bonded to my kids. My husband thinks I am more bonded to them and in touch intuitively with them than anyone else on earth. I love that he thinks that and am proud that I am!! Not apologizing for my goodness folks. Not gonna play it down either, I am a pretty great mama!
I give them what I never had. I feel the enormous ache and grief over my own losses as a child, I vow every second of every day that not only will I NOT repeat things, I think of what I WILL do. What can I add? Asset based thinking here, what can I give, not just what can I avoid doing. I can make a conscious effort to show my love and manage my anger and model healthy things for them. I add cafe dates, volunteering at my son's school, I teach them to be aware of mother earth and all her creatures, I honor their innocence and vow to protect it no matter what, I watch them grow and learn and try to appreciate the challenges they present me, like being more patient. Watching them safely develop and explore their bodies and express their emotions so freely is amazing and challenging. I was never allowed to feel my anger or even my joy fully. Especially not anger. Oh hell no, no anger for Sarah. And joy stifled by the always present threat of things falling apart as they so often did with my dad. He could never deliver a promise, hold down a job, keep a stable home for me. I remember when toys had to be brought back because he could not afford them. I still struggle with letting my hubs go out and shop for me at the holidays. I freeze up and feel like I am 7 again, walking through K&B, trailing my dad as he walked up to return gifts. John Lennon played in the background, singing about so this is Christmas, and what have you done? He promised a house and a dog, a job that he would keep, a mom for me, he promised to not touch me there anymore. All broken, all broken. I chose my husband because I knew that he would never do such things, although the sick little girl inside of me wanted a jerk to replay trauma with. As for the past, the holidays I think of them. All of them, horses, people, red velvets ribbons. Are they ghosts? I don't know. William Faulkner said "The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past. " Interpret as you will, but it's all about tending the wounds and simultaneously living in the here and now. We used to decorate their stalls with stockings and wreaths and we had parties for all the clients. People came and brought gifts and food, we even had a costume contest for the HORSES!! I miss so much their soft faces, their whinnies, their cantering up to me, the smell of the barn, like cedar and shavings... and I miss being so good at something. (I won all kinds of awards all of my life, equestrian success was a huge part of my having any self worth.) I love Angela's metaphor, though it is more literal than metaphorical for those of us who have experinced abuse, of the sword of trauma piercing us. I remember thinking to myself about five years ago, this is like an iron maiden. I feel like I am in one of those iron maidens, knives coming from every direction. Horrifyingly accurate. It is like a sword, all of it, not just being raped. Not being protected, no armor. The armor should have been my mother, my grandparents. My uncle and aunt who chose denial. The sword is out and now we tend the wound. I am tending the wound. Part of tending the wound so it does not get infected is acceptance of what was and cultivation of hope for what NOW can be. NOW, the reality is that as a parent I must accept that I AM good. I must accept that goodness. It is so hard to accept our own goodness at times. I can not explain why my mother and father, grandparents and uncle did not see my goodness and honor it as I do my children. Blinded by their own unhealed wounds, enormous gaping wounds infected with drug addiction, emotional numbness, denial, inability to protect the vulnerable ones, and fear. Infected and blinded.
It was what it was. I am who I am today and though a part of me still needs to cry, rage, and ask questions, thats part of what helps me walk solidly on my healing path.
In the meantime, in the now, I am creating, with my husband and family, joyous, grateful, creative and impassioned energy for our new family tree. I know the reverberations will be felt into the next generations, and the little girl I was will feel the ripples too. I invite her to be here now, now and always.
Let's all invite our parts, our little ones inside, to come and be here with us now. They are waiting for our love and safety so they can leave the dark rooms, where they have been alone and crying, and come into the light where they belong. We can parent them now. If you are not a parent, you actually are a parent, because we all have inner children who need love, they are all the children we once were at certain times. The traumatized ones need us. And we will rise up like the phoenixes, and be here for them now. Namaste and Love to All~S
Monday, December 17, 2007
We are all Angela Shelton, or know someone who is.
Angela approached me with the job of spreading the word and the healing, and I have been working hard at it and have no plans to stop.
(2 big mouthed women we are)
We are team members of Angela Shelton. I am heading up the state of NC. We are teachers, students, parents, nurses, parents, sons, daughters, therapists, activists, advocates, non-profits organizations, lawyers, professionals, healers, and fans of Angela Shelton. We have seen how Angela's powerful documentary, Searching for Angela Shelton has changed many lives and we want everyone to read her book!
We believe that healing yourself heals the world. Angela Shelton inspires and empowers people and we want you to Find Angela Shelton! (We are pretty much finding ourselves when we do this, and each other!)
For those who have ordered a copy, you can read the private Finding Angela Shelton Blog for readers only!
Just email your proof of purchase or pre-order to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be added as a reader. Angela just posted a letter that came from the social worker she had when she was eight!
WHY TAKE THE CHALLENGE?
*Angela Sheltons' message has helped save thousands of lives - including her own!
*You can change the lives of others simply by starting a conversation.
*1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are abused in their lifetime.
*There are an estimated 39 million survivors of child sexual abuse in America today - let's get the book into their hands!!
*Abuse effects everyone in a community emotionally, financially, and spiritually. This is not a women's issue - this involves all of us.
*Angela Sheltons' message has moved forward through dedicated people who have healed, who care about their communities, and who have loved ones who have been victims.
*One person and one voice makes a difference - put them together and your team could save thousands of lives!
Email email@example.com and request to be a Team Leader or Volunteer in the subject.
The book is a Call to Action for all survivors to end self-abuse that is caused by trauma. The more people Find Angela Shelton, the more people heal.
The more people heal - the more we heal the whole world and make life better for all of us.
DOWNLOAD A PORTION OF THE BOOK and begin a conversation.
Team up in high school, college, university, faith center, women's center, or support group and take the challenge.
Reach as many people as possible and get them to order the book.
Finding Angela Shelton is an escape route out of pain and into joy.
HOW DO YOU SPREAD THE WORD?
SPEAK OUT ABOUT ABUSE. Educate yourself, ignorance is only bliss for abusers!
If people act weird or uncomfortable, they definitely need to hear more!!
START CONVERSATIONS - Talk talk talk - by staring conversations you are creating social change. Post on the blog on facebook and myspace about why you are changing your life and changing the world and how Searching for and Finding Angela Shelton affected you. Share why this book is so important to you. Share your own story and listen to the stories of others. Be an example - breathe! You will be helping a lot of people out of suffering.
CALL PEOPLE - call five friends and tell them about the book and about Angela Shelton. Share a secret. You are not alone.
TAKE ACTION! Begin to write your own story. Start a blog. Write a song and sing it! This is about you changing your own patterns and living life joyfully. The more you do that - the more of an example you are.
ENLIST PEOPLE Tell 10 people to order the book and have them enlist 10 people and so on. By spreading the word about this book - we are creating a dramatic global shift and inspiring recovery and healing.
BRAINSTORM! People come up with new genius ideas everyday! Compile a list of all the ways to reach your state. Schools, orgs, crisis centers, clubs, groups, socialites, big mouths, local radio spots - whatever spreads the word! Think big - anything is possible!
USE THE INTERNET - Email, chat, post on forums, make comments everywhere you can online, telling people to order the book. Blog about it!
USE FLIERS - Make fliers that you post at your school or in and around your community. Tell people at the bookstores.
ASK QUESTIONS - If the goal is to reach 39 million people, how do you go about that on a grassroots budget with no Television ad? Make it a class project.
WEAR GEAR - Wear Angela gear and start a conversation when people ask you who Angela Shelton is. You will find that you meet other survivors and loved ones of survivors. You will also find that people care about other people! http://www.cafepress.com
CONTACT BOOKSTORES - and let them know that you want to order Finding Angela Shelton. Tell them why. Sound scary? It's not, and not as scary as holding in the secrect, I'll tell you that. You would not believe how many times a month I hear the words, "Yeah, me too...." Stories everywhere, in the massage therapist office, at the grocery store, all over.
WHAT DO YOU GET?
SATISFACTION! By helping this grassroots movement, you are helping people to change their lives forever which in turn helps you because you are helping the whole world.
WORK WITH ANGELA! - For those of you in Los Angeles you can intern with Angela in person. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Volunteer" in the subject box.
YOUR SCHOOL NAME or YOUR TEAM on the new Finding Angela Shelton Website and will be mentioned in Angela's Blog and E-Newsletters. As TEAM LEADER, you will have access to the admin section of Myspace and Facebook. Angela will talk to team leaders and select teams for 30 min calls on the phone for free.
FREE ANGELA TIME and FREE MOVIES! If you classroom creates a class project with this challenge and becomes friends on myspace, facebook, and signs up for the newsletter - http://angelashelton.com
FREE GEAR!- For those who sell 10 DVDs or more while you're spreading the word - you get a T-shirt of your choice at the Angela Store! Have the customers put your name in the comments sections when they purchase the DVD at http://store.searchingforangela
For resources, educational websites, contact information, or any other pertinent questions, feel free to contact me: email@example.com
Love to all, Sarah
Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
Henry David Thoreau
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Sarah's musings as seen on Helium:
I believe family traditions are very important because they create a sense of connection to life. However, when my husband and I became parents, we had an interesting dynamic to examine. You see, my husband's family had very little in the way of traditions, no Halloween, no birthdays, no regular sports, no Christmas, no just-because-it's-Monday. In fact, he recalls with great sadness being left out of many school activities due to the restrictions placed upon him by his family's religion. His family's choice in religion was limiting in that regard. For myself, I grew up in an abusive environment, where celebrations were erratic unless held at my paternal grandparents. Even then, it was up to me to push for the tree, the lights, the merriment. If I had not been so determined to celebrate, I am quite sure no one would have done it. Many of the traditions once held dear in my family unraveled with the years of escalating abuse. It was not very safe to feel merry, for I always knew any merriment was a precursor to violence. Still, I stayed up all night decorating that tree, giving my soul room to be expressed.
Therefore when my husband and I came together and created our own family, we were truly dedicated to creating a family life of celebration, joy, and vitality. In fact, we began keeping a book of ideas for our vision of a joyful family life. In our vision, we celebrate everything. Celebrations can be soft and poetic, or raucous and exhilarating. We infuse extra soul and joy into Christmas, Birthdays, and Earth Day. We also celebrate life's many passages, such as the change of seasons, a pet's birthday, a new friend at school, and many of the developmental milestones our children experience. Learning a new skill such as new words can spark an all out dance fest in this house. Earth Day is all about being a good steward of the earth, picking up trash, hiking, and hugging trees. For Halloween, we carve intricate patterns in our pumpkins, cook special meals, such as pumpkin shaped homemade pizza. Doing well on a spelling test begets a trip to the cafe for milk and a pastry. Or we have cafe dates, well, just because. Just because. Just because is a complete reason!
Birthdays are an exaltation of the day we were born, so we take them to the highest level. We always say to one another, "I am so glad you were born." We talk about each child's day of birth, what a blessing they are to this world. We play that child's favorite music, usually a mix cd Mama has made for the occasion. Lately, that's been the Foo Fighters, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles Abbey Road. I make collages and scrapbooks for each celebration, creating art that is a tangible source of joy year after year.
Another ritual in our family is the "Feelings Box", a decorated box where each child may write down how they are feeling and put it in the box for safekeeping. valentine's Day includes the children as well. We make "love scrolls" for one another, writing a poem or list of reasons why we love one another. We ties a ribbon around them and set them with dinner at the table. We make it a point to talk to our boys about love, emphasizing how much we love them, but also how deeply Mommy and Daddy love one another. We can see their spirits smiling as they know it to be true.
An essential tradition in our family is music. Music for every reason and season is played in our home. We have unique and eclectic music to enkindle us at each place we happen to be on our life path. Neil Young's After the Goldrush plays for fall, Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London for Halloween, bluesy electronic remixed Christmas songs permeate our home for the month of December. It is not unusual to hear Motown Christmas songs, funky James Brown howling through the stereo about his soulful Christmas tree, and Eartha telling Santa to hurry down that chimney. Celebrations are not just for official holidays, though we adore trips to the tree farm for Christmas, apple cider in hand, a glimmer in the children's eyes as they gleefully await "the biggest tree." When one of our son's demonstrates compassion toward his brother, we make merry. When it is just another day, we find a reason to celebrate. Maybe because it is Monday, or maybe because it is just fun to applaud life. Mostly that, I have to say.
After my difficult childhood, and my husband's limited ability to celebrate as a child, we exalt and we enchant and we delight in the simple things in life. The most profound beauty I find in the so called "simple things". When I see my children happy, free, and safe, I celebrate that with a deep smile, taking the moment home into my heart, and thanking the universe for this life. As we do this in our new family, we heal the children we once were as well, so everyone benefits. Instead of being angry or bitter because we were cheated, we choose to celebrate, and the taste is ever sweeter because of our respective histories.
The whole point of life for us is to acknowledge the magic that exists, and teach our children that no matter what happens in life, we can choose to celebrate what is good at any moment. When we live from the center our souls, life is one giant fete of miracles. Cheers!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Who Are We?Founded by Mother Bear, Surviver to Thriver Advocate, Artist and Writer Sarah Elise Stauffer, SATORI aims to propagate healing in those traumatized by rape, incest, sexual abuse, and parental abandonment.
The Top Five Reasons SATORI Is Sexual Abuse Thrivers Of Rape And Incest is the Bravest Satori
You are a Survivor, now what? Thrive, Flourish, Bloom, Blossom, that's what!
HOWEVER, SATORI believes healing is for everyone, and reclaiming our soul light includes all kinds of profound and neato things, like:
feeling a sense of afterglow (Yes, YOU!!), living in full bloom, minimizing the effects of panic, anxiety, PTSD, depression, shame, sexual issues, guilt, self-harm by way of and through negative thinking patterns. We heal by enabling ourselves to blossom, blush, embracing our brilliance we have been denying to secretly stay loyal to the image of ourselves that our abuser gave us..
(fat, ugly, incapable of stability, will never find success, never attain a healthy marriage or relationship, never be a healthy parent, never be deserving of love, stupid, weak, crazy, sex-crazed, frigid, damaged, sick, weird, pick one, or a few.)
burning with passion, effulgence, gleaming with self-love, letting our eyes glimmer, choosing to live with gusto, basking in our incandescence, embracing the intensity of the waves of healing, opening our hearts to our own luminosity, passion, phosphorescence, radiance, splendor, vividness, warmth.. Shall I go on?
YOU ARE A STAR!
SATORI is a state of sudden spiritual enlightenment which Sarah experienced one night during a semi-sleep state. She has been thinking of ways to express her ideas about moving beyond just surviving. The word literally woke her up, and the rest flowed out divinely.
This is what she wrote as about the experience at 2 a.m:
"I have just experienced an awakening, total clarity. SATORI is my new baby, born of a need to express my story of victim, to survival, to thriving and flourishing after many years of horrific abuse. SATORI is Sexual Abuse Thrivers Of Rape and Incest. My mentors Eve Ensler and Angela Shelton inspire me, and I wanted to find my own path. I am ready to share it.
In recent years, I have created a more intimate relationship with LIGHT. Transmutation of our darkness, our wounds, our self destructiveness through LIGHT. Light, I once at the age of 12 wrote an essay called MY LITTLE BOX OF LIGHT. Two years after I was raped by a family member, I wrote this essay. What a wonderful little girl, feeling her light even after such horror. Well, we all are, we all were, and we all can be again. We must fight for our light.
I believe that survival is not all there is. Thriving is the next step in healing our wounds and sending that healing to one another and into this world. The word Satori came to me as I was falling asleep. I knew the word from my studies of Buddhism and from a tee shirt my husband wore when we first met. (Meeting him was very much a satori moment.)
Satori roughly translates into individual Enlightenment, or a flash of sudden awareness. Satori is as well an intuitive experience. I also love it because I am all about where we can go beyond survivorhood. My personal journey has led me to this place, a whole new realm of awakening.
My favorite singer and musical mother happens to be TORI Amos as well, so Sarah, SA and TORI, well you get it!
I want to spread healing and solace to the world. Being HEAL-THY is about healing thyself. It's up to us. I long to comfort you who have been so hurt as I too have been. I have known that I had within me an essential drive to share my story, to scream in outrage, to release fury for all the suffering of so many of us as children, and to help others heal ....BEYOND survivorship, and transform into THRIVERS. The power of verbalization is immense, I believe transformation takes place only if we can tell the truth about what really happened to us. Repression is a coping mechanism we need as children, for the mind can not process such terror as children. But what serves us now is exhuming the remnants of our souls, facing the truth about those who hurt us, those who should have protected us, and crossing that river from victim, to survivor, to
th(river). Please join me in this project. It is the culmination of my own satori moment. This is my way of transmuting the terror that I have carried, of creating space for others to heal by speaking out, to empower everyone I can any way I can.
When I received this flash, this satori moment tonight, I jumped out of bed and began my work. I have been a survivor for years, a victim for years, and thriving for quite awhile. Lately, many things have brought me to this manifestation point. Tonight was different, a deeper awakening.
Having this experience, I no longer see the world in the same way. I have a different perception of life, of my life, of my abuse, of your abuse, of what it means to not only be victimized, to cross the river into survivorhood, but to THRIVE. And no I do not mean la la land, blissed out
24- 7 bullshit. I mean creating a healed life, crawling into the darkest caverns of pain and grief, rebirthing ourselves, finding our true essence, de-brainwashing ourselves from all the crap we absorbed from the abuse, and letting that inborn light we all have fill us again. This is the way it came to me. I am here to share it with you!
With Love, Sarah"
- SATORI is not unrealistic, believe me. SATORI tells the raw truth about incest, sexual abuse, rape, and mother/father abandonment. We face the darkness and grotesque realities of what little girls and boys go through when abused. For years I could not say I was RAPED. I was KIDNAPPED. Yet, I was and just because it was my own father does not mean it was not a "real" rape or kidnapping. Saying what it is true heals. Verbalizing the truth, word by petrified word.
- We happily violate the cultural taboo of silence that surrounds incest. We believe in VERBALIZATION OF THE TRUTH, WHICH TRANSFORMS US. Verbalization equals transformation. Verbalization makes us fierce with the reality of what we endured. We must find our light so that we may illuminate the darkness of the abuse. SATORI promotes speaking out as much as possible about the attempted soul murder taking place in the lives of 1/3 girls and 1/5 boys.
- We truly believe that each person born has innate light that can never be stolen by an abuser, that we abused we end up with distorted perceptions of ourselves. We begin to believe the lie of incest, sexual abuse, rape, and parental abandonment. Our light can never be stolen, we only think it can. SATORI aims to undo that damage and show the way of flourishing.
Part of Speech:
verb(yes, it's a verb, and it means we have to work at it.)
advance, arrive, batten, bear fruit, bloom, blossom, boom, burgeon, come on, develop, flourish,get on, get places, get there*, grow, grow rich, home free, increase, make hay, make it, progress, prosper, radiate, rise, shine, shoot up, succeed, wax
HEALING IS NOT A PASSIVE THING THAT HAPPENS TO US, WE HAVE TO SOW THE SEEDS, AND HARVEST OUR HEALING.
- We speak out about the effects being abandoned by a parent, you can love your parent and still tell the truth about what happened. Many survivors have been abandoned by a Mother and then incested by Dad.
- We use art, poetry, music, and other art forms to reclaim our birthright to healthy, delicious, ecstatic sexual light. Rebirthing our light includes the blossoming of our right to a beautiful and healthy sexuality.
- Our main message is that healing is possible, it is about conscious choice, being willing to have the courage to face what has happened to you, break ties if you need to, believing in your own light, ripping out that old family tree and planting your brand new one free of secrets and lies, learning how incest family dynamics work, and rediscovering how to love the child within. We are all born with what I call our little box of light, a gem that can NEVER be stolen or snuffed out. We are abused and tortured which shifts our perception of ourselves, we see ourselves distorted, energetically we absorb the projections of our abusers as the hurt us and we turn that against ourselves. We are porous, we absorb their shame, their dirtiness, their self hatred. We can release that self-perception and rebirth our light. Survivors can absolutely create loving relationships, raise children, experience immense joy in life, Our light is divine and unbreakable. We must return home to our own souls and find it, we have to fight for our light and teach and guide others to do the same.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
TELLING YOUR STORY: YOUR SILENCE IS THE FEAR, SHAME, SHOCK, GUILT..AND WHEN YOU TELL YOU RELEASE YOURSELF FROM BEING SILENCED. DO NOT SILENCE YOURSELF. IT'S SO DIFFICULT, BUT REMEMBER, WHEN YOU GET IT OUT OF YOU, WORD BY WORD, IT LESSENS THE POWER THAT THE ABUSE HOLDS OVER YOU, BECAUSE IT IS NO LONGER IN YOU, BUT OUTSIDE OF YOU, IN YOUR WORDS. TELLING YOUR STORY IS MORE THAN JUST ADMITTING THERE WAS ABUSE. TELLING YOUR TRUTH MEANS REALLY GETTING INTO WHAT HAPPENED. WORD BY WORD.
The thing about telling is that telling a profound truth such as incest, rape, or other egregious acts against us creates a ripple. That telling leads to more telling, and more realizing what really happens in these situations. Then pretty soon you are amazed at the rage you feel over people who did nothing, and rage at your abuser for humiliating you and trying to kill your soul.
Tell. the. story. words. say. them. out. loud. raped me. mouth. inside. burning. hurt. slicing. tellitnow.
"She touched my vagina, he slid me up and down on his leg in the bathtub while my mom was at home, (Hey there's one of mine!!)he put his mouth on my mouth, etc"
THIS QUOTE IS WHAT PUSHED ME TO TELL MY COMPLETE STORY, UNCENSORED, AND I DID NOT WAIT UNTIL THERE WAS NO FEAR OR SHAME, OR I WOULD NEVER HAVE SPOKEN. THIS QUOTE AND A DEAR FRIEND WHO ACTUALLY ASKED ME "WHAT EXACTLY DID HE DO TO YOU?" AFTER AWHILE, NOT TELLING IS SIMPLY GIVING IN TO FEAR AND MUTILATING YOUR OWN VOICE.
Your silence will not protect you. -Audre Lourde
(but it sure as hell protects your abuser)
"Each time I tell my story, it becomes easier to live with the truth. The event has less hold over my life. The wound to the soul is healing." Charlotte Pierce-Baker, author of Surviving the Silence
Please reach out for help, you are worth it. TELL, please. tell it. Verbalization of emotion actually affects one's hormones and brain chemistry! Give that sweet child that you were, or woman you were, or man you are, or boy you were, the power to speak, to say NO, Fuck you, to tell the truth! You may not have been able to tell on the abuser then, but damn it you sure can tell on him or her now!
I really have "ratted you out", Dad! You weak little bastard who got off on raping your child orally, rectally, and vaginally.
"Of course I am afraid, because the transformation of silence into language in action is an act of self-revelation, and that always seems fraught with danger. But my daughter, when I told her of our topic and my difficulty with it, said, 'Tell them about how you're never really a whole person if you remain silent, because there's always that one little piece inside you that wants to be spoken out, and if you keep ignoring it, it gets madder and madder and hotter and hotter, and if you don't speak it out, one day it will just up and punch you in the mouth from the inside'." -Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider
It punches us in the mouth from the inside by negative thought patterns that we act out, starving ourselves, cutting, drugs, the list goes on! Many Blessings!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Letting go. Sounds cliche. It's not. Well, if it is, only because it is true. That's the key sometimes, letting go of the dream that it will ever change, even NOW. Not just that a parent was there, but how they were with you, if at all, how you were met at birth and beyond. Create a new dream. Let the old wish of the child go, release it. Some bonds when broken can't be repaired, and it is not the child's fault. It is not your fault, or mine.
That primal love we want(ed) did not (does not) exist within that parent. That's not our problem now. Most times it never existed, it being that mother bear love, and we are left with the eternal wish of the little one inside. I don't think we are asking for perfect or asking too much when we want to be mothered, not abandoned. Love that does not take into account the child's needs an attached loving mother, the child's needs at all, is not really love at all. My therapist used to say that abandonment of a child is "total annihilation" of that child.
How powerful it can be.....
to place that wish in your palm and blow it back out to the universe.
In knowing what you wanted,
deep within that means you have the ability to give it to your children and to yourself.
With my own kids, my mantra for this is:
Be What You Wanted.
Be What You Deserved.
It works, it just takes time, practice and patience. Eventually the rage and grief of the child dissolves and gives way to an understanding that these parents could barely care for themselves(some still can not) let alone you, and most have immense amounts of unhealed, unaddressed pain that they are very unaware of in themselves. In other words, it is not your fault now, nor was it then. Just because your light and worth went unacknowledged and in some cases purposefully so, does not mean it was never there. Breathe in the light that you are, exhale that light and send it into the world. (Thank you Nancy for that.)
With Love, SES
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms,
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers.
Thanks to your love a certain fragrance,
risen darkly from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride,
so I love you because I know no other way than this:
where "I" does not exist, nor "you,"
So close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
So close that your eyes close and I fall asleep.
A child. A father. Red short hair, tall and lanky. Brown eyes. He is angry. No, not angry, sad. Well, he is crying anyway. Sort of childlike at first. Then really loud. He is angry now. His little girl is 7, she is trying to comfort him, to soothe his anger because it scares her so much. He is screaming at her now. He goes to her room. She follows, heart racing. Her sadness and fear immense. She begins to cry, definitely childlike. "Daddy, what's wrong. Daddy, please don't cry." He screams at her "Why don't you go suck Tony's d**k!!" Now mind you, she is 7 and Tony is a boy from school. She has a crush on him. Daddy begins looking around the room, grabbing toys, drawings, her favorite Prince tape, the one with 1999 on it, the one she plays over and over. He begins ripping up papers, tearing the tape up, all the while screaming at her. She has lost what he is saying, she feels a pierce in her belly, like she has been punched in the tummy. She feels it in her heart too. She cries and cries. She is hysterical now. "Daddy please! Please stop! You are hurting me, why are you doing this?" He tears up her room. Posters torn, pictures of her horse, my little ponies with missing manes, a broken lamp. It feels like winter inside, dark, gloomy inside of her. She is scared, terrified even. This is not the first time he has gnashed his teeth and torn her things apart. He does this from time to time. Her nose is red and runny and her body wracked with sobs, involuntary snorts from the lost breath. She tries to stop the tears but they just keep coming and coming. She always wants to make him feel better, to hug him and make it all ok again. He is so upset, so angry, so scary. She can only wail, like a child. Like a child.
If you are a non-survivor and find yourself feeling unable to relate to "people like that" with "issues like those" , please read the following article. We are all affected by society and culture, whether we are abused or not by a person, we are all abused to some degree by the crippling and downright sadistic expectations of our media. Even slender girls struggle with not feeling "good enough" or "skinny enough", I personally am just now making major breakthroughs in my own quest for body-peace, and I am tall and slender.I was raised to feel that if I am not "svelte" or "vogue-y" enough, I am a freak. Yes, this from the same family that brought you a big ole heaping of incest, rape, verbal and physical abuse, addiction, and more narcissism than you can shake a stick at. I was even criticized when pregnant for gaining my first 10 pounds! "Oh my God, Sarah, that's A LOT, oh Lord..." From the age of 7, my grandmother, my father's mother, would stand next to me while I dressed and comment on how when She was my age, her tummy was so flat it curved IN, it was actually CONCAVE, not just flat. And her hamstrings were so well defined. And she would dress me in her clothes and she and my grandfather would critique me in them. Grandfather would say,"Well, the figure ain't as good..." I was 7 when this began and 11 when he made that particular comment. As you can see, I can not imagine where my insecurities around my body came from. Not a clue.
...Now, I am not saying you have to be a raging feminist in order to address the implications that our anorexic chic culture has on you, I'm just sayin', take notice, take notes, think about it. That's all.
(Said with a Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada inflection)
With Love, SES
The Beauty Myth
By Catherine Redfern
Are we exploited by the cosmetics industry?
"Wearing makeup is an apology for our actual faces" - Cynthia Heimel
"Every woman knows that, regardless of all her other achievements, she is a failure if she is not beautiful... The UK beauty industry takes £8.9 billion a year out of women's pockets. Magazines financed by the beauty industry teach little girls that they need make-up and train them to use it, so establishing their lifelong reliance on beauty products." - Germaine Greer, The Whole Woman
"Because I'm worth it." - L'Oreal slogan
"You will soon be able to take a pill and, in 20 to 25 minutes, a non-synthetic substance will colour your lips. Five years from now, you will be able to put a drop in your eyes to change their colour." - Dominique Moncourtois, International Creative Director, Chanel
"We are in the midst of a violent backlash against feminism that uses images of female beauty as a political weapon against women's advancement: the beauty myth... As women released themselves from the feminine mystique of domesticity, the beauty myth took over its lost ground, expanding as it wanted to carry on its work of social control... The beauty myth tell a story: the quality called 'beauty' objectively and universally exists. Women must want to embody it and men must want to posses women who embody it... None of this is true." - Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth
"Resolution Number 1: 'I won't leave the house without make-up'" - From a 'resolutions' article in Superdrug's 'Spirit' magazine Februaury 2001
"We're all brought up on fabulously glamorous Vogue models, and we don't realise that they don't look like that in real life. It is just that the photographers are terribly clever. Women are constantly presented with a false image of beauty that nobody can attain, not even the most beautiful, unless you've got an entourage of make-up, wardrobe and hair backing you up... I really resent the pressure put on women to alter ourselves... Either people like me or they don't. And if they don't becuase of how I look, then they're shallow twats." - Amanda Donohoe, Independent on Sunday, 4 March 2001
"It's what makes you a woman." - Paloma Picasso, Fashion Designer
"Lipstick is something that makes you feel good about yourself." - Naomi Campbell, Model
"It's a source of female power." - Barbara Daly, Make-Up Artist
"All in answer to the question 'Why do women wear lipstick?'," in NOVA June 2000.
"As women strive to break free of constricting stereotypes of who they are and what they want, idealized feminine beauty must be identified as part of that challenge. It is not merely a decrorative diversion. The sense of self resides within the body." - Rita Freedman, Beauty Bound
"Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline." - Maybelline slogan
"The average woman eats between four and ten pounds of lipstick in her lifetime." - From postcard by Stella Marrs
"Unlike our feminist foremothers, who claimed that makeup was the opiate of the misses, we're positively prochoice when it comes to matters of feminine display. We're well aware, thank you very much, of the beauty myth that's working to keep women obscene and not heard, but we just don't think that transvestites should have all the fun. In our fuck-me dresses and don't-fuck-with-me shoes, we're ready to come out of the closet as the absolutely fabulous females we know we are. We love our lipstick, have a passion for polish, and basically, adore this armor we that we call 'fashion.' To us, it's fun, it's feminine, and, in the particular way we flaunt it, it's definately feminist." - Debbie Stoller, The BUST Guide to the New Girl Order
"Empowering. Illuminate your own beauty from within, through the power of Advanced Luminous Technology." - Shiseido makeup advert
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I love the previous post that our child is our mirror.
I think we are the mirror. We are the mirror for our children. When we hold infants, the look to our faces for confirmation of their existence. Doctors call this "mirroring". Our babies literally look at us to reflect back to them that they exist. That's why being born to an emotionally detached or wounded parent can be so devastating. More on this later.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
My good galpal and fellow mama sent this to me, I want to share it with all of you. Anyone who has histrionic parents will feel better after reading it. We need to calm our children, freaking out is not the same as showing love. SES
Your child is truly your mirror. The child falls and if you rush
frantically toward him, alarmed and scared: He screams with terror. Same
child same fall but you stay calm. He looks up. You smile. He smiles back
and gets up and goes on with his run happily.
You may say, "but sometimes she does hurt herself." Yes, and she will let
you know and initiate her response rather than mirror yours. Your calm
will be reassuring either way. A scraped knee is less painful when Mom or
Dad don't seem to panic. The same kiss and bandage without the anxiety
gives the child a self image of someone who can handle a fall.
Self-expression is best when it comes from the self, and not a reflection
of someone else.
This applies equally to upsets. We literally teach children to feel upset.
We model it when we are upset with them or with the burnt food. Being a
loving listener does not mean dramatizing and teaching the child to see
things as upsetting, enraging or sad.
For example, "She won't play with me," is just a fact. It isn't sad. It
doesn't hurt. It is not a rejection... not until we teach that it is. So
what's my response to "She won't play with me?" Simple: "So what would you
like to do now?" or, "Would you like me to read you a book?" or even, "How
exciting, so now you are free to do whatever you want."
We have all learned to manipulate reality, fix the child who won't share
and ask the child who won't play why and insist that she does. But why?
What does your child learn when you manipulate reality for her sake? She
learns, "I cannot handle not getting my way" and "nothing is exciting
other than the original plan" or, "I cannot tolerate change, I am weak"
When you respond, rather than manipulate, your child learns to be at peace
with reality and powerful in creating her life. She won't learn to go
against reality, but to embrace the opportunities before her.
©Copyright Naomi Aldort
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
by Raymond Carver
Natches River. Just below the falls.
Twenty miles from any town. A day
of dense sunlight
heavy with odors of love.
How long have we?
Already your body, sharpness of Picasso,
is drying in this highland air.
I towel down your back, your hips,
with my undershirt.
Time is a mountain lion.
We laugh at nothing,
and as I touch your breasts
even the ground-
HealthySex.com is an educational site developed by Wendy Maltz M.S.W. to promote healthy sexuality - sex based on caring, respect, and safety.
We have information on sexual health, sexual intimacy, partner communication, sexual abuse and addiction recovery, sexual fantasy, and midlife sex, as well as inspiring sexual love poems and quotes. Our goal is to help you make responsible decisions about sex that increase your sexual pleasure and happiness with a partner.Wendy Maltz M.S.W. is an internationally recognized author and sex therapist in private practice in Eugene, Oregon. A frequent lecturer, Wendy's books include The Sexual Healing Journey, Private Thoughts, Passionate Hearts, and Intimate Kisses. Her highly acclaimed videos are Partners in Healing and Relearning Touch.
I have certainly been doing this for awhile. I think it is so difficult because it is an anathema to our biology, I mean, our mothers are supposed to have proper maternal instincts, and our fathers are supposed to have proper instincts as well. Paternal instincts. And then, if they did not and we DO, OUCH. I mean, OUCH.
I had my first child at 20. From the moment he was conceived I was ready to give up anything to be with him and care for him. His presence made all else obsolete, I would never call it a sacrifice, because it was totally natural. I never felt I was sacrificing a damn thing. I get so much out of motherhood, and I get to give to them what they deserve. When I attempted to do anything outside of home-keeping with him, I felt panicked, like someone was ripping him away from me. Sound dramatic? That's the mother bear instinct. That instinct is there for a reason.
I don't know why some parents lack that, besides of course their own pain, unresolved and unprocessed, of which they are so unconscious. That may qualify as an answer to our "WTF's!!!"
It is hard, parenting. Especially when we have unhealed wounds. They just get passed right on to the new brood. When we are actively healing, it is hard too. I had some very hard days as a young mama. But never did I walk out on my children. I was speaking with another fellow advocate recently, who said to me,
"You do not give up, parents who abandon their kids take the easy way out. "
It is definitely the selfish way. Infuriating as it is, essentially, they are the ones missing out. They miss the magic and wonder and challenge which propagates such soulful growth. We miss out too, yes. But in taking stock, do we really want to be raised by such selfish people, or do we want them to be different people all together? Unselfish(they are not), loving and attentive to us, stable, responsible, healthy boundaries. The child within wants a mom, period! Or a dad who did not molest or rape or beat them. As the adult we know, we can not reconcile the wish parent with the real one, they are not the same. My good girlfriend and I call these parents "biological birth vehicles." They got you here, and whether you can see it right now, you are here for a reason. I am glad you are here! All of the pain and suffering and betrayal will not be in vain if you decide as such.
Especially when you choose to heal. You begin to see how beautiful, valuable, sweet, innocent, and worthy of all the doting in the world you were (and are), how worthy of wholeness and love you are, how worthy of....safety and protection you were as a child, the next logical question is what happened? As we heal, our light illuminates the darkness of the pain that was placed on us, so some would rather sit in the dark.. We begin, with our own soul light to see the reality of our wonder and worth which begs the question, WTF?!! What is wrong with people? How can a mother/father do -----(insert proper issue, abandon, molest, drug, rape, ignore, slap, manipulate, pick one, or more than one.) Many people would rather make excuses for parents, because we do not have easy answers to this and it is so hard, scary and downright overwhelming to confront such a huge issue.. The question itself is so painful.
I think sometimes this is why parents are able to leave/abuse their kids. They have been handed generations of pain and abuse, and rather than stop and face this pain, rather than use their light to illuminate the suffering that was so unfairly put on them, they bury it and pass it on. They go on, soul light unlit, sitting in the darkness of their parents legacy of pain. They say,"dad made inappropriate comments about my body, but he didn't mean it", or "Yes, he bathed with us, but...." or "My mom left me, but she had to save herself.." (and not her child, hmmm.)
or "He wasn't emotionally neglectful, he just does not express himself!!" Or"He raped me while we were married, but I never thought he would hurt you."
Or my favorite BULLSHIT nugget, straight from my own blood family,"But honey, it was the drugs. And it was not rape, how can you say that? He loves you so much, it was the drugs."
Maybe because insertion of the penis into a child is well, RAPE.
Their is a price to be paid both ways. Stay unconscious and in the dark, lie to yourself, refuse to look and see these unconscious patterns of pain.
Or turn on your light, choose to heal and face the devastating truths about your parents/mother/father/uncle/aunt/cousin/priest/brother/sister. Be willing to know what is in the darkness. It is better than everyone sitting blind, in the darkness.
We do not turn on the light, because we are afraid of what it will illuminate, reveal. But the light we need to turn on is the light within, it is our inner light, the light of our soul. I believe it is our natural state to turn our light on. If you choose the darkness either by chosen silence, minimizing your pain, excusing parents who have abused, neglected, or abandoned you, you do so at the cost of your soul. Living that way is to enslave yourself. It goes against the divine order of things as we are all meant to shine.
A resource that helped me when I became a mama, a web site geared toward attachment parenting(what I wish I had had):
Educate yourself, discern what you want and deserved. Then give as much of it to yourself as possible, and give it to your child. Surround yourself with the energy of soulful mothering/fathering. My husband grew up never knowing his father, and he is truly an incredible, connected, emotionally available, sensitive father. It is hard but it can be done!!
One amazing miracle of giving someone else what you did not get, is that in a vicarious way, you get it too. The most amazing part is that we are capable of doing this in the first place. Think of a world in which no one could turn it around. Jesus. No one would ever heal.
You also get to feel your righteous anger at why you did not get it. Feel it. Journal it, collage it, paint it, scream it, write it. You deserve to feel it.
I also wrote poetry for my children, and still do.
Welcome to the softened moon, sweet fresh one.
The most gracious gift I have now received.
A new baby, a fresh beauty budling.
Wrapped in ecstatic delight
by the Goddess herself.
Into my arms to be nurtured,
to seek the sky,
to dream with orchids.
Unwrapped by life, a slow turning proceeds.
Beauty and Pain, all at once.
I am learning to let go as you grow, slowly..
May the world be ever worthy of my child.
written by Sarah Elise Stauffer.
Nothing is worth the sacrifice of your soul light. And anyone who would ask you to do that is not loving you well.
Mantra and Meditation:
Good Love Does Not Hurt.
The confrontation and assessing parental legacies of trauma is intense. The cost of snuffing your own light is immeasurable, even deadly.
(think addiction, suicide, domestic violence)
This is when we begin to take out the abuse on ourselves, when we choose not to accept our own goodness. Please shine.
With love, SES
Sunday, November 11, 2007
We survivors do look normal most of the time, but it can feel like a double bind.
On the one hand, it’s useful to be functioning well in the world. But that means that people don’t know or can ignore the hurts we have endured. On the other hand, breaking down and showing how bad it feels can scare people so that they withdraw or even become cruel.
I’ve been writing a memoir on healing from recovered memories of abuse. I didn’t uncover the abuse until I was in my fifties, so I had built up really good, tight defenses. I’m working with an editor now to revise this memoir to bring it to publication. He says it’s hard to believe that a person so highly functional (professor, mother, etc.) could have been abused. I understand what he’s saying. It’s amazing what children can survive. Through the eons, far too many kids have grown up with starvation, brutality, sexual violence, neglect. And they grow up and become not only adult but powerful. Think Joan of Arc, think Hitler (unfortunately), think Virginia Woolf, think Oprah Winfrey.
We survived and we brought with us our vulnerabilities, often hidden inside very competent exteriors. It’s all the more important, then, to share our stories.
I first made a collage about babies and marriage at 17. I truly believe I began manifesting my fate.
I met my hubby when I was 19. I remember journaling about a vision of the kind of family we wanted to create. One of my entries which I wrote when carrying my second born, went like this:
We travel, drink organic coffee from artsy mugs as we drive, we listen to groovy music like French bistro classics, Led Zeppelin, Tori, Sade. We roll the windows down and tell the children to feel that warm sun, we soak it in, we have the energy of love and passion all around us, we stop on the way to our destination, lay down a cotton blanket, and have a picnic of organic strawberries, homemade pasta salad, muffins and subs. We affirm the children's reality and sense of themselves each day, we tell them they are beautiful, smart, loved, loving, and lovable. We dance in the sun and then get back in the car and keep going.
At home, our children have organic fruit for breakfast, we feed them so well and ourselves, we wake up grateful for each day, turn on Sting or Buddy Guy, and light incense. Dylan rests peacefully in my arms with tiny blue socks on his feet. Our home smells of ylang ylang. The windows are open and a warm summer breeze blows in. Dylan sees the clouds and laughs for the first time and we rejoice. We sit outside under a sycamore tree and talk and laugh. there are many hugs, kisses, i love yous, and just love!! They see Daddy loving Mommy and Mommy loving Daddy. Daddy and Mommy are so in love. They see and feel this everyday.
Love is the time and space where "I" give myself the right to be extraordinary.
-- Julia Kristeva, Tales of Love
With Love, SES
"The family you come from is not as important as the family you are going to have." Ring Lardner
The act of breaking away, or even cutting ties with "family" is scary. It is biologically bold as well, because we are programmed to follow our parents even into hell. We all feel immense levels of loyalty to our parents. This makes it difficult for us to see what is abuse. We want to protect them and protect our image of them. But, this is very detrimental to us, and therefore our new family, if we have one. I think it is imperative to tell the truth to ourselves about what it was like being their child. This can be awful to face.
For future generations, and for the child you were, go ahead and take stock of what was what. Try to resist the inclination to excuse their behavior. Don't skip the anger. It just has to be felt. Anger is an energy. It scares us. Most people are uncomfortable or just plain terrified of anger, most of us are taught as such. If you are abused, forget it. Anger can mean more abuse. But if not felt, fully, it can't be fully released, if not released, it lives in the body creating dis-ease.
In my life, I literally had to rip the old, sick, dysfunctional family tree out by the roots, and plant a new healthy family tree in it's place.
Actually, I moved my tree well away from the old one!! My kids benefit everyday too. And so will you. The little child within you will thank you.
You know, with my kids, my husband and I feel we need to earn being parents. It's a real gift and such a responsibility. I do not expect blind devotion from them. I debrainwashed that same idea from my head and heart. I lost blood family, but gained a healthier new family and some AMAZING family of choice, friends who are family. Blood does not excuse violence, abuse, neglect. Blood does not mean you are property. You belong to yourself and that's that. In all of us lives the little child who wishes for good parents, who feels responsible when they fight, scream, get divorced, we want to fix it all. We can't now. We could not then. When parents act totally immature and do not keep the boundaries in tact, they put us as children, and sometimes as adults if we are still being put in the middle of crap, in the parental role. We are the sanest person in the room and we are 5, 6, 7, whatever! Crazy. Not okay. I am not talking about normal bickering, I'm talking about yelling, name calling, etc.
It is not our job, and they should NEVER have put us in that position. Think of a child in your life that you love if you do not have any, and insert them into the childhood you had. I do this with my kids when I find myself minimizing the damage that was done. The result is a profound change in perspective.
I can remember hiding in the closet with screaming and fighting parents in the next room punching walls and acting crazy. I put my child in that scenario and I want to die. My babies have never known terror, much less the helpless sense of horror and death even that can happen when a child experiences such complete chaos and selfish parental barbarism. This follows us into adulthood, always feeling responsible for everyone else's happiness or lack thereof, except ours!
Permission. Give yourself permission to put YOU first. Give yourself permission to break free from family that is not healthy for you. You don't have to cut off necessarily, but boundaries, put em up. Tell yourself the truth, grieve and feel the anger and betrayal. Then you can begin to heal. Healing is not all about good feelings. Sorry! Healing involves re-experiencing traumatic feelings that were not able to be fully felt in a safe way. You can feel them now, keep yourself safe in the process, and begin to feel good again.
Some of my goals when I got pregnant with my first child were" Healthy marriage for life, running, take kids to lots of fun places so they can have warm memories, have "goddess" time(aka self care), cultivate sexual healing, allow trust, vulnerability, and openness.
Meditation: "How do the geese know when to fly to the sun? Who tells them the seasons? How do we, humans, know when it is time to move on? As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within, if only we would listen to it, that tells us so certainly when to go forth into the unknown. " -- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Trust the voice within, it is there for a reason. With Love, S
Thursday, November 8, 2007
We all have light inside. You can not look at a newborn baby and disagree. The experience of incest and abuse made it hard for me to see my own light, my goodness. I frantically hid away parts of my truest self, preserving them until it was safe to let them out. I hid them my true self to survive the constant invasions into my world and body.
Our light never ceases to exist, we only think it has.
With Love, S
One of the ways I did this was through music and dance. One word: SADE!! Seriously, Sade is uber gorgeous and just oozes light and sensuality, her music is amazing. Cherish the Day played as I married my husband. Her lyrics are incredible, and the rhythm of her music drew me inside myself. She helped me work through that place I was stuck in...feeling sexual, wanting sex, but not being able to push through the wall of fear at times.
*I bought a very feminine and girly journal a few years ago, and began my sexuality cleansing and healing ritual. I wrote lyrics down, got really into essential oils, and learned to give myself permission to be a sexual as I wanted, within the circle of my marriage of course. My fear was always that if I really embraced my full sexuality that it would overpower me. Of course the wounded child within associates any sex with the sexual abuse. Therefore it makes sense to feel threatened by sex, feeling like you will be powerless and lose control. That is normal! But, we have to explain to the frightened child within us that the abuse was not sex, sexual abuse is not sex, not in the healthy sense of the word.
*Essential oils like ylang ylang, sandalwood and rose are good ones for this. candles, incense, beautiful crystals, soft sheets and bedding that is inviting. Create an atmosphere of healthy expression of yourself and your sensuality. I bought myself flowers, and I did a lot of dancing.
*Belly dancing, my kind of dancing, any dancing, just dancing.
*Connecting to the earth helps me as well, soft green grass, trees, rivers, butterflies.
*Running and yoga, I can not stress enough the essentialness of exercise, of sweating and getting in your body that way. Running is a passion of mine, but any type of good sweaty exercise will work. Yoga helps unblock areas of the body that hold pain, grief, fear, anger, rage, sadness, anxiety, you name it.
The healing has been amazing. As I have said, I have not had flashbacks during sex in a long time. I have plenty of other issues, PTSD, sleep issues, somatic stuff, you know. But this is an area where I can say I am completely healthy! Healthy is HEAL*THY after all. Heal Thy Self is Healthy Self.
*I've worked very hard at it and dispelled copious amounts of guilt and shame. It takes tremendous work. I think we absorb the guilt and shame of our abusers and family members who blames us for the abuse or look the other way, further compounding our feelings of dirtiness and shame..imagine a mother rushing to her child's side upon finding out and saying, "Oh fuck no, he can NOT take your sexuality from you, he is going to jail!!" YEAH, that needs to happen. Then the child would not feel so much like it's all just so bad, dirty, and shameful that no one can even acknowledge it, even if they do get righteously rageful and take action. There is still such a degree of shame surrounding sex, even normal sex! For a victim of sexual abuse, the shame is so much more pronounced.
*Find a good friend that you can talk to about sex. Ask questions. Talk about sex and have fun doing it. I have a wonderful friend who has not been abused and has always been very candid and raw with me about her sexuality. She has reminded me in the past of her own sexual issues even without being abused, as we have the whole society thing to deal with regarding sexuality. we are not the only ones as survivors who experience sexual struggles. Bless my soul sister for her honesty and love.
*Buy a book of Georgia O'Keefe paintings, her flowers are incredibly sensual and sapient and a beautiful metaphor for our bodies. Surround yourself with healthy sexual and sensual energy and imagery. Start with words, put up post its all over your house with words that evoke your inner sensuality. Be playful. Feel the shame and do it anyway.
*ART! Collage something about sex, let the images draw you in. Paint something sensual. Write poetry, write a song for yourself. Buy lovely photographs of nude women or men if you like. There are some amazing photographers out there. You are a piece of art too!
*MANTRA-YOU CAN NOT HAVE MY SEXUALITY! Write it down and in doing that, take it back. Reading books like The Joy of Sex, erotic poetry, Margot Anand's The Art of Sexual Magic, these books give us some foundation upon which to build our ideas about good, healthy sex.
*PERMISSION: And give yourself permission to separate sex and sexual abuse. Sexual Abuse is not a healthy expression of sex. Give yourself to the process of reclaiming what is a very natural and beautiful thing to be shared with another person. Love to all, Sarah
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
creating this piece was a huge step toward loving myself, and loving the child I was. For so long like many survivors I could not look at a picture of myself as a child. It was too hard to look at the girl who was being molested and abused. much less love her. I would just feel such anger and rage, at myself!! I realized one day though, that I needed to look at her the way I look at my children, and that helped shift my feelings. I think art is so therapeutic as well, so I collaged it out, and voila.
This picture evokes in me memories of the farmhouse I once lived in. One got the feeling it was once a blessed place. I lived there off and on and moved in permanently at 10 until 18.
Many survivors have Narcissistic family members to deal with, as well as Narcissistic abusers.
I found this article very helpful. The spell that one can fall under when being manipulated by a N.P.(Narcissistic Parent) is extremely difficult to see. Once we see, and stop excusing the behaviors, we can immunize our spirits from further harm. Remember, have compassion for yourself first and foremost!
Dealing with a Narcissistic Family Member
In previous blogs on Narcissistic Personality Disorder, we looked at common behavioral patterns of the clinical narcissist as well as the diagnostic criteria required to be diagnosed with this disorder. Today we look at a case study of what it means to live with a person experiencing from this condition.
People who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder seldom seek treatment as they do not consider that there is anything wrong with them. Particularly in their early life, they experience little emotional pain as they are so caught up with their own lives, thoughts, plans, and actions that little else can penetrate their psyches.
The principal people who experience problems associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are those whose friends, family members, and bosses suffer from the condition. It is those who must cope with the narcissist who are more at risk of emotional distress than the sufferer themselves.
Today we will look at Elinor, whose mother has been diagnosed by proxy by Elinor's therapist. A diagnosis by proxy means that the therapist listens to the experiences of a person who is suffering through the actions of another person. It does not necessarily mean that the third party is definitely suffering from that disorder, as the therapist has not personally interacted with that person. A diagnosis by proxy is not a clinically valid diagnosis, but as previously noted, in the case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the person concerned rarely comes for counseling.
However, through Elinor's descriptions of her mother's behavior, it can help Elinor to know that her mother is not normal, that her actions form part of an identified illness pattern and that Elinor herself is reacting in a normal way to an abnormal situation. In the next blog on this disorder, we will look at some of the anecdotes that Elinor reports about her mother.
Contact Beth McHugh for further assistance regarding this issue.