Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My 2 year old spoke

I dreamed of a voice that spoke in a genderless childlike tone. "If you don't want to take care of them and love them and nurture them, then don't have them. Babies." I didn't think the message was directed at my mothering abilities. It was an explanation.

It was the voice of my two-year old that returned two weeks ago. My mother was perfect. I am sure we were bathed and fed and read to. We went to the park and were pushed on the swings. She made hand-knit dresses for my barbie dolls and made matching dresses for my sister and me. She sewed beautiful silk dresses for herself with covered buttons. And she put a well balanced supper and desert on the table every night at 6:30 for her family. It all looked excellent on paper and was wrapped up as parental perfection and family bliss in my mind. But maybe it wasn't.

Maybe my mom was overwhelmed -- three kids in diapers at one time (and not the disposable kind). But that was okay then; that's what women did -- have babies and stay home to care for them. There was little choice in the middle class suburban white world she inhabited. She dropped out of college (where she met my father), got married and started a family. My father started a career - first as a journalist then advertising. And he cheated on my mother, many times, and drank himself to the point of having the DTs and blackouts and car crashes.

So was she happy? Doubtful. Did she admit it? Probably not. She put the past in the past and only looked ahead. You can't learn, after all, from what never happened. But the last straw did eventually get pulled and those fragile support beams came tumbling down catapulting this bloodied princess and her siblings from their fairytale life into the shark infested waters below. Only the strongest thrived.

No pity party PLEASE...

How pitiful am I? I was sexually abused. I was abandoned. I was alone. I was beaten by my boyfriend/husband. I had a rotating smorgasboard of addictions. I was depressed. I was suicidal. I was raped. I was emotionally abused. I was medicated. I had really low self-esteem. I believed I was a worthless piece of shit. Poor me.

Poor pathetic me.

I awoke at 4 a.m. and I felt ill and angry at myself. Why wasn't I stronger? Why didn't I just pick up the pieces and move on? Why didn't I just shrug off the shit and hold my head high. Isn't that the family way? Pretend it was nothing, dispense with any emotions, keep moving forward, and never, ever look back.

The LOML came to the rescue of his aging neighbor when she cried out in the wee morning hours after a fall -- thank goodness. But it left me with that oh too familiar plaintive cry, "poor me -- he's not there for me when I cry out at 4 a.m." I tell myself to shut up and grow up. A little harsh, I think now.

I feel sorry for myself today. I don't like it. I need to focus on my blessings.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Can karma be passed through the name given to your newborn child?

Why did you name your son after that abusive prick who fathered him? 

Clearly, the LOML could not for the life of him understand why I would have given my darling infant son the same name as his scumbag father and passed on his wretched karma. Can that happen with a name? I mean my son did grow up to battle a miserable, devasting and destructive drug addiction, not unlike his father's failed struggles with drugs and alcohol. Just add in the bipolar from my family and he seemed pretty doomed from the start. Fortunately, I never believed that his fate was sealed and I think somewhere deep inside, he doesn't believe it either. He works hard to overcome the odds and he's got my undying support. I have never stopped believing in him -- even in his worst moments and there were way too many.

But to get back to my original thought. How could I have named my beautiful son after his father. Why? I thought for just a moment and told the LOML that I had learned to pick my battles. How many issues could I manage at once? I had just given birth, alone, to this tiny little premature boy while my husband 1000 miles away was drunk at his uncle's funeral.  Yes, he returned immediately upon learning of his son's birth and asked that he carry his name. I don't remember what I thought about it. I'm not sure if I had other names selected. I think I did if it was a girl but not so certain if it was a boy. I know that I didn't want him to be a junior and he isn't. But was that enough of an argument? He and his father both use two different versions of a nickname for the same given name. Doesn't that help to distinguish and separate the two? Doesn't matter, after three days, he was given the name of his father.

I reminded the LOML that I delivered my son prematurely, totally alone in the hospital -- no family, no friends, no father present. For whatever the reason, I did not expel my placenta and they had to put me under, do an episiotomy (which they didn't have to do to give birth), and remove the placenta.  A little piece was left behind, got infected, and left me with a high fever and IV antibiotics. I was not in a place, emotionally or otherwise, to name my baby or argue over his name. I related the whole sad story about the weeks following the birth, the ultimate sock to the jaw by my ex, and my exodus north.

Later that night as I was tossing and turning trying to find some comfort and sleep, it occurred to me that maybe I was hoping that by naming my baby after his father, his father would become a loving and nurturing parent (and husband). I was asking for a miracle, I realize that now. It didn't work. 

And there I was, without any family or friends (who weren't of the highest caliber anyway), to support me. My abusive husband was all I had and quite frankly, I needed someone. I was scared of becoming a mommy in the midst of the hell I was living. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two parts Hope; one part Optimism

I dreamed last night about sealed, unlabeled tin cans of water [condensed soup sized]. The LOML was present.

In the early weeks of my sonamic experiencing therapy with Dr. B, I reported to her that I had felt ice water running (literally) through my veins several times during my sleep over a course of a few days. It was pretty severe and woke me up out of a sound sleep shivering and iced to my core. Strangely enough, it was in the middle of the summer months with that hot, drippy, humid heat. It wasn't refreshing though; it was painfully cold and although it only lasted seconds, the shivering persisted much longer. Dr. B believed it was the "freeze" part of trauma melting because of the work we were doing. It made sense although it is a rather weird phenomenon. But I have learned that not all things make perfect sense, especially when it relates to trauma and our bodies.

At the soul retrieval last week when the shaman was blowing my missing soul parts back into my chest, I felt this intense rush of ice cold starting at my trunk and racing down my limbs to my fingers and toes. It happened in an instant and was gone. I realized then that my chest was very hot. I didn't think much about it because she was blowing into my chest and I just thought it was the warmth of her breath. But the more I thought about it, the less I think that is what was happening. I had a double-folded blanket over me and wore a thickly woven shirt. The heat I felt was not just warm breath -- it was hot and it radiated out into my body. My arms and legs went numb for a second or two. Now, logically, I say to myself, it's what happens to me when I lie on my back...sometimes my arms or my legs can get pins and needles. But I had been lying for 30 minutes and there was no numbness or pins and needles.

Did the return of my missing soul parts melt some of the ice?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Minds can be very fragile

In my dreams last night I was talking to the LOML telling him about a movie [the specific movie I cannot remember] that I saw at the field club my family belonged to when I was a child. My mother suddenly appeared scolding me, telling me that I did not see the movie at the clubhouse. It only played at the theater in town. I could visual the separate ticket booth under the theater marquee but I was sure that was not where I had seen the movie. She continued to berate and humiliate me for not knowing where I had seen the movie. I turned to my love and with a voice of resignation told him that 'minds are very fragile.' My mind was very fragile.

I woke up startled and wondered if my mind was strong enough to survive the work I have ahead of me.  For a moment, just a fraction of a moment, I thought my mind would disintegrate into a puddle of lost thoughts and frozen fears.

I can no longer afford therapy...at least for a month or two. 

What will I do?

Pray. Believe. Breathe.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Let there be light...

Well, the shroud has lifted. Perhaps the soul parts needed protection whilst the semi-automatic integration process began. Or maybe I was just feeling lousy. I would like to say that the sunlight and gentle breeze today made the difference but it is the same as yesterday as the day before.

It could be the book I am reading. It is a very affirming and inspirational reading about women who have survived abuse - spousal, emotional, rape, childhood sexual abuse -- the book: Finding Angela Shelton.  What a brave young woman Angela is and what a healing path she embarked on much to her surprise. All the women were courageous. I am going to email or write her.  I need to reach out to someone who will understand.  

The LOML and I had a falling out over my neediness.  I was in a state [that's not a good thing] and I needed him.  He wasn't available and I did not handle it in a reasonable or rational way. I have been almost solely dependent upon him in dealing with this mess that has been my life. Of course, I do have a therapist twice monthly but that only offers limited albeit intensive support.  I don't want to feel the sadness I felt today knowing that I both angered and hurt him and wound up leaving myself alone.  Of course, being alone with my thoughts today turned into a positive thing.  Being alone with my thoughts yesterday was bordering on dangerous.

But I'm here and I just returned from a long walk at the river with my pup.  It is about as perfect an afternoon as anyone can ask for and all the other walkers, with or without dogs, seemed to be revelling in the perfection.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Running scared...

It's 5:30 Saturday evening and I am running on frantic energy.  I took down the sliding doors between my living & dining rooms.  I felt as though I was suffocating and needed to open the space up.   I moved the furniture in and out of the rooms trying to find the "right" place for each piece.  I didn't succeed but I did succeed in making a mess and cutting my knuckle and driving my 17 year son out of house because he said he can't stand my OCMD [obesessive compulsive moving disorder].  

I had a minor epiphany while I was straining to unscrew one of the many screws holding up the frame to the sliding doors.  My muscles were aching, my fingers sore, my forehead sweating and suddenly I realized that I REALLY wanted to learn from my soul retrieval whether or not I was abused and I didn't.  I don't even have a hint.  Well, maybe I have a hint that lies within the gigantic heart of my very own Moby Dick.

I'm not calm.  I have this shroud covering me and I can't break through it.  I'm not hopeless but I feel pointless.  Is that possible?  I don't feel depressed but I have suicidal thoughts...not that I'm concerned that I will act on them because I don't want to die...but they are comforting. And I don't like that.  My energy level is flat but it is not low.  I don't want to nap.  

I need to be quiet.  I'm not connecting.  I'm not integrating.  I'm not relaxed.

Breathe, in and out. Breathe.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Three parts come home

I feel a bit like the three cohorts of Dorothy from the land of oz rolled into one. Only I didn't go on my journey seeking a brain like the scarecrow, or a heart like the tinman, or courage for the cowardly lion. I went looking for wholeness and my shaman brought me back passion, creativity, and self-love. Three soul parts returned yesterday. Three little girls, ages 2, 9, and 13. Three spirit helpers came as well -- a tortoise, a sperm whale, and a pony.

Christina, immediately upon the departure of the previous client, lit her smudge stick and erased all traces of him and his spirits from the room. She then picked up the cushions, covers, etc., folding them neatly and setting them aside. She spoke to us for a while and when we all felt ready for the journey, she rose and began to arrange the cushions, pillows, etc. for my journey. It was a very precise ritual -- she unfolded the scarf with intention, arranged the pillow over the crystals, positioned the cushions. I was asked to lie down on my back and she slid a few more cushions under my legs. Comfortable? Can you stay like this for 30 minutes? Do you need a blanket? I did. She folded the blanket in half and placed it over my body.

She sat down on her mat next to me and began to rattle. After another minute she began this high pitched, single note whistle [not unpleasant to the ear] all the while rattling . She then began a beautiful song-like chanting. This lasted a few minutes after which she laid down on her back, her left arm ever so slightly touching my right arm and began her journey.

Her narration started almost immediately. [She had explained to us that she narrates the journey & records it so that we know what occurs.] Barely a few seconds had passed when she let out a slight laugh and said "this is a day of funny people." I'm not sure exactly what she meant. Then she announced her intention, "so I have entered into this journey on your behalf and have asked what can help you to heal at this time." She describes the scene in the woods and the sighting of the young toddler.

The two year old was hiding with the small forest creatures in the woods. When Christina arrived she heard this rustling of leaves and saw this little toddler walking away down the path. She's feisty and appears to be strong-willed and bossy. She says she just knows what she wants and that no one ever listens to her.

The nine year old was hiding in a cave in a snowy mountain area and had written on the cave wall an epic story penned in words and pictures. She said she wanted to be left alone but was willing to come once she understood that she was needed in the present. She is the keeper of the story and teller of tales.
She says I am the keeper of the story.She says but I am also the teller of tales.I ask her what she means by that and she’s also capable of telling a tale to compel people to do something, to create a story, not just tell a story that really happened but to create a story that moves people to a particular place or in a particular way.She says that she had dreams of being a writer but that her experience that she ran away from had convinced her that no one would ever want to listen to her stories and once she realized that that had happened she couldn’t stay around any longer.
The 13 year old was a flamenco dancer - standing erect with her flaring skirt in the middle of somewhere, stomping her feet, and spinning furiously. She left because of something that happened at 13 left her feeling incapable of expressing her passion, her creativity, and her independence. She has a powerful, expressive, moving energy that has caused her unwanted attention and pain. She left because there was no room (literally and figuratively) for her in the world she lived in.

I welcomed my girls back. I engaged in many one-sided dialogues with them during the day. [I have not heard from them yet.] I thanked them for returning to me. I told them I was blessed to have them back. I promised to protect them and love them. I assured them that I would hear them and respect what they had to say. I explained to them that I called them my little girls not because I valued them any less but because I loved them and because they were younger than me. I praised them for their passion and energy and vitality and looked forward to their integration into my life in this time.

I have not heard anything back from them. I hope they are still here. Christina said they won't leave. I just need to be patient, to listen, and to find just the right time and place to talk with them...

[postscript/post retrieval dream] Walking along a canyon trail, high above the ground, with my mother. She is holding an infant. I have my little dog. I'm a little apprehensive watching my mother carelessly strolling along the edge, hundreds of feet in the air, with this baby haphazardly balanced in her arms. We come to an unexpected body of water -- the ocean, I think -- with waves crashing on the beach. My mother takes the infant and goes out into the water. The waves are breaking just above her hips. Suddenly she drops the baby into the water so that she can adjust her clothing. The little baby, a girl with brown hair, begins screaming and crying as it keeps getting sucked under the crashing waves. I run out into the water and rescue the baby, yelling at my mother...why did you drop the baby? What the hell is wrong with you? She just glares at me and tells me very matter of factly that she had to fix her outfit. Short time later I'm in a room with this infant rubbing lavender scented baby oil on her skin -- skin that is one perfectly even shade of light brown. My sister comes in and scolds me for rubbing oil on her skin. Don't you know that baby oil contains petroleums? What's wrong with you? I told her it was lavender oil not baby oil. It wasn't true.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

It's time...

After a shaky start (minor panic attack just as I dozed off) I slept last night, soundly with a still mind. I woke up early feeling rested and enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee. It didn't last long and before I knew it, a strange kind of anxiety began to creep in. It was quiet anxiousness that laid deep in my core. Life moved in slow motion. Around 11:00 the LOML came over and swept me up into his arms and held me tight. My angst, he said, was contagious. A short time later we hopped into my car and headed into the city for my soul retrieval.

We arrived at exactly 2 p.m. and Christina (the Shaman) was just wrapping up with a previous client. She invited us into this tiny apartment, asked us to remove our shoes, and wait for just a minute.

We spent the first 30 minutes talking about integration -- the process following the retrieval. Integration is the work that I have to do to make sure that my soul parts become part of my life. Honesty is most important. They will be forgiving and understanding and tolerant as long as you don't lie to them. The first two days is an automatic and natural process of integration that just happens. You have no control. It can leave you feeling disoriented or maybe nothing. I don't know if I feel anything. I don't feel a fullness but I do feel extra exhausted and my head is heavy.

I need to sleep.

Post 9/26 therapy dreams...

Dream #1
I was in the backyard at my ex's house. It was late at night and I walked out into the pitch darkness holding my little dog looking for a place to put him down to pee. There was no one around and it was very eerily still.  I walked to the edge of the woods where it was really black and ominous and called into the woods for someone or something to come out now, to show themselves to me, to come and look into my eyes. While I was yelling, I was struggling to get the dogs collar around his neck in case he leaped from my arms.  I was rushing and nervous.  I dared this entity to look into my eyes saying that they (my eyes) were ready to be seen by this person/thing in the woods.  Then I heard this voice shout that the elephants were coming and I looked up and I could see running through the woods a short distance from me three giant elephants, actually more like a cross between elephants and wooly mammouths -- on the back of the first one was a wild-looking caveman waving a stick.  I held my dog tightly, careful not to drop him, slipped on his leash and ran back to the house.  The herd ran down the driveway and disappeared into the darkness.  I ran up the steps to the back door and was just about to open it when this human-like man creature appeared in front of me threatening me.  I held my two fingers out and pointed them like a gun at him to make him disappear but he just stared at me.  He was very ugly, hairy, old looking.  I ran inside into the kitchen, through the living room and into the bedroom by the laundry room.  My exe's mother was sleeping in bed with a very young adult couple.  I hid behind the dresser holding the dog telling them that he was back and they needed to go kill him.  No one did anything to help me.

Dream #2
I am standing in waist deep murky water, in a large lake with an uneven shoreline, a short distance from a dock when I see my little dog jump off the dock into the dark waters.  I watch him for a few minutes as he slowly sink beneath the water's surface.  I cry out for help and start to swim toward where I saw him go under.  I grab a pair of goggles off of the dock so that I can see in the murky waters.  I try to put the goggles on -- they are more like opera glasses with focasable lenses over the eyes.  Every time I put the googles on I can't see through them - it's like I am looking through binoculars the wrong way and everything I am seeing is tiny and way off in the distance.  I turn them upside down and still I can't see.  I start to panic when I see my older brother pop up out of the water with the dog in his arms.  He lays the dog on the dock and I climb out to resusitate the dog.  He's on his back on the dock and as I reach over to pump his chest, he coughs up water, rolls over and starts breathing.  I am relieved he's alive but not trusting that he will be okay because I did nothing to revive him.

Dream #3
I am walking with my mother and she tells me that she is giving my youngest son $300 "just because."  And I ask her not to but she tells me she does what she wants and doesn't care what I think.  I start to cry, telling her that it isn't fair the way she has no appreciation for me.  I start to get angry and yell and she cuts me off by screaming at me to grow up and act like a woman.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

15 hours 18 minutes

until my soul retrieval begins.

Anticipation is building. I hope that I can sleep.

things have changed -- for the better -- I promise...

I woke up this morning feeling a little anxious.  What if the little girls don't want to come back? What if they don't trust that I will take care of them and protect them?  Things have changed since they ran away.

I no longer pound my skull with my fists...
or repeatedly bang my head against the wall...
or yank my hair so forcefully I leave bruises on my scalp.

I no longer long for a violent and gruesome accident to take my life...
or have an obsession with suicidal fantasies...
or a love/hate relationship with the cement mixer of death.

I am no longer in a physically abusive relationship...
or an emotionally abusive relationship...
or an unbalanced, unhealthy relationship where I am squashed as an individual.

But not all is perfect in this life I'm living.  
  • I'm hard pressed to find joy in my life.
  • I still binge eat on occassion although I am much better at counter-balancing it with a healthy diet, supplements, etc.
  • I am struggling to develop an exercise routine but I'm persisting!
  • I'm in therapy and working diligently to understand and heal from the traumas of my past.  It hurts and often my nights are filled with unpleasant dreams and hours of tossing and turning.
I do, however, have these assets going for us...
  • I have an incredibly strong will to live, to heal, and to experience joy in my life
  • I have hope and faith
  • I have a man who truly loves and respects me
  • My children are healing and beginning to prosper in their own lives
  • I have a beautiful little dog that all of you will love to play with and he's a cuddler!
  • I want you back

Monday, October 06, 2008

I've seen the needle and the damage done

a little part of it in everyone
but every junkie's like a setting sun...

Stuck in traffic on the parkway this morning listening to the radio, I heard mention of the CSNY album Four Way Street.  Before I knew it, I was whisked back in time to an Easter evening 1973 at my abuser's home.  Robin B a friend of my ex's, Vietnam vet, and herion addict was with us. He had just come out of his nod and was drinking scotch, incoherently lamenting war horrors. Neil Young was wailing on the stereo while "The Ten Commandments" was silently airing on the television. I was high (marijuana only) and withdrawn sitting in the corner.  Maybe I was cowering.  It was dark.  The conversation somber and angry.  The mood foreboding.  And I couldn't escape because I had no place to go.  I smoked another joint and disappeared.  

Maybe a piece of my soul left as well.  If that is true, I had plenty of opportunities for my frightened self to hightail it to somewhere safe.

Fastforward 20 years to 1993 and the small apartment I shared with my three children.  They were not home and I was lying in bed with the LOML. It was Easter morning.  We were watching a video - Natural Born Killers [my choice].

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Three days and counting...

It's Sunday night. In two and a half days the LOML and I will head into the City for a soul retrieval. Shortly after 2 p.m. on Wednesday I will be in an apartment lying on my back on a rug on the floor, my shaman lying next to me, hypnotic drumming sending her off on a journey to retrieve my lost soul parts. I need to believe. I must be receptive. And I have to be prepared to welcome my little girls back into a life that is safe and secure.

When did they leave? Did they run away and if so, at what ages? Were parts stolen from me? Did I give pieces of my soul away? All these things can happen. What will she tell me when she returns from the journey? What traumas will she relate to me? How will I feel when my lost parts are blown back into me? I guess I'll know the answers very soon.

So, will I learn if I was sexually abused as a child? I know that memories will return with the soul parts. I want them all to come home to me. I need to be whole.

I have temporarily lost the ability to express my feelings in writing. I have been so overwhelmed with emotions that I don't have the words to describe them.

I haven't been sleeping and I'm exhausted. My brain stem aches again tonight.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

the fragmented self

Where is the awe? Where is the excitement I should feel experiencing life? Lately it seems as though everyone I meet has that vacant look in their eyes. And I know that look - it has dominated my life. Absence of joy. For me it was thoughts filled with wretchedness and despair. I think it is all symptomatic of a fragmented soul.

So what else plagues the human mind and body when the soul has splintered and its pieces retreat to otherworlds?

For me, it is a lethargy, an inability to make decisions, sadness, and anger. It manifests in physical ailments, insomnia, bipolar disorder, eating issues, depression, suicidal ideology, failure, mistrust, low self esteem, and shame. The evidence is indisputable. My life has often times felt more like a nightmare than a blessing.

I have learned now to wake up every morning and thank the universe for my life, for giving me the strength somehow, to more forward with my life and heal.