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Coming to the end of Me

May 29, 2011

Oh how I try not to write when I’m feeling this way.  It’s not embarrassment that causes me to hold in my words, nor is it fear of being judged by others.  That fear has somehow ceased to be with me.  Instead it is the fear of causing some sort of harm to another.   When hope and joy and optimism are so far away from me, when all I have left at this moment is despair, will I poison another?  Will me despondency be contagious?  Surely I hope not.  But just in case, step away if you need and come back when you have been inoculated against despair.

I’ve learned a lot about reframing over the course of my journey, learned to choose to see the Light in the midst of darkness and blessings in the midst of the trauma.  In that spirit, here’s one way to see what’s going on: we’re living rent free for the next two months in a home with an above ground pool and bedrooms for all the kids.  We are surrounded by beautiful old trees and the cats are all with us.  We all have a chance to spend some real time together, decided what we really want to be when we grow up, and set out to get whatever we need to make those things happen.  The fridge and the pantry are both full and we’re living closer to family than we have been.

That is all true.  And I wish down to the marrow of my bones that I actually saw things that way, that I felt the gratitude that so neatly fits that image.

But here is what is also true: we’re borrowing someone else’s house and we have no more than 45 days or so before we have to move out and we could be forced to move much sooner.  Half of our stuff, including my altars, are in a storage unit that isn’t close enough or empty enough to go and “visit”.  The above ground pool has been neglected for the last year so there are inches of leaves (that fell off of those beautiful old trees that we are surrounded by), worms, bugs, algae, and who knows what kinds of health hazards infesting the water.  It would take about $100 worth of chemicals to get it useable and we just don’t have it.  There are all kinds of minor repairs that we have to do on the house to get it ready for sale, repairs that we are doing in lieu of rent, meaning that we have to purchase any necessary materials and do the actual work.  And my husband, my fabulous Mr. Fix It, broke his arm the night we moved in.  The full pantry and fridge are thanks to the local food bank and very little of it appeals to me (I know how bratty that sounds…sue me!  I’m on a good whine here!).  My therapist and I have been doing some really intense and challenging healing work of late and now we can’t work together anymore because she’s still earning her license and can’t work in Florida.  And I hate Florida with a burning passion.  Florida is where I lost my son, worked myself half to death, experienced painful friendship breakups.  And there are no mountains, mountains which feed my soul and let something within me breathe in a way that nothing else quite manages.  And my hunt for work is not going well.  And my kids may end up in a shelter with us, something I have adamantly opposed for them.  And we had to sell my car, the only thing I owned that was just mine, a symbol of my right to choose where to be, my independence, my safe rebellion.

I have become a stranger to myself.  I know that I used to be able to find joy in tiny things, that I laughed and smiled, that I felt optimistic and filled with faith that the magnificent Divine was holding me close, working things out for me.  I used to know that I might have no idea where I was going, but it sure would be awesome along the way and even more awesome when I arrived.  I do not remember that me.  I cannot find her anywhere and I am afraid she is lost forever.

I am angry to wake up in the morning.  I feel overwhelmed by these situations and so unsure that it will ever be better than this.  I remind myself over and over that I have been here before, that I have lost me and had to hunt me down and drag me back to a life that suited me better.  I remind me that I am a survivor, resilient and persistent.  I remind me that I have always been able to discard from within those characteristics or thoughts or feelings that do not suit.  And still I am stuck here.

I dig deep, deep, deeper still to find something within me that wants to live more than it wants to die.  I cling to visions of my children getting married, having babies, calling just to say hi.  I know that I do not want to miss these moments with them.  I imagine my old ladyhood when I can be in the mountains and be quiet and still.  I imagine writing a book or rocking a grandchild.  I imagine dancing with my Goddess in full moon light and feeling Her breathing in my essence cause She loves me that much.  I imagine feeling peaceful, feeling joyful, feeling full.   I cannot see those things from here but I don’t want to miss the next time they happen.  I refuse to believe that I have laughed for the last time, that the last hug from my partners was really the last, that joy is forever absent from me.  I refuse to believe that my Goddess has forgotten me.  I refuse to accept that it will always be this way.

I choose.  I do not feel gratitude or joy or hope but I have the power to choose.  And so I choose, today and tomorrow and the day after that.  I do not feel strong enough to choose growth right now, or personal evolution, or moving forward.  But I choose to hang on, to hang in, to dig in my heels and refuse to succumb to despair.  And I choose to document this time in the hopes that the next time it feels this awful, I can read about this time and know that I came out of it okay.

I Think It’s Gonna be Okay

March 8, 2011

What an odd day today…

I feel sort of like I have spent the day chasing my Self in circles, playing Coyote to me.  I think of spirals and cycles and Circles.  I think of wanting my Self enough that I’m willing to chase.

I’ve posted 3000 words today.  Wow.  I didn’t know I had that many words.  Just a few hours ago, I was sure that I had nothing to say, but, by golly, I was committed to saying it.  I may read all of these words tomorrow and decide none of them make sense.  I still haven’t slept since sometime yesterday and my eyes seem to still be superglued open but who’s to say, really, if any of these words are even making sense at this point!

: Pause here for your ideal inner Mama to remind you that eating and sleeping and sharing time, real face time, with other human beings (preferably not the furry kinds, like cats and dogs) are all very important things to make sure that you stay healthy.  I think my ideal inner Mama took a sabbatical today, leaving me to my own bad habits!:

As odd (and perhaps culturally insensitive) as it may sound, I feel like I have been on a sacred soul journey today, that I somehow lost and found pieces of me, fitted those pieces together, found spirit guides and truth, and cycled around from an absence of movement to a place of stillness.  And I’m not sure that I ever even got out of bed.

I know that I’ve chronicled it today in the other posts, but just for my own self, I want to see the journey of today compiled here in this post…the cyclical nature of it seems ephemeral but certain, intangible but somehow sturdy; perhaps if I put it here, connect it all together, I can make it make more sense to me.

When I decided to give up on sleep and go ahead and start my day this morning, I was right where I like most to be, sandwiched between the breathing forms of the god and goddess as they manifest in my amazing partners.  Yet I was terrifyingly alone.  I felt myself as so “apart from”; isolated in depression and fear and guilt and ickiness in general.  See, I know that I’ve been a really crummy partner of late, all take and no give, selfish and unreasonable, jealous and possessive and insecure and all those other anti-Poly things to be.  I spent some time reading a poly blog (polytripod.blogspot.com) which was really amazing to read.  The main contributor to the blog had some things in common with me and got my gears spinning.  Her relationship with her husband had some similarities to mine with my hubby, too: married at the same age as I, opened their marriage at the same stage that we opened ours, began to live with her significant other partner, just as we’ve done, married for the same number of years.  And then they divorced.  I didn’t read all the way through that journey…the blog is several years old and I only read the first few years and then the most recent post or two.   I have no idea HOW they got from happily triadic to divorced and in my scrambled brain state, I didn’t look for any differences in their relationships compared to ours.  Again (and please compassionately remember that I’ve been in a very bad state), in my scrambled mind I could only see what was the same and I became certain that my husband would leave.  I was sure that my wife was resentful of the choices that she’s made on my behalf and for my sense of security and I was sure they both hated me.  They were both still snoring and completely unaware of the totally terrifying and mostly insane conclusions I had come to about them, us, and me….totally without TALKING about it of course.  I was so sure that I was right and so sure that it was inevitable that I felt myself sort of leaving any way.  Maybe you’ve never been there, in that space where you can feel you take some vital you-ness out of a relationship in order to protect it.  But I’ve been there before.  Hell, I practically made a career out of keeping some sort of me-ness out of relationships all together.

The good news is that I had a moment of awareness: I knew that I was making up at least some of the crap spinning in my head….and I started trying to fix it.  I’ve written probably 10 posts here in the last month, only all of them were in my head.  Not helpful.  Also not sharing the me-ness, which is at least a part of the point of this whole blogging thing for me.  So again I reclaimed this space, let go of some of my own rigid rules about what’s allowed here, and put something out there.  And then I started falling back into that pit of yuck that is my trauma mess.  I felt it, owned it, claimed it, and proclaimed again that despite it all…I am still here.  Not always still standing; often a crawling, scraping, gibbering mess but I AM HERE.  And I am doing the work that I am supposed to do.  I crawling in there with all of the muck and reminding myself that the garbage isn’t ME.  It might be on me, I might even be buried under it, but on some level and in some ways, it isn’t IN me.  I see myself sometimes as a carrier of this terrifying trauma virus.  I am certain that anyone who gets too close is gonna get some kind of infection.  But that isn’t true.  There is a piece of me, a Divine and shining piece of me that they never touched.  There is living, breathing Divinity in me, Soul and Spirit, Hope and Faith and Love in there that never got damaged or injured.  That is my me-ness.  That is my Self.  And I will stride through all this muck til it’s uncovered and all sparkly.  And I am committed to that.

But sometimes, that’s all I’ve got.  I don’t always have GIVE in me.  I don’t always have compassion and truth and words.  Sometimes this scraping, crawling, gibbering mess is the best I’ve got.  My amazing partners never act as though or speak as though my trauma holds them hostage.  We’ve no times of feeling that we just CAN’T leave, other than that knowing that comes deep from the heart.  I try to affirm to my partners again and again that I love them enough that I will never try to coerce or manipulate them into staying in a relationship that isn’t okay for them.  And again AND again, they affirm their strong desire to be right here with me.  Then, of course, comes the next muck fest when I beg them to never leave me.  And I mean it all…free to go if they need to, but please God and Goddess, not right now!

So, all of that to say that I’ve been sucky lately.  And that matters to me.  But truly, truly, truly….it’s the best I got right now.  And perhaps if both of my partners are okay with that, I could try being okay with that too.  Wow! Wow! Wow!  Crazy concept for me and one that I just starting trying on today, tonight really.

But first, I had to read some blogs.  There are some really great and amazing blogs out there in the world.  Mind blowing, soul warming, hug giving blogs.  I want to take time tomorrow to track down the actual LINKS to those blogs, but tonight it seems way to complicated to figure out.  I can tell you that I spent some time at CUUMBAYA.blogspot.com which led me to another blog of Joel’s that was a piece of his Book of Shadows.  Joel was my first Teacher even though we never even spoke.  He saw me in ways that I could not see myself and then gave me tools to be exactly what he saw.  I had a real life teacher, too, and he helped me sort out what of those teachings was True and what was perhaps ego driven, never with criticism of the teacher but always a reminder to go back to my Source, to feel with the very Soul of me.  I do that still and have taught all my own students to do the same.  Over and over I tell them to check all of the words or lessons that I give them with that Source and to always go with what feels True, even if it contradicts what I am teaching.  Have I done that with the messages that I feed to myself, checked them for Truth?  Sometimes, when I can.  And sometimes, even when I know that the words I am feeding me are false, they cut so deep and their aim so true that I come out bleedng.  And I remember Joel telling me that Truth should never hurt my soul.  My ego: fair game; illusions, cut to shreds but that Divine Self should always feel safe when confronted with Truth.  Somehow, I forgot.  But I read his words today and remembered.  And sighed some in relief as the terrible things that I have said to and about me faded under the gentle warmth of Truth.

There’s another blog called Discovering Jade (I promise dear Jade that I will link back to that amazing place).  I read of her grief and her healing.  I read her strength and her lack of perfection.  And I felt so amazed by her, her willingness to walk this Path of putting your insides on the outside for public display.  And nowhere in me was the idea that she SHOULD be healing like this or that, at this pace, or in that way.  Simply a profound gratitude that she IS healing, has healed, moves through.  Maybe if I can see her like that, I can see me like that.  Could I, just for a little while, allow myself the freedom to not judge my healing process?  Could I, maybe just for a day or two, feel gratitude for my own willingness to move through?  Could I, even for an hour or two, just BE with me on this healing journey instead of hating that I am not faster or better or stronger or more eloquent or….a million other things that I’m just not enough of?  Maybe…maybe.  Jade, deep gratitude for you.  I so honor you on your journey.  You are on that list of people that I will be sending blessings to everyday because you enriched my whole experience of being me today in ways I can’t even put into words. 

Then I popped on over to my Beloved’s blog…again deep commitment to link it to here.  If you want to jump to that juciness before I get it linked all properly, just click on Aerolin’s name in the comments here and you’ll get right there.  Anyway, I sometimes feel like I’ve highjacked her whole life, that there’s nothing that she is or has that I haven’t…infected…in some way.  Again…my own crap and nothing from her that would affirm that feeling.  Anyway, because of that, I try to stay away from her blog.  I mean, we share clothes and make-up and feminine hygiene products and space and cats and kids and ritual and…well, you get the drift so I feel like she deserves something that is completely her own, a temple of sorts and a retreat.  But I just needed to soak in a little bit of her wonderfulness and she’s working a double today so it was the closest I could get.  I was amazed!  In all the shitstorms, she hasn’t bad mouthed me.  She hasn’t talked about how mean I am or how crazy I am these days or what a burden I am.  Never has she wished there that she could get out of this.  My amazing kids that have, one after another, after another  pushed her in ways that she never planned for don’t even get dissed there.  And  I KNOW how trying these amazing people can be.  What a gift and a treasure.  Wow.  And in the midst of me all falling-apart-like, she trusts what I have taught.  She sees all the crazy that I am and still sees the Divine in me.  Wow!! Wow!!  I am uber Loved…

I spent some time being mad and afraid.  And then I juiced me up on a couple more blogs.  http://jamieridlerstudios.ca/  http://www.goddessguidebook.com/ I found an amazing buffet of bloggers, many of them women, many of them so committed to living authentically, to pursuing the dream, to being their most creative and inspired selves.  Not to sound like a jackass but I truly had NO IDEA!!  The whole world seems to be lighting up, waking up, THRIVING!  Sure, it kinda sucks for me right now, but WOW!  What possibilities and potentials there are out there.  Hmmm….

Then, to wind it all up for me, I went to The Wild Pomegranate.  That place is like my favorite slippers-wine-chocolate kind of night.  I often read the words there but I almost don’t even have to.  I just feel…welcomed.  I feel like I am allowed to glimpse another face of the Divine.  Even when the posts are hard work kind of things, I feel such a peaceful  stillness there.  I feel a sigh of great relief and release.  I feel like, for just a moment, I “get it”.  Not sure what or how, but I feel it deep in my bones.  I remember when there where Women Who Run quotes there and I felt like I had met a kin.  I’d never actually known another person who drank so deeply from that pool of  wisdom.  I had pages of that book scrolling through my head and it seemed no one else even had read it.  Clearly I had been hanging with the wrong people cuz Ms Grace had TONS of those words right out there for everyone to swallow in easy bites.  That was the whole reason that I ever started blogging…that HOMEness found in words posted by another. So, Ms Grace, I curled up on your couch for a bit and just breathed.  Deep. Again and again.  I felt that you-ness of that place filling me up again, letting me rest, reminding me that surely all of this will all work out ok.  It just has to… I mean, I am Loved.  I felt all these little bits of others sort of wrapping me up in a comforter.  And I knew (even if you didn’t) that your voices were used today to whisper “I Love you” to me, over and over again, until I could finally really remember that.

So I was mad and scared and trapped and running and unmoving and moved and Loved and restored and finally, finally I am becoming still again.  And tomorrow might suck a lot or it might not.  And I might really hold on to all I learned and knew and felt today and I might not.  I might manage to sit outside and I might still be too scared to do that.  I might cry or skulk or pout…but I might smile and I might laugh.  And no matter what, at least for tomorrow, I will KNOW that I KNOW that I am Loved.

Forgiveness

March 7, 2011

So,  I said in my last post that I had all this bottled up stuff to say, and this one just might get me in trouble! 

Also, for anyone that is a survivor of childhood trauma, you may want to skip this one as it may be triggering for you.  In this moment, wherever and whoever you are, I trust your wisdom to know what is best and safest for you.  Walk your healing as you need…

:pause for disclaimer: This is what is true for me, for now.  I certainly do not say that is TRUTH, or even true for others.  I know that most spiritual traditions and teachers of those traditions would see all of the following statements as profoundly untrue and evidence of spiritual immaturity on my part.  I can live with that.  Please know that from the deepest part of my being, I mean no disrespect to any tradition, path, teacher, or personally held by another conviction.  I believe that all of us have to heal in whatever way brings the most wholeness….Grace, darlin’, if you read this, please know that your heart is the one I am most leery of getting kicked out of after this post is done!:

Resume…

All of my time spent in the Christian tradition and all of the counseling that I received by members of that tradition said that forgiveness was the key to my healing.  I was told that no matter what atrocities I had experienced, it was my job to forgive the perpetrators and that the very salvation of my soul depended on my ability to do that. 

I don’t want to go into a long and drawn out childhood horror story, but the professionals that I have worked with to heal thus far have all agreed that abuse wasn’t the word for my experiences…the more fitting word is torture.  For years.  When and where I should have been safe….

Okay…I’m aware enough to know that the above blurb comes off as “poor me” or victim or some other icky thing so I want to be clear… I’m PISSED.  Mightily, royally, flamingly angry.  If I watched someone do some of the things that were done to me to some little kid, I’d be hard-pressed not to kill the SOB that was harming said child.  I am filled with WRATH…energized with it, sleepless STILL with it. 

That wrath fuels me to heal.  When I am trying to take a nice soothing shower before bed and instead I am ambushed by a flashback, it’s my anger that keeps me right there in that damn shower until I am not afraid anymore….even though I KNOW it might happen again tomorrow.  I’m experiencing insomnia these days (and nights!).  I’ve been awake now since sometime yesterday.  I can’t sleep because I can’t really convince myself that he won’t come and snatch me or one of my babies if I let myself genuinely relax and rest.  And it pisses me off.  And that pissed keeps me determined not to let him win.  I will heal from this; not some, not even mostly, but completely and totally.   I will not continue to be his victim.

I woke up screaming one morning this week.  I was stuck in a replay of an injuring of my knees.  That was days ago and they’re still sore and swollen.  My appetite isn’t what it should be, I can’t remember the last time I actually forced myself to leave the sanctuary of our home, and I am completely sucking at all things a domestic goddess (homemaker) should do.  And I am righteously mad about it.

See, mad is new for me.  I was never allowed to be mad and I was certainly never allowed to even think that the insanity around me was wrong or the fault of my perpetrators.  I was the bad one, the one that couldn’t get it right enough, the one that was either slutty or frigid.  If anyone got to be a target of my rage, it was me.

So when I hear that I am the one that should be forgiving them, it just doesn’t make any sense to me.  I struggled and  labored at that task for so many years and always felt that I was a failure because I just couldn’t do it.  I was told to pray about it and to release my suffering to Jesus.  I was told to Honor my mother and father.  I was told to just CHOOSE forgiveness and trust that the healing for me would come.  And I was told that I would go straight to hell if I could not find my way to reconciliation.  I was told that I was “spiritually retarded” if I could not just forgive and forget.

I read “Miss America by Day” a few years ago and it literally changed my life.  Marilyn Van de Beer is one ballsy lady.  And totally committed to healing.  She tried almost every single therapeutic approach to healing incest trauma that was known.  She paid all kinds of money to all kinds of people in her dogged determination to get WELL.  Did you catch that part…WELL.  I love that!!  Here is a woman unwilling to settle for “better” or “healthy enough”.  Wellness…wholeness….that’s a concept I can get behind.  And at almost the end of her amazing book, she makes a statement about how she will never forgive her father for what he did to her.

Wait…rewind that….really?  She is DONE with her healing work, certain that she is WELL, WHOLE…and she will never forgive??  For serious and true??? I was so shocked that I actually emailed her to be sure that she hadn’t changed her mind or that there wasn’t some “trick” about that statement that made it not REALLY true.  Nope…she meant it, still means it, and totally stands by the dual statement of having finished her healing work AND never forgiving him.

LIBERATION!!!! 

And as soon as I let go of that mandate to forgive, I began to understand all of the complex reasons WHY I can’t forgive…ever.  For me, and in this time, forgiveness implies some kind of ‘okayness’ to the harm.  How often have we all heard, or maybe even said, “It’s okay, I forgive you”.  But it’s deeply and truly not okay, not this time.  And that old tricky phrase, forgive and forget.  Why would I ever forget and how could I?  Imagine wiping out all you know of your life all the way up to age 17.  That’s a lot to forget and millions of excruciating moments for me to forgive.

I try my very best to live a life of nonjudgement of others.  When I think of or see a choice that another makes, I simply choose whether that seems right for ME without assuming to know if it’s right for them.  And I strive to live in a space of deep compassion for others.  When I feel wronged in some way, I genuinely try to step into the paradigm of the “offender” and often find myself apologizing for loosing sight of their Truth, or assuming to know the motivations of the other, or even for thinking that my need or want of the moment should supersede theirs.  Most people who know me tell me again and again that I am loving, compassionate, and patient.  I really do things like ask for blessings to fall on the driver that cut me off or the telephone solicitor who interrupted my meal.  I take time every day to ask for a multitude of blessings on people who I cherish, even if I cherish them because one day, 5 years ago, they gave me the nickel that I needed to get enough gas in the car to make it home.  Really, I do.  Consistently and with as much gratitude as I can muster in the moment.   I don’t say all that to say that I am fabulous or wonderful, simply to say that I’m not mean or vengeful or angry or bitter.

But I am angry.  I am angry that the child that I could have been will never be.  I get it that I am so much stronger now that I would have been.  And I get it that I have some amazingly developed survival skills.  There is even a theory in the mental health field that my sense of smell is so strong because of the way that trauma rewires the brain.  So I get it that I have positives going for me that I never could have developed if I hadn’t lived through all that I did.

But I am tired of having to work so hard just to feel safe.  I’m tired of these cycles of healing that I experience where the darkness before the dawn is just so dark that I cannot imagine that Light will ever come.  I’m tired of having all of these damnable issues.  I’m tired of fear and flashbacks and body memories and nightmares that are true.  I’m tired of feeling like it won’t ever end.

But remember, this is a Love story.  Really it is.  See, this week, when my knees were swollen and sore, I actually forgave my body.  This body is where all the bad stuff happened and I really forgave that.  I forgave my body for refusing to die or be broken beyond repair.  And I had this odd moment of deep admiration for my body.  For years, it was hurt and would complain of the pain and nothing got any better.  But it still persists in telling me that things are not okay.  WOW!  If I did that with my partners, told them everyday that something that was going on was hurting me, and NOTHING changed, I’d just give up.  I wouldn’t be able to express my pain in the same way, day after day, with the same level of  trust after 30 years of not being heard.  But my body does just that.  I started to see my body with this new level of respect, this new awareness of true strength, this owning of my persistence.

And in these moments of this profound fragility, I am so loved.  I have the most amazing partners.  They really hear me and they really see me and they care for me in ways that I can’t even say I need.  Some nights, I ask my husband to look under the bed for me so I know that no one is there.  He never laughs at me or loses patience or yells about.  He simply gets up and looks.  And every night these days, my wife comes home from another long day of work that she doesn’t love and asks me, the same me that’s been hiding in bed all day, if there’s anything that she can do for me.  And she means it.  And when I’m sitting on the floor of our tub, lost somewhere 20 years ago, and it’s 2 in the morning and she’s doing it all again tomorrow, she climbs in the tub with me and is just HERE.  And when I’m stuck there, the voices of these two amazing people call me home, again and again, to right here and right now, where I am safe and loved.   They take up the slack with the kids, keep things running, make sure everyone eats, sit in the bathroom with me yet again, talk to me at 3 am, look under the bed, and believe me.  Everyday.  Even when it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.  Even when I wonder if I’m just going to stay lost.  That’s love.  Nitty-gritty, down and dirty, fidelitous Love. 

So even if I could ever forgive all that he’s done to me, I don’t know that I could ever forgive all that he’s done to them.

My forgiveness is spent on me, these amazing people who love me, and crazy drivers.  The Boogeymen of the world are just going to have to look elsewhere.

Smashing Little Boxes

March 7, 2011

So I have this confession to make…

I am a compartmentalizer….or at least I was.

I have always wanted, maybe even needed to have all the parts of my life clearly delineated, marked off and separated from one another.  I loathe(d) multiple-role relationships and have been so strict about stating what role I was acting from at any given moment and making very strong statements about when I was switching roles.  I have been extremely uncomfortable anytime those lines have gotten blurry.  In our home, we call these my little boxes.  As in, “I need to know which little box to look in to know what I’m supposed to do now” or “EEEKKKKKK….my boxes are crashing into one another and that feels really scary to me right now'”.  Sound a bit crazy? Perhaps…. I have been reassured by most of the shrinks that I’ve had that this is a very normal way of relating to the world for people with a history of trauma, though we certainly aren’t the only ones who have been known to relate that way.

And then I started really running down this crazy Path I’m on with my spirituality.  Slowly but surely, the little box that had “Spirituality” in it started oozing its way into every other little box.  I found that every piece of my life became filtered through that new lens of Goddess Awakening?Enlivening?Becoming?  Before I even knew what happened, the only people in my life were the ones that could tolerate this “out there” spirituality of mine.  My perceptions on nearly everything shifted and suddenly things made more sense to me.  I was ZINGED!!!!  WIDE AWAKE!!!!  GOING FULL BORE!!!

I remember laughing once, wondering out loud if there was anyplace left that I could go where I wasn’t just focused on my spirituality.  I went to my favorite little redneck cowboy diner for lunch.  I was sitting with my Beloved and it was so focused on her, on us…our time face to face then was so scarce that I wanted to do nothing but relish that time.  Anyway, we were just sitting and chatting, not about anything really crucial and an absolute stranger plopped down by our table and started asking for spiritual advice and some counsel about spellworkings.   Joke was surely on me but I certainly got the message..my spirituality was everywhere, and in a sense, everything. 

That’s about the time I started this blog.  I was certain that this could be my SPIRITUAL PLACE.  hmmm….had I already forgotten that EVERYWHERE is my spiritual place?  Anyway, I did my best to keep my posts relatively on topic, certain I suppose, that the blog police would ticket me if my SPIRITUAL PLACE was sullied by anything that wasn’t, well, SPIRITUAL.

So then my life got a lot more complicated.  I got fired by my teacher, fired a student, and turned my unhappy longterm dyadic marriage into a fairly happy, well functioning polyamorous relationship.  Then the time came to try out cohabitating, first in little visits, then visits of longer, then THE BIG MOVE.  My little family of 4(us Florida folks) plus -one (my across-state-lines Beloved) finally became a family of 5.   Job stuff, money stuff, sex stuff, relationship stuff..it seemed that the stuff was far outweighing the Spirit.  So I felt like I had nothing to say here.  Or maybe I felt like we were charting such a scary course that I couldn’t afford to hear any criticisms that might have come had I tried to keep speaking here.   However it happened, it seemed that the little box that this blog was in just wasn’t big enough to hold all that was happening.

I know, I know….I MADE the blog AND I made that box I was trying to cram it in so why didn’t I just smash it?  I’d like to find a handy little excuse.  Maybe on some level, so many boxes were being smashed all over the place that I just didn’t have the gumption to smash one more.  And maybe I forgot that sometimes the thing that I create for myself and call a little box is really just another cage.

In any case, when I found myself recently drowning and adrift, feeling that same old feeling of having surrendered the idea that I even HAVE a voice, much less stretching myself to use it, when I experienced myself as living nearly like an agoraphobe, experiencing myself as BEING trauma rather than someone who can thrive in spite of trauma, when I felt something sacred in me starting to die off, this was the place that I thought to come.  I spend days revisiting some of my old favorite blogs and hating that I was too….something…to even comment on those.  I wrestled with the idea that all my words were spent, no wisdom was left in me, that I had nothing to offer.  And then I decided to say all of that nothing anyway. 

But then I got trapped again in that same damn little box that snared me last time.  What if….what if nothing going on for me right now seems spiritual enough?  What if, when I allow my poly box to ooze into this little SPIRITUAL PLACE, I am perceived as being more concerned with my sex life than I am my spiritual life? (For the record, poly isn’t about the sex, but that’s a whole different post!) What if the people who have been able to relate to me as Goddess seeker can’t also relate to this piece of me?  What if I turn into one more person on a rant about sex and love and relationships?  And what about this whole new family dynamic?  Sure it’s okay to put that here when I’m all spiritual and grateful but what about days when I crave the quiet that is anathema to a teenage boy and I wonder if I really can do this mothering-of-a-grown-but-lost-boy?  And really, who the hell do I think I am anyway to be putting my voice out there??

That last one is the one that got me.  See, some days it feels like I’ve spent my life screaming to be heard only to find that I’d worn out my voice what with all the screaming.  And sometimes still I know that the “normal people” would just like to put a gag order on my whole love story.  And that is when I found the tears that led to the river that ran the woods where this a cottage that I live in.  My Self is there.  And she wants to be heard.  And I got it….my Truth is in the Love story.  Blissful, angry, screaming, terrified, yelling, laughing Love of Her….that Divine that is Momma to me.  And the amazing Love story with Her Beloved, my Papa.  That Love story IS my voice, my song, my dance, my cry.  I live it when I am so scared to death to even move from my bed.  I live it when I look at scars on my body, scars put there by the ones I should have been able to trust and I take a moment to forgive…myself.  I live it when I am cowering at my son’s angry voice that sounds so much like the Boogeyman and I live it when he rests next to me and finally sleeps.  I live it when I see my daughter cutting and KNOW that I can walk her through that experience, all the way out to the other side.  I live it when I have blissful moment, sandwiched between the two people in the world that know me best and I remember that they love me still, even now, even when I’m a mess.

So…this won’t be some scary poly blog, a rant on why my lovestyle should be accepted/honored/legalized.  It won’t be post after post about kids or families or sex.  It will be a chapter by chapter telling of the Love story that is my life.

And I have DAYS worth of posts just waiting to smash all the little boxes that make me less than all that I am.

The Little Things

February 22, 2011

This morning, at 4:00, my phone rang.  My son was on the other end of the line.  He was lost and needed help to find his way “home”.  This was a milestone for us on many levels.  First is the idea that he thinks of wherever I am as “home”.  He’s 18 now, and until just a few months ago, he had not lived  with me since he was 2.  But now I am his home.  The second big deal is that he knew it was okay to call.  He knew that I would “rescue” him from whatever was wrong.  And he knew that I would not let him stay lost.  And it didn’t matter that it was 4 in the morning or that his phone call would wake not only me but my partners as well.  He knew that we would all want him to be home with us, that we would all want him to be safe, that we would all want him to call if he needed us.  That’s trust.  And security.  And no small feat for a young man who was told for most of his life that his mom never wanted him. 

I keep having these moments of awe.  My son, this child that my heart longed for and broke for everyday for 16 years, hugs me.  Every day.  Often.  He genuinely wants to be where I am.  He asks me for advice about his hair and his clothes, girls, and his singing.  And he listens to what I have to say.  Sometimes he falls asleep in my lap as he did when he was a baby.  Sometimes he holds on tight to me and cries as though he’ll never stop.  Sometimes he flings words at me like weapons, challenging all that I believe in and all that I hold dear. 

I think back to all of the Mother’s Days that passed without him; there was such a bitter longing, such an incompleteness.  I always celebrated his birthdays and wondered what the “big gift” for that year would be.  His birthday is in April, 10 days after my older daughter’s birthday and every year, it seemed that I cried all the way through April.  I always felt the absence of him.  I felt as though I had breathed a part of my very soul into his body.  That piece of me was always gone, an amputation that has no prosthesis. 

So, at 4 in the morning when my son is lost and alone and afraid, I celebrate.  When he texts at 4:15 to let me know that he is home again and safe but so hungry that he just has to eat 6 sandwiches, I cry with joy.  When he stumbles awake at 2 in the afternoon and plops himself on my lap with his first cigarette of the day and the last cup of coffee from the pot (and I KNOW he didn’t make more!), I hold on tight and thank all the Gods and Goddesses that exist for bringing him back to me. 

He wasn’t the only one lost or alone or afraid.  He wasn’t the only one “missing”.  And as much as having him home means that things are changing, things are loud and chaotic, it also means that finally my family is complete.  Finally the pieces of my soul are reunited.  Finally I can breathe.

Ever celebrated the little things?  I do…daily.

The coffee pot is empty because my son drank the last cup.  Another glass got broken because my son dropped it.  There is obnoxious music screaming through the apartment at 3 in the morning because my son is home.  Dishes are missing, sucked into the scary vortex of an adolescent boy’s bedroom.  My husband had to buy condoms for the first time in years because I’m wayyyyy to young to be a grandma.  I do more laundry than I thought humanly possible.  I keep finding lone socks in the oddest places, like between the couch cushions.  For the first time in years, I have someone watching each ritual I do because these Pagan practices of mine are just so odd to him.  But this morning, at 4:30, my son sent a message for me to pass on to my wife: “Tell her that I hope gods and goddesses of travel get her home safely”.  My heart sang with joy and the tears flowed.  This family of mine that so many said could not and would not survive IS.  We are not thriving yet, but I can hold onto that vision for us.  We do not always function as one unit, but we have our moments.  And I will celebrate these little things.

Taking the Plunge?

February 22, 2011

Have you ever been at a public or semi-public pool on the first day that it opens for the season?  There is always someone, usually a woman, that approaches the pool as though there might be sharks hidden in the depths.  I can see her in my mind, a bit matronly, in a black one piece suit with the little skirt attached.  I can see her, bulging a bit in places that used to be flat and flat in places that used to be perky.  I can see her big straw hat because she’s wised up to the dangers posed by the Sun.  I can almost smell her sunblock.  I see her approaching the steps, that look of uncertainty on her face.  I know that she knows that the water is almost winter cold still.  Somewhere within her is the knowledge that sometimes it really is best to just head to the deep end and dive in.  But…still she hovers and tiptoes and sees the water as a near enemy.

That’s me…hovering and hesitant.  Dive right in because that does, after all, hurt a little less?  Not I…

I tiptoe to the edge of this place I created, this creative pool.  I gazed into it over the last few days and saw my Self reflected back to me.  I found wisdom in my own words and comfort in the words of others.

But I’ve been gone so long and some things that I wish had not changed seem to be lost to me forever while other things that I long to be done with are still the same.  And it seems impossible to “catch up” on everything that is now.

So I thought about creating a new blog, under a new name, and with a new theme.  I know of lots of bloggers that have done just that and all of their reasons for NEW make lots of sense to me.  But I feel like I always do that to myself, throw out the old, cover it up, leave it behind.  The words that I put here before are the foundation for the words that I want to put here now.  The things that I already learned are paving the way for the things that I am learning now.  And I know that so many are able to keep the best of “what was” while they create something brand new.  I, on the other hand, need to build my “what is and will be” right here on top of my “what was”.

So, I’m taking the plunge.  I’m just doing it one tiny keystroke at a time.

Happy New Year!!!

November 4, 2008

I love the days right after Samhain.  I feel so clean and new, fresh and empowered, ready to move forward in powerful and exciting ways.  I know that this is the perfect time to write about the things that I intend for my new year, but I really want to reflect on Samhain.

This was the first year that I have had the honor and privilege of hosting Samhain ritual for others, and what an honor it truly was.   I spent time with my students before Samhain talking about what I was doing, how I envision the work of Samhain.  We talked about spending serious time reviewing the last year, finding our own mistakes or mistaken ways of being.  We talked about accepting responsibility, in a very real and concrete way, for having created the reality in which we found ourselves living.   We talked about excavating the garbage piles of the last year and really releasing the patterns of being and thinking that serve neither us nor our Deities.   It’s a hard thing to truly own that stuff.   It’s hard to accept that I’ve gotten exactly what I’ve asked for, either through my energy or my direct acts of creation.  

I taught my students how to dismantle and cleanse the altars, looking at each piece that is there and all that it represents.  We talked about looking at each element as it manifests and looking for hang-ups or blockages that prevent those elements from manifesting in the most upright and positive ways. 

It sounds so simple when I write these things here, but it was so powerful and so gut-wrenching, both the doing it for myself and walking my students through doing it for themselves.

In the evening, everyone came to my home where we had a potluck dumb supper.  During this time, those of us who still have bodies served plates of food to our ancestors who no longer have bodies.  Another piece that is inherent in a dumb supper is silence. This, too, was a very powerful thing to do.  We wrote invitations to our ancestors, encouraging their attendance at our dumb supper and committing ourselves to listening to their words of wisdom.   Each of my students (and myself, of course) served the ancestors first and then waited in absolute silence to hear what they had to say.  We listened for them to ask for more food or drink, we listened for them to advise, we listened for them to speak whatever we needed to hear, and we honored their presence.  Every student’s invitation was accepted.  Every ancestor who was invited appeared or sent a message.  I had the extreme honor of watching my older daughter truly commune with her great-grandmother.  Several times I would be heading to the kitchen to get something that Nana had asked for only to find my daughter already getting the exact same thing.  It was so incredible to witness.

We burned our old year lists and created lists for the new year.  We spent a great deal of time choosing what things we want to birth in this coming year, asking for the things that will serve us and our Deities the best.  We asked for clear vision and strength to see our own weaknesses, those things that we need to grew within ourselves.

And then we got to give presents to each other.

It’s been a rough year for some of my students.  Most have experienced at least one crisis of faith.  All have had to walk through hard lessons.  All have been stretched to nearly the breaking point.  But those that I stood in Circle with on Samhain are hardly the same people that I was teaching a year ago.  They are strong and almost always sure of themselves, they are deeply intuitive, they are wiser about crystals and herbs and Circle casting and ritual crafting and meditating and lucid dreaming.  They can present their faith to people who are curious and they can intelligently discuss all manner of pagan practices.  They can all see and shift energy, shield themselves, ground, cleanse their own chakras, and recognise Truth when it is presented.  They are skilled Tarot readers and near experts on candle magic.  I am so proud of their growth, the tangible and the intangible.

And together we walk through this coming year, eagerly anticipating the growth to come!