The Power of a Tribe

Almost a week ago I shared a moment of clarity while feeling fully overwhelmed with anxiety.  I was able to articulate what the experience of having to function while anxiety washed through my body.

In that space I was able to connect with many people who thanked me for sharing, asked questions about why I would do that or simply offered support and friendship. I guess I felt that it was something I could do, so I did.  I could share that internal process publicly and see what the result would be.  Maybe it was too personal. I don’t know. In the aftermath, I don’t think so.  It was something that maybe isn’t done enough.  Just to say I’m having a bad day, making up bullshit excuses like, I’m tired to mask the anxiety only to make others feel better.  It occurred to me that I lie about how I’m feeling to help others not to feel bad or awkward.  I just threw it out there and it seems to me that there was a strange sigh of relief that happened within me.  I didn’t have to hide or put on a fake smile.  I could just be having a bad day….filled with anxiety and what may have been a toxic energy release.  I could let it surface and then….let it go.

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Glacier National Park

I was messaged personally through Facebook, text message and twitter with messages of support and gratitude.  Those acts alone spoke volumes to me.  I could allow this process to happen and not worry about how it made others feel. The fact is, many people were grateful I could express something that they were struggling with.  I personally found that this anxiety was able to leave me in less than a couple of days.  I’m not saying this wouldn’t have happened anyway, but it was nice to know that I had a tribe with me.  People who completely understood, people who didn’t but wanted to know more so they could help, people who wished me well and sent me uplifting messages to express concern or care, were all in my corner.  That helped me feel less crazy.  I could just let it flow.

All I can say is THANK YOU!!  <3  Your willingness to read, share, message me, message myself or others who may feel similarly, or simply talk about depression and anxiety with others helps more than you know. It’s an uncomfortable subject because it’s not easy to describe and not easy to understand, especially in this rushed society where we are all supposed to be happy, all the fucking time.  I’m tired of apologizing when I’m really in need of help and support. I’m tired of feeling overwhelmed, scared and generally crazy but find myself worrying about how others would feel if they really knew how I felt.  I have learned that it is ok to simply be true to myself. People are willing to help and support.  They are willing to patient and kind while I work through my shit.  I appreciate that and feel that this understanding helped me move through my anxiety in a much more fluid way.

Random thoughts…maybe not so random.

I’m literally having anxiety attacks as I process this integration of what I’ve been doing and what I want to be doing.  I find myself running away, shutting down and basically being a big chicken.  I think I have a lot of work to do. To share, to heal, to help others heal.

I’m running in a circle of excitement, clarity and moment that wanes to sadness and frustration with myself for not being able to take the action necessary to fulfill my vision.

Thank you to my sister and husband for pushing me. They hold me accountable.  Thank you to those that have supported me and continue to support me as I embrace sharing some of these hard topics around sexual childhood abuse and sexual trauma.  The discussions that have happened here have inspired me to continue opening the door for more discussions.  I need to expand this to a place where talking is just the beginning.

I’m so far out of my comfort zone with this and I am getting upset with myself for not being able to simply embrace this exciting idea.  I know I can do it but fear of the unknown combined with fear of success is overwhelming me.  I can’t figure out if I’m running through another cycle of depression or I’m just panicking.

Just sharing this.  I need an outlet for my process. I’ll get there.

Next steps in my Journey

Next steps in my Journey

** Warning ** Some of this content is graphic. It may have trigger issues for some. Please read this story only if you are in a good place emotionally.

I have had this blog for more than 4 years now.  I appreciate each and every one of you that have come here, shared comments, experiences and support.  I look forward to continuing my writing here but now feel it’s time to spread my wings.  Connecting with people and discussing some of the many issues here and  in person is becoming increasingly important to me.  I see myself working through the subjects of healing and forgiveness after sexual abuse or trauma.  I also some heavier work around the topics of orgasm experienced in traumatic sexual experiences.

I believe that this subject of orgasm in abusive situations is not discussed enough and this blog has become a safe place to come to and share issues and experiences.  The emotional conflicts between guilt, shame and trauma versus the intense pleasure that can happen if an orgasm happens during a sexually abusive situation need to be discussed.  The reason I feel this is important is that there are too many suffering with this inner turmoil in silence. If talking about this issue became easier, victims may feel more confident to report offenders.  It’s also a goal of mine to live in a society that supports the victims and are wiling to advocate for them instead of quietly trying to get them to “move on”.  If a victim has an orgasm during any sort of sexual abuse, that is not consent. That does not make it any less of a crime.  We are talking biology here.  The body responds to specific stimulation and a specific result happens. Survivors of sexual trauma can be more forgiving of themselves and respect the fact that they did NOTHING wrong.  The orgasm doesn’t change that. The pleasure from that orgasm, while shocking, embarrassing or confusing is not be ignored.  It should be acknowledged, talked about and released. I would like to be part of the discussions that help people through this process.

I invite all here to help me  with this goal by suggesting ways that I could expand what I do here.  Would people want to hear me speak on stage? on tv? in workshops? sharing circles? online webinars or conference calls? YouTube videos?  I read all your comments here, on Twitter and on Facebook. I appreciate them all more than you know. If you have suggestions or more topic ideas, I would love to hear them.

 

Why be Silent?

Why be Silent?

Do you ever wonder we are obsessed with distractions all the time now? It would seem that we are increasingly uncomfortable in silence. What realizations would we have if we could get comfortable with our own thoughts, feelings and the way our body feels when still. We continually look to tv, our phones, tablets or other outside ways to avoid what? ourselves? It has occurred to me that we are in a global state of transition. Information is being brought to us intuitively and we are more than a little freaked out about it.

I have found myself happily enjoying the parade of musings that go through my head. I don’t try to analyze it all, simply observe and wait to see where that brings me. I’m noticing a self-awareness and an ability to enjoy the moment. There is a wonderful healing and freedom that comes with simply engaging in life as it’s happening around me. That being said, I do find myself running to my next distractions too. The uncertainty of a process that simply moves from one moment to the next can be exhausting. I find that I can slow things down by flicking on a movie or something similar. Why do I need to do that? I think I get brought to a level of consciousness that I don’t know how to integrate into my day to day life yet. I find I think universally, but that doesn’t get the laundry done right? Wanting to embrace the infinite possibilities of what life can bring me and then panicking when the ideas start coming to me has been a very interesting process. I just have to get comfortable with the realizations enough to understand how to release what is no longer serving me. Energy shifts effect my entire body and I find myself tired and needing to simplify. I’m resisting an understanding that I already know but don’t want to see it yet.

In a quiet, calm space, free of distractions I feel so much love and expansion. I feel that I will be able to help so many people with what I have to share. I feel that I have a gift of healing. I would love to be able to connect to people and help them in their journey of self love and personal expansion. What does that connection look like? Where does that take me? I don’t know yet. I’m excited about it though.

Why the Death of Robin Williams matters

Why the Death of Robin Williams matters

It’s been a few days since the death of Robin Williams.  His passing is still on my mind. I have to admit that I was sad to hear the news that he took his own life.  I can’t say I was surprised that he did though.  It was obvious for decades that he was a troubled man.  There was always a sadness about him even through all that laughter.   The cliche, “If you have to laugh or cry, you may as well laugh” comes to mind.

I am seeing too many judging comments referring to Robin Williams and his millions of dollars, his fame and issues with drugs throughout his life.  What do these comments mean? His battle with depression was his fault? That he shouldn’t have had any mental health issues? Are mental health issues, including depression symptoms of the poor and unknown?  I don’t think so.  It seems that having money and fame can make problems exponentially worse. The pressure from the public to stay entertaining must have been overwhelming. The world watches with scathing scrutiny almost waiting for a reason to pass judgement.

What about that global perspective? Aren’t there so many other huge and more important issues happening that we should focus on? (wars, natural disaster, political mayhem, financial chaos) Why should we stop and mourn the loss of this one man? A comedian and actor? Big deal right? Another troubled, rich Hollywood legend dies. So what?  I’ll tell you what- Robin William’s death has been a huge catalyst in the discussion of mental health and the lack of support both in life and after death. The “choice” he made was in a place of dark despair. There is so much judgement around a famous millionaire who just didn’t do what? Suck it up? Get help? Heal? Can you imagine the millions in the planet feeling similarly to him but without the resources? So many (especially men) are told to “soldier up”, be a Man, don’t be a pussy! What are you crying for? Emotions on the surface are dangerous so are buried and hidden behind a joke and a smile.  And smile and joke he did. 

If only for a short time, the world is talking about mental health issues and how much more can be done for those that are suffering everyday.  Compassion instead of judgment is what will be so, so important.

 There are so many wars, natural disasters and rampant disease on this planet. Of course we should care for the thousands each day that could use a hand up and an extra hug.  The survivors of these horrible situations live with all kinds of issues like PTSD, depression, anxiety for starters. Is there proper counseling and resources for them? Probably not. How many will commit suicide? Perspective does matter. Love for those that can’t help themselves matters. Even famous, talented, made us laugh til we peed millionaires.

Stop Compromising

Stop Compromising

I have been processing some major energy shifts lately in the past few months. It’s left me feeling ungrounded and more than a little scatterbrained and exhausted. I’m trying to work with the flow of all this. I know I’ll end up in a much better place but there are moments when this push towards where I’m supposed to be can be painful.

I’ve been letting go of expectations and enjoying the moment more. I’ve been much more willing to see my flaws and able to observe them without all the judgement on myself. My energy has been moving to a place of openness with everyone around me. That has meant that I have been much less filtered and even less willing to apologize for it. I feel that if I’m being authentic there is nothing to apologize for. I have spent so much of my life trying to keep everyone else happy. I’ve compromised to a point that I ignore my own spirit. I get compromise for family, marriage, career, but I’m pretty done with making myself unhappy so that everyone around me doesn’t have to consider how I feel. That being said, I have had a lifetime to allow this to happen to me. My responsibility to myself is just that, mine. If I don’t speak up, assert myself or worse, throw myself under the bus to maintain the lane of lease resistance, I affirm my own willingness to put myself last. I have to stop this. NOW.

Why Forgive an Abuser?

Why Forgive an Abuser?

People ask me how I’m able to move forward after being abused for so many years.  Some people have actually expressed anger and frustration that I am no longer angry and silently wishing some horrible tragedy befall my abuser.  “They don’t deserve to be forgiven” or similar statements are made in a blurted out emotional declaration.  At the end of the day, I needed to forgive.  I needed to move on. Having that kind of anxiety and pain stored in my body was exhausting.  I had so many triggers around certain types of clothing, sex, trusting others around my own kids, being able to treat myself well and not feel guilty about it amongst other things. I wanted to be able to let that go.  My father was long gone out of my life but with this anxiety and panic still floating though my body made me feel like he could show up unexpectedly.  In a way he was.  I was tired of it.

What does forgiveness mean to me? What does that look like?

In choosing to not carry around the burden of anger, fear, resentment and anxiety, I was so much more relaxed.  This is in no way a “wiping the slate clean” and somehow saying what my father did was ok, it’s just that his choices are not my problem anymore.  I can look forward, surround myself with healthy, positive, supportive people.  I can make myself the priority that my parents never did.  I can love myself enough to let the pain go.

I no longer have to relive my experiences as I discuss or share them.  I don’t wonder if my father understands how much he hurt me.  I don’t ask questions around why me, what could I have done differently to prevent the abuse, why didn’t he love me.  The answers couldn’t possibly make me feel any better about what he did to me.  The answers would undoubtedly lead to more questions and none of the answers would help me heal or lead to a place that I would feel loved or supported.  I had to do that for myself.  I found a positive energy about what happened to me and that lies in the fact that I was strong enough to charge my father, move on in my life (with a lot of support and therapy) to a place that I don’t live in fear and am willing to be open with people.  I am still working on putting myself first and loving myself enough to not put other’s agendas ahead of my own, but I’ll get there. Forgiving my father has allowed me to enjoy who I have become despite the abuse he put me through.

Now that I am 40 years old, I find myself enjoying the who I have become without asking for permission to be who I am.  It’s a great feeling.