Who Am I?

Who Am I?

I wish I could go back and extract some of my moments of clarity from my internal dialogue.  I find these wonderful moments of peace and want to share how I came to my realization in a coherent way.

I’ve been doing some work with consciously connecting with the energy of my lower chakras lately.  Focusing on my place on this planet, who I am to those that I engage with, who I am to myself are primary topics to explore.  I have to admit, I’ve been struggling with these things over the last long while.  I have come to the simplest of conclusions that has brought me a lot of calm.

I don’t need the answers to all my questions right NOW.  I can let life pause for a while and enjoy what I do have and not worry about all the unanswered questions.  What is my purpose on this planet?  What path do I take to fulfill that purpose?  How do I integrate all the priorities in my life in a healthy, balanced way?  In desperately trying to answer these questions, I created unnecessary stress and found myself overwhelmed by constantly thinking I was missing something.  I have decided that these answers are probably not meant for me to know at this exact moment.  I have a bunch of ideas floating around in my mind but they haven’t gelled to form a cohesive plan or form.  That’s ok.  I have decided to be happy with this current reality.

I am enough.  I am an ever evolving, loving, open person willing to let things flow.  I have everything I need in this moment.  When I am meant to move forward I’ll see my path clearly and I’ll happily run down it full of life and purpose.

Back at it

Back at it

I have been so overwhelmed and grateful to each and every new reader and subscriber to this blog.  In recent months I have waded through one of the worst spells with depression in years.  I just disappeared inside myself.  I was not engaged in my day to day life.  I was in total task mode, doing what I needed to do for my family and that’s about it.  It was a long, tough Fall.  Since Christmas things have shifted in my energy and mindset and I feel like I’m back to me again.

During those long weeks of wondering what the hell was wrong with me, I just unplugged.  I was actually worried about myself.  I’m used to having a few bad days but then they pass and I feel fine again.  I was considering going to my doctor for some different medications but the whole idea of running the gauntlet of drugs sorting out what drug and in what dose made things much worse in my mind.  I toughed it out.  In toughing it out, I stepped away from almost anything creative, including this blog.  I checked in, responded to comments and thanked the universe for allowing me to have this space.  It’s been over 3 years of writing this blog.  On the very first day from the very first post, all I wanted was to create a space where childhood sexual abuse could be talked about openly with a healing energy.  We are not alone and we are not few.  It’s a sad reality.

Anyway, I just wanted to get back on here and say hi.  My heart is full of gratitude for those that come here, share, support and heal.  I feel that I am finding my creative mojo again.  I feel like I can open up and move forward feeling a sense of flow instead of being overwhelmed by trying to think of something to write about.  Depression sucks.  The way each day can feel so long and empty and just bleed into the next without purpose or passion.  I’m glad I’ve moved past that and hope I don’t feel that way again for a long, long while.

Thank you to those that have subscribed to Finding Center.  It’s inspiring and exciting to be part of a healing journey with all of you.  I have so much more to say. That’s a good thing.  I’ll be looking forward to sharing with all of you.  <3

 

Surfacing Again

Surfacing Again

In recent months I had been struggling to keep my life together.  I become overwhelmed with anxiety and basically shut down emotionally so I could cope with the many changes to my schedule and task list in the late summer and fall.  I was totally disconnected from the things I was doing even  though they were all good things.

Getting my kids homeschooling schedule settled, their hockey and scouting groups settled and trying to keep myself in a healthy frame of mind was tough.  I ended up just moving through my task list without really feeling engaged in the moment.  Even as I recognized this in myself, I couldn’t figure out how to get centred again.  I accepted that I had to step back and get my mental health strong again before I could properly expect myself to write again.

When I would try to force myself to write or do anything creative it basically caused an anxiety attack as I felt so much pressure to write something “good”.  It’s not logical, I know.  It was just my reality.  At this point, I’m feeling better and can move this creative process connected and happy again.

I look forward to getting more active on here again.  I miss the writing and connecting with those that have been so wonderful and giving with their personal stories.  The subjects around sexual abuse have been tough on here lately but the response has given me so much courage to delve even deeper into them.  I’m learning a lot about myself and where I am on my healing journey.

I am deeply grateful to all of you for sharing your stories, commenting and supporting this blog.  The conversations will continue.  <3

Longterm Effects of Sexual Abuse

Longterm Effects of Sexual Abuse

** 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.

The sad truth is that I had no idea what was happening to me when my father was molesting me.  I was too young and nothing was ever explained.  I knew that it shouldn’t be happening and that I was generally scared.  I’m realizing now that I have dealt with a lot of disassociating reflexes during sex.  I didn’t know that’s what it was, but an internal dialogue in my adult life had me telling myself that I should relax and stay present.  I would end up over thinking whether I was doing things “right” or not and still not be able to relax.  I also felt guilty after I had an orgasm and felt that I should reciprocate or ensure my partner’s pleasure.  I forgot all about my own pleasure and got all task oriented.  That’s the way it was when I was a kid.  I don’t know how I didn’t look to the present to see how my sexual relationships were effected by my past.  I guess I tried to compartmentalize it so much so I didn’t have to think about it in my current relationship.  The problem lies in my reflexes, the automatic chain reaction that happens when I’m having sex.  When I was a kid I would say and do what was asked of me, when I could my mind would go blank. I would wait for it to be over.  I purposely tried to feel NOTHING.

I have heard how sexual abusers have found some satisfaction in acknowledging the orgasm their victim had.  Like they did a good thing by making their victim “feel good”.  Maybe that’s how they could live with the whole situation if it had the idea of mutual pleasure. This at least would lend to feeling ok with feeling good about the reaction the body has when your stimulated.  The pleasure would be the one part you don’t feel bad about.  My father said he was going to “teach” me what boys wanted so that I wouldn’t want to have a boyfriend.  As it turned out, my “teacher” was both mean and stupid.  There was a lot of “my thing” and “your thing”  and he did nothing to make me feel normal.  When my body shook when I had an orgasm, he would ask if I was ok or “what’s wrong?”.  What was wrong was your face is between my legs, I’m scared, now I’m embarrassed and lying to say I’m cold or something so I don’t have to have a discussion about why I’m shaking.  The fact is, I don’t know why my body is doing that and I feel gross.

The bottom line on this for me is that if I’m not careful, I disassociate and shut down and specifically try to NOT have an orgasm.  There’s a stress trigger that happens and I stop responding to what’s happening in the moment.  At least I am aware of this breakdown now and can stay present and enjoy my present experiences.  Truly, I am becoming very self aware and am allowing myself to let go of so many limiting beliefs. Recognizing how the abuse effected me has been a huge game changer in my day to day life as I deal with all my relationships. It still boggles my mind that I didn’t put the dissociative reaction related to the sexual abuse with my adult life.  What else haven’t I realized yet? It’s a bit scary.

No Fear, Just Purpose

No Fear, Just Purpose

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

I have had a lot to think about lately.  My recent posts have sparked something huge.  I realize that there is something that NO ONE is talking about, I’m sure, millions have experienced and haven’t told a soul.  The comments from readers have inspired me to expand into areas I never though I would.  I thank you all for that.  I thank my sister for telling me simply, “write without fear”.  Those words were very freeing.  I feel like I have found a specific purpose through this blog.  I have  talked about my sexual abuse, what I went through to move past it, and who I have become since those terrible years.  I will continue to do that as it seems to be moving awareness and understanding of what it’s like to be trapped in a situation loaded with fear and intimidation, be used for sexual acts and then treated like garbage.  As a kid, these things became normal and I was stuck in a place (my home) that seemed impossible to get out of.

The subject of orgasm during sexual assaults is hugely complex.  In a time of tremendous betrayal, pain and abuse, it can seem that your own body has betrayed you by having an orgasm.  It’s bad enough society will ask questions of the victim to ensure she didn’t do anything to “deserve” it, but now our own bodies have found an element of pleasure somewhere in all this horror.  In feeling that pleasure and simultaneously know that what’s happening to you is not consensual, it adds to the trauma.   It’s like having two experiences at once and both of them are out of your control.

Those wonderful people that have read my blog, shared their stories and helped me better understand what happened to me, have thanked me for what I’m writing here.  Thank you too.  More than you know, in sharing your stories, some for the first time in any manner, has expanded my need to do more for those that are suffering in silence.  In creating a place that has made readers feel safe and understood enough to share their experiences, I know that I am not alone. Holding memories of traumatic experiences inside because at the end of it all, in having an orgasm, in having that pleasure, the blame seemed to shift a bit.  If people could be educated enough to know that orgasm is not an indication of consent, but simply a biological reaction to physical stimulus, it  would be easier to talk about these situations.

Talking more on this subject will help lift that veil of embarrassment and allow ourselves to move forward knowing that we did nothing wrong.  I’m still processing all the feelings and thoughts that have been running through my mind since I started discussing this subject of orgasm during sexual abuse.  It’s a huge subject with a lot of emotions that run in a lot of directions.  Establishing healthy, sexual relationships after abuse is difficult when there is a guilt or shame around experiences that were horrible, and sometimes pleasurable, at the same time.  How to relate to your own body if you feel that it betrayed you in those moments of trauma.  How to get sexual pleasure within a healthy relationship that doesn’t need a huge amount of adrenaline to reach climax.  How to talk to your current partner about the fear and pleasure that got all mixed up in a non consensual situation.  How to deal with the possible emotional or physical disorders that invariably show up after trauma.  I will, with purpose, try to open the door to these sorts of topics.

These many healing processes that can happen are hugely important.  I am not alone.  The statistics on the frequency of rapes, sexual assaults and sexual abuse are staggering.  How many millions of victims have had to grapple with the fact that they were violated, taken advantage of AND may have enjoyed some part of it, however not intentional?  How many?

Floods in Calgary and Southern Alberta with Canada Day celebrations?

Floods in Calgary and Southern Alberta with Canada Day celebrations?

This is going to be the weirdest Canada Day long weekend ever.  I love my country, truly.  Even more so as I see how far and wide the love and support has come to help all those effected by the floods in Southern Alberta.  The thousands displaced from their homes  in areas like High River are still wondering what is left of their homes and neighbourhoods. There are thousands working tirelessly to salvage what they can from their flooded homes. The thousands of volunteers stepping up to help total strangers get through this situation.

AlbertaFlood1 AlbertaFlood2 AlbertaFlood3 Flooded downtown Calgary AlbertaFlood5 AlbertaFlood7

People, including myself, have offered to do laundry, bring clean up materials, help clear garbage/waste/debris using their own personal vehicles, physically go to devastated homes and help with clean up and demolition, to bring food and water to those working tireless day and night to help so many families digging through mud and what’s left of their personal belongings, people are pet sitting total strangers pets until the owners can take them back safely, the list goes on and on.  There is even a local group of people gather dresses for girls that lost everything so they can attend prom.  It’s amazing.  Heartbreaking and Awesome all rolled into one.  Needless to say the last week has been an emotional roller coaster for everyone effected.

As we go into our Canada Day long weekend celebrations, it’s almost a footnote in what’s happening around me.  The best way I can think of to celebrate Canada Day this year is to help with the clean up of the devastated communities that have access to their homes.  Not exactly fireworks but it’s a celebration of life, community, and a testament to the never ending goodwill that has enveloped this part of the country.  There are some that have been evacuated from their homes about a week ago and still are not allowed anywhere near their town.  They have been living in shelters and with people they may not even know as they wait and wonder.

I have been filled with such emotion as this storm and flooding came and took with it so many homes, neighbourhoods and land.  This Canada Day will be a celebration but not like one I’ve ever seen before.

 

albertafloodvid

 

 

Remembering Abuse as a Child

Remembering Abuse as a Child

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

Often times, throughout my years if child abuse, my father would be in his bedroom.  He would yell my name from his room and ask me to come upstairs.  It seems to me now, this was his approach when the entire family was home.  Hiding in plain site, I guess.  He would ask me to bring some baby oil so I could rub his legs because they were sore.  I couldn’t refuse to go upstairs or ask why this or that. I just had to go.  So I did.  My dad would lay on his front, on the bed in a pair of shorts, and ask me to rub his legs.  I would do this as best I could and somewhere inside me, hope that that was all he wanted.  I was always wrong.

At some point, my dad would roll over.  He would prop himself up, semi sitting, and ask me to close my eyes.  I don’t think I even spoke through all of this. What for anyway, right?  I knew what was expected of me and I just did it.  He expected me give him blow jobs but he always made sure he didn’t cum. He would ask me if I needed him to make himself smaller.  I didn’t know anything about my options but I realized the my mouth was too small to not accidentally scrape my teeth from time to time. child abuse I think he figured out that he needed to make himself smaller all by himself.  I never did it on purpose.  If he flinched I was sure I’d get in trouble.  I didn’t but, understandably, he pretty much had to start over.  That meant I had to start over.  I was usually uncomfortable, straining my neck or jaw in some weird way and emotionally numb.  I just wanted it all to end.  This had it’s own mixed feelings as the ending always meant that he would cum in my mouth.  I wanted out of there but knew the cost.  He kept me up in his room for as long as he could get away with it.

Sometimes, he would put himself away and get this sly look on his face.  He’s all like, ” you’ve been up here for awhile.  We don’t want anyone to suspect anything.  You go downstairs and get a glass of water and bring it up.  That way everyone will see you and not think anything is wrong.”  He actually explained this to me like we were both in on it.  Maybe I was supposed to be all impressed with his understanding of how wrong it would be to have a young daughter up in his room for so long.  All I knew is that I had permission to leave the room.  So, I did.

I would go downstairs, and get the glass of water but instead of going back upstairs, I would give it to my mother.  I would say something like, ” Dad’s thirsty and asked you to bring this up to him.”  I think around 12 years old I just figured that my dad didn’ t care who gave him a blow job.  It was a strange thing to know exactly what my mom would be doing upstairs when she got there with the glass of water.  I often wondered if my dad thought it was funny that I sent my mom up.  I wonder if my mom ever realized that my dad was more horny than suffering with sore legs. After all those years of child abuse, there are so many things I don’t know. I never asked either of them anything and neither parent volunteered their perspective on things.

The fastest attack of Sexual Abuse

The fastest attack of Sexual Abuse

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

One night I was in my bedroom, by myself.  I’m guessing ten or eleven years old.  I think I was getting ready to go to bed for the night.  My door opened and my dad walked in.  He had just come out of the shower, so he was only wearing a towel.  He walked towards me and I sat down on the bed.  He remained standing and opened his towel and literally shoved his already hard penis into my mouth.  He clearly had prepared for this. I think it took 3 seconds for him to cum in my mouth.  He finished, didn’t even look at me, said nothing, and left my room.  As soon as he left, I went straight to the bathroom across the hall and spit out what was in my mouth.  I rinsed, brushed my teeth and went back to my room.  I continued to get ready for bed as if nothing had happened.  I think everyone else was home at the time.  I don’t remember the rest of the night in particular.  This particular memory is still easy to remember. It was nothing like anything else I had encountered with my dad before.  He was silent, fast and mean.  I remember feeling confused and a little shocked afterwards.  Actually, I’m still shocked.  Strangely, I hadn’t  thought of this particular moment in years.  It occurs to be me every now and then and I feel horrible every time.