anitalorraine.com

Musician and Activist devoted to Justice, Creativity, and Courage


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Stirred to write, lots of links today

I’m seething with caffeine, homemade coconut yogurt, and a shot of coconut water because I thought I was losing it.  Turns out, I’m just hungry.  Still having trouble remembering to eat breakfast BEFORE coffee, but this morning at least I got up and stretched! 😉

I’m compelled to write right now because I feel as if I’ve turned a corner.  Since last I wrote, I have continued with my EMDR and Cognitive-Behavioral therapy, successfully to the point that at times I feel that I’m seeing the other side of the tunnel and understanding how I got on this hamster wheel to begin with, and (most importantly) how to get off.  (ha. ha..)

The lessons learned in the past 6 months are jarring, inspiring, gratifying, and surprising.  I have felt my way around in the dark, feeling kinda crazy for a long time, when, as it turns out, I had a head-lamp on the whole time and just didn’t know it.  I was searching for how to find the light from outside me, “Where’s the fucking light switch man?!” When, over the course of a few years, some heartache, loss, and real-true lessons, I have activated Something inside me that is beaming light from within.  I hear Cat Stevens in my head right now “Trouble…. oh trouble please be kind…” then Harold drives his car off a cliff, realizing, and we’re all surprised in the end, that he’s abandoned his death-hearse-Jaguar and turned to the soothing memory of an old woman and his newfound banjo of life.

Here I am – some days are harder than others, but my turnaround time now has lessened into manageable chunks vs. hours of agony and remorse for something that I had no control over and was trying my damnedest to control.  Here’s a quote I was given two Decembers ago, as I was headed down deep South to spend a couple weeks on a Christmas Tree Lot, “If you are willing to look at a another person’s behavior towards you as a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over a period of time, cease to react at all.”  – Yogi Bhajan.   Yesterday, I reacted, I got all torn apart, but here’s the victory: I climbed up out of the well,  fingernails still intact, breathed a sigh of relief when I reached the top and sat there, swinging my feet on the sides, deciding what path to take from there.  Six months ago I would have jumped back down into that deep, dark well and wondered why I hadn’t figured out how to swim yet; yesterday I stood up and walked away with my banjo. *deafening applause*

This is what steps to victory feel like.  This is what all the steps will be, with intention from now on.  This is not to say that I will not backslide from time to time, but I seriously am beginning to trust that there is a larger, more powerful force reckoning on a scale I can barely comprehend, and on my behalf.  On your behalf.  I cannot control it, but I can pay attention.  I can love myself for the flawed, passionate, driven, and capable person I am; I can take the reigns and let my tiny-Self know that I am not going to abandon her or let anyone ever do that again, as long as I’m in charge.  I get to choose whether or not someone can hurt me.  I get to choose how I respond, not how I react.  With that right-now-intention.  Right now, I choose NOT to respond, and that is my path.

For all the vague as hell shit in here, just know that mostly this blog is for me and trust that it is exactly what I need to say right now.  xoxo  Still learning, my pain is my teacher and my strength.  My pain is my teacher and my strength.  My pain is my teacher and my strength. (Write that 70 times on the blackboard.)

updated dream version student of life
(photo from Photo site – not related to my post but this picture literally looks exactly like a recurring dream I used to have except I was in a long white nightgown and about 7 years old. I was also running through a forest with a bunch of ravines, I was jumping, then sailing and flying over them running and running and running away. I love this picture.  Much more updated version of how I feel right now and goes swimmingly with my blackboard reference.)

 

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
‘Cause there’s a million things to be
You know that there are… – Cat Stevens


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Preliminaries…

Well, I misunderstood, I thought that I would be starting the EMDR therapy today. It actually starts next time, so thanks for all the candles… 

Today was just a “get to know you” sort of day with the woman who will be working with me. I like her a lot. It’s affirming when someone acknowledges your trauma(s) experience(s), it makes you feel understood and validates your existence (since it is difficult sometimes for me to validate my own existence.) 

We went through a timeline I had to create of all the abuses, neglects, and traumatic experiences from my life, up to now, the ongoing abandonment. Making that list wasn’t hard, but going through it was. It was difficult again telling someone new all of the things…. I’ve probably been through six or seven different therapy sessions with different therapists throughout the years and it’s always difficult to start over with the story. The lovely thing here is that I liked her immediately, and she didn’t need to know the details. That something about EMDR therapy that I already like. I don’t have to go into the gory details, I don’t even have to say anything.

She is very confident that while the EMDR therapy will be successful with me because I am so open, she alerted me that it will be very triggering and will bring up a lot within my body and my awareness. I told her I’m game. I’m SO game. 

Right now I feel very soft and ripe like a fuzzy peach, but if I’m not careful and I drop myself.. I’m afraid I’ll splatter all over the floor.  I’m girding my loins, yet also (and definitely) open to this journey, no matter where it takes me. 


(If you’re reading this and wondering, “why the hell is she sharing this publicly and on the Internet?” It’s because I’m not the only one who has experienced this sort of stuff and I would like to make an example out of the journey that I’m on so that other people may find it inspiring to open themselves up and heal from their hurt.)


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I am not ashamed. I am learning.

As of late, I have been learning some very important information about myself. This information comes from years and years and years, perhaps my entire lifetime of searching for something that I could not find. I could not grasp. I would venture and dare to say that it was held back from me, until the right time, which is now. I can’t tell you anything that has meant more to me than the realization that an aspect of my personality, learned as a very, very young child has come to the forefront of my awareness. I was first introduced to the notion of codependency about 3 1/2 weeks ago. At first I was completely turned off by the term. I was in a therapy session and the term offended me. I said out loud, “codependency? That’s not me. Fuck that! I’m not my mother!” Right after I said that, ironically, I softened, felt guilty for expressing my feelings to my therapist (ha!), and accepted the book my therapist handed me. I didn’t realize what I was opening myself to. Just reaching across the room, with the curiosity I seem to have an insatiable amount of, has changed my worldview. I took the book home and devoured it. I read and highlighted that book with fervor that I can only express as a voracious need to heal, because I have work to do. I have a world around me and somehow I feel driven to be an agent of change. I have so much gratitude for the support and love of everyone in my life. Right now however, for the first time, I am showing up for me. I’ve been showing up for everyone else for so long and I can only do the work of fighting for true justice if I can give justice to myself. The small child inside me deserves justice just like all the other children in this world deserve it. All of the other children and children of children and adults who are still children. We don’t deserve to stay broken, and this journey is helping me put the pieces back together. Whether you have experienced sexual, emotional, or physical neglect and/or abuse, if you resonate with anything that I’m saying right now, please listen to this podcast and take notes on the resources that are discussed. I will further explain and update about this process. The eternal, or rather seemingly eternal replay of self deprecating words and thoughts to myself and about myself are slowly beginning to dissipate. I feel more liberated right now than I have ever, I am crying right now just saying these words out loud. I lived in fear most of my life, and I am sure that surprises most of you, because what you’ve seen throughout the years is a glimmer of who I am but also a very clear view of who I wanted you to see. The conflicted person who, I should say this with gentleness, very much hated herself and thought she deserved nothing was very much ashamed. Through much sorrow, they say, comes much joy. (insert Kahlil Gibran quote here http://www.katsandogz.com/onjoy.html)

 I don’t know that “Joy” very well at all. I learned very early on that nobody and nothing in this world was safe. I learned this before I was two years old. I learned it over and over again, in fact, I was learning it up until three weeks ago. Thankfully, my grandparents offered temporary respite from the world I lived in as a little girl. Even more thankfully, I am offering respite to myself now.  I’ve only seen the shadow of joy and I want to truly experience it and relinquish my need for control (out of fear that I might lose it), this I am working on. Sending all of you so much love and appreciation, and yet also I am now beginning to send myself the same love and appreciation. Again I have work to do, and I may only get this lifetime to be aware of it.

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/codependency-no-more-podcast/e/42583301

https://www.google.com/amp/www.goodtherapy.org/blog/wounded-attachment-relationships-of-survivors-of-childhood-sexual-assault-0627135/amp/

Careful with this one, very explicit: https://ritualabuse.us/research/sexual-abuse/how-childhood-sexual-abuse-affects-interpersonal-relationships/


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Coming in from the cold

10423654_10101519858563348_4963391871808647311_nWatching a cat roll around in catnip is extremely enjoyable. There, now that that’s out I can start this post and get out what’s been trying to exit from me.  I enjoyed watching the late night showing of the Hobbit last night.  A dear friend from Saxapahaw, NC came to visit me up here in Beech Mountain for the first time and all because we’d vowed to one another that we would watch the Hobbit together before it left the theaters.  We made good on our promise.  The journey to Johnson City, Tennessee was about an hour-long and dear Peter joined us thankfully he was able to leave work before midnight.  The three of us trekked into the windy roads of Highway 19 in the dark and made it home safely with all of our precious cargo.

This morning, I had intended to sleep in, yet that was not accomplished.  I only slept until about 8:45 and have been awake from then on.  I made breakfast for my friend and we watched Saturday morning cartoons and drank a few mimosas before he had to head back down the mountain.  The quiet snow is falling outside and it made my friend feel some trepidation, yet he ended up getting out just fine and took me to the mercantile so that I might consume some vittles for lunch before heading out for a walk back home in the 25 degree, powdery weather.  Saying goodbye to my friend, I was sad to see him go.  His visit was short but hopefully next time around we’ll have more time to explore the mountain.

The point of this post is to say that I went for my hike today and came across two very beautiful, medium-sized dogs.  At first, I was startled, they were not on leashes, but I put out my hand and stopped my advancing toward them and let them come to me.  Proper dog manners.  They were at first sniffers and seemingly nervous, but in a moment’s time they were snarfing and leaning and wagging all over.  One was dark curly brown and the other had big spots and was gorgeous and sort of striped, but big stripes of grey and brown with white mainly.  I look up to see the owner and it was someone I know.  After talking to this person briefly and ending the conversation with, “There is always something to be grateful for, have a beautiful afternoon.”  I walked away and turned my thoughts inward.

I must say the rest of the walk calmed me.  I took several photos of the stunning winter scenery and was sure to take each step slowly and contemplatively. The pristine path had not been trodden since the snow had fallen, except for deer and bird tracks.  I even saw the remnants of a woodpeckers work on my favorite Boo Radley tree.  There were fresh wood chips all around the back side of that old, dead tree, and on the other side, the gaping hole I could fit in if desired.  I will put gifts in there, if to no one else then to the tree himself.

I just remembered that while I was eating lunch I was reading a magazine about survival in the Smokies during the winter.  “Will” was the word the editor used in her column.  The will to create things, to live, and to do what your “will be done”.  I am convinced right now that I have the will to get several things accomplished today that I neglected this week and WILL be prepared on Monday to be as badass as I can be, even with a few hours of guitar and Spanish practice to boot.  I just made a fresh batch of kombucha and will be enjoying my freshly bottled elderberry ginger kombucha tomorrow when it is fully carbonated and ready to consume.

All that said, this story has several points:

1. Walking can help to clear the head.  2. I’m emotional today and can feel the pull of the Moon coming back.  3. I started writing a new song for the first time in a very long time just a few days ago and I am now taking guitar lessons.  The badassery to follow has been a long time coming. and 4. It is as if today I have learned something new.  Let’s not forget it now Anita.  This may come in handy in the future.  “Be not half-assed.”