anitalorrainemoore

Musician devoted to Justice, Creativity, and Courage


Leave a comment

A Letter to tiny Anita

I am making a promise to myself right now.

I will always protect you Anita. I will look out for your best interests and remove you from harmful, hurtful situations. I will never allow anyone to abuse you in any way. I will do my best to recognize quickly if that is happening. I will always validate your feelings. They are legitimate and worthy of consideration, even when everyone else chooses to ignore them or forgets them altogether. I will ask you how you feel and what you think about any given situation, but especially hard situations. I will give you time to consider them and space to come to your conclusions without pressure. I’ll give you all the time you need to pray, journal, and seek answers. When you have found them, I will honor them and be proud of you for the work you’ve done of searching your own soul for your own truth. I will light a candle for your resilience and support you in your decisions and love you unconditionally. I will understand that you are doing your best and that your best will not look the same in all situations.

Lastly, I will remember that it is OK if you change your mind and be open to learning what caused you to do so. You deserve all these things, as does everyone else. However, I will always remember only *I* can provide *YOU* with these things, no one else. I cannot provide for everyone and I am only obligated to you to act in your best interests. Your well-being and safety must come first. I will always believe you, trust. I will always take nurturing care of you.

You deserve love and a safe home to which you can return at any time, I will give that to you. Especially at Christmas, if you need to return home, I will take you home.

I love you,

Anita


Leave a comment

TuesDayNewsDay Vol.2 Issue 17, October 30 Caution: Trigger Warning, references to sexual violence

TuesDayNewsDay Vol.2 Issue 17, October 30th – CAUTION: Trigger Warning – this newsletter contains triggering sexual violence references. Please take care.

Dedication: Today’s issue is dedicated to my therapist Karen. Today, while going through what came up in therapy, I realized I would drive to the place, where in October of 1990, I was first molested. I was seven years old. I decided I would drive there, sit on the ground and take a photo. I would also take something of the earth to work with this healing. As the idea came to me, a light bulb exploded in my head. Karen said, “Anita, don’t take your wounded little girl there without your whole adult self holding her, seeing her, and telling her that you are there for her no matter what. You are her nurturing parent now, hold her in your arms.”

I pulled my car into the driveway for the first time ever on my way home from therapy, realizing I have never driven into that driveway before in my life.

This spot, which I have to drive by every time I go to my grandparents’ house, is also a block from where my mother still lives with the pedophile step-father just across the railroad tracks. When I say this healing is a daily, a moment to moment process, I mean it. Literally facing those places every day has wrecked havoc on my insides – but I am resilient and strong, vulnerable and honest with myself. The place is a vacant lot in a trailer park on Pomeroy Street in Graham, where my home used to sit. Now it’s an empty, dirty space with an overgrown concrete platform over which there was a carport. Under that porch, I remember having to take all of our stuffed animals outside to be thrown away because there was such a terrible flea infestation. I remember sneaking up late at night after everyone was asleep, turning on the television to watch Alfred Hitchcock and the Twilight Zone, my face about an inch from the screen, ever wary of any sounds coming from my mother’s end of the trailer lest I get caught.

Vividly, I remember the game we were playing that night in October. My baby sister, a developmentally disabled boy named Jason, and his sister Tasha and I were playing charades. Jason and Tasha were the teenage children of my mother’s red-headed boyfriend. We played in teams and it was decided we would go into the closet to decide what animal or character we would pretend to be. I was seven years old, my sister was 2. I was on Jason’s team. Jason was sixteen. (Typing this I can feel my heart racing and the old familiar anxiety aching in my chest and shoulders, my left eye and cheek twitching.). When we went into that closet and Jason molested me, I was too afraid to move, too afraid to scream, too afraid to fight, too afraid to do anything at all except to freeze. So, I froze. I could feel his icy cold, trembling hands on me. To this day I can still feel the darkness of that closet, the walls closing in around me. When we came out of that closet, I was sick. I don’t remember anything else. I don’t remember the game, nothing. I remember after they left that night, I told my mother what happened. She said to me, “Honey, if it happens again, let me know.”

Those words etched endless caves into the crevices of my heart. Those words are the haunting. Those words represent the moment I knew I was on my own. With no one else to turn to, my grandparents were gone to Disneyland at the time, I was completely alone. I prayed and prayed and heard nothing. Those words mark the day when I, as a seven year old, realized that god didn’t exist and that I wasn’t worth saving. Those words created children’s tears. They cannot be undone, and of course, it happened again.

Despite those memories buried deep in endless caves and my mother within shouting distance, I went. It was my nurturing, accepting, loving, and whole adult self who sat on that ground. I felt the cold, wet grass and soil underneath me. I looked at the trailers to the right and left of me. My phone was propped on the very metal bracket that once held that trailer to the ground. I snapped a shot of me sitting on that sacred ground. It took less than a minute. Leaving, I searched for a four-leaf clover in the tiny patch of yard, but found none. Instead, now a big green black walnut from that place is with me. I plan to do some ritual with that walnut. It tried to escape twice from me before walking up my back-porch steps in Saxapahaw. Something inside told me not to bring it inside my house, so I left it on the back patio table. It is not clear what kind of ritual will come about, but it is sure to be a powerful one of releasing the physical ghosts of that moment. It will be one of forgiving my mother for not knowing or realizing what she was doing. It will be a process of exorcising the grief and trauma which has been sitting in my bones and blood, blooming into the person you see today. Today is all I have.

Quote: Choice is all we get, change is all that’s real.

Song: Silence is the song today folks, listen to your heart beat. – my Tuesday video song series is available here: TuesDay Song Series Video on Facebook

Dear Humans,

Today’s post wasn’t meant to be this way. The events of today were not planned, but have made a mark. The words of my song, Darlene, record this event in a lyrical, symbolic sort of way. Being an artist is a privilege because it lets us put words and visions to feelings and thoughts. We are able to somehow transform our feelings into a universal language others can share. Today with Karen, I admitted to trying to let go of my fears: people won’t like my arts and I’m not good enough to walk in the footsteps of my idols. Slowly and purposefully, she said, “Let’s transform that. You are working on your language, so let’s start here.” So after thinking, my mouth said, “I am letting go of my concern for people not liking my art or me as a person.” I do not need validation of others to justify my existence. This self-work is Sacred. I feed on it; it makes me feel more and more alive and free every day to uncover and unleash the demons. Turns out, they aren’t demons at all. They are one scared, frozen little girl, stepping into who she is destined to be, not solely a victim of her circumstance. I looked Karen in the eyes today and spoke my gratitude for her being here with me this last year and a half of journeying, visioning and healing. It was the first time I’d ever asked to hold hands with anyone. With our feet on the floor, we grounded, I closed my eyes and saw little Anita sitting on my right knee. There Karen prepared me to go sit on that patch of grass, which someday, I will drive by without flinching. I will drive by proud to have been seated there.

Love, ALM


Leave a comment

July 1st… Journal today and Khalil Gibran

Monday… July 1st

Today, right now, I feel peaceful. I am sitting on the couch with my coffee, grey cashmere sweater score from the thrift store, tons of reading material and my ankle propped up on ice. This whole process of surgery and healing has taught me so much I never really understood – how important the pause really is. The caring for your body in a way that reflects that you ACTUALLY care about what happens to it and how it functions. It’s unbelievable to me that I went so long without really taking care of this ankle, or thinking about this at all… the life of childhood sexual abuse survivors perhaps – but I’ll only speak of my own experience. I think back and see so many unspoken, unseen barriers to recognizing the problem. I never want to be that distracted and oblivious again in my life. Therapy, Al-Anon, music, and most of all that Divine resilience spark from somewhere within me (and us all, right?) has put me in this place of submission. I know I’ll be taken care of. What a privileged feeling?

Right now, my mind goes to the families on the border of our country, the refugees trying to find a safe place, a home, the war-torn families of people across this world who truly DON’T know that they’ll be taken care of. Sitting here, I truly don’t know what to do about that. Is there something to be done? Is there nothing to be done? I can’t take on the weight of the world alone. How is it that my conscience (I’m teaching about conscience and morality in my Critical Thinking class this week.) is so heavy from the knowledge of what is happening around me but also the feeling of being incapable of doing anything about it. Is that not the essence of trauma? Am I wrong that everything will be taken care of? Is this a false sense of security in some unseen force? When I have been abused in the past, I didn’t know what to do so I froze and allowed it to happen until is was over and I could escape. Some don’t escape. My escape was in my mind, as my body was being invaded. What of right now? Is my escape the comfort of my mind since there is this seemingly limited amount of impact I can make on the atrocities of this world? (I made 74.50 Friday night performing to send to the Border relief organizations sending lawyers and food/water/proper care to those families.). It seems like so little… I curiously don’t feel shame. That I am proud of, however there is guilt – the healthy spark to do something to rectify wrong-doings comes from guilt. I didn’t create the system in which we live, yet as I live and breath, I benefit and continue to perpetuate its eventuality.

Are we all going through trauma right now, on a cellular and spiritual level right now, if not physical (since it’s all connected)? The world feels to me to be chaotic and mean, and while I sit here with my coffee, it’s hard not to think of all those who are unsafe and literally grasping for their lives.

From therapy, I learned that many truths can be simultaneously existent – the ever-present paradox – the both/and – not simply the limiting either/or. Literally, I believe this is the only mindset which can release me from my own rambling, concerned yet paralyzed state. Also, it’s the only perspective which can shed light on numerous co-existing perspectives of abundance which are hard to see while thinking about the suffering of this world. I never just think about the suffering, I FEEL it. Everyone can. It is impossible not to (even if you are unconscious of it, it impacts you. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)) – it is all recognizable and at times, insidiously invisible. So why is it that the joys and the love and the light is so hard to absorb and hold? Again, that shift in lens is the antidote for the tunnel vision. A trusting that somehow, those positivities are truly out there in and amongst the negativities. …and if you venture out to the furthest reaches, perhaps those challenges (in hindsight) give us the tools we need to survive.

In an attempt at gross summation and perhaps even over-simplification – maybe we can cradle in our palms these painful knowings and trust that they are providing insights about how to better live, how much more aware I can be to not only see and recognize, but to act upon those recognitions to create a more just world in one fluid, unnoticeable and perpetual movement with the intention of good?

“On Good and Evil” – Kahlil Gibran (I find deep feeling insights every time I open The Prophet.)

“And one of the elders of the city said, Speak to us of Good and Evil. And he answered:

Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.

For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?

Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.

You are good when you are one with yourself.

Yet when you are not one with yourself, you are not evil.

For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.

And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sing not to the bottom.

You are good when you strive to give of yourself.

Yet you are not evil when you seek to gain for yourself.

For when you strive to gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.

Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, “Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance.”

For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.

You are good when you are fully awake in your speech,

Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose.

And even in the stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.

You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.

Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping.

Even those who limp go not backward.

But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.

You are good in countless ways, and yo are not evil when you are not good,

You are only loitering and sluggard.

Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.

In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: and that longing is in all of you. [I am brought to tears at this moment reading this line again.]

But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest.

And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and bends and lingers before it reaches the shore.

But let not him who longs much say to him who longs little, “Wherefore are you slow and halting?”

For the truly good ask not the naked, “Where is your garment.” Nor the house less, “Where has befallen your house?”

Another memory I heard singing in my ears while typing this, “I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch, he said to me, “You must not ask for so much.” I saw a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door, she cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more? Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir …I have tried, in my way, to be free.”

– Bird on a Wire, by Leonard Cohen.

Nothing is left unresolved, only momentary feigns of understanding…


Leave a comment

AnitaLorraine’s TuesDayNewsDay, Vol. 1, Issue 1 ~ October 2, 2018

TuesDayNewsDay

AnitaLorraineMoore

“Learn to handle the valleys Quincy, the hills will take care of themselves.” -Count Basie to Quincy Jones

Dear Humans,

Here comes the new Anita Moore newsletter every Tuesday describing what’s going on with me musically, emotionally/intellectually, creatively, and about life in general and things that move, touch or inspire me. We’ll start with a #freshquote and dedication – the #LivingQueryoftheWeek (respond in the comment section) and #UpcomingShows !!

Dedication: Auspiciously, my late brother Skip used to start a new journal on October 1 every year. This issue is dedicated to him. I miss him so much.

Over the last few weeks, there’ve been a lot of life events that have given me great pause. My 96 year old great aunt Helen passed and I sang a few songs for her funeral, I dealt with a staph infection, and my grandfather had pretty serious surgery to unblock his carotid artery (with him being in the hospital it inevitably means that my grandmother’s going to be on edge as well – they are attached at the hip quite literally. It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.) Lastly, the Supreme Court fiasco has triggered many feelings of anger, helplessness, and memories of not being believed, invalidation, and being ridiculed by my mother starting at the age of 7. Call your Senators people. Vote them out if they don’t act upon your testimonies. We cannot allow the perpetuation of this behavior with silence.

I’m working part time with Democracy Matters and have 10 wonderful chapters of students who are doing amazing awareness raising work from Florida to New York. Syracuse University, Gettysburg, University of Maryland, North Carolina Central University, a new chapter at UNC, Guilford college, the University of Miami, the University of Georgia in Athens, University of Florida in Gainesville, and the New College of Florida.

Music has given me quite a bit of inspiration. I am so honored and grateful to have been able to open that door when I did. Many, many other doors have opened subsequently from that divine choice.  This past weekend, I got to perform three shows w/Pete Pawsey. Sunday at the Carrboro music festival, I was a complete rockstar and dressed the part too! With the Radar Clowns – On that day an amazing five piece horn section, smooth piano, energetic drums, and rockin’ Pete on the guitar, I sang my heart out on several songs and we had so much wonderful reception. I felt very tuned in at that moment and realized how happy I am to have started this journey when I did. Thank you all for supporting me. I could not do it without you.

In my personal, therapeutic journey, I have learned a lot about myself and about my motivations for work, life decisions, and habitual responses that honestly I would like to alter for the betterment of my sanity and for the world in general around me. I found that I was doing political service work in such a way that I was avoiding my own process of healing and/or avoiding my own historical traumatic struggle. I was unknowingly convinced that the world was easier to fix than my pain. Well… I am not doing that anymore. I have begun to prioritize my own mental health and establishing boundaries. Going to an Al-Anon meeting weekly, I just began working with my first sponsor. I’ve been doing cognitive behavioral therapy weekly, implementing EMDR sessions throughout. There is a book I’ve decided to write, for which I have begun gathering sources. The album concept is complete and I have all but two songs completely recorded in a demo. Right now I am compiling a list of accompaniment and considering different production styles and offers. I have applied for a potential teaching position at Alamance Community College – critical thinking. *fingers crossed* PS: I love lists.

My struggles have been with food lately and maintaining some semblance of exercise. I’ve been paying more attention to patterns, realizing that hormonally there are some disturbances at certain times of the month when I become desperate, hopeless, depressed, irritated and lethargic. To start, going on morning walks has been really helpful. Waking up early to watch the sunrise is a blessing; I had forgotten how beautiful the sunrise is. This morning it was an amalgamation of all sorts of pinks, purples, and yellows and blue-grey clouds. The moon has also been especially haunting in a good way lately, happy October! *groovy happy dance*  

At this very moment I am sitting on what Bruce calls “the magic rock”, where the creek bends and the water forms soothing sounds. Birds are chirping all around and the crickets are playing their endless tiny violin songs.

With Love, because it saves the world,

ALM

#LivingQueryoftheWeek : What is your most effective tool for self-love/self-care?

 

 

Upcoming Shows:

  • Sat, October 20th – w/Radar Clowns, Rain Dogs by Tom Waits Theme
  • Fri, November 2nd – w/Radar Clowns – Day of the Dead Show
    • 8:00pm, Hillsborough @ #MysteryBrewingCompany
  • Sat, November 3rd – Me-n-Pete Duo
    • 7:15pm, Star, NC @ #StarworksCafeTaproom
  • Sun, November 4th – w/Radar Clowns, Rain Dogs by Tom Waits Theme
    • 3:00-5:00pm, Pittsboro @ #CITYTAPPITTSBORO
  • Fri, November 30th – Anita Lorraine with Bruce Horvath

 


Leave a comment

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


1 Comment

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.)