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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You can’t just throw money at the problem of money in politics

You Can’t just throw money at the problem of Money in politics

We’ve all heard the old saying, “You have to work for what you have,” and this is true, for some.  In the fight to restore democracy in this country, a representative republic for which all people have a voice and don’t have to have millions in the bank to be represented by politicians, we are now seeing a trend of money being poured into a conundrum where money is the problem in the first place!

On the ground, discussions are not about money in politics, they are about the impending threat of terrorism, ebola, health care (or lack thereof), marriage equality, Obama and his perceived failures, student loan debt increasingly growing, lack of funding for public schools, the cost of milk.  These subjects do not lie in the realm of money in politics or in Supreme Court decisions, yet all of them are directly affected by this legalized corruption we have for an election system.  Our populations’ discussions are also highly influenced by corporately controlled media who decides what subjects are discussed (or not discussed) at the dinner table.

If we want to get money out of politics, and 96% of us want it badly, we must start on the ground, with teams of people making this the discussion amongst neighbors and friends, church-goers and teammates.  Teachers and auto-workers, librarians and McDonalds line cooks all need to be talking about how corruption has cut our ties with the very representatives whom we elect into office (if we vote at all!)  North Carolina’s Forward Together movement is a great example of mobilizing and turning out citizens who realize that we are all in this together – money in politics is the issue that lies at the heart of our problems.

To return to working for what you have, I must say that if the strategy continues on the path of say, the Mayday PAC and others, we will not win this cause to get money out of politics and restoring our democracy by throwing more money into a corrupt system.  That money could be used to build a groundswell of people, college students and grandmothers, farmers and lawyers, restaurant owners and county commissioners, all of these people are the ones who need to be tapped for their disdain of a bought and sold government  These are the people who could benefit from millions of dollars being spent to organize and mobilize a national discussion.  Throwing more money into this situation, and ignoring the means to which people power is harnessed (grassroots organizing) creates an elitist opposition to an elitist right-wing monopoly of our elections.  We’re in need of a social movement from the ground up to get money out of politics, this tactic of pouring money into a broken system couldn’t be farther from what this country needs right now.

Realize that while our heads may be filled with the problem of money in politics, as we work within the realm of education to make this change, we must understand that we are nowhere near the national level of awareness to create a change in 2016.  If we poured and pooled our resources into organizing people on the ground, young and old, we could encourage people to start at their city level in making the change we so badly want to see – a democracy not bought by money, but represented by people who care.


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Maine-ly Beautiful

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Maine was beautiful and playing music and learning music is a divine rejuvenator. I learned a jazz chord progression and many new songs. Sang and played at Moosehead Lake’s The Birches and Easy Street tavern in Hallowell, Maine, and for Ladies Night @ the famous Dancing Saxin’ Bobby Watson’s place.

The Loons sang us to sleep most nights on our Lake-a-daisical tour of Panther Pond, Moosehead and Maranacook Lakes. I looked for moose but to no avail, they remain an illusive fantasy…

Traveling back was tiring but now that Im back, it’s time to turn the page and full-steam ahead as per usual. Playing a private reunion gathering of friends tomorrow night and looking forward to singing more of the words that floated into my head on this wondrous trip to Maine.

Many thanks to Phil Cheney for being my loving traveling companion. Also thanks to our trip comrades Maxwell, Ami, and Krekel. Such a wonderful time with ya’ll. Shouts out to Emil, Maisy, Fabian and crew for your gracious hospitality and love of good things and fun times. Blessings to all.

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Snow falling and discussion as follows

“I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town.”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3EofN3Flag More than frost today Joni, SNOW is FALLING and I made sure the whole (nearby) neighborhood knew about it at 7:30 this Saturday morning.  Snow is so magical and beautiful, each snowflake actually IS a divine, unique thing…

Yesterday, watching an 8 year old and a 1.5 year old is a ton of fun.  I was sad to go home, but I had to get some work done, and that can’t happen with, “NiNi! What would you like to order from the Kevi Kitchen?!” coming in every 5 minutes. 🙂  There’s something about writing this journal that makes me feel really good and I haven’t been, up to this point, in the last couple of years, been able to sustain a journal or diary.. all the while killing myself with guilt that I didn’t have any follow through.

My inner voice is a mean one.  I talk to myself in a more stern, mean, impatient, and unaccepting way than I would talk to anyone (much less people I love!) and I’ve decided that this has to change.  I’m trying to make this change, understanding that it’s a process, not a destination.  Isn’t that the lesson of life anyway, to enjoy the process because there IS no destination or final resting point?  That’s not the way energy works.

Ponder this.

Along that vein, in this day in history in 1932, the 1st patent issued for a tree, went to James Markham for a peach tree.  That whole process is now being fought by another process.  I don’t believe in purity or pristine anything to do with human creation, divine creation or an original thought. Everything at this point has been touched or manipulated by human existence on this earth, and everything we’ve done or experienced up to this point leads us to the thoughts we come up with.  This leads me to 2 points: 1. nothing should be owned, personal ownership leads to greed…therefore I don’t believe in borders  and 2. Seeds and the natural world should not be patented or owned… the race to the top for money and material wealth is destroying this planet and us as a collective species – and THERE IS NO END POINT!  The process that I am finding joy in now, is the reclaiming of this mentality, the community, the rights of workers, the love of the planet and the genuine love of all beings.  I AM all beings, I am finding the courage to say so and act on it.  Happy February 16th, the first day of the rest of your life.  What are you FOR?


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Try and Catch The Wind, Dreams and Things

I watched the Presidential State of the Union address last night, and went to bed rather deflated.  I was impressed by his bold nature, but I wish he would have talked about Syria and all the violence going on around the world.  Drones would have been a topic I would have liked to hear more about.  I am glad he talked about gun violence.  I am happy he talked about raising minimum wage.  It would have been nice to hear a stand AGAINST the environmentally dangerous process of fracking and the Keystone XL pipeline and FOR publicly financed elections.  He did give a shout out on how corporations and rich individuals are flooding politics, but we need MORE than a shout out, and that’s where all of us come in…. so on to today…  In 1960, France detonated its first nuclear bomb and last year on this day, Washington state become the 7th state to legalize same-sex marriage.  GO WASHINGTON STATE!  I’ve always said that when EVERYONE can get married, then I’ll think about it.

…This morning, around 4am EST I awoke to pee and then went back to bed.  I don’t think I slept very much after that, in and out of dream land where everything is cloudy, yet very clear.  Dreams are things that remain an enigma to me, when I wake up I wish sometimes that the dreams were real.  Sometimes when I wake up, I’m thanking my lucky stars that it was only a dream.  I dream violent and murderous dreams, where I’m fighting a battle with an old enemy – one that in waking life truly ruined my family.  Sometimes when I’m not battling, I am creating and flying and doing things that I have never done.  In my waking dreams I dream

about being like Mother Teresa and inspiring hope and love on all things and making the world a better place, all the while highlighting injustice in the world.

I dream about having a garden that I eat from and also feed others.  I dream about having a solar garden too, that helps cut down on energy costs.  I dream about living in a hole in the ground, with a big, round, and wooden door.

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I dream about graduating and receiving my Masters degree and I dream about speaking Spanish.  Sometimes I think I dream in a language I’ve never heard of.

 

(((((((((((((((((This is me (pictured to the right) with BIG dreams!)))))))))))

 
When I awoke again around 9 this morning, I looked out the window and saw a beautiful red cardinal.I dream about raising children (not my own) who have no parents and giving them love.  I dream about making music and being badass, singing around a fire of loved ones.

 

With a huge smile I made up my bed (while still in it of course), placed Cornelius and Hobbes in their rightful places above my flannel covered pillows, and put on today’s clothes: a re-sweatshirt made by Jill Boogie and my favorite jeans.  I lit a stick of smelly-good incense, thought of a fond memory, smiled, then went downstairs to see that I’d
This song is also amazing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=4_GgE7zF3wo&feature=fvwp “Sun”received sweet message from Jill.  I love her.  She sent me lyrics to a Donovan song – First There is a Mountain.  This reminded me of this song, that I love so much: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H19qNpG46A8 “Catch the Wind”