I Feel Strong

I feel strong….

I thought this over and over walking to the mailbox.  I feel assured, okay, comfortable.

The usually urgent, hurried voice to stay on guard still whispered slightly, but it was much quieter than usual.  And I thank her for warning me that feelings can be fleeting, but I couldn’t help but entertain the thoughts that…I have felt strong before…I have lived through Hell…what if…what if the feeling of being strong can become more consistent?

Today my husband asked me how I have been and I said “actually, I was thinking today, I feel strong.” He wrapped me in his arms and it felt nice.  The balance of belonging to myself and to another at the same time.

And my cousin texted me later and asked how I was doing and I texted her back a short reply and happily shared ‘today I feel strong.’ It is a beautiful feeling of feeling inwardly supported by myself.  I am grateful I was given opportunities to share that I felt strong to people who love me, know the story and I don’t feel like I am bragging, but they can glimpse a little bit of how rewarding it is to have a day like this.

There is so much I could say, so much I could share.  Lately I have been in less denial.  I have wondered how the abuse began, how was I ‘convinced.’  I don’t have to know these things, and there is a paradox that I do and do not want to know equally. The thing is; healing is a process.

God, I hated when my therapists would tell me healing is a process.  I still don’t love it, but I understand it more.  I can’t predict the future.  If my mind opens up to more detailed memories of the abuse then it does, if more never comes up then it doesn’t.  I might crawl into the shower sobbing trying to wash the shame off of me again but I may also have more days like today. It is isn’t always one or the other.  It is almost always both and today is a pleasure.

Because….

Today I feel strong.

 

Soul on Fire

I recently discovered an adorable store with cute t-shirts, essential oils, local honey, and shoes.  Something felt familiar while I browsed the first time and I realized it was a Christian store.  Shirts that read, “Spirit Lead Me,” or :” Jesus is Love Bro.” or the one I am drawn to, “Soul on Fire.”

Can I wear a shirt from a Christian store even if I don’t think I believe what they do anymore?

I went back to the store the next day.  I was feeling a kind of hunger inside.  )I’m always hungry for food.) This was like a soul on fire kind of hunger.  I have felt it kindling for a while now.  I am eager for something more.

It has been a very long time.  Since I have felt the need for more. This is like a hunger for life.

Here’s the thing I don’t know where it will lead me and I am pretty skeptical.  I keep thinking about all the Bible studies and communities I have been a part of.  I heard this one story about a believer who became an out spoken atheist.  His Christian friend visited him when they were old and he asked, “How do you feel about Jesus?” and the atheist responded, “I miss him.”

I believe in a life force.  I just don’t think any of the religions have all the answers so I’m not sure what to practice.  I used to feel very safe and adventurous in my relationship with Jesus,but I am angry.  I am angry for the lies, and such deep betrayal by someone who should have nurtured me.  I get that hurt people, hurt people…..but why the children…why stolen innocence.

I just can’t wrap my head around a god who can sit and let it happen and people reason it away with answers like sin.  That just isn’t good enough.  It is easier right now not to have answers, then to have platitudes.

regret is not something I have for my faith.  I see it still as a beautiful part of who I once was.  I feel I will someday find a church to go to occasionally for great worship and some community but I won’t lie about my questions.  I will probably start yoga again and practice Buddhist teachings.

Regardless I am ready to venture out into spirituality again. Slowly, but I feel the fire burning in my soul and this time I will respect the anger, refute judgement, and make it my own.

 

To My Followers

I have been thinking lately, I know I don’t write a ton, but I am grateful for this blog.  Therefore I am completely grateful for my followers and the people who like my posts and read them.

I used to journal, and I may start again, but it is so nice to have a place to share my thoughts/feelings and have feedback.  Or just feel supported that someone read what I wrote.

For years silence about things left me feeling powerless.  This has been a way to express my voice.  I feel confident or resolved after many of my posts.  I feel happy there is a delete button if I am dissatisfied with a post.

Anyways I am in a whirlwind of a time with therapy processing my past, getting married, starting a new job, and still wondering what I want to be when I grow up, and wondering about what I believe in, if anything.

So this is to my followers.  I enjoy getting to read many of your blogs and hope to dedicate more time to my presence on here as the year progresses and I get used to my schedule.

I want to say thank you.  Thank you, thank you.  I appreciate the consideration I am shown.

Love,

Raech

Conflicting Conflict

This is something my therapist says every session.  “That sounds very conflicting.”

And it is.

All of it.

I used to have this saying I made up on facebook, “I have plunged full throttle into the iridescent paradox that is life.”

I recognized how we live with opposing fractions of ourselves and yet these parts live in parallel with one another, demanding importance or significant reacting like magnets both pulling together or pushing away or one pulling and the other pushing.

Regardless I didn’t ‘see’ at the time how very conflicted I have always been.

I struggle with my new title as a behavior interventionist when I feel so beyond understanding myself.  I teeter between wanting to be a therapist or thinking I can’t possible handle all of that negativity.  I need to exercise and eat better.  I don’t know how to pack two meals and snacks that will last twelve hours in a car with no option of heating up: I have been researching and trying.  I want to sleep with a weighted blanket.  I want to talk to my family, but then I spend a weekend in tears.

These are just a few examples, there are also a lot factors like knee problems, what I like, emotions, and money.

It is exhausting.  But I am actually seeking ways to care for myself even though I struggle with caring about myself.

It is a conflicting conflict.

But I see growth.

 

 

The Bumbling Slog

  1. This is for sure a slog day
  2. I feel like a slog
  3. What is a slog?
  4. I work a counseling/caretaker field and today I told my husband I am having a personality glitch.  I am missing my empathy, sympathy, and pity.
  5. One of my clients said they wanted to be independent and then turned down a job.
  6. I had to practice my deep breathing.
  7. I wanted to yell “Apparently you are a liar!”
  8. And then I went to my second job, behavior interventionist with kids living with autism.
  9. I was told “I am so excited you are here I could tell from day one that you have such a big heart.”
  10. I do have a big heart.
  11. Essentially this is why I am mad with the previous client.
  12. I want the best for the people I work with and I encourage them and connect them with opportunities and if there is a dead end I start all over again.
  13. It would be nice to see more growth sometimes.
  14. This might be how my therapist and husband feel with me though.
  15. Or maybe I am projecting.
  16. Because lately I am very frustrated with myself…..and have no empathy.
  17. I just can’t understand why…….so many why’s….

The Wonder, I Wander

I have been writing, reading, and editing all week.  My stuff, a friends manuscript and just random articles I come across.  I am enjoying it a lot.  I feel a renewed dedication to this blissful feeling my romance with words and stories offer me.  Entangled with this old love once again, my heart feels as though it pounds more vigorously.

My wandering and wondering side is coming to life in other areas I have neglected.  I love being an explorer and tourist right where I live.  For years moving and traveling I could easily feel at home somewhere new within minutes.  But with the pain of the last couple years I have been running and busy again or sleeping and hiding.

Within this month I found three new places I love to take walks at with many opportunities to wander for hours.  Although my heart beats vigorously it beats with trepidation.  I remember the sure bare footed gypsy girl I always was and I feel her breaking free.  I wonder….can I trust her?  May I trust her?

There are so many things to be in wonder over, but this small nagging self doubt appears in the corner of my mind.  And I wonder….because once upon a time I truly began to fall in love with myself and life and all the incomplete edges….but in the middle I was swept away in cruelty and the ugliness I had hidden from myself all these years.

Of course I have great respect for the protection of my mind, but I have a lot of anger and I don’t know how to channel it, how to create with it.  I am getting ideas as I wander and explore nature, towns, and through writing again. I am finding gratitude and appreciation again and I can’t help but wonder if yet again the answer is simple to wander to my nomadic hearts desire.

“Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien

∞ I love you infinity ∞

We had the legal ceremony February 22, 2016.  We only told our jobs.  It was fun and in our onesies.  April 4, 2016 we had the white dress ceremony.  Four of my friends came and we did it ourselves.  They were all intimately professional.  It was perfect:) We are double bound, infinitely bound.

I love Harry Potter and he bought me that wand (just a disclaimer).

Thought I would share something happy, you all read about my pain, annoyances, and speculations, and I wanted you to know it is sprinkled with a balance of happy and lucky.

 

The Amber Sun

As a daughter of the moon, I worship the sun.

Its warm caresses across my skin…… I am obsessed. Some people do not think they are skinny enough.  I never think that I am tan enough.  I do not have time to lay in its embrace during this season of life, but I long for it.

I miss the sun, hours by the pool. My 1/8th Native American skin absorbing the rays and changing my ethnicity.

———————————-

One time I went home in the summer with my college roommate.  We were laying on towels, on the grass.  I kept us in tune with the suns journey across the sky. Dutifully we would get up and switch our towels in the appropriate direction.  She finally got annoyed with me.

“Raechel, just lay down, stop making us move.” she said.

I was furious, I’m not an expert on much, and I don’t usually get my way, but this was an area I was an expert on and I needed to get my way.  I betrayed the sun that day for the sake of another relationship that was important to me at that time.  I didn’t follow him as he led me.

I resigned angrily, “If half my face is tan and the other half is not, it will be your fault.”

A few hours later we were getting ready to go out for dinner, I was showered and dressed. Staring in the mirror reflected a perfect separation of light verse dark on my face. Half tan, half not tan.

I reveled in being right.  I had known it would happen. I knew my stuff.  When you worship something you build a relationship with it and grow to know its character.

My roommate could not believe it.  We showed her family and laughed.  I love this story a lot for many reasons, some I don’t understand.

This roommate, I recently unfriended on facebook after a long, grueling, unhealthy and rewarding relationship. We both grew a lot from each other.  We had great intentions.  We helped each other heal in some ways, I will always be grateful for that. There was tenderness, laughter, and so much learning.

We were roommates, best friends, and had a lot of classes together, people on campus knew we were a package.  Crawling into each others beds at night to hold the other while she cried was normal.  Holding hands during scary movies was common.  She became my sister for a while.  She was my amber sunlight at the end of a long, boring or horrible day.

I helped her feel confident that she was beautiful inside and out as well as intelligent.  She helped me learn how to do things for myself and not feel guilty. These were the pure hearted lessons.

I don’t know her side of the difficult things.  I can tell you my side.  She came across selfish.  I loved her so much and she would burn me, without even thinking about it.  Her illuminating sunny shine was often clouded by many limits in perspective, naivety, and what I think was chosen ignorance.

Her amber colored eyes gave her away.  It was a struggle to not get her way and to not be right, or to be confronted.  We grew apart, I graduated a year before her.  She was making dangerous choices with body and spirit for a bit and I was literally a thousand miles away.  Her mom even called me once to talk to her.

Four years passed and I decided to move back.  We had recently gotten back in touch, both having changed a lot and we were excited for another chance.  So we shared a master bedroom.  I was going to move out of it, but we agreed for four months to split everything even.  I slept on an air mattress for a bit, then she got a dog without discussing it with me.  Somehow a hole got in the air mattress so I figured it was time to invest in a bed.  She would not allow me to buy a bed, it had to be an air mattress.  She said I only had two more months and she felt she had done a lot already.  She didn’t want my bed taking more space than the mattress.

I won’t bore you with too many more details, I could complain for hours.  There were two other roommates and by July 2015 she pulled a fast one, none of us were happy with her.  It has been a year, I recently picked a few boxes up from her parents house they had kept for me since college and they asked if I had talked to her lately.  I said I messaged her because I tried to call and got a different person.  She never facebook messaged me a new number.

I am sure she has her own reasons for her treatment and attitude toward me.  Of course I see her as more wrong. But I recognize that maybe that’s not true.  I thought about asking where are friendship was at in her mind until I realized I didn’t care, I thought about the different outcomes and I honestly don’t have enough faith in her character for any of the outcomes to go well.  I still care that she is happy and I appreciate everything I have learned, but right now I am processing memories of abuse and I am almost thirty.  I need deep, funny, accepting people.

I think I am writing this piece for closure.  I haven’t lost many friends but I hear along the journey of healing you change and people or things that were once important start to shift.  I don’t know if she was an unhealthy person, but she was unhealthy for me.

Limits and boundaries are important to have and be aware of; and I respect people who honor theirs and only push them when it is healthy.  I do not support people who offer things when they are not sincere or who limit you from growing because of jealousy.

An even longer story made short, the amber colored sun will always be bitter-sweet.

Daughter of the Moon

I stood in the parking lot,

leaves taped to my bare legs,

my booty shorts riding up my ass.

vines wrapped around my stomach

and a crown of flowers on my head….

I was comfortable wrapped in nature

my butt actually looks good in booty shorts,

and my friend Anna in college said I have sexy legs

She was a corky, christian missionary.

Anyways, I was living in Marysville, Ohio

A redneck, gangster Midwest town.

All the redneck kids wanted to be the next Nelly or Tupac.

It was weird place to accept beauty

After three years soaking up west coast sunsets in Orange County.

Standing in my apartment complex parking lot

I stared up.

The Harvest Moon.

The Full Moon.

My friend Anya told me they say the truth comes out on full moons.

Sighing I reflected

Four whole months ago I had the flashbacks

pictures, feelings, and body memories.

The truth.

The beautiful, round, whole moon

came out the night following a long day of realizations

and brutal poetry.

That is where I was heading that night wrapped in leaves.

To read poetry at The Kafe Kerouac.

For a few months I had been getting on a stage, barefoot,

holding a microphone reading tragedies.

Sexual abuse, predators, and wolves.

I wrote some great poetry, awful, but great.

Sure I had journals filled with cheesy poems, lame, incomplete, and ignorant.

I even performed an extremely lame poem as a slam one night,

but nine times out of ten that stage gave me my voice,

it showed courage, power, and strength.

Sometimes on the way home I sobbed uncontrollably

too much power with no support, no foundation

can sink a heart.

That night I drove to the poetry reading.

I walked in as a child of Earth.

But what I didn’t know was that

I was a daughter of the moon.

I see it now.

During that time the way the moon was pulling me,

speaking to me.

Gently releasing me, protecting me,

revealing life and guiding me.

My heart had a moment of clarity that night.

Moments like that string together deep in our being to help sustain us

This is the paradox.

Truth is shitty

Truth is beautiful.

It is rarely both at the same time,

it rarely sets us free.

I am a daughter of an abusive parent,

but I am also a daughter of the moon.

Living with contradictory truths as the moon does.

Sharing half smiles, wild storms, shadowed nights, and at times,

daring to shine in the dark.

The Bumbling Slog

  1. I am officially publicly married as of April 4th.
  2. A few of my friends came out we did a small white dress ceremony near an outlook over the San Fran bridge.
  3. We actually got married February 22 in our onesies and didn’t really make a deal to tell people until closer to our intimate ceremony.
  4. Perhaps I will share pictures of both soon.
  5. I wrote a post about my abuser, than deleted it a few days later.
  6. Wish I could stop biting my nails.
  7. Went to see a movie alone for the first time it was fun, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
  8. So much grownup things
  9. Struggling with my work.
  10. Was able to buy some new and needed clothes to update/rebuild my wardrobe.
  11. Had a great shopping experience lately.
  12. Really enjoying watching the show Elementary.
  13. Lots of profound things happening in my heart and mind.
  14. Very tired, time for bed!
  15. I want to write so many things, I don’t know where to start.
  16. I will soon…..
  17. Thank you for reading enjoy your day/night!