When I used to blog on Myspace, I liked the feature that allowed one to share to what they were listening while writing. So, as I start this writing I am listening to…
“…Let’s inspire, let’s inflame, create awe from our pain
Find a love that’s as deep as it’s holy
Let’s inspire, let’s inflame, create gods from our pain
Find a love that’s as sweet as it’s holy
Let’s inspire, let’s inflame, create dreams from our pain
Find a love that’s as plain as it’s holy
Let’s inspire, let’s inflame, create songs from our shame
Find a love that won’t fade, love is holy…”
Lyric excerpt from James – from song “Walk Like You” on La Petite Mort album
In a week of tears of unknown origin, extra-terrestrial caring sent, the “downloading” of book stuff, SYNCHRONICITY like woah!, Sinbad, Mandela, McKenna, and Moore blowing my mind, mental messages being sent, and responded to, and, as Lauren put it, me being a creep, and literally KNOWING a call was coming, the day before it came, how could my thoughts not go to even deeper depths.
From the first moment I truly understood that I was in an abusive marriage, which did NOT occur the first, nor second, nor even third time he hit me, I knew that when one day that would no longer be a part of my reality, the path on which I would then be walking, would be one that I had to create for myself, and on which I would travel, alone. With the awareness that support would be paramount for me to ever heal, get whole, I still knew that some journeys are meant to be solo. And that no friend, family member, expert, professional, lover or beloved, could prescribe for me, even in the least, the precise cure for my dis-ease.
In the past several years I’ve read more books than I can remember on various “self-help” topics. Books about recovery, overcoming betrayal and trauma, and about saving one’s marriage, one’s self. About discovering yourself by going inward, by going outward, and sideways. (I might have made up that last one) I’ve read a lot of fucking books, looking for answers. Or to figure out what my questions were. I went to counseling for myself, and couples counseling, with counselors who used modalities of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, hypnotherapy, psychoanalysis, and others I’m sure I’m forgetting.
I can honestly say that the DV was my most deeply held secret. I will readily discuss having been molested by my stepfather, and have done for years. My brief stint as a coke addict, yep, I’ll talk about that too. But the DV, nope, nope, and nope some more. Maybe it was the response I got from the first counselor to whom I made a quick reference about the DV, “aren’t you ready to be done with him?” so matter of fact, so easy, for her, like, duh Michelle, what the fuck is wrong with you?, that pushed the secret further down. Or the second one, in a couple’s session, upon hearing he’d “hit” me, who said, “well, that’s got to stop” and then bounced the fuck on. Perhaps it was having discussed it with his mom, who pretended to care so much, and be so concerned for me, who then turned on me.
I remember having moments where I ached to talk to someone, to tell a friend, the real, and whole truth. To tell the co-worker who asked me about the cuts, scabs, and bruises that I couldn’t quite hide, when he asked me if (he) had done something to me. Or to tell my one friend, the day I asked him to get coffee, and shop for books, and pray/meditate with me, because I thought I could possibly, maybe, tell him, but then I didn’t. Every single doctor, and chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapist, and body work healer, who treated me for my back injuries. Oh how I wanted to tell them, so they didn’t look at me like some medical mystery. Every single person who took care of me while I was in too much pain, and on too many pain killers, to take care of myself. I wanted to tell them all.
Since even before coming forward about my situation, I started to follow on social media, various groups, and individuals, with expertise or experience in DV. Soooo much of what I see reinforce a few things I just don’t vibe with, for better or worse. Much of the dialogue, to me, reinforces in some ways a victim mentality, or a survivor mentality (surviving vs LIVING, in my eyes). There is also a lot of ANGER, and negativity. A lot of living in one’s story, for what is years after it is ended. I dig that this sounds very judgey, and I don’t mean it in that way. It is simply that I am aiming for a higher place than angry, negative, victim/survivor. I’m not certain that the anger/negative thing is helpful for anyone, in the long run…
I will preface what I am going to say next with I DON’T HAVE YOUR ANSWERS. I DO NOT HAVE YOUR ANSWERS!! But I will say, here is what I believe was the start of me finding MY answers.
First, and most obviously, I had to put physical distance between he and I. I don’t know that I would have survived, literally/figuratively, had I not done. The physical distance started as a few blocks, then a few miles, and then a few hundred. Steps taken over years. Some moments I regret having taken so many years, but then I think about how happy I am with many aspects of my life as it is now, and if I learned anything from The Butterfly Effect, it’s that the slightest change in what was (or is currently, in another reality…) can have a dire effect on what is to come.
During the course of the physical distancing, and equally slowly, I had to CHOOSE, to get naked, in front of myself. To take off every shred, of everything, that obscured from my own view, the truth of just how frighteningly not OK, I was. I had to hold a mirror to myself, and look at myself from every single angle, and not break my gaze, no matter how ugly I found that at which I was looking. I had to become intimately acquainted with the woman I’d become after all that had gone on, and decide if she was with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life.
Was she the person I wanted my daughters to possibly model themselves after, in any way? What parts of that me were the true me? What parts were the me I became as a result of what had gone on? Could I still see glimpses of the chick who used to wear the “I Love Me” shirt, and meant it? Was she the person who someday in the future, I would want to stand naked in front of another, as? Would the he, in front of whom I would someday wish to be naked, be the kind of man I REALLY want to stand naked in front of, as the me I was seeing? The answer to all of the questions was, absofuckinglutely, NOT.
So, after the naked thing… which is actually still a work in progress in some ways, came the “what path to healed and whole is MY path?” The first part of my path was to break my silence, in whatever way I needed to, in any given moment. At first it was with tears, and anger, and the desire to shout it from the rooftop, because I’d held the secrets for so long, it was like an eruption of emotion. Having lived in, and surrounded by, such negative emotions for so many years, I worked to shift out of that place as quickly as possible. Angry/depressed chick isn’t the naked chick I want to be.- (It goes without saying, except I’m saying it anyway, that I DO NOT advocate breaking silence, if to do so puts you in danger!!! Safety first!!!)
So then, and still now, the next step has been, what people, places, things, do I vibe with, that will help me to facilitate my healing? Not “who has my answers/cure” but, looking inside me now, for what I do know I think/feel/believe, who I am/want to be, what energy do I invite into my space? To figure this out, I had to get lost… in myself. I’m still in this phase, truth be told. Doing some soul mining, to again borrow words that fit. A friend recently said to me, “maybe you’re supposed to be becoming an even more awesome version of yourself” and, like everything else this friend says, I let those words wash over me, wrap around me, get deep inside of me, and realized they are definitely truth for me. It stands to reason then, that only that which support, and those who support, the impending even more awesome, thing, are allowed in my bubble.
What is most important to me to say about this is, whatever works for YOU, is what YOU should seek. Church and religion? Vaya con Dios. Spirituality, and yoga? Namaste! Rituals and magick? Blessed be. Blasting music and singing at the top of your lungs? Rock the fuck on! Counseling and 12 steps? I have nothing clever for this one. Make crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain? (Lyrics. Sorry. That’s just what happens in Michelle world. Lyrics/music, and glitter are a relative constant.) A combination of a bunch of stuff that aids you in sincerely working through all of the yuck? Sure! This is YOUR story, so you get to choose. Take some time to get lost in yourself, to figure it out.
I will not pretend that any of what I’ve written above is easy, when one is in the throes of things. My God I KNOW its not easy. Now I’m crying tears of known origin, thinking how lucky I am that I have always been, for the most part, self-supporting, and that I didn’t have small children to worry about, and that I am not one of those whose abusers physically stalked them upon leaving. All I can keep saying is, HOLD ON, because there will be a day when the weight is lifted, if you can just love yourself the tiniest bit for a moment in time long enough, to take a first step, or hell, crawl in a generally forward motion, toward your healing path.
And this blog, this one I DO hope gets read, by those who might need it. Because maybe it will be easier to reach out to a stranger who has been there, than a friend, or a counselor? Maybe its more safe to have an anonymous third party, blog writing chick, to contact, in case he’s standing too close? If nothing else, I am REALLY good at doing research, and finding resources. I remember too, how Sisyphean a task it felt, to try and find resources for help, at times I’d thought to find them. So I’m here for that. No matter where you may live, I’ll help you find what you need. I’ll listen if you need someone to talk to. I’ll do anything in my power to help you. I’ll even do stuff that isn’t within my power, if I can figure out how. I get it. You aren’t alone. You are loved. And you are worthy of being loved.
Message me here, or on Instagram RandomMuse14.
And as I finish writing this I am listening to…
“…This bed is on fire, with passionate love, the neighbors complain about the noise from above….”
Lyric excerpt from James – from the song “Laid”