Running Through an Open Door

My lightening bolt hit almost immediately after finishing my last post.

Killer still hurts because I am trying to belong somewhere I no longer belong.

My family of origin is Catholic Republican. I grew up surrounded by the following messages:

No sex before marriage.
Your female body is inherently shameful.
As a woman you have no power.
Any woman who has sex out of wedlock is a slut.
Your female body is inherently wrong.
As a woman you belong to your father or husband, never, not ever to yourself.
Your female body is inherently bad.
The only thing worse than sex out of wedlock is pregnancy out of wedlock.
The only only thing worse than pregnancy out of wedlock is abortion.
Women who have abortions are KILLERS.

HOLY SHIT. Literally. This is religious, men-making-rules-that-disempower-women, bullshit.

I am NOT Catholic. I am NOT Republican. NONE OF THIS IS MY FUCKING TRUTH.

I would never believe any of this ridiculous bullshit about another woman, so why have I been carrying around these lies about myself?

I do not belong here, in your untruths, in your religion, in your politics. I do not belong anywhere that sees me as less worthy. I AM WORTHY. I AM MY OWN. I AM POWERFUL.

I release my need to belong in this place I do NOT belong. I am picking up ALL of myself and walking through that – now open – door to LOVE. I am no longer on the outside looking in.

I am not empty. I am not shameful or wrong or bad. I am not a slut. I AM NOT A KILLER.

I am a mother. I am a woman full to the brim with my sacred power. I am the owner of all of me, no one owns me. I am BIG. I AM BIG. I am the fucking hero of this story – I will always do the saving.

Come on sweet girl, you do not belong here anymore, we are going home.

my baby saved

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Teaching and Learning

Over the weekend we worked with little bubby on sleep training. It was hard for all of us, AND we did it. I am the proud momma of a champion sleeper now. It took two days and lots of resolve on my part along with emotional support from my husband but we successfully made it through to the other side.

A lot came up for me as we worked with little bubby on the skill of being able to put himself to sleep.

  1. I felt major disconnection from little bubby. This was a major change for us. Prior to sleep training he would spend half his naps on me in the chair and half in his crib, he co-slept with me in the morning for about an hour, and he was still breastfeeding overnight even though the pediatrician said that was absolutely unnecessary. To go from that much physical contact to much less during naps/at bedtime and none overnight was hard.
  2. I felt major disconnection from myself. Our pediatrician was pretty direct with us about now being the time for little bubby to master this skill and that it should be accomplished using the Ferber method. I was crushed when I heard the word Ferber. I have been saying since before we got pregnant that I was strongly against the Ferber method. I discussed my concerns with the doctor and we had a very frank discussion that included a bit of a debate about development and emotional/psychological well-being. By the end of the conversation I felt better about giving Ferber a shot. It was hard though and I was holding onto so much doubt and feelings of failure as a mother as little bubby tried to figure things out.
  3. It is not my job to save little bubby from everything. This was a hard pill to swallow because there are absolutely parts of me that want to save him from negative experiences. That is not my job though. My job is to love him and provide him a sense of security/connection as well as a safe environment so he can learn and grow. I realized how triggered I was by his crying, the little parts of me who were never saved my trauma wanted me to rescue him from this experience. I had to keep telling myself, He is safe, he is loved, we have a secure connection – it is okay to give him room to learn and grow, even if it is hard. I had to be very mindful not to project my own emotional state triggered by old wounds onto the situation. That would not be fair to him and it would not be healthy for either of us.
  4. Little bubby is not small. When given a little space to learn and grow, that is what he did. After two days he was putting himself to sleep without crying in the evening. He now sleeps 10 hours uninterrupted and wakes up with big smiles for momma and daddy.
  5. Connection was happening all along. By stepping back a little bit to give little bubby room to learn and grow we also gave him the opportunity to start building up his inside connection – connection to self. Autonomy is one of our family values and I did not understand at first that this is his first chance to experience that. This experience gave him the chance to self-soothe as well as do something for himself that momma and daddy used to do for him (put him to sleep).

I realize now that if I saved him from every negative experience what I would really be doing is sending him the message over and over that I do not believe he is big enough to handle whatever it is. Of course I keep all of this in the context of his age and level of development; I am not going to expect my baby bird to fly before he knows how to use his wings. I feel like over the weekend though little bubby learned that he is not small and he can do hard things. And while he may not be ready to lift up off our branch quite yet, he now knows that he has wings. Going forward it is our job to continue to provide him with safe experiences that allow him to use those wings over and over until he is ready to take that first big leap. When he is ready it will not matter if he flies or falls because he will know some very important truths;

He is loved. He has a place of connected security in daddy and I that he can land on. He is big. He can do hard things, including getting up after a fall and trying again until he learns how to fly.

In the midst of disconnection I find a deeper sense of connection with myself, little bubby, and the values we hold close as a family.

I am grateful for this difficult experience.

I am grateful that there was no saving going on during the experience and that little bubby and I were both allowed to figure it out.

I am grateful for love and connection and this life we are creating together.

I am grateful for my sacred truths;

We are not small. We can do hard things.

I am not small. I can do hard things.

gratitud

 

Shallow Water

My night terrors returned two weeks ago, as did my fear of the dark.

The night terrors are awful but I would not have given it much thought, I have had them most of my life. Yes, I thought things were getting better but an occasional night terror would not necessarily raise a red flag for me. The fear of the dark though.. I knew something was not right, I have moved through that work, I reconnected with the piece of myself that dwells in the dark, this shouldn’t be happening.

One of the intentions I set for myself this year was releasing my fear of my story and embracing/owning my story in love.

The Universe heard me.

I have declared that I am done hiding, done shrinking, done running from myself, and now things are starting to come back to me.

I do not have all of my memories, especially as it relates to my trauma. Parts of me are starting to wake up now because energetically I am calling this work in.

The night terror I had was a flashback and it was terrifying. It changes things. It is the start of the shift because now that this memory/piece has come back to me I cannot go on acting like I don’t know. I cannot go back to the smaller version of myself, I have to act.

I am understanding my fear of the dark is resurfacing because my story is resurfacing and parts of me are still afraid of the truth – with good reason. I know which part of me lives in the dark though, she is the best one. I will not turn my back on her now. I will step into the darkness with her, hold the parts of me that are scared, and do my ultimate rescue mission.

A week after the initial night terror I had another. This one was not a flashback, it was a very clear message from the parts of me that are big, that are resilient, that are strong.

In the dream I was laying on my back in shallow water, I was drowning. The water kept splashing over my mouth and nose just enough to make it impossible for me to catch my breath – it was sure to be a slow agonizing end. I was terrified and trying to call for help but there was no one to save me, this is my story – I was never saved. Then some piece of me whispered in my ear, Sit up. I did and I was saved. I had the power all along to save myself.

I will carry this message as I follow these intentions through this year.

I release my fear of my story because it is time for me to go back and rescue every part of me that was ever left behind.
I am done playing small because I am big and it is time for me to sit up and save myself.
I am no longer interested in trying to belong somewhere I do not belong because to do so feels like drowning a slow painful death in shallow water.

I am not small. I can do hard things. I am the hero of my story.

hero

Gauntlet

gauntlet

When I was 17 I jilted a boy, at least that was his version of our story. My truth is that I stayed with someone out of fear and desperation and when the opportunity came along to get out I took it. My escape did not come without a cost however.

One day at the end of school I was walking alone towards the back of campus where my truck was parked when I saw it, the gauntlet laid down before me. This was the day I learned the true meaning of the phrase walk of shame.

My ex was there with his imbecile best friend and the best friend’s equally moronic girlfriend. The friend and his girlfriend (who both needed no reason to be cruel but felt that my moving on from their friend gave them a good one) were perched on top of a cement planter waiting; my ex stayed below looking sheepish and trying to appear innocent and unaware. He fooled no one, not me at least that is for sure.

They saw me and I paused. I did not know what to expect. These two goons barely shared one functioning brain between them, I had no idea what they were capable of or if they even had a plan. I considered my options:

Leave my truck and walk home, come back for it later.
Walk around the back of the art building and out the other way, avoiding them all together.
Get a teacher.
Walk into it and out the other side.

I cancelled the leave my truck idea worried they would trash it or that the gates would be locked when I try to come back for it.
Then I vetoed the back of the art building as an option because it was clear these two were out for blood and they were not going to let me get by without whatever public display of humiliation they had in store for me, surely they would follow me.
Get a teacher seemed like a solid option but unfortunately that was not me, back then when I was in trouble I would not ask for help. Somehow it seemed like that shame would be more unbearable than whatever these two had in mind.
So with one option left I took a deep breath and proceeded forward towards the parking lot.

I braced myself for anything not knowing whether to expect a verbal or physical assault. I knew the friend would not touch me, he thought himself too much a gentleman to hit a girl, his girlfriend was another story. I figured even if she did come after me I could take it though, I had been taking hits from guys twice her size most of my life, I would survive any damage she would try to do.

Then it began. I was still a ways off when it started. SLUT! WHORE! SKANK!

Pointing and screaming, saying my name for all to hear with every foul insult man has ever created about women following close behind.

People  stopped and looked. No one coming to my aid, all standing by and watching the public shaming take place. My ex just shrugged his shoulders as I passed him as if these were wild animals I could not possibly expect him to control.

The insults rained down upon me like a furious toxic rain as I hurried by. Getting louder and more aggressive as I walked away towards the safety of my truck. I could feel their frustration from my lack of response. They had hit their mark but my nonreaction gave them no indication of how deep they had wounded their prey. I would not give them that.

I left campus without looking back.

I do not remember how I licked my wounds that day. I am sure I just cried until I was cried out because that is all I ever did. Cried until it felt like my eyes would bleed from asking too much of them with my relentless sobs.

I think the thing that kept them from breaking me that day was the fact that I walked through it and survived. I did that by myself for myself. AND I knew none of it was true. When you know who you are you will never believe the lies anyone else tries to tell you about yourself.