It is important that we as survivors find a place to connect ourselves to something else, something good, something strong, something healing. I have discovered that on the other side of connection is something else that is connecting back to us. I feel it.
I have discovered that what I really needed to do is to start connecting to something from my mind, to an idea or a thing or a concept, not a thing I can see and feel and hold at that moment. That works best for me. I feel the connection from the library, when I connect to it. I feel it in my mind, in my heart, and in my body. I’m not there. I’m at home, wherever I am, and still I feel it inside of me, see it in my mind. I am starting to feel it with other connectedness things as well.
Being connected to my energy has been the final and most important aspect of my connectedness work. Feeling the other connection has helped me to work on connecting with my energy, in order to be calmer, to be happier, to be more healed.
I found the key to connecting to my energy through Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer. Cesar talks a lot about energy on his show. I had seen some episodes some years ago. And then again while living with a relative in another state. I didn’t really understand his concept of energy and how to use that. From the episodes I saw I was pretty clueless.
I did understand what he was saying, in that dogs can read people’s energy, much like how people read one another. He talked about being calm and assertive to be a pack leader for your dog and that we all need to be a pack leader for our dogs. At the time being calm and assertive was pretty hard to do, living in a hostile home with a hostile, belligerent, and emotionally and verbally abusive relative. But I would practice it. I didn’t get far, but his show helped me to ignore and avoid my relative and that was a lot.
About six months ago I started watching the show again. I got to see a lot of episodes, actually sometimes three episodes a day. It was great. I really was able to understand what he meant and how to work on being calm and assertive. In my life now I have access to a few dogs. I get to play with them and take care of them, some of the time, when I am up to it.
Being calm and assertive is hard for me. As a child being physically and sexually abused nothing about my life was calm and assertive. I bit my fingers nails down to the quick. I shook inside with fear most of the time. Acting as though I had value, speaking back to my mother, or having positive feelings were all reasons for my mother to physically and/or sexually abuse me at that moment. So I have lots of reasons for tamping down any positive feelings about myself or life.
As an adult child sexual abuse survivor I was terrifed all the time. I didn’t notice a lot of the time, because mostly I was frozen in fear. Being frozen means you don’t even feel all of the overwhelming fear, you feel some fear, kind of like being wrapped in a freezing terror cloak, you don’t feel most emotions, they are tamped down, just a bit of something that you find hard to identify exactly what it is you are feeling. You feel overwhelmed and on sensory overload almost all the time.
I was only able to stand up for myself when I was pushed to the edge and I snapped, being fueled by rage, shame, and adrenaline. I didn’t know what assertive was. I tried, for decades I tried, but I wouldn’t have known assertive if it had bit me in the ass.
I have run most of my life on adrenaline. I don’t know what normal is. I’ve tried relaxing, meditating, and most anything else that I found and could think of. Most of them didn’t work, most of them triggered me.
I started trying some of Cesar’s techniques on the dogs and on myself. I practive feeling calm and assertive when I am with them, when we go for walks and bike rides, and when we play and when I am taking care of them. The thing about dogs, they get it. As Cesar says dogs don’t respect affection, they love it, but it won’t make them obey you, it won’t make them follow you, and it won’t make them respect you, it won’t make you their pack leader. Being calm and assertive works.
I am also practicing calm and assertive at other times as well. I am slowly discovering a way to truly step into being the pack leader of our system. All the confidence, trust, and love that the system has put into me, I finally feel as though I am starting to deserve it. They always believed in me, but I didn’t.
I practice it when I am alone. I practice it when I am in public, when talking with others, and when enjoying my life. This method is helping me to walk confidently into the second half of my life. It is a work in progress, but one thing is for sure.
I am the pack leader.