We Are All Walking Miracles

I wanted to post about this wonderful concept. This morning I was dropping by some of my closest healing friends’ blogs. The second blog I dropped into was Butterfly’s blog Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids. Her most recent post is titled We Are All Walking Miracles.

First I want to say how much Buttefly inspires me, helps me along in my healing and in my life, a lot. In her blog she shows what kind of person and survivor she is. She is dealing with the aftermath of child sexual abuse every day, every moment. Her depth of humantiy, her life, her truth, her courage, it all shines through so strongly, so powerfully. Her ability to face and write and share about all that is involved in being a survivor, in living her life, in loving and caring for herself and her family, it is amazing, it is wonderful, it is a miralce. She is a miracle.

And today she made me believe I was a miracle too. I want to make a t-shirt and wear it around town. I am a walking miracle. So are you.

Survivor’s Aftereffects List #2

2. Swallowing and gagging sensitivity; repugnance to water on face when bathing or swimming (suffocation feelings).

Yes these are still issues for me. I have trouble swallowing and gag easily. I could never learn to swim certain strokes properly due to the fear of putting my face down in the water. I don’t like to wash my face and usually don’t shut my eyes when doing it. I use an astringent most of the time instead of soap.

My mother abused me in the tub, so there is that added issue. She would often smother me or try to drown me. I often wonder if she meant to kill me and didn’t and feel fortunate that I survived her.

I’m still not sure if my fear of water is only based on my sexual abuse history. My parents were notoriously bad at supervision at the beach when I was a child. No one taught myself and my siblings how to swim.

We were often left in the shallow end of any body of water and told to stay there. I had a few near drownings as a child because I tried to slowly go out to deeper water and hit a drop-off. I think that my fear of water was made worse by the fact that I didn’t know how to swim.

My father would often say that the proper way to learn to swim was to do what his father had done to him as a young child; rowed him out to the middle of a lake, thrown him in, and commanded him to swim and to follow the boat back to shore.

That story, with my fear of water, made me shudder. I was thankful, at all times, that we didn’t live near a lake and that my father did not own a rowboat. I would think that would be a method to drown a child rather than one to teach them how to swim.

This culminated in an incident in junior high when I almost drowned in the high school pool because I was required to too soon jump into the deep end, with the two teachers standing by poolside. After going down for the fourth time one of them decided to jump into the pool.

Last summer I tried to overcome some of this by going to the local gym and walking the pool, swimming a little and hanging out there. This summer I am planning on going to a local beach and swimming there.

Shame and Body Esteem

I was coming home this evening from the nearest coffeeshop and got to thinking about shame. For some reason I was feeling a lot of shame. My mind was wandering and it wandered to the subject of body shame.

I don’t loathe my body any more. But I have a boat-load of body shame still. I hate and abhor certain subjects that are body related. Some I would never choose to discuss. 

My body shame clings to me. I blame my body for existing. I blame my body for being sexually abused. I blame my body for being hurt and for being damaged. I blame my body for being wounded and for all the pain I experience.

After so much effort to heal my body, I am much worse than when it started to be pain filled twenty-five years ago. Nothing makes it better, not by much. Basically there aren’t any wonderful answers or miracles out there for me.

I know on one level that my body is not the cause of being sexually abused. I know it is not it’s fault. I know it is not my body’s fault that it was physically abused and suffered damage from that. I like to think that the body issues and pain are 50% of all the issues that I deal with, but I really don’t know. I have no idea who I would be without it all weighing me down.

On another level I know that if I hadn’t been born, if I hadn’t had a body, no one could have ever hurt me. And so I blame my body for existing. I would not have ever existed and I think how very lovely not to have ever been abused.

I don’t know exactly how my base elements could have perceived loveliness if they were unjoined, but when I think of my non-existence, that is what I think, how very lovely that would have been. 

I look forward to the day when I can think of my existence and think the same thing; how very lovely.

Body Esteem #3

I know that there are lots of me that I don’t acknoweldge and honor. I am really just starting to accept and know certain things about myself. It is a challenge to feel that. It is a challenge to think about being thankful and loving to those hidden things about me.

I am very intuitive. I am coming to know and accept, to honor and express love to myself in this area.

For a long time I was pretty clueless about it all. In other ways I knew there was something extra there, wanted it, was scared of it, embraced it, shared it, was mistreated for it and used for it and now love it. 

I responded to a lot of things that others did not validate. I felt a lot of things that others did not feel. I picked up a lot of vibes and sensations and awareness and knowledge that has been mostly devalued and debunked by others.

I have noticed that more survivors understand. They needed extra life skills in order to read people, especially abusers, in order to survive. They know how to subtly evaluate others, to read tone of voice, facial expression, body language, etc in order to find a way to cope through their childhood days.

This develops our intuition to a higher level than most non-survivors. Mine was always very strong. I hid from that. I hid it from others.

Many times I have thought of intution as an extra gift, something that is almost outside of myself, something that just comes to me out of thin air. In working on body esteem recently I have really come to the conclusion that I was wrong about this.

Intuition is a body-based activity. I use my senses, my body, my nervous system, my digestive system to sense fear, reactions, etc, my immediate environment to evaluate minutia, to come to a conclusion that is based not on something extra-sensory, but rather something that is using all my senses, all my muscles, all my bones, all my body, all my mind, all of me in order to do so.

And for that great gift from my body I am so thankful. I love you my body. I love each part, large and small. I love you for all that you have given me in this respect to live my life, to survive, and to be who I am.

I love you pancreas, perhaps you do help me with my intuition and I just don’t know it yet.

I love you my cells, you join together to make me and I love you for that.

I love you my mind, something in the joining created you and I love and value you.

I love you my DNA. Something inside of you made me uniquely who I am and I celebrate that as I celebrate you. All of my ancestors down the lines of ancestors contributed to you (my DNA) being exactly what you are and for making me who I am. You make it possible for me to have intution. You make it possible for me to be me. I love you.

I love you my intution. I love you my body.

Body Esteem Part 2

There is an interesting book that I read about water. It has helped me to increase and heal my body esteem.

The book is Hidden Messages in Water by Dr. Masaru Emoto.  In the book he shares what experiments done on water taught him. He did experiments on water, froze the water, and then photographed the ice crystals. He discovered some interesting things.

From the product description posted at Amazon.com:

He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors.

His experiments with paying positive attention to water, playing classical music, typing words and taping them to the water bottle facing inwards towards the water, having positve and uplifting television programs playing, all amazingly resulted in beautiful patterns in the crystals.

I read the book and looked over and over at all the beautiful pictures of crystals. I thought well humans are made up of mostly water, so what does this say about being human? It got me thinking. I thought about water a lot for some time.

I decided to do my own life experiment. I always have trouble loving myself. It is one of those survivor issues.

I decided to say words to the water before I drank it. I am no good at telling myself affirmations or positive things. It just seems to trigger self hating thoughts and beliefs and makes things worse. So I was thinking this might work. I’m not saying the words to myself, I’m saying them to the water.

If the water was feeling loved, I thought, before it came into my body, perhaps that would help increase my self love. I did not share this information with anyone.

I picked out the words that I would say. I picked love, joy, happiness, peace, healing. After about five weeks I was feeling more joy. It was an odd, odd thing to be feeling. My life was no different and yet I felt different.

I kept up the practice for a while. Then I kept forgetting. Then it was off and on sporadic efforts to continue doing this. I’m writing about this because my focusing on self-esteem and body esteem lately has been reminding me of water over and over.

I’m talking lovingly to water again. Sometimes it feels good. Sometimes it feels silly. Sometimes it feels both. Sometimes I even say hello beloved to it.

Someday I’m going to say that to myself every day and feel it and mean it.

A Love that Heals

I want a love that heals. I want a family that loves me in a way that heals. I am working on finding my family, my true family, the ones that love me in a way that brings me further and further into the life I am meant to live, into who I was meant to be if abuse had not been my life, into a family that loves me and brings me joy, into a life and love that heals.

I saw a video about Christian the Lion this year, around Easter time. Christian and his two human friends were a family. It was a beautiful love. They raised Christian in London. They realized that he needed a home in nature, where he could have the life of a lion.

They bring him to Africa and through training with George Adamson he is able to assimilate into a wild life, finding a mate, having a baby, making a life and a new family.

They are parted from him for a year and they return to Africa to see him. Their reunion shows a kind of love that I have never had. I start crying every time when the three of them are re-united.

The love that is seen between the three of them is so beautiful and something that I have never experienced with my own family. It is a love that empowers and heals. I have that kind of love with some of my online survivor friends.

I want that kind of love in my daily life. I want that kind of love, that kind of family. I want a love that heals.

Self-Loathing

I looked up the definition for loathing. It said great dislike, abhorrence, and, extreme hostility. Other words found in the thesarus included abhorrence, abomination, antipathy, aversion, detestation, hate, hatred, horror, repellence, repellency, repugnance, repugnancy, repulsion, and revulsion.

That pretty much describes self-loathing. To loathe yourself you are fixating a hatred upon yourself and your own body, the body in which you live every moment of your life in, to the level of repulsion, revulsion, and repugnance. That’s a lot of hatred.

I don’t remember at what point in my life I truly knew that I was full of self-loathing. I just know that when I found the label, I knew that I had felt that way the whole of my existence.

Hardly that surprising when your own mother told you over and over that you were unworthy of the air you breathed, the food you ate, and the space that you took up.

When that level of hatred and loathing is expressed at you consistently and over time, your mind believes it, your body believes it, and others around you treat you like they believe it.

I loathed my existence. I can say with all confidence and accuracy that I loathed myself down to my cells. My hatred was so strong, so stringent, so constant.

I imagined during my waking life that I was another person with a different life, any other life, than the one that I had. Even in my dreams, I wasn’t me, the level of disconnection was so strong. I dreamed of being someone else, I was aware in the dream that it was me, that it was a dream, and yet I couldn’t be myself, even there it wasn’t safe to live in my own skin.

I can’t remember when exactly I stopped loathing myself. It was probably after about ten years of healing work, therapy, seeking survivor friendships, reading several hundreds of books, going to support groups, and living my life. Slowly the loathing drained away out of me.

I can now say that I do not loathe myself. Self-loathing is a thing of the past, my past. And I am proud of the work that I have done to close that chapter of the aftermaths of abuse that is my life.

But I still have a lot of self-hatred. I wish with all my heart that it wasn’t there, but it is. And I would love to see that disappear from my life as well.