Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Stress

Yesterday, I woke up with many things on my to do list that needed to be accomplished. So I started working on them not giving a thought to where my mental and emotional state were. After all, I had just come off of a very peaceful and fabulous weekend, so I thought - things are lookin up!

But as Tuesday wore on, I was in frantic hyper mode trying to get 50 things done at once and growing ever impatient with myself. Without even realizing it, I really did not want to see any other living person around me and so I buried myself in more of my to do lists. It was a vicious cycle and one which has played out before but the thing was, while it was going on, I did not notice it. I did not notice what was flying under the radar hidden from my vantage point.

By the afternoon, I had almost exhausted myself from the stress I was putting myself under. Yet, I did not even realize that I was even doing this. Feeling very tired and worn out, I laid down on my massage table to just let go of everything and rest my eyes. During that time of rest, I began to become aware of what was going on. And then - it dawned on me - Thanksgiving was this week.

Thanksgiving used to be a wonderful time for me as a kid. There was all this food and we often got to travel to my relatives house where everyone enjoyed spending time with each other. Playing pool on the pool table at my uncle's house or just smelling the cooking from the kitchen. Waiting ever so patiently for the meal to be served which always seemed to take longer than expected while the football games would blast from the living room TV. Even if we did not travel on that day and stayed home, it was such a peaceful time, full of memories and we especially got the day to just be inside and maybe watch some TV or sleep in - you know - the stuff kids do. It was such a wonderful time.

Hold on one darn gosh minute! The above "wonderful time for me as a kid" was nothing like what I experienced. I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me! Thanksgiving was anything but this. If we had to travel to our relatives house, there was plenty of bitching and squabbling going on and oh the gossip would flow - all in catching up with one another of course and trying to talk about what was best for each family member. Yeah Right - as I roll my eyes a few times! The TV was so darn blasted loud that one could hardly hear anyone talk and maybe for good reason. After a few hours of this, my head would begin pounding because of the noise, the bitching and the squabbling. And since we were going to have a big meal for the day, we would often not get to eat anything until this point. Most of the time, it would be sometime in the mid afternoon before the meal was ready and by that time, I was so hungry, I didn't care what the food tasted like, I just wanted to stuff food in my belly.

And if we did stay home, it wasn't like we got to be kids and sleep in. There was always things to do and work to be done on our stupid little 3 acre ranch! And if my Dad couldn't think up something for us to do, there was always his moment of enjoyment which meant we went out and cut wood in the cold and snow. While he enjoyed it, I could have wanted to find something else to do for just one day of the year. And to not forget this momentous occasion one thanksgiving where my Dad felt we all needed to drink wine. Consider growing up in a home where everything was a sin including drinking wine and yet my father belittled me into trying to get me to drink the wine. The guilt trip he laid on me for exercising my right to say no to this was horrendous.

These were the memories of Thanksgiving that I have. While I would like to think they were the "Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving Memories" and as much as I would like to play like they were, Thanksgiving was anything but this. It was stressful and too many times, I witnessed my mother feeling sick or having a migraine during this day. Too many times, I witnessed my father wielding the rod of child rearing during this time. Too many times, I worked my butt off out in the cold and snow just so we didn't have to be one happy family around each other.

So yesterday, it was no surprise to me when I started to become aware of just how Thanksgiving was impacting me. In the past, I've almost laid a few big tough guys and ladies on the ground in stores because the anger of my own pain had consumed me. I still remember one year trying to pick a fight with two guys that were twice my size and to this day, I'm glad they just walked on and ignored me. It is amazing what the unresolved pain and hurt can do to a person. I'm also aware that so many others go through similar reactions like I do when it comes to the holidays.

While so much has improved for me, the stress of this time builds up. I've worked on building my own memories and while that does help, the pain of the past is still there as a foundation to my life. You can often do things to forget, but it doesn't mean everything ceases to exist.

Fortunately yesterday, I was smart enough to go to Yoga. When I got to the fitness center, my resting pulse was around 112 which is very high and even high for me. I did the Yoga and took my pulse reading again with the Finger Pulse Oximeter and my pulse had come down around 92. While that is still high, it had dropped 20 points. This morning when I woke up, my pulse was actually down to 68.

I'm glad I did Yoga because it helped reset and reregulate my autonomic nervous system. When we are out of balance and in the sympathetic mode of our nervous system, it is not uncommon for our pulse to be very high. If we can find a way to reset our body's nervous system and get back into parasympathetic mode, our pulse should come down. Yoga is just one way to help with this but the way I have found which works very well and very quickly is through the practice of Unified Therapy. I've seen my pulse rate drop from the high 90's down to the high 50's in just a matter of an hour on the table with Unified Therapy. Yoga is a good complement to this particular work and helps to maintain the work on the table. It is through the breathing and mindful connection of the body that we are able to make physical changes within our bodies.

If you are like me and struggle through the stress of Thanksgiving, I want you to know you're not alone. I've been there, done that and have far too many tshirts to show for it. If you can find things to do on that day that help ease your pain, do them! Don't feel like you have to do what society says you must do on this day just to appease people! Take care of yourself and give yourself the good memories and good experiences you deserve. Finding ways to help others can often be a good source of a soothing balm to help comfort your own pain.

And if you're one that has had happy memories, my hat is off to you. Consider sharing that with others who don't have those memories and being understanding of those that struggle through these times. Just thinking happy thoughts or whatever advice you may have just might not necessarily help the people who deal with intense pain during this time. Allowing them to just be in whatever way they need to and letting them know that they aren't alone, can be one of the greatest blessings you could give to those in pain. It might not seem like much to them but believe me, those thoughts given with the purest of love is a great and wonderful gift.

I'm happy that I was able to spot the stress beginning to show itself in my life like I did this year. In years past, it would have just completely pulled me under. While it is still difficult to some degree, I do try to do things that help take care of myself. The pain is not as difficult as it once was but it is still there.

So I'll end this on a happy note that I am thankful for how far I've come, that I survived this far into my life and that I'm beginning to really separate the joy from the pain of my past. I'm also thankful that I am able to write about this so others out there maybe won't feel so all alone on holidays such as this. May we all reflect on all that we have, not what we feel we don't have and may we all be extra sensitive to those who are still struggling to see this.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Do We Change or Do We Hunker Down?


Many of us from the species called humans come up against big obstacles in our life and in our day. We all know what these things are if we have not completely become numb to them. I'm sure each one of us could think of a zillion obstacles or at least one in our life right at this moment.

These obstacles are put in our path for many reasons. Sometimes they are to get us to stop and look at the direction we are traveling. Other times, they are put there so hopefully we will gain something new from observing the obstacle. They might be put there for many other reasons from bringing new insight to us, a warning for our lives or just to get our attention. I'm sure each of us could come up with many reasons for these obstacles being put in our path.

We as humans are meant to evolve and grow and become more than we were the day before. When in the busy hustle of life, evolving and growth towards things higher than ourselves often get put on the back burner. There are just too many things we tell ourselves that we must do and stopping to look at the obstacles in our life just requires too much time, work and energy. Ok, it may not be that direct that we do this but I'm not telling anyone something new. We all are well aware of what we do, even if we don't own up to it.

So my question is reflective for each person who is reading this to consider. Do we change or do we hunker down? Hunkering down can be a good thing sometimes when the hurricane force winds are bearing down upon us but if we stay hunkered down, we'll never see the sunlight of the new day. Once again, I ask, Do we change or do we hunker down?

It is up to each one of us to not be content with the status quo in our lives and to not just accept our life as the means to an end or this is the way it has been and always will be. It is up to each one of us to go forward in our lives, reaching for that higher purpose within ourselves and becoming all that we are not only meant to be but that we are capable of becoming. There is so much that lies within each one of us and we often forget this. We all must realize just how much we do have in spite of the obstacles we see before us.

So one final time I ask the question again: Do we change or do we hunker down when we come upon obstacles in our lives?

It is an answer only you can give and hopefully you are honest with yourself because no one else will do that for you.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dreams - Tornado, Cows and a Barn


Waking up with what seemed to be my heart racing and wanting to hide under the covers from some unknown frightening source, I finally convinced myself that I was dreaming. The dream that was taking place in my mind was not actually happening. However, it was difficult to convince myself of this. As I found myself needing to make a trip to the bathroom, my trusty cat was there to help give me some comfort and protection from this unknown frightening source. The frightening source is a mystery to me but all I know is that I was trying to hide from it.

Isn’t it amazing just how dreams can become so real to us or feel like they are in every way real with every emotion that accompanies them? While I don’t try to analyze every dream and make it describe in detail what it may or may not mean, I do pay attention to the emotions and fears that surface for they tell me something. In this particular dream, there were familiar things mixed in with strange events and people that I know. However, there are so many explanations that could fit this dream and like I was saying, the important part may be to not pick apart and analyze the dream but to see how the emotions and fear come up within me. Some of the symbols are important I assume but as to what they mean, I do not know at this time.

I wish I would have had my pulse meter close to me because I would have liked to check it to see if it matched what I was feeling in my own body with my heart racing. However, it was not available so I could not verify this.

So here’s the dream: (just for the sake of writing it down).

There was a big dairy barn and somehow everyone knew that a gigantic tornado was coming and would be hitting the town. So at the right time, we as a town (the town’s people) made our way to the barn. This barn was old and rickety with many air holes and leaks throughout. Everyone gathered in the upper level of the barn lying side to side on the bales of hay. Down below were the cattle and they were all shut up in the barn. While most of the people seemed very familiar in the barn as if I knew them all, the only person there from my family was my dad. No other family members were present and I have no idea where they were. It was not like we were in close proximity to each other but I just knew my dad was there.

As the tornado got close and began to hit the barn, we all realized that the tornado was much smaller than everyone thought. It was a sigh of relief to all. As the tornado was unleashing its fury on the barn and rotating the barn in a slow paced circular motion, I sat down on the stairs going to the lower level of the barn. Just before, one of the cows was standing there. It was a very big bull which was very fat and had a black, shiny, coat of hair. In a very firm stance and stare, it looked at me as if to try and intimidate me but I just stared back not flinching for a minute.

As the tornado withdrew and vanished, the barn stayed together without any damage. No one was hurt and so everyone left to go back to their homes or wherever they needed to go in the town. My dad vanished and I did not see him again. I have no idea where he went.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Startled By The Startle Reflex


As part of the last couple of workshops I’ve attended, I am beginning to understand just how powerful the startle reflex can be in releasing stored energy (trauma, stress or whatever word you want to call it). So today, I wanted to work with that more in myself and understand it a little further. Working on it within yourself gives you firsthand knowledge.

Laying out by my pool in the morning sun, the heat of the sun’s rays felt very comforting. For some time, I had been reading a book and just relaxing and meditating. I began thinking about the startle reflex but also doing something where I was holding some control over myself in doing this. I checked the water temperature of the pool and it was 66 degrees. That is rather cold water and not anything you would want to swim in for very long.

As I began to formulate in my mind as to dipping myself in the water to create the startle reflex, the fears started to come up big time. Fears of what if I freeze up and can’t get back out or the water is too cold and it is going to feel bad, etc. So I decided to just go gently into it and only submerge half of myself in a section of the pool where I could get back out of it easily. That way, it helped alleviate some of the fears.

With all of this in mind, I proceeded to put myself in to the pool. I felt the cold water rush in around my legs and upper thighs along with all the sensations that were part of that. It was not as scary as I thought it would be and while the water didn’t exactly feel as soothing as a warm bath would feel, it had a refreshing quality all to itself. I stayed in there for a very short time (maybe only a couple of minutes) but enough to feel the full effects of the coldness and the water.

Going back to the nice poolside lounging chair we have, I laid down and let the sun’s rays of warmth cover me. As I did this, I could begin to feel my legs go through the trembling. This was not a trembling as if I was cold like one would experience if you were in a cold environment and began shaking. This was a different trembling from the inside out where the muscles and the body were releasing. The intensity of the trembling would come and go as my breathing began to feel that of apprehension and fear. I then, decided to just allow my legs to move in an ever so slightly and simple way connecting with the trembling and all that I was experiencing. As I did this, the trembling would increase then let up slightly. The entire time, I was staying connected to my body with my mind.

After a few moments, I let my legs back down to a resting position and my body took a deep breath than exhaled into a moment where I felt very relaxed and more at peace. I allowed the sun to warm my body as the air helped to dry my skin from the pool water. For several minutes, I just allowed my body to rest and be with all that had gone on. Even after getting up and going back inside, the body temperature in my legs had come back to normal but yet, I could still feel the tiny trembling within me. As I know from experience, these trembling are just the release of stored energy and so I am completely ok with them.

There was a sense of peace and calmness in my body that stayed with me throughout the day. I am once again reminded of just how innate and simple of a process this is for humans, yet we tend to make it difficult or impossible. Our bodies have a built in healing mechanism that knows what we need. If we allow this to happen, we can transform our own bodies from the current state they are in.



Note: Photo by NASA/courtesy of nasaimages.org.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Pulse Is Too High - FOLLOW UP




This is a follow up post to previous entries that I wrote about.


Since I last wrote this blog entry "My Pulse Is Too High" on Oct 19, 2009, I have had much improvement on my pulse rate. Instead of being in the high 90's at a resting state, I have actually come down to the 80's.

The things I have been doing include Yoga, mediation and relaxation along with a technique called the "Enteric Brain". I have been monitoring my pulse with the Finger Pulse Oximeter pictured above. This has helped me to truly know and understand what is going on within myself.

In addition, I had a session with Dr. Canali and attended the latest workshops. As usual there was a lot that came up but during this session and workshop, I began to go into the fear and emotions that were coming up instead of letting them over take me. The last time I was worked on during the workshop, I could really feel my body come down into a deeper sense of calmness and so we checked my pulse. Sure enough it was down in the 50's which is as low as I've seen it for some time. A day after this, it is still in the 70's so I'm on the right track. I'm sure it will fluctuate but as I'm seeing, there is a lot that we can do to control this.

Never in my life did I realize my pulse was so high on a daily basis until the Oximeter came along. I'm sure doctors and nurses probably recorded a high pulse rate all these years but since I get so nervous in a doctor's office setting, they probably just chalked it up to anxiety and tension. I never once heard a doctor address this with me which I find strange. Here I've been walking around with a ticking time bomb in me and if I would have let this continue, who knows when my number life would have been called.

More importantly though through re-regulation of the autonomic nervous system with Dr. Canali, I can see that it is possible to drop my pulse rate. What is nice also, is that I did not even need medication to reduce my pulse rate. Just think of the energy that has been robbed of me as my heart is beating so fast and hard. What if I am able to reclaim that wasted energy in myself and use it for positive things instead of being tired and worn out all the time. This is life changing for me. Maybe now, I've added a few years to my life.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Plan I Dream About


From My Journal

The Plan I Dream About
As Recorded on Nov 12, 2009

In my life, I enjoy having plenty of free time to myself. Most of my life, I spent many hours a day and almost every day seeing how much I could work. Work was my passion, my drug, and my lover. It consumed me while I consumed it. It was my escape from a world I did not want to be involved with. It was my mistress yet it was my partner. No longer do I have a desire to see how many hours I can put in for any given day or week. I enjoy my down time way too much.

In my downtime, I enjoy writing for my blog or just writing whatever is on my mind. That isn’t work to me. In my downtime, I enjoy playing my keyboard and not specifically to record anything but just to do this. It is enjoyment, not work. In my downtime, I love to create whether it is finding a better way to do something, growing things in my garden, painting, or taking pictures. These are times of enjoyment and wonder for me. If I could use my creativity to sustain my life, these things would account for much of my week.

However, I’m faced with the reality that while I make limited money from these endeavors, they do not sustain my life or give me any flexibility in living throughout my day. I can’t help but think of the term we often hear about artists who struggle, calling them “starving artists”. If I was on my own and not with the person I love, I would be most likely living out of a cardboard box begging for food. That is a harsh reality that makes me shudder from the inside out and even though I would rather not think about this, I know how much of a reality it could be. I long for the day when I can contribute much more than I am able at this moment, to the relationship with my partner that I have.

Throughout my past and my years growing up, I lived in a family that struggled to put food on the table. I remember going to bed hungry many times and if it weren’t for free lunches through the government at school or the food giveaways, I would have truly starved as a child. Extras to us were buying clothes we needed (not wanted) and possibly the biggest treat we got was buying a candy bar once a year. I don’t remember ever going out to eat other than when I got gift certificates given to me for McDonalds and then that was about the only time. I remember the cold houses we lived in with barely enough heat to make it through the cold Iowa winters only warming up a bathroom with a space heater on Saturday nights so we could take a bath. We had very little in possessions but I was always creative so I managed to create my own fun and adventures without ever spending one penny.

So now, I stand in front of that gigantic mountain which lies before me having no idea of how to cross it. It seems too big in front of me and the cliffs seem too steep to climb. I see the snow covered tops as the winds howl with force. I feel as if I’m not prepared to climb it nor do I have the energy needed. I see people beckon from afar drawing my attention to take the challenge of the climb, but as I get ready to initiate the first step, I am stopped by a tree directly in front of me. My face is so pressed against that tree, that I am not able to turn my face to either side to realize I can go around it as I begin to climb. I am so afraid of taking a step backwards toward what I am fleeing in my life that it renders my movement motionless. It appears that I can go nowhere. It appears that this is my destiny no matter what I try to tell myself or others try to tell me. I become exhausted. I become disillusioned. I desire to give up for the challenge seems too difficult.

I’m not a stranger to challenge or difficulty in my life. It has been more abundant than any other thing I’ve ever known. It seems as if it is my partner, my soul mate and my passion. Yet, that seems about as ridiculous as one can get. This does not make logical sense to a logical mind but it feels like a long lost friend I will forever be connected with. And how I so desire to once and for all, flee from this friend.

As I let my mind dream and wander which it so likes to do, I know there is more out there for me and this keeps me going! While I can picture so many images in my mind of all that can be, I’m haunted by the fears and horrors my life faces. It is not a comforting thought but one of complete fear and trepidation.

So if I could remove all fears, all obstacles and all old patterns to my life, here is what I think life would be. At least this is the view from the cheap seats of the concert hall. I’m writing this of course to mark this moment in my life so that it will not slip away unnoticed and to give credibility to the thoughts and forward motion of my mind.

There is a building close to where we live that used to be a “Hollywood Video Store”. It sits on one of the main roads into town with easy access. The building has large ceilings in it with a feel of landscaping and glass windows. I have driven by this building so many times wondering how I could own it and make it into my dream I am dreaming about. It is empty now and has been that way for some time but somehow I want ownership of that building. Yet the fears of failing in a business venture are all too real.

For you see, I would remodel that building into a healing center complete with one of those rotating display lighted signs out by the road. My goal would be to offer my healing work (which is another part of myself I’m still coming to terms with). However, I would not offer my healing work at a price unless someone could truly afford it but I would offer it to those who I feel need it most that have absolutely no way to pay for these services. It would be a free based service to most while accepting donations to help sustain it. My hope would be to somehow get a grant for this. My heart longs to help those who are struggling like I am and need help, hope and a way forward even though they have no resources to do this.

As part of this healing center, there would be a big meeting room where book discussions of all kinds, or lectures from various healing modalities could come in. The meeting room would offer a way for people to share their talents through hands on type activities, relaxation ways including Yoga, Qi Gong, poetry readings, and musical sharing and just about anything one could dream up here to do. It would offer a place for other body workers to have trade days so they could share their work with each other and help renew themselves. Support groups and all kinds of experiential workshops would help fill this big meeting room.

Others doing healing work would fill the remainder of the healing center space offering them a way to rent space at a lower cost. This would include a psychiatrist/psychologist, a chiropractor or other health professional, acupuncturist, and all types of body workers. The rent generated by this would help to pay the overall operating costs of the place. It would provide for a wide variety of experiences and energy to come together and be part of something bigger. Each person that used this location would also be part of the experiences for the big meeting room giving many different events a home for this healing center.

While I know that you can’t always give the ship away and in order for anything to sustain itself, income has to come in, my hope is that some grant or lottery winnings or investment source could come along and pay for this. I have absolutely no money to even begin this process let alone have a clue where to begin. I could care less if I ever become wealthy but again, a modest income to help support basic functions in life is something that I desire. I am a very simple person and can live on a lot less than most people in life do.

So this is the shell around what I dream about. How this is accomplished, I don’t know. At this point, I am not even sure how to take the first step in making this a reality. I just want to create a place where those who have nothing can heal. There are too many out there that see healing as something beyond their comprehension and resources. I would like to remove that obstacle.

And for now, I’m committing this to paper in hopes that it connects with the resources of the universe to bring it into reality. Of course, I know that my own healing needs to progress in order to do this because right now, I struggle to find my own way forward in the midst of this stormy sea.

That is my hope and goal. That gives me hope.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What Your Child Remembers


Note: This is an article that I stumbled across while doing some research and the author, Robin Grille, has given me permission to reprint this in the blog. It is excellent information and make sure you check his books and his website out.




WHAT YOUR CHILD REMEMBERS
New discoveries about early memory - and how it affects us

Most of us have been told at one time or another that children aren’t supposed to remember anything that happens to them before – roughly – the age of two. Emotionally painful experiences during infancy will therefore have no lasting impact. These words might have been reassuring, if they didn’t also imply that our infants don’t remember the love we have given them, and so our love at this time has no lasting impact either. As science continues to throw open the mysteries of the brain, and the nature of memory, this kind of advice will gradually vanish. Every emotionally meaningful experience - whether joyous or painful - is stored in memory and has a lasting impact on a baby’s developing nervous system. The way our world feels to us as babies influences our unfolding personality, emotionality and relating styles profoundly, for the long term. There are different kinds of ‘memory’, beyond the stories we can recount. And we ‘remember’ a lot more than we realise.

Within the limbic system of the brain - an area concerned with processing emotions - are the amygdala and hippocampus. The amygdala processes highly-charged emotional memories, such as terror and horror. The hippocampus processes narrative, chronological memory. The amygdala is mature at birth, so babies are able to feel a range of intense emotion, even though they cannot understand the content of the emotion and its relation to what is going on around them. The hippocampus on the other hand, does not mature until sometime between the second and fourth years. Until then, babies are relatively unable to organise memory meaningfully in terms of sequences of events. Only rarely does anybody consciously recall the events of infancy. However, the storage of the emotional content of memory is facilitated by the amygdala. We therefore remember every emotion and physical sensation from our earliest days, and even if we have no clarity about the events that took place, these memories imbue the way we relate to each other as adults.

Just as memory can be divided up into the dual categories of ‘Short Term’ and ‘Long Term’, there are also two qualities of memory: ‘Explicit’ and ‘Implicit’. The capacity for ‘explicit’ memory reaches full maturity at around three years of age. This is the kind of memory that is conscious and enables us to tell a story that makes sense of what happened. ‘Implicit’ memory is available from birth or earlier, it is unconscious, and is encoded in emotional, sensory and visceral recall. In other words, what we don’t remember with our minds, we remember with our bodies, with our hearts and our ‘guts’ – with lasting implications for our thinking, feeling, and behaviour.

The process of ‘forgetting’ is more superficial than we once thought: it only rubs out conscious recall. Even as adults we are mercifully capable of deleting any record of traumatic events. If we are unlucky enough to face a situations of panic or terror which we feel helpless to escape, the brain secretes endogenous opioids in order to numb us to overwhelming emotional or physical pain. These brain chemicals also interfere with the storage of explicit memory, though implicit memory of the trauma remains available. Experiences that are emotionally too overwhelming to deal with are stored somatically, as a body memory. Thereafter they are expressed as an unconscious response to stress. When we over-react to mildly stressful or even innocuous situations without knowing why, this might be the result of implicit, traumatic memories dating back to childhood or infancy.

The memory centres that govern narrative recall, emotional memory and body memory can operate independently of each other. Despite being in a coma, one man went into physiological anxiety states when exposed to a smell that was associated with a personal trauma. It is possible to have strong emotional reactions without conscious recall, even without consciousness! Another man whose damaged brain had lost all capacity for short term memory, still reacted aversively to specific doctors who had conducted unpleasant tests on him, without any recollection of having met them. A brain-damaged woman who had also totally lost her short term memory refused to shake the hand of a doctor who had earlier hidden a sharp pin in his hand. She was bewildered by her own refusal, since as far as she was aware, each time she met him was the first. So, much of what we think, feel and do is induced by implicit memories ‘written’ into muscle, sinew, fascia and viscera. Not one of our experiences is lost to us. Each experience, particularly those that are charged with emotion, adds to the complex mosaic of our personality.

Our brain has an amazing capacity to make associations. Something or someone that ‘reminds’ our brains of a traumatic situation - a smell, a song, a person that looks like someone from our past – triggers our automatic, self-protective ‘fight, flight or freeze’ responses. This reflexive reaction occurs too quickly; before the information reaches the cortex where it can be evaluated rationally. That is why we sometimes over-react to things, people or situations reminiscent of a traumatic event, without any conscious recollection of the event in question.

There are occasions when implicit memory can be made explicit. Since implicit memory is ‘stored’ in the body, repeating certain movements, gestures, breathing patterns, or assuming certain postures associated with highly-charged emotional memories can bounce these memories into explicit, conscious awareness. It is as if the body releases its secrets to the mind. Many individuals have been able to retrieve traumatic memories, both from adult and infant experiences, when induced by strong emotions associated with the original experience. In certain states of consciousness, in psychotherapy or meditation, people have spontaneously recalled things that happened to them as babies. Many have remembered how it felt to be a baby, howling for a mother who would not come. In reconstructing a particular body posture, or talking about a similar emotionally charged event, the contextual memories of unbearable longing, rage or terror come back into focus. It is equally possible for sweet, joyous memories of a parents’ loving face to resurface. This phenomenon is called ‘state-dependent memory retrieval’, and while it is not essential, it can bring healing under certain conditions.

But even if not consciously remembered, early memories show themselves indirectly through behaviour. It is intrinsically human to re-enact defensive reactions to forgotten traumas, though our reactions are no longer relevant. Often early memories become evident through persistent feelings that don’t seem to relate to a present situation, or through bodily sensations that don’t seem to make any sense. More commonly, these early memories of emotional pain or hurt are indirectly evident through persistent difficulties in relationships, particularly in intimate relations.

Implicit memory - or body memory - explains why, for instance, a woman who was molested as a child remains fearful of intimacy - at least with men that ‘remind’ her of the perpetrator – even without a trace of conscious memory of the traumatic episodes. A man fears being alone because it triggers an emotional memory of terror as he cried in the crib, and no-one came to comfort him. He has no recollection of the event, and all around him find him likeable and congenial. He has no understanding about his compulsive avoidance of solitude. Though successful and functional, many people can be avoidant, clingy, or perhaps insensitive in relationships. These are just some of the problems of relationship that have their roots in hurts we felt at the advent of life. To some extent, most of us suffer from some behavioural manifestations of painful implicit memories.

Unbeknownst to our ‘rational’ minds, we sometimes respond mistakenly to current challenges as if they were the hurts we suffered originally. This dynamic holds true in our relationships with our children. There are many reasons why, for instance, we might find our children’s expressions of need aversive and overwhelming. Here is a common scenario: when a baby screams, our bodies react the same way as when our parents screamed at us as children, we are neurologically conditioned to escape or push away, rather than to respond with spontaneous compassion. Alternatively, our baby’s cry might trigger in our bodies an implicit memory of a time when our own cries, as infants, were not met with a loving response. Either way, our baby’s cries evoke our own painful memory, and so we seek refuge. We are all biologically capable of a wellspring of spontaneously loving responses toward our children, and toward each other. Sometimes this love is blocked by automatic defensive reactions to unresolved, implicitly remembered hurts. We are not insensitive nor neglectful; we are wounded.

When a child is reprimanded, an image of the scolder’s looks of disapproval gets stored in the lateral tegmental limbic area of the brain. The growing child and adult judge their own behaviour through the lens of these stored inner representations, which are imprinted as images charged with feelings of shame. These inner visual and auditory records of the shamer usually – but not always - operate beneath conscious awareness. The experience of parents setting healthy boundaries literally grows the child’s orbitofrontal brain, whose purpose it is to contain and regulate raw emotion. But when the parent imposes limits, for some time following the symbiotic time of infancy, the toddler feels a degree of hurt and betrayal. This developmentally necessary change in the parent-child relationship is emotionally stressful. It is important that the parent soothe the toddler after imposing restrictions on him, to help him cope with his ‘shame-stress’. Reassurance of the parent’s love repairs the child’s wounded ‘self’ and restores his self-confidence. If parents diligently assist with their child’s shame–repair, he soon learns to take over, and based on his parents’ role modelling, repair his own shame when needed. Inner representations - stored as emotional and narrative memory in the brain - of a soothing and reassuring parent are used later in life as a template for shame-repair. This internal portrait of a reassuring adult is essential so that as an adult the individual won’t be disabled or overly inhibited by experiences of shame. Though this process is usually unconscious, it secures our ability to self-soothe, and to recover from shame when needed.

Psychological and social problems arise when a child grows up with too many images of a disapproving face stored in the brain centres that store implicit memory, without the subsequent images of a soothing and reassuring adult. A child that lacks these positive images, stored in his emotional memory centres, is at risk of slipping into depression, becoming overly inhibited, or defensively hostile.

From the earliest moments of life, parental nurturance shapes the child’s emotional make-up, literally altering the course of brain-growth. One of the key elements of secure parent-child attachment is affectionate eye-contact. A parent’s sustained, loving gaze and smile suffuses infants with indescribable joy. What ensues is a cascade of dopamine, endogenous opioids, enkephalins and endorphins in the baby’s brain - all feel-good chemicals associated with loving relations. This joy-precipitated surge of brain chemicals promotes the maturation of precise regions of the cortex, which are concerned with healthy regulation of emotion later in life. Every baby requires this kind of nourishing experience regularly and frequently, for healthy brain development.

By the end of the first year, the infant has stored an internal representation of her mother’s loving face in the area connecting the anterior temporal and the orbitofrontal cortices. These images, though rarely consciously remembered, form the basis for an internal working model of relationships. It is as if the child has filed a video-clip of her mother in her brain’s ‘hard-disk’. Henceforth, these inner representations will animate her core emotional responses, forming the basis of her fundamental relationship style. When she feels her emotional needs are consistently attended to, this engenders in the child an enduring expectation of a supportive world. This attitude is pervasive and unconscious, and it inclines the child toward friendly and considerate behaviour.

Just as we might not remember learning to walk, yet our legs and feet seem to play their parts perfectly, some of our most pivotal lessons in human relations were learnt at a time that our bodies, but not our minds, can remember. The greatest gift in these discoveries is the knowledge that every loving moment we share with our children, from the very beginning, will stay with them for life.



Robin Grille is a Sydney-based psychologist, and author of: Parenting for a Peaceful World (Longueville Media, 2005) and: Heart to Heart Parenting
(US edition, LifeTime Media, due in April 2010).
For more information see: www.our-emotional-health.com


References

Damasio, Antonio (2000) ‘The Feeling of What Happens – Body, Emotion, and the Making of Consciousness’. Vintage.

De Bellis M, et al (1999) ‘Developmental Traumatology Part II’. Biological Psychiatry Vol 45, pp. 1271-1284.

Patten-Hitt, Emma (2000) ‘Childhood Abuse Changes the Developing Brain’. Cerebrum, Fall 2000, pp. 50-67.

Perry B.D., Pollard R.A., Blakley T.L., Baker W.L. and Vigilante D., (1995) ‘Childhood Trauma, the Neurobiology of Adaptation, and Use-Dependent Development of the Brain: How States Become Traits’. Infant Mental Health Journal Vol 16(4), pp. 271-291.

Perry, B. D. (1997) ‘Incubated in Terror: Neurodevelopmental Factors in the Cycle of Violence’. In: Osofsky JD ‘Children in a Violent Society’. The Guilford Press.

Perry, B. D. (1999) ‘Memories of Fear: How the Brain Stores and Retrieves Physiologic States’. In: Goodwin J. and Attias R., ‘Splintered Reflections: Images of the Body in Trauma’. Basic Books.

Rothschild, Babette (2000) ‘The Body Remembers – The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment’. WW Norton & Co.

Schore, Allan (1994) ‘Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self: The Neurobiology of Emotional Development’. Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. NJ.

Teicher, Martin H (2002) ‘The Neurobiology of Child Abuse’. Scientific American, March 2002, pp. 68-75.

Van der Kolk, Bessel (1994) ‘The Body Keeps the Score: Memory and the Evolving Psychobiology of Posttraumatic Stress’. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, Vol 1, pp. 253-265.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Five Questions





I saw this posted in the lobby at Evolutionary Healing Institute and just had to post it.


  1. What do you most want to heal which is deep down inside of you, and are you ready to heal it?
  2. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to heal this including complete lifestyle changes and changes to your belief system.
  3. What are you covering up that you do not want to see or let others see?
  4. How do you cover it up - what are your coping mechanisms?
  5. What would your life look like if this were already healed within you?

BE HONEST!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our Destiny


It is our destiny as humans to evolve into a greater awareness of ourselves, our place in this universe and what we can contribute to the human race as a whole. This is the true essence of life and all that it gives us. May we not hold back.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What Is The Secret Of Success?



I found the answer in my room.

The fan said BE COOL.

The roof said AIM HIGH.

The window said TAKE PAINS.

The clock said EVERY MINUTE IS PRECIOUS.

The mirror said REFLECT BEFORE YOU ACT.

The calendar said BE UP TO DATE.

The door said PUSH and PULL.

The lamp said MAKE THE LIGHT YOUR FUTURE.



Source Unknown

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm Working For A Giving

Note: This was written by a guest writer, Juanita Mazzarella. She is a wonderful friend, a mentor and someone who when you are around her, your heart just wants to sing and smile with joy. What she wrote here and shared with me was so beautiful, elegant and powerful that I asked for her permission to share this.



"I'M NOT WORKING FOR A LIVING...
I'M WORKING FOR A GIVING."
I realized a little while back in 1993, that I had become retired from my previous occupation as a graphic designer...and was given a new vocation as an instrument for God's love and wellbeing. This was the "side effect" of letting go of a job, a marriage, and a life which was not working according to my plan. I needed a new plan.

When I surrendered it all and asked for help...help is what I then received. Help from God. Sixteen years later, life is healthy, happy, strong and free...not because of what I did, but because of what God did through me. I was given a new life.

And today, I am living that life. The old one is long over and the plug pulled on it completely. I am living in ways I never thought possible. "I am LIVING THE GIVING LIFE." Life is simple and abundant and so is the work I have been given to do. It has taken a lot of inner work and commitment to living a new way...hand in hand with God/Source. (Whatever name you wish to call it.)

This is not the way I was raised to live, but I always KNEW in my heart there was another better way. Digging deeply, I found that filling myself up to overflowing with spiritual knowledge...prayer...meditation...and keeping a loving heart was the new way for me to live.

From this place, my cup ran over and I had more than enough to share with those around me and it felt great. Life began to look prosperous and very abundant for the first time. I began to trust God and have faith in this new way of living.

I also learned about "The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity." Tithing, Forgiveness, Goal Setting and Divine Purpose. There is a book by the same name by a wonderfully humorous woman named Edwene Gaines. This entire year I have taken PROSPERITY TELECLASSES with Rev. Gloria Ramirez which have been nothing short of extraordinary. Her website is: www.gloriaramirez.com if you wish to learn more.

2009 has been a busy year of learning, growing, giving and receiving. God does not know about a slow economy. There is another system we can follow besides the one with 401K plans, investments and retirement accounts...it is God's system of investing in ourselves so that we become spiritually pure...and GIVING AWAY through our time, treasure, talents and tithes to those around us who help us grow spiritually...giving back to our Source/God.

This will produce a renewed economy and a new thought within us as we move ahead in this new world order of love, well being and prosperous thinking.

May God bless you a million times over.

And so it is.
Amen.

Juanita Mazzarella
Oasis House, Miami, Florida
www.oasishouse1.com

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Knock Knock

If you have not seen this video, please spend a couple of minutes and watch it. It is very powerful and it carries a very powerful message. It takes my breath away just watching it and I've seen it many times.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Body Memories


Body memories (also known as Somatic Memories) have plagued a fair amount of my recovery and healing in my life. At times, they subside and things become much easier for me. However, when they are in full force, I just want to go in a cave and hide from the world and everything around me.

My definition of body memories would be something very physical that happens for no known reason or cause and continues in some type of pattern whether it is from day to day, night to night or some other frequency. Body memories are often accompanied by strong emotions, anxiety, intense fear and often can be associated with body temperature/heart rate or other physical changes in the body. They are a very physical symptom almost as if whatever event they connect to is replaying as if you were going through the same thing in the current moment. During these episodes, it is almost difficult to distinguish what is actually happening and what is replaying out in the body. It is as if the subconscious mind is in control and acting out through the physical body.

Some of the things I have experienced range from more of a nightmare type scenario to times where you could physically see the effects on my body. Without being too graphic here, I have had times where my anal area feels as if I am being raped in the moment with all the pain that brings with it. There have been times that I have been awakened at night by my face being in so much pain and actually swelling up to the point where I had to put an ice pack on it before it would let up. I remember feeling at times like I was being pinned down and held against the bed with no way to physically move. It was as if a weight was actually bearing down upon myself. There have been times where I felt like I was being choked or times when I actually thought one of my own abusers was in the room. Some of the other things I experience are waking up in the middle of the night with deep pain in my groin area but the pain goes and quickly as it arrives. Often it is accompanied by sweating or an intense body heat and extremely restlessness. These are just a few of the things that I've experienced.

The hardest part when you are going through body memories is trying to tell yourself that this is not happening now. It is not actually taking place in this current moment. Yet, I know all to well, that these things give every impression, feel and sensation as if they are taking place in the moment. The physical symptoms are all there, yet the actions that they connect to are not taking place. Keep reminding yourself that these events are not taking place in this moment and that you are safe.

The next hardest part of body memories is trying to keep yourself from thinking you are completely crazy and you've lost track of what is reality. It gets very tough during these times because the lines get so blurred. You've got to keep telling yourself that you are not crazy and these things will pass.

Not giving into the fear but by trying to take the fear on, will give you power over it. Yes, the fear is strong but that is what it is. It is nothing more than fears of something that happened in some previous time. I often think of the bible story about David and Goliath where Goliath the Giant is the fear. Little ol David managed to take down the fear with nothing more than one small rock.

For me, trying to write about these things in my journal is a big help. Often times, these things involve moments that were very embarrassing and filled with shame. They were times when we were powerless against what was going on. So even to give the memories a voice through writing can be a very healing support exercise for anyone going through this. In my own case, trying to talk to anyone about it was very difficult and so writing was my only way of beginning to get this out. I still struggle with wanting to tell anyone about it because of the embarrassment and shame.

Sometimes, I just had to find a way to let some steam off and scream or find some type of physical activity to participate in. Anything that helps you move your arms and body in an intense way followed by some restful moments is a big help in discharging all that comes up during these times of body memories. Anger was always a big part of these things and some times I felt like I wanted to go into a full rage against anything that crossed my path.

While I know that these events can be doorways to further healing, they are still difficult to deal with and keep one's self grounded and centered. If anything will knock you off your center, it is body memories. Trying to help yourself realize that the fear is greater than the reality of the moment is a way to help yourself move through this. Fears can be so great and they give so much energy to body memories but once again, keep telling yourself that these events are not happening right now.

Most of all, find someone you can trust and talk to them. Share as much as you can or as little as you can. If you can find someone that will just be there for you during these times even if it is to sit with you until you feel safe again, do it. For someone that is around people experiencing body memories, sometimes the most you can do for a person in this state is just be there with them and stay with them. The support of someone during this time is tremendous, even if you feel you are not doing much for them. Keep reassuring them that they are ok and that they are going to be ok even though they feel like they won't be. Sometimes, touching them in these moments may not be the best thing unless they can differentiate between you and the act going on. You have to be very grounded yourself to touch them during these times and be prepared for all kinds of emotions to surface.

Body memories are rough and I've went through many episodes of them. Sometimes it gets easier and sometimes it is still rough. Just having support of others who care means so much and helping remind myself that this too shall pass gives me another ounce of energy to make it through the day.

Additional Reading:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why Would A Young Adult Get An Ulcer

I saw this posted on the blog of the New York Times (Why Would A Young Adult Get An Ulcer) and I thought it was a very good article to share. Personally, I don't take all these over the counter medications and Nsaids, (Nsaid stands for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) but for those that do, information is a powerful thing.

Here's some points that I found very interesting and please make sure you read the link to the article.

  • Everyone who takes Nsaids is at some risk of developing a stomach ulcer
  • The risk is the highest in the elderly, those that have a history of ulcers, chronic Nsaid users.
  • Taking an excessive dosage of Nsaids is also one of the factors in developing ulcers.
  • Excessive dosage includes taking the dose sooner than directed or taking more than in a single dose than recommended as well as taking multiple medications that contain aspirin and Nsaids.
  • Many of the common cold and flu remedies include aspirin and other Nsaids to relive pain and fever.
  • Many headache and sinus medications include Nsaids.
So before you turn to that over the counter flu, cold or ache remedy, you may want to check out the ingredients in what you are taking. Better yet, you may want to evaluate and discover any other methods for treating yourself rather than taking all of these remedies that may not be the best in the long run.

Source: http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/how-can-a-24-year-old-develop-an-ulcer/

Monday, November 9, 2009

Healthy Strawberries





Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits and we use them in our smoothie each day. Here are a few little tidbits of information about strawberries.

  • 1 Cup of strawberries has about 45 calories and is packed full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
  • 1 serving (approximately 8 strawberries) provides 100% of daily requirements of Vitamin C
  • Rich source of phenols a powerful antioxidant that helps to keep the heart healthy, guard against cancer and act as an anti-inflammatory.
  • The USDA found that strawberries help slow the decline of age-related loss of cognitive and motor skills.
  • The nutrients in strawberries nourish brain cells increasing brain health and function.
  • Help provide a source of vitamin C and phenols to help prevent vision problems.
  • Good source of potassium and magnesium which help to lower high blood pressure as a result of sodium.


Sources:
  1. whfoods.com
  2. Hands and Knees Gardening Blogspot
  3. Hubpages.com - The Amazing Health Benefits of Strawberries
  4. Organic Facts - Healthful Benefits of Strawberries

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Financial Meltdown


I've wrestled with posting this or not because I don't normally like to display anything about my financial situation to people or to the general public that may be reading this. However, from the looks of the mess our country and world is in, I'm fairly certain, I'm not alone in what I share here. This is a page from my journal that displays in raw form, the cold hard realities I face. While I know many others face this very same thing, my hope is that somehow others can learn from what I'm going through. All too often, we sweep the financial frustrations under the rug because no one wants to really talk about them. We may do that by telling the person to think positive, to be abundant and to do a myriad of other things. While well intentioned, when one is in the middle of financial despair, these remedies do very little except helping the person giving them feel better. Yes, I'm being very blunt and honest here but again, this is cold hard reality in this moment. If you're not able to handle that, my suggestion would be to skip this post and not read it.

My Financial Meltdown
© Nov 2, 2009 by Don Shetterly

I am so tired of everyone wanting money or some form of money from me claiming that what they have for me is what I need. They mean well and they offer good things but for now, it makes no difference to me. At this point in my life, income is nonexistent and so any expense right now is like someone cutting off a body part with a dull knife.

I’m struggling to make it this year. Nothing has been easy for me and in fact, since bankruptcy, I think it is the worst year I have ever had. Everything I’ve tried, and worked for and hoped for has been a bust. Sorry, if it sounds like I’m sugar coating things here but I’m not.

We moved up here a couple of years ago and I thought that things would be a little tough, but then they would come together. Boy, was I ever wrong! I can’t seem to meet people here nor can I seem to find anyone that wants me to work on them (even if I give it away free). It doesn’t matter if I charge $100 or $0, the result is the same – no one to work on.

But this area is so difficult to meet people and lord knows I’ve tried. It is a strange area and I didn’t see that when we were looking at houses. Not that I miss Miami enough to want to move down there. The traffic, the over populated areas and the fickleness of it just left too much that doesn’t match up with me. I grew up in a much different part of the country that honors, respects people and treats people fairly. Things I didn’t find in Miami. The traffic – you couldn’t pay me a million bucks to move back there either. Yuk!

Anyway, let’s get back to the thing that has my blood boiling at the moment. I have absolutely no money to do anything extra. In fact, if it weren’t for my partner, I’d be living in a cardboard box and begging for food. I haven’t made enough money to support myself at all and if it wasn’t for considerable help right now, I’d be sunk. Credit Card debt has increased and right now, at this moment, I see no end in sight. That’s the picture in clear color!

Believe me, I’ve pondered and thought and tried to open my mind up to what it is that is blocked from me. Maybe I’m paying for past sins or maybe I am some cosmic joke in the universe. Yes, that may not sound good but damn it, life feels that way right now. In fact, I had read Catherine Ponder’s Book, “Open Your Mind To Prosperity” and since I did that, all HELL has broke loose it seems. I thought things were rough before but after getting only half way through that book, they got much worse. So maybe I’m clearing out or getting ready for something good to come my way, but geesshhh la rease I can’t take much more.

If life was about enduring it and seeing how much endurance you had, I’d be on top of the world or pretty close to it. I see others making it and not struggling the way I do and I wonder what in the hell is wrong with me. Why am I not making it? It makes no sense to me and I’m sure to others, it makes perfect sense. Most likely I’m not living up to the expectations of others in all of this – not that I live life trying to live up to what others want from me.

I feel like I’m on my own and alone in this world fighting through this. While I’m sure that is not the case, it feels this way. I know I’ve had to make it through most of my life on my own anyway so this is not new to me. And to be honest, I’m getting very tired of this struggle. I’m running out of energy and it seems like my life’s supply of energy is almost completely depleted.

I know no other place to turn nor do I know what to do next. I can’t even figure out how to make it through this month or even this week let alone any further than this. I hate doing the computer work these days because it is boring and a pain in the backside dealing with people. They always want something you can’t deliver and they want it completed before you even knew about it. Most of that work is next to nonexistent anyway and if it does show up, the pay rates are so low, one can barely net any money from it.

My music income is down so bad this year because of the economy which doesn’t help either. Last year, it was helping enable me to do a few things that I can’t even do this year and helped things to grow. Massage income is almost nonexistent. I can just see the loss on taxes now but that might be a good thing.

I really don’t know where to turn or when this HELL will end. I’m not sure if I can keep going any longer though. What is tough though when others want me to spend money for things that are undoubtedly good for me but if you have no more blood to give, you can’t bleed. I’m not talking just having a lower income. I mean, I have no money to spend. I can’t keep putting it on the Credit Card either.

It is like seeing someone out in the ocean drowning and instead of throwing them a rope or swimming out to help them, you offer them a bottle of water and a sandwich to eat. Of course you know that the person needs to keep up their strength and may be thirsty or dehydrated so you feel you’re offering them something good. But the person drowning, just needs the help and while the water and the sandwich may be good for them, it is the last thing on their mind. I feel like the person drowning and everyone keeps offering me water to drink instead of throwing me the rope. Maybe no one has a rope to throw me.

So I’m back at where I began. I feel like a whiner writing about my problems with no end in sight. I feel like I’m staring into a very long and dark tunnel with absolutely no clue when I will see the light of day, if ever. I feel like it is hopeless. I feel alone and fighting something that I’m not prepared to fight nor have I had any training. I don’t understand why I’m struggling so hard in life because I was always able to support myself. I wonder what is wrong with me and I long for answers or directional signs just to help keep me on a road, any road. At this point, I’m not particular.

Again, I keep coming up empty handed with absolutely no answers, no signs, no signals and nothing to show for life. I’ve read that you need to be happy with where your life is so you can move on but when you’re living in despair, happiness is one of those far off stars in the sky. You can see it, but that’s about it.

So what’s next – I haven’t got a clue. Where do I go from here – again, I don’t have a clue. I feel like a fraud at this point and I find myself day dreaming because that’s about all I have. The only other thing I have is a little bit of hope left that someday, I’ll look back and get a giggle out of what I wrote here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

SHOW ME YOUR FACE!


(c) 5/6/99 Don Shetterly




Where are you, I’m asking?
Why do you hide, your face tonight?
I know you are there
For I feel your surprise
But why, tell me why
Do you hide your face tonight?

I feel so all alone
The pain it comes and goes
Always asking why
Because you are hiding tonight?
Your shadow lurks in the quiet peaceful time
But why do you hide your face tonight?

The pain within me grows
The thoughts have grown so cold
I don’t know where to turn,
Nor do I see your face to burn!
Your presence consumes me
But why do you hide your face tonight?

I can strike the keys
I can raise the band
I can lift the sky
But you still hide from me tonight!
What will it take, how much must I face?
Before you show your face tonight?

Wake up you dreadful thing
I no longer wish you to be my king!
You haunt me all night long
And rob me of my most precious time.
Why can’t you leave?
Why can’t you find another home?

I have struggled for years to reclaim my life
I have fought the good fight
But now I am to tired and weary to fight
Please, I beg you leave me alone
Let me live in peace
And show me your face tonight!


Note: The Image was designed by Tami Donnelly - copyright 5/6/99. All Rights Reserved.

A Word About This Poem:
I first displayed this poem at a Voices (Victims Of Incest Can Emerge Survivors) Conference. The artwork was done by an office colleague of mine and was perfect for the poem. Much has moved forward in my own healing but I still am sometimes (like the current moment) faced with these very same issues. When I wrote this, I was struggling with sleep problems because of the nightmares never allowing my eyes to close. At this moment, I am facing the very same thing. May this poem bring some comfort to you that you are not alone. Others have walked through these very difficult waters.