Archive for January, 2008
I have a problem. I can’t sleep on my back.
When I was a kid and didn’t have any boobs to keep me from sleeping on my stomach all night, it wasn’t a problem. When I was fine sleeping on my side after I couldn’t sleep on my stomach, it wasn’t a problem. But now I don’t like sleeping on either my stomach or my side, but I do both anyway, because I can’t sleep on my back.
By “can’t” I mean that it’s both physically and psychologically difficult for me to do so.
Here’s why: When I was a kid I was molested/raped repeatedly by a family member, which I may have alluded to at one point or another. At night I usually felt safe, however, because I shared a room with my two sisters and I found safety in our numbers. However, one night I woke up for no apparent reason. Disoriented I looked up and saw my sexual offender standing over me, staring. I caught his eye, looked away horrified and scared to death and rolled over. When I looked back again he had gone.
I don’t have any memory of sleeping on my back before this event, but I know for damn sure that I haven’t since. Well, I’ve tried to, but I can’t fall asleep in that position.
I would love some advice on this, because I don’t really know how to deal with it. It seems so disconnected from all of the other issues I have from being abused by that person, although I can’t adequately explain why I feel that way. And for all I know I’m only ‘disconnecting’ it in my mind.
I know this is kind of a weird post, but I don’t really have any one in RL to discuss this with so please bear with me.
Image from BBC News.
I posted something from Earth Medicine before, but didn’t really talk about what it’s like. It is a devotional book that is composed of Native American mythology and wisdom set up to align with moon cycles. Each cycle is associated with a metaphysical clan mother. (Unless I totally messed up in my calculations [which I may have done]) we’re in the 13th moon, which is associated with clan mother Becomes Her Vision. Because of this, every reading for this moon has been about becoming one’s personal vision. All of them have been blessings, but today’s felt particularly true to my experience so I wanted to share it:
“Understanding the signs that guide you lies in seeing that the path is not outside of daily life. The road to attaining your victory is made of your faith. The challenges are made of personal weaknesses. The rocky trails are made of stubbornness, pride, and arrogance. The swamps are made from self-doubt, lack of courage, and mistrust. Those who seem to hinder your progress are showing you the places inside of yourself where you are split in two.”
It’s only recently that I’ve really been able to accept this truth. But since I have it’s been so freeing knowing that most of my problems are of my mind’s own creation, because changing my mind is so much simpler than changing other people. And that freedom, my friends, is what joy is to me.
When I was a kid, I didn’t get a long with people very well. I did get along great with cats and trees, though. I was blessed to grow up in a neighborhood where a small woods backed my street. I spent some of the happiest time of my life running around in the woods.
I admired and felt strongly connected to trees. Whenever people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the only truthful answer I could think up for a long time was “a tree” because I hadn’t seen any people I wanted to exemplify, but the trees had it down. I knew they had the secret to life and it was 1) to let energy run through you but still be at peace with yourself and 2) to be grateful for the physical aspect of your self and the joy it can bring.
Still today when I see a tree purring in the summer sun with its leaves lifted high, I catch their joyful infectiousness. And I was delighted to have my boyfriend tell me a few weeks ago that I’m his “daddy tree.” I never told anyone that I wanted to be a tree and for a long time I lost sight of my childhood vision. But it seems that I have grown up to be a tree like I wanted after all. It’s such a wonderful gift to be reminded of a lost vision at the same moment you realize that vision has been fulfilled.
My period this month was as painful as all my periods have been after each miscarriage I’ve had. But this time I had Christiane Northrup‘s words ringing in my head, stating that the only pain women feel that isn’t trying to say something’s wrong is the main we experience in childbirth. That was making me so angry, because I couldn’t believe that my menstrual pain was my fault. It was just a physical effect of the miscarriage, right?
Well, once I stopped being angry at the situation and started asking what reason my sex organs could have for experiencing this intense pain, my mind-body told me the answer right away: I never let myself experience the physical pain of being raped and molested and until my body was allowed to process that pain it would never go away.
My anger instantly vanished and instead I was filled with love for my ovaries, vagina and clit and I told them so. I spent probably the next 20 minutes radiating love to my body “down there” and the pain was just as intense as before, but it didn’t hurt the same. And then the pain sapped away and I haven’t had any cramping since.
I don’t know if that means I’m done with this pain or if I’m just now starting to let it do it’s work, but either way I’m so grateful for finally understanding what it was trying to tell me.
Hear my words, oh Brother Warrior.
Let them ring bright and true.
The time is now, to be your vision,
For the world has need of you.
Ride the wind, oh peaceful warrior,
To the place that holds your pain.
Release the hurt that stops your vision,
Then open wide to love again.
We can dream with our Ancestors,
We can greet the Morning Star.
Together we can find the way,
To be proud of who we are,
To become the visions that we are.
So sail high, my Eagle Dancer,
Circle through the winds of change;
So walk free, my vision seeker,
Feel and heal and love again.
Then stand tall, my spirit warrior,
Glory in the light you seed.
Then dream on, my heart healer.
The love inside is all you need.
The love inside is all you need.
From Earth Medicine: Ancestors’ Ways of Harmony for Many Moons by Jamie Sams (which is a daily devotional type book that follows the cycles of the moon).
“Each new reality exists with creations we have desired.” – Karen Bishop
The above quote from Karen Bishop‘s latest Energy Alert resounded deeply with me. It seems to encapsulate the revelation I had a few days ago when listening to an old mix CD I had made when I was several years younger. Listening to the songs I had put on there and remembering all the strong emotions they brought up in me, I found that I could draw a line from a song to a (usually notable) event that later occurred in my life. It was fairly disturbing to realize, because a lot of things those songs spoke to were unhappiness. It makes me feel that much more encouraged about how much more consciously I’m trying to live and challenges me to invite joy into my life.
On New Year’s Eve I was feeling very cranky and as if there was energy blocked in and around my back that I just couldn’t work out. So I decided to take a ritual bath to cleanse myself and to try to create a grateful attitude in myself to replace the surliness… it’s usually easy after I’ve let myself be reminded of the incredible blessings I’ve received.
I ran the bath and poured in salt. Then I got in on my hands and knees, which made me think of what I’ve been reading the past few months about childbirth & home birth and how supposedly giving birth in water is the easiest possible way and this train of thought led me to have a kind of weird fantasy/daydream experience:
I saw myself as in labor (even though I was not physically pregnant) and then I was giving birth to a silver child. I took it on my belly to recover from birth and watched as the umbilical cord pulsed more and more gently before finally stopping. Then I moved the child to my breast and cuddled it for a while.
As I lost sight of this vision, I started to wash, praise, thank and bless my body parts. I felt peaceful, powerful, contented and deeply grateful.
Thinking about this experience, I noticed that the childbirth imagery is all very much as I would imagined it when I was a child: pain-free and big-belly-free. This reminded me that I have always disliked baby dolls and only played with them as a child when one of my friends told me to. I’m hoping that this is partially the dreams and fantasies I should have had while I was young finally being able to express themselves. All of my interest in the miracle of childbirth disappeared for me when I was about 10 or so and I asked Mom to tell me what childbirth was like, expecting to hear a story of wonder and excitement like I’d heard from my then best friend’s mother. Instead, my mom said that having a baby was like having to poop and not being able to. That essentially destroyed all interest I had in having a baby until I’ve recently been working to reclaim that.
(Also, have you noticed that I like to visualize silver people? Anyone have any thoughts on that?)