Tag Archives: betrayal

WAKE UP! Transition to Trump signals time for inner change

There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. ~ Leonard Cohen

A dream woke me up, as they often do.

It’s the wee small hours of the morning and the last refrains of Rufus Wainwright singing Hallelujah is hugging my heart. I need the sacred poetry of Leonard Cohen. To calm me before I write about my rage and sorrow.

I dreamt an old story of Betrayal. I wrote an article about it for the Vancouver Observer. Read it here. Please share the article. I’ve never written anything more important.

“We must all wake up to the power of the divinity within us, and this takes work. It will be the most important work you will ever do”

This election has cracked us wide open.

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Filed under Betrayal, Dreams, Spirituality, Vancouver Observer

The Quiet Gift of Desperation

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I seem to be at a pivot point in my writing ‘project’ and feel like I’m standing on a slippery moss-covered rock in the midst of crossing a fast moving stream and suddenly the way forward is blocked. Perhaps the reason I’m blocked is because I keep calling it a ‘project’ instead of admitting and committing to the fact that I’m writing a book.

Because it’s scary to even think I’m writing a book.

Because, “Who am I to think I can write a book?”

But then…..who am I to think that I can’t write a book?

I’ve written a lot of words, almost 50,000 of them, covering the wounding-enmeshed-in-Victim part of the story. My story. This part is called The Red Bird of Betrayal because I like the colour red, which is also meant to convey the blood of the wounding. And because I like alliteration. And because it’s only a ‘for me’ title, not one which will carry forward into the book. Yes, it’s a book.

Red Bird of Betrayal ~ line drawing by Patrick O'Neill

Red Bird of Betrayal ~ line drawing by Patrick O’Neill

Now I’m at the pivot point, the point where the healing begins. Where I begin living by my new mantra of I will show my children what is possible in a time of crisis (which later, much later, became shortened simply to I will show what is possible).

And this is where we find me standing on the slippery moss-covered rock in the middle of that fast moving stream. Confused and frustrated. I’ve written the first part in almost chronological order, but that doesn’t feel right for the next part, so the way ahead isn’t clearly marked with stepping-stones. I have to find a new path, a new way to forge the river.

And maybe that’s just perfectly fitting because that’s exactly what I had to do in my life, in my healing. Find a new way of Being. Perhaps I need to just begin where I am and trust in the process.  Trust that the right words will find me.  Step off the rock and slip into the flow of the stream and stop trying to row the boat.  Now is the time to let go, to surrender completely into the writing and be surprised by the discoveries that move through my fingers.

And now I’m excited because I know the words are there, that the wisdom is there, just waiting for the opportunity to download onto the page.  I simply have to surrender to the process and delight in the discoveries.

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By the way, the title of my newly proclaimed book is, Transcending Forgiveness – Healing into Wholeness After Betrayal.

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Claiming my Child ~ Re-Membering My Self

Shame ~

noun

1. the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous,etc., done by oneself or another: She was overcome with shame.

2. susceptibility to this feeling: to be without shame.

3. disgrace; ignominy: His actions brought shame upon his parents.

4. a fact or circumstance bringing disgrace or regret: The bankruptcy of the business was a shame. It was a shame you couldn’t come with us.

verb (used with object), shamed, sham·ing.

5. to cause to feel shame; make ashamed: His cowardice shamed him.

6. to drive, force, etc., through shame: He shamed her into going.

7. to cover with ignominy or reproach; disgrace.

Why is it that shame, guilt and humiliation are often the first emotions running through our bodies when we are sexually abused?  When I am sexually abused.  Let me own the truth of my story.  Let me speak the words that have been silent within me for way too long.  Silent in words but present in my body.

I am tiny, small for my age.  Am I five years old or six?  Close to five, I think.  I am a Magical Child, meaning that I live easily within the Realm of Possibility, the world of my imagination just as real to me as the physical world around me.

So I am five, maybe six, years old, and am sent next door to the Wilson’s to fetch my younger sister.  She often goes next door to have tea with Mrs. Wilson or to play with their youngest child, Tim.  Mrs. Wilson is busy in the kitchen and I’m sent down to the basement to see if Susan is there.  Monsters live in basements.

Down the wooden stairs in the unfinished basement are two things I remember.  Black wrestling mats and a large pool table with enticing coloured pool balls.  And grey cement walls.  I remember the cold, stark walls and the many colours of the pool table balls.  I remember Timmy standing, silent and afraid, on the black wrestling mats.

There is something else in that basement.  The monster.  He is big, with big hands and big, fat fingers, and I’m sitting on his lap.  Or rather, he is holding me on one of his big, fat legs.  His legs are spread apart and my tiny, little girl body is being held on one of those legs, his big arm wrapped around me.  His left arm.  The hand of that left arm is inside my little girl underpants and his big, sausage finger is pushed inside my tiny, little girl vagina.

He is violating me in a way no little girl should be violated.  And I am filled with shame, humiliation and guilt.  Where does this come from?  What kind of world is it where a big man sexually assaults a little girl and it’s the little girl that feels shame?

I remember being held on the monster’s knee at the side of the pool table being told to play with the brightly coloured balls.  The very same brightly coloured balls that were so enticing, now revolt me.  I focus on the cool smoothness as I reluctantly roll the yellow ball back and forth.

Disassociating, I learn many, many years later, separating my Self from my body as those fat sausage fingers claim my vagina.  Disassociating, as my tiny right hand is wrapped around the monster’s erect penis, cupped within the monster’s own right hand.

I am five, maybe six years old.  I told no one.

Until fifteen or sixteen years later and the long suppressed memory surfaces with amazing buoyancy while watching a TV show about childhood sexual abuse.  The body remembers what the mind cannot.

I told my then husband the biggest truth of my life.  I gave voice to the shameful secret and was met with silence.  I tried again, but again the words were doused with a blanket of uncomfortable silence.

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And so I buried my poor silent Wounded Child far deep inside me.

Until now.  Now I surrender my voice.  Wrong words.  I give my voice with love to my Wounded Child.  To my Magical Child.  One day a horrible thing happened to my Magical Child that wounded her greatly.  She did nothing wrong and everything right.

Today I invoke The Opening of the Mouth*

It is time for what has been silenced to be heard.

It is enough!  It is enough!!

IT IS ENOUGH!!!

With these words I release that which is no longer serving me.  Which never served me – the guilt and shame that silenced my voice.

May all beings who need to be healed by touched the grace of healing.

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What Closet Are You In?

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I just watched a video that a friend shared on Facebook.  At first I started watching it on the small screen of my cell phone but almost immediately needed to see it full-screen on my laptop.

Adam Mordecai writes on UpWorthy, “Ash Beckham is awesome.  She also happens to be gay, and she thinks it’s hard for straight people coming out of the closet.  At 2:30 she gently confronts a 4-year old.  At 3:30 she explains how hard it is for straight people to come out of the closet.  At 7:53 she makes a hard decision.  And at 8:56 she shares three rules about pancakes and life you should follow.”

A 4-Year-Old Girl Asked A Lesbian If She’s A Boy. She Responded The Awesomest Way Possible.

I was immediately struck by Ash Beckham saying we’re all living in a closet and it’s hard.  Every closet is a dark and scary place and opening that door and coming out is hard, no matter which closet door is being opened.  There is no relative.  Hard is hard is hard.

It gave me a new image, a new perspective from which to view my marriage.  I didn’t know at the time that I was stuck in the dark closet of a perfect marriage.  I had constructed such elaborate illusions around me that it took my husband’s affair to open the door, and even then I pulled hard to slam the door shut again.  What a gift my husband gave me when he threw the grenade and blew that door right off its hinges.

What closet are you in?……

Who's knocking on your door?....

Who’s knocking on your door?….

* I briefly thought of linking to the original video, but wanted to honour the site where I found it.  A positive result of social media – an ever expanding awareness…

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November 7, 2013 · 12:34 pm

Balance In The Healing

I have pulled away from much in my life.  Slowing down, disconnecting from without to connect within.  My blogging and tweeting life has been non-existent as I focus my energy on hearing and healing.

This does not mean that I have not been present in the tweeting stream or the blogging world.  I have sometimes logged on to check in on the inter-connective world I seem to have put aside.  I have floated unseen in the twitter stream and bookmarked several of my beloved blogs to read when my inner journey allows.

IMG_1255 I take a sip of my chai latte and look up from my laptop at my corner table in Delaney’s.  The little    coffee shop is bustling with people and the bright background music competes with the buzz of conversation.  A cocoon of noise that I would not have been able to tolerate in the years before my diagnosis in March 2010, and that even now almost induces me to leave.  There are days when the stimulation of too many people causes my head to ache and the fog to descend.  I have learned so much and recovery sometimes seems too slow.  I am constantly practicing awareness, patience and acceptance.

There is a difference between exhaustion and sleepiness.  Between being tired and being sleepy.

I’ve been working on healing the Severe Adrenal Fatigue that has plagued me since 2006 and which was finally diagnosed in early 2010.

The shattered illusion of my marriage was the first of five emotional ‘traumas’ to roll through my life in three short years.  Added to that was a head injury which resulted in post concussion syndrome.  No wonder my body reacted as if I were living through a wartime siege.

If I’d known then how to support my body and mind….

I’ve become somewhat of a born again self-care person.  Suggesting and advising friends and family how to be mindful and support their adrenals when confronted with a stress challenge in life.  Support the behind the scenes workers who struggle every minute to bring balance to the physical body while stressors of various kinds threaten to tip the scale into illness.

I’ve been writing this blog entry for close to a week now, ever since a dear twitter friend sent me a private message of concern, followed by a note from another bright light of support and friendship in my blogging world.  The connections I’ve made in the online world mean much to me and that is what I miss dearly with this self-imposed withdrawal.

Each time my fingers start tapping a rhythm and before I know it five pages have gone by and I’m only just beginning.  Writing is calling to me once more and now that I have pared down my obligations and taken the time to rest after a very full 2012, I can breathe and let the words come.

Limiting my time looking into the brain stimulating light of my laptop screen is one way I am coaxing sleep back into my life.  Turning the lights out and closing my eyes in bed by 10pm is another new routine – something that was so foreign to me that it was the change I fought against the hardest.  I have long been a night owl and often found it easiest to write into the wee hours of the morning.  Allowing time for a transition I thought would never happen; to find the open doors to my creativity before night descends.  I am so pleasantly surprised by the joy I now find in my quiet evenings with a book and my early to beds.

I am finding a balance and a new way of being.  I am so incredibly grateful for all the gifts that each of the ‘traumas’ brought to my life.  I am so grateful that I am fortunate to live in circumstances that afford me the opportunity to learn and to grow.   And the time to release the hold that time may have on me.

And….if you find yourself being battered by stress, please take the time to support your body with good nutrition and supplements.  Find a way to allow your mind and body to decompress.  Everything is connected….

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The Dark Truth of Healing

In the wee small hours of the morning….While the whole wide world is fast asleep…..

Frank Sinatra’s soft, smooth voice wraps around me and warms me from the outside as the toasted walnut tea hugs my insides.  My daughter gave me this CD on a September afternoon six years ago, just after I’d been pushed off the end of my world and was desperately looking for something to hold onto.  Something to keep me breathing.   I would light my forest of candles and listen to Frank over and over and over again.

“Once upon a time, not so long ago and not so far away, there lived a King and Queen in a huge beautiful palace.”  So begins the second half of Slumming, the play I’ve just finished as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival.  I tip toe into this 30 minute almost monologue as my character, Grace, eases away from Britney, the young street worker who has just been raped.  Britney has asked for a ‘made up story’ and Grace is looking for anything with which to give comfort.  The play has suddenly taken a turn into darker territory.

I begin the play as an obviously unstable street person, yet one who is just as obviously not used to living on the streets.  Throughout the almost monologue I slowly lose the tics and characteristics of Grace “the street person” and grow to become the Queen within the fairy tale.  The words I speak hold great power.

The fairy tale is a story of great betrayal and an even greater, darker revenge.  The very last words of the story strike like MacBeth’s dagger and kills any remaining comedy.  The coda of the play leaves many in tears.  There is such power when Truth is carried with strong intention and conviction.

Several days pass and I receive an email from the writer and director of the play.  She writes, in part, “Writing the fairy tale in Slumming — and then watching you render it so wonderfully — has been cathartic for me.  I no longer feel anger towards_____; in fact, I feel nothing.  I feel free.  I keep waking up saying “Free at last!  Free at last!””

 I am so gratified and so grateful to have been given the honour and opportunity to play a part in her healing.  It has also been an important step in my own healing and journey towards forgiveness.  I’ve been working especially hard this past year to come to a place of complete compassion and forgiveness.  To remove the thin sticky threads which keep me from giving and receiving open-hearted love.

The brilliant and mystical Larry Moss says, “The imagination is bigger than anything you can remember from your own life.”  I manifest the truth of this when I play the character of Grace on stage; when I stand over the sleeping King in the fairy tale and raising MacBeth’s dagger on high, “stab the cheatin’ bastard in the heart!”

Throughout the run of the play I greet many friends and relatives at the end of the performance that give me hugs of congratulations and words of “well done.”  Some are wiping tears from their eyes and some chuckle knowingly, “I guess you didn’t have to go too far to find the emotion and motivation for that, did you.”   They’re talking about my own story of betrayal.

And here’s where I’ve stepped into a magical discovery.  As I weave the story of the fairy tale, casting a spell of make-belief, I come to realize that my own painful curse has been broken.  As I speak the Queen’s words of her wounding betrayal I am no longer able to use the power of my own story to drive the performance.  I try and try to envision my used-to-be husband and my own Other Woman, but they keep disappearing into the vapour of the spell, and the engine of the performance threatens to choke and sputter.

Instead, I call upon the incredible power of my imagination and use that to fuel my words.  Instead of the face of my own betrayer, I see the man who betrayed the playwright.  It is he who appears amidst the smoke of the spell I am casting.  And just like that, I discover that I’ve forgiven those that have wounded me.

I have healed my own wound of betrayal so well that now, as an actor, I must use my imagination instead of the tool of substitution.  What remains behind are great gifts; the intricate, delicate and subtle shades and tones of my emotional pallet that I can now use to colour my performances.  This is where my own Truth comes out to play, and instead of wounding it comes out to help in the healing of others.  What is in the One, is in the Whole.

And so, as I sit behind the wings and listen to the gathering audience laugh and talk before the lights darken, I close my eyes and go within.  I ask that my heart remain open and vulnerable and that I paint the words of the play with the blood of my own healed wounds.  I ask to be used as an agent of healing and to honour the words of the playwright.  May I dwell in the breath of the Truth.  May my healed wound touch one within you and so begin your own healing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Betrayal, forgiveness, Theatre

Slipping Sideways And Finding Seeds of a Book

 When you’ve stopped writing for a period of time, say for weeks, or more truthfully, months, then that blank white  page glaring out from the LCD screen of my laptop looks more like a big black chasm waiting to claim my tumbling body as I scream, (wordlessly, because the problem is the lack of words) to my uncreative death.  The black curser buzzing like a mosquito around my head.  Blinking on and off in a repetitive Chinese water torture rhythm in front of my eyes.  The only time any kind of creative muse hits me is at 4:00 o’clock in the morning, drumming words and phrases into my brain just when I’m trying to stop from thinking and get back to sleep.  The adrenal fatigued upstart that my brain is, goes to sleep during the day and becomes fully awake during the night.  Upside down, the words fall out of me and float back up to the realm of inspiration instead of down, down through my fingers and onto the page.  I’m a dried old husk waiting for rain, and my creaky, arthritic fingers don’t have the strength to turn on the tap for the word sprinkler anymore than my cloudy, sleep-addled eyes can find it.  My ass is numb from sitting on my chair pretending to write, and instead spending hours reading emails, blogs, facebook and yahoo news, even people.com.  The only typing my fingers do is to click on the link to see what the celebrities in Hollywood are wearing.

And so I find myself just typing random words, thoughts as they float through my brain, thoughts that make no sense whatsoever, in an attempt to guide myself back to the highway where inspiration drives.  The hum of the refrigerator reminds me that I’m hungry.  The chirp of a distant bird outside and the sun warming my left shoulder (and aging the left side of my already sun-spotted face) makes me want to leave this laptop and take my book and cup of tea to the brown couch swing out on my back patio.  Surely I’ve earned some reading time? – Even though it seems that’s all I’ve been doing for the past month.  Reading everyone else’s words instead of writing my own.

It seems the thing I most want to write about is the thing that is the most elusive.  Betrayal.  And so I betray myself by writing about anything other than that.  Skirting around the topic like the purple flowered cotton fabric that gathered itself around my sister’s teenage vanity, hiding the worn, water-spotted cardboard boxes containing her childhood dolls and stuffed animals.  Memories hidden haphazardly between Chatty Cathy and the regal stuffed black cat from Avon snapped onto her round red cushion, locked securely with packing tape underneath the table.

Edging in sideways.  Peeking through the lashes of almost closed eyes, I can see what I want to write about lurking behind the hydrangea bushes, poking up like a weed in my newly planted vegetable garden, its roots winding around my life like the pernicious ivy I spend hours pulling and pulling and pulling from the ground.  Betrayal is like that.  Once planted, it reaches out and wraps itself around everyone around, and then everyone around them, choking and choking and choking.  It’s insidious like that.    

But what stops me from writing, one of the things that stops me from writing, is the need to somehow honour both the full colours of betrayal AND the gifts received because of it.  To give homage to the damage betrayal causes and to the healing that can follow.  To give full weight to the incredible hurt and destruction, but also to the equally incredible joy and freedom that comes from the inner work of healing.

I’ve come to realize that I can’t do it within a blog.  I’ve never been able to write short, fast and easy to read posts.  Not about this, at least.  I’ve discovered that I’ve been gestating a book.  I don’t know what it will look like, what form it will take, how it will start or even how it will end.  The only thing I do know is that it will be about betrayal.  About my pilgrimage through that dark wasteland looking for the holy grail of forgiveness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Betrayal, Writing