Metamorphosis

I’ve mentioned before that I’m going through a very physical metamorphosis alongside my mental and spiritual healing. It is actually quite shocking and startling, as I’ve lost a ton of weight (while eating plenty of great food), and new curves, shapes, and definition are appearing all over my body. My body is dreaming itself a new appearance. Willow says that as I release body memories of trauma, my body is physically “catching up” to being 34. It does feel like a kind of delayed, sudden puberty.

 

 

Honouring the Truth

I want so much to be eloquent.

I greatly prefer to express my fury and pain in poetry, because simpler expressions and standard phrases just don’t feel like they carry any weight. Like they can’t possibly pack the punch I want to throw.

I had the second part of my psychiatric assessment this afternoon, but there wasn’t time (or much reason) to tell the fullness of my story. The psychiatrist caught on very quickly that my story was overwhelmingly intense and complicated, so she took care to ask only for the most basic information. What I said could probably all be summed up in a single sentence.

It didn’t do us justice. In hindsight I don’t know how I could have said it better, and yes, the psychiatrist’s eyes widened and she lost a bit of her professional edge. She faltered, uttering things like “Really?” in a quiet, astonished tone. I guess she was at a loss for words too. 

I like poetry because my story isn’t a bullet list of facts. It’s visceral.  Writing poetry based on my abuse is not about presenting pretty words and metaphorical insights. It’s about getting this feeling that’s in my chest out into the air, and maybe — just maybe — into someone else’s mind. Not to shock anyone and not to spread negativity or distress, mind you. All I want is to bring to being my truth, which had been so violently silenced all my life, and give it a little space to unravel, the way an apple seed opens to the earth and is nurtured into something much stronger.

*

Child of secrets, your world confounds

you as a test, laid out

without truths or falsehoods. They’ve drawn

gaping blanks for you to fill,

and the possibilities haunt

your every hour, because this is trial and error,

this is life and death.

You keep learning

how wrong the answers can be, how true

the nightmares are

of monsters and the unknown,

which has always proved worthy of fear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Natural, Magical World of Children

As a child, you probably learned very quickly to “turn off” your open-minded, open-eyed view of the world. You learned that dreams weren’t considered real, and were things to be dismissed. You stopped running off benches, believing you could fly if you just intended hard enough, because adults paid no heed to superpowers. Adults (likely well-meaning adults) took hold of your world and crumpled it up like a piece of paper according to their rules, discouraging you from writing your own story upon it ever again.

When I was young, I was interested in magic, in deity, healing, talking to spirits/ghosts, and running off benches believing I could fly. I had very powerful dreams — all nightmarish to some degree (not to get into it now, but the adults in my life were not well-meaning), and all so vivid and meaningful that I still clearly remember today things I dreamed when I was about 4.

But dream discussions between kids and adults tends to be limited to proclamations of the unreality, and consequently, utter unimportance, of the dream world. In the “real” world, the only magic tolerated turned out to be lies, as my father explained to me very seriously that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Toothfairy were all just games for little children, and that once you got to school-age, you’d better know the truth or you’d get made fun of.

Once, when I was about 7 or 8, I proudly told my disinterested mother that, having accidentally hurt my hand at school, I was able to make the pain go away by self-healing and thinking about what the pain “really felt like”. Her reaction made certain that I never mentioned such things again.

Around the same time I was marveling at the nature of consciousness, which was like seeing through a movie camera, except you could only ever see your own life, and wasn’t it fascinating that all the other houses in the city had other lives, other consciousnesses in them — all separate, unable to tap into each other? I tried to explain this to my sisters once, but it was clear that this kind of thinking wasn’t acceptable. The kind of thinking that I thought was the most meaningful was considered by the adult world as the least meaningful.

By the time I was ten, school had also helped to change my magical, 4-dimensional world into a bleak 2D one where everything had a scientific answer — except all the things that didn’t, which you simply weren’t supposed to ask about. Nobody would like it if you asked why do we live on a big ball of rock, or why did the universe begin.

I became a very strict believer in science, and started to laugh at the very idea of magic.

It was a long time before my world could open up enough to get the magic back.

Life without magic was markedly out-of-balance, hollow and selfish and out-of-touch. But then, when shamanism awakened in my being, my whole heart leap up and said YES, like I’d known it forever.

Now, my dreams are meaningful excursions to other realities. I speak with all manner of spirits and no one can convince me again that they are not real. They converse with me, teaching me things I could never know otherwise. Now, I see energy everywhere — like auras around objects and people, or something like a shimmering, transparent smoke swirling in the air. The ghost of the previous owner of this house sits on the staircase. I pay him respects, and he slowly turns his head to stare at me — and I am not afraid. I know it’s real. Children do not have to be told that the spiritual world is a sham just so they won’t be afraid of ghosts and monsters.

It’s been a long time, but I think someday soon I’d like to run off a bench once more, believing in the possibility that I could fly.

 

 

Psychiatric Assessment

I’ve been waiting a very long time to get a psych assessment, which I need for disability, and it’s been many years since I’ve had one. Today was the day, and now, afterwards, I’m sitting here stunned. I didn’t expect it to unravel me so much. I was a triggered, crying mess and it was an ordeal just getting back to the car.

Thank goodness the psychiatrist is a woman. That’s all I can say. It would have f’d me up so much worse if it were a man. She’s good, too. Super clinical, which does freak me out a bit, but also super thorough. I was there for an hour and a half and the assessment is only halfway done, I have to go back next week.

It just….I don’t know. I like to think I’m so strong, but even telling the tiniest anecdote about childhood neglect sent me into tears. Thank goodness Willow was there. The psychiatrist would have preferred to see me alone, but Willow insisted. Thank god, thank god. I feel like something would have happened otherwise.

And it didn’t help that I’m seriously sick with a chest infection, and I’ve had absolutely no voice at all for the last three days. I could barely whisper, which was frustrating while searching for the right words to explain things.

Trying to explain why there’s so much I can’t do…trying to explain why how badly I used to self-harm, and why I did it…

I suspect I’ll end up with a C-PTSD diagnosis. But there is another hard truth here. I talk about healing all the time, and like I said, I try to be so strong. But when someone’s had severe neglect/abuse from the moment they were born, it screws up brain development. And that’s…pretty permanent. As in, I can’t fix it with willpower and positive thinking and confidence.

I guess I’m having some “emotional flashbacks” — yet I know that my life now is really good. Things have been amazing this past year. But I really feel like I’ve come undone, and I didn’t expect it at all.

Kassie

kassie

I’m Kassie, and I survived.

Survival is a gritty business. What happens in a tight spot, when you have no escape, can be brutal — but there is no choice there. And that’s why guilt is so useless. Yes, I’ve had to do really hard things. But the moment I was given choice, I was out of there and running to Willow and never looked back. So why should I feel bad about what I did when people were horribly abusing me? It was to survive, and I survived.

In my system of personalities, I am an important part. But my four-year-old self eclipses even me. Four-year-old Kassie is a powerhouse of strength and smarts. Our perpetrators wanted us to feel dirty and unworthy, but she knows we deserve good things. We deserve food, love, treats, care, and more. She helps us to remember this.  Little Kassie has the most important knowledge of all: what happened was wrong, and we are good.

 

 

Stopping for the little things

Today we stopped and defiantly blocked traffic to help a pair of robins in the road. One had been struck and was dead, but the other seemed badly hurt and couldn’t fly off. So we wrapped it up in my crocheted hat and took it to the wildlife rehabilitator that we know. On the way there, I gave the robin the best healing energy I could.

Suddenly it perked up and started flying around the car! I caught it, and when we got to the wildlife rehabilitator, she thought it would be fine. It did seem like there wasn’t even a scratch on it, happily. She’s just watching it now to be sure.