IT’S NOT A STRAIGHT LINE

As much as I’d like it to be, as much as I’ve tried to make it be, it simply is not a straight line.    In my mind it goes something like this — you get attacked, you do whatever it takes to make sure your attacker is prosecuted and sent to prison, you go to therapy, and you are healed.  But what happens when you get attacked, you do everything you can to make sure your attacker is prosecuted and sent to prison, you go to therapy, and you aren’t quite healed?  If you are me, apparently, you beat yourself up for not being where you feel like you should (there I go, shoulding myself) be at this point.  I have been accused in the past of being too hard on myself, for holding myself to some impossible standard or ideal that pretty much no one could ever attain, and when I, of course, fail to achieve it, I then beat myself up.  This is a vicious cycle and it needs to stop.  The question is how to do I do this, how do I get off this merry-go-round?

I am not sure why I have such a hard time acknowledging and being proud of myself for how incredibly far I have already come.  I can easily say that I understand this to be true on some level, but I’m not sure I truly understand that to be the case.  I think I want it to be true, because otherwise all the work I’ve done, and it is considerable, would seem to be for nothing, and that might just put me over the edge.  Some days I do see the progress I’ve made and I feel good about it.  Other days, though, the most innocuous comment sends me off the deep end.  And, worst of all, sometimes it is me who makes that comment.  Like today.

I was accused (and rightly so) of being mean to myself.  At first I did not see it this way.  I was being sarcastic about what I was saying about myself.  I used to be a very sarcastic person (pre-Hoffman), but these days I rarely use sarcasm because I now understand that sarcasm is just thinly veiled anger.  And I make an effort to be kind, not condemning to others.  I somehow forget to include myself in that effort.  (How’s that for irony?)  Then it was pointed out to me that perhaps it is myself that I am angry at, for not being what I call ‘done with my healing.’  This, of course, starts me on the hamster wheel yet again.

All of this happened today in my energy healing session with Marsha Bliss.  I am still in physical pain, and though not a lot, it is still enough to make me want to do something to get rid of it.  While Marsha was working on me and we were talking about my post a week ago about my ‘new normal’, as in, is the way my life is now my new normal?  Marsha made up an example of someone who has lost a limb, and after a period of time, is now skiing.  This person has not let the lack of a leg stop them from moving forward.  This has become the new normal for them.  Something about that conversation triggered an incredible sadness in me and the tears to go with it.  Here’s the thing – when we see someone, (from the outside, because, really, unless you’ve been there, you can NEVER know what goes on behind the scenes, what goes on inside of them,) who has triumphed after a tragedy and we think, wow, this person is happy and has moved on and bla, bla, bla.  That’s just it, we simply do not know what happens when they go home at night, if they are crying themselves to sleep or are one step away from suicide or really are doing okay, in spite of it all.  We just don’t know.

 

I wrote the above paragraphs last night, and while I have no idea if they somehow influenced my dreams, I did have really weird dreams and woke up this morning feeling rather blue.  Then when I was going through my emails, I came upon the following quote, which gives me enormous hope:

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”   ~Benjamin Franklin

I’ve been nothing if not persistent in my desire and actions to move through this traumatic event.  And something else Marsha said yesterday has been running around in my head, and that is that we are never done with whatever it is we are doing in our lives.  If we’re done, we’re dead.  I get this, I really do.  I understand that once we get through, put behind us or in some other way move on from a situation, traumatic or otherwise, something else is bound to come up.  We’ve all heard the adage that God, Life, the Universe (whatever word you want to use) never gives us more than we can handle.   I believe this.  I even have it posted above my desk (don’t always remember to look up to read it, but it’s there.)  And as much as I subscribe to this belief, I always just as often forget about it.  I think what all this means to me is I just have a lot more stuff to deal with, and not all of it, maybe even none of it, has anything directly to do with my attack.  I definitely attribute, if not all, most of what I am dealing with these days to that one event, and that would be because so much of it seems to stem from it.  Physically, I have not been the same since, so it makes sense that it would be the reason.  And, really, it probably is.  At the same time, what this also means is there is still unresolved issues from my past that are arising now because I am finally at a place in my evolution that I am able to deal with them.  That is both comforting and annoying.   So, to paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald from “The Great Gatsby,” I beat on, boat against the current, born back ceaselessly in the past.

 

 

YES, I SURVIVED, AND NOW I’M READY TO THRIVE!!!

Three years ago today my life change in ways I could never have imagined.  Two years ago today I started this website to tell my story.  From the very beginning of this incredible journey, I was always very clear on what had to happen in order for me to move forward, to be able to truly put this behind me and get on with my life.  It has taken far longer than anyone ever thought it would.  I like to think I’m completely finished with my healing process, and then BAM, something happens that shows me I’m not quite there yet.  Apparently there isn’t a formula that I can plug all my info into and get a read out that tells me exactly when I’ll be all better.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  Perhaps it is something I will be dealing with, at least to a degree, and when I least expect it, for the rest of my life.  As much as I’d like it to be something that I can simply forget, that doesn’t seem to be the way these things work.

In the interest of honoring myself and my body, on this day of all days, I chose to hike up Cowles Mountain this morning.  I have only done it one other time, 3 1/2 years ago, and today seemed like the day it was important for me to do it again.  At 1593′, it is the highest point in San Diego.  The hike is only 1.5 miles, with an elevation change of 950′.  I got to the top in about 25 minutes.  The picture below is the view part way up.

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This is the view from the top looking west.

IMG_3452 And this is the view to the east.

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It was a beautiful morning, though I wish I had started just a bit earlier.  There were tons of  people going up and down.  I saw several that did the climb more than once.  I thought about it, but decided there was no need in overdoing it, as I am ever so fond of doing.  Tonight I will go to a restorative yoga class at Mosaic in Golden Hill.  Tomorrow I will do my beloved beach yoga with Danell Dwaileebe.  And then I have another appointment with Marsha Bliss, an extraordinarily gifted energy healer.  This is what I posted on Yelp about my session with her last week:  “I have been dealing with the after-effects of a sexual assault for the last 3 years, and though I am almost completely through it, there is still some residual ‘stuff’ hanging on. Since I have been to Marsha a couple of times in the past, knew that she would be able to help me again. My appointment yesterday exceeded even my wildest expectations! I do not understand HOW it works, but trust me when I tell you that it DOES work! By the time she was finished with me, I was literally floating. The only ‘bad’ thing was I had to get in the car and drive home. The feeling stayed with me the rest of the day, and I am still feeling it this morning. Whatever your issue is, I highly recommend that you go and see Marsha Bliss of Bliss Connections.”

(You better believe I am looking forward to my appointment tomorrow!)

This is what I wrote in my journal this morning, part of which I shared on Facebook:

6:28a  After reading my email and posting on Facebook, I’m off to hike Cowles Mountain.  It is a tribute to myself and to all those who have suffered a sexual assault.  Today is a GREAT day!  It is a testament to those who have survived and those who are still struggling to heal.  Today is the third anniversary of my sexual assault.  I honor myself for surviving, and I honor all those who are still in the process of reclaiming their lives.  I am proof of what you can do if you don’t give up.  I celebrate the new me, who is stronger and more determined than ever to not let the worst few minutes of my life determine the rest of my life.  With enthusiasm I choose to move forward.  I choose love.  I am love.  I am loving.  I am lovable. I matter.  My attacker matters.  (Hard words to write, but nonetheless true.)  Without him I would not be where I am right now.  And where I am is in a very good place.  As the title of this post says…I did survive, and I am now ready to thrive!

Going all the way back to one of my very first posts two years ago, I put this quote:

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I have been changed.  I am anything but reduced by what happened to me, though.  I am so much more than I was, and as I already said, without this traumatic event, without a violent sexual assault, I simply would not be who I am today.  All the way up the mountain this morning I repeated STRONG, HEALTHY, HEALED and on the way down I said, I now release all my trauma, I now accept all my good.  It does feel like something has shifted in me.  I smiled the whole way home.  It feels like whatever might still be hanging on will be energetically erased by Marsha tomorrow.  Best of all, I can honestly say that I forgive DCD for what he did to me.  And even more importantly, I FORGIVE MYSELF!!!