MARCH 8, 2021: “The Fortress Behind These Walls” …

A dear friend of mine posted this today on his social media and it really hit me hard:

The inability to receive support from others is a trauma response. Your “I don’t need anyone, I’ll just do it all myself” conditioning is a survival tactic. You needed it to shield your heart from the abuse, neglect, betrayal, and disappointment from those who could not or would not be there for you. From the parent who was absent and abandoned you by choice. From the parent who was never home from working three jobs to feed and house you. From the lovers who offered sexual intimacy but never offered a safe haven that honored your heart. From the friendships and family who ALWAYS took more than they ever gave. From all the situations when someone told you “we’re in this together” or “I got you” then abandoned you, leaving you to pick up the pieces when shit got real. Leaving you to handle your part and their part, too. From all the lies and all the betrayals. You learned along the way that you just couldn’t really trust people. Or that you could trust people, but only up to a certain point. EXTREME INDEPENDENCE IS A TRUST ISSUE! You learned: “If I don’t put myself in a situation where I rely on someone, I won’t have to be disappointed when they don’t show up for me – OR – “when they drop the ball … because they will ALWAYS drop the ball EVENTUALLY, right?” You may even have been intentionally taught this protection strategy by generations of hurt ancestors who came before you. EXTREME INDEPENDENCE IS A PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE AGAINST HEARTBREAK! So, you don’t trust ANYONE. And you don’t trust YOURSELF either. ESPECIALLY to choose people. To trust is to hope. To trust is to be vulnerable. “Never again,” you vow. But no matter how you dress it up and display it proudly to make it seem like this level of independence is what you always wanted to be … in truth it’s your wounded, scarred, broken heart behind a protective brick wall. Impenetrable. Nothing gets in. No hurt gets in. But no love gets in either. Fortresses and armor are for those in battle, or who believe the battle is coming. 𝗜𝘁’𝘀 𝗮 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘂𝗺𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗲! The good news is trauma that is acknowledged is trauma that can be healed.

{Talon Harris with credit to “Inspired Jamila”}

Yes, I am a queen. Yes, I am healed, risen and SOARING after an entire lifetime of “walls”. Yes, I am thankful for EVERY thing, person, and situation that broke me, because I wouldn’t have had anything to “ascend from” had I not come from all these ashes. I would never have known how to recognize OR receive true, unconditional love, grace, acceptance and kindness from the very few people who have ever offered it to me.

But HERE’S why his post upset me ….

“The fortress” in this post? He was my husband! He’s still my son! She was my daughter! SHE WAS ME! “A fortress” is what so many kids are becoming, even as I write this, and I’m sickened to say that because there are certain parenting and lifestyle choice boundaries that are just not okay to cross, I have to sit silently and helplessly as so many parents I know literally decimate their beautiful children right in front of my eyes!

SELFISH, TOXIC, ABUSIVE PARENTS:

Wake the fuck up and get your shit together! GET YOUR KIDS OUT OF TOXIC ENVIRONMENTS! PROTECT THEM! CHERISH THEM! VALIDATE THEM! HEAR THEM! CONSIDER THEM FIRST IN EVERY SINGLE CHOICE YOU MAKE FOR “YOU”! Worse yet, stop letting the people who hurt YOU continue to hurt your children! By failing to heal yourself and find a way to have healthy relationships after ones that have broken you apart, you only perpetuate that cycle of “victimized brokenness” by handing it down to your innocently jaded children!

In the meantime, I’ll just keep PRAYING that someday I don’t “get that call” that a child I once knew swallowed a bullet because their SELFISH parents “deserved the life they deserved” and I have to show up at their funeral. But mostly, I’ll be praying that somehow they’ll rise above their “life behind fortress walls” and be able to stand in front of a mirror one day and say …

“I AM WORTHY of having support. I AM WORTHY of having true partnership. I AM WORTHY of love. I AM WORTHY of having my heart held. I AM WORTHY to be adored. I AM WORTHY to be cherished. I AM WORTHY to have someone say, “You rest – I got this”, and actually fucking deliver on that promise. I don’t have to earn it! I don’t have to prove it! I don’t have to bargain for it! I don’t have to beg for it! I AM WORTHY!”

NOVEMBER 12, 2020: “Black Roses”

BLACK ROSE

I saw you in the garden – I wanted you so much. I really thought that you were different, oh I couldn’t get enough. I tried to save you from yourself – I felt every high and low. But the lows have drowned the highs away, now there’s no where else to go. Black rose your thorns are cutting into me for the last time. Black rose I watched your petals wilt away. I couldn’t bring you back to life! You were always where The Sun could never go. I never wanted you to have to be alone. But I couldn’t find a way to help you grow … Black Rose. You never tell me how you feel, and your moods they always change. I really tried to make it real, but you never had the faith. I tried to give you something good to take the pain away. I tried to make you understand – you don’t have to be this way …” {Trapt}

… that moment you’re so proud of yourself when “that one song from your past” cues up as your driving down the road, only this time it doesn’t make you cry. God has been so good to me in all the ways He’s helped me find closure and peace with the MANY black roses from my past … not the LEAST of which was ME! Trust me when I tell you that I wasn’t ALWAYS so upbeat, “Light-Filled” and optimistic. If you’ve read any of the chapters from the beginning of this Diary, YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT! There was a very dark time in my life when I was the blackest rose of them all! Such is life, right? We live, and we learn, then we move on!

Trapt is one of my all-time favorite bands by the way, and Black Rose truly is one of the “songs of my life”. If you’ve never heard it before, take a listen … IT’S SOOOOO PRETTY! But hey, if you do, I want you to tell me something PLEASE :: Can you say that when you get to the “at 3:23” guitar rift that it doesn’t send chills up your spine? I CANNOT! It’s actually one of the most beloved instrumental rifts I’ve ever heard and treasure, because it just makes me feel SOME KIND OF WAY! It’s never too far from my heart, no matter what kind of mood I’m in. Truth be told, I’ve probably “backed up and replayed” it 50 times in a row just so I could “feel something” (many of which times were to make myself cry when I couldn’t). Meanwhile, thank you God for the roses of my life – EVEN the black ones!

MARCH 2, 2020: “Winning The Game” …

"And Why Do We Fall Bruce?"
~ by The Phoenix Collaborative Project ~

THE GAME

How have you been? Nice to see you again. How quickly these conversations seem to end. You meet a friend every now and then. How quickly these relations turn into trends. Put all your walls up and open your windows and close all your doors. You catch yourself standing in front of the mirror and now you need more. What do you wish for to catch you as you’re falling. So easy to ignore, but now you hear it calling again. “I wouldn’t want to be you. This lonely game that you play between your walls you confuse. Every heart that you break. So afraid that you’ll lose. Always a void to replace. I wouldn’t want to play you. You try and pretend, the truth is hard to bend. How easy these translations can be read. What if you were led to play a different game instead. How hard these frustrations are to mend. Does it matter to you? Just wait! {Trapt}

Dear “Past Me”:

Yes my friend, I know exactly how you’ve been, and no, I don’t ever want to see you here again. Don’t forget to keep those walls down and the windows open wide as you stand in your mirror often and marvel at who you’ve become. You don’t need to wish for anything when you start to fall, because after all we’ve been through we’ve learned how to pick ourselves back up! No more pretending. No more truth bending. And remember this “game” is not a game after all – IT’S A SONG. You’re a Phoenix. You’re a queen. YOU’RE A WARRIOR AND A SURVIVOR! Now go on and shine that Light in someone’s dark the way you were always meant to.

I Love You Girl!

NEW ME

Batman

SEPTEMBER 17, 2018: “Experience” …

Ten years ago you boarded a plane to France with so much more baggage than what you’d actually packed you could barely walk, much less carry the load you’d allowed yourself to be burdened with for too many years to count. Until the moment your feet hit this soil, you’d perpetuated a lifelong farce to everyone you knew and loved, not the least of which was yourself.

Your life back then was an apparition filled with all the shiniest things a person could possess and the appearance of a picture-perfect family completely in sync with each other on every possible level. Little did you know that ten days later when that plane finally landed back in Dallas that “you” weren’t on it and would never be coming home again.

Meanwhile, all in the course of a relatively short jaunt you met two complete and total strangers. Remember how you believed they were actual angels God had set on your path to help you begin the process of becoming acquainted with the other stranger you’d met on that trip – you? One of these days you should be brave enough to introduce those two strangers from your past and really speak your truths by the way, so consider this your official challenge!

At the end of the day what I can tell you is that I find it no coincidence that you are back here in France, a decade later, celebrating your birthday with not only this amazing man who has brought you so much sweet joy and fullness that your words since meeting him have failed to find their way to paper, but more importantly – with YOU!

September 17, 2018: Everything has changed so much since the last time you were here, and your life is unrecognizable! Your feet hit that soil with a steadfast determination to stop living a lie and start living an authentic life you could be proud of with the REAL you, no matter the cost, and cost you it did. How could you ever have known that despite your best efforts to salvage the life and relationships you already had, in order to see your resurrection to fruition you’d end up having to let so many things and people go? So, you became a living bomb that self-destructed during the process of peeling off that venomous black Spidey suit you’d been wearing all the while that had all but suffocated the life from you.

Paris

I’d like to think that if you could change this last ten years you wouldn’t have changed a thing, as in my heart I think you’ve always known that all of this had to happen for a reason. You found yourself. Found your voice. Your truths. All the many reasons. You know exactly who you are, how you got here, what things you’ve done right and all the many things you could have done better. You’re an imperfect, beautifully chaotic disaster at times – too much for some people digest. You. Are. You. Nothing more. Nothing less. And besides, “what other people think of you isn’t any of your business anyway.” You’re a survivor, and a warrior, and a badass and a true and genuine person. And as long as your two babies back at home and that man standing behind you in one of your favorite places on the planet think that you’re their hero? Well who could ask for a better birthday present than that?

Happy Birthday to YOU Catherine Marie Williamson. It’s been so nice getting to know you!

JUNE 5, 2008: “Lost In A Portrait” …

"Lost In A Portrait"
~ by Gia Embach ~

LOST IN A PORTRAIT

I analyze everything, I know what you mean. I answer by questioning all that I need. And I want you to surrender, I want you to see all the signs, all the faces inside of me. I see I’m not perfect, but that’s all I see. Lost in a portrait in a picture of me … this can’t be everything I see. Then my canvas is incomplete. Your color’s everything to me, and my canvas will set me free. My outline’s solid and made up of crying. And nothing’s that you say just burn my eyes. I want to surrender, I want you to find some comfort in the spaces between the lines. {Trapt}

This trip is almost over, and while I’ve made a push against The Dragon, part of me is still very sad. The tours each day have been long, and the sights overwhelming. I am in love with this country, and being here brings me an ethereal peace that is just so hard to describe. The deep, rich history beckons my soul and calls to mind that although these last sixteen years have felt so long and treacherous, they are but a blip on the radar of my life.

As I’ve traveled here in France and wandered through each more beautiful village, I’ve found myself in a perpetual state of “eyes wide shut” as I imagine having been here in some other space and time walking these very same roads. What did it look like? How did it smell? How did it sound, taste and feel? So many battles have been fought here and many of these sights have been desecrated and rebuilt, if only to emerge even more breathtaking than before. Countless pools of human blood, sweat and tears have soaked these fervent soils, yet still these flowers bloom.

So, then what does history tell me? WHAT DOES IT SCREAM TO MY SOUL? It says that history is but a series of sometimes very sad events leading to either growth or death in endless abound. Each sunset begs the opportunity for me to leave the past behind and awaken to a horizon that literally hands me infinite choices, beginnings and ends. My story then, my “history”, can really mean something if I choose to let it, even if I personally never witness the outcome with my own eyes.

Perhaps my purpose is much bigger than myself and the lessons I’m learning along the way will somehow cause a ripple effect in the history of not only my family but any other lives I manage to touch along the way, like a pebble being dropped into the ocean. Maybe someone, somewhere, somehow, will be standing in the very places that my own two feet have stood, and thus my history will have broadened someone else’s horizon far beyond what I can possibly imagine.

Perspective has got to be everything otherwise I’m only deaf, dumb and truly blind. Still, during these last days I’ve found myself staring far beyond these beautiful Provencal fields, into an abyss I neither understand nor am fully connecting with. At the end of the day, all I can say is that I desperately need to make sense of all my broken pieces so that I can use them to make this my life, my children, this world and everyone I encounter somehow better than I found them. Please, God, I am begging You. It’s time for my masterpiece to finally start coming together. 

MAY 31, 2008: “The Lost Realist” …

LOST REALIST

My independence is calling my name, a doubtful voice divides my faith. My independence only hesitates an unsure choice I can’t embrace. You’re gonna have to carve me, carve me from stone, right to the bone or I’ll end up alone. I’m paying the role of someone in control. Why do I rush to slow down? Why do I rush to slow down everything? Will the dice ever roll? When will I ever know? Will the plot ever twist, or will I still resist? I’ve been playing the part of a lost realist. My independence is turning the page, tomorrow comes we start to fade. My independence only complicates, it’s not enough to meet half way.  I only keep what I give away. {Trapt}

Why was he crying when we pulled away? I didn’t quite get that at all. Was he crying for her or because Christian was leaving too? Or did he somehow know that I was never coming home again? The distance between us is many light years by now so surely, it’s not me he’ll be missing. My roommate, my friend, my “hero” … My Peter. I mean he truly is all those things that I’ve said – self-made, hard-working and I’m pretty sure he’s been faithful. Nineteen years back and forth can’t have been a complete and total lie? But we are roommates, nothing more, nothing less. In my heart of hearts, I think I’ve always known that he never really wanted me in the first place. Maybe someday that’s what he will realize, too. We kill each other, sling mud at each other and rip open each other’s raw wounds. We were a cosmic, toxic collision right from the start and I’ve known this all along. I’ve stood in front of him and begged and pleaded at least a thousand times now, but he tells me to just go away. A slap on the face of all I wanted us to be. He’s said that those things were only said in anger but his actions, or should I say, inactions, always met his words. He lives in a place a million miles from me. So then why was he crying? Wasn’t this what he wanted – for me to just “go and not let the door hit me in the ass”? I’ve often said that he has never left my side, but that’s not quite true is it? I have been completely on my own where my emotional wellbeing is concerned, and he just thinks I’m a raving lunatic. “A pathetic, joke of a human being” he once said to me, “A huge fucking joke of a human being!” Oh God there goes my daughter. The limo is pulling away now and she is crying too. What I’m most scared of at this very moment is that the tiny dancer waving goodbye to her mom is in grave danger of becoming me! Is this what I want her to become? What if she turns 38 one day only to wake up and realize that her own reflection is missing? That baby will learn what she lives and will only become the woman I teach her to be! So how can I teach her to become a strong, healthy woman when I don’t know how to be one myself? How will I teach her to love herself when I can’t practice what I preach?

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