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belenen

June 2017

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Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.

belenen: (osculant)
phonetalk with Evelyn: resolving past hurts, setting intentions/goals for future interactions
icon: "osculant (photo of Hannah and I lying on our sides facing each other, our legs and shoulders slanted toward each other and the floor, so that our bodies together make the shape of a heart: our outstretched arms are the point and our bums are the two curves)"

I talked on the phone with Evelyn last night, impulsively, when I almost never talk on the phone. It was an intuitive instinct that I just followed, and I'm so glad I did. When I heard their voice my heart started glowing (by which I mean, I felt a sensation of radiating heat where I feel my heart energy center) and I felt unexpectedly overwhelmed with joy. We talked about stuff that we had been discussing via email, mostly affirming and clarifying things that had already been said. I felt relieved when they expressed that they had finally internalized (taken in as truth) the facts that 1) it is not a loving act to ignore one's own needs but rather is detrimental to oneself and those one loves and 2) it's not useful or loving to hide things from someone to protect them. I feel like denial/rejection of these facts was the core problem we were having last year, so I feel hopeful now. They apologized for hurting me, acknowledged that it was shitty and that I deserve honesty, openness, and kindness and said they'd do their best. And later that evening they shared with me a story that illustrated how they're working to put honesty first.

At one point they mentioned "you've forgiven me" just offhandedly, which pleased me to my core because it is usually very difficult or impossible for people to accept that my forgiveness has already happened. I usually end up feeling like I have to prove my love again. Which I know is not about me, but I can't help but feel a bit distrusted when that happens.

I referenced how they said they wanted to be in my life and asked what that looked like, and they said it looks like spending time together in person. Last year they were really impossible to plan with and I sort of expected a "not now, but sometime, eventually..." which would never actually happen, but they didn't make any backing out disclaimer-y comments! they seemed quite certain of what they wanted! and we made a plan to spend time together. Tomorrow.

I'm excited to be reconnecting with someone that I have a spirit connection with. When I say spirit connection, I mean I can feel what they are feeling. When they tell me something they don't mean, I can feel the truth anyway. When they're upset, I feel it as if it were my own emotion many times even if I'm not involved in the situation at all. When they're thinking of me, I can feel it. It works whenever I am open to it whether we're around each other or not. I have this kind of connection with Topaz and I have had it with Hannah and Kylei and I had moments of it with others. Having this kind of magic in my life really matters to me and I always grow by leaps and bounds through being close to someone who is my spirit kin. And it is just such a relief to be with someone who I have both strong intuitive understanding of through a spirit connection AND strong logical understanding of through a mind connection. That has only happened before with Topaz and Hannah. I usually have to work so hard to understand people and I'm constantly second-guessing. Such a relief to just know.

I know some of y'all are like "why are you like this!? will you ever learn?? you silly creature tsk tsk" and to that I answer magic is rare and I'm gonna suffer anyway because this world is an endless crawl over broken glass and acidic shit. *shrugs* if I'm gonna survive I have to take magic where I can find it.


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belenen: (challenging)
local burners, let's build sustainable year-round community. 3-10 days per year doesn't work.
icon: "challenging (photo of me lifting one eyebrow and slightly squinting my eyes, wearing "Red Queen" makeup: searingly red lips, darkened pointed eyebrows, black eyeliner, deep red & black eyeshadow accented with gold & silver, and black-outlined silver hearts & diamonds with red shadows on my cheeks)"

At least three friends who I think of as burners (people who attend Alchemy or Euphoria or other Burning Man events) have expressed a similar dissatisfaction with the way that burns are less and less community and more and more conspicuous consumption. We want burners to put resources toward building sustainable year-round community rather than dumping so much money and effort into a few days a year. It's highly reminiscent of Christmas-and-Easter Christians who make a big damn deal twice a year but don't bring the principles they supposedly care about into their daily lives.


Even the poor burners I know usually end up spending at least $150 on tickets and food and water and supplies, and it is easily two or three times that for the more well-off burners. (that's just regional burns: don't get me started on Burning Man) Each year most burners seem to upgrade something they bring, with the result that long-time burners have invested hundreds of dollars over time and there is a significant difference in 'burner class' even among people who have similar income levels. This effect heightens the seniority effect, so that one has to invest for multiple years with increasingly luxurious accessories to be treated as if one belongs.

When I first started going to Georgia burns they were only five years old. Five years later, the landscape has changed radically. Instead of a bunch of little tents with a few shared spaces, lots of camps have infrastructure they bring. This has the effect of making camps very insular; instead of going from place to place enjoying various shared spaces, most spaces are fairly self-contained. Most of the resources seem to me to be going to making one's home camp more and more elaborate. I don't think there is anything wrong with that in theory, but in practice, it reduces community. If all giving was meant to happen in a shared space, how different would that look? how much more would people leave their own little bubble?

And at this point you look 'uncool' if all you have is a tiny tent. In the absence of vibrant shared spaces (not private 'shared' spaces that actually function as the living rooms of the camp that 'shares' them) being poor means being alone. I think all shared spaces should be separate from sleep spaces -- this would not only reduce the effects of class, but it would allow people to have quiet space away from partying when they slept.

If I was going to a Georgia burn for the first time this year, I would have felt like my class, my lack of money, made me unable to participate. I was able to borrow a tent, but if not, what then? Do people contribute to any kind of a shared sleeping space? Tents are expensive, especially ones that have enough space to breathe. People are constantly upgrading -- what happens to the old tents? Couldn't they be kept communally and lent on a by-need basis to people who don't have them? There are just so many ways that class cuts in.

There are some other large issues with burns but right now I'm just discussing the community aspects. I'm not ready to try to make the local burns better; I'm ready to take the principles outside of burns.


How much more nourishing would it be to have community in a continual way rather than periods of famine broken up by glut? How much more true to the principles of civic responsibility, participation, and communal effort to be building community at home, taking responsibility for taking care of each other, and doing actual work to build something lasting? How much more true to the principles of gifting, decommodification, and immediacy to invest in each other, here and now, rather than buying needs and luxuries for a three-day party once or twice a year?

We need accountable, accessible, growth-and-healing focused community. I am ready to build this. We need to find a gathering space that everyone can get to relatively easily, then bring together everyone who wants to build real community and have a brainstorming session. We need to decide what we want it to look like and what minimum things we need to keep momentum, and what people can contribute. We need to set shared goals and values, as well as safe space boundaries and how to handle violations of those.

I'm writing my set of wants and ideas now, but will post that separately because this is already long.


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belenen: (garrulous)
on 'enabling' abuse:
icon: "garrulous(a photo of my lips with the skin greyed out and the lips overlaid with a green and blue fractal pattern)"

Most people don't REALLY have a choice about enabling because you have to 1) realize it is happening and 2) have enough resources to change it and 3) realize you CAN change it in order to actually have a choice. None of these things are easy in a world that pretends love = self-sacrifice! It's not just your own preconception that has to change, you have to manage to throw off the expectations of the entire world. It's a lot.

People are forced into enabling. It's something to avoid when you can, but in my mind it is not at all something to feel guilty about.


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belenen: (disassociative)
prompt 2: how I cope with depression
Prompt from [livejournal.com profile] lifeofmendel: When you're feeling depressed, what do you do to cope with it?

It depends. If it is a chemical depression I go to the psychiatrist (at least, when I have that luxury due to being in college). If it's SAD, I get more sunlight, and try to be in nature more, and surround myself with bright colors and stay warm (layers, heaters, slippers). If it's trauma-based I go to a therapist (again, if I have the opportunity; if not, I just write and/or talk about it a lot). If it's exhaustion based I quit every unnecessary obligation and stay home a lot (but not more than 2 days at a time because that starts a cycle of hiding). So I suppose the first step is figuring out where it is coming from.

I make plans to do things that I logically know should make me happy even if I don't want to do them or don't have faith they will work, and do things on this list of things that help me cope when I'm having a hard time. Distraction is very important, because usually the depression has a time limit, and if I can be distracted, I can save up energy to actually work on things, instead of getting beaten down by every minute of consciousness.

Probably the biggest one is to tell people I'm depressed, and how they can help if they feel like it (see the list I linked). This is really important because the worst part of being depressed for me is feeling like I won't be able to connect with people anymore, and that everyone will abandon me for being no fun. The fun-based friends are pretty much out of my life at this point so I know logically that this isn't going to happen, but if I don't tell anyone I'm depressed, people won't realize that I would like them to reach out, and it will look like I am being abandoned even if I am not.


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belenen: (artistic)
creative flourishing / memory / my creation is in inverse proportion to my depression.
I've been creating a lot more art (making fractals and editing my photos), sharing it on flickr and deviantart and tumblr; it feels AMAZING to be sharing my creations again. I've also been making mix CDs for people which is a big damn deal because instead of starting a creative project, doing a few and then getting burnt out, I actually finished the first set and offered to add people to the list! The second set isn't done yet but I am motivated to do it still. And I've been sending out postcards to scold my homophobic ex-church and to show love to my friends. And I actually reached out to new people on LJ in an effort to build a home here again (hi people!). It's weird to have an active friends list all of a sudden, even weirder that it's all strangers. I think the last time I added new people had to have been at least two years ago. I hope at least some of these new connections turn into friendships because I know that is what will most help me to write. And while I am enjoying making visual art, I need to be writing. I need it because it is my memory, my sense of self.

I wish I had a better memory but if I didn't have livejournal and photos, I would remember so little of my life. It's like my memory is 2D and I have to see something flat for it to be saved in my mind -- I can't even remember people's faces unless I have seen a photo of them and then I only remember the photo. I find that pretty tragic because I love faces so much. And it's worse when someone is not okay with me taking photos -- I'll respect that but it means they don't exist as a visual in my mind. Photos taken by someone else will work, but they feel like borrowed memories, like a memory of seeing someone through a window while I stand outside.

Anyway, this creativity is so wonderful to me, I hold it like a kitten to my chest. It's such a relief because it has been so long since I had the energy to do this. There were five months last year -- including four in a row -- when I took NO PHOTOS AT ALL. More than a month where I take no photos is dangerous, because I have to be intensely depressed for that to happen. I look back and feel sad for myself, lost thing that I was. Also I think that I need to live alone for as long as possible, because it's so freeing to be able to just go spend a day alone if I need to, and no one questions it or gets hurt by it, that's just the default. I have so much more energy when it isn't being spent on daily managing of other people's feelings, and since I am currently not at all good at resisting the pull to do that, I need to avoid situations of temptation.
sounds: Under Byen - 8 | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , ,


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belenen: (interconnectedness)
relationship updates: Topaz, Abby, Arizona, Firekat, Aurilion, Kylei, etc, self, Hannah
At intimacy practice one of the things I talked about was about how Topaz and I haven't had much time together since I've been working and ze's been in a constant swamp of stress for at least six weeks, through work and family obligations. A few days after that we had a conflict over some misunderstanding and we didn't have time to heal it right away which felt HORRIBLE. The next day we had long talks over text and agreed to have just quiet healing time and not discuss our relationship, and I think that has sort of kept on going, which makes me a little nervous. I'm not sure that that is accurate because it all feels good between us, I just don't feel resolved on the tangled worries that Topaz was having that might or might not include our relationship changing. I miss time with Topaz so much, real time where we focus on each other and explore life. I have maintained my own internal health though, instead of trying to fix everything and spending all of myself on it. I give what I can and also take time for myself.

Abby and Arizona and Trevor all moved out of state and I was feeling not only sad that they're so far away, but also worried that I wouldn't have enough open/honest people in my life and wouldn't be able to find more. I feel reassured after last week's intimacy practice, because there were three newbies who all participated fully. I felt so honored that they all opened up so much, and also felt encouraged that our friendships would become lasting ones.

I've spent time with friends (Aaron, Laure, Taz, Camellia) who had all been on my 'list of people to invest time in' which is a fantastic development as it means I have actual energy for more than survival! And I've had really positive interactions with Aurilion, including a conversation that made me realize that (as Aurilion put it) ze wasn't ready to claim zir agency when we were together, and is coming into true ownership of zir life now. I don't know what that means for us, but it is really good news for zir. Also I randomly messaged Viv tonight and exchanged updated contact info; hopefully we can reconnect. Also I skyped with Firekat and with Abby, which made them feel much more within reach. I feel like I am much more of a person when I have active connections. I feel a strong need for a local heart connection, and I'm trailing out little energetic tendrils looking for that.

I feel like Kylei and I are finally getting to a good place; I'm beginning to feel affection for zir again. It's pretty bizarre how I get totally numb -- I guess it's my psyche's way of saying "no really, if you give one more speck of energy you're gonna die, so I'm gonna make you stop caring." I remember this happening with Hannah when we broke up after our short romance, and how it was scary as fuck. At least with Kylei I knew it would be temporary, but I also know if I try to rush it it will be completely counterproductive. But hugs feel better, and I am encouraged to know that the stasis has ended and the recovery has begun.

My relationship with myself is blossoming right now, as I'm editing and sharing photos (on dA and tumblr and flickr), writing and crafting, reading and organizing, listening to lots of music at the rate of about 2-3 new albums a month. I'm really happy at my self-kindness and pleased that I haven't sacrificed my relationship with myself for other things that I want.

I miss Hannah so much. I feel hopelessly out of touch; I keep trying but haven't managed at all lately and I feel sad and a little hurt about it. But I'm saving, and hoping that ze can come visit me this December.


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belenen: (wanderlust)
relationship updates: Topaz, Hannah, Abby, Aurilion, Adi, Kylei, depression, exes with strong needs
With Topaz, things have been quite different because now we're spending a lot more time apart as we're both working. That plus spending time with Topaz' friends and family and my friends (and recently, family) there's just not a lot of time we get just the two of us, and since Topaz doesn't get much down time, a lot of that time is spent on distraction things like shows/movies, or on maintenance things like cleaning/laundry/gardening. It means I miss zir a lot more, even when we are together, but we still connect deeply and often. One thing I've noticed is that ze is low spoons a lot of the time now, but so far that hasn't gone sour; Topaz is pretty good about not taking zir stress out on me. I miss zir such a lot though.

I've been talking to Hannah more which is infinitely relieving but also full of missing. I haven't seen zir in five fucking years, it hurts, I MISS ZIR SO MUCH. But video chat is more satisfying than text chat and we both have the appropriate tools for it now, so at least I get to see zir expressions and hear zir laugh and see zir cuteness. I need zir to come visit me. I'm gonna start scraping some savings together for it.

I've been spending more time with Abby also, which is bittersweet as ze's leaving at the end of this month and won't move back for years, possibly never. I feel like we were together at a time that didn't work because we both needed to learn things and I'm sad that I don't get the chance to try it now, probably never.

Aurilion has been writing me letters and we've been texting occasionally, which is tenuous as always but feels good because having zir absent from my life always feels like a loss.

Adi I haven't seen for ages and haven't had a real conversation with in months. Ze's dealing with work and chronic pain. I hope the situation gets better for zir and I hope we manage to be close. I don't feel like that will happen anytime soon though, which means that I don't feel motivated to initiate.

Kylei I haven't seen much either. Last time we hung out we had a weird post-breakup conversation where ze assigned me some blame that I felt was completely situational (if I do my best and so do you, it's no one's fault). I feel like that happens whenever we don't talk for a while -- I become this bad person in zir mind. I know Kylei was hurt by the breakup but I am confident that I wasn't cruel or careless at all. I don't feel like I can start a fresh connection with Kylei until ze is no longer upset with me about breaking up with zir. But I want to keep in touch enough to tell when/if that happens.

Overall I feel like I have little ability to increase connection with people I already know due to physical or emotional distance, and finding new people is so hard. But I miss feeling more connected.

My depression is improving -- I'm able to give and be supportive without it instantly draining me every time, though I don't have anywhere near the capacity I do when I'm healthy. I've gotten pretty sensitive to when I need to stop, which I hope is a new skill and not just a function of the depression or meds.

I've been thinking a lot about some previous relationships. There's a certain level of need that I cannot handle (especially when I'm depressed), particularly when the person in question wants to meet most of that need with me. Maybe at some point I'll be able to set boundaries and keep them but until I can say "no, get your need met elsewhere, leave me alone until you're less desperate" I need to just not be entangled with people in that situation. Because I want to be able to do all the things and I will just do them without considering until I'm near death from exhaustion. I need to be able to stop myself from taking responsibility for other people's happiness, even when they are actively wanting me to take it.
sounds: Austra - The Noise | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , , ,


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belenen: (bel bites happy apple hannah)
moment of lingering happiness <3
I just talked to Hannah! and it was so nourishing that I'm buzzing from it, feeling a lingering happiness, which hasn't happened in SO LONG. It's been at least three weeks since I felt suicidal (which is a relief) and I haven't had any crying jags in like two weeks, but this is the first time I've felt a lingering glow of happiness in at least five months. And happiness feels more real when it lasts longer than the event itself. I feel so good right now. Hannah and I talked about how we build each others faith and that was just a small moment in the conversation but it was so good to feel that resonate, to feel connate. I'm recovering from depression!

I'm sure it helps that I feel like I will be able to get a job and survive, which has been a giant question mark in my head until today. Interview in the morning!

I love you, all my darlings <3 It's so good to feel that affection for the world again.
sounds: Florence + the Machine - Kiss With a Fist | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , ,


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belenen: (healing)
trueself emerging / still depressed / progression of relationship w Topaz / poly? / ethics of desire
Topaz makes me feel more myself. I feel in touch with my badassness. I feel able to do all the scary things, I feel able to explore, I feel like nothing is too big, I feel like I can write and paint and create. I feel happy, connected, alive, nourished, seen, loved.

At the same time my exhaustion and depression are never far away. I feel my life is like traveling on narrow ledges between pits, and I can never go fast because I might slip. And most of the time I'm okay, if a little wobbly sometimes, but all it takes is the merest bump and boom, I'm over the edge and in the pit. Being nourished means that the pits are a little shallower and I can get out of them a bit faster, but the more often I have to recover the more exhausted I get, and the more exhausted I am the deeper the pits grow as well as the harder they are to deal with at all. I just want the ledges to widen, I want to be able to re-balance when I get bumped instead of falling. How long will this take? What do I need to do? more rest, more self-care, yes. How much of this is chemical? Am I hoping in vain for ledges to widen when they could only do so with medical help?

My relationship with Topaz is barely 2 and a half months old, and it's already where I was with Kylei after 9 months and Hannah after our first visit and where none of my other relationships have gone (including my 8-year marriage). We have a significant amount of minor but very emotional conflict, which I think we handle pretty well, and I'm amazed to see such rapid increase of skill. And yet some of the baby-new steps were just skipped -- we haven't actually negotiated our relationship. That's so strange and we've been intending to do it but we're so in harmony so much of the time that I actually forget about it (which has never happened to me before). And I know it is a wise thing to do and we have intended to do it but just haven't yet.

And Topaz is new to poly and I am new to this feeling of not really wanting to spend time with anyone else, and actively wanting to spend all my time with one person. For a while I was wondering if I had turned monogamous -- and that idea didn't even scare me. I'm starting to feel desire to spend time with other people, but it's slow and small (about once a week I'd like to spend 2-3 hours in one-on-one time with someone other than Topaz). I think it will be a while yet before I have any desire to build with someone other than Topaz, and I don't know how intensely it will return.

The only reasons I want to negotiate a poly relationship rather than a monogamous one is 1) I don't like the idea of prescriptive exclusivity 2) I don't want to take romantic aspects out of my other connections. I think going forward my 'rules' are going to be very different. I used to spend a shitton of energy trying to balance my relationships and make sure everyone felt equally loved and felt like they had a fair amount of my time. I don't EVER want to do that again. I want to follow desire. I want people in my life who understand that a 'fair' amount is an amount that is desired by both people. I want very clear statements of desire always. I do not want anyone to ever feel entitled to my time because that is how I end up wandering on narrow ledges between sharp slippery ditches; that is how I end up feeling completely unvalued and like nothing I do is ever good enough. That is how I end up spending every speck of energy I have and getting net-zero nourishment from my connections.

I want an ethics of desire. I want people to spend time with me only, ever, because they desire to spend time with ME, and I want clear communication about that. I want people to give to me their love and their energy and their bodies only, ever, because they desire to. And I want to be with people who desire to give as much as they want to get. I would rather be completely alone than have someone give to me out of obligation. I would rather push people away than watch myself give to them out of obligation.


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belenen: (progressing)
important events in 2011 / becoming an effective catalyst for the change I want to see in the world


2011 was a whirlwind of growth and renewal; looking back, I cannot believe how much I've changed and how much my life has changed. I feel like I wouldn't even recognize my year-ago self. And yet so much has changed since the turn of the year... exponential change. I'm so much more fierce, nourished, confident, and aware than last year. I've created the sources for art, creativity, and intimacy that I want; I've found avenues for developing change; I've started stripping away the fear that blocked me from being a catalyst for equality.

In 2011 I gained a much deeper understanding of oppression, both historically and in its current manifestations; Kyle and I went through so many shifts, deepening our relationship and creating positive ways of managing conflict; Kyle became a feminist/equalist; I met lots of important new people; Kyle and I started doing energy work regularly on ourselves and each other; I was in continuous growth and needed rest which I didn't know how to take, so throughout the year I had several depressions and learned how to notice when I needed rest; I started hosting crafty parties! and now have a source of amazing creation in my life ♥; I met the Angel Oak, participated in a TreeSpirit shoot, and had so many incredible magical experiences with Kyle in Charleston; I realized my intersexedness in a profound way and began living it, though not sharing the details of meaning with folk (and it's still too scary to write about though I hope that will change soon); I experienced my first burn, Euphoria, and loved it -- then experienced my second, Alchemy, and did not like it; Aurilion and I had several bursts of intense connection; I fell in love with Abby and we started dating, quickly moving into a time-committed relationship; Arizona and I started dating again; Kyle and Adi started dating; I became part of the formation of a queer group on campus; I sortakinda dated Eanox for a short time; I had my first successful anti-oppression experience and felt thrilled with the possibilities of further action; I went to Transcending Boundaries with Kyle; I started forming tribe (a truly interconnected group of people all of whom were building connection with each other).

important events in 2011 )


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belenen: (ecstatic)
important events in 2010 / overwhelming change, desire, and passion wrapped in community
a drawing titled "Adolescence" by Norman Lindsay
& a fractal titled "Conception" by sideoutman:



2010 was such a huge year that I'm intimidated by the idea of trying to sum it up, but combining "Conception" and "Adolescence" is a good start. The fractal is expressive of a coiled, freshly-created energy and purpose, which I certainly conceived in 2010. The drawing (oh Norman Lindsay I love you <3) is full of exploration and communication and relating. I see myself in quite a few of the characters, and the harpies and sphinxes with their worshipful open faces speak to me of turning lack and mystery into love and knowledge. The horned characters make me especially happy, as the presence of Pan in my life this year has been quiet but oh-so-profound.

Last January I declared 2010 the year of passion, and oh GOD/DESS yes it was! both good and bad kinds. It started off with a BANG -- hate (which I hadn't felt in years) and fury (over the ex-partner), followed by a few months of stress and worry (mostly over finances), then a few days of delirious happiness (in an almost-triad with strong energetic exchange), then depression and anger (break-up pain and mistreatment), then an explosion of sheer joy (Arizona!) which increased (Serendipity!) and increased (Chip!) and increased (Kyle!) for two months, then contentment and productivity (living & working with Serendipity), then stress and shifting (school again! culture shock, not dating justben actively), then horrible pain (herpes AGH), then exploring/adventuring inspired by Kyle (meeting more people, going new places, having more sexperiences), then an emotional breakdown as I finally reach my coping limit (so much change! so much intensity!), then my first burn-type event!, then breaking up with Arizona, then lots of intoxication with dancing and kissing, and lots of friendship exploration (mostly in Kyle's social group).

Or, most everything I expressed gratitude for at the beginning of the year. It was DEFINITELY "filled with all the love and sex and joy and passion and boldness" that I could handle -- and I was able to handle more than I thought possible. And I certainly met more people with whom I connect deeply, and learned more about sex and the role it is to play in my life. And for the first time, I've experienced being satisfied by the amount of loving touch I get, and for the first time since the Wynnes I've felt fully understood and appreciated and accepted and desired. And I've become more comfortable sharing my art (I did photoshoots! with people I didn't know well at the time!) and became healthier. The only thing that I feel didn't increase is my understanding of my spiritual connection with nature and having my lil sis live with/near me, so those move to my 2011 presumptuous thanks :D

important events in 2010 )


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belenen: (Default)
important events in 2009 / tangled joy and pain, vibrant growth
"Curl and Tangle, Color and Thorn" by me:



This is a photo I took on a trip with Ben to Big Trees in November. It expresses the entire year to me -- the sharp pains and vibrant joys, and most of all the crazy tangled unforseeability of it. And the focus too -- not seeing far behind or much ahead. Oh, what a wild ride.

I dedicated 2009 to risk-taking (since the focus of 2008 became faith-building instead) and I feel that I fully met that goal. I practiced living in the moment, doing things because they feel right without concern for how they might turn sour; being with Viv, going to San Francisco, deciding to end my partnership with [ex], beginning a relationship with Ben, moving in with Ash, hanging out with people I didn't know well and didn't feel miraculously connected to, couchsurfing, driving a rental car. Those are all things I wouldn't have done a year ago out of a habit of thinking "but what if bad stuff happens."

This year brought me the greatest disappointment and the greatest joy I've ever experienced. It's been such a blend, every joy right next to suffering (and vice versa). This is the first year I have had local friends since I was 20, and the first time in my life I've had a sense of community, an actual CIRCLE of people whom I love and feel that I belong with. It used to be so rare that I spent time with friends that every single time was intensely noteworthy and now it has become NORMAL to me! I feel immensely rich. I get hugs at least every single week -- after YEARS of feeling like a leper because no one touched me. I speak and people listen and care and respond -- after years of having no one to talk with in person (well, no one who cared about the same things or was very interested in my thoughts). I am so profoundly grateful. Thank you Deity, thank you universe, thank you localtribe, thank you everyone and everything!

important events in 2009 )


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belenen: (powerful)
realization: I've been sad and sick and stressed -- but not depressed!
This time starting back to work has been so different. I got terribly sick on the FIRST day and have yet to have a truly healthy day at work, it's been WINTER-dark and dreadfully cold, I've had to get up early, I've been financially stressed, my car was acting up and I was worried that I might need to take zir in to get fixed, and my ex has been a shithead. And YET, and YET I've been able to live and enjoy life for times during this! Being at work with no way of distracting myself from my feelings for hours isn't torture! Even when I only get 7 hours of sleep I'm okay for a FULL DAY! Instead of nearly all joy being blocked out, I can actually receive it -- even when I'm upset!

Oh my God! It's so different to live without depression! It's so amazing to live without that weight on my shoulders! I still count my spoons pretty carefully because I do not want to get into a down spiral, but even when I think I've used them up I find more. God! It's so different! And looking back, I feel so validated. I was legitimately suffering, not just lazy or 'shy' or 'quiet' or unwilling to be happy. Not being depressed makes general-living so EASY and NATURAL, and recovery from hurt is so much faster. Wow. And if anti-depressants give people-with-depression a sample of this, medication suddenly makes sense to me in a whole new way! to have hope that one day you won't have to hoard every drop of your energy because the littlest things take so much out of you. I had no idea that normal people lived like this.

I am lucky, I know, with so many people who love me ♥ but I've been that kind of lucky before, and it didn't nourish me like this because depression was blocking it. Oh thank the universe for healing.


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belenen: (confused)
violet-spirit connection w Hannah and Nick / day of immense joy as a triad / brokenhearted breakup
One of the most momentous parts of the visit was getting to know Nick. When ze visited last year, I didn't really get to know zir that well because Hannah and I were both in such a bad place, and ze was less open (I think) and I was less spiritually aware. Even then we got along really well, but this time I saw zir in a much clearer way. I realized that ze is a violet spirit, like Hannah and I, and I connected with zir so deeply! This is only the second time I have met another (open) violet spirit in person, and it is so different from when I met Hannah -- I knew Hannah really well before spending time in person, and I knew Nick very little. My connection with Hannah 'could' be explained away by our openness and honesty and the many many hours we've spent in conversation, but the connection with Nick was just there -- experiencing that really gave me a lot of faith.

After a few days of settling in, Hannah and Nick and I had this unity and understanding that was fucking incredible. It amazed me just to experience the near-telepathy with Hannah, but to experience it in a triangle, in person, added a whole new dimension. If one person was upset for any reason, both others would sense it and ask about it -- so validating! so loving! We talked constantly about both the deeply meaningful and the decidedly meaningless. (we have very similar humor: gutter-potty, I'd call it :D) I became open in a whole new way, experiencing the culture of their bond. They have a habit of asking "how are you feeling?" constantly -- I'm so unused to being asked that question that I had a hard time knowing what to say at first, but after a few days it became easy and I realized so much more about myself. I became so much more aware of my own feelings, and aware of the fact that I am used to ignoring them unless they are intense. I had no idea I repressed so much, though it makes sense when I consider the fact that my only nearby friend is my partner and (until recently) ze never asked anything about me. (Fortunately that has changed now ♥)

After about a week, Hannah told me that ze was finding it hard to balance zir time/energy/love between the two of us and said that ze thought it would be easier if Nick and I were also together romantically. Ze said the last part in a sort of playful way so I didn't take zir seriously then, just discussed ways of helping the balance. But my heart leapt at the idea, and a few days later a strange series of events (to be discussed in another post) led me to confessing that I wanted to be with both of them. They discussed it and decided that they wanted that also, so I talked with my partner (after a day of trying to reach zir) and ze said ze was fine with it. Then we had to wait another day because Hannah is not yet out as poly to zir mom, and at last we had a day just the three of us.

I have never experienced anything so beautiful in my life )


I'm falling apart / I'm barely breathing
with a broken heart / that's still beating
in the pain / there is healing
in your name / I find meaning
so I'm holding on
I'm barely holding on to you


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belenen: (confused)
really long entry about Hannah and Nick
Just diving in...

One of the most momentous parts of the visit was getting to know Nick. When ze visited last year, I didn't really get to know zir that well because Hannah and I were both in such a bad place, and ze was less open (I think) and I was less spiritually aware. Even then we got along really well, but this time I saw zir in a much clearer way. I realized that ze is a violet spirit, like Hannah and I, and I connected with zir so deeply! This is only the second time I have met another (open) violet spirit in person, and it is so different from when I met Hannah -- I knew Hannah really well before spending time in person, and I knew Nick very little. My connection with Hannah 'could' be explained away by our openness and honesty and the many many hours we've spent in conversation, but the connection with Nick was just there -- experiencing that really gave me a lot of faith.

After a few days of settling in, Hannah and Nick and I had this unity and understanding that was fucking incredible. It amazed me just to experience the near-telepathy with Hannah, but to experience it in a triangle, in person, added a whole new dimension. If one person was upset for any reason, both others would sense it and ask about it -- so validating! so loving! We talked constantly about both the deeply meaningful and the decidedly meaningless. (we have very similar humor: gutter-potty, I'd call it :D) I became open in a whole new way, experiencing the culture of their bond. They have a habit of asking "how are you feeling?" constantly -- I'm so unused to being asked that question that I had a hard time knowing what to say at first, but after a few days it became easy and I realized so much more about myself. I became so much more aware of my own feelings, and aware of the fact that I am used to ignoring them unless they are intense. I had no idea I repressed so much, though it makes sense when I consider the fact that my only nearby friend is my partner and (until recently) ze never asked anything about me. (Fortunately that has changed now ♥)

After about a week, Hannah told me that ze was finding it hard to balance zir time/energy/love between the two of us and said that ze thought it would be easier if Nick and I were also together romantically. Ze said the last part in a sort of playful way so I didn't take zir seriously then, just discussed ways of helping the balance. But my heart leapt at the idea, and a few days later a strange series of events (to be discussed in another post) led me to confessing that I wanted to be with both of them. They discussed it and decided that they wanted that also, so I talked with my partner (after a day of trying to reach zir) and ze said ze was fine with it. Then we had to wait another day because Hannah is not yet out as poly to zir mom, and at last we had a day just the three of us.

I have never experienced anything so beautiful in my life )


I'm falling apart / I'm barely breathing
with a broken heart / that's still beating
in the pain / there is healing
in your name / I find meaning
so I'm holding on
I'm barely holding on to you


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belenen: (healing)
healing with Hannah -- misunderstandings caused by differing definitions for the same word
yesterday Hannah and I had this amazing conversation... We had never really talked about the stuff that happened during her visit, and somehow the topic came up. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with all of this pain which I had tried to explain away, but which of course had never really been dealt with. I felt so terrified and despairing, seeing all of these blocks between us that seemed impossible to remove. We discussed it and realized that one of the biggest hurts for me was caused by a misunderstanding: one simple word which we both understood to mean something completely different. Realizing this was such a huge relief, such a huge step towards closing the gap between us. Before this conversation, I was closing my eyes and taking a leap of faith in planning to visit her; now I'm still taking a leap of faith, but I have opened my eyes and caught a glimpse of where I will land. I feel very encouraged and much more sure that this is the right choice.

Next time I'm clashing with someone, I very much hope I remember to check definitions -- language is such a clumsy thing. The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. -- Mark Twain


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belenen: (healing)
healing with Hannah -- misunderstandings caused by differing definitions for the same word
yesterday Hannah and I had this amazing conversation... We had never really talked about the stuff that happened during her visit, and somehow the topic came up. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with all of this pain which I had tried to explain away, but which of course had never really been dealt with. I felt so terrified and despairing, seeing all of these blocks between us that seemed impossible to remove. We discussed it and realized that one of the biggest hurts for me was caused by a misunderstanding: one simple word which we both understood to mean something completely different. Realizing this was such a huge relief, such a huge step towards closing the gap between us. Before this conversation, I was closing my eyes and taking a leap of faith in planning to visit her; now I'm still taking a leap of faith, but I have opened my eyes and caught a glimpse of where I will land. I feel very encouraged and much more sure that this is the right choice.

Next time I'm clashing with someone, I very much hope I remember to check definitions -- language is such a clumsy thing. The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. -- Mark Twain


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belenen: (exuviate)
my scars -- my healed wounds -- are my greatest strengths
Missy Higgins -- Scar )


I see scars as very beautiful; they are proof of pain not only survived, but healed. Physical scars are beautiful to me, but the scars that can't be seen are the ones that truly awe me.

Scars are not wounds plus time. I don't know who came up with the idea that time heals all wounds, but that's bullshit. Time is a poor doctor; try using time to heal a broken leg. The wound might close up, but the leg will never heal properly, and will always hurt. Non-physical wounds are no different! Time can handle a minor scratch, but for a deep wound it can do no more than close the obvious gap. Allowing deep wounds to close on the surface does not bring much relief -- the slightest bump sends fresh pain searing throughout one's being.

Scars are healed wounds, hard-earned at the price of more pain than the initial wound. Cleaning it, stitching it, sometimes re-setting bones -- there is no emotional anesthesia for healing a wound. It's so much easier to leave the wound unhealed and just take emotional painkillers: work, alcohol/drugs, sex, entertainment, even caregiving. Scars are worn by those who are willing/able to suffer pain for the sake of wholeness, determined to regain the full life taken away by their wounds.

I still have unhealed wounds. Time closed them over and now they are not so easy to find, but when bumped against they make themselves felt. Some of them are so deep I am still afraid to open them up, but I will get there.

My scars are my greatest strengths. The weapons of sexual, emotional, verbal, and spiritual abuse left me with wounds of shame, self-hate, isolation, cynicism, judgment, deceit, and loneliness. But after healing -- with help from counselors who helped to cleanse and friends who helped to bind my wounds -- I am left with the scars of openness, freedom, self-love, connection, faith, compassion, honesty, and love. That which destroyed me now nourishes me. Perhaps I would have gained these things without the initial wounding -- who can know? -- but I don't think I could have felt the full scope of them if I had not started from the farthest point. I don't regret any of the wounds that gave me the opportunity to develop my beautiful scars.

LJ idol topic 9: "My Scars" ((if you liked/got something from this, please vote for me!))
connecting: , ,


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belenen: (exuviate)
my scars -- my healed wounds -- are my greatest strengths
Missy Higgins -- Scar )


I see scars as very beautiful; they are proof of pain not only survived, but healed. Physical scars are beautiful to me, but the scars that can't be seen are the ones that truly awe me.

Scars are not wounds plus time. I don't know who came up with the idea that time heals all wounds, but that's bullshit. Time is a poor doctor; try using time to heal a broken leg. The wound might close up, but the leg will never heal properly, and will always hurt. Non-physical wounds are no different! Time can handle a minor scratch, but for a deep wound it can do no more than close the obvious gap. Allowing deep wounds to close on the surface does not bring much relief -- the slightest bump sends fresh pain searing throughout one's being.

Scars are healed wounds, hard-earned at the price of more pain than the initial wound. Cleaning it, stitching it, sometimes re-setting bones -- there is no emotional anesthesia for healing a wound. It's so much easier to leave the wound unhealed and just take emotional painkillers: work, alcohol/drugs, sex, entertainment, even caregiving. Scars are worn by those who are willing/able to suffer pain for the sake of wholeness, determined to regain the full life taken away by their wounds.

I still have unhealed wounds. Time closed them over and now they are not so easy to find, but when bumped against they make themselves felt. Some of them are so deep I am still afraid to open them up, but I will get there.

My scars are my greatest strengths. The weapons of sexual, emotional, verbal, and spiritual abuse left me with wounds of shame, self-hate, isolation, cynicism, judgment, deceit, and loneliness. But after healing -- with help from counselors who helped to cleanse and friends who helped to bind my wounds -- I am left with the scars of openness, freedom, self-love, connection, faith, compassion, honesty, and love. That which destroyed me now nourishes me. Perhaps I would have gained these things without the initial wounding -- who can know? -- but I don't think I could have felt the full scope of them if I had not started from the farthest point. I don't regret any of the wounds that gave me the opportunity to develop my beautiful scars.

LJ idol topic 9: "My Scars" ((if you liked/got something from this, please vote for me!))
connecting: , ,


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belenen: (progressing)
wounded people hurt others, but giving can heal / news -- juvenile offenders create & give blankets
I firmly believe that the only reason anyone ever hurts someone else is because they have been hurt. It's a cycle of pain -- we all have brokenness, and our brokenness causes us to hurt others. For this reason, I think it disturbing that we lock people away (which causes them MORE brokenness) and don't do anything to heal them before releasing them into society again. It's treating the symptom, not the cause. I understand that it would be terribly costly to give them help, and that it would be unfair to all of the broken people who have not committed crimes and cannot afford help -- but at the same time, the most compassionate, giving, wise people are the ones who have been deeply broken, done hurtful things to themselves and others, and then been healed. If we truly worked on healing the broken, we would have an incredible resource of wise people to learn from.

We might not be able to afford counseling, at least at first, but we could help heal the broken by giving them the chance to serve. It is such a healing experience to give, and I think many broken people feel that they have nothing to give, and so do not experience this healing. When you give to someone, you are opening the doors of your heart -- then those same doors are open to receiving gratitude and love. For a person who has been rejected by society and placed into jail (or detention), feeling a positive connection with people is absolutely vital. Someone who feels they are going to continue being mistreated and distrusted is not going to take the risk of growing, of finding better ways to live, but someone who feels that there is at least a chance of them being loved and accepted just might be willing to take that risk. We need to show people in prison that they do have a chance of being a productive, accepted, loved member of society.



"Juvenile offenders start life over with a crochet hook"


These people have attempted murder, destroyed people's property, sold drugs, etc. But given the chance to create and to give to others, something changes in them. It's not perfect, of course, but it is a large improvement over the norm: once released, 85 percent stay out -- far up from the national average of 50 percent. The article describes one person's experience in particular: "To see his eyes well up with emotion about the smiles his blankets have brought a needy elderly man and a toddler in a day-care center is to witness genuine tenderness." That person, Branden, was in for attempted murder, and for the first year and a half of his time there refused to join the program. Now he has created more blankets than anyone else, and speaks with real hope about his future.

I hope that people take notice and use the power of giving to change the lives of all inmates, not just the young ones. I believe all people deserve that chance.

((note: I found this article through the Good News Network, a site that collects positive news from other publications. Anyone can submit, so if you regularly read the news, please submit any positive news you find! You can also add the site's feed on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] good_news_net))

LJ idol topic 4: "Current Events" ((feel free to vote here if you get something from this post))


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belenen: (progressing)
wounded people hurt others, but giving can heal / news -- juvenile offenders create & give blankets
I firmly believe that the only reason anyone ever hurts someone else is because they have been hurt. It's a cycle of pain -- we all have brokenness, and our brokenness causes us to hurt others. For this reason, I think it disturbing that we lock people away (which causes them MORE brokenness) and don't do anything to heal them before releasing them into society again. It's treating the symptom, not the cause. I understand that it would be terribly costly to give them help, and that it would be unfair to all of the broken people who have not committed crimes and cannot afford help -- but at the same time, the most compassionate, giving, wise people are the ones who have been deeply broken, done hurtful things to themselves and others, and then been healed. If we truly worked on healing the broken, we would have an incredible resource of wise people to learn from.

We might not be able to afford counseling, at least at first, but we could help heal the broken by giving them the chance to serve. It is such a healing experience to give, and I think many broken people feel that they have nothing to give, and so do not experience this healing. When you give to someone, you are opening the doors of your heart -- then those same doors are open to receiving gratitude and love. For a person who has been rejected by society and placed into jail (or detention), feeling a positive connection with people is absolutely vital. Someone who feels they are going to continue being mistreated and distrusted is not going to take the risk of growing, of finding better ways to live, but someone who feels that there is at least a chance of them being loved and accepted just might be willing to take that risk. We need to show people in prison that they do have a chance of being a productive, accepted, loved member of society.



"Juvenile offenders start life over with a crochet hook"


These people have attempted murder, destroyed people's property, sold drugs, etc. But given the chance to create and to give to others, something changes in them. It's not perfect, of course, but it is a large improvement over the norm: once released, 85 percent stay out -- far up from the national average of 50 percent. The article describes one person's experience in particular: "To see his eyes well up with emotion about the smiles his blankets have brought a needy elderly man and a toddler in a day-care center is to witness genuine tenderness." That person, Branden, was in for attempted murder, and for the first year and a half of his time there refused to join the program. Now he has created more blankets than anyone else, and speaks with real hope about his future.

I hope that people take notice and use the power of giving to change the lives of all inmates, not just the young ones. I believe all people deserve that chance.

((note: I found this article through the Good News Network, a site that collects positive news from other publications. Anyone can submit, so if you regularly read the news, please submit any positive news you find! You can also add the site's feed on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] good_news_net))

LJ idol topic 4: "Current Events" ((feel free to vote here if you get something from this post))


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belenen: (disassociative)
what terrifies me: rape
Bugs, snakes, and rodents don't usually bother me (though a certain bug grosses me out to the point of nausea, and I have a violent hatred of roaches); I've always liked bats; heights are a little scary but nowhere near terrifying; storms are exciting and invigorating; closed-in spaces are cozy; airplanes, tunnels, and bridges are fun; I love crowds; and speaking in public is something I've daydreamed about since I was a kid. I don't have what Forbes.com calls the most common fears, but I'm not fearless.

I have a fear that many people experience but few ever talk about. I fear rape.

possibly triggering: not graphic, but sensitive )

I combat this fear by reminding myself that I have healed so much, and that others can heal too; that the wounds can be turned to scars and stop hurting. I focus on sending out love so that I can help stop the cycle of hurt people hurting other people, and I do what I can to increase awareness and eradicate apathy. I concentrate on my belief we all chose to come to this life, chose to go through suffering and destruction so that we could grow. Most of all, I remember that even though the rest of us can be wounded or even destroyed, the spirit is eternally incorruptible; it can be hidden away or silenced, but it cannot be harmed. The truest part of us is unbreakable.

LJ idol topic 2: "What terrifies me." ((please vote for me here!))


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belenen: (disassociative)
what terrifies me: rape
Bugs, snakes, and rodents don't usually bother me (though a certain bug grosses me out to the point of nausea, and I have a violent hatred of roaches); I've always liked bats; heights are a little scary but nowhere near terrifying; storms are exciting and invigorating; closed-in spaces are cozy; airplanes, tunnels, and bridges are fun; I love crowds; and speaking in public is something I've daydreamed about since I was a kid. I don't have what Forbes.com calls the most common fears, but I'm not fearless.

I have a fear that many people experience but few ever talk about. I fear rape.

possibly triggering: not graphic, but sensitive )

I combat this fear by reminding myself that I have healed so much, and that others can heal too; that the wounds can be turned to scars and stop hurting. I focus on sending out love so that I can help stop the cycle of hurt people hurting other people, and I do what I can to increase awareness and eradicate apathy. I concentrate on my belief we all chose to come to this life, chose to go through suffering and destruction so that we could grow. Most of all, I remember that even though the rest of us can be wounded or even destroyed, the spirit is eternally incorruptible; it can be hidden away or silenced, but it cannot be harmed. The truest part of us is unbreakable.

LJ idol topic 2: "What terrifies me." ((please vote for me here!))


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belenen: (nascent)
job decision / brokenness surfacing again / new feelings about God/dess
Ben and I decided to go with cutting my hours and staying a cashier -- even though part of me wants the additional responsibility and money, I just don't think I could handle the stress of learning the ropes during the busiest time of the year. And I am totally burnt out. I feel dumb/weak/lazy for being burnt out on my job when Ben's is so much more demanding, in time and responsibility, and I feel like mine is EASY, what's wrong with me? But that is the way it is. I think part of it is that I genuinely give of myself, as much as I can, when I am working. I try to give a little positivity to every person, and it's become a habit that I don't want to break, but it's draining. Cutting hours should help that a lot.

And I think the other reason I'm burnt out is that I've gotten past my healing-waiting period and it's time to go back to counseling, delve into the next layer. Things are starting to come up again -- I think my dreams are a symptom of that. I've been thinking about it for months and actually contacted the office about a month ago, but the lady who was sponsoring me (God/dess bless her) has moved and is no longer sponsoring people. So when I go back I'll have to pay... and they'll probably help some, but eeshk it's yet another expense -- it may have to wait until Ben goes into the management training program in a few months.

I've been feeling things shift within me and realign, it's very odd. Yesterday I prayed in a way I haven't for... at least a year. I dropped all my questions and stepped out into air... I didn't even know that was possible. I've been trying to reach around my questions and find the Being that I know, the one who loves me, the only reason I survived my otherwise empty childhood. I used to be able to reach right out and feel Hir heart, with little effort. S/he was right there! I think I need to go back and reread my old journals and poems, see those paths that I somehow lost, and learn how to find similar ones now. I needed to leave them in order to work on my questions, in order to break off all the lies that had nearly strangled my love for Hir -- the lies that S/he is vengeful, harshly judgemental, distant, demanding, uncaring, all-powerful but unwilling to make any effort to protect me... all the things I saw my parents as.

I had a dream about Hir way back in January... so real, so sacred to me that I posted it privately -- I didn't understand it at the time but it gave me the deepest, most loving peace I have ever experienced. I'm still very insecure in my new vision of Hir as a genderless Being, so that post will probably stay private until I have a clearer belief. I have felt new energy just sensing this beginning. ♥

...Secret by The Benjamin Gate...
oh hold me and heal me
keep my heart in your hands


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belenen: (nascent)
job decision / brokenness surfacing again / new feelings about God/dess
Ben and I decided to go with cutting my hours and staying a cashier -- even though part of me wants the additional responsibility and money, I just don't think I could handle the stress of learning the ropes during the busiest time of the year. And I am totally burnt out. I feel dumb/weak/lazy for being burnt out on my job when Ben's is so much more demanding, in time and responsibility, and I feel like mine is EASY, what's wrong with me? But that is the way it is. I think part of it is that I genuinely give of myself, as much as I can, when I am working. I try to give a little positivity to every person, and it's become a habit that I don't want to break, but it's draining. Cutting hours should help that a lot.

And I think the other reason I'm burnt out is that I've gotten past my healing-waiting period and it's time to go back to counseling, delve into the next layer. Things are starting to come up again -- I think my dreams are a symptom of that. I've been thinking about it for months and actually contacted the office about a month ago, but the lady who was sponsoring me (God/dess bless her) has moved and is no longer sponsoring people. So when I go back I'll have to pay... and they'll probably help some, but eeshk it's yet another expense -- it may have to wait until Ben goes into the management training program in a few months.

I've been feeling things shift within me and realign, it's very odd. Yesterday I prayed in a way I haven't for... at least a year. I dropped all my questions and stepped out into air... I didn't even know that was possible. I've been trying to reach around my questions and find the Being that I know, the one who loves me, the only reason I survived my otherwise empty childhood. I used to be able to reach right out and feel Hir heart, with little effort. S/he was right there! I think I need to go back and reread my old journals and poems, see those paths that I somehow lost, and learn how to find similar ones now. I needed to leave them in order to work on my questions, in order to break off all the lies that had nearly strangled my love for Hir -- the lies that S/he is vengeful, harshly judgemental, distant, demanding, uncaring, all-powerful but unwilling to make any effort to protect me... all the things I saw my parents as.

I had a dream about Hir way back in January... so real, so sacred to me that I posted it privately -- I didn't understand it at the time but it gave me the deepest, most loving peace I have ever experienced. I'm still very insecure in my new vision of Hir as a genderless Being, so that post will probably stay private until I have a clearer belief. I have felt new energy just sensing this beginning. ♥

...Secret by The Benjamin Gate...
oh hold me and heal me
keep my heart in your hands


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belenen: (Default)
meeting SabR and Kazi / cleansing ritual for Alariya after her breakup
[livejournal.com profile] alariya already posted about this night here, and [livejournal.com profile] sabr here, and [livejournal.com profile] malignlibra here, but I want to add my own perspective (and only mutual friends can see those entries)...

[livejournal.com profile] alariya had just gotten out of a relationship -- after a long time of slowly gathering the courage to end it. I'd been waiting, hoping, waiting, hoping for it to end, after realizing some negative things about the guy she was with. The long and the short of it was, there was (unintentional but still extremely harmful) abuse, and they were mutually keeping each other from growth. I grew increasingly more disturbed by the relationship, but I knew that she wasn't ready to let go, so we'd have a talk about it and then I would tell her that she would do it when she was ready and then we'd avoid the subject altogether for a while... Finally, a few weeks ago I had one explosive wrenching conversation with her and she told me some things that helped me to understand why it was so hard for her to get out, and I think she just finally reached the point where she realized it needed to end, and realized she had the strength to do it. So the next day she ended it, but it didn't go down well with the guy and she was in a lot of pain and self-doubt.

So I decided that I wanted to do a cleansing ritual / celebration-of-Analariya -- to help her break with the past, realize the wonder of who she is, and be affirmed in the truth and bravery of her decision. I told her to invite whomever she would like, and so [livejournal.com profile] sabr and Kazi ([livejournal.com profile] malignlibra) and Cherise came over. about SabR and Kazi )

Spending time getting to know SabR and Kazi wasn't the original plan, but I think it was so meant to be. I'm really glad they came. After they left, Cherise lay down on the sofa and napped off and on, and I began the ritual. I would have been okay with everyone participating if they had wanted, but I think they'd have been too self-conscious and I was too self-conscious to 'perform' in front of watchers. It all worked out so beautifully.

I got a pillow for Alariya and had her lie down on my scarlet sheet on the floor, and I lit candles and placed them around her -- three clustered at her head, three spread at her feet, one above and to her right. I lit incense and began playing Michelle Tumes' song "Healing Waters": the end of a road that I have followed... ) As it played, I waved the incense over her, around her, covering her from head to toe, imagining the lies burning and going up in the smoke, imagining the truth wisping down and sinking deeply in. She absorbed it, but I sensed that she wasn't completely there, was still too afraid to let go. I almost did it all over again and then realized that I could instead do a series of three -- a sacred number to her.

So I had her kneel on the pillow, and set another song playing -- "Rest My Soul": be still my dreams, lay beside me ) This time I told her to concentrate on the lyrics, and I wafted the incense all around her, and chose to let her feel the change within herself when she began to cry, though I wanted to hold her -- I felt that I was an instrument and the real thing that was happening was just her spirit and God, and I didn't want to interrupt or be a distraction. When the song was over, she told me that she felt the broken edges of her spirit knitting together during the song... I was awed.

Finally, I asked her to stand, and I began a song which is to me an anthem of LIFE -- "Feel": free restraint and struggle no more! ) This song has incredibly deep meaning to me -- I want to sing it to every person and have them take the words in and LIVE, truly live. At the first chorus I lifted Alariya's arm, and she took my meaning and raised them both, defiantly, boldly, to grasp all that life has to offer, all the glories that God has given. To embrace emotion in all its terrible pain and all its healing, liberating power.

I had written words and phrases on slips of paper, intending for the four of us to draw them and copy the words/phrases from our slips of paper onto Alariya's body. After the cleansing, I went to get them and sifted them through my fingers, setting aside the last one to cling to my fingers each time until I had three. I then held them for Alariya to choose one at a time, and she chose them in the same order that I had drawn them (which I think was proof that they were exactly the right words). I had her lay down again and I wrote the words on her belly, the center of her body. They aren't the three that I would have chosen, but I think that God had special meaning in each of them for her. The words were:
"Alive"
"Unashamed"
"Honest"

And I think she is more alive, more unashamed, and more honest in the time since then than she has ever been before. ♥

Finally I had her close her eyes and hold out her arms, and I placed in them the present I had gotten for her -- a purple body pillow. I know sometimes the most lonely you feel is when you are trying to sleep, so I wanted her to have a physical reminder that she is not alone, that she is loved -- which is why I got a purple one, to represent her closest friends (who all love purple). I told her to sleep with that and remember that we love her and even if we are not with her physically, we are always there, always loving her.


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belenen: (Default)
meeting SabR and Kazi / cleansing ritual for Alariya after her breakup
[livejournal.com profile] alariya already posted about this night here, and [livejournal.com profile] sabr here, and [livejournal.com profile] malignlibra here, but I want to add my own perspective (and only mutual friends can see those entries)...

[livejournal.com profile] alariya had just gotten out of a relationship -- after a long time of slowly gathering the courage to end it. I'd been waiting, hoping, waiting, hoping for it to end, after realizing some negative things about the guy she was with. The long and the short of it was, there was (unintentional but still extremely harmful) abuse, and they were mutually keeping each other from growth. I grew increasingly more disturbed by the relationship, but I knew that she wasn't ready to let go, so we'd have a talk about it and then I would tell her that she would do it when she was ready and then we'd avoid the subject altogether for a while... Finally, a few weeks ago I had one explosive wrenching conversation with her and she told me some things that helped me to understand why it was so hard for her to get out, and I think she just finally reached the point where she realized it needed to end, and realized she had the strength to do it. So the next day she ended it, but it didn't go down well with the guy and she was in a lot of pain and self-doubt.

So I decided that I wanted to do a cleansing ritual / celebration-of-Analariya -- to help her break with the past, realize the wonder of who she is, and be affirmed in the truth and bravery of her decision. I told her to invite whomever she would like, and so [livejournal.com profile] sabr and Kazi ([livejournal.com profile] malignlibra) and Cherise came over. about SabR and Kazi )

Spending time getting to know SabR and Kazi wasn't the original plan, but I think it was so meant to be. I'm really glad they came. After they left, Cherise lay down on the sofa and napped off and on, and I began the ritual. I would have been okay with everyone participating if they had wanted, but I think they'd have been too self-conscious and I was too self-conscious to 'perform' in front of watchers. It all worked out so beautifully.

I got a pillow for Alariya and had her lie down on my scarlet sheet on the floor, and I lit candles and placed them around her -- three clustered at her head, three spread at her feet, one above and to her right. I lit incense and began playing Michelle Tumes' song "Healing Waters": the end of a road that I have followed... ) As it played, I waved the incense over her, around her, covering her from head to toe, imagining the lies burning and going up in the smoke, imagining the truth wisping down and sinking deeply in. She absorbed it, but I sensed that she wasn't completely there, was still too afraid to let go. I almost did it all over again and then realized that I could instead do a series of three -- a sacred number to her.

So I had her kneel on the pillow, and set another song playing -- "Rest My Soul": be still my dreams, lay beside me ) This time I told her to concentrate on the lyrics, and I wafted the incense all around her, and chose to let her feel the change within herself when she began to cry, though I wanted to hold her -- I felt that I was an instrument and the real thing that was happening was just her spirit and God, and I didn't want to interrupt or be a distraction. When the song was over, she told me that she felt the broken edges of her spirit knitting together during the song... I was awed.

Finally, I asked her to stand, and I began a song which is to me an anthem of LIFE -- "Feel": free restraint and struggle no more! ) This song has incredibly deep meaning to me -- I want to sing it to every person and have them take the words in and LIVE, truly live. At the first chorus I lifted Alariya's arm, and she took my meaning and raised them both, defiantly, boldly, to grasp all that life has to offer, all the glories that God has given. To embrace emotion in all its terrible pain and all its healing, liberating power.

I had written words and phrases on slips of paper, intending for the four of us to draw them and copy the words/phrases from our slips of paper onto Alariya's body. After the cleansing, I went to get them and sifted them through my fingers, setting aside the last one to cling to my fingers each time until I had three. I then held them for Alariya to choose one at a time, and she chose them in the same order that I had drawn them (which I think was proof that they were exactly the right words). I had her lay down again and I wrote the words on her belly, the center of her body. They aren't the three that I would have chosen, but I think that God had special meaning in each of them for her. The words were:
"Alive"
"Unashamed"
"Honest"

And I think she is more alive, more unashamed, and more honest in the time since then than she has ever been before. ♥

Finally I had her close her eyes and hold out her arms, and I placed in them the present I had gotten for her -- a purple body pillow. I know sometimes the most lonely you feel is when you are trying to sleep, so I wanted her to have a physical reminder that she is not alone, that she is loved -- which is why I got a purple one, to represent her closest friends (who all love purple). I told her to sleep with that and remember that we love her and even if we are not with her physically, we are always there, always loving her.


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belenen: photo of me with violet hair looking down, with a water-reflection overlay (ethereal)
ending counseling with Patricia / theophostic with Lisa / feeling God's presence / karen
I haven't been posting much about my counseling sessions, because we have a confidentiality agreement in the support group and not much has been happening in my sessions with Patricia. It's not wasted time -- but it's not very productive either. We've been on a sort of plateau for a while now, for several reasons: )

So, last session, she told me that she wants to stop having sessions with me, at least for a while. And I had to agree that that was probably the right thing to do. She suggested that Ben and I meet with Richard and Virginia for couples counseling instead -- but I really don't like the mindset Virginia has about how wives should be. She's never rude or outwardly judgemental, but I get a very judgemental vibe from her sometimes. So I don't want to do that.

But I met with Lisa (another counselor in the same practice) for a theophostic session this week, and it was amazing. Actually it was far beyond amazing, but I can't think of a word emphatic enough. It was... deeply soul-cleansing.

I should explain what 'theophostic' is. The easiest explanation is that it's the Christian version of hypnotherapy -- instead of a human leading you into your subconscious, God does, with your full consent. Basically the counselor and I pray together, and then we ask God to take me to a memory that he wants to work with and heal. And he does.

warning: some of this may be triggering for sexual abuse victims )

I began to feel an immense peace and a sweet lightness. I felt as if I was floating weightlessly, wrapped in a blanket of warm water. I felt this physically as well as with my spirit, and Lisa encouraged me to just rest in it. I saw God holding me in his lap, with my knees folded to my chest and his arms encircling me completely. I felt God's love, felt his presence! I don't think you can understand how amazing it is unless #1, you've experienced it and #2, physical affection means as much to you as it does to me. That's one of the reasons I've always had a hard time believing God loves me -- I need physical touch to feel loved.

I've felt it twice before. The first time was when I was on the brink of suicide because I could not climb out of the 'black hole of woe' that I lived in every day. That was shortly after I had begun to seek a friendship with God... it was by far my favorite experience. It felt like a waterfall of warm honey was flowing slowly over me, through me -- on the surface of my skin and in the core of my spirit. It meant so much to me, and that experience alone kept me going for a long time. The second was just a few months ago at church -- I was worshipping and I felt his presence, dancing with me. He was standing behind me with his arms wrapped around me. I tested it to see if I was just imagining it -- I switched rhythms and felt resistance, because he didn't change rhythms with me, so I delightedly went back, and danced with him.

Anyway, this time I sat there in pure comfort for I don't know how long, before slowly opening my eyes to look at Lisa, who was smiling at me. She told me to close my eyes again and ask God what he wanted me to know about that experience. So I did -- and he told me that I could feel his presence anytime I wanted, which confused me because I know I have wanted it many times and not had it. So I asked how, and he told me to take authority. I repeated this to Lisa, who told me to ask if there was more, so I did -- and he brought a verse of Psalms to my mind, "Enter into his presence with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise." Lisa told me to ask again if there was more, and he told me to empty my mind -- not to pray for people or read the bible or pour out my heart, but just think about him and invite his presence (that other stuff is separate, at least at this point).

Then Lisa prayed a sealing prayer, and we hugged and I left. Exhausted, but peaceful and still light. So incredible.
sounds: Olive: "Curious"
connecting: , , ,


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belenen: (shimmering)
becoming my true outgoing self
Lately I have been reaching out so much! )

Yvonne )

And I invited Brie (also from work) to go to bellydancing with me. That's a huge step because I'm rather private about my dancing, I hate to dance in front of people, yet I was comfortable inviting her -- and before, I was way too afraid of 'intruding' on people to actually invite them to anything. I'd think that they'd be thinking, "Ugh, who'd want to do anything with her? She's so dull/dumb/quiet!" Now, I never think that. I actually consider myself a person who is fun/interesting/worthwhile to be with. Even to Brie, who is one of those people who obviously doesn't care what anyone thinks -- she's strong and fierce and funny, and I don't consider her out of my league.

And Dani, she is such an AWESOME person. She always wears non-matching earrings (all four holes), which tells you a lot, I think! And she has this intricately pretty criss-cross scar next to her mouth, which I would compliment her on but I don't know her well enough to know if she'd take it well. I'm like Angelina in that I find scars attractive. She's crazy and relaxed and her spirit is so open. Back in the day, I'd have heroine-worshipped her from afar but never dared to even talk to her, much less show her how much I admire her! But the new me, Krista, I asked her out! And she made me feel awkward by pretending to think I was hitting on her, but I got over that really quickly, and even joked back. We're supposed to go to the local coffeehouse on Friday. And I'm totally okay with being honest about how much I like her! I was openly happy when we got assigned next-door registers, and she was too. I used to be careful to hide my admiration/like for someone unless they showed that they liked me first -- a fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, I suppose. But no longer!

Aubrey )

Ingrid )

You'd think that dropping in on [livejournal.com profile] alariya would be easy for me, but it wasn't. I had such a perfectionist view of relationships -- if I couldn't do it perfectly, I didn't want to do it at all. But something changed in me recently, and I've come to the conclusion that all interactions are valuable, even the 'inconsequential' ones, like just saying hi, or spending an hour with someone just casually connecting. I've come to believe that my investments in people are never a waste, even if there's no noticable change in relationship.

With Cynthia, I know I wouldn't have had the guts to ask her why she seemed down, about a week ago, and she'd never have told me about her worries and the fact that she is in need of a car. And even though I felt dumb just saying that I'd pray for her, it seemed to be important to her because today she asked if I was still praying. And before, I'd never have had the confidence to tell her that anytime that our schedules ended at the same time, I'd give her a ride. I'd have worried that she'd judge my driving or my car, or think that I was being condescending to offer. But now, I offered without a second thought, and she gratefully accepted, and even though I did feel a bit embarrassed by the mess on the floor, I was able to dismiss it and be comfortable.
feelings: contemplative
sounds: Wild Strawberries: "Pretty Lip"
connecting: , , , , , ,


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belenen: (shimmering)
becoming my true outgoing self
Lately I have been reaching out so much! )

Yvonne )

And I invited Brie (also from work) to go to bellydancing with me. That's a huge step because I'm rather private about my dancing, I hate to dance in front of people, yet I was comfortable inviting her -- and before, I was way too afraid of 'intruding' on people to actually invite them to anything. I'd think that they'd be thinking, "Ugh, who'd want to do anything with her? She's so dull/dumb/quiet!" Now, I never think that. I actually consider myself a person who is fun/interesting/worthwhile to be with. Even to Brie, who is one of those people who obviously doesn't care what anyone thinks -- she's strong and fierce and funny, and I don't consider her out of my league.

And Dani, she is such an AWESOME person. She always wears non-matching earrings (all four holes), which tells you a lot, I think! And she has this intricately pretty criss-cross scar next to her mouth, which I would compliment her on but I don't know her well enough to know if she'd take it well. I'm like Angelina in that I find scars attractive. She's crazy and relaxed and her spirit is so open. Back in the day, I'd have heroine-worshipped her from afar but never dared to even talk to her, much less show her how much I admire her! But the new me, Krista, I asked her out! And she made me feel awkward by pretending to think I was hitting on her, but I got over that really quickly, and even joked back. We're supposed to go to the local coffeehouse on Friday. And I'm totally okay with being honest about how much I like her! I was openly happy when we got assigned next-door registers, and she was too. I used to be careful to hide my admiration/like for someone unless they showed that they liked me first -- a fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, I suppose. But no longer!

Aubrey )

Ingrid )

You'd think that dropping in on [livejournal.com profile] alariya would be easy for me, but it wasn't. I had such a perfectionist view of relationships -- if I couldn't do it perfectly, I didn't want to do it at all. But something changed in me recently, and I've come to the conclusion that all interactions are valuable, even the 'inconsequential' ones, like just saying hi, or spending an hour with someone just casually connecting. I've come to believe that my investments in people are never a waste, even if there's no noticable change in relationship.

With Cynthia, I know I wouldn't have had the guts to ask her why she seemed down, about a week ago, and she'd never have told me about her worries and the fact that she is in need of a car. And even though I felt dumb just saying that I'd pray for her, it seemed to be important to her because today she asked if I was still praying. And before, I'd never have had the confidence to tell her that anytime that our schedules ended at the same time, I'd give her a ride. I'd have worried that she'd judge my driving or my car, or think that I was being condescending to offer. But now, I offered without a second thought, and she gratefully accepted, and even though I did feel a bit embarrassed by the mess on the floor, I was able to dismiss it and be comfortable.
feelings: contemplative
sounds: Wild Strawberries: "Pretty Lip"
connecting: , , , , , ,


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belenen: (strong)
renaissance festival / I'm becoming my true self, more confident and outgoing
So we went to the Renaissance Festival with Ben's dad and two of his brothers and Rebecca -- but we really just rode with them, we split up once we got there. Rebecca's Trevor also went with his family, and poor Rebecca spent the whole trip there watching his car through the back window. Heh. (I remember what that felt like)

I wanted very badly to spend lots of money on a corset and undershirt, but alas, Ben made me see reason. I'm kinda glad I didn't buy them right now, because I'd like to shop around first... and also because I may be able to get my costume designer friend [livejournal.com profile] jedibubbles to make one for me, possibly for less than it would cost at RenFest. We'll see.

I did buy something fascinating and awesome, though. I went to one vendor and bought a vial filled with "fairy dust," which I then gleefully sprinkled into the wind -- it really did look like magic dust, puffing and swirling on the breezes. I took the vial to a man selling scented oils, and he filled it up for me with "Fire," a vibrant crimson cinnamon-cloves blend -- oh wow. I love love love that scent, even more than cinnamon alone. I put it on and wore it for the rest of the day, catching whiffs of the scent whenever the wind blew. And the vial with it's deep red oil is so gorgeous -- I am certain that it will be featured in future photoshoots. I'll post a photo of it pretty soon. If I had known how much I'd love it I'd have bought his whole bottle -- that was his last RenFest ever, and he was closing up shop. I wonder how long oils last?

I discovered that I have become more of my true self -- I'm shedding my old 'reserved' skin. Throughout the day I saw myself acting with more confidence and ease in speaking to strangers, which is such a relief to me. It isn't me to be quiet or standoffish, yet I've acted that way for most of my life because it was my coping mechanism. As I'm healing, I'm losing my fear of being seen as stupid -- the reason I was 'quiet' was because I lived by the old adage, "better to keep your mouth closed and appear a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt."

One instance was at a glass artist's booth. I saw some dichrotic pendants that were incredible -- each one was like a tiny painting. I was awed, and told the lady "womaning" the booth how impressed I was (most dichrotic glass tends to be fairly random, while this artist obviously had a lot of skill), and asked if they had a website. She said no, they didn't, but would I like to meet the artist? My first reaction (my old self) was no, I'd be too intimidated, but I found myself saying yes, I would. So she called the artist over from a nearby booth, and told her that I admired her work. She said thank you, and looked at me expectantly. I tripped over my words at first, but then I got caught up in enthusing over her work, and we had a bit of conversation and I was relaxed. For me to be relaxed around a stranger that I consider to be superior to me is a completely new experience for me. It was also new to be able to gush about glass with someone who shares my passion. She mentioned that she is based in Savannah, and said that she could teach me how to do it in a day, though it would be a intensive session. I think she liked the idea of teaching someone as obviously in love with glass as I am. In the future I hope to buy some of her pendants for centerpieces for my necklaces.

The other 'new me' example was when we were headed home and stopped at a Subway -- without even thinking I struck up a conversation with the, um, sandwich artist? What do you call a sub-maker? Anyway, that was odd for me because before I started talking to him, he had a rather stand-offish demeanor, and usually I leave people alone if I get any hint that they'd like it that way. (and I used to have no interest at all in small talk -- I've been meaning to post about that) But he warmed up to me really quickly. Something about him seemed terribly sad... When we left I wanted to hug him, but I settled for giving him a real smile (not the polite little turning-up of lips that I usually dole out to strangers) and saying thank you in a very genuine tone. The most interesting thing about that small encounter was that I interpreted him more correctly -- before I would have not been so perceptive, and I would have thought of him as rude or snobby, but he wasn't, not at all. He was hurting, yet so brave. Now that I'm a bit more healed, I don't expect everyone to be mean to me, so I was able to see him more accurately. He made a deep impression on me, too -- I've thought about him several times since then.
feelings: satisfied
sounds: the Cranberries: "How"
connecting: , , , ,


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belenen: (strong)
renaissance festival / I'm becoming my true self, more confident and outgoing
So we went to the Renaissance Festival with Ben's dad and two of his brothers and Rebecca -- but we really just rode with them, we split up once we got there. Rebecca's Trevor also went with his family, and poor Rebecca spent the whole trip there watching his car through the back window. Heh. (I remember what that felt like)

I wanted very badly to spend lots of money on a corset and undershirt, but alas, Ben made me see reason. I'm kinda glad I didn't buy them right now, because I'd like to shop around first... and also because I may be able to get my costume designer friend [livejournal.com profile] jedibubbles to make one for me, possibly for less than it would cost at RenFest. We'll see.

I did buy something fascinating and awesome, though. I went to one vendor and bought a vial filled with "fairy dust," which I then gleefully sprinkled into the wind -- it really did look like magic dust, puffing and swirling on the breezes. I took the vial to a man selling scented oils, and he filled it up for me with "Fire," a vibrant crimson cinnamon-cloves blend -- oh wow. I love love love that scent, even more than cinnamon alone. I put it on and wore it for the rest of the day, catching whiffs of the scent whenever the wind blew. And the vial with it's deep red oil is so gorgeous -- I am certain that it will be featured in future photoshoots. I'll post a photo of it pretty soon. If I had known how much I'd love it I'd have bought his whole bottle -- that was his last RenFest ever, and he was closing up shop. I wonder how long oils last?

I discovered that I have become more of my true self -- I'm shedding my old 'reserved' skin. Throughout the day I saw myself acting with more confidence and ease in speaking to strangers, which is such a relief to me. It isn't me to be quiet or standoffish, yet I've acted that way for most of my life because it was my coping mechanism. As I'm healing, I'm losing my fear of being seen as stupid -- the reason I was 'quiet' was because I lived by the old adage, "better to keep your mouth closed and appear a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt."

One instance was at a glass artist's booth. I saw some dichrotic pendants that were incredible -- each one was like a tiny painting. I was awed, and told the lady "womaning" the booth how impressed I was (most dichrotic glass tends to be fairly random, while this artist obviously had a lot of skill), and asked if they had a website. She said no, they didn't, but would I like to meet the artist? My first reaction (my old self) was no, I'd be too intimidated, but I found myself saying yes, I would. So she called the artist over from a nearby booth, and told her that I admired her work. She said thank you, and looked at me expectantly. I tripped over my words at first, but then I got caught up in enthusing over her work, and we had a bit of conversation and I was relaxed. For me to be relaxed around a stranger that I consider to be superior to me is a completely new experience for me. It was also new to be able to gush about glass with someone who shares my passion. She mentioned that she is based in Savannah, and said that she could teach me how to do it in a day, though it would be a intensive session. I think she liked the idea of teaching someone as obviously in love with glass as I am. In the future I hope to buy some of her pendants for centerpieces for my necklaces.

The other 'new me' example was when we were headed home and stopped at a Subway -- without even thinking I struck up a conversation with the, um, sandwich artist? What do you call a sub-maker? Anyway, that was odd for me because before I started talking to him, he had a rather stand-offish demeanor, and usually I leave people alone if I get any hint that they'd like it that way. (and I used to have no interest at all in small talk -- I've been meaning to post about that) But he warmed up to me really quickly. Something about him seemed terribly sad... When we left I wanted to hug him, but I settled for giving him a real smile (not the polite little turning-up of lips that I usually dole out to strangers) and saying thank you in a very genuine tone. The most interesting thing about that small encounter was that I interpreted him more correctly -- before I would have not been so perceptive, and I would have thought of him as rude or snobby, but he wasn't, not at all. He was hurting, yet so brave. Now that I'm a bit more healed, I don't expect everyone to be mean to me, so I was able to see him more accurately. He made a deep impression on me, too -- I've thought about him several times since then.
feelings: satisfied
sounds: the Cranberries: "How"
connecting: , , , ,


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belenen: (mysterious)
counseling -- forgiveness (in-depth) = not so much sleeping problems / the gift of counseling
So Saturday I had counseling for the first time in three weeks that felt like two months. Blech.

I came in, told her all about what had happened the previous Saturday with meeting the lady at church and forgiving everybody, and then Rebecca and I forgiving each other... and she told me that God had told her that if I came in talking about forgiveness, to lead me step-by-step through a thorough forgiveness prayer, so we did that. It was a little emotional at times, but it didn't really faze me, and I didn't feel any different. She said she could see a difference in me already, and later Ben told me the same thing... mainly she said I have to walk it out, everyday refuse to pick up anger, resentment, all that shit.

I still don't feel different -- but for the past two days I've been able to go to sleep when Ben does and get up at 6:00am in the morning without a struggle. If you know me at all you know that is huge -- my whole life, even when I am happy I have a very hard time getting up before 10:00am. I don't know if this will stick, but it is a good change to not feel like sleeping from 7am to 7pm and then get up and want to take naps! I feel more alive.

I'm not happy that my next session is so far away -- the 21st. But I don't feel so much like I am wasting my life, because I'm not sleeping or drowsy all the time... and Patricia gave me some titles to look up to help me grow in the meantime. And starting June 14th there's going to be a restoration series held at the church that I will hopefully be able to go to... it's $125 but my 'scholarship' might cover it.

Oh yeah, I don't think I've said this before -- I'm going to counseling for free because one of the ladies at my church considers it her ministry to pay for other people's counseling; God points out people to her and she offers to pay for them. God was really taking care of Ben and I, because she gave us counseling for our wedding present, and we had to have it. I don't care to think about what we'd have done without it. We had couples counseling for about six months, and since then it's been just me. Ben had amazing parents and one of those families that you think went extinct 100 years ago -- they have a few small problems, but nothing like any other family I've seen. So he didn't need that much help. Me, on the other hand... I am so incredibly grateful to God for leading that lady to us (we don't even know her personally, she knew Ben's mom) and so grateful to that lady for following Him.
sounds: Fuel: "Getting Thru?"
feelings: calm
connecting: , , ,


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belenen: (pain)
painful ambivalence... fighting to be weak
There's a room in my soul that's filled with pain. I've kept it locked up because pain makes me weak, and I can't bear to be weak. When pain happens to me now I deal with it rather than shoving it into the room, but there are years and many horrible experiences in that room, many that I never even processed enough to realize that they exist.

I've always been the strong one. ... ) I've never allowed myself to rely on anyone else, not really. Relying on someone means that if they don't come through, something is amiss -- I rely on people, but keep enough distance that if they don't come through, I say to myself, 'oh well, you knew better than to trust them, let's build an invisible wall.' Because I am so much more open than most people that I can build walls that they can't see -- I feel distance, but they don't. And then I either slowly paint the wall so that they're blocked out, or I tear it down again.

I'm at a crossroads now. I can either continue to yank the door open, snatch out a bit of pain, slam the door shut and work out that one bit... or I can open the door and not shut it and be overwhelmed and drowned and crushed by the pain, until I've felt it all and there is nothing left to fear. I can either spend the rest of my life trying to do it gradually while it slowly kills me, or I can be weak, let my guard down, and be useless for a time. And I know I will be useless. I don't know how long, but I know it will break me down.

I sound matter-of-fact, but this is the most painful ambivalence I've ever experienced. I've gotten past fear of the pain itself -- now all that's holding me back is fear of being useless, broken, and unreliable for a time. Fear of trusting in God and Ben to take care of me. It seems so puny and silly a fear as I write it down. I want so badly to not have to be a responsible adult; I want to be the one that gets taken care of... I'm sick of being responsible for everything, but I'm deathly afraid of letting go.
feelings: drained
sounds: Seventh Day Slumber: "Spiraling"
connecting: , ,


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belenen: (pain)
painful ambivalence... fighting to be weak
There's a room in my soul that's filled with pain. I've kept it locked up because pain makes me weak, and I can't bear to be weak. When pain happens to me now I deal with it rather than shoving it into the room, but there are years and many horrible experiences in that room, many that I never even processed enough to realize that they exist.

I've always been the strong one. ... ) I've never allowed myself to rely on anyone else, not really. Relying on someone means that if they don't come through, something is amiss -- I rely on people, but keep enough distance that if they don't come through, I say to myself, 'oh well, you knew better than to trust them, let's build an invisible wall.' Because I am so much more open than most people that I can build walls that they can't see -- I feel distance, but they don't. And then I either slowly paint the wall so that they're blocked out, or I tear it down again.

I'm at a crossroads now. I can either continue to yank the door open, snatch out a bit of pain, slam the door shut and work out that one bit... or I can open the door and not shut it and be overwhelmed and drowned and crushed by the pain, until I've felt it all and there is nothing left to fear. I can either spend the rest of my life trying to do it gradually while it slowly kills me, or I can be weak, let my guard down, and be useless for a time. And I know I will be useless. I don't know how long, but I know it will break me down.

I sound matter-of-fact, but this is the most painful ambivalence I've ever experienced. I've gotten past fear of the pain itself -- now all that's holding me back is fear of being useless, broken, and unreliable for a time. Fear of trusting in God and Ben to take care of me. It seems so puny and silly a fear as I write it down. I want so badly to not have to be a responsible adult; I want to be the one that gets taken care of... I'm sick of being responsible for everything, but I'm deathly afraid of letting go.
sounds: Seventh Day Slumber: "Spiraling"
feelings: drained
connecting: ,


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belenen: (passionate)
first meeting with Patricia / he did know every pain...
Tonight was my first counseling session with Patricia, so we didn't dive too deep, though I think we touched on just about every pain in my life. I felt very stirred up inside... BUT.

Patricia told me that she was abused from very young until she was 17, and she used to get panic attacks when she knew that the perpertrator was in the same city... but two years ago she was able to go to a reunion where she sat next to him, so close that their knees touched, and she wasn't at all afraid or angry or upset. All she felt was a little sorry for him.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? It means that there IS healing for us. We victims CAN get there. It isn't unreachable (she reached it in four years, and her abuse was much worse than mine) and it is possible for me to become the person I was designed to be, that "real" me that I daydream about. I can have my sexuality redeemed and be the fucking nympho that my true self is, I can get past all fear, I can learn to trust God (which is actually the hardest part), and maybe, just maybe, forgive my parents for not protecting me like they were supposed to (I don't really mean maybe, but that's hard for me to believe). And I know beyond any doubt that if healing is possible, I will get it. Probably not as soon as I'd like, but you better believe I will get there!

Of course, I have to dig up every single memory and work through it for that to happen, so this isn't the most gleeful thing in the world... but I have been given hope again. We can be healed, and when I am, I will actually have hope to offer to others like me. That was the worst thing for me, to think that God could allow one human to completely destroy another, that he could resist stepping in -- but now I know it's not complete destruction, healing is possible. Oh, almost as much as I long to be healed for my own sake, I long to be healed so that I can offer hope to others!

--------

...and I had always secretly thought to myself, 'So he was crucified and beaten, but that's mere physical pain; how can he know what rape victims feel?' Tonight Patricia told me that Roman soldiers are historically reputed for sodomizing their prisoners... so he did know what it's like. And he did go through what I went through. I feel closer to him, somehow.
feelings: determined
sounds: the Benjamin Gate: "The Way You Are"
connecting: , , ,


back to top

belenen: (passionate)
first meeting with Patricia / he did know every pain...
Tonight was my first counseling session with Patricia, so we didn't dive too deep, though I think we touched on just about every pain in my life. I felt very stirred up inside... BUT.

Patricia told me that she was abused from very young until she was 17, and she used to get panic attacks when she knew that the perpertrator was in the same city... but two years ago she was able to go to a reunion where she sat next to him, so close that their knees touched, and she wasn't at all afraid or angry or upset. All she felt was a little sorry for him.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? It means that there IS healing for us. We victims CAN get there. It isn't unreachable (she reached it in four years, and her abuse was much worse than mine) and it is possible for me to become the person I was designed to be, that "real" me that I daydream about. I can have my sexuality redeemed and be the fucking nympho that my true self is, I can get past all fear, I can learn to trust God (which is actually the hardest part), and maybe, just maybe, forgive my parents for not protecting me like they were supposed to (I don't really mean maybe, but that's hard for me to believe). And I know beyond any doubt that if healing is possible, I will get it. Probably not as soon as I'd like, but you better believe I will get there!

Of course, I have to dig up every single memory and work through it for that to happen, so this isn't the most gleeful thing in the world... but I have been given hope again. We can be healed, and when I am, I will actually have hope to offer to others like me. That was the worst thing for me, to think that God could allow one human to completely destroy another, that he could resist stepping in -- but now I know it's not complete destruction, healing is possible. Oh, almost as much as I long to be healed for my own sake, I long to be healed so that I can offer hope to others!

--------

...and I had always secretly thought to myself, 'So he was crucified and beaten, but that's mere physical pain; how can he know what rape victims feel?' Tonight Patricia told me that Roman soldiers are historically reputed for sodomizing their prisoners... so he did know what it's like. And he did go through what I went through. I feel closer to him, somehow.
feelings: determined
sounds: the Benjamin Gate: "The Way You Are"
connecting: , ,


back to top

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