Posted in self-discovery, writing challenges

Again and Again

No don’t slink away, little one,

because someone didn’t want to play.

I have a tendency

to default to small,

Not good enough.

Because somehow, somewhere

in a drawer

in the archive

at the back of my mind

My fears were legitimately confirmed this time.

Or so the story goes

that I tell myself

Every time I am perceived hurt

(when in reality, I am breaking my own heart

with expectations I never voiced to begin with).

Past selves should be seen

but, not heard –

When they keep telling

half-truths and mumbling words

like <ugly>

and <unwanted>

and <never>

and <why>

And I have to redirect

again and

again

And remember that I am only who

this higher experience of *I*

says that I am.

 

Written for today’s #TaurUs challenge prompt, hosted by @urbansiren over on Instagram

 

Posted in life, poetry, self-discovery, writing challenges

Stalled

Time is …
Delayed. Postponed.
Has taken a detour, 
and stalled on the shoulder of the highway I had mapped out with so much hope and foresight…
And I – 

I am at the center of the stillness,
wondering when the world will feel like it is spinning again without wobbling.
This is the in-between time,
and I’ve got nothing better to do than to do and be better.

All the thoughts of if and when have become Here and Why the Hell Not Now

I am fixing my focus from the broken-down jalopy of my expectations, toward the field of flowers I nearly missed along this strip of pavement.

This isn’t the way it was “supposed” to be, but it is exactly what it needs to be.
I am seeing and understanding exactly what I need to see.

 

 

*Written in participation with Urbansiren‘s #TaurUs poetry challenge on Instagram

Posted in Eating Disorder, Recovery, self-discovery, Trauma

Self in 1998*

The air of May holds so much anxious energy – so many memories of lack and longing – strong feelings of being empty, and memories of emptying myself out even more. Twenty-two years of living with a hand on my own throat, just daring myself to swallow or speak, and desperate to “keep the peace.”

I have vowed not to do that anymore, but my body…well, she’s still keeping score.

I don’t know how to erase the vivid video of my mind’s eye, replaying the times I poured my heart out to porcelain. Rows of pink pills to empty me out, lined up like my perceived faults – counting them, swallowing them, one after another after another after another. If I could take back all the minutes/hours/months/years I spent hunched crooked over countless toilets, I could live a lifetime without regret. I have to settle for acceptance instead.  It is what it is, and I did what I did.

My anger came out in wretches and gags, I couldn’t say the things I needed to say.

After all this time, ghosts follow me around – hiding in corners of shadows, lying waiting in loneliness. I fear I will never be “normal” about food, about my body and her relation to the world. I still don’t even understand her relation to my soul. I never asked to be put into this body – I’m perfectly fine with this tender heart and this overactive mind…

but this blushing, bruising body who always wants something – it’s just too much. She’s always wanting to be touched (and always afraid to ask). Always wanting, needing, flushing, bleeding, always hungry and slick between the legs. Always feeling, always waiting to see who stays. I’m so tired of fluctuating between stoic…and pleading:

“I don’t need you…but please. DON’T. LEAVE.”

How quickly my thoughts of food and hunger turn to arousal and desire – two different tongues of the same fire.

I starve myself of anything that makes me human – imperfect, in my mind, and weak. I only let my judgmental self speak:

TOO MUCH (but also NOT ENOUGH)…UNDESERVING…WANTON…WEAK.

I know that I know those things aren’t actually true – I lied to myself so long (AND I can tell myself something new)

Every face-down prayer to a porcelain god, begging to be absolved of being “flawed”: having needs, having memories, having skin and blood and bone and a voice that needed to be heard.

It was never really about food. It was about desperately needing not to need. Not to acknowledge my wishes and wants, my longings and lust, my inability to trust…and the root from whence it all came: inherited shame.

My selves at three…eight…twelve…eighteen: all of them just wanting to be heard and seen. Validated, not violated. It felt good to be touched, but they knew it was wrong…so they believed they were wrong.

“Only girls who want something sit like that”

<I closed my knees and my natural, wild state>

“It’s okay,” he cooed like gravel

<His sins will never be okay>

If the only way to not get lost in the chaos is to open and shut my legs when I am told, it is no wonder I have performed like a pawn for approval:

I will be what you want me to be, just please. don’t. leave.

If the only way to be seen is to be silent, it is no wonder I have kept my existence quiet – muted and mumbling and not making a scene.

But, this is what it is and I did what I did.

No amount of self-flagellation will change the past (and would I want to anyway? Would I give up the person I am today?)…

So here I am. Sitting down with myself in 1998, where the hunger came to a head, and I am allowing her to speak instead. Not stifled, not swallowed, not shamed. I’m giving her tools and speaking her name. Let’s call a truce, dear body of mine. Tell me all the things you need to say, and I will learn to let you take your time.

 

 

*Kudos to anyone who catches the poetic reference in the title 🙂

**Cover image is not mine; all rights belong to Stella Im Hultberg (piece is called “Limitless Undying”)

Posted in self-discovery

I’ve Seen This Before

Doubt creeps in, like dark sticky mold,

finds ways to cling to my best intentions and affirmations.

Hmm,

I’ve seen this before: this chest-tightening longing, the echoes of old lies, old fears, old stale hisses of Not-good-enough-Who-do-you-think-you-are…

Some days I am strong enough to turn the tables;

Some days I think quickly enough to verify the sources of my ill-content:

Receipts written in someone else’s scrawled forgery; dirty, crayon-etched imitations of proof that I am not worthy of everything I want and wish.

This narrative is so worn out and overplayed; the welcome of self-punishing long overstayed.

The mind will use *anything* to create evidence of something that isn’t even real.

These are not my thoughts.

This is not what I really believe.

Get thee behind me, ghosts of my past.

I will rewrite truth like a circle of salt around my precious mind.

Posted in self-discovery, spirituality

Manifesto of Myself, iii

I open myself to passion;
I open myself to pleasure;
I open my heart to joy;
I open my heart to possibility, and banish the pervasive fear of disappointment;
I open myself to what is GOOD.

I open myself to change, transformation, shedding of skin, and sloughing of selves that are shaping me into something more (Christine…only more so);
I want more than just existing.

I want honey on my lips;
I want soft, sweet kisses;
I want laughter that makes my belly ache, full from freedom to feel;
I want a community to love me in my laughter and my tears;
I want to be ME, accepted, and longed for;

I want storytelling and friends around fires;
I want sweaty summer barefoot dancing with a girl who smells like oils and and sage and self-confidence;

I want the will to want this all;
I want the will to live my life again (…for the first time);

So mote it be. So mote it be.

I banish sadness and all the ways it has crept through my life like poison ivy – tentacles of fear and grief, choking out the fields of my soul.
I belong among the wildflowers;
I belong in my own thriving, beautiful life;
I belong inside this skin;
I belong in this broken, divine world, sharing my words and my voice;

I belong here…and I convinced myself I didn’t;
Drank someone else’s Kool-Aid, believing lies about who I am and what I deserve;
I want to be here NOW, present, powerful, open…

And so it is.*

 

*I wrote this back in November (2019), when I was first starting to understand what it means to make space for That Which Is To Come. Never doubt your ability to manifest the vision of your higher mind, even in the dark stillness of the seasons you can’t see what’s ahead.

Posted in life, self-discovery, spirituality

Take of This Body

“And when my hand touches myself, I can finally rest my head. And when they say take of His body, I think I’ll take from mine instead…” (Tori Amos, Icicle)

* * *

I’m just now learning

[at 39 years old]

how to soothe myself

touch myself

own myself

[39 years]

how to feel more at home inside these four walls of the body I am in

[39 years]

of disconnection, detachment, and disgust.

I am always wandering in my mind —

It feels good to come home once in awhile, shed my clothes, shed my skin

Sink into the soft, wet warmth of my own being.

I was never taught to take comfort in my humanity

(taught to pray harder against my fears and feelings of insanity).

“The joy of the Lord is your strength,” they’d say;

if I didn’t feel it, I must be doing something wrong; must be too self-indulgent to be clearly seen or heard. That is my punishment – the smiting which I feared.

On Sunday, I spent an hour behind closed doors, naked and unashamed; melted beneath my own hands, breathlessly calling my own name.

Because it is mine, and I can, and it feels so damn good to take pleasure in possessing what is rightfully mine.

Breath becomes praise instead of repentance

Breathe in: filling up sacred space beneath my belly button;

I imagine fiery orange and red: sacral sizzle, seeping over my bed.

Breathe out judgment, blame, and “good girl” shame;

Banish old voices that whisper my name.

Breathe in:

This body is mine,

This body is divine.

Breathe out

Naysayers and hypocrites are not welcome here.

I am learning to banish fear.

Every climactic climb

as tender self-passion sparks up my spine,

each catching breath inching across that explosive line

This body is mine;

this body is divine.

It’s mine and I can, as many times as I please;

it’s mine to leave dripping with decadence and shaking at the knees.

This is why they made me ashamed;

this is why they tried to keep me tame

If I can find a resting place inside myself, what use would I need for the stories they tell?

This is my church now:

Sunday mornings, the light through the window the only thing covering my skin

[they had me believing this was sin]

If I return to my knees, let it only be to bow before myself;

It’s not that I don’t believe in god — it’s just that I am finding Her here between my bedsheets.

 

 

 

 

 

*All rights to the featured image belong to Amanda Proeber.  Special thanks for granting me permission to use it here.

Posted in life, spirituality

In This Quiet Space

In this quiet space, I can hear the echoes and hums of what has been said and done. All of it, gone. Finished. And room to create new on the other side of this silence.  In this quiet space, anything is possible; blank paper, time, and reality laid bare before me, waiting, wanton. Pages longing to be written upon, ink spread and curled into words woven across the fibers of paper. Moments, cascading like dominoes, here…then gone – one breath after another, one word and then countless more.

Everything is possible, will you make it plausible? Take it by the hair, by the ear – make it yours, bend it to your will. This space and time is yours to fill. In this moment, I am breathing, I am writing; I am marking this my territory. I was here. And now that moment is gone. Time is a construct but creation is eternal.  The breath of creation cannot be undone. I am a creatrix, willing what will be into the shape of What Is. In this quiet space, I hear the exhale of this moment. I hear the sound of who I will be: the laughter that will escape my joy-dampened lips, and the music that will sway these life-swollen hips. In this quiet space, the future is now.