Archives for posts with tag: no possible vengeance

Well. That was a night of something other than rest. lol Nightmares woke me around 2 am. It was almost three before sleep caught up with me again. My dreams, thankfully, shifted gears, but… the content was strange (very) and fantastical… something about a church service breaking out into a raucous, violent, drunken party in the basement of a building in which corporate performance reviews were about to be given out under (for some reason) strict secrecy. There were Leprechauns in attendance (whether they were party-goers or work colleagues wasn’t at all clear), and for some reason, the professional folks were all wearing pajamas, and big screen tvs were showing Saturday morning cartoons. Very odd. Let’s never discuss it again. LOL

…Being awake, sipping a hot cup of coffee, seems a relief, and a clear return to normalcy. 🙂 It’s enough. I yawn through these first sips of coffee, tired after the 3rd (4th?) consecutive night of fairly bad sleep. These things often go in cycles, so I refrain from taking it at all personally, and figure, more than likely, the rough sleep is due to the injured shoulder; it is a pain that is disrupting my sleep. I feel it every time I try to turn over, every time I lay on my right side, and my sleep ends up interrupted, restless, and not very deep. Lots of opportunity for dreams, and yes, nightmares. I remind myself that I already have a doctor’s appointment scheduled, and look at my calendar. It’s not on my calendar, so I look it up online, and add it – and invite “my work self”, so it’ll be on my calendar in the office also. 🙂

Nothing to see here – all routine human stuff, the business of living life. 🙂 I’m okay with “average”, “routine”, and “normal”, and drama is not welcome here…so… yeah. I get back to sipping coffee, and feeling this shoulder ache. lol

My thoughts careen through memories and random stream-of-consciousness weirdness for a time.

I breathe, exhale, relax, and sit present with the pain in my shoulder, and the tinnitus in my ears. It’s some time before I realize some of what I’m hearing is traffic beyond the window, and some of it is the fan on my computer. Another sip of coffee, contemplating the day ahead, gently (work has been intense, lately). The cup returns to the stone coaster on the desk with an unexpectedly loud clunk, and I shoot a suspicious look at cup, coaster, and fingers still wrapped through and around the white porcelain handle, motionless – as though freezing for a brief instant somehow mitigates the loud noise in the quiet room. LOL

…I wonder, for the first time, why the hell I am using a stone coaster with a porcelain coffee mug, early in the mornings, in a very quiet environment, when I am specifically cultivating the quiet? This seems an inexplicably counter-productive choice. Shouldn’t I be using a soft, silent, coaster, perhaps of cork… or… fake fur…with googly eyes? I quake silently with mirth at the mental image of a fake fur coaster. (Omg, I need more sleep. lol)

Something about the mirthful moment is a reminder of recent inspiration; my Traveling Partner shared something artistic (a painting technique), and I found it inspiring, fascinating, and potentially very suited to my artistic approach. I’m excited about the weekend to come; maybe I will spend some of it in the studio? The idea becomes a smile, another sip of coffee, and a moment – it almost becomes a plan. My eye roams the room… paint… glitter… glow in the dark… canvases… Yeah, I’m overdue to get some creative work done. I think I screwed myself attempted to exorcise the toxic demon that is an X of mine by way of paint on canvas; an individual so utterly vile, so irredeemably poisonous, that even finishing the representation was hard to approach, and the likeness sits unfinished on my easel, holding me back. Maybe I should “finish” it with some quick machete work, instead? The idea amuses me, maybe enough to finish it properly, let go, and really, finally, completely move on.

…It’s the forgiveness that’s hard, isn’t it? Once we have been wounded badly enough, deeply enough, damaged thoroughly enough, the forgiveness becomes… difficult. It’s hard to stay with the awareness that the forgiveness isn’t about the person who hurt us, not really, it’s about us, ourselves, letting go. Forgiveness doesn’t absolve someone of the wrongs they have done. It’s not an excuse, and does not condone bad behavior. From my perspective, the forgiveness simply allows us to move on, to admit to our pain, to refuse someone who has injured us any further opportunity to command our attention through their hurtful acts; we can walk on, and leave them to deal with their own pain, their own chaos and damage. Not my circus, not my monkeys. It’s a letting go that mitigates some of the damage, releases us from the powerful hold someone who has hurt us can maintain, and lets us get on with our own lives. There is no lasting requirement to see the forgiven one again, ever, or interact with them, or pretend we were not hurt, or to allow any further damage. I think what makes forgiveness hard is that it is clearly more kind, and more compassionate, than vengeance or punishment – but even though either of those (or both) may be entirely deserved, they do a lot of damage to the person needing to deliver them. It’s a bother, and a weird puzzle.

I can’t have vengeance, and I can’t punish that X, ever, enough to “make things right” – there is no amount of punishment available that could do that work. It is what it is. (Maybe we’re all someone’s villain?) Forgiveness tastes bitter in my mouth, like unripe fruit; I haven’t been ready. That portrait has mocked me, now, for months. That X does not “deserve” forgiveness… then I remember; my X may not “deserve” the relief that forgiveness may bring… but I do. 🙂 Forgiveness is for the one forgiving. Forgiveness allows us to walk on. I guess it’s time. After all, what are they to me, now? Nothing and no one; it’s time to let them go in a proper and final way. I’ll feel so much better – and I’ll finish that damned painting. LOL

I glance into my empty coffee mug. Obviously. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

Fearless Flowers

Fearless Flowers

Today feels strange. Mindfulness feels difficult. My heart wants to run away from home. I don’t mean to hurt inside. I don’t mean to ‘be bad’ or be broken or be less than I could be or to hurt unexpectedly over something good…but sometimes I do. Today, I am feeling incredibly grateful for the new trend toward providing ‘trigger’ warnings. I see more bloggers doing it, more documentaries that have them, more popping up here and there all the time. It’s a huge value add for survivors of trauma who still struggle with their pain in their ‘now’. I’d love to see more trigger warnings, because it can provoke hours or days (or weeks) of pain and emotional turmoil to be taken by surprise by a triggering event, or sound, or phrase, or experience…and if you are fortunate to have the emotional resilience that you just don’t understand what I’m talking about, please take a moment to appreciate that.  Me personally, I have several triggers that are pretty close to ‘everyday things’ – difficult to avoid, harder than hell to explain to someone else when it comes up. Some examples? Sure, why not – some of my triggers include the sound of footsteps on a hardwood floor outside a closed door, the sound of a loud aggressive knocking at the door, being awakened from sleep by a question, the sound of a woman screaming or crying, the sound of yelling from another house during the wee hours of the night, being prevented by another person from leaving a room, a hand being raised suddenly seen out of the corner of my eye, being asked to take off my glasses, excited unleashed dogs, being mocked when I am angry, seeing images of domestic violence, seeing images of torture… those are just the obvious things that occur to me without taking time to consider the question. There are more. I imagine it must be very tough to live with me.

People keep writing about rape. It keeps hurting me. Every time I read another article it re-awakens old pain, throws me off balance, leaves me vulnerable to a level of emotional volatility that carries a loss of dignity I can’t adequately describe, and pollutes my experience with fear. Fear sucks. Little girls are born fearless. The world, society, our cultures, our religions, and some very bad people take turns teaching them fear, by hurting them, by demeaning them, by continuing to infantilize them well into adulthood, by robbing them of free will, by reducing them as beings to physical bodies and demanding a standard of perfection that isn’t achievable, and by sending a pretty steady message that rape is their own fault.  By the time I was ‘an adult’ I wasn’t even sure any more what ‘consent’ meant for me, since it didn’t seem to me that saying yes or no was actually up to me at all, much of the time.  I definitely got the explicit message that nice girls don’t get raped, that choosing to be sexually active means anyone can have some, and that if I think I got raped I must have chosen the wrong clothes – and by the way, how can I put that man’s future at risk with such an allegation? That’s just not ok. Hell, I get angry thinking about it, and feel like I should apologize for that. It gets ugly in here, sometimes.

I keep dragging my feet on doing the paperwork for my MST claim… ‘MST’. What a relief! Conveniently I don’t have to say I was raped in the military! I can fall back on a politely sterile abbreviation that doesn’t force other people to think about my rape! I think I may be angry about that…but I don’t want to think about it, either.  I don’t want to think about any of it, and can’t figure out how to write about it without thinking about it…and certainly don’t want to acknowledge that mindfulness – which I am practicing and committed to – is the opposite of ‘not thinking about it’.  I don’t want any of this to be part of my experience, or part of who I am – I didn’t choose it, and I’m angry as hell every time I try to think about it, and that anger never seems to dissipate.  So…I’m looking at making reservations somewhere close to home, to hole up alone with my pain and my rage to write about rape.  I don’t know how else to approach it candidly, openly, accurately and with vulnerability, and not risk laying waste to the emotions and hearts of everyone dear to me while I do.

I need to be alone with my rape history.  That’s a hell of a thing.  The enormity of what is stolen from us when we are raped is hard to share.

Soon I’ll go to lunch with one of my partners, and this will fade into the background again, to be considered further later. Like it or not, even in the background, these experiences are part of who I am as a whole being.  I will keep practicing mindfulness, and perhaps someday the meaning and value of these things that hurt so much will be more clear, and maybe I will even move on from the pain and the rage.  I sort of have to, don’t I? It isn’t as if I can really talk about it.