A Slippery Slope

A Slippery Slope

As with many Americans, I have been following and reacting to the recent Supreme Court rulings and other political events.  I am very passionate about human rights.  I know what it is like to have my freedom stolen from me.  Some may say that I am an extreme example, and while that may be true, I know that the oppression of an individual always starts small. Those who defend DOMA may say that it’s “just” marriage.  “They can still have a civil union.”  “We are not telling them they can’t live together.”  Of course, that isn’t the point.  They cannot receive benefits when a partner dies.  They aren’t considered family at a hospital where a partner may be sick.  I can argue the need for gay marriage all day long, but that is not the point of this post. The issue is so much broader than gay marriage.  The issue is that some segment of the human population is being treated differently.  If sexual preference keeps a person from getting married, or the sex of an individual keeps them from having reproductive choices, or their religion requires them to wear a star when they leave their house, it is just the beginning.  It is how oppression starts.  It is how wars start. How do I know this?  I have seen it on a micro level.  In the trafficking world, there is a concept called “boyfriending”.  It is very similar to the evolution of a domestically violent relationship.  The perpetrator or pimp starts by acting excessively kind and generous.  He may buy special gifts or compliment his victim all the...
Miracles

Miracles

Everyone has a different understanding of miracles. Depending on your perspective, they mean everything from a massive shift in circumstances to spiritual enlightenment. Google defines it as “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine”. My understanding comes from personal experience. I define a miracle as a “realization” or a change in the way we see the world. I am not referring to an intellectual understanding. I am referring to a deep inner knowing in which the entire self is aligned. In the past six years, I have experienced countless miracles. Most have come after I have asked for some guidance. I am pretty stubborn about asking for guidance, so usually, it happens after substantial pain and suffering on my part. After all this time, I wish I would be just a little more flexible. My miracles happen everywhere. They never happen while I am meditating or doing something spiritual. It is always in the most unlikely places, like parking lots or standing in my kitchen or playing a game with my kids. A realization will just hit me. Sometimes, I will start laughing. The people around me probably think I am crazy (we will leave that there). Although each realization could be a series of blog posts (and may be in the future), I will start with a list of some of my favorite miracles: 1. When something happens in my life that I don’t like, it is not a punishment from the universe for doing something wrong. The only punishment is from myself. Karma is...
From Dissociation to Awareness

From Dissociation to Awareness

Dissociation was my defense mechanism of choice when I was young. The sexual, physical and emotional abuse started when I was only three years old, and I could not escape it, so I learned to leave my body entirely. At the time, it kept me sane. In adulthood, it wasn’t serving me, but I didn’t know that. When I found yoga sixteen years ago, I was living my life in my mind. I did not realize that there was another way to live. I was so dissociated that the only moments I spent in my body were in yoga class, and honestly, I was pretty good at doing yoga without grounding myself (except for the balancing postures). I first heard about healing meditation during a trip to an ashram. Honestly, before the trip, I thought meditation involved sitting on a mountain top chanting mantras for days. I really had no interest. I tried meditation while at the ashram, but it was extremely challenging for me. My mind had always run my life. I didn’t know how to quiet my mind. When I was successful, I felt like I lost myself completely. When my mind was quiet, I ceased to exist. That produced more fear. I made a decision that meditation was not for me. Fast forward ten years and I was still dissociated. The yoga helped some, but not enough. I knew something had to change. I started reading self-development books, and one resonated with me: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. From reading that book, I discovered something new about meditation. It wasn’t about sitting on a...
The Innocence of Man

The Innocence of Man

Not surprisingly, Father’s Day is not my favorite of the Hallmark holidays.  I have never had a problem with Valentine’s Day, because being single is my choice.  I have never had a problem with Mother’s Day, because I am a mother.  I have always been able to make that day a celebration of me.  And well, who doesn’t like that?  I suppose that Father’s Day would be easier for me if the twins’ father was still alive, but I am not sure about that. Of course, there is my obvious difficulty with Father’s Day.  I had a horrible father.  He was physically, sexually and emotionally abusive, and he sold me to others for sex as a child.  That is awful.  I will not celebrate him.  This day also represents the three-year anniversary of confronting my family about the abuse, not because I am vindictive, but because the circumstances demanded it.  Obviously, it did not go well.  There was defensiveness.  And I was immediately ostracized (as I expected). Most might think that I have a general dislike for all men.  Some women who are sexually abused by their fathers choose to blame the entire male population, and I don’t judge them for that.  I am not one of those women.  I have not had a successful intimate relationship at this point in my life, but I do have male friends, and they are pretty nice guys.  I see them as fathers, and they are doing a great job.  However, my ability to view men as good people comes from another relationship.  I have a son. I can say without a...
Finding My Flow

Finding My Flow

I have moved past the point in my life where I describe myself by what I do for a living, but if I had to, I would say I’m a program manager.  By nature, program managers are highly organized (if they are any good).  I am also finishing three years of school with a master’s degree.  And I am a single mother.  I manage to balance my multi-faceted life with my recovery process.  Generally, this happens without the world caving in around me.  I can manage a very busy life.  As a matter of a fact, that is my favorite defense mechanism.  If I am busy, I don’t have to stop and look at all the stuff from my past.  This defense mechanism was particularly helpful when I was still repressing the entirety of my childhood experiences. What I am trying to say is that I am not easily overwhelmed.  I am not usually frazzled by a busy life.  And yet today, I am.  It isn’t that I have more tasks than usual.  I don’t.  It is just that the tasks are huge.  Each task is so impactful that it feels overwhelming to tackle any one of them.  Here is my list: 1)  Finish my internship and complete my master’s degree. 2)  Finish my final class and complete my master’s certificate (because one degree is not enough). 3)  Complete my resume (which has to explain my background in finance, information technology and social work as well as my passion for trauma work in less than two pages). 4)  Find a job that combines all those elements before the money...