Two feet here

I have this fear, and I’ve been aware of it for a while now, but haven’t shared it at all – perhaps once – because it feels so deeply ingrained, so deeply unique to me. In a way that, there is no way that it will ever change or be different or be something I can share (which I have felt basically about my entire being and life and self, and therapy continues to overwhelm me and heal me the way that you literally get to uncover and share your entire being, beliefs and fears – no matter how weird or uniquely and seemingly misunderstandingly ‘you’ they are), but also in the way that it is so unique to me, it won’t be anything that anyone else feels, fears or experiences, precisely like this. But perhaps in some ways, it’s not uniquely mine. The details and the story and the whole reason, is, but I reckon part of it probably can be related to by many others. It just shows up in different ways.

It’s the fear of being fully in this country. Like, the idea of really settling and being here, rather than feeling like I’m passing through. The idea of not working with my Californian therapist and feeling fully supported here Freaks. Me. Out. It’s not just fear, it feels like an actual trigger. And that feels different. Like it feels so deeply within me it’s not something positive self talk or the idea of ‘stepping outside my comfort zone’ or pushing myself would soothe or do anything, except retraumatise me more.

I remember when I was in Cali I used to say that England felt like a trigger, just the idea of it – the whole country. And it makes sense. So much sense. This is, after all – except a couple of key chunks – where all my prolonged trauma happened so OF COURSE it’s going to feel terrifying to feel like I’m fully here. Of course I am. But I have noticed that because I feel like such a New Me, my relationship with the country has changed too. Like, I am beginning to love it in ways I didn’t before. I am beginning to see it through new eyes, rather than the wounded ones I hold. But lately with the grief that feels so here these wounded eyes are very much where my vision comes from and it’s hard. It’s not the whole picture but it’s hard to know what I really see. It’s hard to know what I really feel when wounding is here so open, so pure, so raw.

But the idea of fully living here – in this country – still freaks the shit out of me even when I write that and I connect with the love and healing and newfound openness and compassion, connection, in my heart. It just feels like such old wounds. And it also feels like old patterns. Like, I have never stayed in this country for more than a year without going somewhere. In my adult years and as a kid too.

It feels absolutely terrifying the idea of really being here. Having my two feet here. It immediately makes me feel like I need to run. And anyone else who knows that feeling its one of such weight and one of such validity – one that feels as desperate as the need for food. Okay, maybe not that desperate, but it definitely feels like a panic. Perhaps that’s what’s changed. It used to be a desperate need and one I had to meet, and did. But now it feels like an ingrained pattern and need that isn’t so relevant anymore but is still here. And so it makes me panic and feel like I need to run, to get some air. Some foreign air. The idea of feeling and being fully here makes me feel like I can’t breathe. It used to feel exciting and like I wanted to leave but now it feels desperate. It’s like, the old pattern is here and it’s making me feel like I need to flee. Escape. Breathe. But it doesn’t feel healthy.

This might not make any sense, but it does in my head. And that’s what matters.

20131129-105757 PM.jpg

Advertisements

The feeling of safety & space

Sometimes my system, my body, feels so gentle and fragile I just need to wrap myself up in my duvet and stay there for a long while. I am getting so so much better at trusting this is okay. At trusting that I just need to feel safe, and it’s okay to give myself what I need. It’s okay – and essential – to give myself the feeling, and sense, of safety. Something I never knew. But sometimes the trauma energy running through me is overwhelming. Like on today.

The minute I dip into myself – writing expressively in my journal, I get lost in an overwhelm of triggering. What lies beneath my skin is a whirlwind of trauma needing to be seen, but sometimes it gets too much and I need to live. Something, again, that is changing. I used to continue to dive deep, and delve into what I found, only leaving me feeling more traumatised and shaken than I was before.

Right now, the foundations outside myself – my life – feel so shaky and thin, because in a sense, they are. I am floating between homes, on the hunt for the perfect one. Sure, there is no such thing as perfection, but there is such a thing as feeling safe. Something I haven’t felt in any of the homes I have visited or looked at the last two months. In that sense, life feels dangerous because of the inconsistency and the fragility of my surroundings and situation. That’s why my bed feels the safest place to be at the moment. With my back, there’s also a real need to be horizontal and resting too, but emotionally I think I need it too. I need gentle movement outside but quickly to come back to where I know I’m safe. I have an air around my body at the moment of feeling abused…it feels like old trauma here to be healed, but it gets a touch overwhelming and can leave me confused.

It feels like a young person, wrapped up in my body. It feels like my inner child is needing somebody. She needs to know she’s safe, and she’s held and won’t be abused. She needs to know she can be somewhere and not be abused. She needs to know she can have the love and gentleness and acceptance she so deeply deserves. She needs to know she can be somewhere and really be heard. I feel like all this constant moving is taking its toll, on her sense of safety and really feeling held. But on the flip side, the fact that I haven’t just moved into any old place, is actually a sign of true love and nurturance to her and to me…I keep having to remind myself of this.

It’s the imminent move on Thursday that I think is at the forefront of my mind. I haven’t decided where yet, but there are three places to choose from. In that sense, I’m grateful, but in that sense I’m also overwhelmed. Each of them have their down points and each of them have their bits they fall short on… the feeling of safety being the number one thing that each slightly impact in their own unique way. I have the living room of a beautiful home only three doors up the street, for ten days that I will then move upstairs into a beautiful room, when the current tenants go on holiday. But it’s the feeling of being in the living room, the feeling of my space being invaded that rocks me and leaves me feeling naked. Then there’s the friends of friends who have offered their spare room but the first week, it would only be me and the guy and that doesn’t make me feel safe. It feels simpler and more straightforward and like I wouldn’t be in the way, but I feel like I need to be strict with myself and listen to the trauma that I know is there and not put myself somewhere just with the hope that I’ll feel safe, but to listen to that trauma and let myself just be safe, without having to work on it. Then there’s another place that is twenty mins walk away, in a nice little home but one I don’t feel safe in. One that

So the option that feels like it sticks out, is the one just a few doors up. But it’s that sense of feeling like my space is invaded. Because my personal space is all I need right now, and feels so valuable and important, it literally feels abusive to have people in my rooms…I hadn’t noticed that until I had a craniosacral practitioner/friend come and do treatment here with me, and it really rocked me. I talked myself into it because I knew it would be lovely and feel like a treat to not move from my perch and be pampered. And in that sense it was, or at least it was before I had the treatment. I felt important and looked after. Two mega important things to feel. But when she was here, I felt an air of trauma – I felt unsafe, but I didn’t really know how to voice it and so I didn’t. I did my best and made sure she worked with areas I felt safe, but it didn’t click until afterwards that I just didn’t want people in my space. And I haven’t invited friends up here because of the same thing. Quick visits, yes, but longer stays, no – I don’t like the idea of people being here, when here is all the security I’ve got.

So that’s why I feel nervous about taking the living room space. It feels the safest option of all three, but it feels intrusive and potentially abusive just having people in my space, or not feeling like it’s totally mine. But maybe it’ll be okay, and maybe they won’t need to really use it.

What this shows me though, is how sacred my space is and how important this is, and how normal this must be considering everything. Normality feels the key to reminding me it’s okay. Not that fucking normal really exists, but sometimes it does to me. In a healthy way.

My space is my refuge. My space is my place to be me. My space is my safety net, somewhere I know I am free and contained and connected all at the same time. It’s where I can go beneath the business and uncertainty of outside, and what I find is me. What I find might be tender, fragile and uncertain, but in there too is an infinite strength and wisdom that’s guiding me through. And at the moment, with not having a permanent home and not having a place I know I can permanently be, it just makes even more sense that this fragility would feel at the forefront and this fragility would feel like it all encompasses me. Like it is so everlasting it’ll be here forever and I won’t be able to do anything else, EVERR… But that’s because of the instability, the place my life is at, it just leaves me with a bedroom – the only place I know is really mine. Not a house, not a huge big space to call home, just a room that I have for now…

So of course my space – wherever I am sleeping – is going to feel important and in need of protecting…because it is! And I think this shows me, health.

936886_533644870027437_1809204381_n

reflection

 

 

 

 

As I look out the window,

Along the back side of the city,

I take a moment to lose my breath,

I take a moment to catch it again.

Right now I have to pinch myself,

At how life works in cycles.

This transformation, this growth, this time has been on the cards for the past few years – it first started with chronic fatigue, and ended with an overdose. Within the middle of that were many adventures, an amazing life of a few years – starting a PHD, travelling to Morocco, living in California for the winter, spending an idyllic summer by the ocean with friends, surfing skating and swimming, a summer of festival working, laughter, and a lot of what life’s about. But in the midst of all this, was the beginning of this – this growth, this change, this development of self. This crisis that was round the corner, is now here on the doorstep. In my front room…in my bed…wherever I look.

But as the Chinese have the same word for ‘crisis’ and ‘opportunity’, that is something I want to hold close. This breakdown, whatever it is, can only be a breakthrough. Some might say otherwise. My voice of angst might say otherwise too. In fact it does. But actually, it’s really not that bad. Sure, this past week has been hell on earth. I felt I was losing my mind. The anxiety was telling me I need to live in a home. That voice is still there. I’m overwhelmed at cooking, washing, general life things. These switch me into complete stress overload. But, I have found myself somewhere this is not so much of a problem – a friend from the past has shown up and offered me a space to be, to live, to have food on the table. So why the panic, little one? Why the worry? Why the freakout that you’re freaked out? You’re no freak, and there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with you. You’re having something that everyone has in their lifetime, and yours is well deserving.

I long to accept. To relax into it. But I can feel it happening slowly. That trust that if I fall into it, it doesn’t mean I’m falling off the wagon. It doesn’t mean I’m popping my bivvywack. It just means I’m becoming more relaxed in life.

When I see that picture, I see Santa Cruz. I see the time I spent there, sat on the rocks with a friend I met. Surfing until sunset with all aged folk around. And hundreds of them.

I feel California – I feel the winter that’s just been, and the summer that followed. I feel a frown of confusion. A frown of reflection that’s trying to be but also a slight shock of ‘where did that time go’.  But maybe this is life. I hold a fear of not reflecting in case I forget and lose those memories and the time to sit mindfully with it all. But that will come. I only just now, seven years on, find myself sitting and reflecting on the time I lived in New Zealand and my journey there. My heart trusts that I will do the same for this too – all that has swum past the last year.

But I can’t help but just feel, that somewhere along this last year and a half’s road, I wasn’t quite me. I wasn’t quite connected. There was an element of running – of trying to, ‘for one last time’, let myself be what I always used to be, and am, and long to be. Full of adventure, sunshine, fun, travel, friends, journeying, exploring, seeing, sorting, living. Without this I feel un-me. But maybe it’s time to bring these two together. To find my feet and settle and adventure into my soul of who I really am – all these parts intwined. Because what I will find is something perfect, and perfectly imperfect. Because what I will find is me – and what I will feel is calm, relaxed, connected, and me. That fear of not being something special, of not being something fun, of not having a tale to tell, runs through.

But below that is an adult trust. That coming of age type thing I guess is it. This is all there is. You are all you are. And you are perfect just the way you are.

And this goes for you dear reader.

So let that frown soften,

Let that frown fade.

And bring with it,

An acorn of trust.

And bring with this acorn,

A tree of compassion, of love, of acceptance,

For no-one else but yourself. 

And the rest will follow…

Have a good day good folk.

 

 

 

it’s just that culture

20120829-002550.jpg

I’ve just returned home after such a lovely evening with a good friend of mine. An ultra runner in fact (insane but beyond inspiring). After spending a rough old day or two, with lowness and trauma and fatigue at the forefront, these hours spent in that wholesome outdoorsy vibe was just what I needed. You know when friends relight that spark of who you are, that sometimes dwindles inside, even if just for a moment? Well, I do and that’s what happened. Quite easily for me too.

But coming home I realise, that that is what I need. I find it in films. In music. In photographs. In others stories. In my own stories.

I can’t really explain it – that culture. That of the outdoor sports, the adventurers, the adrenaline lovers, the nature loving explorers, the let’s-get-muddy type, the sea loving souls, the surfers, the skaters, the runners, the climbers, the mountaineers…

Here are just a few photos from me that sum up that culture. The one I so love and am grateful to feel a part of. I just need to keep on reminding myself so. Because when I do – when I am sat out the back of those breaking waves, with the sun setting on the shore, I really know there and then that everything will be okay.

20120829-002611.jpg

20120829-002913.jpg

20120829-002951.jpg

20120829-003006.jpg

20120829-003033.jpg

20120829-003114.jpg

20120829-003248.jpg

20120829-004315.jpg

20120829-004330.jpg

20120829-004412.jpg