Let It All Go/People Help The People

I don’t know why, I don’t know why
We need to break so hard
I don’t know why we break so hard

But if we’re strong enough to let it in (in, in)
We’re strong enough to let it go
Let it all go, let it all go
Let it all out now
Let it all go, let it all go
Let it all out now

Who says? Who says?
Who says? Who says?

Who says truth is, beauty after all
And who says love should break us when we fall

But if we’re strong enough to let it in (in, in)
We’re strong enough to let it go
Let it all go, let it all go
Let it all out now
Let it all go, let it all go
Let it all out now
We’re strong enough to let it go 

——————————————————————-
And this one…  People Help The People  <—–watch/listen
 
God knows what is hiding in those weak and drunken hearts
I guess you kissed the girls and made them cry
Those Hardfaced Queens of misadventure
 
God knows what is hiding in those weak and sunken eyes
A Fiery throng of muted angels
Giving love but getting nothing back
 
People help the people
And if you’re homesick, give me your hand and I’ll hold it
People help the people
And nothing will drag you down
 
Oh and if I had a brain, Oh and if I had a brain
I’d be cold as a stone and rich as the fool
That turned all those good hearts away
 
God knows what is hiding in this world of little consequence
Behind the tears, inside the lies
A thousand slowly dying sunsets
 
God knows what is hiding in those weak and drunken hearts
I guess the loneliness came knocking
No one needs to be alone, oh save me
 
People help the people
And if you’re homesick, give me your hand and I’ll hold it
People help the people
Nothing will drag you down
Oh and if I had a brain, Oh and if I had a brain
I’d be cold as a stone and rich as the fool
That turned all those good hearts away
——————————————————————-
I cannot stand with the tribe of dead-hearted, blind and deaf power mongers and control freaks who thrive on the suffering and exploitation of the vulnerable and powerless. I may be a sucker for redemption and connection, but I am no longer anybody’s fool.
God help me, I have no brain. I will always love him, and until death do us part, as far as it depends on me, will fiercely protect and keep alive an avenue of love and reconciliation for him to choose…or not. If that’s not the Way of Jesus and Whatever God There Is, then I guess I deserve to be pitied and shamed above all humans, but I’ll go to my grave with this holy delusion.

No Nostalgia Worse

This picture looks like it could have been taken in Visalia. I jacked it from my Littermate’s Facebook share today. Gut punch of truth for me. Whatever longing I had for my old life (that was no life at all) was a sick attachment to a facade, which now looks shoddy and ridiculous compared to the beautiful healthy reality I’m easing into. I do not miss it/him/them.

At Thanksgiving (best one we’ve ever had) the kids expressed how happy they are that we moved to TN and how much they love their life here. I can honestly say that the events of the past year are the best thing to ever happen in my life. Be careful what you pray for. You just might get it if you consider the cost and are willing.

The only sadness I feel now is for those who will never taste and see the goodness of reality because they won’t. You cannot make anyone else see. You can only leave others to their chosen delusions and toxic substitutions and get on to the banquet yourself.

facade

There is no nostalgia worse than longing for what never existed.

YOU CAN, BUT I CANNOT

YOU CAN, BUT I CANNOT

You can
call me names,
call out my flaws,
falsify what
you never saw,
slap my jaw,
parade around
man of straw,
throw me around,
for I’ve no quick-draw,

try to ice me with your cold,
so I can never thaw,
fling me down
some endless maw,
act as though my gifts from G-d
are no reason for dropping jaw,
tell me my words matter not,
that I just hem and haw,
you say nothing happened
when it was stars I saw.

You can
throw me to the floor,
bang my head
against the door,
slam my hands
in the drawer,
overwhelm my pleas
with your roar,
take my oars
so I can’t reach shore,
take everything I’ve got–
demand you’re owed more,
slash my sails
so I cannot soar,
insist my plea for life
is to you, an act of war.

You can
try to erase me,
try to outpace me,
you can bellow
I wont escape the chase,
you can put me away
in a lonely place,
tell me I ought not
show my face,
take from my deck,
for yourself, all the aces,
you can cram me
into your personal vases,
bad mouth me
tell everyone
I deserve no kindly spaces.

You can strip me of
my dignity,
toss my corpse
away abhorrently,
you can try to force
me to act abortively,
you can say the truths
I tell, are absurdities,

But I promise you this
though you can
try to break me,
my heart and more,
tho you call me a whore,
tell me I am wrong
to the core…

you cannot have
the Sun inside me
the One who glows
all the more–
no matter what comes,
no matter what goes–
You cannot still,
nor stop the Sun
that glows inside me.

Even in blood,
this Sun shines,
even surrounded by black,
this Sun grows the vine,
even though you try to
take from me ‘my Thine’
even though you
hurl and break my holy shrines,
this Sun is in no decline,
this Sun is my sign
that my soul is safe times nine.

You can take what is takeable,
even as you maim my heart,
try to tame my wild,
break my smile.
But no matter what
no matter the trials,
no matter those who make fun,
take joy, in my being shunned,
I cannot give you my Sun.

I cannot,
will never, as long as
there is breath,
even as you attempt
to demean me by stealth,
for my Sun is
my insurrection against death,
my Light will one day I pray,
bring me again
to a new day
of complete resurrection.

_________________

The poem YOU CAN, BUT I CANNOT, ©1965, 2016, by clarissa pinkola estés

The Power of Potter

I started reading through the Harry Potter series a couple months ago with the kids. We are currently on book 4 (Goblet of Fire). It’s turning out to be wonderful therapy for us all. It’s double wonderful for me as the plot and themes are fresh to them as they are experiencing all the emotion and applying it to their own lives without knowing what happens next. We’re feeling Harry’s frustration, rage, confusion and wonder right along with him.

I know how the story ends. I know Harry has as much potential to be villain as hero throughout, and the line differentiating the two maddeningly blurry. What heroism he displays is awkwardly stumbled into, often with much reluctance and resentment. All he ever wanted was a “normal” life and family – what any of us want – to be loved and valued and to belong. 

I am experiencing the stories in a whole new appreciative light. The overarching theme is how the damage of trauma, grief, injustice, and family-of-origin dysfunction common to every human uniquely manifests in each person based on their individual choices and experience, complete with the extreme of malignant narcissism brilliantly developed in the character of Voldemort.

For the last year I’ve been on the run hunting down horcruxes and figuring out how to destroy them one by one, and I’ve had to go into some desperately dark and horrifying places to do it. I would not have survived alone, much less conquered anything, without the help and talents of the most faithful and loyal few.

I’ve seen ahead to the reality of the shattered, pitiable, subhuman soul of the one obsessed with power, total control, chaos and destruction.

voldemort

All the Dark Lord sympathizers, the sycophant Deatheater posers, have been identified and dealt with. I’ve learned how to keep the dementors at bay. Now all that’s left is to point wands at each other amid the crumbled, smoking wreckage of our life together and end it.

harrygif

Knowing J.K. Rowling’s back story and the life circumstances which gave birth to these stories, it all makes perfect sense.

I too have conceived my own story and have been scribbling notes for quite a while. I’ve gone about it rather backwards (’cause like Harry I have no idea what I’m doing until I do it), but I “published” those scribbles on my blog ahead of the actual book I didn’t know I was writing. Now that I finally do, it’s time for me to make the most of this sacred awful gift of “down time” I find myself in to do it for reals.

Today I am thankful for the power of words. For expression. For the expansiveness and fluidity of metaphor. For life become art and art become life.

snapefair

It’s never escaped mine. My kids hate Snape right now. Maybe by the end of the books he will become their favorite character as he is mine.

Smear Campaign

So you’ve had your heart ripped open and torn to shreds, been physically and financially exploited and devastated, and now…here comes the smear campaign. If you are going to escape, there’s no escaping this classic hallmark of the malignant narcissist. It’s not enough to simply cut you open, they must fling fistfuls of excrement into the gaping wounds they inflict and recruit as many others as they can to join in. The only saving grace one has in breaking free from one of these things is in how utterly predictable they are in their pattern of behavior. They do not and cannot deviate from it.
 
The smear campaign is the absolute worst in terms of pain, isolation and humiliation.
 
However, the absolute best is on the other side once you’ve identified all the people in your life that need to go. For me, it’s been 98% of everyone I knew in 20+ years of church world. Gone. I do not miss any of them any more than one would miss cancer once in remission. The only real loss is in having to cut off some lovely genuine people with social/familial ties to the toxic ones. Losing them is like surgically removing a margin of healthy tissue around the cancer to ensure you’ve gotten it all.
 
My life is finally my own and I can breathe.
 
My children are happy because I am finally happy and free and sane. Every relationship that remains or is established going forward is healthy and REAL.
 
The enormity of the injustice and cruelty hurts like hell, but if you survive it without becoming the monster yourself…nothing can touch or stop you.
 
Nothing. It’s becoming my everything.

Leaving a Person with Narcissism: Here Comes the Smear Campaign

 

Adult with long curly hair listens on phone with disdainIt took FOREVER to finally leave the person in your life with narcissism, only to realize that once you made that fateful decision, your name became mud.

Your ex is not going to let you go without a fight. You’re going to be villainized like you never experienced before the breakup.

All your friends and family will hear how crazy, unbalanced, manipulative, and narcissistic you are. Your ex will be sure to strike first; you may not want to strike at all, but your hand may seem forced.

The smear campaign of a person with narcissism can be so convincing. Since, throughout the relationship, you mainly kept your mouth shut about the problems you were having, no one really saw this coming. When your ex starts to talk negatively about you, with feelings of hurt and strong conviction, others may be inclined to believe what they hear. They had no idea how “crazy” you were, but now, if they think about it, they do remember the time you did x, y, or z.

Like many people with narcissistic qualities, your ex can be a master manipulator. They can turn on the sad eyes and tears, convincing everyone how dearly you are loved by them and how clueless they are about why it ended so abruptly. Maybe it’s menopause or a midlife crisis on your part. Obviously, something is wrong with you.

The smear campaign may even work with your children. The children have become so accustomed to an abusive relationship that the concept of scapegoating seems normal. Blaming and villainizing others has been modeled as acceptable. They may see nothing abnormal about making you a target of wrath. And since they love the parent with narcissism, they likely want to win their favor, which makes it all the more easy for them to join in the campaign.

The Anatomy of a Smear Campaign

Here’s how a good smear campaign works:

  1. It generally contains an element of truth. For instance, if the person with narcissism complains you abandoned the relationship, well, this is true. They will likely go on and on about how all they ever wanted was to love you and stay with you, but you, in your evilness, flippantly left the relationship—for no reason other than you don’t care about anything other than yourself and can’t keep your commitments.
  2. It is done with implication. The person with narcissism may say something like, “I don’t want to sound mean, but certain people, who shall remain nameless, have me worried.” The person with narcissism may imply that, no matter how hard they have tried to help you or deal with your issues, you are irreparable. Some people—you being one of them—are just hopeless. Implication can be a very effective tool. Those listening come to their conclusions about you based on this subtly nefarious input.
  3. It is also done overtly. Sometimes the person with narcissism just comes right out and says it: you are a no-good lunatic! They will tell story after story about all the awful things you’ve done. They will take every vulnerability you’ve revealed to them and use it now, along with made-up information, to tarnish your reputation and slander your name.
  4. It is relentless. No one holds a grudge quite like a person with narcissism. They can carry a silent treatment to the grave just as well as they can carry a smear campaign. They are relentless. You may be shocked and dismayed by the battleground you find yourself navigating. Never have you encountered such an enemy.

How to Deal with Narcissistic Attacks

What can you do if you find yourself in this position? Here are some tried-and-true suggestions from those who have gone before you:

  • Learn to value yourself above anyone else’s opinion. The only way a smear campaign can work is if you allow it to. If people choose to go along with false accusations about you, then yes, it hurts—but you don’t have to let it destroy you. You can learn to not care what others think about you.

Yes, you do deserve defense, but being caught in the trap of trying to get others (and the person with narcissism) to see your good heart can become a never-ending battle. It is easier to simply tell yourself, “They aren’t going to see,” and move on.

  • Remember why you left the relationship in the first place. You were devalued and discarded. You did not leave to continue to be disrespected by others. If others are going to jump on your ex’s narcissistic bandwagon and join their hater campaign, simply walk away and remind yourself that you deserve respect.
  • Resist the urge to defend yourself. While this may be easier said than done, it is an important concept. Remember when you were in your relationship? You likely felt defensive often. You probably tried to explain yourself thousands of times, to no avail. You ended up being caught in all kinds of “gotcha” traps. So now that you’re out of the relationship, understand that this person continues to try to control your emotions in similar fashion—causing you to doubt your motives, your good nature, even your sanity. Yes, you do deserve defense, but being caught in the trap of trying to get others (and the person with narcissism) to see your good heart can become a never-ending battle. It is easier to simply tell yourself, “They aren’t going to see,” and move on.
  • Make a preemptive strike. In other words, make friends with your “enemies.” Let them get to know you personally. It’s a lot harder to hate someone you know well. If you can befriend the people your ex is targeting for their campaign, you may be able to affect some damage control. If the people being targeted are family (including your children), tell them your side of the story. Let them know you are the target of a smear campaign and to not believe what your ex is saying about you. Inform them your ex is creating “spin” to the point that what they are saying is fiction and a waste of time to believe. Be forthright, convincing, and firm. State your side once, then let it go.
  • Spend your time well. No matter what others think or do, you really have no power over them. The only person you have power over is yourself. Regardless of what others do with their thoughts and actions toward or against you, you cannot control them. You may be able to influence them, but that is all. Don’t spend a lot of your precious energy trying to make others see the truth. Spend time with people who don’t judge you—those who value you and help you feel supported and loved. Enjoy your life!

Winter is Coming

Two years ago this day. The death blow came from the back and it was inflicted by my husband. The kids and I were always (and continue to be) the sacrifice the Bros of God are willing to make to save and advance themselves. Lil added bonus content if you open the original post and scroll down to the end in the comment section for anyone who gives a crap. The kids and I no longer do. As for me and my house, it is Spring.

Cage-Free Christian

Winter is coming. Those damn Starks have been telling us so forever, but we grew tired of hearing it and dismissed them as crying wolf (insert GOT fan groan).

But winter is coming, and it’s coming for me, so I might as well go out with all the drama and flare of a butchered Jon Snow…bleeding out, lying motionless, fading to black.

In my physical world, it is autumn, which in central California means this morning was the first time my kids and I broke out a light sweater to walk to school with a predicted high temp of 79…may the gods, old and new, sustain us.

Autumn, however muted in this part of the country, still retains an element of anticipation and haunting beauty as a prelude to death; a transitional season leading us out of one extreme and into another. There’s a whisper in the (ever so slightly chilled) air…

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The Terrorist

terrorist

It all boils down to a stock photo. That’s all there is or ever was to it.

 

My Littermate writes (until such a time as I can/will again) – “Ever been in a relationship where the other significant person is like a terrorist? Just…walks around all the time with a relational suicide vest on, and ya never know when they will thumb that trigger and just friggin’ blow up and just wreak havoc on all…even those with nothing to do with it…
I wrote this in 2013 with that image in mind.
At the time I was writing to transphobic people/person(s)…but in light of my recently becoming aware of the personality disorder of the Sociopathic Narcissist, I think it fits there too.”

Charissa's Grace Notes

BACK!  Git Back,
Burka Bound Bitch!
you dare to undrape
and go graceful and glad?

You are nothing but
double trouble and toil
and you violate my space
with your notions of liberty.

I SWEAR!  Ima
BLOW MYSELF UP!
Ima blow you up!
Iffn I don’t git my way.

Your soul belongs to me,
your heart, keep it hidden and draped
in my fables of your self!
You undraped is the universe
shitting on me special

(I’m soo special the
fucking UNIVERSE makes a point
to shit on me!!)

You uncocooned
is affront, threat!
Fingers jammed
into my ears
and palms over
eyes and mouth
you are
seeevil-
hearevil-
speakevil!

You have no place like me…
for I have been
natural borned
to my bone crusted throne!
Earned by springing from
the spiritual loins of
My Ancestors…
the great woman haters of history…
the great race haters of history…
the great religion haters of…

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No Freedom Without Love, No Love Without Pain

pain

I firmly believe this. All addiction to hate and control (the mechanics of narcissism and addictive behavior in general) is deferred and projected personal pain. This awareness allows me to forgive and have compassion for those who despise and harm me, but it doesn’t mean I have to offer myself up to take it. For almost 3 decades in marriage and ministry I took it like a good girl – literally a thousand other people’s projected insecurities and pain – and almost died (as did my oldest 2 children). I take no one’s deferred shit ever again. I will embrace and deal with my own pain and failures and exorcise my demons out in the open and out loud as I’ve always done. It’s the only way for me to avoid drowning and being assimilated into a culture of callous dehumanization (and not want to kill roughly half the population of America that seems intent and content to kill and silence me and my loved ones).

I’ve discovered my superpower – An insanely high pain tolerance and compulsion to run straight at that bitch – name it, dissect it from every angle, and own it until it manifests as love.

No Freedom
Take it by your silence
That I’m free to walk out the door
By the look in your eyes I can tell
You don’t think I’ll be back for more
Try to think of the world
Where you could stay and these safe hands could go
Take your heart above the water
Wherever I choose to go
No love without freedom
No love without freedom
No love without freedom
No freedom without love
Even when you don’t see me
Even when you don’t hear
I’ll be flying low below the sun
And you’ll feel it all out here
No love without freedom
No love without freedom
No love without freedom
No freedom without love
No love without freedom
No love
———————————————–
No freedom without love, no love without acknowledging and embracing the pain of our unique-to-every-individual human damage.

Killing Liberty Grace

Everything I wrote about coming out of church world was/is a prophetic direct parallel to coming out of my abusive marriage, none more so than this one from 2 years ago this day. I now know at the time of this writing he’d already dove hard and I was walking dead. Today I sing “Fuck This Shit I’m Out” as a beautiful, rowdy benediction. Won’t you stand and join me?

Cage-Free Christian

Meet my big-thinker Mini Me, Liberty Grace. I’ve never been so in love with a name…almost as much as the girl. As much as I laud reason and practicality in my expressions of faith, there’s always been a significant vein of mysticism and natural contemplative spirituality winding through me too. I truly consider my daughter’s name to be prophetic. It was while I was pregnant with her that the first rumblings began…a stirring within me that God was up to something new for us, something powerful and free. God was indeed going to fulfill my lifelong yearning to experience Them in fullness and abundance, but there was going to be an extreme price to pay. Was I willing?


THE SPIRIT OF LIBERTY GRACE

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

I’d ached and prayed for this since I was 16, but now…

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I Don’t Miss Him

fire

 

Is it any wonder I relate to Charissa’s awakening and transition so hard? I (and quite possibly one or both of my adult children) would have died had she not appeared at the exact moment everything I’d depended on as “love” went toxic malignant. There are 150 or so people I have surgically removed from my life who would have been perfectly OK with and even preferred our quiet deaths to experiencing the slightest discomfort of reality themselves (all of them “Christian” and most of them Trump supporters). I don’t miss them. I don’t miss him – any more than one would miss cancer once in remission. I surely have missed me. 27 years is a long time to be separated, dissociated, dismembered, disconnected from the reality of love. Feeling weak and disoriented as one does waking from a fever dream, but I am awake and on the mend and relieved to be so.

Charissa's Grace Notes

Ima go ahead now,
pick up glowy embers
radiant and stinky
with the fires of days
long past…pick them up

with new hands and tender
soft flesh that has never
known shackles and chains,
calluses, rough edges.

Don’t gasp, they can’t hurt me!
I’m alive now, and wreathed
in grace and I’m shrouded
in mysteries of mercy
falling on the hungry

hard flames of agony.
See?  There they are…
the remnants of him,
gone at last, and frankly
I don’t miss him at all,

in the slightest, and really
all I had in common
with him was this body,
“Guffaw of the Universe”,
but not him, nothing

in common with him…well
except air, we both breathe
air…well, I breathe air, but
he doesn’t anymore…breathe.
And I don’t miss him.tumblr_nvg937KivG1qdxn3oo1_r1_1280

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