raven0us

Why I am still alive. | July 1, 2011


“So there still is hope. Yes, I can be healed and there’s someone looking for what I’ve concealed in my secret drawer and my pockets deep, and you’ll find the reasons that I can’t sleep. But will you still want me? will you still want me?”

If any of you follow me, you might be wondering either, how i could be so evil or how i have survived given what is in this blog. Today it’s time to talk about why I am still alive.

Lesley. brought to you by the lovely people in various places which i will describe here. We are who we surround ourselves with. We are what we surround ourselves with and good earth almighty, lately I am endlessly thankful.

What works? What heals? What to do when you feel like screaming, “I don’t know what to do!”

Allow me to start with a Hall of Famer in my life… goes by the name of Jeff Johnson. One time we married the state together but the profoundness of us lies in the resilience and the multitudes of us as partners in life. When all ALL of the bottom dropped out of my theory on community and radical co-parenting, Jeff, who is partial to tradition and dominant culture, was there. No judgement. No blame. No pointed fingers screaming of my inadequacies. Just love and support. It is baffling on the most basic level. overtime I saw Jeff over the period of my breakdown while he was simultaneously training in Colorado Springs, I would think, “Oh, that’s what family can feel like.” and I would swear and pray that I could emulate the beauty of his unconditional caring in every relationship I trudge through from this point forward.  Jeff reminds me we can make more kind gentle decisions with each other. That subtle nurturing is stronger than forced ultimatums. I am trying to adapt these parts of his beauty. it’s the least I could do. When I was heart-broken and blubbering, literally crying my days away, Jeff came to my little dirty depressing house and he sat and he listened. He listened to me process the heart break another man inflicted on me, even though Jeff still tells me he is in love with me. He listened to my story of how I was abused and how I abused and he asked if he could physically intervene, meaning beat some ass, and when I said it didn’t feel right, he simply said, “Ok.” That is unendingly selfless.

Next is a female bodied goddess named Shiloh. Oh. oh. Shiloh. She had NO OBLIGATION to me. I fell into renting a room beside a room she rented when my friend Sara(who has a whole blog of thanks devoted to her further back) networked a place for me to stay when I was abandoned, shunned and hated so harshly by my community. I gave her no reason to have faith in my abilities. She saw the worst times a thousand. Way way worse than anything DABC saw. Remember those days and weeks of crying and attempted suicide and no sleep and weight loss and vomiting? Shiloh had a front seat and not only did she have a front seat, she didn’t know me, the real me, stable caring me. She didn’t know any of my existence prior to the mess she found. And yet she didn’t skip a beat. She was the only posi Jordan saw for months, pretty much. She loved that boy and would wrestle with him and play while I shook and vomited in the bathroom. She was there when Jordan cried at night. She was there to side track him when he began asking why ABC and Zach didn’t love him anymore. She was patient when he lashed out. The day after I was quarantined from the safe suburbia of the 27 center, Shiloh came to pick Jordan and I up from pre-school when my car got booted right out front. She told me to stop fucking around and make a damn appointment. She pushed and held.  I would sit on the couch and think, “She doesn’t realize how worthless I am, how harmful and horrible I am.” She was another person I was trying to save by killing myself. I couldn’t articulate any of that then though. She helped me understand my light inside, reminded me of it, brushed it off and reflected it back to me. She would compliment my parenting when it was strong and gently redirect when I couldn’t hold it together.  She reflects light.

… and she also reminded me I’d be nuts not to make a move on, who Shiloh coined, my “dread head girl”, the next of thanks. Abigal. I could spend hours highlighting Abigal. I met Abigal way back in February maybe. She was holding a Womyn’s circle through the free school. I went and found we were in similar phases of break up. Both of us poly, trying monogamy for the one “epic love”… so silly. She is blunt as fuck. beautifully, alarmingly blunt as fuck. you will know what page you are on with her because she will have already highlighted it, laid it out on a spread sheet and verbally slap you upside the head with it. it’s admiringly dope. She came to me when I could barely look anyone in the eye. I fumbled sentences with anxiety ridden clumsiness. I’d go to parties and drink too much in front of her and be sloppy and gross. And yet, she visited and believed in me. She was probably one of my only visitors while living at the house where my neighbor got shot on the front lawn.  She came to this dark house with nothing really nice about it, all cramped and she sat and kept me company. She gave me a chance. She fell in love with Jordan and cared for him like her own. She reminded me I could be sexy. She reminded me I could be and am wise. She sat and listened and didn’t sugar coat but was genuine. You know what’s amazing about Abigal? She gives advice. Few people are brave enough to do such things. We hesitate to share knowledge for fear of accepting responsibility by doing so. She hands it out. Take or leave it, bitch. You know what’s even better about Abigal, she doesn’t give a shit if you take the advice. She is still there and ready to move on from whatever decision you choose and will even compliment you if you made a good choice in not listening. That is the definition of understanding and acceptance, of tolerance. So when you “don’t know what to do”, there’s an example.  Another example of what to do when someone needs you is, give them a purpose. Listen to what they love and highlight avenues of purpose. Abigal has done this so beautifully and selflessly with no incentives lined up for her to receive. She just did it. Her and I will be working on the Denver Co-op together and I will put every ounce of my strength into reciprocating my appreciation there and in our home we now share. Abigal is the most amazing nurturer. She keeps a home like wolf does a den. She thinks of everything. She experimented with the placement of a stick of butter in our house to find the place that would keep it perfect consistency. She found it and butter is no longer a pain in the ass. Yesterday, as I was moving my things into our home I found a CD on my window sill, it was for Jeff with a note on it. It was a CD of all the pictures she had of Jordan over the last couple months. Just thinking of it makes me tear up with gratitude. I cried when I found it. Half of me cried happily for the beauty of this new friendship and half of me cried in anger. I am sad Jordan has to go to Japan now.  I am angry my community couldn’t find it in themselves to take some time for me. To take a couple of seconds to remind me I am capable of being a good parent, a good person. That no one could see my worth or felt it important to be an ally. It puts fire under my ass though. It reminds me to fight. It reminds me of the damage of the oppression I have endured. Yes, a lot of this is my fault. I get that, but I would’ve fucking used some help. Alas, it is here now.

The last chunk of support that has sprung like roses from concrete is the group I found during my adventures in the San Juan mountains during Feral Futures. From the second my car was packed I was beaming with faith and hope. I went broken and scared but ready to show my mess, scares and labels. I figured I’d let them weed it out. During Feral, I remembered my capabilities and was given space to test them. From the first day, child care was a given. Jordan was his own human that made his own friends based on his interaction with others. He was respected and valued as much as I. Oh how fucking sweet it was to feel valued. For my vast well of ability to be instantly trusted and my words respected. I can’t completely explain or comprehend the magic of the people who gathered in those woods but it was felt by every person who showed up. I don’t know how many times I heard, “This is a great group of people.” I went the whole week or so with NO OVERSEXUALIZATION! That is really fucking rare. But there was intimacy, beautiful respectful intimacy. I was nourished. The first meal around the fire was literally the first meal I have been able to keep down without throwing up in about 3 weeks. My hunger actually couldn’t stop. I ate and ate and ate. My intellect was prized. I was recognized as an individual. I also got to make myself medicine, straight from the forest. I made a Hawthorne tincture. I am excited and feel in control of me.

From Feral sprung a group of male bodied peeps that followed me home. None of us really knew why we were sticking together but it felt natural. Now in hindsight, I tell them that they must be on a “single mom solidarity tour”. They have helped me in every way they could… mostly just being friends.  They went with me to Crestone and helped a rad ass new mom with her little one. Two of them are from Philly and one from B-more. We’re mouthy and aggressive. We call ourselves “the long shots”. I’m a long shot. They leave tonight and they are taking a copy of “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillman to analyze together on their travels. A group of white, male bodied people are taking a copy of “The Yellow Wallpaper” with them on their travels to review together.

That’s what I call fucking radical.

“We’re from the school of the hard knocks. We must not let outsiders violate our blocks and our plots. I see your vision mama, I put my money on the long shots.”

I just got back from an appointment with my counselor. I find it so difficult to stay engaged in our sessions. I look at the Diploma. I look at the samples of medicine. I look in my therapists eyes and think, “Yea, but who are you actually? What do you need help with? Can we help each other instead? You know what I am saying is biased right? and you’re going to base my treatment on this bubble of interaction?”  I feel nothing but frustration in my sessions. We are still working on shame. I want to feel… with real other feeling humans… When a friend of mine saw my blog and saw I was taking medication for PTSD he called me in the middle of the night. I was crying on my couch alone. He knew where I was coming from and he shared his disappointment with medication. He encouraged me to be strong. His name is Bishop and he is a brother of mine, a fellow vet. He knew when I needed him and came through from states away.

Life shows so many opportunities. I am ready to take them.

OH! and I’m getting a kitten 😀

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    Mother Lover. <3

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