Indigo Survivors: Pt 2

Indigo Survivors are indigenous to the Blue Island of Emotional Misfits. The Abused. The Broken. The Mishandled. The churned up and spat out products of systemic failure.

We are Social Unreliables through no fault of our own.

Our birth message: “You are not good enough the way you are. So change.”

We live our entire lives in survival mode. Some learn to become Laudable Liars, Master Manipulators or Perfect People Pleasers. Some learn to become Coldhearted Calculators, Insensitive Inhumans or Heartless Haters.

Some become all.

And all are incomplete.

Imperfect. Emotionally Fragile. Human Beings.

But all are worthy of Love.

Just sayin…

Hi. My name is Trish.

And I am an Indigo Survivor.

This is another small piece of my story…


Not so long ago someone close to me used to accuse me of “being afraid of confrontation”. And because their opinion of me mattered, it irked because it implied cowardice. As if I was somehow less because I didn’t like Fighting. Arguing. Demanding. Yelling. Screaming. And I avoided it completely, whenever possible.

That irk eventually settled into the space between my own personal cause and effect. And lately I’ve been asking myself “Why”. Why am I afraid of confrontation? And why do I feel so anxious and panicked whenever I know I am about to deal with one? So I’ve started digging into my triggers.

Funny word Trigger: A thing that serves as a stimulus and initiates a reaction.

I had never heard the word trigger unrelated to a weapon prior to coming out and falling in love with a woman who also happened to be an Indigo Survivor. Go figure. Two peas in an over emotionally stuffed pod. Ya. That was a tough one. We stimulus-ed the hell out of each other and triggered right to the end. Since then, I’ve noticed that trigger has become an easy part of our social vernacular. The new rationale underpinning the human villainy in child abuse, domestic violence and intentional killing. And ya, the breaking of hearts.

We all have triggers.

I don’t really see how we couldn’t have them!

I know I certainly have them. And some of them are pretty fucking big.

Confrontation is definitely one of them.

Way too early in this Life I learned to make peace with Abuse. When I was 2, I learned from my Mother, that Love usually meant physical pain. Later, at 4, I learned the caregivers I was entrusted to were mostly vile and cruel. At 5, I learned that I needed to protect myself and my little brother from the horrors of the Children’s Aid Society and the villains residing within. I learned that any display of disappointment, emotional upset, crying, or rebellion was met with angry confrontation. And was usually followed up with some form of harsh discipline, deliberate pain, ultimate rejection, verbal and mental abuse, or cruel abandonment.

(Not much of that has changed in adulthood…)

I learned to play nice. Not create waves. And made myself invisible.

(Sigh. Same…)

But most importantly, I learned to read people.

Body Language. Facial Cues.

Dead giveaways.

So I learned how to hide my own.

With these tools I learned when to stay and when to go. When to run and when to hide. When to shoulder blame in order to protect and falsely admit my guilt. Or when to tell the truth. When not to trust. Anyone. And when to lie. To everyone.

These were skills that sometimes saved me from harm.

But not always.

I watched the faces of both trusting Mother, and pig Masquerader, morph from protector to predator. The images scar me deep. I learned the only thing I could trust was my correct observation of not what was being said, but what lay hidden and lying in wait.

I learned that people wore masks of politeness.

And that they can be really, really mean.

I watched as eyes shifted from warm acceptance to cold disapproval. As they blackened with hatred because I had become a burden; or because of the color of my skin; or because of my forced presence in their family. I watched as mouths tightened. Skin flushed. Nostrils flared. Backs stiffened. Breath quickened. Fists clenched.

I learned that some masks were harder to see through. So I watched and listened to see if the words spoken matched the faces in view. I learned to read the tells that warned me of danger. Of violence. Of terror. Of shit I shouldn’t have understood so young.

I became Smart. Clever. Wise.

And old.

Knowledge benefited.

And ensured I survived

So, ya. Guilty.

I still fear the Anger and Abuse attached to

The fucking Confrontation.

It’s a thing.

But I’m not a fucking coward.

And now, thanks to irreparable damage from those lovely childhood confrontations, I now suffer from PTSD. Short-lived therapy sessions determined this for me. I didn’t need it to be blotted down in ink, in a file, in a drawer, that will remain hidden until the unlikely (or likely?) event that I just fucking snap one day. But, if I ever need proof in defense of my kinda crazy, it’s nice to have some of my shit validated.

And there’s a name for that.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event such as exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence. PTSD is diagnosed after a person experiences symptoms for at least one month following a traumatic event. The disorder is characterized by three main types of symptoms: Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares.

When I first read this definition, the dark-humored part of me thought, “Seriously? Is there anyone who isn’t suffering from some from of PTSD?” 😉

I still suffer from horrific nightmares of my death, of loved ones deaths, of demons and demonic possessions, of being terrorized, being tortured, being shot multiple times, being raped and beaten. I’ve been burned, stabbed, mutilated, dismembered and set on fire. Ya, you name it, I’ve dreamed it.

And I’ve been fearful of sleep for nearly 50 years.

I still have terrifying dreams of my Mother. Alive and well and able to kill me.

And she died over 15 years ago.

Some shit just never goes away.

So, ya. I’m struggling and trying to process all the friggin trauma in my life. I am affected. Profoundly. I try to live in the light, but there is still so much darkness inside of me. This Life has not been kind. And there was simply no time to feel any of the emotions attached to so many of the big events. Life kinda happened to me and whoosh! Survival mode kicked in. Forced to go through doors I had no choice but to open. Forced from one toxic situation to another. Too young. Too innocent. Too vulnerable. With no say in what happened to ME or my personage.

Don’t get me wrong. I am truly grateful for having survived all of the crazy. But lately, for a multitude of reasons I can’t fully express, I’ve been wondering where, inside of me, all those feelings are hiding.

And if I should try and find them.

Maybe, they can help  me understand why I tick the way I tick.

Maybe, I can love me better.

Maybe, I can love you better.

I recognize this is a problem. And I’d like it resolved before I die.

Cuz I really don’t want to have to live this Life all over again! 😉

I don’t feel like my story is necessarily ‘new’, nor, for that matter, do I feel it’s ‘cliche’. It is simply my story. And I’m feeling the need to walk back through some of the doors that lead me here.

Slowly this time.

In control. In sync. In Appreciation.

With eyes wide open.

Cuz my Life and my Self

Are kinda worth re-discovering.

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Internal Dialogue #3

Okay, we didn’t work,

And all memories to tell you the truth, aren’t good.

But sometimes there were good times.

Love was good.

I loved your crooked sleep beside me,

And never dreamed afraid.

There should be stars for great wars like ours.

There should be something

To commemorate the pain…

 

Sandra Cisneros

Indigo Survivors: Pt 1

I have a disease.

It’s been killing me slowly since the day of my birth.

There is no cure. No remedy. No magical potion.

It’s terminal.

Hi. My name is Trish.

And I am an Indigo Survivor.

This is just a small piece of my story…


Not so long ago someone close to me accused me of “living a lie”. Told me I was a “survivor’ as if it were a dishonorable thing. And because it was someone whose opinion of me matters, for the first time ever, I actually felt ashamed to be labeled Survivor.

More recently, someone else close to me told me to “just be honest” about how I was feeling. As if all the truths I had shared with them were suspect, and all my spoken emotions were a lie.

Naturally, I bristled at the implication of being anything but authentic. But lately I’ve been thinking about exactly what they were both trying to tell me.

I am not defending my person. Or making excuses. That’s not what I aim to do with personal disclosure. No. This is more an out-loud witnessing of an epiphany on my journey to self discovery. My blog has always been a form of therapist. A sacred space to share my truth. No excuses are needed here. I am who I am.

Flawed. Imperfect. Struggling. Coming Out Crooked. Trish.

Period.

But self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-love are huge parts of personal growth. And I am a full-bodied YES for personal growth. Over the past two years I have been learning to do all three parts, and in doing so I’ve come to recognize and applaud the human condition in all its brilliant colors.

And in this moment I am recognizing that I am a fucking rainbow!

When you live your entire life in survival mode, you learn to lie in order to please people. And you learn to do it really well. A well crafted lie can make all the difference. Between acceptance and rejection. Between violence and safety. Between life and death. And if there is anything I have learned about human nature, it’s that we all want to be accepted. And that our very survival depends on it. Some of us do some crazy-ass, fucked up shit to get there. But, in the end, we all just want to be loved.

For me, the lies and people pleasing began in early childhood when seeking kindness, warmth and love. Things that should have been birthrights, but weren’t. The lies and the people pleasing began when the message become clear that I was not good enough the way that I was.

That I had to change who I was in order to be loved.

A fucked up message to be sure.

But one that has resonated with me, and been confirmed, time and time again.

Until it became my reality.

I understood this message when trying to survive an abusive, teenage mother. Then later, trying to survive systemic corruption in a system that was supposed to care for neglected and abused children. Then later, enduring the touch of a mans hand on my babyish body. Then later, suffering the physical attacks of a bullying foster-sister. Then later, in rejection from an emotionally vacant foster-mother. Then later, in surviving the near death experience from my abusive, full-grown, biological mother. Then later, in the pounding, bone breaking fists of a pimp. Then later, in the selling and buying of my body. Then later, in the sanctioned rapes of a husband.

Ya. I’ve been through some shit.

And yes. I learned to lie.

To the world.

To myself.

But more importantly, I learned to survive.

I learned to manipulate, finagle, cheat, swindle, contrive, plot, scheme, trick and obscure the truth in every case scenario where Fear demanded my actions. Fear of Abuse. Fear of Abandonment. Fear of Anger. Fear of Confrontation. Fear of Emotional Hurt. Fear of Not Being Accepted. Fear of Not Surviving.

Sometimes my very life depended on my ability to tell the perfect lie. And, in many ways, the lies became my truth. So the bigger question here could be, “Am I really ever lying?”

For people like me, over time, the lies take on life much bigger than ourselves. They become our alter ego. Our Prominent Self. They become so embodied, so enmeshed into our person, that they bleed into the very heart of our being. And the lines between what we want and what others want from us become ridiculously blurred, to the point of self obscurity. And they become as natural to us as breathing.

But, I do need to stress something here.

These are not lies meant to hurt or deceive or destroy another person. They are meant for protection. For survival. They are in place to please the people who make emotional demands on us. Who tell us they will love and accept us, if we do thisor that.

And so we do.

The lies are compromises.

And built-in safeguards against abuse, violence and neglect.

And they ensure our invisibility.

The less we demand for ourselves, the safer we are.

And the sad thing is.

We don’t even realize it’s happening.

We. Just. Do. It.

Why?

Because somewhere along the way we learned that we had to change who we were in order to be loved.

A fucked up message to be sure.

And one that has resonated with me, and been confirmed, time and time again.

Until it became my reality.

So why do I call myself an Indigo Survivor?

Well, today I learned that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the ribbon color is Purple. I didn’t know that. Did you? Kinda gives a whole new meaning to the movie The Color Purple. And like Whoopi’s character, Celie, I too have lived the greater part of my life in the purple shadow of domestic abuse. Then I learned that October is also Child Abuse Awareness Month and the ribbon is Blue. Who knew?

But what about the millions of survivors who live smack dab in the middle? Like me. Well, I think we need a colored ribbon too. And it should be Indigo.

Nuff said.

And the people pleaser part? Well, that’s pretty evident in my testimony.

I have been socialized from birth to make myself agreeable. Not to rock the boat.

Taught to sacrifice my needs for the needs of others. To make others happy.

And in return I’ve been promised love.

Mostly I didn’t get it.

But sometimes I did.

Somewhere between all the varying shades of black and blue there is the perfect shade of Indigo.

If I’d had a choice, would I have lived a different life? Been a different color?

Absofuckinglootely!

But I didn’t have a choice.

So I’ve made the best of the Life I’ve been given.

And at the end of the day, I haven’t done half bad.

So ya… I am a Survivor. And fucking proud of it!

And we Indigo Survivors deserve a recognition ribbon too, dammit!


Side note: The inspiration for this post came from my home-girl, Tikeetha. Then, just now, I read another amazing blog post from rarasaur. Two truly inspirational women who, in the telling of their stories, have given me the powerful gift of inclusion. It’s healing. Reminds me I am not alone in this crazy life I’ve lived. And somehow validates my person.

Thank you ❤

To be continued…

Hard

My dreams and reality

Have definitely collided

So my mind’s in control now

Cuz my heart is too tired.

I’m fighting a war

I should have known I can’t win

So I think it’s time

To fucking give in.

Have I made a mistake?

Should I have stayed dressed

In the mask of my life

Safe and unexpressed?

Where my quiet brokenness

Still passed for whole

And this shadow of doubt

Didn’t blacken my soul?

I don’t know anymore

What I had hoped in my dreams

But this life is not

What she promised to me.

And the disappointment

I assure you

Is acute.

I Want To Remember Today

Found Tasneem Kagalwalla on Medium and had to share. She’s slowly becoming a favorite. Her writings are so raw and so real-atable.
Beautifully sad.
We women just feel so much shit.
And we write about it.
Props ❤


I want to remember the crazy excitement
the tossing and turning
of being in and out of sleep.

I want to remember the pure exhilaration
the smile on my face
waking up to an alarm in the middle of the night.

I want to remember the ecstatic happiness
texting you in the wee hours of the morning
knowing you’ve arrived, somewhere close by.

I want to remember the elated anticipation
sitting up eagerly in bed
looking for your reply.

I want to remember the sheer bliss
when you did
making plans of when and how we’d meet.

I want to remember the mad manic
of the morning
as I blindly rushed through my chores.

I want to remember my furious heart beats
dashing through traffic lights
as I hurried back home.

I want to remember the painful waiting
of when you’d call
imagining all that we would share.

I want to remember the growing restlessness
repeatedly checking my phone
aimlessly pottering around in despair.

I want to remember the intense uneasiness
the worry of wondering why
you wouldn’t call or reply.

I want to remember the wretched anxiousness
every passing hour brought by
as I watched hope being crucified.

I want to remember the searing hurt
flowing through my blood
as the day passed me by.

I want to remember the curdling anger
when you messaged late at night
to nonchalantly say, couldn’t make it this time.

I want to remember the sharp sting
of being stood up
yet another time.

I want to remember feeling so stupid
for making a big deal
of an opportunity you so casually let go by.

I want to remember my burning tears
every drop
that stained my pillow.

I want to remember the punishing loneliness
of a day
I never thought would end this way.

I want to go out of my way
to remember today
so that I can forget you tomorrow.


Imposter

Beneath the veil of a thin veneer

That shades the proper movements

Of an ordinary life

With no extraordinary strife

There is a tell at the edge of her happy.

 

Not seen by all, but to some so clear

A quivering hesitation

Lives deep in the anguish

Of unspoken language

In the echo of the sweetest laughter.

 

Perfected artifice in surrogate love

She bears her loss in the weight of the lull

Between each step she takes

And works hard not to break

The uncomfortable rhythm of her stride.

 

 

 

 

Internal Dialogue #2

Walt Whitman once wrote, “I contain multitudes.”

One of his most poignant verses reminds us that we are never just one thing, and all the quirks, imperfections, and contradictions are par for the course. Never have I found anything to be more true.


These past 10 days have been full. Fuller than any other 10 in nearly as many years. I have been stung by old words, hurt by forgotten pain, challenged by new beliefs and blessed by the coming together of a Heavenly Ask.

One day, 10 days ago, I got down on my knees and cried. A deep, wrenching, private cry full of despair and anguish and hopelessness. I’ve cried this cry before. But this time it was different. My heart had finally hit the threshold of  weight it could carry and it was more than I believed it could bare. Suicide was more than a thought. I can not lie. It loomed. Large but silent. And I wondered if maybe it was truly time to just end things.

My. Life. Had. Finally. Become. Just. Too. Much.

But, as has happened before, once again, the tiny voice of my broken child stamped her foot loudly and yelled, “No Trish! We can do this! We deserve so much more. And we haven’t done what we were put here to do yet. We have a purpose! And we still have a fucking best seller to write. Damn it!” She gets pissy when I go dark.

So, as I have done before, I listened to her.

But something inside felt badly broken. And solemnly irreparable.

I’d truly lost all hope. I was tired. Worn. Ragged. Bruised. And feeling beaten.

It took a lot to let her in.

I’m not really the praying kind. Though that might change now. I have a very confused relationship with God. But I have always believed that something is looking out for she and I. And always has been. Or we would never have survived this Life.

So…on bended knees I clasped my hands.

And I spoke to God Universe.

Really spoke.

Pleading from a place so deep and so raw and so achingly real, that I know it was my souls voice in askance, and not that of this mere mortal shell. I do believe we are the two things at once. Maybe even three. What the fuck do I know? But I closed my eyes. Wept. And spoke from that place only the truly desperate understand.

I asked God Universe, “Please show me my path because I am so lost and so confused and so unable to see any light. It’s dark. And cold. And I feel alone. I am drifting to a place I fear I may never return from. My heart is heavy. My mind is clouded by things I can’t let go of. And my soul and I have disconnected. So, I’m letting go of all of it and trusting that you will guide me to wherever it is I need to be and to whatever it is I need to do.”

img_1435

Three days later my life changed.

Like BIG BANG! changed.

I watched. I listened. I paid attention. And I did not ignore the signs. Any of them. I did the work and moved out of fear. And miraculously, I started to feel my power rise to the surface. It was…

Nope. No words yet for this feeling.

But I trusted. In the Divine.

And felt myself truly acknowledging belief in Me.

And that was an unfucking-believable moment. It was…

Nope. No words for that one either.

But for the first time ever, everything felt almost…easy.

Something had definitely cleared the path.

Like a cool, clean ocean breeze. Blowing through my mind with gentleness and forgiveness and love.

And over the past 10 days Life has been constantly changing and rushing at me with un-imagined abundance.

I am still in awe.

But I trust in Life again. And it is beautiful.

And I am grateful.

Coincidence? Perhaps.

But I don’t think so.

Shakespeare suggests, through his character Hamlet, that human knowledge is limited. I’d have to agree. And every moment that I spend in gratitude, I know the words he wrote are a pure, profound yet simple truth. I loved them when I first read them, and I love them still. Because they are so so true!

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” 

God Universe truly does work in mysterious and amazingly unexpected ways.

Ya…

What a difference a day makes.

24 little hours.

And a soul-spoken prayer.

In gratitude,

trish_heart