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.

Advertisements

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…

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


Internal Dialogue #1

Lately I’ve been feeling my personal/emotional worldview slipping from one kalidescope into another. Things I once knew with such certainty are now hovering on the fringe of doubt. And things I was absolutely positive would never be entertained by this seven dimensional mind, are springing into view lively and energetic.

In part, I am saddened by the loss of feelings and beliefs I’ve clutched close to my hearts core like a frayed and tattered lifeline. While old and definitely showing signs of age and wear, it has pushed me thru necessary conflict, always reliable and safe. And a constant companion for so long. Growing me, changing me, elvolving me and challenging me in unimaginable ways. A reliable, steadfast friend who seemed to have my best interest at heart. It’s a hard loss to comprehend.

I’m struggling.

And in part, I am excited to move into a new personal/emotional worldview because it means….

Hmm. 🤔

Nope. 

Still on the fence. 

Change does not always come easy to me.

To be continued…😶

Buddhism. Why Not? Pt 1

FYI – Every now and then I post something from my other blog here. It’s a one way ticket. I don’t post this stuff there. So, yeah. You can feel kinda special lol, cuz you are!


page_letters-COMINGOUTdidn’t grow up with Jesus. Or Mary. Or Joseph. Steepled churches, stained glass windows and the Bible were all kind of a mystery to me when I was a kid. I remember attending a black Baptist church when I was about 3.  A small, white, one-roomed building with deep mahogany pews and sunlit walls. It was where the colored congregated every Sunday to listen to The Preacher.

Shiny, brown-skinned folk strutted spectacular in their Sunday best and exotic plumage. A rare form of peacock indeed. I must have been fostered temporarily with God-fearing folk who felt the need to introduce me to the Lord, hence my memory of this Baptist church. I don’t remember ever meeting him though. What I do remember is being terrified by the wailing and moaning and fainting in the presence of Praise-Him-Hallelujah.

And the singing was kinda cool.

To be honest, Religion kinda scares me.

The idea of some omnipotent, wrathful, White GOD living in the sky who, if displeased by your behavior, will strike you down and condemn you to burn in the everlasting bowels of Hell ~ FOREVER ~ is just a little friggin terrifying to me. And truly horrific things have been done in the name of Religion since the beginning of time. But Religion is way too big a topic for this little blog, and it’s not my intention to offend or discriminate anyone or their belief system.

So, before I go on, I have to qualify that when I refer to Religion in this post, I am referring to Christianity.

I’m Canadian. I live in Canada. Love my country! And in Canada, Christianity is the largest religion. We don’t really have an official religion because we totally support the worldview that one religion is not the sole and exclusive source of Truth. We’re very open-minded about this sort of stuff and I’m down with that. Our right to choice of religious belief is a huge part of our political culture and makes me proud to be part of such a socially progressive nation. I think that’s why so many folks love us. And want to be us. Yay, Canada! We is diversified. 🙂

Having said that, Christians represent 67.3% of the population, with the Catholic Church having the most faithful attendees. Interestingly enough, according to the 2011 Census, (information about religion is only collected once every 10 years), Islam is the second largest religion in Canada, practiced by 3.2% of the population.

I think I’m a little surprised by that statistic.

But, somewhere in between the Christians and Muslims living in Canada, 23.9% of our total population has NO Religion at all. 

And this two-part post is sorta-kinda-loosely for those people.

The 23.9%.

Of which I am most definitely ONE.


my_story.png

As a brown child growing up in middle-class, white suburbia, I was faced with reactions to my difference. A lot. They were thinly veiled beneath civility and politeness. But they were there just the same. By the time I was 7 and officially adopted, I had developed a not-so-fragile thicker skin. Curious stares no longer affected me. As much.

We didn’t have a lot of religious overtones in our house. My adoptive Mother was Armenian and her loosely termed religious bent was Presbyterian. My Dad is Welch and at some point adopted the Bahá’í Faith; a teaching of the essential worth of all religions, and the unity and equality of all people. Mom kinda poo-pooed his choice of Religion, but I don’t think she really cared one way or another. Religion was the least of their differences. She may not have been big on Religion, but I do remember going to Sunday School in her Presbyterian church.

Sunday School was very confusing to me.

All the beautiful, colorful illustrations in the Children’s Bible Storybooks depicted white angels, a white God, and a white Jesus. Admittedly, he was a little tanned. 😉 And all the children gathered around Jesus on those pages? Yeah, they were all white too. Apparently, brown children didn’t exist when Jesus walked the earth.

Without a physically identifiable biblical figure or any sweet, angelic-looking brown-skinned children in the storybooks, I was lost in a sea of Whiteness. I could not make any spiritual connection. Once I asked my Sunday School teacher why no-one in the stories looked like me. She didn’t really have an answer. Not one that satisfied me enough to make me feel included and deserving of God’s Love.

How friggin sad is that?

It was the late 60’s. Civil movements and equality were definitely on the rise. Protests against wars were being staged. Causes and reasons were abundant for every situation. The world was changing in powerful ways. But in Small-Town-Anywhere, Canada, no-one had an answer for why there were no brown children in the Children’s Bible Storybooks.

Sunday School quickly became just another place where my difference was obvious. Where my Not Enough-Ness took root. Where I didn’t really belong. I was the only brown kid in my Sunday School, in my classroom,  in my neighborhood, and in my family. Everyone could see that I was different. And I could see them seeing my difference. Good Christian parents pushing down the pointing fingers of their Good Christian children or shushing them if they were too inquisitively loud about my difference. It didn’t matter that in my home, skin color was of no concern.

The world judged.

After services, everyone gathered for a few minutes in front of the church so the adults could say their Hello’s and How Are You’s. Share news, invites and quietly judge each-other. My Mom was a terrible gossip and she reveled in pointing out the hypocrisy of these God-fearing people. She really had little use for people in general.

The kids would run around, tagging, laughing and generally blowing off whatever do-good thing they had learned that morning. I usually stood by myself. Close to Mom. It was awkward. None of those kids were neighbors or friends. I wasn’t a part of the click. One Sunday, as I waited patiently for Mom to stop chatting, this little girl about 5 years old ~ me being a grown up 8 years old ~ walked up to me and without a word, pushed her finger into my cheek, and dragged it down my face. Then she looked at her finger in surprise.

She thought my brown would rub off.

Yeah.

That was pretty much the last day I formally attended church.

The following weekend, my Mom gave me a choice.

I chose to stop attending Sunday School.


Part 2 ~ Next Tuesday. At The Buddha Neuron.  If you like this, check it out! 🙂

Till then…

OWN YOURSELF!

ACCEPT, EMBRACE & LOVE

EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU YOU!

And Namaste your ASS off!

emoji_siggy-COMINGOUT

I Need My Space Back :)

So…after debating on this issue for the past week, on and off, I have decided that Coming Out Crooked needs to go back to it’s original format. My reasons are simple. I need my space back. This space was never meant for business consumption. It was meant to be a personal space for me to work out my shit. To capture the journey of my coming out and my life, with all the pain, the sadness, the joy and the love that has been in. I think it’s important that I keep this space for me.

This message is specifically for the followers that have joined ‘my tribe‘ in the past few weeks based on the positivity messages posted here in my JUST DO YOU newsletter. I have a new home for those messages, and for the newsletter, and it’s intention is clear. If you’d like to continue to follow me on that particular journey which is catered more to positive personal development and the power of self-talk, then please find me here!

www.thebuddhaneuron.com

It’s a brand new site. A new venture. A new journey. And it’s literally being built as I write this lol so it will be changing constantly until it’s all done! But the BLOG is up and running and new posts will appear on Tuesdays and Fridays. Right now, it’s where my true focus is so please feel free to join me. Everyone is invited lol. The Buddha Neuron is just as much a part of me as Coming Out Crooked. It just has a different focus. I’m a Gemini. Nuff said! Lol

That’s it!

Have an AWESOME weekend! And perhaps I will see you on the other side!

hugging_face_emoji