Friday, June 25, 2010

I am...

I hate the world today 
You're so good to me 
I know but I can't change 
tried to tell you but you look at me like maybe I'm an angel 
innocent and sweet 
Yesterday I cried 
You must have been relieved to see the softer side 
I can understand how you'd be so confused 
I don't envy you 
I'm a little bit of everything 
all rolled into one 

I'm a bitch, I'm a lover 
I'm a child, I'm a mother 
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint 
I do not feel ashamed 
I'm your health, I'm your dream 
I'm nothing in between 
You know you wouldn't want it any other way 

So take me as I am 
This may mean you'll have to be a stronger man 
Rest assured that when I start to make you nervous 
and I'm going to extremes 
tomorrow I will change 
and today won't mean a thing 


Just when you think you've got me figured out 
the season's already changing 
I think it's cool you do what you do 
and don't try to save me 


I'm a bitch, I'm a tease 
I'm a goddess on my knees 
when you hurt, when you suffer 
I'm your angel undercover 
I've been numbed, I'm revived 
can't say I'm not alive 
You know I wouldn't want it any other way 

Copyright Meredith Brooks

I'll admit it, when I first heard this song it was so hard for me to listen to - my strong self had not yet emerged and it was scandalous to me that someone could and would sing so proudly about being all aspects of her own self.  It really shook me to the core and yet I listened, quietly and secretly, to the song.  To the words, until one day I just started singing - really loud and out loud.

Guess what?  I was not smoted, I was not struck down by the holy lightning of control, toeing the line, being 'less' or by being 'more' of what I was.  I started to realize that this song was a story that could be told in tears, burning cheeks, bruises, scars and direct gazes that dared, DARED, to say, "If you cannot accept me for who I am, whatever place I am in, then you aren't the one to be with me."  

Friend, lover, parent, sibling, stranger on a bus...the embarrassed lady in the produce aisle that caught me singing at the local Safeway.  I didn't apologize, and she just sorta smiled like maybe, just maybe she wished she could say the words.  Just to see how they felt, to see if the world would come crashing down upon her for shedding her outer layers just long enough to let the La Loba inside breathe.  See if the dragon still can fly.  See if the birds can sing with random abandon.  To see if the sparks burned as brightly on the skin as they did in the night sky.

There might be more on this later, in a Part 2.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

You've Changed!

She looked at me, there was a tone and she said, “You’ve changed…
No denying it, she was right.  I have changed, I have grown and learned.  I have new experiences – trials and victories – which have shaped my life.  I have changed and for me change has been a good thing.  I’m stronger, braver, sometimes wiser and sometimes more outspoken.  I am less invested in pleasing others at the expense of my own safety, sanity and peace of mind. 
There was time, however, when I would become almost physically ill with worry.  Worry about what other people thought I should be and how far I would fall short of their mark.  Notice I was sick about failure?  That’s because only in my most crazy dreams did I ever achieve the much sought after success of pleasing them, any of them, all of them!  A single moment that never happened and yet it took a toll on me physically, emotionally and spiritually.
So it was a great sense of satisfaction that I was able to look her in the face, and smile and reply with, “You say it like it is a bad thing!” and I knew to her it was a very bad thing!  I was working outside the norms, exisiting and living beyond the set boundaries.  The set boundaries of my family, of their friends, of their world. 
I did the unthinkable – I changed! I decided to live!  I realized that if I didn’t change parts of me would keep dying off until there was nothing left of me but a stiffly smiling compliant husk.  I understood that we have to change, everything does. 
Even mountains and shorelines change by forces small and large.  Trees grow and change from seed to sapling to young tree to towering giant.  Butterflies, flowers, spiders every thing that lives must change or it is dead.
Why is it, that when we change away from unhealthy to healthy those who don’t change with us take it personally?  They say, “You’ve changed” in such a tone that practically shouts that the change is not only against their wishes, but also almost certainly doomed not only to catastrophic failure but humiliation.  Not just humiliation for your either, no there is a whole train of baggage that includes their humiliation, their feelings, their standards not being met.
When I stopped trying to please my family, when I stopped trying to squeeze my mostly ‘round peg’ self into their ‘square peg’ holes, they were so upset.  When I wouldn’t stop advocating for something I believed in I lost a job I loved.  When I couldn’t not be who I am I was accused of things, I was left behind, I was told I’d be a failure.
You’ve changed!
Yes I have!  I’m not trying to please you by letting you live vicariously through me in my life.  I’m not trying to make you happy by doing what you would choose for me.  I’m not trying to achieve goals that are not in my framework for personal, social and professional satisfaction.  I’m not rolling the credit reel with your names at the top to finish every success I celebrate.
You’ve changed…” the disappointment is heavy…you can hear it dripping of every letter.  
And I will continue to change as I walk through my life and grow in confidence, faith and love.  And I will continue to change, every day we can choose to change and grow.  Or we can choose to stay behind in the past, in our comfort zones where children stay children, where new ideas are always vetted past the old idea thinkers, where doing something outside of the usual people pleasing, family peace mode is unthinkable.
I am in a place in my life where I value new things, different things.  I am in a place in my life where each challenge or choice is not prefaced with, “What would they do?  Will they be happy with this?  How could this affect their reputation, their feelings for me, their lives…?
I have changed,  and I will fight, shout and cheer for everyone who also chooses to change for the most important person in their lives, themselves!  I don’t want a drone for a child, I don’t want mental slaves for friends and I don’t want to watch people being wounded by those who are supposed to love and care for them.   I’m not afraid anymore because I have faith, a family of my own and a life that has not been built on meeting the impossible needs of pleasing others.
There is no harder work, there is no greater fear and there is no more wonderful a reward than to look in the mirror and honestly say, “Today, I pleased me, I made my life a wonderful place in small or big ways. Today I choose for me!  Today I celebrate me!”
Today when you take your first steps of the day, the first steps towards pleasing you in your life choose the path with less traffic, less baggage and less expectations.  Without all that weight you’ll find a way to a day made with you in mind.  Walk that dog, take that nap, say, “no thank you” and when they say, “You’ve changed…”, stand tall and reply with a smile.  “Yes, yes I have, and it’s GREAT!”

© 2010 Shanyn Silinski

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's not about you...

It's not about you...keep that firmly in mind if you think this post is about you.  Remember the Carly Simon song.  This post is about me, for the first time I am speaking out in this way and it is about me.

My healing.
My journey.
My story.
My faith.

Not your reputation.
Not your recollection.
Not your friends.
Not your family.
Not your feelings.
Not your guilt, or lack thereof.

It is about me opening doors and airing things out.  It is about me sharing my story so that I can encourage and inspire others on the same healing path.  

It is about me not being ashamed of who I am, not being angry at the circumstances which formed me into who I am. 

I am a survivor of sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse.  The key word there folks is survivor, so journey with me and we'll be strong together, we'll cry together and we'll most likely get in to a great bit of trouble because we won't be silent anymore!

It is about going to bed and not thinking about the monsters in the dark.
It is about waking up and loving the woman in the mirror and the girl she was.
It is about taking a chance that the world won't end if the silence does.

If you do know me, and you don't know this story about me, I pray that it doesn't change how you see me.  I'm not any different than I was before you read this, your just seeing another layer, another dimension of me.  

If you don't know me and you are reading my story as I start this journey, welcome!

If you are among the few who who parts of this story, it is because you encourage and inspire me that I am doing this next part of my journey of healing, of faith.  You have brought me along with your love, your tears, your healing...and I thank you for it.

You don't have to like what I say.
I don't like what I have to say.
You do have to listen.
I could have been your daughter.
I could have been your sister.
I could have been your friend.
I could have been your wife.
If I was, would you have stayed silent?
If I was, would you feel differently about this story?

I am still a seeker, and I'm still scarred - that's who I am.  This is me...welcome to the journey with a Scarred Seeker, also known as Mystic.