Friday, July 29, 2011

Betrayal and Trust

I"m guest posting over at Emerging From Broken about Betrayal and Trust.

Won't you come over and join us?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Surrounded Alone

Surrounded by people - yet alone.
Their chatter
a cloud of noise
around me.

Surrounded by people - yet alone.
Seeing wolves,
seeing sheep
seeing them.

Surrounded by people - still.
Their words

Surrounded by people - eyes moving.
Seeing so much.
Them - standing too close.
Her - leaning away.
There a harsh whisper, a flinch.
There a rolling eye, scorning.
Here a pinch, there a wink.

Surrounded by people - I smile.
Hollow, faking it well.
Nodding, "oh yes I see" said.
Inside I hear the stillness in me.
Inside I feel the watcher move.

Surrounded by people - can't breathe.
The noise, the smells
Their energy.
Unknowing and sucking.
Thirsting and seeking.

Surrounded by people - I slip away.
Within me, the wiring is wrong.
I'm there but so not there.
Not so simple as
wolves and sheep.
It is something complex.

Surrounded by people - unseen.
Learning to be invisible
long ago
serves me well today.

They always look shocked
when I suddenly speak
and appear there.
In their midst - who knew?
Witty, fun, confident,
not like them, exotic.
I shake my head, within me,
Then I slip away again.

Copyright 2011 Shanyn Silinski

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why I love poppies

If I could come back as a flower it'd be a poppy or a sunflower.  Probably though, as much as I adore sunflowers, I'm more of a poppy person.

Why?  It is very hard to get rid of poppies once they are putting seeds in the ground.  They are like us, survivors, and like us they learn to stay underground or come up to the light depending on the conditions around them.  We know when there is a good place to grow because of the safety, nourishment and sunlight that we often lacked when we ourselves little seed pods.

I love poppies because they grow out of adversity of the most gruesome kind.  Like battle fields, like blood soaked fields.  We also grew out of adversity and not only survived but learned to thrive!  Maybe it took us a few seasons to get our roots down and like a poppy field not every seed comes up.  We don't always bloom right away nor do we find our place easily

Poppies are fragile flowers there is no doubt about it.  They don't have really firm blooms and their leaves are not woody or strong.  Their power is in their seeds, in their legacy.  No poppy ever truly dies if even one poppy lives to bloom again! 

Have you ever collected poppy seeds?  Put them in a little jar...and then accidentally dropped them?  You can NEVER pick up all the seeds!  They are too small, too round and designed to hide away!

They remind me of the stolen, treasured moments which no one could or can take away from us.  They are where our seeds are and when we can find them a place to grow we can see blooms, and seeds and so much come blossoming to light! 

How encouraging to know that one seed this size (.) can be the freedom seed for thousands of flowers!  Given a chance to grow, a poppy seizes it with an intensity that colors horizons, inspires poets and changes the world!  What would Remembrance Day be without that poem by the doomed McCray and the poppies we all wear?

What if it is more than our moments but also our words that are like poppy seeds?  What if we choose to be seeding a silent world with color and words?  I can imagine it...can you?

Today my heart hurt.  For a friend raped.. For a mama dog and her babies shot down.  For friends with sick children, husbands gone to the Lord.  For all of us.  

I almost didn't write anything today but when I went out to water the flowers the sun shone behind my poppy and I couldn't NOT write!  Even when you don't think you have something to say speak your heart.  Speak your poppy seeds and as survivors let's plant the world with healing!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My story: limited access

The inspiration for this post came from one by my good friend, fellow survivor and blogger, Patricia Singleton at Spiritual Journey of a Light Worker

In that post she talked about how hard it can be for survivors to heal past telling their stories.  It really resonated with me because I have had some experiences with the telling of abuse stories that were disturbing and seemed counter to moving to healing.

If you have read my posts prior to this one you'll know I am not about the drama or the descriptions of my story but about the healing.  For me it is about the healing, the stories are part of it, but they are not the bigger part.  I lived through them once retelling them over and over seems almost pornographic.

Another kind of violation and it is one that when we say, I'm a survivor people can have an expectation that we not only are willing but eager to share the intimate details of with any stranger who asks.  It isn't always helpful, can probably can be often the opposite, to feed that sort of need to be validated by reliving the woundings in our lives.

No one actually retells the story of breaking their arm by actually rebreaking the arm.  We don't explain how our car crashed by actually going out and crashing again.  There is post traumatic stress involved with any major stressor in our lives.  Any major stressor and abuse is a real doozie!

There seems to be an expectation that we have to measure up for our story to be taken seriously that we have to meet a standard for being abused.  Those who would expect us to tell our stories over and over again  are feeding off our stories like emotional vampires.  They are pulling us away from our healing.  They are distracting us from doing the work of healing.

I had a woman introduce herself to me as a 'sister survivor' and wanted to share her story with me.  She was offended when I didn't reciprocate in great detail.  She told me she knew I was healing but how bad was it, really that you are still healing.  She wanted to know how her own story measured up against others I had heard.  It was shocking to me!  She was so focused on the hurt that the healing was taking a back seat, permanently, because 'people want to hear my story of the abuse, not about the other stuff'

I remember watching Criminal Minds it was the episode where the mother never gives up on believing her son is alive.  For 8 years.  She finally gets someone from the BAU to listen to her and she tells her everything she has learned, researched and found out.  The character JJ says, "I'm sorry you have to know that.  I'm sorry you were put through something that made you have to know that."

I'm sorry that any of us have to have these stories to tell. No one should have them. None of us.  But we do.  It isn't about the story, it's about the healing.  Dwelling on the story, getting sucked in to the vampiric world of more and more drama, more and more telling sucks us dry of the will to move on in our healing.

I don't need to tell it  I lived it.  I remember it.  If I focus, or am facing a trigger, I can remember things in grotesque detail that no one should ever want to hear.  I don't want to remember but I do.   I take the remembering and add it as fuel to the cleansing fire of my healing.

We are no less a voice for advocacy if we are not sharing the intimate details of our story.  We are no less for not needing to feed that drama.  We are who we are, survivors moving through to the healing.  I don't want to get stuck in the horror story time, do you?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It is personal!

Don't be so sensitive.

Don't take it personally.

I have avoided this topic for quite a while and last night a status update from a friend got me thinking about it again.

My stand on this is a bit, well, radical.  Maybe even, well, dangerous.  Let's back up a few steps though.  When someone starts a conversation with don't take this personally I'm already on guard, senses alert and I'm ready to respond.  They have warned me.  What else should I do?  I ask three questions.

Yep, three questions:

  1. Are they talking to me about me?
  2. Is this thing they are talking about directly to do with me?
  3. Is it a judgement or comment upon myself and the things I think, say, or do?

If I answer yes! to any of these then by golly it is personal folks!  No amount of excuses, spin doctoring or perspective shifting can change that. 

When someone tells you that you are responding incorrectly always be sure to find out who is doing the measuring of correctness.  It has been easier since I learned the trick phrases that many employ.  Such as: now I don't want you getting all worked up or more classically don't freak out and take this personally.  

I've learned to pause and wait for the impending answer to question number 2.  (It almost always follows straight after the opening statement or warning against your response.  Is the conversation, being one sided, encouraging, supportive and generally uplifting?  Or is it you telling me how to be me?  I know how I feel, these feelings live in my veins daily.  I know how to hear what you are saying and when it is to me, about me, like I'm not really there then it is personal!

Question three deals with content and delivery - is the conversation about how much better they would be at being you?  Is the admonition against being too sensitive and taking things too personally directed at what you say, think or do?  

If it is about you, to you and there is an expectation of response by you then IT IS PERSONAL!

When the lights turn red suddenly -that is 99.9% not personal.
If you see someone turning the switch at the light after waiting all day for you, probably that's the percentage that I left for wiggle room for it to be personal.

When the courier loses your package - that is not personal.
If you see them dumping it in a trash container then it could be a personal issue.  This is unlikely.

When someone says you should do things their way, and be happy they suggested it that is highly personal!  

Good or bad (and have you noticed that you are never too sensitive or taking things too personally when it is good stuff, celebratory stuff, easy to handle stuff? Yeah I noticed that too!) things said to a person, about that person with an impression, indication or direction that they take said things as long awaited much valued information should be taken personally.

My healing journey is deeply personal and I choose to share it.  I do reserve the right to be sensitive and to take things as personally as I need to.  If you tell me my shoelace is undone, not personal, thanks for the information.  If you tell me I'm wandering around again with untied shoelaces, and hasn't anyone ever taught me how to tie a bow for goodness sakes and you actually dress yourself daily - now THAT is personal!

Healing is hard work but laughter makes the load lighter.  I'm afraid that too many of us think life is all serious all the time.  We were robbed of our joy, and it is our duty as survivors to seek, hunt down, put in a brightly colored bucket or cartoon pillow case every bit of giggle, joy, sunshine and dandelion fluff we can find!  We should celebrate being alive, living and healing and I celebrate you!

Don't let anyone steal your joy, diminish you as a person or cause you to think of yourself as worthy of their campaign for change!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Targets, a poem

Give them a target.
Give them someone to blame.
Someone to dream of lynching.
The smell of bloody revenge,
even in a proxy cyber world.

Give them soap box.
Give them someone to shout at.
Someone to judge and flay.
The intoxication of hindsight,
even if they have no clue.

Why isn't anyone shouting?
Why isnt anyone crying?
There is a small body forgotten.
Broken and left alone.
Someone knew and stayed silent.
Someone could have spoken,
and did not say a word.

Why aren't we searching for the
next child to save?
Why aren't we doing more than
lighting porch lights?

A small life, trusting and fragile.
A life which we did nothing to save.
A life which we forget in the frenzy,
the 'injustice' and the knot tying.

The injustice is this,
we are always showing up
too late to the gunfight,
knife in hand and no clue.

People why aren't we showing
love, protection and caring
to these the smallest of the 
'least of these'?

Instead of tying nooses
and building gallows,
shouldn't we be protecting,
sheltering, loving and saving?

It would have taken one voice,
just one, loud enough to be heard,
but it seems easier to be silent then,
and cry when it is too late.

Copyright Shanyn Silinski 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

More than porch lights

This is not about Caylee alone, this is about all who are lost to abuse, all who are hiding in abuse and for all those who are struggling through to a healing path.  It is for those on the healing path.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if porch lights could talk?  Wouldn't it be wonderful if porch lights could tell what goes on behind their windows or those of their neighbors?  It would be wonderful but it isn't their job! 

It is our job!  We all know that there is always someone who knows.  Someone is able to speak up. Someone is safely capable of speaking up.  You know who they are, they are almost always on the news saying, I knew something bad was going to happen. or I am not surprised!  Of course you knew! Of course you are not surprised.  You knew!

So many of my friends are sharing about this lost child, and putting on their porch lights in her memory.  How sad I am that I wish we didn't have to!    Imperfect system that we have, even children in care are abused and many die.  Many escape one horror only to be stuffed into another.   

I worked in that world.  I know a bit of how things happen.  But I will never believe that they have to, that there isn't another way.  I believe that children can have a childhood.  I believe we can do this because if we care enough to light up the night for a lost one, if we can fire up with networks with our outrage, we can change the world with love.

What if someone had spoken up for you or what if someone had noticed your hurt?  That would have changed your world.

Turn on your porch lights and please remember it's not just one we've lost, but one too many and there are more in danger right now!  And someone knows.  Someone is speaking and not being heard. Someone is choosing silence.  What are you choosing?

We need more, we have the power of an enormous nation at our status updating, liking and sharing finger tips.  We can do more because we are more!