My Private Remembrance Day

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”-Buddha

I am coming up on a time that is bitter sweet for me and it influences my life so profoundly to this very day.

The time I speak of is that pivotal moment in every person’s life who has ever been in the closet.

When you’re hoarse from running, exhausted and scared at every shadow, every whisper and every look feels like the weight of the elephant in the room. It is time. When you are paranoid that the world knows your secret and judges you for it. It is time.

But the only one tormented into the early morning, day in and day out, is you.

One day, as if by accident, while looking over your shoulder, you run smack into that thing you’ve been running from and it hits you in the face in a sometimes very real and painful way.

For me, it was being proposed marriage to, by a guy I had been in a relationship with for a long time and being caught up in the moment enough to say yes, only to have the yes tie itself around my throat like a noose.

Was I walking down the aisle or to the gallows?

I knew marrying this man was a death sentence for my inner self. It would kill my true self, my feelings, my struggles, my creativity and my plans for the life I wanted and was too cowardly at that point to reach out and grab.

When I finally took that great leap, it was painful and ugly.

I laboured to give birth to myself under lonely conditions. But I was proud when it was over. Not that it ever ends.

You come out every day in casual conversation, when someone says, ‘what does your husband do?’ or even things like division of household chores or workplace emergency contact lists or hospital waiting rooms.

When Pride events begin in my neck of the woods in about a week from now, I allow myself that time to ruminate on 7 years ago, and how very different life was for me in my twenties…and that I wouldn’t change a moment of truth for all those years of lies and omissions.

Truth is the only safe ground to stand on.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815 – 1902)

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The Fullness Of My Circle

“There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.” – Buddha

I have embraced the circle as my symbol for the present.

This might sound peculiar but it makes perfect sense that the universe would draw me to this symbol.

In 2005 I moved to my current city because of a woman.

I wasn’t so much, running toward her as I was, running away from the straight world and all that it encompassed for me.

10 days later, I answered the phone and a female voice answered. It was another woman and I knew then, I had made a mistake.

For reasons I can’t fathom, recognising she had a drinking problem, was irresponsible and couldn’t hold down a job, I stayed with her for 2 years.

It was, as some counsellors call it, domestic terrorism; I was awoken at all hours, called all names, threatened, screamed at, ridiculed and used – for my extra income and stability.

In the end, it came to blows, on her end, not mine. As the taller and stronger one, I allowed her to lash out at me physically. I did only what I needed to do in order to protect myself.

“I’ll call the cops and tell them you beat me,” she snarled, a sharp whiff of beer on her breath, her legs unsteady.
I did what I could to wrestle the only phone in the house away from her and dialled 911 while she fought to pry the baseball bat she was threatening me with, from underneath my legs.

“My ex-girlfriend is trying to kill me,” I panted into the phone.

The next day, I walked into the office at a health clinic in my city and asked for help.

“You need to help me so that what happened never happens to me again,”

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” -Kenji Miyazawa

That journey got me to meet a lot of wonderful people. I stumbled and fell and did stupid things for a while, but I figured it out.

I spent some time alone and during that time, I met my wonderful wife.

She has supported my career change from media to psychology and now I’m returning the knowledge and the experience back to the community.

Full circle for me means coming back to the community, offering others who’ve experienced the violation of self by someone intimate the support they need to reclaim their lost selves.

It’s seven years now since I first stepped in to that situation and I am older, stronger and smarter.

Not to mention, I am far more certain of what I will tolerate before I cut you loose as a friend or lover.

I have lots to do before I finish my group proposal on how I will help women who’ve been hurt by other women, but I plan to do the best I can for as many people who graciously accept my help.

Sharing my knowledge and giving compassion is what I must do with my life now.

“On life’s journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him.” – Buddha

In times of danger

This is how you stay alive.

You think of Thich Nhat Hanh’s words:

“Just let go my dear”  needled in black ink on your forearm.

you think of the millions of cells fighting on your behalf,

synapses firing,

heart beating,

blood pumping

how dare you tear apart the work of the universe, it’s beauty is a miracle

you love and you wait

patience

cultivate waiting, time and beauty

dear Buddha

you were right

all we have is now.

all we need is love

all i want is you