10. Held in Love

Journal # 86 July 20, 2005 -October 13, 2005

Held in love is a lot more positive line than I expected to come out as I’ve been in down space for about five days. The weekend was the toughest space I’ve been in for about two years I’m sure. Wondering why so deep pain. It’s pain; not agony; pain. Is it taking on others pain? Is it being at my school reunion; the homecoming; too many memories all at once; and here the crying starts. Puts me in touch with the amount of pain I was suppressing all those years; all those buried longings and hopes for a better life; my wanting someone to love and wanting someone to love me. The longing I go through; wishing for a date; or meeting and getting to know someone and have someone interested in me.
Is it thinking more and more about publishing my second book? Made the call; left a message for the editor from the first one; asking him to call back. He didn’t. Was asked and left a message that I would speak to the Tamara’s House Board at their next meeting. Feel hopeless about the whole thing; wondering if it’s worth it. Now I’m crying again, wondering why it seems so important and just won’t go away. Feel like haven’t had creative energy for years.
Doing fine at work but it’s hard too. Had a meeting at the hospital rehabilitation department; customer has a brain injury; and I’ve just had the first fatality claim I’ve ever had; a two year old child run over in it’s driveway. I’m crying again. My heart physically hurts. My grandfather backed over his two year year old granddaughter in front of their house when I was only about six years old. Still remember my uncle, my aunt; the funeral. That was awful.
Reading some Saskatchewan history books; some books from Hell talking about the experiences of Doctors without Borders. Saw the ring my co-worker wants me to buy. I liked it. (crying again). Would have to take a loan. Is that me? Do I want it with or without an appraisal? Extra insurance on it? Something to wear the rest of my life? Why do I want it? Symbolize the hard work I’ve done and how far I’ve come. I’m repeating myself over and over. Doesn’t make sense to me. I so feel like I deserve it. (crying again). Is it giving up the idea I’ll not have anyone who’ll give me gifts like that?
Not liking my clothes; they all feel dull and drab and twenty years old which they probably are. I don’t have crisp and new and colorful. My niece is staying here for a week’s volleyball summer camp and my son’s been coming for supper near every night. I’ve got this deep level exhaustion so maybe that’s what the HELD IN LOVE is all about. Give the love to each person I meet is what needs to happen. I’m doing my exercises and taking the calcium for the study I’m in. Something is trying to get out of me with my left hand itchy and one finger swollen.
Went to a library information session on Cuba and human rights; felt a little more human or connected to the world or something. It’s as if I’ve been a long way off observer of life; not thrilled about anything, feeling like what’s the point.
The women with the ring is now down to wanting about two thousand. Still interests me and don’t know why. Did get appraisals which ranged from from forty five hundred to fifty five hundred.
Took three hours off work to go to Saskatchewan Women of Distinction Awards. My aunt is one of one hundred women pioneers in Saskatchewan being recognized for the many things she did to make Saskatchewan a better province.
My daughter bought a house and I helped a bit with her move. I’m so impressed with how well she has done in life and don’t think she realizes how much she has accomplished. Met with a woman who needed to talk about her mother; how burdened she feels; how she’d like to make her mom so happy and knowing can’t change it for someone else. Similar to how I feel about my kids; powerless and helpless to change anything to make them happy. She was telling me about a writing exercise so tried it out.
Story of my life: I’ve had a good life. I’ve had difficulties I’ve overcome. Major challenges and learning experiences; found myself in relationship with a lot of people; many at a soul level. I am an unconventional person and yet value many of the same things most in society would espouse. Safety, security, love and laughter.
To relax, I meditate, take walks, talk to someone or journal. I might want to add massage but don’t go often. The major stresses in my life are whenever I have to make a decision or am unsure how to do something unknown or any situation where I feel powerless. Right now I’m feeling that about things in my house: the water seepage, mold, fridge noise, whether I buy a new fridge and lack of money.
A spiritual practice that is important to me as I have no religious practice anymore (start crying) is the meditation. Up to now that has been my church in the moment and now I’d say every moment is my spiritual practice. Singing is now gone so may look at going to new type of church called Centre for Positive Living. I see they have meditation.
Vitriolic is word that comes for the bitterness I feel about what has gone before; that my life didn’t work out in regard to relationship, love, marriage, kids happy, money for them; that family life would have been easier growing up; that my life now would be easier; that the deep depths would be a little less painful. My sister saying she had one deep bawling day when her child left home; my other sister said having one day like that as her son is leaving and I could say, “How would you like to have a hundred of them in a year?”
An Irish wit or wisdom: I’m either higher than a kite or lower than low and feel like something the cat dragged in.
What brings meaning to my life? That I am important; whether the pain I go through is significant in the whole scheme of things; meaning when I can make sense of things and be there for others; feel like I’m making a contribution.
What brings purpose to my life? Exploring who I am in order to be all that I am meant to be.
Finish the sentence:
Physically, I have non desire.
Mentally, no disease.
Spiritually, I cry.
Emotionally, on a scale of one to ten, I’m at about a six overall. I’d like to be at an eight. I consider myself in tune, in touch, relaxed and balanced. Was at a four a few weeks ago so doing better; in the past would be a zero, one, two or three for months when I couldn’t work.
Family history had lots of struggles, denial and addictions.
Relationship history: I’m still letting go.
Diet: doing okay but could do better.
Exercise: probably should do something aerobic.
Sleep habits: awake a few hours each night.

I made a decision about the ring. Realize ‘I want to be free,’ and that ring doesn’t add to that concept for me. My sister bought it for a $1000.00 and I feel fine about that. Maybe that’s what it was all about in the first place.
Concerns me amount of time I spend thinking about work and work files. So much caring and I’m unable to leave it behind. Like I work my files much of the nights. Dreaming about work. Scared I’m not sure I know what I’m doing; had to do a full slate of self-employment claims and so have to go through their income tax forms. Do I know enough for what I’m doing? I had to tell a family their dad had the stroke before the car accident and therefore no benefits. Things like my hiring a psychologist in another province has me questioning my abilities and whether the training has been lacking.
Sorting out why I am talking to the Board at Tamara’s House. They let me know they are not a funding agency. Presentation may need to be: That was then; this is NOW. THEN: What I was talking about was not easy; baring my soul in public (makes me wail) and the why I want to heal parts of myself that are still wounded; mainly to assist in getting through the darknesses.
NOW: Money and a Journey. It’s a matter of expression. The why it’s important for other women and society. Balance of Power. Freedom. The civil process. Reading about it assists women. It opens up possibilities; gives knowledge. Maybe someone will become a lawyer.
Non stop thinking about where to get money re book and how to give presentation. Thinking about the amount of times I’m crying in a week. Is that okay? Living like this? Okay for who? Okay for me I guess. Questioning whether I need professional help. Notice I’m not saying to others what I am really thinking. I’m feeling like a martyr or a victim. I’m envious of all those women not working; women who are on disability programs. Now some say they are retired now or the ones that have husbands who take care of them.
Not liking all the pain and injury I’m hearing in the world. At work and on the news. Going through feelings of ‘nobody’s there for me’. Friend told me her cat died. Bawled all through making her “sorry about your loss” card. Picked a rose on my way over to her place saying to her when I get there, “I have an aversion to stores,” because of the home made card and picked rose. Cried when she asked me how I am doing.
Picked a white rose on my way home and wrote about it’s significance to me of who I am in this moment of time. I am on a spiritual journey; part of all oneness; opening up to life. Actually very mature and fresh; not a bit tattered. Home and pain in left hip. Know it means not totally ready to move forward; the child scared of what lies ahead. Surprised at depth of pain and grief I’m going through.
Still thinking of presentation. Make notes that I want to thank them for work they’re doing; tell them my sister, Louise didn’t make it; importance of sharing stories; heal; importance of people to hear our stories. Coming to them as a survivor, a social worker; social activist; my former role in Tamara’s House; tell them the ties Tamara’s House has to the book; the book’s importance; surprises me Tamara’s House has no follow up; as to what survivor’s want it to be as that is what Tamara’s House was to be all about.
This Book II is still a highly charged piece of work for me. Not comfortable letting go. It is a matter of expression of so many things. Freedom. Serious. Extreme Psychological Trauma. Striving to get to Freedom.
Took out some instant fingernails to see if they will work. Won’t know unless I try. They won’t. I tried. Will give them away. So many things unsure how to do; will just leave until I can.
DREAM: as if in a race, going in circles, deciding to leave it. See this woman who has been giving seven books of photographs as presents to people.
Realize how hard I’ve worked to heal and how hard it is to heal the pain of sexual abuse. The meeting is canceled the day I was to do the presentation as not enough board members. Wondering will I phone the editor of my Book I again?
Went to a presentation where a famous photographer shared his emotional hell and said the day he was ready to commit suicide, heard a voice. I haven’t heard a voice besides the emotion and an inner urging that this is a very important work.
Feel like telling all at work; that I can’t see doing the injury work for the rest of my fifteen years; that I have gone through extreme psychological trauma for many, many years and it’s in my best interest to move away from the injured or I re traumatize myself. Need more support at work or I have to find ways to manage my desk in a more balanced way.
Talking to a friend about men and me and relationship. Said if I tell a man what I’m really thinking I’ll probably end up alone, but said I’d rather do that than be silenced.
This second book. More than a little hell happening for me. Is it all because of bringing up past history to do with the book. If so, it’s time to deal with it and put closure to it. Know it’s not to do with wanting to be famous. Realize after first book; this is not a subject people really want to deal with but if there is some way they can support someone, they will. Have not asked my kids about their opinion about my going forward with this second book as know I have to make the decision.
When I wrote the other book I had the woman volunteer from Oiltown listening to me. Then the woman from the Saskatoon Sexual Assault Centre volunteered to listen. I found what I needed so I could debrief. Maybe need to do that again?
August 10, 2005 Did about a ten minute presentation to Tamara’s House Board telling them I had written first book out of forty three journals; that I had no money so asked people to support me so that I could publish; the why it was important; the book was about the criminal process and what a survivor goes through; now the contents of Book II are still about what a survivor goes through but also about the civil court process.
I told them I believe the court transcripts and Examination of Discovery transcripts are important for survivors as knowledge is power. Also believe from a sociological perspective, this book gives history of survivor’s and Tamara’s House. The two books show the community development of the drop in centre; presentations, workshops, and community involvement.
It also speaks to money issues; how much it costs to self-publish. I noted this book costs more as last time lots of the administration type work was completed for little pay. I talked about irritation when the staff of Tamara’s House are not understanding what I want; that other survivor’s requests for more from myself such as the poems, songs I’ve written or survivors wanting listening and I don’t have the time, money or the stamina.
I spoke about the costs to publish this book asking them for money and if no money; a committee to support me.
I left and realize I don’t have any great expectations. I see how customers are so looking for support at work, co-workers are looking for support from management and wonder are we in a world where everyone needs support?
Dream after presentation is that a child is in the basement; is being taken by the hand, pulled out of the cement and will be wiping it’s eyes off.
Talked to a friend. No. Wailed to a friend about the two year old fatality claim I was dealing with at work; and how lost and alone I felt when I was little and my cousin died and you don’t know where you go when you die except in the ground. Can a child understand the concept of Spirit or God? Difficult row to hoe if I’m going to be attempting to understand everything. I guess can come to know myself and what affects me. The friend and I talk about a possible motto for ourselves being “THIS or something better,” and keep changing our lives one step at a time.
Spending time with my kids and gramma games are now playing darts, lots of backyard water fun, hopscotch, reading books and playing ball. We have started going to golf nine holes at a pay if you go course in the country where it’s great fun going in the bushes and finding balls.
I did ask for more support at work; letting management know I would like to see training on vicarious traumatization for front line staff.
Did some journal writing and know am still wanting people to understand how hard it is. Maybe need to change my thinking and tell myself I have all the understanding, support, comfort, care from myself, others, universe that I need and can keep accessing more. Universal love; consciousness is available to me and hearing me out. The me inside must be hurting and today I will have compassion.
Decide I will volunteer for the Open Door Society. Maybe get out of my own head I want to be part of something bigger than myself; where I can contribute; where I can give. A friend has asked and I’ve agreed to her coming to live in my basement suite while she goes to school. Met the professor from across the street who asked me to give a presentation to the social work university students. She said my Book I -Wanted: Someone to Understand with the subtitle, Child Sexual Abuse is required reading for the students this year.
A co-worker asked me to go to Mexico in November with her. May do that. Would have to get a passport. Started on it the next day. Also filled out the volunteer form, references and police check; dropped all off at the Open Door Society. Told them don’t want to be matched with a known trauma survivor.
One of my references had written the response to the question of what I have to offer as: “a caring spirit and true empathy for others; excellent listening skills, a willingness to explore and understand perspectives other than her own; plus a non-judgmental attitude; a sense of humour; knowledge & experience working with survivors of trauma, post-traumatic stress and vicarious traumatization, awareness of the need for self-care.” Thought to myself, “I should save that.”
September I bought the ticket to Mexico and a new fridge as had listened to the fridge making noise for months. Signed up for African dance lessons with the two women I walk with. Had a wonderful long weekend with an extra day off work and made grocery and other to do lists. Sorted lots: clothes, shed, some cupboards. Cleaned, swept floor, did dishes; did exercises; a ten kilometre walk, mowed and fertilized the lawn; studied a book about changing your life; caught up on emails; phone calls; did some composting, gardening; cleaning the yard; made an apple cake; looked at Saskatchewan Arts grant idea, book ideas, caught up on my journalling; cleaned my leather coat, listened to some music, got groceries, was Gramma, made tapioca pudding, talked with friends and copied two tapes of Dad and my music.
Over next weeks I’m reading books on self-acceptance and self-love; healing and clearing the energy fields. How do you repair and recharge? Sometimes when I meditate it physically feels like my heart is unfurling. I can feel it in my chest. Is that healing? Clearing?
Met with a friend. Sorting what I want in my life. Challenging my buts such as no opportunity, no time, no knowledge, no care or support, my powerlessness and my fear over money.
Wrote out my own affirmations: I can do anything. I get things accomplished. I have all the time I need. I learn quickly. I care and support myself and others care and support me. I’m in my own power. I have enough. I am enough. Wrote out qualities I want in a love relationship: caring, nurturance, affection, listening skills, ability to see, perceive on lots of levels, intelligence and purpose.
Went home; sorting out lots; changing things around; figuring out new ways of working at work so can see a big picture regarding my files so don’t get lost in the emotion. I sent in a grant application re my book project. My passport came. Still going through overwhelmed feeling at work; trying to figure out how to get out of so much work; asked to get out of going to a class in Regina but manager said no; wants me to audit the course for them; get my opinion on whether it’s worth having for all the rest of the injury representatives.
Did some internet research on self-publishing, on agents, and publishers.
Read somewhere that our purpose and passion is uncovering our essence; remembering me.
My daughter gets a two year term position with the federal government; something to do with training. So glad.
Having so much trouble speaking to my boss at work about how used I feel; so pissed off at the crap I was given for a workload; the shitty files; feel like saying; give them to someone else; someone else can have trial by fire.
I am in touch with something bigger than myself though; went downstairs and the first journal I touch from August of 1999 I open found the Debriefing Document I wanted. I am in awe. It was something I wrote out years before and know how useful it can be:
What was gained? achieved?
What is unfinished?
What regrets do I have?
What surprised me?
How is this similar to other times? previous times?
What is next? plan?
Is further closure required? how?

Heard from a guy named Wes from when I put my name and profile on the dating service. Interesting to talk to on the phone. We are going to get together for coffee and meet at some point I think.
Looking at my life again and wondering who I can count on; or what. Can I count on synchronicity? I would say I can count on the universe. Sometimes; think there is something happening that is archetypal.
September 28, 2005 Meeting Wes at 7:00 tonight. Unsure what that will go like. Went to African Dance class last night; wasn’t like I thought it would be; it’s like Aerobics to African music. Went well; can mostly do what I’m supposed to do.
Doing this writing exercise of finishing sentences; and the one that said, “I’m afraid if I started dreaming, I finished with “No one would be there for me again.” and the one, “ If it didn’t sound so crazy, I finished with “I’d make a designer outfit.”
Coffee evening with Wes went well. My work got better towards end of week. I’m speaking out a lot more at work. Had a full week and when I volunteered at the Persephone on Friday night; fell asleep during the play. Lack of sleeping through the night and then non -stop dreaming when I do. Usually can write out a dream as soon as I wake up.
DID A COLLAGE: “ Where am I at? I am a beautiful woman, wanting the nice things in life, and part of that is the impact of the corporate culture. Underneath is always the spirit of my freedom; the deep of the deep; my inner essence attempting to break out . My work place is like where I was ten years ago; just beginning to come out of the deep freeze. I have to be careful and protect myself as speaking out is like a feud in the family – me against the decision makers. I feel over extended – wanting to stay in their good books – a memory at every juncture. The whole thing is a health care workout and know I don’t want to end a six year relationship. That is how long I’ve been at this work. Why am I pissed off? Not feeling supported. The lack of knowledge, professionalism, work ethics, communication skills, ability of management to see the bigger picture, the taken advantage of, that I was used to the extent I was, hard to take as a compliment, that the pain is so intense, my body holds the pain, hard to have my own opinion, and feel free speaking it.”
A woman from Tamara’s House phoned to let me know she’d be on a committee for me; is a staff person; phoned to set up a Thursday meeting at my house. I cry. I started snapping out of the deep well of abandonment. Like I went from the no hope, melancholy,down and despair. It was so awful and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Don’t have to wonder if I’m overwhelmed in the present. I’m overwhelmed. Confrontational files. Too much too long. No hope in the end is the feeling.
My son came for lunch the next day. He leaves. I’m soon crying thinking about a far away friend emailing me for no reason. I must be feeling long ago pain. A sister ask if I’m feeling unloved. I say I feel no love.
Completed my first one day court appeal hearing to do with the old stinky files I am working on. Tough night after; think about ending my employment. The questioning I went through. No preparation. No debriefing. No support from employer. I was on my own.


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