Future Desires

Journal Date: Friday, December 11, 2020

I’m thinking about my desires for the next 1-2 years.

Every day I’m getting more clear about what I want to do and how I will use this time.

I’ve been trying to get rid of clutter and all the things I don’t need anymore, so I can focus on what I do want to grow.

And I can feel things shifting even more.

Every day, I feel just a little bit better.

I’m so happy and grateful to know that healing is happening.

It’s my mission to actively continue this healing process intensively for the next year and a half (or at least 16 months, which is what’s left of my graduate program).

It will also mark the end of a 2 year period of Uranus transits that have been quite revolutionary for me (Uranus opposite Pluto and Uranus conjunct Moon). 

It’ll also be when two other transits end (Saturn square Pluto and Saturn square Moon), which will be starting for me in 2-3 months.

And I also anticipate that it will be around then that this pandemic will finally reach its conclusion, and when I’ll be able to return to normal life.

I’m not going back to “normal,” though. 

I’ve changed so much already, even now, and I know that 16 months from now, the difference will be even more pronounced.

I also feel that at this point on my path, I have mostly found all of the resources (both internal and external) that I need to fully heal… I’m not rushing around anymore, reading a thousand different things that I haphazardly just stumbled upon. 

I’m not so confused now, and I know enough from the many years of reading and research to be able to evaluate what I need next.

Some of the most important keys I already have are: 

–continued therapy with Daren

–continued practice of Somatic Experiencing exercises

–the resources in Pete Walker’s CPTSD book

–meditation

–my spiritual practice

I’m going to devote myself to this full time for the next 16 months (along with school and my writing).

I’m confident that I’ll be where I want to be by the end of that time period.

I’m looking forward to what the future will hold.

Emotional Recovery

Journal Date: Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

It’s later now, around 4:40pm.

I’m back in the office, after laying down to meditate and rest.

I’m reading still about trauma, but this time from Pete Walker’s CPTSD.

“As emotional recovery progresses, the mindfulness…begins to extend to our emotional experience. This helps us to stop automatically dissociating from our feelings. We then learn to identify our feelings and choose healthy ways to respond to them and from them. Such emotional development illuminates our own natural preferences, and in turn, aids us in making easier and better choices.”

After that quote, Walker shares a reflection from one of his long-term clients, who said that for the first time in his life, he actually knew what he liked, what made him happy and what did not. 

He had spent his entire existence up until then pretending (or maybe even believing) he liked the same things as his macho brothers and community members.

…sound familiar?

Yes, this has been my story, too.

I was so good at erasing myself I hardly noticed that I didn’t actually care for the things I was doing, watching, or thinking about. 

And I thought that was just normal. That everyone else must be living a lie too, right?

In the past 9 months I have been intensively focusing on my healing, and I’ve undergone a big shift in my habits and priorities.

I’ve unfollowed over 600 accounts on my personal instagram, and muted plenty more on my facebook account. And I’ve added many more to replace these that are truly more aligned with my interests and my values.

It might not seem like much, but I really believe it’s had a positive impact on my mental health.

I had followed all these people (especially these LA party people) that I (secretly?) thought were stupid, shallow and completely obnoxious…

And yet–whenever I saw any of them post anything, I would quickly jump up to compare myself to them, and beat myself up for all the ways I was not like them, and never would be.

If I were to be completely honest, I actually thought they were empty, pathetic, narcissistic losers. I was a little disgusted by the way they lived, by their values, by how they related to each other.

But every day, I would still beat myself up for not being more like them.


Maybe I was just desperate for approval.

Though I’m not sure it would have meant much for me, had I actually gotten it from them.

My thought process never really made it that far, though.

With these people, and with countless others, the facts of the matter were almost irrelevant. I had the same pattern, the same reaction when I encountered difference almost 100% of the time: “I’m wrong.” 

I could never miss an opportunity to prove myself unworthy somehow.

I’m still far from resolving this, but I have to say that I am at least grateful that I now notice it. I can catch myself in the act, and can give myself the opportunity to do things differently.


Most importantly, I’m getting clear on exactly what my values actually are. 

And I’m moving in the direction of embodying these values myself.

What is important to me is no surprise: magic, language, psychology, philosophy, tarot, astrology, literature, etc.

I’ve always been this way–I just didn’t want to admit it out loud.

I’ve never actually turned away from my intense esoteric and obscure interests.

I just tried to keep it quiet as much as possible.

It was something I allowed myself to be passionate about in private, but definitely not in public.


I’m not hiding who I am anymore.

It’s not always easy to go against the grain and be different. And maybe it’s true, maybe a lot of people aren’t going to like it.

But those aren’t the people that matter.

I refuse to keep listening to people who only want a version of me that is a lie.

For one, I’m finally ready to start living with more integrity.

Second, I want to be around people who I find interesting and inspiring. 

I’m done with these half-hearted attempts at normalcy. I’m tired of seeking “acceptability.” 

I’m ready to take a chance on living out loud.

Eternal Return

Journal Date: November 27, 2020

I’m reading Lesson 2 of the “Tarot Interpretation” series, which discusses Keys 2, 9 and 16 that I have just been studying.

In this lesson, reincarnation and our ability to remember our past lives through the use of the subconscious and transliminal states of consciousness is also discussed.

This adds relevance and weight to what I had already been considering about past lives, and how they have created my current experience of reality.

I’ve been wondering:

What if my mom and dad didn’t make me who I am today?

What if instead, in some sense, I caused them?

What if it were true that I chose them, as the perfect people to be my parents?

What if my past thoughts and desires cast my parents in their roles, who then cast me into mine?

It seems hard to imagine.

I mean, why would I ever have willingly chosen this, right?

But my visions of my past life (especially when combined with what I know of my natal chart) make me more inclined to think that this is the case.


“The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!”

Friedrich Nietzsche

So let me just imagine that for a moment…

In my past lives, I suffered greatly from other people’s perceptions of and reactions to me.

I’m told I was punished severely for crimes I never committed.

According to Angelic, and from what I saw on my own, I was trapped in this underground dungeon, held in chains in the dark beneath earth, accused and attacked, humiliated and blamed, tortured and mutilated in the most violent ways.

Here, I was forced to pay not for what I had done, but for how I had been seen.

And maybe it was then that I first betrayed myself, and left my soul behind.

In the face of so much pain, maybe the truth no longer mattered to me so much.

It seems possible that, in terror and desperation, I gave in, and accepted their words as truth. 

Maybe I started to believe that I did deserve all that I suffered. 

That it was my fault. 

That it must be true, that if I had not been so selfish, stubborn and wrong, I never would have ended up there.

Maybe there, beneath the earth, banished from the world, I had started to wish that I had never dared to be me, that I had just hidden myself away, and never been so foolish or proud to attract attention to myself at all.

Maybe I’d wished to go back, to have done things differently, to have promised myself if I had the chance to do it all over I would have hid, I would have been more modest, I wouldn’t ever have provoked anyone to hurt me.

And when the grace of death finally touched me in that hell, maybe all of these fears and traumas and regrets carried on with me into the next life.

This one.


“What has been will be again,

what has been done will be done again;

there is nothing new under the sun.”

–Ecclesiastes 1:9

Maybe this created exactly the upbringing my soul wanted. It desperately wanted to feel safe. And it thought the best way to do that was to stay as small as possible.

Never let anyone see my goodness. Never allow myself to be “too much.”

Hiding.

Living in fear.

Living to please and pacify all others, lest I be captured again, lest I once again bring about my demise due to what was called the sin of my vanity.


Well, it didn’t exactly work.

I wouldn’t really call what happened to me “keeping me safe,” anyway.

But either way, I see what may have been the intention, and I see the results.

I tried my best to beat myself down first. To keep myself humble and small before others, so no one would have any reason to believe I thought myself superior, “too good” or better than anyone.

But the problem was, I could never be small enough.

I could never hide myself so well that no one ever took offense.

In betraying myself, I just recreated the same pattern of betrayal from others.


Maybe this is the lesson I need to learn instead:

You can’t ever control other people, no matter what you do.

You can try all day to please, but some people will find only bad in all of the good you have to offer.

Sometimes, people are committed to their perceptions in such a way that you are almost irrelevant.

Your attempts to prove your “goodness” may only drive some to even further hatred or revenge.

Maybe I need to stop trying to convince people who refuse to be convinced.

Stop making other people’s perceptions the priority.

Maybe I need to let go of my fear and my desire to manage others.

This would probably do more to cause change for me than anything else.


Sign of necessity!
Supreme star of being! —
That no desire attains,
That no No desecrates,
Eternal Yes of being,
Eternally I am your Yes:
For I love you, O eternity!”

–Friedrich Nietzsche

Healing Injured Instinct

“Trauma is about thwarted instincts. Instincts, by definition, are always in the present. When we allow them their rightful domain, we surrender to the ‘eternal now.’ With the full presence of mind and body, we can gain access to the source of our own energy and enthusiasm.

“As we resolve our traumas, we discover missing parts of our beings, those that make us feel whole and complete. Our instincts house the simple but vital knowledge that ‘I am I’ and ‘I am here.’ Without this sense of belonging in the world, we are lost, disconnected from life. If we learn how to surrender to our inborn knowledge, it can lead us on a healing journey that will bring us face to face with our natural spirituality, our God-given connection to life.” —Peter Levine

I feel that this is starting to happen for me.

In some ways, I’m starting to feel more alive than I have in many years. More myself, more centered and calm than probably ever before.

After all the sadness and regret at my pain, and the grief over the loss of “what could have been,” I am finding that there is still much left that remains.

One thing I’m finding strength in is knowing how resilient I am.

I had always bought into other people’s perception that I was weak, “too sensitive,” incapable and insufficient on my own.

Now I see how different the truth is.

I am strong.

I have been through so much, yet here I am—I survived.

Injured Instinct

Journal Date: Saturday, November 7th, 2020

“I think you can see that a dilemma of profound consequences is set up if the people who are supposed to love and protect us are also the ones that hurt, humiliate and violate us. This sets up a double bind that undermines people’s basic sense of self and trust in their own instincts. Our sense of safety and stability in the world and our interpersonal relationships become undermined by childhood abuse because we carry these early thwarted—that is, deeply conflicted—survival pattern into adulthood.” —Peter Levine

I’ve hated myself ever since then. I’ve been disgusted by myself. And have believed that my mom must have been right. That I’m worthless, and a lost cause, and don’t deserve to be here. 

That I should hide, or even die, because to show my face in polite society is an insult to all those good people I’m trying to fool.

This is what I have believed, and eventually, have gotten oh-so-good at creating as my actual life experience.

Deep down, I was so invested in believing this about myself, that I forced it upon myself, even in circumstances where there were people who wanted to like me.

I’m thinking of all the times when there have been people who have liked me, respected me, admired me, and even wanted to try to love me.

I just couldn’t handle it. 

It was too much for me. I didn’t understand it. Couldn’t trust it.

It gave me the deepest, most terrifying sense of anxiety and dread.

I had to “fix” it immediately. I couldn’t keep up “the lies.” I was terrified of what would happen when they discovered the “truth” about me.

So I was compelled to show them.

[insert horrible betrayal here]

Look at me. “This is who I am.”

Do you love me now?

That’s right. 

I DIDN’T THINK SO.

And over time, I got so much better at showing people “who I was” up front.

It took a while, but soon enough there was not even a chance for them to try and love me; I did my best to make it obvious how much I hated myself (and how much they should too) right from the very beginning.

Amazingly enough, some people still tried!

It was always such a shock to me. It was what I said I wanted, but I could never tolerate it for long.

I was obsessed with my compulsion to “tell the truth” about what I was, and to prove how unworthy of love, respect, or even common human decency I was. 


What a crazy, stupid, unnecessarily painful life this has been.

None of this was necessary.

None of this was even really about me, at the end of the day.

Back then, I was just doing my best to be a good girl. So I just kept carrying all the crazy projections my family sent my way, no matter how painful or detached from reality they were.

God, it makes me sad to look back on my life and see the truth of what has been.

How easily it could have been another way.

This pain, this shame—it was never mine to carry.

I don’t want to keep holding onto it anymore.

I’m ready to be free, and just live as my own self.

I don’t need to do this anymore.

I’m ready to be free.

The Compulsion to Repeat

Journal Date: Saturday, November 7th, 2020

It’s still hard for me know what’s real. I’m always too quickly inclined to blame it on myself, or to assume that I’m just overreacting.

I don’t think that’s actually the case in this situation right now.

And now that I’m looking back on my childhood with different eyes, I’m starting to think I wasn’t actually overreacting then, either.

I was having all of these intensely negative emotional reactions to intensely negative life experiences. Things really were that bad. I wasn’t wrong to be deeply upset by what was happening to me. My feelings were perfectly appropriate to the difficult and extremely painful situation I was in.

I only learned to distrust and deny myself because of what the rest of my family demanded I accept. The gaslighting that went on cut me off from any sense of knowing what was right or wrong.

I had no clue how to feel or react; no matter what I did, I somehow found that I was always wrong, again.

And it wasn’t just what I did that was wrong—it was me, I was wrong.

Fundamental bad, fucked up, broken, unworthy and unloveable, or as my mom often told me then, “hopeless” and a “lost cause.”

This was probably the worst part of it all.

My distrust, denial, and even disgust with myself.

It got me into so many stupid situations that I had no place being in, that were re-traumatizing and perpetuated the same despair I’d always felt.

“Here’s one of the more unusual and problem-creating symptoms that can be developed from unresolved trauma: the compulsion to repeat the actions that caused the problem in the first place. We are inextricably drawn into situations that replicate the original trauma in both obvious and less obvious ways.” —from Healing Trauma by Peter Levine

a page from my journal — 11/7/2020

How can I liberate myself from this now?

How can I call this part of my soul back from where I lost it so long ago?

I don’t know how yet. But I know I’m willing to try.

Descansos

Journal Date: Thursday, November 5, 2020

I just finished an exercise Estés suggested we do in this chapter on rage in Women who Run with the Wolves. It’s called “Descansos,” and here we are to mark all the little (and large) deaths of our lives.

Descansos are symbols that mark a death. Right there, right on that spot, someone’s journey in life halted unexpectedly. To make descansos means taking a look at your life and marking where the small deaths, las muertes chiquitas, and the big deaths, las muertes grandotas, have taken place.”

Estés encourages us to make our own descansos, to sit down and examine our lives, our losses, all the places which must be remembered and at the same time, put to rest.


I had a lot of crosses to mark.

My life has been filled with losses. One right after another, with little chance to recover in between.

At this point, I have between 25-30 crosses marked down to represent what I have lost.

Descansos

It’s a lot, but somehow it still doesn’t feel like enough.

I don’t even think my greatest losses are even on here.

My deepest pain comes from having missed something more intangible than a job or a boyfriend or anything I listed here before.

Maybe my greatest loss is actually me. My own self.

To have grown up never knowing (not to mention never liking) myself.

To never have felt at home. Not even in my own body. 

Especially not in my own body. This was a source of shame, and where I could locate all of my pain. Better just to not be here. To escape, by whatever means necessary.

And not just my body. I was estranged from all of me.

Always looking outside of myself for the “right” answer. 

The “right” way to look, think, feel, act, be.

I didn’t even know what I was looking for.

I just knew that I was doing it wrong.

I was just wrong, period.

I never belonged to myself. 

That’s the worst part.

I was in such a rush to give myself away. I would sell myself off to the lowest bidder. I was constantly in a rush to find the quickest way to betray myself next.

It’s very sad.

Looking back on all of this, I feel so tired. 

Exhausted. 

What was the meaning behind all of this?

It’s hard to understand.

But I’m starting to feel ready to grieve my losses. To grieve, and to let go.


“Remember in ‘The Crescent Moon Bear’ the woman said a prayer and laid the wandering orphaned dead to rest. That is what one does in descansos. Descansos is a conscious practice that takes pity on and gives honor to the orphaned dead of your psyche, laying them to rest at last.

“Be gentle with yourself and make the descansos, the resting places for the aspects of yourself that were on their way to somewhere, but never arrived. Descansos mark the death sites, the dark times, but they are also love notes to your suffering. They are transformative. There is a lot to be said for pinning things to the earth so they don’t follow us around. There is a lot to be said for laying them to rest.”