Using My Disorder To Heal

I am in a heavy space. The demons of my past weighing heavily on my present state. All I want to do is run, to hide, to wait for the danger to dissipate before letting the light shine upon my face once again. I am faced with ideals and conditioning that have been placed in my mind as a child and through traumas and as a young adult to now.

I have a disorder called trichotillomania. When I am triggered I pull my hair out. When I was younger I pulled so much that I had a bald spot. Everyone with this disorder pulls differently. In my case I pull only one hair at a time, and it has to be the right texture and only one! I then twirl that hair in my fingers for a while, feeling the textures as I pull it straight after every spin. Sometimes, I pulls the hair between my lips so the moisture adds more texture to the hair. Then I have to snap the hair with my fingers. The snap is so satisfying. If I can’t do this last step I am left with a lot of tension and anxiety in my body. I have always been so embarrassed by this part of myself. I suppose I should reword that. It isn’t really a part of me but a conditioned response when I am triggered by something. It is a coping mechanism that takes me out of my current state and puts me somewhere else. As I delve deeper and deeper into my wounds for healing and understanding I am faced with not running away. Most of the time I don’t even realize I am hiding, or trying to ‘not think about it’. I have long stints where I don’t pull at all and then moments like now where I seem to always be searching for that one specific piece.

I realized this morning, as I was watching Jess of Behatilife while taking notes, that this disorder is a key sign that I am being triggered. That I am in a space where I am feeling emotions that I would rather run away from. That I don’t want to face whatever demon is surfacing from whatever event/phrase/energy is triggering my wound. I can’t run anymore, I have to face these deep seeded wounds. I have to sit with the uncomfortability so I can heal, so I can breathe, so I can fully be who I am called to be. I don’t know if this disorder is learned or hereditary, or maybe a mix of both, I remember seeing my mother do it all through my childhood. But I cannot remember any of the instances after each of her hair pulling episodes. If it was a sign of her anxiety and triggers and she exploded afterwards, I have blocked those out.

I feel it when I let it build up, but I have enough control of myself to walk away so I don’t go down that same hole she did. So I don’t abuse the ones I love. But I feel like I abuse them anyway. I feel like a bad mother/friend/lover and nothing anyone says can change this for me. I don’t trust kind words, I don’t trust words of love, I don’t trust that I am enough. I don’t trust. I feel like my world is a rockin’ but not in a fun head boppin’ kind of way, in a world destructing way. I have my moments of rawness with others but it doesn’t take much for me to go back into my shell. It is scary to be vulnerable. No one would ever know I feel this way, I have held myself together for so long that falling apart is not an option. I don’t physically hurt others, but I can see how my words and energy can sting at times. Physically I only cause harm to myself, and most of this harm is in my mind. When I was younger I used to look at myself in the mirror and punch myself, I wanted to be/look different. I felt like a freak, a loser. At 38 I don’t do this kind of abuse to myself anymore, but the mental abuse I inflict is strong and potent and it has not aged well.

I was faced with a question from my tarot cards the other day. Who is my role model? Honestly, I was left with no response. I had to really think about what a role model meant to me. It isn’t someone I want to emulate but more of someone who challenges me to heal because they have put in the work on themselves. It is someone who is so authentically connected to themselves and the Universe that nothing can touch them. They are a force that is strong, beautiful, and connected. I came out with two people. Jessica Alexandria and Janne Robinson.

I have never been much for trying to be like someone else, lets be honest I can’t, but these two women have a tenacity that I feel in my bones. Their drive and passion are passions I also feel but push aside because I don’t feel worthy of it. These two women are helping me see my own bullshit clearly. They are helping me step out and into the light while also being brave in the dark when facing those wounds I have buried deep under vines of barbed wire. They have both helped me more than they will ever know.

I feel like I have a lifetime of healing to do. One step at time, one tear at a time, one mend at a time. One trust at at time. All within myself. I have hated myself for too long, time to love all of who I am and not just little parts.

Here is a great article on HealthLine that gives great insight on trichotillomania:

https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/trichotillomania#causes

Being Selfish

As I am getting back to my spiritual practices I am finding myself struggling. One message I continually get is to take care of and love myself the way I care for and love others. This has left me feeling …. empty. I realized that over the years I have only ever given myself just enough to get by. I am rarely filled up. As I was journaling this morning I was facing this part of myself. I uncovered a thought, an idea, that has been there for as long as I can remember. When I am “selfish” bad things happen. Every time I set a boundary, do something that feels good, or just take care of myself something negative usually follows. Loss of clients, people upset with me, harassing messages and calls from a stalker, kids throwing tantrums, fights, accidents, things I care about breaking… you get the point. I wish when you found these hidden ideas in your mind they just melded into something else more positive. This idea has been with me for a long time and it will take some persistent gentle care on my part to transform it into a new way of believing. As I sat there with my pen in hand I focused on a new phrase that I could replace this negative one with. “When I take care of and love myself all blessings come to me.”

Through my daily practices I can retrain my mind to receive only blessings, instead of curses, when I take care of myself. I am striving to make a better life everyday and to also share with anyone who cares to follow.

Transforming the word selfish.

By definition selfish is:

1: concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others

2: arising from concern with one’s own welfare or advantage in disregard of others

We live in a world where saying no, doing something for ourselves, or setting boundaries is seen as selfish. And according to the definition this is accurate. When we say no to something we are putting ourselves above what another wants/needs. But from the reverse perspective that person/thing we are saying no to is also being selfish. In reality we are all selfish all the time. This being the case what if we used that selfish time for things that will fill us, so during those times when we give we don’t deplete ourselves. I think this is where the idea of self care came from. But it is still viewed as being selfish. Instead of trying to push this idea away I am going to embrace it. I will be selfish with my time, energy, plans, etc. As much as I want to give to everyone sometimes I cannot without taking from myself. Today I choose to be selfish and will continue to do so whenever I feel like I cannot give without depleting myself. When I am full I can spill over, that spill over is what I will give. This way I can always give the best of what I have because I have taken care of myself. The healing I give will have a potency that it has only had on a handful of occasions.

I think humanity needs to step away from this idea that it is an act of love, service, or heroism to give until we are empty and then to continue to give. I see how this idea stems from a lot of spiritual teachings and I don’t feel it is a productive direction for the human race. I am not saying to be a mean person, I am saying that if you are tired, sad, feeling depressed you should give to yourself first so you can better care for those around you and so that you can live a life that is full of joy and peace. It is important for each of us to have our own time, so we can recharge and come back with renewed vitality and love.

Ways to take care of myself:

Breathe

stretch

positive affirmations

positive self talk

better food choices, especially for snacks

get outside

laugh more

cry more

scream more

trust

massages, baths, soaks

nail care, skin care, hair care, dental care

physical, emotional, and spiritual connection

be fluid

more water, less stimulants

less screen, more/different visual activities

Entering Into a New Life

I tend to have great periods of time where I am active here and then long periods where I lie dormant. Writing has always been the method in which it is easiest for me to portray my inner thoughts and feelings. Over the last couple of years I have gone through so much change that my mind could barely keep up. I have been wanting to write but when I would sit down to start typing one thought would turn to another and I was left with a big jumbled mess. I decided I needed to rebrand myself here. So, I archived most of my older posts and decided to start new. I began with designing my logo:

I truly hope you all love it as much as I do, and if you don’t I will still continue to love it. I decided to title this first post Entering Into a New Life because that is exactly what I am doing. I have been setting healthier boundaries in every aspect of my life. Work included. By doing this I have lost so much, especially with my business. It is on the dying end and as much as that scares me to death, I am ok with it. I have been ushered into a space where I can continue to do the same things and expecting a different result (definition of insanity) or I can be brave and do things completely differently. Shake things up and live the way I am called to.

These new ways of being have me challenging myself to truly know who I am. Asking questions like “when I look at my life, how do I envision it? What am I doing? What are my beliefs? What is my purpose/my calling?” A lot of these questions have been making me realize that I have spent so much of my life molding to other peoples views of what my life should be and look like. What I felt they wanted me to be. I tried to fit my enormity into a box that it just would never fit into. because of this I lost sight of myself. What my true desires are. My main question lately is: What do I want? Such a simple question that has me on a journaling journey to discover just that. Every time I connect to my cards or the Divine to ask for guidance I get two answers. Do what I truly love, what makes me feel alive. And the second is to take care of myself the way I take care of those I love. This is what I am starting on.

One big lesson I am learning is to say no. No when I am feeling low on energy, feeling drained. No when I really don’t want to do something but I am because I feel pressured to. Saying no to work when I am having a day where I can’t give even half of what I have left in me. This one new boundary is always losing me some things, but on the flip I feel alive today. I feel like that numbness I have had over the past few months is going away. I feel more rested and alert. I can sit and write/create with ease. I feel blocks starting to lift and I feel life being restored.

I don’t know what the future holds for me but I am sitting tall and proud in who I am and I am taking huge leaps of faith as I learn to truly trust. Thank you for coming on this journey with me! More to come.

Always in Love and Light,

Anna Marie

p.s. It felt really great to hear, and feel, my keyboard clicking away ❤

My Story, The Creation of my Psyche

I would like to start this off by saying I am not trying to paint my mother as a monster. She was, and is, a mentally unwell person. When I was younger, and up to about 2 years ago, she was a monster in my mind. But now, I can see why she was the way she was. She was abused by her mother, she does have mental health illnesses/issues, and she has had some heartbreaking traumas in her life that she could not mentally deal with. This made it to where she could not properly parent and raise us, this being said I will start. Also, I apologize if parts of this come out with a rushed or ‘drone’ feeling. I have never shared my life quite like this, and if I am being 100% truthful, it is a bit uncomfortable. This is also about the traumas in my life, there have been many moments of light and love. Those were the moments that gave me hope, gave me the strength to get past and survive. The words that follow are the darker parts of my journey that have left deep scars that I have had to learn how to live with.

My name is Anna Marie. I was born under the surname Thomas, but I have never felt a connection to any surname that has attached itself to me. Perhaps it is because I have had so many. I grew up thinking it was Retherford, even wrote that as my surname in elementary school. In the 4th grade, upon entering into the foster system, I was forced to use my birth name, Thomas. From then on I was Anna Marie Thomas, not Retherford. Which was a bit confusing for a good chunk of my childhood. It created a loss of identity within me and for most of my life, I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. Even now, at 36, this feeling still creeps its way in on occasion. I married young, at 18, just out of high school. From that time on I was Anna Marie Koonce, and I kept that name even through the divorce because it was my son’s last name. As time went on I remarried and adopted a new surname of Burdette. Now onto my second divorce, I kept the name Burdette because it is my daughter’s name. But it is different this go-round, I hate the name but don’t know what to change it to since I have no connection to any surname before. Perhaps I should make up a new one! But, on with my story!

I was born June 7th, 1983 in sunny SoCal IE (Southern California, Inland Empire to those who are not savvy to the lingo). I don’t remember much of anything before I was about 10, just snippets here and there. From the little I can remember, and from the stories I have heard from others, I have been able to piece together my childhood. I lived in California with my Father and Mother until I was about 3 or 4, my sister was about 1 or 2. During those few years I know this: my mother abused my father and me, she also was having an affair with my stepfather who, later I know for certain, was sexually abusing me. My mother was very rough with me as a baby. I met my biological dad when I was 25! He told me some things she would do, that was very much in her nature, and I had no reason to not believe them. For instance, to teach me a lesson for trying to climb the baby gate she would catch me mid-climb and drop me on gate right in between my legs. Later she blamed my father for sexually abusing me and he was convicted of sexually assaulting a minor because of evidence found on and around my vagina. I can’t say with 100% certainty that he didn’t do anything. I honestly just don’t know. But I know the character of my mother and stepfather, and I had the great opportunity to meet my biological dad when I was 25. He was an amazing man, but he was broken. My mother broke him in every way you could break a man. After the conviction of father, my mother and now stepfather moved all of us to Pueblo, Colorado. Growing up with my mother was not an easy streak, nor was living with my stepfather for that matter, but my mind has blocked most of that out. Perhaps I shall remember someday, but I don’t know that I really want to. Stephen King’s portrayal of Carrie’s mother is a pretty close likeness to my own mother, the difference being my mother was just a little more abusive and a little less fanatically religious. I remember my mother used to tell us things like “you better tell me the truth because if you don’t Jesus/God will” and she was dead serious. To paint a clearer picture of her mental health she had stayed for a stint in a mental hospital and I remember clearly the day we picked her up. She had a smile on her face as she joyously got into the car, looked at all of us and said: “that was such a nice vacation”.

I remember my mother teaching my sister a lesson or two growing up. One, in particular, was when she was about 7 or 8, she had left the curling iron on and my mother held it on her arm. She still has the scar. Her story, of course, was that she tripped and accidentally hit her arm with the iron. This is what my mother did, she made up stories of what she could mentally deal with and that was the truth of what had happened, no one could tell her otherwise. We lived like this for years. My mother freaking out and chasing my stepdad around the kitchen with a cooking knife. My sister and I were called Pollock Indians, heathens, sluts, whores, and the like.  I remember my mother clearly telling me that I was worthless and stupid. I can’t speak for my sister but I grew up thinking I was, in fact, a worthless piece of shit that no one could ever love. These feelings would later manifest in self-harm activities of punching myself and calling myself names, especially when I felt I had done something ‘wrong’. Growing up with this kind of abuse really took its toll on the view I held of myself, and it still affects me to this day. I don’t feel there is a need to go into every horror of my childhood at this point. And I am not telling you any of this to envoke pity, or for you to feel sad. It is simply a picture of where I have come from.

When we are young the view of the world and of ourselves is formed, as well as where we fit into it. If it is full of abuse or neglect we will have unhealthy views of ourselves that we will battle with for the rest of our lives. I more often than not feel like an alien and that I don’t really fit or belong anywhere. There is a loneliness that I carry that not many know about and even fewer understand. I feel like no one will ever understand the beat of my soul. But maybe no one is supposed to. Strangely I am not always in this state of mind. It ebbs and flows, comes and goes. Usually when I am in a situation that is unfamiliar, like with love. I tend to flounder and I have to learn how to move through the anxieties. I have to learn to breathe and know I will be ok.

A week from my 11th birthday, June of 1994, my stepfather came into our bedroom and stuck his fingers into my vagina. This may not be what you wanted to read, and there was a time even saying it like this was very difficult for me to do, but this is the truth of it. Plain and simple, what happened. This is the only instance I remember of this kind of assault. I do remember feeling like it wasn’t completely wrong, which now looking at it as an adult I can see that is probably because it wasn’t the first time it had happened. I went to my school the next day and awkwardly told my 4th-grade teacher, Mrs. Dabney (she will forever be the superhero of my childhood), what he had done. I was embarrassed and felt silly telling her, and part of me felt like it wasn’t even that big of a deal. But for whatever reason, I felt like I needed to tell her. I remember her face draining of color and telling the class that she would be back. She told me everything would be ok and she walked me to the office. I sat in that office for what seemed like 12 hours. My mother didn’t believe me and said I was a troubled kid that was having flashbacks of when I was a baby. I am pretty sure she also told them that she couldn’t handle me living with them anymore. I was taken away from my brother and sister and placed in a foster home. But this was a positive turning point in my life that wouldn’t really set in until I was an adult. I was lucky, and I must have some angels out there that were trying to save me. I had the most amazing foster family anyone could ever ask for. But I had never been loved, never been shown what love looked like in a family. It was almost painful at times and they endured a lot of attitude and crap from me. I was a scared little girl who just wanted to run away from everything. Everything made me uncomfortable and I could not communicate with anyone very effectively. On a positive note, It was a time when I started finding my voice and finding ways to heal through art and music (specifically singing, it has always been healing for me).

I remember my caseworker forced me to have a visit with my stepdad while I was in the foster home. I hated every second, and it made me feel as though I had done a great wrong in telling anyone about what had happened. It made me feel like what he did was not supposed to be a bad thing. This is probably why I reached out to him when I ran away from the foster home. I missed my brother and sister, I wanted to go home. Even though there was abuse, it was familiar. I knew how to navigate in that world. Even today, as an adult, living in survival is an easy place for me to be in. I have it down to a fine art. It is living in a thriving life that I am trying to be at peace with now. When I ran away I was gone for 2 days, once again I had some angels watching over me because the situations I had found myself in were dangerous, to say the least. I left all I had at the location I was at and ran again. I called my stepdad and he met me at a gas station to talk and he then took me to my caseworker. I was around 14 years old, just starting 8th grade when I got to go back home. At this point, my mother and stepdad had divorced but he stuck around to help our mother and help take care of my brother. He became a savior for us about 2 years later.

I was a Sophmore in high school and boy oh boy I had some fire in me, which may be putting it lightly, I hated to be told what to do and that is a hard place for a parent to navigate, even with a sane mind. One night things got out of hand. She started pushing me around (literally) and as I was walking to my room she drew her fist back to punch me in the back of my head. My little sister jumped on her back yelling “don’t you fucking touch her!”. It was one of the most epic moments for her and me, even if very sad. I love her for defending me and I hope she is ok with me sharing all of this. I remember them toppling over the couch, my mom in hysterics. She kicked us all out that night. That night we went to live with our stepdad. He took us all in, no questions. But he was moving to Washington State to be closer to his family. So, he made our mother sign over her rights so he could legally be our guardian. In the middle of my Sophmore year, I had to say goodbye to a big chunk of my heart. I had made bonds with people that I once thought could never be broken. But I have now found that no person is permanent in our lives. The only permanent is ourselves and even then we have an end at some point. But it was more good than bad, I got to leave a whole world of pain and suffering behind me. It was a fresh start and a new adventure. I always have loved adventures, even to this day!

Things were better, for the first time in our lives. I was on guard and uncomfortable with my stepdad at first, but I was also older, and as creepy as it is I was not his type anymore. I remember finding child porn on his computer once, this set in stone for me that I would never have to fear him like that again. Once again, I was was disgusted but there was also a sense of relief. I had a hard time opening up to people in school so making friends served to be challenging. I was quiet, dressed funny compared to my peers, and just kind of ‘blended in’. The friends I did make were a grade above me. They were strong positive influencers in my life at that time. So when my Senior year came around I felt alone again. I partied a bit too much and hung out with the wrong crowds. I had sex for the first time when I was 18 with a homeless kid in Seattle, thought I was in love until he became very possessive and I had to get away from him. Then there was Corey. We met through a friend, I didn’t know this at the time but he had asked her to find him someone who would have sex with him. I guess she just assumed that I would fit the bill. I am gifted with the ability to remember ALL of my drunken shenanigans. Well, I remember this, my feet in the air and talking to my friend who was having sex right next to us. I remember her telling me to be quiet. I don’t remember feeling anything, just seeing my legs in the air. I love my son, and I make sure he knows that he was no mistake and that I love him with all that I am. But looking back now at the young woman I was, that was NOT consent. I had no idea at all what was going on and was in no space to even say no if I wanted to. I became pregnant from that night. When I graduated high school I was 3 months pregnant, but at least I graduated. I was actually going to break up with him because we fought like cats and dogs, vicious screaming fights. But then we found out I was pregnant and he was from the South, and ‘if you get a girl pregnant you marry her’. I had zero confidence or self-esteem and I would crumble under any kind of scrutiny or pressure. So when he said we were going to get married, I went along with it. I had no choice in my mind at that time anyway. I remember him throwing a fit for having to pay $50 to the little marriage shack we got hitched in. Oh, the days haha. To make matters worse when I found out I was pregnant I also found out I had chlamydia from the homeless kid. I felt like a dirty whore telling him I had it, and he did a damn good job of making sure I continued to feel that way all the way up to me finally fleeing from the marriage 2 years later.

Where do I even begin with my first marriage? I will start off by saying, just as I said about my mother, I am not trying to paint a bad picture of my son’s father. It is all just stuff that happened. Things that have shaped my anxieties, fears, blocks, etc. Moments that have left scars. I was not an easy person to be married to, I know this, and he couldn’t control his temper. We both had issues. I couldn’t communicate and he couldn’t control his mouth or body. I think he also felt trapped, trapped in a marriage he didn’t want and wasn’t ready for. Either way, I was a victim of domestic violence. I didn’t think so at the time because it was all mental, but it was abuse. I thought this is what love was because this is what I was taught at a young age love was. I didn’t know any better. This was one of the lower times in my life. I was a wife and a mom. Nothing more. I couldn’t do anything without scrutiny and I was shamed daily. I wish I could hold that young woman and tell her right from the beginning that she deserved better. That she was so much more than this. I can go on about all the bad stuff that had happened but in the end, I left when it got to the point where he was telling me ways he wanted to kill me. This happened a few times before I finally found the courage and strength to leave. And this was in part due to the few family and friends I was allowed to talk to encouraging me to leave, convincing me that what was happening was not how it was supposed to be. I was terrified of him, and for years he held me in that space, even after I had fled with my son.

Every relationship after this one was just part of a cycle. A cycle I am glad I finally recognized, caught, and changed. If I was with a great guy I fled, if I was with a manipulator I stayed longer (albeit most were of the manipulative type). I always felt so empowered after I ended those relationships. Like I had made it to some groundbreaking self-development inner epiphany. But I didn’t see the cycle, didn’t see I was still attracting abusive people into my life. It took me time, and devotion to myself, that didn’t come until after my second marriage fell apart. We also fought like cats and dogs, screaming matches and slamming of stuff galore! But he knew how to manipulate my emotions and I was always left in a space of feeling I was foolish for feeling what I felt. I also didn’t want to ‘fail’ again so I stayed in this one for the longest out of them all. Maybe one day I will write a book on the horrors of being in abusive relationships and how to recover and heal but for now, I will just say this: I gave to both until I had nothing left to give, and then I kept on giving. I became an empty hollow shell of a woman, and with that, I also became hypercritical and judgemental. I was past the point of unhappy. At the end of the first marriage, I fled from fear; at the end of the second marriage, I fled because I had gotten to the point I didn’t want to be alive anymore. I left for me, I left to save myself. I was lost, cracked, and hated myself for what I had become. I spent a whole year after my second divorce working on myself. Loving who I am and being completely happy being alone. I won’t say that my life is all rainbows and sunshine now, although it is the happiest I have ever been. I have learned tools along this journey that have helped me mentally massage the scars life has left on me. A little massage therapist metaphor there, any good massage therapist knows that to have a scar area be fully functional you have to massage it daily to keep you moving freely. The same is true with our minds and souls. There is no cure for our trauma but, with practice and a lot of love, we can have daily healing to keep us moving freely through life.

If you have made it through this whole read, I thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little better. I don’t post this lightly, in fact, I am a bit terrified to be posting it at all.  If I love you, I love you with my whole being and I know that I can be intense. It is the only way I know. I am also doubtful of when people do truly love me, it is ingrained into me. I will leave you with this: if you love someone who has trauma, don’t love them lightly. Be fierce! We need it the most, even if we push it away. We love you too, more than we can ever express, but we are also terrified by it and we don’t mean to be. We simply come from a different life and things affect us differently. To all my fellow kindred spirits, do the daily work to massage your scars. The world needs your strength, tenacity, and power for life. Be an inspiration, because you are in fact loved. You may not be seeing it. You HAVE to love you first. Love and light to you all during this hard time of seclusion and social distancing 💚 I know for me it is stirring up some old demons that I am trying to work through. I also apologize for my beautiful grammar… I like to pretend I know how to expertly use commas and the like haha

With Love and and Open Heart,

Anna Marie

Eyes Open, Eyes Closed

Eyes Open,
Eyes closed.
As I walk through this life.
My heart, a vast trove that spills like the oceans upon a rocky beach.
Bubbly waters finding there way into every orifice of the earth that it touches.
When I love,
When I give my love,
I give it completely.
I love with a fierceness that is untouchable.
But not unbreakable.
So if my love you have,
My heart in your hands,
Hold it with care.
It can take a lot before it breaks,
But it needs no more scars upon its bleeding flesh.
And if I have fallen out of your love,
Do not try to let me down gently.
Push the sword right through and pull it out.
My blood will spill,
Yes
But like a Phoenix, I will be reborn from my pain.

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Love is My Lifeforce

I have always loved romance movies and novels. Being swept away by a love so intense that it makes the whole world fade away. I made a profound realization this evening that I have never made before. I watched a movie on Netflix called After, this isn’t a review, honestly, I watch the sappiest of movies and love them, but this is just for reference. As I sat there at the end of the movie all I wanted to do was cry. I could see my heart in my chest cracked open and my life force spilling out. I looked around and felt longing. I realized at that moment that the reason I love romance novels and movies so much is so that I don’t lose that feeling of passion and love. It helps me keep love alive, or the idea of it, it helps me from hardening. My heart longs for someone, somewhere out there that I have not yet met. Is it strange to say I can feel the distance between us? I can see more clearly over these last few months than I ever have my whole life. I used to let loneliness rule me, and I let it push me into the next relationship. I don’t know if I will ever find the person my heart longs for, and maybe this is a way of pushing love away, but it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like I finally know what I want, and I won’t settle for anything less. I do realize my fears however, I can see clearly how cautious I am with people. I don’t want to be hurt, and even more so, I don’t want to hurt anyone again. The blessing and curse of an empath is that I can feel all my decisions from every angle. I feel myself, my partner, my kids, friends, people around. I can feel the jabs of pain from every angle. As I type I can see why I have become so cautious, so guarded, even with friendships. Our emotions are why we remember the way we do, it is the feelings that keep memories alive within us. Once that feeling is let go, the memories fade. I have been carrying around the pain of every past love I have ever had, it is no wonder I am weary, I am cautious to add more pain to the mix! I didn’t realize until this evening that I was even doing this, not until the sadness hit me, and I was pulled to my keyboard. The more I type, the clearer things become. My love is my life force, it always has been. I take sadness and I give love. But when I can no longer give, when I am too full of sadness, my love runs dry. I leave, I run, I try to get away. And when I have been gone for some time I feel my love returning as the moon pulls on the tides and crashes emotions to the shore. When my love returns, that is when I wonder and look deeply at my life and all I have done. I have always loved being alone to recharge, I love being alone now, but I can now clearly see it is because I feel like the world is safe if I am alone. Such a silly thing to uncover about oneself and the motives of my subconscious. What a deep and sad thing to realize about oneself. But all things must be illuminated eventually, and when they are they can transform, and that is love, that is healing.

Morning, October 8th, 2019

As the sun was setting I could feel my body relaxing, night has always brought peace to me where the energy of the day never can. My dreams have been many the last couple nights, I had decided to sleep with a polished chunk of labradorite that I have had for years. As I drifted off to sleep yesterday I was transported to a short set of stairs and as I walked down I saw a beautiful stone archway covered in plants and flowers. I felt like this space was important. I am going to try and find the time to draw it today, as the vision is starting to fade. It was beautiful and had profound energy that felt like home, for lack of a better word. I need to keep a recorder close so I can start keeping records of my dreams. I like to lazily record them real quick before they fade, and then I transfer them to a dream journal. I can say that my dreams have been very active but aside from that stone archway, I can’t recall much more than that. For the most part, I believe our dreams are to help us navigate through our emotions and things that have, or are, happening to us that we are struggling to deal with during the waking hours. But, other times, I feel as though I have been to another world or place. What if when we sleep we awake in another place or time? I believe that for me this is what happens, and I have read it before so I know I am not the only one. I had thought about this years ago and started researching it, perhaps it is time to continue… Or at the very least document!! Just a few of my morning ramblings before my day take takes movement.

Shall I Finally Write?

As I sit here, sleep drawing nearer and nearer, all I can think of is typing. I have been feeling such an immense pull to write the last few months. So strong that anything else I do feels unsatisfying. So, here I am, fingers on the keyboard, eyes on the screen, heart open. What is on my heart? Honestly, anyone who is reading this. I truly feel that we are drawn to where we need to be, to see exactly what we need to, read what we need to see. In every moment, we just need to open our eyes and hearts and listen. I remember years ago writing up wishes I had for myself, visions of where I wanted to be. I actually found some of them in old journal entries. They always ended with me stating that I wanted to be a writer and that I wanted to live in Maine. So, here I am, fast forward almost 10 years and I am in Maine… Not writing. I ask myself everyday why, but there is never quite a clear answer. A lot of it is that I have too many ideas and they all start to meld when I write, the other is that I don’t feel worthy, or good enough. Recently I had one of those ‘aha’ moments as to why. Sitting and thinking on my life and all the choices I have made, looking at my loop of patterns, and self-sabotaging tendencies I came to an answer. Rejection. My fear of rejection runs so deeply that it masked itself as other things, and it rooted itself into every aspect of my life. Including writing. Sure, I am a busy woman, but it is amazing what one can accomplish in the span of being awake. And I just decided while sitting here that I wanted to write, so I am going to. I wanted to start with a blog because I have not written anything on here in forever and I wanted to clear some cobwebs, so to speak. I have added a tab ‘Shadow Warriors’ which is going to be a mirror to the YouTube channel and Facebook group I created to teach people how to befriend themselves, uncover their deepest shadows and step into them. To take their power back. So many things have been on my mind and heart and I have been pushing them away, being lazy… Fearing rejection. I have made many promises over the years, on here, in journals, on YouTube, etc. that I will post every week at least. I will not be doing this kind of promise again, instead, I will promise to do all I can do in a space of bravery and if I don’t write it will be a free-willed choice, not one based on my fears. The truth is, no literary piece is perfect, no post has all the answers. I cannot hold myself to those standards, it makes it so I can’t write, I can’t create. And that my friends, is just not okay. I plan to write every day, if not on here then on my books or journals. It is time to start making this a habit because I have some things to say and I think you will enjoy reading them ♥ Sleep well, everyone ♥

~Anna Marie

She Forged Power From the Dark

She could feel the world around her pressing in.
Like a vise slowly adding pressure to her chest.
Breathing became difficult.
Thoughts became clouded.
The anxiety was crushing.
A little voice came from her shadows “face me”.
So she stood tall,
a warrior,
a goddess,
a woman on a journey to heal herself.
She stood there and looked into the cool darkness.
Felt it all around her as she stepped into it.
This is shadow work, she thought.
She had been wondering how to do it,
what she was supposed to do.
This was her work,
Her medicine.
For everyone it is different,
for her, it was standing in her power,
as a warrior ready for battle,
but laying down her sword.
A white flag,
and also a fierceness that she would come out victorious.
This is how she befriended her demons,
her shadows.
By standing tall with them,
embracing them,
and calling them into her power.
For she would no longer be held as a victim,
no, not ever again.
Nor would she bloody herself in a fight that would only make the vice stronger.
No, this was about sweet surrender.
A warrior’s surrender,
to herself,
and an awakening of a power so immense that she radiated it through her whole world.
Those who wished her ill stayed away,
and those who needed her protection found solace under her wings.
But she would not let them stay there.
For they could not.
Instead, she helped them also stand into their warrior selves.
And through her strength,
she forged an army of warriors that stood tall with their shadows as their guides and confidantes.
She forged a mighty power from the dark.
And brought balance.

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