trauma

Helping Another

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Out of nowhere it seems, an almost forgotten sense of peace has entered my heart. A steadying of nerves without invitation brought my mind and body back to a near lost state of existence. Stuttering words have once again begun to calm and my stream of thoughts float in logical harmony, free of jagged distraction. I again am coasting down stream in a river of gentle ease.

What events could of have taken place to softly and radically bring me back from the doorsteps of chaos and internal clutter. When only hours earlier I had been gasping for breath as gut and brain relived fractured recall of hallucinatory decay without notice from one unpredictable moment to the next? Simple, a forgotten joy that I dropped somewhere over these past few whenever’s was reactivate.

The actions leading to this shift are no great secret, helping another in spirit by supporting them in a genuine way is all it took. By stepping out of the center of my justified self-indulgent pity. To highlight the love, light and growth that has evolved out of an situation of challenge in someone else’s path of living buffered my own core tarnish. How wonderful to be able to help another human being to recognize their own beauty, strength, power, passion and growth. In return, with out expectation I experienced a spike in my own life current.

Through this action of self abandon and genuine guidance, to point out the positive glow via a life challenge is an absolute natural high for me. It has a multi dimensional flow effect on all and restorative for all parties involved. I have forgotten the pure magic and the force that there is behind the action of helping another. This one small action has done more than a thousand meditations, I thank you my friend for this moment. Last night was my first night without traumatic nightmares in months. At least that I can recall, I thank you again.

The power of supporting one other in even the smallest of ways is a powerful way to uplift every vibration upon this planet. It is so easy at least for me to forget this. Today I am grateful to wake with joy, to wake with calm, to wake with a renewed sense of possibility and knowing. It has been sometime since I have felt “good” in my core, the importance of having the good is so that I have something to compare the “bad” to. For so long I have been stuck on only the bad I forgotten about the good feelings…  My inner compass has been reset, last night has given me a return to personal navigation. Today I am grateful… It is still a journey… I do not know what tomorrow brings, but I am grateful for today…

Love and Light Always

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adult male rape, Selfportraits, trauma, Uncategorized

THE MOST DANGEROUS THING

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Unfiltered, here I am, naked, no decorative words, no room for flounce, not now, not within the womb of this cool circumstance. Raw and writing, it is we, it is he, Fernando along with the others which equal the new entirety of me.

I’ve decided no longer does it matter if there is an audience for my words or images. I now write because I need to write, I create my art because it is not only an essential part of my creative expression. It is a necessary segment of the healing equation, I still fall back on these words “art saved my life”.  Now I write with a slant on the unfiltered, just me and my selves. If another is helped as I stagger on my current path of wonder and stumble all the more glorious. Perhaps the flow of these writings will read more organically without the hindrance of self-criticism of thought, word, art and tongue.

I am afraid I am finally facing the raw fact that my trauma has become one bitch of a battle. It is increasing in bite and fervor. Sobriety has been a song and one I don’t give much of a shake about, even with all my trauma bullshit I have not thought once about drugs to deal with it. The trauma however is rupturing, ripping, splitting and soaring through the roof of my being. I am not sure who is winning in this wrestling match of wills. I do know I am not happy with the feelings beating me up each day, leaving me exhausted, bruised and raw.

Most days my thoughts are so tangled that I make no sense speaking. When I do manage to speak I often trip up my vocals. I mutilate simple sentences for example, ga-ga-ga-goo-goood goood morning. For a normally fairly grounded intelligent sounding person it becomes a bit humiliating. I often rock back and forth when I am alone typing, channeling my never existent autistic youth.

Yesterday, despite my gut intuition, I met with a therapist for the second time. It took me almost five years to reach a point where I was capable of receiving “professional” help. I understand fully that he has not been trained in trauma recovery, and may not even be queer sensitive. But surely he has a degree, and I assume based on his appearance he is of the human species. I also hope he had entered this field with an empathic heart, he does not seem old enough to be jaded and over his profession, or is he?

Aside from him being late for the second appointment in a row (note both appointments). Cutting me off, not hearing my needs then telling me to ignore my feelings. He then instructed to “Move on” “get over my past” to “get my old job back full time” please note I can barley function in my current part time position. I was instructed to “change my thoughts”  again. I explained this is something I do all day through many spiritual and personal teachings, meditations and techniques I have even developed along my personal journey.  I explain what someone in trauma goes through. I explained that I/we need tools to move forward and heal, I explained that I/we would like to learn how to cope with the subconscious thoughts that strike in the middle of night. Example: when I/we wake tossed on the floor in the middle of the night. Living out a rape, how do I/we move past that… I am enraged right now simply thinking of this session… yet I am moving forward I can not even finish this paragraph. _ RAW WRITING.

A bad therapist is the next worst thing to the actual traumatic event itself. I can not imagine anyone speaking these same words to someone who has just comeback from a tour of duty or lost their family to some horrific action of violence. I suppose a gang rape to faggot is just another disposable crime even in the eyes of a therapist. (please note the wrong therapist I know the majority are absolutely brilliant)

An average day for me, requires about 3 hours of meditation just to make out the door. Before I can go to my humble semi-stress free part time job. About once or twice a week I have at least one severe flash back during my waking hours. Two weeks ago, while walking down my block I hallucinated a full on rape, asshole ripping open, choking, suffocation, blood, restrained arms up against a fence the full nine yards. That was a pretty average scenario as of late. The week after the same situation took place while I was writing while sitting on a bench in the local park looking at trees. Boom out of the blue, restrained, suffocation, notebook on ground etc…. but this is my current unreality. “don’t think about it” he says. Again I say… seriously?

Last night three nightmares woke me up, usually I do not much of them, only the fighting, sweats, screams etc. But they are becoming more vivid as of late. Today I had to leave a simple task job after only an hour, because I freaked the F*@K out. My 10 minute walk home took about an hour, I was in a trance state the entire time. I crashed from exhaustion upon my arrival home (rather where I stay). More daymares, physical fighting and screaming and kicking. And he tells me “change your thoughts” “move on” I think to my self again, sarcastically, seriously?…I sorry I just forget to come out of trance states and nightmares to say “get happy” “get over it” Move On”….

Yes “change your thoughts” I agree completely, I do it all day everyday, minute by minute. This roller coster practice is enough to drive any normal person insane. I gently participate in many meditation techniques and lovingly embrace every fricking letting go method there is. But I can not delete reality, when something has never been dealt with it has to come out somewhere. Fact? or Fiction?

The most dangerous thing to a person in trauma recovery is… and I will say this again and again. Is having an unqualified person sitting opposite them on the other side of a desk when you are in therapy. This is not only dangerous it is negligent and can even be lethal. Last evening I felt so hopeless, lower than I have been, and closer to ending my life than and period in recent history. But I am as stubborn man, I will make it through this. Salt stains and all, I may not have much say during this period of my life that is up lifting. My core self is still in here somewhere, and it will come to the surface again. Until then, however long that takes be well be kind and be loving the best you can.

Thank you-

 

 

 

 

 

 

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addiction, adult male rape

MEETING CLARITY

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In time comes clarity, jumbling, stumbling, bumbling through every sensory awakening soft bright and abrupt. Oh this thing called clarity, I foolishly thought I had met you, 10,000 clones before. Nothing could prepare me for this present interpretation and layered manipulation. You are almost to much for me to bear, yet I stand before you with weighted feet. It has been co-decided that I am ready to face you. Now I am awake, I have been prepared for what I am willing to face. Lets move forward, lets get on with this-

Like a child learning to crawl or gurgling words for the very first time, so is this fresh awkward revival of  perspective. The human mind is the kindest of all tools within this filtering machine, this contraption of flesh. With the passing of time and shedding of outer escapes the emergence of memories have brought my past to present on regular rotations. Details spared for the faint of heart-

The terror is quite real, although hallucinatory, some call it a flashback. I call them living theater of the dark and deadly. I am ready to finally face these memories, I thought I already had many times over and over again. They now appear upon my daily walks, I understand this is not unusual, they are far to real. My breathing halts, with hands restrained, sweat begins, sensory blood drips, and the choking is consistent, boom black out. Before I know it, books and phone drop to side-walk for 5 to 10 until I can escape. With jaw dropped open vacant empty screams hover over flaccid lips. I pull it together once more and enter the realm of the real, and continue my stroll. I remind myself that this is a temporary normal, this is what has finally come to the surface. Perhaps drugs where not such a bad thing, maybe denial and madness saves lives. But you can not move forward with a life of denial, my core self is a survivor, enough said

I have chosen to face this at all cost, I have chosen to ride this out. I have decided that I am ready to once and for all face the UGLY of it all. Even what I have yet to remember of that night in November 2011. I am not stopping until this is done. I will never be able to help myself or another human being if I do not take care of this. I grateful that this experience is coming to a head. For all of those who may be working through trauma, I know it is a tough challenge. I am also confident deep in my heart that it is worth it, truly these experiences allow us to enrich our personal human condition. This is our classroom for living, when the moment is right, when our personal light is re-lit we are able to understand and carry on for another. That’s what this journey is about…

Love and Light
The Empowered Runt

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addiction, Uncategorized

ONE YEAR RESTING

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It has now been a little over a year since my last drug use. I share no pride nor surprise about this news, it just is what it is. It came about in a dramatic ending in a masterful collaboration between the forces that be and me. I attracted the situation that led to an overdose and the rest is history. I have never had a serious desire to step back into the meth death pool to date.

Addiction, a word I have never cared to use, and respectfully encourage limited use of with others. “Addiction”not my issue, my theories surrounding addiction continue to be supported time and time again. Addiction is not the root of the “problem” it is the result of an inner issue, a deeper issue, not the cause. I’d like to take a moment at this time to encourage anyone who is working on “addiction” issues. If comfortable, to let go of terms such as disease, addiction, or defective along with a few others used in traditional 12 step program (not a dis). And for a few moments refocus on some positive concepts.

First I would like to state there are no defective human beings. Many of us have been exposed to some tough experiences in our younger years, have had learning issues, specifically on the autism spectrum or started using in our teens or twenties. In some cases we may have experienced or witnessed a trauma of some sort or experienced great loss.

The majority of heavy substance use or other acting out behavior. Is in fact based not so much on “addiction” rather as behavior patterns. An inside reaction to an outside occurrence, love yourself enough to care correctly for yourself. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT!

No one in my eyes can get healthy from any situation in life based on being told they are defective. Or told daily that they are an addict and always will be. This is like trying to go to school to get an education and being told you are stupid everyday.

This of course is only my opinion based on my amazing little journey in life. But I have seen a lot of shit, I have been to hell and back a few times. I still believe we are all good people, we are simply learning and living healing and being. I believe that love is what heals, there are many methods of support, there are many ways to heal and move forward. If you can’t find a way, make one up, it worked for me.  I have found that many people have very good intentions based on the intentions of those before them. But it does not mean that they have a clue to what you are going through.

Find your quiet space in your heart, let it guide you to the right place should you need outside guidance, help or even medical.

If  you are insanely over the edge as I once was, hang in there, remain open, trusting and honest. Meth is tricky, and it messes with your head, if you are still in the messy zone you have to trust another until you have clarity… enough said. I leave my words resting here.

Love and Light Always
The Empowered Runt

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adult male rape, Images, Recovery, trauma
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INTIMATE FRONTIERS

 

One of the final frontiers left on my trauma recovery trail is intimacy without thoughts of chemical crutches. Through my adventures I have come to fully appreciate, embrace, understand and honor the impact trauma has had on my sexual unraveling. As I continue to mend the last of my obscure life interruptions. My approach has remained sensitive yet expeditious to right what feels wrong within. 

Sex and intimacy are two subjects that have been increasingly seeking attention within my mending psyche. Like all matters of internal importance, when the time arrives for me to heal and release them. I experience what I describe as an electrical itch or a soft urgency. Overtime I’ve “plugged” into my own inner clatter of sub-current speak. I do my best to listen and react knowing that my higher self has prepared me to move onward. 

I then begin a sensitive and respectful process of analyzation. Followed by my spiritual and human work, whatever feels right at the time. Before I know it issues begin to dissolve and release. Once the wheels are in motion matters mend rather fast. Through this wonderful mashed up journey of mine. I have been afforded the gift of heightened personal awareness. Along with a desire to take ownership and action of what many of us call our “personal truth”. What was once a process based on fearful hesitation is now rooted in joyful anticipation. I mend most issues fairly swiftly these days. Rather than pushing them off onto endless task lists. No longer do I treat my life as a chore, I am excited to experience change. I am now a participant in my own life, no longer a by-stander. 

Since the experience of my rape in 2011. Intimacy without chemicals has been a seemingly impossible situation to conquer. I have abstained from sex for just over six months now. Living in fear of flesh, sex and slamming is not a life time solution. It is what I choose to do for this period of time. 

Sex for the time being is not worth the price of admission. Not if the cost of entry is possible death by meth. I am not against the use of drugs, let me make this clear. I am not the moral police, I think drugs can be a hell of a lot of fun. Or…

Speaking only for myself, rape and crystal meth addiction took me to the darkest of spaces. They nearly took everything from me, they both left me for dead. My body mind and spirt felt like a peasant beaten in the dark of night by authorities in a third world country. Bloody, cold, unvalued, forgotten, not even a statistic… Just another discarded gutter fag. 

CURRENT TRUTH
Messages of intimacy continue to erupt around me. In my thoughts, my art, dialogues, writings and meditations. At a gallery opening this Saturday past, the subject of rape was a topic shared in private between several woman and I. As they asked questions about my photography and the subject matter. The images are a reflection of my mending experience after my gang rape. The images specifically encapsulate the “middle space” of my healing process, post darkness. When light begins to re-enter ones life. They are about the comfort of being SAFE. The tears flowed from a few of the women’s eyes. As they shared with me their own intimate tales of assault. One woman spoke of her experience for the very first time. 

An earthy sophisticate in her early 70’s described a terrified and obviously determined 10 year old girl. She had kept locked deep within safe from family, authorities and monsters. A fragile child never allowed to be speak for all these years. I was deeply honored that she felt SAFE to share her story. I stood with her as she held my hand I shared some of my accumulated perspectives. Along with a few tools that have helped me on my path. She had no tools 60 years past in rural Indiana. “He did the crime, I received the life sentence” she confided. For me this marked the beginning of the end of a long drawn awareness cycle. Or the opening to the closing of my intimacy release.  

CONTINUED OPENING TO A CLOSE
The following evening while on a rare venture to a club here in Chicago. I was busy doing my usual hoof and shuffle. Through thud and base while gagging on “fog juice.” I was approached by an extremely good looking and sexually aggressive young man. Although I declined his repeated advances. Intimacy triggers sparked through the epicenter of my pulsing brain. In general I do not “hook up” with folks I meet in clubs. This evening was no exception, I performed my usual twirl, cocktail and escape.

Not being able to figure out my emotions of the moment. I climbed from basement dance-hall in search of cab or sub-rail to destination home. That is when I had a snap second of desire. The desire was not sex, meat to hole. Although I had a nano-nag thought about companionship. Triggered by the handsome Mr. Generation next. My side saddle urge was to score a “teen” of  little wicked Tina. Then pop a rocket into my vein, this was not about getting high. This was about the demolition of fear and emotional retardation. I thank GAG (God Angels and Guides) for awareness, this is the key to all growth and recovery to all situations in my life. Ooh, sweet golden awareness, how I love thee.

Many men I know use crystal meth to take a sexual experience to a level of epic distortions. This was not my goal, my hope was to drop my own barrier walls. To be comfortable enough to allow another man to touch me, breath on and or in me. Most importantly to allow myself to reach out and be sensually connected. “Formal” sex was not a part of my conscious check list. My other objective was to be high enough to drop my sarcasm and humor. Often my defense mechanism when uncomfortable. 

This all sounds pretty basic, right? Passionate, tender heated, embracing, verbal one on one love. Love and communication without fear, free of hesitation void of calculated actions. Not so easy at this stage of recovery, difficult enough in daily life. Nearly impossible when rank and raw. I am getting there, patience is the other golden gift. 

This is not about body parts or geometry. This is about heart, head, flesh compassion and intuition. This formula use to be a part of my core approach to connective communication. Actually, it is still a part of who I am, it always will be. I proudly own this nugget of my personality. No matter how dormant it may be during this period of my semi-muffled sexual resurrection.

None of this is new, it is all part of the life detour recovery game. I am not special with this one, millions of us do it everyday. Anyone who is a champion in this accelerated course of Trauma 101 understands these various stages or repair. We all have our own pace and our own ways of making it through. I feel the shift, I see the horizon, I feel that this current veil has almost lifted.

Many I know in formal recovery programs would react to the very thought of sex and meth as a red flag. Naturally for many it probably should be, thats not my story. For me it was a 5 second cause to pause. It reenforced all that has been coming to the surface as I continue to move through these final frontiers. I realize now how much I have restored in my life. Just how much of me has come home to this temple of flesh no longer in decay. Recovery of any form in my eyes has zero timelines. It requires love, patients and personal sensitivity. It takes as many moments as needed to pause and shift up the game plan. Write your own rules or co-author with someone you trust not with someone you are suppose to trust.

All of our stories are important just as our lives are. We share our stories so we may heal. We also share our stories because this is how we help another human being in their journey. We each have a profoundly unique message and gifts in this lifetime. We each have our own platforms to use our voice. It may not be a lecture hall filled with Ted Talks fans, a blog, or big media presentations. It may be listing to your neighbor, being sensitive to a stranger on the street. Or finally being brave enough to let down our guard and be authentic with your partner a friend or even a family member. In these days of electronics that I adore, lets not forget the magic and power each of us harness.

Love and Light Always
The Empowered Runt

 

Intimate Frontiers

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adult male rape, Images, Selfportraits, Uncategorized

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Artist Intent:

To invite the viewer to experience the intimate process of self-renewal. A moment captured here within these layered images. As layered as the emotions and the process itself. Where the foundation of the moment is based on openness, willingness and a seeking spirit. After a gang rape that took place in New York City in November of 2011, the artist finds himself safe at last in his home of current refuge. Images shot between the floor boards and box springs of his bedroom. Are symbolic of a safe shelter where once a similar setting of contrasting events took place 24 inches above.

This murky event birthed a nightmare of denial, addiction, and a full social shutdown. Distrust, loss of all hope, material goods and above all love of self and others. These same experiences also gave birth to grand opportunities to embrace spiritual, creative and emotional life change. These photos capture flashes of those moments.

Alone he is safe to explore his desires with little fear, no judgement or limits. A sense of vulnerability is unavoidable in this instant of self-love and passion. During these intimate moments he must earn even his own trust. As he literally makes love with his bed frame, the object he once held onto to save his life. Unable to embrace another man at this stage of healing. Without the crutch of chemicals from spike to vein. He companionship entangled in his own arms. Unavoidable looks of question, hesitation and fear rise to the surface of his face. Eventually comfort is found in the knowledge that all is ok…

This is not about the dark of the journey nor the light of the discovery. This is the the story of the in-between, the passionate self rediscovery of a life still unfolding and a soul healing. This is a love undone: the story of one.

Transitional Leap:
At this mid point between ages of 52 and 53. I have made a huge artistic transitional leap. Out of the 10,000 plus images I have created over the last few years. I have taken the steps and printed my first creative works in large scale. Professionally mounted and framed with purpose, care and love. This is the first I have ever seen or ever touched my own work. Which may sound strange, pieces I have sold have gone directly to the buyer. Never passing my final critical eye.

On Saturday January 30th 2016 I will participate in my first group show. My message remains the same and I never mind repeating. It is never to late evolve, shift your story should you choose and change. Never let go of your dreams and trust me when I say your words, your thoughts and your life all hold dynamic powers.

Love and Light Always
The Empowered Runt

A LOVE UNDONE / A STORY of ONE

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adult male rape, Recovery, trauma, Uncategorized, Video

This conversation continues, based on my perspectives and experiences through rape and recovery. My intention with these conversations is to encourage an understanding of what the act of rape actually is like for many of us. More importantly the process of recovery and living an abundant better and brighter life through the process.

No rape or trauma experience is the same, yet there are many similierties in the after effects and after care. Within the soft walls of these talks I share my concepts of love and recovery.

This particular talk is designed for those who may be supporting a loved loved one on the mend. And finding it difficult to understand the emotional shut downs or “triggers” behind a projected emotional illusional exterior.

Love and Light Always
The Empowered Runt

A BRIGHTER UNDERSTANDING PART II

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