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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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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adult male rape, Recovery, trauma
YDP121315

A RETURN of PUNK ROCOCO

THE RETURN of PUNK ROCOCO and THE SWISH MAN
Material goods do matter to each of us, I suppose. In various volumes, intervals and sizes.

This week I rewarded myself, with what I consider to be an insanely delicious find. Falling perfectly within the spectrum of my palette of 10,000 shades of taste. A sweet gold rimmed, floral dusted 60 piece plus antique dinnerware set. Including traditional borscht size bowls and all the service pieces. With storage bags and custom cut protectors for creamer, sugar bowl, butter plates, relish dishes, pie servers and such. Offered up at a generous price, wrapped with tender loving care. As if I where any other customer at my place of employment. For the first time in years I felt like a “norm” member of functioning society.

Oddly, I emotionally tripped out for a few days in a entirely new way. “Poor me,” I caught myself in a cloud of old thought splatters. “I have no storage to store these pieces, when will I ever have a place to call my own home again?” “Poor me, boo-hoo” the conversation continued within. “I have no one to cook for and no kitchen to cook in with no presentable space to serve”. …

Reality check dude, gentle calm comes as the rivers of progress and light flow. Showers of gratitude relax the mind and soul. This is no longer a trip of baggage or drudgery. Although this mini expenditure commanded four trips of escort to see this snappy-set back to the abode where I stay. After all this was a labor of reward and love.

One more time, as often the case. I breathed in a breath and exhaled slow, accessing the truth of my current state. It was time for one of my progress inventory self evaluations to put things in perspective. This always gives me clarity and confidence. Allowing me to return to my core determination, without force or friction. I then began to visualize the future, bathed in glorious possibilities.

I remind myself, it really does not matter how many pauses there may be on the road tween now and forever. Forward motion is an action of many movements. Sometimes part of action arrives in the form of a pause. Even periodic steps of reverse movement, a concept I have become understanding of over time. Momentary backward steps are where I have learned my most valued lessons. I have become grateful for any periodic hick-ups.

Life need not be difficult, but awareness sometimes arrives through the struggle of figuring “it” out. As the mind, spirit and core-self stretches it functions much like a muscle, in the body becoming stronger and expansive.

Throughout all these motions of learning I try my best remain aware. That there is continuous, mass life magic unfolding around me. I remind myself to always be sensitive to this fact. Each day I thank the forces that I engage with. Also I have learned to take time to thank myself for both the large and little steps along the way.

NO SNATCH
It can be easy to slip into the travesty of re-victimization of ones past. For myself, trauma at times has left me feeling as if everything in my life could be snatched away at any given moment. This is a lie, permeated deep into my nervous system, mind and flesh. From past events that no longer need be my truth. That moment has past, ownership of the present and future now rest proudly within my own palms.

The on and off again retraining of heart and head can be kick ass fun. As the blanket of lies of previous beliefs unravel. Powerful new truths are spun and revealed throughout each day. What I love, and what I have learned along my rape and trauma recovery trip is. I do not ever have to live as I have post-trauma or even pre-trauma again. I can live a life WAY BETTER than the life I had ever known at ANY TIME in my PAST. From birth through my tomorrows-

The true beauty of my life catastrophe, is it has stripped me naked of every illusion of learned living. I have decided to refinish my life and re-stain it the way I see fit. I have decided to Re-master and re-mix the livin’ cluck out of it. And that is pretty fricking awesome. I am still laying down the tracks, like all of this life it is a work in progress. I am slowly nailing it with a loving heart and at times an uncertain mind.

MURK-SKID
Now when my head slips into murky thought. I find myself on the mend, swift and quick after each dark dip. The plunges are shorter, darkness is lighter and the length of less frequent trips has contracted. These days I catch myself before I hit any deep trenches. If I do hit a what feels like and oncoming dark skid. I find them to be nothing compared to the hells of past detours. I actually giggle a bit when a pop flash moment passes over me with it’s dark soul sap. Now it feels much more like a cleansing rain in comparison to the past pain experiences. These moments now tend to last seconds, minutes or an evening, tops. Mad applause, mad progress and nods of acknowledgment to the forces above, around and within as always.

This morning I felt a need to snap a few shots of my new fancy-ass dinnerware. To prime my mind with inspiration and remember that I have options in life. Once more I may return to the days of “PUNK ROCOCO” and dine in service. In the early 90’s, my urban cabin rocked from floorboards to rooftop. With a decor of vibrance and whim, often wanted I’ve lusted refine and re-explore this this side of my nesting visions. But I have been to scattered, to afraid and filled with self doubt. Now I am finally free to redesign all segments of living body, spirit and house. To entertain seems like nothing to some, after living in fear of people for the past four years or longer this is a massive goal. I am now ready to open the eventual doors of home now that the shutters of my heart are unshackled once more.

The greatest gift of my queer “SWISH” heritage (terms of my choosing). Is being proud of slapping together a mash up of razor sharp living with no apologies. Dripping with gold leaf, flounce and fleur de lis, along with crisp clean lines or whatever design collisions rock my trousers on any given day.

I now understand that I/we/anyone can live the best life possible. Unstoppable are we, nothing is unreachable, yes perhaps proper time may be needed. But our dreams, desires, and determinations are all in the works with our chosen intentions in motion. With our best interest at universal heart. We can live our highest truth and achieve our perspective joy.

At work I don’t believe anyone knows my full story, that is probably best. Only bits, chips and a few word droppings… not many in my “real” life know the full spun tail either, perhaps to much to digest for some. The mind gags with what it can not digest, as always I understand we are only human. I don’t think many can possibly understand. When a man looses everything, simple gestures of fulfillment can fill voids unexpectedly. (gratitude reflective smile)

Even I did not know how much one set of silly frilly dishes could mean to one boy. Who now uses the word man more than I ever thought I would. My grannie dishes symbolize more than a material purchase. Eventually filling a cabinet or being a beautiful presentation piece for a home spun feast. They are a represent progress, hope, recovery, discovery, and symbolic marker of rebirth and a return to a higher self.

Funny, suddenly I have a strong desire to serve salmon. With a side dish salad sound track of Edward Scissor hands, Berlioz, Richard Hell, Sex Pistols and Miss Patsy Cline. Along with a guest list of many for a dinner divine.

Through this experience I humbly have a greater understanding of the importance of my job. A not for profit resale shop. Helping the HIV and queer/trans community here in this City of Wind. A place I may not have normally visualized myself employed at. In a city I normally would not have chosen to return to. If not for the circumstance of a soul implosion.   I do believe there is a reason for everything, always with my choice to opt in or out.

For our clients and self as well, what may seem to be a simple and unimportant purchases. Really can give a lift, shift and roll to an individuals perspective on life and self value. When you have lost dignity, spirit, home, health, body, self worth and mind just to name a few. A bushel of dishes and a kind gesture can go a long way.

NO SHAME GAME
Some shame the need or desire for material goods. I feel there is nothing wrong with decor or a frock uplifting a spirit or boosting ones worth. Actually I no longer believe in most forms of shame. I do agree with many who feel it is the decadence and sole reliance on only the material. That leeds to spiritual, emotional and social debt. These are the track marks of imbalance up the decaying arm of society. Leaving one greedy not quenched, hooked and always needing more. I am quenched and I wish to fill many a goblet-cheers and may we all pass a gift along. Of spirit, coin or deed.

Love and Light Always
The Empowered Runt

A RETURN of PUNK ROCOCO and THE SWISH MAN

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adult male rape, Video

CHAMPIONS of TRAUMA
Champions of trauma is a one shot video and the first in a series designed to open an honest dialogue. Surrounding adult male trauma, specifically male on male adult rape. A topic I have not been able to find much information on throughout my investigative digs. I have located statistics, information, support and videos in regards to other forms of assault and rape. Primarily childhood, female on male, or prison assault, molestation and rape. All important and deserving of attention, yet my searches have always left me feeling as if I where walking this earth alone. I know of course I am not, after one last internet search and much healing. I reached a point where I feel comfortably ready to begin a conversation in my own way.

My goals are to always be honest, open and loving. My perspectives are primarily based on my own personal experiences. What led to the evening of my assaults, the event, the after effects and most importantly the healing and hope. Some of these talks will be focused on in up coming videos in this series.

SILENCE
I feel that the social stigma attached to male rape is so intense, that it keeps many men from coming forward. Like many rape warriors, shame and denial often prevents the survivor from reporting the crime, seeking help or even admitting to themselves that the assault had taken place. Especially in particular cultures and communities, in my own community when I attempted to speak of my experience the responses have been almost always dismissive. We all deserve to be heard, we all deserve to heal and we all deserve to extend a hand to another should we choose.

EVERY LIFE HAS VALUE
Gay straight and genders in-between rape is rape, no means no and yes means yes. Not dealing with a trauma can lead to some heavy and dark results. Know that you have a voice and your words do matter. Your life has immense value and hope can be the mightiest of tools when you think you have nothing left to loose. Everyday is a new day and it is just the beginning of the rest of your journey. There is no guilt, there is no shame, no reset buttons, no wrongs, and healing has no time frames. You are absolutely the most important person in your life and 200% worth loving and fighting for.

Love and Light Always
The Empowered Runt+++

CHAMPIONS of TRAUMA

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Uncategorized
Not What You Think

Not What You Think

Fall to fall, this has been a year of slow growing life progressions. Actually that is rather dismissive, the growth has been abundant and I am grateful for that. A year ago I was very much locked into a place of dark isolation. This mornings shower caught me of guard reflecting on a wonderful job I began last October. I had been unable to maintain it for many of the crippling situations named in the article below. It took a hell of a lot of work, love, and spirit human and other to move me to where I am today. The artwork above as always is original the following has been borrowed from the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Definitely much more work to do, this has been a tricky ride. Knowledge is power.

This is part of my revisitation and recommitment to my original mission. To help another now that I find myself walking upright with a mind body and soul once more capable.

Love and Light Always
The Empowered Runt – lil Big R

Dealing with the after effects of rape is a nightmare. The physical hurts can often soon be mended, but it’s the inner pain that people can’t see that takes longest. It’s also the hardest to deal with because it’s not like healing after surgery, there is no set time limit. The emotional scars can stay with us a lifetime.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a reaction to being exposed to an event which is outside the range of normal human experience. Sometimes it is referred to as post traumatic rape syndrome too. It is a normal human emotional reaction to an abnormal situation. Everyone reacts differently to different situations and it doesn’t have to be a life threatening experience for someone to respond in this way. It just has to be perceived by the victim as a traumatic event. It is a psychological phenomenon. It is an emotional condition, from which it is possible to make a full and complete recovery.

PTSD affects hundreds of thousands of people who have been exposed to violent events such as rape, domestic violence, child abuse, war, accidents, natural disasters and political torture. It is normal to be affected by trauma. There is help, and it is ok to ask for help. PTSD is not rare. It is not unusual. It is not weak to have PTSD.

Traumatic experiences bring to the fore survival skills which are valuable and useful at the time of the trauma, but which usually become less valuable, less useful and less effective with time. Sometimes survivors become stuck in problem behaviors when their pain is not acknowledged, heard, respected, or understood. Denial plays a great part here (it didn’t happen, or it shouldn’t affect you). Put-downs, dismissal of the pain, mis-diagnosis and other forms of secondary wounding keep survivors stuck.

Symptoms may come on soon after the trauma or fifty years later. That is what is meant by the post in PTSD. It is normal too for symptoms to come up again when faced by further trauma and in very stressful times. It is normal to be affected by trauma.

Society has it’s own way of dealing with trauma which can both be belittling or denying. For a survivor to be told that what happened to them wasn’t that bad, or was no big deal or continually being told it was time that they were over it, or just try and forget it ever happened cause secondary wounding in trauma survivors. It reinforces the mistrust of everyone and everything that trauma evokes in all survivors who no longer can believe that the universe is fair or just.

This ability to do whatever it takes to survive is instinctive. We all have it, and in traumatic enough situations, it will come out or we die. Extreme situations which trigger this reaction again and again may cause survivors to do things in order to survive which can be hard to look back on later.

Similarly shutting down feelings in order to do whatever it takes to survive, or do your job and help others survive, is a reality based survival skill. Numbness is the answer. It is effective. It will help you live.

Unfortunately when survivors numb their fear, despair and anger, all their feelings, even good ones, are numbed. Numbness is comfortable. Thinking about what they have been through is so painful survivors wind up avoiding thinking about, feeling, or doing anything that reminds them of the trauma. For example, if they feel the trauma was their fault they may spend the rest of their life having to be right so they won’t ever be at fault again. If they were happy when the trauma hit, they may avoid happiness forever.

Criteria for diagnosis of PTSD Continue reading

REVISITING THE MISSION

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