addiction, Dreams, Recovery, trauma

DREAM STATING

DREAM STATING
During the apogee of my post-trauma remembering’s, my bi-annual clinician launched me on a powerful and dulling rhythm of anti-seizure medications. I would like to note that this is not an uncommon treatment for anyone who may experience a multitude of intense manifestations similar to those that were punching through the floodgates of my nervous system at that time. This was at the peak of my post-traumatic nightmares an aphotic period of time which I mostly documented as intrusive and harsh. I had been experiencing progressively persistent sensory attacks, flashbacks or “mares.” Vivid memory recalls in both my hours of wake and slumber. Seemingly without warning proving disruptive in all aspects of my life. Graphic sensations would own me leaving me pummeled, ripped, restrained, and ravaged in ways not fit for print in romance novels or tabloids.

Circumstances and obligations that were once perceived as routine began to feel like extraordinary feats to be reached. Consistent employment, morning walks down familiar avenues, as well as afternoons strolls through favored parks had become insurmountable projects according to the reprogramed logic of my body and mind. So too where rides on public transit, visits to the local supermarket, communication with strangers and dating which remained in a cubby of incomprehensible for years to come. These experiences were not always impossible with attentive preparations, extreme meditation and awkward bouts of hyper-con awareness.

Numerous were the days in which I slipped into slow contemplative states of humiliation after “sensed” disturbances. I often felt awkward, pounced upon, and self-conscious. Recurrently mornings began with feelings of circumspection, fear sometimes grappling with terror. As evenings somber shades would near, a wrecked ego’s critical self-review of both real and assumed behaviors would leave me in a state of abashment. Often inducing an organic calmative – a torpor of escape would then set me to rest at times for days on end.

I took solace knowing that my protective higher self had been preparing me to lastly face much of my previously concealed traumatic retrospections. Only a few up until this time had seeped out slowly. The most powerfully impactful had remained safely locked in a vault for safekeeping until I was ready to process them. As more began to release, I thought I may be, at last, ready for an assuagement of all that had haunted me to begin. I was set for anything offered in aiding me in a process of additional curing. Including a PTSD tablet regimen, one used on Veterans emotionally fractured by war. After a slow dose build layered over an easement of weeks, I began to notice a mitering of symptoms.  Quietly “Believed” violent attacks from my bed sheets to streets had begun to decrease, in ways that were increasingly numbing to my flesh and head evoking a subconscious state of peace. Inching forward I prepared myself for the next level of living, loving and healing.

I knew that there would be more work to be done with hallucinations of blood streaming down both my legs still taking place. As to where sporadic gasps for air bursting forth from lungs at attackers who no longer existed in my immediate physical world. (an old story to old readers) Simultaneously, I was experiencing the dawning of the age of Topiramate, this would be the expansion of my emotional oxygen tent. To provide a bit of understanding this medication had been created to slow the inner warfare of trauma patients from reaching their conscious core. In other words a flashback blocker, a dream stopper. With hope I could now clot the blood from flowing down, ease my gasps while softening thoughts just enough to rejuvenate maybe even replenish my future vision plan. Only later would I stop to ask myself how much would this privilege cost and how long would I have to pay?

For those who may be kind enough to have read thus far. Or working through scenarios such as trauma loss or an acute life adjustment. Medication and therapy are tremendous tools when appropriately accessed and monitored. Please do not take any of the following statements as a deterrent from professional care. Many of my writings are based on and about my own life’s experiences a series of micro-blip-autobigroies. As always extract what resonates and allow whats left to rest. I personally have found that a healthful dose of self-awareness married with a regime of meditation, writing, soul flexing and seeking has brought about my greatest sense of fulfillment and wellbeing. I am not here to debate philosophies or medical science each person is unique and capable of making their own decisions on personal wellness. I believe that whatever tools may work for an individual is all that matters. Tools are tools, knowledge is knowledge and intuition is intuition. Go for what is good for you, elevate yourself live free of judgment and do it fearlessly.

I think I will always question why the “inner” work that a person may choose to do. Is often the last to be emphasized or rarely discussed on many paths of recovery by a variety of professionals. For myself, these where the goods that transported my mind, body, and spirit on a continuum of sustainable sanity, wellness, agility, hope, and growth. My adventures to the land of mend had primarily been supported from within as I moved onward towards recovery prompting a total reboot.

FAST FORWARD
Oftentimes I arrive at a deeper understanding of our global society through an affable process of self-examination. Looking at relevant excerpts of my own self-history as needed or desired. As the birth of 2019 neared, I began a new elicitation of self-awakenings. I choose to spend my time wisely reigniting my personal pursuit for individual truth while evolving my broader perception of humankind. By opening my eyes, ears, and vibration to the faces, spaces, and happenings both around and within me. Through these actions, I was able to delve deep into the compassionate pockets of my overcoat of empathy. Arriving at a kinder place of social, psychological, and spiritual dexterity.

This is when my appetite to launch an investigative plunge had begun to stir. I started to question precisely what this tiny compound had been doing for me and how it had impacted my daily life. Shortly thereafter an innocent mishap materialized at my pharmacy, an ordinary delay with an ordinary order began to stretch. This was my prompting to dive deeper into my initial reactionary phase of feelings.

I began to ask myself a series of the why’s and whats. Why had I been “crashing out” so easily each day? Why would I lose my thoughts so swiftly? What had happened to the me that once used to be? Shouldn’t I be back to who I really am by now? I even questioned my unusual hair loss “Why is my hair thinning with a family history on either side of guerrilla heads!?!” Gradually I ceased absorbing all of the blame for my questions as I had been doing. Blame taking is often the case for the overly responsible survivors of trauma and rape. As the “it was my fault” mentality lingers in one’s vibration for some time post-trauma even without knowing. Then it hit me- could the answers to these whys and whats lie within this substance they call Topiramate?

I initiated a research project with fractured determination. As I had already begun my self authorized partial un-medicating rooted in trust and intuition. This modification had left me shaky at first mind you a detox like any detox has a price to pay. My first days up to two weeks cost me a manageable toll. At times severe edginess, nervousness, paranoia, swings of moods appetite and rest. I was a bit of a mess, but my test turned out to be well worth the jumble and lack of rest. *please note that I performed this process with the assistance of a friend.

I decided to dig deep with my investigation deeper than my usual Google scratch, sniff, and scroll. I immersed myself in American and British medical journals along with random related articles. What I had been looking for were facts, not faceless internet reviews. I experienced disheartenment to uncover little data to support the effectiveness of this medication in regards to trauma patients. I stumbled upon numerous articles by independent professionals stating strikingly similar tones of view. There had been little evidence to back this medication, for my needs and this actually felt right, I was ok with this. What poked my intrigue, was passing past quotes that read “do not prescribe to patients who are interested in maintaining an engaged lifestyle.”  These read like neon signs to me, bold and blaring felt and hot. Followed by repeat recommendations to bypass informing patients of the side effects of dullness and no longer being interested in life. I sensed I was onto something meaningful at this stage of discovery.

I was relieved to uncover a few key answers to why I had been feeling defeated with my extended internal living experiences. And why I had been feeling helplessly fastened in place for longer than what seemed logical or even valid. Perhaps some readers may be able to identify. You see I had been determinedly pro-active in my attempts to return to living a gainfull life something that was becoming increasingly unattainable. An investigation into the cause of my frustrations unmasked a few answers to my questions, through a mishap with deliberate conviction found what I had been seeking.

One of the reasons I never received an explanation of what this alleviant is proposed to do to one’s brain. Is because professionals are instructed not to do so by big pharma. Why? because it would be a deterrent for patients taking this medication. I know that this is an understandable situation. Many patients may reject many healthful drugs out of fear of side effects and not benefit from the positive effects. The bottom line is, all patients have a right to know ALL the facts and statistics about ALL medications.

What I most felt upset about was that for the past few years, I have communicated clearly with three of the separate prescribing physicians. I let them know that I had cut one of my other medications down to less than half of its original prescribed dosage. Only later through my own research had I found out that this medication to which I am focused on here was/is to be also prescribed proportionately to the other. I have always been honest about my medication regimens, diet, etc., I have discussed my dosage dismantling, yet not one prescribing doctor had either cared about this mathematical difference or caught it. However, it is something I believe any reader here would have noticed with a bit of rudimentary research.

The whack of it all is, I have been taking a highly disproportionate amount of this mind-numbing, body dumbing medication for at two to three years. 100% not my choice and not with my direct knowledge through discussion. I’ve been zapped of enthusiasm and faking my way through most of my days to remain engaged in life. It seems that I have been finished with the main stage production of my trip to trauma town for some time now. Yet numbed as if it were still a Saturday night production.

My greatest irritation over these vanishing seasons me has been an absence of zest. Waking each day living with disinterest as my physical consistency waivered. As my mind vacillated in clouds of mental fatigue. I would fumble with forgetfulness creating a doubtful existence questioning who I had become. Losing momentum or “crashing out”  quickly on most days convincing myself as I fizzled by 10 or 11 in the morning that I had simply become lazy and no longer vital. Then I would rise again come mid-afternoon, only to lose it again around 2 or 3. It was a liken to a predictable lackluster mood swing in which frustration was the culprit placing me onto the edge of snap. Naps ate up days like summer ants on snacks. At this stage of my age, I knew well the difference between depression, slumber, and unexplained sleep. But when you are exhausted and in it, you just can’t think.

Only recently had I noticed the correlation tween my dosing schedule and circulating crashes. My memory loss frustration was crushing my confidence and I reached a conclusion that I could no longer envision myself holding another “normal” job. I was beginning to wonder, how much of my memory loss was due to trauma, addiction due to trauma or my malaise caused by Topiramate which was killing my momentum? My new trauma seemed to be anti trauma therapy far after my trauma memories and reactions had left me.

My gut had been nagging at me, telling me that all of the above may be related to this medication. But as many of us know we trust our doctors or don’t want to be a bother. After all, we are only the patient, we don’t have a degree, we only know how we feel. I had intuitively been pulling myself of other medications for outdated diagnosis that I knew no longer defined me. I had been correct and successful in doing so. Now I wondered, what if I was correct about my current definition of self by another? I felt that this was the time for me to take self-action and ownership of who I wished to be from this moment on. I no longer was a victim of trauma, gang rape, or addiction. I was now the survivor of a medication that was depleting my world of life.

Please hear me loud and clear, I am not an advocate (sort of) for self un-medicating or self-medicating unless you are a highly self-aware person an honest person with yourself and others, void of delusion and have assistance. Please Note I Am Obviously Not A Doctor.

Shortly after splitting my dose in half my energy began to elevate and balance roughly to what it once had been and continues to do so. My sense of self-worth has dramatically increased in part to the following. I am enjoying an ample supply of returned memories, a joy of daily activities, proper use of language, an appreciation of life, general vibrancy, renewed interest, and finally a return of glorious concentration. Simple pleasures spark my light remaining awake throughout my days, and reading books with comprehension again feels like a miracle. My life vision is returning and I say returning because I feel it is an ongoing process.

The most exciting part of my controlled experiment is a return of dreams. I have not had any dreams in a very long time. This drug was designed to squash dreams, bad dreams (a good thing for severe trauma). I have finally begun to dream again consistently, intuitively, deeply and creatively. I have dreams like I use to and none of them are the nightmares that I once had. Some are technicolor fantasies and some are dumb as can be.

Again I am aware that this drug has and continues to serve its purpose and for this I am appreciative. Yet I wonder when did the purpose to my prescribed alleviation come to an end. What would the reason be so why not one trained professional had spoken to me about the maintenance of medication or how my neuropathways where being rerouted, trained, spark and manipulated. Why would highlighting weight loss on this tablet be the of the utmost important factor to over explain to this patient? Why is weight loss the primary point the pharmaceutical companies encouraged prescribing doctors to sell to patients when it comes to trauma? Obviously, it sells the drug “everyone would like to lose weight.”

I wonder how many days of opportunities I had missed, how many inspirational moments I slept through. I began to wonder what my clearly vibrant subconscious self had been trying to communicate. And what other people may be going through and what better options there are for the future. Again I think medications are powerfully wonderful tools, but there must be communication. We live in a world filled with options, they should all be available and many of them are right in front of us, even within us. Medication is only one option of deliverance.

We live in a very big little world, I profoundly believe in the human experience and the strength each individual holds. I believe that one of the greatest superpowers that any given individual holds is the power of choice. The power to look within, the power to question, the power to feel, the power to be still and look within. The power to ask questions, the power to trust and the power to help another human being as we explore, process and grow on our own paths in life. I believe we all know what it is that is best for us deep down inside, I have learned for myself time and time again. Everything and everyone else is only here to support us in our choices on our journeys. But it all comes down to honesty with ourselves first.

Love and Light Always
The Empowered Runt
(Paintings by Jordan Sokol

Standard
trauma

Helping Another

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Standard
adult male rape, Selfportraits, trauma, Uncategorized

THE MOST DANGEROUS THING

072616FP001.jpg

 

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-

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standard
addiction, adult male rape

MEETING CLARITY

080916birthmare

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

Standard
adult male rape, Images, Recovery, trauma
020116rarespirit

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

Aside
adult male rape, Images, Selfportraits, Uncategorized

CS0003XsmCS0002XsmCS0001Xsm

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

Aside
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

Aside