In the Beginning

In order to understand the nature and flowing references throughout my blog, I recommend reading my initial post The End of the Beginning first.


The Lady Amalthea

On the origin of my pseudonym...

When I was a kid I fell in love with the movie The Last Unicorn. There was something hauntingly appealing about it, and not simply because little girls love ponies. It was the complexity of this character Lady Amalthea.

In the movie she is a unicorn who, through a series of misfortunate events, is forced to take the form of a human girl. A woman-child of sorts. Being thrust out of her body, she spends a great deal of time in a hazy state of disillusionment. Unicorns are immortal and pure; becoming a human cost her these things and thus her innocence was stolen. She feels this new, flawed body dying all around her. As a result of this experience she develops what no supernatural creature was ever made to feel: regret. It is easy to see now why I identified so closely with this character.

Em, my mind-body skills expert, and I use a variety of healing modalities in my quest for wholeness. Dance, draw therapy, mindfulness meditation - basically anything that can help bring about holistic healing. We meditate on many things such as Safe Place (which I will blog about later) and finding Inner Wisdom.

Unstuck has a number of guided imagery exercises. Fortunate for me, I have an active imagination and so I find these visualization exercises particularly easy and pleasurable. I am most often times surprised and amazed what comes out of them. The resulting ideas are things that I am certainly not consciously thinking of or about, but make an immense amount of logical sense ex post facto and leave me feeling more integrated, more Me.

One night Em and I did guided imagery on finding my Inner Guide. As with any guided imagery there is a great deal of relaxation prework and mental picture painting (sounds, smells, etc.) but I will summarize for brevity's sake. (You can find the full exercise in Unstuck chapter 2.) When I walked into my Safe Place and waited for my Inner Guide to appear, it was Lady Amalthea in a white sparkly dress who came. I have visited her on a number of occasions when I am having a difficult time understanding or getting in touch with my feelings. (See previous post Word Art for more details on how and why I am so often out of touch with my feelings.) Sometimes she is on a white horse, sometime she is the white horse; they are one in the same.  I have found this exercise both useful and calming.

One of the tendencies of ASCAs is that we have a difficult time trusting ourselves, much less anyone else. People, loved ones, and even our own bodies betrayed us and so we are left with nowhere to turn. No reliability, no predictability, no safety net. Having this Inner Guide to rely on has been incredibly comforting to me. The answers are coming from Real Me hidden somewhere down beneath the Black Oil. But this way it is coming through and from someone I trust, someone I connect with and idealize. It brings me peace to know that I have a trustworthy source of information even in the darkest of times.

I've also used Amalthea as a sort of healing barometer. I find myself seeking her less often during periods when I feel integrated, but there's an even better incident which affirms this theory. So let's end this post on a great positive note, shall we?

Em and I decided to create a guided imagery for Integration. I went to my Safe Place to interact with all the younger versions of me who have over the years, one by one, split off through dissociation. I am sitting in a circle with all of these Little Me's, one for each of the major abuse memories that I have been able to isolate; we are playing games and laughing. Usually when I am in my Safe Place I have on a long, flowy pink sundress and flowers in my hair, barefoot. On this particular occasion I look down at my clothes, and I am wearing the white sparkly dress. When fully engaged with all of Me, when fully integrated, I am my own inner wisdom.

THAT is healing.

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