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 Spiral

I am a firm believer that the universe brings you repeated situations - new players and details but the theme remains unchanged - until you learn the intended lesson. This provides an opportunity to learn, grow, and apply new skills in a familiar, albeit sometimes uncomfortable, scenario. I've come to call this The Spiral and I am living one right now.

A year ago (see recent Anniversary post) I found myself in a circumstance where I did not feel safe at my home. I had arranged a few months' reprieve from work travel in order to spend time with my mother during her temporary stay. But as the days and weeks went on, the unfolding of my Breakthrough Crisis rendered me feeling inexplicably and extremely unsafe. I clammered for and even forged a couple of hasty business trips simply to escape my at-home exhaustion. I hated the speedy pace of business travel but was desperate to get away from the house and my mother. It did little to assuage my discomfort. As it turned out, I did not feel safe anywhere.

This year, I am in a different city and a different house with a job that requires very little travel. The last four months I have concentrated much on creating a peaceful and safe surrounding to aid my healing process. It has been working out swimmingly until recent events of death, dismemberment, and harassment ensued. It seems there is no pause button on life in the midst of one's healing journey.

My neighbor's dogs viciously attacked and killed my eldest cat in my own front yard a week ago. The experience was traumatic to say the least; picking up parts of his body, feeling his broken spine, noticing his missing pieces, and taking him to the vet for immediate euthanization. I grieved the loss for several days; he was a good friend to me for 17 years.

My youngest cat has been missing for 2 months; I no longer have hope that he will return as I suspect he met the same fate. I contacted Animal Control to get the scoop on local laws, and in fact there is one prohibiting free roaming dogs. In talking with other neighbors I now know that there have been multiple killings in the last year including cats and chickens. This is an epidemic but everyone has been reticent to communicate with the responsible neighbors. Now I know why.

I waited several days to talk to them so as to communicate in a calm, orderly manner. I relayed the sad story of my kitty and sited the ordinance which requires them to keep their dogs contained on their property. The conversation did not go well. They exploded in anger, proceeded to defame my character, denied all responsibility (despite the eye witness account) and ended the exchange with threats of property damage. Later that evening they retaliated in a number of ways with bright lights and noise which prevented me from getting any sleep.

This feels strangely like last year when, in a state of hypervigilance from unsurfaced abuse memories, I could not sleep in my own house despite all efforts. I felt/feel trapped. I felt/feel victimized. I felt/feel both helpless and hopeless. Again I am clammering for some reason to travel, a way to flee the situation with which I cannot deal. This is the point at which I would normally zero out and dissociate for days or weeks.

Instead, I am trying to see that I am simply in the spiral. It is continuous and it is virtuous. It can be my friend. Each time I revisit a place that feels familiar, I can only hope to be at a higher level of understanding and consciousness because of the previous completed cycles. I am more aware, have a better sense of self-grace, and an increased ability to comprehend and deal with the circumstance. Though the situation feels the same, I am different. It's not easy. It can be very frustrating and painful, for I viewed the most recent healing spiral as possibly the last one. It always feels like the last one but the truth is it never ends. That is what brings out my hopelessness, but it doesn't have to. My response to each event is infinitely more important than the event itself.

And so I have decided to view this as an opportunity to change, to respond differently, to transform. This is my moment to be brave! Instead of hiding, I will stand up for what's right. Instead of running, I will confront my fears. Instead of suffering in silence, I will reach out for help. After all, I have an army of loyal supporters now. I am not a princess who needs to be saved. I am a soul who has suffered loss and needs love and strength from willing participants. And oh how my army is rallying.

I see this cat/neighbor ordeal as a microcosm of the macro potential of sharing my abuse story. The memory (death) has surfaced, the perpetrator (dog) has been identified. The time for speaking truth is at hand. The neighbor ordeal has made me feel stronger in standing up for myself and others who have suffered the same loss. I have already addressed it with authorities and feel very empowered in my ability to procure my own sense of safety. Simultaneously, I am working on a plan with my wonderfully supportive brother that will unearth our family secret as a necessary step in my healing journey. It isn't easy, and it might be some time before I am ready. We often don't know when the time isn't right for something so big, but we almost always know when it is. I will be ready. More importantly, I will be supported and loved through it.

I am so much stronger than I was a year ago, and I have the spiral to thank. Scientists say a spiral appears in nearly all things in nature from honeycombs, seashells, the human ear and bronchial lobes, pinecones, and flower petals, all the way to the formation of galaxies. This spiral, represented by the Greek letter phi and best understood through the Fibonacci sequence, is referred to as the Golden Ratio or the Divine Proportion. I like to think that my spiral follows the same celestial pattern and that my healing journey is somehow connected to the healing journey for us all. In this, there is purpose, there is meaning. And there is hope.

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