Tag Archive | Healing

The Frog in the Well

Frog in Dark WellI moved to the US when I was a small child, Spanish was my first language, and English was my second. A part of the English language I have never mastered is idioms, phrases, and expressions. A week before the New Year was coming about, I was having a helluva day and as tough as it was, what I thought was “Two steps forward, one step back.” I stopped and thought to myself, “Is that the right way to say it?” I believe the more common expression is, “One step forward, two steps back.” The former us dealing with the story of a frog trying to get out of a well and the later more well known as being used by Lenin in his work “The Crisis in Our Party”. The day I was having a week or so ago, as bad as it was, I still felt that overall my life was moving in the right direction and that I was making progress like the frog in the well. Life is sometimes about getting up, brushing our dirty knees off, and taking those small steps.

I’ve got a lot of good things happening in my life. I have a new job with good benefits, where I am treated with respect and valued, I have a new home and regained privacy, and I have my family and friends who love me and support and encourage me during hard times. The first time in over three years I had both of my daughters with me at the same time and we spent the entire last week of December exploring New York City together. Some people talk about family, biological and chosen, and too often there is the either/or and not both. Worse is that there are some people who have neither, but hold onto a façade.  I think how sad it is that a person has to create a false truth surrounding their family, biological or other. It is when I think of this that I feel so deeply and see so clearly how very much I have to be grateful for in my life right now. I hear my leather sister’s voice and it says, “You have to make space in your life for good to happen.” It’s not always easy, but I do it anyway. I’ve been taking steps forward. Continue reading

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World AIDS Day 2014 – A reflection

aidsday

I’ve had a lot of reasons to reflect on what this day means to me this particular year. I thought about what it was like in the 1980’s when we still had no real idea how AIDS spread, the stereo typing, and the fear and hate that many experienced. I thought about how lucky I have been that I met people who lived through that here in NYC. How living through that era and witnessing what they have has shaped the leather they share today.

I’ve undergone many struggles as of late. My primary relationship ended, I became unemployed, had to give up my housing, and I was nearly homeless. All of this happening while being in a place where I had no real roots, support, family, community, or so I thought. My recent plights turned into blessings and through it, coming out of the storm, what I have noticed is one more way that we experience Leather.

I’m not going to focus on why my relationship ended, became unemployed, or lost my housing, but I want to tell you about AIDS, Leather, and community in my subculture. I will tell you that all three, the relationship, the job, the housing, had to end for physical or good health reasons, but the details are not so important. I will also tell you that these events started in May/June of 2014 and are just now in December seeming to take a final turn out of the darkness and I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel, So, it’s been a small journey getting back on my feet. The getting back on my feet is the part I want to talk about.

This morning I was at The Center for my weekly therapy session that is helping me with the aftermath of the unhealthy relationship I left in June and that is when I saw that today was World AIDS Day. I couldn’t help of think of words my friend Sir Raven told me about living in NYC during the 1980’s when AIDS was spreading wild in the Leather and gay community. She told me about how they took care of their own. I remember her telling me about the butches, dykes, lesbians, and leather women took care of their brothers. That this is what she learned is what we do in leather. Take. Care. Of. Our. Own. And as much as she hates attention I have to say, this is how Sir Raven and her slave jade helped me, when each day brought darker news. They gave me arms, a shoulder, and an ear. They gave me a couch, food, a roof.

Today I am working productively towards healing emotional and psychological damaged caused from an unhealthy relationship, enjoying a better job with good condition and benefits, and on my way to safe housing and being independent. It’s really scary to admit this, but the fact is I could have died 6 months ago. In half a year my life changed from the bleakest of darkness to a world of blessings. I have so much to be grateful for each day. My life is not easy by any means, it is still as struggle and I am often exhausted, but I find my way each day to create space in my life for beautiful happenings. I give credit to myself for doing the internal work daily to make the space, but I give credit to Sir Raven, jade, and a few others who pick me up, brushed off my knees, and helped me take each step one at a time to get to today. This is what leather does. When what we are going through is ugly and the world doesn’t want to see, our leather family doesn’t turn away, they step forward.

This is leather, this is family. I am so blessed to have this Levi-Leather woman in my life and her devoted slave. Thank you for taking care of me when it seems all I had to offer in return was despair and suffering.

Leather. Takes. Care. Of. Its. Own.

Two Wolves

Two Wolves

Two Wolves

I’ve started writing about four other different journal topics, but I can’t find the resolve to finish any of them. As I sit in the playpen, I talk to my little sister and tell her about the struggle going on inside me that says to “Write something happy, pleasant, and joyful, instead of topics that are serious and a bit intense.” And her reply is, “Well, who is telling you that your journal has to be about writing things that are happy?” and I blurt very quickly, “I do!” I sat for a few moments with these thoughts and the idea that came to my mind was that of The Bad Wolf. There are days when The Bad Wolf comes out and wants to feed.

After an hour passes I nearly scare myself at the damn epiphany of what I have just written. It has been a week and a half since I wrote about the paper bound journal I once kept. The one with the final entry titled, “The Book of Anger”. Suddenly the words haunt me that is it not me who tells me that I must write about “good things”, but it is someone else’s voice.

I woke at some ungodly hour this morning and suffered several hours of fighting The Bad Wolf alone, before my leather sister woke up and came to nurture me and give me strength. She is my solace, my calm in the storm. As I talked to her I remind her that it is coming up on the anniversary that I came to visit her and told her the truth about my unhappiness. She reminds me that it is normal around anniversary dates of events that involve trauma to have deep emotions. Sometimes it is very hard to forgive oneself, more so than it is to forgive others.

Today, it was a struggle, but I refuse to give The Bad Wolf even a morsel.

Today, The Good Wolf won.

Two Wolves – A Cherokee Parable

(thanks Jenna for telling me this story)

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.”

“One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.”

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

“This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied,
“The one you feed.”

What do you do in the meantime?

Reading, reading, and more reading, yea!

Reading, reading, and more reading, yea!

I’ve been reading Partners in Power by Jack Rinella for tomorrow’s Leatherfirst NYC book discussion and it has given me some thoughts about this past months MAsT meeting on the topic, “Masters without slaves, slaves without Masters: What do you do in the meantime?” If I had read this book before that meeting I would have remembered what I did before my most recent relationship and realized that in some ways it is what I am doing again, since I find myself single. Continue reading

The Pencil

broken pencil

broken pencil

I was heading out to meet with an acquaintance, at Utopia Restaurant a few days ago and I wanted to bring a pen and paper to take notes. I found a notebook and tossed it in my bag, then began to search for my special LLC (Leather Leadership Conference) pen. My pen was not in the usual location and so I started searching throughout my bag to see if I could find something else to use in the meantime. I searched and searched and was rather put out that I didn’t have one other writing instrument in my bag. It’s really an uncommon event to happen. Persistently, I began to dig again and then I felt something. No, I felt some things. I stopped using my hand to look inside blindly and used my eyes to examine what I was touching. What I was holding was the broken pencil that Master Fire Ma’am had given to me at MsC (Master slave Conference). Thoughts of this pencil have been weaving in and out of my conscious stream ever since.

I got this pencil from Master Fire Ma’am at a class I attended about breaking down barriers & social constructs around the phrases “I’m sorry” “Please” and “Thank you.” When Master Fire handed me the pencil I was happy. I like pencils, and well, it was from her 🙂 I thought, “What an awesome class, we get presents.” 😀 Then Master Fire says, “In a moment I am going to ask each of you to break your pencils.” I’m sure that upon hearing this news, I gasped loudly. She stopped and noted the various reactions to her statement and then had us think about our reactions and asked why we did react the way we did. I like writing, so I have positive associations to this item and it has value to me. I am a bit old fashion and sometimes I miss the days of written letters, notes, and good penmanship.  It troubled me and upset me greatly the idea of breaking this pencil. It seemed like a wrong thing to do and made me feel sad. I didn’t want to do that! One by one we each had to break our pencils. She chose an emotion and when a person felt that they could demonstrate that emotion while breaking their pencil they had to stand up in the class and let the rest of the people see what that looks like. Master Fire then went on to ask us how we thought we could repair our broken pencil and that was followed by a talk about throwing it away. My response was to repair it by sharpening it, and Master Fire pointed out that in my solution I focused on sharpening only one half, and it was the half that had the eraser. Throwing it away was not something I felt comfortable with. As you have hopefully figured out there are a lot of ways that these exercises helped us to reflect about how we deal with relationships.

No longer broken

No longer broken

I was shocked to see that after all this time I was still walking around with my pencil. I wondered what it symbolized that I was still holding on to it and that it was not repaired? I write to Master Fire Ma’am and ask her if she had told us to throw away the pencil? I honestly couldn’t remember. I told MFM that I felt it was important to fix the pencil and that I had some plans outside the house that day and the first thing I meant to do was to stop and buy a pencil sharpener. I added that not only did I plan to sharpen the half with the eraser, but that I was also going to sharpen the other end that did not have an eraser. And that I felt that even though the other half was not as useful as the one with the eraser it still had value.

Master Fire Ma’am explained some things to me and ended her reply whimsically by saying,

“As for the other half of the pencil, perhaps it’s meant to be shared. We bet your bunny would love to chew on it. 😉 “

Ginger's chew toy :D

Ginger’s chew toy 😀

A Hero That Has Let You Down (letter)

[Writing prompt; 30 Days of Truth, Day 14; “A Hero That Has Let You Down” (letter) ]

I struggled with writing my truth. I am sure it has been over a week. I started and started and then started again.  This was so difficult, because one thing that is important to me in my writing is that I tell my story and that I write about me. Too often, some of the most “loved” and “popular” writings are from people saying a whole lot of nothing about people other than themselves. I realize my writings may never be the most loved or popular, but that is not my goal. What I am striving towards is authenticity. Then while doing a little research, I had an epiphany, that made me understand why I kept discarding my writings.  I think this is worth sharing openly, because that is my nature. Open…

This is the hardest letter I have ever written.

To the Hero who let me down,

This is what I have learned today: Continue reading

My Credo

The is my personal Credo that I started writing in 2009. This version is was written for the year 2011. So here you go. I am sharing and recycling this old post and hoping you find it uplifting in some small way.

December 12, 2010 by karida

This year is coming to an end. It’s the best year I have had in a long time. I took risks, I grew emotionally and intellectually. I know I can love again. I can dream again. I can hope again. I haven’t found the right balance, but I can love and lose, laugh and cry, and still be happy even when the ending isn’t the one I wished for. So here is 2011’s updated credo.

This is my Credo*. It’s a personal inventory of what I believe, how I feel, and things that have internal meaning to me today. My fundamental beliefs and guiding principles. Now & then, as time passes, I will add, adapt, or delete parts of My Credo. Continue reading