talking to the triggers

Italian graffiti poem: "La verità è che non sanno cosa vogliono; piccolina, lasciali stare, non ne vale la pena. Ti vedi bella; sei bella!!"

"The truth is that they don't know what they want, sweetie. Ignore them, it isn't worth it. You see yourself beautiful, you're beautiful!!"

Good morning! Today has been morning pages on the floor of my office, candle-lit, at 5:05, then a dawn-break walk with the puppy, where we were serenaded by an owl. Now it’s nettle-mint-skullcap tea and settling down for some quiet time. We are learning the different ways to be with each other.

What next? The sun comes up. I wrote in my journal, “she wakes up like morning in a new town.” I’m afraid of becoming one of those pup-parents who only talks about her dog — and then I remember that it’s only been three days. Yes, it’s ok to still be obsessed.

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Quick reminder: Registration is still open for the 8 week summer workshops! Regular registration rates are in effect until June 5, so connect with me as soon as possible to sign up for either Write Whole: Survivors Write (open to all women who are survivors of sexual trauma or violence) or Declaring Our Erotic (open to queer/TBLG/SGL folks of all genders!) or both!

For any of you up in the Sacramento area, or who want to travel, there are still a couple of spaces in the Erotic Writing as Liberating Practice workshop this Saturday, 5/28!

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This is still a day of wrangling with fear, fear of good stuff, fear of following through on decisions. I would like to get back to writing about writing, about surviving, maybe even about desire, but this is where we are right now: Trusting my gut, the messages that rise up sharp from my intuition and I still so often question them. I was going back through a couple of previous posts that touched on this process, relearning to trust self, and being ok with our responses — trusting that, too. Trusting the self-doubt, the self-questioning.

What about that? What if I sat down with all the panic that’s been bubbling through me, all the worry, all the fear, offered it all some tea and said, “Ok, right on — tell me your stories.” What would those voices say? Would they talk about body memory of puppy time back in the house in Omaha, when I got my first dog ever in the place that would become a prison for both me and the pup? Would they talk about relationship worries, would they sing old songs of wanting freedom, what would their breath smell like? Would they say what it feels like to walk face first into a decision with 20-year consequences? (But don’t most of our decisions have long-lasting consequences? I just don’t pay attention to that all the time — here, though, is a body to show me that reality.)

This feels a little jumbled, not as clear as I would like to be — still, talking to the triggers, the sore spaces, the fear-voices, that’s not a clear process either. But it’s a worthwhile one: for me, everyone calms down inside a little bit when they’re listened to, the sore spots get a little soothed, swelling goes down. This is a trauma aftermath process: listening to the stuff that got us through, even when it’s not serving us anymore — and saying thank you. And so, right now, I’m saying thank you to the panic, to the fear and old memories that live beneath and breathe life into that panic, for the messages it wants to be sure that I remember: I might not be safe if I love too much; people might get frustrated if I have to change my routines, my habits, my life around for this new addition; I am going to make mistakes and sometimes they’re going to be big — and I’ve gotten in trouble for those before.

It’s important for me to listen to those voices, be present with what’s underneath and inside the triggered stuff, let it come to and through me, bubble up to the present with my intuitions, let us all pay attention to each other, and learn new ways together. This is something I’m learning through the somatic practices I’m participating in: expansion instead of foreclosure. I practice new ways of responding to and through old patterns and trigger-responses, and let the trigger-responses know, too, that I’m not abandoning them, that I have needed them in the past, that I may need them again — but we are also learning and practicing new ways.

It could be a prompt for today. What do you think?

Be easy with you today, ok? And I will practice the same. Thanks for that, and for your words.

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