Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Stages need to work themselves all the way through, for them to be fully understood. Now hasn't been the time to create the meaning, or see the ideals, but to shed them and to see instead what is really at work, and what is speaking.
What is speaking- is something that I've held since I came back here. I had formed bonds to which I had never felt before, and those bonds, made me feel closer to feeling happy within myself, and finally like I had joined the human race. (Sounds silly, I know). Those bonds do not exist anymore, or have changed in a huge degree. And what I hasn't really contemplated was that the shape of those memories were the things that were keeping me. What they represent is a massive change and reorientation within me, but they are just representative points of where it started, not to where it unfolds, or ends.
I am changed for them. And for the experience, of living. And this last year the changes have been sweeping, and large scale.
I had been holding on and digging my fingernails into the edge of what was the end of something old, staring down into the precipice of something that is new. This is telling me-
Let it all go now.
And as painful as it is, and as difficult the unknowns, I remember that all of this- the precipice- I'm becoming new again too.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Thank you xx

I've had a few situations lately that have highlighted some unresolved pain in me. And fear, that maybe, I'm not quite ready for the world yet.
Or maybe that I'm not quite ready to come face to face with something I left behind.
 I've been filled with apprehension and hurt, one of those feelings that have taken a full body and made themselves more real, by coming right to the surface.

But as I have found with any pain, there's gold waiting.

As much as again, I've picked up the slack of myself and my ego, I've seen that I can allow myself to feel the frequency and bring myself away. That self-soothing, to be able to let the tears flow, and to take a little time to sit with it, and offer care- I feel better. And I can do it myself.

There was one other that in the lowest time of my life offered me a loving hand. That touched me on a deep level and I have never forgotten it. There have been more testaments to that beauty since.
And now, I realize that as much as I forget myself, as much as the frustration builds that I am not there, that I am not living as I should- I have learned to feel better.

That is the gold. I'm further than I thought.

So, this is for the loving teachers, and I have a great gratitude for them.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Sitting with myself

Today I feel an opening. It's a little different. Usually, when I have felt pain, it has hurt and overwhelmed immensely. But today is telling me that sometimes its the fear of the gravity of grief that is the strength of feeling, not the grief itself. Therefore, at least releasing some is taking my white knuckle grip away from it all and losing my footing. I'm already hurting, if I fall, another hurt won't matter. It won't be an addition it will just be an adaptation. Fortitude through feeling it anyway.
It feels precious. I feel clear, not as much confused or sea salt raw... And not numb. My eyes keep streaming, and it's okay. Crying out the shadows in my soul gives everything clarity. There's so much muddy water in here.
I have been thinking on my previous blog post, about how messy the process of growth is. And expanding on that fact, that maybe all I am is one big messy accident. A conflict, a little storm where something clears intermittently and its like the curtains are opened. I can see light. Today is one of those days because... All of this time I have been fighting and hurting over the wrong perceptions of others. Defining myself and my own personal power by the outside damage. And most of all, I didn't quite see that really, as much as I was struggling against them, I was struggling against myself.
I wanted them to see me. But I haven't seen either. I've been ashamed of this one big messy accident that I am.
And the truth is, why?
I've had a past. I've had a lot of pain. I've suffered consequential problems from an early age stemming from those past experiences. And there have been those in my life, that really have added to that by making me feel ashamed of those consequences, like the after effects and blame are fused to me. I have been angry, that I have been blamed for what were not my actions, and that I had no control over. I have been angry that those have not understood.
But I had it wrong. It's not okay that I have been but it's not the real crux of everything.
The fact is... My truth is my truth.
No one can tell me what is wrong or right. We don't live inside each others bodies and minds. We can only perceive from what we see, believe and experience. Sometimes it's a lie. Sometimes we don't get it right. We make mistakes, we have fear, and we're certainly not always governed by reason.
But that also does not mean that we need to be driven by another.
Because truthfully, the answers are no different for them. We are all the same big messy accidents.
The most we can hope for is to meet those who have walked in similar footsteps, and that sparks off the inspiration and strength to find the trust in our own senses to move to where we need to go. Self governing.
It's frightening. Societal conditioning from an early age preaches lies that we can think for ourselves but contradictively seeks to unbundle, shake and diminish our senses of perception. Our senses of reality. So confidence in our self trust, it's shaky at best. But it's a learned process. And it's all our own. No shared conscious, no more confusion in self concepts. We do not bleed into each other.
So, I'm sitting with that concept now. I'm a big messy accident. And right now I couldn't be more grateful for that.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Inner Skin

Conflict and struggle are all part and parcel of having a dual nature. I've been thinking the last few days of how living in my skin is a strange experience. Not that much of it is new, I've lived 28 years. But it has been an uncomfortable process that has remained subconscious until now, while the experience has bled through into my awareness.

I'd describe it as unstable, like an element. It's structure integrity is constantly becoming unglued, and then fused, smashed apart, repaired, made brand new, or recycled from something old like a cannibalized part. It's taxing, because it creates constant fractures. What is known, what is becoming known, and the running over of old defenses of denial, a process to create an illusion of order, control and safety. It's war, on an internal scale to configure and integrate. It's never ending, the point no closer to becoming whole, but it's growth still. And it is worth it, the pain of what decides to draw swords, because as much as the process of synaptic growth means that new must be formed and to throw the old route, the known into disarray is uncomfortable (Cognitive Dissonance), to the point at times where one wishes to escape from the confines of the mind.. It finds peace.
Soon the new routes will be well formed. Soon, something lighter will appear in the darkness of what was once a recess.
It's all uncharted territory, and daunting, and at times downright exhausting. It's always new, because we are always growing an inner skin.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Reservations recheck

It's just how I feel. For a while it's been the feeling that's been given the most attention but there is a disconnect where I can unplug the wires and disassemble. Yes, I might hear the sound of the tone and crackling as it implores for input but I can just not plug back in to what is familiar. Which is fear. Yes I am afraid. And of what, I'm not sure but perhaps it's because it's all changing so fast, or perhaps it's because I am asking- am I really ready for all of this?
Then again, reality and truth says that I can ask that over and over as a question that will give its own answer, in the form of doubt.
There must come a time where I stop asking. And just rise to the occasion of what I'm being called to do- to be brave. And to take it step by step, not be preoccupied by the end result. I know that allowing for the cognitive dissonance of what is known is something I will have to tackle, but for now, it's not something that I want to take precedence.
Yoda said 'Do or do not, there is no try.'  So with that, the steps are going to be put into place. With a lot of deep breaths, and with me not forgetting that the end result... Will be much better than this. I've been shaken in so much of my confidence but it's not in the act of feeling that I'll find my reprieve and conquering. It's through what I do. It's no fight, no contest. The rest will work itself out along the way. All I must do is trust in my own inner processes to take care of 'the feeling', while my hands are kept busy, my mind engaged. There's the disconnect, there's the choice. And as much as I am alone, I do not have to do this all on my own. And I'm grateful.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Staring it in the face.

Everything can change, in an instant. In a moment. Last night set in turn a series of events that sped forth with a momentum that caught me so hard that it almost took my breath. It came in the form of truth. One a harsher one, but definitely one I needed to face. I opened up for the first time in months, about what was happening with me with another family member. And the options were put to me- reality. Stay and submit to what I have. Or go, and live my life.
The cards are laid out on the table and it's pretty clear what needs to happen. I've said before that being deathly afraid of something happening to the point where the alternative is more frightening, that's the crescendo of fear exiting. And that's what's happened.
I've been plagued by fear my whole life. It's been my keeper over and above everything. It's kept me in a place where if I think about how I can deal with fear now, I've faced pain worse. So even if I might get a whisper of 'are you sure you can do this? Look how wrong it all went before, you failed.' I can know that even if I do fail again, I can face it. I can live through it. And this time, dare I imagine the possibility that I might, just might- actually succeed. Is that such a scary possibility?
That I might thrive is the unknown. That I might one day be alright, okay and fine- that's something I have not quite grasped. I've survived being not okay for so long, and now it's time to be okay.
Maybe it'll go wrong. Maybe it'll just fall into place. Maybe I'll have days where my energy leaves me to stop putting in place what I need to, but I'll not let it get me this time. Because reality is all this time I've been told I can't do. But now I know differently.
I have a working timeline. I know what I need to do. And all this time I was thinking all I needed was self belief. But it isn't about that. It's about reality. And it's about being changed to the point where there are no self loving alternatives in where I am. And where it's come to the point where I need more, from other people, but moreover, from myself. 
I will not be preoccupied by fear of failing again. Because now I have a weapon against it. And now, I can rejoin the world, and be exactly who I am.
And it can't be much better than that.

Friday, 4 October 2013

On the tip of my tongue.

There's something that has been sat on the tip of my tongue since last night. It was a thought just before sleep, and it felt like a moment that might have put me on the edge of finding a way through. It's just like the most important things forgotten, and while I struggle to remember, it might come back to me later.
Ruminating today on everything that is my keeper. It all felt a little downcast through waking up, like I realized upon arrival of my eyes opening that everything is much the same, and therein lies the problem.
And now I remember, just upon writing this. The answer lies in the exorcism of everything that has haunted me, every person and place memory, and everything that I can deem not helpful to my growth. The idea of writing out to each and every detriment how that has shaped me. Then, for what persists beyond the act of letting go, there is the work. What is the hook, what keeps eluding me but is loud enough to ring loudly in my ears, like the power of a hammering heartbeat. What is that vulnerability? What does it wish to say, and why am I avoiding facing what already shares space with me, eats a meal, shares a bed, and walks alongside me while I work? It's already familiar. And I've already faced it.
There's the bravery in facing pain. Even when it's shadow becomes larger. Just as the eye lies, so does the mind. An optical illusion of an emotional quality.
There's change, and there is what is already waiting. There's the dead, and then there is the imploring, 'let it go.' Hear it for the last time, and really listen. Take back the power used in making it more than a figment, an archetype.
And never ever ever lose that light. Never forget to find something to smile about, no matter how dark things become.
I'm here. I'm a step up from yesterday, and a little more hopeful. Navigation through the ingredients of a melting pot of fiction, truth, pain and purpose, and virtues that I find with all this.
In growth, maybe this is where I'm supposed to be.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Dream dynamics

Last nights dream has been on my mind for most of the morning. I dreamt strangely, as per usual.. A kind of parody of my familial system, in a murder mystery style of paranoia where all were questioning motives.. An old aunt had retired into a nursing home with Alzheimer's and a question of 'where the money had gone' was the accusation being thrown. I was in scapegoat role, whilst trying to take care of a baby shared between me and someone resembling John Barrowman (I said it was strange) and asking for support while I worried about the child that was ailing, which later turned into a sick newborn puppy. It later turned out that my very own husband (or whatever he was, the familial characters were a little confusing) had been having an affair and plotting with another family member and had hold of the money. Taken away by the 'police', which were other family members.
Now while I kind of have to laugh at how soap opera it was... The theme itself was pretty telling.
And the truth itself as an eye opener... That while they cast a scapegoat role, looking at the cast of characters and their issues as people rather than a whole dysfunctional unit- it made me see that all this time it's never really been about 'that' role.
Accusation throwing is the three fingers pointing back. Shaming is the same. Projection.
Like a bag of filthy laundry thrown over, while it feels awful, it's a mere reflection of the inner disgruntlements of others. All it is... A reflection. Step back and illuminate the voice that vaults it.

I've been feeling a little more fiery than usual today... I don't usually express anger quite so easily, but it has rolled off my tongue in a truth, and while it feels a lot better to say what is on my mind rather than keep it to myself, it's also made me realize that I have been living in a between place of being a victim and wanting to absolve it. Like partial belief in a lie, because the truth is behind me. The truth is why I am still here. It's pretty stark. But there is cognitive dissonance and confusion to work out still. There's been hurts in the recent past which might have led me to be a little more guarded, and reclaiming the balance will be letting it go. Overall, the whole exercise here beyond those hurts has been figuring out the pieces of truth as a whole picture rather than the old cuts and pseudo pieces which are unable to be placed as they don't fit and are not part of it. Perspective.. On hindsight.
And as much as today has caught me off guard, I am thankful for being able to see a little clearly that while I am not quite there yet, I'm on my way. And it's no pressure, because I'll get there when I get there.

Friday, 13 September 2013


Friday 13th. It's the day when most fear something unlucky.
For me it's always been fortuitous in some way.. I was born on the 13th. It's my number. It's the number of magic. It's got old roots.

I'm looking at today and seeing something in my peripheral. It's like it's just between my inner ear and the feeling, like rope that is tied at my stomach. I'm listening, but it's gathering rather than speaking. Frustrating, a little binding that is tightening. It's all an old feeling, familiar and unravelling but it's more than one at play in my ego, conversing with the volume turned down.
It's what I wish to speak, not to forget it. Self control says to let it go... There's no changing anything now. Responsibility only for my own choices. It's a fine line between boundaries and ego fight, and harder to decipher which one is masquerading as right, and which is something underneath talking from experience.
Today can be fortuitous but it's not always as clear... Luck works through not just the conscious effort and in work of hands- it is not always a bold sight and an active ingredient in destiny.
It is sometimes a shade of grey, unformed and barely tangible.
I've been searching it out, but it's overlooked today, only appearing quietly with a knowing that what I give power to will be prescident.. Active will is something a little different, because in as much as I wish to move on from what I'm deeply entrenched in, I am not quite aware enough to know what is discard and what is my unconscious process. What might be vitally important to me becoming whole and closer to actuality.
It stands to reason that rather than brush it off, just let it do it's work. Let it go and leave the volume turned down but not to dismiss its existence in me. It's there, but I don't have to understand it. I don't have to give it a label.
For that, I might feel a great deal more peaceful- for letting go of that control. That's the disconnect- between feeling powerless for not knowing what 'I should be doing,' and getting it into my skull that the act itself is a verb- of retiring something and letting it be, relinquishing.
I'm not making a great deal of sense, I know. But I'm awake.. Just a little deeper inside my head.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

A little ways to releasing

It's amazing when the truth comes in. And it's been one of those scenarios where it's burst through the door, broken the lock and stood and stared me in the face.
But it's welcome.
Because in the end, it hasn't been the pain of the truth that's hurt me through our this past year. It's been the stark realization of what has happened to me, and how much distortions have acted like a cracked mirror all these years.
As much as this year, after crisis point of 'coming home' has felt frustratingly slow and unproductive, it's been actually, a vitally important time. Realizations over the whole entire span of my life, applying what I know now about myself and the people that have marked my pain.. And now, attempting to reassemble pieces together and grow from it.
I can't be thankful for the catalysts, but I can be thankful for where it's taken me.
The truth is, I can't do anything to right the past, or make the choices of others right. The only thing I can do is know I deserve more, and make wiser choices. Allow myself the mistakes, but never believe in the lie that I feel..
That I'm not strong, and that I am not worthy. Because that's been the fear that's eaten at me. That's been the origin point of the scar. I can stop the slow bleed but only through consistently applying the truth in my choices. The mark will be just a reminder of the experience.. and it'll remind me of who I am now in comparison.
So, things have been drastic, but the reintegration has been well needed, like a pupae stage. I'm just starting to emerge.. And I'm opening more for it. The only thing I'm generally sure of is that  everything is different. And I'm really thankful for that.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

It's Okay.

It's been a morning of different ruminations... For the past few days, this feeling has been with me, that same shaky, vulnerable feeling and the doors are slamming shut. I've felt it easier not to share again, just grow quiet. I'm wondering whether that is a self protection measure or whether I do grow quiet in order to know the feeling better. To sit with the pain of it, to close and to open to myself. I have grown from where I was, because in as much as I still find myself in avoidant behaviors at times, I do not feel that same need to pick up the stick and minimize it all as- 'you're just over-sensitive.'
I am sensitive to things. And that's okay. Wrong or right, it exists. It's an older part of me that needs healing. It's an experience. It's me.
Self soothing is something that's always been rather unconscious. I've never been awake to the feeling because I've never learnt it, at least not on the surface. The fact is, that I'm only aware now to really self care because I know now- I'm worthy of it. There's still that old part of me that calls even louder now because finally, I'm being heard, by myself.
The worst thing I've done to myself is seek and ask permission to be who I am. And now I know,
I've never needed it. I've started late, but what I need to know, and feel, is to be able to be authentic and autonomous and be okay with it. Casting out the old voices, and know that I've never known- been a stranger to myself. It seems like work for many hands, so to speak, but being gentle with the process and taking it all a step at a time... That's where I'll feel less like I'm curled up again. Because it's okay. That I feel what I feel. It's okay that I don't have answers or understand it, that will come in time. It's okay I haven't quite accepted where I am. I'm not finished yet. It's okay. I'm brand new.
And it's okay that right now I'm not okay. I will be, with time, with nurture and at my own hand.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Life doesn't wait...

'And I can hum a tune
Anytime I choose
And there's no such thing as time.'
~I Wonder, Blind Melon

Here, I've been under the notion for some time that there is no such thing as well- time. And I really believe there isn't. Days here have this fluidity where they shift so slowly it almost feels like the momentum of the earth, deceptive that it's hurtling through space at 365,000 miles
an hour, akin to a black hole feeling... everything moving in slow motion to the point where much of the time it's static. Days here are lazy, filled with bird song and colour. Today has been the most perfect summers day, and I've been taking in the chroma- of everything, the sky, the butterflies that swoop low and make me smile. And I've been looking at how my inner colours, my aura if you will (Glastonbury personified lol) has been changing today. I've been feeling at peace with myself, and what I am. Those days are rare, where the weight of my ego and the insecurities of what I am not, or where I am falling short- don't seem to matter so much. I've been happy in amongst the immersion of hues and music that have filled my day. And then just like clouds blowing over, it hits- a wave of quiet dysphoria and sadness.
I know what it is.
In the moment, it's all so beautiful. It's a fleeting minute where exactly at that time I am present in my life, not in my former tense, not in my future sense. I'm here.
And then somewhere something speaks to me because I am wide open. The vulnerability and sensitivity that has been with me throughout my life, the sadness that everything really isn't alright. Even though in that precise moment I am fine, something in me speaks and says it isn't.
I am not where I want to be. I've failed, I've slumped, I've left things to go under and get right on top of me and I still fear failing. I hurt. I'm pining for everything I don't have, the life I want and everything I'm bereft of. But... What I forget is-
'life does not wait.' 

There is no such thing as time here. And this is what I fear, is that if life stood still then this is forever, like a monument and I've already written my epitaph. This is as good as it gets where I have nothing left and always settle for less.
And yet, there's that magical sense. It's dusk, evening has already settled in and the stars are lighting the sky. Miracles and wonderment lie in them, in the universe. And it exists here on this earth too, in these comparably small lives, where monotony leads with a seemingly binding hand. Anything can happen at any point. Situations are sped forward, and the unexpected is the one thing that is sure in this life.
I've feared change. All these years.. That things might just be so alien that there was nothing left to recognize at all. Until it happened anyway- but things didn't change- I did.
Now and for a while, I feared things staying the same. But just like the change within me, any point marks the end spot here where it's enough and I'm freed.
That's the miracle. I'm alive and at any point life can move. The dysphoria of stasis is only illusionary. And at this point, I'm ready. The excitement of what I can build now brand new... without any limitation. Mistakes and all. Life doesn't wait.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Return of the Edit button

I've discovered a problem that has been sat in my peripheral awareness for a little while now. I'm blogging to try and understand why but also to perhaps- maybe exorcise some of it's hold..

It's the edit button. The backspace has become my best friend.. Delete, cancel, click away anything I might say or express. Coupled with the existent restlessness it's a little frustrating, but it might just be that my subconscious is working more above ground than usual. And because of that, the only thing that forms is a distinct odd feeling within my gut, swirling with something between alarm and sadness. Those dormant formations are just fractal images, bits and pieces of memories and unfinished thoughts. They are voiceless and confusing, and it is hard to know where in my conscious growth they fit- so I guess it would stand to reason that much of the process would be hard to understand. I think just becoming accustomed to holding those pieces, and just reminding myself that regardless of whether I understand WHY they exist, but the fact that they exist anyway- is where I might find a little acceptance. Just sitting with not knowing, will give me a little quiet in my mind.

And perhaps the bigger problem with the edit button is the fierce return of my inner critic. The prevalence of 'you can't say that.' or 'don't make invisible, and don't draw attention.'- those are the main contenders for why I'm having trouble expressing any verbiage at all, to anyone. I'm remembering that wish to just disappear and fly to safety, just be able to live and not afraid to be out in public...but I'm realizing that in disappearing, I've actually made that same fear worse. None of this is really making any sense, but to elaborate a little- I moved back to be safe, and to leave behind harm and a few people that did harm, I moved to get back on my feet. I went quiet not as to alienate everyone that I love, but for the fear of those who I've found since that weren't ever without their own agenda, I was just naive. I wanted to reclaim my privacy. I wanted to reclaim some form of my life on my own terms. But instead I just grew afraid to speak.
This isn't the first time this has happened, but maybe this has cycled back a second time for a reason. Something is holding my mouth shut, and it's own forceful messages are stronger at my mouth and fingertips and in my behaviour than my own sentience at the moment. If I look at what insecurities those messages are signposting towards, I might finally be able to speak again properly.
And this was a first step.

Friday, 26 July 2013

New pieces... New view.

'Transiting Moon in strong square with natal Mercury
The planetary energies conflict; internal and creative tensions bring rich rewards through effort over time.

You may experience conflicts between emotion and reason, for these few hours, or some difficulties in communication with a significant female personage in your life, such as your mother. On the other hand, you will be able to express what you truly feel and that is important for achieving rapport. It is important not to hold back painful communication at this time, since you benefit from taking advantage of having such immediate access to your mental process. You will be more emotionally present for all forms of thinking and handiwork during this brief period, although you must be aware also that your emotions may influence your decision-making process.'

This has resonated with me today, it's strange how at times things can happen exactly how they are told. I woke today with the need to clean up, wash away... And on returning from being out, there was an exchange of words... Where I was able to say what I felt, and broaching that honesty, it felt like I wanted to continue with it, open up all the communication and just say it. Exactly what I know now. 
It was said that I'm full of myself, and that I'm stupid. Things were brought up about my childhood, and that I was a defective child, too much of a challenge to change or work with. 
My response was to say- yes, you do think I'm stupid, and that I'm bad. But you don't know me. 
As I know now, as painful as that communication was.... Is that years ago I would have believed it. I would have believed I am stupid, bad, wrong and useless. But I don't now because they've only seen the outside. They've seen the painfully awkward me, the closed off, distant and wounded. I've been healing in an environment where I do not share of myself but they have known- only half of that information, only forming conclusions from there. I see where I've grown from that point. I see a lot more from knowing a little more on myself... I know as much as I have a shadow and imperfections...I'm not a bad person. 
Here, these people are not my friends. My friends can see a more relaxed, open and energetic me. Where I can exchange and feel happy to spend time knowing that they accept that. They worry when I close off because they know me to be open. 
My familial side is reserved. They know little of my life. I rarely am what I am because I'm not open. They see closed, and so it's a surprise when they see open. They've long drawn conclusions of me. 
I still don't know what the outside world sees. And I'm drawing the conclusion... It doesn't matter. What matters is how I am viewing who I am, how I am growing. The opinion, it doesn't make me because in the end, whether people know me... Like my very good friends... Or whether people don't, there are rarely any kind of bonds where one is accepted for WHO THEY ARE without the general consensus and opinion. 
So without that, this time alone is teaching me... Without these formations of 'what other people think'... How am I viewing my own processes? In reality, with my growth and life path I'll rare have an occasion where I see whole truths, but snippets of clarity- because of shedding a thousand lies I've been told, and have told of myself. Shedding shame, I'm becoming a little less fearful. Because on a whole, I don't know who I am, but I do know that I'm getting more okay as time goes on. 

'What do you think they would say
If I stood up and walked away? 
Nobody here really understands me
And so I'll wave goodbye
I'm fine and I'm fine... 

Your mom and daddy said 
And your sister said
And your brother's sayin...
They're sayin' everybody... 

All my friends patronize me
They say yo hey boy! 
Have you found what you're looking for? 
It seems they don't really know me
'Cause it's here 
It's what they can't see...' 

Tones Of Home- Blind Melon

Monday, 17 June 2013

Little resonances

Smiling at the irony of today. On first wake, I was on a mission, to start to create change. And upon arrival in town, everything started to go wrong. The office was closed, I couldn't do what I needed to do. I walked on to the store, laden with bags and the taxis are full. To go home, or not to go home, that seems to be the question- I might just sit a little while longer and while away the minutes I'm stuck here, just thinking and smiling. It might have all gone wrong but maybe today isn't the day for it. Maybe today is just for sitting and thinking. Or perhaps there's a little more to learn. I've been sidelined a little but it's a slightly pricey mistake. I've learned a little from it, that staying home and finding a way out there might work slightly better than setting out and wandering an aimless route, waiting for the cab home. Maybe, figuratively there is just too much baggage I'm still carrying. Maybe I ought to take care of myself a little more before I embark on the next leg of my journey. 
But I'm not to know. At this point I'm clueless. Maybe of instead, listening to the reasoning in my head, I ought to just start paying attention. 

The one thing I know now for sure is that when life talks, it speaks powerfully. Again, maybe it's best I hear what it has to say. 

And it speaks- 'No Excuses' was just playing and taking in the lyrics, this is me right now, and I've smiled for it. I love those little resonances. 
'It's okay/ had a bad day/ hands are bruised from breaking rocks all day
Every day something hits me out so cold/ finally sitting by myself/ no excuses that I know. 
This is what I wanted. And this has been my day, and I've seen wonderful things  in the kindness of strangers. It's a beautiful world out there, not just for the sunshine, or the flowers, or the natural world, but it's the beauty of people that make the world a colourful place. Just as its been important for me to remember that bad people exist, that bad deeds exist, there are still those willing to take minutes out of their day to help another. And how grateful I am for that. 

It's Over and how to begin...

There are pivotal moments in life which define, so they say. I've had very many, but so far they all get clustered up with the junk of my other memories. Maybe it's because as time rolls forward, everything integrates and things get less clear. I have a moment of clarity, I see everything. And for that moment I get a little bit of pure, beautiful peace.
And then as the saying goes 'This too shall pass.' I get unclear. Everything becomes murky, confused, diluted and milky like a viscosity of my emotions. I'd wish for clarity but in the end I have had to recognize that this is just another stage in my quest to know and unknow my history, and to grow.
Where I am now is a frightening place. I spent most of yesterday in fitful slumber, tired and lacking any energy. I was forced to face that things need to change because living like this- it's impossible. As much as my stubbornness has permitted me the being left alone like I want to be- in this place, it's not possible to live. Not possible to eat. Not possible to be able to get to where I need to be. Relying on my own two legs can only take me so far. Either way, I'm at the juncture which says, if I carry on like this there is a risk of hospitalization- its become that serious.
So the only alternative is to fly free. To try and put things in place. To wait a little longer, to survive a little better, and to know that when it finally comes round that I leave here to forge something new that I CAN handle the stresses and strains of starting over.
The consensus of this lesson has been to leave behind the naysayers. The people who have been quick to put down or judge, and have been self important in their tuppence worth about who I am, what I am capable of, and what I can make happen. Those people have never known me because they have been far too entrenched in what they believe, and have been forcing that judgement down my throat and spitefully trying to get me to fall in line with their 'this is who you are'.
I have survived them. I felt a great deal of anger this morning at those people, because it's wrong. And as much as I'm scared, I can't change them or adapt to their conditions anymore. But I can change the situation and therein lies my justice and truth.
It won't matter when I'm gone. Literally, and figuratively- as this part of me dies, and I leave this behind, I'll be better than what I was before. And because I've survived this- again- I will be so much more mindful of how I create my future and the people in it.
I made a promise a long time ago to a smaller, younger me.
I'm going to keep it, and it's the last time anyone will have any power to threaten my freedom, safety, and ability to live.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Wisdom of the dead and dying

Today's word is- Immersement. 

And while I have a quirky, funny image in my head of Big Bird announcing that statement- this is the theme of the day. I have been immersed since the very minute I woke. The rain has been pouring today and it's one of my quieter pleasures to hear it beat down on my roof, all the while thankful I am warm and indoors. This immersing has a clarity and structure in its intensity, a oxymoronic quality in that it is both sharp in pitch for the ability to listen, but soft in its musing that are brewing just in my conscious thinking. It feels like being exceptionally awake, but lucid dreaming in the insights that are rising to the surface. Music is more potent today because it's tuning differently in my ear, and I'm hearing beautiful qualities that are matching in inspiration. I've been inspired to write, to think, and just revel in the sleepiness of today. Everything feels like its tinged with a poetic transcript, and I feel a gathering together of my understanding. 
Buddhist thinking is that it is good to meditate on death, and this has been the theme of this morning, of how literal death and less tangible forms of death is a recurrent process of integration. Just like decay becomes part of the earth, each transitional situation and memory becomes part of the collective growing consciousness, forming again in the body as aging, maturing, growing new viewpoints- the point where memory stops becoming an image and starts to become an experience. Where it changes in its sentimental value, whether good nor bad, to instead what knowledge it creates. Just as there is a physical body, there is an emotional body. Both can be touched, and both have their varying degrees of growth, one slower than the other, as I have seen it seems to be an inherent human quality that we neglect our own emotional care on a deeper level than we take care of our physical health. Time seems so slow going or like it doesn't exist at times in the process of this dying, because it's a constant. Everything births, fruits and dies. And I'm thinking today of what my best friend told me last week- 
'Sometimes the old has to go so you can have the new.' 
There is so much old because the situation has been the same for a very long time. It stands to reason that much of that will need to leave. It's all dying. These connections that I have had with people- some fleeting, some that have been years in the making- and it's hurt to see them go but on knowing the value of where I am walking to, they need to change or leave. I'm growing in such a major way, it feels like I am an emotional fetal entity, growing vital organs- my lungs and liver are forming, my heart is fully formed, my brain is rewiring, and my spine is still nascent. And for me to naturate in the most nurturing way is for me to first understand that the old associations are stagnant and reminiscent of an unhealthy way of being, having no assertion, being kept down and letting me get put down to the point of not wanting to exist. Being a lesser human being. And I am not one of those and now I know I never have been. So much is growing, and most of that is a strength to forge something new with the state I am now. Less swayed. Less willing to accept those old behaviors. 
So it's all dying but with it is this beautiful scene of what is growing inside of me, new perspectives and something to take into the future. Death is as influential to what's ahead. And I'm immersed in that concept today. Thank you for those associations and that ability to listen. 

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Burning bright

I've found myself feeling quite reflective lately, about which course my life has taken. And how, in such a short amount of time I've thrown everything to the wind and learned, and lost everything. The most powerful thing that exists in that knowledge-

I didn't lose myself. 

In actual fact, I found myself, in living more of my existence outwardly and gaining experience through the catastrophic effect that being out in the world gave me- in turning my inner world and my inner life upside down and literally inside out. I was forced to fall in step with the circumstances. And as much as I built, and I gained- it was not meant to be. What I had was a lot of naïveté, in which I believed the world could be good and it was important to seek it out. But what I know now is rather, letting people show what they really are, and deciding on that knowledge whether or not they stand with you in your heart. I lost a lot of what I thought was real and good, in terms of new bonds- but I also see- its given me a great deal. I'm alone. I live in the confines of a place that I am not respected, or loved. My life has been littered of more of the same. I have been alone for very much of my life, and as much as this might sound as if I am feeling sorry for myself- I don't. I'm thankful for it. Because its taught me exactly how much strength I have. It's taught me to grow. It's taught me knowledge. It's given me room to uncover things that I had left in the sediment of my subconscious. I was born to walk this way alone, to get whole.

I feel hope still, I'm alive. I know if I can get through what I have already, the hell of the past, the uncovering, the reformation of the splinters and fractures of the things I need to see and acknowledge, if I can live through the circumstances of recent too, and go it alone- then I'm strong enough to hold together and pull through this- and live free. And fill my life with all that I wish.
That's the future. But what I see now, and what I'm grateful for- is the beauty of this picture. I'm alive and I lived. And this has been difficult and as many as the days are that I could recount over again on my fingers and toes of the scorn and disdain and outright displeasure at living in my skin and depression at being stuck at cognitive dissonance of what the world thinks, what the general consensus is, the opinion and the loudness of those inhabitating the same space-
I'm under here somewhere. 
I'm full of thanks, love, inspiration, wonder, warmth and light. I feel it. My soul burning in me. Maybe I'll always be one layer on top with pain and distraction, but in the increments I see beyond my human mantle. I'm alive. I'm burning bright. And I always will, as broken as I might feel.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Change and new orientation and other blessings

I feel lately some changes stirring in me. Right now I'm sat outside and it's the most beautiful day. All I can hear inside the house is relentless footsteps... I see she's task orientated again, as per usual. And that's the thing that has changed for me. As much as my gut feels a little knotted to be in close proximity with her right now, the changes have reached a high point in the fact that I no longer want to chase after her coattails. Before I felt like I 'had to' run myself ragged after her. I had to throw everything, every minute of the day into helping her. One of the most painful memories I had leaving here was the complete lack of respect she had for me, the disdain- and then even more painful was realizing it had left me with some pretty severe conditioned emotional responses. Through some work which sadly I never finished at CODA- I realized that I was trying to 'fix' it- and I was so fearful of the angry response I would get that I bowed and relented constantly. I had no boundaries.

Now, just for the seven months of leaving and forging my own time- I felt at peace with being able to imagine possibilities with my day- the things I could do, if I would choose to do those things alone or to be around people. I discovered fun. I discovered beautiful things- and freedom. Which- coming back here, I mourned because I was sure- that's it. It's over. My life is over. I'm back at living in servitude.
But I didn't bank on how that time on my own had fundamentally changed me. All of a sudden I've been restless. Before it would have been 'enough' even though I was slowly losing the will to live. But now I WANT to live. For myself. And while I can hear the footsteps inside, the swearing, the guilt tripping and manipulation 'I'll do it myself then, I always do.' I'm refusing it. I had felt like it was a bad thing to do nothing. That it was frivolous to want to go out and spend time around people. Because that was what I was made to feel- that it's important to be of service. Now I see it's not. My best friend joked and called me Cinderella the other day, and it's finally a relief to see that other people see too- that this way of living is wrong. So over the weeks I've started to very little by little- get out. On my own. I've been to the pub and spoken to people and to my surprise realized that I am not as socially inept as I've always been told I have been, and always felt I was. I do have people that care about me in my life now, that value me. As much as they are few, the whole experience of being 'out' of that tiny sliver of pie that was my life has shown me that it's the best thing to aspire. Not just for success but to ask the question- how do I WANT to live?
It's been so important for me to live how other people- these people in my past- wanted me to live. They wanted me to be nothing. They wanted me to be their beating board, they felt comfortable and entitled to sound off at me, blame me, project on to me, and abuse. And I was miserable. And now it's done because I can feel the peace now in just pleasing myself. Just being okay with deciding that 'enough is enough' and that I can be okay with relaxing. And if she in particular wants to stress, and run around and not take herself into consideration- its not my problem. I'd felt like that was selfish before, but now I understand how guilt ridden I was. Truth be told I felt guilt ridden for merely existing. This is why- I've held the bonds of dysfunction and let them beat me down, and then just by my admission that it must be my fault- rather than accepting it is their own behaviour- I've been saying 'more please' to more punishment.
And now- I see that it's equally important to let people own their own behaviour. The saying- 'you didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it.' is ringing in my ears.
I have changed. As much as I am not massively comfortable with the anger and now response that comes with seeing, noticing and accepting that I have been treated disrespectfully, badly and wrongly- I at least now know positively that I am coming somewhere near my own. Because now I'm important. And this assertion feels like its been waiting for me a very long time.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Gifts in unexpected forms...

There are times when I feel truly alone with myself and times that it eats at me. I've asked for help a lot over the past few days and my goodness... Has the Universe made its presence felt! And often times today in the most hilarious metaphors and just a new sense of something stronger entering my life.
I walked today again, even though I ache to my bones for it, it was needed. Over the past couple of days I've been left to my own devices and to take care of myself. It almost didn't end well, or so I thought until it just proved to be a lesson. A lesson in which I understand something now.
I had a late breakfast with a sandwich shared with the pup and an energy drink and cigarette, staring at the most beautiful view- scrub and fields and the Tor and dappled clouds, the cold wind whipping at me, singing along with Pearl Jam's  'Elderly Woman Behind The Counter'. And I was so appreciative of all of it. Because this is it- I can look after myself. My question has been over the past few days- why? Why have people felt it okay to try and oppress me? And if everyone thinks I am such a nothing-- am I ever going to be able shake that- to live independently as I crave? But the answer given was different to me was different. The answer given was- this situation where I took care of me. Where I saw again- I can do it. I have will.
And I have choice where that will goes. Do I have to be quiet and be of service- no. I'm choosing to do so when I do. All part and parcel of my people pleasing past.
I can also choose to do for me. I'm strong enough to. I see that now. In fact, the possibilities are endless.
That's what I felt walking back. To be met with an apology, which was a massive shock. Things are changing. I'm changing. The scapegoat will not exist anymore.
My question was answered. These people who oppress- who think they can control... They only matter as much in the power we give them.
The greater message to me today was- 'does it really matter?' look, I can smile quietly and step past it and I can manifest my own path.
I don't have very much, and not a great deal of love. A few but far absent. I love them always but this life will get full again. But in this alone today, I have felt the presence of love and power and thank it greatly for the synchronicities.
And for one last image- my hat was pulled low to shelter me from the wind. Walking down the main road, I was carefully trying to navigate me and the pup through the mud and hit a road sign, full in the forehead. I shook off the embarrassment and giggled... Common sense to make sure I can see above the brim but also- that I need to open my eyes (mentally and physically) to see the signs. :)

Sunday, 3 February 2013

A slap in face with the wet fish of reality...

My left hand won't stop shaking and I'm feeling rather overwhelming empty and yet full of tiredness, emotion and mostly just in shock. That might explain the numbness.

Today has been a bad day. I walked through the supermarket this morning in a daze and feeling like my head had just been clouted by something. In a few ways it has. As I'm wandering around the produce staring at the apples and fruit and feeling the sense of drain and slight hunger, the familiar sound of that song. Ironic.

It's like rain on your wedding day,
It's a free ride, when you've already paid,
It's some good advice that you just didn't take
And who would have thought it figures...

Life has a funny way
of sneaking up on you
When everything's okay
And everything blows up
In your face...

And I might have found that funny for the stark truth that appears here, a short sharp shock that began with a rather literal rude awakening this morning. Everything has blown up in my face and it's an irony I'm looking at the synchronicities and thinking that someone has a really redundant sense of humour up there.
Maybe it's because I'm feeling a little fragile and a little like a joke myself. Maybe it's because I'm again at that place where I'm saying 'what the hell do I do now?' and am I- all alone???

I was thinking in the car, I don't have myself. I never have. The fundamental blocks of my life have been missing because I have zero self reliance. I have no self belief. I've tried and so far, I've failed. And those people knew it... And they treated me like some joke for it. 'oh she'll be back. She can't cope on her own.'
It's why I didn't go back for so long. I struggled and didn't eat and strove relentlessly to try and make it. Because I didn't want them to be right. I didn't want to be a joke.
They've scoffed and laughed at me behind my back, and I've let them and they've taken advantage of me, and I let them. But this scapegoat is dead.
I've heard every creatively negative, hurtful word that can be thrown my way today. And one thing rings true---
Do people who love treat and talk to others this way?

The answer is no. I'm not loved here. I left in the first place because all that existed was control and i felt completely dehumanized, and it certainly wasn't me that had any kind of life. I was scared coming back here, knowing the same might happen again and it has. Except this time the scapegoat is dead.
I know the words aren't true, they are just nasty words to try and hook me.
I know this has no basis in reality. I know I must be worth more, as a person.
Because for so long I have felt like a 'thing'... An object, nothing. And it has eaten at me to the point where I have almost felt like my life being that meaningless, what was the point in living it? But something got me through and that was- I'm not a thing.
I'm a person. I'm a woman. I'm a 5'5, 9 st, 28 year old female with grey blue eyes and dark hair. I'm corporeal. I'm intelligent, beyond low self esteem which has always been an issue, I have had achievements in my life which mean that I have a brain. I can think. I can study. I can do most of what the next person does. And I have a soul. I have a path to follow.
And thinking tonight I have seen it all come together a little more clear. I'm awake to it and that is these PEOPLE have told me and treated me as I am nothing. For their own moral stance or whatever reason they saw fit to do so. Because I am an easy target because I have never stood on my own.
And it started with him. And it ends with them.
Because this scapegoat is dead and because I will no longer submit to being dehumanized, and being treated as a joke.
Because I'm not one, I never was.
I'm Kyra. And I'm trying to get free.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Calling in the darkness

I remember rarely when I dream, and even less frequently have nightmares.
The last nightmare, before this encounter was almost a month ago now, and I could barely call it a nightmare, more of a very random, strange and messed up dream- where my estranged father was hammering nails in my head, in a bizzarre, harrowing and macabre DIY attempt at hair extensions. My mother was shrieking and saying 'you can't do that. WHY are you doing that, it's going to kill her.' In which he then protested he would remove them. I recoiled, holding my head, scared that if the nails would be removed, that I might bleed to death or that my brain might escape me through the holes in my head. Wierd? Very. A snap shot in the mind of colourful crazy! ;)
However, recalling it the next day I could put pieces in that these were real fears that my estranged father had delivered fatal emotional blows to me that in order to cope with the trauma, I had learned survival skills that may have been less healthy, and that were voicing discomfort, fear at being evolved into something else.

Last night was another encounter entirely. I would describe this as a nightmare, because it woke me from sleep with a start and an inability to rest for my flailing heart beating and for the images stuck in mind. I felt awake, which seems almost like a double reality- being awakened from slumber in a dream- and I guess this signifies my waking up... Rather a startling, rude awakening to myself.
What I saw when I awakened in my dream was an image of a boy- sandy haired, around ten years old. The boy looked dead. He had fully black eyes that seemed to be bleeding smoke, his mouth was  pouring out darkness, shadow.  And he was just there, across from me as I lay here, in this bed, sobbing, crying 'no... Oh no... Please no.' I don't know if it was exactly because the image in itself was so hellish that I really did not want to see it but also the horror that this child was dead above me... Like a loss of innocence. But the whole time there was something else... Something I couldn't see while I was quaking and terrified of the boy- a voice in the shadow. One in the dream that I was sure had caused his demise. It was screaming at me, hissing. 'You're a liar! You're a liar!'
It was then that I awoke with a start, my guts twisting in expectancy to see this same sight on opening my eyes, but there was nothing. Just the dim shapes of the furniture in my room, the moonlight casting a pale, mute glow in the window. And there was silence, no sound apart from the slumbering pup and my breathing.
I tried to turn over and catch the dream again. I wanted to enquire the screaming voice. I wanted to admit. Yes... I am a liar... I lied to myself a long time ago that the shadow doesn't exist. I lied and tried to escape the fear of facing it and last night it showed me, finally, an image I cannot ignore, erase or deny.
I may look upon it as the death of my innocence... Or rather that my shadow was showing me that my very young self had been living in the shadow for a very long time. In becoming more aware of my voice, it opened up something again that said to me that it will not be ignored. And so, I need to do more work. I need to find her... Me. I need to make her safe and give her the safety in the light she deserves and I need to acknowledge, respect and honour the wisdom of my shadow.
Because last night I met my shadow self. And it told me I need to wake up.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Renunciation of the mute button

The oddest equations can sometimes be the most freeing. For example, today and quietly reflecting and ruminating about certain situations in my life... And for a while being present with that, has been painful. And yet again though, I find tears springing to my eyes, a quiet relief. For years the notion that I would one day be relieved to feel pain would have sent me recoiling and scoffing at the idea... For the fact of being frightened to death of it- of pain. And by feeling pain and feeling relief, there is no masochism to this. I am simply stating that emotionally, it has been like blood letting- the infection that had been killing me slowly- the pain of the past- had been living in me and taking away parts of me, hiding away and smothering growth, covering it with the loudness of defense mechanisms. And it seems now... That while it hurts, it's freeing to feel it. It's okay now to bow my head and cry. It's okay to voice it to the silence in the room, to myself. It's freeing because it's one thing I have been missing. 
I feel like I have all these years been mute and have only just learned how to open my vocal chords. And in that.... I guess the truth in a lot of ways is that emotionally, that has been the case. I have felt refused the right to speak, to lay forth boundaries, to say no, to express differing opinions, to express authentic. And truth be told that at many times in my life, and this is also painful- that I have been treated like some mindless automaton, meant to just follow orders blindly because these certain individuals (through their own inherrant issues with themselves and how they relate the world) believe me to lack any kind of sentient intelligence at all. 
I have been a ghost, I have been a drone. 
And that for me with knowledge NOW as I grow, as I start to understand a little more of my own self concept, it hurts. That I failed to have a voice then. 
But with it, there's an amazing sadness but also an amazing clarity. An amazing notion that 'oh wow. Things can be different now. Things ARE different now.' 
And they are. While I still struggle with voicing appropriately, because I am still growing into my right... It can sometimes be defiant, nascent and rebellious but I am finding those qualities, as tiresome as they are for other people, to be quite empowering and inspiring. I love those qualities, as it's quite literally, the 'little me' speaking up- finally, as it should always have been. 
But also, I am not met with the same feeling of shame that has gripped me before. There is no great anxiety over 'losing love' through acceptance of bad behaviour of others, it is simply now- bad behaviour which I have the right not to put up with. I feel more grown now. And I can smile with that, with the relief, the release, the knowing that I have come a little further on in my healing journey, but also- that as much as I have grown, I have also grown younger. That's a fantastic relief to me, that I am drawing ever closer to my little self than ever now. 

Friday, 25 January 2013


The first thing I felt as I awoke this morning was a deep knotted sensation in the pit of my gut, followed by a peripherally, distant feeling of alarm. I'm not sure what I had dreamed, but something has remained with me all day, as if someone has stepped into my shadow, shaken my subconscious and stirred my mind like the coffee grounds still twirling in my mug. It's a quiet feeling of tension, gnawing at me, tinged with anxiety and that same old fear... Of my ghost self, of passing on without ever being. And yet, with this peeking beyond the curtain of my consciousness, I have mostly found myself in a comfortable state of semi hyper awareness. Not in the sense of over awareness of social situations but more an awakened, mindful state that has lapsed between the drowsy,melancholy feeling that has jabbed its way into my diaphragm today. I have noticed much... The foggy, dense overhang and the cold biting at my thumbs and nose, the invading smell of ginger on low boil and how much it resembles incense... The smell of home cooking, heart and home. The swans, cooing as they flew above me. The smell of bonfire, and winter and fresh air. The sound of heavy, pelting rain on my roof... And how good it feels to be listening to it. Today I feel again, that although I may not understand the lingering fragments of feeling that are stirring in me, I will understand it in time. And what it has given to me today... From the minute of awake is a freedom that has permitted me to loose the reigns that hold me captive to my mind, my thoughts, my ego.. and that free me to be and breathe a little gentler and just for a little while, to walk in step with my Higher Self. I'm starting to look up again... I thank that feeling today for its gift of quiet presence. 

Monday, 21 January 2013

Flown blind and perplexing unknowns

I haven't blogged for quite some time. Needless to say, much has happened in my life since I last came here... I've come full circle.
And I'm still working out whether that seems to be a good thing, or a bad thing. Either way, what transpired has humbled me. It has changed me.

My inner work is never ceasing. Whether or not I hear it, it continues to work through me, ticking
 away, grinding in my solar plexus and at times gently simmering on the bottom like fine sediment lifting, dredging up old remains.
I still don't know what it all means, and maybe that's the beauty of it all. I will never know. The minute I get some semblance of understanding, something comes before me again so I see the puzzle is even more intricate, even more mysterious, and is a constant challenge to my thinking. I feel like I have a hand before my eyes, making me blind to strengthen my peripheral understanding. I know... I know that I am so young still. I have so much to know still.

Tonight I feel quiet... Rather perplexed, a little mournful. But rather inspired by the depths of where this karmic residue might take me. Where the pain lies within me...should I look upon its true face what transformation might begin within me. I don't know how much continental drift has taken place. I do not know how far I have shifted.

Today has felt like a quiet test, where I have bitten at certain points but I have become still again. I've been trying to work out what I am feeling, what has been missing- where the loneliness has gathered in and filled me- the unease, the dissatisfaction, the 'should' thinking has caught me in this place since I moved. And tonight there is a feeling of familiarity... Not of the sense of incessant chatter and wavering dysphoria but that of connectedness. To something else. I've been staring out into the silent white landscape with only my thoughts. And the moon hides between a smoky shield of cloud where only a dusky sliver of light is cast on the irredescent carpet that covers everything. I've been thinking- that in waiting I am wasting away, silently, quietly and again, alone. But now- I see that I am merely again- awakening. I'm looking on the reflection of my inner workings and seeing it with a knowledge that I have something new to discover. Something old to uncover. And I'm connected again to the wonder of the voice that speaks to me, that connectedness to all and everything, every atom and every part of the earth and sky. I'm waiting for it to reveal itself again... And I'm becoming new again, rather than a ghost of what I was.