Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Self-care. It begins with me.

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I cried last night.

Finally.

It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t all gentle flowing, doleful eyes a la Audrey Hepburn, I’m so beautiful when tears run down my cheeks, kinda crying.

These were gut wrenching, oh look my face is all screwed up and mascara is running down my cheeks in ugly black rivulets, kind of tears. These were seriously from the bottom of my toes, ripped out of my heart kind of olfactory run wild kind of waterworks.

Poor C.C.

He’s not particularly good with crying women. Like many a man. He wants to fix it. Make it stop. Make it work again kind of a guy. What do you do with an irrational, highly emotional, crying from the gut kind of a situation?

Fortunately, he chose to stay present. To stay put in the face of the deluge and simply let it pass.

It was not all pretty. But we got through it.

Which is why I’ve realized I need to make some adjustments to my time here.

I need to give myself some self-compassion, some self-care.

I need to take a break from outward expression to inward exploration, inner healing.

Eleven years ago, when I first began the journey away from abuse, I went online to find answers to what had happened to me. One of the very first places I happened upon was a site/forum for women and men who had had experiences with psychopaths. Suddenly, in reading the stories and comments people posted I discovered, OMG! It wasn’t all me. I wasn’t crazy. I had been in a crazy making situation, but I wasn’t crazy.

After a couple of weeks of exploring the site and its sister site, The Narcissistic Personality Disorder Forum, I decided to write a post, to make myself visible online. The first question I was asked was to tell them who I was.

I remember laughing when I read the question, “Who are you?”

Who am I? I didn’t know. I was so broken, so scared, so lost, I honestly couldn’t answer the question without breaking down into tears. Then I read the question more carefully. They weren’t asking me to tell them who I was actually, what they wanted was for me to tell them my screen name. They wanted my online identity, alias, moniker, pseudonym.

Oh.

A nickname.

Something that was my unique identifier in the group — but also something that would keep me safe from being easily identified should the psychopath try to find me.

At the time, Ellie was lying by my feet. It was her favourite place to be and my favourite place to have her. I looked down at her and saw this amazing creature who had stood by me, no matter what. and, as she had done in real life, she became my alter-ego online.

To this day, I am still known as Ellie to many of those courageous women and men I met in that forum.

To this day, Ellie remains my inner guide and my protector.

Yesterday, I with a very dear friend who is also my spiritual/healing guide to talk about Ellie’s loss and what I need to do to keep myself safe and well on this journey. She calls it ‘The Green Zone’, that place where self-compassion and self-care override my natural desire/escape mechanism of throwing myself into work and taking care of other people/fix the world kinda response to trauma.

“What can you do for Louise that is self-soothing?” my dear friend asked.

I need to take a break from writing outwardly every day, I said without hesitation. I need to move into my own journey without thinking first about how I present it to the world.

Which means, I’m taking a break from being here everyday so that I can take care of me, myself and I with loving compassion.

The wounds from the past have long since turned to wisdom, but, the trauma is still there. I think it is something I have come to know as truth — we can heal the wounds, we can grow resilience and strength and patch up the cracks. and we can move through the pain and horror. We can heal.

The trauma of the past, however, can still be triggered in moments of deep pain and sorrow and loss.

To ensure the present doesn’t connect to the trauma, self-care is vital. It is essential.

And sometimes, to give ourselves the gift of healing, we must move away from centre-stage into the wings so that our arms can rest as we lovingly move through the broken places.

“I feel so broken, yet I know I’m not broken,” I told my friend yesterday.

Can you live in that tension knowing the truth is that you are not broken? she asked.

Yes. I replied.

And that’s what I have decided to do.

To live in that tension. Explore the edges of the broken to find the gold that fills the cracks.

Or, as Peter Mayer sings in his beautiful poem, The Japanese Bowl

I’m like one of those Japanese bowls
That were made long ago
I have some cracks in me
They have been filled with gold

That’s what they used back then04_03
When they had a bowl to mend
It did not hide the cracks
It made them shine instead

So now every old scar shows
from every time I broke
And anyone’s eyes can see
I’m not what I used to be

But in a collector’s mind
All of these jagged lines
Make me more beautiful
And worth a higher price

I’m like one of those Japanese bowls
I was made long ago
I have some cracks you can see
See how they shine of gold.
-Peter Mayer

You will be seeing less of me in the weeks ahead. I will occasionally post, but not regularly, and not often.

I will be taking care of me.

Thank you my friends for your love and support. Thank you for being here with me. I love and appreciate you all.

Namaste.

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Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

10 thoughts on “Self-care. It begins with me.

  1. Take care! If you’re not healthy in mind and body , you can’t help others.

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  2. Such wisdom here. I just let out a long exhale …. yes.
    Let things be. Embrace everything that comes up from within you. Let this be time for soothing and healing. Nourishment and nurturing.
    Like a big glorious sigh 🙂
    ((((hugs))))
    Val xo

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  3. The inner journey is always a courageous one, and one on which I know you will discover the deep beauty of your own imperfect perfection! It is evident to those around you and we love it so!

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  4. Louise I am so glad that you are taking time for you, to do the things that you need to heal. You are one very special woman. And…..thank you for the heart warming lyrics. Hugs and love.

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  5. Dear Friend take care of yourself. I am still going to include you in my post for the Hop…do not worry if you are not up to doing the work…I completely understand. And I send you all healing energy…white light. Love to you ❤

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  6. Yes, when your spirit tells you to go within….do it! My spirit was hit with something very similar this week. The phrase, I Am, although I’ve heard it a million times before, brought me such freedom and lightness this week. All of a sudden, I don’t NEED to post, I don’t NEED to read a million books about the journey. I don’t NEED any guidance but my own. So my last couple of posts have been a bit mechanical for me..without that on-the-edge-cuz-I-wanna-do-somehting feeling. Now….emptiness…but in a good way. So….I’m listening! Blessings to you on your healing journey. May Truth be known.

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  7. You are that bowl my friend and your gold bits enhance your natural beauty. Peace to you as you heal and take care of yourself. ❤
    Diana xo

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  8. Take care of YOU Louise. You give so much here and in your daily life. You’re an inspiration and this post has made me pause to think, I’m probably not far behind you. Hugs. Thanks for the song!

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  9. Louise

    I think ‘not writing’ isn’t the answer.

    Whether you share it with all – sure, that’s a valid option … I don’t quarrel with that.

    But … NOW, right now, with emotions set on a high-boil – exactly the time to write, let it flow, spill, dribble and splash all over the pages.

    And then right some more.

    Some wise person said ‘write while the heat is in you’ ….

    So, write … please.

    Write in memory of your dog.

    Write in memory of every feeling you’ve ever felt – but please, please, please don’t take time away from wrting.

    You might write the most important things you’ll ever write – right now, while that heat is in you.

    Write when it hurts.

    Write till it hurts more than it ever could – write and write and write till it hurts no more, or less.

    My two cents.

    Gusta sends her regards ..

    Cheers, Mark

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  10. Sending love and hugs.

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