Margaret Rose Allen Anciola has a powerful tale to tell. She describes herself as a “Foreign Service Brat, with an American father from Oklahoma. Mexican Mamá from the DF. Made-in-Mexico. Liverpudlian (UK) by birth. Childhood in República Domincana. Schooling also in Spain, France, Italy. Now live between Guatemala and Miami. Presently USA citizenship. I pledged allegiance as a child to many countries -lived many paradigms…
From Lemuria, perhaps; before that, from the Pleiades: We Are, perhaps, just landing- now alive and well: With You, beside You, in You, All are We.”
Mar’s story highlights the iatrogenic trauma that can be caused through misunderstood interventions, and the liberation and empowerment of feeling validated and heard:
“When do such wounds begin? imprints made.
Emerging starts at that point, the space where one passes a finish-line: that place where one is Done with being tumbled, over- whelmed by salty waters. By waves swallowed under/over yet again: sometimes so horribly rough, sometimes gently as being cradled in such warmth, yet we wanted to just succumb, release/be released from The Battle. Now? It’s Done. All washed out We, having swallowed so much more (than enough). Having been swallowed so – comes a time when you couldn’t fall any further into that pit – bottomless darkness: That When, when you finally start coming back, into your truest Self.
The Docs couldn’t do it (no matter how many notes they take, no. No matter how many times they mix-and-match, change dosages, change labels they labeled us with. We s(wallowed) in the colors of their pasty-pinks, myriad pastel shades of sickish greens, seemingly-harmless soft blues, off-whites). The White-coats.
Pills couldn’t do it, though so carefully designed, each a tad differently so even we, the dim-witted, could keep track of just how many we needed per day/per night, say. Right?
If/when, We survived, then is when we are Finished. Then we emerge: done with self-loathing. Finished with feelings of not-good-enough-ness. Finished with abdicating power to AnOther, to those expert someone-elses with nicely framed diplomas on walls, as they watch their watches to make sure not to give us a few extra minutes of their precious Time. Our’s? Our time not worth much. We, The Lost: The Far Gone: We could wait.
Our Stories so long, times so dark, tho’ still (at times convoluted at times making sense, at times Knot). At times so full Of Too Much Light. Too much knowing, even.
What we do know: Now, the cycle of fears of darkness and darkness of fears: that roller-coaster is Over. Or was it a haunting house, a not-so-merry- go-’round(?) So long ago the first speediness, the first hot-air-balloons turned into Zeppelins each idea sprouting a thousand more and grow they did. Until they start spilling over. “Projects” became Illusions, until ill-you-shuns became Disillusions. Why? surely so some- (One) would be Proud-of-Us, see us. Maybe so we could make our own selves Proud. Sense of so much tremendous work to do. Thinking re-thinking becoming bigger, multi-plying/flying.
Then, crash, free-falling until almost dying -as Humpty (inevitably) there came to be a such-a-Not-Great Fall, where all the Kings’ and Queens’ horses and all the Queens’ and Kings’ men and women seemed nobody could put this Humpty back together again, never, ever, no. “Great” ideas evaporated. A sense came upon us as of becoming ashes, in the wind, blown/ burned, scattered at stake and/or crucified at Inquisition, a sense that our own blood- family now and/or in other lifetimes had been our Inquisitors: Can we not put up altars at the death of our Fathers? can we not sing such powerful Bon Voyage songs on the balcony without some do-good strange stranger insinuating that one wants to jump off? What? Artists we are antennas, the gentlest and powerful…
Beauty of a sundown or a child’s smile can bring us to tears of awe; a sunrise knocks us to our knees. The Awe, the Beauty the Mystery of All of it: eyeballs and rainfall. Planets turning ’round, spiraling though space while at the same time towards Somewhere. We marvel at the marvelous, we’ve wept for the torn bodies and souls, yet they wanted to “normalize” us: at meetings one should not leave messages folded into shapes of little boats on tables of one’s brothers. One should not dance in parks. One should not crumble at death. One should draw in-side-of-the-black outlines. One must not wear garments that flow in the wind. One’s sons should not have longish hair. One should not vote Green.
“Doctors” give labels to the grieving, pills to those who mourn (perhaps, you think? for the lost/broken children). Pills that wreak havoc- and the havoc wreaked is then described as “chemical imbalance” that calls for the necessity of more pills. Ah happy were they when they thought she “complied”, obediently downing little shapes strangely-named medications…Ah, you’re a wonderful person, said they (who had screamed at us so, or ignored us, or abused us in some way- for decades for eons from the time we were small, children?) parroting the “professionals”:
You just have a small imbalance of chemicals in your brain. Ahhhh. So good that she is so compliant. Years later I confessed: their expensive chemicals (with the zillion side-effects, including “may cause suicidal thoughts” listed in miniature fonts) had been flushed down the toilet, replaced with homeopathic and flower remedies. We learned, re-taught ourselves to breathe, and quiet our minds. Take the reigns of our emotions. Honor our paths. Learn healing through expression, through movement through song; through creating with words with colors with form; through trust through truth through trueness of kinship. Through search, re-search: chemical imbalance was caused by the negative thought-forms, inherited and/or imprinted. And we had/have the power to change our thoughts:
through finding kindred spirits: our Soul Family; through finding forum, creating quorum.
Through service. Reaching in reaching out. Candles we lit: we wrote what wasn’t coming from us but through us: concepts we’d never heard. Co-incidentally we’d find the same material written in books already writ. Who could we tell, tho’, who would understand? back then: No One. But we, who told anyway, sometimes paid dearly: Visionaries are often both The Blessed and The Doomed.
Decades later what we went though/go through is no longer considered so Odd. The Shift. Ascendance. Now we are fortunate, because those of us whom survived now know: we are The Bridges. Now, having survived, we share experiences, with our new emergent vocabulary, our new emergent community: we can shed the stigma and grow new skins. With others we happen to meet, we find our reflections in books we happen to come upon, “The Roots of Coincidence” : we find ourselves written. We find ourselves mirrored in our face-book forums, there we come upon our own selves, we have seen We are not alone, no. And we find ourselves
In Spanish there’s a saying: “Dios los crea, y ellos se juntan“. God creates them, and they find each other. There is much more: we’ve known we’ve walked through thresholds, invisible as they were. We sense the opening doors. And mind/body/spirit, emerging, emerging-
Those times when we found ourselves slipping into dark crevices, or flying a tad too high, a tad too quick…
They have a practice of ensnaring us with lists of questions that feel like tests with trick answers. Just when most vulnerable, yearning for comfort understanding, touch of beauty, yearning for Home, for nature, nurture:
Instead we found ourselves ensnared as animals trapped. Nabbed with nets of “normality”, with righteousness they pulled us in, dropped us into places with lights too bright, desolate hallways, steel cold beds where your name no longer matters, you are given hospital-gowns of “the sick”; where with their white coats they assure for themselves that the difference is clear: the difference between their consensus reality, their behaviour- where they are right: and where our questioning, our extreme states, our connectedness with alternative realities are (were) considered Madness: each digression listed neatly noted, coded. Labeled. For- ever? uniqueness stifled.
Hurt we were: not encircled with empathy but rather engulfed with Judgment.
If/when the tables turn, as they shall, they are/will be perceived as the damaged of the species whose behaviour, once deemed normal is deemed abnormal, drained of compassion. Strangely, their hurried, academic eyes cannot see further, deeper than the surface. Strangers who judge you in times of your greatest crisis. When one would need sympathy if not empathy, one is met with demeaning, robotic interviews, annotations made that you do not see. Every gesture noted. Examined as specimens. Chemical straight-jackets, bars invisible tho never-the-less there. What?
I‘d worked with Alternatives to Psychiatry as a young woman, making Art with the disenfranchised, honoured that they accepted me as one of their own, never imagining that one day I would be them. Held down, undergarments pulled down so I could be jabbed with a needle containing I knew not what- for daring to ask if I could eat my breakfast a bit more slowly. What was my crime, wondered I. Each time one became more scared, more dis-heartened, so more compliant. A fellow “patient” in one place I’d been dropped into -mostly a place for “indigents”, a young woman who had worked the streets to pay for university was grateful when consoled: I told her she was already Forgiven. She was convinced, (sensing I was out of place there), that I was a famous-person, going incognito, perhaps Bono’s wife(?) she insisted. A young man whispered to me, as he left, that if it hadn’t been for my compassion, he thinks he may have died. So- I was aware:
we are where we are for more and different reasons than we think.
Yet each of these places leaves you more terrified, more drained than the one before, of any vestiges of human dignity you may still have had left. At the last, the state-of-the-art most awful…by that time I was spent, stripped as you are of individuality, in those inane hospital-gowns, gazed upon by eager interns acting as if they are interviewing aliens-
An older, bearded gentleman did protest: neighbours had alerted authorities that indeed, he lived alone with four dogs in a simple house, keeping mostly to himself: “What are you?”, asked he, “the Personality Police“? Normally I would have reached out to him, as a fellow-traveler, but by then I was spent, spent. Spooked by a big man running up to me constantly, eyes ,voice screaming, screaming in my face: “Why Don’t You Talk To Me, They Told You Not To Talk To Me, Right?” Lucky, my crises were relatively short. Tho’ my bouts left me stunned, depleted, defeated for some time, it was not long enough to let myself by it be defined: NO. I took the course to become “Peer Counsellor”; it’s good, OK, yet it defines you as That. But what about This? We are more:
Ever-evolving, ever-emerging. Let us rather be defined -more than by how many times we fell -how deep- but by how many times we stood up, again, and we learned to walk, again. We were knocked silent. But now how we sing- finally, even after the times we’ve been on our knees, imploring, as Rilke: “Whom, if I cried out, would hear me, among the angelic orders”? We have come to hear each other, and now we know:
We are not alone. Now we know: we will no longer be bullied, we will no longer be silenced, politely, or un: we will no longer stoop into submission:
Now we have learned to walk, tall: we are forgiven, and we forgive. But not forget.
Now we will dance, now we are gifted by learning to emerge: EMERGING PROUD.
Those finish-lines were/are Beginnings.
Yes, the stories, our stories include both the Deep- Most Dark and the Utmost Light.
Highs/Lows. Our Earth has mountains and valleys, thunderstorms, lightning bolts throughout. And soft soft clouds, warm earth. Sweet flowers. And creep-crawly things as well. At the same time. (The planet is bi-polar, has anyone noticed?) Both painful human “negatives” and the awesome unexplainable sprouting. Nascent, ever-evolving
Life: Insights. Awakenings. Communion, Community.
Emerging are We. Shifting. Ever-reaching, ever-growing, in Knowledge, Love. In Wisdom, Empathy. And Serenity.
Thank you Mar, for your astute message that Those finish-lines were/are JUST the Beginning… ❤