If I Could Paint a Picture

My body is streaked with sweat and dirt from my desperate search to find safe shelter. I’m barefoot, in a grimy torn t-shirt and shorts; my hands and feet caked with dirt. My hair is filthy and matted. My mouth is dry; I can smell and taste the gritty dust that hangs in the air. I sit down on a curb at the side of the road, and I know it’s over.

I’m unbelievably weary, all my energy spent in the act of sitting down. I’m devastated…emotionally, mentally, and physically, and the worst of my wounds are invisible. My eyes fill up, but no tears fall. I can only sit amid the rubble, trying to trust the safety of the gray, silent sky.

Six years later, the scene has changed. I’m no longer living in fear of the tangled web of sadistic people who use threats to keep their victims terrified and questioning their sanity. I feel grateful. The therapist that I call my Sherpa is sitting next to me. He’s listened to and witnessed my entire story, and never deserted me. He understands my journey and sometimes shares my grief. He’s helped me honor my resilience; taught me the value of telling my story and the importance of just sitting with my truth. So we sit here together, quietly resting in that truth.

I’ve fully remembered and told the story of my first twenty years, of surviving the abuse, neglect, abandonment, and fear. I’ve left behind those who terrorized me. I’ve untangled myself. My courage has set me free, and now nothing can keep me tied to the past. I can truly live today with blinders off and eyes wide open.

From the introduction of Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

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Thank you for reading Untangled

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

 

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When do You Listen to the Truth

The truth is a terrible wonderful thing.

Once you know it, can you deny it?

 So many times I have denied the truth.

The truth about my past, my life, of who I am.

When do you listen to the truth?

When do you listen to your gut?

When do you listen to that voice that tells you

that even though things will be hard

and the unknown is terrifying

the benefit in the long run 

is peace of mind, peace in your soul, rest for your body.

When do you listen to your truth? 

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Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

Listen to the Silence

Become still and listen to the silence.

Your mind clears, breath become deeper

your body is almost light and floating

while still feeling the earth under your feet.

The sound of peace.

 

27©Alexis Rose, photo: Shelley Bauer

 

 

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Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

Giving Thanks For…

Giving thanks for

breathing deep, feeling love

smiling at the innocence of a child

and appreciating the people

in our lives who bring

peace, hope, and love to our world.

alexis-rose

 

Featured Image -- 1029Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

Ashes to Freedom

One year ago, I unpacked the final box of secrets hidden deep in my mind. They were secrets, that weren’t necessarily repressed, they just were going to sit in storage, never to see the light of day. I had a choice to make; call the work of processing memories done, or tell my therapist and unpack the final details of my past.  I worked hard to get to where I was, and I felt I owed it to myself to go all the way. So I revealed the last puzzle piece. It had no real impact on my therapist because he had figured it out a long time ago, but for me, it put together the big picture. The who, why, and the extent to which people went to control those first 20 years of my life, topping it off with an additional 17 years of threats to stay silent. This last secret was by far one of the hardest things to reveal, and then begin to process what it all meant.

Once it began to metabolize a little bit, I noticed I began to think differently. I believe it made room for my mind to discern the bigger picture. It was frightening to realize the extent, the sinister intentionality of what went on with my life. The more I began to think about it logically, I understood the even bigger picture of my past. Even with the intense disbelief, belief, grief, fear, and deep sadness,  my mind was starting to knit together and solidify the truth. 

One day, I was telling my therapist a story of the time I bought a blue bottle, and the reason I bought it.  I thought it was still in my save-box. I had no recollection that I had given the bottle to my therapist for safe keeping. Throughout these eight years, I had given him many, many things that I had saved from my childhood. I thought they were my smoking guns, he always told me they were my breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs that helped lead me back to a repressed past, that I knew someday I would be able to untangle. When I would bring my “breadcrumbs” to my therapist we never talked in detail about them at the time. I just needed them out of my house, and I was too triggered with recalling and processing memories for us to talk about where, and why I had these many objects. I just knew he would keep them safe for me. 

I forgot I gave him this bottle, which was great because I began to tell him the backstory of it.  How at 13 yrs old, I thought I was being so brave by buying it, bringing it home and waving it front of the face of a very dangerous person. Telling my therapist this part, lead me to tell him about the shirt I was wearing at the time. I knew I had saved that shirt and asked him if I had given that to him too. He told me he didn’t have it and I knew it was on the top shelf of my closet.  I knew I would look for it first thing the next morning. 

And, there it was…not the shirt, but a picture of me wearing that shirt the day before I moved to a new state. The day before I turned 17. Wearing a cute little peach shirt, earrings, long painted nails; all a veneer covering what lay right beneath the surface. The abused, neglected, abandoned, dehumanized object of many people who had already experienced a trail of unimaginable circumstances.  Along with that picture, were pictures of  my last four perpetrators. I had no memory of keeping these pictures, together, tucked in the back corner of my closet. I thought I would never see these faces again.

Looking at those pictures, feeling shocked, I felt a palpable fear coursing through my body and the look of uncomfortable fear (something I have never seen) on my husbands’ face. In the far distant part of my mind, I heard the inkling of a voice, my voice telling me, this is it. It’s done. I have completed my story; I have the people to prove it. I also, let myself feel proud of the smart girl who squirreled away those pictures. I felt proud of my other objects, my breadcrumbs, but this was the coup d’état. When I brought them to my therapist to dispose of I said to him, “I know, I know, more breadcrumbs.” But he said the words, I longed to hear. He said, “these, are your smoking guns.” It felt great to dispose of those pictures. All traces of them are gone. 

But still, I wasn’t quite ready to turn away from that Himalayan-esque mountain range my therapist helped me traverse the last eight years.  I had to stay and look at that range for as long as it took. I had to! I had to honor my truth. To honor the mountains, the terrible explosive volcanic mountains that are the truth of my life.  Then I was ready, and a year ago,  I turned away and began hiking away from the mountain range, towards the next path of health.

I’m slow, I’m tired, I’m just really spent! The feelings and emotions that are most prevalent right now are the fear of the people who planned it all and the memory of my perpetrators. Sometimes, I feel victimized, hurt, scared, unsteady, disturbed, very disturbed, but I also feel a profound sense of peace.

My therapist sent me a text, to save and read when I  needed some words of encouragement. It says,  “You are safe. You may not feel safe, and that is to be expected. Eventually, you will. Until that time, trust me that you are.”  I read that text a lot the past year as I ventured away from processing memories of the past and learned to cope with the effects of all the trauma and my PTSD. When I read it, it lands deeper and deeper. Eventually, I won’t have to read it any longer. 

Last week, I wrote a  goodbye letter to a group of people who were greatly responsible for putting me in harm’s way. I woke up, with the first snow, which had broken the cycle of the Fall triggers ready to say goodbye to them. I’m ready to let them go, so I can heal without them constantly in the forefront of my mind.

With leaden feeling legs, a weary mind, a sense of accomplishment and a heart full of hope, this afternoon I burnt the letter and let the ashes fly into the universe, a symbol of freedom from my perpetrators. A walk towards the warmth, an incredible freeing release from my past. The breadcrumbs are swept away, the “smoking guns” revealed and let go of, the ashes have dispersed in the wind and today the sun is shining on my face!

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Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

Traveling Along Life’s Path

Resting atop a snow ledge

I watch a bird soar high above.

Drawing from his strength

I take a deep breath and

commit this landscape to memory.

I feel free and strong enough

to conquer whatever awaits me

as I travel along life’s path.

snowy-ledge

©Alexis Rose, image: pixabay

 

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Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

Each Step, Your Personal Summit

The only sound you hear is your own breath.

The air is clean, crisp, and alive

with possibility and excitement.

Determination emanates as you adjust

to the altitude and settle into

the beauty of your surroundings.

Each step is a personal victory.

Each step is your personal summit.

©Alexis Rose

mountain

image: pixabay

 

 

516AnWjU-mL._UY250_

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856