(What Does Healing Even Look Like?!)
Naive leadership. Inexperienced life skills. Authority complex.
Misunderstanding. Deception. Manipulation.
Empty Promises. Betrayal. Abandonment.
Recently I was asked to heal (my mental health)
Not asked so much as told-
I think that most of you are like me- when someone screams something at you- you are more likely to do the opposite, if for no other reason then rebelling against people treating others like that, period. After all, who is going to want to seek mental health- even when they know they need to- if loved ones are barking at them to do so?
Supposing that is for another blog, let’s consider-
Healing, what does healing even look like?
(NOTE: I am not a psychologist or medical doctor of any kind. The following article is a personal piece and should not be taken as medical or professional advice. Should you or a loved one be struggling with mental health, please seek a professional or at the very least a personal loved one. Of course, you are never alone though.)
To me healing looks like helping, community, and family.
To my family and my community apparently my “helping” is not perceived as “healing”.
This kind of confusion has defined my life.
In my head I mean one thing- it is perceived (translated) as another.
I attempt to excavate myself out of the rut- after all, I love words, it should be easy- only to find that I have propelled myself into a pile of steamy shit that previously wasn’t even there.
Sexually curious in a strictly Christian area-
(I had a choice?)
Too homosexual for my straight friends-
(Slapping asses is saved for the athletic field and locker rooms- strictly)
Too butch for my gay friends.
(You mean not all queers like to shop?!)
Restricted from spending time alone with female friends.
(My father was afraid about my abstinence… He had more to fear from my guy friends… Just don’t tell him that)
The middle child of 7.
(An age gap and twins to boot- finding my footing wasn’t easy)
An introvert in an extrovert’s world.
(Only others were allowed to claim they were uncomfortable and get out of something- I was required to abide by another set of rules)
Attempting to find solace amongst negative emotions and constant chaos.
(I have expressed my feelings— only for the words to fall on deaf ears)
Life felt stacked against me. Instead of understanding and empathy from those close to me as a child- I frequently wrote in my journals that I felt unloved, hated life, and even thought of and wrote about suicide— more than once.
I am so thankful that 13 years old me didn’t make a choice that would have negatively affected so many, and would never have allowed me, to become ME.
It is only through hindsight I can see this, though.
Ever since the Coronavirus started to ravage the world, I have been in a process of ReDiscovering Me. ReDiscovering myself in Maine (my home state).
This is my journey to- ReDiscovering ME.
What does healing even look like?
Everyone’s healing is different.
So whose is right?
Can someone be wrong in how they heal?
Do you love another how they want to be loved, regardless of your preference-
Or do you love someone how you want to love- regardless of the other’s preference?
Healing and love- they go hand in hand, do they not?
One cannot heal unless there is love (not the proper kind of mental healing we are discussing here).
What if for said individual to heal they need the love of family and community?
Imagine how hard it must be for that individual to find love for themselves when the family doesn’t love them?
Does it count as love if the one receiving the love is crying out for it to stop?
What if in turn the recipient of the aggressive love then turns around and sends back the same kind of selfish love?
Sounds like a vicious cycle to me.
I have religiously heard–
Love is the golden rule.
Love is unconditional.
Love is merciful and forgiving.
True love only comes from above.
In my experience “love” is the excuse most religious persecutors use in their attacks of others.
“Love” is not “unconditional” if it comes with baggage, weight, and stipulations.
“Love” has been the most merciless, and least forgiving from those that preach it’s a virtue from the Highest.
For too long I have run from “love” and “healing” because I wrongly associated it with actions from loved ones that were anything but loving.
Those that “asked” me to heal, know and see what I know and see-
I need help dealing with mental luggage.
To even think one might need professional help has been held in taboo for far too long.
How can you ask someone who knows they need to heal, to do so-
but force them into hiding in the shadows to do so?
How can one scab tell another scab that the way they are stitching themselves back together is “wrong”?
For the record, I am not the only one that needs emotional freedom-
It’s 2020 (Also known as “COVID19”)-
It’s a Global Pandemic-
Who the fuck doesn’t need to heal?
You’ll have to forgive the language- I attempt (genuinely…) to keep my posts as family-friendly as possible- yet at times I find no other word fully expresses or converse the emotion needed to move the reader forward such as a properly used “cuss” word.
I wasn’t born with censors like “polite” members of society.
Either that or the last fuck was wrung from my life tightened skin somewhere in my teens.
I was raised adamantly Christian as a closeted, free-thinking hippie.
I am an introvert older brother who was bred and raised to be an extroverted leader.
I asked for “help” with my sexuality while preparing to be a Christian missionary to Brazil- only to find there was no longer space in the program for me a month before I was to leave.
Maybe you were also like me? With 50+ Bible Verses on healing, I believed I had a chance of help in the church.
It doesn’t take a Native American to tell you that you cannot trust a “well-meaning” Christian.
I traveled the world as an out, queer individual, that went where I wanted, working hard to get there, and experienced many incredible feats.
All the while having to face ridicule, mocking, persecution, and humiliation to do so.
I sacrificed my life’s earnings on driving to North Dakota to help protect another homeland and freedom.
I was almost arrested in DC for strapping myself to a security fence at Trump’s Inauguration speech in early 2017.
Protecting a Native American Elder, I suffered days of complex bear mace sweating back into my eyes, lips, scrotum, and toes in the foggy spring weather of DC during and after the Million Women’s March.
I was arrested in North Dakota after returning- from Oregon in February- to drive vitally needed fresh produce to the Natives and other Water protectors who were preparing to clean in the eerie and early spring weather.
During this time two (new) family members- upset with my actions and language on our private family group chat- rallied my other loved ones and blocked me from my own family chat. Only a few bothered to check in on me in the horror of the aftermath- both of Trump actually becoming the 45th American President and feeling completely betrayed and abandoned by my loved ones.
For the family’s well-being, in the name of the Lord.
There has never been any resolution to that.
Without fully understanding what they were asking for, several members of my family (you will have to excuse generalizations- I come from a large clan) ignored, blocked, or removed themselves from my life until “I could find emotional healing”.
Family pulling away from a family man.
Emotional healing– funny. I can’t even receive regular medical help because of health insurance costs. Costs that have only spiked and become entirely unattainable due to the individual I was protesting & they voted for. If that isn’t ironic I don’t know what is.
I want emotional healing and stability just as much (and more) than those barking at me to do so.
Healing, however, cannot always be perceived by those on the outside- those that are not undergoing the process directly.
Who can judge such a thing?
I ask again- how can one scab judge another scabs rate of healing?
I am on a journey, this is only the start.