Lanterns

(Or Listen Here)

I cannot tell you how we moved. I had rather not remember. I believe my “effects” were brought in a bandbox, and the “deathless me,” on foot, not many moments after. I took at the time a memorandum of my several senses, and also of my hat and coat, and my best shoes – but it was lost in the mêlée, and I am out with lanterns, looking for myself. Emily Dickinson letters

As we move out of this Gregorian calendar year 2020 and into Gregorian calendar year 2021 (shout out Pope Gregory XIII matching the Easter celebrations with Spring equinox!), it seems as though we will all need our very best lanterns to find each other, to find ourselves and our paths wherever they may lead. Many of us have lost precious people, precious things, income, health insurance, our own world order where we defined ourselves, and more to 2020.

At this time last year, the meme was “How do I know what to expect next year, I don’t have 2020 vision.” Damn, that seems like a dark foreshadowing omen now. Not the wicked cool Gaiman/Tennant/Sheen Good Omens kind of omen, more the creepy fucked up serial killer psychotic orange clown kind of omen that nobody wants. Now we’re all going to be, “hindsight is 2020 yo!” (apparently we are all beast boy now)

The vaccine is coming of course, but it will be some time before it reaches most of us (myself included). This is right and proper, for me, since I am okay to stay at home for the time being. Vaccines should be going out to front line COVID medical workers, all other healthcare workers, grocery/gas station/essential living workers, teachers and school staff, vulnerable populations (including children), then finally people such as myself. Currently there is not a vaccine for children at all. There are recent medical reports that question what we have been thinking about children, schools, and covid. DUH seriously every single bacteria/virus spreads like wildfire through childcare/school institutions. 1 kid has lice/pinworms/ringworm/flu/cold/bronchitis/etc = everyone gets lice/pinworms/ringworm/flu/cold/bronchitis/etc in every family with even little to remote contact with that child. WTF were we thinking that somehow this particular virus was just going to skip that ripe environment. The ol’ HH (human hubris) strikes again!

In the meantime, we are all mentally exhausted. We have reached a space where the realness is hitting very hard and direct. Even those entrenched in the conspiracy world can no longer deny the effects of COVID-19 whether they “believe” in the existence of the virus or “believe” in mask wearing/social distancing or “believe” in a vaccine – the world has changed for everyone. Far too many of us have allowed too much space for persistent lack of empathy. We are literally killing ourselves for a truly fucked ideology which says it is a noble individual’s right to purposefully inflict defined potential lethal harm on others in the name of personal freedom!

This is taking a serious toll on our mental health. Those of us who have experienced relationship with narcissistic abusers have already gone through the excuses, denial, numbness, shock, grief cycles innumerable times. We have coping strategies, not all of them healthy of course, but we have them. Again, this ain’t our first yo-yo through the crazy rodeo.

As we see everyone else moving through these same emotions with us, we are in pain. We are all in pain. This is a deep collective grief.

Those unhealthy coping strategies are cropping up as the pain is too great. We may choose not to remember anything from this year or how we landed where we are in this lifetime. I can feel the mental distress rising and I am sure that you can too, if you are able to feel anything beyond grief at this moment. This is where the rest of us, despite having lost our navigation as well, grab our lanterns (as we can and when we can) and go out into this deep darkness to look not only for ourselves but for you as well. Even if only through prayers, ringing bells, texts, memes, delivering cookies and meals, fixing coffee for a peaceful moment, lighting candles, burning sage into a New Year’s Fire, opening doors letting the old ways pass and the new ways in – we are out there with each other trying our very best.

I am not sure that I can light your lantern for you – most likely that is an unhealthy fool’s errand and I cannot. But know that I am trying very hard to light my own and will gladly share it with you.

Healthier 2021 Wishes to you all

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

#carryonpeacewarrior #carryonhealthwarrior but whatever you do, please do #carryon or let someone else carry you for a bit by phoning one of these Mental Health Hotlines:

Mental Health America and National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Noetic Noel

Read below or listen here:

Circular talking power philosophers know stuff that we mortals can only digest in bite sized banal platitudes.  This is my way of saying, “I am not a philosopher and only dabble in grabbing potentially resonating pithy wordsies, so STOP JUDGING ME when I make inevitable errors in interpretation of which you, of course, will know infinitely more than I.”

Am I jealous of super clever philosophers?  Yes.  Yes, I am.  shhhhh wraskely wrabbit

I am most definitely a dreamer with an overactive imagination which sounds like I could be drawn to understanding and engaging in adept philosophical convo… sadly, no.  Or perhaps, lucky for all of us, still nope.

Despite the above, I am drawn to this Noetic Noel season where it seems we are all brought together by knowledge we’d rather not have. 

We’d rather not know hundreds of thousands of people have/are dying from COVID-19, or know another hundreds of thousands of people infected, some with long-term consequences, due to our collective disregard for basic science and humanity.

We’d rather not know what it is like to be governed by abusive, misogynistic, gaslighting, treasonous, criminal narcissists.

We’d rather not know what it feels like to see friends lose income and worry about their mortgages, rent, food, electricity, water, schooling etc.

We’d rather not know that a significant number of our neighbors continue to be in the initial spiral of textbook victims of abuse: denying its very existence, lashing out at helpers despite vast evidence that their own suffering is brought on by the abusers. (The awful bit of autonoetic consciousness, I suppose – cue philosophers for correction on this)

We’d rather not know how awfully deeply painfully lonely and despondent this holiday season feels while we muster whatever cozy happy Christmas we can find for our sweet only child who is feeling the pangs of isolation from his buddies too – and at the same time immensely grateful that we are so far healthy, so far still able to get our mortgage and bills paid, so far still plugging away with the everyday to feel grateful for the things we are dumb lucky to experience in this life (oh, wait, that might be just me). 

thought break side note:  It JUST started snowing a beautifully magic lovely gentle lush snow outside which is predicted to transform into a full-on winter storm of inches and feet later!  I love weather – all weather.  I love that it changes and makes up something different as the seasons change, or the day, or even the hour.  Weather is pretty amazing when you have the stupid lucky privilege of enjoying it in a safe way. 

Sending warmth and safety wishes out to all and I’ll pack up donations again today to deliver tomorrow when I can safely leave my crazy steep mountainside driveway in humble acknowledgement. 

But, of course, now I cannot wax on about our collective painful Noetic Noel because the snow has enchanted me.  Tea break and then I’ll be back. Stash brand Licorice Tisane. FYI, I am American, therefore I soak the hell out of the bag before plopping the soppy thing out and into the trash.  You’re welcome for that visual!  Oh, but yummmmm soothing hot liquid (not of the G-ds, though – that distinction is only for smooth silky so dark I will take over your life coffee).  Unless I am out and order a chai, I take all of my tea straight up (no milk, no sugar), altering the bag soak depending on the tea with black tea soaking the least amount of time.  It is possible that on certain days I drink vats of tea.  My kettle is a trooper to put up with me knocking that “on” button over and over and over throughout the day. 

And now you know something about me irl other than my wandering brainiac and bumpy history. Huzzah!

aaaaand back to Noetic Noel…

We do have some peek into hope here with the upcoming presidential change.  Of course even that is tainted as the gaslighting abusers continue their rhetoric and intimidation tactics, stirring up those who are already prone to doing their dirty work. 

Nothing mentioned here is difficult for some of us to understand (too many, really).  Many of us predicted all of this with uncanny accuracy since this is not our first time at the gaslighting abusive narcissistic mental illness yo-yo rodeo.  It is quite painful for us to watch you all experience this too.  We would not wish this mindfuck on our worst enemy. 

Unfortunately, recovery is painful as well.  I have not worn my wedding ring since June 2014 and still occasionally feel phantom weight from it and reach to twist it around.  It is like a gut punch when that happens.  Sometimes I think about taking it out of its storage box and putting it on just to try and distinguish the real weight of it from the phantom weight.  Like maybe that will break the spell of my own disturbing grief/recovery/whatever cycle.  I haven’t done that… yet.  I am not sure if I ever will.  But, I do think about it. As I also think about when my inevitable nervous breakdown is coming. Perhaps it is always bubbling out in bits and I cannot see it – I have no idea really. Tra-la

All of this has me thinking about how very connected we are in this space of abuse exposure compounded with isolation.  I do not subscribe to conspiracy that somehow places blame on our current leadership for the creation of COVID-19, but I wholeheartedly blame them for our current condition/isolation/economic and emotional strains.  Making it not unlike textbook abusers who use gaslighting and isolation to keep victims victim-y.

I am sorry that now we all have this personal experiential knowledge about abuse.

This is hard stuff.

New leadership will help but is not the answer to us moving forward.  If we look there, we will be disappointed and angry with them because they cannot be held responsible for anything other than a helper role. 

I feel that we are our own answer to moving forward. Embracing the knowledge of our situation, our roles with their privileges and limitations, and then using that knowledge as we move through our feelings, I think is the only way to reach our own versions of forward. 

I know it is hard. 

I know we will all feel that soul breaking whole body aching painful loneliness. 

We will all desperately want the comfort of the memory of how we thought our trusted neighbors had our backs with the most humane basics, not realizing that they too were being set up as victims of abuse who’s refusal to recognize it results in them lashing out at others in most inhumane ways. 

We will all feel the phantom weight of the ring and feel for it on our finger before we simultaneously feel it is missing like a hole punched in our hearts and remember what it really represented in our lives. 

We might feel the need to try that ring of abuse back on again and again until we can distinguish it from phantom comfort.

We might live the rest of our lives never knowing what healthy external comfort feels like.

It is a Noetic Noel fuh reals y’all and I am here with you in the thick of the emotions and hard knowledge of needing to recognize the abuses in order to set them down and move forward.

It is lonely out here. 

Hug those you can (even virtually).  Receive what you can.  Give what you can.  All things when and if you can.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Gentle reminder that I am not a mental health professional by anyone’s standards. I am a mommy, daughter, auntie, friend, cousin, neighbor, survivor, dreamer, writer, librarian, reader, shower-singer, giggler, nature enthusiast, cooker of foods, lead gillie, and (first time I am ever saying this) ex-wife. Please do reach out to a mental health professional for support, and linger here for simple-minded musings of a wild haired noetically challenged lady loon.