Carescapes in Five Fragments
Hello dear ones,
I don’t know about you, but it has been A TIME lately. Pain flares, wild dreams, crying, and so much self-reflection and turning inwards. I don’t have a cohesive piece of writing in me this week, and so I wanted to share some fragments with you of what my carescape is looking like these days.
A few reminders before we dive in:
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Thank you, as always, for being a part of the CARESCAPES universe! It’s such a deep honour to have you here with me!
THOUGHTS, FEELINGS , PRACTICES, ACTIONS
1. Be with those you love.
It can be so easy to self-isolate when we are going through it. I am so grateful that, on Monday, one of my best friends, Varia, arrived in Edmonton — her first trip out west since I moved two and a half years ago. When folks have asked us what we’re most excited about doing together, our answer has been: “just sitting together on the couch talking.” So simple. So nourishing. I recently finished writing the section of my book called “Femme4Femme Intimacy.” I end the section by talking about my relationship with my two best friends, Natalie and Varia. When I asked them both what their favourite memories were of our times together, they named the quotidian: making meals together, singing karaoke, celebrating each other’s growth. On Thursday, as I spiralled in the shame that comes up when you are healing years of sexual trauma, I debated staying in rather than going over to my bestie’s so we could spend time together. “Oh, I just need to be alone,” I told myself. “I’ll just be a wet blanket.” Thankfully, years of friendship have taught me that my pals want to see me, regardless of my mental state. And so I went over, and sat quietly, letting myself be present with my feelings and with these two humans I love so dearly.
2. Buy yourself the flowers.
Yesterday morning, I took Varia to get a coffee and we stumbled on an outdoor market! When we arrived at a flower stand where you could make your own bouquet, I knew I wanted to give myself the gift of fresh flowers. I have always been envious of the fresh flowers throughout Natalie’s home (Natalie is, for the record, an urban gardener by trade). Not having the outdoor space, nor anything close to a green thumb, means that I’d need to spend money on fresh flowers — which, in my poor trauma brain, feels like way too much of a luxury to be a justifiable expense. But I pushed through the poor kid trauma and made myself a bouquet. It brings me so much joy to sit at my kitchen table and look at this gift that I gave to myself.
3. Be the Protector You Didn’t Have
Last week I got a new tattoo. This piece represents my journey into the underworld, as I go through my nodal return with my south node in Scorpio in the 12th house conjunct Saturn. I recently had my chart read by the talented Julia Bray. She talked to me about what it means to have Saturn in my 12th house and what that will bring up during my nodal return. In short, I will be processing all of the past lives in which I didn’t experience the protection I needed. And so it makes so much sense that all of the boys of my past — those who used and abused me — are coming to the surface in my dreams. I recently realized that Medusa was a talisman for me, and so this femme figure represents Medusa watching over me on this journey, alongside Saturn. Together, they will show me how to be the protector I didn’t have growing up.
4. Remember: You are on a Journey
As I move through waves of grief, shame, dissociation, and self-hatred, it can be hard to remember that this is just one part of the journey. Yesterday Varia and I talked about our tarot card for the year and my card is The World (turns out I’ve been doing the math wrong, and my card should be The Hanged One — but The World feels right to me, especially after having a Judgment card year in 2021, so I’m going to stick with it). Varia reminded me that I am nearing the end of a cycle. And once that cycle ends, a new one begins. Sometimes it can be so easy to get stuck in negative thought loops of “Why aren’t I fully healed yet?” “When will I stop feeling this way???” I must remind myself “There is no fully healed state” and “We are cyclical beings — these feelings will return but the impact they have on you will lessen.”
5. Be Kind to Yourself.
I have been feeling a lot of shame recently about past relationships where my attachment trauma was driving the car, making me act in ways that I can’t help but cringe at now. Yesterday, I spent many hours reading old emails I sent to my first most serious love back in the 2010s. Instead of shame, I felt myself in awe of my young 20s self. They may not have been able to feel their feelings so well at that time, but they were kind and intelligent and articulate. They spoke of their interest in attachment long before they knew that they had attachment trauma. They were honest and loving and so, so curious. My heartaches for the heartbreak they experienced — which they still, some 8 years after that relationship ending, experience today. I truly was doing the best I could with the resources I could access at that time. And now, I get to look at how far I’ve come, and I hope that the feelings of shame will dissipate.