October 2017, I received a clue something good was coming to us while we were living in Dayton. I read this book called Wild: From Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed. It was about her struggles after her mothers death and a long walk through the Pacific Northwest. Interesting and well written, but my mom was alive. Not really related to my life I thought.
Then in November I dreamt about Cheryl Strayed. In the dream, I met her at a conference and she had extended her hand to greet me, but it was a gigantic hand. I was excited but didn’t know what to make of it. That hand was big, almost as big as me. I felt excited when I woke up.
Then in December I got sick and ended up hospitalized for a few days. While I was recovering, Gerard started the application for a promotion in his job, and it would entail a move but we didn’t know where. It ended up being for a position in Portland Oregon. So, in February 2018, we both ended up working in Portland,. Gerard with his job and I was able to transfer easily with IKEA. We moved into a cute house in Camas Washington, not too far from our respective workplaces.
Later, I found out Cheryl lived in Portland.. Even though we never ended up meeting her I will say it was a good sign.
Great things happened there for me in regards to healing in a deeper way from the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. Both were retreats and they happened a few months apart.
One was a great journal writing workshop by Mark Matousek, called Writing to Awaken. Wow. It was a very short intense journaling weekend class. He was incredible in his teaching methods. He helped me understand journaling differently. It went like this, he would talk a bit about the Writing Prompt question for the writing segment coming up, then we would write about 20-30 minutes, and then we would talk about what that was like. Actually we could talk about anything related too. What I liked the most about his teaching style was his openness to all our different responses. For me, I didn’t share my writing because I was processing all that had happened in Ohio. It was raw for me, and I wasn’t in a place to explain to others yet. I still wasn’t willing or able to talk about my CSA publicly in its raw state. My shame factor is still pretty high. This combined with not knowing the teacher well enough yet,kept me holding back my speaking. But I reflected on my recent experiences deeply. I felt much better off understanding what had happened in Ohio and could see my mother much clearer.
The second retreat was hosted by the Younique Foundation that hosted a free Childhood Sexual Abuse Recovery retreat at their Retreat Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Another unexpected WOW. 4 days of educational sessions to help us as Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors gain skills necessary to reclaim and rebuild ourselves. It was amazing. I realized I had done so much healing through the years of training to be a Counselor, through my healing modalities of journal writing, somatic bodywork, and just being alive. It would have been so much more efficient for me had I had those skills when I was 16, or right out of high school. Before starting out into adulthood. I have so much to say about this and I don’t want to short circuit any of it. So I am going to write about this retreat in a later blog entry. What happened there was so amazing, it deserves its own entry. It confirmed so much of what I had learned the hard way.
By the time I had finished the Younique Retreat and processed all I had experienced there, I was steady enough. I was ready to come back to Missouri that I had missed so much.
Now, we are back, both settled back into our jobs, (well, I am laid off currently due to the Pandemic). But there have still been some more surprises.