Oct 8, 2017

My Anatomy My Right

Why do men get to make decisions on women's health? Employers can use the excuse of a moral or faith based belief to deny coverage of birth control. So our president is the mouth piece for moral and right to life Rep. Tim Murphy for faith based reasoning, or oh wait, Hobby Lobby's David Green who collected stolen religious artifacts? Birth control not only prevents pregnancy, but the hormone pill is used to treat a host of women's health issues https://youngwomenshealth.org/…/medical-uses-of-the-birth-…/.

Where are the proponents of denying medicine when it comes to a man's erection? Is that a medical necessity? Pregnancy isn't caused by Immaculate Conception. Women have become the scapegoats for so many things beginning with a rib and a garden. If I sound pissed, I am. I have two daughters, and a host of nieces whose lives will be impacted by the decision of men on their health.

Yes, I am a feminist. Do I hate men? No... This is about the right to health. The right to not suffer physical, emotional, financial pain because religion and employers wish to use their definition of moral to legislate health decisions only a patient and doctor should have the right to decide.


Jul 24, 2017

Trauma and The Bitch It Leaves Behind

This is difficult to write, as difficult as it has been and is to live. Everyone has an opinion about getting over something, but climbing the mountain after trauma is years of progress and sliding. Recently I have begun to understand more of the reasons I react to certain things I felt didn't have any connection to the childhood trauma of sexual abuse. 

I never understood where my fear of traffic came at such an early age. It was already there when I had a minor traffic accident at sixteen, multiplied, became paralyzing after a severe accident in 2006. I now understand it began when I was five. 

At the age of five until I was ten I was sexually abused by an uncle. Not only was I abused but I witnessed the abuse of other children. My uncle gaslighted me into believing I was the reason for my abuse. I asked for it. I couldn't trust my own sense of right and wrong. I was a bad girl no one would believe. The nightmares and tears that came at bedtime were born from my guilt.

One episode was especially crushing and left a horrific imprint on my brain. I remember the smell of plaster, the sun streaming in from a front porch, my grandfather and father talking on the other side of the wall, a beast violating me while threatening me to be silent. 

It has only been recently that I realized how that childhood trauma comes through in my response to heavy traffic. It takes me back to that plaster room where a man much larger than I imprinted me with fear. I feel like a tiny spec in a house of monsters who rise from the earth in buildings and and growl in engines and speed. Imagine yourself afraid of spiders, being trapped with them crawling over you, across your tongue, attempting to sit still so they won't bite, leave you in agony from their venom. That is a small visual of  part of the bitch trauma has left me with.

It is a miracle I manage to keep any semblance of sanity. I have often apologized for my fear, my inability to drive in large cities or even at times in small ones. I can't keep apologizing. I wouldn't ask you to apologize for your fears. No one, not even my husband, knows how I am trying to keep hold on my sanity. Oh he knows my fear, sees my stress, but he doesn't know the true intensity of the struggle. 

Anyone who suffers from PTSD ( post traumatic stress disorder) may know what triggers episodes, but they can't say with certainty when those triggers will appear. I'm doing the best I can. I can't beat myself up anymore about it. 

_____________________

I've written about my childhood trauma before. You can read more here.


Jul 18, 2017

Where Butterflies Pray ~ Book Release

I'm excited to announce my poetry collection, Where Butterflies Pray, is now available in print and kindle pre-order on Amazon.
Nature has always been at the center of my spiritual journey, and in this book I share poems written from time spent communing with nature.

Nov 11, 2016

Time To Reboot

We need to calm down. We are just as responsible for our words as Donald Trump is for his. I understand the fear and the outrage. He never was or will be my choice to lead the United States, but the louder we scream, the less we will be heard. Also we bought tickets to the media circus and shared their handbills in social media confetti as if there wasn't a lie in any of it.

We can channel some of our outrage into activism. Go out and put our boots on the ground to help those who need us. Instead of just complaining on Facebook and Twitter, write, call, email your senators, representatives, and president elect. Voice your concerns. Call them so often they recognize your number. Voice your concerns to your local and state governments as well. Don't assume just because you voted someone into office he/she will have your best interests when they huddle to write laws.

Complacency got us here. Election after election from local to federal we have stayed home. It has been like, "Give me your worst and I'll hashtag bitch about it, but I won't get off my iPhone to vote."

Yes, we can rally in the streets, but where will we go from there when our feet are sore. It is time to organize, create plans and invite those we don't agree with to come meet on common ground. If for some reason you haven't realized it, politicians want us divided. They fear unity outside their own interests.

The two party system has failed us. It is time for a reboot. The energy to shout only lasts so long. Persistence and dedication to change what hasn't worked takes time. Trump touted he wasn't a Washington insider. Really? His choices appear to crown him the prince of oligarchy. I pray I am wrong. Our government put themselves up for bid and the deepest pockets bought the stock.

We are a nation of different races, religions, sexual orientation. Our survival depends on learning to coexist. Wake up America! We have been sending our servicemen and women to defend freedom, while here we have placed the dynamite to cause our own to implode.



Nov 9, 2016

Time For Ghosts

Oh yes, there are things that go bump in the night. This past Halloween my husband, three wonderful friends and I headed to Galveston, Texas to see if we could connect with ghosts.

I have always been fascinated with the paranormal. The dead walk among us. How do I know? I have seen and heard a few souls who for whatever reason have decided to stay connected to the places where they took their last breath. Finding kindred spirits who also share the same fascination is truly a blessing. So Halloween 2016, my husband Charlie, Jackie Smith, James and Claudette Peercy, and I took our curiosity to Galveston to have our own ghost adventure on a walking ghost tour of the Strand.



On September 8, 1900 a category 4 hurricane hit the island which resulted in massive property damage and estimates of up to 12,000 deaths. The entire physical land of Galveston is in essence a cemetery. When our tour guide shared the tragic history of the island with us, I felt shock, grief, and a heaviness in my spirit.


As our group walked from location to location our guide shared images from the tablet she carried of the hurricane's devastation as well as photos people had captured on their cameras of ghosts in the very spots where we were standing. At one place along the walk I had a strange experience. We had crossed a street and as I stepped up from the curb to the sidewalk I didn't see concrete. I saw green grass. It startled me. I felt disoriented. It lasted only a few seconds, but in that brief time span it appeared I had connected with the past.




I wish I could remember the names of every stop on our tour. Our guide was sharing so much information shop names and buildings blended together. At one location she told us about a lady whose ghostly image would appear on the stairs showcased behind a glass door. She then gave us an opportunity to take pictures. I took my iPhone and began snapping photos. It wasn't until later when reviewing them I found something unexpected near the top of the stairs. I can't say with absolute authority it is a ghost. It certainly appears to be otherworldly  I will leave it for you to ponder and come to your own conclusions.


Read more about our adventures at James Peercy's Blog Stories To Tell
and Jackie Smith's blog Ghosts of Galveston

Mar 18, 2016

Remember ~ #FWF

Credit: We Heart It

Small town America was a big thing in 1953, but Mama didn’t think it was the place to raise her girls. Home was a three room apartment behind a post office with a gravel alley view from the screen door. You could throw a rock at the grocery store, the telephone office, and with a good arm you just might hit the train as it pulled into town.

I’m not sure of the details, but I imagine Mama kept bending my dad’s ear until he thought it was all his idea to buy a tiny house on another gravel road two miles from hectic. I do know moving day left an imprint in my two year old memory. It came with a wagging tail and a yelp.


Gravel Is Gravel


Two years old…
the world no larger than immediate…
I found a house turned into a home
with the wiggle tail welcome of a dog.

Gravel is gravel and dust is dust,
but not to the little girl me who saw
through eyes glittered by magic.

With arms wrapped in fur
life was as gold as a promise,
tears didn’t mean pain, and
memories didn’t play hide and seek.

©Susie Clevenger 2016


(Written for Kellie Elmore's #FWF prompt ~ Earliest Memory)