Tag Veteran With PTSD

The Tale of Heaven and Hell

The Tale of Heaven and Hell

A long time ago, I think I may have been married to my second husband at the time, I was going through a “pre-awakening.” I was still asleep, but I was searching. Searching for something that I thought was bigger than me but eventually found it within myself. I had a strong sense of being different and not belonging. Conventional psychology/psychiatry in my hometown was not helping me grow. Religion had not held the answers I was searching for. My first husband was a Jehovah’s Witness and although it was not for me (apparently neither was he) I learned to look at theories and philosophies and see them from different perspectives. Big pictures.
I went to a past life regression therapist and had an enlightening session although I was still a little skeptical at the time. At the end of the session, he led me on a meditation to see if I had wings. I saw the most magnificent huge Rainbow wings radiating from my body. I could not wrap my head around that vision, but it left an impression and always stayed in the back of my mind. Big Beautiful Stunning Rainbow Wings.
I could not wrap my head around the vision because I was stuck in a negative mindset where I though I was forsaken, everything bad happened because of me and I was a failure that could not do anything right.
I could not look in a mirror without seeing everything that was wrong with me and all my flaws. I lived and breathed my sons, yet my own trauma kept me from being a real mother. I was more of a friend, and I wanted them to love me so badly I made many mistakes. I look back now and know that I did the best I could at the capacity I was able to.
Ever since I was young, I had a desire to serve humanity and a feeling I was different from the rest of my family. I wanted everyone around me to be happy. I felt all of their emotions and often felt like a peacemaker or peacekeeper. I smiled all the time because that is what “good little girls” are supposed to do.
My desire to serve humanity led me to join the Canadian Armed Forces where I dreamed of being a part of something bigger and making a difference.
It did not turn out the way I planned, and I ended up leaving the military with feelings of abandonment, betrayal, and rejection, thinking I had failed and that I was only good enough to be an object for men’s pleasure, it also left me with some amazing skills and abilities to be able to adapt and overcome any situation placed before me. I learned some ridiculously hard lessons through trauma that have allowed me to turn my knowledge into wisdom.
Going public with my story from the Military and my desire to make sure others did not feel alone got met with ostracism, disbelief, and lots of judgment. Assisting others with no framework or understanding of trauma and not realizing or comprehending the fact I could absorb the emotions of others led me to decide I needed to educate myself, research my own trauma and get a better understanding of how to assist others.
I took my 2 young Sons and met the Director of the new nursing program that was starting at Trent University and applied for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Other than wanting to help others I did not have a clue about what I was doing. I was in survival mode, and I wanted a better future for my sons. As much as I wanted to give up, those two kept me going.
There was something in my blood that kept me fighting. My dad tried to instill in my brother and I to be lovers not fighters, but I learned young I had to fight for his attention and love. His Father (my grandfather) had been a boxer and we learned young how to use our fists. I was competent, just not supported or encouraged. I had my grandfather’s boxing Spirit of no matter how many times you get knocked down, you get back up. Sometimes I have tripped and fell down myself and I know its important to get up, dust off and keep going. I also had to acknowledge self-sabotage and how my trauma was affecting all of my relationships.
So, after I literally knocked myself out one day (seriously, I threw a rocking chair, it bounced off the wall, hit me in the head and knocked me out; not sure if my head cracked it or the wall). I had to take a cold hard look at what I wanted and what I was willing to accept in my life. I was in the process of leaving my third husband who thought I was a white devil whore and had awakened me from my Sleeping Beauty-bubble state in more ways than one.
The reconnection to Mother Earth, nature and an introduction to Indigenous Studies provided me with a different perspective on life I was extremely grateful for. The knowledge from the strong, beautiful Women he had introduced me to was what guided me after the cell phone to the side of the head awakened me to the fact, I needed to break free, find myself and look deep within. I had to look in my toolbox and discard the tools that were no longer working for me (metaphorically I had a fisher price hammer and a couple Barbies in there) and get some new upgraded grown up tools.
Boundaries were what I needed, not to mention some self-worth, self-respect, self-value, and some confidence. I had been badly submitted, dominated, and conditioned by my family, my community, my teachers, leaders, and Society at large.
I had been told by my ex-husband and my brother that I could never survive on my own and I was silly enough to believe them at that time.
Everything changed the day I met a man that stood before me like a mirror and somehow radiated back to me (like a mirror) an image of myself that saw how all these previous failures could be reframed into accomplishments. It was like a light switch was turned on. I had been looking for a switch outside of myself in therapy, relationships, compassionate acts, love, and the switch had been inside of me all along. All the lessons in all the hurt and trauma were overwhelming and hard to process but I could see the light in the darkness finally. I was now on a quest to discover what I enjoyed and what I was capable of. The possibilities before me now were infinite and I was looking at the world through child-like eyes where everything was a blessing and opportunity. It was like I was seeing it all for the first time with new eyes.
Something kept taking me back to those rainbow wings. I wrote a lot about rainbows after my mother passed away, picturing her dancing under one.
In my first act of my own rebellion, I decided to get those rainbow wings tattooed on my back. I was going to go big or go home. I challenged myself, went way outside my comfort zone and moved to a city where I knew few people. My friend found me a tattoo artist that turned out to be a Wizard.
I told the Wizard my vision and we discussed the meaning of my wings. I told him they will represent everything I have overcome. Every feather would represent a trauma that taught me a lesson and gifted me with wisdom. I started my wings on my Granddaughter’s 6th birthday and spent 23 hours getting a priceless piece of art tattooed on my back. The process was finished the week of the 20th anniversary of going public about military sexual trauma (which had become a hot issue again 20 years later). The Wizard had provided me with and experience that left me feeling like I was really growing wings. They itched, they peeled, they hurt and sometimes were prickly.
The whole time the Wizard was doing his magic he told me he would also fix my cartoon Pinocchio ship on my lower back I had gotten may years before. Injury forced me to be patient and heal before I could return to cover my ship and I felt like I had just broken my wing I had just grown. The healing journey from my injury involved many lessons that were all for my own benefit and assisted my developmental growth. Later in the year I had a black mysterious ship with a lighthouse placed over my old tattoo. When I saw it finished, I saw my wings as heaven (Angelic and from above) and the ship as hell (darkness and below heaven). The ship was the vessel that would take you down the River Styx if you harmed me. I had dark and light, I had balance.
I sought out the past life regression therapist and went to see him again. It was a joyful day that brought much healing. There I did sessions with him and his beautiful wife and discovered what my rainbow wings meant. He told me I could communicate, with anyone, at any age, at any level and leave an impression, make a difference in their lives. It started to make sense. I always thought I never fit in anywhere. After this I realized I did not fit anywhere because I belonged everywhere. I realized the only person I needed to please, accept and love was myself. The external reward system of society would never lead me to confidence, respect, value or worth, these must all come from within.
My wings remind me to love myself, believe in myself, and to have faith in myself. They are my heaven. My ship is everything I have been through, the rough journey on the Sea of life yet as much as it represents HELL, the lighthouse reminds me to look to the light and reminds me of my wings.
I can go through hell, but heaven will always be with me too.
Balance……….

-Dawn McIlmoyle

-Renegade Lightworker

-August 2021

Victim, Survivour, Hero

I am not a Victim

because I have been

blamed, objectified, dominated, supressed,

seen as a possession or trophy,

had aggression taken out on,

been used as a toy,

and disposed of like a paper plate

when no longer useful.

I am not a Survivour

because I have endured

childhood abuse, sexual abuse,

physical and psychological abuse,

domestic violence, systemic discrimination,

spiritual manipulation, sexual abuse in the military,

assault by police officers, conditioning of fault,

 or uncalled for judgements and public shaming.

I am not a Hero

for sharing my story

so others do not feel so alone.

I recognize I am not the only one and

want to use my pain for purpose

so that something good can come

from the trauma that was imposed upon me.

I only want to turn my darkness to light.

Not outshine anyone.

I have made some bad decisions and choices,

and I have had some imposed upon me.

My choice and my power taken

so that someone else

could feel better about themselves.

These experiences happened.

Good and bad.

It is my responsibility to learn from the pain,

to set boundaries

and to know

what I will and will not accept.

Those that harmed me

have their own journey,

and I have mine.

I will take the knowledge I have gained

from the lessons of hurt and sorrow,

and turn it into wisdom,

So that I can learn

to empower myself to

love, accept and finally believe in

ME.

-Dawn McIlmoyle

-July 2021

After a Break Up

My friend knew I was experiencing some emotions after a bad breakup and suggested I tell myself what I would tell a friend experiencing the same thing and to have compassions for myself. I wrote this after we had our conversation.

A letter to a friend experiencing what I am going through or my daughter if I had one. 

I know you are hurting, and you feel so foolish for having feelings for someone that obviously did not see you the way you saw him.

I know your heart feels like it has been ripped out and stomped on the floor and like you have been stabbed in the back.

I know you gave your everything to someone that was not capable of loving you the way you deserved to be loved.

I know you feel abandoned and rejected.

I know he left you with a bitter taste in your mouth, feeling jaded and not good enough.

I know you believed every word he said and feel stupid for believing his lies.

I know he hurt you very badly in ways no one should be hurt, and he took advantage of your kindness.

I know he used you like a blow-up doll and thinks he got away with it.

But Baby Girl, Girlfriend,

You are a Goddess, A Warrior, A Valkyrie

And none of this is on you.

Because I also know,

You are beautiful,

You are resilient,

You are intelligent,

You are wise,

You are knowledgeable,

You are brave,

You are courageous,

You are fearless

And you are everything he is not.

You have integrity, you have respect.

These are things he will never have, and he hurt you because he knows that. His behaviour and his actions are a reflection on him, not you.  You did nothing wrong.  Believing in someone, loving them, and accepting them completely is not wrong. Seeing the good in them and their inner child is not wrong. Accepting unacceptable behaviour is wrong. 

He preyed on your kindness, put you down for being too good.  He told you that you were too emotional and made you feel bad for things you should never have felt bad about. He tried to make you think your friends were not your friends and then when it all went bad and he got caught, he put it all on you.  Shamed you, blamed you as if he were completely innocent and did nothing wrong.

So, listen to me,

Remember who you were, are, and will be.

Feel the pain, learn the lessons but do not dwell there for too long for he does not deserve those tears you cry. Your energy is much better spent working on making yourself the beautiful light of truth that you are.

You my Queen, will rise again like a Phoenix, move on, and live your life to the fullest with many new experiences. You will change and grow with every new lesson. You will not succumb to stagnation.

For you are pure awesomeness and you will always adapt and overcome.

I know you; I see you

I am here for you

Believe in yourself, Love Yourself the way you always wanted to be loved and Fly like the Angel you are.

Love Always,

A person who has been there and cares……

Reflections part one

This is me and my brother Andy. His birthday is 8 days before mine and we are what is known as Irish twins. Born within a year of each other.
Now the reason I am posting this is because I see a serious flaw I would like to point out. My brother has his dukes up. He was taught that, to be a little fighter and believe me, him and I got into some pretty crazy battles so I learned quick. When we were young my Dad would put the boxing gloves on us and then we would fight. When I started to win it was game over. Couldn’t have the girl beating up the boy. Then Andy got taught he should be a lover not a fighter… Yah well this isn’t about him so we can stop right there.
I got to sit in the background as the girl and hear all these things but I was expected to put on the dress and act differently. It’s un-ladylike to want to fight, it’s not very girly-girl to act that way. So from the start there was a double standard I have had to fight. I have fought so hard to get where I am. I have fought to expose the truth, I have fought to find myself and I have fought for the rights of others to be treated fairly. I have fought for love, love that wasn’t even worth fighting for because fighting was what I knew. I had to fight myself to finally love myself. I am the black sheep of the family for doing what is right because it’s the right thing to do and it’s OK. I cannot fit into a World I was not meant to fit into.
I was taught to be passive, submissive, unasserting, non-resistant, docile. meek, non-aggressive and afraid while my brother got taught right from the start to be dominant and aggressive. Had I not had my Brother I would not have learned how to be a fighter. I also thought that as a girl watching Disney someone was going to rescue me but nope, had to do that myself as well.
I am learning that while I still need to stand up for myself, it is OK to not fight the battle, just let it go as well. Feel the pain, surrender to it and deal. It’s not pretty but the other side sure is…. The other side of the pain, when you realize how beautiful and worthwhile you are, what your value is and the only person you need to impress is yourself.

Freedom

There are a lot of people out there

that take one side and judge.

They see the view of one person only.

They are anti this and pro that.

There is their way or the highway.

They quickly weed their circle of friends

of anyone that does not share

their grandiose views and opinions.

They fail to see any World

except the one they live in.

They are sometimes irrational in their beliefs

and cannot actually tell you

why they are standing that ground.

These people fail to take personal accountability

or admit any wrongdoings.


Then there are the rare gems in the crowd.

That look outside the box,

they get a feel for others,

they listen to all involved.

These diamonds in a World of coal

cannot even form an opinion

as they see the story from all angles.

The big picture presents itself to them,

the consequences, the reprecussions, the wholeness.

These are the people

that fight for the freedom

for you to be your authentic self,

for you to believe what you believe.

These people are the ones

that would lay down their life

to protect truth and innocence.

If they could take your suffering away,

They would.

These are often the outcasts of Society,

The Black Sheep, The Witch, The Crazy Ones.

The ones the majority of Society snubs

because they don’t “Get them.”

These are your Angels, your Gods, your Goddesses,

your Brothers, Sisters, Mothers, and Fathers.

That you have abandoned, forsaken and betrayed.

These are the ones that are still willing

to show you the way

with patience, non-judgment

and LOVE.

We are one

We used to live in villages and knew everyone around us.

People with different viewpoints, different experiences and different knowledge.

You could have an intellectual debate and walk away feeling educated instead of bitter, resentful and not heard.

We could see through the eyes of those around us and understand.

We did not demean or degrade those that thought outside the norm.

We encouraged finding a new way.

Change keeps us from being stagnant, it allows us to grow.

Now we live in an indvidual family unit.

The extended family is relegated to reunions or set family visits.

We go to schools that teach us to compete and to look to others for acceptance instead of teaching us to look for it within.

We put our children that we do not understand into boxes with labels and keep them in a broken system that no serves them no use.

We have erased nature, our main ally from our lives and see it as a “weekend getaway” or something to own and possess.

We have lost our understanding of those around us due to selfish, egocentrical behaviour that is me, me, me and take, take, take until givers have absolutely nothing left to give.

We used to be united

As an Earth

As a Country

As a Community

As a Family

and within ourselves.

Yet as the World moves father away

It seems we are divided, at each others throats, unable to see any way but our own.

Fear has been a mitigating factor

Fear of Failure

Fear of Change

Fear of the Unknown

Fear of other Cultures

We were not meant to be stuck in one way,

repeating the cycles of 5125 years.

We are to end the division

Stop being afraid

Accept the change

and come together in Unity.

All colours, all races, all genders, all religions/faiths, all creeds.

We are all one

We are all children of the same Universe

We all inhabit our Mother the Earth that provides for us.

We were all meant to learn from one another.

Not tear each other apart for being different.

We have different knowledge, different experiences, different attitudes

yet we are all Spirits having a human existence here.