this wish already came true
I have so much to write about, my Dad’s arrival (safe and sound) last night, of course my trip with all the gorgeous photos I took. Yet I wake up this morning with something else on my mind so I’m going with it.
I love two things about this morning. A. I woke up after a solid 7.5 hours sleep, the first in over a week and B. I woke up feeling so excited to hop out of bed to write. I spent several months not feeling excited about much of anything when I woke up in the morning, missing myself in that way. But a constellation of ingredients has changed that; starting with my Dr. telling me I was in severe adrenal exhaustion a couple weeks ago and giving me an adrenal formula saying “this will either be night and day for you almost immediately or you won’t feel much but keep taking it anyway”. Luckily I fell in the first category. I love my dear Dr. Peace in every possible way. Well you know, every possible appropriate way.
Anyway, what I’ve got on my mind this morning is born out of this Facebook post I made yesterday:
I hereby declare that the Era of Men Treating Kathy Monkman like Crap has drawn to a close. I do not regret to inform you that you’ve been replaced, your roles reassigned. Any stragglers will be shown to the exits by my team of bodyguards. Now go on. Git. Thank you for your swift cooperation.
I don’t want to revisit the past but let me just say this. I’ve been successful in most areas of my life; work wise definitely, friends wise, school wise, good luck all around me in finding the right house/office/important things have come easy to me. All my life really. All except in the area of romantic relationships where all my screwedupness has landed or so I’ve said. It all just seemed to reside in that dark corner. I can dig back and tell a story that seemingly explains it all. But in reality, do any of us really know the whys and wherefores? And if we did, does it really matter?
What matters is change. Not insight.
Pretty bold statement huh? Well, it’s what I believe.
I’ve tried dating different kinds of men, ones I wouldn’t have considered, ones who were so nice that surely they are out of my pattern, not dating for months or even years, focusing on other things, reading books, seeking guidance, blah blah freaking blah. Lots of trying. I’m not one who gives up easily. And I am a person who believes, deep down, that I can fulfill all of my dreams. I also believe most anything can be healed.
Alfonse and I stepping on to the bridge making a wish together the other day
Which is why I’m successful professionally I think. My belief system. In 25 years of practicing Myofascial Release I have almost never run in to something that I didn’t think could really completely correct. I think people feel my confidence and are drawn to it. And it’s not contrived. It’s really the way I think.
I’m not talking about a confidence in myself. I’m talking a confidence in the power of healing and the mystery of the human body. And it’s own power to self correct.
So let me take this one step further which is the belief that the mind exists everywhere in the body. And if the body believes something, the mind will follow. If that belief system is “I’m broken” that’s what the consciousness will go along with. If the belief system is “I’m freeing up”, then the mind follows that.
It’s kind of a backwards way of looking at things for many people but it’s one I truly and deeply believe in. From my own experience.
I’ve written about my recovery from severe anxiety/panic disorder using Myofascial Release as my primary modality (I didn’t know about Watsu yet but having it to do over, I would choose that right up there with MFR). I was a Psychiatric Nurse when that all hit as the assistant head nurse on a busy Psychiatric unit in a hospital. And I was as screwed up as some of the patients having constant panic attacks, sometimes even at work. Covering it all up best I could.
I tried so many things familiar to me then, medication/hospitalization/counseling/hypnosis, you name it. I went aggressively after this. I was in my 20’s and nearly housebound at times. It was bad.
Yet the way this finally left me, was out of my body. Then my mind followed. That’s just how it happened. I had to go after it through my body and what was stuck there and that’s when the relief started coming in. I could go on and on about that but it’s not what I came here to write about this morning.
A couple of days ago, after returning from The Ranch, I got to thinking about my “man life” right now. I started looking around myself 360 degrees and this is what I saw:
I saw that I’d just returned from this week where a man, yes a man, a gorgeous hunky sweet man, treated me like a Princess the entire time. Unsolicited, unexpected. Just because he wanted to. He’d rearranged his entire schedule to be there for me, ate meals with me, attended to needs I wasn’t even thinking about. It all just kind of blew me away. Before that I’d only really met him once and most of that time was in silence with me under the water. Then a little correspondence here and there, and then all that.
Then I looked around my home when I got back. Steve had been house sitting. I saw every room ten times neater and cleaner than how I’d left it in my whirlwind to get out of town. I saw the new hot water heater he’d gone through great pains to get installed which ended up in a huge hassle even though I thought I’d set it all up easily. I saw two rooms upstairs that he completely reworked and organized for me as we’d discussed, including rearranging furniture. I saw my back patio all cleaned up from the debris I’d left there after pulling weeds the weekend before. I saw my frig reorganized. I also talked to my brother who, when he picked me up at the airport, was doing much better than when I’d left. When I asked why he said “I hung out with Steve a lot”. Steve took him shopping for my birthday present, to dinner, went to dinner at his house. Looked after Alfonse along with my house.
Speaking of Alfonse, he picked me up with a smile, his usual huge hug. The next day took me to lunch and gave me the greatest soft pink fluffy robe. He is THE BEST gift giver. He remembered I was always wearing his huge terry cloth robe in Sedona and figured I needed a big one myself. He is so thoughtful! My brother always sees the best in me..always. He truly loves me unconditionally and no matter how moody I can get around him, he just lets it all go.
I looked on my dining table and there was a huge bouquet from my boys in Sedona–Rob and Sean. The white shabby chic style they know I love.
These boys take such good care of me always. I got a text from Rob yesterday asking if I wanted to go see Fleetwood Mac with him over the holidays in Vegas. Yes! Of course! A road trip with Rob? I better do some ab workouts for the laughter that will ensue. We have so much in common–music, food, fun (just bummed Sean has to work). To have someone I can travel with who I get along with seamlessly? And who I can really talk to about anything?
laughing remembering Rob saying “is that a wig?” when I came out to head to dinner that evening
Then of course there is my Dad who also loves me unconditionally. I can’t think of a time, ever, when I’ve felt judged by my father. Not one. I can think of a time when he got disappointed in me but that’s even a stretch. I can also talk to my Dad about ANYTHING and that’s basically been my whole life. I mean sex, the pot I used to smoke, relationships, every delicate subject we talk about. For hours. I’m sure I take it for granted sometimes but I shouldn’t. My Dad is the best listener of any person I know and he wants to know. The details even. He asks a gazillion questions because he’s just so curious.
So here I was, turning my head 360 degrees around my man-sphere the other day and realized, I’m being treated like a Goddess! I knew in every cell of my body that those days are over. The days of bad men, men who don’t appreciate me, men who’ve used and abused me, men who’ve disrespected me, lied to me, been primarily takers. It’s hard to even write all of that because that person, ME, the person who drew that in, is gone. I can feel it.
To further illustrate this “mind follows the body” thing, I’d like to share a little piece I wrote while down at the Ranch at a watercolor workshop where the instructor started us with writing. She told us to just write for ten minutes and not let the pen stop no matter what. She said start with the phrase “I don’t remember” then go from there. When finished, we read them out loud. This is what came through that day:
I don’t remember much of anything about my mother.
I think most all of my conscious memories have come to me in dreams. My body remembers though. I know it does.
Sebastian’s soft caress in the pool today, the way he smoothed the hair from my face like a baker carefully stretching a fragile pie crust. The tender care with which he wrapped my body in the towel. Then the second towel for my hair, rubbing it dry–telling me to run inside so I don’t catch cold. My body remembers these things. My mind opens doors one after the other, some locked, some ajar, to welcome his touch as it meets my memories.
Body memories are a funny thing–the ones you long for the most can be those same ones that bring a near panic when they start to surface. “You can have this now” my mother whispers to the five year old me through his touch. “You can have this now”.
I say I don’t remember, but I do. I do remember. Her, her touch, her smell, her smile, her love. It’s all deep inside me, in once locked rooms, now bending open.
My mind is following my body and all I say is you know when something has left you.
Just like I knew, at age 30, that I would not be having to worry about breast cancer in this lifetime. That was a huge deal seeing that my mother was deceased of breast cancer at age 36. Everyone around me worried.
“I’m going to need to refer you to a surgeon” Dr. George spoke slowly and deliberately in to my answering machine that day. But that day is the important part of that sentence. I’d just gotten off the witness stand, testifying in the first of Cindy’s murder trials, that day. On the lunch hour I checked in for messages and that’s what I heard. A surgeon, something showed up in my mammogram. My first mammogram ever.
Like a good little soldier I followed his advice, strangely though not feeling much of any fear. I figured I have so many emotions on my plate right now, I’m just going through the motions on this one. But that would be wrong. I really had no fear on this.
I met with the surgeon, he showed me the “microcalcifications” in a “cluster”. Explained why this was dangerous and had to come out. I made the appointment for the biopsy, continued attending the trial with my family. Maybe I was downplaying it thinking of my father, having lost his wife at age 35 to this horrible disease, sitting in the murder trial for his first born, now hearing this. Yeah, we’ve been through a lot.
The week before the biopsy was to happen a very wise friend asked me a very wise, life changing wise, question. “Does this biopsy really feel right in your body? Like something you need?”. I had never even considered that–what was right for me.
I got very quiet and went inside and asked that question and the answer was a resounding “NO”. I was 30 years old with the family history I had. It wasn’t fear, it was a warning. What it felt like was that the surgery would actually be potentially harmful in terms of stirring something up.
The next day, not telling anyone, I cancelled the biopsy explaining I’d like to just watch this. I’d be willing to do mammograms every 6 months to stay on top of this but it was my very first mammogram and I felt it was premature.
The following week, after some pleading phone calls, I received letters from both my Gynecologist and Surgeon that they were firing me over this risky decision. It was very clear they were afraid I was playing Russian Roulette giving my family history and they couldn’t support me.
So I went about finding someone who would. And I did.
I found a female Naturopath, Farra Swan, and explained my situation. She talked with me for a long time then said “as long as you understand the risks, I will do this with you and we’ll watch it then take it further if we need”. That’s all I needed. Someone to order the monitoring and she was willing.
I’ll never forget after two years of these every six month mammograms, the message she left on my machine:
“Kathy, before I send you this report, I’m just going to read this to you. Since there has been no change in two years, this can be now ruled out as a suspicious lesion“. I think I even heard tears in her eyes. She participated in a miracle, listening and supporting me.
I returned from my trip last week to this report-I had my routine mammogram the week before I left:
Those microcalcifications are now gone. They’ve been gone for twenty years actually. My body just reabsorbed them and they never returned. I’ve been having clean mammograms for two decades. I listened to my body and it cooperated.
As a post script, I later learned that Dr. George’s wife had recently lost her long battle with breast cancer at the time he fired me as his patient. Of course he couldn’t tolerate my decision. I can’t blame him.
This is what I mean about trusting the body. I knew I didn’t really have a problem there. I knew stirring up that pot with a surgery could create a problem and to leave it alone. I knew I was going to be fine. I have other hills to climb in this life but breast cancer isn’t one of them. I think I’ve known that since I was very young actually. We always know if we can dig deep enough.
The types of therapies that honor and include or emphasize the body are the ones that work best for me for this reason. I took to the Watsu like a mermaid to water, my therapist I see now is trained in Somatic Experiencing which is why I sought her out and found her three minutes from my house. Imagine that. Of course my own work is all about the body too.
So when I looked around my life at the men the other day and saw the reality of what I’m attracting NOW, I realized that era has ended. It ended quietly and softly without some big last straw experience. It just completed itself and I got rewarded with Sebastian, Steve, Rob, Sean, Jeff my crepe chef, Martin at the Ranch who insisted on a second cake and looked in to my eyes telling me how beautiful he sees me, Dr. Peace, my brother, my Dad, any number of men that are floating all around me right now adoring me and showering me with their unique form of man-love.
It wasn’t a “I’m going to make this happen” move on my part. It wasn’t a culmination of affirmations or saying “I know what I’m worth!” (believe me, I’ve tried those things). It was something more subtle, more organic, changing in my cells from just following my body and things that feel right, profound even.
Then I opened my eyes and looked around in to a new world.
The whole package is on his way. I can feel that too. I’m in no rush. I’m getting ready.
And he will be all of the above and more (and by more I mean great sex, ok?). I mean, keepin it real!
In the meantime though, I’m happy as a clam, basking in all this radiance.
Enjoying every minute.