When the retreat is over: 10 signs to let you know your withdrawing!

Being a healer is more than just burning sage. It is a call to action, its a conjuring up, it is a witches brew of personal freedom and collective liberation. It is about being reparations when the state refuses, its about restoration of the spirit in a world that depletes it, its about regeneration of a peoples collective body in the aftermath of institutional oppression and its about the rebirth of nations and countries breaking the chains of internalized oppression. The smoke of sage is a spiritual call to action sending signals to our ancestors to hold us, to clear pathways, to keep us safe, to ground and root us as we fight in this human world.

Inspired by the work I did during the Black Womens BluePrint Truth and Reconciliation Commission this week and my bday this Friday. This Blog is dedicated to all the testifiers and participants of last weeks event and victims and survivors leading organizations and movements.

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When the retreat is over: The feeling of WITHDRAWAL is Real. 

More and more of us, osisterhoodrganizers, social workers, victims and survivors are creating and attending events, workshops, retreats and trainings conjuring up, providing healing, opening up spaces within, listening to stories untold, making us think of things buried and hidden and holding up mirrors so we can step into another sisters shoes and another world.

These spaces can be magical because we are in community and sisterhood, people finally see and hear us and we feel like finally we belong to something. Two, three and four days we role deep, we see familiar faces and create new friendships, anything is possible, we build, we politic, we cry, we laugh and  we connect to what seems like the entire world and our lives all of a sudden make sense and THEN IT’S OVER!

Without preparation, we go back! We take airplanes, trains and automobiles back to our lives. Maybe for the first couple of days since the event we are high on life, doing, being in action with what we heard and what we realized about ourselves in relation to the world, we now have purpose!

But for many of us we go home afraid and in fear, we are exhausted from hearing  or telling of stories of violence and coming face to face with our biggest fears. Some of us may even feel a spiritual withdrawal feeling depleting energetically. While some of us go home  to only be reminded that there is no one there and you are now sitting with your “NEW NORMAL”. 

After hearing so many stories of violence you may have gotten triggered and found that you came home with an extra backpack full of your own story, full of questions about your past and future. What shaped me? Where is my community? Whose my tribe?

WITHDRAWING from these spaces is REAL and the feelings are pretty much like withdrawing from sugar, addiction and dis-ease. Our bodies go through physical, mental, emotional and spiritual withdrawal when we have to transition from healing spaces back into our personal lives.If you find your self going through some of these withdrawal symptoms know you are not CRAZY and you are not ALONE. 

10 Emotional Withdrawal Signs

  1. We find ourselves in bed wanting to sleep all day or have trouble sleeping because we are having vivid memories or nightmares.
  2. We don’t feel like we have energy to talk to anyone so we emotionally cut ourselves off. 
  3. The “New Normal” has us believing that no one understands us or everyone can see our story written on our faces.
  4. We don’t know how to explain what we experienced?
  5. We get real busy and may just want to forget so we avoid ourselves in every corner or mirror and avoid any possibility of thinking.
  6. We walk around getting triggered, upset, anxious and nervous. Seeing violence and our story in everything and everyone.
  7. We may even go back to disassociating or self care that includes by picking up addiction in our lives.
  8. We live our life as if the violence we have experienced is currently  happening  to us everyday. RIGHT NOW! 
  9. We go home and we are not the same person and we start to find fault in our relationship and partners and even make ourselves wrong.
  10. We feel shame, guilt, blame, disappointment and resentment and are now on constant guard.

Returning back and leaving such sacred spaces may present amazing healing and transformation and also pose major challenges we are never quite prepared for. We may find it difficult to not only be ourselves but we may not even know or start questioning who we are? How will we disclose to our friends and family our new story that maybe something happened in our past that has resurfaced? Do we tell, will they understand? How do we go back to being a wife, and a mother, a partner and  a lover when we realize we ourselves are victims of abuse  and violence and everyone feels like a perpetrator right now?  Will we be able to pick up where we left off?

Going from safe spaces back into an unsafe world is hard, but you are not going crazy and you are not alone. Please Stay connected, reach out and in the future get someones phone number who attended the event with you and set up a time to keep in touch or find them on social media and reach out. Do something bigger than you so you can stop focusing on your own story. Support your body in emotional release so you can physically release trauma by doing exercise, crying, shaking, punching pillows. Light candles to stay connected to your inner light and create an altar for you and your ancestors asking for compassion and strength on this journey of grieving who we were, knowing that this too shall pass.

NYC April 28 – May 1, 2016

NYC  Healer @ Black Women’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission on Sexual Assault

On Thursday the first Black Women’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission will convene in New York City. Intergenerational survivors will speak about their experiences and we will collectively interrogate the history of accepted sexual violence against Black women in America.
 View the Public Program: http://bit.ly/201FrB9.
For centuries, the rape and terrorization of Black women’s bodies was legal for the generation of wealth and labor. We hold these atrocities in our folklore, cellular memory, and spirits. Our bones are oh so tired of waiting for someone to enact justice on our behalf and on behalf of our ancestors.
We are ready to take action. The Black Women’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission, is visioning justice and calling for it ourselves.
 “We are the ones we have been waiting for and no one else is coming.”
‪#‎BelieveBlackWomen‬ ‪#‎VisioningJustice‬

CALL TO ACTION: TOMORROW WE NEED healers from 9-1 and 1-5 to be a container and a witness and to hold the directions. Call or Text DEE 9143571430 if you can come through! If you cant physically make it you can hold space, send reiki, be in prayers and light a candle from where ever you are at! Post a picture, send us an affirmation or create a video and let us know how you supporting from where you are at? Help us set an intention for women and girls and generations of Truth Telling and undoing the LIES that the tell us!

REMINDER: Our Location for Thursday, April 28, 2016
The Black Women’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Witnessing and Testifying: The Right to Truth and the Duty of Memory
Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10027
Please continue to access the online, live and public program by clicking here anytime.
Directions to the Riverside Church:
(490 Riverside Drive and 120th Street)
The Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive
New York, New York 10027
212-870-6700
The Riverside Church is located on Riverside Drive and 120th Street near Columbia University where Harlem and the Upper West Side meet. (120th Street is also named Reinhold Niebuhr Place.) The Claremont Avenue entrance (91 Claremont Avenue) is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Directions by Subway
Take the #1 IRT Broadway Local to 116th Street. Walk north along Broadway (passing Barnard College on the left) to 120th Street (Reinhold Niebuhr Place). Turn left and walk one block to (Claremont Avenue). 91 Claremont is one half block north of 120th Street on the left hand side of the street. If the IRT Broadway Express (#2 or #3 IRT) is taken uptown from midtown Manhattan, be sure to change at 96th street for the local train.
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Directions by Bus
Take the M-104, M-4 or M-5 to 120th or 122nd Street.
For further information about bus and subway routes, click here for more information or call 718.330.1234.
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Directions by Car
HENRY HUDSON PARKWAY NORTHBOUND—take the 96th Street Exit to Broadway, turn left onto Broadway. Continue North to 120th Street. At 120th, turn left. For the 91 Claremont Ave. entrance, continue one block, and turn right onto Claremont. For the 490 Riverside Drive entrance, continue two blocks, and turn right onto Riverside Drive.
HENRY HUDSON PARKWAY SOUTHBOUND—take the 125th Street Exit. Drive straight to 125th Street. Turn left onto 125th Street. Take 125th Street to Broadway. (You’ll see the elevated train tracks at Broadway.) Turn right onto Broadway and go to 120th Street (Reinhold Niebuhr) and turn right. The church is one block west of Broadway.
TRIBOROUGH BRIDGE TO MANHATTAN—Take 125th Street Exit. Take 125th Street to Broadway. Turn left on Broadway, drive to 120th Street (Reinhold Niebuhr). Turn right. The church is one block west of Broadway.
Parking
The Claremont Avenue Garage is operated by Rapid Park Inc., 212.866.1000, and is open to the public during the following hours:
Monday through Sunday 7:00 a.m.—12:00 midnight
The garage is located beneath the church’s South Wing. The entrance is on 120th Street between Riverside Drive and Claremont Avenue. There is a fee for parking.
https://www.google.com/…/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x89c2f640…

A Woman In the Pursuit of Justice

Rusia Naureen Mohiuddin was born in Bangladesh in 1973, the year that two important cases dominated the United States news: Roe vs. Wade and the start of the Watergate hearings. She was born an identical twin, the pair born in the middle of four siblings. She says her journey towards social justice causes came before she was 13 years old.

Crossing Paths: Immigrant Children Traveling  Across Borders

As I wrap my head around what I am witnessing I realized that the work being done with the children crossing the borders is so out of context of these children lives and where these children are coming from politically. As they have crossed over borders the institutions treating and serving them are using US based, mainstream models of psychotherapy, mental health, social work, psychology …

Do these models do more harm than good? The answer has always been yes, whether in conversation of immigrants or migrants and native people to this own land and people of color in general in the US.