Monday, March 6, 2017
Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Reclaim Self Worth!
"Perhaps more than the physical torture you experienced," Jeffrey Spratt,MT said to me during one of our transformational massage therapy sessions, is the emotional, mental and spiritual suffering you endured."
Despite having been an award winning social worker at the VA and knowing I changed and saved many lives, I've struggled with feeling my self worth - especially as a woman.
We have so many messages bombarding us from our culture about what it means to be a woman although I must say the tide has recently turned. As women we tend to measure ourselves against the cultural standard of what it means to be beautiful. After contracting paralytic polio and having my mother and grandmother cart me off to the hairdressers to have my beautiful long hair chopped off into a pixie cut because they couldn't be bothered with taking care of it (or me) I internalized this feeling of being ugly. Wearing an ankle to hip metal leg brace, being on crutches and having my classmates taunt and tease me did not do much to help with my self worth. The proverbial icing on the cake at having my self worth eroded away came when I was raped from the ages of 8-13 and then "beaten into the middle of next week" and subjected to torture rituals by family members.
Herein lies the grace. Body workers I went to before Jeffrey were into domination, humiliation and passive aggressive behaviors that were reminiscent of the relationships I had with my family members. They used what we like to call a one lever approach to treatment focusing on implementing a method taught to them by a self proclaimed guru. No wonder I could not get traction on my healing journey. Part of the problem was definitely within me because I did not believe that I was worthy and deserving of healing.
I was blessed to meet Ryan J. Means, DC in February of 2015. All of the poetry that poured forth from my subconscious yearning for healing, freedom, reclaiming my life and running unencumbered and free as well as imagining the kind of healer I wanted to partner with came into being. Ryan told me in words, actions and with his incredible healing and skillful hands that it was my time! That I was worthy and deserving of "the royal treatment," as he once said to me as he took extra time and care with me.
And then, two months later I was blessed to cross paths with Jeffrey who every week reminds me how deserving I am of healing, of the power of positive quality touch and how beautiful, strong and amazing I am. I marvel at what we are creating together to heal lives through the power of positive quality touch.
Today I received a bulletin from the Blinded Veterans Association. Funny how after all these years I am still on their mailing list. Early on in my career I received a Certificate of Appreciation from the BVA for all I'd done to build the program and to ensure that blinded veterans were receiving the care and benefits they deserved. I received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Former Prisoners of War for the work I did with their group at the Causeway Street Outpatient Clinic and the work I did meeting with the POW's and their wives to support them as they struggled with aging, PTSD and a decline in functioning.
I was Social Worker of the Year and Employee of the Month.
I established the Telefriend Program which provided outreach to at risk veterans. My volunteer was a visually impaired veteran who suffered a massive stroke and could no longer work as Chief of Pharmacy for the City of Boston. He had a new lease on life as he provided peer support and we worked together to on some days save lives and on other days be a lifeline for otherwise elderly, frail, housebound veterans.
Until Jeffrey and I cleared out the beliefs that were a result of the conditioning I experienced as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma, I could not fully embrace and experience my beauty, all the good I have done and continue to do and my self worth.
But now I can -- reclaim my advantage! Reclaim my life! and Reclaim my self worth! As Eleanor Roosevelt so eloquently said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." I withdraw my consent from anyone making me feel inferior ever again!
To your health and wellness,
My latest book, 'Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance' is available on Amazon chronicling my journey to health and wellness as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma and a woman who refused to quit!