Mom’s Sick. Dad’s Abusive. I Have Let Go.

Guest post by Jenni Z

My mother is very sick, and no one quite knows what’s wrong. She has flu-like paralytic episodes which leave her weak. Her voice becomes froggy and scratchy. She’s been tested for just about everything, but there has been no firm diagnosis yet.

The sicker she has become the more I have been able to clearly see the depths of my father’s abuse. His nonchalance regarding her medical care is really the tip of the iceberg in an ice-cold sea of psychological and emotional abuse. It has become the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I am the camel.

I couldn’t do it anymore. I could no longer act like everything was fine. That this is just the way he is and I needed to quit being dramatic. At least he’s not physically abusive, right?

Wrong.

So I began to pull back. I started to work on myself. Because I am the only person I can control.

I put boundaries between my parents and me. If you’ve ever dealt with a narcissist you know that isn’t easily done. Any boundary you put up they will barge right through with ‘how dare you do this to me’ entitlement.

The more I pulled back, unfortunately and unsurprisingly, the sicker my mother became. From the time I was a very young girl, she needed me to withstand my father’s abuse. I can see now how unfair it is to impose that responsibility on a child.

I ended up having to cut ties with my father completely. I feel like he left me no choice. I was falling apart. Anxious (still am, extremely so) and constantly afraid. What was I so afraid of? As I thought more about this I realized I couldn’t ever remember not being afraid to some degree.

I finally had an epiphany. A slow epiphany of sorts because it took me all of these years to get to this point. Here I was in my late 30’s, and I still worried about making my parents, especially my father, mad. Walking on eggshells. Trying to do what I could, only to be told it wasn’t good enough. That epiphany helped me realize something.

He can not hurt me if I do not allow him to hurt me.

So what if I make my dad mad? His opinions, actions, moods, and abuse do not have to dictate how I feel. In fact, they can have no bearing on me whatsoever, if I don’t allow them the power.

Though it was extremely hard, I put a shield up against him and his attacks. I blocked him on Facebook. I blocked his number on my phone. I no longer let him in my house. Not that he tried to contact me often. Most of the contact was usually done though my brother or my mother. My brother texted me often to tell me how bad of a daughter I was.

I imagine cutting off contact with him probably made him treat my mother worse. I’m sure he took his anger out on her. I feel tremendous guilt over this. I should be able to protect her. But it is not my duty.

Because I am not the one abusing her.

Though they would have me believe the opposite, I am not the one at fault, and I cannot be held responsible for fixing an non-fixable situation. I have no control over how my mother chooses to live her life. I have no control over how my father treats her. I can’t force her to leave him. Just as I can’t make my father see how abusive he is. I can only protect myself. If I did allow contact then that would, in a way, condone his behavior as I would be forced to I sit idly by and watch it happen. Not to mention he would think it’s okay to be abusive towards me again.

Going from doctor to doctor my mother ended up at the Cleveland Clinic. After going over her records and doing some tests, the doctor asked how her childhood was. It was probably no surprise to the doctor that her childhood was pretty rough. Of course, he wasn’t going to ask how her marriage was with my father sitting right there, though I suspect the doctor knew. He knew how years of abuse can affect the human body.

As it happens far too often, my mother went from an abusive childhood straight into an abusive marriage. She was barely 18 when she married my father. She’s now 65.

She doesn’t think that her illness is psychosomatic. And, who knows, it might not be, but she doesn’t think her emotional health has any bearing on her physical health.

Yet, it does. The body carries trauma. We find ways to cope, to excuse away the abuse. The brain may allow us to forget, tucking it safely away in the hippo campus, but our bodies don’t forget.

I imagine if you add up 65 years of abuse it can do a real number on your nervous system. The weakness she keeps having, the body aches, the scratchy voice; it all tells a story.

Her body is screaming loudly what her voice can’t actually say.

I still maintain a relationship with her, though it is quite different than it used to be. I am no longer the codependent daughter she was accustomed to having.

Letting go and coming to terms with the reality of my family dynamic has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Knowing I can’t change my father, that I can’t make him see the error of his ways and accepting that I can’t fix or save my mother has been simultaneously heartbreaking and freeing.

Ultimately I had to step away from their dysfunction and relinquish their power over me so that I can heal.

Never Doubt Your Instincts


Enter the doorway into the mind of this incredible Survivor Voice

Jenni Z Official


Jenni Z aka artgirlcreations, is an artist and art journal creator who, through her multi-layered collage work and raw writing, explores ways to cope with her anxiety disorder, as well as the trauma she suffered as a child. Language, art and color lead the way through the muck of her past, as well as bridge the gap to a more mentally healthy future.

The Eye Of the Mother

This past decade has been filled with many turns in the bumpy road I have traveled. I have pushed through deep depressions and sad realizations about this human existence. I have absorbed and grown my mindfulness and ability to receive and give love.

I have waded through dissociative disorder peaks, organizing the many compartments of my mind and doing the work to continue the integration of my brain. I have had situations which left me riddled with deep hurt. I spent time grieving, as twice I lost individuals who are extremely dear to me.

My heart has ached. I trudged through the self-accountability of learning how to re-parent adult children. I accepted and owned my own parental failures as lessons, not losses. I faced myself and my own behaviors, including how they affected those around me. I held all of my shame in my palms. I cried the guilt out of my soul, letting it release and evaporate into the soft air of Puget Sound.

My. Rainier, WA

I lamented lost loves. I clawed my way out of self-abusive behaviors and self-deprecating lifestyles. I ejected people from my life in order to preserve my own mental health and balance. I purged the pain of these difficult decisions. I endured the aftermath of their rage and blame. I stayed rooted within myself.

The decade came to an end with a bang. I realized how much I have risen, as I remained valiantly standing quietly in my truth. My defenses don’t matter anymore, only my boundaries. I have congratulated myself for making this much progress thus far.

There are many roads still left for me to travel. I am writing out the dusted shelves holding more memories behind closed doors in my brain. I am stepping through each door as they open, scribing out the facts and conversations holding answers to my existence and childhood experiences.

This life has been surreal. Being a cult child has been an experience which has let me feeling like I lived a life separate from my current existence. I am my own investigative journalist diving into my DNA as I retrieve the memories my trauma has hidden from me until I was ready to receive them. Unfolding into myself requires a specifically calm environment. I have learned to demand this space.

I had a plan to do an intentional painting on New Year’s Day. I wanted to move into this new decade setting more intentions of my body, mind and spirit continuing to heal.

Yet, when a baby is on its way in a family, they have a mind of their own when it comes to arrival. Hence, my fifth grandchild decided to enter the world on January 31st. I placed the painting plans aside to be with my family as new life arrived.

Zephyr; a gentle breeze

She is a peaceful, quiet little one. I am thankful that our forward generation grows and builds itself with love. Growing up without any family, I cherish these children, and the many ways they bring me moments of smiles and love, reminding me that good childhoods exist.

When mom arrived back home and settled in to rest, I returned to my original intention of creating my new decade painting.

I set up my camera on high speed mode to record the process so I could both share it and look back on what emerged. I also like to view through my phone as I’m creating art, as it gives me a different perspective and can inspire new ideas.

I sat down with a blank canvas, gathering old paints which were soon to expire, wanting to utilize them efficiently. I had no plan in my mind of what I would create. I closed my eyes, connected to my spirit, breathed deeply and began.

I first began to release a figure representing past pain, dark and brooding, filled with thick mire and a shrinking, red heart. Then I paused again and with another exhale I let my tools begin to cover the darkness, birthing new layers through space, dimension and color.

I built up the color, seeing the eye of my spiritual mother, hearing the soft whispering of her gentle words from within my own cells, leading me to the infinite parts of my existence and exploding above the path which is my way forward.

The Process Of Creating;

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Eye Of the Mother

It is unknown, what is to come. With a heart of hope, I stand inside my authenticity. I am formed from the gravel my spirit has pushed its way up through. I have swam inside of the depths of this human abyss with only my nose barely above death, to breathe and stand here in silence.

I have no resolutions going forward. My intention is softly rooted within my heart, my bones, my skin and my brain. May we all look toward ourselves with a love and patience blooming with self acceptance.

While the road is unclear in the distance, I move forward with persistence. I am protected by the gradients of my own inter-dimensional existence. This journey on earth, while often brutal, is filled with the wonder of infinite possibilities. I will not be broken.

Let go of that which no longer serves you. Accept the new without fear.

Knowing Maude Seven: Part One

Before She Fell by Vennie Kocsis acrylic on canvas Purchase at: vennie-kocsis.pixels.com

They are standing at the opening of the portal.  The inside is covered in shimmering red, glistening like fresh, wet blood. Knowing’s body is a dancing synergy of color.  Her face occasionally emerges, what appears to be a human imitated smile, or an occasional soft glimpse of eyes.

She is ready.” Knowing thinks to them.

Maude Seven nods in agreement.

She is indeed.”

Maude’s long black hair waves gently, like a layer of silk.  She is tall. At least 6 feet.  She has porcelain skin.  Her eyes are as midnight as her hair.  She is wearing a deep blue dress, floor length and regal.  It almost blends into the mineral on the inside of the portal, which shimmers with silver flecks.

Knowing floats around Maude as they observe the girl.

Serious.  That is the best way to describe the child.  Serious and focused.  The girl is dressed in many layers of clothing, under garments layered over tights under loose fitting pants, covered by a thick long dress and finished off with a floor length overcoat.  Her skin has been painted with a coating of plasma to protect her entrance.

You are my beautiful daughter.” Maude smiles as she extends her hand to the girl.

Yes. I am.” The girl replies, wrapping her Mother’s fingers in hers.

Knowing moves between their bodies, floating and submerging them with her brilliant, colorful light.

She will be an anomaly they have never encountered.” Maude holds her daughter’s face between her hands.

You, my precious princess, will lend yourself to the humans.  It is time.  They need our kind. You will not be long.  You will let them extract what they must. Then return to us.”

A solitary tear slips down each side of the girl’s eyes.  She is already changing, showing human characteristics, yet she doesn’t feel the emotion matching the liquid running from her eyes. It is foreign and she feels disconnected from the watery substance. She is keenly aware that she is heading into an unknown dimension for which she has trained through mazes, with feet for hands and hands for feet, shifting and shaping, leaping walls inside the darkest dimensions.  She has slain creatures inside the blackness and once curled beside a beast who sheltered her from rain which was thick as tar.

She has learned of the seen and unseen.  She has studied the movement of the humanoids like small spiders, ants, these creatures who destroy one another with their very steps.  To become one of them.  She wonders what it will look like.  What it will smell like.  More, what they will do to it. It matters not. Ultimately, in the end, Mother will always be waiting.  Knowing will be inside of her.  These humanoids, their evolving, is the next level.

Maude has explained pain.  The girl nods but does not know this feeling.  Maude explains that she will survive.  Maude uses words like “hard” and “daunting“.  The girl looks into her eyes with silence and acceptance.  She listens.  She knows that soon, she will come to understand the meanings of Mother’s words so she files them into the categories to be opened throughout the mission.

Knowing is reading the girl’s thoughts. Knowing projects her own simultaneously to Maude and the girl.

They will attempt to destroy it.  They will enact the horrors which humanoids do. They will study it, watch it, follow it, but we have all in place, for it will be a girl child who will endure and rise.  Unknown to them we send a sovereign.  The DNA they will use to recreate what they hope will find the memory of her own and contact home when it is time, will actually open the portal.  There is no doubt of this.  First, the mission, to deliver your specimen to them and return. Then your anomaly will take over from there.

The girl gazes out of the entrance of the cliff portal.  She sees where she will dive, first into this dimension’s moon portal, through the blazing of the gold sun fire and finally behind the Earth’s moon.  She has seen the docking station hovering, massive and surrounded with constantly swirling energy. There, she will remain until her aberration is no longer human, at which time, the energy will re-enter her as they depart for home.

You look so beautiful.” Knowing thinks to the girl. “You are glowing peaceful and serene. Do you feel this?

I do.” The girl nods.

They stand quiet at the edge of the opening. The ball of fire glowing behind the jump portal is vast.  The girl’s eyes are focused on the center.  There.  Right there.  That is where she will leap, straight into the swirling light that the humanoids believe to be fire.  She will land lightly, inside of a perfectly created room where she will be prepared for the next phase of this mission.

She stands between her Mothers, Maude on her left, Protector and Trainer, holding her hand gently.  Knowing slides as mist around the girl, kissing her face, lifting her hands and kissing the girl’s palms. Knowing hums softly, a joyous song, tranquil as the reverb slides off the cave walls with the sound of a slow violin.  There is no sense of time in this place.  Only until she is ready, will she jump into the place where timelessness will no longer exist.

“We will be with you always. Always. Know this.” Maude and Knowing are telepathically speaking to her together.  Their voices harmonize with each other.

There will never be a time you are alone. You will not always sense us. We will appear and disappear. You will sometimes forget we are in you.  You will eventually remember, as you know now. You may return home at any time.  It is always within your reason and your divine choice.”

The girl steps forward, her feet balanced on the edge of the portal.  The silence settles around her like a still storm.  With a brief glance backwards, she raises her arms, her coat becoming wide dark wings, and she leaps up, diving forward into the center of the sun portal.

Knowing materializes into standing light, a hologram reflection of Maude Seven.  They are two of one, morphing together.

It is done.” Knowing thinks.

It is.” Maude replies.

~

The girl awakens inside of a soft room, filled with pillows of assorted designs, rich burgundies and purples accented with varying shades of gold.  She has been changed of her layers of jump clothing and is wearing a light, floor length sleeping gown.  She does not know how long she has been in sleep, but she feels rested, curious and safe.

She glances over and notices a wooden table against the wall.  It is carved with the etchings of her language, the carvings of the Ogham, mixed with hieroglyphics and representations of mnemonic beginnings.  The table is adorned with a cream colored, lace cover.  On top of the table sits silver platters piled with berries and slices of melons, cucumber and a silver carafe of water.

She sits up, stretching her arms over her head.  She has slept on a platform holding a soft, thick cushion. Her body feels different.  It is heavier than before.  Thicker. More solid. She feels her hands, sensing pressure there. She waves them, waiting to see the holographic colors shifting through her fingers, but there are none.  She finds this peculiar yet, Maude had explained to her that this would happen, the materializing of her form.

She stands and begins to walk across the plush rug covered floor.  Her legs feel odd as she takes steps.  She moves slow, getting used to having to lift them higher due to the weight.  She stands at the table, her palette soaking in the refreshing gush of blueberries she is popping in her mouth.  There is only one doorway into the room which has ornate curtains hanging down all of the walls.  This room is decorated to accommodate its guest in comfort and visual pleasure.

There is movement through the curtain that covers the doorway.  A blue being glides into the room.  It does not speak.  It is shimmering with specks of white light dancing across its skin.  Its eyes are large and green.  The girl is mesmerized with the energy exuding from this being.  Each movement is lithe, as if it is dancing.  It holds in its hands a silver tray with a glass of clear liquid.  The blue sits the tray down, looking at the girl with eyes that permeate her with kindness.   Then it speaks to her with telepathically.

Relax.  Eat slowly.  Enjoy the taste of the fruit.  This is water.  Let it soak into your body, which has de-evolved to mimic human form.  This is why you feel heavy.  You must drink much of this, as it is important inside of this dimension. Welcome here.  It is so nice to finally meet you.  We have decided to call you Sila.  Is this a name you feel one with?”

The girl smiles, letting her thoughts speak back.

Yes, dear blue.  I am honored to be in your presence.  You inspire an odd sensation which is emerging inside of my throat.”

The blue smiles back.  She doesn’t part her hollow lips, which glow light when open. Her skin is soft like satin, as if it is always moving or being illuminated by a moving light within it. Sila reaches out and slides her hand across the blue’s arm.  The blue extends its hands to hold Sila’s, allowing her to feel the shimmering skin.

You are pure beauty.” Sila thinks.  “Thank you for gracing me.”

Sila kisses the blue’s palms.

The blue bows.

Thank you, Sister Queen. After you rest today, and eat more of the fruit and drink more of the water, sleeping through one more cycle, you will be ready to let the extraction begin.”

I will.” Sila thinks back. “I am eager to begin this experience.”

She sleeps in spells, waking to find more fruit and fresh vegetables on the table beside her soft bed.  She enjoys the respite.   Timelessness whispers the dreams away as she floats inside of absence of space. She is in a chasm of sheer blackness, suspended by nothingness.  She is in limbo, peacefully.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of CULT CHILD, and hostess of Survivor Voices radio show every Sunday at Freedom Slips.

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VennieKocsis.com

Creating for Fun Releases Stress

When I create art, it most often represents the mind control programming and abuse enacted on my mind and body while growing up in Sam Fife’s Move of God cult.

When I have the opportunity to create for a child, I get to revisit my own childhood.  I ask questions about the child.  If it’s a child I know,  I take their personality into consideration.  For instance, the little girl receiving this piece is rather silly.  So, recycling an old greeting card with a woman who is wearing a cake hat, is right up this child’s alley.

This is where being a multiple is at a creative advantage for me.  Because my mind sees through gendered lines, I am able to conceptualize what a person may be feeling inside.    It allows me to bring their world perspective into the piece.  Creating for someone else’s heart is a welcomed break which allows my own to rest.

This latest project also afforded me a new opportunity.  I created my first time lapse art video.  Yeah!  I enjoyed being able to watch my own process in action.  I hope you enjoy it as well!

Art Therapy for Trauma Survivers

Sometimes it helps me to dump my head through visuals.   I believe deeply in art and photography therapy for trauma survivors.   Many of you say “but I’m not a good artist!”  See, it’s not about being “good” in someone’s eyes, even your own.  It’s about figuring out your method to expel pent up energy.

Slashes of red and orange paint swiped across a canvas can be an abstract release of anger.  Photos of flowers you love can lift your spirits.  There is no method set except the one you choose.

Here are a few examples of art pieces and photos of things that called my to me.  If you’d like to see more, you can visit my art store at:

Vennie-Kocsis.pixels.com

Photography

Digital Art

Canvas art / mixed media

Now go! Create! Gather leaves and stones and paint.  Let your body naturally lead you into the outlet ever human is gifted with.  💫💫

Soul Theft

It happened early Tuesday morning. It has taken me this many days to verbalized it. Describing violent images is not an easy task. You see, the heart beats faster and faster. The head gets heavy. Hands shake. You close your eyes into short meditative moments, breathing and counting.

Inhale. 1. 2. 3. 4.

Exhale. 1. 2. 3. 4.

With each breath I center. This is not reality. This is violent imagery, seeping the emotions hiding inside my body’s cells.

The dream.

I am in the third perspective, observing. I have floated to the ceiling, and I am looking down upon the scene.

I am on a bed. I have on black pants and a white, short sleeve t-shirt. I am flat on my back. My arms are beside my body, which is completely straight. I cannot see my feet.
The bed is surrounded by people standing shoulder to shoulder. They are not moving. They are silently looking at me as if assessing their handiwork. They are gray forms. I cannot see them clearly. They look almost like carved out statues except for their left hands. Each one is holding a large knife in their hand. It is dripping with bright red blood.

From my unnoticed perch I’m the ceiling I am quizzically observing my own stomach and chest area. I feel no emotion as I look. It is hacked into so many pieces it mimics brutally tenderized meat. Blood is soaked into the white sheet all around me.

My gaze moves to my face. I believe I am still alive. My eyes are black. My facial expression looks peaceful. There is no scream to my mouth or contortion.

“How odd.” I think.

I awaken with a start, my muscles jerking, my heartbeat rapid, and I look at the clock. It is 7 am. I have chills in my skin. I curl beneath the covers, turn on a movie and make my mind try and forget. The images invade my day, drifting in and out. I know this will fade. I have been here so many times now, in the aftermath of violent night travel into the subconscious.

I bring out the emotion there. I hold it in my hands. It is the ghost wounds of countless stabs cast into the center of my spirit. I let it fade until I can be here now, scribing it without tears.
Digital Art ©VennieKocsis.com

Know Me

You ask me who I am, and I struggle for ways to put it into sentences, short enough to not get tuned out. I shut down. I have been here since the first screened typewriter, scribing. I have created data bases of situations, books of my own creation, poetry, music and art. I ask, who are you?

Why must I repeat in short sentences years of tears and torn pens, aching and re-aching. I give it away for the frayed, broken hearts just looking to feel their Otherkin; waiting for someone to say, I read you. I get you.

I outpour because I overflow with the insensible ingesting, and so I am always recycling energy into words, stored in images and cryptic, rhyming lines.

The ones who hold the strings to me are the ones who understand everything, and even if it’s few, even its it you, dive in, then when you’ve reached the end, if you still have questions, I will drip you softly with the color of my answers.

V.K