Most loyal friends and followers know only the tip of the iceberg of what I went through last year. There is much that has happened which I have not been -- and never will be -- able to make public, in part out of a desire to protect the innocent and respect the privacy of loved ones, in part due to an imposed court order (ironic and blech). Suffice it to say that dealing with cancer was actually the easiest part of 2011. That may sound cold to many of you, but... trust me, I'm anything but a cold person. It was a truly gruelling year.
Yet, while the year was one of battle, it was also one of victory. And while nothing will ever bring back all that was stolen from me so long ago -- both literally and figuratively, internally and externally -- and true justice seems a ridiculously naive concept, there is no small satisfaction in seeing the end of the battle. Alive. Intact. Relatively sane. Content. Hopeful.
We had great visions of saying good-bye to 2011 and being able to just leave it all behind, celebrate our great victories and dance our way into the rose-coloured future. OK, we really knew better, but parts of our inner-child selves clung to that blissful naiveté... The end of the external battle was just the beginning of the internal one. My main partner-in-fighting-crime is now battling PTSD, I'm scraping and clamouring myself as far away from that abyss as I can. We're all exhausted, overwhelmed, waiting for this to all be truly over. Knowing that wish is probably more blissful naiveté.
There is a certain beauty in fiction, in fantasy. The hero conquers all, the dragons are slain, everybody lives happily ever after in blissful splendour. Neat and tidy with a bow and a cherry on top.
There is a greater beauty in real life. You win the battle, you take a look at what it has taught you, you deal with it, you become a stronger and wiser person, better equipped to take on the inevitable bigger dragon hiding around the next corner.
Because, let's face it, if I were stuck sitting around and eating bon-bons all day, I'd be really frikken' bored. What kind of dragon-slayer just sits back and eats bon-bons? Dragon-slayers are too busy itching to go for their next dragon.
So, yeah, I'm pretty sure none of you expected me to go the bon-bon route (wine, maybe, but not bon-bons).
2012 so far has been a year of tying up loose ends, shedding the excess, putting things in place, getting ready for the next frontier. I had great visions of all the loose ends and excess and place-putting being done by now, but... hardeharhar. That's not how it works, Lyssy. Still... while I will always have lots of stuff on my to-do list, the big and overwhelming things are finally out of the way.
It is embarrassing to realize how long ago I wrote that song... Earlier that year, at our annual girls' night Tarot reading, I was given the Ace of Wands and the Ace of Swords. The creative spark meets the valiant sword of truth and justice. I knew exactly how it was going to play out, what I was going to do with these two energies.
I just didn't know how many years it would take.
You see, for decades I have had a dream that I wanted to make a reality. The Katie Project, named after a song I wrote in a rare 17-year-old moment of clarity. Music had saved my life, and I was going to pay it forward by using music to help save others. The Katie Project was going to use music to help my fellow survivors of childhood sexual abuse -- to give them a means to speak their truth, to reduce the stigma and taboo of the subject, to open up a dialogue and an awareness, and give people the tools they needed for self-healing.
In late 2005, I was given the means to get this project started. Or so I was told. In 2006, that means was stolen back. For two years, my original abuser's co-conspirators played a cosmic game of monkey-in-the-middle, and even when the ringleader died, it turned out systems had been put in place (one might say illegally, if one were allowed to declare such things) in perpetuity to prevent me from speaking my truth, let alone realizing my Katie dream.
What Oz and his side-twits with the greed-coloured glasses didn't realize was that I had some awesome (I hate the mis- and over-use of that word as much as you do -- these people are truly awesome) co-conspirators of my own. AND I keep impeccable records. (When you've grown up with a family of gaslighters, you learn to collect every shred of proof you can.) Really, freakingly impeccable records. People make fun of me for having two over-stuffed filing cabinets and a basement full of file boxes. Well, I get the last laugh, darlings -- never try to tell lies to or against a chick with two over-stuffed filing cabinets and a basement full of file boxes.
It would be nice to say that our side won. Let's call it a Pyrrhic victory. Let's just call it over.