emotions

I Fasted For 2 Days. Here’s What Happened.

Water Fast

When I decided to try a two-day fast, my intent was to begin short stints of fasting and clear my mental status.

I did my research. I am healthy. I’ve never had high blood pressure or internal organ issues, so, after checking it all out, it was a go.  I chose a water fast. I would go two days without food, drinking a healthy amount of water each day.

I began on a Thursday, planning to end it on Friday and celebrate with a soft breakfast on Saturday. I felt determined and extremely interested in what my thought process would be.  I purposely made sure I had no food in the house to keep myself clean of temptation.

Thursday started with a cup of coffee.  I spent most of the day without hunger pains. At 12:16pm, I noted a growling stomach and a headache.  I was feeling calm and having few thoughts of food.  At 12:46 pm, I received an email notifying me that my phone bill was overdue.  Shortly after making the payment arrangement, I thought of food.  With a slight moment of worry, my brain had sent me to my addiction as a soothing mechanism.  The fact that I had to write the emotion made me aware of the connection and able to work through it.

Here are some notes I took on day one.

1:20 PM – Hunger pains. As the day gets later, I’m reasoning again; that I could eat light.  Today I am focused on the accomplishment intention in this fasting.”

1:52 PM – Feeling very focused

3:00 PM – Had a conversation with a friend about how difficult it is to find someone to date; how we wish we had that intimacy sometimes. Found myself thinking of food afterwards – possible comforting the feeling of lack of partnership?”

3:47 PM – Fuck… this… shit… Why am I doing this? I’m soooooo hungry! AND nauseated!”

4:30 PM – So need to eat something I feels – physically like shit – nausea is off the chain!”

I made it through day one by drinking a small cup of coffee in the evening to let the caffeine curb the nausea and headache.  I got a decent night’s sleep.

Friday, I started the day again having a small cup of coffee.  I spent the morning gulping water.  My notes for the day proceeded as I continued to struggle with thoughts of food.  At about 11:00 AM I thought about getting some soup, a bit of broth, just to curb the nausea.

 “12:39 PM – stomach growling like a mofo – goddamit!”

My stomach was growling, and a slight headache was growing behind my eyes.  I began to worry about not being able to sleep that night due to hunger pains.

2:57 PM – Fuck whoever is cooking good smelling food nearby.  I am commanding it to smell like a pig farm! I also feel oddly high and I haven’t smoked a damn thing.”

4:15 PM – I’m reasoning with myself to just have a salad tonight – to change the fast and only eat a salad in the evening.  Tummy growling audibly! Like a fucking choir from hell – a demon choir.”

7PM – Had coffee with a friend who came to visit.”

OKAY FINE! I also ate a small bit of bean and cheese burrito.  SHAME SHAME SHAME!”

As Friday evening progressed, I gained an intense clarity and focus.  I scrubbed my bathroom on my hands and knees.  I completed a plethora of small tasks that had been sitting undone for days.  In just two days of fasting, I had learned an immense amount of information about the way I think and how my emotions correlate with food.  I felt inspired.  I felt that my DNA had begun to reset itself.

I now intend to do five days soon.  I love a good challenge.  I have a competitive spirit. I want to fight my food addiction through this mental process.

I will journal it again, and share my experience with you.

Note: Please do your research and check with your doctor before fasting.  If you deal with medical impairments, fasting may not be for you.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show and her live Sunday broadcast Off the Cuff. She is an advocate, poet and artist.

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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.  💫💫

The Tired Children

I am a child, maybe around eight or nine years of age.  I am in a large house with at least three stories and a basement.  I am in the basement with many other children.  We are moving large objects, too heavy for our small bodies to be moving on a consistent basis.  I can’t quite make out exactly what the objects are.  They are square, almost like blocks of concrete.

I am watching myself in third person, up against the ceiling looking down.  My hair is somewhat matted as though it has not been washed in quite a long time.  My face is dusty.  I have on burlap pants and a t-shirt that is stained. I cannot see my feet to know if there are shoes on or if I am barefoot.  I seem to have been down here for a very long time.  All of us children have.  I look tired, hopeless, worn, and moving methodically.  We do not talk to each other.  We do not look at each other. We move systematically, moving the large objects from a pile on one side of the basement to stack them neatly on the other side.  I feel the heaviness of whatever we all are moving and organizing.  I see the utter weariness in all our hunched over backs.

The dream scene changes. I am in my own body now.  I am an adult now.  I am sitting in a room with a large makeshift conference table.  It is handmade with slabs of wood.  There are many people around it in matching chairs made of tree trunks and tree limbs and nailed together pieces of board.  I cannot see their faces.  Only their forms.  They are a mixture of mirage and shadow, shifting between color and black and white.  I know I am being expelled from the house.  I feel that this is a regular occurrence, that once we children reach adulthood, we are no longer needed there.   I feel glad inside. I don’t understand why they aren’t worried that I and all the others they have released, will go to the authorities to tell on them.  I am aware that my life has been spent in the basement.  They are each talking to me, one at a time, as if giving instructions or even a farewell, but I am not listening.  I am in my own head, devising a plan to come back for the children in the basement.

I awake this morning, with a pinched nerve beneath the left shoulder blade on my back.  I let hot water pour onto it in the shower.  I understand the emotion that moved through me last night.  This reality of emotional pain is felt in multiple ways.  It moves through my heart strings and sometimes settles into my muscles.  It is not always mine.  At times, it feels like the pain of every hopeless child wishing as I did when I was little, that someday someone would save me.

©VennieKocsis.com

Some Day I Want to Walk In

Some day I want to walk in
And there you sit
Candles lit
Silence

Some day I want to walk in
To the smell of your cooking;
Turn my head to
Catch you looking
Gazing
Amazing

Some day I want to walk in
Strip to nothing
Spend hours in your sin
Breathing
Being

Who are you?
Where do you hide?
I have searched,
Allowed strangers inside
Broken
Hoping

Some day I want to walk in
And it be you
No longer invisible
Tangible form
Reborn

I don’t want to be
Torn anymore
Tears have me dehydrated
My love heavy
Heady
Hazy

Some day I want to walk in
To peace and know
For the first time
What it’s like
To be both Queen and Daughter
Loved by my King and Father

Some day…

Vennie Kocsis

Ants At the Symphony 

I am back in my high school town. Although there are no beaches in Martin, TN, I am perched, legs crossed, in front of one. This small beach boasts crystal clear, soft blue water rolling in with a slow, tender tide. I am sitting in an ancient stone colosseum. It is as if it was lifted from a fallen city and placed where it grandly sits now.

I am wearing an elegant black dress, shoulderless and simple. I glance down at my toes, perfectly painted deep blue and tucked inside of toeless, black heels. My hair is coifed and sprayed perfectly in place. I am grandly dressed for the symphony.

I am perched alone on one of the stone benches, closest to the stage which has been set up with the beautiful beach as scenery behind it. On stage is a large orchestra filled primarily with strings.

The music surrounds me. I close my eyes, feeling the soft embrace of the cello and the haunting tears of the violin strings.

Suddenly my right forearm begins to itch. I look down and see a red bump close to my wrist. It looks like I have been bitten by a mosquito. I scratch the bump, and when I do, the skin lifts and ants come scattering out of the hole in droves, covering my wrist and hand.

I panic.

I wake up.

It’s coming out.

Child Abusers Rarely Take Ownership of Their Crimes

If my mother were alive, and you were to ask her if she allowed her children to be abused or if she abused her children, her answer would most likely be (with Bible in hand), “Absolutely NOT!”

She would then most likely go on to tell you what difficult children my siblings and I were to raise, along with a myriad of other excuses to support the gross denial covering the guilt she couldn’t face.   This is what abusers do; blame the child, and all too often, naive adults actually believe it.

A couple of years ago, a friend who grew up in the same cult as me had a conversation with a woman who knew me when I was a child. My friend asked the woman about my time as a child at the second compound I was taken to in Alaska, and the woman said this:

Well, she was quite a boisterous child and was always in trouble a lot.”

She victim blamed a child who she witnessed be abused and yet still, thirty plus years later, the denial runs as deep as the ocean. What should we have expected? That our abusers would admit to their crimes? What a ridiculous notion. Child abusers rarely admit to their crimes unless they’re caught. Given the chance, they will quickly blame the child.  Witnessing child abuse and doing nothing is just as criminal as participating.

Victim blame a child abuse survivor, and that’s where my patience, kindness and association ends.

I do not ever condone a child abuse survivor having to defend themselves against the abuse they suffered. My fellow child abuse survivors, we’re not mentally ill. Our abusers are. Those who would attack your abuse are in serious need of psychological help themselves.

They lack empathy and understanding. Attacking someone’s child abuse is an extremely apathetic action. I feel we must use our voices to stand against those who would deny the atrocities that we endured as children and that children still endure. We have to stand our ground and not allow children to ever be blamed for the neglect and/or abuse they endure.

Tonight I sit in contemplation, knowing where my passions are, and what makes me feel in a space of forward movement.   I am aware of where I put my time and my energy, for my goal is to always be focused on believing and supporting child abuse survivors.

Sea Angel

This video of “Sea Angel” is an audio poem from my poetry book and accompanying spoken word cd, “Dusted Shelves”, which I published in 2011. This particular poem was written during a time when I was deeply depressed. I was in the cusp of writing out childhood trauma in “Cult Child”, my memoir. I listen to this piece now and what strikes me is that my suffering was so debilitating, the thought of being taken under by the sea felt like a comfort to me. Yet, life and hope have always called, and so the emotion became this piece instead. To those who suffer with depression, PTSD, anxiety and more, keep fighting. I remember you daily.