~When Healing~

Do not abandon yourself
To the darkness.
Do not let the children within
Remain forgotten
And alone.

Do not ignore the ache
Lest it swallow you.
Darkness when shunned
Has a habit to hound.

Though also,
Do not be afraid.
For this darkness can be
A cooling balm.

This shadow from which we retreat
Can soothe the scorch of the sun.
Do not make a dungeon
Of the darkness.

Resist fear and loosen
The cords that bind.
Close your eyes and feel the calm.
Retreat within and find
All that is hidden there.

Its lesson is only temporary
And it has longed so for love.
Each and every broken piece
Aches to return to the light.

We are the pillars,
The equilibrium,
With which our energy flows
Over and through.

We are the force with which
We navigate the storm
And the paradise within.
We are the pivot
From which it sways.

Do not forget your power to heal.
Do not be afraid of all that you are.
Remember your endless
And vast beauty,
The paradox that is the self.

Release control of that
Which you can never truly contain
And expand
into all that you are.

Dark and light,
Beauty and Ugly,
Sacred and true

A conduit to the divine,
Within, a Universe contained,
A collection of particles,
As vast and unknowable as the cosmos.

And welcome all the parts of you home,
To love.

-Angel Marie Russell ❤

The Temple Within

In-visioning inspired by Sara Sophia Eisenman and all the roses.

I see a path lit by many (safe) candles surrounded by gardens tended with love. I see fireflies and hear the crickets chirp. I hear the owl far off and the quick retreat of the scurrying mouse. There’s a bit of a breeze tugging at my veil and tickling my nose. This path has been walked many times before by feet nimble, solemn, and swift. There is a bell in the distance, not of urgency, but of soft welcoming home. It tolls for the sisters that have come before and have yet to arrive.

We each hold a piece of magic in our hearts and know with a sense of peace where each step falls, as it should, purposed, knowing, and whole. The path is embraced by trees covering, and moss tickles the tips of our toes. We are together and a part of a whole, women wise, sisters of love, full of grace and a knowledge of healing deep and ancient wounds.

They come to us from cities, broken with despair worn like a cape, their eyes haunted from the war they’ve felt more than seen, they have died more than they have lived. And we, the ones that came before them, walk the path together in remembrance for those that never made it home safe.

The gardens smell of roses, lilacs, gardenias, rosemary and sage. The plants, they talk to us and they heal us through knowing hands that tend them urging them to bloom in love, just as the sisters that came before tend to the broken hearted sisters that ever and always search and come.

And we welcome them home as they are, in pieces or whole, aligned or undone, invisible, or seen for they are as we have always been and we, the woken with eyes that see, have found a way out of darkness, we mark the stillness and mark of the path as we walk while the bell calls us home.

As we arrive the marble columns surround a languid pool and all that enter there are healed, cleansed of all the pain that came before, and we walk each step taking us closer to our own purpose, filling us with light and with love, we continue the walk up the hill out of the trees and cricket clicks to a mighty cliff where the temple lay. And She, our mother, the cave of the undying, the womb of our mother Earth, welcomes us as we come to pay homage for the blessing of this our life, full of triumph, and oceans of tears. And we, the lost and broken sisters of the world, finally know what each of our hearts have always longed to know. And the drums begin to call our brothers, their chants fill the creeping wood and they surround us in protection as we fill the womb and the world with our magic, our creation, our chalices of light as our Mother weeps tears of healing in the form of light rain. And our Father rumbles thunderous his cry mighty and strong.

Our sister song begins in unison, the melody to the drum and the chant, and healing settles on all the broken parts within us and without unto the World. And we awaken to the divinity within us; the energy beneath the flesh. And in that moment we become one with Her and with Him. It is not a fantasy, but the world I carry within. ❤

I love you sisters and brothers.
All things are possible through love.

Soul Fragments 

I have told myself
Time and time again
When I see another’s life
Full of beauty, vibrancy, and success,
That it isn’t for me.
That a rich and full healthy life
Is not for me.
I am other.
I am broken.
I am used up.
I am …
I say no to this voice.
This voice that is not my own.
This voice that was yelled to me
Through rage and fists
And soul shattering heartbreak.
This voice that kept me down.
This voice that held me
This voice that became my voice.

I see it now.
That this was a form of rape.
This control over my mind.
This manipulation that had me believing
I am weak.
This tragedy that held me down,
Broken, fractured, alone, and scared.

I did not believe for one second that I deserved better.
I did not believe for one second that I deserved kindness, a loving embrace, personhood.
I was not a person.

This voice.
Whose voice entrapped me
And supplanted my own?
Where was my voice?
Buried in fear, survival, and traumas years deep.
A childhood no child should ever have to learn to endure.
No treasure but traumas to keep.

And yes. I learned how to survive.
But now I see for most of my life that’s all I’ve ever done.
And I do not know that the warmth
Of the sun resting on my face is something I can enjoy.
I did not know that happiness could lead to joy and love could heal all that was unaligned.

I did not know that love was real.
And men took advantage.
Bullies made sure I obeyed.
And violence became a thing more real to me than love.
And this shattered broken thing
Took the place of my soul.
Because it had splintered long ago.
To survive I became undone.

And lately all the pieces of me
Have been returning home.
And other previously shattered sisters have held lamps to light the way.
And together our muted melodies
Have found a sort of song.
And with tears I weep
I’ve found my heart
And with it I finally know love.
All the parts coming home bring a piece to make me more whole.
And healing is beginning
Love forms me once again anew.

-Angel Marie Russell

Thank you sisters.
Thank you Sara Sophia Eisenman.

The lost and found girl 


I have recently discovered that I am on the Autism Spectrum. I am 35 years old. I am sure that many of you can imagine what a change such a realization would bring to someone. My entire world view has been flipped on its head. I have struggled socially all of my life from preschool on. I have never understood my peers and was mercilessly bullied as a child, teenager, and even as an adult. I take longer to process verbal communication and that has always created problems for me. I have had to drop out of college more than five times at different community colleges. I am not unintelligent, quite the opposite, but I have always had learning difficulties that the staff at my schools were not trained to understand. I do not look like I have autism, because frankly, it is a neurological issue and so obviously it is invisible. I do not appear to struggle socially. I have had many people that know me try to dismiss, belittle, or deny that I am indeed autistic because I am high functioning. That does not mean that I am without limits of perception, understanding or ability to navigate this nuero-typical world.
What people choose not to see, or claim not to, is that in fact this life has been merciless to me. I have struggled with being misunderstood most of my life and in return I have not understood those around me. I have become a recluse who lives through the internet, socializing safely away from my peers in a warm glow of my computer screen. I have very few in person friends. I struggle every single time I go to the grocery store or a party. And though I do not appear to be struggling as I have learned from years of abusive people beating it into me that I must pass as socially adept in order survive, I do not in fact know what the hell is going on within the humans around me.

I was diagnosed at the age of twenty one with PTSD from childhood abuse and neglect from my mother. That I do still have. I am an autistic adult raised by an autistic mother and both of us were indeed traumatized by abusive people and life. Autism and mental health issues often go hand in hand when they are not noticed or diagnosed and this is a common theme in Autism in women. Women with Autism are not, or have not in the past, been diagnosed properly when it comes to Autism. It is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed as a mental health issue only. Mental illness such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, Bipolar disorder, and other personality disorders are often given to the autistic woman as a diagnosis but this is not addressing the fundamental difference that these issues are arising because of a neurological difference. As women with Autism do have a neurological difference, mental illness can indeed be caused by this difference but to only treat the mental illness, is treating a symptom of the actual unnoticed underlying issue. Autism, in these cases, is the root of the psychiatric distress and therefore women are not receiving the help and guidance they so desperately need. Obviously, if a child such as myself did not understand social cues or human behavior in addition to sensory issues, she would not fit in or function well and bullying would ensue in a school surrounded by nuero-typical peers gracefully navigating the sights, sounds, and life that is school. For an autistic child such as myself with sensory issues, the sights, sounds, and alarming pace of all that is school can cause meltdowns, learning impairment, disagreements, being sent to the office daily, ditching school, bullying, and then increased bullying, a lowering sense of self-worth, self harm, ditching school, leaving peers, isolating, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. I know this because this is the life I led in school. I was alone left to deal with an issue I did not know I had, and as a result, blamed, belittled, rejected, isolated, and all around hopeless, at least I felt that way.

By not recognizing that women can indeed be on the spectrum, by never including women in any scientific study around autism, and to claim that autism is a male oriented disorder only, is to deny and further neglect female individuals such as myself after a life time of neglect, confusion, and isolation, the help that would ease the suffering of a lifetime. And don’t get me wrong, I know that being diagnosed as an autistic adult carries its own sort of grief and I am in no way saying that it is easy to be diagnosed at 35 versus being diagnosed as a child. And in many instances being diagnosed as a child may even hold one back, but look at Temple Grandin, a woman on the spectrum that was diagnosed as a child, given school opportunities and support and went on to revolutionize an entire industry exactly because she sees the world through autistic eyes. So, to me, I think we need to celebrate the differences and help others to also shine in all that they are nuero-diverse or neuro-typical.

And I can’t help but wonder how different my life may have looked up until now, or how different the life of my mother who was homeless when she died may have looked if we had just been diagnosed properly at a young age. Would we have shined in our strengths as Temple Grandin has? Would we have had the support and nurturing we needed? I will never have those answers. What I can do is write about my experience and use it to say, we must not let one more autistic girl fall through the cracks of the school system, and of life. We must not let one more autistic woman isolate and reject her own glorious and differently shaped mind. We must not let one more sister become lost down a path that so many know how to survive. The path of autism is not for the faint of heart and I am determined to show others like me how they too can become found, they too can know the peace that comes with welcoming their true heart home. I see you sisters. I am the lost and found girl because for so many years I have been lost, but now I am in love with my brain, with the way I experience the world and I want you to learn how to fall in love with your own self too. I am the lost and found girl and I want to help guide others to be found too. Autism is not a sentence, it is a coming home, and I am so grateful to know that feeling. In these pages that I will soon write you will find every facet of my being and all of my “gifts” that come with having autism, in addition to the pain. Thank you for being here. Thank you for appreciating all that I am and all that each of us are, differences and all.
-Angel Marie Russell

#autism #femaleautism #ASD #femaleASD #femaleaspergers #aspergersinwomen


I’ve got a ceaseless 

Desire to thrive,

To come out of hell

More alive 

Than dead,

Full of hope, more 

Than dread.

I want to build the foundation

Over again.

I want to smooth all the wrinkles

In my timeline

And fill each 

Splendiferous crack with 

Sparkling golden wonder.

I am the flame that once I sought.

I am the spark forged iron wrought.

I am the keeper,

The hoped for,

The one who becomes.

And gladly when gone awry

I melt, break apart, 

I become once again 

-Angel Marie Russell