Sunday, July 31, 2011

Taking Care of Myself

From: Pam Young <

Subject: Announcements: The Inner Kiddies - 365 Surprise

 I have learned that consistent care of my mind, body and soul have been essential to my spiritual growth and living my dreams.  How can I care for others if I can’t even care for myself?  How can I do good things if I don’t feel good?  How can I love you if I don’t love myself?
This past month I spent traveling to be with family.  All 6 of my kids are grown with families of their own.  Some moved away so summer time off from my school job allows me to go on extended visits.  Traveling has always been hard for me.  When I married, I told my new husband that we could go on a honeymoon that I would sleep through or not tell anybody where we lived for a month.  No honeymoon.  I didn't know at the time how I functioned.  I just knew that traveling was exhausting for me.  I want to travel to see family so I worked for a long time to understand what happens when I travel.  I learned two things.  First, I learned that my mother insisted on keeping us busy all day and from the time I started school I was sleep deprived, part from our family schedule and part from nightmares.  Trips in the car my mother encouraged us to sleep.  Plus most trips we left about 4 AM to get on the road and out of the city before rush hour.  I learned to sleep in the crowd back seat with 3 other kids.  I can sleep sitting up squished between 2 other people.  (A real asset when flying.)  The joke is just hold me still for 5 minutes and I will go to sleep.  (Yes, I have done a sleep study and I do have sleep apnea to make things even harder.  Unfortunately, the treatment doesn't work for me.) The second thing I learned, I don't listen to the airline personal.  You know that spiel they say before every flight for what to do in case of emergency?  When they demonstrate the oxygen, they remind parents to put the mask on themselves first and then the children.  I don't do that.  I learned from a very young age to take care of myself last.  Not only is it a bad habit but it is detrimental to my own health and the health of my family.  My mother put herself last, so did my grandmother on my father's side and so did many of the women around me.  I was taught not to be selfish and any self care was considered selfish.  KavinCoach spent many, many sessions teaching me the importance of taking care of myself.  Another term is filling your own bucket.  You can't share of the water in your bucket if you haven't filled up yourself first.  No matter how it is phrased self care is difficult for me to do and worse when I am traveling.  I feel like I came so far to see them that I must spend every possible minute with them not realizing that I burn out and end up sleeping through most of the visit.  This trip I worked at meeting my needs for sleep, food, sufficient water, exercise, medication, and decompression time.  I feel fairly good about how well I took care of myself this last month.  I didn't do very well one day and flying was really difficult but for the most part I did take care of myself.  I would start to feel guilty for taking a nap then remind myself that playing with toddlers works much better if I am well rested.  Taking care of myself was one of those things I thought would magically happen with integration.  I learned that not taking care of myself is a human problem not a PTSD or a DID problem and integration didn't solve it.  My personal bill of rights, consciously thinking about taking care of my healthy, and choosing to go to counseling and learn new ways of living are all steps in the right direction for a healthier me.  When I am well rested, well fed, taken my medication, and generally feel like I took care of my basic needs, I am happier and better able to do the things I enjoy doing to help others.  Self-care is not selfish; it is healthy. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement.
Henry Ford

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Success is the ability to move from one failure to the next failure ~ with enthusiasm ~ W. Churchill

Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that u've decided to look beyond the imperfections.

"YOU MADE ME SO MAD" echos in my child mind.  I could make my mother mad, I could make her happy, so in my child's mind I could make her love me if I was good enough.  The intense search for perfection of children of narcissistic parents sometimes puzzles people with no experience with narcissistic behavior.  At a young age, I was given this power to control my parent.  Yet, it wasn't true.  As I grew older I recognized that many times my NM (narcissistic mother) was already angry with my father who conveniently disappeared and left me as an easy target for her wrath.  I worked hard at being a perfect child.  No rebellion as a teenager.  High grades.  Helping at home.  Caring for my younger brother and sister.  Anticipating her needs.  Taking blame for things I did not do.  Anything and everything to become the perfect child so she would love me.  At the time, I didn't have a word for what I did, KavinCoach taught me about being 'enmeshed' and how unhealthy this behavior is for me.  He also taught me that no matter what I did my NM could not show me the love I needed no matter what I did.  He also taught me that I could not make her mad, sad, happy or anything else.  I was simply a tool she used to fulfill her needs.  What I became was a perfect mess.  Not understanding boundaries, how to be independent, or what was my emotional stuff and what was her projected stuff on me.  Enmesh - projection - boundaries - narcissism became words to study research and learn new ways of living.  First major change - I AM NOT PERFECT AND I CAN NOT MAKE YOU MAD.  I can really irritate you, but getting mad is your choice.  Friends on Facebook posted some of these awesome quotes.  I appreciated their timeliness as I tackle the concept that perfection does not get someone else to love me, especially not a narcissistic. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

New Ways

One of the things I learned from my adventure into counseling that how I viewed the world was and sometimes still is, distorted.  I took in information, twisted it around to my way of thinking, then felt confused by how harsh the world could be.  One of the amazing things that I experience with all the different counselors I have worked with, both personal and job related, is they each bring a different perspective.  Another interesting thing is experiencing the feeling of being allowed to have my perspective however twisted.  KavinCoach spent the most time with me teaching me new ways to view my past.  I always considered myself crazy.  KavinCoach suggested that I was just a little girl raised in a crazy world so I adapted.  NewCounselor is excellent at continuing reteaching me ways to view my world.  I am noticing words, situations, and experiences that used to send my into a spiral of depression now either annoy me or amuse me but either way I am not wiped out.  I am also setting limits on myself and my patience.  Today I had a wonderful time at the aquarium with family and grand-kids and very crowded.  I had to bump into or brush past people to see the exhibits.  I was emotionally exhausted when I came home.  Instead of trying to stay engaged and continue interacting I took a few minutes to play mindless computer games while my subconscious went through decompression.  Before counseling, I would not have taken a break like this to decompress after something stressful.  I let myself accept my own need to recoup after being in a crowded environment.  I very carefully reduced the amount of time holding grand-kids while I stayed relaxed.  I put down charming little grand child when he grabbed for my hair for the umpteenth time.  I wasn't feeling patient, loving, or able to cope.  I put toddler down out of reach of my hair, sat back and relaxed.  Toddler played happily with my knees instead of pulling my hair and I felt happier meeting my need of a bit of personal space.  Taking care of my own needs is a new way of behaving taught to me by all of my counselors. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Sometimes an example can help clarify a concept.  Before I started counseling, and one of the reasons I sought counseling, I had an extreme reaction to a small incident.  When I first started at the University computer labs, someone was being a smarty and grabbed my wrist from behind me to get my attention.  I remember freezing, holding very still, because my reaction was that I wanted to tear whoever grabbed me into teeny tiny pieces.  I knew at a conscious level that this was not a reasonable reaction to the incident.  The person was out of line but did not deserve having his head ripped off.  Once I started counseling, I related the incident.  At that time I still didn't know much about my back ground.  No memories makes it hard to figure out cause and effect.  So, I observed my own behavior.  I started working backwards from I was furious that the person grabbed me from behind.  But I realized that was only part of the problem.  Other people had come up from behind and tapped me on the shoulder and startled me but didn't have the extreme reaction as the person that grabbed my wrist.  I then watched my reaction when some one went to grab my hand, missed, and grabbed my wrist instead.  I realized the action of grabbing my wrist set off the extreme reaction.  I explained all of this to KavinCounselor.  He helped me walk through each step of the evaluation until we both agreed that there was something about grabbing my wrist that set off a spectacular rage that had nothing to do with the situation at hand.  At this point, I hadn't remembered anything from my early life that would connect with why I reacted so strongly.  KavinCounselor explained that I didn't need to know why I had the reaction, I just needed to know what action triggered the massive reaction.  I then set out to desensitise myself by wearing bracelets.  The first day the bracelet lasted less than five minutes before throwing it across the room.  The next day I tried again.  I made it past 5 minutes.  Every day I put the bracelet on for a longer and longer period of time until I could actually wear a bracelet.  I then discovered when one of my kids was teasing me that grabbing my ankle had the same reaction.  Anklets come in a wide variety of interesting styles and I wore one of those too.  After about a year I had an incident where some grabbed my wrist again.  I felt annoyed because it was an invasion of my space but I didn't have a desire to beat the poor soul to a pulp.  In fact, I was quite excited that I almost completely extinguished this one fear trigger.  I appreciate this technique KavinCoach taught me of identifying the cause of the distress so then I could find a solution to reducing my reaction.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reverse Engineer

Working as a computer tech for 15 years gives me an interesting vocabulary.  Reverse Engineering was originally used to crack codes and copy programs.  (A few companies that I won't name used this to steal programing code.)  Basically the technique looks at the results then works backwards to see what code needs to exist to create those results.  Now, when I have an extreme reaction to a situation I start with the bad reaction then start working through a process of what happened before that, what happened before that, slowly working backwards until I zero in on the trigger that set the whole reaction in motion.  Many of my counseling sessions are discussions on why I react very badly in certain situations.  At first I couldn't figure out the reaction/trigger connection.  KavinCoach walked me through the process over and over again until I could figure some of them out myself.  I still struggle and this is why I now meet with NewCounselor.  He is finishing the process of training me to resolve my own problems instead of going straight to melt down with spiralling depression.  Some days I am just plain tired of walking through my life land minds.  Then I remind myself that the more I can deactivate, neutralize, or occasionally isolate personal land minds the happier and more independent I can be.  I am learning that severe PTSD is like type one diabetes I have it for life but I can control it with proper self care.  I am in the process of learning proper self care.  Not easy being raised by a narcissistic and my concern about becoming an unhealthy narcissistic sometimes interferes with learning healthy self care.  I dislike facing a cure that is worse than the disease.  I have faith in my counselors and myself that I can learn to live a healthy, happy and productive life.  My past does not define me but sure can make living in the present an interesting challenge.  My faith in my Savior teaches me that there is healing that lasts for eternity.    

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Get my purple hat early
Purple Hats!
In honor of women's history month and in memory of Erma Bombeck who lost her fight with cancer. 

(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more "I love you's." More "I'm sorry's."

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it, live it and never give it back. Stop sweating the small stuff.

Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what.

Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

Let's think about what God HAS blessed us with. And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally. I hope you all have a blessed day

Beautiful Women's Month

Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen.

Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.

Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an Ugly Sister (Mum I can't go to school looking like this!)

Age 20: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly"- but decides she's going out anyway.

Age 30: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" - but decides she doesn't have time to fix it, so she's going out anyway.

Age 40: She looks at herself and sees "clean" and goes out anyway.

Age 50: She looks at herself and sees "I am" and goes wherever she wants to go.

Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can't even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.

Age 70: She looks at herself &sees wisdom, laughter and ability, goes out and enjoys life.

Age 80: Doesn't bother to look Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world.

Monday, July 25, 2011


One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do.
Henry Ford

Triggers were one of the clues that I didn't function quite like everyone else before counseling.  I remember working in one of the computer labs and a student came up behind me and grabbed my wrist.  He thought he was being funny.  I froze.  The fury flashed through me.   I held very still so I wouldn't lash out and really hurt him.  I recognized that my reaction was much greater than the incident warranted.  For additional reading on Triggers try this Wikipedia article

Saturday I faced one of my worse triggers.  To celebrate our son-in-law's Master's degree we gathered at a restaurant that served us wonderful food.  However, they flambe the appetizer.  The flame dancing across the plate was enjoyable by many.  Unfortunately, it is a MASSIVE trigger for me.   I turned my head a way and mentally held on.  I realized I didn't throw up, I didn't pass out.  I thought, I made it through once.  Then as more people came out, more appetizers came with flames dancing merrily on each one.  I won't say I enjoyed the experience.  But the last time I was in a restaurant that used flambe I had to leave the restaurant and find a restroom where I threw up.  This time, I would see it, look away, and hung on.  I was able to stay and enjoy the party.  I did what I feared I could not.  To some it may not seem like much since it was a normal bit of fun with food.  For me it was a huge step to not only face a trigger but not allow it to destroy my time with my family.   

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fact and Fiction

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
~Mark Twain

I am always looking for books that help me to be a better person.  Many of the books I read are centered on Christ.  One of the things I struggle with is when I encounter a book that uses a fictional book that presents itself as factual.  The author has the idea that placing the facts in a fictional context the factual information will be more readable and understandable.  I appreciate their perspective but then I am not sure when the facts end and the fiction begins.  I was raised in a world that was recreated daily by the adults in my life.  What was true yesterday, may or may not be true today.  I took what ever today's words to be the truth.  Now as an adult, I get frustrated when I can't sort out fact and fiction.  I wanted everything Black and White clearly defining what was right and wrong.  My counselor discouraged me from looking for this black and white world.  He suggested that there are many gray areas and plenty of times when it is my perspective vs. someone else's perspective.  I better understood this when I entered the world of art.  The teacher would give an assignment.  Everyone in the class would hear the same instructions then when the assignment was turned in each project was unique.  A few of the projects would not meet the requirements and the teacher would point out the errors in their thinking.  However, many of the projects would meet all the requirements but be totally unique from each other.  I appreciated more and more that many times I am not faced with the problem of what is fact and what is fiction, sometimes my question is what is my perspective of the facts and what is their perspective of the same facts.  This really eased my mind.  I now understand that some of the things I was taught as "facts" as a child were many times someones opinion.  Now I catch myself doing the same thing, spouting off my opinion's as facts. I learned a lot over the years and the kindest thing I learned was I don't need to create a black and white world to be happy.  Gray is beautiful and doing my own research by taking pictures of gray there is quite a bit out there.  

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Master Builder

'I'm a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.' ~Mother Teresa

In my life the Master Builder is Jesus Christ.  His Earthly father was a carpenter and he learned the skills of that trade.  I took woodworking in college.  I learned to appreciate the smell and feel of the wood in my hands.  If I tried to be to quick or get impatient, the wood chipped or refused to respond.  I learned the need for patiently sanding and shaping the wood.  I imagine Christ as a child learning patience working with wood.  He created with His hands.  He touched my heart. There are a number of things I learned from Him that might surprise you.  

I learned that when you are required to do work do extra but never said you had to follow them for life.  Working or giving service I should do more than expected but still have limits.   
"And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain." Matthew 5:41

I learned that serving others I still need to go about my work.  In the parable of the Good Samaritan, he took the injured traveler to an inn then continued on with his own journey.  Serving someone else is part of my day but I don't need to take them home with me. 
 27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt alive.
 29But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
 30And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
 31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
 32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
 34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
 35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou pendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
 36Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
 37And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Luke 10:27-37  (KJV)

I learned that I may suffer for a long time and do all in my understanding to heal and fail.  Seeking Him my faith will make me whole but I am required to seek Him.  He is aware of me even when pressed upon by a crowd He knew when someone reached out to him for help.   I am important to Christ.   
24And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
 25And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
 26And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
 27When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
 28For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
 29And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
 30And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
 31And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
 32And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
 33But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
 34And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Mark 5:25-34 (KJV)

One of the books I enjoyed reading is the book Untamed by Lisa Harper.
Her approach is different than many books I have encountered in my studies on Christ.  I appreciate her perspective and knowledge of the scriptures.  Like any book, it may not appeal to everyone.  I found many passages that fit with my own belief that Christ cares passionately for me and is interested in my becoming the best I can be.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Daffodil Principle


Several times my daughter had telephoned to say. "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. Going and coming took most of a day -- and I honestly did not have a free day until the following week.

"I will come next Tuesday," I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove the length of Route 91, continued on I-215, and finally turned onto Route 18 and began to drive up the mountain highway. The tops of the mountains were sheathed in clouds, and I had gone only a few miles when the road was completely covered with a wet, gray blanket of fog. I slowed to a crawl, my heart pounding. The road becomes narrow and winding toward the top of the mountain. As I executed the hazardous turns at a snail's pace, I was praying to reach the turnoff at Blue Jay that would signify I had arrived.

When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren. I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these darling children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly, "We drive in this all the time, Mother."

"Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears—and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.

"I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car. The mechanic just called, and they've finished repairing the engine," she answered.

"How far will we have to drive?" I asked cautiously.

"Just a few blocks," Carolyn said cheerfully. So we buckled up the children and went out to my car. "I'll drive," Carolyn offered. "I'm used to this."

We got into the car, and she began driving. In a few minutes I was aware that we were back on the Rim-of-the-World road heading over the top of the mountain.

"Where are we going?" I exclaimed, distressed to be back on the mountain road in the fog. "This isn't the way to the garage!"

"We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils."

"Carolyn," I said sternly, trying to sound as if I were still the mother and in charge of the situation, "please turn around. There is nothing in the world that I want to see enough to drive on this road in this weather."

"It's all right, Mother," she replied with a knowing grin. "I know what I'm doing. I promise, you will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."

And so my sweet, darling daughter who had never given me a minute of difficulty in her whole life was suddenly in charge -- and she was kidnapping me! I couldn't believe it. Like it or not, I was on the way to see some ridiculous daffodils -- driving through the thick, gray silence of the mist-wrapped mountaintop at what I thought was risk to life and limb. I muttered all the way.

After about twenty minutes we turned onto a small gravel road that branched down into an oak-filled hollow on the side of the mountain. The Fog had lifted a little, but the sky was lowering, gray and heavy with clouds. We parked in a small parking lot adjoining a little stone church. From our vantage point at the top of the mountain we could see beyond us, in the mist, the crests of the San Bernardino range like the dark, humped backs of a herd of elephants. Far below us the fog-shrouded valleys, hills, and flatlands stretched away to the desert.

On the far side of the church I saw a pine-needle-covered path, with towering evergreens and manzanita bushes and an inconspicuous, hand-lettered sign "Daffodil Garden."

We each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path as it wound through the trees. The mountain sloped away from the side of the path in irregular dips, folds, and valleys, like a deeply creased skirt. Live oaks, mountain laurel, shrubs, and bushes clustered in the folds, and in the gray, drizzling air, the green foliage looked dark and monochromatic. I shivered.

Then we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight, unexpectedly and completely splendid. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes where it had run into every crevice and over every rise. Even in the mist-filled air, the mountainside was radiant, clothed in massive drifts and waterfalls of daffodils.

The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety (I learned later that there were more than thirty-five varieties of daffodils in the vast display) was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue.

In the center of this incredible and dazzling display of gold, a great cascade of purple grape hyacinth flowed down like a waterfall of blossoms framed in its own rock-lined basin, weaving through the brilliant daffodils.

A charming path wound throughout the garden. There were several resting stations, paved with stone and furnished with Victorian wooden benches and great tubs of coral and carmine tulips. As though this were not magnificence enough, Mother Nature had to add her own grace note -- above the daffodils, a bevy of western bluebirds flitted and darted, flashing their brilliance. These charming little birds are the color of sapphires with breasts of magenta red. As they dance in the air, their colors are truly like jewels above the blowing, glowing daffodils.

The effect was spectacular. It did not matter that the sun was not shining. The brilliance of the daffodils was like the glow of the brightest sunlit day. Words, wonderful as they are, simply cannot describe the incredible beauty of that flower-bedecked mountain top.

Five acres of flowers! (This too I discovered later when some of my questions were answered.)

"But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn.

I was overflowing with gratitude that she brought me - even against my will. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. "Who?" I asked again, almost speechless with wonder, "and how, and why, and when?"

"It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home. " Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house, my mind buzzing with questions. On the patio we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline. The first answer was a simple one.
"50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain." The third answer was, "Began in 1958."

There it was. The Daffodil Principle. For me that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than thirty-five years before, had begun -- one bulb at a time -- to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain-top.

One bulb at a time. There was no other way to do it. One bulb at a time. No shortcuts -- simply loving the slow process of planting. Loving the work as it unfolded. Loving an achievement that grew so slowly and that bloomed for only three weeks of each year. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world.

This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration: learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time -- often just one baby-step at a time -- learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

"Carolyn," I said that morning on the top of the mountain as we left the haven of daffodils, our minds and hearts still bathed and bemused by the splendors we had seen, "it's as though that remarkable woman has needle- pointed the earth! Decorated it. Just think of it, she planted every single bulb. For more than thirty years. One bulb at a time! And that's the only way this garden could be created. Every individual bulb had to be planted. There was no way of short-circuiting that process. Five acres of blooms. That magnificent cascade of hyacinth! All, all, just one bulb at a time." The thought of it filled my mind. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the implications of what I had seen.

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"

My wise daughter put the car into gear and summed up the message of the day in her direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said with the same knowing smile she had worn for most of the morning.

Oh, profound wisdom! It is pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson a celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use tomorrow?" I also learned on that gray and golden morning what a blessing it is to have a child who is not a child anymore but a woman perceptive and loving beyond her years -- and to be humble in that awareness.

Thank you, Carolyn. Thank you for lessons of that unforgettable morning. Thank you for the gift of the daffodils.

Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards
This is a real garden by Mrs. Gene Bauer of Running Spring, CA

Anyone can visit during peak bloom time, early March to early April. The garden is located below Running Springs, California, in the San Bernardino Mountains. From the city of Highland (about 60 miles east of downtown Los Angeles), take Highway 330 toward Running Springs. Drive 14 miles into the mountains to the intersection of Live Oak Dr. and Fredalba. Turn right on Fredalba and proceed one mile. Park in the church parking lot. From there, signs will direct you.

She has been through 2 fires in the last 4 years and has lost many of the daffodils.
Perhaps, only if you want to, you can send her $5 in the mail so she can buy a few new bulbs.

Mrs. Gene Bauer's Daffodil Garden
c/o St. Ann's Catholic Church
30480 Fredalba Rd.
Running Springs CA 92382

Thursday, July 21, 2011

trial is useful

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. -Helen Keller.

I am intrigued by who said this quote.  I think it is a nicer version of "That which does not kill you, makes you stronger." -Friedrich Nietzsche

When searching for this quote's originator I ran across this article:

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Weaker

So like many other sayings there are two sides to every thing.  

The curious thing about all of this is that every single person in the world experiences trial. Think about it. Life begins with being squeezed out of a teeny tiny dark wet space and doesn't always improve after that. Ever doubt that life can be messy, turn on the TV to the "Death and Destruction Hour" better known as the News. I still remember as a kid touring the FBI building and they had a light that blinked every few seconds representing the number of murders happening each day. I heard they took out the exhibit since it was always on. (This may be rumor but I wouldn't be surprised.) I know when one of my kids lived in Washington DC I learned the the murder rate is higher there than in the Middle East war zone. Crap happens. So do the strong survive or is it the luck of the draw? Doesn't matter in my opinion, it depends on what you do with it. I posted a while back a story that represents this idea:

The Potato, Egg and Coffee

I continue on in my journey to figure out how to use what I have learned and the talents I was given to make this world a better place.  I remembered this poem and hunted it down.

The Bridge Builder

An old man, going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned, when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim, near,
"You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again will pass this way;
You've crossed the chasm, deep and wide-
Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head:
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today,
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm, that has been naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."

Will Allen Dromgoole     

The news attest to many that choose to add to the misery of the world.  I choose to be a builder.  

I like what Ghandi's grand daughter remembers:

My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.

What can I build today?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Swimsuit Shopping

Sent to me by a friend with a sense of humor.  Knew I would need a bit of laughter after getting off of the plane.  Lupin is right, chocolate after facing Dementors is very helpful.  At the top of the escalator after going through airport security was a little stand selling chocolate.  No pat down and the milk chocolate pecan cluster felt so good on the inside.  Flying was much better this trip.  Enjoy

Forwarded email, I appreciate whoever the author is.  Thanks.

When I was a child in the 1950s, bathing suits for the mature figure were boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered.  They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a great job.

Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip.

The mature woman has a choice – she can either go to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney's Fantasia, or she can wander around every department store in town, trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.

What choice did I have?  I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room.

The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material.  The Lycra used in bathing suits was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which gives the added bonus that, if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you will be protected from shark attacks, as any shark taking a swipe at your passing abdomen would immediately suffer whiplash.

I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place I gasped in horror.  My breasts had disappeared!
Eventually, I found one breast cowering under my left armpit.  It took a while to find the other.  At last I located it, flattened beside my seventh rib.

The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups.  The mature woman is relegated to having to wear her breasts spread across her chest like a speed bump.  I realigned my breasts into speed bump formation and lurched toward the mirror to make a full-view assessment.

The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fit those bits of me willing to stay inside it.  The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides.  I looked like a lump of Playdoh wearing undersized cling wrap.

As I tried to work out how to position the fabric to contain more of the escaping bulges, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, “Oh, there you are,” she said, admiring the bathing suit.

I replied that I wasn’t so sure about this one and asked what else she had to show me.

I tried on a cream-coloured crinkled suit that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two-piece that gave me the appearance of an oversized napkin squeezed into a serving ring.

I struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan's Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.

I tried on a black number with a bare midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.

I tried on a bright pink suit with such high-cut legs, I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.

Finally, I found a suit that fit – a two-piece affair with a shorts-style bottom and a loose, blouse-type top.  It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it.

My ridiculous search finally had a successful outcome!

When I got it home, I found a label that read, “Material becomes transparent in water..”

(Hope your laughing by this time because life isn’t just about how to survive the storm; it’s also about how to dance in the rain!)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Living Rightly

He who postpones the hour of living rightly is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.   Horace

Living Rightly - doing everything perfectly, finding the best way to do things before you begin anything.  Wasting a way for that perfect moment in time.  I am starting to learn that living is what I do when I am waiting for my life to happen.  How many times have I said, "Well things will be better when __________ happens."  You can fill in the blank with almost anything you want.  I thought when integration happened then I could solve all my problems.  It didn't occur to me that I would have a new set of problems and some of the old problems hung around to share the adventure.  Really!  I spent the month of June thinking about where I am now and where I want my life to go.  I am making plans.  I am setting things in motion.  I also know that life can change in a heartbeat.  Ten years ago this summer I went to the doctor's office and they told me that I needed to go in for a biopsy to check for cancer.  I was calm and confident.  I was only in my 40s.  The shock I felt the first week of September that I had cancer didn't wear off until September 11 when I watched the planes crash into the Pentagon, a field, and 2 towers over and over again on all 20 computers in the lab.  My world was rocked on a personal and national level.  Now I believe that Living, really living, True to myself is the best thing I can do.  I will never be a millionare. I will probably never travel the world.  All is right in my world when I am privledged to visit my children's homes and listen to their loving conversation and the laughter of their children's voices.  I think sometimes I need to readjust my priorities.  Enjoy your day where ever you are at with who ever you are with for that is Living.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


When I have a problem, I want to know what it is.  I am looking for a diagnosis.  Medical problems I go to my physician and tests are ordered, blood tests, MRIs, scans, and a variety of other tests.  When I had a problem with my marriage I went to a marriage counselor.  Imagine my shock when the diagnosis was I was the problem.  How could an iddy biddy problem with my memory constitute such a major problem?  OK a major problem with my memory.  I still remember the conversation with my counselor. 
KavinCoach - "Tell me about your childhood..."
Me - "It was great I went to the park and I went to the zoo.  Our family did things together.  It was a great childhood."
KavinCoach - "Tell me an average day."
Me - "It was great we went to the park and to the zoo...."
KavinCoach sitting back - "You went to the park and the zoo everyday?"
Me - "no"
KavinCoach - "You have no idea about your childhood."
Me reluctantly - "I haven't known since high school."
This began an odyssey into the workings of my mind and what was wrong with me.  I brought the problem with me to my marriage.  I remember asking my parents when I was 15 what was wrong with me.  They assured me that I was typical teenager and just fine.  Well I talked to other teenagers and my life just did not match up with what they thought and did.  I knew something was wrong with me but was told I was imaging the problem.  Thirty years later I got validation...something major is wrong with me.  I took months of reading books and sharing my reaction.  I read the experiences of other people since my mind couldn't access my own memories.  Some of the books I read are listed on the resource page.  My reaction, or lack of, told KavinCoach more about my childhood than I knew.  Finally he had me watch the movie Sybil about 5 months after starting counseling.  Half way through the movie I started to cry.  (I didn't cry much before counseling.  That is for another post.)  I recognized a fellow sufferer.  I knew that I did what she did.  I knew in that moment that I was a multiple personality.  I was in shock.  The next session with KavinCoach I shared my belief that I was a multiple.  He used the fancy phrase, "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with dissociation at a severe level."  The name in the '70s was Multiple Personality Disorder.  In the '90s it was changed to Dissociative Identity Disorder.  Now another name change still meant there was more than one of me.  I had no idea how many to begin with.  My mind was reeling as I took in the information.  Multiple personalities.  Good grief.  I felt so weird.  I knew something was wrong I didn't expect it to be so big.  What changed with the diagnosis?  Two things... what memories I had finally made sense in a very weird way.  I was assured by KavinCoach there was a solution, integration.  He had already talked to me about thriving more the once.  He assured me that to really thrive integration was one of the things I would need to do.  I sometimes wonder if I would have been so enthusiastic at the beginning to solve my problem if I had fully understood what it would involve.  I do not regret integrating.  I think Heavenly Father is very wise in letting us find out some things with out knowing the end from the beginning.  My diagnosis didn't change who I was.  It only gave a name to my challenge.  Integration did not solve all my problems.  It gave me access to more ways to function besides switching personalities.  Switching is like spades, it trumps every other survival skill.  Eight years ago I received a diagnosis that changed the direction of my life.  I am thankful for that diagnosis.  Thanks KavinCoach.  

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Mark Twain

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.
Agatha Christie

I started collecting my thoughts on this post in June.  One of the fears I was raised with was the fear of dieing.   Somewhere a long the way I realized that I felt more fear of living.  Dieing seemed like a welcome release from acute suffering.  Fortunately, I always held on for 5 more minutes.  I remember hitting bottom and praying for complete and utter annihilation.  Simple suicide wasn't enough.  I am so thankful God ignored my prayer that day and many other days that I didn't believe I could make it 5 more minutes.  Truly amazing how long you can survive 5 minutes at a time.  When I started counseling with KavinCoach, I had dissociated most of my more negative feelings.  I wanted to learn better communication skills in my marriage.  I had no clue what lay within my mind.  The fears, nightmares, ugly past were just outside of my memories.  Can't fix what you don't remember or feel.  Early in my counseling KavinCoach commented that I was a great survivor.  He suggested that there was more to life than surviving.  He wanted to teach me to thrive.  Being always obedient I replied that would be great.  The following week I thought about this thriving thing and couldn't even start to wrap my mind around what he was talking about.  I came back the following week and demanded, "What the hell is thriving?"
Took weeks of discussion to get even a slight clue of what he meant.  I asked for an inch and he offered me a marathon that would lead me out of the misery maze and into the sunshine of thriving.  He proposed to teach me how to live and I accepted the challenge.  Thriving is an amazing experience.  I highly recommend it.  If any one reading this is contemplating suicide get help now.  This world can be brutal but it can also be the most thrilling of experiences.  I am thankful God ignored my prayers for ending this life.  I am thankful KavinCoach offered an opportunity of a life time, learning to thrive.

Friday, July 15, 2011

From Facebook

In this photo:
Don’t let the experiences of the past limit your vision for the future. A voice from the past may keep telling us we can’t be more than we’ve been. Sometimes, our boss, a co-worker, friends or family may tell us the same thing. The past is a long series of lessons that give us wisdom, not a prison that defines who we are or what we can be tomorrow. What we envision and believe shapes our future.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On Guard

"You are just too sensitive."  This was thrown at me so many times.  I complained to KavinCoach.  I was stunned when he agreed.  Not only was I too sensitive, I was hypersensitive at an extreme level.  What the... I come to counseling to feel better not worse.  He must of seen my instant reaction of first hurt quickly followed by rage.  I hid my reaction too late.  KavinCoach spent the rest of the session helping me to understand that my survival absolutely depended on my being alert to every nuance and cue that came my way.  I did this constantly.  I never let down my guard for a second.  I was always aware of every little thing.  He pointed out how alert I was too everything negative.  He also pointed out I was clueless to anything positive.  He asked me, "Why do you think you are so much more aware of negative comments than compliments?"
I thought for a moment, "I never had to duck a compliment."
He stopped and stared at me.  I realized instantly by his body language that I had said something different than what he expected.   He took his time to think about my answer and asked if there were times when I had to duck.  My 'yay' was laced with sarcasm. Not only did I need to know when to duck but not too much because if she missed it would be much worse.  Just enough to satisfy her anger without getting hurt too bad.  I then asked what I was supposed to say.  He remarked that most people answer that negative comments are more hurtful.  He hadn't thought about the physical aspect.  He pointed out how hypersensitive I would need to be to pick up on that nuance.  By the end of the session I understood that I was indeed hypersensitive for good reason.  That it had been a gift through most of my life.  I would probably always be more aware than most people.  But he also taught me that I could use this gift in a more productive way to learn when to tone it down a bit.  Not worry about some people's words and when too ignore some people all together.  He pointed out that I was no longer in a war zone and like any war weary soldier I could relax sometimes.  I still find the ability to be hypersensitive to come in handy from time to time.  As an artist, it is a great gift.  I am now proud to say, "Yes, I am sensitive and that is a good thing."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Flying Nightmare

In the USA planning a flight to visit loved ones involves one of my worse nightmares.  To get into the airport I had to pass through airport security.  I find having all my luggage scanned is doable.  I have to remember not to have my battery sitting in a charger or I may have all my luggage gone through searching for a nonexistent bomb.  Annoying but doable.  Now they added the Pat Down for the select few.  I don't know which evil abuser thought up this diabolic method to humiliate the average flier. I talked it over with KavinCoach shortly after they instigated this new cruelty.  I wasn't sure how I would react as an integrated person. I was worried as my flight time neared.  My sleeping dropped below 4 hours of sleep each night.  Less than three hours the night of the flight.  I really dislike being touched by people I don't know.  I avoid malls, gang dark rooms, big crowds, basically anywhere people might bump into me accidentally.  The very thought of a Pat Down by some stranger made me queasy.  Unfortunately, flying is a necessary evil for an extended stay visiting one of my daughters.  The time moved forward along with the line at the airport.  I had all my stuff scanned.  Then I had to stand with my arms up for the visual frisking.  UGH.  Bad.  But I was able to keep going.  Then I was picked.  In my mind I am rehearsing the idea that the person doing the Pat Down is not the evil abuser that thought of this diabolical procedure just a person doing their job.  I stood with my arms out.  A nice soft spoken lady explained kindly what she was going to do.  Then she patted down my entire body that was covered by my clothes.  I tried dissociating. That didn't work. I held very still.  She was quick about her work.  Then walked away.  I stood there trying to gather my thoughts.  As I put on my sandals, I started to cry.  (Crying is rare for me.)  The tears rolled down my face while I put my computer back in its case.  Repacked my carry on luggage.  The tears kept rolling down my face as I walked towards the gate.  I sat for awhile before picking up my boarding pass.  The Pat Down was as bad as I had nightmares had predicted.  It really did suck.  The lady that did it seemed no more thrilled than I was but she at least had a choice to get another job.  If I wanted to fly, I had to submit myself to this humiliation.  Once the tears stopped falling I felt calm.  Then I boarded the plane.  I was one of the last to board.  There was only one seat left on the plane and the stewardess said there was no room for my luggage.  I wouldn't give it to her to check in.  I walked away like I was deaf.  (Partially am.)  Close to my seat there was one overhead spot for my carry one.  A much nicer flight attendant held my book and water while I hoisted in over my head.  Squeezed into my seat.  I made it.  I made it on to the flight.  I didn't like crying.  BUT I didn't freak out completely.  I didn't throw up.  I did it without being able to switch like I would have done before integration.  It was tough.  But I did it.  Every challenge and curve ball that came my way I found a way to solve the problems and keep going.  I am still not over the moon about the knowledge this will probably happen on my flight home but it is not impossible.  But like my sister says, "I would like to do it with more grace."      

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gentle Strength

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.
St. Francis de Sales

My childhood did not have very many gentle people.  I do remember a teacher I had called Mrs. Loving (yup that really was her name) and she landed in our class half way through the year after the teacher was fired.  Very rare to fire a teacher.  Needless to say the class was totally out of control and she kept me in after school to write sentences for talking in class.  I remember mentioning something rude to my friend about her not being very "loving."  However, by the end of the school year I adored her.  She is the first person in my memory that showed gentle strength.  I don't remember details just the feeling of being safe with her.  I knew it was possible.  My world just wasn't safe.  I learned fear.  Lots and lots of fear.  Until I could see anything as scary and terrifying like some of the children books that then show the monster was a coat on a chair or some other non-frightening thing.  But in my world, real monsters lurked and attacked.  My world was so bizarre that I didn't believe it myself.  I stopped talking about my life.  Eventually, by high school, I couldn't remember my childhood.  Years passed.  I met gentle strength in my counselor.  I pushed boundaries when I was first seeing him and he would let me know firmly yet gently that when he said no he meant it.  I learned to trust his gentleness and his strength.  I also learned that I could be safe.  Plus he taught me how I could create for myself a safe place.  I try more and more each day to treat others with gentleness.  I am learning that I do not have to be a doormat to do this.  Gentleness and strength are a powerful combination for good.  I am hoping someday that someone will think of me as a Mrs. Loving.  Please Lord, bless Mrs. Loving where ever she is for showing a mixed up little girl that gentleness is real.

Spreading out my 10,000 piece puzzle.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Optimist Pessimist

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
James Branch Cabell

One of my favorite debates about Optimist vs Pessimists happened in a university elevator.  Early that morning I walked into the elevator and there was a cup with water in it on the floor with a sign above with the question, "Is this cup half empty or half full?"  Later in the morning there were more cups on the floor.  One was empty, another was totally full, another was about 3 quarters full.  As the day progressed, more and more cups joined the first.  My conclusion.  Every person that looked at the glass had a different opinion.

The confusing life of a multiple is that each of my personalities varied on their level of optimism.  This was not a too big a deal for me since I didn't know about the switches for most of my life.  It was how people around me would be confused that one time I would be super up and believing all the world was wonderful and I could do anything.  Then I would be totally down, no hope, the whole thing is futile.  I was called moody.  Then I found out that I was switching.  For a few years, I became acquainted with all my different personalities.  Sure enough each one rated differently on the the optimist/pessimist continuum.  I think this was why I enjoyed the elevator argument so well.  Depending on which personality got on the elevator I could give you a different answer and they would all be honest answers.  Now I am integrated.  I still am more optimistic on some days than others.  I noticed that sure enough my level of optimism is tied to my mood.  When I am feeling happy, I feel more optimistic than when I feel sad.  Now, I better understand how I got away with switching.  Since no one knew I did it, until I entered counseling, they interpreted what they saw me doing by how they behave themselves.  This confusion sometimes leads to incorrect diagnosis of multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder which can be labeled as bipolar, schizophrenic, severe depression, and several others.  Integration changed many things in my life but one thing remains the same.  If you hand me a glass of water, I will drink it and say, "Thanks, I appreciate the drink." 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Against the Wind

Henry Ford
When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.  Henry Ford

Sometimes living feels like everything is against you.  Bad day piles up on bad day.  One disaster after another.  Wakening to truth that changes you forever and in the process changing your direction.  At times in my life I have gone with the flow.  Allowing myself to be pushed a long.  Now I am setting my own direction and this feeling of going against the flow has been scary sometimes.  When I found this quote, I better appreciated the importance of going against the wind especially when truth is guiding me in a new direction.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Persevarant Ultramarathon Runner

One of my positive web pages shared the story of  Cliff Young, a long distance runner in Australia.  "Every year, Australia hosts 543.7-mile (875-kilometer) endurance racing from Sydney to Melbourne. It is considered among the world's most grueling ultra-marathons. The race takes five days to complete and is normally only attempted by world-class athletes who train specially for the event."

Cliff was 61 years old when he entered this race for the first time.  The judges almost didn't let him enter for fear of his safety.  The old farmer assured them it was no different then herding sheep without a horse.  The race began and he fell far behind.  The raced lasted for 5 days.  No one explained to Cliff that he was supposed to sleep each night.  Like the story of The Tortoise and the Hare, while the other racers slept Cliff persevered and shuffled along down the road.  Spoiler....He won the race with a new record.  Perseverance pays off at any age.  Keep going....You are doing great.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

You might be a multiple if...

Yes, I feel a need for a warning.  This is a inside view of some of the behaviors that could have given me a clue but didn't.  For over 40 years I functioned as a multiple personality without knowing it.  Any real diagnosis needs to be done by a specialists that deals with multiple personality disorder or more commonly called dissociative identity disorder.  Most of these behaviors, I do not miss now that I am integrated. 

I did a search on this phrase before I wrote my perspective on this so here's what I found:
Individual perspectives

A medical view

You Might be a Multiple IF...

~ you lay out clothes the night before and when you wake up you have no idea who left out those clothes.

~you look at the pictures of people hanging on the walls of your house and you wonder who they are.

~you write a letter and you notice that someone else added to the letter in another hand writing.  You are home alone. 

~you wonder who keeps moving your clothes around in the closet. 

~you are sick and tired of someone moving your stuff but when you blame your family or roommates everyone denies they moved it. 

~your friends talk to you about the amazing evening you had a few nights ago and you have no idea what they are talking about. 

~your kids ask you to remember something and your laughter is on the edge of hysteria.  I always joked that my memory was like a sieve trying to hold water.

~you are having a conversation and suddenly you realize that the person is looking at you strangely and says, "You just said that."  Or worse, "I just answered that question."

~you don't have hardly any continuous memories.  Memories seem to come in clips and sound bytes.  Whole weeks or months can be missing.  You can report episodes of black-outs that do not involve finding yourself on the floor.

~you write yourself a note, put it in your pocket and don't find it again until after it has gone through the wash.

~you find yourself driving in the car and you don't know where you have been or where you or going or why.  May even be a bit fuzzy as to where home is located.

~someone comes up to you and starts talking to you using another name for you.  You believe it is mistaken identity and they get angry with you for not knowing who they are.

~you cringe at meeting someone from your past.  They will ask you to remember something and you have no idea what they are talking about.   

~you sometimes feel more connection with an episode from the 'Twilight Zone' then any other TV show. 

~you make jokes about living life in the Crazy Lane.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau

I started counseling over 8 years ago.  When we first started I talked about wanting to communicate better.  Homework assignments went from bad to disastrous.  KavinCoach figured out very fast that there was more to the situation then just lack of communication.  I had no memories from my childhood to work with.  I hadn't known about my childhood since high school.  I was very impressed with anybody that could remember things.  I joked that I had a memory like a sieve.  KavinCoach used a series of books to gauge my reaction.  He started with the book, "I Child Called It."  My only reaction, "What do you want me to learn from it?"  Each book there after was worse and worse accounts of abuse, until the 4th book was Viktor Frankl's book "Man's Search for Meaning."  His account of his experience in a Nazi concentration camp.   After this book I commented, "What do you want me to learn from this isn't the right answer."  KavinCoach assured me that there wasn't a right or wrong answer but my lack of reaction told a far different story than I needed to learn to communicate.  He talked about the fact that I showed signs of being a very messed up human being.  Finally he had me watch Sybil, her movie I recognized a fellow sufferer, and I understood I was a multiple.  KavinCoach explained that before I could learn how to communicate I would first need to rip out my entire twisted and damaged foundation and start over.  Imagine rebuilding a foundation of a house while still living in the house.  My world was rocked.  The work began.  Long hours of study, self reflection, self analyzing, learning about living instead of just surviving.  I called myself an ultimate survivor with a tag team of 5 personalities that worked together.  The dust has finally settled.  I have a new integrated foundation.  I am one personality learning that I can communicate very well when I know who's doing the talking and the same person is listening and responding.  A switch of personalities could actually happen mid sentence.  Triggers for switches could be a sight, sound, smell, or comment.  Staying the same person all day is really nice.  Today I knew what I had done last night to feel so bad.  I gave myself a break and slept through most of the day after staying up most of the night before.  I earned feeling this bad.  It is OK.  I like the idea that my castle was already there, I just added a foundation.  Foundations is the very essence of who we are.  It is sad that so many people have life experiences at such a young age that this foundation gets damaged before living has really started.  I am thankful that at any age I can choose to put in some self improvements. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th of July to everyone in the United States.

Happy Independence Day to everyone that chooses to thrive. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011


God is a changer.  
He changes darkness into Light..  
Bondage into Liberty..
Ashes into beauty..
Conflict into Peace..
He has changed death into Life!
Daysprings on Facebook
I am fascinated how when I am thinking over an idea I encounter all sorts of different thoughts on the same theme.  I have thought about change.  The importance of change.  How much I have changed.  The opportunities for more change.  Today I saw this on Facebook.   I realized that this is an interesting contrast.  This illustrated the way God changes things yet God is constant.  In Paul's letter to the Hebrews 13:8 he writes, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." This is another aspect of change or lack of change.  One of the fascinating things about integration was totally reinventing myself.  However, for all the change I experienced my core values remained the same.  Even more amazing as I grow after my integration that my likes, dislikes, interests, dreams, and other attributes that existed in different alters have continued after the change of integration.  This puzzled me at first since some of my alters seemed like exact opposites to each other.  I now understand that the values were the same. How each one carried it out was different.  Now, as an integrated person I have blended the styles of all the different alters into myself.  Massive change occurred but there is a great deal that remains the same.  I noticed this in other situations.  Some things change massively yet certain aspects remain the same.   Almost like a whirl pool where the outer edges are swirling around yet the center of the vortex can remain constant.  Sometimes change will only be on the surface like painting a room.  Other times it is like Extreme Makeover: Home edition, changing the whole structure from the ground up but the basic intent, a home, remains the same.   Christ taught repentance which is the very essence of how to change.  He did what was necessary so I can change to become what He intended me to be, a loving kind person that likes animals, children, photography, and sunsets.  I am thankful for the changes in my life.  I am glad the Christ is one of the constants that does not change.     

Saturday, July 2, 2011


"In the confrontation between the stream
and the rock, the stream always wins
- not by strength but by perseverance."
- H. Jackson Brown 

Somewhere in my childhood I learned the value of perseverance.  I know when I entered high school I decided to make a change in my life.  Up through 8th grade I struggled with reading, writing, spelling.  My 7th grade teacher gave me a bad spellers dictionary because I spelled so badly I couldn't even look up a word I wanted to spell in Webster's dictionary.  (The bad spellers dictionary actually had psychology in the Ss.)  I joked that I wanted to have English as my second language.  Math was my first language.  Math was the only thing I was good at in school.  I entered high school and set a lofty goal of straight A's in every subject.  Then, I set to work on all the homework to make it possible.  I learned a quote from my mother, "To get a C do the work, to get a B do more work, to get an A study the teacher."  I spent hours on some of my subjects since I was poor at reading it took me longer to read assignments.  When I got stuck, I learned to talk to my teachers.  In algebra there was an entire chapter of story problems.  My worse nightmare for school work.  I had to read a story and make mathematical sense out of the swimming words.  My algebra teacher was also the chemistry teacher.  I remember day after day sitting in the back of the smelly chemistry lab making crude drawings of what the words were supposed to mean.  The teacher pushed.  I would get frustrated but I persevered.  I would not quit.  The test was tough.  I was ecstatic when I got 100%.  I knew to keep it a secret.  In the mixed up world of high school getting good grades was bad.  Still I worked each semester studying, asking questions and persevering through 4 years of hard study.  I graduated in the top 5% of my class.  My mother's only comment, "You are not smarter you just worked harder."  Part of my motivation was to please her with my good grades.  I was in shock when I realized it meant very little to her.  Those 4 years taught me 2 valuable lessons.  
1.  I could not please my mother.
2.  If I put my mind to doing something, I could do it through perseverance and hard work.  
The first lesson freed me to pursue my own dreams, the second made it possible to achieve them.  I just didn't realize then what type of road blocks I was facing.  Eight years ago, I found out I had PTSD at a severe level.  Translated into everyday language, for over 40 years, I functioned using multiple personalities to survive.  Perseverance was key to the integration process.  I did not give up on myself.  I would not quit.  Drop by drop water can dissolve rock.  

Friday, July 1, 2011

Change vs Consistency

The only completely consistent people are the dead. Aldous Huxley

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.  Aldous Huxley

Experience is not what happens to a man; 
it is what a man does with what happens to him. Aldous Huxley

I am pondering on the changes that have happened to me over the past several years.  I feel like I have turned myself inside-out and upside down.  Yet, I feel more like me than I can ever remember.  I found the first quote in my Quotes Widget then followed the link to find the other quotes by Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World.   A book I have never read.  His first quote about people that are completely consistent caught my attention immediately.  It goes along with my ideas about loving to change.  Changing means I am alive.  I like feeling alive.  There were times in my life where I have felt dead inside.  There was a time in my life that I didn't want to just die, I wanted complete inhalation body and a soul.  I survived.  The feelings passed.  The darkness receded.  The third quote that experience is what I do with what happens to me I think is key to where I am headed right now.  I have these experiences.  I want to make something good out of my life.  I considered walking away and never talking about integration ever again.  I decided that my story is worth sharing.  I did integrate five personalities of varying temperaments, sex and ages into one thriving person.  I am not problem free.  I am learning that as an integrated person my options for survival tools has increased to more choices than switching to another personality.  I am learning from New Counselor that I can access the strengths of all my personalities.  I also learned the hard way I still have the weaknesses of all the personalities.  Now, I am learning to choose how to use different ways of coping that each passing day is adding to my over all feeling of strength.  I feel like this first month of summer break from school that I accomplished less than I had planned to do.  However, I feel like I accomplished more in finding a place of peace and feeling like I am ready to move ahead.  Thank you to readers that have followed along and encouraged me.  I hope to be doing this for quite sometime.  This journey is amazing.  I am learning more and more that this world may have dark sides that defy any light to appear.  Yet, the smallest candle can push back the darkness. God has blessed me in so many ways.  I hope that by sharing this adventure I can share some of those blessings.  Thriving is amazing.