Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Of two minds....

Today's post will be read by most of you on Dec 1.  (Some of my friends are already on Dec. 1.)  To me that is the official start of the Christmas season.  25 days until Christmas.  I am going to state up front "I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!!!"  However, it is always littered with 10 billion triggers.  So I have thought of a way to deal with my desire to address the split personality of Christmas, the Bah-humbugs and the 'God bless us every one.'  There are the low lows and the high highs that all come together at Christmas.  Here's what I decided to do.  On the top, will be how I try to cope with stresses of Christmas.  At the bottom will be a poem, story or link to something I love about Christmas.  Being a multiple at Christmas time had some real advantages, there were also some major disadvantages.  Do you start to see how the duality goes? 

So for today I have a Stress diet to share: (I saw this years ago in an email.  It is in so many places I am guessing that it has achieved public domain status.)

Instructions for Stress Diet
BREAKFAST:
1/2 grapefruit
1 slice whole wheat toast
8 oz. skim milk

LUNCH:
4 oz. lean broiled chicken breast
1 cup steamed spinach
1 cup herb tea
1 Oreo cookie

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK:
The rest of Oreos in the package
2 pints Rocky Road ice cream, nuts, cherries and whipped cream
1 jar hot fudge sauce

DINNER:
2 loaves garlic bread
4 cans or 1 large pitcher Coke
1 large sausage, mushroom and cheese pizza
3 Snickers bars

LATE EVENING NEWS:
Entire frozen Sara Lee cheesecake (eaten directly from freezer)

RULES FOR THIS DIET:
1. If you eat something and no one sees you eat it, it has no calories.
2. If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, the diet soda cancels out the calories in the candy bar.
3. When you eat with someone else, calories don't count if you do not eat more than they do.
4. Food used for medicinal purposes NEVER counts, such as hot chocolate, brandy, toast and Sara Lee Cheesecake.
5. If you fatten up everyone else around you, then you look thinner.
6. Movie related foods do not have additional calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel. (Examples: Milk Duds, buttered popcorn, Junior Mints, Red Hots and Tootsie Rolls.)
7. Cookie pieces contain no calories. The process of breaking causes calorie leakage.
8. Things licked off knives and spoons have no calories if you are in the process of preparing something.
9. Foods that have the same color have the same number of calories. (Examples: spinach and pistachio ice cream; mushrooms and mashed potatoes.)
10. Chocolate is a universal color and may be substituted for any other food color.
11. Anything consumed while standing has no calories. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.
12. Anything consumed from someone else's plate has no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to his/her plate. (We ALL know how calories like to cling!)
Remember, "stressed" spelled backwards is "desserts."
This is just a joke, folks!

 And now for some fun....
I have links to making paper snowflakes:
http://www.instructables.com/id/3d-PAPER-SNOWFLAKE/
I made this one today.  I like how it turned out.  Just need paper, scissors, tape and staples:
http://www.squidoo.com/make-paper-snowflakes?utm_source=google&utm_medium=imgres&utm_campaign=framebuster 

The Glory and the Darkness

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Silence is not always Golden

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim; accept no ones definition of your life; define yourself."
~Harvey Fierstein...thanks to my friend.
 Thank you to my blogging friends for speaking up when silence is not OK.   
Over at Diary of a Scapegoat http://diaryofascapegoat.blogspot.com/2011/11/amazing-post-over-at-emerging-from.html she shared a link to a great article on when people tell you to "get over it", "put it behind you", or my favorite when they, the abuser, tell you to "forgive and forget."  One thing I have noticed that the person most likely telling me this is the person that hurt me in the first place.  They don't want to be held accountable for their actions so they expect me to be quite and go about my life since they did.  I am now in my 9th year of counseling.  Yes, I have been asked more than once when I would be able to "move on" with my life.  More than once I thought I had gotten to that point, then too much happens and I have another internal melt down.  I feel so discouraged.  I was given all sorts of advice and most of it I had no idea how to accomplish what they suggested.  
Counseling with KavinCoach changed my life.  He listened.  He thought carefully about what I said.  Then he would ask me to watch a movie or read a book and come back and report what I thought about it.  He encouraged me to think things through for myself and to come to my own conclusions.  He guided me.  But reminded me that I was the one deciding where I went with my life.  Most importantly he expected me to talk and talk and talk.  I remember early on in the counseling that he would get frustrated with me for practicing what I would say.  He wanted me to talk spontaneously.  One day he took me off subject into an area we had not previously discussed and I had not practiced.  I started talking then my voiced trailed away and finally I could open and shut my mouth but no sound emerged.  He saw on my face the look of panic and frustration as the words screaming inside would not come out.  One of the few times his counselor face slipped and he showed shock.  He realized, I really couldn't say some things without practicing over and over again.  I still struggle with saying things out loud.  I am learning to write how I feel and think.  This blog has become my voice.  
Now my theory is a bit different than many that I have read.  I do not believe that God gave me child abuse to make me stronger.  However, I do believe that God understands that crap happens.  He hopes that I can find some way to make something good come out of it.  I can not change my past.  I have no idea what kind of person I would have been without being physically, verbally, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually abused.  It happened.  End of sentence.  I am like the little boy in Dr. Banks speech about the difference between an optimist and pessimist.  The pessimist was given a room full of toys and he disparaged all the junk and snarled at the world.  The optimist was given a pile of manure.  When the parents checked on him they found him digging in the manure.  He exclaimed, "With this much crap, there must be a pony in here some where."  Crap happened, by damn, I going to find some kind of use for it somewhere. 
 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Plan down time

Thank you for so many kind thoughts on yesterday's post.  My Angel sent me this photo and comment:

Even bees need a day off. 


I can understand you needing to go into retreat after a big event. It happens to me, again and again I now recognise it as Mother Nature telling me to rest and recover.

My son is an artist and this is a picture he drew for me some time ago. I wanted to share it with you because I thought it appropriate to today's post "When you have rested you can fly again"


Next Thanksgiving...

One of the hard things for me is sorting out what is a problem with PTSD, DID and what is just plain being human.  I have always thought that the reason I couldn't get past Thanksgiving without crashing was because of PTSD.  I am starting to realize that 'down time' after a major event is human.  For me Thanksgiving is a major event spiked with a dash of triggers from PTSD.  So next Thanksgiving will look something like this.....  Thursday cook and eat without feeling guilty or hearing the tape in my head about all those naughty calories....  Friday, shop for fabric (best price on flannel all year) then drinking hot chocolate with lovely daughters and daughter-in-laws.  Saturday.... sleep in,  do as little as possible.  Sunday.... maybe get up for church and then go back to sleep.  Yup, I have made adjustments to my plan. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

After holiday recovery

I loved Thanksgiving, yet I seem to be in recovery now.  Yesterday, I didn't do the shopping I needed to do.  I didn't go out and get things done that I needed done.  I realized I am in full retreat.  I am starting to catch up on reading blogs.  Reading other people's blogs inspire me and provoke me to think about things that I some times prefer to keep shut out.  Today, I was reading and enjoying vwoopvwoop's http://vwoopvwoop.wordpress.com/ posts and art.  I miss taking art classes since I have graduated from college.  I miss critiques.  The interesting thing about critiques was the opinion of most of the professors was that it was an opportunity to discuss a piece of work with knowledge and understanding of art.  Rarely were the critiques allowed to be turned into a "put down" session.  The whole thing was if you like it, why do you like it.  If you don't, you better be able to back that up, too.  I also appreciated seeing things from someone else's perspective.  I grew to rely on the feed back to improve what I was doing.  Now that I write it, I realize I like doing the same thing with my blog.  I appreciate the feedback in comments.  Your encouragement is greatly appreciated.

Over at vwoopvwoop a particular piece really set me to thinking:
Repression in Action http://vwoopvwoop.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/repression-in-action/
It is done as a diptych, two pictures together that each could stand alone but their power increases in the pairing.  I wrote a comment that I realized I was restraining myself from writing an entire post in the comment box.  Rather than overload the box I decided to finish the comment here.

Things come with clarity and intensity then the mind covers and obscures that memory. I think your pictures describes that process very well. Thank you for creating a connection that I understand.

It is not often I can find someone that can describe so well a process that I deal with every day.  Repression, (http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/ss/defensemech_4.htm) the very essence of my survival and the basis of confusion.  One of the choices I made before integration was not to retrieve all my repressed memories.  I waffle back and forth if it was the best choice.  Some times I relish the comment "fuzzy is good."  Other times I am frustrated with how I behave and what is the basis behind my behavior.  I feel frustrated when my behavior seems strange to myself.  Whenever this is happening, there is usually a story behind it that my mind is desperately trying to keep suppressed.  Repressed memories are hotly debated when convictions for offenses occurred and it turned out the recovered memories were false. (Note: Not all recovered memories are untrue.  Some are horrific and hard to believe but still true.  Unfortunately, the abuser uses the victim's own willingness to not want to believe someone in their life would intentionally harm them.)  Misunderstandings occurred between my sister and I when I acted as if nothing bad happened in our childhood.  She hadn't considered the possibility that my mind repressed my past so completely that in my mind nothing bad had happened.  She was astounded when she understood how completely I wiped out my own past.  So why wasn't I delighted or even happy with not remembering.  I should have been able to move forward with my life.  Only it doesn't work that way.  A repressed memory doesn't remove it or process it.  Much like vwoopvwoop's painting the image is painted over.  The memory of the experience is lurking behind the curtain of my subconscious much like the Great Oz.  It influences or even controls my actions and I feel a bit like a marionette dancing to a tune that not even I hear.  Counseling sessions often involve pulling back that curtain.  Often, once exposed to the light of day, I find that the memory no longer has the ferociousness that I once feared.  Occasionally the memory is just as big and ugly as I feared.  Through counseling I work through how I can wrap my mind around it.  Sometimes it is the acceptance that it is in my past.  Sometimes it is the understanding that children are manipulated by cruel adults.  Sometimes I need the opportunity to grieve the incident that caused some form of loss.  Repression sometimes a blessing, sometimes a curse.  Thank you vwoopvwoop for creating a painting that describes this process so well.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful for New Beginnings

A quote from my Little Buddha Instruction Book “No matter how difficult the past, you can always begin again today.”   ~ Thanks to whoever shared this with me. 


New beginnings, starting over, reevaluating are all parts of MAJOR CHANGE.  Sometimes in life we need to make course adjustments to keep on track with life goals.  I found myself backed into a dark corner where I had to make a massive change one way or the other.  My world and mind were falling apart.  Most of my problems showed up in my marriage.  I chose to go to marriage counseling to see if I could rescue my relationship with my husband.  After 25 years of raising kids, they were leaving home starting their own lives just as kids should. Our focus had been on what the kids needed and not what we needed, which I have learned is a very bad plan for a marriage.  What I hadn't counted on in my life plan were 15 years of poor health that put an additional strain on my relationship with my husband.  There is nothing more humbling than heading off to a marriage counselor and finding out that I barely knew myself.  The marriage counseling rapidly turned to me counseling.  False image after false image was shattered in KavinCoaches counseling office.  The illusion that I had a great childhood crashed to the floor.  The belief that the black outs were just glitches in my memory.  I had no idea another personality was taking over.  Finding out that I functioned as a committee of five totally rocked my world.  Change upon change happened to me.  When I think of beginning again, I don't consider it like the other changes.  To begin again, to me, means that I am making a conscious choice to redirect my life.  I did not wake up one morning and suddenly decide my life would be different.  It was more like changing the direction of an aircraft carrier.  Changing directions and making it a permanent change took a lot of work and for me often painful recognition of how I conducted myself.  Change happens everyday....like it or not.  However, New Beginnings occur when I put in the effort to decide how I want to change myself.  To go from being buffeted by life to embracing who I am and how I want to become a better me.  Integration turns your whole way of approaching life inside out and upside down.  The switches controlled my life.  Now I am controlling how I respond to life.  I am not always good at it but I learn more and more every day.  I am thankful for integration giving me a new beginning. 


Friday, November 25, 2011

Week of gratitude...

...isn't complete without addressing those things that bothered me.  There are some things that are just tough to be thankful for, like immunizations.  They hurt at the time but help your body fight a bigger battle.  Or like Corrie Ten Boom questioning her sister as to why she should thank God for the fleas.  A fellow blogger wrote a wonderful post on not wishing for bad things in our lives just so we can learn from them. http://n-continuum.blogspot.com/2011/11/acceptance-gratitude-2011.html 

In my life I have had things happen that just happened, seem to have no rhyme or reason.  Other things it is not until I look back on the series of events that I recognize how something bad helped me when I needed it most.  I had cancer and what I learned from that helped me to survive counseling.  I do not believe the twisted theory that I wished for these tough things to happen in my life.  No little child wished for the abuse that happened to them.  Telling a 3 year old that they attracted their abuser is absurd.  Telling an adult the same thing can be equally absurd.  I do believe I can put myself in harms way but staying out of harms way doesn't guarantee a free pass to no problems.  Blaming the victim that they brought it on themselves is a cop out.  Bad things happen.  Full stop.  My gratitude comes in the things that I see happen around a difficult event.  People step up and become their best selves by pitching in to work together to solve a problem.  Sometimes help comes from a person you would least expect.  When I had cancer, I received get well cards from coworkers I barely knew.  Trying to wrap my mind around the impact cancer had on my life I did a photography show on the emotional effect that cancer had on me.  One of the students that came to the show, his mother died the year before from breast cancer.  He almost didn't go to the show.  He finally decided to come and take a look at the impact of cancer on my life.  He commented in my sign-in book that for the first time he understood what happened while he was away at college with his mother.  He felt closure.  I am not thankful for cancer itself.  I am thankful that I was able to help someone else come to grips with this ugly disease.  I like the metaphor that life is like a huge tapestry and that it would loose its richness if all the dark threads were removed.  In dark room photography, the goal is to have a wide range of grays from the blackest blacks up through the palest grays almost white.  If all you have is light colors, the image looks flat.  I think the way I can best describe what I mean is I am thankful for the richness and diversity in life.  My experiences with the darkest parts of my life intensify my gratitude for the most joyful parts of my life.  My best parts of my life are often the toughest.  I don't need to hope for bad things in my life so I can learn, I am thankful when I can learn good things from the bad stuff that happens. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday

Thanks everyone for sending me comments and posts for Thanksgiving Blog Party. 

If only we'd stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time.
Edith Wharton

Outside of the United States, I don't think anyone celebrates Black Friday spending frenzy.  Years ago when most of our children were teenagers, we lived on a very limited budget.  So to stretch the Christmas money just a little bit farther, I would shop the sales on Black Friday.  The history of Black Friday I think has been lost to many.  Years ago, many businesses ran most of the year at a loss.  The day after Thanksgiving and the Macy Parade that ended with Santa Claus coming to New York officially kicked off the time to buy Christmas presents.  Often by the end of the day the stores that were working at a loss, or in the red,  were now making a profit, or in the black.  Accountants used red ink for losses and black ink for profits.  The advent of computers has changed this since most companies do not have color printers.  But the sales and the commercialism to buy on Black Friday remain, since this will be an indicator used by the stock market to value a business for the next year.  My daughters and daughter-in-laws have learned that they can stretch their budgets the same way I did.  To make it fun, we end the adventure with hot chocolate at Mimi's Cafe.  (If you live close to a Mimi's, I highly recommend their hot chocolate.) 

However, there is another part of Black Friday.  Holidays with lots of family and high expectations for a "perfect day" can end up being a huge let down.  The realization that the same garbage happens year after year, the same people act like jerks, and accidents and tempers rise from the stress of unreasonable expectations for a single day.  Depression the day after Thanksgiving can come crashing down the day after to create its own twisted version of BLACK FRIDAY.  The last 2 years my goal is to feel good about the day no matter what it brings.  Drop unreasonable expectations.  Go with the flow.  This year we had a picnic dinner outside.  It was attempting to rain.  Fortunately, it waited a few hours.  We enjoyed a lovely picnic on this cloud covered day.  The day wasn't perfect.  I got lost looking for a friend's house.  I lost my phone for a short time.  (I was thankful it was a short time.)  I was delighted by the people that took time to send a comment to my blog party.  I avoided or side step most of the major triggers that happen every year at Thanksgiving.  For setting a goal to have a peaceful day, I think I succeeded.  It didn't need to be a perfect day to be enjoyable.  Do I believe I am in the clear?  Nope.  Learned a few things from today to improve my coping abilities for next year.  Depression likes to lurk and pounce when I let my guard down.  Some day, I hope to not feel like I have to be hyper vigilant to keep it at bay.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Party Today

H A P P Y  T H A N K S G I V I N G

I am inviting all my readers that are interested in sharing a recipe, a thought, or something they are thankful for.  I will take all comments and move them into the post.

I am thankful to all my readers and fellow bloggers.  I could start naming names and then I would forget someone.  Posts that I have learned from, comments that enrich my learning, encouragement from my readers, I am continually amazed at all you wonderful people out there.

Let the party begin: (New comments added at the top.)

ellen said...

Can I be thankful for a few things?   Yes.  :)

I am grateful for my therapist, whom I found this year, and who is helping me a lot.

And I am grateful for music, which I started listening to again lately, after years of just casual listening. Music is so healing.

And I am grateful for my blog, and my blog friends that comment and that share so honestly on their own blogs.

And I am grateful for my camera, and my happiness when I take a good picture.

Happy Thanksgiving to you in the US.


marie therese 1 said...




I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to seek being alive again inside, for hope for my family and my goddaughter. I am grateful for understanding there is hope for healing even in the deepest darkness.


PWC said...




Cranberry Sauce

12 ounces cranberries
1 cup white sugar (can be halved according to taste)
1 cup orange juice

In a saucepan dissolve sugar in orange juice over medium heat. Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries begin to pop. Should take about ten minutes or so. Remove from heat; will thicken as it cools.

Easy, quick, and sooo good! I used to buy canned until I found out making it yourself is easy and tasty.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Laurel Hawkes said...
I'm thankful for all the amazing friends God has brought into my life.


I'm thankful for music, all kinds of music. Especially marching bands. Hearing a band always lifts my spirits, and reminds me that God loves hearing our jouful noise.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Melissa 


Hello Ruth

I am sending you my favourite carrot cake recipe. I get lots of compliments and requests for this cake, it really is scrummy!

A few things I am thankful for; my dear husband who has been my soul mate for over forty years, who knows my faults but loves me anyway!! My wonderful sons, their partners and my  gorgeous grandchildren, all Gods beautiful creature's, friendships, laughter, flowers, bees, sunsets, trees, the kindness of others and the skills of doctors, the teachings of philosophers and last but not least, your posts Ruth, I am thankful for those.

Happy Thanksgiving and have a lovely day.

XX Molly


Carrot Cubes

CUTS INTO 15 CUBES

CALORIES PER SERVING 385:    FAT PER SERVING: 27g

FOR THE CAKE:
175g (6oz) butter, softened
175g (6oz) soft light brown sugar
250g (8oz) self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
 3 medium eggs
100g (4oz) packet walnuts, chopped
350g (12oz) carrots, peeled and coarsely grated

FOR THE TOPPING:
300g (10oz) carton cream cheese
2 tablespoons icing sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
15 marzipan carrots

26 x 16.5cm (10 ¼ x 6 1/2in) tray bake tin, lined with baking parchment

Set the oven to warm, Gas Mark 3 or 160°C or 320°F.

To make the cake: Place all the ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth.

Spoon into the lined cake tin and level the surface

Bake in centre of oven for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until risen and a skewer comes out clean after being inserted into cake. Remove from oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the topping: Beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon zest. Spread over the top of the cake.

Cut the cake into 15 squares and decorate each with a marzipan carrot. The cake will keep in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days.

The cake, without topping, may be wrapped in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Allow to defrost overnight before finishing with the cream-cheese topping.

 Thought I'd send this early because it's an appetizer! mulderfan

PIMENTO CHEESE SPREAD/DIP

Ingredients:

• 1 cup old cheddar, grated
• 1 cup tex-mex blend cheese, grated
• 1 small jar of pimentos, drained and finely chopped
• 1 finely chopped green onion
• ½ cup plain spreadable cream cheese (1/2 small tub)
• ¼ cup mayonnaise
• ½ tsp. garlic powder
• ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
• ¼ tsp. black pepper
• Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Best served the following day so the flavours can blend.

Easily doubled and it apparently freezes well but trust me you won’t have to worry about that!

Can be served warm or cold. Great with crackers, tacos, wrapped in a tortilla, as a sandwich filling, on a burger, spread on French bread and popped under the broiler…


Dear Aunt Ruth,
My little contribution is M's cassoulet.  She's made it twice.  Quite the production, it requires several days of preparation.  She invents a recipe which roughly follows this one <http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/toulouse-style-cassoulet>.  The attached photo shows it near the end of the process.  Baking and the addition of sausage is still required.
Enjoy,
W

Jonsi said...
I'm leaving this a little bit early, just in case I don't have time tomorrow! This is my favorite pumpkin pie recipe. It's very spicy (pumpkin spice spicy, not "hot" spicy). Some people hate it, others love it, but it's the only kind of pumpkin pie I'll really eat! Carnation Pumpkin Pie: (Makes 1 9-inch single crust pie) 1 cup sugar 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp cloves 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp allspice 1/2 tsp ginger 1/2 tsp salt 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (one can) 1 2/3 cups undiluted evaporated milk (one can) pie crust Blend sugar, spices, and salt together. Add eggs, pumpkin, and evaporated milk. Mix well. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake in hot oven (425 deg) for 15 minutes; reduce to moderate heat (350 deg) and continue baking about 40 minutes or until knife inserted in pie mixture comes out clean. Cool. Enjoy!
Chocolate pudding pie. Me.

2 small boxes of milk chocolate pudding INSTANT mix.  (It doesn't come in a big package.)
Use the milk that is suggested for pie filling.  
Stir.
Stir in thawed 8 oz. whipped topping. (If you can find it, french vanilla is very yummy.)
Pour into a prepared gram cracker crust, or chocolate cookie crust, or tomorrow I am trying a vanilla waffer crust. 
Chill.
Before serving it can be topped with any of the following more whipped topping, shaved chocolate, coconut, nuts, gram cracker crust crumbled, or what ever topping sounds good to you.  
Eat and enjoy.  

vwoopvwoop said...
I am thankful for the healing power of love, the opportunities I am given to choose right even when wrong is so tempting, and the beautiful souls that have come into my life to guide and walk beside me on my journey. <3

DD
I'm posting my comment here because the silly word visual won't appear so it won't let me post the comment that I spent time writing.. :P I am thankful for my life and health where it is today. I wouldn't be here without the struggle but th...at's what makes all the thanks-giving sweeter in the end. ;) I'm thankful for my family and friends, that I've known for as long as I can remember and that I've just met. Thank you all for being there for me and allowing me to be apart of your life... For all of my fellow photographer and videographer friends I am grateful for such a wonderful medium to express myself and share a similar passion with you all. :-) Happy Thanksgiving to all!





Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful for lots of things

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say: "I want to see the manager!"
Willliam S. Burroughs

Gratitude, a feeling of thankfulness, enjoyment, appreciation all words that convey approval for something.  I love lots of things beautiful music, hearing aides to hear beautiful music, sunrise, sunset, photography.  Photography freed me to explore all the things I like.  I have another blog of pictures and most of the pictures are of things I like, love, or interest me.  http://ruthmower.blogspot.com/

I took a break from working on it while I thought about another project.  Now I am getting back to doing it again.  I enjoy sharing my pictures because I am sharing what I love.  Animals, birds, plants, city-scapes, landscapes.  One of my packages of pictures my daughter looked through and found a picture of a Skittle.  Yup that bright green little candy looked super cool snuggled in the dusty trail.  I love ducks, blown glass, kids, people.  In the last 5 years I have taken more than 60,000 pictures.  Yup, that is the right number of zeros after it.  I like spiderwebs, cactus, rocks, lines painted in a parking lot.  Lots of things capture my attention and I like seeing the beauty in ordinary things. 

One of the signs of depression is a lack of interest.  As depression loosens the strangle hold on my life, I am starting to discover how extremely curious I am.  There are some things I can't take pictures of that I appreciate the warmth from the sun, the hug of a child, a sense of humor, peace in my heart.  I grew up with the movie Sound Of Music.  One of my favorite songs is "Favorite things."  You Tube offers a version with Julie Andrews.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw2VX5wQYQg



Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful for Christ

Anyone that has read my book at the bottom of the page knows that I believe Jesus Christ is my Savior.  Religion can be very triggering for a lot of abuse victims.  Sometimes religion is used to keep a victim "in-line."  Sometimes a person is haunted by the idea that they must have been bad to deserve such a severe punishment as an abusive childhood.  In the news recently, parents used the Bible as their excuse to abuse their children saying they want their children to be 'good.'  My own experience is that it has taken years for me to read the scriptures with any feeling of trust.  So why through all that I experienced I was able to say with out hesitation that I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior?  I believe that a loving Heavenly Father sent His son to Earth to make a path for me to follow to return to Him.

Memories that I retained through out my life centered on my faith in Christ.  When I was growing up, I allowed spiders to live in my window because the did the great service of eating mosquitoes.  I was fascinated by the spider's life and web building.  The really interesting thing was that every web started with one main thread.  (If you would like to learn more about spider web strength click here.)  From this one main thread the spider will build the entire web.  My belief in Christ is a lot like that spiders thread.  It is the one firm thing in my life that has remained tough and firm.  I have built my belief system and my life from this one point; He lives.

I know people that can not comprehend how God could exist and allow such horrors as child abuse or the Holocaust to exist.  I believe that God gave man their agency and some of people are going to choose evil.  However, I look at Christ's life, he was beaten, hated, betrayed by his friends, spat on, slandered, every rotten thing you can think of happened to him.  Then He chose to take the world's sins upon himself.  I do not comprehend such an act or how it was possible.  I know from the description in the New Testament that he suffered more than anything I can imagine.  I can never kneel before him and say, "You don't understand my pain."  I believe that I can't understand His pain.  The comfort I have received from Him is not the kind of fluffy pillows and no troubles.  He even assures me that I came to this Earth to experience problems.  His assurance is a whisper to my heart that I can come through this.  His assurance is I never walk alone.  I am finally able to feel His peace, so sweet.  His peace did not come when my life was easy.  His peace came as I was struggling to creep forward just one tiny step at at time. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Invitation

I would like to invite my fiends and readers to an ONLINE Thanksgiving feast.  On Thursday, November 24th, please, place in the comments a favorite recipe, thought or something you are grateful for.  If you have a picture send it to weareonebyruth(at)gmail(dot)com  I wrote my email address without symbols so spammers don't flood me with "opportunities".  :)  Through out the day, I will add what ever I am sent.  If you don't send anything, I will assume that you are having a wonderful time where ever you are.  If you do send something, I will feel twiced blessed that you took a moment to share your thoughts.  Using anonymous is perfectly ok with me.  (SPAMMERS this is not an opportunity for you to sell something.  Just letting you know.)

Thanksgiving is and continues to be a mixed day for me.  My FOO has been offended with me more than once for choosing to first limit and then choose to stay away on Thanksgiving day.  Early in my marriage, we moved far away from my family and had no money to spare for the trip to visit or even a phone call.  I loved the peacefulness of the Thanksgiving feast with my DH, children, and turkey.  Yup, it was the only time of the year I cooked turkey.  The turkey and I have a long history of total frustration on my part and over done or under done on the turkey's part.  The fiascoes and frustrations I have felt over this one crazy meal could fill many posts. I am blessed with a talented son-in-law that will smoke the turkey this year.  I am blessed with a wonderful son and daughter-in-law that will host the party.  I am blessed with children that are awesome cooks and delightful company.  I will miss those that live far away.  I will stay far away from my FOO.  My sister I will miss but she has an opportunity to spend the day with a dear friend of hers.  So I am happy for her.  



FOO - Family of origin aka. parents, brothers and sister.
DH - darling husband


So glad I am not a turkey. 

Need to move on

https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=193618757382810&set=a.190093684401984.45391.135612266516793&type=1&theater

Or yesteryear. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ups and Downs

Wednesday I was very down - Thursday was an awesome break through - Friday was marvelous - spiraled back down today.  This emotion thing is a very bumpy ride.  I'll write more tomorrow. 



Friday, November 18, 2011

Pause Button

I have thought all day about how last night session went.  I was really upset when I started talking.  NewCounselor had me pause in my reciting of my distress.  Not only did he have me pause he asked several pertinent questions...

Are you in danger now?  No.
Have you talked about this before?  Yes.
Did it help?  No.
Time to change perspective.  

Thanksgiving is a massive trigger but I love the day.  I love gratitude.  I have TONS of quotes one of my favorites: "Without gratitude, we do not recognize we've been given a gift."  I love eating.  If I ate like my little heart desired, I would probably double my weight.  I love my family.  I love the parades.....so where's the problem.  What is the kicker that takes something so lovely and turns it into a nightmarish day to dread?

Many of my regular readers know the horrific N word.  Narcissistic disorder.  My mother is not diagnosed but she has almost every indicator.  If I go around my NM, she will shred me emotionally sometime during the day.  Easy solution don't see her.  This helped so much.  I am on my third year of no contact on Thanksgiving.  Anxiety lessened but still there.   Next, unreasonable expectations.  Let go of expectations.  The day does not need to be perfect.  More anxiety floats away.  In a desire to have a peaceful day try to solve other people's unreasonable expectations and frustrations of the day.  This is the biggy.  As much as I love my family, I can not solve their issues with the day.  I can be supportive.  I can be loving.  I can't fix their hurt or frustration of the day.  But you know what, IT IS NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY.  One of the after affects of child abuse is the delusion that if I caused the problems, I can fix them.  Yes, abusers blame the child for what they do to the child.  A child is already egocentric and suddenly the weight of their own misery is on their own tiny shoulders.  Then comes the distortion, if I caused the mess I can fix it.   A lie built on a lie is a lie.  I love my family and what ever issues and frustrations they have with the day I can't fix it.  I didn't cause it either.  I love and support them but the problem is theirs.   Sometimes hard to watch from the side lines while they behave like a jerk but it is not about me and I can not resolve it. 

I have plans for Thanksgiving day.  Here is one of them.  I know that not all my readers celebrate November 24th as Thanksgiving day.  Canadian friends already celebrated, other international friends have their own traditions.  Here is what I am proposing, I will write more tomorrow.  I would like to invite everyone to drop by my blog and share a favorite recipe or something you are thankful for in your life.  I learned that gratitude does not solve my problems but I enjoy what I have more.     


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cool....

I have a pause button...Thanks NewCounselor for pushing it. 

You know having PTSD a person learns how many buttons can be pushed to activate the "Fight or Flight" sequence in the human mind.  After 8 years of counseling, I have identified many of them and either deactivated them or put up a "Do Not Disturb" sign.  Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is a major hot button and comes around EVERY year.  No getting out of it, there it is every November in the USA.  This past week I have become more and more wound up.  Today, I had my counseling session.  I am down to less than 4 hours of sleep per night.  My insides feel like I swallowed about 200 jumping beans.  I was wired and worn out all at the same time.  Before integration, I would have switched several times trying to find one of us to take on the stress of Thanksgiving.  I poured out my fear to my counseling session and he told me to stop.  OK.  Had I talked about my stress of Thanksgiving before?  Yes.  Did it help? Not particularly.  Are you in the same place now?  WHOA.  About half those jumping beans took off.  Step-by-step NewCounselor talked me through how I am different now.  He had a very cool metaphor about ignoring the fire breathing dragon.  That took me one step away from the problem.  I considered carefully what he said to me.  I started working through just the current problems.  I can't change my past.  The only Thanksgiving I need to worry about is this one.  I am NOT going to be hungry.  I know my kids doing a pot luck dinner there will be enough food to put me into a food stupor.  I do not need to be with my NM who has her own problems coping with Thanksgiving.  I do not need to be her target.  Nice.  I can make decisions on how I will enjoy this Thanksgiving.  By the time the session was over all those buzzing jumping beans were gone.  I felt relaxed and optimistic.  WOW.  I felt very cool, calm and collected.  Yeah. I am going to have great Thanksgiving. 

I'm not the turkey.  I can relax and enjoy. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Love like...

Caution:  May be triggering to some readers.


Ever seen the quote, "Love like you have never been hurt?"  I saw it again on Vwoopvwoop's blog.  I like posting comments there.  She makes me feel welcomed and wanders over here.   You know sometimes it is not until you write something or say something that you connect with how you feel about it?  Maybe it is just my dissociation that I don't always see the connection.  This is my comment I decided to go ahead and post there:

That is hard to do when you are not even sure what that looks like. The hurting began when I was a toddler. Not much of a chance to find out what it looks like to love like you have never been hurt.

Really messes with my mind to realize that I have no idea what it looks like or feels like to Love like you have never been hurt.  I know what it is to love my children and anyone that has been through childbirth knows that is not pain free.  The first time they have to get a shot or they fall and get hurt your heart just jerks all over the place.  Then my own early memories have been wickedly hard to remember for a reason.  I was told that I was always smiling and so happy.  My mother finally gave me my baby book.  Most of the pictures except the posed ones I am not smiling.  Pain was my childhood.  I was not beaten like Dave Pelzer in a "Child Called It."  Emotional abuse isn't 'recognized' as being all that bad.  (In my opinion it is one of the worst.  People don't see the bruises so dismiss the damage.)  Nobody paid attention that I ate out of the garbage cans at school until they started posting a teacher there so kids wouldn't throw away so much food.  Then I begged the kids I sat by to give me anything they didn't want.  Neglect is hard to prove after all I had a stay at home mom that bragged about the wonderful meals she fixed.  She just didn't mention that she wouldn't let her girls eat.  Or told us that we would be fat and then nobody would like us.  The sexual abuse is taboo.  I have seen people react with shock when I openly admit to being sexually abused like I should be ashamed it happened.  It happened.  Full stop.  End of sentence.  I'm not dead so I have gone way past the statutes of limitations besides the main abuser is dead.  Doesn't count some of the others.  I realize now why I never could connect with that quote.  I just don't know what it is like to love like you have never been hurt.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time to play

I love photography.  Took time to play today.  Enjoy.

http://ruthmower.blogspot.com/2011/11/zoos-expanding-time-line.html



Imagine his dental bill.

Mom, can I be out of time out?

Changing the world

Mahatma Gandhi
My life is my message.

Mahatma Gandhi

I grew up with conversations at the dinner table about Mahatma Gandhi being on another hunger fast.  No small wonder he was so skinny.  As I got older, I started studying him more.  He became one of the first "The Difference of One" montages that I created.  When I was in counseling, KavinCoach assigned me to watch the movie of his life.  What did I learn?  The scene I was to pay special attention to was when he goes to vote and the guard knocks him down.  This happens over and over.  The thing that amazed me was that he kept getting up.  Sometimes I feel knocked down and the key is to get back up again.  Severe PTSD is getting knocked down about as far as you can get knocked emotionally.  I keep getting back up to try again.  Comments on this blog encourage me to keep sharing here.  I know my experience is not identical to everyone elses.  I just know that somewhere out there is someone that needs to know they are not alone in life's struggles.  PTSD with dissociation, DID, MPD, which ever acronym you want to use is tough.  KavinCoach told me about 6 months after I started seeing him that if he had known at the beginning what challenges I faced he would have recommended I see someone else for counseling.  My long term goal is for my life to be my message.  I hope that I can share that healing is possible.  Finding peace is possible.  Reclaiming my life from my fears is possible.  I know there are set backs.  Holidays are a wonderful time of the year and I feel like I am tiptoeing through a massive minefield.  Triggers and hidden and not so hidden pot holes of depression litter these next 2 months.  Perhaps this year, not only will I survive, but I will thrive during the holidays.  Last Thanksgiving was awesome.  I was relaxed and happy.  Going for a second year in a row.  Christmas....On a religious stand point it means a lot to me.  On emotional standpoint.... Weird Al's song about the 12 reasons why I hate Christmas brings a lot of laughter over stuff that ain't all that funny.  Laughing is more fun than crying for emotional release.  I am going to have several posts talking about my religious connections and I know for some readers this is a trigger.  I will post at the beginning when I post these so that you may choose to read on or not.  I know this is a season for many stresses for many reasons.  Poor economic conditions and unpredictable weather can make it worse.  But being poor and cold never worried me over much, being scared and tormented....that is much harder challenge for me.  Going into this Christmas season the posts may vary widely as I try to process all the emotions I used to stuff for Thanksgiving and nor really come out again until New Year.  Being integrated, changed my ability to stuff my emotions.  Reconnecting to emotions is a painfully joyous adventure.  Let the festivals begin and may every one negotiate a safe passage.  


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wasting away

Muhammad Ali
The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.

The one thing I can say about living these last 10 years is my life view has changed dramatically.   Ten years ago, after my cancer surgery, I was accused of changing.  He was right; I did.  Something about facing that very scary C word that used to be and sometimes still synonymous with death.  Things that I used to worry about just stopped being a big deal.  Things I used to let slide suddenly seemed the most important thing in the world.  Completing a bucket list before kicking the bucket became a higher priority.  Then came counseling.  You know.... Counseling is a scarier C word than cancer.  Cancer I lost a body part that I had been fairly attached to.  Counseling I nearly lost my mind.  Or more accurately I found my mind and spent hours piecing together shattered parts.  My mostly forgotten childhood became my personal boogie man that keeps me up late terrified of sleeping.  What I thought I knew was reality distorted.  Dreams that they told me were exaggerations were the truth and the truth I was told were lies.  After integration, my counselor asked me if I would rather be a pioneer that crossed the United States in handcarts late in the fall and caught by snow or be in counseling.  I told KavinCoach, "I'll make it easy for you, I would rather have cancer again then do what I am doing."  At least with cancer, you can cut it out, radiate, people believe you, they have walks and rallies for you.  But a person with a shattered mind, is the modern day leper.  People pull away from you, shun you cause *gasp* you are depressed, call you a liar, accuse you of doing this to get attention.  Do you realize that not one person accused me of having cancer to get attention?  I think Muhammad Ali's quotes have taken on a greater significance to me when I have fought a much bigger opponent than cancer.   

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Critique vs Criticism

Over 10 years ago, I was hired by the local university Art department computer labs, photography and animation.  I told them I had no art experience and thought it wouldn't interfere with fixing computers.  We were both wrong.  Not knowing any art kept me from helping effectively.  So they sent me off to my first art class since junior high, Photography 101.  The thing that terrified me most were the CRITIQUES.  I heard horrible stories about this dreaded moment when your piece of work was put before the class.  At first, I tried to hide my stuff at the end of the board and hope no one would notice it there.  No such luck.  Finally I took a picture of bees with a telephoto lens and you could see the fuzz on the bees body.  First time to get really positive feed back.  Through the years of art classes I learned that there is a HUGE difference between a Critique and Criticism.  In fact, one teacher required that only positive comments were made.  One of the professors clarified a critique.... Carrying on an informed discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of a project.  Positive comments give the basis for the student to work from.  Comments such as "I like it" were considered useless and save your breath.  If you like it, say why you like it in a clear and positive way.  Eventually I learned to love the Critique process which became beautiful discussions on amazing art work.  I was laid off a few years back and I still miss doing a critique with the students.

Criticism is way different than a critique.  Criticism often is based not in knowledge but in emotional prejudices.  The words of criticism rain down like acid rain on the soul.  Ripping into self-esteem and usually laced with a heavy dose of disrespect.  Used often enough and with cruel intent it is the basis of emotional abuse.  Poured out on a child the results can have lasting effect that take years to repair.    Often criticism starts as a little trickle that builds until it becomes a raging torrent of words.  Easy to stop at a trickle much harder to stop when venom is pouring forth.

http://weheartit.com/cyntiaradevianinda?page=4
Scroll down to see the powerful effect words can have on a child.

or try googling "power of our voice child"

The image has quite an impact.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Avoidance pattern

Elbert Hubbard

To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.


Criticism was a part of my growing up years and continued into my adult life.  I heard criticism so often that I say it to myself too.  I desperately tried to be the 'good girl.'  The first split was trying to solve the dilemma no one should have to face.  How do I stay looking good while bad things happen?  Splitting became away of life for me trying to cope with extreme contradictions, lies, and abuse.  I worked at not being criticized until I almost completely stopped living.  I was breathing but I wasn't alive.  I almost completely vanished as a human being.  Counseling taught me to reclaim my life.  Bit by bit I retook my life and set my own boundaries.  The criticism flew.  I learned that most of the time criticism is not about me at all.  It is about the other person's view of the world and themselves.  I learned that many criticisms are projections from the other person.  Much like the Salem witch trials where the others would accuse someone else as a witch so they wouldn't be accused.  I learned that starting a criticism with the statement, "I probably shouldn't say this but....."  I am learning to stop listening at the word but.  Now I am learning that if someone is criticizing me, I must be doing something right.  :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Time to remember


Tomorrow, here in the United States, we have Veterans day in honor of all those that have served in the military.  The interesting thing about war, it affects everyone.  No border can keep it out.  Those that feel smug and think they are removed from war often get a rude awakening when it comes pounding on their door.  Peace would be beautiful.  However, as long as there are those that feel might and power give them the right to trample others, war will exist.  I am thankful to those in every country that have served to protect liberty and lives of others.  I like the saying, "You know who the good guys are by who shields who.  If the soldiers use humans to shield themselves, they are the bad guys.  If they use themselves to shield others, those are the good guys."  PTSD is sometimes called 'the soldier's illness.'  I am sorry that they suffer long after they have come home.  I found a few links that you may want to visit.

http://www.dltk-kids.com/articles/a_remembrance_day_story.htm


A Good Teacher 

This is a true story.

It started in a school. The location of the school is of no consequence, nor is the name of the teacher a consequence. What matters is what the teacher did to convey a serious point. This is what she did–
One day she set up a ‘lesson’ for her kids. On the first day of homeroom, she removed all the desks and chairs. Needless to say, the kids came in confused, wondering what the heck happened. This was the lesson: if there was one kid who could guess why they deserved to have chairs to sit on and desks to work on, she’d get the desks and chairs back into the room. The teacher gave each kid till the end of the day to figure it out.
As the day went by, every kid thought about it. The teacher got every possible answer; she heard ‘good grades’, ‘punctuality’, ‘good behavior’. Each time, the teacher turned each student down, saying that it wasn’t the reason.  Every kid was flabbergasted. What could it have been? No one knew.
At the end of the day, the students rounded in with the desks and chairs still missing. She presented her ‘lesson’ one more time. None of the students could think of anything. None had a reason why they would have chairs and desks. Smiling, she nodded her head. As she made her way to a door leading into an adjacent room, she said this: “this is the reason why you’re allowed to have desks and chairs for school.” She opened the door.
Coming out of the door were maybe a dozen or so military soldiers, fully dressed in uniform. Each was holding a chair and desk as if they were weapons. One by one, the soldiers filed in to place a desk and chair right next to each student. They then stood at attention….
The kids were speechless. The teacher then said “Remember that.”
http://www.snopes.com/glurge/nodesks.asp

Thank you to every soldier that fought to protect others and fight for freedom from tyranny.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thriving List

I love NCIS.  Yup, I drop just about everything so I can watch.  When I first watched I didn't like it much but then it just kind of grew on me.  Abby and McGee are two awesome geeks.  I understand their thinking.  Kind of fun.  Back to where I am going with this.  This weeks episode revealed Tony working on a 'Bucket list.'  If you want to check it out this is the link....
http://www.cbs.com/shows/ncis/insiders_blog/72461/
(I actually do follow this show on my Facebook.) 

Here's what I have noticed... People with a bucket list have a certain number of things they want to do before they die.  The cool thing is that some of the things on their list inspire them to do something really amazing or out of their comfort zone.  My daughter took trapeze lessons and encouraged several of her friends to do the same.   She accomplished this before she was 30 years old.  Her bucket list inspires her to do things she wouldn't other wise do. 

I hit rock bottom when I was 34 years old.  I lived a half life.  More dead than alive.  I could be up for 20 minutes a day.  Being a multiple personality complicated recognizing the severe symptoms of extreme depression.  One dark night, I decided I wanted to live.  Since then I have been on a daily struggle how to get out of that pit of despair.  I did medical test, I studied medical journals, I prayed.  Time and time again the Shadow Warrior would beat me down.  I wanted something more.  I wasn't afraid to die but I didn't want to leave my little children.  I worked and studied more.  I learned about orphan illnesses and genetic glitches.  I learned all I could about medical stuff then finally gave in and went to counseling.  Medical stuff was a piece of cake compared to what came next.  Early on KavinCoach encouraged me with the statement, "I don't want you to just survive, I want you to thrive."  The first time he told me this I nodded my ahead and agreed with him.  The following week I came back and asked, "What the hell are you talking about?"  Thriving became my new long term goal.  I studied.  I integrated.  I prayed.  I learned things that I had no idea existed.  I am working on a list.  The heading is as follows...

If I am thriving, what would I be doing.....

1.  Have a tickle fight with the grandkids.
2.  Stand up for myself where ever I am and not just for special occasions.
3.  Know what I would want to put on a bucket list.
4.  Not apologize for being who I am.
5.  Look people in the eye when I talk to them. 
6. Say 'no' without giving an explanation.
7.
8.
9.

As I learn what 'thriving' looks like I want to try out this new way of living.  I have lived in the shadows, now I want to live in the sunshine.  Thriving is living in the sunshine. 


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Which way

Abraham Lincoln
If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?

Tonight I am feeling tired, discouraged and totally out of sorts.  In my posts, I try to share what I have learned and where I am trying to go.  Sometimes I sound happy and sometimes not so happy.  Here I can say it, sometimes I am sad.  When I lived as a multiple personality, I was sometimes accused of being two-faced.  At the time, I didn't know I was a multiple otherwise I could have had an awesome comeback of saying, "Actually I am 5."  Tonight, I miss being able to switch.  Marie was so much better with dealing with things like today's fiasco of trying to follow the written instructions by the teacher.  Only to find out after spending half the day on a spreadsheet that she had exactly what she wanted on her computer in an old file.  All I really needed to do was clean up what she had and add the new names.  It was a crappy day and Marie wouldn't have cared at all.  Because Marie didn't feel anything at all.  She was absolutely obedient.  I still tend towards doing exactly as I am told but now I feel pissed off when it is something so incredibly stupid.  (No, I do not share this blog with the people I work with.  Not safe.)  I really think I would have liked visiting with Abe Lincoln. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Emotional Math

Happiness shared is happiness doubled.  Swedish Proverb
 (Please visit our website at www.innerkiddies.com)

What I learned....

Sorrow shared is sorrow halved.
Bitterness shared, I end up alone.
Fear shared acts like a creeping darkness generating more fear.
Courage shared stops Fear in its tracks.
Loneliness shared...well once you can share it you are not alone any more but sometimes who you share it with can lighten or darken the moment.
Fun shared the whole world wants to join.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Backbone revisited

Thank you for the kind comments on Wishbone Backbone FunnyBone.  Saturday morning my sister started our walk off with a lecture on the fact that I do to have a backbone and pointed out the different ways I have shown it.  So, why do I have this self perception of having no backbone?  I have puzzled over this all weekend.  Before integrating and early in my counseling, I didn't have nice names for all of my parts to myself.  (Sometimes referred to as alters.)  One part was called "Worm" before I changed the names.  I knew that sometimes I grovel and behave like a spineless worm or jellyfish or any other invertebrate that you can think of.  I really despise myself when I behave this way.  I had one part of me that behaved this way and so when I integrated that part came too.  (I decided no part left behind that meant the good, the bad and the ugly were included.)  I thought that after integration this part would magically disappear.  It didn't.  I thought about this most of the weekend.  If this behavior didn't end with integration, then 'groveling' was not part of being a multiple.  I am starting to recognize this as a PTSD reaction.  A trigger* occurs and this reaction is set off. Since I don't seem to be able to stop the reaction, my next task is to identify the trigger.  This is one of the complex things about PTSD.  I am noticing that I rarely am able to stop a PTSD reaction.  I may slow it down a little but once the Dominoes fall I feel like a helpless spectator as my mind falls apart.  KavinCoach started teaching me to recognize and diffuse the triggers.  He would purposely set off some of my triggers in his office and then teach me how to recognize, slow down and analyze my reaction.  I know partly why this reaction exists but knowing why, doesn't solve how to stop it.  Unfortunately, the only way for me to analyze the reaction is for the trigger to happen again.  Here's the kicker.  I don't know the trigger.  It has happened with more than one person.  It has occurred in more than one part of my life.  I some how have an internal radar that most of the time I can avoid it.  NewCounselor watched me fall apart last week in his office over this.  I don't remember much of the end of my last session.  'Flooding'** occurred and took two days to recover.  Part of solving a problem is defining the problem.  Hard to do when you don't know what it looks like, I only have my reaction after it is too late to stop it.  Crumbs.  This is going to be tough one.   


*trigger - any event, action, words, feelings, smells or pictures that set off a PTSD reaction. 
**flooding - a massive overload of emotion sufficient to almost have me pass out.  I slept for hours and hours.  Went to work came home and slept some more.  Found an article that addresses this reaction:
http://portlandrelationshipinstitute.com/Artcl__Emotional_Floodin.html

One HOT problem

Bear Hugs

My sister posted this on her blog and it brought a smile and I wanted to share. 

http://theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/bear-hug/

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Difference of One

ONE

One song can spark a moment
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest
One bird can herald spring

One smile begins a friendship
One handclasp lifts a soul
One star can guide a ship at sea
One word can frame the goal


One vote can change a nation
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness
One laugh will conquer gloom


One step must start each journey
One word must start a prayer
One hope will raise our spirits
One touch can show you care


One voice can speak with wisdom
One heart can know what's true
One life can make a difference
You see, it's up to YOU!


~ Author Unknown


mulderfan said...
I wrote this based on the Buddhist belief that one person can change the world. Let your voice speak. One voice becomes a hundred. A hundred becomes a thousand. A thousand becomes a million. A million becomes the world. Let your voice speak…for peace.




Others sharing this poem:
http://www.motivational-well-being.com/motivational_poems.html 
http://www.wrensworld.com/powerofone.htm 
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/one-you-see-it-s-up-to-you/
This link attributes the poem to adnan zahedi in 2010

I also saved this poem in 2005 when I was working on a project called the difference of one.  I was doing picture montages of Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Abraham Lincoln and other people that have chosen to make a difference.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wishbone Backbone Funnybone

To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.



http://www.positivelypositive.com/quotes/to-succeed-in-life-you-need-three-things-a-wishbone-a-backbone-and-a-funnybone/

Two out of three ain't bad.  Well, it ain't bad in some situgations.  You know Situgations - Situations in which you need negotiations like living.  I started with a funnybone.  I have always been able to laugh at life and myself.  One day I was talking to my professor that helped me write my book.  I was laughing over one of the parts I was working on.  He looked at me in confusion, "What happened to you was so awful, how can you laugh?"  I gently replied,  "I can laugh or I can cry, laughing is more fun."  If anything I have gotten myself in trouble for laughing at times when others thought it was not appropriate, like when something bad happens.  One of the reasons I didn't believe I was depressed was because I can and do laugh over many things.  Sometimes life is just funny.  I actually met a lady that hated comic strips, jokes, anything and everything to do with humor.  She had bad things happen in her life.  She lost her funnybone.  I decided everyone has something bad happen.  Loosing your funnybone just adds to the tragedy.  Shakespeare is one of the first noted comedians and his "Comedy of Errors" points out just how zanny life can be. 

My wishbone I kept hidden.  It was safer that way.  I had too many experiences where a person found out what I wished for then used that to harm me.  I buried it so deep I didn't find it for a long time.  The first time KavinCoach asked me what I wanted I was puzzled.  He was puzzled when I said, "I don't know."  Eight years of counseling and I have now unearthed my wishbone to discover that it is healthy and strong and been influencing me from hidden depths.  My wishbone pushed me into counseling, gave me the drive to finish my degree, and continues to push me through struggles to go for the really good stuff in my life.  Yup I have a wishbone.

So that leaves the backbone.  One of the hardest things about PTSD, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and tough crap at a young age when the backbone is developing it can stunt the growth or eliminate it all together.  When standing up to someone can bring about tragic results, you really think twice about doing it again.  Especially, if someone or something else is hurt because you stood up to a bully.  The scariness of a bully is that when you stand up to them, they get more violent.  Being a multiple is an elaborate way of hiding from the bullies in my life.  The times I remember standing up to the bullies ended in violence to myself or others.  I was one of those kids that if you really wanted to hurt me, hit the kid next to me then tell me that it was my fault.  I learned to my very core that a backbone was dangerous and caused harm to others.  Now NewCounselor is trying to help me grow a backbone.  The scene from Harry Potter comes to mind when he had to regrow the bones in his arm.  He was assured it is going to be painful.  Great. Awesome. (There really needs to be a sarcasm font. Can't you just see those two words dripping with sarcasm?)  After about 30 minutes of talking to me NewCounselor watched me come apart on his couch.  After 35 minutes he is doing everything he can to get me to stay focused on staying conscious.  Yup.  A backbone is that scary to me.  I adopted the concept of being like the grass that bends in the wind instead of being blown over like the might oak.  KavinCoach was the first one to ask me about standing up for myself.  I told him I could count on one hand how many times I had done that, then I proceeded to tell him.  I then told him about one of my more vivid memories of when I didn't stand up for myself.  I was in high school and just came back from being out sick for 2 weeks.  It was at the beginning of the semester so the teacher didn't know me at all.  The first paper I wrote for the class my friend asked to borrow it so she could get an idea about what the teacher expected.  When the teacher returned my paper, I had a zero.  The teacher explained to me that I must have copied from my friend.  I took the zero with out a word in my defense.  At the end of the semester, the teacher asked to talk to me.   She told me that after reading my papers all semester she now knew that I was the one that wrote it.  She told me that she was going to give me credit for the paper.  I asked her if it made any difference.  Raised my grade by one letter.  I simply told her good.  I recognize now that the teacher was stumped as to why I didn't defend myself or wasn't happier that I was vindicated.  A paper just wasn't that big of deal.  I think I do have a backbone but I reserve it for the really big stuff.  The little stuff I tend to just let it blow over.  I recognize now that the little stuff to me doesn't always match what other people think.  Sometimes I just hide because I am so tired of fighting for survival.  Putting my backbone back in place is going to be a long hard process.

Sometimes

Sometimes it is helpful to read my own post.  I have a choice.  Sometimes it is a hard one. 


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Choice

Choose always the way that seems the best, however rough it may be.  Custom will soon render it easy and agreeable.  Pythagoras


Interesting discussion last week when some one asked me if being with my daughter for 3 days while she went through labor was Hard or Good.  I was puzzled.  I have thought and thought, why would Hard and Good be considered opposites.  To me Hard is not equated with Bad.  I will say that Bad things can be Hard but so can Good things be Hard.  Watching my daughter hurt was not Good.  Watching grandson's mom and dad work together to bring him into the world was Good.  I need to approach this from one of my life goals to finish my college degree.  I started out 35 years ago studying engineering.  It combined my math skills with my desire to help others.  I dropped out of college my sophomore year and raised 6 beautiful amazing kids.  I joked that I became a home engineer with 6 on going projects and juggling all the different schedule dead lines.  As the kids got older, my old desire to finish school nagged at me.  The community college offered classes off campus close to where I lived.  My desire burned brighter.  I knew when I left college that my weakest class was English.  I still hadn't taken English 102.  I was terrified of having to write a research paper.  The ONE research paper I wrote in high school I was helped by my brother and his friend to get it typed and turned in.  Over the years the experience took on a surreal nightmare proportions of a monster.  I took the hardest class first.  English 102 was Hard.  The English teacher had high expectations.  After the first dismal papers handed in by the class, she chewed out the class and told the class that a research paper was not subjective.  She wrote out how to write a paper like a math formula.   Magical.  I can do math.  With the help of spell/grammar check (the moment in time when I fell in love with computers), family to edit and a lot of Hard work I passed the class with an A.  It was Hard and it was Good.  More than once during the semester I was ready to totally give up because it was so Hard.  However, it felt so Good to get it done.  I then continued to work on my degree for the next 15 years one class at a time.  I took a job at the local university so I could help pay for my kids education and take classes myself.  It was Hard juggling teenagers, work, cooking, and homework.  I sometimes wondered if this goal was truly worth all the work and struggles.  Then I was laid off.  I counted up how many classes I had left to take.  I finished in a year by taking summer school and online classes.  It was VERY HARD.  Walking across the stage behind my daughter-in-law who graduated with me, felt VERY GOOD.