Saturday, March 31, 2012

To Life...

Oscar WildeTo live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.


I watched Fiddler On the Roof and loved the song "To Life..." Toasting the joy of living. The music is lively and upbeat.  The chorus is particularly interesting:

Be happy, be healthy, long life
And if our good fortune never comes
Here's to whatever comes

How many people are desperately seeking the good life only to find that they missed living it?

Another quote "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon, "Beautiful Boy" English singer & songwriter (1940 - 1980)

How often people say....
      When I graduate, then I will be happy.
      When I get married, then I will be happy.
      When I get a new job, then I will be happy.
      When I get out of therapy, then I will be happy.

I watch so many people frantically scrambling through life meeting goals, checking task off their list, meeting others expectations yet spend very little time enjoying a sunset, holding a baby, petting a kitty, taking a moment to breath.  If it is not on the list, it just isn't done. 

New counselor asked me what was I like before the abuse happened to me?  I was 4 years old.  I remember at 5 watching my little sister and being totally enthralled with her.  I loved butterflies and rain.  From then to now, a lot has happened... There were so many moments and miracles that were lost in the shuffle of surviving.  I wonder if I would appreciate the sunrise as much if the dark didn't happen first?  I wonder if I would appreciate cuddling a grandchild so much if I hadn't struggled with feelings of suicide?  I wonder if I would appreciate food less if I hadn't gone hungry?  I believe trials and struggles are a curious thing.  Either I went numb from life or it heightened and sharpened every experience.  I felt both.  I enjoy the enhanced life over the numb life.  I am learning that I get to choose.  I am choosing LIVING. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tag Your IT.....

Playing tag…

by Judy
The Invisible Shadow played, and invited anyone who wanted to play along.
I decided to play. I needed to do something fun. :-)  Check out Judy's post for her answers.  
Now it is my turn
1. What happened on the best day of your life?
One best day is so hard to choose.  The best day I believe was the day I was born.  Couldn't do the rest without that.  After that there are all sorts of days that pop into my mind but there is a reoccurring theme.  My best days involve what I love, photography, family, and God. 
2. What is your greatest talent?
Still my first reaction is I have talents?...well of course I do, but a life time of hiding them does not help me write about them.  I think my willingness to learn new things from people and life is my greatest talent.  

3. What have you done in your life that makes you the most proud?
Watching my children raise their children with such love.
4. What do you believe in that others might doubt the reality of?
My past.  I know people that doubt what happened in my past.  They believe it was all made up and that I exaggerate to get attention.  There are easier ways to get attention.
5. If you could travel in time, when would you go?
Not too far back in time since I am very fond of indoor bathrooms.  Not too far forward since I wouldn't understand what was happening.  I am really working at learning to live in NOW.  So easy to slide back into wallowing in yesterday or dreaming in tomorrow.  Now seems slippery enough for me.
6. What’s your favorite holiday and why?
ALL of THEM.  However, Halloween has a very special place in my heart when Gypsy(Maria) could be herself without question.  Loved getting the candy.  Still trying to break the habit of buying bags and bags of candy after the holiday.  For religious reasons, I love Christmas and Easter.  For patriotic reasons, I love July 4th.  For renewing myself and bring hope to life I love the New Year.  For fairies and leprechauns Saint Patties day can't be forgotten.  Thanksgiving is for EATING...only time of the year that I bake pies, rolls, green bean casserole...on and on and on.  Veterans day to honor those that have paid such a terrible price to serve our country and protect freedoms I hold dear.  Valentine's day for all the romantics and of course CHOCOLATE.  Yup.  I love holidays.  
7. Any time in your life that you would like to have a ‘do-over’? Explain if you can.
I think I finally reached my goal that I set when I read the book A Child Called It.  Dave Pelzer said, "I like the man I am today, and I would not be that man if I did not have the experiences I had."  I like who I am today and my experiences are what made me who I am today.  Tomorrow I can do better and improve what I did today.
8. What’s your favorite movie and why?
Harry Potter... All of them... All the good guys fight evil and win.  Favorite speech in the movie is Nivelle Longbottom in the last battle. 
9. If you could spend one day doing anything you wanted, what would it be?
Not enough hours in the day.  Spending time with my kids and taking photographs.  Oh yea...eating. 
10. What are your views on social media?
My children dragged me protesting into the world of social media and like anything social I was terrified.  But you know, most the people I encountered are quite lovely.  The longer I am there the more I enjoy sharing snippets and pieces of lives that touch mine.  My friends now span the globe and I am still afraid to meet my neighbor.  (Heavy sigh.)
11. Have you ever broken the law and what did you do?  You needn’t answer if it will get you thrown in the pokey.
With most my childhood missing, I wasn't sure.  I know I tried shoplifting penny candy, thought better of and returned it.  I love to drive fast.  Mostly I am a great believer of respecting others and most laws are set up because someone didn't respect someone else or their belongings.  Some laws if you do your research and are down right silly.  Read about a small town that still had a law about not letting a women's knees show in a dress.  Yup, I would have been arrested repeatedly for that one. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Homework....

Katharine Hepburn
Life can be wildly tragic at times, and I've had my share. But whatever happens to you, you have to keep a slightly comic attitude. In the final analysis, you have got not to forget to laugh.

One of the most interesting things about counseling is homework.  Yup, I get homework.  There is no way that I could sort out my messy life in less than an hour a week.  If I just went to blah, blah, blah...I could do that anywhere.  I would end up with lots of people avoiding me but I pay someone to sit patiently while I sort out my mess.  I have had two really good counselors that give me some awesome suggestions for looking at my world differently.  Mind you, I don't always like what they have to say.  Some times I get down right pissed about it.  But if my own ideas were working well, I wouldn't be looking for another perspective.  Having someone else shine a light on things differently changes an entire picture.  Happened again tonight.  A single statement from NewCounselor and I am reassessing my perspective all the way home.  My home work...what was I like before I was messed up.  I was 4 years old.  Hadn't started school yet.  I have grandchildren older than that.  On facebook one of my DDs posted my son holding his little daughter up over him while he was leaning back in a chair.  The delight they were sharing was just awesome.  A time when the world was beautiful with soft kitties and pretty flowers and lovely colors.  I loved the world.  I loved watching ants.  I loved watching spiders.  I loved watching birds.  I loved petting kitties.  I loved dancing.  I would dance anywhere and everywhere.  My cousin had a ballerina costume that I tried on and they took my picture.  I loved the beach and the sand on the water and the swishing sound of the waves.  I loved the smell of cut grass.  I loved the irrigation that would sometimes bring crawdads.  You know, I still love all those things.  I was helping at a elementary school.  The children were gathered at the edge of the irrigation gawking at the strange creature floundering in the water.  I recognized a washed up crawdad.  I became an instant hero when I took off my shoes and ran a rescue mission.  I scooped the crawdad into a jar of irrigation water and released it into a canal.  Kids were amazed to watch this adult wade out into the stinky water for a crawdad.  We did warn them that the kids were not allowed to help me.  My photographs are a record of all the amazing things I find where ever I go.  Herons, hawks, and ducks at the park.  All the animals at the zoo.  Flowers abundant everywhere.  Sunsets that are just breath taking.  Yup, I am going to love my homework. 


Go Dog, Go!

Oooo Glitter

Flutterbyes

Arial fishing

Hut...2...3...4

Better than a crayon box

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Owning it...

Nope, not my car.


Have you ever noticed that when someone says they, "Own it."  They are usually talking about something nice...You know.
"I own a Mustang."
"I own a Mercedes."
"I own a Ferrari."
They do not say..."I own a jalopy."  That is something that just comes into their life but they do not talk about owning it. 

I thought a lot this week about owning my past.  Looks a lot like a jalopy to me.  Then, I remembered that we did own a 3-tone pickup truck that had to be started with a screw driver.  Yup, I had to stand on the bumper with the hood up and use a LONG screw driver to make contact between the battery and the starter.  Just awesome in the winter time in Spokane, Washington.  3-tone meant the hood was one color, the doors were another color and the body was kind of a gross maroon that looked half oxidized and ready to fall apart.  I was really proud of that pickup.  We had a much nicer car but also just had an uninsured baby.  To help pay off the hospital bill, we sold the car and bought this old beater pickup.  It would some times pop out of gear if you weren't careful and I would have to retrieve it from down the hill.  Luckily there wasn't much traffic in the area.  The heater worked and that was good.  I learned a lot driving that truck...always turn the wheels into the curb on an incline that way I didn't have to go far to retrieve it.  I really can start a vehicle with a screw driver.  I learned that my kids were more important than any old car.  I learned to be really thankful to finally get back into a car with shocks and other nice things to make a drive a lot more comfortable. 

I guess my past is a lot like that old pick up.  Not much to look at with plenty of problems...but there are things that I learned from it.  For example:

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names can totally destroy me.
Kindness is worth more than all the education in the world.
Gentleness is not weak.
Protecting those weaker than yourself IS the prime directive.
People that are nice in public, but nasty behind closed doors, are not nice people.
Someone that is different is not someone to laugh at.
Feelings are important...all of them.
There are worse things than dying.  
Evil really does exist.
Respecting a child makes a huge difference in their life. 
There are some people that, no matter how nice you are to them, they enjoy hurting other people.
This body is mine to care for or abuse but I am the one that pays the price.
Not everyone is thrilled to be my friend.
Putting up with pain does no one any good.
Peace at all cost, costs everything.
Jesus Christ is my savior and I need Him.

Yea, my past is an old jalopy.  I learned a lot from it but I doubt anyone wants to trade me.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Reality sucks

Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.
- Philip K. Dick

Looking at the broken pieces
For years, I was baffled why I would feel depressed...for all I knew I had a great childhood where I went to the park and the zoo and hiking...all the rest was missing.  I entered counseling because I felt I couldn't communicate.  Shortly after entering marriage counseling, it was humbling to find out that I was an emotional mess.  I didn't know.  I had no freaking idea what my past really was.  There is a certain amount of truth that ignorance is bliss.  Insanity is considered a horrible label but, you know, it makes more sense than what I lived in.  KavinCoach asked me to watch "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest."  This is not light entertainment.  The instructions were to watch the nurse.  Yup, she was the craziest one of the bunch, vindictive, conniving, lying and in charge.  She reminded me of someone in my life.  The Joker in Dark Night scared me silly, he really was just like my neighbor only the Joker was a little nicer.  With humans like this in my life, there is little wonder that I consider multiple personalities as a gift.  A tag team within myself to cope with the bizarre childhood that was hauntingly like Sybil's.  I had hints and clues.  My children actually called me on it.  "Mother, why do you act so differently sometimes?"  They also learned to manipulate it by asking my permission at different times in hopes of getting a different answer and usually getting it.  A mother is supposed to be consistent.  I couldn't be.  This past week I worked at owning my past.  Turn around and look at hell.  A combination of events sent me into a tail spin that kept NewCounselor working this weekend to help me stabilize.  Integration did not change my past.  I am emotionally healthier now and looking hard at my past; my head is just spinning.   I have to remind myself that I was 5 years old when my nightmare world crashed around me.  I was 9 years old making adult decisions trying to protect my brother and sister.  By the time I was 12 and the 'talk' about girls and boys is finally discussed, I was world weary and baffled by everything.  By 14 years old, my past was gone in the mist of PTSD.  I told one person that I had PTSD and they asked me if I was in the military.  No...I was raised in a war zone...like any war, the children are the casualties. 

Childhood lost

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Acid Rain

There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.


Physical problems are a nuisance at best and a pain at worse but either way it gets you down. I noticed that once I am down an emotional hit is devastating. Ideally the idea is not to get down in the first place. So often, I heard an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Cliche that works except...when there is not one thing you can do to prevent what is happening.  A rough week compounded by stepping back into my own past.  Reviewed my past years from my new perspective of being a healthier self.  The effects of abuse shower down like acid rain damaging everything it touches. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_rain
Pictures http://uhohacidrain.blogspot.com/

Totally indiscriminate...not raining down on the source but on all around on everything and everyone that I come close to.  Fear of causing others harm by my presence tears at the foundation of every relationship.  NewCounselor is teaching me how to revisit my past and own it as my past.  What I do with it from there is the next several weeks lessons.  I am finding the approach quit different from simply reciting or remembering what happened.  Without emotion I can recite what happened like it happened to someone else.  Now it is much more personal of feeling the feelings that existed but hidden or denied to survive.  I will never be proud of my past but I can learn not to feel ashamed of it.  It is my past and the only one I get.  It belongs to me. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Toxic Abuse......

Reading about abuse and the consequences to the survivor I almost get the feeling that abuse only effects part of my life. Not true. The consequence effects every aspect of how I view myself, my lack of self confidence, my driving desire to prove myself, my relationships, my self talk, my whole life seems to be effected much like a neighborhood close to a toxic wasted plant that dumps pollution into the air, in the water, across the surface of my land scape. I am not the abuse, but it seems to stretch out in every direction suffocating me. Rough night ahead. I believe that things will be better in the morning. But this is now, what I am trying to believe is that there is something besides abuse in my life.

Friday, March 23, 2012

My past exists

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Aldous Huxley

I am learning to accept my past. It made me who I am today.  The challenge now is to own the present and not fear the future.  My past does things to me like flashing horrific images.  I am never quite sure if they are my memories or something I read in a book or saw on TV.  The brain does not always distinguish between these.  I stumble on a trigger and I am suddenly terrified.  Or shivering so violently that someone else can see the movement.  I blame being cold, a lot.  I joke that I was born in the desert.  I tell people that I am part lizard.  They buy the excuse every time.  The list of movies, TV shows, and books are increasing that I ban myself from watching.  Used to be I could read or watch anything and be unaffected.  Now, I am feeling.  Sometimes I feel happy.  Sometimes I feel like the rage will tear me back into pieces.  This week I feel emotionally and physically exhausted.  The slightest effort leaves me totally drained.  My mind wants to do far more than my body can ever accomplish.  Other times I mess up and I have to own what I have done.  I get frustrated with how easily I totally flake out and not do something that I planned to do.  Then I feel sad.  Consequences suck.  Especially the kind of consequence that doesn't have an edit undo.



Added by mulderfan:

"Yesterday, today and tomorrow

There are two days in every week we should not worry about, two days that should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.

Yesterday has passed, forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed. Nor can we erase a single word we've said - yesterday is gone.

The other day we shouldn't worry about is tomorrow, with its possible adversities,
Its burdens, its large promise and poor performance.

Tomorrow is beyond our control.

Tomorrow's sun will rise either in splendour or behind a mask of clouds but it will rise. And until it does,we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.

This leaves only one day - today. Any person can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when we add the burdens of yesterday and tomorrow that we break down.

It is not the experience of today that drives people mad - it is the remorse of bitterness for something that happened yesterday, and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.

Let us, therefore, live one day at a time!" ~anon

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Past from Hell

I gave Newcounselor permission to ask me anything he wanted about my past.  Circumstances this week left me physically exhausted so I was very mellow.  Trying to process everything.  I love quotes by other people because they seem to say the words that can't get out of my bound up mind. 

Today's sample after getting home:

Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.  - Philip K. Dick  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Then the one that always comes to mind in this situation: 
 
When you are going through hell, keep going.  ~Winston Churchill

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Need to vent...

Since when it is a wasted day if you take the time to cuddle with your child?  Since when is mourning a crime that needs to be hurried through?  Why are people so bent on being happy and productive that they throw out those things that add a richness and depth of life that things will never replace. 

In my study of depression, I am encountering a unexpected results by paying attention to the people around me that are accused of being depressed.  Mourning a loved one is becoming unacceptable.  It is not something that you should just "get over" so you can move on to the pseudo happy that everyone is spouting about.  A beloved pet, someone you love, or loss of childhood are all things worth mourning.  Mourning is now being lumped in with depression.  I experienced mourning and it truly feels quite different from depression.  Just because I am sad, doesn't mean I am indulging in a pity party or depressed. 

Too many times I heard that I wasted my day because I spent time cuddling my kids.  I even looked up the research to show that cuddle time is beneficial for infants and children.  My NM crowed about how productive she was by multi-tasking.  This translated to doing a cross word puzzle when people came to visit.  Telling us to stop interfering so that she could work...after all she was the most productive worker in the house.  She took great pride in marking things off her list...cuddle time was not productive so not on the list.  Nurturing does not always show as a physical end product but makes all the difference in a relationship.  

Happy and productive at the expense of mourning and cuddling throws out the best and keeps second best.  Sadder still are those that rewrite history so nothing ever bad happened even if they have to lie about.  They blindly believe they are showing the world how happy and productive they are at the expense of integrity and authentic living.  My life sucks some times.  Ironically, I learned some of the greatest lessons in the low valleys.  Overcoming those challenges brought me to the dizzying heights of joy.

I am enjoying cuddling grandkids because it really is one of the best ways to spend a day.

I am mourning with those that mourn for I learned that this strengthens a relationship and brings a depth of feeling that I never felt when I was just happy.

Vent done.... I will now get off my soap box.   

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Not belonging

Nine years ago I had a mega melt down in my life.  Nothing was going how I expected.  I was unhappy and confused.  My kids were growing up and moving out.  We had them close together so moving out was also close together.  I was less of a mom in my own mind.  My place that I felt like I belonged seemed to be eroding away.  I believed strongly that my job as a Mom was to launch my children into their own lives.  I did not want to cling to my children to hang on to my self definition.  Decided I needed to work on my marriage.  Tried a Marriage class and I felt like I didn't belong.  Discussions on things like boundaries, communicating, and give-n-take seemed like foreign subjects.  I felt totally lost.  Round two, asked a friend for the names of some marriage counselors, ones that could teach my how to communicate.  I figured if I could communicate I could muddle through the rest.  You know...going to marriage counseling from my own self diagnosis of what I thought was wrong was one of the best things I did for myself.  However, I was in for a rude awakening.  Within six months of counseling, I felt like I had been ejected from the human family.  I didn't work as one person.  I functioned as 3 with a side kick.  Later I found out there were 2 side kicks.  (Side kicks are alters that don't play a major role in day to day functioning but are very important.)  I did not know one other person that was a multiple.  I was warned by my counselor not to share what I learned about myself.  I found out harshly why.  I told someone that I was in counseling.  She answered, "Oh, you'll be fine, at least you are not one of those weird multiples."  I was devastated.  With all my training not to show emotion I replied, "Actually, I am."  The woman never stepped foot in my house again.  I felt like a great big "You Don't Belong" got stamped right on my fore head.  Fortunately, I had an awesome counselor that reassured me that I did belong in the human race I just needed a complete new foundation.  I studied Multiple Personality Disorder, DID, and all the other versions of names that existed.  I gained a deep appreciation for the gift of multiple personalities...I survived in a situation that others did not.  About this time Fear Factor came out on TV.  My kids tried to get me to watch it.  I shrugged my shoulders over the show.  My kids were surprised, "Wouldn't riding on top of a bus scare you?"  Me: "Take the harness off then I would be scared." My kids: "But mom, they might die."  Yea, that would be scary. 

I worked 5 long years to integrate.  Finally it happened, the magical thing I worked so hard to accomplish.  I still didn't feel like I belonged.  I was so disappointed.  It just wasn't the cure all I thought it would be.  What it did do for me was to stop the blackouts of not knowing what I was doing.  I no longer felt like someone invaded my body to make me do things I didn't want to do.  I recognized all the clothes in my closet.  Yup, some days I would walk into my closet and wondered why someone gave me a bunch of clothes and where were my clothes?  However, I still didn't feel like I belonged.  This is when I started to learn that feeling like you don't belong is a fairly universal feeling.  It is why clicks are formed to create a place where you feel like you belonged.  I noticed as a computer tech my coworkers and I used a language that no one else understood.  I learned that vocabulary was a way to include or exclude someone from a group.  How a person dressed was another signal.  I loved the introductions I received from the professors..."This is Ruth, she's are computer tech, she doesn't look like one."  Belonging was something we seem to create for ourselves.

I wondered what it would be like to have a group where I belonged, a club for multiples.  But could I still be a member after integrating?  And what would we call it?  Me. Me. Me.  How about a slogan?  Multiples Unite but would that be fair to those that choose not to integrate?  Dues could be interesting.  Could each of the parts or alters have their own membership or would the dues be per body?  Would it be fair with a person with a hundred personalities paying the same as me with only 5?  I learned rapidly that as far as being a multiple I really wasn't split into that many pieces.  Did numbers make a difference? How about name badges?  Could we switch name badges part way through if we switched while attending?  Or would we have one big badge with all the different names?  Or what happens when another one reveals themselves?  Yup, several years into counseling, Sammy finally let me know that he existed.  I found out that there really is  club in New York.  I finally did have the privilege of meeting someone else that functioned as a multiple.  Then I started this blog and met others online.  My admiration grows with each person I meet.  I am astounded by the richness and variety of wonderful people I am getting to know.  I learned that I belong to a wonderful group of people that used a special way to survive.  For some, it is still working for them.  For others, like me, it was interfering with living.  I've been on both sides now.  I belong to a wonderful group called survivors and that group is very large and very awesome.  Thanks to the many blogs I read and people out there sharing their story and reminding me everyday I belong to an awesome group of people that faced tough problems and survived them.  I really do belong now. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Belonging...Long time battle

I am tip-toeing through my past when mulderfan mentioned that not feeling like you belong is like high school.  The dreaded clicks where everyone rebelled to do their own thing looked just like everyone else rebelling and doing their own thing.  When I was in high school, which is more years than I want to consider, I was part of 2 clubs that supported sports.  (Ancient history: girls weren't allowed to participate in things like track and cross country, so I joined the clubs to cheer on my bothers.)  The clubs my freshman year were small and so we wanted any members we could get.  Later with a winning team it was popular to join.  The group was getting really big when I was a Senior.  There started to be talk of limiting membership.  They wanted to pick and choose who could be in or left out.  I totally rebelled against that.  Fortunately I was the president of both clubs and could do something about it.  All were included, all were welcomed.  Apparently, I never got over the "Tick tock the game is locked, nobody else can play...If they do we'll take their shoe and keep it for a year or two."  I did it myself.  But then I was on the outside a few too many times.  Being locked out, not belonging, designated different are painful.  When I could set the rules...I did.  Everybody played.  I found out later that after I graduated they did lock down the clubs, trying to make them exclusive.  A few years later, blessedly girls could play the sports instead of sitting on the sidelines and the clubs vanished all together. 

Judy mentioned another good point...sometimes it is not a club you want to be a member of.  The clicks that seemed to require their members to be drunk every weekend never interested me.  In high school, I also had the experience of having my friends harass me about my religion.  One of my close friends got in on the baiting.  I asked her why she did it.  "Well, you get so serious."  Christ was my anchor and I was very serious about it.  From my experience and observing others, abuse victims tend to take two different avenues, one involves a hand basket and a road to hell.  The other that people tend to over look is the ones that try to 'good' themselves out of their mess.  If I am just good enough....Straight A student, involved in service and religion, super straight arrows....doing everything they can to prove their abuser wrong.  Abusers turn their victims into objects, worthless trash, to justify their own behavior.  Victims sometimes go to dizzying efforts to prove they are somebody.  Nobody wants to be a victim.  Fighting not to be in the victim club is a crazy battle that the news has reported to what extremes people will go to prove they are not a victim.  I was thrust in to the victim life early.  I realize that I spent a good share of my life getting myself out of that club.  I graduated to survivor and looking at joining thriving.

 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What would belonging feel like?

 Over at Tesseract she describes how her group therapy sessions go.  She feels disconnected from the group.  One of the people commenting posed this question...

What would belonging feel like?

The question really caught my attention.   Isolation is a word I understand. In a crowd, when I dissociate, I am isolated like being inside a bubble that no one else can see.  I thought when I integrated this would stop happening.  All integration did was make me more acutely aware of how isolated I feel, because I was alone in my head now too.  I remember as a teenager going to parties and feeling like I was there but I wasn't all at the same time.  One of my parts loved parties the others didn't.  So Maria, my party girl, loved the noise, the ebb and flow of conversation, the flirting, everything and anything social.  She integrated into me and I can still enjoy a party but I haven't mastered her ability to fit into the crowd scene.  I much prefer a small group.  When I consider the question, "What would belonging feel like?" I can honestly say I am not sure at first.  As a child my place in the family was caretaker and peacemaker.  Which were psuedo-names for put up with whatever bull shit is dished out and don't you dare complain.  So if you don't feel like you belong in your own family how do you fit in somewhere else?  When I raised my children I had the role of mother.  I know what I wanted to do in that role but take me outside of that and I am not sure what to do.  At work where I was laid off, they didn't consider me a 'team' player.  I did my own thing and hoped they would leave me alone as much as possible.  Didn't work.  When I went back to college in my 40's I was old enough to be some of the students mother. In fact, I did end up in class with one of my daughter-in-laws.  (That was very fun.)  I think the miracle I felt about working in the computer labs with the professors is I found a nitch I fit in.  The students and professors counted on my being there and helping.  The appreciated my efforts and I felt like in the small place I belonged.  Change of bosses and all that changed because the new boss did NOT want me helping students in the computer labs.  I was to only fix the computers.  My theory was if all the computers work and the students don't understand what they need to do, they computers are useless.  I was good at helping students with Photoshop.  I was moved to music.  The first problem I encountered was a sound problem.  I wear hearing aides.  I couldn't fix the problem that I couldn't hear.  I was sharply aware of going from feeling like I belonged and made a difference to feeling like I was useless and didn't matter if I was there or not.  I am thinking belonging is how I feel as a mother and in the photoshop lab.  I belong because I fit in and feel like I am important to being there.  I like the feeling of belonging.  I feel happiest when I am involved with those that appreciate me and my unique set of abilities.  I feel like it has a large dose of acceptance.  It was really awesome the other day when I apologized to one of my kids for not being able to watch a movie because of content.  He reassured me that I did not need to ever apologize to him because something over whelmed me.  The feeling of acceptance was awesome.  I won't always belong in a group but that is ok because I do belong somewhere.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Changing view

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

I had an awesome week visiting family this week.  I am watching my children raise their children.  You know the things I worried about when they were kids, I wish I had done a lot less of that.  I enjoyed just sitting cuddling the infants.  Nothing else was done and that was OK.  I felt guilty cuddling my own kids because I kept thinking about all the stuff I was supposed to be doing.  Now, I have plenty of time to clean the house and only on a few occasions get to cuddle the grand kids.  The house really does survive the experience of being messy.  One of the quotes I saw during the week on Facebook was:
Let's face it, there's lots of spoiled kids out there . . . because you can't spank Grandma.
I didn't have a Grandma to spoil me.  Both lived across county in different directions.  One grandmother had eyes only for one of her grandchildren and I wasn't it.  The other grandma had so many that I was considered a nuisance that needed to be kept away from grandma.  So now, I am a grandma with no idea how to be one.  I am glad I can't afford to spoil them with gifts.  I feel privileged to be able to spend time with them whenever I can.  I still believe that children are the most important gift brought to this world.  I now believe that they are even more important.  I regret things that I did when I was raising my children but appreciate that the reason I regret them is I discovered by trial and plenty of error a better way.  I do feel like I improved a lot over the years.  I felt thankful when my oldest son accused me of raising the younger children differently.  I agreed and told him that I would hope I made some improvement.

Friday, March 16, 2012

On the road again.....

After a great week visiting children and grandchildren, I am heading home.  Hope everyone has an awesome weekend. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Counseling = Change

“Changing your mind about anything is work. The realization that you CAN change your mind, and therefore your life, is the start.”―Terri Cole
http://www.positivelypositive.com/2012/02/24/blueprint-for-daily-living-blog/ 
****Warning some content will be triggering for some people. ****
Counseling = Change is not a guaranteed formula but I may as well quit counseling if I have no desire to change. I started counseling over 8 years ago because I didn't like the way my life was going.  My plan was for a summer project and then go on my merry way.  I did have the advantage going in believing that changing how I thought changes my life.  I believed that the only person I could change was myself.  I also thought idealistically that counselors some how fix people.  Disillusionment occurred quickly.  I was informed that there was no use continuing counseling if I dodged and weaved around tough questions.  In order to change, I needed to listen and accept a new plan for my way of living.  Setting boundaries was one of the more difficult challenges.  Years earlier I created boundaries on the inside of me since all boundaries on the outside of me were demolished.  Sexual abuse doesn't even allow a child to set their own skin as a boundary.  Creating boundaries on the inside by splitting off personalities confused me even further since each personality wanted something different.  With integration, I could choose what I wanted.  However, from a young age, I was conditioned to want nothing.  Wanting something became a way to be manipulated than blamed for being molested.  Crazy topsy turvy living where the victim is blamed.  In recent years, some improvement has occurred but for the most part sexual abuse victims are blamed for what happened in their lives.  Changing my belief in myself that I was not to blame at age 5 for what happened to me but later as it continued there was already a pattern of abuse established.  I can change those patterns of thinking.  I am realizing that at the most basic level of how I think about myself still needs to change more.  Integration was a massive change but now the more basic work needs to be completed.  I need to see myself as a person of worth not just a being to be used. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I'm Mean Now...

Few people would be proud to declare, "I'm mean, now."  upsi posted another awesome article this time on the negative impact of the "Peace at all cost" living.  http://upsi-upsi.blogspot.com/2012/03/price.html

Please feel free to take your time over there and read what my comments are based on.

When I finished the article, I felt sick.  This had been me.  I did this.  UGH!!!!!!

Growing up in a home of an engulfing narcissistic mother and "Peace at all cost" father I became the designated caretaker and next in line "Peace at all cost" apprentice.  I felt strongly about trying to do what Jesus did.  Turn the other cheek.  Go the extra mile.  Whatever it takes to keep mother calm and my younger brother and sister safe.  I took my training with me when I got married.  The self-help books I read reinforced this unhealthy living.  KavinCoach showed me in the "Mirror of Reality" how destructive this behavior was for my husband and children.  No boundaries, doormats are not a good example on how to live.  I even made jokes about being a chameleon that could change to please anyone.  KavinCoach clarified it was no joke and not funny. 

How can you identify if you are a "Peace at all cost" kind of person?
The fastest way to know is ask yourself the question, "What do I want?"  Yup, that is the first question.  If you have lived as a "Peace at all cost" person for any length of time, the first thing you have to give up is your own wants and desires.  Next, do you justify someone else's poor behavior?  Do you make excuses for them like, "Oh they didn't realize they were hurting you" or "they had a tough childhood"?  You start lying for them.  There goes your integrity.  Your self esteem is nonexistent.  Boundaries, I'm supposed to have boundaries?  Really. How do I know these things?  Because I did them.

How did I change?
Truth...living authentically...there is no room for "Peace at all cost" if Integrity takes center stage.  It is not possible to do both.  I stopped lying first to myself and then to those around me.  I also set boundaries.  This is where being called mean comes in.  When the doormat gets up off the floor, those stomping on it try to push it back down.  The epitaph, "You're MEAN" is thrown out to put the doormat back in their place.  If there is a Christian background, the next trump card is "You are not being very Christ like."  Narcissistics like the status quo.  They like their wishes and whims met.  They did not want me to change.  I am still in the process of changing.

What are some possible defenses to the attacks?
"You're mean"  -  Agree with the person accusing you.  Nothing stops this attack faster.  They can't continue to argue if you agree with them.  The way I approached it, "I can see why you think I am mean because I am not doing what you want."  Validating their opinion does not indicate a change in behavior.  I just agree that from their perspective, I am being mean.  I learned it was ok for them to have that opinion.  It does not change my opinion of me or my decision about not doing what they want me to do.   

"You are not being very Christ like" was a lot tougher to figure out an answer that I felt good about.  The person using this attack usually knows that I have a strong faith in Christ and is using my faith to manipulate me.  Now, I have a few answers to draw from depending on the situation.
1. "You are right, I am not being Christ like.  Christ used a whip to drive out those that disrespected His Father's house.  You are disrespecting me but I am just asking you to leave.  I don't think I need to use a whip on you."
2. "Christ said to go the second mile.  I have already gone 10.  You are right I am not being Christ like, I should have stopped helping you quite some time ago."
3.  Christ was very secure and knowing who he was and what he expected others to do.  We were to follow Him, not someone else.
4.  Christ spent time alone.  He took care of his own need for times of solitude.
5.  Sometimes he made people wait for him.  His parents went back to the temple looking for him when he was about his Father's business.  Or Martha and Mary were distraught because Christ did not immediately respond when Lazarus died.
6. The strongest argument about this question is "Love thy neighbor, as thy self."  Too often those using this form of manipulation stop at the comma.  Love thy neighbor is only part of what Christ expects us to do.  Love thy self is the other part that narcissistics tend to forget. The more I love myself, the less likely I am to allow myself to be used or abused by others.  I don't deserve their treatment.

On occasion I may choose to change mind, but it will because I choose it and not because I am trying to keep the "Peace at all cost."  When you start down the road of "Peace at all cost," it will cost you everything.  Saying no is not being mean.  Sometimes no is a kindness to yourself and them.  Sometimes I base my decision on meeting my own needs.  Like the day they told me at work I was going to start working in another area the following week.  I wanted to stay employed so I made the change.  It turned out to be a great challenge and in the long run is good for me.  Each situation is different.  I am learning as I go.  I learned that as I value myself, I can better meet my own needs without being swayed by the "You're mean."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

AAAAAAGH

15 years as a computer tech and computers still frustrate me.  I am using my laptop this week and things jump around on the screen and I discovered comments that I thought posted...didn't.  Computers have come a long way but they can still be such a royal pain.  Breathe deep...It really isn't me.  The computer was built by narcissistic personalities therefore those attributes sneak in.  What I have to say means absolutely nothing to the computer.  *poof* Out into cyberspace twilight zone.  I wonder if those comments show up randomly in parallel universe.  Dumb computer.

Should have known...Downloaded Firefox and problem is now solved.  MS strikes again.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Responding

Have you considered that when Jesus' admonishes us to love our enemies, He meant it for such a moment as this? They're only memories, bits of fluff. The actual events are long over. They can't be changed. You ARE changing you. You will never do those things again, so why are you beating yourself up, now? The point is? Entertaining the adversary? How he must chuckle with glee when we allow him to hold us firmly in the past. Accept it happened. It's over, and yes you learned some habits you don't like, but you are working to change those habits. Why are you expecting perfection of yourself? I don't remember there being an expiration date stamped anywhere, except the permanent one. So if you're still here, then you haven't reached your expiration date. This is your life. Who dictated how it was supposed to go, and you somehow didn't measure up? I don't remember seeing a script anywhere with your name on it saying that everything had to be perfect by 12 March 2012. Are you going to dictate to God how the script should go, in your estimation, or are you going to turn the script over to God, and let Him guide you through it?

Laurel posted this comment on last night's spill of frustration.  Before anyone stresses, just a reminder that Laurel is my sister's pen name.  She has an inside scoop on my challenges.  We walk at the park and talk about the world.  I appreciate her perspective.

Love your enemies...especially if the person you are having hard feelings about is yourself.  Reviewing short comings and mistakes I tend to be very hard on myself.  Love myself, I am better able to love others. 

Memories are Bits of fluff ... Dear memory, you have just been downsized to a bit of fluff.  So keep your place to make room for today's awesomeness.  Sincerely, Me.

My past can not be changed.  However, my perspective has.  I am a different person and part of that is feeling.  Many of the events from my past I did not allow myself to feel anything at the time.  Feelings unfelt wait until they can have their moment on stage.  Too many together, overwhelm me from time to time.  I highly recommend to anyone to feel feelings as you go along.  Playing catch up is tough.  I am not exactly beating myself up wishing that I could have done something different.  But I do feel beat up by the depth of sorrow I feel that the events happened to anyone.  It is a terrible way to live.  Oh crap, that was me living that way.

I agree the adversary and my pedophile are probably laughing at me from the depths of hell.  The plan is that I will have the last laugh when I am free of my past and it is where it belongs...in my past. 

Overcoming the bad habits I learned is an ongoing process.  I believe both AA and Flylady use the statement, "Progress not perfection."  mulderfan pointed out that taking out 1 tablespoon of toxic thinking is an improvement. 

I haven't reached my expiration date.  I am still here.  I am rewriting the end of my story.  15 years ago after extensive physical testing for epilepsy my doctor told me that I would never have a full time job or do many of the things I have done.  I proved him wrong.  I can beat the odds on this too.  More than one 'expert' has declared that the fate of a severely abused person is glum...I will beat these odds too. 

I am the master of my fate but I did not control what others chose to do to me.  I can only control how I respond.  I like Einsteins observation that if a fish's ability was measured by how well it could climb a tree it would always be considered stupid.  Who am I allowing to decide for me what my story is?  That is something I need to consider on a longer term basis. 

The last one I struggle with.  God allows each one of us to face challenges,some of monstrous proportions.  Joseph was sold to slave traders by his brothers.  He was falsely accused and imprisoned.  He was forgotten by the man he helped.  And it is recorded that Joseph was favored by God.  Yep, I struggle with my script.  On the other hand I have been blessed with wonderful experiences raising amazing children, studying photography and the opportunity to work with 2 talented counselors.  I am not sure what God has in mind for me but he can't bless me unless I keep moving. 

Today was a wonderful day at the zoo with daughter and grandsons.  I will continue to do the work I set in front of me to do. 

“Life is a series of choices. Some turn out well while others don’t. We may hope for a “magical movie moment” that stops us from making a choice before it turns out poorly. In reality, going through some of these lessons is the nature of life itself. Don’t flog yourself about your choices. We make them because we are human. Learn as much as possible from each choice then trust your inner wisdom to guide your journey.” Don Shapiro, author Life Is A Fork In The Road

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Keep Moving

Will Rogers
Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.

I love this quote.

Counseling challenges every aspect of my belief system.  Just when I think I have found my stride, things get changed up and a new challenge presented.  I want so much to be finished but just about the time I see the light at the end of the tunnel the darkness from my past grabs me by the ankle to drag me back down.  I slide back for awhile then gather strength to fight forward again.  Yesterday was recovery from sharing a little of my past with NewCounselor.  I thought I was prepared and on solid ground to face my demons.  Two sleepless nights and a migraine later I am not feeling quite so confident.  I don't want to get in a new rut and stay in the same place.  I need to keep moving.  Something from my past seems to be holding me back.  I hoped that looking back and addressing my demons I could loosen their hold.  So far, it is not going according to plan.  I work at a school so have a week off for spring break.  I need to gather strength, recharge my batteries, and be ready to go again after the break.  It is just so hard to remember how really messed up my childhood was.  The image that came to mind was finding a reeking toxic 55 gallon drum in the basement of your house.  During counseling I have taken one cup at a time out of the barrel and taken it out of my house.  The idea was to empty the barrel.  Looking back at the work I have done reminds me of too much hurt.  Too much that I did.  Just too much.  The greatest gift from my Heavenly Father was to forget for so long.  I raised a family and did a lot of other things I probably would not have done if I remembered any sooner.  Now, I am at a new place in my life.  I worked for over 8 years in counseling to reclaim my memories and my mind.  I have met the enemy and they is us. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Parenting

upsi posted an awesome summary of an article on parenting.
http://upsi-upsi.blogspot.com/2012/03/discipline.html

It was kind of surprising and cool to read someone else stating the same thing I believed in raising kids.  I believed that children were the richest gift and deserve my respect.  They are humans with their own thoughts, ideas, and preferences from the beginning.  They are not mini-adults and not extensions of myself.  I believe children need to be taught.  I prefer the word 'teach' over train or discipline.  Training is something I do to a dog.  Discipline is a word from hell from my childhood.  Huge negative association of pain and harsh words to get me to behave in a disciplined and civilized manner irregardless of my hopes, dreams or desires.   Discipline I felt was devoid of emotion and certainly without compassion.  Teaching takes caring about who you teach.  I don't mean the kind of teacher that stands soullessly spouting facts to an audience.  I am referring to the amazing kind that sit down next to you and show you a world you never dreamed existed.  I was blessed with many amazing photographer professors that lived my ideal of a teacher.  They taught me and helped me grow into my best self.  That is what I hoped I did.  I worked under a handicap of being fairly clueless and severe health problems.  But I kept trying.  I also believe that in teaching a child the kindest thing to do is recognize that a child thinks, feels, and has capabilities different from an adult.  KavinCoach had me repeat several times how old I was when I was given responsibility to care for my younger bother and sister.  I was nine years old expected to fill in for an engulfing NM.  She felt since she knew how to do it, all she had to say to me was take care of them.  I did my best and messed up.  I felt like a failure and she emphasized I was a failure.  I learned from my mother's cutting words how I was a failure.  I hadn't even made it to high school before my self esteem was in shreds.  Now my children are all grown.  I asked KavinCoach how to handle my relationship with my adult children.  He told me I get PomPoms.  Say What?  Yup.  Pompoms.  You know the kind a cheer leader uses.  That's it.  He then told me that raising kids is like a football game.  When your kids are little, the parent is the quarter back out there on the field telling everyone what to do.  (During this stage of my parenting a friend asked me if I had ever been a drill Sargent.  I worked at asking my children for cooperation instead of demanding.)  When your kids are teenagers the parent is taken off the field and is given a whistle.  Now the parent is a coach, yelling from the sidelines suggesting the plays but accepting that their child is now in the game of life making their own decisions more and more frequently.  Then the children become an adult.  Dun-ta-dun-dun (Drum roll please.) The whistle is taken away and the parents get pompoms.  Cheering wildly for their kids.  You know, I have amazing kids that are amazing adults and I feel so blessed to have them sharing my life.  Please, teach the children.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Brain Drain

 ***WARNING***STRONG LANGUAGE and 
TRIGGERY STUFF*** Proceed with CAUTION


Last night session was different than I have ever done before.  In other sessions I have relived my past which put me back there as a terrified child struggling to survive.  I have also told events with no emotion or connection to anything I felt.  A soulless observer stating information that may or may not be real memories but I didn't give a shit which way that was, just saying what popped into my mind like reading from a script that you don't like the main character so if they live or die is a non-issue.  Last night I owned my story.  Before I started, Newcounselor and I hammered out some very specific rules.  I am telling my story in chronological ordered and I can feel the adult rage at how I was treated as a child.  Rage at seeing a child brutalized is an appropriate reaction.  I should feel angry because of how I was hurt and terrorized for their pleasure.  I should feel outraged that I was neglected and left vulnerable to a neighborhood sicko that enjoyed hurting children.  I should feel the intense feelings that I didn't have time to feel as a child scrambling to survive.  This is MY STORY and I own it.  Last night I told parts I had already discussed before practicing how to do this.  I ended up only talking about 15 minutes about my past.  Then decompressing and setting my story aside.  I walked out thinking that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  Then I got in my car and screamed, "That lousy son of a bitch."  I was not referring to my counselor.  I was feeling the intense rage that anyone should feel towards a monster disguised as a person.  I realized, "Oh dear.  I so am not OK."  I carefully drove across the street to a fabric store and found a costume pattern for my daughter.  I then ate a calorie laden dinner with a soda.  I could hear my arteries hardening as I munched down on sour dough, bacon, and whopping slices of tomato.  I was very calm as I drove home.  Then stared blankly at my computer as I played solitaire.  This is just the beginning.  I am so glad that I am going to have a week off work.  I don't get to focus on my past so I am keeping myself busy, busy, busy with playing with grandkids and family at the top of my list.  By damn, over this next couple of months, I am going to own my story and be damned thankful the bastard is already dead.  Better to keep me out of jail. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Random Thought

Ambrose Bierce
Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Self medicating

Twelve years ago I went to work for a university photography department computer lab.  I knew about the computers but was clueless about photography.  The professors couldn't talk to me because I didn't understand why anyone would want to dodge or burn and being excited about a shoot seemed all wrong.  In exasperation, they assigned me to take Photography 101 as part of my job.  I fell in love.  The first day of class the professor explained that Photography is science mixed with magic.  Cool my two favorite subjects.  I finally graduated from university with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Photography.  This week I have felt the ugliness of my childhood clawing at my mind.  I self medicated with printing one of my own beautiful pictures.  I feel much better now.

Up close and Personal at the Renaissance Fair

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Reality Check Bounced

Counseling one huge learning experience.  Like any education, there is theory then there is reality.  Last week part of the battle plan was to set aside what I am working on in counseling during the week.  Great idea in theory.  Not so good in practical application.  Crumbs.

One of the parts of counseling is telling your story.  Sharing your perspective.  Spilling your guts.  Epic fail when in the first 6 months of counseling my counselor knew more about my past then I did.  He recognized my symptoms and the most likely things that caused how I behaved.  I worked long and hard but most of my past is still illusive to me.  I enjoy watching Unforgettable about a woman that remembers everything.  My memories are strands of a spider web, thin, nearly invisible, and I easily get tangled in them without realizing I am in a mess until too late.  Need to rethink the battle plan.  Make adjustments.  Stalking my own mind to find the point where I break through and untangle my past.  My first choice would be to leave it strictly alone.  Let it smolder and grump but not mess with it.  Unfortunately, it keeps erupting and interfering with now.  Ignoring it does not improve it.  Screaming at it does not improve it.  Deep breath.  One step forward, ten back.  Redirect.  Rethink.  Twisted thinking takes a long time to straighten out. 


Monday, March 5, 2012

Thoughtful Question

Tonight I was thinking about my post and drawing a blank.  I checked out a few blogs that I follow and thought about the amazing people I have met online living all over the world.  I read about two friends meeting and sharing a visit.  I felt so happy for them.  I read about a young mom planning menus.  I don't do that much with a crazy schedule and sometimes no desire to cook dinner and no kids to feed....It felt nice reading about a woman taking care of her family and showering them with love.  I enjoy browsing through Facebook chatting with friends there for a few short lines.  Read some positive thoughts and some frustrated rants and checked on what friends and family are doing...and I still didn't know what I wanted to write tonight. 

Went back to face book and pulled up the question posted by Express MiE.  A little information...Express MiE is where I take Zumba class.  I go... after a year I keep up at my own pace and get a great dance work out.  Now, I am taking more classes and loving exercise.  Here is the question:


Question of the Week: What is one thing you'd like to be remembered for?

I enjoyed reading the WIDE variety of answers.   I thought about my sister Judy wanting to be a blessing to others.  I decided that I wanted to be known for making a difference.  When I worked in the computer labs I didn't want to just fix the computers, I wanted to help each student succeed and meet their goals.  I was so proud of the many students that graduated and moved on to bigger and more interesting things.  I even started a series of montages (photographic collages) of the difference of one.  One person that made a big difference.  I studied Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Lincoln, Einstein, Edison, Steve Jobs, individuals that in their own way following the desires of their heart they made a difference.  I don't need to make a difference with the world but I hope I can everyday make a small difference for someone, somewhere.  I know from experience that the world can dish out a lot of pain.  I am daily amazed out how many people don't.  How many people stop to let someone into traffic.  How many people say thank you when you open a door for them.  How many people encourage and care for each other.  It is an interesting mix everyday.  I hope I am remembered as someone who made a difference.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

PTSD with Dissociation at the extreme

One of the comments this week mentioned that they are working out how parts or alters interact with PTSD.  From what I have learned PTSD can have many different symptoms attached to the disorder.  For me, Dissociation at the extreme was my counselor's description of functioning as a multiple personality.  I am thankful for the description when my work demanded information on some of the problems that crept into my work time.  The place that I worked at labeled me Emotionally Disabled but they were still fairly clueless about what was happening inside of me.  I guess not being able to feel any emotion some of the time is considered a disability.  After integration, I figured out the connect between multiple personality and PTSD.  I naively thought that once I integrated all the symptoms of PTSD would go away.  I was so wrong.  I discovered that once I integrated that I didn't know how to deal with the PTSD.  Yes, I asked KavinCoach in less than pleasant tones why the hell he encouraged me to integrate if it didn't solve the PTSD.  He explained that in his opinion multiple personality disorder was a child's way of coping with extreme trauma.  As an adult, multiple personalities interfered with learning healthier ways to approach PTSD recovery.  As a child good ruth went home to be a good girl, little ruthie kept all the secrets about how bad she was.  (Children do assume responsibility for adult's misdeeds.)  Later, Maria stepped up and did things the ruth and ruthie would never do because it needed to be done.  She functioned the most with the pedophile.  Then another split occurred and Marie emerged totally without feelings and an ability to be absolutely obedient irregardless of the insanity of the request.  (Marie came in very handy with unreasonable teachers and bosses.)  Sammy watched over all of the parts to make sure we didn't harm each other.  In my book, I refer to myself as being run by a committee that hated each other.  Each part dealt with some form of the trauma I experienced but I didn't have an integrated way of functioning.  Information, experience, and reasoning were not shared.  Yes, I survived.  In my opinion, every multiple personality should be considered an ultimate survivor.  Thriving becomes an issue.  Healthy living is difficult when you are going along and suddenly you are no longer functioning and someone else is there instead.  Gaps in time left me bewildered as to where 3 or 4 hours went or even where several days had disappeared.  I do believe that multiple personalities was a blessing for my growing up years.  I couldn't have done some of the things I did without it.  But it was one of those things that worked for a time.  When I started counseling, I went because I was no longer coping with life and needed a new solution.  Multiple personalities kept me from using my new skills.  How could I say no, if one of the other personalities always said yes?  How could I be accountable, if I didn't even know what I had done?  How could I negotiate a compromise if I couldn't come to an agreement of what I needed within myself? I did chose to integrate with everybody inside and intact.  I made the choice that no one was going to be left out.  I wanted all of me.  Yes, I did consider the possibility of not integrating more than once.  Seemed like every time I was about to decide not to integrate something happened that showed me how it was keeping me from doing the things that I thought were important.  Healing PTSD is one of those important things.  As a multiple I could handle, cope, and survive PTSD but healing didn't seem to happen for me.  I don't know if others can heal PTSD and stay a multiple.  I found that I couldn't heal PTSD and stay a multiple.  Integrating is a very personal choice.  I don't know of any one that integrated without assistance.  Might be because they never wrote a book about it but I can only work with what I know.  PTSD is playing a smaller and smaller part in my life.  I am looking for the day when I can say, "I had PTSD."

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Following instructions

NewCounselor instructed me to keep the main work going during sessions.  I decided I needed to give myself a day-break.  I spent an entire day at the Renaissance Festival watching all five shows of Cast in Bronze.  I love Carillon Bells and I love Cast in Bronze.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWU7yRB_RiM 
It was a wonderful day.  I feel tired but so good.

Tons of amazing music

All Bells
Man with a vision

Friday, March 2, 2012

Validation from a friend

KK
Their is a lot of emphasis put on "behavior modification" and in a lot of cases, it is the correct course for change. However, I have a saying: until you deal with the core of your being and the injuries that wrote on the slate of your soul, behavior modification is like putting "frosting on shit." Pain is a breaking of the shell. It is a sign that the physician within us wants to heal us. If those around us cannot understand that, they have a problem, not us. If you have even one close friend to "let it all out" with, you are blessed. ♥
Sometimes the one you need to tell is a counselor. Several reasons why. Once you stop paying them, they go away. They have talked to enough other people with problems you can get some idea of what doesn't work and suggestions that can really help.  Their feelings are not engaged with you personally so they can give you the benefit of a different perspective.  I depend heavily on that difference.  If what I was doing was working then I wouldn't need to consider a change. 

In light of what I have decided to do, this was validation that there is something rotten I still need to extract or deactivate from my past.  As much as I would LOVE to leave my past in my past it still interfers with my life now.  Like plunging through a monster size spider web bits and pieces tend to cling.  I enjoyed the drawing my counselor did of a can of worms.  We talked about how much I have already cleaned out.  I am beginning to believe that some of the squiggly things left are leaches not worms.  They can suck the life right out of me.  I am hoping that shining light on them they will wither away and die into my past where they belong.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Battle Plans

Interesting session tonight with NewCounselor.  We are working out a battle plan.  PTSD is extremely difficult because the enemy moved inside my head.  I had cancer and they cut out the malignant part.  I cut out my memories for years, almost.  The almost is the kicker.  Strange behaviors occurred and with no memory, I couldn't understand my own strange behavior.  I read about children being adopted from third world countries hiding food in their closet.  I went to my own closet and stared at my private stash of food.  Why was I hiding food like a third world survivor?  I totally discounted the people in the TV show Fear Factor.  There is no fear in knowing you will live to see tomorrow.  Have the contestants take off their safety belts then do that stunt.  My children were appalled..."They might die."  My answer, "That's fear."  Blips...reactions....nightmares partially revealing mostly concealing memories I don't remember.  I am fighting back.  First counselor, KavinCoach, spent years working with me to integrate.  Multiple personalities is not PTSD.  Multiple personalities was my extreme coping mechanism for PTSD.  I integrated but the PTSD is still there.  Taunting me...terrorizing me...making me feel like a fool.  This week I decided that I want to take back all my life, not just part of it.  One of the first things I needed was building up new coping skills. Did that for the past eight years.  Next, I have to own wanting to change.  My decision.  I can call on help from Heavenly Father, family, friends, therapists...but I have to decide that I am fighting this battle.  The enemy is dead already.  I am the prisoner.  I am the one that needs to knock down the walls and take back my life.  Easier said then done but first it must be said.

Bowed but Not Broken