Thursday, October 12, 2017

tips for studies

http://themighty.com/2016/01/5-tips-for-when-your-chronic-illness-gets-in-the-way-of-your-studies/

 I finished the first 9 weeks of school at our high school.  I am encountering the usual resistance from students to ask for help.  My job is to support students that need extra help.  Repeatedly I am told, "I don't want help."  Then I watch the student struggle and fall further and further behind.  I learned a new technique that I am trying to use.  I explain, "My job is to help students, help me to do my job by asking me questions."  Or I'll watch a student working on a project and I'll ask, "Tell me about what you are doing."  I am also walking around the students.  I discovered that they will not get up and ask be for help but if I am standing close by any way their quiet questions are cheerfully answered.  Sometimes I don't know the answer, so I assist the student in asking the right question to the teacher.  I am finding my nitch.  A way for me to help students and improve the learning environment.  The above article are a few tips on how to ask and get help when living with chronic illness.  The same tips work for PTSD.  I few other things that help me study, I wrote notes, I research other articles on the same topic.  If a subject is important to me I'll make a notebook and gather articles and write my responses in the margin.  If it is really important to me, I'll buy books.  I learned that I don't have any problem that someone else had the same problem and wrote a book about it.  When I learned I had multiple personalities I went to the university library and chose 10 books from different eras and times.  I started in 1960's and moved through time.  I picked books that were both negative and positive.  One of the ten books I threw across the room.  (I don't recommend this when borrowing books, they are expensive to replace.)  I was angry because the author basically said the there was no such thing as multiple personalities.  I screamed at my book to live one week in my head.  Of course, the author never heard my opinion but I felt much better expressing that I am real and all of me is important.  My integrated me is just as important as my fragmanted me.  I felt like I worked many times harder learning anything but that didn't stop me from studying and becoming an excellent student.  Over coming difficulties is not a new process, check out how somebody else succeeded then decide if you are willing to pay the price to go forward and be more than anyone dreamed you could be. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Off to see the Wizard

My body and I are not friends.  I struggle with weight, dizzy spells, passing out, cancer in remission, brain tumor that hangs out with me and over all my body doesn't do what I want it to do.  However, today when I walked with two of my grandsons we skipped and sang "We're off to see the Wizard" for two rounds.  I am learning to work with instead of against my bodies idiosyncrasies.  It costs money.  It takes effort.  About the time I think I get things figured out something else goes wrong.  However, I am not giving up on trying to love my body the way it deserves to be loved.  Work in progress and sometimes progress is slow.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The End is Near

Some people just won't believe it.   The end of the nine weeks of school ended.  A student wanted to know if they could turn in an assignment the following week.  Uhhhhh we will be on Fall break and no one will be at school. 

One of the teachers asked if I accepted late work.  I told her that in the fashion class we explain to the students that if a gown is late for a fashion show it won't be accepted late because the show is over.  We get many of our students with the mistaken idea that they have unlimited do overs and turning things in at any time.  Some are shocked when you simply say "No, what you turned in or not is it."

I believe in correcting mistakes and improving performance.  I also accept that sometimes the show is over....the end is near or the bridge is out.

Years ago I heard a joke about two missionaries on the road holding up a sign that read, "The End is Near."  A person driving quickly saw them, flipped them off and sped on around the curve.  Followed by a huge splash.  One missionary turned to the other sighing, "Maybe we should have written Bridge out." 

I'm relieved to be spending a week regenerating before returning to another round of school. 




Wednesday, October 4, 2017

If you know the answers

Is it still a test?


In high school I took a search for identity class.  We read Daphne du Maurier The Scapegoat. 

https://www.amazon.com/Scapegoat-Daphne-du-Maurier/dp/081221725X

I read it in a week then carried on a 9 week discussion with my teacher while the rest of the class that didn't read the book listened in.  She let me skip the final since she knew I read the book.  I had more questions than answers at the end of the class.  I kept trying to learn stuff but felt like I was looking at life through funny/weird/distorted glasses.  Nothing made sense until I entered counseling.  I felt like my life was turned upside down and inside out.  All shook up like a snow globe. 

I continue to explore personality types.  Here are a few of the tests I have tried.....

 http://www.9types.com/rheti/index.php

MBTI
https://psychcentral.com/quizzes/personality/start.php

There are other free personality tests you can try out.  Occasionally you will run across one that charges a fee.  Proceed with caution. 

What is interesting to me is on different days or after certain events I can end up with a different answers.  After counseling my answers are less different and a bit more consistent. 

While I was taking a True Colors https://truecolorsintl.com/ class for school that I took an Introvert/Extrovert test and learned to my surprise that I am fairly high on the scale of Introvert.  Then I watched some Ted Talks, followed an Introvert Facebook group, and studied more to realize that things that I blamed on PTSD were actually signs of being an Introvert. 

TED talk on the Power of Introverts.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4

What is your favorite personality test?




Thursday, September 28, 2017

Jerking awake

I found an interesting article shared on Facebook about that feeling of falling and jerking awake. 

https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolinekee/falling-asleep-jk-falling-down-the-stairs?utm_term=.ravdPPzDV1#.yxr577wgeP

Note: The gifs are annoying so I would scroll so they were hidden to read the article. 

Most of the time I stay awake until I am so exhausted that I more pass out than fall asleep.  I am working on going to sleep earlier but that is cutting into my blog writing time.  I need to shuffle things around a bit. 

School is picking up the pace.  Field trips, major projects and inventories keep me hopping and on the go all the time.  I am working at self care of making sure I get my breaks.  However, on field trip days hyper-vigilance kicks into over drive and leaves me exhausted when things go well and totally undone if things don't go well. 



Saturday, September 23, 2017

Soy is in what?

I am working on discovering what I am allergic to that causes my throat to swell shut.  I've been to the hospital multiple times for this over the past 20 years.  None of the other doctors told me it was an allergic reaction.  An allergy test showed nothing so dramatic that it could put me in the hospital.  I picked soy as my first thing to try eliminating and discovered the strictest diet I have ever been on.  They put soy or soy oil or soy lecithin in EVERYTHING.  Well not everything, my son asked me if I found a soy free lettuce.  He is right; I did.

I am three weeks into greatly reducing my soy intake.  Not eliminated yet because they put it in so many things.  It gets really confusing that the same brand will put it in some of their products but not all of them.  Or how about peanut butter that has soy oil added.  REALLY!?!

The diet is paying off.  The swelling in my legs has reduced so much that I can now squat down, which I haven't been able to do for over 5 years.  I am noticing that I can swallow supplements in capsule form.  I was using only chew-able vitamins.  I am not in blossoming health but I am seeing improvements.  I would have never guessed on my own that one food item could cause so many problems. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Taming Triggers

My counselor complained that I was so full of triggers it was like walking through minefield talking to me.  Today I counted 4 separate triggers plus a couple that didn't quite hit high enough to be considered a complete trigger, more of a nudge.  I handled them.  I acknowledged they happened.  I am feeling like life challenging me to keep on coping.  This morning my sister introduced an article she read about self care.  I am trying to decide if I hit this many triggers in one day because I am not being as cautious or I am neglecting caring for myself or the oddest of all since the first one or two didn't wipe me out I was still standing to take on more.  Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad one.

Over, under, around or through it.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

It's working

I spent most of this year bouncing around to different doctors to learn I really do have a thyroid problem.  I chose a 6 month reprieve to wait and see how fast a lump on my thyroid is growing.  Depending on the change of size will determine if I go another 6 months or remove it.  It solved several mysteries.  I now know that I was not doing my Karate ground work wrong, my neck was hurting because of the growth on my thyroid.  The growth caused me to gain weight and messes with my sleep and energy levels.  How rude. 

My other doctor explained that a 20 year long problem is not a high hernia as first believed but an extreme allergy reaction.  His choice was to prescribe a high dollar powerful medication.  I read the information sheet that came with it.  I promised myself years ago not to take a medication that the 'cure' is worse than the disease.  I chose not to take the prescription.  Instead, I went hunting for the thing that I am allergic to that I am eating.  My GP (general practitioner) ran an allergy test.  Nothing remarkable.  Certainly nothing that could cause my esophagus to close down around the food so tight I couldn't eat for 3 days.  So I guessed.  That's right I took a guess as to what the problem was.  I know from past experience looking for a protein snack I could eat in the afternoon I bought 6 different energy bars.  After I threw up the fourth one I noticed that the common ingredient in all of them was soy.  So I am cutting soy out of my diet.  This is the hardest diet I have ever done.  Soy is in almost EVERYTHING prepared and most restaurants.  I'm not perfect yet but after substantially cutting soy, soy lecithin, and all its derivatives I am noticing a big difference in swallowing food.  Today at Karate I was able to squat down resting my bottom on my heels.  This means the swelling in my esophagus has gone down and so is swelling in my legs.  I am stunned that 3 weeks of soy free (mostly) is having such a dramatic effect.  The down side....they put soy lecithin in most chocolate....on the upside the Dollar store has chocolate bars with no soy.  Woohoo.  


So sad - no more creme cakes and the list goes on. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Distracted

I was distracted with health problems.  Today I learned that the problem was probably there for years but I didn't pay attention to what I was feeling.  I am so used to being tired, stressed, and anxiety symptoms for PTSD that I didn't realize that my body was actually hurting and begging for attention.  This is a big problem when PTSD and CPTSD symptoms override the physical health problems that are there too.  I am deeply relieved to find out the problem is less serious than I originally thought it might be.  I will be put in the wait-and-see category.  I am thankful that the doctor I trusted introduced me to a doctor she trusts.  This is an interesting thing I am learning about trust.  Sometimes I will trust the person that trusts the person so it helps me trust them too.  I am thankful to be building a team of friends and professionals that all have my best interest at heart.  Feels good too.  I feel confident that I am making the most informed and best choice I can make at this time.  I know that 6 months from now I will go through a similar process but like all things, the more often you do something the easier it becomes, (usually.)

My fellow blogger

Monday, September 4, 2017

Introvert Hangover

I discovered that not every reaction I have to other people can be blamed on being a survivor.  On my journey of self discovery, I found out that I am an extreme Introvert.  My niece posted a link to an awesome article about the effects of Introvert hangover from over exposure to too much, too many people, too much input, too many of anything.  I need time to process information. 


https://introvertdear.com/news/yes-there-is-such-a-thing-as-an-introvert-hangover/







Thursday, August 31, 2017

The World is Broken

**************Warning - Mini Rant**************


I'm going to get on my soap box and yell to the World that the World is Broken is a LIE...that is right and out and out lie.  The World is not broken, the World is doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing testing us.  Screaming that the World is broken and needs to be smoothed out is like proclaiming that they need to get the obstacles off the obstacle course.  That is right, this spinning globe is an obstacle course, there are supposed to be challenges, things that trip us up and knock us down.  I thought today that too many people want to run a decathlon from their easy chair.  When the hurdles, discus throws and other challenges popup they want to be able to do these tasks from their recliner.  Do I believe we make our own lives harder? Absolutely!!!!! Do people dig traps for one another?  Resounding YES!!!! The World is a challenge and we make it worse every day.  The hardest one is expecting to live from an easy chair.  LIFE does NOT come with an EASY BUTTON. 

I'm done now....thank you for reading this far.  I feel much better.  I can sit back and relax now.  :)





Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I love scriptures

I follow several facebook pages that share scripture thoughts.  I tend to use the King James version.  However, I often read other versions too.  When I was about 10 years old I went with my parents to a gigantic book sale.  The book I came home with was an old battered Bible for ten cents.  I read the New Testament by the time I was 12.  I still struggle with some meanings but I am persistent and learned so much.  Yesterday's posting was from Romans 12:9

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

What an awesome word dissimulation.... Oxford Dictionary shares this:
concealment of one's thoughts, feelings, or character; pretense: "an attempt at dissimulation" synonyms: pretense, dissembling, deceit, dishonesty, duplicity, 


So right, love without pretense, deceit, duplicity....oh yea.  That is exactly what every survivor needs.  Most abusers use emotions like love with deceit to manipulate and cripple their victim. 

Then I put it back into context. 

Romans 12:9-21
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

What amazing counsel on how to respond to those that mistreat me?  

Other things I learned from scriptures....

In Christ time in Israel, Roman soldiers could demand any person to carry their armor for a mile.  Keep in mind, this stuff was seriously heavy.  Christ suggested that they carry the armor 2 miles.  Matthew 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Here is what I learned, Christ did not say carry it for 10 miles or a life time.  He said do more than expected but then go your way.  How cool is that?  

Abusers want to own you body and soul.  They expect you to meet all their needs forgetting yourself.  They will use a scripture like the 2 mile idea and spread it into a life time of servitude from their victim.  Yup, abusers know the scriptures too will twist and turn them to their own meanings and manipulate others.  So I refer them back to Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation.



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Expressed what I needed

And got so much more. 

*********Trigger warning to those that do not want to read about medical procedures***********

Last Friday was a super high stress day.  I had to go in for a medical procedure.  I struggle with doctors of any kind and needles are at the top of my trigger list.  Combine them and it is one tough day.  First off I went to the wrong office but no big deal I gave myself time to be lost, for a little bit any way.  Then the receptionist said the doctor didn't order the correct test, oh great, now I am starting to panic.  My sister is with me and is a calming influence.  She also reminds me, "Give the battle to God."  I sat down and crocheted while the receptionist called my doctor and sorted out what I needed to have done.  Oh happy day, it was an ultra sound instead of an MRI.  But there were still going to be needles involved.  Did I mention needles are a HUGE trigger?

Onward, the nurse ran the test, verified that the next procedure needed to be done and was about to leave to get the doctor.  I stopped her and explained, "I have PTSD may I raise my hand if I start to feel panicky?"  The nurse assured me I could.

The doctor arrived.  He was upbeat, kind and reassuring.  He explained the procedure then talked through each and every step and what it would feel like.  He was accurate, no surprises.  He was cheerful and asked distracting questions like what happy thing would I do later that day.  He never wavered in his respect and consideration of me.  Woohoo, I didn't panic.  WOW.

Then we were done and he left.  My body started to shake.  I experienced this before but in the past I always tried to stop it.  However, one participant on the Facebook PTSD page shared a link to TRE® which is a way of allowing the body to shake to release tension.  (I wrote about it on my other blog: https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/08/27/shake-it/) The nurse watched me shaking then checked in with me that I was ok and I could sit up when ever I felt ready.  The shaking lasted less than a minute.  I felt calmer.  I was given the rest of my instructions and sent home.  It was one of the best medical procedures I ever went through.  Needles are still on my trigger list but I made it through this appointment better than most.  I am thankful for a doctor and nurse willing to meet my needs when I expressed them.  I am counting it as a win.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Brain training

My memory is weird.  I can remember somethings right down to what color the linoleum was on the floor as a child.  I remember the most minute details about computers.  However, I forget my children's name.  I agonize over having to memorize a specific thing.  Sometimes my whole brain just ups and leaves without me.  I decided to look into games that help train my brain.  I don't remember where I came across www.lumosity.com/Memory-Games but I looked at it for over a year before taking the plunge and investing in a membership.  It is fun, mostly.  There is one that is a bird watching game that a bird flashes on the screen and I have to click on it after it disappears.  To make it more challenging I also have to remember the design that is in the middle of the scene.  The flash is so quick I stare at the center and use my peripheral vision to spot the bird.  To add another layer of complexity blobs flash too.  Clicking on a blob instead of a bird is a miss.  I groaned every time this game pops up.

My opinion changed last night.  I was driving home after my karate class and out of the corner of my eye I saw a black flash.  Not a bird but a motorcycle rider in the lane I almost moved into.  Not only was a paying attention to my own lane I saw and identified the black blob in a split second.  I don't think the motorcycle rider realized how close a call happened last night.  I am now very thankful I practiced for months at getting better at a game I didn't like.  I missed him.  That by itself paid for the use of the game.  Never too old to learn new tricks if I am willing to work for it. 




Monday, August 21, 2017

Learn from Baby Elephants



I saved this article a while back.  I've thought about it from time to time. 


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-steven-carr-reuben-phd/what-baby-elephants-can-teach-us-about-human-freedom_b_2452099.html

Rabbi Steven shares how people like baby elephants when trained from a young age can be convinced that slavery is their only choice.  But we are not baby elephants.

True, I spent 10 years in counseling being retaught how to live.  My counselor pointed out how my behavior was similar to Pavalov's dogs responding to a particular trigger.  But I am not a dog or a baby elephant.

I am learning that thinking outside of the box is difficult because the box is still defining what I am thinking.  When I was computer tech I learned that there is no box.  The trouble may be electromagnet interference from a power line in a wall.  Or a mouse chewing through a network wire.  I learned that problem solving has no predefined parameters.   

I am not an elephant, I am not a dog, I am not defined by a box or my past.  The limits exist....I don't deny it.  But sometimes the limit is temporary or placed there as a challenge or an excuse to not do something I didn't want to do anyway. 

I love Walt Disney's quote, "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."



What impossible thing have you considered recently?  What are you going to do about it?




Changing view of Mondays

I used to dread Mondays.  After a busy weekend going back to work seemed like a cruel end of a beautiful thing.  I realized I am dreading 1/7th of my life.  That is a lot to dread. 

What don't I like about it?  Other people make jokes about dreading Mondays so maybe I should too....since when am I deciding what other people think control me. 

I wake up groggy on Monday....big deal I wake up groggy most other mornings too.  Groggy is not exclusive to Monday. 

I go back to work on Monday.....So, I am doing a job I love.  I am happy at work.

I think I am going to change Monday to Fresh start Monday.  Saturday morning PCroissant is my refresh button I can have Monday as my Fresh start time.  Each Monday I have a new week to tackle, life is awesome when I can look forward to Monday.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mind goes blank

I have these great ideas for all sorts of posts then as soon as I sit down my mind goes blank.  I'm working again with school back in session.  It is interesting that my Lumosity scores went down...by a lot.  I learned that I am most alert mid morning.  I always knew I wasn't an early morning person but I thought I was a bit more alert at night than I actually am.  I am more distracted at night.  Can't sleep but I don't really function either.  Heavy sigh....I'm keep exploring what I do and do not like.  Learning a lot of new things.  I set goals for this year and accomplishing several of them already.  The hardest task is learning the students name.  I almost have one class learned, 3 more to go.  I don't interact with one class so that one will be a bit of a struggle.  I am working at stretching and growing.  I am recognizing that I am experiencing growing pains.  But I will be ok.  I was able to do some trouble shooting for one of the computer problems.  I actually like pitting my skills against the idiocy of computers.  I just don't want to do it every day. 

Found something interesting posted on Facebook.  A friend posted a link to Washington States Let's Cook curriculum.  I can't do some of it because it is too hot to turn on the oven.  But I am enjoying it so far.  If you are an early beginner at cooking you might like it too.  It is actually designed as class curriculum to teach kids how to cook. 

http://www.doh.wa.gov/portals/1/Documents/Pubs/345-NonDOH-LetsCookClassCurriculum.pdf



Resting on palms.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Started laughing

Then I watched the rest.....I was crying by the end....Goalcast on Facebook....I couldn't get the link to land on the right video.  So I went looking and discovered the rest of the speech.....


I laughed because I saw the middle of the video first instructing me to change the World make my bed.  I am glad I found the rest of the story....



https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-004&hsimp=yhs-004&hspart=mozilla&p=William+H.+McRaven+-+Change+The+World+video#id=3&vid=9966f4eb5065c32925bc270f079b4c35&action=click


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaQZFhrW0fU

20 minutes and well worth it. 

I noticed it was turned into a book.....need to look for it. 



Just for fun Quilt

I found this on Facebook. I did find a dirtgirlworld website but couldn't locate this picture.  Enjoy


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Being buried

My sister Judy is an inspiration to me.  She encourages me, believes in me, and reminds me of two things, Rule number 1, stop lying especially to yourself and Praise God in the Storm.  This quote she shared on her page:

Sometimes you think you’re being buried, 
when you’re really being planted. 
God is using this season to grow you.
~ Unashamed Impact

Judy kept me grounded through childhood because I was instructed to take care of her.  With that charge I was given someone outside myself to connect with that kept me going when seemed too tough.   Now, she is a marvel.....I no longer need to take care of her.  Quite often she watches out over me.  She connected me with Froglogic and the concept of swim buddies.  I am blessed to have several swim buddies.  People that are there for me when waters get rough. 


Sometimes I was planted in rocky places. 


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ask potential therapist

I spent 10 years in counseling and went through 4 different counselors.  One I guess really doesn't count since I only visited with her twice.  I decided right off that it was NOT a good match when she said she knew how to work with PTSD and did several major things that you do NOT do with my PTSD. 

I like Lilly Hope Lucario, she is a fellow blogger that puts information out there to get you to think, feel and take care of yourself. 

http://themindsjournal.com/questions-ask-potential-therapists-treating-complex-trauma-lilly-hope-lucario/

She makes a list of questions to ask a potential therapist if you are dealing with complex PTSD.   To me her suggestions are good ones. 

When I started counseling I didn't know what I was dealing with.  I knew I couldn't express how I felt so I looked for someone that taught communication skills.  I didn't know what to say to begin with.  I knew I couldn't keep going how I was but I didn't have a clue what I needed from a counselor.  I did make a list of questions.  Some I learned as I went.  If I were to look for a counselor again these are some of the things I would ask about.

1.  What are your views of religion and healing?
2.  May I email you with questions during the week?
3.  If I feel like I am falling apart between sessions, what are my options?
4.  What is your basic philosophy of the healing process?
5.  May I bring someone with me?


My list could continue.  Which ever questions are asked I would make a written list and take notes while I was there. I would look up their web page and any other information that can be found online.  I would also say that if their looks or mannerisms are triggering I would listen to that early warning system of hyper-vigilant.   I notice that several of counselors I worked with had a fairly extensive in-take application.  It only makes sense to interview the counselor as carefully as they do me.  From time to time I look up counselors. Then I remind myself that I worked a long way through and I now have more skills and a broader understanding how to live.  The more I learn about counselors, the more I realize how fortunate I was with my first one. 

Office of my first counselor except the puzzle pieces, I brought those in. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

I love NORMAL

Yes, yes, I know... I always say that normal is a setting on a drier.  For mental health, I am still saying normal is a setting on a drier. 

Today I did my mammogram....for any woman that has had one you have my deepest sympathy. 

I am a cancer survivor.  So NORMAL means no cancer.  Yup I love NORMAL.  The place where I get mine is super awesome.  If I wait for 15 minutes they will give me the answer right then and there.  Came home and slept for 2 hours. 


Far reaching affects

I read several articles this summer on the far reaching affects of child abuse.  One of the articles had 25 things that adults that suffered child abuse do.  Before counseling I hit 100%, I did all of them.  Now, I've improved on all of them in one way or another.  I wrote about them as an opportunity to review how far I have come.  I started this way back in June....https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/06/20/tolerating-noise-and-crowds/


This week my son-in-law posted another article about the far reaching affects of abuse.  Proceed with caution some of the images are powerful and may be triggering for some people.

http://www.providr.com/emotional-abuse-as-a-child-effects/

1. Bottle up anger
2. Don't Stand up for yourself
3. People Pleaser
4. Suffer from anxiety and/or depression
5. Overly Shy
6. Self blame
7. Bully yourself


Shorter list but still comprehensive.  Again, before counseling 100%.  I am working on all of these in one way or another.  Progress is sometimes hard to detect because I am struggling with so many different areas.  Baby steps are hard to see the progress but there is progress. 

Hard to see the pattern when everything is scrambled. 


Friday, August 4, 2017

Stunner

I work for a high school as a teacher assistant.  Every year I worked there my assignment is different.  This year is no acceptation.  This morning I went through several scenarios of what I would do this year.  I was half right.  In the morning I work with Early Childhood Education followed by Fashion.  I never followed fashion trends but I used to sew costumes professionally for 2 years.  I worked in a fabric store and taught myself how to sew reading books and doing projects.  I know things they need to learn.  However, they threw me for a loop.  I will be spending my afternoons in Computer Networking.  After my head stopped spinning, my nerd half of my mind was doing fist punches in the air.  I love computers.  I was a computer tech for 14 years.  I can build a computer, assemble a computer lab, and worked on high end machines that I still miss.  One of the university students became concerned when he heard me refer to the computers as my babies.  I have kids of my own but computers found a soft spot in my heart.  I am surprised to realize I am so excited about this year.  Now if I can keep up the pace it will be awesome. 






Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I'm BACK

I'm back at school.  I'm not keeping up on any of my blogs that I usually read.  I am tired.  I am happy.  I am attending a bazillion meetings....yes I fall asleep in meetings.  After awhile all I hear is blah, blah, blah.....or mumble mumble mumble.....many of the meeting rooms have lousy acoustics making hearing with hearing aides almost impossible.  Even fell asleep during a major Rah Rah meeting with amplified sound and big bands and cramped seats and my body is going to shut down and not deal with any of this.  I was excited when our principal received the administrator of the year award.  He earned it.

Tomorrow first day of no meetings.  I made a list of things for me to do to keep myself cheerfully busy.  Yes, I am a person that needs something to do.  If I don't, I doze off.  My body is not ok with just hanging out....either go go go or no go at all.  I sometimes wish I could go for more of average.



Monday, July 31, 2017

Healing and Mourning

One of the things that baffled me about counseling and healing was the very real sense and feeling of mourning/grieving/sense of loss.  I questioned my counselor and he explained that part of the healing process is recognizing how much I loss, my childhood, my belief in myself, the loss of innocence.  I loss so much and in my effort to survive, I never took time to grieve.  I learned that grieving is a very necessary process.  It is difficult to move on with my life without paying respects to what vanished and disappeared. 

Lifebegins45 shares her perspective of the mourning portion of healing. 

https://lifebegins45.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/stages-of-healing-mourning/

 She shared this link that breaks down 3 recognizable phases of healing/recovery. 
 
http://trauma-recovery.ca/recovery/phases-of-trauma-recovery/

There is one thing that I believe to be important to the healing process.  There is no going back.  I read many posts about those that want to go back to before the trauma.  This would be ridiculous to me, I was 5 years old.  I hardly remember before trauma.  This put me in the position of simply asking, "Where am I now?  Is there anything to go back to?"  When I am asked my belief is to look for my new self, who I am now is important and matters. I survived a life changing experience, of course it changed me, it should.  I choose now to make this new now better than ever. 

A new Dawn, a new Me.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

At a distance

I saw a beautiful rainbow this morning with a jet flying right through it.  I realized that the people in the jet can't see the rainbow.  In the middle of the storm, we can't see the rainbows, it is only when we look back at  a distance.

Many PTSD gurus tell people to not look back at their past.  Going into counseling he started with present day issues but I kept tripping up on the assignments.  He finally asked me about my past.  What past? I didn't have any past?  Not remembering my past did not resolve the issues that lingered like a dark cloud.  As I struggled with memories and suffered increasing anxiety I was in a middle of a storm.  I couldn't see the rainbows.  Now, I am reviewing my past and how I changed my reactions in the present and I see the amazing things I was taught.  The tools, validation, self care, and so many blessings were unnoticed in the middle of the storm.  However, now when I look back I see the amazing things that I was taught and happened inside of me.  I actually enjoy looking back now to see how far I come and admire the storm and the rainbows at a distance. 


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Stuck without love

Bummer, getting a 100% when an article discusses the disadvantages of child abuse is frustrating.  Yup there is that word again.  This article shares some perspectives of the kinds of love a child needs as they grow.  I missed all the stages.  I am re-parenting and this summer was not particularly successful.  I beat myself up over someone's opinion.  Wait.  It is their opinion. 

I did find the stages and the emotions that became part of my thinking an interesting combination in this article.  Here's my theory, I'll test it on myself, if these are the things missing in my life to create these feelings then I need to put these things back in my life. 

https://www.consciousreminder.com/2017/07/21/remain-stuck-age-received-least-love/

Earliest stage of childhood love develops trust.  If parents can't love me how can anyone else love me.  I already notice that as I learn to love myself I am developing an ability to trust others.  I have an elite group of awesome friends and family that I trust.  (I love writing this blog, I hadn't realized I do have people in my life that I trust now.)

...the child learns to be independent and develop self-control. If parents hindered development in any way, for example, they were impatiently and persistently doing what a child could easily do by him/herself, or, expecting the child to do things he or she was unable to do alone – then the feeling of shame appears.

I hadn't thought of the control issues my mother had as one of the sources I have of shame.  I need to seriously rethink this perspective.  I am currently working on reducing my feelings of shame.  I recognized this was en emotion used to manipulate me to work harder and harder at pleasing my abusers.  Shame was the whip that drove me but I always felt short, not good enough, and disappointment.  Steps to consider in reducing shame is working at feeling independent and develop a healthy self-control. 

The next step seems ironic in that I was neglected but I have feelings that a child of over protective parent has....then I rethought this.

And if parents are constantly overprotective of the child, which leaves them blind to their kid’s real needs, then the child starts to doubt his or her abilities, the ability to control their surroundings and him/herself.
Even as adults, these people, instead of being confident, they think that others look at them with judgement and disapproval. Obsessive-compulsive symptoms or paranoid fears caused by trauma can also occur in such people.

 My parents questioned my decisions, big decisions or little ones.  They over road many of my choices, what to wear, what to study at school, what I bought with my allowance, I believe a controlling parent leaves a child doubting their ability to run their own life.  A lot to think about on this one.  My parents neglected me and controlled me at the same time.  I lived it so I know it can happen, now I need to figure out what I need to do to rebuild my confidence. 

If the parents don’t allow the child to act alone, in response to their needs, they punish him/her too much, feelings of guilt develop.
 Curiosity was encouraged but it was curiosity in the things my parents were interested in.  If it was my interest I was quickly squashed and ridiculed for my interest.  This is something I can do for myself.  I have the internet at my finger tips and I can explore the things that interest me.  Plans are percolating in my head. 

There is so much more to this article.  I put a copy on my computer so I can add my own notes and work on developing these qualities of independence, trust, confidence.  I can become the parent I deserve to have. 

I'm putting together the puzzle pieces of my life story.  I am seeing how things fit together and what I can do to create a happier healthier peaceful life for myself. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Frustration

Frustration is one of the many emotions that hide behind anger.  I get frustrated about many things.  I get frustrated when I do things for others that are not appreciated.  I get frustrated when I put a lot of effort into a project and another person picks it apart then tells me how little my effort is counted.  I get frustrated over many things.  This summer was one big frustration.  It was not a fun summer. However, I did do some fun things.  I did some puzzles. Spent time with people I love.  I tackled some difficult projects and in the process of finishing them. 

The thing about frustration is in the midst of the emotion I get sucked in to All-or-Nothing thinking.  All must go exactly as I think it should or Nothing is right.  Sometimes called Black and White thinking.  No room from compromise, failure, or disappointment.  I am working at accepting what I am feeling.  Recognize that other people opinions are their opinions I do not need to adopt them as my own.  I appreciate what I did this summer.  I do not need their approval to be happy.  Wow. 


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

I prayed for a break from the nightmares I had for weeks.  I woke up with the word Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious running through my head.  How ridiculous? For the uninitiated this is a link to the "Mary Poppins" clip.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3zAbQ0aMK8

However, I did have a break from the nightmares.  I wondered what kind of day I would have?  It was lousy. The day before I accidental ate something I am extremely sensitive to so spent it not doing much.  I learned that often my prayers are answered in totally unexpected ways. 


Friday, July 21, 2017

Another Voice

I am keeping my eyes open for others that are sharing pages about DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder. 
I found a reference to this web page on the CPTSD group on Facebook. 

https://youwillbearwitness.com/2017/04/29/busting-the-myth-of-dissociative-identity-disorder/

Looks like the web page started last March. 

I appreciate her sharing her perspective on the challenges and myths surrounding DID formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. 

I jokingly call it, "Being run by a committee that hate each other." 

A few of the myths debunked are:

Is it real?  Yes.  I lived it but I also read 'experts' that declared they hadn't seen it therefore it doesn't exist.  I lived it and I dare them to live a week inside my head before I integrated.  I also believe it is possible to integrate.  I did it.  It is possible. 

Movies and TV shows spread so much misinformation then people point to this fiction stories as truth.  Frustrating part there is some truth in the stories but the whole truth is sacrificed for sensationalism.  Plus every system of personalities is set up differently according to their needs. 

DID is not schizophrenia.  DID is created to survive trauma often when a child is too young to have other coping skills but not always.  Medication rarely helps someone with DID.  Schizophrenia is a chemical imbalance in the brain and medication often helps.  After that the differences and similarities get very confusing because hearing the other personalities can feel like hallucinations before learning that there are others operating in the same body.  I understand why they are confused but they are actually two very different situations.

The author tried to nail down the symptoms for DID but missed one that I experienced, loss of time.   I would go to sleep on Monday, wake up on Wednesday and wonder what happened to Tuesday.  However, the other information shared is a fairly accurate description of how a person functions with DID.  I lived for 35 years not knowing that I worked as a team.  Some days, I miss that team work.  My friend found at much earlier in her life but she thought the others were family members other than herself.  Finding out that I was we was a big life changer for me.  I changed ever further one I decided to integrate the five back to one. 

The article goes on to share about a famous person that has DID.  Like most famous people, I didn't know who the person is. 

Fragmented Mind

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kintsugi

Mending with Gold in the broken places. 

http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/05/kintsugi-japanese-art-of-fixing-broken.html

In many cultures people are encouraged to hide their broken pieces.  Put on a smooth and calm front and don't let anyone know you are suffering.  Wow does this ever cause a LOT of mental health issues.  It is a horrible way to live.  People feel disconnected, unloved, and isolated when they are hiding from the inspection of judgemental others.  I think one of the reasons I am so fascinated by Kintsugi is it takes broken pieces, binds them with gold and highlights their existence.  I was working on a Photo project with film photography called Imperfect beauty.  I wanted to show how flaws and imperfections are the parts that are beautiful not that things are beautiful in spite of their imperfections.  Too often to feel beautiful, lovable, and accepted people hide their 'bad' flaws, actually with good reason too.  When I first started telling people that I was a multiple personality I was either treated like a weird curiosity or with the same horror as a vampire.  After I intergrated, people that were multiples stopped accepting me because I 'left' their ranks.  I guess the thing I feel I did was have faith in Christ using gold to heal me in my broken places.  I am whole through my faith.  I worked on to put as much together as I could figure out.  The final healing I don't understand how it happened.  My faith in Christ tells me He finished what I could not complete myself.  He mended me with gold. 

I know that some people don't believe in Christ.  I know some people look to God differently than I do.  That does not change my journey but also does not lessen their journey.  We each find our own ways to heal in broken places. 


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Why Don't We Open UP?

Simple answer to this one, we had very bad experiences underlining why we should not.

Scary Mommy http://www.scarymommy.com/mom-brain-makes-us-tired/?utm_source=FBOnsite

Scary Mommy makes a point that we are all struggling with similar type fear and insecurities so why don't we just share.  I noticed that the people she mentions are trusted others.  Too often people assume that each person can trust the same people in their lives as they do.  I remember a friend gushing that she just wished her mother was there so they could share that precious moment.  I looked at her kind of blankly because that wish never entered my head.  However, I relate very well to the squirrel cage image of thoughts racing through my head and round and round they go.

I think this is why I enjoy nattering with my sister so much, we can spout off any thing that comes in our head and the other person will listen or if we are way off the mark help each other consider other possibilities.  We are kind to each other.  Open to your twists, turns and frustrations.  Sometimes we just listen so the other person can get their thoughts of our head.  We treat each other with respect so in that atmosphere of shared camaraderie we can share.  I believe that this type of sharing is health and blesses both our lives.  This however does not work for everyone.

I know other people that if I actually told them the tip of the iceberg of the off-the-wall thoughts or strange imaginings racing through my mind they would call a crisis team to come and lock me up.  Racing thought, hyper-vigilance, and anxiety leave me tired.  I don't know if I have ever felted rested.  


Friday, July 14, 2017

Creating Fun

This is a no fun Summer.  Usually in the Summer time I plan one or two trips to visit family out of state.  Not this year.  This year I broke a tooth and got a crown for that one and while I was making myself miserable I had the other crown done that needed to be done for the last 3 years.  I took a Summer school class, worked on my blogs, and Lumosity.  (Lumosity is an online Brain training I signed up to do.  I feel it was worth the cost to get going and working on keeping my brain more flexible it is thinking. www.lumosity.com) I also took on a massive task of cleaning my room that I avoided for 15 years.  I kept promising I would work on it but I never got it done.  This Summer is not fun.  So I decided to put some fun in my Summer.  I bought puzzles, called my sister and friends and added fun to my Summer.  I realized many of the things I do for fun, I do alone, puzzles, drawing, photography, painting, and playing computer games.  I realized that I learned to rely on myself and not wait for others to entertain me. 

I visited with my sister, Judy.  She told me about her friend that wanted her to go out and do things.  We talked about how many times other people expect others to provide fun and entertainment.  Doing things on my own is viewed as antisocial by some people.  I think one of the important things that happened in my research about personalities was learning about the difference between extroverts and introverts.  One of the important things I learned was I am an introvert.  I get recharged and rested from doing things alone.  I enjoy other peoples company but to recharge I need alone time. 

I realized that this summer I am having fun and relaxation by my definition.  I am physically feeling healthier.  I accomplished some big projects and I am looking forward to heading back to work in a few weeks. 




Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Thoughts about Therapist

I debated about whether or not I should post a PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress disorder, article here.  I put most of my PTSD stuff on my other page since it was dominating when this page which is more about my personal journey to healing.  I decided to post it here because my therapist used many of these skills and methods with me.  If someone asked me about what type of therapist would help someone with extreme dissociation or multiple personalities than this would fit.  My actual diagnosis was PTSD with dissociation at an extreme level.  My counselor wanted me to sense and feel that on a continuum I wasn't stuck in any one place.  This journey is about me integrating 5 personalities to one.  As a child I didn't know how to cope with all that happened, I hid from myself and tag teamed my way through childhood.  The method became ineffective with a family of my own.  It was taking all my energy to maintain my separateness when there were no clear cut separations in my life after I left school. My therapist was a marriage counselor with extensive experience with PTSD.  At the time of my therapy CPTSD, Complex PTSD, was not an accepted diagnosis. 

If you are a person that wanted to know what kind of relationship is needed with a counselor this is an article worth reading.  It is a tough read both the vocabulary and content.  It is written by Pete Walker who wrote several books on healing from PTSD both from his own experience in healing and becoming a therapist himself.  He has been there and done that type attitude.  I feel like I have a fairly extensive vocabulary but there were several words I looked up because the words were either new to me or used in a way that was unfamiliar.  I believe it is worth the effort and highly recommend taking a copy to a counseling session and talk it over.  I remember having several sessions of counseling that were about what kind of counseling I was getting.  My counselor did not adhere to just one method so I signed a paper every year that stated I was aware that my counselor was taking me on a personal journey that didn't fit in the narrow view of what counseling should be for PTSD.  He custom fitted each session to me.  How do I know this?  My sister and friend had the same counselor and we compared notes.  He treated each one of us according to our need and personality.  He was an extraordinary counselor.  Sad day for me when he moved to another state. 

Relational Healing in Complex PTSD
East Bay Therapist, Sept 2008 By Pete Walker
 
This is his personal page with links to buying his books.  
I have his book and it is on my to-be-read stack.  I planned to do more reading this summer but instead spent it doing one huge task that I procrastinated for years.   


Making a nest among the thorns best describes living with PTSD. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Counseling was my farewell party

I follow several blogs that encourage me, strengthen me and remind me what really is most important.  This morning I read Jennifer Rothchild Bye Bye Ideal me, Hello Real me. 
http://www.jenniferrothschild.com/bye-ideal-me-hello-real-me/?mc_cid=5ecbf8b453&mc_eid=7d6c542ee9

She delightfully reminded me that my ideal images of what I should be keeps me from being my real me.  I need real to remind myself I am a living, caring, changing, moody human.  Too often I was told that emotions were bad, that I should squish them.  So messed up, emotions are for the living and living real.  However, I don't need to believe every emotion that I feel.  My counselor helped me learn that some emotions are mask for other emotions.  Unmasking my emotions, peaking behind anger, moving past false faces, bring me to real emotions that are messy and add all the color to my World. 

I learned to sit with my emotions, hear them out, let them have their say.  I learned that anger was a protecting shield for fear, hurt and frustration.  When I address the fear, hurt and frustration my anger evaporates into the mist of time.  But anger helped flag me down to pay attention to my inner voice that needs me to listen to myself.  If I am angry because someone was rude to me, look past the anger to the hurt that they over stepped a reasonable boundary.  Not OK to step on my boundaries.  Think through and consider what are my options and what can I do to reaffirm I am worth protecting and caring for.  It is my job to be real and care for me.  Really. 


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Independence Day

Every abuse survivor eventually declares their Independence.  They reach the point of "NO MORE!"  The founding Fathers of the United States were tired of neglect, abuse of power and taxation without representation by England.  They viewed England as their abusers.  We now celebrate with Fireworks, picnics, and family/friend gatherings.  For those that find fireworks triggering I shared information on Fireworks Survival on my PTSD web page:
https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/07/04/prepare-for-fireworks/

Independence day is important to celebrate. It is also a time to reflect what that means to me.  I wrote my own bill of rights with the assistance of my counselor. 
http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2014/06/i-have-rights.html 
Working on my Bill of rights was an eye opening experience.  I hadn't realized how completely my rights as a person were violated growing up.  I also realized I wasn't doing too great with my own children.  Controlling others is almost a given as a parent.  If our children act unruly a common statement made to the parent, "Why can't you control your child?"  I realized that their is a certain amount of telling children what to do.  What is important that as they get older they have more and more control over their lives.  Children need opportunities to make choices, make mistakes, disobey and have consequences.  I am very big on natural consequences. 

I'm not raising my children any more.  They all grew up and moved out and now they have their own lives.  My responsibility is for me to be independent and live with my spouse in an interdependent relationship.  My counselor spent many sessions explaining the difference between an codependent and and interdependent relationship. 

Thanks to Webster University for doing a chart that shows the difference.
http://www.webster.edu/student-counseling/problems/codependent.html


Happy July 4th







Wednesday, June 28, 2017

7 Stages of Grief

My counselor surprised me when he taught me about the 7 stages of grief....nobody died.  He went on to explain that grief applies to any loss.  I looked at him puzzled so he drew a clearer picture.  The grief of a mother that couldn't love me, grief of finding out my idealistic childhood was a fantasy, grief of losing innocence, grief of mourning a relationship that died years ago but I didn't accept it.  The list got longer and longer.  The rough thing is these don't go in an orderly smooth transition; several can mash up all at once.  Anger at feeling guilty; depressed by the pain; bargaining with life and shocked by what is happening.  Grieving is a big part of healing.  Too often someone tells me that I should, "Hurry up and get over it."  Whatever 'it' is.  Part of my depression as actually grieving and an appropriate reaction to what happened.  Some of my past experiences reached the acceptance, hope, and thriving stage....others are still in the Shock & Denial.  Reminder to self, treat myself kindly and with the same compassion I would someone else experiencing grief.  I can be kind to me. 






Here is the grief model we call the 7 Stages of Grief:
  1. SHOCK & DENIAL-
    You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.
  2. PAIN & GUILT-
    As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.

    You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn't do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.
  3. ANGER & BARGAINING-
    Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.

    You may rail against fate, questioning "Why me?" You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair ("I will never drink again if you just bring him back")
  4. "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS-
    Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be "talked out of it" by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.

    During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.

    More 7 stages of grief...
  5. THE UPWARD TURN-
    As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your "depression" begins to lift slightly.
  6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
    As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.
  7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-
    During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

    You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.

    You have made it through the 7 stages of grief.
http://www.recover-from-grief.com/7-stages-of-grief.html





Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Brené Brown

Brené Brown shares several TED talks that I listened to several times.  Someone on Facebook was sharing about toxic shame asking if anyone had ever heard of it.  Uuuhhh YEA.  Toxic shame comes hand-in-hand with abuse.  The abuser blames the victim and sheds their shame onto the victim.  Blame and shame are dastardly duo that are difficult to over come.  Brené Brown studies shame, really she studies shame especially in relationship to vulnerability.  I have her book but haven't read that yet.  I haven't watched all of her videos but I learned about her from my first counselor.  Over the years I watched her video several times.  I am sharing the link to her TED page so people can explore her talks.  I hope they help. 

https://www.ted.com/speakers/brene_brown

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What do I do with my feelings?

I like watching NCSI.  The particular episode had to do with Tony saving a young boy from a burning building.  The fire collapsed part of the building and he was unable to save the boy's 4 year old sister.  He made a choice.  The boy grew up to become a fire inspector.  He resented Tony for not saving his sister.  The fire inspector had a situation where he couldn't save a witness to some arson fires.  He needed to have Tony point out to him that sometimes we have no choice as what happens to us.  We do choose what we learn from it and where we go from here.  I know the episode and seen the ones following.  The fires were set by a man that lost his son to a far caused by faulty wiring in a Navy ship.  A problem that was known but people made excuses as to why not to repair it.  The father wanted others to suffer as much as he did.  The boy that grew up to be the fire inspector wanted to make a positive difference. 

I can't erase my past.  Even when I forgot most of it, I responded from that pool of hurt and rage.  I didn't understand why I acted the way I did.  I felt crazy, depressed, and unsure what to do about what I was feeling.  I entered counseling.  Took my counselor years teaching me to believe in myself, connect to my feelings and recognize that I decide what to do about how I feel.  I don't deny my feelings but I choose which ones to act on.  I decide if I am going to spread the suffering I experienced or help others find their healing path.

I took the class about bullies last week.  Again the issue is do people make excuses for the bully pointing out their hardships or do we expect bullies to be held accountable for their behavior?  Right now the climate is blame the victim and coddle the perpetrator.  So messed up.  They trot out cliches like , "Hurt people, hurt people."  Excuses such as they had a rough childhood so they hurt others because they are hurting.  BS.  Yup....everyone in the world is hurt by somebody at some time.  This is Earth life on this planet.  Gravity pulls you to the grown.  Splat you are hurt.  A bully knocks you down the victim is hurt.  When you get up do you learn about gravity or blame the Earth for having it in the first place?  Does the victim get blamed or do you look at the situation and see how relationships are repaired? 

One of the definitions of explaining the difference between being human and a bully.  A person hurts someone else accidentally and apologizes and tries not to do it again is being human.  A person that hurts someone else on purpose and doesn't apologize is mean.  A person that hurts someone else and does it again and again and again is a bully.  There is a pattern of abusing others.  They perpetrator gets something out of it and wants that again.  Feelings of power, satisfaction in hurting someone else, and a variety of other feelings remorse not being one of them.  A victim to the bully is the object and the fact they were scared, hurt or embarrassed was the goal.  Bully's behavior is not about the victim.  I wish people would stop rallying around the bully, making excuse but instead set up a plan to change their behavior.  Some will change, others won't, the like it too much. 

I remember several incidences in my life that I was mean to others.  I said things or did things or lashed out.  My main focus in my counseling is to become the person I wanted to be kind, concerned for others, caring, able to control my temper, willing to look for win-win solutions.  That is who I wanted to be.  Accepting my emotions and recognizing which ones I reinforce or act on is 100% up to me.  Yes, I have sent myself to my room because I was not behaving reasonably.  Good.  If my children were acting the way I was they would be sent to their room until they figured out how to address a problem without hurting others.  I still give myself time to feel, process what I feel, and they choose a line of action.  When I do this I am much happier with the out come then when I allow some deep dark emotion take control and act out hurtful thoughts.  Yup, there is nothing like a well placed time out to improve relationships.  I emphasize a time out.  Meaning what I feel needs to be addressed but I want to be in control of how that discussion is going to go.

I am thankful to my counselor that reconnected me with my emotions. Then took many sessions to teach me how to sit with them, process them, and make choices that improve my life.  Living with emotions is a learned skill.  I can practice and get better at making healthy emotional decisions.  What I do with my feelings is my choice.