Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What Blogging has done for me...

What has blogging given you the confidence to write or create and then *share*… that you wouldn’t otherwise have done?

The Gift of Blogging Confidence: Group Writing Project

Blogging on my first blog was sharing my pictures that I take by the thousands, Photos Change My World.   My second blog, We Are One, however took me to a whole new place of sharing and creating work that I would not have shared if I didn't have this avenue.  I wrote things for myself before, but here in this blog I could share the challenges I faced battling depression and the aftereffects of child abuse.  I am sharing at last how I changed from surviving to thriving.  I am still astonished when someone comments on what I have written.  Through blogging I have also interacted with other bloggers to cheer them on to their success and share their sorrow when their entry lets me into a sad part of their lives.  I appreciate the opportunity to learn I am not alone in some of the challenges I am facing.  I am not alone in wanting to find a better way to live.    
Depressed and not know it.
Pain of Guilt

Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting in touch

Getting in touch with other people on their blogs is teaching me several things.  Bad things happen to people.  Other people deny that bad things happen.  People feel isolated.  There is a lot of hurt.  Now this is the amazing part.  Wonderfully kind people leave words of encouragement.  Sharing sadness helps to feel less alone.  People are out there that want to help each other and build each other up.  I am meeting some amazing people on line.  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Still feel the same

I have noticed that sometimes when I get angry it is like a 'storm in a teacup,' really just me in my little world having tantrums.  Other times, it is big, furious and the right way to feel in a given situation.  Put downs, belittling, cruelty, abuse, and other behaviors deserve anger.  You can ask any psychologist and you will be told that anger is a secondary emotion.  One of three things happen first, you were either hurt, frustrated, or afraid.  I have discovered that when my anger is really big, it will be all three plus what I call "powder kegged."  It is a made up term that I use to describe what happens when I blow sky high over something that appears small or inconsequential.  The "powder keg" is some previous event that caused a similar reaction that I stuffed the emotion under layers of denial.  The interesting thing about stuffing emotions they tend to cluster together and gain strength.  The emotions do not diminish.  Then, a later event detonates not only the current event but all the rage from previous events.  Yesterday's rage was set off by such an event.  Until I read someone's comment on somebody else's web page, I didn't realize how furiously angry I feel when another person decides well you weren't "truly abused."  Even if the other person was there and witnessed the events it does not put them in a place to judge how I reacted or how I felt about an event.  Nor does the other person realize that sometimes one small event is the tiny tip of a monstrous iceberg of repeated events.  I once had an unpleasant boss that was trying to get me fired.  He didn't do any one thing that I could point to and say, "This person's behavior is abusive."  Instead it was like a swarm of hungry mosquitos each drawing just a little bit of blood with the sum total being extreme abuse even if a single event was just a little bite. I am angry that anyone would be judged by someone else and told how they felt wasn't real.  Abuse is real.  Sneaky, underhanded, hard to detect abuse is real.  Recognizing abuse and exposing abuse to the light of examination seems to me to be the only true way to bring it to a halt.  As long as people say it is not real, there is no need to change.  I am still fuming mad.     

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Truly abused"

This is a warning for this next entry I am venting all the rage I am feeling at reading a person's comment on someone else's page.  If you do not want to read this venting of anger, please, hit the back arrow now.  You might want to click over some light humor on this page http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2010/11/silly-email.html 

I wanted to offer my sincere condolences that the blogger had someone in their life that would write that their  heart went out to those that are "truly abused."   My interpretation was the writer of the comment to the person writing the blog was they were not "truly abused."  I wrote 5 different responses and I deleted all 5, since all of the responses became about my rage of how dare this arrogant person imply that the person writing their feelings of emotional abuse is not "truly abused."

Dictionary definition of abuse:
3. to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about;revile; malign. 

This is one of the dictionaries definitions of abuse.  The forms abuse can be physical, psychological, sexual, and in my opinion spiritual abuse.  Most people inflicting the abuse will say it was "not that bad."   I have heard survivors themselves argue, "Well, my abuse isn't as bad as yours."

This is my opinion: ABUSE IS ABUSE.  Choosing to lower or end contact with abusive family members or friends is not being mean it is taking care of yourself.  Choosing not to continue to allow someone else to abuse you is a healthy choice.  Learning to protect yourself physically and emotionally is a healthy choice.

I know part of my fury was being told as a child that what was done to me was not that bad.  When I showed them the bruises, I was told I was just a clumsy child.  When my NM fed me food that made me ill, I was told she didn't realize it hurt me.  Then why did she give me my grandmother's stomach medicine if she didn't know what I was eating was hurting me?  At the beginning of counseling, I totally rejected the idea that I was an abused child.  After all, bad things happen to everyone.  After several months of defining what abuse was and comparing it to my reaction, the counselor made it very clear to me that not only was I abused and neglected, he put me down as one of the more severe cases of abuse that he worked with.  The first thing I needed to do in order to move towards a healthier way of living was to acknowledge that I was abused with all the symptoms that go with it, PTSD, DID, fear, anxiety, withdrawal, dissociation, depression and the list goes on.  Next I started unraveling memories, nightmares and flashbacks to piece together a rough outline of what happened.  I then needed to learn to protect myself physically and emotionally.  Over seven years of counseling and I am still trying to get to the point that I feel like a healthy person.

The past month KavinCoach let me know he was moving.  I went through the agonizing evaluation of where am I right now in my emotional healing.  Could I function on my own without a counselor for support?  I decided, with my circumstances, I needed someone outside my life that can help me sift through my garbage and teach me more about protecting myself while staying involved with others.  Being human, we are a clumsy lot and every person I come in contact has the potential of eventually doing something that hurts me.  Learning appropriate responses and being able to identify between those that do respect me and would not intentionally harm me from those that because of their own issues make a habit of hurting others, myself included, and how to protect my rights as a human being.  I am so thoroughly angry that anyone dared to invalidate someone else's evaluation of their own situation.  How dare they be so arrogant to imply that being disrespected, talked down to, humiliated, gaslighted, etc. is not abuse?  Just because there are no visible scars, does not mean you were not abused.  Just because you don't cry when you tell about what happened, doesn't mean you didn't feel pain.  Just because it is uncomfortable for others to be reminded of their poor behavior, doesn't mean their behavior did not hurt the other person.  I will say it again ~ ABUSE IS ABUSE.        

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I did it....

After one too many disasters at Thanksgiving dinner, I swore off ever cooking another turkey.  I hung my head in defeat and passed the spatula to my daughter to host Thanksgiving dinner at her house.  After a couple of years shared efforts between different children I decided I wanted to try again.  My kids worried.  My husband volunteered to work Thanksgiving.  I planned.  I eliminated other activities.  I planned.  I shopped 3 times in advance.  I planned. 

Thanksgiving Eve I started cleaning and then cooked a cherry pie.  Thanksgiving morning I slept in.  Yup.  2 hours more sleep than usual.  Sweet.  I started working through my plan.  I allowed myself to switch between projects but kept an eye on my timetable.  Certain things had to be done by a certain time.  I turned on the Macy's day parade.  Kept to my schedule and rested in between tasks.  One of my daughters showed up about 2 hours before dinner.  She walked in the door.  I was showing her what I was up to in my activities and she went back outside.  Her behavior puzzled me but I was in the time frame of needing to focus on certain dishes to have them ready in time.  DD (darling daughter) came back in the house laughing with boyfriend.  She confessed that she had warned BF (boyfriend) that her mother would be a bit (read: very) stressed out.  She was shocked by my calm behavior and stunned when she listened to me humming while I was cooking something at the stove.  The turkey turned out wonderfully, rolls were delicious, and food was plenty.  Everyone that came brought something to add to the groaning tables.  There was so much delicious food.  Company was delightful.  I felt it was one of the best Thanksgiving dinners I had done in years.  I am blessed by many hands that helped with other dishes, washing dishes, and generally adding to a delightful day.  

I compared today to a Thanksgiving from before I started counseling.  I've come a long way, baby, to get where I have gotten today.  A real milestone.  I cooked a turkey.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Fleas?

In Corrie Tenboom's book, "The Hiding Place,"  she shares her sister's faith in a loving God that sends us many things to bless us.  Betsy insisted that Corrie thank her Heavenly Father for the fleas that infested the barracks at their concentration camp.  Corrie just couldn't believe Betsy would thank Him for the fleas.  Months later through another incident Corrie learned that because of the fleas that their little group of women could have prayer meetings, Bible study, and a small measure of peace from the guards who wouldn't enter their barracks, because of the fleas.  Is there some annoying thing in your life that may actually be a blessing?  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Warm Fuzzies

Years ago I was reading a self-help book, maybe from Sidetrack Home Executive: From Pigpen to Paradise,  I came across a suggestion to make a warm, fuzzy box.  My warm, fuzzy box I actually decorated with fur.  In my warm, fuzzy box I would right quick notes about something that happened that left me feeling warm and fuzzy.  Then on those days that I couldn't remember why I should bother getting out of bed, I could read the comments in the warm, fuzzy box to remind me that good things have happened in the past, in hopes of boosting my belief that good things will happen in the future.  One of the hardest things I face when depression is lapping at my knees is the belief that things will get better.

A long this same idea I would work each day to have one good thing to say about the day.  Some days the only thing I could come up with - it didn't get worse.  A flower blossoming in the sunshine, glistening snow, actually finishing the dishes, a hug from a child, all became bits and pieces to add to my one good thing list.

Changing my attitude to one of gratitude continues to make a wonderful difference in my life.  There would be no silver linings without the clouds.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Entire books are written and the scriptures are loaded with references to gratitude and the importance of a grateful heart.  One story I like to share happened when I was working at a Junior High.  At lunch time, a rather harassed looking substitute walked into the teacher's lounge.  I asked how he was doing.  He gasped, "I'm breathing."  I gently nodded and replied, "Breathing is good."  He stared at me as if I had yelled at him.  Then his whole face changed and he smiled and said, "Yeah, breathing is good."  Nothing had changed except he now had something to be grateful for.  
Many years ago, I suffered from severe sleep deprivation with all the aches and pains that go with too little sleep for too long.   I would wake up in the morning feel the pain and think "Well, I am alive another day. What one thing will I get done today?"  One of the reasons I could be depressed and not know it, I had learned to be thankful for little things and weird things like pain meaning you are still alive.

I used to live in Washington state.  One early Spring morning, I looked out the window and was delighted by the host of dandelions in our yard.  Yep, I was thankful for the weeds after a long, cold winter.  Imagine my astonishment when one of them took off.  I put my glasses on and realized I had a yard full of golden finches.  What a miracle;  dandelions turning into finches.  What a lovely treat!  Years later the memory still warms my heart.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sharing 13 minutes

I follow Nikonsniper's photography blog. His love of beauty shines through in every photo. His love of Christ shines through in his words. Check out what he shared:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Accepting pain without being a pain. How?

I was reading in the book Forgiveness is a Choice by Robert Enright and I reached the section on accepting pain as a necessary step to forgiveness.  I am struggling with this concept for a variety of reasons.  The main issue I am having is that some people seem to glory in their pain and wear it like a badge of honor.  Everyone must grovel to them because of the great pain they are suffering.  They will reassure you repeatedly how much pain they suffer from and expect you to accept whatever behavior they dish out since they are suffering so much pain.  Forgiveness is a Choice refers to this type of behavior as transferring the pain.  Misery loves company so they spread their pain around to everyone they meet.  In trying to counteract this behavior I swung to the opposite side by imploding, burying, or ignoring any pain I felt.  As a multiple, I actually distributed the pain to the different parts; sharing pain among ourselves.  Most the time I could tell people I felt great, no matter what was going on in my life, then I started counseling.  

I started admitting that I was distressed for a variety of reasons.  Most sessions I talk about the things that bother me.  As time went on, I realized that I experienced a lot of unacknowledged pain.  One of my medical doctors said I was depressed and didn't know it.  I yelled at him that I would know if I was depressed.  He was right.  I hadn't a clue how much I was hiding from myself.  I started calling KavinCoach's office the torture chamber, not because of anything he did, but because as I talked, I uncovered huge reservoir of pain that waited for me to acknowledge its existence.  In a strange way, the pain stayed almost perfectly preserved to feel its full force later, which is now.  I suspect that like mold it even multiplied with neglect.  I did not resolve anything, just tucked it away.  

Forgiveness is a Choice says there are three things you can do with pain.  Ignore it with accompanying complications of it staying with you and even multiplying. Transfer it to other people.  I think this is where the quote comes from that "hurt people, hurt people."  Or the ultimate in the books opinion is to absorb it so it does not pass on to others and processed.  All three choices seem to be lacking something in my estimation.  So back to the scriptures and talks from church leaders.  I choose the topic of "spiritual healing" instead of "forgiveness" which generated a new selection of talks.  Problem with searching for spiritual healing is often the speaker talks about repenting from your sins.  The pain I felt from my childhood was from the sins and neglect of others.  I have made mistakes and I have felt the blessedness of repentance. However, referring to many childhood events my only crime was living in a neighborhood with a man bent on harming others.  Why he did it, I think will remain a mystery, until the hereafter.  I don't feel a need to understand him.  Just like I don't need to know what caused cancer to be healed from it.  I don't need to know why he abused me to find healing.  In my beliefs, there is one more option not mentioned in Forgiveness is a Choice.  Christ died for the sins of all mankind.  My sins, as well as, my neighbor's sins.  I don't believe a shepherd would allow a lamb to lie bleeding after a wolf had mangled it.  I imagine he would bind up the wounds and heal the lamb.  He would not blame the lamb for being in the jaws of the wolf.  He would not chastise the lamb for not recognizing the danger of the wolf.  He would bind up the wounds and heal the lamb bringing the lamb back into His fold.  The forth choice is to allow Christ to heal the wounds.  But how?  The book addresses forgiveness from a perspective of taking out any specific religion.  What does this step of forgiveness look like with Him back in the formula?  How would accepting the pain from abuse be addressed with the Atonement?  

Before I integrated, happiness was a switch away but the pain haunted my dreams turning them into nightmares.  Why did I have these bouts of depression and deep sorrow that seemed so bottomless without any memory of why I felt this way?  I prayed as a little girl.  I prayed as a suicidal teenager.  I prayed as a scared young mother.  I prayed as an overwhelmed mother of 6 children.  Through it all I hurt and found comfort occasionally, so where was Christ during all this time.  He was with me when I was a little girl and I don't have to remember the really bad stuff, unless He is with me.  He helped me as a teenager to stay off drugs and choose a path that brought me to marriage.  He was with me as a young mother and whispered that He knew who I was and loved me.  It is nice to love God and even nicer to know He loved me.  He taught me line upon line as a mother of 6 teaching me things to teach my children that I didn't comprehend myself.  Then the time came for me to learn why I have battled depression for over 45 years, He sent me a counselor that could coach me through some really tough stuff.  I experienced the pain that I hid away.  I remembered fragments and pieces that made me sick to my stomach but through this all, He has comforted me.  He was there when I had cancer and I survived.  He was there when I integrated and I survived.  Now I have a teacher that not only has me surviving but I am starting to wrap my mind around thriving.  I am where I am today because I cast my burdens upon the Savior and His yoke is light.  Occasionally, I have told someone the Reader's Digest version of my life and I feel uncomfortable with their praise of how far I have come for I know I did not do this alone.  My counselor, my sister, my children, my husband and my Savior all were a part.  There are times I feel very alone.  I now remind myself that it is only an illusion.  I turn my thoughts to Christ and I know I am never truly alone. I am choosing door number 4 - Jesus Christ, my savior and friend.  
This still does not explain how to choose Christ.  Back to the scriptures and talks where the speakers are talking to large congregations.  The list is so familiar, the way to know Christ is to pray, study the scriptures, keep the commandments, be baptized, take the sacrament, share your testimony, listen to the testimony of others, give service, etc.  Anyone that has read the scriptures and listened to the speakers will recognize this list.  These are things that work generally.  Christ knows who I am and knows what works for me.  Starting with general studying I move to more specific questions.  My relationship with Christ is as unique as I am.  What works for me may not work for somebody else.  Christ teaches me individually.  The more I follow Him the more He teaches me.  What works for somebody else may not work for me.  I have people in my life that shared their ideas on what works for them and failed miserably for me.  Not because their idea is a bad one, but because I am in a very different place then they are.  Sometimes suggestions from others do work.  Opening new avenues for me to grow.  Christ died for all mankind but I feel He saves us one at a time, like the man throwing starfish back into the ocean.  From my own experience of having cancer and seeing how cancer blessed my life.  It taught me to trust in others and recognize that people around me are cheering for me.  I recognized so many blessings from this one experience.  I made a gratitude quilt of all the things I was thankful for and ways that centering my life in Christ made a difference.  I realize few people would believe that cancer is a gift from a loving Heavenly Father.  But it is not about them, it is about me and what works for me.  Some days I just feel so tired from the struggle.  I watch a sunset filled with amazing colors.  A gift from the same loving Heavenly Father.  The same loving Heavenly Father sent His son for me to follow.  Christ leads me down a path that is uniquely mine built from my circumstances, designed to enhance my gifts, and no doubt to challenge me in ways that no one else would ever expect of me.  For in Christ all things are possible.  
I think my relationship with Christ is like my experience of integration.  Once I understood I was a multiple I decided I wanted to integrate. I had no idea how to get there.  I felt like there was this massive chasm I needed to cross without a bridge and no idea how to build a bridge.  So I studied where I was at, a multiple living in a single personality world.  When integration finally happened, I looked back to where I came from and saw the same deep chasm but now I am on the other side.  I don't see how I crossed the chasm I just know that I have.  I think healing through Christ is similar.  I can see now through counseling how much damage was done.  I know that I need Christ healing power.  I suspect that as I heal I will realize it is done and wonder how it happened.  Already there are events from my past that I feel at peace.  A sign that Christ has healed that part.  Where there is massive damage, there will be a long healing process.  Christ will take me as fast as I can handle.  I learned that from counseling.  The counselor is always way ahead of me and what I need to learn.  But there is little point in trying to push me faster than what I can handle at the time.  Baby steps, I progress at baby steps one teetering step at a time.  I fall down. Get up again and toddle a few more steps.  I may see others racing past me but Christ doesn't notice; His focus is on me moving forward at the pace I can go, even if it takes me an eternity.  He is willing to wait for me.    


Friday, November 19, 2010

Silly email

This email has so many arrows on it that it is hard to say where it originated.  If I have offended some writer that would like to lay claim to this list, I will happily give you the credit and a link on my web page.  

>         ADULT:
>         A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle. 

>         BEAUTY PARLOR:
>         A place where women curl up and dye. 

>         CANNIBAL:
>         Someone who is fed up with people. 

>         CHICKENS:
>         The only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead. 

>         COMMITTEE:
>         A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours. 

>         DUST:
>         Mud with the juice squeezed out. 

>         EGOTIST:
>         Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation. 

>         Cold Storage. 

>         INFLATION:
>         Cutting money in half without damaging the paper. 

>         MOSQUITO:
>         An insect that makes you like flies better. 

>         RAISIN:
>         A grape with a sunburn. 

>         SECRET:
>         Something you tell to one person at a time. 

>         SKELETON:
>         A bunch of bones with the person scraped off. 

>         TOOTHACHE: 
>         The pain that drives you to extraction. 

>         TOMORROW:
>         One of the greatest labor saving devices of today. 

>         YAWN:
>         An honest opinion openly expressed. 

>         And MY Personal Favorite!! 

>         WRINKLES:
>         Something other people have, 
>         Similar to my character lines.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Landing on my feet

I remember many years that the slightest upset in my schedule would send me into a tail spin that would take months to recover from it.  Today I met a new counselor.  I had an opportunity to hear Kavincoach's ideas on my progress.  On the way home a slow down on the freeway gave me plenty of time to think over what I heard.  I know I have worked hard but I hadn't realized I really have landed on my feet.  I am doing much better than I gave myself credit.  I still have a long way to go in certain areas but I am learning a better way to live.  I am liking this feeling a lot.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wipe Out

Finally wiped out from exhaustion.  New job, new counselor, ending Bible study, learning new things finally put me in the 'somethings got to give' phase.  Went to sleep very early last night.  Backlash more nightmares.  I know I desperately need to sleep but if I sleep too much nightmares increase.  The sleeping thing is such a pain.

Emotional overload has many faces to it.  Pulling apart what I have control over, what I need to accept, and what I just want to complain about feels like I am untangling a massive ball of string.  Where is the Sword of Alexander when you need one?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Finish Strong

I get an email from Simple Truths.  Today's email linked me to a sports video.  Often I kind of blow of this type of RAH!RAH! video.  I watched it any way.  3.5 minutes well spent.  I stopped thinking sports and started thinking how to live a full life.  Living as a multiple, I had a half life.  Always on the side line.  Wondering what new twist would have me spinning out of control.  I think this video describes 'Thriving.'  I am planning to watch it several more times, after the 3 times I have already watched.  I didn't train as an athlete, ever.  I did decide to live my life differently for myself.  Learning about thriving seems to me to be learning to live life to the fullest.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Promised Tribulation

John 16:33
33. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

My understanding of this verse is that John is quoting Christ.  He shares this promise that in this world I will have tribulation. He told me this that I may have peace.  How can I have peace when I am told that I will have tribulation (trial: an annoying or frustrating or catastrophic event)*?  I pondered this concept.  How would knowing that all people will have tribulation bring peace?  One of the interesting emotions that I felt as my memories returned was the feeling of being alone, isolated, left out of God's grace because of the trials I had as a child.  If you are totally messed up before you even begin adult life how can this bring peace?  "In the world ye shall have tribulation:" implies that I was not singled out.  I am not alone in my tribulation.  Every person on this planet is going to have trials.  I am not isolated.  I am not left out of God's grace.  John reassures us that Christ said, "Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."  In an early post With God all things are possible, I wrote about my faith in Christ making it possible to do all things.  Combining the 2 concepts, I will have trials but I can be of good cheer and feel peace since I know that Christ has overcome all things.  Through my faith I can put my trust in Christ that I can overcome all things with Him.  Promises of peace, encouragement of good cheer for Christ is my redeemer.  I do not yet feel His peace all the time, but I am starting to feel His peace some of the time.  A moment here or perhaps at another time I am feeling peace in my heart and gratitude for my Savior, Jesus Christ.  In time, I hope to have His peace with me always.        

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A place to Share

I know some of you have your own blogs.  Here is an opportunity to share what you have learned from your experience.  I think I learn the most from my writing.  This is copy and pasted from the original entry.  Passing the word along to you. Got to go....I have an entry to work on.   

The Gift of Blogging Confidence: Group Writing Project

by JOANNA on NOVEMBER 1, 2010
What has blogging given you the confidence to write or create and then *share*… that you wouldn’t otherwise have done?
A conversation with  @bradshorr on Twitter the other week got me thinking about this.
About the things I have written, created and shared that I simply would not, could not, otherwise have done.
I guess that I am not alone ;-)
And then thought this might make a good theme for a nearing-the-end-of-the-year group writing project.
It’s a simple way to learn, share, celebrate, and hopefully encourage others to pass on their gifts too.
Web Droplets
How You Can Take Part
1. Simply consider this question:
What has blogging given you the confidence to write or create and then *share*… that you wouldn’t otherwise have done?
2. Then post:
  • Your reflections on the answer plus
  • An example (or two) of your work*
3. Link back to this post within your own post
4. Share the url of your post (the specific post not the home page of your site, otherwise we have to go hunting for the contribution) in the Mr Linky widget below. The widget invites you to comment too – you’re very welcome to, but it’s not necessary.
5. Post your contributions by the end of the last day of November, wherever in the world you are
* Feel free to include links to examples of your own work – interlinking within your own blog is a great way to thicken and strengthen it, as well as helping visitors find their way around
PS If you haven’t had the confidence to take that leap yet, perhaps now is the time!  Write, create and share… then tell us about it ;-)
How A Group Writing Project Works
If you’re new to group writing projects, here’s (roughly) how they work.
One blogger hosts the project, and invites others to write to a theme, question or topic, normally within a specified time period.
Participants take part, including a reference and link to the originating post, to spread a little bit of link love, and to let their readers know about the project (who can then, in turn, take part if so inclined).
The host blogger posts a round up post of all the contributions, possibly including an excerpt (depending on the scale of the project and amount of time available)
Participants and other interested readers might well then visit and comment on the posts that were submitted. This act of commenting is another simple and effective way to get your name and work known, as well as making new connections and friendships.
Participants enjoy the benefits of more / new readers to their blog, and the awareness of being part of a bigger blogging community.
Getting Involved in a Confident Writing Group Writing Project
The principles run something like this:
* You’re very welcome to join in
* Taking part is a good way to attract new readers to your blog
* And to get to know other blogs and bloggers
* Sometimes it can be a way to get past some barriers on the edge of your comfort zone
* Don’t be shy
* You’re very welcome to join in
I’m looking forward to reading all your contributions :-)
The image, web droplets, is by friend  @amypalko who has done a huge amount to boost my own creative confidence.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Major Review

I have mentioned before that I am in the process of making a major change in counselors.  This is not something I chose to do.  I always planned to graduate and not need counseling any more.  I even planned out my goodbye, see you later, have a good life speech.  Life happened.  Instead KavinCoach has an opportunity to serve in a way that he looks forward to the challenge in another state.  This of course left me in a state of confusion.  He has kindly offered to help me with the transition.  The toughest part is deciding where am I today?  How much do I need to share for understanding?  How much really is in the category of done now and I don't need to discuss this any more?  The application has a few seemingly simple questions.  Half the questions I could write a whole book.  I could give surface answers but how would that help my progress.  I like how my sister reminds me that we need to stop lying especially to ourselves.  To help others feel comfortable I lied all the time.  "How are you doing today?"  My reply, "Great just great," when inside I was dying.   Answers need to be honest almost brutally honest.  No softening of my reality to salve over what I experienced or did.  I am finding the task far harder than I expected.  Issues to work on ~ faith, forgiveness, pride, fear, I am looking at the list and wonder if I progressed at all.  Then like a long straight highway I look back and realize I have been climbing all along but at such a gradual pace I hadn't realized how far I have come.  KavinCoach did give me one compliment that I appreciate; he said I was light years from the person that first came to his office.  The journey is amazing and I feel like I have just begun.  Feel the fear and move forward with Faith.  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Others sharing encouragement

Meet Judy over at her blog Walking with God.  http://virtuouswomanministry.blogspot.com/
I keep my eyes open for those that want to uplift and encourage.  Judy's Walking with God hit a happy note with me.   
I am using my lunch time to read the Law of the Garbage Truck.  (Yup my copy arrived and I am enjoying reading ways to be healthy.)    I am also recognizing my own challenges about the garbage in my truck.  I am currently in the transition between counselors.  I realize that working with a counselor teaches me how to safely empty my garbage without dumping it on someone else.  
What contacts do you have that encourage you and lift you?  If you have a special blog that helps please drop a link in comments so we can add positive connections.  

No need to compete

I am sharing with you a link to a video that I am more than happy not to compete with...  I wonder what their hospital bills cost?


PS I love edit post.  I can correct my mangling the English language.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Measuring Progress

Today I am sharing an email conversation that I had with a person that shares my challenge.  We always end up looking like we are slower when we start to compare ourselves to someone else's progress.  Especially if that someone else is emotionally healthy.  Children learn so quickly and progress so rapidly that a parents progress looks like they are in the slow lane.   

Your patience and kindness are paying off. Good job.  I wish it felt like a good job...I agree that feeling like a good job is hard. I know for myself I was well programed to feel bad.  I usually have someone around that will point our all my mistakes until that is all I can see.  KavinCoach has taught me to focus more on the progress and less on how far I still need to go.   That's a hard one.  We are working on that too... it's easy to focus on other peoples progress - especially your kids - and  hardest on your own... I'm working on it.  I never thought about being programmed to feel bad, but it makes sense when you consider the environment.  Maybe that's why we work so hard so the kids WON'T have that! I think you are very accurate with your observation.  In my opinion, it is especially hard when we compare ourselves to our children.  They learn by leaps and bounds at that age plus they are not hampered by trying to persuade a whole team to go along with the idea.  New perspective.  If 1 child goes 10 feet it looks like they have made big progress.  If you move 1 foot and persuade 10 others to go the same foot.  Who had the most work to do? ooh - I really like that!  You should share that on your blog.  I think that would help EVERY mother, not just multiples

KavinCoach encouraged me to measure my own progress against where I am today compared to a year ago.  The discouragement I feel with healing emotionally that the path seems to be a zigzag of set backs, side trips, and distractions.  Week to week my progress can be all over the place.  However when I go back and read emails from a year or more ago, I start to see that I am really making progress.  I think this is the value of keeping a journal.  You can see your progress over time.  You can also see where the same problem keeps plaguing you.  An occasional self review, especially if you give yourself credit for the good you are doing, can be a healthy way to make corrections in your life plan. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fear vs. Faith picture

Fear vs. Faith
I was browsing through my pictures when I came across this one.  I felt that this depicts my concept of how faith and fear seem to intermingle when I feel the fear and have enough faith to move forward anyway.  

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Laurel quoted a speech she heard years ago, so I tracked it down to discover that Marvin Ashton quoted Erma Bombeck.  

This is a small portion: 

Erma Bombeck has written a book about young cancer patients. As she planned her book, she came to the conclusion that the voices that came from these young people were filled with humor and optimism which kept “these kids in the mainstream of life. Perhaps laughing and believing in themselves was a major part of their survival.” (Erma Bombeck, I Want to Grow Hair, I Want to Grow Up, I Want to Go to Boise, New York: Harper and Row, 1989, p. xxi.)

One sixteen-year-old boy said, “Man, without a sense of humor I wouldn’t have made it this far.” (Ibid., p. xviii.)

The author interviewed the youths with cancer and read many letters from them. She found one word constantly surfacing—attitude.

“They took personal pride in the fact that they were fighting something bigger than they were and stronger than they were—something that might even overpower them. But they still had something their enemies couldn’t take away—hope. It is a formidable weapon. … When all else fails, pull out the big artillery, HOPE, and hang on.” (Ibid., pp. 5–6.)

I had cancer myself over 9 years ago.  I agree attitude made all the difference.  When I started counseling, I didn't remember my past.  As we pealed away the protection I had by memory loss I became painfully aware that I suffered another type of cancer called ABUSE.  Abuse is cancer of the soul and far more damaging than cancer of the body.  My belief that the principle is the same.  Hope is the big artillery given to us by God.  

Saturday, November 6, 2010


“Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I experienced this in a big time way when I started counseling.  The more I learned about how I functioned that I could control how I felt, behaved, and thought, the less I was able to go back to how I was.  After integrating I was very concerned about splitting again since I know how powerful that is for a survival skill.  The last 4 months has really put me through my paces and I continue to find that my mind is staying integrated.  This quote put in straight terms what I am starting to realize.  Now that I have learned new ideas from counseling, I can never go back.  Not only that, I don't want to go back.  Living integrated is hard but it is also very rewarding.  I watch myself use more control over myself than I have ever experienced.  I no longer feel like people can make me do things. I make choices, sometime to please someone else, but I don't HAVE to make those choices.  I feel that the major change in how I feel about myself now compared to before integration is now I feel like I have choices.  Switching happened and usually without my knowing why.  For a while before integration, I started to control the switches but that was usually an exercise in futility.  Now I can be happy, sad, angry, frustrated, excited, curious, and a whole lot of other things that simply weren't always available before.  I am continuing to learn and as I learn my mind is being reshaped hopefully to a healthier self.  Good, bad, or indifferent counseling has changed my thinking forever.  

Friday, November 5, 2010

Emotional Numbness

Today I was visiting with a friend and I said something out loud that finally clicked in was an answer I had been praying about.  One of my behaviors that alerted KavinCoach that I had serious emotional problems was my lack of emotion.  He would ask me how I felt about a situation and I wouldn't know what to say.  Repeatedly there were issues that would come up and I would make the emotions attached to the situation to just vanish.  I had read somewhere once that it was evil to be past feeling.  I didn't feel evil but I couldn't explain why I couldn't feel things.  I was chatting with my friend after a wonderful evening at Bible study.  We were talking about forgiveness that was the topic for the class tonight.  I was talking with how I struggled with feelings.  Trying to explain to my friend what I meant I said, "You know like when doctors put a burn victim in a coma on purpose so they don't have to feel the first really painful process of healing."  When a person is badly burned part of the first healing process is to remove all the damaged tissue, which is usually attached to very sore nerves.  The process is extremely painful.  I am now wondering if Heavenly Father blessed me with the ability to not feel the really bad stuff in my life.  Unfortunately, the insulation from the bad also kept me from sharing positive feelings too.  Not only could I not feel emotions a lot of the time, I also couldn't share how I felt.  When I started counseling I said I didn't know how to communicate.  It never occurred to me that I didn't know how to feel.  Through counseling I learned to feel, share, and process the bombardment of emotion.  It is like all my emotions are trying to catch up all at once. As Laurel mentioned in her comment, I finally got on the roller coaster.  I am hoping by the end of the ride I will be able to exclaim,  "That was fun let's do it again!"