Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Looking back is easier

Beautifully messy is easier to notice when I look back rather than when I was in the middle of it. 

******WARNING - graphic descriptions and may be a trigger for some readers******

The first few years of counseling for me were incredibly difficult.  I started counseling with no memories of my childhood.  Information was second hand knowledge from stories retold by others.  The first thing I did was remember slowly.  The only way I can think to describe it is like having a wound that healed over with dirt in it and it gets infected.  The original wound is no longer visible but the redness, pain, and swelling from the infection is very evident.  Basically, those wounds had to be reopened and allow the infection to be cleaned out.  It was messy, painful, and I wondered how I would survive.  KavinCoach taught me that if I lived through it, then I can survive remembering it.  I called the counselor's office the torture chamber.  Not because of my counselor's behavior, he was always supportive and encouraging.  I called it that because of what I had to remember about my own childhood.  This was my life I was remembering, ugliness that seemed to cut to my bone.  Some days I would come home from a session in such emotional pain I would walk in the house curl up on the couch and go to sleep without eating dinner.  I couldn't bare to do one more thing.  It was messy.  I didn't give up.  Oh, I was tempted to give up but I knew somehow in my heart that the way to heal was through, not around my past.  I am a work in progress.  At last, I can truly see my progress.  I am more at peace than I have ever been.  I feel more joy than I have ever known.  I am thankful that KavinCoach did not give up on me and he persuaded me not to give up on myself. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beautifully messy

Tonight I enjoyed seeing beautiful pictures of a friend's garden.  Greens, flowers, frogs, and one picture of the mess that happened getting there.  Empty dirt bags, pots, gloves, and other messy stuff that helped create the beauty.  Going through counseling I experienced dark, ugly, frightening, and yucky stuff.  Garbage that makes it hard for me to sleep.  I remind myself that I have to get messy before the beautiful  things come.  I need to dig out the weeds.  Add in some mulch.  Toss out the garbage.  Therapy gets messy before it gets beautiful.  A lot of things get really messy but beautiful things can come of it if we keep working at them. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Getting things done....NOT

There are three ways to get something done; do it yourself, hire someone, or forbid your kids to do it.
Mona Crane

I have so many things to do.  Limited time and here I sit.  Oh dear.  I am an internet junkie.  I need to check on how people are doing.  I want to chirp-in and leave comments.  Find out what is going on in the world...'Like' a comment or two or three or......Oops I spent much longer than I meant to.  This weekend was very awesome.  Spent time celebrating youngest in our family turning a quarter of a century.  Yup, the whole bunch of us are getting older by the minute...and I just spent several of those online.... well it was fun this weekend and connecting with family that respect each other is wonderful.  I watched the grand kids interact with their aunts and uncles sharing their ideas along with everyone else.  My heart rejoiced watching loving couples snuggled together with kids playing in the center.  Time well invested.  Missing those that couldn't be here and thankful for those that could.  Happy memories take time to make and you know I won't really miss getting some of those things done.  The spots on the floor are starting to merge into a lovely beige.  Maybe...I could leave them there another few days and it will look like they belong there....hmmmmm.    

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway.
John Wayne

I grew up watching John Wayne movies on Saturday morning after cartoons.  TV has changed considerably and so has my taste in viewing.  However, I like this quote because I think it exemplifies a meaning of courage close to my heart.  Another way of saying it is, "Feel the fear and do it any way."  (Actually, a title of a book I read.)  This comes following faith because many times I heard that if I had enough faith, I wouldn't feel fear.  I had enough faith to move into the darkness but the fear wasn't eliminated.  I learned that sometimes a certain element of fear is helpful.  When I dissociated from all emotions, I did not feel fear when I should have.  I did things that would be considered reckless or dangerous because my lack of fear.  My sister hated driving with me when I was like this.  She informed me that if I was feeling this way that I was not allowed to drive.  Looking back I realized I was as dangerous as a drunk driver with no concept of safe practices.  One of my favorite scripture stories is Gideon who is afraid to go into battle so asks the Lord to put dew on the fleece.  He had faith but he also felt fear.  He followed what the Lord asked him to do but it is a story that has evidence of both fear and faith intermingled.  (Judges 6-8)  I learned from my own experience that lack of fear is rare for me.  Faith in my own future, I have moved forward through many challenges with one thought that on the other side of darkness was a better way of living.  Fear dogged my footsteps but I kept moving toward the freedom I enjoy as an integrated person.  I feel depression and fear less often.  My faith strengthens.  I am comfortable with the idea that fear and faith may coexist.  I win when I decide what I am choosing to do instead of allowing the fear to control my choices. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My faith

Albert EinsteinScience without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

Albert Einstein

Many times I noticed that my faith in God has been questioned.  Fighting depression many times I have heard, "IF you had enough faith then X, Y, Z would happen."  I learned through hard lessons to protect my belief and mostly not share it.  Some might say that being a 'people pleaser' causes me to reflect back to others what they want to hear.  It is way different than that.  The pedophile was a "religious" man that used scriptures as a way to manipulate and harm myself and others.  He used religion to cloak and perpetuate evil.  At home, religion came after housework and homework.  How dare I NOT do homework on the Sabbath because I believed it was my work and should be done on the other 6 days of the week.  I was grounded.  I had religion used in ways that were so wrong on every level.  Where did my faith in God and Christ come from that caused me to walk away from my friends my senior year?  My friends decided that I needed to be "saved" from my religion.  At first, I went to church with them and listened to what they had to say.  I quickly learned that they would NOT listen to what I had to say or come to church with me.  Age 17, I walked away from my friends that badgered me daily because I wouldn't change to their way of thinking.  (Not the behavior of a 'people pleaser.')  KavinCoach shared my religious affiliation and we had many discussions on my faith.  He knew that faith in a higher power often plays a vital role in healing.  He was impressed at my solid conviction that God was my spiritual Father and that Jesus Christ is his literal son and Savior of the world and my belief that they love me.  I wake up in the morning and I check in with prayer.  Driving on the free way I have discussed many topics with Him.  He is part of my life like breathing air.  I know that not everyone believes the same way as I do.  Every person comes to their own conclusions on a higher power and their role in religion by their personal experiences.  I also know that other people have had really bad experiences with religion.  I know how hurtful it is when one opinion is blasted as the only 'true' way.  My faith in Heavenly Father and Christ are unshakable.  I also know that badgering someone else about what they believe has a huge negative impact.  I believe in the scripture, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."  Therefore, I don't like being told I am wrong about my religion, so I don't feel I should tell someone else they are wrong about their religion or lack of religion.  I have a scripture in the side bar because it makes me happy to share.  But I have no desire to hurt, belittle, or put down another person because they believe differently than I do.  I appreciate truth, kindness, and peace where ever I find it.    

He offers to hug me. 

Friday, August 26, 2011


Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.
George Bernard Shaw

Visualization is a powerful tool to add to coping skills needed for thriving.  It was one of the first ones I was taught by my counselor.  When I was a multiple the first tool that happened was switching from one personality to another one that could handle a situation.  After integration, I needed a whole new set of tools.   I am building tools that I was never taught with help from KavinCoach and now NewCounselor.  There are entire books on visualization.  Actors, musicians, artists, business people, counselors, etc. all use this powerful tool.  It can be as simple as taping a picture of the new car you want to buy on the refrigerator.  Or as complex as visualizing giving that awesome speech in front of the board of directors.  One of my alters was extremely good at it.  When I did my photography show about having cancer years ago, my mentor was astounded when he walked in the gallery and the room was just as I had described it the year before at the early planning stages.  This was a perplexing.  I could visualize art projects or computer lab room layouts but I couldn't visualize a place of peace.  So perhaps a better way to describe it, KavinCoach re-purposed a powerful tool I was already using.  He taught me to visualize myself whole without switching.  He taught me to visualize peace so when it finally happened I knew what the feeling was and realized that my vision had become my reality.  At the same time I had a photography professor at school that encouraged me not to visualize every picture I took but to let the project guide me.  This became a peculiar paradox.  Letting go of a set vision and pushing beyond my own limitations.  Visualizing myself whole pushed me to explore greater and greater possibilities.  Many of my pictures in my book at the bottom of this post are from this duality of visualizing a new way of behaving and pushing beyond into areas I have never known.  Visualization started me on my path, faith in myself and the power of controlling myself is taking me place that I never imagined at the beginning of my journey out of darkness of depression.  Start with a dream and make it your reality.

College Graduation age 52 so much better than I imagined.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I needed some laughs this week and my friend sent me this email.  I should not have opened it at work.  I wanted to keep laughing instead of getting my work done. 

   WHO thinks this stuff up ???? !!!!!

1 million microphones = 1 megaphone
1 million bicycles = 2 megacycles
500 millinaries = 1 seminary
2000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds
10 cards = 1 decacards
1/2 lavatory = 1 demijohn
1 thousandth of a fish = 1 microfiche
453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake
1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin
1 million billion piccolos = 1 gigolo
10 rations = 1 decoration
100 rations = 1 C-ration
10 millipedes = 1 centipede
3 1/3 tridents = 1 decadent
10 monologues = 5 dialogues
5 dialogues = 1 decalogue
2 monograms = 1 diagram
8 nickels = 2 paradigms
2 wharves = 1 paradox
1 kilogram of falling figs: 1 Fig Newton
1000 grams of wet socks: 1 literhosen
100 Senators: Not 1 decision
365.25 days: 1 unicycle
365.25 days of drinking low-calorie beer: 1 lite year
16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone: 1 Rod Serling
1,000,000 aches: 1 megahurtz        
2000 pounds of Chinese soup: Won ton
1 thousandth mouthwash: 1 microscope
Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter: Eskimo Pi
2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital: 1 IV League
Speed of a tortoise breaking the sound barrier: Mach Turtle
Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour: Knot/furlong
Half of a large intestine: 1 semicolon
Weight an evangelist carries with God: 1 billigram
Basic unit of laryngitis: 1 hoarse power
Shortest distance between two jokes: A straight line
Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement: bananosecond
Given the old adage "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," the first step of a one-mile journey: 1 Milwaukee

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Winning sometimes is losing

Jeannette RankinYou can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.

Jeannette Rankin

This one popped up on my quote page this week.  With an Earthquake in Washington, DC a rare occurrence, and another one in Peru, a frequent occurrence,  Earthquakes are on everyone's mind.  Thanks to internet access everyone hears about them.  But with both, the devastation is not always visible.   The Washington Monument has stood for years but being rocked from below, cracks are showing up.  I think the same thing happens with abuse especially child abuse; their world gets rocked from below and the stresses show as cracks in behavior.  Few people saw the Earthquake but that didn't stop the results.  Just because the abuses are hidden doesn't mean that the devastation isn't real. 

Wars are out in the open.  Destroying all in its path.  One of the other quotes, "The end of the war just shows who survived."  No one wins when hatred is spread through the world until war breaks out.  What is even more mystifying is when that war is in the home.  No one may see the battles only the devastation left in its wake.  Too often the one baring the worse damage is then blamed for the whole.  People judge that the one that is damaged must be the reason.  I still remember reading the web page of a person that admitted to being severely abused by his mother.  Someone actually posted the question, "What did you do to deserve it?"  The Washington Monument didn't do anything to deserve being damaged.  The hardest thing for me to accept when I remembered my childhood abuse was to accept that my only error was being born.  No one wins.  Relationships crack and fall a part.  The damage occurred and no one saw why.   

How does one explain someone in public stating how wonderful you are but in private how you would just be better if you changed this or that?  Letting you know that what ever you are now is not acceptable.  The barrage of criticism disguised as concern.  The name calling, pinching, and other abusers are hidden from the public eye.  Then the reaction sets in and the child that reacts is blamed.  Well ~ if you were a better child this wouldn't happen.  A child invalidated, hurting, a cracked foundation by forces that nobody saw.  You can not see an Earthquake only the devastation left in its wake.  I hope to someday accept completely that I was a  little girl that wasn't bad and didn't deserve what happened.  No more than the Washington Monument wasn't bad and didn't deserve what happened to it. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Raging rivers

NewCounselor suggested that I view this time of rapid change like riding the rapids of a river down the ravine.  At first, it seemed like a comforting thought.  Then I remembered how my husband went on a rafting trip and during one of the large rapids he fell over board.  He is strong and felt confident he could swim back to the boat.  Then he hit the water.  He tumbled in the frothing water and suddenly realized that there was too much air to swim in the water.  He could see the light up above and his lungs were screaming to breath but he knew there was too much water to breath.  It was the last time he went white water rafting.  He decided risking your life is not fun.  He discovered the world I have lived in much of my life.  A world of terror, twisting and tumbling and still attempting to function.  Today, the email from my counselor helped to calm my thinking.  Work provided a distraction of hard work requiring me to focus and forget my concerns.  Survival by diverting my thinking until I can process what I am feeling.  Decide what I need to do next.  Create a plan of action.  Then ultimately figure out how to stay in the darn boat.  Thanks to those that sent encouraging words.

Monday, August 22, 2011

What a journey

Sometimes we look so intently toward the top of our mountain that we stumble over the steps leading to it. The journey begins just where you are with blessings in every step. 
365 of encouraging words for women widget 

The past few days have been an emotional roller coaster.  Highs and lows that are keeping me feeling off balanced.  I decided that for just a bit I need to stop looking so far ahead and concentrate where I am going right now.  The week end was emotionally exhausting and translated into my dozing off at work.  NOT GOOD.  Fortunately, the person I work with kindly woke me and I worked a bit later to make up.  I do like to keep the mountain tops in view from time to time because it reminds me when I am in dark ravines that my ultimate goal is still up.  A quote I kept in my room as a teenager: "Life is a journey, not a destination. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson."  Every journey has its ups and downs.  I just feel discouraged when I work so hard and then crash into deep downs.  Couldn't I just do dips every now and again?  

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Anything is good if it's made of chocolate.

Sometimes I read other blogs before writing mine.  I was visiting one that is the DH of a lovely multiple.  He noted often requests for things they want it is food.  My thought was oh, YEA!  I worked with KavinCoach for several years before I mentioned my obsession with food.  When I worked in my own office, I stored a case of Dinty Moore's stew and a case of water.  The custodians joked that I could be locked in my office for a week and I wouldn't go hungry.  Mostly I hide food.  I tried to stop several times but finally accepted my need for hiding food.  Now I try to hide it in the same place so I don't find Easter candy hidden under the bed in July.  (Fortunately, it was still good. :) At work now I have a boss that insists I eat at a certain time.  My inner self is asking, "But what if I am hungry?"  For a week now I have had to eat handfuls of peanuts before the set lunch time to relieve the anxiety.  Mind you, I am more than 40 lbs over weight.  I haven't truly starved since I was a child.  But that is just it, in a house of plenty, I had to go hungry so there would be 'enough' food for my brothers.  If I am sharing dinner with my brothers, I still over eat until I feel sick.  When I finally told KavinCoach he asked, "You have eating disorders?  Why didn't you mention this before?"  I shrugged my shoulders and explained that the other stuff was bigger.  He agreed that sorting out multiple personalities is a bit bigger than mundane eating disorders.  I know consciously that I am not going hungry but the gnawing fear persists.  I do feel that the food issue was the source of the creation of Sammy.  He was a boy and he could have food and he knew how to get it.  Yup, I am pretty sure that was his role.  Now, if I say I am going on a diet, I can gain 5 lbs (2 kilos) in a week.  The anxiety can last for up to a month after going back on my favorite See food diet.  I sometimes feel really frustrated with myself.  Then I remind myself to be kind.  The fear and anxiety are about the past and not my reality now.  I know that I can keep as much chocolate in the house as I need to lessen my anxiety.  My doctor would like me to loose at least 30 lbs.  If she can figure out how I can do that without fighting extreme anxiety I would do it.  I learned the hard way and with a bit of research that when your body drops into survival mode it automatically starts saving fat for the hard times to come.  Worked great hundreds of years ago when feast or famine were a way of living.  Not so good now when there is plenty all the time but my mind tells me I am starving.   Staring at a table full of food and being told nobody likes a fat girl so I better not eat is a kind of cruelty I wish I had not repeated.  Unfortunately, I raised my children before I understood my own twisted thinking.  I am thankful that my girls are learning to eat healthy diets and care for their bodies.  I wish I hadn't passed the anxiety and fear to another generation.  Too late smart.  Unfortunately in life there is no Edit>Undo.  All I can hope is to encourage my adult children and anyone else that will listen that food used as a punishment, a reward, or to define self image leads to life long struggle with weight.  I know how scary it is when you have a child that isn't eating or gaining weight like they should.  I know that their are allergies and other health issues that can cloud issues.  I encourage anyone to choose healthy eating no matter how much or how little they weigh.  (I know some very skinny people who's eating habits are atrocious.)  Your body is one big chemical factory that needs certain foods and vitamins to function, the challenge each person's needs and tastes are different.   
(I will now get off my soap box.  Thank you for reading this.)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Continued from yesterday

Interesting to find this article posted on Facebook on the same general subject as yesterday's post.  The line that really caught my attention:

"It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself you can't be comfortable with others." Sydney J. Harris

I continue to be amazed at how I find other pieces of information when I am working on a topic.  Kind of like every time I get a new car, everyone on the road seems to have the same car.   This one has been a long time thought through.  One of the struggles I had when I was a multiple was the animosity and contention within myself.  One of my personalities wanted to destroy another one despite the fact that sharing one body it would also be self destruction.  I joke that I used to be run by a committee that hated each other.  Now I am applying the same principles I learned before I integrated to how to interact with people now. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Looking for a long range goal

Johann Wolfgang von GoetheAs soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

My first long range goal that I recognized as accomplished was getting my Bachelors Degree in Fine Art Photography.  I was over 50 years old at the time.  I can't tell you the thrill I felt when I was told I could move the tassel on my cap to the other side signifying I was officially graduated.  When I read Dave Pelzer's story, I used one of his quotes as a long term goal.  He was asked if he wished he didn't have an abusive childhood.  He replied, "I like the man who I am today and I would not be that man without those experiences."  I am starting to feel that way.  Now, I have a new goal to trust myself.  Being raised in an environment where truth was a theory rarely practiced, gaslighting was normal operating procedure, and being told, "No you don't feel like that" I am way down my list of people to trust.  However, the truly disturbing thought, how can I trust anyone else until I can trust myself?  In the Bible it says, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."  A thought KavinCoach taught me is that I can love my neighbor only as much as I love myself.  If I extend this concept, I can only trust others as much as I trust myself.  No wonder I struggle so much with trust issues.  Long range goals are achievable.  They just take a while.  Sometimes like my schooling over 30 years.  I hope this trust thing is less than 30 years.   I learned in my struggle to finish my degree that I can achieve what I set out to do.  It just takes a while.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Flip-Flop Quotes

Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty- five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
  What happens to a person when all this is the exact opposite?  I learned my childhood was bizarre and unnatural, between 15 and 45 was a bit revolutionary and more like a revolving door, now I am learning about normal and ordinary.  By the way, I really like normal, sane, natural order to things.  Boring is good. 

Just a suggestion:
Turn off the electronics.
Sit quietly.
Concentrate on breathing.
Remember breathing is good.
Have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Looking ahead by looking behind

‎"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be." ~ Douglas Adams
 Found this quote on my Facebook.  Gave me a lot to think about.  I remember starting counseling so naive and trusting thinking that in a few weeks I would understand why I had problems communicating.  Now years later, still in counseling and still struggling with communicating.  I am amazed at where I am right now.  I didn't intend to get here.  I didn't know where I had been.  I spent a good share of my life not knowing what I was up to.  One huge shock to find out where I had been.  The path I have followed like a crazy maze that would rival the one in Harry Potter movie.  Going down paths that when you try to go back the way is blocked.  Seeing no way to go forward when suddenly an opening appears.  Now I am here.  Right here in my life.  I think I am OK with that.  
 A few more of his quotes:
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
Douglas Adams, "Last Chance to See"
He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.
Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.
Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Paying attention

Sometimes we look so intently toward the top of our mountain that we stumble over the steps leading to it. The journey begins just where you are with blessings in every step.

365 of encouraging words for women widget 

I spent sometime catching up on other blogs I enjoy reading.  I am so amazed at the courage, kindness, and willingness to share that exists on the internet.  I was introduced to the internet in the wild days about 15 years ago and learned quickly how treacherous it could be.   In my fear, I ignored many things that were good about the internet.  My kids have hauled me kicking and screaming into the world of Facebook, blogs and fun websites.  After 15 years of cleaning up messes from viruses and hazards on the internet, I found out there is good stuff out there.  Tonight, I want to thank all those that blog and share their journey's.  I have encountered an amazing group of people that support and encourage one another in ways that I stand in awe.  Thank you, I am learning to pay attention to the really cool stuff out there.  (Yup, my phraseology really dates me.)  You all are awesome.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Not the only one

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.
Orson Welles

This quote tickled my funny bone.  It is a great one liner but also for many a way of living.  The largest impact of integrating was the feeling of being alone.  From time to time, I miss the conversations in my head.  Differing points of view, the arguments could be endless.  Different ways to approach a problem could lead to lengthy discussions.  I take a deep breath and can still feel all their presence and a peace within that never happened until after integration.  I am alone but not lonely.  I am complete not fragmented.  I know how difficult the decision to integrate can be.  I know how huge the impact was for me.  I am not sorry I did it.   I had nightmares since I was a little girl.  I had no idea it was my mind trying to cope with the insanity in which I lived.  I had a dream that someday I would feel healthy on the inside.  I am starting to realize that the dream is now my reality.  Some dreams do come true. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Broken Dreams

Pearl S. BuckThere are many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream - whatever that dream might be.
Pearl S. Buck

I had talked to KavinCoach for 7 years when he asked me about my dreams.  I didn't tell him for weeks.  I learned through tough lessons if you don't tell your dreams then someone else can't destroy them.  I almost gave up completely on my dreams.  Something inside dies when dreams are lost.  The shell lives on.  It is called surviving.  There are people through out the world that dreams have turned to nightmares.  Hanging on to dreams is tough.  There are people through out the world that never had dreams in the first place.  To have a dream then to watch it be destroyed is a heart break at the very center of your being.  One session I finally told.  He was floored that I had carefully preserved my dreams since high school.  Some day I will actually achieve them.  Some I have already done.  KavinCoach asked me what the greatest barrier to achieving my dreams?  My answer - Myself.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Growing up when ever I heard someone was a 'Character' it was a put-down meaning they had an odd personality or an odd way of doing things.  Later in life I was introduced to 'character' as a desirable attribute.  But still wasn't too sure what it was or how to get it.  Ignored the whole thing for a long time.  Recently my sister studied honor.  Since we going walking together every week this became one of our regular topics of discussion.  Honor and positive character are tied together tightly with integrity.  My way of thinking that honor, character, and integrity are facets of the same entity healthy living.  I don't think I can be healthy and lacking character. 

This is the Free Dictionary meaning that I am interested in about character:
4. Moral or ethical strength.
5. A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities.
6. A formal written statement as to competency and dependability, given by an employer to a former employee; a recommendation.

I like all these beautiful words, moral strength, ethical, competency, and dependability, all these are far cry from the derogatory meaning I learned as a child.  "Reunited Selves" posted a beautiful post and a video with Danny De Vito about her exploration of character.  The video is worth watching if you have time.  Enjoy:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Memories...faded and lost

One of the things that helped KavinCoach realize I was a bigger mess than I was letting on at first was my lack of memories.  I had gaps in my memories large enough to drive a MAC truck through.  When I started counseling, I desperately wanted to remember.  I discovered several aides in memory retrieval. One help was talking to someone from my past.  In my case, my sister and I started poking around in our shared childhood.  We remembered different things.  I was able to tell her why she saved a particular stuffed animal and she validated some of the weird stuff I was tempted to dismiss as just too weird to be true.  Another helper for me was photography.  Before I started counseling, I was given a photography assignment to do a self-portrait using a series of at least 10 pictures.  Only one could be an actual picture of myself.  As I worked to define myself bits and pieces of memories slipped past my internal barriers.  There is something about art that allows me to let down my emotional guard and let the memories flow through.  Another thing was to allow myself to write in the middle of the night when I woke up from a nightmare.  Life triggered nightmares...nightmares triggered memories.  I learned from KavinCoach that I had to be careful of 'false memories.'  The brain does not distinguish between watching a movie and my own life.  Stranger still is the way the brain will put a 'nicer face' on a traumatic experience.  For example, instead of remembering the face of my abuser, instead I remembered the face of a kinder person, taking some of the distress away from me but if I had said anything, causes problems, since accusing someone of something they didn't do really damages a relationship.  There are many different ways of retrieving memories, hypnosis, therapy, free writing (writing whatever comes to mind without editing), brainstorming and then going back and talking into the tape recorder about the event written down, talking with a safe person, meditation, exercise without ear buds blasting music, any number of ways to get inside your own head.  Word of caution for those that may have less than stellar past.  If you suspect you may be repressing traumatic memories, don't do this alone.  Heavy duty memory retrieval, AKA flashbacks, can be hazardous to your emotional/mental health.  When I started remembering, I had NO idea what I was getting into.  My mind repressed much of my childhood completely.  I did learn several valuable lessons.  If I lived through it, I can remember it.  Don't push my mind faster than my coping skills can work with, little chunks can move a mountain.  Don't be surprised if it doesn't bring the relief you think it will.  Memories are from the past.  May help with understanding why you do what you do but memories are cast in stone.  You can't change your past.  After a few years of remembering horrific images, I decided God's blessing to me is fuzzy on the details.  I like fuzzy.   

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ooooo Possibilities....

Yesterday I posted that I resigned from being an adult.  Wishful thinking and feeling very warn down.  You know how something is on your mind then bits and pieces fit together?  I remembered one of my happy childhood memories was going on Saturday trips.  I saw a book on day trips for the area I live.  I had suggested to a friend that was feeling sad that she needed a 'minivacation.'  I realized that all my kids have grown and left home.  Ooooo possibilities....  One Saturday a month I could plan a day trip to go see some of the things I love about where I live.  There are lots of places that are free and many places that don't cost a lot of money.  I think I need to do some planning and see what I can come up with.  Maybe resigning one day a month has real possibilities.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Resign

If I didn't have a first childhood and I have a second childhood now, would it then be considered a first childhood? Just wondering...

A friend posted this on Facebook and I felt like it so fit how I felt today.

I Resign
I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult.
I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8-year-old again.
I want to go to McDonald's and think that it's a four star restaurant.
I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples with rocks.
I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them.
I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer day.
I want to return to a time when life was simple.
When all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn't bother you, because you didn't know what you didn't know and you didn't care.
All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.
I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good.
I want to believe that anything is possible.
I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.
I want to live simple again.
I don't want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip,illness, and loss of loved ones.
I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.'s my checkbook and my car keys, my credit cards and all my responsibility.
I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want to discuss this further, you'll have to catch me first, 'cause,
"Tag! You're it."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gettin up again

Muhammad Ali
Inside of a ring or out, ain't nothing wrong with going down. It's staying down that's wrong.

 Today I fell asleep on the couch feeling tired and frustrated.  Some days I feel like no matter how hard I have worked, I am not any further along than when I started.  Then I think about where I was and how I would have reacted to the past few days events.  It is so easy in a long climb to look ahead and see the soaring peaks still ahead and forget how long and how far I have climbed.  I also remind myself that it is down in the valleys that the rivers run with the most fertile soil and greatest opportunity for growth.  Sometimes I am just tired.  I'll get up again tomorrow.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Inpsiration from Failures

This is from an email that comes to me about 3-4 times each week.  The thoughts and videos give me a lot to think about.

In the book "Think and Grow Rich", a story is told of an uncle of R.U. Darby. 
The uncle was caught by the “gold fever” in the gold-rush days, and he went out West to dig and grow rich.

As the story goes, Darby's uncle did strike gold.

He and Darby drilled on, desperately trying to pick up the vein again - all to no avail. Finally, they decided to quit and they ended up selling their machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars. 
The junkman called in a mining engineer to look at the mine and do a little calculating.  The engineer advised the junkman that the project had failed, because the owners were not familiar with “fault lines.”

Motivational Video
His calculations showed that the vein would be found just !!three feet!! from where the Darbys had stopped drilling!
That is exactly where it was found!
In this video we are reminded (thankfully) of some people who didn't stop trying despite the odds.
I hope you have an outstanding day, 
Inspiration By God

Sunday, August 7, 2011

You Are Beautiful

Over at upsi's blog is a sticker stating ~ You are beautiful.  Imagine such stickers stuck all over a city.  One of the comments added more websites to pass on good will and encouragement.

Jess said...
It's a movement!

A friend of mine does something sortof similar, acts of kindness she calls "guerrilla goodness": It's contagious, and really uplifting to do a project like this. I've heard some people say that stickers don't count as graffiti, but I'm not sure that's true.

 I wonder what kind of movement can be started by passing good things on to others?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Creativity continued

My last post was placed on a whim from one of the the photography pages I enjoy reading.  I heard some of these perspectives while working and studying photography.  I was fascinated how narrow minded some of the professors were on their definitions of creative art.  Some were so narrow minded that the only way to get a good grade was to play the game of "Can you guess what I am thinking and produce it?"  If you went off in your own creative direction you could get slapped down hard.  However, there were other professors that pushed me to the very edges of my mind and seemed to encourage me to leap into nothingness that suddenly turned into something when you stepped there.  The second type of professor encouraged me to write my book at the bottom of my blog.  My imagination was hard pressed to match what I had lived through.  My creativity as a child helped make the first split possible.  My curiosity has played around creativity for many years.  When I was in 7th grade, the art teacher then advised me to never take another art class since I was so terrible at all forms of art.  Well, she was right.  I didn't do art her way.  I stayed away for many years.  When I joined the Art department as a computer tech I thought it was a great match.  They didn't want to learn about computers and I didn't want to learn about art.  I told them I had zero art experience.  Problem solving was what they hired me for anyway.  As time progress, it became obvious I needed to learn something about photography so I could solve the problems they were having in the computer labs.  Attending my first art class since seventh grade I was paid to attend photography 101.  Ten years later I earned a Bachelor in Fine Art ~ Photography.  Creativity became a curious thing that was debated endlessly in classes.  What was it?  Who had it?  Does it make a difference?  Who defines it?  I watched some debates get to the point of raised voices and emotionally charged words.   The list by Darren brought out some of the points debated.  From the comments on the post, the debates go on.  I can see how each person could come to the conclusions that they have.  I attended a meeting of the Gorilla Girls that are fighting discrimination against women in the art world.  Museum curators believe men are more creative than women.  Strange to see such prejudices exist in the Art world.  I proposed the possibility that children are loaded with creativity and it is systematically schooled out of them.  I remember hearing the story of the little boy that drew hundreds of flowers for his mother in every color.  But when he went to school the only flower the teacher accepted was a red tulip with green leaves.  Over time the only thing the boy would draw were red tulips with green leaves.  One of the theories I encountered about becoming a multiple is that it takes the creativity of child's mind to create two worlds in one body.  The splits were a creative way of solving a problem that would overwhelm most adults.  My first split at age 5 helped me survive.  Then other splits followed as the effectiveness of the first split was proven useful.  I would be curious what my 7th grade teacher would have said now about my drawings, wood working, and photographs.  I believe creativity is one of the gifts we are all born with and culture, experience, and ourselves determine what we do with it.  The list to me were different aspects of a very large entity that permeates all things.  I would go so far as calling creativity the spark of eternity; it defies description.

Friday, August 5, 2011

One Man's Opinion

   -  8:24 PM (edited)  -  Public

9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People
I'd love your opinion on this and what I've left out in comments

1. Curiosity
Learning to ask ‘why’, ‘what if’ and ‘I wonder if…’ are great questions to build into your life if you want to be a more creative person.

2. Seeing Problems as Interesting and Acceptable
One of the problems of the Western mindset is that we often see problems or obstacles in life as unacceptable parts of life. We avoid pain or suppress it when it comes and in doing so don’t often see and feel symptoms that are there to tell us something important.

Creative people see problems as a natural and normal part of life.

3. Confronting Challenge
In fact more than just seeing problems and challenges as 'normal' and not to be run away from - creative people often have a fascination with problems and are drawn to them because they present opportunity.

Many of the most creative ideas through out history have come from people facing a challenge or crisis and rather than running from it asking ‘how can I overcome this’?

4. Constructive Discontent
Creative people often have an acute awareness of what’s wrong with the world around them – however they are constructive about this awareness and won’t allow themselves to get bogged down in grumbling about it – they take their discontent and let it be a motivation to doing something constructive.

5. Optimism
Creative people often have a deeply held belief that most (if not all) problems can be solved. No challenge is too big to be overcome and no problem cannot be solved (this doesn’t mean they’re always happy or never depressed – but they don’t generally get stumped by a challenge).

6. Suspending Judgment
The ability to hold off on judging or critiquing an idea is important in the process of creativity. Often great ideas start as crazy ones – if critique is applied too early the idea will be killed and never developed into something useful and useable. (note – this doesn’t mean there is never a time for critique or judgement in the creative process – it’s actually very important – but there is a time and place for it).

7. Seeing Hurdles as leading to improvements and solutions
This relates to some of the above – but by ‘hurdles’ I mean problems and mistakes in the creative process itself. Sometimes it’s on the journey of developing an idea that the real magic happens and it’s often out of the little problems or mistakes that the idea is actually improved.

8. Perseverance
Creative people who actually see their ideas come to fruition have the ability to stick with their ideas and see them through – even when the going gets tough. This is what sets apart the great from the good in this whole sphere. Stick-ability is key.

9. Flexible Imagination
I love watching a truly creative person at work when they’re ‘on fire’. They have this amazing ability to see a problem or challenge and it’s many potential solutions simultaneously and they have an intuitive knack at being able to bring previously disconnected ideas together in flashes of brilliance that seem so simple – yet which are so impossible to dream up for the average person.

Is Creativity tied to Personality Type or Can it be Learned?
As I read through this list of traits of creative people – the question that I find myself asking is whether creativity is tied to personality type or whether it can be learned?

My own uneducated answer to this question is – ‘yes’ (to both options).

- Some people are just creative – they don’t train themselves to think like they do and they often don’t even know that they are any different from the rest of us – it’s just who they are.

- However I believe that we can all enhance our ability to be creative over time.

What Do You Think

What would you add to the list of attitudes/traits above of creative people?

Also - do you think creativity is more to do with personality or can it be learned?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mob Fun

This was from one of my emails that come to my inbox to lift me and share smiles.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I have.

My daughter introduced me to this kind of meet me at the station and lets have fun videos.  I already shared one before.  I don't know why but it just seems like the ultimate in fun to do something like this.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Awareness + Responsibility = Power

Started work yesterday at the school.  I fell asleep as soon as I got home and with only a few brief wakeups I slept for 12 hours.  It was awesome.  I haven't slept 12 hours in years.  I feel so much better.  I woke up in time to check my comments and head back to school.

The comment I read was from Jonsi.  She wrote:

"I wanted to blog about it because I think the "I'm not perfect" excuse is ridiculous. No one is asking ANYONE to be perfect. We're only asking for responsibility, accountability, and respect"

She really captured what I am trying to say.  What was even more amazing was what I read afterward while eating breakfast.  (I am struggling through a book called Boundaries and Relationships - knowing, protecting, and enjoying the self by Charles L Whitfield.  Tough read for me since most of the information is written like he assumes I know what he is talking about.  I am suspecting his audience of choice is other counselors not people like me with severe PTSD and no concept of boundaries, healthy or otherwise.)

This was way cool:
"We reclaim our personal power through a process of increasing awareness and by taking responsibility for our well being and functioning: Power = Awareness + Responsibility.  And part of that power is by setting boundaries and limits."

Wow.  It was like all the things I struggled with wrapping my mind around came together in this one statement.  I am not perfect and I am aware I am not perfect and I take responsibility for my imperfections.  What I didn't realize that this is a major key to personal power.  I now understand when I hear the excuse, "I'm not perfect" or the variation "That's just the way I am" I get so frustrated.  It is like the person giving the excuse is wallowing in their imperfection refusing to change anything.  Like a pig wallowing in mud, they are content to give away their power to change and improve our relationship.  I ain't perfect.  If I know I been bad, I have every intention of taking responsibility for what I have done and apologize to the appropriate party involved and learn better ways to behave.  I ain't perfect, but I am pretty good.  I can keep working on being better because I like being healthy but I am still acceptable as I am right now.  As my awareness increases I want to improve myself to meet my new standard of being.  But for some people, no matter how good I get, I ain't good enough because they would rather blame me than get out of their own mud.  Just  a lot of thoughts that seem to have come together with a bang for me.  Thanks for the many comments that helped get me here.

I have something fun planned for tomorrow.  Enjoy.   

Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm NOT perfect excuse

A comment on my last post I am bringing here:

Laurel Hawkes has left a new comment on your post "Perfection":
Thanks, I really needed this, this morning, as I overheard NM telling a friend on the phone that ungrateful children have unreasonable expectations of their parents, who are imperfect people and did the best they knew how. I was proud of myself for not exploding. I sent myself to my room. :-) 

Sometimes people will use the "I'm not perfect" to excuse their behavior and not take responsibility for what they can change.  Have you ever heard some one say, "Well nobody is perfect," rather than accepting responsibility for their behavior?  When I say I don't need to be perfect, I am thinking along the lines of learning that I don't need to spend 30 minutes a day cleaning the bathroom.  FLYlady's swish-n-swipe in 3 minutes is more than sufficient to keep the bathroom looking good.  However, if I have hurt someone's feelings or acted out of line shrugging my shoulders and stating "I am not perfect," to me is dodging responsibility for my actions.  Also I am fully aware that saying, "I am not perfect and did the best I knew how," needs to be considered very carefully.  How many people know doctors that smoke?  I would say that any doctor would know exactly why smoking is unhealthy, yet if they choose to smoke anyway, they are not doing the best they can.  I know as a parent, I knew I could have done better.  Many times I have felt terrible that I didn't do better.  Bottom line there are some things that I do that I truly don't know a better way of doing things.  

I try to change when I learn a better way of doing something.  When I worked at the university, I was always shocked when students would blow off a professors suggestion without considering their ideas.  Don't get me wrong, I argued with more than one professor since they are not perfect.  I also considered their perspective valuable since they were all world class artists.  Refusing to learn from others, refusing to consider what can be improved, does not constitute doing the best you can.  Refusing to learn a better way to live does not mean you tried to do your best.  I remember hearing wonderful advice from my mother which she herself did not follow.  If she can say it, why doesn't she do it?  I have problems with my weight.  I know I am not doing the best I know how when I buy German Chocolate brownies and proceed to eat it all myself. (By the way, it is really yummy.)  I know I am not doing the best I can when I know the proper diet and medication I should be taking and refuse to do it.  Taking a step back from perfectionism is taking some of the pressure off of myself.  Continuing counseling and improving how I interact with people is a goal to improve interpersonal relationships.  I may not behave perfectly and I may not always do the best I can, but I can take responsibility for my mistakes and work at improving how I treat others and myself.  Perfection is fragile and the slightest error becomes a complete fail since that makes it no longer perfect.  I prefer the grading system.  90% is still an A.  This journey to become a healthy person is a fascinating challenge and part of the process is accepting I am not perfect therefore there is room for improvement.  But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy where I am at right now.  May each of you enjoy imperfect happiness today.