Monday, October 31, 2011

Thanks Molly

I found this on lots of blogs but not the original source.  Molly posted this on comments and I felt it deserved its own post.

Give Yourself A Hug - Grace Nichols

Give yourself a hug,
When you feel unloved.
Give yourself a hug,
When people put on airs to make you feel a bug.
Give yourself a hug,
When everyone seems to give you a cold shoulder shrug.
Give yourself a hug,
A big, big hug,
And keep on singing…
Only one in a million like me,
Only one in a million-billion-trillion-zillion like me.

Thanks Molly this is a wonderful poem.  :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Post went walk about

I struggle with memories and knowing what I did with something.  When I logged on tonight to look at my blog, last night's post was missing.  I knew I had done it.  I knew what I had done was gone back to a saved draft and finished one of the quotes I had saved.  I usually keep a quote for some reason that I responded to so I like to expand on the thought.  Sometimes I save them and think about them for awhile.  I finally found it back in August.  I changed the day but not the month.  So in a way you are getting a double post. 

Warm thoughts to those that are suffering from loss of power and early snow.  Beautiful thoughts to those in areas going into summer and sharing their beauty.  I think this is what makes the world such an interesting place.  In any given moment there are those having day break and others having sunset.  Seasons turning cold and others turning warm.  Unseasonably warm weather in some locations and early snows for others.  This complex highs, lows, swaying back and forth and each one of us in our own rhythm seems to create a kaleidoscope of emotions.  Coming late into feeling this vast array of emotions I ponder how do people keep up with all this?  I wonder if sometimes I dive into depression just for a break to keep some sameness for a time? 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Strange and Stranger

The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.
Tom Clancy

When I was in 6th grade my friends all signed my annual, "To the Nut."  I quickly learned that my friends had to be kept separated in slices, 'at school,' 'after school,' ' at church,' and 'at home.'  There were many blips and twists that hung out in my memories but didn't seem to fit together.  I was always trying to see the logic in it all.  In high school, instead of following the latest heart throb I wanted to be like Mr. Spock*.  Mark Spitz was a temporary distraction but always Mr. Spock was my hero.  I was shook up by the Star Trek episode that had MR. Spock feeling intense emotion.  I liked his ability to see the logic in any human mess.  I also liked that he wasn't human but Vulcan.  (How many times had I wished that I was a bunny, a monkey, a mermaid, anything but human?)  I learned this past week that rocking a baby does more to quiet my soul than any other method of trying to find an inner calm.  I had 10 years of babies and pregnancies to keep me more balanced.  Then the kids got older.  New challenges erupted.  We moved back to where I had grown up.  I knew I was falling apart and didn't know how to stop it.  No logic explained this dizzy swirl of half living and struggling with health problems.  Several doctors said that I needed to get counseling.  I would challenge, "If it is all in my head why does my body hurt so much?"  They didn't have an adequate answer.  I finally went to counseling.  I wish I could say it was for myself but it was for my marriage.  Our children were growing up and leaving home and I was married to a great guy that I barely knew any more.  The starting of marriage counseling was rocky.  Assignments were done but the expected results were not happening.  By the third month of counseling I realized my 6th grade friends were right, I was 'nuts.'  I wasn't just one I, there were more than one.  My world opened up to the topsy-turvy world of PTSD with dissociation at a severe level.  Some people prefer DID.  My reality really didn't make sense.  But it made sense once I accepted the concept I functioned using separate personalities.  My world rocked again after I integrated.  I read my own book and realize, if I hadn't lived it, it would be hard to believe such events are real.  But this is my reality, my strange world and making sense is not always an option. 


Friday, October 28, 2011


I love Halloween.  It is one of my favorite holidays.  Growing up I didn't know I was a multiple but for several years in a row I went dressed up as a Gypsy.  I now know that Maria was delighted to take over for the evening right down to my clothes and going barefoot.  After integration, I still love Halloween in the fun version.  I love the creativity.  The candy.  The decorations.  The fun spooky.  The tiny thrill of suspense.  Dressing up.  The candy.  Carving pumpkins.  Giant spiders.  The candy.  Did I mention I loved getting the candy?  Tonight in anticipation of that fabulous day a few links to some of my favorite stuff.  Halloween for fun.

iz plumpkin

Pumpkin Carving as an art form

Extreme Decorations

Yes I do have a 'One horn, one eyed, flying purple people eater' and a CD of Monster Mash.  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Loss and Grief

Queen Elizabeth II Grief is the price we pay for love.

Talked with NewCounselor today.  He confirmed what I was suspecting.  Yesterday's post was grieving the loss of what I should have had with my mother but didn't and don't.  How strange that I am over 50 years old and for the first time I am identifying the emotion grief and what it feels like.  I am recognizing that grief feels very different from depression.  Yet, I cried more last night than I have with feelings of depression.  NewCounselor reviewed with me that grief is healthy sorrow.  Depression is unhealthy hopelessness.  Grief, I feel a deep desire to make the world better.  Depression, I felt I was a burden to the world and it would be better off without me.  Grief, I feel an element of healing and peace.  Depression, I felt like I was drowning into nothingness.  I have read enough about grief to know that there are different stages.  I wonder if I have already experienced some of them but didn't recognize it for what it was.  I am learning that part of what a teenager experiences are an array of emotions that are identified and categorized for future reference.  In my growing up years, the only one in our house allowed to be emotional was mother.  With the pedophile, dissociating my emotions meant survival.  I suspect I am finally catching up.

This next part may be triggering for those that had religion used to harm them. 

One of my favorite scriptures is also the shortest, "Jesus wept." John 11:35.  From these two words I learn that Christ understood grief and embraced it.  How many times was I told that I had no right to cry?  How many times was I teased and made fun of for having tears?  When I started seeing KavinCoach over 8 years ago I could count the number of times I cried as an adult on one hand and name all of them.  KavinCoach was really good at keeping up a counselor face, caring and calm.  This was one of the few times his face registered shock.  I wasn't sure if he was shocked that I had cried only 5 times, that I remembered them, or I talked about it with so little emotion.  There are many more scriptures on grief.  I am studying them.   I had scriptures used to 'whip' me into shape.  Now, I am learning to view the scriptures from another perspective.  Scriptures used to build me up and give me strength.

King James Version: Ecclesiastes Chapter 3

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Come a long way baby...

Note: This may be triggering for some people, including me.  

This week was exhausting but gave me plenty of time to think and compare my daughter's experience with childbirth to mine and my mother's.  My mother gave birth to a 9 lb (4 kg) boy over 50 years ago.  It was just her and a nurse that came in from time to time and poor instructions on how to cope.  Her mother arrived the following week to help out.  Fast forward to 34 years ago I gave birth to my 8 lb (3.6 kg) boy with my husband there.  We went to 7 weeks of birthing classes to allow him into the delivery room.  Now, my daughter had the baby's father, sister and me, a nurse, midwife and a team of doctors for backup since there were complications.  I was so in awe that my daughter invited me to participate in this amazing experience.  I thought long and hard.  Even if I could, I would not have invited my mother.  Here is an example why.  When I was in the hospital after the delivery of my first child, I didn't know that you had to order every little thing on the menu.  If you said toast that was exactly what you got, a piece of toast.  No butter, no jam, nothing but a piece of toast.  I didn't order enough to eat and I was starving hungry.  I called my mother to bring me something to eat when she came to visit that night.  She assured me that was no problem and did I like honey dew melon?  Love it.  Yes, please, bring me some honey dew melon.  She was so generous she brought me an entire melon but no knife to cut it.  It was totally what I asked for and totally useless for meeting my needs. Now, most people would say, get over it.  It should go down in history as one of life's bloopers.  But it was just one of many such times.  Do what looked good but leaving my needs unmet.  I think about how many times I have tried hard but just didn't meet someone else's need.  I have certainly done such a thing myself.   Letting it go is doable.

Why the deep resentment that really pushed my buttons?  It wasn't her lack of meeting my needs that still leaves me upset so many years later, it is a combination of things that she did.  She used fear to raise me.  She told me how she worked in a children's hospital that the badly deformed children had teenage mothers.  I was 19 when I married and became pregnant.  I was so terrified I couldn't bring the baby home after the delivery that I didn't even own a baby blanket to bring the baby home in.  Through out the pregnancy, she pointed out all the negatives and emphasized the nightmare possibilities.   My reaction - I had nothing ready for the baby to be born.  Not because I didn't want this baby very much but because I was so afraid that because I was a teenage mother the baby would be too deformed to bring home.  No use preparing for something you can't keep.   (Later learned that very young teenage mothers as in 13 and 14 years old are the ones at high risk.)

My mother also declared to me that she was too young to be a grandmother.  She associated becoming a grandmother with being old and how dare I make her feel old.  Narcissism reared its ugly head.  She decided that my children were not allowed to call her grandma, they had to call her Gram.  (There is a piece of irony,  she insisted on being called a small measurement of weight.)  She totally rejected my children before they were even born.  She made a big joke about only her children were important, not the grandchildren.  What she refused to grasp my children are the most important thing to me.  Rejecting them was rejecting me but then that was no big surprise.  I moved a thousand miles away from her for over 15 years.  My children only saw her about once a year.  Now, she blames me that she has very little relationship with my children.  I am impressed my my children that recognize her poor behavior for what it is but are kind and respectful any way.  (I have amazing kids.)

I realize that the more I write the angrier I feel.  After 34 years of carrying this pain I need to let it go.  Now, I make lots of baby blankets.  I give them to my daughters, my daughter-in-laws, friends, family, whoever I meet that is pregnant.  I want them to have what I didn't have, the hope to bring your baby home in a blanket.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Komen Race

Today I wanted to share my other blog post.  Here are a few of the pictures and a link to all the rest.

Always remember that photographs can be triggering for some people and cancer is one tough subject.

Unlikely fairies.

P/M this one's for you.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Submerged in Family

This weekend was totally absorbed by my daughter's challenge of giving birth to her son.  She asked me to be one of her coaches for childbirth.  The first call came at work Friday morning, early contractions.  I asked her what she wanted me to do.  She asked me to come to her house since she knew it wasn't time to go to the hospital yet.  I arrived around 11:00 am we ran around doing errands with me as chauffeur.  We ended up at the hospital that evening and sent home.  Too soon to be at the hospital.  I went home to sleep Friday night.  The next call came at 5:30 AM.  I was amused by the father's reaction when I told him I was expecting the call.  I knew it was a matter of when, not if he would call.  By 6:30 AM I knew that I needed better in put than what the nurses told us the night before so called one of my other daughters that had a not very pleasant delivery to come over.  She helped us do things that were helpful in getting ready for the birth.  I so admired watching my two daughters discuss the information they had from their two respective hospitals and what they found on line. I followed instructions and supported their efforts.  Finally, went back to the hospital and enough progress had occurred that we were admitted mom-to-be, dad-to-be, sister of mom-to-be, and me.  Our team plus the medical team worked together from that evening until the next evening, about 24 hours of active labor.  This is not your average labor.  Complications occurred.  Suggestions were given by the medical team.  Mom-to-be and Dad-to-be would confer, make a decision and move forward.  Their beautiful baby boy was born after a long hard labor.  I was astounded at the teamwork and feeling of working together for a common goal, the good health of mommy and baby.  It was a miracle.  After baby was born, I moved back to allow room for Daddy and Mommy to cuddle baby.  Tactical error on my part.  I moved myself into a view of a major trigger, blood.  I knew better.  PTSD started stamping its ugly feet all over me.  I felt myself going into a panic attack.  I grabbed a cough drop from my purse to keep my throat from closing up.  The midwife recognized my distress, if not the cause, and suggested that the baby was handed to me while they did final cleanup with mom and check to make sure she was OK.  Rocking a new born baby is the most magical medicine and stopped a complete melt down in its tracks.  I hummed and rocked my newest little grandson feeling such a wonderful comfort.  Mom was pronounced healthy and I returned baby feeling serene and peaceful.  We then took pictures and invited the other grandparents into meet the newest addition to our combined families.  The love shared was beautiful and multi-generational.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baby Boy

After a very long delivery, I am the happy Grandma to a 9lb 6oz baby boy.  Mom and Dad were awesome.  Mom's younger sister helped with the coaching.  It was an awesome family experience.  I am going to bed now.

Friday, October 21, 2011


This was posted on Kiki's blog in comments.  (The links are at the bottom.)  I am sharing this today while my daughter is getting ready to give birth to one of our lovely grandchildren.  (update:  baby decided he wasn't ready to take on the world.)

Thanks to Molly for posting it at Kiki's.

On Children by Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

From Molly's comment on Kiki's post

Thursday, October 20, 2011

There is a reason...

Well today's update.  My daughter wrote an eviction notice for her baby.  She believes after nine months enough is enough and she wants to hold her precious little boy on the outside.  We went for a lovely walk this evening.  She may need that eviction notice next week.

There is a reason that after 8 years I am still in counseling.  Talked with NewCounselor.  I knew in my heart that the reading he gave me he did not intend for me to get so upset.  He confirmed that in our discussion.  He pointed out that the examples that work for some people don't work for me.  He kindly said, "You are not typical."  How lovely.   I'm ok with not being typical.  I will reread the same material but this time pulling out the principles behind the examples.  Maybe I could work on a few examples of my own that make sense to me.

I am also starting to find a way to have fun at work.  I have time to research stuff for early childhood development online as part of my job.  I am finding some cool websites for doing fun stuff with the grandkids.  They are getting big enough that finger painting and play dough are now fun and don't automatically go in the mouth.  Enjoying my family was my goal to going to counseling.  I am happy to say all the work is paying off in great dividends with friends and family relationships improving. 

If you are considering going to counseling, do your homework before, during and I suspect after.  Before you choose your counselor find out what you can.  (NewCounselor had a web page that shared information about his ideas and background that helped me decide to choose him.)  When you are in counseling, do your homework.  Counselors give homework.  Sessions talk about theory, homework puts the theory into practice.  Be prepared to let go of old ways to make room for new ways of living.  If religion is important to you express this to your counselor.  If religion is a hot button, you still need to discuss this with your counselor.  Anyone considering counseling, I admire your courage because it is really tough to open up to someone else that is human therefore imperfect.  Through my life I have encountered 6 counselors.  Three from my job, one from my medical doctor, and two that I chose.  Counselors are not created equal.  Some are down right scary.  Fortunately, my life is blessed by two amazing counselors that taught me a lot.  I also have an amazing family, sister, friends, creating a team of people that enrich my life.  I suspect in the future when I am no longer in counseling I will continue to assign myself homework to improve the relationships that I cherish.

My religion is very important to me and I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for the blessings I enjoy.  I believe with all my heart that my Savior Jesus understands me better than anyone it the world or out.  I feel his love and in turn I can share mine.  I am so very blessed each day. 

Get your ducks in a row. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Take that....

You know there are some comments that are so dead-on they deserve a post of their own.  In response to yesterday's down turn....

Chick-lit and flicks cater to the stereotypical. YOU ARE NOT STEREOTYPICAL! THANK GOD!
Thank you.  :)

I don't like that stuff either. I have wonderful, healthy female friends who don't like that stuff either! Do you really see Corrie Ten Boom or Mother Theresa getting into that?  No If you're worried about being more like a woman, then the question to ask is "Who do you want to be like?" Good point.  Which women do I like?  You.  upsi.  mulderfan.  Kiki.  Elle+family.  Corrien Ten Boom.  Mother Theresa. "Who do you admire?" You.  upsi.  mulderfan. Kiki.  Elle+family.  Corrien Ten Boom.  Mother Theresa. Do you admire the women who act that way? No, I was feeling like I was not fitting a role.   Really?  Yea.  I have felt like such a freak most of my life and I just wanted to fit the text book.  Yea, it was from a psychology text book.  Kind of like trying to fit on the weight chart in the doctors office and you know you never will.  You know not all of them do, or you wouldn't have so many female friends. And you do have quite a few female friends. You are right, I do have many amazing female friends and an awesome sister and wonderful daughters and daughter-in-laws.

What the hell brought on this "I wish I were like them" crap? Doing homework assigned by my counselor.  WHY? Because I pay him big bucks to help me to be healthy.  Who are the mystical "they?" Well at the moment of reading the article, every woman except me.  Are they God? Don't think so.  I agree.  They are not God.   I think God is much nicer.  :)

You are amazing and unique and great at being YOU. Who else is going to do it? Oooo I like that.  I do play me well.  If God wanted us to all be the same, He would have backed a different plan. I know what you mean. 

Now, consider this: You were taught that women are treacherous and weak and stupid and powerless. Actually, when you come right down to it, you were taught that women are evil. Is it any wonder you did everything in your power to not emulate anything that might identify you as one?  Makes a lot of sense that I would do my damnedest to be the opposite, both on a conscious and an unconscious level.  

Make your own definition of what a woman is and live up to that. Personally, Corrie Ten Boom is one of my templates. So is Lucy Monroe, along with most of her heroines. Diane Gaston, Mary, Jan, Margaret, Debbie, Mary Ann, Connie, and several other friends are also on that list in varying degrees. Not one is a typical woman, though a few of them do like chick-flicks. That's okay. :-) You have awesome friends and so do I. 

You've raised great kids.  Yes, I did.  You make bread and jam, from scratch. Yum (There are plenty of "typical women" who wouldn't have a clue where to start.) You're very nurturing, or you wouldn't have started this website to help others. That's true. You like manicures and pedicures. I hate them, so does that make me less of a woman? Nope. I've never had children; does that make me less of a woman? Nope I've never been married or had a lover; does that make me less of a woman? Nope Are you really going to let THEM define womanhood for you? I didn't realize until I read this that I had another option.  I worked so hard to become something different than what I am.  I am me.  You decide. You. Should be an interesting session tomorrow unless my daughter's baby arriving lets me off the hook.  :)
Thanks Judy,  This was exactly what I needed.  Your feeling loved sister,  Ruth

Judy knows I like spiders so wore it in her hair when we celebrated my 10 years cancer free. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gathering strength

I am noticing a cycle that seems to occur.  I work at gaining strength.  I feel stronger and stronger and I just about feel like I am on top of the world and I get body slammed.  Bummer.  This time I have no one to blame accept myself.  I want to move forward.  I start reading material for "normal" people in no time at all I want to throw the book across the room.  The book talks about how women are supposed to act and I am sitting here feeling more and more like a freak because I don't behave the way they say women are supposed to act.  In fact, what I do seems to be the opposite.  Then I remind myself that 'chick flicks' drive me crazy because I can't believe any body would act that way.  I listen to women talk at work and I want to throw my arms in the air and scream, "Are you kidding me?"  It was really sad the day I read a book written by a woman that was supposed to help me feel better about being a woman.  It was even sadder that I asked my male counselor what the author meant.  He understood being female better than I do.  When I am hurting, I lash out and the one I wish I could lash out at was the b*****d that messed me up so badly as a child.  Don't get me wrong, I love being a woman.  Giving birth to each one of my 6 children was an experience that I have never forgotten.  (I have forgotten plenty.)  Nurturing them and watching them grow was such a privileged.  They are all amazing adults, starting amazing families.  I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.  But Damn I do not understand why women (and men) behave the way they do sometimes. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Where is this place?

Pearl S. BuckInside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up.

Pearl S. Buck

This quotes and others like it used to always puzzle me.  Before integration, I felt so chaotic inside.  After integration it took a while to get used to the quite.  Now, I finally know what this means.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011


This is a quote I saw posted as someone else's status update. I loved the message. How often am I my biggest critic me? I no longer need an abuser since I beat myself up. I am working at caring for and forgiving myself. Some of my choices were based on faulty information. Some of my choices are just plain poor. (I really shouldn't have eaten the second cookie when I know I am supposed to be leaving sugar out of my diet completely.) However, sometimes I make really good choices. This past week was a vacation from my job. I spent my time with family and friends. Very little cleaning or 'catch-up' work was accomplished. I'm ok with that. I believe I made the better choice. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Choosing to Change

Katherine MansfieldRisk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.
Katherine Mansfield

Yesterday I responded to a list of behaviors that a people pleaser does.  I changed each phrase to a positive action I can do.  The first step to changing is recognizing what I need to change.

I love an old joke I first read in an email years ago:  (Not true but illustrates my point.)

This is the transcript of an actual radio conversation between a US naval ship and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October 1995. The Radio conversation was released by the Chief of Naval Operations on Oct. 10, 1995.
US Ship: Please divert your course 0.5 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.
CND reply: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
US Ship: This is the Captain of a US Navy Ship. I say again, divert your course.
CND reply: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course!
CND reply: This is a lighthouse. Your call.

How many times have I gone full speed ahead at a lighthouse?  Then I feel totally baffled that I ship wreck.  Really.  Something needs to change and that something is not a thing it is a who, ME.  KavinCoach told me repeatedly that the only person I could change was ME.  That was ok.  When I started counseling I was miserable and feeling increasingly suicidal. Changing me sounded like a brilliant plan.  It was MY CALL.  I risked everything that I was and held dear to me to change.  I worked hard.  I did the assigned homework and found more of my own homework.  Integrating risked everything that I was to become healthier.  Some of my goals are very lofty and changing my life is a bit like trying to turn an aircraft carrier it will take time.  That's ok.  I honestly feel I am happier than I have ever been in my life.

Friday, October 14, 2011

People pleaser...

That's me.  Bummer.

mulderfan shared an awesome post and quote that describes what a 'people pleaser' is:

I learned from my counselor that it is not a healthy way to live but as a child being a 'people pleaser' helped me to survive grownups that were totally unreasonable.

Now I have a choice.  How I plan to change this list:

"Characteristics of People Pleasers" from the book HEALING FROM FAMILY RIFTS by Mark Sichel.

"People Pleasers...
....are reactive to events, situations, and interactions, rarely taking the initiative to assert their own needs, wants and desires into a situation.

I will learn to positively assert what I need in my life.  I will be aware of events, situations, and interactions but I will think before I choose a plan of action that is healthy for me.
...take any criticism as fact, and immediately suffer a deflation of their own self-esteem.
I will internalize my self-esteem.  I will concentrate on the 'self' part meaning my estimation of myself comes from me and not an outside source.  Criticism is an opportunity to evaluate my behavior but it is my decision if I need to do anything about a criticism.  I recognize that some people use criticism to control others.  I will not relinquish control of myself and my opinion of myself. 
...feel an extraordinary fear of abandonment.
I accept that not everyone is going to like me.  Sometimes someone is in my life for only a short season or a particular reason.  If they go away I don't not need to fear since my strength comes from within myself.
...blame themselves for everything that ever goes wrong.
I am learning to recognize that sometimes I am not the problem.  Sometimes there is nothing I can do to change a situation.  Sometimes CRAP happens and it has nothing to do with my actions or behavior.
...become more concerned with others' feelings than their own.
I am hyper-aware of how other people feel, this was a way to survive.  I will mediate and tune in to how I feel consider my own feelings too.  I will learn balance between my needs and the needs of others. 
...have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, expecting of themselves magical abilities to fix the significant others in their lives.
I am learning that the lives of others I touch I can be part of the solution but I am not responsible for fixing someone else's mess.  I have enough messes of my own.  Using someone else's problems to avoid my own problems is not helpful to them or me.  I need to clean up my own back yard. 
...learned early in their lives to bury their own feelings, needs, and wants, and keep them buried until they get help for their problems.
I learned to bury my feelings period.  Many sessions in counseling I am learning to recognize and feel my own feelings, my own needs and admit that I have wants.  I am learning to make time for me and what I want to do with my life.  I am not an extension of someone else.  I am myself.  
...chronically confuse pity with love and self-sacrifice with caring for others."
I am learning to recognize that I feel deeply the pain of others but my self-sacrifice does not benefit them.  It does not make them a better person.  It does not solve their problems.  It only diminishes me.  I enjoy doing things for others.  Giving service is different than sacrificing my whole self to some person that could barely careless what happens to me.  I best show my love for others by loving them like I love myself.  That means I need to love myself FIRST.    

I have not achieved these lofty goals.  I am just identifying that I CAN CHANGE from being an unhealthy 'people pleaser' and become a healthy, caring individual that knows how to take care of myself and others.  I have a plan.  Now, I can put it into action.  

**PS  I was reading One Angry Daughter and just love her Mantra.  Check it out: 


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guarantee to fail...

I can't give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.
Herbert Bayard Swope

One of the things I have struggled with is my 'people pleasing' tendencies.  I want to please someone else so badly that I would destroy myself in the process.  Their image for me was more important than who I really was.  By the time I went to counseling I was in a deep dark hole.  I barely knew who I was.

I now like the quote from Winston Churchill....
You have enemies? Good. 
That means you've stood up for something
sometime in your life. 

Check out mulderfan's blog.  I love it. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mental Illness...

 I am fascinated with the way I get bits and pieces of information then everything comes together.

I am expanding my reading to other blogs.  In my adventures I am meeting some amazing people on line.  This week a fellow multiple was told by their (incompetent) counselor that checking into a mental hospital was her only choice since the counselor couldn't handle her issues.
Really.... Are you kidding me?  At first, I realized I was disgusted by the counselors behavior.  Today, I realized I am FLAMING ANGRY.  How dare this person tell someone else they are too messed up?  Then, I thought about Sandy's blog over at Sanativescribe.  She wrote a beautiful post of the challenges of labels that imply that your way of living is not acceptable to the rest of the world.

Mental illness is hard and cultural expectations make it harder.  When I found out I was a multiple personality I was first curious and then delighted to know.  I wanted to share with the world that my life finally made sense.  It finally made sense as to why chunks of time were missing.  It finally made sense as to why I knew what 'blood dreams' are without an explanation.  It finally makes sense why my children think I lie.  So much of my world finally made sense and I wanted to tell the world this wonderful news.  KavinCoach counseled me not to do this.  I was bewildered because I thought it was great that everything finally made sense.  I learned the hard way that most of the world does not agree with me.  Well crumbs.  People changed how they treated me.  Some moved away from me like it was some sort of disease they could catch.  I discovered that telling the world you have a mental illness is not a good plan.  I learned more about my way of functioning.  I checked out and read books from over twenty years span.  I studied.  (I listed some of the best books I read on my Resources page.)

I came to the conclusion that I wanted to integrate.  There are no books to help with this.  I now understand why, because every multiple is unique so is the integration process.  Can't write a how-to book.  I decided to ingrate because I thought it would solve most of my problems.  I was disappointed.  Integration solved the blackouts.  Integration solved a continuous time line.  Integration made way for me to learn other skills.  It did NOT solve PTSD.  Being a multiple personality was my way to cope with PTSD.  Being a multiple personality was a creative child's solution to living in insanity.  I wrote my book to share a little of my life with my children so they could understand why their childhood had some glitches.  I also wanted to throw a life line out to others that wanted to integrate.  I wanted others to know that in the integration process none of my personalities were left behind.  My condition for integration was to all come together or we don't go.  I became one personality but I am still considered mentally ill since PTSD and depression are considered mental illnesses.  I call them survival.  PTSD is the direct results of a childhood of abuse.  Depression is my way of keeping my anger about what happens to me under control.  If I didn't have depression, I would be in anger management.  I am thankful for multiple personalities, I was able to survive.  I am thankful for depression, I can control my anger.  I am thankful for counseling for teaching me how to process the hurt, fear and frustration that I covered with my anger.   I hope that people that read my blog come away with the idea that the problems of mental illness are not impossible to solve.  Depression is a lousy feeling.  I am learning to get past this and feel delight, joy and hope.  Whatever place I am in my life I can choose to become healthier and happier person.  I invite you to find a healthier living too.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Here'e to the crazy ones...

‎"Here's to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.
The roun...d pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They're not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine.
They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

Goodnight my friends. I am logging out for the night. I am so sad at the passing of Steve Jobs and so I am calling it an early night :(
I leave you with my favorite Apple advertisement. Although Steve Jobs didn't write the lyrics, it does an excellent job of describing the brand, Apple, himself and the countless geniuses who have made Apple what it is today. Till tomorrow... ♥
This is a repost from facebook.  
Steve Jobs did amazing things; people figured he had to be crazy to do what he did.  He imagined a new world in computers then created it.  He made lots of money so it is OK for him to be crazy.

I survived a nightmare childhood.  I created a tag team of players that helped me survive.  People call me crazy.  But I don't make lots of money.  I just make pictures.  I raised a family with my DH.  People only think it is OK to be crazy if you are famous in some way.  A neighbor found out I was in counseling.  She made a crack that at least I was not one of those weird multiples.  I responded that I was.  She didn't speak to me for years.  She found out I was integrated and now she is talking to me again.  Did she consider the possibility that I don't want to talk to her?  I grew up in a world gone mad and I survived.  The person that did this served a few years in prison.  I have served over 45 years and I am still not out of counseling.  I know my current job would probably 'let-me-go' if they found out.  My last job laid me off since they were trying to 'save' money.  I was the lowest paid employee in my group.  Abuse is a horror that just keeps on giving.  I am glad Steve Jobs was a success.  I love using my Mac computer.  I am sorry he died.  I just wish people could see that being crazy isn't a crime just a way to survive. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thoughts to share

‎"Never sacrifice who you are just because someone has a problem with it"
‎"Don't be perfect.
Be you.
Don't be what they think they want you to be.
Be what you know you are.
Don't look outside yourself for anything.
It's all within." ~ Jackson Kiddard

Facebook sometimes annoys me to no end, especially when they make 'improvements' that they never asked me if I wanted.  However, I am willing to put up with annoyances to keep in touch.  I also found Exceptional Living which posts some great thoughts and pictures. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sharing a welcome letter

I was reading Elle's blog when she reposted a welcome letter for DIDs by Hats  Dissociative Identity Disorder is a complex way to survive incredibly hard stuff.  At one time it was called Multiple Personality Disorder.  I wished that I had received this welcome letter when I found out.  I worked hard and long with KavinCoach to integrate.  My goal was to pull all my parts together leaving no one behind.  I feel I accomplished this but I really would have appreciated getting a letter like this one.  If you are DID or you know someone that is, I believe this letter would help.

I wish there had been a welcome letter to DID sent to me in the mail the same way there’s a welcome letter to Hogwarts send out by owls. So I decided to write one. Feel free to use this for whatever purposes you find useful. I think it could assist anyone close to the DID person as well, if they read it. Let me know what you think, or if anything should be added or taken out.
Dear Confused and Frightened Person,
Please continue to breathe as you read this. I know it’s difficult. Your mind is overwhelmed with thoughts about how, why, what if… and that won’t go away fully, but if you can try to focus on these words for the duration of the letter, then I promise you can get right back to freaking out afterwards. Deal?
Perhaps someone you trust (a spouse, a doctor, a beloved pet) has told you that it seems likely you have Dissociative Identity Disorder. Initially you may feel a great surge of righteous disbelief — this is normal, so feel free to run with that feeling for a day or two. My personal suggestion is no more than three days, however, because after that not only do you seem like a pratt who won’t listen, but also your tantrums start to *further* convince people there’s something wrong with you.
Hopefully by the time you’re reading this, you’re calm enough to consider the possibility of DID. I promise, it is not as scary as it sounds.
Clearly there is a reason that someone has decided to mention the fact that your personality seems inconsistent. It seems normal to you, because it’s what you’ve always known. And that’s one of the reasons it’s nothing to panic about — you’ve always been this way, therefore there is no immediate action needed on your part. The biggest thing you can do right now is really think about it and see if you come to agree with them.
Do you have wildly different ways of acting? You may say yes, of course I act differently at a party than when I’m at work. Agreed, that is normal. In fact, that’s something you need to remember as you ask yourself all these important questions — these responses are *normal*. It’s normal to act differently in different situations. It’s normal to feel like a child sometimes, even though you are a grown adult. It’s normal.
No one is saying you’re crazy. Well, no one who knows what they’re talking about, anyway. DID is a very particular kind of response that people have when they’ve been overwhelmed in their lives. All it means is that your brain was better at acting differently in challenging situations long ago, when you were a child. In a way, DID is something that stems from how resourceful children can be when they are too young to deal with things that are adult in nature.
There is an understanding in the psychology community nowadays that DID often (note: not *always*, but most frequently) stems from abuse in childhood. Emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse are the three that are more likely than anything else to make a child react by becoming someone else for awhile. Maybe this sounds like something you experienced, and maybe it doesn’t. What’s traumatizing to one person may not even register on someone else’s scale, so there is no specific way to measure trauma.
You may have noticed that it’s hard to focus sometimes, or that you get sleepy at very inopportune times. Some people experience a personality “switch” like falling asleep. You may not be able to remember a large part of your day, and perhaps your memory has always been faulty. A lot of people experience missing time when they are experiencing a personality switch.
You may be terrified about what it means to “switch”, but you shouldn’t be. It doesn’t mean anything outlandish or bad, it just means that your brain is working hard all the time to make sure that you’re always functioning, even when you feel like you can’t. That means that even when you feel too sad to act happy, your brain is able to provide the resources you need to act happy anyway. A lot of people can do this, not just people with DID, but oftentimes people with this disorder don’t do it consciously, their brain does it for them.
In most DID people, there is one particular side to the person that is very depressed and suicidal. Does this sound like something you’ve experienced? Lots of people go through life and have moments where they feel that way, but in a person with DID, often those strong feelings are just below the surface, all the time. It makes sense that you would feel this way if you have DID, because it’s exhausting to the brain to maintain a “system” of personalities that are appropriate for every situation, while the core of you has deep difficulties that haven’t been addressed. Oftentimes people are misdiagnosed with depression, bipolar disoder, borderline personality disorder, or even schizophrenia before they get the correct diagnosis of DID.
Having multiple personalities does not make you a monster, or even a spectacle. Hollywood is wonderful for turning misunderstood things into dangerous things. No one is going to know, just by looking at you, talking to you, or being your friend, that you have DID. Movies make us seem like scary people with violent outbursts and grudges against teenagers in beach houses, but we’re not. Honestly, people who have DID are more likely to be quiet, kind, and thoughtful than anyone else because their brains are wired that way. Quite literally, the bad things that can be a part of humanity –the anger and violence — those things are deeply repressed in DID people, to the point where they often become pushovers. There is nothing to be afraid of, this diagnosis does not turn you into a danger — you are as kind, thoughtful, and loving as you were before you even knew about DID.
There are several important things to note about this disorder.
First of all, it rarely ever gets diagnosed until there has been a breakdown of sorts. This is unfortunate, because the breakdown is full of fear and turmoil, and the diagnosis would be able to help a person understand why all of it was happening. If your brain is working extra hard to keep your life running in an orderly way, you’re going to be tired much of the time. You’re going to feel exhausted after the most mundane tasks, because your internal system is having to regulate itself so precisely that all the energy is used up. Eventually there will be a moment when the system cannot maintain itself perfectly, and then the DID person experiences all the things their brain had been trying so hard for so long to keep from them. They may fall into a deep depression and experience lost time. They may lose the sense of who they are. They may, in fact, have an internal personality come to the forefront to take over for awhile and do damage control.
Whatever the breakdown looks like, it requires a lot of kindness and understanding from friends and employers because there is no way to calm a person in the throes of a DID breakdown without knowing what’s wrong. And of course, they aren’t going to know what’s wrong. The DID person will feel as though their life is falling apart and they don’t know why, they just know it’s intense and they can’t help it. They may experience suicidal thoughts and actions. They may be unable to perform work duties they used to be able to do easily. It may become difficult even to remember to eat or bathe or wake up from sleeping. It’s a horrible time and hopefully someone can come across the correct diagnosis.
Please, if you know or love someone with DID, be kind to them when they seem irrational, because their inner turmoil is too confusing for them to explain, but they need you. If you have DID, please try to be patient with yourself when nothing makes sense, because you’re okay, it’s normal for you, and just breathe through it as much as you can.
Another very important thing to note is that there is no quick fix for this disorder. There is a learning curve for the patient and their spouse and anyone they choose to tell about it (most people are not open about their diagnosis because it is stigmatized). There is going to be an initial chunk of time spent trying to identify the insider roles and understand their names if they have them. Sometimes it’s easy, because you’ve known them for a very long time, you always *sensed* them there, and maybe you even know their name instinctively. Sometimes it’s very difficult, because you have no idea how to communicate with different parts of your brain.
It won’t always be as difficult as in the initial stages, I promise. Once you know your diagnosis, you can research and learn a great deal about how to live with it. The scariest part is not knowing what’s wrong with you — but once you have that, once you know — oh, ok, I have Dissociative Identity Disorder — then you have a vast amount of learning available at your fingertips, and also a community of others who you can easily find online, who are struggling just like you, and who can help you move toward healing.
Having DID is not a curse, it’s just a description of how your life has always been until now, only you never knew it. Perhaps you suspected. Maybe you realized a long time ago that you’re not quite like everyone else. Maybe you realized it when you had difficulty in sexual situations that you couldn’t explain. Maybe you knew something was odd about the fact that you can’t walk into a clothing store and decide on what you like and don’t like (or even if you want to buy guys’ clothes or girls’). Maybe sometimes you feel like talking in different ways around different people, sometimes you’ll swear a lot, sometimes you’ll hate to swear. There are lots of ways you may have noticed little signs in your life that seemed out of place. None of these things are harmful, and most people will just write them off as “kooky”, so don’t be concerned with how you are perceived.
Lastly, there is a lot of work to do once you know you have DID. But that comes later.
First you have to decide if you think this diagnosis fits you. For me, personally, this diagnosis was a relief to hear. It was also very scary, because I wasn’t educated about what it really means — I only knew what movies portrayed about it, or the United States of Tara (good show, but over-dramatized).  Now that I feel I understand it better, I want to help other people to understand it. And though it would be nice to teach the world how to re-envision this disorder, I’d rather start with the people whose lives it touches most directly — the people who have the symptoms, the people who are struggling to find out what is wrong with them and why their life is falling apart. In other words, the people who are just finding out what DID is, and how their life is going to be changed forever because of this diagnosis.
I know it seems scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Fear of the unknown is natural. Once you can hear from others about how much is *known* about DID, and how your life can go on, and even blossom because of (or despite) it, hopefully your fear and worry will turn to curiosity and acceptance. It’s a bizarre journey, and one that most people don’t get to experience — but it is ultimately incredible if you can embrace who you are. Being afraid of yourself is a waste of time. Being brave and accepting, yes, I am a person with DID — that can be transformative in positive ways.
The first step of a journey is the hardest to take, but it’s very possible that accepting this diagnosis is going to help you get your life back.
Someone on the Journey

Friday, October 7, 2011

More to come

Thanks mulderfan for suggesting another image of mosaics.  I wanted to do some research on Italian mosaic but ended up watching one of my grandsons instead.  I had a great evening.  I will work on the research and post tomorrow.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shattered Glass all around

I posted the poem I hung on the ceiling of my room as a teenager.

Years have past.  My 10, 20, and 30 year class reunion.  The older I got the more apparent to me that the shattering was inside of me.  I tried to figure out what to do with my inside mess and no answers came.  I struggled and stumbled.  Finally in desperation I found a marriage counselor to help me communicate with my husband.  Surely just a few lessons and I would be good to go.  How little I understood.  Instead I was taught to see all the shattered glass around me.  What was I to do with this mess.

I studied.  Talked to my counselor.  Remembered.  Hurt.  Crept out of darkness.  Spent hours reading.  Tried to function.  Hard to do when you are in bits and pieces.  Prayed.

One scripture kept coming to mind that Heavenly Father would make something good out of anything.  It is what He does.  Good stuff.  I did not feel good at all.  Slowly images and thoughts came to me.  What can be made from broken glass?  Can something beautiful be made of my messy life?

If man can make beautiful stained glass windows out of broken glass, what possibilities exist for me?  I started posting my ideas and my friend Elle and her family sent links to some of their favorite pictures.

I will be the first to say that all of these take work but not impossible.  I can not change my past but I can take the shattered pieces and with Christ's guidance fulfill Heavenly Father's promise that something beautiful can come from my shattered life.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I am putting my blog on pause today.  I have gone 2 weeks without seeing my counselor.  I have this super awesome post I want to write but unfortunately my mind has a bad case of jumping beans.  My thoughts are all over the place.  Thanks to the great posts I read today from people sharing their journeys.  Thanks for making a difference. 

Which way do I go?

Sticking my neck out

Mind overload

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Shattered Glass

shattered glass

I don't have permission to display the picture but I linked it or you can visualize one of your own.

Today I share a poem that I pinned to the ceiling over my bed when I was in high school.  When I married my mother used all my posters except this one.  She knew and I knew in high school that I was really messed up.

I am like shattered glass
Cutting those who touch me
I have been broken
I am hard and sharp
People can see through me.
They know I can hurt them
I am never confronted
I am always walked around.
– Lori Gauntlet
I knew then that I was broken inside.  I just didn't realize I was shattered until I was counseling.  I pondered the words still over 30 years later.  I almost didn't get married or have children because I was afraid I would hurt them.  I learned that I am not unique in hurting those I love the most.  That is why things like "I am sorry," "I didn't mean to hurt you," "How can I become the person that doesn't hurt others?" I am learning what to do with all that shattered glass.

What I can change...

Exceptional Living on Facebook
No message could have been any clearer. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.

Light post looks like it is holding up the sky.

I think I am finally done with my self evaluation.  The bottom line is I knew in high school that something was wrong with how I viewed the world.  I knew that some how I was getting things distorted.  I kept searching for answers.  I have a lot of books on improving relationships and other ideas of making me a better person.  Unfortunately, until I humbled myself to get into counseling I kept going in circles.  The advantage of all the work I did before counseling is I easily accepted the information that I needed to change myself.  The hard part was finding out my fantasy childhood was just that, a fantasy.  A harder part was recognizing how my way of functioning affected those I love the most my family of choice.   I appreciate my sister for standing by me and letting me vent to her and her validating that the distortions were taught to both of us.  No one else could validate what I finally remembered from my childhood except her.  It was all to easy to want to disbelieve what happened.  Here is the really cool thing I have learned.  My past does not define me and with spiritual guidance from my Heavenly Father I am learning how I can take the shards and shambles of my life and make something beautiful. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Admiring Artists

I am sharing today one of my artist's blogs.  Yes, I am claiming him as my artist.  Here's the deal.  What he paints touches my heart on so many levels.  What I like about this post is he shares another artist that he admires but then talks about becoming his best self.  I like the way he wrote this.

The way he wrote this really connected with my belief that I can admire the accomplishments, attributes, and behaviors of others without wanting to duplicate them.

Another one of my artists is NikonSniper.

He has a wonderful sense of humor and a belief in Christ that he is proud to share.   His photographs are awesome.  He is one of the few people that I know that takes more pictures in a day than I do.  (Last Thursday I took over 400 pictures in the morning.) 

Interesting thing about artists is that this is what they are not just what they do.  I don't want to do the same thing as either one of them.  I am becoming my own best self.  The only disadvantage is I see all my own imperfections and looking at someone else from a far their imperfections are less noticeable.  From photography, I have learned the value of point of view and perspective.  Sometimes the person I am harshest too is myself.  I am thinking about many others that I admire and see qualities that I want to include in myself.  For me, the final test of something I want to include in myself, is this a quality I can imagine Christ having?  You know, that covers almost every positive quality.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

There's a Rule?

Rowe's Rule: the odds are five to six that the light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of an oncoming train.
Paul Dickson

This popped up on one of my widget quotes.  I have joked for years that the light at the end of the tunnel was a train.  I had plenty of experience with being flattened time and time again.  Many times I have prayed for understanding so I don't have to go through the same experience again and again and again.  The fact that somebody, anybody, turned it into some sort of 'rule' is just stunning.  However, this week evaluating my progress I am fairly sure this time it is not a train or if it is, my tunnel is wide enough that I have options.  I love having options.  This week went differently than I had hoped but it was still a good weekend. I feel good about my progress. 

Smile, people will wonder what you are up to.  :)