Sunday, March 31, 2013

Risen Today

 A grieving Mary and other women entered the Garden where Christ was buried, they perhaps thought it odd that the soldiers sent to guard the tomb were missing.
Matthew 27:66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
They may have felt concern as to how they would roll away the stone to pour spices on Christ's body.  The fear they felt, then the sadness when the tomb was empty.  Not comprehending that He was not there.  Mary supposed someone took His body and wept at the loss.

Each account of the 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) each share a different aspect of Christ Resurrection.  All agree that it was women desiring to anoint His body that knew first.

Matthew 28
1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
 5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
 Mark 16
 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
 ¶Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
 10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
 11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
Luke 24
 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
 And they remembered his words,
 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
 10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
 11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
John 20
 11 ¶But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
 19 ¶Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Early morning, cold and chill, we sat in the grass listening to a portrayal of Christ's life in an Easter Sunrise Service.  I was captivated.

A few years ago my daughter invited me to an Easter Service where an artists drew pictures from Christ life while the minister's band sang songs of Christ life.  I was enthralled.

Visiting Rome and entering a few of the 1000 churches there my heart marveled at the love of God expressed in the building of the great cathedrals.  

Sharing Christ love for us in song, drawings, architecture, and testimonies touches my heart.

I add my testimony that Jesus Christ lives.  Heavenly Father sent His Son to make a path for us all to follow Him back home.  Jesus is pulling us from our sorrow, healing our wounds,  and cheering us on to be with Him.  Christ knows us and wants us to follow him back to the presences of our Heavenly Father.   "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. Isaiah 49:16"  We are continually before Christ.  He wants us to know He loves us.  Those that saw the empty tomb doubted and wondered, I have not seen the empty tomb yet I believe.  May the Easter season be a time of Believing. 

I associate music with Easter:  A few links to some of the magnificent praises

 Messiah Hallelujah Chorus - I listened to the Messiah at Gamage Auditorium a few years ago.  I learned why people stand during the Hallelujah Chorus.  The music moved Kings to stand and I agree.

How Great Thou Art - I sang this hymn on many occasions, about 20 years ago I heard it sung in church with only a piano accompaniment.  The singer was an opera singer that used this song to testify of Christ.  My astonishment in the beauty and power of this song still lingers in my memory today.

Amazing Grace - My favorite rendition of this beautiful song is with bagpipes.  It almost seems wrong not to have the bagpipes to sing this one.

His Hands - When I think of Christ, I think of his hands and all they did from miracles to prayer to crucifixion to rising.  He truly has us written on the palm of His hand.

No Ordinary Man - Why do they not believe?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

While others sleep

"The heights by great men reached and
kept, were not attained by sudden
flight, but they, while their companions
slept, were toiling upward in the night."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Click Here For Success Tip # 039

The Cliff Young in Australia kept running through the night during a long race 5 day race.  His appearance at the starting line was ridiculed and laughed at.  The crowd was cheering him when he finished first.  This link shares this man's history better than I can:

I am fascinated by this man honed by hard work and bursting on the running field with his own shuffle that conserved energy while he ran for miles and miles and kilometers and kilometers...he ran while his competitors slept.  

Insomnia keeps me up at night.  For a long time, I didn't understand my own behavior.  Counseling helped me to explore the story behind my behavior.  KavinCoach opened the door for me to share what I thought.  I tried to explain that I didn't want to stay up.  I was up because I didn't want to sleep more.  In my dreams, my mind unleashed horrific nightmares.  If I kept myself sleep deprived, I had fewer dreams.  Fewer dreams meant fewer nightmares. I can stay up for days like Cliff Young.  I don't run races but at night is when I work on my photography, blog, Facebook, read, play games...I am working at sleeping more.  I actually get 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night.  I now use the number of hours I am sleeping as a barometer of how I am doing.  High anxiety means few hours of sleep.  I am working towards more hours sleeping.  I studied sleep deprivation.  I learned that they stopped the experiments where my life began.  The doctors and scientists would not allow the subjects of the sleep study get too sleep deprived because it has a huge negative impact on quality of life.  Get sleep deprived enough and I go into a twilight living that is neither awake or sleeping.  I think I am writing all about sleeping because I am so freaking tired but after 5 hours of sleep I wake up before my alarm goes off.  Sleeping in is rare.  When I actually do sleep in I feel more relaxed for about 5 minutes then terribly guilty for not being awake.  Work in progress, progress not perfection, Good night.....


Friday, March 29, 2013

Handling Feedback

One of the difficult things about child abuse is in the process of surviving the child does not learn necessary life skills.  There is a twisted logic to not learning to plant if you won't live long enough to reap the harvest.  Long term child abuse victims often do not believe they will live long enough to grow up.  Day to day survival becomes the total focus.  One of the components of counseling was to learn needed life skills.  In human relationships at some point there is usually feedback.  Anthony Fernando suggests there are 3 types of feed back and suggestions on how to handle each.

Types of feedback and how to handle them.

Positive Feedback 
 This one was so tough for me.  Positive feedback, compliment, kind words, I didn't know how to handle them.  KavinCoach complimented me every session on something.  Took quite a few years to learn that the appropriate response is "Thank you."  Even more years to believe him.  :)

Constructive Negative Feedback
 This is my favorite kind.  I was introduced to critique's in my college photography class.  I didn't understand at first.  The professor explained that if you had something negative to say about a picture, back it up with concrete reasons.  If you had something positive to say, back that up with concrete reasons.  The professor described a critique as a knowledgeable discussion of a piece of work.  I learned to value these discussions, not just for improving my own work but to see the real value in someone else's work.  I learned to love critique days.

Destructive Negative Feedback
 This one was the one I knew best.  I took it to heart and worked so hard to become a 'better' person not understanding that it was impossible since this type of feedback is more about the sender then the receiver.  One of the powerful things I learned in counseling that this type of feed back is NOT about me. 

I learned how to recognize each one by how I feel when I receive it.  At first, positive feedback felt uncomfortable that I didn't deserve it.  Eventually, I recognized it because I feel so good. Constructive negative feedback I recognize it because I feel energized ready to stretch my thinking.  Destructive negative feedback feels icky.  Kind of like being hit by a slime ball, all messed up with no progress.  Allowing my feelings to be my guide improves my accuracy as to which is intended.  I am also learning that I can give feedback on feedback I receive.  If it doesn't make any sense, I check in with the sender to see if I heard something I didn't hear clearly.  (I often double check since I am hard of hearing.) I believe that hearing, understanding, accepting or rejecting feedback is a social skill that I am leaning to use to improve relationships.   

Thursday, March 28, 2013


"It's never too late to become the
person you might have been."
- George Elliot

They say that confession is good for the soul. I am not so sure some times. Today, I just feel sheepish. Recently, I ran into several articles about Mr. Rogers.  My first reaction is always negative.  He came into my life when I was a teenager and my younger brother got out of helping around the house because he was watching Mr. Rogers.  I made cynical jokes about him.  Ignored him.  Didn't let my kids watch him much.  Poor man, didn't know about my tiny hate campaign. 

What was his main crime? Gentleness.  Yup, that was it.  How dare he present something that just wasn't real to kids?  What kind of monster promises kids that they are special just the way they are?  Years of counseling reveals the source of my deep well of bitterness, not much gentleness in my life.  Gentleness was as unrealistic to me as his Neighborhood.  I would catch myself watching his show in awkward curiosity.  Did people like him actually exist?

Here is a link to a few of his quotes:  

I now wished I encouraged my kids to watch him a little more often.  I wish I hadn't been so cynical about him when I was a teenager.  I really could have used his wisdom.  He set out to make a difference with children.  His own personal quest to teach children that they are worth having as his neighbor.  He had friends, King Friday, trolley and others; he shared his friends on every show.  He taught that each child is worth getting to know just the way the are.  He believed that children deserve respect.  He taught the emotions are a part of living.  Sharing feelings is a good thing.  Peace was more than not fighting.  The man carried out his gentle revolution teaching for over 30 years that children are important neighbors.  

A few more links:
Who is Mr. Rogers
What is not true about Mr. Rogers

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Shiny Object Syndrome


  1. Start
  2. Keep Going
  3. Decide
  4. Commit
  5. Embrace The Suck
  6. Keep Going (Again)
  7. FINISH!
  8. Repeat

 If you read my blog for any length of time you will notice that I tend to jump around.... a lot.  February was an exception and I was hard pressed to stay on me as the subject.  I find so many different things interesting.  Before integration, I could hyper-focus on one thing to the exclusion of all else.  I swore the house could burn down and I wouldn't notice if I was reading a book.  Since integration I find staying on a subject for more than a post hard to do if not impossible.  My mind wanders off all together.  (Love the t-shirt Don't let your mind wander... It's way too small to be outside by itself!)  Joel comes to my rescue with a short list reminder on what I need to do to finish a project.  I didn't ever think I might be ADD until after I integrated.  Then I was reassured that distractions, mind wandering, interruptions, and other various zigs and zags are actually fairly common.  Nothing special, no ADD, no excuses.  Then I decided that there may be another possibility.  I was numb or half asleep for most of my life.  I am waking up and like a little kid let outside after a long winter I want to run around and see everything and do everything and just zip around in this big amazing world.  Ever want to run around screaming for no particular reason other than it is great to be alive? 

On the move

Unexpected meeting at the Mall

Pac Man?

See the people?

Zee End

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Embrace the unexpected

Waking up to snow all over our car.  We don't have snow tires.  My first reaction was to worry about how we were going to drive.  Then my daughter suggested that we play with the kids in the snow.  What an amazing morning of fun in the fluffy snow.  Snow angels, pulling the kids on a small sled, attempting a snowman we did what ever came to mind.  We played until the grandkids were hungry and tired.  Whatever plans we had were tossed in a snowbank and we had a wonderful time.  Lunch and nap time for all of us.  I slept wonderfully.  When I woke up the snow was almost gone.  If we waited until later to play in the snow there would be none to play in.  We would have missed it.  

How many times did I let unexpected moments slip through my fingers?  Depression, fear, over scheduled, nose to the grindstone thinking robbed me of many of those moments.  I understand that there are some things that need to be done.  Walking off my job to play in the sunshine would cost me my job.  However, worry about getting a certain number of things done each day, not so much.  One of the gifts from being sick for a long time was discovering how many things can be left undone and it won't be the end of the world.  The cliche "Stop and Smell the Roses" stays around because it is a basic truism.  Worry melted with the snow.  Memories created that sitting here brings a smile to my face.  I better understand how fun it is to do something unexpected just because.  I plan to do this again, maybe not wait until snow falls but random acts of fun at unexpected moments.

Another random beautiful moment shared on Facebook. To me this is beautiful and worth 5 minutes. (10 minutes if you watch it twice.)   :)

If you are on Facebook Enjoy:

 Please share your 5 minutes of happy.......

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bad plan

My brain is fried from riding for 12 hours in the car coming home.  Had a great time but really tired.

I did all the wrong things by doing what  Ruthless Compassion said not to do.  I was trained to be a doormat.  Undoing all my bad habits takes time and loving myself.  Sharing what I need first required me to know what I needed.  I started with the basics.  Changing how I behave, changes how I am treated. 

I think it's a tendency of many women to tolerate hurtful or disrespectful behavior in the attempt to be supportive to their man & what's worse, they fail to get appropriately angry when the man, rather than being appreciative of her sacrifice, takes her for granted & then behaves even more unacceptably toward her.
Just the other day, one of my patients recounted a story in which she went along with something that she wasn't really happy about, in the belief that she "should" be nice to her partner, & maybe also out of fear that her man would leave if she said, "No way, I'm not down with this!"
Then, when her attempts to be understanding & accepting were thrown back in her face, (when her partner promised to make it up to her & then fell through on that promise) instead of saying, "Hey, this is not OK!," she tried too hard to be conciliatory, expressing her hurt & disappointment in the mildest, least confrontational manner possible.
She was trying not to be "unreasonable," even when her partner had been extremely unreasonable toward her. Well, it didn't work. As soon as she let him know that what he'd done wasn't cool, he cut off all communication.
She kept asking me, "Did I do something wrong?" but the truth was that her guy, like many guys, wasn't grateful when his partner allowed him to get away with bad behavior.
In fact, I suspect that when women are too nice, it encourages men to be disrespectful. I suggested to my patient that in fact, she could have been a lot more angry at her fellow, for breaking a date with her to go meet with an old school friend, & then falling through on his promise to make it up to her by taking her out a few nights later.
Women often give up their valid needs & hold back their anger for fear that they'll alienate their partner, but they shouldn't have to. A loving, respectful partner wouldn't put a woman in a position where she'd feel obliged to give up her needs to please him, & he'd be willing to hear his partner's needs & feelings if he upset her.
Women need to see that there's no advantage in going along with things that they don't like or holding back their valid anger when their partner behaves badly.
If they have a reasonable, caring partner, he'll understand when they let him know that he's asked for something unacceptable, & he'll tolerate her anger toward him if he ever puts her in a position to feel this way toward him.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Question myself.

 I grew up in the era of Equality for women, "You've come a long way baby", you can have it all, nothing is stopping you but you..... You are not good enough if you are "just a housewife."  Society tore women to shreds.  I did the research on ERA.  Women ended up being more impoverished, more limited, and more burdened, in my opinion.  I learned that you cannot legislate attitude.  I left engineering to become a home engineer with 6 life time projects.  The concept was for each project to no longer need me by the time the projects were 18 years old.  My children were leaving home and I wanted to strengthen my relationship with my husband.  I learned a lot of the things that are shared in this article.

"...the work first starts with yourself."

Questions to ask yourself.....

1. Are you keyed in to where your passion lies?
 Years of twisting into shapes that will fit the spaces readily available to us can take us away from whom we yearn to be.
2. Can you pinpoint limiting ideas you have about yourself that keep you in a cycle of guilt or inaction?
Some common areas of concern for women are:
- What does being a good mother mean to you?
How confident are you about your capabilities?
- How do you integrate your strengths into your life?

3. What is the underlying motivation behind your goals and dreams?

4. Do you put yourself in the right environment to receive the right kind of support for your growth?

5. Are you actively refining and “weeding out” activities that no longer serve you or hold your interest?

But, the one that made the biggest impression on me, and served as an empowering tool for her as well, was the following statement: our work always starts with ourselves!

Angella Nazarian is a bestselling author and noted speaker. Both of her books Life as a Visitor and the newly released Pioneers of the Possible: Celebrating Visionary Women of the World have become bestsellers for the publisher and have garnered glowing reviews from Arianna Huffington, Tina Brown, Martha Stewart, and Diane von Furstenberg. To learn more about Angella, visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

*Photo Credit: Send me adrift. via Compfight cc

 Counseling was my forum for questioning myself.  I had no childhood memories to pick a part with my counselor.  He assigned stories of other people's lives to see how I reacted.  Conclusion: I was severely messed up in my thinking but not in my desire to improve.   I tore apart the entire foundation of my life examined each piece and pondered what to keep and what to pitch.  I needed to be careful not to throw away the good parts in my drive to eliminate the rotted thoughts and perceptions that were keeping me immobilized.  Change is hard, massive change affected every part of my life, every thought, every belief, every tradition.  I reached critical mass, change or die.  My survival instincts are powerful.  I survived a difficult childhood.  But I was stuck huddling in survival mode.  I tried for years to make changes myself with very little progress.  I needed outside coaching to teach me paths that actually worked instead of running in circles until I was exhausted.  Do you want to change your life?  Start with questioning yourself first.  I discovered that by changing myself everyone around me altered, not because I controlled them, it was because I responded differently.  I was different - the picture changed.


Saturday, March 23, 2013


Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.   C.G. Jung

This statement encompasses the main reason I went to counseling.  I started with marriage counseling, how to fix my husband so we could be happy together.  Counseling rapidly turned into me counseling because I could not function in any relationship.  Dissociation ruled my life.

Depersonalisation – a feeling that your body doesn’t quite belong to you or is disconnected from you

Derealisation – a feeling that you are disconnected from the world around you or “spaced out”

For a detailed description of dissociative symptoms you can download an article here  which describes them for a neurology journal

Signs and symptoms common to all types of dissociative disorders include:
  • Memory loss (amnesia) of certain time periods, events and people
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
  • A sense of being detached from yourself (depersonalization)
  • A perception of the people and things around you as distorted and unreal (derealization)
  • A blurred sense of identity

Hard to have a relationship when you feel detached from living. 

Early in my counseling I described to my counselor that I felt like a little kid standing outside of a candy store looking through a huge window.  I can see what I want.  Everyone I love is inside eating and enjoying myself but I can't find the door and they can't hear my screams.  I felt isolated in a crowd.  I felt alone in a room full of people.  I reached out and there was a bubble encasing me that I felt like I pushed too hard it would explode with me at the epicenter of the explosion.  I tried to connect with my children but I accepted the disconnect as part of children growing up and away from the parent never suspecting that I couldn't reach them in the first place.

Memory loss - Any body ask me to help them remember anything I would start laughing.  My memory was like a sieve.  Nothing stuck.  I could even write myself a note and later the note would have no meaning or I wouldn't remember where I put the note.

Depression and anxiety - I felt these were a normal part of living.  I lived with them so much I didn't know I was drowning in it.

Depersonalization - I could see that I was doing certain things but I would feel so detached from my body that I didn't feel like I was the one doing things.  I could see the results that things got done but I would be baffled as to how it happened.

Derealization - Moving through the motions of living but feeling surreal rather than real.

Identity - I took a Search for Identity class in high school.  I knew that that there was something very wrong with me and my inability to know what I wanted out of life.  I felt clueless about who I was...little did I know how accurate that feeling was.  I didn't know.  I couldn't connect.  I couldn't get inside the candy store.  I wanted to so badly but I didn't know how to get from where I was to where I wanted to be.

Friday, March 22, 2013

How to know what I value...
Thanks to Evan for a wonderful article that had a series of half started sentences that can help me evaluate what I value.  What is important to me.  As I move past surviving and into thriving, this becomes more important.

  • What did you just love doing as a child (younger than say 10-12y.o. Before analytic thought tends to kick in)?
  • What sorts of things do you think about during idleness?
  • Pick three things you love and three things you hate and look for similarities and differences.
  • Imagine your perfect day or year.
  • Imagine yourself in old age telling the story of your life.
  • What is just so easy to do for you (that others inexplicably find difficult)?

Learning to create my own story becomes a challenge coming from a home where I was told what to do and feel each day.  If I expressed a sentiment different then expected, I was corrected.  I was punished for feeling angry, told that I had to eat certain foods even if they made me sick, I was not allowed to own my feelings.   As I started discovering my own likes and dislikes this opened a world of opportunities that I didn't even know existed.  I remember the first time my counselor asked me, "What do you want?"  I was puzzled.  This just hadn't occurred to me as an option.  When KavinCoach coaxed what brings you happiness.  My reaction was angry.  I didn't say anything at the session but the following week I brought back an almond Joy bar with huge fish hook sticking through it.  I let him know that for me anything I wanted had a hook.  It was used to manipulate me.  I had no concept of asking for and receiving something I asked just because I asked for it.  I didn't know what I liked.  I had not done the teenage exploration that is supposed to be part of growing up.  Now I am experimenting.  I made Alfredo sauce from scratch.  (very yummy)  I am trying different types of exercises.  I am taking a rest from my photography to try to better understand what direction I want to go with my hobby.  I accepted that I do not want to become a professional photographer.  I do like sharing my love of photography.  I am starting to understand the massive loss of not being a teenager.  I was the designated care taker in the family.  The go-to person for my mother when she felt overwhelmed between her job and home.  I complied.  Did as I was told.  No growth happened when I should have rebelled and told my parents to go jump in a lake.  This process has a name, individuation, fancy word for finding out who I am.  Evan gave me some tools to use in the process.  I am a late bloomer but I am still growing.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


My sister introduced me to these web sites.

Difference between C-PTSD & PTSD
Although similar, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) differs slightly from the more commonly understood & diagnosed condition Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in causes and symptoms.
C-PTSD results more from chronic repetitive stress from which there is little chance of escape. PTSD can result from single events, or short term exposure to extreme stress or trauma.
Therefore a soldier returning from intense battle may be likely to show PTSD symptoms, but a kidnapped prisoner of war who was held for several years may show additional symptoms of C-PTSD.
Similarly, a child who witnesses a friend's death in an accident may exhibit some symptoms of PTSD but a child who grows up in an abusive home may exhibit the additional C-PTSD characteristics

Some coping methods
1. Hold onto a special object, put your feet on the ground, touch something around you, or hold someone’s hand to bring yourself back into the here and now. (I like to make coffee. I don’t drink it all, but the process is so routine and soothing, and I love the smell)
2. Remind yourself that you’re safe now; the traumatic event isn’t happening again. (take mental pictures, step back and just look)
3. Listen to soothing music. (in headphones, overrides negative thoughts, in room is just annoying to me)
4. Write in your journal. (Blog!)
5. One of my favorites: get your partner (if you have one) to lie beside you and hold your hand or massage your neck or back.
6. Go for a walk. (I hate going outside when I feel like that)
7. Do an easy and repetitive activity. Some suggestions include playing solitaire, knitting, doing crossword puzzles: basically anything that provides a distraction. (My computer games!)
8. Practice deep breathing. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, making whatever noise feels good on the exhale.
9. Cry. (Lots and lots of crying)
10. Give yourself permission to feel terrible. Struggling only makes things worse. (this one is hard, super hard. working on this one)

One of the shockers for me after integration, C-PTSD was still a part of who I am.  I thought integration meant that the C-PTSD went away.  I was furiously angry when I found out otherwise.  The next stunning surprise was to find out that multiple personalities was how I coped with C-PTSD. It was my magic carpet to zoom me to another place where pain ceased to exist.  The horror ceased to exist.  The nightmares ceased to exist.  I was once asked why I didn't use drugs...Why?  I didn't need them to disappear.  My own mind let me cease to exist. Imagine Aladin racing across the desert on his magic carpet and a giant hand yanked the rug out from under him.  Yup.  After the euphoria of succeeding in integrating, it was kind of like that.   I came to Earth with a bump and a crash.  KavinCoach smiled benignly and said, "Welcome to my world."  I let him know in very short order that I thought his world SUCKED.  Then a whole new type of learning began.  I learned the skills I needed to grow.  The saddest thing about being a multiple personality is I didn't get to grow up.  There was a 5 year old me frozen in time hoarding my secrets with no time or space to grow up.  Releasing her secrets released her to grow up and take her rightful place with me.  We deserved to be together, whole.  I know some people choose not to integrate.  I can certainly see why.  For me, I wanted me to be together for me.  I feel whole.  I feel like the difference between pieces of thread laid out side by side and a rope twisted tightly together.  I am still learning to cope with C-PTSD.  No more magic carpet.  I am OK with that.  I am where I need to be for me.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What promotes learned helplessness

Some people feel compelled to rescue others. This usually comes from their experiences in childhood where there parent(s) demanded that the child be responsible for taking care of the adults(s). When a child grows up this way, the lesson is that love is obtained through care-taking & rescuing. This pattern continues throughout adult life until the person learns that there's something fundamentally wrong with this idea. Rescuing other adults makes no sense. Unless the person is truly unable to care for themselves b/c of mental or physical incapacity, they don't need us to rescue them. In fact, rescuing a capable adult only enables them to remain in a helpless, victim role in which they are disempowered & subject to the control of others. It's far more compassionate to allow another adult to take responsibility for themselves & realize that they're capable of self-care. When we rescue, we infantalize others. Choosing not to rescue is being respectful to them. For our part, there will be no love coming out of our attempts to care-take & rescue. That's not how love works. Rescuing, in fact, usually creates mutual resentment, as the rescuer feels overwhelmed by the enormous burden of their task & the rescued person feels humiliated by their role - even when it's what they've chosen. Care-taking & rescuing are lose-lose propositions. It's time to give up this no-win dynamic.
I was raised to take care of my mother.  I remember instructions at my youngest age in memory that I had to make sure that I met mother's needs.  I was to get my house chores done and do whatever she asked me to do, no matter what.  I was a 'bad' daughter if I didn't meet her needs and make sure she was happy......worse training in the world - crippled my mother and crippled me.  I knew about the story of what happens to baby chicks if someone breaks their shell for them.  I knew about what happens to butterflies if someone else cuts open the coccoon.  I knew I could only change myself but my underlying attitude when I started counseling was, "Here I am...FIX HIM."  Yup.  I totally missed the point.  Then our counselor let me know, very gently, that I was broken and needed serious reconstruction work that I had to do.  I knew that...however it took a lot of falling down before I understood that not only did my counselor know it, he lived it.  He coached and expected me to run the course.  Here is the weirdness, in helping my mother I weakened myself.  In rescuing her, I was drowning.  As long as I focused on someone else, I couldn't where does service come into all of this?  Where does helping one another become valuable?  What did I miss?

the person is truly unable to care for themselves b/c of mental or physical incapacity

You see I missed the point about doing what they can't do for themselves.  I missed the point of the value of working side by side in a shared goal.  Not taking their job but working beside them and the camaraderie engendered by working toward a goal.  I watch my children with their children and see the need to take care of an infant that can not feed themselves, care for themselves, protect themselves.  My daughter pointed out that they even need to learn how to jump.  My grandson proudly showed off his newly acquired skill.  He jumped.  Carrying him now is met with resistance and resentment...after all now he can jump and walking is down right easy for him. I still like serving others but now I check in with them to see if that is how they want to be served.  I learned to cheerfully take no for an answer. 

I got your back.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


"For every failure, there's an alternative
course of action. You just have to find it.
When you come to a roadblock,
a detour."
- Mary Kay Ash

Click Here For Success Tip # 037

Plan B
Everyone should have a plan B in case of emergency.  Cool....great idea....then plan B doesn't work out either....then there is plan C and that seems to be roadblocked too....I kept trying alternate plans.  I became discouraged when I started on double letters.  Plan BB, Plan CC, or how about Plan AAAAAAAAAAAGH!

I learned to be a creative problem solver when my problems did not fall into the 'normal' category.  I once asked a friend what she thought about while driving.  She shrugged and replied the usual, did I remember to bring the coupon? What do I need to do today?


My busy little mind totally spaces all coupons.  I keep them until they are out of date...then I throw them away.  I drive down the freeway then get an awesome view of the sky and clouds and wish I could stop in the middle of the freeway and take a picture.  Or some past event lays claim to my thinking resources and I squirrel cage the thoughts with them swirling around without even finding the answer....

My friend on Facebook shared a piece of advice:
“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could've, would've happened... or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the f*** on.”
― Tupac Shakur

Wow...not have a plan at all...just walk away....that's an option.... 

I am learning that part of a detour is to not go through the mess at all.  Some may howl but you learn so much by going through the muck.  Yes, I can.  But who says I can't learn something different by taking a scenic route...or a drive by a river....or wandering through the mountains.  I believe in self acceptance but I also believe that people are not like trees, it is our two legs that gives us the whole idea that humans are supposed to move around and change locations.  Sometimes I just need to get moving and the plans will unfold after that.   

Monday, March 18, 2013

Prayers and Answers

I have kept these two posts open on my Firefox for a week now trying to tackle this post.  Each time I feel inadequate to the task.  On Facebook my friend shared a beautiful picture of Christ and one of her friends wrote several comments about the picture being inaccurate and no proof that he ever existed.  I didn't share much on the comments because I suspected the author was spoiling for a fight though he denied that motive.  I picked up a tone of 'dare-to-prove-me-wrong.'  I let my friend know she had my support but stepped back from engaging in the exchange.  I knew my emotions were too clouded with past experiences.  Times when someone I knew challenged my beliefs and relentlessly attacked from every angle.  This long ago battle stayed with me.  I continued my research into how do I share my belief with those that so adamantly disagree.  I learned, I don't.

I was led through a series of events and keeping the thought in my mind to the clear understanding that those that do not believe in God have no more tangible proof that He does not exist then I have that He does exist.  I like what my friend said that she would rather err on the side of believing in God.  Interesting that my desire to win an argument spurred me to keep looking for answers.  God knows me, He is willing to use any hook to get me to study more and in time I learned to trust Him.   I read accounts that other people had with angels.  I studied other people's experience.  The second year of counseling was rocky.  I was furious with God for not answering my prayers many years before when I so desperately begged for help in raising my kids.  Gaining understanding how my mental illness harmed my children hurt me deeply.   God let me rage at Him.  I still didn't cry much but cried buckets in my heart.  I sometimes hurt from the grief.  The one thing that I wanted to do 'right' was to be a good mom.  God stood by His timing.  I softened my heart and learned that His definition of right and mine is not always the same.  It changed our relationship.  How do I know He exists?  Faith. It is not something I can give to someone else.  It is not something I can show anyone.  It is not something I can prove to someone else.  That is when I understood that each person's journey with God is different and uniquely their own.  I can share what I learned and others may or may not listen to me.  What I learned is mine to keep or discard.  I am keeping what I learned treasured in my heart.  I am also willing to share what I learn but expect no one to change their belief to match mine.  I will not argue because it just widens the gap between friends without improving knowledge or understanding.  I know God lives and loves me.  He sent His son to make a sacrifice I barely comprehend.  I know that my Savior came to find me in the darkest of pits.  A broken lamb was just as important to Him as anyone else.  He sees value and worth in me that I never saw for myself.  Words fail me in sharing my gratitude of that long ago battle that kept me looking for answers to my questions.
Purposefairy shared this definition of prayer:

P               Purpose:

Purpose of prayer is to establish a relationship with the divine.  It builds love, hope and character

R               Reflection

Reflection of your life, dreams, aspirations and what you have learned through your daily experiences

A               Angels

We can communicate to our angels in time of need and ask for encouragement and strength

Y                Yearning

Yearn for the spiritual connection with the divine.  All prayers are answered in time

E                Eternal

All prayers are eternal and the moment we pray they are placed out into the universe.  The universe is always listening and presents us with options

R               Receive

Be willing to receive guidance through prayer, intuition, signs and dreams.

And along the way God may say…

“Not this season.”

“Not this job.”

“Not this door.”

The challenge in those moments is to not close our hearts–to believe that if God says “not this” to something we hold dear to us that He’s still saying “yes” to the desire deep within us. That takes trust and tenacity and sometimes a lot of tears. But here’s the encouraging part: when we do get to what God has for us it’s always better than what we dreamed for ourselves in the beginning. 

And that turns all the “not this” answers along the way into one big “This was all worth it” that we can finally say.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

One thing leads to another

This week seems to be one thing leading to another and me tripping over my comments on another person's blogs.  A trigger started a land slide of misunderstandings, inflammatory statements on my part without a clear explanation, and kindness of two other people helping me see that yesterdays post was very timely.  Which leads to this blog post by Positively Positive.  This post intrigued me but I didn't have time to read it for a couple of days.  I followed the links to the school and the video.  The statement that lead me to such a thorough investigation was this:

Bullying persists when bureaucracies and hierarchies permit it to continue.

It’s easier to keep order in an environment where bullying can thrive (and vice versa), because the very things that permit a few to control the rest also permit bullies to do their work. The bully uses the organization’s desire for conformity to his own ends.

I read it again and again while flashes and images of my childhood where my mother encouraged bullying in our home.  She pitted us against each other.  My father did too, sometimes.  It never occurred to me that through this bullying we were more controllable.  It rocked my thinking.  Too many weeks of calm and it is time to shake loose some mental sludge.  Not everyone behaves like my abusers.  Some people make a statement without expecting me to change my opinion to make it match.  Most people recognize that their opinion is just that, their opinion.  (Imagine that.)  I thought I was cutting myself loose from my past but only recreating the same scenarios in my present.  Sit back. Slow down. Think. One of the links from this article led to a video project called "Own It."  It acknowledges that each person is weird in their own way.  There really is no such thing as conformity with so many unique people running around.

Own it

Years of counseling tore up my make believe childhood and handed me one a little closer to the truth.  After integrating, I thought I would be 'normal'.  I was so disappointed that I was still weird and still forgot things and still socially challenged and still a math geek and still... you get the picture I was still uniquely me and I needed to accept all of me.  I need to Own who I am.  I need to say Hi my name is Ruth and I am uniquely awesome...How about you?   

Stop and think

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Light bulb moment

Sometimes we inadvertently project our hurtful parents onto people in our present-day lives. We unconsciously assume that they'll treat us as unfairly & unreasonably as our parents treated us. We do this believing that it will protect us & avoid angering the other people, but the behavior backfires when the other people aren't like our parents & wonder why we're behaving so strangely around them.  For example, I had a couple of patients who used to bring their own tissues to our psychotherapy sessions. I always have tissues sitting right on the side table next to the patient's chair, but still, these women chose to bring their own & would start rummaging through their purses when they began to cry in the sessions. I always offered them the use of the tissues provided, but they both insisted that they'd never want to impose upon me. I ended up explaining to them that when they behaved this way, they were implying that I'd be put out, inconvenienced or annoyed if they used my tissues, which in turn, would indicate that I was a very unkind, uncaring & unreasonable person. 

It was very difficult to get these women to see that it would be OK for them to use the tissues I provided, & I let them know that the more they tried "not to impose," the more they were implying that I wasn't a nice person. Of course, they didn't mean to imply this, & I took no offense, but I wanted them to see how their actions would affect their other, personal & professional relationships. When we act as though the other person is going to be unreasonable or unkind to us, the reasonable & kind people in our lives will feel hurt, insulted & confused, & may even become uncomfortable enough that they choose not to spend time with us any longer.  It's really important, then, that we become aware of what we're projecting onto others & that we don't inadvertently alienate the kind people in our lives by behaving toward them as if they were jerks.

Wow...I read this morning and had a huge light bulb moment.  KavinCoach tried to explain this to me but I just couldn't get it.  This however explains it in a way that I understand.  When I assume, (that always gets me in trouble) that the other person will behave how my abusers behaved I am doing them and myself a disservice.  When I let go of my warped preconceived ideas and  discover there are some amazing people in the world.  Part of choosing healthy is seeing that many other people are healthy too.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Waiting for happy

In case you haven't noticed I enjoy Purpose Fairy.  Her posts are thoughtful, encouraging and thought provoking.

The title caught my attention.  It reminded me of a joke told by Dr. Banks.  Apparently it was also shared by Ronald Reagan.

The joke concerns twin boys of five or six. Worried that the boys had developed extreme personalities — one was a total pessimist, the other a total optimist — their parents took them to a psychiatrist.

First the psychiatrist treated the pessimist.  Trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys.  But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears.  ”What’s the matter?” the psychiatrist asked, baffled. “Don’t you want to play with any of the toys?”  “Yes,” the little boy bawled, “but if I did I’d only break them.”

Next the psychiatrist treated the optimist.  Trying to dampen his out look, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure.  But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from his brother, the pessimist.  Then he clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands.  ”What do you think you’re doing?” the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. “With all this manure,” the little boy replied, beaming, “there must be a pony in here somewhere!”

After getting married, my husband moved our family around - a lot.  We sometimes moved a couple of times in one year.  I think the last count I had was 13 moves in the first 15 years of marriage.  When our kids hit high school, I felt that they needed to stay put for a while.  We have now been in the same place for over 20 years.  I was moved to some places that I really didn't like.  One place we lived in was on the edge of a farmers fields.  I opened up our toddler's bed covers to see a 4 inch spider hanging out feeling comfortable.  I don't object to tiny spiders in the window to eat mosquitoes.  I do object to big ones doing pushups on the bed.   We lived in apartments, trailers and houses.  Didn't matter where I was moved to I could find something good about it.  I struggled with moving around so much.  My parents are still living in the same house since my sister was born.  Where ever I moved to, I found reasons to be happy. I took my happiness with me.  Six beautiful little people that all grew up.  I finally reached the stage of missing the living in the eye of a vortex of raising teenagers.  Now we visit.  The time so brief and precious.  Time, place, and circumstances set the stage to play out our lives.  In every comedy is some tragedy and every sad story some comic relief.  I am the one that decides what I focus on.

Judy's blog is a nice balance to remind me that being kind to myself is essential when making choices to be happy.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Staying connected

I am learning that one of the challenges of coming out of depression is feeling like I am staying connected to other people.  In depression, I am too wiped out to care.  I don't want to be around other people.  I feel detached and other people just can't seem to reach me even sitting in the same room.  However, as I try to connect with others and break through that feeling of being disconnected, I struggle.  I discovered through a blessing of a friend the value of having something small I can keep with me.  Yesterday, I wore a necklace a friend gave me to work.  It isn't expensive, just a simple butterfly.  That reminder helped me stay connected.  When Kavincoach worked with me, he encouraged me to keep some of my favorite pictures of Christ close to me to help me stay connected.  Bits and pieces or pictures need to be small.  A photograph, a necklace, pennies from heaven, anything to remind me that I am not alone and people and God are important to me. 

Poem : Pennies from Heaven

By Georgy

I found a penny today
just laying on the ground
But it’s not just a penny
this little coin I’ve found
“Found” pennies come from heaven
that’s what my Grandpa told me
He said angels toss them down
oh, how I loved that story
He said when an angel misses you
they toss a penny down
Sometimes just to cheer you up
make a smile out of your frown
So don’t pass by that penny
when you’re feeling blue
It may be a penny from heaven
that an angel tossed to you

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I learned from my computer tech years that sometimes a direct technical answer makes no sense to someone else.  I learned to look for metaphors.  I explained memory in a computer is like a kitchen.  RAM is the counter top.  Hard drive space is the cabinets.  And if you put all your stuff out on the counter you have no room to work.  I found these examples worked for people that hear Blah-blah-blah when a tech opens their mouth.  I was searching for a metaphor of a person struggling through trials and how it makes them different.  I finally found what I was searching for.  The link above is to a video that shows how snowflakes are formed.  A snowflake starts with a particle of dust that molecules of water cling to.  As the snowflake gets heaver it starts to fall.  Passing through different layers of colder and warmer air creates the intricate design that becomes unique to each snowflake.  The trials and challenges I pass through each leave their mark.  Even if my experiences are the same how I react and respond may be different.  I am learning to appreciate my own design. 

Create your own snowflake:

More snow pictures: