Monday, September 30, 2013


You think that feeling your hurt, sad, needy or angry feelings will overwhelm you, drive you crazy or even kill you, but it won't. Feelings are a natural part of human life and a way of responding to all the things that happen to you. Having your feelings is a healthy, adaptive response, while suppressing or repressing your feelings is a maladaptive, unhealthy & unnatural response. People learn to shut down their feelings in childhood, when either the things that happen to them are too terrible to bear or the people in their lives are setting an off-putting example by acting out their feelings in a frightening or damaging manner. In truth, you need your feelings: they give you essential information about the state of people & things around you & about your own needs. When you don't know your feelings, you can't act on your own best interests. Also, when you shut down your feelings, you deplete your vital stores of life energy, you disconnect from your true nature - leading to alienation from yourself & others - & you create emotional & physical ill-health. A person requires a lot of assistance to squash their natural emotions; this is accomplished through addictions such as drugs, porn, gambling, spending, cigarettes, alcohol & overeating. Then, not only do you lose sight of who you are & what you need, you have all the adverse consequences of your addictions to distress & distract you for as long as you continue to avoid your emotional truth.

On her list of numbing agents she left out dissociation. It is a self induced state of being more powerful than any drug known to man. * I lost days, weeks, months to this ability to leave myself behind.  I survived for over 40 years using its power to numb pain, unfortunately it numbed happiness too.  Reconnecting to emotions was difficult and painful.  There were days that I felt like my counselor, KavinCoach, was throwing me a barbed wire rope to get me out of the hole I was in.  I learned it is possible to pass out from emotional anguish.  I learned that emotional pain comes first then the happiness and joy follows, a bit like opening Pandora's box.  The mantra KavinCoach taught me, "If I lived through it, I can remember it."  Dissociation did not allow me to process my emotions.  They were contained in boxes when jostled and opened would engulf me with the same emotion with all its fearsome intensity, without full knowledge of why I felt the way I did.  Ruthless Compassion said that it won't overwhelm you.  I disagree.  Emotion can wash over you like a tsunami; however, it is survivable. I used to call the counseling office the torture chamber.  I knew when I walked in that room I was agreeing to unleashing the emotions that were denied for so long.  Anger white hot, debilitating fear, utter despair clamored for attention from being ignored too long.  The horrible emotions came first.  I talked and talked and talked and talked about feelings denied.  I learned to recognize different shades and nuances of emotions.  It took years for the good feelings to creep in.  I would be doing something I enjoyed and I would feel like the whole world was just wonderful.  I even experienced sitting in rush hour traffic and happiness just bubbled up inside for no particular reason.  I am thankful I took the challenge to face all my emotions.  I am now alive emotionally in ways I never believed possible.  

*  Mayo Clinic explanation and definition of Dissociative disorder:

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Art Therapy

My brain is fried....

I wanted to share something.

One of the blessings in my life is Art.  I don't mean just photography either.  Art let me into my own emotional world when I locked myself out.  Thanks to Facebook I have a link to 100 different ideas to use in working through emotions using art.

I read several already that I want to try out.  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

What does respect look like?

How do you know that someone respects you? For starters, their behavior demonstrates concern for your welfare & your feelings. They're also considerate to those who are close to you. They never reveal your confidences & they always try to do what's best for you. They acknowledge your boundaries: they take "No" for an answer & don't keep pushing against your limits. They consider your point of view & take your opinion seriously. They don't gratuitously try to irritate you; they think about how their behavior is likely to affect you. They keep their promises & don't make excuses for their mistakes. They don't get defensive when you call them on something & they apologize when they mess up. They listen carefully to what you have to say & answer the questions you ask them. They never, ever try to manipulate, coerce or bully you. They never, ever betray or abuse you. Everyone deserves respect. Now you know what to look for. 

I was shone respect by example.  First, by some of the teachers I had, then by my counselors.  I struggled with accepting being treated with respect.  I kept looking for the catch; what was their angle?  What did they want from me? I struggled with trusting their behavior to be exactly what they represented.  I posted Ruthless Compassion's definition and invite my readers to share: how do you define respect?  What does it look like and act like?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Gave my power away.....

Sometimes it's hard in a relationship to know how much to be accommodating & how much to be assertive; how much to be easy-going & how much to set a limit. There's no perfect way of being, but there is a way to be most true to yourself: work on paying attention to whether the child within is in charge of your behavior or if it's the empowered adult part of you. When the child within gets triggered by something your partner has said or done, he tends to over-react b/c he isn't really responding to today's partner but rather, to someone from the past who hurt or disappointed him. This will cause you to feel more upset with a particular behavior than you would be if the adult part of you were in the forefront. Resist the urge to act on the child's feelings & see if you can address these internally. (These triggers are a great opportunity to do some inner work.) When you deal with the child's reaction internally, this makes room for the adult part of the psyche to come to the forefront & then it will be your best, most conscious & empowered self who is responding to whatever your partner did. From this POV, your response will be mature, appropriate & most likely to move the relationship forward to a better place.
Before counseling, this statement from Ruthless Compassion would have made no sense to me.  I did not know that I had power of any kind.  Early on in my counseling, KavinCoach asked me why I gave my power away. I felt confused. What power? I didn't have any power to give away in the first place.  I felt upset that he expected me to understand something that I didn't even know what he meant.  This is one of the hardest things about childhood abuse.  An abused child gives up their personal power before they know they have it.  Many, many counseling discussions centered around my feeling that I did not have any power over any thing.  KavinCoach excelled in finding illustrations that worked for me.  He started talking about the power I had over the computers I repaired.  I talked about my approach to fixing computers was, "Computer - cooperate or I will wipe your hard drive!"  I just can't do that with people.  People cannot be reformatted.  So I didn't understand how I could have power.  I considered myself a spineless worm that made a very good doormat.  I even squelched my anger about being a doormat and accepted it as my station in life.  I even worked at being a better doormat than any other doormat.  KavinCoach knew his biggest challenge was for me to comprehend my inborn power that every person has.  People give up their power to please others, out of fear, addictions, negative habits, and for many other reasons.  I believe this is an ongoing battle between good and evil.  Good teaching people that they are powerful Children of God.  Evil telling people that they are powerless and useless without control over themselves or their destiny.  No matter the country, the era, government or any other personal challenges the basic day to day living is about leaning what power we have and how to use it to create the lives we dream of.  I gave my power away so completely that I stopped dreaming.  KavinCoach asked me what I wanted and I reacted as if he told me that I was going to have to put a rattlesnake in my pocket.  He kept trying to see that I had the power to reach my dreams...I am working on developing my power to dream and believe it is possible to achieve those dreams. 

With the night, we dream.

Marching out into the world.

A place to dream.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Power in Deciding

"Strength does not come from winning
Your struggles develop your strength.
When you go through hardship
and decide not to surrender,
that is strength." 

I thought a lot about power this week. I looked up Cynthia Rothrock. Official web page Age of 13 she started taking Karate lessons.  Within 20 years she became an international champion.  She was entered into the Karate Black Belt hall of fame.  I found one of her movies and watched her fluid moves.  She was born the same year I was.  At a young age she explored and understood her own personal power.  At a young age, I was convinced that I had no power.  The essence of being a victim is the feeling of powerlessness.  To turn from victim to survivor, I recognized that there was something that kept me going.  KavinCoach couldn't believe it when I told him I could count on one hand how many times I stood up for myself and I could name all of them.  I watched a video of Cynthia Rothrock show ten ways a woman can defend herself from attack.  I also realized that all the karate in the world won't help me if I don't decide that I am worth fighting for.  I hit rock bottom over 10 years ago....I was left with 2 choices....self destruct or change.  The decision to change started the process.  It was that moment to decide not to surrender.  The choice to do whatever I had to do to become healthy.  


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Who owns you

As long as you are worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them.  Only when you require no approval from outside yourself can you own yourself. — Neale Donald Walsch

Yesterday I had a not too gentle reminder that PTSD is never far away.  I may manage it very well but there are life's little bumps that jar the lid off the box with the PTSD label.  I sometimes forget the very painful physical affects of PTSD.  For me, after high level of stress my body then crashes.  I am reminded painfully that skin is the largest organ of the body and it can hurt all at the same time.  I feel it is a cruel trick that the skin hurts so painfully that I cannot be comforted with a hug.  I can barely move and takes me awhile to get back on my feet again.  (Bottom of the feet take a lot of pressure and if my skin hurts every step is painful.)  I stayed home and rested.  By afternoon I was doing much better.  I was criticized for staying home.  At  first, I was hurt, then angry then I thought about whether or not I need someone else's approval in how I choose to care for myself.  I was fascinated how quickly I no longer felt even annoyed.  I don't need approval from anyone to make choices to take care of me.  I realized that part of how I was controlled in my childhood was my need to feel approval outside of myself.  This is a normal behavior for almost everyone.  However, if I take it to an extreme and put the other person's approval above my own needs, I am allowing them to own me.  Part of my effort in battling my past, integrating, and continuing counseling was to learn to be my own person, responsible for myself.  I have the power to choose what I do.  I do not need to give that power away by seeking someone's approval. 

I grow at my own speed. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some days

"Always bear in mind that your own
resolution to succeed is more
important than any other one thing."
- Abraham Lincoln

Click Here For Success Tip # 009

“speak quietly to yourself & promise there will be better days. whisper gently to yourself and provide assurance that you really are extending your best effort. console your bruised and tender spirit with reminders of many other successes. offer comfort in practical and tangible ways - as if you were encouraging your dearest friend. recognize that on certain days the greatest grace is that the day is over and you get to close your eyes. tomorrow comes more brightly...” ― Mary Anne Radmacher

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.”
Mary Anne Radmacher

 Some days are just tough.  Today was one of those days.  Today, I did something different.  Instead of trying to tough it out and keep going, I gave myself permission to curl up in the fetal position and watch TV.  Many people don't realize that not only does PTSD effect your mind, it also wrecks havoc on your body.  Tomorrow the sun will rise and I will rest.  The day after that I will go again.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Accepting my past

Denial is a survival tool that bound me to my past.  As long as I denied how bad it was, I couldn't escape it. My past sucked away my energy keeping up the wall of denial.  It interfered with living in now.  I believe one of the requirements to move from victim to survivor to thriving is facing the past and accepting that horrible things are part of my history.  Many, many sessions of counseling I spent tearing down denial's walls that hemmed me in.  My mind still conceals most of my memories; I am not sad they are missing. However, I no longer deny their existence.  Seeking a truth campaign does not mean sugar coating what was...some truths are harder to accept than others.  I experienced things that I still won't talk about but I no longer deny their affect on me.  Overtime, I came to view denial as lying to myself.  Looking at that black past and saying it was white to me was another lie I lived with.  Talking about being hurt then saying it wasn't that bad, after all, everyone gets hurt sometime.  I remember KavinCoaches frustration in trying to get me to accept what I was really up against in overcoming my past.  He acknowledged that he had a childhood that inspired him to go into counseling.  He accepted that his childhood was less than wonderful.  He pointed out the problems he had were like Pluto and mine were like Saturn.  I am also aware that others have problems like the Sun.  I don't have the worst problems around but they are not just like everyone else, either.  Sadly, my children and DH were also affected by me denying my past.  I appreciate their support as I finally faced my past and put it where it belonged, in my past.  There is nothing easy about accepting a painfully abusive past.  Counseling tears away the blinders of denial.  It is a tough choice that some people give up and prefer to live in the stifling comfort of denial.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Not about the nail

The purpose of this YouTube video is supposed to be a humorous look at the relationship between men and women.  The problem is obvious.  The man wants to solve it and the woman wants to talk about it.  I was bothered by the seemed to shake me up but I couldn't put my finger on it, at first.  I thought about it over and over.  I realized the woman sounded a lot like me arguing with my counselor when I first started. KavinCoach kept telling me how unhealthy my childhood was and I kept telling him that if I just talked about it enough that I would understand and it would all go away.  I finally understood that in order to heal, I needed to remove the nail.  I had to stop believing that I could magically make things all better.  I had to stop lying to myself first before healing could move my life forward.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lost Sheep

Reposted from Facebook

I liked this poem by C. C. Miller called “The Echo” : 

’Twas a sheep not a lamb
That strayed away in the parable Jesus told,
A grown-up sheep that strayed away
From the ninety and nine in the fold.
And why for the sheep should we seek
And earnestly hope and pray?
Because there is danger when sheep go wrong:
They lead the lambs astray.
Lambs will follow the sheep, you know,
Wherever the sheep may stray.
When sheep go wrong,
It won’t take long till the lambs are as wrong as they.
And so with the sheep we earnestly plead
For the sake of the lambs today,
For when the sheep are lost
What a terrible cost
The lambs will have to pay

Friday, September 20, 2013


I study the Bible to get a better idea of how God handles abuse situations.  One of the outstanding stories is Joseph sold into Egypt.  (This is a summation of my understanding.  Anybody and everybody can probably spot errors in my interpretation.  That's ok.  This is just my perspective on how this whole mess went down.) The first lesson learned is the jealousy and problems aroused when a parent favors one child over another, especially a younger one.  Joseph received a coat of many colors a clear indication that he was the favored younger son.  His brothers took him hunting with them and a plot was hatched.  The first plan was to kill him and say that an animal did it.  Being the enterprising souls that they were, they decided to make a few bucks by selling him.  They smeared blood over Joe's coat of many colors and concocted the wild animal killing him story.  They promptly forgot all about him while their father went into deep mourning.  However, Joseph's life changed rapidly from beloved son to lowly slave...he didn't even rate servant status.  He was bought like a piece of furniture to be kept or discarded at the whim of his owner.  He found favor with the owner and was moving up in the world when the owner's wife decided she wanted a new play thing and Joseph was the object of her attention.  Young Joe refused her offer and ran with her still clutching his coat.  She, of course, blamed him and he was thrown into prison.  This is not the cushy type prison, this is down in a hole depths of ugliness type prison.  Starvation and beatings were quite probably daily happenings.  This was his middle years.  Not exactly the kind of place you write home about even if you could.  Then Joe interpreted dreams for a couple of the inmates.  Both dreams were answered just as he said.  The prisoner that was set free promised to help get Joseph released.  But once on the outside, his promise was rapidly forgotten.  The freed man got a job in the palace and worked their for sometime....not sure how long but in prison conditions Joseph must have felt like he was once again abandoned and discarded.  However, the king had a strange dream and none of the wise men could interpret its meaning.  Well, the freed prisoner remembered how Joseph had interpreted his dream.  Since he left him rotting in prison he knew just where to find him.  Joseph was summoned and he interpreted the kings dream of 7 bountiful years followed by 7 lean years of drought and starvation.  The king trusted Joseph and put him in charge of the granaries to store food for the coming 7 years.  I wonder how many people felt that Joseph was spinning a story to his own advantage during those first seven years?  Then the famine hit.....Joseph continued as the overseer to feed the hungry masses including those in other countries also plagued by drought....Guess who comes begging for grain?...none other than Joseph's brothers.  Of course, they do not recognize the overseer for the king as their own brother that they sold all those years ago.  He was a bit older and no longer the cringing younger brother that they sold into slavery.  Joseph tests his brothers....wanted to see what kind of men they had become.  They proved that they had changed enough that Joseph revealed who he was and asked them to bring their father so he could see him during his ailing, older years.  They came to live on the land Joseph owned.  After their father died, they feared that Joseph would exact his revenge.  Joseph saw that their choice to sell him all those years before put him in the position to be able to help them and their families much later down the road.  God took a beloved younger son in a far away country and took the abuse heaped upon him and changed it around to bless nations.  I don't believe that Joseph wished that he could go back to before what happened to him.  He was thankful where life took him.  He sorrowed at the attitude of his family but he rejoiced in the strength and goodness God brought him to do.  As always, God's way is not man's way. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013


"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."
- Michael Jordan

Click Here For Success Tip # 079

 Computers taught me this principle.  A computer tech is met with so many different problems and with computers many times I would simply restart the computer.  More extreme measures I would wipe the hard drive and start over.  Humans can't simply wipe their hard drives and start over.  KavinCoach explained to me how truly messed up my childhood was.  I struggled with believing him.  When I finally believed him, I was devastated to see myself as this broken thing.  Fortunately, he didn't throw out glib cliches or minimize the challenges I faced.  The process of 'fixing' me was slow and painful.  After integration I realized, I still wasn't 'normal'.  The pain and suffering altered me.  Changed my point of view.  Twisted my thinking.  I struggled at accepting myself.

At the park close to my parents home, there stands a tree.  When I was young so was the tree.  It was growing tall and strong.  A bunch of kids crawled into its branches all at the same time.  There was an all might crack and kids tumbled out of the broken tree.  The trunk split.  Stunned, frightened, and terribly upset I and the other children thought we killed it.  The tree didn't die.  Over time the trunk healed but not straight and tall it was twisted and bent close to the ground.  It continued to grow and scar over where damage was done.  The leaves shiny green erupted all over in a spread out mess of a tree.  This tree became the best children's climbing tree.  Low to the ground strong and sturdy.  The branches became a safe harbor, an elf kingdom, or a green hideout.  The abuse the tree suffered was extreme.  The other children and I felt very sorry for what we had done.  That didn't put the tree back to the way it was before.  The abuse changed the tree.  However, the change enriched its value.  Too often I am ready to repair damage without thinking through if the alteration might be viewed as a blessing instead of problem.

Another view is from the Japanese that use gold to repair a broken bowl.  The crack is celebrated and enriched.  A few examples are at this link:

Viewing myself differently, I believe that I need to climb it, go through it, work around it, recreate myself into a person the learns and grows through the tough times.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


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

  Hurt happens...suffering happens...consequences exist...however, becoming is not set in stone. The past may influence by being what I don't want. Encouraging me to move away from past behaviors. Or I can look forward to a different future and strive towards positive goals.  I can not change what happened to me.  The only thing I can control is my reaction.  I can change my reaction to my past,  reevaluate my present and move on to new goals.

Sometimes I here people trying to encourage me with platitudes.....

"Someday it will be as if nothing happened."
"Forgive and you will be back to what you were before."
"You can make your life as if the hurt never happened."
"It's never too late to become the person you might have been."

My past happened. I learned some lessons that changed me permanently.  I don't believe that going back is needed.  I would change this quote to "It's never too late to become."  My life altered at age 5, too early to even guess where I was headed.  My life took twists and turns on a wild ride through hills and valleys and the very depths of hell on Earth.  The journey changed me, however, it's never too late to become.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Did it Break?

 More than one source....

Grab a plate and throw it on the ground.

       - Okay, done.

Did it break?

     - Yes.

Now say sorry to it.

     - Sorry

Did it go back to the way it was before?

     - No.

Do you understand?

Shared on Facebook by Woman 2 Woman

My daughter posted this one that I saw in an email years ago.

A fence : A story with a great moral...

There once was a young boy with a very bad temper. The boy's father wanted to teach him a lesson, so he gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper he must hammer a nail into their wooden fence.

On the first day of this lesson, the little boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. He was really mad!

Over the course of the next few weeks, the little boy began to control his temper, so the number of nails that were hammered into the fence dramatically decreased.

It wasn't long before the little boy discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Then, the day finally came when the little boy didn't lose his temper even once, and he became so proud of himself, he couldn't wait to tell his father.

Pleased, his father suggested that he now pull out one nail for each day that he could hold his temper.

Several weeks went by and the day finally came when the young boy was able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

Very gently, the father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

"You have done very well, my son," he smiled, "but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same."

The little boy listened carefully as his father continued to speak.

"When you say things in anger, they leave permanent scars just like these. And no matter how many times you say you're sorry, the wounds will still be there."

Too often, the expectation is for someone to just go back to being what they were before, after the words 'I am sorry' are uttered.  Damage was done.  Pain, scarring, consequences exist.  There is no Edit>Undo in real life. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Life is full of pain & suffering. That's an incontravertible truth. Facing this truth, as opposed to running away from it is what will empower us to deal with life's challenges in a meaningful way. We can run from the pain of life - get caught up in compulsive behaviors & addictions as a way of avoiding our suffering (which only makes it worse) or we can open our hearts to encompass the pain, & in so doing, experience the positive effects of being open-hearted & aware. Suffering is a fact of life. The question is whether we'll make it worse by trying to avoid it, or make good use of it by allowing our suffering to increase our capacity for love, compassion & connection. Paradoxically, when we allow our suffering to open our hearts, we experience more joy. When we're heart-broken, we can experience our hearts being broken open to more love, more happiness, more intimacy.

One of my favorite stories that I have posted before but is nice for me to review from time to time:

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it.  She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.  Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.  He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter.  The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.
After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.
Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?” “Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied. “Look closer”, he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“Father, what does this mean?” she asked. He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity – the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.  The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “ In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us. Which one are you?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fear keeps me from growing

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one." 

"Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive." 

 - Elbert Hubbard 

Want more of Elbert's quotes check out

I did not understand how I was raised in fear based thinking until I was in counseling.  Recently, I read an article about how education in the last 40 years changed from threatening children with a dunce cap, an 'F', or swats to encouraging children to grow through cooperation, encouragement, and enhancing strengths.  I was raised more than 40 years ago.  Every mistake was pointed out as evidence of my stupidity and one of the names I was called was Ding-a-ling.  Often I was lectured with the beginning statement, "What can we do so that you never make this mistake again?"  Any errors needed to be eradicated in an effort to 'make me' a better person.  The possibility that I was a good kid to begin with was simply not considered.  

 I recognized somewhere along the line that type of thinking was counter productive.  I just didn't know anything else.  My photography helped me express my idea that imperfect is beautiful, I called it 'Imperfect beauty.'  Nature glories in imperfections yet people try to get the Perfect Picture without flaws.  I admire them but decided that imperfection has a beauty all its own. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Photos reveal more than the image

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.

I completed 3 years of blogging.  I am revisiting a concept that started where this went.  My book at the bottom of the site was a capstone photography project my final year in university.  I gained a Bachelors degree in Art with emphasis on photography.  Photography helped to open my mind and heart to all that I am.  I used photography to delve into my past.  I used photography to explore how I felt.  I used photography to discover myself.  Before I started counseling I took my first photography class.  I worked with a wonderful graduate student that encouraged me to explore using a camera as a tool to open parts of my mind I believed forever closed.  She gave us 'self-portrait' for a theme for our final project.  We would spend several weeks shooting, developing, and printing black and white prints.  We were required to shoot at least 3 rolls of black and white film.  I allowed myself to do whatever with the film.  I went back and developed the rolls.  One of the rolls I was dumbfounded by what I discovered.  I didn't recognize most of the shots and pictures of me were me but weren't.  I was puzzled and confused.  I also did not remember taking those particular pictures.  I knew I didn't let anyone borrow my camera so where did the pictures come from?  I had no idea at the time of the project what I would learn in the following few years.  I wanted to portray the pictures in a different way.  The teacher showed us a variety of ideas.  I rejected all of them and spoke with one of the professors I worked with for my computer job.  After several discussions, I put the pictures on a large Möbius strip.  I used the representation to show that I was all the same person but you couldn't see all of me at the same time.  Later in counseling, KavinCoach was astounded at how accurately this described how I functioned with multiple personalities.  Art allowed me to express who I was before I had words to describe it.  Often my pictures relate specifically to the posts I write.  Sometimes I use my art work to send myself private messages that only I know the connection.  That is OK because each of you come to my posts with your own story and read what I share.  My pictures then become a part of your story with your own meaning applied to my representation.  I enjoy photography it helps me to share my soul.