Monday, May 30, 2016


I learned through my counseling and actively studying forgiveness that distortions abound.  Many abusers believe and try to use forgiveness in two ways, a get out of jail free card and a way to blame the victim.  Sadly, misguided church going people enforce this distortion.  Heavy sigh.  What I learned was forgiveness was not about the abuser.  It is about me cutting the abuser loose and evicting them from my mind.  They no longer have real estate in my head.  Their behavior is their problem and not mine.  What they did to hurt me is no longer hurting me.  It does run up a red flag and let me know that they are not a safe person.  I am not obligated to interact with the person any more.

Another distortion that forgiveness means reconciliation.  My counselor taught me that forgiveness is the first step in reconciliation but only opens the process to the possibility.  If the other person is unwilling to respect me, I have no obligation to reconcile with them after I forgive them. 

I was accused of holding a grudge against my mother for past events.  Not true.  I have no problem with what she did in the past.  However, she continues to disrespect my boundaries, lie about me, and generally not a safe person now.  Not worried about past events, I am taking responsibility to protect myself in the present.  I understand that she was hurt in her childhood.  I also understand that she chose not to do the difficult work of processing that hurt.  Now, she lashes out when feeling pressured and I was her favorite target.  I moved out of harms way.  I am sad I can't have a closer relationship but you get a clue when you come to visit and she leaves within 5 minutes of my arrival.  I joked that I could clear my parents house in less then 15 minutes.  Then I actually timed it.  Five minutes was all it takes.  I have no grudge against my mother.  I feel sad that things are not different.  I am under no illusion she will do anything different than she always done.  I keep my distance because I care about me.  I am worth protecting.  I don't deserve to be dismissed, manipulated, and used.  I pray for her and let Christ heal her wounds. 

Spines are a protection from predators. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Emotional abuse

One of the articles I read discuss 6 forms of emotional abuse and give examples of each kind.

 1. Rejecting

2. Ignoring
3. Terrorizing

4. Isolating

5. Corrupting

6. Exploiting  

I read through each of the example lists and answered yes on most of them.  Then I went back through the list and thought, how many have I done to someone else?  I felt sick to my stomach when I realized that habits from childhood spilled over onto my children and others I interact with.  Many times I did these less severely than was done to me but that was part of the problem.  My abuse was so severe I didn't recognize my mild forms as abusive also.  When my counselor pointed out some of my behaviors I started to work immediately to correct what I was doing.   Sometimes I realize that someone else may interpret my need to withdraw and have down time as rejecting or ignoring them.  Not my intent.  My need to be alone and sort out information from the day has nothing to do with them.  However, my behavior comes across as ignoring them.  I am working on better communication to indicate when I need time alone.  I try not to do the very things that I was raised on.  Changing my life included changing how I treat others.  I am not always successful.  When angry, I can lash out like the worst of them.  I pass on my corrupted thinking.  I inadvertently terrorize others when I share what is in my head.  I actually had one counselor ask me not to purposely say awful things to offend him.  Well, I didn't know what his definition of awful was.   It did wake me up to the concept that what goes on inside my head everyday is not what most people want to hear.  I do need to curb my spewing out to protect those that I care about.  It is why I pay a counselor to hear my yucky stuff so those I love don't need to hear it. I can't change my abusers but I can change how I behave.  I don't need to pass on what was done to me.  The abuse buck can stop with me. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Still withdrawn

Last day of school was last Friday.  I'm still not venturing out.  I finally postponed my dentist appointment that I knew for weeks I needed to change.  I still haven't contacted my other doctors.  It is like once I am in "Withdrawn" mode I am very reluctant to venture out again.  I need to go out tomorrow for several reasons.  I want to join my sister for breakfast but I don't want to deal with hardly anything.  I am doing some cleaning.  The floor feels much nicer after mopping.  I am gathering wads of dog hair to go in the trash.  I found my kitchen sink.  I actually made a couple of meals to eat.  Nothing wild but tasty.  (I love tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.)  I want to see friends but that means leaving the house.  Oh dear.  I thought I was doing fairly well....Now I realize I am still hiding out.  Heavy sigh.  May be tomorrow will get me going. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Denial the river that looks like a sewer

Lived in a state of denial so profound that it took years of counseling for me to see what was actually happening in my life. 

An article at Flying Monkeys describes how narcissists and sociopaths use denial to confuse and abuse their victims.  It is always hard for me to read these because I realize how deep into denial mode I ventured.  Some people say that denial is no big deal.  However, at its most extreme it becomes a destructive force no less dangerous than a flooding river.

People will say but everyone denies some times.  That is true.  What is different is the systematic methodical deconstruct of reality by using denial to convince their victim that they are in the wrong, helpless, and unable to cope without their predator.  It is used to demean, confuse, obliterate the other persons confidence.  Interesting thing for me was once I stopped denying reality, I couldn't go back to that pseudo comfort created by serious denial. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Super Heroes

When we are powerless to do a thing, it is a great joy that we can come and step inside the ability of Jesus."
-Corrie ten Boom

‪#‎StepIn‬ ‪#‎LetGodAndLetGo‬

I follow the people that keep up Corrie Ten Boom's page with her quotes.  Corrie and her sister Betsy are 2 of my super heroes.  They brought light into the darkness of the concentration camp.  Their faith, their persistence in the face of great trial, their ability to let go and let God astound me.  If you are interested in their stories:

The Hiding Place 

Tramp for the Lord

Virtual tour of the Ten Boom home:

Monday, May 16, 2016

Winding down

The end of school is winding down.  Tomorrow and Wednesdays are both half days devoted to cleaning and preparing the room for next year.  I am also clearing out my desk preparing for me to move next year.  They changed my job every year so far, I am planning for it this year.  Someone joked that means they will leave me in the same place.  Good, it gives me a reason to deep clean and trash old stuff that no longer applies.  I am also gearing up to clean up at home.  Every summer I promise myself that this year will be different, not so far.  I keep finding so many other things to do, like planting flowers, attempting to keep them alive in triple digit heat.  Silly me.

These take the heat.  Desert Botanical garden

Sunday, May 15, 2016

I'm back

I solved my "what if I became a teacher."  I now know I would be too exhausted to do anything else.  I come home, my body and brain are drained of all energy.  I sit on the couch feeling numb.  I am thankful for the experience of substitute teaching for the last 4 months but I am so done.  My admiration for teachers has gone up tremendously.  If you are a teacher, please give yourself a thank you from me for all you do, put up with, and still attempt to teach at all.  I'm sad that common core is obliterating the recognition that different students need different teaching.  People are not cars and cannot be churned out assembly line style.  Some of my students are facing challenges so much bigger than the difference between 3/8ths and 3/4ths of an inch.  Yes, this information is helpful to know but so much about school is about supporting the district and their need to exist rather than about the student and there need to learn.  I will now get off my soap box. 

I spent the last 4 months not reading any of the blogs I follow.  Not keeping up with house work.  Police would think we were robbed and the house ransacked, sadly it is just me without enough energy to put away the dishes, clothes, groceries, pretty much everything is left a mess.  I remember doing this to myself before.  I remind myself I didn't slip as dangerously low as last time.  The advantage of spiraling down to the bottom is I know the territory.  I know what I need to do to get back up.  First acknowledge that I am in free fall down.  Second, put back in place the techniques and methods that I know work.  Third, don't beat myself up over it happening.  I will get myself back together and life will continue on. 

Applying air brakes

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Missed these signs

I came across an article about 5 signs of Covert Narcissism.

I wish I had read this last fall.  My sister warned me that I missed the signs...but I wasn't ready to listen. 

1. False Humility

2. Lack of Empathy

3. Immature Responses

4. Simplification of Others’ Needs

5. Unable to Listen


I am frustrated with myself that I was sucked up into the entanglement of someone being nice to use me.  However, as I thought about it, I prefer to err on the side of kindness.  I wish I didn't take it so personal.  I also learned that happiness is not at the bottom of a chocolate ice cream container but I feel better for checking just to be sure.

Monday, May 2, 2016

What if?

What if? A pesky question that haunt and annoy.....

What if I was never abused?
What if I never married?
What if I traveled the world instead of staying home?
What if I finished my engineering degree?
What if I became a teacher like I wanted to?

What if's can push a person right over the edge of reasonable thinking.  It is looking back and much like the Mirror of Erised in Harry Potter it benefits no one and robs what is.  My recent what if that was exposed to reality, "What if I became a teacher like I wanted to?"  Yes, my parents refused to help me with my college education if I went into teaching.  The past 3 months I worked as a part time substitute teacher.  I   AM    EXHAUSTED.   I would burn out in a year.  I considered carefully before agreeing to work next year.  I enjoy working as an instructional assistant I come home ready to take on what ever is happening at home.  After a day as the teacher, I come home and stare at the wall.  I can barely follow the plot of a TV program and half the time fall asleep in the middle of a conversation.  I am too tired to do anything else.  That what if is not resolved.  It is a good thing I did not become a teacher.