Monday, July 31, 2017

Healing and Mourning

One of the things that baffled me about counseling and healing was the very real sense and feeling of mourning/grieving/sense of loss.  I questioned my counselor and he explained that part of the healing process is recognizing how much I loss, my childhood, my belief in myself, the loss of innocence.  I loss so much and in my effort to survive, I never took time to grieve.  I learned that grieving is a very necessary process.  It is difficult to move on with my life without paying respects to what vanished and disappeared. 

Lifebegins45 shares her perspective of the mourning portion of healing.

 She shared this link that breaks down 3 recognizable phases of healing/recovery.

There is one thing that I believe to be important to the healing process.  There is no going back.  I read many posts about those that want to go back to before the trauma.  This would be ridiculous to me, I was 5 years old.  I hardly remember before trauma.  This put me in the position of simply asking, "Where am I now?  Is there anything to go back to?"  When I am asked my belief is to look for my new self, who I am now is important and matters. I survived a life changing experience, of course it changed me, it should.  I choose now to make this new now better than ever. 

A new Dawn, a new Me.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

At a distance

I saw a beautiful rainbow this morning with a jet flying right through it.  I realized that the people in the jet can't see the rainbow.  In the middle of the storm, we can't see the rainbows, it is only when we look back at  a distance.

Many PTSD gurus tell people to not look back at their past.  Going into counseling he started with present day issues but I kept tripping up on the assignments.  He finally asked me about my past.  What past? I didn't have any past?  Not remembering my past did not resolve the issues that lingered like a dark cloud.  As I struggled with memories and suffered increasing anxiety I was in a middle of a storm.  I couldn't see the rainbows.  Now, I am reviewing my past and how I changed my reactions in the present and I see the amazing things I was taught.  The tools, validation, self care, and so many blessings were unnoticed in the middle of the storm.  However, now when I look back I see the amazing things that I was taught and happened inside of me.  I actually enjoy looking back now to see how far I come and admire the storm and the rainbows at a distance. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Stuck without love

Bummer, getting a 100% when an article discusses the disadvantages of child abuse is frustrating.  Yup there is that word again.  This article shares some perspectives of the kinds of love a child needs as they grow.  I missed all the stages.  I am re-parenting and this summer was not particularly successful.  I beat myself up over someone's opinion.  Wait.  It is their opinion. 

I did find the stages and the emotions that became part of my thinking an interesting combination in this article.  Here's my theory, I'll test it on myself, if these are the things missing in my life to create these feelings then I need to put these things back in my life.

Earliest stage of childhood love develops trust.  If parents can't love me how can anyone else love me.  I already notice that as I learn to love myself I am developing an ability to trust others.  I have an elite group of awesome friends and family that I trust.  (I love writing this blog, I hadn't realized I do have people in my life that I trust now.)

...the child learns to be independent and develop self-control. If parents hindered development in any way, for example, they were impatiently and persistently doing what a child could easily do by him/herself, or, expecting the child to do things he or she was unable to do alone – then the feeling of shame appears.

I hadn't thought of the control issues my mother had as one of the sources I have of shame.  I need to seriously rethink this perspective.  I am currently working on reducing my feelings of shame.  I recognized this was en emotion used to manipulate me to work harder and harder at pleasing my abusers.  Shame was the whip that drove me but I always felt short, not good enough, and disappointment.  Steps to consider in reducing shame is working at feeling independent and develop a healthy self-control. 

The next step seems ironic in that I was neglected but I have feelings that a child of over protective parent has....then I rethought this.

And if parents are constantly overprotective of the child, which leaves them blind to their kid’s real needs, then the child starts to doubt his or her abilities, the ability to control their surroundings and him/herself.
Even as adults, these people, instead of being confident, they think that others look at them with judgement and disapproval. Obsessive-compulsive symptoms or paranoid fears caused by trauma can also occur in such people.

 My parents questioned my decisions, big decisions or little ones.  They over road many of my choices, what to wear, what to study at school, what I bought with my allowance, I believe a controlling parent leaves a child doubting their ability to run their own life.  A lot to think about on this one.  My parents neglected me and controlled me at the same time.  I lived it so I know it can happen, now I need to figure out what I need to do to rebuild my confidence. 

If the parents don’t allow the child to act alone, in response to their needs, they punish him/her too much, feelings of guilt develop.
 Curiosity was encouraged but it was curiosity in the things my parents were interested in.  If it was my interest I was quickly squashed and ridiculed for my interest.  This is something I can do for myself.  I have the internet at my finger tips and I can explore the things that interest me.  Plans are percolating in my head. 

There is so much more to this article.  I put a copy on my computer so I can add my own notes and work on developing these qualities of independence, trust, confidence.  I can become the parent I deserve to have. 

I'm putting together the puzzle pieces of my life story.  I am seeing how things fit together and what I can do to create a happier healthier peaceful life for myself. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Frustration is one of the many emotions that hide behind anger.  I get frustrated about many things.  I get frustrated when I do things for others that are not appreciated.  I get frustrated when I put a lot of effort into a project and another person picks it apart then tells me how little my effort is counted.  I get frustrated over many things.  This summer was one big frustration.  It was not a fun summer. However, I did do some fun things.  I did some puzzles. Spent time with people I love.  I tackled some difficult projects and in the process of finishing them. 

The thing about frustration is in the midst of the emotion I get sucked in to All-or-Nothing thinking.  All must go exactly as I think it should or Nothing is right.  Sometimes called Black and White thinking.  No room from compromise, failure, or disappointment.  I am working at accepting what I am feeling.  Recognize that other people opinions are their opinions I do not need to adopt them as my own.  I appreciate what I did this summer.  I do not need their approval to be happy.  Wow. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


I prayed for a break from the nightmares I had for weeks.  I woke up with the word Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious running through my head.  How ridiculous? For the uninitiated this is a link to the "Mary Poppins" clip.

However, I did have a break from the nightmares.  I wondered what kind of day I would have?  It was lousy. The day before I accidental ate something I am extremely sensitive to so spent it not doing much.  I learned that often my prayers are answered in totally unexpected ways. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Another Voice

I am keeping my eyes open for others that are sharing pages about DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder. 
I found a reference to this web page on the CPTSD group on Facebook.

Looks like the web page started last March. 

I appreciate her sharing her perspective on the challenges and myths surrounding DID formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. 

I jokingly call it, "Being run by a committee that hate each other." 

A few of the myths debunked are:

Is it real?  Yes.  I lived it but I also read 'experts' that declared they hadn't seen it therefore it doesn't exist.  I lived it and I dare them to live a week inside my head before I integrated.  I also believe it is possible to integrate.  I did it.  It is possible. 

Movies and TV shows spread so much misinformation then people point to this fiction stories as truth.  Frustrating part there is some truth in the stories but the whole truth is sacrificed for sensationalism.  Plus every system of personalities is set up differently according to their needs. 

DID is not schizophrenia.  DID is created to survive trauma often when a child is too young to have other coping skills but not always.  Medication rarely helps someone with DID.  Schizophrenia is a chemical imbalance in the brain and medication often helps.  After that the differences and similarities get very confusing because hearing the other personalities can feel like hallucinations before learning that there are others operating in the same body.  I understand why they are confused but they are actually two very different situations.

The author tried to nail down the symptoms for DID but missed one that I experienced, loss of time.   I would go to sleep on Monday, wake up on Wednesday and wonder what happened to Tuesday.  However, the other information shared is a fairly accurate description of how a person functions with DID.  I lived for 35 years not knowing that I worked as a team.  Some days, I miss that team work.  My friend found at much earlier in her life but she thought the others were family members other than herself.  Finding out that I was we was a big life changer for me.  I changed ever further one I decided to integrate the five back to one. 

The article goes on to share about a famous person that has DID.  Like most famous people, I didn't know who the person is. 

Fragmented Mind

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Mending with Gold in the broken places.

In many cultures people are encouraged to hide their broken pieces.  Put on a smooth and calm front and don't let anyone know you are suffering.  Wow does this ever cause a LOT of mental health issues.  It is a horrible way to live.  People feel disconnected, unloved, and isolated when they are hiding from the inspection of judgemental others.  I think one of the reasons I am so fascinated by Kintsugi is it takes broken pieces, binds them with gold and highlights their existence.  I was working on a Photo project with film photography called Imperfect beauty.  I wanted to show how flaws and imperfections are the parts that are beautiful not that things are beautiful in spite of their imperfections.  Too often to feel beautiful, lovable, and accepted people hide their 'bad' flaws, actually with good reason too.  When I first started telling people that I was a multiple personality I was either treated like a weird curiosity or with the same horror as a vampire.  After I intergrated, people that were multiples stopped accepting me because I 'left' their ranks.  I guess the thing I feel I did was have faith in Christ using gold to heal me in my broken places.  I am whole through my faith.  I worked on to put as much together as I could figure out.  The final healing I don't understand how it happened.  My faith in Christ tells me He finished what I could not complete myself.  He mended me with gold. 

I know that some people don't believe in Christ.  I know some people look to God differently than I do.  That does not change my journey but also does not lessen their journey.  We each find our own ways to heal in broken places. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Why Don't We Open UP?

Simple answer to this one, we had very bad experiences underlining why we should not.

Scary Mommy

Scary Mommy makes a point that we are all struggling with similar type fear and insecurities so why don't we just share.  I noticed that the people she mentions are trusted others.  Too often people assume that each person can trust the same people in their lives as they do.  I remember a friend gushing that she just wished her mother was there so they could share that precious moment.  I looked at her kind of blankly because that wish never entered my head.  However, I relate very well to the squirrel cage image of thoughts racing through my head and round and round they go.

I think this is why I enjoy nattering with my sister so much, we can spout off any thing that comes in our head and the other person will listen or if we are way off the mark help each other consider other possibilities.  We are kind to each other.  Open to your twists, turns and frustrations.  Sometimes we just listen so the other person can get their thoughts of our head.  We treat each other with respect so in that atmosphere of shared camaraderie we can share.  I believe that this type of sharing is health and blesses both our lives.  This however does not work for everyone.

I know other people that if I actually told them the tip of the iceberg of the off-the-wall thoughts or strange imaginings racing through my mind they would call a crisis team to come and lock me up.  Racing thought, hyper-vigilance, and anxiety leave me tired.  I don't know if I have ever felted rested.  

Friday, July 14, 2017

Creating Fun

This is a no fun Summer.  Usually in the Summer time I plan one or two trips to visit family out of state.  Not this year.  This year I broke a tooth and got a crown for that one and while I was making myself miserable I had the other crown done that needed to be done for the last 3 years.  I took a Summer school class, worked on my blogs, and Lumosity.  (Lumosity is an online Brain training I signed up to do.  I feel it was worth the cost to get going and working on keeping my brain more flexible it is thinking. I also took on a massive task of cleaning my room that I avoided for 15 years.  I kept promising I would work on it but I never got it done.  This Summer is not fun.  So I decided to put some fun in my Summer.  I bought puzzles, called my sister and friends and added fun to my Summer.  I realized many of the things I do for fun, I do alone, puzzles, drawing, photography, painting, and playing computer games.  I realized that I learned to rely on myself and not wait for others to entertain me. 

I visited with my sister, Judy.  She told me about her friend that wanted her to go out and do things.  We talked about how many times other people expect others to provide fun and entertainment.  Doing things on my own is viewed as antisocial by some people.  I think one of the important things that happened in my research about personalities was learning about the difference between extroverts and introverts.  One of the important things I learned was I am an introvert.  I get recharged and rested from doing things alone.  I enjoy other peoples company but to recharge I need alone time. 

I realized that this summer I am having fun and relaxation by my definition.  I am physically feeling healthier.  I accomplished some big projects and I am looking forward to heading back to work in a few weeks. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Thoughts about Therapist

I debated about whether or not I should post a PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress disorder, article here.  I put most of my PTSD stuff on my other page since it was dominating when this page which is more about my personal journey to healing.  I decided to post it here because my therapist used many of these skills and methods with me.  If someone asked me about what type of therapist would help someone with extreme dissociation or multiple personalities than this would fit.  My actual diagnosis was PTSD with dissociation at an extreme level.  My counselor wanted me to sense and feel that on a continuum I wasn't stuck in any one place.  This journey is about me integrating 5 personalities to one.  As a child I didn't know how to cope with all that happened, I hid from myself and tag teamed my way through childhood.  The method became ineffective with a family of my own.  It was taking all my energy to maintain my separateness when there were no clear cut separations in my life after I left school. My therapist was a marriage counselor with extensive experience with PTSD.  At the time of my therapy CPTSD, Complex PTSD, was not an accepted diagnosis. 

If you are a person that wanted to know what kind of relationship is needed with a counselor this is an article worth reading.  It is a tough read both the vocabulary and content.  It is written by Pete Walker who wrote several books on healing from PTSD both from his own experience in healing and becoming a therapist himself.  He has been there and done that type attitude.  I feel like I have a fairly extensive vocabulary but there were several words I looked up because the words were either new to me or used in a way that was unfamiliar.  I believe it is worth the effort and highly recommend taking a copy to a counseling session and talk it over.  I remember having several sessions of counseling that were about what kind of counseling I was getting.  My counselor did not adhere to just one method so I signed a paper every year that stated I was aware that my counselor was taking me on a personal journey that didn't fit in the narrow view of what counseling should be for PTSD.  He custom fitted each session to me.  How do I know this?  My sister and friend had the same counselor and we compared notes.  He treated each one of us according to our need and personality.  He was an extraordinary counselor.  Sad day for me when he moved to another state. 

Relational Healing in Complex PTSD
East Bay Therapist, Sept 2008 By Pete Walker
This is his personal page with links to buying his books.  
I have his book and it is on my to-be-read stack.  I planned to do more reading this summer but instead spent it doing one huge task that I procrastinated for years.   

Making a nest among the thorns best describes living with PTSD. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Counseling was my farewell party

I follow several blogs that encourage me, strengthen me and remind me what really is most important.  This morning I read Jennifer Rothchild Bye Bye Ideal me, Hello Real me.

She delightfully reminded me that my ideal images of what I should be keeps me from being my real me.  I need real to remind myself I am a living, caring, changing, moody human.  Too often I was told that emotions were bad, that I should squish them.  So messed up, emotions are for the living and living real.  However, I don't need to believe every emotion that I feel.  My counselor helped me learn that some emotions are mask for other emotions.  Unmasking my emotions, peaking behind anger, moving past false faces, bring me to real emotions that are messy and add all the color to my World. 

I learned to sit with my emotions, hear them out, let them have their say.  I learned that anger was a protecting shield for fear, hurt and frustration.  When I address the fear, hurt and frustration my anger evaporates into the mist of time.  But anger helped flag me down to pay attention to my inner voice that needs me to listen to myself.  If I am angry because someone was rude to me, look past the anger to the hurt that they over stepped a reasonable boundary.  Not OK to step on my boundaries.  Think through and consider what are my options and what can I do to reaffirm I am worth protecting and caring for.  It is my job to be real and care for me.  Really. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Independence Day

Every abuse survivor eventually declares their Independence.  They reach the point of "NO MORE!"  The founding Fathers of the United States were tired of neglect, abuse of power and taxation without representation by England.  They viewed England as their abusers.  We now celebrate with Fireworks, picnics, and family/friend gatherings.  For those that find fireworks triggering I shared information on Fireworks Survival on my PTSD web page:

Independence day is important to celebrate. It is also a time to reflect what that means to me.  I wrote my own bill of rights with the assistance of my counselor. 
Working on my Bill of rights was an eye opening experience.  I hadn't realized how completely my rights as a person were violated growing up.  I also realized I wasn't doing too great with my own children.  Controlling others is almost a given as a parent.  If our children act unruly a common statement made to the parent, "Why can't you control your child?"  I realized that their is a certain amount of telling children what to do.  What is important that as they get older they have more and more control over their lives.  Children need opportunities to make choices, make mistakes, disobey and have consequences.  I am very big on natural consequences. 

I'm not raising my children any more.  They all grew up and moved out and now they have their own lives.  My responsibility is for me to be independent and live with my spouse in an interdependent relationship.  My counselor spent many sessions explaining the difference between an codependent and and interdependent relationship. 

Thanks to Webster University for doing a chart that shows the difference.

Happy July 4th