Getting Down to Basics
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This area is reserved for the tidbits I know hope will be of interest to my readers. Check back often for regular updates. 

 

It's been a long time coming---7 years to be exact---but finally email notifications for new BD posts is available. Sign up today and never again miss another scintillating, moving post. You know you want to!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kate Is Rising has an excellent Survivors Resources page which directs you to numerous websites dealing with issues of abuse, healing and recovery. Please bear in mind that the information on these pages may be triggering.

 

 

There's lots of good stuff at the Dissociation Blog Showcase, including a list of 180 blogs dealing with some aspect of this disorder. 

 

 

On the Overcoming Sexual Abuse site there's an article entitled, "It's Not About You Mom" which I could have written myself. I bet many of my readers could say the same!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Dec102014

I'm Getting There

A brisk wind is blowing; soon I'll have to go out in it to pick up my granddaughters from school. How delicious to play this role in their lives, yes even when it wears me out. I'm for some reason noticing many things to be grateful for, all around me.

I have to laugh at the last line of my previous post: Please, may I never have to sew again! I laugh because I spent 5 hours yesterday making my youngest granddaughter a rag quilt. Funny how you can vow to never do something again, but when it's for someone you love that vow goes right out the window. And so I'm grateful for the gift I know this flannel quilt will be to her.

Here's something else worthy of my gratitude. Right in the middle of working on 2 big Christmas projects, I realized there is no way I could finish both, or even one of them, by Christmas. Normally this would throw me into a tailspin that would have me obsessing and stressed for days. Am I simply getting too old to allow such things to affect me? Or maybe I'm finally, finally learning that there really is no sense in stressing over what I can't control. Whatever the reason, I'm beyond thankful to recognize the need to give myself permission to change plans, and to be able to actually give myself that permission. I contacted both individuals who knew what I was making them (a necessity, since I had to consult them about colors, etc.) and neither of them care if they have to wait a few more weeks. One of them even expressed relief because what she's making me isn't even half done!

It's the little things like this (if one can accurately refer to them as 'little') that gives me a sense of hope. Hope that I'm heading in the right direction. And even if I dawdle along the way, or take shortcuts that turn out to be dead-ends, I'm getting somewhere nonetheless. I'm not cracking a whip over my head as I've done all my life, but neither am I frozen in place, afraid to make the least decision lest it turn out to be the wrong one.

I've done both for far too long: drove myself furiously, or refused to move forward. When I see that I'm progressing even in a small area of life, it warms me. It makes me grateful. All is not gloom and doom, though there will always be plenty of that in this old world. This isn't a denial of the very real tribulations we all must face in life, this is an acknowledgement that --despite the tribulations-- there are also good things to experience.

I persevered in making the quilt because I wanted my granddaughter to have one like her sisters'. Not out of a sense of "I have to" but out of a sense of desire. I knew it would challenge me, as all sewing does, but I chose to forge ahead.

Life has been steadily teaching me, though I've been a slow and dull learner, that the sky really won't fall if I can't finish a project on time, or if this, that or the other happens. Not everything is a catastrophe; when something truly is, I bet I'll manage to get through it because of all the experience I've had getting through so many of them.

I didn't mean to write this as a gratitude post, but see what I mean? What I intended to do got lost in what I really needed to express, and it turned out just fine.

I am looking forward to the day I no longer have to walk through life with not just my fists, but my entire body clenched. I'm getting there, I swear.

 

 

 

Thursday
Dec042014

Sew Sew

My day has been so-so, or rather, sew-sew.

Up until several years ago I spent a lot of time sewing softies. I derived a certain degree of pleasure (usually) out of creating a one-of-a-kind doll out of whatever odds and ends I had lying around. It was a challenge to make something up as I went along, and except for technical difficulties with my sewing machine, I mostly enjoyed the process.

Not so much any more.

I'd promised these softies to a cousin's grandkids for Christmas, and whatever flaws I may have not following through on a promise is not one of them. Even though I've bitten off a bit more than I can chew in regards to making Christmas gifts, I was determined to get these done in time to pack them up and send them on their way.

What you see in the photos is the not unpleasant final result. What you don't see is that each of the little friendly monsters took about half of a day to create. One false start after another had me longing to scrap the whole project and make some excuse to my cousin....but, I couldn't. I wasn't a Girl Scout for nothing!

Oh I know that old saying: all's well that ends well. And in this case I can say that's true. Whew, what a mess I made of things. I believe I went through about 3 different versions of each little monster before I came up with something that pleased me.

So that's done. And please, may I never have to sew again: amen!

Saturday
Nov292014

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Sunday
Nov232014

The Girl I Used to Be

When something stirs up my memory, reminding me of that period of time just before I began having kids, most of what I recall is depressing. The truth is, I've rather blurry memories of those times, and it's just as well. I was young (16), living across the country from my family with no friends, and the person I chose to begin a family with hurt me in nearly every conceivable way.

Sometimes it doesn't seem possible I even existed back then. Possibly I didn't for the memories are so ethereal at best. I get a sense of loneliness, for instance but not what I may have done to try to staunch it, or I remember the color of one room of our apartment, but not whether we had curtains at the windows, or matching living room furniture, or even if I bothered hanging things on the walls. I couldn't imagine now living without my familiar things, but I draw a blank when attempting to bring back a sense of what things I chose to have around me then. I know I was in the dark about my DID, but even so I must have felt the need for something to ground me. What could it have been, though? Was I merely a shell, existing without feelings about much of anything?

The odd thing about not remembering my environment is that I've always had near total recall of places I've lived. The smallest details have stuck with me, but not from this particular season of time, which lasted about 6 years.

My niece recently posted this photo of me on FB. That's my future hubby's hand on my shoulder; he's been cut out of the photo. I can't imagine that anyone but I would have done that. I must have cut him out and then sent her mother the picture.

I haven't seen this photo since it was first developed. What a shock to see me as I looked then! What I do remember is having no fixed opinions about anything, or if I did they were tucked out of sight where they wouldn't offend. I didn't rock boats, I didn't insist I be treated with respect. As bad as this sounds I felt like a thing. I took up space in the world, that couldn't be helped. I moved and breathed and quietly did whatever I had to do so that my movements wouldn't be offensive. I didn't believe I had any right to assert myself in any manner, and so I didn't.

Well, what struck me first about this photo (aside from the fact that it was taken so long ago that I didn't have any kids yet) is the fact of how happy I look. I know I wasn't. But look at me, standing there smiling, posing with my future hubby in his brother and sister-inlaw's kitchen where so often I babysat for them because they needed someone, but couldn't afford to pay anyone.

This is where we used to hang out even when I wasn't babysitting, the home we visited where fried potatoes were made often, evoking deep longings within. I'm not sure what those frying taters symbolized for me, but they sure made me emotional. Those are just about the only emotions I remember from that era, emotions of a keen homesickness, of longings to belong somewhere and feeling that I never would. The desire for a family of my own, and the love and protection of a man who would make up to me for every bit of pain life had so far dealt me.

The girl in the photo: what a long, hard journey she's had of it! How strange to think that she couldn't have known what lay ahead: for example, that she would give birth to 5 sons, and go through many marriages before she figured out she couldn't handle being with a man. And multiple personalities? Most days she wasn't sure she had even one! She sure couldn't have looked ahead into the future and seen the beautiful grandkids she'd end up with, or see that she would eventually adjust so well to not having a man in her life that she actually preferred being single.

I don't know who she is. She is me, but she's not. She's the one who interacted with the outside world, at least for a time. I don't know if she's still me, or if she in time was replaced with another. I just don't know. But I like her. I like her, and I feel for her for having experienced  that well of loneliness, that sense of being hollow and not having even one thing worth sharing with another human being.

I just like her.

 

Saturday
Nov152014

Things That Pleased Me Recently

Receiving in the mail the tags I'd ordered to attach to the handmade knits I'll be giving out for Christmas . . . one of my sons unexpectedly kissing the top of my head . . . being gifted with a big bag of books, and actually reading one all the way through in two days . . . commenting to my young granddaughters that we found some great deals at the store, and one of them saying with a loud laugh, "Well, we're not farmers!" . . . realizing, oh, realizing I did experience anger as a child . . . investing in a new pair of knitting needles . . . one of my granddaughters saying happily, "I'm in love with nature."