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. 

 

Check out this article about the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomena, including a list of organizations which strongly oppose this sick trend, and have implemented various means of helping women who have been sexually victimized.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday
Feb282015

Full Measure

I didn't give much thought to accepting the set of metal measuring cups Sissyface was getting rid of as she sorted through kitchen items, preparatory to moving.

Days later something nagged at me, and finally I texted her, "Are these the original measuring cups from Brightwood Street?"

"Yes!" she texted back, stirring within me a tornado of emotions.

When the stepfather napped, we were all to be quiet. Tip toeing around became second nature to me, and a bane to my existence.

The measuring cups were kept hanging from a metal rack inside a cabinet door. Whenever I opened that door to put things away after our evening meal, I had to be sure to open it slowly and cover the cups with one hand so they wouldn't bang against the wood and awaken the fury of my stepfather.

If he was away on a trucking trip and my mother was in the garage beating Doreen to near unconsciousness, I welcomed the noise of those measuring cups clanging against the cupboard door, and would sometimes open and shut the door harder than necessary in an attempt to drown out my step-sister's whimpering.

I'm not sure why I do this, why I accept things from my childhood which I know can only hurt me beyond words. I think this is a way to test myself. Can I see and touch these cups without flinching? What about the reels and reels of home movies I might also inherit? Can I see them in their metal canisters and not think of what they contain of my childhood? Will I be a stronger person for not wincing with shame and anger? Will I win this strange silent battle with my mother if none of this makes me cry? Oh! Am I so much like Doreen, then, with this not wanting my mother to succeed in reducing me to a weeping, blubbering mess?

I thought of how my mother's contempt for Doreen was so apparent, not only in the severity of the beatings but also in her general at-arm's-length attitude toward her. I thought, well I didn't fare so much better myself, but atleast my mother didn't show contempt for me. And then it hit me: what was her refusal to do anything about seeing her hubby molesting me if not absolute contempt for me and my welfare?

Yes, I have the measuring cups here within easy reach. It would be taking it too far to hang them inside a cupboard, so I won't be doing that. After all I'm not attempting to replicate my childhood, simply to understand it as best I can. What I want to do, what I hope to accomplish eventually is to take full measure of my character with as much honesty as I can muster.

Have I clung with tenacity to my childhood dreams which made it possible to survive the unthinkable?

Have I exceeded my mother's set of priorities, choosing a life focused on the heart of things rather than on outward appearances and financial security?

These are questions I love to mull over. They are much more answerable than the other kinds of questions I can't help but ask myself such as, Why doesn't my mother love me?

I will take stock of myself, and where I see that I fall short of measuring up to the person I choose to be I will make an effort to change. I will own those parts of me I'm not too fond of, and allow myself room to grow and experience and change.

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday
Feb072015

What I've Been Up To

Sometimes, upon revisiting my blog after an absence, I am captured anew by how very much I like it, and I nearly gasp my pleasure.

Oh, it's not that it's award worthy, or anything all that special . . .  except to me. Nearly 10 years of blogging! When I berate myself for being so behind in all my writing projects, I've only to visit my blog and think of how many words have been written over the years, and my spirit is calmed.

For nearly 10 years I've been writing my truth. That's not nothing. That's something. Whether or not I'm read very much isn't an issue. Once upon a time I checked my stats every single day, and panicked if they plunged, but no more. I'm secure enough now in the pure simplicity of writing truth that it hardly matters how many read me. Of course I want my words to woo others out of darkness into light, but before anything else my words need to help me. If they don't make it possible for me to advance just a bit away from that house of horrors on Brightwood Street, well then I question just how honest I'm really being after all.

I love my blog, warts and all. I'll never get it to look exactly as I picture it, but no matter. It's mine, it's writing my abuser never saw and--especially due to the fact that he's dead--can never snatch away from me, as he used to do with my pencil tablet.

All mine. Delicious sounding words!

I created this, I made something out of the darkness into which my abuser plunged me back in that tiresome era of my childhood. Sometimes I'm still back there, parts of me groaning and crying and despairing. For several days now I've flashed on my stepsister, Doreen, and the sound of her beatings coming to me from the garage as I stood at the kitchen sink, stricken with horror and fear, washing dishes in scalding water. Doreen, whimpering in the garage, is what comes to me, unbidden, and a little shiver runs up my spine.

Doreen didn't get to live long enough to delve into her pain and live beyond the wreck of childhood. She didn't get to live long enough to be diagnosed with DID, or even long enough to be reunited with the 2 children taken away from her.

I write this blog for me: that's one truth. I write it, at times, with Doreen breathing over my shoulder, as pesky as she was in reality, always wanting to tag after me. I'm not as stuck in the past as I used to be, not after all these years of doggedly keeping this blog. I see what I've been up to here; I've been writing my stepdad out of my soul, and my mother too. I'm writing myself out of that house of incest, and I've been preparing to take Doreen with me now, as I couldn't then when leaving home at the age of 15.

"Let her go with you," my mother used to say when Doreen would trail after me as I prepared to go to Bec's, or walk to the store to spend my allowance. "It won't kill you to take her with you."

There is something, at last, my mother was absolutely right about.

I resented Doreen's dogged presence then, but now I consider it a blessing to my soul to pluck her memory from the obscurity of being the one not loved, and lead her into that place in which most days I reside, trailblazed by the writing of this blog: a rugged, wide and wild place called Redemption.


Thursday
Jan222015

Things That Pleased Me Recently

Getting over the worst of a Chronic Fatigue flare-up . . . the vintage metal drinking glasses which were a gift from Sissyface . . . a friend gifting me with new car tires . . . snagging one of Maddy's drawings to send to an artist friend . . . experiencing shock at the realization one of my sons is about to turn 40, which will mean I have 3 sons 40 or over (gulp!), then laughing with delight at my own shock . . . finishing a shrug for Miss Maddy . . . a Christmas visit from Izzy who still lives in Texas, and is now 12 (she chided me for my "dirty" bedroom and said, "You always have a dirty room," to which I responded with much indignation, "It's not dirty, it's messy. Messy! That's not the same as dirty!")

Saturday
Dec132014

Can't Buy Me Love

Money is so difficult for me to write about. Everyone needs it, just like food and water. In fact in order to have food and water to live, one must have money.

I've explored this subject off and on during my years of blogging, always tracing my discomfort with money issues back to my childhood. This is right, I believe. Just about anything that distresses me can be traced back to that era. But have I truly gotten to the bottom of why money is so emotionally hard for me to deal with?

It's that time of the year again when gifts are exchanged, regardless of one's financial status. I love giving gifts. I used to love Christmas, but, again, I find it has become a burden.

Is it because I'm on a fixed income that Christmas has become such a chore? I've assumed so; certainly having to scrape by doesn't do much for the Christmas spirit.

But is that all  there is to this?

I want to think this through carefully, methodically even, and once and for all pinpoint the heart of my trouble. I'm fed up with having this hanging over me all the time. I hate money; I've assumed I hate it because I never have enough of it, but I wonder. There have been times when I've come into a small windfall, and I didn't enjoy spending it any more than I enjoy spending what I scrape together each month for bills and food.

What is it about money that I identify with in such a basic, and negative way?

My father was poor his entire life. Does that have anything to do with it? My father always scraped by. He never had money in a savings account to fall back on. He scrimped just like I do, barely making ends meet.

My father, during the first 7 years of my existence, was my entire world. Did my sensitive spirit so identify with him that I need, in some twisted fashion, to be wedded to poverty as a means of staying connected to him? Do I think in some dark, narrow hallway of my mind that if I ever became financially stable it would be tantamount to being disloyal to him?

For me money evokes sadness, anxiety, fear, anger and depression. Whether I have it or not, this is what it evokes in me. My first emotion upon touching money is deep sadness. It makes me want to weep. It panics me.

My mother sold me to her hubby for financial security. Of course that's a huge part of this. I used to think it was all of it. I'm not certain of anything now. I doubt it's going to turn out to be that uncomplicated. I think it's that, and a whole bunch of stuff about my dad all squished together.

I hate that I hate money. In a world where one needs it to survive, it's an inconvenience to hate it. Having to deal with this on an ongoing business is one more source of stress that zaps my little bit of energy.

The other day as I was thinking of getting my memoir published, I realized that my initial feelings of euphoria about being the author of a published book would be nearly instantly replaced with feelings of absolute devastation. It will make me feel like I want to die. Because I sold out, because I capitalized on my sufferings? Maybe. Probably.

The Beatles had it right when they sang, "Can't buy me love . . ." I don't trust the cold, hard nature of money. I don't trust what some people are willing to do for it, what they're willing to sacrifice, even sometimes the well-being of their own children.

I wrote all of the above before Christmas and just now discovered this post. I'm not sure what conclusion, if any, it might have led to. I have nothing to add to it; I'm not agonizing over money at the moment but I will. It's what I always do.

 

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.