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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Friday
Mar182016

The Deconstruction of Beauty

While searching in my bedroom closet the other day for a long misplaced book, I realized with sudden clarity that I've been living out of boxes for decades.

As I went through box after box, I thought how I couldn't do this anymore, couldn't spend hours lifting and sorting through boxes, not even knowing if I'd find what I was looking for. My old bones protest too much. And that's when it hit me for the first time that I've been doing this since I was about 16.

How does one develop such an odd habit? I suspect it comes from a deep insecurity, the insecurity of never knowing where you belong or, if you belong anywhere at all. This insecurity most likely also accounts for why I've moved over the years more than anyone I know. Maybe it made a certain kind of sense to keep everything I don't use on a daily basis boxed up: who knew when I'd be on the move again?

I want to be angry or indignant on my behalf, I mean that things happened to me to turn me into such a stumble bum. But I find that I just can't; the most emotion I can conjure up is a sense of tenderness for all the awkward stages of my becoming who I'm meant to be that have led me here, to a closet full of boxed up life.

This is another benefit to my mother's recent death. I feel more kindly towards the both of us, and it goes so deep I can't begin to understand a bit of it. When I would have a thought that normally results in anger towards her, I think, "Yeah, but she had such a horrible childhood." When I want to silently mock myself for not being perfect, I realize, "No one's perfect."

Those boxes stacked in my closet symbolize so much for me. They symbolize my life all shut up and compartmentalized. They symbolize my inability to put down roots in any one place because I've been too busy trying to outrun my childhood, and the shame of a mother who couldn't love me.

Most of all, they symbolize the depth of my stepfather's brainwashing, the constant mocking and disparagement that told me I didn't deserve to take up space or live a healthy life like others.

These boxes don't have to continue giving off these tired, worn-out messages. I can see them rather as one more challenge to be overcome. I've overcome so much in the 9 years I've been blogging that it makes my thoughts spin trying to keep some kind of tally. I can do this; I can let go of what I've outgrown because it's not healthy living like this, and I deserve a healthy life.

These boxes are mini-storage units (or let me be honest here, mini-prisons) I've willingly confined myself to as I've continued the deconstructing work on my soul that my abuser began back when I was a redheaded stepchild.

How silly they seem to me now, these bland brown boxes whose contents are not so much filled with treaures I can't bear to part with, but the no longer needed relics of my own destruction. I don't need these keepsakes to remind me of that House of Incest.

Isn't it fitting that I've kept them hidden away in closed up boxes, where no air gets in and no one can see from the outside what they contain?

My life feels as if it's in need of a good airing out. I sense a good old spring cleaning on the horizon!

 

 

 

 

Saturday
Feb062016

Memorial Day

Over the years I've posted about the pain of being alone while the rest of my family was at my sister's, enjoying a holiday visit with my mother, who was in town.

Today, as 3 of my sons left together to attend my mother's memorial service, I remembered. Remembered the shame of being the odd man out. Because that's what I was, right? Even if it might be said I did it to myself by not choosing reconciliation, still, it hurt to be the one left behind. Left behind, left out, left.

Yesterday, my brother, who has discussed our childhood with me endless times, shamed me for my decision to not attend the service. I was astounded that he even thought I'd consider going. He told me he was disappointed, and he didn't need to say it for me to know what he meant was, "I'm disappointed . . . in you."

I held my tongue. More than anything I held my tongue because I had gotten no sleep the night before, and was punch drunk. But as we ended the call, anger burned hot. What I would normally experience as hurt had turned into something else. I knew in that moment that, had I not been nearly woozy from lack of sleep, I would have told him exactly what I felt. My mom not even in the ground yet, and already I experienced this newfound sense of freedom to say exactly what I mean.

Oh, the tippy-toeing around I've done over the years! The decades I've spent protecting her!

When I consider that she is no longer living (an odd thought, to be sure), I realize the stupidity of having allowed myself to be under her thumb for so long. Even years after our estrangement, I felt under her thumb. I carried with me everywhere I went her condemning presence, her annoyance with me which was expressed by the lifting of her brows or the shuttering of her eyelids. The barely audible sigh or gasp to let me know I'd done something she thought stupid. And now she is nowhere, capable of nothing. Whatever her power or spell over me seems to have dissapated the moment I heard of her death.

Yes, I've been too nice all along, afraid to hurt the feelings of the woman who consorted with a monster in my destruction. What a waste of years, of time and energy. But could I have done it differently? No, I don't think so. Because of who I am this is how I needed to do things. This servitude to her opinion of me has brought me all the comfort of a hair shirt, but it was the only way I knew to live my life.

I never thought that the death of my mother would be a rebirth for me! I never expected it, but here it is: a gift I didn't even know I wanted. I've rattled the chains shackling me from time to time, but there was no passion behind the action because I never truly thought I would be free.

This is a memorial day I'd do well to never forget. On this day every year I hope I'll pause to remember the delicious sense of freedom that became mine today. It grieves me that my mother had to die before this could happen...but I'm not indulging in false guilt over it. One thing I'm noticing more every day is that since her death, I feel more kindly towards my mother. What I couldn't do while she still lived I may yet accomplish. I may be able to forgive.

 

 

 

Thursday
Feb042016

The End of Surface Things

This morning I awoke to the news, posted on Facebook, that my mother had died.

I suppose I'm too raw to be writing this, but here I go. Earlier when the tears I've begrudged myself since childhood burst forth, the thought occured to me that, of all my siblings, my grief is doubled. I must grieve the loss of someone who gave me life, and then grieve for the love she never gave me.

For all the decades since my early childhood, our family has survived on lies and distortions, on public nicities and filthy things swept under the carpet. For the first time since my 7th year I stand here, emotionally raw, and not caring who knows. No more surface niciites, is what I tell myself. Let the truth explode and fall where it may.

I know there are those who will assume I have no feelings about my mother's death because we were estranged for over 10 years. If anything, that estrangement makes the fact of her death nearly unbearable. No chance of resolution now. No more questions and half-truth answers. I'm set free by her death, yes, in some ways. In more ways than I'm sure I'm able to realize just now I am never to experience full freedom from the bondage of being the unloved daughter. How could I be? It's a testament to the primal need in all of us to bond with the one who gives us life that, in not having that bond, we suffer beyond human expression. 

I'm not taking phone calls nor answering texts. I can't. If I speak of this, the death of my mother, I will not be able to keep myself together enough to get through the next minute. Even as I pull away, avoiding those who mean well, I think how stupid it is that I feel I must tend to my wounds alone, like an animal in the forest. But it's how I've gotten through my life, and too late to begin learning new ways now. Or too soon.

I would not have wanted my mother's death in exchange for my freedom. No part of me wished for her to die from the excruciating pain of colon cancer. Earlier I went on FB and posted a photo of me, when I was about 2, with my mother. I wrote her name and her date of birth and date of death, and then: RIP.

I felt I could do that much to honor her: acknowledge publicly her death.

Behind and next to and inside of everything I think is the whispered question, But why couldn't she love me?

 


 

 

Monday
Jan182016

Full Disclosure

I hadn't meant to ever post here again. For nearly 10 years I've blogged about my Dissociative Identity Disorder and, for the most part, enjoyed doing so. Or if not exactly enjoyed it, I got something out of it. This blog was my heart and soul, a sort of journal depicting my journey back through and then, hopefully, back out of my haunted childhood.

I'm done with it, is what I thought. Done with trying to make sense of senseless evil. Done with lamenting what happened to me, and what I never had or experienced because of years of sexual violence. No one (especially me) cares to hear it anymore, I decided. Enough, already.

In an unexpected roundabout way, I found myself on my blog just now. There was something I needed to check on and while doing so I noticed a comment awaiting my moderation. So of course I had to read it, being curious and all. So I read it, and responded, and then realized that I do need to say a bit more. I don't want to start blogging again with any regularity; I've moved on and, besides, I've got other websites going that need my attention. But the thing is, my mother moved to town about half a year ago. She lives just 10 minutes away with Sissyface. And, as a matter of fact, my mother is dying.

Just now I watched again the short video Inside which shows what it's like inside the mind of DID. I watched it because I needed to. I needed to remind myself that this is what goes on in my brain, in spite of my refusing to think about all the clashing personalities residing there. I'm too good at denial, expert at hiding and burying things, like a dog burying a bone. Just like a dog's ratty old gnawed on bone, this won't stay buried; I'm digging it up because, well, my mother's dying. (There is some kind of a joke or symbolism here, speaking of bones. How often my mother used to dig her fingernail into my shoulder while crying, "I've got a bone to pick with you!")

I don't know what to do with this fact. I don't know how to feel. I'm angry much of the time at the thought of her wasting away from colon cancer. I'm not sure of the source of that anger, but probably it has to do with her slipping out of this world without having ever held herself accountable for anything.

I'm angry too that there are no death bed confessions of guilt. At least my stepdad did that much, called me up weeping and begging forgiveness. It's not even that I want my mother to ask my forgiveness, but if she doesn't then it confirms everything I've believed for so long: that she's not sorry one bit.

Maybe there is a part of me relishing in the knowledge of her physical sufferings, but if so I'm not aware of it. I don't take pleasure in the sufferings of others, regardless. I just don't. I can't. I know too well the familiar texture and weight of suffering and what it can do to the soul. So I don't enjoy my mother's process of dying. I simply wish that for once, just once in her life she could make full disclosure.

I know to wish this is foolish, childish even. Why didn't you love me? is really the basis for everything. I don't need to ask why she didn't protect me, not if she could tell me why she didn't love me. That would answer a whole lot of other questions. But she is taking everything I need to know with her to the grave, stingily holding them tightly to her chest like a seasoned poker player.

And then it's not even just about that. There's the keening sorrow that I never had a mother in any true sense of the word. I'm only beginning to get that beyond a surface level. I'm only beginning to realize the horror of being born to a woman who never mothered me. The things I've missed out on! The deep bond we never had because, because why? She couldn't love me? Wouldn't love me?

What do you do when the mother who never loved you is dying? This is it, is what I tell myself. The only shot you get, your only mother. But, comes my exasperated response, but she was never a mother. How much is that my fault?

The thing to do is keep on living my routine life. That's all I can do. When thoughts of my mother dying trouble me from time to time I will have to distract myself, for now is not the time to grieve her death.

I haven't even begun grieving her life . . .

 

 

Monday
Apr272015

Moving Forward (With or Without You)

I'm learning, finally, to separate my issues from those that don't belong to me. What is to be done with accusations from someone you care about, and called friend? Normally I would soak up the negative attitude towards me, and the accusations, as if they had to be true because someone else was saying them. It's as if I've not allowed myself to ever stand up for myself against lies told against me, because I automatically assumed that if I were being accused of something, I must be guilty.

I know plenty about guilt, especially false guilt. The stepfather was an expert at dumping guilt on others. I suppose that was his way of steering clear of dealing with his own issues and yes, his own very real guilt.

When someone, over the course of years, develops the habit of emotionally and verbally beating you up, at some point you need to take stock and decide if you are willing to have this person continue to abuse you. Is it worth it, just to keep the friendship going? And is it truly a friendship by any definition of the word if you are always the one who is wrong, and they are always right?

I didn't realize, until my friend very abruptly ended our friendship, that having her back in my life, after a few years of estrangement, had been burdensome to me. One of the first things she did upon reentering my life was to friend me on FB, and then about a week later to suggest we no longer be FB friends because I'd posted something she didn't agree with.

I didn't know that friends had to agree about everything. It was easier to unfriend her, if that's what made her happy, than to argue about it. But too often I've had to be the one to take a few steps back, and change who I am in order to measure up to some invisible standard she seems to have for friendship.

It's a revelation to me that you can care about someone, but still let go. You can wish them well, and not bear any ill will towards them, but still be okay with them bowing out of your world.

I've only had a couple of friends in my entire lifetime who made me feel inferior by the way in which they treated me. I'm getting too old to deal with having to defend myself every time I turn around, and I suspect friendship isn't meant to be that way. That's too much like how my stepdad was, and also a number of men I've been involved with in the past.

I'm figuring this life out as I go, just as I imagine everyone else is doing. I feel that I've learned a lot from everyone I've ever been close to, and for that reason I can't regret having known any of them. But oh the freedom of giving myself permission to not persue someone who no longer esteems me--if they ever did.

I'm stronger than I used to be. I can continue on this path I'm on with or without those I once called friends. And I can continue loving those who, for whatever reason, have chosen to move forward without me.