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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.

 

Were you raised by a narcissist? Chances are you were if you suffered any form of childhood abuse. The Little Red Survivor website is filled with excellent articles examining the many faces of narcissism.

 

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 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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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.

 

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Reader Comments (7)

Your last line was most impressive and very important, I just like her. I hope she reads it, or heard it, because she needs to know that somebody likes her. Based on looks alone I like her, she has a pleasant and friendly smile, she has a warmth about her that undoubtedly masks some very cold and hard facts, but still, first impressions are so very real and my first impression of her is the same as yours, I like her. I pray she can like herself.

jm

November 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJM

These words jumped right off the page for me.

I moved and breathed and quietly did whatever I had to do so that my movements wouldn't be offensive.

I worried I'd destroy anything I touched. One foster father (the best foster I was in) thought my silence and hiding in the room was game playing. I was direct in answering, I'm happy here and I don't want to destroy another family the way I did mine. His response was complex, hard to understand. The foster mother's was one where she tried to hold me but I turned my back to her in fear and cried like a 3 yr old child.

Like you, I didn't understand me or anything around me. What I thought I knew turned out not to be true. I am in fact like you, a living being who has and has always had the right to BE and the right to use my voice without guilt. We are not things as we were taught to be. No, we are not just ...things.

November 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

Who you are now because of what you had experienced in the past. Whether good or bad experienced that will always part of our lives and it helps us to become better person. I think you still have the same person as you before.

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Norton

JM,

I hope she heard it too.

Several times in the last half year I've been presented with things I didn't expect to see, or hear, from my past. This photo was especially touching for it's the image of who I was when I was yet a blank slate. I had all of my life before me, and no idea what to do with this one beautiful life I'd been given. But then, I doubt I saw it as beautiful, though everything within yearned for it to be just that.

December 4, 2014 | Registered Commenterbeautifuldreamer

Faith,

You're so right, neither of us are just things. It's odd to me to think of how I used to feel that so intensely; everyone around me was a self with meaning and value, and made a mark in this world. Everyone but me. I truly believed that, it wasn't mere self-pity.

And now, decades later? Well I may not be totally pleased with who I am, but I see myself evolving into the person I was created to be. I hear myself being firm when needed, and watch as I set healthy boundaries whenever I can. Sometimes I don't think quickly enough to do so, and it's second nature to say yes to everything and everyone. But I'm learning; I'm catching myself more and more in the act of not living consciously. And that's something to feel good about.

What pains me most about this photo is realizing all over again that the person whose face and form I cut out was abusive in so many ways--and yet I tried everything humanly possible to mold him into my ideal of Prince Charming. There was little charming about him, nothing trustworthy or that in any way enhanced my life. But I was stubbornly convinced that beneath his rough outer shell was an entirely different self, a self that was princely and strong and true blue.

Funny how wrong we can be! Maybe not funny exactly. And now that I think about it, considering the childhood I'd emerged from not that long before this photo was snapped, it's not funny but absolutely to be expected that I would have ended up exactly where I did.

December 4, 2014 | Registered Commenterbeautifuldreamer

Hearthbreakingly beautiful post. The fact that you can look back at who you were and who you are now and like what you see says it all. That's wholeness of being, I think, despite what pain and hardship and fragmentation we may have endured along the way, that's what we are all journeying toward. Well done.

December 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Brasket

Such encouraging words, Deborah! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your comment.

I don't feel as if I'm whole just yet, but I can look back and see growth and progress--something I never thought I'd be capable of.

December 10, 2014 | Registered Commenterbeautifuldreamer

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