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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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Friday
Feb232007

Who's On First?


Several years ago, after being diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, I sometimes visited  various DID web sites. There was one in particular I especially liked and which  I'd since forgotten about.  Recently while going through my list of favorites bookmarks,  I came across it and  decided to visit it again. 

There was a post by some poor desperate soul, asking what to do if your parts all disappear for a period of time.  The person who wrote this said she felt dead inside.Wow, that's right up my alley.  I know all too well what that feels like, so I posted a heartfelt reply, feeling very empathetic and giving the best advice I could.

After posting it, I went back to see how it looked on the bulletin board for everyone to see, and much to my surprise found that "beautiful dreamer" had written to _______the name I'd used on the site years ago. What I'd done in essence was to counsel myself!
This just goes to show how much inherent humor there is in DID. In cases such as this one, perhaps I should change the spelling of my disorder from DID to DUH!

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Thursday
Feb222007

Just The Facts, Ma'am

My cousin spent over 10 years in a church which turned out to be a cult. His whole family joined, and the damage they suffered from a hypocritical, immoral pastor and his associates is beyond estimation. This was a group of believers who got seriously derailed; by the time my cousin and his family became fed up with the whole thing, the pastor had begun promoting drug use, wife-swapping--and he'd also begun molesting children.

Lately I've been reassessing my religious upbringing, greatly disturbed by rumors that the self-proclaimed prophet of Adventism was no prophet at all. There are web sites galore proving her glaring inconsistencies, plagiarisms, and lies. The more I read, the more sickened I become, heart and soul. This wasn't like my cousin's cult, for Adventism promotes the highest moral standards imaginable. So moral in fact that no one can live up to them. I've spent nearly my entire life living under the heavy burden of Ellen White's admonitions to measure up, to acquire perfection. It's not difficult to understand my compulsion to try to do just that. After all, as an abused child I took my own inherent unworthiness very seriously. If Mrs. White disapproved of me, why so did God. That she would have disapproved of me had she ever met me, I had no doubt. She wrote:

 The Lord loves those little children who try to do right, and he has promised that they shall be in his kingdom. But wicked children God does not love. Appeal to Youth, p. 61

I'm not sure what constituted her definition of wicked little children, but I'm assuming that a little girl who was defiled by her stepdad on a regular basis would fit nicely into that category. I do remember that about 10 years ago I came across one of her quotes regarding wicked young girls who allowed grown men to touch them in an unseemly manner. This disturbed me greatly as it seemed she was implying that it was always the fault of the girls, not the grown men. I'm not sure how I justified believing any of her writings after that. My, but brainwashing goes deep!

An anger is growing inside of me, the anger of being duped, deceived, conned. The hold that Ellen White's writings have had on me for decades is considerable. It's not unlike the hold which my abuser had on me and it seems to me now, as my stumbling, sorrow filled past rises before me in all its ugliness, that they've both held me hostage. They were both terrorists of the worst sort, controlling my emotions and reasoning powers by fear, taking advantage of my most basic need and desire to know and love God.

 

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Thursday
Feb222007

All I Want Is A Room Somewhere . . .

 A sparse little room is all a need. A bed for sleeping and stacks of books for drowsy reading. Perhaps a table for knickknacks, and room enough to breathe in and out to the rhythm of my dreams.

 

Tuesday
Feb202007

No Do Overs

(About 7 years ago I felt a burning need to reconnect with a sibling I hadn't had much contact with since our dreary childhood. With my magical thinking kicked into high gear, I flew across  country to spend several weeks with him, certain that we could somehow bind each other's wounds, and bond over our mutual childhood abuses. I couldn't have been more wrong. This is what I wrote after I'd returned home, disheartened over  my feckless attempts at forcing a happy-ever-after ending onto what was to remain a broken relationship.)

 

He's as thin and worn as the shoelace he bends down to tie. The fire flashing in his eyes is unsettling. Around him I feel awkward, a child with no life experience.

His lack of sentimentality (the lack of which  I normally admire in others) comes across as cold indifference. When speaking to him, I get the sense that whatever I say is somehow wrong. Something about the intensity of his blue eyes boring into mine, coupled with the absence of the usual conversational "niceties" I am accustomed to causes me to feel unsure of myself. It's as though he suspects me of prevaricating and, even though I know I'm not, I find myself doubting my own truthfulness.

He has made a way for himself in this hard world by nursing old rages and discontents. He gets stoned each evening before plunging into monologues about his various exploits. His life experience, though colorful and adventurous, incites in me a mild repulsion, rather than envy.

I can't find within myself any answering chord of camaraderie, for his flinty words and no nonsense mannerisms curdle my heart's natural desire to empathy. He's worked so hard, I think, to avoid self-pity that, in the process, he's squelched any spontaneous pangs of human sympathy or empathy for his own battered self.

He wouldn't take kindly to nurturing of any kind, would reject it with disdain, as a sort of weakness. When I come back from the store with a pack of cigarettes for him, he blinks in astonishment, asks why I would do that for him.

"Because I wanted to," I tell him lamely. "Why shouldn't I?"

He doesn't respond; I can see the wheels in his head spinning, trying to make sense of this unexpected gesture of kindness. Does he meet with such little grace in his world, then, that such a small act of generosity be met with suspicion and puzzlement?

He speaks matter of factly about his past sexual exploitation of a 12 year old girl. I listen in dismay, my hands hot in my lap. I wonder how he can be describing such despicable behavior to me, of all people, knowing as he does of the crimes committed against me by the king of the mountain*.

When he gives a recital of various fights he's gotten into over the years, I'm not sure what he wants from me. An exclamation of admiration? All I can think of is the king of the mountain pounding his teenaged flesh into a pulp. Is this strange, violent, bizarre individual the result of those horrendous early years?

Standing on a ladder in the middle of the living room, to change a bulb in the chandelier, he calls for me to climb up and help him. I oblige, and immediately regret it when I smell his sweat, feel his arm trembling against mine. At this moment I'm uncomfortable and want to climb down off the ladder, away from his foreign, scrawny body. Something about the pressure, light though it was, of his arm on mine troubles me with unwanted memories I've fought so hard all my life to forget--and forgive.

I'm frequently, it seems, trying to remake the past with all its sorrows, violence, and despair, by reconnecting with significant persons from my childhood. But I'm no longer a child, and I discover much to my sorrow that not everyone has survived an abusive childhood with a heart intact.

(*our stepdad)

 

 

Monday
Feb192007

Circa 1965

When I was a kid I belonged to our church's youth organization, Pathfinders. This was like a merging of Boy Scouts/Girls Scouts, with lots of religious instruction thrown in. I had a love/hate relationship with Pathfinders. On the one hand, going on the many camping trips and outings they provided was a great way to get out of the house, sometimes for an entire weekend, and away from my stepdad's greedy hands. The downside, though, was that as freakish as I felt every day at school, I felt even more like a misfit when in the company of my peers who all came from such normal families.

My friend, Suz, didn't come from a normal family either. Or not normal in the church's context of "we don't eat meat, spend money on Sabbath, wear jewelry, dance, play cards, wear make-up, or go to movies." Suz's family was composed of your ordinary, everyday sinner. No hypocrisy there, as there was in my home where the king of the mountain made us attend church every week while he hogged the couch in his undies, watching TV. I happened to know that watching TV on the Sabbath was a huge no-no, but apparently he didn't care. He was willing to risk extra time in hell for doing so, and who was I to try to talk him out of it?

As far as I could tell, Suz didn't suffer guilt because of coming from a family of pagans. She could spend money on the Sabbath without batting an eye, but I couldn't. I had the good grace to feel deep guilt, even on those ocassions when the king of the mountain experienced a bout of selective amnesia and gave permission for me to desecrate the holy day by spending money. Usually, this was due to the fact that he was out of the cigarettes he needed for his filthy, going-to-hell-for-habit, which was another no-no I refrained from pointing out. To do so would have caused me to forfeit the rare treat of a Sabbath outing to the store, and as guilty as these outings made me feel, I wasn't so holy I'd risk him changing his mind.

At Pathfinders, Suz and I went through bouts of rebellion. I think it was being shoved together with so many goody-two-shoes that was our undoing. Something about their homemade clothes and clunky shoes brought out the worst in us. At the beginning of each meeting our Pathfinder leader, Mr. X, blew his whistle for us to line up at attention. (I could use his real name, but what if he reads this and sues me? I know the church doesn't believe in lawsuits, but what if he's a relapsed Adventist and wants to get back at me for what I'm about to write?) Something about the formality of this little routine, coupled with Mr. X's obvious uptightness (evidenced by his sweaty brow and hair trigger temper), cracked us up every time. There we stood, Suz and I, shoulders back, flat chests out, in our forest green uniforms with their standard middle of the knee hem, and something inside of us (sin, probably) burst into bloom.

We couldn't risk turning our heads to exhange glances, so we'd learned to peek at each other out of the corner of our eyes, waiting for just the perfect moment to play with Mr. X's mind. When he was still halfway down the line, one of us began making a sound much like air slowly leaking from a tire, by barely pursing our lips together. We practiced all the time--at her house, at mine, on the bus--for riling Mr. X was truly the highlight of our week. We got so good at it that he could be standing just a few kids away, demanding in that high voice he got whenever his patience was being tried to knock it off, and not have a clue as to who was making that irritating sound. We never got caught, much to our immense pride and satisfaction.

Mr. X lived with Mrs. X and their many offspring on the other side of my family's property. Our backyards were neatly delienated by a chain link fence. From the vantage point of my fort, I observed him puttering around his yard on Sundays, putting things to rights, expressing the same tsk-tsking manner that so amused Suz at I at Pathfinder meetings. Sometimes, watching him through slitted eyes (I loved to do this sometimes, for it made everything slightly out of focus), I couldn't help but wonder what made him the way he was. Not just his fusiness, exactly, but why was he so involved in the church? Why, when my own stepdad, teetering as he did so close to the brink of hell, never darkened its doors?

I suspect what I was trying to puzzle out in my 10, 12, 13 year old mind was: how come men seemed to come in only two categories: monsters or geeks? My own biological father was neither, he belonged in a class all by himself. But I thought of him as seldom as possible, preferring to focus on the few men (a science teacher, my best friend's dad, Mr. X) in my narrow universe. What made someone like my stepdad so mean and hateful? Why did he treat everyone like something nasty he'd stepped in, and couldn't scrape off the bottom of his shoe? Why was Mr. X so  ineffectual? No one seemed to take him seriously, not even his wife. I'd observed her smiling indulgently in an absent minded way when he got all wound up about nothing. That smile said plain as day he's just a child, really, so I'll just smile and nod.

I think part of my needling Mr. X at Pathfinders stemmed from the fact that I could, safely. He wasn't going to beat me up or do unthinkable things to me. Here was a man who was not a bully. I bet he believed in all the church rules from the top of his balding head to the soles of his nerdy shoes, believed heart and soul. And so did I. Beneath my amusement at his intensity was a grudging respect, for we had this in common: we both wanted to please God. But that didn't stop me from continuing my little rebellions during Pathfinders, or even during church services.

Maybe I was trying to find out if God was safe, too.

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