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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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Entries in Family (139)

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 . . .

 

 

Saturday
Jul202013

Back When I Was a Grown up Kid

If I could return to The House of Incest would I find everything exactly as I remember it from childhood? Same gold flecked Formica and turquoise kitchen walls, crisp curtains bracketing the small window above the kitchen sink, and me, maybe, standing pigeon-toed at the sink doing my nightly dishes while gazing absently out the window.

My shoulders (I'm sure of this) would be slightly hunched, and the tinny laugh track fromtv22.gif the living room TV would provide the background noise for my routine chore. Perhaps I would be straining my ears, trying to figure out which show I was missing;  if so, I'd be sure to be throwing my younger stepsister looks of impatience, willing her to keep up with her dish drying so that I wouldn't be stuck doing my job, and then helping finish hers.

Or what about this: maybe I don't even hear the tinny TV sounds, maybe my stepsister is no more real to me than my own body, skinny in cutoffs and an oversized tee. Maybe I'm writing a story in my head as my competent hands run the dishrag over that night's dishes, swishing it around and around as my thoughts of being a writer mesmerize me with endless possibilities. 

"Katherine waited until her family was all sound asleep, and then she climbed out her bedroom window and ran all the way to the forest. There she met the other runaways by the fattest oak tree that stood in the middle of a clearing ." 

Is my stepfather home? Probably. In my mind's eye I picture him lying on the couch, smoking and barking out orders to anyone  unlucky enough (foolish enough!) to traipse by.

The sky is turning, turning, darkening under my watchful eyes. I hear the murmur of my mother's voice, doubtless attempting to pacify my stepdad's latest snit. It is nothing to me, nothing, his sour moods and ill humors, his caustic remarks and cruel accusations and monkeyish laugh. How can any of this touch me when I'm not really here, having gone so deep inside myself that I may never again emerge into the light of day?

I return to the story in my head, possibly wrinkling my brow in concentration. My step brother comes into the room, grouses about having to empty the trash; he can't seem to perform his nightly task without some form of complaint. His grumblings bring me out of my story, back to the reality of our modern kitchen, back to the reality of growing up in suburbia to The Ed Sullivan Show (where one impossibly dreamy evening I watched the Beatles perform live, and nearly died from happiness) and Lawrence Welk, a program I like only because of the Lennon Sisters and their pretty harmony and dresses.

My stepbrother's scowl brings me back to earth, back to where things get broken (not just dishes, but sometimes even dreams and hymens), and I scowl myself for the wanting of what can never be mine. As if a redheaded stepchild could ever be a writer!

But what about this:  I might go back in time to see my stepdad sitting on the couch with a thick towel wrapped around his waist, having just taken a shower. We are alone in the living room. He props his bare heels on the marble coffee table, and carefully clips his toenails. Glancing at him, I inadvertently see that he is not wearing underwear; I shift my gaze away as my face reddens with mortification.

"I love you," he tells me as I concentrate on the toenails flying across the room, landing soundlessly on our wall to wall. "I love you more than my own kids," he continues. "But in a different way."

I avoid all eye contact, focus instead on his tanned hands with their tattooed letters, HOLD TIGHT. It doesn't occur to me--or if it does, I'm too far removed from the realization to acknowledge it-- that those same hands have roughly parted my legs.

I don't want him to love me differently. What I want is for him to love me like a sitcom father, lovingly tucking me in at night as he plants an affectionate kiss on my forehead.  What I don't want is to awaken some nights with him bending over me.

I watch me watching him finish his nail clipping, hating how small and powerless and stupid I am. There is no defense against his declarations of love, just as there is no defending myself from his middle of the night home invasions. 

Would it be better to go back in time to a happier day, one not rife with ugly secrets threatening to eat me alive? Oh, but when would that be, exactly? Surely there were days between episodes, there had to have been, for he was a truck driver who was usually gone two days a week. Yet in my memory, my cloudy, haunted memory, it's all a big blur of shame and never-ending abuse.

If I could go back . . . but why would I choose to? Do I have a choice in the matter? I don't. I want to believe I do but the truth is, sometimes I find myself back there as if it were yesterday. No, not honest enough. As if I had never left, then. I find myself right smack in the middle of that suburban drama, hating my small self all over again (still.) At best all I can do is to find ways of distraction until the memories fade and I'm once more in the present, here in the room I share with my granddaughter, safer with her than I ever was under my mother's dubious wing. 

 

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Tuesday
Feb102009

Germs, Knitting and Raincoats

We've been sick with the flu here, passing it around from Izzy and her folks to Maddy, to my youngest, to me, to Anna, and now to Sissyface. I've had it the lightest of everyone; it seems to come and go at will, giving me at times a false sense of security. Just when I think I'm recovered I discover I'm not. For days I lay sunk in nausea mingled with despair.

Go blog! I'd tell myself, looking yearningly at my computer.

Ugh, would be my only response. Blog what? That I'm sick, that everyone around me is sick? How interesting is that?

I don't know what day this is for my on-again, off-again illness. Sometimes I wish it would just hit me big time as it has everyone else, so I could suffer through it and then be done with it. Right now it's snowing again, which makes me feel smug for having had the good sense to run to the grocery store yesterday while I felt halfway decent.

That's about it for what's going on in my life right now. Maddy is finally recovering; I managed to snap a few shots last night of her modeling the raincoat Sissyface bought her. Here's the project I've been working on while laid up, a scarf for my eldest grand daughter's birthday this month. I started out making her a sweater, but let's just say it turned out to be too ambitious for little ol' me. I think she'll like this, and I plan to make either a hat or gloves to match.

Desperately waiting for a full recovery,

Monday
Feb092009

Forgiveness Revisited

I thought forgiving my mother would be nearly impossible. What I'm discovering is that not trying to force it is making all the difference. There's a certain peace to be found in being ready to extend forgiveness; I wasn't ready before this, and so whenever the subject of forgiveness came up I balked. Just the thought of it deepened my anger and resentment.

I know that on the heels of my act of forgiveness (which I suspect is more of an attitude than a one time action), grief will set in. Essentially, I'm saying goodbye to all that I never received from my mother. I'm closing the door firmly on a lifetime of hoping against hope that she'll change and become the very essence of that most sacred of all words, mother.

I may never say or write these words to her, but they will be in my heart:

I forgive that your capable hands never caressed my child's face, exploring with delight the wonders of its unique contours.

I forgive that in trying so hard to hide from me your resentment at my existence, you suceeded only in making it all the more painfully obvious.

I forgive that your insecurities as a female drove you to rely on men who were not reliable, and that this reliance became a sort of god to you, even at great danger to the well-being of your children.

I forgive that we did not laugh together, or murmur in awe as we watched the first snowfall of summer, or relished together a righteously wicked thunderstorm.

I forgive that your eyes didn't light up when I entered a room, that you felt no joy in the fact of my unique existence.

I forgive that you closed to me your heart, your emotions, your mind and that, having done so, I was robbed of so many opportunities to share with you my little troubles and cares.

I forgive that you never managed to see beyond my usefulness around the house to my artistic spirit.

I forgive that you never cherished my sense of humor, nor valued its influence on our pinched, dour household.

I forgive that you never spoke to me of the changes of puberty, much less had the sex talk with me.

I forgive that (for reasons I will never understand) you robbed me of 8 years with my beloved father and older brothers.

I forgive that your voice never spoke my name as if it were a blessing.

I forgive that because of your great need to remain in denial, you chose to see your hubby's violations of me as my 'stealing him' away from you.

I forgive that you sent my brother off to live with relatives because the stepdad beat him up all the time, rather than sending his abuser away.

I forgive that I lay in bed nights silently crying myself to sleep, knowing with certainty (in the way that all children know these things) that you would not ever come in to console me, or express the least interest in why I was crying should you happen upon me doing so.

I forgive that you broke my father's heart when you left him so suddenly for a man who had nothing to offer you except money.

I forgive that you exposed your children to a legalistic religion; I understand now that you weren't capable of any kind of a relationship with God, and that this was the best you could do in giving our lives some sort of spiritual structure.

I forgive your passivity, which taught me that to be female meant to be apathetic, down-trodden and trampled upon.

I forgive you for never inquiring about my writing dreams, or offering me any kind of  encouragement.

I forgive that you visited my brothers behind my back all those years, and that when I found out about it years later, the first thing out of your mouth was a lie.

I forgive that every time the stepdad mocked me in his cruel, caustic fashion, you were right there laughing with him.

I forgive that you punished me when you saw my oldest brother molesting me.

I forgive that you never once asked me if I missed my dad and brothers.

I forgive that after walking in on your hubby molesting me, you never once, during the next 5 years that I lived under your roof, asked if he was still bothering me.

I forgive that you used to heartlessly put my infant sister in her basinette in a pitch-black bathroom, and let her cry for hours.

I forgive that you beat my stepsister senseless; I forgive that for decades afterwards you boasted of how hard you beat her.

I forgive that when I  came to you to ask if I could get my first bra, you shamed me.

I forgive that you never praised me for being such a well-behaved, helpful daughter.

I forgive that in order to survive the abuses of my childhood molestations and rapings, I had to multiply into many selves.

I forgive that my life has been barren of the mother-daughter relationship we could have had, and which I sorely needed in order to grow into a secure, healthy woman.

I forgive that you will never know the real me because you've never wanted to know more than my surface self.

I forgive that because of your lack of nurturing and protecting me, my sons grew up with a mother with mental and emotional woundedness.

And finally, I forgive all that I've not thought to add to this list; I know there probably is not time enough in this world to remember every crime against my little girl self. For all these things which came so easily to my mind, and those wounds which, perhaps, have yet to surface, I freely forgive you.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jan282009

That 'F' Word Again . . .

As soon as I published my last post, I remembered a little scene from back in the 90's. I was living at the time with my dad, and he'd called me upstairs to his "snug" to get a grocery list. As he handed it to me, his hand closed around mine. Looking me in the eye he said, "I just want you to know that I told God I've forgiven everyone. I've forgiven . . . everyone."

I didn't know then that he was aware of the sexual abuse I'd endured during my childhood. As I revisit this little scene, I'm certain that what he meant to convey was that he was especially forgiving my mother, and my step-dad.

How comforting to know I've finally found myself on that same pathway of forgiveness!