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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 forgiveness (4)

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
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!

Wednesday
Jan282009

Seventh Year

hadn't intended to write more about forgiving my mother, but because I'm still at the working-it-out-in-my-mind-stage it may help to do so.

I'm trying to put myself in her shoes, or rather in the shoes of anyone who is in need of forgiveness. Well that would include my own shoes, right? And what strikes me right off the bat is that if I were the recipient of forgiveness I would want to know that it was complete, with no hidden resentments to come back and bite me at some later date.

I would want the person extending forgiveness to do so without a hint of self-righteousness. Oh I know myself pretty well by now. Let someone come to me with the gift of forgiveness delivered in a holier-than-thou tone of voice, or with a smirk, and that would be that. No more communication there, ever.

If my mother is not at the point of self-accountability I don't want to give her reason to turn a deaf ear to my words. I don't want her heart to harden a bit more on account of the way I handle this delicate matter. Let her reject my forgiveness, should she decide to do so, based on something other than my smugness.

My mother is going to die soon. While I have no reason to believe that she'll have a change of heart upon her death bed, it's important to me that she knows that I'm done with unforgiveness. I don't mean this in the sense that I'm done with all my childhood issues; they will most likely plague me for the rest of my life. I don't mean that I will ever stop hurting for all the missed years with my dad and brothers. What I do mean is that I no longer care to keep score. Blogging about my childhood abuse has been a tremendous help to me, but it's easy if one isn't careful about it to get caught up in the lunatic scavenger hunt of which I wrote yesterday: always searching for little clues to prove one's thesis of not being loved and protected.

Now, a certain degree of sifting through the past is necessary in order to go through the process of healing and reclaiming. I believe the duration of the sifting process varies with each individual. It may take half a life time for some, several years for others. The number of months or years spent doing so is not the point. If one longs to figure out the mystery of their childhood in the hopes of salvaging something of value; if they need to go back in time and put the pieces back together as much as humanly possible, so that they can make a certain sense of who they are today, they would be remiss not to do so. The thing is, I've done this, raked over that same old ground so many times that I'm not coming up with anything new.

What I would like is for my mother to receive my letter and in a sudden burst of love, write me a full explanation of exactly why she did what she did. As a sort of last gift to me, if you will: her last will and testament. Do I expect this to happen? No, and mainly for one reason: I don't believe she herself knows what motivated her.

I can't go into this, then, with any sort of expectations. I can't hope she will be so grateful that at last I'm throwing some crumbs her way that she pours out upon me all the love she's ever denied me. I don't expect my act of forgiveness to change anything. Aside from my own attitude and inner slavery to the need to feel that hurt over and over again, there is nothing I expect it to change. And this is good, this not looking for dramatics.

Let's see, here's what I've resolved so far in this blog post. I don't want to offer my mother forgiveness from a place of self-righteousness and, I don't want to carry through with my decision to forgive because I'm being driven by false expectations.

Another thought occurs to me. It's been seven years since the estrangement from my mother. Biblically speaking, there is great significance in this number. It means holy, or completed. Perfection. Perhaps I'm reaching too far in making a connection between the number seven and my little act of forgiveness. Or maybe not. I remember that the book of Deuteronomy (15:1-2) in the Old Testament carries instructions for debts being forgiven every 7 years. This pertained to financial debts, but I love the idea of applying its principles to this forgiving of my mother's debts.

She is indebted to me, more than she'll ever know. She's racked up so many debits that the ledger containing an account of them is more than I can heft in my two hands.  My mother is spiritually, morally and emotionally bankrupt. She has no means to pay off this debt. The mere depth and weight of it is staggering. What then can she do?

Oh now see, I like this. I like figuring stuff like this out. It's precisely because she can't pay her debt to me that she needs forgiveness. Her poverty depends upon my mercy to wipe out all debts, and only mercy can do so. Had she seventy odd more years to live on this planet, there wouldn't be time enough to pay off her indebtedness.

"For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the Lord." (Lev. 25:3-4).

Yes, I've spent the last six years sowing all kinds of things: anger, resentment, hope, wistfulness, courage, fear. I've carefully cultivated and pruned my vineyards, and gathered in the harvest from the fields of my emotional sowing. Not all of these crops were to my liking, and so I've made note to not sow those particular seeds again.

And now I come to the seventh year, a year of rest. A year of resting from my need and habit of focused resentment and anger. Many times I've stated that I feel no bitterness towards my mother, but the record speaks for itself. If there were no bitterness in my breast I wouldn't feel the need to constantly fan these flames.

As I write this I can't help being amused by the fact that I am so well-versed in the Scriptures because my step dad often banished us kids to our rooms (on the Sabbath), ordering us to spend the day reading the Bible. Now here they are when I need them, even the most obscure verses helping me figure out this tangle of thoughts about forgiveness.

Seven years . . . a rest, a forgiving of all debts, a completion of sorts.

I like everything about that.