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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 Childhood trauma (7)

Saturday
Apr042015

I Am Not Your Victim Anymore

I felt so good after writing my last blog post that I went on, in the next couple of days, to write 10,000 words on my novel.

Oh, I've been frozen since childhood, haven't I? And then something happened that caused me to thaw and set myself (mentally, emotionally and physically) into motion again. I don't pretend to understand why my rejection of harsh words about one of my alters should do it, but there it is.

Today, a new dentist. I've a fear of dental procedures. So much so that I put off my root canal for 2 whole years.

What am I so afraid of? I kept asking myself in the days leading up to my appointment. Pain, I thought, but then I've given birth 5 times, 2 of them without anything to numb the pain. I've suffered black eyes and other physical abuses from one man in particular, and a miscellany of other abuses from several others. And here I am, still standing. I can't be that much of a wimp when it comes to pain.

Then it hit me that it's not the pain per se that had me dragging my feet earlier, it was that panic of being trapped in a chair for a period of time and subject to whatever the person towering over me chose to do. It's that apprehension of knowing you are helpless, at the mercy of another human being.

Today, I was just woozy enough from the gas for my thoughts, during the root canal, to be a bit off. I went through everything from why my mother doesn't love me to pretending the odd shaped light fixtures on the ceilings were from a movie theater, and upon hearing the dentist telling the assistant, "Do a little rinse," following it up in my thoughts with, "make a little love, get down tonight, get down tonight!"

As the drill droned and my thoughts tilted, a sort of euphoria took over. Look at me! I wanted to cry out to someone. I'm getting through this just fine! I'm not freaking out, I'm not even scared. I thought I might pass out, but just look at me!

A part of my mind was taking note of everything from the minty smell of what I was breathing through my nose, to the sudden urge to giggle at the thought of my tongue getting in the way of the drill, in case I decide one of my novel's characters needs a root canal. And all the while my sense of wonder was growing.

I am not your victim anymore, is what I was thinking. I knew exactly who those words are meant for.

I am not your victim, I want to shout at my stepdad. I was, but my mistake was in thinking for all these decades that I'm still your victim.

My mistake was in thinking that you, and others like you who have peppered my life, hold the last word in who I am and in how much value I do or don't have.

The gas I inhaled during the root canal messed with my head, but in a good way. It's as if I were able to access deeper thoughts than I'm normally aware of and, in doing so, to cast off the superficial thinking which may be a safe way to get through life, but which is also incredibly numbing and restrictive.

I've hobbled myself in so many ways and always when I do this it's because of others. Why have I allowed the thoughts and assessments of others concerning me to be of more importance that what I think of myself?

It's well past time to start putting more stock in my own self-assessment. There will always be those who misunderstand me, and because of that misjudge me. There will always be those who don't much care if they're right or wrong about their conclusions. How can I base my sense of value on such sinking sand, and expect to experience a sense of security?

No, I'm no one's victim anymore. Though daily I struggle with the aftermath of childhood abuse, I'm moving beyond the unthinking acceptance of my status as an inferior being into the marvelous freedom of one who has chosen life over the numbing death of victimization.

 

 

 

Saturday
Feb072015

What I've Been Up To

Sometimes, upon revisiting my blog after an absence, I am captured anew by how very much I like it, and I nearly gasp my pleasure.

Oh, it's not that it's award worthy, or anything all that special . . .  except to me. Nearly 10 years of blogging! When I berate myself for being so behind in all my writing projects, I've only to visit my blog and think of how many words have been written over the years, and my spirit is calmed.

For nearly 10 years I've been writing my truth. That's not nothing. That's something. Whether or not I'm read very much isn't an issue. Once upon a time I checked my stats every single day, and panicked if they plunged, but no more. I'm secure enough now in the pure simplicity of writing truth that it hardly matters how many read me. Of course I want my words to woo others out of darkness into light, but before anything else my words need to help me. If they don't make it possible for me to advance just a bit away from that house of horrors on Brightwood Street, well then I question just how honest I'm really being after all.

I love my blog, warts and all. I'll never get it to look exactly as I picture it, but no matter. It's mine, it's writing my abuser never saw and--especially due to the fact that he's dead--can never snatch away from me, as he used to do with my pencil tablet.

All mine. Delicious sounding words!

I created this, I made something out of the darkness into which my abuser plunged me back in that tiresome era of my childhood. Sometimes I'm still back there, parts of me groaning and crying and despairing. For several days now I've flashed on my stepsister, Doreen, and the sound of her beatings coming to me from the garage as I stood at the kitchen sink, stricken with horror and fear, washing dishes in scalding water. Doreen, whimpering in the garage, is what comes to me, unbidden, and a little shiver runs up my spine.

Doreen didn't get to live long enough to delve into her pain and live beyond the wreck of childhood. She didn't get to live long enough to be diagnosed with DID, or even long enough to be reunited with the 2 children taken away from her.

I write this blog for me: that's one truth. I write it, at times, with Doreen breathing over my shoulder, as pesky as she was in reality, always wanting to tag after me. I'm not as stuck in the past as I used to be, not after all these years of doggedly keeping this blog. I see what I've been up to here; I've been writing my stepdad out of my soul, and my mother too. I'm writing myself out of that house of incest, and I've been preparing to take Doreen with me now, as I couldn't then when leaving home at the age of 15.

"Let her go with you," my mother used to say when Doreen would trail after me as I prepared to go to Bec's, or walk to the store to spend my allowance. "It won't kill you to take her with you."

There is something, at last, my mother was absolutely right about.

I resented Doreen's dogged presence then, but now I consider it a blessing to my soul to pluck her memory from the obscurity of being the one not loved, and lead her into that place in which most days I reside, trailblazed by the writing of this blog: a rugged, wide and wild place called Redemption.


Tuesday
Aug052014

Alone

I don't know how to live alone. I don't know how to be alone at night.

I wish I were dramatizing just to get attention because then the fear wouldn't be real, and I could sit here and enjoy myself like most people who live alone are capable of doing.

Yesterday I was told that my two sons who have been living with me have to go, or I'll be evicted. If I want to assign blame I can point the finger at myself. I knew I wasn't supposed to have extra people here, but so great is my fear of being alone that I broke that rule. I could also blame my sons for having gotten themselves into a state of joblessness. But really, does blame have to play into it? And if so I think that the lion's share of it must go to my childhood abusers. I was never afraid of the night until I was introduced into the world of child abuse.

Here is something to think about, just on the chance that someone reading this doesn't know from firsthand experience the aftermath of child abuse.  My inability to be alone at night is only one of many, many repercussions from sexual abuse. I've found that these repercussions, which have to a great extent crippled many areas of my life, don't lessen as time goes by. If anything they seem to deepen.

Right now my entire DID system is in a state of shock induced by terror. I am one to understate most things, especially when it comes to anything that might show how weak or afraid I am. But it occurs to me that this is not a time to minimize what I'm faced with. Most people who know me, including those who know I'm a multiple, don't know and wouldn't guess how great is this fear of mine. When my sons leave I will be totally alone, day and night. I know this might be the kind of thing to which people respond with, "Oh you'll get used to it," or "You're stronger than you think," etc., never guessing that their glib words have just increased my anxiety and my ever present guilt at not being like other grown ups. It's hard to be my age and not feel tremendous guilt for not being able to deal with such situations. I'm all too aware that most people, by the time they've reached my age (and long before that) adjust to living alone. Some even prefer it. I try not to compare myself with others, but sometimes I can't help it.

I know many multiples who live alone and have the opposite difficulty: they can't live with anyone else. Fears take on so many forms, don't they? What might terrify you could be something I'd scoff at, and vice-versa. This is why I try not to mind too much when others just don't get it. What I want to say is, I shouldn't be left alone. I don't think I can make it if I'm left alone for too long.

What I'm really saying is, I'm afraid I'll turn to suicide if I'm left alone. Even as I write those words they sound so overly dramatic, or like a threat as in, "If everyone leaves me I'll kill myself. I mean it!"

There is no easier way to say it. This is what I fear: that living alone will be the death of me. When I'm alone for very long I begin to hear and see things. My mind does some kind of a mind warp, and seriously it feels as if my sanity is on its last legs. I suppose it's more PTSD than anything. I don't know, I just know I don't like it and I fear it.

I'm not looking forward to this day. I've a double whammy to contend with:  my sons have nowhere to go, so will end up on the street, and I will be left alone.

Alone.

So many things can happen to you when you're alone, especially at night.

 

 

Tuesday
Apr152014

Paradise Lost

Adam and Eve lost paradise. They didn't get the Garden of Eden back, though I bet they mourned its loss for the rest of their days.

I was thinking today in terms of how my world was broken---how I was broken---at the age of 7. My life took on a nightmarish quality which most of my readers will understand without my faltering attempts at an explanation. That's good because, even though I'm going to try once more, I've yet to come up with the right words with which to describe what I'm referring to.

For one thing, it's that sense that everything has been ruined forever. That overwhelming utter disappointment in realizing life is not what you once thought it was: it's pretty much the exact opposite.

It's finding the snake in the garden, the bad spitting in the face of good, death thumbing its nose at life.

Whatever it is, this new quality which had overtaken my entire world was relentless. Because of it I could no longer see things in the same light, and couldn't really even trust what I saw with my own eyes. I'd learned life was more like living in a house filled with fun house mirrors than it was living in a reasonable world where everything made sense, and people naturally loved one another.

I've lived my life from sheer stubbornness. I haven't wanted the dark side, or whatever you choose to call it, to win. I've awakened pretty much every morning of my life angry that there is yet another day I have to slog my way through. I've kept watch, always, thinking something might turn my world back rightside up, some unexpected turn of events that will put everything back in balance.

It hasn't happened and I've figured out now that it isn't going to. I'm going to continue plucking little joys, like sweet flowers, here and there along the way whereever I am fortunate enough to find them. I'm going to continue lamenting that nothing brings me a sense of security. Even though I know by now not to expect to feel secure in this world, I'm still going to lament not being able to do so. I've a sneaking hunch that even those first 7 years of my existence were not filled with the sense of security I lament losing: I just thought they were.

I'm going to continue contributing what I can to the well-being of my sons and grandkids, and anyone around me, because I want to and because I don't know what else I can do to in some way counteract the darkness.

I'll allow myself to cry sometimes, but mostly I won't. I'll aim at forging straight ahead into the night, into the terrifying loneliness that overwhelms me at odd moments, and I'll do what I can here and there to make little differences to the quality of someone else's life.

I won't be a do-gooder or saint, or however you'd describe it. Truth be told I'll be doing these things as much for myself as for anyone else. By demonstrating little acts of kindness I'll be making it possible for me to keep on keeping on. I need to fight the darkness in the only way I know how so that it won't swallow me whole. My protest against it is to stir myself into action for the sake of someone who needs something I can give. I can't give much. I can smile, I can mend torn stuffed animals and laugh with my grandkids. I can speak softly to those who are hurting, I can share humor with those who need a good laugh. None of this seems like much but it has to be enough. Apparently it has to be enough for me, because if it's not I'm left with nothing but that old, ugly gaping darkness that has hounded my footsteps for 53 years.

No one regains the Garden. Lost paradise is just that: a bittersweetly remembered dream at best, or the sense of something we were supposed to have in this life (for we've heard rumors) but have never found.

Someone once said it's better to light a candle than curse the darkness. I suppose I've been doing a bit of both. I hate that the darkness exists; what else can I do but light a candle in the face of it?

I used to think I was working towards something....towards, I suspect, getting back what was lost. Did I think if I didn't complain and did my best to be a light that it would end in an abracadabra of sorts, that would spin everything back into place? I think I must have thought exactly that, or something a lot like it.

There is a kind of relief in finally being able to realize how off my thinking has been on this subject. The relief of, it doesn't depend on me after all. Nothing I do or say is going to bring about some gigantic cosmic shift that will bring us back to the paradise we were created to enjoy. I think there is value in life and that it matters how we live, and how we treat others. But I don't think anything I say or do has the wand-like ability to make everything okay for anyone. And that's what I've been trying to do, to make everything okay.

Everything is not okay and I'm beginning to think maybe I accept that. And in accepting that, perhaps I will enjoy a certain degree of emotional and mental freedom I haven't known since my own personal Eden imploded.

 

 

 

Sunday
Mar302014

A Hard Question

Throughout my 8 years of blogging I've tried to express myself honestly, as honestly as possible. There have been some instances where I felt myself pulling away from something I needed to say, probably out of fear of the kinds of responses I dreaded.

Today I was thinking about my childhood abuses and traumas in a way that is likely to be rejected, and/or met with anger from some who would vehemently disagree with the turn of my thoughts. But I feel the need to explore this line of thinking a bit more. I want to do it here so, if ever I want to, I can come back and read what I've written.

So here's what I've been pondering. In thinking not just of my own sexual abuse, but that of countless others down through the ages, I wondered if--as I've heard some say--we end up with the parents we need. The parents we need to raise us and guide us into the grown ups we eventually become.

Decades ago I met someone who became irate as we were discussing my childhood.

"Shut up, woman!" he ranted. "You can't complain: you got the parents you chose!"

I wouldn't go that far. I don't believe that we are able to choose our future parents, and I don't feel inclined to get into a whole discussion about past lives, etc. For the purposes of this post I want to assume we have this one life that we are born into. And my question is, do we end up with the parents we have for a reason? Is it all happenstance, a roll of the dice, or did I have my funny, artistic father and aloof and passive mother because there was something I needed to inherit from each of them? Though I balk at the thought of needing anything from my mother, or her having anything worth contributing to the sum total of who I became, I can't help but wonder if things turned out exactly as they were meant to.

To say that is to imply that I was meant to be tormented as a child for years and years. It's to insinuate that I needed to be broken, to bear within me a heart broken from having lost my loved ones. Did I need for these things to happen? Couldn't I have become who I am by some other means?

I struggle with this, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has these questions.

If I conclude that I was meant to have my specific parents, and all that that implies (for part of the implication is surely that I somehow would need my mother to ruin our family and bring my stepfather into my life), does it also mean there is no blame to be assigned for anything?

If there was a pathway marked out for me before the beginning of time, would I have ended up on it through some other means, or was sexual abuse the only door through which I could enter into my personal journey?

What of my abusers, I wonder. Are they still just as guilty as ever even if my journey through life was meant to take me through that particular wilderness of sorrow?

I think sometimes that if I hadn't experienced the depths of fear, sorrow and shame which have been my lot I would not have been able to reach out to some who have expressed to me that my words, written or spoken, have been such an encouragement to them. The fact is, I'm who I am today mainly because of the trauma of my childhood.

If I was meant to have my particular set of parents then it follows that my sons were meant to have me as their mother. And in order for me to be who they needed me to be, I had to take the route through life which in fact I did take.  The sum total of who I am: the bumblings, the weaknesses, fears, mistakes, stubbornessess, etc. were the good and bad qualities which would somehow impact my sons' lives a certain way.

I am still responsible, it would seem, for everything I've done. That only seems right. I can't imagine that I am to be immune from all accountability, yet my parents aren't, or their parents before them. We are all either responsible or no one is.

I find this subject at turns intriguing, frustrating, and to some extent sorrow producing. There have been times I've fervently wished I had been given a different mother. When I see a loving, gentle mother who is fully engaged in her life, and the lives of her children, something within stirs with wistfulness. When I hear someone describe her mother as her best friend, I find it at first laughable, comic even, until it isn't. Until the pain of not having that hits me hard. When someone who has lost a beloved mother expresses how much she is missed, I have no reference point for that. I can't even compare it to losing my dad because a mother is not a father. There is a difference in the roles they play in our lives, and in how we respond to and interact with them.

So. Did I end up with the parents I was meant to have? Or do we each just scrape along as best we can with what we're given, and some of us are blessed and got really good parents, but some had the cards stacked against them from day one? I had 7 years as the apple of my father's eye, but so many kids never even had that. Why? My younger siblings never had a loving father. They had the same abuses I did, but they weren't preceded by years of being absolutely adored.

I am still far from concluding anything regarding this subject. I suppose in the end it doesn't matter either way, for my life has gone the way it's gone and nothing can be changed.

Still, I can't help but wonder . . .