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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 Friendship (17)

Tuesday
May232017

After Grief

A friend once told me, after I'd lost a twenty-something year friendship, that I definitely needed to grieve my loss. I needed to figure out what I missed most about that friendship and ask God to replace those things in my life.

This was nearly ten years ago, and in all this time I've barely allowed myself to miss this person, let alone grieve her loss. And then today I found an old email account I haven't accessed in about seven years, and found many, many emails I'd saved from people who are no longer in my life.

Once upon a time (ten years ago now) I began this blog. Within a year I had a little DID support system going made up of fellow multiples I'd met online. We visited one another's blogs, left comments, gave each other a bad time, made bad jokes, exchanged DID technical knowledge and, in general, supported one another. Someone was always having a bad time of it, we were all always having a bad time of it. But there were others who were going through the same fears and depressions, or who had gone through them in the past and knew just what to say to throw a bit of light our way.

Finding these emails gave me so many mixed emotions. I teared up immediately, stricken with the loss of the individuals who for years had been part of my life in cyberspace. I miss that keenly. There is now no one in my life (except for one individual who was married to a multiple) with whom I can discuss the confusing, convoluted life of a multiple. No one. I'm not sure what happened to everyone. Oh, I know what happened in some cases but with others there wasn't any breaking point or closure, they simply drifted off and disappeared as if I'd dreamed them up. Some, I found out later, had quit blogging and no one knew what became of them.

None of us can go backwards and mostly I think that's a good thing. But sometimes when I allow myself to feel some of my losses I wish that I could. I wish I had the anticipation every morning of booting up my computer with a mug of hot coffee in hand, and reading the latest comments on my blog or the latest posts from someone in my little circle. I miss the fun. I miss how quickly we all leapt to the defense of anyone who needed it, or rushed to provide some form of comfort to one who was raw and hurting. These are not things to take lightly, and I didn't. I don't.

I needed that sense of camaraderie and I still do, but now I don't know where to find it. Either the world of DID cyberspace has drastically changed or I've lost my knack for finding those kindred souls who once saw me through so many hard times. 

Yes, I do need to grieve. I have a lifetime of grieving to do but the thing no one ever tells me is what exactly am I to do once I've done with it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday
Apr272015

Moving Forward (With or Without You)

I'm learning, finally, to separate my issues from those that don't belong to me. What is to be done with accusations from someone you care about, and called friend? Normally I would soak up the negative attitude towards me, and the accusations, as if they had to be true because someone else was saying them. It's as if I've not allowed myself to ever stand up for myself against lies told against me, because I automatically assumed that if I were being accused of something, I must be guilty.

I know plenty about guilt, especially false guilt. The stepfather was an expert at dumping guilt on others. I suppose that was his way of steering clear of dealing with his own issues and yes, his own very real guilt.

When someone, over the course of years, develops the habit of emotionally and verbally beating you up, at some point you need to take stock and decide if you are willing to have this person continue to abuse you. Is it worth it, just to keep the friendship going? And is it truly a friendship by any definition of the word if you are always the one who is wrong, and they are always right?

I didn't realize, until my friend very abruptly ended our friendship, that having her back in my life, after a few years of estrangement, had been burdensome to me. One of the first things she did upon reentering my life was to friend me on FB, and then about a week later to suggest we no longer be FB friends because I'd posted something she didn't agree with.

I didn't know that friends had to agree about everything. It was easier to unfriend her, if that's what made her happy, than to argue about it. But too often I've had to be the one to take a few steps back, and change who I am in order to measure up to some invisible standard she seems to have for friendship.

It's a revelation to me that you can care about someone, but still let go. You can wish them well, and not bear any ill will towards them, but still be okay with them bowing out of your world.

I've only had a couple of friends in my entire lifetime who made me feel inferior by the way in which they treated me. I'm getting too old to deal with having to defend myself every time I turn around, and I suspect friendship isn't meant to be that way. That's too much like how my stepdad was, and also a number of men I've been involved with in the past.

I'm figuring this life out as I go, just as I imagine everyone else is doing. I feel that I've learned a lot from everyone I've ever been close to, and for that reason I can't regret having known any of them. But oh the freedom of giving myself permission to not persue someone who no longer esteems me--if they ever did.

I'm stronger than I used to be. I can continue on this path I'm on with or without those I once called friends. And I can continue loving those who, for whatever reason, have chosen to move forward without me.

 

 

 

Tuesday
Dec172013

Ordinary People

The childish singing greets me the moment I enter my granddaughters' school:

"I'm a little snowman

short and fat,

Here is my scarf

and here is my hat..."

 

As you can probably imagine, it's sung to the tune of "I'm a little teapot short and stout."

 

They're rehearsing for a Christmas program. I stand in the hallway with the other grandparents, parents or older siblings, waiting for their release. I people watch while doing so, noting the odd woman in the unbecoming pink knitted hat, hurrying into the front office. I see her every day; she is the kind of person who makes me uneasy. She talks loudly, sharing personal things about herself that the rest of us can't help but hear. She is friendly, too friendly, and this too makes me uneasy. I make a point to avoid standing next to her as I did out of ignorance last year. I haven't made that mistake twice.

Next to me is a set of grandparents whose features are so similar they could easily be brother and sister. I see them every day too. They are here to pick up their grandson, who looks to be about 7. When he saunters over to them, this scrawny boy with his grandparents' earnest expressions and facial features, his grandfather takes his face between his hands and gently kisses the boy on the lips, then strokes his hair in absolute adoration. I make myself glance away, afraid that I've witnessed an intimacy I'd no right to see.

There is the receptionist: tall and skinny, with a huge pot belly. I never see her smile. She rules her office grudgingly, performing her multitude of tasks with a brisk efficiency which reminds me uncomfortably of my mother. I watch her covertly, remembering how she scolded me last year on my first day of picking Maddy up from school. I hadn't known it wasn't okay to walk down a certain hallway to use the restroom. Surely she could have informed me of this without the anger, and crisp, caustic words?

Maddy's best friend's daddy wanders in at the last minute. He's older than I, with grizzled beard, curly grey hair pulled back into a sloppy ponytail, and wears the kind of crumpled hat I associate with fishing. He speaks gruffly, but is friendly enough in his own fashion. Bow-legged and wearing a flannel shirt and the impossible hat, I've come to feel a degree of fondness for him. Seeing him day after day reassures me somehow, reminding me that there is some consistency and continuity to life. There are seasons and routines; everything isn't quite as willy-nilly as I've always suspected and feared.

I watch these individuals, and many more, through blurry eyes. I don't want to wear my glasses unless I absolutely have to, so the people I watch are comfortably blurred. It hits me from nowhere that there is a rightness about the routine of it all. We are all caught up in an awkward--a beautifully awkward--ballet of humanness. We're every one of us at once both fragile and strong, stupid and smart, funny and dull, grudging and forgiving, stumbling and focused.

Perhaps it's familiarity itself that is the foundation for affection and friendship. If I were to play this role in my granddaughters' lives for all of their grade school years, would I come to be friends with any of these? Would I gradually unclench long enough to see there is nothing to fear in the over-friendly, loud talking woman? Would I grow to realize that she is lonely and doesn't understand that her desperate need for attention drives others away?

What about the twin grandparents? There is something odd about them. It's not simply the fact that they are dowdy, as if from another era. There is an exclusiveness about them which makes conversation with them next to impossible. They are a clique of three: grandmother, grandfather, grandson. They need no one else or, no, maybe it's that they trust no one else. I'm never able to gain their eye contact, and I never see them speak to anyone but their grandson. But surely after years of sharing that shiny-floored hallway there would be a relaxing of their need to shut out the rest of the world. They might let me in just a little, enough anyway to learn their first names, and the name of their beloved grandchild.

I wonder if the constant exposure to the same people day in and day out is how others form friendships. I've lost my childhood knack for making friends. I'm much more self-conscious now than I ever was then about getting to know someone new. So, is this what happens? You see the same individuals day after day after day, season after season and then, after the summer break, you are thrown together once more, everyone older, the children taller. You make casual conversation and then, or so I imagine, something is shared of one's personal life: how many kids, how many grandkids, etc. Notes are compared, common interests discovered. These people I watch five times a week, these people I mostly fear, belong to families. They are mothers, fathers, grandparents, sisters, aunts and uncles. They despair of a wayward child, they clumsily balance checkbooks and fret over the same things I fret over: the price of living, the lack of manners and goodwill, the gradual sauntering into old age which, once begun, becomes more of a gracelss gallop than a saunter.

They are people, just people. I tell myself that. I tell myself if I'm not so quick to judge (and by doing so, keeping them at a safe arm's length) I might just discover that they are not so very different from me. I might begin to relax enough to allow myself to become known for more than the dowdy nana I must surely appear to them.

 

 

Friday
Jul192013

To My Childhood Best Friend

Meet me at the corner of Brightwood Street; come as your childhood self in our uniform of sixties suburbia: frayed cut-offs and long white T shirt and flip-flops.

Meet me where my front yard gives way to the side street winding away from that House of Incest. Sit with me on the curb, just as we did as kids, our shoulders scraping comfortably as we laughed and horsed around, two ordinary kids doing ordinary kid stuff. Touch my arm when we laugh at a joke, for I need once more your casual touch to assure me my flesh is more than a sexual play thing.

Look into my eyes once more with your keen, affectionate expression. Speak of your dreams, and encourage me to share mine. Stall when we hear your mother's voice calling, taking your time getting up from the curb, loathe to part from me. Call me after dinner just to hear my voice, though we just spent all day together lollygagging.

I have never again been that close to anyone as I was to you during those childhood days.

Meet me at the corner of Brightwood Street for oh, I miss you so . . .

 

 

Friday
Jul122013

Oh Captain, My Captain!

Glancing out my living room window yesterday afternoon, I received a jolt of recognition. There on the sidewalk went a tandem bicycle (more commonly known as a bicycle built for two.)

One of the summer time pleasures I enjoyed with my childhood best friend, Bec, was to pool our money and rent a tandem bike. 50 cents an hour doesn't sound like much, but we did good to scrape up enough for a one hour ride. We took turns being "Captain," or the front rider, and oh wasn't it a sort of bragging thing to coast along our street waving to the younger children staring open-mouthed? Didn't our hearts soar as we pedaled in harmony, cracking jokes and feeling the summer breeze in our hair and on our faces? You know we moaned and griped when we hit a bump in the road, or if there was the slightest incline calling for more muscle power. But it was a good kind of griping, the kind you do when something is difficult but worth the effort. The kind of griping you engage in when you know you're going to be awfully glad later that you did what you wanted to, never mind the sore muscles later.

The captain has two major responsibilities:

 

  • To control the bike, including balancing it whether stopped or in motion, as well as steering, shifting, braking.

     

  • To keep the stoker (the back rider) happy! A tandem isn't a tandem without a stoker. The captain must earn the stoker's confidence, must stop when the stoker wants to stop, must slow down when the stoker wants to slow down. Since the stoker cannot see the road directly ahead, the captain has a special responsibility for warning of bumps in the road, so that the stoker can brace for them.

 

Come to think of it, the tandem is an apt illustration of my friendship with Bec. Didn't she act as the Captain the time she warned me from what the boys wanted to do to me during a strawberry picking session one summer? That was certainly a bump in the road! I couldn't see what was up ahead, and so couldn't brace myself for the inevitable collision which would have happened if not for Bec. And when it was her turn to ride in back she did so happily, just as willing to take the back seat and be at my mercy as to be in the Captain's seat.

I miss those old days more than words can tell, but they've never really left me. I see them readily enough in my mind's eye, or am jolted into memory by the unexpected sight of a bicycle built for two lazily passing by my window.