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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)

Wednesday
Jul032013

Remembering Happiness

In 5th grade a filling fell out of one of my molars during class one day, and the injustice of it was just one thing too many.

Waiting until everyone else had traipsed off to recess, I approached my teacher's desk, palm extended, the filling displayed in all its ugliness.

"I lost a filling," I said in mournful tones, knowing it was not an a.w.o.l. filling which brought the shameful tears to my eyes, but a keen stab of longing for human compassion. Oh Mr. Moore, my heart cried out, even as he peered at the little wad of misery I held in my hand, shaking his head in sincere sympathy, have pity on me, for I've forgotten happiness.

With all my being I wanted to live in a universe where fillings stayed in your head where they belonged, and children didn't go around losing 3/4 of their families overnight. A universe where there was no need for my 4th grade teacher to stumble into the classroom one November day, nearly blinded with tears, and announce in strangled voice that President Kennedy had been shot.

(2 days later when I witnessed the live murder of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby on the evening news---a forward lurch, gun pointed to gut, an echoing blast, and Oswald's face contorts with pain as instinctively his arms fly up to protect his middle---I am dumb with horror, though I sense a certain rightness in this horrific act of violence. Of course, of course! This is exactly the kind of world in which I lived, this hostile society where anything can happen at any time and me, powerless to stop it.)

This was real life then: a world in which people get shot on national TV, a world where fillings fell out of one's head without warning, and a bully belly punches me, knocking the wind out of me, to steal my swing at recess. A world in which my once safe home is filled mostly with strangers, the air so thick and sour it curdles my soul. I don't know where I went wrong that the world would turn on me so--- but try to compensate for my error, my sin, by treading lightly, by sidling in and out of rooms so that I don't take up too much space and the stepfather notice, and take offense at my very existence (or worse.)

What I really wanted was to not be in this particular story any more. A different universe was all I wanted, one in which I was not invisible. I wanted my real name back and with it, my unique identity. But all I could grasp was the tiny fillilng curled up in the palm of my hand like a secret part of me that had rotted, and fallen out, baring the decayed hole in my tooth it had once hidden, and protected.

And I wanted to remember happiness.

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Wednesday
Sep052012

With a Little Help From My Friends

In 2006, when I tentatively began my blog in which I longed to explore the complicated terrain of DID, I couldn’t have known just where my journey would lead. I hardly knew what issues would arise, nor could I foresee the affect my writings might have on others.

For most of my life I’d been hosting within my mind multiple personalities. Now that I’d received my diagnosis, I was anxious to find out just what it meant to have this disorder. I longed too to reach out to others who, like me, weren’t mono-brained; I wanted to learn from them, and to reassure myself that if these other multiples could deal with their multiplicity, so could I deal with mine.

What I didn’t expect was that I’d meet half a dozen wonderful, colorful individuals who became for me my support system. One by one we found each other, and over time became friends. We visited one another’s blogs and at times—at least for me—it felt as if we were meeting for coffee and long, rambly conversations in the cozy kitchens of friends.

There was so much I had to learn in those early days. The first person to befriend me, possibly even the first person to read my blog, was a wealth of DID information. She had a flair for cutting through to the heart of the matter, and a real willingness to share with others what she’d learned along the way of her own journey into the heart of DID.

Some of my blogging friends and I exchanged gifts from time to time, usually something handmade such as dolls, teddy bears, or inexpensive toys we knew our friend’s littles would be excited to receive.

I’ve been thinking of this circle of friends, for it is now extinct. Some simply shut down their blogs, for their own personal reasons. Some decided they’d gone as far as they could with writing about the DID experience, and decided to start a whole new blog built around family.

One friend became so involved in helping others recover from sexual abuse that she no longer had time to blog about her multiplicity. And, sadly, one friendship just didn’t make the distance, for distrust had grown between me and my friend, to the point where it didn’t seem reparation was possible.

I realize how much I miss my support system. Undoubtedly, during the early days of coming to terms with my disorder, I needed that support much more than I do now. But who doesn’t need some kind of support system these days? I may understand more than I did back then about myself, about my many selves, but that doesn’t mean I have no need of like-minded individuals to offer their empathy and encouragement. And I miss too being able to be that someone in the life of another.

I’ve no one now to discuss these issues with, at least no one who is dealing with DID. Perhaps our little clique was meant to be in existence only for a few years, but I so miss those days of reading my friends’ blogs and leaving my comments. And the excitement of going online to see if anyone had anything to say about my recent blog posts.

As busy as I am these days with helping raise two little granddaughters, it would nonetheless be comforting to touch bases, at the end of my long days, with those I know who get what I’m dealing with inwardly.

It would be so nice to have that back again.

 

Friday
Jul022010

Old Friends

My old childhood friend, Suz, spent the night Wednesday; she was in town for some job training and will be coming back every few weeks for more training, which means more time together.

One thing I'm beginning to appreciate about Suz (besides all the other things I already admire her for) is the way in which she accepts me, DID and all. What I mean by that is that she isn't  fascinated by my mental disorder. The fact that I have multiple personalities doesn't phase her in the slightest; she treats me as she always has. At the same time, I feel that I can talk about one particular part (or any difficulty I may be having which is related to my DID) without getting that panicky look on her face I've seen before when I've tried to open up to someone in my life about my multiplicity.

We went out for Chinese and while waiting for our food Suz read to me from her poetry book, circa 1978. Unlike my poetry (which I sometimes think is way too raw with pain), Suz's writings are gentle and intelligent and thoughtful. Soothing. I watched us, intrigued by the idea of sitting in a garish restaurant with colorful dragons painted on the walls and ceilings, with 80's music wafting in from the lounge every time the door swooshed open. There I sat, head tilted to one side, listening to Suz read one poem after another, suddenly struck by how delicious it was to be hanging out with the same person I used to play Barbie dolls with--and here we both were, two fifty-something women in the midst of menopause!

She brought me half a dozen letters I sent to her in 1980, letters written amid much unhappiness and general confusion about my life. I could hardly bear to read them, but the ones which were written obviously in an attempt to cover how miserable my life was were even harder to read. Did I think I was fooling her with my false cheer and bravado? The reality was that I was involved with an incarcerated man, raising five sons by myself, and living on practically nothing. I was also living about 1,000 miles from my native state at this time, desperately attempting to adjust to living on my own with no familiar face to look to for a smile or word of encouragement.

Reading the letters brought back such feelings of shame. I wondered why Suz had even remained in my life, as tumultuous as it was (especially compared to hers.) How could she put up with all that turmoil, and how could she now take the news of my DID so matter-of-factly? (Possibly because my multiplicity makes some sort of sense of the turmoil of my earlier years?)

After she left I realized that I'm used to having one good friend to hang out and be silly with, and I really don't have that anymore. For a while Sissyface filled that role in my life, but we don't get together like we used to. How easy it would be for me to become hermit like, existing inside these four walls, rarely speaking to another human being and going outside only when compelled to by necessity. I need to carefully pay attention to my need to have some degree of a social life. Suz is good for me in this respect: she's so outgoing and fun, someone who lives life to the fullest. I need to take a few cues from her. I used to be like that, or at least I have a couple of parts who are outgoing and fun. I wonder where they've been hiding?

 

 

 

 

Friday
May282010

Collecting Puzzle Pieces

One of the benefits of having my old childhood friend, Suz, back in my life is having access to those things I've forgotten, but which she is able to recall. Not that any of these recollections are earth shattering in themselves, but they give me a more rounded view of the child I used to be.

For instance, something I said brought to her mind a little scenario she witnessed one weekend when she was a guest in my home for the night. My evening chore was washing dishes, and on this particular evening Suz followed me into the kitchen as I tackled this hated duty. I turned the water on as hot as it would go; Suz watched, dumbfounded, as I squirted dish washing soap into the sink and then without blinking an eye  plunged my hands into the steaming water .

"I don't know how to describe it exactly," she said, "but it was as if you needed to plunge your hands into the scalding water. Like it was a form of punishment or something."

"How odd," I told her. "Well, what did I say about it?"

"Nothing," she said, "you didn't say a word, just soaked your hands in the scalding water with a look on your face as if you were a million miles away. I wanted to say something, but I felt awkward. It was such a strange thing to do; I didn't know how to respond. At first, when you turned the water on as hot as it would go, I thought you were joking. But when I saw the faraway look on your face as you plunged your hands into the water I knew you weren't kidding around. It was rather creepy."

Did I always go some place faraway while washing dishes? I can just about picture it: me standing at the sink, hands plunged into water so hot that they turn bright red. From the distant living room the TV's canned laughter doesn't reach me, except as a vague background noise to which I've long since become accustomed. From time to time my stepfather barks something at someone---is it his voice, so grating to my ear because of its strident, punishing tone, that drives me to scald my hands every evening? Maybe I've been conditioned to do so, as automatically as I do all things routine in my little suburban world.

My mother's voice is nothing more than a murmur, hardly registering on the rector scale of my emotional landscape. Her feckless attempts to soothe my step father's irritation are as routine as my nightly duties. That they never produce results doesn't seem to occur to her; his sour temperament is impervious to the little comments she offers as some kind of olive branch meant to bring peace to our household. Perhaps her ridiculous efforts at appeasing him are as rote as my self-punishment at the sink, something she is oblivious to, a habit she didn't know she'd formed.

Do I scald my hands every evening, or only when I am especially upset? How emotionally triggered must I have been to do so with Suz as my witness? I suppose it's indicative of the depths of my misery that I would not only perform this little ritual in front of my friend, but not even be aware that I was doing so.

I thought that Suz and I met when we were about 9, but she's adamant that we met when we were 11. The significance of this didn't sink in for several weeks when, out of the blue, I realized she'd entered my life the year that my mother walked in on her hubby molesting me. This was, in many ways, the most traumatic year of my childhood, but of course I didn't tell a soul of the terrors I lived with day and night. I was happy to have a new friend in Suzanne whose ordinary, sane every day life became for me a sort of life line to keep me from drowning. Maybe my everyday world would never mimic hers, but simply knowing that such lives, such households, such families existed gave me a little flicker of hope.

As for the hands in scalding water thing, I have to admit I sometimes still do this. I rinse dishes in water as hot as I can stand it because (or so I tell myself) they will dry faster that way. But is that really why I use water so hot that my hands end up itchy and dry?

I like finding missing pieces of the puzzle of my childhood self, and figuring out where they fit into the bigger picture. Even when my discovery results in feeling incredibly stupid about things I did then (and, in some instances, still do now), it lets me know that there's a certain sense to my life, that the odd little things I don't understand about myself are there for a very good reason.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
May252010

Friendship

Recently on Facebook I reconnected with a friend I haven't seen such 1981. In a short period of time we'd become good friends, but circumstances forced me to move back to my home state (I was running from an abusive boyfriend, terrified more for my kids than for myself.) What I grieved most in our sudden uprooting was losing the companionship of Patty, for in my world which had turned mad with the constant threats from my terrorist boyfriend, she was my soft place to fall.

The friendly comment she left on my Facebook brought back the bittersweet memories. Sweet because how could I regret having moved across country when out of that decision resulted such a treasured  friendship, yet bitter because of how everything imploded, the demolition of my spirit orchestrated by the fiendish mind of one who loves to inflict pain.

How young I was then! I thought love conquered everything and so it naturally followed that if I related to my boyfriend in such and such a way he would realize what a fool he'd been to so mistreat me, humbly repent of his sins against me and begin to love me in ways I'd always longed to be loved. Recalling that period of time I realize that Patty has never known me in a time of peace; all she knew of me was connected to my efforts to keep my sanity, and flee back home first change I got. When she told me that she flies out to the Pacific NW a couple times a year, my heart quickened at the thought of hanging out together minus the underlying strain of trying to pretend that I'm okay, that of course I simply prefer wearing sunglasses in winter, it doesn't mean I'm hiding a black eye or anything.

After running for my life and settling into my new home (after a couple months of having to live with my mom and step dad--ugh-- while I went apartment hunting) I thought often of Patty. One thing I admired about her, probably more than anything else, was the fact that she wasn't on the prowl feverishly husband hunting. Like me she was a single mom, but unlike me she didn't seem to mind her situation. She didn't need a man in her life, that was the difference between us. I needed a man, or maybe I should say I convinced myself that I couldn't experience a fulfilling life without one. I couldn't see myself without a man's opinion of me. Even if that opinion were less than flattering it carried more weight than my own opinion of myself. Isn't that sad? I can't even relate to that kind of thinking anymore, in fact it's hard to imagine I ever thought along those lines.

Chatting with Patty brought it all back, resulting in a conclusion I can live with. Yes, my life was a mess back then. I made all the wrong choices, and paid dearly for them (and so did my kids to some extent), but along the way I gradually began to learn from the repercussions of those idiot choices. I learned what didn't work, and began to see how my value system had been so influenced by the world around me.

I haven't seen Patty for over 20 years. I'm glad she missed other tumultuous seasons in my life, glad that when we come together again we will be on more equal footing, for everything won't be about me and my miserable little life.