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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 Healing (70)


A Much-needed Reminder

A recent comment on my last blog entry made me think. I've written about the burden of figuring out my DID, of nurturing my parts and feeling, in a sense, that I must somehow save them. I've lamented my ability to be of any use to them.

Marcy pointed out that perhaps it's not a map or directions I need, but to listen to my guide. Listening can be much harder than doing, at least for me. When one is busy there is the illusion of getting somewhere, of making a sort of progress. Listening does not produce sudden, visible results, making it more difficult to gauge one's progress. It's worth adding that it's not lost on me that listening from the heart requires a degree of humility.

I seem to be on a humility kick lately, I mean in terms of realizing how much of it I lack. Is it humbling to admit to my ineptness at interacting with my system? Of course it is. Humbling too to have no control over the fact that I've been left "holding the bag" as my abusers went their merry way, leaving me to try to pick up the shattered pieces of my once whole self.

This seems unfair (and is), but maybe I should look at it this way. I have much to gain by doing the inner work which only I can do; they had much to lose by not attending to their own issues. They were the losers, though on the surface it may seem just the opposite. They left me broken, to be sure, pierced through the heart. But it's not a wound which is beyond healing as long as I will keep my hands off of it and do only that for which I am responsible: consent to the ministrations of the One who knows me best.

I got it into my head as a child that I must take care of myself, forever. That's not true. I may have needed to believe that then, but as an adult I can put away such childish notions. It's not true that I'm alone in this; it's not true that I must slog along, alone, attempting to be everything to a system of alters I hardly know (and most of the time hardly desire to know.)

I don't really have to do anything on my own. Sometimes it's nice to be reminded of that.



I'm No Saviour

I remember how stunned I felt about five or six years ago after receiving my DID diagnosis. There's no way I could have been prepared for that, even though I went to a therapist specializing in this disorder on the recommendation of a friend, who suspected I was a multiple.

This weekend I caught only the tail end of the remake of the movie Sybil, with Jessica Lange cast in the role of Sybil's therapist, Dr. Wilbur. Much to my delight the TV station ran an encore presentation of the movie, but I fell asleep within ten minutes. I'm not sure why I wanted to watch it; I suppose out of curiosity to see its differences to the original.

Dissociative Identity Disorder has been on my mind more than usual lately. I'm not sure why that is, but I do seem to go through phases where I try to figure it all out before it seems to fade away into a vague sense of unreality. It's as if I become--suddenly--very aware of my alters, and this evokes mingled feelings of sadness, curiosity, depression and shame. As many times as I tell myself there is nothing of which to be ashamed, and least of all my various personalities, it's there all the same whispering that I am a freak, an oddity.

I want to become more aware of my insiders. I want to want this more than I do now. They probably deserve more of my nurturing attention, though this is not a certainty. I'm parroting what I've read in books and on DID blogs. I'm tentatively reaching out to my alters while simultaneously keeping some elbow room for myself. I don't know if this can be done, but here I am trying anyway.

When the book Sybil came out in the 70's I read it with amazement. My conclusion was that it must be all kinds of fun to be a multiple. Think of the mystery! Part of me was a bit envious, for it seemed that Sybil was as messed up as I, but with a big huge excuse to blame everything on: she was a multiple.

Now, of course, I realize my ignorance. There is nothing fun about this disorder. I hate that it's even labeled as such. I call it that with little conviction. I'm still confused as to how a disorder could have helped me survive my childhood. I no longer see multiplicity as what I thought it was back then, a blanket excuse for all wild/inconsistent/childish/selfish behaviour. Rather than longing to excuse my own sometimes baffling behaviour, I'd much rather not act out of the "norm" to begin with.

My beliefs about DID in general have changed, my outlook matured. But when it comes to my disorder, that's a horse of a different color. Now I'm treading on dangerous ground, dangerous mainly in that it causes me to peer a little too closely at my own angst and brokenness. A glimpse of my alters from time to time is one thing, but looking too closely causes all sorts of conflicts to arise. How could I multiply into many when I was raised in a religious household which believed that even fiction was sinful? One's imagination was not encouraged it was derided, condemned. To make up stories (as I did, for I'd discovered early that I was a writer) was no different that lying, and everyone knows the evil in that.

I'm not sure what direction to take these days in dealing with the ins and outs (no pun intended) of my multiplicity. Every time I think I've made a new start, begun treating my parts as if they really are people who deserve respect, I falter. I stumble, then trip over the rigid thinking of my family of origin.

I am not about to rescue or save my alters from anything, so it seems. And I'm not even sure it's my job to do so.




Audacious Dignity

I met Sissyface yesterday to pick out paint for my apartment.

I've never done this before, never had the luxury of choosing different colors for every room. My head swam from all the available choices. Someone inside my head kept sounding off a warning, but I ignored it. Yes, it seems sinfully indulgent to be doing something like this but you know what? I'm doing it anyway. I'm ignoring all the warnings and dire predictions of doom and decorating my new place as best I can.

For the living room I chose Toasted Wheat. How cozy does that sound? I've always wanted a living room in a warm color like this and always had to settle for dull white. The trim will be done in a creamy hue called Vanilla Ice Cream.

My kitchen is going to be done in Cream Yellow. I've decided to take back the color yellow, having realized lately that I haven't liked it since I painted my room that color when I was 10, and was molested in it. So yellow it is, with the same creamy trim as the living room.

I decided on Cerulean Haze for my bathroom, with a sharp white trim. The bedroom will be done in Soft Pink to offset the beautiful quilt Sissyface bought me.

My plan is to have curtains at every window. I don't remember the last time I lived with curtains, it's been nothing but ugly blinds everywhere I've lived. It will take me a while to be able to afford them, but worth the wait. I still can't picture how everything will look and part of that is because I haven't seen the apartment yet. I imagine it's just like Sissyface's, only smaller. But I'm sure there are dissimilar details as well.

So far this is how the coming week is shaping up for me:  packing, and finishing a baby blanket order and getting it sent off. Fortunately I'm nearly over my bad cold, but of course now my toothache is beginning to throb once more. I'm hoping to slide on going to the dentist until I get all settled in.

None of us knows what the future holds, all we can do is muddle along doing our best to believe that there will be ups along with the downs. Anything can happen. I may be punished for daring to follow through on my need for my own space, it may be the ultimate in audacity to think it's okay to do so. But I'm moving ahead with my plans regardless. If I've learned nothing else in life I've learned that so often the voices of doom I hear whenever something good happens are simply my old outdated conditioned thinking, "stinking thinking" left over from a fractured childhood.

And so I keep on keeping on, looking neither to the left nor to the right. Tim seems to be suddenly aware of the fact that I raised five kids alone, on minimum wage. He keeps marveling, saying things like, "How did you do that, Mom?"

Well, how indeed. By putting one foot in front of the other. By saving my weary tears for the dead of the night when my little ones were deep in Dreamland and I could cry in secret. By being too stubborn to give up. I don't know how I did it, honestly.

Stubbornness is a great motivator. Haven't we all accomplished the impossible at times out of sheer refusal to give in to defeat? I know I've had more than my share of times of feeling like I wasn't going to give up on something even if it killed me, because I was so tired of failure.

What hard things are you facing in your life right now, things which you're determined to follow through on no matter how much courage it requires?

It occurs to me what a beautiful thing it is for survivors of horrendous abuse to even entertain the idea of following one's dreams. Of even having those dreams in the first place.

Such audacity! I'm proud to be part of a community of survivors who dare the impossible by facing the storms of life with audacious dignity.



When I Awaken

When will I awaken from my childhood trance?

I wonder what it will be that breaks the evil spell from that long ago season--the kiss of a loving grandchild, perhaps, taking me back to a time when kisses still held wonder. The grandeur of the ocean as I walk the beach and something about the sun glinting on the waves hurts me with such breathtaking beauty that I am startled awake?

When ISleeping-Beauty-Cover.jpg come back to myself will my body be as familiar to me as a well-worn pair of shoes, or a favorite room in which one has spent many lovely, leisurely hours? Or perhaps my body will seem foreign to me and awkward, and  I will walk in it with tentative steps, unsure of its reliability.

Will there be singing about me, the song of a long-forgotten lullaby once known by heart, or will silence greet me: the silence of all things made new.

I am mad for this, as mad as I used to be for love to claim me heart and soul. All about me I see people alive in their bodies and I am smitten with deep wistfulness, the wistfulness of a wallflower who must always remain a spectator, never a participant.

Will I know when I've awakened, I wonder, or will it be a process so subtle that I nearly miss it? I picture my awakening as a dramatic event but maybe that's not how it works. Maybe it's more like how Tim is recovering from his motorcycle accident: here a little, there a little. Did he awaken from his coma totally disoriented without the faintest idea of what his mind and body had endured, everything but a blur? I imagine him taking in his hospital room, his gown and feeding tube all with a mixture of horror and puzzlement. At what point did he begin to feel that his body belonged to him and that he was no longer living in a hellish limbo--or has that yet to happen?

When he saw his image for the first time after his accident, was he astonished by how much his looks had altered, or was there no awareness at all that he was no longer the same? 

When will I awaken from my trance and when I do, who will I see facing me in the mirror? 





An Invincible Summer

(I got the idea for this post from today's sidebar quotation from Albert Camus.)

Those of us who endure the unthinkable, who muddle our way through troubled, sorrowful childhoods which evolved into a landscape of adulthood full of trepidations and fears, bear within us an invincible summer. The fact of our survival is proof of this.

In the backyard of the rental home we moved into shortly before The King of the Mountain moved in to wreak havoc on so many lives, there were wild, sweet blackberriesFRBLA18328_2.jpg which bled in the sun, filling the days with a lovely scent so at odds with the chaos and perversions inside the bleak walls of that home.

I blinked at the wonder of them, of their purply perfection and the fact of their gorgeous existence. How incongruous those blackberries seemed to me, swollen with ripeness in advertisement of some good in the world. At times such beauty seemed to mock me; I picked them and held them in my hands, watching in wonder as they dyed my skin (for their lovely joy could not be contained but must messily spill over, making their beauty known.)

I shared an intimacy with those wild berries, as I did with the battered, sturdy tree trunk I climbed again and again, spying on the world as I hid amongst its branches and leaves. What were my thoughts as I banged my knees on its roughness, climbing higher and higher away from the madness of my family? And wasn't I climbing towards something as surely as I was in flight, climbing higher and higher from everything ground level which so tormented my soul?

I think my thoughts were pretty scattered; they flitted through my mind like chattering birds, colorful and full of noise. There can be no true paradise in this world, and yet I felt something akin to the comforting delight of a paradise of sorts as I crouched in that old tree, watching the mailman feed the line of dented mailboxes across the street, or a lone child sauntering along our downhill street lazily kicking rocks, whistling some made up tune as he went.

Summertime, and the living wasn't easy. This was the season the abuse began, and I have been at odds with it ever since. Something wasn't quite right about a season which all but demanded joy and perkiness when every nook and cranny in my life told a different story. I wanted to embrace this season, wanted to greet it like an old friend from days gone by. The best I could do was treat its presence with wariness, tucking away in some odd corner of my soul all that I had once loved best of the long sunny days.

I couldn't have known at the time that for all my suspicious carefulness, there was stored up within me an invincible summer. There is about summer a certain connotation of strength, something I didn't equate with myself. Well, and look at me: a little redheaded stepchild, forlorn in my cotton dresses, convinced that at the age of 7 I'd already used up my share of all the love I'd ever receive in the world.

I went at life with a vengeance all the same, riding my bike downhill daredevil style (no hands), catching poisonous spiders in wide-mouthed jars with nonchalance, jumping from heights I had no business climbing to in the first place. If love had ended, I would have to look elsewhere for something with which to bracket my days and nights. Adventure, danger, it didn't matter. I needed something to remind myself that I was still alive, something to fill my days with something other than playing my stepdad's version of keep away with my body.

There lives within me every inappropriate touch with its resulting shame, every mocking, caustic remark which seared the very heart of me. There lives within the stretched out summer dayscid_003f01c71319825afe202BA94816zalianf9454ce0.jpg with their unspoken promise of better times to come.  Winter itself was not enough to mold and refine me into who I was meant to be; it needed summer to pitch in and balance things out, to make of me someone sturdy and resiliant and capable of recognizing  beauty among ashes.

There lies within each one of us (if we will have it so) an invincible summer, a source of blossomings and growth where we never thought to see anything but ugly dead weeds.  Most of the time it seems that winter will win, winter with his harsh winds and girlrain.gifrandom storms, threatening to sweep us up in a maelstrom not of our own making.

Winter is only part of the story, only one truth about who we are as survivors. Our stories must be sung in two part harmony, or there is no depth or integrity to them. They must be sung in the dark (oh especially in the dark) as well as in the sweet benediction of sunny days, for we are children of both sunshine and shadows. 





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