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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)

Wednesday
Oct092013

I Don't Write Pretty

Like any proud mother, I admit I'm a sucker for even the faintest praise of my baby (this blog). When someone unexpectedly offers such words, I practically glow with embarrassed pride. I'm not seeking fame here; what I strive for is to share my reality with those who can benefit by reading my truth, and to be a little lantern along the way of their healing journey, pointing them to the proper pathway.

My words here often fumble, because the truth of being a survivor of sexual abuse sometimes defies definition or expression. But I try. To not communicate what I can of my tribulations would cut against the grain. As a writer, this is how I best share my truth: by writing it down word by word, sentence by sentence, until a picture begins to emerge of my little abused self, suffering untold agonies of spirit and flesh--- until my readers begin to grasp what it is to grow into adulthood not only with that abused child still living inside of me, but many others children of different ages as well. Not everyone who suffers childhood sexual abuse splits off into multiplicity, but I did. I did, and this is my story of how Dissociative Identity Disorder enabled me to endure what no child should have to endure.

While it's true that I've been considering winding my blog down to a close, I find myself mentally and emotionally rejuvenated by the discovery that one more person has read it for the first time, and has found it helpful.

I've written about how sometimes I feel shame that I'm nearing 60 and still wrestling so much with my childhood issues. Shouldn't I have arrived by now at some sure-footed destination? Shouldn't my healing be complete? I find that nothing could be further from the truth. I've made progress mostly in baby steps. And maybe a reason to keep on chronicling my journey is to show that there isn't any true cut and dried end to this business of healing.

I used to feel so inadequate as a multiple, as if I couldn't even get that right! Then I came across the wonderful article On Being a Proper Multiple which assured me there is no right way to do multiplicity. Not everyone is a Sybil. DID doesn't manifest itself the same in every person, for we are all unique and every situation is different in the details of abuse.

Not long after beginning my blog I wrote Unmapped Miles. This was my effort to express the oddity of discovering my multiplicity, and how that discovery made me feel a tentative sort of joy. I love Unmapped Miles, not because it's great writing but because it was the first of my attempts to write my whole truth for once. What a blessing it was to be unshackled, to find my voice as a writer and put in black and white the reality of who I am, not editing out the unpleasantness of growing up as an abused redheaded stepchild.

Today I love my blog. Today I am keeping it going because I can't quite let go. And I'm not even sure I want to let go. Today I heard that someone found my words soothing, and that's apparently all I need to keep the words coming.

 

Sunday
Sep012013

Full Circle

Back when I began blogging in 2006, when my blog was on Wordpress, I barely knew what a blog was, much less what to write about. My first post wasn't about much more than my intention to record on a regular basis what it's like living with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I'd only recently been diagnosed with DID, and in trying to process this new revelation about myself I thought that writing down my thoughts might help me sort things out. Though I'd been living for decades with many personalities, I was a stranger to my own DID system. What did it mean to have this disorder? How did it affect my relationships and deepen and complicate my day to day struggles?

I've come full circle, in a way. Though I've gained many new insights into the workings of my system along the way, I'm still in the dark to some extent about my multiplicity. I find that I don't have any great words of wisdom to offer anyone who may be starting out on their own similar journey. Somewhere along the way I wrote Unmapped Miles, an expression of my own puzzled discoveries about my fractured mind. This was just the beginning of my quest for understanding. I wanted to know, I yearned to know just how the sexual abuse of my childhood had caused such fracturing of my mind. But I'm not much further along the learning process than I was 7 years ago.

I'm a little stuck right now; for weeks I've been dealing with a flood of sorrow and sadness, not knowing where it's coming from and if it truly belongs to me. Is it one of my parts in distress with whom this sorrow originates? Does it belong to all of my parts--does it even belong to me, the one who is in charge of this body and of interacting, most of the time, with the outside world?

Daily I toy with the idea of ending my blog, for it seems I'm spinning my wheels. Very rarely these days do I experience epiphanies about any of this. My thoughts are stale, my dreams are rubbed worn, and I've arrived, or so it seems, at a place where I can go no further. Is this it then? Am I to make no more progress in this quest to discover everything I can about my self: my childhood and its abuses most of all?

I'm turning 60 in 2 months. There is shame--though I'm aware there shouldn't be--at turning the big six-o and possessing little more self-understanding than I had when I began this journey into the unknown. I suppose what I thought initially was that I would embark on a journey with a definite destination. I would know when I had arrived and, once and for all I could lay down this heavy burden of confusion. Well, it seems I had it all wrong. I now believe there is no destination. You put one foot in front of the other, tentatively or with steady determination, and then the next one and the next one. You have set-backs; you relapse from your decision to be strong and deal with whatever comes up, no matter what it is because you want to know everything you can about what happened to you, and what you've turned into as a result.

I'm not bummed about turning 60. I'm bummed about turning 60 and not having gotten farther along than I have. For some reason I thought I'd have it more together by now. I thought my never-ending sorrow would by now be a thing of the past, at best a shadowed memory.

I don't know what to think about any of this. I'm disappointed in myself. I'm weary of talking and thinking about DID. That's it, really. I'm just weary of the whole thing.

 

Friday
Aug232013

Digging Deeper

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to bring long-buried emotions to the surface? This may seem like a strange question, but here's my dilemma. I'm working on my memoir again and the farther along I go, the more I realize that so many of the emotions connected with my childhood abuse are still in deep freeze.

Of course I don't want to be absolutely overwhelmed with a flood of feelings so powerful that it destroys me. But surely there is some means of recalling how I felt during the abuse: how my body responded as well as what went on in my head, and with my emotions. I feel dumb just bringing this up. I mean I know there was great fear, of course, and shame. Probably some anger, though I don't really remember that. To write a book about that season of my life requires more than just surface recollections of what happened. I remember enough of what happened to fill a book; I don't have the same recall of my feelings at the time.

What was my response to the abuse? I suppose being a multiple only complicates everything. If I dissociated a lot I wouldn't necessarily have access to the emotions held by different alters.

So, to get back to my original question. Does anyone know a safe way to encourage my pyche to give up the goods? Besides needing this to happen for the sake of my writing, I need to do this so I can continue functioning. Lately I've been flooded with sorrow, but I don't even know its source or who it belongs to. Well, the source would be mostly the sexual abuse, but does a survivor experience a sort of blanket sorrow, or does she feel sorrow for specific memories? Does every aspect of my season of abuse need to be explored and sorrow expressed, or can it be felt in a more general sense?

I'm not sure I'm asking the right questions, but this is all I've got for now. I'm hoping someone reading this gets what I mean and can lob a few pointers my way. Seems I'm as clumsy at dealing with my past as I am living my day to day life.

 

Monday
Jul222013

Journeying Toward Home

Sitting on the front porch just now with the sun streaming down on me, I had an epiphany. As a young child I played happily by myself for hours, in our backyard, often making a private little home for me and my dolls under the shade of a weeping willow tree. What contentment to sit in its shade, absentmindedly absorbing the serenade of bird songs, or the dull roar of an overhead airplane as it arced through the sky to some unknown destination.

Time seemed at once to stand still and to flow, washing over me the sweet assurance of being loved and cherished. Grasshoppers jumped to my delight and bees droned in their lazy way, seeking to suck the nectar from sweet  summer's lavishness.

Before, this is how I knew life. Before, the sun was kind to me and the long summer days were resplendent with hope and the promise of eternity. After, I found no delight in the season whose brightness rubbed me the wrong way: and here's where my epiphany enters the scene. I once loved the sunshine, for it made things glow and throb with eternity. I reveled in the promise of one day living in a land where we will no longer need the sun, for the Lamb will be our light. I loved how time went on and on, seemingly endless. But once abuse grabbed me with cold, grasping hands, I could no longer delight in the unendingness of summer, for it meant now that the abuse would never come to an end. It meant that forever and ever I would be at the mercy of evil, and for me that meant that the sun had eternally set on my soul, never to rise again, bathing me in that glow of well-being which now seemed foreign to me, a tale told out of school.

Because the abuse began on a hot summer's day I've always assumed that's the reason behind my lack of fondness for summer. But I see now it goes deeper than that, all the way back to those earliest memories of complete contentment broken now, shattered beyond repair and me with nothing to look forward to but vague terror and a degree of heart sickness for which there could be no cure.

I sat on my porch just now and the sun warmed my bones; it lightened the sidewalk to a near glow, and brought to mind a normal I once knew with the ignorance of one who has only ever known love and safety and, because of that, has no fear for the future. Oh how careless and reckless was I in the those early days, for my place in this world hadn't been contested.  I had no need to prove my value for no one had questioned it.

Yes, the time came when I thought I would exist forever in a kind of purgatory of the soul, lost in a limbo of hot, perverted hands and the searing hope for a rescue that never appeared.

On the porch, then, my heart felt a slight uplift of hope as the sun warmed me. I've already begun eternity, I thought, nothing has changed after all. The sun isn't evil and I'm no less valuable than I ever was, for nothing can change what awaits for me at the end of my long, convoluted journey toward home.

 

Monday
Jul082013

My Many Selves

During my twenties and thirties, I couldn't imagine myself as a fiftysomething woman, let alone a nana. The journey from there to here has been anything but peaceful, anything but mundane.

I thought during my younger years that it would be nice to be in my fifties and not care any more about my looks. Back then I dressed and wore my make up for men, for isn't that what we women are supposed to do? I couldn't see myself except as I was reflected in the eyes of men.

I have to laugh now at the notion that the not wearing of make up in my "elder" years would be some great triumph. I'm still wearing it, for one thing. But even if I wasn't there is more to me than my physical appearance, so much more than I could have imagined back when I was playing the dating game so avidly.

There is my warrior self, the one who protects and goes on the warpath should anyone mean to do us (or my grandchildren) harm. Earlier in life I couldn't have conceived of such a self, for I was too busy portioning out my power and strength to everyone around me. I didn't see then that I was worth protecting: my mother taught me well.

There is my funny self; she seems to have been in hiding during the years from 13-40. When I look back on how I used to be, back when I was wandering with no idea where I was heading, I wonder what happened to the one who is capable of great comedy and humor. Sometimes it seems as if I lived in a kind of deep freeze back then, as if everything inside of me: my natural tendencies, preferences, and dreams were frozen hard as a rock. It's a wonder my dreams didn't suffer from freezer burn. How did I go through decades without my sense of humor? How did I allow my dreams to lie comatose?

There is my spiritual self, but she's not anything like I pictured her to be. During my twenties and thirties I tried hard to stifle my every spiritual hunger pang or wretched thirst. How wrong it seemed to crave something so deeply. I did what I could to deny myself any kind of spiritual nourishment, settling instead for strict adherence to following legalistic rules which I felt would be sure to win me some kind of salvation. I look back with pity on my paltry efforts to be worthy of saving, knowing as I do now that there is nothing to win or earn, nothing on my part to do but accept the gift of eternal Love.

There is my creative self, who seems to have come into her own during the last ten years or so. She too didn't make much of an appearance during my earlier years, for survival is a serious business which didn't leave any room for creative expression. How stifled I must have been, dull with pent up creative frustration!

My caretaker self has been long in surfacing, dawdling and hesitant, unsure of her right to exist. Selfish, is what I would have called her decades ago, had I suspected her existence.  Anything which revolved around me and my needs must be evil and cause for massive guilt.

This journey has been long and convoluted and not one I would have chosen, had such a choice been up to me. I've traveled it with an aching heart, depleted spirit and not a little bit of cowardice, so afraid to make a wrong move and ruin everything.

There is no arrival point, I've discovered. No solid destination or estimated time of arrival. I will never look back over the route that's brought me this far and say with certainty, "I've arrived! It's all behind me now, I can relax now and simply be."

If my way has been torturous and full of calamity it has also not been without its moments of laughter, feelings of deep gratitude, and the growing ability to laugh at my human foibles. Especially have I developed the ability to laugh (not unkindly) at the misunderstandings and magical thinking of my self who once lived in a whirlwind of high heels and short dresses, waiting for my Prince Charming to come to my rescue.

I laugh with relief that I never again need follow any course in life but that which is true to me, and all of my many selves.