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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 Mental health (4)

Wednesday
Sep282016

So You've Decided to Heal

Dear Brave Soul,

Don't laugh, I call you this because, even though I don't know you, I know the amount of courage it took you to face up to the fact that you need to heal. And then from there to decide, okay, I want to do this. I want to heal. You've perhaps come to the conclusion, as I did years ago, that time itself does nothing but age you. It doesn't heal, it simply moves you physically further from the season of your abusive childhood, offering you no healing properties in the process.

And so here you stand (or slump, or lie facedown on the floor, whimpering) with a steadily growing conviction (that you need healing) morphing into a coherent resolution (I want to begin the healing process). The good news is, you've taken the first step which will set all kinds of things in motion. The bad news is, you've taken the first step which will set all kinds of things in motion.

Your decision to begin a journey of recovery from your traumatic childhood is going to stir up all the memories you've been trying to shut out for years, or decades. You will wonder why you ever thought dealing with your childhood was such a great idea. No one told you it would be this painful! What's the point, anyhow, if all you have to look forward to is more pain?

The point is that by facing and confronting the memories your pain will begin to be manageable. Some days it won't seem like it because some days you will feel raw, and everything around you will feel like salt in your open wounds. But not every day will be like this. Like everyone else, you will have your good days and your bad days. Some days and weeks it will seem as if your entire universe revolves around your healing, and you're right because it does, at least initially. In the beginning of the journey you're about to embark on, you will necessarily have to focus on you and everything that made you who you are. You can't accomplish this without looking back from where you've come. It's unavoidable. But you won't have to live simultaneously in the present and the past forever, at least not to such an extreme as is required in your early season of healing. 

Life will seem not to change much, perhaps for a long while. You must expect this so that you can be tender with yourself (or, if you're a multiple, your selves). You must believe, even in the face of no such tangible evidence, that one day you're going to come into your own. You mustn't crack a whip over your own head in a frenzy to force yourself to arrive there before you're ready. Your abuser did that when he introduced you to sexuality on his timetable. You mustn't continue what he started. Forcing yourself to move faster than you are able to along your journey of recovery and healing will stall you out. Healing takes time; it can't be rushed or forced. 

You will have nights when every cunning demon in the universe seems to be whispering your name in your ear like a contemptuous taunt, nights when sleep is like an offended friend who has turned his back on you in disgust, and refuses to return. Nights when you recall with clarity every detail of your abuser: the color of his hair, the pores of his sweaty face, his favorite brand of aftershave which you can smell again there in the night, alone. You will convince yourself that this is all you have to look forward to for the rest of your life: these night time horror fests when bits and pieces of your childhood come up like vomit, and you powerless to stop it.

In spite of this, you mustn't allow yourself to give up your resolution to recover. Though this resolution may not seem like much, it's the strongest thing you own. No one can snatch it from you, it can only be freely surrendered. You may relapse and throw in the towel on an especially hard day, but don't let that rob you of your future. There is a certain rhythm to this process of recovery. You might take one step forward and then fall back five, but that's okay, it's just part of the process and not to be taken as a permanent failure. You're not a failure, no matter how often you stumble. You are stronger than you think: you've already survived the worst thing that ever happened to you!

I've been dealing with my own recovery for close to 15 years, and I can honestly say I never thought I'd be where I am today. And yet there are moments when I despair of ever being totally free of my past. Though it doesn't loom over me in the way it once did, I must face the fact that we can only choose how to deal with our childhoods. We are never quite free of them, though the hold they've had on us can be loosened to such an extent that we can live without remembering the brunt of the abuse every minute of every day. Once we've got some mileage under us along the road of recovery we can choose what to focus on. We can choose, and make little adjustments along the way, because, well, because why not? We're in charge of our lives now!

Some days I just sense that I need to address certain issues. For me that usually means I need to deal with my DID system, something I don't like to do. But for every day like that there are many, many more where I barely think of what was done to me in the first place that made my many personalities necessary in order to survive.

As you head out into the first steps of your oh-so-brave journey, with nothing more than your wobbly resolve to guide you, hear my blessing over you from one overcomer to another:

May you find the footprints of those who have gone before you to help guide your way, and encourage you in the heat of the day and the cold of the night.

May you gift yourself with all the time in the world you need for your journey, remembering it is the journey itself that brings the healing you so yearn for, for there is no destination at which you will magically arrive.

May you allow yourself to be the intelligent, sensitive person you've always been beneath the heavy, dreary weight of trauma and abuse.

May you find like-minded souls for friendship, nurturing and as a source of encouragement along the way.

And, may you some day find yourself on the other side of your worst struggles and fears, standing strong as you cheer others on, away from the past of their victimization into their true place under the sun.

All my best,

 

 

 

 

Sunday
Sep042016

Passing the Torch

Sometimes I'm weary of the whole DID thing. If it were simply a lifestyle I decided to try out to see if I liked it I would have said long before this, "Uh, thanks but no thanks." 

Recently I read The Minds of Billy Milligan. I found this true account of multiplicity quite intriguing, and that's another thing I don't much care for, that I can read about DID in reference to someone else and even admire that person for persevering and knowing so much about their system. But when it's me and my system? I get exasperated. Impatient. Angry. I don't see one single thing to admire about my own management of a group of insiders I barely know. They are strangers to me, I'm barely aware of their existence most of the time. Reading the Billy Milligan story gave me a bad case of DID envy. I mean, everyone but me (or so it seems) who lives with this disorder knows their system inside and out. Why don't I know mine? Is it because I put up resistance? Are they deliberately in hiding from me, and if so why? If they are here to help then why play hide-and-seek?

Another thing that gripes me is that I'm turning 63 next month and here I am still plodding along not dealing with something I should be dealing with. I've never figured out why this is so hard for me. I can't get to the bottom of it, it's all a murky mystery. I've a sinking feeling it's never going to get any better than this. As Jack Nicolson's character said, "What if this is as good as it gets?" Well it probably is. I mean if I haven't figured this out by now what are the odds I will at some later date when my health is failing, and my memory too?

This is one of those posts that have no real resolution. I didn't think when I began that by the time I reached the end I'd have arrived at any conclusions. So in that respect I'm not disappointed. I'm slightly relieved that I took the time to write this; I'd forgotten how good it feels to blog about my troubles. Whether or not anyone is reading it feels good to write it.

I spent nearly the entire day working on the revision of my poetry book. I don't mention DID in these poems, but they were written about the time in my childhood when I was mauled and raped by my abuser on a regular basis. I'm at the point of editing and so of necessity I must read every word, something I absolutely don't relish. Hard to write such poetry in the first place and double hard to read it later at different stages in your life and not feel as if it's all whining. I swear at one point I wanted to yell, "Just get over it already!"

All kinds of mixed up thoughts ran through my mind while editing. In addition to "just get over it" I found myself thinking, rather defensively, that if I hadn't been raped for 8 years I wouldn't have had to write such poetry in the first place, and wouldn't now be having to edit it in the second place. And then I thought how writing about such violence is supposed to be healing, and sharing your sufferings in the form of writing can be like passing the torch to someone whose pathway has been ill-lit and scary.

So. Here I am passing the torch. I do this in the poetry I so despised today. Forging ahead with the editing even though everything and everyone inside of me was protesting, is me handing that torch over. Everytime I make no explanations or excuses for my often quirky behavior to someone who doesn't know its source, I'm passing on the torch. Because how easy it would be (and has been for much of my life) to laugh along with someone else about what a goof I am, how I can't do anything right and my memory has more holes than swiss cheese, etc. I must make a choice whenever I am met with another's humor or scorn at my ineptness at this whole business of living. I can hide inside my shell, laugh along with them, make up something that sounds halfway credible...or I can do none of those things. Instead, I can take one for the team. Not just my unique little team of insiders but also in the bigger sense of the whole DID community, however small or expansive that might be. If I take one for my team then I'm not adding to the misinformation that's already out there circulating about us. I'm not encouraging the stigma attached to this mental illness by scoffing at it or making myself the butt of a joke.

Passing the torch and taking one for the team--these are two things I can do even though I don't understand the world inside of me. And for now that will have to be enough.

Friday
May072010

What Doesn't Work for Me

I remember now why in the past I've never stuck with anti-depressants. They have such a weird affect on me, one that leaves me feeling as though I'm on speed. Being proud of myself for having asked for help must not outweigh the fact that I do poorly on such medications. I took one pill (Wellbutrin) night before last and spent a nightmarish night, not really sleeping exactly but seeing lots of troubling things in my head, and tossing and turning.

Yesterday was grocery shopping day and, truthfully, I probably shouldn't have been behind the wheel of a car. My concentration was very erratic, my anxiety level was through the roof. I didn't really begin to feel like myself again until around 5 in the evening.

When I talked this over with Sissyface she suggested I stop taking the medication. It honestly hadn't occurred to me that I could do that, simply not take what my doctor prescribed. What a sense of relief to think it through and realize that the choice is mine. I don't have to subject myself to this if I choose not to.

Therapy is one thing, drugging myself quite another. I've always had such a low tolerance for any kind of medication that has the capacity to alter my consciousness. Part of healthy self-care needs to be allowing myself to be who I am. This means that when I'm wondering in the back of my mind if a new medication might freak me out (and it did vaguely cross my mind at the doctor's office), I should be willing to face the fact that I have this little oddity about me. Denial is strong because I hate the fact that I can't take lots of medications that others can. It makes me feel rather, oh babyish I guess would be the word.

I'm still bumbling my way through life attempting to figure out as I go just what works for me in my recovery and healing from childhood abuse, and what doesn't.  There was a time when my emotional/physical and mental limitations caused me to feel intense guilt. I'm trying not to go down that road this time. This time I'm making the effort to allow myself grace to be who I am, and to not see everything in such black and white terms. It's not a matter of if I don't take my meds I'm a bad person, if I do take them I'm a good person--and never mind how they affect me.

(One pill over 24 hours ago and I'm still feeling some of the after-effects. Sheesh!)

Tuesday
Jan052010

That Thin Line

The car I've had for about 3 months is dead, its engine fried. Right now I've no particular feelings about this and I'm thinking it's because I'd loaned it out to my son for  most of the time I've had it, so I never really had a chance to get too attached. Or maybe I'm simply numb because this kind of thing has happened to me so many times that there just aren't any feelings of deep disappointment left.

I'm trying to imagine what in the world could happen that would make it possible to once again own a car. My income is fixed, so there's no help there. I don't have rich relatives, I couldn't afford monthly payments on a car even if my credit wasn't abysmal. How then can this car be replaced? Well, it will be interesting to see what happens next. As a matter of fact I didn't expect to get this car, it was bought for me by my son and his wife.

I've come to realize that it's not situations such as the loss of transportation which bedevils my spirit. I don't like dealing with anything that involves financial difficulty, but it's the type of difficulty I can handle best. The son who bought me the car, and the one who had borrowed it felt worse than I did about its untimely demise. It's not that I don't feel the loss at all, it's more that I've consigned such losses to the inevitable. These things happen, and they happen to me on a pretty regular basis. I would be hard pressed to deal with a sudden inheritance of money, so adept have I become at making do. No, what's hardest for me to deal with in my little universe are the intangibles: a friend who goes into hibernation infrequently and becomes totally inaccessible to me; a misunderstanding in a friendship which can't be easily resolved; the emotional angst of the random piercing stab of regret for the loss of an old love. These are what cause my spirits to sag so low that I can barely shuffle through my days.

I had thought to get back into therapy once I got my car back. I see now that I'll have to consider an alternative method of getting to appointments. Yesterday I mentioned not being able to use public transportation. I doubt that'll be changing any time soon. How badly do I want to go into therapy? Isn't there a slight sense of relief at having no car to take me there? Is it possible to feel that relief at the same time that I feel a keen disappointment?

In therapy, I tell myself, I could work through whatever needs to be worked through in order to better navigate my way through the landscapes of my relationships. I would learn new skills and tools for doing so. There would be a guide of sorts, my therapist, to help me stay the course. Right now in the meantime, in the in-between time of no therapy I find myself weighed down with grief and depression and sadness. I don't know their origins or perhaps I know them all too well and am not willing to over think them or call them by name.

I'm keeping my head above water, not by much but enough to avoid drowning and that counts for something. I've no strident goals or chores for myself today. No, I'd do better to take it easy and be gentle with myself. Because even if I'm not exactly mourning my dead car, there's more Maybe a horse would be more reliable?than enough mourning going on inside of me for other things to know that I'm walking an emotionally/mentally thin line.