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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 Musings (17)

Sunday
Aug242014

This Crazy Life of Mine

I don't know what I mean to write.

Sometimes the need to write overwhelms me even (and especially) when it seems I haven't much to say.

My childhood years of abuse and trauma come to me sometimes like a dream, a dream wrapped up carelessly in an old, priceless shawl whose radiant colors have faded with time. Sometimes the thought of my childhood so wrapped up nearly leaves me breathless with dread mingled with excitement.

I dread the retelling of what never should have been. Excitement grabs me when I consider all that my story can mean to someone else who has known and endured the shame of covert acts of sexual terrorism, of those moments in time equivalent to the endless minutes I spent hunched atop my mother's washing machine, naked, alone and waiting to be abused.

I'm excited because I have something to give away, something that cost me every bit of my soul. In the act of giving lies the dread that it may be misunderstood, scoffed at or heartlessly tossed aside.

But I am used to mocking; I grew up being the subject of much mockings. Surely I can bear more of the same for the sake of those few who may read my story and weep in that good and pure way which cleanses and uplifts, readying one to go on to take more steps and fight more battles.

Oh, it's not over yet.

I live a dual life, at any moment here in the present in all my nana-ness, while the past is a slow steady stream of vignettes playing upon my mind's eye from some decrepit movie projector.

I am me, a sixty year old woman who is just learning to cry out my sorrow.

I am her, the laughingstock little girl carrying heavy burdens and hiding them within the pages of fiction I can't quite get enough of.

When I was little my Dad was everything to me. He loved God so much that I did too, and this made of us a sort of trinity which suited me well and leant to my days and nights a sweet stability and comfort.

There isn't any bemoaning my childhood so much as simply wondering at its twists and turns.

Sorrow has expressed itself and no doubt will continue to do so infrequently now that I am becoming familiar with its intonations. I'm grateful for a respite, but I don't fear her reappearance anymore. She is part of me, a part of me I haven't wanted to acknowledge, let alone explore.

Today I'm neither happy nor longing for death. I'm not particularly joyful, which is not to say that some little ray of joy couldn't zap me out of nowhere, for instance as I'm reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, or when I get a whiff of an especially pleasing scented candle.

The way I see it, I'm about one step above simply existing. I don't long for anything else, not now. Maybe some other day. Today is all about being, just being.

And so I sit and wait for whatever it is will grab me next, be it an old, old memory or a new thought that takes me in a whole new direction.

My life is mine, is what I mean to say. Others nearly robbed me of its possession but it's still all mine. Even and especially the dark, unmentionable acts which crushed me, those moments in time when I hardly knew my name and despaired of ever laughing again.

I might laugh today. Today I might laugh. It's hard to say what I'll do today with this crazy life of mine.

 

Thursday
Apr242014

Impossible Desires

I am watching a movie where a French stranger invites a woman to his cozy upstairs apartment for a cup of tea. Granted, they go on to have a torrid affair, which nearly costs her her marriage, but still I find myself envious.

I want that cup of tea.

The Frenchman is easy on the eyes, but I am past the age of caring for such things. I crave his hospitality, not the sexuality he exudes.

I want a neighbor with whom to chat over a cuppa.

This particular Frenchman lives in a wonderful apartment strewn with books: books, books everywhere, even in the bathroom. It is rainy outside, and tremendously windy. A blustery day, perfect for drinking tea and indulging in a leisurely chat. The coziness of this scene brings tears to my eyes.

Some of my parts are always craving coziness. How often have I written about this very thing, in one form or another? They long to feel at home somewhere, I think is what it is, but never do.

The truth is, if I met such a person to invite me in for a cuppa, as soon as that warm intimacy ended and I was back again alone with my selves, I'd be full of yearning once more. Life would intrude in ways that crowded out the recent pleasure of that blustery afternoon spent warm and dry with good company. Life would require of me hard things as if my pleasant afternoon was no more than a mirage.

I want to laugh over tea; I want to say funny things and hear funny things and make someone laugh. I want to explore some new environment, taking in the pictures on the walls, the knickknacks on the mantle and the presence (or absence) of pets.

It's not that I'm intensely, constantly lonely. It's just that once in awhile I see something in a movie, or read something in a book, that wrenches my heart. And then I sit stupidly, mutely, wondering what to do with such impossible, impossible desires.

 

 

 

Tuesday
Feb192013

Carrots, Eggs or Coffee?

 

Grandmother Says... Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee; "Which are you?"

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.

After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. "What's the point,grandmother?"

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity--boiling water--but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her granddaughter.

"When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

---AUTHOR UNKNOWN

Thursday
Dec172009

Testing Beauty

Isn't life odd sometimes? You get up in the morning and go about your business, not knowing what lies ahead.

Yesterday I had errands to run and decided that while I was out I'd pick up the fleece I'd special ordered for Tim a month ago. He'd called to tell me he'd decided that since the Buffalo Bills, his favorite football team, weren't doing all that great that he'd picked the Giants as his second favorite team. He mentioned how much he'd like a fleece blanket with their logo, so what did I do? I'd just gotten a gift card for my birthday for my favorite fabric store. I promptly ordered the fleece for his blanket, paying for it in advance.

I stopped to pick up my prescriptions before doing the rest of my errands. The first thing I did when I climbed out of the van was step into a huge, deep pool of water. My socks and shoes were soaked. Feeling incredibly stupid for not having noticed the lake, I sloshed my way into the drugstore, angry with myself for being so oblivious to my surroundings.

At the fabric store, I waited at the Customer Service desk for someone to bring my special order. Things were a bit chaotic, as the person waiting on me was filling in for someone else. He was waiting on the people in line as well as taking care of Customer Service. When my material came I was anxious to take it and go home. I'd already shopped at several other stores, all with soggy socks and shoes. At this point I began sweating inside my coat, but didn't want to take it off because I knew I'd be leaving soon. Both the man who handled my order and the woman who brought my material out of storage told me that they'd had many phone calls requesting this same material. I didn't think much of it at the time; I tell you, I was about to fall over from exhaustion. All I could think about was home sweet home, and a dry pair of socks.

When I left the store it was raining like nobody's business. I stood cradling my purchase, wishing I'd found a closer parking spot. From behind me a voice said, "Where are you parked?" I turned to see a little Asian woman with a large umbrella. "I'll share my umbrella with you," she told me. Well this was odd. Odd, but much appreciated. True to her word, she walked with me, shielding me from the rain. She held her umbrella over me as I unlocked the van, waited until my bundle of material was safe inside, and then wished me several times a Merry Christmas.

Ah, my faith in humanity was instantly restored! How wonderful is the kindness of strangers: it can't be earned or expected, it simply exists in its own little universe. I pulled out of the parking lot feeling rejuvenated, happy to have Tim's material in time for the holidays. (About a week after ordering it, he called to tell me he'd changed his mind, he didn't like the Giants after all. I held my tongue. How could he know I'd already ordered, and paid for, enough fleece to make the blanket he'd requested? The fact that there are no refunds on special orders troubled me, but I decided he'd just have to take the blanket and like it.)

Once safely home again I took notice (for the first time) of my special order. It looked huge. The material was on a bolt, and it seemed a bit much for 3 yards. I began unwinding it and, as I did, someone inside started giggling. This was a massive amount of fleece! Snatching the invoice off the coffee table, I saw that instead of the 3 yards I'd ordered, they'd given me 10. No wonder it had felt so heavy in my arms! Instantly I recalled being told that everyone under the sun was trying to get this material. I had visions of selling the extra 7 yards on Craigslist; why, that would be nearly $100! Think of what I could do with that kind of money.

No sooner had these thoughts crowded my mind, like excited children at a birthday party waiting for their turn at Pin the Tail on the Donkey, than reality set in. I couldn't keep the extra fabric. I couldn't keep it because I knew it was wrong, and guilt would eat me alive. I couldn't keep it because it would be the same as shoplifting that amount of goods from the fabric store. Yes, I could be cunning, play stupid, advertise my fleece on Craigslist and hope the fabric store wouldn't discover their huge blunder. But would it be any less wrong if I didn't get caught? And then it hit me that the main reason I couldn't persue my greedy little plan was that it would be like saying I didn't trust God to provide for my needs. I'd have to lie and steal in order to get my needs met, because God just can't be trusted to provide for poor Beauty.

Ah, such temptations! There was a time in my life when I would have done such a thing without experiencing much guilt. I'm sorry to have to admit this, but it's true. I learned the hard way that what goes around comes around. Without such temptations I wouldn't know how much I've matured over the years. My integrity used to be a wobbly thing, it couldn't bear much of a challenge. I've obviously grown over the years, and this is a good thing to find out. But wait. Would I be so willing to do the right thing if the material was something I absolutely loved? If it was something that would go with the decor of one of my rooms, would I be tempted to use it to make curtains and throw pillows? And if so would I cave in to that temptation?

Well, one temptation at a time! There is only the here and now, and that is what I'm responsible for. The material will get returned as soon as possible, and I'll have a funny little story to tell about it for years to come.

I'm still mad about my wet socks and shoes, though. I hate when that happens!

 

 

Tuesday
Dec152009

New Pennies

I spend my days like new pennies fresh from the mint. Though I suspect there is a hoarder living inside of me, I know that I can't save up time for future use. I must invest it now with all the savvy of one who has learned the value of minutes, days and weeks. Each day is a shiny new penny full of promise. How will I spend it?

If I look at busyness as the only criteria for gauging how well I spend my days, I fall into the trap of feeling shame for the days that seem to have no particular beginning or ending. When puttering about my home is all I can manage it feels like a wasted day. But is it? Is there no value in the time spent feeding my soul with good books, or anything that nourishes my withering spirit?

I spend most of my days in miserly fashion, but some days seem suited to reckless abandon. Carefully I've used my gift of time, responsible to some inner force which insists I have something to show for each day's gift of life. Inevitably I rebel against this strident voice which is all about condemnation and knows nothing of grace. I waste hours on terrible movies with no plot while dishes sit cold and dirty in the sink, and dust gathers on furniture. I can't rouse myself to tend to house cleaning on days like these, nor do I care that I can't seem to get going. Another voice, soothing and much more reasonable than the other, speaks to me of the pleasures of lolly gagging. It assures me I'm more than an efficient cleaning machine and, in fact, my worth is not attached to anything I do.

I never know in advance the turn my day will take. You know what they say about the best laid plans! When I've made a list of everything I need to do and, one by one, I'm frustrated no matter which way I turn, I reluctantly concede to this new turn of events. I don't give in graciously, for all I can think is that what I don't accomplish today will be there hanging over my head tomorrow. But tomorrow unravels in its own  meandering way. No amount of prodding will hurry it along. I'm impatient, I want to play catch up as if I had control of my days. Constantly I'm met with interruptions in the projects I just have to finish. It's a challenge to meet these interruptions with a loving spirit or even a sense of humor. When the interruption is in the form of Maddy and Anna, suddenly needing me to watch them for a while, I'm torn.

Someone has said how they rued the constant interruptions of their life's ministry, until they finally came to see that those interruptions were their ministry. Dishes and scrubbing and laundry, oh my! Yes, but there are grandkids who need hugging today, and words which only I can speak which may be spoken too late tomorrow.

I spend my days like new pennies, but pennies are often tossed about carelessly. May I learn when to be frugal, and when to spend them with delighted abandon.