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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 Sexual abuse (48)

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
Mar132014

This Isn't Just MY Story

I awoke this morning to more disturbing concerns about my sister. Seems I can't shake the thought of her pain, a pain I couldn't even recognize during the years she was so snide with me. How well she hid it! Now, with her haunted eyes, she reminds me of my stepsister, Doreen. The family scapegoat, the one my mother tried to beat into submission.

Sometime during the 8 years or so that Sissyface and I were estranged, Doreen died. When I learned of this it hurt my heart to think how long it had been since I'd seen or had any contact with her. True, I was overwhelmed with my role of single mom to 5 little stair steps, but couldn't I have made more of an effort? While it's for sure I can't save anyone, maybe my caring could have made a difference.

I don't want to shrug off D. as easily as I did Doreen. I'm not comfortable thinking of her pain, for it's a reminder of that bleak house I grew up in. I'd much rather take things from here and just send her greeting cards and emails from time to time, to let her know I'm thinking of her. But that's not enough. In my heart I know it's not enough.

As the big sister, I feel a responsibility. I couldn't save any of them; God help me, I didn't even know they needed saving. But now, can I forge a trail (like the Pathfinder I used to be) to lead my sister out of the despair of her childhood wilderness? Can I walk with her and assure her that she is making progress, that she will get there--wherever "there" happens to be?

I want to weep for the pain I saw in her eyes. She is quick to laugh and joke (as who isn't in my family?), but the pain is undeniable.

I saw how haunted she is, and since she'd just asked about my writing my mind immediately went to my memoir.

I'm telling, I told someone, silently. I'm telling what happened in that house. I am. It's not just my story any longer, it belongs to all of us and someone needs to tell it to set all of us free of it:

My brother getting beat up, while my mom watched silently.

My little brother being thrown against the garage door when he was a toddler.

My puppy dog being abused.

The instant sense of hot indignation and shame the first time I was violated.

The slugs on my bedroom wall at night, symbolic, surely, of everything ugly and unbearable my life had become.

The mother shutting D. up in the bathroom, without expression, and coldly denying me permission to bring her comfort.

The middle-of-the-night invasions, the quick feel when Mom's back was turned, the heavy, heavy weight of it all.

I'm telling. I'm telling whether or not anyone cares, or wants to hear. This is the problem with having a writer in the midst of an abusive family. Sooner or later, they tell.

I don't know if my sister will be any better now at staying in touch than she was years ago. Communication, like intimacy, is not something I can force. What I can do is be here in whatever way she needs me. I can talk about whatever she wants to talk about, if she is able now for such conversations. I am tempted to send her a copy of my poetry book, but I'm afraid that since the theme is my sexual abuse, it will crush her.

Sad, isn't it, that our mutual shame and misery at having been sexual objects is probably the only thing over which we will bond?

 


 

Thursday
Nov072013

We Never Get Over It

One of my sons shared with me a conversation he had with a neighbor, who told him her son is in prison. She said he belongs there, even though he didn't really hurt anyone. Then she continued to say that he and 3 of his friends got drunk one night, and they all molested an 8 year old girl.

"She didn't get hurt, but she'll never get over it," is how the woman phrased it.

"Why won't she get over it if she didn't get hurt?" I said, with great indignation.

My son was pretty hot under the collar about it (he has a 10 year old daughter). He kept going on about how that's something that stays with you the rest of your life, etc. I decided not to get sarcastic when I said, "I know."

I've been mulling this over throughout the day. Never get over it?

This is how it goes for me.

I walk into the bathroom and close the door, and immediately I feel like I can't breathe. I was molested many, many times in bathrooms.

I see the color yellow and my brain grows fuzzy. The brand new house we moved into when I was 9 was bright yellow. And so was the bedroom in which I was molested and raped more times than I could count.

An oldie but goldie comes on the radio, and I have to pull my car over because I can't see through my tears. I listened to that song after another rape, after walking on wobbly legs with warm sperm running down my thighs,  back to the tenuous comfort of my own room.

As my bedtime approaches, anger deepens. I don't want to go to bed. Bed is where I was awakened to my abuser bending over me. Doing things no one needs me to describe.

I awaken in the morning with fury my first emotion of the day. I don't remember, but I just bet I experienced that same fury as a kid when I awakened to yet another burdensome day to somehow be gotten through, and my mother no help at all.

I watch an old sitcom I used to enjoy with my father, and have to change the channel. The enjoyment of certain shows was forever ruined by the devastation of being torn from him when I was 7.

For days, perhaps even weeks, I put up with pain or some medical condition because it takes me that long to a) acknowledge I really am miserable, and b) that it's okay to do something about it. I wasn't allowed as a redheaded stepchild to have needs and human feelings.

For decades I went through a number of relationships with men, many of them abusive, because I didn't know I deserved better. I didn't tell anyone in my life about the abuse. When my mother found her hubby molesting me, nothing changed.

Someone says something genuinely kind to me and I want to crumple myself up into a ball and die. When I lost my dad, he took all kindness with him.

I awaken in the middle of the night sometimes to my entire body thrumming, as if it's experiencing a sort of earthquake.  When my stepfather abused me my body trembled with fear.

A friend gifts me unexpectedly with cash and, as much as I need it, it feels as if the entire bottom has just dropped out of my world. My mother stayed with my abuser because he brought home a healthy, steady paycheck.

Someone comes up behind me unexpectedly and I jump and scream. My stepdad was forever accosting me around corners, appearing seemingly out of nowhere just when I thought I was safe from his grasping hands.

I sit down to write my story--MY story--and instantly doubts set in. My stepfather used to mock my writing attempts with his acidic remarks, insinuating that writing was a stupid thing to do, and that I was too stupid to attempt doing so anyway.

I see the look on someone's face when what I say or do something idiotic. I've just dissociated, for in the process of being destroyed by sexual abuse, my mind fractured into many parts in order to survive the unthinkable.

And so it goes.

We don't get over it. That's something we (my DID system and I, as well as our fellow survivors) don't get. We don't get to know life in what would be considered a "normal" manner. We're too busy surviving, for one thing.

Many mornings I awaken wrestling with thoughts of suicide. Today? Can it possibly wait? I am so very tired. Maybe I wouldn't even be alive to write this if it wasn't for the fact of my Chronic Fatigue.

That poor little girl. All the poor little boys and girls of the world who never get over it.

Poor them. Poor me. Poor us . . .

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.