First Things First
Getting Down to Basics
Please Sign
Ponder This

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This area does not yet contain any content.

Entries in truth (10)

Monday
Jun232014

Truth Enough (for now)

My mother didn't marry an abuser. She married a rapist.

She didn't merely hold me at arm's length, she displayed contempt for me.

She didn't refuse to explain why I could no longer see my dad because she thought I was too young to understand. She didn't explain because she didn't care what not knowing did to me.

My mother didn't send my oldest brother to live with our grandmother because she wanted to protect him from my stepfather's fists. She sent him away because his presence was a threat to the new life she'd cobbled together out of the misery of others.

It wasn't a shock to my mother when she stumbled into the living room late one night to find her hubby molesting me. Her angry reaction was not aimed at the deed (which I believe she already knew about), but at being forced to see it for herself, and question what kind of mother she was to allow her daughter to be mauled.

When I was forced to take on my rapist's name, it was my mother's way of exerting fuller control over me. It wasn't so that all the kids in the family would have the same last name (as she asserted years later). My kids don't all have the same last name, and it's not that big of a deal. She forced his name on me because she felt that she owned me.

The time I ran into their bedroom, unthinkingly, and saw my stepdad naked and my mother screamed at him to use his belt on me:  what was that but a manifestation of the contempt she always felt towards me, but usually kept better hidden,  like a neatly folded garment tucked beneath the careful layers of her outer refinement?

Now I'm thinking, this is my sorrow. It belongs to me. Unlike my flesh, it is all mine. I didn't want it, buy it, barter for it, but yet here it is, still,  after all these years. Others have shamed me for feeling it so long after the events which created it have faded into history. I let them. I let them tell me how to feel because I had no idea what I was allowed to feel. Didn't I need permission to feel? No one was giving me permission to experience my shame, so I buried it as best I could like the dead, detestable thing I wanted it to be.

"Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction."

Didn't my mother ever read that verse?

My shame wasn't detestable! I've had it backwards all along. My mother's easy acceptance of my rapist's perversions? That was detestable. She brought it into our home and into into our daily lives. Not only did she not regard it as vile or detest it, she encouraged it by coughing politely, and looking the other way while he made room for it. How nimbly she stepped aside as he erected his shrine to pedophilia, avoiding all eye contact with me lest she see something reproachful in my eyes.

I waited. All those years while waiting for my father to rescue me, I also waited to discover the key to my mother and stepfather's acceptance. I gave them canine like obedience, thinking to earn their love and acceptance through such means. Looking for clues, I missed what was all too obvious: there was no key; there was no key because their world was not big enough to embrace me. It had shrunken down to an insulated universe of two. I only had walk-on appearances as needed. The world of those who prey on children is necessarily narrow and confined, for there are too many secrets to guard to risk much exposure to the rest of society. The sense of odd man out I felt from the first moment I witnessed my mother and stepdad together? Turns out my instincts were spot on.

The most staggering truth I've uncovered is that my sorrow doesn't have to be shame producing. No wonder I've been able to express it only in tidbits here and there: I was so busy trying desperately to keep it submerged beneath the surface. What if someone saw? What if someone saw my sorrow and thought I was an idiot?

Something has been wrong with me for at least a year. Something stalking my footsteps and causing me to want to weep forever. That something now has a name: sorrow.

I've bitten it back, swallowed it down, put a placid smile on my face so my sorrow wouldn't offend anyone. I didn't want it to come between me and Sissyface. I didn't want my sons to get more than a glimpse and . . . and what? Feel sorry for me, I suppose.

I no longer know who to trust. I sure can't trust my own warped perceptions of how my life has played out. I'm discovering how often I've been wrong about things. I'm like the main character in a mystery movie who doesn't know her friends from her enemies. At times it seems I distrust everyone but those I really should distrust.

My mother didn't marry an abuser. She married a rapist.

Yes. That's truth enough for now . . .

 

Tuesday
Jun172014

A Much Needed Assurance

A gentle assurance keeps sweeping over me in the aftermath of learning that my ex is a pedophile. While I go about my days creating dinners for myself and the two sons staying with me, or creating a world of my own making with words on paper, at random moments I feel a great sense of assurance, as if I'm being comforted.

You are free from that crippling guilt, someone inside tells me. My own thoughts? I don't know where they come from. You no longer have to hold onto the guilt you've suffered from that farce of a marriage. Oh, this gets my attention; I lean into this thought, holding it close to me for fear it will flit away. But it doesn't. If anything it simply deepens, filling so many empty spaces inside of me.

I find a graphic online that basically tells me actions speak louder than words, and I think, "Oh yeah, I'd forgotten that."

I'd forgotten that it's not what someone says, it's what they do that reveals who they are.

My ex professed to love me. He said he wanted to be a family man. But his actions? Not so much. His actions said just the opposite, for while he was claiming these things he was cheating on me, refusing to support the family he said he wanted, and putting his own needs and desires above all others.

The other night I recalled a disturbing memory. My ex and I had gone out night clubbing with a friend of his for the evening. Always a lightweight, I got pretty drunk after several drinks. On the way home I started to briefly fall asleep in the backseat. When I awoke I felt pretty sick, so I kept my eyes closed hoping to fall back asleep. As I lay there, I heard my hubby tell his friend that he wanted to drive over to so and so's house (some woman I'd never heard of). His friend cocked his head in my direction and said, "What about her?"

My ex scoffed, "She's out of it. She won't know a thing . . ."

I recalled lying there in shock, not sure if I'd heard what I thought I'd heard, or if the booze was affecting my hearing.

I know without a doubt there was nothing wrong with my hearing that night. That my hubby really did treat me with such disdainful disrespect. I wonder how far inside of me I had to go to bury that? I never confronted him with it, knowing he'd only deny it.

There is a certain liberty in discovering the truth, no matter how much it hurts at first. I gave my allegiance to a man unworthy of me, and kept up the farce for decades in my imagination that we'd experienced a tragic love story. We really loved each other, we just couldn't work it out.

Truth? The truth is that I probably never loved him. How could I? I'd determined he was the one before even laying eyes on him. I knew nothing of his character so there was nothing to base love on. He could have been anyone, really. I desperately needed to love and be loved.

He didn't love me either. Love doesn't do harm. Love doesn't disrespect.

Facing this, and other truths, can only expand your writing ability, someone continues. I ponder this, thinking of how many times I've been so close to expressing myself on paper only to come up short because of my frozen emotions. Didn't I have to freeze them in order to survive that horrible marriage? Oh yes, I can now finally admit how miserable I was during those 6 years of marriage. Horrible is an understatement.

Always it takes me years, if not decades, for certain truths to sink in. Rather than be embarrassed by that fact, I may as well just be grateful that it does eventually sink in. The truths I need to know have a way of surfacing when I can no longer go forward in the darkness of not knowing.

Sunday
Jul282013

A Stifled Grief

This passage from Coleridge's Dejection resonates with me:

 

"A grief without a pang, void, dark and drear,

A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief

which finds no natural outlet, no relief

In word, or sigh, or tear."

 

As an abused child I was forever stifling my grief which, as this poetry excerpt expresses, had no natural outlet. My emotional terrain was a dead-end, a cul-de-sac of withered feelings, thoughts and longings which never saw the light of day.

Drowsiness overtook me whenever I had a break from my many household responsibilities, a lassitude of spirit which left me sleepy with muted sorrow. My mental and emotional languor sapped my physical energy; everything life required of me (everything my abusers required of me) drained me, making the slightest physical exertion seem as if I were walking uphill in cement shoes.

Sometimes--not always, but sometimes--naming the nebulous feelings I experienced during those dreary childhood years helps to solidify them: to give substance and, thus, value to those very feelings I couldn't show to the world.

I sit on my bed thinking on these things, asking myself what I felt immediately following the rending of our family, and the establishment of The King of the Mountain's cruel domain.

I make a mental list, slowly:

  • coldness
  • despair
  • sense of oppression
  • emptiness
  • drowsiness
  • fear of what lay around the next corner
  • desolation
  • the unfamiliar sense of not mattering to anyone

The last item on this list is hard to admit to. Does anyone want to admit to not having value to anyone? This was a new and painful experience for me. I couldn't have, at the time, expressed that uncomfortable feeling had anyone asked for such a description. There were no words with which to do so. I have the advantage now of looking back and seeing some things as they were, but back then I was a confused, traumatized child who had no vocabulary for the evil which had stolen me away from those I loved best.

The Coledridge poem goes on to say:

 

"Late, late yestreen I saw the new Moon,

with the old Moon in her arms;

And I fear, I fear, my Master dear! We shall have a deadly storm."


Oh yes; a new moon had risen and we were in for a mostly deadly storm. I remember the storm in bits and pieces. I saw it rend my world apart. My twig self was swept up in the ferocity of the storm, swept along helplessly as everything and everyone I once treasured was torn limb from limb from me, from me.

I thought today, What if I were to relax my grip on my emotions and begin to let them out? What if? Do I dare?

I haven't, not really, for all these decades. Let them out, experience them, say, "This is how it was and how I feel about how it was. Regardless of how my mother and others may try to revise history, this is the real thing."

I'm no further along with all this than I was, say 5 years ago, because any progress is painfully slow. I must give myself permission in dribs and drabs to uncover the hideous mess I hide so deep inside of me. Caretaker of such grief, I hoard it to me. It must not take on the distorted proportions of a circus sideshow freak--but isn't that what it is, what's it's been all along? I thought, oh I thought all this time that I was the freak, but maybe it's the soured, rank sorrow I've kept squirreled away that is freakish.

A stifled grief. Unshed tears. The New Moon with the Old Moon in its arms. A drowsy sense of desolation: and no outlet, except for what I write here, which is not half the truth, not the whole story nor even a smidgen.

An outlet is what I truly need, and more than I've allowed myself here in this blog where I intended, at its inception, to write truth.

But first before I write it I must feel it.




 

 

 

Monday
Jan282013

The Truth

A comment made recently by a fellow multi got me to pondering the ways in which I present myself on this blog, and to those in my home life.

She lamented having nothing worthwhile to contribute on fellow DID blogs, as well as not having much to write on her own blog. She feels (or felt then, at any rate) that others are doing good therapy work, and experiencing growth and healing which is evading her. (I may not have this verbatim, but I'll let it stand as is, considering that this is an issue I feel many of us contend with.)

One thing I've noticed about my writing on this blog is that, almost without exception, no matter how  much of a Debbie Downer I start out as, somehow by the time I reach the last paragraph or couple of lines, I've managed to flip things around so that a positive is being emphasized. Do I do this on purpose? I don't think so, at least not so I'm aware of it myself.

When I have my darkest days I tend to downplay them in this manner, though it is never my intention to give false impressions about the weariness (and worse) of living as a multiple.

Has this been a coping method I've utilized in all areas of my life, I can't help but wonder. Flinch at the shadows, bewail the dark misery--and then turn toward the only ray of light on my horizon? It could be. It could be I've had to do this in order to survive, and if so I've been doing it since I was a kid. I mentioned before being surprised at how happy I appeared in the old home movies. I assumed I was watching an alter at work, and of course that could be the case. I don't know if I had created any parts when these movies were taken. But one thing's for sure, what I experienced, what I felt every day for the rest of my childhood doesn't come close to matching that happy, skipping little girl on film.

I don't want to minimize anything I suffer, because to do so seems traitorous to that little girl, and to my siblings who were also traumatized. At the same time, I don't want to wallow. I don't want sympathy but I do yearn for empathy. Sympathy weakens me, empathy is like an energy drink for my spirit.

Does it help others to delineate every nightmare, every trigger, every doubt and fear? I suppose it depends on the reader. Some may need the details so they can be assured they're not alone in their intense sufferings. That they're not being melodramatic in their reactions.

Some may cringe at the meticulous spelling out of horrors no child should ever suffer. We're all so different in our needs, and not just that but from one day to another, or one moment to another, our needs differ. Maybe I'm coming to some kind of an understanding here. What I write about on any given day is sure to help someone, if it is true. There is power in truth and, now that I'm an adult and no longer at the mercy of my childhood abusers, it is my right and privilege and honor to name the unspeakable. Why? Ah, because I can!

Did you hear that? I can! Tell me there isn't healing power in that! As a child I may as well have had my vocal chords slashed, as little truth as I was able to tell. Not so now. I can speak all I want of these matters, carelessly spilling the beans, leaving a trail behind me. I can write it and speak it and use humor and short stories, and someday my memoir, to dispel the evil spell that rendered me not just tongue-tied, but dumb.

And what of those in my home life? Should I not be so quick to hide how things affect me, for fear they might think I'm just weird? I'm sure that if I hold back with my writing and try to accent the positive, I do the same at home. And just as obliviously. Hmm, I think I'll decide, yes deliberately decide, that that's ok. It's my angst, my memories and triggers: my DID. I can deal with it in which ever way is most comfortable to me. Maybe at times I'll proclaim the truth, as bravely as I sometimes do in my writings; at other times I will deem it more prudent to keep things to myself. There isn't any right or wrong way to do this!

Now, see, here I go again, and I swear I didn't plan to end on a happy note. But here I am anyway, about to say: oh the deliciousness of giving myself permission to not always censor myself, either here or verbally.

How sweet to see it's my choice what to share, what to omit, what to carry with me to my grave. I can do this any old way I want, and there is no one who has the right or power to tell me I'd better start  getting in line and goose-stepping.

Uh-uh. Not any more.

To my friend who bewailed her lack of anything of substance to share, I would say: that statement alone is helping someone. It's helping someone who is also struggling with the sinking sensation that they have nothing worthwhile to express. It's helping because it's true.

Whether we rant and rave, curse the darkness, thank God for the gift of DID, or poke fun at our selves, someone somewhere is reading our words, or watching our lives, and getting something tangible and nourishing to take along with them on their own unique journey.

What we say--what any of us say at any time, under any circumstances--matters because we, as the individuals we are, matter.

 

Thursday
Jan172013

Random Thoughts

I've long admired abuse survivors who tell their story to the world without hiding behind pseudonyms. Especially those whose abusive childhoods turned them into multiples. Limping along through life in the aftermath of childhood trauma is hard enough; living with DID on top of all the memories and repercussions of abuse compounds everything. Multiplies everything.

The time is coming, or so I sense, when I will join the rank of those who dare to write and speak truth publicly, using their true names. I've noticed that over time I've become careless on my blog about using my real first name. I began with the name Beautiful Dreamer, which was shortened to Beauty, but over time I let slip my birth name. I also have links on this site to other places in cyberspace where my writings can be found. I've lost track of who might visit these other sites that I wouldn't want knowing about my DID. I find trying to keep these "worlds" separate totally confusing, and anxiety producing. What if this relative who doesn't know about my DID visits the site on which I publish poetry on that subject? What if . . . aw, you know what? The hell with it. Really.

I want to be able to tweet about a new blog post, or post something about it on Facebook. I didn't cause my multiplicity, why should I have to hide it?

These are random thoughts as my granddaughter naps and I'm too pooped to do much of anything until it's time to pick up her sister and cousin from school. Random thoughts don't always lead somewhere definite. Too often they come to nothing, dissipating like morning dew when the sun rises. Maybe I won't ever feel comfortable going public with everything. I could be kidding myself. I can see though that the longing to do so is there, at least.

I desire this whether or not it ever happens.