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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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Saturday
Feb242007

Dear Me . . .

 

Dear Me at 11,

This is a pivotal year for you, the year during which your mother discovers she's married a pedophile. The past 5 years have been overstuffed with heartache, shame and disappointments. But this year you will experience a sorrow unlike any other.

If I could sound a forewarning, something along the lines of, "The British are coming! The British are coming!" (only in this case it would be more like, "Your mother is going to discover your secret, but nothing will change!"), it wouldn't be of much help. No child could believe on the evidence of mere words alone that one's own mother could fail so miserably at her role of Protector and Nurturer. I close my eyes against the memory, against the stricken look which will mar your features, and that heart-wrenching moment in all of eternity when you empty yourself of all feeling and solemnly vow, "I'll have to take care of myself from now on. No one else will, ever." It doesn't occur to you to turn to the God of your childhood with this sorrow, for He is the oldest adult in existence, and you see clearly now that all adults will always stand together, against you. (Besides, how could you befoul His ears with this? Oh, unholy, unholy!)

How steadfastly you stick to your vow! This is hard, serious work, this looking after yourself. You've been doing it for 5 years already without even realizing it. Now that the vow has been made, you chastise yourself for every little stirring weakness, or the dreams which won't quite die a dignified death. Dreams, you know instinctively, are not safe. They make you weak and vulnerable. And so you begin shutting them out of your heart, refusing them admittance. You once dreamed your real father would find you, rescue you from The House of Incest? Not any more. You once dreamed that someone would tell your mother what was being done to you in secret corners, and that she would rise up in holy wrath and smite your enemy? Never again. That dream shattered beyond repair when she told you in a flat voice, "We could send him to prison, but we would have to sell our home and go on welfare."

My heart weeps for you, for the stoicism you wrap about your little self like a threadbare garment. For the nights you can't help but cry yourself to sleep, face muffled in pillow so no one will hear and rebuke you for your tears. You've promised yourself you wouldn't cry, yet there are times when it's your only means of falling asleep.

Oh, you don't even know that you are many, that inside of you resides an underground world of your own making. You won't know this for decades, but never mind. It's enough for now that these others are there for you, making it possible for you to function at all.

From my vantage point of 53 years, I want to tell you that you will get through this. You will live on to experience love and to bring 5 sons into the world. Oh, how you fall in love with them heart and soul in that instant when you first look into their sweet newborn faces! Amazing that you could feel such love, but you do. This is one thing you do right. You will live on to do many things right, but you won't realize it at the time, as accustomed as you are to thinking the worst of yourself.

You will write. That's one dream your mother's indifference and your stepdad's perversions couldn't quite murder. You'll be thrilled to know that you will continue writing, if fitfully, throughout the rest of your lifetime. Sometimes you will write funny stories and poems to make your friends laugh. Sometimes you will pen moving letters which are capable of bringing grown men (including your abuser) to tears. You will write things no one will see, words which have been percolating inside of you for a lifetime. You will never be comfortable writing down the truth about yourself, for your stepdad's tauntings about your writing will always be reverberating inside your head. But as the years go by, it will get easier. You will rediscover your own unique writing voice.

You will make new friends who refute the lies about yourself which you learned by rote in that dreary land of childhood. They will root for you, seeing what you can't see in yourself.

Though you feel with dead certainty that the torment of abuse will last until Kingdom Come, thankfully this is not really the case. Your torments will cease. You will leave that house of incest. And though you will reunite with your real father, making this escape possible, you will be your own rescuer. You have strengths you don't even suspect, and a stubbornness which has refused to give in to defeat. You don't even know how strong you are! There are inner depths you can't fathom, from which you will mine a steely resolve and stubborn refusal to lay down and die.

The time will come, though now it seems like a tale told out of school, when you will divorce yourself from your mother. With the best of intentions, you will hang on to your relationship with her for decades, assuming this to be your duty. But the time will come, I'm telling you, when you will rise up against her continued mistreatment of you as she never rose up on your behalf against your abuser's criminal misconduct.

You will live to laugh and dream; you will hold your grand babies in your arms and croon them to sleep, or coax them into sweet smiles. You will pick yourself up again and again, and have the utter audacity to keep on keeping on. You will close your ears to the dire predictions of your accusers, of those who wish nothing good for you and who take pleasure in your downfall. You will savor the little things in life, knowing their true value. You will dance to your own music, and relish the company of those who delight in your well being.

You will discover that an open (but discerning) heart is more to be valued than the stoicism at which you've become so adept. Yes, you will dare to get up each morning with nothing but the dinky mustard seed of faith wedged in your heart. Others will ask, "How do you do it?" You will shake your head, wondering that yourself. You will despair of life, you will embrace it; you will mourn lost dreams; you will find new ones. You will sorrow for your murdered childhood; you will invest in the well-being of your grandchildren. You will sigh. You will sing. You will dare to disturb the universe. You will.

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Friday
Feb232007

Who's On First?


Several years ago, after being diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, I sometimes visited  various DID web sites. There was one in particular I especially liked and which  I'd since forgotten about.  Recently while going through my list of favorites bookmarks,  I came across it and  decided to visit it again. 

There was a post by some poor desperate soul, asking what to do if your parts all disappear for a period of time.  The person who wrote this said she felt dead inside.Wow, that's right up my alley.  I know all too well what that feels like, so I posted a heartfelt reply, feeling very empathetic and giving the best advice I could.

After posting it, I went back to see how it looked on the bulletin board for everyone to see, and much to my surprise found that "beautiful dreamer" had written to _______the name I'd used on the site years ago. What I'd done in essence was to counsel myself!
This just goes to show how much inherent humor there is in DID. In cases such as this one, perhaps I should change the spelling of my disorder from DID to DUH!

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Thursday
Feb222007

Just The Facts, Ma'am

My cousin spent over 10 years in a church which turned out to be a cult. His whole family joined, and the damage they suffered from a hypocritical, immoral pastor and his associates is beyond estimation. This was a group of believers who got seriously derailed; by the time my cousin and his family became fed up with the whole thing, the pastor had begun promoting drug use, wife-swapping--and he'd also begun molesting children.

Lately I've been reassessing my religious upbringing, greatly disturbed by rumors that the self-proclaimed prophet of Adventism was no prophet at all. There are web sites galore proving her glaring inconsistencies, plagiarisms, and lies. The more I read, the more sickened I become, heart and soul. This wasn't like my cousin's cult, for Adventism promotes the highest moral standards imaginable. So moral in fact that no one can live up to them. I've spent nearly my entire life living under the heavy burden of Ellen White's admonitions to measure up, to acquire perfection. It's not difficult to understand my compulsion to try to do just that. After all, as an abused child I took my own inherent unworthiness very seriously. If Mrs. White disapproved of me, why so did God. That she would have disapproved of me had she ever met me, I had no doubt. She wrote:

 The Lord loves those little children who try to do right, and he has promised that they shall be in his kingdom. But wicked children God does not love. Appeal to Youth, p. 61

I'm not sure what constituted her definition of wicked little children, but I'm assuming that a little girl who was defiled by her stepdad on a regular basis would fit nicely into that category. I do remember that about 10 years ago I came across one of her quotes regarding wicked young girls who allowed grown men to touch them in an unseemly manner. This disturbed me greatly as it seemed she was implying that it was always the fault of the girls, not the grown men. I'm not sure how I justified believing any of her writings after that. My, but brainwashing goes deep!

An anger is growing inside of me, the anger of being duped, deceived, conned. The hold that Ellen White's writings have had on me for decades is considerable. It's not unlike the hold which my abuser had on me and it seems to me now, as my stumbling, sorrow filled past rises before me in all its ugliness, that they've both held me hostage. They were both terrorists of the worst sort, controlling my emotions and reasoning powers by fear, taking advantage of my most basic need and desire to know and love God.

 

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Thursday
Feb222007

All I Want Is A Room Somewhere . . .

 A sparse little room is all a need. A bed for sleeping and stacks of books for drowsy reading. Perhaps a table for knickknacks, and room enough to breathe in and out to the rhythm of my dreams.

 

Tuesday
Feb202007

No Do Overs

(About 7 years ago I felt a burning need to reconnect with a sibling I hadn't had much contact with since our dreary childhood. With my magical thinking kicked into high gear, I flew across  country to spend several weeks with him, certain that we could somehow bind each other's wounds, and bond over our mutual childhood abuses. I couldn't have been more wrong. This is what I wrote after I'd returned home, disheartened over  my feckless attempts at forcing a happy-ever-after ending onto what was to remain a broken relationship.)

 

He's as thin and worn as the shoelace he bends down to tie. The fire flashing in his eyes is unsettling. Around him I feel awkward, a child with no life experience.

His lack of sentimentality (the lack of which  I normally admire in others) comes across as cold indifference. When speaking to him, I get the sense that whatever I say is somehow wrong. Something about the intensity of his blue eyes boring into mine, coupled with the absence of the usual conversational "niceties" I am accustomed to causes me to feel unsure of myself. It's as though he suspects me of prevaricating and, even though I know I'm not, I find myself doubting my own truthfulness.

He has made a way for himself in this hard world by nursing old rages and discontents. He gets stoned each evening before plunging into monologues about his various exploits. His life experience, though colorful and adventurous, incites in me a mild repulsion, rather than envy.

I can't find within myself any answering chord of camaraderie, for his flinty words and no nonsense mannerisms curdle my heart's natural desire to empathy. He's worked so hard, I think, to avoid self-pity that, in the process, he's squelched any spontaneous pangs of human sympathy or empathy for his own battered self.

He wouldn't take kindly to nurturing of any kind, would reject it with disdain, as a sort of weakness. When I come back from the store with a pack of cigarettes for him, he blinks in astonishment, asks why I would do that for him.

"Because I wanted to," I tell him lamely. "Why shouldn't I?"

He doesn't respond; I can see the wheels in his head spinning, trying to make sense of this unexpected gesture of kindness. Does he meet with such little grace in his world, then, that such a small act of generosity be met with suspicion and puzzlement?

He speaks matter of factly about his past sexual exploitation of a 12 year old girl. I listen in dismay, my hands hot in my lap. I wonder how he can be describing such despicable behavior to me, of all people, knowing as he does of the crimes committed against me by the king of the mountain*.

When he gives a recital of various fights he's gotten into over the years, I'm not sure what he wants from me. An exclamation of admiration? All I can think of is the king of the mountain pounding his teenaged flesh into a pulp. Is this strange, violent, bizarre individual the result of those horrendous early years?

Standing on a ladder in the middle of the living room, to change a bulb in the chandelier, he calls for me to climb up and help him. I oblige, and immediately regret it when I smell his sweat, feel his arm trembling against mine. At this moment I'm uncomfortable and want to climb down off the ladder, away from his foreign, scrawny body. Something about the pressure, light though it was, of his arm on mine troubles me with unwanted memories I've fought so hard all my life to forget--and forgive.

I'm frequently, it seems, trying to remake the past with all its sorrows, violence, and despair, by reconnecting with significant persons from my childhood. But I'm no longer a child, and I discover much to my sorrow that not everyone has survived an abusive childhood with a heart intact.

(*our stepdad)