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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 Healing (71)


Growth Spurt

My mother's coming back to town in June, Sissyface informed me the other day.

"Wait a minute! How come every time she visits you tell me that's her last visit?"

"Because," Sissyface said, "she keeps telling me it's her last visit."

I suppose June seems far off, or maybe it's simply the fact that I've chosen to forgive my mother. Either way the prospect of her upcoming visit isn't having the same impact on me as the last time she entered my turf. Oh I still won't let her know where I live. Forgiveness or no forgiveness, I think it wise to protect myself from any further abuses.

As for me (in the meantime) I'm just biding my time waiting for something mysterious to happen. Every time my life takes an unexpected turn, I experience something in advance-- not a premonition exactly but a sense that I'm about to embark on a new adventure.  A deep inner restlessness, an impatience with the things and activities (and sometimes even the people) which usually keep me occupied, and/or give me pleasure--these often signify big changes on the horizon.

The last time I felt this way was a couple months before getting this apartment. Before that it was a week or so before Tim's accident. I'm hoping what waits around the corner won't be a situation similar in any shape or form to dealing with all of that. But life is funny, it throws stuff your way whether or not you're ready for it. You don't even know, couldn't know really if you're ready for something like that until it happens.

I like that I've gotten through such incredibly hard stuff. There's something to be said for simply enduring. Some things take time and a willingness to hang in there over the long haul. I've not always been adept at doing this; in fact, my life used to be (for decades) quite a mess because I didn't know how to stick with anything, not if it took hard work and endurance. Back then if things didn't change overnight (in a relationship, for instance) I simply gave up, went elsewhere. With Tim's accident and with so many difficult situations I've had to deal with, there was no question of walking away. Sometimes we're backed into a corner. We want to take a shortcut, it's in our nature to do so, but we find that our current crisis allows for no such shortcuts.

For many years I refused out of stubbornness to destroy myself, to take the shortcut of ending my life. I couldn't let my abusers win, could I? Ending my life would be the same as waving the white flag of surrender, of announcing to them that they were right, I'm a stupid person who can't do anything right.

These days I find my motivation has morphed into something else. I don't want to survive merely for the sake of proving a point. Neither do I want to survive so I can use my survival as a means of retaliation. Look how well I'm doing in spite of all those wicked things you did to me! The astonishing fact is that this reveling in my survival has nothing to do with my abusers. I don't take them into account when a sense of joy washes over me as the result of taking an objective look at how far I've come. They are not with me in that moment of satisfaction, they are as closed off to me as the dead. I say that their lack of being any part of my reveling in this is astonishing because it wasn't that long ago that I couldn't enjoy anything without the intrusion of my mom or stepdad. Everything, it seemed, was forever tarnished with their unwanted presence. Since I've decided that forgiveness was the best route for me to take, both my mother and stepdad seem to be fading more and more from my conscious thoughts.

Let the dead bury their dead, Christ once said, and I'm finally beginning to get all the truth contained in that statement.

My mother (by her own choice) is in a sense dead to me. But I'm alive to all the possibilities of this me who is so transformed by my wilderness wanderings that I barely recognize this woman as the one who raised me. Someone else will have to bury her; I'm too busy going where I'm led, listening for that still small voice to lead me into the next chapter, next adventure, next growth spurt.






A Much-needed Reminder

A recent comment on my last blog entry made me think. I've written about the burden of figuring out my DID, of nurturing my parts and feeling, in a sense, that I must somehow save them. I've lamented my ability to be of any use to them.

Marcy pointed out that perhaps it's not a map or directions I need, but to listen to my guide. Listening can be much harder than doing, at least for me. When one is busy there is the illusion of getting somewhere, of making a sort of progress. Listening does not produce sudden, visible results, making it more difficult to gauge one's progress. It's worth adding that it's not lost on me that listening from the heart requires a degree of humility.

I seem to be on a humility kick lately, I mean in terms of realizing how much of it I lack. Is it humbling to admit to my ineptness at interacting with my system? Of course it is. Humbling too to have no control over the fact that I've been left "holding the bag" as my abusers went their merry way, leaving me to try to pick up the shattered pieces of my once whole self.

This seems unfair (and is), but maybe I should look at it this way. I have much to gain by doing the inner work which only I can do; they had much to lose by not attending to their own issues. They were the losers, though on the surface it may seem just the opposite. They left me broken, to be sure, pierced through the heart. But it's not a wound which is beyond healing as long as I will keep my hands off of it and do only that for which I am responsible: consent to the ministrations of the One who knows me best.

I got it into my head as a child that I must take care of myself, forever. That's not true. I may have needed to believe that then, but as an adult I can put away such childish notions. It's not true that I'm alone in this; it's not true that I must slog along, alone, attempting to be everything to a system of alters I hardly know (and most of the time hardly desire to know.)

I don't really have to do anything on my own. Sometimes it's nice to be reminded of that.



I'm No Saviour

I remember how stunned I felt about five or six years ago after receiving my DID diagnosis. There's no way I could have been prepared for that, even though I went to a therapist specializing in this disorder on the recommendation of a friend, who suspected I was a multiple.

This weekend I caught only the tail end of the remake of the movie Sybil, with Jessica Lange cast in the role of Sybil's therapist, Dr. Wilbur. Much to my delight the TV station ran an encore presentation of the movie, but I fell asleep within ten minutes. I'm not sure why I wanted to watch it; I suppose out of curiosity to see its differences to the original.

Dissociative Identity Disorder has been on my mind more than usual lately. I'm not sure why that is, but I do seem to go through phases where I try to figure it all out before it seems to fade away into a vague sense of unreality. It's as if I become--suddenly--very aware of my alters, and this evokes mingled feelings of sadness, curiosity, depression and shame. As many times as I tell myself there is nothing of which to be ashamed, and least of all my various personalities, it's there all the same whispering that I am a freak, an oddity.

I want to become more aware of my insiders. I want to want this more than I do now. They probably deserve more of my nurturing attention, though this is not a certainty. I'm parroting what I've read in books and on DID blogs. I'm tentatively reaching out to my alters while simultaneously keeping some elbow room for myself. I don't know if this can be done, but here I am trying anyway.

When the book Sybil came out in the 70's I read it with amazement. My conclusion was that it must be all kinds of fun to be a multiple. Think of the mystery! Part of me was a bit envious, for it seemed that Sybil was as messed up as I, but with a big huge excuse to blame everything on: she was a multiple.

Now, of course, I realize my ignorance. There is nothing fun about this disorder. I hate that it's even labeled as such. I call it that with little conviction. I'm still confused as to how a disorder could have helped me survive my childhood. I no longer see multiplicity as what I thought it was back then, a blanket excuse for all wild/inconsistent/childish/selfish behaviour. Rather than longing to excuse my own sometimes baffling behaviour, I'd much rather not act out of the "norm" to begin with.

My beliefs about DID in general have changed, my outlook matured. But when it comes to my disorder, that's a horse of a different color. Now I'm treading on dangerous ground, dangerous mainly in that it causes me to peer a little too closely at my own angst and brokenness. A glimpse of my alters from time to time is one thing, but looking too closely causes all sorts of conflicts to arise. How could I multiply into many when I was raised in a religious household which believed that even fiction was sinful? One's imagination was not encouraged it was derided, condemned. To make up stories (as I did, for I'd discovered early that I was a writer) was no different that lying, and everyone knows the evil in that.

I'm not sure what direction to take these days in dealing with the ins and outs (no pun intended) of my multiplicity. Every time I think I've made a new start, begun treating my parts as if they really are people who deserve respect, I falter. I stumble, then trip over the rigid thinking of my family of origin.

I am not about to rescue or save my alters from anything, so it seems. And I'm not even sure it's my job to do so.




Audacious Dignity

I met Sissyface yesterday to pick out paint for my apartment.

I've never done this before, never had the luxury of choosing different colors for every room. My head swam from all the available choices. Someone inside my head kept sounding off a warning, but I ignored it. Yes, it seems sinfully indulgent to be doing something like this but you know what? I'm doing it anyway. I'm ignoring all the warnings and dire predictions of doom and decorating my new place as best I can.

For the living room I chose Toasted Wheat. How cozy does that sound? I've always wanted a living room in a warm color like this and always had to settle for dull white. The trim will be done in a creamy hue called Vanilla Ice Cream.

My kitchen is going to be done in Cream Yellow. I've decided to take back the color yellow, having realized lately that I haven't liked it since I painted my room that color when I was 10, and was molested in it. So yellow it is, with the same creamy trim as the living room.

I decided on Cerulean Haze for my bathroom, with a sharp white trim. The bedroom will be done in Soft Pink to offset the beautiful quilt Sissyface bought me.

My plan is to have curtains at every window. I don't remember the last time I lived with curtains, it's been nothing but ugly blinds everywhere I've lived. It will take me a while to be able to afford them, but worth the wait. I still can't picture how everything will look and part of that is because I haven't seen the apartment yet. I imagine it's just like Sissyface's, only smaller. But I'm sure there are dissimilar details as well.

So far this is how the coming week is shaping up for me:  packing, and finishing a baby blanket order and getting it sent off. Fortunately I'm nearly over my bad cold, but of course now my toothache is beginning to throb once more. I'm hoping to slide on going to the dentist until I get all settled in.

None of us knows what the future holds, all we can do is muddle along doing our best to believe that there will be ups along with the downs. Anything can happen. I may be punished for daring to follow through on my need for my own space, it may be the ultimate in audacity to think it's okay to do so. But I'm moving ahead with my plans regardless. If I've learned nothing else in life I've learned that so often the voices of doom I hear whenever something good happens are simply my old outdated conditioned thinking, "stinking thinking" left over from a fractured childhood.

And so I keep on keeping on, looking neither to the left nor to the right. Tim seems to be suddenly aware of the fact that I raised five kids alone, on minimum wage. He keeps marveling, saying things like, "How did you do that, Mom?"

Well, how indeed. By putting one foot in front of the other. By saving my weary tears for the dead of the night when my little ones were deep in Dreamland and I could cry in secret. By being too stubborn to give up. I don't know how I did it, honestly.

Stubbornness is a great motivator. Haven't we all accomplished the impossible at times out of sheer refusal to give in to defeat? I know I've had more than my share of times of feeling like I wasn't going to give up on something even if it killed me, because I was so tired of failure.

What hard things are you facing in your life right now, things which you're determined to follow through on no matter how much courage it requires?

It occurs to me what a beautiful thing it is for survivors of horrendous abuse to even entertain the idea of following one's dreams. Of even having those dreams in the first place.

Such audacity! I'm proud to be part of a community of survivors who dare the impossible by facing the storms of life with audacious dignity.



When I Awaken

When will I awaken from my childhood trance?

I wonder what it will be that breaks the evil spell from that long ago season--the kiss of a loving grandchild, perhaps, taking me back to a time when kisses still held wonder. The grandeur of the ocean as I walk the beach and something about the sun glinting on the waves hurts me with such breathtaking beauty that I am startled awake?

When ISleeping-Beauty-Cover.jpg come back to myself will my body be as familiar to me as a well-worn pair of shoes, or a favorite room in which one has spent many lovely, leisurely hours? Or perhaps my body will seem foreign to me and awkward, and  I will walk in it with tentative steps, unsure of its reliability.

Will there be singing about me, the song of a long-forgotten lullaby once known by heart, or will silence greet me: the silence of all things made new.

I am mad for this, as mad as I used to be for love to claim me heart and soul. All about me I see people alive in their bodies and I am smitten with deep wistfulness, the wistfulness of a wallflower who must always remain a spectator, never a participant.

Will I know when I've awakened, I wonder, or will it be a process so subtle that I nearly miss it? I picture my awakening as a dramatic event but maybe that's not how it works. Maybe it's more like how Tim is recovering from his motorcycle accident: here a little, there a little. Did he awaken from his coma totally disoriented without the faintest idea of what his mind and body had endured, everything but a blur? I imagine him taking in his hospital room, his gown and feeding tube all with a mixture of horror and puzzlement. At what point did he begin to feel that his body belonged to him and that he was no longer living in a hellish limbo--or has that yet to happen?

When he saw his image for the first time after his accident, was he astonished by how much his looks had altered, or was there no awareness at all that he was no longer the same? 

When will I awaken from my trance and when I do, who will I see facing me in the mirror?