Update: Continuing perils of ice

I can’t read what I’;m writing really so I’m sure there will be many typos.  But I thought I’d give y’all an update on current life inside Terri’s head rather than just whinghing about it constantly.

So, my short escapade ice skating on February 23 of this year has continued to kick me in the ass.  Of course, having a second if even minor concussion a month later in PT was not helpful.  Here’s what’s going on now:

I can oddly tweet because I can read about a paragraph or so at a time, then I need to rest my head for a minute or two.  So at least I am not cut off from the world.  It oftentimes gives me tremendous headaches to do so and I have to just shut it down without warning, and that sucks for people with whom I’m engaged in conversation.  I get these blinding flashes of pain telling me it has been too much, time to stop.  Not much I can do.

I went to my father’s beautiful place in the desert off Tucson Arizona. One thinks of desert as Lawrence of Arabia sand but it is really quite a vibrant place, in it’s slience and vast barren wasteland kind of way.  Illegal aliens are something of a problem for dad as I guess a route for them goes near him, but I didn’t run into anybody sneaking in and so it was okay.  Just to rest, to relax, to have no stumulus like blogging to get my head thinking.  The idea is to minimize bloodflow and electrical activity to the brain, thus minimizing “further damage”.  Not loving that phrase further damage.  See the neurologist and orthopedic doc next week so it will be interesting to see if I’ve gone forwards or backwards.

My orthopod, who’s one of the best in the country in sports medicine hence very familiar with MRIs, took a look at the neurologist’s report and said if you were a pro football or hockey player I’d say you’d have to retire, it’s really a mess in there.  Not so comforting.  I suppose that soon I will undergo a second MRI to see how things are going.  My shrink read the thing the other day and said “eww, well you really ARE a mess aren’t you?  Let’s talk about disability”.  Again–not comforting big guy.

I suppose I am very fortunate to have all of these people on my team.  They’re all heads of this or that and they really do know their stuff.

What I know is that after two and a half months I still can’t drive a car, I still can’t read, working is a milllion miles away. One minute I am laughing at a kitten on Google and the next I’m crying my eyes out.  Emotional lability is a part of it.  I won’t be completely freed of these symptoms for up to a year.  My balance is abit better, I’m not tipping to the right constantly.  However I tip over to both sides now, which I suppose is an improvement.

I have lost all memory of my left hand on the piano.  So I’ve lost six months worth of practice on chords.  Which sucks but I can play songs I know already with my right hand.  Reading new music is impossible.

I cant’ take public transportation due to excess noise and unpredictable motion.  So pretty much stuck to where I can walk.  I try to walk an hour a day, but since I live in a large bungalow neighborhood it gets old looking at little Chicago style houses, one after the other ticky tacky all in a row.

What progress has been made? Some, to be fair.  I have much less pain in my neck, the whiplash lingers but not nearly as badly as it was. I dont’ go into near seizure when I sneeze anymore and since we are in high pollen season here just now that’s a nice thing.  The constant blinding headaches and intolerance to light have lessened, which is a marvel as well.  Although at the moment my ears are beginning to ring, signalling a flash of blinding pain that tells me to stop stop stop now you idiot.

I’ve been told it may be a year before I can run again.  I can’t play my favorite coping game, Wii Hockey which I highly recommend.  I can’t follow the puck or the players it is all just confusion.

I’m still having cognitive lapses all over the place.  When sitting in the car the other day, wifey driving me home from shrink, I totally lost where who and what was happening to me.  I didn’t know where I was, who I was with, what car this was (mine).  I sorta drop into these holes and disappear.  It is horridly inconvenient.

I could go on and on but my head is killing me.  The message to get across here is don’t go ice skating.  Ice is evil it will trip you up and fuck with you for a very long time in alot of different ways.  Ouch, my head hurts.

DADT Rant

Last week a huge civil rights victory was won by gay and leabians in the US ofA. Gays can now serve openly in the military. We can fight and be brojen and injured and killed for their countey and they can be gay too.

I have heard alot of slamming of Bill Clintin for having put this…custom…into place. And quite frankly it really pisses me off.

Have many vwterans been kicked out for being gay? Been injured and killed by thwur fellows for it? Lost life carers because of it? Yes, absolutely.

But for those of us who were around when DADT was adopted remember the context in history at that time and we should never forget it.

Whar DADT did was to eliminate the direct question on the recruiters’ interviews. No more are u a homosexual yes then get the hell out of my office. It was a huge, huge victory for all of us, not only thos who wished to serve and who were gay.

Were we as a minority satisfied with this policy? No. But it was a very, very impprtant step, shifting the military’s priorities and policies one step closer.

I recall very vividly Bill Clinton’s first week in office. Don’t recall what it was about exactly but it was a positive report on the issue of homosexuality. Wow. I recall being blown away that we were in the paper for something other than the freak-show that was Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade at the time.

I remember thinking wow, can we actually be visible? It’s impossible to fight when ypu’re invisible. Bill Clinton made the world aware that there was a gay community in this country. Which has set up the honest conflicys we are blessed to be fighting today.

Was Bill Clintin the perfect President? No. Of course not. Was he a scuzzball? Very likely. But in taking off the direct question are you or have u ever been a homosexual, he took the first major step towards equality.

So don’t rant on Bill Clinton for establishing DADT until ypu have the historical context. It was a miracle at the time.

Christmas Eve–Holy Terror

TRIGGER

Every Christmas Eve from ages2 to 12-13 i was raped. One can say all the platitudes in the world about how that was then and this is now and it can’t happen again and it’s only a date on the calendar and i have coping and blah di blah nothing can change the stark factset.

It is a horrible day for me. With the added pressure of family members calling me to wish me merry christmas and wifey trying to constantly distract me out of a serious funk.

Guess what? I don’t wanna be distracted out of anything. Horrible things happened to me on that day and i deserve to give them their due. My main focus is on staying alive and that’s that. Frankly my life means nothing on that day. I just want to be left alone.

But it’s Christmas Eve and one must be festive. So i strap on a smile and sink. Somebody else will appear i just habe to hope it’s somebody who has that brave face.

It so completely sucks. Why not every Flag Day or any other spot on the calendar when i can just stay in bed all day and feign the ‘flu or something????

Pedophiles, especially violent ones, love this kind of thing. And mine was very good at his job.

Whatever. Is what is. Everybody has their shit and this happens to be mine. I know I’m just whinging, it’s a hard time for so many of us. This is just my little piece.

All Roads

May trigger, be respponsible. It’s all just shit anyway.

It breaks my heart everytime I wind up here. That place where I am unseen, invalued, nonexistent.

It breaks my heart because I have had to work so fucking hard my entire life to just keep living. And in the end I can say that I might have felt ok for awhile–but it’s all just illusion.

I am of no value. Any chance that i may have been was stolen from me at a very young age.

I have lost the point of all this effort. It’s effort that seeks to make my life tolerable? Why live then if that’s the only purpose?

I could say that my life is about learning my karmic lessons. To be better, to heal. Maybe I have kbown my lrsson my entite life and that this is it. That i am unseeable, unable to be truly recognized or valued. In this case the best thong to do is to just start over and learn what i need to for the next time.

I am so tired. I am so over all this shit. I’m tired of banginv mh head against a wall so that i can achieve a few short time periods in which i don’t want to be just dead.

There are a few people who would be sad if i left. But they’d likely just be relieved in the end. I contribute nothing. And frankly i can’t keep breathing for the sake of anybody else.

To live for living’s sake makes no sense. There is no intrinsic value in existence bound by space and time.

All roads end here. I can expend every bit of energy i have to try to do this Healing thing but i never will be on that road. It’s just too much. There is too much fear, too much anger and confusion. Too much pain to handle.

I should have died so many times. It’s just pkain cruelty that I was left alive. Like keeping a serial murderer alive in prison for the rest of his life rather than granting capital punishment

I can’t keep doing this. I can’t keep fighting and fighting and fighting anymore. It is just not worth it. Existence is killing me. I have tried. I have given this one all that I had. I have given people all i had and more.

And in the end? I’m exhausted and beaten and i just have nothing left to offer. Nothing left to give myself or anybody else. All roads eventually end up here. It’s been just too much pain.

Marriage: A Rant

Ok. Enough is enough. I am so tired of Marriage and Couples’ Counselors who toss around the word Marriage and talk of it in glowing terms, as something to improve upon, to fix. As if it’s a goal to be attained and sustained.

I get it. I get that few Marriage counselors want to deal with gay couples. If they did they wouldn’t offend us with the use of that word. I don’t believe that the dynamics of most monogamous gay/lesbian couples are really all that different from straight ones.

But when a therapist bandies abput the word Marriage s/he is furthering our invisibility, the cold hard cruel fact that gays are excluded from the collective rights inherent in the legal marriage status.

Marriage is not just a romantic statement that two people are committing to each other for better and for worse. Monogamy.

Marriage is a LEGAL contract. It gives financial reward from the IRS. It defines Power of Attorney. It defines Next of Kin status so that if one partner is in the hospital the other can’t be denied access to their hospital room. In the case of death of one partner it allows the living partner the right to make decisions regarding what to do with the body. It allows partners the right to make decisions regarding long-term and end-term health facilities. It allows for shared property.

This nation has decided time after time that gay people don’t get to have these basic rights. It’s nationally-recognized Hate Crime. Don’t kid yourself, this has nothing to do with what’s in the Bible or the Torah or the Koran. It is active Hate.

So. When a Marriage/couples’ Therapist tosses about the word Marriage and expects that the may have something relevant to say to me–they are spitting in my face and in the eye of every gay/lesbian couple that’s in a committed monogamous relationship.

Again. I am not saying here that These therapists should all see gay couples as well as straight ones. I would personally never see a straight therapist. But it really pisses me off when these people toss around the M word and say when they’re called on it that it’s just semantics. That the vocabulary they’ve chosen could just as easily be any other word.

I suppose i expect from the mental health community that they should be aware of these basic civil rights issues. If they don’t want gay clients–AGAIN–they don’t have to have them. But i DO expect that if they are going to toss the M word around that they take responsibility for their behavior. That they are endorsing national Hate Crime.

Don’t tell me that the word “Marriage” could just as easily be ANY other word. Because that is hypocritical and irresponsible. Get yourself enough cojones to admit your sanction of Hate Crime. It’s your choice. If you’re gonna make it take responsibility for your decisions. Don’t minimalize active discrimination.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Flashback Grows Up

Weirdest thing happened to me last night. Usually Xmas is a very rough time for me, stuffed with flashbacks and nightmares. Tgis year it’s been going swimmingly–none of that stuff until last night.

It was one of those dreams that go on forever, i hate that. Anyway, this dream started out like it has pretty much my whole life, chock full of incidents in which i am being sexually abused in one form or another…

And then, suddenlt, i was an adult. The other kids in the dream, various cousins who had witnessed these events over the years, were all adults as well. And Uncle Norman was both dead and in the room at the same time.

I was saying why doesn’t anybody get that this was wrong? My cousin Nornmie says it happened to all of us. I say it’s still not right and he shrugs his shoulders, says yah well it’s Christmas, look at the pretty tree.

It goes on like this forever. I, the adult me, says why isn’t anybody getting how wrong this was? Indifference in response.

Here’s how I am going to interpret this dream: I am an adult. Nothing is happening to me anymore, even though it’s Christmas Eve. I am safe now. My main concern is that nobody gets it, how horrid was the whole shebang.

Was. Past tense. I keep asking until I finally say well enougg from u people. It’s still wrong.

And then i wake up. It’s a big step I think, changing preoccupation in my sleeping mind from what happened to what is wrong with u folks that u won’t see it’s vileness. Deciding that it doesn’t matter if they get it or not. Still was wrong.

So yeah. Flashbacks do grow up. Cool.

Playing Music I Don’t Know

I have been superglued to my piano keyboard the past week or so.  Christmas carols.  That I’ve heard all my life but have never played before, nor seen sheet music for before as far as I know. 

I decided to teach myself piano a few months ago.  Got a keyboard and a How To Learn Piano beginner’s book.  I caught on pretty much right away. Scarily so.  It was as if I personally wasn’t hitting the keys in proper sequence.  I understood the basic music theory, basic chords, both staffs…..as soon as I sat down.  I was playing some pretty complicated stuff from the get-go, headphones on so nobody would hear.  I tweeted at the beginning only the songs I was playing, not the Mystery Player inside. 

Tinylittles seem to be entranced with the music as it has turned to the Christmas season.  I know they’re very young, two to fourish I’d say, because they don’t carry any splints of the Christmas Eve Horrors that began when I was five.  It’s a nice thing because their enthusiasm is really helping me shed my traditional Christmas Hell this year.  We’re doing a bunch of cool stuff this year, and I find that I’m really enjoying it. 

It is freakish, though, that I can sit down at the keyboard, stumble thru three or four repetitions of sheet music on a given song, then just put the music away and play the song.  I did that with Little Drummer Boy and Silent Night last night.  Knew them both and was improvising on both pieces within an hour.

I have never had a music lesson on piano or anything else to my knowledge.  The Ones Who Play keep saying something about how music is just Base 8.  Which would put me somewhere around the third grade or so when I learned about Bases in math.  I was a very advanced student.  Anyway, perhaps some math teacher taught me music as a way to better understand Bases or something, nothing I’m aware of but this is really very odd.  My father is a jazz cornetist, mom was a first soprano, and sister was a near prodigy on the violin.  ]

So it could be that my genes suit me to musical expression, I dunno.  It’s one of those mysteries of the chronically dissociated.  I can sense being completely enraptured by the notes that I am playing, even though I have little sense of what note goes where in my fingers. 

I’ve talked this over with C.  I adore her because she is not so much into diving into who The Player is, what age they are if they have a name blah blah blah.  She’s only concerned with how cool it really is that I get to do music too.  It disturbs me though.

I’ve been co-conscious since seeing C, so since last….when did I get dumped, April or May?  And even though the tinylittles are entranced and even though this is all a really pretty cool thing, it feels like there’s abit more oversharing than I would like to have.

In the end, I suppose it doesn’t really matter.  I can still function, not getting my painting done but it’s really making this an enjoyable part of the year for the first time in my memory.  I am having fun with my wife and that’s just priceless.

So I suppose I’ll just continue on, playing music I don’t know.  It’s fun and it’s pretty.  And it’s helping me get thru a really rugged time on the calendar.  I would like it if the tinylittles weren’t so constantly jumping up and down, pleading to go play christmas music pleeeeeeeease.  It’s hard to take a nap when you’re seeing endless chord progressions in your head.

Dancing Candle, Dancing Mind

I’m sitting here in meditation, staring at a candle flame, trying to just be within each moment. Just sitting there, watching this little flame.

It’s an unusual candlelight, this one. Although there are no drafts or fans or otherwise air movement about, this little flame is dancing about like crazy. Up and down amd left and right. Nearly sputtering out then bursting forth ablaze again.

As I sit here I realize that this little candlelight is doing exactly what my mind is doing just now. Nearly going out into dissociated haze. Jumping alight with this slim thread of what feels like peace that I’ve been chasing all day. Dancing left dancing right. Am i under threat or not? Do I cut my losses and run, to never see my therapist again? Or to go in tomorrow after a three-week absence and spill my guts about how much I have been struggling and how even though i know it’s only a case of the transference bug I still have the feeling that she will be going away from me soon?

Up down left right dance Splinty dance.

And then as I sit here I realize that despite the wild machinations and meanderings that this little flame is going through…..it remains lit. There is a commitment to itself, as if to say hey I may be a crazy little flame and I may be all over the place, but I am still giving off light and color and warmth. I’m still here.

And so it is with me. Banged up as i may be, as anxious as I seem to need myself to be, I’m still here.

So I will be jumpy and twitchy and be unable to keep still–yes. But I made it. I know that this show is just the drama queens’ (the Teenagers’) way of saying we don’t like this this is just like all the rest. But it’s not.

It’s 2010. I am a grown woman. I have chosen to remain here. I may be dinged and the Voices may be screaming but my light’s still on.

Now the only remaining question is what do I do with the next 25 hours. Really–ya gotta laugh.

Dancing Candle, Dancing Mind

I am humbled and feel tremendous gratitude toward the courage, compassion and wisdom in the submissions posted for this month’s Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. I know well how much guts it takes to put out our stories and the work involved in helpful steps we can take in order to gain and regain our lives. Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your stories, your wisdom, and your artwork. Ok, I’ll stop my ramblings now–on to the good stuff!

POETRY

I’m starting with the artsy stuff first because, well, I’m an artsy person.

Susan Kingsely-Smith gives us a work of great beauty. She says: There is hope there is Light. The Road to Freedom from the Past is full of potholes and yet there is hope TITLE How do I? I will

RIck Belden tells us of the pain in nogt being validated when we told. Heartbreaking TITLE scapegoat’s cross

ART THERAPY

Amanda Kobeshimi submits some beautiful photos that accompany a description of a survivor with a compelling tale of life with DID TITLE Season’s Greetings from the Demon World

HEALING/THERAPY

Always a popular topic, especially so during the holiday season, when so many of us struggle.

Laura aka Simply Green tells us how to use compassion to help your abused child TITLE Compassionate Parenting: Meeting Needs

One of my favorite writers, Darlene Ouimet, gives us a blog from Emerging From Broken on the beginning of her emotional healing. She tells it like the process thru healing was for her. I identify with and learn so much from her–if you don’t follow her you really should. TITLE The Beginning of Emotional Recovery :: Emerging From Broken

Pandora, a dear friend, says: This is a discussion about a therapy session in which an alter of mine came out, bringing with her all the hideous and abject horror of her experiences of systemic child sexual abuse. TITLE Child Minder – Paul:Week Four

Paul from Mind Parts says “here are some thoughts on what are the essential tools to healing from dissociation and trauma” TITLE Cultivating Skills

Darlene Ouimet shares one of my favorite blogposts as well. It’s a hot-button topic and one that puts me up on a soapbox quite often, too. TITLE Forgive The Abusers? A bit of a Rant :: Emerging from Broken

ADVOCACY AND AWARENESS

From Tracie fills us in on Awareness of new and obtrusive TSA procedures, a very hot topic for this busy holiday season TITLE Vacation Choice: Naked Pictures or Federally Mandated Molestation

The wise Patricia Singleton asks: “Are you aware of who you are because of your struggles in spite of your struggles? Now THAT is a good question! Read what she has to say TITLE A Short Biography – Who Am I?

Joanaa Tiger talks about the senselessness of violence giving us ten instances wherein warning signs could have been acted on to avert horrid crimes TITLE Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

AFTERMATH

VoicesUnsilenced is a very powerful writer of the aftermath of child abuse. She tells her story with courage and fortitude in the face of trauma. Here’s what she has to say TITLE won

Nesher gives a great informational piece on the aftermath of trauma. TITLE Childhood Abuse and Clinical Depression in Adults

SURVIVOR STORIES

My bud Hope For Trauma talks about the stress of the holiday season on her alters. I put this piece in this section because her words echo throughout the year. TITLE 5k’s & Turkey Burgers

From Tracie says “This is a great project for survivors to participate in.” It’s yet another way to speak out, tell your story, and obliterate the silence” TITLE My Name Is Project

Patrticia Singleton talks about choosing a position of gratitude throughout the year, not only during the holidays. Strong piece! TITLE Thanks Giving

Tim Fischer gives us a compelling survivor story. Spend a few moments with his powerful images and notice what your mind thinks about it TITLE The Ghost of Halloween Past

My dear DragonHeartSong takes a courageous look at multiples and their struggles TITLE The holidays approach – good news; bad news

IN THE NEWS

Paul at MindParts gives some thoughts on the recent Oprah Winfrey show with 200 men who have survived child abuse. Interesting TITLE Why I Did Not Appreciate Oprah’s “200 Men” Show

Steven and Debra give us a fabulous poem on recent changes at the TSA. Read this twice. TITLE Opt-out to the Beltway TSA and Their Airline CEO Cronies: Take Your Planes and Shove ‘Em

AND FINALLY…..HOLIDAY TRIGGERS!!!!!

Patricia Singleton says sometimes shutting down is all that you can do to get through the Holidays. Hear hear. TITLE Shutting Down To Get Through The Holidays

My buddy Sharon Sanquist gives us some survival tips on how to deal with moment-to-moment stressors and triggers during this challenging time for so many of us. She’s a great writer and has a way of bringing clarity to just about any confusing issue. Go down to Comments to read her valuable help!

Lisa Kift the ever-wise creator of the Relationship Toolkit also gives us some survival tips. If you haven’t been to her website–do so today. Skip down to the comments section to see what she has to say. If you’ve not been to Lisa’s Toolkit on her website — you need to go!

My good buddy Ravin has been through so much in her life. She has more compassion in her soul than any ten people I know. Read her story of what the Holidays are for her in the Comments section below. I prize her life and so should you!

I personally did not write a blog for dealing with the holidays because I lost track a day or two before Thanksgiving. Meaning I just faded away. Apparently some of the littles were out and about, why I do not know. Since I have been seeing the Mighty C, I’ve been co-conscious. My personal history is that Christmas Eves I was brutalized more than any other time of the year. So–I lost a few days. Could be worse, could be raining. I get used to it as the weeks pass, but it’s always a bumpy ride at the beginning of the season. My wife is great, she knows it’s a tough time for me. We always end up doing all the fun stuff that’s plentiful here. And it ends up being a good time as I get involved as an adult. But it’s a rough go for awhile.

Again, thanks so much to contributors here. It has been an amazing opportunity for me to be allowed the privilege to read and consider their strength, wisdom, and compassion. Happy Holidays where you can get them! And remember–it’ll be over soon ;)

LiarLiarLiarLiarLiarLiarLiarLiar

I have always thought that there was really no saving me. Because secretly in my black heart I knew a secret: I’m a liar. None of the shit I have described had ever happened. Even though the flashbacks are so vivid and specific and repetitive. Even though family members correlate some of my stories. Even though I have scars all over my body. Even though I have had to have several surgeries to correct damage–damage during times I flash back to. Mom said I was a liar, so. I must be way fucked in the head to come up with these horrid images–what thew hell is wrong with me?

It hit me the other day. I have heard more times than I count that this is a very common phenomenom for survivors of child abuse, but never applied it to myself. Because I was lying, I am lying.

It’s just another level of acceptance. That shit could not have happened to me, I won’t let it be so. The odds that I would survive it all, well pretty big against it. It just cannot be.

So I’m sitting here writing this drivel, thinking to myself maybe. You know it’s all true. There is just too much collaboration, too many medical issues too many scars. You remember just too much.

Am I just a sick fuck liar? Or did it all happen to me? Yes, no, yes, no. No, it just could not have been. But I don’t lie about anything else. It’s one of the key behaviors in my religion for Christ’s sake. Speak rightly, truthfully. Right Speech.

Oh god. I have such self-hatred around this. I can actually see the walls of hate that surround me. Very thick, inpenetrable.

If it’s true there’s no reason for me to despise myself like this, which means I have no idea of who I am. Not a clue.

But God. I keep trying to think it happened to you, you know that all of it did. You know it. And each time I end up rejecting what I know to be true for the convenient song, liar liar liar.

Because if I am not some fucked up monster just coming up with shit, then any sense I have had of control is gone. I somehow got through it, yes. Time after time after time. But I had no control. No wonder I gave up any sense of power when I was six. On a bad Christmas Eve.

No control? No clue of who I am? Oh man. Lost. I think I will go away for awhile, at least until C gets back into town. Because this realization is killing me.

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