What Kids Think

What does a two-year old think when somebody rapes them? AHHHHHHHH

What does a three-year old think when somebody rapes them?AHHHHHHHHHHH

What does a four-year old think when somebody rapes them? AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

What does a five-year old think when somebody rapes them? AHHHHHHHHHHH

What does a six-year old think when somebody rapes them? AHHHHHHHHHHHH

What does a seven-year old think when somebody rapes them? AHHHHHHHHHHHH

What does an eight-year old think when somebody rapes them? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

What does a nine-year old think when somebody rapes them? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

What does a ten-year old think when somebody rapes them? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

What does an eleven-year old think when somebody rapes them? AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

What does a twelve-year old think when somebody rapes them? AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

What does a thirteen-year old think when somebody rapes them? AHHHHHHHHHHHH

What does a fourteen-year old think when nobody rapes them? AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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A New Thing

So this week I did something I have never done before. On Thursday nite/Friday morning I became aware, suddenly of course, of this way my head thinks that is very unflattering. Really freaked me out.

My habit is to ruminate on these things until I get angry then enraged then I beat myself up by falling into the Black Pit. Or thrown in with the relentless wolves of my brain.

I would have called my therapist eventually, broken without forseeable repair. Or curled up in bed and stayed there for days.

But this time I did something wholly different. I put it away until my session with C so she could help me put it into teeny bits. Manageable bits.

I have made it to C day bedraggled to be sure. Little thongs have been ticking away at me and I notice that I’ve had decreased flexibility to handle them. I have, just taken awhile.

The strain of keeping this flaming bag of shit in it’s place–away–has been very very draining. It has been popping up in the Voices, stubborn little SOB that it is. It wants me to just freak out. I just say go away you’ll have plenty of time w/the Wizard. It harangues me for abit. Then I just let it go and it’s gone.

It’s weird. Trust in your healing, trust in your healing. You can do this. C’s words echo in my head.

I might be mostly gone right now. I might have floated the day away yesterday. I might for some reason have a bottle of tequila sitting on the countertop with many, many limes. But I have made it. We’ll see what she has to say.

It has been a looooong week.

Useless Then?

So I was standing up last night, ready to go to bed. Kissed wife then a bullet shot thru my head. I am so threatened by her mostly-asexual thing because I believe that I am of no use if I’m not sexually attractive. In other words if my partner isn’t dying to do it with me, well mostly have me do her, then I am of no value.

Holy fuck. I did not see this one coming. It’s sooo characteristic of CSA survivors and I have always thought well at least I don’t have THAT one.

But here it is. How fantastically unflattering. Shit.

I am a little bit shaken by this revelation. In the past I would have dug in and gotten all caught up in what-does-this-mean-then. Fallen down the Black Pit and be in abject horror for days and days.

But y’know what? This is too big a piece for me to handle in that obsessive manner. So I’ve described it as succinctly as I can in my phone and it’s packed away until I see C next week. She’ll help put it into manageable bits.

I am choosing this new pathway. I have the power thru entrusting in my healing process. In trusting myself.

Altho’ I really don’t paint until mid-October b/c in heat and humidity oilpaint never dries, today I’m going to start a new one. Nothing special just a still life. Sunflowers perhaps it will tell me what it wants to do (the canvas I mean). When painting I go into this magical bliss thing. And right now that is what I need. I need to immerse myself in my creative side.

Making this choice is something I would not have been able to do 6 months ago. But I can do so now and I am picking happy.

#scaryasshit. And so empowering at the same time. C promised me that my life would be getting boring coming up here soon. This is not boring. It’s growth and learning and choosing to live my life and it is grand.

But I am getting tired ;).

I Am Being Normal

So. I got in a little fender bender this weekend. Totally not my fault and there’s photo proof of that so it’ll all wash out for me eventually.

At the time the husband of the student-driver idiot driver was all up in my face, screaming at me. Words this is all your fault not ours your fault. You lie you lie etc. I flipped. I actually had a hallucination of my primary perpetrator’s head and voice screeching at me. Had to get out of there as soon as I could. I was out of my mind.

Driving home, hysterical. My life is so frustrating was all I could say. And no I don’t wanna talk about it to wifey just leave me alone. Got home somehow, went to bedroom curled up in a fetal position sobbing hysterically just leave me alone.

About two hours after the accident wifey came in come on now talk. Eventually got put that this was the last straw, that I’m getting so much better, trying to make it ok to need things, what I want etc etc and it made things worse I was in more pain than when just out of it.

This ended up being a really great talk in the end. We were more open with one another than in the past decade. I used a lesson in miscommunication with a great friend and unreasonable response on my part to really listen, to actually be AVAILABLE to my partner so she could talk. Amazing. Snapped out of a trigger so bad it had me hallucinating within 2 hours. Incredible.

So it’s a few days later now and I’m just dealing with the hassle of getting the jackass’s insurance to pay the thousand bucks they will have to eventually anyway. Got an accident report done, which took 2 trips to the station b/c yesterday a cop lied to me to get out of some paperwork as he sat on his big ass. Had to call the desk sergeant this morning but got it done.

Then I put it away for awhile. So as to not get roped in by gross emotions again. Got a referral for a body shop from my mechanic and a better one from my dealer. Went home ate something. Checked in with myself and after meditating got in the car to the preferred body shop that works primarily on Subarus. Yes, I’m now a car snob.

Got my estimate, guy turned me over to their insurance coordinator. She got on with said jackass’s insurance company and I filed a claim w/her help.

Came home very proud of myself. Am I dine for the day? Yes. Is it all put away for the day? Yes.

I am being functional, I’m doing my coping stuff and it is totally working. I am proving to my wife how much better I am.

I am acting like a normal person. Last week in therapy C really hammered away at the concept of me learning to trust my healing. I guess this must be what the woman meant.

And y’know what? I feel great. I never have thought of myself as Normal because I am not. How could I be with my childhood?

But here I am, functioning. Maybe I have to pace myself some, focus on one thing at a time. But I am doing this Living thing.

Normal? Who knew?

Cut panic w/Meditation, qi gong

I’m not sure what’s going on in the Universe lately but I’ve been asked several times about how to meditate and how to deal with being “stuck”. So in today’s lesson I am going to talk about how to cut anxiety thru the use of meditation and energy (qi) balancing.

Both of these practices have been in use for thousands of years. They’re not easy to explain as each person’s relationship with their qi and their mind awareness is unique. This can be made into a really complicated thing involving religion and blah di blah but this is just a common sense approach.

I use meditation and qi gong (energy movement thru the body) for as long as I can remember. So if I’m unclear it’s because I’m taking certain steps for granted. I’ll endeavor to not do so.

The first thing to be aware of when you’re beginning either of these practices is that there is a center in your body where your energy lives. It’s kinda like the powerhouse of the whole shebang. This center is called your tan den. It’s located in your lower abdomen, three fingers under your belly button. Think of it as a ball that expands when you put energy into it and contracts when you take energy out. This is the first step in any Chinese practice, to just be aware of your tan den. Mine is a sort of bluish-purplish with shimmery strips of gold that move around it. So close your eyes and imagine this ball. Just that it’s there. It is whether you believe it or not, so you might as well find it. What color is it? does it move around?

Okay, so now we know where your center is. It’s actually the center of your entire body. So now imagine that you’re expanding the thing as you breathe into it. Just fix it in your mind and breathe in slowly. Breathe from there, not from your upper chest. When you breathe in your belly expands. When you breathe out it contracts. Count to 4 as you slowly breathe in. Count to 4 as you slowly breathe out. If you just keep your tan den ball in your mind pretty soon you will notice that it does get bigger when you breathe in and it contracts and gets denser as you breathe out. This focusing in is made much easier if you are sitting with your back relatively straight with your feet crossed in front of you. The important thing though is that you’re in a quiet place where you can rest. Because that is what you’re doing.

Right, so you now can feel your center. Time to meditate. Just sit in the posture I described above and light a scented candle or incense or something that has a strong scent. Close your eyes and just sit there, breathing slowly, noticing how your tan den expands and contracts. Remember slow, full breaths. Count to 4 on the inhale and 4 on the exhale. Breathe thru your nose. Pretty soon you will be aware of thoughts, sometimes really weird thoughts, popping into your mind. Try to notice them or hear it if it’s a song. Then refocus your attention on the sound of your breathing and your center getting bigger and smaller, bigger and smaller. The next thought will come up. Notice it then refocus on your breathing and your center again.

It often happens that things that pop into your mind are disturbing and you are having a hard time letting go. You get caught up in them. This is the whole trick to meditation, why doing it is so calming. As you refocus your mind to your breath or your center you may find it impossible to do so. In this case, try to focus on the scent you’ve got going on from your candle/incense. Pretty soon even the most devastating thoughts will go away. Because it is what thoughts do. They come and go all the time, but if we linger on them they will stick around.

The whole point is to learn how to let go of our thoughts when they disturb us and cause anxiety and panic. If you’re in a flashback trigger, imagine how hand it would be to be able to make it just float away. Let the thoughts come in, notice them, then go back to your breathing or smell your candle. The thought will go away if you don’t focus your attention on it.

Often I hear people say well when I meditate I go blank or I get very disturbing thoughts I don’t want to think. All of these things are okay. Thoughts are only that, thoughts. They come and go all day long. But you can choose thru meditation to let them move on. Which will have an immediate calming effect on the worst anxiety-provoking thoughts. No panic-provoking thoughts no panic.

So now that you’re meditating you can also focus on moving that energy around your body, which is a great way to balance yourself and be an even stronger tool to let those nasty thoughts go. Close your eyes and inhale, imagining that energy is being sucked up from your feet up your legs to your tan den, making it expand. Then exhale, sending the qi back down thru your legs and feet way, way into the ground. Inhale up, exhale down. With some practice you’ll actually be able to feel the energy, like a slight tingle. Inhale up, exhale down.

Now imagine that you inhale qi up thru your feet and legs. As you exhale imagine the qi shooting out your lower back all the way around the world. Inhale and it comes into your tan den from the front. Exhale back down your legs and feet deep into the ground.

Ok. Now imagine all of the above. When your tan den has sucked your qi in from going around the world exhale and send yhour qi up your back and thru your head, way way up into the sky. Inhale and bring it down thru your front to your tan den, which has expanded as you do so. Then exhale the qi down your legs and feet, deep into the ground. This is called a route. Routes are important because they balance your energy all thru your body. I could talk about chakras and lots of other stuff, but this is the basic point of the practice.

This is not an easy skill to learn. I took instruction from my sensei for two years before I really got the idea. But I have been meditating all my life and I will tell you right now that if you meditate twice a day, even for ten minutes, you will be able to much better control your anxiety level.

It works whether you believe it or not, so you might as well give it a go. Some days it can be easy as pie and other days it can be torturous. Is what is. I still have days when all I am picking up is some old disco song or whatever. If that is what my mind wants to tell me on that day, is what is. It’s really important to not judge yourself, to not think it’s good or bad or you feel like an idiot or whatever. Remember, these are only thoughts. Put your mind on other things and they will vanish.

Trust me on this one. Give it a couple of weeks and you will start to see a difference in your ability to control your anxiety. Have fun 😉

Cool therapy

I have this weirdest thing with my new therapist. It’s like CLICK! She not only totally gets me, so far anyway, but she let’s me know it. She tells me to stop talking about something that’s revving me up and am not even aware of it. She says ok right now you need to stop and do some qu gong. Or jus stop and rest for a minute you’re going too deep. Yesterday she asked me how I can maintain such tight bonds with so many of you and can’t have the most minor acquaintanships face-to-face. I was starting to think about it and she goes Wow you cannot block me any more than you are doing right now. Really am I? She says yeah and instantly contorts herself into a complex little knot. I looked down at myself and that’s exactly what I looked like. I laughed, she said ok that’s obviously a question that’s too hard just now. So why were you blocking me what ois hard about the question? I squirmed about abit before the answer came to me. She then says okay, rest a minute. After abit she says ok youncan come
Back you’re way out there. I promise I won’t ask you about this anymore. Again, not even aware I was going away. I said no, lemme collect my shit here. She let me talk for a minute or two then said okay you’ve worked hard enough for now. What did you do this weekend?

It’s all about pacing. It’s all about taking it in tiny little bits at a time. It’s about giving myself permission to heal. Permission to heal. It’s about coming to understand that my life belongs to me. Scary.

I was showing C a drawing I’d done about how I perceive life. She says wow you are really, really powerless in your life, aren’t you? I mean, how you perceive yourself? Wow!

I said yeah I am totally a victim she said no powerless. You were a victim and the powerless feeling is a remnant but you haven’t been a victim in a long time. Yes. I said it’s incredible how when flaming shit happens to little kids how deep it sticks. C looked me in the eye and said yeah it is. I said I know my self-perceptions and fear of people etc. is the view of a young broken kid but it doesn’t matter. Weird.

At this point C just says yeah it’s amazing how it sticks. There’s quiet for a second, then she says so have you named your car yet?

C is not interested in my story really, says at least not now. She says if you’re interested in it after a long time I will be very interested in it too. I said at this point I don’t really know that I need to know the rest. The tiniest perspective. I bad to jump in, get myself sopping wet with it then fall completely apart. C says yeah, what more do you need to know? I said yeah I mean I was even prostituted out, awful. C holds up her hand stop. You have worked too hard.

Then C says something that knocks my socks off. She says you say you don’t need to know any more details? That’s permission to heal. That’s what I was talking about. I said ouch that freaks me out she says yes I know close your eyes and breathe for a sec. She says okay you can think about that with me later but it’s true whether you think about it or not. I said is that why the borders between the alters are melting? Yup. Totally. That’s fucking sweet she says.

C’s priority for me is to first be able to cope with my day-to-day life. It’s about functioning at higher and higher levels. Right now she’s not even really interested in my primary relationship. Right now she’s totally focused on getting to know my mind. How and what I think. Why comes later.

Near the end of our time C says ok here are your takeaways from today. There are two. Write them down. Work on them
When you can. When you can’t or you are stuck–go do something else. I’d you get scared–stop. If you feel like you want to fall into wherever flaming fuck–stop.

My jobs this week are two. First, check in with myself often to see if I am here. Or if I’ve floAted away. Engage my senses, which I do anyway. I have no idea really how to do this. But I will keep shooting for it to get the hang of things.

My other takeaway is to figure out where to put all of you in my sphere of closeness. So many of you mean so much to me. My job is to figure out how I have let so many people in my life and not had the fear. I think I get this already. Because I am totally honest here. So I i can with C’s help figure y’all out in my life….obvious extension.

C calls me on my shit. When I don’t even know I’m full of it. She doesn’t fuck around. And she’s a total dyke like me and I don’t mind saying that’s just so nice. Near the end she asked me what I was doing tonight I said well watching the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. She said ah yeah right. I said yeah all that sports, you know my wife, who knows maybe I’ll get lucky. So great–she didn’t ask me about it, explain what I meant, ask me questions about me sex life. Just laughed. Common understanding. Nice.

It wasn’t until I got to my car ten minutes later that we hugged on my way out the door. With every other shrink/therapist I’ve had in my dozen or so years of nuttiness, the hug thing has always been a gigantic issue. Tiresome. But this just was. Just–fine. Like she’s
Not afraid of me. Like the woman has faith in me.

Last week when we were setting up a permanent slot for me I said so..how often am I coming do you think? C looks me right in the eye and says for you once a week. I want you to have time to think about and deal with things we talk about without undue influence from me. She said this is your life hon. I will be around when you’re having a hard time once in awhile or for a long time o course I will be here for you for that. At such times you can see me every day if you want to. But for now, you need to understand that your life belongs to you. Without me doing the thinking for you.

Man. I am still very gun shy after the last wingnut. So I still have a piece of wary inside me. And that’s okay. But I gotta say that this feels like what I should have been doing all along.

Qi gong, sorta

Qi gong is an energy practice. Basically you move the energy in your body around thru visualization and breathing.

Qi Gong requires specific movements and postures. However once you learn the visualization of moving qi around your body it can be a very useful coping technique for anxiety and for regaining balance in one’s emotional sensibilities.

First you get in touch with your tan den, the center of energy (qi) in your body. It is physically located in your lower belly, three fingers under your belly button. Imagine a multiple-colored ball. Or a pink ball or whatever color works. Tan den is a ball that gets bigger when you add qi to it and It shrinks and becomes more dense when you take energy out of it.

First do this. Close your eyes and find your tan den. Remember it’s a ball. It can be any size you want. Mine is the size of my fist. It moves on an axis. You can make it spin and turn but it stays basically in the same place.

So. Close your eyes and imagine a ball. What color is it? Mine looks like a Christmas ornament. Try to make it spin.

Okay. So you now are aware of one of the essential concepts in Chinese medicine. Congratulations on your new tan den.

So now try closing you eyes and take a deep breath in. Take that breath into your tan den. Feel it get larger? No w exhale. Imagine you are squeezing te breath out of your tan den. See how it gets smaller? So just do this. Just breathe in and notice your fan den increasing in size. Exhale, squeezing the breath out of your tan den. Notice it’s decreasing size.

As you play with this you will notice that younare breathing from a lower place in your body than you usually do. Most people breathe into their upper lungs, which is shallower. When you breathe from your lower belly tan den you breathe will become longer and slower. You get a much better health benefi in breathing lower and less shallowly.

So. Doing okay? Feel how you can control the size of your center of energy? Cool. Now imagine pulling energy/breath up from the Earth, thru the bottoms of your feet, all the way up your legs, up up up into your tan den. Feel how cleansed your legs feel? With practice you will. Then squeeze the breath/energy down your legs thru the bottoms of your feet, back deep into the Earth. Up up up down down down. Try to stay aware of how your feet feel, taking in energy from
The Earth, then pushing energy downdown down into Earth. Keep track of your tan den as it grows and shrinks with qi coming and going.

Now ready for something really cool? Now we balance your entire body. Take energy thru breath up into tan den from Earth. Push that energy out the small of your back, all the way around the Earth, and back into your tan den. Breathe qi into your tan den. Exhale qi straight up your backbone, over the top of your head way up into the sky. Inhale it back down thru the front of your body to tan den. Then exhale back deep into Earth.

There are many, many derivations on basic Qi Gong practice. But if you start here and you practice as much as you can several times a day soon you will have an active coping skill tha will lower your pulse and blood pressure. You’ll have a head start on chakra balancing and lots of new oxygen in your bloodstream. You’ll be able to breathe less shallowly. And you will be better able to conquer imbalances and anxieties.

One tip on practice: do it for shorter time periods more often thru the course of the day. You can do It sitting or standing. Have fun.

God I’m so much Better

Wow. I have been going back into my personal notes over the past several months. I have been a mess. Looks like I have been on a suicidal circle at least three time if not four. I have had two short-term meltdowns and a complete collapse. My business has fallen to tatters. I have gained 15 pounds and been sick more often than i’ve been better. I have been battling compassion fatigue for a couple of months now. I have had a bunch of panic. I have been frozen exhausted confused and very very afraid.

Scaring myself. I almost went to Haiti when the earthquake hit to kill myself. What a weird weird thing.

I have been slowly unraveling and I totally know why. Next time I will be more careful.

I feel that I should take a little break from therapy for awhile. I can’t really imagine believing anything that anybody would tell me just now. I think I would be tempted to try to establish too much control, rather then being open and honest. I mean, I firmly believe my ass has been saved by T duMping me. I am grateful to the universe for taking care of that issue-laden thing for me.

But still. There is that thing that says she was right that it is somehow my fault. That thing that was directly lied to. The instability and the being manhandled by somebody insisting tha their boundaries were what mattered most.

And it is rather embarrassing to just be suddenly dumped for whatever reasons.

So yeah. Maybe I will interview one a week or something. I think I will try a man this time around. Might help w/the whole transference thing. I mean, I could never be very attached to a man. Might be helpful.

I need somebody who doesn’t spend significant portions of every session telling me how I violate their boundaries. I need somebody who is more concerned with me than they are with their online presence. I need somebody who knows trauma/dissociative disorders inside and out And who is a clinician and not just a writer.

I need to not go into CBT Hell. I need someone who is not afraid to show their emotions at the same time that they’re strong enough to tell me when I am out of it or when I am
Full of shit.

I need somebody who has a real commitment to my process. Not just lies about it to keep me feeling safe where i actually am not.

But I have learned alot during this time. I now know that there are alot of fish in the sea and I don’t need to just be re-traumatized. I k kw now that I can choose to make meaning or not of some flashback or trigger of whatever. I have learned that despite my significant fuckupedness I am
A very good person. I have leRner that I amstrong that I can take care of myself more than I thought I did. I have learned that it’s okay to be okay.

I have learned that my therapy is about me. That’s a very big lesson for me.

Being dumped by therapist

So okay, I have been unceremoniously dumped by my T. Of course there are issues of inadequacy having a target on my back being guilty and shamed and it all must be something too fucked up in me to make a professional
Behave in such an irresponsible manipulative lying blaming way.

But mostly? I really am relieved. I feel more like myself/ourselves than I have in months.

I look back af some of the stuff I’ve written over the past few
Months. Wow. I have been out of my head. Alot. I have been suicidal and eating messed-up and self-injurious. I have made no sense whatsoever. On a constant barrage from
The people in my head.

This is not me. I am a mess, absolutely yes. But T did not know what the hell to do with me. She would intentionally open a can of worms then leave if open to rot. And freak out when that impacted me.

She was constantly telling me what we would be working on together. Not that we ever really got around to doing any of that work. She would say you need to be more stable. No shit. How do we make that happen I’d ask in tears. Well, we will be working on that together. Okay, so then can we start doing that please? We will be worki g on it together. Yes, so can we?????Please??? Yes we will be.

I’ve no doubt that in principle T understands how trauma impacts children hence adults. She totally gets the process. She just has no idea of how to affect change in a
Clinical format.

The accusations got pretty old. I am enacting my trauma in therapy? Jesus H of course I am. I need help. Yes, and that’s what I am paying for.

I often had the feeling that what T was thinking and what she was saying were two separate things. It felt and feels like a credibility issue. Like she had no idea of what my process was. When I would describe the mayhem in my head after she dismantled my internal system then could not at all help me with coming up with a new one she’d be baffled. My behavior was a fault. Here’s an idea. Why don’t we have a plan forward based on experience and knowledge of what we need to do before we go tearing things apart? I still don’t have an internal system
But since nobody is stirring the pot constantly everybody is calm and resting.

I hated going to therapy. What would today’s issue be I’d wonder. Did I send a tweet that she felt violated her in soMe way? Talk was often about what she needed to have. I mostly felt an odd almost third entity in the room.

I had trust issues. Of course I have trust issues, a big part of what I was going to her for. She seemed to almost resent this at the same time as she would say that trust needs to be built over time. Very confusing.

I enact my trauma in therapy. Of course I do, I told you that I would. CPTSD, hello? It was her job to help me see this, yet she cited it as a reason for dumping me.

Things are much quieter now. I am back, the me who wants fun. The me who is interested and who genuinely cares. The me who is compassionate. The me who wants to
Be healed. And who trusts the Process.

I have learned many many things in these past few months. But lemme tell ya this time around I am going to be alot more careful. I believe what drew me to T was her great marketing and what kept me there was to overcome excessive control stuff. Not so much.

This time I am looking for somebody who is interested in helping me. Me. Because I deserve that. And I believe the Flow will eventually provide memwith that person.