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 ūüėČ

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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Permission to be Stronger

I have therapy homework this week. I asked for it, usually C will say go live your life then tell me about it. But this past Wednesday when I said just tell me what to think about this week I need a rest from my head, she gave me some. She didn’t just spit out a rote thisiswhatitellmyclientstodowhentheyaskforhomework kinda thing. She looked piercingly in the distance for a few minutes then started to talk.

She said think about giving yourself permission to be stronger. Give yourself permission to come into your own, to sort of give birth to the very strong woman who you are. She says I’d be interested in what you have to say about that. You don’t have to DO anything right now, you don’t have to CHANGE anything right now, don’t work that hard on it. Just entertain the idea and let me know what you came up with next week.

It’s a good assignment for me. I have lived my entire life from a perspective that dictates that I just respond to what comes flying at me. Good bad indifferent, I fend off the world. It saddens me to realize that at 50 years of age, some 38 years after my abuse stopped and nearly 15 years in therapy that I am still viewing the world from a victim stance. I asked her–my god when do I stop being a victim? She said you are very astute just getting that this is where your brain functions tells me you are beginning to get over it.

Whenever C talks about me taking charge of my own life I kinda freak. I know I do so because she will say wow check out your body language hon this is making you really anxious. Why is that?

It’s too much responsibility to have control over my life. C says you’re a successful businesswoman and after all that happened to you you’re still here. You have a relationship that might not be perfect but you’ve been able to keep it together for over 15 years and that is amazing. She says you’re already doing it, you are already taking control, you just don’t want to admit it. Why?

I say then I guess I don’t know. C says not so easy darlin’ you’ll have to think about it and open your mouth about it. She says I know it feels like you’re shooting in the dark right now but that’s okay because if you start to fall I will let you know and you can think about something else.

So here I am. My mind is going ummmmmm….got nothing. But there are some things I do know about this. I know that it scares me to let go of my primary perp. As horridly as I was mutilated by the man, he was all I had. I have the tendency to disregard my newborn health and progress as much as I treasure it. I suppose he has been with me my whole life and without him I still feel like I’m nothing. Nobody is there. Like shouting down an empty well.

As long as my perp has continued to strongly influence my behavior I am not alone. Somebody else knows what happened to me. And until I can really truly and fully let go of that self-perception as someone who was horridly abused as a kid and who had all these really horrendous things happen to her at least I have an identity.

For nothing will happen to me in the future that can have anything close to that kind of impact on me. Seems like my life was over at 12 when the bastard finally stopped going after me and just vanished into thin air.

And so I have held on to this identity I have some meaning in the world.

Just reading the words that are coming up on this screen causes me trememdous self-loathing, shame, a sense of being totally full of shit. Jesus. There it is again, victim victim victim. Even if it’s only me doing the abuse. This is what I know.

My readers will know that I am entranced by the concept of neuroplasticity. I see literal images in my mind of the old road and Springtime that’s new neural pathways. I’ve been having some great success with taking these gambles, and it gets easier to seek them out the more I do it. But this one causes me to completely recode my awareness of my place on the planet. From somebody whose only value is to be used as sadistic cruelty to an adult woman who controls her own destiny, who has tremendous power to determine her life.

So. How do I give myself permission to become myself? So far I’ve been doing okay trying to just change my behaviors and the messages coming at me from my mind. And then sit in C’s office and let her tell me the significance of acting as I have. “It’s your life, is that what you wanna do?” Yikes. I didn’t even know what she was talking about the first time the words came from her mouth. Now I’m getting an inkling of the concept. Scares the shit out of me.

One tiny piece at a time. This is the secret I suppose. So my little bit for the next few days is to think about letting that victim thing go. I can feel changes, a few at least. For instance, I no longer have to hang onto the idea that no one has ever suffered as much as I have. My entire life I have had to have “the worst” to justify my intense pain. Not so much any more. Not at all really. I now tend to embrace in my mere survival. I am comforted by not being so isolated, so totally alone in the history of my anguish. AS long as I was isolated from the rest of humanity I could remain some kind of monster. I am not alone so not isolated so not a monster.

I am a human being, a miracle of kids’ toughness and ingenuity. Just like everyone else on the planet. So I am much better able to establish an identity that is separate myself from other people in terms of human need. Boundaries? Son of a bitch, I have them. This is pretty damn huge for me.

As I’m typing I can hear the voices screeching. Now I can tell them to just shut up, which more and more often is working. I am like the first nuclear bomb test. Nobody knew if the thing was even going to work but by damn it did. And it changed the world.

Certainly there will be more to come on this topic but it is time to put it away for now. Because I said so. Because it’s good self care to put this away for now and go do something. I think I’ll take a little run.

Danger afoot

I am spiraling into my Black Pit and I don’t know what to do about it. I am working hard to just not go there, not feed the beast. But it seems to be out and growing whether I look there or not.

I feel like I just want it to be over, the whole fucking thing. I am sick of fighting to keep myself within reason. I have been really great for over a month now. I know what this is, this train that’s heading at me blaring it’s horn, and yet I can’t seem to get off the track. I long for it to just run me over. Send me permanently into wingnutville, kill me, I don’t really care.

My mind is making these connections that it always does whenever I am here. One step leads to another to another to another and suddenly I am…down. Sucked into my own black hole, waiting for shit to get sucked down on top of me to crush me.

I haven’t been suicidal in rather awhile. Frankly I have been having too much fun. But the party seems to be over. My rational mind is saying there are going to be ups and downs, man. Life is suffering, and this is your reminder. I didn’t think it would be a permanent thing, feeling well. But I have seen this train coming for several days and I have absolutely no idea where it’s coming from. All I know is that C is going to dump me, my wife is going to dump me, and the end of days is finally upon me.

There’s this great quote from my favorite movie. John says “my god if I were to burst into flames there’d not be a soul to piss on me to put out the flames”. Richard says “let’s strike a flint and see”. And there it is. Not a soul would piss on me to put out the flames.

Basically I’ve been co-conscious for all this time I had been feeling great. Competent. Cabable. Growing. But the monsters have still been there, just reasonably under control. Suddenly though they have taken over. I am being pushed out of the way by the voices.

I know what C would say. She would tell me that I don’t have to go down this neural pathway that has been with me for as long as I can remember. If there is such a thing as remembering. Coping stuff, Terri. Slow it down, clean out your chakras. Balance. Baby steps. Why are you needing to hurt yourself? No “I don’t know” isn’t good enough. Calm down and think about it some more.

But I just don’t know man. I just don’t know why I am completely isolated from every living thing on the planet. I feel like everything around me is foreign. That nobody gives a shit about me, not even the cats who are now up and begging me for attention. I feel like there is a great distance, a fog between me and the rest of the planet.

When I stopped being raped at around 12-13 nobody ever said well it’s done now. It won’t happen again. I’ve just been…waiting for over thirty five years. I kinda feel like I am in a similar place at this moment. Is now the time? I have been waiting for it to be done all my life, is now the time I can finally be freed from the horrendous karma I’ve dealt with this time around? I imagine that in 47 days I can start over. Have a mulligan on the endless cycle of life and death. But I doubt that Universe is going to be compassionate with me. I’ll be a snake that somebody cuts in two with a hoe or something.

They say that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I am trying to keep this in mind right now. I know it isn’t true, that there is no permanence and there are no temporary problems.

I do have a repetitive scream that I’m able to identify. All I want is for somebody to tell me “I’m sorry”. That is all I want. But it won’t be forthcoming. This is a great big ugly thing and I suppose I am saying all I want is validation for my right to exist. Hmm, wait. I have faced literal death so many times, and from such a young age, it isn’t the same thing for me as it is for most people. It’s a very very real possibility for me. You can be killed at any time in any number of horrendous ways. You can find yourself with a pistol jammed up your vagina and the trigger can finally be pulled. That is unfortunate reality for me.

C would say it was reality. You are an adult now and you can control your pathways. You know that this is what you’re doing right? You have been here a million times. You are punishing yourself and the important thing is for us to figure out why that is.

Perhaps some of it is that as I have begun to engage with the world I am seeing what a fucking loss and pain in the ass I have been to every being who has come into contact with me. My poor wifey, poor dad. Yup, self-harm that is no less real than that gun was so many years ago.

I don’t think anybody has said I’m sorry because I don’t think I deserve it. Jesus, why do I have to keep coming here? Will this shit never end?

I feel compelled to state that Iamnotatriskofbeingaharmtomyselfortoanyoneelse. But man am I wishing for that pistol shot.

How meditation is freeing from control

OK, so in my last post I suppose that I did not do a very good job of explaining why meditation and qi gong are so freeing. Or how what seems like might be inviting chaos actually eliminates it with practice.

I have a sense that meditation can be a very scary idea. I mean, you’re just sitting there and god knows what awful things can pop into your head, right? And there you’ll be, sitting like an idiot with anxiety that is shooting the roof, all triggery and flashbacky and god knows what other.

What I think many people try to do to control their thoughts is to suppress them when they come up. Like pushing them down deep inside themselves. Oftentimes this effort includes some sort of behavior, like drinking or drugging or manipulating their food intake. Or they panic. We exert these behaviors to get away from our thoughts because it’s hard to do all that suppressing. So we do what we do to make that process easier.

But here’s the cold hard reality. It doesn’t work. By restricting or poisoning ourselves we hurt our bodies and that’s about it. Think about it. If these behavior worked, if suppression worked, wouldn’t the nightmares in our heads go away? The sad truth is that no they don’t. We may feel a temporary relief from them, but because we aren’t addressing them they just come back. Over and over and over again. So we end up chasing our own tail, repeating self-harming tactics as we give our scary thoughts more strength because we’re still afraid.

And so. Can we see where all the shit we do to not feel to not remember just won’t work unless we deal with them head-on? You know the shit we do doesn’t work or we wouldn’t continue to be so afraid.

Thoughts are just that, thoughts. They come and go all the time. The ones that stick around are the ones we pay attention to. They’re kinda like cats. Lolling about most of the time, wake up to clamor for attention, then go back to snoozing. If your cat receives no attention from you she’ll eventually go away.

This is why meditation is so great. It teaches you to let the nightmares come into your head, lets you see oh there’s that pile of hot mess — and then just let it go. You don’t feed the beast. My regular readers know that I perceive myself to be a black hole where fuckall badness gets into me and sucks down right onto my head. For me, meditation allows me to sit at the bottom of my black hole and see what horrors are out there. But if I just let them be, refocus my mind onto something else like moving my energy around or focusing on the smell of my incense, they stay out there in orbit. They don’t come crashing in on me because I just don’t give them that power.

As we practice it gets easier and easier to do this. Imagine sitting there breathing playing around with your qi, and suddenly you’re aware that a horrible memory has popped into your head. You have the power to say “Eww god I do not want to go there” — and you don’t. You focus your attention on the tools at your disposal to not get sucked in by the frightening whatever. And the thought, getting no attention, floats away. It’s gone.

So you are actually dealing with these scary thoughts by putting them in their right place, which is out there not bothering you. They come in, they go away. They come in, they go away. In, away. In, away.

You can always pay attention to your whatever thoughts whenever you want to. You can feed the beast but you can do it on your time, when you want to. Like in therapy or in creative endeavors or writing. They will never go away completely. But you have in you the power to not have them take over your life. You can shut them down. You can just leave them be.

I used to think that I HAD to give my full attention to my nightmares for a number of reasons. One, what happened to me was my identity. I was a victim and I did not see that by re-traumatizing myself constantly I would have no self-identification. Two, I had to re-injure myself repetitively to know I was alive. Three, to prove that what happened to me did indeed happen. Four, I didn’t know any other way to live. Five, I identified so strongly with my perpetrators that I couldn’t imagine them not in my life. That weird attachment thing is really just gross but there it was for me. Six, it seemed to me that as long as I kept the old shit alive nothing new or more horrific could happen to me. Seven, I was addicted to a crisis life. Eight, I really thought that by keeping an eye on my nightmares I was controlling them.

None of this was true. It’s about living the best, happiest life I can. And that means putting down the weapons. Meditating and doing qi work are the best ways I’ve found to really deal with my nightmares. I have the power to just walk away. And so do you. I hope this makes more sense. Meditation is control.

Coping or Avoidance?

I have been feeling out of touch for soms days now. Like i’m not connected in ways that i had previously felt.

I wake up and feel like flaming shit. Then i go into my coping stuff like worlinv out or palying wii golf or meditating or doing qi gong routes.

I know what this lesson is about. It’s about the idea that i have control over my life. That it doesn’t belong to my perpetrators. Also seeing the many many ways i havr spent my life trying to esfablish control. Meh, not so much.

When i do tbese things i do feel better. Calmer. I have chosen to not go sinking into the morass of shit that is there. I cope by doing stuff instead.

But i do not know if i am on the rivht path od the wronv one. It FEELS so wrong. But that may very well be because i have always followwd the fuckupedness to it’s conclusion of pain.

So am i being healthy, doing good self-care? Or am i just runninv away again? A bunch of me is saying just get to therapy C will figure it out with you. Tiny bits and pieces do not overload that only hurts you.

We’ll see this afternoon. I do not want to hide anymore i know that. Sheesh it’s hard.

Painting my Soul

Long ago in a land far, far away, I was in my twenties and my PTSD hadn’t put me to a full stop yet. I was a Marketing Consultant, pulling in a ton of cash working for myself and basically living the life of a young affluent city gal. If someone at that time would ask me what I was I’d say I was a painter. It was what I loved, I made money on it…it was just who I was.

Once the PTSD brought my life to a screeching halt in my mid-thirties everything in my life basically stopped. Except my painting. It morphed into angry, screaming drivel yes. But I kept doing it because it was the only thing giving any oxygen to my soul.

I hung onto painting because I was never allowed to express creativity when I was a kid. I was “gifted” in those days before the category was created. I was smart, so smart that I was attending college courses in grammar school. My parents decided to keep me with my regular class and not advance early because I exhibited chronic socialization problems. I didn’t seem able to form bonds with kids teachers anybody. They assumed it was because of my braniacism and not the sexal assaults that my mother consistently denied. So while my sister was able to draw and color and play violin I studied. Bitch. I never even owned crayons.

Anyway, for my 22nd birthday my girlfriend at the time took me to an art supply store and set me up with oils guache brushes the whole nine yards. Trying to think about what to possibly paint the first time she told me that it didn’t matter. That whatever I painted no one else in the world could paint exactly my vision and that was what creativity was all about. I fell in love with it immediately.

Anyway, I’ve had a few fairly successful shows but for the most part my stuff is Impressionist which is not a popular style these days. It doesn’t matter to me if anybody else likes my work as long as I do. And I’ve done very few things I don’t adore.

So I’ve been happily painting along until about this time last year. My therapist at the time was on me to bring something in for her to see. So I brought in this really cool still life that I’d recently finished. She said wow I had no idea how cool your stuff is blah blah can I keep it I was so shocked to get any kind of reaction from her of any kind so said sure. I mean, I can always paint more, right? Right.

The next time I was in her office my painting was leaning against the wall I would stare at, straight ahead of me. It stayed there for nine months, until the day I fired her. For other reasons than this, but it did have an impact on me, this cavalier disregard for my stuff.

Today is the first time I have picked up brush to paint and canvas. It’s like blissing out. I can’t really describe it, I just paint what I see and there it is. My old self-portrait of a hundred individual tiny little slivers all rimmed in black no longer applies. I’ve only just started this one but most of the black borders are gone. There are still alot of us,. 42 I believe, but the lines of delineation between them just aren’t there for the most part. That tells me that what I am feeling internally, that there’s actually communication going on, that the littles are gaining shape and that things are very confusing. The littles are feeling things for the first time and even though I’m not finished with it I can feel them there. I recognize everybody, which is also a great surprise.

So there it is. I get my creativity back. There used to be a single internal, the Painter, who did it. But today it was a thing by committee. Parts that have never known of others’ existence are deciding on color texture and all the decisions you make when you’re painting in oil. The best part of the whole thing is that I gave this back to me. I gave the best part of me back to us. Cool breeze.

Raped at 2:What I Missed

Sexual abuse is a horrid thing to happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time.  When it happens to a child it can suck the life right out of them. 

But when a child of 2 years is sexually abused for the first time, the results are particularly devastating.¬† Important neural pathways never develop.¬† Basic functions such as adequate processing of emotion and the ability to calm oneself down just don’t evolve.¬† The child never learns that the world is essentially a safe place.¬† The ability to trust never forms.¬† Storage of memory gets screwed up in a zillion ways.¬† The relationship between the part of the brain that handles processing of basic emotions doesn”t get a chance to hook up with the intellectual parts.¬† For example, if I go to a scary movie I will be frightened and panicking and depressed and sad and distrustful¬†of the entire planet.¬† I didn’t get the part that says well this is just a movie.¬† I never got the part that says I can feel something emotionally and still be okay.¬† I never got the parts that allowed ,me to regulate emotion.

I actually don’t even really know what emotional regulation IS.¬† It was just explained to me yesterday in therapy.¬† So people can for example be sad and it doesn’t cripple them until they can finally just dissociate to not feel it any longer?¬† I mean, really people are supposed to be able to do that¬†?¬† T just looked at me and said “yeah”.¬† Wow, what an advantage that would have been for the past 5 decades.¬†

When kids get raped at 2 they never develop social structures or capabilities.¬† Since they never got the trust thing, they basically can’t, well, trust anyone.¬† So things like play and friends and meaningful human contact don’t get learned.¬† They split off into little pieces of¬† persons, emotions, events, age groups and whatever else they can come up with to keep the BAD away.¬† Anything to not feel.

I am okay with all of this.¬† It’s okay with me now that there are fundamental parts of me that are missing.¬† Because now I know that I can have a do-over on what happened to that tiny partially-formed brain.¬† Now I know that I can get this stuff.¬† Probably not as well as the zillions of people who did have the chance to grow these neural connections.¬† I know I will never know what it feels like to be a singleton.¬† But I believe in neuroplasticity.¬† I believe I can find out what all exactly I did miss and get to gain a certain amount of these brain goodies.¬† I have absolute trust if not always adoration for the Therapy Process.¬† I am blessed to have one of the best in the trauma/dissociation biz helping me in how to basically grow myself up.¬†

Yesterday in therapy I said man it really is amazing that I have gotten this far with so little.¬† T says yes, with so little information you’re like a natural wonder.¬† I envision looking down at the Grand Canyon.¬† Ugh this will not be fun but it’s totally doable.¬†

I do not in ANY WAY intend to make this a comparison/contrast thing.¬† I have not intention to state or imply that my abuse was worse than anybody else’s.¬† This is not a contest.¬† Every person who has survived sexual domestic emotional abuse has a great load to carry.¬† I do however think that the healing is perhaps abit less complicated if one has had a time in their lives “before” to refer back to.¬† Not ever getting the right stuff at the start makes for unusual challenges.¬†

The End.

Images of What, Freedom?

So we have this two-part psychological theory that seems to be working thus far. First, wherever we are we are okay. Good bad depressed panicking fabulous. It’s all okay. The point is to not DO anything when the rough stuff comes up. Which inevitably it will. Just notice the feeling. As T says, this teaches us that feelings come and go. More importantly however we are able to look at them, with less judgement every day. We can see that they will not overtake us or harm us in any way.

Whib gets to the other part of our personal psychology. Use it. Figure out what the emotion means. Where it came from. Where it came from before that. And before that. And before that. If it’s great, figure out why it is and find out how to replicate it. If it’s bad or sad or gut-wrenching we are increasingly able to sit with it. Turn it around and around in our mind, hum where the hell does this come from? Why is it (inevitably) so familiar? To what else does it apply in our life?

Amazing images are coming to us, regardless of how we feel. We’re in a prison, walking down a corridor of cells. We stop in front of the cell that belongs to us. But something here is different. In our cell there are no bars.

No tigers are chasing us. There is only the fruit (see that blog).

We’re walking in the middle of a desert. Big sand dunes, windy…the Sahara kind of a place. We are getting thirsty. We walk up a dune and there’s a huge city with palms and wells and lots and lots of water.

We’re sitting in front of an empty canvas. Staring, the blankness accusing us for being totally non-creative hence worthy (mom). And we pick up our pallet and a brush and we start painting.

There are a hundred of these things roaming around in our head these days. It’s okay to see it. Use it. Take a look, it’s not going to hurt you.

Freedom. It’s pretty freaking great.

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