Posts Tagged ‘courage’

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And life goes on…

July 15, 2013

Life goes on…even after curve balls get thrown at us. I am looking at a loved one in jail and the loss of relationship with other loved ones because of it.

None of this is my choice. It is not my fault one is in jail. It wasn’t my influence that put him there. I have always been against everything he got into and did. It is not my fault that his ex seems to be choosing to keep me away from not only herself, but their children. It isn’t right for her to do this, but it is what it is.

I think what is hardest is that, if she really does keep us apart, what will the children think? Will she lie to them and tell them I am not calling? That I don’t care? That I am related to the one who did bad things? Never mind that he had a brother I am also related to who is a good man!

Sometimes, forgiveness and love are all we have to offer. It is all we can do when things in the world are out of our hands and we are powerless to change them.

I found a really good video on forgiveness. This man defines it well and makes it easy to understand.

 

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What Is Healing?

March 16, 2013

When I first started out on this last leg of my healing journey…the awareness of DID and the realization of some of what had happened to me (which was an “aha-now I understand” time)…I had an idea in mind of what healing looked like. For me, it meant that my hard work (with G-d’s help) was somehow going to reverse all that had been done to me and there would be a complete merging which I called “integration”. I looked at it like a broken bone or a sickness. I wanted to be restored to the condition prior to the break of illness…or to be made even better. After all, they say a broken bone that heals is stronger in the area of the break and will never break exactly there again. I wanted to be like pre-DID and trauma.

Looking back, I would have to say that I was pretty naive, but not in a bad way. I believed what I needed to believe in order to start the journey and do what needed to be done. There were things I did not yet understand about DID and how abuse affects the brain. There were also implications in my view of healing that I did not fully think through…implications that would later change my view of healing…and again…not in a bad way.

Initially, my goal was simply to work on whatever needed to be worked. If I needed to face a memory…so be it. If I needed to reach out to an insider…so be it. Whether it was writing, listening, sharing, art…I did it. I believed that if I just kept doing what I was doing that integration/merging would occur naturally. It would not have to be forced. And it pretty much did happen that way. As I focused on healing, integration and merging seemed to happen almost seamlessly and without any real effort. Some of it happened in huge chunks during several days I spent with a counselor at her home. I stayed with her twice and through days of prayer and working with insiders massive amounts of integration/merging happened.

Over time, I came to realize that not all of healing is as simple as that. Now, I believe that a huge part of healing is to simply live my life…enjoying it as best I can…and seeing the beauty around me in addition to seeing what is evil in the world. I walk in the Spirit of the Creator, trusting Him to show me whatever I need to see and to help me with whatever I need help with. He has always been my greatest Healer…my best therapist. And He has helped me see that my idea of what healing looks like was very faulty.

I know the Creator can do anything and I believe He could even make it like nothing had happened…but that is not real. Like so many others, I had to come to terms with a childhood I simply never had. It was not just a matter of putting the brain back to how it was originally created. All my childhood experiences shaped and affected my brain. Removing the effects of the negative experiences does not replace them with the positive effects of the good things that never happened!

I also realized that all those things that did happen a part of what make who I am today. And even with all my foibles and what I perceive as “weakness” and “brokenness”, I am a pretty awesome person. I am a walking miracle and I am doing pretty darn good considering all I have been through. So, part of healing is also accepting imperfect functionality.

So…maybe…healing is not about restoration (like a broken leg). Maybe it is more about learning to live as I am and celebrating the me I have become and the me I am becoming. Maybe it is more about giving myself the freedom to enjoy life now…without guilt and with less and less impact coming from the past. It is about accepting imperfect functionality. (What is “perfect”, anyway?) It is about learning not to compare myself to others…not my abilities, my weaknesses or my strengths. Every one of us has abilities of some kind; we just don’t all have the same ones. We all have weaknesses and we all have strengths, regardless of how healed or broken we are. It is about not comparing my healing journey to another’s. We all walk on different paths.

I know I still have more to learn, but I carry one thing with me on my learning/healing journey…one very important thing. I know the Creator of all things and I know who I am in my Creator. I know I can trust Him to continue to lead me. Whatever is ahead, He will help me to face it.

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22 Faces — Jenny Hill and Judy Byington

January 24, 2013

22 Faces is a fairly new site dealing with Satanic Ritual Abuse. It shares the story of Jenny Hill, the only known survivor of an intended sacrifice victim. The goal of the book written about Jenny’s life and the website is to offer information about ritual abuse and to offer support and hope to survivors in the form of several resources.

I am always wary when someone approaches me to share their site or services, as Judy Byington did. I have experienced enough of people not being what they present themselves to be. Or simply of them not being altogether altruistic. I really try hard not to let my nightmare experiences with some therapists online keep me from putting good resources out there. So, here is 22 Faces.

I do not know Judy Byington or Jenny Hill. I have no personal knowledge, good or bad, about them. However, when I read what happened to them on Dr. Phil, I was not surprised. What he did to them is, sadly, very common among “talk show” people. They are not interested in the truth, but in ratings. I watched the clips they showed on Dr. Phil’s site and felt very unsettled. I was uncertain what to believe.  After reading Jenny’s “Open Letter to Dr. Phil” and now Judy’s “Dr. Phil — The Rest of the Story”, I am disgusted. I have read of such things happening to others I know so I have no reason but to believe their take on things, especially since I saw hints of it even in the clips Dr. Phil has on his site. It took courage to approach him and go on his show. Shame on him for the way he treated them!

Below are links to 22 Faces and to their responses to what happened to them on Dr. Phil. Read them and judge for yourself. There is also a letter on their site from another therapist who has worked with clients who have DID/MPD which I have linked to on my “What is SRA?” page.

22 Faces

Jenny Hill’s Open Letter to Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil — The Rest of the Story

 

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What is healing…

December 4, 2012

I am not really sure what healing looks like. I think it is different for each person. After years of looking at it, I still don’t have a solid definition, but I can share with you some things that sure look like healing for me.

Healing Is

Healing is being able to laugh…even in the midst of pain.

Healing is being able to cry…even when others are around.

Healing is being able to somewhat identify what I am feeling,
and hopefully…even being able to have an idea of WHY I am feeling it.

Healing is knowing when I need to decompress,
being able to identify safe places to decompress,
and then…doing it.

Healing is being able to sense whether a person or place is safe
And then being able to keep myself safe.

Healing is being able to find joy in life.

Healing is being able to see good things…even when bad things are happening.

Healing is being able to have gratitude for what I do have
rather than bemoaning what I don’t.

Healing is being able to be productive in some way every day
even if I am the only one who recognizes it.

Healing is being able to take a step forward,
no matter how tiny
and even if it is only in my heart.

Healing is being able to face some aspect of my past…without completely crumbling.

Healing is being able to recognize that some part of my history,
no matter how small or big,
no longer has a hold on me.

Healing is being able to make plans…and know that they might actually happen!

Healing is being able to say that I made it through
another minute,
another day,
another hour,
another week,
another month,
another year,
another anniversary,
another flashback,
another body memory,

Healing is having the freedom to fully unleash my creativity and
sing again,
play music again,
write again,
talk again,
share again.

Healing is being able to give without manipulation
and receive without manipulation
even more importantly… recognizing the difference.

Healing is being to allow myself to truly love
and open myself to the potential for heartache without fear,
knowing that I can rise above anything that happens.

Healing is allowing myself to trust others
and being trustworthy myself.

Healing is giving myself permission to live life to the fullest
without thinking much about healing or hurting or my history.
It is allowing myself to temporarily “forget” that I even have an abusive history.

Healing is knowing that I was a victim who dared to survive
and am now a survivor who dares to thrive.

Healing is being able to put words to my experiences,
words like
“rape”
and “sexual abuse”
and “incest”
and “satanic ritual abuse”.
And healing is to put them without capital letters because
I am bigger and taller and stronger than they are
and I refuse to give them capital letter power in my life.

Healing is being able to cry and know that I am OK
and everything will be alright.

Healing is being able to see my Creator’s love for me
even when I know I don’t deserve it.

Healing is being able to see His hand in my life…even during the most awful of experiences.

Healing is being able to see His protection and how He got me through.

I may think of more things to add to that list. As I do, I may edit

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Being a Warrior and a Survivor…

November 29, 2012

I am a fighter…and I recognize that it is my Creator who gave me that ability to fight.

I am a survivor…and it is my Creator who brought me through all the hell to get to the wonderful place I am today.

I am filled with the Shalom of my Messiah Yeshua and it is His Ruach/Spirit that has helped me all along my healing journey.

I am a warrior, too. So, what is the difference between a fighter and a warrior? I think there is a lot. I started out as a fighter, fighting my way through what was going on in order to survive. I fought to be “sane” (whatever that means). I fought to make it through the day. I fought to stay alive. I fought to hide my true self from everyone around me. I fought to look “normal” so no one would know the truth. I fought and I fought and I fought, but it was a fighting that was based more upon instinctively swinging my “arms” to fend off an enemy.

Over time, though, I became a warrior. I went on the offensive. And that is when things really started to change. That is when the evil I was fighting really started to show itself for what it was…dark and malevolent. It was not that I did not see that before. It was not that I was not doing some warrior fighting before. But there came a time in my life when I had no choice but to come out swinging on the offensive. I had to for the safety of my youngest.

My battle to survive and just make it through life slowly transformed into a battle of fighting back until the fighting back became the main thing. After years of feeling as if I were struggling just to keep my head above water so I could breath, I slipped into years of taking ground. I started to fight for real healing.

There are some who decry the term “survivor”, as if that is somehow less than or as if it somehow holds us back. We must never use that term, but must instead call ourselves “thrivers”…or some other term to define who we are.

But I AM a survivor! I have survived horrendous things and made it out the end! I am PROUD of that. Being a survivor means they did not win! A cancer survivor is one who has conquered cancer. No one would ever think of telling him or her not to use that term! So, why is it not OK for us who have survived extreme abuse?

I am a survivor! I am alive! I am “sane”…well, I guess that may depend upon your definition of “sane”. I am smiling as I write that. I am HERE! I did not die. I did not end up in a mental ward. I did not end up in jail. I did not end up dead. I have a good marriage. I made it out of all the abuse. Yes, it took years to do. Yes, I am still partially amnesic. Yes, I have a lot of healing left to do. But I am ALIVE! I no longer answer to my abusers. Hallelu Yah!

I am both a survivor AND a thriver. You see, I don’t see it as an either/or kind of thing. I am both! And I am grateful. I can see the beauty in life and share it with others. Here is some of that beauty now.

 

 

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Being triggered…

July 15, 2012

There is a fairly new blog on the scene called She’s Somebody’s Daughter.  Actually, there are two. The other one is called Music for the Soul. Both blogs are offshoots of the site called Music for the Soul. I have known about the main site for some time. They have some wonderful music for healing and comfort. And now they have the blogs.

I am making my way through them. Recently I read a post that was very triggering. You can find it here: He Said, She Said. Now, to be clear, quite a few articles on these two blogs have the potential to be triggering, especially the She’s Somebody’s Daughter blog. These articles deal with abuse. When I read the He Said, She Said blog I wanted to cry.  I was hit with a wave of emotion.

When a person has been abused, it can be very difficult to read, or hear, about abuse. It can resurrect all kinds of feelings connected to our own abuse history. And abuse makes me angry. This was not some theoretical situation. It really happened!

I have had to ask myself why it was so triggering, though. I have come along way in my healing…or so I thought. If I am gut level honest,  I have to say that I am angry because I don’t know that I would have reacted in the right way had I been there. I have been programmed since childhood to let things go…to not make waves…and, most importantly, to question reality.

My first reaction would have been to question what I had just seen or heard…whether it was directed at me or at someone else. If no one else, especially the perceived victim, did not react, I would most likely have stayed silent when I should been putting this lout in his place! And THAT is how this junk keeps on happening. Because the programming can still be strong and the knee-jerk reaction is to have no reaction.

I cannot count the number of times that I have “allowed” abusive behaviour in my life. I am ill-equipped to say “no”. Thankfully, there has not been any in years. Still, I cannot help but wonder what I would do if I ran into someone who dared to do the unthinkable…especially in the unlikeliest of places…in front of others. Would I be able to allow myself to make waves, to become the center of some unwanted attention?

It is the silence of others that helps the victim think she/he has no right to complain…that this is somehow “OK”. And it is the silence of the victim that contributes to others thinking it really is not bad behaviour. What a Catch-22! Victims have often had their voice taken away from them. The adult that does not react is most likely the child who was abused and not allowed to share.

So, I ask myself…if it happened to me, would  have been strong enough to stand up to it? Would I have been terrified of losing my job? Would I have been afraid that others would think I was just over-reacting or being needlessly prudish? Would I have had the guts to get in the face of a guy who slapped me on the rear end? I pray that I would deal with it…swiftly and firmly.

Yet, I also know that there may be programming still buried inside…not yet broken and cleared out. I won’t see another therapist who understands ritual abuse, even if I were to get the money, because I won’t risk a repeat of what happened the last time. I want to stay safe. I don’t want to be triggered into another rape. Programming can be hard to deal with, but I am determined to keep on fighting so that incidents like this one won’t happen on MY watch…to me or anyone around me!

So, yeah, reading it was a bit triggering. It reminded me of things I prefer to forget…until Yeshua tells me that it is time to look at them. But it also reminded me that there is more to work on.

I suggest checking out the main site and the blogs…especially the music. I hope you will find something that speaks healing to your heart…and maybe you can contribute something to help the cause.

I hope this post makes sense. I just replaced my keyboard and some of the keys are not working correctly. It is very distracting having to retype and go back and fix everything. If you see typos, please be gracious.

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Entering Into a Period of Reflection

June 16, 2012

I am taking time this next week to reflect on my life and on what I am supposed to do with my time and energy…such as it is. I have been feeling overwhelmed and too busy. I need a break…a rest…and I am taking one. With one third of my family gone, I am using the time alone to just spend time with G-d…to seek His wisdom and guidance. I hope to start doing more writing, but I am not really sure, yet, where writing will fit. I know it will be there…just not sure where…yet.

I have a phone appointment with my old therapist this week. I really miss her and am going to ask how much it would cost to do a once a month call. I really feel that I need to have SOMEONE I can talk to about the realities of my life…someone who will understand and who knows me.

My life has been going through some major shifts in understanding…especially in the realm of spirituality. I still worship the Creator as is revealed in the Bible, but my understanding is way deeper. Some might call me a heretic, but there a lot of others like me out there.

Meredith wrote recently about pushing through life. That really struck a chord with me because that is the way I have been feeling for a long time. I am tired of pushing through. I need to find out what the Creator wants me to do…not what I want to do or what others want me to do. I know that my greatest fulfillment will come in doing what I am called to do.

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Sui…well, you get the idea…

January 16, 2011

Within a few days, I read four things about suicide. One was a post at DIDiva where she gives a link to an article in the Huffington Post about a young man who killed himself. Reading that really made me very sad for him and for all the others who feel so alone…who feel such overwhelming darkness…and who feel that taking their life is the only real option. I am glad that he wrote a letter explaining what he did. Maybe it will help others.

I think it was the same day that I also read an online friend’s description of the aftermath of a suicide attempt. She especially wrote about the effects on the body. She also included a link to another person I know online whose blog I had never read…although we had crossed paths. That person mentioned an attempt in her year review…which led me to explore her blog a while.

I kept reading and wanting to respond, yet could not bring what I was feeling into words. Or at least not into words that I felt would do any good or have any kind of usefulness. I finally decided to write a post here instead, but had neither the time or wherewithal to put my feelings into thoughts and my thoughts into words on the screen. I just kept mulling it over…and experiencing emotions.

I can think of reasons that posts like that draw me. One is that it is possible that my sister committed suicide. I don’t know that it was intentional, but she did die as the result of her own actions. Some of those actions took the long, slow route…like bulimia and alcoholism. Boy was she a fighter…when the cult was not slapping her down.

I have received different stories about what happened and have even spoken with the coroner and read her report. I know my sister. There are things in the report that are fishy. But, hey, that is not exactly surprising considering how strong the cult is in that area. For example, my sis was a hard-core bulimic. For that alone, she was really living on borrowed time. Add to that alcohol. Know that those two things do to the body? It isn’t pretty. Yet, her stomach and liver were “unremarkable”! Excuse me! Unremarkable???? That is so wrong! Nothing about her teeth or knuckles, either. Personally, I think the family she lived with wanted to get rid of her and what they describe to me backs up my thought.

So that is one reason writings like that catch my eye. Another is that I have friends who struggle with this issue…a lot. And I care very much about them. I don’t want to lose them and I can only pray that they really know how much they mean to me…without them feeling pressured by that. I hope that makes sense.

I especially appreciated the post describing the aftermath because I have thought of suicide most of my life. I am pretty much beyond it now, but there was a time when it was on my mind…a LOT. It was not so much that I wanted to die. I just wanted the pain to stop…which is what I suspect happened to my sister. I think she was trying to number herself and over did it…or her battered body just finally gave out.

So…why am I alive? There are a number of reasons. I have always been determined not to leave that legacy to my loved ones…especially my children. I know that survivors of a loved one’s suicide are a lot more likely to commit suicide themselves. I did not want to put them at risk. Therefore, I searched for ways to do it that would not be obvious…that no one would think my death was intentional. I couldn’t find one.

There was also the fact that I believe I am here for a reason. The end of my life is G-d’s domain…not mine. Hard as it has been at times…I want to honor that. Fear of hell used to keep me alive, but I no longer believe that people go to hell for taking their lives. For other things, yes…but not for that. Not wanting to have to stand before my heavenly Abba explaining why I did it was compelling enough, though.

There is one thing I have found, however. There are times when the darkness and pain can become so severe that all of those reasons start to become meaningless. No matter how strong they are in normal life, when the darkness gets that strong, they fade into the background. Holding onto life becomes a challenge. Even now, I have my days when I want to go Home. I don’t act on it, but I can sure want it.

As far back as High School I would pray for G-d to take me Home as I slept. I don’t remember if I prayed that in Junior High. Junior High is when my childhood memories start to come into focus…although I am missing things from that, too. My mother told me about a major change during that time that I still only have a single incident flashback about. So I know I am still missing stuff.

Anyway, this is what I have been thinking on for the last few days. To all my friends (and anyone else out there) who are struggling with this issue…please, hold on. I do understand. Feel free to share with me how you feel. I know that can help. Either email me or find someone to talk to. Please know that someone cares. I know…when the darkness is that deep it may not really matter. But I feel a need to write it anyway.

Edit in on 1/17: When I wrote this the other day, there was something I wanted to include, but forgot. There is another reason I hesitated to do anything…I was terrified of surviving. There are a lot of aspects of surviving that I dreaded…such as shame, facing the anger and hurt of others and having others not trust me because they were always worried that I might try it again.

The biggest fear, though, was the possibility of surviving in a body that was broken beyond repair. I was terrified that I could end up paralyzed or with some kind of irreparable brain damage that would leave me dependent upon others (and, in my mind, a burden to them) for the rest of my life. I would feel like a double failure…unable to take my life and now a mess for others to deal with. That was my reality. That was my thinking in those times.

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Today…

October 16, 2010

…it is one foot in front of the other. I went out to get the oil changed on the van…for free! When I came back I really did not want to get out, but I did. I still have lots to do today…my checkbook, the bills, working on something for the house.

I was shaky when I got here this morning, but as I read and responded to comments, things started to calm down a bit inside. Now I am taking a few minutes to write before going outside to help with something.

People say that I am courageous. That always takes me by surprise. I guess I just don’t see anything I do as being courageous so much as it is what I need to get by. But I think I do get it. There was a time when I was afraid to put anything out here. It has taken time to get to the point where I can write what I write as openly as I do. So, yeah…maybe I get it. But I still am not sure I am all that courageous. I see other survivors doing things that I cannot imagine doing. I think THEY are courageous!

My body is flooded with emotional flashbacks. It is difficult to think straight…yet I must. It is times like these when it is the most difficult. There is no place to just go hide out for a while. Plus, when there are things that need to be done…well…they need to be done. I have already left so many things undone because I just could not do them. But I cannot leave everything there…as much as I would like to at times.

Sometimes I just wish I could go someplace safe and shut down. No responsibilities. Nobody needing me…for ANYthing! Just rest and healing. Like a retreat. I used to have a contemplative style retreat every year…just Yahweh and me. I have not had one since 2005. Oh, how I miss it.

As for mom…more on her later. Still no further word from her.

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What’s Ahead…

June 7, 2010

I feel a bit emotional. My guys are gone for a bit and I am finishing up things here to get ready to go. I suspect that the tears that are now surfacing may be a harbinger of what is ahead.

I have so much bottled up inside. For the last several years I have had precious little freedom to allow things to surface. Now I am anticipating almost three full days of real solitude. I will have the freedom of space to allow things out. The question is…will I be able to? I have had to stifle what I feel inside for sooooo long…will I be able to break free from that and let things out? Let myself out? Habits can be difficult to break.

I like what Meredith wrote in her comment…about having time to “expand” for a few days.  I can take that more than one way. Of course, there is the physical expansion…but that is not how I read it. I read as me expanding. I can expand myself…as in system freedom. I don’t know which way she meant it, but that was my first thought when I read it. The freedom to expand myself.

What will that look like? Who knows? But however it happens…whether physical, emotional, alterwise, etc….I am confident that it will be good. It may also be very hard. Very challenging.

I am thinking ahead. One thing keeps coming back. Make sure all the doors are locked. Have a plan. I guess it is just my nature. I am so glad that I will not ever be truly alone. I was gifted with someone seeing the four huge angels sent to protect me. Whether they stay with me or not…I know that my heavenly Abba will send them any time I need them.

I feel pressed in. So much to do. But, for these three days, I am not going to focus on all of that. I am doing my best to be as ready as possible…so that I can let go of everything else during that time. The world will survive without me. My family will survive without me.

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Questions and a Log House

June 6, 2010

I am going away tomorrow. I am getting nervous. I will be alone…in a rural area. Granted…just down the drive…right before the street…is a family I know. (The two properties are connected in more ways than one.) And the woman who lives with her family in that house knows I am a survivor…but she doesn’t understand what all that means.

I am nervous. I will be away from what is familiar in an unfamiliar place. Yes…I have been there before and have even helped in some of the finishing of the logs and such. BUT…it is not “home”. I am not that familiar. The root of familiar is the same as the root for family. We live with our families. We know our families. We live in our homes. We are familiar with our homes.

Even though I am not really “comfortable” in my little RV…I am comfortable. I know…that sounds contradictory…but familiarity is comforting. That is why children of alcoholics and dysfunctional parents oftentimes end up marrying spouse who are similar…even when they swear they won’t. Their spouses may manifest their dysfunction in some different way…but it is still there.

I am a cult survivor. Alone in a rural area has not exactly turned me on. Then again…sometimes I just have to adjust…and continue to trust the Creator. Yeshua has protected me in so many ways and my location is not a hindrance to Him one bit.

I have my list of things to make sure I bring. I hope I have not left anything off. The most important things, of course, are my laptop and my art pieces. That is why I am going there. But I know it won’t be the sum total of what I do there. I don’t want to be “busy”. I want to just “be”…to rest with no demands…no interruptions…whether that resting be reading, praying, napping, just sitting…whatever.

All alone in a log house…a large log house. Talk about ambiance. I should get some pictures of that, too.  I know they want some, but I am not sure what they want. I’ll try to remember to ask before they leave.

I will be bringing my comfort foods and the things I want to eat. I not only do not want to put them out for food (I am staying for free), but it is also nice to know what to expect. I don’t want to have to wonder where the boundaries are…so I am bringing my own. It is easier for me that way.

Earlier today…I started to sense hurt inside again. Could it be that my system is looking ahead to having the privacy to feel pain and express pain? No holds barred? It’s certainly possible.

I leave tomorrow evening. It is time to go to bed. I might get a little bit of reading time in. It depends on how long it takes hubby to get to bed.

Good night, everyone!

I hope I don’t forget anything.

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Poem and Filing a Complaint

April 22, 2010

I wrote this in November, 2009. At the time, I was seriously working on a complaint against KB…the unethical therapist I wrote about previously in my blog. I ended up putting the complaint aside…not because I did not think I could win. Actually, I probably could. I have the benefit that she was not actually my therapist…having had only one phone call with her. Most of my interaction was through her online forum with a few emails. She did things that are easier to prove than if I were actually a client.

No…I pulled back because I figured it was not worth it. At first, I drove myself because I knew others were filing against her. I felt that I had to do this to help keep her from hurting others. I was told that Ross, too, had filed against her on behalf of some of her former clients. Again…I pushed myself, figuring that I would add my voice…you know…weight in numbers.

Then I got to thinking about it. I was paying a price in trying to write it up. It had to be done carefully. I am a very busy person with enough of my own stuff on my plate. As survivors, we each have to learn to protect ourselves. I cannot be a protector for others. I can support them. I can point out what to watch for…which is why I wrote the article on internet safety for Many Voices. The longer version is on my blog starting here.

I want to help others find ways to stay safe…even from unscrupulous therapists…through my blog…through articles…through being here to answer questions. KB will answer to G-d someday for all she has done…just as I will for all I have done in my life. I pray that she gets it together and stops hurting people. I know who I am. I know the truth. So does she and so does G-d. For now…that is enough.

Anyway…part of what I was experiencing, too, was a taking back of who I am. This poem is part of that process.

Flower

I am Flower!

Standing tall.

Standing strong.

Bending in the wind,
but not breaking.

I am Flower.

Speaking truth.

Offering peace.

Sharing hope.

I am Flower.

The delicate scent of my joy
may be temporarily
misplaced by the storm,
but it always returns
to be wafted along
upon gentle breezes.

I am Flower!

Beautiful.

Delicate.

Enduring.

I am Flower.

Blooming.

Growing.

Healing.

I am Flower!

©2009

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What’s In a Song

April 1, 2010

This song really touches me deeply. It makes me want to cry. Although my life with my ex was not quite like that, there were times when I was afraid of him. But I don’t think that is quite what it is. I think it is the helplessness…the feeling of being trapped. I have felt that way almost all of my life.

Even as an adult, I felt trapped in my relationship with my parents. Moving out sort of helped…although I did end up back at home…where I felt even more trapped.

Getting married did not help, either…at least not the first time.  I was still trapped. I was still enmeshed with my parents…especially my mother. Of course, I am sure it did not help that my first marriage has all the earmarks of a cult arranged marriage…an alliance.

It was not until my second marriage…my non-cult marriage…that things started to change for me.  It took a while, but he provided a bit of a buffer between them and me. I started to be able to be around them and feel more comfortable…which isn’t saying a whole lot since I did not feel all that comfortable anyway.

My parents could control me so well. Hubby kind of interfered with that a little. It would take quite a few words to describe what would go on between us. It was so subtle and between the lines…not something an outsider would easily pick up on. In fact, I was still in the dark in so many ways as to how they were manipulating me. That is the way of the cult…programming…training. And I had been trained well for my job.

I did break free, though. It was a bit hairy as layer after layer of information came up. It was a journey…a process. It was a fight…and well worth it. My son was my biggest motivator. I was fighting to keep him safe.

So this song…I see a woman who is trapped. She could no more leave this jerk than fly. Just like I felt with my parents. I could not separate from them…not truly…not on a deep level. They had me.

But it isn’t just the video…it is the words, too.  Because of You I relate to hiding how I really feel. I grew up that way. Now I can be more real, but for most of life…even my adult life…I had to hide how I really felt…especially with the ex.

Even now I struggle at times with being open. That is mostly because I just don’t think people would be able to understand the depths of what I go through and what I feel…especially when I get triggered. That is when I hide the most. I am slowly opening up more. It depends on who I am with. And it depends a bit upon who I am, too.

Working on freedom hasn’t been easy. I am still working on it. Healing is hard.  So is being open. Being open is also a gamble. I just keep inching my way there…and then pulling back…observing. Some day…

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Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse

February 19, 2010

The location of the current Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse can be found at Issue Knitting. There are about 30 links to articles from all walks of life there. I hope you will join me in checking them out.

The Carnival rotates through different hosts and is posted periodically. The place to submit articles is here. The blog of the organizer is here. Another link for more info is here. The organizer has a blog here.

I look forward to seeing more carnivals.

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My Sister

February 16, 2010

My sister had a brave heart. She was beautiful and childlike. She was a fighter who would not give up. She was trapped…caught in an unseen web that was too sticky for her to break free from. They had her where they wanted her.

My sister ran away from one cult family right into the arms of another…but she didn’t know. Neither of us did. At that time, we were both amnesic to our true history.

I wonder…did she ever figure it out before she died? Did she finally remember her childhood abuse…the younger years? Did she remember “everything”…or just the minor “stuff” she used as an excuse to run away?

My sister kept trying…in recovery and out of it. I remember her telling me how she had to fight with the recovery people to get her a counselor. She kept saying she needed one, but they did not want to give it to her…not even in those fancy, high class, expensive recovery places.

Was it because it was being paid for by his parents? After all…counseling might mean that she would remember something…something important…something damning…about them. Maybe she would finally wake up to the truth about her boyfriend and his parents…the family she lived with. Or…maybe she wanted a counselor because she already had an inkling of the truth? I will never know in this life.

This is the time of year that I especially think of my sister…as her birthday approaches in a couple of days. And I wonder about her death…and sometimes, I wonder if she even really died…or if they have her holed up somewhere. It didn’t look like her. And my father would not leave me alone with her. If he had…what would I have done? I don’t know. We weren’t supposed to touch the body…but I think I would have. It did NOT look like her. I had seen her within the last year.

My father said it did, but he had not seen her in years…so far as I know. But then…it is not exactly like I came from a truthful family. Ha! “Family”. What is THAT supposed to be? Not the caricature I grew up with.

It’s funny how everything seemed to be so good…on the outside looking in. All the memories I concocted about growing up seemed so OK…yet I was so not OK.  Stories my mother told me were woven through my mind with photos from the family albums. Childhood. Sure…that was my childhood…only…it wasn’t.

I remember the day I suddenly realized that it was all a lie…a fantasy. It has been so long now that I cannot remember if it was before or after I realized that I could not remember growing up with my sister. It is as if she did not exist…yet I know for fact she was there…in the same house with me.

So many things are buried in the mists of amnesia with a tiny flash of a snippet here and there that blazes through so fast that I can barely figure out what just went by. Yet…those flashes ARE there. And I do have the photographs. My sister was there. Some of the photos I took…yet, I can barely see anything beyond the photos themselves. Whatever I see is more like a surreal picture in my mind.

She died on my birthday. At least…I am told she died. I saw what was supposed to be her body…but it sometimes haunts me to this day. I know she was becoming “inconvenient”. I would not put it past them to agree behind closed doors while pretending to hate each other to me. Two families…warring for her body. It was sick. It was insane. It was my sister.

I will never get the chance to get to know her. Her living…except for the few times in the later years when I finally did meet up with her…is buried deep within. What I do remember makes me wonder if I really want to remember the rest. I don’t know. Maybe I should just create a life with her just like I created a life of my own? No…I want to honor her by remembering the truth…if I can.

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