Archive for the ‘boundaries’ Category

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Grieving the Finality of What Will Never Be…

March 9, 2012

I found out yesterday that my mother passed away on December 24, 2010. Yep…that is 1 year, 2 months and 14 days, plus or minus. And he is already remarried…I have NO idea for how long.

We permitted our son to call my mother…it’s a long story. When he asked about his grandmother, my father told him that she had died two years ago on a date my son did not remember. I got the actual date by calling the coroner’s office. They were able to confirm the date of her death and the cause…melanoma. I was told that she had been in hospice care, which was why her death was reported to them. It is a law in that state to report all deaths of people in hospice care.

Over the years I have grieved for what was and grieved for what wasn’t. And now, I need to grieve for what for sure will never be. There will never be reconciliation. Never be recognition. Never be an apology or forgiveness extended. Never be so many things.

I have a lot to think about…and a lot to feel. It can be difficult not to second-guess myself, but there are things I need to face in order to settle things in my own mind and heart. I was told she was dying, but not that she was in hospice care or that it was imminent. My father just kept playing games and, I believe, actually kept us apart…especially given what she said in the one time I did talk to her…a call that was interrupted by my father.

Things are a bit complicated and I am having to sort them all out. I need to own whatever is mine and refuse to take on whatever is not. I will not try to pick up another’s guilt. It is simply not mine to carry. Nor is it for me to run from my responsibilities. I went into this with eyes wide open. I knew the risks. I took the chance. Now it is over. Now I will process from a different place…on the other side of her death.

It is sad when someone lies so much that even when they tell the truth it is not the whole story and you don’t really know what you can believe. There are so many what ifs that I could run through. And taking a look is not a bad idea…but living there is. I must face what I must face and trust my heavenly Abba to walk me through to the other side. He has never let me down.

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Regarding My Mother…

May 20, 2011

My sister is dead. My mother is going to die. So is my father. Those are important things for me to keep in mind. I liken my relationship (or lack thereof) with them to my relationship with my ex. So first, I want to talk a little bit about my divorce.

When I came into my first marriage, both of us were very broken…although I do not believe either of us had any idea really just how broken we were. I know I sure did not. I still did not have any clear memories of sexual abuse or ritual abuse, although I did “know” that something was wrong. I I always “felt” that I was somehow different from other folks…I just did not understand it all.

Two very broken people tried to make a marriage. It didn’t work very well. Over the years, we both suffered. We both did things that were unhealthy. I had to learn to make healthy boundaries. It took me a LONG time, but I did finally start making them right about the time my second child was a toddler.

I did it in baby steps so that it would not be noticed for the real boundary drawing had to begin in my heart. It had to begin inside before it could be expressed outwardly. So, I started to say “no” inside and then used little things to move it to the outside…little unnoticed things that slowly built up and gave me strength.

Several years later (about 9), it culminated in my outwardly saying “no” and drawing the biggest boundary I think I had ever set up to that point. I knew there could be some very serious ramifications, but I was “prepared”. Meaning that I was ready to take whatever came…no matter how ugly or painful. I said “no” and it got hairy, resulting in a final separation within the week and, ultimately, in a divorce.

There are three key things here.  One…I did everything I knew to do to make my marriage work. Two…when it all came down, I drew firm boundaries and stuck to them. I stood my ground. Third…my family is generational cult.

I have a lot of reasons to believe that my marriage was cult arranged. That kind of colors everything that happened. I was still “tied” to my parents, but I did not understand it. When we separated, they moved in. Very handy. Thankfully, my parents did not live with me for very long. They moved out of the area about an hour and a half away which gave me a good reason not to see them very often. Several months later, I and boys moved in with some other people and lived with three different families before getting into our own home.

When I separated…which was one of many miracles in my life…I had tried everything I knew to make the marriage work. However, while I drew closer and closer to G-d, he drew further and further from Him. We were going in opposite directions. I was working on my issues. He was…well…let’s just say he was definitely NOT working on his issues and leave it at that. Things were getting worse and worse as I got stronger and stronger until it finally came to a head and G-d told me to set that final boundary.

After we separated, I gave him every opportunity. I was willing to go to counseling. I was willing to wait a year while he dealt with his drug and alcohol issues. At the same time, I would not let him back into the house (not even in a separate bedroom) for that year. I withstood his attempts to “blackmail” me over the support he was voluntarily giving me and exposed his tactic to the courts. Every move he made, I countered. I stood my ground. Anything I gave to him I did of my own choice, not because I felt I had to. I fought for the sake of my children, and I no longer sacrificed myself to him out of a mistaken idea that it would somehow benefit them.

When it was all said and done and the decree came, I stood tall knowing that I had truly done all I could to save that marriage. My conscience was clear. I walked in my integrity. Even though I filed for separation and then divorce, he was the one who chose to walk away by refusing to do anything to save the marriage. He refused counseling. He refused to deal with his multiple addictions. He tried every manipulation tactic in the book, but G-d had brought me to a place of being able to recognize what was happening and to withstand them all.

Now, with my parents, it is similar. When they die, I will know that I tried everything I could, while maintaining healthy boundaries, to give them an opportunity to have some kind of relationship. I don’t need one with them although it would be nice. In fact, I really doubt that anything beyond the surface is even possible short of a HUGE miracle because my father still wants to control me, but he cannot.

I broke free of them about 9 years ago. It was a difficult journey, but just like in my marriage, G-d prepared me. He took me step by step by step, helping me to see the truth and to respond to that truth with boundary drawing. He also blessed me with a good non-cult husband (another miracle) who helped me. I cannot imagine trying to do it without him.

So, yes, I still contact my folks from time to time. I offer them an opportunity to get real on some level…or to at least talk about life in general. Yes, my father sends me BS and tries to give me grief and my mother ignores me after telling me that she really wants to talk to me. That is OK. I know not to take it personally. I am offering them a gift. If they refuse to take it, I will walk tall in my integrity. I will mourn for what could have been, but I will know I did my best and my conscience will remain clear.

I really think the biggest key is motivation. My motivation is one of love for them…in spite of them. It is a love I can only have because Yeshua enables me to have it. I have been forgiven for SO much. I know the darkness of my own heart (and I am sure it is even darker that I can see). How can I not forgive them and love them? They, too, are survivors. All of us are, in one way or another. Some are just more so than others.

Forgiveness and love do NOT mean letting them be ugly with me. It means standing in front of them and responding rather than reacting. I can do that now. I could not do that before. The programming is broken. The chains are gone. I have been set free.

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Parents…a Love/Hate Affair…

December 21, 2010

There is a drawing I did back in 2005 that so reflects how I feel right now. You can see it here:  Always Out of Reach.

My parents are one of several reasons I have not been writing here for a while.  Some of those reasons are good ones…I have been baking, shopping and wrapping. Others are not so good…I have been struggling in my living situation even more with the early onset of cold weather and snow and I have been emotionally drained from trying to deal with my parents. Yeah…my parents.

As you can see in the picture, nothing has really changed since I have been a young girl. The man who used to be my hero (in what I came to realize was a made up life) is just as unavailable as ever. The game playing still goes on. The manipulation attempts…or maybe…they are not merely attempts, but actually accomplishments…at least on some level…in spite of my attempts to not be drawn in.

Awhile back I phoned my mother. At the end of that call, she admitted that my perception of being pushed aside for my son was accurate. She was being real and she told me that she wanted me to know why that was. She said it was important, but not, apparently, important enough to answer any of my emails following the call.

Writing to my father produced more of the same messy communications as always…or should I say lack of communication. He ignores part of what I say, picking and choosing what he will respond to. His responses do not always make sense because he will quote me out of context. This last email he basically wrote everything I wrote back to me.

My husband had already written him…telling him to piss or get off the pot. Either communicate in a real way and start a relationship or back off. Make a choice. His choice was to parrot what I wrote to him back to me.

So, I wrote him with four things he could do to show me that I can start to believe what he writes to me. I have blocked his email addresses. He can do those things and he can write via my husband. If that happens, then I will consider unblocking his emails, but I am not holding my breath. No longer will my pulse race when I see an email has come into that email account for I will know it is not him.

I did not block my mother, though, so I won’t be surprised if she suddenly starts to write me. It is difficult to predict, but they do like to sort of play tag team at times. I hate to cut her off seeing as how she is dying. However, it does no good to try to connect if she is not truly open to connecting.

When Paul wrote and reminded us of sending in a piece for the 6th Arts Carnival, I started looking through my pieces to see what I might enter. When I saw this one, only two days after telling my father I was blocking his email, well…it just seemed fitting. As I wrote Paul sending him the link and telling him why this particular piece, I found myself tearing up. There is a lot of grief still inside over not having my parents and over never really knowing what it is like to grow up feeling secure, loved and sane. The only love I really remember is the love of Yeshua/Jesus.

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Cruelty and Healthy Boundaries…

September 17, 2010

What my mother has done is cruel. I keep trying to empathize and to understand her pain. But not matter how much I empathize…no matter how much I forgive…it still hurts like hell. I am the unwanted daughter. I did not step up to the plate. I did not take over. I stepped out of line. I left. I have no desire to be a princess other than in the One True Creator God’s kingdom.

I will never live up to her expectations. Her expectations (and his) lead to death. I have chosen a different path. If they do not want me…they can forget my son. I was actually willing to let them talk to him on the phone, but if they don’t want me…forget it. That is not being selfish…it is being real. It is not being vindictive…it is setting boundaries…healthy boundaries.

Boundaries are not OK in the cult. My whole life I had no boundaries. I did not know where I ended and other people began. I was trained to be a chameleon…to anticipate others needs/wants. Those in the cult who knew the trigger words and actions could get anything they wanted. NO MORE!!

I was accessed by a “Christian” therapist after we moved here. He had experience with cult clients. Little did I know that he was not only cult himself…but that we had met many years ago. It ends here…and now! I will not kowtow to my parents. I will not kowtow to anyone but my Lord…and He does not ask me to. He lifts my head to look into His eyes so that I can see His healing love.

I hurt. I am angry. I do not deserve to be treated this way. Even IF I had been the worst daughter on the planet…rather than simply and imperfect one…I do not deserve this. I have reached out via email for a year and a half. It has gone nowhere. I tried. My conscience is clear. I have done what I can. It is their loss. They can blame me all they want…but they have a part in this. I am an adult. I will not submit to them or to their control. I will not go back to the way things were.

So I will continue to mourn what was and I will mourn what never was. I will mourn the dream of having a somewhat regular family. I will keep my heart open until there is nothing left…and at that point…I will mourn for what will never be. I have dreams. I have always had dreams. Many of them are just broken dreams…turning to dust beneath my feet. Oh, well.

I have survived. I will survive. Nay…I will thrive! In spite of how hard my life is right now…I have more freedom than I ever did living under their control. The Creator has given me the gift of who I am…all of me. I am His…and no one else’s…no one’s.

I hope we can make peace before she dies…same with him. But if it does not happen…I refuse to beat myself up with guilt that is not mine.

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Changing a Title and Some Frustrating News

April 28, 2010

Sometimes, when we write posts, at the bottom there will appear two or three links to “related posts”. Now…imagine writing a post about an unethical therapist. Imagine looking in the “possibly related posts” that automatically show at the bottom of your post and seeing one that links to a blog written by one of the therapist’s forum moderators! I have no control over what links show there.

I recently wrote a post and discovered to my horror that very thing. One of the links went to a post written on a blog by someone who I have been told is one of KB’s forum moderators. I had read her post previously and also checked out a few other posts. The way she writes about others is just plain rude, mean and spiteful. Then again…considering who her therapist is…I guess I really shouldn’t expect anything else, should I?

Anyway, the LAST thing I want is to lead people to her or her therapist. So, I changed the title of the post. Well…that didn’t do it. The related links kept coming up. Then I realized that simply changing the title would not do it if I left the link unchanged. So, I changed the link, too. That did it. Then I thought…well…let’s put the title back to what it was, but leave the link changed and see what happens. Bingo!

Now it no longer is connected to such an awful blog. Yay! I have shown that particular post to others to give them an idea of what I was up against with KB. They read it and were absolutely appalled, too.

Anyway…we got some discouraging news today regarding our fence. It appears that the laws are weird and we the best thing we can do may be to acquiesce to the neighbors wishes. *sigh* I guess this is just another one of life’s lessons. I have to work through my feeling of powerlessness. We have more information to get, but it is not looking good. Our neighbor appears to have us over a barrel.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 8

February 15, 2010

Other Things to Watch Out For

1. A difference, however subtle, in someone’s IM and email ID used. If there are ANY differences, carefully question it. Even if the answer seems to make sense, be cautious for a while until you make sure it really is the same person with a new ID. I really feel a need to emphasize how vulnerable littles are with this one. Littles, like any other young child, can be easily tricked. They will not pick up on things that older, more mature alters will. This is why it is SO important to work on getting your system to make sure there is a mature alter who can watch, listen and step in, if need be. If a little receives an Instant Message (IM) ID or email that is very similar to one used by someone they know and trust, they most likely will not notice the difference. Sadly, this, too, is where I (and some very dear friends) can draw upon some personal experiences.

I had a very specific screen name that I used…one no one else would be likely to take. When I decided I wanted to get a Yahoo IM to match, I could not get it. Although it seemed odd at the time, I finally came up with what I thought was a possible reason for it. I’m going to explain that reason and give an example because I believe it is important that you see how something so simple can cause problems for the unwary. I also want you to see how easy it can be to confuse even an older alter, let alone a young or naive one.

I have a paid Yahoo email account that allows me to pick something for a repeating base for creating disposable email addresses. I had used my screen name for that base, so I just assumed at the time that Yahoo would not allow any disposable email bases to also be used as regular emails and IM’s. I realized too late that I was wrong. At the time, I decided to use my screen name with an added digit at the end. The following example shows what I mean.

I am using a randomly made up screen name and email addy. (My apology if someone is actually using this.)

Screen name = renkenfork14

Email = falderally@yahoo.com

Disposable email base = renkenfork14-

Disposable email addresses are used to protect the main email address from spam. They are typically used when signing up for things. It also allows the convenience of the different disposables coming into the same email inbox instead of having to check a bunch of different emails. You add different things after the dash according to how you are using that particular one…such as:

renkenfork14-forum@yahoo.com                       or         renkenfork14-crafts@yahoo.com.

There is no IM connected with a disposable…only with the real email, so the IM is falderally NOT renkenfork14.

To get the renkenfork14 IM, you have to create a renkenfork14@yahoo.com email address to go with it. If renkenfork14 is already taken (as it was with my screen name), you can do what I did…double the end digit to keep it as close as possible to the actual screen name. That gets you renkenfork144 as an IM connected to an email with the same name.

See how easy it would be to miss the difference between renkenfork14 and renkenfork144. Even if you only used renkenfork14-forum@yahoo.com to email people and falderally for your IM, chances are, they won’t notice if they suddenly get emails from renkenfork144@yahoo.com and IMs from renkenfork144. That is what happened to my friends and me.

How did we figure it out? One day, a friend apologized to me for not responding to my IM earlier in the day. Yet, I knew I had not IM’d her. We almost got into an argument over it. I keep my archiving on and I was not losing time. There was nothing in the archives to her that morning. If her archiving been on, she could have gone back and double-checked the ID. At the time, we both wrote it off as the other one being a bit nutty that day. There was nothing unusual in the IM’s themselves to cause us to give it any more thought.

Later, when I ended up being accused by others of writing things I never wrote (and calling people whose phone numbers I never had), we both remembered the incident. Emails sent to that ID did NOT bounce back. It became apparent that the real reason I had been unable to get my screen name for email and IM was because someone else had gotten it first. That ID was used to impersonate me.

The imposter initially targeted littles. Littles would not notice a change in details. So this allowed the imposter to both email and IM others as “me”, even though I never used that particular email account for email. I always used my disposable one. The friends who were affected were also all ones who lose time. Do you see the importance of working on stopping time loss and on building cooperation in the system?

The imposter said mean, hurtful things to my friends…things that were also very triggering and very dangerous. She took advantage of things she knew were already going on in my friends’ lives…and blamed me for them. Some of my friends were seriously and dangerously hurt. Because of the natural fear of survivors, I lost some friendships. Others became strained, as they did not know what to make of it. Everyone agreed that it did not line up with what they knew of me, but someone at the forum played upon their uncertainties and kept telling them privately that I was dangerous. I had no idea what was going on until I was banned from the forum. By then it was too late. The damage was done. Several friends were deeply wounded. Most of them did finally realize the truth, but not all. It was…and is…heartbreaking to think of how my friends were so deeply hurt by this and of the loss of friendships, some of which are ongoing.

I know of other instances where littles were taken advantage of…both online and in person. So, PLEASE, make it a priority to keep a watchful eye over ALL little interactions, regardless of whether on line or in person and regardless of who the other person is or seems to be.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 6

February 15, 2010

3. I don’t need (or have time) to answer your questions. Just trust me. I am the expert. I cannot emphasize enough how important this really is. I was at an online for-pay forum run by one therapist who did not use those words, but whose actions said the same thing. I was really stuck on something and was not given adequate help to figure it out. I was not completely ignored…just not really helped. When others at her forum labeled me as “uncooperative” and “purposefully tromping on boundaries”, she never stepped in and corrected them.

As for the therapist mentioned in number two, when the host struggled to understand some things, he insisted that she just accept it. Her questions were largely ignored. When questions were raised on his private client forum, or in an online group therapy venue, we were accused of trying to undermine him to his other clients. Our questions about his methods or about things he said about our system were never answered. What is really sad, too, is that we found out other clients had similar questions, but were too afraid to ask him.

4. I know you better than you know yourself. Or…I know what you need better than you do. Again…those might not be the words used, but the messages are there, nonetheless. No one knows you better than you. Even though you may not be conscious of it as host, there are those inside who carry knowledge needed for healing. They know your system much better than any outsider can, regardless of their experience. An expert therapist might have some really good insights as to what is most likely going on inside, but they cannot know for sure since they are not inside of you. Pay attention, as best you can, to the trusted insiders. They are important in healing and in staying safe.

When one therapist was challenged by alters regarding his understanding of the system, he refused to listen. He told the host, as well as some alters, that they were wrong. It took months and a lot of help for the system to recover from the damage he caused. So, if someone does not respect that you know yourself better than they do…watch out!

To be continued…

The first post for this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 4

February 15, 2010

3. Keep working on establishing some kind of communication with your system and, hopefully, the stopping of time loss. In the beginning, I also shared a willingness to listen while, at the same time, admitting that I was challenged in that area. I asked them to help me learn to hear them…to work with me on it. The biggest thing I wanted was for them to all realize that I was on their team and that, just because my ability to “hear” them or “see” them was extremely limited, I really did want to hear them…when we were both ready. I cannot say for sure, but I think that really helped. My goal was to gain their trust and encourage working together for healing and for safety.

So again, I encourage you, whether you call it being co-aware, co-present or co-conscious…work on it. I cannot emphasize it enough, so let me write it again. If there is always another alter overseeing the presenting alter, an alter who is mature and safety minded and who can step in if need be, the system can remain safe even when a very trusting alter (such as a very young alter, or little) is out.

It is also important that the host (and the whole system) be made aware if there are people, places or situations that are dangerous. If anyone in the system knows anything that could be important for staying safe, it needs to be shared amongst all. Communication can be such a huge part of staying safe.

Although I had very little of what I would call a direct two-way communication going on, I did have an advantage of not being, by that time, an obvious time loser. There was enough continuity that “I” always knew what was going on at any given time. Yet, in spite of that, about four years later, I was revictimized. So, safety is always an issue, even if you do not tend to lose time.

4. Make sure everyone knows what to watch out for. This can be tricky. Sometimes, it is not what is happening that is dangerous so much as who is doing it and why…and whether they have your permission. For example, working with littles can be key to healing, but if anyone keeps pushing to talk to littles, especially if you have not known them long…be extra cautious. I hate to have to say this…but there are bad therapists out there. So, you have to watch out with them, too. I wish it were not so.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 3

February 14, 2010

Working With Your System

1. Work on developing a co-operation between you and your alters. When I first found out I was multiple, I did something that might help others. I did not “know” my whole system. I had no idea how big or small it was. So, I spoke out loud to my whole system. I shared what I knew about what had happened to us and how we developed DID. I also explained what I understood healing to be, what I thought our goals should be and how to stay safe. I shared anything and everything that, at the time, I thought might be of importance. I did not concern myself with who heard me or with getting responses. I simply told them that I was going to learn all that I could and work with them as best I could. I also asked them to please pass the information on to whoever could not hear me…to spread it system wide. I needed their help and asked them for it. Then…I trusted that what I was saying was being received. I did this a lot…over and over again.

2. Encourage your system to co-operate within itself. This is really important…especially if you are a time loser. When a younger, or more vulnerable, alter is out, it is very critical that a more mature, stronger alter always be listening in and ready to take over if there are any signs of danger. It takes everyone working together to stay safe.

Most systems I have met have alters who range from the extremely suspicious to the extremely trusting. While that presents an obvious challenge to the healing journey, I have found that the greatest danger seems to come when there is an alter out who is totally alone (or accompanied by unsavvy alters)…when there is time loss. It is in that total switching and losing of time that reconnecting with the cult, self-injury (and other risky behaviors) and being abused in the present can take place. This is why it is so important to work on developing a co-operation between alters and also on stopping time loss.

I encourage you to make sure that you (and everyone in the system) know what kinds of things to watch out for…what things might be indicators pointing to something being wrong. It is also important to have a well thought out plan of what to do if you suspect or see something is wrong. Remember, even when a very trusting alter is out, if there is another more mature and safety conscious alter watching over the interactions taking place, the system can remain safe.

To be continued…

The first post for this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 2

February 14, 2010

Losing Time and Littles

The greatest risk appears to be with those who lose time, especially when littles or cult alters are out. Never assume, though, that because you do not typically lose time that nothing can happen. This is especially important if you have a cult background…as I found out the hard way. The breaking of trust can happen in so many different ways…with, or without, the loss of time, as you will see in this article.

I have heard it said that littles are the heart of the system. They hold a lot of the key foundational memories of the abuse. They were often around way in the beginning. As a result, a lot of healing comes from working with littles. I am very wary, though, of anyone who pushes to either work exclusively with littles (ignoring everyone else) or who pushes very early on to have access to littles. Trust should first be established with more mature alters who can, hopefully, discern whether the person is legitimate or just up to mischief.

Who Is Dangerous and Who Is Safe?

I wish there was an easy way to always know who is safe and who is not, but there isn’t. That is why we must always be wary and wise. It does not matter what role a person is playing, or desires to play, in your life. There are no categories of people who are guaranteed to be safe. I will say this, though, the more important the role and the closer they are going to get to you and your system, the more important it is to be cautious and watchful.

I have observed two kinds of people who take advantage of multiples, whether through the littles or in some other way. They are either those who are on a power trip, wanting to control and/or abuse the person for their own purposes or they are cult connected and acting according to their programming and the cult’s orders. Both are dangerous.

Sadly, some of the worst offenders can be professionals…the very people we should most be able to trust…and who we are, perhaps, most likely to trust. I have had some excellent experiences with therapists/professionals…and I have had some nightmarish ones.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 1

February 10, 2010

NOTE: For a single post version of all 13 posts click on *SURVIVOR SAFETY* under “Pages” listed in the right hand column. Or, go here.

I was asked to write an article on safety. I am putting it here in segments. The article (or a shorter variation of it) will also be coming out in print in April. After I finish putting this up, I may revisit some of this in greater depth. I would love to get feedback and other’s thoughts on it.

Intro

I know there are unsafe people out there, but do I really need to be concerned about people I only “meet” online? Aren’t other survivors safe? After all, they have been through horrible things like I have! They understand safety…don’t they? What about my therapist? Can’t I count on my therapist to be safe? Do I really need to be concerned about people who are not my former abusers and/or cult group members? I intend to answer those questions. When I’m finished, it will be clear: you DO need to be concerned, especially if you are a multiple who loses time. However, you do NOT need to be fearful…just WARY and WISE.

I am NOT a professional. I am drawing from my own personal experiences and observations and from the experiences of dear friends and others I have met online. I will not cover leaving the cult. There are many good articles written by people far more knowledgeable in that subject than I. I appreciate that some do not like the term “alter”. I am using the term simply for ease in writing. The term “professional” or “therapist” could refer to any kind of trained person offering help, whether that person is licensed, has a degree or any other type of certification. It could also include someone who has “religious” or “spiritual” training.

Interactions can be an incredibly wonderful tool for healing. Yet…there ARE “horror” stories out there. Abuse can be blatantly obvious or very subtle. Sometimes, in our desire to believe that everything is OK and that the person we are hoping will help us is safe, we can ignore important indicators…or dangerously brush them aside. I hope writing this will help others experience healing while avoiding the possible negative side of personal interactions. It does not matter what role the other person plays in your life: fellow forum member, friend, supporter, caregiver, or even a therapist/professional. There is always a risk and I never want someone to go through any of the terrible things that I, and others I know, have gone through.

To Trust or Not and the Middle Ground

Those who have been abused and made it through trauma seem to fall into two very general categories…the extremely suspicious and the extremely trusting, with some falling in between. Those who are extremely suspicious are less likely to be revictimized; however, they are also more likely to struggle with being able to trust others enough to get help with their healing journey. Those who are extremely trusting seem to have an almost childlike naiveté about them. They just cannot seem to believe anyone would lie to them or present themselves as something they are not. While it is easier for them to trust enough to get help, they are obviously very vulnerable.

The best place to be, if you can get there, is in the middle…what I call “cautious trusting”. We need to learn to test the waters and slowly build trust. Without some kind of trust, we lose out on the benefits of the support of others. With too much trust, we run the risk of being revictimized. Finding that balance can be a real challenge.

To be continued…

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PTSD, Grieving and Broken Dreams Rambling

September 5, 2008

I have not been able to come and write here for a bit. I have had so many things on my plate that it feels overwhelming. It does not help that we are going into a time of year that tends to be difficult for me. September and October are selection and preparation months in the cult for what happens at the end of October.

My mind and heart are just filled with things I need to get out, but I will probably just be ramblings. Writing as it comes to me.

I am grieving over so many things right now. Dreams we had when we moved here that have been dashed and shattered. Struggling to improve our living situation to no avail. Friendships I have had to walk away from due to communication that just seems to fail over and over.

There are times when I feel very alone. I know I am not. I have Yahweh God first and foremost and I have my husband and son. The rest of my family lives very far away. The cost of gas and the time involved with trying to improve our living situation has effectively isolated us from being able to invest in any real friendships…not that I connect very easily to others anyway. Everyone lives so far away. I long for an in person friend to do things with…another couple to get together with. Being forbidden to openly share with some people about our lives and about my past has also hindered us a lot.

We have been deeply wounded since moving here…in ways we would have never imagined. It has also come from sources we would never have dreamed. This is the time of year that I was seeing a therapist two years ago who accessed my programming and used me. Boy did I learn a lot from that one.

The days are getting shorter. There is so much I want to do…and so much I need to do…and I feel so hindered. I miss having a table on which to spread things out to work on. I miss having a bedroom. I miss having a bed that is not also my couch. I don’t mind sleeping on a couch, but this couch has to be folded out into a bed for two…much more awkward. Plus, I have to roll up our bedding every morning to make it back into a couch. So there is the hassle at night when I am already tired and cannot just fall into bed. I also cannot get up in the morning and just go sit in a chair somewhere.

I have always struggled with sleeping on a bed in the daytime and now the bedroom and living room area boundaries are blurred. I am sure that is not helping my PTSD. Neither is the lack of privacy. I miss having the privacy for adult conversations and other adult stuff.

I miss having some kind of room that I can go into when I need to cry…or for a phone call…or to do art work (especially much needed therapeutic artwork). I am constantly stuffing my emotions and hiding what I am really feeling and how I am really doing. It is very draining.

I miss being able to ride my motorcycle. Someone actually asked to buy it and I just cried. I am not selling it at this point. Selling it would mean another lost dream…two, actually. The dream of being able to ride again and the dream of being able to afford for us to go places and have fun on the motorcycles, since it is less expensive. Even if we cannot afford to go do something, the rides alone are great therapy and great fun. I have missed them. This is especially hard when there are soooooooo many motorcyclists around here.

I even miss being able to call my parents to ask them things…or see how they are doing. But that is just not safe to do. I have received no indication that anything has changed in regards to how they perceive me.

I am fighting tears even as I write this. I know that I can trust Yahweh. He never said life would easy. In fact, Yeshua/Jesus said the opposite. I have run into opposition for many things…some of it simply my own humanness…and some of it more sinister. I choose to keep serving and loving Yahweh…there is no other. He is the One True God…the Creator of everything. It is to Him that I take my tears and my heartaches. It is from Him that I receive some comfort and solace.

Well, I am going to wrap this up for now. I will come back when I can. I hope this feeling of being overwhelmed stops soon.

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It Feels Good!

July 6, 2008

It feels good to move forward…to take positive steps for myself.

It feels good to know that I am growing inside.

It feels good to know that I can set healthy boundaries…and still love the ones I am setting them with.

It also feels good to feel stronger. Each step I take forward makes me stronger. And I know Who it is that helps me do that. I know that I cannot do it on my own.

It feels good to be able to give and receive support.

It feels good to know that I am loved and cared for.

It feels good to be able to love and care for others.

It feels good to be able to keep on facing the past without letting it hold me back from the future.

It feels good to be able to write things that others actually enjoy reading.

In fact, it feels good to be able to write things that I enjoy reading! Like my poetry!

It feels good to know that I am not alone…even though there are times when I still find myself feeling very isolated and alone.

It feels good to know that I do not have to live by feelings even though I am sometimes overwhelmed to the point of feeling incapacitated by them.

I know that all things eventually pass. Life is up and down. There will be good days and bad days. Up days and down days. I won’t have all good days, but neither will I have all bad days!

It feels good to be able to face life, knowing that Yahweh God has all things in His hands. He is allowing things in my life to help me grow strong. He is bringing people into my life to help me…and people for me to help. And that, too, feels really good!

I am grateful for what I have.

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Setting Boundaries and Gossip

May 30, 2008

I recently went through a very difficult situation in which I learned some very hard lessons. In the process of learning them, I made some mistakes. Those lessons cause me to feel a need to set a firm boundary with everyone I come in contact with. Basically, it amounts to this:

Do NOT talk negatively to me about ANYone. If you have a problem with another person…take it up with THEM. Unless you are coming to me for some kind of counseling and seriously want help to work through the issues (which requires rigorous honesty and willingness to be self aware on your part)…do NOT tell me about it.

Do NOT try to get me to take sides in your squabble or dispute. Do NOT try to turn me against the other person. This is ESPECIALLY the case if you are not willing to take responsibility for the words you share.
I do NOT want to hear gossip. If you gossip to me about another person, I will assume that are also spreading gossip about me to others.

If you do share something with me and I believe it to be serious, especially if it causes me concern for that other person’s well-being…whether it be their physical well-being or their emotional and mental well-being…I WILL share it with him/her.

For those who are not sure what I mean…I will give an example. If you tell me that someone’s confidentiality has been broken by one of their key support people…I DO consider that a serious issue of emotional safety for that person. As a result I WILL make sure that the person learns about what you shared so that they can protect themselves. I WILL give you the opportunity to share it with them yourself…but bear in mind…it WILL be shared…either by you or by me.

I will not play games. I will not waste my time and energy on diversionary tactics — like responses that don’t even relate to the issue brought up. I am just not going there.

I am going to do my best to make sure I do the same thing for others that I am asking them to do for me. I know that we are all human and we will all make mistakes. We DO need to show one another grace. But there are some things that do cross a line, things that are serious. Things that…once shared…just cannot be swept under the rug.

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