Archive for the ‘emotional pain’ Category

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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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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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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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Flashbacks…

June 29, 2010

I have been reading a novel about a woman who loses her sight due to conversion disorder (which some would call “hysterical blindness”. The disorder basically covers any physical limitation that comes with no apparent physical cause…but typically following a traumatic event. The book tells of her witnessing an accident that killed her husband, young son and unborn child. Her young daughter survived.

As the images of the accident (for which she blames herself) keep intruding upon her mind she willfully pushes them away and her sight slowly starts to go, too. On some level, even she recognizes the connection. During the two-part novel, she willfully starts seeking her sight again two years later. She has now found a desire to see…a reason to want to see again…and she knows that one key to that is being willing to embrace the memories. So she opens herself to the flashbacks and, in spite of tremendous headaches and heartaches, wills herself to “look”.

On some level…I think what she was to dissociate the memory of the accident out of her mind. That is not exactly uncommon. Many people do not remember accidents they have been in…although, in this case, it was the witnessing of it…not the actual being in it.

It sounds a lot like dissociation to me. Only, in this case, physical blindness also comes. Can something physical like that come with dissociation? I know that when multiples switch there is often complete separation of the outside world to the one who “goes inside”. But that is different…isn’t it? This woman is not split…just dissociative of the memories. My curiosity is where the blindness comes in.

Flashbacks can include the physical sensations of the original event…even to the point of bruising, welts and even bleeding.  Some alters can be blind…or deaf. Is there a connection? I don’t know.

The reason I even bring this up is not because of the blindness…but because of the flashbacks. Flashbacks have been very minimal for me for quite a while. I suspect it is due to the living situation because there really is no “safe”, private place in which to process anything. That is something that is going to change most likely within the next month or two. Life could get really interesting when that happens…which can also be a bit unnerving to think about…so…I won’t.

I was almost finished with the novel when I went to bed the other night. As I lay there…one of the best times for visual flashbacks…I suddenly saw an infant’s toes. The whole infant was there, but my focus was on the toes. I won’t go into the rest of what I saw…but like that woman…I had to fight to “see”. There is this battle whenever visuals come up. Part of me wants to embrace them…to see the truth. Part of me wants to push them away…to leave the mists of amnesia in place.

It is not just the visuals…but the accompanying sense of horror at what I am seeing. Everything in me goes into battle mode…fighting to embrace…fighting to push back. The veil of amnesia is not so bad. Thing is…whatever is in there will eventually just keep pushing out. The next day I experienced emotional flashbacks…the kind I typically will have when I have flashbacks. No visual to explain it…just intense emotional pain.

This morning…I am seeing some visuals here and there. But…again…I am not in a situation where I can invite them to come. Someday…and I wonder what will happen then.

I wrote a poem about this. It will be in the next post.

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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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Yay! Angela Shelton for MacKenzie Phillips!

September 29, 2009

I am so proud of Angela Shelton! She spoke up for MacKenzie Phillips. MacKenzie has been taking a lot of flack for coming out and talking about how her father raped her over a period of years. See: High on Arrival – MacKenzie Phillips

It is tough enough for those who have been raped and abused to speak out. When it is a parent who does it…it is even harder. Harder for the child to accept it themselves and harder to share it. When that parent is high profile…rich and famous…and even beloved…it becomes even harder! The last thing these victims need is to be ridiculed and their integrity questioned.

So…yay, Angela. Thank you for speaking up. Somebody needed to. People need to wake up.

One of the things, too, that MacKenzie is taking flack for is her use of the term “consensual” once she turned 18.  Well…that is not surprising. When a child is raped by their parent…and that is exactly what it is…rape…the child is in a position of subservience to the parent. It is very difficult for a child to believe that a parent is evil or bad. A child takes on the idea that they have to be somehow at fault…that they somehow enticed or wanted it or???

The child is being groomed to be a “mistress” aka “sex slave” to the parent. This does not suddenly shut off at 18. In the mind of the child, it can seem consensual because of the age…but that does not make it so. Once groomed to be a sex slave, it continues until something happens to break the cycle. That something can come from within the child/now adult…or it can come from without. The parent might suddenly stop or someone else might find out and bring it to a halt. Any way you look at it…it is NOT consensual. It is merely the extension of a relationship that was based in rape and NOT consensual.

If a child is part of a ritual abuse family or group, going beyond 18 can be the norm. Or, even if it stops as a teen, it can be resumed later on as an adult. The child is groomed from an incredibly young age…oftentimes starting in infancy. It is not difficult for the parent (or other adult) to trigger the mental conditioning aka programming to get the person back under their control…and yes…even to the point of having sex with them.

I wish people would stop believing that people just cannot do these kinds of things. They can…and they do! It is time to bring this stuff out of the shadows and stop judging those who are brave enough to bring it into the light.

Go, MacKenzie! Go, Angela!

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A Time of Hurting

July 12, 2008

Today is a time of hurting. There are things I am thinking about…but I don’t think that is what is causing the pain. I think it is just the flashbacks…again. Pain upon pain just wells up inside of me. My “heart” hurts. I am in emotional pain.

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