Archive for the ‘freedom’ Category

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What’s In a Name?

July 31, 2013

My earliest conscious memories regarding my name was of never being allowed to go by a nickname…even to the extent that I was threatened to be in trouble if my mother ever heard someone call me anything other than my full first name. Others did not understand this, nor did I. But it was my reality and the reason for it was more serious than I knew.

I remember coming home in the first grade from school and one of the neighbor girls was teasing me by calling me a shorter name. She wouldn’t stop even when I asked her to. I remember being worried (read that as “scared”) that my mother would hear her. My only consolation was that this girl lived a couple of houses or so before mine and ours was up in the back…behind the main house. Thankfully, my mother did not hear.

As an adult, when I asked my mother about that strict rule, she said something along the lines of wanting to hear my name because she had worked so hard on picking out a nice one. She chose that name and wanted me to be called that name…period. She came across as if she had not been that strict in laying down the rules, but I remember. There is a lot this partial amnesic does not remember, but I remember that. It was programmed into me to NEVER use a nickname. It was not until many years later that I began to understand the truth behind that demand.

I remember struggling as an adult…married with children even…to try to be me. It is like I woke up one day and realized that I did not really know who I was. I did not know what I liked or didn’t like. It was a perm gone awry that turned me onto that. I looked totally different. I got teased a bit for the drastic change, but that is when I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I really did not know whether I liked it or not. It wasn’t what I wanted. It was drastically different. But did I actually not like it?

I tried to look at the woman in the mirror as if she was NOT me. Would I like that hair style on THAT woman? I decided I did, but I felt a bit of disconnect between that woman and me. That woman was not what those around me expected to see, which got me thinking. I decided that I wanted to become the woman God created me to be rather than the woman I was pressed into being. All my life I was always being what everyone else wanted, but what did “I” want? What did “I” like? And even more importantly, what did God create me to be? So, I set out on a journey of exploration. I wanted to find out who “I” really was/am. And what a journey it was!

Right there in the very beginning I was hit with a strong realization. I use the word “strong” because it was something that I knew for sure, although I could not have explained why or how I knew it. I just knew very strongly that I would never be able to be the me God created me to be if I went by my birth name. So, I decided I wanted to be called a nickname, which was really just a shortened version of my first name…half of it to be exact.

I knew my parents would not like it, so I started with my husband and those closest to me. I remember that some questioned what I was doing. New hair style, which I openly admitted was not my intention, but reassured them (especially since the hairdresser was a friend) that I did like it. New name. What was up? I just kept to myself what my realizations were and what my goal was.

Once I saw that those around me were willing to really try to remember to call me by my nickname, I asked my parents to do the same. Naturally, they did not like it. Thankfully, I did not see my parents nearly as often as I saw my husband and everyone else. And then I noticed it.

I had started to change internally, even if not all that much externally. I started to feel more freedom to gingerly explore, and my sense of who I was altered. I grew stronger, more confident and had a greater sense of my worth. And then my parents would come over and call me by my full name. Bam! It was like a switch was flipped and I found myself struggling to keep the ground I had gained. This happened over and over until I learned to turn it off.

Although I did not know anything about programming or my cult family heritage at that time, I did understand that there was a definite connection to my full name and being controlled and molded. It was one of the key events of my life as I moved toward freedom. I never went back to my full birth name and now have a completely different name.

So, what’s in a name? I think a lot! My birth names were given by my parents. They had really nice meanings and had programming attached to them. My current names have wonderful meanings and freedom attached to them. They were gifts from my Creator…my heavenly Abba/Father. I am no longer bound to programming or to the former names. When someone from way back calls me by that name, I don’t like it, but the effect is no longer there. It is more of just an annoyance.

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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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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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Living Life in the Face of Nastiness…

March 30, 2012

There are people in life who are simply nasty. They are mean, disrespectful and really don’t care how what they do affects others. When confronted with such people, we have choices to make. We can either react to them, wherein we lose ourselves by allowing them to control our lives and determine how we will live. Or, we can respond to them, wherein we maintain our own autonomy and integrity and choose how we shall live. I prefer the latter. That is my choice.

When I am confronted by nasty negative people I choose to remember that I, too, have had my “moments” of being nasty or ugly. It may not have been intentional. I may not have even been aware of how I was coming across. Or, I may have realized it as it was happening, but did not know how to “fix” it. Or maybe there was no fix…the damage was already done. Any way you look at it, I have had a negative impact on others at times in my life. So, I believe it is worthwhile to remain humble toward others, recognizing that I am certainly not perfect, either!

I also try to remember that everyone is the way they are for a reason. For good or bad, we have all had negative and positive experiences in life that have helped to shape us into what we are today. Sometimes, the balance between positive and negative was fairly even overall. But for some of us, one heavily outweighed the other.

For those whose positive experiences heavily outweighed the negative it can be difficult to understand those of who whose lives were the opposite. We may fumble where they do not. We may react to things that do not faze them one bit. I think it is good when each person can believe another’s story and try to imagine living in that reality. It can help us to be more empathetic toward others.

For those of us who weigh heavily on the negative, and some even in the extreme, it can be difficult to imagine life without that. We see the way others live and struggle to comprehend how they can do that. It just isn’t even on our radar.

Thankfully, though, there can be some good experiences even in the midst of craziness and evil, that give us some positive skills for life. For me, knowing my Creator made a HUGE difference. It is part of what helped to shape me and, I think, to temper how the abuse affected me.

I still deal with the physical effects of trauma brain and I can still experience flashbacks that are part of PTSD and getting  triggered.  However, I have learned over the years how to cope and work around the aftereffects. I know what I can do and what I cannot do and I no longer feel guilt or shame over what I cannot do…even when others do not understand. It is frustrating at times when people look less favorably upon me for what I cannot do. They cannot comprehend how even the simplest of things can be overwhelming at times. But I have learned to live with that and simply accept that there are things they simply do not know and, even if they did, might not be able to understand.

Life is good…even when it is hard. I am OK with that. My heavenly Abba/Father/true Daddy walks with me. So does my Messiah…Yeshua. Their Ruach/Spirit lives within me and that strengthens and comforts me…especially when life is hard.

I refuse to give up. I refuse to hold grudges. I refuse to not forgive. I choose to walk in freedom with my head held high…even when I am shaking inside.

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More on Assumptions…and Getting Free…

February 6, 2011

I started talking about assumptions in a previous post called Yours, Mine & ????… Now I will give another bit of the story.

I left off with my parents living in our house. They had manipulated their way in and there really was no end in sight. As we found out, they were not really serious about finding another place to stay. We gave them a break by not charging anything other than a token amount for food and utilities, but they saved no money. Once we finally figured this out, my hubby confronted them about it. Still…they were there and they had no money saved. That was a tough realization.

They were on the waiting list to get into an affordable place, but they were nowhere near the top. That meant they assumed that they would get to stay. Wrong! It did not turn out that way. G-d did a miracle and got them into a place way ahead of other people. Of course, there is also the possibility that they lied to us in the first place and were closer to getting in than they had let on. They did know someone who lived there who was recommending them, so that might have helped, too.

I think it is important to share a dynamic that was taking place before they moved. Although there it a lot still buried in the depths of amnesia and dissociation, I have very good reason to believe my mother was my trainer. She could trigger me so easily…a lot of knee jerk reactions. I will give an example.

I was going nuts with my parents being there. My mother would say something like “I know it is hard on you to have us here. If you need us to move, just tell us. We will find something…somewhere…somehow.” You get the idea. The old knee jerk reaction would hit. “Oh no, Mom. It’s OK. Really.” And I would walk away wondering why that would automatically come out and I could not just stay quiet. Opposing my parents was simply a no-no. And that was one of the blatant examples. There were many more subtle ways that I was being played and manipulated…even as a married woman.  That is…until Darlene came along. She was part of the beginning of my freedom.

Assumptions. My parents assumed they would continue to be able to control me…to trigger me for their evil purposes. Again…G-d had a different plan. I could not break free on my own. They were living in my house. They were setting off all kinds of programming. I was in danger. My son was in danger. Only I did not know that at the time.

My parents moved in during the month of August right not too long after my son’s fourth birthday. Talk about a vulnerable time. My husband started traveling…something very unusual with his job. A month after they moved in, I finally went to talk with my pastor and the worship leader with whom I was close. Although I was not “suicidal”, I did keep having suicidal ideations. I wanted to die…a lot. They convinced me to talk to my doctor about giving antidepressants another try. They also talked me into seeing a therapist. G-d used all of them to help me stay alive and get through the whole thing.

The first therapist (P) I saw for only one appointment. I couldn’t afford to continue with him, but he was someone to see until I could get into a different one. This is another way that I see the hand of G-d. I had left messages with several of the therapists, but he was the first to respond. As it just so happened, he was very knowledgeable about DID and had even written an article on it.

What he saw in me really concerned him. Knowing I would not be coming back to him and being afraid that I might have a suicidal alter trying to take me out, he shared his article and said to read it and think about it. He was very upfront about what he thought might be happening. He said that he, ordinarily, would never do that, but he was afraid for my life.

I took to heart what P had said and read his article. At first, I did not really relate to any of it, but the more I read, the more the light started to go off. I saw things he described that explained some things I had noticed in my life…things I just shrugged off as being who I am. Although a bit skeptical, I tried to keep an open mind and look for truth. I also prayed for truth…a LOT! I was very cautious about being “led”, but could see more and more of myself in some parts of the article. Bear in mind that I still did not have any clear SRA memories yet. I was very cautious…not wanting to assume and not wanting to be deceived…whether in my own mind or by anything in the spiritual realm. (Yes, I do know that demons exist.)

I started seeing B the next week. I told him what P had said and that I thought I might have DID. He just said, “we’ll see.” So, I just started paying attention. It was minor stuff really, but it was there. He remained unconvinced…so he told me. I was almost upset with him because I was pretty sure I had it, but wanted some confirmation…something he refused to give. I did not want to assume anything. So, I just kept observing and sharing. Then, one day in February, something happened.

I had been struggling to hold my own in my own home. A girlfriend came over…someone who had DID and was a cult survivor (although I don’t think I knew that about her…yet). We were talking about repressed memories and how they can come up. I shared about someone I had known a few years previously who had witnessed, as a child, her father murdering his mistress…the mother of her best friend. Years later, as an adult when she was safe, she started to have memories and PTSD surfaced big time.

Suddenly, my mother agreed with us. She said that she knew that could happen because she had memories that had come to the surface. I had to fight to keep my jaw from dropping. I looked at my girlfriend who knew that my parents had denied my memories. Or, at least my father had. I had to fight to keep from saying, “Mom…how can you say that and not believe me?” But I stayed quiet. I was floored and needed to process this.

The next night, I was kneeling on the floor of the kitchen digging something out of the corner cupboard. My husband was behind me facing the other counter. My father reached over me for something. Suddenly, I felt something hit my rear end. In retrospect, I think my father had something in his pocket and his jacket, which was very large and loose, just swung forward and hit me. At the time, though, it felt like my father had patted my rear end and I reacted immediately. I was instantly triggered…seriously triggered. I was in shock at the thought that he would actually pat me like that with my husband standing right there.

Somehow, I got up and made it to my room. I had my own room for art, computer, sewing, etc. It was my sanctuary. I closed the door behind me trying to figure out what to do. I was losing it. The next day was Valentine’s Day and we had a special day planned. I did NOT want to blow the day…for my poor husband’s sake.

As I started to sink to the floor, knowing I was completely shutting down, I said something. I don’t know if I quietly said it out loud or if I said it in my mind…but I know I did say it. It was something along the lines of, “please, I don’t know if you are there or not, but if you are, I really need your help because I cannot do this.”

At that point, I slid into the background and someone came forward. It was Darlene. I just watched and listened at that point. It was a very odd sensation…as if I was in the backseat or something.  I felt no emotion. I was impassively watching and hearing everything, yet was removed from it. When I went back out of my room, I could hear “myself” talking and see everything, but Darlene was in control.

Darlene was very key to my freedom and survival. My parents assumed they could get me out of the way, but they could NOT. They assumed they could get total control over my son. But they could NOT. And the best thing…Darlene had been created during my first marriage. I still do not have the details of that event, but this I know:  she was NOT trained by my mother and was, therefore, impervious to her triggering. She was very “unimpressed” with my parents and did not like them. I came to realize later that she had also been side by side co-present with me for about 18 years by that time…all unknown to me.

I find that, even after all this time, I am affected in the telling of this. So, I will stop for now and continue again later. I hope there are no spelling or grammar errors. I need to walk away from this and not reread the whole thing right now.

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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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Manipulations…

December 7, 2010

I am rather angry. I have a Facebook account…more than one, actually. I get sick and tired of people posting things that are manipulative. “I have a wonderful family. If you also have a family who thinks the world of you, copy and paste this on your status and leave it there for at least one hour.” Or something to that effect.

It really does not matter what the subject is, the implication is clear. If you DON’T do what it says then your family must NOT be wonderful. Or your husband is not loving. Or you don’t care if soldiers come home safely. Or you don’t really love Jesus. Or…

I HATE this. All of my life has been about being manipulated. If I tell someone I love them it is because I DO…not because I must. I write what I write because I WANT to…not out of some sense of duty or coercion. Grrrr!!!

I hate feeling like I am fighting attempts to manipulate me…attempts to make me feel guilty…to control what I write or what I use for my profile picture. I have fought long and hard to be my own person. I intend to stay that way. I will NOT submit to this coercive nonsense. I am not defined by whether or not I do these thing. My sense of being OK does not come from conformity. It comes from being true to who I am in Yeshua. Period!

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