Archive for the ‘mental health’ Category

h1

The Power of Forgiveness

August 15, 2020

Forgiveness is a powerful thing, especially for survivors. It sets us free. When we are not able to forgive, we lock ourselves into a prison of our own making. The other person may not even be aware of our resentment and bitterness. They go free while we are obsessed with visions of revenge, whether we can carry them out or not.

Forgiveness is also very misunderstood. People will say, “forgive and forget” while not even recognizing that forgiving and forgetting are two separate things. That is why the word “and” is in that phrase. Forgiving is not forgetting. It is not pretending nothing happened. It is not trusting the one who hurt us. It does not even require having any kind of current relationship/connection with the person. If someone slipped you a date drug and raped you, does forgiving them really mean you should go out with them again? Of course not! Yet, that is the logical endpoint of “forgive and forget”! People do not realize what they are saying makes no sense!

Over the years, I have seen survivors locked in the prison of unforgiveness because they have been told they must trust the person completely and treat them as if they have done nothing to harm them. Naturally, this creates conflict within the person. How they can they forgive with that criteria? So, when they would ask me how I could forgive, I would explain how I see forgiveness in two levels.

One level is my releasing them from my desire for revenge. I remove myself from the self-imposed roles of judge, jury and executioner. (That does not mean I don’t participate in legal proceedings against them if it is appropriate.) I release them from taking up space in my head and heart. But I do not trust them and may not even have relationship with them. This person may or may not have even acknowledged their actions against me. They may or may not have asked for forgiveness.

The other level of forgiveness involves giving them a chance to prove themselves trustworthy again. This means the person seems to be genuinely sorrowful for what they have done and asked for forgiveness. I do not trust them immediately, of course, but give them a chance to earn it. In other words, I might allow someone who stole from me into my house, but I sure won’t leave my purse in the same room with them. It can take a long time to rebuild trust, if ever.

Those are two pretty rough divisions, but they really helped them to find the freedom of forgiving. Years later, I found Dr. Stephen Marmer on a Prager U video talking about forgiveness. He does a much better job and divides it into three categories. I highly recommend it. It is only about five minutes long. The video is on both YouTube and their site. You can download the transcript from their site. I am giving you the links to both.

This is the Prager U site where you can get the transcript to download. https://www.prageru.com/video/forgiveness/

h1

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.

h1

Healing in the midst of living…

December 5, 2012

Healing can be hard when you also have to focus on living. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all go someplace safe where our physical needs were met and there were safe knowledgeable people who could support us and walk with us as we face our pasts and work toward our futures? It sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? Oh, how nice that would be.

The reality, though, is that most of us do not have anything even close to that. We take snippets of time here and bits of space there and try to sort through what is happening to us…attempting to make sense of the experiences that are rocking our world. We have any combination of families and loved ones to take care of,  jobs to tend to , classes to take, sick ones to nurse. And somehow, in the busyness of life, we try to heal.

There are so many things I had to learn about how to heal without taking a vacation from regular life. Recognizing and accepting my limitations goes a long way…instead of fighting them. When I feel overwhelmed or like I am pushing against a wall, I find it is better to take five to ten minutes and go hole up in the bedroom (or some other safe alone place) than to try to keep on slugging through it. Just taking those few minutes to breathe and refocus helps so much.

What about when I cannot leave or don’t have the option to be alone? I try to find an opportunity to close my eyes for a few seconds or minutes. Or, if that would be seen, perhaps I can sit somewhere just outside of the conversation zone and just sort of “tune out”  for a minute or two. Letting my mind wander, or even just listen to other conversations without taking part in them can really help.

How do I extricate myself when I find I am engaged with someone? Go to the bathroom. Seriously, if I am at someone else’s house, I can quietly excuse myself and then take my time getting back…a reasonable amount of time, of course, as I don’t want to be rude. When I come back out, I do not have to go back to the same conversation, especially if there are scattered groups around the room or house. I can go get a breath of fresh air or even just sit in another room for a minute or two…just long enough to not be considered rude. If someone notices and asks, I can just say that I needed a moment to sort of clear my mind and/or just soak up the wonderful atmosphere of the event. Or I was just taking a moment to feel appreciation for all my friendships…or whatever other creative thing I can come up with. And, of course, because I always want to be as truthful as I can, I make sure that I actually do something suitable for the environment and the people and go with it.

Being able to take good care of myself when I am feeling stressed goes a long way toward my healing. It helps to keep me from slipping backward. And when I do get some precious alone time to work on my healing, I don’t have to spend it decompressing. I am ready to jump in because I have been dealing with the day-to-day stresses as I go along.

Sometimes, though, I do need that alone time to simply relax…or to simply not have to answer to, or be responsible for, another person. It might even be a good time to take the phone off the hook. Or take a nap. Or just do something I find difficult to do when others are around. I work on doing as much as I can when I am not alone so that I can be most productive for my healing and personal growth when I am alone.

h1

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

h1

‘Treat Anxiety with Computers instead of Drugs’

June 14, 2012

‘Treat Anxiety with Computers instead of Drugs’.

I found this to be an interesting article and thought you all might appreciate seeing it.

h1

Sharing Another Post on Trauma Brain…

April 9, 2012

In my post before this one, I had shared a link to a post on another blog that talks about how trauma affects the brain. Well, here is a link to another post from that same blog.

More on How Abuse Affects the Brain

h1

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.

h1

Yours, Mine and ????…

January 2, 2011

What am I talking about? Assumptions! Regarding: Experiences! Healing journeys! Therapy! Plus any other number of things that many of us go through.

So many times I see people making assumptions based upon their own experiences. They take what has happened to them and then project it onto others.

For example, I have run into some bad therapists. Based upon that, I could make the assumption that all therapists are bad. However, I know that is not the case because I was blessed to have had some good ones first. But what if the bad ones had been my first ones? I might never have even given a good one a try.

The reverse is also true. Before I ran into a bad therapist myself, I could have made the incorrect assumption that all therapists are good. Thankfully, I  knew better than that for I had heard of bad ones before I ran into any.

Another example of assumptions has to do with what happened with my father. When I was in high school, I kept getting a gut feeling that something had happened between my father and I, but I had no memories at that time of anything specific. My life was a mess, but I refused to allow that to cause me to assume anything specific had happened (as a way of explaining why I was such a mess). I wanted proof.

For several years I battled that feeling and grew weary of it. So, I told the L-rd that, unless He gave me the memories, I was going to shove aside my gut feeling…which I did. I pushed it aside and refused to even consider it. I was actually rather successful at it.

Later, when I was trying to get help, I was confronted with that gut feeling again. So, I prayed for the truth. I wanted to either have the memories of the incidents causing the gut feeling to be revealed or, if there were no underlying incidents causing the gut feeling, to have the gut feeling go away. I refused to make assumptions about my father and I.

As it turns out, the person I went to for help…for prayer help…was a mess himself. However, there were some things in my life that stopped after being prayed for. G-d did use him in His own way to help me. I used to have “visions” of walking into my apartment and seeing my husband and sons slaughtered and blood all over the place. That stopped. I used to “see” myself driving off embankments or being “pushed” down stairs by invisible forces. That stopped.

I also had four memory flashes while working with him.  Two were of molestation. Although I did not really want to believe, I knew they were true. And even though I could not see who it was…I “knew”. In my heart of hearts I knew, but I did not want to deal with it. So, I shoved it aside. I did not want to assume it was my father…not unless I clearly saw his face.

The other two made no sense to me. They were ritual abuse in nature, but at that time I was not familiar with ritual abuse and I had no inkling that I had that background.  He interpreted the flashes as non-memory. He said they were some kind of generational thing passed down from prior generations. That did not sound right to me. So, I just set them aside for the time being. I did not assume they were non-memories. I did not assume they were memories.

Later, it kept bugging me. I suspect it was because odd things were happening between my father and I…as an adult married woman. I just kept feeling like I needed to stop shoving this under the rug. So, I went to a woman who specialized in a prayer ministry. We prayed a lot and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I was able to see more of the memory…enough to see my father’s shirt…and his face.

As it turns out, this woman was abused herself. I think that caused her to push me to confront my father…perhaps before I was ready. It was something I felt I needed to do…even though I was really nervous about it.

When I did confront my father, with my mother by his side, he never denied a thing. He only said that he did not remember doing anything like that. I thought that was an odd response. My mother readily agreed that something had happened to me. She was just wondering “who it could have been”.

I pointed out something my father had been doing in the more recent past that was boundary crossing. It was part of the oddness that had been going on between my father and me and had to do with kissing me on the mouth against my wishes. I had been ducking and making it clear with my body language that I was not comfortable with it.

My father acknowledged that he knew I was uncomfortable with it, but said that body language  was not enough. I had to verbally say it. My mother was furious with him at first, but then got quiet.

My father, when confronted with my memories, assumed that the counselor must have suggested them to me. As she pointed out to him, I had them before I came to her. He then assumed that I must have gained them via hypnosis or psychotropic drugs. I was never hypnotized and had not taken any psychotropic drugs. Then he assumed they were planted there by satan to try and break the family apart. Mind you, my family was never close anyway. The only thing it could break apart were the manipulations going on.

He gave me a whole stack of articles that he “just happened” to find in people’s houses that he was cleaning. He said that G-d had led him to them. They all dealt with the false idea of False Memory Syndrome…something never proven and not in any of the DSM’s.

I don’t think he really believed any of those things caused my memories. However, I did start taking a look at them. Nothing in those articles applied to me. Nothing. Nor I did fit the typical FMS profile of that time. I did not sue my parents. I did not file a police report. I did not go public. I did not act in any kind of vindictive way.  I did not even keep my sons from visiting with my parents. It simply became the subject not talked about…until about four years or so later.

When my youngest was three, my parents started to manipulate their way into living with us. Even my pastor, when he heard about the situation, thought it was very odd. I became very unstable and started to have suicidal ideations. I prayed and fought and it got better…until they actually moved in.

Then it got really bad. With my father up early and my mother up late, I had no time alone other than in my special room. They ended up spending more and more time with my son while I was being driven further into instability…an instability they were actually causing. They created a problem and then were there to “help”. I could take a whole book to share the kinds of manipulations that were going on.

It was not until they had been out of the house about a year that I got a more complete understanding. It was all about them having access to my son. They moved in the month he turned four. They assumed that they could eliminate me…either by suicide, hospitalization or simply my shutting down…and they would have complete access to my son. But G-d had a different plan!

More to come…

h1

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.

h1

Where IS My Sanity…

May 19, 2010

and WHAT is sanity???? I often crack jokes about sanity. It is my way of trying to keep a hard life somewhat lighter.

I will sometimes ask if anyone knows where my sanity is because it ran away! Usually, someone will respond with the fact that, if I find mine, I might find theirs, too. Then we both laugh and agree that, if we find our sanity, we will send the other one’s home. Or we joke that they are probably out partying together or something.

When the subject comes up of going crazy…or losing sanity…I comment that I cannot lose what I have already lost. Or, that I cannot lose what I never had.  And then I laugh.

Sanity…that fleeting thing that I think all of us want, but also that an awful lot of us question whether we actually have it. Or question if we ever did considering that our abuses often started at such a young age…even in infancy.

What is sanity? I have heard what it is not. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  (Albert Einstein?) So…what is sanity? Is it changing what I do in order to make changes in my life? I can see where that might be part of it…but, somehow, I think there is more to it than just that.

Is it being able to hold a coherent conversation? Oh, boy. If that is a criteria, then I am definitely not very sane some of the time. But then…perhaps it depends upon WHY I am not holding a coherent conversation…doesn’t it? I don’t know.

Does it mean handling what life throws at me without crumbling? Does it mean not “losing it” inside? Does it mean that I continue to function…no matter how much I am shaking? Does it mean not having a foggy mind? Yet…all of those things can result from PTSD being triggered. Is a PTSD episode a temporary loss of sanity? Hmmm.

BrainyQuote.com defines it thusly: The condition or quality of being sane; soundness of health of body or mind, especially of the mind; saneness.

Sane is defined thusly: Being in a healthy condition; not deranged; acting rationally; — said of the mind.

Mentally sound; possessing a rational mind; having the mental faculties in such condition as to be able to anticipate and judge of the effect of one’s actions in an ordinary manner; — said of persons.

There is quite a bit there to consider. “A rational mind”. “to be able to anticipate and judge the effect of one’s actions in an ordinary manner.” When I am triggered…I would not say I am “rational”. I am experiencing something from the past. I am “rational” in the past…while living in the present. That makes is very difficult to “anticipate and judge” in the moment.

I would love to hear others’ thoughts on “sane” and “sanity”. What do they mean to you? Is it even possible to be “sane”? Or to be sane all the time? Perhaps it is something we move in and out of?

I think part of being sane is being able to roll with life and recover when it hits you. To be able to live in reality and not in a make believe world. I don’t know.

What do you all think? I will finish with some quotes I found on sanity.

When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane.  Hermann Hesse

Part of being sane is being a little bit crazy.  Janet Long

A neurosis is a secret you don’t know you are keeping.  Kenneth Tynan

It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.  David Brin

All I kin say is when you finds yo’self wanderin’ in a peach orchard, ya don’t go lookin’ for rutabagas.  Kingfish

Hitherto the plans of the educationalists have achieved very little of what they attempted, and indeed we may well thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers, real nurses, and (above all) real children for preserving the human race in such sanity as it still possesses.  C. S. Lewis

I am beginning to realize that “sanity” is no longer a value or an end in itself. If modern people were a little less sane, a little more doubtful, a little more aware of their absurdities and contradictions, perhaps there might be the possibility of their survival.  Thomas Merton

Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.  Mark Twain

No man is sane who does not know how to be insane on the proper occasions.  Henry Ward Beecher

Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked.  Oliver Wendell Holmes

h1

What Do You Do With Anger?

April 19, 2010

I feel like saying something. I feel like wagging a finger in someone’s face. I feel like getting a bit loud. I feel like yelling. I feel like…what??? I don’t know. I don’t do anger very well. I try to be very understanding, very forgiving. I try to let go of my wants for the sake of others. We give…for their sakes…but they don’t even have a clue how much we give. And for one of them…that is OK. But the other. I need some acknowledgment. When you work so hard to present as “normal”…whatever the heck that is…it is so easy for the other one to forget who you really are…what you really are…who ALL you really are. It has been building up for some time.

So…what, exactly, DO you do with anger? With frustration? With an inability to get to what you feel you need? An inability to do what you feel you need to do? To process all the stuff you have had to put on hold for the last few years. Talk about healing interrupted! I know it is not totally interrupted, but in so many ways it HAS been.

I have grown in the sense that I have actually been holding it together through all of this. Well…I believe it is my Abba who has really been holding me together. Many times I have reached the end of my proverbial rope and it is my Abba who has kept me going…who is holding me together.

I am human. I have feelings…sometimes very conflicting feelings…depending upon the who and the what. Again…something that tends to be forgotten by the very one I most need to remember that. I am OK…but that does not mean that I do not have those feelings to battle at times. He does, too, and even from some of the same things. We each have our stuff. And then…I have stuff for more than one.

I think it is time to remind someone. I am praying about the how and the when. Do I write it?  Do I speak it? And then there is who should write it or speak it? What “voice” do I use? What will be best heard? Best received? I am not talking about manipulation here…I am talking about practicality. Know your audience. Speak accordingly.

Is it hopeless? Sometimes it feels like it is. Some times…it feels as if things will never change.  It feels as if I will always have to hide a lot of myself. I have to accept that life might just be that way. Can I do that? Can I trust enough for that?

Our living situation is going to change…most likely during this summer/fall…maybe sooner. That will bring a lot of challenges of its own…while also opening up some things for me. How will I handle that? I don’t know yet. I am trying to get prepared for both change…and for no change. I really hope that I do not have to face no change.

h1

Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 13

February 15, 2010

General Safety

1. Do NOT share your password with anyone. If you must, (like when you need someone to help you with a technical problem, change it as soon as that person is done! A friend of mine needed help with her email. She gave her password to a “trusted friend”. That “friend” then started sending emails in my friend’s name. It was a nightmare, especially since she was a multiple who lost time. It took awhile to figure out what was going on and who was doing it. But it was even worse than that because my friend also did not follow the next rule.

2. Never use the same password twice and always change your passwords periodically. My friend was also a forum owner. Since she used the same password for everything, this person had total access to every level of her forum. Not good! Some people even use the same password for banking. You can see how bad it would be if one of your accounts was compromised. If you used the same password for everything else, then ALL of your accounts would also be compromised.

In conclusion, I cannot emphasize enough to ALWAYS have someone overseeing ALL interactions. I know this list is not all-inclusive, but I hope that it helps others out there. I plan to continue to write about safety as I can and post it here. You are welcome to come by and read and do a search for whatever you are interested in. Who knows? Perhaps, I have written about it.

End of article.

The first post in this article is here.

h1

Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 12

February 15, 2010

8. Supporting your professional. Be very careful if a professional is sharing his/her personal issues with you. I had one therapist who opened our appointment times sharing his struggles. Granted…I did inquire as to how he was…in a general sort of way. It is a way to break the ice and can be a simple common courtesy. He, though, took it to an unhealthy level. It became very awkward.

I could not really complain about the time being taken because he was rather generous with his time. I always got my “hour” and oftentimes even more. However, the boundaries became blurred and I found myself feeling like I needed to help him feel better. His sharing made it difficult to view him as someone who was helping me rather than as a needy person himself. I am not saying that professionals cannot have needs or need support. After all…they are human, too! What I am saying is that they need to go elsewhere for support. It shut down my sharing during appointments. Without sharing…there is no work really being done.

9. Wanting to see or touch parts of your body or talk in a sexual way. I know of one therapist who would intentionally trigger the littles of some friends of mine to come out. Then he touched their bodies inappropriately in the guise of doing healing work. Littles don’t know what is legitimate healing work! What he did was sick and caused a lot of damage and hurt. Again, I cannot emphasize strongly enough the necessity of doing whatever you can to insure that littles (or any other naive alters) are NEVER out alone or unsupervised.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

h1

Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 11

February 15, 2010

6. Secret tellers and confidence breakers. Be very wary of anyone who breaks a confidence. You can pretty much bet if they are sharing about others with you, then they are also sharing about you with others. If someone is in any real danger, it can be valid to break a confidence. However, you need to ask yourself if you are really in a “need to know” position with the person being shared about. Is there anything you can really do? Put yourself in the shared about person’s perspective. Would you be comfortable if it was you being talked about? If not…you can pretty much bet a boundary has been crossed.

It’s bad when “friends” share confidences. It’s even worse when a professional does it. There are strict guidelines given to professionals regarding confidentiality. It is NEVER OK for a professional to share with one client about another client. It doesn’t matter if the clients are both members of the therapist’s forum or if they know each other in person. If there is no signed consent form, it is NOT OK.

I am not talking about things like…“I once had a client who had a similar problem and this is what helped him/her.” That is different. And, even in those cases, you should never have enough information to enable you to figure out who that other client is. It should always be a general sharing.

It is also not OK to post private communications without permission, even if it was written by the professional. An online therapist who has a for-pay forum openly posted something that she wrote to me in private. When confronted about it by someone else, she merely changed who it was addressed to and left it up. This was very unethical.

7. Meeting in unusual places…or uncomfortable places. I’ve heard of clients being asked to meet in a therapist’s car or in restaurants, sometimes even with other clients in the same room! This is NOT OK. One therapist I know had an office with no windows and all the other offices on that floor were unoccupied. The building itself was rather isolated and his office never did feel comfortable…and rightfully so. He accessed my alters there and used them. His office setup also made it easy to not recognize the time loss.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

h1

Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 10

February 15, 2010

4. Alters suddenly becoming afraid of someone you know, regardless of who they are. There is a reason for sudden fear. You need to get to the bottom of it. In our case, the imposter was telling littles horrible, scary things (as me). This person knew what kinds of things would hurt my friends the most and what was most likely to trigger programming. What made this situation extra dangerous was the imposter had her own relationship with my friends…apart from me. So she fed the fears and kept pointing to me as being dangerous while offering no real proof. No one caught it until it was too late. It is SO important that the system always have someone ready to step in watching over ALL interactions. Even if my innocence could never be proven, at least they would not have been so hurt. The friends who were affected were all ones who lose time.

5. Listen to your “gut”, your insiders and others you trust. This is a tricky one. While you know yourself better than others, it is possible to be blind to something that is going on with you. Sometimes others can see things you are unable to see…whether it is about you specifically or about your relationship with someone else. If one person were to tell me something, I would pay attention and check into it. Unless I could find some way to confirm it, though, I probably would not be very concerned about it. However, if several people were to tell me something about me, or about someone I was close to, I would really dig hard to see if it might be true.There are times when others can see things that we are blind to…things that we need to see in order to stay safe. Whether it is coming from insiders, or from people we know outside, pay attention. Check it out.

If you keep getting the feeling that something is wrong with an interaction, whether online or offline, please do not ignore it. I was seeing a therapist who was accessing my programming and using me. I did not find it out until after I stopped seeing him that we had a prior cult connection. The whole time I was seeing him there were flags waving. I had “gut” feelings. I just did not know how to interpret them at the time. My insiders were trying to get my attention, but I could not hear/understand it. If I had simply backed out for a while, perhaps my insiders would have been able to break through with the information I needed. I did finally hear them about three months after I stopped seeing him. Needless to say, I was floored. This is an example of not being an overt time loser, yet getting accessed anyway.

On the flip side, when I was told that “I” (or someone inside me) was doing these awful things to others, I went straight to my therapist who had at that time about 25 years of experience working with cult survivors. She had been carefully watching me from the time we first met to see if there might be an alter inside who was capable of such behavior. She had read hundreds of pages of journaling and had seen no indications. My husband, who was home almost all the time, also saw no indications. I took what I was told to those who know me best.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

%d bloggers like this: