Archive for the ‘safety’ Category

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Processing Through Artwork…

March 1, 2011

The latest pieces I have been putting up have to do with a therapist I worked with for a short time online. I had met him in person, but later, when I started to actually work with him a bit, he was different from what I remembered. I am grateful that he did give me back one thing…my art.

Because of my living situation…a situation that still exists, I was not able to do art. He told me about doing collages in MSWord. I am SO grateful for that. However, then what happened between him and I devastated my system and kind of messed us up. This latest batch of art reflects that.

In addition, I had been accessed by my local therapist and that was just starting to come out…another factor in things. That accessing is reflected in the some of the other pieces I recently put up…the ones tagged RM. Of the three therapists with whom I had negative experiences…thankfully, only one was actually my therapist. One I knew from her forum, KB. One I worked with a bit online and on the phone, JM. One was in person local, RM. I had left KB’s forum in ‘o5. I had met JM in person in ’05. I saw RM in the last quarter of ’06…during which time I dissociated his accessing me. Then I worked with JM a bit online and by phone in ’07…during which time the memories of the accessing started to surface.

It took another local therapist…one with no SRA client experience to help me work through the accessing and to break the hold JM had on me. I kept trying to break it off with JM, but every email he sent to me had a hook in it that I felt I had to reply to. Kind of like KB. I tried to work things out with her, but she was really good with the hooks.

So, the latest pieces are processing RM and JM. RM is cult. JM…well, let’s just say that there are some inside who believed at the time that he most likely was. Either that or he just got one heck of an ego thing going and it affected his ability to really hear people. I don’t know.

I really miss meeting with a therapist, but unless I could get back to my CA therapist, I don’t know that I could trust an SRA client experienced one again. Someone I really trust would have to recommend him/her…preferably her. And it would have to be a follower of Yeshua/Jesus…not a religious person…but a real disciple…even though two of these three therapists were “Christian” and the third said she went to church.

In the meantime, I have what my CA therapist used to call my “real therapist”…the Holy Spirit. He has guided me in many ways in my healing…and He still does.

 

 

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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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Questions and a Log House

June 6, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good night, everyone!

I hope I don’t forget anything.

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Reaching Out…

May 9, 2010

Previously, I wrote about trying to get hold of a couple to try and find some kind of in person (3D) support. Well, I did finally get her on the phone. I had pretty much decided how I wanted to approach it. Did that happen? Nope! Instead, I started off faltering and ended up just spilling things out. She was very caring as I told her I was losing it.

Her husband was not home at the time or else, she said, she would have come right over. So, she prayed for me and said that she would talk to him and get back to me the next day. I told her I had no idea how we would work this out. They are not close, location wise, and we are not members of their congregation. (He is a pastor.)

After pouring my heart out over the phone, I definitely felt better. It was a couple of days ago that I talked to her and, although I have not heard back from her, I do know her heart. I had told her I did not want to be a bother and she had assured me I was not. And I believe her. She knows our living situation and, like everyone else, cannot imagine how we do it. She knows it is extremely stressful.

What is really amazing to me is that I would normally be fretting like crazy at not hearing back from her. I would have all the old tapes playing about not being a bother…not taking up people’s time, etc. This time, though, instead of fretting at not hearing from her the next day, I am able to contentedly rest…knowing that there is a reason she is not getting back to me…a reason that I believe has nothing to do with me.

They may not be the ones the L-rd has for me (and my family)…and, if that is the case, it is OK. At least being able to talk to her did help me to feel like someone else knows some of what is going on and cares about me…about my family. It helped me to feel heard and to let off some of the stress.

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Masks We Wear…

May 8, 2010

Everyone wears masks. It is called “propriety” and “a proper time and place”. It is not appropriate…nor is it safe or healthy…to share everything about ourselves with everyone else, anywhere and anytime.

Yet, we all do need someone and some time in which we can share the deeper things of our hearts. We need a safe place to land when we are struggling…someone with whom we can take the masks off. We need someone who will accept us and cheer us on in the struggles of life.

It is not that we need to share and reveal everything about ourselves to a single person. That could overwhelm them…especially if we are extreme abuse survivors. But we do all need someone safe with whom we can share the things that are most on our hearts, the things we most struggle with, our challenges, our joys, our fears, our growth, our victories, the things we have overcome, the positive steps taken, the stumbling we have done. We need someone who will not judge and who will love us as we are and cheer us on in our healing journey.

Sometimes, we cannot share our growth or our victories because it would mean sharing what we needed to have victory over…or sharing what we grew out of. It would mean sharing the darker sides of ourselves. We all have one…a darker side…the part of us we don’t really want anyone to know about. And yet, don’t we all wish that we had someone with whom we could share that darker side who would accept us and even love us anyway?

Not everyone is safe to share with. We must be cautious. We must take care to feel a person out…to not overwhelm them. We also have to recognize that sharing can kick off the old “don’t share” programming. We need to be safe when we share…prepared for the potential aftermath, especially if the one we are sharing with isn’t aware of the possible ramifications sharing can bring.

In all of this…there is a question I ask myself. While I long for someone with whom I can take my masks off…am I willing to be that someone for another person? Am I…can I…be safe to share with? Will I accept and love without judgment? Will I hold close to my heart what is shared with me…never sharing it with anyone else without permission? Am I willing to be for others what I need others to be for me?

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Poem and Filing a Complaint

April 22, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Flower

I am Flower!

Standing tall.

Standing strong.

Bending in the wind,
but not breaking.

I am Flower.

Speaking truth.

Offering peace.

Sharing hope.

I am Flower.

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

I am Flower!

Beautiful.

Delicate.

Enduring.

I am Flower.

Blooming.

Growing.

Healing.

I am Flower!

©2009

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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.

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