Archive for the ‘self care’ Category

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Seeing Deceptions

September 15, 2016

Seeing so much deception in the world can be very disheartening. Yet, there is an upside to it, too. Yep, an upside. It makes me more grateful than ever that I can see as clearly as I can. Am I saying I cannot be deceived? No. But I am saying that I know the One who is never deceived and He gives me insight as to what is really going on in the world.

I am grateful for the Creator’s Word…both the written and the Living. I am grateful for His Spirit that lives inside me, leading me and guiding me even when I am not aware of it and helping me to understand His written word…the bible. I am grateful for His Messiah who took care of the problem of darkness within me…my own evil and propensity to do wrong things.

There are those who have wronged me in the past. I have forgiven them. There are those who, I believe, are wronging me in the present. I forgive them. Does that mean I am unaffected? No. But the effects are lessened by the understanding the Spirit gives me.

When I look at the world through the eyes of my Creator, I see a lost world. The greatest darkness and deception are not from those in the world toward the rest of us. No, it is a deception that the deceivers themselves are caught up in. And that causes me to pity them.

Those attempting (and being very successful with many) to deceive us are themselves deceived. They do not see the Truth about the bigger plan our Creator has for this world. They think they are gaining power and have wealth to make them better than the rest of us, but they only have and do what they are allowed by our Creator to have and do.

Our Creator has a bigger plan of redemption for this world. He will make it brand new. But before that time, there will continue to be a battle between Light and dark, between Good and evil, between our spiritual adversary and us. But I know who wins. In the end, it is US through the Spirit of our Creator. Messiah has ALREADY won the battle over death and sin, but we need to walk that out in our lives.

I truly wish I did a much better job of that, but I am entrusting my spiritual well-being to my Creator. He knows my frame and that I am merely dust. Yet, He takes that dust and raises up out of it human beings made in His image. He makes beauty and love and all good things possible.

I cannot choose what happens to me in life, but I CAN choose my response to it. And I choose to worship my Creator and to walk in His ways as best I can out of love and gratitude and respect for Who He is.

So, when I see all the deceptions and I am tempted to be frustrated…or worse, afraid…I look to Him. I am comforted by the prophecies where He has spelled out for us what has happened, is happening now and will happen. I do not need to fear the future. He holds that in His capable hands. I need not fear the now, for He is working something good out of it.

I see the Light shining in the midst of the darkness. I see Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) coming. I also see a time of great trouble on the horizon before He comes back. But I know I am OK in the here and now. And I will be OK in the midst of the coming troubles because He will be here with me. Yeshua promised to never leave or forsake us and He is not a liar.

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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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Keeping Up With Life…

March 28, 2011

We have run into obstacle after obstacle in trying to get the house to a livable condition. Yet, every time something comes up Yahweh supplies the answer. The provision comes. The fix comes. The help comes. Sometimes from the most unexpected places.

Life happens and G-d provides. I just keep walking through it. Some days are fairly smooth for me. Some days…like right now…I feel as if I can hardly even concentrate enough to write this post. Yet…I just keep plugging along. In fact, that is how I have gotten through many years of my life…just persistent plugging along…taking it one day at a time…and even one breath at a time.

Yahweh is good. He kept me alive…kept me going. He did not let me give up. He did not let me take my life. He did not let me go in psych ward. He helped me watch over my children. He strengthened me and helped me to grow. He protected me in SO many ways!

Why? Why did He do that? Is it because I am someone special? I really don’t think so…certainly no more than anyone else. Maybe it is because I so much weaker than many others. Perhaps I would not have survived a psych ward…or a suicide attempt. I know others have gone through things that I really do not think I would have made it through.

Or…perhaps my children would not have survived if I was not there on some level for them. I don’t know. I do know, though, that my children were a very strong motivation for me to stick around. I wanted to protect them in any way I could.

I can speculate all I want as to why I have had to experience some really bad things…and yet been delivered/protected from others. I only know that He is faithful…faithful to get me through it and faithful to bless me in it. There are those moments in time when He touched me so deeply that I thought I could barely survive that! From darkness to glory He has been there for me and with me. He is why I live and breathe.

So…now I am trying to keep up with life. That means not keeping up with everything I would like to…but that is OK. It is not that some things and people are less important…it is simply a lack of time and energy.

I am becoming stronger and finding ways to find some more balance in my life. Right now…I am still juggling some things. I am learning to be true to who I am created to be…learning to figure out what to juggle and what to simply let go of. I don’t know about others…but that is no easy task for me. It can be downright challenging.

All of my life, I was to subordinate to others…to put their needs first. Even after all these years…I am STILL learning how to pick and choose when to put myself first. I am also still learning when those times are. I do not want to be selfish…always putting me first. I just want to take good care of myself. It is better to do a few things well than to do many things shoddily.

 

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It’s Time…to Write…

October 15, 2010

I need to write. It is time…perhaps even past time. I am fighting tears right now and, I must confess, not doing a very good job of it.

Maybe it is the time of year. Maybe it has to do with my parents (I know there is anger under the surface with that one). Maybe it is what feels like a tenuousness in my living situation (even though I am seeing Yahweh do amazing things). Maybe it is being in contact with a cousin (mother’s side) for the first time in many, many years (we never lived close so I have only met her a few times). Maybe it is my expectation of what may be to come…system wise…when we do finally move into the house (which will be unfinished inside). Maybe it is my age and/or the way this living situation has taken its toll on my health. Maybe it is something I don’t even know about…something that is buried deep inside and whirling around.

I see things I want to do…but cannot. My situation and time, along with my state of emotional/mental health holds me back. I want to contribute in ways that I am simply unable to. I want to keep up with my online friends…and cannot. And all of these things are OK…I know (in my head) that they are. But I struggle in my heart. My online friends…in all of their various places…mean a lot to me. They are a form of support that is precious to me. Yet…as beautiful and precious as they are…they are not enough. They, too, are human and facing challenges of their own. They are not able to always be available…which leads me to the next thing I need to write about.

There is something that has been happening in my spirit over a long time. But lately, well, the only way I know to describe it is that it is almost like a surge. It is as if my heart connection with Yahweh has surged forward. I have been facing some challenges…which I have really tried my best to deal with. Those challenges…like challenges often do…have pushed me toward Him even more. I need His wisdom and His guidance, but mostly…I need to rest in His love.

It seems that my faith gets stretched and my spiritual maturity grows through that. And then it seems like I hit the wall. I am utterly helpless and I find it necessary to fall back upon the childlike aspect of my faith. Yeshua said that we should trust like children do. And so that is what I do…I just fall into His love and trust Him for the things I simply cannot do…or even see.

So I rest in Him, trusting Him and drawing even closer to Him. The strength, maturity and depth from the stretching I went through settles in while He is preparing me for the next stretching session. I stretch. I grow. I rest. Stretch. Grow. Rest. A cycle that is as old as time and yet very much in the present and will continue to be right there in the midst of my future. One long strand tying past to present to future.

There are things in that “maybe” paragraph that I think I need to write about…but I think I will separate them out into different posts.

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Cruelty and Healthy Boundaries…

September 17, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Article on Good Touch/Bad Touch by Sheena

May 12, 2010

Sheena wrote about why women (and girls) often don’t resist, or fight back, or tell when they are molested or raped.  She writes about some of the messages they are taught about how to behave and how those messages contribute to their not telling and not fighting back. We so need to teach our children differently. I hate the thought that we could actually be setting them up to be abused.

Here is her article: The Conflicting Nature of Good Touch/Bad Touch Everyone needs to read this. Everyone needs to think about what she is sharing here.

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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.

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

February 15, 2010

Other Things to Watch Out For

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

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

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

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

Screen name = renkenfork14

Email = falderally@yahoo.com

Disposable email base = renkenfork14-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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

February 15, 2010

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

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

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

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

To be continued…

The first post for this article is here.

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

February 15, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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

February 14, 2010

Working With Your System

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

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

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

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

To be continued…

The first post for this article is here.

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

February 14, 2010

Losing Time and Littles

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

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

Who Is Dangerous and Who Is Safe?

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

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

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

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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

February 10, 2010

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

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

Intro

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

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

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

To Trust or Not and the Middle Ground

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

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

To be continued…

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Healing and Emotional Detachment

August 30, 2008

Hmm…not really sure how to say this. I am realizing that I need to have a healthy emotional detachment from others. I notice this the most with the one person I am closest to, but it applies to others, too. I tend to feel guilty at times about how others are effected by my issues. It is OK to feel sad about it…but it is not OK to feel bad about myself because of it. Feeling bad about myself helps me to spiral downward. Feeling sad does not.

I can feel sad that my brokenness effects others without feeling badly about myself. There is only so much I can do. If I cannot do, or be, what someone else needs me to do, or be, that does not make me a bad person…even if they have every “right” to want me do it. I don’t need to beat myself up, or be miserable, just because someone else is miserable or unhappy about how my issues effect them. I can be empathetic. I can care. I can do my best to work on my healing; but I do not have to push heaven and hell to try to change something that I have no control over. That just sets me up for failure and I start to crash.

If someone is struggling with something about me that I have no control over I need to let them face that and work out how to deal with it. Yes, I do need to keep working on my healing…and, hopefully, I will be changed in that process. But the results are not up to me. Neither is how someone else handles those results. That is something that person has to work out.

I can do the footwork, but Yahweh God has to do the healing. He has to change me. I cannot force change. I can change my behavior…to a certain extent. However, I cannot change my triggers. Shoot, a lot of the time I am still trying to figure what the triggers precisely are and why they even trigger me! I can work on those things, but I cannot force myself to not be triggered.

Another thing I struggle with is that, acceptance of myself as I am right where I am at, can look like I am giving up to someone else. It can appear that I don’t care and am not really “working” on something anymore. That is not the case, though. To me, acceptance of where I am at simply means trusting that God will do what is needed without my having to be constantly striving and then feeling awful because, in spite of all my hard work and striving, I am still being triggered…or still failing. It means that I can continue to do what I can and trust Him for the results.

Sometimes, if it is someone really close to me, I find that the other person’s struggle with me and resulting unhappiness causes me to feel bad about myself. The feelings of worthlessness start to kick in, along with thoughts of them being better off without me. I start to spiral downward and that is not good. I am realizing that my feeling that way means that I am sort of taking responsibility for how they feel. It is harder to see it that way because it happens in such a roundabout way. Nonetheless, it is real…and it is not healthy…for them or me.

There is nothing like feeling helpless to start a round of depression. It works so well. I need to be on guard for that and practice taking good care of myself. It is my responsibility to take good care of my emotional and mental health, just as it is for me to take good care of my physical health.

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Behaving Out of Character and Self Care

June 4, 2008

I did something totally out of character for me the other day. Well, actually, I did more than one out of character thing in the span of a few days.

Unread spam I can ditch with no problem. Personal emails are a different story. Even if they are from someone I am in a conflict with, this persistent optimist always hopes there’s a way we can work things out.

All personal emails I read…eventually. Until the other day. That is when I realized I needed to do something different.

I thought a conflict situation was over…not healed…just over. Then I received an email from someone letting me know that she had been told something negative about me relating to the conflict situation. What she was told was true. I had blown it. So I emailed her back, apologizing and asking for forgiveness. I had also been accused of trying to do certain things that I had not tried to do, so I also tried…again…to explain what my true motivations were.

She had heard more facts about the situation, so I wrote her the rest of the story. I figured…might as well get it all out in the open so it could be finally laid to rest. That is why I cc’d the person she’d cc’d, plus the person who had told her more facts. Might as well finish dealing with it all now…once and for all. I wrote that I hoped it was the last email, but that if she really felt she needed to discuss it further, I would.

My email bounced back with a notice from her ISP saying that she had blocked my address. So, the email that I had hoped would bring final closure…she never got. (I like the fact that her ISP let me know I was blocked, so that I would know why it bounced back.) I was uncertain what to do. I did not want to appear to be hounding her, yet I did believe she should have the rest of the facts.

I finally decided to just let it go. I figured that, if God wanted her to see the email, He could make it happen. Since she had blocked my email before, I figured that was the end of things. Clearly, she did not want to discuss it further and I was OK with that. I really wanted it to be over.

Then I got three more emails from this person. I see no point in reading emails from someone who has blocked my address. Her responses prior felt very negative to me and I also did not want to subject myself to more of the same. Yet…what if she did see my email and had accepted my apology? What if she truly wanted to let it go…or wanted a real dialog? I debated in my mind what to do. In the meantime, there they sat in my inbox…unread. Very out of character for me.

I finally asked my hubby, who knew of the situation in general, to read them for me and tell me what the tone of each was. His take on them was that she was still very upset with me and did not want to dialog. So, I did something very uncharacteristic of me. I did NOT read them. In fact, I even took it a step further and asked him to delete them and then empty my trash folder so that I would not be tempted to read them later.

Then I did something else uncharacteristic for me. Since she had written to me after she blocked my address, and since she was not wanting to dialog, I blocked her address. My ISP won’t send her a bounceback, though.

Anyway…very uncharacteristic behavior on my part…to delete unread personal emails and to block someone’s email addy. I still don’t like having done it; but I guess I just have to accept that, sometimes, I need to expand my definition of self care.

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