Archive for the ‘surviving’ Category

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Being a Warrior and a Survivor…

November 29, 2012

I am a fighter…and I recognize that it is my Creator who gave me that ability to fight.

I am a survivor…and it is my Creator who brought me through all the hell to get to the wonderful place I am today.

I am filled with the Shalom of my Messiah Yeshua and it is His Ruach/Spirit that has helped me all along my healing journey.

I am a warrior, too. So, what is the difference between a fighter and a warrior? I think there is a lot. I started out as a fighter, fighting my way through what was going on in order to survive. I fought to be “sane” (whatever that means). I fought to make it through the day. I fought to stay alive. I fought to hide my true self from everyone around me. I fought to look “normal” so no one would know the truth. I fought and I fought and I fought, but it was a fighting that was based more upon instinctively swinging my “arms” to fend off an enemy.

Over time, though, I became a warrior. I went on the offensive. And that is when things really started to change. That is when the evil I was fighting really started to show itself for what it was…dark and malevolent. It was not that I did not see that before. It was not that I was not doing some warrior fighting before. But there came a time in my life when I had no choice but to come out swinging on the offensive. I had to for the safety of my youngest.

My battle to survive and just make it through life slowly transformed into a battle of fighting back until the fighting back became the main thing. After years of feeling as if I were struggling just to keep my head above water so I could breath, I slipped into years of taking ground. I started to fight for real healing.

There are some who decry the term “survivor”, as if that is somehow less than or as if it somehow holds us back. We must never use that term, but must instead call ourselves “thrivers”…or some other term to define who we are.

But I AM a survivor! I have survived horrendous things and made it out the end! I am PROUD of that. Being a survivor means they did not win! A cancer survivor is one who has conquered cancer. No one would ever think of telling him or her not to use that term! So, why is it not OK for us who have survived extreme abuse?

I am a survivor! I am alive! I am “sane”…well, I guess that may depend upon your definition of “sane”. I am smiling as I write that. I am HERE! I did not die. I did not end up in a mental ward. I did not end up in jail. I did not end up dead. I have a good marriage. I made it out of all the abuse. Yes, it took years to do. Yes, I am still partially amnesic. Yes, I have a lot of healing left to do. But I am ALIVE! I no longer answer to my abusers. Hallelu Yah!

I am both a survivor AND a thriver. You see, I don’t see it as an either/or kind of thing. I am both! And I am grateful. I can see the beauty in life and share it with others. Here is some of that beauty now.

 

 

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More on Assumptions…and Getting Free…

February 6, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Expectations of Life

July 22, 2008

So many times, life just does not turn out like we think it will. Or like we hope it will. Shoot, I found out that even my history is not what I thought it was. How bizarre is that? To realize that what I remember as my life was a farce…an implanted lie!

There is one thing, though, that I know is not a lie. My heart connection with Yahweh God. That has always been real and continues to be real. He has been with me throughout it all. He knows the truth and is able to show me what I need to know. He has guided me on my healing journey all of my life. I can look back and see His hand there, with me behind the scenes.

Without Him, I would not have been able to survive. Without Him, I could not do life today. It is that simple. I simply could not do it. He is good to me. I look forward to going home to be with Him forever. In the meantime, I will tough it out here in this life…with Yeshua/Jesus by my side and His Ruach/Spirit dwelling within me.

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