Posts Tagged ‘boundaries’

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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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Saying Goodbye to Parents…Again…

November 2, 2011

The time has come to say “goodbye” to my parents…so I did. Basically, my mother does not write at all and my father only writes about the weather…literally…the weather! So, this is what I wrote and I have peace about it. It is time. I have truly tried and they have not responded. Here it is. (I took out names and substituted explanations in parenthesis.)

*sigh*

I guess nothing will ever change. I am trying to have a real conversation…to build SOMETHING between us. Mom refuses to respond at all and you just want to talk about the weather while ignoring anything else I say. That is your right. You have done that for so long, I guess it would be odd for you to change now.

Do you really want to listen? Personally, I doubt that you can even hear me…or that you even want to hear me.

As far back as high school I felt as if something had happened between you and I. It was a persistent feeling that I kept shoving aside because I had no clear memories back then. But shoving aside the truth did not make it go away. It just simmered under there until the L-rd decided the time was right for some hints to come and, later, more complete memories.

I always felt uncomfortable going over to visit you and mom. I felt uncomfortable around both of you, but I kept going…trying to be the loving and dutiful daughter. Obviously…that is not important to you…just as I am not important to you.

I have a hard time understanding you. On one hand, you were the father who worked hard so that I could go to **** High School. On the other hand…you did not care about the fact that I felt uncomfortable with your kissing me on the mouth. You KNEW I did not like it…yet you persisted. Even when I would duck and dodge…you persisted. You did not care. I think you just wanted to maintain control over me. Even in my marriage, you and mom wanted to control me. It was so obvious…time and time again. 

Even before everything came down…before the memories started to come back…I did not really feel loved by you and mom. All you both seemed to care about was yourself. You did not care about how I felt.

You want me to respect you, yet you have not respected me. You would not even give me the courtesy of leaving me alone with (sis)’s body so that I could say “goodbye” in my own way. That hurt and just confirmed what I thought about you. 

You would not allow me to go with you to scatter her ashes…if you ever even did that. You made an unreasonable request for me to be alone with you and mom on an isolated beach. If it had not been for (hubby), we would not have gone to (where they used to live) to visit. He helped me to cope with wanting to have a “normal” family…and not having one. 

I think I know what you are doing. I think you are stalling because you want only one thing from me…access to (son). You know I won’t give it unless you give a damn about me first. When Mom dies, you will then try to hold that over my head…accusing me of being stubborn, unloving and hurtful by not allowing her to talk to (son).

Well…you know what? It won’t work. YOU are the one who won’t budge… who won’t give. If she dies without talking to him it will be on YOU. I have tried in so many ways… persistently… to build a bridge between us. But both sides have to want the bridge. It appears to me that neither of you want it.

l love you and mom, but that does not make me stupid. I refuse to push in where I am clearly not wanted. That would be rude of me. I write this with tears in my eyes. I love you, therefore, I am saying “goodbye”. I just can’t do this anymore. So I am going to give you what you want. I am going to leave you alone. I am blocking your email again. Don’t bother writing to me. There really is no point. I am not a weather only type of gal, so being that is all you are capable of talking about it serves no purpose to continue this dance.

If you want to give us the courtesy of knowing if one of you dies, just email (hubby). If you want to know if anything happens to one of us, you will also have to let (hubby) know. 

Even though I hate doing this…it does feel good because I know it is good for me. Hubby has been wanting me to do it for some time, but I had to be convinced of it myself. Well…now I am. It is simply time.

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Regarding My Mother…

May 20, 2011

My sister is dead. My mother is going to die. So is my father. Those are important things for me to keep in mind. I liken my relationship (or lack thereof) with them to my relationship with my ex. So first, I want to talk a little bit about my divorce.

When I came into my first marriage, both of us were very broken…although I do not believe either of us had any idea really just how broken we were. I know I sure did not. I still did not have any clear memories of sexual abuse or ritual abuse, although I did “know” that something was wrong. I I always “felt” that I was somehow different from other folks…I just did not understand it all.

Two very broken people tried to make a marriage. It didn’t work very well. Over the years, we both suffered. We both did things that were unhealthy. I had to learn to make healthy boundaries. It took me a LONG time, but I did finally start making them right about the time my second child was a toddler.

I did it in baby steps so that it would not be noticed for the real boundary drawing had to begin in my heart. It had to begin inside before it could be expressed outwardly. So, I started to say “no” inside and then used little things to move it to the outside…little unnoticed things that slowly built up and gave me strength.

Several years later (about 9), it culminated in my outwardly saying “no” and drawing the biggest boundary I think I had ever set up to that point. I knew there could be some very serious ramifications, but I was “prepared”. Meaning that I was ready to take whatever came…no matter how ugly or painful. I said “no” and it got hairy, resulting in a final separation within the week and, ultimately, in a divorce.

There are three key things here.  One…I did everything I knew to do to make my marriage work. Two…when it all came down, I drew firm boundaries and stuck to them. I stood my ground. Third…my family is generational cult.

I have a lot of reasons to believe that my marriage was cult arranged. That kind of colors everything that happened. I was still “tied” to my parents, but I did not understand it. When we separated, they moved in. Very handy. Thankfully, my parents did not live with me for very long. They moved out of the area about an hour and a half away which gave me a good reason not to see them very often. Several months later, I and boys moved in with some other people and lived with three different families before getting into our own home.

When I separated…which was one of many miracles in my life…I had tried everything I knew to make the marriage work. However, while I drew closer and closer to G-d, he drew further and further from Him. We were going in opposite directions. I was working on my issues. He was…well…let’s just say he was definitely NOT working on his issues and leave it at that. Things were getting worse and worse as I got stronger and stronger until it finally came to a head and G-d told me to set that final boundary.

After we separated, I gave him every opportunity. I was willing to go to counseling. I was willing to wait a year while he dealt with his drug and alcohol issues. At the same time, I would not let him back into the house (not even in a separate bedroom) for that year. I withstood his attempts to “blackmail” me over the support he was voluntarily giving me and exposed his tactic to the courts. Every move he made, I countered. I stood my ground. Anything I gave to him I did of my own choice, not because I felt I had to. I fought for the sake of my children, and I no longer sacrificed myself to him out of a mistaken idea that it would somehow benefit them.

When it was all said and done and the decree came, I stood tall knowing that I had truly done all I could to save that marriage. My conscience was clear. I walked in my integrity. Even though I filed for separation and then divorce, he was the one who chose to walk away by refusing to do anything to save the marriage. He refused counseling. He refused to deal with his multiple addictions. He tried every manipulation tactic in the book, but G-d had brought me to a place of being able to recognize what was happening and to withstand them all.

Now, with my parents, it is similar. When they die, I will know that I tried everything I could, while maintaining healthy boundaries, to give them an opportunity to have some kind of relationship. I don’t need one with them although it would be nice. In fact, I really doubt that anything beyond the surface is even possible short of a HUGE miracle because my father still wants to control me, but he cannot.

I broke free of them about 9 years ago. It was a difficult journey, but just like in my marriage, G-d prepared me. He took me step by step by step, helping me to see the truth and to respond to that truth with boundary drawing. He also blessed me with a good non-cult husband (another miracle) who helped me. I cannot imagine trying to do it without him.

So, yes, I still contact my folks from time to time. I offer them an opportunity to get real on some level…or to at least talk about life in general. Yes, my father sends me BS and tries to give me grief and my mother ignores me after telling me that she really wants to talk to me. That is OK. I know not to take it personally. I am offering them a gift. If they refuse to take it, I will walk tall in my integrity. I will mourn for what could have been, but I will know I did my best and my conscience will remain clear.

I really think the biggest key is motivation. My motivation is one of love for them…in spite of them. It is a love I can only have because Yeshua enables me to have it. I have been forgiven for SO much. I know the darkness of my own heart (and I am sure it is even darker that I can see). How can I not forgive them and love them? They, too, are survivors. All of us are, in one way or another. Some are just more so than others.

Forgiveness and love do NOT mean letting them be ugly with me. It means standing in front of them and responding rather than reacting. I can do that now. I could not do that before. The programming is broken. The chains are gone. I have been set free.

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Emailed Mother…

April 13, 2011

Why? Good question. Perhaps I am simply a permanent optimist? Perhaps I am just always hopeful that something might have changed? Perhaps I am just plain nuts? Or even stupid?

I am not really expecting anything different this time. I am just making sure I am doing what I can do.

I am tired. The email from my father that was not supposed to get to me…the one that was supposed to be blocked…told me the criteria for us having a relationship. They call the shots…not me. Plus…we let them talk without interference with our youngest son and without us listening in. Hubby and I won’t do that. We just can’t.

I would actually be willing to let them talk to him…but only if we listen in. I am not telling them that, of course. I am not that stupid. I know it is all about him and them and not about me. I don’t count. I am unimportant…period. Such is my life. I am deemed worthy by others, but not by them.

Their loss.

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More on the Parents…

December 27, 2010

So…what person blocked two email addresses for her father and then forgot to hit “save”? Duh! Me, of course!

In my previous post, I share how I had written my father giving him four things he can do to prove to me that I should believe what he writes. I also informed him that I was blocking his email addresses and would consider unblocking them IF he did those four things. I informed him that he would have to write to my hubby, if he was going to write.

I was shocked when I got a response within a day! That is a fast response from a man who usually takes so long to respond to anything that I figure he is ignoring me. I was also shocked that it came to ME. That is who I discovered that I did not save my email blocking. I did immediately block them again and made sure that I saved it this time. However, I was left with the quandary of what to do with it.

It was NOT written to my hubby’s email, which tells me that he must think I do not have the guts to block him. Maybe that is why he responded so fast? Perhaps, he wanted me to read it before I blocked him. Oh, well…tough cookies, mister!

I did not read it because I should have never even received it. Instead, I had hubby read it…just so we could see how he responded. It was the same old stuff. I wanted to reconnect, but it was going to have to be in HIS terms…period. Oh, well. His loss. I had hubby forward it to himself and delete from my email. There was no way I wanted it sitting in my account tempting me to read it…and possibly get hooked into responding. Besides, I meant it when I wrote that I would be blocking him.

There is more. I emailed him on the 19th. I talked to my mother-in-law on Christmas. She told me there are letters addressed to my son from my father. I told her to mail them to me. It is possible that my father is meeting one, or even two, of the four criteria, but it is ALL four or no go. The third one deals with my sister. The fourth one deals with me, but I actually kind of gave him an out I wish now I had not given him. We will see what happens.

 

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Parents…a Love/Hate Affair…

December 21, 2010

There is a drawing I did back in 2005 that so reflects how I feel right now. You can see it here:  Always Out of Reach.

My parents are one of several reasons I have not been writing here for a while.  Some of those reasons are good ones…I have been baking, shopping and wrapping. Others are not so good…I have been struggling in my living situation even more with the early onset of cold weather and snow and I have been emotionally drained from trying to deal with my parents. Yeah…my parents.

As you can see in the picture, nothing has really changed since I have been a young girl. The man who used to be my hero (in what I came to realize was a made up life) is just as unavailable as ever. The game playing still goes on. The manipulation attempts…or maybe…they are not merely attempts, but actually accomplishments…at least on some level…in spite of my attempts to not be drawn in.

Awhile back I phoned my mother. At the end of that call, she admitted that my perception of being pushed aside for my son was accurate. She was being real and she told me that she wanted me to know why that was. She said it was important, but not, apparently, important enough to answer any of my emails following the call.

Writing to my father produced more of the same messy communications as always…or should I say lack of communication. He ignores part of what I say, picking and choosing what he will respond to. His responses do not always make sense because he will quote me out of context. This last email he basically wrote everything I wrote back to me.

My husband had already written him…telling him to piss or get off the pot. Either communicate in a real way and start a relationship or back off. Make a choice. His choice was to parrot what I wrote to him back to me.

So, I wrote him with four things he could do to show me that I can start to believe what he writes to me. I have blocked his email addresses. He can do those things and he can write via my husband. If that happens, then I will consider unblocking his emails, but I am not holding my breath. No longer will my pulse race when I see an email has come into that email account for I will know it is not him.

I did not block my mother, though, so I won’t be surprised if she suddenly starts to write me. It is difficult to predict, but they do like to sort of play tag team at times. I hate to cut her off seeing as how she is dying. However, it does no good to try to connect if she is not truly open to connecting.

When Paul wrote and reminded us of sending in a piece for the 6th Arts Carnival, I started looking through my pieces to see what I might enter. When I saw this one, only two days after telling my father I was blocking his email, well…it just seemed fitting. As I wrote Paul sending him the link and telling him why this particular piece, I found myself tearing up. There is a lot of grief still inside over not having my parents and over never really knowing what it is like to grow up feeling secure, loved and sane. The only love I really remember is the love of Yeshua/Jesus.

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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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Changing a Title and Some Frustrating News

April 28, 2010

Sometimes, when we write posts, at the bottom there will appear two or three links to “related posts”. Now…imagine writing a post about an unethical therapist. Imagine looking in the “possibly related posts” that automatically show at the bottom of your post and seeing one that links to a blog written by one of the therapist’s forum moderators! I have no control over what links show there.

I recently wrote a post and discovered to my horror that very thing. One of the links went to a post written on a blog by someone who I have been told is one of KB’s forum moderators. I had read her post previously and also checked out a few other posts. The way she writes about others is just plain rude, mean and spiteful. Then again…considering who her therapist is…I guess I really shouldn’t expect anything else, should I?

Anyway, the LAST thing I want is to lead people to her or her therapist. So, I changed the title of the post. Well…that didn’t do it. The related links kept coming up. Then I realized that simply changing the title would not do it if I left the link unchanged. So, I changed the link, too. That did it. Then I thought…well…let’s put the title back to what it was, but leave the link changed and see what happens. Bingo!

Now it no longer is connected to such an awful blog. Yay! I have shown that particular post to others to give them an idea of what I was up against with KB. They read it and were absolutely appalled, too.

Anyway…we got some discouraging news today regarding our fence. It appears that the laws are weird and we the best thing we can do may be to acquiesce to the neighbors wishes. *sigh* I guess this is just another one of life’s lessons. I have to work through my feeling of powerlessness. We have more information to get, but it is not looking good. Our neighbor appears to have us over a barrel.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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Staying Safe As Survivors In Our Interactions With Others…Part 9

February 15, 2010

2. Sudden change in the behavior of a trusted online friend…whether online or over the phone. Another thing to watch out for is if a known “friend” suddenly starts behaving differently. Littles and very trusting alters won’t know what to make of it or how to handle it. They will assume it is still their friend they are communicating with. They most likely will not recognize that they are dealing with an imposter. This is especially the case if the imposter knows both them and their friend fairly well, as was the case with my friends and me. She had enough information to even cause some older alters to think it might be me, although they had their doubts. Sadly, littles are very easy targets.

Many systems have alters with the same, or similar, names. This can also create vulnerability as an imposter can call or write them and legitimately use the same name as a friend of theirs. There are also those who simply outright lie, calling themselves someone they are not.

3. Someone calls you that you don’t remember giving your phone number or you receive something in the mail from someone to whom you did not give your address. I have also seen this happen. The one who impersonated me also knew my friends, so she had contact information from them I did not even have. When my friends asked “me” how I got their contact information, she told them her littles (or someone else in their system) had given it to “me”. My friends heard things and received thing that were hurtful and dangerous to them. They did not know my voice because we had never spoken with one another. The impersonator (as herself) told the only one who had met me that “I” had phoned one of her littles. Since she was not “present” during the phone call, she could not know if it was my voice or not.

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 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 7

February 15, 2010

5. We need to jump right in and work hard on healing. Let’s not waste time. It takes time to build trust. A good therapist will give you that time. While they might gently prod you at times, they won’t accuse you of not being serious about your healing if you need to go slowly.

6. It should not take very long for you to “heal” with my method of doing things. Or…you will need to work with me a long time. The problem with this is that no one knows how long it will take for anything. I have seen huge leaps forward in healing and I have seen things take a long time. I might give them a try, but I will be wary of anyone who insists on a specific time frame rather than explaining general possibilities. It is one thing to share what others have experienced, but I am not others. I am a unique individual.

To Sum Up

Your feelings, your thoughts, your ideas, your knowledge, your questions and your hesitations…should always be respected. A good therapist will take the time to talk with you and work things through. He/she will take as much time as you need to answer all your questions and to build trust. They will never try to force something upon you.

To be continued…

The first post in this article is here.

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