Posts Tagged ‘flashbacks’

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Telling my story…

November 20, 2013

is not easy. Nor is walking out my healing. There are many who would not understand my story. They would think it too fantastic…to unbelievable. They would not want to believe that such things even happen. Funny thing is…some of those same people will read the Old Testament in the bible and not question for a moment the child sacrifices and pagan practices mentioned there. (For those who are upset that I use the word “pagan”, get over it. That word is used in the bible, so if you don’t like it, take it up with G-d. I mean no offense.)

In addition to not being able to fully share my story, there is the fact that I still have to deal with what I dub “trauma” brain and PTSD. I kept thinking I was getting better and then things would happen that would seem to throw me backward. Now, the reality is that I AM better on so many levels. But my other reality, as I have been discovering over the past 6 – 8 years, is that abuse in childhood results in the brain developing differently than the brain of a child who is not abused. I have a whole page dedicated to articles on that topic. Abuse, Trauma & the Body/Brain  Most of the articles are technical and deal with medical studies. There does not seem to be much in the way of practical information on how to heal from this or live with this. So, I do the best I can.

There are some things I have noticed. One thing is that the PTSD leaves me very vulnerable to “over”reacting to stress. In other words, I cannot handle the same stresses that a non-PTSD person can handle. What might be merely an annoyance or discomfort for someone else can result in my insides shaking like crazy. The intensity can be huge. I also have flashbacks that are sometimes so strong that I want to rock back and forth to deal with all that energy.

It can be very challenging for me to be out and about as I never know what will hit or when. I can be at the store or on the road when, all of a sudden, I just want to be home…NOW. It diminishes over time, that is, until I get hit with some other life event that knocks me for a loop. Then I feel as if I am thrown back to square one. For a long time, I thought I should be able to fix this…I just need enough therapy or counseling. But that won’t fix a biological problem. Even the PTSD has a biological tie-in and is connected to the trauma brain…seeing as how the same things caused both.

Between trauma brain (which affects how memories are stored and retrieved) and PTSD (which leaves me more vulnerable to life’s stresses ), day-to-day living can be very interesting…to say the least. Oh, and did I mention that I am also rather amnesic? Yep, I am missing all but a handful of memories of ten years of my younger sister living with our family and a whole host of other things in my growing up years and some of my adult life. Some of it may be missing due to improper storage or non-storage because of trauma brain. Some of it is repressed. Some of it may be hidden behind the cloud of dissociation.

At least I now know that there is precious little I can do about a lot of this other than to pray and just keep pushing forward, one day at a time. I used to think there was something I was neglecting.

Ever since my son was arrested, I have been struggling a lot more than usual…a lot. I am forgetting things…or as one doctor once told me…I am probably not forgetting them, I am simply not recording them. I find myself oftentimes leaving things unfinished as I get so easily distracted. I cannot focus as well. Food gets burned. I leave things out in recipes (not often, thankfully, as I have really been working on checking my recipes multiple times while cooking).

Even before his arrest, I was noticing flashbacks, but my ability to handle them is diminished. Too much added stress, I think. I see things and can feel the stress inside starting to skyrocket, so instead of going through that door or down that tunnel to see what is there…what memory is trying to surface…I find myself pushing it away.

Anyway, that is life for me right now. Or at least some of it. I feel overwhelmed. I cannot call people I want to call. I am just making it through each day and trying not to feel guilty for not being “better” than I am. Yeah, I know this is not my fault and largely out of my control, but the rest of the world does not understand and that is what makes it hard. I so want to look “normal” to others because I don’t want to have to tell my story to them. But the reality is that, sooner or later, I need to tell at least a part of it. Maybe…just maybe…they will understand.

To all my friends that I am not calling. I am sorry. It is just beyond me right now and has been for quite a while. I was hoping things would calm down by now…but they are not. In fact, the family situation just keeps getting worse and I am fighting against the effects of it.

I don’t have the energy to proofread this. I hope it turned out OK.

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What is healing…

December 4, 2012

I am not really sure what healing looks like. I think it is different for each person. After years of looking at it, I still don’t have a solid definition, but I can share with you some things that sure look like healing for me.

Healing Is

Healing is being able to laugh…even in the midst of pain.

Healing is being able to cry…even when others are around.

Healing is being able to somewhat identify what I am feeling,
and hopefully…even being able to have an idea of WHY I am feeling it.

Healing is knowing when I need to decompress,
being able to identify safe places to decompress,
and then…doing it.

Healing is being able to sense whether a person or place is safe
And then being able to keep myself safe.

Healing is being able to find joy in life.

Healing is being able to see good things…even when bad things are happening.

Healing is being able to have gratitude for what I do have
rather than bemoaning what I don’t.

Healing is being able to be productive in some way every day
even if I am the only one who recognizes it.

Healing is being able to take a step forward,
no matter how tiny
and even if it is only in my heart.

Healing is being able to face some aspect of my past…without completely crumbling.

Healing is being able to recognize that some part of my history,
no matter how small or big,
no longer has a hold on me.

Healing is being able to make plans…and know that they might actually happen!

Healing is being able to say that I made it through
another minute,
another day,
another hour,
another week,
another month,
another year,
another anniversary,
another flashback,
another body memory,

Healing is having the freedom to fully unleash my creativity and
sing again,
play music again,
write again,
talk again,
share again.

Healing is being able to give without manipulation
and receive without manipulation
even more importantly… recognizing the difference.

Healing is being to allow myself to truly love
and open myself to the potential for heartache without fear,
knowing that I can rise above anything that happens.

Healing is allowing myself to trust others
and being trustworthy myself.

Healing is giving myself permission to live life to the fullest
without thinking much about healing or hurting or my history.
It is allowing myself to temporarily “forget” that I even have an abusive history.

Healing is knowing that I was a victim who dared to survive
and am now a survivor who dares to thrive.

Healing is being able to put words to my experiences,
words like
“rape”
and “sexual abuse”
and “incest”
and “satanic ritual abuse”.
And healing is to put them without capital letters because
I am bigger and taller and stronger than they are
and I refuse to give them capital letter power in my life.

Healing is being able to cry and know that I am OK
and everything will be alright.

Healing is being able to see my Creator’s love for me
even when I know I don’t deserve it.

Healing is being able to see His hand in my life…even during the most awful of experiences.

Healing is being able to see His protection and how He got me through.

I may think of more things to add to that list. As I do, I may edit

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I would really like to know…

October 3, 2012

I would really like to know why it is that even fairly recent memories often times trigger huge emotional surges. Why do positive memories evoke the same surges? And I am not talking about something grand like a wedding or something you would expect to bring an emotional high. I am talking about a PTSD-like reaction to common place memories…both from long ago and from the last few years.

I wonder if there is something in these positive and neutral memories and in the more recent memories that is tapping into the past negative ones. Could it be that there are triggers that relate to the past?

Or…could it be the time of year is also affecting me? Overall, it does not feel like it. And this has not just happening recently. I have been this way for a very, very long time. There is something about remembering that affects me. I either remember differently from others or I remember with an emotional surge. Or at least that is for the majority of memories.

I have lain in bed and started to recall something (not a new memory…something I already knew) and I would suddenly start to shake and I would find myself pushing the memory away. Why????

My flashbacks have almost always been the body/emotional kind. Only once in a while would I get the visual kind. When I do get the visual, it is almost always a really quick flash and a huge surge of emotion…PTSD time. I don’t have the space and time to really explore this, so I am just trying to live with it. Ugh!

So, here are my thoughts, for whatever they are worth. I hope that writing will help inside.

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Things I have been pondering…

October 2, 2012

I have been thinking about what to write here…the thoughts kind of going around in my head and heart. I am not sure what is going on with me.

When we moved into this house, I thought I would have some space and freedom to do any healing work that needed to be done…while, at the same time, not really being sure of what that work might be. Randy Noblitt told me on the phone about 2 years ago that he thought my system was shut down. Is it? Or is it just so blended that it appears that way? Since he has not worked with me, can he really make that kind of assessment?

I know I am still partially amnesic, but I am not sure how much. I still don’t remember my sister growing up in the same house with me. That is pretty huge…no way around that. But I don’t think blending automatically brings recall. My former counselor knows of quite a few survivors who blended and the memories came later…or some not at all.

Splitting is one form of protection and self-preservation. So is repressing. How much memory recall (or lack of) is due to repression and how much is due to splitting? I don’t know and I don’t know of any way TO know.

Lately, I seem to be getting a few flashes. Can’t tell you what they are because I don’t remember. I find it easy to shove stuff like that aside, but I think something is brewing. I just am not sure what. I am thinking it may be time to talk to “myself” again…like I did a lot in the beginning of this journey.

There is something I notice about myself that might be key to what is going on. When I think about things in the past, I almost always get a surge of emotion. It does not matter what I am remembering. It could be something positive and I get the same surge. It is puzzling to me. And it does not have to be the long ago past, either. It is as if the PTSD element of my mind and emotions is linked to ALL my memories…even fairly recent ones. Why is that?

Of course, our living situation for the last few years before getting into this house was enough to cause PTSD in many people. I have been told time and again by so many that they could not do and they did not know how I did. I just tell them it was the L-rd, plain and simple. He got me through it.

Now I live in an unfinished house that is a bit cluttered and I long for some semblance of order. My husband’s work schedule is all over the map…constantly changing hours and days off…totally inconsistent. It is affecting our whole family. It feels impossible to get into any kind of real routine.

So, I just keep moving forward…I think, anyway. On the one hand, I seem to be doing OK and, on the other hand, I am struggling. This introvert with PTSD is feeling rather drained. And yet, I DO get a lot done.  Just not all I WANT to get done.

I am doing some PSE 8 “art” work…mostly stuff with words that I post on FB. I am fighting for my country on FB. I am home educating high school. And several months ago, I picked up my guitar again after over 12 years of not playing. When the memories started to come and the DID became obvious, everything else in my life pretty much came to a screeching halt as I sought healing.

Now, I am picking it back up and I am singing “publicly” again. I know better than to push forward too hard or too fast. I am singing this Sunday…twice. Do I feel ready? Maybe. I have sung twice now at two singfests. The first time I blew everyone and myself away. I felt like I was “back in the saddle”.

The second time I felt some of the pressure of their expectations. Plus, the mic setup was awkward compared to the first time. It was more chaotic. But the feedback I got was good. Once I am up there and I just start, I get into it and let the music and the Ruach/Spirit take me away. If I can ever get it to be quiet enough in here, I might try recording on my laptop. It probably won’t sound all that good, but I can try.

So, here I am…trying to get my thoughts together, feeling like I am rambling. I have had things to share for some time, but simply not been able to find the words. It is hard for me to understand myself what is going on.

But this I know. The time is short. I am watching what is happening in the world and in my country and I truly believe we don’t have that long before Messiah returns. So, how much time and energy should I try to spend on healing? I really don’t know. I have learned to take each day as it comes. If the right setting and opportunity come along for healing work…I will take advantage of it. So far, it simply has not been here.

I am going to throw some stuff away in the office. That might help. Then I can try to create some kind of space for personal healing. Maybe.

Don’t know if any of this made much sense to anyone, but I just wanted to finally take some time to get some thoughts out…even if they are a bit disjointed.

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Thinking back…

August 14, 2012

In between preparing for another year of home schooling and a potential huge change in our living situation, I have been thinking about why I was so triggered the other day. I think I know why.

There are some who interpret scripture in such a way as to say that an abused wife must stay with her husband…that is is G-d’s will for her to do so! The scriptures they use to “justify” this position are not really saying that at all.

It is really frustrating when people take English translations and make dogmas out of them not realizing that there is no precise translation from one language to another. Word for word is impossible and, sometimes, even thought for thought is a real challenge. You have to take so many things into consideration. The author. The audience. The culture. The language. The idioms. The style of writing. The style of expression. How the author likely meant it and how it would have been understood by the reader/listener.

What is even harder is when I run into someone who is unwilling to even hear about these things. They simply want it to say what they want it to say. The idea that they might be wrong is simply not acceptable to them. They do not want their “world” to be shaken. And I can understand that…I truly can. I have had some major paradigm shifts in my own understanding of G-d and the scriptures. And there was a time when my self-confidence, my self-image, was very dependent upon my being “correct”. But sooner or later we need to mature and grow and heal so that we can truly say, “Show me the Truth, L-rd. Show me the Truth!”…even when it is something that is uncomfortable…something I do not like or really want to see.

While these people are annoying, that is not what was so triggering. It was the idea that an abused wife should stay with her husband…that she has no real recourse. That makes the woman (and, potentially, her children) trapped in a situation that will only perpetuate the abuse on to the next generation if it is not stopped. It also has to potential to damage the children’s relationship with, and understanding of, G-d.

Children tend to view G-d in the same way they view their fathers, which is not surprising given that G-d presents Himself as a “Father”, even though G-d actually has no gender or has even both. We are made in His image…male and female. When children are abused in the home it tends to cloud their image of G-d. When they are abused in the church, or by church people, or in the “name of G-d” (which is a lie, for G-d does not approve of abuse), children tend to get confused about the nature and character of G-d…and understandably so.

I had scriptures used against me by my abusers. My father quoted the commandment to honor my parents to me…while either not understanding what “honor” really means…or understanding and simply being manipulating. I was even an adult at the time! Oh, I have been accused of breaking a few commandments. I have had spirituality used against me by church leaders. And I have had spirituality used in very healing ways.

But back to being triggered. I think it was the idea of the woman being trapped…no way out…no recourse…no support. Now way to turn…no where to run. When someone tells me that, it is very difficult to not view that person as either an abuser currently, or a non-abuser who would turn a deaf ear and blind eye, or a potential future abuser. You see, this kind of belief gives the husband a kind of power that I do not believe G-d ever intended in His word. And we know what a lot of power can do to some people. I shudder to think of it.

I believe that the triggering is a form of emotional flashback. I was thrown back, in essence, to the time when I felt trapped…whether as a child or an adult…to a time when I felt helpless and hopeless. Thankfully, that is no longer my life, but I sure can get triggered and thrown back into that emotional state.

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Being triggered…

July 15, 2012

There is a fairly new blog on the scene called She’s Somebody’s Daughter.  Actually, there are two. The other one is called Music for the Soul. Both blogs are offshoots of the site called Music for the Soul. I have known about the main site for some time. They have some wonderful music for healing and comfort. And now they have the blogs.

I am making my way through them. Recently I read a post that was very triggering. You can find it here: He Said, She Said. Now, to be clear, quite a few articles on these two blogs have the potential to be triggering, especially the She’s Somebody’s Daughter blog. These articles deal with abuse. When I read the He Said, She Said blog I wanted to cry.  I was hit with a wave of emotion.

When a person has been abused, it can be very difficult to read, or hear, about abuse. It can resurrect all kinds of feelings connected to our own abuse history. And abuse makes me angry. This was not some theoretical situation. It really happened!

I have had to ask myself why it was so triggering, though. I have come along way in my healing…or so I thought. If I am gut level honest,  I have to say that I am angry because I don’t know that I would have reacted in the right way had I been there. I have been programmed since childhood to let things go…to not make waves…and, most importantly, to question reality.

My first reaction would have been to question what I had just seen or heard…whether it was directed at me or at someone else. If no one else, especially the perceived victim, did not react, I would most likely have stayed silent when I should been putting this lout in his place! And THAT is how this junk keeps on happening. Because the programming can still be strong and the knee-jerk reaction is to have no reaction.

I cannot count the number of times that I have “allowed” abusive behaviour in my life. I am ill-equipped to say “no”. Thankfully, there has not been any in years. Still, I cannot help but wonder what I would do if I ran into someone who dared to do the unthinkable…especially in the unlikeliest of places…in front of others. Would I be able to allow myself to make waves, to become the center of some unwanted attention?

It is the silence of others that helps the victim think she/he has no right to complain…that this is somehow “OK”. And it is the silence of the victim that contributes to others thinking it really is not bad behaviour. What a Catch-22! Victims have often had their voice taken away from them. The adult that does not react is most likely the child who was abused and not allowed to share.

So, I ask myself…if it happened to me, would  have been strong enough to stand up to it? Would I have been terrified of losing my job? Would I have been afraid that others would think I was just over-reacting or being needlessly prudish? Would I have had the guts to get in the face of a guy who slapped me on the rear end? I pray that I would deal with it…swiftly and firmly.

Yet, I also know that there may be programming still buried inside…not yet broken and cleared out. I won’t see another therapist who understands ritual abuse, even if I were to get the money, because I won’t risk a repeat of what happened the last time. I want to stay safe. I don’t want to be triggered into another rape. Programming can be hard to deal with, but I am determined to keep on fighting so that incidents like this one won’t happen on MY watch…to me or anyone around me!

So, yeah, reading it was a bit triggering. It reminded me of things I prefer to forget…until Yeshua tells me that it is time to look at them. But it also reminded me that there is more to work on.

I suggest checking out the main site and the blogs…especially the music. I hope you will find something that speaks healing to your heart…and maybe you can contribute something to help the cause.

I hope this post makes sense. I just replaced my keyboard and some of the keys are not working correctly. It is very distracting having to retype and go back and fix everything. If you see typos, please be gracious.

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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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Each Day Moving Forward…

September 15, 2010

I don’t know how much time we have left in this world. I watch it getting worse and worse…and then I wonder…how serious are my problems…really. I do my best when I walk in the truth that this is NOT my real Home. My real Home comes after this world passes away. This is merely a shadow of what is to come…and for some of us…it is a very dark shadow.

Yet…the Creator has come to bring light into this darkness. He has come to bring love and healing…and a challenge. Recognizing who He is and choosing to follow Him comes with a price. There are those who reject Him and there are some who will reject me, also. Some will reject me because I am a broken imperfect person, but there are some who will reject me because I follow Him…because I will not compromise truth.

Personally…I don’t really think that most people are really rejecting Him. I think they are rejecting the caricature and false image of Him that has been taught in so many places and groups. It really makes me sad when I see how He is portrayed as something/someone He is not. So many people miss out on the blessing of really knowing Him because they have never been introduced to the REAL Him!

Another thing that makes a real difference in my life is when I sit with the One who made me…the One who knows me best…the One who became man and gave of Himself for me. That is one of the challenges of my living situation. I have not had any regular time alone to just sit with Him. But then I have to ask myself…how much do I really love Him? When we really love someone…don’t we make time to be with that person?

As I sit here I recognize that I really do not do all I can to spend time with Him…listening for His voice…reading and learning of Him…focusing my heart upon Him…drawing closer to Him. There are things in my life that make it harder to do all of that…things I can do nothing about. I can’t do much about my brain being in a fog…or about feeling a bit dizzy at times. I can’t do much about being unable to focus…about my mind swirling around. However, do I make the best use of the little snippets of time I have alone? He is my Creator. He loves me so much and has been here for me in so many ways. Do I really appreciate that? Do I show that appreciation?

It has been so long since I have lived in a situation that allowed me to spend regular time with Him and in His written words to me. Yet…I do talk to Him a lot. In fact, I am talking to Him even as I write these words. And He does speak to my heart. As I sit here thinking that I am failing to really do all I can to draw close to Him, He just puts His arms around my heart and reassures me that it is not about performance. It is about loving Him…and I do love Him…so much more than I can ever express.

I cannot show my love for Him in the same ways that others can, but why should I? I am not them! I am His unique creation…made in His image and filled with His Spirit. So I show my love for Him in ways that are uniquely gifted to me. Sometimes…loving Him can simply mean that I honor Him by not giving up. I keep fighting. I keep trying to do the right thing…even when I fall upon my face time after time. I aim at taking good care of this body that He has given me.

Hm…I just took a break to fold some clothes before I wrap up this post. I am listening to some beautiful music being played on PBN. Suddenly, I realized something. Sometimes the music in our lives is loud and we are dancing and singing to it. Other times it is a steady stream in the background. We are not focused on it, but it is there nonetheless.

It is the same in my life with the Creator. Sometimes I am focused directly and intently upon Him. He and I are dancing and singing and openly communicating. But oftentimes, He is the spiritual background music of my life…the love that is always there…the presence that is always with me…even when I am not really focusing directly on Him.

I want to have Him more up front in my life. Yet I am also grateful that He is faithful to never leave me or abandon me…even when He is not the upfront focus…even when flashbacks seem more real…even when my brain is too foggy to focus on anything…even when I cannot read His word…even when confusion seems to be reigning.

He is good. He is love. He is my true Abba…and my L-rd. His Spirit lives with me. Because of Him…I can live each day moving forward…even when it does not feel as if I am moving forward.

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As I Lay Me Down to Sleep

June 29, 2010

As I Lay Me Down to Sleep

As I lay me down to sleep
flashbacks in the mind release.
Pushing forward, images come
as I fight to not come undone.
My body tenses; I cannot breathe,
overwhelmed by what I “see”.
Morphing one image into another,
with silent screams of “no” in my head,
I try to be open to history’s unveiling,
fighting the urge to let the mists return.
But slowly it slips away from me again.
And in the morning I awake
with a new reality like a distant dream.
Is anything ever what it seems?

June 28, 2010

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Flashbacks…

June 29, 2010

I have been reading a novel about a woman who loses her sight due to conversion disorder (which some would call “hysterical blindness”. The disorder basically covers any physical limitation that comes with no apparent physical cause…but typically following a traumatic event. The book tells of her witnessing an accident that killed her husband, young son and unborn child. Her young daughter survived.

As the images of the accident (for which she blames herself) keep intruding upon her mind she willfully pushes them away and her sight slowly starts to go, too. On some level, even she recognizes the connection. During the two-part novel, she willfully starts seeking her sight again two years later. She has now found a desire to see…a reason to want to see again…and she knows that one key to that is being willing to embrace the memories. So she opens herself to the flashbacks and, in spite of tremendous headaches and heartaches, wills herself to “look”.

On some level…I think what she was to dissociate the memory of the accident out of her mind. That is not exactly uncommon. Many people do not remember accidents they have been in…although, in this case, it was the witnessing of it…not the actual being in it.

It sounds a lot like dissociation to me. Only, in this case, physical blindness also comes. Can something physical like that come with dissociation? I know that when multiples switch there is often complete separation of the outside world to the one who “goes inside”. But that is different…isn’t it? This woman is not split…just dissociative of the memories. My curiosity is where the blindness comes in.

Flashbacks can include the physical sensations of the original event…even to the point of bruising, welts and even bleeding.  Some alters can be blind…or deaf. Is there a connection? I don’t know.

The reason I even bring this up is not because of the blindness…but because of the flashbacks. Flashbacks have been very minimal for me for quite a while. I suspect it is due to the living situation because there really is no “safe”, private place in which to process anything. That is something that is going to change most likely within the next month or two. Life could get really interesting when that happens…which can also be a bit unnerving to think about…so…I won’t.

I was almost finished with the novel when I went to bed the other night. As I lay there…one of the best times for visual flashbacks…I suddenly saw an infant’s toes. The whole infant was there, but my focus was on the toes. I won’t go into the rest of what I saw…but like that woman…I had to fight to “see”. There is this battle whenever visuals come up. Part of me wants to embrace them…to see the truth. Part of me wants to push them away…to leave the mists of amnesia in place.

It is not just the visuals…but the accompanying sense of horror at what I am seeing. Everything in me goes into battle mode…fighting to embrace…fighting to push back. The veil of amnesia is not so bad. Thing is…whatever is in there will eventually just keep pushing out. The next day I experienced emotional flashbacks…the kind I typically will have when I have flashbacks. No visual to explain it…just intense emotional pain.

This morning…I am seeing some visuals here and there. But…again…I am not in a situation where I can invite them to come. Someday…and I wonder what will happen then.

I wrote a poem about this. It will be in the next post.

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Another Day in the Neighborhood…

June 27, 2010

I was reading last night in the bathroom. I just wasn’t ready to go to bed. The book was fairly light reading…nothing heavy or majorly intense…although it did deal with spiritual warfare in an Amish community. When I was tired, I went to bed…figuring on having plenty of time to sleep.

When I laid down…I started to see baby toes on baby feet. It went from there to the feet and so on. Flashback time. So, I just laid there in bed dealing with it…no place to go. I was fighting a battle. On the one hand I was trying to force myself to be open to what I was seeing. On the other hand I wanted to push it all away.

Someday…all this stuff needs to be able to come out. Someday…I will need to get the privacy to allow it all to come out…and the fortitude. Someday…

I did finally get to sleep…but then I woke up early in the morning and never really got back to sleep. So now I sit here at 9:30 and I am tired! I have been tired…but unable to go to bed yet. When we move out of here my bedtime will no longer be contingent upon another person.  I am anticipating that SO much!

Regarding the flashbacks…I wonder…in the book I was reading this Amish woman witnessed an accident that took the lives of her husband, son and unborn child. She pushed it all away…resulting in hysterical blindness. In the book, she reaches the point where she wants to see again and realizes that one key to that is to allow the memories to come. I wonder if reading about that process that she was going through could have made me more open to having them?

On another note…we watched the Bourne Identity today.  I had never seen it. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be…and we watched the director’s cut with all the explosion scenes. Perhaps I had steeled myself against it. I don’t know.

Afterwards, though, I felt foggy and it was very difficult to think or function. Although I know others who have that kind of history…assassin training, etc. …I don’t. I relate to having amnesia…although not to the degree Jason Bourne has it. But then…my amnesia tends to be different from anyone else I have “met” so far. I have lost my sister. She is somewhere in this head of mine…but I don’t remember living with her for 10 years growing up. And other things are spotty, too.

After the movie…I just sort of talked to myself…reminding myself that this is NOT my story. NOT my history. There is absolutely NO indication that I have gone through anything like this. I have handled guns and fired them…it does not come naturally to me. No training.

Anyway…I am very tired. I couldn’t even bring myself to watermark more of my art. I need to get it all watermarked and exported before I send my PC in. Yeah…I am having PC issues.

Well…gonna wrap this up.

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Being Triggered and Shame

March 24, 2010

I hate being triggered, especially when I feel shamed. I have not really felt shamed for a long time, but I sure felt it tonight. Oh, it wasn’t intentional. I know it wasn’t…but that does not change the way I felt…or my struggle. I ended up flashing back right into the old pain…as if I’d never left. It raised all kinds of fears that I had to fight back down…but the biggest thing was the shame.

I felt as if all the old systems were back in place. It was like being in a double bind…lose/lose…no way to win. It sends me reeling and all sorts of other programming gets triggered right along with it. This makes two very significant triggerings within about a month. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to be able to discuss it with the one who did the triggering…not yet at least. It is really hard because I know he did not mean it. I know he loves me very much and would never want to hurt me.

Maybe I will come back to this. For now…I just wanted to get it out.

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I Was Trying…

March 8, 2010

I started another post and was trying to finish it…but I just can’t right now. I am weary…feeling overwhelmed. So what else is NOT new?

I know that this life is just a breath compared to eternity, but while I am living here still bound by time, it seems like eternity is already here. I know that things will change…I mean…why wouldn’t they? But I wonder how I will hold up.

I like to think that I am strong…and, I guess, in some ways I am. However, I also know that I am weak. I have the brain of someone who was abused as a child. My stress threshold is much lower than it should be…in spite of all the hard work I have done. And yet…in some ways…I am handling some things better than I would have many years ago. I guess that IS a sign of some healing.

If I really think about it…there is probably no way I could have lived in this situation years ago without going totally crazy. Now…I only go partway crazy. I guess that is progress.

Sometimes…it seems as if I am doing so much better. Then something happens that sets me off…that triggers me…and I feel as if I am right back where I used to be so long ago. Maybe the difference is how long I stay in the “crazies” when they hit? Or the way I use what I have learned to combat it…or to get through it?

The same…yet different.

No progress…yet progress.

Stuck…yet moving forward.

Going…yet standing my ground.

Shaking…yet calm.

Amnesic…yet with a sense of history.

“Orphaned”…yet a child of the Most High G-d.

Broken…yet healing.

Alone…yet never alone.

Forsaken…yet chosen.

Losing it…yet holding together.

I was reminded today of something that has really helped me. Someone I know wrote about it here.  In my current situation, being truly alone is a precious rarity. Oh, sometimes the guys are outside for quite awhile, but it isn’t quite the same. There is always the possibility of interruption. Still, although that does not help very much with my healing, per se, I could start taking advantage of it for quiet time…instead of using it for everything else I try to squeeze into it.

Today, I had a difficult time getting on line and staying on line…not that I had any technical difficulty…it was just that I had no desire to be on line…no words to write. I felt empty. It was like Yeshua was calling to me to come spend time with Him, to be refilled with Him…so I did…after a fashion. I spent some time reading the Word…something that also helps a lot…and just letting it soak into me. That really helped, although it does not take away the struggle completely.

Writing also helps. There are times when I just have to get out my feelings and thoughts. This blog is one way to do that. It really helps me to write…to reflect…to share.  Finding the words to get what is inside to the outside…it all helps. Having a certain amount of anonymity helps, too. There are a few who read who know my true identity, but very few. That helps me to share more easily.

Hopefully, soon, I will be able to get back to the other posts I want to write…the posts that are just sitting inside waiting to come out.  I feel as if this post is a bit disjointed, but right now it is the best that I can do. It has been a rough day and tomorrow is really busy. I know I will make it through because I always do. Somehow…my heavenly Abba keeps me together. He gives me what I need for each day…whether that day is rough or easy. He provides. He gets me through it.

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My Sister

February 16, 2010

My sister had a brave heart. She was beautiful and childlike. She was a fighter who would not give up. She was trapped…caught in an unseen web that was too sticky for her to break free from. They had her where they wanted her.

My sister ran away from one cult family right into the arms of another…but she didn’t know. Neither of us did. At that time, we were both amnesic to our true history.

I wonder…did she ever figure it out before she died? Did she finally remember her childhood abuse…the younger years? Did she remember “everything”…or just the minor “stuff” she used as an excuse to run away?

My sister kept trying…in recovery and out of it. I remember her telling me how she had to fight with the recovery people to get her a counselor. She kept saying she needed one, but they did not want to give it to her…not even in those fancy, high class, expensive recovery places.

Was it because it was being paid for by his parents? After all…counseling might mean that she would remember something…something important…something damning…about them. Maybe she would finally wake up to the truth about her boyfriend and his parents…the family she lived with. Or…maybe she wanted a counselor because she already had an inkling of the truth? I will never know in this life.

This is the time of year that I especially think of my sister…as her birthday approaches in a couple of days. And I wonder about her death…and sometimes, I wonder if she even really died…or if they have her holed up somewhere. It didn’t look like her. And my father would not leave me alone with her. If he had…what would I have done? I don’t know. We weren’t supposed to touch the body…but I think I would have. It did NOT look like her. I had seen her within the last year.

My father said it did, but he had not seen her in years…so far as I know. But then…it is not exactly like I came from a truthful family. Ha! “Family”. What is THAT supposed to be? Not the caricature I grew up with.

It’s funny how everything seemed to be so good…on the outside looking in. All the memories I concocted about growing up seemed so OK…yet I was so not OK.  Stories my mother told me were woven through my mind with photos from the family albums. Childhood. Sure…that was my childhood…only…it wasn’t.

I remember the day I suddenly realized that it was all a lie…a fantasy. It has been so long now that I cannot remember if it was before or after I realized that I could not remember growing up with my sister. It is as if she did not exist…yet I know for fact she was there…in the same house with me.

So many things are buried in the mists of amnesia with a tiny flash of a snippet here and there that blazes through so fast that I can barely figure out what just went by. Yet…those flashes ARE there. And I do have the photographs. My sister was there. Some of the photos I took…yet, I can barely see anything beyond the photos themselves. Whatever I see is more like a surreal picture in my mind.

She died on my birthday. At least…I am told she died. I saw what was supposed to be her body…but it sometimes haunts me to this day. I know she was becoming “inconvenient”. I would not put it past them to agree behind closed doors while pretending to hate each other to me. Two families…warring for her body. It was sick. It was insane. It was my sister.

I will never get the chance to get to know her. Her living…except for the few times in the later years when I finally did meet up with her…is buried deep within. What I do remember makes me wonder if I really want to remember the rest. I don’t know. Maybe I should just create a life with her just like I created a life of my own? No…I want to honor her by remembering the truth…if I can.

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Bittersweet Memories

December 11, 2009

This is a time of year when I tend to think more about my family of origin…or foo…as some refer to theirs. Thinking about foo always brings mixed feelings.

I can remember “good” times…like when we waited with great anticipation to see if it would snow by Christmas. I recall the wonderful feelings I had looking out at the falling flakes…all fluffy and white. Or the excitement of looking out the window in the morning and seeing the ground all covered with a thick layer of white.

And then, if I am not careful, the intense emotion starts to hit. For some reason…even remembering good things tends to lead to emotional overload. I don’t know why. Even the best of memories can start me on that roller coaster ride of emotions. Why?

Perhaps it is because my memories seem to be so few…so scattered. Could it be that all the good that is buried comes to the surface in those few glimpses of the past? Or could it be that painful memories are masked by that intense “good” feeling…that “good” memory. Could it be that the intensity of good emotions…an intensity so strong as to be “painful”…is just a coverup for the very real pain lying underneath? Could the intensity be a way of my system telling me not to trust that the good feelings were all there was? A way of telling me that I need to keep looking…that there are hidden painful things I need to be open to seeing? I don’t know.

I think of Christmas and the wonder of it all. There is always one particular Christmas that comes to mind. I remember the house. I remember the location…even the address. I remember looking for the snow. I remember my sister and I getting matching pj’s for Christmas. I remember getting a Mary Poppins book. I can almost smell the tree. I get an emotional “feeling” or sensation that I was feeling then. I can see the lights on the tree in the darkened room. What I cannot see…is my sister.

I know she is there, but like so much of her life…I cannot see her. I cannot remember her. We lived in the same house for 10 years and I can barely remember her a handful of times during our growing up years…at the most. I am thankful to have been able to connect with her at least a little before she died.

I cannot remember my parents on that Christmas, either; but I know/sense they are there…lurking somewhere on the edge of my “vision”…with my sister. I do remember more of my parents than I do of my sister. Then again…I guess that is not saying much, is it?

Memories are funny. You cannot select only the bad ones to “forget” or to bury. The good ones go, too.

I am starting to feel older. I know my parents are very elderly by now. Although there has been some email contact…it has not really gone anywhere. And that, too, is bittersweet. Well…maybe just bitter. There isn’t really any sweetness about it. I have done what I could. I have opened the door and allowed them to see that they can still get hold of me (should they ever decide to confess, etc. ) There are things I wish we could talk about…things I wish I could ask…but I know they are not in that place…at least not yet.

This year, I am thinking of Hanukkah more than I am of Christmas. After all, we know Yeshua was not born even in this time of year, let alone on the 25th. So, for me, it is almost a cultural/social holiday…even though I think a lot of Yeshua’s coming…then and in the future. But this is the first year that I am thinking more of Hanukkah.

My foo never celebrated Hanukkah. In fact, I have a feeling that my father would probably be very disapproving. Oh, well. There was a miracle of lights…so legend has it. I think of how the Light of the World came to dwell amongst us. I think of the miracle of the lights represented by Hanukkah. It is not hard to link them together.

I also think of how light has come to me in my healing walk. So much darkness in my past…darkness that has…over time…been slowly replaced with light. I don’t doubt that there is more darkness in there to be revealed…I am OK with that. I know that the Lord of light…the very Light of the World…is here with me to walk me through whatever more is there to be revealed. I know I can count on Him to never leave me or forsake me…to never abandon me.

Do my parents think of me during this time? Do they even care? Does it even matter? They cannot change my healing. I cannot change them. Yet…I hope that during this Hanukkah time…they will allow the only One who can bring true deep and lasting healing to truly be a part of their lives. I hope they accept His love for them and that they, too, will be healed.

People are not born abusers. They are born with a propensity to selfishness, yes. They are born fallen creatures in a fallen world wanting their own way. But cruel abusers? No…they are made into that…not born that. Whatever my parents (and other abusers) went through…I hope they find healing. I hope they can bring all that darkness inside to the true Light of the world…Yeshua. I hope that they, too, can find healing Shalom…real peace…even in the midst of their pain.

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