Posts Tagged ‘healing’

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Life Moves On

February 20, 2016

Obviously, it has been awhile since I have come here to write. Things have happened during that time. My beloved MIL died not long ago. We had to tell our son to move out when he crossed a line. Thing is, we came to that place many times before and he would humble himself, acknowledge wrongdoing and apologize. We would let him stay. Not this time. The two events came close together which really made it difficult to know what I was grieving when. Both made me sad, although I know I will see my MIL again. So, I think most of the pain was from our son. Although, the other day, I got a notification that her birthday is coming up and the emotions hit. I will miss her. We did not live close physically, but she was a wonderful woman and I am honored to have known her. So, now I have three yahrtzeits a year. My sister, my mom and my MIL. And life moves on.

There are cycles in life and I am not really sure where I am in the cycle. I am older now…approaching my 60’s. I am tired…battling some fatigue. It gets better and then I get hit emotionally or physically and down I go. However, overall, I am doing better. I don’t go down as far as I used to since I started to pace myself instead of pushing through and since I am guarding my heart to make sure I don’t hold emotions in or fight them. I allow them to flow through me…other than fear. I refuse to allow that to take hold. And I am actually doing pretty well with that.

With my son out of the house, we are empty nesters. Yay! Didn’t want it to happen this way, but I am able to appreciate it, nonetheless. At first, I struggled with guilty for enjoying it because of the way he left and out of concern for his losing his grandma. But that was his choice. Our only choice was to no longer put up with the behaviour. There is good news, though. He has to grow up…mature. At first, he did not even want us to know where he was. The other day, he did text to let me know where he was staying (a family we know) and that he has his first real job. Don’t know where, but the fact that he let us know after telling us we were on a “need to know” basis for everything…well, we see that as progress. Very slow. Very small. But still forward movement. How pressured he was to text me, I don’t know. But I will take whatever I can get. I am also comforted by the fact that I know a lot of good people are watching out for him.

I am back in school…online. The natural health field. I am excited about that, but also dragging. My “study/office” is challenging to keep organized and that affects my ability to focus and study. I am working on it, though, bit by bit.

Things are good. I cannot really complain. I have a roof over my head and, even though it is not “finished”, it is more than adequate. I have food. I have shelter. We are living on early SS and whatever G-d provides beyond that. My hubby is trying for disability…something his lawyers do not understand he did not get because it is so obvious. Court is coming up, but we don’t know when…just most likely within the next couple of months or so. That bit of extra would really make a huge difference. He wanted to be able to keep working until his age out, but it just was not possible. And once you are on early SS, you cannot go back unless you get a job to put back in. Disability would enable him to get as much as if he had worked until age out as early only garners you 75% of age out.

As for me, when I think of working, I can feel the stress rising…the same stress that triggers fatigue. So, I am hoping to be able to “work” with that and maybe get a part time job come spring/summer and nicer weather. Right now, it just does not seem doable. I have to fight the panic that wants to rise. But I know that, whatever I am supposed to do, I will be able to do. For G-d does not call us to do anything without equipping us and making a way for us to do it.

I guess that is my update for now. Will I have more thoughts later? Probably. In fact, I have a lot of thoughts about things, but am not able to come and write about them. It is easy to feel overwhelmed in life…hence the “panic” about working. It is not that I am afraid to work. I am just concerned about biting off more than I can chew…emotionally and energy wise. What will be will be and I will work with it as best I can.

One battle I fight is that of comparing. It is a dangerous thing to compare. I am amazed at what some people are able to do in life…even survivors. And I can easily feel as if I am not “good enough”…too “broken”. I have to remember that I am not called to do what they are doing. I have my own calling. I need to embrace it and let go of the comparisons. There are many things I “want” to do, but I cannot do them all. And that is hard. I have to discern what I am supposed to do from amongst all the things I would like to do. Or get super organized! LOL

What is most important in life? That needs to be my focus. Most important spiritually first. When that part of me is in order, the rest can fall into place. I do the best I can regarding taking care of my spirit, my body and my “heart”. I will be OK.

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Forgiving the Unforgivable…Is it Possible? Is it Wise? Is it Safe?

April 10, 2015

There is so much confusion over what forgiveness is and what it is not.

It is NOT forgetting.

It is NOT pretending nothing ever happened.

It is NOT trusting again.

Depending upon the offense and the people involved, it can be possible to rebuild trust (or even build it for the first time). It can also be possible to gain a relationship where the healing goes deeply enough and extensively enough that it really is as if nothing happened. And it can be possible that after time passes, the offense does slip away from at least conscious memory. Yes, those things can be a part of forgiveness, but they do not have to happen in order to forgive. In fact, in many cases it can be downright dangerous for those things to happen.

One of the very best explanations of forgiveness on a human level that I have seen is in the video done by Dr. Stephen Marmer for Prager University. You can find it here:

If you are interested in the transcript, it can be found here:  Marmer on Forgiveness.

Many years ago, I understood that there are two levels of forgiveness, both of which are in the bible. So, yes, this does fit in with biblical forgiveness…another very misunderstood concept. If you have questions about that, please don’t hesitate to contact me, either in the comments or via the contact form, and I will do my best to answer them. For those who are interested, I did run this by a pastor who thought Dr. Marmer was a pastor until he saw that he is a psychiatrist.

Dr. Marmer takes one of my two levels of forgiveness and divides it again into two, making three total levels. I totally agree with him.

I cannot recommend this video enough and I hope it blesses you.

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Continuing to learn about “trauma brain”…

March 17, 2014

I recently started reading again about PTSD and what I call “trauma brain”. The stress of some things in our living situation started to overwhelm me and I really needed to find more support and more information. So, I started searching again and found more information. Actually, there seems to be quite a bit more, but here are some things I am finding.

Apparently, they are now coming up with official labels for “trauma brain”…the brain that has developed in a biologically different way as a result of persistent abuse/trauma in early childhood. I am still learning about the labels and how they are separate and how they overlap with PTSD.

They now have something called Complex PTSD…or C-PTSD. I believe this is a new label because I don’t remember seeing it before. I also saw DTD…Developmental Trauma Disorder. There are several articles that I have not read, yet, but I am going to share them here because a quick perusal indicates that they have some very useful information.

A few years ago I read about the push to put DID under the PTSD category in the DSM. There was quite a debate about it. Clearly the two are connected, but not everyone agreed on putting one under the other. I wonder whatever happened with that. Perhaps, some of these articles hold the answer.

So, here they are, in no particular order…more articles on PTSD in its various forms. I chose the ones that went the most in depth (which is why I have not read all of them yet myself).

Developmental trauma, complex PTSD, and the current proposal of DSM-5 by Vedat Sar

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder by Wikipedia

Reconceptualizing Child Traumatic Stress in Child Welfare  by Ally Jamieson, MSW

Part Four: From care to where? Early brain development susceptible to neglect, abuse – Emotional, physical trauma in childhood can cause delays in brain maturation, say experts by Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Sun

I have added these links to the Abuse, Trauma & the Body/Brain page.

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Making Progress…and other odds and ends…

March 15, 2014

Gosh, November! Has it really been that long since I have blogged? I guess it has, obviously! There are so many things I could share, but it is challenging to know where to start. So, here, in no particular order, are some odds and ends of my life for the last three months.

I now have a working bathtub!!! I cannot say enough how therapeutic it is to be able to take a long soak. Cheap therapy. Even if I cannot do it in the moment…just knowing I can is HUGE! That happened very recently, about two weeks or so ago? In fact, it happened after we put the house up for sale.

Which leads to item number two (but who’s counting, anyway).  One of our sons has offered to move us in with him and our wonderful daughter-in-love.  This is because his dad is in a lot of pain and had to quit working. So, our unfinished house that we have been living in is for sale.

Next tidbit…I have sporadic contact with my father via email. He still does not know where we live (other than generally) and does not have my phone number. It is all good..meaning that I am taking care of myself.

I had a cult GF (who also does not know where I am) contact me via email. She has to sell her house (which I thought I saw sold a couple of years ago on the Internet) and wanted to know my address so she could ship me some boxes of books I “left” in her garage years ago. Neither Dave or I recall leaving books. I wrote to ask her what books they were and have not heard from her since. So, yes, I think the feelers still go out. Did I mention that she has met my parents and probably has their number and that her family cult is the same one as mine? Oh yeah, and I had to distance myself from her previously because she was setting off my programming…which is so NOT happening now!

It has been a challenge watching my husband hurt more and more. I believe this move is a good thing, even though it may be moving into the “lion’s den” in some aspects. But G-d goes with us and I believe this move is a “G-d” thing.

I will have to come back soon to this blog because it is time to walk out the door and there is so much more I could say. I want to share some things I am learning about PTSD and “trauma brain”.

Until next time…take care and be blessed!

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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’s In a Name?

July 31, 2013

My earliest conscious memories regarding my name was of never being allowed to go by a nickname…even to the extent that I was threatened to be in trouble if my mother ever heard someone call me anything other than my full first name. Others did not understand this, nor did I. But it was my reality and the reason for it was more serious than I knew.

I remember coming home in the first grade from school and one of the neighbor girls was teasing me by calling me a shorter name. She wouldn’t stop even when I asked her to. I remember being worried (read that as “scared”) that my mother would hear her. My only consolation was that this girl lived a couple of houses or so before mine and ours was up in the back…behind the main house. Thankfully, my mother did not hear.

As an adult, when I asked my mother about that strict rule, she said something along the lines of wanting to hear my name because she had worked so hard on picking out a nice one. She chose that name and wanted me to be called that name…period. She came across as if she had not been that strict in laying down the rules, but I remember. There is a lot this partial amnesic does not remember, but I remember that. It was programmed into me to NEVER use a nickname. It was not until many years later that I began to understand the truth behind that demand.

I remember struggling as an adult…married with children even…to try to be me. It is like I woke up one day and realized that I did not really know who I was. I did not know what I liked or didn’t like. It was a perm gone awry that turned me onto that. I looked totally different. I got teased a bit for the drastic change, but that is when I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I really did not know whether I liked it or not. It wasn’t what I wanted. It was drastically different. But did I actually not like it?

I tried to look at the woman in the mirror as if she was NOT me. Would I like that hair style on THAT woman? I decided I did, but I felt a bit of disconnect between that woman and me. That woman was not what those around me expected to see, which got me thinking. I decided that I wanted to become the woman God created me to be rather than the woman I was pressed into being. All my life I was always being what everyone else wanted, but what did “I” want? What did “I” like? And even more importantly, what did God create me to be? So, I set out on a journey of exploration. I wanted to find out who “I” really was/am. And what a journey it was!

Right there in the very beginning I was hit with a strong realization. I use the word “strong” because it was something that I knew for sure, although I could not have explained why or how I knew it. I just knew very strongly that I would never be able to be the me God created me to be if I went by my birth name. So, I decided I wanted to be called a nickname, which was really just a shortened version of my first name…half of it to be exact.

I knew my parents would not like it, so I started with my husband and those closest to me. I remember that some questioned what I was doing. New hair style, which I openly admitted was not my intention, but reassured them (especially since the hairdresser was a friend) that I did like it. New name. What was up? I just kept to myself what my realizations were and what my goal was.

Once I saw that those around me were willing to really try to remember to call me by my nickname, I asked my parents to do the same. Naturally, they did not like it. Thankfully, I did not see my parents nearly as often as I saw my husband and everyone else. And then I noticed it.

I had started to change internally, even if not all that much externally. I started to feel more freedom to gingerly explore, and my sense of who I was altered. I grew stronger, more confident and had a greater sense of my worth. And then my parents would come over and call me by my full name. Bam! It was like a switch was flipped and I found myself struggling to keep the ground I had gained. This happened over and over until I learned to turn it off.

Although I did not know anything about programming or my cult family heritage at that time, I did understand that there was a definite connection to my full name and being controlled and molded. It was one of the key events of my life as I moved toward freedom. I never went back to my full birth name and now have a completely different name.

So, what’s in a name? I think a lot! My birth names were given by my parents. They had really nice meanings and had programming attached to them. My current names have wonderful meanings and freedom attached to them. They were gifts from my Creator…my heavenly Abba/Father. I am no longer bound to programming or to the former names. When someone from way back calls me by that name, I don’t like it, but the effect is no longer there. It is more of just an annoyance.

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More Resources…

July 31, 2013

I am amazed at how much more information there is out there on how abuse affects the brain than there was only about 10 years ago. Back then you could hardly find anything…or at least anything for the lay person. Now, I see all kinds of articles and studies. There is more understanding of how the brain works and how memory is affected…lots of good information. I hope it helps someone.

I have updated my Abuse, Trauma & the Body/Brain page once again.  It looks like this will be an ongoing thing as more and more research is done. I hope that I will also see start seeing a lot of articles on successful healing and how the lives of survivors are made better.

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