Posts Tagged ‘PTSD’

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Obedience – the Key to True Peace!

October 19, 2020

Obedience is key to peace, but obedience to who? Not my abusers! That never brings any true lasting peace. And not to any false gods. That, too, will not bring true lasting peace. There is only One to whom I give my obedience (outside of legitimate civil authorities) and that is the One True God–Creator G-D.

Creator G-D has given me His teachings, His laws, His commands for my benefit. They are there to protect me. When I follow them, I know that I am doing what He knows is best for me. When I obey them, I am keeping myself within His will, His guidance, His protection. I cannot expect Him to watch over me and protect me when I am willfully disobeying His teachings!

In order to obey His teachings, I need to know what they are. To know what they are, I need to read them and study them. I also need to ask Him to show me how to apply them to my life–to give me understanding. He promises to give me wisdom if I will just ask for it.

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Things I Learned in Recovery and Life

July 18, 2020

I have been thinking lately about things I have learned in recovery and life. Some things I learned easily. Some things came very hard and took a long, long time.

I learned so many valuable things from sitting in meetings and listening to others. My sponsors shared things with me, as did my spiritual mentors and spiritual parents. And, of course, just over the hard course of life I learned some things, too.

Yet, I sometimes feel as if I have not learned much at all. I find it is good to take a few minutes every now and then to remember what I have learned and to pay attention to whether or not I am applying it to my life. It seems like there is never ending work I need to do.

Here they are in random order as they came to mind. Some are similar, or are related, in some aspect. Some overlap.

1. I remember one sponsor telling me that what others think about me is none of my business”. I really struggled with that one for a long time. The reality is those who love me the most will accept me as I am and I don’t need to be concerned with what they think. If they are concerned about something they see in me, they will ask about it! Those who are not close to me–well, what they think really just does not matter–hence, it is none of my business!

2. Live and let live. The key behind that one was for me to not be codependent and trying to “fix” others. Each one of us has to live our lives and work our programs ourselves. I cannot work another person’s program for them. I cannot make decisions for them. I really need to remember that. This applies to both recovery programs and dealing with survivor healing.

3. Let go and let God. I cannot be God in another person’s life. I can encourage. I can share truth. I can walk alongside. I can even lovingly challenge. But there are times in life when you just need to let a person go… let them walk in whatever way they are choosing to walk. I have to let go of them and not try to control them. They need to make their own decisions. It goes along with “live and let live”. This was a really key one for me when I was dealing my ex. I also had to let my children go and just trust them into God’s hands.

4. “If the shoe fits, wear it. If it does not fit, don’t put it on.” If I see/hear something that seems to apply to me, own it; but do not own what is not mine. If someone accuses me of something and it is not true, don’t take it on. Just like in number one, don’t worry about what they think. The truth will come out eventually. If it is true, though… be responsible for it.

5. I could not remember this one exactly, but my hubby remembered it: “You would stop worrying about what people think about you if you realized how little they actually do.” In other words, most people just don’t spend that much time thinking about me. They have more important things to do in life.

6. Just because I hear, or read, something that fits me… don’t assume that person is referring to me. It could just be coincidental and, in fact, most likely is. There are so many common experiences in life that it is highly doubtful the person was thinking of me… which goes back to number 5. If the person, by chance, IS referring to me, so what. See number 1 and number 4!

7. Avoid people, places and things that will cause me to stumble. It makes no sense to keep going back to people or places or things that will lead me astray–that will bring me down–that will place me into temptation’s path.

8. Avoid people who are toxic. There are some people who, by their very nature, suck the life out of others. They take and take and take and either refuse, or are simply unable, to give anything back to others. If I cannot avoid having the life sucked out of me by these kinds of people, I should avoid them.

9. Find like-minded people and hang out with them. Stick with the people who will encourage me and help me to stay on the path God has me to walk.

10. True friends will tell you the truth about yourself, even if it means risking your anger and rejection. There is nothing more valuable in a friendship than knowing that the person loves you enough to tell you the truth. It reminds me of Pro 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

11. God does not care how popular I am or how comfortable I am. What He cares about is my heart connection with Him. Oftentimes, what I think is most important–what I am most focused on–is not what God is focused on. He is more interested in refining me than pampering me.

12. It is OK to agree to disagree. There are times when two people will simply not see eye to eye on something. I neither have to convince them that I am right, nor do I have to be convinced that they are right. There is a third alternative… to simply agree to disagree. When I was growing up, there was no third alternative. In fact, to be wrong about something meant that there was something wrong with me.

13. Look for those who I consider to be successful and try to emulate them. I always think of Florence when I think of this principle. She was a woman I knew who lived her life in a way that showed me what living as a true Christian was really all about. She did not live religion. She lived a heart connection to Yeshua/Jesus and it showed. She was “real”. There are others that I have known like that, too.

14. Take whatever you are told about yourself to God and ask if there is any truth in it, even if it is just a grain. It used to always be that, when someone told me something really negative about myself, my first reaction was to get really defensive. Once I calmed down, though, I would ask God to show me if there is any truth in what I was told. I have had times when He showed me that things were true and times when He showed me that it was the other person’s issue, not mine. Or, it was a mix of both.

I find that I can still get a bit defensive at times, but mostly I am able to just think it over and try to dialog about it. Sadly, some people just automatically interpret any kind of dialog as being defensive. It is like, if I don’t just automatically agree with them, they believe that I am “defensive” or “in denial”. That is sad to me. It is in the dialoging that I think both sides can better understand the other. I can understand what they are trying to say they see and they can better understand what it is they really see.

15. Don’t ignore the message just because you don’t like the messenger. That was a big one in recovery. As people from all stages of recovery and life would come in, there would be people there that I just flat out did not like. I doubt that they liked me, either! But I learned to just listen to them anyway. Even the newbies had things to share that helped me.

16. You cannot control what other people think, feel or believe. It is better for me to just work on what I think, feel and believe.

17. You cannot please everyone. There are some who will not like you or get along with you no matter what you do. It is better to just be real and let the chips fall where they may.

18. Love is a choice–not a feeling. Feelings come and go. Choices can remain firmly in place. I can choose to love, regardless of how I feel.

19. Loving someone is worth it, even when it comes at a cost. Yeshua paid a high cost for His love for us. Can we do any less?

20. Love does not mean having no boundaries. Just because we love someone does not mean that we should let them walk all over us. Yes, we can choose to give something of ourselves up, in love, for the sake of another. However, it is a different thing, altogether, to continue to allow someone to abuse us.

21. My life is a gift from God. I need to honor Him, as well as myself, by taking good care of me. That includes taking care of all aspects of me. My body. My mind. My emotions. My spirit. All of me.

22. I have 2 ears, but only 1 mouth. I should strive to listen at least twice as much as I talk.

21. Don’t quit before the miracle comes. I used to hear this in recovery all the time. So many times things look so bleak. Yet, a miracle is just around the corner. We must hang in there, watching for it to happen.

22. Don’t compare my pain to others’ pain. Pain is relative. We can each handle varying types and amounts of pain, but it ALL hurts!

23. Don’t compare what I can do with what others can do. We are all gifted in different ways. Plus, we go through different seasons in our lives. In some seasons we can do more, or different, things than in others.

24. Don’t compare my history with others’ other than for the purposes of finding and giving support. We all have a story. No one’s story is better than, or worse than, another’s. No one’s story is more significant, or less significant, than another’s.

25. People are gifts for a season. I was talking with a therapist many years ago about the people I had lost in my life. They were gone, for one reason or another, and it saddened me. She said that it helped her with those kinds of losses to see those people as gifts for a season. She was not minimizing the losses, just putting them in perspective. I found that really did help me.

26. KISS… Keep It Simple, Silly! Don’t overcomplicate things. Life is complicated enough!

27. It is about progress, not perfection. I will always have areas in which I need improvement. It is not about being perfect, or doing things perfectly. It is about improving, no matter how slowly or how slightly. Just keep improving! Just keep making progress.

28. Healing is a process… a journey. While there are some healing events in life, which I have both experienced and witnessed, most of healing is a journey. It is an awesome life journey filled with experiences that range from the sublime to the crushingly painful. It all moves us forward.

29. Keep very short accounts. In other words, don’t let resentments build. This works two ways. If I have offended someone, I need to accept responsibility, apologize, ask for forgiveness and make amends. If I have been offended by someone else, I need to work through it and either let it go, or lovingly confront that person. I need to forgive them for my own sake. If they admit wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness, I need to give it to them.

30. Forgiveness does not mean throwing out common sense, boundaries or safety. It does not mean allowing someone to continue to abuse me, although I may choose to overlook some bad behavior at times… out of true love. It does not mean being foolish. If someone molests a child and seems to be genuinely remorseful and repentant… I can forgive them… and even support them in their healing. (Yes, even with my history.)  However, for their own sake and for children’s sakes, I will not permit them to be alone with a child.

31. Being able to ask for and give forgiveness, when appropriately done, is a sign of strength, not weakness. I am strong when I can choose to let something go. I am strong when I can choose to not allow it to effect me anymore. (Which is not to be mistaken for ignoring it. See number 30.)

32. Neither speak gossip, nor listen to gossip. Gossip is nothing less than character assassination. If there is a real issue to be resolved, I can offer support and counseling and help. But if that is not what the person wants, I must NOT listen!

33. Anyone who gossips TO me will most likely gossip ABOUT me.

34. Treat others the way I would want to be treated. If I am not sure how to handle something about someone, think about what I would want them to do if the situation were reversed.

35. Treat others the way that I think Yeshua/Jesus would treat them.

I am sure there are many others I will eventually think of, but these are a good start to remind me of the lessons I have learned.

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Still here…as in, I didn’t drop off the planet…

June 8, 2014

I am actually still on the planet, although it may not seem like it. Life has been difficult. There are some days when I have to battle feeling as if I am falling into a very dark hole. Yes, I am taking my SamE again to help. I am also praying and focusing on my relationship with my Creator. And that does make a huge difference in my life.

My husband’s physical condition does not seem to be getting any better and I am struggling with how that is affecting the dynamic we share. It affects everything…our schedules…our moods. He, understandably, gets a little short at times. Being an introvert, my energy drain is already flowing due to not really having a private place in the house and also due to being responsible for other people. So, when hubby needs even more than usual, I tend to not be as patient as I wish.

Life is filled with potential changes. A possible move. A graduation in a year. Life in disability (we hope…or a healing would be even better). A trial with no possible “positive” outcome.

There are times I feel as if I am “drowning” and just trying to get through the day. Other times, I feel fairly confident. Thing is, I am the one who has been the driving force of positiveness and “it will be OK” statements. Sometimes, I need someone to say to me! I cannot always be the optimist in the family.

In all of this, though, I/we are growing, maturing. We are having to seek our Creator…Yeshua…the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…even more. We draw closer to Him and find the strength to keep on keeping on.

I am not a “date setter”. But I am also not ignorant. Yeshua said to know the times and seasons…to watch the signs. More than ever before, I see signs of His coming getting very close. There are still some things that need to happen, but the likelihood that those things will kick off starting within the next few years is very high. Of course, we could all be wrong, but I really doubt.

I know that people have been saying for centuries that it is close. But we have something they never had…the rebirth of Israel. No nation on the planet has ever arisen like Israel. No unused language has been brought back into ordinary every day use like Hebrew has. Once relegated to only the scriptures and religious writings, it is now heard from the lips of children. And the outright miracles that took place during Israel’s rebirth are astounding.

So, here I sit, watching the spiritual battle rage. The scriptures tell us that our battle is not with flesh and blood…it is in the spiritual realm. I see that battle raging…in my family…in my country…in the world…and, especially, in the Middle East.

Get ready, folks. Keep an eye on the bigger picture. This life…what you see in front of you…is like the shadow realm. True reality is spiritual and, largely, unseen. I pray your eyes are opened to see it. Your physical life may…for sure your spiritual life will for sure…depend on it.

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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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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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Updated Page…

December 3, 2012

I updated my “Abuse and the Brain” page. It is now called “Abuse, Trauma & the Brain” and I added two more articles at the bottom.

These two articles deal with soldiers who have PTSD. Why do some have it and some don’t? They are beginning to study these soldiers lives PRIOR to going into battle to see if there is a clue there. It appears, so far, that it is possible that those who develop PTSD in combat actually already have it. They have had traumatic experiences that caused them to have some symptoms of PTSD prior to the military, symptoms which subsided a bit while in combat, but then came back with a vengeance even worse afterward.

I have to say that my personal experiences seem to bear this out. I have difficulty watching videos that have intense scenes in them. I used to be able to “handle” it when I had to, but it is still there. You would think that, with all the healing I have experienced that it would be better and, in some ways, I so seem to be better able to handle it. However, in some ways it is worse.

I think  my age and the fact that I no longer have the strong young body that could take the stress and bounce back faster is a factor. I simply don’t have as much energy for the “fight”, so I try to be careful about what I expose myself to. A little bit of nervousness (like when I am going to sing) can turn into a raging shakiness that almost incapacitates me. I feel things to the extreme and I believe it is due (at least in large part) to how my brain developed because of all the earlier trauma.

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Another Poem…

October 30, 2012

You can go here to see the poem I wrote today.

An October Poem

Every year it “bothers” me less. No…I don’t think that is the right way to put it. It is just that I am less aware of it…or I am aware of it later in the year. I don’t think about it as soon. But once I am aware of it, it does bother me.

I think, too, that it bothers me inside. I “feel” it on the outside as a kind of fog and struggle to concentrate, but I oftentimes don’t connect what I am struggling with to the time of year until later. I “think” it is not bothering me as much when, in reality, I think it is.

I work hard to push things aside so that I can do life…and that is fine. There is a time and place for that. But there is also a time and place for recognizing what is and working with (and through) that.

So, here you have it. Writing the poem was good. It was therapeutic. It was needed. I have GOT to work on the office for a hide away.

My life is still a bit too full. I am still working on it…figuring out my priorities. Things will come together, but I need to give myself some breathing room…especially during this time of year. It is OK to fall apart. It is OK to not be able to do all I would “normally” do…or that I want to do. It is time to be extra good to myself.

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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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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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Curve Balls in Life…

April 1, 2012

Life is full of surprises. Just when I think I am on a somewhat even keel…something happens to remind me that my “even keel” is, at times, rather precarious. Want an example? I could give many, but I will give one from tonight.

I am still working through my mother’s death and all the weirdness surrounding it and my whole life. Still being partially amnesic adds an interesting element to the mix.  I was not close to my mother, so her death does not hold the sting of losing something I had. Rather, it is about losing the opportunity to ever have it…in this life. I will never be close to her. There will never be reconciliation…in this life. We won’t hug…

I thought I was doing pretty much OK…getting back to some kind of even keel…when I saw a movie scene tonight that triggered a crying jag. Yeah…I am still affected by it. Can’t really help that. It was of a mother and son reconciling. I had seen this movie several times before, but this is the first time since word of her death.

(OK…gonna ramble a bit here.)

And speaking of her death…not only did my father not notify us, he did not notify anyone in her family either. The only obituary I could find did not list any next of kin…not even my father…who is already remarried. I wish I could find a wedding date, but the state they live in holds those kinds of record private. Only one year and 3 months ago she died and he is remarried. Like father like son? Family legacy? I don’t know. What can you say about generational abuse? It keeps on passing down. I am doing my darndest to make sure it stops in my generation. I really don’t know how successful I was at that. Perhaps that is one of the blessings of amnesia.

Anyway…just needed to get some thoughts out here tonight. I am still processing. I will be for a long time. And I am working on forgiveness. I refuse to lock myself in a prison of the heart by holding a grudge. Just not going there. I choose to walk in freedom and my heavenly Abba helps me to do that. I sure could not do it on my own. Nope. No way.

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Living Life in the Face of Nastiness…

March 30, 2012

There are people in life who are simply nasty. They are mean, disrespectful and really don’t care how what they do affects others. When confronted with such people, we have choices to make. We can either react to them, wherein we lose ourselves by allowing them to control our lives and determine how we will live. Or, we can respond to them, wherein we maintain our own autonomy and integrity and choose how we shall live. I prefer the latter. That is my choice.

When I am confronted by nasty negative people I choose to remember that I, too, have had my “moments” of being nasty or ugly. It may not have been intentional. I may not have even been aware of how I was coming across. Or, I may have realized it as it was happening, but did not know how to “fix” it. Or maybe there was no fix…the damage was already done. Any way you look at it, I have had a negative impact on others at times in my life. So, I believe it is worthwhile to remain humble toward others, recognizing that I am certainly not perfect, either!

I also try to remember that everyone is the way they are for a reason. For good or bad, we have all had negative and positive experiences in life that have helped to shape us into what we are today. Sometimes, the balance between positive and negative was fairly even overall. But for some of us, one heavily outweighed the other.

For those whose positive experiences heavily outweighed the negative it can be difficult to understand those of who whose lives were the opposite. We may fumble where they do not. We may react to things that do not faze them one bit. I think it is good when each person can believe another’s story and try to imagine living in that reality. It can help us to be more empathetic toward others.

For those of us who weigh heavily on the negative, and some even in the extreme, it can be difficult to imagine life without that. We see the way others live and struggle to comprehend how they can do that. It just isn’t even on our radar.

Thankfully, though, there can be some good experiences even in the midst of craziness and evil, that give us some positive skills for life. For me, knowing my Creator made a HUGE difference. It is part of what helped to shape me and, I think, to temper how the abuse affected me.

I still deal with the physical effects of trauma brain and I can still experience flashbacks that are part of PTSD and getting  triggered.  However, I have learned over the years how to cope and work around the aftereffects. I know what I can do and what I cannot do and I no longer feel guilt or shame over what I cannot do…even when others do not understand. It is frustrating at times when people look less favorably upon me for what I cannot do. They cannot comprehend how even the simplest of things can be overwhelming at times. But I have learned to live with that and simply accept that there are things they simply do not know and, even if they did, might not be able to understand.

Life is good…even when it is hard. I am OK with that. My heavenly Abba/Father/true Daddy walks with me. So does my Messiah…Yeshua. Their Ruach/Spirit lives within me and that strengthens and comforts me…especially when life is hard.

I refuse to give up. I refuse to hold grudges. I refuse to not forgive. I choose to walk in freedom with my head held high…even when I am shaking inside.

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Keeping Up With Life…

March 28, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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