Posts Tagged ‘survivors’

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Thinking of my sis

March 12, 2021

Lately, I have been more aware of my sis’s death and life. I wish I knew more of her life, but then I don’t. I know her life was as much as hell as mine was. No one makes it unscathed in a generational ritual abuse family. No one. My parents didn’t and we didn’t.

I have been writing about grief lately, triggered by thoughts of my sis. I thought of her on her birthday even more this year than usual. I thought of her leading up to her birthday. She has just been more and more on my mind

She died/was killed on my birthday. Yeah, no warning there. I was away getting memories back and doing healing work. I never got a chance to confirm with her what I remembered for she was taken away. As for the group…well, let’s just say I am not the only one who does not think the timing of her death was a coincidence. It was a warning to me.

Realistically, I doubt she could have told me much. She was, most likely, as amnesic as I was (and to some degree, still am). Plus, she would have been afraid–afraid I would “tell” on her. I would not have understood that back then as much as I do now.

My memories of her are scarce, even though we lived in the same house for at least 10 years. I remember when she was born and not much else while we shared houses. I look back and simply do not see her present. Yet, I do know she was. Of that I have no doubt.

Part of grief is realizing what we have lost in the what-could-have-been category. We were sisters and even though we were almost eight years apart, we should have been able to be closer. I should have been able to be the big sister she needed. But I couldn’t be. I should have been able to have a relationship with her untainted by the “job” I had to do with her. (No wonder it has been so challenging to grieve.)

I was given an offer for some free products from a healing music site. I have interfaced with the founder for several years via email. He knows my “history”, somewhat. No one knows it all for it is too horrific to share. People don’t understand these kinds of horrors. Anyway, as I went to the site, I knew what I was looking for… music on grieving for her.

It’s time. I have been sensing it was time. Do I like the “timing” of this in my life? No. But then, is there ever a good time to grieve? Of course, I have to answer that with a yes. I guess it is more a matter of it being a convenient time rather than a good time. Grief is good and the time for grieving is good. It’s just not always convenient.

So, I am awaiting the delivery of the music and I will be taking some time to grieve, interwoven with needing to also live life. I will have to do the two side by side. I wish there was a grieving group for this kind of thing, but there isn’t. I mean, I am sure there is a group for grieving a death, but it is not very accessible to me. Perhaps online?

I am going to kick this off. I don’t have the energy to do a thorough proofread, so show me some grace if you see any typos or needed edits. I am grieving. The process began months ago, but it is now “official”, I guess.

I am grieving. I didn’t know about kaddish when she died. Is it too late now? I believe in my heart it is never too late. Creator G-D is eternal and outside of time.

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Human Trafficking

February 26, 2021

This is very hard to write about. If you are squeamish, you might want to pass.

This whole subject can be very triggering for me and, yet, I cannot stay away from it. People simply have NO idea how bad it really is…what is actually happening. (You still have a chance to leave this post.)

Every time I read about women and children being rescued and trafficking perpetrators being jailed, a part of me rejoices. A part of me breathes a sigh of relief for those rescued and I feel gratitude for the rescuers.

My heart also breaks as I am also reminded there are so many more still trapped. Still being tortured. Still being killed. Still being used in pornography. Still being used sexually in so many different perverted ways. Still being sacrificed in sick rituals. Still having organs and blood harvested (think adrenochrome) while they are alive. And, yes, they are even eaten. If only they were all killed first…or at least put under before these things are done to them. But they are not. These people are SICK!

So, another part of me is holding my breath, longing to see the whole cursed thing brought down around their heads. Longing to see the world rid of this horrible, demonic evil. I am walking around in anticipation.

My heart also breaks for those rescued. While the physical part is over, the rest of it is not. Those rescued are so broken. Some were bred in baby farms for just this purpose. It is all they have ever known. Born and sacrificed. Born and abused. Imagine the mothers being used as a baby factory and having every child ripped from them. The heartache never stops.

Yes, we can and do get “better”, but it will never be like it never happened. Some of these scars are faded. But it does not always take much for them to become red and inflamed once again. Even when there is trauma amnesia, it is still inside. You can get triggered and not even be sure why. You can get flashes of things from the fringes of your memory and not be sure what they even are about.

How much of this is my experience? Unknown. I have remembered enough of my family history to know it was ugly. I have remembered enough to know I don’t want to remember any more. I have experienced rituals, killing, sexual abuse, being filmed… and more. I rarely talk about it. Most people have no clue and would not even begin to understand. The parts I do not consciously remember, I know about and I react to. I am sensitive to it.

So, my heart breaks over and over again. I mean, seriously, how can it not? How can anyone who knows the truth NOT have a broken heart? I saw a video on this and it said something about, “those who know cannot sleep at night.” Those who know are driven to rescue as many as they possibly can. They cannot live a life of peace knowing what these women and children are going through. I guess I have an advantage. Having gone through so many horrific things starting as a very young child, I developed the ability to dissociate and I have trauma amnesia. I feel for the rescuers. It is not as easy for them to separate themselves from it. There is vicarious trauma.

So, I sit here writing, so aware of my brokenness, so aware of my powerlessness, with emotions just ready to come spilling out. I am thankful for this blog where I can write about things I may not have the opportunity to talk about. Try finding someone who can handle it!

If you have made it to the end of this post, I am in awe of you. I respect you in ways you cannot even begin to understand. The voiceless need a voice. I have been voiceless and, to some degree, still am. But I am fighting now to speak my story to anyone who will listen with an open mind and heart. It starts here with this blog. But it is also starting to happen, in little bits, outside of this blog.

You also have a challenge. You now know the truth. Do a search on human trafficking and you will find more than you ever wanted to know. The real question is…what will you do with it? If you turn a blind eye and are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. This is a scourge and there are many things you can do.

First, if someone honors you with a little bit of their story, LISTEN to them and BELIEVE them. Check your skepticism at the door. Whether you can accept the reality of the events shared or not, know this. It is real to them. Honor their trust in you by trusting them. Try and be a support for them in whatever way you can. Oftentimes, the most powerful form of support is to simply listen and accept them as they are. Help them to know you do not think they are “weird”. They aren’t. Whatever hangups they have, they are normal for what they have experienced. Encourage them in their journey to find some kind of healing.

Second, learn what you can about human trafficking. If you can donate to the rescuers, do so. Even if you can’t, you can pray for them. Maybe even write some encouraging words to them.

Third, educate others about what you have learned. Help wake people up. This whole evil system IS coming down and the survivors are going to need a LOT of support. The more people who can be aware of it all, the more the rescued can, hopefully, find support and acceptance.

(If you have read this because you are just a sick pervert who gets off on reading this kind of stuff, take this with you. You are part of the problem. You will be held accountable some day. Creator is real and He does not like it when His children…the people He made in His image…are hurt like this. You have been warned.)

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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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The Power of Forgiveness

August 15, 2020

Forgiveness is a powerful thing, especially for survivors. It sets us free. When we are not able to forgive, we lock ourselves into a prison of our own making. The other person may not even be aware of our resentment and bitterness. They go free while we are obsessed with visions of revenge, whether we can carry them out or not.

Forgiveness is also very misunderstood. People will say, “forgive and forget” while not even recognizing that forgiving and forgetting are two separate things. That is why the word “and” is in that phrase. Forgiving is not forgetting. It is not pretending nothing happened. It is not trusting the one who hurt us. It does not even require having any kind of current relationship/connection with the person. If someone slipped you a date drug and raped you, does forgiving them really mean you should go out with them again? Of course not! Yet, that is the logical endpoint of “forgive and forget”! People do not realize what they are saying makes no sense!

Over the years, I have seen survivors locked in the prison of unforgiveness because they have been told they must trust the person completely and treat them as if they have done nothing to harm them. Naturally, this creates conflict within the person. How they can they forgive with that criteria? So, when they would ask me how I could forgive, I would explain how I see forgiveness in two levels.

One level is my releasing them from my desire for revenge. I remove myself from the self-imposed roles of judge, jury and executioner. (That does not mean I don’t participate in legal proceedings against them if it is appropriate.) I release them from taking up space in my head and heart. But I do not trust them and may not even have relationship with them. This person may or may not have even acknowledged their actions against me. They may or may not have asked for forgiveness.

The other level of forgiveness involves giving them a chance to prove themselves trustworthy again. This means the person seems to be genuinely sorrowful for what they have done and asked for forgiveness. I do not trust them immediately, of course, but give them a chance to earn it. In other words, I might allow someone who stole from me into my house, but I sure won’t leave my purse in the same room with them. It can take a long time to rebuild trust, if ever.

Those are two pretty rough divisions, but they really helped them to find the freedom of forgiving. Years later, I found Dr. Stephen Marmer on a Prager U video talking about forgiveness. He does a much better job and divides it into three categories. I highly recommend it. It is only about five minutes long. The video is on both YouTube and their site. You can download the transcript from their site. I am giving you the links to both.

This is the Prager U site where you can get the transcript to download. https://www.prageru.com/video/forgiveness/

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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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Seeing Deceptions

September 15, 2016

Seeing so much deception in the world can be very disheartening. Yet, there is an upside to it, too. Yep, an upside. It makes me more grateful than ever that I can see as clearly as I can. Am I saying I cannot be deceived? No. But I am saying that I know the One who is never deceived and He gives me insight as to what is really going on in the world.

I am grateful for the Creator’s Word…both the written and the Living. I am grateful for His Spirit that lives inside me, leading me and guiding me even when I am not aware of it and helping me to understand His written word…the bible. I am grateful for His Messiah who took care of the problem of darkness within me…my own evil and propensity to do wrong things.

There are those who have wronged me in the past. I have forgiven them. There are those who, I believe, are wronging me in the present. I forgive them. Does that mean I am unaffected? No. But the effects are lessened by the understanding the Spirit gives me.

When I look at the world through the eyes of my Creator, I see a lost world. The greatest darkness and deception are not from those in the world toward the rest of us. No, it is a deception that the deceivers themselves are caught up in. And that causes me to pity them.

Those attempting (and being very successful with many) to deceive us are themselves deceived. They do not see the Truth about the bigger plan our Creator has for this world. They think they are gaining power and have wealth to make them better than the rest of us, but they only have and do what they are allowed by our Creator to have and do.

Our Creator has a bigger plan of redemption for this world. He will make it brand new. But before that time, there will continue to be a battle between Light and dark, between Good and evil, between our spiritual adversary and us. But I know who wins. In the end, it is US through the Spirit of our Creator. Messiah has ALREADY won the battle over death and sin, but we need to walk that out in our lives.

I truly wish I did a much better job of that, but I am entrusting my spiritual well-being to my Creator. He knows my frame and that I am merely dust. Yet, He takes that dust and raises up out of it human beings made in His image. He makes beauty and love and all good things possible.

I cannot choose what happens to me in life, but I CAN choose my response to it. And I choose to worship my Creator and to walk in His ways as best I can out of love and gratitude and respect for Who He is.

So, when I see all the deceptions and I am tempted to be frustrated…or worse, afraid…I look to Him. I am comforted by the prophecies where He has spelled out for us what has happened, is happening now and will happen. I do not need to fear the future. He holds that in His capable hands. I need not fear the now, for He is working something good out of it.

I see the Light shining in the midst of the darkness. I see Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) coming. I also see a time of great trouble on the horizon before He comes back. But I know I am OK in the here and now. And I will be OK in the midst of the coming troubles because He will be here with me. Yeshua promised to never leave or forsake us and He is not a liar.

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My Father Now

February 21, 2016

This is actually a comment I wrote in response to something someone else wrote about my having gotten more from my father than most. It gives some insight to how things are now with him and I. Our communication is very sporadic.

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I have definitely gotten more, including some old family photos and such. He definitely attacked me years ago. Our communications for many years were limited to a few terse emails, many of which (from his side) sounded a bit bizarre and did not relate to what I wrote him. Little emails.

My mother died. He remarried…way too quickly…at my mother’s prompting. Oy vey! Such dysfunction. He was caught between trying to grieve his 1st wife of over 50 years while being a “happy” newlywed. Less than 4 years later, she divorced him and won’t even speak to him. It appears that his stuffing was finally coming out and causing him to have episodes he says he does not remember. So, he is in counseling.

He says it is hard…and I empathize. Our contact is still limited. He has been clearing things out, preparing for the fact that he is elderly. So, he was sending me all kinds of photos. I had to tell him to stop as it got overwhelming for me. But it was nice to see them. Frustrating in not knowing who a lot of the people were. I hate to throw them out, but if I don’t know who they are…who will? Mom is gone. I have no idea to whom I should pass them on. Know what I mean?

And, it is like going through someone’s estate before they die. That is not a bad thing, but it does feel like an “ugh” thing. Does that make any sense at all? LOL

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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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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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Childhood Maltreatment Can Leave Scars In the Brain by Jon Hamilton

November 19, 2013

I just added another article: Childhood Maltreatment Can Leave Scars In The Brain by Jon Hamilton to my Abuse, Trauma & the Body/Brain page. Again, it is a reminder that maltreatment of any kind can leave lasting effects on the brains and lives of the abused.

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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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