Posts Tagged ‘triggers’

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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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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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Thinking back…

August 14, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today…

October 16, 2010

…it is one foot in front of the other. I went out to get the oil changed on the van…for free! When I came back I really did not want to get out, but I did. I still have lots to do today…my checkbook, the bills, working on something for the house.

I was shaky when I got here this morning, but as I read and responded to comments, things started to calm down a bit inside. Now I am taking a few minutes to write before going outside to help with something.

People say that I am courageous. That always takes me by surprise. I guess I just don’t see anything I do as being courageous so much as it is what I need to get by. But I think I do get it. There was a time when I was afraid to put anything out here. It has taken time to get to the point where I can write what I write as openly as I do. So, yeah…maybe I get it. But I still am not sure I am all that courageous. I see other survivors doing things that I cannot imagine doing. I think THEY are courageous!

My body is flooded with emotional flashbacks. It is difficult to think straight…yet I must. It is times like these when it is the most difficult. There is no place to just go hide out for a while. Plus, when there are things that need to be done…well…they need to be done. I have already left so many things undone because I just could not do them. But I cannot leave everything there…as much as I would like to at times.

Sometimes I just wish I could go someplace safe and shut down. No responsibilities. Nobody needing me…for ANYthing! Just rest and healing. Like a retreat. I used to have a contemplative style retreat every year…just Yahweh and me. I have not had one since 2005. Oh, how I miss it.

As for mom…more on her later. Still no further word from her.

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So…

July 28, 2010

OK…sorry that I am not responding to comments right now. I AM reading them. I am just overwhelmed? Your comments…your caring…mean SO much right now…you have NO idea!

Is it OK to cry now? I know I did earlier…outside…alone. Now my guys are gone for the evening and I am truly alone. Can I cry now? Again? I don’t know.

I know things are on the crux of getting better. We are just about to step over the edge into something better…or at least that is the goal that has been presented to us. By the end of August, he said…that is what he was shooting for. So…while we are approaching the edge of something good…I feel as if I am walking so close to the edge myself…emotionally.

I am glad that I cried earlier. It was good to cry. But this is not over. I have been walking the edge for quite a while…just holding it together. Actually…truly…my Abba is holding me together. I am fighting…but only in His strength. I just could not do this without Him.

I know I am rambling…and maybe not really writing all that coherently…but I just need to write. I need to express. I really need a safe place to process pain. Hubby actually offered to take me to the hospital today when I lost it and told him that my PTSD is soaring. I told that a hospital is NOT what I need. He does not understand what they would do to me there…in addition to the expense with no coverage. I doubt they would even take me anyway. I am not suicidal. I don’t self harm. I am just very beside myself.

I need my online friends more than ever. I need support from those who understand…those who have been through the tough stuff…even if it is not exactly like what I have been through.

I hurt.

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Un-Mother’s Day…Might Trigger

May 9, 2010

Today is Mother’s Day. It is a day of cards and flowers and cute poems about sweet mothers. If you grew up with a sweet mother that is fine. But what if your mother was not so sweet? Or worse…what if your mother was an abuser?

For years…even before I started remembering some things, I would struggle around Mother’s Day. I would read card after card trying to find something that I could honestly give her. I looked for things that simply wished her a nice day. When I would read cards about how wonderful mom was and how she was always there for me, I would just about choke.

I made this today for all those for whom “Mother’s Day” is NOT a joyful day…for those for whom it is a day filled with painful remembering and longing for the mother they wish they had and never did. It is for those who are still trying to heal from the wounds inflicted by their mothers. It is not really meant to send so much as it is to express a truth that you do not see expressed in the greeting card store.

I understand that my mother was wounded herself. I get that. She did what she was trained to do…and so did I. Then, by the grace of G-d, I broke free.  I hope that she breaks free someday, too. In the meantime, she does not seem to want anything to do with me.

This card…although I, personally, would never send it to her, speaks the truth.  I left it as a small thumbnail because it might be triggering to some people. However, if you click on it, you will see a larger image.

I hope that those of you who have been abused find peace. I hope you keep working on your healing and never give up. Don’t let your abusers win! Heal…in spite of them!

Oh…and Father’s Day is coming. I’ll be thinking about that one, too.

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Wiped out…

May 5, 2010

I am wiped out…emotionally and mentally exhausted. Tomorrow morning I have to get up early and I am dragging myself around trying to put on a happy face…or at least an “I’m OK” face. Not sure is is working very well.

I feel almost paralyzed. Someone I love…someone I used to be very close to…is so changed that I am grieving. He was a dear friend…someone who understood multiplicity…someone who was instrumental in some of healing earlier on. But that person no longer seems to be around and hasn’t for a while.

He is there physically…but all of our communications are awkward…whether via phone…or email…IM. It does not matter…he just does not seem to hear me anymore and sometimes I cannot understand what he means. He has said and done things that have closed  off my ability to really open up my heart to anymore. Oh…I love him. That has not changed. But trying to communicate with him is high stress for me now and has been for a few years. It is time to accept that the person I knew and interacted with isn’t coming back…not without a miracle. I am tired of hoping, though.

My living situation is stretching me to the max. The stress levels are soaring and a neighbor and his fence thing was just like the catalyst for the breaking of the tear dam. I find myself fighting tears off and on every day. There are so many things in my life being effected by our situation…hubby’s unemployment…the tiny living space…no privacy, etc. And through it all…the old messages keep wanting to play.

I had a dream the other night that really reflects how I feel about some things…but I am too wiped out to try and put it here. I did start to type it up in Word and then added to the printout. Maybe tomorrow I can edit the doc and copy it into here. I don’t know. I am just not doing well.

I am safe, though…so no worries. I made that decision about 9 years ago. I am just beside myself. Of course…only a multiple can TRULY be beside him/herself. *wink* Yeah…see…no matter what…gotta keep the sense of humor…right? Right.

I don’t know what I am doing. There is a couple I have sort of come to know…a home schooling pastor and his wife…that keep coming to mind when I think of 3d support. It is scary to be open…but I am trying to see if they would be OK with meeting with me every week or two for a while. I just need someone I can talk to about what is going on…someone to listen…someone non-judgmental that I can share my history with. This couple knows me well enough to know I am not a crackpot. In fact, I have been there for them in some ways. But this is asking a lot. I am not in their congregation. I don’t live really close…in fact, I am not even sure I can figure out the gas thing. I need to at least be able to afford the gas to go see them.

I don’t know. I just know that I am facing stuff and I am really trying to hold on. They are supposed to be putting in a foundation so they can build a house shell so that we can have some ROOM…some DESPERATELY NEEDED ROOM!!!! I am trying to hold on…and deal with PTSD…and grieve. Grieve. Grieve. Grieve.

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Rough Days

April 26, 2010

The last few days have been rough. Stuff is happening in life that make things harder. We came home to find a barbed wire fence across our driveway. While it is on the border of the two properties, we share an easement. So, now we have to use a second driveway that is on our land that we have not finished. It is very rough, but we can get in and out. Delivery people can’t…but we can.

It is just one of a few things that have made the last few days difficult. I feel very vulnerable. We have been good neighbors…yet, we have had a “feeling” about this guy ever since we first met him when he bought the property next door.

The fence…barbed wire. I think one of the problems is the barbed wire. It feels so barbaric. I think of the Constantine wire they used on the fence top of the freemason camp not too far from where we last lived…the camp that Matty remembers from when we were in our teens.

The fence…blocking our easy ingress and egress…feeling violated. Sharing in good faith…allowing him to use our creek crossing to get to his separate meadow. Him walking our land and putting in stakes without permission and without us saying anything to him. I feel violated.

He lies. I HATE lies!!!! Says he had a survey done…but there is none registered with the county. It could be he did not register…however, he also could not show the paperwork to the sheriff. He showed a plat map to the fencer implying it was the needed paperwork. It is not. The fencer is now backing off after we showed him that it was just a plat map. The plat map shows the easement.

Angry words…on both sides. Incredulity on ours. Jive on his. Lies and false accusations to try to justify his actions. But they don’t…justify his actions. He just looks petty. We are talking about a tiny corner of his land…a tiny corner…barely big enough to hold our van. The rest of the driveway is on our land.

Stupidity…because of the easement, he could actually insist on having free use of our creek crossing. Now he has no access because he put a fence up. That is OK. We actually like the fence and he is paying for it. But we want it on the right line. He is paying big bucks to get a crossing put in. Good!

The fence…separation. Sometimes separation is a GOOD thing…like now.

Words…our place is an eyesore. We supposedly have money to fix it up. Yeah, right. That is why my guys are working on the driveway and crossing with shovels and 5 gallon buckets rather than renting a loader to move the rock and gravel. My guy has been unemployed. Neighbor thinks we should sell motorcycles to get money. Yeah right. Mine has not run since before we moved onto the land and hubby’s needs a tire we cannot afford. It is not like he has seen us out riding them around.

Attempted justification…just like the abusers. Always “good” reasons for what they do. Liars! It is all about control and manipulation.

This guy and his wife are lost people. We have the Creator to turn to. Our heavenly Abba comforts us. Who do they have? We pray for them.

Ugly fence…barbed fence…a reminder of how lost they are. A reminder to pray for them and show love to them anyway. If it is legal…I will hang pretty ribbons on fence “to keep our chickens on our side”…but really…to make a thing of beauty out of a thing of ugliness. I will make it beautiful. When I have money…I will plant pretty shrubbery on the fence line. Or flowers.

Ugliness…to beauty. Ugly fence to beautiful fence. Ugly attitude on one side of fence…beautiful attitude on this side…as best we can.

He is hurting himself more than he is hurting us. We have the L-rd to turn to. We have an inner joy that he cannot steal.

The days have been rough. It has felt like darkness closing in as I have been overwhelmed. It amazes me how it can overtake me. PTSD has been triggered. After we came home to the fence I found I could not type…constant mistakes. An my words…they kept getting mixed up…both in typing and verbally. Very triggered.

Then came the darkness closing in…between that and all the other things going on in life. Deep inner sense of spiritual peace…but emotional darkness. It seems like a contradiction…a paradox. Yet it is there. I know who I am. I know in Whom I trust. Yet…emotionally I can be falling into a dark hole. The way it overtakes makes me wonder if it is something that is being triggered…like a program…rather than merely the emotional fallout of recent events. I don’t know. I am just here for the ride…and hanging on.

This year the anniversary of my sister’s death actually effected me less. She died on my birthday. I still have my moments of grief. This year was better…or perhaps I was too distracted by neighbor’s meanness? Or maybe it was both. I don’t know.

So, here I am. I am going to have to stop writing and go to bed. Our living situation pretty much forces me to follow someone else’s sleep schedule. It is really wearing me out. It is no one’s fault…but I feel captive to someone else’s way of living. We do try to compromise…he tries very hard. But when you have one little living space shared by all…well…he needs more sleep than I do. There is no other room to go into. So…I try not to go completely insane in the process. I keep trusting and hoping that we will get out of this soon. It has been over 4 years.

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My Place In This World & Coping with Social Situations!

April 6, 2010

I was reminded recently of a Michael W. Smith song called “My Place in This World”. That song has always touched my heart…for I have always struggled to feel as if I really fit in anywhere.

As a daughter of the Most High G-d, I am secure as to my place in my heavenly Abba/Father’s kingdom…of my place in the spiritual realm. Yet…even with that security, there are times when I feel so disconnected from everyone and everything that I even experience some doubts about that. Thankfully, I do regain my perspective and the doubts do pass.

When it comes to this world, though, to the people around me…I rarely feel as if I belong. I almost always feel out of place…as if I am on the outside looking in.

In The Cost of Reality, I share how I used to feel almost all the time. For a huge part of my life I rarely, ever felt comfortable or a real part of a group.  I hated going any place where there were a lot of people I did not know. I was almost panic-stricken the first day of school every year. I was that way with any new place or any new event.

Now I only feel the intensity of it if I get a particular program triggered. However, that does not mean that I feel comfortable around people and social events. I do…but I don’t. I have had to learn how to work my way around these kinds of things. Otherwise, I would be totally isolated.

One thing I do is try to get to events early. When I get there I try to connect with someone who is a part of the event and even offer to help in some way if I am up to it. If nothing else, I learn my way around and help to welcome others that come. By being one of the first ones there, I sort of make myself a part of what is going on. That does not solve it all, but it does make it a whole lot easier.

If I show up after a whole bunch of people are there…I feel lost. Unless I come with another person, or plan to meet another person there, I will typically feel very uncomfortable.  I will be uncertain where to sit…wondering if I am intruding upon some group of friends. I am very aware of cliques.  It seems like, in so many places, you have families and friends who have known one another for a long time. Where do I fit into that?

So…another thing I do is look for someone else who seems to be alone. The other person is usually grateful that I did and we end up having a rather enjoyable time together. I may never see that person again…but for those few hours we enjoyed one another’s company.  I have had many good laughs at tables where none of us women knew anyone else at the table.

I also try to smile a lot at people…just to see how they respond. They ones who light up at my smile, I keep an eye on. If it seems like they are open, I will walk up and talk to them…and find out if they are alone or not. That helps, too.

Sometimes, I just have to focus on what is going on and go through it. If programming is triggered, that is when it is the worst. I just have to accept that I am not in a frame of mind where I can truly trust anyone. I just need to smile, be pleasant and get through it.

Sometimes I experience an impending sense of doom that I cannot connect to any person or place or event. It is just a feeling I walk around with. That, too, makes it difficult in social situations. I keep wondering if I have somehow blown it…somehow said or done something wrong. I have learned that I just have to ride it out if I cannot find a legitimate reason for it.

So, I have all sorts of struggles with social settings…unless I am in the midst of giving it. Yet…I can speak and sing without too much difficulty. Or at least I once could. It has been a long time since I have done it. In fact, since I started realizing the truth about my history and my makeup I have not really pursued it. There is a difference between being up in front of a group and being down within the group. I had a therapist who was the same way. She could teach a class…no problem. But as a student…she was actually rather shy. It is a matter of being in my element.

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What’s In a Song

April 1, 2010

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This song really touches me deeply. It makes me want to cry. Although my life with my ex was not quite like that, there were times when I was afraid of him. But I don’t think that is quite what it is. I think it is the helplessness…the feeling of being trapped. I have felt that way almost all of my life.

Even as an adult, I felt trapped in my relationship with my parents. Moving out sort of helped…although I did end up back at home…where I felt even more trapped.

Getting married did not help, either…at least not the first time.  I was still trapped. I was still enmeshed with my parents…especially my mother. Of course, I am sure it did not help that my first marriage has all the earmarks of a cult arranged marriage…an alliance.

It was not until my second marriage…my non-cult marriage…that things started to change for me.  It took a while, but he provided a bit of a buffer between them and me. I started to be able to be around them and feel more comfortable…which isn’t saying a whole lot since I did not feel all that comfortable anyway.

My parents could control me so well. Hubby kind of interfered with that a little. It would take quite a few words to describe what would go on between us. It was so subtle and between the lines…not something an outsider would easily pick up on. In fact, I was still in the dark in so many ways as to how they were manipulating me. That is the way of the cult…programming…training. And I had been trained well for my job.

I did break free, though. It was a bit hairy as layer after layer of information came up. It was a journey…a process. It was a fight…and well worth it. My son was my biggest motivator. I was fighting to keep him safe.

So this song…I see a woman who is trapped. She could no more leave this jerk than fly. Just like I felt with my parents. I could not separate from them…not truly…not on a deep level. They had me.

But it isn’t just the video…it is the words, too.  Because of You I relate to hiding how I really feel. I grew up that way. Now I can be more real, but for most of life…even my adult life…I had to hide how I really felt…especially with the ex.

Even now I struggle at times with being open. That is mostly because I just don’t think people would be able to understand the depths of what I go through and what I feel…especially when I get triggered. That is when I hide the most. I am slowly opening up more. It depends on who I am with. And it depends a bit upon who I am, too.

Working on freedom hasn’t been easy. I am still working on it. Healing is hard.  So is being open. Being open is also a gamble. I just keep inching my way there…and then pulling back…observing. Some day…

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Triggers and Blow-ups and Talking About Things

March 26, 2010

We had a blow up at our home this morning. It was nobody’s fault and both of our faults. It was scary for me…as major disagreements typically are. Thankfully, we don’t have them very often. In fact, you could almost say they are rare, even with the increase due to our living situation. It is pretty amazing…truly a G-d thing.

BUT…back to this morning. Even though I KNOW that he is totally committed and would never leave…the fear hits when he walks out the door. Is he going outside to work on something? Or is he going to leave? Mind you…he has never left…but the fear still comes up.

I prayed a lot this morning…for wisdom…to be changed…to understand…for us. The whole thing felt overwhelming and I felt helpless…and maybe even a bit of hopelessness started to creep in there, too. The good thing is that we were able to have a good talk later. We have very little privacy which means that we cannot typically get things out in a timely manner. So things build up. That does not help.

Hopefully, our living situation will change within the next few months…at least before the next winter. That will help a LOT…but it won’t solve everything. It will give us privacy to talk. Privacy for me to work more on my healing. Privacy for us to work more on being a husband and wife. (That brings up a lot of mixed emotions…but more about that in another post.) It will be easier on our son, too…and just all the way around.

Everyone who knows our situation has told me that there is NO way they could have done it.  Well…we can’t, either. As I said…it is a G-d thing. It is only with the grace and mercy of Yahweh who gets us through that we are able to do it.

Anyway…I was able to share how I had been triggered in a huge way yesterday. He knew about the previous one, but not this one. It is good that he knows…that he is able to understand…at least somewhat. The fact that I could even talk about it so soon is a miracle. I guess it shows that I am farther along than I thought.

I am definitely better today. It is good that I was able to explain how and why I got triggered and why it is next to impossible to talk about when it happens. It is really difficult to share when I feel as if I am in a lose/lose…not that he makes it so…but that is how I hear it…how I experience it.

So many times, he can say something and I hear it totally differently than he meant it. And that goes both ways. Although he is not a ritual abuse survivor…he does have his own stuff. His father was abusive and his parents eventually divorced.  My parents stayed together and both were perpetrators. So much for family stability!

Triggers can happen in so many ways…like the way I start to feel like a small child when I get really sick or if I am physically hurt. I am there. I don’t lose continuity, but I am emotionally oftentimes like a child who is struggling to behave like an adult. Which brings me to another part of our living situation. I have to hide that I am triggered. There is no safe place to just emote and let it out. So I struggle not only with being triggered, but also with feeling like I have to hide it. This, too, we talked about this morning. It does not change anything…but it is good to at least talk about it.

In spite of the rough start…today was a good day.

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Being Triggered and Shame

March 24, 2010

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

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

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

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I Was Trying…

March 8, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

The same…yet different.

No progress…yet progress.

Stuck…yet moving forward.

Going…yet standing my ground.

Shaking…yet calm.

Amnesic…yet with a sense of history.

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

Broken…yet healing.

Alone…yet never alone.

Forsaken…yet chosen.

Losing it…yet holding together.

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

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

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

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

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Bittersweet Memories

December 11, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sharing and Grounding

October 31, 2009

I just read a post called: Trauma Therapy Tools: Grounding. It is on The Survivor Manual blog done by the Angela Shelton Foundation. This particular post is written by Dr. Kathleen Young.

Boy, did it hit home with me. She writes about how to learn how to stay present…especially in doing healing work. This is especially true of when sharing our stories. While we need to share our stories, how and when we do it can be either a positive thing or a negative thing. Telling before developing coping skills can lead to retraumatization.

One thing she wrote that really stood out to me is this:  “In fact, some trauma survivors are able to tell their stories easily, but in a dissociated manner.”

I have noticed how I can often talk about being a ritual abuse survivor without it effecting me. Sometimes, I can even describe some of it (in general) without it effecting me. I can sit and let my mind wander back over it…and just not be all that bothered. If I am not careful, it makes me wonder if what I remember is even real.

Then there are those times when I will allow my mind to wander a little too closely. As I really start to think about what happened, I find the dissociated emotions starting to kick in and reconnect with the visuals. I find myself choking up. At times, this can even lead to more memories.

I want to be able to talk to someone about this…yet…talking does make it more real.It is as if…by not really talking about it…I am able to keep it to the side…within the realm of “maybe it is not real”. If/when I start to really talk about it…one of two things happens. I either push it farther away and feel almost as if I am trying to deceive someone…or the emotions come closer…making it more real.

It is like this tug of war…less real vs more real. Typically, I stay somewhere in the middle of it all…caught between not wanting it to be real and wanting to reconnect it all together because I know that it is real.  I want to be able to have the freedom to actually talk about it…to describe the bits and pieces that try to float through my consciousness. Yet…when I try to grab those bits and pieces…I think I tend to automatically dissociate it away.

Everyone has to do healing in whatever way works best for them. For me…to do life…pretty much means to present in a mono-minded fashion. It also means to not talk much about the RA or allow it to “effect” me. Dealing with RA means dealing with those parts of myself that hold the memories the closest. I have no real avenue for doing that. I wish I did. I wish my environment at least allowed me to do it with myself. I don’t even have that.

There is power in the spoken word. There are things I can barely even write about (unless I do it in that unphased state — dissociation). Even less can I verbalize about them. Speaking it has power. It makes it real. It is validating. It starts to reconnect the emotion to the event…which is probably why I find myself so distanced from the emotions. It is probably also why, when I do start to speak of it, my mind tells me that I am being deceptive…that it could not possibly be real because of the lack of emotion.

A Catch-22. If I speak…the emotions can come more easily. The emotions are validating. My mind…in order to protect me…instantly holds the emotions at bay…keeping them back. The lack of emotions feels like deception…so memories must not be real. What a circle:   Speaking brings the emotions. Mind holds emotions back. So speaking feels like deception. So validation turns into subtle denial.

Reading that post led me into this train of thought. Dr. Young has a more complete post on her blog. I am going to go read it:
Staying Present During Trauma Therapy: Grounding Techniques and see what else comes up.

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