The Greatest Gift

The greatest gift that we can to give ourselves is the same level of love and devotion that we shower onto others.

~ Kate

Summer Solstice

As a survivor of ritual abuse there are yearly anniversary trigger dates that are particularly hard for me. It’s always amazing to me that no matter how much I don’t pay attention to the calendar, my body and our system seems to keep track of it very well.

Ritual Abuse Resources

I know from past experiences that I get a little spacey, more dissociative. Still the dissociation is usually strong enough for it not to click into my mind, oh yeah here comes another date that is difficult for us.

It usually starts about ten days before the date. I will have trouble remembering what day it is of the month and it keeps happening day after day, no matter how much effort I put into knowing the date the day before. I think it was somewhat worse this time, because I had recently done several health appointments that were stressful and exhausting, coupled with a cold. I think the cold was brought on by the anniversary trigger date. That’s fairly common for me as well, for the stress to make me sick.

Finally I’ll put it together in my mind a few days beforehand. Then I just plan on taking that day easy, getting as much sleep as I can, and taking as gentle care as possible. I read as much as I wanted to, saw one of my favorite movies, took bike rides, spent fun time with doggie, and ate chocolate mug cake with chocolate ice cream. I’d really like to be able to celebrate the changing of the seasons on these dates, but in the meantime I am happy that I am able to celebrate myself by taking good and gentle care of us.

As a wonderful bonus I get to go to a parade on Friday and fireworks on Saturday, unless there is rain. I am looking forward to both.

Holding Dollie

The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse for May had two posts on the topic of inner child healing work. It’s something that I see the need for and want to do more in my life. I have been thinking that so much of our childhood was stolen from us by those who abused us and used us to do the emotional, intellectual, and sexual roles that were the jobs of adults.

It was hard for me to be a child and to act like a child most of my childhood. I couldn’t be happy or playful or loud without drawing my mother’s attention and abuse (Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse). I couldn’t be a child. I learned to be stone-faced, to act as though I felt nothing and to express nothing, to be quiet, to be alone, in order to be safe from her. I learned to hide.

I learned that my toys and dollies would be used as weapons against me. I learned that love would cost me. I learned that loving something would be noticed by my abuser and used as coercion. I learned that my heart could be broken and I could walk away from the only dollie that I ever loved when the mother abuser held her hostage and debased her. I gave my heart to no other toy until I was older and I felt they were safer, after the mother-daughter sexual abuse had stopped.

As an older child and teenager I had a lot of dollies, a lot of stuffies. I still do. I have them. I love them. I just don’t hold them much. I’m sure that there are many insiders who would like to hold dollie.

I’ve been thinking of a lot lately about the healing work that I need to do for myself and our system. It is very difficult for me to find the time and energy to do so. I love all my inners, but have to admit to being overwhelmed with health and mental health issues much of the time.

However it is essential for healing for me to assist and help others inside in their own needs, hopes, dreams, issues to help us all in healing. It helps in my healing work to post on a topic and then to go back and forth while working on it, getting support and feedback, talking to my best friends on the phone, posting again and again. I need and value the interactions. It helps move me along in my healing and in my healing work.

Child inners were created for good reasons and they need to be allowed to be children. I have a lot of trouble letting them out to be kids. I get self-conscious. I get embarrassed. I get conflicted and humiliated that I don’t manage all this better. To try to be fair to myself, this all is overwhelming and demanding and hard work. I really wish that I did this all better. I will be working on that.

There are lots of things I’d like to do, but where I live right now, without a lot of privacy, I feel the need to put off some things. However some other things I want to start doing now or in the near future.

One thing that I have done in the last few months is to turn over the healing quotes listings to the Littles and the Teens, who alternate every month. They like that a lot. They tend to pick quotes that I wouldn’t pick out and it gives the blog an added flavor. I like it. I do also post some of my own quote choices, here and there. I loved picking out some of the healing quotes on my birthday on the topics of books and reading.

I have dollies and stuffies sitting on my bed near me where I face while sleeping. They tend to fall off the side of the bed. Sometimes I tend to forget to get them out, stuck between the bed and the wall. Yesterday I dragged them out and put them on the bed again. I noticed that it isn’t often that we hold dollies or stuffies. I decided that is not a good thing. Since I have a private bedroom that no one else is allowed into, I have privacy and safety in here. So tonight we were holding dollie. More to come.

Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse May 2012

The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse is posted at From Tracie.

May 2012 Edition

Blog Carnival Archive (scroll down towards the bottom of the screen)

Survivor Quotes 53

She took me out of me and then told me that I wasn’t enough. Used, abused, and thrown away.

~ Survivor of mother-daughter sexual abuse

The Last Secret: Daughters Sexually Abused by their Mothers by Bobbie Rosencrans.

Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse Resources

Healing from Abuse Resources

About Half Full

I figure that after all the years of healing that I have done, I am about half full. Half full of the pain and damage from abuse, but also half full of all the healing and good things. I figure I’ve managed to heal and drain out about half of the damage and pain the abuse has  caused me.

I’ve noticed that it used to be that I would cry at the drop of a hat. I always believed that there was so much pain in me that no matter what, whether it was a good or bad thing that happened to me, my normal reaction was tears. 

Some things still drive me to tears, remembering more incidents of childhood abuse, being emotionally and verbally re-abused, usually in some secondary wounding way, watching anything that is talking about child abuse, starvation or neglect (due to personal childhood experiences with these), including kids, animals, and groups of people being targeting in their country of origin to warfare, Celtic music, many of Bruce Springsteen’s songs; and when a happy and precious ordinary moment gets noticed and honored.

I think that I will always find the path to tears easy to travel. I am okay with that. It is no longer accompanied by the belief that I am unworthy and damaged.

I believe that the reason I respond with tears is because I would become overly full and something had to leave me, and luckily it was the bad that had to leave, so there were tears leaking out; the excess I could no longer contain. I look forward to the day when there is only good inside of me /us and that when something wonderful and joyous happens all that can come out will be laughter and smiles.

Seeing that I am half full or half done with healing sits fine with me. I plan on living ’til I’m 104, so on my birthday this year I’ll be walking into the second half of my life. Yes, it suits me just fine.

No More Pity

pit·y  (pt):

1. Sympathy and sorrow aroused by the misfortune or suffering of another.
 
I think that the definition of pity isn’t the way most people think of it. I grew up seeing others’ reaction to pity being something that no one else wanted someone to feel for them. It is a negative, judgmental emotion. It is seeing someone else as a victim. It wasn’t compassion or empathy. It wasn’t assistance to become healed, assertive, or empowering. Wikipedia says, through insincere usage, it now has more unsympathetic connotations of feelings of superiority or condescension.
 
It was a kind of commiserating and cloying emotion that others felt for their lessers, as though you are less than me so I will feel some sort of superiority and feel sorry for you as being beneath me, because of what you have gone through and continue to go through.
 
Okay, not something that others would like to go through or feel that others are feeling that way towards them. I have been the victim of a pity session with a few people. I can see it in their face, in their voice, in the way that they move. They pity me. It was completely unpleasant. It was a real attack on my self-esteem. I don’t like it. I don’t want it, ever again.
 
I don’t feel it for other survivors. I don’t feel it for the inners in my multiple system. My inners don’t feel it for me. I don’t see any of them as being less than me. I don’t see myself as being superior to them. What I know and feel is how wonderful, awesome, inspiring, brave, and courageous they are.
 
But here is the thing: I do it to myself all the time. Feeling pity for myself has really served me poorly in my life. Underneath all my healing efforts, on some deep level I didn’t admit to, I was seeing myself as lesser than, inferior, a victim and feeling pity for myself. I suppose I started doing it when I was very tiny and it comforted me, at least someone felt something for me, even if it was only me.
 
Well I didn’t know how to see myself in any positive way then. No one in my family showed positive feelings towards me or treated me positively. Even though I have learned to see many good things inside of me and my actions, pity has been underneath everything else, enforcing all the negative that my abusers and family taught me and believed about me, setting up a pattern for my life.
 
I don’t need to be feeling sorrowful all the time about my life, about my childhood, about the abuses we endured, about my physical challenges and disabilities, about my life history, about my current and future life.
 
I was realizing this yesterday and I knew that I needed to stop that. I’m not less than others who have been abused. I’m not less than others who have not been abused. I am not without intelligence, wisdom, compassion, or skills. I really am marvelous.
 
Yes I can feel lots of emotions about my life; past, present, and future. But pity and sorrow, no. I can do my best and feel proud of myself/ourselves. I see all that. No more pity.