Independence Day

Well today I thought I’d do something different. I find that in my healing process I often ask myself a lot of questions. I also find that I avoid asking myself or “our” multiple system questions sometimes because I usually get the answers and they are difficult to cope with and they necessitate a whole new round of healing. Questions lead to answers and not always comfortable, easy, or healing ones. But necessary ones.

So I thought it might be nice to start this Indepence Day by asking myself what independence means for me in relationship to my own healing, in relationship to helping others to heal and to find their own independence, and in relationship to my country and culture and how to positively influence them toward healing and acceptance of the reality of abuse.

I’ll try not to answer any questions that come up right this moment. Answers are for another day.

I’ll leave it open for each person who reads this to define what their independence from abuse means to them today, its consequences, and the aftermath of coping methods, both healthy and less than healthy and the steps toward healing and away from healing that they each have gone through.

So for me today instead of answering any of the many questions I stand in this moment and honor all the healing that has brought me on this path of healing and an independence from living a cycle of violence and abuse in my life as an adult. That is a lot to be proud of.

I honor my life. I honor my healing. I honor my selves.

As Stuart Smalley says on July 4th in Stuart Saves his Family, “Today I declare my independence.”

To independence for us all.

Free Hugs

I love hugs. I used to get more than I do now. Now it is rare to get a real hug.

I’m a Star Trek fan. After the first Star Trek movie was coming out, Walter Koenig, who played Chekov, was doing a signing for his diary book of his experiences making the film. The person before me on the line asked for a hug. He got up and gave her one. He looked at me, but didn’t move to give me one. I was too scared to ask for one. So I didn’t get a hug from him.

Years later in a long autograph line to James Doohan, who played Scotty, I found myself with the same dilemma. Two teenage boys in front of me mentioned that they had read Mr. Doohan was a member of an international hug society. They asked him if that was true. His response was to say, if you want hugs, come back behind the desk and you can have them. They did. I asked too. The hug was lovely.

There is a new free hugs movement out there now. I was downtown one day, in a store, and at the entrance hall to the store stood a bunch of people in a line. They all had signs that said Free Hugs.

I told myself that I was going to go up to each one of them and get a hug. I didn’t. I got close and no one moved towards me, they were all standing silent and leaning up against a wall, and I got scared and shy and walked on by.

Next time I’ll get some hugs. Next time I’ll stay and give some hugs.

🙂

Hugs, Hugs, Hugs, Hugs, Hugs, Hugs, Hugs, Hugs, and Love to you All.

Reiki Distance Healing

I am a Reiki Master/Teacher. Reiki is a kind of hands on healing method. I started taking the Reiki classes a few years ago due to a desire to heal. My goal was to help myself and others to heal.

It took me about five years to make up my mind to do Reiki. I wanted to, but the classes cost money. I wanted to, but I met a Reiki Teacher that I did not like. I wanted to, but I was scared. I wanted to, but couldn’t find a teacher.

The word Reiki comes from a combination of two Japanese words, Rei and Ki. I think of it as healing life force energy. It helps relax someone, reduce stress, and promotes healing. It can be used for physical and mental health issues.

Reiki is classified as an alternative healing method. Though it is not opposed to using Western medicine for healing as well.

Someone who is attuned for Reiki can give hands on or hands off sessions. They can also do distance healings for others.

When I have a Reiki session I feel my muscles relax, I have less pain, I sleep better and deeper, and I wake up with less pain and muscle tightness as well.

For the last six months I have been doing Reiki distance healings regularly, sending Reiki healing energy to people near and far. I had been doing this for about ten days every month. Previously I was very sporadic in my use of Reiki.

This month I have almost done twenty days and I would like to do that many next month and every month.

I have a small list for friends and survivors and survivor friends that I include in my distance healing list.

If anyone would like to be added to my list, just let me know through my blog or if you know my email address, drop me a line and let me know.

Good and healing thoughts to you.

What is Reiki?

http://www.reiki.org/faq/WhatIsReiki.html

Reiki Wiki page

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reiki

Happy Birthday Baby!

Happy Birthday to Me.

Unwritten 

Artist: Natasha Bedingfield 

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, oh, oh

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way

 

Body Esteem Part 1

A long time ago I read a book called Transforming Body Image. I liked the book. I wanted to try the different exercises in it, but really they didn’t feel right for me and they didn’t work good.

Eventually I decided that it was because I needed something more geared toward child abuse survivors. And I have found myself really wishing hard for a book like that. In the meantime I am trying to find ways of approaching healing that gives me good body esteem, ways that go around my roadblocks, and if they work for me, that is great.

There is an exercise in the book called The Square Inch Exercise. Every day for a week you are to focus on one square inch of your body, to be loving towards. You do nice things for that body part.

I tried that exercise many times. It didn’t go so good. Sometimes touching my skin, rubbing in lotion turned out to be more triggery than healing. So it turned out some ares were not good to focus on. I would put the exercise away and bring it out again years later.

Finally I did focus on my knees, well it seemed like a fairly innocuous spot to focus on. I would rub lotion on them every evening. I found a spot that seemed to be okay to focus on. I stayed there for a couple of months, well it was safe, and I wanted to do something that helped my body know that I loved it. After this time I noticed that when I was doing the exercise I was starting to feel a fondness for my knees. It was quite odd. I mean knees, really! I still have an inordinate fondness for my knees.

So that was the last time I tried that exercise. Instead I decided to try to do something that I felt more comfortable doing.

I started telling my body that I loved it out loud. The first time I did it I was flooded with joy, soon to be following by hysterical tears. The feeling of disconnection moved and I felt closer to my body. I have been working on doing that since. Not every day and sometimes I forget about it for weeks at a time. But I’m trying to remember now.

Recently another idea struck me. To go under the skin and tell my body that I love it. Not in one inch squares, but in body parts. It seems to me that part of the resistance to this other exercise was that I have big issues with my skin and the outer surface of my body. To go inside, I thought, might bring better body esteem results. I mean, really, what could I possibly have against my pancreas?

I decided not to focus on one part of my body or for any specific length of time. I think that is what I don’t like about exercises and what doesn’t work for me about them. I don’t like being bossed around on how to do something, when, and how much.

So I did and I will have to say that it is going great. On the first try I told my heart that I loved it. I put my hand there and touched myself lovingly. I got the same kind of reaction; great sorrow and great joy.

Now when I think of a body part I try to acknowledge it and tell it that I love it. Today I told my lungs, I got this incredible floaty high feeling from it. It was incredible! I love you my lungs.

A Love that Heals

I want a love that heals. I want a family that loves me in a way that heals. I am working on finding my family, my true family, the ones that love me in a way that brings me further and further into the life I am meant to live, into who I was meant to be if abuse had not been my life, into a family that loves me and brings me joy, into a life and love that heals.

I saw a video about Christian the Lion this year, around Easter time. Christian and his two human friends were a family. It was a beautiful love. They raised Christian in London. They realized that he needed a home in nature, where he could have the life of a lion.

They bring him to Africa and through training with George Adamson he is able to assimilate into a wild life, finding a mate, having a baby, making a life and a new family.

They are parted from him for a year and they return to Africa to see him. Their reunion shows a kind of love that I have never had. I start crying every time when the three of them are re-united.

The love that is seen between the three of them is so beautiful and something that I have never experienced with my own family. It is a love that empowers and heals. I have that kind of love with some of my online survivor friends.

I want that kind of love in my daily life. I want that kind of love, that kind of family. I want a love that heals.

State Mental Hospital Part 3

I have been thinking and feeling about this topic a lot. I have always known that my mother said these things to me on purpose, that she pre-planned them and they were meant to inflict tremendous harm on me.

Everyone in my family acted like it was nothing. They still act like it is nothing. When I have brought it up in the past, their responses are not compassionate to me. They brush it off like it is nothing. I won’t make any excuses for them. They suck. They have always sucked. They probably always will. 

The truth of the matter is this kind of emotional abuse and torture was small compared to some of the other emotional/verbal abuses and torture that I went through. Sadly that is not me being invalidating or diminishing what happened. I did go through much, much worse from my mother and from my father and all of my siblings.

My mind keeps going to the worse abuses and dwelling there. But I want to be able to think and feel about these abuses first, to take it all in, to process and heal some from what happened to me/us.

I wanted to thank Paul for his comments on this topic. Thank you Paul. I really appreciate your thoughtful and compassionate comments.They were very helpful in pointing me at the little girl I was and all the pain her threats to have me locked into a mental ward caused. I wanted to comment here on a couple of things Paul said.

“What you went through was horrible for you. It’s changed your life in profound ways.”

You are right. It did change my life. I saw daily that no one in my family cared to intervene and make my life a little bit safer, to make me feel loved and cared for. These types of constant abuses reminded me daily that I truly was alone and that I could only rely on myself.

I didn’t believe that I was crazy. But I did believe that she could and would try to have me locked up in an insane asylum. I did believe that she would.

“A mother who distorted reality so greatly to make herself feel better at the huge expense of one of her children is reprehensible. I cannot wrap my head around that.”

You are right. She did distort reality. I can tell myself the truth about this. I do, every day. I was a little girl. I wasn’t crazy. And if I was “crazy” then my parents owed me a higher level of care, rather than less.

You are right. She was reprehensible. I always knew that. It was one of the things that made a life living with her so intolerable. When I was an adult I used to tell people that I would rather burn in hell for all eternity rather than go back and live my childhood all over again. I don’t say it anymore. But it is still true.

Fun Stuff. You Know… For the Kids.

So, I don’t have enough fun. I am very bad at making sure that I do fun stuff. Usually time and daily life seems to overwhelm me and the day is gone. I am trying to change that. I am trying to do things that I enjoy. And to find time to put them into my daily life.

My Littles sadly get less than they deserve when it comes to the fun stuff that I do. I love coffeeshops, reading, and very boring things, like English period piece movies. Well, to me they are not boring. I am trying. But I am just horribly pathetic in my efforts.

Play is healing. It might seem like a waste of time, but it isn’t. I know that and yet I have so much trouble letting myself go and enjoying silly things. I think it is worse for me because I am multiple and should really let my littles out to play consistently and whole-heartedly.

So I added a new link section here at my blog, called Fun Stuff. You know… for the kids. I picked out some sites to put there as links. I checked out each site again. I have been to each of them, though not played at each of them. Some of them are on things that I have always liked, paperdolls and crafts. I threw in some other stuff that I like too.

Putting the links here is a way to remind myself to click on them and do things that are fun for the kids. I hope that everyone who stops here to read my blog can check them out and see if there is something that they might like. And search for some more sites where you like to play. Because we all need and deserve to let our inner kid(s) out to play. You know… for the healing.

The New Normal

The new normal. This is what I call living with the aftermath of being a child sexual abuse survivor. What is normal for me may not be normal for anyone else.

It definitely is not normal for those who have not been sexually abused as a child. The differences seem stark and I feel more stigmitized by the chasm between us. So I call my life, my existence, the new normal. The new normal based on what I experienced as an abused child.

I have a lot of fears. I have a lot of triggers. I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The have terrors in the night. I can’t sleep. I can’t think. I can’t work. I have a lot of rage and no where to put it. So I have to carry it around in my body and that makes for more stress, more aftereffects, more pain.  

I have chronic pain. I have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, which is like saying well we are too lazy to find out what else it might be so we will give you this, cause we have let you be in pain for twenty years and we haven’t a clue.

I have Dissociative Identity Disorder. So I am in parts. And how we perceive and think and move through the world that may not be normal to most, but it is my normal. It has been my normal for almost all my life.

So normalizing my current and past experiences is a way of stopping some of the stigma and shame and blame that all survivors go through.

It is not my fault that someone used me sexually when I was just an infant and beyond. But I feel responsible. It is not my shame, it is their shame who abused me, but I feel it.  

I’m re-branding. This is the new normal for my life. For me. For my self-esteem. For my own level of happiness. For my healing work. For myself and for us.

So I look at me/us and say now that is one brave and courageous survivor. That is someone who is struggling against so much. She has a lot to be proud of and I am very proud of her/them.

When Your Mother is Your Abuser.

Healing Resources:

Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse

Male Survivors 

Healing from Child Abuse

Through the years I have struggled with the thought that I never fit in. I think this is a big part of the aftereffects from child sexual abuse. Especially with women and females. I think this is a big part of the aftereffects from mother-daughter sexual abuse.

I thought about it a lot. It seems like there is a lot of social control exerted by females on one another. A kind of hateful way to keep us all in line. That all started for me with my mother abuser and my sister; who both rejected me and judged me harshly in my femaleness.

I was a goody-two shoes kid and a teen, very well behaved. I obeyed my parents as much as I was able. I was a good little Christian girl. Not because my parents brought me to church, but because I found my way to a spirituality by myself.

I had slowly over time developed a moral and ethical belief system. I have many incidents in my childhood where my spirituality and belief in God saved my life, got me through, made it possible for me to live my life one more day.

I never smoked. I never drank. I never took drugs. I wasn’t allowed to date. My mother told me that I could not date until I was sixteen years old. So my life was very circumspect. We lived out in the country, several miles from a small town, most of my teen years, so I didn’t have a lot of oppportunities to be bad.

I think that my mother abuser wanted me to be totally under her control. It felt that way. I hated her controlling me, watching me, scapegoating and rejecting me.

Her and my sister were a team against me. They never taught me the normal things that females teach one another. I still don’t know exactly what are the normal things to teach a girl. I am still very clueless about all of that. I can’t even list it all in my mind, because quite frankly I have no idea what it all might encompass.

I can look at beauty books and go this I don’t know how to do, and this, and this. And the list goes on and on. Other women seem to know these things. I haven’t a clue.

They wouldn’t teach me how to cook and bake. If it wasn’t for mandatory home economics classes I would know nothing about cooking. They were part of a club and they were clear I could never be a part of it. It just hurt so bad thinking that this was what being a woman meant.

Probably as a consequence of my mother and sister’s rejection and scapegoating of me my whole childhood, at the age of eleven, I started getting bullied by all the girls in my sixth grade class. We had moved to a new town, I guess I didn’t fit in.

I remember distinctly telling a few girls after lunch one day to stop calling the one overweight girl in the class fat all the time. The girl said she didn’t mind, they could call her fat if only they would be friends with her. I said it wasn’t okay and they needed to shut up. As a consequence I became their new target. It went on until I moved years later.

It was probably no accident that the last home ec. class that I was in had three boys in the class and they each sat down at the table/kitchen I was sitting in on the first day of class. They were some of the last students into the class that day and each girl avoided joining me at the table I was sitting at.

Perhaps they never would have liked me. I believed in goodness, honesty, love, compassion, peace, and caring. I had a strong philosophy and spirituality. I see how I didn’t fit in with those girls. It just hurt so bad thinking that this was what being female meant.

I was very cerebral and very caring, an odd combination for a kid. I was painfully shy. Finally, in seventh grade I found a home in the junior high school library with the maternal librarian there. I adored her. I volunteered there and found a space where I belonged.

I can barely call myself female. It is a project that I have been working on for some time. It took tons of women’s studies courses in order so that I didn’t despise women. I can do it now, I am female.

I can’t call myself woman. Even though I wrote a poem about it ten years ago. It was more a wish than a fulfillment. It is just too far away from reality to accurately reflect me, my life, or the examples that I have been shown.

Still working on that.