Survivor Quotes 72

About her divorce:

“I could no longer live in a situation where I felt such complete disregard for my feelings. It was maybe the first time in my life I made the choice to take care of myself.”

~ Christine Sandor, Warming the Stone Children (Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse survivor)

The Thing About Dumbo

I watched the movie Dumbo again recently. I hadn’t seen it in years. I’ve seen it several times in the past. Each time I react the same way.

I cry at two places in the movie, each time I have seen it. I was thinking about this before I saw the movie again. It is the kind of crying and tears that just comes over me without thought and hits me hard. It is not the kind of tears that I could control or stop. It is more of an unconscious sadness and aloneness that comes over me.

I cry when Dumbo is reunited with his mother, in the middle of the movie and at the end. The first time he just sees her trunk and she is in a trailer and cannot even see him. He reaches for her and she reaches for him. She cradles and rocks him in her trunk while a song is playing. It gets me every time. And then at the end of the movie when he is flying and slides right into her trunk for an embrace.

I don’t see the movie very often; it makes me cry. Seeing it again made me realize that I hadn’t watched it since having flashbacks about mother-daughter sexual abuse, which makes sense why I didn’t put it together why and what I was crying about. I was in the middle of the movie this time and realized it.

I cry because I feel that level of sadness and lonliness that Dumbo feels from being away from his mother’s love and I cry specifically when Dumbo is reunited each time, because that is something I never had and will never have, a mother who loves.

Connectedness to My Energy Part 1 of 3

I’ll try to post Part 2 of this topic some time tomorrow.

I have often wondered why others seemed to clue into me as someone they could try to abuse or use. Part of the answer to that is what I would refer to as a person’s energy. Abusers and users read others like a book, their energy, their emotions, looking for victims.

We all read each other. Just some do it better than others and some are aware of it and their responses to the energy of others and some are oblivious, represed, and/or in denial. This means that many survivors of abuse are clueless about their own energy and accurately reading others.

Being abused causes survivors to have damaged energy. Being abused causes you to judge and devalue yourself. We misinterpret things. We misunderstand. We blame ourselves for everything. We are vulnerable and naive and don’t know how to change that. Our emotions and energy become hyper-active and negative.

Slowly, with healing, we start to be more protective of ourselves, establishing boundaries, rules, and limitations in our life and when interacting with others. But even after years of healing it is very hard to heal or change our energy.

For the purposes of this discussion I will share my definition of personal energy. By energy I do not mean the soul. I do not mean the aura. I do not mean the body. I do not mean the mind.

Energy is the sum total of a person encapsulated. Energy is all that has happened to a person, all the good and all the bad, all that you have done and all you have not done, but should have. All the good qualities you have nurtured and developed and all the challenging ones that fester inside you. All the sorrow and all the tears, all the fears and all the pain. All the joys and innocence you have been able to retain. All that you have healed from and all that you haven’t.

A person’s energy is the story of their life and their present. A survivor’s energy is living too much in the past and in the future, and not in the present. It’s about living the aftermath of child sexual abuse. It’s living in the grip of fear and turmoil, hating yourself and having trouble finding the love and care from others that you deserve. A person’s energy is their everything.

Connectedness to the Mother

Being a mother-daughter sexual abuse survivor means, for me, that I have been disconnected from my mother all of my life. She was not a safe person to be connected to. She never loved me and I always knew it. She was violent and sexually abusive. I don’t want to ever be connected to her.

But I am working on being connected to the mother.

One of my sister-in-law’s was a great mother. Unfortunately her kids had my brother as their father. He was loud and verbally abusive. She was a great mother, but she could not make my brother be a great father. Still it is a model to me of what good a woman can do for her child daily by being a good person and a good mother.

Some time ago I became aware of a connection to the earth as my mother. I am still very uncomfortable and afraid about this connection. I tend to avoid it. I know that is not very healthy; letting my fears overwhelm my desire to continue working on the connection. But it is the truth. Unfortunately my fears sometimes ovewhelm me. I will try to do better and focus on the connection to help me with life and healing.

I have always felt a strong connectedness to my ancestors. So I suppose through them I am able to connect to mothering through my male and female ancestors who having mothering qualities.

For most of my life I have been a Christian. I think that I have always been disconnected from the concept of mother in religion. Though there is one connection that has been strong since my early twenties.

There was a time in my life that I went to church a lot. I read the Bible a lot and studied and knew many others who went to church. One Bible quote that I remember reading and continue to remember and think about is the one where Jesus says that God loves us like a mother loves her chicks, hovering over them, loving and protecting them. This is the God that I am connected to.

It has only been recently that I have thought much about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Since music is one of the items on my bliss list it would be natural for me to explore this through music. These two songs are helping me to feel some connection to her and from her to mother:

Ave Maria sung by Christinia England Hale

Mary sung by Patti Griffin

Songs for Healing 35

Don’t Be Shy

Cat Stevens

I loved Cat Stevens and his voice. As a teenager I used to sit in my room and listen to the albums over and over. I loved hearing him on the radio.

I remember when I first started hearing this song, when I was a teenager. I was painfully shy. I remember that I used to sing this song and the next song for healing over and over and try to be less shy, to try to live my life more. The song doesn’t have the best of advice, it’s kind of vague, but it was encouraging and that made me feel better. I suppose everyone has songs like that from their teenage years.

Don’t be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don’t wear fear or nobody will know you’re there
Just lift your head, and let your feelings out instead
And don’t be shy, just let your feeling roll on by
On by

You know love is better than a song
Love is where all of us belong
So don’t be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don’t wear fear or nobody will know you’re there
You’re there

Don’t be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don’t wear fear or nobody will know you’re there
Just lift your head, and let your feelings out instead
And don’t be shy, just let your feeling roll on by
On by, on by, etc.


Connectedness to Artist

There are two quotes that stick in my mind about this topic.

One is of a teacher who said that when she is teaching art to a classroom full of five year olds and she asks them to raise their hands if they are an artist and all of the five year olds will raise their hands. But in a classroom full of ten years old and she asks the same question to only half of the students raising their hands.

Probably the opposite is true. Probably artistic ability has increased rather than decreased and yet they doubt themselves.

The second is a story from the movie Six Degrees of Separation. The person is telling a story about going to his child’s school and seeing so many beautiful paintings on the walls done by the children. He asked the teacher why they were all so good. She said the genius is not in the work, but in knowing when to stop and that is when I take the painting away and say they are done.

So, like most things, having a someone to take the roles of teacher, mentor, and supporter means so much to believing in yourself and doing. I never had that before; before finding my survivor friends. But more and more I am getting support and that has helped me to be bold and to believe in myself.

I am an artist.

Connectedness to Voice

It is often said that one of a survivor’s areas of healing is to find their “voice.” I think it is true. Finding yourself, expressing yourself, and finding and enforcing your own boundaries are all a part of finding your own voice.

But I am also using the word voice to have several meanings here. For me my voice is also how I talk and how I sing. All three kinds of voice each have a great deal of meaning to me.

I have often disliked my voice. It is too small girl of a voice. I have often heard Dr. Drew Pinsky on his old MTV talk show say that a woman with a small girl voice is a survivor of abuse. He has said that as a woman heals her voice changes to a deeper quality. I would like my voice to be stronger, to sound like an empowered woman. So I am working on healing.

I love to sing. I have written about that here and about how I wish that my singing voice was better. I do try to sing more often and try to abstain from judging and evaluating it and instead just have fun. As I heal I notice that it is becoming more enjoyable and that is great. So I am working on healing.

I would like to be more confident when expressing my opinions, beliefs, and in every area of my life. I am pretty confident when it comes to things of the mind, but I would like to be more so.

I notice more when someone is totally ignoring me, or disagreeing and trying to invalidate me, or doesn’t care about me or want to listen. I always thought that I was accurately seeing people for what they were doing, but was constantly being invalidated in my life, so I would be unsure much of the time as well.

I used to constantly feel the need to explain myself in detail, often to ridicule and judgment. I wanted others to be able to see me and in that seeing to be able to feel love and compassion towards me. I didn’t get that a lot in my life. But I still seemed to always be doing that, explaining. I’ve always done a lot of self-analyzing and so it was easy for me to try to explain to others what I was thinking, experiencing, and feeling. I realize now that I was not to blame for those who could not feel and express love and compassion towards me. It was all about them. I cannot imagine doing this to someone else. But it was often my experience.

Now I realize that I have friends who validate me and care about me and I don’t have to explain myself or anything I have done to anyone seeking love, comfort, acceptance and care. I already have that love, comfort, acceptance, and care. So for me, right now, voice is also about when to speak and when not to bother, who to make a commitment to as a friend and who not to, and that the love that I give to another is precious and it is wise to give it to those who see that. All about healing my voice. My voice is precious to me. So I am working on my connectedness to voice, in all it’s meanings to me.

Connectedness to Walking

I love to walk. It is a wonderful thing. It makes me so happy. For half of my life it was easy. Getting out, getting away as a child has always meant freedom. Freedom is where I could breathe. I didn’t have a bike of my own until I bought one at age sixteen, so for most of my childhood freedom meant walking. Walking a mile or two as an adult was always a good thing to do, and not uncommon.

For the second half of my life walking has been difficult and painful. Standing and walking can be and usually is excruciating. For the last month or so I have been walking more. That is how I lost weight when living in the warmer state with my brother. I am trying to do that again.

I can only walk about 75 steps at a time before I need to rest. I am trying to expand that to 100 steps. I am trying to expand my endurance with this, as it is very little, but still so happy that I can manage what I can manage and keep seeing improvement. And usually walk about 800 or more extra steps a day.

My muscles relax more after I walk. I sleep better, sleep deeper, and wake up with less pain. After I walk my body has eliminated more toxins from my system and I feel better, often into the next day. My mood improves and I am able to think and believe more positively about my life.

It is good for my body. It is good for my health. It is good for my mind. I love it. I am very connected to using my body to walk.