We Are All Walking Miracles

I wanted to post about this wonderful concept. This morning I was dropping by some of my closest healing friends’ blogs. The second blog I dropped into was Butterfly’s blog Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids. Her most recent post is titled We Are All Walking Miracles.

First I want to say how much Buttefly inspires me, helps me along in my healing and in my life, a lot. In her blog she shows what kind of person and survivor she is. She is dealing with the aftermath of child sexual abuse every day, every moment. Her depth of humantiy, her life, her truth, her courage, it all shines through so strongly, so powerfully. Her ability to face and write and share about all that is involved in being a survivor, in living her life, in loving and caring for herself and her family, it is amazing, it is wonderful, it is a miralce. She is a miracle.

And today she made me believe I was a miracle too. I want to make a t-shirt and wear it around town. I am a walking miracle. So are you.

Survivor’s Aftereffects List #2

2. Swallowing and gagging sensitivity; repugnance to water on face when bathing or swimming (suffocation feelings).

Yes these are still issues for me. I have trouble swallowing and gag easily. I could never learn to swim certain strokes properly due to the fear of putting my face down in the water. I don’t like to wash my face and usually don’t shut my eyes when doing it. I use an astringent most of the time instead of soap.

My mother abused me in the tub, so there is that added issue. She would often smother me or try to drown me. I often wonder if she meant to kill me and didn’t and feel fortunate that I survived her.

I’m still not sure if my fear of water is only based on my sexual abuse history. My parents were notoriously bad at supervision at the beach when I was a child. No one taught myself and my siblings how to swim.

We were often left in the shallow end of any body of water and told to stay there. I had a few near drownings as a child because I tried to slowly go out to deeper water and hit a drop-off. I think that my fear of water was made worse by the fact that I didn’t know how to swim.

My father would often say that the proper way to learn to swim was to do what his father had done to him as a young child; rowed him out to the middle of a lake, thrown him in, and commanded him to swim and to follow the boat back to shore.

That story, with my fear of water, made me shudder. I was thankful, at all times, that we didn’t live near a lake and that my father did not own a rowboat. I would think that would be a method to drown a child rather than one to teach them how to swim.

This culminated in an incident in junior high when I almost drowned in the high school pool because I was required to too soon jump into the deep end, with the two teachers standing by poolside. After going down for the fourth time one of them decided to jump into the pool.

Last summer I tried to overcome some of this by going to the local gym and walking the pool, swimming a little and hanging out there. This summer I am planning on going to a local beach and swimming there.

Shame and Body Esteem

I was coming home this evening from the nearest coffeeshop and got to thinking about shame. For some reason I was feeling a lot of shame. My mind was wandering and it wandered to the subject of body shame.

I don’t loathe my body any more. But I have a boat-load of body shame still. I hate and abhor certain subjects that are body related. Some I would never choose to discuss. 

My body shame clings to me. I blame my body for existing. I blame my body for being sexually abused. I blame my body for being hurt and for being damaged. I blame my body for being wounded and for all the pain I experience.

After so much effort to heal my body, I am much worse than when it started to be pain filled twenty-five years ago. Nothing makes it better, not by much. Basically there aren’t any wonderful answers or miracles out there for me.

I know on one level that my body is not the cause of being sexually abused. I know it is not it’s fault. I know it is not my body’s fault that it was physically abused and suffered damage from that. I like to think that the body issues and pain are 50% of all the issues that I deal with, but I really don’t know. I have no idea who I would be without it all weighing me down.

On another level I know that if I hadn’t been born, if I hadn’t had a body, no one could have ever hurt me. And so I blame my body for existing. I would not have ever existed and I think how very lovely not to have ever been abused.

I don’t know exactly how my base elements could have perceived loveliness if they were unjoined, but when I think of my non-existence, that is what I think, how very lovely that would have been. 

I look forward to the day when I can think of my existence and think the same thing; how very lovely.

Body Esteem #3

I know that there are lots of me that I don’t acknoweldge and honor. I am really just starting to accept and know certain things about myself. It is a challenge to feel that. It is a challenge to think about being thankful and loving to those hidden things about me.

I am very intuitive. I am coming to know and accept, to honor and express love to myself in this area.

For a long time I was pretty clueless about it all. In other ways I knew there was something extra there, wanted it, was scared of it, embraced it, shared it, was mistreated for it and used for it and now love it. 

I responded to a lot of things that others did not validate. I felt a lot of things that others did not feel. I picked up a lot of vibes and sensations and awareness and knowledge that has been mostly devalued and debunked by others.

I have noticed that more survivors understand. They needed extra life skills in order to read people, especially abusers, in order to survive. They know how to subtly evaluate others, to read tone of voice, facial expression, body language, etc in order to find a way to cope through their childhood days.

This develops our intuition to a higher level than most non-survivors. Mine was always very strong. I hid from that. I hid it from others.

Many times I have thought of intution as an extra gift, something that is almost outside of myself, something that just comes to me out of thin air. In working on body esteem recently I have really come to the conclusion that I was wrong about this.

Intuition is a body-based activity. I use my senses, my body, my nervous system, my digestive system to sense fear, reactions, etc, my immediate environment to evaluate minutia, to come to a conclusion that is based not on something extra-sensory, but rather something that is using all my senses, all my muscles, all my bones, all my body, all my mind, all of me in order to do so.

And for that great gift from my body I am so thankful. I love you my body. I love each part, large and small. I love you for all that you have given me in this respect to live my life, to survive, and to be who I am.

I love you pancreas, perhaps you do help me with my intuition and I just don’t know it yet.

I love you my cells, you join together to make me and I love you for that.

I love you my mind, something in the joining created you and I love and value you.

I love you my DNA. Something inside of you made me uniquely who I am and I celebrate that as I celebrate you. All of my ancestors down the lines of ancestors contributed to you (my DNA) being exactly what you are and for making me who I am. You make it possible for me to have intution. You make it possible for me to be me. I love you.

I love you my intution. I love you my body.

Body Esteem Part 2

There is an interesting book that I read about water. It has helped me to increase and heal my body esteem.

The book is Hidden Messages in Water by Dr. Masaru Emoto.  In the book he shares what experiments done on water taught him. He did experiments on water, froze the water, and then photographed the ice crystals. He discovered some interesting things.

From the product description posted at Amazon.com:

He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors.

His experiments with paying positive attention to water, playing classical music, typing words and taping them to the water bottle facing inwards towards the water, having positve and uplifting television programs playing, all amazingly resulted in beautiful patterns in the crystals.

I read the book and looked over and over at all the beautiful pictures of crystals. I thought well humans are made up of mostly water, so what does this say about being human? It got me thinking. I thought about water a lot for some time.

I decided to do my own life experiment. I always have trouble loving myself. It is one of those survivor issues.

I decided to say words to the water before I drank it. I am no good at telling myself affirmations or positive things. It just seems to trigger self hating thoughts and beliefs and makes things worse. So I was thinking this might work. I’m not saying the words to myself, I’m saying them to the water.

If the water was feeling loved, I thought, before it came into my body, perhaps that would help increase my self love. I did not share this information with anyone.

I picked out the words that I would say. I picked love, joy, happiness, peace, healing. After about five weeks I was feeling more joy. It was an odd, odd thing to be feeling. My life was no different and yet I felt different.

I kept up the practice for a while. Then I kept forgetting. Then it was off and on sporadic efforts to continue doing this. I’m writing about this because my focusing on self-esteem and body esteem lately has been reminding me of water over and over.

I’m talking lovingly to water again. Sometimes it feels good. Sometimes it feels silly. Sometimes it feels both. Sometimes I even say hello beloved to it.

Someday I’m going to say that to myself every day and feel it and mean it.

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.

Self-Loathing

I looked up the definition for loathing. It said great dislike, abhorrence, and, extreme hostility. Other words found in the thesarus included abhorrence, abomination, antipathy, aversion, detestation, hate, hatred, horror, repellence, repellency, repugnance, repugnancy, repulsion, and revulsion.

That pretty much describes self-loathing. To loathe yourself you are fixating a hatred upon yourself and your own body, the body in which you live every moment of your life in, to the level of repulsion, revulsion, and repugnance. That’s a lot of hatred.

I don’t remember at what point in my life I truly knew that I was full of self-loathing. I just know that when I found the label, I knew that I had felt that way the whole of my existence.

Hardly that surprising when your own mother told you over and over that you were unworthy of the air you breathed, the food you ate, and the space that you took up.

When that level of hatred and loathing is expressed at you consistently and over time, your mind believes it, your body believes it, and others around you treat you like they believe it.

I loathed my existence. I can say with all confidence and accuracy that I loathed myself down to my cells. My hatred was so strong, so stringent, so constant.

I imagined during my waking life that I was another person with a different life, any other life, than the one that I had. Even in my dreams, I wasn’t me, the level of disconnection was so strong. I dreamed of being someone else, I was aware in the dream that it was me, that it was a dream, and yet I couldn’t be myself, even there it wasn’t safe to live in my own skin.

I can’t remember when exactly I stopped loathing myself. It was probably after about ten years of healing work, therapy, seeking survivor friendships, reading several hundreds of books, going to support groups, and living my life. Slowly the loathing drained away out of me.

I can now say that I do not loathe myself. Self-loathing is a thing of the past, my past. And I am proud of the work that I have done to close that chapter of the aftermaths of abuse that is my life.

But I still have a lot of self-hatred. I wish with all my heart that it wasn’t there, but it is. And I would love to see that disappear from my life as well.

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.

Fan of the Boss

I love Bruce Springsteen. I really do. I have loved him since I was 21 years old.

I chose this topic because my mind was blank. It has been rainy off and on all weekend and I am kind of tired out. As well. I’m taking a muscle relaxant for my high pain issues (thank you abusers) and it makes me kind of weird, dumbed down, numbed out, disconnected and tired.

My last post was kind of rambling for me and difficult to give it a good flow and make the right kind of sense. Considering the topic it is not hard to understand why it was hard for me to focus, to write, and to get through it. Considering the topic it is not so hard to understand why I haven’t posted in a couple of day.

I’m not upset about anything. I haven’t really talked or interacted with a lot of survivor friends online over the weekend so I am not being fueled.

Tossing around a topic in my mind to write about brought me to Bruce Springsteen. I love him.

I love him as a singer and a poet. He is so fantastic to watch on-stage. He is incredibly gifted but also a working artist. One who works hard at his talent, developing it, thinking about society and issues including the imbalances in power and money, one who is courageous in feeling emotions and in sharing his thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.

I like to think that the kind of poet, the kind of person that I am today was shaped in some small measure by being a fan of his and the kind of human being he is.

He shows an understanding of power and the abuses of power, of money and the uses and abuses of money, of how a society can harm and aid its citizens, of what we as a people, a nation, a human being should be and do. He is an ethical and moral person. I feel a great connection to him.

I have never met him. I have never written to him. I have never gotten a front row seat to see him. I have sat in huge stadiums screaming for him, clapping for him and loving him. I sing every song, well the ones that I know the lyrics to. I have a concert tshirt from the last tour.

So I have never been in the position to ask him if he understands the issues and reality of child sexual abuse. Though he has written songs professing an understanding of abuse and standing up for those who are being violated and abused.

I have not ever gotten to ask him what he thinks about abusers and survivors. But everything that he has ever said about other types of abuse leads me to believe that he knows or would easily understand. That he would care and that he would offer me a hug, that he would sit with me and hold my hand and make me feel accepted and loved, and that he would write a song for all of us who have been hurt. If he could write a song like Tom Joad, an altered version of the end of the movie, The Grapes of Wrath, he understands and he is here with me, he is there with you.

Lyrics to The Ghost of Tom Joad:

Now tom said mom, wherever there’s a cop beatin’ a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby
cries
Where there’s a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me mom I’ll be there
Wherever there’s somebody fightin’ for a place to stand
Or a decent job
or a helpin’ hand
Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free
Look in their eyes mom you’ll see me.

That is why I am posting about Bruce Springsteen. And why I am proud to say that I am a fan of the Boss.

Happy Birthday to Me.

Well a few years ago I started having my yearly exam around the same time of the year as my birthday. I have been trying to have it done each year in the month before my birthday. Last year I didn’t get it done.

It was an effort on my part to do something that was good for my health, by preventative body care, and to frame it that way. 

Five years ago I hadn’t had an exam for some years and was very ashamed of that. I wanted to take better care of my body. I stopped getting exams because, I had two really bad painful exams years before and stopped. I believe that those two women were being abusive.

So I was trying to take better care of myself, to speak up for myself, and to not take any abusive treatment from anyone. And to not let someone lacking in basic human compassion and gentleness to stop me from taking care of my body.

The doctor that I had seen for a few yearly exams was transferred to a different clinic. A long way from where I live. So I was very nervous and very upset. I loved that doctor. She was so nice to me. After the last exam she saw how upset I was, and was crying, she came over and held my hand.

I have only had women for gyn exams. I don’t ever plan on changing that. I will not trust a man to have compassion to a woman’s body. Especially since I have had two women who were not compassionate and who were abrupt and caused me a great deal of pain.

After being sexually abused by my mother, women who are not compassionate can be a very big trigger for me. And then to be mostly unclothed with paper coverings, it feels very vulnerable and scary. To voluntarily let a woman do something to my body that in any way is similar to the sexual abuses my mother put me through is so terrifying. But I keep telling myself I am very brave.

Yesterday I had my yearly gyn exam. I talked a lot. The new doctor was nice. She explained a lot of things to me and that was good. I mentioned being a sexual abuse survivor and she said she had seen that in my chart.

I told her what the person who did my exam four years ago said to me; that mother’s don’t sexually abuse their children. The doctor said well that was wrong of her to say. I told her yes it was and I think that survivors deserve to be treated better.

When it came time to do the exam she told me everything she was going to do in advance and she was very nice to me. I only wish that everyone who did this was as nice. That has not always been my experience.

I can’t say that I love this doctor, like my other doctor, but I have only seen her once. However, she really listened and she responded like she really cared. I do like her. I still miss my other doctor.

So I went out for treats yesterday and had ice cream, twice! It was an early birthday present to myself and my body, going to the doc but the best presents were the ice cream.

I love you sweet body. Happy Birthday, early.