Make Lists

Last year one of my resolutions was to start making lists, starting with lists of healing things. I did work on two lists in detail and several other lists in less detail, and am planning on sharing a lot of that stuff on my lists here. The less detailed lists are on the topics of female role models/kick ass women warriors, mother symbols, and my fathers, the fictional men that I have attached to as father figures.

One of the lists was on coping methods I use in my life and the other list was on ways that I have been working on self-esteem. I have to get my coping list out of my pile of papers in order to make up a post on it. The other list I made on pinterest and I look at it very often. I want to share about both of them here extensively.

I have to say that I’ve gotten a lot of healing through working on self-esteem and I’ve done a lot of that work in the last couple of years. I think that I have always known that self-esteem work would bring me a lot of healing. I’ll write a lot more about my process this year.

Message Boards, Business Websites & Business Blogs

I wanted to mention this, because it has been coming up fairly often as I am blogging. I do have some articles that I connect through a link on any number of my resource pages. I don’t recommend any of those businesses whether they are non-profits or not, even a few links to therapist websites, though I tend to avoid therapist blogs like the plague, and I would never link to a therapist blog.

Some links are to blogs on a topic of life and some are business blogs that the person uses in order to sell their products. I don’t recommend any of them and the sole purpose of the link is for the article that I directly link to. I am not recommending that you read other articles at the same website. I am just recommending this specific article.

I have several links to articles at a message board, but I don’t recommend the message boards, just the article. Over the years I have been a member of several message boards. I am not going to comment on my blog about specific message boards I have been at. There isn’t a message board, that I am aware of, that I would recommend to anyone, to a survivor or a secondary survivor.

I have several links to articles at a mother-daughter sexual abuse organization, I don’t recommend that website. I don’t recommend the message board there. There isn’t a message board that I would recommend to anyone.  What I am recommending is that the article might be worth reading and nothing else.

There isn’t a message board that I would recommend to anyone. If there was I would state that, this is a safe place to go and be a member in my opinion, if not, you can assume that I don’t recommend them.

If I don’t recommend a message board I believe the best phrase of caution would be let the buyer beware. Cautioning a buyer beware attitude to survivors and secondary survivors is what I believe is the best thing to do, whether it is a good site or safe site or not. I don’t have any specific links to message boards, just to articles posted on their parent sites.

If you think that you are not a purchaser of a message board, even if it is free, you would be wrong. I used to think that free support groups were really free, until I was damaged, used, abused and hurt by members, breaking my ability to trust others and to trust myself to discern a safe person. The same would be true of my experiences at message boards.

There was a message board, run by a woman, for survivors of abuse who have Dissociative Identity Disorder, but I was too damaged at the time to trust others there and it was difficult to post, since I was new and got few responses, which was devastating to me. After being abused and wounded it was difficult to build friendships up again. Unfortunately that board closed down some time ago, when I was still struggling through my issues, or I would highly recommend it.

Please use caution when participating at any message board you choose. I recommend checking out my Resource page where there are 40 pages of resources, non-profit organizations, articles, and healing support for survivors of child sexual abuse, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and dealing with the aftermath of child sexual abuse.

I recommend  you look over grounding/coping links and  self-soothe/comfort links and learn some of those techniques as well. I recommend you work on learning and establishing boundaries.

I recommend good and healing thoughts to you all.

I’m Reviewing My Situation

For the last three months I have been reviewing grounding techniques. Over the years I’ve found some that work really good, some that work a little, some that do not work at all and feel uncomfortable, some that do the opposite and are incredibly triggering, and some that do not work at all and that I find loathesome and hateful.

The purpose of grounding is to make us feel safer, more connected. I really have to say that I have not found a huge amount of grounding through the common methods.

I’m going to do a review of grounding methods and post about that soon, as well as sharing why some things seem wrong, bad, or triggering to me and how they might not be the best things for others.  

I’m going to try to do this in small portions, so that I don’t have to write a huge amount that seems to be a huge meal, that no one will find helpful and neither will I. I’m not writing a book here on grounding, I’m going to do it in small snack sized portions so I can focus on specific issues and finding better solutions.

The process in the last few months has found me getting some great ideas and I’m working on developing and refining them, and I’ll post about that as well.

P.S. I’m reviewing my situation is lyrics from the movie Oliver, from a song sung by Fagin, a thief, who takes in orphan and lost kids, turning them into pickpocket thieves. Lol, yes I want to influence others, just not to the dark side.

Holiday Coping

Survivor Resource Pages (Forty pages of resources, non-profit organizations, articles, and healing support for survivors of child sexual abuse, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and dealing with the aftermath of child sexual abuse.)

Grounding/Coping Skills

Self-Soothe/Comfort Skills

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Holiday Coping for Survivors

Holiday Traditions Old & New

An Adult Child Abuse Survivor’s Guide to the Holidays

Holiday Happiness

Surviving the Holidays: Making a List

The New Year’s Resolution Solution

Survivors and Christmas

Survivors Coping With the Holidays

Help Getting Through the Holidays

Shutting Down to Get Through the Holidays

Getting Past the Memories (Holidays)

5 Strategies for Going Home for the Holidays

How to Have a Stress Free Holiday Season

Ten Tips for Coping With Holiday Stress

50 Ways to Find Serenity During the Holidays

50+ Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues

PTSD and Holidays

Give Yourself a Gift

Coping with Holiday Stress

How to Deal With Holiday Stress

Holiday Stress Survival Kit: Strategies to Help You Relax and Enjoy Yourself

Coping with the Holiday Season: Be True to Your Heart

About.com’s Article: Holiday Stress Survival Tips

About.com’s Article: Managing Holiday Stress (focusing on BPD)

About.com’s Page of Holiday Survival Guide Articles

Handling Holiday Stress- 10 Tips for Singles

Tips for Singles on Surviving (and Enjoying) the Holidays

FamilyFun’s Website for Kid’s Seasonal Craft Projects

Shades of Ivory’s Blog Entry: Share Your Christmas with Me!

Kerro’s Korner’s Blog Entry: Recipes for Ivory

My Blue Funk’s Blog Entry: Christmas Lights and Feeling Alive

Here In My World’s Blog Entry: Some things I love

My Blog Entry: Bliss List #11 (Christmas Carols)

My Blog Entry: Holiday Joy

If you find an article or blog post or write one on these topics, please feel free to post a link to this post in a comment. Good and healing thoughts to us all.

Fun and Games

I have been trying to think of fun and games lately. I don’t have enough fun. I don’t go out enough. I don’t play games much. I see that as an issue relating to being a child abuse survivor.

But I love fun, going out and games. So I have been thinking about doing more of these things. When I often think of this, I always plan on making a list and then typing it and then having lists printed out so that I can often refer to it when I need ideas for something good to do. But I never do.

I caught myself again yesterday talking to myself, trying to convince myself to start making a list. Then I thought I was thinking of this last week and probably haven’t done that many more things this past week and I still didn’t have a list.

Actually I have done a few more things this past week. I am proud of that. So before I go on about what I plan on doing this week, I am reviewing what I did do last week.

I took a bike ride, went to the closest coffeeshop, one I have never been to before, and had coffee and read. Really this is my speed. I love to do this. Oh, they had comfortable chairs and I was so happy sitting there.  The coffee was great. The atmosphere was inviting. The staff were warm and polite. The music was world music and some of my favorite stuff. The volume was not too high. All great things. Done just right.

They had a couple singing and playing instruments for an hour and though they weren’t exactly my type of singers, there were quite a few songs that were very nice and I loved the flute playing. So overall I had a great time.

I went and had ice cream twice this past week, another fun activity. Okay, I have such low expectations, but I love ice cream and it brings me a lot of joy. Maybe that is a multiple thing, but I see lots of adults going out for ice cream.

I went to the new bakery in my area and really was excited that I had. It took me some convincing to get myself to go to a new place. I felt uncomfortable there, very. I got a sugared donut and it was huge and tasted good. I plan on going back there again.

So far this week I went out to eat after my chiropractor appointment. I had Chinese food, one of my favorite foods and something that I often yearn for.

Before the appointment I went to my favorite coffeeshop and had coffee and read. It was lovely. They have big leather chairs to sit in. I get to look at the huge windows, stare at the busy downtown block outside the shop, watch the beautiful blue sky and the clouds. It is always a breathe deep kind of time for me when I am there. I feel so happy and really it might only be a small small thing, but it is a huge thing for me and it makes me happy. Sometimes I feel so happy sitting there I start tearing up.

I went online and watched funny shows that made me laugh. Did that yesterday and today. It was great.

My plan for the week is to get out more and also to get to the local store and buy another board game. Called someone and asked them if they would play with me once I get it.

So in the meantime of ever getting a working list of fun and games, I will keep trying to keep coming up with more things to do and to keep reminding myself to do them. Because in the meantime life goes on and fun and games are out there to do, every day of the week.

Serenity Now

I was on a bus on my way home from the chiropractor’s this afternoon. High level of pain. Not feeling particularly chipper.

Trying to come up with new ideas to cope with issues. One issue that I am trying to deal with, that is not getting any better, and triggers me every time, is trying to purposely breathe out all the way.

My mother used to try to drown me, smother me, choke me, so I have issues with my breath. I realized some years ago that I don’t breathe out all the way. I keep some inside, just in case.

My body never relaxes between breaths and I am on high altert status. Pretty common survivor aftereffect.

I’ve learned that when I am upset I hold my breath. It seems to lock in the pain. Once I can breathe out again, some of the pain passes out of my body.

I think the truth is that I am not keeping in oxygen, I am keeping in carbon dioxide. I am keeping in something that is toxic to my body. I am depriving myself of oxygen, breath.

I am repeating a pattern that started from abuse. I have long-term, chronic pain issues that are difficult. I want to continue working on making my life, my body better.

So here I am on the bus trying to purposely breathe out for a few breaths. And to cope I can’t think of anything to comfort myself. Until I think of the Seinfeld phrase Serenity Now.

I know it didn’t work for any of the characters on the show. They were trying to find peace in a moment of turmoil in their life. To them it was serious work and serious words.

One character cautions them not to use pat phrases to push aside bigger issues. He says, Serenity now, insanity later.

But to me it is a hilarious phrase from my favorite comedy show that always makes me laugh. I have used diversion, laughter and humor in the past when anxiety comes over me.

So I breathed out a few times, kept thinking serenity now in my mind. If you saw me on the bus today you saw my eyes glittering, it was from silliness and laughter. I was breathing out. It felt good. And I didn’t panic.

Guess I’ll try to be silly more often.

Serenity Now.