Feeds:
Posts
Comments

++++

Sunday, July 27, 2014.  I write so seldom any more.  I miss it.  I have no idea what I am going to say here today.  I decided that fact is exactly why I need to write SOMETHING.

There is no judge here.  No jury.  No executioner?  Wow.  I did not see THAT word coming!  Yes, my insane, psychotic abusive mother WOULD have been my executioner if she could have done so not once but many, many times.  That was her insanity.  There was no end to how much she needed to abuse me.  That meant that she could not kill me.  She needed me.

But I survived in spite of both her madness and her violence.  Somehow I kept getting up.  I kept going on.  As the experts say about abused infants.  They live the unsolvable paradox of how to keep on being when doing so is impossible.

We survive.  We endure.

Frankly.  I feel tired.  How tired am I?  Actually?  I don’t know.  How I feel and how I am may well not exactly BE the same thing.  I have kept on going many, many times in my life when I was too tired to do so.  When things seemed too hard.

That is what survivors do.

I don’t want to complain.  I don’t MEAN to complain.  I ask myself, “Is that what I am doing?”  I don’t even know the answer to that question let alone the answers to the thousands of questions I ask myself.

Yet some part of me senses that I am REALLY not THAT much “in trouble.”  Trouble will be when my questions stop.  That’s my bet.

++

Right now I am feeling a softness to life that doesn’t come to me very often.  The feeling is a tender one.  It is tied to a certain knowledge that all humans at some time or another get up and keep on going when doing so is, really, all but impossible.

That’s what we humans do.

That’s why we are still here.

That’s why we are likely to stay here.

We learn things.  It might not seem like we do.  But we do learn.  We are always learning.  The softness in our soul keeps us learning just like it keeps us alive.

++

Drumming.  Well, I am learning as I drum.  Without a drum.  Just on my nearly silent practice pad.  As I wrote in my recent post

+MY DISSOCIATION AND MY DRUM TRAINING

I continue to discover my identities without identity.  I wrote down some more of them today to add to the list:

- The one who STOPS and FREEZES

- The one with an altered sense of time

- The one formed in and needing silence and quiet (the still one?)

- The one who does not (cannot?) breath

- The one who does not (need to?) eat

++

In my lesson yesterday “the one who stops” showed up.  Of course.  Trying to drum along with my teacher.  I reached that point without warning.  As always.  STOP.  Arms and hands akimbo in the air.  Poised as if in a photograph snapped in a nanosecond of time.  “Get moving again, Linda!”

Nope.

Not going to happen.

Sometimes, with the patience, humor, persistence, encouragement of my teacher who keeps his sticks going right along I can move past those moments and resume.  Right along with him.  There is ALWAYS a point where the freezing stays frozen.

In some ways that’s to be expected.  My prof can drum so much faster than I can at this point he will always be ahead of me.  The trick each week is to see if I can get just a little faster, stay with him just a little longer as he gradually speeds up.  But I HATE that freezing and the inability to START again once that happens where the STOP has no GO after it.

+

“The one with the altered sense of time” learned something very intriguing yesterday.  I don’t understand the complexity of this learning process for prof’s other students who at some point must “perform” something.  But he spoke of the fact that adrenaline powerfully effects how a drummer perceives the speed of their drumming.  What MOSTLY happens is that when stressed the drummer speeds up.  They need to be told to “step it down a notch or two.”

All fine and good.  “Humans do not have an internal metronome within them.  Nobody does.”

All fine and good but I need to eventually ask teach about the “keeping the beat steady” part — no matter the SPEED of the drumming.

For the future….

HOWEVER…..

MY part of the story?  I told teach that sometimes at the faster metronome speeds I can be listening to the steady clicking beat and IT CHANGES ITSELF.  Or so it seems.  Becoming unsteady.  Un-rhythmic.

I always logically know this is impossible.  I invested some bucks in an excellent digital quartz metronome.  It goes nowhere but where I set it.  But to ME – it does sometimes change it’s beat — impossible or not.

Nope.  Very interesting.  That is the OPPOSITE of what happens for “ordinary” people learning to drum.  For me, then, it must be a consequence of the unsettled and unsettling nature of both my “PSTD” and “depression” that my inner adrenaline speed can send me off somewhere — at some speed — where time is not a static fixed-interval kind of “thing.”  Of course time IS a non-thing.  A NO-THING.  A nothing?

+

I also asked teach about having him teach me some keyboard exercises.  The brain training, the coordination, the increasing muscle memory, increasing speed — all of that will transfer to drumming.  However.  I am a SILENCE lover, really, who even now lives in a city surrounded, enmeshed, entrapped within noise pollution.  I don’t want to LISTEN to the “noise” of a keyboard.

But perhaps I MUST increase my tolerance for sound!  How am I ever going to play a “real” drumset if I cannot tolerate the NOISE of it?

Go ahead.  Chuckling allowed.

I told teach I am a musician on the other side of silence.  Music HAS to include sound and silence.  I think to most people music is on the side of the SOUND part of it.  Like numbers going up on the positive side on a number line from zero – that’s the noisy part of music.  Going down into the negative numbers below zero.  That’s the silent part.  I like the silence.

Teach assured me that to learn the techniques on keyboard he would give me to practice I have to at least hear SOMETHING of the notes being played because I need to differentiate the notes completely, one from the other, as I train to move VERY FAST up and down and around those keys.

Lately, in the tender places where I feel being human with others being human, I think that the drumming is solely FOR ME.  IF I learn keyboard, and learn to read that music, I might be able to share with OTHER people what they like about music.

Once a person can move very fast and accurately, precisely, no matter upon what instrument being played, the SOUND would seem to wash out the silence.

Is that true?

I am to find out.  Even on the days when I have to force myself to practice.  When I have to remind myself that I WANT to do this.  Because I have to battle for my own life through this depression that sends me somewhere else more and more often in order to get my practicing done lately.  (I think to a large extent because winter is not far from now – and that challenge will again be nearly more than I can bear.  And I know it.)

An important reason to let whatever side of music I claim as mine take place in this little apartment.  Let it grow.  Bring it to life within me.

Past this?  I do not know.

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

++++

Leave a Comment »

++++

+GORILLA LOVE (lost)

++++

Friday, July 18, 2014.  I read an excellent book several years ago within whose pages I saw myself mirrored back to me.   A good thing?  I would say no, but it was an essential thing.

I absolutely do not believe that I was born autistic, yet the author’s experience of herself in her life was so familiar to me I ended up underlining many of her words as I wrote comments about my similar feelings and perceptions in the book’s margins.

I HATE the fact that I know much of what this woman knows.  It is a reality for me that I do, and a very sad one.

Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism Paperback – March 22, 2005

by Dawn Prince-Hughes Ph.D.

++

I recommended the book to a friend of mine who has read it and today sent me the link to this NOVA video:

Watch What Happens When This Gorilla Is Reunited With The Human Who Raised Him. So Many Feels.

It was the moment when the gorilla has his loved one wrapped tightly in his arms that cut through to the deep infant-child abuse trauma-created sadness in my heart as if my being was sliced open.  This video touches my own wound that evidently will never heal in this lifetime (I turn 63 at the end of August).

I WANT to love and to feel loved in THIS way!  That ability was taken away from me.

Such a love.  It appears so organic.  So primal.  So essential.  Necessary.  Easy?

I know for a fact that for someone like me this kind of love – the EXPERIENCE of this kind of love – is not a part of reality.  I am not saying that it COULD not be, but given the conditions of American culture and the life that I lead here what I WOULD need to heal the depths of my love-wound is not available.  Therefore I will never know if my wound could heal under the right conditions.

So – for me – I just know it’s impossible.  I am not going searching for words to explain what I mean.  I am convinced that those readers who watch this video and feel this kind of powerful, profound, pervasive sadness that I feel will know exactly what I am talking about.  It is a part of who we are.

But I do not say it is a “bad” thing.  It is a REAL thing.  And it is a sad one.  Tragic.  Tied to profound grief for what we missed and for what was done to us to rob us of the innate experience of love-experience.  Abuse of infants and children NEEDS TO STOP!

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

++++

Leave a Comment »

++++

++++

Monday, July 14, 2014.  Forty eight degrees seems a little chilly to me for a near-mid-July sunny morning in Fargo.  I needed my winter down jacket to sit outside on my cement slab to watch the sun light the tips of the cattails like candles.  And here comes the certain puffs of north wind gusting at my back.  Glaciers soon to follow?

Never mind.  I am trying hard to be a better sport about all of this.  The past few days could not have behaved themselves more perfectly.  I appreciate.  I am grateful.

Now I ponder the snippet of a dream I forced myself to pay attention to enough to remember something from it as my alarm sounded.  A woman who had been quite large.  When I left my friend.  When I came back.  She had SHRUNK not a a little though she was little.  So little now!

She had fallen in love during my absence and was soon to marry.  As her friend I wanted to sew her a wedding dress.  HOW!  She was small as a baby!  There she was sprawled, barely visible tiny arms, miniature hands, lost in the great folds of her clothes that were now SO BIG!  A doll?

Who knows?  I got very little across the dream threshold with me.  Just enough to know the dream colors were vivid nearly beyond my waking imagination!

And to know that when I am dreaming things are moving FASTER than the speed of light.  Unencumbered things are seen, felt, known, accomplished, changed in such teensy degrees of time….

++

Time.  Time creeps into my thoughts in increasingly different ways as I proceed day by day, week by week — my life lived in between my Saturday at 4:30 in the afternoon drumming lessons.  In between.  I live.  I practice.

I learn.

Yes, I learn drumming, but more significantly to me (Is such a thing possible?) I learn more and more about HOW I am in the world as a trauma changed person with what I now know is a nearly entirely dissociative process of living.  I experience this as I meticulously (thanks to the professional demands of my expert teacher) train every cell of my body involved in the process how to accomplish the mental-physical skill required to advance “as a drummer” into what may well — actually — in significant ways — be my NEW life.

Once I was NOT a drummer?  And then I AM a drummer?  Who WILL be a drummer?

I am BECOMING.  Like a caterpillar BECOMING a butterfly?

++

I have become — evidently — more fragile post-my-MAJOR-move north last October — than I have ever been in my life.  The line between my being OK and being a MESS is so very, very fine these days.  And mostly I do not know where that line is and I mostly don’t know how to recognize myself when I cross it.  Going both ways….

BUT – never before have I had access to a process that puts my dissociation patterns SMACK into my conscious awareness!  Left arm-hand-fingers = right brain activation.  Right arm-hand-fingers = left brain activation.  How strange.  One day one half of my body behaves quite nicely so that I spend an entire practice session trying to get my errant side to behave itself just as well!  LOTS of concentration.  LOTS of practice.

Next day?  My reality seems entirely reversed!  My reality switches sides.  Betraying me?  In my mounted frustration last week I really DID try to beat my sticks hard enough on my practice pad to break them.  I guess it takes a lot to break a good drumstick.  I have to try harder?

No.  I decided (of course) to continue to engage cooperation toward my eventual aim of learning to be a most excellent drummer!

BUT – because I was “upset” quite a bit last week (for complicated reasons that don’t really matter ’cause all this really is – is LIFE) – I decided to let myself know that FOR ME not only is it a reality that every drumming movement has to be practiced, taught to, each part of my being completely at every single speed slow-to-fast, I – being the unique person I was built to be by 18 years of severe abuse trauma – must go through this entire process which each separate “identity without an identity” that I have (is me?).

Great.

These identities that never got to form themselves into separate identities (or personalities) within me in the psychotic hell Mother kept me within are extremely notable in their in-and-out process as I practice drumming.  They have no names.  They seem to have no face, no ears or eyes or legs or arms except those of my ONE body, no special consciousness.  I know they “are here” when I practice because they each have a different skill ability with my body-brain’s effort to LEARN this complex skill set.

There are times I am drumming away and all of a sudden EVERYTHING just stops.  Out of nowhere.  No reason I can detect.  My arms frozen in midair with NO idea what to do next.  How bizarre, scary, troubling, AGGRAVATING, mysterious is THAT?

Very.

++

So, on this index card I wrote on July 8th during an especially difficult practice session I tried to identify BY FEELING each time something “shifted” within me as it demonstrated itself in an interjected shift in my drumming:

- DISCOURAGED SELF

- EAGER SELF (crushed)

- TRYING SELF (fails)  (stupid)

- FIGHTING FOR LIFE SELF (threatened with oblivion)

- limbo self

- numb self

- confused self

- overwhelmed self

(am feeling really lost without the natural world to ground and sustain me — nature and gardening)

(big trouble without privacy living in an apartment, in a city)

(big trouble with noise and light pollution)

- drumming — feeling nothing will ever get any better no matter how hard I try

++

Now, once I reached that last awareness and wrote it down on my card – feeling nothing will ever get any better no matter how hard I try — I stopped writing.  This feeling seems to underlie, surround, permeate, overwhelm everything I know and did know about myself in my 18-year imprisonment with mentally ill Mother.

That is a stand-alone statement for me.

What do I DO with it?

++

Not much.  Put it here into this post.  AND do what I have ALWAYS done:  Move on.

++

SO….  This past Saturday something yet again tipped me across whatever that line between nearly OK or relative OKness into “Uh-oh!  Here I go again!”  I learned from another lesson day recently that when I am “upset” I CANNOT perform in my lesson.  I profoundly CANNOT.

THIS past Saturday I decided to risk informing my teacher about my experiences.  I told him the overriding arch this drumming is passing under continually, like water under a bridge, is MUSIC THERAPY.  I asked for confidentiality for EVERYTHING that happens during our lessons.  No talking to peers or students or friends or anyone else about anything to do with ME.

My teacher, doctorate percussionist that he is, is brilliant.  He has evidently studied an impressive, vast array of subjects.  He knew very well what I was talking about.

Of course when I am “in multiplication mode” – HA!  HA! — Dissociating against my will or control — going through phases/stages of faceting like a diamond — some parts of me hear things (when I am feeling under stress/duress/distress/pressure) that other parts of me know nothing about.  I HATE admitting this is so, but lately I can look back at my entire life and see how this has been happening to me in some ways and in some situations all of my life — I can see these patterns.

For example, even talking with my adult daughters about their childhoods, about places and situations that happened in this geological area, they are sometimes astounded that large chunks of time where there SHOULD be memories are gone.  Simply GONE.  Like someone picked up my briefcase as I waited at an airport terminal for a flight into the next stage of my life and ran off with it.  With THEM.

Gone.

So, while I DO remember much of last lesson’s conversation there is much I do not.  I have a commitment to these lessons.  I am increasingly trusting that if something is really important on any level it/I/we will get back to it again in a future lesson.  Circling.  Spiraling.  Like a DNA spiral dance forward in time.

What I do remember is my teacher saying that having “identities” simply MEET one another is — what?  Healing?  Helpful?  Necessary?  Inevitable?  Possible, desirable?  Dr. Brett didn’t offer any evaluative statement at all.

++

By beginning to write my notes during drumming practice this was exactly the direction I hoped to follow.  The process of my being able to IDENTIFY these identities without identity feels very hopeful to me.  Even exciting, though also both mysterious and magical.  MEET myself coming and going – DRUMMING!

I get goosebumps thinking about it.

Healing?  FUN?

Oh, yes!

++

Some part of me powerfully wanted/needed to know what the progression of my training is going to be.  At what point will I actually NEED an INSTRUMENT?

I smile when I think about the fact I am deeply involved in learning an instrument — without having the instrument.  This drumming practice pad is now secured to a $50 super stable stand.  That’s all I need for months to come.

But I HAD to know the process of this progress.  “Where is this all going?”  Brett explained to me that the techniques for the “double stroke roll” that are currently being mastered over the next months are the “tree trunk” from which two main branches of drumming techniques will grow for me (for all drummers).  The double stroke uses LARGE motor and FINE motor muscles/brain connections.  One line of techniques will mostly use the large and the other will use the small skill-sets.

Meanwhile I am supposed to get perfect technique/form on the double stroke as I eventually get fast.  Very fast.  So fast that at present I cannot imagine I will ever get there!

Am I TRYING?  You bet.

Will I get there?  My teacher assures me I will.

I asked him, “How often do drummers actually go THAT FAST?”  (64th notes or faster)

“It depends on whether or not they CAN go that fast, ” Brett replied.  “If a drummer CAN go that fast (she/he) WILL go that fast — whenever they feel like it.  If they CAN’T go that fast — well — they never will.”

++

I have a long road to go, a long row to hoe.  BUT I am hopeful, excited:  This is possible!  Every identity-without-an-identity can show up during the process and I will not be daunted.  I will patiently train each and every single one of them how to drum each technique to perfection.

When I get well down this road — oh how PROUD I will be!  ALL of us will meet one another in some way with those drumsticks in our/MY hands!

WOW!

What I know right now is that I cannot proceed down this pathway of learning without these “parts” of me being involved because drumming is SUCH a finely tuned, finely trained physical and mental and spiritual process.

Drumming is my gift to myself.

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

++++

Leave a Comment »

++++

++++

Saturday, July 12, 2014.  Muted thoughts this morning, observations about life.  Like muted wind.  Sunlight muted by clouds.  Just not muted mechanical noise as I sit outside my apartment as very old and worn air conditioners fill the air with roars and drones and high-pitched screams and whistles echoing shrilly like giant boiling teapots from wall to wall between these brick apartment buildings.

There will be no quiet here until this brief summer passes and the frigid air again grips the great northern plains in long, long winter.

Yet as I think about my days, there are many glistening moments.  Just as I did during the seven years I lived on the Mexican-American border line in Arizona, I love the visits of young children.  I keep a tray filled with water and all kinds of small toys outside my door on this cement slab.  The children, mostly resettled refugees from Nepal and Africa, stop by in little groups to get their hands wet, pouring water to and fro from this into that.

Children without guilt or guile.  Futures of possibilities awaiting them in this rich land of America they know nothing about except that they and their loved ones are safe, fed, can go to a doctor, have a roof over their head and are not passing suffering, starving, dying humanity alongside the roads.  Unlike where they came from.

++

Really, there are nothing but stories.  We live with the stories of our ancestors as their lives found their way to influence our own.

One I heard yesterday as a young man gave me a lift home from a friend’s house.  An energetic, so-positive young man of 27 shared a part of his story with me during that 10-minute drive.  He is in Fargo for a few weeks from Fresno, California teaching a group of Native American young people from the terribly distressed Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota and from the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota how to start junior youth groups in their areas for young people ages 11-15.  To give them hope.  To give them direction.  To help give them a better future.  (The youth suicide rate on Standing Rock, once the ‘forced’  home of Sitting Bull, the great chief who beat Custer at Little Big Horn, is the highest in the nation.  Obama visited that reservation on June 13th of this year.)

This young man told me his mother’s father was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver when his mother was 8 months old.  Her mother had to go to work full-time and left the baby during the day (her two older sisters were in school) with a babysitter who tortured, tormented, abused her.  It took too long for the abuse to be detected and stopped.

In a car filled to overflowing with the gentle love this young man has for his mother – now in her 60s – I heard him tell of the lifelong struggles of his mother from the abuse in her early life.  “She never abused her own children.  She did her best.  But that kind of trauma cannot be erased in one generation.  I did suffer because of my mother’s suffering.”

“She never fit into the world.  She had a hard time.  She supports herself giving piano lessons.”  And after a long, tender pause, “She has a musical mind.”

++

I heard another story yesterday from an 85-year-old woman whose father immigrated nearly 100 years ago to homestead a farm in the middle of North Dakota because he refused to raise a family in war-torn Syria, place of his birth.

This woman, who still keeps foster children in her home, has over more than 50 years had many dozens of parentless refugee children pass through her home as she cared for them until they could be settled permanently into this area.  “Why,” she voiced her tormented plea, “do so many people hate one another around this world?  Why do wars and killing continue?  Why is there so much greed and corruption?  Why can’t the religions agree?”

This woman, who has been a member of the Baha’I Faith for all of her adult life, already has the best explanations possible in this lifetime for why humans act the way that they do and for what it will take for peace to finally encircle this planet.  She continues to work ceaselessly for the betterment of the world.

Yet she cannot stop asking the questions because she will never stop caring.

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

++++

Leave a Comment »

++++

 

++++

Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  I have too many questions without answers.  Sometimes, like now, my questions scare me.

I am so very grateful to have a computer and access to internet.  My next thought, however, ties directly into my questions:  Does the (to me, dangerous) escalation of problems in this world simply directly correspond to the escalation in knowledge-finding resources available to humans that we must have to begin to find solutions to these same problems?

I dove into the internet today to land ……  UhOh – In read time at this moment…..  Speaking of problems, I look out my window and see the poison hose of hundreds of feet being dragged around the apartment complex’s lawn by the herbicide man.  Does ANYONE ever ask what these poisons are doing to LIFE itself – and especially to our children’s health?  Why do we wonder about the terrifying rise in autism in our kids, for example?  I certainly just gave the poison man – who wears no protection against his own toxins – the evil eye as I slammed my window and door shut.

“Leave it, Linda.  You can do NOTHING but ask the questions and modulate your own rage at human shortsighted stupidity!”

BEFORE this vision appeared…….

I went searching and found these highly intriguing books:

The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron Ph.D. (Jun 2, 1997)

The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them by Elaine Aron (Oct 8, 2002)

Parenting the Highly Sensitive Child: A Guide for Parents & Caregivers of ADHD, Indigo and Highly Sensitive Children… by Julie B. Rosenshein (Apr 24, 2013)

The Highly Intuitive Child: A Guide to Understanding and Parenting Unusually Sensitive and Empathic Children by Catherine Crawford (Jan 1, 2009)

++

Trauma in the world ends up in the physiology of the people in or near it.  It ends up in the epigenetic powers that control the operation of DNA – very probably and often right on down the generations.

How does the ‘body of the world’ react to the devastation of combined erroneous actions toward life?  Who pays the price?  AND HOW?

Who is considered ill or subversive if they raise an eyebrow against mass stupidity, let alone a voice?

Are there children being born now on this planet with a supersensitive physiology that can simply not tolerate the toxins infesting our planet on every level – including social-emotional toxins of all kinds even when outward “abuse” does not seem to be remotely present?

++

I was telling my oldest daughter last weekend that I am always glad I believe in a life after death – as crazy as this world seems to me – where – and I meant to say “All my questions will be answered” – but it came out – “Where all my answers will be questioned.”

Today as the horrible odor of this weed poison invades all these apartment dwellings and will contaminate every romping, happy child who plays on this grass, I find myself thinking there are a whole lot of supposed ANSWERS being implemented in America, certainly, that will need to be questioned in that next world!

Meanwhile, we and our children live on this earth suffering from and dealing with consequences of being here that are having and will continue to have massive effects on the NERVOUS SYSTEM and IMMUNE SYSTEM of increasing numbers of children who are probably being born in super-sensitized bodies in reaction to the toxic forces already present in their parents – certainly sent right into the fetus through its mother.

I remember the perfection of the Alaskan wilderness where I was raised on that mountain homestead.  I fear – in reality – that era was the last of wilderness.  The systems on this tiny planet are so interconnected pollution circles in the air, in the water – in myriad ways and patterns that have removed purity from the planet.

This morning – I don’t think purity exists any more for us here on this planet.  What of our children’s futures?  What is the cost of their adapting to the conditions we continue to create here?

Will it “all come out in the wash?”

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

++++

Leave a Comment »

++++

++++

Friday, July 4, 2014.  Who was I to badmouth blackbirds?  Shame on me.  And I mean that!

Two days ago baby and I were out strolling around (he turns 2 on the 20th – weather was great – a rather rare treat – and the stroller is our transportation).  When I came back I noticed a small plastic tub I don’t own under a little white table on my “patio” I had scrounged one day a month ago from the apartments’ dumpster.  What?

And then the sound of whispering wings flapping on the ground.  A broken legged, broken winged small blackbird?

Within moments of my arrival back home a young boy, I suppose about 12 who seemed autistic rushed up to me.  “Will you take the bird to a doctor?”

“Oh, no,” I had to tell the boy, who immediately problem-solved.  “Well, I will go tell the office then.”  Off he ran with all the innocent blessed faith a human can muster.

He did not come back.  The bird did not leave.

Terror in its little wise eyes, the bird scooted itself into the cool damp shade between my 5-gallon white buckets on my cement slab that serve as my flower garden (often robbed beyond my sight of any bloom that can be captured by child fingers).

In the heat of afternoons the apartments’ many young children romp around the cattail pond – and up to my little area – this time terrifying the helpless, wounded bird.  I tried to talk to the children about leaving the bird alone.  Moslem refugee children from Africa.  Little immigrant children from Nepal.  All too young and so innately enthusiastic and curious.  So busy.  So LOUD.

I was afraid to pick the bird up for fear of hurting it further so herded it down to the reed pond where it instantly disappeared into welcoming fallen brown sticks and stiff growing greenery.  End of story?

After the hot sun disappeared over the tallest northwest apartment building’s roof I went outside and the bird was back.  Devouring cracker crumbs.  I spoke to it and left it alone to determine its fate the best it could.

Yesterday morning the bird was gone.  The neighbor’s large black cat prowled the reed pond all morning.  The bird?

Last evening at 5:00 pm the bird was back searching for food in the area of the grass by my cement slab upon which I throw crumbs.  What to do?

The bird is now ensconced in my bathtub on an old towel with a box to hide itself in.  I cannot tell the extent of its injuries.  Leg, wing AND tail?  The bird can spread both wings out beside it and pull itself forward with one good leg at AMAZING speed.  Sometimes if I approach it very slowly with quiet speech it lets me stroke its feathers.  Other times it becomes frantic.

So – I have a little wounded representative of the wild bird kingdom living in my tub.  Such stamina!  What a life force!  I will need to create some kind of safe haven in the house for it – somewhere the baby cannot reach.  It eats and drinks water just fine.  How long will it live?  What kind of pain is it in?

Meanwhile — there is an entity in my apartment.  A friend.  A teacher.

I will not put it back outside to be torn apart by a cat.  One moment at a time this bird and I will move forward through time the best that we can.  What else is new?

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

++++

Leave a Comment »

++++

++++

Saturday, June 28, 2014.  I am unfamiliar with what it feels like to go so many days without being inspired to write a blog post.  I miss the writing.  I miss the feeling of inspiration that has always been a part of my writing.  It seems that at present I am simply left to examine whatever change of direction I have taken in my life that seems to threaten my feeling that perhaps I have something helpful to offer others who suffer the lifelong effects from a terrible childhood.

Yet as soon as I wrote those words I saw it is a narrowing of extreme focus that has captivated most of my attention at present.  I am pouring my efforts into my youngest grandson who turns two July 20th.  He is in my care at least 9 hours each weekday.

On the grand scale it is being trapped by weather in one room of my small apartment that adds so many layers of difficulty to my task.  It continues to rain often here.  Winters in Fargo provide at least five months of frigid temperatures coupled with deadly wind chills.  My own natural inclinations towards being outdoors year round in my southern high desert lifestyle have no way to be fulfilled here.

Yet for whatever personal struggles I am going through here it is my effort to provide this little boy the best opportunity I can give him to form his little self in an environment of supportive peaceful calm that now directs my life.

The terrible noise pollution of this place seems more than I can bear.  I could list difficulties that challenge me here as if my essence is being forged in a blast furnace.  I do not wish to write about what I do not wish to focus upon.  The energy it takes for me to reside here is massive.

I think about the heat it takes in a kiln to turn a piece of clay into an enduring object of  beauty.  On the human level it takes the instant-to-instant living of life to provide what a rapidly developing little one needs to grow a nervous system-brain and emerging mind and self that will be the dwelling place that little one will move forward with for a lifetime.

Experiences of early life can never be repeated in terms of their critical impact on setting the trajectory of a life.  Doing the job of providing whatever I can toward whatever this little boy needs when he is with me is the focus of my life.  I can weather the challenges of my life but such a little person as my grandson is can weather very little on his own.  At this point words fail me and vanish.

++

I see in  my mind a circle I create within which this little boy is completely safe and secure.  It is my attention —  as I attend to his developmental needs —  that maintains this circle which itself is a living “thing” upon which a newly forming life depends.

I am, of course, simply a part of this child’s life.  Yet both of his parents work full-time which leaves 50-55 hours per week open in the daily life of my little grandson during which he is without his primary attachment people to meet his critical needs — which certainly do not cease while they are away from  him.

My grandson will never consciously remember any part of this time he and I spend together and yet I believe these hours during these months of critical development add central value to the betterment of his future.

In the grand scheme of life on this planet our little theater is minuscule.

Or is it?

++

PS.  I have a drumming lesson today which I am greatly looking forward to!  Interestingly, I am learning a great deal about how my dissociation is operating as I practice.  Perhaps I will write a post about that one of these days….

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

++++

Leave a Comment »

++++

+SEEKING TEARS?

++++

Monday, June 23, 2014.  I used to have a friend many years ago, an older man with 35 years of sobriety who kept my old car running to perfection through the years I worked on my art therapy master’s degree in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  He used to tell me that hard times grew pathways into a person’s heart through which increased wisdom and compassion could flow.  Therefore “tests and difficulties” were a very good thing.

I have been wondering about my tears being so close to the surface since my son returned home far away after his visit here.  What is it about our culture that shuns sadness and tears as if they are a sign of flawed weakness, inefficient and ineffective at best, a sign of “depression” and sickness at worst?

Two words appeared in my thoughts today:  Affection and tenderness.  Wouldn’t these be among our chosen, favored feelings to keep close to us as a good, strong glue to hold both our inner and outer life together?  And is there any reason why tears themselves could not be accepted as being one main ingredient of these states of being?

I suffered greatly through my childhood because nobody in my life ever felt these feelings for me (except my brother who was 13 months older than me and my grandmother who had her access to me denied by Mother).  It was one of the great areas of neglect in my early life that nobody ever noticed the absence of affection and tenderness toward me.  Rather, terrible abuse and hatred came my way and yes, I cried a LOT.

The sickness in Mother as it poisoned my father LIKED to see me suffer.  In Mother’s broken mind my suffering expunged all other suffering from Mother and her family.  No wonder I have personally grown to see tears as being associated only with harm.

We normally respond to other people’s suffering with compassionate, helpful concern.  I guess I turn that same ray inward toward myself when I detect my own tears present.  Yet when my tears are tied to deep affection and tenderness, appreciation, even awe, they are not a bad thing.  They are a sign that I have found ways to let life create what my friend described as bigger, deeper places in the heart.

That is something to aim for, not condemn, fear or always try to “fix.”

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

++++

Leave a Comment »

++++

+TWO EVENTS OF JOY

++++

Sunday, June 22, 2014.  I want to write about something else for a few moments:  Joys.

One evening my son laid out on my daughter’s kitchen table exquisite pieces of porcelain and stoneware wheel-thrown pottery he made for us and carried to us wrapped inside his clothing inside his carry-on suitcase when he flew out for his visit.  We admired.  His two sisters, my older grandson (age 4) and I each chose pieces we liked best to take into our own lives.  There are no words for such an experience.  So achingly full of love and precious.

Later that night I realized I still have the collection of clay tools that my son and I shared as we worked at a large table on clay in our home the year between his second and third birthdays.  I found them and showed them to him the next day when he stopped by here.  How affirming and joyful to me it is that he chose ten of them to take into his life.

Some of the tools are sharp and could not be carried with him on his flight home yesterday.  I am going to mail them to him but first I am going to make a cloth storage holder for them — long with a pocket for the handle of each tool to slide into — that can be rolled up and tied.

(What is it about being human that love and joy and tears all seem to live together within?  I feel this as I write these words.  I miss my beloved son just as I will miss my beloved daughters and grandsons if I find in a year that I really cannot inwardly afford to continue to live in this horrendous cold winter climate and return to my own desert place that feels like home to me.)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yes, we child abuse survivors did live through hell that put us through a process that seems to have enlarged and honed some amazing gifts.

Something else quite special happened last week as my son and I an my daughter and her two little boys traveled to visit a zoo an hour south of here.  There were no crowds.  The weather was perfect.  The zoo vibrates with the loving care from humans who care for those confined – and mostly protected – animal species members.

Not unlike my experience of sharing at the smaller local zoo here with that so distressed wild goose who needed to be noticed, heard, helped to calm from its terrible crying as I wrote about it in a post a month or so ago, this past week it was the buffalo who especially touched my soul.

As I approached their double-fenced enclosed pasture to stand at one end all eight of the animals within turned to walk to meet me.  They lined up against their fence, glorious massive heads turned sideways enough that I could see one huge dark eye of each animal and without any sound we spoke to one another of days gone by individually and for one’s species.  Of enduring what is hard and not even just or fair.  Of strength.  Of dignity.  Of not being able to roam around in one’s own world – the pure wild world being destroyed.

Of the sadness that must be contained and lived with well — graciously —  courageously — no matter what.

As I finally turned to find and follow my family they all turned and walked slowly away.  “I will miss you.  I will remember you.  I know you.  I love you.  We are all OK.  Thank you.”

The sentiments flowed out mutually between us without sound until from across the zoo came the mournful, powerful bellow of a Bactrian 2-humped camel, of which there are only 950 left on the planet.

++

Such moments in life where the light shimmers and gleams sustain me.  Heal me.  Help me.  They remind me nobody is alone on this earth.  But for some reason I may never understand in this lifetime not even such moments seem to pass me by without tears along with the joy.

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

++++

Leave a Comment »

++++

++++

Sunday, June 22, 2014.  It is time for me to write something, no matter how incomplete and inadequate I may feel my writing to be.  I doubt many stop along the way to document in written words what their experience of rappelling a cliff side feels like in mid-climb.  Or in mid fall because falling is what I felt like yesterday.  Free falling into a bottomless well or falling helpless over a cliff as I worked to grab anything I could find to hold onto to stop my fall.

I called good friends who know, love, accept and understand me best because they, too, live under the effects of lifelong consequences of severe early abusive trauma.  They offer me a kind of rescuing.  This rescuing comes from them helping me to verbally describe what I am feeling at the same time I work to clarify triggers for my feelings of deep distress both in my current life and in my past so I can begin to fit puzzle pieces together of a picture where I can feel more solid again.  More cohesive.  Less desperately fragmented and far less hopelessly lost.

++

Over a decade ago one of my sisters recognized how good things happening in my present life can themselves be directly tied to trauma in my childhood.  She knows what my childhood was like.  She was there even though she lived with my other siblings in the “good” world our psychotic Borderline Personality Disorder mother’s mind created for everyone else in our family to live in except me.

So I am today calming down enough within — becoming more oriented, my thoughts more organized — to pick up the knowledge and truth in that puzzle piece to identify that during this past week when my baby (who is 29) was here visiting a hotbed of good experiences directly shook up my inner trauma-built reality — because he had to leave.  (It had been five years since I had seen all three of my children together.  This was the first time I was able to see my son with his nephews.)

My son has gone home over 1500 miles away from here and such a wake of massive sadness in me arose to greet his departure I became nearly swallowed up whole by the tidal force of its power to disrupt what is now always my fragile — and vulnerable — equilibrium.

++

Overload and overwhelm.  How familiar that feeling is to me from my 19-year insanely abusive childhood (from birth).

Absolutely NOTHING stood between infant-child me and the force of the violent, brutal, on-going abusive rage and hatred of Mother toward me.  Any solace I found, any break of temporary reprieve I ever found was generated by me inside my own young body-brain-mind.  And then always my inner sense of fragile equilibrium would be exploded again by yet another insanely abusive attack my Mother.  I then had no choice but to pass through those times being obliterated as a person on every level but my suffering through what she forced me to endure on a daily basis.  This pattern usually happened to me many times a day and often during the worst of Mother’s rage-filled storms for days, weeks and even for months on end.

++

Raising my three children — an occupation that took the span of 35 years of my adulthood due to their age spacing until all three had reached age 18 — somehow miraculously stabilized and solidified me.  When my youngest left home ten years ago my world really did crumble, disintegrate and fall apart and I never saw it coming.  I did not (because I could not?) prepare myself to lose myself at my children’s leaving the nest I did everything in my power to create and sustain for THEM.

Yes, the trail my children had to take through their childhoods had to follow the tangle of me trying to make my way in a world I can never understand and was profoundly and absolutely NEVER prepared to live in.  But being a mother centered on raising my children to be whole, healthy and happy was the glue I used to keep me in my own life together.

++

I knew none of this consciously.  And there seems to be an infinite number of levels to awareness.  As I told my dear friend yesterday as soon as my son returned home from his visit here I was plunged again into a boiling cauldron of powerful, trauma-created emotions (being conveyed to me through my super-charged right limbic brain centers).

++

Love coupled with joy overwhelmed by sorrow.

++

This is what my body knows and it inextricably combines my past with my present.  The speed, the force, the power of right-brain-fed emotions to disintegrate any cohesive sense I have of myself moving through time in my life is as stunning as it is unimaginably devastating.

++

Dr. Allan N. Schore writes about the neurobiology of early infant rapid right brain development that takes place through the infant-mother attachment relationship as the mother literally, according to Schore, downloads her right limbic brain into her infant’s rapidly forming right limbic brain.  Face-to-face extremely rapid interactions create and sustain this infant brain building process.  (Google search the terms “schore mother infant attachment stop the storm” for background information.)

Because in the past 24 months of my life (I am approaching my 63rd birthday) I have finally achieved the most bedrock understanding of how Mother’s hatred of me was entirely created and sustained by the psychotic workings of her sick m ind, I am learning how absolutely devastating to my own efforts to live a balanced life the impact of her psychosis was and will always be to me.

There was NO SANITY in Mother’s interactions with me from the first breath I took.  Oddly enough it was during my drumming lesson with my most professional teacher yesterday afternoon that I was stunningly presented with one of the most fundamental effects of the abusive trauma I suffered as it continues to impact me.

I marched my feeling broken and most sad self the mile walk to lesson, sat down across from Brett in that tiny sound-proofed practice room with the drum pad stand between us — both of us with our drum sticks gripped in our hands.  Arms raised in the beginning classical drumming position.  And the freezing began for me.

My teacher is amazing.  I chose to tell him some of what I was experiencing because he asked (and I could tell he could hear me).  I WILLED myself to bring my hands down, each in their own time, slow sticks to the practice pad head.  As if I could BEAT my way forward and through and free of the trauma triggered block I was trapped by and within.

A few strokes of each hand later and my left hand froze in midair and would NOT move.  I was staring forward directly across the pad into Brett’s eyes as I spoke the words that formed at that instant in my mind:  “It is not safe to force my left hand into motion at this time.  Doing so activates my right brain which is currently overloaded with emotion.  I have to let it rest.  It is not at all wise to further stimulate my right brain by left had movements at this time.”

I saw nothing in Brett’s eyes but complete calmness and acceptance of what I was saying.  He held our gaze and what immediately happened for me next felt like an instantaneous opening of a tunnel or a channel through time directly to myself as a very young child.  This sensation then changed into a fast-forward in time until I was around age six or seven.

As I stared into Brett’s eyes — the only physical action I could muster at that time — a profound awareness came to me both in feeling and in words within my mind:  “Oh my God!  What I survived!  HOW IN GOD’S NAME WAS I EVER ABLE TO LEARN ANYTHING?

++

Dr. Martin Teicher’s research (Google search the terms “stop the storm teicher article” for more information) describe’s from the top down what kinds of brain changes happen during traumatic infant and childhood development.  I know that what I experienced so clearly yesterday in that lesson was a living example of what that trauma altered brain development feels like for my right limbic (emotional) brain hemisphere, my left (rational) brain hemisphere and for my trauma-altered corpus callosum region that transmits and integrates information between brain hemispheres — as I try to live my life under these circumstances.

The freezing of motion in my left arm and hand was clearly intended to PROTECT my right brain — and through that protection to protect and preserve the integrity of ME.

It seems, then, that when life in my childhood overloaded me that the horror of the forced isolation and stationary solitary confinement patterns that were a part of Mother’s ongoing psychotic abuse of me were necessary to my own survival of everything Mother did to me.  The truth of this seems so darkly bizarre in its essential consequences that no part of my rational thinking processes can grasp it.  How could it be that something as horrible as this isolation and solitary confinement I was forced to endure throughout my childhood in between horrendous beatings and attacks HAVE BEEN GOOD FOR ME?

In fact it appears most likely they were required by me so that my body-brain-self could in some way recuperate enough to go on living.

++

What I see today is that I am a miracle of survival.  I need not berate myself for needing to have QUIET times within which my entire self on every level can recuperate enough to settle down from the extremes of stimulation that happen for me just by being alive (AKA PTSD, etc.)  My life has to be very simple and as clear as possible from unforeseen events that can so easily topple my inner balance — that has grown to be more and more fragile the older I become.

It seems I have nearly maxed out my bank of inner resources.  My son is fine.  All three of my children are fine.  I could not be happier for them!

I, on the other hand….

I am a special needs case.  I am continually learning more about what that means.  All I know today – right now –  is that most gratefully I have yet once again stopped falling.

Not that everyone isn’t special.  Just that truth and fairness indicate that severe early abusive trauma survivors live a special kind of life in a special kind of trauma-altered body that requires a special kind of knowledge to facilitate anything like smooth passage through life.

We are the only ones who really know what living “in here” is like.  There is very little we can take for granted.  Yet we do have shimmering glimmers of light rippling across pure waters just as we do sometimes have hard times of darkness.  At this moment I am most grateful I am seeing glimmers and I hope the same for you.

PS.  I am practicing drumming again – most gently so when that need appears.

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

++++

Leave a Comment »

++++

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 152 other followers