It is another gloriously beautiful sunny day down here in Arizona where I live on the Mexican-American border line. I am hard at work building my adobe chicken coop and its surrounding chicken run. I am loving this work. I make creative decisions every step of the way, and I find delight in carrying them out and making this one-of-a-kind safe home for my hoped for little birds!
But I want to pause before I go out there and play in the mud. (Obviously I missed out as a child on something I would have absolutely LOVED to do then – and still love to do today!) I would like to post here a comment to this blog that just came through along with my reply. If there is a ‘nutshell’ synopsis of what the essence of my ‘work-mission’ truly is, I believe it lies in these words.
Comment was to this post: +FORCED THROUGH ABUSE IN INFANT-CHILDHOOD TO GROW A DISSOCIATING SELF
All my life I have believed that I am not part of the human race. I spend much of my waking hours feeling that I don’t have the right to breathe, that I am a waste of good air. My mother was sadistic and manipulative. She constantly assaulted me and then used the fear of god, to control my every being, my every thought, my every action. She threatened my being so often from the beginning that I only have glimpses of being scared to death, chased and running in fear, her hand and voice reaching for me, terrifying me, ripping hair from my head, being whipped with belts, fly swatters, and coat hangers, ragging that she would beat the hell out of me, being bandaged up and warned not to tell anyone or not to air a family’s dirty laundry in public, and the family filing into the second row church pew every Sunday morning. She made fun of my adolescent body and also encouraged my brothers to laugh and do the same. She said if my brothers had a girlfriend like me, she wouldn’t let her in the house. She said if dad and her got divorced it would be my fault. I came to realize just over the last two years that she would have killed me if it hadn’t been a sin. I have learned the reason why I have no friends, why I’ve divorced several times and why I keep losing jobs, it’s because she broke me. I am 53. On the internet, I have found your blog, as well as a few others, and resources. I have hope now. I am not dead yet, I am not giving up. I have mental health insurance and I am going to use it. I like to read your writings that include anger, it helps me to place mine in perspective. Thank-you.
I hear my own mother in your words – truly, truly, truly mentally ill and devastatingly destructive to you! I am so sorry! Please ‘shop’ for a therapist that understands how early trauma ESPECIALLY during the first two years of life changes physiological development in traumatized infant-toddlers. Because we were not protected and kept safe at ANY time, the changes our very body had to make to survive that level of stress and distress just continued right on down the road. This therapist would understand how our earliest infant-caregiver interactions form corresponding attachment patterns (‘disorders’) in our body-brain that last the rest of our life.
When you are ready (and you can Google search stopthestorm PLUS….) read anything you can find especially by Dr. Martin Teicher and Dr. Allan Schore.
You will find a link to a scan of Teicher’s important article here:
I KNOW it is technical, but read it for the ‘meat’ of it, especially for what he says on the last page.
Here is a post on verbal abuse. Researchers are finding that verbal abuse (even for children who are exposed to parental verbal abuse of each other) is as harmful as ANY other kind of abuse:
Here is another important one by Teicher:
Here are some by Dr. Schore:
On emotional regulation:
On emotional dysregulation:
On brain and nervous system development:
On early relational trauma:
On the mother-infant relationship:
These articles can just be scanned to start off with. You can also Google search “stopthestorm trauma altered development” and find posts such as this one:
I am 59. Looking back on the first 18 terrible years of my life I now believe that it wasn’t any single one (of many thousands) of actual, specific abuse actions that my mother took against me (and that my father allowed) that TRULY hurt me. It was my mother’s insane, abusive hatred of me (based on her mental illness/psychosis) as my earliest physiological development of my body-brain was CHANGED in its course and trajectory that has caused me the very specific kinds of difficulties I have had over my lifespan.
No, you are ‘not dead yet’ nor are you going to give up! We are strong and we are GOOD people, and every moment can bring us a new healing for our body-self. I believe in SELF, and in SOUL, and my mother COULD NEVER TOUCH ME – no matter what she did to me. Discovering that ME, integrating that ME joyfully into the world and into my life is what parents are SUPPOSED to do. Ours failed worse than miserably, but WE are HERE!
Thank you so much for stopping by, and for your comment. I believe in what’s called ‘quantum healing’. I believe part of how that happens results from us empowering ourselves with information about the facts of what the abuse did to your physiological development. Please stop by again — and I hope your radiance can shine EVERY moment no matter what healing work you are doing that the moment. That radiance is OURS – and our abusers did NOT HAVE THE POWER to touch our inner core self. I really believe that! Please post comments again for updates, and take care of yourself! All the best, and I see your powerful courage and determination shining through here! Linda – alchemynow
For some reason immediately after I posted my response I thought of this Bible quotation about the work of Jesus:
Matthew 22:20-22 (King James Version)
20And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
21They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
22When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
While I believe that all of live is sacred, and that our body is integral to who we are, it struck me today that all of the changes that early infant-child severe abuse and trauma caused to our developing body-brain DID NOT HAPPEN TO OUR SELF. Our ability to live in our body in this world was changed, but NOT WHO WE ARE. Our abuser(s) were not given the power to even BEGIN TO TOUCH WHO WE ARE, because – I believe – who we were made to be belongs to GOD and NOBODY can change that fact.
While our body came into this world and will stay here once we leave it, and thus perhaps can be said to ‘belong to Caesar’ (to this world), we as individual soul-selves belong to God!
Trauma changed how our body receives and processes the physical information we receive in this physical world. Trauma has changed how much of what information we receive, but it did not have the power to change who we ARE as soul-selves.
As I think about this today I see images in my mind of our healing work being like uncovering, discovering and rescuing our SELF out of the rubble that the terrors and pain of our earliest years created for us. We are looking for a lifeline that is directly connected between WHO WE ARE NOW and WHO WE WERE THEN as we were made and created to be.
It doesn’t begin to matter to me what individual specific ‘religion’ a person finds comforting or that they adhere to. I believe that all the miracles of all religions were sent throughout time to humankind from the One Creator. To recognize that there is a SPIRITUAL component to all of life and to our self allows for us to begin to separate out what all of the specific, individual and actual separate traumatic experiences we suffered during our earliest development did to change our physiological development AT THE SAME TIME we can identify our OWN SELF as the most precious gem that has always radiated our ‘piece of life’ within us.
WHO did the suffering – in my case that was ME – is not the same as the situations, circumstances, experiences that surrounded me. I was never allowed to develop ‘boundaries’ separate from my mother while I was little. But I was never then nor am I now the horrible ‘things’ that my mother did to me. As I work now to define my own self, to reclaim my own self from the war-torn rubble that my mother did her best to heap upon me to obliterate me, I can see how powerless she was to accomplish her aim.
Yes, she was able to torment, torture and traumatize me as I lived in my body and tried to grow up. But she never touched ME!!