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Archive for December, 2011

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This must be, first and foremost, a blog about human toughness.  Toughness does not often show itself in people’s lives unless they are challenged by hardships and traumas — REALLY challenged — and mostly does not show itself unless the imbalance of power between those who are hurting little people and the victims of these attacks is so glaring and disgusting that all we are left to compare the experiences to those known by prisoner-of-war and holocaust survivors.

And yet the experiences of trauma and abuse that I know about and write ‘toward’ for survivors are so much worse than what even any adult I mention above could possibly know had they not received severe, horrific levels of malevolent treatment as little people.

I figured it out a long time ago in my personal studies and thinking and healing that being ALONE not only ‘against the world’ but being ALONE against a world so brutal and hopeless no ordinary person could even begin to think about how to survive in such danger and threat, is a critically distinguishing characteristic of severe abuse to little people who have no possible hope of protection or rescue from anyone who gives a hoot about what they are going through (at least while the ‘abuse’ is occurring, which often means a VERY VERY long time).

And so those survivors of severe infant-child who do just that — make it through horrors beyond belief — are amazing people.

Thinking about the bigger picture, I find myself today realizing that even when we can begin to know the truth about what we endured — and begin to understand the profound skills we used to continue to survive — the list of what was done to harm us is often so much longer than is the list of what was done to help us.  (Yes, we are talking directly about risk vs resiliency factors here.)

On a deeper level, we have to make sure our list grows to include the changes that had to happen on the deepest levels of our developing physiology as our rapidly growing little body-nervous system- brain was forced to react to severe trauma ALONE when we were so little-in-the-world.

This list, for most of us, is a long one.  Research firmly and clearly shows us now what these kinds of changes are:  Changes in how brain regions develop and in how they operate; changes in our most critically sensitive nervous system reactions to stress and threat resulting in anxiety disorders of all kinds; changes in our human attachment systems as the govern and direct all interactions we have with other people for our lifetime; changes in the development of our immune system; changes in how our DNA manifests and operates in every cell of our body — to name a few.

On this deep level it can be hard enough to learn to begin to recognize and to understand what these physiological reactions in our development in early deprived and dangerous environments actually are and how these changes affect us — but it is harder to go even deeper still to find the levels inside of us and the ways in which no possible abuse on God’s earth could touch or damage or change us IN ANY WAY.

The unchanged part of us lie so deeply and have been with us so long we would have to be able to go back to look at our SELF from the start of our life.  These areas exist way beyond a time when we had words or any ability to think conscious thoughts.

This does not mean that we cannot FIND these deep, most-important, untouched, unchanged, untampered with, unhurt, pure and strong and clear and GOOD parts of our SELF.

These characteristics, these abilities, these gifts, our innate goodness HAS to be placed on our lists somehow because this is what we USED to find a way to survive in hell — and barring the development during those early developmental stages of serious sickness and illness of the mind and body such as the severe Borderline Personality Disorder that consumed my mother during her own adaptations to trauma of her infancy-childhood — came out of hell as amazingly wonderfully GOOD people.

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The level from which I try to operate in my thinking and in my dissections of adult actions that are evil and inhumanely perpetrated against little people (in particular) might seem to be surrounded by ‘grayness’.

Yet in my thinking based on my belief, based upon my understanding of how Creation operates, nothing that is really true in any religion contradicts what is really true in any science.

If humans wander off-track by misconstruing what is currently ‘known’ about reality, that does not change reality.

In my world there is an Unknowable Essence that will forever remain exactly that – Unknowable.  Through the repeated gift of Manifestations on earth in human form given to humans to guide us toward ever-increasing maturity individually and as a species, we learn about true reality.

True reality is GOODNESS based on the absolute love our Creator has for us.

What appears to be evil happens when GOODNESS is absent.

Therefore, all humans are innately GOOD.  (again, see for broader perspective:  *NO MATTER WHAT – HAVE NO ENEMY)

Given this fact, and as the Writings at the above link discuss, there are three reasons why humans appear to be ‘evil beings’:  Through sickness, ignorance and immaturity.

I know evil.  My mother hated me and in her psychotic mental illness projected onto me the fullness of her evil-perception (from the time of my birthing).  She then was capable of hurting me nearly beyond belief.

This does not make her an evil person.  Mother’s sickness removed from her the power to choose between good and evil actions in anything like a normal, rational way.

True, there are people on this earth who have absolutely no excuse as far as I can see for the evilness of their actions.  God will deal with those people.  My mother was not one of these freely-evil-choosing people.  Mother had lost access to her rational mind.

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Now that I have traveled into this ‘gray zone’ of human thought and understanding where the words of science remain mostly absent and are replaced with untestable words like SOUL, I will say this is exactly where we have to look for the words we need to list on the side of GOODNESS to counterbalance all the nasty stuff that can’t be avoided on the hardship side of a severe infant-child abuse survivor’s life story list.

Yet on this side of goodness that is the reality of who we are because God made us this way — is one word so important that it takes all the real power away from the dark side and leaves us as survivors standing in the light.

NOBLE.

God has made every human being as a NOBLE creature.

Being NOBLE people abused little ones possess an innate dignity that cannot be touched by abuse.

We are independent creatures at our core, in our essence, belonging only in our dependence upon the God Who created us.

Nothing ever touched my mother in her essential nobility.  She retained her innate dignity.  But her sickness buried this GOOD core of Mother as surely as if she was buried inside massive piles of physical rubble.

Nobody noticed what happened to Mother.

Nobody saw the truth for what it was.

With her core noble good essence buried beyond rescue because of the terrible sickness of her body-mind, Mother committed ‘evil’ actions against me that nobody questioned, either.

And I survived what Mother did to me — with my nobility intact.  In my case, I did not develop a terrible sickness that barred my own access to my own inner core GOOD self.

I am forever grateful.

As I look back through the corridors of time, as far back as I can remember, I can now see myself standing in the midst of hell — suffering — but suffering WHOLE.

I am learning to toss aside the rubble of trauma and abuse that was done to me so that increasingly what is left of my history of 18 years of severe abuse is GOOD.  The BAD was — most simply put — UNFORTUNATE.

It is a quantum leap in a change of thinking for me to be able to finally replace the word I have used to long — TRAGIC — with one that is actually more accurate:  UNFORTUNATE.

I no longer wish to consider what happened to me as TRAGIC.  That word and concept belong to the rubble that I am removing.  Under the rubble is the truth — what happened to me was UNFORTUNATE.  It was not BAD in my world because it had no power to change who I essentially AM.

I can go back to see and feel and recognize and know who I essentially am once the rubble is removed and find that who I was THEN is exactly who I am NOW.

What has allowed me to continue to exist through all these 60 years IS TOUGHNESS.  Call it a protective armor held around me that kept me safe under all that rubble so that it could not touch me.  Call it protective armor inside of me as well, that gave the the power to make the right choice for my survival-in-hell every single step of the way.

But being as objective about my situations I have to say that what gave me toughness was FORTUNATE, and this FORTUNATE more than balances out the UNFORTUNATE of what happened to me.

Even though my mother was UNFORTUNATE to not only have to survive her own childhood in hell, but to also end up developing a severe sickness along the way — she was still FORTUNATE enough to SURVIVE — which did eventually mean that I was born at all.

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I wish to find the center hub of my life — which is what essential nobility and goodness is to me — and then follow the pathways of my life all the way back to my beginning, making them as rubble-free as I can.  As I now look back, see that central hub of life that is GOOD — even as I name the truth of what actually happened to me — those descriptions I can provide actually have no more power.  They are in the discarded rubble heap.

I am also learning to recognize that all the trauma-triggered changes in my physical body also belong to the rubble heap.  These changes — PTSD, anxiety, hyper startle response, inability to read human expression in ordinary ways, dissociation, depression in my autonomic nervous system built around abuse that stopped me-froze me dead in my tracks thousands upon thousands of times in my childhood — do not in any way touch the essential noble, good, whole, strong, TOUGH me one single bit.

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This is a long post, I realize.  But to readers who have made it thus far I say KUDDOS to you!  You would not be here reading my final words if you didn’t know EXACTLY what I am talking about:  That only GOODNESS matters in the essential end as we heal.  Goodness is all that is REAL.  We CAN learn to recognize what is rubble and we can discard it.  Yes, this is all WORK.  But it is THE GOOD WORK!

I am not saying that we diminish the greatness of the harms done against us.  I am not advocating minimization or denial.  I don’t think we can make it all the way to the TRUTH unless we accept the rubble that is rubble.  But it is our choice what we do with that rubble once we locate it.

TRASH IT I SAY!

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There are lots of trails of other stories attached to this one.  How many of them do I reel in here?  How do I say my wonderful recent telephone conversations with my oldest daughter — who turns 41 Jan. 6th — connect directly to my observations of my 21-month-old grandson who was just down for a week’s visit with his mother — because I saw the miracle of how ALIKE they are in so many ways — he now being so much like she was at his age — she having been that similar to him from the day she was born?

How do I say that as I stood in front of the plate glass nursery window in Balboa Naval hospital after she was born (when I was 19) that for all I had been through those first 18 years of my life in hell I was able to stand at that window, with her little baby body all tucked into pink flannel blankets by kind nurses who rolled her as close to the glass for me as they could so I could see her, FELT her INDEPENDENCE so strongly in those moments I never doubted the power in her little person that was there THEN and is equally there NOW?

That hospital doctor would not let me HOLD my own baby.  He told me I was an unfit (unwed) mother in 1971.  He condemned me to an aching heart and arms without her.  But there she was in her little bassinet.  Skin a perfect shade of grownup, bluest eyes wide open looking all around her, not a peep out of her tiny mouth; “OK, you GUYS already!  Don’t know whatcha up to, but REALLY this has gone on long enough!  Let me OUT of here!  I have an IMPORTANT life to live and it is time I got right to it!”

All girl with a plan, always a plan.  A girl with razor intelligence.  A girl born with an armament of dynamic personality in and around her that has ALWAYS let the world know, “Disrespect ME?  So NOT an OPTION!

And here was this new little guy in the lines of my family — exactly the same way!  Undeniably….

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Put simply enough for now, I hope, because now I want to write about ME.

Me today at 60.  And the me I saw today that must have been the me I was and HAD to become to stay alive from the time I was born.  Yes, I must have been BORN with this independence gene.  And maybe I was also born with the ‘disrespect me not an option’ gene so that no matter WHAT my mother did to me — she NEVER BROKE ME!

Because where did big daughter and little grandson get that exact same combination?  Mirrors of my soul?

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Here’s me – sick.  Been very, very sick for a week.  I don’t ‘do sick’ because I don’t get sick — and never have much since birth (until the cancer visited 5 years ago).  I have been feeling a little better, but not much better, so broke down and finally went to doctor’s clinic today.  PTSD, severe child abuse survivor, high anxieties, bad combo with being at the hands of unconcerned cold strangers in cramped, closed quarters dependent on THEM for anything – let alone on their evaporated compassion.

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What did doc hear in my chest?  She did not say.  My oxygen level at 91 was too low (whatever that gizmo thing is they put on your finger tip to measure it).  First clue to doc I was not lying to her, not there to waste her time or anyone’s money, not there for ‘attention’ — what the HECK?

Did she believe me I was sick?  Did I cough and hack and spit gobs of gubers out of my mouth and leak slimy snot out of my nose?

Nope.

Did I look her in the eye?  Nope.  Learned a year ago in that clinic these are pretend ‘nice’ people – not real ones.  Nasty, that day was.

Did I act sick?  Not sick enough?  I guess not.  (How does one act sick, anyway?  Boy, as a child if I had been weak or shown weakness I would have died – I know that.)

Shades of my insanely abusive mother here.  Did little (or big) Linda ever show anyone how I suffered?  Did tears stream out in public?  No.  Did I show anyone my terror?  Did I shake as a child, squint my eyes in fear or pop them wide open?

I have been SICK with this flu for a week – nearly as sick as when I was on chemo – first flu like this in at least 30 years.  I live in this body.  I ought to KNOW and a doctor ought to BELIEVE ME!  Is that too much RESPECT to ask for??

I do not lie.

I could list you symptoms.  I could have done a far more convincing job in front of doc had I listed my symptoms – every detail, on down the line — I have been suffering with a long line of them, but why?  Why belittle my own dignity and undermine my own self respect by listing to this doc what any fool would KNOW are symptoms of a bad flu!  Do I look well?  Absolutely NOT!

Doc had enough history.  I was asked when I called for the appointment why I was coming in.  “I’ve had a bad flu for a week that’s not getting better.  I am tired of coughing ’til I throw up.  I need someone to listen to my chest to tell me what’s going on.”  Etc.  Was I do demonstrate?

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It was a surprise to me to find little girl Linda determined to survive right in here in my body today, right in my body in that doc office.

Doc had nurse give me a steroid shot to decrease bronchial inflammation.  She had them give me a breathing treatment (med in some kind of steam to breath in my mouth) – left me alone in the little room for 20 minutes with that — controlling my body/self to control the cough could not be done at the same time the medicine was being inhaled.

And sure as crapola Linda coughed.

Doc had wanted to prescribe cough syrup with codeine.  I asked her why take THAT?  She had NOT prescribed me antibiotics.

Why?  Because I didn’t start coughing convincingly until that med hit my lungs.

Guess she was satisfied then.  As I sat there and tried to breath lower than a medium depth neckline on a shirt into my lungs, down into my belly — the balloon breathing thing — I realized I had frozen my breathing.  I had to WORK consciously to breath and more deeply — and now I did COUGH – obviously cough!?!?!?!

I realized I had done this week and did in that office what I learned to do to survive Mad Mother from the moment I was born.  Lately when my coughing gets going and I can’t stop it, I cough ’til I pee.  I cough ’til I throw up.  Some deep part of survivor child Linda came up with a VERY effective and creative, independent-solution to THAT —

Breathing deep = coughing fit?

Stop breathing.  At least stop breathing as much as possible.

OK.

DID THAT.

STILL HERE.

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Down went the oxygen count in my blood – which the doc did see and believe – after all (no mother I did not control the nurse or the breath tester machine) – machines do not lie.

And eventually when big Linda got help today and as I worked with little Linda’s survival patterns so I COULD breath deeper, I did cough, did have the doc come in the room and say, I hear you are coughing from down the hall (BIG DUH ON THAT, DOC!); I am writing you a prescription for antibiotics.

She would not tell me if I have bronchitis.  All she said in way of explanation for her change-of-damn-heart was, “Well, we never know if bronchitis is viral and will not respond to antibiotics or if it is bacterial and will respond.”

OK, so let us DIE  without the help we need – what, just in case — of WHAT EXACTLY?  You want me to get sicker and have to COME BACK HERE?  To see YOU?

Just in case I am — what — a LIAR without a cough?

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Was she worried I was going to develop an antibiotic habit over a codeine one?

GEEZE!

But – I DID get to meet my very clever survivor child self on some level today, that’s for sure.  Never did I consciously know in these past few days that I had not been coughing as much or as badly because —

I figured out how to stop a cough attack by ‘not really breathing’ at all!  (After all as an abused little one I had to figure out often how to survive without access to bathroom, food, water, sleep — beat beat beat — well, another story….)

If I had come from a different, less malevolent, horribly hostile toxic life-threatening DANGEROUS world maybe I could see my reaction NOW as being tragic a one.

Nope.

Pretty powerful and amazing child I was THEN that I could survive to NOW, plain and simple.  And why would I WANT to go ask jerks in a clinic for ‘help’ now — exactly?  GGGGRRRRRRRRR!!!!

I was half way down the hallway to leave today when I made a GREAT decision for myself and decided to risk staff reaction if they didn’t like my request.  I decided I had a right to find out before I left if the steroid shot and the breathing treatment had helped – so I did not have to leave with the scary ’91’ in mind – but could rather leave feeling I was feeling BETTER!

I asked for the retest. Nurse was very sweet.  Up to 98 of 100.  Big Linda unfroze her lungs.  I left feeling better and KNOWING it!

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I am asking this question this morning:  “Is the person that I am — experiencing the experiences of my life — nothing more than just yet another experience of my life?”  At the same time I wonder if it isn’t only survivors of severe infant-child abuse attacks that will be able to resonate with the root of this question — because I suspect it is a deeply spiritual one.

I certainly had no sophisticated ability to think about myself in the world — not as a very young child, not even as a teen.  I suspect the difference between myself as a survivor of continual severe abuse for my first 18 years (along with other survivors) and those who did not suffer abuse is that there is a fork in the road that makes those two groups of children grow into their life, grow a body and a nervous system (including their brain) in two very different ways.

Research now clearly documents the serious kinds of body-brain changes that early abuse and trauma create in survivors.  It is far harder to find descriptions about what these kinds of changes FEEL like to us as we continue to survive – to endure — to stay alive — and to live the rest of our lives in our trauma-changed body.  (This blog is packed with information about these changes.)

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Being shocked, terrorized, violently assaulted, confined, etc. (!!) — often when I least suspected an attack by my mother — always HURT me terribly in many, many ways.  In other words, the sickness that pervaded my mother’s body and life continually interrupted my experience of myself having experiences of myself in my own body in my own life.

People who were never severely abused during their earliest most important developmental years of infancy and childhood did not experience the massive interruptions in ongoing life experience that violent attacks create in the experience of a little one.  Ordinary people grow a body-brain that appears to be seamless in its ability to process ongoing information in the present as the past moves smoothly into the future.

Brutally attacked little people are massively overwhelmed on every level by the amount of trauma being done to them.  Not only are they sidetracked and detoured away from going about their own business of being a little person learning about the world and about their own self in that world when violent, brutal attacks interrupt their life — they are also left unable to process or to integrate or to learn from or to make sense out of the MASSIVE amount of horrible information these attacks overwhelm them with!

These brutalized children are left during attacks all alone in the world without loving protection, help and support of anyone to take care of them.

There is a high price paid to survive the violent, violating experiences of early brutal traumatic attacks and the environment within which these attacks take place.

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As I ask this question I presented at the start of this post I am aware that what I am aware of in my experience of myself in this life this morning FEELS in my body memory to be very familiar to me.

I remain sick after a week of trying to fight my own way through this nasty coughing flu.  Doctors told my daughter that they could not treat this malaise in my grandson because it was viral.  I therefore have not sought medical help yet — but I will have to after these holidays because this is not going away on its own.  Something is wrong.

At the same time as I wander slowly through actions of my morning I realize this strange feeling of one part of me following my body-self around — complete with some part of my self INSIDE the body feeling sick and having the experience of no energy, hungry without appetite, long bouts of coughing that won’t stop no matter what, inability to sleep, ETC. — is yet another PART of me.

It’s like the timing of experience is separated, as in a movie where the words spoken by actors’ lips are not in synch.  The part of me hovering around the sick person’s body moving slowly through space recognizes everything that happens in a different timeline than does the part of me that is sick inside and with this body.

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I know this feeling because of the hard work I have done regarding the writing of the stories of my childhood of abuse.  Always when I locate myself in a brutal memory there is ME there experiencing myself in my little child life BEFORE one of Mother’s attacks.  Once her violent intrusion occurs, there is a break in my ongoing experience of myself in my life.

Suddenly — and I mean out of nowhere instantaneously — MAKES NO SENSE TO ME!  WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? — Mother would ATTACK ME!

Painfully in ways that only survivors of this kind of abuse know.  Extreme pain on all levels including TERROR in the body.  Those attacks MADE MY BODY HURT AND SICK.  Sick.  Like my body is now.

And just like now, just like then — there was a part of me that was forced to be OUTSIDE the physical experience of being IN that sick and hurting body of mine.

I could call this experience ‘dissociation’ if I wanted to — but quite frankly that word is completely pitiful to describe the BIGNESS and the SIGNIFICANCE of what I am talking about.

I do believe in a soul, that God created our soul when we were conceived — that our soul is connected to our physical body but not INSIDE our body throughout our duration on this earth — and that when our soul and body separate our soul goes on to live forever.

In this lifetime, barring sickness of the body that interferes with the ability of the soul to express itself in connection to our body in this world (as I believe happened to my mother through her terrible sickness — see: *NO MATTER WHAT – HAVE NO ENEMY).  I believe this ‘tampering with’ of connection is an experience — that can be EXPERIENCED in terms of what it FEELS like.

I am having that experience now.  I know this feeling.  I can recognize it exactly at the instant of every one of my mother’s brutal attacks of me that I can remember.  First the world I lived in would be ONE way

and then

BAM!!!!

it would be ANOTHER WAY!

I was NEVER prepared.  My mother suffered from insanity, though I had no way to know this as a child (and it took a LONG time into my adulthood to understand this fact).

The human soul, we are told, has a supreme power called ‘the rational ability’.  My mother’s particular sickness (I suspect severe Borderline Personality Disorder) barred her soul’s ‘rational mind’ ability from operating — which then enabled her in sickness to commit so much EVIL — ESPECIALLY when it came to her psychosis about me.

So NOBODY – most certainly not little me — understood what was wrong with Mother.  Her attacks were irrational and could not be predicted.

But when her attacks came they broke my ongoing experience of reality.  I would have to travel, then, through the very long tunnel of all the bizarre twists of abuse of all kinds that followed one of her attacks, all the way through coping in my body with horrific physical pain, until sometime LATER when she wore herself out on a particular attack — and eventually left me alone —

for a little while

so I could get BACK to being a child in my own life

until

BAM!!

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This flu is evidently a MINOR (though ICKY and very real) version of a BAM! as my body self is stuck living it

while my soul self (I bet) sort of floats along waiting

for this body to heal itself

to get better

to get back to the business of ongoing ‘normal’ life as I usually know it.

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By the way, I have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in consequence of terrible childhood abuse.  Going to a clinic is a trauma trigger for me in many ways — and is very hard for me to do — for many reasons.  I have no memory of the last time I had a flu like this.  It had to be over 30 years ago.  But if I can hang in there to avoid having to go to an ER and wait until the town’s clinic opens again on Tuesday, I will have to bear myself up to enter that confined, stranger-filled, claustrophobic space to get some help for this body.

I don’t like ANY part of how I am feeling right now.  But I am also very clear that it is not my soul (nor was it probably my mother’s soul) that suffers sickness.  Sickness happens to a body — and that sickness then interferes with a soul’s ability to express itself in the world.

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Subscribers of this blog, please remember to click on the blog post title as it appears in your email subscription alert — I often make editorial changes later on that do not appear in the version you receive in your email.  Thanks.

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I will not be broken.  Too sick coughing to sleep, oh well.  All alone this day before Christmas, tomorrow, too – so what?  I have nowhere to go anyway, and I am not going to take this cold flu bug out of the house to infect someone else.  So here I am up long before dawn.  I must be feeling better after a week of being knocked flat with this thing because I can feel a little bit of FIGHT coming back to me.

Lying in bed hoping to sleep coughing hard all night has not been a whole lot of fun.  But this has been necessary.  There is no way to get this crap out of my chest before it heads into infection except to be able to cough it out.

As I lay there I saw a huge high arched ceilinged chamber with a heavy iron barred cage suspended high above the floor from massive chains.  Inside?  My Writer Within.  I am feeding her reality honed from hardship.  I am working to give her full permission to say exactly what she needs to say once I let her out, once she is fully grown, once I am ready down here to let her tell a story that belongs in that book I NEED to write.

As I lay there and wondered about the large raw bones dripping with sinew from some ancient beast I am feeding her to gnaw her teeth sharp upon I began to hear the music.  I jumped out of the confines of that stupid bed that has no intention of seeing me slumber upon it.  Donning my down parka (it is cold in this house, cold outside, too meager the funds needed to keep it warm when it lacks insulation) I uncovered my keyboard and began to play those notes.  Those notes.  Those notes.

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A few minutes before I saw my Writer Within growing fighting strong and tough within that hanging cage I found myself wandering in wondering through different lives that perhaps I could be living at this moment in time had something — perhaps a whole lot of somethings — gone so differently in my childhood.

Always when this kind of wandering happens there are loved ones, family, friends and even needy strangers surrounding me in a large and comfortable architecturally intriguing and warmly enchanting villa of a house I live in.  Always I am professionally happy.  I am healthy, fit in all ways and my spirit rests knowing all is well with the world.

I do not find myself in those wandering wondering moments sick alone in a cold house on a holiday weekend.  Yet this is exactly where I am.  For whatever reason, reasons have brought me here.

A week ago my daughter brought my 21-month-old grandson down the 1700 miles to visit for a week.  Baby brought the bug.  The visit was all it could be.  Then they went home.

I was not prepared for the depths of my sadness that settled in every cell of my being once the little angel was gone.  Overwhelming heartsick!  I sunk below those waves.  My immune system said, “I will fight no more” and BAM!  Here I am sick — not surprisingly so.

Cold alone and sick on the holidays.  But I whined this whine already.

Where is the goodness in this?  I turn to God with prayer to have my sadness dispelled, my difficulties removed.  I pray to be shown ‘the way’…..

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In between all of this last week I communicated with the 85-year-old woman who I discovered again in very recent years who used to be our family’s neighbor during the Alaskan homesteading years of my childhood.  This woman generously offered to write some of her memories about my mother, difficult to do because Mother brought no joy to anyone.  In her vast sickness, she could not.

I had hoped for a written letter of confirmation about what Mother looked like to outsiders to our family that I could include in the back of my book as affirmation of some sort that all was not well with the Lloyd family.  By the end of her reminiscing this woman was expressing — what?  Guilt for speaking ill of the dead?  Pity?  Shame at herself for daring to call a dangerous crazy woman less than perfect?

I return-emailed the first 2 chapters of my (and my daughter’s) book back to her — along with a sense of empowerment growing in my belly as I wrote that I wish to address in this book the issue of why NOBODY ever saw what was happening to me at my mother’s hand (with my father’s complicity).

I wrote that I hold society responsible for allowing those 18 years of insane horrific abuse to happen to me.

I guess that would include this neighbor.

I have not heard back from her.

I will not retract my words.

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So spoken, do I have the GUTS to write my own story from inside of that hell without cowering or stalling or mincing or skipping what has to be told?

Do I DARE to write the truth?

That Writer Within being fed mastodon bones in her cage.  She is sharpening her own teeth into fangs.  She needs to sharpen her nails into claws.  She has to build muscled power of her own.  She is going to do this writing I need her to do — and she has to do that writing — ALONE.

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I cannot see leaving my home in the Arizona high desert to return to live in North Dakota where my grandson resides.  Long story there, but the best choice is to finish and publish this book so that I will have the money I need to freely travel there to visit.

This heartsickness of mine — I want to turn it into something else, something healing, something helpful, something far more real than misery.  I am asking to transform.

No doubt will write this book.  No worry about how it will sound to anyone else or what anyone will think about what I say will write this book, either.  There is nobody but my own self and God that I can tell this tale to rightfully.  There is no other way it can be told but straight out of the both barrels, straight out of the gate as I write as hard and as fast and as truly as I can as if I am still running for my very life.

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Two months ago I stopped the book writing because the misery of my story was crushing me.  That will not do.  If it takes the one powerful thought that in this book and its selling lies my own great hope of freedom to travel to see my loved ones who live in places I cannot reside, so be it.

I will toughen myself up for this work.  Resolve.  Determination.  Talent.  Hope.  Belief in my right to do this work and in this work’s rightness CAN carry me forward.  I set myself a deadline to get myself in order for this task by the first week of this upcoming new year.  As hard as these days of journeying may be right now, I am moving in that direction.

Bows and tinsel and merrymaking with company is not a part of this task for me, so it seems.  Getting myself strong and ready to do battle with human evil as it found its way into my mother so that she could do what she did to me — is.

And if this takes finding some more mastodon bones to force through the bars to fully toughen up my Writer Within to make her strong enough to accomplish this task I need her to do — believe me, I will find them.

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I see no possibility of individual healing without consideration for the generations in the past that suffered and for the generations in the future that we wish not to suffer.  In Native American Worldviews this is talked about in terms of the Seven Generations.

Below are some links about this Seventh Generation thinking.  The European heritages that are linked to the horrendous traumas inflicted upon the indigenous inhabitants of this vast blessed land are very comfortable in self-centered thinking.

Self-centered thinking is not a healing way of being in a body on this planet.

All life is linked both in injury and in health.

I cannot consider the massive traumas inflicted upon me from the time of my birth until I was ejected from my family of origin when I was 18 without thinking both about at least the seven generations that preceded me as the accumulated traumas and wounds of those generations found their way into our family home – or without thinking at least of the seven generations that are following me.

I will never know the life story of most of my ancestors, yet I value and work with everything I have found out about any of them.  I believe so-called ‘western’ ego-centric thinking very easily leads to sickness.  I believe consideration for the entire web of life we are a part of creates healing.

In order to personally become a prism for healing within my family I must allow my knowing to grow into a soul knowing which is far more expansive than the thinking of the mainstream culture of the nation in which I reside.  I must be aware not only of my relationship with all life at this present moment – I must recognize the prism of me at least as the center link with seven generations going backward and with seven generations going forward.

Even for those who have never suffered human-caused abuse and trauma, even for those who will never have children – our personal expanded healing work and thinking will impact all life.  We are not separated beings even if we think we are.

I am not afraid to try to make that stretch.  Are you?

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Ancestral Healing

Healing the Wounds of Your Ancestors

Our Responsibility to the Seventh Generation

America’s Forgotten Responsibility – The Seventh Generation – Native American Elder Prophecies

Seventh Generation Advisors

Pearls of Wisdom – The Seventh Generation

Video – For the Next Seven Generations – Grandmothers Speak

Seven Generations Sustainability

Native American Prophecy

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There is no chance that this very early morning post won’t be a rambling one because I am too intensely full of IT, whatever IT is — in part to be defined as I think my way in words through the very writing of this post.

Emotion.  I guess that’s what I guess about what I am so intensely full of right now.

I just had an image appear I am sure through my very imaginal right brain hemisphere that must nearly crystallize — or sum up — where I am at in this moment of time as I work my way through my life — as it most recently involves this family slide sorting process.  Speaking (as I did in a recent post) about the myth of Psyche, whose name originated the field of study called ‘psychology’ — Psyche heals herself and her Eros/passion in the myth — finds and reconnects with herself and her life — through a tedious, careful, studied exercise in sorting seeds.  Little tiny seeds.

I never anticipated that I would end up with a series of slide sorting posts — but here I am and here are you, dear readers, caught in mid slide smack in the middle of what on the surface ‘should’ have been a sorting exercise about little pieces of film stuck inside little squares of cardboard.

Nothing less.  Nothing more.  Seeds of time, of the passage of childhoods, caught inside material, tangible (far more than today’s fleeting digital glimpses of in-the-moment pictures) objects named slides.

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Psyche and I.  Sorting.  Sorting.

Deeply moving, deeply touching, deeply troubling slides of a traumatic childhood for all six of the Lloyd children — but nearly incomprehensibly so for one of those children.  Me.  The one doing this sorting.

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Alive.  I am alive.  I feel as if I am caught within a vaporous cloud of invisible, unshed but nearly shed tears.

Tears.

Behind the eyes tears.  Tears that once wept would keep on weeping — it seems forever, as if the tears are bottomless and forever tears.

The tears of unloved, rejected, hated, spurned, scorned and terribly terribly hurt little ones.

I having been one of those hated and hurt from the time I was born.

So what?

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Healing.

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My daughter living 1700 miles away from me will arrive the day after tomorrow with my almost 21-month old grandson (my only grandchild).

Even the most obvious level of this slide sorting is about that greatly anticipated week long visit.  The slides cannot remain piled upon this table here ready for little hands to play with.

My daughter’s most recent video of this little boy sent to me is very short — yet the hope of a species lies within its brief synapses of time.

Visiting a city park for a holiday season event.  There are two Clydesdale horses pulling a large wagon filled with happy people.

My grandson has books of all kinds read to him for 30 – 45 minutes at bedtime.  He has learned the pictures of animals.  His mommy teaches him the sounds they make, the sounds of each of their voices.

In this video a perfect little boy, pure and innocent as all little ones are, expresses with his voice his absolute thrill of amazement and comprehension as he repeats “NEIGH” over and over again with inflection, with joy, with amazement as he meets from a visual distance the first horses in their bodies in his lifetime.

There will never be another FIRST moment in his lifetime for meeting horses.

He is thrilled.  His family is thrilled WITH him and FOR him.  Those who love him not only recognize HIM in his life, but his EXPERIENCE of himself in his life.  Surrounded with love, this little boy’s safe and secure attachment to his caregivers and to himself is growing instant by instant into his safe and secure attachment into a VERY big world.

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How did I grow into the world never having anyone THRILL for me?

This is not a trite question about a mute point of endeavor.

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How did I grow into this world good enough that I could raise a daughter who can now become such an amazingly perfect mother?  Not that she or her husband will be able to respond perfectly in every moment of this little one’s childhood — but they have responded perfectly with perfect love that is being passed to their son with every breath (Psyche for ‘breath of life’) they all breath.

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I did find I think five slides of pictures of just me in those slides.  Visually I ended up with stacks of slides destined for each of my siblings that number in the hundreds that my logical self could not stop from recognizing as tangible ‘proof’ of the place I held in my mother’s abusive, mad universe.

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So, back to the beginning of this post when I mentioned an image fed to me this early morning by my very wise right brain hemisphere:  I am a prism.

I stand at a point in time processing my life and impacting others — to the positive.  If I can only let myself KNOW THIS FACT!

All the moving madness and mayhem in the Lloyd family as those six children grew up.  All the witnessing of insane, brutal abuse my siblings did watching what Mother did to me as Father allowed it to happen.

All the visual recording in those slides of Mother’s thrills in five of her children.

The absence of that thrill for me shown in the absence of love to me in these slides.

All in a jumble, these slide piles.  My task, my Psyche task, to sort them out — and hopefully with my baby sister’s help (I am 60, she is 56) when she comes to visit me next month, we can put these slides in exact order and title them by time and place so that each sibling has their first organized and ordered visual of their childhood.

As I have told my sister, I cannot do this final stage of this task alone.  I have the piles sorted.  I can mail them to a person in each of those families just as they are now.  That is something, at least, but I know it is not the completion of the task as I would like it to be done.

I wish the slides to be in acid free plastic sheet holders, all labeled, all in order.  I wish them to be placed within colorful little pocket folders.  I want this job done right.

Because I am the prism.

I am the one in this family through which generations of pain and sickness and hurt — of rage and of resulting evil actions — found their way to be focused on ME — from the time I was born.

All that darkness.  All that entangled mess of pictures of pure and innocent children.  Me.  Take the mess, filter it through the prism of my love, of my good intentions to help healing happen.  Run the dark mess through the prism so that something pure and beautiful and good comes out the other side — something — a story in pictures — passed not only to my siblings, but to the generations that are following us.

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And the process brings to me deep emotions — mostly great grief as far as I can tell.

Yet I carry the hope of healing as I carry a faith in a God that wants all life to be healthy and happy, that wants a world in order with its priorities straight.

There is a lot of time and labor still required of the main body on the family slides that I am keeping here while those piles of slides dedicated visually to each sibling finds their way down the line of time now into my siblings’ hands.

It is my intention and my hope, if I don’t get sidetracked and stopped by hopelessness and deep grief, to finish this task.  I wish to create a book for the family of the Alaskan homesteading era belonging to the Lloyd family tree.

I wish that story to be told somehow truthfully without skipping the part about the severe mental illness (future generations need to know of that risk) and without skipping the part about the unbelievable abuse that ran as a deep undercurrent under everything that ever happened in our family (directly caused by Mother’s mental illness).

But what I have worked so hard to learn in my own healing process as the chosen-for-abuse child is that Alaska offered to my so-sick Mother a chance to experience God’s grace.

It is God’s grace that I see in the homesteading story, a grace that surrounds all life all of the time — but that Mother could not access — except through her connection with that place on the mountain.

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Meanwhile, I have ten pictures of Mother in an envelope separated from the rest of all of these slides.

I have not decided what to do with them.

As I have recently written I am deeply involved in a process of staring down the snake-headed, turning-to-stone Medusa Mother of mine.

I can see Medusa when I look at all of these pictures.  Medusa took all of them — except the pictures here of HER.  What I see when I look at all these slides is what Medusa Mother saw as she snapped her camera’s shutter.  Medusa saved these pictures.  Medusa is gone.  What now of the history belonging to her offspring and to their offspring — and especially what happens to the pictures of HER?

This is important to me.  I cannot destroy or glibly let these pictures of Mother leave my possession until I make a very clear decision about their destiny — and about my interaction with their destiny — and my own.

There is a part of me that craves being able to stare Medusa-Mother down as I see her face in these pictures.  I had a different mother than my siblings did — beyond measure — different!

What I see when I look at that face in those pictures is what I avoid knowing.  There is another level there.  Can I let that terrible life-destroying darkness run through the prism of my soul so that what comes out the other side at the end of this process is beautiful light?

I turn to God as the only source of wisdom regarding this task.  I know, personally, oh how I KNOW what evil is.  The absence of goodness and the light of love inside Mother toward me — as it existed inside herself and projected totally out onto me — caused and continues to cause me enough suffering — and I will NOT pass that darkness forward.

Of all the alchemical processes God can do, turning darkness in human history into pure goodness of love is a miracle without measure.  But my experience is that this change does not happen without a whole lot of dedicated work on the side of the humans involved.

That this work HAS to involve emotions, deep and intense emotions, simply shows me that our BODY is fundamentally involved in this work.  This is not a ‘brain only’ healing process.  To do this work I have to feel, even though I often wish I didn’t.

And then I remember that the absolute JOY I will feel during this upcoming visit from my daughter and grandson would not be possible if my heart wasn’t equally open to sorrow and to the awe of pure love.  This is what being wholly human must be all about.

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I am still working my way through the project of sorting the family slides, trying to clear a table top buried under the disorganized heaps of old childhood memories before my daughter and 21-month-old grandson arrive for their visit this Saturday.

Nothing but completing at least the first stages of this task is going to make me feel any better.  For any denial I might still be holding onto about the truth of my singled-out-child for severe abuse of the six children in my family of origin, this slide sorting project is chopping out huge chunks of it.

So far I have found two slides of Linda only.  One faded picture is of me the summer before I turned 12 ‘on the way to camp’ (yes, the same one I stole the canoe at as written in previous post).  I know it was only because of Mother’s belief that she was doing something so good and so heroic by sending evil-child Linda to a week of Christian camp that this picture was taken at all.  I cannot fool myself into believing the picture had even a microscopic bit of love for me within it.

There is one other picture of me on my 18th birthday sitting alone on a couch.

In perspective I have sorted piles and piles and piles and piles of pictures taken of my other siblings in their starring roles as adored children of my parents.  Very many of these pictures have been duplicated so that there are piles more of repeats of each of my five siblings.

Any pictures other than the two mentioned in which I appear the picture was most often taken of my siblings at the same time my back appears in the picture or some tiny piece of me is barely visible in a corner of the picture.  Most all pictures of my siblings at play, parties and celebrations do not include me at all.  The same happens in several holiday pictures.  As I grew older I often appear in the background in or emerging from the kitchen with my apron on.

In many pictures that I do appear in I am off to the side of the ‘loving’ family group as the spurned outcast that I was.  Certainly I do not appear in one birthday party compared to the many for my siblings.  There are far more pictures of the family’s dogs over the years of my childhood in this slide collection than there are of me.

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I am sorting out the piles of sibling photographs to send to them individually.  I am finding the history of the family’s Alaskan homesteading history included in this mess, which pleases me.  I am also staring into the face of snake-headed Medusa Mother as I work my way through this project.

I cannot do this part of my work without feelings.  Grief!  Disgust, anger, sadness.

I am also amazed that I survived at all!  What appears as an indication of the lack of love for me in these slides is not showing the massive true reality of my childhood — the violent, brutal, abusive trauma — the HATRED that existed for me in place of love.  I must have been continually starving to DEATH for love, affection or affirmation of any kind.

But I am also finding myself thinking that nowhere in my own 18-year history of infant-child abuse did I really get a single clue about what love was.

I have no memories, as I have mentioned before, of envy or jealousy or self pity regarding the favoritism heaped upon my siblings.  I never had a chance to get to know myself in any different kind of world.  Reality was reality in our family — exactly as my severely abusive mentally ill mother determined it to be.  Nobody ever questioned her, certainly not I.

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I have heard it said that so-called ‘adult children’ are left ‘guessing what normal is’.  The matter is far more serious to me than this phrase might suggest, and includes for me a complete lack of understanding even about what love is.

I have done my best all of my life to be a good person, and to me that means being a loving person.  I let my three children each show me the way to what loving them was.  I call that ‘borrowed secure’ (rather than ‘earned secure’) attachment.

Where I end up suffering the most is not being able to know what adult relationship love is.  I seem to be able to love someone, but I have never chosen to love a man who has ever loved me back.

In addition, another big problem for me in my inability to really know what love is because I was hated for those 18 years of suffering and never loved at all, is that I don’t know what God’s love is or what it means to love God in return.

I am gaining clues — but I struggle.  I am hoping God understands how terribly difficult my first years of my life were and cares about those failed and brutal attachment relationships set me back what feels like a million lifetimes in being able to understand the most important love relationship of a person’s life here on earth.

I believe that a well loved and well cared for infant-child learns what love is by how it is treated in the very first months and years of its lifetime.  Love builds its body-brain.

If such a child is also fortunate enough to be taught about God’s love and love for God right along with being taught about love within its family, I can’t conceive of that little person growing into adulthood with the same kinds of limitations about love that I (and perhaps other severe early abuse survivors) have.

To be invested in this lifetime with love for God must allow a person to have their priorities absolutely straight!   Increasing well-being for all must be the result.  Certainly feeling lost in a thick gray fog would not be the experience of someone who was born into a family of love.

I am not talking about doctrine or dogma or rules or even about religion as most people know it.  I am talking about the essence of love, the only true Source of love — the kind of love that is linked to faith, yes, but is also life itself as we have each been gifted with it.

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GOD LOVE

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My coffee pot broke this morning one last time.  Plastic.  Sometimes I hate it!  Last time it broke I taped it back together again with metal tape.  No hope for it today.

House is cold, can’t heat what I am not using.  Good thing I bought a giant drapery at the thrift store weeks ago thinking, “Someday this will be useful.”  Today it was.

Used drapery, top opened up, cut in half, sprayed with water with a little fabric softener in it -- My maid said she'd return next century to iron them for me.

Good thing I hung onto those curtain hooks.  “Someday I will need them.”  Today I did.

Will the wrinkles disappear as the sprayed fabric dries? Stay tuned....

Curtain rod so I could put up the drapery to close off my living/craft/music/sitting/living room?  I needed a pole 76″ long.  OK, I found one.  Never mind it has an iron rock rake head an ingenious Mexican man pounded onto it long ago so well I cannot remove it.  Today it’s my curtain rod.

Well, some folks hang old saw blades up for interior decoration -- why not a rake? Anyone else on the planet have a rake rod for curtains?

Never mind those at risk outdoor hose bibs subject to tonight’s freeze.  Nothing a fist full of raw sheep wool and some cut rags can’t fix (I hope).

Warm - enough - I hope! (My kitchen water faucets run outside the wall - good ole Arizona-Mexico border plumbing)

Let’s also hear applause for the broken old dishes retrieved from a long closed town dump.  They now grace a wall in mosaic.

Dishes on the wall

The dump these pieces were retrieved from closed in 1954

Never mind the adobe chicken coop I built last spring for my hens.  It’s going down to 11 degrees tonight here in the high Arizona desert.  The hens want nothing to do with their coop, preferring to perch outside in their cage all night.  I have done my ingenious best.  Today I made a long line of cracked corn leading into their warm house — if they follow it.

But, we all know you can lead a hen into its coop but you cannot make it roost.

And a little winter greenery

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In the over one thousand posts I have written for this blog I have never once chosen to use the word ‘psychology’ until today.  I address topics related to survivorship of severe infant-childhood trauma, abuse, neglect, maltreatment and the lifelong physiological consequences survivors live with. I use the word today carefully and with reservations.

Because it is estimated that only about 50% of our population receives the infant experience of optimal safe and secure attachment to their earliest caregivers — especially to their mother — I know this means that the other half of our population grows a body-brain conception to age two (the most critical stages of our development happen during our first 33 months of life) that has built into it some version of an insecure attachment disorder.

People with ANY attachment system built into their body-brain that is less than the optimal safe and secure pattern experience changes in their physiological development.  Until our so-called experts decide to unanimously recognize, accept and understand this fact I do not believe much of any use at all is included in the so-called ‘field of psychology’.

The operations of the Central Nervous System (CNS) (which includes the brain), of the Autonomic Nervous system (ANS) (which includes the so-called stress response), and the vagal nervous system that process all the information used by both the CNS/brain and ANS are centrally and fundamentally determined by our earliest attachment relationships during these first 33 months of our life.

Whatever we or anyone else might observe about our ‘psychology’ is secondary to what is ACTUALLY happening within our body.  What happens in our body is determined by how our early attachment relationships TOLD our body to form.  This, to me, makes the ‘field of psychology’ a peripheral study that is rarely accurate because the construction and operation of a person’s attachment system is very, very, very (if ever) included in any ‘psychological’ discussion.

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I know that the word ‘psychology’ rests in its origins upon Psyche who appeared in myth.  Psyche as a word itself originally described ‘the breath’ of life.

Today I am specifically thinking about my own book writing process about my severely abusive infant-childhood that has mysteriously come to a complete halt.  I have been patiently, prayerfully and hopefully been waiting for a solution to my ‘freezing’ problem.  I suspect that a piece of the answer I have been waiting for appeared last evening as I wrote an email to a friend of mine who was also a neighbor to my family back in the Alaskan valley where my parents homesteaded.

Suddenly as I wrote to my friend the image of the mythological figure Medusa appeared in my mind.  While it might be easy for me to know that this Medusa and her snake hair would be a reference to my severely mentally ill (probably Borderline Personality Disorder with psychotic features) abusive mother, I took another step in my awareness to be able to expand what I remember of the Medusa myth into my current writing-block situation.

As soon as a clear mythological (dramatic) allusion appears in thought, be it from the old myths of any culture or from ‘fairy tales’, I know (as Jung suggested) that some important reference has appeared from the underlying ‘psychic’ (the unconscious levels of human Psyche as per ‘psychology’) that can offer important information about ‘what is really going on’.

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As I began working my way through the first rough draft of my book toward the finalized second draft I hit a stone wall and came to a DEAD stop.  I have been immobilized.  In fact, as the Medusa myth reference would suggest, I have been TURNED INTO STONE.

Is it possible that as I worked to tell the truth about my terrible life with Mother — as I searched to apply my own rules of inner integrity toward telling the WHOLE truth — that I made a choice I have never made before?

Did I choose to no longer view the experiences I am writing about as reflections in the ‘safety’ of a mirror and instead choose to turn and for the first time in my 60-year life to face the truth where my Medusa mother stands directly at the center of all of it?

If turning to face Medusa I have been turned into stone — I know this has happened at a PSYCHOLOGICAL level.  Knowing what is ‘psychological’ versus what is physiological lets a person find very real solutions based on the facts of their life.  Ordinary ‘psychological’ speculation does NOT reveal facts.  It reveals guesses.

How do I know today that I have shown myself a new ‘organization’ of facts related to what has stopped me dead in my book-writing process?

I know because I can FEEL the truth of what I ‘was shown’ (probably by my right brain hemisphere’s sophisticated ability to communicate in IMAGES).  The inner constellation of information related to the myth of Medusa as it connects to what has happened to me as I turned one final time to each story I have written in unfinished draft form of the terrible abuse I experienced (and remember), now gives me something to consciously work with and through.

I have renewed hope that I can write this book!

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I would say the number one reason I suffered for those 18 years was not because my mother was insanely abusive to me — and therefore ‘deserves’ all the blame.  I would say the number one reason I suffered is because nobody STOPPED MOTHER.

NOBODY saw Mother for ‘what’ she was (and therefore for ‘who’ she was).

NOBODY looked directly at Mother or her actions.  NOBODY stood up to Mother.  NOBODY questioned her.  NOBODY stopped her.

EVERYONE (including my father and grandmother) only saw some reflection of Mother in a mirror — a reflection that was imagined and was a complete LIE!

I, as the survivor of her targeted severe abuse, have also never looked at Mother straight on, either.

I have never been able to TOLERATE looking at the TRUTH about what that woman did to me!

I am asking myself — for the integrity of this book and for my own integrity — to look at MOTHER as I look at the absolute truth of what I experienced — for the first time in my life —

And yes, I was completely unprepared for this ‘being turned into frozen stone’!

I was completely unprepared for being stopped dead in my writing tracks as I came so close — SO CLOSE — to telling this truth the best that I can.

Every infant-child is on a quest-full journey from birth, through their earliest years, into adulthood.  I was no exception.  How could I have been?  If nobody in the Medusa myth had quested or journeyed or traveled anywhere near Medusa nobody would have been at risk of being turned into stone if they looked at her instead of her mirrored image (in the myth seen in a magical metal shield).

But a myth is exactly that, no matter how deeply connected to human ‘psychological’ reality in the deep unconscious it might be.

I do not wish to succumb to remaining frozen-as-stone at this point in my life — or in my writing.  And yet it will take me some amount of time now (undetermined) to CHANGE my own ‘psychology’ so that I can get back to work!!  I do need to drop the mirror (denial, dissociation, forgetting) from my line of vision to tell the truth in my book.

Yes, I am ‘going where angels fear to tread’ but I know this task if possible or I would not feel impassioned to do it.  Passion is at the core of the Psyche-Eros myth — linked inseparably to wisdom and willingness.  And that myth is far more of a primary one than the myth about Medusa and her stupid, ugly, stone-turning-into head full of snakes!

I can do this.  I can stare Medusa down.

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I always feel lucky/blessed when there is a task to do that requires tools — that I actually possess.  For all the many, many moves in my adult life that have required that I pare down my belongings to a small core of things, it is always my minimal clothing, my warmest blankets, and my collection of tools that I have tried to hold onto.

Because I seem to have been born with an attraction to working with my hands, my small collection of tools relate to craft work, kitchen work and yard work.  I do often find that I don’t have QUITE the right tool for the job, but so far I have always found that if I am creative and determined enough I can do what I need/intend to do.

This morning I am thinking about my inner tool box.  Of course these inner tools are harder to name and discover than those tangible ones of wood and steel.  I think about this depression that I know I have directly because of the 18 years of debilitating infant-child abuse I suffered.  Mother’s was a comprehensive abuse toward me.  She left no possible stone unturned when it came to imprisoning me inside her OWN terrible world of hell.

Mother eroded me continually from the time I was born.  It happens that as I sort through the collection of family slides that contain the snippets of the history of my family of origin I am remembering within my body as well as within my conscious mind how different my reality was from that of my siblings.  My own inner message is that there are acceptable thoughts about this whole situation I can think about (very few of them, really) and a million thoughts I am not ‘supposed’ to think.

There is nobody here with me to monitor or control or even suggest to me which thoughts are to be sorted into which category.  I do all of this myself.  I think about how my lifelong struggle with deep depression caused by horrendous early abuse while my body-brain was forming is as much about the depression ‘that I got’ as it is about other critically important positive aspects of being alive as a human that I did NOT get.

All five of my other siblings received from Mother a sense of being special.  True, Mother didn’t possess the capacity to understand that any of her children were separate beings from her own self so that she was actually projecting GOODNESS onto my siblings just as she projected her hopeless, condemnable evil badness onto me.  But I don’t think as little people any of us knew Mother was projecting her own crap onto her children — be it good or bad.

My siblings PLEASED Mother.  I DISPLEASED Mother — no matter how desperately from the core of my being I tried not to.  Mother accepted my siblings.  Mother rejected (condemned) me.

Mother’s condemnation of me was continual and pervasive.  Her praising, ‘loving’ acceptance and pleasure with my siblings was equally as continual and pervasive.  Mother took ‘favoritism’ to a level unimagined by anyone who has not been unfortunate enough to be at the mercy of a severely ill, psychotic Borderline Personality Disorder mother.

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Where I got sadness, pain, sorrow, hopeless despair, desperation, terror, confusion and panic built into my body-brain through abusive trauma my siblings received hope, confidence, competence, play, special freedoms — my siblings had a different mother, a different father and a different childhood than I did.

I wouldn’t care at all except that what can be named ‘depression’ in my body is as much about what I grew up missing being built into my body-brain as it is about deep pain and sorrow that I don’t see ever going away in this lifetime (I am 60).  I am missing PRIDE I realized today.  For anything positive I have ever done/accomplished I might have felt a tiny passing tinge of pride in myself, but that passing sense had nothing inside of me to STICK to, to add onto, to build itself around.

I have no sense within me that I can find of any sense of ENTITLEMENT.

I look at the slide pictures of attention, affection, adoration and GLADNESS, of joy for their presence in her life that Mother felt for my five siblings.  Mother never felt those feelings for me from the moment I was born her special ‘condemned to hell evil devil’s child’.  I fought for my life, for my existence as a being separate from her with every breath I ever took.

I cannot erase that history or what it did to me physiologically as I continued to grow up in that world of hell made especially for me.

I cannot receive some kind of surgical implant that would instill inside of me any sense of entitlement that leads to a sense of confidence, competence, or full blown pride in myself or in anything I do.

These things I observe nearly like a complete outsider to my own reality of existence.  I do not allow myself to let emotions/feelings attach themselves to what I see as facts about myself in the world.  I do wonder, though, how life is for other people — including my siblings — who received love as little people that allowed them to acquire certain kinds of essential tools within their body-brain that – to me – allow them to follow along some different track through life that I can barely begin to imagine.

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I see the image in my mind that comes from memories of times I have stood barefoot on the sandy shore of an ocean as the sea water laps over my feet while it sucks sand out from under me and I sink, sink, sink — always sinking without any sense of solid rock or solid earth underneath me.

But I have other thoughts that circle around in my mind in a swirling kaleidoscopic pattern connected to all of these important issues involving my life in this body in this world.  I believe in God and I don’t think any of my siblings do.  I can’t stop my thoughts that somehow these patterns are all connected.

Is there something about my particular depth of suffering from birth-to-age-18, about my being disallowed from gaining a sense of entitlement of affection and affirmation by rights, that left me not only battling ‘depression’ (and its host of complications) but that also left me with some peculiar form of humility that has enabled me to keep my life on this material plane in a clear focus of perspective that my siblings completely missed?

Would I competently and confidently and pridefully be waltzing through my life oblivious to a different level of reality that excludes some deep level of humility that might be its opposite had I been removed from my parents at birth and raised in a so-called normal, healthy, happy, loving home?

Did I stay in touch within my soul as I grew up suffering so that I did not forget the spiritual reality that over all is a God that runs this entire show down here on earth — not I — not we humans?

As I sit outside watching the morning sun bring into full color the world I live in today I see God inside and out of everything.  I see life here as it possesses an essential, inner ability to reflect the rays of the Creator.  I sense that my abilities to manipulate anything having to do with my life — or any other life on this plane — also comes from this same Creator.

I don’t know how to live a blatant, emblazoned life of “I can do anything I want to and I have the perfect right to do it because I am me and I am special that way” and I never have.  I wonder, “Where is the balance in all of this?”  Where is the spiritual health that I believe humans are designed to best function with that allows for knowing both personal self-worth and our dependence for EVERYTHING on a loving God that created and maintains all of life in a state of mercy and grace?

I converse with myself about whether or not I would trade the awareness of human life’s dependence upon God for a limited and truly pitifully minuscule blind assumption that God does not exist at all.  Fortunately, being able to make that choice between a perhaps spiritually based deep humility and an oblivious sense of my own powerfulness seems to have been removed from me before I was ever born.

Perhaps I possess a multitude of spiritual tools that I use every instant of my life that are just not as glaring and glitzy as others’ gifts of self confidence leading to a complete disbelief in the Great Mystery some name God.

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