+AT THE FRONT END OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FIRST 33 MONTHS OF OUR LIFE

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I very strongly credit my success in surviving the 18 years of abuse I experienced from my BPD mother in large part to the fact that my mother was healthy and happy being pregnant with me.  (Our big troubles began with my mother’s difficult labor with breech-me.)

I just found this article – it’s a great one!  This information concerns the front end of what experts refer to as the critically important first 33 months of our life – conception to age two!

The Role of Stress in Brain Development – The Gestational Environment’s Long-Term Effects on the Brain

By Claudia Buss, Ph.D.Sonja Entringer, Ph.D.James M. Swanson, Ph.D., and Pathik D. Wadhwa, M.D., Ph.D.
April 25, 2012

Interestingly, a mother’s biological response to stress is dampened during gestation. Several investigators, including some in our group, have shown that pregnant compared to nonpregnant women experience a lower increase in heart rate in response to the same stressor, and cortisol increase in response to awakening is lower in pregnant women than in nonpregnant women.22-24 The degree of reduction in biological stress responses over the course of pregnancy varies from one woman to another, and adverse birth outcomes are more likely in children of women showing a lack of dampening (and thus greater biological stress responses) during pregnancy.38 Also, a generalized reduction of maternal immune responsiveness occurs during pregnancy, presumably to tolerate the fetus, a foreign body, and not to the extent to suppress maternal immune responses that would increase maternal or fetal susceptibility to infection.25

Read More!

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Click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+CHAOS AND BUTTERFLIES: WHAT BROKE MY BPD MOTHER?

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There is no known answer for my question, “What made Mother a Borderline?”  Yet I still ask this question because I believe the answer DOES exist.

I have lived long enough now at age 60 to be able to say Mother’s abuse of me took place during less than one-third of my lifespan.  But for those who have been severely traumatized by outrageous abuse, we know that 18 years of being terrorized daily is a LONG long time.

My Mother’s specific psychosis regarding me as the devil’s child happened during her labor with me.  Her Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) existed, I believe, a long time before that day in August of 1951.

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NOTE:  WordPress introduced a formatting error here (below) that I cannot correct – hence the all-BOLD type!

+MY MOTHER’S CHILDHOOD STORIES

I believe as I have said many times before that the signs of Mother’s later terrible BPD disease already existed by the time she was ten years old and writing the stories at this link.

I have also said many times that during Mother’s stage of what is called ‘Theory of Mind (TOM)’ development, life had already overwhelmed her.

Mother was very actively engaged as she wrote her stories in understanding how minds worked – and how people (or animals, or towels!) acted in response to what was known about the world.  In fact, her stories describe multiple and complex layers and levels of interactions involving TOM.

So much of how/who people are in the world seems to be taken so much for granted.  And yet when things go as terribly wrong as they did for Mother, it can prove a fertile field of understanding about BPD to investigate closely how her mind was already showing signs of deep trouble in her childhood.

Mother was presented with too much complex information – and presented with both traumatic information and erroneous explanations as her writing in my last post presents.  Nobody was honest in Mother’s childhood.  How could she develop a TOM that included honesty at her own young age?

Check out this video on Chaos Theory and the Butterfly Effect

Who is to say what broke Mother?  No, life is NOT linear.  Yet while I cannot know what broke Mother – and turned her into a raging abusive monster – I know it happened because of events that happened before she wrote her stories – long before I was born.

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+MOTHER – IN HER OWN WORDS

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My mother had only one sibling, a brother two years older than she was.

Click  HERE for pictures Mother drew of her brother when she was about ten years old

Mother repeated many stories to her own children about her childhood.  Unfortunately Mother could not allow herself to truly know how painful her childhood really was.  She ‘forgot’ the truth.  She believed many lies about her fantastical version of her ‘idyllic’ childhood.

I thought about my mother’s brother today when an old Alaskan neighbor and friend sent me a letter than included a news article about the American space station’s science potential.  I sent these links about Mother’s brother to my friend:

Caltech’s Newest Shining Star:  The Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics

My uncle has made it clear that he will leave his entire fortune to Caltech’s space program.

There are things I suspect about how Charles treated his sister.  In fact, I have often seen how my own 14-month-older brother treated me as being perhaps THE most important saving factor of my childhood in hell.

I equally suspect that Mother’s brother served the opposite role in her life.  In fact, her brother might have been the only person that could have saved my mother as my brother saved me — only he DID not.  He was mean to her in ways that I believe contributed importantly to the breaking of Mother – and to the onset of her terrible Borderline Personality Disorder disease.

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I only wish to simply present the only directly autobiographical piece of writing I found within my mother’s papers after she died.  Mother would have been very nearly my same age when she wrote this.  I find here the only intact mention of mother’s perception that her brother hurt her.

I also note that Mother’s description of her own grandmother who came to live with her and her mother after her parents divorced as probably not being the truth.  I believe her grandmother was NOT the kind loving person Mother always pretended to herself that she was.  In fact, I think great grandmother was yet another person who helped to break Mother.

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Written by Mildred Anne Cahill Lloyd

[born December 21, 1925 in Boston, MA – died March 2002 in Anchorage, AK]

In St. Albert, Alberta, Canada

February 28, 1974

Her version of her

Family History

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When my Mother passed away sadness engulfed me to such a point I could not look over some papers on our family’s history that I came across.

Now after moving to Canada (January 1974 – Bill arrived September 1973) and sorting things out I’ve come across these again – some notes my Mother made years ago and others from Uncle Howard etc.

Lat night about 9:00 P.M. I started sorting events, dates, names out and seeing if I could re-construct family history and events.  At 2:00 A.M. I was still up and today here I am again.

Noting all the while how we all hurry through life never taking the time to record important events and occurrences, I’ll see what I can do and record these results.

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I have one brother, Charles Hunter Cahill, whom I loved dearly always but he went on a different path and I followed Jesus as My Saviour [sic], accepting him when I was 40 years old in Tucson, Arizona after reading my Bible and being convicted in my heart I was a sinner and needed Him.  I was engulfed in His LOVE.  I knew at once I was HIS child and I loved HIM with a love greater than any I had ever known.

Yet, it took many years for me to die to SELF.  I wanted to give my life wholeheartedly but found it very difficult.  I had many trials and unhappinesses [sic] and God dealt with me through each succeeding lesson until at last I could thank Him for his [sic] enduring mercy to me as His Child and say “Here I am God – completely, absolutely yours.”

After becoming converted to true Christianity – and accepted as a child of God into His Family – I was filled with God’s love and I wanted to undo any wrongs I may have committed.  I knew God had forgiven me but still I wanted to ‘right’ what ever I could.

This is a story in itself but it led me to my brother in California and I’d hoped a complete reunion with him and I prayed to His Acceptance, also, as Christ as His Saviour.

On December 23, 1973 he and his new wife Anita invited me and Sharon and David and Steven to their house for my Birthday (December 21) and Christmas.  I was overjoyed and eagerly accepted.  On the above date we were hurt beyond all belief by the cruel, heartless words and treatment received by him and were put out of his home.  We spent Xmas with his former wife, Carolyn Cahill and Bill came to her house to drive us to Edmonton, Canada.  We were ‘en route’ at that time to this destination as he had accepted a new job with an engineering firm there.

The heart break is still with me.  I’ve searched my heart to see if I had malice towards him when growing up and the answer is No.

I trace alot of his bitterness and resentment to our Mother’s divorce and her career as a Psychologist and especially the fact that she turned us so completely against Our Father and the family name “Cahill” and all of our relatives on his side of the family.  Oh, such injustices we humans commit.

It’s taken me weeks to be able to truly forgive him for the untruthful hideous things he said.  But now I do forgive him for God’s word commands us to forgive ‘our brother’ and our enemy and to love and pray for them.

I wrote to my Father while in Pasadena, California and our correspondence, though not frequent or too personal, was immensely gratifying and made us both happy.

After he died, his brother, Uncle Howard, wrote me for many years.  His long, beautifully eloquent letters told of his great love for his country, his wife and family.  He elaborated in great detail on what a wonderful man my Father had been.  I tried to tell my brother about all this but he’d been so completely ‘brain washed’ he refused to listen at all.

Uncle Howard died a few months ago, leaving his wife Jean all alone, with no immediate family in Sun City, Arizona.  I have just written her and several other members of my family back East on my Mother’s and Grandmother’s side of the family to attempt to trace our family history.

I wrote Uncle Howard once to ask him and his answer was mostly ten pages defending ‘the Irish’ in general.

I thank God I know Our Heavenly Father and it’s to Him I turn and Him I trust and put my FAITH.

The human race is so frail and full of animosity and mis-understandings.

My Hope is in The Kind’s returning.  Thank God we have hope in Him.  Praise His Holy Name!!

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My Mother’s name was:  Annie Beatrice Hunter but she went by the name Beatrice Hunter Cahill and it wasn’t until her death that I knew her name was “Annie.”

Mother was born in Massachusetts 1895 and died May 20, 1971 in Pasadena, California.  She married Charles Harold Cahill on June 25, 1919 and was divorced 1931.

(What, I ask myself if this had never happened – the divorce.)

I realize my Mother was a very intellectual, brilliant woman and a sensitive human being – loving and kind.  She contributed a great deal to the world and helped many people find ‘their place’ this world BUT what if she had buried her desires and followed God’s Commandment Thou Shall Not divorce.  If she could have followed HIM and been happy how different my brother’s life and mine would be today!

I can hardly remember my Father.  I remember the home we lived in – I loved it and the gardens and surrounding hills and beauty of New England.

But I was without a father, and my mother worked – had a career, was a Professional woman.  In those days very few people got divorces and very few women worked, let alone had a career.  How different!  I grew up different – and so did Charles.  We were drawn together and used to pretend at times we were twins.  I looked up to him so and he was so much fun.  He cared for me and protected me and sometimes teased me and even hurt me so I would do exactly as he wanted.  I often got spanked but I doubt if he ever did and as he grew older he was the adored ‘male’ in our family of 3 women.  My grandmother, Mildred Jane Hunter (maiden name WOODSIDE) came to live with us and keep house after her husband, William Thomas Hunter, died of cancer [1929].  Her one son died about the same time (Mother’s adored older brother) [professor of chemistry at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN], and Mother’s divorce.  How traumatic for my Mother.

She so loved her father and used to tell me how they went camping and hunting together.  They raised bird dogs (setters and pointers) and even Mom handled a gun and loved the out-of-doors.  Her brother, Hammett was so much older and so she was a companion to her Dad.

From what she told me Grandpa was a great out-doorsman, an Engineer but Grandma loved the city.

Grandma – my precious Grandma, how I loved her.  She was kind and sweet.  She loved to read and had educated herself through books she read.  She could answer any andevery question – was virtually a walking encyclopedia and so full of WIT and charm.

She kept her snow white hair curled with an electric curling iron and was always so pretty and feminine.

I can’t remember her ever getting angry or upset – even with us kids (Mom did!)

She loved to cook and sew.  She baked our bread and pies and kept the house spotless although she suffered greatly from arthritis and rheumatism.  Bless Her Heart.  She was indeed the ‘heart of our home’.  Always present.  She never went any where unless we took her and had no life but ‘our family’ and how she loved us.

She did all this and yet was in her seventies when she came to live with us.

She came across country with us in 1945 to California and returned to the East Coast to Florida in 1946 and six months later by bus to Pasadena, California again.  She would not be left.  But these trips and the subsequent hardships and Mom’s series of illnesses and our giving up our secure family home and not being able to relocate right away (due to war conditions, World War II ended while we were first in California and lack of enough money) left its mark finally on Grandma – and all of us.

But she surprised us all, recovering from a broken hip due to a fall, and a partial stroke too.  I cared for her in our home in California before she died at I believe 96.

[Linda note:  Mildred Jane Hunter, born Prince Edward Island, Canada, passed away December 30, 1952 – services held January 2, 1952]

She still had all her faculties and was extremely mentally alert but completely in-active and unable to care for herself.

I wish I’d had her tell me stories of her past, her married life and childhood.  But somehow we’re always too busy with our daily life to take time to do this.  We always think there will be ‘a tomorrow’ or ‘another time’ and suddenly many years have passed and our dearly loved ones have passed away and it’s too late.

If only we could always realize and take time to love, appreciate, talk and above all to listen.

How much the older members of the family would enjoy telling tales of their lives to avid listeners and how much they have to offer and we could learn from them!

Both Grandma Hunter and Grandpa Hunter, my mother’s parents, were born in Prince Edward Island, Canada!

My Grandfather Hunter secured his U.S. Citizenship in Boston after his marriage to Grandma and I have no proof she ever obtained hers.

I plan to do research on all this and make records for our six children and their children to have.

In love of my family and its members, I close for now.  [signed] Mildred C. Lloyd

I’ll never forget or stop loving My Mother.  God Bless My Mother.  I loved her dearly. – I will add here that my own Mother was a dear woman and a wonderful Mother to me.  We became very close on our trip to California and through the many hardships that followed.  She dearly loved our children and was always thoughtful to them in every possible way.  We kept in close touch, even after moving to Alaska and grew closer every year.

I married William Dennison Lloyd in the Chapel of the Roses on June 11, 1949, Pasadena, California.

* This very day I received a letter from Bill Hunter, my cousin – my Mother’s nephew – my Grandmothers grandson who I’ve only seen once in my life and he’s only written twice before.  Such a coincidence.  It was his sister, Joan Pudvan (maiden name Hunter) who got my Mother to record notes etc. on the family history.  I just wrote her asking her to send me any information she may have!

[This is the end of all letters about Mildred’s homesteading saga.  What follows in the second part of this book is the collection of Mildred’s writings going all the way back when she was nine and ten years old, and includes all that exists of her own mother’s personal written history.]

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Mother’s writings specific to her childhood are collected specifically HERE

All of Mother’s writings are transcribed HERE

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+SURVIVORS OF BPD MOTHERS – OUR DEEPEST NEED FOR PEACEFUL CALM

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I am working today to get my drip irrigation system in perfect working order as our high desert southeastern Arizona summer heat is nearly upon us.  I put the system in last summer – but I am not an expert so I am constantly learning.  I don’t have the money I need to do a professional-quality job, either.  I don’t have adequate pressure regulators.  I do not have timers for the 6 zones of line.  But I can get this system working ‘good enough’ (as the experts call adequate parenting) to do what needs to be done to keep water bills down and the health of the many plants in my yard happy and healthy.

The first concerns in the drip system is to make sure there are no unwanted holes from which water can leak before it ever moves on down the line to where it is needed.  Pressure has to build up inside the line – all the way down the line.  That required pressure eventually forms a balance in the system that keeps water moving along and ending up where it is supposed to be.

I am thinking (in response to a reader’s comments) about how devastating it is to have been raised by anyone with serious Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  I am thinking how little understood BPD illness really is, how often it is entirely missed in diagnosis, and even how often it is misdiagnosed.

While we allow similar ship-shod approaches to parenting, for example, we don’t want these approaches used when we take our automobile to a mechanic’s shop to have it fixed.  We would be outraged if we opened a box of cereal we bought and found inside nothing but dried peas.

Yet when it comes to the extremely serious consequences of being raised in a malevolent early environment – well, hit’n’miss seems to be OK with almost everyone concerned.

And then we wonder why survivors of early trauma don’t thrive in their lives?  We wonder why these survivors continue to be SAD if not also really really MAD?

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There are leaks all over inside of us if we were tortured, terrified, terrorized, traumatized from the time we were born by a mentally ill BPD parent – especially our mother.  Nothing is working right – and we continue to suffer often feeling like we are hemorrhaging inside, bleeding to death from the core of our being.

How do we begin to find the leaks?  How do we begin to repair the line?

I believe it is important to realize that while a culture might seem to be doing well materially this same culture can itself be bleeding to death at its heart.  We cannot allow ourselves to be fooled into believing cultures are as advanced or sophisticated as they wish to believe that they are.

When it comes to the delicate inner workings of humans who have suffered from the instant they were born (and many even since their conception) — our American culture really does NOT know (1) what is really going on, or (2) what can be done to help people heal.

For all the greed of pharmaceutical companies who pick and choose which parts of which research they wish to focus on in their efforts to create their costly drugs that they can push to ‘the sick ones’, most of what is being done is to place the focus on what is WRONG (supposedly) rather than on what is RIGHT within any ‘labeled and diagnosed’ person.

Nobody wants to admit that mystery abounds.  Nobody wants to admit that the directions we most need to be turning toward for healing have nothing at all to do with either drugs.  Nobody wants to admit that their are conditions within human beings that cannot be healed at all — and I believe for the most part BPD is one such disease.

I won’t say a BPD person can’t improve their quality of life.  But I am saying that perhaps BPD is massively undiagnosed because it is NOT a disease that responds to drugs-as-a-cure-all.  BPD is a terrible disease that has its burgeoning roots in INFANT AND CHILD maltreatment!!

Few want to believe so simple and accurate a truth!

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I am not having any fun trying to tweak and repair this drip irrigation system today.  Yet feeling frustrated and angry, or even hopeless about my task, will not get me to my goal.

I need dedication, perseverance, willingness to tackle a job I don’t REALLY have the skills to do, or the $ resources to do right.  I have to believe in myself.  I have to believe I can DO this!  I have the water running into one of the zones’ lines right now – waiting patiently for the plants along it to receive water — and NO water yet!

Where IS the water going?  If there’s a leak, where is it and why can’t I see it?  How long do I have to wait for the water to appear in drips at the end of this line?  How can I fix this if I can’t figure out what the problem is?

Patience.  I HAVE to be patient!

This is no different a process in many ways than is the process of healing. Nobody will fix this line but me.  Nobody will find my self-healing except me.

I have to work on both tasks with what inner and outer resources I have – and make ‘this’ work – or give up.

In both cases I have to admit that I believe the efforts I make are worth it. I believe all is not hopeless.  I believe I am doing something nobody else has ever done in exactly the same way before.  I believe solutions are not only possible, but are most often found along the way in the journey itself.

I also believe in the case of being a survivor of severe insane abuse by a mad-woman BPD Mother — that it is most likely that what I need I will find out myself and from other survivors who are doing their best to move forward on their own healing path.  There are no magic answers.

I believe that BPD is probably preventable – but that prevention has to happen way before the age of 10.  For those of us who survived a severe BPD mother, what happens for us NEXT?  How do we begin to find the leaks inside of ourselves – one leak at a time – so they can be healed?

We are strong!  We will NOT bleed to death inside our heart-soul-self-core.  That would have happened a long, long, long time ago if it was going to happen at all.  In the moment we need to find PEACEFUL CALM, true peaceful calm, in any way and at any time that we can.

This is – I suspect – our deepest need.  We need to be as gentle and positive and hopeful with our self as we can manage to be!  This gentleness – in thought and in emotion – provides the clearest road to peaceful calm we will ever find.

It’s a hard journey for us.  My mother made sure that peaceful calm was just about the LAST feeling I would ever have during the first 18 years of my life.  It has taken me most of my adult life to even begin to know what peaceful calm even feels like!

I am starving for that feeling — and I am the ONLY person who can find my way to that state of being inside of myself.

I believe it is from that PLACE that my healing happens.  It is from that place that I can find what I need to do the rest of the work that I need to do in my life — as it is the place from which any true joy I can find springs forth.

Yes, peaceful calm is connected to safe and secure attachment patterns within our body-brain – that we never had – but can begin to DISCOVER and CREATE inside our self now.  This is a state that many call a state of grace.  It is my most important goal.

Yes, I realize at this moment – I have to treat MYSELF just as I would treat a little baby I loved with all my heart and soul.  It is SO critically important not to allow a baby to over-escalate in excitement.  This is true going in BOTH directions — toward too much joy — AND — toward too much sadness.

It is a healthy mother’s task to know when her infant is in a TOO MUCH state – the baby MUST be calmed down.  This is so essentially true throughout all of our lives that a state of peaceful calm is the most necessary, most desirable and healthiest state we can aim for in our healing.

See post:

+CALM THE CRYING BABY — IMMUNE SYSTEM STIMULATES VAGUS NERVE TRAUMA ALTERED DEVELOPMENT

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+GETTING CLEARER…..

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In following my last post – +LEAVING WHAT BELONGS TO OUR ABUSER ALONE! I am thinking about a teeter-totter.  I see my BPD mother sitting alone on one end alone as an infant-child with nothing but her caregiver’s ‘crap’ being piled up around her while very little goodness is being piled on the other end.

My mother’s end became very very heavy.  Eventually (I believe by the time she was 10 years old) her Borderline Personality Disorder had already built itself into her body-nervous system-brain.  From there is was only a matter of time before her ‘symptoms’ exploded into her full-blown devastating illness.

My mother was overwhelmed by the neglect, abuse and trauma that came at her in her young life.  A natural human tendency is to throw up toxic poisons.  Mother’s BPD illness operated like that regarding me.  If Mother had not had me to receive what she could not tolerate inside herself – all that black toxic poison that had been piled up on her – I do not believe she could have ‘functioned’ at all.

So, as I said in my last post, her stuff was dumped on me.  Somehow (a whole other part of the story) I was strong enough not to need to swallow Mother’s poison no matter how much of it she vomited through abuse onto me.  Any residual memories I retain of that darkness do not belong to me, never did, and I have become very clear about my ability to let them go back in the direction they originally came from – Mother.

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Another thing that comes to mind is that all insecure attachment disorders, along with all trauma related changes in our development due to early severe abuse and trauma, are actually developmental complications.  They are not diseases of their own.  Most of the time our lifelong ‘symptoms’ are not actually ‘mental illnesses’, either.

We are just plain trauma altered individuals.  More later (of course)…

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Click here to read or to  Leave a Comment »

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+LEAVING WHAT BELONGS TO OUR ABUSER ALONE!

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April 28, 2012

Dear survivors raised by abusive Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) mothers,

Off the top of my head and from the depths of my heart I would say, “Don’t be fooled by so-called mental illness diagnoses you have received that lay the SICKNESS you have been exposed to – to the insides of YOU!”

There is nothing WRONG with US!  We have to live in a body that was changed in its development due to the terrible TRAUMATIC STRESS-DISTRESS that our abuser created during the most critically important developmental stages our body-brain would ever go through.

We don’t need to learn what is WRONG with us, we need to learn about how the powerful biochemicals stress created in our developing body-brain changed us.  We are changed beings — but we are not in any ordinary sense of the word SICK or WRONG people!

For everyone just now or recently coming into the light of discovery that abuse and severe trauma you experienced was perpetrated against you by — yes — a very sick BPD parent, especially by your mother, please consider the fact that in your essence YOU ARE PERFECTLY FINE!  You are beautiful!  You are WELL in your essential self!

BUT…..

The beginning of our real work comes as you realize we were/are likely to come out from under the burden of the abuses our BPD perpetrator did to us nearly covered up with stinking sticky inky black ugly rotten toxic CRAP that DOES NOT BELONG TO US!

When it comes to “what to do with the memories we have of abuse done to us” — there is only ONE thing we can do – one healthy, wise, necessary thing we can do.

Find our own self in the memory — inside the abuse — we were FINE!  If we did not come out of our abuse having the terrible, tragic disease of BPD our self — we can – we CAN and MUST locate our own self in the middle of the memories.

I would NEVER advocate dealing with the emotions we might believe belong to any memory.  Those emotions were part of the in-the-moment abuse experience – true enough.  But those emotions, any emotion that was not about joy and peace and calm – belonged to our BPD abuser and NOT to us!!

Inside the memory we existed then and still exist as perfect beautiful children!

Nothing about the abuse we received had ANYTHING to do with us!  NONE OF IT!!

Nothing that was said to or about us belonged to us!

Not one part of the condemnations, the allegations, the miserable contaminating experience belong to US!

ALL of it came from the place of original pain within our BPD abuser that was NEVER healed on their inside.

We did not know this as infant-children – as little people being made to suffer on levels most people cannot ever begin to imagine.

We CAN know this now!!

This healing journey for us is in essence a kind of sorting-out-the-silverware process.  What goes in that slot?  Forks and spoons and knives — each into their slot — but only so we can find that when all of what happened to us is sorted out and put away into its appropriate slot, there is NOTHING of the abuse we suffered left in our hand.  Close the silverware drawer and walk away.

There is NOTHING LEFT of the abuse that belongs to US!

None of it.  None of it belonged to us THEN – and it does not belong to us NOW!  Sorting it out serves this one purpose:  We are removing from ourselves every single LIE that was told to us along with any emotional impact those memories might have for us today.

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I am NOT saying we can ever remove all of the emotion from within our body.  Unfortunately – and realistically – the emotions were remembered within our body – because that’s what bodies naturally DO!  They retain the memory of our lives from the past – but only so those memories can serve to protect us from similar experiences in our present and future.

Once we are SAFE in the present, that information is not necessary for us to be – or stay – aware of.  Personally I live with such a deep painful sadness in my body that I nearly continually have to recognize its presence and then live NOW in full recognition that the pain is real and very present in my body – but it does NOT define or control me.

My pain does require very focused effort on my part to live each moment ANYWAY as if the pain does not exist.

But at the same time I no longer carry the inky terrible blackness that belonged to my mother.  I do not allow myself to entertain the lies as being a part of ME.  They are not.  They never were.

Someone mentioned ‘guilt’ as a residual emotion carried from an abusive BPD mother past abusive history.  NEVER have I felt this.  NEVER!!  True, my abusive history was so extreme, so insane, so abusive – that if I had EVER picked up Mother’s own guilt and carried it as my own I do not believe I would be alive today (I am 60).

I won’t even bother myself with thinking about the negativity contained within the abuse Mother so expertly perpetrated against me.  It’s not mine.  It never was.  It never will be.

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This is a rather strange thought that just popped into my mind.  If I think about what the word ‘voyeurism’ is said to mean, “the practice of obtaining sexual gratification by looking at sexualobjects or acts, especially secretively,” I realize that this concept applies (to me) to much deeper aspects of invading another person’s boundaries that have nothing to do with ‘sex’.

In fact, in its origins, I see that I am correct:  “French, literally: one who sees, from voir  to see, fromLatin vidēre

THINK ABOUT THIS!

My BPD mother SAW in me was HERSELF!  She had NO boundaries between herself and her daughter, Me.  Mother had no boundaries between her inner self and me.  I was she – although of course she would never have understood this.  I was a figment of her sick mind.  I was her projection of all badness within herself.

She WATCHED me invasively – always – and hated what she saw – and then tormented me for the inner torment of her own she could not tolerate.

Because these patterns are so centrally a part of the changed BPD brain’s functioning – I most definitely DO NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE in this part of mother’s sickness!

I do not want to WATCH her sickness inside of ME!

Once I sorted out what was hers of my childhood and what was me and mine – once I can leave what was hers behind me as having never been mine in the first place – I can completely stop WATCHING her — inside of myself.

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This is a complicated concept – yet a simple one.

Mother was mother.  Linda was and IS Linda.

BPD does not allow this distinction to be made within an abusing Borderline.

Our own healing requires that WE make this distinction, that we separate our SELF from our abuser.

Then we can experience that we were/are fine – and that what belongs to our abuser (then and forever) is their PRIVATE inner world – and has nothing to do with us.  We have to leave THEIR stuff alone and keep it OUTSIDE of us!!!

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As my present moment moves into my future right at this instant, I find this to be an interesting thought to appear in my mind as I have been thinking about writing my mother’s story in book form FIRST rather than finalizing the writing of my own story at this time.

So I will be doing exactly what I am advising against!

Yet I also accept that I am in a very unique situation in that at Mother’s death all her papers – childhood stories, pictures, diaries, her Alaskan homesteading journals and letters – found their way into MY hands.  Perhaps for a stunningly powerful reason!

I now know very clearly whose story is whose.

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+SPIRITUAL CHOICE AND THE ABSENCE OF VICTIMHOOD

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First of all, here’s a link to one of my all-time favorite songs –

June Carter – Keep on the Sunny Side of Life

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Now, in essence, if I could perpetually practice the message of this song in every way possible my journey through life – in spite of my severe and traumatic beginnings – would be in line with what I would best wish for myself.

I am working on turning myself to the sunny side – always on the sunny side – of life.

For severe early abuse and severe trauma survivors there is nothing easy about this process.  More and more I think this is so not only because of how our body-brain was changed in its development in reaction to trauma, but is also true because of all the positive experiences of being a little person moving into a great big life entirely missed out on.

I have never been content to take NO on my own life for an answer.  Always I work to grow in a positive direction like a sunflower turning toward the strongest light of day.

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I have a friend who has been faced with one of the most difficult ‘accidents of life’ that a mother can be faced with.  As I ‘accompany’ her in friendship in her journey to keep on the sunny side NO MATTER WHAT I am learning a great, great deal.

Another mutual friend who has what appears to me to be the strongest working faith in God I have ever encountered offers her support in many ways – including in words as she gives understandings in WORDS that help the pathway toward the GOOD become more visible, wider, smoother and more possible to travel upon.

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I again have a multitude of thoughts fanned out around me as I begin this new day.  One set of thoughts is at the center:  CHOICE!

What choices I can see to make in my present life are strongly influenced by the terrible traumas of abuse of so many kinds that I experienced during the first 18 years of my life.  Yet because I have worked so hard toward healing I know a great deal both about the traumas I went through and about how they have affected me – IN MY BODY.

I also am working to become clearer and clearer about the fact that I am a dual nature being.  God has made human beings in this world to be both material in our body – and spiritual in our soul.  As I have traveled backward over every single memory I have of myself in the world all the way back toward my beginnings I have over and over and over again found myself in the center of my memories of trauma – being myself – a perfect child being a perfect child.

I have found that within every memory, if I strip away every part of the abuse and trauma – in spite of the obvious terrible physical pain many beatings caused my body to experience, in spite of the deep sorrow that I inevitably experienced as a result of what my insanely abusive mother did to me – I find that once my BODY could heal itself from one attack – and before the next attack happened – I carried NO negative feelings of my own forward in time.

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I am continuing to clarify for myself, in fact, WHY I think I never felt self-pity, angry, resentment, bitterness, jealousy or envy for the good treatment my siblings continuously received, or even vengeful during the entire 18 years I suffered abuse and trauma.

In my conversation with my faith-filled friend yesterday a new set of thoughts was given to me:  My soul made a choice, perhaps before I was even born in my body out of my mother, to believe in God and in the PLAN that I had agreed to participate in as I entered this lifetime to be my mother’s chosen child for abuse.

My friend believes that some people make this choice to believe in the spiritual side of life and some don’t.  The people who do NOT make any choice at all can go on doing this sometimes throughout their entire lifetime and as a consequence become victims of the chances and changes life brings.

My friend believes that once a soul makes the choice to believe in God they are then removed from EVER BEING A VICTIM as long as the stick with this choice.  As long as this choice remains unmade, a person will be a victim because they will be tossed around through all the difficulties that life can bring like a leaf in the wind, like a raft in a raging storm at sea, like a tiny bird unable to spread its wings who has fallen too early from its nest.

My friend suggests that what I see when I now look back at myself in the midst of the hell of horrors that most of my childhood was I see my pure little soul-self standing/living in the center of my memories as a NOT VICTIM no matter what was happening to me because I had already made my soul-choice on the side of the spiritual and knew I was God’s – no matter what.

BOTH my mother and father – as far as I can see – were thrown around by the circumstances of their malevolent early lives.  Eventually my mother was broken, and perhaps my father was, too.  From the outside, looking at my parents, I can’t see that they ever made a choice directly to take the side of THE TRUTH.

My friend also suggests that the spiritual choice I made was an agreement with God to participate in His plan – that I could have made a different choice so that I would NOT have experienced the hell that I did.

I am quite certain as I look back that if my mother did not have me to focus her abuse upon the story of our family’s life would probably have been a very different one.

I can say this now because of the work I have done on ‘the book’ of my childhood – that has included a very specific sorting-out between where my mother’s story lies apart from my own.  Of course they overlap for those first 18 years of my life – but I can see NOW what was happening in my mother’s mental illness.  To me it all appears this simple.  In fact I see-envision it thusly —

If I drew a circle about 2” in diameter and then drew a much larger circle outside of this one – and then placed a simple green button in the center of the smaller circle that had been painted black – there was my mother.

I choose green as the essence of mother because her eyes were emerald green.

Now, here comes Linda into the world with her brilliant sky blue eyes = me as a blue button.

ZAP!  Mother’s madness places blue-button me in the center of the circle to replace herself.  That circle is SO DARK IT CAN HARDLY BE IMAGINED.

Mother had to keep ME in her central hell so that she could escape to live her outer-Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) life in the outer circle – where everything else Mother did took place – ONLY because she had me in her hell in place of herself.

There little blue-button me was.  There was Mother forever within nearly inches of me to keep me in her hell (in place of herself) so she could ‘function elsewhere’.  Everything Mother thought, felt and did to me was influenced by this pattern.  Yet no matter how hard she worked to keep me suffering inside her inner hell in place of herself, no matter how much horrible inky sorrow-filled blackness she tried to dump onto me – she did not influence who I am one tiny bit.

I never bought the blackness.  It never touched ME where it matters most.  I did not become lost and I did not become broken.  Although it can rightly be said that I was victimized, I have never been a victim!

Meanwhile, Mother lived her life in her outer BPD circle.  Most importantly she was able to raise 5 other children who have brought into the world a combined total of 16 of Mildred and Bill’s grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren with another one on the way.  So far there is no sign of mental illness anywhere else in the family although the terrible stress of what trauma did exist in my family of origin has created body-based stress-response changes in several of us.

It is not hard for me to look back at the Mother-Linda story and imagine how close Mother was to the edge of such a dark abyss that in other circumstances she could have been a child-butchering mother.

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None of this really matters to me today on any kind of an emotional level.  In fact, it is exactly on the emotional level that what I know helps me.  I know that ALL ‘negative’ emotions stem from involvements in life concerning a person in the material world.  All positive emotions come from the spiritual side of human beings’ reality.

So, no negative emotions and lots of positive ones = success in not letting life’s challenges, tests, difficulties, obstacles, etc. to ground our souls in the muck and mire of being a half-material-half-spiritual being in this lifetime.

True.  Nothing particularly easy about monitoring myself to make the right choice toward positive good every time I can.  But having the conversation with my friend yesterday about the essential choice my soul seems to have made way back at my beginnings makes good sense to me.

I have had many, many commenters to this blog who have gone through HELL in their early lives – and have come out on the clear side of GOOD.  Those people, using my friend’s logic, were NEVER victims no matter what they went through.

That leaves those that are buffeted around and all but broken as being people who have not made a clear choice on the side of GOOD – and continue to be weighed down in the negative.  Anyone can make a different choice at any time.

Though I see that my mother’s mental illness was so severe that I can’t imagine that she COULD have made any different choice in her life – I just don’t know.  It isn’t mine to know, not mine to be concerned with.

There are great mysteries in this life.  I see that as a given.  That does not mean I can’t work up to my potential to understand what I CAN understand if I try.  All that matters to me is that I am willing to make progress toward being a happier being.  That progress does require of me that I include spiritual searching in my healing, growing pathway.

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As far as I am concerned any time I see light, goodness and truth I am seeing a ray of the sun of God’s reality.

Any time I see darkness, harmful actions and lies I am seeing the absence of God’s light of reality.

I pray that I will always – through God’s grace — make progress in my growth on the side of the LIGHT in any way I can.

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+MOTHERING/CAREGIVING: WHAT WOMEN KNOW WILL SAVE OUR SPECIES

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I am studying a book about the powers of the soul.  While our souls have always had these powers, the human race had to grow and mature enough for us to be able to increasingly understand what these powers are, how to recognize and access them, and how to use them for our own betterment and for the betterment of our species.

Today my morning study focused upon (1) the powers of intelligence that uses rational thought about what can be seen, and (2) the powers of our inner vision (insight) that leads us to discover that which has not yet been known by anyone.

I am always thinking about something.  I have to practice being able to notice what I am thinking about so I can make decisions about these thoughts:  Are they thoughts of a positive nature that belong within the world of God’s grace?  Are they thoughts that spring from my selfish nature?  Am I feeling sorry for myself?  Am I learning something new and useful?  Am I combing through what I have learned before in a recombination process that leads me forward in good ways?

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In essence my thoughts today are fanned out around me as I examine interesting patterns they seem to create, like images presented in an invisible kaleidoscope of mirrors – each thought showing me it comes from a vast body of information that will become increasingly recognized as our species continues to evolve forward toward Peace on Earth.

I know that the past 500,000-year cycle (the age of prophecy) of human existence ended on May 23, 1844, and that a new 500,000-year cycle (the age of fulfillment) began at that time.  (see more HERE)

I know that one of the major changes that will gain momentum toward a new world is that the masculine influence will diminish as the feminine influence grows in power.  These two wings of humanity need to be in balance now.  Our future as a species depends to a large extent upon this process.

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As I ponder my last post I include in my thoughts what I know about the absolute importance of MOTHERING.  I think about attachment – what goes right in the first 33 months of life (conception to age 2) – and what can go so wrong.

I think about how attachment and caregiving exist on the same continuum, and about how insecure attachment systems built in early environments of relationship trauma are very difficult if not impossible to turn OFF (deactivated) so that appropriate caregiving behaviors can be activated.

I think about the doctorate that my daughter has begun in gerontology, and about her struggles to find how to connect the beginning of life trauma-created consequences to the end of life difficulties early trauma survivors are nearly DOOMED to experience.  SEE:  +LINKS TO CDC ACE STUDY – LONGTERM CONSEQUENCES OF EARLY TRAUMA AND ABUSE

I think about the tender loving safe and secure attachment that the story in my last post tells of.  I think about how attachments HEAL – always!!  I think about how so many people who suffered so much trauma and pain in their early years continue to suffer over their lifespan (as did the elephant in the video presented in my last post.

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Increasing the well-being of women globally will increase the well-being of our species and of our entire web of planet life.  Women, who bring children into the world, WILL be the ones to end all war – eventually.  SEE:  *WOMEN’S ROLE IN ESTABLISHING WORLD PEACE – more HERE

It is – to me – the essential feminine qualities of caregiving that I call MOTHERING that will be the prominent characteristics of our species – soon – in the not very far distant future (we will not survive otherwise).  MOTHERING/caregiving is NOT gender-based, although it is most likely that women will be the teachers of the species when we begin to care enough – and become wise enough – to listen.

Please read the quote included within my last post that describes how the mothering of one elephant toward another altered the entire social milieu and structure of all the elephants as they instinctively created what today I am thinking of as a Circle of Compassionate Caregiving – that is in its essence a completely balanced environment of safe and secure attachment.

While everyone has attachment needs, I am thinking about how it is more powerfully needed at the beginning of life and at the end of life when humans are most vulnerable.  Of course those with insecure attachment disorders formed primarily in their first 33 months of life are most at risk for being ALONE without a Circle of Compassionate Caregivers to love, tend, support, care and share with them.

This CAN change.  This WILL change, and I know from my inner vision abilities that given the extreme suffering I endured during the first 18 years of my life that I have a gift in being able to see the reality that is coming probably more clearly than most other people can.  I am MOST grateful for these MOST important insights!

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+INSECURE ATTACHMENT DISORDER FROM INFANT-CHILD ABUSE – WHAT WE ARE MISSING

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I am thinking about friendships, something I knew nothing about the first 18 years of my life.  In the world of my mentally ill, severely abusive mother all I was ‘good’ for was ‘punishment’, certainly not for friendships with anyone.

My mother worked hard to control access that anyone had to me.  She moved the family from Los Angeles where her mother, my grandmother lived shortly before my 6th birthday.  That move – no matter what my mother ever told anyone – HAD to happen in mother’s universe so that her abuse of me could continue without interference.

It worked.  Certainly my father never interfered.  Certainly my siblings were powerless to interfere.  Certainly I could not interfere.  Most of the time mother even prevented me from access to my own siblings.  I was banished, isolated, kept in solitary confinement – left to stand in corners, left in my bed – anything mother could do to make sure I remained in HER HELL – Mother was effective at what she did nearly beyond belief.

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Like so many other things about being a person, once I left home at 18 I had to watch other people as I guessed at what being human was, what being or having a friend was.  There have been many years in my life when I floated through years believing I had friendships.  In fact, I suppose I DID have friends – but as I age (I am 60 now) I understand more and more about myself as a trauma-changed person.  I understand from the inside out what my extreme insecure attachment disorder does to distort my ability to relate to people.

Sure – I can fake it.  All the rest of this is a very long story.

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I wish to mention the following video.  As I watched this tender reunion of two spectacular animals I found myself wishing I had with a friend the kind of closeness these animals are showing me.  What would this feel like, to be able to be this free to express affection?

This is one of the most tender series of interactions I have ever watched.  I never (like many of this blog’s readers) EVER received this kind of touch from my mother – or from my father.  Not once.  Not one single time was I shown that I was loved.

Because I was NOT loved.

This video is about love.  The purest kind of love.  Can anyone watch this and not WANT SOME?

I will never say I am not loved – but with an insecure attachment disorder as severe as mine is – I cannot FEEL this kind of love.  Tragedy.

And yet viewing this video gives me an experience outside of human time in being able to witness what I hope some human beings ARE able to feel, express, and share with other people.  I had this ability robbed from me by 18 years of insane, brutal abuse.

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Elephants reunited after 20 years

I cannot explain with reasoning what I am conveying in this post.  Yet I also know there are readers who know exactly what I am talking about.

I also believe that no matter how well people think they can love and receive love — that it might only be with the purity of young childhood that THIS caliber of love exists in the human world.

Am I jaded?  I might be.  Maybe it’s a consequence of my insecure attachment disorder that I cannot really SEE the kind of love these two elephants are expressing happen between people (and I am so NOT speaking of any kind of sexual interaction).

The exception in my life has been my witnessing of the love my daughter and her little son share with one another.  I just wish we didn’t live 1700 miles apart!

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This is fascinating!!

More on elephant emotions!

and

Whatever happened to Shirley and Jenny? 

“In 2000, The Urban Elephant brought viewers the touching story of Shirley and Jenny, two elephants reunited at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee after a 22-year separation. The bonding was immediate, intense and unforgettable between the two former circus elephants. But long after the cameras were turned off, the wondrous moments would continue.

“The two were inseparable. Shirley quickly assumed the role of surrogate mother to Jenny, who though now an adult — had been a baby when they first met at the circus. Their bond was so intense; it would forever change life at the sanctuary. As Carol Buckley, Executive Director of the Sanctuary describes it, ‘that was the love that started our elephant family.’ “After Shirley’s arrival, elephants who had previously been companions and friends were now sisters and aunts in the mother and daughter relationship of Shirley and Jenny. They gave the sanctuary its future,” says Carol. These strong bonds would soon be needed. Sadly, on October 17, 2006, ten years after arriving at the sanctuary, Jenny died.

“Jenny came to the sanctuary quite ill. She had scars and other traces of misuse and abuse from her past as a circus elephant. She had been exposed to tuberculosis. And due to an attack by a bull elephant before coming to the sanctuary, Jenny had a crippled back leg. Her caregivers suspect the leg harbored a hidden bacterial infection that flared up last year.

“”The day before she died, Jenny had been down and she wouldn’t get up. Shirley stood by her and insisted that Jenny get up. Jenny just couldn’t get up. Then Jenny stood up but she had to lean on Shirley to keep up. If you looked at Shirley’s face, you could see that she knew that Jenny was dying. Jenny dropped to the ground and Shirley walked into the woods.”

“Jenny was on her deathbed when Shirley walked to the woods but she would give Carol and the sanctuary caregivers the privilege of one last incredible glimpse into the world of elephants before she died. “After Shirley left, Jenny started to make this rumbling noise. With each exhalation, she would rumble. It was almost like a singing. As Jenny did this, Bunny and Tara (two sanctuary elephants) came running over. We thought that was it and she was going to die. And then Bunny and Tara started trumpeting and rumbling. At a certain point, I turned to Scott (Director of The Elephant Sanctuary) and I asked him how long this was going on. He said 58 minutes! Well, she continued for another two hours. Jenny lived through the night and was even perky and silly. She passed in the morning. And when she died, she did a vocalization that I had never heard. It was like a trumpet. It was very low and got quieter and quieter. She passed very peacefully without straining or exerting herself. To experience this ritual was amazing. I had never seen anything like it.” Shirley stayed in the woods until Jenny passed. She didn’t eat for two days. “It was very hard and especially hard on Shirley. Shirley’s whole life was about taking care of baby Jenny. It was like a mom losing her baby.””

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The Urban Elephant

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