Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2012

++++

I don’t like believing I need to censor my thoughts, nor do I like the process of doing so.  At 60 years old I am wondering if it is purely a function of having reached my age that I would naturally HAVE more thoughts hence I simply have more to think ABOUT.  If I have nobody to talk about my thoughts WITH – then a part of me is feeling that thoughts are by themselves absolutely useless.

How does censoring my thoughts affect my writing?

Why do I believe that sorting thoughts out between ‘good’ ones versus ‘bad’ ones is something I ‘should’ be doing?  Should – a word I spent most of my 30s, 40s and 50s shunning because ‘back then’ I could clearly see that this word is tied to harsh judgment, criticism and shaming.

Why have I let this insidious word take such a hold of my mind?

What – Who – am I afraid of?  What rejection do I anticipate ‘should’ I dare to drop all censorship and grant again complete freedom to my mind to think whatever I want and choose to?

Shame on me for thinking – what – about whom?

Do I only have the RIGHT to think about myself?  Oh!  Wait!  That is self-centered!  No!  That is DEFINITELY not OK, thinking about myself!

So – think about NOTHING?  What is attractive and desirous about thinking about NOTHING?  Is that the same as not thinking AT ALL?

No, because I am again deeply and very actively involved in the tough physical labor required to complete another major yard project (building a goat pen) – I am allowing myself to ONLY think about what needs to be done physically one moment at a time.

Nothing else.  If any ‘troubling’ thought appears I turn to some small words of prayer to make all other thoughts VANISH as if they never existed at all.

++

I just had another fantastic conversation via phone with my daughter who is soon turning 36.  She knows me more comprehensively than anyone else on earth.  God gave me this angel – such an incredible gift she is to EVERYONE – including me.

Now – I refuse to be a tail-spinning kite having recently been mishandled, aiming straight in a nosedive to crash on the earth.

My mind is ME, my mind is MINE – my mind is perfect no matter what I think about – and I have the right to think about anything I want to.  No, this is not about being ‘right’.  This is about being ME.

And I need to restore my blog to myself, as well.  I need to remember very clearly that the ONLY negative comments I have ever received in response to anything I have written on this blog have ONLY come from………  (wait for it, wait for it, drum roll please….)  people with Borderline Personality Disorder!

Admittedly this is the first time the BPD person has been a man, and yes, that fooled me – but I’ve got his number now!  My best bet is, I am absolutely correct!

Not that it will matter to Person-of-Question – and I don’t care a twit!  I am reaffirming myself, however, that as I look backward and scan ‘what’s been going on’ – I SAW all the signs – and ignored them.

Ignore no more – not even my own thoughts!

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

Today I again watched the movie, ‘Temple Grandin’.  Although the movie is about Temple’s experiences with autism, which I do not ‘have’, I am comforted by the movie because I feel more like this woman than I do like ‘ordinary’ human beings.

Given the amount of abuse and trauma I suffered from birth, such fundamental changes in my body-brain as I developed severely changed my ability to socialize with people.  I see myself in Temple in this way.  I don’t feel like explaining details right now.  Just wanted to again highly recommend this movie!

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

Are we losing our listeners?  Are listeners becoming an extinct species?  Who is noticing?  If nobody is left to truly listen to other people – truly listen – is it becoming true, then, that very few will even notice that the listeners are gone?

It is critically important to me on those occasions when I have a clear and strong need to be HEARD – that someone listen to me.  I have been left lately feeling like the odd woman out, like a total oddball, because I actually NOTICE that nobody seems able to listen to me — and odd because I care and notice that a listener cannot be found.

I just don’t believe this is only happening to me!  Listening – something an adequate mother/early infant caregiver MUST do for her infant during its rapid social-emotional right limbic brain’s so-rapid development in its first year of life.  This listening – tied to resonating and to mirroring her infant — is DIRECTLY tied to the development of emotional regulation abilities in the developing right brain – that will set the patterns (hardwire the brain) for an entire lifetime.

Safe and secure attachment cannot possibly happen without the inclusion of adequate – good – listening!

Is the lack of listeners tied to so many people now not ACTUALLY having received the kind of safe and secure attachment interactions in relationship with early caregivers that they needed to build an adequate right brain – so that MOST people now have a lifelong insecure attachment disorder (which of course they don’t know and would never admit)?

Why would the people who were not – perhaps have never been – truly listened to even know that such an experience even exists?

++

As my own test-research subject, I do find it interesting, intriguing, even greatly mysterious that given the horrendously abusive first 18 years of my life — I am (TRUTH!) and excellent listener!

How did that happen?

I do not actually know, but as I write this it comes to mind that for all the long hours of forced isolation/solitary confinement that Mother included in her abuse of me from birth – I LISTENED!!  I learned much about the workings of the environment – and of those within it – by listening to the sounds of the world of my family going on without me being a part of it.

As I got older, as our family spent time on our remote Alaskan mountain homestead, the listening skills I honed included learning how to also listen to incredible vast silences of the wilderness.

Was I able to transfer my incredible listening abilities to a compassionate, caring kind of listening to other people (who are not disrespectful and hence obnoxious to me)?

It is a truth that humans have two kinds of hearing:  One only of the physical ears (physical sense of hearing) and another kind of hearing from the heart, a hearing of the soul.  No doubt as a child I actually used this second spiritual hearing probably more than I used my physical hearing — given the lengthy, bizarre and terribly long periods I was forced into confinement alone.

++

So, I don’t know the answers – but it seems just totally WRONG to me that a society could ever begin to suggest (!!) that one has to PAY a THERAPIST to be listened to compassionately – to be HEARD?

That is SICK!!

It also seems completely sick to me to live in a society that seems to be losing all collective memory of what if feels like to be listened to – truly listened to – to be heard – to be resonated with – to be cared about this fundamentally.  People seem to be losing their awareness that a need to be listened to even exists at all — let alone that THEY have that need – that everyone has that need – that everyone CAN listen – if they knew it.

I am left feeling very very sad.  True, I long ago left my abusive home of origin — but I have not lost this sense that I am very alone – really – in the world — and that for all their chatter, for all their insignificant ‘yakking and squawking’, people are spewing empty, meaningless words that have nothing to do with their true self, with their soul, with compassion, with a quality of life that has value far past material pursuits and trivialities.

I am NOT mentally ill that I NEED to be listened to and heard!  I am not mentally ill that I know there is a great injustice in our increasingly sick culture that has so fostered insignificance in life that people no longer even recognize that we all need to be HEARD — which also means that we all need to be listeners when it is our turn!

Listening.  Being heard.  No changing the subject.  No ulterior motives, no advice, no platitudes, no slogans, no condemnation, no criticism or critique, no suggestions, no attempts to control/manipulate another person, no getting your own ‘stuff’ mixed up/added in while listening, NO DISRESPECT — NO SHAMING – just an honoring, truly caring and compassionate inner stance, an attitude of recognizing the sacredness of being alive – with our needs – to be heard AND to listen to others.

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

I THOUGHT it was my right, choice, privilege to post a link with a title to my posts to my Facebook home page.  True, my topics are very probably not universally interesting to every one of my FB friends.  But, then, I have assumed that everyone that might receive my postings was/is adult enough to simply hide my blog posts from their view or in some other way adjust their filters should they be bothered in some way by postings related to early trauma and abuse — survivor life — and healing.

I was, therefore, completely unprepared for direct, nasty and viscous attacks back to me in comments and email in response to my most recent posts appearing on ‘his’ FB homepage.  I have ‘unfriended’ this person – in every way – since those attacks, even though a day later I did receive a telephone call of apology and ‘amend’ (asking me for forgiveness) for those 4 attacks.

I am left in part thinking about trust.  Someone told me nearly 40 years ago, “Trust is like a fine China plate.  Once broken it can never truly be repaired.”  I agree – although I might ‘wish (upon a star?)’ this were not so.

++

I am not at all sure I dare ever post a link on my FB page again to any post I write.  I had been taking the risk that someone might have negative thoughts about me/my topic – and perhaps they have though I have never known of any disgruntled FBers until now.

Has anyone related/connected to my FB page ever found any post I have written helpful or useful to self or other?  I cannot know.  I have always hoped so.

Dare I risk offending someone else, someone again?  Not today.  (Have I been mistaken — and my FB account is not really mine after all?)

Am I wrong in thinking if people don’t want to see ANYTHING I post on my FB page — it is their responsibility to delete/hide/’unfriend’?

What kind of ‘boundary issues’ have been triggered for me by this man’s attacks?

Do I feel like prey – having been attacked by a predator?

Truth is – yes I do.

++

I have had it happen before in my life that someone in a 12th step program — in alliance with the program’s principles of taking personal inventory, admitting ‘wrong doing’ and ‘making amends’ — has approached me in their effort to accomplish all or some part of ‘their program’.

Yet, to me, apologizing or making an amend has nothing whatsoever to do with ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS from the ‘wronged one’.

I smile and say, “Sure, I forgive you” when I am really amazed at what seems to be a selfish request to be forgiven IMMEDIATELY without even being given a second’s notice to even begin to THINK about this other person’s concerns and about my reaction.

Forgiveness of anyone is MY concern — and I always sense a boundary violation in action when someone else makes their ‘amend’ while at the same time demanding (really – and could add a vision of some foot-stomping going on) that I be ‘a good person’ and forgive this other person (RIGHT NOW!).

++

Just one of my pet peeves, I guess…..  But I am sure that forgiveness is not anything (for me) about ‘making up’ or necessarily about restoring any kind of a friendship/relationship with someone who has attacked me.

I feel like I have finally seen the REAL side of this person I am writing about.  I have only know this person peripherally – as an acquaintance.

Now?  Zero.  “Tut fini,” as my sis says – “It is finished.”   Forgiveness in no way means I will put myself back in line for any possible risk of attack in the future.  Not gonna happen!

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

If I were to argue with God

stage a debate

would I so blithely say

“It is better to be more oblivious than I”

because I choose to complain

about whatever suffering

I might know of firsthand?

What would I begin to know, then

about the so many so-wounded walking

crawling sitting dying spinning

through the span of their lifetime?

Humility, having known nothing else through all of those years

Mother used me in place of herself

to keep her own devil away,

now comes to me through a hot

pinched

hose.

Given that unknown to most these are the darkest hours

of humankind’s history

Given that suffering belongs to all of us

equally

Given that suffering now serves no purpose I can think of

except to awaken the sense that nobody suffers alone

although

it is most hard to know this

I forgo such debate.

I would appear most ungrateful

most undignified

most uneducated

should I attend.

++++

An article not to be forgotten!!!

+Dr. Teicher’s ARTICLE ON TRAUMA ALTERED DEVELOPMENT

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

I awoke today with a slightly new take on my current conundrum– “something hard to understand or explain” – a great word for the pervasive and multiple-multiplying experiences related to being survivors of extreme infant-child abuse!

My new take today includes a relevant term known as “emotional flooding.”  A simple Google search of those two words brings up in response some intense and ‘conundrumish’ topics!

The truth is that nobody except perhaps the best of the developmental neuroscientists can truthfully find a handle on the continuing experience of the abuse most of the readers of this blog know intimately from their own lives.  Yet even these doctors, not being survivors of such severe trauma themselves, cannot actually understand the very real experience of living in a body that was so changed during its early development in response to severe early trauma.

We are for the most part on our own in finding ways to identify what is going on within our body that can so ‘dis-equilibriate’ our senses of being a self in a body in the world.

++

These past few weeks I have been overdoing IT.  IT = living AS IF I am OK – because I so WANT to be OK!

Suddenly I fell blindly into a sink hole –

Suddenly a different version of me appeared

Suddenly I lost my equilibrium

This is more than losing any hope of being in touch with a sense of inner peace at my core.  This is an experience of someone else appearing upon the stage of my life-as-I-want-to-live-it – and this someone else is the person who holds billions of memories of what trauma is and what it has done to me – whether I like to be reminded or not.

++

Overwhelmed and overwrought

Any adequate mother (or substitute early caregiver) easily recognizes the signs in an infant that these two conditions are in motion

This adequate mother will respond to her infant as if the little one is in a state of emergency

This mother will do everything in her power to re-stabilize the infant – to calm it down by comforting it appropriately – by blocking all incoming stimulation (be it too much good or too much bad) – This mother will calm the infant down TO ITS CORE.

This is safe and secure attachment in action, in motion – as the caregiver performs the required role for the infant of resetting the entire body of the upset infant in its nervous systems which include the infant’s rapidly developing right limbic social-emotional brain.

++

Because the abuse that happened to me began when I was born (and because I am fortunate enough to know this!) – I understand that when I go awry in my body it is to these most basic, primitive and important central-control levels that I must look in order to repair whatever current-day disequilibrium has toppled my sense of being an ongoing-self-in-the-world.  Toppling.  Losing inner balance.  Losing sight of, losing touch with, anyone ‘in here’ that has a rock-solid grasp of what in the world is even going ON HERE!

++

I picture a 3-D pyramid or a 2-D triangle.  Safe and secure healthy early attachment interactions build a body-brain from the ground up that has a wide solid grounded base in reality (as it becomes built into the body-brain).  Early neglect, abuse, trauma puts so much stress into a little one’s body that this base is never built right.

When ongoing interactions of increasing complexity happen in an early trauma survivor’s life the tendency for being overwhelmed results in this pyramid/triangle flipping over so that we are – in our body brain – trying to remain stable while attempting to maintain balance on the precarious tip point – hence – our repeated experiences of reaching a tipping point and losing our inner equilibrium along with our sense of being a central-stable-self-in-the-world.

++

I cycle through patterns of being relatively OK – and of being NOT OK.

It is my wish to be able to increasingly prevent the toppling – but it is also difficult to live anything like what I might like to think of as a ‘normal life’ when the amount of trauma I experienced during the first 18 years of my life so changed HOW I am in this body in this world.

If you Google search (recommended) ‘emotional flooding’ you will notice even from scanning the titles that appear on the result page that ‘emotional flooding’ is most often associated with the ACUTE stage of traumatic experiences.

Survivors of severe early infant-child abuse have a body-brain so built in the environment of acute trauma that we are able to know little else.  ACUTE TRAUMA was ‘normal’ for us in our early malevolent environment.

Our body will remember this fact any time we take too big a step without being completely conscious of what we are doing and how we are experiencing each little tiny step we take along the way.  I know this.  I took a long stride and strolled through my experiences of the past few weeks acting AS IF there would be no repercussions.

Well, I am in the repercussion stage now – and restabilizing my entire self has to be my current mission.  Fortunately, I didn’t stride too far off of my what-is-possible-for-Linda-to-accomplish during my activities of recent days.  But I did overdo it.

Sometimes I have to overdo it – or it seems I would not have much of a life at all.  I am severely hampered, confined, restrained in what I can take on in my life – and yes – it makes me frustrated and MAD to be so limited.  But my limitations are very real whether I like it or not – and I am the only caregiver in my life who can do what it takes to get my centered calm self back again — with the love, support and understanding of those who care most about me!

This support, love and care also comes from readers of this blog who stop in with their comments.  Thank you!

++

Over the course of my adult life I have fallen on my face, fallen on my butt, fallen to my knees many many times.  I have had to work very hard, honestly, at remaining alive, at remaining hope-full, at remaining convinced that what I do in my life matters.  I have much to be grateful for, obviously, and I also work hard at recognizing all the positives that I can.

But I can no longer deny or ignore the conditions in my body that are the very real and serious consequence of living the first 18 years of my life under conditions of extreme threat, trauma and harm.

That I DESERVE to experience peace and joy remains an elusive guess to me unless I apply great effort at remaining focused on giving myself permission to TRY to be fully human – a condition that was entirely denied to me throughout the very long hell of my infancy and childhood.

I do not like to whine.  I do not like to complain.  I like to get back up, dust myself off, heal as much as I can – and go on living as if…….

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

Is healing from severe trauma really the same thing as growth?  Are healing and growth for severe infant-child abuse-trauma survivors the same thing as learning to RECOGNIZE our self?

My journey – today – this day – is feeling like that.

As I raised my three children (without abuse and with lots of love) I had my inner vision focused upon recognizing who they were so that I could help them grow into their own self – to know their own self – to be their own self without compromise – and to LOVE their own self.

A the youngest nears 30 and the oldest crosses into her 40s I can see that my approach worked – exactly.

Nobody did this for me.

I will be 61 this coming August 31st – and it is today that I notice that my struggles are greatly about trying to recognize my self!

++

It is all fine and good and worthy for me to try to work toward some nebulous goal of ‘loving my self’ – but how am I really going to do THIS if I cannot and do not recognize myself?

In all the work I have closely studied about infant attachment and brain development done by Dr. Allan N. Schore (Google his name and take a look) it is completely clear that it is the infant-mother face-to-face interactions in the first critical first year of life that set the stage for whether or not a new human being is on the road to recognizing their OWN self – or not.

My mother was a pathological, psychotic abusive Borderline Personality Disorder sicko.  No, her SOUL was good and was something else – but my mother’s disease ate her up so that especially as far as her non-relationship with me – there was NOTHING else present.

My mother never looked with care and adoration into my newly born eyes.  My mother NEVER saw me.  She saw her own projection of her own ‘evil’ in me as ‘the devil’s child’.  She did not even ever see a human being when she looked at me.

Mother did nothing to help me recognize my self – as a mother must – if a new person is going to grow along the ‘right’ path into their own life.

Anything I have I have been given through my soul’s awareness of its/my connection to a God who yes, loves me, and no, did not protect me or alleviate the 18 years of suffering I endured.

++

The short end of that long story is that today I am recognizing – TODAY – that me Linda I does NOT need to be judged, criticized, given advice or lectures to, or in any other way be disrespected for who, how, what I am.

Perhaps people I know/have known have found it very easy to push me in certain toxic ways because my own self-recognition boundaries have never truly been solidified – because I have never truly recognized them at the same time I have not recognized my self.

Perhaps TODAY I am shedding that old skin.  Perhaps today I don’t give a wallop of a HOOT what anyone other than those who truly love me think about me – in any single way!

It did me no possible good growing up as a severely abused infant-child to notice who/what hurt me.  I took it.  I withstood, suffered and took it ALL – without complaint, without knowing what was done to me was terribly, tragically WRONG.

Nobody noticed.  Nobody came to my aid or assistance or to my rescue.  I endured.  I survived.  And at 18 I exited my home of origin without a clue about who I am.

I have wandered the byways of my life for another 42 years still not REALLY knowing who I am as I GUESS a lot and consider that ‘good enough’ to get by with.

Today this does not — finally — feel good enough for me!

As I told my daughter this evening on the telephone, who I COULD have been, who I perhaps SHOULD have been – well, it’s like I stand at a railway station watching the train of THAT woman roar on by – and I cannot in any way get on THAT train!

Is their another train for me?  Today I say yes, of course there is!  My train might very likely not be a train that many I know would even recognize as mine.  I haven’t even recognized it as mine!

I suspect I have been too busy in some unrecognized ways at being the person I ‘should’ or ‘could’ have been – at least trying my hardest to put up that phony front – though never until this moment have I recognized those  silent efforts I have pursued to betray my own self.

++

I have lived for nearly 7 years in this little Arizona border town in a neighborhood full of children.  I listen to them PLAY – I listen and listen and watch them – while I recognize that not ONCE in my entire childhood was I free – truly FREE – to be a child in play.

NOT ONCE did I play – or laugh freely.  Not once was I safe enough to trust that no harm was about to come to me.  Not once was I truly safe from my mother’s rage and hate filled – usually psychosis based – attacks of me.

How could I begin to think I could come out of that childhood being anything like NORMAL?  I have always been on the outside – and today I am perhaps more clear than I have ever been that ‘trying to fit in’ to regular people’s world is NOT going to happen – and it is toxic for me to try.

Maybe I am done with all of it!  Maybe I am shedding a skin.  Maybe I am transforming — into WHO I don’t know!  Into – ME?

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

I have taken

by an invisible bidding

my heart and my soul and my self

deep under this peaceful water

where I have no ears

to hear

the human-made tumult

above

So little quiet waking slumber

so few paying attention

lost arts outnumber

those that are known

Exchanging heartbeats

of the living

for the clamor of

mechanical clunks and roars

Making the night we have come to

believe

is day

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

Somehow somewhere along the line of my adult life I made a decision evidently that I did not know I made.  I disrespect myself.

I do not respect who I am!  I am never good enough to please myself.

My latest?  What is WRONG with me that I don’t like people?

I really, really DON’T like people any more than I would like sitting down hard on a very prickly cactus!

Do I have the right not to like people?  What does God think about me not liking people?  “Shame on me for not liking people?”

People – for the most part – seem to me to be yakking squawk boxes.  How dare I say this?  How dare I think it?  How dare I believe this?

++

I consider an image that gets to reappear in my thoughts over these past 20+ years — because I was blessed to witness it — a group of Dine (Navajo) men sitting in the shade of a few ancient Pinon trees on a hot New Mexican spring day – talking by not talking, speaking by not speaking.  One would say something — a LONG time went by – a long time went by – half an hour or more — and someone would say something else.

Quiet voices.  Undemanding-of-attention voices.  A different pace.  A different music.

++

The pages of this blog are packed with stories of my history.  Enough at the moment for me to mention that people were so little a part of my first 18 years of life – except as shadows of lives lived that had NOTHING to do with me as I suffered under the insane mad-woman abuse of my mother — that people as people did not exist for me at all.

Truth?

I can’t go back and change anything about my childhood – including the isolation and solitary confinement.  Yet how hard it is for me to accept – to respect – my SELF as I AM.

Am I getting closer?  If people are for the most part toxic to me – and even if I feel so often terribly lonely – but being with people does NOT make the loneliness go away but rather exhausts and confuses me — I really do need to stay away from nearly ALL of them!

As I mentioned in my recent post, I am hoping to complete a goat pen for miniature goats – and a bunny cage or two will be in the mix – so I can have friends I can relate to.

It is seeming increasingly clear to me that if God wanted me to be able to tolerate people – to understand or to like them – He could have given me some worthy studies in being one of the more ordinary people during the first 18 years of my life — where the lessons most mattered.

But, no — my lessons were of an ENTIRELY different kind – and they turned me into an ENTIRELY different sort of person.  Dare I accept and respect this fact — no matter what ANYONE else thinks or feels about me?

On a soul level, I am hoping my condition is temporary and will last only as long as I am in a body in this world.  In the next world I hope my soul will be strong and good and forgiven – so that I will not be forced (again) into a kind of permanent loneliness that I NEVER asked for.

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

In the high southeastern Arizona desert plants are in their resting stage at this time of year.  People who have spent many years living in more northern climes are familiar with springtime as a time of bursting growth and bloom.  Spring in the desert?  A time of building heat toward the eventual appearance (hopefully) in early July of our annual season of blessed rains.

I have decided as my aging past 60 moves on that I wish to be able to visit in my yard some innately peaceful, kind and gentle – quiet – friends.  Due to the generous free-cycle gift of required weathered lumber and pallets I finally have what I need to complete my project.

This series of pictures includes the planting of one of my jalapeno beds, the end blooming of my much-appreciated perennial snap dragons, and my womanly art of making something wonderful out of virtually nothing much at all.  (All of these did not post in exact order – I have no idea why not or how to adjust!!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »