+THE DEMISE OF MILDRED

++++

I just finished the first draft of this first book containing 24 chapters –

The Demise of Mildred:  A forensic biography of my severely abusive Borderline Personality Disorder Mother

Part One:  

Suburbia to Alaska – My parents’ love letters, summer 1957

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

Advertisements

+WHEN WE CAN’T STOP NEEDING

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

These links are to posts from May 2009 – a long time ago in blog time!  I have reposted these links several times – and do so again today – because I believe they give information that is among the most important I have ever read.

This is information about insecure attachment disorders.  These links contain information related to the work of Nancy Collins of the Department of Psychology, University of California in Santa Barbara.

citation:

Collins, N. L., Ford, M. B., Guichard, A. C., & Feeney, B. C. (2006). Responding to need in intimate relationships: Normative processes and individual differences. In M. Mikulincer & G. Goodman (Eds.), Dynamics of romantic love: Attachment, caregiving, and sex. New York: Guilford.  (pages 149-189)

*COLLINS ON RESPONDING TO NEED – Part One

*COLLINS ON RESPONDING TO NEED – Part Two

*COLLINS ON RESPONDING TO NEED – Part Three

*COLLINS ON RESPONDING TO NEED – Part Four

*COLLINS ON RESPONDING TO NEED – Part Five

*COLLINS ON RESPONDING TO NEED – Part Six

**Attachment Styles and Caregiving from Collins Article

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

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

+PEEK PREVIEW – “THE DEMISE OF MILDRED” – LETTER FROM MY FATHER

++++

The first volume of the “The Demise of Mildred” forensic biography I am working on contains my parents’ “love letters” from the summer of 1957.  My father had left his wife and 4 young children in Los Angeles as he left ahead of us for Alaska to start his new job and to obtain housing so that we could follow.

This body of letters provides the sole opportunity among all the papers I ‘inherited’ from my Borderline Personality Disorder severely abusive mother to see inside the mind of my father.  He was her perfect enabler.  Father never ONCE protected me from Mother’s abuse.  He never intervened on my behalf.

Why not?

The role of my father in Mother’s madness has always remained a mystery not only to me, but also to all five of my siblings and to everyone I have ever talked to about the horror of the history of what went on in the home of origin I spent the first 18 years of my life so suffering within.

(Note:  It has been explained in previous chapters that the idea of moving to Alaska was entirely Mother’s.  Her BPD need was to get me as far away from my grandmother as she possibly could.  I was nearing my 6th birthday and it was no longer possible for Mother to continue to abuse me in her hell without her mother noticing.)

This letter from my father contains my comments that are still in first rough draft form contained in CHAPTER NINE:

°<>°<>°<>°  DAY SIXTEEN   °<>°<>°<>°

June 24, 1957 Monday

Dearest Mildred,

Don’t worry any more about my not getting your letters – I got four again today, the latest one postmarked Saturday.  All you need use for an address is:  c/o District Engineer, Anchorage, Alaska.  The box number etc. is the official address but it isn’t needed.  I think by now I’ve received all the mail that you sent to the APO box number in Seattle.

Oh, my Darling, I feel so sorry for all the troubles you’ve gone through.  I know how much has happened to you and how much you’ve had to do all by yourself.  I feel so helpless, as though I was sitting here wasting my time while you have so much to do.  I am proud of the way you’ve gotten along by yourself, and I worship you for the wonderful wife and mother that you are to me (and our children).  This is a trying time we’re going through right now, and I swear I’ll make it up to you for the rest of our lives.  If you hadn’t been willing to do what you’re doing I never could have come here, so we are truly partners in everything we do.

I know more every day that we’re going to like it here, and on that glorious day when we’re all settled here we’ll both really begin to live again.  I die a little too every day that I spend without you, and I dread the days that lie just ahead.  I could never grow accustomed to living without you – instead it gets worse every single day that we’re apart.  I feel it most of all at night when I turn off the light and go to bed.  I could never sleep well alone again!  When the light’s on I can see where I am and see how alone I am, but when I lie down in the dark I feel that you should be there beside me – and when I’m half-asleep I reach out to hold you close to me.  That horrible empty feeling when my hand finds nothing but the wall – it would be impossible to describe if you didn’t feel it too.  Oh my Mildred, my life is only in you.  I won’t really live again at all until you are in my arms again.

You must take care of yourself and try to live some sort of a “normal” life while you’re there, get into a routine and have your meals on time and get enough sleep.  You do have a big load to carry, there’s no getting away from that, and you just have to take care of yourself!  I know there doesn’t seem to be anything but trouble and worries and waiting but please try to relax and have at least a little fun this summer.

Before you do any driving though, you’ll have to have a spare tire.  Go to a tire store and get a retread – not a new one – and don’t let them charge you over about $9.00 for the tire and tube.  It sounds like the car needs new spark plugs and a tune-up.  Go to a garage – George and Murray’s down the highway is good – and have it done and I think the car will run OK.  Don’t let them sell you an overhaul or anything else.  [Why did Bill not leave the car in good repair before he flew north?]  By the way – I forgot to tell you to use the 25¢ oil and regular gas in the car, anything better would spoil it.  [smiley face]

This afternoon my boss “invited” me to go out and look at the runway paving that I’m working on, and he’s a real “company-man” so we got back too late for me to get to the Beneficial Finance office before they closed.  So I’ll take off in the morning and be there when they open up.  Then, I’ll go right over to the post office and mail it to you.  If it doesn’t get there the same time this does, go back in the afternoon and it might be there then.

I’ll ask you once more, although you may already have answered, what about writing to you at the Motel?

I’ve already written a card to Ben Wright and I’ll write him a letter soon.  Also I’ll send a postcard to all of our friends – although it will be hard not to make them all sound alike (I hope they don’t get together and compare them).

I agree emphatically about sending the card back to my mother!  She must have rocks in her head to think she can go right on as though nothing had ever happened.  Believe me, I didn’t write to her for her sake – only to get it off my chest so I could forget about it!

I’ll check on the price of the Chevy Station Wagon – just out of curiosity.  It would sure be nice to get it, but that’s another wild idea we’d better forget about – along with my idea of buying a house!  If we can just get settled here without going broke we’ll be doing well – without buying anything more.

I’m glad I’m in time in telling you about the stove.  I know how hard it is to part with our one remaining original appliance, but it would be completely useless here so sell it!

I know there was something else I wanted to say but I can’t remember it.  If it comes to me I’ll put a note in with the papers in the morning.

Try to tell the children how I love them and miss being with them, miss hearing their voices and hearing their prayers.  Every time I see a little child it reminds me of them and makes me all the more homesick.  As soon as I get paid I’ll send everyone a little gift – something Alaskan if I can find something that wasn’t made in Japan.  Good night now, my beloved Mildred, and remember:

[He drew little musical notes all around the edges of this]

‘Till I hold you in my arms,

I will hold you in my heart.

I love you sweetheart, I love you forever and for always, I Love You, Bill

[Mildred wrote in the top margin of this letter in 1966: – “Sounds so much like now, only it’s nine years later and tonight I’m bitter, lonely and can’t even write you – I can’t – it’s like an old record playing ‘yes later’ over and over.”]

°<>°<>°<>°<>°<>°<>°<>°<>°<>°<>°<>°<>°<>°<>°

COMMENTS:

I worship you for the wonderful wife and mother that you are to me (and our children)” — I believe my father meant these words absolutely when he wrote them, but oh what a scary condition this created for me having him in this state in relationship to this woman who so devastatingly – and frequently – so harmed me.  While most of her severe abuse of me happened when my father was not home, I know there were many occasions when no normal human being could have witnessed what he did — and not do ANYTHING to protect me against her.

But, then, nothing in our home approached normal.  In my thinking Father lost his sovereignty as an individual person in his relationship with Mildred a long time before he wrote these words.  Mildred had no capacity to ‘stand on her own two feet’ with a strong, clear, intact healthy self at her own center.  Mildred WAS her illness.  Neither, evidently, could my father maintain his own personhood in his relationship with her.

Worshiping any human being is, to me, an extremely dangerous if not downright stupid thing to do.  Yet so comprehensive was Mildred’s illness that there was no possible option in relationship with her but to be swallowed up whole by her disease, as well.  My father had not only given up his ghost — even the ghost of my father had given up.  Their was nothing left for any of us BUT Mildred’s madness.

°<>°

“This is a trying time we’re going through right now, and I swear I’ll make it up to you for the rest of our lives.  If you hadn’t been willing to do what you’re doing I never could have come here, so we are truly partners in everything we do.” — My parents were partners in crime.  A few years ago it struck me exactly how criminal they were.  As I listened to the many neighborhood children playing happily outside one day I imagined my mother inside my house.  I imagined her stomping to open my front door and slamming it open, clamoring down my front steps.  I imagined her in a rage even approaching one of these children — and then I imagined what would happen if she had so much as touched one of them in her rage.

I realized that every adult on the street would have been out of their houses so fast Mother would not have seen them coming.  They would have grabbed her, would have knocked her to the ground and sat on her until police arrived if they had to.  But NEVER would anyone allow her to hurt one of these children.

I then came up with a low estimate of how many times in the 18 years of my early life Mildred had brutally assaulted me physically without even considering the nearly continual verbal and emotional abuse.  I assigned a fair jail sentence to each count and realized the minimum combined jail time my mother deserved would have been 15,000 years.  Accounting for my father’s complicity in her crimes would, in my mind, have earned him a sentence at least equal to hers.

If people think there’s some kind of ‘ordinary’ and therefore acceptable child abuse, my parents did not match this description.  Considering that in 2012 nineteen states in America allowed corporeal punishment in public schools, our culture must waver on at a very fine edge between child assault that is acceptable and child assault that is not.  In my own case, among the many therapists I sought help from in my 30s during the decade of the 1980s, not one single one of them EVER mentioned to me that my mother was mentally ill.  Not one.  Ever.

I don’t think Mildred made it out of her childhood having a mind to lose, but I believe my father did.  Or did he?  What was it about his needs and about how his needs were met by this woman that so completely robbed him of his own sanity and selfhood?  Mildred evidently had her husband’s mind as her own as surely as she had mine.  But she had been forming my mind to match hers from the moment I was born.

That Mildred so completely mind-melded with her husband is so far past intriguing it is horrifying.  It is processes like these that create holocausts, which is exactly what my infancy and childhood with these parents was like.  In his wedded blissfulness, it seems to me, Father was just as lost and powerless as a human being as he would have been if he had never been born at all.  As he so clearly and blindly stated, “Oh my Mildred, my life is only in you. 

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

+THE GIFT OF A GREAT BOOK PUBLISHING OMEN!

++++

As I prepare for publication of the first manuscript of the six books I am working on in a series intended to help stop infant and child abuse I just found this unused Hallmark card among my stationary that reads:

“When our story is told, and it will be told in song and fable and interpretive dance and puppet show, people will weep with joy and, through sobs, say, “Today we have witnessed love. How can our lives not be bettered by this?”

On the inside:

“Okay, the puppet show response may not be so strong. People may not be ready for puppets.”

This card has been tucked away for many years. I take it as a most positive omen that I find this today! GO, Linda, GO!!!

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

+SOME OF MY THOUGHTS ABOUT ‘ATTACHMENT’

++++

It is far, far too late for me to personally have warm fuzzy thoughts about what human attachment is, what it means, or about what it is SUPPOSED to accomplish for human beings.

I do not attach – in essence – any remote vague thinking to this term.  I can see quite objectively what it is – and what it does.

Certainly humans are born one year too early.  The massive size of our brains of course does not allow us to remain in the womb as long as we SHOULD be there.  But even though we are born into this big wide world being powerless to make sure our survival needs are met, we are not helpless.  From the moment we are born we apply a wide range of attachment-seeking behaviors designed to elicit help from those into whose care we have been born.

How our attempts to take care of ourselves from birth are received by our mother — first of all and most importantly — signals to our most-rapidly growing body and brain what kind of world we have been born into.

Attentive, appropriate, warm, loving, safe, secure — if we are met with those kinds of benevolent responses we will grow one kind of body-brain.

Inattentive, inappropriate, nasty, hateful, neglectful, hurtful — unsafe, insecure — those responses will signal to our rapidly growing body-brain that we have been born into a world that is malevolent.

++

Attachment must happen on some level to meet our basic physiological needs – obviously – or our body will die.

Past those basic needs being met, lack of full safe and secure attachment interactions with our mother and other earliest caregivers will interfere with our physiological development in all kinds of ways.  We will be forced to live the rest of our life in a body, with a brain, that has – in effect – been tampered with by trauma given to us by people who do not have our best interests in mind.  These people – no matter what the reasons are that they did not care for us as we needed to BEST be cared for — were our enemies.

Anything less than near-perfect, near-ideal caregiving to a newborn (not to ignore that the patterns within the womb determine with great power the condition of the newborn) signals from birth that this new tiny human has essentially been born into a world at war.  The unsafely and insecurely attached infant’s physiology will respond to this world at war as if it has to fight for its very life.

We need to think of attachment in terms of communication about the conditions of the world that take place through patterns of interactions between the infant and its caregivers.

Through primarily the signals a mother first gives to an infant every system in the tiny one’s body is alerted to the conditions of the world it has been born into.  Either this world is safe or it is not.

If a mother herself received signals from her early environment that told her body-brain that the world was not safe she very likely has a body-brain of her own that has no choice but to signal to her infant that this world that she has brought her infant into is at war.  Yes, there are mothers that can overcome a great many of these patterns to give her infant signals that the world is ‘good enough’ to survive in, but there is no way that an unsafely and insecurely-built mother can transfer the clear message that this world is entirely safe to her infant.

We thus have generations within families in which insecure attachment within an unsafe world is the norm.

Within these families trauma from the past is simply communicated through signals based on attachment interactions between mother and other caregivers of babies.  Most often there are many other patterns of danger enmeshed with all interactions within these families so that trauma continues to escalate through the generations.  These families have lost the information that the world CAN ever be safe.

++

This is the simplest description of how signals from a mother communicate the condition of the world to her offspring who then have no choice but to adapt and adjust their physiological development in accordance with the signals they have been given.

Research with rats translates across the board to conditions within the human body, whether we like this fact or not.

Take two rat mothers.  One is calm calm calm.  The other is anxious anxious anxious.

When the calm mother has babies and is allowed to raise them herself her entire litter has been found by researchers to end up calm calm calm.

When the anxious mother has babies and is allowed to raise them herself her entire litter turns out anxious anxious anxious.

Now, if at birth the offspring of the calm mother rat are immediately given to the anxious mother rat, and if the anxious mother’s offspring are given to the calm mother rat — we KNOW what happens.

All the born-to-calm-mother babies that were given to the anxious mother grow up anxious.

All the born-to-anxious mother babies that were given to the calm mother grow up calm.

++

I think the reference for this research is in this book:

The Mind’s Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn PhD and Richard Davidson PhD (Jan 2, 2012)

++

All the interactions between primarily mothers and offspring communicate — in absolute essence — exactly what the conditions of the world are so that the physiological development of the offspring can adjust itself on all possible levels to match the kind of world the mother is ‘telling’ her babies exists.

In the case of rats, calm mothers signal through their every interaction with babies that the world is safe and the little ones are secure in it.  These babies get a body-brain that matches the conditions of the world the mother has communicated to the baby.

An anxious mother signals the opposite and development of her babies goes in the other direction.

Anxious, in human terms, translates as the presence of trauma and the absence of adequate resources for continued survival = malevolent world.

Calm translates as the absence of trauma and the presence of adequate resources = benevolent world.

++

The kinds and quality of earliest ATTACHMENT interactions between a mother and her offspring is the tool that nature uses to signal to the offspring about the degrees of safety and security in the world so that the physiological development of the offspring can adjust its development to best ensure continued survival.

It is during the earliest most-rapid and critical stages of body-brain development that this signalling happens.  In this way the conditions of the world build the body-brain at the same time they build themselves into the body-brain.  On all the most important levels of development these early attachment signals create permanent adjustments that will last for the lifetime of the offspring.

I call this Trauma Altered Development (TAD), and I believe it is the underlying root of most patterns of difficulties in life that most people face.

Any time an individual displays unusually difficult patterns of existence over the course of their lifetime, it is exactly to these earliest attachment interactions that we MUST look to understand the changes that were made in the very body-brain this individual lives with in response to signals it received during the first 33 months of life (conception to age 2) about the conditions of the world.

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

+DANCING THE SUN UP

++++

A most unusual thing has happened (for me).  I don’t know how long this will last.  I don’t know where this came from or why.  Suddenly – yesterday afternoon – a most unique feeling came over me –

I feel HAPPY!!

HAPPY?

You can bet I am exploring this gift.  To bed last night exhausted at 8:00 p.m. and up this morning at 4:30 a.m. – WAY beyond the sun.  My hopeful condition was matched by pulling up dear ole Pandora radio on my computer as I now vibrate the walls of my house – and beyond – with my favorite music – Latin.  (I figure if my neighbors here my fantastic beats they won’t mind, living as we do exactly on the Mexican-American border line.)  Meanwhile I am blasting away the obnoxious droning sound of those massive generator lights Border Patrol has set up too close to anyone’s house – certainly mine.

What has HAPPENED to me?  Is this temporary, like the passing of a storm before the next one arrives – unexpected, demanding my FULLEST ATTENTION?

I cannot say.

Something about putting two pieces of self-knowledge together – and then – of all things – owned them and accepted them with – what?  GLADNESS?

++

Now, to some readers who were not severely abused from birth in a universe of darkest trauma, who were instead loved and cherished and cared for as infants and children are SUPPOSED to be, this might seem a wide stretch from something positive to know and love about one’s self.

But….

Here I am, celebrating these two pieces of information that are at this moment glued together in my conscious awareness – as the acceptance of them has changed how my body is feeling into CONFIDENCE that underlies my JOY.

++

One:  I DO NOT NEED PEOPLE LIKE OTHER PEOPLE DO!  The first person who pointed this out to me some 20 years ago was a spiritually gifted Native American medicine man.  So I’m a bit slow.  So it took me these 20 passing years to FEEL the reality and therefore the truth of what he knew.

Two:  EVEN THOUGH I WAS NOT BORN NOT TO NEED PEOPLE (like other people do), THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED TO ME THROUGH NO CHOICE OF MY OWN.  What this means to me today is that I do not have to compromise what I feel in order to make other people happy.

WHAT?

Walk away from people, put distance between myself and them (not everybody, mind you – just those who quite frankly irritate the pe-jabbers out of me!), and let them freely do whatever it is they do to beg attention like so many leeches from somebody else.

I don’t even have to spend my energy, any of it, worrying about ‘explaining myself’ to them.

It is not my job to change people.  It is not my job to fix them or to make them happy or to fill up their lonely places.

++

Today I realize how LUCKY I am!!  I can whine — and believe me, I’ve done plenty of that over the years, that I miss things like “knowing what it feels like to be loved” — or I can accept with pleasure the fact that I don’t have to walk down that street – the street where so many strangers are really NOT able to accept the truths about how THEY were made – about what happened to them long ago in their lives that created these big ole empty holes inside of them that they would LOVE to fill — with ATTENTION from anybody who will give it to them.

++

Well, perhaps I see this right now because I am fully occupied with my book-writing job that is uniquely mine – that I believe will eventually have power to help other human souls learn something new and helpful — if not just plain fascinating.  I owe nobody anything that does not feel to me like it’s coming directly from my own inner guidance system — that has set a definite course of action for me — that is MINE.

My task does not belong to anyone else.  It’s up to other people to find their own task – and to do it.  This kind of inner direction has the power (I discovered yesterday and still feel with benefit today) to make a person happy!

HAPPY!

Never mind I am waiting for the sun to come up – that special light in the sky that keeps our glorious planet dancing in its great wide orbit.  I am dressed from head to toe in my old work clothes, preparing to don my worn sturdy cowperson boots – going out to crawl around in the high desert dust of my nearly completed chicken vault to staple stucco wire around the rest of the inside of this coop.  My only concern will be how to keep the watered down white barn paint off of the tips of my boots.

++

And through every moment of my day I will be writing a book in my mind.  There is nothing more important to demand my energy, my thoughts, the attention of my essence.

I was given this most amazing epic of tragedy to write about just as I was given my part in enduring, in living through it.  My life.  My life belongs to ME and to nobody else.

So – if you are of a mind to whine, snivel, beg and leech your way to MY attention today — get off of that horse and walk away.  You can leave the horse behind.  I LIKE horses.

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

+THE TERRIBLE REALITY OF MY BIRTHING

++++

A month or so ago one of my sisters told me about a two page section within this book

The Marriage of the Sun and Moon: A Quest for Unity in Consciousness by Andrew Weil (Jul 23, 1998)

in which the writer describes the drug I believe was given to my mother (and therefore in some form also to me) during her very difficult and no doubt terrifying delivery of breech-birth me during the 24-hour period from the morning of August 30, 1957 until I breathed my first breath at 8:31 a.m. on August 31st.

I just read that passage and present it here for information only:

++

Weil is describing Datura from the Nightshade family of which scopolamine is derived —

“During much of the twentieth century, scopolamine enjoyed great popularity in obstetrical medicine in the United states.  Under the name “twilight sleep,” it was injected into millions of women in labor to make them amnesic for the experience of childbirth.  Obstetricians thought of it as a drug that simply erased memory for a few hours, and women who did not want to know anything of their labor and delivery liked it in retrospect.  In 1966, as a third-year medical student in Boston, I took several weeks’ training in obstetrics at a prestigious teaching hospital where scopolamine was still in vogue, and I watched many women under its effects.  Anyone interested in altered states of consciousness who sees such cases will realize quickly that scopolamine is not simply an amnesic drug.  Rather, it causes extreme confusion and disorientation, especially to people in pain.  Women in labor who are “scoped” often appear agitated, hostile, even deranged.  They writhe, scream, curse, and groan — hardly behavior that justifies the seductive term “twilight sleep.”

“In my opinion, the amnesia that follows this traumatic experience is not a direct effect of scopolamine but an inability to maintain continuity of awareness through such violent distortions of consciousness.  The “scoped” woman is not unconscious.  Her ordinary waking consciousness is fragmented.  What comes through is primitive material from deep layers of the mind, strongly colored by pain and fear.  People well versed in the repertory of altered states, who are familiar with deep meditations and trances or have trained themselves in the art of conscious dreaming, might be able to retain awareness through a scopolamine-induced delirium and not be amnesic afterward.  People unfamiliar with such states do not have a chance.

“Far from simply erasing a portion of experience, scopolamine releases such intense energies from the unconscious that the experience is later repressed and becomes inaccessible in the ordinary waking state.  I have no doubt that women who deliver under scopolamine would recall their experiences under hypnosis and find them intensely unpleasant.  Neither do I doubt that scopolamine strongly influences the birth experience of the baby, if only because of the state of the mother.  Back in 1966, when obstetricians did not think of babies as conscious entities, no one considered this aspect of procedures in childbirth.  Today, women are more interested in participating consciously in childbirth, and some obstetricians think about the impact of what they do on the newborn.  Scopolamine, not unhappily, has passed out of general use.

“In labor, scopolamine delirium is violent and terrifying, but it is hard to know whether this quality is inherent in the drug or is a result of the drug in a particular situation.  Labor itself produces significant excitement and changes in consciousness.  Also, obstetricians always gave scopolamine in combination with opiates and other psychoactive drugs.

“If we look over accounts of Datura intoxication far from clinical settings, we find the same thing:  It is a violent experience, often characterized by terrifying hallucinations and delusions, and frequently followed by some degree of amnesia.”  (pages 168-170)

++

My mother was neglected and abused as a child.  She was probably pre-Borderline from childhood, and may have been fully Borderline by the time she went into labor with me.

As she was giving birth to me she believed ‘the devil’ was coming to get her – that the devil had sent me to kill her.

My mother did not forget this delusion when I was born.  It was entirely real to her.  Because we survived the birth, I was to my mother not human, but the devil’s child ‘sent as a curse upon’ Mother’s life.

I cried when I read Weil’s account of the effect of this drug on women in labor, and he is not even speaking of the effects of the opiates that were used in combination with scopolamine in a ‘twilight sleep’ concoction.  I cannot prove my mother was given this drug, but EVERYTHING points in that direction.  Everything.

I never had a chance.  Not one single solitary chance from the moment I was born of escaping the 18 years of terrible abuse, pain, terror and suffering that I believe this drug caused.

That my grandmother did not save me from my mother, that my father did not save me from my mother, that NOBODY outside our family saw what was happening to me — is beyond my powers to comprehend.

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

+THOUGHTS. A LETTER. “THE WORK THAT WE DO”

++++

Today’s letter to a friend:

Dear Sandy

 

As I begin my day I think about the gift of you arriving on the scenes of my life is to me right now.  I have this image in my mind as I contemplate my work on the chicken vault today, as I gather every old board I can find on the property to use to complete this thing – right.

 

I see a mountain so tall and wide that separates ‘the world’ from being able to see the real picture of what you and I KNOW exists – instinctively – in our soul, our gut, in our mind.

 

You and I are blasting a tunnel through this mountain.  Each of us in our own way has discovered parts of the truth – and we use each piece as we move forward – you and I – with our determination, with our unerring sense that there is more to ‘this picture’ of how early trauma changes people from the start of our life in our physiological body – and as a result in the way we live our lives.

 

++

 

The links I sent you last night about the 2011 BPD empathy study – researchers (and all others who use their findings as guides, as little lights on their helmets as they peer into the darkness of the unknown looking for ‘answers’) – find pieces of the truth – and then they put them together in the wrong way – coming to wrong conclusions – or at best partially correct conclusions that are still wrong because they are not complete, do not account for the mismatches

 

because, in part, the are always building toward ‘new’ conclusions by taking what has been ‘discovered’ in the past as they assume these earlier findings are correct.  Never mind, also, that all the fields of study are limiting themselves in their field’s proprietary areas of study – looking forever into the reality of the tiny piece of the puzzle they have found – refusing to link these separate pieces together…..

 

++

 

In that BPD empathy study – ignoring the fact that even very young preschoolers are already demonstrating difficulties in their empathy abilities based on the degrees of safe/unsafe and secure/insecure attachment patterns that they already have built within their body-mind

 

The researchers are still saying BPDs have ‘immature empathy’??

 

++

 

What I know – confirmed after I read Dr. Allan Schore’s meticulously documented books as he described piece by piece all the changes – the ‘damage’ – that is done to a little person growing a body-brain in the midst of trauma (insecure attachments) — and then I found Dr. Martin Teicher’s work in which he AT LAST and AT LEAST was able to realize that all these kinds of physiological changes result in ‘an evolutionarily altered’ individual

 

that let me know all these changes that Schore describes ARE NOT RANDOM, they are not accidental, they are not coincidental, they are not MEANINGLESS — that the resulting evolutionarily altered person is DIFFERENT

 

and I know it’s for a reason.  Nature is not stupid.  Nature knows exactly what it is doing.  All these changes are for a PURPOSE

 

but not even Teicher talks (that I know of) that these changes (as Schore suggests) happen in the CNS, in the ANS, in the stress-calm response system, in our immune system — in our entire BODY — so that the resulting evolutionarily altered people are different IN ALL THE SYSTEMS of their body, which includes the resulting phenotype we arrive out the gate of our earliest developmental months and years of life with — as these trauma changes occur epigentically — and even in this way can pass the results of the trauma on down through the generations even if no abuse has been obvious through several of them

 

++

 

I am writing about my severely BPD mother ‘assuming’ with everything I sense and intuitively know — that she was not BROKEN, she was CHANGED — and that the entire resulting phenotype of who/how she was happened by specific challenges that her physiological development accepted – as she was changed

 

I am looking for the patterns I can find in what I can see of my mother that supports my belief that AGAIN – her BPD was formed with specific structures that accomplished specific things to keep her alive

 

Her patterns were not random, accidental — or even ‘mysterious’ if we could understand what we see of who/how she was

 

I am getting lots of feedback from Helen in comments on the blog – she is BPD – she relates to everything Mother ‘is doing’ in her letters.  But Helen has no recognition that these are not random displays from some confused mess of a disease —

 

Yes, BPD can so change a person that we cannot recognize that there is anything other than ‘rampant’ insanity at the end — I believe if we could look at this ‘madness’ using the right information to inform our study – we would find an exquisite natural-reasoning about how all the pieces and patterns fit together.

 

NEVER can a BPD person be made to be ‘normal’.  I checked with Helen yesterday, who is herself a mother – though her children did not end up BPD — they are NOT healthy.  I asked her if she thought any BPD could raise their children healthily – her answer was a firm NO (this is important to me)

 

++

 

Anyway – I don’t search and research assuming that I am looking at ‘madness’ that makes no sense by definition

 

I search and research assuming that there is a clear pattern that makes perfect sense – as nasty and sad and as unfortunate as the result can be – and usually is.

 

I give nature full credit for knowing exactly what it is doing.

 

It is not different than what I am doing to finish my coop – not having money to hire anyone to do this perfectly, not having $ resources to run out and purchase all kinds of MORE new materials — I will finish this job using every salvaged piece of anything I can find to accomplish the END RESULT of creating a safe coop for my birds.

 

Nature does exactly the same thing.  Given appearingly insurmountable obstacles, nature searches for every possible piece of supply/resource – on every level – to build for a little person a body-brain that will do the job of keeping them alive until they reach reproductive age.

 

Nature carries this process no further than that – and this is where we need to agree to look at the facts and then accept the truth.  Our species has the capacity to do what nature intended – to take the offspring of these changed people away from the mothers at birth — and raise them correctly.

 

Nature cannot design these severe trauma survivors to make them adequate to care for their own young.

 

This is where we each isolate ourselves from the facts of the true and bigger picture.  Nature KNOWS, of course, that others COULD accept their end of the bargain — basically THANK the survivor, such as my mother – and nature for its part – in keeping her alive long enough to bear young.

 

And we would do this as nature intended — by then making sure the offspring were raised in a completely safe and secure, appropriate environment.

 

++

 

All this said, Sandy – I am clarifying for myself the pathway I take in my thinking and writing.  I do not intend to add to the pile of used toilet paper-writings a single word that supports the idea that “Oh, well.  Your mother was a broken mess.  Too bad.  We simply cannot understand her – she was crazy.”

 

We CAN understand my mother.  At least I am doing my best to discover the underlying architecture, the structure, the purpose the patterns in her life had in the much bigger picture of how nature is REAL — has great POWER — and knows what it is doing.

++++

Borderline Personality Disorder – empathy study – background letter:

just read a blog article related to this new research on BPD and empathy —

 

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811911004939

 

—here’s the blog link

 

http://downwardspiralintothevortex.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-brain-sees-empathy-in-borderline_30.html

 

—in essence found what you and I talk about – the ‘something missing’ – they call the BPD empathy ‘immature’ – or anyone who doesn’t ‘do’ empathy ‘correctly’ – as per this preschooler empathy study, the differences were obvious when kids were very young – way too young for any of them to have ‘mature’ empathy

 

http://workspacestopthestorm.wordpress.com/book-beating-trauma/chapter-8-empathy/preschooler-empathy/

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

 

+SCARING THE SUN UP

++++

I awoke way too early today.  Up at 2:30 I am pacing, trying to scare the sun up so I can get to work building my chicken vault.  This project has taken a lot of money and a lot of time as I try to build a safe structure for my little flock of new baby chicks that no animal can get into to destroy them.

I live on the Mexican-American line with the two tall border fences at the back edge of my property.  It’s a police state down here.  Two years ago Border Patrol aimed their stadium lights at our line of trailers and houses here, right on our trees, on our houses, into our windows.  That’s not bad enough.  They also have portable massive generator lights that roar with a metallic drone that sounds like a helicopter hovering over my house.  Two days ago they moved those lights even closer to my house and with my exquisite hearing – I cannot sleep.

Border Patrol has plenty of money.  They could put those lights on the grid.  They could sound proof those generators.  They do not care.  They will not return calls with my concerns.  I need to go over the head of the local bunch of bounty hunters to their Tucson sector chief.  So far, I don’t feel civilized enough to talk to them nicely.

Especially without sleep.

++

I have other concerns, of course.  I am panicking inside as I approach ever more closely the publication of my first book.  A friend of me who lives a long ways from me called last night after the class she took about epublishing on Amazon.com.  I didn’t understand a word she said about formatting – about any of it – except for one thing.

Once I upload and publish a manuscript there the public begins to give the book STARS.  Good stars?  Bad stars?

Am I ready to have my work judged by a reading public who I doubt will have any idea about what I am hoping to accomplish with my work?

Oh, I don’t do well with criticism?  I got so much of that the first 18 years of my life I have no tolerance left for being judged.

I think of a book a friend of mine read me passages from so many years ago:

Drawing on the Artist Within: An Inspirational and Practical Guide to Increasing Your Creative Powers by Betty Edwards (Apr 6, 1987)

My friend read to me about ‘the crazy makers’.  Edwards wrote that no matter what our dream is, at the exact moment that we are ready to accomplish it a crazy maker will come.  Someone or something will be there to stop us right at the moment we are taxiing down the runway about to take off and soar.  If the crazy maker doesn’t appear from outside of us, then we can be sure it will appear within us.

I am scared of crazy making.  How could I not be?  My books will contain the words of my main crazy maker herself!  Trying to find my own voice to insert my own truth in the midst of my severely abusive mother’s own words is a challenge to me like none I have ever faced before.

And then my friend called last night with news about epublishing.  Can’t use BOLD type?  It won’t be formatted correctly when you upload your manuscript?  You have to use – WHAT?  ‘H3 header’ she said.  Do I have any clue in the known or unknown universe about what a HEADER possibly IS?

No.  I do not.

What I don’t know scares me.  I cannot write this book without being able to highlight in BOLD type the sections of Mother’s letters that I need readers to pay close attention to as they read her words.  Those BOLDED words are the ones that I write comments about at the end of Mother’s (and in this book, my father’s, as well) letters.

Not knowing what I need to know makes me feel powerless.  I am as powerless in my current state of limited knowledge about how to accomplish what I want to as I am powerless over whatever the massive bounty-hunting Border Patrol conglomerate chooses to do in our neighborhood.

How do I move forward?  How do I silence my own internal crazy maker who tells me I cannot publish a book — for what reasons?

Mostly – I feel very alone.  This is my project.  I am the one that holds this 100-year saga inside of me.  I am the one that knows what this story is really about.

Dare I speak?

++

Fortunately it won’t be too long from now before the sun scares its own self up over that eastern horizon to give me LIGHT so I can go work on my chicken vault.  No matter how hard the struggle is for me to build that structure of safety for my little animal friends to live in — that I know I CAN do.  And because I want to do it and because I CAN do it — I WILL soon have that structure completed.

But what about this book?  What about this whole series of books?

Sometimes anxiety just plain SUCKS.  Anxiety coupled with roaring droning generator sounds that threaten my tranquility because my anxiety will NEVER let me screen those sounds out.  Anxiety that does nothing but scare my own personal sun DOWN — when I so want to send myself upward!

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

+ARTICLE LINK – “Attachment Security and Disorganization in Maltreating Families and Orphanages”

++++

I found this article today while I was searching online for “unsolvable paradox” as it relates to my mother’s early life – and mine – when a little one has no choice but to go on living in the midst of situations through which NOBODY should be able to survive.

Please give this a read:

Attachment Security and Disorganization in Maltreating  Families and Orphanages

By MARINUS H. VAN IJZENDOORN, PhD  and MARIAN J. BAKERMANS-KRANENBURG. PhD

Centre for Child and Family Studies,

Leiden University, NETHERLANDS

(Published online November 2009)

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++