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Archive for April, 2013

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There is no possible way for photographs to begin to convey the charm of this garden along the south borderline between Mexico and the U.S.  I was greatly joyed at having three people actually come visit the garden last Saturday.  One sells potted plants at our local Farmers’ Market — she took home hundreds of starts for plants from the garden and no sign of the tiniest dent was made in this budding and blooming oasis among the dusty dirt of our pre-monsoon high desert landscape.

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The Mermaid Rose – scent from heaven at dawn and dusk.  There’s my adobe chicken coop in the background – and the rusty double border fences.

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Darlow’s Enigma – wild rose, blooms spring to freeze

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The John Cabot rose with pink salvia and Sundancer Daisies

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South view of bed with several kinds of flowers in it including the Darlow’s Enigma

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Such lovely pink!

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Oh, well – lovely new blooms even though I have forgotten the name of this hardy desert perennial!

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They all loved our winter rains!

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The Nearly Wild rose coming into bloom.  A modest grower, very easy to grow and maintain!

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My friend calls my garden “the Beetlejuice garden.”

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Perennial petunias and wonderful sage that blooms only once a season – and that season is now!

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Lovely deep red salvia.

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There are the two rust brown tall Mexican border fences in the back of the picture.

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So lovely – and will be lovier yet come mid-July when our summer rains arrive!

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The very hardy John Cabot rose.

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This rose is the tenderest of the bunch – but when it blooms I NOTICE!

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I am still on break from my book writing!  This is a small collection of links to music I drum along with – just for fun!  I am hoping to branch out to other styles of music – and hoping to find local company to drum with!

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Just FUN!!!

Santana & Clapton – ”Jingo” live at the Crossroads Guitar Festival

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehGWHd0hGFw

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Marc Anthony – his fans in BLISS – free concert in Mexico City — !!!!!  entire concert at this link –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnHIikdHVb4

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32 albums to this group — Enanitos Verdes — http://www.amazon.com/Enanitos-Verdes/e/B000APEC2M/works/ref=ntt_mus_teaser?_encoding=UTF8&sn=d

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFYPTiPjq7E

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Just FUN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_hxd8xuM1U

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rumba

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgYrJ0g8Cf0&NR=1&feature=endscreen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9m8wUGcbsM

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This is so SWEET!!!  takes me a-w-a-y!!!!  Love it – honest and humble

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54-GzC_rzh0 

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Peru (with cheerleaders!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvgehYQYsMk

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I use the slide bar through this – great kongas – fantastic drum solo at 44 on bar – ‘Thunder Drums’

Larry Harlow & Latin Legends Of fania – 40 Aniversario

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNlBiavm-Yo

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just a fun song – dancing hands beat

Hector “El Torito” Acosta-Quizas si, Quizas no (LETRA)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcF6d3–_wI

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I believe – Brazilian

Enanitos verdes – Tu carcel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ2pNFwR_hQ

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Adventura has a lot of great music – poppish

La Tormenta Aventura

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EP7Ne7iRbcM

Aventura – Los Infieles

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a-O9EZWREM

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dumb commercial – then…. fun beat (simple)

Juan Magan – Bailando Por Ahi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m6ogS57sc8

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fun latin beat – simple – makes my hands dance — so many ways to drum this!!

PRINCE ROYCE – Incondicional

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpzT6Wq6pKY

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a fun song – makes my hands dance

CAFE TACUBA – COMO TE EXTRAÑO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba-fIkJpysg

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Have to be in the mood for this one –

Tito “El Bambino” El Patrón – Llama Al Sol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrvGvJ2sjug

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sweet beat – hands/fingers enjoy this – just happy

Toby Love – Casi Casi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfwX5ThiPn0

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I have a lot of very serious things on my mind, so I was especially vulnerable to the effects of this happiness video – I think this is WORTH A WATCH!

VIDEO – LAUGHTER IS CONTAGIOUS

I went searching online and discovered some fascinating information!

WHY IS LAUGHTER CONTAGIOUS?

THE STUDY OF LAUGHTER

LAUGHTER REALLY IS CONTAGIOUS!

WHY IS LAUGHTER CONTAGIOUS?

And, of course, this……

+HOOKED ON ‘D’ SMILES – THE HAPPINESS CENTER

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Here is an angle of the tissue paper studio – for making things out of wire, plastic grocery bags and wadded paper wrapped with masking tape, mod podge and tissue added!

tissue studio

The swing dancers

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All by himself….

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Ah – but – SHE HAS ARRIVED!  Let the dancing begin!

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My son’s talented and can paint on facial details if wanted – not my thing!  Just fun to make on my book writing break!  Am beginning to see ideas for lots of people I love!  This could become a smile-full happy habit!

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These are the images that I included in my previous post – though WordPress deleted them – no idea why!

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042213Cindy art 1

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Well, I have an idea for creating the cover art for the first book my daughter and I will be preparing for publication, Story Without Words.  First, I will show you something I just finished and mailed off to one of my gardening sisters that I created using the same media and technique I will use for my cover art:

I have nearly finished a pair of swing dancers for my son’s 28th birthday.  These “action figures” as my friend calls them, bring me many smiles as I create them.  The one I see in my mind’s eye for the cover of Story Without Words will not bring me or anyone else — smiles.  In fact, the image will create opposite feelings in its viewers — as well is should given the subject of this book.

It is my plan as I begin the work on this cover to make all the parts moveable so that both a front cover image and an altered back cover image can be created using the figures (made of wire, reused plastic grocery bags, masking tape, tissue paper and Mod Podge).

Even though current statistics report that 1,825 cases of child abuse and neglect are confirmed DAILY in the United States — a figure that does not include the thousands of cases that are never reported — nobody wants to SEE images of harm to children.  Nobody would want to see those scenes in a movie or in a photographic image.  This fact is very much connected to the very title of this book.  Not only do stories of infant and child abuse (crime reports) most often remain silent, but the images are gone, as well.

I can create the exact image I want for the cover of this book using this rather silly and certainly very humble craft technique.  While images on Kindles remain black and white, the brilliant colors that will be a part of my image will show up somewhere for someone to see.  In the meantime — I will see them — and I might post progress of my work on the blog as the image comes into being.

Our family has no budget whatsoever for creating a cover for this book (or any of the other ones).  My daughter is getting very close to arranging her week off of work to edit.  So — I better get to work!

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April 24, 2013.  With my daughter’s work as editor being essential to the upcoming publishing process of the two series of books currently under construction it is part of my job during my break from writing until May 3rd to make my decision and my choice about how her most valuable and scarce time will be best invested.  It may be that she will soon be able to take one full week of vacation off from her demanding career to edit.  Where will she begin and in which direction will she move forward in this brief period of time?

By June 1st there will be ten books in manuscript form ready for her edits.  Which ones need to be published first?  I need to think through my preferences completely so I can let her know my suggestion and my desire about where she is to begin her work — and why.

Ultimately the goals of the final publication of these books need to be perfectly clear both to me and to my daughter.  I am involved in that thinking process today.

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If the future of these books was in the control of a big publisher I would not be making these decisions.  As it is I think my daughter and I are working within an arena that has not existed before.  We have no guide to tell us how to proceed.  We are working with the barest of available or possible resources.  At the same time we hold every right regarding how this saga will unfold.

One 7-volume series whose manuscripts have been ready for edit for months now contain the nearly 500,000 words Mother left behind at her death.  Those words do not talk about Mother’s psychotic Borderline Personality Disorder mental illness or about the severe abuse of me it created.  Those books to be published in the Mildred’s Mountain series would be simplest for my daughter to edit when she has any available time to do so.  But is that what I want to happen first?

The other series to be published as The Dark Side of Mildred’s Mountain contains my serious commentary about Mother’s mental illness, about my story of her abuse and about what infant and child abuse does to its survivors.  I am writing all of this within the framework of my perpetrator’s words.  This series is an expose that seems most useful and important to me.

There is also a manuscript ready for edit, Story Without Words, that is meant to be the first book of both series within which I describe Mother’s childhood as I believe it influenced her becoming psychotically mentally ill and therefore psychotically abusive in the first place.  This book absolutely needs to be published before any other.

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How do these two series interact with one another?  How far into the publishing future are we able to look at this point to project how these books will be published, in what order, and when?

How much editing work can my daughter possibly finish in one week’s time?  Which books of which series should immediately follow Story Without Words?  Why?

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The choice I would make today would leave all 7 of Mother’s manuscripts for the Mildred’s Mountain series sitting and continuing to wait for some time in the future when their edits would then take place.  Unfortunately these books would be easier for my daughter to edit and would not take the kind of focused thought and time it will take her to work through the far more complex text of the other Dark Side of Mildred’s Mountain series within which I expose the truth behind Mother’s words.

By June 1st I will have the first two manuscripts of the Dark Side series ready for edit.  Given the very short period of time my daughter will have available at most it is probable that she will get through Story Without Words and these two manuscripts.  I think this is all we can reasonably expect to move toward publication form at first.

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There is an entire other branch of complication to this process.  At present there are 400 photographs meticulously sorted that await scanning and repair.  Nobody in my family involved in this process has a computer capable of managing this work.  Edited or not, no book can be published until this huge job has been completed.  By whom?  How?  When?

At present we have no answer.

I do know that before my daughter has finished her edit of Story Without Words and the first two manuscripts belonging to my Dark Side series I will have completed the 3rd volume of that series.  That would sit next in queue for edit.

The 4th volume of both series will most likely be the same book.  Within that book an Alaska homesteading venture that took place on a mountainside in the dead of winter is presented.  I was 8.  I remember it all.  Mother’s words tell that story.

I cannot currently anticipate what would happen after that 4th book in both series.  I have always believed that I would write my own story in the Dark Side series of horrendous abuse until I left home at age 18.  I am no longer convinced that there is any benefit to my writing that story.  If I do not see any additional benefit to the expose of Mother’s illness and her abuse past what I have already written I will write no more.

I do not have to make that decision today.  Through writing this post I have found the clarity I needed to make the choice of which books I want my daughter to edit first:  Story Without Words and the first two manuscripts of The Dark Side of Mildred’s Mountain.

That these are only three of what could eventually be fifteen books is not my current concern.  I do not choose that Mother’s own words be published first even though that would be an easier and faster choice.  Her words can wait.  My priority is to begin to contribute a body of information about how Borderline Personality Disorder can manifest with psychotic infant and child abuse.  These first three books will do exactly that.

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When those times come when we survivors are tempted to disregard the impact of the early stress from abuse and trauma in our childhoods — it can help to take a look at the following information to keep our perspective clear.

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“Simply put, our childhood experiences have a tremendous, lifelong impact on our health and the quality of our lives.  The ACE Study showed dramatic links between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and risky behavior, psychological issues, serious illness and the leading causes of death.”

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Another powerful graphic display of information from this study is available here:

The CDC ACE study pyramid

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In a better world I would be able to talk to an excellent therapist when I needed to.  I do not have access to therapy and I have no hope that even if there was therapy around where I live that I could access that I would have any hopes of finding anyone who could really help me.  I am left trying to figure things out on my own.  I have to play both parties:  Me in need of insight and me being the only one who can possibly help me discover the insights I need.

Kind of like the blind leading the blind, it seems to me.

Not working on my books put me squarely in line for being hit with my own uselessness.  My own lack of productivity.  My own sense of worthlessness that only goes away when I am working on something through which I feel worthy.  This is a vicious cycle for me because of the very disabilities I live with that came from the severe abusive traumas I suffered for the first 18 years of my life that so limit where I can go and what I can do.

Relaxation, any sense of serenity, peace, fulfillment, peace of mind, even leisure.  I barely know what these states feel like.   My inner reality tells me a person has to EARN these things.  They have to DESERVE these things.  They have to be WORTHY of them.

I am too young to be “retired.”  I am too young to have been forced out of a productive life because of these disabilities.  Talking about anger, THIS makes me angry!  And the whole mess is very, very real.

I know I am extremely fortunate to be receiving disability income that keeps me with food and a roof over my head.  I AM grateful.  Grateful like starving to death and at least finding bugs to eat to stay alive.  This is NOT what I deserved.  This is NOT fair.  It’s all wrong and it always has been wrong ever since I was born to that psychotic mentally ill Borderline Personality Disorder mother — that nobody took me away from.

I try the best that I can to make the best out of what I have available to me.  Nobody forced me to take a break from working on those books.  I HAVE to take a break.  But even then — I struggle continually with my feelings of being completely inadequate as an adult.  Useless.

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Because I have to be my own therapist and my own client all I can do is try to open the doors to whatever might come through within my thoughts to help me understand “my condition.”

I think about how the horrors of the abuse I suffered throughout my whole childhood included extensive periods of isolation and confinement in corners and in my bed — completely alone — always after severe beatings.

I was “let out” — to work.  Every kind of chore Mother could invent was my reward for “being punished enough” — or enough of a reward to be granted a temporary pass, a temporary reprieve from the solitary confinement — only — the person I was then allowed to be in the presence of was MOTHER!  Not other children, not my siblings — my mother who was my abuser.

In a prisoner of war situation the work became the reward.  The only one.

I cannot begin to disentangle my present reality from the deep pervasive patterns that formed me if I cannot gain some clarity about the things that happened to me — and then how they affect me. 

It dawns on me that some of this is about “culture.”  I was raised within the culture of my having been the sole chosen target of horrendous abuse as the evil devil’s child all-bad projection of mad mother.  I escaped her with my mind intact.  I am lucky for that.  But all is not well in every area of who I am or of how I am in the world — how could it be?

A sense of impending doom is my perpetual “balance point” all of the time.  I knew very little during my first 18 years other than disaster — and that disaster came most of the time at me out of absolutely nowhere.  Because Mother was psychotically mentally ill, I could not predict, plan for, predict, control for — attacks.  That sense of threat and danger is with me always.

Work, then, as the reward — is my chance of sidestepping that reality for some periods of time.  When I was working Mother’s rage was diminished, although I still had no way of knowing when she would be displeased and attack me again even when I was trying my hardest to please her by doing things perfectly, doing things right.

I wish I could say none of this matters to me anymore.  It doesn’t matter so much if I am doing something that might be remotely productive, i.e. work of some kind.  Of course I live alone with everyone I love a long, long ways away from me.  It’s not like I am going to have genuine reprieve as they walk into my home or I walk into theirs.  I am on my own with “this.” 

Severe trauma made me “unfit” and unwell.  It gave me serious limitations that fortunately I did not truly understand were present until after I went through cancer treatment five years ago.  I also did not have to face how I feel now as long as I had dependent children in my care.  As a mother I was ALWAYS being productive!  I was raising human beings.

That phase of my life is past, and even if I did live in close proximity to my little grandsons I do not have the stamina or inner resources any longer to care for them in the ways I could fortunately do when I was younger with my own children.

I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place, and because I have a firm agreement with myself to leave the book writing alone until May 3rd I am facing many of these feelings, thoughts and concerns.  Just as I refuse to go out and snag someone to engage in relationship with — because I know that would be a disaster — I am not at this moment going to grab my book writing and dive in any sooner than I have agreed with myself to do. 

Agreements are agreements.  I guess I don’t have anyone else around here to make any agreements with – so I make them with myself – and then I honor them.

I figure I am going to learn something useful by honoring this break time I have chosen to give myself.  I have lots of yard work, housework, etc. that I can do.  My depression makes doing that work difficult for me because none of it seems to matter.  None of it makes any difference.  There is nobody (but me) to care if those things get done or not.

If I had a great therapist I would go talk with that person about these things.  As it is I do the best that I can — as nearly all severe early abuse and trauma survivors do.  I don’t like being stuck with old wheels a’turnin’.  At least I can pay attention to them — but then what?

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During these days until May 3rd as I take a break from my book writing I am practicing care and discipline in my thoughts to leave all concerns alone in connection with that work with the exception of considerations about only one process related to how I feel:  ANGER.

I understand why it would be now as I work through writing my own story of 18 years of child abuse from my Mother for the first time I would come upon the fiery intensity of this emotion.  Although there are other reasons why I need a break right now it was my concerns about my hitting my flashpoint of anger as I worked through the last chapter I was writing that stopped me in my tracks.

I have consciously chosen many thousands of times in my adult life not to contaminate my life with anger at my mother – or at anyone else.  I understand that there is a kind of positive, constructive anger that motivates people to work toward stopping injustices, but I also feel personally that any time I experience anger I need to stop what I am doing to examine myself as honestly, closely and carefully as I can.  I do not wish to be an angry person.

I am also currently being faced with a person I dearly love declining through advancing stages of active alcoholism.  The extent of the hate, resentment and attacking anger this disease can bring with it can be unbelievable unless information about the disease itself is kept clearly in mind by all people in the life of the sufferer.  This is no different than how I view child abuse that is caused by mental illness.

In both cases the rage that can be sent out through attacks upon others is, to me, exactly like the forces of nature that bring great storms that can wreak great havoc in the lives of people.  We can protect ourselves the best we can from strong winds, earthquakes, tidal waves – but we cannot stop them.  Nor do we willingly step out to receive harm when we don’t need to.

There are tragedies in life.  There are many diseases that create tragedies.

In my book writing I am working my way in great detail through the tragedy that was my mother’s life and my life with her as her targeted all-bad child projection of her own unresolved and unrecognized hatred of herself.  As I poked around online this morning to ground my thinking in words that are related to these processes, I gave myself more information to use in my own thoughts about my own choices.

Once the blanket of denial and its fog has been removed from the awareness of severe abuse survivors it could be easy to become entranced with anger, resentment and hatred.  These can become hypnotic (reactive) sentiments that are deeply and primarily based in the body-brain most primarily as a distress/stress reponse. 

They GROW.   They CONSUME.  They DESTROY.  And they can trap any survivor and any active alcoholic in their grasp in such a way that escape appears unlikely if not impossible.

This is why I am extremely grateful that I have faith in powers so great and so kind that miracles of healing can happen and do happen.  Just being human puts us at risk for being swept away by the Tsunami of our powerful survival-based emotions.  Personally, I don’t want to be swept away in my life.  I want to make informed choices in every way that I possibly can.  And as I examine anger, my OWN anger, I will include in my awareness the complexity of what is connected to anger as it is expressed in the word study I am working through today.  I do not want to be consumed by the rabies of rage – or by any related version of this state of being.

What a fascinating interplay of words, meanings, origins, meanings of origins and interconnectedness between these concepts “trapped” within the English words intended to communicate about states of being along the road, path, way and journey of life.

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Interestingly there is nothing very helpful in definitions of anger or of rage.  The terms mean exactly what they say.  Word origins are far more illuminating to me —

Origin of ANGER

1150–1200;  Middle English  < Scandinavian;  compare Old Norse  angr  sorrow, grief, akin to Old High German  angust  ( German  Angst  fear), Latin  angor  anguish

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Origin of RAGE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin rabia, from Latin rabies rage, madness, from rabere to be mad; akin to Sanskrit rabhas violence

First Known Use: 14th century

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Definition of HATE

1a : intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury b : extreme dislike or antipathy : loathing

Origin of HATE

Middle English, from Old English hete; akin to Old High German haz hate, Greek kēdos care

First Known Use: before 12th century  (When Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary gives “before 12th century” as the date of the first use of a word in Modern English this is the earliest date any word in our language is traced to for its entry into our language.)

Definition of HATRED

1: hate 2: prejudiced hostility or animosity

Origin of HATRED

Middle English, from hate + Old English rǣden condition — more at kindred

First Known Use: 12th century

Origin of KINDRED

Middle English, from kin + Old English rǣden condition, from rǣdan to advise, read

First Known Use: 12th century

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Definition of RESENTMENT

: a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury

Definition of RESENT

: to feel or express annoyance or ill will at

Origin of RESENT

Middle French resentir to be emotionally sensible of, from Old French, from re– + sentir to feel, from Latin sentire — more at sense

First Known Use: 1596

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Origin of SENSE

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French sen, sens sensation, feeling, mechanism of perception, meaning, from Latin sensus, from sentire to perceive, feel; perhaps akin to Old High German sinnan to go, strive, Old English sith journey — more at send

First Known Use: 14th century

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Origin of SEND

Middle English, from Old English sendan; akin to Old High German sendan to send, Old English sith road, journey, Old Irish sét path, way

First Known Use: before 12th century

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