+DISSOCIATION AND THE PERITRAUMATIC PASSAGE OF TIME

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Monday, April 28, 2014.  I have certainly written about this topic before on this blog.  I don’t think it’s possible to consider what living life as a severe early trauma survivor is like without thinking about how especially very early trauma during the first year or two of life changes how the pathways are laid into the early-forming brain and nervous system so that they include dissociation — and, I believe — the inclusive patterns of processing the self within the passage of time differently than “ordinary.”

Learning about self is kind of like returning again and again to a revolving door as we repeatedly enter and explore areas within that have been changed through exposure to severe trauma particularly during our most rapid “critical windows” of early development.  Other adults who pay attention to the details of how they interact with circumstances in their lives also enter revolving doors to explore their own experience.  They just don’t find what survivors do on the other side!

I was thinking again this past weekend about why I cannot force myself to even get into the car my daughter bought for me since I returned to Fargo.  It’s a nice 2003 Mercury Sable wagon, so dark blue it appears pitch black except under streetlights in the dead of night!

This weekend thinking returned me to the day about 6 years ago, not long after I finished serious chemotherapy for my advanced, aggressive breast cancer, when I went for a walk along the rail line close to where I lived.  The rails had been pulled out as this 73 mile segment of line had been converted to a part of the nation’s Rails to Trails program.  The chips of black rock from the old copper smelter still covered the surface where the line had been.

There was a small bridge over a wash.  I knew a very large rattlesnake lived in the area.  I had seen it lying fully across the entire bed on previous days as it warmed itself against the fall weather’s coolness.  On those days I simply turned around and walked home.

However, on this particular day I noticed a light creamy tan blotch on the side of the black stone path long before I reached it.  “Hum,” I thought to myself.  “I wonder what has blown up onto the tracks.”

By the time I was about 12′ from the blotch my RIGHT brain, I am quite certain, had not only noticed that there were beautiful patterns on the blotch, but also that it was no doubt a piece of old parchment paper worthy of picking up and taking home.  It wasn’t until I had bent over with my hands reaching to pick it up that my LEFT brain, most probably, issued its clear statement to me, “That is a coiled rattlesnake, very much alive.  FREEZE!”

So I did freeze, and then backed very slowly away.  I scared myself silly!  I also never walked that rail line again because I knew I could not trust my own thinking process to keep me safe.

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This weekend I realized that due to the nearly overwhelming stress of my life now I cannot trust my brain not to repeat a similar VERY SLOWED DOWN process of taking in information at a critical time when I most need it.  Traffic here is TOO MUCH for me.  Other drivers do really stupid things and I cannot trust that I can react the way I need to when I need to.

My new learning, therefore, as I consider all of this is that the dissociation I experienced with the snake did not mean that I wasn’t taking in the right information.  I took it in and processed it in a slowed-way-down peritraumatic passage of time.  (When people speak of their entire life passing through their mind at a critically dangerous moment I suspect it is this peritraumatic passage of time they are gripped within.)

There is no way that rattlesnake would have slowed down its reaction to me to keep pace with how slow my brain’s reaction to it was.  Neither will any vehicle on the crazy rushing streets (and parking lots) of this town slow down their actions to match my peritraumatic processing, either.

Where I was living near the small town of 5,000 people in southeastern Arizona I would not see as many cars in one day as I see in a minute on the streets where I am living now.  I HATE having lost my mobility here!  I HATE IT!

But while my disappointment, frustration, irritation, aggravation continues here I also know a little bit more about HOW this condition appeared out of nowhere once I arrived here.  I have driven a lot and safely for many, many years.  I have pulled trailers up and down the highways.  I have even driven a gigantic sugar beet harvesting dump truck.

My problem now only makes sense when I consider it is the CUMULATIVE stress of my life and its changes right now that has stopped me FROZEN in my driving tracks.  That cumulative stress goes back, honestly, to the terrible distress/stress of my own birthing experience as I struggled as a breech baby with Mother in hard labor for over 24 hours before I was born — and then to find only a psychotically abusive mother there on the other end of the journey who so severely abused me for the net 18 years of my life.  ALL of the traumatic stress of my life has built itself into me.

Shucks.

There sits that sweet, practical little wagon in my #106 apartment parking spot.  There sits my el Camino waiting for its fate to be determined sheltered in a rented dirt floor garage.

Meanwhile — I write.  I do not know the ending of this story….

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Here are some earlier related posts created throughout the years:

+DISSOCIATION: MY MOTHER’S AND MY OWN STORY SHARE IT

+FIGHTING BACK AGAINST THE ABUSE SURVIVOR’S ALTERED PERITRAUMATIC SENSE OF TIME

+INFANT-CHILD ABUSE, ACUTE TRAUMA = PERITRAUMATIC ALTERED SENSE OF THE PASSAGE OF TIME

+FASCINATING NOTES ON LIVING WITH TRAUMA

+BEFRIENDING CHAOS? (EARLY ABUSE SURVIVORS AND CHOICE)

+BEING PROACTIVE TO TRAUMA TRIGGERS: WHAT DOES OUR BODY AND OUR TWO BRAINS KNOW?

+THOUGHTS ON DISSOCIATION’S ARM = DEREALIZATION

+A BREAK IN THE LONG STRING OF TIME

+STUCK IN A PERPETUAL TIME-SPACE CYCLE – AND ROTTING

+DISSOCIATION: MEMORY OF ONGOING EXPERIENCE FROM THE PREY’S POINT OF VIEW

+SIEGEL – DISORIENTED MIND

+SEIGEL ON EARLY TRAUMA, I CALL A BROKEN HEART

+VAN DER KOLK ON TRAUMATIC STRESS

**Survival

**Words

+VAN DER KOLK ON TRAUMA AND NOTES

++SCAER on trauma reenactments

+++MORE HENRY ON BRAIN AND EMOTION

**DAMASIO ON CORE CONSCIOUSNESS

**DAMASIO ON CONSCIOUSNESS

**Dr. Allan Schore on Emotional Regulation – Notes

**Emotion notes

*ADVERSIVE CHILDHOODS (notes from chapter 4)

*REMEMBERING THE SELF (notes from Chapter 1)

*OVERWHELMING TRAUMA CHANGES

 

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job – I think we will have to find an alternative!).  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Leave a Comment »

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+HEALING KID TRAUMA: RHYTHM AND SINGING

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Friday, April 25, 2014.  The basic information in this email that just came into my box first came to me at least a week ago.  I wanted to write a coherent post including this info — but even now, for some reason when I think about doing so something in my “disorganized-disoriented” insecure attachment disordered mind goes astray and awry so that my thoughts, at least in words, disappear.  Some kind of reactivity goes into motion and nothing remotely coherent remains of my thoughts.

SO I am going to go about this from another angle.  I will simply copy and paste this information into this post.  You can follow the links and see what you think — or don’t think – yourself!

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from Kathy Brous ksbrous@attachmentdisorderhealing.com

I’ve been reporting that Dr. Bruce Perry is in Washington May 4 to talk on healing developmental trauma at the National Council.

I’ll be in San Diego May 2 to discuss Perry’s use of rhythm to heal trauma — and my new idea about children’s choirs!  Click here:
http://attachmentdisorderhealing.com/developmental-trauma-4/

In all cultures, long before writing, the only way to pass down an idea was to sing it.  And gathering children to sing in choirs was the core of the Greek educational system since at least 700 BC.  There were choir schools for kids in Europe since the 900s AD.
http://attachmentdisorderhealing.com/developmental-trauma-4/

If a child can speak, he can sing; most kids can sing before they can speak. Training children to sing as young as possible is a principle of civilization.  Electronic culture has forgotten it to our peril as our kids whack out on machine-made noise.  We need children’s choirs and we need them on a mass scale.

And it gives kids a voice!  Just when we urgently need a new Renaissance, children have been known to sing in the most amazing ways even today.  You won’t believe the wonderful video of a 9-year-old girl singing that I have for you. Click here:
http://attachmentdisorderhealing.com/developmental-trauma-4/

Kathy

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The girl singing is directly here:  http://news.distractify.com/default-category/a-shy-9-year-old-girl-takes-the-stage-these-people-will-never-forget-what-follows/

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I have had a rough week with life in combo with my trauma-related disabilities!  I even found at one point that my “upsetness” interfered with my drumming practice.  Suddenly my body could not remember anything I have been so diligently practicing for weeks.  I plowed onward, and by tonight all of my learning came back and I cannot tell you how relaxing it is for me to put my sticks in my hand, wind up my old metronome and go to beating on my practice pad along with it.  EVERYTHING disappears except the beat and my focused attention on improving my technique.  I LOVE IT and have another lesson tomorrow.

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Saturday, April 26, 2014.  Kathy was most kind to stop by and leave the following information in a comment to this post.  I want to make sure anyone who comes across this post in the future has the information she provided in case they don’t get to the comment section!  Again, thank you, Kathy, who wrote:

Thank you for your re-post. Check my earlier blog where I laid the basis with more of Dr. Perry’s slides:

http://attachmentdisorderhealing.com/how-your-brain-works-101/

My 4 posts on Developmental Trauma are here:

http://attachmentdisorderhealing.com/developmental-trauma/
and http://attachmentdisorderhealing.com/developmental-trauma-2/
[ and -3 and -4 (total of 4 blogs) ]

Please check out my story of how I’m healing my own Adult Attachment Disorder in my book:

http://attachmentdisorderhealing.com/book/

Much love to you! Kathy Brous, http://www.Attachment.Disorder.Healing.com

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job – I think we will have to find an alternative!).  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Leave a Comment »

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+RESISTIBLE: PATTERNS OF WOMEN’S POWER

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Friday, April 25, 2014.  I read the first 1981 edition of this book – in 1981!

Women’s Reality: An Emerging Female System by Schaef, Anne Wilson (Jun 4, 2013)

This is a quick book to read and in today’s world might seem to be “old school” or at best, “retro.”  In 1981 the thoughts Schaef discusses were not far from radical.  It’s worth a read although I have no idea how this newer edition compares to the first one.

Schaef describes how she sees the differences between women’s reality and “the white male” reality.  At the moment I am finding myself thinking that the power plays in the white male world are probably about TAKING power from somebody else not only to prevent another from HAVING power of their own but also because the absence of others’ power makes one’s own power seem — well — more powerful.

Today’s emerging powerhouse women – and I don’t mean just a few here and there — I mean the GENERATIONS of women coming into their power OUTSIDE the home — might be tempted to continue to repeat the patterns of power mismanagement that white males – to use Schaef’s description – have used throughout history.

“If you want it, take it.  If you CAN take it, take it.  Take it even if you have plenty.  Take it even if you have absolutely no use for it.   Even if you truthfully don’t want it, take it.   Just take it.  Don’t pay any heed to how your power-theft impacts anyone else.  Don’t have empathy or compassion or consideration.  Just be a BULLY and TAKE it – just because you can.  And if you can’t take it by yourself, get a bunch of your cronies together and take it with joint forces.”  Etc.

(Interesting, “cronies” seems to be a male – good – thing.  Being “a crone” is a female – bad – thing.)

Women are beginning to move, as I mentioned in my last post, out of the impasse, passive position of being grossly and unfairly forced to disembody themselves in their life from the potential of their power.  The power to starch and iron skirts, shorts and shirts hardly matters.  Shining up the Westbend toaster, polishing the kitchen floor, even burping babies and kissing scraped knees on a daily basis hardly matters anymore.

But women do not have to become power-bashing, power-stealing, dominating women to be indomitable ones.  Women KNOW power lies within; certainly any who have given birth know this well.  Our power lies in our self as we create and recreate all the power we need just by using our integrity as we live our life.

Who said there ever was a shortage of power?  Not a woman.  And, looking at the rather big mess the world is in today I am not convinced that men have ever been able to use whatever power they have had wisely.

So, women.  Get a hold of your power and use it for good justly and wisely.  There is no possible reason to repeat the age-old patterns laid down for and before us, so resist falling into those traps.  We will do it better because we are women.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job – I think we will have to find an alternative!).  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Leave a Comment »

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+IRRESISTIBLE: WOMEN COMING INTO THEIR POWER

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Friday, April 25, 2014.  Thirty-five years ago  in a small old house that looked like a barn but wasn’t a mother walked across the small landing of the tight stairs heading down with her arms wrapped around a load of family laundry.  As she turned the tight corner she saw her little girl, Sara, sitting on a square grass-green upholstered ottoman with its hinged lid shut upon the carefully stored family photograph albums that was tucked into the small nook under the landing.  Sara’s elbows were perched on her knees, chin held tightly in her palms as her small fingers curled up around her cheeks.  A frown too somber for one just turned three creased her brow and caused her mother to drop her load of clothes on the floor as she dropped with concern to her knees in front of her daughter.

“Oh, honey!  What on earth is wrong?  What are you thinking about all alone down here?”

With all the seriousness of a well-preserved centurion the miniature thinker directed her gaze into her mommy’s eyes as she asked a question her mother has never forgotten.  “Mommy, is my body the boss of my mind or is my mind the boss of my body?”

“Oh, honey,” Mommy responded as she gathered her baby into her arms, smoothing her hair as she slid the little one down between her knees.  “There is something else.  It is very important.  You have a soul and your soul is the boss of both your body and your mind.  Your soul helps you to choose things neither your body or your mind know anything about.  But you will have to learn to hear what your soul says to you.  You will have pay attention to it.”

In her mind Mommy was asking, “How can one who is just gaining the use of language be asking such a momentous question?”

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All these years later on a cloudy morning as the grass turns that brilliant shade of northern spring green Mommy sees for the first time, after hundreds of times of thinking about that question and talking with her daughter about it over the years, that the most important word contained within that little girl’s question has always been missed.  BOSS!

Not manager, of course.  Boss.  How did the little girl know that word and grasp the concept held within it?

Boss.  As in “dominant being.”  As in “having power over.”  As in “alpha.”

There is that concept as it has always been tucked, hidden, buried within that single word, boss:  POWER.

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Destiny is irresistible.  The destiny at issue here is the destiny of the forward advancement of the evolution of the human species which requires, demands, that women come into their own power as equals to men.

We are living in the newest generations in the history of our species when women are now becoming free enough to become increasingly power-filled beings.  What is happening around us as women move into careers of power in fields that have kept doors so tightly closed and locked to their feminine minds?

Where are our role models as women, where is the history before us that holds the wisdom we need as women, as mothers, as grandmothers of how to facilitate this vast and critical transformation of our species?  Most importantly, what is happening to the offspring of so many women who seem so easily able to basically abandon their little ones at birth into the care of strangers?

What of the grandmothers who arise to sacrifice of themselves in their own lives to try to fill the gap of care for the children their children are bringing into the world?

And women in the fields marching forward in ways, places and directions that are so sweetly new to half our species — what do they know of there new power?  How do they know how to wield it safely?  How often is it appearing in the guise of narcissism, selfishness and even misdirected anger?  What tender, nurturing, empathic, caring, compassion, dependency-based feelings are being banished out of their range of attention?  Is this all tied to HOW they can so blithely shove their little ones into the hands of strangers and walk away 10 or more hours of every work day?

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The BIG CHANGE is upon us.  Women are increasingly making the choice to be the complete boss of their own lives come hell or/and high water.  Believe me, they are armed with full intention and a focus of action that only destiny itself can forge.

Only advancing time will allow future generations to look back at what may well be a damaging kind of mayhem we are creating in the “safe and secure attachment” environments that create the physiological body-nervous system-brain-self of every tiny, dependent creature who cannot possibly be getting from their “out-in-the-world” mothers that they MUST have to develop into fully healthy human beings.  A few rushed morning and evening hours and a chaotic busy weekend cannot give little ones and their mothers and fathers enough time to complete the kind of attachment circuitry our entire evolution has required that we have to become the best humans we can be.

How do we as these women’s mothers, as the grandmother’s of their children, hold our own as we attempt to counter-balance the faulty social thinking that has been so hastily created to shore up the choices our daughters are making regarding the care and lack thereof they are “justified” in giving and not giving their very young children?

Our daughters are aiming the big guns of their forward-moving rage at us.

They do not want to hear or consider a single thing we are trying our best to tactfully and gently tell them.

They are out there, full-sailed in ferocious winds of change running without rudders.

We cannot stop them.  Certainly.  It is not destiny that we DO stop them.

But neither can we allow them to run us over, to assert their newly-found power, their dominance, their societal-fed alpha force over us.

Wherever there is power there is the potential for its misuse.  All forms of aggression, of abuse, of oppression will become increasingly available to women as they spread their powerful, beautiful wings to finally soar confidently and competently in the winds of change.

We, and our advancing daughters, are cutting the swathes into a new world that those in the future generations will look back across in wonder, in gratitude, and in cases where generations of little ones are being neglected IN SPITE of what their parents want to believe — in horror.

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We women, we mothers and grandmothers of the receding generation are naturally destined to relinquish dominance to the looming up-and-coming generation who are following us into a new world.  But we retain our honor, our integrity, our self and our presence as legitimate voices guiding those who are — not unlike cantankerous three-year-olds – chomping at the bits that we might try to rein them in with,

We do NOT let those powerful young women disrespect us.  That, come what may,  is OUR choice.  The power of one generation does not have to come from belittling the one that created it.  We ALL, as women, are learning how to BE in the world in a new, unfamiliar and different way.

The time has come for all of us to pay attention and to learn to let these transitions happen with minimal loss, minimal damage.  Whatever  we do we do  AS WOMEN.  We do as women what no man has ever done or can ever do BECAUSE we do what we do AS WOMEN.  Is this a big DUH?  I don’t think so.  We bring life into the world.  We are expanding the sphere of influence for how this bringing-life-into-the world operates.

This is a FEMALE process that men are of course a part of as supporters of our actions.  The time is rapidly coming when we will no longer be a second sex.  We will be an equal one.  And with any transition, any transformation, the change itself can be most chaotic and troubled especially in the sphere of raising very young infants and children that so many women are parceling out as if their offspring are cars to store in an airport parking garage until it’s “handy” to retrieve them.

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Where are the fathers and grandfathers in this transformation?  Although not the topic of this post, this question is central.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job – I think we will have to find an alternative!).  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Leave a Comment »

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+FRIENDSHIP CONFUSION

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Thursday, April 24, 2014.  I wrote some time ago on the blog about the time around 25 years ago when I realized I had no clear idea what an enemy was.  I asked two of my friends who had never met each other and lived 130 miles apart to tell me their version of what an enemy was.  Both of them used the exact same sentence in reply:  “An enemy is someone who does not have your best interests at heart.”

I have always found it intriguing and a bit mysterious that they mirrored one another’s thoughts.  Of course I now know that I was born into an enemy camp.  Both of my parents were enemies to me — BIG TIME!  Mentally ill, psychotic, abusive Mother did everything in her power to try to ensure that everyone, including my siblings, my grandmother and my teachers all shared her view that it was I who was everyone’s enemy.  Tragedy.

I am here as I near my 63rd birthday in August finding that I also cannot find my own definition of what a friend is.  Sure, intellectually, I have believed I had “an idea” of what a friend and friendship is.  Truth?  I don’t really have much of a clue at all.  Friendship seems to be something that exists on the other side of The Great Divide.  As such a severe abuse, neglect and trauma survivor I never had the chance to experience friendship which IS connected to safe and secure attachment in a social world.

Right now I can’t assume I understand friendship.  But I did receive some interesting clues about its nature from a woman whom I consider a friend back in the little Arizona town I recently moved away from.  From her description of friendship as she described it I gather that in her experience — because Bisbee is a friendly town — one never has to worry about who is a friend versus who is not.  Most everyone there is FRIENDLY to one another.

My friend went on to describe for me patterns of her life and patterns of my life while I lived there that demonstrate friendliness and friendship.  PATTERNS.  Friendship is a PATTERN that includes friendliness shared mutually — kind of spread around permeating the daily life of those who share a particular environment.

I could say that her descriptions were a little too vague and nonspecific for me to get my questions answered.  But, then, I realize my friend has always lived on her side of The Great Divide that separates severe early trauma survivors from those who benefited from safe and secure attachment from birth.  In other words, my friend could not really comprehend the nature of the depths of my question any more than I could have those depths of friendship questioning answered by her.

I NEVER had anyone treat me with friendship during the first 18 years of my life — with the possible exception of teachers my mother could not convince of my evil essence.  Yet not one of those teachers ever recognized the depths of my suffering or offered a single word or gesture of assistance to me.  They lived in their professional teacher role and I suppose simply did not abuse me — which was as good as attachment ever got for me as a child.

Then, naturally, I entered my adult life acting as if I could be a friend and others could be a friend back to me although I could not have given one single sentence to describe friendship.  NOW?  I think I know less, truthfully, about friendship than I did when I was 18.

Another tragedy connected to severe abuse survivorship, and not a surprising one.

I think from what my friend was telling me if one lives in a friendly town (Bisbee is about 5,000 population now) one has their friendship needs met simply by being there.  If a person has a special need for help they simply need to ask and someone will “pop out” of the sea of friendliness in response.  My friend described for me what she sees of how I fit into that community so that my friendliness needs were naturally met.  Of course I missed my family while I lived there, but I could talk about that with people who listened and cared.  Otherwise I guess I took being a part of that friendly community just grew into me.

Someone attacked me verbally recently for talking about how I missed those people.  After all “not one of them offered to help you move.”  I asked my southern friend about this.  She said if I had ASKED anyone for help they would have been right there.  Otherwise, they knew one of my northern friends had come down to help me and that was simply that.

Writing this I am seeing that perhaps it is, in part, the absence of unnecessary complications that must mark the friendliness in that area.  Why add any degree of drama when it is not there naturally?  There is a kind of magnanimous though not showy or flashy equality in such a version of shared social existence.  There is some kind of mutual respect for individuality in such a friendly place that is taken for granted.  It almost seems like:  if there is an absence of enemies there is a presence of friendliness and the friendship that is simply such a part of such a place — like dirt is a part of the earth — that nobody has to question friendship being either present or absent.

So maybe it is exactly because I am not in that place NOW that these questions are coming up for me.  I felt at home there.  I have been criticized here for saying that.  Can anyone at any time simply FORCE that kind of connected and peaceful feeling to a place — if they only try hard enough?

The thing about THIS area is that I spent 13 years of my life — over 30 years ago — working as hard as I possibly could to do exactly that — FORCE myself to be happy in a place that I came to finally understand was a toxic environment for ME.  Not for others who live here, obviously.  But for ME.

My Arizona friend reminded me last night that I spent more than a year outside working on building my garden, only coming indoors to eat and sleep.  I think it was more than a year — but, oh yes, as I told my friend “I NEED THAT!”

Sometimes it is hard for me to accept my own truth as being exactly that.  Not right or wrong.  Not saying anyone else is right or wrong.  Just knowing what I need, what is comfortable, what sustains me.  Place is critically important to me as a trauma-altered person.  There will be a huge cost for me in missing my girls and grandsons here should I find my way back to “my place” down south.  I do not know how to cope with these conflicts.  I really don’t.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job – I think we will have to find an alternative!).  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Leave a Comment »

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+INFO: Recognizing and reporting child abuse

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014.   This is a succinct presentation provided by the

Prevent Child Abuse New York Blog
Recognizing and Reporting AbusePosted: 10 Apr 2014 09:45 AM PDT

When it comes to recognizing and reporting child abuse, many community members are unsure of what to look for or how to go about making a report. Here’s what to look for:

Physical abuse: Non-accidental physical injury of a child inflicted by a parent or caretaker that ranges from superficial bruises and welts to broken bones, burns, serious internal injuries and in some cases, death. Includes actions that create a substantial risk of physical injury to the child.

What you may see: If a child is physically abused you may see frequent and unexplained bruises, burns, cuts, injuries; the child may be overly afraid of the parent’s reaction to misbehavior.

Physical neglect: Withholding, or failing to provide, adequate food, shelter, clothing, hygiene, medical care, education or supervision, such that the child’s physical, mental or emotional condition is impaired or at imminent risk of being impaired.

    What you may see: A very young child routinely left alone at home. You may know that a severe illness or injury is not being medically treated. A neighbor child may frequently turn up at your door–inadequately dressed for the weather– saying their parent told them to stay away. Physical neglect can be hard to judge; sometimes what you see is poor judgment, but not neglect. Sometimes what you see is the result of poverty and a family’s struggle to make ends meet.

Sexual abuse: When a parent or caretaker commits a sexual offense against a child or allows a sexual offense to be committed, such as rape, sodomy, engaging a child in sexual activity, engaging a child in — or promoting a child’s — sexual performance.

      What you may see: Sexual behavior way beyond what is expected for the child’s age; a young child might have sudden, unusual difficulty with toilet habits; there may be pain or itching, bruises or bleeding in the genital area. The child might tell you.

Emotional abuse: Parents’ or caretakers’ acts or omissions that cause or could cause serious conduct, cognitive, affective, or other mental disorder such as torture, close confinement or the constant use of verbally abusive language. Includes emotional neglect – withholding physical and emotional contact to the detriment of the child’s normal emotional or even physical development.

      What you may see: A parent who verbally terrorizes the child, who continually and severely criticizes the child, or who fails to express any affection or nurturing.

If you suspect a child in your area may be suffering from child abuse or neglect, don’t delay! Call your state’s Reporting Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-CHILDREN.

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It is important to remember that although often extremely difficult to identify these patterns can certainly ALSO be present for infants.

 

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job – I think we will have to find an alternative!).  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Leave a Comment »

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+EMOTIONS? “AT YOUR OWN RISK.”

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014.  Emotions are powerhouses of information.  They are the torch-lights into our own reality as they tell us about our self.

Humans are fallible beings.  We are not born knowing everything.  Our fallibility applies even to who we are.   Why would we not be a mystery to our self?  We are fundamentally a part of the Great Mystery.

Emotions are our truthful clues to what is REALLY important to us.  What we value.  What we need.  What we know in our heart-of-hearts.  To ignore our emotions and the information they contain as they communicate to and through us is to live “at risk” and “in peril.”

In my thinking the more materialistic our culture gets, the more we lose track of what it means to be a soul-full creation with a guiding spirit connected to everyone and everything surrounding us, the more emotions become unwieldly DANGEROUS – if not SUBVERSIVE – operations running lose in the world.  HOW MESSY!

Emotions?  How uncontrollable (yet how mainipulate-able)!  How un-machine-like!  How intangible (can’t have THAT in a materialist society!)  How anti-status quo.  How TRULY HUMAN OF US!  How impeccably honest!

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What would our society and culture (and research findings) look like if there was absolutely NO money to be made by creating pharmaceuticals that manipulate, dash, squash, numb, alter, erase (ha, like that’s possible), deaden, etc. EMOTIONS?

ALL the panaceas?  Even alcohol, street drugs, nicotine, processed sugar, caffeine?  What of adrenaline rushes?  What of sex?  What of “buying the right product?”

Am I preaching anarchy?  Chaos?

I can think of only one other kind of change that would no doubt result in an equal disequilibrium of “the great American way.”  Remove all laws back to our Constitution.

++

What inner laws do people allow themselves to live by?  Why are we so terrified of what the purity of our own – and of others’ – emotions are telling us?

When did it become an as-yet unspoken American law that it is illegal to FEEL, pay attention to, honor and respect and LEARN from our emotions – ALL of them?  What would happen if we lived lives based upon the honest integrity of how we FEEL?

We seem to have, for example, a massive epidemic of depression in our nation that we are told MUST be medicated away.  How much power for truth-filled living are we erasing by depleting our storehouse, our power-house of truth connected to choices in our lives that are – actually ARE – making us “sad” or “angry” or even – heaven forbid!  FRIGHTENED as we tread through the moments of our lives?

How much MONEY is being made both by the corporations that create these drugs and the “professionals” that are paid the big bucks to PUSH them?  How about the universities and other institutions whose bucks are made by swaying research findings in favor of drugged living?  Where is the outright propaganda in these scenarios?

Where is the terror hidden among us connected to what might or likely would happen if we actually listened to our truth-filled emotions and then CHANGED ourselves and our lives so that our emotions could change toward the positive all by themselves?

Would there be nothing left within and around us but unbridled PANIC?

Oh, no!  Better panaceas than panic.  To keep this imbalance in balance in our society we better put all the pressure we possibly can on those errant few who refuse to accept DRUGS as the answer to their life concerns and conflicts.

In the meantime….

Those who do not literally BUY into “the system” better keep their thoughts AND their feelings silent.

Where, exactly, IS the safety in these faulty patterns?

Don’t ask.  Don’t tell.  And no matter the cost to your own well-being — DON’T FEEL!

Erase the emotions and all truthful information contained within them and connected to them disappears, as well.  Better that than chaos and anarchy.  Or honest change.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job – I think we will have to find an alternative!).  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

++++

 Leave a Comment »

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+THE INS AND OUTS OF WORLDS

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Monday, April 21, 2014.  One of the most obvious and yet so easily overlooked aspects of being a severe early abuse, neglect and trauma survivor is that while we live INSIDE our world being trauma-altered in our development in nearly every way — which makes us and our experience of life so very different from that of people who did not experience what we did — those other people so thoroughly live OUTSIDE our world that they are not likely to ever really understand us.  What limitations does this disparity of experience create on both sides of “the great divide?”

Who notices?  What kind of balance can be built into important relationships we have with each other?  How do both parties achieve “safe and secure attachment” in their relationship when the essential quality of true empathy is most likely missing?  WE will never truly be able to understand the life experience of those NOT traumatized in their early life while the non-traumatized will never be able to know us on the levels that are most important in how we are in the world?

I wish I knew a simple way to denote these two kinds of extreme and often very different and even opposed realities.  I guess this morning I will simply use “survivor” and “nonsurvivor.”  Hardly anyone really makes it through a childhood without having experienced some kind of trauma.  But I think we all know what I am saying.  There is a great difference between someone like me and most others.  That is a fact of existence.

Nobody makes it through a severely traumatic, abusive, neglectful infancy and childhood without being greatly changed on the “output” end.

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I am thinking today about what happens when one of our primary attachment relationships suddenly changes shape and form.  I suspect that often all the signs that the relationship is not what we accept that it is long before the full awareness of the meaning of these changes to the relationship becomes at all clear.  Yet no matter how non-traumatized one person in a relationship is there are times when circumstances of life can simply change them.  When this happens it is very possible that the dynamics of any relationships they have will change — sooner or later.

I am processing such a massive shift in what has been one of my most important attachment relationships for a long, long time.  What I thought was real in this relationship is simply not real.

This is a family but not a partner-type relationship.  I feel as if the ground shifted and a different world has appeared so that very little of what I thought I knew seems to remain.  It seems the “family” part is left without what I thought was the “friendship.”

Picking friendships — not picking family — comes to mind, of course.  And yet on some levels it seems that family members should know us more deeply than anyone on the planet.  There can come a time, evidently, when “So what?” gets added into this equation.  Knowing someone’s past, their weaknesses, vulnerabilities, hopes, conflicts, difficulties can mean that if circumstances change enough that person has an arsenal of weapons to use against us that can hardly be imagined until they are unleashed.  When this happens the gulf between survivor and non-survivor can become so vast that nothing but the most tenuous threads of attachment remain.

What once was a mainstay safe and secure attachment relationship can become its opposite faster than the strike of a lightning bolt.

True, the signals were no doubt present.  But who wants to see these kinds of changes coming?  Can’t peace be maintained, peace be made – somehow – so that the friendship part of a close family relationship can remain intact?

Not always.

I am suspecting that there is something particularly powerful about the ROLES that family members are conditioned to take in our culture.  When a ROLE takes precedence over the very real person forced (one way or the other) into a role I question what is left.  Suddenly, it seems to me, what was a rich and multidimensional relationship becomes flattened into a mere show of a 2-D puppet-like demonstration of connection.

It makes sense to me as I look around our culture to see that this must not be an unusual happening in families.  People are not encouraged to be their full-range self, as I call it.  Only some emotions, some thoughts, some beliefs, some whatevers are to be tolerated while the rest must be cut-off, cut-out, cast aside, buried, disowned-within, drugged into oblivion, criticized, rejected and denied.  We can then all be puppet-livers together.  We are defined by the roles we live out and NOT by the depth and breadth of who we are as unique, creative, emotional, thinking, questioning and often in-conflict individuals.

Who wants the MESS?  Turn us all into BOX PEOPLE to match the boxes we live in, race around in, shop in and – if we are not turned into cinders at the end of our life – buried in.

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One of the identifiers of trauma is the fact that those experiences are far outside the range of ordinary.  They are extraordinary experiences that create extraordinary survivors.  Severe early trauma survivors never “got” to live “in the box” of safety and security or of anything like ordinary experience.  We came out of our early years being trauma changed into very fascinating and most often very-different-from-ordinary people.  Of course our EXPERIENCE of being alive in our world is very different from non-survivors’.  We are still in the minority so we – along with our experience – can be marginalized in our culture.

How do such interacting factors affect our relationships?

Those of us who tried as hard as we could not to pass onto our offspring what happened to us may well have ALSO created for ourselves a situation where our offspring will NEVER be able to truly understand or truly hear or truly relate to us because we made DAMN sure they did not grow up in a world like the one we grew up in.

HA!

So our children, for example, fit into the world differently than we do.  They can have different roles in different ways — and escape the depths of inner experience that we live with.  Other siblings in families who did not receive abuse in the same way that others of the siblings did will end up following these same kinds of patterns.

What’s to be made of all of this?  I have always hoped I would never have to find out, never really have to face what this disparity means in my own family.  I wanted to be safe from the kinds of conflicts that lie underneath the kinds of relationships we have with one another.

That bubble has burst.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job – I think we will have to find an alternative!).  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

++++

Leave a Comment »

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+HOW STRANGE IT ALL SEEMS

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Friday, April 18, 2014.  Being such an important part of the early growth and development of this little boy, my grandson who will be 21 months old on Sunday, is showing me how every single interaction he experiences is helping him become the person he will be in his body for the rest of his lifetime.  Oh, the things I did not know when I raised my own children!  There are spotlights of realization throughout each day.  Sometimes I simply gently tease him, knowing that NOTHING that is happening to him now – as important as these things actually are – will be available to him later as conscious, explicit, autobiographical memory.

Implicit memory forms us.  Those are the memories that are both forming the body a little person lives within at the same time they form themselves INTO that body.  Yesterday (and other earlier days when the crabbies overtake him) I tease him by showing him my false teeth.  There are many different ways to entertain a fussy baby with portable teeth I have come to find out.  All of them create the most precious look of “WHAT?”

Will he remember grandmother with the removable teeth?  He points to mine in their cup, points to his own in his mouth, and having no words with which to TALK about what he is seeing implicit memory regarding teeth is being formed for and within him.

Yes.  A tiny thing.  But a reminder to me of how every early experience matters in the formation of a human being.

One of the most delightful yet intriguing patterns of this little boy is the verbalized thrill he expresses at least 100 times a day while I care for him.  ‘I DID IT!”  Yesterday this verbal expression of absolute self-confidence was followed by what I thought was “OH!  YAY!”  My daughter told me later that there’s a cartoon video the boys watch (my other grandson who goes to a daycare center just turned 4) in which a character shouts HOORAY after an accomplishment, so I suppose that is what the baby was saying.

HORRAY?  Never that I can imagine during the 18 long years of my severely abusive childhood can I imagine I could recognize this feeling inside of myself.  Long-time readers here know that I have spent many, many months working through my mother’s letters in the creation of what is now 9 more waiting manuscripts.  (The first one is epublished, see below.)  The last two of these include my commentary on my mother’s letters which exist in the first 7 manuscripts.

I quit writing suddenly one day at a point where I realized I was DONE with manuscript #10.  At that point I was halfway through my 1st grade of school.  As I read in mother’s letters the horrible things she said to me to her mother about having to watch that “Linda doesn’t get too proud” because I was such an ACE of a student — I felt for one of the only times in my life true RAGE at my mother and what she did and was allowed to do to and with me.

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Perhaps the easiest and simplest way to detect abuse in anyone’s childhood is to listen to any “story” (crime report) of an event that triggers this reaction:  “How could anyone do such a thing to a child?”  This is the healthy reaction to childhood abuse.

I have, of course, faced that question thousands of times as I have worked to heal from the tragedy of the abuse that happened to me from birth.  As I have written on this blog in the past it was a very helpful turn for me to realize one day that 15,000 years would have been a minimum jail sentence for Mother in response to what she did to me — and that would have been ONLY in response to her physical abuse of me.  Of course there is NO possible way to estimate the kind of damage parents (and others) can do to infants and children.  What I gave to myself the day I came up with that number was a freeing reality check.

It is (was) the removal of the positive along with the presence of the terrible negative that so harmed me.  Where was the tipping point in my early life beyond which there was no possibility of complete repair?  Because I know of Mother’s psychotic break during her birthing of me I know that that point came for me by the time I was my youngest grandson’s age.

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How strange it all seems?  Why these words as a title to this post?

I continue to watch time extend a small event I experienced into the increasing distance of my past.  I am having many “repercussion” thoughts from this event.  To understand it would take several more lifetimes.

As I have mentioned in previous posts it has mystified and amazed me that I made this 2000 mile move north last October only to find when I arrived here I did so as a complete non-driver.  What happened?  I still don’t know.  How will I “get past this?”  I still don’t know.

One afternoon about a month ago now my son-in-law drove me to the car insurance office so I could switch my account from covering my dear ’78 el Camino which is parked in an old garage for storage to the 2003 Mercury Sable station wagon my oldest daughter so sweetly bought for me to drive here.  Never mind I still CANNOT drive.  The switching of the insurance must have felt to me like a step in the right, hopeful direction.

Then he drove me to the music store so I could arrange for my first drumming lesson.  As I returned to the car where he sat waiting for me my daughter called.  An arrangement was being made to go eat (with a great coupon) at the mall food court which was very near.

No big deal!  None of it really!  I see the family often.  BUT!!  All of a sudden as I picked out my own dinner and sat with my family, including my little grandsons, there in that court I felt something I had not felt for so many years I could not really even name it.

I felt OK!

I felt HAPPY!

Suddenly it was like the darkness that I evidently live with continually was replaced with a brilliant light.

A weight that surrounds and nearly crushes me every moment of my life disappeared.

I felt FREE!

Yesterday, as I continue to watch that half hour of true pleasure vanish past the horizon I realized every description I have come up with so far has missed the most important point:  Because of my dissociation, a direct and permanent condition allowing survival of what was done to me from birth, I am out-of-sync with the experience of the passage of time as experiences of myself experiencing my own life happen.

The result is the dissociative sensation of “depersonalization” and “derealization” I evidently live with ALL of the time with hardly any exceptions.

That half hour to 45 minutes in the food court held a POWERFUL exception that mystifies me.  It is a mystery that I am continuing to both marvel at and attempt to understand.  If I could understand WHAT happened during those moments could I reproduce those conditions so that I could enjoy — and I mean IN-JOY that state more often?

I cannot remember the last time I felt that way.  Ten years ago?  I don’t know.  It is THAT rare.  I felt real.  My family felt real.  That small world felt real.  I now look back and view those moments in the light of, “I never before realized how feeling real could feel so good.”  The rest of the time?  I am so, so lonely for that feeling.

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I do not deserve to suffer the way that I continually do because of the changes in my physiological development that trauma caused me.  Two years ago or so as I wrote on the blog I had a full-body memory come to me of being severely beaten when I was only a month older than my youngest grandson.  Making it through even that one of THOUSANDS of severe beatings in my childhood was a miracle.  I live with the price that has to be paid to endure such trauma.

I find myself feeling disappointed that I cannot write more clearly about this topic.  I want to be remote, clinical, objective, detached, “scientific” about a condition that controls my experience of myself having this life.

Nothing interrupts my grandson’s experience of himself living his life.  He is building a CONTINGENT and CONGRUENT and CONTINUOUS self — in a body that will allow him to operate from this state for the rest of his life.

My experience was in polar opposition to his.

Yet on some level, and I believe it is at the level of my soul’s perception, MY way of being in this world as I was forced to be “this way” is very, very strange.  I KNOW from the depths of my soul that “this” is NOT RIGHT.  I also increasingly know how impossible it is for me to change HOW my body operates during my lifetime.

I cannot CHOOSE to make “all of this go away.”  I cannot reform my body (nervous system, brain, calm-stress response system, etc.) into the kind of body my grandson currently has and will have.  We can “simply” say this is the difference between those raised in safe and secure attachment environments versus what happens for those who are not.

But it is SO BIG!!  When it comes to trying as an adult “to make things better” for myself there are simply too many variables at play.  Sorting them out IS taking my lifetime.

Why a food court for heaven’s sake?  Why that slice of magical time, of “perfect grace” in THAT spot at THAT time?

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Obviously it makes no sense and is not remotely helpful for me to ask “What is wrong?” in my life.  The hard question is, “What went so right at that point in time?”

I am reminded of a very clear dream I had about 25 years ago.  Even then it seemed strange to me that it took place in a mall!  I was wandering along the corridors, turned a corner in the sterile harsh mall maze and found myself facing a massive glass floor-to-ceiling window that ran for many feet along the hallway.  There were bottom hinged small windows that were pushed in.

I knew I COULD climb through at the same time I knew I COULD NOT do so.

I gazed at a gloriously beautiful technicolor world full of lush plant life, heavily laden fruit trees, joyous people playing together — all back lit by the most brilliant display of stars in a ink black sky banked on the sides by brilliant rose, peach and gold colored clouds.

There was a world I was forbidden by circumstances beyond my comprehension from entering; a world I could not be a part of.

I am a wilderness person, not a mall or even a city person.  This mall experience is “something else,” a mystery I do not give up on unraveling.  Not for myself.  Not for others who know exactly what I am describing.  I seek answers.  How could I not?

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job – I think we will have to find an alternative!).  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

++++

Leave a Comment »

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+BOPPING BLACKBIRDS

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Thursday, April 17, 2014.  I am not a happy camper as far as this computer change fiasco is concerned.  I have FINALLY dared to open up a sheet of paper here in this transported Office configuration on this sweet new Dell computer, Sara Lee – who is most unfortunately POSSESSED in assorted, irritating if not obnoxious ways by a Microsoft NEW mess currently known as 8.1.

Obsolete Windows XP was murdered last week by its creators.  It ran perfectly for me.  Cannot have perfection floating around on this planet, can we?  Microsoft, the poisonous elixir of the poor folks.  If I had had $1,500 to replace my old system with a Mac instead of the $500 I did have to buy this Dell replacement, I could have almost eliminated Microsoft from my existence.  Alas.

If I want to traipse around any part of the computer universe in my worn out clod hoppers I have to learn how to cross this bridge without falling.  I am not quite there yet.

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One of the small pleasures I have discovered in living in this so-not-me environment here is the feeding of finch, chick-a-dees and sparrows.  I tossed out my small allotment of seeds onto this small cement slab outside my sliding glass door (my only window in this apartment) this morning only to look outside at the arrival of a flock of blackbirds devouring in minutes what the smaller birds can enjoy over the course of an entire day.

Life in this material world.  Keeping things in balance?  If there is pleasure in feeding finch there will ALSO HAVE to be irritation in the arrival of hordes of blackbirds.  Now I must be either vigilant in watching for “the enemy” so I can chase them away or I give up.  I am still not able to drive (another story), so replacing seed is not an entirely simple matter.  Neither is the cost of feeding a cityscape of blackbirds – oh, and yes, the first dove just joined the feast – very possible for me in my poverty, either.

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Now, to see if I can save this little document on this new computer – and then find it again somewhere in Microville….  Well, I saved this.  Will look for it later.

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This morning my thoughts have been playing in a new way with the ideas behind my Libra rising sign.  There is more to this “balancing things out in fairness” than this ascendant of mine would suggest.  Take one side of the scale and add into it lots of cute finch and life will SURELY bring a ton of blackbirds to – BALANCE the scale?

Hummm…… I am left with the struggle – aren’t we all??

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Oh.  Turned away.  30 seconds I am back.  Screen is blank.  Have to watch this magic cursor.  Puts itself up into a paragraph.  I don’t notice.  Type away, no words appear HERE.  Part of some previous text has highlighted itself, vanishes, new words appearing where I did not want them.  Have to – what?  Cut a piece of cardboard, tape it over the computer’s own mouse version?

Wait.  I’ll be back….

Baby has filled his pants.  Has run off somewhere with a cardboard piece of the new Clifford puzzle.  He’s eating it.

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Kashi brand Organic Promise cereal box cardboard piece taped to computer – doing so suddenly turned my Word page HUGE.  I am so out of my element.  Why do I TRY?

Chased away more blackbirds.  Or the same ones?  Diaper changed.  Peace returned.  For how long?  Oh.  Stuffed fuzzy kitten toy suddenly appears.  WHOPP onto my keyboard.  Out of nowhere?  No.

Out of SOMEWHERE and that somewhere is just LIFE.

I am reminded in the back of my mind that for all the 18 years I was abused by psychotic Mother, being told in every possible way that if I were not such a bad child, if I didn’t exist at all, everything in Mother’s world, and through her in her family’s world, and beyond us all to the whole wide world as it existed – all would be perfect.

I have worked since my earliest memory to keep my own self right-side-up in such a dark and malevolent, turbulent, hopeless kind of universe.  Even though I might not – moment by moment – believe that I am ALL THAT BAD, I have not managed erase even the tiniest corner of my corresponding belief so programmed, beaten into me, that there IS such a thing as a Perfect World!

I continue to think this is true – both that the world MUST be perfect and that I so deeply believe this to be true that I still, at age 62, have not found any way to alter or to eradicate this belief, that I am continually shocked and dismayed to find that there ARE just as likely blackbirds in that proverbial pie as anything else I would consider “so much better.”

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I am left with the continual question, “WHY?”  Why is the world not perfect?  (Running in the background, a faulty operating system:  “Would the world be in its perfect condition if I were not in it?”)

Where is the end of the line of this kind of thinking?

++

I had something written here:  “It’s all my fault.”

Then this computer magically did something obnoxious, changed my page so that I could no longer type a dang thing, did not let me fix it.  I shut down the page and prematurely was forced to go look for it.  Short story = I found this and continue what I was doing before mayhem appeared!

“What did I do to cause THAT glitch?”

Dared to try to write a blog post.  That must be it.

It’s the stress, distress, anxiety provoked by all these asundry occurrences and disturbances that dismays me nearly continually.  I do not have the inner resources to flow through any kind of water that feels threatening to me!  Continually life asks of me that I readjust – not my choice of words but baby is effectively demanding all of my attention – yet again – ‘cause that’s what babies do….

He wants cereal.  Not the banana he just demanded and will not eat.  Cereal that comes in the box whose cardboard is now taped to my computer.  Hodge podge, makeshift, demanding world we live in.  Of course PTSD and other inner trauma-related disturbances in this body I live in prevent me from simply COPING in any kind of easy way – with ANYTHING these days.

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Like the constant roaring drone in the walls and ceilings of this apartment I am living in.  I am sure I have (“bad me”) COMPLAINED about that drone in a previous post.  It is one of the very WORST conditions my PTSD could be forced to cope with.  It’s on the blackbird side of the scale as it attempts to balance out – what?  That I at least can gaze out my one window at a little open area that has a cat tail pond full of flickering little wings that send bits of last year’s fluff off into the sunlight instead of another building’s dead-end wall crowding in on me?

“It’s my own damn fault I am poor.”  Huh?  Like being tormented, tortured, terrorized, traumatized from the time I was born and for the following 18 years – conditions that caused so much damage to the development of every system in my body – that all created permanent forms of disabilities I live with that prevent me from living a full, healthy life (PTSD, reoccurring major depression, dissociation, depersonalization, derealization) are ALL MY FAULT?

Blackbirds.  That feed on my own thoughts.  Self-sustaining blackbirds.  How tiring to ALWAYS have to be fending them off, chasing them away, trying to eradicate them, or transmute them into something positively sustaining.

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Meanwhile.  The only surface that supports this laptop for working on it out of reach of baby is NOT a location with internet access.  Yes, the wireless router my daughter so sweetly bought for me sits here in its pristine box awaiting time when she can work all those angles out for me.  (Fortunately.  I am grateful).

So, how do I get this post onto the blog?  And when?  There are blackbirds in my way.  My problem is I let that bother me.  I think I will go stare at the cloudless sky on this windless day and be happy more snow is melting while I await the arrival of my TechnoCalvary.

There goes that magic cursor again.  This time I caught it elevating itself up into my document before it could devour portions of my post.  So much for my cardboard Band-Aid.  Harken!  Do I hear trumpets?

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NOTE:  My drumming lessons – over there on the goodness side of the scale of my life – are FANTASTIC!!  I am being trained in “classical drumming!”  What a HAPPY HOOT!!!  I am working hard to use the positive in my drumming experience to counterbalance the negative I feel at living in a city, in a frigid climate, etc.  (complete with AWFUL droning walls and ceiling surround noise).

I am working to convince myself that I have moved to a town to attend drumming college!  I cannot imagine ever again in my lifetime living somewhere with this kind of opportunity.  My instructor, Brett, has a doctorate in percussion and is a perfect (!!) teacher!

No “sloppy” slap dash of my hands on conga drumheads.  This is precision training with sticks on a practice pad.  (Cursor moved itself up again.  SHUCKS!)  I get to watch my trauma-altered brain LEARN what I am being taught.  It reminds me of 30 years ago when I took college trigonometry.  My brain had to find entirely new and unusual ways to process that information.  But I DID IT!

And I will do this, too!  I am learning how to do extremely fast drum rolls in perfect form.  Once I have mastered THAT I suppose everything else will seem easy.  Eventually, I suppose, I will be able to move so fast I can then bop those blackbirds on their little greedy heads before they know I am coming.

“Linda.  Shame on you!”

Nope.  I simply do not APPRECIATE blackbirds.

I will have to find a faster metronome, I suppose.  I will ask Brett about that.  There are probably online versions once this internet mess is straightened out.  My old windup metronome has a top speed of 230 (or so) beats per minute.  That SOUNDS fast to me until I begin to drum.

At that point each hand takes on 115 of those beats.  And at that magic moment it’s like stepping over a threshold.  I am no longer on the outside of the beat listening in.  Once I begin to match the beat with the sticks I step inside the rhythm and become one with it.  How exciting!  Now – to ask Brett, “Exactly how fast is a drumroll?”  Incredible.  This is an incredible experience.  And I so do NOT want to worry about that other shoe falling.

(Moved computer over to attach internet cable.  Baby is napping so the coast over there is clear.  Computer would not recognize the internet link until I rebooted it.  Say, WHAT?  Now, let’s see if I can post this motley collection of words.)

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job).  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Please click here to read or to LEAVE A COMMENT

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