Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2014

++++

Friday, May 23, 2014.  I barely have a few moments before my 22-month-old extremely busy grandson shows up for my day’s care of him to write a few words here this morning.  I am thinking about what Dr. Daniel Siegel says about his “new” thinking about attachment as he says he could entirely define it in terms of three processes — differentiation, linking up and then integration.  As I continue to experience my life so complicated by the permanent consequences IN MY BODY as its physiological development was altered on so many critical levels by severe, chronic abusive traumatic stress for the first 18 years of my life I wonder about one stage of this process I would absolutely add into Siegel’s attachment concepts — COMPROMISE.

If you do an online search for the terms “stop the storm siegel attachment” and “stop the storm siegel attachment integration” you will find lots of background information related to my words here this morning.

In my thinking this search would also need to add — “stop the storm trauma altered development” — to round out the background of my current thoughts on this topic.

++

It has literally been years now that I have been considering what the new breakthroughs in how traumatic attachment patterns change the way our physiology development happens explain what we most need to know about how and why our ADULT lives are so often extremely difficult for us on a moment-to-moment basis.  During my early searching which began in earnest in 2005 I formed a concept that foremost and central it was/is our IMMUNE SYSTEM that is both changed in its own development and that then changes (spearheads and directs) all the other kinds and levels of Trauma Altered Development that we experienced.

OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM HAS BEEN COMPROMISED — and in its response to the horrendous trauma and its distress during our earliest years it directed our physiology to adapt to continued survival in a world that could not be survived.  We had to survive in spite of this most profound and difficult paradox.  We — including our BODY — “went on being” when such action was impossible.

COMPROMISE.  Following Siegel’s thinking — and there are MANY important YouTube videos of Dr. Daniel Siegel speaking on his thoughts — EVERYONE must have to compromise some part of themselves after the differentiation process happens (as ongoing as all of this is, of course).

Everything about a person cannot be “linked up” with other people.  We are individuals.  Differentiated separate people.  What does this COMPROMISING process FEEL like?  What does it involve?  How do we negotiate THIS stage of our attachment processes?

Who helps us understand and orchestrate all of these processes?

++

There has never before been a time in my adulthood when my processes of differentiation, COMPROMISE, linkages and integration with my very difficult and strange-to-me life up here in this foreign land has required such taxing — and vital — examination of all that I know about myself.  The long 18 year road of severe abuse I suffered at the start of my life is very much straightened out.  It took me YEARS of hard work that took a profound desire to understand myself on as many levels as possible so that I could find ANY way to improve my inner well-being so that resulting positive changes could better inform my moment-to-moment life.

EVERYTHING about being alive in my first 18 years compromised who I became because of what I was forced to endure and survive.

I can say that no, my innermost essential self was never touched by the horrors that happened to me.  This is true with a HUGE BUT!  I live in this material world in a body and everything about my essential self’s experience of being alive in the world here had to change in combination with trauma that forced continual and profound COMPROMISING into the mix of HOW I AM the person that I am in this lifetime.

++

It seems to me that only people who did not suffer profound early traumas in their earliest attachment environments can get by without considering the process of COMPROMISING to get along in this world.  If a person is not challenged by trauma-compromising needs then they do not have to become conscious of what this process is.  I doubt that Dr. Siegel experienced the kind of early trauma that would have forced him to ever think about what I am writing here today.  His lack of examination of this stage in our ongoing living processes does not negate or erase its essential nature.

Yet again this seems to be an area I have to think my way through on my own.

++++

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 »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

Monday, May 19, 2014.  Maybe people who are born in a safe and secure enough early attachment environment just naturally develop into who they are so they then go out and continue to live a life that is their own.  Maybe such people never need to stop and wonder WHOSE life they are living.

Whose life?  How might it be possible to live someone else’s life?

Well, if I just look at the first 18 years of my life I can wonder if all I actually accomplished was to survive my abusive mother’s life.  My life of terror was certainly no kind of life I would have chosen for myself.  And then, coming out of that childhood into adulthood — did I even know enough to know I was a self (“had a self”) that was suddenly “free” to go off and live the life of my choosing?

Those kinds of choices, I would tender, stem directly from an entire long series beginning at birth in which a person has been able to have some kind of say about how their feelings, needs, decisions, choices affect their daily lives.  These patterns – or the lack of them – directly affect how one’s nervous system and brain develop.  The older I get the more I understand how hard making informed decisions and choices for myself in my life actually is given that I never was able to build a body-brain that knew a single darn thing about being the master of my own fate.

++

“Thunderstruck.”  Heck of a saying.  I suppose the sound waves from lightning does actually create hits although it is the lightning itself that we speak of as hitting things.  I vaguely woke this morning to the sound of massive rumbling over my apartment building.  “Good.  Hello.”  And I went back to sleep.

I don’t know whether or not the first thought I had so clearly in my mind when I finally crawled into my day well after the thunders had left was in part created within me by that outside storm:  “I am trying to live someone else’s life here.”

I am surprised only that this thought took this long to get through to me.  For a person who grew from birth knowing clearly who they were such a thought might never need to appear to them.  I need this thought.  It is exactly accurate for me.

When my daughter expresses her wish that grandma (me) be a part of her young sons’ lives she knows what she is talking about.  How I heard and interpreted what she said – and then acted upon what I thought – has evidently been all tangled up in the fact that I have always had an extremely difficult time actually defining who I am – let alone “whose” life I am living.

Trying to fit in where I don’t belong?  Oh, I’ve done that!!  I did not belong to Mother’s insane abusive madness by any other factor than the fact that I was born to her and nobody rescued me from her.

From the moment I left home I tried to fit in.  As I scan over the distant horizon of my adult life I see that in all cases except my move down to southeastern Arizona in November of 1999 I was, in fact, trying to fit into other people’s scenes.  Blah blah blah – long stories later — when I heard “be a part of your grandson’s life” I found no other way to do that other than essentially give up everything familiar to me as my own life and move into what is, to me, hostile territory.  Sterile territory for my soul.

Sure, I like the hundreds of refugees from around the world that live in the area where I do, can deal with, cope with, survive — and for many of those actual refugees be extremely and forever grateful for the chance to live here.

I have so “been there done that” refugee thing.  This morning it is ever more clear to me, “I don’t have to live that life anymore.”

True, the poverty of my life did not allow me to visit up here without moving here although the $3000 plus that family gave to get me up here would have bought a lot of plane tickets for me to travel back and forth to see these little boys.  But things didn’t work out that way.

The questions I wrestle with here now have to do with whether or not I can endure another horrible winter here — or if I will choose to (based on what information within?).  Where is the money to get me and my belongs out of here – to transplant me back where I came from and evidently belong?  Will I have to yet again give up nearly everything I own?  I know I will have to go through another bout of homelessness before I could resettle down there.

None of this has much significance in the grand scheme of life on the planet — except that it means something to me because this is MY LIFE.  It is the only life I will ever have on this planet.  I wish it was not always so  difficult for me to navigate around decisions and choices, but it is.  My brain, altered through severe trauma during critical early developmental stages, simply processes all information it receives — differently.

++

In many significant ways raising children does take a sacrifice of one’s own life for theirs’.  “Being a part of” my grandson’s life — past this year I did choose to dedicate to caring for the youngest week days until after his 2nd birthday – does not necessitate that I continue to “live someone else’s life here” for any longer than necessary.  Something about this thought coming to me today broke through an inner gridlock that has kept me trapped within miserable unending circles of doubt, confusion, and lack of direction.  I still don’t have all my answers, all my solutions.  But I think I made an important leap back onto the track of MY own life.

 

++++

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 »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

Friday, May 15, 2014.  For the first time in my adult life, and no doubt in reaction to surviving not only a wicked North Dakota winter but now also in survival of its pitiful ongoing attempt at spring, I have found myself relying on what is really trash reading at night to step down from my days into sleep time.  John Sandford is a master at “thriller” fiction and has been at his trade a long time.  The fact that under his actual name of John Camp he is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist simply means that he wants for nothing material in his life.

My current get-lost-in-it story, The Night Crew, popped a line out at me the other night that slapped me into my own reality.  The main character in the story, Anna, was in the emergency room of a Los Angeles hospital after averting the worst of a sexual predator’s violent attack on her in a remote corner of a golf course parking lot.  As Anna prepares to leave the hospital after receiving stitches for a head wound Sandford wrote this dialog with a nurse:

“Despite the stitching, she yawned, apologized, and said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

“”Your system is closing down.  You’ll need some sleep.  With the adrenaline and the wrestling around, the blows…. you had about two weeks’ wear and tear in two minutes.  You’ll sleep for a while.”  (pages 192-3)

++

My entire infancy and childhood of being attacked, brutally beaten, verbally scourged on a continual basis, held in solitary confinement — all the rest of the severe trauma I survived during the first 18 years of my life….  WHAT did that actually FEEL like to my body?

My response to reading this simplistic fictional statement in response to a terrible surprise attack — “you had about two weeks’ wear and tear in two minutes” — was “No wonder at 62 I feel so completely exhausted!  How many lifetimes worth of time have I actually LIVED?”

++

There is no possible way to evaluate the cost of surviving childhood trauma.  As I have written before on this blog I figure my mother would have received a minimum prison sentence of 15,000 years JUST for her physical assaults against me.  She was psychotically mentally ill.  Her beatings on my body from the time I was very small lasted as long as her large-framed body could sustain them.  She would rest after banishing me to confinement only to resume many of them again later — and then again later ———

No point in reiterating or detailing that part of my reality here and now regarding what happened as I usually think about those times.  What hit me reading those words was that for every single second of one of any kind of attack she did against me I was suffering EXAGGERATED trauma in the same way Sandford alludes to it in his sentence.

In other words when I try to communicate to others in my life how I feel OLD OLD OLD and worn out it is to this level of trauma survival that any of us would need to look to discover the SANE truth of what I am experiencing.  I am probably a thousand years old if the actual physical experience of surviving the level of trauma that I did were to be fairly and accurately assessed.

I am worn out.   I am VALIANTLY worn out.  I EARNED being this worn out.

I am not a wimp or a complainer.

How do I validate my reality no matter what ANYONE else thinks or says or believes about how I might not quite be keeping my forward pace with everyone else as they march through life?

++

I need rest.  I need peaceful, nurturing, calm, sustaining rest.  I have been heroic past belief all of my life since my birthing as have all early severe trauma survivors.  I continue to be heroic but frankly I don’t have “the PUNCH in my judy” I used to be able to muster.  I am depleted without being able to replenish myself like I used to be able to.  Even this replenishing begins to cost us more and more as our life rolls on.

There is a cost for us in continuing to grow into our older ages.  I say this partly for people younger than me that fit these patterns:  How can you prepare to take increasing levels of pressure/stress off of yourself as you pass age 50 (say)?

We cannot continue at the pace we are used to, the pace that allowed us to live those thousand-year childhoods.

Where is our sanctuary?  We are an endangered species.  Take a look at (Google search) CDC – ACE study results.  We don’t just suffer through our childhoods.  We suffer throughout our lifetime.

I don’t mean to be maudlin.  We don’t invent or make up the very real exhaustion that seems to increasingly overtake us as we age.  We ARE worn out.  How do we work to sustain and replenish ourselves to keep pace with the wear and tear on our body and hence on our inner self that resides within our body?

How do we find ways to clear our thinking so that we can make the most informed, best choices for our future that we can?  (Keeping in mind that trauma detrimentally affects the way our higher brain processes this kind of information from the start of our life….)

People as a rule do not understand this kind of tired.  We may LOOK younger by hundreds of years (of actual living) than we are by standard measurements.   What is most important is that we begin to understand this about and for our self.  It is a part of honoring who we are.

++++

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 »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

Thursday, May 15, 2014.  As often happens I have no idea how my thoughts will trickle through this post.  I just know I have a lot of them tumbling around in my mind right now, and that I do not feel calm and chipper.  Will writing here help me to put pieces of thoughts together into a more coherent whole?  Can I “differentiate” and then “link” them up in a better way so that I feel more “integrated” — as Dr. Daniel Siegel describes this process of moving forward through life in a healthier way?

I know a little guy who just turned four who wonders a lot about what death is and why, where dead “things” ARE once they are dead, and about what is real and what is not real.  Once something is dead is it REAL any more?

His daddy told me that this train of concern began one day when their family went to a dinosaur museum.  Just like at the local zoo the little boy loves to visit there were big glassed-in “cages” where the dinosaurs “were.”  Or where they were supposed to be?

The little guy approached one of those “cages” to find NO DINOSAUR.  Just a long collection of bones.  “Where is the dinosaur?” the little guy wanted to know.  “It is dead.  They are all dead.  These bones are all that is left of this dinosaur.  Only its bones.”

NOT SATISFACTORY!

Questions about when he will die, when his mommy and daddy will die, and WHY follow often now.  What happened to a wolf now missing from the local zoo?  “He died over the winter.”  Where is the wolf?  Why did he die?  Why isn’t he real anymore?  On and on….

++

Maybe I am puzzling about the same concerns but just on a different front.

When people do not seem able to differentiate their emotions and thusly stash them somewhere (?) are those emotions real?  What if the front that appears to the world cracks open – no matter how wise, nice, smart, motivated, together, giving, happy, etc. etc. a person might APPEAR in the world, and even perhaps appear to their own self — if emotions that don’t fit this public image DO exist somewhere else, is that person “being real?”

What happens when OTHER kinds of emotions break through?  What if a person is really (!) far more angry (full of rage) or sad (full of grief and sorrow) or scared than their public self ever shows?  What do we let ourselves and one another know about our WHOLE self?  Is a part self more real than a whole self?

When a whole self doesn’t seem to be present every day, all of the time in a person’s life — is a part of that person more dead than alive?

++

Very possibly because of my intense and very long history of terrible abuse during the first 18 years of my life I walked into my adulthood being completely oblivious not only to the fact that I had been abused at all but also just as oblivious to the self I am who experienced those horrors.  Where were my feelings?

I don’t ask that question now.  But I also realize now that there are MANY people who are so uncomfortable with FEELINGS – theirs or anybody else’s if those feelings are not deemed “pleasant” and therefore acceptable — that if such feelings should actually show up somewhere all hell is likely to break lose unless those “awful” (awe-full) feelings can somehow be made to disappear again — ASAP.

From my side of reality all feelings are REAL and are REALLY important – or they would not exist.  If they are quarantined, banished, “obliviated” they do not go anywhere.  In fact, I think they are more real that the “real” feelings people try so hard to “only” live with.

It makes me wonder about this so-called “derealization/depersonalization” that is a part of PTSD and other trauma-related developmental changes some people go through.  So many people perhaps are NOT “being real.”  How can they FEEL real to me when I am around them if this is the case?

I lived like that until I was 29 and my entire world began to fall apart.  I woke up.  Slowly at first.  But I DID wake up.  I am ALL me — yet in contrast to a “social world out there” in which many people may in fact not be living with their whole self present, there is a temptation for MY way of being in the world to be labeled “mentally ill.”

Mentally ill be damned.

I live my passion.  My whole passion.  Passion is not always easy, tidy, silent.  It does not ignore what might be less-than-charming in life.  Passion expresses itself.  Passion is itself.

That’s my bias:  Passion is real.  And when one’s true passion is forced out of one’s main life I think sooner or later all hell WILL break lose.  Passion is life.  And sometimes life is just plain messy.

++++

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 »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

Monday, May 12, 2014.  Too many titles.  Nearly every thought that swirls around to come up at the top of my mind this morning sounds to me like a possible blog post title.  Too Many Titles is one all by itself.  If a title is meant to signify a complexity of thoughts underneath and connected to it, then it is clear to me today that there is simply TOO MUCH INFORMATION in my universe today.

In the Aftermath of Mother’s Day would be another possible title.  Nobody can ever prepare for being a parent.  Not really.  What I am learning by being up here with two of my grown up children is that nobody ever prepared me to parent THEM.  Not at this stage in their lives.  Not at this stage of mine.

Stage?  Drama.  Is it truly possible to BE a human being without drama being present?  I often think of Dr. Carl Jung these days.  Collective drama.  He named the patterns of the key players that show up over and over again as “archetypal” roles played at one time or another by every human being around the world.  I don’t see how we can deny this no matter how individually unique we might like to think we are.

The Goose and the Rabbit.  Another possible title for this post.  In fact, if I were to boil down into some kind of essence what is going on in my life right now I would nail it with this title.

The Goose.  A gorgeous Canadian honker standing behind a chain link fence barely taller than its head, neck stretched as far toward the sky as it could reach.  At Fargo’s small but so-well managed zoo I went to with my daughter yesterday and the grandboys.  Free moms’ day.  Free perhaps for everyone but the animals trapped by human error that threatens their global extinction.

Geese are not so threatened.  But on a ONE basis THAT goose was so distressed it was honking its heart and soul out to the corners of the cosmos — crying and crying WHAT?

Oh my heart broke for that little (perspectively) wild creature.  Could it fly?  I don’t know.  Was it physically injured and best kept behind a fence not much taller than it was?  I do not know.

Of all the families full of people walking the tidy pathways of that zoo yesterday — ALL being able to hear the pleading — I was the only one who stopped both to speak to the goose and to listen to it.  “Poor poor baby.  I am so sad to see you so sad.  What is WRONG?”

The goose lowered its beak from its frantic pointing at the sky, turned its head sideways and gazed into my eyes.  It became silent and did not move.  At that point I had no need for words and neither did it.  Just love.  Just love between us.  Just a widening circle of awareness bending outward in all directions from the two of us at the center.

It seemed like everything else disappeared around us.  Changing focus.  Connecting up.  A kind of shorthand linking, a silent texting from center to center inward and outward.  Just precious.

I walked away finally with a quiet goose left standing beside the fence.  I visually checked backward as our family moved forward to see how the goose was doing.  I checked several times.  The goose was quiet.  And in that quiet I could feel it resting.

++

The Rabbit?  At the end of a very long and pleasant day spent with family yesterday it rained.  Standing outside my daughter’s car.  Soaking.  Talking that kind of talk that escalates into a clutter of power-filled words that dig a hole between two people.  Wider and deeper than anyone ever hoped for or intended.  But words that HAVE to be spoken.  Sooner or later as the complexities of intertwining lives through the generations find their way into the light of day.  Or into the darkness of a chilling rain soaked night.

I feel fortunate that last week I decided to send my first phone text.  Now this  honking bleating of generational complexities voiced out into the darkness can be bypassed in texts about the details of daily life when need be – and nothing else.  Nobody means to harm.  Nobody understands one another.

Suddenly my daughter spoke a few words to me that belonged to some other conversation.  Some other kind of conversation:  “What is that rabbit doing there behind you?”

I turned to see what she saw.

Oh Soul of my Soul!

My young small gentle wild rabbit friend.  We did not abandon one another during that long frigid winter.  I with the tuna cans of food portioned out double on the coldest of nights.  It with its courage and willingness to love me, closer and closer, but never quite touching.

“Oh my friend.  There watching my back on this cold hard night of a different sort.  Thank you.”

++++

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 »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

Sunday, May 11, 2014.  I allowed myself to follow myself into wakefulness at 4:00 am this morning at the end of a dream that is significant to me.  It is not one I would have remembered while awake if I had not made my own recent efforts to pay some attention to my dreams as I mentioned in my previous post.  I wrote the dream down.  It has many implications.  What are they and what do they mean to me?

The dream was involved many spiritual factors that are very personal to me, that I will not speak of directly in blog space.  Obviously the dream had to do with making decisions based on either passive or active choice.  I clearly made some important choices in the dream itself, and the dream alluded to choices I have made – and still need to make – in my waking life.

Today is Mother’s Day, a plain old day that our culture chooses to focus with attention specifically on mothers.  I am finding so many new levels of complications to my life involving my daughter who is now a mother herself.  The biggest conflict is probably around what decision I will be making about staying in this far northern town where she resides or leaving come fall to head back to the small Arizona town I moved up here from.  My daughter and I have lost the ability to talk about anything of personal concern to me.  We lost our friendship as far as I can see.  She wants me to stay here.

As I see it I would not be true to myself if I try to remain in this climate and place that I learned so many, many years ago is not compatible with me.

One of my daughter’s friends from her high school years came to town this weekend to run a half marathon, which she did successfully (13.1 miles).  I got to visit with this woman a bit yesterday and it was fantastic to see her again after all these years.  I believe my dream was stimulated by something she talked to me about:  “We must celebrate our OWN successes.  We decide them for our self.  Everyone’s successes are different.”

Her gist was that no matter how large or small, no matter if they make any sense to anyone else, our successes matter and have highest value to OUR SELF.  WE DECIDE what goals we set, what pathways we follow.  We as individual people find joy in certain things that might not matter at all to anyone else.

What I HEARD is that they are not SUPPOSED to matter to anyone else.  That is what being an individual self actually IS!

++

Last week I began to clearly see — whether or not this is a REAL point or not it seems real to me — that the goal I held strongly when I moved up here to care for my youngest grandson so he could remain out of a large day care setting during this most significant developmental year of his life (he is now 21 1/2 months old) is being met very well.  I wanted this little boy to develop his SELF.  I wanted this SELF to be clear, strong and powerful.

Oh MY!  Spending what is now 9 hours rather than 10 hours a day with him mostly in a single room (I finally put my foot down that he HAD to be picked up at 9 hours or I would have burned out completely – never mind how much he needed to be with his parents that extra hour per day) is becoming so much more difficult simply because I met my goal!  He is cruising toward his 2nd birthday at full speed being not-such-an-easy baby to “manage!”  HE HAS A SELF — HE IS HIMSELF!  He is NOT anyone else — and his ideas about himself in his life are often in conflict with those around him.  So be it.  That is a most excellent state of affairs no matter how difficult life may now be for a while as he transitions through his childhood.

So – I see success with my goal!  This is not insignificant for ME.  True, I was thinking of my grandson’s well-being for this project of mine.  I have not taken the opportunity to congratulate myself on my success!

And my drumming.  I LOVE my classes and am now trying to get in 3 practice sessions each day.  I know enough about brain science and learning to know that a 20 minute practice with at least 2 hour break following for the brain-body to consolidate what it has learned in the 20 minutes is the absolute most efficient way to learn.  It’s working.  While I have not totally perfected my drumming form yet I am past the 300 beats per minute mark and speeding up.

I want to play MUSIC!  At yesterday’s lesson Brett, my teacher, told me he is moving me to the next level.  Next week I get SHEET MUSIC!!  I know based upon what he’s said to me before that I am one month ahead of schedule on this.  I also know that if I decide to leave here heading south when my lease here is up at the end of November I want to have made every possible step of progress while I can still be in this man’s presence.  He has told me lessons can continue via Skype once I leave, but he and I have to be absolutely in sync before that time for that type of lesson to be effective for me.

Can I truly celebrate my drumming choice, love and progress!  At what point I will feel there is success here depends on how I look at things.  The truth is that at age 62 (nearly 63) it is pretty wonderful I am actually pursuing this love at all!  And I am doing great at it!

++

The tension inside of me as I learn how to be “just” my daughter’s mother without “friendship” is present constantly for me now.  What will happen along the way between us I do not know.  I can celebrate that I stood up for myself, that I could define a line that was crossed, and that I am letting myself “be real” with myself about how I feel.  My choices ARE my own.  Recognizing successes in my life, large and small, might turn out to be a powerful next step in my healing journey.

I guess I woke to a success.  I remembered my dream.  I wrote it down.  I will not forget it and I may well use what was in that dream to inform some important decisions yet to be made.  It is not always easy – or at all easy – to face and make decisions and choices.  Even in my dreams.

++++

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 »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

Thursday, May 8, 2014.  People talk about the stages of dreaming.  From my life experience I suspect that there are life stages of dreaming, as well.  I certainly know that my own dreaming has changed over the years.  At least there is a major change in the dreams I remember.   VERY few.

It was in 1999 that I remembered the last of what I now see as my early life dreams.  Never mind I was 48 when that dream showed up.  I didn’t know that morning that it marked some kind of a major transition in my life.  I sure know that now.

Here I am 15 years later having made the decision to try to let my dreams touch me in some way at this current stage of my life.  I know I DO dream.  I just remember nothing.

So yesterday when I walked the baby in the stroller over to Wal-Mart I spent $3.88 on a kids’ closet-sized light with a switch on it and three AAA batteries inside of it.  Never mind it is in a baseball design.  I put it on a shelf near my sleeping area last night with a small spiral notebook I found to record SOMETHING of SOME dream within – if I might be so fortunate as to capture a few images or words from the lost land of my nights.

Inside that book I found two dreams I recorded in there three years ago.  Evidently I had this same desire, but only got this far that time:

6/13/11 — picking up cut-glass spheres from a field — all colors — waited until after everyone else got theirs

6/15/11 — no home — wandering w/o talking — young woman commented on my “ancient” haircut — nobody spoke to me — a man told a girl she had come back full circle

6/16/11 — troubled about book

++

What I remembered as I woke this morning was going on right at the tail end of the night’s dreaming.

I somehow found a “lost” woman in need – as a therapist I took her with me – driving around looking for a place — it was dark, night – found a house with an “open house” sign in front – door unlocked – we went inside.

Furniture within, dim light, saw no windows.  We went from room to room, looking.  Shelter.  I told her lots of hard winter driving stories, took me a long time to remember the “name” of the 1973 Olds Cutlass Supreme I once had [when I went to art therapy graduate school].  Woman was small, very softly spoken.  I was her “therapist” – trying to help her?

At some point in the middle of the night the real estate agent walked in – not happy to have us there but not mad – he left before we did.  The woman — did she have a name? – took with her a bag – it had yarn in there and other stuff — that she said she COULD take because it was given to everyone who looked at the house – we left as equals — but to where?

++

I have a sense that as I make this choice to eavesdrop, to become a kind of voyeur of my own dreams, as I barge in on an area of my life that might be off-limits for some very good reason — I am taking a risk.  This process might change the nature of some of my dreams just because a part of me will know I am watching.  Part of me might be perfectly capable of choosing while I am sleeping what details of which dreams I can – and therefore will – carry across the darkened threshold.

Maybe “fake” dreams will be created that are completely separate from my true dreams.  Decoy dreams?

Do I trust myself to treat myself better than that?  Would such a pattern of dream awareness actually BE in my best interest?

Do we NEED to keep some things apart as mysteries to self?  Is there a self-higher wisdom that intentionally protects us from dreamscapes?

Is dreaming an escape area for me, free of what troubles me in my waking life, free of what confuses me and complicates my waking states?  What filters dreams?  Who within us censors them?

Is dream remembrance something like shopping in Wal-Mart?  What I pick off the streaming shelf, toss in the cart, haul out the front door in a bag….  Will I choose what might be useful, helpful to remember?  Leave behind what might overwhelm or scare me?  I have never been a person to remember nightmares.  Sure, there have been a few powerful disturbing dreams but very few.

++

Why now in my life am I trying to trap some part of my dreams on sticky paper?

I feel like I have come to the end of a leg of a maze that leaves me at a dead-end.  A box canyon without escape.  Blind alley.  Traveling in the utter pitch blackness without a future vision of where I want to be let alone why, or how I could get there.

Decisionless – except – moment by moment….

A great sense of impermanence.  Nothing is ever permanent in life.  But I just moved away from the only place on earth I have ever found (stayed 14 years) that felt comfortably like home to me.  Just no family near or even able to come visit me.  So now I am living in THEIR place — so NOT my own.

Nobody forces me to stay here or not to leave.  I am here by choice.  But I firmly believe that choices happen with great difficulties for severe early trauma survivors.  As Dr. Martin Teicher’s research presents, our brain simply did not develop in ordinary ways because of the effects of trauma.  How do we discover what those differences mean in the way we live, the way we decide?

++

I didn’t use my little light last night to scribble down some words about this dream.  I was able to remember the bulk of it — or at least the part I was aware of as I awoke at 5 am.  I know I work hard in my dreamtime.  What happens there is too big to stuff through the window of waking.  It is too bulky to drag along with me into the morning light.  It is this gesture I am making for myself not to leave everything back there inside of me that seems to matter.  I want SOMETHING to come through.

This single piece of this single dream gives me a lot of information to ponder.  Who was that small woman who seems to have no name, the one who needed big-therapist-me?  Not too hard to “get that” part.  She seemed very resigned at the same time she was open to learning something new, something different, something significant.

Together we DID find a small safe place.  Safe at least for a few moments in dreamtime.  A place we could explore quickly.  Not a place we could stay.  We had to wonder away yet again.  True.

She insisted it was perfectly OK to take that bag of gifts.  It is I who spends my days in between the constant caring for a very large, very active 21-month-old cooped up in a room working with yarn I spun years ago.  Trying to make something useful, beautiful, salable down the road.  What else was in the bag?  I don’t know but I think there was a spiral notebook in there.

For the writer in me.

++++

Moody Blues – The Other Side Of Life –

++++

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 »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

Tuesday, May 6, 2014.  I arrived a bit early for my drumming lesson two weeks ago.  Brett had no student immediately before me so we fell into easy conversation about how it can be difficult for parents to understand their children and most certainly also for children to understand their parents.  Brett talked about the wide difference in outlook between himself and his grandfather and then brought up what is known as

Strauss–Howe generational theory

I just looked this up on Wickipedia to do a little reading about the ideas Brett was describing.  While it might seem obvious that different generations are likely to have differences in understanding one another it wasn’t so obvious to me that the patterns within distinct generations can contribute to communication difficulties that we might be most tempted to lump under some other concept — such as “codependency” or family “dysfunction.”

There is a lot of information packed into the Wicki article at this link.  For example, here is a breakdown of generations but to understand what the letters after the names given to these generations and how the generations were defined it requires reading the article:

Generations
  • Arthurian Generation (1433–1460) (H)
  • Humanist Generation (1461–1482) (A)
  • Reformation Generation (1483–1511) (P)
  • Reprisal Generation (1512–1540) (N)
  • Elizabethan Generation (1541–1565) (H)
  • Parliamentary Generation (1566–1587) (A)
  • Puritan Generation (1588–1617) (P)
  • Cavalier Generation (1618–1647) (N)
  • Glorious Generation (1648–1673) (H)
  • Enlightenment Generation (1674–1700) (A)
  • Awakening Generation (1701–1723) (P)
  • Liberty Generation (1724–1741) (N)
  • Republican Generation (1742–1766) (H)
  • Compromise Generation (1767–1791) (A)
  • Transcendental Generation (1792–1821) (P)
  • Gilded Generation (1822–1842) (N)
  • Progressive Generation (1843–1859) (A)
  • Missionary Generation (1860–1882) (P)
  • Lost Generation (1883–1900) (N)
  • G.I. Generation (1901–1924) (H)
  • Silent Generation (1925–1942) (A)
  • Baby Boom Generation (1943–1960) (P)
  • Generation X (1961–1981) (N)
  • Millennial Generation (1982–2004) (H)
  • Homeland Generation (2005–present) (A)

I think it is worth a little time to look all of this over.  Nobody is outside the influence of the forces affecting their generation.  One could ask, “How safe and secure is any generation?”  This of course is a meaningless question unless one narrows scope to look at the specific forces around the globe that influence societies differently from one another.

I had never thought about the fact that my three children do not share a generation.  The two older ones were born in the 1970s while the youngest was born in 1985.  He is of the first techno generation as I call it.  My drumming teacher shares a generation with my son.  I share the Baby Boomer generation with three of my siblings, but the younger boys were born into the same Generation X that my girls share.

My mother and father both shared an early start in the Silent Generation.  Certain forces within their generation that affected them affected our family as I grew up just as forces in my generation affected me as the mother of my own children.  These patterns would be true for everyone no matter what level of additional trauma may have been present in one’s childhood.

The article offers this as a summary of this theory – Interesting article

Summary

  • An average life is 80 years, and consists of four periods of ~20 years
    • Childhood → Young adult → Midlife → Elderhood
  • A generation is an aggregate of people born every ~20 years
    • Baby Boomers → Gen X → Millennials → Homeland Gen
  • Each generation experiences “four turnings” every ~80 years
    • High → Awakening → Unraveling → Crisis
  • A generation is considered “dominant” or “recessive” according to the turning experienced as young adults. But as a youth generation comes of age and defines its collective persona an opposing generational archetype is in its midlife peak of power.
    • Dominant: independent behavior + attitudes in defining an era
    • Recessive: dependent role in defining an era
  • Dominant Generations
    • Prophet: Awakening as young adults. Awakening, defined: Institutions are attacked in the name of personal and spiritual autonomy
    • Hero: Crisis as young adults. Crisis, defined: Institutional life is destroyed and rebuilt in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s survival
  • Recessive Generations
    • Nomad: Unraveling as young adults. Unraveling, defined: Institutions are weak and distrusted, individualism is strong and flourishing
    • Artist: High [when they become] young adults. High, defined: Institutions are strong and individualism is weak

++++

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 »

++++

 

Read Full Post »

++++

Tuesday, May 6, 2014.  Most of the time of my childhood after age 7 our family struggled up and down the Alaskan mountain to and from our homestead.  By the time I was starting 8th grade (1963) a new high school had been built in the middle of a forest that is now, of course, surrounded by subdivisions.  Because there were not enough 9th through 12th graders to fill the school we 8th graders were allowed to step across that pure new threshold of Chugiak High Schoool into a new world built — from my point of view — around the gorgeous black stallion painted on the entry floor-way within a circle filled with aqua.  Black and aqua school colors.  Mustang school mascot.

I just went through a process of searching online to no avail until I finally called my great healing trauma buddy to find in my memory what the original school song was.  This is further testimony to the fact that my brain works better when I am talking to him!  School song?  Such a GREAT one though there is no mention of it online in today’s connection with the school:

Ghost riders in the sky – Johnny Cash – Full Song – YouTube

Uploaded on Jul 27, 2008

This song was written by Stan Jones on 5th may 1948, It was Originally recorded by Burl Ives on 17th February 1949.

Burl Ives – The original recording of Ghost Riders In The Sky

Well, I would be very disappointed if that school has lost its history by losing this song!!  It is so fun!!

++

Well, on with my little story snippet about something that was the opposite of fun.  I was such an abused child and had been since birth.  I walked the halls and sat in the classrooms of my school career as if was myself nothing but a ghost of a human being.

My memory this morning as it has returned to me many times through the years of my writing about my early trauma history was of myself making “an informed decision” to FEIGN a limp whenever I was in the halls.  Somehow I thought two things:  (A) Someone might then NOTICE me as if I existed at all, and (B) that someone might have caring, compassionate feelings and direct them invisibly and silently to me.  I of course had no word “compassion” in my thoughts and had never experienced anything but the slenderest tendrils of caring from my grandmother who we left behind in Los Angeles when we moved far away to Alaska right before my 6th birthday.

Looking back I consider my choice and its actions to be pretty damn intelligent.  Very primitive.  Very desperate.  Very simple.

It was a kind of experiment, actually.  Did it work?  No possible way to know.

I was trying to get my attachment needs met in the only way I could think of as if – if the limp could be noticed I could exist at all.

I am currently reminded of other sets of memories from this year.  The school had as it opened enough money to provide cross country skis for everyone in a class.  Outside I FLEW and glided across the pristine snow.  I did not FEEL my body but I skied like an angel.  Perfectly.  I never tired no matter how long I skied or how far I traveled.  I was motion itself in its purest form.

That purity also shone on the gymnasium floor as I again experienced perfection in playing basketball.  Even from the far side of the encircled mustang emblem painted in the center of the gym floor I could turn in full movement, toss the ball without actually AIMING at the hoop over everyone’s head on that floor.  I NEVER missed.  It evidently wasn’t possible.

(I KNOW this was the same  arena I played in:  Autistic Boy Becomes Basketball Hero – YouTube)

The school DID notice me and asked me to join the Girls’ Basketball Association.  I never noticed anyone noticing me.  I was entirely un-self-conscious out there playing.  I did ask Mother.  She would OF COURSE say no to me, which she did:  “Girls don’t play basketball.”

Oh in a different world I could have said, “Oh YEAH?  WATCH ME!”

This was also the year we had to begin wearing those hiddeous short one-piece blue gym suits and shower in a large communal shower.  I remember feeling SO EMBARRASSED in that shower.  I backed up against the far wall to hide the hundreds of bruises from the base of my neck to my heels, arms and legs too, in all their stages of yellow, green, brown, blue, black and purple.

I NEVER had the thought that anyone ever looked at those bruises when I was in that revealing little blue suit during class.  They would have been on total display as I danced my dance of perfection on that basketball court.

NOBODY EVER cared to notice THAT!  Never!  Not one single time during the 18 long years of abuse that I suffered did ANYONE ask me, “LINDA!  What happened to you?”

++

Meanwhile….  What all of this is tied to is a very subtle yet definite and probably extremely significant shift in my thinking connected to my “classical” drum lessons I am taking.  I have not yet asked Brett, my teacher, about my playing WITH my conga drums — which I loved to do along with music such as this

Ella Me Levanto – Daddy Yankee – YouTube

Last Sunday at my daughter’s house there was a conversation about my drumming involvement within which a stroke of lightning entered my thoughts and hopefully does not leave them.  “Everyone follows the percussionists.”

Oh YEAH?

Well – seems to me there is a level of responsibility at stake here.  “Playing along with” music on my congas is really — I see — nothing more than dancing to THEIR music with my hands on my drum head.

Dancing is fantastic.  That drumming is HUGE fun!  (Try the “Latin Essentials” station on Jango online radio for a taste of my favorite kinds of beat.)

But ME?  The child fake-limping down a crowded hallway and hiding against a communal shower wall?

LEADING anyone ANYWHERE in ANY WAY?

I have no idea where I will be going with my “stick” drumming.  I have a practice pad that virtually makes no sound.  A soundless instrument?  Definite paradox there.  I FOUND one!

Brett states that what I must learn to actually DRUM takes many months of class and practice on exactly that — a practice pad.  Down this road I am going with great joy.  Perfection IS the goal.  Brett has probably mastered that perfection as far as is humanly possible.  I have a LONG way to go!

But I think this shift in my awareness is very important to me in my process.  ME?  A LEADER?

++

It is interesting for me to find how completely separate the operations of my left side/hand are from my right.  I think of the brain development changes that happen from early severe traumatic abuse.  Yup.  Quite the opportunity to work on healing with those issues.  Also, that is the side my two breast cancers appeared in that I went through treatment for 6 1/2 years ago.  Surgery probably messed some muscle and nerve stuff up over there.

But I am DETERMINED!!  I think Brett can do his two-stroke diddles — drum rolling kind — at 800 or better beats per minute.  I can pretty much keep my form in form now up to around 200 beats per minute.  But I have lots of finger-hand perfection to work on before I can go faster.

Soon:  Move over sound waves.  Here I come!

++++

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 »

++++

Read Full Post »

++++

Sunday, May 5, 2014.  At least I put the key into the ignition yesterday and turned the blog post writing crank.  That’s a start?  Makes me think of the 2003 Mercury Sable wagon sitting out in my apartment’s parking spot my daughter SO sweetly bought for me.  I have yet to open the car door.  It’s been sitting there for nearly a month.  Where did the DRIVING LINDA GO?  It is downright spooky to be experiencing this bizarre non-driving turn of events up here post-move.  Spooky!  Especially because I don’t know why.  I don’t know what internally happened to me to remove my 40+ years of perfectly fine driving ability.  No idea.

Meanwhile back in the apartment complex….

I am randomly thinking post-post from yesterday’s thoughts about Dr. Daniel Siegel’s considerations about ATTACHMENT being essentially a differentiation process that leads to “linking up” with other differentiated people toward a healthy integration.

Situations involving any kind of attacking behavior don’t seem to be about any of these health-provoking attachment processes.

I have never thought about “codependency” in terms of safe and secure versus unsafe and insecure attachment before today.  But then, as I mentioned yesterday, I tend not to think in terms of “codependency” at all unless something comes along that seems to besmirch my blithe ignore-ance of the blotched intertwining of balanced versus imbalanced human inter-dependency interactions.  BLECK!

++

Truth of the matter might be that as a person becomes increasingly vigilant about their own differentiation-linkage-integration (DLI) processes there becomes a correspondingly lessening need to exercise self-defense or self-protection.  Other people would increasingly NOT trigger the DLI person!

(DLI – I have to say, last night I sent my first text ever to one of my daughters.  One word but still.  Today I sent my second text to my other daughter.  My thinking has been that if people cannot bother to communicate at least voice-voice or in person with one another nothing of meaning could possibly be worth reducing “communication” to………  Did I ever mention I get tangled up in change?)

++

I have been aware that the end-goal of safe and secure attachment from birth builds a body-brain-self that is geared for maximum healthy, happy autonomy as an individual who is perfectly competent and comfortable participating as a member of a greatly social species.  Siegel seems to be clarifying essence with his thoughts about differentiation-linkage-integration (DLI) processes.  For someone like myself who was so abused and traumatized from birth, who was forbidden to display even a single aspect of self safely within the home, discovering self through this suggested “differentiation” process can take most of one’s adulthood.

The simple word BOUNDARIES does come into play as differentiation of self from other takes place, but this process is supposed to proceed in a predetermined orderly progression from birth within a safe and secure attachment environment.  When trauma interrupts these developmental stages especially in the absence of ANY other safe and secure attachment relationship I think the self of a child remains in a kind of suspended animation state.  But moving out of an abusive early environment does not guarantee that any kind of developmental catch-up happens predictably or smoothly.

I was left without “prior training” about what human relationships even are — let alone what they are SUPPOSED to be.  I suspect it is because I am living in proximity of my two adult children and my little grandsons I am faced with opportunities for whole new relationship discoveries.  Mostly I feel I am getting TOO MUCH INFORMATION, more than I have the inner assets to process comfortably.  “Live and learn” as the adage states.

What “should bother?”  What “is supposed” to be ignored?  What left for later?  When is a good later?  What circumstances determine this?  What can be put into words and verbalized and what cannot be spoken of?  And to whom?  And when?  Where?  How?

Where are the lines drawn, by whom and for what reasons?  HOW does this differentiation process proceed in real time?  Does stepping away from and out from as much touchy drama as possible accomplish eventual DLI?  Where is there — actually — RELATIONSHIP if this differentiation-linkage-integration (DLI) process between adults is never completed?  What happens to “the stuff” that is never identified let alone differentiated?  Is “floating along” the basic goal of adult relationship?  Always?  Sometimes?

How is a person supposed to KNOW the answer to these kinds of confusing questions — let alone know how to put whatever those answers might be into good practice?

Is silence simply GOLDEN?  When is pretending, pretending?  Does pretending all is OK keep the peace?  At what cost?  To whom?  How does one filter what matters from what doesn’t?  Differentiation means to me that different things matter differently to the different people involved.  How is this  “differently mattering” ever discovered?  Does THIS even matter?

If I had not lived through 18 years of horrendous early abusive trauma would I ask such questions?  Would I need to?  Would I know all the answers naturally without conflict or struggle?

“Hello out there!  Does anybody know?”

Just asking….

++++

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 »

++++

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »