+TODAY I AM 63

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Sunday, August 31, 2014.  Today is my 63rd birthday.  Shaped and molded.  I am still here upon this glorious earth.  Of what do I speak?  So few moments in my lifetime have I felt content with myself.  I am a true, true Virgo.

My dear friend left me a birthday gift last week before she left on a week’s tour of Sweden.  In the package I just found a kit to make and remake a kaleidoscope!  Many different kinds of colorful small bits and pieces that put together and within a container will allow me to see infinite collections of beauty.

Forty-three years after our first meeting – and I feel so perfectly known and loved by her.  Thank you!

Later today I will show my 4-year-old grandson my gift and we will make our arrangements together.

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I ponder these words today:  “‘Does not the child succumb in the youth and the youth in the man; yet neither child nor youth perishes?’”

What do any of us really know about who we are?  What do I know about who I am?  It feels like I KNOW nothing.  I am woven together of questions.

Yet I am most grateful in my life that I seem to have been born with a spiritual awareness that does not leave me.

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I have viewed all I can see so far of my life.  Backward in time.  I never see my own future.  Not a glimpse.  Not even an imagination of it.  It seems that because I have been alive this long I might be able to more clearly see my own patterns of reactions and choices so that I could begin to place myself within the context of my own life.

As I reach within for my own words I only find myself becoming quieter and quieter inside.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  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 are welcome.

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+THE BUDDHA’S FINGERS, EARLY SEVERE ABUSE AND THE PERITRAUMATIC PASSAGE OF TIME

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Friday, August 29, 2014.  All-in-all I can simply say that as a result of having to develop in every way, on every level, during 18 long years of terrible abuse from birth that I have been left knowing what I should not REALLY know in a way that I should NOT know it.

Cryptic?  Absolutely so.  Impossible?  No.  Absolutely not, although the extent of trauma it took for me to be formed “this way” was so extraordinaire and so rare as to leave in its wake a way of being in the world that nearly defies description.  Perhaps this is why my blog has remained so silent for so many days after so many days as that time stretches very soon into a year.

Again and yet again I refer readers to the profound neuroscientific facts about what severe early attachment relationship trauma is likely to do to the physiological development of its littlest sufferers as they are recorded clearly in Dr. Martin Teicher’s 2003 article, The neurobiological consequences of early stress and childhood maltreatment.

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I am inundated with and surrounded by increasingly clear awarenesses about what severe early trauma from birth did to my development of self as I exist in this world – a world of TIME passing.  I cannot say I know anything about Buddhism.  I know that I take great comfort knowing that the 14th Dalai Lama is still on our planet.

I am reminded of my mention of him nearly five years ago on the pages of this blog —

+LIGHT T-DAY READING ON RATS AND THE DALAI LAMA

A few related past posts —

+SOME OF MY THOUGHTS ABOUT ‘ATTACHMENT’

 

+ANTIDOTE TO DISSOCIATION: THE TRANSITION TO WHOLENESS

 

+A COLLECTION OF POSTS RELATED TO — CALM — AND ABUSE RELATED COMPLICATIONS

 

+CAN EARLY INFANT-CHILD MALTREATMENT TURN OFF THE COMPASSION SWITCH?

+A CRITICAL FACT I JUST LEARNED ABOUT MY ABUSIVE BORDERLINE MOTHER

 

+CALM THE CRYING BABY — IMMUNE SYSTEM STIMULATES VAGUS NERVE TRAUMA ALTERED DEVELOPMENT

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Within the posts lie facts conveyed by developmental neuroscientists to the Dalai Lama about how babies born to an anxious mother rat will all come out anxious if she raises them.  Babies born to a calm mother rat will all come out to be calm if the calm mother raises them.

However, if babies born to these two kinds of mothers are switched at birth all of the babies born to a calm mother and raised by an anxious one will become anxious.  All babies born to an anxious mother but raised by a calm one will come out calm.

Implications for those of us within the Kingdom of Humanity?  You know it….

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Someone at one of these neuroscientific “learning events” hosted by the Dalai Lama asked him if people severely abused when young had the same opportunity to reach “enlightenment” as those who had not been abused do.  The Dalai Lama was evidently silent for a long time before he responded with – “No.  They do not.”

Again.  Implications?  I have my 63rd birthday in two days.  The longer I live in this body on this earth the clearer I become about not only what the implications are for us as survivors, but more importantly I learn every moment about the difficulties born from the traumatic changes Teicher’s article begins to outline for us.

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TIME

I have written many posts on this blog about how trauma alters the sense of the passage of time (search this blog by putting ‘peritraumatic’ in the search bar and more posts will appear) –

+DISSOCIATION AND THE PERITRAUMATIC PASSAGE OF TIME

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

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

 

+FASCINATING NOTES ON LIVING WITH TRAUMA

 

Past posts beginning late summer 2013 and onward through last fall and winter as they can be found along the right side of this blog tell the background story about why I am up here in Fargo, North Dakota facing the onset of another horrible windchill winter rather than being on the Mexican-American border of the high desert in Arizona that I love.

I will tell you a little story about how the efforts I am making to care for my youngest grandson who just turned two are successful.  Three days ago as I sat on a chair talking to one of my sisters on the telephone Baby (as he calls himself – and who is just beginning to talk) came to stand directly in front of me.

He was smiling as he tapped the center of his chest lightly, telling me “Here it is!  Right there.”  And then he walked away.  (It wasn’t until the next day that he first used “I” and “me.”)

I never before that moment heard him use those words, “right there.”  WHO is RIGHT THERE!  BINGO!  Right in the center of his little body-being is his spirit-soul-self – with joy and awareness!

I never had a chance to reach that point!  I don’t think many severe early trauma survivors did, either.  This is a critical juncture in human development, and a necessary required one for well-being to exist in the body and between the body and self.  Missing this development leaves us truly LOST in some way for the rest of our lives.

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And what about time?  There is a critical body-brain developmental stage through which we gain what is termed “autobiographical memory.”  Without a sense of self that is true and real how can we process memory, which is our record of our own experience of passing through the time of our life, in any ordinary way?

I don’t believe that we can.  Nobody tells us this.

If you do a simple online search for the terms “Buddha fingers circle” you will find images I am going to refer to next.  I recently read the following in a book about a woman’s travels in Japan around 1930 as it relates to these images and the “lore” behind them:

On another solitary jaunt, she visited the Great Buddha – “a bronze figure over forty feet high measuring some thirty-five feet across….  Surely the serenity and peace of this figure are worthy to rank with the enkindled majesty of the maimed and broken face of the Sphinx which so impressed me with its heroic spiritual ardor.  The hands of the Great Buddha are turned upward in the lap, the thumbs and forefingers forming two circles and touching.  In Buddhist lore this represents ‘firm faith,’ but it also signifies life as the moment between two eternities, each moment being the only contact between all that is past and all that is to come.” (p. 138 of book at above link)

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Early safe and secure attachment relationships an infant has with its caregivers form the basis of building “attachment transitions” between self and the world (after they begin to form the sense of self in the first place!).

I was given nothing but terror and trauma WITHOUT being given any relationships of safety and security.  I did not form into my body-nervous system-brain the required circuitry to process TIME as I live through it in anything but a dissociative way.  What am I learning about what this means, how it operates and most importantly what it FEELS like to me to have been robbed of building a sense of self in passing time with attachment to others and to the world around me?

I do not REMEMBER on an ongoing basis what the past actually felt like to me.  I cannot carry “warm and fuzzy” feeling awarenesses forward into and through my present moments, nor can I IMAGINE any future moments with that safe and secure information contained within them.

This is being alone.  Perpetually alone.  And the sadness never leaves me.  It accompanies me perpetually.

That instant of the present moment between the infinities of the past and future is ALL THAT I HAVE!  Yes, I can intellectually think about all these time-based, reality-based conditions in a rational way.  But these thoughts are entirely separate from my body-based sense of myself in the world.

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The point, as I think of it, of reaching “enlightenment” is that a person CHOOSES a pathway that takes them there.  As the Dalai Lama answered that question “No,” the reality of altered physiological development on so many critical levels was being referred to.  Without ever having been given what it takes to build a self to later relinquish denies a possibility of taking the step in the present moment into a consciously chosen state of relinquishment.

One cannot give up what one has never had.

Safe and secure attachment prevents so-called “dissociation” from becoming the predominant pattern of time-processing and therefore of memory-building.  Without safe and secure early attachment experiences there is no clearly-delineated “past” as separated by the present moment from “future.”

What I am beginning to so clearly detect in my own experience is that what was supposedly my “past” never leaves just as the “future” never arrives.  There is nothing BUT the present moment.  I cannot carry any knowledge of love from others along with me throughout my life journey.  I was formed terribly alone in terrible danger.  That was what built me as it built itself into me.

I struggle always to be consciously articulated about love and goodness in my present moments.  However, my ongoing need to be grounded in a “larger body” of physical location that provides me stability, grounding, sanctuary and what feels to me to be beauty is always “dragging with gravity” at my physical self-awareness.

Developmental experts speak of the “unsolvable paradox” abused infants and young children are faced with, as it exists on at least two distinct levels of (a) how to stay alive when to do so is impossible (how to “go on being” when to “go on being” is impossible), which is deeply connected to (b) how to avoid approaching a deadly caregiver upon whom our very life depends.

Living with this paradox has never left me.  It is built into me.  It built me.  It has expanded itself into something more complex, really, because now as an adult I know “this is not right.”  I had to be greatly harmed and in great danger and in great isolation for this paradox to have grown so immense.  Simply put – and in regard to my being alive in a body passing through time – the paradox has become this:

I cannot LIVE in two “places” at the same time.  I cannot carry my past with solid understanding of my safe and secure connection to others through my present moment, knowing I will “have” these safe and secure connections In the future.  It is impossible for me to be “there” and “here” at the same time.

I remember very clearly what my reality felt like growing up into my teens right up to the moment I left home.  I have often described my state-of-being in terms of my being a detached camera that merely recorded every split second of what happened within my awareness in each present moment.  ALL I HAVE EVER HAD IS THE PRESENT MOMENT.

In the chaotic, unstable, unpredictable, brutal, dangerous PSYCHOTIC world of Mother’s that I could not escape from ALL I COULD EVER DO WAS ENDURE AND SURVIVE.  And THAT – the living of the paradox of staying alive when doing so is impossible – happens in the peritraumatic present moment of time passing.

Living the paradox has expanded for me into trying to, wanting to, be able to experience connection with others in the present moments of my life (and to remember these connections, and to carry the knowledge of their existence through the present into the future) even though I physiologically do not have the capacity to DO THIS.

I doubt that most of those who advocate what might be termed “mindful” living can begin to imagine what it is like not to have any other choice but to exist within a state such as I am describing.  I therefore – yet again – believe that there will be survivors reading this post who know exactly what I am trying to describe (given the failure of words to do so).

We are here.  We have nowhere else to be.  Our life has always been this way.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  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 are welcome.

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Leave a Comment »

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+SHOULD?

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Sunday, August 17, 2014.  My calm-stress response system is so finely tuned at this point in my life (63) that I do not wish to tolerate ANYTHING that includes even the tiniest hint of anxiety stimulation.  How sensitive am I?

Well, I am recommending the reading of someone’s post today and as I introduce this topic I will NOT do so by including any hint of “anticipation” about its main point.  Anticipation contains some degree of anxiety.  I will tell you right up front – which is the way I like life to be.  Never mind life actually feels to me to be of the highest complexity!

This post by neuroscientist Dr. Mark Brady, The Most Brain-Damaging Word in the English Language, is ABOUT the word and concept of “SHOULD.”

Now you know!

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This word brought a memory to mind from 1974.  I had just turned 23 and OH!  What a troubled life I had already lived up until that point!  I went to talk with another therapist for the second time in a year’s period.  I wanted to especially talk about the difficulty I was experiencing not being able to begin a day of my life without a “shot of pot.”  I know now I was self medicating deep depression for the “unmentioned and  unmentionable” horrendous traumatic abuse I had lived through in the first 18 years of my life.

But, no.  Like the first therapist I had seen did NOT do for me, I received nothing useful from this honest and desperate attempt of mine to “get help.”  This second therapist just launched into some bizarre lecture based on his PERSONAL belief:  “There’s no should about it.  Drop the should.  If you want to smoke pot, smoke it.  If you don’t want to, don’t.”

Oh, geeze!  That first therapist, btw, attacked me with her first question the day of my first appointment out in the LOBBY of the clinic as she preceded me toward the hallway to her office:  “What was going on in your life when you were pregnant with your daughter?”  She evidently had at least bothered to read the initial statement of concerns I had made when I made this appointment several weeks earlier about my difficulties as a single mother.  (I was nearly a full decade away from even beginning to KNOW I had ever been abused, and certainly NO therapist I ever consulted gave me what I truly needed to heal from any part of that abuse.)

My response to her and to her question?  I stopped dead in my tracks.  She noticed and stopped dead in hers.  She turned toward me as my thoughts raced backward through the dark, troubled corridors of the difficult complexities of my young life (I was 22 at this point).

I looked her straight in the eyes and responded with all the power in me (though I didn’t know what my power even was at that time):  “You don’t want to know.  You don’t EVEN want to know.”

And I walked out.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  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 are welcome.

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Leave a Comment »

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+BRIEF REPLY TO COMMENT TO ADULT REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER POST

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Monday, August 11, 2014.  There are many comments and replies accumulating in response to my April 11, 2012 post,

+ADULT REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER – THE GREAT UMBRELLA!

The most recent comments made on August 6, 2014 frankly — break my heart.  My first suggestion is that either copy of this book be immediately purchased and read —

Parenting From the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel MD and Mary Hartzell (Apr 22, 2004)

Parenting from the Inside Out 10th Anniversary edition: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children… by Daniel J. Siegel MD and Mary Hartzell (Dec 26, 2013)

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Dr. Siegel gives an excellent presentation of what attachment is, how we form our attachment patterns, what creates secure and insecure attachments, and how we can recognize these patterns operating in our own and in others’ lives.  Without this basic knowledge we cannot begin to think rationally about what patterns found in Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) might mean.

If someone wants to understand more about the harm terrible mothering does to a person for their lifetime please search Google for the terms “stop the storm trauma altered development” and go to work studying what can be found at the links that appear.  The few blog pages that appear with the search are just a small beginning of what this blog contains on the subject.

There is a search bar on this blog  – You can also type in “attachment” and a universe of information will appear here.

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There is no simple or magic solution to what is happening in the lives of the family members as mentioned in the August 6th comments I noted above.  Because there is a child in the family it is imperative that the chaos and disorder in the family be addressed ASAP — not for the comfort of the adults in the home but for the necessary healing of this child.  Nothing, in my (layperson) mind tops the needs of this child.

I understand the RAD sufferer’s reaction to the “forgive” subject (please read the comment).  Again with “forgiveness” typed into this blog’s search bar a host of relevant posts will appear.  The kind of trauma and abuse I suspect is the history of this sufferer is something I can understand from my own history.

As I have mentioned on this blog, my abusive mother — who was actually psychotically, severely mentally ill — would have deserved a minimum prison term for what she did to me of no less than 15,000 years in my estimation.  We survivors of these kinds of hellacious infancies and childhoods are basically “in another kind of world.”  We need to honor that fact, and we need to learn what that means.

It is imperative that anyone considering these topics read the article posted here –

+Dr. Teicher’s ARTICLE ON TRAUMA ALTERED DEVELOPMENT

We won’t understand all of the technical terms in it, but the essence of what this article says is crucially clear — especially by the final paragraph.

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Learning the facts about Trauma Altered Development as it happens through unsafe, insecure and DANGEROUS traumatic early attachment relationships is essential to moving forward!!  The light will go on for us as we study this kind of information.  We need to learn about OUR world – and it is never too late to do this work.  Please — do!

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  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 are welcome.

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