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Archive for August, 2016

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016.  We live in a world governed by physical laws and forces.  For humans and other social species, attachment circuitry is primary.  It is core and central.

In struggling with the agony of separation from those I am closest to in the world, I was led yet again to view this video of Harry Harlow’s Studies on Dependency in Monkeys that clearly shows the essential nature of these processes.

I never had the chance to build safe and secure attachment systems into my body.  The psychotic abuse from Mother’s mental illness I received began at my birth.

I can imagine the FEELINGS the little monkey in this video was experiencing because I KNOW what I am feeling is very similar.  Exploration into the wider word, including playfulness, does not happen when attachment trauma is activated.  There is nothing present at those times other than the battle to survive, and the agony of craving a sense of being OK in the world.

To leaved my loved ones behind means that I am going against the ‘proximity seeking and fulfillment’ this video describes.  Because nothing in my earliest environment happened to create a ‘mobile attachment system’ that I could carry along with me in my essential, core physiology, what I end up with is the conflict over leaving at all – which I must do – which creates even more agony.

It strikes me that this is also a pattern that keeps people in abusive relationships, making it so hard to get away.  When we are stressed everything in us screams for attachment.  When the attachment harms, a negative spiral goes into motion.

In my case, the negative dis-attachment is to PLACE – to THIS place.  I cannot change who I am.  This is not my first run through the personally devastating experience of living in this place to which I am so incompatibly matched.  In my case, because my primary attachment was to nature, to the outdoors, to stillness and quiet and peacefulness that is impossible to find in a city, I am in a double-bind situation.

I know this!  But to accomplish what must happen in my life means that I cannot escape the agony created as these conflictual processes and the forces inherent in them nearly literally tear me apart.

This also makes me think of children who are being ‘torn apart’ through unstable parental relationships and their machinations.  This is why divorce and primary adult breakups are among the ACE parameters measured.

There are lots of ways to get your attachment-core messed up when you are a kid.  LOTS.

TALKING about these processes matters both in coping with them and in healing.  I imagine that’s why I am writing here today.  We need our WORDS when it comes to all that complicates our lives.  This never stops mattering!

PLEASE watch this!!

video of Harry Harlow’s Studies on Dependency in Monkeys

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NOTE:  It may be that in actuality insecure attachment disorders are known by the body to be a kind of ‘sickness’that is in itself an existing less than optimal condition.  Sickness activates the NEEDS that attachment is meant to eliminate.  Here comes the spiral!

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Here is my first book out in ebook format as it provides an outline of the conditions of my malevolent childhood.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

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Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016.  It has been a long, long time since a trauma memory from my childhood has appeared to me unbidden, returning over and over again in these days prior to my move hopefully south at the end of September.

But here it is again today, only it is not an it.  This that is returning is a part of me.  I have had no luck banishing it.  This memory is of something incomplete.  I know enough about early trauma to know this memory is returning because my experience with this one of thousands and thousands of childhood traumas – caused by my mother’s severe psychotic (most likely Borderline Personality Disorder) mental illness – has a message for me.

Trauma that changes our early physiological development is most often trauma in our earliest months and years of life created by our need to adapt to severe trauma in order to survive.  Most of these early – mostly attachment related – traumas do not come to us often with any semantic/autobiographical detailed information present.

Our body ALWAYS remembers everything that ever happens to us.  Even our trauma altered development IS a form of memory.

But in THIS experience I was old enough to have part of a self-memory form about what happened to me.  Yet I do not have ALL of the details.  I don’t need them.  I don’t want them.  I will NOT go in any way to look for them within me.

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If I think about life as a kind of dance, a dramatic dance of motion and movement, of emotion, often of language which, with its pitches, tones, rhythms and prosody IS a kind of music, I see an unbroken, linked-together series of events that cannot actually be separated or even distinguished clearly from one another.

This is our life.  And even as I approach my 65th birthday next week I know that this memory that is visiting me (haunting me?) IS ME.  It is as much ME as is the ME that is writing these words.

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I cannot predict at this moment how the story connected with this memory is going to form itself.  I do not know its words or its phrasing.  I will simply let this write itself as story.  Once the information within me appears in story, it has taken a form “out there” that will give it a kind of integrity, a wholeness-of-form that doesn’t yet exist.

I am curious.

What will this memory say?  What might it wish to tell me?  What does this experience with its trauma have to teach me about myself?

It is important enough for me to try to find out….

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I do not know for certain how old I was (am).  My guess is that I was (am) ten years old.  I COULD have been older, but the me here and now has a kind of felt-sense awareness – body then to body now – of being young but not TOO young.

It is summer time.  We are living on our Alaskan mountain wilderness homestead.  The Wild Geraniums are passing from full bloom into seed.

I am standing among them to the side of the dirt path that leads around a little bend to our outhouse.  I am feeling excited, thrilled even.  I feel enthusiastic.  Happy.  In this mix of pleasantness, so incredibly RARE at any point in my childhood and nearly always tied to being outdoors on the mountain, I have no thought of tragedy.  No thought of Mother.

I have a small paper seed packet I have made with edges sealed with white paste.  I have used crayons to draw images of the flowers of the geraniums on my little envelope.  I am popping seeds of the plant out of their small drying pods to put in my packet.

I want to put these seeds into the letter I am going to write back to my penpal in Japan.  I am SO EXCITED to share with that girl something of this land that I love with my whole being.

Out of the house comes Mother.  I know at this moment that she had been watching me from the window over the kitchen sink.

“Linda!  What are you doing?”

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I had to tell her.  I held up my little envelope.  I told her what I was going to do with those seeds.

There was her mean, shaming, berating, belittling, heart breaking shouting.

“NOBODY WRITES A LETTER BACK TO A PEN PAL RIGHT AWAY!  Nobody but YOU could be THAT STUPID!”

I could imagine the rest of the litany of horrible, devastating, soul-crashing verbal assault that followed – but I won’t.  I can FEEL at this moment what she did to me – yet again.  I know without following the memory that she most likely forced me to go inside to get the letters my Japanese pen pal had written on her frail rice paper in perfect cursive in ink.  I know that she took them from me.  I know she forbid me to ever write my friend again.  If another letter ever came for me, I never knew it.

I know that I didn’t.

I know that at first Mother had to approve of me having a pen pal.  I think her name and address had appeared in a child’s magazine we had a subscription to.  I know that Mother would have had to give me stamps, would have had to post my letters.

I do remember part of Mother’s verbal attack had to do with her condemning my penmanship, comparing handwriting to the perfect writing “by this girl whose language isn’t even English!”

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Why again and again am I having appear a picture child-me standing forlorn beside those flowers, unmoving, staring across the valley, alone?

She does not move.  Me?  I do not move in this image connected to my memory of this experience.  At first I thought I was allowed to stay out there but I really don’t think so.  But I have kept myself out there!  For 55 years – I see myself standing there, thin in worn summer play clothes, dark hair chopped ragged at the nape of my neck, straight bangs Mother cut off-kilter and jagged – and so far I have not been able to change a single thing about this image or the feelings involved.

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I do know as these moments and hours and days pass by in my current life I am terrified at leaving my two young grandsons (ages 4 and 6).  I am terrified at leaving my daughter, their mother, behind.

I will be heading off yet again into an invisible future.  Moving to a place I have never been to before.  Where I know no one.  Where my family will not be.

I also know that Fargo, ND and its climate, the size of its city, everything about it is toxic to me.  I first came here 45 years ago.  Never was I OK here, and I am not OK now.

I HAVE to leave.  It is self-preservation that I go.

So, yes – a part of me is paralyzed.  Immobilized.  Terrified.  Heartsick.  And about to lose a lot.  I am choosing this.  Yet I have to.  A predicament.  A survival paradox.

There’s more to the story.  The story then.  The story now.

Mostly what I know in pondering this memory, this image that comes like a waking dream out of nowhere, is that I have NEVER been beaten.

And I WILL NOT let my life circumstances beat me now.

I also know that when I have really WORKED with a trauma memory from my childhood, with that experience – things change.  They heal.  The power of the pain dissipates quite tolerably.  Most of the time things remain that way.

Something is different.  This move is for many reasons an extremely threatening and difficult one.  I will know more once this is all said and done.

Meanwhile maybe I NEED that child part of me standing with her (my) feet planted firmly on that mountain, like a warm, heart-beating statue upon my beloved mountain – staring back at me.

I think I do.

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Truth is, that invisible girl in Japan was the only friend I ever had.  Mother’s madness HAD to keep me being ONLY the designated evil side of her.  To her I was not human.  I was the devil’s child sent to kill her while I was being born.

She had to create a permanent hell within which to imprison forever ME as her projected evil self.  I could have no relationship with anyone.  Not my father.  Not my siblings.  With nobody.  Not even an invisible girl in Japan.

And CERTAINLY a child kept in hell could NEVER be happy!  NEVER!

Mother was an expert at making sure it never did.

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Here is my first book out in ebook format as it provides an outline of the conditions of my malevolent childhood.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

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Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

Read Full Post »

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Monday, August 1, 2016.  Just saying “A piece of a journey” would be enough, with so very few words, to synopsize what all the rest of the words in this post are about.  As so  often has happened in these past nearly three years what could be a post here ends us being no more than thoughts passing through along the way – because, as we all know, words by themselves do not take up space.  They do not really exist.

Or do they?

Perhaps it was a natural proclivity for words and images, for sound and motion, that made sure humans discovered the technology we so happily use – these days.  Maybe we are designed for this extension of our combined lives.

There certainly DOES seem to be plenty of space here.  I have yet to see my blog posts’ words piling up in a corner collecting either mold or dust.

So – why do I hesitate to add the words of this post into that vast invisible ocean of ones and zeros?  It is personal.  No usefulness in personal?  Well, for heaven’s sake!  Who wants to be the judge?

This began my day:

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I wonder on this gray breezy humidity-soaked, promise of heat searing day, how many moves I have made in my life.  Is there a magical tally point where my moving around disappears into more accurately being called traveling?  Wandering?  Or – the frightening word – homelessness?

Yes, I’ve lived under many different roofs, within many different walls, in many different places with many spans of time I have kept utilities under my name.  Yet here I am again, preparing to launch myself along with some variety of my stuff, back out along a road full of strangers.  Destination unknown.  Direction?  South by west.

(When my youngest was nine he succinctly summarized our lifestyle this way one day, “You know Mother.  We are on the road to nowhere.”  He sure has made himself a wonderful life and home now, and I told him in a message this week that I don’t think ANYTHING about his childhood adventures with me as his mom could have been changed – without those changes having negatively impacted his life now, and his life now is MOST excellent!)

I cannot be entirely unhappy about this anticipated move.  It means I am going to find some way of yet again escaping the northern Midwest. The environs here have never suited me.  Yet it seems clear that some kind of destiny (from God) landed me here 45 years ago so that I’ve bounced in and out of “here” ever since.

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Where is home?

This seems to be a profoundly meaningful reoccurring question in my life that entered my existence even while I was being born.

A mother is home before birth of her baby and is supposed to be home to an infant once it is born.  This I did not have.  In fact, except having my basic physical survival needs met, I experience the very opposite of mothering from birth.

Maybe, I think this morning as I approach my 65th birthday at the end of this month, I was sent off along a trajectory of no-home-in-this-world even before I was born.  Only God knows.  It could be that Mother’s profoundly harmful psychotic break happened during difficult labor.  It could be that it happened at the instant after my birth when she was told I was a girl.  The substance of the break is what mattered.

In consequence of it I was doomed by Mother’s mind to be her nemesis, her non-human child sent by the devil to kill her while I was being born.  I was severed from birth from any ability to really know what HOME can possibly be.  With the exception of my childhood on our Alaskan mountain wilderness homestead.

But I cannot return to VISIT that home.  It’s subdivided now.  Roads paved.  “Littered with the houses of strangers.”

Beyond this?

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None of this seems helpful to me today as I work to deplete my possessions yet again as I need to reduce what I take with me to essentials that will fit into a small 2-wheel U-Haul trailer to be towed along behind my 1978 (305) el Camino – that at this point I don’t even know if I can DRIVE!  (What a predicament I have gotten myself into.)

(What about my art and craft supplies, my tools, my large craft selling inventory?  Take those and no clothes, no dishes, no………………whatevers?)

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Can I reduce the range of my thoughts and feelings down to essentials?  What IS essential?  Om the range of 7.$+ billion humans on the planet – my concerns —  do they matter?

Do I reduce my struggles to nothing in the face of “all that is?”

Do I matter?

No more, no less than anyone else does – can I give myself permission to keep with me this essential knowledge that “YES!  I DO MATTER” because I breath?

And is this self-valuing inextricably bound to PERMISSION?

Can I grant myself permission to not only BE myself but to LOVE myself?

In the middle of all the unknowns in my life right now – it is always the “I within” that is doing the traveling through time and space.

Where PLACE and STUFF fit into this process is everyone’s struggle in this competitive survival world.  As long as we are here as a soul it is fundamentally our body that is our home-of-homes.  (And many sickness devastate this relationship.)

This might be the level where human worth is central and pivotal – “If you are alive you matter, you have value (and you have rights).”

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It might be easier for us to recognize this innate nobility and goodness in infants and young children.  There is no extra layer of “value added” consideration in what the youngest among us do.  We do not demand that they justify either their existence or their value.  Not yet, anyway.  That comes with growing older, growing up.

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Pushing the questions in these seeds of questions back down into the earth-for-later, I remind myself – that these re-location cycles I go through require me, as Socrates advocated, to examine my life.  When money is scarce I also have to examine carefully the value of and my purposes for my possessions.

This is not easy.  It is not fun.  It is not simple.  But like life itself – “It’s gotta get done.”

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Now I seem to have moved forward through the writing of this post to this next essential question:  How, given the complexity of life — at any given point in time (which includes a point in space) — in any circumstance — do I be the best me I can be?

I ask this – “homed” or not – in a spiritual way because I do trust that our Creator has given us all spiritual work to do to work to make this world a better, healthier, happier, more educated and more maturely managed place for all.  No matter who we are, where we are, what we own, we are all in this life together — for a season and for a reason.

No matter that right now I am struggling to feel any comfort with any of this.  Life just simply is full of chances and changes.  We can then just do the best we can do – and that is good enough.

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Leave a Comment »

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Here is my first book out in ebook format as it provides an outline of the conditions of my malevolent childhood.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

++++

Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

Read Full Post »