“Question.—Should a criminal be punished, or forgiven and his crime overlooked?”

“Answer.—There are two sorts of retributory punishments. One is vengeance, the other, chastisement. Man has not the right to take vengeance, but the community has the right to punish the criminal; and this punishment is intended to warn and to prevent so that no other person will dare to commit a like crime. This punishment is for the protection of man’s rights, but it is not vengeance; vengeance appeases the anger of the heart by opposing one evil to another. This is not allowable, for man has not the right to take vengeance. But if criminals were entirely forgiven, the order of the world would be upset. So punishment is one of the essential necessities for the safety of communities, but he who is oppressed by a transgressor has not the right to take vengeance. On the contrary, he should forgive and pardon, for this is worthy of the world of man.”

“The communities must punish the oppressor, the murderer, the malefactor, so as to warn and restrain others from committing like crimes. But the most essential thing is that the people must be educated in such a way that no crimes will be committed; for it is possible to educate the masses so effectively that they will avoid and shrink from perpetrating crimes, so that the crime itself will appear to them as the greatest chastisement, the utmost condemnation and torment. Therefore, no crimes which require punishment will be committed.”

“We must speak of things that are possible of performance in this world. There are many theories and high ideas on this subject, but they are not practicable; consequently, we must speak of things that are feasible.”

“For example, if someone oppresses, injures and wrongs another, and the wronged man retaliates, this is vengeance and is censurable. If the son of ‘Amr kills the son of Zayd, Zayd has not the right to kill the son of ‘Amr; if he does so, this is vengeance. If ‘Amr dishonors Zayd, the latter has not the right to dishonor ‘Amr; if he does so, this is vengeance, and it is very reprehensible. No, rather he must return good for evil, and not only forgive, but also, if possible, be of service to his oppressor. This conduct is worthy of man: for what advantage does he gain by vengeance? The two actions are equivalent; if one action is reprehensible, both are reprehensible. The only difference is that one was committed first, the other later.”

“But the community has the right of defense and of self-protection; moreover, the community has no hatred nor animosity for the murderer: it imprisons or punishes him merely for the protection and security of others. It is not for the purpose of taking vengeance upon the murderer, but for the purpose of inflicting a punishment by which the community will be protected. If the community and the inheritors of the murdered one were to forgive and return good for evil, the cruel would be continually ill-treating others, and assassinations would continually occur. Vicious people, like wolves, would destroy the sheep of God. The community has no ill-will and rancor in the infliction of punishment, and it does not desire to appease the anger of the heart; its purpose is by punishment to protect others so that no atrocious actions may be committed.”

“Thus when Christ said: “Whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the left one also,” [footnote:  Cf. Matt. 5:39] it was for the purpose of teaching men not to take personal revenge. He did not mean that, if a wolf should fall upon a flock of sheep and wish to destroy it, the wolf should be encouraged to do so. No, if Christ had known that a wolf had entered the fold and was about to destroy the sheep, most certainly He would have prevented it.”

“As forgiveness is one of the attributes of the Merciful One, so also justice is one of the attributes of the Lord. The tent of existence is upheld upon the pillar of justice and not upon forgiveness. The continuance of mankind depends upon justice and not upon forgiveness. So if, at present, the law of pardon were practiced in all countries, in a short time the world would be disordered, and the foundations of human life would crumble. For example, if the governments of Europe had not withstood the notorious Attila, he would not have left a single living man.”

“Some people are like bloodthirsty wolves: if they see no punishment forthcoming, they will kill men merely for pleasure and diversion. One of the tyrants of Persia killed his tutor merely for the sake of making merry, for mere fun and sport. The famous Mutavakkil, the Abbasid, having summoned his ministers, councillors and functionaries to his presence, let loose a box full of scorpions in the assembly and forbade anyone to move. When the scorpions stung those present, he burst forth into boisterous laughter.”

“To recapitulate: the constitution of the communities depends upon justice, not upon forgiveness. Then what Christ meant by forgiveness and pardon is not that, when nations attack you, burn your homes, plunder your goods, assault your wives, children and relatives, and violate your honor, you should be submissive in the presence of these tyrannical foes and allow them to perform all their 271 cruelties and oppressions. No, the words of Christ refer to the conduct of two individuals toward each other: if one person assaults another, the injured one should forgive him. But the communities must protect the rights of man. So if someone assaults, injures, oppresses and wounds me, I will offer no resistance, and I will forgive him. But if a person wishes to assault Siyyid Manshadí, [footnote: “A Bahá’í sitting with us at table.”] certainly I will prevent him. Although for the malefactor noninterference is apparently a kindness, it would be an oppression to Manshadí. If at this moment a wild Arab were to enter this place with a drawn sword, wishing to assault, wound and kill you, most assuredly I would prevent him. If I abandoned you to the Arab, that would not be justice but injustice. But if he injure me personally, I would forgive him.”

“One thing remains to be said: it is that the communities are day and night occupied in making penal laws, and in preparing and organizing instruments and means of punishment. They build prisons, make chains and fetters, arrange places of exile and banishment, and different kinds of hardships and tortures, and think by these means to discipline criminals, whereas, in reality, they are causing destruction of morals and perversion of characters. The community, on the contrary, ought day and night to strive and endeavor with the utmost zeal and effort to accomplish the education of men, to cause them day by day to progress and to increase in science and knowledge, to acquire virtues, to gain good morals and to avoid vices, so that crimes may not occur. At the present time the contrary prevails; the community is always thinking of enforcing the penal laws, and of preparing means of punishment, instruments of death and chastisement, places for imprisonment and banishment; and they expect crimes to be committed. This has a demoralizing effect.”

“But if the community would endeavor to educate the masses, day by day knowledge and sciences would increase, the understanding would be broadened, the sensibilities developed, customs would become good, and morals normal; in one word, in all these classes of perfections there would be progress, and there would be fewer crimes.”

“It has been ascertained that among civilized peoples crime is less frequent than among uncivilized—that is to say, among those who have acquired the true civilization, which is divine civilization—the civilization of those who unite all the spiritual and material perfections. As ignorance is the cause of crimes, the more knowledge and science increases, the more crimes will diminish. Consider how often murder occurs among the barbarians of Africa; they even kill one another in order to eat each other’s flesh and blood! Why do not such savageries occur in Switzerland? The reason is evident: it is because education and virtues prevent them.”

“Therefore, the communities must think of preventing crimes, rather than of rigorously punishing them.”


Added to the blog on Thursday, January 22, 2015


in file as:

Readings THREE – COMMUNITY:  Attributes of Justice and Forgiveness (102214)



roken rec++++

Monday, May 29, 2017.  I am angry.  Really, really angry.  Not, perhaps, as angry as I was a couple of hours ago, but I would certainly NOT say that I am peaceful and calm.

I have neighbors kitty corner across the street from me who feed 50+ pigeons.  A month ago I posted a kind, clear note on their door requesting that this feeding stop.  The male rooster birds, at least seven of them, spend dawn to dark sitting on the power poles, power lines, roof tops right where I live making their noxious broken record broken record broken record unremitting car alarm car alarm CAR ALARM calls – and because with my autism spectrum EXTREMELY acute and sensitive powers of hearing I cannot – CANNOT tolerate their horrible racket.

I also cannot ignore noxious stimuli.  I cannot blanket sound, diminish it as irrelevant, banish it into the background in ANY way.

Over this past month I have not SEEN the neighbors throwing buckets of food on the ground every morning, but I also have not seen the birds leave this area of town – to grace the REST of this town with their presence.

Because out of my sense of fairness I put my email address at the bottom of the note – thinking it was I who was initiating confrontation so the least I could do was provide an avenue of contact to my neighbors other than forcing them to come talk with me – I left myself available for the email they sent me last night.

WHAT did they say?  That they are feeding the birds in the darkness now so I can’t SEE them feeding, that they have been feeding the pigeons for years, and that if I don’t like living with the noise – I can MOVE!


Well, at least last eve I was able to courteously acknowledge their message.  TODAY?  RAGE!

Turns out I have several major portions of my life over which I am ANGRY!  But the immediate concern is that those birds LEAVE – which means neighbors cease from FEEDING THEM!

There is a city ordinance in my defense.  I can contact the city.  I would rather not be pushed to that point.

I sent an email today with the ordinance link in it.  I ALSO – well, I am MAD enough to do it – included links to the CDC ACE Study page and to one of Laura Porter’s ACEs videos.  I also mentioned that most people who prefer non-humans to people did not have safe and secure early attachment!  I also assured them that I am nobody’s enemy!




Now, the OTHER side of this very difficult coin is for me the lifelong learning it is STILL taking me to begin to glimpse a comprehension that personal FORGIVENESS has NOTHING at ALL to do with JUSTICE!!

This present threat to my sanctuary home and its sound area is all tangled up with my horrid 18 year early years’ torment, torture and abuse.  It is connected to the fact that I had NOBODY on my side, nobody who had my back!

And today?

Well, over the past month as these male birds continue to torture me with their presence and noxious noise, I have tried to “think kind thoughts” about my neighbors, knowing (HA!)  if they HAD not fed those birds they would not all 50 of them remain congregated within a block of my house.

Now that I learned the birds are STILL being fed, my compassionate efforts turned to hot cinders and vanished in today’s strong winds.

NOW?  This present moment NOW?  This issue was NEVER about forgiveness.  It was about me trying ‘to be nice’, trying to ……… do WHAT?

Avoid invoking the law for my own protection and in defense of my self and my home.

Justice has NOTHING to do with forgiveness!  There was no justice in my childhood to defend or protect me.  Oh – don’t even get me started!

Today?  If those neighbors continue to feed the birds the pests will not dissipate.  I will give this whole situation – how long – before I contact the city?

I am not sure – yet.

And, yes, forgiveness matters.  It is how, as I am trying to learn, the way we keep the hurts and the rage out of our innards.  It’s how we maintain right relations with our self, our Creator, and with one another.

Yet when one has nobody to do the work for them, we must access the justice available through the law ALSO.

As my friend here in town told me today in reference to her own history, there reaches a point where we simply are left knowing we have our limits.  Our boundaries.  Our rights.  As my friend says, when she reaches THAT point, that is the DON’T MESS WITH ME point.


That’s right.  That’s me.  Today.  And I am working to learn how my abuse history is tangled up in why it took me so long to reach this point!

(I mean, really, WHO would tell someone in this situation they were still feeding the pigeons – in the dark?  Who does something like that?  Perhaps the real question is WHY?  (Hence my sending them back the ACEs info links.)

Yeah, I am making progress.  This is now downright approaching FUNNY!  I mean – REALLY?)


Click here to

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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



Monday, March 27, 2017.  I was just wondering what the core difference between “injury” and “wounded” might be.

INJURY – word origins –

Middle English injurie, from Anglo-French, Latin injuria, from injurus injurious, from in- + jur-, jus right — more at just

First Known Use: 14th century

JUST – word origins –

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French juste, from Latin justus, from jus right, law; akin to Sanskrit yos welfare

First Known Use: 14th century

WOUND – word origins —

Middle English, from Old English wund; akin to Old High German wunta wound
First Known Use: before 12th century


As I have written on this blog before, a major shift occurred for me at the instant I recognized the extent of the abuse I suffered during my first 18 years of life in terms of CRIMES.

I just typed “criminal” into the search window at the top of the blog thinking perhaps the post I wrote that day would show up.  Perhaps it did.  However, for all the posts that DO appear with that search, I do not specifically see the post I am thinking about right now.

I do know that on that day it hit me that if Mother did or attempted to do even ONE time to one of my neighbor children where I was living what she did thousands upon thousands times to me, police would have been called and off Mother would have been whisked!

Following this epiphany I just figured it out, ONLY for an approximate number of physical attacks – not counting any other aspect of the many other abuses she was allowed to do to me – her minimum jail sentence would have been 15,000 years.

But, of course, there was no such involvement on any level of “justice” in my case.


For decades in “recovery talk” people spoke of “wounds” as perhaps being more serious than “injuries” might be.  Semantics?  What I am thinking about this morning has more to do with how to get myself UNSTUCK from something painful that of course connects into pain from my severe trauma history.  Once I realized that my inner focus in trying to get off of dead center regarding my concerns is connected to a sense of an “injustice” having been done – then, to me right now, whether or not I experience a wound, or wounding, is not a concern at the top of my “figure this out ASAP” pile.

I want to understand something I am not figuring out on my own right now, so I will certainly be taking this to my 2nd therapist appointment today.  Being stuck is not remotely constructive!

I realize that for decades of my adult life I had friendships within which I could talk with others about anything and everything in my life – and in theirs.  Those friendships do not exist in the same ways any more, even if those same people are still within my sphere of contact.

I miss those kinds of friendships terribly!

Otis Redding – Stand By Me


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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



Wednesday, June 29, 2016.  In the middle of working slowly through my apartment going through things, readying to move come September.  Who knows how exactly I will travel or where I will end up?  I sure don’t.  Not yet.  This is a very difficult time for me.

As I cleaned out a Sterlite container this morning filled with my “office stuff” – 3-ring hole punch, small glass jar full of paperclips, collections of unused assorted cards, and more – I discovered a spiral notebook with only six lined pages still included in it.

I just read those pages and am left with “WHAT?”

I am NOT going to travel anywhere keeping this silly piece of writing, dated Tuesday, October 22, 2013 – DREAMS.

So this is  a kind of place-setting introduction here followed by dream (1) and then dream (2).  I think of my graduate training as an art therapist during which we were taught to “work with dreams as we work with art images.”

There are images in these pages, that’s for sure!  Do they make any sense?  Not particularly – not that I can see – not that I even care to comprehend.

I also think about the fact that for the majority of my years now-a-days I NEVER remember dreams.  So why did I write these down?  I do not know!  No idea.

But before I throw this beat up spiral remnant from my past, I am going to write these dreams into a post – for NO plausible reason that I can come up with!


Today I note that these dreams arrived at the end of the second week I had been back to North Dakota, having completely torn apart everything about my life for the past 16 comfortable years I spent living 1,700 south in a rural southeastern high desert Arizona area along the Mexican border.

I had come back to North Dakota, having once lived here and in this area for 20+ uncomfortable years.  I, on my own, would NEVER have come back here but there was crisis in my family and I could not stay away.

Right as I began to record what’s on these few sheets of lined paper into digital form I literally began to feel quite sick to my stomach.  Is this a sign to trash these papers without leaving any sign behind that they ever existed at all?

So I guess I will fight my way through this visceral reaction I am having to this effort to record what follows.  These are the ONLY sheets of paper stored within my “office space” here.  I must have kept them for some reason.

Here and now I find them again, in the process of preparing to acknowledge the ending of my nearly three year tenure here.  This geographical area and its human culture have NEVER been good for me!  I would guess that within the operations of these two dreams much of what I find difficult about living here is expressed.

I will transcribe the dreams – but I will not look any closer at what feels to be isolation patterns and difficulties with human interactions and communication expressed in them.  All of this today?  Strange.  Strange.  Strange!


Note:  A few days after my arrival back up here I traveled with my daughter on a work trip she had to take into north-central rural North Dakota.


DREAM (1):  Something Happened – or – Space Junk

From coming up to Turtle Mountain and from being back here – the common patterns and familiar northern rural life – as the seasons change – snow crunching on sidewalk and grass-creeping into spaces around buildings in the shade – trees bare.  Summer shutting down.

Patterns of collections of “the common” humanity – blending of voices/pitches rise and fall/laughter – peppered as they chatter about a common, shared life – of what?  Of nothing.  Of something.  Of anything.

All the workplaces of the many.  Long shadows of morning light shrinking into day – highlighting edges of scattered low clouds.  In the evening all reverses – people – most having left work – after supper – dark out – phone calls begin to travel.

“So and So (s/s) just found something very strange.” – form made of metal – new – shiny from yard light – sitting between parking lot berms – on grass beside wall – along front of s/s’s Boat’n’Bait Shop on Hwy #?  “It was just sitting there to the left of his door (shining in amber yard light).  Almost to his arm pits.”

More parts and pieces discovered around the countryside – in front of someone’s gate on dirt road when returning from Casino – at fork in road – one neighbor pondering piece/how to move it/other fork neighbor comes along – cell phones ring – stop working near pieces.

Curiosity grows – nothing appears criminal – (long time before local law enforcement finds out) – the magic words eventually enter the circling cell phone chatter – “space probe.”

“It’s gotta be a space probe!  We’ve been probed!  Or have we?  Who would send one here in pieces?  Nothing is smashed or broken like it would have been if it crashed.”

Whole community has to cooperate – whose pickup?  Who helps load parts?  Where should they meet to bring the parts together?

Usual bedtimes come and go.  Sleep = last thing on minds.

“Let’s meet at Alco – s/s and s/s – go first and save a space/no parking – direct traffic for deliveries and spectators.”

A sense of “If you build it they will come” grows.  “Star Trek” and “Space Balls” and UFO stories create a kind of a wonderment even in the most straight-laced.

The “We are not alone” feeling makes the growing crowds feel bigger than the humans filling them.

Odd shaped shiny pieces begin to arrive in mud-caked pickups – “We have to figure out a way to put this thing together.”

“How?  And how big is this thing?”

“What is it?  Must be junk if it landed here (in the middle of nowhere)” –

(Perhaps this happens other places in nation)

“Where did this come from?”

Finally law enforcement appears in Alco parking lot (after hours – now in the middle of the night) – Call the Feds?

Nobody does.  “It’s OUR mystery!”

Where are the rest of the pieces?

–Junk could not appear ONLY where people would find it

–Who are the rural geeks and engineers who could “decide” how this goes together?

–Found!!  Parts fitting together – “It IS a probe!”  “We put together our own probe!”  “Take it apart!”

–After all that went into getting it this far?


——– Whole thing was a game!  A research game – with interviews/forms after.  “Who did you interact with? – Differently than usual?  How did this feel?”

How/feel/whole thing?

“Would you rather that this had never happened?”

# end notes dream one #


DREAM (2):  Accidents Happen – or – Rowdy Crowd

Set outside a small town – maybe 20K?  Central person = Sheila?  Woman – upper crust money – above the average crowd – had no idea how to engage with “regular people” – 5 apes escape transport truck on main line through town – driver made choice to divert off route – (reason?) – What were chances apes could escape – AND close door behind them?

Woman – Sheila – confides in housecleaner – nobody knows she moved into posh country home of retired rich entrepreneur older man unmarried – (not even “success of marriage”) – could not have kids – holds head too high in public – story of his shoe fetish and closets full of stolen hotel towels – enema and the master bedroom all mirrored bathroom walls –

Man died w/o will – time passing – she will be expunged – where will she go?  (Vac carpets/leave patterns) – truth – so lonely – disconnected

The apes show up romping on her fancy wooden deck in middle of the night – racket – potted begonias – pale green wicker pieces thrown over the railing – she calls no one – the world has met her where she is – she sinks her teeth in, determined – to make time stand still – who will know?

How does she keep the apes from leaving?  One is long haired red hair – her favorite – Sheila names her Jill.

Locks them into 5 stall garage with 2 collectible – roadsters?  (restored and worth money) – Sheila won’t get them/she’ll get nothing – ex-wife/his kids/will take it all

“Accidents happen!”  After 12 years of caring for Andy as if he were her China gentleman doll – no thanks from his kids – cantankerous man!  Who deserves to get what?

Let the rowdy crowd go at it – need to get them food and water – how does she get her own car out without crowd escaping?  (her car – title in her name – at least she got that much taken care of – his image car for when she went to town shopping) –

What does she feed them?  Must go to another town where she is unknown – not to raise local eyebrows/suspicion at buying hoards/hordes of bananas and barrels of grapes – unnoticed?

All takes planning – run in door – open window only so far/remove screen/close so can’t escape/wide enough to throw in all his old food – boxes of cereal, bags of pasta – everything, anything to keep the crowd entertained – packets of paper Sweet-n-Low, butter pecan ice cream, stale rolls of Italian bread – challenge – to get her car out – enter garage and toss the food into opposite far corners away from her car – never had a garage door opened so slowly – closed even more slowly!

—-Young male, Charlie, got out – in spite of her efforts – talk about prioritizing!  She headed out the rock bordered circular driveway as Charlie hunched away under a (twin spire) pine.  The good of the one against the good of the many?

On her return – car full of “party food” for her supposed 25th anniversary celebration – she had cheerfully described to the large chain grocery store clerks who had assisted her –

—-a maroon 4-door car pulled off the road 100’ from her house – on the side opposite her drive (as Sheila steered around the last curve before her driveway) – young woman in denim Bermudas and flip-flops – thick brown hair in swinging ponytails – bobbing sideways along the shoulder peering around bushes –

—-Sheila knew with speeding heartbeats her secret was at least partly discovered

——–What to do next?

–Sheila recognized Betty who loved to run the trail around Lake Pheasant any time the weather was nice and her ex-husband had their twin Brownie Scout girls for visitation.

–Let Charlie ape go and feign complete surprise at Betty’s glimpse of a long-limbed foreigner frolicking in the forest?  Calls would be made; apes do not fall from the sky.  This crowd came from somewhere.

Sheila both knew and didn’t know enough, too much and not enough about this drama that had rapidly enveloped her – reacted by firmly leaning one elbow across her car horn while smiling widely as she sent a giddy wave toward bobbing Betty.  – A plausible reaction – sacrificed Charlie – who no doubt responded by diving deeper into the forest away from Sheila’s catch.

Nosed car into driveway – parked – walked at appropriate speed toward Betty while calling out to her – “Is anything wrong?”

The 20-some-year lie of being Andy’s loyal wife (and now his sad widow) paled in the face of the ridiculous construction Sheila found herself playing out with this pig-tailed ex-prom queen.

She stopped short of “I had no idea apes lived in the wild in this part of the world” – although this angle tempted Sheila who was finding herself feeling so much lighter about her life since she had opened the door to let the ludicrous transpose itself with what used to be the ordinary of her life.

“Never trust a prom queen” must have formed as Sheila’s mantra while her mousey self had passed through her eastern high school a decade before Betty had been born.  No chance of having her help herd Charlie back to his companions – so safest track was to play along with Betty’s drama until familiar isolation could again surround Sheila’s home.

# end notes dream two #


Now I can comfortably take this old spiral notebook out and toss it in the dumpster!

That’s done. I did keep the back cover’s cardboard because it might be useful for something.

(It is inhospitably baking hot out there!)


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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  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



Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Wikipedia has a detailed page of background and introductory information about the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Adverse Childhood Experiences Study.


Here is a link my great researcher friend told me about today.  Highly recommended!

ACEs Connection – Healthy, happy kids grow up to create a healthy, happy world

Here is a description of this site:


This community of practice uses trauma-informed, resilience-building practices to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and to change systems to stop traumatizing already traumatized people.  ACES CONNECTION NETWORK OVERVIEWACEsTooHigh is a news site for the general public on all things ACEs-, trauma-informed, and resilience-building.ACEsConnection is a social networking site for all people interested in implementing ACEs-, trauma-informed, and resilience-building practices.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment. Provide funding and support.


Prevention, Resilience-Building and Systems Change. Prevent adverse childhood experiences (ACEs); build resilience in individuals, families and communities; change systems so they no longer traumatize already traumatized people.

Community of Practice for Collective Impact. Support cross sector collaborations in all 30,000 cities and towns nationwide through in-person and online actions.


Solutions-oriented news site. Reports on the epidemiology, neurobiology, biomedical and epigenetic consequences of ACEs, and resilience research. Covers how people, organizations, agencies and communities are implementing practices based on the research. Includes developments across all sectors- education, juvenile justice, criminal justice, public health, medicine, mental health, social services, cities, counties, states, and more.


Community of Practice for Collective Impact. What comes after Facebook? Interest-based communities of practice. A community of practice is a type of social network in which people work together to set and implement goals. Collective impact is the commitment of a group of people from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem. ACEs Connection is a community of practice that uses trauma-informed and resilience-building practices to prevent ACEs and further trauma.

Distributed Network. Instead of a top-down effort, this is a cross-sector, community effort. Engages and empowers a critical mass of ACEs-, trauma-informed, and resilience-building champions. The move from a few centralized networks to many overlapping distributed networks enables residents, advocates and professionals to participate equally across sectors and geographies to create change.

Social Network. A focused social network for people implementing or interested in implementing ACEs-, trauma-informed, and resilience-building practices in their personal or professional lives. Members participate in blogs, discussion forums, live chats, private messaging, webinars, in-person meet-ups and events, shared documents, photos, videos, audio files, calendars, and social hooks with Facebook and Twitter.

Information and Resources. A staff of journalists, tech, media, and social service professionals monitor the site and are available to answer questions at any time. Staff scan all major media outlets daily and post a cross sector collection of ACEs-, trauma-informed, and resilience related stories. Members are emailed Daily Digests and Weekly Roundups, collections of the top stories, reports, and research across media. An interactive movement map tracks member locations. A resource center houses tools for presentations, advocacy campaigns, and community collaborations.

Goal-Oriented Action Groups. After joining ACEs Connection, members can start or join groups. Groups are either geography-based (city, county, region, state) or topic-based (pediatrics, criminal justice, education). Groups can be public or private and as small (two) or large (hundreds) as needed. Groups are a vehicle for planning, implementing, and evaluating the process of becoming ACEs-, trauma-informed, and resilience-building. Groups are not for discussions only and are best utilized in conjunction with in-person meet-ups. All groups create collaborative working documents to track progress including: Assets/Gaps Map, Timeline, Goals/Action Plan, and Successes/Outcomes.

Community Management. The start-up, growth, and maintenance of groups are facilitated by Community Managers. ACEs Connection Community Managers assist in identifying, training, and mentoring group Community Managers. Together, they work with group members to develop and implement goals, strategies, and action plans through online and in-person activities. They blog relevant info, post events, feature member activities, coordinate working documents, and schedule in-person meet-ups.

There is no cost to become a member on ACEsConnection.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  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.


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Thursday, January 22, 2015.  I find it interesting to observe how my thinking changes sometimes when I think about one thing I want to write a post again feeling quite certain I know where the post is going to go, only to begin the post and find my thoughts are led off in a direction I never anticipated.  This must be part of the living, breathing part of the writing process.  It can be full of surprises.

I THOUGHT I was going to write a post about something I have seldom said anything about on this blog because I feel I know so little about it:  Forgiveness.  I did type that word into the blog’s search bar and some posts did show up.  But never once have I felt assurance within as I think or write about forgiveness.

Because I often have a river of thought flowing near my consciousness lately about what resilience might mean to me (as I have mentioned the concept in some recent posts) I guess I am not surprised that this word appeared quickly alongside my morning thoughts about forgiveness.  Even the word forgiveness showed up now only in connection to some thoughts yesterday about addictions.

Life doesn’t seem to be about untangling a big messed up ball of yarn, to use a simplistic image.  It’s more like trying to separate thousands of these messed up balls from one another at the same time.  Things are so complicated, so complex, so enmeshed and, yes, “cross-tangled.”

To give myself a break I go back again to one of my main thought currents.  I don’t care how advanced any society on earth may think that it is at this juncture in the history of our species.  The truth is we are ALL children!  There is so much more we do not know about life than what we do know we would perhaps not only laugh at ourselves if we truly had an objective point of view – we would most likely giggle ourselves silly!


Yes, there is much, much suffering in the world.  Many of us know suffering with every breath we take.  Not necessarily so because life is so terrible for us today but because we carry great suffering within us from our earlier years, and because we are so sensitized to suffering we feel suffering for all who have suffered and for those who are suffering now.

But where are solutions in this mix?  What can we KNOW and what does that tell us about what we do NOT know?


I will explain below why I am bringing THIS topic into my post right now.  I consider these words to be the truth.  I believe it is vital that every single person on earth investigate truth for their self.  This is, in my beliefs, not only an absolute right given by the Creator to everyone but searching for our own truth is also our spiritual obligation:  It is our road home.

One simple note before I post this.  I have written several times on this post that “forgiveness” of my mother, my father, and for the entire ignoring public has been an extremely complicated process for me because of the unbelievable – let me see, I’ll say – SIZE of the abuse and neglect that was done to me from birth until I was able to escape at age 18.  Minimally my mother “should” have received a jail term of 15,000 years JUST for the physical assaults she did against me.

The kind of psychotic abuse I endured is nearly beyond comprehension.  No.  What am I saying?  It IS beyond comprehension.

The good news is?  I DO NOT HAVE TO COMPREHEND IT!

I DO have to forgive EVERYONE involved.

Impossible to do?  Well, it is anything but easy for me.  It is taking my lifetime and I don’t think in this world there is any kind of completion to “forgiveness.”  I think it is an organic life process that will last as long as I am alive on earth.

Now.  For those interested this is the most profound and SENSIBLE piece of writing I have ever found on the subject of forgiveness.  Why so?  Because its truths sit right where they MUST be – connected intimately to – of all things – JUSTICE:



Twelve hours have now passed since I began writing this post.  I was interrupted – and continued to be interrupted – and now as I sit here hoping to be able to complete this in some kind of form resembling what I was aiming toward hours ago I know that I can’t.


The following information just arrived in my email, sent by one of my sisters who listened so closely to everything I discovered during my studies that began a decade ago into what I now know is Trauma Altered Development.  She included this note:  “This is SO important! You were so far ahead with your research on attachment.”

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think

Posted: 01/20/2015 3:20 pm EST Updated: 3 hours ago

By Johann Hari , Author of ‘Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs’


This cannot all be simple coincidence.  If you scroll down to see yesterday’s comments on this post — +A WORD ON TRAUMA TRIGGERS AND FALLING APART – you will see some discussion on sorrow, pain and suffering in the aftermath of early traumas that were so severe there is no end to the tears connected to them within us.

I noticed that the commenter mentioned he found the link to this post on an Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) facebook page.

My inner response to this writer fed into my motivation and direction for this post as I began it this morning.  I rarely remember any of my dreams but I woke from a dream this morning when my alarm went off within which I was crying.  The subject of the dream was alcohol and drug use by so many people, so many people that I could find nobody left to form a friendship with who was not affected by addiction.

Now.  This link sent by my sister.


Yet in THIS post I was going to talk about a word that came to me this morning as its appearance is linked in my thoughts to my struggle to find a word that makes more sense to me than “resilience” does.

My word this morning:  ADJUST.  This word has DIRECT links in its origins to JUST and to JUSTICE.

Origin of JUST:  Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French juste, from Latin justus, from jus right, law; akin to Sanskrit yos welfare; First Known Use: 14th century

Origin of JUSTICE:  Middle English, from Anglo-French justise, from Latin justitia, from Justus – First Known Use: 12th century.


More than this I cannot say right now.  What I do know is that beginning with my reading of the commenter’s words yesterday (mentioned above) I must have let myself get too close to the precipice below which lies my own pain.  I feel sad beyond words and am haunted at the moment by my unshed tears.  No, I will not cry.  I know it would not help me to “feel better.”

What happened to me, and to so many others, is TOO BIG for tears.  What happened to us DEMANDED JUSTICE and justice was not there for us.  Nor was it there for most of those who became perpetrators when they were little and needed it most.

Research, as it is revealing truths such as this one from the article link my sister sent me:  “So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.”


I know too much.  And I am not finished learning.  Many times this is a taxing, wearing, very sad process for me.  Yes, my own personal task is to forgive those who harmed me.  BUT?  What about the justice part?  Justice will not come until a whole lot more people know what I do.


While there is no money for me in my mention of this herbal-vitamin supplement here, I am taking it daily now and find it extremely helpful.  That means a lot to me, so I thought perhaps other readers might wish to take a look:

Source Naturals Theanine Serene with Relora

  • Contains the amino acids L-theanine, to support relaxing brain wave activity
  • Contains taurine to ease tension, as well as the calming neurotransmitter GABA
  • Features magnesium to support muscle and nerve relaxation
  • Contains calming holy basil leaf extract and Relora®to gently soothe away the tension in your body
  • 2 tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care professional


Here is our first book out in ebook format.  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.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.


Leave a Comment »




Tuesday, February 11, 2014.  The developmental neuroscientist Dr. Allan N. Schore has a lot to say about how rupture and repair in early attachment infant-caregiver relationships work to build a nervous system including the brain (most essentially the right limbic area) before the age of one.  (Online search his name in any combination with infant mother attachment brain development.)

He tells us that prior to age one, certainly, it is the ADULT who MUST repair any breach in the ongoing infant experience of feeling safe and secure in the world.  Once the infant is old enough, usually after age one, to venture out into the world to actively explore the environment there are then times when the infant intentions and actions must be modulated by the adult’s reactions – and here is where SHAME begins to enter the infant’s world as the nervous system “crashes” when “rupture” STOPS ongoing experience.

Adults “correct” the direction of infant exploration simply by turning down a pleasurable response to the infant.  But this “rupture” cannot be left to carry forward in time without being “repaired” by a caring, compassionate caregiver who knows instinctively how to give the infant what is needed to “repair” the problem.


Life always involves rupture and repair.  We cannot go forward through life without periods of rest and revitalization.  Caring for all the physical needs of the body is a part of this restoration and repair process.  What is important to me this morning is the fact that because we are human we are also designed to add the advanced process of CREATIVITY into our lives.  It is very hard to be creative if we are depleted and in need of restoration and repair!

Those of us who were neglected, abused, traumatized from the start of our life never had a chance to build a body (nervous system-brain included) that had EASY channels included in it that came to be through happy, loving, safe and secure caregiving. 

(The image just popped into my mind – our experience was sort of like playing a video of a baseball game backwards.  There must be something in this image from my right brain that is about the fact that every step I tried to take forward in my child life and development was met with brutal abuse that did nothing to give me what I needed to go through the patterns of my life smoothly!)


I believe that as survivors of severe early trauma we need to pay very special, careful attention to how we can meet our needs for restoring our inner (and often outer) resources so that we can repair ourselves from the outgoing expenditure of these resources that is required just to exist (subsist?!).  Where is the “re-creation” in our life?

Yes, repairing ourselves does involve aspects of recreating ourselves – but I think there’s more to this part of our life cycle.  For many survivors – certainly this is absolutely true for me – I never had enough safety in my early environment to PLAY.  Not only that, but Mother’s particular mental illness psychosis demanded that I NEVER play.  How could she keep me in her psychotic hell perpetually if I could at times escape – and PLAY?

In fact to psychotic Mother my playing was a criminal offense.

So – I don’t know HOW to PLAY!  This is one of the great tragedies of my life.  When ‘experts’ talk about the perpetual state of alarm that our body has built into it they are even in that assessment diagnosing a lack of safety ending in a lack of joy AND a lack of PLAY.


As I see things destiny allowed me two avenues of re-creation within the mad hell I grew up in.  One was access to art materials at the same time I was (mysteriously?) allowed by Mother to use them.  Yes, she abused me often by denigrating what I created (and wrote) but I WAS (miraculously?) able to preserve and protect myself by keeping what I wrote and made PRIVATE, secret, and out of her range of sight.

The second avenue of re-creation allowed to me – and DEFINITELY this lies within the sphere of miraculous!  Our family left suburban Los Angeles, CA when I was five and moved to Alaska.  I was given the gift of access to the wilderness!

I have always ‘been in love’ with both creative expression through “the arts” and with the wilderness.  If I haven’t been able to reach the actual wilderness I have found ways to place myself in regions where my soul is fed by the land and plants surrounding me. 

That this is not true for me where I have landed at this point in my life is amplifying my struggles significantly.  But I still have writing.  I still have work I can do to create with my hands.


I struggle with all the basics of my life:  Breathing.  Sleeping.  Eating.  I struggle with social difficulties on multiple levels.  Yet I also have the great gift of being near my two daughters and two grandsons at this point.  My questioning often has to do with ME and MY LIFE – my own unique and personal life within myself.  My daughters have their lives.  As I have asked at so many difficult junctures in my adult life, “WHERE and WHAT is my life and HOW to I find and make my own life?”

These thoughts have led me recently to thinking about the term “death wish” as I realize that as a severe abuse-trauma survivor I have always struggled with a “life wish.”  I have always stayed alive IN SPITE of what happened to me at the same time I mostly feel that I have never truly come alive in my own life!  I am 62 and I can still say this!

And as many of us have discovered it is the INFANT abuse and neglect prior to age one – and then prior to age two – that did us the most harm.  The fact that the severe abuse I suffered lasted from birth until age 18 just means — WHAT? 

Certainly it does not mean that I am alone in this kind of predicament!  Knowing this helps me to feel a little more OK.  More acceptant.  More hopeful.  It gives me strength to go forward.  It is one of my most important inner resources I can use to restore, repair and re-create myself at times when life feels difficult to me — which is most of every day these days.

Thank you for being here!


Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono – what a gift and thank you Ben!

Click here to view or purchase:  A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!


Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »




Saturday, September 28, 2013. I am in the process of going through a most unpleasant experience of trauma drama that is fortunately connected to someone I “only” tried to be a friend with, someone is was only peripherally a part of my life.  There is NOTHING enjoyable about being caught in ANYONE’S trauma drama, but if such a pattern shows up it can be a very good thing to learn something important and useful from the experience.

I know an adult who was hated and therefore never loved by his mother.  From my point of view this gay man does not appear to have any male “friends” but does have a collection of women in his life that I think he does consider “friends.” 

Looking at anyone’s life from the outside leaves of course an inaccurate perception of “what is going on” inside that person.  But when that “going on” forces itself into my life I believe I have the right to pay attention at any edges where the other’s experience overlaps my own, ESPECIALLY when that spill-over is negative.

This person wrote me an email several weeks ago in which I was told I was “too much work” to be in this man’s life.  So be it.  I know a line when I encounter one.

Once I or anyone else draws that kind of line involving mutual interactions I consider the breach final, permanent, irreversible and – well – ugly but evidently necessary.  I began to figure out once I received that email that I was “too real” of a person insisting on equality of personhood in that “friendship” relationship.  Being a real person for someone with very ancient, deep, and unhealed/unrecognized “mommy concerns” DOES NOT WORK.

I simply refused to be “good mommy” as I believe the other women in this man’s life are.  I also – and more importantly – refused to be the “bad mommy” because I was not playing the “good mommy” role.  Either extreme or any pattern involving a good/bad mommy split is only one thing:  TRAUMA DRAMA.  In this case – mommy drama!

Because I know and know of some of these other women I suspect that my being alone in this area particularly without family left me in a position none of these other women are in.  I had “attachment village” needs that I have worked to fill through friendships.  Legitimate friendships!

Having such needs is not criminal, sick or wrong!  Attempting to grow and sustain one’s attachment village is a very good thing — among equals.

Twice in three weeks this person has arrived at our local farmers’ market while I was busily engaged with customers and attempted to engage me in his momma trauma drama again.  The first time I tried to be diplomatic.  When this person appeared today and interrupted sales and conversations with a group of customers I made clear that the line that man drew is a line he cannot cross in MY life.

I am done.  I am so done and I consider this man’s actions today harassment.  It was an ugly intrusion into my most pleasant bag-selling day.  I was upset.  I am still upset.  My customers were shocked and upset.  This better not happen again!

I have one more weekend to sell my bags at market – next weekend.  My friend from near the Canadian border will arrive here this coming Thursday and the serious packing will take place as the U-Haul is loaded the following Tuesday, my old el Camino will be rolled up its trailer on Wednesday the 9th and off we go into the next chapter of my life.

(After showing my gardens and this rental house 10 times the PERFECT next tenants have appeared who will make their home here and not only keep this garden alive – but deeply appreciate it and make it thrive.  They will keep my hens and my cats, as well!  WHAT A RELIEF!)

My friend is sturdy.  If this man appears again I will sick her on him!  What kind of dog breed is it that bites and does not let go?  Oh.  Yeah.  A bulldog.  That’s one very certain talent of my friend!

Meanwhile I see that “bad mommy” projections are always part of a “mommy complex” that require serious good therapy to resolve.  I have gifts related to doing therapy – but I am NOT a therapist and I do NOT earn $120+ an hour to take transference crap from anyone!

I was BORN to a psychotic abusive Borderline Personality Disorder mother who tortured me for 18 years.  All that went wrong between her mother and my mother was forced upon me.  I WILL NOT be anyone’s bad mommy – and if not playing the role of someone’s good mommy turns me into a bad mommy in someone’s trauma drama — well, my walls are sealed.

Ain’t gonna happen! 


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One of my Alaska brothers sent me this article yesterday published in the Anchorage Daily News.  He told me it reminded him of me and of our childhood.  Although my mother kept an insanely clean house, although she was the abuser and not our father, although there were no criminal charges against my parents, no criminal sexual assault, and no alcoholism, the grim-beyond-words environment this young man was raised within – coupled with the failings of any kind of “system” or individual that could have spared this young man – will sound extremely familiar to many of this blog’s readers.

In case of Alaska teen who killed dad, self-defense argument takes shape By CASEY GROVE

It has taken me nearly 24 hours to decide to highlight this article of the account of the horrible mess one young man is now in as he picked up a gun and slaughtered the madman that was his father.  Such a horror story raises thousands of questions for which I certainly have no answers.  Does anyone?

I am reminded that my writing work about my abuse history is, as one of my sisters called it yesterday – what I can do.  But it is hard to find a perspective that lets me know what I can do is good enough.  It will take a combined investment of many, many people to create solutions to the kinds of troubles this young man faced/faces – and that I and so many others also face.

My sister wrote me:

And the words that you have worked so hard to craft and your story which is so hard to tell WILL help many people I am sure. Just think of the ripple of the stone in the pond affect…how each small thing works to bring large change. I am so proud of you and the absolutely heroic effort you have made!

The ripples.  This newspaper story and the very real people that belong to it are also part of the rippling.  I cannot completely ignore this young man’s plight just because I don’t know how to do anything to help him!  That young man needed help a long, long time ago.  Yet how are we as a society going to find a way to protect children within the home of their parents as long as our standards are so incredibly low for what we believe ALL infants and children need and deserve?


I am reminded of one of my “crime report” stories that I suppose will need to be rewritten when I reach that point in the books I am working on now.  For now, this is a part of my own experience that is resonating with the history of the young man in the above article:

One of the absolute stupidest questions people ask me is “Why didn’t you fight back against your mother.”

I am not even going to begin to write here what I have to say about that question.  What is in this post is enough to give anyone who asks that question a run for their pitiful money.  There are reader comments at the bottom of the newspaper article written by people who I would most certainly add to the “pitiful” category.

For as positive as I try to stay while working through trauma concerns I would have nothing coherent to say in response to some of those readers’ words.  Sometimes this entire subject DOES seem impossible.  I NEED to find ways to believe that it is NOT!


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The Dark Side of Mildred’s Mountain series – Angel book 2 beginning with the POP!  Goes Alaska letters – chapter 2


2.  Inner Landscape

If I were to begin writing the story of my childhood from this point forward without having Mother’s letters to work from and within, I cannot imagine how I would proceed.  But I don’t have to imagine and I don’t have to write without them.  Mother could give me nothing I needed while she lived.  After her death she provided a great deal of what I need to heal my story.  For this I am grateful. 

Children are supposed to be lovingly guided through childhood by their parents.  Most of how I was treated by mine was criminal.  Yet I was not without benefit.  I partook of a child’s life simply by the accident of being a child.  I had a child’s body, a child’s brain, a child’s imagination, endurance, creativity, flexibility, adaptivity, simplicity, curiosity, sensitivity, and an innate sense of hope that came from having no other way to live.

Nobody could take my being a child away from me.  I was naturally eager, interested and open to ongoing life.  I was a native to innocence.  I did not question what had no answer, nor did I look for reason.  I expected nothing other than what was given to me, good or bad, nor could I ask for anything different.

I make a distinction between being a child and being able to experience childhood itself.  Abuse removes safety by definition.  My experience of being a child experiencing childhood was always brutally interrupted at some point.  At those times I was not a child having a childhood.  I was a child surviving abuse.

The patterns of being interrupted by abuse in my childhood were more damaging to me than was the abuse itself.  Physical injuries heal.  Changes made in the developing body-brain-nervous system from abuse during early years of life do not.  These patterns had been present since my birth (see Story Without Words and book 1 of this series).  They built dissociation – alternative physiological patterns of connecting self and experience together – into me and long before the time we reached Alaska I had already suffered greatly from the abuse Mother in her psychosis had done to me. 

Only in a world of hell would I consider dissociation to be of useful benefit to a child as it was to me.  I could not have survived if my own reality could not have been separated from Mother’s periodically.  The physical reactions of the powerful emotions related to living under continual duress alone would probably have made me sick and/or destroyed me if there had been no way to shut them down, turn them off and make them go away whenever possible.

None of these patterns were anything I could think about.  I was too young to do so when the trauma began in my life.  Being hated, blamed, shamed and abused was my only reality.  I knew nothing else, and I had no way of ever knowing there could have been a different life for me.  How could I have?

After I have finished writing my way through the Alaska years of my childhood I plan to return to the start of my life to track myself through the California years.  Preserved among Mildred’s papers were a collection of her diary entries that cover part of those earlier years of mine and my siblings’ lives.  It is extremely difficult for me to face and write about the abuse that Mother did to me when I was so very, very small.  I have discovered that when I get close enough in my writing to those experiences my body reacts with its own overwhelming memories.  It would also be difficult for readers to face that level of abuse to one so young, as well.

As I move forward through the next years of my childhood in Alaska it is easier to imagine that I could have had some clear inner resources to draw from to survive Mother.  I did.  But it is important to realize even by age five I had not developed in the same ways that ordinary non-traumatized well-loved and cared for children do.

I had no language for feelings.  Any part of me that existed as my own had been instinctively hard fought for at great cost to me in ways I had no way to comprehend.  I had been told I was different from my siblings in extremely negative ways since I was born.  I had been terrorized and battered in ways few can imagine during those California years.  My personal self-space had been continually aggressively and violently invaded so that I had been forced into narrow and confined inner spaces at a time in my development when my self-space and my mind needed to expand rather than contract.

There had been almost no play (an essential component of childhood) allowed to me either with my siblings or with other children.  I had suffered wild uncontrolled verbal and physical attacks by Mother for things that made no possible sense to me for so long before we moved to Alaska that it was impossible for me to consistently form any concept of my own self in the world I lived within other than the one Mildred had beaten into me from my birth.

Sooner or later every segment of my own experience of myself in my childhood had been interrupted by a psychotic eruption within Mother that shocked me out of my life and into hers.  I could not prevent, predict, avoid or escape any of these attacks no matter what I did or did not do. 

I was fair game to Mother.  I was her prey.  I was the target for the terrible sickness in her mind.  Her insanity ruled and ran my life and had done so forever as I knew life.  There was no reprieve.  There was no salvation.  There was nowhere to hide and nobody to help or to save me.  Through all of this I had done the only thing anyone could have done:  I lived. 

It was not the negative patterns of my life that changed once we moved to Alaska.  It was the positive ones.  Alaska itself sustained me.  The benefits of living there far outweighed the harm mentally ill psychotic mean Mother could do to me.  I was no longer a veritable orphan under attack, surviving hell alone.  I had been called home, and I didn’t need to die for that to happen.  Instead I was given the abundance I needed to go on living.


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