A Shaman Daughter
Monday, April 7, 2008
I feel utterly defeated. I go in for the mental health intake tomorrow toward my disability claim. I avoided seeking therapy since I got the masters because I had always hoped that I would be OK and able to use it without the blemish of seeking help myself. Sort of like those soldiers, I guess, who do not dare get PTSD diagnosis.
I also knew nobody could really help me, and I don’t believe that they can now. But as a result of my own research I know mostly what is wrong with me. Now to see if they can agree with me.
And I feel utterly defeated with ER right now. I don’t know what he will do, or if he can allow me any space to work out my relationship to him. He has everything he wants, and just the way he wants it. There isn’t anything left for me and we both know it.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
A long time ago when humans looked at the heavens they didn’t know necessarily what they were seeing. We look at mental illnesses, anger problems, crime, etc. the same way. We don’t know what we are looking for. It is brain dysregulation that probably most often comes from lack of proper “training” from birth during developmental stages.
I feel like I know something that I am not really supposed to know now. When I go today for that intake, to begin this process for disability, I guess I will find out how all of this flies, because I know myself pretty darn well now.
They completely drop the disorganized/disoriented attachment style when they are talking about adults and simply label if fearful. It remains disorganized/disoriented! Every time I experience stress – distress – my brain flips out into its alternate patterning of confusion and inability to summon a coherent “reasonable” response to the stress. This is major, and makes people do all kinds of “irresponsible” and “irrational” things. We have a different brain.
It creates all kinds of seeming dependencies in us because we cannot internally regulate. I depend on contact with ER to regulate my emotions. I don’t have the right sense of time or timing. I cannot carry the attachment to comfort myself. Our attachment systems are activated more than most. They never work right. Attachment systems operate to regulate emotions, I don’t care what anybody says. That’s why we have them as adults. Otherwise we would always just rely on our strengths and our common sense. Our attachment system is our bridge over troubled waters. That’s fine unless you have one that is crumbling and undependable = chaotic.
I count on work, dissociation, to regulate
Therapists continue to try to stuff us into Cinderella’s shoes at best, or their old worn out theory shoes and expect us to walk in them. No thanks.
We are supposed to tell them our “symptoms” without telling them anything about what we think these are symptoms of.
I am perhaps nearly a perfect person to figure this out because so many variables were isolated in my childhood. Including me.
So what does any of this have to do with shaman, I ask myself. Is it simply that we carried a powerful enough medicine within ourselves, and a powerful enough ability to access helpers, and powerful enough helpers themselves that we were able to survive this – coupled with perhaps genetic strength that we did not fall completely over the edge say like my mother did?
Did we and do we have a special sort of protection? Did my altered pathway into the world afford me a luxury not easily recognized – that I did not fully come into this world, get anchored into the soul of the world, was perhaps never “normally” separated from it? Are these advantages that we have that are not measurable in “normal” terms?
In normal brain development, and infant’s watching allows for the person watched to actually BECOME the watcher. Normal people know from the inside what human signals and cues mean. Those others of us remain watchers all of our lives, only at best being able to guess what others are thinking and feeling. (empathy disorders!?) We will never know with certainty, and this creates a stress/distress in us every time we are with people. Unless we have been so cut off that there’s no concern and no conscious, no attempt or motivation to try to appreciate others in the largest sense of the word. Re these people then our true narcissists and pscyo/sociopaths?
What motivates or motivated the rest of us to even care? Is it tied to the “not mentally ill” part? Is it tied to some goodness of our souls, or some sort of compassion that is much larger than we are – like an ocean we are immersed in?
Yet we do not – or at least I do not have a sense of well-being in the world. The altered brain – created in a malevolent world.
I’m too happy to be with him, and too sad when I cannot be with him. I’m beginning to think that getting over the need to see him and experience that joy might be easier than experiencing the crushing sadness when I have to leave.
Know what I wish? I wish I had control over making him pay the highest, the very highest price for his actions and his attitude for me, that of missing me in his life. Really, heart-achingly missing me the way I fucking miss him.
He called twice, and then I went to see him today – I so wanted to be with him. But it hurt terribly leaving, not being able to go across the line with him. And his flip comment about “things always have a way of changing” pisses me off. No recognition or care for my feelings – psychopathic coldness, Mr. Cold Fucking Fish.
So I need to agree with myself to let him call at least twice more and perhaps three times before I go try to see him again. If he doesn’t call, I need to let him do his own thing in his own materialistic world. I wish I could hate him!
Is that a shaman’s curse, that we are not capable of hating?
I do not wish for him to take me for granted. And I do wish that he would care about how I feel. Genuinely care.
Last few days I was able to go to a numb sort of place about not calling or seeing him. What and where is that place, and can I become an expert at accessing it when I need to? Then I could say “If you don’t give a shit about how I feel then I don’t give a shit if I see you or not.”
AND, how do I pick myself up once I feel that horrible wound and go on more positively? Do the anesthetizing thing in regard to him and this pain, and be OK elsewhere inside of myself?
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
I can’t say that like a wounded animal I come home to the seclusion of my little home and close myself off from everyone and everything possible – no “like” about it. I am a wounded animal.
Did anyone ask Lazarus if he wanted to be resurrected? Was he healthy then, or half sick?
This silence that I crave – it could be found half way between a mausoleum and a cathedral.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I did not call ER yesterday and he did not call me. I am afraid of the repercussions from that, but I have no energy for anything. I have to do to work. That is all I can handle.
I was thinking about hand work, what some would call mindless work. In a way, it is mindful work for me. Sometimes I think it is about dissociation. I wanted to read the book on Flow, but there’s way too many words in it. I can’t handle too many words.
When a person feels defeated they go into retreat. I am retreating.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
It dawns on me today that first my mother worked hard from the time of my birth to so stress and torture me that my brain could not develop normally in the first place. I could not have been like the other children after her treatment of me so early, and then a lot of what she abused me for afterwards was probably things she hated about me that were a result of that same damage. Like being so slow, sitting in the middle of the floor at 2 for hours and not moving doing pop beads, faulty thinking and decision making I must have demonstrated even then.
I think of that this morning when I wake up and my body is so slow, and I can’t think clearly, either.
This kind of damage really does make us “sitting ducks.” We are, then, identifiable as victims just because of the way our altered brains operate. If primates with altered brain regions can identify one another and stay separate, there’s no reason to believe that humans don’t operate in the same way. But we are more like predators and “peck” the wounded, take advantage of them, and/or destroy them. Culling the flock or the herd, I suppose.
Spoke with sis Cindy this morning about this, and I have this strange sense that as one of the HAVES, with me being one of the HAVE NOTS, that even between the two of us she has the advantage, and I feel vulnerable knowing that she could TAKE the advantage if that were in her nature. I not only cannot cope with this “real” world, I cannot defend myself in it or provide for myself. Those sequestered primates do not have these issues. They are cared for and protected – even if it IS within the same system that altered and destroyed their ability to function in the first place.
Cindy mentioned that it’s too bad my book isn’t done as there’s bestsellers on the market in my similar genre. I have to trust that mine isn’t finished yet because it isn’t time – the story is still unfolding. Yet when it is ready there will be a background for the info in it set against these new books that are being written, published, sold and read.
These damaged brains cannot truly tell who is an enemy/foe and who is friend/ally. I think this bears on violent offenders whose crimes are committed without their brains having the same information put into them at any point that someone with a normal brain would.
It makes us strange. It makes us strangers. Strange strangers to ourselves – we cannot (as when we were born) look to others for any kind of mirroring or self definition. We are not LIKE them – and we intimately know this as do others when they look at us. We are like a different species.
Attachment and its concomitant sense of safety and security is about knowing what there is to be known and then deciding if that is safe or if it is dangerous. I could intuitively sense this in Cindy (unless it was my own paranoia?) today – that sense of fear. Because without safety and an assessment of OK-ness, there is but one alternative – danger. Under all of it there is either fear or confidence.
If we are like another species, there is always that sense of strangeness that is tied to a sense of fear. Is that, really and ultimately, what made ER choose somebody else? I could not give or receive signals – and that makes me strange, different, and ultimately dangerous. People cannot predict what we are going to know or do. Neither can we predict this about ourselves in any situation. Surprise is not a good thing, and we are taken by surprise a lot. We did not evolve to like surprises, certainly not those that we could not actively defend ourselves again.
And, no, the damage is not “psychological.” It is physiological – in the brain.
I could sense on some very deep level that my bringing this up with Cindy today made her uncomfortable. One of those “I’ve got to run away fast” sort of reactions – so instinctive, automatic and profound. Possibly because what I was saying struck the proverbial chord of truth. She, and my other sibs, have always had the advantage over me – and they took it. They were children. It was natural and normal – but it tied, no doubt, to their survivor guilt. Possibly to survivor shame? It is like leaving a wounded member of the pack behind to die, to be eaten alive, to be eliminated – while there is nothing the others can do but continue on to survive themselves – whatever that takes.
Interesting that I could sense her reaction, though. So subtle, so immediate, and so profound. It means I end up feeling alone – as I always have. They, in their world of competent living – me in this shattered world of “jut barely here and functioning.”
The recognition is about the vulnerability of our species – and hence of ourselves. That we are fragile. That it is far better to have the advantage than to not have it. Take it and run, as far and as fast as possible. But how not to feel guilty about it when who and what you are running from is your own loved one?
What happened was NOT my siblings fault. And their reaction to me – even now – is natural and normal.
This is what a disability is about. That others have an advantage that some do not. NOW is the time I want this recognized.
This is probably why it’s been so hard to recognize, because the natural thing to do is to run from the reality of damage, not to turn and fact that monster – terror at facing the truth. Run. Run away so IT doesn’t get YOU.
It’s like the survivors (those with advantage) SHUDDER. A shudder goes through them, how vulnerable they are and how horrific that it might have happened to them instead. Take the goods and run. Like those of us who have had cancer – we see it differently from those who are still running from the possibility, if not the probability that it can and might happen to them.
Which I suppose connects to “blaming the victim” and our American mentality that everyone can achieve if they put their minds to it. That those who don’t succeed don’t try hard enough. This is not a disability that we can FIX. No amount of wishful thinking or myth building will change the basic reality that there are some who do not have the same kind of brain or nervous system that the advantaged possess.
People can look down their nose all they want at us, point their fingers at us, do the little shaming “tsk, tsk” thing, rubbing one pointer finger along the top of the other at us, but they are dead wrong.
So that may well be one of the major strikes against us, that most of our entire culture has a form of survivor guilt. Run and don’t look back. And then find a way to THINK it OK from their advantageous point of view.
How do we tell if another person is using their power of advantage over us? Believe me, if they are IN that position, they are using it. If they have it, they WILL use it.
I find myself thinking of the cliff dwellings at Canyon DeChelley. If one of their culture did not have the ability to move around “up there,” it would be a disability. But if that same person were to be living on level ground, they would have no disability at all. But the whole culture is not likely to transpose themselves so that one person could have an equal advantage. Then what? Does the society HAVE to recognize that one person’s “disability?”
So advantage and ability go hand-in-hand, are kissing cousins while dis-advantage and dis-ability work the same way to the opposite end. It would all come down to competence and control over and in one’s environment, including their internal environment.
In a materialistic culture people say you earn your advantages. You work for them. You fight for them. Like with the race riots, to earn the right to use a damn restroom or sit freely in a bus seat?
In any culture there are advantages that are culturally defined, enjoyed and applied. Then you are talking about the level of oppression and oppressors. Obviously all people with advantage do not oppress those without. They “live and let live.” But when does turning your back make you one of the bad guys – or bad gals? Then we are talking about force for good or ill becomes a tool in its own right. Influence. My sibs had no real influence over my parents. They HAD to go on living. But what about all the adults through the schools who paid no heed whatsoever to my plight? Bruises from skull to heel in 8th grade? Give me a break! What right minded person could (and all did) look the other way?
The lack of application of the force of their influence on my behalf was appalling. Come on! We had to enact LAWS in order to make those bystanders give a damn? Or were these people simply falling into the patterns of witness abuse and ran in the other direction as fast as they could? Is that the natural human reaction to witnessing the horrific? Is that a part of the human reaction to trauma? To have an aversion to it that sends them packing?
So, what happens to the true victims of the trauma itself?
The other thing I was telling Cindy this morning is that just like a blind person might hone their hearing abilities, since childhood I have over used my body and its stamina. Maybe not over used it, but relied on it always to carry me through whatever happened in my life since birth. It was just about all I had, and now that the cancer treatment has interfered with my body, I am finding that there isn’t enough left of me to carry me on with ability and competence. Hence, the need for help to make it through – equals disability.
Humans have an innate aversion to all this traumatic.
NOTE: Important to take a look at all of this to help salvage another entire generation of traumatized battle vets – which this time include more women than ever before. It is when these vets become parents that the worst of the damage of the trauma will be “hatched” among us.
Along with the brain disabilities of so many children being raised in America today without parents.
That “aversion” reaction is one which I anticipate and expect from others at the core of my being. That is attachment disorder stuff, that lack of trust and faith that others will ever react to me with genuine and absolute regard.
It is also tied to the fundamental unpredictability of my mother’s reaction to me from birth, and that I could only count on John to be there with and for me (until at about age 2 mother isolated me from him as well – and at the “J” incident when he walked out on me himself.)
So I suppose it is some sort of trust – that I trust that others will always reach a point, no matter what they say or how they may act, when they will reject me, to use the vernacular. More specifically, when they will note the damage in me, the strangeness in me, and not know HOW to react because I/it IS strange, and they will high tail it (like a deer?!) to the woods, or in the opposite direction, and not stop until they are over the horizon.
I think all of this on some level translates into a “worth” scale. And from there, to a sense of worthy or not.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I will wonder until the end of this writing process if there is anything I can say to those much younger than myself that can help them avoid some of the pitfalls that will be there waiting for them say at menopause.
Today I am thinking that it might not really be a “BOUNDARY” PROBLEM IN RELATIONSHIPS, BUT RATHER A LACK OF BEING ABLE TO REGULATE DISCLOSURES. Like walking into a possible relationship – and once the threshold is crossed, just falling through a trap door.
Down down down into the depths of soul, like Alice falling into Wonderland. There’s no bottom, nothing to grasp onto along the way to slow us down or to give us some grounding. We are gone for the duration of the ride.
We risk everything. And we will likely work this out either with others who also risk everything, or with those who risk nothing at all.
It is here that I would encourage, if not beg, the attachment field to get involved. AND to note that some of us who had disorganized-disoriented attachments as infants retain that pattern for the rest of our lives. We are the ones at the edge of panic, true, but fear is a given and the rest is what’s below it. Our bodies control the show with automatic reactions as we try to preserve ourselves – what there is of us – at the same time we are innately trying to move toward healing, as is the program of our species –perhaps any species on this glorious earth.
This is probably a natural urge, to preserve what we have and to reach for more without losing what we already have.
(That’s part of what’s wrong with our not recycling – we are constantly throwing away what’s already been made/created, and then reinventing the wheel over and over again.)
Not only was my childhood stolen, but the correct brain was destroyed so that I did not even have the ability to EXPERIENCE from a normal “position” the childhood that I did have. Was that better? Was my changed and altered brain better equipped to face that trauma and make it through than would have been true for a child whose infancy had given them a normal brain?
That is an important point and question. If severe trauma happens to a child after their brain has formed in a normal fashion, then the shock of having to create those necessary brain alterations, along with the nervous system, would probably create a different complication and future scenario – than would be true for a person like myself whose brain had been formed under extremely malevolent circumstances from the start.
We have a different brain, and therefore we have a different mind. So what I “mind” happening to me is different than for someone who was not built from birth in a world of terror.
Like building a skyscraper while a terrible earthquake is going on the whole time – you would either give up, or sure would build an entirely different – and obviously earthquake-proof building. Right from the start. You would KNOW how to do it.
So we can’t handle normal people. We have to “program” or “software” to do it.
So what we THINK we can do, and what we think we are actually doing is NOT the same thing as what we are ACTUALLY doing. There’s a huge era – error, a major discrepancy here. Nobody has told us the truth. When we leave our malevolent world and go into the benevolent (mostly – as understood by the masses) world, THEY see us like they see themselves and one another. We are NOT like them, and not only do they not know this fact, but we don’t know it either. We have irrevocable and irreversible changes that have happened in our brains. We did not come from the same world that they did. I am talking about the D/D group. Those in the other attachment categories have a familiar and similar ground to stand on.
We are like the one who cannot negotiate life in the cliff dwellings. Or maybe it is the other way around. We who were formed in the dangerous zone can get along where others can’t. The problem is that life did not want to evolve to live in constant threat of extinction under trauma. Our species found other ways to live so that they could prosper.
I still believe that the hippocampus is designed to fry its own nerve cells through the heat created by excessive cortisol so that these useless extreme horrible traumatic – totally out of the ordinary experience experiences, are not remembered. To remember them is to carry around a weight that would kill the bearer of such disastrous tidings. So the brain forgets them, while at the same time stores all the physical, bodily memories, the emotional ones in a different part of our being and brain. These do not extinguish themselves. Nor does the patterning in the brain in response to them that is our curse and our legacy. These responses are automatic and not within our range of consciousness or control. We do not have the privilege, the luxury, the advantage of having much user for the slower cortex-involvement pathway that allows us to respond to life in a more balanced, harmonious and peaceful way. We are those of the panic, those of the continual duress, those of distress, those of involvement with the horrors of life that nobody else can even begin to imagine – nor do they want to – if they haven’t been there to experience them themselves.
This is why all the other books people are ready are going to fall short of their target, because they don’t even know what their target is. But the people who “have been there” and are seeking to make connections that heal will still and always be left unfulfilled, empty, troubled and lost because the answers they need are not in those books. The truth shall set you free, and the truth, the whole truth, is not in those books. It needs to be in this one. And then it will belike a sonic boom when they read it. A paradigm shift. But the timing is crucial, and I need to trust that. I need to trust the story as I am living it and telling it. It is far larger than I am.
So if I can do this book right it could be a sort of Cliff Note for people reading all of the other books. An invaluable asset.
Maybe sort of like discovering or inventing another new color on the color wheel – it feels that impossible that I can actually do this. Can I?
Maybe there’s a code that can be deciphered. After all, we are of one species and there has to be outer and inner limits to the patterns that these brain changes can encompass. Then it would be like providing the code cards in order to begin to understand what the languages are that we are needing to decipher.
For example, timing is an integral part of how we operate as beings. My timing is all screwed up. When I encounter a situation that involves me having to be in contact with one from that other world, I have to transpose everything. If I understood the filters, all the filters involved – both theirs (as best I can learn them from the outside) and mine (as best I can learn them from the inside) – then perhaps the translating, the transposing, the translation and therefore the transitions could be made clearer, smoother and more accurate.
My timing does not match that of the benevolent world. Things shock me in my encounters with them that others can move smoothly, confidently and competently through because they have the brain structures and operational channels to do that with.
I really do think it is possible to narrow down and be extremely specific about what is happening on both sides of the gorge.
The idea of “bridging the gap” is tantalizing, but I don’t think possible. I remember in grade school when the teacher was describing a mathematical reality. He said that if you cut a distance in half forever, and he took a step toward the doorway out of the classroom, “Like this,” he said. “If I keep cutting the distance in half I can never get to the doorway so I can never get out of it.” He told us we had to imagine this because if you cut something in half enough times the distance becomes so small that you can’t even see it. “But it’s still there,” he told us. “A lot of math is about what you can’t see. You just have to know that it’s there, and it’s true.”
I think this situation is like that. Like the two outstretched fingers on the painting in the Sistine chapel. They will never meet. And the malevolently created mind and the benevolently created mind will never truly understand one another though the distance between them can be cut in half enough times that we can get pretty darn close – and a lot closer than we are now as we deny and ignore the fact that this gap truly and physically exists.
The next step would be to discover what is life enhancing and amazingly wonderful about a human’s brain that can survive and adapt under conditions that are beyond the beyond in terms of what is considered by our species as survivable. What is glorious about us? What are the abilities that we do have that are a result of our specialized adaptation to the world we were in as our brains were formed? How can we honor those things that are unique to us? We can’t do this if we don’t even know the facts about our developing bodies including our brains. How they adapted to keep us alive.
Just because we are different doesn’t mean we are wrong. We may be handicapped in dealing with the benevolent world and have disabilities in that regard, but we also have abilities that are uniquely ours, never to be possessed by those “advantaged” people who don’t have a single clue for the most part about the “planet” we came from.
And one could not forget that we have a very different relationship with our foundational opioid system in our brain, with our feel good and feel bad systems, as well. The placenta is full of opioids, so is breast milk. And the coming to our aid of our mothers is supposed to be in rhythm with this system from the moment we leave the womb.
It’s hard to hold both of two opposites in our grasp at the same time – what we’ve gained at the same time with what we’ve lost.
It was cute. Cindy H. called, regarding the SSI disability and said, “It will be interesting to see what you hatch out as.” Boy, is that the truth?
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