+GROWING UP IN THE MAD BLENDER OF MY BORDERLINE MOTHER’S MIND

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I cannot move forward in my current writing process right now if I don’t stop right here and now to write a post that will clear a pile of mental obstacles out of my way that have been accumulating over these past few days of working with my mother’s letters.

The image came to me a few days ago that I feel like a bowling ball right now sailing down a lane toward a neatly arranged collection of pins that represent the end goal I am working for at this stage of my writing process.  I have been trying to stay on track and not get sidetracked, distracted or bogged down as I go through what is the first edit of the body of my mother’s letters.  I am stuck.

It’s like the lane I have been rolling down has suddenly ended.  Broken, it has disappeared into space.  No, I am not going to let this stop me.  I am going to look at this current blockage (I just wrote ‘blackage’ here) as something I can tackle in words and eliminate.

Where do I start, though?  What is it I ‘have to say’?

As so often happens, I will only know for certain as I write the words that follow next.

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First of all I want to say something about two little, common, seemingly insignificant words in the English language that my mother found a way to leave out of her letters without losing the meaning of what she writes about:  “a” and “the.”

The online Webster’s dictionary lists 99 separate entries for the word, “a.”  It lists 43 for the word, “the.”  My mother’s style of writing did not require either of these words to communicate her meaning in her letters.  Yet now that I have bowled my way through a first edit of her letters covering 1958 through half of 1963, I realize that it is only NOW that I am seeing that I missed – until now – the significance not of her having left these two words out of her letters, but the significance of me blindly choosing to drop them into her text during my editing process.

The English patterns of usage for “the” follow most commonly along pathways related to its use as a ‘definite article’, an ‘adverb’ or as a ‘preposition.’  Patterns of common usage for “a” include ‘noun’, ‘indefinite article’, ‘preposition’, or ‘verb’.

In my commitment to myself to allow the main body of my mother’s writings to remain as a chronicle (the way she wrote them without adding ‘analysis’ or ‘interpretation’) I have tried to be very careful as I roll along down my lane of first edit NOT to alter her text.  By adding “the” and “a” occasionally I have merely been attempting to clarify for ‘outside’ readers the meaning of some of my mother’s phrases.

It has only now finally struck me how stunningly accomplished my mother was in writing without including these two small English words into her letters.  Because very occasionally she DID include them, I am not going to be able NOW to go back and ‘edit backwards’ and remove “the” and “a” where I have inserted and included those words.  Nor do I think I need to or have any desire to do so.

Yet at the same time this morning I am finding myself marveling at the skill my mother had as she wrote in her own shorthand without using these words.  Today, 50 years after my mother wrote these letters, many readers are familiar and comfortable with modern skills in text messaging that certainly have followed similar communication patterns.

For the sake of attaining consistency for ‘outside’ readers of my mother’s words in published format, I have to make some decision of my own about what I am going to DO with “the” and “a” in the body of her verbal text.  Do I let reference to ‘homestead’ stand?  Or do I consistently alter sentences to read ‘the homestead’, or ‘the log house’, or ‘the mountain’?

How am I going to reach a point where I can trust my own writing ‘flow’ ability to overlay-insert occasional word changes within her text without feeling I am compromising my intention to allow my mother’s words to stand as HER chronicle?

This is one of my mental quandaries right now.  Once I have ‘bowled my way through’ this first edit of her work, I will need to return back to the beginning and set myself yet again to rolling down the ‘bowling lane’ toward yet another edit of the entire body of her writings.

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If I were working with a collection of writing under different circumstances this ‘issue’ about “the” and “a” would not have the importance I believe it does to me at this moment.  I suspect that in line with what experts might talk about as ‘object relations’ difficulties, my mother’s early forming brain-mind-self never grew to understand in normal ways what a PERSON actually was.

When the brain pathways that form in early infant-child developmental stages do not have the necessary information to build the early forming right limbic social-emotional brain correctly, all sorts of later appearing confusions about who a person is, including the self, appear.

‘Splitting” and ‘projections’ are aspects of these early brain forming changes that appear in my mother’s ‘mental illness’.  She did not, for example, have the ability to recognize that I was a PERSON because of her ‘splitting’ and ‘projections’ onto me.

As I work with her writings I am beginning to see more of what I hope to confidently name at some point as clearly repeating patterns and themes of her disorganized-disoriented insecure attachment disorder and its symptom – her mental illness (most likely Borderline).

So when my mother neglects to add “the” to “the homestead” I cannot instantly assume that ‘homestead’ wasn’t real to her as if it was a PERSON in her psyche and/or a projection of her mind.  “The log house,” or “log house” or simply “house,” or “mountain” (“the mountain?”) in my mother’s written lingo very well might have represented externalized projections from her mind, just as “ALASKA” itself probably did.

People do not speak-write about “the Alaska.”  We refer to Alaska by its name.  I am also questioning how to ‘handle’ my mother’s use of capitalizations in her writings.  Sometimes ‘Mountain’, sometimes ‘mountain’.  Sometimes ‘Homestead’, sometimes ‘homestead’.  Sometimes ‘Log House’, sometimes ‘log house’.

Even though we don’t often think about it, established rules we use for capitalization always reflect relationships and values.  In my mother’s dichotomous thinking, sometimes places were just as closely connected to the ‘friend-or-foe’ dichotomy as people in her life were.

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When ‘normally’ considering a ‘normal’ person with a ‘normal’ brain-mind-self, we can assume that seriously considering the words “a” and “the” (their inclusion or deletion) in sentences is a trite and trivial affair – perhaps a silly waste of time and mental energy.

I am working in ‘a twilight zone’ here.  I believe my Borderline mother existed in ‘a twilight zone’.  In fact, I probably share this belief with many others who still have serious questions about exactly what kind of a reality the Borderline brain-mind-self actually operates within.

Personification of mental projections IS a problem!  In the same way that I was ‘personified evil’ to my mother, not a child, not a human being – I suspect that ‘the log house’ and ‘the homestead’ and ‘the mountain’ and even Alaska itself represented something not ordinary to my mother.  In fact, I suspect that I will eventually be able to clarify that even ‘the dream’ that my mother seemed to organize and orient her entire being in relationship to was as much a literal THING to my mother as her own body was.

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When we consider the terrible reality of severe child abuse I believe we are actually looking at actions committed by human beings whose earliest forming emotional-social brain did not include the necessary information that would have allowed them to KNOW what a person was as clearly differentiated from an object.

This entire area of thought is one that I think about continually, though I am not ready yet to explore my thoughts in words other than to say that the human mirror neuron system, as it is connected to the motor neuron regions of the brain, has been designed from it origins to help humans use TOOLS to better ensure survival.

Whether or not the mirror neuron is ACTUALLY involved as part of the human empathy experience seems to be a matter that is open to great debate in scientific thinking.  I am not going to perpetuate any myth in this area.  I am also not ready to thoroughly explore the scientific facts in this debate, either.

I tend to agree with research I have read that states that the human mirror neuron is NOT actually involved in the brain region activational patterns that operate during the experience of true empathy.  In other words, empathy DOES NOT use the mirror neuron system.  Empathy is ‘something else’.

If this is true, then it seems entirely possible to me that someone like my mother with her Borderline brain had problems with circuits and pathways that ordinary, normal people do not – but that at the same time ALL of us experience a ‘borderline’ just at the interface between empathy and the mirror neuron system.  My guess would be that this ‘borderline’ exists just at the interface where our social-emotional brain understands the difference between human beings as being something MORE than, DIFFERENT than being object-tools.

If this distinction between humans as BEINGS versus humans as object-tools does not form right as the body-brain is forming in the beginning – a developmental process that is entirely dependent upon the quality and kind of earliest caregiver interactions that we have for its formation – then never will this person EVER be able to ‘normally’ know what a person is, including their own self.

As I understand it, the process that is supposed to normally occur that allows us to KNOW the difference between a person and an object-tool HAS to include emotional FEELING FELT, mirroring early infant-caregiver interactions.  If these resonating, mirroring interactions do NOT allow the feeling felt experience to happen for an infant-child, the ‘borderline’ between human-as-human or human-as-tool-object never forms correctly.

Without ‘proper’ formation of this ‘boundary’, true empathy (and we could say corresponding conscience) will not exist.  Such was my mother.  And as readers of this blog already know, these changes in early development also completely affect-direct the infant-child’s development of their entire nervous system, including their brain, their autonomic nervous system (vagus nerve system, stress response system, calm and connection system), and their immune system.  As Dr. Martin Teicher states, an evolutionarily altered being comes out – basically at the far end of the baby-human being assembly line!

Looking backwards in time at human evolutionary development, these evolutionarily altered beings are, in my thinking, simply ones like those who existed before the period in our specie’s development when having the luxury of knowing the ‘boundary’ between human and tool, human and other, or even what a HUMAN even was, existed.  (Way back before we had spoken verbal language).

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Of course as often happens, this post is becoming lengthy.  That doesn’t matter to me.  I need to clear this blockage, this ‘wreckage’ out of my ‘bowling lane’ so that I can return to my task of accomplishing the first ‘once completely through’ edit of my mother’s writings.

Considering all that’s being dumped into this post, that’s a lot of blockage-wreckage!

Tied to these thoughts I am having is the miracle that happened last Friday.  I just happened to be on the telephone with my daughter as she was holding her son (my first grandchild who was born premature and is now three months old) as he did something so important most everyone actually MISSES its significance.

He saw his own hand for the very first time, and recognized what he was seeing!

My daughter had noticed over the previous 48 hours that her son had loosened the tight fists he has waved around since he was born, and had begun to spread out his fingers.  Then, suddenly, within a single infitesimally minute segment of time – he SAW his own hand, and from there began to move it around while following it with his vision.

There you have it, folks!  The beginning moment of the conscious development and recognition of the individual human self with, “OH, MY!  Look at THIS!  There is a hand and that hand is connected to ME and I can move it around and determine what it does!  How COOL is THIS?  Here I AM!

In a normal safe and secure, loving attachment environment, which my grandson has in super abundance, this developmental stage is taking place as just another stage in the ongoing emotional-social body-brain’s formation.  All those nerve cells and neurons, circuits and pathways and connections being made one tiny instant at a time – that form a human being.  But without these developmental stages occurring within a loving, adequate, safe and secure attachment environment, the inclusion of BEING A FULLY FUNCTIONING EMOTIONAL-SOCIAL HUMAN BEING will NOT be included in the final product!

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My grandson’s mirror neuron system is already developing, but because he is growing in a ‘feeling felt’ attachment environment, his feelings will be involved as a separate PERSON as he grows, as he watches and ‘learns’.  At the same time the invisible ‘boundary’ between person-as-person, not person-as-object-tool will be appropriately forming all his other physiological development will be properly forming in relationship to this fundamental fact.

Most every person, my mother and my self included, can say, “Of course I know what a person is,” and “Of course I know a person is not an object-tool,” we do not FEEL it.  We report this fact as a SEMANTIC piece of information.  This is NOT the same thing as feeling the difference on the ‘AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL’ level.  It is a difference in the way memory operation has formed in the beginning.

This being said, I will simply add here that in my mother’s June 17, 1963 letter to her mother, when she wrote, “I figured the other day we’ve moved 17 times in six years – no wonder we’re sick and tired of moving,” she is not aware that she has no more of an idea how her children (or her husband) felt through all of these chaotic place-changes than she did how the household items felt.

My mother’s brain did not have the capacity to ACTUALLY tell the difference between how a fork or a piece of carpet FELT and how her living, breathing children FELT.  She dragged every-THING around with her equally oblivious of consequence.

My mother could have no empathy for a couch differently than for a person.  Her own ‘feeling felt’ brain-mind-self ‘boundary’ had never formed correctly in her infant-childhood that would have meant that on a FEELING level she could tell the difference between a person-as-a-person and a person-as-an-object.

Without having formed this fundamental ‘point of referencing’ my mother could not appropriately organize and orient herself – PERIOD.  The changes that happened to her as a result of no ‘feeling felt’ experiences as her body-brain developed also left her with a disturbed, disoriented and disorganized sense of time-distance-space, a fact that is noticeably splashed throughout the chronicle of her life journey that I am working with in her letters.

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I will make one more point here and then hope that I have accomplished the ‘bowling lane clearance’ that I was hoping for by writing here this morning.  Over and over again in my mother’s letters she says to her own mother that all she ever wanted was to recreate for her own children (us) ‘the wonderfully happy childhood’ that my mother’s mother had (supposedly – and NOT) created for my mother.

In the end, that attempt to recreate her own nonexistent happy childhood was the DREAM that drove my mother’s homesteading, Alaskan pursuits.  That my mother lacked the capacity to actually differentiate her children from her self meant that what she was doing was attempting to recreate her own ‘happy childhood’ for her OWN self.

Several months ago I realized that along with ‘playing baby dolls’ with her own children as the projected ‘doll babies’, my mother was at the same time ‘playing house’.  Over and over and over again in these letters my mother describes her homemaking efforts as if she was talking about setting up a doll house.

Until this parallel struck me, I had never thought about whether or not my mother actually had a DOLL HOUSE in her young childhood nursery where she played in solitaire for unending hours, days, months and years.  I bet that she DID!  This would have been in addition to all the trappings of ‘housedom’ she DID have for the bigger dolls such as beds and bedding, rocking chairs, dish sets, etc.

So it was not ONLY a recreation of her doll play that manifested itself in her distorted mental projections upon her adult life that I can see in the patterns of her activities.  It was ALSO the recreation of the perfect doll house that appears repeatedly with ever one of the moves my mother did.  (Seventeen moves in six years by her count is a lot of moves, although I believe once I get to that level of detail analysis within my mothers writings I will count far more than that.)

Add to this confusion the fact that my mother didn’t know the difference between her attempts to ‘recreate her own perfect childhood for her children (for herself)’ and the actual hell she created for her own children – especially for me – I realize that working with my mother’s ‘story’ is a bit like trying to calming read a book while spinning around inside a blender at top speed.

My!  How ‘Twilight Zonesque’ is THAT image?  There we all were, husband, children, animals, props, homestead, log house, etc. — along with the past, present and future combined — all tossed together into the blender of my mother’s deeply disturbed ‘dream’ mind and held captive while she pushed the ‘go fast’ button.  Off we would all go over and over again, spinning around and around and around, up and down, in and out, here and there, willy-nilly without end.

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+BEING MY MOTHER’S ‘FAIR WITNESS-OBSERVER’ – I WANT TO OWN MY CHOICE

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It gives me great comfort this morning as my thinking moves forward along the lines established in my previous two posts and in my reply to the comment included with the first of these two posts to find pages coming up in my Google search directly connected to the words “archetype fair witness.”

I never thought about it before these last days as I finished the process of organizing and transcribing my mother’s writings that in some – still seemingly bizarre way — I WAS BORN TO BE MY MOTHER’S FAIR WITNESS.

For all the billions of moments I spent as a child during my 18 years of suffering abuse from this woman, I was at the same time being her witness.

Is that something that happens as a PART of being an abused victim?  Are we at the same time we suffer the abuse being the witness to our perpetrator’s OTHER SIDE?  Do we come, as a direct result, to know our perpetrator’s truest reality (in their body-brain in this lifetime)?

According to this author of this book – I might be right on track:

Soul Psychology: How to Clear Negative Emotions and Spiritualize Your Life by Joshua David Stone

It would be logical and reasonable to accept that I was, along with the mountain and the homestead, an embodiment of what my mother needed for her healing.

I was the projection of ‘badness’ for my mother.  I was badness personified.  Hell, literally, of a place to spend one’s infant-childhood!

Yet because 99.99% of what my mother saw in me, what she blamed me for, what she ‘punished’ me for, had NOTHING whatsoever to DO WITH ME, I WAS the ‘fair witness’ of her literalized OWN suffering from inside her own SELF that she dissociated from herself and associated with me.

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The true self-realized being uses this archetype as its main theme but is not identified with it; such a self-realized being lives in a state of consciousness as the Fair Witness or Observer, free of all archetypes.”

From  Joshua David Stone in Soul Psychology: How to Clear Negative Emotions and Spiritualize Your Life, Page 263

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When, such in cases like mine, a human being is born into particularly a mother’s malevolent world of ‘disturbed psychology’, the tiny growing and developing person JUST BARELY MIGHT be able to develop its own self as a separate being from its abuser.  ANYTHING and EVERYTHING else that happens to that little one belongs to the perpetrator and NOT to its own self.

This means for ME that I spent the majority of my infant-childhood NOT being my own self.  For ALL of the time my mother was verbally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically abusing me I was DOING one thing:  Enduring her abuse so I could survive.  During ALL of THIS time, I was in that ‘non-archetypal’ place that I believe we are born into as new and innocent beings that meant I was ONLY being my mother’s ‘fair witness’.

If there had been some other pattern to my relationship with my mother that would have meant at least SOME OF THE TIME I got to be myself, then perhaps I could have moved off of that point of being at dead center as a nonbeing observer of my mother’s madness.  Perhaps then I could have wondered about what was happening to me.  Perhaps then I could have been envious or jealous of the treatment she showed her other ‘darling’ children.  Perhaps I could have THOUGHT for myself.  Perhaps I could have not only FELT the abuse but been able to associate, connect, and string together all the associations belonging to my ongoing experience of myself in my own life – abuse included.

But I couldn’t do any of that.  I never got the chance to.  It is only now at age 58 that I am discovering this NEW information for myself about how being such a victim of such terrible abuse happened AT THE SAME time I was my mother’s primary, intimate WITNESS-observer.

Being at that ‘place’ of what Stone is describing as ‘being without an archetype’ might be fine and good for a person who has been allowed and able to develop and individual clear and strong healthy self from the start.  To ‘get back to’ that place, or to re-achieve that degree of detached non-participation in one’s life might be a goal towards so-called higher spiritual living for SOME.

But for those of us who endured and survived our infant-childhood while being the victim of our caregiver’s UNSPEAKABLE MADNESS this entire process is as reversed NOW during the times of our healing as it was reversed ‘back then’ in the times of our being so hurt and wounded.

I have to find my own choices to BE or NOT to be my mother’s Fair Witness!

As I discover this new level of deep choice, I am beginning to define my own self NOW as I needed to back there from the time I was born.

So if anyone wants to benefit from the experience of actually being able to converse in the here and now with a person who KNOWS what it is like and feels like to be a Fair Witness, talk to a severe infant-child abuse survivor.

During the time we were being overwhelmed by someone’s abuse of us, we were LIVING life as a Fair Witness-Observer being.    Yes, I believe this does mean that all abuse survivors carry the double-sided injury of being not only the victim of the trauma of abuse itself, but also of being a WITNESS ABUSE survivor on the grandest of scales.

In the end, it might be that having our power of CHOICE removed from us is what hurts survivors the most.  I can’t even say, “I want my power of choice back so that I can choose whether or not I want to be my mother’s Fair Witness.”  I never had this choice from the first of my life.  I am only seeing right now what I missed – and when I get this choice, AS I find within myself what this choice IS and how I can make it – I am moving off of this dead center of being a non-person who was the Witness-Target of my mother’s mean madness.

At the same time, these new insights are helping me to realize how FAIR I have ALWAYS been as I consider what my mother (and my father) did to me.  NOW I want the conscious choice to be FAIR or NOT!  I own that ability to be fair or not to be fair!  It was stolen from me at the start of my lie, at the moment of my birth.  So IF I say, “I want my ability to choose to be a remote-viewing observer of my mother’s abusive madness or NOT to be RETURNED to me,” I am saying that I am claiming what must be a Universal Human Right.  This right was mine from within my mother’s womb!    It is that far back that I have to re-turn to re-claim it!!  Look out!  Here I come!

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+OWNING THE BURDENS CREATED BY CHILD ABUSE

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I’ve been thinking about my mother all morning as I worked out in the heat adding onto my adobe walkway.  I am trying to define my feelings about her and about her life.  I thought about ‘pity’, ‘compassion’ and ‘regret’.  I can’t become clear about my feelings or define them until I understand more about what these three words actually mean in our language.

I have always shied away from using the word ‘pity’ even in my thinking because, to me, the word has a tinge of a self-righteousness, a stance and perspective that I consider to be connected to a personal shortcoming rather than to an asset.  I looked this word up online and Webster’s defines the word this way:

PITY

Etymology: Middle English pite, from Anglo-French pité, from Latin pietat-, pietas piety, pity, from pius pious

Date: 13th century

1 a : sympathetic sorrow for one suffering, distressed, or unhappy b : capacity to feel pity
2 : something to be regretted <it’s a pity you can’t go>

synonyms pity, compassion, commiseration, condolence, sympathy

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With this clarification I can tell that my concern about taking a ‘self-righteous’ perspective IS tied to how I feel about ‘piety’ and ‘pious’ in general.  I don’t like either of those words for some reason I can’t quite grasp.  Yet words by themselves do not contain either negative or positive.  What is it about this word that causes me to want to shudder and run?

PIOUS

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin pius

Date: 15th century

1 a : marked by or showing reverence for deity and devotion to divine worship b : marked by conspicuous religiosity <a hypocrite—a thing all pious words and uncharitable deeds — Charles Reade>
2 : sacred or devotional as distinct from the profane or secular : religious <a pious opinion>
3 : showing loyal reverence for a person or thing : dutiful
4 a : marked by sham or hypocrisy b : marked by self-conscious virtue : virtuous
5 : deserving commendation : worthy <a pious effort>

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The word ‘pious’ is a young word in our English language, and no doubt directly entered our cultural awareness through the influence of ‘the church’.  Knowing my mother’s focal obsession with ‘good versus evil’ was also tied in some vague yet powerful way with ideas contained in Christian religion does not make me eager to embrace this concept.

Yet while the definition of ‘pity’ does coincide with the thoughts I have been having about my mother and her life today, it is not a word that ‘rings true’ to me about how I feel in response to her and her life today.  So I will look further into this synonym for ‘pity’:

COMPASSION

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French, from Late Latin compassion-, compassio, from compati to sympathize, from Latin com- + pati to bear, suffer — more at patient

Date: 14th century

: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it

synonyms see pity

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This word, ‘patient’ did come into my thoughts as I sloshed wet mud into my adobe mold this morning.  I don’t know which way this word is connected to compassion – as a suffering ‘patient’ or as one who needs to ‘be more patient’?

When this word appeared in my thoughts it was connected to my thinking that nobody who has not suffered infant and/or child abuse can EVER really have a clue what ‘it’ is.  Most people in our culture have some sort of understanding about what ‘child abuse’ is, and yet if anyone had ever asked my mother or my father if there was ‘child abuse’ going on in their home they would have said “NO!”  If anyone had asked my mother’s mother if ‘child abuse’ ever happened to my mother, she would have also said “NO!”

My thinking about how ‘everyone’ assumes that they know what child abuse is at the same time that those who are committing child abuse are mostly NOT EVER going to accept the reality of the abuse they commit led me to the word ‘patient’.

The ONLY way the truth about what child abuse IS will be really KNOWN is if the public LISTENS to what infant-child abuse survivors have to say.  Yet there’s even a very big problem with THIS approach.  Just as child abuse perpetrators are not likely to NAME or OWN the abuse they commit against children, MANY, MANY infant abuse and child abuse survivors are not going to NAME what happened to them, either.

My mother certainly NEVER used ‘child abuse’ in her description of what happened to her in her infancy and childhood.  Do we think if we don’t NAME infant and ‘child abuse’ that IT NEVER REALLY HAPPENED?

This line of thinking led me again to the word ‘patient’ in terms of how ‘patient’ the public needs to be in supportive and affirming ways so that those who have OBVIOUSLY suffered greatly from ‘child abuse’ can be encouraged to KNOW the reality of what happened to them in their childhood, and to speak about it!

Now I wonder about someone who is sick, injured, wounded and is a ‘patient’.  What does this word actually mean?

PATIENT

Adjective

Etymology: Middle English pacient, from Anglo-French, from Latin patient-, patiens, from present participle of pati to suffer; perhaps akin to Greek pēma suffering

Date: 14th century

1 : bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
2 : manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
3 : not hasty or impetuous
4 : steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
5 a : able or willing to bear —used with of b : susceptible, admitting <patient of one interpretation

Noun

Date: 14th century

1 a : an individual awaiting or under medical care and treatment b : the recipient of any of various personal services
2 : one that is acted upon

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WOW!  How many ‘child abuse’ survivors had any choice BUT to bear the pains and trials of their lives ‘calmly’ and ‘without complaint’?  Did we have any choice other than to ‘manifest forbearance under provocation and strain’?  We could not act hastily or impetuously in any way that would have altered the course of our abusive childhoods.  We could not speed our childhood up like fast-forwarding a movie so that we could escape our abuse any sooner.

We had no choice but to be ‘steadfast despite opposition, difficulty and adversity’.  We HAD TO BE ABLE AND WILLING TO BEAR our suffering from what was done to us.  The alterative would have been death.  And, yes, we were turned into ‘patients awaiting care’.  We were wounded, hurt and suffering from the ways that those who had power over us ‘acted upon us’ – in the opposite of a healing way.  And we sure were not ‘recipients of any personal services’ that would have helped us.

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This topic is obviously ABOUT suffering:

SUFFER

Etymology: Middle English suffren, from Anglo-French suffrir, from Vulgar Latin *sufferire, from Latin sufferre, from sub- up + ferre to bear — more at sub-, bear

Date: 13th century

Which goes directly to what we had to ‘bear’:

BEAR

Etymology: Middle English beren to carry, bring forth, from Old English beran; akin to Old High German beran to carry, Latin ferre, Greek pherein

Date: before 12th century

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There’s the old word – ‘bear’ – literally in its roots connected to carrying.  And that IS what we did.  As I have mentioned over time the afflictions caused to us by infant and child abuse actually built themselves into our body as we grew and developed and changed us.

But what I am thinking about today is  the difference between silently carrying what happened to us – often while we don’t even KNOW the truth ourselves about the infant and child abuse we suffered – versus KNOWING the truth, having words for the truth so that we can, as survivors think thoughts in words and communicate our truth about our abuse to others and to our perpetrators if appropriate.

If I think about my mother and her life in terms of ‘patient’, she was patient until her dying breath.  She bore and carried what had happened to her as an infant-child and to my knowledge NEVER was able to KNOW the truth.  This kind of continued patience, a pattern set up early, early in life, does not help a person to heal.  It helps them to become an increasingly ‘sick’ and suffering patient who cannot ask for or receive the healing help they most need to ‘get better’.

As hard as it might sometimes be for me to understand that what my mother did to me was caused by what was done to her, I want to understand that all my mother truly knew in her lifetime was suffering.  Her suffering increased with every breath she ever took, and led to her terrible suffering at death.  As for me, I would rather ‘suffer while I bear the burden of compassion for my mother’ than not.

My personal mission is to KNOW what happened to both her and me – to give this knowledge words – and to encourage every single person who suffers from infant abuse and child abuse and the burden this abuse creates to speak their truth while the rest of us patiently listen.

This process, to me, is where ‘child abuse’ prevention begins.

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REGRET

Etymology: Middle English regretten, from Anglo-French regreter, from re- + -greter (perhaps of Germanic origin; akin to Old Norse grāta to weep) — more at greet

Date: 14th century

transitive verb 1 a : to mourn the loss or death of b : to miss very much
2 : to be very sorry for <regrets his mistakes>intransitive verb : to experience regret

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+GETTING CLEAR ABOUT A DIFFICULT DECISION REGARDING MY WORDS

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If there is one thing that I suspect everyone with the so-called diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is familiar with, it’s the inner sound of what I call ‘the clamoring within’.  What does the word CLAMOR teach me this morning as I contemplate a writing offer that has been given to me – an offer whose aftershocks set off the noisiest inner clamor that I have experienced consciously in my lifetime?

CLAMOR

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French clamour, from Latin clamor, from clamare to cry out — more at claim

Date: 14th century

1 a : noisy shouting b : a loud continuous noise
2 : insistent public expression (as of support or protest)

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The ‘public’ nature of this clamor I am experiencing happens because ‘all involved’ in the act of clamoring are making themselves present to me, and therefore conscious.  The ‘public’ IS my conscious awareness.

At age 58, I suffer from no delusion that the multiple voices clamoring within are ever going to so-called ‘integrate’, nor do I even desire that.  Every one of the perspectives I contain as grown-up Linda – the noisy and the silent ones – have a right to exist BECAUSE THEY EXIST.  I do not wish to extinguish them.  I do not wish to disrespect any of them.  I do not wish to bulldoze my way on down the road of my life without listening to and honoring what they know and what they have to say – if I pause long enough to listen.

If I give as many of these inner perspective-takers an equal voice and an equal voice in affairs of my life that matter to them, I already know the answer to a question that has been posed to me.  Without disclosing information that I have been asked to keep confidential regarding the ‘offering agency’, I – on my own – after taking a vote among those perspective-takers within me already have my answer.

The answer to the question as it has been posed to me in the present and as it may very likely be posed to me in the future is simply – “NO!”

I will not give any rights away to my words.  Not to anyone outside of The Lloyd Family, and not even to any single member of The Lloyd Family.  Everything that ever happens with my words belongs within an intimate construct that operates through consensus taking.

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The fantastic ‘thought factory’ of my body, my right brain and my left brain has fed me accurate information about my own inner truth about the reality of my word ownership.

Some clear images have appeared to me this morning from my body-right brain information channels.  The first one comes from the memory of a skinny, beaten and abused, lost and alone little girl of about nine years old.  She is gazing toward the edges of the highest mountain tops define where earth meets the deep blue Alaskan late summer sky.

This little girl, this me-memory person, stands frozen in time and space, listening to the approaching yet still-distant call of hundreds of Canadian geese heading on migration south.  There is no anticipation that I can think of that matches the wordless awe of this waiting.

And there they come!  High, high, high above her comes the very first goose sailing along at the front of this “V” over the dividing line of mountain and sky.  Behind this goose come the two separate wings and the air is filled with the wild goose fall song.

I didn’t know, of course, as a child that the head goose is the strongest and flies to cut the wind for the rest of its flock both to its right and to its left.  When the lead goose tires, it falls all the way back in the line and flies without effort at the final back tips of the “V.”  On up moves the next strongest goose – which is, by the time the other strongest goose tires, is now THE strongest goose.

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In this offer that I was just given, I can see the seeds of a reality as they appeared to me in another image:  The roots of trauma and abuse that are my experience from the time of my laboring with my mother to come into this world, are directly tied to the stout trunk of the tree that is me complete with strong, wide-spreading branches that feed ever-growing twigs.  This tree-of-me is approaching full leaf now, and the manifestations of its hard-worked for health (such as I have been able to accomplish degrees of it) take form in the ‘public world’ IN MY WORDS.

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The next image that came to me this morning is a Sacred one, and I do not write the following words with any disrespect.  What I understand about the Lakota and Dakota women’s participation in the Sacred Sundance is that they peel pieces of their skin from their arms and offer them with prayer in support of their men who are dancing.  The women’s sacrifice adds to the sacrifice of the men, and helps to make both the men and their prayers for help and healing stronger and more powerful.

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The clamoring voices of the perspective-takers within me have let me know that the words that I write, the final messages contained in these pieces of who Linda is, do not belong to any ‘big’ or ‘old’ or ‘single’ or ‘adult’ Linda.  They are part of a whole and they cannot be owned by anyone – not even the Linda that supposedly writes them.

I seriously doubt that any public agency representative or any other version of an outside publisher, is going to understand that the whole of who Linda is owns my/her words collectively.  That my story, in the end, is a strong one that can take a place with the lead geese of great migrating flocks of trauma-healing people, does not mean that it exists as an object, or as a thing that can be bought, sold, bartered or owned in any ordinary way.

My words do, however, BELONG somewhere.  I was deprived of my words for myself in my life (and their accompanying thoughts) throughout the 18-years of my torturous abusive childhood.  As these words are now being born, as my words open their wings and flap their way like butterflies out into the cosmos beyond my computer’s keyboard, they simply become what they are:  A part of Linda and her family’s living story.  These butterflies are sacred and do not wish to be captured in any way at any time along their pathway into existence by anyone else for profit.

My words are, therefore, not actually mine.  There is no single all-knowing, all-powerful Linda person who can ultimately determine the fate of my words.  They belong with and to an entity that does not LEGALLY exist yet – but I am becoming quite clear that the legal entity of The Lloyd Family Publishing Trust needs to be formed in THIS material world before any of my words leave my Stop-the-Storm blog.

How that is going to happen, where, who is going to help me with this next step is at present unknown.

There.  That being decided and said the clamoring settles.  If anyone wishes to publish anything I write in any format they will need to have my permission to do so from The Lloyd Family Publishing Trust – CERTAINLY it cannot happen the other way around, no matter how well-intentioned or enticing any outside publishing offer might be.

I am free to leave this keyboard and go outside to continue making something out of earth-mud.

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+WORD WARRIOR NEWS: PRESENTING MY CURRENT 8 WORKING BOOK TITLES

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This post includes a copy of the working paper about the 8 books I am currently preparing for publication (you asked for them, here they come – to the best of my ability).  It lists their working titles along with a list of information to include in my BIG BANG BOOK that everything else I ever write is pointing toward.  (I just sent this paper off to my family and friends as fyi.)

I plan to dedicate as high a portion of the profits (above what’s needed to moderately improve my own well-being and my children’s) to the non-profits I mentioned in my earlier post, +WHAT WORD WARRIORS SAY – A BOOK BEING BORN.

I know that money needs to be generated in creative ways to build up the required capitol to afford to pay for at least the first 500 softcover copies (about $3330-$3600).

I am eager to get these projects completed – thank you again to each and every one of this blog’s readers who have affirmed my writing, my work, and my potential.  I am becoming increasingly concerned about not having done what I bet I came into this life to do before (if/when) the advanced-aggressive breast cancer comes back to snatch me.

Along with formalizing information categories into book-size sections so that I can apply for a block of 10 ISBNs (same price for ten as for one), I am forcing myself to finish transcribing my mother’s writings.  I intend to publish them with the titles listed below (barring anyone’s title-changing input) ASAP on Kindle.  I am not sure they will ever appear in hard copy.  They are voluminous and I want them accessible to people without having to cut them apart.

As I can afford it – with money from the Kindle sales if they show up – I will be able to afford a simple and efficient website that will allow for people to pay, download and print their own pdf copy of my mother’s writings if they want to.

I believe that if anyone is truly interested in how a severe Borderline’s brain might work from the outside looking in, especially a severely abusive one, my mother’s writings are a gift to the world toward this end.  Because the Borderline parent can be extremely dangerous to her offspring, and because the Borderline condition even by definition can be extremely difficult for ANYONE to detect, gaining insight into the workings of the Borderline mind has great potential for helping to understand how severe child abuse can happen as it improves all of our potential to both prevent child abuse and to intervene effectively in cases where the abusing parent is a Borderline like my mother.

I believe interested readers of my mother’s words will have to make a commitment to follow her life’s trajectory over time as it unfolds itself in her writing.  Perhaps one of the reasons the abusive Borderline is so difficult to detect is that they are the masters of illusion-delusion.  Magic happens for professionals when they can create the perfect distraction for their audience.  I believe my mother also created so many distractions within herself over time with her constant MOVING in particular, that her magic show simply spilled itself out her front door, into the street, and across the parking lot (like the ‘Porridge Pot’ overflowing in a children’s book).

If conditional so-called love and the withholding of affection, approval along with manipulations of give-and-take ‘mercy’ – in other words, deception, lies and betrayal contribute to Borderline Personality Disorder, maybe the deception builds itself into the BPD changed brain in such a way that it just grows and grows and grows……  (like a cancer).

Someone would have had to notice from a distance, and would have had to care enough to follow the porridge path of my mother’s mad illusions all the way back – inside our home – to the pot itself:  how my mother’s trauma-changed Borderline brain was working inside her skull to produce such masses of bizarre thoughts, behaviors and dangerous actions toward her offspring – that nobody – EVER – noticed.

Well, I better get back to work!! tyl

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The Devil’s Child: How 18 years of abuse by my mother did not make me like her

(I don’t like “at the hands of “) ———  need your take on this?

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360 Degrees of Change for Survivors of Difficult Childhoods


(with or without subtitle?)

This title is meant to include degrees related to the range of abuse that can happen, the range of resiliency and risk factors as they work to balance reactions to trauma, the range of dis-ability resulting, as well as the degrees of healing possible.

This book breaks down the scientific information (including attachment) in terms of a Native American format (told to readers or not?) – a circle of 360 degrees – idea that simply reading the book will create changes in people whether they actually realize what those changes are or not.

I do not want to use a calendar based concept – want this to be familiar enough from the 12-step recovery inspiration and daily reminder books – but different without ANY religious intonations.

I don’t want any ‘brain’ disruptions to happen due to ‘OH NO!  I missed March 3rd!  NOW what do I do?”  They need implicit permission to read as slowly or quickly as is comfortable, and to skip around.

Also, don’t want to identify the ‘age patterns’ below specifically, this is to organize my thinking – living with consequences of abuse WILL last a life time.  Either we recognize how abuse might have changed our physiological development or we don’t.

I am creating the subject area breaks (as per below) like they might happen over a natural lifespan, but the idea of this book is that healing happens in its own time and major healing can happen in an instant.  Every time ‘the circle’ is completed (like moving in a spiral) new perspectives are gained, new insights.  The Native elders talk about how we go through these cycles daily – and also go through them every time we are dealing with any particular problem –

I believe that even if ONE significant point (degree? – how do I connect these two ideas?  ‘degree’ and ‘point of fact’?) happens for one person, not only will their life be changed for the better but the changes in one can and probably WILL affect the many.

The Medicine Wheel actually follows ‘natural’ patterns of seasonal change as well as our human developmental life ‘segments’.  (large type underlined below is my ‘section name’)

(1) EAST (air – color yellow – spring – mind) – birth, new beginnings, childhood = ATTACHMENT (0-20)

(2) SOUTH (earth – color red – summer – body) – young adulthood, learning and practicing by ‘doing the work’ – BIOCHANGES (20-40)

(3) WEST (water – color black – fall – emotions) – our more maturing years includes introspection, self-reflection, pondering- SURVIVORSHIP (40-60)

(4)NORTH (fire – color white – winter – healing and wisdom) – our grandparent years, helping the younger generations with our wisdom – DISCLOSURE (60-80 — completes the circle so that 80 is right there with death and birth, oldest and youngest together)

My ‘sorting’ of thoughts related to these – I have around 400 points-degrees-separate pieces of information – haven’t tried sorting into these categories yet – might need to adjust my thinking, certainly need to work it through (after I have mother’s writings on Kindle) – if I keep these categories, need to NOT contaminate one with info too related specifically to a different one, need to keep them as clear as 4-seasons in Fargo are

PROCESS OF MAKING THE UNKNOWN AND THE INVISIBLE – KNOWN AND VISIBLE – THESE THINGS DON’T BENEFIT US BY REMAINING MYSTERIES!  ALL the other writings must point to this one – it’s the peak of the fireworks display!  I will need to be greatly in-spired to do this right, each of the 360 degrees need two paragraphs with a catchy title!  (just made me smile – the first one that popped into my mind as I wrote this was “the mom and pop store’ for the sperm and the egg process!)

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1st half of the book is more distant, objective and ‘technical’ – inoculate readers to get them ready for the emotional reactions they will have 2nd half

(1) – ATTACHMENT – beginning at the beginning with the involvement of our ‘feel good’ body chemicals as they orchestrate attachment of sperm and egg, zygote attachment to uterus, in placenta and breast milk, connecting attachment with food and social contact in our approach/avoid patterns of life – rupture/repair– etc – all about attachment – what it is, how it forms, clearly and without ‘malice’ describe the possible attachment disorders as they are ‘given’ by parents to children, etc. – and the growing brain – origin of self firm by two – brain tracks to consciousness and conscience – introducing terminology of development:  critical windows of development, windows of tolerance, mirroring, hemisphere growth, feeling felt, theory of mind, magical thinking (tied to denial later on) – being sent off-trajectory – built by good or bad world to represent the conditions of that world to others of our species (starts in womb) – ‘hatching’ and foundation of exploration connected to shame and dissociation in nervous-system and brain –

(2) – BIOCHANGES – all the known possible ‘invisible’ changes that can happen – nervous system, vagus system, stress-calm response system, immune system – clear description of environment-genetic interactions – phenotypes and genotypes – epigenetics – how these forces affect what our cells are going every millisecond of our life time – placing our self in context of evolution, genetic memory in our DNA – changes for a malevolent world –  how we COULD have been different – stuck with memories we cannot even recall that influence our entire lifetime (explain developmental process of memory ability) – what dissociation might be caused by – how stess fries memory region (hippocampus) brain cells for both victim and perp – describing ‘limbic kindling’, emotional dysregulation, inability to self-sooth, no trust region of brain – itty bitty left brain happy center – what brain plasticity really means – describing, say, how completely different from normal a borderline’s brain is – what’s coming down the road in terms of brain research, how that will change ‘mental illness’ categories – resting brain state, consciousness and involvement of the self in brain – how many of these changes (I believe science will show) mimic (and shown to cause in some) emotional limbic kinding/seizures, autistic-symptoms, bi-polar etc – changes in social brain at same time in emotional brain connected to stress-calm response – involvement of internal steroid system – cannabinoid and opioid systems – substance P (pain hormone) – (provide a brain term word glossary – cluster the tech brain terms together – some might skip them or come back) – book has to increase vocabulary so we can include new info in our thinking) –

PREPARING READERS TO LOOK (PERHAPS WITH SORROW, SHOCK AND DISMAY – ALONG WITH DAWNING INSIGHT) at what happens in our survivorship when we don’t have the info already presented in this first half of book as we ACTUALLY entered into our life past childhood) –

2nd half of the book is up close and personal – heading toward transformation – ‘break the bone and set it right’ – opening up realizations (and closed pussy wounds) for new healing

(3) – SURVIVORSHIP – entering our adult life with wrong information, no information – unprepared and wounded and not knowing it – making major decisions while our cortex is completing growth – having no clue what is really wrong, trying to ‘recover’ and gain understanding while most critical info we need is missing – what it’s like to live in a ‘good’ world while we were formed in a ‘bad’ world – trauma drama, etc – looking around and comparing how we are doing with others – measurements of success in our culture, impossible standards, not knowing why we fail, make mistakes, can’t keep up, can’t plan for the future – asking the questions = introspection, preparing for getting the answers – how attachment works ‘invisibly’ in our relationships and parenting – what it’s LIKE living with dissociation – contamination of present with intergenerational unresolved trauma – passing on abuse and attachment disorders and can’t control, don’t understand – stuck in bad relationships – nothing but rocky road if we try to look backwards – no tools (no road grader) to smooth things out – spiritual issues (stemming from attachment disorders) – having no words even to think about what happened (no info) – oh, and NO CHILD WITHIN or ADULT CHILD! – struggle with sensory overload and don’t know why – going to war already ‘broken’ – stuck in peritrauma – too hot, too cold – buying ‘diagnosis’ – drugs – nobody talks about what REALLY happened, taboos, conspiracy of silence – feeling isolated and alone – screwed up feel good feel bad reward system biochem – tracing all back to attachment-designed physiology in the body – trying to hatch into adulthood without secure outer or inner foundation – shutting off attachment needs to experience caregiving system correctly – taking some of what we can find (AA, parenting classes, etc) and using it best we can, always feeling something is missing
(4) –DISCLOSURE – getting real about how what was done to us changed us – need the right information and get it (of course MUCH from this little book) – disclosure is about letting our own self know what happened and about ‘telling’ someone else – gaining the WORDS – knowing how to keep our self safe – not hunting for memories, etc. – comes full circle to growth in infancy, learning to TALK about our story – understanding emotional dysregulation personally – clearing the pathway of obstacles, increasing the ‘coherency’ of our vision of our life, etc – passing our healing changes on to others – being able to clear ‘the wreckage of the past’ (as 12-steppers say) about how our changes hurt others – making new, better, healed connections all the way around in self, body, relationships – gaining informed compassion and coming to terms with what was done to us (and our version of forgiveness) – turning our dis-abilities into gifts by recognizing how changes saved us – recognizing how they affected our choices and decisions so we can LEARN to do it differently while living ‘within our means’ (what is truly POSSIBLE for us considering the changes – knowing our weaknesses and strengths, knowing how to get help, where, limitations within our CULTURE on getting what we need versus NOT and not taking that lack personally – pushing for social change – connecting the circle from victim to survivor to helping victims (prevent, intercede) – reach out and connect to others – discuss healing of attachment (‘earned secure’ versus my term ‘borrowed’) – breaking taboos in breaking the silence that binds (just found a book title for my collection of essays!) –

HAS TO include reading list and resource links along with complete (I wish LEGAL disclaimer – maybe I can find one to copy)

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I could do

360 Degrees of Change for Survivors of Difficult Survivors:

Study Guide, Workbook and Exercises

Maybe will be generated at same time I am pulling the book together, that would be good – could apply for the ISBN for it

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For Mother’s writings:

Unspeakable Madness:  No Word in Our Borderline Mother’s Writings about Her Reign of Terror

Book One: Pre-Alaska diaries and letters

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Unspeakable Madness:  No Word in Our Borderline Mother’s Writings about Her Reign of Terror

Book Two: Alaskan homesteading era diaries and letters

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Unspeakable Madness:  The Making of an Abusive Borderline Mother

Her Childhood Stories and Background with Commentary

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My adult survivor book:

Disowning Mother:

Travels of a Child Abuse Survivor from Empty Wraith to Empowered Warrior

This works for me – I know what I mean here!

And, I HAVE traveled, all of my life – and my process is directly mirrored in my travels – could organize the material, even, by geographical settings

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and last, if I ever pull this together:

Breaking the Silence that Binds:

A Collection of Essays by a Severe Infant-Child Abuse Survivor

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+DID ZERO MERCY IN MY CHILDHOOD SAVE ME?

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I checked in with myself this morning to see how I am feeling in comparison to how I felt yesterday morning.  I found that I am OK.  I feel proud of myself that I instantly recognized yesterday what I was feeling and how I arrived at that ‘grim reaper’ state.  I feel proud that I was able to escape that feeling state through my process of recognition and choice so that today I am free of it’s grip and can live now being happier.

I am thinking this morning about all the baby plants my sister so sweetly and carefully dug up and transported from her property in north Texas to mine here in southeastern Arizona.  I need to find a place to plant them into the ground, a task that’s made harder because of the two months of dryness and increasing heat that all life faces here in the cycle of seasons that lead up to the coming of our hoped for July monsoon rains.  Nothing I plant will live without daily watering, and the more plants I have to take care of the more time I have to spend watering them.

And as I puzzled about my unfinished landscaping projects and thought about where I can temporarily make this spring’s garden arranged carefully around the watering range of the two 50 foot soaker hoses I picked up yesterday, three words popped into my mind as if they were displayed in the air in front of my face:  Scrambling for Mercy.

Immediately following this odd mental display I saw in my mind three images appear as if they were pearls connected on a string.  I saw:

– Twenty children at a party excitedly and very noisily taking their turns at being blindfolded.  With a stout stick in their hands, they wildly swing at a brightly colored piñata that’s tied to a rope swung over a tree limb.  The free end of the rope is yanked up and down so the piñata spins and leaps through the air until finally some lucky child makes solid impact.  As candy pieces spill though the air, all of the children scramble in and grab as much as they can of prized loot.

–  Next I see a similar interaction between children and candy.  In the excitement of watching a holiday parade children stand on sidewalk curbs, poised on their toes, bent at the waist like sprint racers at the starting line, waiting for someone to heave candy into the air so they can all scramble again for their prized loot.

– Next I see some imaginary setting that involves coins being tossed into a group of children or adults, and another scene where paper money is thrown into the air as people race and scramble to grab it.

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I have to look closely at the mental gymnastics my right and left brain are doing right now to see how any of these thoughts actually fit together.  What information is passing back and forth between my insightful right brain and my linear left brain that is trying to make sense out of any possible connection between how I feel, what I am preparing to do with my day, and these thoughts about ‘scrambling for mercy’?

First, I want to know more about this word MERCY.  As I’ve mentioned before it is our right brain that knows about a word’s life – its connection into history, action and multiple meaning.

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MERCY

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French merci, from Medieval Latin merced-, merces, from Latin, price paid, wages, from merc-, merx merchandise

Date: 13th century

1 a : compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment <begged for mercy> b : imprisonment rather than death imposed as penalty for first-degree murder
2 a : a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion b : a fortunate circumstance <it was a mercy they found her before she froze>
3 : compassionate treatment of those in distress <works of mercy among the poor>

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Well, look at this!  My right brain instinctively and intuitively KNEW that the image of scrambling for MERCY as if it was candy or money were right on target.  My left brain is still waiting for more information…….

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As I peer behind the curtain of my thinking this morning, I know that I started with my appreciation that NOW I understand when the ‘grim reaper’ feeling takes over my life, when the vast storehouse in my body of trauma-related memory-feelings steals away all awareness of anything different, I have ways to process this experience because I understand it.

As I wrote in yesterday’s post, I can always try to avoid being overwhelmed by my trauma memory-feeling state.  I can recognize it when I ‘blow it’ and miss my opportunities to avoid its being triggered.  Once it does get triggered, I now have information about how to settle my body memory down so that the feeling becomes quiet again.  Once I find ways to ground myself in my body in my present moment, and once the terrible (very real) body-based trauma memory feeling states can be lulled back to sleep again, I can participate in all kinds of different ways in my present day life like I never could before.

My left brain is happier now that it can see the ‘before and after’ connections in my thinking right now.  Before the ‘scrambling for mercy’ thought-image appeared, on some level I was thinking about the uniqueness of my perspective on everything I think and write about.

I did not ‘scramble for mercy’ yesterday in a panic to make that terrible ‘grim reaper’ feeling that had overwhelmed me go away.  I have practical understandings about trauma triggering today, and I have increasing practical experience in how to live better when it happens.  Once I understood this today, I also understood that not once in my extremely abusive childhood did I ever have a glimmer that mercy existed.   I could not possibly have begged for something I did not know existed, nor could I scramble for it.

That might be a rather unique fact that others with severe infant-child abuse histories might not share.  I can’t say that this realization about finding better ways to endure today and about having to find these ways within our own self because no mercy ever existed for us and was not available to be scrambled after, begged for, waited for, expected or anticipated, or ever granted at all.

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I am not going hunting for some earlier root-word connection (back to before the 12th century) for this word MERCY, though it puzzles me I don’t easily see this word’s clear footprints leading back into its past.  How are the meanings of MERCY as they connect to compassion also connected to merchandise transactions?

I have often said that traumatic conditions in a malevolent early environment signal a growing body to prepare for either plenty or scarcity of resources.  The trauma-altered changes that are required during development to help ensure survival then signal to others the conditions of the world a person was made in.

Nature, on its own, has no more interest in anthropomorphizing human experience than it does in anthropomorphizing the experience of a stone.  In this word MERCY, in its history and in its connotations, I suspect that we can find the cold, hard practicality of nature being reflected in human language origins and uses.

There was no mercy in my childhood because my mother did not have enough resources in her childhood as she developed to end up with the resource of mercy to give it to me – EVER.

I am surprised at this moment to realize that I have been led to discover a connection between what I have always said about a major difference between my mother’s early experiences as they led to her demise and mine.  Even though the abuse she did to me was probably far more severe than what was done to her, mine did not damage me in the same way.

When a parent wields MERCY over a child and hands it out manipulatively and meanly, as was done to my mother, an entirely different developmental growth pattern is followed than when MERCY does not EVER exist at all.

We can talk about this in terms of ‘conditional’ love, but it has nothing to do with love.

In the root origins of our word MERCY there are connections to prices being paid, wages and merchandise.  These are concepts directly tied to commodities (resources).  When MERCY is given and taken away viciously, maliciously, conditionally and unreasonably, does the child who has been made dependent in their emotional survival on parental actions come to understand that people, too, are no more than commodities (objects)?

My left brain makes a very clear connection here:  My mother’s father was a successful stock broker before the crash of 1929.  Did he so think about life in terms of ‘commodities’ that he infected his emotional relationships with the same kind of thinking that he applied to his profession?

Was his wife, and were his children nothing more than commodities?

This now leads me to a new thought I have never had before:  To what extent was the damage done to my mother in her earliest formative years accomplished not only by her mother but also by her father through processes like these I am just now thinking about?

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In the Absence of Mercy

I have mentioned this before and here it is again:  My life as an infant-child was simple.  Even though it was full of horror, suffering, trauma and abuse, it was simple.  I wasn’t treated like a commodity.  I wasn’t even treated as a human being.  I was always, consistently and permanently just ONE thing:  the devil’s child.

I didn’t ever deserve mercy.  Mercy was not in my mother’s world toward me.  I represented the part of my mother’s ‘badness’ (she projected en masse out on me) that kept my mother as a child from receiving the mercy she so desperately wanted – and needed.

I have never wanted or needed mercy.  For some reason after my trauma-memory-triggering of the ‘grim reaper’ reality flooded me yesterday, and as I found my own way out of that state so that I am OK today, I realize this.  For me, mercy has nothing to do with it because the experience of mercy never built my body, nervous system, brain, mind or relationship between self and others in the first place.  Unlike what happened to my mother, nobody ever involved the commodity of mercy in their transactions with me for my first 18 years.

At the same time I can say at this moment that it’s very strange that the zero-mercy of my childhood very well saved me from turning out like my mother did, I can say, “How cool is that!”

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+CRITICAL – OXYTOCIN – THE RELATIONSHIP GLUE

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Oxytocin is the glue that holds all mammal relationships TOGETHER.  Without oxytocin the opposite of ‘together’ happens.  Infant-child abuse represents a ‘tearing apart’ and a ‘breaking apart’ of relationships rather than a ‘building up’.

I am posting two chapters today from this book, with more to follow in future posts:

The Oxytocin Factor: Tapping the Hormone of Calm, Love, and Healing by Kerstin Uvnas Moberg, Roberta Francis, Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg, and Translated by Roberta Francis (Hardcover – Sept. 16, 2003)

The information on this blog from Moberg’s book is very important.  We cannot think intelligently about infant-child abuse without the ability to think intelligently about attachment, and we cannot think about attachment intelligently without being able to think about oxytocin.

In situations where caregivers abuse and maltreat infants and children under their care – EVERY SINGLE TIME THIS HAPPENS – there is something wrong with the operation of the caregiver’s attachment system.  This means that at those times the perpetrator’s oxytocin-related system IS NOT WORKING PROPERLY.

*Oxytocin – Chapter 4: The body’s control centers

*Oxytocin – Chapter 5: How oxytocin works

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There are several posts on this blog that are concerned with oxytocin – FIND THEM HERE.

Of these posts, THESE ARE THE ONES about oxytocin that relate to Dr. Moberg’s work I have posted through today.

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From Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault, PhD, your Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder

I am a cognitive behavioral therapist, but not many people know what that means or how cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used to address BPD symptoms. This week, learn more about whether CBT could help you.

CBT for Borderline Personality

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that targets the “cognitive” (thinking-related) and “behavioral” (action-related) aspects of a psychological condition.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy – When Change Isn’t Enough

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a special kind of cognitive behavioral therapy designed for people with BPD. Dr. Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington noticed that people with BPD need more than just a change-focused therapy, they need better acceptance (by others and of themselves). The solution? DBT.
BPD in the News -Charges Brought in Assisted BPD Suicide

Dr. Lawrence Egbert, the head of the right-to-die group Final Exit Network (FEN) is currently facing charges for allegedly helping a woman with BPD commit suicide.
Life With Borderline Personality Disorder

While BPD can affect many areas of your life, your legal status and physical health, many people with BPD lead normal and fulfilling lives. Learn how BPD might impact you, and how you can improve your quality of life.

Must Reads

What is BPD?
Symptoms of BPD
Diagnosis of BPD
Treatment of BPD
Living with BPD

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+ARE YOU A ‘SENSITIVE?’

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I appreciate this link on information about sensitivity being sent to ‘my attention’.  It reminds me of the description of the ends of a ‘personality’ spectrum being like ‘hawks’ on one end and ‘doves’ on another — SEE:  *Allostasis and Allostatic Load for more information, including a presentation about even the differences in the immune system between these two types of people.

(Also this link to articles by Bruce McEwen on the subject)

Throughout human history, there have always been ‘sensitives’ that were specifically geared to gathering plants.  Even their immune system response is specifically geared to fight the kind of pathogens that are more likely to appear within this kind of environment.  These ‘dove’ people’s immune system is different than the ‘hawk’ people’s immune system as the ‘hawks’ are more likely to receive wounds in combat and the hunt for large game that required a different immune system response.

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I am a ‘dove’ person as is my oldest brother.  When ‘sensitives’ are exposed to severely traumatic, unstable and unpredictable early home circumstances, I believe we follow a different kind of ‘suffering’ pathway than do those who are less sensitive and ‘hawkish’ (like my mother).  (Perhaps some are naturally easier prey and others predators?)

This article posted here is interesting, to say the least!

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http://www.livescie nce.com/health/ shy-brain- process-informat ion-differently- 100405.html

Study Sheds Light on What Makes People Shy

By LiveScience Staff

posted: 06 April 2010 08:07 am ET

The brains of shy or introverted individuals might actually process the world differently than their more extroverted counterparts, a new study suggests.

About 20 percent of people are born with a personality trait called sensory perception sensitivity (SPS) that can manifest itself as the tendency to be inhibited, or even neuroticism. The trait can be seen in some children who are “slow to warm up” in a situation but eventually join in, need little punishment, cry easily, ask unusual questions or have especially deep thoughts, the study researchers say.

The new results show that these highly sensitive individuals also pay more attention to detail, and have more activity in certain regions of their brains when trying to process visual information than those who are not classified as highly sensitive.

The study was conducted by researchers at Stony Brook University in New York, and Southwest University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, both in China. The results were published March 4 in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

The sensitive type

Individuals with this highly sensitive trait prefer to take longer to make decisions, are more conscientious, need more time to themselves in order to reflect, and are more easily bored with small talk, research suggests.

Previous work has also shown that compared with others those with a highly sensitive temperament are more bothered by noise and crowds, more affected by caffeine,  and more easily startled. That is, the trait seems to confer sensitivity all around.

The researchers in the current study propose the simple sensory sensitivity to noise, pain, or caffeine is a side effect of an inborn preference to pay more attention to experiences.

They first used an established questionnaire to separate the sensitive from the non-sensitive participants. Then, the 16 participants compared a photograph of a visual scene with a preceding scene, indicating whether or not the scene had changed. Scenes differed in whether the changes were obvious or subtle, and in how quickly they were presented. Meanwhile, the researchers scanned each participant’ s brain with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Sensitive persons looked at the scenes with subtle differences for a longer time than did non-sensitive persons, and showed significantly greater activation in brain areas involved in associating visual input with other input to the brain and with visual attention. These brain areas are not simply used for vision itself, but for a deeper processing of input.

Role in evolution

The sensitivity trait is found in over 100 other species, from fruit flies and fish to canines and primates, indicating this personality type could sometimes provide an evolutionary advantage.

Biologists are beginning to agree that within one species there can be two equally successful “personalities. ” The sensitive type, always a minority, chooses to observe longer before acting, as if doing their exploring with their brains rather than their limbs. The other type “boldly goes where no one has gone before,” the scientists say.

The sensitive individual’s strategy is not so advantageous when resources are plentiful or quick, aggressive action is required. But it comes in handy when danger is present, opportunities are similar and hard to choose between, or a clever approach is needed.

Copyright © 2010 TechMediaNetwork. com

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http://www.livescie nce.com/health/ shy-brain- process-informat ion-differently- 100405.html

Study Sheds Light on What Makes People Shy

By LiveScience Staff

posted: 06 April 2010 08:07 am ET

The brains of shy or introverted individuals might actually process the world differently than their more extroverted counterparts, a new study suggests.

About 20 percent of people are born with a personality trait called sensory perception sensitivity (SPS) that can manifest itself as the tendency to be inhibited, or even neuroticism. The trait can be seen in some children who are “slow to warm up” in a situation but eventually join in, need little punishment, cry easily, ask unusual questions or have especially deep thoughts, the study researchers say.

The new results show that these highly sensitive individuals also pay more attention to detail, and have more activity in certain regions of their brains when trying to process visual information than those who are not classified as highly sensitive.

The study was conducted by researchers at Stony Brook University in New York, and Southwest University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, both in China. The results were published March 4 in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

The sensitive type

Individuals with this highly sensitive trait prefer to take longer to make decisions, are more conscientious, need more time to themselves in order to reflect, and are more easily bored with small talk, research suggests.

Previous work has also shown that compared with others those with a highly sensitive temperament are more bothered by noise and crowds,more affected by caffeine, and more easily startled. That is, the trait seems to confer sensitivity all around.

The researchers in the current study propose the simple sensory sensitivity to noise, pain, or caffeine is a side effect of an inborn preference to pay more attention to experiences.

They first used an established questionnaire to separate the sensitive from the non-sensitive participants. Then, the 16 participants compared a photograph of a visual scene with a preceding scene, indicating whether or not the scene had changed. Scenes differed in whether the changes were obvious or subtle, and in how quickly they were presented. Meanwhile, the researchers scanned each participant’ s brain with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Sensitive persons looked at the scenes with subtle differences for a longer time than did non-sensitive persons, and showed significantly greater activation in brain areas involved in associating visual input with other input to the brain and with visual attention. These brain areas are not simply used for vision itself, but for a deeper processing of input.

Role in evolution

The sensitivity trait is found in over 100 other species, from fruit flies and fish to canines and primates, indicating this personality type could sometimes provide an evolutionary advantage.

Biologists are beginning to agree that within one species there can be two equally successful “personalities. ” The sensitive type, always a minority, chooses to observe longer before acting, as if doing their exploring with their brains rather than their limbs. The other type “boldly goes where no one has gone before,” the scientists say.

The sensitive individual’s strategy is not so advantageous when resources are plentiful or quick, aggressive action is required. But it comes in handy when danger is present, opportunities are similar and hard to choose between, or a clever approach is needed.

Copyright © 2010 TechMediaNetwork. com

+CAN’T WRITE ABOUT SADNESS

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Lately I haven’t been able to write here.  The part of me that could whip words around seems to be gone.  For how long, I do not know.

I did want to post the link to something my brother left here for me when he came to visit a week ago.  It is from the letter he wrote two years ago in support of my application for Social Security Disability.

*Statement from my oldest brother (1950)

Mostly lately I seem swallowed in sadness.  I miss more than I can ever say the man I love whose presence vanquished my sorrow.  This sadness has been with me since I was a very tiny baby, and has only been removed for temporary times through certain different circumstances at various times over these past 58 years.

Nothing is making the sadness go away right now.  I cannot see the future.  I miss my best friend.  I miss him terribly.  There’s no point in writing about that, so I don’t.

(I have my yard fence almost done.  I am making progress learning to read music and playing piano keyboard.)

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