Welcome!!! Please, if you are new here, READ THIS FIRST!!! Thank You!!!

Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Validation ~ Make A Difference in Someone's Day!!

Validation ~ "In psychology and human communication, validation is the reciprocated communication of respect which communicates that the other's opinions are acknowledged, respected, heard, and (regardless whether or not the listener actually agrees with the content), they are being treated with genuine respect as a legitimate expression of their feelings, rather than marginalized or dismissed."

We all need to receive and expresss validation and affirmations. It does help everyone to feel good and SMILE!!! :D

Please take the time to watch this video that was brought to my attention by John of Storied Mind. Go take a look about his poignant, thought provoking, and from the heart blog about depression. Please watch the whole video even though the beginning is a bit long...the ending is worth the wait.




"Validation" is a fable about the magic of free parking. Starring TJ Thyne & Vicki Davis. Writer/Director/Composer - Kurt Kuenne

What do you do to make strangers feel validated?
Describe a time that you felt validated by a stranger.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It Sucks To Be Borderline!!

Did you know that your therapist is human? Humans make mistakes.  Humans can hurt your feelings. Humans can totally miss what you are saying. Humans also can think about what isn't working and look at themselves.  They can also apologize and take responsibility for their part of the interaction...Thank God!!  My therapist is human!!!

Since my birthday, I was becoming increasingly depressed and hopeless about therapy.  Part of it was that there were many abandonment issues surrounding my aunt not acknowledging my birthday at all.  As expected, my suicidal thoughts and self-injury urges became stronger due to what I was working through in therapy.  I was also becoming more fragmented and hopeless about continuing therapy.

I did not realize it while it was happening because most of it was subtle, but my therapist was cutting me off, invalidating or not validating my feelings and also expecting me to be able to provide myself with validation and comfort which at this point I am unable to do.  These were also extremely subtle and neither of us were aware what was happening, but I was really depress and hopeless.  I won't go into detail of what he said or did that was not helpful or hurtful.

Last week was the worst of all of it as it really kicked up my abandonment issues which my therapist pointed out.  ***Warning Borderline Behavior*** On Wednesday, I was so angry and hopeless after session that I left a nasty message stating that "my suicidal thoughts and self injury urges are way up and I'm angry, thinking that I'm bad and hopeless. Therapy is not working, so I'm terminating. I keep ending up in the same place and like you said I won't meet my life's goals if I continue what I am doing. So, you agree with my friend about my friend just saying get over it was not realistic because today it seemed like that was what you were telling me to do. I'm never going to be able to go back to school.  Yes, I know that I'm fragmenting, but I'm still not coming back. I don't care anymore, don't care, don't care."

The next day, I left another message that saying that I was sorry for the message that I left.  I know that I am making myself miserable and probably taking my anger out on you instead of my aunt and trying to get you to call me.  I'd like to see you this evening if you have time.

Later, I left another message saying that I was terminating and don't bother to call. [I also was aware that he had a class all day from 8 am to 3 pm.]  When he called me back and asked if I wanted to see him, I said, "no."  He said okay, but if you change your mind call me. Then, I asked if we could have a telephone session which we scheduled for that evening.

Then, I left a message cancelling the appointment saying that it was hopeless anyway and that I was going to feel worse afterward, so it was a waste of time and that I was terminating therapy.  Then, I asked if I could see him instead of a telephone session.  He called back and said that we could have a face to face session.

[I was one borderline out of control, being manipulative, ambivalent, pushing away and trying to draw close, etc... It wasn't pretty.  I was a mess.]

Once there, I didn't feel so angry.  He had me say what I wanted to and then gave me an explanation of what he thought was going on.  He validated my feelings and listed several things that he said or did that led me to be more depressed, hopeless, abandoned, angry and hurt.  He took responsibility for it and apologized.  He indicated that if he could he would take it back.

However, when these things happen once I'm thinking, I am always able to see how those types of "therapeutic misses" tell something or are helpful, no matter how painful.  I thought about how during such a short period that not having validation and feeling abandoned by him cause me to feel more depressed and hopeless.  I realized that this is how I lived my life, so no wonder I have issues with validation and abandonment and have been depressed all of my life.  I also realized that my feelings developed because I didn't get what I needed.  I felt sad about it.

One other lesson or aha moment was when I realized that although I was angry when each "incident" happened that I couldn't have said anything because it seemed I went from hearing what was said directly to shutting down.  There was no cognitive or emotional awareness of feeling angry.  It is like that mechanism is missing from me when it comes to anger.  Need to work on this.  I can advocate and become angry when it has to do with someone else especially when working, but when it comes to me I'm lost. 

I felt so good and relieved that I saw my therapist in person and that he was able to explain what he thought happened.  But, it also sucks to be borderline!!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Night Out To The Walt Disney Concert Hall!!!

A week ago Saturday, I went to the Walt Disney Concert Hall for the first time.  The sound is absolutely amazing...best that I've ever heard.  I finally saw the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles live.  It was more traditional choral music, which is the last video, and actually them singing.

However, there we two songs that really brought me to tear up because I really heard the lyrics.  Both have to do with being authentic with yourself.  Obviously, the videos below are from other artists.  The two songs are "I Am What I Am," and "True Colors."  I hope that you enjoy the songs and listen to the words which are posted below the video.


You with the sad eyes
don't be discouraged
oh I realize
it's hard to take courage
in a world full of people
you can lose sight of it all
and the darkness inside you
can make you fell so small

But I see your true colors
shining through
I see your true colors
and that's why I love you
so don't be afraid to let them show
your true colors
true colors are beautiful
like a rainbow

Show me a smile then
don't be unhappy, can't remember
when I last saw you laughing
if this world makes you crazy
and you've taken all you can bear
you call me up
because you know I'll be there

And I'll see your true colors
shining through
I see your true colors
and that's why I love you
so don't be afraid to let them show
your true colors
true colors are beautiful
like a rainbow


I am what I am
I am my own special creation.
So come take a look,
Give me the hook or the ovation.
It's my world that I want to take a little pride in,
My world, and it's not a place I have to hide in.
Life's not worth a damn,
'Til you can say, "Hey world, I am what I am."
I am what I am,
I don't want praise, I don't want pity.
I bang my own drum,
Some think it's noise, I think it's pretty.
And so what, if I love each feather and each spangle,
Why not try to see things from a diff'rent angle?
Your life is a sham 'til you can shout out loud
I am what I am!
I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses.
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the ace, sometimes the deuces.
There's one life, and there's no return and no deposit;
One life, so it's time to open up your closet.
Life's not worth a damn 'til you can say,
"Hey world, I am what I am!"


Friday, August 27, 2010

Hidden Pieces ~ Sexual Abuse ~ Subtleties

***TRIGGER WARNING*** ***TRIGGER WARNING*** (Sexual Abuse)


I decided to begin retelling what I wrote to my therapist and I in the Winter/Spring of 2007 after four years of intense flashbacks and repressed memories emerging. [Current commentary is in brackets.] I wrote my seventy page "biography" because I needed to write out what I remembered and what I experienced to make it more "real" rather than a "story." I am ready to take the next step and putting more of it in my blog. This was the original reason for starting my blog and using my journal as a starting point. I am still struggling with believing that the following is the truth of my life:

When I was a preteen and teenager, my step-father stopped raping me, but looking back there were more subtle things and in light of what I now know occurred it makes sense why I was so bothered by some of them. He was at least extremely inappropriate. He began to tickle me to the point where I would urinate on myself which was humiliating and I know it continued well into after I started my period as I remember being afraid that my pad was going to move or that I would “leak.”

One of the few times I had a friend over, she told me that his tickling me made her uncomfortable. He also teased me about my body including the size of my breasts and my pimples. I remember gaining weight the last two years in high school which was the highest my weight [except for now] has ever been and I didn’t care much how I dressed, jeans and a knock off polo shirt untucked which I owned in every color of the world. That is what I wore everyday, in contrast, my first two years and in junior high school I cared very much about what I wore and how my hair was styled. I wore dresses and skirts and went to every single dance in junior high school and none in high school. Maybe, partly a symptom of a major depressive episode?

Also, I never thought this was important, but when I was 18 and in college, I went for a job interview. By this time my-step father and I were barely talking at all. But, I was wearing a dress and heels. He stopped and seemingly checked me out, look at me up and down, and said that I “looked really good.” I don’t know if at this point I was just paranoid, but I remember feeling uncomfortable about it…still do. These things have always bothered me, but I thought I was making a big deal out of minor comments and incidents.

I remember, for some reason, I had to shower in my step-father's and my mother’s shower and came into the dressing room where they could see me because they were in bed. He began to tease me about my weight and about my breasts being two different sizes. My mother also began to tease. I felt so humiliated and realized that maybe it wasn’t appropriate for me to be seen naked by them. Even while I write this, I am extremely embarrassed and feel like I should have known better because I was older.

Also, my step-father used to change down stairs in the laundry room that was directly adjacent to the television. He would then run from the television upstairs naked. Sometimes, my mother would pull his pants and underwear down in front of me and tell me to “look at the naked buns” or some other euphemism. I was so embarrassed and they seemed to have fun with it. In writing this, I’m realizing that they were sadistic in these events as well.

He also insisted on using my restroom unlocked even though it was mine and there were two other’s in the house. I wouldn’t know he was in there and would often walk in on him, which was quite embarrassing, and made me angry…never realized that it made me angry. Maybe, because he was intentionally exposing himself to me…again…which is how it started when I was younger. I also remember him watching the adult movies late at night and sometimes into morning…I could hear the movie and hear him making noises…I’m pretty sure he was masturbating.


[The day following the session where I read the above.] This morning I woke up tearing up and almost crying. My feelings were hurt yesterday in session. I felt misunderstood, cut off and like I did not get a chance to explain myself because you started talking. I felt a little something in the session, but just ignored it and it went away until this morning. They weren’t such a big things. And, I know I’m being ultra sensitive and fragmenting. But, when I was talking about my mother and my step-father teasing me in more sexual ways and feeling that it was somewhat “sadistic,” I felt like you immediately cut me off and told me that was too strong of a word. You actually cut me off in middle of my sentence. But, to me, I thought about it for a long time as to whether to use that word or not and was proud of myself that I actually used such a harsh word.

It seemed to fit because the type of teasing about Gene’s behind and my body, I felt the same type of humiliation and shame that I did with the other teasing and I felt that they were teasing me just for their enjoyment and to hurt and humiliate me, which is why you stated that their teasing and taunting was sadistic. To me the feelings and reasons for doing it were the same. Sometimes, I even asked my mother to stop, but she kept teasing along with my step-father stating, “I was being too sensitive and couldn’t take a joke.” If I said anything, they continued to tease me more about my body and other things that they taunted me about before, so I stopped saying anything. The teasing about my body and/or exposing his rear to me happened at least two to three times per week and possibly several times in one day. I guess, to me if you called the other teasing and taunting sadistic, this word would also seem to fit unless I misunderstand the meaning of the word or what you mean. I’m feeling really confused and hurt and feel bad and wish I would not have said anything…like I made too big a deal out of it. Along with all of that the flashbacks with Frank and Richard [I write about this later] are really disturbing to me. I’m feeling really bad and the suicidal thoughts are increasing and I’m really wanting to cut or bruise. I just want to die right now. (What you actually stated was not what I remembered…you said that you were not sure…flooded with too much…fragmenting…defensives way up…normal…extra session tomorrow.)

I now realize that I was directing my anger toward my therapist and not clearly seeing or hearing things as I was fragmenting.  Welcome to Borderlineville.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hidden Pieces ~ Sexual Abuse ~ The Garage

***TRIGGER WARNING*** ***TRIGGER WARNING*** (Graphic Description of Sexual Abuse)

I decided to begin retelling what I wrote to my therapist and I in the Winter/Spring of 2007 after four years of intense flashbacks and repressed memories emerging. [Current commentary is in brackets.] I wrote my seventy page "biography" because I needed to write out what I remembered and what I experienced to make it more "real" rather than a "story." I am ready to take the next step and putting more of it in my blog. This was the original reason for starting my blog and using my journal as a starting point. I am still struggling with believing that the following is the truth of my life:

Sometimes, my step-father and/or his father would lock me in the garage to rape me in the more sadistic ways…with objects. If my step-father was really angry with me, he would either beat me and/or rape me there. I felt so trapped and scared…you needed a key to get out of the garage and I just felt sick when I would hear the door lock…I knew that I was in trouble and there was absolutely no way out…I was being held against my will and it seems like some of the things that were done to me was a form of torture.

Sometimes, they would rape me vaginally and anally while lying on the concrete floor or while on the ping-pong table which I was always afraid that it would break and then I would really be in trouble. I remember the tool bench and everything being neatly arranged…I was absolutely terrified to even look at it. Even as I think of it now, I feel really sick and am closing my eyes. Even though it hurt, sometimes I would have rather just had a beating…sometimes I was both raped and beaten.

My step-father always did the beatings with his belt, ping-pong paddle or extra pieces of wood from projects that were worked on in the garage. He would hit until I started to bleed. Also, it really hurt when they inserted objects as they would clean them before and after with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol caused so much more pain…it felt like my whole insides had open cuts with the alcohol being poured on them. I have no idea if they even knew how much pain it caused. I usually went away the moment I heard the door lock…like I floated out of my body. I remember how much the whole process hurt and that I wanted to move and pound my fist on the ground, but I couldn’t…was too afraid that my step-father would hurt me more or kill me. As it was sometimes, he would hit my head on the floor or threaten to bash my head into the ground or to strangle me. I just remembered that…I’m feeling sick.

For several years, the men visiting in the house would also come and rape me with my step-father and/or his father watching me. Sometimes, my step-father would put a sock in my mouth or hold me down. At my step-father's parents, there were multiple men over several years including John who I thought was a friend because he used to take me places and bring ice cream just for me. He also raped me in his car during a trip at Magic Mountain. Felt like I did something wrong for him to turn on me.

During outings, there was also a day care worker that did the same thing. Special things, followed by locking me in a classroom with a friend of his and raping me and with his friend using a broom handle. The day care worker started by taking me out of sight behind heavy bushes or trees. First, he began just to touch my body and insert his fingers into my vagina and later began to rape me. Always, afterward he would purchase me ice cream or a popsicle. I thought, I was bad and did something wrong to change the relationship. Felt like I was bad to like the special treatment and still do.
This was again extremely difficult to write.  I can't believe this really happened, but it did and it gets worse.  One part that I journal about later was that on the floor I was held down, but on the ping-pong tables I was tied down.  I write about the garage later. Remember what I am writing was over a four year period  ending in 2007.  I am only now really sharing with others what I experienced.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hidden Pieces ~ Sexual Abuse ~ Incense

***TRIGGER WARNING*** ***TRIGGER WARNING*** (Graphic Sexual Abuse)

I decided to begin retelling what I wrote to my therapist and I in the Winter/Spring of 2007 after four years of intense flashbacks and repressed memories emerging. [Current commentary is in brackets.] I wrote my seventy page "biography" because I needed to write out what I remembered and what I experienced to make it more "real" rather than a "story." I am ready to take the next step and putting more of it in my blog. This was the original reason for starting my blog and using my journal as a starting point. I am still struggling with believing that the following is the truth of my life:

.....I had new flashes during session and after that I don’t feel safe enough talking about. One is of my step-father's mother grabbing my wrist and forcing me to put it on my step-father's father's  privates and then moving my hand up and down and prompting me to watch because I kept closing my eyes. She was telling me that this is all she could do, but men needed more, so they needed my help. When he ejaculated, it scared me and I felt like I did something wrong.

She also had me touch myself and her privates including insertion of my finger and her's.  She said that this is what men are going to do to me and that I need to do to them.  It was part of "purifying" me of the evil within me.  I also have this flash of a stick of incense being inserted into my vagina and being told that incense keeps the evil spirit and the devil away that is why they had to burn it when I was around. I also physically remember being burned in my privates.  [I now know that she was grooming me and was actually coordinating my abuse in her home.]

My step-father's mother did tarot card readings.  Two cards that my mother kept leaving in my room were the death and devil cards. I don’t think I understood the meaning, but the pictures themselves scared me. My hunch is that she told my mother and I different things about the cards. The death card was that I need to die and the devil card meant that I was evil.

My mother used to light incense after a fight with my step-father and smoke.  Both calmed her down.  I hated the smell and was so afraid it woundn't work and she would come after me...I just stayed quiet in my room...the incense scared me with her. (I had a flash of her holding my left hand and taking it and burning the top of my hand.) When she would light it during neutral times, she would be listening to music or reading or cleaning.  Sometimes, I would purposely burn my fingers. [My first known incident of self-harm and burning would continue to be a difficult area for me.]

I also remember if it was after a fight, I would peek around the corner to make sure my mother was okay and that the incense or cigarette hadn't fallen because I didn't want anything to get burned or for a fire to start...because sometimes she would fall asleep because she had taken something or was drinking either beer or vodka.  I knew not to try to interrupt once she lit the incense because she just went into her own world. The one time that I remember trying to comfort her like I did during other times, she burned my hand, but not to badly because it healed quickly.

This was extremely difficult to rewrite as I don't want to remember and I am projecting that you don't believe me and that I am making it up.  I also feel sick to my stomach and buzzy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hidden Pieces ~ Sexual Abuse ~ Continues

***TRIGGER WARNING*** ***TRIGGER WARNING*** (Graphic Sexual Abuse)

I decided to begin retelling what I wrote to my therapist and I in the Winter/Spring of 2007 after four years of intense flashbacks and repressed memories emerging. [Current commentary is in brackets.] I wrote my seventy page "biography" because I needed to write out what I remembered and what I experienced to make it more "real" rather than a "story." I am ready to take the next step and putting more of it in my blog. This was the original reason for starting my blog and using my journal as a starting point. I am still struggling with believing that the following is the truth of my life:


Somewhere during first or second grade, I began spending more time at my step-father's parent's home. Neither worked, I know she had a neurological disease and was paid as a psychic reader, so there were a lot of “hippy people” in and out of the house. The radio or the television was extremely loud to the point that you could hear details before you got out of your car. My step-father always liked the radio or television loud and spoke very loudly. There was so much noise at their place between the television, radio and the number of people speaking loudly it was really overwhelming and hurt my ears.

Along with that was too much perfume and cologne that my step-father's parents wore along with the smell of incense and marijuana. At home, it was hidden cigarettes that my mother smoked and incense and sometimes marijuana. I wonder if that is why I am so sensitive to odors especially the ones mentioned. Marijuana makes me really nauseated and I have thrown up before. [Currently, I cannot be around anything secented with out getting sick. My allergist said that I just need to avoid almost everything. This creates much anxiety when I have to be in places where they are people. At the very least, I get a sinus headache and migraine.]


At first my step-father, began raping me at home and in his van when my mother was not around. He was quite rough and seemed like he just really wanted to hurt me. It was almost like all of his anger and hatred of me went into every thrust he made…felt like he was actually trying to physically cause me as much pain as possible. He was assaultive and sadistic and raped me numerous times.

While in the van, my step-father would sometimes forcibly hit my head on the windows and the engine cover. It was like the more pain he thought I was in the happier it made him. I was really afraid he was going to kill me or that I would die. Sometimes, I wanted to die it hurt so much and I just wanted it to stop. But, I still never made a sound, cried, fought back, said anything to stop it or told anyone about it.


Soon after, my step-father and his father began raping me in a much more sadistic and humiliating ways. They began to penetrate me both vaginally and anally with their penis and objects including a hammer, screwdriver, brush, broom handle, kitchen utensils, and maybe other items. Sometimes, he would have me stand which was more painful as it seemed harder for him to insert either himself or the objects. Some of the time, he would have me lie face down on the bed with my legs hanging from the bed. I can feel the tearing of skin and blood especially at first.

At home with my step-father, I remember feeling the pattern of the bed spread on my face and sometimes, I would bite into it because it hurt so much I wanted to cry, scream and tell him to stop, but I would not dare to do so…too afraid that it would just enrage him more and that he might kill me. At his parents’ house, sometimes it was on my step-father’s bed with the blue comforter that didn’t have a pattern. I remember in both settings that I not only bite into the bed covering, but I also dug my nails into it. It just dawned on me that maybe this is why I dig and dug my nails into my own skin…it makes it easier to endure even just talking which is extremely painful at times.

Also, I wonder if this has to do with my arm being grabbed by my father, my mother, my step-father or his father  either while being verbally or physically assaulted, beaten or sexually abused? My mother says that I have always had problems with constipation for which she never took me to the doctor. My first exam regarding constipation was when I was an adult and completely responsible for my own health needs. I also have never been able to urinate if I am not comfortable with the environment no matter how much pain. (After sharing this, I immediately felt bad and angry at myself for letting them do those things to me…you said that I was forced, not a willing participant…also, that sometimes you just cringe knowing what I am going to need to say next. Felt comforted and understood.) [Currently, I do not blame myself most of the time. I am beginning to accept that there was nothing I could have done. Yes, the reality of possibly being killed is real.]

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hidden Pieces ~ Sexual Abuse ~ The Beginning

***TRIGGER WARNING***  ***TRIGGER WARNING***  (Graphic Sexual Abuse)

I decided to begin retelling what I wrote to my therapist and I in the Winter/Spring of 2007 after four years of intense flashbacks and repressed memories emerging. [Current commentary is in brackets.]  I wrote my seventy page "biography" because I needed to write out what I remembered and what I experienced to make it more "real" rather than a "story."  I am ready to take the next step and putting more of it in my blog.  This was the original reason for starting my blog and using my journal as a starting point.  I am still struggling with believing that the following is the truth of my life:


When my step-father began living with us, he started to molest me. At first, he used to purposely leave their bedroom door open [when I opened my bedroom door I looked directly into their room].  I would see him sitting at the end of his bed masturbating. At the beginning, he made me touch him until he ejaculated which scared me and he would say, “see what a mess you made”.

Then, my step-father started to force my head down, and tell me to open my mouth and put it (his penis) in my mouth as he ejaculated into my mouth. He would hold my head there until I swallowed which he demanded I did. I felt so nauseated as I do while writing this. [Currently, the idea of oral sex or my face coming toward my husband's penis triggers flashback and really freaks me out.  Sometimes, I feel nauseated thinking about it or when I smell something similar.]

When my-stepfather bathed me, he would put his fingers into my vagina and sometimes would come into my room and do the same at night or after my mother left for work. By this time, I was so terrified of him that I would do anything he told me to and not tell anyone and definitely did not cry and tried not to make a sound. [Remember the death threats.]

I wish I could say that it ended at that, but my step-father only grew more violent and sadistic, at times almost verges on torture. [my therapist says it was torture.] There was an incident when he wanted to play Monopoly, but I didn’t. I wanted to play with my Barbie’s. He began to scream at me and called me spoiled and that I need to do what he tells me to do. He pushed me to the ground and pulled my pants and underwear off and shoved one of my Barbie’s feet first into my vagina and then removed it and shoved the second one in…it felt like he was intentionally trying to hurt me and like he shoved it in as far as he could while turning it. I felt like I was going to pass out it hurt so much.

I also remember the green carpet and my trying to dig my nails into it because it hurt so much. I remember the feel of the shallow pattern on my hand. Then, later on my face, I could feel the carpet. Then, he had forced me on my stomach and began beating me with his belt. I wanted to die…felt like he was going to kill me. When my mother came home, she immediately began yelling and hitting and slapping me. I was assaulted and raped by my step-father with my Barbies and then assaulted by my mother. [To this day, I absolutely hate Monopoly and I am triggered.]

I remember being in bed at the duplex and was inserting my Barbie into my vagina. Also, used to push ice into my vagina or anus, but it wasn’t to soothe me as it was so cold that it actually hurt, but I made myself hold it in while holding onto a pillow or blanket, sometimes biting into it. I don’t know why I used to do this.

I think, I know why…When my step-father and his father used to lock me in the garage with them, sometimes, they would insert a Big Stick popsicle into my vagina or anus, turning it occasionally. It hurt so much because it was wider and longer than the other popsicles and his father seemed to shove it in as hard as he could. I always thought of him as gentler than my step-father, but the things that he did in the garage was just as aggressive and could cause the same degree of excruciating pain.

My step-father's father would always insert and my step-father would hold me down pinning my upper body to the concrete floor, which made it seem even colder. And, always that look in his eyes. I had to lay on the concrete floor on my stomach or back completely nude, so not to soil my clothing…so, I was told. It was so cold or hurt so much that sometimes, I felt as if I were going to pass out.

Sometimes, ants started to crawl on me, the puddle and the popsicle, so I was feeling really creepy and was afraid that they would get inside of me. I had to stay still and not touch anything; otherwise, my step-father said that after he was done doing what he wanted to me that since I disobeyed him that he would give me a spanking. This meant with his belt or a ping-pong paddle and that he would hit until I bled. I had to leave the popsicle in until it completely melted…sometimes they would then leave me alone and let me lay there, but always eyeing me and periodically coming back to push it in further and to turn it. Turning it caused more pain as it made it feel colder. But, sometimes they would touch me all over my body, rubbing me. Sometimes, either one or both would straddle me and make me put their penis into my mouth and swallow when they ejaculated. [Today, when we have problems with ants, I can't handle it.  I have to leave the room and my husband takes care of it...I have such vivid flashbacks still.  My therapist said that I need to deal with my rage in order for them to stop.]

I just realized and feel really bad, but I liked it when they did other things because it was warmer…I hate myself for it and feel like my body betrayed me. There was always a sticky puddle and they would wash it up and hose me down with the garden hose. Needless to say I would “disappear,” so I didn’t feel the pain all the time and it helped me to stay still. Sometimes, it seemed like I could float above myself and watch it happen…really disconnected. I wanted to die. I felt humiliated, enraged, terror and excruciating pain. I was also afraid that my mother would find out and that I would get into trouble for doing such a bad things.

Sad thing is that Big Sticks were my favorite popsicle, so I would always get it from the ice cream truck. I liked the flavor and it had a different texture when eating it. I stopped getting those, but knew if they purchased one that they were not going to eat it…I just hoped that they would use it that day rather than waiting several days with my anxiety growing. Sometimes, they purchased one that I was unaware of, so I was taken off guard. I started getting Bomb Pops. Thank God, they didn’t start using that because that is even wider…hurts just thinking about it. It wasn’t as bad as some of the other stuff as it happened less frequently. I’ve never told anyone…I didn’t have enough to say. At least, I thought I didn’t, but as I begun talking and writing I remembered more details.) I really feel sick to my stomach and remember some of the physical pain and terror and wanting to die. [This was the first time I wrote it and the first time talking about it to my therapist.  With each flashback, it was if I was reliving all over again. My therapist said that it looked like that to him.]

Also, my dolls were physically abused, raped and suffocated. Also, in playing house with my friends, we would act out being beaten and locked in a closet. Sometimes, we would actually give each other real beatings with usually a piece of wood, belt, a switch or whatever was lying around or at the house we were at with no parents home. I’ve always been embarrassed to talk about this. [and still am...I wanted to delete this part.] Although, I do realize that children who are abused often reenact their abuse in play, which is what I used to do when I was alone. But, I still wonder if something was wrong with me and am extremely embarrassed to tell this to anyone.

I am becoming more anxious as I get into more of the details of my sexual abuse because there is much more. I hope that you will continue to "listen" even if you do not leave comments.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Do You Remember The Sixties?

http://objflicks.com/TakeMeBackToTheSixties.htm

How much do you remember or know about the Sixties?  Click above link for a great video.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hidden Pieces ~ Hypervigilance

***TRIGGER WARNING***  ***TRIGGER WARNING***

I decided to begin retelling what I wrote to my therapist and I in the Winter/Spring of 2007 after four years of intense flashbacks and repressed memories emerging. [Current commentary is in brackets.]  I wrote my seventy page "biography" because I needed to write out what I remembered and what I experienced to make it more "real" rather than a "story."  I am ready to take the next step and putting more of it in my blog.  This was the original reason for starting my blog and using my journal as a starting point.  I am still struggling with believing that the following is the truth of my life:


By the time I was a teenager, I was really numb most of the time and barely present, but was hypervigilant and was an expert on suppressing the tendency to duck, run, cover myself, scream or anything else that would protect me some. When we [my therapist] spoke about this, I realized that I’ve done this all my life and that it does take tremendous energy and control to do this. Even when I was in excruciating pain, I never made a sound and learned to stand still when I saw my mother come at me with her hand, fist or object to hit me even in the face…no reaction before, during or after no matter how searing or radiating the pain was even if she drew blood. I had the same reaction with the things that my father, my step-father, my step-father's father and the other men did.

I think part of what is making me extra hypervigilant is that it seems like it is part of the flashbacks. I think, I’m feeling and reacting the way I would have if I didn’t keep everything in so much control. I feel like I’m going crazy because every sound is making me extremely anxious… Last night, I had to ask my husband to stop cleaning the kitchen until I went into a quieter part of the house…I felt like I was so on edge I was going to explode either into tears because I was so anxious and tense or start yelling at him for making so much noise. Today, I ducked when the doorbell rang. What would be helpful now? To just let it happen or try to control it? (Suggestion: not to focus on the hypervigilance, but to still let my reactions happen naturally because I was unable to do so before.) I always needed to be on guard listening to every sound and if there was a subtle difference anticipating a fight and my then trying to hide, but being aware of when I needed to respond to my mother which was usually never timed right.

But, my mother and I used to argue too. I don’t really remember what they were about, but I don’t think that it was significant, maybe normal teenage stuff, or abusive. But, she was really critical which is why my aunt taught me to drive because my mother and I fought about my driving. She kept pointing out what she thought I was doing wrong to the degree that my aunt would tell her, “S, just shut up and let her drive!” I also find it interesting that somewhere when calling her, “Mommy” didn’t seem right that I stopped calling her anything. I always referred to her as my mom or my mother, but they didn’t feel right to me. She never responded to me anyway, at least, on the first attempt. my aunt and I used to joke and still do to this day that you have to call her name or ask your question at least three times before she even acknowledges you or answers. Yelling, “S” works the best.

With my mother, sometimes it started with her cleaning the kitchen or dusting or another household chore. I had to listen to how she was closing the drawers, windows, the trashcan and cupboards. I listened to how she walked, breathed, put things away or down on the counter. How she washed the dishes and put them away…literally every sound she would make as well as my step-father. How the doors were opened and closed, how they walked up or down the stairs. How they changed the television channels and the volume. How they drove the car into or out of the drive way…just everything. I was absolutely terrified and constantly on edge.


Also, trying to anticipate when my mother was going to demand my help, but I couldn’t offer sooner because she would immediately become angry…but, she would become angry if she had to call for me…usually yelling my name even if I was standing in the same room. If she did this, I, at the very least, would get slapped and my step-father would begin yelling at me for not listening to her. I felt so crazy and confused. Everything noise scared me and made me want to duck because once this cycle started it was inevitable that I was going to get at least slapped and screamed at. This was almost always started by my mother cleaning house, having an argument with my step-father, him being angry, her being angry or either one being angry with me.

My mother was could always be angry with my step-father as he did not help with cleaning the house, with the laundry, fixing things around the house or with the yard work. Yard work, even with my allergies, always ended up as a punishment for some excuse to be angry with me or a way for me to earn allowance. My friends even asked about the yard. His friends even came over unannounced several times to do the yard work for him, which ended up in a fight because my mother was embarrassed. He mostly spent time watching television, playing video games, playing with the little race cars that spanned four ping pong tables in the garage, played with the remote controlled cars which he used to race in this club, played basketball, went out with his friends to drink or played with the neighborhood kids with his “toys.” All the kids in the neighborhood thought he was great because he entertained and played with them…he had the really neat toys. I’m feeling really sick right now and how awful I felt then…really angry, anxious and somehow…it is painful…don’t really know why. (I can’t believe that I’ve never shared any of this with anyone before…feels weird.)
  [It still feels uncomfortable because I really don't want to admit how awful it was.]

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hidden Pieces ~ Arguing

***TRIGGER WARNING***  ***TRIGGER WARNING***

I decided to begin retelling what I wrote to my therapist and I in the Winter/Spring of 2007 after four years of intense flashbacks and repressed memories emerging. [Current commentary is in brackets.]  I wrote my seventy page "biography" because I needed to write out what I remembered and what I experienced to make it more "real" rather than a "story."  I am ready to take the next step and putting more of it in my blog.  This was the original reason for starting my blog and using my journal as a starting point.  I am still struggling with believing that the following is the truth of my life:


My step-father and my mother used to argue and fight a lot, at least three to six times per week. You asked me how bad it was. I was really taken off guard by the question…no one has ever asked this, so I really never thought much about the question. But, the question added other flashbacks of them fighting and arguing.

It was really horrible and the reason that I got physically sick when I needed to go home, dreading each step as I got closer to home or dreading rounding the corner if someone was taking me home. Friday’s were really bad. Sometimes, I just wanted to sit on the corner one street over on the curb and cry and stay there. Sometimes, I wanted to scream. I was terrified to go home because of what they might do to each other or to me…I was always afraid that my mother or myself was going to get really hurt or killed because it could escalate really quickly into physical violence.

Sometimes, I thought I’d rather die than go home. I did threaten to run away, but that was turned into a joke and I was teased about it…and they continued to bring it up. I wish I could have told someone why I wanted to run away instead of feeling humiliated.

I was absolutely terrified to go home especially if it was one of my step father’s days off. As I got closer to home I felt almost immobilized…kind of like when I’ve been going to work. And my anxiety was really, really high…I stomach would start to churn, hurt and become upset. I’d become nauseated and have a migraine headache and go to this place where I really wasn’t present. My chest would be tight, I’d get light headed and I’d have a lump in my throat. I really wanted to die or felt like I was going to do so. I felt so overwhelmed, trapped and knew sometime during the weekend that there would be at least one fight. Sometimes, I threw up before I got home. Right now, I want to scream don’t make me go back there…I don’t want to remember how awful it felt. But, it is much like I’ve been feeling the past three years.
[During this four year period of therapy, I was having the same feelings which is what I am referring to in this text.]
The arguments and fights included loud yelling and screaming that would sometimes especially at the duplex escalate into physical fights mostly with my step-father hitting her with his fist or open hand or grabbing her and pushing her into the wall or almost throwing her into the wall. Things were also thrown…small objects breaking them, and larger things like a chair, wall picture or a birdcage. Sometimes, they were thrown outside. One fight broke the duplex screen door and our second home they fight cracked a window that was never fixed until we sold the house. I really wanted to try to protect her and felt like I was bad because I couldn’t and also terrified because I was so afraid someone was going to get really hurt or get killed. [One incident, my birdcage was thrown out the front door and my birds flew away and never returned.  I was quite upset.]
Afterward, usually my step-father or my mother would leave…sometimes, my mother would take me and sometimes she would leave me alone. Eventually, he always left and if he left first, my mother responded only in two ways. The first was for her to start crying and then I would comfort her and reassure her that everything was going to be okay.

The second was for her to start raging at me usually beginning with it being my fault for some reason she picked…it would start with her screaming at me and slapping me. I was lucky if it stopped there, but, often times, especially at the duplex she would start hitting or beating me. Or she would suddenly get into these cleaning fits and I would have to help and do it exactly like she wanted or I was going to get, at least, screamed at and slapped or possibly hit with her fist or she would start beating me.

My mother and my aunt said that their first year together was okay…then, it got bad. When I was older, either her anger was directed at me verbally and physically & she would get into a cleaning mode, or she would drink and smoke and throw her wedding ring across the room not caring where it went or what it hit. Sometimes, especially before tenth grade we would go out to eat and shopping, but there was always the unpredictability of going home. When my aunt moved to the area, we mostly went out to eat…and had favorite hole in the walls...where everybody knew our name.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hidden Pieces ~ threats and control

***TRIGGER WARNING***  ***TRIGGER WARNING***

I decided to begin retelling what I wrote to my therapist and I in the Winter/Spring of 2007 after four years of intense flashbacks and repressed memories emerging. [Current commentary is in brackets.]  I wrote my seventy page "biography" because I needed to write out what I remembered and what I experienced to make it more "real" rather than a "story."  I am ready to take the next step and putting more of it in my blog.  This was the original reason for starting my blog and using my journal as a starting point.  I am still struggling with believing that the following is the truth of my life:


My step-father was quite demanding that I do exactly what he asked or he would tell my mother that I had misbehaved and then I would get yelled at by her and at least slapped/hit/kicked and sometimes beaten with whatever she found handy. She never did ask for my point of view…it did not matter because he was angry. He always called me a spoiled brat who didn’t do what I was supposed to because my mother spoiled me.

My step-father would also threaten me that he was going to kick me out of his house or send me to live with my “father even though he doesn’t love or want you anyway.” When I was a teenager, he told me to get out of his house, so I walked barefoot out of the house after dark and had no idea where I was going. My aunt picked me up and I slept at her house that night. [She also asked my mother if I could live with her and my step-father said, "no!"] I never cried, just kept quiet. No one ever talked about it either…just pretended it didn’t happen. I just realized that my mother was right there and did not intervene…my aunt did.

At the beginning with my step-father also forced me to eat the tofu out of the miso soup that I didn’t want to eat and it had soapy dishwater in it and had been retrieved out of the trash by him who shoved it into my mouth while he held my mouth and the back of my head until I swallowed. I also hated hot cereals, eggs, apple juice and apple cider, but was “forced” to eat them and, often times, it was the only thing to eat even though my mother knew I didn’t like them. [Probably adds to my issue of control which partly developed in my eating disorder]

After the tofu incident, I learned to eat quickly and drink lots of water. I also had to make sure I ate at a pace quick enough for my step-father not to become angry. He also threatened my life when I was six, by placing the blade of the chef’s knife to my neck stating; “you know I could kill you anytime I wanted.” If had said something, he would really become angry with me. Another time one of his odd jobs was selling home fire safety supplies, so he practiced his pitch with me listening and I got bored and wanted to play. He became angry with and demanded that I listen; otherwise, he said he would take the “fire extinguisher and bash it into my head.” (Assignment: write what I fantasize my mother would have done or said and/or I would have done or said. – too overwhelmed to do so.) [If I had said something, either no one would believe me or there would be much chaos and I didn't want to upset things more.]

Im having difficulty believing that it was this bad.  I feel kind of buzzy and numb.  I don't want to believe this.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Borderline Personality Disorder & Abandonment

I’ve been writing quite a bit about unresolved abandonment issues and which it is the core of the borderline personality disorder. What does abandonment feel like? This question was asked by my therapist. I answered, “Like someone has ripped my heart out. An aching all over. Like I want to throw a tantrum. Like no one is every going to respond to me.”

My therapist responded with “those are descriptions and not feelings.” He encouraged me to just be with the feeling…urg!!! With tearful eyes, I answered, “alone, painful and rageful.” Then, I started to sob and talk about when I felt abandoned. He told me to stay in the feeling and not defend by my cognition. What kind of therapist do I have to encourage me to feel!!! :-)

The key is attachment to the primary care-giver which is usually the mother. When an infant or toddler does not attach to the mother due to the mother’s actions inadequate attachment occurs. There are various types of attachment. They are ambivalent, avoidant, anxious and secure. Given what I have already written about my life, my attachment was ambivalent. Everyone experiences some attachment difficulties, but for some it does not interfere in one’s life. However, for some it significantly impacts their emotional, relational, cognitive and behavioral issues. The earlier the injury usually means that it has more impact on a person’s life.

This is related to the criteria for borderline personality disorder in the DSM-IV-TR:

“A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

2. a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

3. identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

4. impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

5. recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

6. affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

7. chronic feelings of emptiness

8. inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

9. transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms”

What does a child need to form a secure attachment? The following is a table from Understanding the Borderline Mother by Christine Ann Lawson:

Variations in Maternal Functioning

The Ideal Mother versus The Borderline Mother

1. Comforts her child versus Confuses her child.

2. Apologized for inappropriate behavior versus Does not apologize or remember inappropriate behavior.

3. Takes care of herself versus Expects to be taken care of.

4. Encourages independence in her children versus Punishes or discourages independence.

5. Is proud of her children's accomplishments versus Envies, ignores, or demeans her children's accomplishments.

6. Builds her children's self-esteem versus Destroys, denigrates, or undermines self-esteem.

7. Responds to her children's changing needs versus Expects children to respond to her needs.

8. Calms and comforts her children versus Frightens and upsets her children.

9. Disciplines with logical and natural consequences verses Disciplines inconsistently or punitively.

10. Expects that her children will be loved by others versus Feels left out, jealous or resentful if the child is loved by someone else.

11. Never threatens abandonment versus Uses threats of abandonment (or actual abandonment) to punish the child.

12. Believes in her children's basic goodness versus Does not believe in her children's basic goodness.

13. Trusts her children versus Does not trust her children.

Abandonment also includes sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect. One thing that people with borderline personality disorders do is try to find someone who will fulfill these needs which is why they become involved in the type of relations and avoid at any cost feeling abandonment and become involved in abuse relationships. This is an attempt to fulfill our infantile wishes which everyone has to some degree.

Without the important above needs, they will also split a relationship to all bad or all good. They will also try to have someone tell them what they feel and who they are as they have little sense of self. It also results in depression, hopelessness, worthlessness, feeling helpless, feeling needy, personality disorders and feelings of abandonment which included emotional and physical.

If one has experienced one of the most painful experience of all it can turn your life upside down and around and around. Each and every loss feels like abandonment and adds more layers of pain to repressed pain and unresolved grief. This can also result in rage, pain and terror.

What I am discovering in therapy is that my unresolved abandonment results are well defended by self-injury, eating disorders, over-functioning, relationship problems, and more. They are defenses against feeling the rage, terror and pain of my abandonment. This also keeps me from thinking that it was all my fault versus the other person is responsible for their decsions.

Most recently, I have felt abandonment in many areas that are made more difficult due to my unresolved feelings about my being abandoned. It adds to the intensity and I also am more effected by feeling that I am “abandoned” even if it isn’t true. My birthday is one example, my grandmothers death, my relationship with my aunt, my husband working extra hours, etc. One area that has always been quite difficult with me is whenever my therapist takes time off even if it for the weekend. Sometimes, I even think that he is purposely trying to hurt me which I know isn’t true, but it is not what it feels like.

Feelings of abandonment is partly a psychobiological process. The brain at a young age develops neuropath ways that are automatically followed. The good news is that you can train your brain to take a different path which is known as neuroplacisity. Also, it is becoming aware of your thoughts before you act and choose to act differently.  However, both take hard work and it is worth it.

For me, therapy and medication have been the most helpful. Medication brings me to a point where it dials down my thoughts and feelings, so I can actually do the work necessary in therapy.

I can write much more on this topic, but I will stop here as this is becoming very long. I hope that it helps you to understand yourself and others.

Monday, August 16, 2010

So, How Was My Birthday?

Well, I had a wonderful time with my husband.  He and my therapist made me feel very special.  My husband made it all about me...I really love him.  We had wonderful Italian seafood of salmon and halibut with a side of pasta.  Yummy.  Dessert was to die for. I really had a great birthday.

However, I was really disappointed with not receiving any acknowledgement from my aunt or mother.  I'm used to inconsistency with my mother.  It has always been that way. Sometimes, I am acknowledge and sometimes I am not.  However, this year it triggered more feelings of abandonment which has been one of the issues that I have been working on in therapy.

However, my aunt was a whole different story.  I was really disappointed as she usually calls and sends a card.  No acknowledgement at all.  More feelings of abandonment and not feeling loved or worthwhile.  Possible explanation in the following post link, http://clinicallyclueless.blogspot.com/search/label/Family%20Drama. 

My therapist and I talked about not wanting to look at what the reality is with my aunt.  I just don't want to deal with it...it is quite painful.  I asked for more time when I started crying at the end of session, but he did not have the time.  Hence, I felt really abandoned.  My thoughts of suicide and self-injury were the loudest since my hospitalization last year, but I did not act upon my urges.  I'm still working through this whole thing.

My therapist told me the next day that he would have given me more time if he had it and at the end of the session stated that he wished that my aunt had acknowledged my birthday. I've been depressed and the thoughts have been louder along with increased feelings of abandonment.  However, my husband has been very attuned to me and has spent time comforting me every night...he really is so sweet and the best husband that I would have never imaged.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Come As You Are" ~ Pocket Full of Rocks



He’s not mad at you
He’s not disappointed
His grace is greater still,
than all of your wrong choices
He is full of mercy and he is ever kind
Hear his invitation, His arms are open wide

You can come as you are,
with all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart,
bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are

Louder than the voice that whispers your unworthy
Hear the sound of love,
that tells a different story
Shattering your darkness and pushing through the lies
How tenderly he calls you,
His arms are open wide

You can come as you are,
with all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart,
bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are

You can come as you are

You can come as you are with all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart,
bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Do you eat Chick-Fil-A? I do!!



To find out more about Chick-Fil-A click here.

To find out more about Tim Hawkins click here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

What is Vinyl?

Yesterday, August 12th, is Vinyl Record Day or Record Store Day!! Time for audiophiles to have some fun!!!

The following is from website Vinyl Record Day:

In February of 2002 the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors in California adopted a proclamation, conceived and written by Gary Freiberg, declaring August 12th as Vinyl Record Day in San Luis Obispo County. The date recognizes when Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. It was then decided to have a Vinyl Record Day (VRD) celebration in San Luis Obispo on the first Saturday following August 12th, which was the 17th.

The celebration was to appeal to all generations. The day started with Big Band Swing Music with the music changing every forty-five minutes. Following were segments on Elvis, the Beatles, a Sock Hop, R&B, Surf, Country, Disco, Jazz and Blues, all played on vinyl. Grandparents danced with grandchildren, there were many good times with friends, families, couples, kids, teenage and college aged all enjoying the music variety.

The following is from the blog, Antenna:

Amidst all the record industry’s doom and gloom over digital piracy and declining CD sales, there has been one largely overlooked area of the market that’s actually been experiencing tremendous growth in recent years, and that’s vinyl. That’s right: phonograph records, that analog sound recording format that has been declared dead more times than film criticism.

The reality is that vinyl – the primary commercial music medium for most of the 20th century – never went away, even though it left the mainstream in the early 1990s, replaced by digital media (first CDs, then MP3s). It has remained a staple of the rock music underground, as well as the preferred format of most serious record collectors and audiophiles. The Internet-fueled “digital music era,” however, has sparked a new wave of interest in this old medium, some even predicting that vinyl will eventually replace CDs as the physical music media of choice.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, sales of vinyl albums in the U.S. increased by 33% in 2009, to approximately 2.5 million copies. The major labels have started pressing vinyl again for the first time in roughly a decade. It is estimated that half of all new albums are being released with a vinyl counterpart. Still, digital music dominates sales and vinyl remains a niche item: digital track and album purchases, which were also up in 2009, account for nearly 80% of total music sales, while vinyl represents less than 1%. In other words, no one is suggesting that vinyl is about to replace digital music, only the CD. But the record industry – by which I mean not only the record labels but also retailers, distributors, manufacturing plants, et al. – very much needs physical objects to sell, hence its renewed commitment to vinyl.

I have a small collection of about 300 records and 45s. We still have two working turntables and listen to our vinyl. Given that new records are now CDs, I really miss some of the special things about vinyl. The sound including the pops and hisses, etc, seemed warmer. I know that is hard to define...just a feeling. I miss the special photo records, the larger pictures, the special sleeves for 45s and just the feel and smell of a new record. Now, as I am older, I really miss being able to read the lyrics...need to take off glasses and other times can't read them at all. But, CDs are more durable and take up less space. Now, I think my CD collection surpasses my vinyl collection. I remember my first two records that I purchased with my own money. They were Beach Boys, Endless Summer, and Olivia Newton-John's greatest hits. Oh how, I love going to used record stores and finding a gem. I miss going through the rows of albums...CDs just don't seem as fun...I know my age is showing!!!

I am lucky enough to live in Southern California where used record stores exist...time to go thumbing through!!

What was your first album or CD that you purchased? If you forgot, what about your most memorable or exciting find?



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hidden Pieces: Floating & Confusion

***TRIGGER WARNING***  ***TRIGGER WARNING***

I decided to begin retelling what I wrote to my therapist and I in the Winter/Spring of 2007 after four years of intense flashbacks and repressed memories emerging. [Current commentary is in brackets.]  I wrote my seventy page "biography" because I needed to write out what I remembered and what I experienced to make it more "real" rather than a "story."  I am ready to take the next step and putting more of it in my blog.  This was the original reason for starting my blog and using my journal as a starting point.  I am still struggling with believing that the following is the truth of my life:

March 6, 2007


Just doing nothing is very difficult for me. It just doesn’t feel right. I know there is a part that needs to just let the reality of what has happened in my life sink in especially the things we’ve been talking about that were apparently quite traumatic along with just letting the words and feelings come in their own time.

I also think that talking with my pastor, who has known me since high school first as the youth leader, made me realize how constant and horrible the arguing between my mother and my father or step-father was and all of the consequences. I was a witness to violence and could not comprehend it, but was extremely protective of my mother…unlike how she didn’t protect me.

I feel like I really need to talk about the flashbacks, but not sure about what to say or what I’m thinking or feeling. Never was able to before. But, I do know that part of what I’m feeling emotionally & physically and the suicidal thoughts and wanting to cut and bruise is both what is going on now and part of several different flashbacks.

I feel like I’m really shut down like I used to be. I’m feeling really depressed mixed with rage, homicidal thoughts, sadness, disbelief, confusion, betrayal, lack of trust, humiliation, terror, wanting to die/not exist, overwhelmed, feeling like I just can’t go on anymore, lack of motivation & stamina, fatigued and deep pain where my whole body just aches.

I just feel like I’m floating sometimes. I remember feeling like it was a struggle to get through the day, felt like I barely made it most days and then the night was something else…would I sleep well or not. Feels the same as now…I guess that is part of major depression. Also always, feeling like I never belonged, fit in or was wanted anywhere by anybody. Constantly, feeling that something was wrong or defective about me.

Feeling, all the time, overwhelmed emotionally, physically and with all types of thoughts just bouncing around my head. I remember really being confused, agitated, and like things were constantly spinning around. I was really miserable all the time and felt hopeless, trapped, betrayed, disappointed, rejected, like something was wrong or defective about me and humiliated. I also felt deep rage, but at the time did not know that was what I was feeling, let alone express it to anyone…just self-destructive. I was really confused, had lots of thoughts, lots of questions…all a secret from everyone including myself sometimes.

I remember feeling this way most of my life…everything just feels unreal…I feel unreal. Reminds me of the Velveteen Rabbit, he became real because he was loved enough. I guess, I don’t feel like I was loved enough or by the most important people in my life…rather, I felt hated and that they did not want me and wished I were dead. I felt like I was bad all the time. All the time, I also felt terror, in fear for my life, panicked and on edge and on guard, anger, suicidal, extreme emotional pain and confusion.

To add to that was not being able to cry which I really wish I could let go right now. Also, extreme aloneness with no where to turn to, no one to talk to and no one to listen…feels like I forgot how to talk or never learned…to talk or cry, at the appropriate times. I never knew what trust was…if I did trust someone, they always ended up hurting me, so I kept my distance. But, this I could fake some…I learned to give someone just enough information for them to feel attached, but I really wasn’t sharing.

I’m feeling really sad right now and on the verge of tears, but they are stuck in my throat and stinging my eyes. This is what I always did. Shut down and numb out. The depth of my sadness and pain starts to feel overwhelming to me, but my whole body feels it. Scares me too because it feels so deep…a dark place I’ve never been before that I can’t go on my own…I need your help.

Just letting things sink in is difficult because I start to go to this dark place. I know I need to go there, but not on my own. The other day was a bit frustrating because I started to touch that and the session ended, so I cried some alone…not much…it was easier to turn it off and numb out. I feel it building inside. Just like growing up, it just kept building and building.

So much not remembered, so much not felt and so much not said or shared with anyone ever. I’m glad I finally feel safe enough with you to share when I feel safe enough with myself…really hard to go where I’ve never been before and the feelings go really, really deep…no one has been there before with me. I haven’t even been there myself. I think, I need to hear from you that you will be there for me, will help me, will take me slowly, that I won’t die, that you won’t leave me in the middle of this and that it is okay to share with you my tears and feelings that I haven’t felt before. Longing to hear I’m important, I’m proud of who you are, I want to be with you, I want to hear, listen and understand you. Constantly craving the ever-elusive bit or morsel of encouragement and praise for just being myself…not for anything I’ve done or accomplish…just wanting to be liked…love.

I was at the beginning of a long season of flashback and wasn't liking the process, but couldn't stop the flashback.  I was having such a difficult time. I am grateful that my therapist has stuck it out with me for nineteen years.  As you read this series, I think, that you will have a better understanding of why it has taken sooo long in therapy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!

Guess what happened forty-five years ago today?  The Watts section of Los Angeles exploded into violence after a white California Highway Patrol officer pulled over a black man. A scuffle ensues, and Frye, his mother and brother are arrested in front of a restive crowd. Thirty-four people died in what came to be known as the Watts Riots.

The riot began, spurred on by residents of Watts who were embittered after years of economic and political isolation. The rioters eventually ranged over a 50-square-mile area of South Central Los Angeles, looting stores, thousands of fire settings, torching buildings, and beating whites as snipers fired at police and firefighters. Finally, with the assistance of thousands of National Guardsmen, order was restored on August 16. Property damage: $40 million and this was in 1965 dollars...Wow!!Racial discrimination and housing inequities were the cause, a commission found.

And it is my birthday.  I guess I was curious about what was happening!!!  I will also never forget when my birthday is because it is a significant date where I live.  I even have a Quantum Leap episode with my birth date on it!!!


Yes, today is my birthday.  I am feeling old and thinking about my life up to this point.  There are two things that I wish I would have done by now.  The first is married earlier to have more years with my husband.  But, timing is timing and I love the time that we have now and to come and what has past.  The second is that I would have completed my doctorate in clinical psychology, but again I was not ready yet.  I will be in my fifties when I do so.  I haven't even started anything like taking the dreaded GRE.  But, despite everthing, I have a great life. Oh, and no candles pleeeeeeeeese...I will start an out of control fire!!!!

All I want is chocolate cake!!! Oh, and, of course, time with my husband and a nice dinner. But, every birthday must have chocolate cake and a card.  After my husband working 12- 16 hour days for the last 21 days without a break, he surprised me with taking today off.  This is, dispite, what is going on at work.  He wants the day to be about me...he made me cry...how sweet.

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