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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, September 30, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY ~ October 8 & 9, 2005 ~ Part II ~ Depression


PAST JOURNAL ENTRY ~ October 8 & 9, 2005 ~ Part II continued

The suicidal thoughts are really loud as is the planning. I really, really want to cut. Trying to figure out how and when I can purchase stuff. The promises are beginning not to matter. I just want to stop the feelings...feeling really anxious...really want to take all my medications tonight and just go to sleep. Thinking it wouldn't matter. I don't matter. I just want to die. I want the pain to stop. I want the flashbacks to stop. I'm tearing up again.

I don't understand, I thought my step-father's father was better to me than my step father, but he turned out to be just as bad to me. I thought he liked me and I was beginning to like him. Confusing because I liked his attention, but it meant that he would hurt me. Feel bad because I keep thinking it happened because I wanted him to like me and pay attention to me. I kept wondering what I did wrong to make him turn on me.

Always wondering what I did wrong. Everything had to be my fault. I could have done something to prevent it. I need to fix it...make it better, but don't know how. I just want to die right now. I'm feeling really bad and wanting to cut and bruise and just die. I don't think it would make a difference if we talked. I just want to curl up disappear and die. [just this week, I finally got it on a deeper level that I didn't do anything wrong...they were really sick.]

Talking with you today helped. I remember feeling like this almost all the time especially as a teenager and it was so much worse on the weekend. Often times, I tried to sleep most of the day because I had a headache. I now know that they were migraines. Remember, wanting to die, kill myself or cut or bruise especially on the weekend. The weekends were always difficult. Usually something would happen. Every Saturday, with my mother and every Sunday with my step-father. Too much...just wanted to die. Sad that I remember being really young and having the same type of thoughts and feelings...so much pain, so early.

So many times feeling like crying and not doing so...hurts so much. Felt good just to be able to let you know how painful and difficult this weekend is. Never being able to share it before as it happened...keeping quiet. Keeping it to myself. Numb out make it go away.

Wanting so much not to feel and for the flashbacks to stop. The crying seems to make the flashbacks more real. Felt food just to be able to leave messages and to talk with you. Helped to ground me some. Kept going into I don't matter, nothing matters and the promises don't matter.

Just with the memories, I remember how much pain and how much I wanted to scream and cry. Feeling like crying now. Seems like so much happened. Seems like so much pain and other feelings. Seems overwhelming. Feels panicky, feels bad. So many time, I didn't cry when I really need to. It isn't just what happened or how my mother was, but it is realizing how self- destructive I became to cope. [new realization at that point in time]

Reminder: Courageous Steps has the fingerpaintings and commentary for these dates. Please check it out.

Monday, September 29, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY ~ October 8 & 9, 2005 ~ Part I ~ Depression



For the most of the day, I've been feeling really depressed and the suicidal thought/plans have been really, really loud as has been wanting to really hurt myself or cut and bruise. I had difficulty getting out of bed and got up and laid on the couch until my husband went to work. Then, I went back to bed and slept on and off until about 1:30 pm. Didn't feel like showering or brushing my teeth.

Tried to catch up on work, but couldn't focus. Tried to play computer games, listen to the tapes from church, and do some laundry. Did the laundry, but curled up in bed. Finally, took a shower around 2:30 pm and still couldn't focus enough to do anything especially work.

It has been really loud in my head and I've been wanting just to curl up and die. Having flashbacks of being at my step-father's parents. I left you some messages and fingerpainted [which is posted on my Courageous Steps blog for today]. After I painted, I left a message. At the end began to cry and started sobbing into the office pillow you gave me. Cried for almost an hour.

I think, the fingerpainting made me realize that the thoughts had to do with being in pain. When I begin to cry, I had some images of me crying sitting in the dirt after my step-father's father forced himself on me. Also, sitting on the garage floor crying and rocking, which I was doing on the bed after they had forced themselves on me, and after being spanked by my mother and step-father.

Also, had an image of me sitting on my grandparents porch, curled up and crying. So much pain...other feelings in the crying, but don't know what they are. The most prominent is pain. Then, I just wanted to really hurt myself, cut, bruise, take the pills...anything to stop from hurting. I'm tearing up now.

Observations: From reading this, it sounds like I am getting more depressed, dissociating/fragmenting more frequently which is effecting my concentration. Basically, I am continuing my spiral downward and my work is really beginning to be effected. I noticed that I am also calling Geoffrey more which means I'm becoming for fragmented and needing him to ground me. This is the first part of this entry. Tomorrow, I will finish the entry. Also, don't forget to go to Courageous Steps to check out the corresponding fingerpaintings that go with this date.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Bible in a Minute" by Barats & Bereta ~ Worship (?) in Comedy

I know this is a little irreverent, but I thought it was good and funny. The Bible in less than a minute and learn nothing. From the comedy team of Barats & Bereta Comedy Productions.









Saturday, September 27, 2008

Those born between 1930-1979 are luck to be alive!!

Those Born 1930-1979


TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930s, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As infants &children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because,

We 20 would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computer! s, no Internet or chat rooms........
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.
While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:
'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

For those that prefer to think that God is not watching over us...go ahead and delete this.
For the rest of us...pass this on.

(No, need to pass it on. I just wanted to share this. I received it as an email from someone in my family...made me laugh and think)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stolen From Little Aussie Cynic

This was stolen, by permission, from Little Aussie Cynic's blog written by Aussiecynic. It is "an Aussie girls look at life, the universe and everything" and a great site to have some fun.

Aussie Helpful Advice Courtesy of Maharishi Phucknuckel’s guide to Zen.

  1. Do not Walk Behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me for I may not follow, Do not walk beside me either, Just nick off and leave me alone.

  2. The Journey of a thoussand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a flat tyre.

  3. The darkest hours come just before the dawn. So if you’re going to pinch your neighbours milk and newpaper, thars the time to do it.

  4. Sex is like air. It only becomes important when you arent getting any.

  5. Don’t aspire to become irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced you cant be promoted.

  6. Remember no one is listening until you fart.

  7. Never forget you are unique. Just like everyone else.

  8. Never test the depth of water with both Feet.

  9. If you think nobody cares if your dead or alive, try missing a mortgage repayment.

  10. Before you judge someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you judge them, you are a mile away and you have their shoes.

  11. If at first you dont succeed, Avoid Skydiving.

  12. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

  13. Have you ever lent somebody $20 and never seen them again. It was probably worth it.

  14. If you tell the truth, you dont have to remember anything.

  15. Somedays we are the flies, somedays we are the windscreen.

  16. Don’t worry it only seems Kinky the first time.

  17. Good Judgement comes from experieince. Experieince comes from bad Judgement.

  18. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it half and put it back in your pocket.

  19. A closed mouth gathers no feet.

  20. There are two theories on how to win an arguement with a woman. Neither work.

  21. Generally speaking, you are not learning anything if your lips are moving.

  22. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

  23. Experience is something you dont get until after you need it.

  24. When we are born we are naked, wet and hungry and get smacked on our arse. From there on in Life gets worse.

  25. The most wasted day is one in which we have not laughed.

Remember not to forget that which you did not know.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY ~ October 6/7, 2005 ~ Flashbacks and screaming and crying!! (Part II)


Remember, how much I wanted to scream and cry when my step-father locked me in the garage. And, how painful it was when he kept inserting the hammer...Felt like I was going to die. Also, felt like I was going to die when he forced himself on me. Either die from the pain or afraid that he would kill me. Sometimes, there were no actual memories, at least, specific ones...just feelings. Really feel like crying now.

Today my body aches...like I worked out. I keep going away and feel like something awful is going to happen to me or my husband. This morning, he came back into the house and he "said one last kiss." I started to think, I wasn't going to see him again and began to panic and asked him to call me when he arrived at work or to text message me. He forgot, so I ended up calling him. He was quite apologetic.

Today, I was really sensitive to what people were saying or how they were responding to me. Everything was bad. I got overwhelmed at the talent show...loud and crowded. [Okay, borderline personality reaction...fear of abandonment and I'm all bad (splitting)]

Feeling panicky and overwhelmed and a sense of dread. The suicidal thoughts and wanting to bruise and cut are really loud. I really, really want to hurt myself. Part of it is that I really need to catch up on my documentation. Also, feelings seem overwhelming as are the flashbacks. I'm tearing up again. Scares me that I felt so safe and comforted by you yesterday. I keep thinking it is a bad thing to want or receive.

I also am feeling a bit panicked, as the holidays approach. Last night my husband told me that he is going to have to work over time and weekends through the end of the year. Also, they are not going to approve any vacations. I had previously suggested that he take some time off before the end of summer as this happens almost every year and then, he gets sick. I keep thinking that means this year, I have to take care of the Christmas shopping. Also, panicking a little as your schedule will also change. [more BPD reacting/thinking]

Yesterday, I was surprised at how scared I was in the flashbacks and how much I really wanted to scream and cry and how afraid I was to do so...felt so unsafe. It seems like that is how I felt all the time. Sometimes, it felt like I needed to die or disappear or just hide in a corner. Also, hurt so much emotionally and just remembering some of the physical pain was difficult.

Remember how much it hurt when she slapped me and how I immediately stopped from crying.

Feel a bit embarrassed of screaming and crying. Shared a part of me that I've tried to keep hidden even from myself. I really feel like crying which maybe why it is so loud in my head.

Observations: There is a huge difference between how I reacted to this crying session compared to last week's. I can see the progress. I did react some, but it was really managable with PRNs, I felt safer with my therapist, felt proud of myself and was able to feel good about me and my therapist. And, I am not embarrassed for crying. It is good for me to see the progress.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What is this unfamiliar feeling? Hatred!!!

I thought that I was going to be able to do a journal entry on today's session, but it was too much. I did a Wordle instead. Today, as I was talking about "the garage," I felt something that seemed familiar when it was homicidal rage. But, then it became something unfamiliar, hatred. I am trying to figure out what it is, so that is part of the Wordle. Careful it maybe triggering!! And, click on the picture to see a large image. I feel very strange, but I know that it is intense hatred toward my step-father and his father.

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY ~ October 6/7, 2005 ~ Flashbacks, screaming and crying!! (Part I)



I've been kind of numb tonight. I feel really drained by today's session and somewhat relieved. Like, I got some of the screams and tears out. Still feels like more might be helpful. Maybe, later on, as I don't feel finished. The screaming and crying seems to help convey what I can't put into words or that there are no words for. Really scared me though...hearing your voice and just knowing you were there felt comforting and safe.

[We had set aside some extra long sessions as my crying seemed to begin as the sessions were supposed to be winding down leaving me without being able to cry in session and feeling frustrated. The really interesting thing is that last week, we set aside two extra long session to do just the same thing. I felt better afterwards and not so alone. Today, my therapist told me that if I cried at the beginning of every session he would think that is great as I have enough to cry about and that it would be helpful as he hears more about what is going on with me than with my words.]

Sometimes, I had no idea what I was screaming or crying about. Lots of flashbacks during it. Lots of different feelings...pain, sadness, abandonment, feeling alone, rage, anger, terror, hopelessness, physical pain, confusion and other that I can't identify...sometimes, just no words. Felt very, very young. Remembered scratching or digging my fingers into the carpet and dirt...and in bed. Feel like crying now.

Feeling bad...too dramatic...too sensitive...over-reacting...making it up. Also, aware that we went over the time. Feels like I revealed a part of myself that was supposed to stay quiet and hidden. Now, I'm wanting to die. Really wanting to injure myself. Feeling really bad and in pain. [My reaction whenever I tell the truth, same as last week although not as bad.]

Also, feels good to have shared with you and to have you listen. I felt so young, trapped, terrified and sometimes hadn't a clue of what I was feeling. Feels like I still need to scream and cry some. Seemed to make the memories more real. Felt good to just have you there talking to me..the most prominent feeling was of terror.

Remembered being in my crib feeling overwhelmed and scared of all the noise of everyone arguing with the television on. Feeling terrified when I couldn't breathe. Also, seeing my father's hand come down hard on my face...really scared me and hurt. Wanting to push my mother's hand off my face, but being unable to do so. Confused...too much noise. Learned not to cry out loud or scream, but really wanting to do so. Wanting to disappear.

Remember standing on the porch when I was about two after my mother took us to my grandparents in the middle of the night and my mother crying and being loud...didn't understand the words. Then, my father came...they argued and I stood on the porch watching him screech out of the driveway. Listening to my mother cry and yell with my grandparents. Felt terrified, confused, abandoned and so alone. Felt like I didn't matter and that no one would even notice if I were gone. Tearing up again and wanting to die.

Observations: I remember this session and it was gut wrenching. After this week, the thing is that I know I have more crying. I told my therapist Monday that almost everyday I walk into his office and feel myself begin to tear up. Crying is such a difficult thing for me and frustrating because even when I want to I can't...partly because I don't want to feel.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY ~ October 1, 2005 ~ Pain, suicidal thoughts and self-injury urges!


I had a tough time sleeping last night. I kept feeling overwhelmed and panicky and just really scared. My stomach and chest hurt and my throat was tight. Felt like I was terrified, at times, and that is how I kept waking up until I took my PRN. Felt like crying too.

Felt the same this morning and tired...got really frustrated with myself and felt bad because I couldn't focus enough to complete even one of my charts. Kept feeling panicked and overwhelmed. Wanting to cut and bruise.

My chest hurts right now and my throat is tight. Flashbacks have been intrusive and disturbing. Wish I could just turn it off.

Over the weekend, a lot of the times, it felt like I did when we lived in the house...the constant thoughts of wanting to die or kill myself. Had those thoughts today, but they were not as loud.

Been thinking a little about what things mean. Self injury usually has to do with being angry, feeling bad or trying to numb out. The wanting to die is usually about trying to say how painful things are and having an escape. The wanting to kill myself seems more of trying to say how much pain I'm in and having an out. The book you let me borrow talks about it being partly about control...about having control of ending the pain.

I'm not sure what the nothing matters is. I don't matter, the promises I made don't matter. It is like I totally disconnnect from others and myself. Maybe it is about feeling hopless and saying that I'm tired. It is really loud and constant and sometimes, I feel like just giving up. It is disconnecting from everything. Not wanting to feel, think or remember anymore. And feeling hopeless that it won't end. Feeling totally alone, misunderstood, that no one will ever understand or listen, or comfort me.

Remember feeling/thinking that growing up. Thinking back, I felt like that frequently especially after getting hit, yelled at or during/after the sexual abuse. The just wanting to die...that it wouldn't matter if I died. Felt like that as an infant, at my grandparents, at my step-father's parents house, where I lived and through college.

I've have always had really scary and dark thoughts. So much pain never allowed to feel. So many tears and screams deep inside...the rule, never let anyone know or see. It really doesn't matter, I'm okay. I need to be okay. Don't let anyone hear...too dangerous. Can't let anything matter. Hurts too much. Need to just go away. Never let anyone know. Never talk. Never share. Never cry or scream. Need to stay silent and pretend everything is okay.

Observations: At this point, I am having more difficulty coping and it is really effecting my work. I remember feeling this because it still occurs now when I am fragmenting or defending. Then, I was in the process of trying to figure out what I was trying to tell myself and my therapist. Two, great questions to ask are "What am I defending against?" and "What am I trying to say?" I can do that now, but back then I don't think it was possible because my feelings and thoughts were my whole focus. I was in just getting through the day mode without harming myself and not going away as much. I also completed fingerpaints on this day which are posted on the Courageous Steps site.

Monday, September 22, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY ~ September 30, 2005 ~ 6 PM ~ Mother flashbacks


[I wrote about how difficult my work day had been and had several triggers.] ...All day, I wanted to cut and bruise and to really hurt myself. Thought about making purchases. And, kept going away. I went through a red light and stopped at a green [dissociating while driving]. Scared me. I really just felt bad all day and teared up, at times. After my meetings, I had no focus, so I finger painted [which is posted on Courageous Steps].

I thought some about what you said about my not saying anything or running away as a way to protect my mother. Feels bad because I interpreted as I should have done or said something. But, I also get the part about protecting her. I think there is some truth in it. But, still feels like I was bad for not saying or doing anything to make it stop. [Normal guilt from someone who was abused. It is part of the process.]

This morning one of the things that I remembered was my mother yelling at me when we went skiing and a snowstorm started. I remember, I was really scared to move as I couldn't see in front of me and the cliff was on my left side, but I couldn't see it.

My mother kept screaming at me to ski down the mountain and she just kept getting more and more angry. I wanted to cry because I was so scared because I couldn't see where I was going and she kept screaming at me. I know though, she was screaming because she was scared and the storm was getting much worse. I remember starting to cry a bit once. I finally got down and into the car. But she continued to yell at me for not obeying her. I stopped tearing up and just went away. I knew she kept yelling and eventually stopped. Don't know why this came to mind this morning. [Thinking about it now, it seems like I was trying to tell myself what my mother was responsible for and I wasn't. And, just in general continuing to have flashbacks.]

Feels like a part of me is just really sad and need to cry. I think, it would have been more helpful if she would have acknowledged I was scared and gently talked me down the mountain. Instead, I got down because she scared me. Not that the snowstorm wasn't scary enough. She has often talked about it since and referred to me as being stubborn, I don't think that she got that I was scared, but maybe she did. I understand that she was yelling because she was scared. [Again, her borderline thinking and needing me to be bad because she can't see or accept her part in it.]

I was scared most of the time growing up...scared of my mother, my father, my step-father, and his father. And, I felt bad all the time, wanted to die, was afraid of being killed, felt overwhelmed, panicked and so alone and misunderstood. Felt like I didn't matter, wasn't important and that it wasn't okay to cry, be sad, be angry, be scared or even be excited and happy. I was bad for wanting comfort, someone to listen to me, for existing, not wanting to go to my step-father's parents and wanting to stay at my Grandparents home. It wasn't even okay to talk about my feelings...and they felt so jumbled. [I remember being really confused and feeling alone with my thoughts and feelings.]

I wonder if part of my not killing myself was also a way of protecting my mother. But, sometimes I hated her because when the bottom line came she always chose my step-father over me even if previously she told me differently. Action wise, she always chose him. Felt like I didn't exist sometimes, I wasn't important.

I didn't matter except for when she needed my comfort or for me just to listen to her complain about him and how she wanted to leave him and was going to...but the next moment, she would be all affectionate with him and angry with me...all very confusing. Felt like I had to listen to her complain and had to listen to her complain and degrade my father. [Borderline symptoms again with my being either all good or all bad and she need my step-father to be all good because of her fears of abandonment.]

I can't remember not being her source of comfort and someone to listen to her. But, it was never okay for me to talk about my feelings...either they were invalidated, minimized, teased or she would become angry. I feel like screaming and crying. Sometimes, when I feel like screaming...it seems like it comes from a preverbal time. Maybe, even as an infant, I just wanted to curl up and disappear.

The flashbacks make me feel like I'm going crazy...can't get the sounds, sensations, feelings or the images out of my head. Makes me want to injure myself or die.

Observations: Again, I find it amazing how I am having the same issues now and struggling with crying and accepting my mother the way she really is/was. This process is long and painful.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Healing Rain" by Michael W. Smith ~ Worship in Song!!!

This song really touched me given what I am going through. I just picture myself as one of those in the video needing God's healing touch/healing rain to help wash away and comfort my tears.

Healing Rain

Healing rain is coming down
It's coming nearer to this old town
Rich and poor, weak and strong
It's bringing mercy, it won't be long

Healing rain is coming down
It's coming closer to the lost and found
Tears of joy, and tears of shame
Are washed forever in Jesus' name

Healing rain, it comes with fire
So let it fall and take us higher
Healing rain, I'm not afraid
To be washed in Heaven's rain

Lift your heads, let us return
To the mercy seat where time began
And in your eyes, I see the pain
Come soak this dry heart with healing rain

And only You, the Son of man
Can take a leper and let him stand
So lift your hands, they can be held
By someone greater, the great I Am

Healing rain, it comes with fire
So let it fall and take us higher
Healing rain, I'm not afraid
To be washed in Heaven's rain

To be washed in Heaven's rain...

Healing rain is falling down
Healing rain is falling down
I'm not afraid
I'm not afraid...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Better late than never...I hope.

Okay, I became so behind and totally overwhelmed by life and then these wonderful awards started to come my way. The comments about me or my blog really warmed my heart. The only problem was that I didn't have the energy to put a post together for them, so now I am two months behind. So please forgive me, my untimeliness has nothing to do with my degree of appreciation. I really do appreciate each and everyone of you and the awards.

Well, way back on 7/27/08, my hilarious friend Bradley of How is Bradley? Honored me with the Arte Y Pico award. Then, I waited long enough to be honored with the same award from my courageous friend Svasti of Svasti: A Journey From Assault to Wholeness on 9/5/08. If you click on the name or the award it will take you to the site that explains what it is. There is an English section, so scroll down. It also give you the following rules:


1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award, creativity, design, interesting material, and also contrubuites to the blogger community, no matter of language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award-winning, has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog thathas given her or him the ward itself.

4) Award-winning and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y pico"blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) To show these rules.

On 8/20/08, my gentle friend Precious Rock of One Bipolar Life blessed me with two awards, Sharing the Love and Friendship Awards. These two you are supposed to bless three other bloggers.

On 9/19/08, Immi from MigraineChow my new friend recognized my blogwith the Brillante Weblog Award. On 8/16/08, my honest friend bluegirl from Rantings and Ramblings did the same. Also, within the this last month the wise John D. from Storied Mind ~ Writing to Recover Life from Depression recognized my blog with the same award. This one you are supposed to recognize seven other blogs.

Well, I am supposed to pass these along to others, but many of you have received these already. Since I don't have time to check every blog out, I am just going to list some of my favorite blogs that I know did not receive these and if you did accept the compliment again. You can take all or none. Pass it on if you feel like it and if you do don't forget to link me. Oh, and don't forget to check out the amazing blogs from those who honored me!!!

Here is my list:

  1. Desire to Heal by Tamara
  2. Nippercat's Home by Mary
  3. Soulful Sepulcher by Stephany
  4. justAna by Ana
  5. Investigations and Ruminations
  6. Disjointed Thoughts
  7. Depression Marathon
  8. brainmenu
  9. Mental Health Humor and Cartoons by Chato B. Stewart
  10. This is Uncensored Territory Baby!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Overwhelming Day!!!

Today has been extremely overwhelming. The issues of this week combined with what occurred to day has been too much. First, I'm still reacting and processing what I've talked about in therapy for the past two days.

Then, today I had my physical including a pelvic exam which sent me into a panic and flashbacks, and I was referred to a surgeon to remove what my doctor says is probably just a fatty mass in my underarm. She says, it is probably nothing, but wants to have it removed just in case. There is a slight possiblity that it could be cancerous.

I'm scared, concerned and overwhelmed. Besides that lots of little things have happened that I just don't have the energy to write down. This week has been a bit much. (My consultation with the surgeon is on Monday, 9/29/08, so in about a week and a half.)

Child Abuse ~ "Dear Mr. Jesus" ~ PowerSource 1986

I first heard this song when I was 21 years old working at a runaway youth shelter. I was at the beginning, not even a year, with my current therapist. At the time, I had no realization how much like them my teenage years were, nor thought of myself as abused even though my mother was still slapping or slugging me in the back. However, when I heard this song for the first time, I had to pull over because I burst into sobs and didn't understand why. I thought, "maybe, I am just feeling for the kids (that I work with)." Boy, do I know different now and I thought in honor of my denial veil starting to shred that it would be a good time to post it.

The song is from the Christian group called PowerSource from their 1986 album Shelter from the Storm (Psalm 91:1). I doubt that they are in existence now. But, I wanted to share the verse with you which reads, "Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty."

There is also a verse (Psalm 27:10) that is listed below the song title and reads. "Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close." Which reminds me of one of my favorite verses for its comfort. It is Isaiah 49: (14)15-16 which reads, "But Zion said, 'The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.' Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me."

These two verses are comforting to me as I know what it feels like to be abandoned and rejected by my mother and my father, but I know that God created me, never has and never will abandon or reject me. These verses are very special to me as when I read them I felt as if they were speaking directly to my soul.

(I know, I got all religious on you, but that is a part of who I am also and the purpose of the blog is for me to be myself. And, I felt like I just had to write this.) May you be blessed today! CC

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Today's session ~ Childhood, sexual abuse & torture

I don't really know why I'm writing. I guess, I just need to say that I am feeling a out of sorts. I'm really hypervigilant, emotionally achy, have a headache, feel like crying and am dissociating. I had my second 1 1/2 hour long session today. We talked about my mother and yesterday and blogging. Then, I told him about flashbacks that have been occurring for about two months now.

They have to do with my being tied to the ping-pong table and being tortured and sexually abused with spiders, bugs in the garage and snails. I don't want to really write anything else, but it is very disturbing to me. I'm glad I told him, but I think that I am realizing that it really did happen and it was horrible. I think, I just need a little bit of comfort right now. I'm really tired. I've been awake since 2 am and the little bit of sleep that I did get was filled with unknown nightmares. My childhood was a nightmare...I want to fully wake up and get away from its hold.
I think that I will take both of my PRNs and take a nap.

Yesterday's Session ~ Crying

I just wanted to update you regarding my feeling my emotions and crying. Yesterday, I had a 1 1/2 hour session, which is the same for today, and I sobbed and screamed. I was exhausted afterward, but it really felt good to be able to do that and to have someone listen and be there with me. The unfortunate part is that I am defensively feeling a bit more depressed, and the suicidal thoughts and urges to cut are increased slightly. Overall, I'm doing okay with it. It feels like there is more...what, isn't one time enough? I am proud of myself!!

"Inviting Our Suffering Onto the Dance Floor"

This is the second of a two part series on suffering written by Robert Augustus Masters. He is a psychologist that underwent a hospitalization for an intense psychological crisis.

So where do we go from here?
From here to here.

It’s all the same moment, already perishing and yet never-ending, already shattered and yet still whole, ever inviting us to step out of our minds and into what we never left but dreamt we did. Now, and ever now. A dance we know by heart, even as we play wallflower or get engaged to our crutches.

To know without thinking, to see without eyes, to fly without wings, to die without leaving, to love without expecting -- such are the primordial yet everfresh chords weaving through our living chambers, perhaps muted, perhaps unheard, but nevertheless still here, like wildblue sky behind a sea of clouds.

Everything is the dancefloor.

But we may not yet have the legs nor the ripeness for it, or at least for certain zones or levels of it. More quality time in spiritual bootcamp’s obstacle courses may be needed. If we’re not ready for a particular step but assume that we should be, self-castigation may arise, nailing us with guilt implants. Better to learn to recognize what we actually are ready for, and to not hold ourselves back from or above it, just because we think it’s not sufficiently spiritual or befitting for us.

Fixating on or trying to go toward “the Light” -- an ascent that’s generally more ass than sense -- may only further endarken us, estranging us from that in us which is subterranean, malignant, wretched, or otherwise unwanted. What we won’t dance with, what we refuse intimacy with, what we’re so ambitious to shed, is precisely the dance-partner we need (or at least need to approach), drawing out of us the very aversion, tension, and pain that’s crying for illumination and love.

Take loneliness (which usually gets left all alone on the dancefloor): Become more sensitive to it, noticing its desperation, its craving for release from itself, its commitment to and investment in playing wallflower. Notice its pull to get away from those sensations that characterize it. Fleeing, feeding, filling, emptying, sexing -- anything to provide some relief. But what if we were to just sit there, sit with our loneliness, not doing a damn thing other than give it our undivided attention? We might then see that in our loneliness -- and especially in our dramatization of it -- we are closed off to what we really ache for: love.

And we might also see that our loneliness is a frightened, neglected child that has grown accustomed to being treated as a problem. A painfully troubled softness that we harden and distort by treating as an inconvenience. The more it cries, the more we push it away. The more it contracts, the more we isolate it. But instead we could turn off the TV and sit with our loneliness, letting it settle and rest in our lap, listening to it with an opening heart and curious mind, noticing its shape and breath, its bodily terminals, its tones, its textures, its shifts.

And shift it does, as we continue to give it undivided, compassionate attention, slowly perhaps, but surely, like an abused child entering the steady, well-grounded presence of genuine love and kindness. We can thus hold our loneliness and let it melt in warm-armed embrace, holding it close but not so close that it cannot breathe freely. Letting go of our desire to be elsewhere, we let our loneliness pervade us. Consciously. Letting the desperation go, letting the compulsion to seek go, letting the ambition to let go -- a spiritual “should” that’s so easy to should-er -- also go.

Then our loneliness is not a rejected child, a loser, a misfit, a bog of neediness, but rather a vulnerable fullness warming us, a tender ticket to our depths, a far from dysfunctional catalyst for remembering What-Really-Matters.

And so we sit, our loneliness transmuting into aloneness -- we may still be physically alone, but we are nonetheless palpably connected, especially at the heart, with so many others. Alone we are then, alone enough to be vividly and impactfully together with the raw Wonder of Life, and yet also together enough to appreciate and savor our solitude, realizing that only when we are truly capable of enjoying being alone are we capable of really being in relationship.

We could do worse than to date our loneliness.

The unwanted in us need not be put behind the driving wheel, but only within reach of our heart. The unwanted in us need not be swallowed whole, but rather only liberated from whatever’s nonbeneficial or obsolete about its viewpoint, without necessarily robbing it of its passion, its vitality, its basic presence, until it’s no longer an “it,” but only reclaimed us.

We need not empty ourselves of our undesired elements; we need not eroticize ourselves into a position where we can or “have to” sexually discharge the sensations of our desperation; we need not colonize our dread with lesser fears; we need not convert our rage into aggression, nor our helplessness into depression, nor our shame into guilt. Our darkness asks not to be kept in the shadows, nor to be given mere licence, but to be met face to face, belly to belly, in a manner as vital as it is wakeful.

Full-blooded contact.

The distance between us and our suffering is the distance between us and God. A gap made of and populated by fear.

The above doesn’t mean, however, that we should just jump into our suffering. What is called for, at least initially, is to take a closer look at our relationship -- and attachment -- to our suffering. At first, we may simply be committed, however unconsciously, to distracting ourselves from our suffering (or the feeling of our suffering), attaching or addicting ourselves to whatever most potently or pleasurably distracts us. Seeing this with unclouded eyes gets us started. Our condition may remain the same for a while -- and it may well need to, according to our degree of ripeness -- but our commitment to it is, however slightly, undermined.

Our struggle may then deepen -- as we observe ourselves trying to get away from our suffering, we begin to realize that such efforts only reinforce and amplify it. Our suffering intensifies until we find a superior distraction or a more powerful numbing agent, or until we shift from avoiding our suffering to deliberately facing it. Deliberately.

This is where healing begins.

When we no longer ostracize or condemn our suffering, but invite it onto the dancefloor with us, we are on track, however stumbling or sloppy our steps may be. Then we are relating to our suffering; we are apart from yet not cut off from it. Then it’s no longer just another unpretty face, but something we can communicate with, touch, penetrate, gaze into, bring closer.

As we move onto the dancefloor with our suffering, we begin to recognize in it many fractured or distorted countenances, the long-ago yet nonetheless still present faces of our distressed or injured selves. As our heart breaks -- that is, breaks free of its “protective” encasing -- the faces are no longer broken, no longer held in poisonously framed cameo.

However slightly, we are now broken enough to be whole (and empty enough to be open), making more and more room in ourselves for our pain. And, eventually, others’ pain. The dance continues, and we notice we are stumbling less, and that an appealing warmth is slowly arising. A quiet happiness suffused with a growing ease, softly pulsing and so, so spacious. So much room, so much love. And such rich intimations of a love beyond love. Dancing with our suffering allows a sobering joy to bloom. Flowers of love, flowers of disappointment, flowers of death, flowers of no-big-deal arrival. Compassion, and a deeper compassion.

But sometimes it’s hell.

Sometimes the suffering is just too much. The key at such times is not to force yourself onto the dancefloor (and nor to deny yourself pain relief), but to simply keep a spark of faith alive, the faith not only that this too will pass, but also that the dance you have begun will continue. Doubt your doubt. And remember not only that Life outlives you, but that you are Life. And more. When you first experience keeping your heart open in hell, know that it will happen again. Don’t worry about when.

And also know that every time you deliberately dance with your suffering you are, bit by bit, breathing strength and dignity and integrity into your capacity to bear the unbearable. Hell can be grace, too. In fact, when we’re in hell and we don’t forget God, then we’re not in hell. Real joy is not an alternative to suffering, but rather the full flowering of our unconditional acceptance of suffering -- which renders our suffering so transparent to Being that we begin to realize, right down to our toes, that maybe it’s really true that there is only God.

Such acceptance is an act not of submission, but of surrender.

In submission we collapse our boundaries; in surrender we expand them.
In submission, we deaden ourselves; in surrender, we die into a deeper Life. In surrender we may lose face, but we do not lose touch. Submission flattens the ego; surrender outdances it.

Surrender is the unarmored heart enlarged through radical acceptance of its aching, its longing, its naked yearning, its Homesickness. Submission is passive, but surrender is dynamic. Submission shrinks us, but surrender, sooner or later, makes us the right size for What-Really-Matters.

One size fits all.

Stretching for God. Stretching until we birth a deeper self, stretching until inside and outside are lovers, stretching until there’s no self to birth. Stretching beyond imagination, all stretchmarks left in the dust. Stretching a little bit here, a little bit there, stretching beyond any need for applause, no longer reducing God to Santa Claus. Letting our suffering stretch us, extend us, show us where we are refusing to look, or are only looking superficially. Appreciating the chance to investigate where we’re being hooked. Appreciating how it all works.

We don’t graduate until we’ve learned the lessons by heart. Otherwise, we wouldn’t sufficiently appreciate God, wouldn’t be sufficiently prepared for realizing who and what we actually are. We get only the very best schooling, each of us with our own unique curriculum. Be careful not to dismiss this as mere metaphor; it is, and it is also something more.

If we won’t dance with our suffering and the pain around which it is constellated, then we are likely to become enslaved to the search to end it, to somehow be rid of its symptoms, to so thoroughly distract ourselves from it that it seems to no longer exist to any significantly troublesome degree.

But being relieved of the sensations of our suffering no more frees us than does masturbation. All our pain, all our hurt, all our woundedness in its primary form exists, in part, to alert us to our condition, to remind us of what we are actually up to, to clarify the dramatics in which we are encapsulated.

Suffering can both obstruct and catalyze our needed purification. It all depends on how we use it. We perhaps best ripen in the presence of awakened, unconditioned love; our suffering, if well used, makes more of us available to that presence. We just have to get out on the damned dancefloor with whatever potential partners are eyeing us from the places where we’d rather not look. Especially those who keep showing up day after day, night after night, their presence snaring our attention, reeling in our “I.” Forget your breath mints and your allegiance to your distancing strategies -- go to these partners, strike up a conversation, get them out on the floor, invite them closer.

Do what is needed to continue the dance, including pausing. At times effort is called for, and at other times effortlessness needs to take the floor. Sometimes we dance, sometimes we are danced, sometimes we get stuck, freezing in our own headlights, and other times we flow, converting frozen yesterday into fluid now. As we move from the periphery to the heartland of our pain, we start to encounter what exists both prior to and beyond all our suffering. And again it is so obvious that God is not elsewhere, that God is not an alternative reality.

Everything is the dancefloor.

Everything that seems to be other than us -- whether outer or inner -- is our dance-partner, asking for more than just tolerance. So we pick this one or that one, but do we remember also to look for and dance with our preference-making capacity? And do we inquire into who -- or what -- is doing the choosing? We’ll explore these questions shortly, but for now let’s close this chapter by returning once more to the dancefloor, turning the spotlight on an unpopular, particularly common yet uncommonly rewarding partner -- disappointment.

Lonely are the flowers of disappointment
Who picks them, loves them, cradles their scent?
Who sees their beauty, their shy petalling?
In our grief, our ordinary daily unsung grief
We break in so many tiny ways
Not seeing beneath the debris
Bits of upstart green, minute pulsing surges
Making subtle quicksand out of our too solid ground
So many buddings, emerald lips moistly aquiver
Some become flowers of hope, some flowers of disappointment
We become seduced by the flowers of hope
Drugged by nostalgia for the future
And we turn away from the flowers of disappointment
Not letting their fragrance reach far enough
Yet it is that fragrance that reminds us
Of a deeper land, where entrapping dreams must shatter
A land where What-Really-Matters cannot help but matter
Disappointment, unrejected, embraces me
Its touch is cool, softly crystalline, sweetly sobering
Is it what I want?
That’s the wrong question.
Disappointment’s gift is rooted not in questions
But in something closer to home
Than answers
Disappointment bleeds into the warped frames of our dreams
Interrupting our intoxication, disrobing our trance
The torn fabric is not something to repair
But to see with undreaming eyes
Eyes for which
Disappointment is not disappointing

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Pain versus Suffering"

I know that many of you didn't know what I was ranting about in my Are You Suffering post. A very sweet anonymous reader sent me some articles that explained what I was talking about in a much better fashion, so I though I would share them with you. There are two articles, so the second one, I will share tomorrow.

The articles are written by Robert Augustus Masters. He is a psychologist that underwent a hospitalization for an intense psychological crisis.

Though pain and suffering are often thought of as being much the same, they differ greatly from each other.

Pain is fundamentally just unpleasant sensation. Suffering, on the other hand, is something we are doing with our pain. Pain comes, often inescapably so, with life. It often also is, especially in its awakening or alerting capacity, necessary. Suffering, however, is far less necessary than we might think.

When we cannot sufficiently distract or distance ourselves from our pain, we generally turn it into suffering. How? By overdramatizing our pain. We make an unpleasantly gripping story out of it, a tale in which our hurt “I” all but automatically assumes the throne of self. I hurt, therefore I am -- this is suffering’s core credo.

In so doing, we are simply identifying with our pain, overpersonalizing it.

Where pain is consciously felt hurt, suffering is the manipulation of that hurt into drama, wherein we’re likely so busy acting out -- and being literally occupied by -- our hurt role that we’ve little or no motivation to stand apart from it.

In the myopic theatrics of suffering, pain itself mostly just stagnates, like an unwanted exhibit in an art gallery. It is not really touched. As the centerpiece and supposed raison d’être of suffering, pain is kept from any genuine healing. We may feel close to our pain when we are busy suffering, but it is not the kind of closeness that heals. It is, in fact, an unwelcome proximity, through which we generally just reinforce our suffering, if only because of our sheer desperation to be elsewhere (like in some kind of fantasized immunity from pain, or similar dreamland of our suffering-centered “I”).

The degree to which we turn our pain into suffering is the degree to which we obstruct our own healing.

When we’re busy suffering, we are all but bereft of healthy detachment. We’re then removed from the naked reality of our pain -- for our attention is generally more on our storyline than on the raw, nonconceptual sense of our pain -- but not removed in a way that permits us to focus more clearly on what is actually going on.

As such, suffering is unhealthy separation from our pain. Suffering is pain that’s gone to mind, pain that’s doing time in mental cells, mental hells.

The more intimate we are with our pain, the less we suffer.

To work effectively with our suffering, we need both to stand apart from its script and to cease distancing ourselves from our pain. Suffering may seem to keep us near to our pain, but it actually keeps us from getting as close to our pain as we need to, if we are live a more liberated life.

Suffering houses pain, but keeps it in the dark. When we turn on the lights, the dramatics of suffering become significantly transparent. Then the uncensored facticity of our pain gets our full attention, particularly at the level where it is but unpleasant sensation. Then we can enter our pain with care, clarity, and suitable precision, getting to know it from the inside -- its fluxing weave and interplay of shape, color, temperature, texture, directionality, intensity, pressure, location, layering, and so on.

Often when we say we’re in pain, we’re not really in our pain, but rather are only closer to it than we’d like. In fact, we’re outside it.

It is in the conscious and caring entry into our pain that we begin to find some real freedom from our pain. The hurt may remain, but our relationship to that hurt will have changed to the point where it’s no longer such a problem to us, and in fact may even become a doorway into

What Really Matters.

The healing of pain is found in pain itself.

As we become more intimate with our pain, we find that we are less troubled by it. Suffering is, among other things, a refusal to develop any intimacy with our pain. In fact, suffering only jails our pain.But the cage door is open, already open, if we just turn around, away from the screens upon which our suffering projects its stories. Then we begin to awaken, to shed more and more of the entrapping dreams we habitually animate. Awareness upstages suffering, dissolving its grip on us, taking us to the heart, the core, the epicenter, of our pain.

And there, in that place of hurt, we meet not more hurt, but more us. More healing, more peace, more sacred welcome.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thinly Veiled Denial ~ Child's Play!

I've been holding this thin veil of denial of how extreme my home environment was as well as how extreme my symptoms were/are. I have always been embarrassed and ashamed about the way that I played with my stuffed animals and dolls. But, I started writing and talking about it in therapy last week. I know what the implications of how I played are and don't want that reality to sink in, but like with my "new" diagnosis, I really can't look at it in any other way.

In play projection is used, operating unconsciously, in which what is emotionally unacceptable in the self is unconsciously rejected and attributed (projected) to others or to toys like stuffed animals and dolls in children to be integrated later. For children they are given the opportunity to play out his accumulated feelings of tension, frustration, insecurity, aggression, fear, bewilderment, confusion or to reenact what was done to them.

I know this; yet, I am ashamed and embarrassed to reveal it to you for fear that you will think I was a disturbed child. Well, the truth, is that I was a disturbed child and what child wouldn't be growing up how I did. I also know that if I saw a child playing like this that I would wonder how are we going to remove the kid as soon as possible from the home. I'm going to close my eyes now, so I can't see how bad it was. (Doesn't work, just flashbacks...well, it was worth a try. It seems to work for kids, but I'm not anymore. I am an adult still trying to deal with the world with my child defenses.)

The following is a Wordle that I did on how I played with my stuffed animals. I shared the information with my therapist. One of the disturbing things, is that there were stuffed animals that I was afraid of due to their violent nature toward each other and me or the suicidal ones or the homicidal ones. This is not what children growing up in a healthy environment project onto their stuffed animals. Most children only project comforting things which is why they are soft and cuddly. Most of the words on it is what I did, my projections or some type of reenactments of what was done to me. And, some are just feelings I had about them or my home such as being angry, frustrated, scared of some of them, thinking something was wrong with me, bad and ashamed.

(Click on the picture for a larger view)

Further adding to the tearing down of my denial and my shame is how I played with my Ken and Barbie dolls. I also had two others that were much smaller, so I made them the children. I made huge house extensions using my children’s encyclopedias. One of the smaller dolls was the child the other one was usually a friend. Barbie used to yell, hit and slap the child. I also would hit her or put her in a corner or throw her across the room. Ken would undress her and use his belt or a kitchen utensil to hit her all over, but usually laying face down on the bed. Sometimes, she would be on her back with her legs up and hit. Sometimes, clothing or string would be used to tie her down. Sometimes, they would have sex together. Sometimes, I would put her in the corner of my closet and close the door for days because I couldn't stand to see her.

Shows a lot of reenactment and projection especially of feeling bad and needing to be punished and self-hatred. I don't want to know that I played that way, but it isn't a repressed memory. I have always known that I played this way and just never wanted to see the implications even though I knew. Now, it works to verify what really happened and I don't want to look at it. I was a disturbed child for good reasons. I feel a little sadness, pain and compassion as I remember playing that way. It would be disturbing for me now to watch a child play in that manner. I would want to know, "what the hell happened to this kid!"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Reality Settles Even Deeper ~ Dissociative Disorder NOS

Although the following video is about children, I think it gives a good description of how dissociative disorders develop which if left untreated continue into adulthood creating significant problems with daily living. (Plus, it was the only decent one I could find.)

First of all "dissociation is a mental process that causes a lack of connection in a person's thoughts, memory and sense of identity. Dissociation seems to fall on a continuum of severity. Mild dissociation would be like daydreaming, getting "lost" in a book, or when you are driving down a familiar stretch of road and realize that you do not remember the last several miles. A severe and more chronic form of dissociation is seen in the disorder Dissociative Identity Disorder, once called Multiple Personality Disorder, and other Dissociative Disorders. (Mental Health America)

Dissociative Disorder (NOS) is different from DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), so please don't confuse the two.
Tempy over at Crackers and Juice Boxes wrote a post where part of it was excellent on explaining the continuum. Please take a look at her post. I have provided the links and while your there take a look around.

"People who suffer a severe trauma might wrestle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If a person experiences ongoing and severe trauma, particularly if the trauma began when the person was a young child, he might develop an even more severe dissociative disorder, with the most extreme disorder being Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Because a child is creating a way to survive severe trauma, the resulting dissociative disorder might not fall neatly into a description of DID or other pre-defined dissociative disorder. If the person's symptoms are clearly dissociative in nature but do not fall under any of the predefined criteria for DID or other dissociative disorder, the diagnosis is likely to be Dissociative Disorder--Not Otherwise Specified (DD-NOS). (e-how ~ Faith Allen)"

So, why am I bring this short description up now?. I was recently diagnosed with Dissociative Disorder-NOS which is due to a chronic and severely abusive, traumatic childhood. Since I worked in the mental health field, I knew that I have been fitting the criteria. However, I never discussed it because I didn't want to hear the answer. But, I actually saw it in two letters last week for appeals with my insurance company from both my psychiatrist and my therapist.

It surprisingly has had an impact on me. I am feeling a distressed. I think, because it indicates how horrendous things really were growing up. I understand how this develops and I never really thought of my circumstances as that bad. Although this blog has made that harder to believe. In reality, that was my own thinly veiled denial which I am coming out of and dealing with my past and my feelings in therapy. Still this made reality bigger. It is like I can't ignore it. That combined with Friday's session which I will write about tomorrow, has me really wanting to defend which I am.

Instead of using the word dissociate, I usually say, "going away" or "fragmenting" or "leaving" or "feeling disconnected." At times, I will lose touch with reality, become disoriented, lose time, not hear parts of conversations, become unresponsive, and mentally and emotionally "leave."

Writing this was difficult and has really been the first time that I have really acknowleged my "new" diagnosis. I think this was a good step for me. However, I still do not want to believe that my childhood was that bad, but I really do know. But, sometimes, I still want to pretend.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Courageous Steps ~ New Blog

A few weeks ago, I started a new blog entitled Courageous Steps. This week I added a link from Clinically Clueless to Courageous Steps and vice versa. Since I don't use Wordpress, which allows for pages, I had to figure out a way to make a page for some things that I wanted up, but couldn't put on Clinically Clueless.

So far the plan for , Courageous Steps is to have my Wordles, slideshows and fingerpainting that I've had or still have on Clinically Clueless. I will also be adding additional fingerpainting, Wordles, slideshows or what ever artistic media I happen to find. I will also be adding the topical and informational posts from here to Courageous Steps and posts that I don't want to have here like the September 11th posts.

There is a link on each site on the top right hand corner to take you to Clinically Clueless or Courageous Steps. Courageous Steps also has a link in its description below the title. So, come and check it out. Remember, it is in the beginning stages and a work in progress.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bloggers Launch TrainforHumanity.org ~ Humanitarian Initiative

Yesterday, GO! Smell the Flowers, had a post about Humanitarianism and this Train for Humanity organization written by AngesBiz who has her own great blog, Buzzing with Ange where you "will find the buzz on Emotional and Financial Intelligence as well as Personal Development, Wealth Creation, and inspiration to Live the life YOU Love." This article post was provided by the site Train for Humanity. Helping others is good for our mental well being too, so since I don't have money to assist I would start by just posting the blog post they provided and the icon link in my side bar. This is actually the beginning of suddenly going oh, I can put some of my favorite non-profit causes there. So, they are the first.

Over the past five years, 200,000 civilians have died due to violence, malnutrition, and disease in Darfur and an additional 2.2 million people have been displaced. We want to do something about it.

Fed up with watching humanitarian crises on the evening news and not doing anything to help, a group of bloggers (most notably, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits) have created and founded the non-profit Train for Humanity, which is an online humanitarian awareness and fundraising organization.

Over 150,000 new blogs are added to the internet everday. Train for Humanity’s mission is to utilize the web, social media, and blogging, in tandem with athletes in training, to support organizations that help prevent suffering and alleviate the pain of children, orphans, and refugees who have been displaced due to genocide or internal strife and war within their country.

Quite simply, they believe - getting fit + social media + blogging = social good

The three pilot project athlete-bloggers, Mark Hayward, Dan Clements, and Leo Babauta are hoping to raise awareness for the current crisis in Darfur and funds for the organization Darfur Peace and Development. All three are training for endurance events of varying distances ranging from a triathlon to a marathon.

They hope to show people that with a little creativity and innovation, anyone can assist and make a difference in the world. If you would like to learn more, have a look at the Train for Humanity website and please consider sponsoring one of them or spreading the word.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2001 ~ Remember

To read my post on September 11, 2001, please visit my second blog, Courageous Steps. At Courageous Steps, please share your experience or say whatever you need to say regarding that day.

Therapy sessions ~ Fragmenting, anger, making connections and feeling better!

I had a therapy session on Monday and afterward was worse in terms of my depression, fragmenting, suicidal thoughts, etc. I was having difficulty staying present, tracking conversations, was hesitant in my speech, halted in mid-sentence and was indirect. This is what I usually do when I am fragmenting or disconnected from myself. I was also over-reacting to situations. I could not understand what was going on only that I was really angry at Geoffrey, so the morning of the session, I wrote this letter which I read to him. Information in [brackets] is additional commentary or explanation written on the same day. Come and read how crazy my head can be and also how I was able to turn it around and feel better by reading this and making connections on Wednesday's session.

Wednesday ~ September 10, 2008 ~ 9:13 AM


I know that I’ve been fragmenting since Monday. Actually, for a long while now. Which I know is partly why I am angry with you and I know that there is a lot of transference and projection going on. Even so, I am angry. I’m angry at you that the letter for the appeal was not completed in time and that I kept forgetting to prompt you. I’m angry that I had to prompt you. I feel resentful that I called the insurance company instead of you even though it is my responsibility. I’m angry that I don’t trust that you faxed it Tuesday as you said you would I’m angry that I am filling out my own bills because otherwise, I feel like I’d never get them. I’m angry that your answering machine keeps getting filled and I keep getting cut off. But, then I realize that I’ve been cut off four times in the last three weeks and that means I’ve been calling a lot, so I feel bad. I understand that you have had a lot going on with your mom and other personal stuff and I am sorry for that. The paperwork is a lot like my mother not following through for me with stuff like that growing up.

[My therapist generally does not complete most insurance forms and does not deal with insurance which is an agreement known at the beginning. However, in my case he decided that he wanted to help me, but I need the letter by 180 days which was Tuesday. He is horrible when it comes to stuff like that and I’ve always known it. I brought up whether or not he wanted to continue with this arrangement and he said that he did and apologized for not meeting the deadline. I also called him three times since our session on Monday to leave a message because I was not doing very well.

Although the situation with Geoffrey was frustrating, the amount of anger was out of proportion to what I was feeling. This morning I realized that it was triggering stuff with my mother. When I was in school, I used to leave papers for her to complete for school. When she hadn’t completed by the time I went to bed, I would remind her that I had to bring them to school the following morning. My step-father couldn’t sign them and my mother would leave for work without completing them. It left me feeling embarrased and with the teachers asking me uncomfortable questions…at the time, divorce was not as common. In fact, all through school I didn’t have any friends whose parents were divorced. I also cried in session remembering how I felt.

Last week, via the Internet I found out some personal about him that I will not share with you, but it made me feel like he really understood what I was going through and we talked about it and I felt closer and more trusting. Today, I asked him a couple of personal questions. The first one he answered and the second one he did not. I immediately felt bad and started to cry…I knew, it triggered something. I really cried.]

I did not like that I found out via the internet. I really would have liked you to have said something. I also know that it was my responsibility to ask. It feels like how I used to try and piece things together with what little resources I had. But, I also feel like I always felt in asking anything personal about my mother or my father. My mother would just become angry and start yelling at me. The worst time I remember was when I asked if she was married to my step-father. It was for a class assignment, but she started yelling, screaming and slapped me telling me that was personal and none of my business. Then, they started arguing and both started yelling at me. It was a horrible day. I felt so bad and like I should have known the answer. I was so confused.

I am also angry with myself because I keep getting stuck by not talking about what I’m writing on my blog and the flashbacks. Also, angry with myself because I keep getting stuck with crying. I’ve been wanting to ask you if I could have an extra hour, maybe next week. Meaning having two 90 minute sessions because I think it would help to get unstuck. But, then I think what if it doesn’t work then, I’ve wasted both of our time. I also am wondering when we can have a joint session with my husband to watch and talk about the slideshow, but I’ve been afraid to ask…I know I’m fragmenting. I’m angry that I keep doing that. [I asked him directly for both and we scheduled the to longer sessions and will schedule one with my husband.]

Because I am fragmenting, I am having much more difficulty with you taking vacation. I feel much more abandoned. I guess, it is intensified too because that is some of what I need to talk and cry about. I did talk with my psychiatrist yesterday and asked if I could see him the week that you are mostly away because that is not my normal week to see him. So, we arranged a session for Thursday. I did tell him about my increased depression, suicidality, sleeping more and fragmentation. He said that it was like I was going into hibernation, so I didn’t have to deal with the issues in therapy. He basically said that medication is not going to help, but that I need to work it through my therapy. I know that he is right. I know part of my anger toward you is about my being angry with myself and with my mother.

My psychiatrist also, at my request, showed me his appeal letter. I pointed out a few typos. He made me sound a bit worse off than I am which was necessary, but it also sank in a little more how severe my symptoms and my abuse really are. His diagnosis didn’t include borderline personality disorder, but did include Dissociative Disorder which wasn’t really a surprise to me, but to actually see it on paper was difficult because it is an indication of my symptoms and of my abuse. I think, that made me fragment more and I became more tearful, sad and angry. I wondered about your diagnosis of me as it helps me put things into perspective and context. [My therapist said, the same with PTSD, major depression. But, he adds borderline and does not include dissociative disorder NOS although I have symptoms.]

So, I actually have some questions in here. I am also feeling more focused and feel like I can be more present today with you. But, I am so scared. I also think that feeling closer to you last week scared me and now I’m trying to push away. All of a sudden I just want to cry. I’m glad I wrote this out. It helped me to clarify some things and make some connections.

[Overall, it was a really good session. First time in a long time, that I felt better afterward. I was able to really process and really felt proud of myself. I was able to say what I needed to, he took responsibility where necessary. However, most of it was my own issues and I was able to recognize it and express my emotions over what past issues the current ones triggered. I knew from the beginning that only a small fraction had to to with Geoffrey, but he was safer than having to deal with my past. Great session, but extremely difficult.]

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY ~ September 29, 2005 ~ 12:50 PM, Part III ~ Terrified Raped Again!

Continuation of PAST JOURNAL ENTRY ~ September 29, 2005


[I can't believe that I wrote all of these memories down in one entry. I just felt like I needed to get it out. I've broken it up because it seems like too much for one entry, but that is what I did...I'm feeling sad.]

Felt trapped one day when my step-father's father took me into the garage and locked the door which immediately terrified me. [I still hate the sound of someone locking a door, but it is okay if I do it. It was also a double cylinder lock where you need a key for both sides.] I felt my stomach drop and wanted to run away, but I felt so trapped and panicked and was scared to move. Hearing the door locking really terrified me. I felt so trapped and helpless and I didn't know what he was going to do or how far he would go. Then, he pushed me to the floor and pulled my pants and underwear off.

[This was the first time being raped in the garage. The one by the tree was the first time that was not in the bedroom and did not involve any other men. However, it was much more terrifying and I trusted him and thought that he was nicer, but he increasingly became more violent than anyone else.]

I remember the floor being hard and cold and worried that a bug or spider was going to crawl on me. [This did occur and I've been having flashbacks of feeling and seeing the bugs crawl on me.] Then, he forced himself on me. [When I wrote this I could not use the word rape to describe anything that happened...now I can, sometimes.]

He seemed really angry and was not as gentle as he had been in the past. I wanted to scream and cry. [Of course, I didn't.] I know that it really hurt, but I kept focusing on how the floor felt, worried about the bugs and focused on the shelving which was painted brown. I looked at the spacing and which ones were warped or uneven.

After that time, I remember an incident where my step-father took me into the garage and locked the door. I felt so panicked, terrified and trapped. Just hearing the door lock made me feel sick. He put me on top of the ping-pong table and pulled my pants and underwear off.

I though that he was going to do what he usually did, but he didn't. I had my eyes closed most of the time, but the few times I opened them he had that "look." I was terrified, wanted to run, scream, cry, push him away, but I wouldn't dare do that as it would have made the situation worse.

I heard him walking to the workbench and heard two clunks on the table. He first inserted the handle of the screwdriver really hard and it hurt. At that point, I remember listening to the cars go by and trying to count them. Then, he took the screwdriver out and shoved the handled end of the hammer into me. I hurt much worse and I really wanted to scream because I felt like my insides were going to rip apart, it hurt so much and I was terrified. I really thought that he was going to kill me as he had always threatened to do.

I had thoughts that I wanted to die. He took it out and shoved it even harder back in. I think, that was when I started to bleed. Then, he twisted it around which hurt even more. I felt like I was going to die. Thought that he was going to kill me or hit me with the hammer. I thought that he was done.

But, he wasn't. Then, he pushed me further up on the table, but my head hit the net and he became angry and moved the net and pulled me further up on the table. I was in a lot of pain at this point, so I covered myself with my hands and crossed my legs which just made him enraged. I kept listening for cars.

I was terrified of what he would do next. Then he got on the table and it was a little wobbly and I was afraid that the table would break and then I'd really be in trouble especially from my mother. He grabbed my arms really hard and moved them away. I didn't dare move or say or utter anything. Then, he pushed my legs apart with much force with his leg/knee.

Then, he began to rub my legs and body and under my shirt with his hands. I wanted to scream for him not to touch me. I really, really wanted to scream and scream and cry. I felt so trapped because I was scared to move and he had locked the door. I kept listening to the traffic.

Then, he forced himself on me and it hurt so much more than any other time. I knew I was bleeding some and felt like I was going to die. When, he ejaculated it really stung. I was really afraid that he would kill me.

When he was finished and left, I put my clothes back on and went to the restroom and tried to clean myself up and saw the blood on my underwear. I go really scared because my mother got really angry with me last time she found blood on my underwear. So, I tried using a wet paper towel or toilet paper to blot it off. All the time I was scared I wouldn't stop bleeding. I was so afraid of my mother being angry again. I even thought of throwing my underwear away and hoped that she wouldn't notice one missing.

It was so awful and I really thought that my step-father was going to kill me. Thought he might hit me on the head with the hammer and that he was never going to stop hurting me. I was in so much physical pain and so scared that my mother was going to find the blood and be angry and/or hit me like before. I wanted to die, scream and scream and just cry.

Observations: Unfortunately, this is only the beginning of things that were done to me in the garage. I will be including journal entries of what I remembered. Although three years have past, I currently am "stuck" in therapy regarding crying, rage, talking about some of my current flashbacks of being in the garage, talking about my mother and generally accepting how bad things really were. As a result, my depression and suicidal ideation has increased. But, those are defenses against feeling what I really am feeling which is sadness. It is so difficult for me to go there because I know I need to just cry.

Isaiah 49 :15 -16

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