November 30, 2007
I'm Grateful For Our Blog Carnival
Now that I'm back, I'm getting around to all the wonderful posts Cerebralmum put up for the November edition of the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. The edition is up at her new website: www.cerebralmum.com. Since November is Thanksgiving month, Cerebralmum decided to do a "gratitude" theme. As I said in my last post, this survivor community and the carnival are two things that I count way at the top of things that I'm grateful for. I'm glad that you all are a part of my life!
Please visit the carnival's November edition here and show your support by reading the posts and leaving comments. I'd be grateful! :)
November 20, 2007
Gratitude & Beauty
It was only a year ago, last Thanksgiving, that I ran away...again. Although I saw my husband and my son everyday while I was gone, I was away for over a month and I still feel guilty about it. Soon after that, I started intense, twice-a-week therapy for my severe dissociative disorder.
This turkey day, my husband decided our little family needed to get far away. We're going on a Disney cruise to the Bahamas! Whoo hooooo! We really need a vacation, and mom and dad need some alone time as well. I'm told a Disney cruise is the best of both worlds. We leave on Thanksgiving Day (that's Thursday here in the US) and we'll be gone for a week. I'll probably only get to a computer once while I'm away.
While flying to Florida, Thursday probably won't even feel like Thanksgiving to me. This could be a very good thing.
On the flip side of my Thanksgiving emotions, I do have a great sense of gratitude. I'm grateful that we can afford this trip in the first place (even though my hubby has been working nights and weekends for it). I'm grateful for my supportive husband and my son. I'm grateful that God, somehow, gave me the strength to break the cycle of abuse in my family. I'm thankful for The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse (see reminder below, folks!)
And last, but certainly not least, I'm grateful for this blogging community of survivors. Hearing your stories and getting to know you online has strengthened my sense of compassion and empathy, for myself, other survivors and children around the world. Seeing that every child abuse survivor was a precious, innocent, adorable child--a beautiful shining soul, connected to the source of love and light--reminds me that I was a beautiful child and I am a divine soul myself.
I am grateful for the beauty. The beauty inherent in each survivor. We are all beautiful, divine souls. I wrote the poem below for a fellow survivor of childhood abuse and neglect. I offer it out to all survivors, and also say these words to my own inner children and my adult self. The poem is called, Your Beauty.
Some of my long-time readers may have seen this poem before. I think we need reminders of our beauty. We are beautiful. Let's remember that. Let's celebrate that. Let's be thankful for that. Let's stop letting anyone (from our present or past) convince us that we're anything but beautiful. This is for you:
I see the beauty you can't see
You're unaware of what it does for me
It's the light shining in your eyes
Lifting me up to brighter skies
Still you walk around
And you hang your head
You were dead
But if you could see
What I see in you
There'd be nothing, love,
That you could not do.
Copyright 2003 Marj McCabe ~ All Rights Reserved
REMINDER: The November edition of The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse will debut at CerebralMum the day I get back from my trip: Friday, November 30, 2007. Please get your submissions in. You can use the Blog Carnival Submission Form here. Hurry! The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, November 28.
November 14, 2007
Birthday's Over, Back to Reality
I'm glad I had a restful day off, 'cause it was "back to reality" pretty quick. Saturday was a crazy, juggling day and so was yesterday.
It's funny: Back when I was just automatically (and unaware of) dissociating all the time, I could juggle so many balls in the air at once without dropping a one. Now, I just get so overwhelmed most of the time. I try not to put more than one major thing on the calendar to accomplish in a day, if I can arrange it. I feel pretty pathetic sometimes. Once upon a time, I was a "successful professional." Oh well. The way I try to look at it now is that my healing and therapy is my "profession." If I can help anybody else, even a little bit, along the way, well that's an added bonus.
I did get a chance to use some of my corporate communications professional-type skills on Saturday. I went to a memorial service and went up in front of everyone at the pulpit and spoke about the person who had passed. It was just off the top of my head, too; I didn't write anything down or prepare at all. Many people told me how touched they were about what I had said. That made me feel good and feel like I had given the person we were remembering a nice gift.
Yesterday was a packed day on the calendar as well. But, the overwhelming piece of it was going to the dentist. I'd put it off as long as I could, but pain drove me in.
I'm really pissed that I'm still so traumatized by going to a dental appointment. I had worked a lot on this fear with my former therapist. I even got a referral by the facilitator of my old incest survivor support group to a dentist who was supposed to have all this training for dealing with survivors and helping them feel safe. Ha! What a joke! I had to have a crown put on a year ago, and it was a nightmare!
With the help of my therapist, I had pinpointed two areas that were key to my terror: reclining in the dental chair and having that bright light in my face. I decided assertiveness was key to my safety. I told all the staff members at this dental office about my survivor status, extreme dental fear, and what I needed to feel safe. I made it very clear that I would expect (and keep reminding) them to raise the chair up and turn the light off whenever it wasn't currently in use during my procedure.
Everyone there respected my requests except for one &%^#@ who had no respect, compassion or kindness about her. She sighed heavily every time I reminded her with my requests, sometimes simply ignoring me as if she hadn't heard. Every time she'd leave the room--leaving me reclined and with the light still shining in my face--I'd either sit up or get out of the chair. When she came back into the room, she'd chide, "What are you doing up?" How many ways do I need to explain this to you, lady?! I was so traumatized, I was literally trembling and you could see my feet and legs shaking (the heartless wench didn't even notice this, of course).
So, now I have a new dentist, referred to me by my current therapist. I took my son in to see him in June. I checked the place out and it felt okay. But, it took me another six months to get up my nerve to go in. The anti-anxiety medication my psychiatrist prescribed me was key. I still felt a bit scared, but the people there were nice yesterday and said that they wouldn't mind at all how many times I reminded them of my keep-safe requests. Actually, yesterday they remembered right away on their own.
So, that's the good news. The bad news is that I will need more procedures. Ya see, I clench my teeth a lot. I don't grind them, but I clench, and the damage is starting to show. My teeth are already worn down pretty good and now they're starting to crack. I could see cracks in them a long time ago, but now they're starting to cause pain, especially when eating. So, I need crack repair.
Also, this new dentist fitted me for a night guard he wants me to wear. I don't know how much I'm clenching my teeth in my sleep. I've noticed it for years when I do it during the day. It's often when I'm angry...or maybe when dissociating, I'm not sure. I asked this guy how to stop during the day. "You just notice and cut it out," he said. Oh, gee, I never would have thought of that! I have a feeling the night guard won't solve the problem. It'll be a miracle if I can feel safe and comfortable enough to wear it to bed anyway.
Even if they seem compassionate and understanding, these dentists really don't know anything about sexual abuse survivors. They really should have some kind of training; it's obviously sorely needed! Here are a couple of online links about dental fear and survivors, if you want to check them out: www.dentalfearcentral.org and www.sidran.org/dental.html. These are listed under "Resources: Survivor Issues" on my dot com site, www.survivorscanthrive.com.
I know Rising Rainbow was talking about dental and doctor fear on her blog the other day. If there are any others out there that are in the same boat as us, you have my sympathy, understanding, compassion and empathy. Take gentle care, all.
November 05, 2007
It's My Birthday and I'll Laze if I Want To!
Sometimes I remind myself that, in addition to being a sex slave and my mother's personal hand servant when I was a kid, I started working outside the home when I was only 11 years old. This is the age when I started cleaning houses and doing a lot of babysitting. I had a "real job" in a restaurant at 15. Sometimes I think, "Jeez, if I never work again, that would be my right!"
I'll be taking Thursday--my birthday--totally off, just to do fun, pampering stuff for my self(ves). Pretty soon, though, I want to do an "update" post on some of the therapy work that's been pretty darn productive in the last month.
I'm also in the process of organizing a list of blog carnival hosts for the next six months. Since most of the e-mails I've received from would-be first-time hosts have expressed a desire to wait to host until at least February or March of the new year, I'm going to go ahead and let a couple of repeat hosts repeat for November and December. If any first-time hosts would rather step in for those months (I know they are holiday months--yikes!) just let me know ASAP. If I've missed anybody's e-mail, I apologize. My dot com site e-mail was all wacko for a few days--I got blog carnival submissions in my junk mail folder and then all incoming mail was saying it was received in August--weird!
Sending safe hugs and healing vibes to all of you bloggy friends out there! Take gentle care.