December 22, 2007


I've Created a "Survivor Needs" Meme

This holiday season, many of us survivors are rushing around trying to get our gift shopping done and get all those items on our lists checked off. For some of us, the holidays are a painful time of triggers and obtrusive memories. Whether you hate Christmas, really get into the holiday spirit, or just tend to run yourself ragged this time of year, it's time to pay attention to some of your own needs.

I know! Let's make a list for ourselves and do it as a meme.

I've created a list of "Survivor Needs" and I've arranged them from 1-25, like an advent calendar counting down to the 25th day of December. I've also sprinkled in a few things that I, as a survivor and a human, just want! For your own list, maybe you need to pretend it's not the holidays. Maybe you can't tolerate touch (even cyber hugs), but you want some healing vibes sent your way. Maybe you don't feel comfortable telling your story, but you want others to know you are a survivor and not feel so alone.

This is your chance to communicate your own, personal survivor needs.

You don't have to wait to get tagged with this meme. Grab it and post a list of your own! Let's focus some attention on self care this holiday season...with an emphasis on getting our needs met in the New Year.

My Survivor Needs

As a survivor trying to thrive:
  1. I need PEACE.
  2. I need some sleep!
  3. I need to feel safe in the shower and in my bed.
  4. I need rapport and effective work with a good therapist who cares.
  5. (Although I've often tried to do without them) I need anti-depressant meds and something for anxiety and sleep when I need it.
  6. I need to be silly and have some fun once in a while.
  7. I need to do safe, healthy anger work.
  8. I need to get in touch with my feelings.
  9. I need to be in my body.
  10. I need safe touch with trusted others and safe cyber hugs.
  11. I need to tell my story and know that I'm not alone.
  12. I need to advocate for and connect with other survivors, and raise awareness about sexual violence and abuse.
  13. I need soft, warm jammies, slipper socks, blankets, hoodies and throws.
  14. I need non-sexual touch and affection with my husband.
  15. I need to exercise assertiveness, boundaries and communication with others to keep myself safe.
  16. I need to get out in nature and know that all can be right with the world.
  17. I need to hold my child and feel his soft cheek against mine.
  18. I need a warm, furry pet.
  19. I need to comfort and re-parent my inner child.
  20. I need to renew my commitment to breaking the cycle...every day.
  21. I need to stay away from most of my family of origin--they are toxic!
  22. I need to continue to work on a healthy relationship with my sister.
  23. I need healthy self-esteem.
  24. I need to know that I am worth good things and I deserve them!
  25. I need to let you know that you're not alone either--I'm here and I care.

And, I also want (but don't necessarily need and/or might not ever have):

  1. I want coffee!
  2. I want chocolate!
  3. I want a cigarette (but I'm not going to have one).
  4. I want a pill that would eliminate my nightmares.
  5. I want to end all forms of sexual violence and child abuse everywhere, forever.

Rules of the "Survivor Needs" Meme:

I tag:

  1. Patricia Singleton at Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker
  2. Enola Survivor
  3. Lynn at Spilling Ink in Public
  4. Matthew at Loving Awareness
  5. Mike at Child Abuse Survivor
  6. Megan at Imaginif
  7. Marcella at Abyss2Hope
  8. Annaleigh at As Waters Passing By/Blessed Fearscapes
  9. Memory Artist
  10. Karma at Jew Exploring Buddhism

Note: Please don't be insulted if you don't see your name on this list. I've left some bloggers off on purpose because I want to give you the chance to tag (and I know you will anyway) each other.

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December 19, 2007


Haunting My Halls: The Ghost of Christmas Past & Present

I don't know what the hell is going on. I've been trying to reach in and comfort those neglected child parts. I know I said that they keep slipping through my arms, but I really have been doing quite a bit to try to reach them. I do whatever I can to send them the message that they haven't been forgotten, that they are special and precious and that they deserve comfort, warmth, beauty, fun, etc.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I went out and bought a doll. She has been lovingly placed in a beautiful, antique doll carriage with cozy blankets and stuffed animals. I speak to her every day. I pat her, I sing to her. I rock her.

I've also had a big project I've been working on for the past several months. I built a dollhouse and I've been outfitting it to make it beautiful. Two little doll girls live in there with their very own angel. They have many toys and beautiful, comforting things around them.

The other day, I decided to go out and get some Christmas decorations for the dollhouse. Boy, did we have fun! We strung Christmas lights, put up a wreath, put up a beautiful treat-filled stocking at the fireplace mantel...and that's when I installed our angel.

I felt so much better after spending this special time with my child parts. Because the holidays are such a stressful time of year for me (with moments prone to running away, etc.) I've really upped my child comforting routine. I do a little meditation pretty much every day. It involves some stretching, grounding techniques and affirmations. Every day I affirm: "We are surrounded by love and beauty. We are enfolded in light and safety." I also always add, "I love you, my Beautifuls."

I've been spending a lot of time curled up in the rocking chair with a soft, cozy throw. I rock and use soothing words to my parts. I read them children's "love stories." We play with the dollhouse. As a little treat--just to show them they're special--I've been putting whipped cream on my coffee lately and dousing it with Christmas sprinkles.

I felt so good that I actually started getting into the Christmas spirit a bit. We got our tree up this weekend and I finished my Christmas shopping. All our holiday greeting cards went out. I was on such a roll that I went in and announced to my T on Monday that I wanted Thursday off. While I was feeling good, and even experiencing a bit of holiday cheer (a major thing to experience at all for me), I recognized that this week was going to be quite stressful. I wanted to avoid becoming overwhelmed before my son is off from school for sixteen days.

On the calendar this week, We had practice for a band concert, a dentist appointment for me, the holiday band concert itself (my son plays the sax), a hockey game, and volunteer work at a food bank. In addition, my son has five tests at school this week and a large writing assignment due. (Since he has a learning disability, his parents are highly involved in studying and assignment completion--we don't do the work for him, but we make sure it gets done and give him a lot of help with it.) I thought two therapy sessions this busy week before Christmas was too much for me.

My T and I had been working on rage. I've had a lot of good grieving going on, especially over my mother's involvement in my abuse. Lately, I've been asking my therapist for assistance on the accompanying rage, with tips on safe anger work. We made a good head start in my T's office on Monday, and then I came home and did some louder, more physical work down in my basement.

At first, I felt great! I congratulated all the parts who were involved and we had a little treat to reward ourselves for our hard work.

Then, the fatigue set in. I was exhausted! After my son came home from school, I told him I had to lie down for a while. Before I knew it, dinner was over and my husband was taking our son to band practice. I had been in bed for something like four hours. The funny thing was, I hadn't been sleeping. I dozed off a couple of times, but it was only for a matter of minutes. I started to get the distinct feeling that I was hiding in there. I was starting to feel some fear (I think from some parts) but I wasn't sure what it was about. Maybe they were scared that we were going to get in trouble for expressing the anger.

While my son was at his practice, I forced myself up and out of bed. I made myself a decadent meal of pizza and Coke and had some pudding (with whipped cream and sprinkles, of course) for dessert. I ate while I watched TV and enjoyed the lights of the Christmas tree. I felt pretty good by the time my boys arrived back home.

The next morning I got out of bed in time to see a beautiful sunrise. (This is often a difficult time for me and I've never been a "morning person.") I went to check my e-mail and found that, after I complained to my son's teacher, she had postponed one of the four tests he was to have Tuesday to Friday. Yay! This was great!

This good news didn't seem to help my son's mood at all. He bitched and moaned about various things and then was loud and disrespectful to me. I told him I was angry and gave him some consequence, but the plug had been pulled out of the bathtub, so to speak. I was already swirling head first down the drain. I tried talking it over with my husband and got some of my anger out. I thought I was feeling a bit better by the time he left the house for work.

Unfortunately, this was the same morning that I was supposed to go back into the dentist for some crack repair and to update the doc on how my night mouth guard is working out. I have my anti-anxiety medication, so I thought I could do it. But, why the hell did I think I could handle it the week before Christmas??!!! That didn't seem very smart. I guess I just wasn't thinking when the dentist's office set up the appointment right before we left for our cruise. I was feeling so good then.

But, now, I had been majorly triggered by my son. Damn it! Why do I have to work my ass off to get out of my comfort zone and make a happy Christmas for our little family when I HATE CHRISTMAS...and then I just get treated like shit??!!

Oh shit, the fear closed in fast. I didn't end up hiding in a closet this time, but I curled myself up on the floor next to the Christmas tree. Sometimes, if I just give in to this for a little while, I can feel better and get on with my day. Maybe it's because my limbs always fall asleep; I'm eventually forced up and on with my day. This time, an hour went by, more time went by, and nothing was happening.

Have you ever asked one of your parts to come out and do something for you?

This is what I started doing, down there on the floor. I started negotiating. "Anybody up to the task in here? I can't do this. Anybody feel strong enough to handle the dentist visit? Please, anybody?"

I got no auditory response. The only thing I felt was Serena creeping in. You remember Serena--she's the one who comes and keeps the body totally still so that there's no injury, suicide attempts or running away. I wasn't sure exactly why she thought it so important to move in, but she was the only one responding.

It was all I could do to get up off the floor to go to the bathroom and call the dentist's office to tell them I couldn't make it in. Then, I moved to the bed. I just let Serena take over. I slept a little bit. But, mostly I just lay there, or I sat there propped up on my pillows, and stared into space for hours.

My mind was still working. I thought about what I would have for lunch. But, more hours went by and I never ate anything. I didn't even have to pee anymore because I'd had barely anything to drink all day. I thought about some clothes I would throw on. I knew I wasn't up to a shower, but the clothes I could do, right? I thought about getting those clothes on and picking my son up at school. I thought about calling the school to tell him I wasn't coming. I ended up getting his call and explaining to him that I was dissociated and it wasn't safe for me to drive in that condition. He'd have to walk home. By this time, I'd been staring at the walls for at least four or five hours.

I had those thoughts, like I said. But, I just couldn't get Serena to budge. Soon, I was negotiating for anybody besides Serena to come out and do anything to make my body move. I have this meditation that I do to collect everybody into this safe place I've visualized and installed in my mind. I count down from ten, like I'm descending stairs, then I open the doors to the safe place and sometimes we do a roll call there. At the very least, I'll assist a part who's hurting. I'll lead them to the porch swing and put them in the arms of the angel there.

This time, I went "down" there and I announced: "It's my turn to sit on the porch swing. I'm coming in and I want somebody else to come out for a while. I can't do this today. Somebody else will have to do it." I feel like an idiot admitting this desperation, when I'm the one who's supposed to be in charge and I'm the one who's supposed to get us to all integrate and all that. Smart move, huh?

Well, when nobody but Serena responded, I got royally pissed! I yelled something like, "Life isn't all just dollhouses and porch swings and sprinkles!" I then visualized myself slamming the door on the safe place room and storming back up those ten stairs. I wanted to add, "Screw all of you!!!"

So, I stayed immobilized and staring for a total of about eight hours yesterday. I dragged myself out of bed just in time to throw on some clothes, barely brush my hair and brush my teeth before attending my son's band concert like the walking dead. I didn't talk to anyone there. There was such a crowd. Maybe nobody noticed.

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December 15, 2007


A 2007 Christmas Carnival

Our Christmas Carnival Against Child Abuse is up at Imaginif. Once again, Megan has done a wonderful job of hosting. She's a past host and I have a feeling she'll be doing the job again in the future as well. I welcome her in this capacity anytime.

I wasn't sure we'd get an organizer for this edition during this busy holiday season, but Megan seems to always rise to the appropriate occasion. I appreciate this fierce advocate for child protection very much. I also appreciate all the bloggers who participated this month. I know this time of year can be quite challenging for survivors.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you blessing and much peace.

December 13, 2007


Mourning that Abused, Dissociated Child

So, for those of you who were wondering: I did go to the Christmas party Saturday night. I even wore something kinda sexy. But, I went with a girlfriend. Yes, I had a very nice time. No, I did not get rip-roaring drunk. I actually enjoyed some meaningful conversations with some other women there.

Unfortunately, that night I got home and the wine I had did not help me sleep. Neither did it keep the nightmares away. I had one of those dreams that goes on and on, like you're watching a three-hour movie. A new twist on my torture-themed dreams is that this time my husband and I were both being tortured. It reminded me of watching my sister suffer as a child. It was a dream that took place in some third-world country and we kept being detained; weren't allowed to cross the border into safe territory. Both of us were abused, even tortured, by our captors while we were being detained. Aaaaaacccckkkkk!

I wish there was some kind of pill one could take to never have a nightmare again!

But, Monday I had my therapy appointment. (Ya know, I have 'em twice a week, so they come up pretty often :P ) I even brought in a print-out of some of the comments I got on my blog for our discussion. I got a lot of good work done with my therapist and then I came home and sobbed my eyes out. It's painful and it sucks, but the grieving--the feeling of the feelings--is healing for me. Of this I am sure.

There are two major developments that I'm really mourning over right now: First, there's the ongoing facing of the "mom-was-involved" betrayal. It is huge! It's one of the toughest realities that I've ever had to face. I guess, since I'm now a mother myself, I just can't seem to wrap my brain around the fact that this woman facilitated and shamed me for my abuse after carrying me inside her. I was once part of her own body! How does such betrayal, abandonment and inhumanity work? I'll never figure it out, of course. That's one of the things I have to keep working on--the urge to try to "figure it out." Even when it's obviously impossible.

The second thing--and this is huge, too--is that my sister and I have both discovered recently that our abuse did NOT end when our father left the house after my parents divorced. This just shakes my world, I gotta tell ya. So much of what I'd assumed for years is now proven false. I'll have to get into this one later. I've just scratched the surface of it.

What I am delving more deeply into is an issue that ties both of these recent recovery developments together: After the divorce, my mother allowed us full, overnight, unsupervised visitation with the monster who was our father. She did not fight the visitation one iota. Their divorce was solely for my mother's personal preservation and selfish reasons. It had nothing to do with finally protecting her offspring.

To say that I'm feeling enormous amounts of anguish is a vast understatement. When I had my huge crying jag Monday, I kept hearing this little girl wail, "She didn't see me. She never saw me. She didn't see me!" (Talking about the egg donor who we called "Mom.") I kept trying to reach in, but didn't feel very successful. I kept saying aloud, "I see you. I see you." But, I'm not sure anybody heard. To say that I'm feeling guilty and conflicted about not being able to reach in, scoop up and comfort the littlest of my child parts doesn't come close to what I'm feeling either.

I guess I've achieved a little bit more empathy for myself after getting in touch with what I wrote about in my
December 7 post. So that's a good thing. But, after being in touch with--and being able to describe--the horror that I wrote about in that post, I realize that I'm seeing this reaching-in challenge as almost a physical impossibility. Trying to scoop up these little girls is like grasping at shadows. They keep slipping through my arms. Their charred little souls have turned to ash. They've been reduced to dust and have blown hither and yon. I'm running in every direction trying to find them, but there seems to be nothing to hold onto.

How does one return the ethereal to viable flesh and bone?

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December 11, 2007


Thanks and Reminders

The other day, when I was dealing with some really tough therapy issues, I asked for cyber solace from several of you. I didn't even get half way down my blog roll with my request. So many came with insights, empathy and cyber safe hugs. I am so grateful to you guys! Thank you so much. If you look at the comment section down there, you'll see that there were several insightful comments that I've been thinking over. I printed them off and even brought them to therapy with me yesterday.

I am also grieving, mourning, very sad. I sobbed for quite a long time yesterday and it was hard, but it felt good to honor that grief.

I have another post ready to go that's a more detailed update of what's going on with me. But, I wanted to put up this post first. There are two important reminders below that I want you to take a few moments to read and act upon. Thanks in advance!

First, tomorrow is the deadline for the December BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. Megan, a wonderful past host at Imaginif is hosting again for us. The deadline for submissions is midnight tomorrow, Wednesday, December 12 for the Friday edition. You can submit posts here.

Second, I received an e-mail today about the 1-800-SUICIDE hotline needing help again. The feds are still trying to muck it up and this could lead to disastrous results in the area of caller rights and confidentiality. I've copied and pasted the e-mail below. Please use the links to educate yourself and support this important suicide-prevention cause.

Dear Friends of the Hopeline,

We thank you for your support of our organization and 1-800-SUICIDE over the last few years.We need your help ... again. This time in addition to financial support what we really need today is a letter of support.The feds (SAMHSA) are moving to try to take permanent control of 3 of our hotlines using the timing of the holiday season hoping no one will be around to file a response. They filed the day before Thanksgiving and gave our attorneys no notice of the filing. Not very cricket of them.

We are asking our supporters to file comments with the FCC before they grant permanent assignment of 1-800-SUICIDE to the SAMHSA. If you could file a comment in support of us and ask any of your friends and colleagues to stand up for us it would make a difference. We need your public support more than ever. If we shine a bright enough light on them they will not be able to hide from the truth.It is important to note that our organization operates 13 national suicide hotlines and while 1-800-SUICIDE is our largest program we will continue to prevent suicide among our veterans with our 1-877-VET2VET, new moms suffering post partum depression with 1-800-PPD-MOMS, teens with our 877-YOUTHLINE as well as many other targeted populations with 10 other specialty hotlines. We are not in danger of being shut down but we are about to lose our primary outreach of help and hope. Either way we will continue our life saving work. (see for a complete list) I hope you and your family have a great holiday. All we want for the Holidays is the return of the control of our numbers.

Suggested minimal language...We urge the FCC to grant the Kristin Brooks Hope Center Application for Review and return the toll free hotline numbers to KBHC promptly. If necessary to accomplish that, we support a temporary extension of the 12 month temporary re-assignment.But please feel free to add or write your own comments about why it is important that 1-800-SUICIDE remain non government owned and controlled.

To file comments CLICK HERE Type in 07-271 for the proceeding (docket) number.
To read what others have written CLICK HERE The postings just began today and the window closes on the 12th of December. It is a very brief window for public comment. This is so unfair. Last year when they did this we ran a campaign that generated over 800 letters written and filed. They do not want a repeat of that and are counting on us having no show of strength in support from people who care. So please help us today. It will make a difference. Your financial support in the past has helped us survive to this point. We hope you will continue to support us in the future.

Best always,
Reese Butler -
President and Founder Kristin Brooks Hope CenterNational Hopeline Network 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)Administrative Office:615 7th Street NE
Washington, DC 20002

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December 07, 2007


The Tragedy of the Abused, Dissociated Child: The Soul Has Retreated; The Light Has Gone Out.

This post is lifted from my Microsoft Word journal.

I gotta get some of this down on paper. This will be long and rambly, so I'm going to type it rather than hand write in my spiral journal.

Right now, I'm really oscillating between: being depressed that the fantasy escape cruise is over (getting the stomach flu as soon as we returned didn't help); wanting to continue "going about my business" and acting like I'm perfectly normal...whatever that is; and feeling scared about I'm not sure what.

I wonder if I'm afraid that Lisa--my rebellious, young party-girl part--is going to wreak havoc. I've got this Christmas party on Saturday that I'm going to solo (David's leaving for an out-of-town conference). Part of me wants to walk to the party (it's only blocks away and then I'd have no worries about drinking and driving) and get really drunk. I've lost 15 pounds since May and I look better than I have since before I got pregnant with Daniel. I've lost the weight this time in a healthy way, and without smoking, too! I've kept the weight off, even with Halloween candy, birthday cake, a Thanksgiving feast, even the gourmet food on the cruise. I went out and got some new clothes--jeans that are fairly low cut. I look kinda sexy. Uh oh! Danger! Unsafe! Scary!

I dunno. Lisa's been pretty quiet. I have to give her credit: She's done a wonderful job of compromising and living fairly comfortably with the fact that David is my husband and Daniel is my son. I think she's actually starting to like David somewhat.

I don't think it's Lisa. What am I so scared about? Is it Christmas? I know I'm feeling overwhelmed. We came back from the cruise and BAM! All of a sudden we're in the thick of it--it's the holiday season. I haven't purchased one gift. The Christmas cards we ordered need to go out. We were four days late on our advent calendar. December? How could it be December already? At least I got the rotten pumpkin thrown out and the scarecrow and fall wreath put away. At least I put up a Christmas wreath. But, I have no interest in putting up the Christmas tree. If it weren't for Daniel, I wouldn't buy a single present.

Yeah, I'm frustrated and overwhelmed with Christmas, but I don't feel any urge to run away. No, I don't think that's it either.

There's definitely a lot of fear. Maybe it's not about what might happen now or in the near future. Maybe it's from the past. (Oh, gee, ya think?) I got really scared the other day about taking a shower. (Good God, how much trauma processing and therapy am I going to have to do to finally get rid of that fear?) David was even here with me--his turn for the stomach flu and he stayed home that day. After I forced myself into the shower, I felt okay with the water on my body. But, the prospect of putting my head under the water to wash my hair got my fear all going again.

I really had to ground myself. The lavender body wash aromatherapy strategy didn't work at all. I smelled it and felt slightly nauseated. Weird! I did use the aromatherapy hair conditioner, though. It worked well. And I told myself that, if I could just get the shower in and look presentable, I could go to the mall, get the advent treats, get myself a treat and buy myself some new, properly-fitting jeans. That seemed to work. I got it all done and picked up Daniel on time from school.

I was feeling scared and not wanting to get out of bed yesterday. Some fear is still lingering. What is it? For some reason, I think it has to do with my mother. Why? Hhhmmmm....maybe it was that dream the other night. It was an horrific nightmare that was really gross. My therapist used the word "icky" in therapy yesterday. That describes it: "icky." Why should I feel so afraid about something gross and icky? Shouldn't I just feel nauseated instead? Why scared?

Come to think of it, I was nauseated recently. Of course, it was that flu bug. I didn't vomit like David did, but I sure felt like it with that stomach flu. I don't know if I'll ever get over my fear of vomiting. I still do anything I can to avoid it, no matter how sick I am. Maybe it was the flu that brought on the dream; it was really sick and gross. It was more gross and "icky" than it was violent and scary (although it was those things as well).

(Disturbing content will be bracketed for your protection and convenience.)

It was one of those "movie" dreams where the characters are strangers to me. The two main characters were these obese women who looked like nobody I've ever seen in real life before. I guess, since there was the obesity, they could have symbolized my mother. But, there were two of them (sisters?) and they were much younger than my mother. Physically, their features looked nothing like my mother or anyone else in our "family."

It was violent, as usual. It involved knives, as usual. (Will I ever figure out what the hell that's about?) There was one scene where the perpetrator-type woman was slicing the other woman's cheek with a knife. It was bloody and terrifying.

But, it was the yucky grossness that bothered me more. In once scene, the two women were naked and writhing on the ground, their bodies distorted and grotesque. They were doing this writhing, but they were not in pain. What was that about? A big mass of fecal matter comes out of one of them. Then, something else comes oozing out. What was it? Did I know at the time of the dream? I guess I've conveniently forgotten. Whatever it was, it was even grosser than shit. Both times, the excreted mass was enormous. This wouldn't be physically possible in real life...I hope. The thing that stays with me the most is the fact that both of these women seemed proud of their disgusting nature. They seemed to revel in grossing somebody else out.


This aspect of the dream is confusing to me. In the attitude about grossing people out, the two characters seemed together--in on it together. But, in the violent scene, one obviously seemed to be in the role of perpetrator and the other victim. Maybe this has to do with my confusion over discovering that my mother was much more than just another victim of my father--she was a collaborator.

Yep. The fear is about my mother. I was thinking about this as I was waiting for a slice of bread to toast yesterday morning. Would I really be that afraid if I faced my mother today? Yes, absolutely. The fear was still quite palpable when I saw her at my cousin's funeral a year-and-a-half ago. I was scared to death of her. But, I handled the confrontation so well. I took care of myself and kept myself safe. I didn't even allow her to touch me or chit chat with me. I could do it again. I could be a strong, resourceful adult and take care of myself(ves).

As I stood there, at the kitchen counter, I thought about what I would say if I chose to confront my mother. I said it aloud: "How could you allow your husband to torture your child, and then make her feel guilty for it as if it were her fault, telling her she was bad, dirty and evil? How could you do that? How could you do that to your own precious, beautiful, innocent, defenseless little child--the child you once carried inside you?" Fuck! No matter how many times I think, say or type the words, it's just incomprehensible!

The temptation to ask the ridiculous, answerless question, "How could you?" is so strong because the concept is just so incomprehensible. It just seems like an impossibility for any human who ever had any empathy, compassion, nurturing instincts, mothering tendencies...basic humanity.

I was thinking about this and talking about it in therapy yesterday: I've faced the inhumanity, as frightening as that is. I've faced the horror. I've dealt with the terror. I've processed the torture. I've looked at the fact that I was treated as less than human. I've faced the fact that, as a child, I had no basic human rights. Is facing this "icky" grossness as bad as all that? Can that be even more scary than what I've already looked at?

Well, maybe it's more related than I first assumed it was.


It popped into my head like a flash: something I only watched on TV the other night for a matter of seconds, and then quickly turned the channel. It was some crime show about serial killers. They showed photos of the victims in a mass grave they had discovered. Aaaahhhh! Oh my God, this one picture hit me really hard. I'm sure you've seen photographs like this yourself--even worse, they were probably real photos (not something made up for a television show). Maybe it was a photo from the Holocaust or some war photograph. You know how you react, when you see a picture of a charred body of a person who's been burned to death, or maybe the skeletal remains of a victim who was starved to death? All you really see is a skeleton--a heap of bones. It's become such an "it" rather than a proper "who." It's like it's not really a human person you're looking at anymore.

Yeah, that's it. It goes back to the inhumanity again. This is what I just can't truly admit to having been through. This is what I'm struggling so hard to face. This is what I am so afraid of. Now, what I have here is just a different way of looking at it. This is simply a different spin on the same inhumanity issue I'm struggling with. Yeah, and it's more than just the actions of those people--those people who were supposed to be my guardians--that were inhumane. It's the fact that they saw me as less than human. My status was less than that of a dog. I was that black, charred heap of body parts. I was nothing more than flesh draped over bones. No wonder I've always felt like garbage tossed on the trash pile.

That's what happens, you know. That's what happens to bodies that used to be people. That's what happens in war, to those "others," those unlucky saps who found themselves on the other side. That's what you see in those mass graves, in the clean-up from the remnants of the gas chambers. You see piles of corpses. Your eyes become slits as you squint to look at the photograph. What is that? It can't be human. And it no longer is. The light has gone out of the eyes. The twisted, contorted expressions on what used to be faces are monstrous, not human. Was there ever a person really in there? It seems unlikely.


(If you haven't been able to read the above, just go to the comments section and leave me a cyber hug, will ya? I could really use some cyber solace. I feel so scared, devastated and alone.)

The real tragedy is to search a face and find no human there in someone who is actually still alive. Oh dear God, maybe even a child! The soul has retreated. The light has gone out. No ordinary human could endure such inhumanity.

So we became something else. Didn't we?

I know some of you know what I mean.

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December 04, 2007


When All Else Fails, Play a Meme!

I realize that, now that my fantasy/vacation time is over, I'm feeling overwhelmed. The holidays seem so close and I haven't even started my shopping yet. I've got a pile of catalogs stacked up next to my bed that I've skimmed through, but I haven't placed one order. If I don't hurry, I won't have time to wait on mail-order delivery.

Yesterday, my son was asking about our traditional advent calendar. It's a wooden job shaped like a house, with drawers that I fill with little treats. I realized, as I dug it out of the basement today, that we've already missed opening three drawers for the first three days of December. December?! How'd that happen?

I wish I was back in the Bahamas indulging in my big "Fantasyland" escape!

I know! A perfect way to procrastinate! A meme! I got tagged with this "ABC Meme" that's going around. I'm a little late, 'cause I got tagged while I was out of town. No worries--I'll just play now. Thanks, Beauty, for giving me the perfect vehicle for putting off all the things I need to do, but am not because I feel paralyzed with the ever-popular "overwhelm." Pathetic? Me? Ah, give me a break! I have a dissociative disorder.

Okay, here goes:

A ~ Available? Nope. Married for almost 15 years now.
B ~ Best friend: My hubby (I know it sounds corny, but it's true!)
C ~ Cake or pie? Pie.
D ~ Drink of choice: This time of year--hot spiced cider (not spiked, spiced).
E ~ Essential thing used every day: Vitamins/supplements and lots of water!
F ~ Favorite color: Purple.
G ~ Gummi bears or worms? Neither. If it's not chocolate, why bother?
H ~ Hometown: (I feel weird listing this one, because as a kid I never really had a "Home.") Technically: Wheaton, Illinois.
I ~ Indulgence: Chocolate.
J ~ January or February? January, because that's when my New Year's Day baby (my son) was born!
K ~ Kids and names: Daniel.
L ~ Life is incomplete without: Nature.
M ~ Marriage date: 1984 and 1993.
N ~ Number of siblings: 2.
O ~ Oranges or apples? Apples.
P ~ Phobias/fears: They're trauma related and I don't want to talk about it. I used to have a terrible fear of spiders, but I got over it.
Q ~ Favorite quote: "What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
R ~ Reason to smile: Acting silly with my hubby and/or son.
S ~ Season: Fall.

T ~ Tag three people: Enola, April, Rising Rainbow.
U ~ Unknown fact about me: Some people still don't know that I'm an identical twin.
V ~ Vegetable you don't like: Lima beans.
W ~ Worst habit: Clenching my teeth.
X ~ X-rays you've had: finger, toe, back, chest x-rays for bronchitis.
Y ~ Your favorite food: ice cream (or chocolate...or both).
Z ~ Zodiac: Scorpio.

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