October 23, 2009


A Little Business To Attend To

Update: 10/30/09: Lynda has the October edition of The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse up at her blog, In The Best Interest: Child Advocacy Law. She's done a wonderful job of organizing the entries. We were able to get several that were in the child abuse prevention and advocacy category; under that theme. Please go over and support these brave bloggers, won't you? I appreciate the survivor solidarity!


Starting Sunday night, I'm going to spend six days away from my noisy, always-begging-for-some-form-of-attention, house. I'm going to rest, process and write, as well as comfort and pamper myself a little bit.

Don't worry, I'll still be on top of things for next week's October edition of The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. This month's host is Lynda at In The Best Interest: Child Advocacy Law. Now, you don't have to know anything about child advocacy law to enter this carnival. We will still have our regular submission categories of: Aftermath, Advocacy & Awareness, Healing & Therapy, In The News, Poetry and Survivor Stories. In addition, Lynda has set a theme of advocacy (perfect fit, right?) for this edition. To be exact, Lynda says, "The theme is: Beginner's Guide to Saving a Child. We are seeking submissions on volunteer opportunities, ways to help work to end child abuse and organizations that focus their efforts on this important work." I've already submitted my post called, Take A Stand, Raise Your Hand. I'm actually getting my own post in before the day of the deadline for a change. Yay!

Speaking of which, the deadline is Wednesday, October 28th for the Friday 10/30 edition. (That's midnight Eastern time in the U.S.). You can submit your own post using this form here. Please make sure to tell your friends and get your own posts in while I'm gone, okay? Thanks, everyone, for your continued support and contributions to this carnival. Together, we can make a difference and raise awareness about child abuse!

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October 15, 2009


Frozen in Mid-Step; What Now?

I Don't Know Who I Am
I Don't Know Who I Am by Marj aka Thriver on Polyvore.com

So, I'm feeling frustrated, disappointed and overwhelmed in the therapy department. The healing journey is, once again, feeling like an attempt to reach the Mt. Everest summit. Right now, I feel like I've hit a raging blizzard and I'm clawing the jagged rocks, trying not to slip back down, negating a thousand feet of hard-won ascent progress. To be honest, I feel like I need to set up camp and hunker down in my tent while I wait for the storm to pass.

Unfortunately, recovery from a trauma-induced dissociative disorder doesn't work that way. When the storm hits is when I have to muster up the strength and courage to work even harder and keep on climbing, even if it feels like I'm barely putting one foot in front of the other and I can't see where I'm going.

What prompted this, you ask? Well, I've been talking to my twin sister a lot lately about the progress she made at the
WIIT program --The Women's Institute For Incorporation Therapy--in Florida. It's a one-of-a-kind treatment facility that practices incorporation therapy for dissociative trauma survivors. The more I talked with her, the more I wanted to try to attend this program myself. I feel like it could help me progress light years faster than the progress I'm making in individual therapy right now.

Let me give you some background detail that may explain why I got so excited about this idea. You see, I've been working a lot lately with parts that I used to call the "punisher parts" in the beginning. In the last year, it's really become apparent to me that these self-harming parts work overtime to maintain the abuse secret.

Here's the scenario I often get, but have just become aware of and started to understand: A young part starts to feel some feelings (not allowed!) of sadness, abandonment, fear, etc. Then a part I like to call a "firefighter" type comes out and jumps through all kinds of crazy hoops trying to shut off/down the feelings. This could include running away in dissociative fugues, getting suicidal, getting drunk, over-spending, etc. etc. Then, one of these protector (punisher) parts comes out and says, "You're getting out of hand. You're drawing too much attention to yourself. You are acting crazy. You're going to blow it. People will find out the secret." So then there's usually some self-injury type behavior. The problem with this is that it brings about huge feelings of shame and guilt, which threatens to start the whole feelings--avoiding feelings spiral all over again. So, I have a part named Serena who takes over and shuts the whole body down. I don't move, I don't talk, I don't do anything.

I'm trying to break this cycle of dissociative dysfunction. I have found--yeah, my therapist was right--that most of these self-destructive parts are really trying to be protective. They think that, if the secret gets out, I am going to be killed. I have found (as scary as they are, at first, to approach) that they are often quite cooperative once we get a dialogue going, get a contract not to self-harm "signed," and then I find them some more appropriate job to do that makes them still feel useful. I have a part named Sentry, for example, who does NOT get to be inappropriate and in people's faces anymore, but he gets the job of always being alert and aware of my surroundings whenever I'm getting out of my car and it's dark outside.

Sounds great, right? Well the difficulty I'm having now is that I've got a few of these protector (punisher) parts "standing down" with contracts and/or new jobs and now all hell is breaking loose with lots of previously-exiled little parts wanting to tell me their part of the story. They're all clamoring to be heard. They have sadness, fear, betrayal, rejection, abandonment, etc. issues to express and abuse memories they have been holding and are now ready to hand off to me. I told my therapist I feel like there's a long line of them stretched out in the dark, waiting to come into the light and be healed. This is great healing/therapy news and sign of progress. But, you can only imagine how overwhelming it is. It's gotten so bad that I'm back to a lot of PTSD symptoms like huge startle response and triggers that are sending me into full-blown flashbacks again. These are symptoms that I've had under control for a few years. So, you can understand why I fear I'm already starting to backslide.

I really thought that the
WIIT program would be a great place to process all this in some kind of timely manner with lots of support and without the distractions of my special needs son, my husband, house cleaning, cooking, blah blah blah, etc. Well, I finally got hold of a real, live person at WIIT on the phone yesterday. I was hoping, since I am private pay (no mental health coverage for this pre-existing condition; we pay cash), I would be able to customize my own treatment plan there. Nope. This intake person I talked to wasn't budging. She told me that out-of-state patients are required to spend a minimum of one week inpatient at this facility and then two weeks of intensive outpatient. The alternative is to stay two whole weeks inpatient. She quoted me a price for this that was a small fortune. It was enough to pay for a new car, as a matter of fact!

So, the long and the short of it is that I'm not going. Crap! I might try to stay in a hotel for several days and see my therapist for several hours for a week and see how much we're able to accomplish that way. I don't know. I'll keep you all posted. Pray for a miracle??

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October 02, 2009


You Are Beautiful. Yes You!

If you couldn't tell, I'm really enjoying my experience and the community over at Polyvore. I discover new things there all the time (at least when my computer is cooperating). The other day I stumbled onto something that reminded me that I--we all--need this reminder: We are beautiful! I think it is so easy for survivors to think that they are ugly. Especially if we are in therapy or doing memory work, we have to stare ugly in the face. But, we are beautiful. Let's remember that.

You are beautiful. (Yes, you.)
You are beautiful. (Yes, you.) by Chloe™ on Polyvore.com

I'm posting this collage, aka "set" of Chloe's, which is the reminder for me that started it all. Turns out, she was inspired by a campaign called Operation Beautiful. Through this campaign, people are leaving reminders--posty notes--all over the world to spread the "you are beautiful" love. Cool, huh? You can go to the Operation Beautiful website and get instructions on how to get involved and find out how to have your own posted note...er posted! ;)

And as a final reminder of your beauty, I will leave a copy of my poem, "Your Beauty" below for your reading enjoyment. Have a beautiful day!

Your Beauty

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

Sometimes wishing

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

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