Recently inspired…

27 07 2013

“The Beautiful thing is that healing happens and one day you can actually wake up and find that what “defined you” is just part of a long ago history that really isn’t important at all. It is easier said than done, but sometimes you’re looking so hard at a way to make it happen that you don’t realize, it just does.

You wake up and find loving yourself doesn’t need excuses, it doesn’t need validation, it isn’t something you need to earn. You were born deserving it and one day you just know that nothing anyone did to you after birth changed that fact.

Then you look around and realize this is YOUR life and every moment is a new one to start fresh and paint again what you want it to look like from here on and THAT becomes the focus of your whole life, just to be in the beautiful world that you want to live in.”

I have landed in a place in my life that there is little for me to feel inspired to share anymore.  It has become a drama free zone and like someone slipping into a pool on a warm day I am just soaking in it and feeling blessed.

I really am not painting or creating anything.  It is part of the tapes of my growing up to feel that there is something really wrong with that.  The just breathing and taking up air without contributing to the world in any way that others profit from, but strangely enough they are missing from all the moments of my life now.

I feel Gratitude.  I feel love.  I hear silence where there has never been silence before and don’t question it.  Don’t fear that it’s a fleeting gift.  I aim for being a mirror of it.

I don’t fear being a sponge.  I know who and what I am, finally.  I am soaking in what I have now.  This part of my life is no longer connected to the life I had.  It’s not even based on who I was before.

Something miraculous has happened.  I reached a point where I stopped believing I earned pain in this life: That I deserved pain.   I can almost put my finger on when it happened and I can see the whole world changed to accommodate that new belief.

When you stop the way the world is spinning and spin it in the other direction, for a moment everything stops and you’re caught in the blur as you’re still spinning.  That’s where I have been and I feel like I am IN the moment of clarity, peace and silence that is that moment before it changes direction and everything begins again.

I am moving into a selfish zone where I get something for myself out of the life I have left.  I KNOW the reason we were put on the planet was so that something existed here that could appreciate all that God has done and I do.

I don’t know if you will want to be where I am.  I don’t even know if I will wake up tomorrow and be here myself but for this moment in time Life is so beautiful.

Without any artificial enhancements of any kind I assure you, the sadness, the blackness, they are all perfectly balanced and perfectly beautiful and it’s really OK to experience the other side.

Advertisements




We still don’t know how to deal with victims of Rape.

26 06 2013

This Morning I came across a picture of a child at Disney with the Headline “It happened to me: I was raped at Disney World and nobody cared”   IF you read the story the woman was not a child at the time and WASN’T RAPED AT DISNEY!

I had a very visceral reaction to the fact that they would post something so libelous.  The site routinely posts supposed first person accounts all the time under the subtitle of “It Happened To Me”.    I was extremely offended that anyone would do that!
What about free speech???  Doesn’t this person have a right to say what she feels happened no matter how inappropriate her blaming Disney was?  Yes she does and without the headline and photo the story was fine, but no one would care to read it.

The unfortunate fact is that I really feel that most people seeing that headline wouldn’t bother, yet that photo and headline will make an impression that will fuel their doubts about the safety of Disney World.

OK that was my first reaction but I have had days of reaction time now and can’t seem to let this go.  I am not the victim and I have no ties to Disney.   I am a rape survivor.  This person needs privately counseled in a way that helps her work through what happened, not further exploited.

In the post She is randomly assigning blame and it does nothing to help her situation.  It is clear from the account that she hasn’t sorted through her issues, and that nothing posted will bring about any real change in how people see victims.
As a society we often blame rape victims for their own predicament. I don’t want to imply that this woman was in any way guilty for what happened to her, nor for how she was treated afterword, but she is not getting what she needs from most of the posts people have left on that website.Now that I have spent some time there I hope that she never goes there at all.

There is a flood of posts that I think are just to flame people and keep some kind of interchange going between themselves and anyone they can engage to start a flame war with.

Wow…that people would out of boredom or some warped need of their own to be noticed say hurtful horrible damaging things just is beyond my comprehension.  It’s damaging beyond belief to someone in the mist of trying to sort through the blame and guilt they are dealing with after a rape.  I want to shake them and make them look at the damage they are doing and ask them if its really worth it!  Sadly I do believe that there are people that exist and can’t see beyond themselves to care about anyone else.

There is a camp of people out there that really are trying to change society’s view of victims.  Then we have those who would like to but just don’t know how.  The best place to learn is from those who make it their life’s work at the Rape Advocacy centers.

I really feel that this local Rape center needs to work with Disney so that if anyone has problems in the future, that they feel comfortable having them contact someone at the rape center FIRST, so that they get an advocate immediately to help them work through all the issues they will face.

The Rape Advocacy center in Orlando may have to do some major work to get Disney to trust them enough to do that but IT IS CRITICAL to the emotional welfare of these woman that they get that support.

Rape Victims are horrible at self avocation!  Most often their thinking is clouded by self-doubt and feelings of complicity.  It takes time to process those feelings and that compounds what happened.  They need support.

People’s attitudes about rape haven’t changed enough, and the person that’s been raped is in the best position to help change them, but NOT ALONE.

Very few people raped have been trained in how best to deal with people who are not supportive.  Advocates at these centers HAVE BEEN, and the more they are used and seen out in the community the more respect people will have for the victims.

If you have been Raped these centers are the best first contact you can have.  Call the hotline.  They even have a national toll free number who help you find the center near you.

Rape Crisis Hotline 1-888-956-RAPE (7273)

They will support you through the process.

They will help you figure out what to do next and know where to go in your area, to get you the help you need.  Just as important is the fact that budget cuts are a consistent threat and if victims don’t use the service it will cease to be an option in the future.





Flashbacks

12 06 2013

window

It’s late on a Thursday night in 1991 when the ambulance brings me into the back entrance and they take me inside.   The sound of the door is heavy and metallic clanging shut behind us.  They show me to a small bare white room with only a sink, a toilet and a bare mattress.

I curl up on the mattress and can’t sleep the words sticking my haid wrong wrong wrong wrong head and scaring me.  stop stop stop stop malfunction lockup lockup lockup lockup lockup … long animal like screams coming from other rooms…terrify me.

He is there “please, please, please, don’t, send, a man, in here!” … I am under the sink and won’t come out and cry; He returns again and again so that is where I stay.

This and the screaming go on late into the night.  Several cycles of me sleeping intermittently between the visits where he seems as uncomfortable as I am with his presence there.  They keep tormenting us both by sending him in again and again.

Time passes and I can’t stand my teeth.  I am tormented as much by them as by the men they keep sending into my room.  They just stand inside the door.  Out, out outoutoutoutoutoutout!, I scream at him.  But they don’t move.  When I turn and face the wall quiet he finally leaves.

The next one is just a kid and looks as scared as I am and I feel sorry for him.  We just stay in our assigned places till the time has passed and he too is allowed to leave.

I scramble back to my mattress and try again to sleep.  Words words words words…the chanter guy comes back and mumbles over the top of them so that i don’t hear them any more.

It must be getting close to morning as the screaming is back.  Long wild monkey wails of grief and torment.  ”48 hour hold”.  I can do this,  but then it is the weekend and no one comes; NO ONE.

I am alone for how long;  I don’t know.  I sleep till I can sleep no more and drink water from the sink.  The lights are always on and I can’t tell the day from the night.  The screams come and go and I am left alone.

My teeth are making me crazy and no one has been here for a very long time.  It is quiet again.  I try the door and it opens.

I hadn’t seen anything when I came in.  The fear was shutting me down.  Now I look out and mine is the first door in a long hall next to the nurses station.  A small square room with windows on all sides with the one that has a pass through and a metal vented circle to speak through on my side.

A much larger room surrounds it  with lots of chairs and a TV up in the corner high up on the wall.

The floor is brown with a path of cream tiles going all around the outside of the room just one tile space from the walls.  No one is out and I think if I stay on the cream tiles it is safe.

I slip out the door and walk that safe path to the window and whisper to the nurse.  ”may I have a toothbrush please?”  She makes me repeat it and it is almost more than I can do.  The tired weighs down on me again and the need to go back to my room.

She can see that it is hard for me and steps out and presses one into my hands.  It is cheep, white, and wrapped in cellophane with a small envelope of pink powder.

Suddenly there are people moving everywhere, someone brings me a peanut butter sandwich and chocolate milk I forget to follow the path and let them lead me to a table where I can sit down to eat.

For the first time since I came I realize that I am hungry.   I have no idea how long its been since I have eaten.  I manage a thank you but other than that we don’t speak.  When I am done I ask to go back to my room.

Now there is a problem: The table is in the middle of the room.  I don’t remember leaving the white trail of tiles against the wall but am suddenly very anxious about it.  Just do it; there is no other way!

I take several big steps and get back to the wall and am breathing hard when I get there.  Now I can safely make my way around the room to the corner, turn, then to the first wall of the nurses station, turn, to the corner, turn, to the corner, turn, carefully retracing the path back to my room.

When I step inside I am unsure that this is the room I left.  Sink and toilet are in the same place but now there is a cot so that the mattress is up off the floor and there are crisp clean white sheets, a blanket and a pillow on it.

I went to the sink, wet the brush and poured the pink powder into my palm and rubbed the brush into it.  I scrubbed and scrubbed my teeth until they returned to their normal state of smoothness.

The sheets smell of bleach and it is such a comfort to slip between them that in moment I am sound asleep… but as I do I get it…They offered me nothing till I made some request.  I did something right and this was my reward.

Monday comes and the therapist has me brought to his office.  They have extended my 48 hour hold “my behavior is to bizarre, to return me to the general population”.  I cry as they take me back to my room.  It is clear they can keep me as long as I don’t conform to what they want from me.

I am assigned a psychiatrist.  He asks what medications they have given me in the past and I tell him that everyone wants to give me Lithium and that I hate it because it makes me feel drugged.  I tell him my Dr’s keep telling me its only a salt and CAN’T do that.

He says IF you need Lithium you feel nothing when you take it, but if a normal person takes Lithium they feel drugged.  Finally I feel heard.  I have found someone who listens and will work with me to fix this.

He is trying me on some medication.  I take it the first few times but don’t like it’s effects and begin to refuse to take it.  I get called back into his office and he says he will change it.

Now I am lucid in my mind but my body is stiff and robotic.  I feel the drool from the side of my mouth and can only imagine what I must look like.  I grieve for what I have become…this shell of a person that can’t function or interact with others in any tangible way.

I get it.  I feel angry and tricked.  I have a right to refuse but they can do worse.  I will do what ever he wants.  Get me off this and out of here.  I can’t be this anymore.

Once I start to co-operate I am off the locked ward and sharing a room with someone else.  My roommate tries to cut her wrist with a safety razor, I am thinking of ways to remove the blade from the plastic but say nothing.  She is an idiot.

I ask for something to draw on and am given a rather nice flip book of blank paper and some pencils.  I am beyond grateful for the gift.

Now I am required to go to group.  There are men in the group.  The first day they confront me about my behavior when I was first admitted.  I tell them I was afraid.  Of what?  I say “I don’t know”.

The groups facilitator is quiet a moment like he is thinking about that.  Then he says.  ”I believe that”.  ”I really believe that you don’t know” and he moves on to the next person.

Every day I take my drugs.  I go to meals, and to our exercise periods, and I go to group.  Other than that I lay on my bed and draw.  I think about my children and wonder what they know.

Some how I let it out that i have been raped in one of those groups.  I don’t even know when or how.  I just know that one day I am in a group with a guy who has been in them with me before and he is talking about “going down to the boulevard and picking them sweet young strawberries.”WP_003086

I ask him what he means, and he says he picks up underage girls that will trade sex for drugs.  I totally lose it then and think I will rip his hair out, I am screaming as they pull me from the room and He is saying “I ain’t the one who raped you bitch! “

That night I am dreaming that I am sitting on my bed and there are lots of pills on the night table.   I am sliding them off and taking them one at a time saying “I don’t want to go home”.  ”I don’t want to go home”, and taking another and another.

They don’t make me go to group anymore.

I have been in almost 2 months when I am called in for a long conference with the psychiatrist who has been prescribing my drugs.  He tells me they are thinking of letting me go home and I break down and cry.

He asks about the side effects of the drugs they have been giving me lately and I tell him that I don’t notice them anymore.  I feel good.  In fact that this is the first time anyone has given me anything that seemed like it really helped.  They give me one months supply of med’s and release me to go home.

For the first three days I am curled up on the couch when I am not asleep I pretend that I am so that I don’t have to deal with anyone, till I realize that no one will push me.  I can do what I can and rest when I must.

Finally I begin to do what I used to do.  I wake up and clean and help with homework and we learn what it is to be a family again.  In a short time I go back to work.  At first its clear they are watching me but before long they forget to do so and everything is normal again.

I have my life back and that is more than I ever hoped for just 2 short months ago.





I’m up early…

6 06 2013

and sitting by the window watching the fog lift on our back yard.  As I lay in bed for over an hour this morning going over what the day would bring, I was looking for that first glimpse of light that would signal it had arrived.  Finally, tired of waiting got up to find that it was here but obstructed by the haze.

I came to WordPress looking to make a separate life for myself from the world that I find myself in and the move was a good one.  I find I don’t just come here to write but to read and it’s become a place of inspiration and encouragement.  I have several blogs that I follow now and add more daily.   If you weed carefully through the sites that are clearly here for self promotion you find blooms of extraordinary value.

I forget sometimes that this identity crisis that I am going through is pretty normal for people my age, and way past expected for what I just did!   I have ended a long term relationship; my children have all moved on; I have moved clear across the country leaving loved ones, pets, and all my possessions behind; I am going through “the change” and I don’t have a job!

Top that off with the fact that I shaved my head and for so long didn’t recognize the person that I saw in the mirror and it’s no wonder at all that I felt a bit crazy!  I get wrapped up in the fact that my own stuff compounds it, but boy oh boy is this normal!

Daily exercise was something that took me years to incorporate into my life and I just seemed to let go of it when I got here.  I thought picking it back up when I was ready would be easy as I have so much time now to do it, but it has turned into more of a challenge then I thought.

It was kind of funny to experience that first day as it was several days coming, and just to finally get to it, I was having to yell at myself every minute like I was a small child not wanting to get ready for school.  “I don’t care that you don’t want to … YOU HAVE TO… just DO IT!”   The second day was easier and today before my eyes even opened I was feeling around for my ball to work out with.

I am still only doing a few exercises every morning but I know myself well enough to know I will do more and more as I feel my body getting stronger.  I do love working out.  I am surprised that I have to let my body discover that again and again.   Someday every part of me will know this and I won’t have to try so hard to keep at it.

Sometimes we think we need a closet full of shoes…when just one boot will do.

Speaking of time… I have a huge awareness of the fact that I have so much of it that I can really experience so many things that I have missed since I was a child.  Once I had children of my own it was easy to feel overwhelmed by all that had to be done each day, and not take a moment to really feel and enjoy just being alive.

I lived next to a church steeple once and it was the only clock I had at the time.  I loved hearing it chime.  While I was walking down town yesterday it turned 2 o’clock.  I was in the very center of town and could hear several Church clocks chiming at once.  I can’t tell you how blessed I felt just sitting there experiencing that moment.  I experienced total heartfelt joy just existing in that point and time.

Writing what I am grateful for was also on my to do list, and today that was mine.





Starting over…

4 02 2013

I am part of a community of people who are mental ill.  I am both inside and outside of it.  I have years of experience with being there  but feel safely outside of that downward spiral for now.  Those same years of experience have shown me ways to get myself out when life pulls me back there.

I am hurting and part of this trip is keeping myself out of that place of isolation again.  I need face to face contact with others to have a healthy functioning brain.  It’s a fact that being around people is the best possible way for your brain to build the connections it needs to be fully functioning.

Isolation alone is disabling and the worst part is it’s self-perpetuating. I truly believe that if anyone is helped by therapy it’s because of that face to face contact.

Tripping around on the web has made me realize just how isolated people are getting and how little they realize that alone contributes to their problems. The web is great for connecting to others but it will never be as good as a hand in your own.

I was the starting over queen before there was an internet and I am grateful. I see people who seem well supported and connected on here all the time that still seem locked in their misery and lonely. The fact that this is the way that they learned to reach out to others, I think in some ways hurts them.

So many try to reach back in loving ways but they seem to keep that feeling of insulation and isolation. It is safer to reach out for acceptance here because you control how much people know about you and how they are able to touch you, and that is exactly what keeps it from being enough.

Nothing they say can ring true when the voice in your head says “yes but you don’t really know me”. You are not building trust either because you haven’t let go of complete control of how they are able to reach back.

Some ways that people have touched me have hurt me, but overwhelmingly the majority of people I come in contact with haven’t and so many have touched me in ways I have never forgotten and have healed immensely from. If you never trust again that can’t happen.

I believe that this world isn’t the scary place we see in the news; that over all people are good and want to help others.   We are encouraged to look at how we are different but there are more ways that we are the same.  I believe that everyone deserves respect.  It’s only after we have been shown it, that we begin to look worthy of it.

This trip is going to push my boundaries beyond my safe zone again.  I won’t be able to see the same people again and again.  I won’t know anyone I meet for two months and it isn’t going to be easy so if you recognize me out there on the road with my bicycle and beads, please do say hello.

It would make my world feel smaller and more comfortable, safer to be in.

Hope to see you soon, Sincerely SB





Imitation of life…

26 11 2012

The movie was on this week and is one of Val’s favorites.  We watched it together.  It’s about a Black girl who looks white and hates the way people treat her because of her race enough to leave her Mother and everyone she loves behind and try to live life as a white girl.

I am guilty of this as well.

I realized how public this forum was and went about cropping anything from it that might point to the fact that I am mentally ill.  I want to be “NORMAL”.  This is one of those rare times in my life that I actually think I could pass and people wouldn’t suspect that I am anything but who I represent myself to be.

There is an extreme bias against the mentally ill.  I have seen their fear when they looked at me and felt sick inside.  They had no way of knowing what it took for me to even be in public and how much more afraid of them I was, then they ever could be of me.

I have felt so good lately. That peace has had me wanting to let go of everything that hasn’t contributed to it.  I want more than anything to exist every day within the same stress as everyone else without fear of losing control of who I am and how I present to others.

I am guilty of deleting anything that makes me look less than normal.  Having DID seems too conspicuous and I am uncomfortable openly living with it.

So uncomfortable that I deleted a whole blog that was meant to help others understand DID better and see it for what I truly feel it is, a developmentally based normal reaction to repeated trauma.  Like the lead character in the in Imitation of life, I eventually became ashamed of the fact that I tried to hide who I am.

This is the time of year for giving Thanks and I have so much to be Thankful for.  My apologies are being left here with my gratitude for these months of peace.   Till we meet again…sincerely SB.





Struggling to be one

13 08 2012

I have spent a life time trying to manage this disorder by making myself struggle to BE one uniform single-minded human being.  I thought once I went through the process to be integrated life would be simple and I would feel whole and healthy.

Well more like paranoid and confused.   I don’t know what I want.  To be the singleton I am muting and diluting the things that made me passionate and live on the edge and today it feels just too damn good to be out there.

It’s early and yet I have switched several times this morning already.  I am full of ideas and my mind is creative and active.   There are many here who have found ways to organize their lives and co-ordinate things around their others.  They have found ways to co-operate and take advantage of what is curse when you’re too young to be able to do that.

Being this age and maturity level is a huge benefit even if some of my parts never got this far.  We still benefit from the ability to share who we are with the others… to step in and out of one skin then the other and not lose the memory of what they experienced.

This vibrating string that I am seeing since I arrived makes me aware that it isn’t too late to tap into the gifts they each had and bring them to their fullest potential.  I want to flush them out and allow them to become fully personalized.

One of the bloggers that I follow has their system mapped out and named but I have family that freaks and try’s to get me on drugs when they see me being what they feel is off from NORMAL behavior.

I can’t blame them really.  The repeated hospitalization’s and unwanted drama more than they can cope with.   I too have been scared by this.  It’s almost creepy sometimes feeling like the skin you’re in doesn’t belong to you.

The first time I can remember being HIM, I could see myself.  I was thin and actually had the anatomy that fit who I WAS, a teen age boy.  I reached out and touched it with some part of me aware that that shouldn’t have been possible.  Weird effect on my brain, that being inside and outside.  The I that knows THIS body flipped that I experienced HIM so personally.

I can’t experience HIM that way anymore.  Something in my brain freaks out by the weirdness of knowing that body and mine don’t match…and now he just appears in my head.  Still, sometimes I wish…  I mean DANG that was intense!

Only someone on the outside of this disorder can believe that it’s acting or just a bid for attention.  After it’s over you can doubt the reality of it … but in the moment … the WHO you are then, is as real or more real than the one you know.

I can be bigger then life, or I can temper them all and be normal.  I feel blessed to have a choice, but also exhausted by the idea that I can wake up tomorrow or even seconds from now and remake it in another way and we are all stuck in that moment with what ever who is out decides.

The I’s in me have their own idea’s about how I should live my life and only another multiple could possibly understand how frustrating and disabling that can be.  Right now we are consuming others blogs like a starved man consumes a sparse meal trying to glean any information that would help us to function better.





Thank you Ariel Gore…

21 07 2012

Because of you today I branded myself.  “She spent her life not able to hang on to anything until the day she got it all!”

It kind of gives me something to hang on to that looks a little like hope, or promise of some kind of future different then the life I have known.  One where I won’t push everyone I love away feeling like I’m poison.  A future where I don’t need to sleep on the floor or to discard everything I love to make sure that I never get comfortable, never trust.

If you have read any of my other posts you know I am 3000 miles from my kids, cat computer, lover, paintings and the few possessions that I had managed to hang on to over the years.

I never seem to keep more then what will fit in a mid-sized car, and it alarms me now to count how many times I have found myself exactly where I am with nothing but a few clothes and a toothbrush over a thousand miles from anything that meant home to me.

I think, “well things don’t really mean anything to me” but that would mean I wouldn’t miss them and for the most part I don’t … but parts of me do, and they bleed for paintings that they can’t ever finish.  Or the book that took them years to write, that is lost.  The cat that was the only animal in 50 years that I have ever had that I attached to.  The grandchild that month after month calls someone else Grandma and has forgotten that I exist.  The stuffed animal my daughter had given me, that my step daughter hugged in my favorite picture of her just before the state stepped in to take her away.

(It was the death of my second marriage that my husband signed his rights away; as I too grew up in foster care.)

I know what it is, to know as a small child that you owe a debt to people who abuse you, “for the food in your mouth and the shoes on your feet”.  I knew that anything could be taken from me without warning or even a nod to the fact that I might have a need or want that it should be different; as an Adult I do it to myself, again and again.

“Velcro not strings” is the handle I chose because I have spent probably too much time on dating sites and there are so many ads for relationships with no strings attached.  At times I think that is the Only type of relationship I should be in.  I get that it is hard for people to deal with all the changes with me, but the one that I want is that heart to heart forever love that’s unbreakable and endures beyond the simple trappings of the life we share here.

I am in a funny sort of long distance, on again off again, relationship with someone and as with every relationship I have ever been in I keep hoping that it’s the last relationship I will have.  That this will be my “till death do us part”.  I feel for him though.  

This isn’t the first time I am made aware that to be in my life is to be damaged by me.  Not because I am abusive or intentionally harm others but because the changeable nature of who I am makes it impossible to depend on me.  I make plans for the future and forget them when in their mind those plans were solid and real.  I start things that never get finished.  Treat you like your gold one day and like I don’t know who you are the next.

In spite of all these things, to my total dismay that lover/boyfriend refuses to let me go, my family embraces me like I am precious to them, my grandchildren call in the middle of the night to say how much they miss me, and my friends have always stayed true friends to me.  They all tolerate my coming and going, intensity and abandonment over and over again and still have kind things to say to me.  They put out a welcome mat and still wish me to darken their doorway.

My dream is of a day: when I will have a place to really call my home; a huge communal space filled with children, art and music and vibrant with activity, containing everyone I love who wishes to be there; when with or without a marriage license I will find that love that want’s my energy and their’s to vibrate as one for all time and eternity; and when I won’t use strings to bind me to all that I love, but crazy glue!








%d bloggers like this: