Archive for January 12th, 2011

This blog has attracted some people over the past year who seem to be more interested in getting into a debate with me than they seem to be in healing from child abuse, which is the purpose of this blog. They tend to stick around for a week or two and then leave. This blog entry is to set the boundaries for this blog. I plan to refer people back to it in the future the next time a debate arises.

Let’s start with what this blog is not. This blog is not a peer-reviewed series of articles written by a professional psychologist looking to explore the definitions of personality and other theoretical areas of interest to some. While I am a highly educated person, my education is not in the area of psychology, and I have never claimed to have any credentials as a professional therapist.

This blog is also not a place for debate. I am not saying that we don’t sometimes have differences of opinion here, but those differences are expressed in a collaborative manner. For example, I wrote about how the practice of yoga can be very healing for a child abuse survivor. While many readers agreed, a few shared that practicing yoga did not work for them and was even harmful to them in some cases. However, they found that Tai Chi or other activities served a similar purpose with better results. There was no “debate” on the value of yoga – there was collaboration on how to meet the needs of adult survivors of child abuse when a particular tool is not helpful.

Now let’s address what this blog is. I started writing this blog after I had been healing from child abuse and dissociative identity disorder (DID) for a few years and had experienced a lot of success in integrating many of my parts. I wanted to share what I had learned with other child abuse survivors to offer them hope and healing. When I started healing, I feared that I was the only person on the planet who was this messed up, and I questioned whether healing was even possible for me. My purpose in writing this blog is to offer the hope of healing to others who find themselves in that position.

I intended the scope of this blog to be solely on healing from child abuse, but reader questions through the comments and through email led me to cover a lot of different topics I had not intended to write about, from understanding DID better to animal rape to enemas as part of abuse to masturbation as a form of self-injury. If it matters to my readers, then it matters to me.

When I started this blog, I didn’t know if anyone would even read it. I told myself that it was worth my time and effort if even one person benefited, and many more than one have told me that they have, so I am going to keep writing no matter how many times people try to turn this blog into a debate forum rather than a healing blog. Ultimately, this is my blog, and I can write about whatever I want on it. I choose to write encouraging words to help adult survivors of child abuse along their healing journey. If this is not what a reader is looking for, I am certain you can find another blog or message board that is a better fit for your interests.

A final word – I am certainly not the final authority on healing from child abuse, on DID, or on pretty much any topic. My advice to all of my readers is the same advice I use myself – Take what works for you, and leave the rest. If you are a survivor of child abuse, it is likely that something on this blog will resonate with you. It is also likely, depending upon where you are in your healing journey, that something on this blog is not going to sound right to you. In those circumstances, that information might not be right for you or it might just not be the right time for you to hear it. That’s okay.

I also continue to welcome other perspectives on anything that I write about. I frequently learn as much from my readers as they learn from me!

Photo credit: Faith Allen

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I know I have a good 350 days or so to prepare, but I really want to know what I can do differently to make Christmas bearable when it rolls around again. Now that the holidays are over, I am starting to feel more like myself and much less “crazy.” However, the holidays were a different story.

My offline friends assure me that I did much better this past Christmas than I did the year before. One pointed out that I was triggered from October 1 through the New Year in 2009, which is true. However, I felt every minute of the two weeks of triggering in 2010, and I really have no desire to relive that experience for Christmas 2011. So, my question is what proactive steps can I take to make Christmas more bearable this year?

I cannot even tell you with certainty what triggers me about Christmas, which might be part of the problem. I can tell you that I have very few memories of Christmas throughout my childhood (through age 23!!). I have always remembered having Christmas dinner at my grandparents’ house, but they did not move to our city until I was nine or ten. Those memories are only with my sister, cousins, and grandparents – I have none of my parents, even though I know they were there. After my father died, my mother had a rift with my grandparents (his parents), and we stopped going to their house for Christmas. All of those Christmases are blank. I remember things **around** Christmas, such as my sister and me going to see Godfather III when it premiered on Christmas Day, but I have no memories at all of being with my mother.

Through flashbacks, I have recovered a terrible memory of abuse by S & L (my most sadistic abusers) abusing me in front of their Christmas tree. However, I wonder if there is more that I have yet to remember because it doesn’t seem like that one incident of abuse would account for 23 years of “lost” Christmas memories as well as my intense triggering that continues even after so many years of therapy and healing.

I was really freaked out when I recognized that I had “lost” my memories of Christmas when I was 23 years old. I had just gotten engaged and was sad that my fiancé and I were going to spend Christmas apart. I remember getting angry with my sister for leaving me alone with my mother on Christmas Day, and I cried and felt really hollow and sad. I have memories around that time, such as going to try on wedding gowns and visiting a gym to work out, but I have no memories at all of Christmas. I have consistent memories of Christmas beginning the next year, when I was married and spent each Christmas at my in-laws’ house.

Clearly I have more work to do on this, but I don’t even know where to start. I guess I will remember when I am ready. I am sure it will be a doozy.

Photo credit: Faith Allen

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