Friday, December 26, 2008

perfectly normal

Yes, my test results were "perfectly normal" so no haunting memories of a sordid past are going to come back (as of now) and rip my life from me.

And, I spoke with the Shaman and my soul parts, although not yet integrated, have not left. They do not just pick up and leave but I need to work at integrating them -- differently than I have. Christina (the Shaman) told me something interesting and a little surprising. I have a gift - a vast spiritual center [she actually said that many of her clients have spiritual centers that would fit in a teacup...mine? a football field.] that is just waiting for me to tap into but I lack the tools to access it. I don't journey; I don't do visualizations; I don't meditate. She strongly suggests I attend one her student's journeying classes in the city. A little inconvenient to get to [I'm not a city girl] but the price is right ($10). I think I may have to work with meditation.

We had a family reunion of sorts in my mother's town. All five of us [siblings] came, three with spouses [not me] and several grandchildren [all three of mine] plus two great-grandchildren. Us sibs have not all been together for a decade, I'm sure. And the last time four of us were together with for a few hours, at most. This time it was for a weekend and it was quite the exhausting couple of days. Although I had a pleasant time, I was happy to get back home to a little calm and quiet.

How did I survive? Well, I did get some tips from Dr. B on how not to slip back into those oh-too-familiar familial roles and how to diffuse any childhood memories and emotions that might erupt. Therapy, you see, has me feeling extremely angry at the people in my past, particularly, almost exclusively, mom and dad. So, here I was at the family reunion posing for photo opps with the "original seven" - mom, dad, and the five siblings. My sister and I looked pained in the pictures; my brothers, not so much.

I did survive my weekend but in honesty, I did not have any time to process the swirl of emotions that engulfed me. I engaged my protective shield and remained on guard throughout my visit. I stayed present and worked quite hard at not letting myself slip back into the emotional nightmares of my childhood. I am sure I was somewhat detached but I was aware of what I was doing and it allowed me to cope with everything.

It's now post-Christmas and I survived.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I don't think I'm ready to die

I'm anxious. I called my doctor for my annual blood work results and the nurse told me I needed to come back in for another LFT and hepatitis panel. Okay, it's probably nothing but I did have hepatitis B way back when and have been having LFT's for almost the last four decades. It's always been normal. But today it makes me nervous.

It's the connection to my past. It's the reason I caught hepatitis. It's the energy that connected us - me, hepatitis, my friend I contracted it from, her scuzzy boyfriend who infected her. But that was her life, not mine. We gave her a place to live and she thanked me with a fierce bout of jaundice and irreversible liver damage. She wanted to hurt her strict Catholic parents by dating the slimiest, low-life black man she could find. And to make matters the worse possible, he was a heroin addict.

She's dead now six years after a long, grueling battle with a cancer that started in her breasts. I didn't recognize her in the coffin - she wasn't at peace; she was swollen and disfigured from all the treatments and medication. She looked pained, even more so in death.

I'm not ready to get sick and die. I feel as though I am finally beginning to really live my life, as a whole being, with [at long last] an opportunity to feel joy in my life. I don't want to die yet. But I won't...at least not from liver-related disease or cancer. That was Ellen's karma, not mine.

As the LOML was holding me in his arms for our final embrace of the evening, he spoke with tears in his voice, "why does life have to be so hard?"

I don't know why. I don't think it always is.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

It was an idyllic childhood...

with the normal bumps and bruises for a rambunctious family of 5 children and numerous pets living in the suburbs. I always believed that. We were read bedtime stories, had family dinners nightly, took summer vacations every year, celebrated birthdays with scavenger hunts, and had Christmas trees that overflowed with presents. So what went wrong? That is the question that I have been trying to answer.

How is that all five children of that household suffered untold and unimaginable injuries.

I close my eyes and imagine five smiling kids racing up and down the stairs, screeching and giggling, with the smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies wafting from the kitchen.  My mom looking like a dark-haired Donna Reed smiling radiantly and clad in a freshly ironed apron over her pastel seersucker shirtwaist dress. And Dad? Oh, he's outside in the driveway giving our adorable dog a bath with the hose. Life is sweet.

Reality isn't.

My father had the dog killed because he shit on the neighbor's porch and they complained. He was our dog and in an angry tirade my dad had him euthanized. Euthanized is too tender a term to be used in this case -- my father wanted a perfectly healthy, young dog loved by his family dead. He wasn't sick or old. He was annoying and worthy of an early death [according to dad's demented mind]. We came home from vacation to an empty house.  My mother wasn't happy but she was used to this rabid behavior.

I close my eyes and there are the five of us hanging out on the porch of our 150 year old house, young tanned legs and arms draped over the railing, laughing, peering through the glass doors spying on the adults still talking around the dining room table. We're gulping down ice cold lemonade on a hot summer evening while our parents and grandparents are enthusiastically engaged in a spirited conversation fueled by a few more cocktails. We're aching with curiosity to know what they're talking about but we've been gently banished from the dinner table. Whatever it is, they are all smiles and laughing. Life is grand.

Reality is anything but.

My father is standing on the porch, drink in hand, lecturing my mother and grandparents on how to keep the squirrels from getting into the bird feeder. Oh, that too irritates him. He's feeling no pain and neither is my mother. My mother's uptight mother and stepfather are sitting in quiet judgment of my father. I don't think they ever really liked him. The squirrels won't stop eating the birdseed and it is really getting the better of my father. He's cursing and telling vulgar stories. We hang around on the periphery and watch in silence. Dad disappears through the glass doors and my mother looks concerned. The adults head back inside as my father reappears with a shotgun. Before anyone can say anything, my father, now on the porch, has cocked the rifle and pulled the trigger. That pesky squirrel, who was feasting a second earlier, is no more. It now lays dead blasted into a bloody heap of fur and guts on the dirt below. Oh yes, dad and his shotgun won. Nobody said a word. Cocktail hour was over. We all sat down at the table and enjoyed a scrumptious roast beef dinner with all the fixings. I could barely swallow.

Friday, November 21, 2008

In my life...

Today is the 40th anniversary of the release of the Beatles White album.  It made a deep imprint on my young impressionable soul. I was tormented by the conflicts of youthful optimism and idealism and the darkness and disillusionment I had already experienced in my short life.
I don't know how you were diverted
you were perverted too
I don't know how you were inverted
No one alerted you...

You know I can't sleep I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks I'm going insane
You know I'd give you everything I got
for a little peace of mind

Yes, I'm lonely wanna die
Yes I'm lonely wanna die
If I ain't dead already
you know the reason why

Black cloud crossed my mind
Blue mist around my soul
feel so suicidal...
My older brother gave this to me for my 13th birthday. I remember thinking that he must have really liked me because it was a double album.  I guess he did and proved it again a few years later when he tried to rescue me from my abusive boyfriend.  Only, I turned my back on him and left with the abuser. His kindness must have slipped my mind. Or, maybe he had become angry like the rest of us.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I have the evidence...

Well, there's the piano teacher's husband. Is he the perpetrator? Yes. I have circumstantial evidence. It makes sense. My gut tells me it is so...more than my intuition, my emotional and physical reactions tell me yes.

I had chronic stomach issues in elementary school. I had to have enemas. I had enormously dilated pupils. School officials expressed concern - maybe my tonsils were too large and needed to be removed? I think they were onto something but alas, they didn't know where to look. 

Signs of trauma.

And the white shoes I dreamed about recently.

The piano teacher's husband wore white shoes. I am positive.

That, to me, is the most damning piece of evidence.

Why? Did he molest you?

I froze in my tracks. I couldn't speak. All I asked was "Did you take piano lessons with Ms. Knoll?" Yes, she hated her. "Did her husband drive you to school?"

The ax fell. "Why, did he molest you?"

I couldn't answer quick enough and the subject changed. It was the weekday morning rush and we both had to leave. I hung up and collapsed onto my bed. My head was spinning, my insides nauseous. I started to cry.

Driving to work I convinced myself that my sister was just being her normal sarcastic self and tried to dismiss my own emotional reaction to what she said. But then I thought back to the other night sitting in my car at the train station...how that Shuman concerto (or whatever it was) evoked such a strong reaction in me. It filled me with an ache so deep I couldn't catch my breath. Again, I cried. I cry all the time now, sometimes provoked by a thought or feeling; sometimes not.

I described to the LOML how I took lessons in the morning, 7:15ish, before school and her husband drove me to school. I hated being driven by this creepy older man in his big-finned Cadillac. The car had a huge front seat, split in the middle. I sat in the front with him. I don't understand why I had to take lessons before school. My sister didn't. My elderly teacher (50/60?) was an angry housewife and a woman who believed in teaching through humiliation and degradation. We would sit together on the bench of her highly polished ebony grand piano while she spit cricisms at me and smacked my fingers when I hit the wrong keys. DIDN'T YOU PRACTICE?  I had. She made me nervous. Maybe knowing her husband was driving me to school made me anxious. 

Lace doilies graced all the furniture. It was not warm. Everything was untouchable...like my grandmother's. I can remember leaving through a door off her kitchen (I think) into the garage. He would be waiting for me as I climbed into the front seat of this enormous automobile. I started piano lessons when I was 8 or 9 and continued for at least 3, maybe 4, years...always in the mornings; always filled with dread.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Comforting my inner child

I wanted to throw my laptop out of the window last night after I wrote my blog post, but alas it isn't my laptop to toss. I was angry. I am angry still and my back is aching again. I read my Angela Shelton email this morning -- her advice? Be kind to your inner child, practice parenting yourself (I failed miserably as a child), and step off the trauma train.  

Write how you would comfort a child in crisis. 

Hmmm... When I'm in crisis, I isolate myself until I can sufficiently detach, minimize or forget the situation.  Oh, that's not true anymore but that's been how I have comforted my child as a child.  

Today -- I would gather up that hurt child into my arms, hold her tight and reassure her that I was there for her. I would only make promises that I could keep. I would validate her fears and her tears. I would listen. I would smile warmly and wipe away her tears. I will call the appropriate authorities if a crime were committed. I would take her someplace safe. I would be strong for her and protect her and allow her to be weak until she regained her strength. I would make her chocolate milk or let her play with my dog or color pictures or do whatever she wanted to do to feel better. I would put aside my own fears and anger and hurt and just focus on her needs, her fears, and her wellbeing. I would love her fully and tell her she was beautiful and precious and that no one has the right to hurt her like that. 

Lastly, I would rock her in my arms or stroke her hair until she drifted off to sleep.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Power of the "F" word

FUCK YOU.
FUCK YOU.
FUCK YOU, YOU MOTHER FUCKING ASSHOLE.
LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE.
GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME.
SHUT THE FUCK UP.
I FUCKING HATE YOU.

No will love you with three children. FUCK YOU.
No will put up with your shit. FUCK YOU.
Your fingers are too stubby. FUCK YOU.
You don't know what you're talking about. FUCK YOU.
Why do behave that way? You're crazy. FUCK YOU.
You can't do that. You can't have that. FUCK YOU.
You're too stupid. You're not smart enough. FUCK YOU.
You wouldn't understand. FUCK YOU.
You're twisting my words. FUCK YOU.
You can't afford it. FUCK YOU.
You're white trash. FUCK YOU.
You're not worthy. FUCK YOU.
Shut up. FUCK YOU.
You're lucky I love you. FUCK YOU.
What more do you want? FUCK YOU.
You don't deserve anything better. FUCK YOU.
Give it up, little girl. Get lost. FUCK YOU.
Give me your money. You owe me. FUCK YOU.
You're a joke. FUCK YOU.
That's the best you'll ever get. FUCK YOU.
Who cares? FUCK YOU.
I love you, bitch. FUCK YOU.
Go ahead, kill yourself. FUCK YOU.
I dare you. FUCK YOU.

Guess how many of those voices were in my head?

The LOML told me tonight that I haven't been doing anything to help myself. I haven't written - emails to him, blog entries. Guilty. I haven't called Dr. B. Guilty. I haven't emailed my friend for her impressions. Guilty. He seems to have forgotten that I have been thinking, piecing my life back together, reading, and talking (to him mostly). But that's nothing. I screamed the other day for the first time, ever. I was no longer mute.

When you read this, scream out the FUCK YOU's...then you'll feel my wrath.

My lower back which ceased up on me this morning has relaxed...not so strange.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My 2 year old spoke

I dreamed of a voice that spoke in a genderless childlike tone. "If you don't want to take care of them and love them and nurture them, then don't have them. Babies." I didn't think the message was directed at my mothering abilities. It was an explanation.

It was the voice of my two-year old that returned two weeks ago. My mother was perfect. I am sure we were bathed and fed and read to. We went to the park and were pushed on the swings. She made hand-knit dresses for my barbie dolls and made matching dresses for my sister and me. She sewed beautiful silk dresses for herself with covered buttons. And she put a well balanced supper and desert on the table every night at 6:30 for her family. It all looked excellent on paper and was wrapped up as parental perfection and family bliss in my mind. But maybe it wasn't.

Maybe my mom was overwhelmed -- three kids in diapers at one time (and not the disposable kind). But that was okay then; that's what women did -- have babies and stay home to care for them. There was little choice in the middle class suburban white world she inhabited. She dropped out of college (where she met my father), got married and started a family. My father started a career - first as a journalist then advertising. And he cheated on my mother, many times, and drank himself to the point of having the DTs and blackouts and car crashes.

So was she happy? Doubtful. Did she admit it? Probably not. She put the past in the past and only looked ahead. You can't learn, after all, from what never happened. But the last straw did eventually get pulled and those fragile support beams came tumbling down catapulting this bloodied princess and her siblings from their fairytale life into the shark infested waters below. Only the strongest thrived.

No pity party PLEASE...

How pitiful am I? I was sexually abused. I was abandoned. I was alone. I was beaten by my boyfriend/husband. I had a rotating smorgasboard of addictions. I was depressed. I was suicidal. I was raped. I was emotionally abused. I was medicated. I had really low self-esteem. I believed I was a worthless piece of shit. Poor me.

Poor pathetic me.

I awoke at 4 a.m. and I felt ill and angry at myself. Why wasn't I stronger? Why didn't I just pick up the pieces and move on? Why didn't I just shrug off the shit and hold my head high. Isn't that the family way? Pretend it was nothing, dispense with any emotions, keep moving forward, and never, ever look back.

The LOML came to the rescue of his aging neighbor when she cried out in the wee morning hours after a fall -- thank goodness. But it left me with that oh too familiar plaintive cry, "poor me -- he's not there for me when I cry out at 4 a.m." I tell myself to shut up and grow up. A little harsh, I think now.

I feel sorry for myself today. I don't like it. I need to focus on my blessings.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Can karma be passed through the name given to your newborn child?

Why did you name your son after that abusive prick who fathered him? 

Clearly, the LOML could not for the life of him understand why I would have given my darling infant son the same name as his scumbag father and passed on his wretched karma. Can that happen with a name? I mean my son did grow up to battle a miserable, devasting and destructive drug addiction, not unlike his father's failed struggles with drugs and alcohol. Just add in the bipolar from my family and he seemed pretty doomed from the start. Fortunately, I never believed that his fate was sealed and I think somewhere deep inside, he doesn't believe it either. He works hard to overcome the odds and he's got my undying support. I have never stopped believing in him -- even in his worst moments and there were way too many.

But to get back to my original thought. How could I have named my beautiful son after his father. Why? I thought for just a moment and told the LOML that I had learned to pick my battles. How many issues could I manage at once? I had just given birth, alone, to this tiny little premature boy while my husband 1000 miles away was drunk at his uncle's funeral.  Yes, he returned immediately upon learning of his son's birth and asked that he carry his name. I don't remember what I thought about it. I'm not sure if I had other names selected. I think I did if it was a girl but not so certain if it was a boy. I know that I didn't want him to be a junior and he isn't. But was that enough of an argument? He and his father both use two different versions of a nickname for the same given name. Doesn't that help to distinguish and separate the two? Doesn't matter, after three days, he was given the name of his father.

I reminded the LOML that I delivered my son prematurely, totally alone in the hospital -- no family, no friends, no father present. For whatever the reason, I did not expel my placenta and they had to put me under, do an episiotomy (which they didn't have to do to give birth), and remove the placenta.  A little piece was left behind, got infected, and left me with a high fever and IV antibiotics. I was not in a place, emotionally or otherwise, to name my baby or argue over his name. I related the whole sad story about the weeks following the birth, the ultimate sock to the jaw by my ex, and my exodus north.

Later that night as I was tossing and turning trying to find some comfort and sleep, it occurred to me that maybe I was hoping that by naming my baby after his father, his father would become a loving and nurturing parent (and husband). I was asking for a miracle, I realize that now. It didn't work. 

And there I was, without any family or friends (who weren't of the highest caliber anyway), to support me. My abusive husband was all I had and quite frankly, I needed someone. I was scared of becoming a mommy in the midst of the hell I was living. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two parts Hope; one part Optimism

I dreamed last night about sealed, unlabeled tin cans of water [condensed soup sized]. The LOML was present.

In the early weeks of my sonamic experiencing therapy with Dr. B, I reported to her that I had felt ice water running (literally) through my veins several times during my sleep over a course of a few days. It was pretty severe and woke me up out of a sound sleep shivering and iced to my core. Strangely enough, it was in the middle of the summer months with that hot, drippy, humid heat. It wasn't refreshing though; it was painfully cold and although it only lasted seconds, the shivering persisted much longer. Dr. B believed it was the "freeze" part of trauma melting because of the work we were doing. It made sense although it is a rather weird phenomenon. But I have learned that not all things make perfect sense, especially when it relates to trauma and our bodies.

At the soul retrieval last week when the shaman was blowing my missing soul parts back into my chest, I felt this intense rush of ice cold starting at my trunk and racing down my limbs to my fingers and toes. It happened in an instant and was gone. I realized then that my chest was very hot. I didn't think much about it because she was blowing into my chest and I just thought it was the warmth of her breath. But the more I thought about it, the less I think that is what was happening. I had a double-folded blanket over me and wore a thickly woven shirt. The heat I felt was not just warm breath -- it was hot and it radiated out into my body. My arms and legs went numb for a second or two. Now, logically, I say to myself, it's what happens to me when I lie on my back...sometimes my arms or my legs can get pins and needles. But I had been lying for 30 minutes and there was no numbness or pins and needles.

Did the return of my missing soul parts melt some of the ice?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Minds can be very fragile

In my dreams last night I was talking to the LOML telling him about a movie [the specific movie I cannot remember] that I saw at the field club my family belonged to when I was a child. My mother suddenly appeared scolding me, telling me that I did not see the movie at the clubhouse. It only played at the theater in town. I could visual the separate ticket booth under the theater marquee but I was sure that was not where I had seen the movie. She continued to berate and humiliate me for not knowing where I had seen the movie. I turned to my love and with a voice of resignation told him that 'minds are very fragile.' My mind was very fragile.

I woke up startled and wondered if my mind was strong enough to survive the work I have ahead of me.  For a moment, just a fraction of a moment, I thought my mind would disintegrate into a puddle of lost thoughts and frozen fears.

I can no longer afford therapy...at least for a month or two. 

What will I do?

Pray. Believe. Breathe.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Let there be light...

Well, the shroud has lifted. Perhaps the soul parts needed protection whilst the semi-automatic integration process began. Or maybe I was just feeling lousy. I would like to say that the sunlight and gentle breeze today made the difference but it is the same as yesterday as the day before.

It could be the book I am reading. It is a very affirming and inspirational reading about women who have survived abuse - spousal, emotional, rape, childhood sexual abuse -- the book: Finding Angela Shelton.  What a brave young woman Angela is and what a healing path she embarked on much to her surprise. All the women were courageous. I am going to email or write her.  I need to reach out to someone who will understand.  

The LOML and I had a falling out over my neediness.  I was in a state [that's not a good thing] and I needed him.  He wasn't available and I did not handle it in a reasonable or rational way. I have been almost solely dependent upon him in dealing with this mess that has been my life. Of course, I do have a therapist twice monthly but that only offers limited albeit intensive support.  I don't want to feel the sadness I felt today knowing that I both angered and hurt him and wound up leaving myself alone.  Of course, being alone with my thoughts today turned into a positive thing.  Being alone with my thoughts yesterday was bordering on dangerous.

But I'm here and I just returned from a long walk at the river with my pup.  It is about as perfect an afternoon as anyone can ask for and all the other walkers, with or without dogs, seemed to be revelling in the perfection.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Running scared...

It's 5:30 Saturday evening and I am running on frantic energy.  I took down the sliding doors between my living & dining rooms.  I felt as though I was suffocating and needed to open the space up.   I moved the furniture in and out of the rooms trying to find the "right" place for each piece.  I didn't succeed but I did succeed in making a mess and cutting my knuckle and driving my 17 year son out of house because he said he can't stand my OCMD [obesessive compulsive moving disorder].  

I had a minor epiphany while I was straining to unscrew one of the many screws holding up the frame to the sliding doors.  My muscles were aching, my fingers sore, my forehead sweating and suddenly I realized that I REALLY wanted to learn from my soul retrieval whether or not I was abused and I didn't.  I don't even have a hint.  Well, maybe I have a hint that lies within the gigantic heart of my very own Moby Dick.

I'm not calm.  I have this shroud covering me and I can't break through it.  I'm not hopeless but I feel pointless.  Is that possible?  I don't feel depressed but I have suicidal thoughts...not that I'm concerned that I will act on them because I don't want to die...but they are comforting. And I don't like that.  My energy level is flat but it is not low.  I don't want to nap.  

I need to be quiet.  I'm not connecting.  I'm not integrating.  I'm not relaxed.

Breathe, in and out. Breathe.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Three parts come home

I feel a bit like the three cohorts of Dorothy from the land of oz rolled into one. Only I didn't go on my journey seeking a brain like the scarecrow, or a heart like the tinman, or courage for the cowardly lion. I went looking for wholeness and my shaman brought me back passion, creativity, and self-love. Three soul parts returned yesterday. Three little girls, ages 2, 9, and 13. Three spirit helpers came as well -- a tortoise, a sperm whale, and a pony.

Christina, immediately upon the departure of the previous client, lit her smudge stick and erased all traces of him and his spirits from the room. She then picked up the cushions, covers, etc., folding them neatly and setting them aside. She spoke to us for a while and when we all felt ready for the journey, she rose and began to arrange the cushions, pillows, etc. for my journey. It was a very precise ritual -- she unfolded the scarf with intention, arranged the pillow over the crystals, positioned the cushions. I was asked to lie down on my back and she slid a few more cushions under my legs. Comfortable? Can you stay like this for 30 minutes? Do you need a blanket? I did. She folded the blanket in half and placed it over my body.

She sat down on her mat next to me and began to rattle. After another minute she began this high pitched, single note whistle [not unpleasant to the ear] all the while rattling . She then began a beautiful song-like chanting. This lasted a few minutes after which she laid down on her back, her left arm ever so slightly touching my right arm and began her journey.

Her narration started almost immediately. [She had explained to us that she narrates the journey & records it so that we know what occurs.] Barely a few seconds had passed when she let out a slight laugh and said "this is a day of funny people." I'm not sure exactly what she meant. Then she announced her intention, "so I have entered into this journey on your behalf and have asked what can help you to heal at this time." She describes the scene in the woods and the sighting of the young toddler.

The two year old was hiding with the small forest creatures in the woods. When Christina arrived she heard this rustling of leaves and saw this little toddler walking away down the path. She's feisty and appears to be strong-willed and bossy. She says she just knows what she wants and that no one ever listens to her.

The nine year old was hiding in a cave in a snowy mountain area and had written on the cave wall an epic story penned in words and pictures. She said she wanted to be left alone but was willing to come once she understood that she was needed in the present. She is the keeper of the story and teller of tales.
She says I am the keeper of the story.She says but I am also the teller of tales.I ask her what she means by that and she’s also capable of telling a tale to compel people to do something, to create a story, not just tell a story that really happened but to create a story that moves people to a particular place or in a particular way.She says that she had dreams of being a writer but that her experience that she ran away from had convinced her that no one would ever want to listen to her stories and once she realized that that had happened she couldn’t stay around any longer.
The 13 year old was a flamenco dancer - standing erect with her flaring skirt in the middle of somewhere, stomping her feet, and spinning furiously. She left because of something that happened at 13 left her feeling incapable of expressing her passion, her creativity, and her independence. She has a powerful, expressive, moving energy that has caused her unwanted attention and pain. She left because there was no room (literally and figuratively) for her in the world she lived in.

I welcomed my girls back. I engaged in many one-sided dialogues with them during the day. [I have not heard from them yet.] I thanked them for returning to me. I told them I was blessed to have them back. I promised to protect them and love them. I assured them that I would hear them and respect what they had to say. I explained to them that I called them my little girls not because I valued them any less but because I loved them and because they were younger than me. I praised them for their passion and energy and vitality and looked forward to their integration into my life in this time.

I have not heard anything back from them. I hope they are still here. Christina said they won't leave. I just need to be patient, to listen, and to find just the right time and place to talk with them...

[postscript/post retrieval dream] Walking along a canyon trail, high above the ground, with my mother. She is holding an infant. I have my little dog. I'm a little apprehensive watching my mother carelessly strolling along the edge, hundreds of feet in the air, with this baby haphazardly balanced in her arms. We come to an unexpected body of water -- the ocean, I think -- with waves crashing on the beach. My mother takes the infant and goes out into the water. The waves are breaking just above her hips. Suddenly she drops the baby into the water so that she can adjust her clothing. The little baby, a girl with brown hair, begins screaming and crying as it keeps getting sucked under the crashing waves. I run out into the water and rescue the baby, yelling at my mother...why did you drop the baby? What the hell is wrong with you? She just glares at me and tells me very matter of factly that she had to fix her outfit. Short time later I'm in a room with this infant rubbing lavender scented baby oil on her skin -- skin that is one perfectly even shade of light brown. My sister comes in and scolds me for rubbing oil on her skin. Don't you know that baby oil contains petroleums? What's wrong with you? I told her it was lavender oil not baby oil. It wasn't true.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

It's time...

After a shaky start (minor panic attack just as I dozed off) I slept last night, soundly with a still mind. I woke up early feeling rested and enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee. It didn't last long and before I knew it, a strange kind of anxiety began to creep in. It was quiet anxiousness that laid deep in my core. Life moved in slow motion. Around 11:00 the LOML came over and swept me up into his arms and held me tight. My angst, he said, was contagious. A short time later we hopped into my car and headed into the city for my soul retrieval.

We arrived at exactly 2 p.m. and Christina (the Shaman) was just wrapping up with a previous client. She invited us into this tiny apartment, asked us to remove our shoes, and wait for just a minute.

We spent the first 30 minutes talking about integration -- the process following the retrieval. Integration is the work that I have to do to make sure that my soul parts become part of my life. Honesty is most important. They will be forgiving and understanding and tolerant as long as you don't lie to them. The first two days is an automatic and natural process of integration that just happens. You have no control. It can leave you feeling disoriented or maybe nothing. I don't know if I feel anything. I don't feel a fullness but I do feel extra exhausted and my head is heavy.

I need to sleep.

Post 9/26 therapy dreams...

Dream #1
I was in the backyard at my ex's house. It was late at night and I walked out into the pitch darkness holding my little dog looking for a place to put him down to pee. There was no one around and it was very eerily still.  I walked to the edge of the woods where it was really black and ominous and called into the woods for someone or something to come out now, to show themselves to me, to come and look into my eyes. While I was yelling, I was struggling to get the dogs collar around his neck in case he leaped from my arms.  I was rushing and nervous.  I dared this entity to look into my eyes saying that they (my eyes) were ready to be seen by this person/thing in the woods.  Then I heard this voice shout that the elephants were coming and I looked up and I could see running through the woods a short distance from me three giant elephants, actually more like a cross between elephants and wooly mammouths -- on the back of the first one was a wild-looking caveman waving a stick.  I held my dog tightly, careful not to drop him, slipped on his leash and ran back to the house.  The herd ran down the driveway and disappeared into the darkness.  I ran up the steps to the back door and was just about to open it when this human-like man creature appeared in front of me threatening me.  I held my two fingers out and pointed them like a gun at him to make him disappear but he just stared at me.  He was very ugly, hairy, old looking.  I ran inside into the kitchen, through the living room and into the bedroom by the laundry room.  My exe's mother was sleeping in bed with a very young adult couple.  I hid behind the dresser holding the dog telling them that he was back and they needed to go kill him.  No one did anything to help me.

Dream #2
I am standing in waist deep murky water, in a large lake with an uneven shoreline, a short distance from a dock when I see my little dog jump off the dock into the dark waters.  I watch him for a few minutes as he slowly sink beneath the water's surface.  I cry out for help and start to swim toward where I saw him go under.  I grab a pair of goggles off of the dock so that I can see in the murky waters.  I try to put the goggles on -- they are more like opera glasses with focasable lenses over the eyes.  Every time I put the googles on I can't see through them - it's like I am looking through binoculars the wrong way and everything I am seeing is tiny and way off in the distance.  I turn them upside down and still I can't see.  I start to panic when I see my older brother pop up out of the water with the dog in his arms.  He lays the dog on the dock and I climb out to resusitate the dog.  He's on his back on the dock and as I reach over to pump his chest, he coughs up water, rolls over and starts breathing.  I am relieved he's alive but not trusting that he will be okay because I did nothing to revive him.

Dream #3
I am walking with my mother and she tells me that she is giving my youngest son $300 "just because."  And I ask her not to but she tells me she does what she wants and doesn't care what I think.  I start to cry, telling her that it isn't fair the way she has no appreciation for me.  I start to get angry and yell and she cuts me off by screaming at me to grow up and act like a woman.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

15 hours 18 minutes

until my soul retrieval begins.

Anticipation is building. I hope that I can sleep.

things have changed -- for the better -- I promise...

I woke up this morning feeling a little anxious.  What if the little girls don't want to come back? What if they don't trust that I will take care of them and protect them?  Things have changed since they ran away.

I no longer pound my skull with my fists...
or repeatedly bang my head against the wall...
or yank my hair so forcefully I leave bruises on my scalp.

I no longer long for a violent and gruesome accident to take my life...
or have an obsession with suicidal fantasies...
or a love/hate relationship with the cement mixer of death.

I am no longer in a physically abusive relationship...
or an emotionally abusive relationship...
or an unbalanced, unhealthy relationship where I am squashed as an individual.

But not all is perfect in this life I'm living.  
  • I'm hard pressed to find joy in my life.
  • I still binge eat on occassion although I am much better at counter-balancing it with a healthy diet, supplements, etc.
  • I am struggling to develop an exercise routine but I'm persisting!
  • I'm in therapy and working diligently to understand and heal from the traumas of my past.  It hurts and often my nights are filled with unpleasant dreams and hours of tossing and turning.
I do, however, have these assets going for us...
  • I have an incredibly strong will to live, to heal, and to experience joy in my life
  • I have hope and faith
  • I have a man who truly loves and respects me
  • My children are healing and beginning to prosper in their own lives
  • I have a beautiful little dog that all of you will love to play with and he's a cuddler!
  • I want you back


Monday, October 06, 2008

I've seen the needle and the damage done

a little part of it in everyone
but every junkie's like a setting sun...

Stuck in traffic on the parkway this morning listening to the radio, I heard mention of the CSNY album Four Way Street.  Before I knew it, I was whisked back in time to an Easter evening 1973 at my abuser's home.  Robin B a friend of my ex's, Vietnam vet, and herion addict was with us. He had just come out of his nod and was drinking scotch, incoherently lamenting war horrors. Neil Young was wailing on the stereo while "The Ten Commandments" was silently airing on the television. I was high (marijuana only) and withdrawn sitting in the corner.  Maybe I was cowering.  It was dark.  The conversation somber and angry.  The mood foreboding.  And I couldn't escape because I had no place to go.  I smoked another joint and disappeared.  

Maybe a piece of my soul left as well.  If that is true, I had plenty of opportunities for my frightened self to hightail it to somewhere safe.

Fastforward 20 years to 1993 and the small apartment I shared with my three children.  They were not home and I was lying in bed with the LOML. It was Easter morning.  We were watching a video - Natural Born Killers [my choice].


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Three days and counting...

It's Sunday night. In two and a half days the LOML and I will head into the City for a soul retrieval. Shortly after 2 p.m. on Wednesday I will be in an apartment lying on my back on a rug on the floor, my shaman lying next to me, hypnotic drumming sending her off on a journey to retrieve my lost soul parts. I need to believe. I must be receptive. And I have to be prepared to welcome my little girls back into a life that is safe and secure.

When did they leave? Did they run away and if so, at what ages? Were parts stolen from me? Did I give pieces of my soul away? All these things can happen. What will she tell me when she returns from the journey? What traumas will she relate to me? How will I feel when my lost parts are blown back into me? I guess I'll know the answers very soon.

So, will I learn if I was sexually abused as a child? I know that memories will return with the soul parts. I want them all to come home to me. I need to be whole.

I have temporarily lost the ability to express my feelings in writing. I have been so overwhelmed with emotions that I don't have the words to describe them.

I haven't been sleeping and I'm exhausted. My brain stem aches again tonight.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

the fragmented self

Where is the awe? Where is the excitement I should feel experiencing life? Lately it seems as though everyone I meet has that vacant look in their eyes. And I know that look - it has dominated my life. Absence of joy. For me it was thoughts filled with wretchedness and despair. I think it is all symptomatic of a fragmented soul.

So what else plagues the human mind and body when the soul has splintered and its pieces retreat to otherworlds?

For me, it is a lethargy, an inability to make decisions, sadness, and anger. It manifests in physical ailments, insomnia, bipolar disorder, eating issues, depression, suicidal ideology, failure, mistrust, low self esteem, and shame. The evidence is indisputable. My life has often times felt more like a nightmare than a blessing.

I have learned now to wake up every morning and thank the universe for my life, for giving me the strength somehow, to more forward with my life and heal.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Reflections

Some days I look in the mirror and I think "how did I get so old looking?" My eyes looked tired of living. The beginnings of deep wrinkles are settling in and I think, "but this can't be...I'm not grown up yet." I'm turning the corner into adulthood after spending three decades as a teenager. A teenager who lived a life of hard knocks...to the head, to the body, to the soul, to the heart. I was stuck emotionally in a child's mind with a frightened heart.

I tried to trust but failed. I tried to find love but failed...until now. I married and divorced, twice. I raised three children, alone. I ran from anything and everything that might snag me and hurt me; but ironically, I wasn't running from hurt. I was running toward it. I dashed full speed, without thought of consequences, into that fire over and over again and the burns never had time to heal. They just festered, laid dormant for a short while, and flared up again...over and over and over.

Now I gaze into the eyes of a woman who harbors a deep sadness. An injured woman who has hidden a lifetime of hurt. A child who has spent 40 years crying and fearing for her life. It breaks my heart. It almost broke hers.

But sometimes I look in the mirror I see a spark of life. Her eyes are blue again and her complexion is healthy. And I think just maybe there is hope for her afterall. It's been a very long and arduous journey.

Monday, September 08, 2008

my tooth karma

I lost you many years ago, 
decades actually
But how I became a toothless me 
is not held in any of my memories
I should have run 
but I did not flee
Because my future I didn't see

maybe this...

My teethies they did cease to exist
when I brushed my teeth with the loser's fist
Oh he must have been so pissed
to have offered me such a violent kiss

My two front caps fell out in the early spring.  It's now mid-autumn and still no new teeth.  So what has happened? There is some bad karma connected with the loss of my teeth.  Maybe I need to unequivocably accept the violence perpetrated against me by my ex. No more excuses.  No more denial.  No more pretend that the only unsavory acts he engaged in were committed under the influence of alcohol. He is a criminal.  He abused me.  He knocked my teeth out - kicked? punched?  I don't know but I know that he did.

May I have my new teeth now?  The first set of permanent crowns got lost when they were shipped to the dentist.  They were never found.  I had another impression made and another set of crowns.  Three weeks later I went back to the dentist to have them installed.  Not yet. They were two different shades.  This has never happened before.  I don't understand.  The dentist was clearly stumped.  She sent them back.  Three more weeks to wait.  I go next week.  I go after the soul retrieval.  Maybe it will be time to get rid of the old and rejoice in the new.  

Maybe it will be time to smile a real smile that radiates from the soul.

Yes, I think so.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

11 stitches

I emailed my older brother asking for any information he might remember about my teeth. Weeks went by with no response...until tonight. At 9:29 an email arrived in my inbox and no, he regrets that he has no memory of how I lost my teeth but he did understand why our sister would blame my ex-husband. He proceeded to tell me about an incident that occurred in front of our house.

I was engaged in a 'huge argument' with my ex and he was 'slapping me around.' My brother went to my rescue and the result of the ensuing altercation was 11 stitches just above his eye. My sister and his girlfriend, watching from the porch, called the police and the arrest was made. I didn't find the arrest record in my earlier search because according to my brother I pleaded with him to drop the charges which he reluctantly and foolishly did.

In the last two weeks I have had a number of heated discussions with the LOML about my brother's lack of response. Didn't he love me? What had I done to cause him to feel such contempt toward me that he wouldn't respond? I was afraid to call him. I made excuses and justifications. I didn't know what to expect but what I got I didn't expect at all. I never imagined that my ex left my brother physically scarred as well.

I phoned the LOML and shared the email. He asked how I felt. Not sure. The conversation was maybe 2 minutes before he said he had to go and hung up. I cried, my back spasmed, and I limped over to my bed where I collapsed.

I don't remember this incident. I have so little recollection of all the abuse I must have endured during my involvement with that horribly abusive bastard. I dissociated and I didn't learn.

I read this morning that when a child suffers abuse at the hands of a caretaker or a parent, they often dissociate from the trauma because that is the only way they can maintain their relationship with the caretaker. I wasn't a child with my ex but in a way I was a child -- a 17 year old child. I had not grown up or healed from my earlier traumas and abandonment and he was in a twisted, demented way, my caretaker - the one person I believed was going to be there for me. So I left my reality, my terrifying and abusive reality. I wonder what I thought when my brother tried to save me. Why would I have chosen my ex over my brother? I had no relationship with my brother. I had no trust or faith in him. How sad is it that I had more trust or faith in a man who hit me than I had in my brother who tried to stop him. I am certain there is something more to this story.

My brother ended up with 11 stitches over his eye. I have a scar on my chin, a scar next to my left eye, a lump from a broken nose, two broken front teeth, a scar on my breast, and a damaged kidney. Who knows what I don't remember.

He is a monster and he belongs in prison.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Soul Retrieval

Today I scheduled time with a Shaman healer -- October 8th, 2 p.m. -- to do a soul retrieval. I'm not really sure what to expect but I have done a little research on the internet and ordered a book that the shaman recommended I read prior to our session. The prospect is both exciting and frightening. Is my soul misplaced? Has it been stolen? I think both.

Based on what I read about soul retrieval thus far, here's what I surmise about my own life. In my childhood or adolescence when I was sexually abused, I lost a piece of my soul. It (she) fled from the trauma, frightened and humiliated. A few years later another part of her ran away in terror from an abusive, demented husband.

But what did that leave of me? I never felt whole. I wandered this world almost my entire life feeling like a lost soul -- little did I know that I actually was. So what does all this mean? Am I not the person I think I am? Will there be a noticeable change once my soul becomes an integrated whole again? Will it help me to fill in the gaps of my life? Maybe I will just begin to heal and feel better, but better in a way I'm not sure I've experienced. Better in a way that I don't know how to quantify.

Maybe I'm looking for a get-healed-quick fix. I believe that convincing my refugee soul to come back to me will allow me to continue to the next level of my healing. I have recognized the abuse. I have acknowledged the abuse. I think I may even be at long last accepting the abuse. Now I need to locate my lost soul and make her a part of my being again. I need to promise her protection, stability, security, love and respect.

I am confident the healing process will then enter into a new stage and bring harmony into my shattered world.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I am on a quest to remember whatever I possibly can from my childhood. Maybe it will open other memories up -- today, it's books I remember reading. There is an underlying theme which is both familiar and similar in these stories -- abandonment and loneliness, often with a little adventure and mischief thrown in. I do think most children's books start out with some level of sadness or distress so that a happy ending can occur coupled with a valuable lesson. I'm not sure Dare Wright understood that so well when she wrote the Lonely Doll series however.


The Lonely Doll - Edith was a lonely little girl living alone in Manhattan who befriends Little Bear and Mr. Bear. When she misbehaves and gets spanked by Mr. Bear, she pleads with him, "Do anything you want, just don't leave me." Funny, but I seem to recall a similar sentiment in the title of a Joyce Carol Oates' novel, Do With Me What You Will.


The Story About Ping is a tale of a little yellow duck who accidentally gets separated from his family and winds up lost and alone on the Yangtze River.



Born Free is the story of the orphaned lion cub being raised by Joy Adamson and her husband and then being released back into the wild several years later.




Black Beauty
is the adored stallion who lives a good life with gentle masters until he suddenly finds himself being used as a work horse for cruel masters.



A Wrinkle in Time is the adventures of Meg and her little brother Charles who go on a search for their scientist father who has disappeared in a tesseract.


Babar is the little elephant who witnesses the brutal slaughter of his mother and then wanders into the city to eventually become King of the Elephants.

Where the Wild Things Are - most everyone know this story about the mischevious Max being sent to his room and embarking on a fantastical adventure.

I asked myself why I was writing such a blog post. I mean who really cares what books I read as a child but me. But I do and it gives me insight into my child's mind. I absolutely loved Black Beauty. I can remember turning the filmy pages that covered every illustration with such care.

It's sort of funny in a sad way that I always remembered this book as being mine -- a gift from my father. As it turns out decades later my sister gave me this book from our childhood because she knew I loved it. The inscription was to my darling daughter [only it was my sister, not me], love Dad. It broke my heart to read it all those years later and although I still have the book packed away in a box, I have not looked at it again. I would prefer to remember it only as the book I loved.


Actually I loved all these books. Oh yeah, I forgot one. Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Suess. I loved Horton sitting on that abandoned egg through public humiliation, bad weather, everything imaginable, and staying put until the egg hatched.

I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant is faithful one hundred percent.

My parents forgot their oath to care for, protect, and nurture the five children they brought into the world.

Friday, August 29, 2008

the trauma train

I passed by an over-sized cement mixer on my way to work this morning. It was sans polka dots - had painted shades of blue diamonds instead. There was no urge to cross the yellow line; my hands felt relaxed on the wheel as I glided by it. Nothing.

Yesterday in therapy, Dr. B asked me if I was still having the desire to be 'accidentally' killed on purpose. "No" was my immediate response but a moment later, as I felt the pressure of my tears collecting in the back of my eyes, I said "yes, sometimes."

I proceeded to relate my dream of the night before -- a dream that made me very despondent and unraveled, and yes, made me think about accidental suicide once again...fleeting but painful thoughts. Thoughts connected to being 15 again and believe me, it was very disconcerting.

Dr. B, "Are these feelings you experienced at 15?" She looked visibly upset. "Yeah, they are." I could barely choke back the tears. "Can you go there now?" she asked. Even though I was teetering on the edge, I couldn't step over. I told her that every power within me was fighting those emotions.

"Don't go there now," she said. "You know they exist; you know you are in touch because you are feeling the internal conflict." Let's take a few minutes and get settled. Feet flat on the floor. Feel the couch supporting your body, feel the texture of the fabric under your arms, pay attention to your breath. Look around the room and find something pleasant or calming to focus on.

"How are you?"
"Better, grounded."
"How do you know?"
"My eyelids will close again. It feels as though my body has melted into the back of the couch."

We move on to more trauma. I was a passenger on the trauma train with a never-ending ticket...or so it seemed in my teens, in my twenties, in my thirties and my forties. I think I have finally disembarked in my fifties. It has been a long trip. Now I have to figure out what to do with all the baggage.

Monday, August 25, 2008

looking for love

Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek
and find all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.

Rumi

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A letter of hatred

I want to write a letter of hate to my ex but I'm not sure how to start. Maybe I want to ask him why he used and abused me. Maybe I want to tell him how much he hurt me. Maybe I want to scream to the world what a low-life piece of shit I think he is. Maybe I want to tell him that he should rot in jail forgotton, that he deserves to be beaten to a pulp, that he should know what it feels like to be raped, over and over again.

I hate you. I hate how you treated me. I hate you for terrorizing me. I hate you for being a drug-addicted violent alcoholic. I hate that you could never grow up and be a decent human being. I hate you for deserting me and our two children. I hate you for how you neglected and hurt your children. I hate you for hurting me, for beating me, for inflicting physical and emotional pain and scarring on me.

You took your anger and hatred out on me. You used me as a punching bag whenever you felt like it. You cheated on me. You stole from me. You insulted me and convinced me that I was worthless and unlovable. You sucked me into your life of crime and spit on me. You didn't care about me, about anything or anyone.

It was always about you...poor you and your family of raging alcoholic lunatics. I hated your house and the crazy filth that you lived in. You promised me a different life and I believed you. I needed to believe you but you were just laughing at me, humiliating me, using me. You never loved me. You weren't capable of love but I didn't understand this. I thought we could save each other.

I was a fool. I was a victim of your abuse. I was weak. I had no place to go and no self esteem. I got high to get by and I forgot. I forgot the nightmares that I was living and pretended my world existed only between the hours of 9 and 5. Then I slipped into an underworld of darkness with you.

I hate you for taking me into the hell holes of your existence.

You tried to destroy me and you didn't give a shit. You watched me cry and threaten suicide and turned your back. You watched me scream in frustration and anger and you smirked. You watched me beg for sobriety and a better life and poured yourself another scotch. You watched me hit rock bottom and you stomped on me.

You are scum of the earth.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Death wish

For decades I fantasized about death...my death -- brutal, tragic...a death so violent, so filled with rage, it would leave my body deeply maimed and unrecognizable. It was my escape and it was always to look like an accident. And it would be an accident, only an accident orchestrated by me.

Have you ever seen those oversize cement mixers -- the ones painted with large rainbow colored polka dots? Their mixers churning while they barrel down the highway. My dream - I am driving down the two-lane road and spot the cement mixer heading my way in the oncoming lane. Just as it approaches, I jerk my steering wheel to the left veering across the double yellow line directly into the path of the truck. In an instant I exist no more. It's painless and it's an accident. Death by polka dots. Maybe she sneezed and in that moment lost control. The urge was so strong for so many years that when I would pass a cement mixer, I would grasp the steering wheel with both hands, holding it so tight my knuckles would turn white. There was war being waged inside me - death versus life. I didn't really want death to win.

Dream #2 - A late evening drive along a winding wooded road. It's autumn, the air is crisp. I am strangely alive, tingling with unknown anticipation. I put my driver's window down to feel the night breeze on my face. Before too long I slow down to a stop, close my eyes and inhale deeply. I am fighting back tears. The exhilaration I experienced earlier has fled leaving me in a slump. I don't have the energy to go on living. I just want to die.

Before I realize what has happened, an animal, specifically a wolf-type creature, has leaped up into the window. I feel this searing pain as the wolf sinks its teeth into my neck, ripping through my skin and severing my artery. I lose consciousness as darkness closes in. It's over, at last. I am watching from above when they find me later that night in my car, blood soaked and dead. Oh yes, it was tragic. I waited for that wolf.

I am so ANGRY

I am filled with rage...yesterday, today. Tears well up and spill. My heart races and then sinks. I need to sleep but my eyes won't close, even for a moment. Life isn't fair. I can't settle things because I can't remember things. It's wrong. I know...but really, is life fair? I don't think so.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

foiled again...

I contacted the village justice in the town where the alleged Firehouse II crime took place. Would they check their criminal records and see if there was an arrest or conviction for this crime I can't remember. I explained it all to the justice clerk.

Fortunately she was very willing to assist me in my quest. "Why it's not something I've ever been asked before." I'm sure. I faxed her all the information - names, addresses, nicknames, approximate years, physical damage done. My older brother's name as well because he might have pressed criminal charges against him. That was a week ago. Mrs. Halperin, the justice clerk, just called me.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in his criminal jacket connected with an assault against me or criminal charges filed by my brother. Here's what she did tell me:
  • May 1970 - conviction for assault II (before we met)
  • October 1970 - conviction for burglary & assault III (before we met)
  • 1973 - convictions of harrassment (knocked down from resisting arrest & assault) against two police officers
  • Plus an assortment of convictions for drugs, public intoxication, drunken driving, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest occurring in the early to mid-1970s. (when I did know him).

These are only convictions. There is no record of accusations and arrests. That is probably where my story lies in secret.

I seemed to be thwarted at every turn.

I guess I have to bite the bullet and contact my older brother. It's not something I want to do -- he's very judgmental and self-righteous. But I think he's also very family oriented and loving. Oh, I don't know. We aren't close in any respect. I will email him. Hopefully, he will offer up his memories and help me remember. I still harbor those childhood fears of my older brother -- he was mean and hot tempered and aloof...not unlike our father.

I don't know where else to turn. I tried the hospital - no records dating back that far. I suppose I could check the local newspapers at the library. Yes, maybe I'll try that as well. Who knows what that might turn up.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

the mind-tooth connection

My left front tooth broke free from its connected right front tooth and tumbled out of my mouth into my right hand. Not again, I sighed. It was the weekend and the dentist wasn't around to fix it. I'll just push it back into place like I've done many times before until Monday. The post, however, was not glued into my gum anymore but came out with the tooth. In my palm was my temporary tooth with an 8 inch metal grooved post sticking out of it. How could that be? 8 inches? Why that would poke into my brain - instant frontal lobotomy. I wanted to push it back into place but was weary of the damage it would cause. It might just cause a leak [leaking memories perhaps, memories of my lost teeth?] It's all there...somewhere.

My dream from a few nights ago. My dream after a night of intense conversation with the LOML. Two things happened that night -- I had this dream and I had a panic attack in the middle of the night again. It had been a few weeks since I last had one. But I had the LOML in my bed and when I was finally able to calm myself minutes later, I crawled into bed, curled up against his warm flesh, and fell back to sleep quietly, calmly, quickly.

I have always dealt with my fears alone. What a beautiful feeling to have someone that loves you by your side. Just his presence comforted me...he needn't even wake up.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

no shortcoming of traumas in my life.

Next list I make will be a list of some of the happier moments in my life but for now the usual - traumas, actually only non-sexual traumas that I remember. Unfortunately, many of them take me to that hellish place I lived with my ex-spouse, the criminal.

1. Getting stuck under broken rowboat in the ocean as it washed ashore - terrified I was going to drown and getting scrapes all over my body as I was dragged along the ocean floor until the boat popped off of me. I was maybe 10.

2. My cousin's drowning at the lake - feeling his body at the bottom of the drop-off where they pulled his body from. I was 11.

3. Driving through the fjords in Norway with a livid father behind the wheel, jumping out of the car when he stopped and trying to run away. I was almost 14.

4. Younger brother falling off bumper of moving car, hitting his head, and having amnesia. Took him to the hospital; couldn't find either parent. I was 16.

5. Thanksgiving Day 1969 w/friend. Her brother (who sexually abused her, her sisters, and her brothers) came by unexpectedly, drunk, threw the turkey at her uncle and terrorized us. We hid in the closet for hours until he left. It was my 16th birthday.

6. Getting mugged; getting teeth knocked out; drain in breast; nose broken - Age ??

7. Going to a heroin den in Harlem in the middle of the night [I really don't know why] and being warned of a dead (overdosed) body in the bathtub. I was 17.

8. Being stalked by a scary man in a pale blue volkswagon hatchback everyday for months. I was 16-17.

9. Car accident where man in other car was killed instantly. Still remember the blaring horn coming from the smashed car on a desolate stretch of highway. Didn't get hurt - driver and front seat passenger were very intoxicated and were thrown through the windshield. Athough I was uninjured, I had to crawl out of the shattered back window. Ran down the street hysterical to the other car and saw the driver slumped over the steering wheel leaning on the horn. I was 17 and just getting a ride home [poor choice of rides].

10. Facing the dead man's wife and children in court and being accused of partaking in his murder.

11. Finding ex's sister overdosed on her apartment floor with her baby screaming in crib. Called 911; tried to calm baby. I was 19.

12. Seeing dead body lying in a pool of blood on the sidewalk one afternoon in Tampa. She had just fallen or was pushed out of a window. The police were just coming on the scene.

13. Garage explosion and raging fire at ex's grandmother's home. Scared me speechless. I was 19.

14. Going up to the top floors of the WTC while it was under construction (in a freight elevator; no exterior walls of building) with drunken boyfriend and even drunker elevator men. Put a quarter in the soda machine, get a Black Label beer.

15. Drunken husband-to-be knocking my head into the edge of my convertible windshield. I was 19.

16. Being shot between my legs with a .357 magnum by soon-to-be husband. I was 22.

17. Drunken husband leaving me in hospital in middle of night with my premature newborn. I was 25.

18. Still drunken husband hitting me in the head with our tiny baby in my arms the next morning.

19. Hiding in the closet in apartment from drunken husband in a rage. I was 28.

20. Being abandoned with two small children by husband with two small children (1 & 3) - eviction notice on door and no money. I was 29 almost.

it's all in the eyes




It always has been.

Something changed between ages four and eight.

A vacantness emerged in those eyes...dark circles...dialated pupils.

And then came the onslaught of upset stomachs, nightmares, bouts of strep throat, accidents.

My father stopped his affair with the housewife across the street that my very pregnant mother found out about and we moved 1000 miles away. I started a new school and had a new baby brother. But I don't imagine life got better, except perhaps for my father.

Now he was working in the big city, making big bucks, feeling more empowered than ever. It was the perfect milieu for the entitled, self-absorbed, pretentious, indulgent, white-bread liberal snobbery with which he was so intimately familiar.

And so it went; life moved on.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

baseless accusations?

How can I accuse someone of molesting me as an adolescent (or younger), when I have no proof? Not only is there no forensic evidence, there is no witness, no confessor, and most importantly, no memory. And yet I believe it to be true. It makes sense. It offers me an understanding of a messy and troubled life that I couldn't fix. It explains my passivity, my lack of any self-esteem, my depression and bipolar, my abusive relationships, many of my failures, my rebelliousness, my self-destructiveness, my carelessness, my anger, my detachment, my irrational fears, and my memory loss [to name a few].

I used to believe I was lazy and stupid. Is it better to believe I was sexually abused? Can I accuse my father now that I can never receive any sort of acknowledgment or show of remorse from him? He's wandered away from his mind and left his memories on some other doorstep. I can point the finger at him and he can never deny my accusations or defend himself. How fair is that? But then how fair is it that I was abused?

My father fits the profile - he was a drinker; he was abusive; he had a mean temper and a sarcastic and vulgar attitude; he was narcissistic and privileged; he did what he wanted and he hurt lots of people [including us children]; and he cheated on my mother many times. Does this make him a sexual predator of his own daughter? It might not be my father. I truly hope it was not my father because...because that would be just too awful to bear. But it could be someone similar to my father -- someone privileged, with money, a drinker who is narcissistic, and sexually aggressive. Maybe a man with white shoes.

The LOML told me a few weeks ago that he saw the signs of trauma in my mouth...a mouth that had been forced to perform oral sex at a young age. I truly hope not.

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN BATTERERS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE PERPETRATORS
http://www.lundybancroft.com/pages/articles_sub/OVERLAP.htm

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Hypnosis please.

During my last therapy session, I asked Dr. B to hypnotize me -- to extract from my memory the truth [as I must know it] about the assault that knocked out my teeth. She asked why. To learn the truth about my teeth. But why? Because I can't understand how an incident like this can just vanish. I mean it didn't happen in a vacuum. It was a trauma that lingered. I had to heal physically and visit the dentist more than once to repair my teeth. If my nose was broken during this assault, I had bandages, probably black eyes, and maybe it's when I got the stitches in my chin. Can all that just disappear? If so, what else has faded into oblivion? I have lots of blank spaces in my life. What I really want to know is if I locked this memory away so securely, couldn't I have also locked away the memories of sexual abuse? If I retrieve the tale of my teeth maybe I can retrieve the trauma of my abuse.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

back to the scene of the crime

Okay, I have much to say and I'm not sure how coherent I will be so please bear with me. As I alluded to in the title - I returned to the scene of the "alleged" crime. I don't have a concrete memory of the incident although there are memories floating around in other brains that put the crime at this place. I remember having a fight with my friend who drunkenly claimed she had 'fucked' my boyfriend. I know I slapped her and she tried to beat me up. I wasn't a fighter, really. I know that the 'fuck' who was my boyfriend and later husband was also there. What I don't recall is what happened next. As the story goes...I wound up in the hospital with my front teeth missing, my nose fractured, a gash requiring stitches in my chin, and I don't know what else may have been. It was brutal. I have the scars to prove it (and the false teeth).

I went looking for this place on Saturday. I thought it was located in one spot on Main Street but I just couldn't place it. I imagined it had burnt down - yeah, the Firehouse in ashes. Wishful thinking, I suppose. Walked back to my car with the LOML feeling a little defeated that no memory was sparked and decided to drive up the hill to another scene of many crimes perpetrated against me [the 'fuck's' home]. And there it was, the Firehouse II in all it's decrepit glory of debasing, alc
ohol imbued history and the alleyway where the assault took place. There was a chain link fence closing off the alleyway and parking lot where I could clearly envision all the cars parked diagonally into the wall (but not much else).

Yes, it was the Firehouse II. I recognized it, hit the brakes, and pulled over. I asked the LOML to take some photos of the building. My stomach turned and I felt the urge to vomit. My back stiffened and a burning pain radiated from my right shoulder up to the base of my skull. My body went limp, my knees weak -- I slipped stepping off the curb.
I remembered the fight with my girlfriend. My eyes welled up with tears as I peered through the fence trying to see a young me, 18, crying, bleeding, unconscious, with my drunken boyfriend leaning over me, threatening, cussing, blaming me for everything. I don't know...probably. I've seen it enough times.

Firehouse II Tavern - 35 years later











The scene of the crime:

Side entrance [alleyway] of the Firehouse II Tavern.















[p.s. Ironically, this establishment was owned at one time by the same two women who sold my parents the house that I grew up in...the very same house of the neatly cloaked nightmares of my youth.]