Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I recently read an article that Darlene wrote called "The Twisted Accountability Tactic & How it Works http://emergingfrombroken.com/?p=671. Darlene posted this article on March 26. Here is my comment [with some minor editing on my part] to Darlene's article. My comment is about responsibility and self-forgiveness:
"I am not responsible for what happened to me as a child [incest]. As a young adult, I still didn't 'know better'. Today I do.
Today I can take responsibility for my behavior and thoughts. Today I have boundaries. It was a difficult struggle to discover and set up those boundaries. Today I can honor those boundaries and the inner children inside of me who are all depending upon me to keep them safe and loved. I wasn't always able to do the safety or love.
Forgiving myself in 12-Step programs [Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics] was confusing because I thought that I was responsible for all of the abuse that ever happened to me. I didn't need forgiveness for the incest happening to me. I needed self-forgiveness for my adult reactions that continued to harm me and my inner children. As a step of self-forgiveness, I worked really hard and long to learn what self-love meant. I had to learn to love myself and how to keep my adult self and inner children safe as an adult.
I had to stop blaming myself for not being able to keep myself safe as a child. I didn't have the tools to do it then. I had to forgive myself for the blaming of myself that I did. Forgiveness for the blaming was easy to do. I acknowledged that I was never taught the tools to keep myself safe. I was also taught the art of blaming at a very early age. Neither of my parents knew how to take responsibility for their actions either so they couldn't teach me. Blaming was taught to them as well so they passed it on to me. . ."
The second article from Emerging From Broken is called "Valued Because. . ." and was written by Carla Dippel. Here is the link for this article: http://emergingfrombroken.com/?p=676 . This article was posted on March 28. Go and read Carla's article. Carla's article brought up memories for me of when I would try so desperately to be a "perfect", "good little girl" for the adults in my life. These two things put such stress on me that I was having headaches at least by the age of seven, if not before. Here is my comment to Carla's article:
"Carla, well said. I was the "perfect" "good little girl". I was the quiet child that everyone said was "different" because I was so well behaved. I was afraid not to be good. I saw when and what my younger siblings got spankings for so I didn't do those things. I did nothing to call attention to myself except that I attempted to excel in my grades at school. I wasn't a straight A student but I got mostly A's and a few B's and usually 2 C's---one in math and one in science.
Instead of playing in church, I sat perfectly still beside my grandmother watching and wishing that I was the little girl in the pew in front of us who played and talked to her mother and finally laid down and fell asleep in her mother's arms when she was tired. [I have this memory from at least the age of three, maybe younger.] No matter how good I was, it never felt good enough.
As I grew up, I talked little and I had no opinion on anything because you might not like me if my opinion was different than yours. I was so afraid of saying the wrong thing that I didn't have anything to say. I was so afraid that you might not like me that I never explored who I might be. I didn't know who I was.
Then I met and married this wonderful man when I was 20 years old and a college student. He taught me to laugh and wanted to know what I thought. He slowly pulled me out of my shell. Whatever he saw in me, he liked and grew to love. He gave me a safe place to let out the real, inner me that no one else seemed to see. We have been married for 37 years. Our love grows stronger each year. [Yes, I am going to share this article and what I just said about him with him. He can handle it.] The worst times were those early years when I was struggling so to know myself and learning to love myself. I hated who I thought I was for years.
Today I love myself and by some strange miracle, he does too. I am the complicated one who put both of us through Hell for quite a few years. I had to figure out what I didn't like before I could figure out what was okay and then discover what I did like.
Today I know myself pretty well, still not completely since changes happen every day but that is what keeps life interesting. I send you blessings for your journey of today. I wish for you the best that life has to offer. . ."
As of this weekend, I am now using my Facebook page to reach more people with my blog articles. I also learned how to use Twitter so you will find me on Twitter as patriciasinglet if you are interested in following me. Over the weekend, on Facebook and Twitter both, I have had some really interesting conversations with several friends about recovery. I hope you will join me as I learn what I am doing.
I also gave my blog a new look. I hope you like it. I love the look. I love bold colors and the red seems right for the topic of incest. It isn't quiet or shy like I was as a child. It suits my personality of today much better. I am sometimes bold and loud and not perfect by any means. Let me know what you think about the new look.
Also, another new blog that I have discovered this weekend is called Stepping Stones which is written by Ellen Brown, a Certified Professional Coach. I started out reading an interview that Ellen did with my friend Dan L. Hays. You will find this interview at the following link: http://ellen-brown.com/blog/2009/11/23/an-interview-with-dan-l-hays-healing-from-abuse-a-journey-of-faith-hope-and-forgiveness .This interview is about Dan's book Freedom's Just Another Word.
I just ordered this book to read and am expecting it any day now in the mail from Amazon.com. I will be sure to do a review of the book and share it with you when I finish reading it. After the severe storms across the U. S. this weekend, I hope that you are all having a glorious Spring day like I am.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
March Edition Of Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse - Have A Good Time was just posted at Child Abuse Survivor blog hosted by Mike. Mike is of Irish heritage as am I. One of my great-grandfathers was of Irish descent. Since March is the month for celebrating St. Patrick's day, Mike decided to honor his Irish heritage as the focus of this month's Blog Carnival. This month the Carnival has 18 articles for you to read. Join me in clicking on the above link.
I submitted two of my articles this month. My two articles have nothing to do with my Irish heritage. I haven't written any articles on the topic. The two articles that I submitted are the following:
Loving Yourself First Is Being Real
One thing you will notice if you take the time to visit Mike's blog Child Abuse Survivor is that not all child abuse survivors are female. Not all incest survivors are female. We are honored to have several men who speak out against child abuse in this Blog Carnival.
Spring is trying to make its presence felt, at least in parts of the USA. We can't seem to stay out of the 30's for temperatures at night here in Arkansas. At least the rains have slowed down some. The daytime temperatures are 50-70 degrees this week.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Dan @ Thoughts Along The Road to Healing http://danlhays.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/talk-of-tigersthe-tiger-unveiled/
Shen @ Reunited Selves
Katie @ Sharing Our Spaces
Each of these blogs I have only discovered in the last month or so. In their own way, each adds valuable information and caring hearts to my journey through recovery. I thank you all.
Sharing a burden lightens the load. Sharing a joy brings more love into my life and the world. We all have our struggles in life. Sharing them is so much better than trying to face them alone. Each of the above three people have given awarenesses that I either didn't have or hadn't finished processing yet. I thank you for that. If you aren't aware, you can't change.
This month's Carnival Against Child Abuse will be coming out on March 26. I have already submitted one of my articles to it. It will be posted at the blog Child Abuse Survivor.
For the first time, I have submitted an article to Recovery From Childhood Sexual Abuse Blog Carnival. This Carnival will be posted on April 5. If you are interested in submitting articles or reading the articles that are posted to these two Carnivals, you can find information on both of them at http://blogcarnival.com/ . There are many, many other blog carnivals that you will find there to suit your many interests too if you care to look.
Over the past few days, I have added many new resources to my list of "CHECK OUT THESE GREAT SITES" and under the title of "BLOGS ABOUT HEALING FROM SEXUAL ABUSE". If you haven't looked at the list in awhile, there are much new to see. You will find both of these lists on the right sidebar on my blog homepage. For those of you who are getting this post by email, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker." The link will take you to my home page.On another note, I may be away from the computer for awhile. My computer has some minor problems and needs to be repaired. It will probably go in the shop this week so if you leave me a comment and it doesn't show up or I don't reply back that is why. I will publish your comments and reply back to you ASAP when I get my computer back. This is another good reason for me to get a laptop possibly this summer.
In the meantime, welcome Spring into our lives. What glorious sunshine and warmth we are experiencing in Arkansas right now. Flowers, pollen and hay fever are in the air right now.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
After you have watched the video, then go to the following link to read Dan's article about the dream:
Then come back here and finish reading my article. I will wait on you to return. Be sure to read the comments at the end of Dan's article and video.
Why is reading about Dan's Tiger dream so important to me? Because I have my own Tiger dream which started having sometime after my 7th birthday. How do I know how old I was? Because the house that is in my dream was the house that my grandmother lived in when I was 7 years old. She only lived there for a part of that one year.
Before I go any further, I want to tell you my Tiger dream. I have briefly mentioned it in a few of my past articles. Here it is:
I am about 7 years old and I am alone in my grandmother's house. No one else is around. I am frightened. There is a huge golden and black striped tiger walking around outside the house. As he walks completely around the house, I follow him from door to window to window watching him. He is talking to me as we both walk. He says in this really deep voice, "I am going to eat you." He keeps talking and telling me this over and over again as he walks around the house looking for a way to get inside. I make sure that each door and each window is closed and locked. I am so afraid. I don't know how long the dream goes on before I wake up terrified. I don't go back to sleep for a very long time afterwards.
I dreamed this dream quit often over the years of my childhood and young adulthood. I can't tell you when I had this dream last. It was sometimes after I started the 12-Step programs of Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics. It was always the same, never changing any of the elements of the dream. I was always terrified, even as an adult when I had this dream. I was always around 7 years old in the dream.
I know that for me to always be 7 in the dream that some kind of developmental stage stopped for me at that age. I don't know why that year is so important for me. I have always known that something monumental happened that year without knowing what it was. As I said in my comment to Dan's article, I can still see the dream in my mind so clearly after all of these years.
I never could figure out what the tiger stood for in my dream. When Dan said that his Tiger represented his rage that was buried way below the surface and was even hidden from him, I felt chills going through me. I recognised that as a truth for me as well. Dan said that the Tiger (his rage) was dangerous to him and anyone who got close to him. My rage was very much like that when I was in denial of its existence. I would suppress my rage as long as I could. Do you know how much of my energy was wasted suppressing that rage? Because of it, I was so tired all of the time for many, many years. As a young child, I knew what bone-weary tired felt like.
Dan said that his legacy of rage came from his father. I think that my dream took place in my grandmother's house because family was probably where my legacy of rage came from. My grandmother was a quiet person. My mother was in denial of all of her feelings. As a teenager, I figured out that my mother and grandmother were quietly angry with one another. I never knew why. If I had asked either one, they would have denied it. Do you know how destructive silent rage can be? I suspect that the anger had something to do with my grandfather. He died when I was 2 years old. My mother was the baby of the family and extremely spoiled and protected by her daddy. I wonder if the anger between my grandmother and mother was possibly jealousy because of that attention that my mother got from her father. All 3 are dead now so I have no one to ask about it.
The denied rage could also have come down from my grandfather and his parents. When my grandfather was just a baby, his mother left him and his father and ran off. My great-grandfather was so angry that he would never tell my grandfather his mother's name. He grew up never knowing anything about his mother or her family. When my grandfather would ask about her, his father would not answer. He refused to talk about her at all. When my grandfather was 10 years old, his father died and left him to be raised by neighbors who took him in. Since he died when I was 2 years old, I don't know if my grandfather carried the rage of his father forward into the next generation or not.
Just like alcoholism, which is rampant in my dad's family background, rage was be passed down the generations. My dad's grandfather was well known for being a mean S.O.B. He wasn't nice to his wives or children. His first wife died shortly after childbirth and he wanted to bury the baby girl with her. He apparently didn't think much of girls. A neighbor took the baby girl and raised her. His second wife divorced him and got a restraining order against him in the early 1900's. She kept the 5 children that they had together. My great-grandmother was his 3rd wife. She left him after he tried to poison her several times. When my great-grandmother died in the 1920's, both of their sons went to live with their dad. He was well-known for beating his animals also. Would you say that he probably had a rage problem too?
I know that I suppressed my own rage for many years, denying its existence in every way possible. I stuffed my feelings with food and still do to a smaller degree. I refused to acknowledge its existence. If you asked me, I would have said that I wasn't angry. Good little girls, respectful of their parents and all adults, didn't get angry, much less feel rage. My dad was a rageaholic. I knew what it looked like. I didn't want to feel that way too. It hurt too much. I didn't like my dad when he was raging. He was very abusive when he was raging. I didn't want to see myself as that way, capable of hurting myself and others that same way that my dad did.
As I have said before, I was like a pressure cooker who occasionally blew my safety valve when the stream became too great from stuffing the rage. When I was raging, like my dad, I felt no compassion for anyone. I took no prisoners. Fear was the monster that fueled my rage. Fear was also what kept me from facing my rage. I thought that anger and rage were the same thing and always very dangerous. My dad's rages were always dangerous. Rage always came with the threat of violence. For many years, I was afraid that if I let my rage out that I might kill someone with its intensity.
Except for in my dreams, I have never been afraid of Tigers. To me they are the most beautiful creature that God ever created. Have you ever seen a color more beautiful that they golden orange color of Tigers? Have you ever seen a creature more powerful and majestic than a Tiger? A Tiger reminds me of how powerful I can be as a creation of God. A Tiger bows down to no man. A Tiger is a victim to no one.
A Tiger, to me, represents the strength that I needed to overcome the effects of incest on my life. I have pictures and a small stuffed Tiger to remind me of the beauty and power of Tigers. As Dan said, Tigers spend most of their lives alone. I can relate to that also in that I have felt alone for much of my life, separated from others because of the lack of trust and fear of abandonment that I lived with for so many years because of the incest.
Thank you, Dan Hays, for your video and article on your Tiger dream. Dan and I have had a few conversations about the uncanny similarities between us that have come out from his sharing his Tiger dream. I look forward to reading more of Dan's blog articles and future discussions. I look forward to reading Dan's book The Tiger Unveiled when he finishes writing and getting it published.
Dan also has a Radio show called "Minute to Freedom" with Dan Hays that you can find at the following link:
I haven't listened to any of the radio programs yet, but I am excited to hear them soon. Now I am off to read some more of Dan's blog articles. I hope that you will join me. Have a glorious day of exploring your world.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
"Incest is a very big problem in our society. I have never heard Oprah or anyone else say that it only happens in the black community. Believe me, it doesn't.
Those of us who are incest survivors know just how big this problem is. I am an incest survivor and my skin color is white. Black or white, skin color doesn't matter if you are an incest survivor.
This problem has been hidden for so very long. I think we are blessed that Oprah and other celebrities are bringing the secret of incest out into the open. As long as it is hidden, we will never stop it from happening to our children. The children are important. They are our future.
If you don't like Oprah's choice of movies or her topics on her show, don't watch them. Tell [should have been "turn"] the TV off. Don't buy tickets to the movie. You have a simple choice not to go there.
As an incest survivor, I can't turn off my life. My past has molded me into who I am today. Today I am a survivor. "Get over it" as some other commenter said isn't as easy as you would like to believe. Today incest doesn't rule my life like it once did.
If "getting over it" was an easy option, don't you think we would do that. It isn't easy. Incest affects every area of my life. Shame, low-self worth, self-hatred, rage, a hurt so deep that it seems like you will never recover from it---I have dealt with all of these. People who tell you to just "get over it" don't know what the hell they are talking about and I hope that they never learn about incest first hand. Don't let your ignorance make you heartless.
What you want is for me to go back into denial of my incest issues. That isn't healthy and helps no one, lest of all me. Pretending that I am not affected by incest just makes me more of a victim which I refuse to ever be again. How about you stop pretending that incest isn't a part of our world?"
In the video audition, Miss Sidibe say two things that jumped out at me. She said, "I'm tired." and she said, "I've had enough of love."
For most of my life since I was a very small child, I have lived with a bone weary tiredness that never seemed to leave. I think that I still carry some of that feeling in my body. I learned to live with that tiredness a long time ago if I wanted to achieve anything in my life. I have been reading about doing body work on several other blogs over the past few months. Maybe it is time for me to find out if I can trust enough to do body work.
I think that many incest survivors have decided that they have had enough of love. Love to an incest survivor often has the sexual abuse so tied up in the concept of love that it is hard to trust anyone else to be intimate enough to give healthy love a chance to grow. Trust is so much involved with loving another person, letting that person get close enough for love to grow. Some of us have been so abused that trust in another person is almost impossible to even imagine. Having someone abuse you sexually while they are saying that they love you really messes up your concept of trust and love. Having someone tell you, like my dad did, that if you love me you will let me do this makes you not even trust yourself, much less someone else. Only by the grace of God did I take a chance and let myself learn to love my husband when he came into my life back in 1972. He is worth loving and so am I. I don't know where I got the courage to even try. Some incest survivors don't.
Incest and violence neither one are confined to just one race. Neither cares about the color of your skin or what language you speak or if you are even old enough to speak. Sometimes they don't even care if you are male or female. They don't care how much money your family has and they don't care what educational level your family comes from. They don't discriminate like some people would like you to believe.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Denial can be FEAR's closest companion and helper in keeping you trapped in its tight-fisted hold. Denial keeps you from seeing FEAR for what it is. Denial might be considered FEAR's BFF---today's slang meaning "Best Friends Forever". That is how close denial and fear can be to each other. Denial can help fear to become the monster FEAR. A friend recently said that his serenity comes from accepting that "what is is." Denial doesn't let you do that. Denial doesn't want you to do acceptance of your circumstances because if you do denial dies. Denial's death is the beginning of letting go of your fears. When you face your fears, then FEAR is on his way out of your life. Letting go of denial is when you can finally start chipping away at your fears one at a time. FEAR can't live if you do away with its BFF denial and all of its little fears.
Whether you know it or not, you have the courage to face down FEAR. Breaking it down to all of its parts makes FEAR go away. FEAR can't exist in the same room with awareness and acceptance. Have you made your list of fears that I invited you to do in my previous article? I hope that you have because that is the beginning of taming FEAR and running him out of your life. Once you do that don't leave a vacuum around you where FEAR used to reside because he can slip back in. Fill that space with hobbies that you love, people that you love. Fill that space with Love, joy and contentment. "Let Go and Let God" is one of the slogans from Al-Anon that I use to let go of a lot of my fears over the years. Letting God, your Higher Power (whatever that means to you), your Higher Self, a recovery group, your counselor or therapist, your best friend, your spouse, whatever support system that you have be there to help you face your fears and release them from your life. Ask for help when you need it. Asking for help can be one of your fears---fear of rejection, fear of being judged. Face that fear. Reach out to someone who loves you. You don't have to do this work by yourself.
Below you will find links to other articles that I have posted about fear. I invite you to click on the links for more information on the topic of fear.
Gifts Of Facing Your Fears:
Tools Of The Ego:
Fear Is My Friend:
Let me know how you are dealing with facing your fears? Is your fear still the monster FEAR or have you chopped him down to a manageable size? What has worked for you? What didn't work? Remember, you don't have to go through your fears alone.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Did my fears start when I was abandoned for the health of my baby brother when my parents left me with my grandmother and uncle because I had whooping cough? I was just two years old. I didn't understand. "Where is momma and daddy? Why did they leave me here? Are they coming back? What did I do wrong that they left me here? They don't love me enough to keep me with them. I must be bad. I want my momma and daddy. Why won't they come?" These were probably my two-year-old thoughts. Was this the beginning of my journey with FEAR as my constant companion?
I can feel the inner two-year-old crying and screaming for her parents. She doesn't understand that they had to leave her there with her grandmother. The doctors said so. They couldn't risk her baby brother getting whooping cough. As young as he was, he wouldn't have survived. Her grandmother loved her but she wanted her parents. Nobody told her what was going on. She didn't understand. She was frightened. She was lonely. She was alone with strangers. She was two years old.
It doesn't matter that she soon came to love her grandmother and uncle dearly. They loved her in return. To be left in a strange place without her parents was the start of her journey with FEAR. This was my first experience of abandonment.
I don't remember being that frightened two-year-old. I know that she has to be there inside of me waiting for her parents to return. I believe this to be my first taste of fear. This was the birth of the monster FEAR. As I love that inner two-year-old and help her face her fears, then FEAR shrinks in size and begins to lose that grip on her and on the adult me.
Were you introduced to FEAR when you were a child? What does FEAR look like to you? What color and shape is your FEAR? Does he have a taste or a smell? Can you recall the first instance that you were introduced to him? Feel free to share here in a comment or on your own blog if you have one. If you want to, you can even leave a link here to your own article about facing your own monster FEAR. Remember that each time that you face FEAR, he loses more control over you and he becomes smaller. When you face FEAR, he is forced out of hiding. Once FEAR is brought out into the Light, he loses his power to control you.
What started me thinking about fear was an article that I read over at the Just Be Real blog. You will find "How Does Fear Define You?" at this link:
Another blog that I have discovered recently that you might be interested in checking out is written by Pete Madstone. The first article that I read on Pete's blog is entitled: "Deception and the Beauty Within". You can find this article at the following link:
Just Be Real and Pete Madstone are both in my blog roll found on the right side of the sidebar on my blog site if you are interested in reading more of their articles. I am already a regular visitor of Just Be Real and I soon will be for Pete Madstone's blog also. I hope that you will join me there.