Sunday, February 28, 2010


Journey to the Heart, Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul, by Melody Beattie, HarperSanFrancisco, 1996, page 15:

"Sometimes, we're so afraid we don't know how afraid we are. Sometimes, we carry so much fear that it interferes with our ability to enjoy life.

Feel and release your fears. See how needless they are? See how they keep you from enjoying life? Unclench your hands. Don't always look straight ahead. Experience. Adventure. Let yourself live."

Page 213:
"I never knew how afraid I was. Maybe I was even too afraid to look at my fears.

People speak of facing fear, of not being afraid of fear, of working through fear. How do we do that? . . . . . . . . ."

Melody Beattie has you make a written list of everything that you fear. She says that you don't have to do anything with the list. Just writing down your fears is enough. Write down as much as you can.

Page 214:
"We don't need to list everything we need to do about each fear. All we need to do is acknowledge, honestly, what we fear. Once we do, the way will become clear. Acknowledging our fears will give us power. Acknowledging our fears will set us free. Often, it moves us to the next place. It is the barrier we need to pass through.

Although some of our fears may be real, may be grounded in reality, facing them won't make us more afraid. Facing our fears won't cause us more pain. Facing fear will bring us peace and power. The truth isn't the enemy. Fear of the truth is our enemy.

Be gentle with yourself. Let yourself have your fears; and let yourself face them.

Having the wisdom to face the truth will bring us closer to peace."

Thank you, Melody Beattie for your wisdom. Your words have changed my life by helping me to see my fears.

This is the first article of a new series that I am going to write about fear. I invite you to join me on this journey through some of my fears. My hope is that it will also give you the courage to face some of your own fears. Fears shared are fears diminished. Fears are so consuming in the life of an incest survivor. You can let go of fear. You can replace that fear with joy, love, growth and adventure. Fear doesn't have to rule your time and take up so much of your time. Fear doesn't have to become the monster FEAR that you will be reading about in my next few articles. Life is so much more than our fears.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Loving Yourself First Is Being Real

Why is it so hard to believe that others can love us? That we are lovable? If you are an incest survivor there can be many reasons from your childhood abuse that can make it difficult for you to believe that you can truly be loved by another person.

If you didn't feel loved by your parents, you don't have the loving foundation that a child needs to have in order to learn to love yourself. In addition to the lack of that loving foundation, you may not feel that you deserve to be loved, especially if you were abused by your parents as a child.

I have seen so many others struggle with this thing called love. They struggle even more with self-love. Some see it as being selfish to put themselves first. It isn't. Even the Bible tells you that you come first. The Golden Rule says to love your neighbor as yourself. Most of us forget the "as yourself" part of the sentence. If you don't love and take care of yourself, how can you love and take care of others? You can't. You can pretend to yourself that you love others and are doing your best to care for them but until you love yourself you can't love others. That kind of love for others is just an imitation of the real thing. It doesn't come from your heart. It comes from your head. Without the heart involved, you can come to resent those that you say you love the most.

Once you learn to love yourself then you can open your heart to others. Until you love yourself, the heart remains closed. You let past hurts and resentments build up until they destroy the very intimacy that you want with others. Yes if you open your heart, you may get hurt again but the risk is really worth it. You can't know true love with a closed heart. It just doesn't work.
Take a chance on what you really want in your life. Open your heart. Love yourself then love someone else.

Friday, February 19, 2010

February 2010 Edition Of The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse

Issue Knitting is hosting the "February 2010 Edition of the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse!" on her blog. You will find the link here:

This month's issue is on the topic of birthdays. February is Issue Knitting's birthday. For most people birthdays are days of joy and celebration. That is not always so if you are an abuse survivor. I am sure that my mother must have occasionally made me a birthday cake but I don't remember it if she did. Most years we went to my paternal grandparents' house the weekend after my birthday. My birthday is on December 11 and my dad's youngest sister who I have never called Aunt because we are so close in age has her birthday on December 14. I was born 3 days short of her 1st birthday. My grandmother always made a birthday cake for my aunt. I remember my grandmother sharing that cake with me for my birthday too. Having a December birthday means that a lot of my birthdays were cold, cloudy and rainy---dreary days which dampened my enthusiasm a lot of years.

For this month's Blog Carnival I entered the following article about my mother's birthday which is February 12. My mom would be 79 years old if she were alive. Here is the link to the article that I wrote back on Tuesday, February 12, 2008:

I hope that you will join me in going to Issue Knitting's link at the beginning of this article. Click on the link and go read the 30 articles that were submitted this month. Thanks Issue Knitting for being the host for February.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fear Of Rejection Makes You Afraid To Ask For Help

Why after all these years does fear of rejection still have such a strong hold on me? Why do I still expect you to hurt me by either saying no or by ignoring me if I ask you for help? Why is this so common a fear in our society?

I realized that my lesson last week was to show me that I still have trouble asking for help. I went to an Al-Anon meeting this week and the topic of discussion was grieving, taking care of ourselves and asking for help. I wasn't surprised to see that almost everyone in the room said they had trouble asking for help.

The book that the discussion came from is one of Al-Anon's newest additions: Opening our Hearts, Transforming our Losses, Al-Anon Family Groups Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia, 2007. This book was written by Al-Anon members about the grieving process and the losses that happen from living with the family disease of alcoholism.

In my head, I know that I am worthy of asking for help. Someone said this in the Al-Anon group and I have also heard it in my grieving class. When you don't ask someone for help, you are robbing them of the experience of feeling good about themselves by reaching out to help you. It makes sense. I know that it is how I feel when I help others. Still it is difficult for me to say that I need help. It is hard to allow you to see my vulnerabilities. When I am vulnerable, I am wide open to being hurt by you. That fear is so difficult to get past.

Someone recently was talking about his own ability to grieve and said that he couldn't grieve, that he didn't know how. I have heard many old-timers in 12-Step groups talk about being on the "pity-pot". That makes me angry when I hear someone say, "Get off your pity-pot." To me, legitimate grieving is not being on a "pity-pot." Being on a "pity-pot" isn't going through the grieving process. It is using feelings and tears to attract attention to yourself because you don't know any other way to get attention. Most of us probably know a drama queen or two. For them, you never see an end to their grief. It never goes away and they never take any steps toward healing. With their tears and drama, they demand your attention. Their grief never gets resolved. It just goes on and on ruling their lives and the lives of anyone who will listen.

I have never read anything on the topic of "pity-pots." This is just my observations about it. I could even be wrong. This is just what I have observed. Some people may see me as a drama queen who can't seem to let go of my grief. I am often surprised at how other people see me. Hopefully, I am not staying struck in the grief. I do know that you have to move through grief for it to finally go away. Ignoring grief doesn't make it disappear. I know because that was what I did for many years.

Craig Harper wrote an article this week called "Unlearning" that talks about the beliefs that we have learned and how we need to unlearn some of them. You can find this article at the following link:

Craig leaves you with a list of questions to ask yourself about the beliefs you have about yourself and your life.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Movies, Dreams, Grieving, Books and Feelings

I haven't written a post since the end of January. I have been processing some of my stuff. For that, I needed to be quiet and feel what all of that means to me before I can voice it to you or anybody else.

I have been reading about homeopathy for the past several weeks and experimenting on myself with a few remedies that I thought might be helpful to me physically and emotionally. I started out by going online and doing a Google Search. Then I visited the two health food stores in Hot Springs. My reason for doing this is that regular medicines haven't been working for me for awhile so I need to find something that will work.

I found a remedy called ignatia amara which on the bottle says it is for "nervousness, due to everyday stress." In several of the books on homeopathy that I have read, it says that ignatia amara is for unresolved grief. For that reason, I bought it and have been taking it several times a day for the past week. I was not aware of any unresolved grief but wanted to find out if I had any that I was still carrying around.

I think I have mentioned that several months ago, I started going to a Grieving Class that an old friend of mine is teaching. Most of the information so far is not new to me. I learned it over 20 years ago from this same friend when I was in the middle of working on my incest issues and the grieving that work brought up. So far what I have discovered is how much I have changed and grown. Thank you, Jack. I feel like I am beginning to open up in this class. Feelings are beginning to come up. I keep going to the class because it feels like this is the place for me to be.

This past Wednesday night a friend and I went to the movies to see "The Lovely Bones." It was my friend's choice. She had read the book and wanted to see the movie. I wasn't so sure but went along with her choice.

I knew from the advertisements that a 14-year-old girl gets kidnapped and killed by a neighbor. The story is also about the struggles of the family to accept her death. The mother deals with her death by running away and the father and younger sister go after the killer and finally figure out who he is. In the meantime, the 14-year-old hangs around and watches them. There is more to the movie that I won't tell you.

It is a really good movie to watch. Still, because of the feelings that came up for me, I can't say that it was a movie that I liked. I will not watch it again. It was difficult for me, because of my incest issues, to sit and watch the movie. You don't actually see the violence of the young girl's death or sexual abuse. They are both implied by all of the blood and the secrecy of the scene. In some ways being implied is worse because it causes you to use your imagination. As an incest survivor, I can imagine plenty. I cried throughout the movie. The movie brought up feelings from my own childhood incest.

I went home still disturbed by the movie and my feelings that had come up. I went to bed and before morning had the following dream:

I was in a car by myself. Other people were around. I drove up a hill and stopped. Suddenly the car was rolling backwards down the hill. I knew, without seeing it, that a lake was behind me. As I rolled down the hill, I turned the steering wheel of the car until the car was turned around and facing the lake which I still couldn't see but knew was there. For an instance, I was sitting in the back seat with no one driving the car. Then I was back in the driver's seat still rolling toward the lake. I woke up as the car hit the water but continued the dream. I realized that the driver's side window was down. I had to choose to get out of the car now or wait for the water to start coming in. I decided to get out through the window instead of waiting. I used my feet to push off from the car. Then I realized that I still couldn't swim. That is when I stopped the dream.

I have had many car in the water dreams before but not one recently. I have even written on my blog about them. I knew that this dream was about the movie and my feelings about the movie. As a friend pointed out to me, in this dream, I turned and faced the water this time. That says that I am willing to face my emotions this time. Another first was the open window. I gave myself a way to escape from the car before it was completely submerged. For a brief moment I was in the back seat instead of driving the car. A part of me still feels out of control of the situation. Many times in the past, I have been in the back seat instead of being the driver. In the past, I would have waken up and stopped the dream the second I hit the water if not before I hit the water. For years, I would come to the edge of the water and wake up. It took years before I would allow myself to go into the water. I have had dreams in which I actually swam in the water. I haven't learned to swim in this lifetime and that sometimes carries over into my dreams but not always. In this dream, I remembered that I couldn't swim and didn't know who was going to rescue me so some part of me is still waiting for someone else to rescue me from the feelings which is what the water represents in my dreams.

On Thursday night, I went to the Grieving Class. We were all laughing about something that someone said and I started to cry. I did not know that I was going to cry. I did so silently not wanting anyone to see and at the same time hoping that someone would ask. There is a child inside of me that is still wanting someone to ask so that she can tell about the hurting. Why can't I just come out and say that I am hurting? Why is it still so hard to do? After the class, I stated that the house where the class is held is a safe place for me to cry. But I didn't stay and talk and cry. I went back to another friend's house with the intention of talking to her and crying but when we got to her house a friend was there so I turned off the feelings and the tears.

As my husband picked me up, my friend gave me a book to read. The book is called The Shack written by William Paul Young, In collaboration with Wayne Jacobsen and Brad Cummings, windblown Media, Los Angeles, California, 2007. I started reading the book shortly after getting home. I read it and cried over the next three days. It is a novel that starts out with the kidnapping and murder of a six and a half year old little girl. The book is about her father and his struggles with her death. In his struggle, he gets a letter from Papa and an invitation to meet him at the shack where his daughter's bloody clothes were found. Papa is what his wife calls God. I won't tell you the rest of the story because you really need to read it for yourself. The subtitle of the book is "Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity."

The book is about how Papa (God) uses our tragedies to bring us back to our relationship with Him/Her. Papa actually starts out as a big black woman who is so full of humor and love that She is almost overwhelming (to me). This is a wonderful book about our relationship to God. It was a wonderful, very emotional end to my week's journey through feelings.

I still haven't figured out everything that is going on with me because of the movie and the book. I will continue to take the homeopathic remedy as well to see what else comes up. I just love the way the Universe works to bring up the stuff that I need to work with in a time that I am willing to look at it. This story isn't ended yet. I still have more to look at.

Related Posts:
Dream Interpretation found at

As A Survivor, I Had To Learn To Take Care Of Myself found at