Tag Archives: PTSD

Forgiveness isn’t once

Standard

ForgivenessFreedom
Something I’ve been able to achieve this pregnancy has been a fair amount of peace, dealing with issues that were buried, and not having a lot of melt-downs from PTSD.

I need to back up a little bit before I continue. I wrote this quoted part about 3-4 weeks after the criminal trial against Doctor Horrible:

“The last couple of weeks following the criminal trial against Doctor Horrible (my ex-husband) have been weird. His public defender, who is no longer his lawyer, has been going to my old blog and printing off posts, emailing them off, etc. He was methodically going through my archive history. Honestly, I am not afraid of anything I write about – but I am concerned for Melody’s safety.

Part of the safety issues is that Doctor Horrible is now out and free to victimize again, and with his public defender having already used my past in the criminal trial, I have no doubt Doctor Horrible would use it to regain custody of Melody. I can’t fathom him being in her life to molest her again, or to make her feel horrible for telling the truth to begin with.

There’s been a lot going on in life since the trial. So much of my thoughts and energy have been focused on the ins and outs of the trial, what happened and why, and what comes now.

I still wonder where he is. I don’t want to know his address or anything like that. I just want to know if he’s in town, or in another one. I want to keep my daughter safe and wish there was a way to keep every little girl safe from him.

I wonder why his criminal record wasn’t revealed at the trial, of which he is still on parole for. One would think that murdering your son and sexually assaulting your daughter do have some small thing in common.

My sleep is disturbed every night with nightmares. I always, always see the jury in my dreams. I see three jurors smiling as the verdict was read – which really happened – while the other juror faces are blurred out.

Last night I dreamed that I was sitting down with the judge, and he told me he was upset about the verdict and he wanted to help Melody and I. He gave me a number and told me to tell the organization that he had sent me. Through the whole thing, I saw the three jurors in the background, smiling.

One of the jurors sells things at farmer’s market. I can barely stand to go there anymore, knowing she was one of those who smiled. I saw her last week for the first time since the trial, and my body shook with nerves. She whispered to another seller, and pointed at me as I went by. There’s more to that story, but I’ll share it later. The sight of her physically makes me sick. I sobbed through half the time we were at market.

I was discouraged and depressed until a few days ago, about everything. But really, I was allowing myself to continually wonder why the three jurors smiled… what made them think that was an appropriate time to smile, regardless of what their verdict had been. I was fearful about Doctor Horrible coming to hurt Melody again.

This last Sunday morning, I could not get my contacts in before church. I didn’t go. Melodu did go to church with Daryl. I ended up having a much-needed time with Yahweh, that resulted in me giving up the need to know why. I gave up clinging to fear that the man who did so much damage to my little girl, could come back and do more. I will go more into this later, because I think that it will be helpful for myself to go through it in writing and express everything. I just don’t have time right now, as there’s laundry and dishes to do, a meal to prepare, and some playing to do outside with Melody.”

So, flash forward to today. I took the kids to the homeschool park day, planned by an awesome momma at the end and beginning of each school year. I’ve been to 3-4 of them now.
This last fall at Not Back To School park day, I saw the farmer’s market smiling juror there for the first time, and I didn’t go over to where most of my friends were, because I kept having the same overwhelming feeling of shame wash over me that I had when I saw the woman Doctor Horrible messed around with, years before I learned about the molestation. I did nothing wrong, but I felt shame, panic, sick and scared. Why is it that the person who was cheated on can feel like that?

At any rate, that’s the same feeling I get when I see the smiling juror with my friends.
I didn’t want to go today. I knew her kids were now being homeschooled and I would probably see her again. She was there, sitting with my friends again. I didn’t feel anger, just that same shame, panic, fear, sickness.

One of my friends came over to me while I was pushing the littles on the swings and asked how I was.

I have deliberately never told my friends who this woman is – she works at farmer’s market most years, she is now a part of the homeschooling community, and they know her. I have not told anyone she was one of the 3 smiling jurors for a few reasons, but mostly because I know I am a human and if I knew they knew and still chose to be with one of the people who smiled as they let a child molester go free, I couldn’t be okay with that. I didn’t want them to have knowledge that I would get sick over if they wanted to spend time with her.

 

I told my friend I could lie and say I was okay, but I was having a rough time and couldn’t go over to the picnic table. (I was obviously crying anyway, so I couldn’t have hid it if I wanted to.) I just couldn’t make myself, it was drawing up too many painful issues. She said, “I know, she’s sitting across from me.”

HOW DID SHE KNOW??

I want to be brave, to ask her how she knows, who she found out from. But, somewhere deep inside I feel like I know the answer, and it angers me.
This is our story. It’s not anyone else’s to tell. In every moment, from the assaults on Melody, to the trial no one asked if we wanted, to the verdict… really, every moment in between, no one cared about our power. No one allowed us any. In fact, every person involved in the molestations (and the cover up of them), the trial, the verdict… they all took part in ensuring that we continually had no power, no say, no resolution or clarity for ourselves, or regaining of autonomy.
That wasn’t something on their hearts or minds… what do the victims want or need in this.

To think of any one of the people involved in taking our power and our voices away, taking it upon themselves to share with my circle of friends any part they played… sickens me. It’s not their story to tell, in any way, part, or for any reason.

The one friend who came to me at the park today, once I knew she knew the woman was one of the jurors, I said it through tears, “I honestly don’t know how to cope here. It took me weeks and weeks to not have nightmares about their three smiling faces. And there she sits, unmoving from my friends. I keep thinking I’m better, that I’ve forgiven her for smiling at such a thoughtless, terrible time, but then I realize it’s all fresh and I have to start over again.”

My friend said something like, “Don’t let satan rob you like that. Forgiveness for us isn’t a one time thing. It’s whenever we need to. It’s over and over, if we have to. That’s okay to see that and keep bringing it to God.”

So, rather than bury this crap with a few glasses of wine and try to go on tomorrow morning like nothing happened (the latter part being my default as an all/nothing person), I’m taking this to God and doing some emotional releasing. I’m working on forgiving, 70 times 7, even if no one gets why I feel the need to.

Forgive As You’ve Been Forgiven – The Science of Relations

Standard

bible-quotes-about-forgiveness-1

 

I’ve been talking about the connections of faith, healing, and PTSD, but I haven’t really gotten to the PTSD aspect yet.

I’m a serious work in progress.
I have ups and downs in my healing path through PTSD. Some days I am at peace and calm (really, it is more and more often now), while other days I feel like there isn’t “the other side” or that I won’t reach it.

After the failed criminal trial, I spiraled downward.

I think I’d been silently living feeling victimized the majority of my marriage to Doctor Horrible – he rarely slept with me despite my sometimes begging, did not financially provide, called me manipulative when I cried (after he called me a whore… I can actually laugh at that insane insult, now, while realizing sadly that he is a narcissist), used the little bit of our money on drugs and alcohol, and told me it was none of my business where he was until 3am.

I can look back now and see I constantly felt like a martyr – I had to die to me to serve AND survive him… but I don’t mean that in a Biblical way. I mean that as in, I felt like in order to survive, I had to strip myself of me. I had to stop feeling, stop having opinions or thoughts or values that effected anyone else. I often felt like to survive, I needed to be on automatic, like a robot… because letting myself feel the full weight of what Doctor Horrible was in our marriage would crush me.
I also felt like my outward doing would be a light to Doctor Horrible, and despite that I am bold and striking, I tried to be soft and subtle in it, thinking that was somehow “more” God’s nature than the one He instilled in me and being me would be a sin.

Then I learned about Melody’s assaults and the wall I’d been slowly building, came crumbling down.

Through the next year and a half until the criminal trial, I think I went through most of the “stages of grief” except the fullest extent of anger. I look back and think that I struggled a lot with denial. Not denial that he had done it, but denial that while God is black and white, the world is grey… and that justice on earth may never come.
I convinced myself through my prayers that he would see justice on earth and mercy in heaven. The knowledge that we reap what we sow terrified me to think of Doctor Horrible not having justice here, and instead spending eternity separated from our Creator. That reality was and still is the most painful.

When 12 strangers chose to ignore Melody’s story, the trauma I’d been struggling through intensified to an intolerable level. NO ONE cared about the victims. No one asked what we wanted… did we want vengeance or restorative justice? Did we want eventual contact or permanent isolation? Did we want him to offer restitution to us, as it really is not society he offended, but US? Not only was our autonomy stripped away by Doctor Horrible, but it was continually stripped by the society that pretenses that it cares about victims, while they took charge of our situation for us, yet again dis-empowering us. Feeling all of this, but not having words for it, made it difficult to process it. How could we? No one allowed us to regain our autonomy in the process that should have been for us.

It wasn’t until I started slowly working my way through Changing Lenses by Howard Zehr, after having read Feelings by Karol Truman, that all of those thoughts and feelings in me had words… “oh my gosh… these words… these are what I have been feeling, thinking about, churning around and around… and no words of my own could express this.” Melody and I read part of this book together, and we both wept. I have since set it aside for Melody, while I slowly work my way through it, but the bit we did together was transformative and freeing, while also heartbreaking.

If I had been allowed time to process things and think about what I hoped for from the situation, I can say that locking Doctor Horrible in prison for the rest of his life (and he would have been, had he been found guilty, as he is still on parole for murdering a child over 2 decades ago), while giving me and Melody a temporary sense of security (from him), was not what I hoped for him, for us, for the situation. That would not only not solve much of anything, it would put him in one of the most deliberately violent, breeding-of-con-man-mentality places after telling him how bad it is to be a con-man, a violator, a violent person who would strip away another’s autonomy… while striping him of his.
I know that is what some people want with child molesters. They want vengeance. I really do get it. Sometimes, on a rare day, I breath in that holier-than-thou mentality, too. I’m human and I sometimes struggle to remember that I too nailed the nails in Christ’s wrists and that “there but for the grace of God, go I.”

When I look back from the failed criminal trial, onward, I can see two things going on me in my disappointment and brokenness. One is my humanity, angry that even though we had all of our power taken from us yet again in how I/we wanted justice to be sought, and the system that stole this from us failed even by their own standards of “justice.” I felt like our victimization was ignored (and Howard Zehr confirms this is the reality, not just my feelings) and justice was not truly what was being sought (this is my own feeling). The other is something of the Christ within me, I hope, that what I really wanted was time to heal and an opportunity to keep Melody safe from Doctor Horrible for forever, but to have advocates come to him and hold him accountable to growing up and seeing Christ in their lives, even if he chooses to never trust God. I wanted to know he would not come near her, but not to be doomed to hell on earth or in eternity. I wanted to know that justice – restorative justice could be sought and exemplified. This was a man I once loved in the most intimate of ways, had chosen to bind my life with, as evil-hearted as he had chosen to be… and I still know him to be a child that God loves.

It’s taken me so long to get to the place to be able to express all of this. But, releasing my emotions rather than pretending I could bury them and seeing Howard Zehr almost flawlessly speak on my behalf (and probably many more victims) and express my confusion, anguish, and hopes amidst a nightmare…. have helped me to do this. They’ve helped me to do even more with my past beyond Doctor Horrible, too.

The connection from these books, these teachers, has been astounding in my life, to free me to express… that I can seek forgiveness and extend it, because of the One who forgives us all of far more than we deserve.forgivenessfreedom

Where children fear to tread…

Standard

Through the last few years, I have had this… inkling, that there was something deeper than just what I knew was causing my PTSD.
I knew the statistics of a mother whose child(ren) were assaulted by their spouse, that it’s extremely likely that she herself had been assaulted (though not always), but that was not factoring in to my quite infrequent wondering of, “why do I use such strong words about things unconnected to assault, relating it to assault?” and other such ponderings.

In my early 20s, in context, I’d say things to friends about how sick my biological father was, and if he had ever assaulted me, I was okay with blocking it out and never knowing. It never struck me as odd to say that, despite that I’d never heard anyone else say anything like that.
Things from my childhood would come slowly bubbling up to me that didn’t make sense, or my reaction to those childhood happenings as a child that once made sense, now bothered me that I once thought “that’s normal.”

One example is that, as a young child, when my biological father came to pick me up every other weekend, I would hide – anywhere my young mind could think up. I was terrified, I felt abandoned my my mom and (step-, but I hate that because he’s my true father in every way but one) dad, and I remember saying simple desperate prayers like, “God, please love me and don’t let me go with him.” Looking back, I remember my mom saying goodbye to me with tears in her eyes. I know she must have felt helpless and scared. But I didn’t understand that then.
Once, I thought that was normal behavior, to not want to go with the “dad” you only see every other weekend, but in my 20s and now 30s I’ve recognized clearly that *terror* isn’t normal when your dad comes to see you for the weekend.

There are definitely memories I have of him being horribly evil in his actions, like watching him throw my pregnant step-mom down a flight of stairs. Memories of questionable behavior, like him giving me and one of my half-sisters wine cooler, while on his lap. Memories of his sick mental health, playing mind-games with me, my mom, and my step-family. While those certainly factor into my knowledge, something else has made me wonder…. did he ever harm me and I blocked it out?

When I was in my late 20s, I found out that in my childhood, he molested my half-sisters. I was devastated for them. This was around the time I learned Melody had been assaulted, that another family member of mine in their childhood had been assaulted. It was overwhelming, crushing the spirit I once knew within myself.

Before I worked on shutting off my genetic mutations, I had a “window” of sleepiness around 8-9, for about 30 minutes. If I missed it, which I did because I have children, I was wide awake and couldn’t even force myself to sleep until I got tired, around 2-4am.
Since shutting these defects off, I no longer have windows. I am just tired non-stop from about 9pm on. And yet, I resist sleep until I literally collapse from exhaustion. Only having Daryl in the room with me, have I been able to sleep when I’m tired, early. (I love that the Lord has brought me someone to feel safe with.) I’ve seen it, acknowledged it briefly, but passed it by.

Until I began pre-reading a book for Melody about incest recovery.
There is a list in this book, of symptoms of incest victims, that can be displayed throughout their lives. And I had well over half of them. Including resisting sleep. I’d never stopped long enough to think about why I was resisting sleep. But reading that bothered me. It felt like it just… fit me… but I didn’t want it to, at all. I fought it, but that book brought things into the open that wouldn’t go back into hiding

I began experimenting to see if I’d go to sleep earlier. I couldn’t, without something on in the room with me, a light and a book, my tablet, something. As I’d lay in bed with nothing, I just could not sleep. I would lay there, then after over an hour, I’d get frustrated for not falling asleep.
One night a few weeks ago, I deliberately lay in bed to find what made me resist sleeping. Was I afraid I’d miss out on something? No, I valued sleep far more than activity (I’m a Type 4, after all). Monsters under the bed? Nope. My ex? No. An intruder in the house? Psh. Ghosts? No. And then, I closed my eyes and prayed, and I asked God to show me what was causing this resistance to – the fear of – falling asleep. I saw the shadow of my biological father, standing in a doorway, and my breathing grew rapid and shallow. It was that, and only that. I knew it made no sense. He is a world away from me and I haven’t seen him since I was 6 years old. And yet, it was him. I thought this experiment would prove it was something else, but it only leaned towards confirmation.

This motivated me to seek therapy.
Back to that memory I had of watching my pregnant step-mom get thrown down the stairs. Her daughter was standing next to me and saw – but I’m the one that remembers that horrific scene. I know that people can repress traumatic memories, because I’ve experienced traumatic things that someone standing right next to me doesn’t remember.

I went to a recovery therapy appointment on Saturday, the first time I’ve attempted this, simply to ask the therapist about how they perform their therapy. I don’t want leading questions or anything like that, just body work to potentially release any trapped memories.
Because of its nature, I was hesitant to share with my parents about it, thinking they may think it was garbage or something. It was an assumption I wish I hadn’t made, but I did.

My mom called me right after my therapy appointment (not knowing I’d been) for a prayer request, and I ended up sharing everything with her, including that I realized what “bizarre” thing was causing me to resist going to sleep at night. I thought I would hear a skeptical “ah…”
But instead, my mom told me she believed that real happenings could be so traumatic for someone that they repressed them, then shared a part of my childhood I did not remember, honestly traumatic in nature, which confirmed the exact thing I am beginning therapy for.

What happened was my parents, hearing me begin to talk in my sleep, have night time issues (I was a bed-wetter for a long time and I do recall that), and saying some off things when they would pick me up from my biological dad’s house, started audio recording me when they picked me up.
So, they had recorded on audio what she detailed to me, which was that I was scratching my crotch repeatedly. They asked me to stop, but I told them it hurt really bad, that my bio-dad had taken me somewhere, and that another man put pink stuff inside of me there.
Terrified and confused, they rushed me to the hospital and had me examined. The Dr came out from examining me and was not happy. My biological dad had apparently already taken me in with someone else, and a doctor HAD put stuff inside of me.

And that’s when I said to my mom, “oh my gosh…. he did that very shortly before he made me talk to the police, didn’t he??”

Yes. Not very long after this, he took me into a police station and had coached me to report my real dad, my maternal grandfather, and my maternal uncle of raping me in a cult-like fashion. The police KNEW I was being coached, because I told them, at about 3-4 years old, the exact time it started (a crazy number like 6:27pm), exactly how long it went on for (example: 19 minutes), and exact time it stopped. There were other details that clued them in to it being coached, but the time thing was pretty big.

Now, this is the only part I remember: a state trooper came to our home and questioned me, and separately, my parents. I don’t remember the questions, just feeling intimidated, like maybe I’d done something wrong. I remember being in the trooper’s car and he let me turn his lights on and run the siren after it all. I remember giggling and seeing him smile at me. But most of all, I remember feeling like that officer saved me from my biological dad that day. I had a literally glowing image of him in my mind for about two decades.
What else I don’t remember from that day was that when the trooper asked me why I’d told the police about this, I told them that my sperm donor told me that if I didn’t, my mommy, daddy, and sister would be killed. This was put on record, but it’s not my own memory… even though it did happen to me.

I saw that trooper in 6th grade, through the DARE program and I immediately started crying. I felt so compelled to tell him thank you, he had saved my life in some way I didn’t know how to describe, that I asked my teacher to let me talk with him. He remembered me and said something about the case to verify he did remember me, but said he didn’t save me, he just did what he knew was right for my family and seek truth.

I asked my mom if she found those tapes, if I could have a copy, and she said she would as soon as they found them. I’m so grateful I decided to tell her, for several reasons, but the first two are…. I’m not crazy. I feel scared of that man for a lot of reasons, but reasons that were deeper and darker than I have allowed myself to remember, and still, I could FEEL it deep in my guts. I could feel it pooling up inside of me during the years of severe PTSD.
I am grateful I shared because I was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong in my assumption of her/them and what they’d think about repressed memories. And, after telling me she would send them when they found the tapes, she wrote me later and told me that dad had told her he thinks he knows where they are, and they’d try to have them to me on CD in a few weeks, hopefully. Not just believing me… but trying to help me put these pieces together.

I don’t know if my biological dad did do anything sexual to me, but I do know he sexually assaulted my half sisters with a friend of his, repeatedly, and… in a ritualistic fashion. They do hold their terrible memories. 😦 I do know he was giving me alcohol. That he had a sick mind that could conjure up a tale of ritualistic rape of a child, threaten that child with the murder of her family, and force her to tell the sick tale to the police.
Had he sexually harmed me the day he took me to the Dr, and he was trying to cover his tracks, trying to blame my dad instead?
Not that I want it to have happened to me, but…. I am *not* somehow more special than my half-sisters, so why not me as well? There was nothing to protect me, just as there was nothing to protect them, despite our desperate parents.

I begin the journey of seeing if there are old memories that are trapping my emotions in an unhealthy pattern that can be released. I’m okay if nothing comes up, but I’m finally able to say I’m prepared if repressed memories do surface. So I can move forward in healing.

So I can sleep at night without a light on…

Energy Matters – The Science of Relations

Standard

In Dressing Your Truth, I’m a “Type 4.” I look at the world in black and white terms, am closed to who I trust (especially since having back-to-back happenings of severe betrayal from three sets of people I trusted or wanted to trust, compounded by my nature), I think about everything a lot, twisting it over and over in my mind to understand it as fully as I can.
Many times in my life I’ve had these “aha!” moments, where several things I’ve been thinking about collide and I see it’s inter-connectedness. This is something DYT system says is the most common for Type 4’s, as it is a part of “deep, still waters.”

It wasn’t until the last few years that I read Charlotte Mason’s writing about the “science of relations,” which is what I’ve been doing (and everyone does to varying degrees) my whole life, thriving on it, without having a term for it.

When Stryder was a newborn, he had a tongue and lip tie that made nursing painful, just as his sisters did. We decided to have them revised with laser, as we could see the choices we made without enough information, prevented nursing to biological normal ages. In my researching, I found that cranial-sacral therapy (CST) was strongly recommended by many parents who had their children’s ties revised, prior to and after the revision. I didn’t fully understand the explanation of CST, despite reading about it multiple times from multiple sources (this is my secondary Type 2 showing!).
I was able to get Stryder into a laser specialist 5 hours away, when he was about 1 1/2 week old – there wasn’t much time to get in for CST beforehand.
After his revisions, I was able to get him to a CST specialist. I prayed before each appointment that God would heal him of anything causing tension or pain, and make nursing a blessing for both of us. I saw wonderful improvements with his sleep (he’d actually nap each day he had a CST appointment – he was not a napper and still is not), crying, and how he moved his little body.
I was astounded at what I saw at our first appointment. Maybe most would not be astounded, but I know I have several friends and family that will think it’s not possible… or even that it’s “evil.”

(Background: When I was in my early 20’s, my ex-husband – who I was then married to – taught me a very little about pressure points. I had no problem accepting its reality and did not think it was evil.)

In our first CST appointment, the Dr used a pressure point between my eyes to show me I wouldn’t be able to hold my arm up when he applied mild pressure to my arm with one of his hands and light pressure between my eyes. I could not.
Then he told me that pressure and energy can tell us what is going on inside our bodies. But, that it is harder to gauge young children or the physically disabled in the same way, so he often uses someone else to tell him what is going on with the client’s body.
I held Stryder while he used my arm – touching Stryder’s pressure point between the eyes. I could not hold up my arm.
I went home, a sleeping Stryder in his car seat, freaking out. I kept telling Daryl how crazy it was, that I just saw Stryder’s energy flow through me… and that sounded like New Age garbage… but I saw it, it had no sense of evil, and it *worked.* Daryl was excited because I finally was seeing what he’d been saying – that God works through energy all around us, it’s in every living thing on earth…. things before, I dismissed as “off.”

Almost a year later, I was telling a friend that I was ready to, but struggling with moving forward in trauma-healing, recovering from severe PTSD, and forgiving people who had wronged me, Melody, and Daryl at various points from the criminal trail and forward.
She sent me the books Feelings: Buried Alive, Never Die and Releasing Emotional Patterns with Essential Oils.

Feelings, I expected, could help me process through some difficult issues, but I didn’t expect what else happened.

Join me tomorrow for the continuation of this journey of mine, in Faith As Small As a Mustard Seed.

In which I realize sometimes I’m a survivor and sometimes…

Standard

I’m still a victim.

As I have been reading through Feelings, I come across comments about “not thinking like a victim,” and I always think,

“But… what about people who have been victimized?? How on earth can they not see themselves as a victim, when they ARE one??”

This tells me something. I am more victim-minded than I like to think I am. I like to think I am into survivor mode all of the time… as though feeling victimized is wrong when things happen like your daughter being sexually assaulted, your mother-in-law calling you a gold digging whore who is still married to a man that’s not her son or talking with your preteen about your sex life and making sure to force herself on you to ply physical affection from you while she’s drunk, or having a possibly mentally unstable relative (I hope it’s that, over the ignorant bigot possibility) call CPS on you and chance having your children kidnapped by CPS…

I like to think I am past it, that life is mostly good…

But Feelings: Buried Alive, Never Die, is making me acutely aware that I have kept a lot buried.
How do I allow myself to grieve, to acknowledge that my daughter, and to a large but far lesser extent myself, were victimized.. but not “think like a victim?” I honestly have no idea. They seem so wrapped up to me, and impossible to untangle… Taking steps to move out of “victim” can probably only go so far, when one has difficulty seeing the difference between someone being victimized and “being a victim,” I supposed.

But then, as I am reading Changing Lenses, I don’t feel complacent in this place… but freed to move forward at my own pace. It’s okay to be exactly where we are at, right this moment, and use this moment to teach us how to get to the next one, a slightly better one… even though beautiful growth usually means a seed husk shattering to bring about flowers, or a caterpillar gets crammed and smashed and disappears altogether to develop to the butterfly.

This has been ticking away at me for more than 24 hours. I actually can look back and see that it started ticking away at me anew a few weeks ago, when Daryl said he could drop me off at a coffeehouse to study while he took the kids grocery shopping. He had offered this a couple of times, saying he would come and pick me up whenever I was ready. Daryl is a wonderful, loyal man. I have no reason to believe otherwise. It was a loving offer to give me study time while also doing the grocery shopping… he’s a gem, truly.
But, every time he has offered this, I am immediately enraged. I knew it wasn’t rational, and yet, it was there. Despite knowing I had no reason to be upset with his offer, I was stubborn and refused to discuss it anymore. Of course, scoffing some weird thing about, “you’re not my dad” to shut him off from continuing the discussion. It was seriously jacked up and not in my normal character.

Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know why this happened, but I knew I wanted to shut the conversation quickly and to not pry further into what was going on. But I knew I needed to, and as Daryl stood in disbelief that I was upset again, I completely zoned out from him and started pondering what was causing me to be so angry with him – for no reason of his own.

What I knew, as soon as I thought it, was sickening. I asked God to show me what was causing this, that even if it took months, to take me back to it’s roots. I immediately envisioned Doctor Horrible dropping Melody and I off at various places, farther from home than safe walking distance. He would tell us he would get us when I called, but then when I called, he would tell me I needed to find a ride or, making us sometimes wait an hour or more in sweltering midwestern heat for him to randomly show up… often tipsy or high.
I asked for Daryl’s forgiveness, and he fully granted it.
I am telling you this because…. I actually started feeling guilty then, knowing that I was letting Doctor Horrible effect me still, even in something so small and petty as a car ride. I still have many things that I feel like a victim in. I feel helpless when I see things from Horrible still effecting me – when will his influence in my life ever end?

(I have since figured out why I referenced “dad” in this upset, but that’s for my journal. I don’t tell everything here!)

So… now is a phase in my life where I want and need to find out… how can I recognize and honor victimization of someone (including myself), without “victim mentality?” I need and want to find out… is that even a bad thing? Why do I feel a rush to not be “a victim” – is it for myself to not have to “deal”… for others so they aren’t uncomfortable… or perhaps a little bit of both? Am I confusing grieving with “thinking like a victim?” Is moving from victim to survivor simply the ability to know you are in control even when someone tries to take it from you, and you are effected?

Somehow, after reading Changing Lenses, I feel safe to let me be me in this… to ask these questions and let myself work this out with God’s divine guidance and Truth. Rather than trying to be “evolved” into Survivor because “x-amount of time of time is too long to be devastated that your child was molested and the world is never safe again,” and stuffing “Victim” away because it is too difficult for everyone (including me), and there’s so much effort to Push Victoriously Into SURVIVOR!…
I don’t want to need to know which label I fall under, as long as I fall in surrender to His plan and love for me.

Gaining Focus

Standard

On my morning walk, I reflected on how different life is compared to December of last year.

I am loathe to make New Year’s Resolutions. Yet, the snowball effect began in December and it ended up that most of the changes started taking place at the beginning of January. The rebel in me wanted to wait until “New Year’s Resolutions” time lapsed, but I am glad I ignored my rebelliousness, because I had a few more weeks of healing than I otherwise would have.


I recognized that my genetic issues were drastically effecting my ability to heal my endocrine system. Every time I would start a new supplement, it would work really well for a few weeks, and then I would crash. I started adding supplements for my genetic issues (I tested through 23andme), following protocol from a more well-known site that gave me a comprehensive step-by
-step guide to healing, so I would, theoretically, heal in proper order. Still, I crashed, and it was getting harder every time.

A friend encouraged me to completely stop all my supplements – all 23 of them – and to let my body detox before I contemplated any more about what supplements to eliminate, add, or change the intake of… that I might be pleasantly surprised. I started a new, less synthetic regimen, just a few weeks before New Years, and started seeing vast improvement right around the New Year. I have not yet had to add anything different in, including any of my naturally desiccated thyroid. I am taking 4 supplements, 3 of which are foods for me, 1 of which is more synthetic and unfortunately necessary (unless I can find a natural way to bypass my gut and absorb B vitamins).

This has been a HUGE key to healing, addressing my genetic defects in proper order.

For a few weeks before January, I also slowly started “going Paleo,” after reading testimony after testimony of folks with many of my same genetic defects, attest to the difference it made for them in mental clarity, weight issues, and overall health. I decided to do a big, deep dive in January, and did a Whole30. I lost 15 pounds – which is incredible, since my endocrine issues have piled on over 100 pounds in a decade, despite working out hard the first half of that decade, and eating like a bird most of that decade – and I was eating so much food!

My weight loss is much slower now that I am just Paleo, and allow myself chocolate, but it’s still going down. Grains and unfermented dairy wreak havoc on my body!

At the end of last year, Katy Bowman opened up her Restorative Exercise Specialist training again, after a very long close to new openings. It was open for a few weeks, and then would close for 2 years. Daryl and I discussed it, and I took the opportunity to start on a path I’d been dreaming of for over a year.  It has pushed me to do what I had wanted to do for several years, which is become actually serious about healthy, whole body alignment. Studying for RES has reminded me of how very little I know – and I love that!
From the energy I have gained from my diet and supplemental changes, I have been enabled to move more. Before, taking a 30-minute walk would mean adrenal exhaustion for DAYS. From one. stinking. walk. The jogging I loved so well – forget about it. That used to knock me out for weeks-long stretches.

Now that I have more mental focus and energy, I am becoming more organized. When I happened upon the mention of a specific type of organizational journal in a homeschooling group, I realized that it would work perfectly for me in many ways. I put together a part of this journal for April last night, and I am so pumped. Even without the journal for March, I have gotten a lot done today, just mentally thinking of this type of journal for my day and keeping the focus for “to-do’s.” I am going to give you a peek into this new-to-me journal, tomorrow.

More mental focus and energy is also translating into more calm, evened thinking. Which has been a balm for working through PTSD issues – now I can work through PTSD issues. Not many things are triggering the trauma. When a few things have, I have been able to process through it and move forward. I have not yet hit a panic mode, even with triggering people and situations they create.
This, wonderfully, translates into my spiritual life as well. It’s not a murky crawl to find His peace. It’s as it was before my body started failing big time, before the trauma of the failed trial.

My type 4 is truly reveling in this new-found focus… in contained chaos.

Joyful Obedience: Sex, School, and PTSD

Standard

In my devotion today, it was about how a heart yearning to love the Lord will not make excuses for choices that go against His Word, His commands, but will confess when we’ve been unwilling to show our love through obedience, and seek to follow Him. That obedience and the will to be obedient, is the only path for a Follower of Christ.
I thought of several things I’ve considered doing or have done in my life – public school, sex outside of marriage, but mostly, I thought of struggling with PTSD and choosing unhealthy behavior and mindsets, because it’s the most recent struggle in my life.

It’s easy to make excuses. With Saul, he said in 1 Samuel 15 that he disobeyed God because he was “afraid of the people.” I hear people say they “couldn’t deal” with their own kids all day or a particular kid (I’ve felt it, too, but know it’s a lie from satan and have always called it out as such). That “as long as you love each other…” That I kept getting triggered with PTSD and couldn’t control my emotions.

But, for Followers of Christ, God calls us to not only be obedient, but to CHOOSE to be *joyful* in our obedience.

When He says in Scripture to teach our children of His way night and day in every action we make and activity we do, and we send our children away all day and some of the night, but our home feels peaceful because one or all of us is getting what we want, it’s false peace. It’s a peace that pretenses our way is better than God’s, and justifies our choices with excuses of how tough our children are to deal with, how insufficient we are, etcetera, ignoring that He’s commanded us to be together as a family all day and participate in the acting out of grace, iron sharpening iron, mercy. We ignore that He also says His grace is sufficient for us, that we can do all things that He calls us to do. We ignore that there’s no such thing as religiously neutral – Scripture says you are with Him or against Him, period… which puts public school in the hating-God category, with no wiggle room.

When He says to keep the marriage bed pure, but we protest our love for the person we are having sex with, we forget that our Creator gives us commands because He knows the consequences of doing these things, commanded or not. It hurts people to lie to them, to steal from them, to rob them of full commitment and joyful sex. We ignore that He has a plan and purpose, and that He has our best in mind, even when other’s (and ourselves) don’t, when we or others just have right now in mind.

And, when He says to hold our thoughts captive to Christ, but we allow circumstances to turn us bitter, we ignore that He also says we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us, that we are to put on the full armor of God (and He offers it to us!), and that we are to con

tinually offer up our lives with joyful supplication. We ignore that He offers us a peace that surpasses understanding, joy without measure, and a safe haven in commune with Him. He knows my life, my heart, the things my family has been through – and still, He calls me, if I love Him, to be joyful always, to seek mercy and love, and to not let any bitter root grow in my heart.
It is a high, hard calling, but… if I love Him, if I am so grateful for His offerings TO me, so constantly… why? Why is it so very hard to obey His commands, when He offers us all the help to achieve them? Why did I choose, for so long, to let my PTSD consume so very much of me – who HE created me to be? Paul says somewhere in Romans, I believe, that he does that which he doesn’t want to do, and doesn’t do what he wants so desperately to do. This is a man who I see so often in church circles being talked about so often and so highly, that I sometimes think he is held in our minds as a standard, more than Christ (I know it’s not true, but it feels that way sometimes!). Even he struggled with obedience to the will of God.

Lord, I ask Your forgiveness for my unbelief. Forgive me for ignoring Your Words and commands, and going my own ways. Draw me ever closer to You. I do believe, please help me in my unbelief!!