Category Archives: Inner Child

Why I Blog…A Gentle Reminder

I started blogging to help others, and myself become stronger.  The last several months, I did not have it in me to carry myself, much less have any bright days to share and lift others.  My internal protector, who now goes by Gidget, not “the mean one”, isn’t mean at all.  She does have a temper.  She can swear like a sailor when she gets angry, but her goal has been to protect me and “squirt” and to make me have a little more fun in life.

What now seems eons ago, but was only weeks ago, she told me angrily, “Not everyone deserves to be forgiven.”  That statement lead to pandora’s box being opened, and discovering and recalling that my “original” abuser, was a pawn and victim himself in his father and step-mother’s sadistic game.  Who knows how long it went on with him, but Little Shanna endured about a year and a half of sexual abuse.  Holding tightly to the secret, the sadness, and the guilt, standing beside her, a valiant protector Gidget.

She is remembering that she did fight now, she let me know, I fought and begged to go home.  There is only so much a 4 and 5 year old child can do.  Especially when you have two adults there, who are holding you.  Holding you in a way that you do not bruise though.  Hugging you.  Adults you once trusted.  Adults you should still be able to trust.  Hearing my dog barking outside because she heard my cries.  Gidget, that is where she got her name from.  My faithful protector back then.

She has introduced herself to most of my family and friends.  I am not really comfortable with that, but I suppose she is making it so that I do not have to worry about it.  Fear of rejection is so high.  She gave my closest friends what for the other day, for absolutely no reason.  Of course I had to apologize profusely after I returned.  She seems to forget my life, our life, is not all that everyone has to deal with.

She and I have become almost like sisters.  Boy howdy can she get mad at me.  If I try to smooth something over when it is clearly not my fault, or heaven forbid I blame her for something that happens, and I do not know if she had anything to do with it or not.  My husband says I need to learn to chose my words more carefully.  I told him, I am not used to someone knowing my intimate thoughts, and responding to them.  This is a new ball game for me.

She has quite the sense of humor.  I hope she does not mind me sharing this.  First off, she is country.  Very country.  Several people have mentioned that she has a serious twang to her voice.  After therapy yesterday, I told my parents that I wanted to try to actually eat out at my favorite place.  Ole Times Country Buffet. I set up ground rules.  My back would be to the wall, and I would be able to see my parents at all times, even at the buffet.  I was getting a little nervous.  Mother said Gidget came out and said, “I ain’t gonna let her eat all this good food by herself.”  Mother laughed as she said some of the things Gidget said and did.  First apparently she ate so fast, afraid I would come out soon.  Mother asked her if I had put any fried squash on the plate.  I had not, only because I did not have room.  Gidget sad SHE does not like that stuff. She joked, “When she comes back she ain’t gonna know where her food went.”  Gidget, must be a messy eater because my napkin was all nasty when I returned, and she was right.  I had Mac’N’Cheese (because” it did not taste like Ms. Edith’s (my grandmother) or hers (Mothers)”, according to Gidget, I agree.), and a piece of dry chicken.  Thing is my mouth was still hungry, though my belly bloated.  I dared her in my mind to come out when I got my deserts.  I got two just in case, I hid them behind butter beans and collards.

If you are new to this life.  My advice is, take it slow, but try to become friends.  I find when I am scared or afraid when they come out, it wipes me out physically.  If I let them come have their peace, and not fight them, I am not nearly as exhausted when I return.  I  do not understand it, but that is how my body and mind works.  My doctor seemed to recognize the exhaustion, so I must not be too crazy.  Yeah, not too crazy, says the woman with two altar personalities.

I am not going to write as often as I did before, but I will check in every once and a while.  A pulse check  to let you know that I am still alive and kicking.

Thank you so much for reading.  Thank you Mental Health Bloggers for the gentle reminder as to why I began blogging.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Hope, Gidget, Little Shanna

 

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Mother, Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days

The Judds song Grandpa. How I love the lyrics.

Grandpa, tell me ’bout the good old days
Sometimes it feels like this worlds gone crazy
Grandpa, take me back to yesterday
When the line between right and wrong
Didn’t seem so hazy.

I could not help but think of the lyrics as I Mother drove me around the neighborhoods of her youth. I mentioned to her remembering only one thing about my Grandmommy’s home, the brick wall around the carport. It had perfect squares that reminded me of the squares from the Price Is Right game where you put the dice in with the correct numbers to win the car.  Funny how we associate things. Associating probably helped me remember it.

When we arrived at the end of the street where the house stood, Mother commented that she had not seen it driving by. She then told me the number we were looking for. Before this point I looked for the familiar brick work. We turned the car around, as the numbers on the homes descended, getting closer to the house number we looked for, a childlike eagerness rose.  Almost holding my breath as I recorded with my Iphone. Then we arrived.

Our hearts sank. An empty lot where the home once stood. The home where I ate many hard Christmas candies. You know the kind only grandparents bought back in the day.  It was not really that it tasted that great, but it was a special treat for being at Grandmommy’s–those candies.
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The house where I would see placed carefully on her dresser, the hairnets. Meticulously made with strands of her own hair. My heart was sad. More sad for my Mother than myself, she had many more memories than I in the home. Grandmommy passed away a few weeks before my fifth birthday.

We went by the family burial plot. I do not know that I have been there since I was a child. It’s very humbling to stand at the feet of these amazing people. I have read and researched so much in family history. I love my family. As I stood at Papa’s feet, I thought about his life. His Daddy had mental health problems, and back in his day they did not have the help we do now. He died in an institution.  As sad as that is, it also connects me to him. An empathy that I have not felt before as I thought about him.  Three of my Grandmother’s sisters were buried there with their parents, I only knew one of them.  The others passed away before my birth.

I wore a short-sleeved shirt today not realizing the temperature would drop steadily. When I looked down at my goose bump filled arms, I saw something else that I inherited from this side of my family. Freckles. Those freckles that I cursed as I teen, I learned to accept and see at a link to my irish heritage as an adult. Both Papa and Grandmommy’s family heritage gift to me.

All in all it the day brought smiles with only a few tears. I am so grateful for the smiles. I am grateful for the memories Mother shared, and the new memories we created together. My heart needed it. I felt like me.

My doctors appointments went well also. My doctor added Abilify to my medicines hoping to amp up my other meds enough that I will not have the panic attacks. Keeping my fingers crossed. Since there is not a medication specifically for dissociative disorders you must treat the symptoms and the anxiety and depression, and work on integration.

One of the things that makes me sad when I think about it, is after having such a peaceful, pure, and innocent experience with Little Shanna the other day.  Developing a relationship with her.  I do not want her or me to think of integration as me getting rid of her or killing her. I keep trying to tell myself that it is like me hugging her really really tight, so tight that she becomes a part of me.  I hope she feels that way.
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If I Were A Zombie

The last several days I have been compiling MP3s to help redirect my thoughts when I get really bad or start going there. I know that I have requested y’all to send me songs too. That request is still open. I asked my friends and family on Facebook also and received a great outpouring of response. I love being introduced to new artists and finding new gems in music. The music I have loaded so far seriously touches every genre imaginable. I even put some songs on there for Little Shanna.  It was almost fun selecting songs with her.

Some of the music brings back wonderful peaceful memories of old country gospel. Listening to it with my parents in their room on 8 tracks.  I have some monster ballads, rap, 80s and 90s pop, classical and contemporary piano and cello, and some indie.  I love music.

As I added songs I thought about what I was trying to accomplish.  There are times I want to just escape into the music and sing the familiar songs.  Other times I will need to be reminded of my worth and that the struggles are worth every minute, and that this is not my final destination.  Sometimes I need to be reminded of my beauty inside and out.  Then there are the times that I need a good laugh.  Little Shanna wanted children’s songs, so I guess she wants to remind me not to forget her and the child in me.

I have felt stronger today.  Want to associate it with the music and learning how to communicate with Little Shanna, and I have decided to keep calling her by her name.  One reason is because it is so important to her, another is because even though “Little” is the child in the case, “Little Hope” has a negative connotation to it, as in not much hope.  I chose Hope as my blogging name as a positive name to emphasize the HOPE I have that I will reclaim my Narnia, and my life.  Beginning to recognize now if that means integrating or accepting Little Shanna, I will be okay, she is anything but little hope.

Part of my good day, I found part of my voice.  My good friend, my Mother’s best friend has dealt with her computer since 2010. Replacing six motherboards and a video card unacceptable.  I called the company for her today and talked to a very nice gentleman, of which I am most grateful for.  I explained the situation and we conferenced in the store and my friend.  As a result when she arrived at the store and talked to the manager they agreed to make it right and she left with a new computer.  I am so grateful for a kind corporate gentleman well versed in his job, extremely personable, and focused on customer satisfaction. All of which are so hard to find in the corporate world today with people overworked and underpaid.  I am so grateful that it was a pleasant experience because it is usually when I get overly stressed, or as Mother says, “Lose Control” that is when Little Shanna takes control.

Since this post is about music I must share a humorous song that I put on my MP3.  I preface this with my husband loves zombie movies, me not so much.  I did watch Warm Bodies with him because it was a zombie chick flick, but generally, not my thing.  I found this song and sent it to him cause well, I just love him. 😉

Enjoy~ Hope

Children Will Listen

How beautifully true the words are Children Will Listen, they kept playing over and over in my mind. Generally when we talk about children we speak of those that we touch in our physical world our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, students, friends, or just the child on the street.

As I sang this song with tears in my eyes recalling the words that Little Shanna has heard from me all these years. The words I have said about myself. The words she internalized and having no way to process or express, she attached these to her other negative secrets. (She asked that I use her real name.  I will not always, but today. I agreed, because it is important to her.)

Whereas my shield against the world, forged by my parents, family and friends has mostly been created with positive input, hers, due to my inner negative dialogue became a shield that was not much of a shield at all. Just awful awful scary untruths and half-truths. Words a five year-old should never hear.

It is no secret that since I was a teenager, I have had thoughts of suicide. I attempted it once, but the razor would not cut me. I do not take suicide thoughts, talk, or attempts lightly. I have had friends who have felt the darkness and stepped beyond trying to find relief. I will not judge them and I will jump to their defense if I hear anyone saying anything about someone who has attempted or committed suicide.

However, as I have said before, I have made a promise to my Mother that I will not kill myself as long as I have my faculties about me. I will reach out, call, do whatever I can do get out of that dark place where you physically, spiritually, and emotionally feel a pain that is black, completely absent of light, piercing every cell in your body. You just want the pain to stop.

Having said that, as she has watched from her corner of my mind, Little Shanna, has equated sadness with the need to die or to kill yourself. She does not remember the promise nor will she make the promise that I made with Mother. See has seen my misery and torment that words do not do justice, and heard my thoughts seen the pills in my hands, as I shook and yelled.  I just want to die.  She has heard it so many times.  I have to get her to trust me enough now to LISTEN and make the promise that we will keep each other safe.

Singing I looked over on my night stand and saw the monkey I bought her the first few weeks after she came out. He has been covered with junk since I came home from the weekend that I bought him. When she first let me know her secret, I felt sorry for her, broken-hearted. I considered it our secret. As the months passed I have pushed her farther and farther away. Angrily at times, blaming her for the mess my life is in. If she would have kept her secret to herself. If she would not act out. If she would…

Seeing her stuffed bear reminded me she is a child and reminded me of the feelings I felt for her when she first let me know what happened.  I began to be really penitent about pushing her away, even when she was being  a loud five-year old at inconvenient times. She is a child. Most children act out in the least convenient times.

How is she going to heal if the one who should love her most of all continues pushing her away with hateful words, wishing she were gone. How is she going to heal when her protector becomes her abuser?

If she cannot heal then we cannot heal, and if we cannot heal then I cannot heal.

I know that we both want to heal TOGETHER.

Can I Have This Dance?

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When you live with an alter, especially when you are first realizing and learning to live. It is like getting to know a new roommate. This roommate, unlike a college roommate, shares everything you do, but is much more difficult to get to know. It is truly a trial and error.

I have been fighting Little Hope for a long time. Angry that she intruded on my life. This week I have tried to accept her more, and befriend her more to understand her. She has remained hidden most of the week as I have dealt with my feelings about her.

Today however, I went to my kitchen to do the dishes and start dinner and I could feel her. My anxiety level began to rise. The more I felt her the more anxious I got. Then I stopped and began to talk with her, calmly nurturing her. Reminding her of the fun times that she and Granny had in the kitchen cooking and cleaning. I reminded her of some of the details. She began to settle down. She then showed me an image of her dancing with a doll. She was happy.

I had music playing in the background. It was one of Enya’s songs. I asked her if I could dance with her. She liked that idea. I closed my eyes and hugged myself and danced around my kitchen. Tears streaming down my face. I think it was the first time she really trusted me.

After I danced I had an idea. I know that I like to write, and writing helps me to get my thoughts out. I wondered if it would help her. I asked her if she wanted to keep a journal. She did not know what a journal was so I had to explain that it is a book that we put our thoughts in to help us feel better. It would be her own special book. We can put whatever we want in our own journal. I explained to her that I would create a special place on my computer just for her journal, and anytime that she needed get something out, then she could tell me or she could type it. Though, I honestly I hope this will be a way that she trusts me enough to let me be out all the time. I will not go into the things she told me. Those are her secrets. If she gives me permission to write them on my blog I will, but until then it is her journal.

To some this might make me sound more crazy, but to me, I feel more sane. I feel like I am getting somewhere with her. At least today, tomorrow it might be different, she is a five-year old.

All I know is these forty-year old eyes are sleepy and going crossed from looking at this Mac most of the day except when I was dancing with myself in the kitchen.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a wonderful night! ~Hope

Good Day, Even With Migraine

I am very thankful for good days. I talked to one of my cousins that I was roommates with many years ago. We enjoyed many good times together, and learned so much about ourselves during that time. It was nice to talk to her. Though she is my first cousin, she lives across country and we hardly take the time to talk like we once did. I miss her dearly, but when we talk, it is as if we are still roommates.

Though my head was splitting with a migraine today, I kept the same hope inside from my doctor’s appointment that I will be whole one day. I know that I will not feel this way every day, so days that I can remember this, I cannot express fully how grateful I am.

Tonight I am typing on my hand me down MacBook. I love it. It is so much easier to type up a quick post than on my Ipad. I love my Ipad too, do not get me wrong, love all my Apple products.

The weather was somewhat warmer today. I think it was in the mid-forties. Even at that, it was nice to snuggle up with the Mister tonight and have a silent mind. I was so nervous that she would start yelling and ruin a tender moment that we needed. How I missed my husband’s arms and gentle strength. A side only I know.

This evening we talked about how we seize these moments because we never know when I will be afraid and hold him at arm’s length or farther. I am so grateful for his patience and understanding.

I had no idea it was this late. I suppose I should go to sleep.

Nite all. Sweet dreams.

Sink or Swim, I Thought Fat Floated

No surprise I am emotional today, I am every day. I have glimpses into light and peace. I did so as I studied and read the scriptures, and listened to uplifting music this morning. However, much like an egg on perfectly seasoned non-stick surface thrown into the air, so went my brief feelings of joy. Back into the abyss I sink.

I talked to my lawyer earlier this week and he said the disability judge is running fourteen months behind, so my case will not be heard until probably next December (2014). It is so frustrating. Confusing too, the emotions I feel. I am so terrified being in public right now, going to a hearing around people scares me. When I am scared and overly emotionally Little Hope seems to have the upper hand. It has been a HUGE fear getting in front of the judge and she come out. It will leave me unpresent not knowing what is going on or how to answer any questions. Not to mention if she pulls one of her fits.

Something I realized today, I beat myself up over things before they happen. I create elaborate scenarios in my head, stupid what if scenarios. Example in point. I let Daisy and Roscoe out in our fenced in backyard. While they did their business I figured I would do mine. (TMI moment coming) My stomach was bothering me and I stayed in there a few more minutes than I originally thought. I start panicking that Roscoe and Daisy have dug out of the yard. (Completely out of character for Roscoe, and Daisy too if she is not with Gage.) But it was real to me. I could not hear them in them playing outside the window. I just knew they were gone. Daisy has a chip, Roscoe does not. They are going to get hit by a car. Tracy is not home to help me find them. It is my fault that I ate the Oreos, because I know those and my Metformin mess my stomach up. I am not going to be able to live with myself. (I am trying to hurry so I can go find them, but my stomach would not cooperate.) By this point I was almost in tears and shaking. I hear the neighbors dogs barking, then my parents dogs barking. My fears are confirmed, they have escaped. Why else would all the neighborhood dogs bark. I have got to get out of this bathroom!! Why did I eat those stupid Oreos!! Those Oreos killed my dogs. Then I heard it, outside my bathroom window, inside the fence, Daisy’s beautiful bark. The same bark that annoys me at 3:00 in the morning.

My epiphany came as I walked to the door to let them in. I am always finding reason to hate me, real or imagined.

In therapy we have talked how I blame myself for all the bad things that have happened to me, part of it for me is to give any others involved a free pass. The deeper part is in most cases I feel like something I have done caused it.

I’m fat. I have heard I am fat because I would eat at my Granny’s and my home. I cry as I type that. In my mind being fat has been the root of many of my problems. For those who say lose the weight, let me say, if there is a diet, I have tried it. I have owned several exercise machines, walked, swam, danced, kickboxed, you name it. I would lose some, and breathe and gain weight again and the pounds I lost would bring family members and friends.

So again I am fat, it is my fault. I got that. It is there. I cannot shake it. Enter the teen years and puberty, I get something that “fat girls” get Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I’m fat. I caused it. My fault. Through the years I was told that I would have trouble getting pregnant. Lose weight they say, but PCOS makes you gain too. So being fat made me have something that makes me gain weight. Anyway, losing weight nor medication helped. Infertility=No Child because I am fat! My Fault! But wait, there’s more! I wanted a child so bad. My self-esteem so low I am easy prey. All the signs were there that the baby did not exist, but I believed her. Everyone hurt because of my dream and my gullibility. Then instead of my womb producing something beautiful, it produced something ugly, cancer. Cancer, that was my fault because I am fat. Now my heart is enlarged and thick, I have asthma, degenerative back disease, diabetes, and several other things…and why??? BECAUSE I AM FAT!!!

So why do I hate myself? I wonder?

Fat provides a cruel floating illusion, when in reality it acts as a millstone securely placed pulling you into the deepest your abyss.

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Hello 2014, What Do You Hold In Your View?

I’m here. Yeah, still alive and breathing which is a plus. The last few months have been tricky and remain so. I had surgery in November on my neck for a herniated disk. My back is still giving me a fit and finding a comfortable position to sleep almost impossible.

Little Hope continues to cause to make my life a mess. I refuse to acknowledge her as part of me. My life has become that of a recluse because of the prison which she holds me in. Fearing constantly that she will take over. She ruined my family Christmas for me. Showing herself to my extended family. I hate her. I wish she would go away. You hear the cliché in movies that there is only room for one of us in this town, well that is how I feel about my body and mind.

As I write the tension and the anxiety wells up inside. I have been anxious for several days, fearing that something is going to happen to someone I love. Not that anxiety is new. This is just constant. I hear a siren, I turn on the scanner, or call my loved ones. Irrational I know, but I cannot shake the feeling. At night I wake up to feel my husband breathing, to feel his warm skin. When my Mother and I return from a doctor, I scan the sky for smoke to make sure our homes have not caught on fire while we are gone. When we pull in, I scan the yard to make sure my Daddy has not fallen. I am in a constant state of worry. As they read this, it will be the first time my family hears some of it. I am ashamed of it, but it is my life, if that is what it can be called.

I determined myself to start writing again, not allow the little bully within to stop me. I apologize for the negative post, I am trying to get the emotions out. Trying to be real.

What does 2014 hold? A lot more therapy. I hope I can learn to control the monster within. I am sorry such horrible things happened to her, they happened to me too, but she needs to let me be the adult and live. I try to explain to her that she is safe, and that she will be happy if she lets me live. She does not trust me. She often screams loudly in my mind. “If you are sad you must die.” or “That’s not fair. That’s not fair to me.” She does not want me to be sad, or to be too happy. So I live in limbo. Reclusive.

I communicate with friends and family via Facebook and texting. My immediate family I talk to on the phone or at my parents home. I cannot even attend Church right now because of panic attacks being around people. I miss going to Church. I miss spending time out. I miss me.

I do have hope for 2014. Hope that I can press forward and get to know the new me, and feel comfortable in my own skin. Hope that I will walk back into Church without a panic attack. Hope that will be able to date my husband again, I miss our dates. Hope of shopping trips with my Mother. Yes, others have resolutions of weight-loss and exercise. It goes without saying that I need to have those things on my list, but that will come.

Sharing A Brain

Last night Little Hope made herself known. Sharing a brain with her, and being trapped when she appears, is terrifying. Last night, I felt sorry for her. She was so scared.

My husband and I were talking about money issues. I became emotional. I could feel her trying to take over. I whispered under my breath, “No. Do not come.” Several times, but it was no use. She had pushed me back, and was now in a room with someone she did not recognize. She was terrified and very scared. Internally I tried to calm her and tell her who my husband was, she continued to push back against me. I was also mentally begging my husband to call my Mother. (Mother and I had talked about next time she came out that Mother would try to reach her and get her to make some of the same promises I have made.) In her fear and hysterics she pushed back at my so hard that I do not remember everything.

It is hard sharing a brain with someone that is a part of you but that you do not recognize and you do not control. Once I swictch back, I was so exhausted.

Though my life is no laughing matter, I do have to say my choice of movies last night did make me chuckle after I realized the plot. The Host I told Tracy that is often how I feel. Hopefully, she and I can become friends like Wanda and Melanie.

Thursdays Make Me Nervous

Ever since my wreck afew weeks ago, Thursdays make me nervous. When I am nervous and anxious I have to work extra hard to not switch, which makes me more nervous and anxious. Today I have an appointment that requires me to travel the road where I had my first flashback. I know many of you are thinking let it go, PTSD is not like that, you cannot. You live and relive, constantly. I am physically hurting and in emotional torment.

This afternoon I meet with my counselor. One of the things that I want to discuss with her is lately my emotions get so intense, but then if I want to express what is in my mind it is like someone takes a curtain and pulls it infront of my thoughts, and there is nothing there but the emotion.

I made my Mother a promise last week that I would not look up my symptoms on the internet, I have kept that promise. I just keep forgetting to ask my counselor about this. It has happened in therapy several times.

Gratefully, I just received the news that the first appointment was cancelled. I am already a nervous mess. I am going to turn on the TV and try to find something that I can get insterested in.