Tag Archives: PTSD

Free Sowing

Free Sowing.  It’s a gardening term that my therapist taught me as she gifted me some parsley, basil, and chia seeds.  It means seeds that do not require much tending to grow.

The last year and a half, I have required so much tending and care, that I am happy to be at my free sown phase.  I have happy days.  I have real moments when the dark foggy abyss abates, and I feel the sunlight on my face.  Those moments are longer and longer.  Words cannot adequately give gratitude to how that feels.

The pivotal moment for me occurred when I saw my friend on the street and presented with the opportunity to tell him forgave him. I reiterated I knew his daddy caused him to do the things he did to me.  Something happened that day, he told me that he was wrong, relating also, his father often told him to do things he should not have done.  I was no longer the only one saying these things happened.  I  no longer doubted my memories.  A tender mercy that I prayed for, answered very directly.  My husband witnessed his confession as he sat silently in the car beside me.

Since our conversation, surprisingly, days passed without a thought of the abuse or my abusers.  The long-awaited mental reprieve granted.  Not to spread all sunshine and roses, some days are still hard, but many more happy days of light than before.

What of my alters?

They still remain vigilent.  I am learning to live with them and they me.

Gidget fulfills her job as protector, and gets quite upset if I do not let her do her job.  She speaks up in situations that I should speak up and don’t or won’t.   She also loves to laugh and play jokes.  A few weeks back my husband and I went on a date.  Gidget came out.  I had shrimp on my plate.  When she allowed me to come back there were green beans in a smiley face with one shrimp as a IMG_2272nose staring at me.  Apparently she had told Mother she was not going to let me eat all the food at the restaurant.  She really likes Ole Times, and shrimp.

Squirt, or Little Shanna, her feelings are so tender.  She has been happier.  She watched Curious George a couple of times.  Mother said she gave her a play- by-play of what George was doing.  She still has some of her fears, but she is feeling safer.

Adrian.  I do not know what to say about Adrian.  Mother can talk to her and get through to her.  She does not like me, AT ALL.  She is very angry.  Though relatively quiet the last few weeks, she still makes part our “family”.

I suppose the dream of being “normal” – alter free- when I started to feel better, isn’t going to happen.  They are my normal.  Learning to live with them and accepting this part of my life is key.

 

 

 

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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Blog For Mental Health 2014


“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”  

 

I want to introduce myself to those who are new to my blog, and re-tell my story to those that have been with me the whole journey.

So what started me blogging, and why Narnia? Narnia as you know is the place of C.S. Lewis’ creation. It is a place where children went and lived as Kings and Queens, having magical things happen. Aslan was there to protect them and guide them. You wanted to be in Narnia. For me Narnia was the woods behind my childhood home, my parents home. The home they still live in.

Last year I began blogging soon after I realized the life I thought I had lived, was not exactly the life I lived. I remembered the Narnia of my youth; however, this time it was marred by one of my playmates when he orally raped me. I was only five. He was 12 or 13.
After the event I suppressed the memory deep inside, yet there was one who always remembered. That five-year old girl.

Through this last year my life consisted of weekly therapy appointments, medication changes, many tears, so much support from family and friends, prayers, questions, and more soul-searching than one person’s brain can endure in such a short time. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and DID. I originally went for help because of my depression and anxiety and with help dealing with an adoption fraud…Then Pandora’s Box opened. You can read about that

To say that this has been an emotional roller coaster is the understatement of the past five centuries. Learning that you have a child living inside you, a child that kept such a horrible secret from you out of fear and to protect you…and your rapist. Going from fear to love, fear to love, every time you see him in public now. Trying so hard to forgive, just when you think you have forgiven him, you see him and hear her screaming. I rarely leave home now, except to go to my doctor appointments.

I think throughout the year if you name an emotion I have felt it for Shanna. That’s her name. We now have a sweet and tender relationship, almost like mother and child. I want to protect her. Show her the world. Let her know it is okay. She is so pure.

Recently in therapy we discussed the possibility of another alter because of a personality that does not seem like me, nor does it seem like Shanna. This personality seems to manifest when I am under a lot of stress and right before Shanna comes out. She is very loud, angry, fault-finding, and uncontrollable. Not like me. Shanna just cries, and talks like a child talks if at all. Sometimes I co-exist with both personalities but oftentimes they push me so far back that others have to tell me what happened. I do not know if there is another alter, if this is another alter, they have not told me their name. Nor shared it with anyone. However, some very strange things have happened that cannot be explained, that makes me seriously wonder. I do not know, I am just very grateful that Shanna and I are friends now, and that we trust each other. Things were so bad with her for a while.

I am new to this whole world of DID. Anyone with any help or advise would be appreciated. I am new to PTSD also, but at least with it, some of my past actions and reactions are explained, and as irrational as the PTSD mind can get you still see the how and the why and understand. With DID, you feel crazy, I can’t speak for others, but I do, because I do not understand it.

What are my goals? I am working to become a well and whole person. I have come to realize it is a long and difficult journey, not for the weak. I began blogging to help myself, but also to help others in the same or similar situations. I invite you to come along with me on my journey to wholeness. Some days you will laugh. Others you might cry. Some days I will not blog about my mental health at all, normal days are wonderful gifts, and I cherish them. Together we will reclaim my Narnia and yours.

I look forward to meeting you and sharing this journey. I always welcome comments and discussion. Please know that even if you do not have mental health issues or someone with mental health issues, still come on along, the more the merrier!

Something new that I have done with my blog is opened two new pages.

Q & A: Ask me anything. I will try to answer. I will not give details of my rape.

Guest Bloggers: I love reading blogs, looking at pictures, poetry, etc. Would you like to be a guest blogger. Jump over to my guest blogger page.

We are an army against the negative stigma that we face, but we are also fighting our own individual battles.

All hail the battle cry!!

On..On to victory!!!

~Queen Hope of Narnia 🙂

Join in and let your voice be heard: http://acanvasoftheminds.com/2014/01/07/blog-for-mental-health-2014/

How Do I Begin? It’s THURSDAY!

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Oh yes, if any day of the week is cursed it is Thursday, no not Monday as everyone simply assumes.  Thursday takes the most vile day of the week award. Everything bad seems to happen on Thursday.  

It probably began with my sleepless night.  It was well after 3:00 before I went to sleep. Do not suppose it was rainbows and unicorns that I dreamed of. Terrors filled my sleep including dreams of beating someone up then pulling that individual by her wrist to the kitchen where my parents keep their medicine, calling my Mother and the rest of our family in the room just as I swallowed the bottle of Xanax. It was awful.  All night I had dreams about this individual and different scenarios, I hated it.  

Generally when my husband leaves for work in the morning our thing to do is for me to get up and hug and kiss him goodbye.  This morning, exhausted, I just rolled over and asked him to hug me in bed, and tried to go back to sleep.  I hoped the nightmares would end and I would sleep.  I was able to get some sleep, but Daisy needed to go out

Then this afternoon. Then it started. I worked on my MP3s.  My new player does not work. Lovely. They are supposed to call me back when they issue the call tag to come and pick it up.  

I received a phone call, I did not recognize the number.  I did not answer.  They called right back.  So I assumed it was the service center.  How wrong I was.  It was a scammer.  After going on a bit about the scam, and my insistence that I knew it was a scam he finally admitted that he was trying to scam me. I was shocked by his admission. He said he wanted to be my friend. Was this a joke? He went into why he was doing this “job”.  I talked to him about his children and that him getting caught is going to ruin their lives, and they will be very hurt and feel abandoned and betrayed.  I talked to him about making things right.  Then conversation became weirder and more uncomfortable.  Soon he asked when he could call me again.  Stating he really enjoys talking to me.  What?  What just happened here?  I was just encouraging him to seek gainful, honest employment, to pray, and look for a church family.

My cousin teases me that I should write a book about my life.  I can get myself into some of the worst predicaments. I suppose a blog will do for now.

I am nervous as all get out.  This guy has my name, phone number, and so he has my address.  I called and reported the information to the FBI. In hopes that anyone else does not fall for these scammers.  They are many.  

The FBI explained it to me. These scammers HERE IN THE US…They buy drop phones with 876 area codes. There are other area codes they use too. (The area codes are places like Jamaica, The Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rio.)  Just do not answer any number with 876 unless you have family or friends there.  They use the catch line of you have won the lottery or your family is on a cruise and are very sick, or something like that.  When you call back you are charged a huge toll, phone companies do not cover it, they say it is between you and the company you called. This guy sounded like he was new at it or that he really did not want to do it.  He was stumbling over his words nervously from the beginning.  It is sad that people resort to this kind of life, some feeling it is their last and only resort.  It leaves their victims without anything and without trust.  Honestly it is a no win situation.

It is depressing the state that our world is in now.  I felt bad calling the FBI, but I also felt like it was the responsible thing to do.  

One thing I know for sure. I am ready for Friday. Another thing, I know. I am ready for dinner. My tummy is rumbling.

 

 

Thanks for reading about my crazy life. ~Hope

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

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

Why I Blog and A Question

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One of the reasons I stopped blogging a few months ago was because I was so caught up in numbers.  Worrying about my stats daily.  Am I being boring?  What are my readers thinking?  Between that and Little Hope angry that I called her Hope, it just became too much.

Today I have thought about what drives me to write.  Mainly to get the thoughts out to calm me.  Others is to connect with others.  I hope my words do reach others, and somehow help them.  Even it is helps them, helps YOU not feel so alone.

Originally I had hoped to make money blogging, but I know my blog is not going to ever make money.  It is not about a money-making topic that brings people in droves.  Maybe down the road when I am farther along in my journey, I will visit that idea again.  Right now I want to focus on quality posts about my life.

This is the life I am living.  This blog is much more than a blog to me, it is my online journal.  I am going to treat it as such.  I hope as I do you do not get bored reading.  Gratefully, some days are boring.  I long for those days.  Days that I can say, “Today I cleaned house and cooked dinner.”  Of course I will go into more details, and talk more about what I am feeling.

I do have a QUESTION. Before my hiatus when I blogged at the bottom in visual mode it offered suggestions on blogs that I could pingback to, blogs that had similar subject matter.  I do not see this anymore.  Is there something that I need to activate to get that back or what?  I do not remember what it is called.  I would love to have that option again.  I think it was a great way to network in our blogging community.  If you know what it is or how I can get it back PLEASE let me know.  Thanks!

I hope you all have a wonderful night! -Hope

It’s Raining It’s Pouring

It has been raining today.  Heavy showers passing by.  Roscoe cannot stand the sound of the rain, he jumps up and begins shaking.  Yeah, my dog even has anxiety issues.  When it comes to the rain, I love it.  I love the sound. I love the smell. I love how it feels. I just love it.  Do not love how my head feels when the barometric pressure changes, but oh well, I still love rain.

The hubs and I have been watching a marathon on American Restoration on the Roku today.  Gosh, it totally amazes me how they can take something broken and in completely horrible shape, and restore it to such beautiful mint looking condition.  Of course as I watch it I think about myself.  I know how I look physically and emotionally.  I am in a pretty rough state.  The journey I am on, and the Healer and Refiner working with me, my Savior Jesus Christ, will in the end help me to be mint condition again.  A new person, well and whole.  It is just going to take time.

Another lesson I have learned in this analogy is that just like different methods need to be used on different materials or you will do more damage, so it is on this journey.  He’s with me and leading me.  Helping me to find the right things I need to do.  Yet another lesson is that each thing has its own time, you cannot rush it.

I know in the end I will be excited with the improvements and healing, and say, “Wow! I am not the same person that started on the journey.  I am better.”

My pray for myself and others on this journey that these thoughts are taken to heart.  It is easy to write them, and feel them as I write them.  It is another to remember them in the darkness of trial.

Thank you all for reading.  I am still working on my MP3.  Please send your music choices to help me.

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Can YOU Help Me?

Today I have been in bed all day with a headache.  I keep telling myself that I need to get up and do something, but I do not have the energy.  Between my head throbbing and the medication zapping me.  I keep saying I will use my energy to cook supper.  I am cooking Chicken Parmesan tonight.

I have been more down today emotionally too.  I do not know why.  I suppose it could be the rain coming.  I know that is probably why my head is throbbing.  The barometric pressure reeks havoc on my brain.

So anyway, I need your help.

I am working on filling my MP3 with music that I can listen to when I need to disconnect the emotional fuse, or when I am depressed.  

What songs do you think I should put on my MP3?  What are some uplifting, not necessarily church, but it can be, music that inspires you. What about relaxes you? What about funny songs?  I do not listen to music with swearing, but I’m pretty much open to all styles.

Thank you so much in advance for your help!