Bodily functions warning ⚠️ Have been tapering down Xanax for more than a month. Stepped down to zero last night. This was not the plan. We were having withdrawal symptoms already. We needed several more days at current dosage. We didn’t crave it as much and thought we’d just get it over with. Slept very … Continue reading Medication withdrawal
We have been in COVID long enough for Younger Child to exclaim last week, “I just got upset because the people on the show [“The Office—US version] weren’t social distancing!” We all had a laugh and we were all a little fearful. In about 90 days, Younger Child has an adapted worldview that now recognizes … Continue reading If social distancing ends
We heard of Juneteenth a year or two ago. This year, it is getting more attention because systemic racism is getting more attention since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police. You can learn about Juneteenth history. We signed a change.org petition to make Juneteenth a national holiday in the USA. Most US states are … Continue reading Celebrating Juneteenth
Friend Eliza wrote about an experience that resonates with us. Her blog is here. She wrote about the need for reassurance from a friend that the friend is still there. We have that kind of urgency with T-1. We would urgently need to text T-1 because we panicked T-1 had forgot us. T-1 told us … Continue reading Gentleness for cravings
The empathy gap seems to be a primary barrier to widespread acceptance that institutionalized white racism exists.
Our family continues daily to discuss white racism against People of Color, the role of anti-racism, white privilege, and white fragility. We try to include nonviolence in the discussions with family. We try not to judge people. Instead, we extend empathy when possible. It helps us in our desire to improve life if we lead … Continue reading Using love to end racism
Have brain zaps. Am so hypervigilant that doors opening and closing in our house are sending us up a wall. Tried to nap. No luck. It might be Xanax withdrawal. We are poor at tapering meds. We have apparently been on it too long. Years. Dangerous. New meds still has us sleepy. Not as much. … Continue reading Electrifried brain: meds
We left the house. Someone got killed. A police officer met some of his own needs without meeting George Floyd’s most important needs. Others watched and did not meet their needs to help George even though they feared he was being killed. It happened very close by. And worlds away based on how we are … Continue reading Why we demonstrated
If you know Ashley, you get it 💕💕❤️❤️
We are drained. Are you, too? Can we lean into it? If you are someone benefiting from white privilege, can you see how your black brothers and sisters cannot rest? Can you use that to keep going? For peace? If you have trouble empathizing with others, can you examine your enemy images? Whom do you … Continue reading transforming enemy images
Maybe take in a deep breath Maybe let it out slowly Maybe repeat this a few times. Maybe sigh if it feels like a release Can we have compassion for ourselves to start? For how we were raised, for what we believed, for questions asked and unasked? Now can we have compassion for those we … Continue reading Compassion for change
Through our shared humanity, all lives matter. So why is it important to talk about black lives mattering? All lives should matter equally. That is …Why I Use My Voice to Say Black Lives Matter
We are not well positioned to tell anyone what change is being born. We are not well positioned to name all the ills. So maybe we can suggest how it’s a time that would seem opportune and reasonable to question everything. Every single thing. For those of us who freak out when the co-op sells … Continue reading Change you, change the world
[Update: it is morning and we are safe]
A message today to our neighbors, near and online: Some People feel unequal and some are resorting to violence. These are two separate things. We acknowledge feelings of inequality. Remember: Hatred never ends hatred but by love alone is healed. Gandhi learned it, Mandela learned it, MLK learned it. Peace alone doesn’t necessarily increase people’s … Continue reading Love as a guide during civil unrest
We need an increase in our take-as-needed medication. Our doctor is very responsive to our needs, as we have a history together and we never have abused or misused a medication. Wet have adjusted the dosage down in the past, too, which indicates we are not always wanting increases. We had an appointment scheduled in … Continue reading Self-care amid healthcare chaos
At one of Dr. Ross’s hospitals, we had the opportunity to have a public (in front of all patients and staff on the Trauma Ward), one-hour therapy session We had seen this session before starting in 2017. Dr. Ross would fly into town, visit the ward, and hold a public therapy session once per week. … Continue reading Declining teletherapy before it was cool, and now the risks to life
Dr. Colin Ross* uses a triangle to show the roles that trauma survivors tend to replay in their lives. At each point of the triangle is one of these roles: VictimRescuerPerpetrator Sometimes, we were a victim in real life, as with abuse. Sometimes, we suffer a medical emergency that is no one’s “fault,” and still … Continue reading Stop waiting for the rescuer
Love is probably the best we can do In general We like our thinky brain. We use it. It will help on this journey. And our feeling brain is probably where we need to heal and grow and experience life We live our life in fear. So moving to a point where we can ever … Continue reading Love is the best we can do
We see some of our thought patterns, we think. We think that the content may change and the thought patterns persist. In other words, we could complain about missing T-1, that Ts in general are harder to get help from, that a Child or Spouse is or is not doing X or Y. It is … Continue reading Rewiring a brain: 16.5
Some of our needs for therapy session needs are starting to get met. When shelter-in-place began, we had four therapists whom we were seeing 4-5 days per week total. We terminated our relationship with T-4 after one teletherapy session (we saw T-4 at least twice in person after other therapists stopped meeting in-person, so the … Continue reading Update on needs: therapy and meds
“These are days you'll rememberNever before and never sinceI promise... ...When May is rushing over you with desireTo be part of the miracles you see in every hourYou'll know it's true that you are blessed and luckyIt's true that you Are touched by something That will grow and bloom in you” “These are days” —10,000 … Continue reading May is rushing
Are there any therapists out there who aren’t too scared to help heal the long suffering? Are there any therapists who connect at the human needs level and are able to use love as a guide post instead of fear? Is there a therapist out there who, when times get tough like now, won’t retreat … Continue reading The therapists are gone
We met with T-2 in cars yesterday. T-2 is holding face-to-face sessions in clinic wearing masks, and we are too afraid and uncomfortable to do that. We pulled our cars next to each other, and T-2 wanted us to talk on the phone, so we did that. There is a lag in the phone so … Continue reading Seeking resources, not quitting yet
We are feeling very much stressed and low on resourcefulness and energy. We told Spouse. We vented. It is hard to say much at this point for Spouse. We have boxed ourselves into a corner. We want to practice Nonviolent Communication, and we know nobody who knows it. We found an online, yearlong compassion course … Continue reading Who is caring for the therapists?
T-2 is going to start seeing clients again. Therapist and client have to wear a mask at all times and stay six feet apart. Our Littles do not want to do it. They are too scared of the masks. Scared of being contagious. Of being feared. Of being afraid. Afraid of being afraid is common … Continue reading Internal meeting
We are pausing our therapeutic relationship with T-1. This is scary. T-1 has been one of our strongest tethers. Will we ever see each other again? If not, thank you for trying to help us. We learned many lessons. T-2 will know this week if T-2 can begin seeing us in person in some capacity. … Continue reading Practicing love
T-1 agreed to our first socially distanced mental health therapy appointment. We have had two such sessions with T-3. T-1 had many concerns and objections that were voiced to us. Spouse was not thrilled with this level of sharing. Spouse worried about how much T-1’s objections were stressing us out. We accepted the specific objections … Continue reading Socially distanced mental health therapy
Thank you to all the friends who interact with us on WordPress. These connections provide empathy, validation, perspective, and are helping to sustain us We have difficulty keeping up reading and commenting. We want you to know we are trying our best to support you, too Mostly, we want to express gratitude We are ruminating, … Continue reading Thank you, Community!
We sat in our car next to T-3, who sat in a different car, and, as weather was nice, we had our windows down and held therapy that way in T-3’s parking lot It felt like being near T-3. It felt like therapy So now our body and mind are wondering if we want to … Continue reading New therapy, same as the old therapy
Love gets confused. We forget how Older Child is related to us. Some of our me’s see Older Child as our parent, some see Older Child as our sibling, some as our friend, some as our offspring This awareness is itself startling and dispiriting. If we can notice and not judge, maybe we will have … Continue reading creative vs delusional
When shelter-in-place began, Younger Child began planning. Younger Child contacted two of Older Child’s best friends and set the plan in motion. All of the friends had to coordinate schedules because they attend different universities. The hard part was luring Older Child outside today. It was determined that we would set the bait with a … Continue reading Amazing Love!
It’s getting close to our worst right now We tried to help Younger Child. We see the suffering. And Younger Child thinks that fulfillment lies outside us This is what society teaches Young People: Your value is assigned by teachers as grades, by the number of followers and likes Do what adults say to you, … Continue reading Liberate us while we are young, or now
This is not an easy post to write, because it feels embarrassing and triggering. And we feel isolated around these issues and wonder if other survivors and those with OCD might also share some of these struggles. If not, it was worth a try. Urinating is highly triggering for us because of sexual trauma. There … Continue reading Toileting and hygiene with trauma and OCD
If we cultivate compassion within us, we can learn that our contentment is accessible anywhere and even under difficult circumstances For this to be true, we must practice states of mind that allow compassion Honestly, this feels almost impossible for us. Almost. Little wants compassion. So we seek it. Our cup has been empty for … Continue reading We must get to compassion
This “game” requires the text editor at https://splasho.com/upgoer5/. Each word you type there will either be accepted (black text) or rejected (red underline)
When we feel Love, it is as if our heart wants to touch other hearts. It is a desire to spread inclusion, welcoming, acceptance, celebration, peace, equanimity This is not romantic love, though it is definitely a gateway and so we have to be careful. We were sexually abused and so we have shame about … Continue reading Cultivating Love
Somebody left our body and noticed we were lost in delusion. They came back in and invited us into the actual world. The actual world scares us. So we make other worlds. In these other worlds, we are usually being hurt. Usually emotionally. The premises are: Predictability is bestWe should suffer These are easy and … Continue reading End punishment
“Until I found the way to love, it's harder said than done” “Now I know the secret: there is nothing that I lack. If I give my love to you, you'll surely give it back.” https://youtu.be/M15y9NL3ANQ
We keep writing and deleting drafts. Family gave us space for about 45 minutes last night. Littles came out❤️. They colored. Then we did Shaking and Dancing. Then we meditated on our family. When they came home, we crashed back to this new, high baseline of hypervigilance. Felt awful. Feel awful So is experiencing anything … Continue reading Another try at blogging
Cornell Lab of Ornithology just sent us an email saying we can gift their Nature Journaling and Field Sketching course for free. It’s normally $100 It includes 4.5 hours of video instruction spread over 6 lessons. They will probably hit you up for membership or something after, but there is no obligation. They protect birds, … Continue reading Free nature journaling and field sketching course
What if there are no "bad people"? What if there are only people who try to get their needs met, most of whom have no experience connecting with other people so that the other people's needs are also met simultaneously? What if everyone was raised by human parents and everyone internalized ways of seeing and … Continue reading What if there are no good or bad people?
Hypervigilance, as most experiences, has shades, gradations. Many people feel a heightened sense of fear in times of high stress. If you have experienced Trauma, that increase can push you out of your window of tolerance. We are finding our baseline is now out of the window of tolerance. Practices to get back into our … Continue reading Practices to calm frazzled nerves
T-3 asked us to write in a blog post some of what we said to T-3 in teletherapy today. We said that we wish that health organizations, whose mission is to protect lives, would use a language of unity, compassion, and mutual support and not language of violence and war. If people can social distance … Continue reading Being there for one another
T-3 is back in town. We'll meet online for now. Same with other Ts. We had our first online therapy session a few days ago. Not having physical connection provided some benefits/gifts we would not have known about without having tried it and being mindful of it: With T-1, we were able to bring up … Continue reading Bravery of isolation in teletherapy
A Post from a trusted source:People are scared right now, and this fear is making them do stupid, greedy things. The fact of the matter is that everyone gets sicks, sooner or …In Times of Worry: The COVID Scare
When we were Littles, we listened at night for danger. We stayed awake as long as we could. We were afeared, in terror. We do not know if we were afraid of real things, unreal things, real things that seemed unreal, or some combination. Maybe there are other reasons. We listened so hard that we … Continue reading Whisper people, trauma, thunder
We self-harmed physically yesterday. We do not do that often. We do not yet have the skills to fill the emotional void that wet intend to fill with self-love. The emotional pain was long in duration and deep in intensity. It’s the pain of Trauma from abuse and neglect. It’s pain of not yet understanding … Continue reading Being with pain
(We are pretending that birds are posting reviews of our bird feeders and small, homemade pond on Yelp or Google. Please post your review as a comment.) Backyard Feeder & Lounge (2.7 ⭐️)(Driving directions)This .007-acre avian outdoor restaurant and lounge includes as few as six bird feeders in the winter and as many as seven … Continue reading Reviews of backyard bird feeder and lounge
In therapy earlier this week, we were triggered/moved with very, very deep emotion and instinctively got up to seek a hug from Therapist. T said, "No." And we crumpled to the ground and sobbed. The denial of contact felt like the parents' denial of nurturing every night of our childhood. The recognition of the pain … Continue reading Filling the big void inside
Many people reading and writing blogs, and many people living human lives in relation with other humans, want to change things about themselves and their lives. Can we agree that this is a normal behavior? For us personally, in order for changes to occur, big things must eventually shift. We want to treat people with … Continue reading The hardest changes to make
The barrier to healing in therapy for us has been the lack of connection among all these rules of healthy thinking. It's like, here's your brain (pile of goo) and here is a healthy brain (robust head of cauliflower). For us, what we think we are discovering is that we need top-down therapy: we need … Continue reading Truth to sink roots
Triggered enough to start thinking about in-patient hospital. We will try to avoid that. Not just because it’s inconvenient or because it leaves Spouse and Children in the lurch. Or because it’s scary and you have to share one public toilet—though all of this, yes. For sure. We don’t want to be this vulnerable. If … Continue reading Not valid trauma?
Up for more than two hours between 2-4:00AM. Since we couldn't sleep, even with a dose of prescribed chill pills, we got up after 1.5 hours. Tried some self-soothing, ate, did some Crossword Puzzle. It was fun to see the puzzle again this morning, after we slept some more and were more coherent. We had … Continue reading Healing hobbies (real “mind games”)
This journey that we are on is about survival. The ways we survived in the past stopped being effective more than three years ago That has left us exposed, vulnerable, without skin. We have spent our time nursing our wounds and making new skin. And we are attempting to remake ourself, not just heal what … Continue reading Liberation into Now
We had our initial intake for a new therapist today. This therapist's specialty is Somatic Experiencing. Our goal in adding this fourth therapist to our lineup is to extend the mind-body connecting we started in the hospital last fall. Since fall, we tried contacting five other therapists with some sort of specialty in movement, mind-body, … Continue reading New Therapist (Intake Part I)
We let ourselves be swallowed up this weekend. Swallowed up by the space between sessions. The silence from them. The desperation from us. We forget they are still there and still want us. And now, with new boundaries, we cannot confirm they are still out there--living their lives and still connected to us. "We are … Continue reading
What is alive in us right now is fear and shame and hope. Fear that the relationship with Therapists is broken or that we won't heal it. That we will focus on the clouds instead of the silver linings. It is so easy for us to find the fault lines and use them as excuses … Continue reading Clouds or silver linings?
Three people we are close to have set new or renewed boundaries with us in the past few weeks, including one today. We have some self-judgments (harsh) regarding what this says about us. Therapist today, who set boundaries (for the second time in a week), says we are simply trying to get our needs met. … Continue reading Boundaries
Do you get bogged down in the details of your story? In the telling and retelling? We do! In life, we feel an emotion, such as anger or fear, with the shock and force of a paper cut, and we are off on a trail of actions/events that almost always lead back to a major … Continue reading What is alive in us now?
Everyone and everything and all experiences are teachers if and when we are receptive to the lessons. We spent much of our working career in a college, which means we spent most of our life at school. This was by choice because we like learning and teaching. Here is what Nonviolent Communication (NVC) teaches about … Continue reading Empathy for those who piss us off
Please be honest about how you think/feel. Gauging our perception is useful. Also, we can handle being wrong and can respect opinions/perceptions that do not mirror our own. Younger Child's school sent out a mass email that reads: We want to remind you of State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines to use when determining if … Continue reading Is this email factual, ambiguous, or not factual?
"...take your time. Those three words give you the power to come from a spirituality of your own choosing, not the one you were programmed for... It's critical for me to be able to slow down, take my time, to come from an energy I choose, the one I believe that we were meant to … Continue reading Take your time
We are practicing in therapy sitting with and surviving distressing emotions. Five days. Five therapy appointments. Four consecutive days of distress. (Mondays are usually just committing up the weekend.) Change feels like getting ill. Like influenza. People often recover from influenza. We have. DID Trauma therapist says, "What if more resourced parts of you give … Continue reading What change feels like
In quantum physics, it is our understanding that a particle can theoretically be in two places at the same time. Maybe it has to be in both places at once. However, when the phenomenon is observed (ie measured), the particle is in only one position. Does the perceiving spoil the reality? Can we only be … Continue reading Always falling into both
There are many ways to self-harm and many reasons why. Scary: Right now, it seems as though Punisher wants to hit our head a lot and some of us want him to do it. Why? We think because we want him to show us he still cares enough to hurt us, to show us love … Continue reading Try? Or guarantee our own failure?
Little ones still get confused sometimes when breathing. When we were young, we used to think our tummy should go inward on the in breath and balloon out on the out breath because you breathe in and exhale out. We could not quite understand the synchronicity of the breath, until a few months ago, when … Continue reading Breath work is work
In a remarkable turn of events reminiscent of the Moon Landing and the first circumnavigations of the globe by sea and air, local college student Older Child reportedly washed a pile of dirty laundry last night for the first time since beginning college more than four months ago. "Well, yah, I was running pretty low … Continue reading Live Updates: College Student Washes Clothes
It's OCD. Every decision is an attempt at optimization, perfection, economy. Don't crack the egg for the pancake batter until the pan for the fried eggs is heated or you'll have to wash hands twice and crack eggs twice. Who cares? They're fucking eggs! You can't use another knife to make this meal. You already … Continue reading Perfectionism is using up life energy
Does early childhood trauma make someone more prone to subsequent trauma? Maybe. If not, we were simply unlucky. For sure, our traumas have had a cumulative effect on us. PTSD. At 12 or 13, we were the victim of what today they might call a hate crime. The police acted quickly and told us the … Continue reading Who has our back?
We don't think we amount to much. We are on government assistance, do not work, we complain a lot, feel persecuted, have many mental diagnoses, live in fear. We went to dinner with Spouse last night. This is brave for us. Our food was awful. Really bad. We couldn't eat it. We didn't complain so … Continue reading Be incredible for our time
Until we were a young adult, we could not solve the mystery of realistic paintings hanging in art museums. People would stand in front of a painting that depicted throngs of people frozen in time, and the observers would study the painting and talk about details in specific, knowing ways, as though they were watching … Continue reading Our original stories
Older Child returned to college this week. This house is filled with people grieving. When our body and mind experience pain, Punisher--one of our protectors--begins a long-establishes process of self-harm. Punisher ranges from a newborn to age 3. Punisher often initiates chaos and then becomes an infant, with whom you cannot plead, bargain, reason. Punisher's … Continue reading Changing Established Patterns of Behavior
We are working through the book _The Transformation _ by James Gordon. His Mind-Body solutions to healing trauma were the basis of the last hospitalization program we had in the fall. We learned that we need our body in order to heal. Dissociation is disembodiment. It's a leaving, an abandonment of self. While that saved … Continue reading Transformation
It can be healthy to set goals for a new year. It can be unhealthy, too. To make it healthy, make small, sustainable changes. For example, if you want to start meditating, revive a meditation practice, or extend a meditation practice, try what feels achievable and realistic. Five minutes twice a day is a useful … Continue reading Small steps are most effective for making changes
Negative thoughts are setting us up for a negative outlook. If we think, "We didn't do a good enough job," then we feel like a failure. We don't want to replace the negative with a positive, though, which might sound counterintuitive. Positive would probably help our outlook more than negative. And what would help the … Continue reading Reframing thoughts without judgment
We are alone by choice. Spouse and Children are with Spouse's family for holiday celebrations. This is not for us right now. The problem is that we are slipping further and further into dissociation and delusion in general. We are living in conflict in our head much of the time. Punisher invents scenarios, dramas, delusions … Continue reading Agency