Anchors to humanity

We have unmet need for Safety. We are always looking for risks, dangers. Is there a way to look for evidence we are safe? The one person we’re not feeling safe about is us: we are worried our behavior will turn violent or will embarrass us or humiliate us. In that case, another unmet need … Continue reading Anchors to humanity

Pandemic: prolonged mental health crises

Both children are in distress. Older Child has reached the point of 100% stress, 100% of the time. This is the point Younger Child reached last Fall. We are beside ourself with worry for them. We are recommending that Older Child consider mental health support. Spouse wonders if Older Child might move back home (classes … Continue reading Pandemic: prolonged mental health crises

Be gentle and survive

Trigger warning: we are feeling oppressed and want to say painful things that may trigger those with ptsd We sense that the childhood sexual abuse ruined life for us. Spoiled us like freshly killed meat left to rot. We learned too much, felt sensations too overwhelming for our precious Little selves. It was overload right … Continue reading Be gentle and survive

Disorders, thought distortions, and new therapists

Super depressed. Younger Child’s health struggles are hitting us hard. We are paralyzed with resisting and craving. We continue to feel responsible for most things that happen—especially everything others in our life find unpleasant As Younger Child struggles, our cognitive distortion’s mount: YC will be unhappy forever. We can’t live like this. We have to … Continue reading Disorders, thought distortions, and new therapists

White privilege: Established by force. End date TBD

We use we/us pronouns. When trying to grasp the concept of white privilege in the United States and Canada, and even anti-racism as we see it, it might help to consider the colonization of the land and genocide against the indigenous inhabitants. So much of colonial perspective is taken for granted by the colonizer, in … Continue reading White privilege: Established by force. End date TBD

Planting seeds in life’s autumn

Withdrawal spiked yesterday and we were crying and inviting death. Spouse was attentive. That really helped us to survive. Spouse kept saying this is not permanent. It will pass. That is one fear: that it is permanent and won’t pass. We slept a lot during the day. Nausea and dizziness walloped us. We tried to … Continue reading Planting seeds in life’s autumn

Eyes closed until the ride stops

Is “try harder” possible? We are feeling trapped. OCD might play av party because we like rules. Breaking rules—or seeing with fresh eyes—helps get new ideas. Energetically, we cannot seem to keep boundaries. We feel other’s feelings. We aren’t sure how not to. That is why we like being alone. To recharge. Practice. Be free. … Continue reading Eyes closed until the ride stops

We want to slow it down

These are forecasted to be the final warm days of the year here. Autumn has often been a melancholy time for us. Suicidal ideation often spikes as the leaves fall. We think the trigger was the annual return to school as a child, which augured suffering because we could not sleep at night. Summer allowed … Continue reading We want to slow it down

Is the pandemic over or continuing?

COVID-19 pandemic is not over in our house. We are still social distancing. Some people act like it is over, and we do not want to judge a view as right or wrong. We walked with Spouse this weekend and saw elementary school kids playing organized American football—close contact among players, coaches, and parents with … Continue reading Is the pandemic over or continuing?

Start (resume) where you are

We have lost much ground in: Being in our bodyMeditating Feeling any contentment Physical strength Therapeutic relationshipsHealing our traumas Cooperating internally Having friendships Expressing our gender We have gained ground in: Being compassionate to Younger ChildGetting off benzosAdjusting to new normals Things may not go back to the old normal. There is no knowing. Even … Continue reading Start (resume) where you are

Love as a guide during civil unrest

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

Declining teletherapy before it was cool, and now the risks to life

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

Stop waiting for the rescuer

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

Update on needs: therapy and meds

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

Socially distanced mental health therapy

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

Liberate us while we are young, or now

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

Toileting and hygiene with trauma and OCD

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

We must get to compassion

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

Practices to calm frazzled nerves

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

Empathy for those who piss us off

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

What change feels like

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

Our original stories

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

Changing Established Patterns of Behavior

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

What is the “Middle Way”?

Seeking pleasure ignores whatever is happening now. If we do experience pleasure, we try to cling to it. It ends anyway, and then we mourn it. Avoiding pain ignores whatever is happening now, especially when it's pain. Avoiding what is actually happening causes suffering because we want pleasure and have its opposite. We crave pleasure. … Continue reading What is the “Middle Way”?

Practice, patience, and repetition

3-day weekends are hard for us. Lots of time around other people. We and our children are much less effective at night: decision-making poorer, emotional brain overwhelms rational brain. Consequently, at night, little problems seem bigger. For us, that often leads to nightmares, and then we wake up disoriented. We finally have some alone time, … Continue reading Practice, patience, and repetition

Reflections on Consciousness

We're studying consciousness and trying to notice our states of being as they arise (someday we might notice when they pass, too). Paying some attention to how our emotions and sensations affect our particular moment-to-moment consciousness has yielded some strange mind thoughts, too. For instance, why does the name of every Canadian city with a … Continue reading Reflections on Consciousness

Your hobby or your life?

[This blog may use we/us and I/me pronouns interchangeably] We used to write fiction for fun. We wrote a humorous novel. It took us, like, twelve years to finish it. Maybe longer. We worked diligently on it for the last five or six years. It was among our primary hobbies and consumed many a weekend. … Continue reading Your hobby or your life?