Thank you, Community!

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!

New therapy, same as the old therapy

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

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

Expired** Free nature journaling and field sketching course

**THIS FREE COURSE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE ** 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, … Continue reading Expired** Free nature journaling and field sketching course

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

Reviews of backyard bird feeder and lounge

(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

The hardest changes to make

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

New Therapist (Intake Part I)

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

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

Is this email factual, ambiguous, or not factual?

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?

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

Live Updates: College Student Washes Clothes

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

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

Small steps are most effective for making changes

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

Reframing thoughts without judgment

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

If you’re stressed about outcomes

You’re not doing it wrong. It takes practice. When you find yourself in the same thoughts, circling the same carcass like a Turkey Vulture, look at the carcass—study it. What can you call that pile of roadkill? If you're worry is, "Will I succeed or fail?", that sounds like "attachment to outcomes.” Outcomes are what … Continue reading If you’re stressed about outcomes

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

The practice is to be human

We injured ourselves again via inattention. Walked home from mental health therapy without being grounded in our body. A child operating a heavy machine. Twist. Foot ligaments damaged again. This is our most common injury: twisting foot ligaments. Two years ago we injured the left foot at least 5 times. We strengthened both feet's ligaments … Continue reading The practice is to be human

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