Friday, December 30, 2016

Pat Me On The Back

This post may be difficult to read.  I don't believe it will be difficult to write.  Remember my last post, where I wrote I edited out the negative stuff? Well, now you get the negative stuff.  It's limbo time between Christmas and New Year's.  Why not?!

A year ago I set my intention to recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I have worked SO hard this year.  Remember when we thought I had recovered by August?  Hah! I hadn't even remembered the EVENT.  I'd just gotten the set up.  Ages 0 - 5.  The EVENT itself happened when I was four, maybe five.  Wasn't until this month that I remembered it.  Oh, it was real.  Just in case, I asked two of the four involved if they remembered it happening exactly as I did.  They did. Ha!  No false memory in this brain.  (Three of the four perpetrators were 'normal' children, my siblings.)

Today, dear friends, the event that seared shame into my heart and my mind, got relived.   It got both relived and REWORKED.  Ah, there's the healing.

Let me tell you what it's been like living inside this body since I was five.  I have lived in a world where one misplaced trust means I will be humiliated beyond belief.  Beyond terrifying.  I didn't have a clue where this came from.  Figured I was abnormal, which made me feel more ashamed.  Oh, dear.  I have spent my life trying to act normal though I don't feel normal.  Meanwhile feeling pretty numb.  Except around my sweetheart.  I would have been fine if he hadn't died.  Truth is, I really needed to get to the heart of this.  Love needs my open heart.

Five years old.  Maybe four.  Kids at that age don't understand cruelty.  They get ensnared in the "It was my fault; I brought this on myself." loop and desperately try to find a way to control it from happening again.  But it could happen again.  I was powerless and helpless the first time it happened.  It was entirely unpredictable and unexpected.  It. could. happen. again. at. any. time.  Any. time. I. let. my. guard. down. and. trust. people.   Women.  The perpetrator was my mother.

I became reclusive to hide my shame.  I doubt my family even noticed, but in 1985 I hadn't any friends to invite to my wedding if I'd wanted to.  I have one best friend, and many online friends now.  But one, maybe two people to call when I die to show up at my memorial service. 

I have spent my whole life covering up a shame I didn't earn, or warrant.  Yet it got heaped on me.  It lived inside me, closer than my heartbeat.  Hey. That's why they call my outlook a 'disorder'.  Yet I think of how many children suffer at the hands of their parents.

I read an article about how some parents have taken to publicly shaming their own children on digital media.
Shaming Children on Social Media Has Got To Stop!

What's really fascinating about trauma recovery, that I want to tell you, is that healing requires really, really reliving the trauma.  But instead, in a totally safe and loving environment.   Can you see why it takes time to feel strong enough to face something like that?  I gather that the closer to the trauma, the easier it is to resolve.  Oh well.  Fifty eight years passed.

There I was in my counselor's office today, five years old in feelings, words and deed. I kicked my feet out.  Whoops!  They're a lot longer now.  What is cool, is that once you are reliving it, YOU get to change how it all turns out.  You can make them stop and be sorry.

This is how I did it.  I instructed them to turn away, with their backs to me, and hang their heads in shame.  Then I made them hold hands in a circle, heads down in shame.  They had to circle and sing

Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.

All. fell. down. 

Masterful Flo!

I'm kind of curious how life will unfold from here.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

On This Day A Savior Was Born

I've written this post over a few times, pretty much editing all the negativity out.  Hope you don't mind!  Any deflation we feel over the holidays is temporary, right?!  Well, now that it's almost over, I'm back.

I am so grateful I didn't visit my birth family this year.  I do give my best effort to be F-U-N when I'm there.  Because who wants to be around someone who can't be cheered up unless a certain someone comes back to life?  But here, with absolutely no pressure to BE happy, I've found real joy bubbling up within me.   And gratitude.

The sights and sounds of Boston. 

Ha!  Notice the selfie? I'm feeling quite at home in Boston.  Not surprising since it was my home for two years, my sophomore year at Boston University and my year off working in a needlepoint design studio overlooking the Public Gardens.  I DO feel as young as I did then, except when I look in the mirror...

Yesterday I walked over to the Pop-up Holiday Village at Boston's Government Center to find Christmas gifts for the hotel staff.  I found six miniature tangine pots at a Moroccan shop, all different colors.  The shop keeper invited me to haggle, so $8 a piece went down to $6.  Then I wandered through Quincy Market behind Faneuil Hall, and around behind to the outdoor Public Farmer's Market, where I bought two boxes of blueberries for $3.  On my way back 'home' along the waterfront, I picked up a large lobster roll for dinner.  I couldn't even get my mouth around it, so some big chunks of lobster are Christmas dinner tonight.

I hadn't a clue what gift to put IN the Tangine pots for the staff, so late yesterday afternoon out I went again.  Peppermint Meringue Kisses at the bakery just beyond the Tea Party Museum were perfect.  So, together with Starbuck $5 gift cards and candy canes, I packed six little bags with tissue and played Santa Claus this morning.

Afterwards I listened to this video. The child born 2,016 years ago sparked my spiritual life 35 years ago, but Matt Kahn is my spiritual mentor this week.  Also Eben Alexander, M.D., who wrote 'Proof of Heaven'.   This is a link is to one of Matt Kahn's YouTube videos.

Merry Christmas !

Friday, December 2, 2016

Sources of Inspiration

A fellow blogger requested stories about people who have inspired us.  Just passing this along. .  She's begun publishing them in her blog.  Neat!  I myself haven't contributed my story.   I feel embarrassed to admit I didn't meet my first inspiring person until age 29.  I suppose I could write about him.  His tenderness introduced me to heaven on earth.  But, when I say I have no stories of inspiration from birth through age 29, I have to specify exactly what inspires me.


Tenderhearted people.  I wonder if it's different for you? There are so many sources of inspiration.  After all, historically, inspiration was something from God.   Don't get me wrong.  I love God.   Yet nothing comes close to human tenderness.

I was curious.   When did 'tender' as a word come into existence?  As a value?  I rooted around in an online Etymological Dictionary.   'Tender' in the English language first came along as an adjective in the 1200's.


adjective 1. "soft, easily injured," 1200's, from Old French tendre "soft, delicate; young" (1000), from Latin tenerem (nominative tener) "soft, delicate; of tender age, youthful," centuries before.

Tender defined as "kind, affectionate, loving" did not develop until the 1300's.

So...when did 'tender' and 'hearted' first get put together into one word?

The first word connected with 'hearted' was 'hard'.  This was the period when 'tender' meant "soft, easily injured".

Hard-hearted, on the other hand, came into vogue as a desirable quality.

Originally "obdurate, unfeeling," in 1200, grew to mean "bold, courageous" by 1400. 

The meaning of 'hard-hearted' has evolved to mean "incapable of being moved to pity or tenderness; unfeeling". 

I guess in some quarters, hard-hearted is still inspirational...

Not until 1530, were 'tender' and 'hearted'  joined as one.

adjective 1." compassion for another's distress" 2. "easily moved to love".

Good thing 'tenderhearted' came along, or I wouldn't have the right word for what inspires me. 

Me, I didn't encounter 'tenderhearted' until adulthood. Mom was a hard hearted alcoholic, with nary a tender bone in her body.  Dad was an engineer.  Good at fixing things, not feeling feelings.  And even with the inspiration my late husband brought, I lost sight of 'tenderhearted' after he died.  Turned out deep down I had the 'If you knew me, you wouldn't love me' syndrome that kids from neglectful and abusive homes have.  If you relate, go to   It's where my recovery started.

Some say Jesus brought Inspiration.  To the degree Jesus helps us feel loved, I agree. This IS good news.   More moving for me, inspiration comes from the good news tenderhearted people bring. The news I now bring myself.

"To know you is to love you."


Who or what inspires you these days?