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.


  1. You're right, as a reader I'm confused. I can't tell if the trauma you're writing about was the general coldness and lack of love from your mother you've shared in the past or a time traumatic event you haven't told us about in the past. Whatever, I'm sorry you have to go through all this to find peace and self-love! May it come soon oh masterful Flo!

  2. I can understand your confusion. Only in the past month have I recalled a specific shameful act orchestrated for maximum harm to me. Without getting specific, it crossed the line, like the line a father crosses when he moves from insulting his daughter to violating her. That sexual violation is in a class all by itself. Does that help?

    -Masterful Flo

  3. Very much. I was sexually assaulted as a toddler and I did not recall the event until decades later when a movie caused a flash back. I checked out whether or not it actually happened with others who would know, found newspaper articles about it as well. But the big difference between your event and mine was my pervert was just a neighbor, not someone who you're supposed to trust to look out for your safety and well being.

    1. Exactly! It's completely understandable you sealed off the memory until ready. I'm glad it was at least one of 'them' - the odd bad guy. Now if it happened to you today, I bet you'd grab the guy by the scruff of his neck and...

    2. Grab him by the balls and twist until he screamed in pain is more like it.

  4. Our young lives are influenced most by the parent of the same gender as us. Your mother didn't treat your sister's badly--why you? That's the thought in your head. There must have been something wrong with YOU. We need to fully realize the "something wrong" was in them! We were just cute, little girls, being nice and living like cute little girls do. Why would either parent abuse us--especially a mother? At least now you are filling in all the pieces and coming to realize what a vital and wonderful person you are! I have often said, I wish you had been my little sister because our Mother was quite the wonderful, loving and fun person. BUT THEN--you may have also become the object of Daddy's "hittings" and scorn and I wouldn't wish that on you. A lot of us have issues related to our childhood. Thankfully, a lot of us have counseled ourselves into finding a certain closure with those issues, but--you know as well as I do--they still linger, in that hurting little girl part of our souls.

    1. Yes, we each got the right parents - and the right challenges throughout our lives - for us, to make us US. Situations give us a choice - to let them make us more cynical, or to tenderize us. Tee hee! I love the tenderizing! My message to the hurting little ones inside us: Love more not less :-)

  5. It wasn't fair then and it still isn't fair!!!

  6. I am so sorry that you had to suffer so much, for so long. I'm relieved you are working through it, and finding a peace you likely never had before. :)

  7. Already I feel the difference - calm inside around my siblings, whom I'm visiting now. Before, every time I visited I would involuntarily feel anxious. As the hours would pass anxiety would grow to panic - I had to get out.

    I'm sure they have had no clue why I needed so much 'alone' time when visiting. They are not at all to blame for what happened that day long ago. I forgive them :-)

  8. You are so awesome. That you took ACTION to fight the childhood your wicked egg donor and sperm donor bestowed upon you. I do not think I would have the strength. CONGRATULATIONS and thank you for sharing! The next 60 are all YOURS!

  9. Happy New Year, AW! Your appreciation means a lot. This was a watershed moment. Whew! Shame had become such a core identity of mine. Now on to the practice of love!