February 24, 2013
Here is Doris and Morris. Of course.
Doris and Morris are the very best neighbors I have ever had. A horse, of course!
Doris is the pretty chestnut mare, and Morris is the beautiful black gelding.
Doris is younger, and spunky, and she happily canters over every afternoon for her very favorite treat — pieces of bread. Bread, bread, bread! Doris could eat a whole loaf of bread every single day. She also likes oatmeal, fresh grass, handfuls of hay, and chasing cows. Doris talks a lot — she creates a constant stream of pretty pony sounds every time she visits, proudly announcing her presence. Oh, and Doris the horse likes to run, of course!
Morris is an older, gentler soul. His knees are sore, so he walks over gingerly, lagging behind Doris. Morris likes hugs and brushings, and he will stand snuggled up close with his kind heart for as long as you’ll stand beside him. Even though feisty Doris sticks her nose out in front a lot of the time, snatching up as many treats as she can grab, Morris is still the boss, and he happily gives her a quick nip when she gets too pushy. Morris likes bread and oatmeal too, of course, but Ritz crackers, strawberries, and Granny Smith apples are special treats for him since silly ol’ Doris turns her nose away at those tasty nibbles.
Doris! Don’t get so pushy, Pushy!
Doris and Morris are particularly good neighbors. They don’t make any annoying noises. They don’t intrude on my space. They make no complaints. They are happy to come and visit, but they are willing to go on their way as well. They don’t spread gossip, and they don’t talk bad about me behind my back. They don’t stare, they don’t impose, they don’t do any damage, they don’t make any messes. Doris and Morris are just good company.
It’s hard to find good neighbors. And I really appreciate good neighbors.
What are your neighbors like? Are you fortunate enough to have good neighbors?
Have you had some difficult neighbors in the past?
Having good neighbors is important for everyone, of course, but for survivors with Dissociative Identity Disorder, having good neighbors is particularly important. DID survivors need to feel safe where they live, and to not feel afraid, angry, or upset or confused by the people that live near them. Most trauma survivors have had far too many years of living near difficult people.
Healing from a childhood filled chaos requires stability. Calm. Quiet. No unnecessary dramas.
A big part of the healing process for trauma survivors is finding, creating, and maintaining a peaceful environment here-and-now in the current day. You need space to heal. Room to breathe. A place to rest. An area where you don’t have to look over your shoulder every few seconds.
So yes, where you live is fundamental to the kind of lifestyle you can have. Who your neighbors are matters. The absence of ongoing conflict is important. Having a place to unwind, relax, feel comfortable, and feel safe is essential.
Creating a safe inside world starts by experiencing a safe place in the outside world. For many DID survivors, living with a feeling of safety is a completely new concept. You might have to learn what safety is. The sooner, the better.
True enough, you can’t control the safety of most places in the external world, but your home is your own. It’s your space. You can’t change the craziness of the past, but as an adult, you can do something about now, the here-and-now. Safety for your whole internal system starts with making good decisions about your immediate worlds. It’s truly important to create your own personal safe places.
Do you live in a safe home?
Do you have good neighbors?
I certainly hope so. If not, what can you do about that?
I wish you all the very best in your healing journey.
and Doris and Morris too
Copywrite 2008 – 2013 Kathy Broady and Discussing Dissociation
February 14, 2013
Hi Everyone –
Have you ever played the never-ending story game?
This is a fun and creative writing game. I will start the first introduction to the story, and if you will, you all please add the next bit, and then the next bit, and then the next bit.
As we each write a new part of the story, we can create our very own fun adventure. We can write and write and write new layers to the story for as long as we want to write.
Let’s start with a picture of two kitty cats to be our inspiration.
Once upon a time…..
There was a golden momma cat with the prettiest green eyes named of Mango. Mango had a beautiful pink nose and a clean white chin. She loved her two-colored whiskers! She was a gorgeous kitty cat, but the best feature about her was how kind she was to little ones.
You see, this pretty kitty loved children. And she was kind to children — and kitten children too — in all the best of ways.
Whenever Mango spent time with young kittens, she would think of how special and wonderful each little kitten was. She couldn’t wait to tell them…..
(it’s your turn to write what happened next…..)
January 27, 2013
Why is this reindeer on the beach?
There’s surely more to this story….
December 31, 2012
Seasons Greetings to you all!
I know it’s a little late to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, but I just could not resist showing you all this picture of Oliver.
Isn’t Oliver just the most adorable Santa that you’ve seen this year??! Do you see his little red Santa hat and his little red coat?
Ok, so maybe Oliver is a bit grumpy looking for a Santa, but he’s still adorable.
Hmmmm… I wonder why oh why sweet little Ollie Ollie Ollie Boy is looking so grouchy.
Maybe Oliver is grumpy because the holidays are over. Oliver, do you like Christmas?
Maybe Oliver is grumpy because he didn’t have a good time this holiday season. Oliver, did you have any fun?
Maybe Oliver is grumpy because he wanted red boots to match his outfit. Oliver, are you missing something?
Maybe Oliver is grumpy because he wants to be running around in the warm sunshine instead of being wrapped up for blustery cold snowstorms. Oliver, where do you want to be for the holidays?
Maybe Oliver is grumpy because he is sitting by himself. Oliver, do you have any friends to play with today?
Maybe Oliver understands that the holidays are difficult for a lot of people, and maybe he is making a compassionate, empathetic statement for those of you that have struggled through the holidays this year. Oliver, do you know how painful the holidays can be?
Oh Oliver, I wish you could have the very best of days, even if you do feel a little bit grouchy. You are a beautiful little puggy, a precious friend, and oh so very dear to me. I will always love you, Oliver.
Thank you, everyone, for stopping by to see Oliver today. I am sure he is glad that you came to visit with him.
And, may I ask…. how were your holidays?
Did you have a good time? Or do you relate to the not-so-happy Oliver face?
- Would you like to share anything about your experiences the past few weeks?
- What did you get to do?
- What did you like?
- What did you have to do?
- What did you not like?
- What was your very most favorite thing about the 2012 Holiday Season?
- What would you be willing to say to Oliver about how he is feeling about the holidays?
As always, your thoughts and comments and participation are appreciated.
Copyright © 2008-2012 Kathy Broady and Discussing Dissociation
September 11, 2012
This beautiful story was sent to me via email. I didn’t write this story, but I thought it was so heart-warming that I would pass it along to the rest of you. I hope you like it as much as I do.
In 2003, police in Warwickshire , England , opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog. The dog had been locked in the shed and abandoned. It was dirty and malnourished, and had quite clearly been abused.
In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a female greyhound, to the Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, which is run by a man named Geoff Grewcock, and known as a haven for animals abandoned, orphaned, or otherwise in need.
Geoff and the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims: to restore the dog to full health, and to win her trust. It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved. They named her Jasmine, and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home.
Jasmine, however, had other ideas. No one quite remembers how it came about, but Jasmine started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary. It would not matter if it were a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, any other lost or hurting animal. Jasmine would just peer into the box or cage and, when and where possible, deliver a welcoming lick.
Geoff relates one of the early incidents. “We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line. One was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross. They were tiny when they arrived at the centre, and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee. Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them.”
“But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits. She takes all the stress out of them, and it helps them to not only feel close to her, but to settle into their new surroundings.. She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs, and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose.”
Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary’s resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born. The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, fifteen chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and fifteen rabbits – and one roe deer fawn. Tiny Bramble, eleven weeks old, was found semi-conscious in a field. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm, and then went into the full foster-mum role. Jasmine the greyhound showers Bramble the roe deer with affection, and makes sure nothing is matted.
“They are inseparable,” says Geoff. “Bramble walks between her legs, and they keep kissing each other. They walk together round the sanctuary. It’s a real treat to see them.”
Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life. When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely. She will be too busy showering love and affection on the next orphan or victim of abuse.
Pictured from the left are: “Toby”, a stray Lakeland dog; “Bramble”, orphaned roe deer; “Buster”, a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; “Sky”, an injured barn owl; and “Jasmine”, with a mother’s heart doing best what a caring mother would do…and such is the order of God’s Creation.
And, just in case you wondered, Snopes.com, ( found at: http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/jasmine.asp )
has verified the truth of this wonderful story and the reality of these photographs which accompany the story.
So you can pass this story on, and maybe make someone else’s day to be just a little brighter!
I think the world needs more Jasmine’s!
Doesn’t she have just the most beautiful spirit?
We people have so much to learn …
I hope you enjoyed this story.
May 19, 2012
Maizy is a quiet little cow. She talks when she wants to, but that’s not very often.
Maizy doesn’t like noise, and she doesn’t like crowds, and she doesn’t like bunches of people everywhere near and around.
Maizy isn’t that sure about people – she only likes one or two people, here and there. And even then, she’s not completely sure. People are not her favorite.
Mostly, Maizy likes her own space.
She likes to feel safe, and she likes to have plenty of distance away from the threat of anyone coming near. For Maizy, space equals safety. She knows she will be ok if no one is nearby.
Maizy likes anything that reminds her of unruffled freedom. She likes to watch birds fly in the air. She likes to watch horses run across fields. She likes to see puppies play and ducks swim in ponds and butterflies fluttering around.
Maizy also likes to watch kites flying in the sky. Kites up in the sky are very peaceful. They blow back and forth, floating and looking, and enjoying their own space up and away from everybody else. Kites get to see all kinds of things, and they get to lift up and away from the noise of the world. And kites come in all colors, and all shapes, and sizes, and there is no such thing as a bad kite or a wrong kite. Kites are just fun. Maizy loves kites!
But today, Maizy has a dilemma. Oh dear, oh dear.
Maizy heard about a kite day. On this kite day, all kinds of kites were going to go to the park and fly high in the air. There were going to be box kites, and round kites, and home-made kites, and tiger kites, and fish kites, and heart kites, and circle kites, and bear kites, and mermaid kites, and turtle kites, and rainbow kites. There were so many different kites coming to kite day that Maizy could hardly decide which ones to watch! Maizy was so excited!
A Fly-in-the-Sky-like-a-Kite Day all day would be perfect!
So what was the problem?
The problem, for Maizy, is that the kites came with oodles and gobs of people. People! Yuck! Maizy is not a fan of people! Maizy wanted to see the kites, but she didn’t want to see the people! If only the kites could fly by themselves over to the kite park…
Oh dear, oh dear. What was Maizy going to do?
Instead of feeling happy, Maizy was feeling very cranky. She was upset. She was angry. She did not want those noisy scary people to mess up her wonderful Fly-in-the-Sky-like-a-Kite Day!
She stomped her foot.
“Go away, people!”
She stomped all four of her feet.
“Go away, go away, go away, go away! Don’t mess up my wonderful Fly-in-the-Sky-like-a-Kite Day!”
But the people did not go away.
In fact, more and more people came. More and more of them!
Maizy had to stop and think. She couldn’t make all the people go away. As much she may have wanted to, she just wouldn’t be able to do it. There were just too many of them, of all shapes and sizes. There were as many people as there were kites. Maybe more! Those noisy people were just everywhere!
Would they bother her?
Would they hurt her?
Would they leave her alone?
Would they be kind to her?
Maizy had to make a decision. She really wanted to go see those beautiful kites, but she would have to be super duper brave to be near all those people. Hmmmm….
What was a Maizy to do…
Ok. Well. Hmmmm….
She thought and she thought and she thought.
She really didn’t want to miss it. She had already missed out on too many fun things because she was afraid to be around people.
Maizy finally decided she could be brave.
Maizy knew that while some people had been very mean to her in the past, she knew that some people could be nice.
She knew that she couldn’t always believe the worst about everyone.
Maizy knew that a whole bunch of people would probably walk right past her, and not really interact with her at all. Maizy liked that. She liked to be ignored by strangers. She was plenty happy for people to stay involved in their own lives and to leave her alone. Maybe just maybe she could quietly watch the kites from her own little spot, and not mingle with anyone else. She wouldn’t have to look at anyone. She wouldn’t have to talk to anyone. She could just look at the kites.
Maizy knew she didn’t have to miss out on fun stuff just because she didn’t like to be around people.
If she stayed mostly quiet to herself, and if she was polite to anyone she decided to speak to, Maizy figured that there was a very good chance that she could navigate her kite party without any big problems happening.
Maybe, just maybe, she could go see the kites and not be bothered or hurt by anyone at all.
And maybe just maybe, Maizy could have fun at her wonderful Fly-in-the-Sky-like-a-Kite Day!
Copyright © 2008-2012 Kathy Broady and Discussing Dissociation
May 13, 2012
Mother’s Day 2012.
It’s Mother’s Day.
A difficult topic.
A difficult day.
Often a day of loss and grieving.
A day that many dissociative survivors don’t want to think about.
If only…. If only, if only…..
I’ve been thinking about these things all week, knowing I would / should write something about mothers. Hmmmmm…. I wasn’t sure which angle to talk about….
Then I thought about something that has been happening around here each day.
I’ve been watching some birds again. For several weeks now, I’ve been able to see a very dedicated momma lark and a equally dedicated daddy lark tenderly care for their little three baby birds. This little bird family has sparked great interest, curiosity, and hours of entertainment.
This little fearthery family tucked their home deep within some very leafy trees across the street from me. I just had to go over there to see if I could find it! Their nest, not at all visible unless you meander directly under their tree with the grouping of many of trees, was cleverly built where it stayed the most protected from the cold blowing winds, where it would stay dry during the drenching rain storms, and where it would stay shaded from the heat of the day. I was impressed! The little babies, while having to brave the uncomfortable changes in weather, were clearly as protected as little birdie babies could be. Well done, momma bird!
To my delight, I have been able to see and admire their very busy lives. All day long, the parent birds have been flying all over the neighborhood, searching for food to bring back to their babies. All day long, the baby birds have been running around in the grass, chasing their parents around, looking for tasty treats to eat. And when I say all day long, I literally mean, all day long. From sun up to sun down, someone in this little lark family was searching for food for the babies.
And noisy! These young babies are loud little sqawkers! I was just sure all that racket was coming from a big ol’ crow, or some other big bird, but when I paid closer attention, to my complete surprise, that noise was coming from those little baby birds. My goodness! Noisy little flappers! They are the loudest larks I’ve ever heard!
For the longest time, the baby birds just ran around like little speedy zingers in the grass – ding ding ding ding zing zing zing – running really fast, but just running. Last week, I saw them actually fly up towards their favorite trees. That was exciting. The babies could fly!
I could still see the momma and the daddy bird fly back and forth, searching for food for their babies, delivering it back to them. Once I realized the lark parents were feeding a family, I started leaving more food out for them. I love my maggies, of course, but now I tried, in particular, to be sure the Larks had food to take to their babies any time they happened to show up on my front door.
These birds were smart. If I tossed out a piece of cheese to the momma, she would immediately pick it up, grab it in her beak however she could, fly across the street to the babies, and disperse it to her little ones from there. Then she would fly right back to my side of the street – to the exact same spot where she got her cheese – and wait there for me to toss another one down. And the routine continued. It seems like hundreds of hunks of cheese have been flown over my street. Along with bits of bread, little tiny pieces of meat, and whatever seeds she selected from the bird seed pile. Clever momma!
Feeding these babies has been a lot of work! Their momma has been so dedicated to them. She hasn’t rested one little bit.
Then another milestone happened. This past week, the little baby birds were actually allowed to fly across the street too! Momma and Daddy Lark have been trying to show the babies where to find their own food, Instead of feeding them beak to beak, they have been encouraging the babies to pick the food up from the ground themselves.
You would think this would be an obvious thing for the babies to figure out. But no. Not at all. Those three silly baby birds still run around behind their momma just squawking and screeching, wanting their momma to beak-feed them. Bless her heart. She’s showing them how to pick up their food. She knows they need to learn these skills for their survival. They can’t live on home-delivery forever!
On top of that, Momma Lark had to show her babies how to find their food, how to keep their food, and how to eat it safely away from the other birds that would fight them for that same exact bite of food.
I have to admit, my maggies have not been very nice to these little baby larks! My maggies are just sure they are the most important birds around here, and they are the only ones deserving of food from this house. They have not been very keen on sharing, that’s for sure! I have to make sure the maggies have plenty of food too (and they do, believe me!). The timing of feeding the little lark babies is becoming a fine art.
And those huge crows! They are the worst. They’ll steal food from anyone, even chasing and terrorizing the small birds in the air, following them around and around through the trees until they steal the food right from their beaks, or until the smaller birds drop the food for the crows to pick up. Those mean crows. I don’t like them very much.
Momma Lark has a lot to teach her little ones. It’s been tense, and scary on several occasions. Those little babies were clearly going to have to learn how to fight for their own survival. After several days of these “how to safely pick up your own food with your own beak” lessons, I think maybe, just maybe, a few of them are starting to catch on. Slowly.
Momma Lark must be exhausted by now!
Her work isn’t yet done with these young larks, but she’s well on her way. It’s been truly impressive to see.
The phrase “ A mother’s work is never done” came to mind.
And again, I had to think of my own mother. And the many years of “momma work” she has whole-heartedly given to me, including this year as well. I’ll save the details of that story for another time, but I do have to mention her with my deepest respect. The same goes for my momma-in-law. She’s been an absolute gem to me (and my family) for years and years. These two women have dedicatedly worked from their hearts for their families as hard as any Momma Lark ever has. They are incredible women. Beautiful souls. Tough as nails, but gentle as feathers. I can and do learn a lot from them.
I wish all mothers were as dedicated and hard-working as the Momma Lark I have been watching. The world would truly be a better place if we all had that kind of nurturing and protection throughout our lives.
Ever heard the phrase “as happy as a lark”? Maybe this is why.
To the Momma Larks of the world – I thank you.
Copyright © 2008-2012 Kathy Broady and Discussing Dissociation
April 24, 2012
All too often, the healing work for dissociative trauma survivors is so very heavy, and filled full of pain, heartbreak, struggles, anguish, horrors, fears, conflict, etc. Too many days can too easily feel like the healing process is far too difficult to be worth it. When it feels like that, it is really important to remember to take a few breaks from the hard stuff, and to save room for fun. It’s like recognizing the “stop and smell the roses” idea. Only for this, it’s about stopping to have some good times, or at least decent times, along the way.
Besides, all work and no play is just no fun! And your inside kids, like all children, need time to play, and to laugh, and to enjoy life too. And kids, even if your adults don’t realize it, they need time to play, and laugh, and smile, and to relax from all the stress they feel too.
So….. are you all ready to do something fun? I know I am!
In honor of not having enough fun moments in our lives, I’ve decided to make a blog post dedicated to just fun things. Just fun stuff! No hard stuff. No icky stuff. Just FUN stuff!
And I would like your help to complete it.
Here’s what I have in mind.
I’m including some pictures in this blog that, for me, represent fun, good times, pleasant memories, and happy moments. I hope some of these pictures bring a smile to your face.
I also want to invite you to send in pictures that represent those same kinds of feelings for you.
If you can post your pictures directly in your comment, that’s great. (Being technically challenged, I am not sure if that can be done or not.) Not to worry – I have a back-up plan in mind. If the comment option does not allow for pictures to be shown in the comments, please feel free to email your pictures to me, along with any comments / explanatory notes that you would like attached to your pictures, and then I’ll post them in a separate blog article format.
Then we can all share in the fun stuff, which makes fun even more fun!
Please be sure that any pictures you send completely pass the “Just for FUN!” (a good, safe, happy kind of fun) project idea.
Please note: If anyone sends in spooky pictures, I’m not going to post them – because there is typically some not so funny someone who wants to spoil the fun – but for this exercise, no spookiness is allowed. And yes, I get to be the judge on what looks too spooky and what doesn’t.
Yes, you can send in more than one picture if you would like to.
*** Please be sure that you have the rights to send in / have posted whatever picture you send. If it specifically belongs to someone else, please don’t send it in as if it is yours. Also, please don’t include pictures of other people that may not want their picture posted on a blog. I am not interested in getting any kind of fussing going on. So please, only send in pictures that are not a violation to anyone else, please and thank you. ***
The first two pictures I am including in this “Just for Fun!” Project were sent to me via email that was circulating around all over the place. I don’t know who the photographer is, but they did a great job creating such fun pictures. Enjoy!
How can you not smile when you see these beautiful little duckies in this picture?
And what a creative, fun picture this is! Do you think it is real? Or has it been photoshopped? Either way, it’s a great picture of an elephant having all kinds of fun.
And now, on a more personal level, here’s a picture of Emma, trying to sit comfortably on a pillow.
I don’t know if she is comfy or not. What do you think?
And last but not least, here is a picture of me with a cute little piggy I saw a few weeks ago.
This little piggy was only two months old, very tiny for a pig, but super fast and brimming full of energy. Absolutely darling, he was barely taller than my ankles, and one-third the size of Emma the puggy. He would race around his little area, zipping here, zipping there, making all kinds of funny piggy noises. I giggled and giggled as I watched him run, and heard him snort in all kinds of funny ways. This little pig was simply the highlight of that morning, so I just had to include him today as a fond memory of a good time.
What kinds of fun pictures do you have that bring a smile to your face?
I’m looking forward to seeing them!
Happy smiles, everyone,
Copyright © 2008-2012 Kathy Broady and Discussing Dissociation