March 31, 2013
Hey Everyone –
I received an email about this, and wanted to pass along the news to you as well.
On April 16, 2013, at 9 am, Prevent Child Abuse America will be making a dramatic visual statement in New York City. In their words, they are turning the “Big Apple” into the “Big Pinwheel” by displaying around 5000 pinwheels in Times Square.
The pinwheel is the new national symbol for child abuse prevention. They have chosen the pinwheel as a way of saying all children deserve a bright future.
I certainly agree that all children should have a safe, happy, and bright future. Child abuse creates so much long-term damage, so much unnecessary pain, so many horrors that last and last and last…. It really irritates me that there are adults in the world who feel “entitled” to abuse children. It’s such a nasty horrific crime to beat and abuse and terrify little children. How dare they be so cruel. I completely despise perpetrators who believe this to be an acceptable way of life.
And yes, far too much child abuse happens in the world, so I applaud those who are working hard to take a stand against it.
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to be in NYC on April 16, but I can imagine that it will be absolutely beautiful in Times Square. If someone gets to be there, please be sure to take pictures! It will be very sparkly, very twinkly, very colorful, I’m sure.
Please remember — the spinning and reflective flashing of the lights and colors from the pinwheels may be a little triggering for some of you with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID / MPD), so if you go, please be sure that you are safe enough to handle that much visual intensity all at once. Work with your system ahead of time so they can know what you will be seeing and why you are looking at it. Fast moving lights and colors are commonly used in various mind control abuse techniques, so if you are sensitive to these types of triggers, please be careful.
You can learn more about this national event at Pinwheels for Prevention at http://www.pinwheelsforprevention.org .
(Photo courtesy of Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia.)
* What are your thoughts about this particular event?
* What does a pinwheel mean to you?
* Do you like the choice of a pinwheel being used as the national symbol for child abuse prevention?
* Would you like to be there, if you could?
* What are your thoughts about child abuse prevention?
Your thoughts and comments are appreciated, as always.
Copyright (C) 2008 – 2013 Kathy Broady and Discussing Dissociation
March 29, 2013
It’s the Easter weekend — a complicated and conflictual weekend for most dissociative trauma survivors. So many layers of your inside levels will be awakened, aware, involved, wondering, waiting, going, sitting, thinking, watching, feeling, remembering, refusing, believing, fighting, crying, calling, hiding, etc. Its a time of being pulled in dozens of different directions all at once.
Lots of headaches, that’s what that means.
And lots of pain. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
So yes… I am thinking of you all, and wishing peace for you. I know it’s difficult. Really difficult.
The Easter season is typically overloaded with the triggers, external pulls, family complications, and spiritual battles. The inside battle within your system may be raging at full intensity.
As best you can, remember to sit with each other, and learn what you can about the others that you see nearby. What struggles are they having? What thoughts are in their mind? What feelings do they hold? What feelings do they avoid?
Is there anything you can do to help them? What can you do to give them comfort? What can you do to make the struggle less sharp? How can you keep your system safe, both on the inside and outside?
Intense weekends such as this are usually heavily overloaded with information, from your past and maybe in your present. These are things you need to know. It’s from your life, and you can know what you and your insiders have been through. You are allowed now. It’s ok to know. It’s good to know, even when it’s difficult to know.
For many of you, just making it through alive and well is the goal. Self-injury may seem like the “best option”, but it really doesn’t help in the long-run. Look for other options to handle this time of stress. Read through the bunches of articles here that give other options to consider. The intensity of what you are feeling will gradually subside… You don’t have to cut or purge it away. It’s ok to feel what you feel. Your feelings belong to you — you are allowed now to have them.
For others of you, you may feel solid enough to use this time to make headway in reaching others in your system who are struggling more than you. It can be painful to hear and connect with the trauma memories held by many in your system, but it really is ok to remember what has happened in your life, and you don’t have to be punished for that anymore. FInd ways to heal your wounds and comfort your heartaches. Be kind to each other. Kind, gentle, soothing. Come together. Be a team.
Some of you will be far enough in your healing journey that you can find the good things to enjoy about the holiday weekend. Maybe you can enjoy a warm walk outside in the sunshine, or a handful of the kids’ favorite candy. Something near you may smell really nice – where is that? Breathe deeply, bringing in things that are good. Yes, there will be beauty in this weekend — see if you can find it.
Speaking of finding things….
Can you see the two caterpillars in the picture?
In my personal way of thinking, good beats out evil, so …. do your best to hold on tight till the darkness passes, and as soon as you can, find ways to reach those places of goodness, peace, comfort, joy, and love. It’s ok to let go of that darkness. You don’t have to stay there any more. You can move over to a life of warmth now. You are allowed to do that.
You can do it, I know you can.
I am thinking of you all, and I wish you the best in your healing journey.
Happy Easter everyone.
Copyright (C) 2008 – 2013 Kathy Broady and Discussing Dissociation
January 1, 2013
Happy New Year to you all!
It’s the beginning of a new time, a New Year, and nearing the end of the Holidays. How are you feeling? I hope that you each found joy in something that warms your heart. My wish is that each of you can walk peacefully through this holiday season with a priceless treasure to hold on to for years to come.
I had that goal for myself too, and when I was asked what I wanted for Christmas, my answer was that I wanted an experience to remember. I didn’t have any specific gifts or presents in mind – I just wanted something to treasure in my heart.
And that’s exactly what happened.
A big part of my Christmas Day was spent in a beautiful outdoor setting, with dear friends, looking at photos, swapping stories and walking down Memory Lane. It was a precious time. A blast from the past, as they say it, only these were truly nice memories full of smiles and laughter. It warms the heart and lightens the soul to remember good memories.
All too often, trauma survivors equate the word “memories” with bad memories, filled with scenes of trauma and abuse, chaos, conflict, and other terrible experiences. Sometimes it seems that all the memories are bad memories. And fair enough, far far far too many of the memories remembered by dissociative trauma survivors are really not pleasant at all. That’s not your fault – your history was as it was, and genuine healing involves looking at so many of those horrible times. You are brave and courageous to face those past horrors. It’s enormously painful, but you are doing the right thing by remembering what was once dissociated away.
It just doesn’t have to stay that way.
You can have beautiful times in your life too.
It’s a nice change to remember something pleasant, fun, and enjoyable. For most of you, as your healing progresses, you will remember good moments as well.
But don’t wait for that.
Create good times, good memories, good experiences now. Today. This week. This year.
You really can have a happier New Year this year.
Finding and creating new, positive, valuable memories is so very important to the healing process. Having memories to cherish is a necessary part of making life feel valuable and worthwhile. Knowing there were good times in the past, experiencing the good times happening today, and having the assurance that more good times are ahead give us all the hope to live on. To move forward. To hold tight during the tough times.
To make this year a better year, how can you create more of those times to cherish within your heart?
- Can you take the raindrops in your life and create beautiful moments?
- Can you find ways to see beauty in your life, no matter what else is happening?
- Do you treasure the beauty of nature and the vibrant colors that surround you?
- What small moments can be nurtured into much bigger brighter spots in your life?
- Where can you go and what can you do to find something that brings a smile to your face?
This can be good year for you.
Get determined to be happier, and make it so.
You can do it. I know you can.
Copyright © 2008-2013 Kathy Broady and Discussing Dissociation
December 21, 2012
It’s Winter Solstice week — time that is often difficult for far too many dissociative trauma survivors. It’s a time where days are short, and nights are long. Far too long. It’s a day where light feels complicated. Fractured. Broken. Dark.
I haven’t forgotten. I know that many of you are hurting and remembering intense hurts right now.
This year, I wanted to write something not as heavy, but still acknowledging the difficulties of this week. As you all know, from my recent comments, I am enjoying a new Ipad and all its options. Today, I’m going to post two pictures that I took myself, with this Ipad, while exploring its funny photo options.
There is much innocence in this pictures. Believe me, if you could see me fumbling around like a country bumpkin with this new fancy technology, you would roll your eyes at my utter rediculousness-ness-ness in the process of taking the photos. For that matter, what they look like are pure coincidence, lol.
But, to my surprise, as pretty as these pictures are, they still remind me of trauma issues related to DID / MPD.
What do you see in these pictures?
What do you like / dislike about these pictures?
Do they relate to your trauma history in any way?
What comforts do you see in these pictures?
What triggers do you see in these pictures?
How do these pictures relate to the Solstice times of your life?
Your thoughts and comments are welcome.
And, more importantly than anything else, I hope that, even little by little, you find deeper healing today. Hold your insiders near to you. Be kind to each other, and ever so gently support yourselves.
December 8, 2012
Many times I get asked what abuse is.
I understand this question, and the need for that question because many of the dissociative survivors who I speak with grew up in such chronically abusive homes that abuse was normal. Normal is just normal to them. What I would define as abuse was their norm, their everyday, their usual, their expected. And once abuse is “just how it is”, it becomes tricky and confusing to learn where actual abuse – physical, sexual, emotional abuse – starts and stops.
It gets even more confusing when the person that is being abused has a genuine relationship with the abusive person. Having genuine care for someone may give the abuser extended grace, or extra permission, or repeated forgiveness for the inappropriate actions they did. What about when the abuser’s behaviors are gentle, or appear as loving, or are done in the guise of helping the other person? Is gentle touch ever considered to be abusive or inappropriate?
It also gets fuzzy when the abusive parent, for example, has medical illnesses, or psychiatric illnesses and severe mental health problems of their own. Even if this person is acting in abusive ways, do they realize they are being abusive? Do they know when they are doing something irrational or violent or neglectful? Should their poor behaviors be categorized as rigorously abusive as the negative behavior from those without mental health troubles? How much abuse or neglect should a child be allowed to tolerate from a sick parent before it is considered too much?
And what about situations where the person is taught to honor their father and mother, and / or to obey their father and mother, because to not do what you are told to do is a sin based on their religious beliefs. When do those parents cross the line from claiming their rightful authority over their child? When does honoring parents actually become a dishonorable request?
Where is that line between appropriate and abuse?
Where does the unacceptable start?
It’s often not clear.
It’s especially confusing to a young child or teenager growing up in a home where these kinds of behaviors are typical.
I’m going to list some examples below, and in this post, I’m not going to give my opinion for what I deem to be abusive versus what isn’t. I would be glad to hear comments from you first. I will have an opinion, of course, but I’ll wait and say mine afterwards.
Are any of the following situations abusive? And if so, how so?
*** Please note – if you are sensitive to triggers and self destructive behavior, please be sure you are in a safe enough space to read further.***
*** Also, if you think I am describing your personal situation, I assure you, I am not. These are examples created for discussion purposes only.***
What do you think about these situations?
1. A divorced, single mother with low income and high anxiety obsessively restricts the amount of food that her children are allowed to eat. She does this by hiding the food, and especially hiding any cookies or chocolates from the children. She frequently locks the children out of the house (ie: after school) to keep them from sneaking extra snacks until she gets home from work. She will not allow the kids to keep any snacks in their bedrooms. The children are fed something most days, but there is very little food in the house. Sometimes the fridge is barren and empty. The children feel hungry most of the time and they start stealing food from local stores because they are hungry. The mother is too proud to get help from her wealthy family members or from charities. She wants to “do it on her own”, and would rather go hungry than ask for help.
2. A father, who says he is happily married to the mother, makes flirty comments to his puberty-aged daughter. He doesn’t touch the girl, but his comments and his gazes are sexualized. He says he is only complimenting his daughter for looking cute and attractive. The father’s buddies whistle and make many of the same kinds of comments in front of him while staring at his daughter. These comments make the father beam with pride. The mother hears some of these comments but acts as if she didn’t hear anything at all.
3. A mother is very angry at her children and decides to discipline them. She doesn’t hit them, but she speaks openly about fantasizing slapping their faces. She also removes various items from the children. For example, all toilet paper is hidden, all towels are removed, the use of the shower is taken away, all silverware is removed from view, lamps are removed from the bedrooms, hangers are removed from the closets, all food is removed from the children, the blankets and pillows are removed from the bed. The children are told to stay in their rooms for 24 hours and if they leave their room, they will be locked out of the house. The children don’t know whether they are allowed to go to the bathroom or not. From time to time, the mother gets inches from the faces of the children and loudly lectures them for 15 – 30 minutes at a time. She is seething with fury and anger during this entire episode, making hideously ugly faces at the children, and laughing at their discomfort. The mother has not touched the children, and believes her methods of discipline to be appropriate.
I could give more examples for your consideration, but for this particular post, I think I will stop there and check in with you readers at this point.
- How are you feeling after reading these scenarios?
- Do you feel comfortable reading them?
- Were these situations upsetting to you in any way?
- What are your thoughts about these three different situations?
- Are any of them abusive or excessive?
- Are any of the parents in these scenarios acting inappropriately? If so, how so?
- What do you relate to in these examples?
- If you view any of these things abusive now, would you have viewed them as abusive when you were a child?
Your thoughts and comments are much 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.
April 8, 2012
Hello Everyone –
How are you?
I’ve had another few weeks of extremely limited internet time, but it is Easter weekend, and I wanted to come and say a quick hello to you all.
I am aware that this is a very difficult weekend for many of you…. “Happy Easter” is more of an oxymoron than a reality for all too many of you.
For those of you that relate to that, I want you to know that I am thinking of you, and remembering that you are having struggles. And flashbacks. And body memories. And fights against worlds full of darkness, experiencing that conflict from both inside and out.
Please remember: no matter what you’ve seen in your prior years of life, you don’t have to belong to or stay stuck in any of the dark worlds that you were shown or taken to by those who, at that time, had more power or authority than you. This includes those of you that have been more familiar with worlds of darkness, and have always believed that you belonged there, and only there.
Even if that has been true for years of time, that does not have to stay true.
You don’t have to stay connected to worlds of darkness. You can decide to do something different with your life. They didn’t (and won’t) tell you that you can do something different with your life, but you can. Even if they tell you that you can’t, that is not true. You actually can. Your life belongs to you, and only to you, and you can make decisions different from anything anyone else plans for you.
This time of year can be a time of new beginnings for you.
Easter, to me, is full of new beginnings. Here in the USA, it is Spring – a time for new blossoms, new buds, new leaves, new grass, and baby animals are everywhere.
I know that it takes a whole lot of courage to do completely different things with your life, but doing something new can be the beginning of freedom. It can be something beautiful, and it can be something of your own making. It can be hard to change your life, but it can be wonderful and very much worth the effort it takes.
Instead of feeling trapped and weighed down by darkness, your life can be something you are happy about. You can be genuinely content and happy with the places you are going in your life. You can feel proud and pleased with your life.
If you are willing to do what it takes to make such big changes. Change can be scary, but you can do it. I know you can. Believe in yourself, and know that you are worth the effort.
So I wish you all a Happy Easter today.
If it’s not a Happy Easter just yet, have hope that one day, you too can have a happy day.
Copyright © 2008-2012 Kathy Broady and Discussing Dissociation