Is Forgiveness For You?

Can Forgiveness be Self Improvement?

I cycle in and out of doing self-improvement exercises. I’ll follow something for a few days or even months before dropping it and evaluating the changes. If it’s a benefit to me, I keep it. I’ve found a lot of things that were just self-delusions, things that makes one feel good in the moment but have no long-lasting benefits. And so I drop those things and I look a little harder at folks who continue to push those things. Have they failed to evaluate its effectiveness? Or has so much been invested that for them to drop it, would crush them to admit they were wrong? Those are the thoughts that go through my mind.

From an early age, I committed myself to readily admit when I am wrong. I found it benefits me most of all as it continues to place me back on the path of Truth. There is everything to gain in admitting when one is wrong and so much more to lose when one refuses to admit the truth of it. It is an aspect I cherish in others. Those who never admit wrong doing travel a darker path in their own lives. I tend to call it willful ignorance.

Have you ever forgiven yourself completely?

The trouble with not loving yourself is that you become your own accuser, jury, and judge. In those eyes, you can never find any peace. Everything, every little thing you’ve done wrong is known and used against you constantly. You become your worst nightmare working to extract every wrong doing through punishment. It’s as if punishment; if enough punishment was doled out, we might become clean again. And we never become clean because we are always doing wrong. We always make mistakes. We always slip. Our self-punisher never sees us rise up again, nor does it see us working hard to stay on the right path. All it sees is our wrongdoing.

That is where I was for many many years. I worked on punishing myself for my wrongdoings. I didn’t have an alternative. I didn’t see a way out. And I was not willing to muzzle the truth to myself. I wasn’t going to lie and say I’m a good person. I wasn’t going to lie to myself like that. What other choices did I have?

Why not forgive yourself? How radical of an idea is that? Forgive myself. Sounds simple, really simple, like too easy kind of simple. It was anything but simple. It turned into a lot of hard work, self-examination, listening to the voice of the accuser, jury, and judge, actively listening to my deepest and darkest parts of myself. And accepting that this is who I was and what I’ve done and what I felt I deserved.

I still resisted forgiveness. I’ve got enough arrogance to think I didn’t need it, that I didn’t need to do it. I had to want it. It was repugnant to attempt to fake it. I had to want to forgive myself. But to do so, I had to admit that I had done wrong to myself, that I had actually done harm.

Seeing myself as someone who needed to be forgiven, seeing myself as someone who had hurt themselves, seeing myself as someone who could be forgiven shattered the power the accuser, jury, and judge had over me. All I had to do was ask, earnest, heartfelt ask myself to be forgiven. And I was, and I did.

From somewhere deep love flowed. Love is what forgiveness comes from. And forgiveness is a demanding task master. My work is not done. Saying ‘I forgive you’ is the beginning, not the end.

to be continued.

Back to My Core

Ah shit, where do I want to start this one? I’m going to be very naughty. I’m jumping into my time ship and rolling back the clock. I’m going back to the past to have a chat with a little girl.

I keep getting told to let go of the past, to stop looking back, to stop focusing on it. I think that’s wrong. At least it’s a misunderstanding of why I look back. Or maybe they feel threatened by my searching in the past. Whatever it is, this is what has worked for me.

I look back to find the scars that need healing. I look back for myself, not to find shit to bring back with me and smear all over my future. I look back to bring understanding and love to the child I left behind there. I’m in the business of loving and growing the child I was.

There is a lot I want to tell her. Most of it, she already knew but kept forgetting as she got lost along the way.

There is no doubt that I’m the child of flawed, damaged and hurting human beings. I have no doubts that my father was a narcissist and that my mother shared some traits of narcissism as well. I know my mother was a product of childhood sexual abuse, dysfunctional family and a good chance a daughter of a narcissist as well. Out of my two parents, there was only one who believed in change, my mother. She had hope and it was this single element she passed on to me. I believe this alone has made all the difference in my life; hope for positive change, to always be growing, to stand when one has fallen, to keep going no matter the odds.

I can trot out various clinical terms to address my condition but what’s the point? Labeling it only helps explain it and lets me know I’m not the only one to go through this. I’m more interested it fixing it, not with band-aids but with lasting positive change.

wee wee wee Let’s slide back into time, all the way to when I was six months old. Yes, I have a single memory at six months. It’s only identified as six months because of a long conversation with my father in which he was able to identify the home I was in from my memory.

Kurcha kurcha did the spring clank, turning it’s handle as I rock in the swing. I’m looking up watching the handle and the sound, staring at it for a long time. It’s remarkable. It’s the only sound to be heard. The light coming in is warm, the colors of the room are soft. I’m comfortable and yet not. But it’s often like this, the kurcha kurcha kurcha rocking me, lulling the cries from me. I’m alone.

Just a serious of complex emotions, that now I can put into words. I was utterly Alone. No expectations forth coming, just the awareness of how alone I was. Where was mom?

I’ve wondered this many times. I don’t have many memories of mom before I was four. There are a few but mostly it’s other people, other family. I don’t recall a caregiver. When I look back, I kinda feel like I sprung up like a fully formed adult in a child’s body. How is that possible?

I do wonder how much I was neglected as an infant. Even my mom recorded that I slept through the night and every night thereafter from the first day home from the hospital. I’ve got two kids and they have never slept through the night, at least not till after they were six months old. My kids have been demanding. They want food, a clean hinny, to be held, to be cooed at, to explore, to hear my voice, they want to be a part of it all and then they sleep just to wake and do it all over again. How could I have been so different?

What if I was the same, wanting that interaction and found it not forthcoming? What would happen to that infant? Is that what happened to me?

I need to cuddle up and pull the me that I was out of the swing and cuddle her close and tell her, she’ll never be alone and that she’s loved.

The Week That Was

Gratitude Friday

Oh goodness. It’s been a heck of a week! If a lifetime can be packed into seven days, this was the week that was. I’m not sure where to even start a recap. I’ve been on G+ way too much! The outpouring of poetry that’s spilling out of my soul has swamped my G+ wall. I need to copy all of it to my poetry blog. I’m really glad I’m writing poetry again. It’s been over a decade since I’ve had this much coming out. It’s taken a bit of following in other’s footsteps to get that muscle working again. But it worked and now I’ve got a flood just pouring out. No way am I sticking the stopper in it again!

With my girls visiting with grandparents, I’ve worked on a lot of internal projects. In the process, I’ve lost myself, found myself, deeply felt every emotion, cried my eyes out and found something I wasn’t even looking for. That was actually last week. Much of it continued through this week too. I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a nutter, okay, never mind, I know I’m a nutter; I had an experience that I can only describe as mystical touching of the Divine.

The hard part to accepting this experience is I want to share this so much. To share the joy of this and I found I could not. Not because of fear, I have lost that but because my loved ones lack understanding of me and well just me. The only person I desperately wanted to share this with, well, was not receptive is an understatement. It is a worthy lesson.

However, I refuse to let other’s actions diminish the joy and happiness I found. I am happier than I have been in a very long time. I’m smiling so much my cheeks hurt. I am laughing and cracking jokes with my husband. I can feel the twinkle in my eyes! My heart feels so much lighter. It’s left me dancing!

Oh, joy abundant and overflowing!

So, onward to the joys of thankfulness;

Thank You for leaving the footsteps I followed. I may have been miles behind but each step brought me closer to me and taught me lessons along the way.

Thank You for my insanity. I know, that’s odd. Yet It’s me and I’m really glad to be just me, not some other mask that’s worn, not some pale shadow of a woman, not some appendage of another’s personality.

Thank You for all of life’s joys. Oh, these joy’s make all the pickles of life worthwhile.

Thank You for Music! Oh, yes, music. To get lost in the sounds and words that move the soul brings me a joy, a happiness.

Thank You for my Men in my life. I know, oh I know how difficult I am to live with. I’m stuck in my own head 99% of the time. Yet all of you have stood by me, held my hand when I needed it, offered comfort when I asked and have continued to prove your love for me just by being you. You are all my safe harbors when my ship blows into your ports. Thank you for being what I’ve needed. I am loved, so very much loved. I love you all.

grins Now as I end this, let me encourage all of you to go out there and love. Take a risk and love.

Oops, one more thing. Check out this artist, Aurora.

The Meaning of Lies

I have been a liar.

I can chalk it up to those things in my past, my childhood, or for any number of valid reasons. The person I’ve been lying to all this time has been myself. It struck me the other day when I mentioned my favourite colour about how much I lie to myself.

So odd that I would lie to the world and myself what my favourite colour is. Come walk with me down into memory. She was a little four-year-old girl, pampered, dressed and styled according to her mother’s desires. She was a living baby doll. And on a magical day, she was allowed a choice. Oh, what magic to be given a choice, a say in things to be! Lavender, she adored the colour lavender above any others. Thus her bedroom was painted lavender.

Happiness flowed all around her, her room, her colour, her choice! Yet under the surface of things, of family lurked deep unhappiness. Her colour, her choice was hated and thus removed. And her parents worked to erase her choice, her happiness, even she had to work to cover it. The white of paint struggled to cover the brilliance of her beloved lavender. Little ears took in the grumbles and complaints and learned a strange lesson that day. Her desires would be for nought. So much white paint used to cover, to erase a pleasure, a joy that was hers and hers alone. The want’s that what escaped that white day defeated those who lacked understanding. Lavender splotches  peaked at the edges of the room, like her soul, diminished yet undefeated. It was a comfort to see even the bits that peaked and escaped the drowning of white.

This lesson would not have been enough to be set in stone if there had not been so many others before and after. Your desires mean nothing. Your choices mean nothing. What you want means nothing. Each one hammered home again and again.

The ingeniousness of childhood protects the core budding personality against occasional harm that parenthood brings to it. Yet when the child is an extension of the parent, not only does the child absorb the parents hurts, they have to buffer their own core in hope of a day they can bloom. I have no measure of how well I succeed in this task. Let me tell you another story.

Pigtailed seven year old who loved words and worlds only found between the pages ran up to her mother a late spring evening. In her hands, her pride, her joy, her accomplishment; a written story. Beaming with joy she hands it to her mother and begs her to read it. As she watched her mother’s eyes float across the pages of work, sudden horror dawned in her mind. As the frown marred her mother’s face, she took back the pages from her mother’s hand. No questions were needed. She realised this joy trespassed on a rule. Quickly moving away as her shoulders slumped, grateful her mother said nothing. Passing by a trashcan, she let drop from her fingertips the first bits of her soul.

See, the rule broke here was fiction. I had written a story, a work of fiction. Just a year earlier, all books of fiction were removed from the house. There was no television. Radio was set only for gospel stations. What books that remained were those considered to be true, truth and religiously approved materials. And I had failed to include my own self in what was not allowed. It still puzzles me, how could the things I write be anything but truth?

In my defiance, I found a way to nurture my soul. With a teacher’s encouragement, I focused on poetry. Though poetry I could write and dance with words. With poetry, I could express my soul. As long as I was careful, I could write as I desired. My words had to be true, not something one sees as fiction. Poetry has been a wellspring, a lifeline and a much-needed love in my life.

I have many more soul damaged tales. The point is, I was taught from an early age that what I want, that my joys have no value. And nothing but religion and god was put in front of me instead. I was taught to sacrifice everything that made me, me, to that goal. These ideas, these lessons left a wake of damage across my life.

I know now children raised by damaged adults end up needing to unravel not only their damage but their parent’s damage as well. My mother’s damage was deep and she didn’t make it out of the hole that it left in her. But she knew enough that sometimes saying nothing was a blessing in disguise.

It feels odd now having no reason to lie. It feels odd I have no cause to protect my core as I had before. And it feels good.

The Deamons Among Us

Learning how to Love Yourself Part 2

Everyone ends up in deep conflict once in a while. But rarely does one end up in a full-fledged battle with themselves. Not me, I was in an ugly battle for my life with myself.

You know how family conflicts turn ugly? Take that and intensify it by a factor of a hundred and that might come close. I found out first hand just how shitty I can be. I am not a fair fighter. When the cause is important enough, nothing is barred, nothing is fair. I was an evil bitch. Just as weird as it sounds to me still, the bitch I was being too was myself.

Isa and Autumn are much like sisters in personality. Isa is my love, sensuality and emotional side. Autumn is my hard nose, logical, protector and feeler of all the ugly emotions. And me, well I was asleep. Shhh, I may be whole now but I can still break into my parts and talk still. Weird how that turned out.

And like any family of sisters, the fights are all too often over a man. And this was the case. I was in a fight over my husband, over my poly family and later on over my involvement in M/s relationships. Autumn was angry as hell. Not only did she not agree with my marriage, she didn’t trust my choice. It was she who was picking a ton of battles. In singleton speech; I was conflicted and unsure of my choices.

My husband is a man with flaws but a good man. And he was tossed into a situation without all the knowledge that would have helped us out. I couldn’t give him what I didn’t know. So when there were moments that Autumn would peak and lash out, he would be at a loss. Not only did I not know what happened, I wouldn’t remember. It was a crazy making time. Isa was often hurt emotional because she would catch the brunt of the consequences of Autumn’s actions. And Isa’s pain would inflame Autumn’s anger. It is a vicious cycle that had to be broken.

And what stress would create this crazy making cycle, you ask? Poly.

About nine years ago, I found my dear boy and his wife. I’ve known him since we were in high school. He was the one I let go and yet he was the one that got away. He is the father of my angel baby. I had a lot of emotions that I had vet to processed at all. After he left me and moved away, I boxed up his memory and tossed it in the back of my mind, deep into the shadows. My feelings couldn’t hurt me anymore. I could barely remember them.

He was once the one who’s word was my law. And I was only sixteen, physically.

Back then, I had no clue about Domination and submission. It came naturally to me and it scared the hell out of me. For what is this strange power to speak and then I lose my will to go against what he said? Worse, that even actively trying to disobey would have me crumbled down into a heap on the spot? It terrified me. And I hid as best I could my reaction to him. This was craziness. Why would I obey?

So when he came back into my life, I was a married women with a child. My husband knew my past with him. He could remember things where I could not. And I was like a moth to a flame. I could not deny I would do anything to get my dear boy back. In fact I did everything I could to do just that. Even ignore the hurt I was causing my husband.

That’s how the war began. Between compromise and unyielding desire; the players were set. The pawns were moving across the table and the queen sat protected by her king.

Autumn came out more often and picked fights with my husband. And Isa would run away on weekends into the safety of him who’s word was once law. Actually his word was still law. It took me a very long time learning how to say ‘no’ before I could shake it. To this day I have to actively use ‘no’ when dealing with him. Distance has made things easier as well as having a Master. But in person, it’s an effort.

I was tearing my marriage apart, on purpose. Autumn does not forget nor does she forgive. She is unyielding once set on her purpose. Oh Dreamwaker; this is why I asked about how to learn to forgive.

I was out of control. My blackouts were frequent, hours out of a day, weeks at a time. Home was full of emotions that I couldn’t figure out. Bitterness and hurt hang in the air like perfume.

One weekend I was with my boy and his wife and Autumn got caught out. Not only are my alters split on emotional lines, they are split on skills too. Isa is the writer. Autumn is my art, my gamer, my logic. And she was needed to do a job. My boy knows me well, too well. “Who are you?’ Caught what no one had ever caught and as such I could not switch back to deflect the answer because it was he who’s word was law. I must answer. I speak words which never before spoken “Autumn” and switched in the blink of an eye.

We all had a very long conversation with him. I’m still not sure all that was said. There is a wall still in the memory of that conversation. I didn’t believe him. I didn’t want to believe him. This I already knew but I sure as hell didn’t want this to be real. I thought if no one had ever noticed and confronted me, then it was just all in my head. Those voices were just figments of my over active imagination. I could live with the fear of being crazy and do my best to work on not being so. I could control myself. I must control myself. Ha! What a lesson to learn. I could not control what I refused to acknowledge.

The dam was breached and the floodwaters were rushing in. The voices were back. This time they weren’t going to accept getting boxed away. They weren’t gonna take my refusal of their existence. Quite frankly, there is nothing more shocking than getting slapped in the face. I had lost control over the most basic of things; my body. Autumn was strong enough to steal body parts at her will.

Becoming co-conscious was both familiar and weird at the same time. Instead of having my angel and deamon on my shoulder, I was instead the angel with a deamon and a very drunk, rude and crass man who could make her laugh on her shoulder. The I that I once was, was deeper inside sleeping in a grave only chiming out my age, an age that had no relation to my physical age. I had been emotional stunted at 12 and had remained that way.

I had died at 12 and my body lived. I know this know now. I even know when this happened. I know when the angel came out as primary. I gave up at 12. I had went catatonic once and wanted to sleep, see nothing more of this world, escape the abuse and be done. Except I blinked my eyes open at the end of the day and I got up. We were once a co-conscious system way before then. It was confusing as the voices were gone and I wasn’t sure what happened. I simply carried on. My angel, my Isa carried on with my life. Autumn took the abuse and kept it from Isa. And Jay, that crazy man in me would steal the memories, box them up and sit on them. Asking my age, was always a bit of confusion. It was the only clue that something wasn’t right for even Jay stole the memory of being split.

The first steps to healing is accepting there is a problem. The second is figuring out what to do about it. Of course I hit the books and read everything I could about this physiological condition. Even in that, I know I’m a bit weirder than most who claim DID. The core was build twice each with different rules. The maxim we had lived under was simple; “don’t get caught.” Fear was real and the consequences of being caught was frighteningly real. I was a child of seven afraid that I was deamon possessed, of being banished from her home, afraid of hellfire, afraid of seeing the dejection in her mother’s eyes if she knew her daughter had deamons inside her. The second time being built, the maxim was simpler “keep moving forward.” Hellfire had nothing on her as she lived in hell everyday.

To be continued…

Part one

Learning how to Love Yourself.

I have DID; Dissociative Identity Disorder. In short, my head is pretty much fucked up. I’ve functioned okayish for many years not aware of much that was going on. I’d lose hours, moments, days and weeks at time. I thought it was being very very forgetful. So I created many ways to keep myself informed. I write a lot. I kept a ton of To Do lists that cover typical routine months in advance. I used to use sticky notes all over the place. I enforced the idea that everything thing has a home; it’s proper place so I’d stop loosing my things. All this helped to keep my life from running off the rails.

Stress has a way of destroying the best of plans. I got worse. Blackouts more frequent. I was angry all the time. I didn’t understand the problems. I knew it was down right odd that me and my husband could feel and say the exact same thing. That is rather atypical. I knew I was stressed out. Body memory was over reacting and trigging way before real threats. I was a mess and I didn’t understand why.

It took getting caught switching for all of this to unravel; to have a chance to heal. Longer still for the other parts of me to start speaking up. Then it became more of a reunion in my head. My Peanut Gallery, always sitting on the bleachers of life, watching the game on a perfect summer day.

Acceptance is an amazing thing. My friends accepted me and understood what I was going though. They are like me too; kindred souls. Their trust in me and their acceptance allowed me to see, to learn how to accept myself, to face my flaws. It was my poly partners who saw and recognized this in me. It was them who helped me though the shock of this. It was also them who called out each alter and had a long conversation with each of them.

Trust is required for healing. I believe it is one of the things that broke me is that I didn’t trust myself. Trust is a risk. I’m not a gambler. I don’t like taking risks. And it’s very hard for me to trust. There are times that the possible outcome is worth the risk. I told my Master about what I had learned about myself. I was terrified that doing so would end the relationship. It didn’t. But I still kept my other parts away. It wasn’t like they weren’t interested in him. We were concerned that we’d confuse him or worse be wrote off as too much drama.

I don’t have tales of my alters going out and doing crazy things or claiming crazy things. We were always working to stay hidden, to not disrupt or get caught. Being labeled as crazy or being drama was the thing to avoid. Stepping out of the shadows is far more fearful thing than getting caught. It breaks the very rule of existence. So stepping out wasn’t really done. Being known and recognized was as good as it gets.

Telling my husband was a moment of healing for both of us. It gave us the chance to honestly work on our marriage. All that was unclear and muddled became clear. It was a true ‘oh shit!’ moment, ‘it all makes sense now.’ I didn’t know the hard work was just getting started.

Things get worse before getting better.

The odd part of being co-conscious is that in some ways it’s always felt that way. That the buzz in my mind were all the words I couldn’t hear before. I had rejected being split so I rejected the conversation that would happen but it didn’t prevent it. I’d freeze up, startle, choke on answering simple questions, always indecisive and close to perpetually confused.

Hearing them inside, it’s startling how familiar it was to me. My voices, my alters, my aspects of myself, each with a different voice, point of view, different motivations for life; fully formed individuals with an independence streak from hell. Team building was none of our strong points. Fights began.

It was ugly.
To be continued…

Part two

Not a Gratitude Friday

It’s been a difficult day for writing. So many pieces demanding attention and I’m distracted. I’m sitting on pins and needles waiting for answers. I can do nothing but wait. I’m aiming for a graceful wait but I’ll settle for not biting off all my nails. That’s the happy part of my day right now.

There are a lot of things I could write about being grateful. Most unfortunately carry a deep streak of bitterness. I had planned a series of ‘confessions’ which got nixed for reasons beyond my control. Turning storm clouds into silver is a lot of hard work. I have quite a few things to work out, like my anger.

12391946_10153269867933202_5917381866780036634_nI am furious with one individual. And it’s been very hard for the last several months to stay upbeat and chipper much less keep control of my erratic online behavior. I even contemplated closing the doors to over 20 year’s worth of work down under this name.

And I’m angry. I grateful for that.
I know what I am feeling now.
White hot blazing anger.

I’m not angry at myself. Far from it. I’m disappointed in myself, for sure. But not angry at myself.

There is a whole lot more I’d love to say. A shit load of stuff I’d like to address to the individual my anger is directed too, but I can not do so. It would be an exercise in putting makeup on a pig.

I’ve got some issues to work out. I’ll be using this platform to work those out and share what I’ve come up with. Anger is a good emotion to work with. It’s also one I have a hard time identifying in myself. I’m getting better at not dissociating away from strong emotions. Progress is progress. I’ll take it.

It’s all learning lessons.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff.

Well, splinters are small and they still drive me up a wall when they get stuck under my skin.

Time to get out my tweezers.