Share Your World #37

rocksHave you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?  I used to carry around a Tigers Eye, oh, back in the 80’s I guess.  I loved that stone, and I still do if I happen to see one.  But as far as pet rocks?  I was too old for those (or so I thought).  When I was younger (quite a bit), I used to collect interesting rocks, particularly during the summer of 1989, when I was taking a 2-week Geology class.  We packed up our camping gear, and spent two weeks, roaming through the rocks and geological formations in southern Illinois.  I know, who would have thought there were any kind of hills or canyons in Illinois?  I still have pictures to prove it, but not the rocks.

What is your greatest strength or weakness?  I believe my greatest strength, which is my mind, is also my greatest weakness.  Due to mental illness, even as a young child, my weakness was the mind, and that as I grew into adulthood, was plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, fears of things, real or imagined, which prevented me from living a fulfilling childhood, and caused me to live as an adult, still caught up in the mire of mental illness.  This lead to alcoholism and other behaviors that caused me to lose one job after another.  I believe that my mental illness was caused by both parents, as well as a gene carried by my mother.  My father was a pedophile of the worst kind, not that I’m sure there are varying degrees of pedophilia, and I was his victim – at least the only one I knew about.  My mother was a narcissist, who I believe also carried the gene believed to be needed in order to develop Borderline Personality Disorder.  This form of mental illness continues to plague me even today, causing irrational fears, inappropriate emotional responses to certain triggers, short, highly emotional relationships, fear of abandonment, and many other symptoms.  I also suffer from anxiety and depression.  Combine those with the MS, stomach issues, thyroid, parathyroids, and gall bladder problems and the results of all these problems, and I take 22 medications every day.

But my mind is also my greatest strength.  It got me through school with high grades, and then making the Deans list when I went back to school in the late 1980’s.  It is where my love of music, singing it and playing the guitar, saxophone, clarinet and the piano, originates from.  It is where my creativity stems from, allowing me to take a good look at myself, learning, understanding, and growing from my past.  My creativity has led me to writing, and then writing poetry, but also the ability to sit and look at an abstract design on the page and color it in, never knowing from the starting point where I will end up, but it is almost always something I feel is really good. 

firefliesWhat makes you feel grounded?  I think what makes me feel grounded, is being out in the country, or the woods or a forest, all of which make me more aware of this world that God created, and created me to live in, enjoying the ‘fruits of His bounty’.  Watching the fireflies blink bright green in the darkness of my campsite, or in the back yard when I was growing up (I don’t see them much now, since I’ve become city-fied. I don’t even have a backyard now.).  Or rolling down the bike path in my power chair, with only the sounds of the birds and insects that are all around me, when I am in areas that are overgrown once again with grass and bushes, and in wooded areas that I pass through.  The feel of the sun on my face in the Spring and the Fall, since I can’t be out much during the summer due to the MS, as I sit, stretched out in my chair, talking with others whom have come out to enjoy the nice weather, and the company as well.  Nature is what it is that makes me feel grounded, I guess I’d have to say if I was to put it all in one boring sentence.  😄

 

Would you rather never be able to eat warm food or never be able to eat cold food?  Oh this is an easy one.  You’ve all heard of comfort food?  Well, to me, comfort food is food that makes me feel good, and this is warm food.  Don’t get me wrong – I love my bowl of ice cream in the ice-creamevening, no matter if it is in the middle of summer or the middle of winter.  But cold ice-cream-conefood can get warm, and then definitely loses its appeal so just does not apply when talking about comfort food.  You can reheat a cold dish of chili, but you can’t put melted ice cream back onto the cone.  😬

 

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  From last week, I am grateful for that monthly government check which just plops itself right into my bank account every month.  I’m grateful I was able to pay all my bills for the month, and still have some money left for groceries, as well some to put towards my upcoming trip to San Antonio, TX.  

This week I am looking forward to cooler temperatures, when I will be able to go outside and enjoy myself once again.  I look forward to practicing for the events I will be taking part in, at the Valor Games Southwest, in San Antonio, TX.  The Valor Games are adaptive sports competition for disabled veterans as well as Active Duty members.  It is a time to celebrate old friends and make new ones.  I need to be able to get outside and practice for the air rifle event, find a Senior Center where I can practice my table tennis from a wheelchair, and to just go bowling.  A healthy body is a happy body.

Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly feature and all are welcome to play along.

What’s going on in your world?

 

Inside My Head

Taboo Word – 9/5/16

Things are rattling inside my head
All the things were never said
But now they’re ready to come out
And shock us all without a doubt.

Even I do not know when
I’ll be ready for this again
I cannot do this all by myself
It will end up on a shelf

Listen close and learn to hear
All things I’ve kept due to fear
Here today I’ve set a goal
Reaching deep inside my soul

I must do this, but no, not fast
Or this chance will not last
Talk, no write it all right down
Before the thoughts do make me frown

Alas, I think, the time slipped by
I cannot say it, I know not why
So what it is I’ll do instead
Keep it tightly in my head

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 

taboo

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge

Being A Survivor

Taboo Word – Day 2

What is it that you can find, deep within the mind of a survivor? Being a survivor myself, I’d have to say that the answer is not that simple. Some things that remain, are often things that you don’t want to remember, ever. I believe that I have some of these myself.

I have been going to therapy for a good 30 years or more, and I am still working on getting past thoughts and patterns that affect my behavior on a daily basis. Some of the memories that I have recovered, have helped me to understand why I’m the way that I am.

These memories are ones that explain why I have the diagnoses that I have. Some of these memories explain the poor self-image, poor self-worth, or inappropriate emotional responses, causing poor reasoning, avoidance of people or places and exaggerated emotional responses.

They can also cause the impulsiveness that leads me to spending in excess, emotional outbursts, and relationships that are short, and often over emotional. My long-term relationships have lasted for five years each, and I’ve been through and used up three of them.

Now I live alone, and everything that I act on, is still based on exaggerated emotional responses to the stimuli around me. This has been my life for the past 16 years. I take part in outside activities, like Bible studies and wheelchair sporting events, but everything is done (hah!) in a way that protects me from experiencing those emotions that are almost always inappropriate to the situation.

So I spend most of my time alone in my apartment, with only my cat, all the things I take part in on the Internet, and Netflix and my big screen TV. One person that lives in this building, understands a lot of my interactions with others, and the thoughts behind my actions.

But now, my therapist wants me to start relying more on my peers, and less on professionals for support. This is very difficult for me to carry out, but I make it seem to her, that I am changing this behavior. This is not easy for me.  Not at all.

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge

Run.Rabbit.Run.Ptsd award

I have been nominated for this award by a wonderful blogger and mental health advocate,   mychildwithin at  https://mychildwithin.wordpress.com/ , and I thank you so much for recognizing me.

run-rabbit-award

 

Previously Known As The Blogger Recognition Award.


The rules:

Thank the blog who nominated you, share the link and award on your blog.

Write a brief story on how you started blogging and

any advice you would give to a new blogger.

Select nominees (max 15)

Advise nominees.

How I started writing this blog:  When I started this blog, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it, and there were some odd little posts where I did a little ranting and raving, about some of the rudeness of people, such as those who use handicap parking spaces, when they have no handicap at all, to the rudeness of a hotel I stayed and the staff were so rude, to the WalMart shoppers who have no clue that there are those of us who motivate around in wheelchairs.

I gradually fell into a pattern of looking at the child abuse I went through, in the form of poetry, which I had no idea I could write (the poetry I mean).  I eventually reached the stage of recognizing my blog for what it was.  It allows me to look at the abuse, how I felt about it then and how I feel about it now, and how it has affected me throughout my life.  My hope is for other survivors of abuse to read,  and look at themselves and speak out.  This is a subject that often no one wants to speak about, but everyone needs to write, read others blogs, identify with me, and that I can reach out to them and help them in some way.

I would advise the newcomer to become comfortable enough with themselves, and write about what it is you feel, or want to say, in some way that you and others will enjoy, identify with or just laugh at some humor.

I would like to nominate the following for the Run.Rabbit.Run. Ptsd award:

https://mandysmithsthoughts.com/                  

https://survivorroad.wordpress.com/

https://confessions92.wordpress.com/

https://noimnotok.wordpress.com/

https://patriciajgrace.wordpress.com/

All of these blogs have helped me to see what others have gone through, are going through now, or with advice and writings which moved me, or inspired me to look at my issues, and shown me other ways to look at what I’ve been going through since childhood.

BPD – What It Means For Me

I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder many years ago, and have been taking pretty much the same medications over this time. I have BPD. I know I have it. I recognize the symptoms when they get worse. I wouldn’t dream of stopping them, for fear of the consequences.

It has long been thought that BPD was caused by abuse as a child, or some other horrendous trauma experienced when young. It has been brought to my attention that in order for someone to develop BPD, there has to be one or both parents who suffer from this disorder. This disorder is passed on genetically.

Without the genetics, BPD does not occur, despite popular belief, because of chronic abuse as a child, alone. The gene must also be present. I realized a couple years ago, that my mother must have had the same disorder. Based on the way that she treated me, along with the sexual abuse from my father, I developed BPD.

There has to be at least five symptoms a person must have to be diagnosed with this disorder.

  1. Unstable or poorly regulated emotional responses – anger, anxiety, depression
  2. Inappropriate intense anger that is difficult to control
  3. Chronic feelings of emptiness
  4. Self-damaging acts such as excessive spending, unsafe sex, substance abuse, binge eating, and
  5. Suicidal ideation, acts, threats, self-injurious behavior
  6. Persistent, unstable self-image
  7. Paranoid ideation or severe dissociative episodes
  8. behaviors from most people, impaired social reasoning under stress
  9. Frantic acts due to chronic fear of abandonment, very intense and unstable relationships

To be diagnosed with BPD, five of these nine symptoms must be present.  When I finally learned about Borderline Personality Disorder, it was sort of an ‘aha’ moment.  Now, things that I feel or do, I understand why.  I suffer from eight of these nine symptoms.

I understand why I will do almost anything to prevent what I perceive as abandonment.  I understand why all of my relationships were either inappropriate, extremely intense and unstable.  I understand why I have a great deal of new debt, that has occurred after the agreement with the debt management program,  that I would not apply for anymore credit cards, and this new debt is due to three  new credit cards.  I understand why I became a chronic alcoholic (Nearly 17 years sober now).  I understand the cuts on my arms, the overdoses, and all the threats of suicide, and all of the psychiatric hospitalizations.

I understand now, why I am me, and why I still do many of the things on that list.  Do you now understand me?

 

Misery

Misery comes in different ways,
It can last for weeks, or just for days,
My misery started long ago,
Silent so no one would know.

When I was only just a child
When the misery would run wild,
Some causes came in dark of night,
Other causes during daylight.

But as I aged, learned how to shout,
I became able to let some out,
But there’s some that stays within,
It seems this war, I’ll never win.

At night he haunts me in my dreams,
During the light she always wins,
Now I’m trapped within these walls,
They know I’m here, but no one calls.

A test, they say, will let us see,
What is happening inside of me,
This misery I have had for days,
Bothers my life, in many ways.

But when all is said and done,
I pray I’ll once more see the sun,
That will be my very own way,
I’m going to live another day.

– van –

PTSD

PTSD, oh how hard it can be.
See things over and over again,
Some things, not remembering them,
Some things I’ll never do again.

PTSD, makes me scared of life,
Growing up, filled with strife,
Used to get the great big knife,
But something keeps me clinging to life.

I see things over and over again,
They hide deep inside my head,
I won’t do this, I won’t do that,
But other things, keep doing this or that.

Programmed deep within my soul,
What will it take to make me whole?
Memories keep rushing to the top,
I don’t know how to make it stop.

~ van ~

Soul In Despair

I’ve often wondered where I would be today, if my life hadn’t started off in the manner in which it did. The first 17 years of my life, full of every sort of abuse, by both of my parents. I ran away when I was 17 to continue my life, filled with all kinds of musical desires, and classes.

I quickly learned how lonely I really was away from home. This made no sense to me, so instead of finding myself, I went out into the street, searching for someone to fill the void that had been somehow left in me.

Alcohol soon became my new companion, along with all the problems that it can cause. The only good thing about this was that I wasn’t a licensed driver, therefore wasn’t bothered with DUI’s. The city buses ran late at night, enabling me to drink myself senseless, and then stagger back to my new home, and my new bed.

The loneliness, however, drove me into unknown places, unknown faces, faces that only wanted one thing and one thing only, and I could never say no.

After two years of this, my soul succumbed, and my life and dream was in shambles. Unable mentally to return to my parent’s home, I chose to run very far away, and into the Navy.

After eight weeks of mental and physical torture, I was released into what seemed to be endless freedom, and went to the wonderful state of Illinois. Great Lakes, otherwise known as Great Mistakes. I had no choice at that point in where I was sent, and it wasn’t good.

I don’t believe any place I might’ve been sent to, would really have been good, because the problems that occurred came from within my own soul . . . planted there when I was growing up, never to really go away.

And so, today, my soul remains in despair.

~ van ~

 

No Is Never Enough (Previously published “With All The Lies, Who Am I?”)

Being ignored as a child, I wasn’t taught anything that I was supposed to have been. Instead I learned how to lie to cover my butt and save myself a beating. As I grew a little older, it just became ingrained.  I would make up things to explain why something was broken, or missing, or just not satisfactory to my mother.

I do believe that she never had one good thing to say about any of my accomplishments.  I wasn’t real at times like this.  I used to perform music at school concerts. Band, choir, duets, solos, even playing the piano, which she didn’t know I could do.  She was always there because she had to take me there.  But she never said a word about it at any time after.

I felt I didn’t do it well enough.  I wasn’t good enough, and that’s why she didn’t like me.  I learned that at a very young age, but just existed in a world where all these people around me (only in school) didn’t like me either.  I was smart and they didn’t like that.

But one thing that really stands out today, is how I was never allowed to be sick.  She had to admit that I was sick when I came home from Kindergarten with Chicken Pox.  So I missed some school due to that.  Once I was well again, I never stayed at home, no matter how sick I felt.  I had a running total of perfect attendance at school, right up until my Senior year, when my parents and I got stranded in a blizzard and no one was allowed to be on the roads for any reason.

The police took us to the Salvation Army, who took us to this rickety, old hotel, where people actually lived.  There was one room for the three of us.  We spent 4 or 5 days there, I can’t remember for sure, but for me it was pure hell.  But that broke my perfect attendance record.

Now she’s gone and I can go out if I want to, or I can stay home if I want to.  I still feel guilty, though, if I don’t go somewhere that I was supposed to go.  I have to make up a story as to why I wasn’t going.  My reasons were never good enough.  Sometimes I went anyway, because of the guilt I was feeling.  But I’m still never good enough. And just saying “no” is never enough…

~ van ~

Gasping

People gasp when they see an accident,
People gasp when they can’t get enough air,
People gasp when they get surprised,
But no one hears the tiny little gasp.

There’s a child sitting there,
As if there is no one who cares,
Inside and out the child cries,
Inside, a small part of her dies.

Why can’t the people around her see?
How more helpful could they be?
If only one had heard her cry,
Dry her tears and ask her why?

Why do you cry, little one?
What is it that someone has done,
That makes you cry right here, today?
How can I make the tears go away?

But no one cared to see her cry,
No one cared to ask her why,
Why do you do things that are bad?
What is it making you so sad?

If only one could see inside,
All the things she had to hide,
They can not make it go away,
It happens every single day.